The Sore Losers of the Syrian Crisis
Beirut, 1 November 2012
In 2010, France made the choice to breath new life into its colonial policy. This led her to instigate a regime change in the Ivory Coast and Libya, and to aim for the same result in Syria. But faced with the fiasco of the latter operation, Paris got carried away by the wave of events that she herself unleashed. After having armed and trained terrorist groups in Syria, the DGSE has now struck at the heart of the Lebanese capital.
During a recent Round Table in Ankara, Admiral James Winnfeld, Vice-Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced that Washington would reveal its intentions toward Syria once the 6 November presidential elections were over. He made it plainly understood to his Turkish counterparts that a peace plan had already been negotiated with Moscow, that Bashar al-Assad would remain in power and that the Security Council would not authorize the creation of buffer zones. For his part, Herve Ladsous, the U.N. Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, announced that he was studying the possible deployment of peacekeepers ("blue helmets") in Syria.
All regional actors are preparing for the cease-fire which will be overseen by a U.N. force composed principally by troops of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikstan). These events signify that the United States is effectively continuing a process, begun in Iraq, of retreat from the region and has accepted to share its influence with Russian.
At the same time, the New York Times revealed that direct negotiations between Washington and Iran are slated to restart even as the United States continues its attack on Iranian monetary values. It is becoming clear that, after 33 years of containment, Washington is acknowledging that Teheran is an established regional power, all the while continuing to sabotage its economy.
This new situation comes at the expense of Saudi Arabia, France, Israel, Qatar and Turkey all of whom had placed their bets on regime change in Damascus. This diverse coalition is now suffering divisions between those demanding a consolation prize and those trying to sabotage outright the process underway.
Ankara has already changed its tune. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, previously ready for the worst, is now actively seeking reconciliation with Teheran and Moscow. Several days after insulting the Iranians and harrassing the Russian diplomats in his country, he is now all smiles. He took advantage of the Organization of Economic Cooperation in Baku to approach President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He proposed a complex framework for discussing the Syrian crisis which would allow Turkey and Saudi Arabia not to be left by the wayside. Careful not to humilate the losers in the conflict, the Iranian president indicated he was open to such an initiative.
As for Qatar, it is already seeking new horizons for its ambitions. Emir Hamad took off on a trip to Gaza, posing as the self-appointed protector of Hamas. He advocates the overthrow of the King of Jordan, the transformation of the Hashemite monarchy into a Palestinian republic and the installation in power of his proteges from the Muslim Brotherhood.
Only Israel and France remain in the opposition camp. The new scheme would offer a guarantee of protection to the state of Israel but it would also alter its special status on the international scene and end its expansionist dreams. Tel-Aviv would be relegated to being a secondary power. France, also, would lose influence in the region, particularly in Lebanon. Accordingly, the intelligence services of both states have concocted an operation to collapse the U.S.-Russia-Iran agreement which, even if it fails, would allow them to erase the traces of their involvement in the Syrian crisis.
France started by circulating the rumor that President Bashar al-Assad sponsored a Hezbollah plan to assassinate five Lebanese leaders: the head of the security forces, the head commander of the Ministry of the Interior, the Grand Mufti, the Maronite Patriarch and former prime minister, Fouad Siniora. Then, Paris took out Michel Samaha, who had served as liaison to the Syrian armed forces but who, having been disgraced in Damascus, was no longer of use. This brilliant and adept politician fell into the trap set for him by General Wassam el-Hassan, head of the Free Syrian Army and himself a liaison with the Salafists. Next, Paris eliminated General Wassam el-Hassan himself, who had not only become useless in the eventual advent of peace in Syria but also dangerous because of what he knew. The French rumor became reality : the number one name on the list of targets is dead and a pro-Syrian figure was arrested as he was preparing an attack on another name on the list.
At the core of these machinations is General Puga. The former Commander of Special Operations and Director of French Military Intelligence was the head of the personal general staff of President Nicolas Sarkozy and has been retained in that post by Francois Hollande. Linked by his unconditional support for the Jewish colonial occupation of Palestine  and having close connections to American neoconservatives, he carried forward French colonial policies in the Ivory Coast, Libya and Syria. Bypassing democratic institutions, he determined on his own the direction of French policy in the Middle East, despite his having no official appointment.
 "Gaza: France oversees the extension of the Separation Wall," Voltaire Network, 26 December 2009.
Information Clearing House (USA)
Moral Collapse and Mental Disorder
Pierre Khalaf, Ghaleb Kandil
Beirut, 30 October 2012
During the last few days, the Lebanese watched live on television some of the chapters of the resounding collapse of the March 14 forces in the streets of Beirut, Tripoli and Sidon, one which reached its dramatic peak with the scandalous attempt to storm the Serail. This constituted a failed and outrageous act, both politically and morally.
Firstly, the moral and cultural collapse of the March 14 forces has been featured in their actions since the assassination of General Wissam al-Hassan. Indeed, the political front that delivered lectures and launched campaigns in rejection of the weapons, all weapons, under the headline that the state and the national institutions were the only guarantors of all aspects of life, and the front which claimed to be peaceful since the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in 2005 and tried to appear oppressed and aggressed, unleashed a campaign of political and security violence which led the country to the brink of civil war. It did so by exploiting the assassination, without raising one slogan related to the investigations and the trials. It thus sought the use of the crime to achieve an immoral goal, i.e. return to power, without having a political program or making any pledges to change the situation. The only aim was to replace Prime Minister Najib Mikati with leader of the Future Movement Saad al-Hariri.
Secondly, what happened on the ground was not a street anarchy as some like to claim to lift any responsibility which might fall on the March 14 command for having recruits thugs and riff-raff in an organized sabotage campaign, during which the citizens were assaulted and public life was paralyzed due to the mobile riots and violence. Indeed, the Lebanese regions witnessed the erection of checkpoints controlled by armed elements that beat the passersby, attacked the cars and practiced provocative sectarian violence against hundreds of Lebanese in the Bekaa and the coastal road linking Beirut to the South. At this level, information circulated about the fact that many young men were thrown off the Awwali Bridge, while dozens were stabbed with knives in the Naame and Katermaya regions. In the meantime, shootings occurred in an organized way in Beirut, Tripoli, Sidon and Akkar, in addition to the emergence of a form of political terrorism which led to the killing of a Sunni sheikhs and cadres opposing the Future Movement on the political level. Moreover, armed groups from the Future Movement militias, the so-called Free Army and Takfiri organizations were deployed, thus causing the streets to be occupied by Lebanese or Syrian armed gangs. Hence, the street mayhem did not feature a spontaneous popular action, and this marked the epitome of moral collapse.
Thirdly, the goal which is linked to the return to power through the spread of methodic chaos and anarchy stripped the March 14 forces of any moral quality and exposed the core of their action. At this level, the facts registered a popular abstinence from cooperating with these forces’ calls, despite their exploitation of the shed blood once again and their use of all possible means, including the spread of rumors, the mobilization of a massive media machine, the rallying of thousands of Syrian refugees and the distribution of money. All these measures failed to revive the old scenes of the consecutive events organized in the years which followed the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. The storming of the Serail on the other hand constituted the peak of the mental and political disorder prevailing over the March 14 command, which raised the slogan of toppling the government while thinking it could lead to Mikati’s exit upon the orders and calls of Al-Sanioura against the backdrop of the assassination. It was as though the Lebanese had forgotten about the fact that the man remained unaffected by and did not even consider resignation in light of the series of assassinations which occurred during his term. This command thought that its faltering political muscles had the ability to amend the American and Israeli positions which revolved around the necessity of sparing stability in Lebanon, as it was clearly seen in the Baabda declaration which constituted a strong blow to Al-Hariri’s and Geagea’s illusions.
Fourthly, the storming of the Serail in itself confirmed the moral collapse. This was clearly detected by the citizens when comparing what was done by the March 14 forces during the days of Al-Sanioura’s government, i.e. when they fiercely defended the premiership and its headquarters, and was recalled by Mufti Sheikh Rashid Qabbani. At this level, the emergence of the gangs of the so-called Free Army constituted a dramatic and expressive turning point, especially after they placed their flag above the Lebanese flag on the Serail door, in parallel to the presence of Israeli agents among the crowds which could not be widened despite the calls of Deputy Nouhad al-Mashnouk and the shouting of Deputy Muin al-Merhebi, with the sole purpose of enhancing the attack on the Serail guards.
The desperate team following the collapse of the wager on Syria’s fall and the attempts to return to power at whichever price, acted without any cover from its American and European sponsors, knowing that the latter have no intention of becoming involved in a battle or a coup in Lebanon out of fear from the consequences of this the lethal adventure inside their last area of influence. This reveals the mental and nervous disorder prevailing over the March 14 command, one which led it to adopt hysterical and arbitrary decisions as it is proceeding with its game in the North and seeking the besieging of the Lebanese army with depletion. The regional and international balances and calculations have changed, and political stupidity mixed with spite can only lead this team to commit foolish acts. That is the reality behind the events witnessed during the last few days in a country whose people yearn for civil peace and reject strife, at a time when the March 14 forces are recruiting mercenaries to attack the Lebanese army and state which they are trying to reach, as it was stated by the prime minister.
By Nasser Kandil...
During his meeting with United Nations Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and the delegation accompanying him, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad discussed the developments affecting the situation in Syria, the efforts deployed By Brahimi and the outcome of his recent tour in a number of states in the region. President Al-Assad stressed Syria’s support of the efforts of the UN envoy, assuring it was open to any honest attempts to seek a political solution to the crisis, based on the respect of Syrian sovereignty and the rejection of foreign intervention. He added that any initiative or political process should be based on ending terrorism, with all that this requires in terms of commitments by the states implicated in supporting and arming the terrorists in Syria to stop doing so....
On the other hand, President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree granting a general pardon for all the crimes committed before 23/10/2012. In statements to the national news agency SANA, Justice Minister Dr. Najm Hamad al-Ahmad said that the pardon issued by President Al-Assad was the most comprehensive in the history of the Syrian Arab Republic, and fell in the context of social tolerance, national unity and the requirements of coexistence on the occasion of the Holy Eid al-Adha. He considered that this constituted a step in a series of steps announced by President Al-Assad on more than one occasion....
New Orient News (Lebanon)