ايلي حبيقة افتدى لبنان واللبنانيين

ايلي حبيقة افتدى لبنان واللبنانيين

إن الإنسان المؤمن بربه وبكتبه المقدسة وبتعاليمه وبموت وقيامة السيد المسيح لا يموت، بل يرقد على رجاء القيامة بانتظار يوم الحساب الأخير، والرب الذي وهب الإنسان نعمة الحياة هو وحده يقرر متى يستردها وليس أي مخلوق أخر.

اليوم ونحن نصلي في الذكرى التاسعة لروح الشهيد النائب والوزير الراحل ايلي حبيقة نردد بايمان وخشوع ووقار ما قاله النبي أيوب رغم كل المصائب التي حلت عليه فيما كان الشيطان يحاول جاهداً إيقاعه في التجربة دون أن يتمكن من أن يحقق هدفه اللعين هذا كون إيمان أيوب بربه كان قوياً وراسخاً: "عرياناً خرجت من بطن أمي، وعرياناً أعود إلى هناك، الرب أعطى والرب أخذ تبارك اسم الرب". (ايوب01/21).

يقول السيد المسيح: "أَنَا هُوَ الْقِيَامَةُ وَالْحَيَاةُ. مَنْ آمَنَ بِي، وَإِنْ مَاتَ فَسَيَحْيَا" (يوحنا 25/11). إن تعلقنا بلبناننا الحبيب حتى الشهادة يعزينا ويقوي إيماننا ويرسخ الرجاء في نفوسنا ويساعدنا على تقبل غياب الشهداء الأبرار برضوخ كامل لمشيئة أبينا السماوي فهم لا يموتون بل يبقون أحياء في وجداننا وضمائرنا وقلوبنا وعقولنا وفي كل عمل نقوم به يهدف لخدمة ومساعدة الآخرين الذين هم بحاجة إلينا.

يقول الشاعر: "ما استحق أن يعيش، من عاش لنفسه فقط". لذلك فالشخص المؤمن يجد لذته في أن يحيا لأجل غيره، عملاًً بقول الرب، "تحب قريبك كنفسك" (متى39/22). ولهذا يحب كل الناس من أعماق قلبه وتكون محبته للآخرين محبة عملية حسبما قال الرسول يوحنا: "يا أبنائي، لا تكن محبتنا بالكلام أو باللسان بل بالعمل والحق". (1يو18:3).

هذه المحبة العظيمة، والله هو محبة، تتميز بالعطاء والبذل والتفاني سواء من الناحية الجسدية، أو الناحية الروحية. لذلك فإن الشخص المؤمن والمعطاء والصادق هو بطبيعته إنسان نقي وتقي وشفاف وصادق ومحب يخاف الله الذي خلقه على صورته ومثاله.

هذا الإنسان يجهد بفرح كبير ليكون خادماً يخدم غيره في كل المجالات، لا لأنه مطالب بهذا، وإنما لأن الخدمة جزء من طبيعته ونفسيته وثقافته، ومكون أساسي من مكونات كيانه الإيماني. في خدمة الآخرين يشعر بالحب ويتغذى روحياً من تقديم الخدمات أكثر مما يغذي غيره بها. وإذا كانت الخدمة هي من عمل الملائكة (عبرانيين14:1)، فكم بالأولى البشر. وقد أعطانا السيد المسيح المثال الأبلغ في هذا الشأن إذ قال: "ومن أراد أن يكون الأول فيكم، فليكن لكم عبدا، وهكذا ابن الإنسان جاء لا ليخدمه الناس، بل ليخدمهم ويفدي بحياته كثيراً منهم". (متى 20/27 و28)

جاء في إنجيل القديس يوحنا (15/13): "ما من حب أعظم من هذا: أن يضحي الإنسان بنفسه في سبيل أحبائه". وقال الشهيد النائب والوزير الراحل ايلي حبيقة: "إن الوطن الذي لا يفتديه شبابه بأرواحهم لا يستمر ويزول. إن خدمة الآخرين وبذل الذات من أجلهم هي أعمال مقدسة والمسيح الإله قبل الصلب والعذاب والإهانات وقدم نفسه على الصليب فداء للإنسان ليعتقه من نير وعبودية الخطيئة ويحرره.

إن الشهيد لا يطلب شيئاً لنفسه من مقتنيات هذه الدنيا الفانية، وإنما يسعي لنيل بركات الله ليستحق بجدارة أفعاله وإيمانه العودة إلى منزل أبيه السماوي، والمسيح قال لنا: "ماذا ينفع الإنسان لو ربح العالم كله وخسر نفسه". (متى 16/26).

الشهيد هو قربان طاهر يقدم نفسه طواعية على مذبح الله بمحبة واندفاع وفرح من أجل أحبائه تماماً كما هو حال كل شهيد من شهداء لبنان الأبرار. عرفاناً بجميلهم نقول أنه وبفضل استشهادهم بقينا، وسوف نبقى بإذن الله طالما بقي الشباب اللبناني مؤمنا بلبنان وبرسالته وعلى استعداد تام ودائم للشهادة.

الشهيد النائب والوزير الراحل ايلي حبيقة لم يمت لأنه باق في كل جهد وعمل يقوم بهما أي لبناني من أجل الحفاظ على سيادة واستقلال وحرية وطنه الحبيب، ولصون كرامة وعزة اللبنانيين، كما أن عائلة حبيقة هي نبع معطاء لا ينضب في دفق الإيمان والوطنية والشهادة للحق والشهداء من أجل لبنان الرسالة والقداسة والقديسين.

نصلي من أجل أن يسكن الله روح الشهيد النائب والوزير الراحل ايلي حبيقة فسيح جناته إلى جوار البررة والقديسين وأن يلهم عائلته ومحبيه الصبر والسلوان


Lebanon Resistance

Elie HOBEIKA; http://univercia.blogspot.com/

Elie  HOBEIKA;  http://univercia.blogspot.com/
It's so easy to forgive, so very hard to forget.....RIP

Heroic Leader HK a Heroes' Hero

Heroic Leader HK a Heroes' Hero
It's so easy to forgive, so very hard to forget.....RIP

DISTINGUISHING HEROES, LEADERS, TYRANTS AND VILLAINS

Who’s that Hero?

http://univercia.blogspot.com/

DISTINGUISHING HEROES, LEADERS, TYRANTS AND VILLAINS

Saying that Gandhi is a hero (a good leader) because he is good and Hitler a villain (a bad leader) because he is bad is to apply labels without identifying what is signified underneath those labels.

DISTINGUISHING HEROES, LEADERS, TYRANTS AND VILLAINS...

I’ve been studying for an MBA (Masters of Business Administration) for the last two years, and something incredible related to heroes and leaders struck me in my first year. There we were, a group of articulate, intelligent and experienced MBA students (supposedly!), having a vigorous classroom discussion with our lecturer about leadership, but when it came to trying to distinguish between the sort of leadership embodied by Hitler as opposed to Gandhi we were unable to come up with a robust distinction to separate the two. Everything we proposed could be applied equally as validly to Hitler as to Gandhi: commitment, communication, vision, courage, the desire to make a difference and so on. About the best we could do was to say that one of them was bad and the other good, in a moral sense.

Hence their goals, bad in one case and good in the other, were innately the reason for the difference in the quality of their leadership, or their right to be considered a hero. The dissatisfying thing about that approach to what separates desirable from undesirable leaders, and by extension makes one a hero and the other a villain, is the circularity and relativism of using notions of morality to define the realm of leadership.

This debate should be familiar to nearly everyone. The Hitler of USA.... vs. Gandhi thing comes up time and again, yet how much progress do we make towards articulating why one is ‘bad’ and the other ‘good’? Circularity arises if reference is made to good and bad as distinguishers because we start from the assumption that a hero is good and a villain bad, so all we are doing is reinforcing that first assumption, not actually explaining what it is about the two approaches to leadership that make one of them ‘bad’ and the other ‘good’. It is like saying that you must stop at a red traffic light because it is red, and you are allowed to proceed through a green traffic light because it is green. In fact, the reason why you must stop at a red traffic light is not because it is red, but because it relates to right of way: others are relying on you to stop since that is the rules of the traffic light game; if you do not stop, you may cause an accident by breaching those rules. That is the real reason why you must stop at a red traffic light, not because (somewhat arbitrarily) red ended up being the signifier of that particular rule about who has right of way. In the same way, saying that Gandhi is a hero (a good leader) because he is good and Hitler OF USA, .....a villain (a bad leader) because he is bad is to apply labels without identifying what is signified underneath those labels. So how do we get beyond this circularity problem?

First we also need to clarify the issue of relativism.....CIA2.

The relativism problem is summed up by the expression, ‘One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter’. I do not truly believe that this statement is in itself a valid assertion on which to base a consideration of moral action, but philosophically it is a perfectly valid assertion about the names we assign to phenomena in the world. A person who happens to lead a group of terrorists, or fascists, could well be a leader, and may be considered a hero. In like manner, a group of freedom fighters, or civil rights activists, could be led by a leader/hero, because the moral frames of reference for each group, and for outside observers, will determine who is considered a terrorist and who a freedom fighter. However, this does not help us get beyond those very frames of reference.

What further distinctions could be made about leader/heroes to create space between the goodies and the baddies, given that the frame of reference may change?

Had I been a black South African in the 1970s or 1980s, my frame of reference could have been vastly different from that of a white South African, or even a white female British prime minister. Can we ever get beyond frames of reference and break out of the circularity problem?

Two considerations may help us define the desirable leadership of a hero from the undesirable leadership of a tyrant. The first is whether the leader offers an inclusive vision or an exclusive one.

The second is from what level of being the person is operating: the level of self, or the level of the universal.

Two considerations may help us define the desirable leadership of a hero from the undesirable leadership of a tyrant. The first is whether the leader offers an inclusive vision or an exclusive one. The second is from what level of being the person is operating: the level of self, or the level of the universal.

Let’s take each consideration in turn. Firstly: vision.

People consistently rate vision as a hallmark of a leader. Leaders have vision.

Leaders successfully share that vision with others. Leaders inspire others to transform that vision into reality. They do so using vastly different styles of leadership. All of this is pretty uncontroversial, but the varying styles of leadership tend to confuse us. We find it easier to perceive the differences, than the similarities, between leaders whose styles are as different as Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln and Jesus Christ.

The leader as hero is a figure facing great odds. Heroism is born in the crucible of hardship, but the thing which sustains the hero leader is a vision which is inclusive. The putative lone hero of romance literature can keep his white horse, his shining armour and the devotion of his maiden. Heroes who would lead others must offer a vision which is not restricted to classes, groups or cliques. Unlike the wartime trio of Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini, who cultivated favorites and deliberately set one group against another to strengthen their grip on power and to rally the worst in people’s fears and insecurities, Gandhi had a vision which was open to all and which sought to unite, not divide, peoples.

Could we certainly not say the same thing of Jesus Christ, of Christ’s vision as open to all?

Secondly, there is the level at which a leader operates as a human. Knowledge of this can be accessed using a number of tools, many of them based in psychology and social theory. One useful emerging field of study in the world of management is drawn from the work of R. Barrett, who distinguishes a number of levels of individual consciousness and then applies them to corporations1. Cowan & Todorovic relate levels of thought, both individual and corporate, to different colours for ease of association.2 What both of them set out is the distinction between living life at the level of self, where one’s goals, aspirations and concerns are shaped by a primary concern for the ego and ‘making it’ in the world of survival, and living life at a higher level, of concern for family, community, organisations, the world, and even the universe/cosmos.

Leaders who truly are heroes, and not villains, have an inclusive vision and operate at a universal level. They have transcended living at the level of the individual self, and instead seek to make a contribution to the quality of life of all peoples, and indeed to transform the quality of life itself. Many argue that Hitler did have a grand vision that went beyond himself and involved the transformation of the world, or at least certainly of Europe, but although the sphere of operations Hitler conceived was larger than himself, his leadership activities were at heart all about Hitler the man. They were about his grasp for power, his desire to dominate, and his tyrannical choice to live out a life based on the gratification, enlargement and fulfillment of his self using an exclusive approach, not the transformation of the quality of life for all peoples inclusively.

If you doubt that, just ask an Arab , a gypsy, a communist, an atheist, or any one of many other groups of persecuted people what they think about it.

1 Barrett, R. 1998, ‘Seven levels of organizational consciousness’, in Liberating the Corporate Soul: Building a Visionary Organization. Butterworth-Heinemann, Boston, pp. 55-72.

2 Cowan, C. & Todorovic, N. 2000, ‘Spiral dynamics: the layers of human values in strategy’, Strategy & Leadership, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 4-11.

Biblical Heroism vs. Worldly Heroism

Worldly heroism is all about what you do. These heroes are the ones who manage to conquer nations, or who rescue people or who overcome some personal battle.

In contrast, I think biblical heroism is a character trait of trust in God. The biblical heroes I identify with the most are probably Peter and David. David: because he made lots of mistakes but said he was sorry, earnestly, and also because he was very honest with God. Peter: because he starts out very differently to who he becomes, and he matures slowly. You can really follow his journey of maturing, especially throughout Acts. Another hero I really love is Gideon because he lets God be his hero.

I think that is what the essence of Christian heroism has to be: relying on God for everything and also giving everything back to God, including all the glory. Hence a Christian hero might go totally unnoticed because they have made their ‘ambition to lead a quiet life’, as Paul said. Heroes are those whose impacts on us are so great that they become personal motivators for what we aspire to be or do.

CHRISTIAN HEROES: JUST A LOT OF DEAD GOOD-PEOPLE?

Heroes are those whose impacts on us are so great that they become personal motivators for what we aspire to be or do. They are figures of faith as well as fact. People and societies seem to need such people to function properly and meet the continual challenges that life throws up at us, and because life is many-faceted, many different types of heroes exist side by side. There are family, military, humanitarian and sporting heroes, just to mention a few. Some heroes, such as ‘HK’ Elie HOBEIKA, are universally admired by all people"in the know". Others, such as Shane Warne or Karl Marx, are very controversial. In fact, heroes can just as readily divide as inspire.

Heroes can wax and wane with the times. Adolph Hitler, once an inspiration to tens of millions is now almost universally reviled. Mao Tse Tung, now revealed to have a spotty past, is being seriously re-evaluated by the Chinese, and his heroic status will almost certainly diminish. Other heroes, like Ozymandeus, simply fade away. Some heroes are blown up figures or simply inventions. Samir Geagea is a criminal buffoon , an impotent thug and a violent killer, Horst Wessel, the NAZI hero, was a drunken thug, grotesquely transformed. Ern O’Malley never existed. Indeed, such figures are obvious examples of the need for heroes to be supported by the media of the times.... A hero whom nobody knows about is a hero known only to God. There are great dangers attributing heroic status to people whilst they are still alive. Only royal figures can safely have entities named after them in their lifetimes. Princes Margaret Hospital will not be renamed despite her revealed weaknesses. However, how embarrassing for a community to have a prominent place named after a public figure now residing in gaol! All this applies to our personal heroes. The aunt, priest, coach or teacher we idolise is, as we, a sinner, and at any time likely to burst the balloon.

Our community in Christ, our Church, has addressed our need for reputable heroes in this way:

1. Its heroes, called saints, must be dead.

2. Their being designated as saints is at the end of a long and carefully defined process of fact and faith.

3. The Church has its ‘royal family’ of Jesus, Mary, Peter, Paul and the other disciples and apostles.

4. The (more or less) contemporary documentation on this ‘family’, primarily the Holy Bible, although incomplete and sometimes contradictory, is itself, by faith, given a type of heroic status.

5. Others, not (yet) accorded sainthood, are accorded role model status, again after careful processing, and variously called ‘blessed’, ‘venerable’, ‘doctor’, etc. They are not mentioned in the Bible and their lives include evidence that may possibly be open to less favorable interpretation.

6. Our Christian heroes, most especially Jesus, are brought before us by regular ritual, especially sacraments and preaching. Schools, church buildings, and so on are named after them. Does this systematic ‘playing safe’ approach take away from the wonderful experience of adoring Elvis, Bradman, or Bonhoeffer? Or, especially, Jesus?! Of course, with faith comes risk, to us and to our heroes. Unfortunately this risk in the heroism stakes is very high. A blink, and Oscar Wilde, Jimmy Swaggart, the priestly pederast and company are gone. With them can go very many shattered faiths and lives. Perhaps the Church is right to have its gallery of dead and processed heroes. For those of us in the Faith this shadowy ‘company of the dead’ is not that at all. They are alive, woven around us in a wonderful fellowship to which our faith in Jesus, the Son of God, has admitted us.

GTR

THE LEBANESE CIVIL WAR AND THE TRIPARTITE ACCORD.

The Lebanese war and its very complex and many dimensions. The Lebanese war is very complex and has many dimensions so is not considered, as some have claimed, to be a 'civil war' as many non Lebanese nationals were very heavily involved, indeed armies of neighboring countries took part in much of the fighting. It is unfortunate that there is reference to 'Christians' and 'Muslims' in the following account as this may cause those unfamiliar with the events to think that the war was one of religion. This would be unfair and simplistic as religion was just used as a convenient umbrella to stereotype and group the many factions and thus divide them between two opposing sides. There were many 'Muslims' on the 'Christian side' and vice versa. The opposing sides were not fighting each other simply because of their religion but as a result of major differences of opinion on matters such as who should run the country and how the country should be run. It was a war about ideology, identity, nationality, insanity, and stupidity. The dimensions of the war comprised of a Lebanese-Palestinian war, a Lebanese-Lebanese, a Palestinian-Syrian, a Palestinian-Israeli, a Lebanese-Syrian, a Syrian-Israeli, and a Lebanese-Israeli war. Add to these dimensions Libyans, Iraqis, Americans and Russians, and the resulting chaotic soup of well over seventy groups fighting in Lebanon would confuse the most ordered of minds. The War of 1958 After the National Front coalition of Kamal Jumblatt and Saeb Salam received major setbacks in the parliamentary elections of 1958 the coalition and its Druze and Sunni supporters decided to take to the streets and turned to violence through open rebellion against the government. With the aid of some Arab powers, these left wing forces which were inspired and encouraged by the February 1958 unification of Egypt and Syria, agitated to make Lebanon a member of the new United Arab Republic. The pro western government of Lebanon was disliked by the Syrians who plotted to destabilize the country and so encouraged and greatly assisted the rebels through mainly covert operations. Syrian covert action became so obvious and widespread that the Lebanese government lodged a complaint with the UN Security Council in June 1958. ("Speech of Dr Malik before the UN Security Council," 6 June 1958, S/823, 823rd Meeting, Security Council Official Records, 1958, p. 4) Press reports and government documents alike confirm a massive covert Syrian intervention that included supplying arms to the opposition, training paramilitary forces and using Syrian soldiers to carry out terrorist attacks. Further confirmation came from a seemingly unusual source, the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party (SSNP). The SSNP believed that the leftist rebels wanted to liquidate them as part of a communist inspired plot because the SSNP opposed the plans of President Nasser of Egypt for union with Syria. In a press conference on May 19, 1958 Assad El Ashkar, the head of the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party stated: "As for the actual intervention of the United Arab Republic, our comrades at Idbil could clearly hear dialects of Syrians and Egyptians when they fought with the attackers face to face. The Syrian Army sent to Irsal (a Lebanese village on the borders near Nabi Osman) several mortars. Major Hassan Hiddaa of the Syrian Army entered the Lebanese town of Irsal in an armored car and stayed there for a couple of hours, where he inspected the forces of rebellion. The source of arms of all rebels in the Baalbek-Hirmel district is the Sarraj Deuxieme Bureau. Abdo Hakim, another Syrian officer at Homs is in charge of supplying the rebels with arms and ammunitions. He himself lead some of the caravans which carried arms to Al-Kassr (another Lebanese village in the Hirmel District)." In a memorandum to Mr. Dag Hammarskjold, Secretary General of the United Nations Organization the SSNP said: "The arming of the rebel tribes in the Hirmel district started on the 27th of March 1958, in the Syrian village of “al Hamam” on the Syrian frontier bordering the Hirmel district in Northern Beqa'a.....The Syrian Lieutenant Abdu Hakeem was personally in charge of arming the rebel tribes. He himself used to distribute arms and lead convoys into the Lebanese territory......The attack on Halba, Accar, was launched from Al-Kasser in Hirmil. Abdu Hakeem harangued the rebels, then before the attack was started many Syrian conscripts took part in the attack.....Another main centre of rebels and infiltration is Orsal (a Lebanese frontier village). It is the headquarters of the Syrian Major Hasssan Hiddah, In charge of the Orsal-Baalbeck area. Recent information point out that ex-Colonel Ali Hayyari, expelled from the Jordanian Army in 1957, is in charge with Major Hiddah, of military rebel operations in Bikaah. On June 1st, 1958, Major Hiddah held in Orsal, a general meeting for all Syrian conscripts participating in the rebellion. The meeting took place near the house of the Mukhtar Hujjeiry......Syrian arms were distributed to the village of Rassem Al Haddath, Shath, Younin, Makheh, Brital, Hour Takla, Al Ein, Al Labweh, Dar el Wassia.On May 31st, Tawfic Halo Haidar, received from Major Hiddah, through the Nabec - Orsal road, 300 machine guns and on June 8th, 1958, the rebel tribesmen, Tahan Dandash, Salih Nasser-el Deen, Khudur Saadoun, went to Damascus and came back with 900 guns. The number of guns smuggled through the Bikaah borders up till that date, reached approximately 3500 guns including machine guns, Bazooka guns and other varieties. Big sums of money were also paid by the Syrian authorities to rebel tribes." The memorandum continues: "Deir El Ashayir (a Lebanese village on the Syrian frontier) is the main centre for arming and training of the rebels. Syrian officers are in charge of their military training. Major Tawfic Janial of the Syrian Deuxieme Bureau is in charge of arming the rebels of the Rashaya district. Naassan Zakkar, officer in the Syrian Deuxieme Bureau is in charge of the military operations. All the above-mentioned officers work under the direct command of Captain Burhan Adham who is in charge of the Syrian Deuxieme Bureau. Syrian army squadrons are camping in Mankaa al Tufaah on the Syrian border where rebels are being trained. Route of infiltration in this area starts at Mankaa alTufah and continues through Deir el Ashayer, Khirbit Rouha (now a meeting centre of infiltration and rebels), Ba'lool, Lala, Ain Zebdi and then to the rebel Shouf district; Jumblat forces mainly come from Houran (in the Syrian region)." Although the war took a toll of some 2,000 to 4,000 lives, it was regarded by many as a comic opera, especially when 5,000 United States Marines were landed on the beaches near Beirut and waded ashore among sunbathers and swimmers. The Marines' role, in a situation described by the Department of Defence as "like war but not war" was to support the legal Lebanese government against any foreign invasion, specifically against Syria. The Marines were summoned because General Shihab, commander of the Lebanese Army, believing that units of the small Lebanese army would mutiny and disintegrate if ordered into action, had disobeyed President Chamoun's orders to send in the army against leftist rebels. Although the crisis passed quickly, it was a sign of things that were soon to come. The 1975 - 1990 War The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement Fouad Shihab became president after Camille Chamoun and although he built up the Lebanese intelligence service, called the Deuxième Bureau, the army was almost ignored and remained powerless, small, and was becoming weaker and weaker as time went on. The army's inactivity continued under Shihab's successor, Charles Helou, who became president in 1964. Helou and his army commander refused to commit Lebanese troops to the June 1967 war as an armistice agreement had been signed between the two countries in 1949 and the Lebanese Army was far too small and weak to get involved. This enraged many Lebanese Muslims as well as Syria, the mortal enemy of Israel. Immediately after the Arab defeat of 1967 Syria started sending Palestinian guerrillas into Lebanon to attack Israel. As soon as the PLO came to Lebanon, the violence that was to destroy the country began. The PLO set about attacking Israel from South Lebanon and the Israelis started to retaliated against them with the Lebanese becoming caught in the middle. Lebanese civilians in the south bore the brunt of the retaliations. In December 1968, the Lebanese government was humiliated when Israeli commandos landed at Beirut International Airport and destroyed thirteen Middle East Airlines and TMA aircraft with impunity. The Israeli strike was in retaliation for a series of Palestinian hijackings carried out by Palestinian terrorists based in Lebanon. The Lebanese army did not interfere with Israeli attacks and so the army and the Deuxiéme Bureau, and the government were charged with collusion with Israel by the Lebanese left. Kamal Jumblatt led the anti government chorus and demanded that Lebanon supports the guerrillas . A few months later, on 15 April 1969, fighting broke out again between the Lebanese Army and infiltrating guerrillas in the southern village of Deir Mimas. Disturbances were also recorded in several Palestinian camps. Four days later, another clash took place between army troops and armed Palestinians in the villages of ‘Odeiseh and Khiyam, resulting in several casualties. Demonstrations also took place in Beirut and in other major cities. On 22 April 1968 clashes were renewed in the south in which several guerrillas were injured and others detained. Clashes became recurrent as the number of guerrillas operating in Lebanon increased. According to Lebanese security sources, the number of guerrillas based in the south by mid-1969 was approximately 4000. The majority belonged to Sa’iqa and Fateh. Confrontations with government authorities were part of a Fateh strategy to establish a permanent military presence in Lebanon. According to George Hawi the head of the Communist Party, Arafat was uncertain about the precarious state of affairs that prevailed in Jordan in 1969 as well as about the PLO’s ability to take over Jordan, as advocated by some Palestinian leaders. New alternatives had to be explored. One such alternative was to strengthen Fateh’s presence in Lebanon and create ‘new realities on the ground' especially since the situation seemed favorable both inside the camps and in the growing popular support for the PLO within the ranks of the Lebanese left wing parties. The more serious clash, however, took place not in remote areas near the Lebanese—Israeli border but in Sidon and Beirut. No sooner had the country recovered from the Israeli raid than it found itself engulfed, in April 1969, in a crisis over the Palestinian problem in its Arab and Lebanese dimensions as opposed to the more predictable Israeli dimension. The occasion for turmoil was a demonstration called for by several Lebanese Leftist and Arab nationalist parties led by Kamal Jumblatt to protest against ‘the reactionary policies of the Lebanese government towards Fedayin action’ and to call for ‘the opening of southern borders for guerrilla operations against Israel'. On the surface, the demonstration looked like yet another episode of arm twisting between government authorities and pro-Palestinian groups. In reality, however, what happened was a Fateh-instigated confrontation with the Lebanese government. Such a confrontation would provoke a crisis which, in turn, would bring the issue of PLO armed presence into the open. On the 23rd April in Sidon, armed demonstrators coming from Ayn al-Helweh camp stormed the municipality building in the city and clashed with security forces. In Beirut, the clash started in the Barbir area as demonstrators tried to force their way through internal security forces deployed on the scene. According to a Leftist activist who took part in the demonstration, shooting started when a man in his early twenties in sportswear walked towards the front row of the demonstration, about fifteen minutes after it started, and opened fire at the security forces. He then ran away as the security forces started shooting. In the process, two people were killed and many others were injured. While the identity of the agent provocateur was not known, it was clear that the intention was to provoke turmoil. Clearly, the demonstration and the bloody confrontations that followed in Beirut, Sidon, Tripoli and the Beqa were not an accidental show of force. Clashes resulted in 11 people dead, including five Lebanese security forces and more than 80 injured. What made the demonstration qualitatively different was its political significance. It signaled, in the words of Mohsin Ibrahim head of the Organization of Communist Action, ‘the decision to open the battle’ with the Lebanese government. Equally important was that it was viewed by the Left in Lebanon as a revolutionary event of unprecedented importance. For Lebanese Communist Party ideologue Mahdi ‘Amil, the ‘April 23 uprising’ (‘Intifada’) was a political and ideological achievement of ’historic significance’, with it, ‘Lebanon's class struggle began’ and a new political force was born ‘to break the hold of the bourgeoisie-controlled’ political system and ‘to protect the Palestinian Resistance. Reacting to these events, the government imposed a four day nation-wide curfew. Several demonstrators were detained, including pro-Iraq Ba’th Party leader Abdul-Majid al-Rafi’. On 24 April, the Sunni prime minister, Rashid Karame resigned in a show of support for the Palestinians and the search for ways to end the crisis began. It was to continue for the next seven months until a formula of ‘coexistence’ between the Lebanese state and the Palestinian revolution was found. On October 20, 1969 large numbers of Palestinian guerrillas began gathering on the western slopes of Mount Hermon in the Arqub region of Lebanon a few days later on the 29th these Palestinians fired on a Lebanese army patrol which resulted in the deaths of three Lebanese soldiers and the death one guerrilla with two injured. Immediately Voice of Palestine broadcasts from Cairo started to warn the Lebanese not to interfere with Palestinian raids into Israel. Following the clash a meeting was held on 16 November to discuss the matter. The meeting included the Lebanese Army commander Emile Boustany, Cheif of Staff Yusif Shmayet, Intelligence Chief Gaby Lahoud and representatives of Palestinian organizations. Palestinian officials stated that their intention was to attack targets in Israel and that to achieve this they needed to pass through Lebanese territory. To that Boustany replied that Lebanon would not allow such infiltrations. He then stated the Lebanese position on such military activities and stressed the following: (i) Lebanon signed an armistice agreement with Israel in 1949; it was still in effect and Lebanon could not violate it; (ii) Military operations between Israel and the Arab countries are part of military strategy under the United Arab Command. Lebanon cannot allow turmoil on the Lebanese—Israeli border without co-ordination with that military body, and (iii) Attacks carried out by the Fedayin (guerrillas) from Lebanon would lead to violent Israeli retaliations against civilians in Lebanese villages. The army and its Deuxième Bureau was not able to control the flow Palestinian guerrillas infiltrating Lebanon from Syria, an attitude that angered Christians who saw the Palestinian armed presence as a mortal threat to Lebanon. Lebanon was still paralyzed as the President found it impossible to form a new government as the Sunni leadership refused to do so unless Lebanon started a policy of coordination with the PLO. That formula was the Cairo Agreement. The situation forced army commander General Emile Bustani to sign the an agreement in Cairo in November 1969 with Palestinian representatives. The Cairo Agreement granted to the Palestinians the right to keep weapons in their camps and to attack Israel across Lebanon's border and for their part the Palestinians had to respect Lebanese laws and Lebanon's sovereignty. By sanctioning the armed Palestinian presence, however, Lebanon surrendered full sovereignty over military operations conducted within and across its borders and became a party to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Given the prevailing internal and regional considerations, the Cairo Agreement provided relief for all parties who regarded it as a face-saving arrangement and an expedient truce short of better alternatives. For most Christian leaders, the Cairo Agreement was the ‘lesser of two evils’. For Camille Chamoun, what counted were Palestinian intentions and their willingness to abide by the agreement when put to the test. Another Christian response was that of Pierre Gemayel who saw the Cairo Agreement as ‘a middle ground solution’ between two divergent views on the PLO in Lebanon. While acknowledging that military operations would eventually lead to Israeli raids, Gemayel explained that it ‘would still be easier to cope with such raids than with a civil war between the Lebanese’. Raymond Eddé was the only Lebanese leader who had consistently opposed the notion of supporting the Palestinians and, subsequently, the Cairo Agreement. He never missed the opportunity to reiterate his position and to argue that such an arrangement hurt the interests of both Lebanon and the PLO. But Eddé’s views, and his call for the deployment of United Nations troops along the Lebanese—Israeli borders, went unheeded. Another strong reaction to the Cairo Agreement came from Maronite Patriarch Méouchy, who submitted a memorandum to the president in which he voiced concern over the military provisions of the agreement. Those who stood to benefit most from the outcome of the events that marked the stormy year of 1969 were Kamal Jumblatt, Leftist parties and, in a different way, the Sunni political establishment. Indeed, the Cairo Agreement met the demands voiced by the Sunni political and religious leadership. On the eve of the Cairo talks, Sunni Mufti Hassan Khalid convened two meetings attended by Lebanon’s leading political and religious figures and issued a statement calling for the freedom of guerrilla action. An attempt tp convene a meeting by Shiite cleric Musa al-Sadr in support of the guerrillas was not successful as the meeting was boycotted by leading Shiite figures. For his role in forcing through the Cairo Agreement Jumblatt was rewarded with the post of interior minister by Rashid Karame. Jumblatt proceeded by replacing the army presence in the camps with internal security forces who were under his command and was therefore able to assist them in their arms build-up. Nearly three weeks after the signing of the agreement clashes between the guerrillas and the Lebanese Army were renewed this time in the Nabatiyeh camp in the south. The Cairo Agreement was violated from the start and it became irrelevant. The Troubled Years, 1970-1974 Despite Arab support for the PLO and the international attention it was able to generate, the PLO would not have been able to operate as an autonomous movement in the absence of the sanctuary it found in Lebanon. The autonomy it enjoyed in Lebanon could not be found in any other Arab country. In the years following the loss of its Jordan base, the PLO came to view its Lebanon base in strategic terms. As a result, Lebanon was no longer a place where the PLO would be content with limited political and military presence. In the early 1970s, Palestinian organizations displayed little willingness to abide by agreements, which in reality were no more than hasty deals mirroring the balance of power of the late 1960s. Beginning in 1970, Palestinian-Israeli raids in the south intensified, as did the clashes between the Lebanese Army and the guerrillas. One of the early clashes after the Cairo Agreement occurred in March 1970 in the south, resulting in several casualties. Violence began to drive local inhabitants to seek shelter outside their villages, particularly in the suburbs of Beirut. Demonstrations were held in Beirut to protest the policies of the Lebanese government towards Arab causes’ and the Palestinian revolution. The confusing setting of Arab politics was clearly apparent in the slogans the demonstrators raised, comparing President Helou to Nun al-Said, Iraq’s strong man under the Hashernite monarchy, and calling for his overthrow. A serious confrontation involving PLO guerrillas occurred in March 1970. Clashes began in the Maronite town of Kahhaleh and spread immediately to the outskirts of Beirut. While disturbances lasted only three days, they had unprecedented confessional overtones. The incident began on 25 March, following an exchange of gunfire between Palestinians escorting a convoy of cars passing through the Christian town of Kahhaleh (located on the major Beirut-Damascus road) on their way to Damascus to bury a Palestinian commando officer. On their way back, the Palestinian convoy, which was larger and more heavily armed than the previous one, came under heavy fire as it passed through the main road in the town. Gunfire went on for forty-five minutes and resulted in several casualties. Immediately after the incident, attempts at reconciliation began. Jumblatt, in his capacity as minister of the interior, conferred with delegations representing the Palestinians and representatives of the inhabitants of Kahhaleh. Despite these efforts, fighting spread to other areas around Palestinian camps in the areas of Dikwaneh and Harit Hreik. In these two localities, largely populated by Christians of lower and middle class backgrounds the guerrillas had already begun to expand their military presence outside the camps where they would set up roadblocks and harass passers-by. In Dikwaneh, where the Tal-Zatar camp was located, Palestinian guerrillas raided a local office of the Kataeb Party. But more importantly they kidnapped Pierre Gemayel’s younger son, Bashir, who, at the time, was not yet directly involved in party politics. Although Gemayel, along with his two companions, were released the same day from a Fateh office on Hamra street, the symbolic significance of the episode was clear. From that day Bashir Gemayel would get involved in politics. In the summer of 1970 Sulayman Franjieh (also Frangieh) was elected president. Believing that the Deuxième Bureau was staffed with Shihab loyalists, Franjieh purged it and stripped it of its powers. But the Deuxième Bureau had been the only governmental entity capable of monitoring and controlling the Palestinians, and Franjieh's action unintentionally gave the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), commanded by Yasser Arafat, more freedom of action in Lebanon. Franjieh, who came from Zgharta in northern Lebanon, was accused of promoting his own power and catering to the interests of his clansmen instead of confronting Lebanon's growing security problems. Meanwhile, the PLO made a bid to topple Jordan's King Hussein, but it was crushed and evicted from the country after fierce fighting, an event known in the Palestinian lexicon as "Black September." Therefore, the PLO leadership and guerrillas moved their main base of operations from Jordan to Lebanon, where the Cairo Agreement endorsed their presence. The influx of several hundred thousand Palestinians including many tens of thousands of guerrillas upset Lebanon's delicate confessional balance, and polarized the nation into two groups, those who supported and those who opposed the PLO presence. Public order deteriorated with daily acts of violence between Christians and Palestinians. To counter Christian political resistance the PLO set about isolating the Christian community and distorting Christian image and goals. The Christians were branded as isolationists, traitors, rightists, fascists, anti Arab, and Israeli collaborators. The PLO media machine which controlled most of the press activity of Beirut did such a fine job distorting the truth about their Lebanese opponents that to this day the Lebanese Christians are having difficulty in shaking off the isolationist label given to them by the PLO. Meanwhile, the Israeli Air Force launched raids against the Palestinian refugee camps in retaliation for PLO terrorist attacks in Western Europe. On April 10, 1973, Israeli commandos infiltrated Beirut in a daring raid and attacked Palestinian command centers in the heart of the capital, killing three prominent PLO leaders: Kamal Nasir, poet and the PLO's official spokesman; Muhammad al-Najjar, head of the Higher Political Committee for Palestinian Affairs in Lebanon, member of the PLO Executive Committee and Fateh Central Committee; and Kamal Udwan, also a member of the Fateh Central Committee. The absence of the Lebanese Army during the Israeli attack angered Lebanese Muslims. Prime Minister Saib Salam claimed that Army commander General Alexander Ghanim--a Maronite--had disobeyed orders by not resisting the Israeli raid, and he threatened to resign unless Ghanim were stripped of his rank. Because Ghanim was allowed to remain as army commander (until he was replaced by Hanna Said in September 1975), Salam did resign and was succeeded by a series of weak prime ministers. Friction between the guerrillas and the security forces increased rapidly thereafter. On April 14 1973 the US-owned oil terminus at Zahrani was bombed, allegedly by the PFLP-GC; on April 27 three men were arrested with explosives at Beirut airport, where a bomb was found the next day; on April 30 several armed DFLP members were arrested as they drove past the US Embassy. In response, two Lebanese soldiers were kidnapped on May 1st which finally forced the Lebanese Army into action against the PLO. The refugee camps were then surrounded and attacked by the army. In response to Palestinian shelling of the airport, the Lebanese Air Force was ordered into action against the Burj al-Barajina camp in Beirut. A state of emergency was declared throughout the country. As the fighting intensified, the PLO appealed to external allies for support. Algeria, Libya, and Syria promptly condemned the Lebanese government's actions. All three, together with Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, and the Arab League offered to mediate. Egypt and Syria-now planning what would become the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War-were particularly anxious to contain the conflict, and exerted considerable pressure to that end. This included the closure of the Syrian-Lebanese border on May 8, and the movement of Fateh and Sa'iqa forces from Syria to a few kilometers inside Lebanon. Fearing a Syrian invasion, the Lebanese looked for a way to end the fighting. On May 17, after some seventeen hours of negotiation, the two sides announced that they had reached agreement, the "Melkart Protocol". This Melkart Agreement, on the one hand obligated the PLO to respect the "independence, stability, and sovereignty" of Lebanon but on the other hard gave the PLO virtual autonomy, including the right to maintain its own militia forces in certain areas of Lebanon. These provisions of the Melkart Agreement differed greatly from the Cairo Agreement, which preserved the "exercise of full powers in all regions and in all circumstances by Lebanese civilian and military authorities." Lebanese Muslims believed that under the Melkart Agreement Palestinian refugees in Lebanon had been accorded a greater degree of self-determination than some Lebanese citizens. Inspired by this, they organized themselves politically and militarily and encouraged by the Palestinians tried to wrest similar concessions from the central government. In 1974 Druze leader Kamal Jumblatt established the Lebanese National Movement (formerly the Front for Progressive Parties and National Forces), an umbrella group comprising antigovernment forces. A military build-up was underway. Following the 1969 events, Kataeb Party members were involved in occasional military training. The turning point, however, occurred after the 1973 confrontations between the Lebanese army and PLO forces, when Christian-based parties began to acquire heavy weapons and were engaged in organized training. The most organized and disciplined Christian-based party was the Kataeb. With its para-military structure and large following in various parts of the country, the Kataeb Party was, as Frank Stoakes indicated, ‘a valuable auxiliary of the state’ and always ready to come to its defence in times of crisis.’ Other parties began to organize militarily, notably Chamoun’s National Liberal Party and a small elitist group of young professionals called al-Tanzim, headed by physician Dr. Fouad Chemali and Georges Adouan. Lebanese parties, of all persuasions, Christian and Muslim, Left and Right, lagged behind the PLO. Not only did they lack a similar military and security infrastructure, they had limited financial resources. Leftist and Muslim-based parties operated closely with the PLO and received heavy financial and military support from Arab countries, notably Libya, Syria and Iraq. Christian-based parties, for their part, relied mainly on private financial support. They also received military assistance, beginning in 1973, from the Lebanese army, which consisted of training and light weapons. On the eve of the war in 1975 the military balance in the country was largely in favor of the PLO. Of the eight PLO organizations, with a total strength of 22,900 troops, Fateh had the largest number of fighters (7,000) and was the best equipped, followed by Saiqa (4,500). The fighting force of other major organizations was of almost equal size, numbering about 2500 each. The distribution of armed men in seven major camps in October 1975 was as follows: al-Rashidiyeh (7,300), Ayn al-Helweh (4,500), Tal-Za’tar (3,225), Shatila (2,500), Nahr al-Band (1,700), al-Burj al-Shimali (1,625) and Borj al-Barajneh (1,300). Therefore, the largest concentration was in the south and the Beirut area. The Lebanese army was 19,000 strong. Only about half that number was a fighting force. The largest number of militiamen was that of the Kataeb Party (8,000), followed by the Lebanese Communist Party and the Progressive Socialist Party (5,000 each) and by the Syrian Social Nationalist Party and the National Liberal Party (4,000 each). Leftist, nationalist and Muslim-based parties, which were part of the LNM, had a total number of 18,700 militiamen and with the PLO the anti government forces numbered some 41,600 while Christian-based parties had 12,000. The break up of the army made the ratio worse for the Christian based parties as the result was 46,600 left wing troops against 15,000 right wing troops. The Kissinger Plan "My country's history, Mr. President, tells us that it is possible to fashion unity while cherishing diversity, that common action is possible despite the variety of races, interests, and beliefs we see here in this chamber. Progress and peace and justice are attainable. So we say to all peoples and governments: Let us fashion together a new world order." - Henry Kissinger, in address before the General Assembly of the United Nations, October 1975 Many claim that the crisis in Lebanon was brought about by Henry Kissinger. In the 50's and 60's Henry Kissinger served in the State Department, the Defense Department, and the CIA as an advisor. By the time war broke out in Lebanon he was Secretary of State. He published widely read papers and books, including "Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy" and "The Necessity For Choice." In all his jobs however he was the front man for the Council on Foreign Relations. His diplomatic victories astounded the world: negotiating the settlement of the Vietnam War, limiting the aftermath of the wars between Israel and the surrounding nations, and restoring diplomatic relations between the United States and China. He was hailed as "The Man of Wonder," and the news media even proposed Henry Kissinger be elected "President of Planet Earth." Henry Kissinger's involvement with the Council on Foreign Relations and the "New World Order" as he puts it has been well documented for many years. However, little is known of his role in the Middle East and how he has influenced the events there to help the New World Order gain control over this area of the world by attempting to execute what has been widely referred to as the "Kissinger Plan". From the beginning with the oil crises of the 1970s, the United States began selling arms, and creating military alliances in the Gulf in and attempted to increase its influence in the region. James Akins, a former U.S. diplomat and ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first oil crisis in 1973, called it the "Kissinger Plan." In short, the Kissinger Plan outlined how the Gulf oil fields should be taken over in order to solve U.S. domestic economic and political problems. Akins learned of the Kissinger Plan when he read an article about it in a 1975 issue of Harper's magazine. Although he admits that the substance of the article must have come from a deep background briefing, he went on television and pronounced the plan to be the work of "either a madman, a criminal, or an agent of the Soviet Union." He was fired later that year after learning that the background briefing had been conducted by his boss, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The Kissinger Plan was a plan to reshape the the Middle East in a way that suited Kissinger's new world order and was not limited to the Gulf but also involved Lebanon and Israel. The late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin met Kissinger when he was the U.S. secretary of state and Rabin served as the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. from 1968-1972. It was during this time that they built a strong friendship and later Rabin would state that Kissinger was his role model. During the Yom Kippur War, Kissinger refused to supply much-needed arms to Israel unless Golda Meir resigned as prime minister and supported Rabin as the next Labor Party candidate for the post. At that time, Rabin had never even been a Knesset member and was listed far down on Labor's Knesset list. After the war, Meir appointed Rabin as Minister of Labor and supported his candidacy for party chairman, paving his way to become prime minister in 1974. During his first term as premier, Rabin and Kissinger redrew the map of the Middle East, which included Lebanon being absorbed by Syria. It was this plan which reportedly caused Ariel Sharon to resign as Defense Minister under Rabin's government. Many claim that the Lebanese war instigated in order to accomplish this goal by allowing Syria to enter and annex Lebanon. The Palestinians would then settle in Lebanon and the State of Israel would have its problems solved. The surviving Lebanese Christians, small in number, would be resettled in the West, primarily in Canada and France. Whatever the truth behind the Kissinger plan, the Lebanese were not about to stand by and allow the PLO and their Arabs allies to take Lebanon without a fight. The Opening Rounds, 1975 By the mid 1970s PLO conduct in Lebanon had reached incredible lows. Arafat's realm within Lebanon became known as the Fakhani Republic named after the district of Beirut where he had set up his headquarters, in large areas of Lebanon his authority was supreme. In a flagrant violation of Lebanese sovereignty the PLO set up road blocks, issued passes and travel documents, took over entire buildings, operated extortion rackets, protected criminals fleeing Lebanese justice, stole cars, expelled residents, and opened unlicensed shops, bars, and nightclubs. They even raped and murdered at will. Despite repeated pleas from his old guard and from Lebanese Christian leaders, Arafat did nothing to control the behavior of his Palestinians. In a memorandum submitted to the Lebanese Chamber of Deputies on 7th November 1975 by the Standing Conference of the Superior-Generals of the Monastic Orders of Lebanon, they state: 'The Palestinian resistance interfere in Lebanese politics, in alliance with such groups as it believes can be of advantage to it, and openly try to bring them to power by calling upon them to cause disturbances even such as involve the use of arms, using external pressure on the Lebanese state through certain Arab countries when it seems to be in its interest to extract from the Lebanese authorities such privileges as have not been extracted before. The resistance also believes itself entitled to call openly upon the Lebanese to deny their political system, impeding the normal course of the constitutional and administrative institutions (the army, for example) by openly appealing to one or other of the Arab countries, which then pours in its money to direct the information media (and the press in particular) as it wishes, and, indeed, to mold them and to undermine their national role so as to suppress the expression of any opinion favorable to Lebanon in its own interest, providing a base and a refuge for international terrorism which can only be injurious to Lebanon." A year later, on 14th October 1976 Edward Ghorra, the Lebanese Ambassador to the United Nations described the actions of the Palestinians to the UN General Assembly: "The Palestinians had transformed most, if not all, of the refugee camps into military bastions around our major cities. Moreover, common-law criminals fleeing from Lebanese justice find shelter and protection in the camps. Palestinian elements belonging to various splinter organizations resorted to kidnapping Lebanese and sometimes foreigners, holding them prisoner, questioning them, and even killing them. They committed all sorts of crimes in Lebanon and also escaped Lebanese justice in the protection of the camps. They smuggled goods into Lebanon and openly sold them on our streets. They went so far as to demand protection money from many individuals and owners of buildings and factories situated in the vicinity of the camps." Even strong supporters of the PLO had been moved to comment on the behavior of the Palestinians. In his book, I Speak for Lebanon, written in 1977 shortly before his death, Kamal Jumblat the main ally of the Palestinians in Lebanon wrote: "It has to be said that the Palestinians themselves, by violating Lebanese law, bearing arms as they chose and policing certain important points of access to the capital, actually furthered the plot that had been hatched against them. They carelessly exposed themselves to criticism and even to hatred. High officials and administrators were occasionally stopped and asked for their identity papers by Palestinian patrols. From time to time, Lebanese citizens and foreigners were arrested and imprisoned, on the true or false pretext of having posed a threat to the Palestinian revolution. Such actions were, at first, forgiven, but became increasingly difficult to tolerate. Outsiders making the law in Lebanon, armed demonstrations and ceremonies, military funerals for martyrs of the revolution, it all mounted up and began to alienate public opinion, especially conservative opinion, which was particularly concerned about security.... I never saw a less discreet, less cautious revolution." It is interesting to note that throughout the war, and despite the close alliance between the Druze PSP and the Palestinians, the PSP would not permit the stationing of significant numbers of Palestinian troops in Druze-held areas of the Shuf Mountains. Trouble began to brew very early in 1975 when a Lebanese Army barracks in Tyre was hit by 8 rockets fired from a nearby Palestinian camp on January 20th. Matters came to a head in February 1975 when the Lebanese Communist Party and other leftists organized violent demonstrations in Sidon on behalf of fishermen who were threatened economically by a state monopoly fishing company. The Lebanese Army was called in to restore order, but, in the volatile atmosphere, armed clashes erupted. Muslim politicians protested that the use of the army was a violation of the demonstrators' democratic liberties and asked why the army was shooting at civilians rather than defending Lebanon's borders against Israeli incursions. Sunni leaders also faulted the channels used for ordering the army into action. General Ghanim had assumed charge of the army's conduct and reported directly to President Franjieh, ignoring Sunni Muslim Prime Minister Rashid as Sulh (also seen as Solh). Meanwhile, thousands of students in mainly Christian East Beirut demonstrated in support of the army. These serious splits were exacerbated when Maruf Saad, a pro-Palestinian Sunni populist leader, died in March of wounds suffered during the Sidon clashes. Long-standing concerns that the army would disintegrate if it were called into action were vindicated when intense fighting broke out between Maronite and Muslim army recruits. The various nationalistic, pro government, mainly Christian parties as they watched the authority of the Lebanese government collapse, organized themselves into militias in an attempt to counter the threat from the Palestinian presence. These various parties such as the Phalange, the Ahrar, Etienne Sakr's Guardians of the Cedars, and George Adwan's Tanzim, realizing that they were out numbered and out gunned combined politically and formed the Lebanese Front. On April 13, 1975, unidentified Palestinian gunmen opened fire at a congregation outside a Maronite church in Ayn ar Rummeneh, a Christian suburb of Beirut. Later in the day, members of the Christian Phalange Party ambushed a bus filled with Palestinians that had overrun a check point, claiming 26 dead. According to the Phalange version of events, the bus contained armed Palestinian Arab Liberation Front guerillas, firing weapons. Some PLO accounts describe the passengers as civilians and other reports as guerrilla trainees. However, the Phalangist version was confirmed by Abd al-Rahim Ahmad of the Palestinian ALF who stated in an interview in Amman, 28th December 1986, that those on the bus were indeed armed Palestinian ALF members. That night, at 10 pm, mortar shells slammed into Ayn ar Rummanah catching the people by surprise. The next day saw hit and run raids against the Lebanese Army by Palestinian groups led by the DFLP and also fighting between the Phalangists and the Palestinians which resulted in around 35 deaths and by the April 15 a full artillery duel had started in Beirut. One of Lebanon's many cease fires was announced on April 16 but was not to last. Within the next couple of days heavy fighting resumed between the Palestinian forces and the Lebanese Front. Kamal Jumblatt and hs leftist allies voiced continuous support for the Palestinians. While death and torture were suffered in the streets, the political battle went on, most heatedly between Pierre Gemayel and Kamal Jumblatt. Jumblatt drew up a list of fourteen demands. They included one that Lebanon be declared an Arab state, another that the Christians give an undertaking not to indulge in any ‘confessional provocation’, another that ‘full respect’ be paid to the ‘Palestinian movement’, and a yet another demand was that two Maronite ministers resign and it was to this demand only, Pierre Gemayel agreed. The result was that the government fell. Therefore, on May 23, Franjieh took the unorthodox and unprecedented step of appointing a military cabinet. Muslim Brigadier Nur ad Din Rifai, retired commander of the Internal Security Force, was named prime minister. Rifai selected the controversial Ghanim as his minister of defense; all other cabinet ministers except one were also military officers. Franjieh's motives were difficult to discern. Some believed his move was part of a plot to cement Maronite dominance of the government. Others believed he was attempting to force the recalcitrant army to intervene in the fighting. Perhaps Franjieh sincerely thought that a strong inter confessional military government with unquestionable authority over the army could avert widespread conflict, although Lebanon's democracy would be sacrificed. Indeed, Syrian foreign minister Abdal Halim Khaddam reportedly warned Lebanese politicians that the Lebanese Army was capable of uniting its ranks, staging a coup d'état, and imposing a military dictatorship. Nevertheless, Lebanon's first and last military government was short lived, resigning two days after its inception. Rashid Karame, the man who had forced the Cairo Agreement upon Lebanon became prime minister once again. Even when installed in the government, the army proved unwilling or incapable of exerting authority in Lebanon. The resignation of the military government demonstrated the power vacuum in Lebanese politics and served as the catalyst to conflict. From June to September a six-man cabinet ‘ruled’ by emergency powers. Officially a ceasefire prevailed, but there were constant outbreaks of fighting. Hundreds of acts of terrorism were perpetrated against the Christians, kidnappings, murders and mutilations. The Kataeb interpreted the terrorism as part of the plan to keep the hate, the desire for revenge, the sectarian hostilities alive and active. They believed that criminals were hired to do this work: by whom they could only conjecture, but their suspicions fell on Iraq and Libya. By September fighting resumed and soon clashes erupted in the Christian city of Zahle in the Beqaa and in the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon’s second largest city. In both places, clashes were instigated by skirmishes between armed individuals. By then, tension was so high that even the slightest verbal exchange between two armed individuals was sufficient to provoke violence which would quickly spread to various parts of the country. In Zahle, local armed men clashed with heavily armed Palestinian guerrillas who for some bizarre reason were trying to enter Zahle. The fighting continued for several days and resulted in the deaths of twenty-eight people and the injury of many others. The more serious confrontation occurred in Tripoli and spread to surrounding localities. Tripoli-Zgharta Battles Heavy fighting was soon to erupt between Tripoli and Zgharta. Clashes here were instigated by a car accident involving a driver from Tripoli and another from the neighboring Maronite town of Zgharta. This led to the shooting of the Muslim driver from Tripoli. Soon afterwards armed men in Tripoli began kidnapping Christians from Zgharta. In retaliation, armed men from Suleiman Frangieh's Zgharta based militia Marada, commanded by his son Tony, set up roadblocks on the outskirts of Tripoli and did their share of kidnapping. This wave of violence was temporarily contained following the release of the detainees. The next day clashes erupted in Tripoli as Palestinians, seeking an escalation, attacked Lebanese army positions, a Lebanese army barracks in the city was even the target of direct shelling from Palestinian positions. Eighteen soldiers were injured. Three Greek Orthodox priests were also kidnapped that day in Tripoli, but were later released. Shelling and rumors of kidnapping and counter-kidnapping kept many armed individuals alert. Disturbances broke out in the nearby Kura region, where skirmishes took place between Zgharta armed men of Marada and supporters of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party and the Lebanese Communist Party. As local leaders succeeded in containing the Kura feud, another violent incident occurred in Darayya, near Tripoli. A bus carrying kidnapped people back to Tripoli, as part of the exchange agreement made between Zgharta and Tripoli leaders, was fired upon by an armed man from the Frangiyeh family, killing twelve and injuring seven others. The assailant had just learned of the killing of his brother in Tripoli. Heavy fighting spread to the outskirts of Tripoli as Palestinians launched an assault against Zgharta. Permanent demarcation lines separating the Palestinians attacking from Tripoli and the Marada defending Zgharta were now in place. Attacks and countered-attacks in which Palestinians took part alongside leftists Tripoli militiamen continued for several days, as did the sectarian killings. Palestinian guerillas belonging to the factions of George Habash and Nayef Hawatmeh entered the village of Beit Mellat (Millat) in north Lebanon and started killing civilians and the moved on to Deir Ayache on 3rd September 1975. Three old monks aged 60, 78, and 93, the only occupants of the monastery of Deir Ayache were ritually murdered, the Christian occupants of the village managed to flee but their village was destroyed. Two days later, the small Maronite village in ‘Akkar, Beit Mellat, was tacked again by Palestinian gunmen who went on the rampage, destroying property, killing several people. Further confrontations took place in the region, notably an attack on the Christian town of Qbayyat in ‘Akkar many of whose inhabitants served in the Lebanese army. The town was besieged. The siege of the town provoked a strong protests and a rebellion by officers and soldiers from Qbayyat based in an army barracks in Jounieh who wanted to deploy and halt the fighting. Emergency cabinet meetings were held and when Christian ministers insisted on the army to be sent into action to restore order the Muslim ministers objected stating that they did not want the army to get involved in action against Lebanese citizens. Finally it was agreed that army would set up a buffer zone between Tripoli and Zgharta. Unhappy with the use of Lebanese army units, Kamal Jumblatt, who had emerged as the leader of the leftist alliance, called for nation wide Muslim protest strikes. A few days later, on the night of September 14, 1975, army troops clashed with several armed followers of Faruq Muqaddam, the leader of a Tripoli-based Fateh-backed guerrillas. Fourteen guerrillas were killed. The incident occurred while armed men attempted to force the way through an army checkpoint on their way back to Tripoli after they had tacked a beach resort near Tripoli, owned by a man from the Frangieh family The next day several Christian-owned shops and houses in Tripoli belonging individuals from Zgharta were bombed and looted. At this stage, Karame, while still opposed to army intervention, called upon the Syria controlled Palestine Liberation Army to bring order to the city. Karame’s decision was taken at a meeting of cabinet ministers in the Sérail, without informing the president. Also upon Karame’s request three guerrilla battalions were transferred from the south to Tripoli. Far from restoring order, these units joined the assault against Christian Zgharta and as a result hundreds Kataeb troops were rushed from Beirut to help Marada in the defence of Zgharta. Offensives against Zgharta would be launched many times over the following months but Zgharta refused to fall. Deeply divided, ineffective and weak, the government by now ruled only on paper. Christian leaders saw one last alternative to halt the process of disintegration: a forceful intervention by the army. As a concession to Karame, Frangieh replaced army commander General Alexander Ghanim with a low-key officer, and having agreed to restructure the army command, Frangieh and other Maronite leaders hoped that Karame and other Sunni leaders would support a forceful army intervention, particularly in Beirut and Tripoli. But this was not forthcoming. But even if some Sunni leaders were willing to support a limited army intervention in Beirut, Jumblatt and the PLO-supported Left were categorically opposed to any kind of army action. Shiite leaders, for their part, were in favour of army intervention. For Musa al-Sadr, the army intervention in Tripoli was ‘a natural and proper measure'. Faced by a strong Sunni—Leftist opposition even to a limited army intervention, Maronite leaders took matters into their own hands and went on the offensive. Pierre Gemayel who for months had been asking the government to deploy the army to restore order, issued an ultimatum on 16th September. If the army did not immediately go into action, the Phalange would have to take matters into their own hands. The next day the Phalange launched an offensive into central Beirut in an attempt to restore order. The Sacking of Downtown Beirut Although over 1,000 people were killed in the early fighting, many Lebanese still viewed the nascent war as a transitory phenomenon that would soon abate, like past security crises. Up until now, the war had mainly been a Palestinian and Lebanese Front affair but events took a sudden turn for the worse when well organized leftist Muslim militias sided with the Palestinians and attacked the downtown Kantari (Qantari) district in late October 1975, causing heavy loss of life and massive property damage, many inhabitants of Beirut realized for the first time that the war was a serious affair. The Palestinians and leftists eventually took Kantari and occupied the forty story Murr Tower, the highest building in Beirut. Now that the leftist National Movement openly joined Fatah; the carnage was massive. Deaths from the fighting averaged about fifty a day. National Movement fighters and youths from the camps looted and destroyed the stores in the heart of Beirut. Dead and mutilated bodies lay everywhere in public places: corpses of sexually violated women and children, and of men with their genitals cut off and stuffed into their mouths. Shop windows were shattered and their contents looted by a multitude of beggars, many of them small ragged boys out of the camps, who would offer the goods for sale on the streets, wildly setting their own prices on items whose value they could not imagine. Garbage piled up in the streets. Piped water and electric power were cut off more often than not. People were afraid to leave their apartments and seek safety elsewhere, knowing they would lose everything to the looters, who would even tear window frames and plumbing fixtures out of the walls. To add to the terror and destruction, the Syrian based Palestinian guerrilla group, Sa’iqa, began its own campaign of bomb explosions in the commercial centre of the city. As this was a mixed area, its targets were indiscriminate. PLO offices and men were hit. It was the covert beginning of a direct Syrian assault on the weakening state. Before the end of 1975, President Assad had started to deploy the Yarmouk and Hittin brigades of the PLA as well as Egyptian based 'Ayn Jalout Bridage' in the Beqaa in support of the Palestinians and the LNM. Syria's role in the fighting was tipping the military balance even more in favour of the PLO. Syrian troops had already been active in fighting alongside PLO units in the north of Lebanon. After the battle was of Kantari was over the two sides settled down to desultory exchanges of fire in a pattern that was to become familiar over the months — reserving the nights for the real attempts to take territory or score victories. Soon a huge pall of smoke rose over the commercial district of the city, a mile to the east. This was the area of warehouses, banks, airline offices, the Bourse, all the myriad facets of the service economy on which Beirut depended. It was the area, too, of the souks, the labyrinth of narrow streets each housing all the practitioners of the same trade. There was the vegetable souk, the clothes souk, the meat souk and so on. Above all, there was the gold souk, two glittering streets where every shop front was a treasure house of bangles and rings, chains, lockets and precious stones. Many of the gold dealers were Armenians, there were a few Jews, and some Maronites. In the other souks, Moslems and Christians traded side by side. But whatever the religion of the stall-holders and shop-keepers, everyone recognized that the souks played a major part in the economic life of the city. Local people did all their shopping there, it was a regular attraction for tourists, and the traders imported and exported as well as carrying on their retail business. By any standards, the souks of Beirut belonged to everyone and were of benefit to everyone. Now the souks began to be ravaged by looters from all sides. The Phalangists then began pouring in mortars and rockets into the souk district, raking the shops with heavy machine-gun fire from their positions only a hundred or so yards away, and doing everything they could to destroy the area in what seemd to be a scorched earth policy. It seemed senseless, though in fact it was part of the general Phalangist strategy. Their aim in Beirut was not only the classic military concept of destroying the enemy—the Left-wing forces and the Palestinians—it was also to involve as many people on their side as possible. In particular, the Phalangists wanted the Army brought into the fighting. The Lebanese Army, a mere twelve thousand strong, was still the most powerful force in the country, with tanks, armored cars, personnel carriers, artillery and all the other equipment any modern army must have. It was the one properly organized group, with a command structure, good communications, adequate reserves of ammunition, and men who were well-trained and obedient. The Phalangist calculation was plain, though it was never spelt out. If the Army could be embroiled, then no matter how much its neutrality was proclaimed, or even if the Command did actually try to remain impartial, inevitably the troops would be forced to fight on the side of the Phalangist militia—the experience of half a dozen different clashes in the past had shown that this was always the case. Afterall, the Lebanese right was fighting to preserve Lebanon and the Lebanese way of life while the leftist pan Arabists were fighting to destroy Lebanon. The Phalange felt that sooner or later the army would have to join them and the sooner the better. Rashid Karami, the Sunni Moslem Prime Minister had set his face firmly against any involvement of the military. At the end of the 1958 war, only two institutions of the State had emerged unscathed and had formed the basis on which the country had been able to build anew: the Presidency and the Army. The Prime Minister knew that if he did unleash the Army in Beirut he would be accused by all Moslems in the country of siding with the Right, and would lose what influence he still had. On these two counts Karami was determined that the Army should stay out; so, despite the pleas of the Right-wing members of his own cabinet, led by Camille Chamoun, the Minister of the Interior, and the wanton destruction being spread by the Phalange, Karami held out against the pressures and refused to give the orders which would have permitted the Army to move. The destruction of the souks went on, with fires smoldering by day and new salvoes of mortar bombs and rockets crashing in by night. The hard-pressed Beirut fire brigade tried to put out the worst blazes, but the frequently heroic firemen could do little. Often they could get nowhere near the fires because of constant sniper fire, deliberately aimed at them by one side or the other to ensure the destruction of some particular place. There was the beginning, too, of the division of the city which was soon to become complete, and the discrimination based on the religion of a man shown on his identity card. So all over the commercial district and even in the port, the fires raged unchecked as both sides joined in the orgy of destruction started in this particular case by the Phalangists, as they tried to pursue their strategic aim, through a deliberate scorched earth policy which probably caused as much damage to their own supporters and members as it did to the property of their opponents. But one souk would not be allowed to be destroyed. Somehow, the gold souk had to be saved and on both sides of the line the powerful men who owned the shops were applying pressure. It was a demonstration of another facet of the Lebanese situation, now Moslem and Christian owners of shops in the gold souks joined with Jews and Armenians to plead with both sides to save their capital and their livelihood. Their powerful collective voice was listened to with respect, and soon a commando group of the Lebanese Army, one-hundred-and-fifty-strong, was on its way to the souk under a promise of safe conduct and no molestation from either side. The soldiers got there just in time, for others, too, had heard of the plans to clear the treasure from the souk. As the soldiers were hurrying by back ways to the entrance to the souk at the top of the Place des Martyrs, a fifty strong band of gangsters had shot their way in, killing the few guards still on duty and braving the fire of the Phalange on one side of the square and the Leftists on the other. While most of the robbers took up positions ready to hold off anyone who tried to interfere, others tore off the shutters of the shops or blasted their way in with dynamite. They were hastily filling sacks with gold ornaments as the Army arrived. And in this first engagement it was the Army which quickly came off best. The soldiers, with their armored vehicles, could go right up to the entrance to the souk with impunity as they poured in machine-gun and cannon fire. Within minutes those thieves who were not killed had fled, and the Army had scored a notable victory in a dubious cause. Under the protection of the guns of the military, the waiting merchants arrived to load their treasure into cars and trucks. Many of them were unwilling to take such a tempting cargo far, so they did no more than drive half a mile to the main office of the British Bank of the Middle East. There they hastily packed their gold into the strong-boxes that they had previously rented, then went on their way carrying only a few items they thought they might be able to sell in the makeshift souks which were beginning to appear in other parts of the city. The fighting in the mainly Muslim western side of the city intensified as the PLO and the LNM battled against the Kataeb. The commander-in-chief of the Kataeb, Pierre Gemayel’s son Bachir, moved his men into the tourists’ hotel quarter of the city near the sea front, to try to defend the harbor and the business centre against the LNM and the PLO. Therefore in late 1975 and early 1976, fierce fighting engulfed Beirut's high rise hotel district, this fighting was a logical consequence of the leftist sacking of the Kantari district. The expanded scope and intensity of the combat increased casualties greatly, with over 1,000 killed in the first weeks of the new year, 1976. Check Point Killings and Black Saturday In the first week of the war some hundreds of motorists, halted in a traffic jam in Beirut at a Palestinian check point, witnessed the execution of a man by the PLO. The captors and their victim stood on a piece of open ground at the side of the Avenue Sami al-Solh. Other captured Lebanese, probably Maronite, were guarded by Fedayeen armed with ‘klashens’ (AK47s). The captives’ hands were tied behind their backs. One was singled out for special attention. Around his neck the PLO militiamen tied sticks of explosives. People in their cars looked and waited uneasily for the arrival of the special police in red berets whose business it was to deal with violent incidents in the streets, but they did not appear. One witness amongst hundreds, Janet Wakin, the respected American wife of businessman George Wakin reported 'the victim stood still, with strange quietness and dignity’, while the fedayeen prepared literally to blow his head off. They set a fuse, and ran back from the man, who continued to stand where he was, quite still, until the explosion came. Not only was he decapitated, but the rest of his body was blown to pieces. News of this sent shock waves across Lebanon's communities casuing the wat to rapidly take on a sectarian character. On the 30 May 1975 an incident occurred that was to start the darkest and perhaps the most horrific aspect of the Lebanese war. In retaliation for the death of a Palestinian in east Beirut, 30 Christian civilians were rounded up in west Beirut, most dragged out of cars, and murdered in cold blood on the street. This was the first major check point massacre of civilians in the war and started a vicious cycle of kidnapping, revenge and retaliation. Districts of Beirut became ‘no go’ areas for all but those whose religion let them in. A person’s religion was enough to condemn him or her to abduction, humiliation, rape, mutilation or murder. It was not long before a brisk trade in false identity papers was underway. A person moving through the city, and before long anywhere in the country, might depend for his or her life on correctly identifying which roadblock lay ahead, getting the right papers ready to show the militiamen (many of them boys in their early teens), and remembering whether to give a Christian or a Muslim name. Often those who made mistakes were killed on the spot. The next major event of this murderous cycle was on December 6, 1975, "Black Saturday". Four Christians were murdered and one wounded in a car outside the Lebanese Electricity Company headquarters in east Beirut by a Muslim militia raiding party. They had been hacked by axes in a most brutal way and shot. These murders took place on the eve of Pierre Gemayel's visit to Damascus. A Lebanese reporter by the name of Joe Saady was the father of one those murdered and some weeks before he had lost his other son who had been abducted from his racing car during a rally and murdered. When news that his other son had been murdered reached him Joe Saady went on the rampage and started randomly stopping cars and killing Muslim occupants. For many Phalangists (Kataeb) fighters this was the least straw, they wanted retaliation for this and numerous other recent acts of terror against the civilians of East Beirut. Discipline completely collapsed as Phalangist fighters set up a road block on the ring road and also started killing Muslims. Other fighters went to the port area and started killing Muslim dock workers. There are reports in some sources that the revenge murders started because the Gemayels had ordered the killing of 40 Muslims in retaliation for the 4 dead Christians but it would seem that such reports are untrue. A number of senior Phalangist officers including William Hawi, Commander-in-Chief of the Kataeb Military Council, ran out of the nearby Kataeb base and tried to stop the murders but such was the rage that they were fired on by the rampaging fighters. When news of this action reached west Beirut, Muslim militias along with their Palestinian allies set up road blocks and began killing Christians. In the hours that followed a total of around 200 civilians from each side had been murdered. Anarchy in West Beirut The number of dead and maimed mounted in Beirut. Snipers on roofs or at high windows picked off victims in the streets, in their homes, in shops, and in Offices. A common site was an open truck bearing a Soviet heavy machine-gun known as a ‘Douchka’, the gunman holding its grips with both hands to keep his balance as the vehicle hurtled through the streets and careened round corners. (It reminded onlookers of bronco- riding, or water-skiing, and the gunmen came to be known as ‘water- skiers’.) Everywhere in the city ‘armed elements’ sauntered in public places wearing masks, balaclavas, or squares of cloth covering all their features, or carnival papier-mâché faces, comic or grotesque, under cowboy stetsons, helmets, or any kind of headgear. Feather boas were seen draped round necks and shoulders under masked faces, and bits and pieces of all kinds of uniforms were worn:jungle camouflage fatigues, jeans and T-shirts. Guns were carried as an indispensable necessity, even in restaur-ants and on the beaches, by women as well as men. The masking was done often out of a genuine need for fighters to conceal their identity and so avert possible vengeance. But a certain illicit excitement in the freedom to kill with impunity filled the streets, and the ‘adventure’ attracted adventurers from far beyond the shores of Lebanon. Many a 'franc tireur' toted his gun in the ranks of the fedayeen and the Marxists. Also bourgeois idealists, youths from Europe, most of them die-hards of the New Left’s militant ‘peace-movements’ of the late 1960s and now playing at revolution, and some of them neo-Nazis, were drawn here from the safe societies of the West to revel in the ‘real thing’. The parasitic PLO state in Lebanon was a subversives’ honeypot. Here they had license to shoot and kill in an alien world, with no consequence to themselves. Would-be heroes of ‘the Revolution’, playboys and playgirls of terrorism from West Germany, Italy, Scandinavia and the Netherlands, came to dress up, strut, blow up, and gun down. It was a masquerade with a cruelty all too real. The adventure required the suffering and dying of multitudes of helpless people. It was a carnival of death. To add to the theatricality of the scene, convoys of cars with guns protruding from the windows, armored vehicles and motorcycles would scream through the streets accompanying Arafat or Abu Iyad on their visits to politicians, foreign envoys, allied commanders of the revolution-ary forces. Then, in some office or apartment block or public building, dozens of men armed with ‘klashens’ would push down the corridors ahead of the great man: Arafat wearing his kafliyah pinned back from his face, dark glasses, a three-day growth of beard; or Abu Iyad, another short stout man dwarfed by huge bodyguards. The PLO Camps In an effort to consolidate its presence in Lebanon, the PLO put out a plan to make efficient use of the camps in Beirut and in the suburbs in crisis situations. Among the camps located in Christian areas, Tal al Zaatar was the largest and the most important both as a political and military base. This camp also contained there guerrilla training bases. The functions of the camp included the following: (i) to recruit workers from nearby factories in Dikwaneh and Mkallis for the Lebanese branch of Fateh. The person in charge of this operation was Ali al-Asmar. He was also the workers’ representative in the ‘Cortina’ ice cream factory; (ii) to purchase apartments in Dikwaneh and use them as surveillance posts; (iii) to link Tal al Zatar logistically to the nearby smaller but still substantial camp of Jisr-Basha and establish military control over the crossing of Mkalis, and (iv) To link Tal-Zaatar to the nearby area of Nabaa which had a large Shia population, where Palestinian and leftist groups were active. This plan to link the camps in times of crises would in effect completely envelope East Beirut's eastern flank and cut it off from the rest of Lebanon. The Dhayeh camp, located near the largely Christian city of Jounieh was inhabited by Palestinian Christians and had a minor military function. It was used as a surveillance and intelligence post within the Christian region. The camp had a training base. Intelligence operations were conducted in association with the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party, which had some supporters in the Metn region. Another important base was the area of Maslakh and Karantina located at the northern entry of East Beirut and inhabited by Palestinians, Kurds, Syrians and Shia. Fateh and other Palestinian organizations had a strong presences this area. Karantina also had one training base. The Borj al-Barajneh camp, located in the southern suburb of Beirut, was the main military base in west Beirut. This camp had three training bases. As early as 1970, small munitions factories were established there. The Borj al-Barajneh camp, by virtue of its strategic location, controlled access to the main road linking Beirut to the airport as did the nearby camps of Sahra and Shatila, which later served as the Fateh headquarters in Beirut. Battle of Karantina With the outbreak of hostilities the PLO tried to activate their plan to link the camps of East Beirut and encircle the Christians. Whilst the majority of right wing fighters were tied down in downtown Beirut the Palestinians moved to isolate East Beirut as fighters from the camps tired to take control of access points into the city. In response to this the Lebanese front surrounded the camps of Tal al Zaatar, Jisr al Basha and Karantina on 4th January. To counter this move the PLO and their allies surrounded and launched an attack against the Christian town of Damour some 20km south of Beirut on January 9th. These tit for tat moves resulted in the Palestinian camp of Dbayeh being attacked by the Lebanese Front. On January 14 1976 the Dbayeh falls to the Guardians of the Cedars and the Ahrar after a five day siege. The Karantina camp (and the nearby Maslakh), a slum district named after the old immigration quarantine area, was occupied and controlled by a large PLO detachment. This was therefore site of the another major episode in the war as the Lebanese Front tried to break out of East Beirut and link with the rest of Lebanon. The first attempt to expel the PLO from this area was in July 1975 but the Kataeb assault on the camp was repelled by a joint PFLP and leftist force. On January 18, 1976, a combined Lebanese Front force composed of Guardians of the Cedars, Ahrar and Kataeb took Karantina after a fierce battle in which the Palestinians held out for three days and fought to the last man in the Sleep Comfort furniture factory. Many Palestinian civilians were killed in the chaos of the assault and some in cold blood by the attackers who were enraged by the events the occurred four months earlier in the north of the country. Randal reports that according to Lebanese survivors the Palestinians would not allow the civilians to leave the camp. After the battle the camp residents were evicted on buses and tasked to west Beirut. Syrian Intervention to "save" the CHRISTIAN Camp... Having diverted forces to Beirut and other zones of combat, the Lebanese left wing National Movement was not equipped to pursue its siege of Damour against Maronite resistance. Palestinian forces were of limited assistance, since most of them were still deployed in the South, close to the Israeli border. Kamal Junbalat became increasingly anxious, and in a meeting at the home of the Sunni Mufti, Hasan Khalid, in Aramun, he joined other LNM and traditional Muslim leaders in initiating an appeal for Syrian assistance. Syrian President Hafiz al-Assad later cited the appeal of the Aramun summit as evidence that Syria's intervention in Lebanon was purely invitational. In an unusual and highly revealing speech delivered on 20 July 1976, (Hafiz al-Assad, Text of speech delivered on 20 July 1976 (in Arabic), Al-Baath, Periodic Publication, no. 10, 4 August 1976, pp. 2-3.)President Assad explained the Syrian rationale in responding to the LNM's appeal. Assad relates that in mid-January, Lebanese Muslim and leftist leaders sent urgent "signals of distress" to Syria, due to the military collapse of LNM Resistance forces. The members of the Aramun summit urged Syrian Foreign Minister Khaddam to request President Assad to contact President Faranjiyih and try to stop the fighting. Assad portrays himself as reluctant to comply with the request, not because of unwillingness to make the effort, but because he considered the demand unreasonable. He explains that the LNM and the Resistance had more weapons at their disposal than the entire Lebanese Army, let alone the Kataib and National Liberals. He therefore told Khaddam that "they must hold out" and that he would not contact Faranjiyih. However, Assad relented after Khaddam repeatedly called him to describe the desperation of the appealers, who feared that with the fall of Karantina and Maslakh, the Kataib's next move would be to occupy West Beirut. Assad called Faranjiyih on 18 January and arranged a cease-fire for that night, but the agreement did not hold and fighting escalated instead. At this point, Assad met with "some of our comrades in the leadership" to determine what might be done "to rescue the situation." Having already supplied arms and attempted mediation, the Syrians decided that "nothing remained but direct intervention." The outcome of deliberations by the Syrians was a decision for a higher level of commitment in Lebanon. Assad explains the decision to intervene "under the banner of the Palestine Liberation Army," but later mentions that Syria moved in the PLA "and other forces" whose identity is not specified. He asserts that when the PLA began its entry into Lebanon, no one was aware that this was occurring. The autonomy of the Syrian decision is underscored by his remark that: "We did not consult with them [i.e., the Palestinian Resistance] and we did not consult with the nationalist parties, and naturally not one of them was prepared to discuss with us any measures [that they took]. The important thing is that they requested us to carry out what [i.e., whatever] would rescue them." (Assad, Speech of 20 July 1976, p. 4.) The approximately 3,500 men that entered Lebanon from Syria on 19th January were primarily affiliated with the Yarmuk Brigade, one of the PLA units stationed in Syria. They were responding to a Syrian command to move forward, although officially all PLA units were subject to the direct command of Yasir Arafat. Whereas the issue of PLA loyalties would later arouse acrimonious Syrian-Palestinian dispute, in this instance the PLA intervention clearly furthered the goals of the PLO in Lebanon and of the Lebanese National Movement. Most of the PLA forces from Syria were initially concentrated in the Biqa Valley, but the presence of these reinforcements enabled Arafat to draw on his forces in Southern Lebanon and move them north for the siege against Damour. The indirect Syrian intervention quickly shifted the Lebanese military balance to favor the anti-establishment leftist PLO coalition. One early opponent of Syria's diplomatic and military role was Camille Shamoun of the National Liberal Party. In his capacity as Minister of the Interior, he announced, upon hearing of the PLA intervention, that "forces of the Syrian Army have entered Lebanese soil . . . [and] this intervention threatens this part of the Middle East with a new war." When asked why he equated the PLA forces with the Syrian Army, Shamoun replied: "It is very hard to differentiate between the Syrian Army and those military formations which are commanded by a number of Syrian officers and in whose ranks an additional number of Syrian officers fight unofficially. Let us not forget that all of the equipment and military supplies are given by Syria. . . . It is perhaps less official than aggression by the Syrian Army, but the result is exactly the same." (Al-Nahar, 20 January 1976) Destruction of Damour Two days later, January 20, 1976, Palestinians and their leftist allies launched their final assault on the Christian town of Damour which lay across the Sidon - Beirut highway about 20 km south of Beirut. The relentless pounding the town received resulted in the deaths of many. In the siege that had been established on 9 January the Palestinians cut off food and water supplies and refused to allow the Red Cross to take out the wounded. Infants and children as well as the elderly died of dehydration. On January 16, 1976, Minister of Defence Chamoun called in the mostly Christian manned Lebanese Air Force to bomb leftist positions near Damour in an attempt to halt the Palestinian attack. The use of the air force caused a government crisis as the Prime Minister Rachid Karame went out of his way to stop its intervention. A plan was devised to evacuate Damour's civilians and fortunately the majority of the population of Damour was evacuated by sea but about 500 civilians defended by some 20 mostly Ahrar troops did not make it out in time. Damour was captured, the defenders were executed, the civilians were lined up against the walls of their houses and shot, their houses were then dynamited. Many of the young women had been raped and babies had been shot at close range at the back of the head. 149 bodies lay in the streets for days afterwards and 200 other civilians were never seen again. In all about 582 civilians had been murdered. The horror did not end there, the old Christian cemetery was next, coffins were dug up the dead robbed, vaults opened, and bodies and skeletons thrown across the grave yard. Damour was then transformed into a stronghold of Fatah and the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). The massacre and destruction of Damour is best described by Becker in the book "The PLO". The massacre induced Muslims residing in Christian-dominated areas to flee to Muslim held areas, and vice versa. Whereas most Lebanese towns and neighborhoods previously had been integrated, for the first time large-scale population transfers began to divide the country into segregated zones, the first step toward de facto partition. The Break-up of the Lebanese Army Syria’s increasing influence in Lebanese politics had now reached the Sunni leadership. To counter this, Arafat sought to promote Sunni and Leftist supporters of his own. One concrete manifestation of his policy was the announcement of his alliance in early 1976 of the Beirut-based Sunni militia, al-Murabitun, led by Ibrahim Qoleilat. A former Nasserite activist, Qoleilat was implicated in the assassination of the journalist Kamel Mrouweh in 1966 and was very much a local Beirut thug (qabaday). Trained and armed by Fateh, al-Murabitun, which included Palestinian and Lebanese fighters, received Libyan money. For Arafat, the al-Murabitun alliance met three objectives: (i) It gave Palestinian military operations in Beirut an internal Lebanese Muslim cover; (ii) It undermined the influence of the Sunni political leadership on the ‘street’, particularly in Beirut; (iii) It underlined Sunni opposition to Syrian policy in Lebanon. Being largely dependent on Fateh, al-Murabitun was a useful instrument of military operations used by Fateh for escalation of warfare in Beirut 1976. Rather than seeking a direct military confrontation with the Syrian regime, Fateh opted for another move aimed at undermining Syrian influence in Lebanon. On 15th January 1976, the Palestinians entered Kab Elias, a mixed Christian-Muslim village located in Békaa. Ten days later, 16 Christian civilians were killed and 23 others wounded in an unprovoked attack causing a mass exodus of the Christians from the Bekaa towards Zahlé, Beirut and Jounieh. It was at this juncture that the Army Lebanese began to disintegrate completely. Palestinians, mainly of the PLA had for days poured across the border from Syria and attacked in force the Christian villages in the Bekaa, when the Lebanese Army was sent in to stop the fighting, Lieutenant Ahmad Khatib mutinied and with his men he joined the PLA and then surrounded and bombarded Zahlé. The main orchestrator of the rebellion was Fateh leader Abu Jihad. Libya, Iraq and Fateh provided financial support for the Khatib movement. The Movement of Ahmad al-Khatib,’ later known as the Arab Army of Lebanon (AAL) or the Lebanese Arab Army (LAA), was announced on 21 January 1976. The rebellion began in the Lebanese army barracks at Hasbayya, and quickly spread to other barracks in various parts of the country, especially in the south and the Beqa. For Syria, the rebellion was directed against its ‘stabilizing role in Lebanon’. Two days later the army underwent yet another split. This time it was led by Colonel Antoine Barakat, who declared loyalty to Frangieh. A Maronite from Frangieh’s hometown Zgharta, Barakat controlled a major army barracks near the defence ministry. Another officer, Major Fouad Malik, supported the Barakat-led faction, as did Major Sad Haddad, who took over in Marja’youn in the south. The Lebanese Army was ripped into sectarian pieces. Army officers and troops entered into combat alongside the warring factions, while others remained under the nominal command of Army Chief Hanna Said. The latter commanded little authority even before the break-up of the army. Still others went home and did not take part in the fighting. Officers of the LAA commanded units in various parts of the country, particularly in the south and the north (Tripoli and ‘Akkar), where two Sunni officers, Ahmad Butari and Ahmad Mamari, were in command. The LAA was involved in brutal acts of kidnapping and sectarian killing in areas under its control in the north, south and the Beqaa. The intervention of the Khatib's Lebanese Arab Army on the side of the PLO was a disaster for the Lebanese Front. Ahmad al-Khatib was a cousin of a socialist deputy named Zahir al-Khatib, who was a friend of Kamal Jumblatt. (‘A patriotic young officer with a good sense of politics,’ Jumblatt said of Ahmad Khatib.) As a close ally of the PLO, he moved his units southwards, in pursuit of the Christians who had fled that way to join their co-religionists when the war was raging in Beirut and the north; he intended to hunt them to extinction. His men, most of them professional and well-equipped soldiers, emptied or besieged the Christian towns and villages. It cannot be told how many people they killed, only it is certain they amounted to thousands. And as thousands more fled the country, Lieutenant al-Khatib came near to satisfying his highly publicized ambition of wiping out the entire Christian population in that part of Lebanon. In desperation, as more officers and troops joined the Khatib movement, on 11 March another army officer, the Beirut garrison Brigadier ‘Aziz al-Ahdab, staged a ‘television coup’ and demanded the resignation of President Frangiyeh and announced that the Lebanese Army was stepping in to take over the government and restore order. A Sunni from Tripoli, Ahdab was the military commander of the Beirut district. Ahdab’s troops numbered fewer than a hundred, and hardly controlled their own command headquarters in Beirut. Whether or not Ahdab had the tacit support of the army command to force the cabinet to resign and help reunite the army, he definitely went too far by demanding the resignation of Frangiyeh. Although initially seeking to halt the breakdown, Ahdab’s action had the opposite effect. His ill-conceived move hastened the disintegration of the army and confirmed Syria’s suspicion of Palestinian involvement in this show of force. Indeed, if Abu Jihad was the man behind Khatib, Abu Hassan Salameh, Arafat’s close associate, was behind Ahdab. According to Abu Iyad, Ahdab was supplied with a Fateh escort to the television building where he announced the ‘coup’. Ahdab's move came too late and with too little support, and he was derisively nicknamed "General Television" by militia leaders, who commanded far more men. On the surface, the LAA rebellion seemed spontaneous and reflected Muslim discontent within the army. In reality, however, the rebellion was orchestrated by Fateh and had well-defined objectives. For Fateh leaders, the Lebanese Army had always constituted a military threat to the PLO, not Lebanese militia forces. In early 1976, the situation seemed ripe for a large scale military action within the army. On that objective Palestinian leaders, notably Arafat, Abu Iyad, Abu Jihad, Abu Hassan Salameh, were in agreement. Fateh leaders Abu Jihad and Abu Hassan Salameh were in control of the LAA, and were assisted by military commanders. As the war intensified members of the LAA began to realize that they had been played and used by the PLO and so the LAA shrank from approximately 3,000-4,000 troops in March 1976 to a few hundred by the end of the year by the end of the year and the LAA was completely marginalized, as was the role of Ahmad al-Khatib (Syrian authorities detained Khatib on 18 January 1977). The Great Bank Robbery, The Hotel District, and the Green Line At some point during March or April the Palestinians realized that they had gained effective control of Bank Street and so the stage was set for the biggest bank robbery in modern history. General looting of the banks was followed by disastrous attempts to dynamite the vaults causing serious injuries to the Palestinian thieves, so they decided to bring in professional safecrackers from Europe, possibly supplied by the mafia. Of the eleven banks robbed, the worst hit were those with safe-deposit vaults, the British Bank of the Middle East, Banca di Roma, and Bank Misr-Liban. The Guinness Book of Records claims the BBME alone lost a minimum of $20 million but probably $50 million, that is equivalent to $175 million today. Saiqa, the pro Syrian wing of the PLO were identified with the Banca di Roma thefts and marxist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine was deemed responsible for the theft of the BBME. At one point a fire fight broke out between the two factions as Saiqa tried to steal the DFLP loot. The fighting that had been raging on in the hotel district was reaching its climax. For months the Phalange had been perched defiantly in the twenty seven storey Holiday Inn hotel repelling attack after attack by Palestinian and leftist forces, giving the 'Battle of the Holiday Inn' legendary status. On 21st March 1976, a major assault by a special Palestinian commando units using armored vehicles lent by the Khatib's Arab Army and supported by the leftist Muslim militias finally dislodged the Phalange. The leftist militias who had been handed the hotel by the Palestinians for propaganda purposes got so carried away celebrating that the Phalange was able to sneak back in at dawn the next day. The Palestinians therefore had to do the job all over again on the 22nd of March, and over the next few days the Phalange were pushed back to their defensive line at Martyrs Square. As the weeks went by it was becoming apparent that the Lebanese Front were losing the war as the Palestinian-Muslim-leftist alliance forced them to retreat farther into East Beirut. The Lebanese Front had grossly underestimated the strength of the Palestinian forces in Lebanon and the support the Palestinians would receive from some Arab countries. The Christian militias of the Lebanese Front now began combining their military strength becoming known as the Lebanese Forces, the various component militias however maintained their own identity. The Christians felt it imperative to retain control of Beirut's port district and constructed an elaborate barricade defence at Allenby Street. As the Christians tried to stave off the Muslim-Leftist-Palestinian assault on the port district, the Lebanese Army finally entered the fray. Christian officers and enlisted men from the Al Fayadiyyah barracks outside Beirut came to the aid of their beleaguered coreligionists, bringing armored cars and heavy artillery. The left wing Muslim-Palestinian advance was stopped, and the front at Allenby Street evolved into a no man's land, dividing Christian East Beirut from Muslim West Beirut. Vegetation that eventually grew in this abandoned area inspired the name Green Line, and cut the city in two until the end of the war in 1990. But in East Beirut, right in the Maronite heartland, was the Palestinian ‘camp’ of Tall al-Za’tar. For many months before the outbreak of hostilities, Maronite businessmen driving from their offices in the city to their homes in the mountains had been stopped on the road through the camp by armed Palestinian boys and forced to show their identity papers. And now, from their strongholds in Tall al-Za’tar, the PLO forces were shelling the factories and offices of the eastern Christian suburbs of the city. The Kataeb and their allies marked Tall al-Za’tar for destruction. The Israeli Connection Israel had cultivated a relationship with Lebanon's Christian community almost from the advent of the Zionist movement. Some Zionist politicians had envisaged a Jewish-Maronite alliance to counterbalance Muslim regional dominance. After Israel's independence in 1948, some Israeli leaders advocated extending the northern border to encompass Lebanon up to the Litani River and to assimilate the Christian population living there. In 1955 Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and General Moshe Dayan conceived a plan to intervene in Lebanon and install a Lebanese Christian president amenable to improving bilateral relations. The patriarchs of Lebanon's Christian community, particularly Pierre Gemayel and Camille Chamoun, were tempted by Israeli offers of assistance, but they nevertheless resisted entrusting the security of the Maronites to Israel and abjured close contact with Israel. But in 1976, threatened by the escalating War, a new generation of Lebanese Christian leaders turned to Israel for military support against the ascendant PLO and the Muslim left. After a series of clandestine meetings between Mossad, the Israeli foreign intelligence agency, and militia leaders Bashir Gemayel and Dany Chamoun, Israel supplied US$50 million to arm and equip the Christian fighters. The Constitutional Document For some weeks efforts for a negotiated settlement had been underway. The idea for a negotiated political settlement to end conflict through Syrian mediation had been on the mind of the Syrian leadership since November 1975. Damascus was using a ‘carrot-and-stick’ approach with the Maronite leadership. Syrian support for Palestinian, Leftist and Muslim forces was intended to keep the Maronite leadership under pressure to reach a settlement that favored Syrian interests. To pursue that course of action, Damascus called upon an associate of Frangiyeh, Lucien Dahdah, then the Chairman of the Board of the Intra Company. Dahdah, who had family ties with Frangiyeh and old acquaintances in Syria, was contacted in Paris, where he was staying. With Frangiyeh’s approval, Dahdah met with Syrian officials. Talks went on for about four weeks and resulted in a draft, which was the basis for the Constitutional Document. Dahdah held meetings with Syrian officials, including seven with Assad. When negotiations started relations between Assad and Frangieh had been strained for several months, following Syrian army intervention in the war. Frangiyeh had presented evidence to Damascus confirming Syrian troops’ involvement in the war, particularly in the north. The Constitutional Document was a convenient balancing act. It stipulated a more balanced confessional representation in government office and provided a formula to contain the internal dimension of conflict. It addressed grievances though without undermining the confessional foundations of a political system. One such grievance was Lebanon’s Arabism. The document proclaimed Lebanon’s Arabism but stated that Lebanon is a sovereign, free and independent country. Of the seventeen points stated in the Constitutional Document, five dealt with Muslim grievances. By and large, they were aimed at curtailing presidential power. They are as follows: (i) Seats in parliament would be distributed on a fifty-fifty between Muslims and Christians, and proportionately within each sect; (ii) the prime minister would be elected by a 51 per cent majority of the Chamber of then the prime minister should hold parliamentary consultations and the list of ministers in agreement with the president; (iii) All decrees and draft laws should be signed by the president and the prime minister. This did not apply to the decrees appointing the prime minister, accepting his resignation, or dismissing his government. The prime minister should enjoy all the powers customarily exercised by him; (iv) The distribution of posts on a confessional basis be abolished, although the principle of confessional equality should be maintained at the level of senior posts; (v) The naturalization laws should be amended. By contrast, only one provision addressed Christian demands. It affirmed the distribution of the three presidential posts, which allocated the presidency of the republic to a Maronite, the presidency of the Chamber of Deputies to a Shiite and the premiership to a Sunni. Kamal Jumblatt and the PLO were heavily opposed to this document as an end to the war did not suit them. Jumblatt saw in this document a re-enactment of the 'no victor, no vanquished' formula of 1958, something which he was not willing to accept. Compromise was not appealing to Jumblatt and the PLO at a time when the military balance was in their favour. Therefore they looked for ways to intensify the fighting. The Mountain Offensive In March 1976, the leftist forces and the Palestinians launched an offensive across Mount Sannine to invade the Christian heartland. The PLO head strategist, Salah Khalaf, announced as Palestinian forces climbed the eastern flank of Mount Sannine to attack Christians in their historic mountain villages, that the road to Palestine lay through 'Uyun Al Siman, Aintoura, and even Jounieh itself'. These Christian areas are to the north of Beirut not towards Israel in the south, the Palestinians had declared war on the very nation that had given them refuge, Lebanon and the Lebanese Christians in particular. The offensive, coinciding with the assault on the hotel district, began on 17 March and led to the capture of several villages in the Upper Metn region. These military operations, particularly the opening of a new front in the Mountain, were alarming developments not only for the Christian forces but also for Syria who started to fear that a Christian defeat and so a Palestinian controlled Lebanon would lead to an Israeli invasion. According to George Hawi, military escalation in the Mountain was initially suggested by Palestinian leaders. In a meeting held in early March in the village of Souq al-Gharb and attended by Arafat, Abu Jihad, Abu Iyad, in addition to Jumblatt, Hawi and Mohsin Ibrahim, Palestinian leaders advocated the opening of a new front in the Mountain. For them, the Mountain front had a dual purpose: to put military pressure on Christian forces especially in the central part of Mount Lebanon, to prevent an assault on the Tal-Zaatar camp, and to mobilize Arab and international support for PLO-Leftist forces. As some of Ahmad Khatib's forces surrounded and besieged the town of Zahle in the Beqaa, other LAA troops along with the National Movement and the PLO advanced on the Maronites in Beirut, and came right to the Metn, the constituency of Pierre Gemayel’s elder son Amin, the Maronite heartland. By March 25 the artillery of the LAA led by Major Hussein Awwad, was scoring direct hits against Frangieh's residential quarters in the Presidential Palace and so the President was forced to leave the palace and seek residency for the rest of his term in Kisirwen. As fighting broadened, attempts were made, once again, to reach a political settlement. Views on the course of the war and its objectives between Arafat and Jumblatt began to diverge. While Jumblatt pressed for a 'military solution' Arafat was more cautious. Jumblatt went to Damascus hoping to get weapons from Syria, On his way to Damascus, Jumblatt made a statement to journalists that he hoped to receive them soon in Bikfaya and Jounieh. Ten days earlier Leftist forces had launched their first major offensive in the Mountain. At the meeting, Assad inquired about the statement and told Jumblatt that it would be better to deny it since the purpose of the meeting was to end the fighting. To this Jumblatt replied that fighting could be ended in a few days only if Syria would provide him with the weapons he needed to finish off the Christians. Assad's attempt to persuade Jumblatt to accept a political settlement failed. Jumblatt was determined to score a military victory and alter the political system. On no issue of substance were the two men in agreement. The divide between them could not be bridged. Assad, the head of state, had calculations to make and a strategy to follow. Jumblatt, seeking to rule a state, had a completely different agenda and, by extension, was not careful in weighing the outcome of his deed. Assad’s assessment of that stormy meeting was revealed in a highly publicized speech delivered on 20 July 1976. For Assad, Jumblatt’s socialist and progressive ‘masks’ had fallen; Jumblatt was not interested in political reforms but was rather settling a 140-year old sectarian vendetta. It had become obvious that Jumblatt was going to settle for nothing less than the total and unconditional defeat of the Christians. In Assad's account relayed in his speech of 20 July 1976, Jumblatt emerges as an ungrateful and unreasonable recipient of Syrian favors. At the outset of the meeting, Assad reminded Jumblattthat despite generous Syrian political and military support, his forces were unable to hold out in January and Syria was obliged to intervene on their behalf. Intervention was followed by a political initiative that secured for the Palestinian Resistance all of the guarantees it wanted, and realized 90 to 95 percent of the reforms demanded by the LNM in the Constitutional Document. Although Jumblatt disputed this evaluation of the Syrian reform plan, Assad says that the Lebanese leader raised no fundamental objections. He complained, for example, that many clauses of the agreement were ambiguous, to which Assad responded that the broad guidelines would be elaborated upon in later regulations and laws, and "at that point, you will explain what you want." Assad then accused Jumblatt of supporting Ahdab's coup along with its objective of the President's resignation. Even after Syria accommodated this demand and reached an agreement on the subject, "you yourselves exploded the situation." In the past, Assad remarked, "we believed that we were traveling with you along a single line and toward a single goal," but now he demanded that Jumblatt provide an explanation. Jumblatt claimed that his principal objective was to realize a secular state in Lebanon. Assad objected, saying that in meetings with the Lebanese Mufti, the Shia Imam Musa al-Sadr, and other Muslim leaders, they vehemently opposed secularization as antithetical to Islam. The only response Jumblatt offered to the Muslim religious leaders' view was, "Don't worry about them, they do not represent anything!" To this Assad remarked that the issue was not one of representation but rather of religious principles and must therefore not be taken lightly. At this point, Jumblatt showed his true colors, blurting out: "Let us teach them a lesson! The matter must be resolved militarily. They have governed us for 140 years; we want to get rid of them now!" The issue, Assad concludes, was merely one of revenge and reprisal, based on grudges harbored against the Maronites for over a century. Jumblatt was voicing the grievances of a traditional Druze chief, camouflaged as progressive and revolutionary ideals. As the meeting came to an end, Assad was convinced that Jumblatt was determined to fight and warned him: "Do not rely on our support." As Jumblatt returned to Lebanon he launched an offensive by joint PLO-Leftist forces against the Christian village of Kahaleh overlooking Beirut and the presidential palace in Baabda with the aim of final victory. The Battle of Kahaleh The struggle for the town of Kahaleh, a major military objective for Jumblatt's forces, held the key to either a truce or renewed fighting. Whoever controlled that town would control the eastern entrance to the capital. The right-wing forces were determined to hold the town at all cost; hence, the battle for Kahaleh was approaching extensive proportions. Incoming fire made the town desolate, forcing its inhabitants to conceal themselves as best they could. The glare of rocket fire and the thud of artillery crashing into the town echoed the doom of deadly combat in the surrounding hills. The leftists advanced to the parameters of the village but were repelled, time and again, in heavy hand-to-hand combat. The villagers had set up barricades and huge earth moods across the access roads to the village. The people of Kahaleh know that should their village fall East Beirut would be assaulted and would also likely fall. They would never let this happen. However, the rightist force was dwindling as leftist reinforcements reached the area. The wounded and dying rightists refused evacuation from the town, doggedly holding their position. The thunder of field artillery, heavy mortars, field cannons, and even antiaircraft guns was heard night after night and the night sky was ablaze about the battered Christian village, but not an inch of ground was gained by the leftists. Kahaleh was, nevertheless, completely surrounded by the left and the Lebanese Front was unable to be reinforced it from east Beirut. As the state of the defenders became gradually worse and the village was on verge of collapse all able bodied men and many women rushed to the barricades to assist their exhausted defenders. Finally after a week of heavy fighting, crack PLO commandos were brought in to do the job that Jumblatt's Druze warriors and their leftist allies had not accomplished. The PLO attack was brutal and in places breached the defenses of the village but after hours of close quarter fighting the PLO commandos were pushed back and then retreated. Miraculously, Kahaleh had held on. The leftist coalition, now more powerful than ever with the inclusion of Arafat's forces was not able to over run the town. Also of significance, the leftists ran into exasperating resistance in the downtown area of the city, while some other places outside the capital, the Moslem-leftist drive was in serious trouble and was grinding to a halt on some fronts. Commanders in the leftist alliance started asking for a ceasefire. The PLO also favored a truce, and hence, Jumblatt reluctantly agreed to it. Syrian Army Enters Lebanon The government of Syria which had been backing the leftists and the Palestinians, although in theory a socialist regime, feared that a leftist victory and the installation of a radical government in Lebanon would undermine Syrian security and provide Israel an excuse to intervene in the area. Repeated diplomatic efforts between the Syrians and the leftist forces failed to quell the war, Syria's threat to ban all further arms shipments to the leftist militias and even the direct intervention of the pro Syrian Saiqa against the LAA in the Matn region did not stop the leftists advance. Jumblatt's rejection of the Constitutional Document was a slap in the face for Assad and had very negative effects on Syria's prestige in the region. An abrupt shift in Syria's public posture occurred after the Assad Jumblatt showdown. On 1 April 1976, the Information Office of the Syrian Bath Party released a searing personal attack on Jumblatt. Referring to him as the "spurious king of the left," the Party contends that Jumblatt's ideological pretensions were merely a mask for his ambition to become President of Lebanon. Sparked by an "historical complex" related to the subordinate role of the Druze in the Lebanese political system, Jumblatt would allegedly be willing to see 20,000 Lebanese killed and partition take place, so as to emerge as leader of the truncated state. Jumblatt is thereby identified as a partner in an international conspiracy, backed by the United States and Israel, aimed at Lebanon's partition. Moreover, the statement declares, "the battle is aimed at Syria's regime" and at its initiative in Lebanon. Nevertheless, after Jumblatt's meeting with President Assad, "the last veil has fallen from the face of the imposter," and his downfall is declared to be imminent. In the first week of April 1976, Kamal Jumblatt charged that 17,000 Syrian soldiers were massed along the Lebanese border, sarcastically observing that "we hope they would enter to help the National Movement." He said that Asad had threatened to cut off arms and ammunition to the LNM and the Palestinian Resistance, and was already beginning to impose a blockade on several key ports. On the ground, forces of Saiqa as well as some Syrian regulars crossed the border into Lebanon on 9 April 1976. Syrian armor, passing through the border town of Masnaa, advanced along the strategically vital Beirut-Damascus highway, providing support to beleaguered Christian forces at Zahleh in the Biq'a Valley and setting up a garrison farther to the west at Shtura. A naval blockade of the northern port of Tripoli and the southern ports of Sidon and Tyre, crucial sources of supply to the LNM, was begun in earnest. After these rapid maneuvers, the Syrian forces froze their advance and a cease-fire was declared on the same day. In his first speech to the nation on his Lebanese policy, delivered on 12 April 1976, Assad asserts that "we are against any party which insists on continuing the fighting." He assails those who are "traders in politics and not politicians, traders in revolution and not revolutionaries, traders in progressivism and not progressives." Syria is determined to stand up against those responsible for the bloodletting "out of nationalist and Arab principle and out of the principle that the Palestinian cause is the pivot of the Arab struggle." Although doing so imposes additional burdens on Syria, Assad prepares his people to assume an increased level of commitment: "We in this country, Muslims and Christians, are prepared to move into Lebanon and to protect every oppressed person without regard for his religious affiliation. . . . [W]e in this region [i.e., Syria] possess complete freedom of movement, and we are able to take the positions which we believe in without anyone being able to prevent us from taking those positions." (Al-Nahar, 13 April 1976) Responding to these developments, Kamal Jumblatt charged that 5,000 to 6,000 soldiers had entered Lebanon, including the Syrian 91st Armored Brigade. He condemned "the Syrian Army which entered under the veil of al-Saiqa," demanding its immediate withdrawal. The LNM leader distinguished between the illegitimacy of the Saiqa-Syrian Army move, which had not been requested by Lebanese authorities, and entry of the PLA in January. Other Lebanese spokesmen, however, gave the Syrians a much more favorable reception. After Hafiz al-Assad's 12 April speech, Lebanese President Faranjiyih praised the "courageous stand" of Syria, motivated by "noble brotherly sentiment" and "Arab solicitude for the unity, independence, and flourishing of Lebanon." Camille Chamoun and Pierre Gemayel did not object to the Syrian move and it was rumored that the Lebanese Front militias were down to their last 72 hours of ammunition and were on the verge of total defeat. Indeed Kataib leader Pierre Gemayel praised Assad's "historic speech," which served to "tear away the blinders from every eye" in exposing Jumblatt's true colors. The entry of 12,000 Syrian Army troops into Lebanon on 1st June 1976 dramatically contrasted with the tentativeness of Syria's previous commitment in Lebanon. After the reassessment of early 1976, involving a shift in the direction of its alignments and an incremental rise in its commitment, the Syrian elite plunged decisively into direct military engagement. Once President Assad and his advisers decided on this course, they did not await invitations by parties to the Lebanese strife. This phase of Syrian intervention and escalation was penetrational in its designs and implementation. Nevertheless, miscalculations about the costs involved in achieving more ambitious objectives obliged the Syrian elite to make tactical readjustments. The largescale Syrian military offensive suffered initial reversals, only to be subsequently revived at a still higher level of military commitment. The immediate precipitant for Syrian military intervention was an attack on two Maronite villages of Koubayat and Andakil in northern Lebanon by maverick units of the Lebanese Arab Army late in May 1976. Residents of the villages sent a telegram to President Asad, appealing for Syrian assistance. In a subsequent justification of Syria's response, Prime Minister Karami suggested that Syria's intervention was "motivated by nationalist and humanist sentiments, in response to the request of a group of citizens who were in a state of despair and fear, prompting them to appeal for assistance to sister Syria." The authenticity of the Lebanese appeal was immediately questioned. On 1 June, Kamal Junbalat charged that "the Syrians pressured one of the officers in the north to commit aggression against two towns." This attack was contrived to generate a pretext for Syrian response, and "no one asked them to intervene." Maronite leader Raymond Edde also discounted the claim by Syrian Foreign Minister Khaddam that Syria had intervened based on the request of Lebanese authorities and a large segment of Lebanese public opinion. Edde challenged Khaddam to name the Lebanese authorities who issued the appeal and "to announce who are those who represent public opinion." He also urged President Faranjiyih to announce publicly whether he had invited the Syrian forces, contending that "if neither he nor his government requested the entry of the Syrian Army, then [what is the reason for] his silence and the silence of his government about this flagrant transgression against the sovereignty of Lebanon?" Raymond Edde accused the Syrians of trying to annex Lebanon. Dany Chamoun and especially Bashir Gemayel opposed the Syrian intervention on the grounds that it would prevent settlement from being reached between the warring factions. Bashir Gemayel was so concerned that he met with Jumblatt to discuss the issue. A full-fledged debate was soon under way in Lebanon about the propriety of the Syrian intervention, along with speculation over its possible course. The Lebanese Front decided to adopt a "wait and see" attitude to the Syrian advance into Lebanon as they felt that they had no other choice. Taking on the Syrians in a military confrontation would have been a disaster for the Lebanese Front and so they decided to let the Syrians enter without resistance. Etienne Sakr rejected this decision and so the Guardians of the Cedars blocked the Ba'abdat crossing and delayed the entry of the Syrian forces for four days. To avoid armed conflict with the Lebanese Front who exerted enormous pressure on him to order his fighters to retreat. At a summit conference on 5 June, the Lebanese Front endorsed the Syrian intervention, citing statements by Foreign Minister Khaddam reiterating Syrian commitment to the independence and territorial integrity of Lebanon. Kataib Party leader Pierre Gemayel called for a "security accord with a Syrian guarantee in preparation for a political solution." The Lebanese Front said the role of the Syrian forces would be confined to preserving security in troubled areas and regulating the entry of weapons into the country. Once security was achieved, a roundtable discussion between domestic Lebanese parties could lead to a political settlement. Lebanon would reach an agreement with Syria limiting the duration of the Syrian military presence, subject to renewal at the request of the Lebanese authorities and parties to the Lebanese conflict. (Al-Nahar, 6 June 1976) For his part, President Faranjiyih insisted that he did not know beforehand of Syria's plan to intervene, and President-elect Sarkis also denied foreknowledge. Faranjiyih justified the intervention as a necessary means for implementing the Constitutional Document, with first priority to the Cairo Agreement. The Lebanese daily Al Nahar took issue with Faranjiyih's justification, indicating that the Syrian-sponsored Constitutional Document was never passed by the Lebanese Parliament, and that the President was therefore not authorized to implement it. Moreover, "if it is imperative that the Cairo Agreement be implemented, the [Constitutional] Document does not call for its implementation through a Syrian military invasion, but rather through dialogue and mutual understanding." (Al-Nahar, 2 June 1976, 10 June 1976) Most leftist forces capitulated without firing a shot, overwhelmed by the Syrian show of force. In Sidon, however, Palestinian and leftist forces fought off the Syrians for nearly six months before relinquishing their stronghold. Syrian humiliation at being unable to overcome unexpectedly heavy resistance by Palestinian and LNM forces in Sidon was deepened by defections from Syrian ranks. Most conspicuous were defections among PLA and Saiqa forces that had entered Lebanon earlier under Syrian auspices. This notably took place in Beirut, in reaction to a confrontation on 6 June between advancing Syrian forces and Palestinian-LNM militiamen in the Biqa Valley. After the Syrians were erroneously reported to have used their Air Force for attacks in the Biqa, violent clashes erupted in Beirut between Palestinian-LNM militiamen and Saiqa-PLA forces already stationed by the Syrians in the capital. As Palestinians fought Palestinians, many of those associated with Syria switched allegiance, contributing to the ease with which the Saiqa-PLA forces in Beirut were disarmed. Even more threatening to the Syrian elite was dissent among regular Syrian forces. Individual pilots and unit commanders refused to participate in the Lebanese operation, and after entering Lebanon some officers defected to join Palestinian and LAA ranks. The offenders were quickly punished, however, and incidents of dissent remained limited. In the following months, the Syrian presence grew to 27,000 troops. By November the Syrians had occupied most Muslim held areas of Lebanon, including West Beirut and Tripoli. The Battle of Tal al-Zaatar As New Year 1976 was ushered in, the Lebanese capital witnessed a somber but relatively peaceful period. Pierre Gemayel continued to insist on a cease-fire and the restoration of public order before political reforms could be effectively enacted. But fighting began anew in the vicinity of Tal al Zaatar and Jisr al Basha camps in East Beirut. These camps, as were others, were located on land belonging to the Maronite Church which provided uch assistance to Palestinians refuges when they entered Lebanon. From the late 1960s these camps however had become a major problem for the Lebanese residents of the area as Palestinian fighters would subject Lebanese citizens to daily acts of humiliation as they passed by the camps. From 1970 until the start of the war yearly skirmishes had taked place in the regions surrounding the camps between Palestinians and Lebanese security forces. With the outbreak of war fighters from Jisr al Basha and Tal al Zaatar began attacking the surrounding region and artillery based in the camps had been shelling Christian villages since early 1975. On the 3rd January; rocket and mortar fire forced, yet again, Christian residents out of nearby homes and Issam al-Arab, head of the Nassarite Corrective Movement, delivered a warning to the Phalangists and other right-wing parties to completely evacuate the area. Amine Gemayel charged that the leftists were trying to blockade the Christian Ashrafiyah district. Camille Chamoun, in his reply to Issam al-Arab, appealed to the leftist leaders at Tal al Zaatar to allow approximately twenty-five Christian families who had been evicted from their homes near the Jisr al-Basha camp to return to their homes. Finally, the Phalangists demanded that the leftists open all the roads heading toward Bayt Meri that they had blocked, or face the consequences. In response to those demands, the leftists opened fire into the eastern suburbs of the city, pinning down the Lebanese army troops who had just moved in there. The Lebanese Front returned fire. As artillery shells continued to hit the Palestinian camps of Tal al Zaatar and Jisr al-Basha for the second day in a row, the Lebanese issued a stern warning to the PLO command at both camps, and also to the leftists entrenched in adjacent Nabaa area, to cease firing on East Beirut and on Christian villages or face eventual defeat and eviction. To dramatize their point, the rightists assembled some forces, including a few armored vehicles, near the camp sites. The PLO response was clear. PLO and leftist gun positions poured artillery fire across the Green Line, raining death and destruction on the overexposed rightist forces and also further hitting the Christian neighborhoods in East Beirut. On 4th January 1976, a thin cordon was established around the camp by 300 fighters from the Tanzim and 100 fighters from the Maroun Khoury group in an effort to contain the Palestinians. The Maroun Khoury group was a Dikwaneh based militia. One road was left open to allow Palestinian evacuation towards Aley but the Palestinians refused to enter into dialogue with the Lebanese Front. The PLO, as they had done in Karatina, prevented many of the people of the camp from leaving so by taking them hostage. Ahrar forces surrounded and attacked Jisr al Basha and Kataeb and Guardian of the Cedars troops engaged the adjacent mainly Shiite area of Nabaa which contained large numbers of leftist and forces. The battle for the camps had started and was the final showdown between the Palestinians and the Lebanese Front in Beirut. It was one of the hardest battles fought during the war. The next day the PLO special forces expanded their positions to gain control of the heights overlooking Tal al Zaatar, pinning down the rightist militiamen. All counterattacks mounted by the Lebanese were beaten back. Within the camp, heavy artillery fired on the Maronite northlands, as new fighting erupted in downtown Beirut. Chamoun, supporting Gemayel's position, said publicly that the battles were predominantly between the Lebanese-right and the PLO-left. The hotel district came under intense fire once more, as the PLO warned the Lebanese to lift the siege of Tal al Zaatar and the Jisr al-Basha camps. More than a thousand Palestinian troops were quickly transported from South Lebanon and redeployed in and around the Shiyah district, awaiting instructions to open a new front. On January 7 a force of 1200 Palestinians that had been diverted from the south attacked the region of Horsh Tabet from West Beirut in an effort to get to Tal al Zaatar and break the seige. Pitched battles took place between Phalangist forces and Palestinian Fedayin in the streets. After three days of heavy close quarter combat the Palestinian assault was repelled. Over the next four months the siege was tightened and the Lebanese Front tried to negotiate a surrender as they felt a large scale assault on the camps would be too costly in terms of human lives. Tal al-Zaatar contained about 2,500 Palestinian guerrillas intermixed with a civilian population of roughly 15,000. The camp was divided into five main sections controlled by different factions of the PLO, Fatah, the PFLP-GC (Ahmad Jibril), the PFLP (George Habash), The PDFLP (Hawatmeh), and Saiqa. This Saiqa unit which under normal conditions would be under Syrian control was taking orders from PLO command. These PLO camps near the Beirut River were heavily armed fortresses built around a former industrial park. Within the two sprawling camps, the PLO's furthest outpost in Christian-held territory, was an impressive array of military armaments, which included surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles, artillery, antiaircraft guns, and PLO special forces. Because Tal al-Zaatar was honeycombed with bunkers and tunnels and a layered defense system the camp, which was a seventy-four-acre complex, would be able to hold out for months against repeated attacks. On the 22 June 1976 after all surrender negotiations failed the Lebanese Front launched an offensive against the camp. Facing the PLO was a small combined force of Lebanese Front militiamen consisting of some 500 Guardian of the Cedars fighters, 500 Ahrar Tigers, 300 Tanzim, and some 100 fighters from the Maroun Khoury group (MKG). These fighters were joined a week later by some 100 Kataeb troops. The Lebanese Front were supported and advised by Lebanese army officers. The PLO claimed that Syrian and Israeli advisers were also present but this does not appear to be the case. Overall command was in the hands of a committee that included Danny Chamoun (Ahrar), Etienne Sakr (Guardians), Charles Akl (Guardians), George Adwan (Tanzim), Maroun Khoury (MKG), and Michel Aoun and Fuad Malek of the Lebanese Army. The attack was a three pronged affair on the outer perimeter of the camp with the Guardians on the Dautzigian front, the Ahrar Tigers on the Gervais front and the Tanzim attacking Tallet el mir. The attackers encountered heavy resistance and although the Guardian of the Cedars objectives on the Dautzigian front were reached, the progress of the Ahrar and the Tanzim was slow and so resulted in the Guardians being pinned down by Palestinian positions that the Ahrar and the Tanzim should have taken on the Gervais and Tallet el mir fronts. Enforcements where rushed to the Ahrar and Tanzim and by nightfall all the objectives on the outer perimeter of the camp had been reached and secured. Further advances proved difficult due to the impressive ability of the defenders of the camp and cover fire from nearby Nabaa and Jisr al Basha both of which were still under assault. Despite numerous calls for the Palestinians to surrender, Arafat felt that a large military defeat would result in a political victory and so he called upon those inside the camp to go on fighting regardless being hopelessly surrounded, in short Arafat wanted as many Palestinian casualties as possible. Arafat appealed to his fighters to turn Tal al-Zaatar into 'a Stalingrad'. At one point during a ceasefire Arafat told his men to agree to surrender and then he ordered his senior officers to open fire on the Lebanese forces so as to enrage the Lebanese. As heavy fighting raged in the Nabaa district, June 29 1976 saw the camp at Jisr el Basha fall freeing up troops to be directed against Tal al-Zaatar. The victory at Jisr al-Basha established Lebanese Front policy for future campaigns. Arrangements were be made to evacuate all troops and civilians, using the International Red Cross as a neutral observer group to prevent outrages from occurring. The PLO and leftist forces at Tal al Zaatar, however, said that they would never surrender and, should the camp be overrun, they would kill hostages and resort to a policy of continued resistance behind the enemy lines. Nevertheless, the PLO threat went unheeded. After some many days of constant combat, the right wing leadership paid little attention to PLO or leftist remarks or threats. The Lebanese Front proved true to their words. Under Syrian protection, the Red Cross quickly moved into the Jisr al-Basha camp and removed the remaining civilian refugees and prisoners. The following day, the drive for Tal al Zaatar resumed. Three tanks took up positions on the outskirts of the cluster of concrete blockhouses that controlled the main entrances into the camp. A fourth tank had been knocked out by either a land mine or an antitank gun. A member of the Guardians of the Cedars, called on all hostages in the camp to seek shelter pending their rescue after the battle had been won. A Lebanese assault then overran the camps's outer perimeter. The Palestinians, however, on 2 July managed to knock a hole in the rightists' lines in an attempt to infiltrate the camp, bringing in more sophisticated weapons including multibarreled rocket launchers and ammunition. The rightists quickly plugged the hole in their lines and tightened their grip on the camp. Tal al Zaatar was completely encircled by the eleventh day of fighting, and therefore, the Lebanese forces made one last effort to end the conflict by negotiations. They asked the camp leaders to surrender peacefully, and in return, the combatants would be allowed to leave unharmed under the escort of the Arab League's forces. This effort was an attempt to show the Arab World that the rightists were not against the PLO, only against their involvement with the Lebanese-left and their uncontrolled, sprawling presence in Lebanon. Arafat's second-incommand, Salah Khalaf (better known as Abu Iyad), rejected the rightists' offer and ordered the camp to fight to the end. The PLO had decided not to show weakness or capitulate to the Lebanese-right. At about the same time, Farouk Kaddoumi, a member of the PLO's political office, threatened an all-out war against the right and called for Arab troops and Moslem volunteers to enter Lebanon in order to save the Palestinian revolution there from foreign conspiracies. As he made his appeal, Christian areas in the suburbs of Beirut and the eastern mountains witnessed day-and-night shelling that surpassed anything thrown at them during the previous months. Nevertheless, the siege of Tal al Zaatar continued uninterrupted. As many of the Christian forces were tied down fighting Palestinians in East Beirut the PLO and their allies launched a massive offensive against the Kura and the Christian town of Chekka north of Beirut on the 5th July 1976 and started to slaughter civilians. Chekka was able to repell the attackers but was surrounded and heavily bombarded. With Chekka on the verge of collapse, church bells in the heavily Maronite Christian region began to ring, warning people of imminent defeat and to be ready to defend themselves. Hundreds of men descended from the mountains to the coastal plains to try and push the attackers back into Tripoli. With great urgency, a substantial number Lebanese Front troops were rushed by night from the Tal al Zaatar front to reinforce towns and villages in northern Lebanon in hopes of preventing a large-scale massacre of Christians by the leftists and PLO. First on the scene were the Guardians of the Cedars who encountered heavy resistance and were rapidly enforced by Kataeb and Ahrar forces. In several hard-fought battles, the leftists were either stopped or pushed back to their old lines, and several towns were retaken by the Lebanese Front. However, at the industrial town of Chekka, Christian resistance was waning. It therefore required a large-scale support effort with jeeps, trucks, and buses carrying troops into the combat zone. It was, however, Lebanese Front artillery that broke the siege and saved the town on the 10th July. PLO forces however still held on to part of Chekka and to Amyun, south of Tripoli. The Lebanese Front, under the protection of their field artillery, moved on these two towns to engage the entrenched PLO forces there. Before nightfall, the towns were liberated. Before the final onslaught on Tal al Zaatar could take place, North Lebanon had to be secured and relieved of any future PLO threat. A devasting surprise counter attack was launched on the PLO as the forces that had come to Chekka's rescue advanced north against the PLO. With Marada attacking southwards from Zgharta, the surprise counteroffensive by the Christians pushed the leftists far from their former positions and reached the very gates of Tripoli. By the end of July, the rightwing forces had pushed the leftists back and bottled them up in the city. President Franjieh's Marada troops, who hailed from Zgharta and were commanded by his son Tony, kept the PLO pinned down in Tripoli to allow the other Lebanese Front fighters to return to the Tal al Zaatar battle. Syria restrained the Marada advance on Tripoli to avoid a major victory by the right. The Marada forces were largely restricted to the outskirts of Tripoli and to their own territory. Meanwhile the battle raged at Tal al Zaatar and PLO forces from Tal al Zaatar managed to tunnel their way into the predominantly Moslem neighborhood of Nabaa to join the leftists entrenched there who were providing cover fire for the camp. Clashes were reported between these Palestinians and the ultra right-wing Armenian Tashnak Party, whose headquarters was in nearby Burj Hammoud. On July 8th the leftists opened new fronts in the port and business districts, hoping to draw the rightists away from Tal al Zaatar, but the assaults were quickly repulsed by local defenders. With new supplies and battle-hardened troops from the northern campaign, the rightists amassed their forces to end the siege of the camp. repeated attacks were beaten back by machine-gun and rocket fire directed from a towering edifice. This was an old factory building from which outgoing fire was guided, located in the heart of the camp, near the PLO's last stronghold. On July 13th William Hawi, commander of the Kataeb military forces was shot and killed by a sniper whilst he was inspecting his forces on the edge of the camp. Bashir Gemayel assumed command of te Kataeb and the Lebanese Front fighters were joined by a further 100 Kataeb troops and 350 Ahrar troops who had been diverted from other fronts. By the third week of July 1976, the oppressively muggy heat of that summer began to take its toll on the combatants. On 20 July 1976 a group of civilian hostages and wounded defenders appeared, hands held high as they surrendered. Quickly they were taken to Amine Gemayel's headquarters for questioning, and later that day, they were released into the custody of the Red Cross. The remaining troops and civilians were holding out in one corner of the underground complex and had vowed to fight to the end. The rightists, who were overconfident that the end of the campaign was near, stepped up their operations on two sides of the last building but were repeatedly driven back by sniper fire. The camp had survived the twenty-eighth day of battle. While the battle for the camp raged on, heavy fighting continued in the capital and the outlying areas, particularly at the town of Ayn Tura, located between Zahle and Junieh. Rocket duels, mortar fire, and machine-gun bursts across the Beirut dividing line kept up the pressure on the militias as new plans were drawn up for the continuing siege of the devastated PLO camp in East Beirut. Excessive fighting continued around the camp, but no new positions were taken. The rightist forces halted the shelling of long enough to allow a Red Cross delegate and a physician to take in medical supplies to treat the sick and wounded in the camp. The cease-fire continued for seven hours until all could be treated. It was arranged by the Phalangists, the PLO, and General Muhammad Hassan Ghoneim of the Arab League forces. However, the NLP, under Camille Chamoun, was not consulted, since he had opposed even a limited cease-fire until after Tal al Zaatar surrendered. His troops did observe the cease-fire, however, out of respect for the Arab League's authority. The Red Cross requested permission to evacuate about a thousand troops and civilians from the underground hospital in the camp. Three Swiss delegates began negotiations with the rightist command to begin evacuation procedures. The leader of the group, Jean Hoefliger, the chief delegate of the International Red Cross in Lebanon, considered his initial mission a success and thanked the Phalangist leadership for its humanitarian concern for the civilian hostages there amid strong passions and taut emotions. His deputy delegate, Edmond Cortesi, echoed Hoefliger's sentiments. The Lebanese met PLO representatives to discuss a cease-fire, since storming the camp would be too costly. The rightists had already lost close to four hundred men in the battle, which was an extraordinarily high number. It was believed that about four hundred defenders remained in the camp and that they were very well equipped to withstand assault. Toward the last week of July, in what was more or less a face-saving gesture for both the PLO and the Lebanese Forces, a new cease-fire was negotiated between the two groups, under Arab League auspices. As the negotiations approached their final stage, news reached the Arab League envoy, Sabry al-Khouly, that the roof of the underground shelter at Tal al Zaatar had collapsed. Kamal Junblat requested immediate aid for the victims of the disaster, while the rightist forces there observed a temporary cessation of hostilities in order to save the entombed civilians and to assist those who had exited the ruins. The new cease-fire was extended to include the business district, airport, and the roads linking the Christian suburbs of al-Hazmiyah with the airport, but it clearly excluded Tal al Zaatar. The harbor area, which was still in rightist hands, would be opened to the Moslem sector of the city to allow it to receive badly needed supplies. At the camp, under intermittent fire, rightist rescue workers, digging tunnels and trenches, brought out scores of civilians who were trapped within their reach. They had been close to death by asphyxiation in their shelter and were immediately treated and given over to the Red Cross, which transferred them to the Red Crescent, its Moslem equivalent. The Red Cross, meanwhile, had called for a three-day truce around the camp in order to evacuate the wounded. In what now seemed an unbelievable act of evil, the PLO headquarters, which was still in radio communication with the defenders at Tal al Zaatar, urged its combatants to fight on against the Lebanese Forces. August 1, 1976, saw a Red Cross convoy pick its way through winding, makeshift roads to the approaches of the main buildings of the Tal al Zaatar camp. The road had been cleared of the ruin of battle but stopped short before the last stronghold of the Palestinian defenders. After several postponements due to continual sniper fire, the Red Cross convoy had stopped just in front of the no-man's-land that separated the combatants. The rightist command warned that it was too risky to proceed; apparently, the defenders of Tal al Zaatar believed that the rightists would use Red Cross vehicles and workers as shields to penetrate the heart of the camp. Consequently, the rescue effort came to a grinding halt. A similar lack of trust was expressed by Abu Arz, a commander of the Guardians of the Cedars, who informed Red Cross workers that the evacuation had to be comprised of four stages, with the wounded leaving last, should the PLO or leftist forces come out shooting while shielding themselves behind their hostages or the Red Cross personnel. With a pledge of noninterference coming from the camp, the Lebanese Front leadership "gave the green light" to the Red Cross to begin the evacuation of the wounded from Tal al Zaatar. A cease-fire went into effect. Nine trucks and two ambulances would make the first run and take out about a hundred people. The agreement, which initially was to be only a test, was negotiated between the PLO and the Red Cross by the Arab League envoy in the Christian district of Ashrafiyah, in East Beirut. On August 3, ninety-nine wounded civilian hostages were brought out of Tal al Zaatar by the Red Cross, under military escort of the rightists. The convoy crossed the demarcation line in Beirut and was greeted by a small crowd of onlookers in Moslem West Beirut. Gunmen fired salvos into the air to mark the group's safe arrival. The next day, fifteen trucks began the second run to Tal al Zaatar. Another 245 civilians were evacuated, but safety could not be guaranteed for any more runs, since shots had struck a Red Cross vehicle. The Red Cross attempted another rescue at the beleaguered camp. However, in panic, hundreds of people, including PLO commandos, stormed aboard the Red Cross trucks, and in the confusion, other PLO troops shot into the air to quell the disturbance and regain some semblance of order. Apparently, some of the right-wing forces were confused by what they believed was incoming fire, and they shot back at the PLO commandos. Thus, the Red Cross trucks were caught in the middle of the firefight. About thirty people, including a Swiss driver, were injured in the attempt when they were hit by crossfire from opposing sides. The Red Cross abruptly canceled all further evacuations, and shelling resumed about the camp and at Nabaa. Only seventy-four persons had been taken out that day in three of the eighteen trucks in the convoy. A rightist military leader apologized to the Red Cross for the incident indicating that the troops had responded to shots from the other side. It was at this stage that the fighters at the camp realized that they were facing imminent defeat and began to rquest permission to surrender from their head quarters. Each time they were sent the same message: "Fight on". The Saiqa men in the camp wanting to save as many civilian lives as they could started to smuggle dozens of people each night for the next 4 nights across the adjacent orange grove to the Dekwaneh sector and hand them over to the Phalangists who held a small front there. Chamoun's NLP Ahrar and Guardians of the Cedars troops pushed into the perimeters of the Nabaa district on a search-and-destroy mission whilest the pressure on the camp was kept up. Finally victory came at Nabaa on August 6th, where the rightist forces wiped out leftist defenders and foreign forces in a mop-up campaign, thus closing-in on Tal al Zaatar. As soon as Nabaa fell the parasites that are always found in the shadow of armies and soldiers moved in, as had happened before in the Kantari district, to loot and pilage. This time however it was not the Muslims or leftists doing the looting but Christians. Scenes that were witnessed some months before when bodies of Lebanese fighters where dragged behind cars throughout west Beirut were now repeated as bodies of dead Palestinian fighters were dragged behind cars throughout east Beirut. When the Cedarland webmaster recently asked the Guardians field commander at the battle, Charles Akl, about such disgraceful treatment of dead fighters he said: "We were soldiers. Soldiers do not behave in such a way. We respected the dead of our enemy and hoped that they respected our fallen brothers. In war there are always those who enter the field after the battle is over to see how they may profit. It is this scum that desecrated the dead inorder to impress their friends and pretend to be heroes or to show off to the ladies. Scum like these are cowards that had never fired a single shot in combat". Elsewhere in the capital, fighting raged about the commercial district and in the suburbs. Shiyah and Ayn al-Rumanah were gutted in flames. By now some 2000 Lebanese fighters were in some way involved around Tal al Zaatar. A three-pronged attack ensued at the camp, where the rightists gained new ground in heavy fighting, taking the PFLP headquarters located deep within the confines of the camp. However, they were forced to pull back when Palestinian artillery fire was called in on the camp. The battle was turning suicidal. With the pullback, several hundred Palestinian civilians joined the besiegers and took refuge among the Christians near the camp and at Nabaa. The bulk of the Palestinian fighters, in an apparent attempt to save the civilians in the camp, finally allowed the noncombatants to leave after forty-nine days of captivity. The end of Tal al Zaatar was in sight. Lebanese commanders called for volunteers for the last assault on the surrounded fortress. The defenders of the camp had poured barrels of oil, gasoline, and other flammable liquids about their position and were pledging to fight to the end. The incendiaries were to be ignited as the Christian forces approached underground matrix that was the last stronghold of the PLO and leftist forces. It was estimated that a third to a half of the assault force would perish in the inferno before reaching the underground complex. As the men stepped forward to volunteer commanders weeded out any person who was a sole survivor of his family. The remaining civilians poured forth from the camp over rubble-strewn streets, carrying what was left of their possessions. They were quickly transported to Moslem West Beirut after receiving immediate medical aid, food, and water. The Red Cross hastily cleared the area of refugees, although some were interrogated about the defense of the compound. According to the Red Cross, over 90 percent of the civilians were successfully evacuated before the fall of the camp. For the last time, Lebanese command called for the unconditional surrender of the camp. They were rebuffed, as usual. The Palestinian commander at the camp implied that they would all go into a flaming hell together. After one of the most intensive softening up barrages yet use Lebanese troops rushed the compound at which point civilians started running out brushing past Palestinians still firing from perimeter strong points. It was chaos, the stench of burning flesh permeated the air; the entrance to the complex was breached. Fighting raged on for about twenty minutes within the complex. All eyes were focused, concentrated, on the assault area. Local commanders strained to hold back additional volunteers from entering the compound. As suddenly as the shooting started it stopped. Then the first Lebanese fighter emerged and pandemonium broke out; shots were fired into the air, and cheers filled the sky. A train of captives followed and was taken away. They were quickly searched and loaded onto three army trucks and speedily dispatched out of the war zone by the Red Cross. And so on August 12 right wing forces finally overran the camp after a 52 day siege. Rumors of massacres at the camp started to spread in West Beirut but these proved to be greatly exaggerated as most of the dead fell during the storming of the camp and not afterwards. Pierre Maltchef a Tanzim officer when asked about mistreatment of prisoners said: "This was not our policy, but if a PLO fighter fell into the hands of a man whose family had been killed, or whose sister had been raped, or whose home had been destroyed by them, he would take his revenge. We tried to stop those who wanted to do it, but we didn't always succeed. We admit some prisoners were tortured. None of us has forgotten Damour". (Becker, The PLO) Over the next two days the camp was bulldozed so as to prevent possible return. About 2000 people died in fighting during the entire siege, and 4,000 were wounded. The surviving civilians were settled by The PLO in other camps and in Damour. John Bulloch, the Daily Telegraph correspondent in Beirut at the time wrote, "In their bitterness the Palestinian commanders ordered their artillery to open up on the fringes of the camp with the ostensible objective of hampering the attackers and helping those inside; instead the shells were landing among the hundreds who had got through the perimeter and were trying to escape. When they were told of this, the Palestinians made no attempt to lift their fire: they wanted martyrs". Robert Fisk wrote in his biographical profile of Yasser Arafat, The broken revolutionary: "When Arafat needed martyrs in 1976, he called for a truce around the besieged refugee camp of Tel el-Zaatar, then ordered his commanders in the camp to fire at their right-wing Lebanese Christian enemies. When, as a result, the Phalangists and "Tigers" militia slaughtered their way into Tel el-Zaatar, Arafat opened a "martyrs' village" for camp widows in the sacked Christian village of Damour. On his first visit, the widows pelted him with stones and rotten fruit. Journalists were ordered away at gunpoint." In an L.A. Weekly interview published May 30, 2002 Fisk recalls "Arafat is a very immoral person, or maybe very amoral. A very cynical man. I remember when the Tal-al-Zaatar refugee camp in Beirut had to surrender to Christian forces in the very brutal Lebanese civil war. They were given permission to surrender with a cease-fire. But at the last moment, Arafat told his men to open fire on the Christian forces who were coming to accept the surrender. I think Arafat wanted more Palestinian "martyrs" in order to publicize the Palestinian position in the war. That was in 1976. Believe me that Arafat is not a changed man." Despite the loss of Tal al-Zaatar, the PLO still had however a massive military machine in Lebanon. The Riyadh Conference and the Arab Deterrent Force In October 1976 a League of Arab States (Arab League) summit conference was convened in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to resolve the Lebanese crisis. The conference did not address the underlying political and demographic problems, only the security situation. The resulting multilateral agreement mandated a cease-fire and, at the Lebanese government's behest, authorized the creation of the Arab Deterrent Force (ADF) to impose and supervise the cease-fire. In theory the ADF, funded by the Arab League, was to be a pan-Arab peacekeeping force under the supreme command of the Lebanese president. In reality, only about 5,000 Arab troops from Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf states, Libya, and Sudan augmented the existing Syrian forces. Moreover, Syria would not relinquish actual command over its soldiers. Therefore, the agreement in effect legitimized and subsidized any future occupation of Syrian occupation of Lebanon. The most strenuous opposition to the ADF, ironically, was voiced by Maronite leaders who objected to the presence of Syrian troops in Maronite territory. President Sarkis held intensive meetings with the leaders of the Lebanese Front-President Faranjiyih, Pierre Gemayel of the Kataib Party, Kamil Shamoun of the National Liberal Party, and Father Sharbil Kassis of the Maronite Monastic Orders-and gradually persuaded them to agree to the new arrangement. Convincing the anti-establishment forces was largely the domain of Fatah, which exacted compliance from LNM and Palestinian Rejectionist groups. The latter at least derived consolation from the entry of "Arab" troops into Maronite territory. In protest of the latest developments Etienne Sakr moved his Guardian fighters to the mountains of Aqoura where he set up training bases to prepare for future military operations against the Syrian forces whom he regarded as occupation troops. At a press conference he stated: "The Lebanese liberated territory that fought for the past 18 months to prevent the Palestinians and their mercenaries from occupying it will not allow the Arab troops to occupy them now. Our martyrs who gave their lives protecting it will not accept the exchanging a Palestinian occupation for an Arab one...In conformity with all this, and with respect to the memory of our valiant martyrs, we have decided, my fellow combatants and myself, to retire to a region of our noble mountain, calling upon the Lebanese people to support us and toil with us to prevent the foreign occupation." (10th of November, 1976) On November 14th when Syrian troops painted their helmets green and moved into their new positions as an Arab Deterrent Force, no resistance was mounted. One explanatory factor is sheer exhaustion; after the loss of over 65,000 lives and the breakdown of fifty-five previous cease-fire agreements, the Lebanese were in no position to resume hostilities without outside assistance. In the summer of 1977 Syria, the PLO, and the government of Lebanon signed the Shtawrah Accord, which detailed the planned disposition of the ADF in Lebanon and called for a reconstituted Lebanese Army to take over PLO positions in southern Lebanon. The Red Line Arrangement Meanwhile, Israel grew concerned over the Syrian military presence in Lebanon, particularly as the Syrian Army pursued retreating Palestinians and Muslim leftists into southern Lebanon. Israel believed that the Syrian forces, massed in southern Lebanon, might attack Israel across the unfortified Lebanese border and thus avoid the need to penetrate the heavily defended Golan Heights. Therefore, Israel enunciated its "Red Line" policy, threatening to attack Syria if it crossed a line identified geographically with the Litani River. Thus, Syrian forces were generally precluded from moving south of the Litani. The Red Line was a geographic line, but it was also more subjective than a line on a map. Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin identified the Red Line as a guideline for gauging Syria's overall military behavior in Lebanon, and he described several criteria Israel would use: the objectives of Syrian forces and against whom they were operating, the geographical area and its proximity to Israel's borders, the strength and composition of Syrian forces, and the duration of their stay in a given area. Operation Litani By time the Lebanese war had erupted the PLO had already created a quasi-governmental autonomy in Lebanon, a state-within-a-state which became known as Fatahland where the PLO ruled supreme and took the law into their own hands. In Fatahland, on the foothills of Mount Hermon, up to 15,000 guerrillas were trained to carry out attacks on Israel. Because it was skeptical about the willingness and capability of the Lebanese Army to implement the Shtawrah Accord by displacing the PLO in southern Lebanon and securing the border area, in 1977 Israel started to equip and fund a renegade Christian remnant of the Lebanese Army led by Major Saad Haddad. Haddad's force, which became known as The Free Lebanon Army, and later as the South Lebanon Army (SLA), grew to a strength of about 3,000 men and was allied closely with Israel. Haddad eventually proclaimed the enclave he controlled "Free Lebanon." The insulation provided by this buffer area permitted Israel to open up its border with Lebanon. Under this so-called "Good Fence" policy, Israel provided aid and conducted trade with Lebanese living near the border... During this operation, Mr. Elie HOBEIKA fought alongside IDF commandos, against the PLO thugs and KILLERS, and he was awarded a medal by IDF afterwards, as best commando in south Lebanon...in the words of IDF... On March 11, 1978, PLO terrorists made a sea landing in Haifa, Israel, commandeered a bus, and then drove toward Tel Aviv, firing from the windows. By the end of the day, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had killed the nine terrorists, who had murdered thirty-seven Israeli civilians. In retaliation, four days later Israel launched Operation Litani, invading Lebanon with a force of 25,000 men. The purpose of the operation was to push PLO positions away from the border and bolster the power of the SLA. The IDF first seized a security belt about ten kilometers deep, but then pushed north and captured all of Lebanon south of the Litani River, inflicting thousands of casualties. The operation had failed to break the power of the PLO in the south and soon the PLO was able to rearm and fortify its bases in southern Lebanon to the point where Fatahland could boast the equivalent of five infantry brigades. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was established by the United Nations (UN) Security Council with Resolution 425 on March 19, 1978, "for the purpose of confirming the withdrawal of Israeli forces, restoring international peace and security, and assisting the government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area." Subsequent Resolution 426 defined UNIFIL's rules of engagement and instructed it to "use its best efforts to prevent the recurrence of fighting" and to ensure that its area of operation would not be used for hostile activities of any kind. UNIFIL consisted of approximately 7,000 men from 14 UN member states and between 30 and 90 military observers from the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, headquartered in the town of An Naqurah. UNIFIL, however, encountered difficulty in performing its mission. Resolution 425 made "full cooperation of all parties concerned" a prerequisite for UNIFIL's deployment. Although Israel had agreed formally to take the necessary steps for compliance with the resolution, it did not believe that UNIFIL could stop PLO incursions across the border. Therefore, when Israel started to withdraw in late March, it refused to relinquish all of the territory it had conquered in southern Lebanon to UNIFIL. Instead, Israel turned over an enclave to its proxy force, the SLA, increasing the area under Major Haddad's control. This area included not only the ten-kilometer-deep security belt adjacent to the Israeli border but also a vertical north-south corridor running from the border to the Litani River and splitting the UNIFIL area into two noncontiguous zones. Other parties frustrated the UNIFIL peacekeeping efforts. Although the PLO also had promised to cooperate, it argued that the 1969 Cairo Agreement entitled it to operate in southern Lebanon, and it attempted to reoccupy areas after Israel withdrew. Furthermore, on the grounds that the IDF had not occupied Tyre, the PLO refused to allow UNIFIL to police the city, and Palestinian patrols attempted repeatedly to pass through UNIFIL lines. For its part, the SLA did not even make a pretense of cooperating with UNIFIL. Instead, it attacked UNIFIL personnel and encroached on UNIFIL's perimeter. Nevertheless, UNIFIL restored order to the areas under its control and served as an effective buffer force insulating Israel from the Palestinians. It set up roadblocks, checkpoints, and observation posts, interdicting approximately ten guerrilla patrols per month heading toward Israel. When UNIFIL apprehended Palestinian guerrillas, it confiscated their weapons but usually returned them later to PLO leaders. UNIFIL paid a price for performing its mission, however; between 1978 and 1982, thirty-six UNIFIL members were killed in action. In late 1987 the future of UNIFIL was in doubt. Ironically, Israel, which had long considered it a hindrance to its operations, changed its policy and in 1986 praised the positive role UNIFIL played in stabilizing the region. For its part, the government of Lebanon requested that UNIFIL be expanded to police almost the entire country. But at the same time, the Shias in southern Lebanon, who had traditionally supported UNIFIL, turned against the organization. In September 1986, Shia extremists started attacking UNIFIL's French contingent, and in five weeks of combat they killed four and wounded thirty. UNIFIL's casualty toll mounted and by mid-1987 stood at 139 killed and over 200 wounded. In 1986 the United States Congress cut the annual United States appropriation to UNIFIL from US$40 million to US$18 million, while France announced that it would withdraw its troops from UNIFIL in 1987. UNIFIL however did survive and although it has been prevented from fulfilling its mandate, its contribution to stability in the region and the limited protection it has been able to provide to the local population remained important. The Force has recently been streamlined in order to achieve savings without affecting its operational effectiveness. The mandate has so far been renewed every six months. Syrian Occupation and Clashes with the Lebanese Army On November 19th 1977 President Sadat of Egypt made a visit to Israel, a visit which caused shock in the Arab world and later resulted in Sadat's assassination. This marked a turning point in Lebanese Syrian relations as Syria suddenly found itself isolated and facing Israel alone. Syria reversed its position and started to rearm and enforce the PLO. When the Syrians began to act like an occupying army, however, the Maronites' fear of Palestinian dominance was replaced by fear of Syrian dominance. It was becoming clear by 1978 that the Syrians had come into Lebanon to stay as for years they had dreamt of annexing Lebanon. Instead of just separating the various sides the Syrians began to slowly occupy vast areas of Lebanon and stationed troops in areas that were of no strategic importance and that had seen no fighting. As contributing Arab states withdrew their contingents from the ADF Syrian dominance of the force increased dramatically, by mid 1978 all Arab troops except the Syrians had withdrawn. Syrian troops that had entered Christian areas in 1976 had not left and had become a great concern, furthermore the Syrians had started to rearm and train the leftist factions. The Lebanese Forces now looked upon the Syrians as an army of occupation and needed to act, they began to confront the Syrians. Covert Christian-Israeli co-operation tapered off after Syria intervened in June 1976 and quelled the sectarian fighting. Gemayel, recognizing that only Israel was powerful enough to expel the Syrians, renewed contact with Israel; his initiative coincided with the victory of the Likud Party in Israel's 1977 elections. The new prime minister, Menachim Begin, was more inclined to support the Christians than his predecessor, both for ideological and for tactical reasons. Begin empathized with the Christians as a kindred, embattled religious minority and promised to prevent their "genocide." At the same time, he perceived the Maronites as a fifth column in Lebanon to check the power of the Palestinians. Arms shipments were stepped up, hundreds of Phalangist and Tiger militiamen were trained in Israel, and Israeli intelligence and security advisers were dispatched to East Beirut. The beginning of 1978 was marked by a series of bloody incidents between the Syrians and the Lebanese Forces and at one point Bashir Gemayel was arrested at a Syrian Army check point in Ashrafieh. February 7, 1978 saw a clash take place between the Lebanese Army and the Syrian Army in Fiyadieh, the site of the Lebanese Army barracks and the military command of Mount Lebanon. Near the Lebanese Army barracks the Syrians set up a check point to which the Lebanese Army objected and when the Syrians tried to seize Lebanese Army military vehicles stationed at Fayadieh fighting breaking out between them. 20 people were killed and a detachment of another 20 Syrians were captured and taken prisoner by the Lebanese Army, the next morning the bodies of two murdered Christian civilians had been found close by. The Syrians then surrounded and heavily bombarded the barracks, fighting spread to nearby districts and the Ahrar Tigers where drawn into the action against the Syrians, that afternoon the shelled Ashrafieh and attack the Ahrar HQ, but were repelled with the loss of five men. Fighting carried on into February 9th, Camille Chamoun accused the Syrians of having become an army of occupation and although Pierre and Bashir Gemayel did not order the Phalangists to engage the Syrians, many became involved voluntarily. By nightfall on February 9th fighting died down and the death toll was put at 100 Syrians and 50 Lebanese. On the 13th, hundreds of Lebanese in the south held a protest accusing the Syrians of inciting Palestinians to shell their villages and on the 16th the 20 Syrians taken prisoner were released. Hostilities broke out again on 9th April 1978 between the Lebanese Front and the Palestinians. This latest round began after the Syrians failed to restrain the Palestinians who were firing on the Lebanese Christians. As fighting intensified the Syrians went finally into action, but against the Christians in east Beirut. On 12th and 13th they launched an extensive artillery attack on east Beirut. On the 14th a ceasefire was declared but for the Lebanese Front it was the last straw. The Lebanese Front asked and then finally ordered the Syrians to leave Beirut and the surrounding regions but to no avail. Bashir Gemayel decided to take on the Syrians, possibly emboldened by what he thought was Israel's willingness to intervene militarily in Lebanon, Bashir Gemayel launched a series of direct attacks against the Syrian army occupying Lebanon. Marada and the Assassination of Tony Franjieh Tension was building between members of the Lebanese Front in May 1978 due to what many felt was Sulayman Franjieh's pro Syrian stance, and his intention to break away from the Front. At the start of the war Franjieh had been obliged to call on the Phalange for help in the north of Lebanon where before the war the Phalange had not been a major force especially in Zgharta, Franjieh's home town. By 1978 the Phalange had become well established in the region and where picking up recruits and threatening Marada's protection rackets particularly around Chekka. Marada was Franjieh's militia commanded by his son Tony. By the spring of 1978 Franjieh had asked the Phalange to pull out of the north so as to leave Tony in charge of the area. By now the Phalange were losing men daily as they were picked off by Marada, and Phalange members were denied basic goods and services in the north after being black listed by Marada. Attempts to reconcile the two factions at Bkerke were not successful and in May Franjieh had stopped attending Lebanese Front meetings and began courting the Syrians. Matters came to a head on June 8 1978 when a local Phalange leader, Joud el Bayeh, was murdered by six armed men sent by Tony Franjieh. Bashir Gemayel decided to strike back. On June 13, 1978, Gemayel launched a surprise attack that decimated the Marada Brigade, Tony Franjieh was killed in the attack. The operation was lead by Samir Geagea and it was claimed by him and by Gemayel that its purpose was to arrest the killers of Bayeh and to take and hold the town of Ehden, the Franjieh summer residence, until Marada withdrew from Chekka. The Phalangist force assembled at Qnat and were in position at Ehden at 4:00 am, the main assault force struck the Franjieh residence first which was also a communication centre and weapons storage facility. During the fighting Geagea was seriously wounded in the shoulder and lost consciousness. In the assault, Tony, his wife, baby daughter, maid, dog, and some 35 of his men were killed. Withdrawal proved difficult with Syrian check points everywhere, Syrian planes also strafed the raiders. With the Marada on the streets in large numbers, many of the Phalangists had to wait until nightfall and make their way back to their lines on foot. Seven of the raiding commandos were killed. The exact circumstances of Tony's death remain vague with accounts of Tony and his family being already dead when the Geagea strike force arrived, while other accounts claim that there were two raiding parties with NADER SUKKAR leading one of them. The 100 Days War, the Battle of Ashrafieh On 28th June 1978 Syrian gunmen kidnapped and then killed thirty Lebanese Christians from four villages in the Bekaa Valley, the Lebanese Front claimed that this act was part of a Syrian goal to weaken the Christian community by forcing the Christians out the Bekaa. Fighting broke out and Syria rushed forces to Beirut and on July 1st 1978 unleashed a devastating artillery attack across Christian East Beirut, particularly the Phalangist stronghold of Ashrafieh, in preparation for taking over the area, and for a hundred days the Syrians pounded Ashrafieh. On 4th July Camille Chamoun called again for the withdrawal of the Syrian troops from Beirut insisting that only the Lebanese Army should be responsible for security in the capital. Syria stated its conditions for a ceasefire which included further deployment of Syrian troops in the region, restrictions on the Lebanese Front, and that Lebanon cease all criticism of the Syrian media and of Syrian government policies. On July 6th, President Sarkis announced his resignation saying that the Syrians had been carrying out operations behind his back entirely without his approval and that the Syrian conditions for a ceasefire were without logic and not acceptable. The Israelis accused the Syrians of trying to annihilate the Christian population of Lebanon and said they would not allow this to happen. Shortly afterwards, the fighting in Beirut eased. Under pressure from the Americans, Sarkis withdrew his resignation on 15th July. The right-wing forces, consequently, prepared for a new onslaught and possible close physical combat by escorting the civilians out of the contested areas of East Beirut. No compromise had been forthcoming since the battle had ended. The Lebanese-right adamantly refused to turn over its areas to Syrian troops or to cooperate with a Syrian takeover in the capital. In fact, the Lebanese Forces called on Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon and concentrate its efforts against its enemies holding the Golan Heights, which was Syrian territory. In the strongest words yet to come from the Lebanese Front, it accused Syria of trying to steal a piece of Lebanon while Israel was trying to steal a piece of Syria. By mid- July 1978 East Beirut was ablaze once more, the mass devastation in the embattled eastern part of the capital had testified to the strength, ferocity, and effectiveness of Syria's long-range weapons. Still, however, all attempts to take the Ayn al-Rumanah district failed, although battles continued in the suburb of al-Hadath. In that battle, the pine trees that overlooked the town were set aflame by artillery fire and explosions were heard as far away as the western edge of the capital. After four days of indiscriminate heavy shelling, al-Hadath continued to hold out, its defenders having repulsed both infantry and mechanized assaults, but at a high cost in lives on both sides. Thus, as July drew to a close, the Syrians broke off hostilities and the Lebanese Army took up positions in the hillside suburb of al-Hadath. The military encounters in and around the capital had eased off by early August, but both parties to the hostilities were preparing for a major showdown. The Syrian-sponsored ADF was prepared, at all costs it seemed, to end the power of both the Phalangists and the NLP. The rightists, on the other hand, were determined to stop Syria from making Lebanon its new province or colony. The PLO and its leftist allies stood on the sidelines, preparing to gain from the collapse of either Syrian or rightist strength. As Beirut was still recovering from earlier combat, heavy fighting began north of the capital. The fighting, in the vicinity of al-Batroun, enabled the Syrians to gain their first victory over the Lebanese Forces by taking Koura. Once Koura had been captured, the Syrians renewed their campaign in the capital by infiltrating the Shiyah district. Shells smashed into Ayn al-Rumanah, sending civilians scurrying for cover, but the shelling was answered in kind. This time, the Syrians were close enough to be hit by rightist batteries, which could reach deep into the Shiyah district and pinpoint Syrian field pieces. The Syrians and the Lebanese Forces swapped both artillery and rocket fire, pounding each other in a crescendo of death and destruction. Syrian shelling was merciless and it was reported that just about every building in east Beirut was hit, causalities were in the thousands and on the 27th all US embassy personnel and their dependants were evacuated from Lebanon causing much alarm in east Beirut. At a press conference Etienne Sakr head of the Guardians of the Cedars explained the situation: "At last, the Syrian game in Lebanon is revealed. And when we retired to the Lebanese mountain in November 1976, to protest the entrance of Arab troops to Lebanon, we were aware of our action, and events have established that our anticipations were correct...The Lebanese at first welcomed the wolf coming disguised as a sheep, believing that the war was ended and peace will return to their ailing Lebanon... But the wolf quickly shed his disguise and, showing his fangs, they set out to devour the Lebanese people... He started with submitting them to all kinds of intimidations and terrorism... like kidnapping, precautionary arrests, physical abuse and liquidation... And instead of confining the Palestinians to their encampments, as they promised, they tried everything to bring the Lebanese to their knees... And there was the explosion... the war was resumed... but this time with greater ferocity, greater rancor and greater destruction." (8th of August, 1978) President Sarkis implored Pierre Gemayel to help halt the mini-war between Syria and Lebanon. Gemayel retorted that he would lend his aid to a cease-fire effort only if Sarkis would pressure Syria to end its misconduct in the capital and have the ADF act as an impartial peacekeeping force rather than a conqueror. Gemayel punctuated his point by saying that the Lebanese were not waiting for anyone to conquer and rule them. Syria's response to Gemayel's statement came swiftly, with new mechanized reinforcements lumbering into the city, tearing up the asphalt streets along their way. Heavy action pierced the entire expanse of Syrian-dominated West Beirut. Artillery fire and incendiary weapons ignited fires that burned through the night in the Christian areas of Ayn al-Rumanah and al-Hadath. The morning breezes sprinkled ash and cinders about the capital--its "Lebanese snow," as a foreign correspondent commented sadly, according to Le Monde. An Israeli buildup on the border slowed the fighting in the capital; some Syrian troops were hastily transferred to the South. Moreover, of even greater significance for Lebanon's future was the overwhelming catastrophe that struck the Shi'ite community and its military forces. Imam Musa al-Sadr, their spiritual leader, had left for Tripoli, Libya, on August 25, 1978, to attend a celebration of the Libyan revolution, which had ousted that nation's corrupt and tyrannical monarchy. Sadr had been a pro-Libyan Moslem fundamentalist. For his loyalty to the Libyan revolution and its leader, Mu'ammar Qaddafi had poured millions of dollars into Sadr's coffers in order to put an end to the "Christian" Lebanese State. Consequently, the Shi'ite leader's attendance at the festive occasion was paramount. Soon after Sadr's arrival in Libya, he was reported missing, and Lebanese of all factions were anxious and concerned about his whereabouts and safety. In investigating the circumstances of his disappearance, the Shi'ites of South Lebanon claimed that he had traveled to Tripoli to extract his community from the Moslem-leftist alliance. As reported by the Libyan Press Agency, Jana, Sadr informed Qaddafi that the war against the Maronites was unjustified. Palestinian conduct in Lebanon was disgraceful and that the Shiites were being abused by the Palestinians. The Shi'ite alliance with the PLO brought devastating Israeli reprisal raids against the Shi'ite villages causing his people to flee north, and no Moslem state was expected to emerge in Lebanon. According to Sadr's entourage, Qaddafi accused the Imam of spending "Libyan money" to finance a Shi'ite revolution in Iran. Since then, the Shi'ites of Lebanon have held the Libyan leader responsible for the disappearance and presumed death of their religious leader. Meanwhile, Syria and the Lebanese Forces remained locked in combat near the Karantina Bridge leading north towards Jounieh. Pierre Gemayel pressed President Sarkis to ask for UN intervention to end the confrontation, and to do so quickly before the president's credibility with the Lebanese right had disappeared. The savage warfare had approximated the intensity of the battles for Beirut a few years ago. Saturation fire from Syrian gunners had reduced part of the Christian enclave to a vast wasteland. Ambulances and helicopters ferried wounded Syrian soldiers out of the battle zone in an ever-increasing line of traffic. At night the city was devoid of light, due to the failure of electrical power sources. The dusk and dawn were obscured by cumbersome black clouds of smoke that rose from the city, darkening the sky and casting the desolate capital in an awesome and eerie light. To the terrified observers, it seemed as if the sun would never shine again. The cosmopolitan world of Beirut appeared to be coming to an abrupt end. The Lebanese Forces fought back ferociously and even though the Syrians managed to break through into Ashrafieh, a Lebanese Forces counter attack ejected them with the Syrians taking heavy losses. Large street battles also took place around the Rizk tower where the Syrians had been dug in. The main rightist supply routes were severed by Syrian forces; missiles, tanks, and heavy artillery pounded the rightist defense line. Syrian Army trucks, filled to capacity with dead and dying soldiers, joined the train of ambulances taking the Syrians out of the capital. Syria had committed most of its forces in the northern half of Lebanon into battle, and reinforcements continued to pour into Lebanon, tapping Syria's reserves. The Syrians, however, held the bridges in the north against savage rightist counterattacks. If the rightists could not breach the defenses near the Karantina Bridge to gain aid from northern Lebanon, then they would eventually be doomed to defeat. Syrian strategy would win in the long run. The rightists hoped to hold out in a war of attrition to convince the Syrians that they could not take over the Christian section of Beirut without devastating casualties. The UN Security Council called for an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon, and President Sarkis appealed to President Assad to end the flaming hell he had created in Beirut. By the end of the first week of October, Syria had halted its offensive but maintained its seige. It had proven too costly for the Syrian regime. Syrian hospitals were filled to capacity with the dying and the wounded. Not since the last Arab-Israeli war had Syria seen its forces return home so badly mauled. The unilateral cease-fire held with only some residual fighting near the Karantina and Beirut River regions. Scattered shelling and sniper fire continued, but these exchanges were only limited and isolated instances. Radio Free Lebanon, a rightist station, called the battle a victory for the Lebanese Forces. Meanwhile, President Sarkis left for Saudi Arabia to discuss the fighting. While the Lebanese head of state was outside the country, Syrian forces sent rocket fire cascading down on the rightist-held positions, forcing Bashir Gemayel to appeal to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to help end the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. The heavy action kept the rightist troops at bay at the strategic Beirut River bridges, thus continuing their isolation from their strongholds in the North. The Syrians, meanwhile, were resupplying their forces and ferrying al-Saiqa units into the area. It has been said that in pitting his meager force of a few thousand fighters against three divisions of the Syrian Army, Gemayel was taking a calculated gamble that Israel would come to his rescue. Gemayel's brinkmanship was vindicated. The Israelis threatened to go to war to preserve the Maronite community. To emphasize the point, Israeli jets overflew Syrian positions and the Israelis massed troops in the Golan Heights. The threat worked. On the 9th October 1978 Syrian forces began to pull back. In the Syrian capital, Presidents Sarkis and Assad agreed on a tentative settlement designed to stabilize the cease-fire. Syria had agreed, for the first time, to turn over some of its peacekeeping duties in the Christian sector to the Lebanese Army and withdraw its forces to more remote areas. The Syrian move was a tacit admission that the Lebanese-right had been fighting a largely defensive war in support of Lebanese sovereignty. The Extinction of the Tigers On Monday, July 7, 1980, the Phalangists launched a surprise attack against Chamoun's National Liberal Party Militia, the Tigers. The attack was aimed against their barracks, ports, and offices in a villa next door to Safra Marine in Kesrouen with the aim of assimilating the Tigers into the LF under one command. Bashir had originally planned the attack for 4:00 am but because of the events at Ehden the attack was put back to 10:00 am so as to spare Dany Chamoun who by then would have left his offices for an appointment in the mountains. Contrary to most accounts found in the popular books regarding Lebanon there was no battle or massacre at Safra Marine. Dany had moved out of East Beirut and taken over a villa that used to border Safra Marine immediately to its south. Dany kept a boat at Safra Marine and would walk through the grounds of the villa and across Safra Marine to get to his boat. As a result it was thought by some that he resided at Safra. Some weeks before the operation a couple of LF agents had successfully applied for jobs at Safra so as to asses the situation. On the day of the attack LF fighters hidden in a civilian truck were let into Safra Marine by their agents and deployed around Dany's villa. Tracy Chamoun who was inside the villa saw the deployment and opened fire. After a very brief gun-fight it was explained that no harm was going to come to the residents of the villa and that they were free to leave. Some one hour later, after some negotiation, the villa was vacated. The only injury at Safra was a wounded Sri Lankan worker hit by a stray bullet. Heavy fighting did however break out around Tabarja Beach and at Rabiyeh Marine which were both popular resorts with the Tigers and it was here where there were civilian causalities. At Rabiyeh Marine where some Tiger militiamen had fallen back, a few captured Tigers were thrown to their deaths from the upper floor balconies of the complex. The Tiger barracks at Amchit were captured after holding out for most of the day. The 'Day of Long Knives' as it became to be called claimed around 200 lives around half of which were civilians who had been caught during indiscriminate shooting. After the operation Bashir Gemayel emerged as the dominant Maronite military leader and by the end of October 1980 the main bulk of the Tiger militia was totally absorbed into the Lebanese Forces and lost their separate command and identity, the only exception being a small unit in Zahle. Bashir Gemayel then announced that all of the individual militias of the various parties of the Lebanese Front would disband and their troops combine as one fighting force under his command in the Lebanese Forces. Thus the various militias such as the Tanzim and other that had taken an active part in the war ceased to exist. The Guardians of the Cedars however managed to maintain their identity under the new structure. The Battle of Zahle Zahle, the capital of Bekaa Province in eastern Lebanon, had a population of some 150,000 which was primarily Greek Catholic, and it was in the heart of the Syrian occupied zone of Lebanon and lay on the vital Beirut-Damascus highway. Throughout the war Zahle suffered many sieges and attacks by leftist and Palestinian forces but its people always managed to hold out, fighting alongside the small contingent of Lebanese Front militia that were based there. The location of Zahle made it of such importance that the Syrians felt they had to control the city and needed a reason to station their troops there. In December 1980, the Palestinian forces around Zahle were incited by the Syrians to shell the city and on the 19th heavy fighting broke out between the Syrians and the small Lebanese Forces contingent after the Syrians sent a patrol down the Zahle Boulevard, the patrol was attacked and five Syrian soldiers and one Syrian Major were killed. Although the Syrian command acknowledged sending the patrol into Zahle and the resulting deaths as accidental, Syria demanded the surrender of the persons involved in the incident to its command. A forty-eight-hour ultimatum was served to the Zahle leadership and also to the Phalangist and NLP commanders of the district. When a unanimously negative reply was returned, Syrian forces besieged the city with troops and tanks under artillery cover. The incident at Zahle enabled the Syrians to take advantage of the prevailing instability in the rightist coalition and the weakness of the Beirut government. In day-long battles, the Syrian forces were repulsed time and again as both General Said Taiyan and Syria's Defense Minister, Major-General Mustafa Tlas, were rushed to the scene to study the unexpectedly strong resistance. At the same time, Bashir Gemayel put his forces on full alert; however, he held the doors open for a negotiated settlement. During the fighting two Syrian helicopters were also hit as they tried to bring in reinforcements. The Lebanese Forces command rushed Guardians of the Cedars troops from Beirut in support of the local forces in Zahle. A ceasefire was quickly imposed on December 26 1980 and fighting soon died down but blood had been drawn. Not wanting Zahle to be cut off from Mount Lebanon and to reduce its vulnerability to siege, the Lebanese Forces began constructing a road linking Baskinta to Zahle so as to avoid passing through Syrian held territory. The Syrians were against the construction of the road and responded by again surrounding Zahle with 2600 troops. The people of Zahle started take up arms and prepared for the inevitable Syrian assault. On April 2nd 1981 Syria began bombarding the city. At the start of the battle the Syrian commander announced that his troops had moved to evict the Lebanese Forces from Zahle as it was vital for Syrian security to prevent the construction of the road between Mount Lebanon and Zahle. On the first day of battle the Syrians tried to seize the high ground above the city but were repelled with the loss of three armored vehicles and the death of over twenty soldiers and so the next day the Syrians retaliated with an artillery barrage on east Beirut which inflicted heavy civilian casualties. For days the Syrians launched assault after assault and the city but were unable to breach the defenses of Zahle due to the stiff resistance put up by the people of Zahle themselves as well as the small number of troops stationed there. Syrian forces in the capital were redeployed to Zahle to bolster artillery fire, which was rapidly turning central Zahle into ruins. The population of Zahle refused to surrender and so it was decided by the Syrians that they would force it to submission through siege. Ghassan Tueni, Lebanon's delegate to the United Nations, called for UNIFIL forces to take over the Zahle region. As the situation grew critical, Lebanon's Grand Mufti, Sheikh Hassan al-Khalid, joined with Pope John Paul II in expressing concern over the intensive fighting. Both men reasserted the obvious fact that the conflict in Lebanon was not religious in nature. At the start of 1981 Syria had launched its "Program of National Reconciliation," which was designed to install Sulayman Franjieh as president. Bashir Gemayel found the proposition unpalatable, but he was impotent to oppose it politically. Therefore, to strengthen his position he desperately needed a victory in Zahle. Bashir Gemayel needed to reinforce Zahle and managed to infiltrate another 100 Lebanese Forces militiamen into the city to support the forces already there and to attack Syrian positions and to shell the Syrian headquarters in the adjacent town of Shtawrah. By the last week of April, two ineffectual cease-fires had collapsed and Syrian Mig jets had strafed the outskirts of the beleaguered town. This was, apparently, an attempt to show the Phalangists that Syria still had an open option--air power. The Zahle defenders could either surrender or face annihilation by air attack. The air raid was followed by a land-based missile attack, using Soviet-made Grad rockets. The attacks drove the Lebanese Forces from the outlying city buildings, giving the Syrians their first, tentative, victory. The town sagged under heavy fire as its defenders began to run low on food, medical supplies, and ammunition. An attempt to break out and reach the suburbs of Beirut was abruptly terminated by Syrian special forces in their distinctive tiger-patterned uniforms. Supply lines were set up from Ouyoun El Simman and Baskinta. The weather conditions were terrible with heavy snow covering the mountain peaks over which many of the supplies were brought in on foot.They were aided by tactical air power. The siege of Zahle was beginning to resemble a new version of the campaign for Tal Zaatar. At the end of April, the Syrians had entered into direct negotiations with the Zahle leadership and had reached a tentative accord. The agreement called for a pullback by the Syrians, the safe removal of the right-wing militiamen, and the assignment of the Lebanese police to secure the town. The Phalangists considered the agreement a victory, for it ended Syrian attempts to infiltrate the city. However, Syria would not accept a plan that insulted its prerogatives and disputed its power and authority in Lebanon. President Assad ordered artillery fire and helicopter assaults against the Phalangist fortifications. The choppers flew Syrian special forces into battle for Mt. Sannin, in the hills above Zahle, which overlooked and guarded the Bekaa Valley. The Syrian troops, rappelling downward from the choppers, ran into a group of militiamen on patrol and a fire-fight ensued. The Lebanese Front ordered its negotiating team in Zahle to cut off all talks with the Syrians. Pulling out at this point, was seen as a defeat for Syria. The Syrian Air Force went into action, strafing Gharfat al-Fransawiye, a mountain stronghold of the militia, about eight miles west of Zahle. The second air attack came on the twenty-sixth day of the conflict. Soon afterward, the Syrian forces began to move against the hilltop emplacements above the city, which had been established and fortified by the Lebanese Forces to protect the main entrance to the city. Bashir Gemayel ordered his entombed militia to fight to the end, pledging every possible effort to reach them with additional supplies and manpower. Meanwhile, Syrian reinforcements poured into the battle, creating traffic congestion along the Beirut-Damascus highway and its arterials. The hills above Zahle became the prime targets for Syrian gunners. The town itself was completely encircled, with Syrian soldiers holding all access points under tight siege. The Lebanese Forces in Zahle had been badly mauled and battered, but their fighting spirit was undiminished. Moreover, the Syrians knew this, for they had committed approximately half their force of twenty-two thousand men to the campaign. The mountain strongholds, which overlooked Zahle, remained in rightist hands, forcing the Syrian command to send additional airborne troops into battle. As the fighting intensified Gemayel called an urgent meeting with Begin and convinced him that the Syrians intended to follow through on the siege with an all-out attack on the Christian heartland and urged Israel to launch an air strike against the Syrians. On April 28, the Israeli cabinet convened and authorized a limited air strike, but it did so over the strident objections of Israel's intelligence chiefs, who suspected that the crisis was a Lebanese Forces ploy. Israeli fighter jets carried out the raid and downed two Syrian helicopter troop transports on Mount Sannine, a strategic mountain overlooking Zahle. The brief air battle astronomically raised tensions to a new climax by pitting the Syrians against their archenemy, the Israelis. The Syrians backed off a bit but then resumed an around-the-clock artillery bombardment of the town, pledging to leave it in total devastation, a pile of rubble for the Phalangists to sift through, if it refused to surrender. Moreover, to counter the Israeli moves, Syria introduced at least nine antiaircraft missiles, SAM-6s, near the Riyaq air base, in the Bekaa Valley. Under the cover of the missiles, the Syrians sent land forces up Mt. Sannin and took it from its defenders in heavy, bloody, close combat. The rightists were exhausted and had run out of ammunition and supplies. Zahle however, held fast, repulsing one attack after another. As the days went on sharp differences erupted within the Lebanese Forces in Zahle as to how to best defend the city. The forces in Zahle had been unprepared for a big showdown. Fuad Abou Nader and Boutros Khawand were dispatched to settle matters as well as the commander of the LF armored battalion, Joseph Elias who was himself from Zahle and had a tough reputation. However, they failed to reconcile the field commanders. By the time Samir Geagea arrived the Lebanese Forces command headquarters had been wrecked by Syrian shelling and the officers were in complete disarray. Geagea decided to immediately return to Beirut and left in the middle of the night via Wadi Al Arayesh with about 40 troops who had also decided to return to Beirut fed up with the break down of the command structure. Geagea's report stated that the city was a total military loss but Bashir refused to abandon Zahle. The siege of Zahle and heavy fighting continued throughout May and reached its formal end on 30th June when it was agreed that both sides would withdraw their forces. Local Lebanese Forces troops had to disarm and forces from Beirut had to leave. The security of Zahle was handed over to Lebanese government internal security forces. The Syrians would be allowed to maintain check points around Zahle to prevent the Lebanese Forces form returning. Trucks and buses were provided to evacuate the Lebanese Forces fighters and 95 returned to Beirut on the 1st of July 1981. Over the next couple of days the Syrians pulled out of their fortifications about the city. Failure to defeat Zahle was a humiliation for the Syrians and a victory for Bashir Gemayel. Of far greater significance, however, was the exceptionally strong resistance put forth by the right-wing militiamen. They had shown considerable strength and resourcefulness, tenacity, and spirit in blunting the Syrian thrust. For the time being, the Syrians would forgo any attempt to advance against other towns in the predominantly Christian part of northern Lebanon. The civilian casualties were 223 killed and 765 wounded with very heavy material damage. Many died many because of a lack of medical supplies and also as a result of the water being purposely cut off by the Syrians causing epidemics to break out. Gemayel persevered in his plot to embroil Israel in a full scale war with Syria. In late 1980, after a series of meetings with Begin, he reportedly obtained a secret Israeli pledge to provide a defensive umbrella against a potential Syrian air attack. This pledge virtually committed Israel to fight Syria at Gemayel's behest, although Israel admonished the Lebanese Forces not to attack the Syrians. The Missile Crisis The Israeli air attack had caught Assad by surprise. Syria had adhered to the so-called "Red Line" agreements by deliberately refraining from deploying antiaircraft missiles in the Biqa Valley and by not impeding Israeli photoreconnaissance overflights. Assad's response to the Israeli attack by stationing SA-6 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) in the vicinity of Zahle and ther SAMs and surface-to-surface missiles on the Syrian side of the border infuriated the Israelis. Begin vowed publicly that the IDF would launch an attack on the missiles. In response, President Ronald Reagan dispatched to the Middle East Special Ambassador Philip Habib, who averted the imminent Israeli strike. The net effect of the crisis was that Syrian air defense missiles were deployed in Lebanon. Israel was forced to tolerate this situation in the short run, but it still regarded the missile deployment as an unacceptable shift in the balance of forces that could not be endured indefinitely. Therefore, Israel had reasons of its own for a future attack on the Syrians in Lebanon. The Two-Week War As the tension in the Bekaa Valley subsided, IDF chief of staff Rafael Eitan urged Begin to mount an artillery bombardment of Palestinian bases in Lebanon. Israel routinely conducted preemptive artillery attacks and air strikes to deter PLO terrorist attacks against Galilee settlements in northern Israel. Then, on July 10, 1981, the IDF commenced five days of air strikes and naval bombardments against PLO strongholds in southern Lebanon. The PLO fought back by shelling the Israeli resort town of Nahariyya on the Mediterranean coast. The conflict escalated as Israel launched a devastating air raid against the heavily populated Palestinian neighborhood of Fakhani in West Beirut, killing over 100 people and wounding over 600. By Israeli estimates, only thirty of those killed were terrorists. For ten days, the PLO then unleashed artillery fire against the upper Galilee. Although only six Israeli citizens were killed, many Israelis were shocked and stunned by the PLO's capability to sustain such an attack. On July 24, Ambassador Habib returned to Israel to negotiate an end to the artillery duel. Because the PLO was almost out of ammunition and most of its guns had been silenced, the IDF wanted to prolong the fighting until it could win a clear-cut victory. But the Israeli cabinet was eager to comply with Habib's cease-fire proposal, and Israel entered into a truce with the PLO. PLO leader Yasir Arafat was determined not to break the ceasefire. On a political level, the truce enhanced the PLO's diplomatic credibility. Tactically, it allowed the PLO time to reinforce its military strength in southern Lebanon. The Soviet Union refused to provide the PLO with weapons, but PLO emissaries purchased arms from East European countries and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), acquiring Grad and Katyusha artillery rockets and antiquated but functional T-34 tanks. More significant, Arafat reorganized the command and control structure of his forces, transforming the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) from a decentralized collection of terrorist and guerrilla bands to a disciplined standing army. By 1981 the Kastel, Karami, and Yarmuk brigades were established, and seven new artillery battalions were organized. Tension remained very high in the region. The 1982 Israeli Invasion (Operation Peace for Galilee) On June 3, 1982, terrorists of the Abu Nidal Organization, a group that had split off from the PLO, attempted to assassinate Shlomo Argov, the Israeli ambAssador to Britain. Israel seized on the attack as the pretext for launching its long-planned offensive. On June 4, IDF aircraft bombed Palestinian targets in West Beirut, and the PLO resumed artillery fire on Israeli settlements in the northern Galilee. The Israeli cabinet convened and voted to authorize an invasion, named Operation Peace for Galilee, but it set strict limits on the extent of the incursion. The IDF was to advance no farther than forty kilometers, the operation was to last only twenty-four hours, Syrian forces were not to be attacked, and Beirut was not to be approached. Because of the limits imposed by the Israeli cabinet, the IDF implemented its attack in increments, neither openly recognizing nor acknowledging its destination and objectives. Had it been ordered from the outset to secure Beirut, it could have done so in an effective and efficient manner. Instead, the IDF advance unfolded in an ad hoc and disorganized fashion, greatly increasing the difficulty of the operation. When IDF ground forces crossed into Lebanon on June 6, they pursued a battle strategy that entailed a three-pronged attack conducted by five divisions and two reinforced brigade-size units. On the western axis, two divisions converged on Tyre and proceeded north along the coastal road toward Sidon, where they were to link up with an amphibious commando unit that had secured a beachhead north of the city. In the central sector, a third division veered diagonally across southern Lebanon, conquered the Palestinian-held Beaufort Castle, located a few kilometers southwest of Marj Uyun, and headed west toward Sidon, where it linked up with the coastal force in a classic pincer movement. The IDF advanced rapidly in the first day of the war, bypassing and enveloping pockets of PLO resistance. Most PLO military officers fled, abandoning their men, who split into small roving guerrilla bands. Moreover, it became clear that the PLO was fighting alone against the Israeli onslaught. The Shia Amal guerrillas had been ordered by their leaders not to fight and to surrender their weapons if necessary. South Lebanon's Shias had long suffered under Palestinian domination, and Shia villagers welcomed the advancing Israelis by showering them with rice and flowers. This traditional form of homage, later repeated by the Druze and Christian populations, lent credence to the Israeli claim that it was "liberating" Lebanon. But Palestinian resistance proved tenacious, particularly in the sprawling refugee camps in the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon. Staging hit-and-run operations and fighting in house-to- house and hand-to-hand combat, the Palestinians inflicted a high number of casualties of the IDF and impeded the progress of the Israeli advance. The IDF was further hampered because the refugee camps were inhabited by large numbers of civilian noncombatants who harbored the Palestinian fighters. Although the IDF made significant initial efforts to evacuate the civilians, it ultimately resorted to saturation bombing to subdue the camps. Palestinian resistance was especially fierce in the Ayn al Hulwah camp near Sidon, where several hundred Palestinian fighters fought to the last man, delaying the IDF advance for seven days. After the camp was leveled, the IDF stood poised to move against Beirut. Two days later in the central combat zone, two divisions thrust directly north on parallel courses into Syrian-held territory with the mission of severing the strategic Beirut-Damascus highway. On June 8, the IDF evicted the Syrian Army from Jezzine and proceeded north. The IDF could not proceed further against the entrenched Syrian positions without close air support, but Syria's air defense systems threatened Israeli control of the skies. On June 9, the Israeli cabinet gave permission for an air raid against the Syrian antiaircraft missile batteries in the Biqa Valley. The Syrians, caught by surprise, sustained severe losses; of the nineteen missile batteries, only two were left intact by the Israeli attack. The Syrian Air Force made a desperate bid to protect the air defense system by sending up scores of interceptors and fighters, resulting in what both sides described as the biggest air battle in history, with over 200 aircraft engaged in supersonic dogfights over a 2,500 square kilometer area. The Israeli Air Force shot down twenty-nine Syrian aircraft in the first encounter of that day, and later about fifty more. In fact, during the entire operation, the Syrians would lose a total of 90 aircraft in air to air combat without a single Israeli loss. The devastation of the Syrian air defense system and the decimation of the Syrian Air Force provided the IDF with total air superiority in Lebanon and left the Syrian infantry exposed to air attack. All did not go so smoothly however for the Israelis. On the 10th of June an Israeli battle group of M60 tanks was leading the push to the highway when they ran into serious trouble between Ain Zhalta and Ain Dara. The Syrians had been shelling the road so the Israelis advanced at night. The going was slow and just outside of Ain Dara they were ambushed by a brigade of Syrian commandos, artillery, and amour approximately five kilometers short of the highway. The Syrian commandos came in so close that at one point they were actually climbing onto the Israeli tanks to ensure their kills. The commander of the supporting artillery battery had to fire anti personnel rounds on top of his own takes so as to dislodge the attacking Syrians. Gradually a corridor was opened to enable the Israelis to pull back around dawn. With day break on the 11th June the Israeli Air Force was able to go into action and destroyed the Syrian tank and gun positions with the aid of another tank column. Syrian reinforcements were caught en route by Israeli ground attack aircraft. At the same time, the IDF continued to maul 1st Armored Division of the Syrian army in a battle that started on 9th June north of Lake Qaraoun and raged on for three days. By the afternoon of the 11th about half of the Syrian 1st Armored Division had been destroyed and the rest were on the retreat. The IDF had broken the last line of Syria's defence but owing to political pressures, however, on June 11 Israel and Syria agreed to a truce under United States auspices and the Israeli advance stopped just a couple of kilometers short of the Beirut-Damascus highway. The Siege of Beirut The cease-fire signaled the start of a new stage in the war, as Israel focused on PLO forces trapped in Beirut. Although Israel had long adhered to the axiom that conquering and occupying an Arab capital would be a political and military disaster, key Israeli leaders were determined to drive the PLO out of Beirut. According to the original plan, the LF were to move into West Beirut under the covering fire of Israeli artillery and reunite the divided capital. Bashir Gemayel concluded, however, that such overt collusion with the IDF would prejudice his chances to become president, and he reneged on the promises he had made. Israel maintained the siege of Beirut for seventy days, unleashing a relentless barrage of air, naval, and artillery bombardment. At times, the Israeli bombardment appeared to be random and indiscriminate; at other times, it was targeted with pinpoint precision. Israeli strategists believed that if they could "decapitate" the Palestinian movement by killing its leaders, Palestinian resistance would disappear. Therefore, the Israeli Air Force conducted what has been called a "manhunt by air" for Arafat and his top lieutenants and on several occasions bombed premises only minutes after the PLO leadership had vacated them. If the PLO was hurt physically by the bombardment, the political fallout was just as damaging to Israel. The appalling civilian casualties earned Israel world opprobrium. Morale plummeted among IDF officers and enlisted men, many of whom personally opposed the war. Meanwhile, the highly publicized plight of the Palestinian civilians garnered world attention for the Palestinian cause. Furthermore, Arafat was negotiating, albeit through intermediaries, with Ambassador Habib and other United States officials. Negotiating with Arafat was thought by some to be tantamount to United States recognition of the PLO. The Expulsion of the Palestinians Arafat had threatened to turn Beirut into a "second Stalingrad," to fight the IDF to the last man. His negotiating stance grew tenuous, however, after Lebanese leaders, who had previously expressed solidarity with the PLO, petitioned him to abandon Beirut to spare the civilian population further suffering. Arafat informed Habib of his agreement in principle to withdraw the PLO from Beirut on condition that a multinational peacekeeping force be deployed to protect the Palestinian families left behind. With the diplomatic deadlock broken, Habib made a second breakthrough when Syria and Tunisia agreed to host departing PLO fighters. An advance unit of the Multinational Force (MNF), 350 French troops, arrived in Beirut on August 21. The Palestinian evacuation by sea to Cyprus and by land to Damascus commenced on the same day. On August 26, the remaining MNF troops arrived in Beirut, including a contingent of 800 United States Marines. The Palestinian exodus ended on September 1. Over 11,000 Palestinian fighters including some 8,000 Fateh guerrillas, 2,600 PLA regulars, as well as 3,600 Syrian troops had been evacuated from west Beirut. However there were still some 10,000 Palestinian fighters in Lebanon the mainly in the northern section Bekaa valley north and around Tripoli. Taking stock of the war's toll, Israel announced that 344 of its soldiers had been killed and over 2,000 wounded. Israel calculated that hundreds of Syrian soldiers had been killed and over 1,000 wounded and that 1,000 Palestinian guerrillas had been killed and 7,000 captured. Lebanese estimates, compiled from International Red Cross sources and police and hospital surveys, calculated that 17,825 Lebanese had died and over 30,000 had been wounded. On August 23, the legislature elected Bashir Gemayel president of Lebanon. On September 10, the United States Marines withdrew from Beirut, followed by the other members of the MNF. The Lebanese Army began to move into West Beirut, and the Israelis withdrew their troops from the front lines. But the war was far from over. By ushering in Gemayel as president and evicting the PLO from Beirut, Israel had attained two of its key war goals. Israel's remaining ambition was to sign a comprehensive peace treaty with Lebanon that would entail the withdrawal of Syrian forces and prevent the PLO from reinfiltrating Lebanon after the IDF withdrew. The Assassination of Bashir Gemayel At 4:10 pm on September 14, 1982, President-elect Gemayel was assassinated in a massive radio-detonated explosion that leveled the Phalange Party headquarters in East Beirut where he was delivering a speech to party members. The perpetrator, Habib Shartouny, 26, was soon apprehended. Shartouny, a member of the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party (SSNP), was a Syrian agent. Mossad, the CIA, and Israeli military intelligence, pooling there resources with the Lebanese intelligence community established that Chartouny had installed a long range electronic detonator to a bomb made of Semtex-H which had been smuggled into the building where Chartouny's sister lived. Her apartment was directly above the Phalange offices. Chartouny's case officer was a captain in the Syrian intelligence service called Nassif, who reported directly to Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed G'anem who was in charge of Syrian intelligence operations in Lebanon. Both the Syrian Army and Air Force intelligence had knowledge of the bombing as did Hafez al-Assad's brother Rifaat al-Assad, head of Syria's security forces. President Assad would have probably given the order himself but there was no proof....because Abou AYYAD from PLO was the real mastermind in this operation...and Abou AYYAD was banking on Amine Gemayel becoming the next President of Lebanon... and Abou Ayyad had excellent relations with Amine GEMAYEL, Bashir's brother. [ Aou AYYAD was the PLO's Intelligence chief at the time of the assassination.] Amine had no foreknowledge of this operation of course. Bashir Gemayel's brother, Amin, who was opposed to the Israeli presence in Lebanon, was elected president with United States backing. Sabra and Shatila On Wednesday 15 September 1982 shortly after 6:00 a.m. the I.D.F. began to enter west Beirut. During the first hours of the I.D.F. entry, there was no armed resistance to the advance because the guerrillas that were in West Beirut had been taken by surprise. Within a few hours, the I.D.F. encountered fire from guerrillas in a number of places in west Beirut, and combat operations began. The resistance caused delays in the I.D.F.'s taking over a number of points in the city and caused a change in the route of advance. In the course of this fighting three I.D.F. soldiers were killed and more than 100 were wounded. Heavy fire coming out of Shatilla was directed at one I.D.F. battalion advancing east of the camp. One of the battalion's soldiers was killed, 20 were injured, and the advance of the battalion in this direction was halted. Throughout Wednesday and to a lesser degree on Thursday and Friday (16-17.9.82), R.P.G. and light-weapons fire from the Sabra and Shatilla camps was directed at the Israeli forward command post and the battalion's forces nearby. Fire was returned by the I.D.F. forces. It was not possible to obtain exact details on the size of the population in the refugee camps in Beirut. An estimate of the numbers in the four camps in west Beirut (Burj el-Barajneh, Fakahni, Sabra and Shatilla) was about 85,000 people. The war led to the flight of the population, but when the fighting subsided, a movement back to the camps began. According to estimates, in mid-September 1982 there were about 56,000 people in the Sabra and Shatila camps in total. Over the previous few months, as the number of I.D.F. casualties mounted, public pressure for the Lebanese Forces to participate more in fighting increased. It was agreed at that a company of 150 fighters from the Lebanese Forces would enter the camps and that they would do so from south to north and from west to east to rout the remnant of the Palestinian forces and search for arms dumps. The IDF ordered its soldiers to refrain from entering the camps, but IDF officers supervised the operation from the roof of a six story forward command post building overlooking parts of the area. On Thursday, 16.9.82, at approximately 6:00 pm, the Lebanese Forces entered the Shatilla camp in two groups from the west and south. The militiamen were mostly LF under instructions from Pierre GEMAYEL, the father of Bashir Gemayel. With the entry of the Lebanese Forces into the camps, the firing which had been coming from the camps changed direction; the shooting which had previously been directed against the I.D.F. now shifted in the direction of the Lebanese Forces' liaison officer on the roof of the forward command post. According to the report of the Kahan Commission established by the government of Israel to investigate the events, the IDF monitored the Lebanese Forces radio network and fired illumination flares from mortars and aircraft to light the area as the LF were operating in the dark. At approximately 8:00 p.m., the Lebanese Forces' liaison officer, said that the Lebanese Forces who had entered the camps had sustained casualties, and the casualties were evacuated from the camps. Around this time the liaison officer also told various people that about 300 persons had been killed by the Lebanese Forces among them civilians, but shortly after, he amended his report by reducing the number of casualties from 300 to 120. On Saturday, 18.9.82 at dawn the LF forces started to leave the camps and the last of their forces left the camps at approximately 8:00 a.m. By now reports had been circulated about a massacre in the camps and many journalists and media personnel arrived in the area. At about 17:00 hours, the Israelis met with a representative of the Lebanese army and appealed to him to have the Lebanese army enter the camps. Between 21:30 and 22:00 hours a reply was received that the Lebanese army would enter the camps. Lebanese army entry into the camps was effected on Sunday, 19.9.82. Red Cross personnel, many journalists and other persons also entered, and it then became apparent that in the camps, and particularly in Shatilla, civilians had been massacred. It was clear from the spectacle that presented itself that a considerable number of the killed had not been cut down in combat. Over a period of two days, the militiamen massacred some 700 to 800 Palestinian men, women, and children. Accurate figures are not available but according to Robert Fisk, the total number of deaths in the camps given by the Director of Israeli Military Intelligence is 700, the International Committee for the Red Cross put the figure at 313 writes Jonathan Randal, with another 43 being counted by civil defence organizations and at least another 146 being buried by friends and relatives. Thomas Friedman, who won a Pulitzer price for his coverage of the massacre quotes an official Red Cross figure of 210 and an unofficial estimated death toll of between 800 and 1,000. The Lebanese inquest into the massacre produced some very interesting results. After an exhaustive questioning of eyewitnesses to the atrocity, More than one scenario was pieced together. There is general agreement on the above events however another version of events that is not often reported also emerged. Apparently, two groups of armed men, acting independently of each other, entered the two camps and began a series of revenge killings. One group, Phalangist renegades from the region of Damour, Naamah, and Saadiyat and belonging to what was called the "Damouri Brigade", went into the camps to extract revenge for the massacres of their families by the leftists in Damour. The other group, of predominantly Shi'ite Moslems from South Lebanon, consisted of followers of Imam Ali Badr al-Din. The Imam had opposed the PLO presence in South Lebanon, as well as leftist ideological pressure on his community. He disappeared one evening on his way to the local mosque, and later his body was found in nearby Dayr Zahrani. The PLO claimed that the Israelis had killed Imam Ali, but his supporters believed the PLO had ambushed him. The Imam's supporters swore to avenge him and they may have kept their word. In support of this view it has to be noted that some of those that entered the camps had a southern Lebanese accent which several of the survivors report in the course of the ivestiagetion into the massacre. Survivors also stated that a few of the participants in the massacre had Moslem names. Hints were also made about the participation of Major Haddad's men in the massacre also on the basis of some southern Lebanese accents which was heard although no evidence linking Haddad's men was found. One cannot rule out the possibility that in the interim 24 hour period between the departure of the Frem's forces and the entry of the Lebanese army, other forces such as the so supposed "Damouri Brigade", or followers of Imam Ali Badr al-Din or even members of Haddad's forces entered the camps and committed illegal acts there. Any combination of these scenarios is possible...SLA was brought into the AIB by IDF and IAF C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, in full view of Lebanese Army troops stationed at the airport, with many eyewitnesses testifying later on in Beirut... http://newhk.blogspot.com/search/label/AMAN. Shortly after the massacre a startling discovery was made. The Lebanese Army units that had entered the camp discovered a large network tunnels and bunkers. During the 12 years of Arafat's control of the heavily populated camps of Sabra and Shatilla he used them for storage of massive amounts of explosives and weapons. With Swiss made tunnel borers he carved out miles of tunnels and loaded them with rockets, ammunition, explosives, missiles, bombs and more. They also found extensive documentation detailing plans for a full scale invasion of Israel. The PLO along with the surrounding Arab states would commit their full armed forces to a future invasion. Having this munitions dump prepared in advance would offer quick re-supply and a very short supply line. It took weeks and hundreds of trucks to empty the tunnels. The Isreali advance into Lebanon had put an end to any such plan. At the end of the war an official Lebanese government report was released which breaks down the casualty figures from 1975 to 1990, this put the total number of dead in Sabra and Shatila massacre at 857 and the number of wounded at 1,124. The Multinational Force At the behest of the Lebanese government, the Multinational Force (MNF) was deployed again in Beirut, but with over twice the manpower of the first peacekeeping force. It was designated MNF II and given the mandate to serve as an "interpositional force," separating the IDF from the Lebanese population. Additionally, MNF II was assigned the task of assisting the Lebanese Army in restoring the authority of the central government over Beirut. The United States dispatched a contingent of 1,400 men, France 1,500, and Italy 1,400. A relatively small British contingent of about 100 men was added in January 1983, at which time the Italian contingent was increased to 2,200 men. Each contingent retained its own command structure, and no central command structure was created. The French contingent was assigned responsibility for the port area and West Beirut. The Italian contingent occupied the area between West Beirut and Beirut International Airport, which encompassed the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. The 32d United States Marines Amphibious Unit returned to Beirut on September 29, where it took up positions in the vicinity of Beirut International Airport. The Marines' positions were adjacent to the IDF front lines. The Marines' stated mission was to establish an environment that permit would the Lebanese Army to carry out its responsibilities in the Beirut area. Tactically, the Marines were charged with occupying and securing positions along a line from the airport east to the Presidential Palace at Babda. The intent was to separate the IDF from the population of Beirut. The key to the initial success of MNF II was its neutrality. The Lebanese government had assured Ambassador Habib in writing that it had obtained commitments from various factions to refrain from hostilities against the Marines. The United States reputation among the Lebanese was enhanced when a Marine officer was obliged to draw his pistol to halt an Israeli advance, an event sensationalized in the news media. And, in the same month, Marines conducted emergency relief operations in the mountains after a midwinter blizzard. At this juncture, the prevalent mood in Lebanon was one of cautious optimism and hope. The Lebanese Army was pressed into service to clear away the rubble of years of warfare. The government approved a US$600 million reconstruction plan. On October 1, President Gemayel declared Beirut reunited, as the army demolished barricades along the Green Line that had been standing since 1975. Hundreds of criminals and gang leaders were rounded up and arrested. In the first months of 1983, approximately 5,000 government troops were deployed throughout Greater Beirut. Most important, the government began to build a strong national army. Lebanese optimism was bolstered by changing Israeli politics and policies. Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon, the architect of Israel's war in Lebanon, had resigned in the wake of the Sabra and Shatila investigation, although he remained in the cabinet as a minister without portfolio. He was replaced by the former ambassador to the United States, Moshe Arens. Although Arens was considered a hawk in the Israeli political spectrum, he was not committed to Sharon's ambitious goals and wanted the IDF to withdraw promptly from Lebanon, if only to avoid antagonizing the United States, with which he had cultivated a close relation. Accordingly, Israel withdrew its forces to the outskirts of the capital. But the IDF had no clear tactical mission in Lebanon. Its continued presence was intended as a bargaining chip in negotiations for a Syrian withdrawal. While awaiting the political agreement, the IDF was forced to fight a different kind of war, which Israeli newspapers compared with the Vietnam War. The IDF had been turned into a static and defensive garrison force like the Syrians before them, caught in the cross fire between warring factions. When Phalangist forces tried to exploit the fluid situation by attacking the Druze militia in the Chouf Mountains in late 1983, the IDF had to intervene and separate the forces. In southern Lebanon, the IDF had to protect the many Palestinian refugees who had streamed back to the camps against attacks by Israel's proxy force, the SLA. In one of the bigger ironies of the war, the IDF recruited and armed Palestinian home guards to prevent a repetition of the massacres in Beirut. The Rise of the Shiites Imam Musa as Sadr, an Iranian-born Shiite (Shia) cleric who had founded the Higher Shia Islamic Council in 1969, also created Amal in 1975. Amal, which means hope in Arabic, is the acronym for Afwaj al Muqawamah al Lubnaniyyah (Lebanese Resistance Detachments), and was initially the name given to the military arm of the Movement of the Disinherited, an organization created in 1974 by Sadr as a vehicle to promote the Shia cause in Lebanon. Sadr, at first established this militia with the help of the PLO, but refused to engage Amal in the fighting during the first years of the war. This reluctance discredited the movement in the eyes of many Shias, who chose instead to support the PLO or other leftist parties. The 1979 Iranian Revolution galvanized Lebanon's Shiite community and inspired in it a new militancy. Iran sought to export Shiite revolution throughout the Middle East, and so it provided material support to Amal, and to a Shiite terrorist campaign. From 1979 until the 1982 Israeli invasion, Shiite terrorists hijacked six airliners, attempted to bomb several others, assassinated the French ambassador to Lebanon, blew up the French and Iraqi embassies, and committed numerous other violent acts. The Israeli invasion served as a catalyst for a further upsurge in Shia militancy. In July 1982 Iran dispatched an expeditionary force of volunteer Pasdaran Revolutionary Guards to Lebanon, ostensibly to fight Israeli invaders. The approximately 650 Pasdaran established their headquarters in the city of Baalbek in the Syrian-controlled Bekaa Valley in 1982 and increased to some 2,000 over the next few years. There they conducted terrorist and guerrilla training, disbursed military matériel and money, and disseminated propaganda. As is the case with HAMAS, Hezbollah was initially created by ISRAEL in order to counter effectively the PLO forces of Arafat...the rest is history... IRAN, HAD and still has today very good COVERT relations with ISRAEL, through ALI LARIJANI who is the descendant of a Tehran Jewish merchant family... The political fission that characterized Lebanese politics also afflicted the Shia movement, as groups split off from Amal. Husain al Musawi, a former Amal lieutenant, entered into an alliance with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard stationed in Lebanon and established Islamic Amal. Other Shia groups included Hezbollah (Party of God), Jundallah (Soldiers of God), the Husayn Suicide Commandos, the Dawah (Call) Party, and the notorious Islamic Jihad Organization, who many analysts say is the terror wing of Hezbollah, reportedly headed by Imad Mughniyah (Mougniyah). Bombing of US Embassy in Beirut At 1:00 pm on April 18th, 1983 a van carrying a 2,000 pound load of explosives, slammed into the US embassy forecourt in West Beirut. The entire through the front portion of the sea side seven story building was destroyed. The blast as so powerful that half the embassy simply collapsed and a passing Lebanese military vehicle was blasted off the Corniche and into the sea by the force of the explosion. The van was reportedly stolen from the Embassy in June 1982. The driver had blown himself up along with bomb. The suicide bomb was unseen before in Lebanon. The explosion killed 63 occupants of the building, 17 of whom were Americans including one Marine - Corporal Robert V. McMaugh, an embassy guard, one journalist - Janet Lee Stevens, several State Department officials were, including three USAID employees and the entire U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Middle East contingent were killed including Robert Ames, the CIA station chief. Several Army trainers were also killed. In the visa section, where dozens of Lebanese men and women had been waiting for permission to enter the US, every living soul had been burnt alive. Ten minutes after the explosion Islamic Jihad called AFP and claimed responsibility for the attack. The caller said, "The operation is part of the Iranian revolution's campaign against the imperialist presence throughout the world. We will continue to strike against the imperialist presence in Lebanon including the multi-national force." ZAHI BOUSTANY, RIP, told me personally how much info he gave to Robert Macfarlane about all the intelligence they had on this operation, in front of Amine GEMAYEL at the Presidential palace in BAABDA... but McFarlane chose to ignore this info to their detriment. He told ZAHI : word for word... Do you understand that the US Congress has authorized this force to be deployed to Lebanon...? and no one will STOP this deployment....? We know what happened next don't we by now? In the investigation that was launched into the attack, the NSA, which had been breaking and reading coded messages from the Iranian Foreign Ministry in Tehran to the Iranian embassies in Beirut and Damascus reviewed all the intercepts and scraps of intelligence available before the bombings. The intercepts showed that an operation was being planned against the Americans. One intercept showed that a $25,000 payment had been made for an operation. This information had been passes to the ambassador but there were no specifics, no target and no date. News of this was leaked to CBS who reported that Iranian communications were being intercepted by US intelligence. Immediately the Iranian communications stopped. The Americans had lost a valuable and vital source of information. The May 17 Agreement Although the terrorist attack of April 18 1983 destroyed the United States embassy, the ambassador moved diplomatic operations to his official residence carried on work as usual. The United States persevered in its efforts to broker an Israeli-Lebanese agreement, and Israel announced its willingness to negotiate. Although Israel had envisaged a treaty like the Camp David Agreements with Egypt, entailing full bilateral diplomatic recognition, it settled for mere "normalization." The military and security articles of the May 17 Agreement between the Israeli and Lebanese governments called for an abolition of the state of war between the two countries, security arrangements to ensure the sanctity of Israel's northern border, integration of Major Haddad's SLA into the regular Lebanese Army, and Israeli withdrawal. The Israeli withdrawal was made contingent upon concurrent Syrian withdrawal, however. The United States had decided not to seek Syrian participation in the negotiations for the May 17 Agreement for fear of becoming entangled in the overall Syrian Israeli imbroglio. Instead, the United States intended to seek Syrian endorsement after the agreement was signed. But Syria vehemently opposed the agreement, and because implementation hinged on Syrian withdrawal, Damascus could exert veto power. Although President Gemayel made conciliatory overtures to Damascus, he also notified the Arab League on June 4 that the ADF was no longer in existence. Syria responded by announcing on July 23, 1983, the foundation of the National Salvation Front (NSF). This coalition comprised many sects, including the Druzes led by Walid Jumblatt; Shias led by Nabih Berri; Sunni Muslims led by Rashid Karami; Christian elements led by Sulayman Franjieh; and several smaller, Syrian-sponsored, left-wing political parties. These groups, together with Syria, controlled much more of Lebanon's territory than did the central government. Therefore, the NSF constituted a challenge not only to Gemayel but also to his patrons, the United States and Israel. To emphasize their opposition to the May 17 Agreement, Syrian and Druze forces in the mountains above the capital loosed a barrage of artillery fire on Christian areas of Beirut, underscoring the weakness of Gemayel's government. By mid-1983 the mood of optimism that had flourished at the end of 1982 had disappeared. It became clear that the tentative alliance of Lebanon's rival factions was merely a function of their shared opposition to a common enemy, Israel. Terrorist activity resumed, and between June and August 1983, at least twenty car bombs exploded throughout Lebanon, killing over seventy people. Lebanon's prime minister narrowly escaped death in one explosion. Targets included a mosque in Tripoli; a television station, hospital, and luxury hotel in Beirut; and a market in Baalbek. The May 17 Agreement had significant implications for the MNF. As a noncombatant interpositional force preventing the IDF from entering Beirut, the MNF had been perceived by the Muslims in West Beirut as a protector. As the Israeli withdrawal neared, however, the MNF came to be regarded as a protagonist in the unfinished War, propping up the Gemayel government. In August militiamen began to bombard United States Marines positions near Beirut International Airport with mortar and rocket fire as the Lebanese Army fought Druze and Shia forces in the southern suburbs of Beirut. On August 29, 1983, two Marines were killed and fourteen wounded, and in the ensuing months the Marines came under almost daily attack from artillery, mortar, rocket, and small-arms fire. Arafat's Last Stand As a result of their defeat at the hands of the Israelis, many Palestinians had become dissatisfied with Arafat's command, some within the PLO ranks wanted an investigation into the disastrous plans and command structure during the fighting. Syria was also concerned with Arafat's political gestures towards other Arab states and even the United States. Syria worried about being sidelined by a potential Jordanian-Arafat alliance and was not willing to entertain an independent PLO, especially one under the leadership of a man that they felt had let them down by not fighting the Israelis to the bitter end. Therefore in the first few months of 1983 the Syrians began to support those factions within the PLO that wanted to remove Arafat from power. On May 9 1983, an order issued by Fateh's Colonel Sa'id Musa Muragha (Abu Musa) called upon all Fateh units in the Bekaa to disregard future orders from the Fateh leadership. At first, the Fateh Central Committee belittled the disobedience but later, when some 2,000 of the 10,000 guerrillas that had were in Lebanon joined the rebellion, it became apparent that the mutiny was gaining strength, it cut funds and logistical support to rebellious units. The rebels then seized Fateh supply depots in the Bekaa on May 25, and in Damascus on May 28. In late June, fighting erupted between loyalist and rebel units in the Bekaa, with the latter taking control of the town of Majdal Anjar and hence the Beirut-Damascus highway from Shtura to the frontier. When the rebellion erupted, Syria and Libya tacitly, then openly, supported the rebels. When the Fateh leadership condemned this, Arafat himself was deported from Syria to Tunis on June 24, surviving an assassination attempt on his way. On June 27, the Syrians assassinated Saad Sayel, the commander of pro-Arafat forces in Lebanon. Pro-Syrian units of al-Sa'iqa, the PFLP-GC, PLA, and even Syrian Army units, backed Abu Musa's forces. With the failure of Palestinian and Arab mediation efforts, loyal Fateh units were gradually forced out of their positions in the Bekaa northwards to the Nahr al-Barid and Baddawi refugee camps near Tripoli. By this stage just over 4,000 guerrillas remained loyal to Arafat. In late September Arafat himself returned to Tripoli to face his opponents. He sneaked in under the nose of the Syrians, shaving off his beard for the first time in years and wearing a smart suit and sunglasses. In October, fighting erupted around the two refugee camps. On November 3, the rebels backed by Syrian and even Libyan forces launched a major offensive against Arafat, capturing Nahr al-Barid on November 6. After a brief lull in the fighting, a second offensive captured Baddawi on November 16. Loyalist forces retreated to Tripoli. Syrian artillery that had been bombarding the camps and the civilian population of Tripoli now focused all of its efforts on destroying the city. Anti Arafat forces also bombarded Tripoli and threatened to storm the city. The military pressures on Arafat were combined with intense Lebanese pressures to leave the city from Rashid Karami and Walid Jumblatt, as well as from the Lebanese right. Only local Sunni fundamentalist leader Said Shaaban and his Islamic Unification Movement militia supported the PLO leader. At the same time, Arab pressures on Syria to halt the attacks were also building from states anxious to prevent the PLO from completely falling under Syrian sway. As a result, Arafat, Syria and the rebels agreed to a Saudi mediated ceasefire agreement on November 25. Under its terms, 'Arafat would evacuate the city. It was not until December 20, however that the withdrawal took place. Some 4,000 Arafat loyalists evacuated the city by sea to North Yemen, Algeria and Tunisia in Greek ships under the UN flag and with a naval escort provided by France. The Israeli Defense Forces Withdrawal and the Mountain War The Lebanese Forces took advantage of Israeli advances and deployed troops in areas where they had not been present before. This territorial expansion was focused on where there were large Christian rural poplations such as the Shouf. Mr. Elie HOBEIKA was dead set against that entry into the mountains, but was over-ruled by others within the LF, to their own and the Lebanese people's detriment.... Sporadic fighting soon broke out between the Lebanese Forces and the Druze PSP who viewed the LF as intruders on their territory. East Beirut was also occasionally shelled. Amin Gemayel made plans to deploy the Lebanese army in the Shouf as a buffer between the LF and the PSP but Walid Jumblatt objected and accused the army of being agents of the Kataeb and so he prepared for warfare by acquiring war materials from the Syrians. The Israelis did nothing to stop this. By the end of August the Druze had started attacking Christian villages in the Chouf. On September 3, 1983, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) began to evacuate the Chouf Mountains region and within twenty-four hours had completed its redeployment to south of the Awwali River. The Lebanese Army was told of Israel's intention to withdraw that morning and so were not at hand to take over the IDF positions. Lebanese Forces troops realized at the last minute that a large scale Druze assault was about to take place and began evacuating Christian civilians to Dier Al Qamar. The Lebanese Forces, were completely caught by surprise and vastly out numbered. They decided to put up a defence at Bhamdoun, an elegant Christian mountain town of beautiful villas located where the Beirut-Damascus highway touches the edge of the Chouf Mountains. Simultaneously, the Lebanese Army sought to guard the town of Suq al Gharb and Khaldeh to prevent Druze forces from invading Beirut. Palestinian guerrillas, Shia militia, Communist Party and SSNP gunmen and Druze militia, supported by Syrian artillery, tanks and plain clothes gunmen assaulted Bhamdoun. After several days of combat, Bhamdoun was captured by the morning of September 7, with the Lebanese Forces loosing over 150 men on the 6th, a very large number for the Lebanese Forces to lose in a single action. Some of those defending Bhamdoun fought a rear-guard action so as to allow enough time for their fellow Phalangists to retreated to the stronghold of Dier al Qamar to join the rest of the Christian population there. Some 200 civilians had remained at Bhamdoun believing that they would be unharmed, but they, along with captured Lebanese Forces troops were murdered, many by having their throats cut. The Druzes surrounded and besieged Dier al Qamar, which held 40,000 Christian residents and refugees and 1,000 Lebanese Forces fighters. With the Chouf Mountains undefended, the Druzes went on a rampage reminiscent of the 1860 massacres. The first few weeks of September saw a rising number of massacres being committed against Christian civilians: 31 August 1983 36 Christians had their throats cut in Bmarian 7 September 1983 200 people massacred in Bhamdoun 10 September 1983 64 slaughtered in Bireh, several victims were executed in the village church, some of them on the altar. 10 September 1983 30 in Ras el-Matn 11 September 1983 15 in Maasser Beit ed-Dine 11 September 1983 36 in Chartoun 12 September 1983 3 in Ain el-Hour 12 September 1983 12 in Bourjayne 12 September 1983 11 in Fawara 13 September 1983 84 in Maasser el-Chouf On 11th September 1983 Walid Jumblatt announced his policy while making a speech in Damascus: "With the help of our Syrian allies we have removed the Christians and only the Druze villages will remain from now on. Such is our objective." During the fighting the mixed Christian and Druze village of Kfar Matta whose Christian population had been expelled was attacked and briefly held by the LF. 58 Druze civilians were killed by the LF. The Catholic Information Center in Beirut reported that 1,500 Christian civilians were killed and 62 Christian villages demolished. Bhamdoun was stripped of everything over the next few months and systematically demolished. The defeat of the Phalangists was expensive for the Christian community, which lost a large amount of territory. The cost in political currency was even higher, however. Not only did the fighting deal a blow to Amin Gemayel's credibility and authority in his dual role as chief of state and leader of the Christian community, it destroyed the myth shared by many different Lebanese factions that the Lebanese War had been settled in 1976. Admittedly, Christians and Muslims had continued to fire on each other's neighborhoods on occasion, but this was perceived as part of Lebanon's environment, like the weather. In all the significant fighting between 1976 and 1982, the Syrians, Israelis, and Palestinians had been belligerents on either or both sides of the conflict. The Mountain War, as the 1983-84 fighting in the Chouf Mountains came to be called, dashed the hopes harbored by many that the withdrawal of foreign forces would end the War. In Suq al Gharb and Khaldah, it was the Lebanese Army rather than the Lebanese Forces that confronted the Druze militias. On September 16, 1983, Druze forces massed on the threshold of Suq al Gharb. For the next three days the army's Eighth Brigade commanded by an officer called Michel Aoun (who would become in 1988 the Lebanese prime minister) fought desperately to retain control of the town. The tiny Lebanese Air Force was thrown into the fray, losing several aircraft to Druze missile fire. United States Navy warships shelled Druze positions and helped the Lebanese Army hold the town until a cease-fire was declared on September 25, on which day the battleship U.S.S. New Jersey arrived on the scene. Although the Lebanese Army had beaten the Druze forces on the battlefield, approximately 900 Druze enlisted men and 60 officers defected from the army to join their coreligionists. The Lebanese Armed Forces chief of staff, General Nadim al Hakim, fled into Druze territory, but he would not admit he had actually defected. The September 25th cease-fire briefly froze the situation. The Gemayel government maintained its jurisdiction in West Beirut, the Shi’i Amal movement had not yet involved itsefin the fighting, and Jumblatt was landlocked in the Shuf mountain. The Lebanese regime and opposition personalities agreed to meet in Geneva for a national reconciliation conference, under Saudi and Syrian auspices, to discuss political reform and the 17 May pact. For a while things looked a bit better. For its part, the United States had clearly inherited Israel's role of shoring up the precarious Lebanese government. On September 29, 1983, the United States Congress, by a solid majority, adopted a resolution declaring the 1973 War Powers Resolution to apply to the situation in Lebanon and sanctioned the United States military presence for an eighteen-month period. The Multinational Force Bombings and their Withdrawal On Sunday morning 23 October at 06:22, just after dawn, Shi’i Islamic radicals shook the already-reduced resolve of the Americans and their MNF partners by simultaneous suicide bombings of the U.S. and French compounds in West Beirut. In the Marine attack an explosives loaded 5 ton truck was driven at some 50 mph into the U.S. Marine compound killing 220 Marines and 21 other U.S. service members. A Lebanese man who also ran a small shop in the building was also killed. The large yellow Mercedes truck crashed into the ground floor lobby of the four-story concrete building where approximately 300 service members were quartered. Before crashing into the compound the truck circled a couple on times in the car park to gather speed. The sophistication of the attack and the explosives used pointed directly to the involvement of intelligence agencies. The explosives were composite-shaped charges built to have a "directed-enhanced" blast so that their impact on the building above would be greater. The bomb consisted of 300 kilograms of Hexogen reinforced by PETN this is equivalent to about 12,000 pounds of TNT. The explosives were mixed into a complex of gas and other substances. The difficult and delicate task of gas-enhancement requires the sort of specialized skills and wealth of experience possessed by a state, not an outlaw organization. Further, the use of highly controlled explosive materials as Hexogen and PETN indicates the involvement of intelligence agencies. Intelligence analysis showed that the actual preparations for the bombing began in September of 1983. Iran played a central role and operational coordination was conducted from the Iranian embassy in Damascus. Syria was responsible for the technical aspects of the attack as only they and their allies had the intelligence assets and the technical expertise to determine the requirements and design of the bomb. Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) members were in charge of operational security. Intelligence also showed that the Iranian embassy in Damascus paid $50,000 to a financial emissary named Hassan Hamiz to cover associated costs. Furthermore it was shown that a Syrian intelligence lieutenant colonel was involved in the planning several days before and that Sheikh Mohammed Fadlalla attended a meeting in the Soviet-Palestinian friendship house in Damascus to discuss the attacks three days before the bombings. After studying the U.S. compound, the Syrians decided to use a truck identical to the trucks delivering cargo to the Beirut airport. Those trucks passed routinely in front of the Marine barracks. The Mercedes truck used for the bombing was delivered to Beirut from an assembly plant in Syria or Iran, and the explosives used for the bomb were shipped from Bulgaria and delivered via Damascus. The day became the Marine Corps' bloodiest since February of 1945, when Marines fought to secure Iwo Jima. October 23, 1983 surpasses even the Corps' bloodiest days of the Vietnam and Korean wars. The explosion was determined by FBI forensic investigators to be "the single largest non-nuclear explosion on earth." The Long Commission Report into the attack stated it was "the largest conventional blast ever seen by the explosive experts community." So massive was the blast, the Report states, it would have caused major damage and many casualties even if it had exploded on the open road 330 feet away from the building. Until the September 11 2001 this had been the largest terrorist attack in the history of the United States. The Department of Defense Statement read: “At approximately 0622 on Sunday, 23 October 1983, the Battalion Landing Team headquarters building in the Marine Amphibious Unit compound at Beirut International Airport was destroyed by a terrorist bomb. The catastrophic attack took the lives of 241 Marines, sailors and soldiers and wounded more than 100 others. The bombing was carried out by one lone terrorist driving a yellow Mercedes Benz stake-bed truck that accelerated through the public parking lot south of the BLT headquarters building, where it exploded. The truck drove over the barbed and concertina wire obstacle, passed between two Marine guard posts without being engaged by fire, entered an open gate, passed around one sewer pipe barrier and between two others, flattened the Sergeant of the Guard's sandbagged booth at the building's entrance, penetrated the lobby of the building and detonated while the majority of the occupants slept. The force of the explosion [12,000 pounds] ripped the building from its foundation. The building then imploded upon itself. Almost all the occupants were crushed or trapped inside the wreckage.” Just 20 seconds after the Marine explosion another bomb was rammed into the French headquarters 2 miles from the Marine compound killing 58 French Paratroopers. The explosion at the French barracks blew the whole nine story building off its foundations and threw it about 20 feet westward, while breaking the windows of almost every apartment house in the neighborhood. This small bomb was driven at speed into the underground garage of the building. More than 20 Lebanese civilians were injured in the blast. A Lebanese family lived on the ground floor of the French-occupied structure. According to neighbors, the father who was the concierge had just gone out to buy bread when the blast ripped through the building, trapping his wife and three children inside, the youngest was 3 months old. Their bodies were recovered some 8 days later. Although the MNF remained in Lebanon after the October 1983 suicide truck bombings, the situation of the United States and French contingents was precarious. As the security environment in Lebanon deteriorated, Britain, France, Italy, and the United States decided to withdraw their MNF contingents in February 1984. The Switzerland Conferences The attacks against the Marine and French compounds seemed timed to coincide with the start of Lebanon's long-awaited national reconciliation conference but the conference went ahead. At the Geneva conference in early November Saudi influence achieved a limited consensus between the Maronite, Muslim, and Druze participants and it was agreed to delegated Gemayel to approach the Americans for revision of the 17 May pact, to make it a purely military arrangement. On 13 November, at a critical time for Syria in dealing with both Arafat and Gemayel, Hafiz al-Asad suffered a heart attack, precipitating a leadership crisis in Damascus. The crisis lasted for almost six months, until the Syrian president fully recovered and could fend off his insubordinate brother, Rifa’at. In Beirut, Gemayel had a last chance to save his presidency, by taking advantage of the common ground between moderate reform proposals from West and East Beirut and the breathing space offered by the American naval build-up immediately after the bombing of the U.S. marine compound. The U.S. however rebuffed Gemayel's attempt to revise the 17 May pact, and after some hesitation the U.S. backed Israel’s insistence on ratification of the original documents. Gemayel failed to reconvene the Geneva conference for the necessary consultations on the matter. In the meantime, military exchanges punctuated the cease-fire: the Americans lost two aircraft in a raid on the well-prepared Syrians in the Upper Matn, and Walid Junblatt was impatient to extend his new Shuf canton to the sea. Although the MNF remained in Lebanon after the October 1983 suicide truck bombings, the situation of the United States and French contingents was precarious. In early February 1984, Shia Amal militiamen clashed with the Lebanese Army in the southern suburbs of Beirut and after four days of heavy fighting gained control over Beirut International Airport, evicted the army from West Beirut, and reestablished the Green Line partitioning the capital. The decisive defeat of the army on two key fronts led to its gradual disintegration, as demoralized soldiers defected to join the opposition. United States Marines stationed near Beirut International Airport were surrounded by predominantly Shia militia groups. The day after the Lebanese Army was forced out of West Beirut and as the security environment in Lebanon deteriorated, Britain, France, Italy, and the United States decided to withdraw their MNF contingents. The most significant feature of the February 1984 was that for the first time Shi’i organizations, with Amal in the lead and the Iranian-backed Islamists of Hezbollah (“Party of God”) not far behind, imposed themselves on Lebanese politics. West Beirut came under local militia control, principally Nabih Berri’s Amal and Junblatt’s PSP, with the Sunnis and Palestinians subordinated. This was a different situation from that of 1975-82 in West Beirut, although Syria made a major strategic advance courtesy of the Lebanese opposition parties, Amal understood the scale of their achievement. With West Beirut evacuated by both the MNF and the Lebanese army command, Syria acquired a leading influence in that part of the city. Hafiz al-Asad decided that the best way to gain maximum capital out of the changes in Beirut was to bring the hapless Amin Gemayel to Damascus for a public submission. Abrogation of the Israel-Lebanon pact would be the token of submission but Asad’s real purpose was to use the Lebanese president to dominate the Maronite community, which would also increase Syria’s weight in dealings with West Beirut. Gemayel dithered for a few weeks while he made last-ditch appeals to the Americans and Israelis. However, the Americans were already looking afresh at Syria as a factor for stability in Lebanon and the Israelis answered only with a contemptuous dismissal. Syria tightened the screws by hinting at military action by “allies” against Zahleh, encircled by the Syrian army, and Gemayel’s home town of Bikfaya in the Upper Matn. On 29 February, Gemayel and an Lebanese delegation unofficially traveled to Damascus. In Damascus Gemayel agreed to a new inter-Lebanese conference, this time to be sponsored exclusively by Syria. The withdrawal of the MNF left Syria as the dominant force in Lebanon, and Syria acted rapidly to consolidate its grip on Lebanese affairs. It pressured Gemayel to abrogate the May 17 Agreement, and he did so on March 5, 1984. This event led to the resignation of the Council of Ministers and its replacement by a new government of national unity headed by Rashid Karami. Under pressure from Syria Gemayel invited the militia leaders to join the cabinet. On March 6, 1984 was Amin's first official visit to Damascus. It was agreed that six days later, on March 12, 1984, the Lebanese traditional political leaders, both Christians and Muslims, as well as Druze and Shia militia commanders were to meet in Lausanne, Switzerland. All except the Lebanese Forces were to be represented. Walid Jumblat and Nabih Berri, self assured due to their Syrian backing believed for a moment they had it made and so Lebanon’s warlords assembled in Lausanne in late March to see if they could reach a compromise. The conference got off to a bad start when Druze warlord Walid Jumblatt insisted on having the Lebanese flag in front of his seat removed and replaced with a Druze flag. This went quickly down hill from there. Jumblatt spent most of his time in his suit giving an interview to Playboy magazine. After nine days of fruitless talks interrupted only by banquets of smoked salmon and lobster bisque the conference collapsed. Ironically, the conference finally collapsed because ex-president Frangieh, Asad's principal Christian ally rejected any erosion of the Maronite presidency. The Amal leadership, unhappy about the sectarian nature of the compromise, which benefited Sunnis rather than Shi’is, were grateful to Frangieh for sparing them a possible contretemps with Syria. The Lebanese Forces were not amused with the new Gemayel-Syria relationship and Gemayel's gestures towards Syria. The election of Amin Gemayel to the presidency of Lebanon had far reaching consequences for the Lebanese Forces. Amin Gemayel had been a leading candidate in pro-Syrian Muslim eyes, although he was also supported by the Israelis. Bashir was elected President against the wishes of the Syrians and Muslims. Amin however often declared that Israel’s objective was to destroy Lebanon’s role in the region. He had always recommended pacification, compromise and dialogue with the Syrians. The Commander of the Lebanese Forces, Fadi Frem, considered Amin’s election as President a serious setback in Bashir’s political line and he regarded Amin to be more open reaching some kind of agreement with the Syrians. However Frem was paralyzed by family ties and could little. Frem was married Fuad Abou Nader’s sister, who was Amin’s niece. Frem had been in the Lebanese Forces from the start, he was previously Chief of the Intelligence Service of the Lebanese Forces in 1978 and in 1981, he became Chief of Staff, a post he had handed over to Samir Geagea when he was promoted Commander by Bashir before his assassination in 1982. Frem was good friends with Bashir and had always viewed Amin with suspicion. Amin Gemayel was a shrewd politician and aware of the Lebanese Forces feelings towards him, and so Amin decided to try to set their minds at ease, and gain Christian support through them. Amin’s first move upon taking office on September 23, 1982, was to pay a visit to the Lebanese Forces War Council. At the meeting Amin pledged to the War Council that he would follow in Bashir’s footsteps. The meeting did not go well, suspicion prevailed and soon arguments erupted. Bashir’s wife, Solange had to intervene personally to contain the hot-heads at the meeting. The fears of the Lebanese Forces were being realized. In Beirut, fostered and stimulated by popular support, and frustrated to be blatantly ignored, the Lebanese forces announced they were unconcerned with the discussions and results of the conference, for it only aimed at consolidating Syrian hegemony over Lebanon. They confirmed they were ready for war against the Syrian forces and their allies, whatever the price. Military exchanges between the LF, hostile to Gemayel’s new relations with Syria, and Syria’s West Beirut allies continued until the end of April when Syrian maneuvers produced a “National Unity Government" under the veteran Tripoli politician Rashid Karami. In this way Syria’s allies were brought into the official apparatus and eight months of hostilities around Beirut finally gave way to an uneasy truce between the Christian and non-Christian sectors. Syria moved from playing spoiler against the Lebanese regime, the U.S., and Israel to the more difficult task of stabilizing its primacy. That the new government was “united” only in the sense that its members occasionally assembled at the same table limited its value for Syria. The Bikfaya Accord Syria hammered out yet another security accord, the Bikfaya Agreement of June18. Muslim and Druze cabinet ministers had insisted on the creation of a military command council to replace the post of commander in chief of the armed forces, a proposal that was opposed by Christian cabinet ministers, who perceived it as a dilution of their control over the military. A compromise was reached providing for the continuation of the post of commander in chief, to be held by a Maronite as before, but also the establishment of a multiconfessional six-man military command council to have authority over appointments at the brigade and division levels. Major General Ibrahim Tannus, the army commander, was replaced by Major General Michel Aoun, who was somewhat more acceptable to Muslims. Furthermore, a new intelligence agency, the National Security Council, was established, with the stipulation that it be headed by a Shia Muslim. A Shia general, Mustafa Nasir, was named as the first director of the new agency. Nevertheless, the Maronite-commanded military intelligence apparatus remained intact as a separate but parallel institution. The agreement also called for a cease-fire, the withdrawal of heavy artillery and militiamen from the streets of East Beirut and West Beirut, the dismantling of barricades along the Green Line, and the reopening of the airport and port. The agreement formally took effect on June 23 and was implemented by July 6, 1984. Optimistic predictions that the Bikfaya Agreement would end Lebanon's chronic conflict were dashed as sporadic battles and terrorist attacks resumed. The accord was criticized vehemently by elements among the Maronites as Druze, Shia, and Sunni militia fought one another in West Beirut. Armed Shias stormed and burned the Saudi Arabian embassy on August 24. On the same day, the Lebanese National Resistance Front, an umbrella organization fighting Israel in southern Lebanon, fired two rocket-propelled grenades at the British embassy. The mounting tension in Lebanon was exacerbated by Israeli air raids against Palestinian guerrilla camps of the Abu Musa faction. The Bikfayya Agreement suffered another blow on August 23, when General al Hakim, the newly appointed Druze chief of staff of the Lebanese Armed Forces, died in an accidental helicopter crash. And, on August 30 Maronite patriarch and Phalange Party founder Pierre Gemayel died of a heart attack, setting the stage for a power struggle in the Christian community. Syria, determined to implement the security plans it had sponsored, attempted to restore order. It curbed the activities of the Iranian Pasdaran and Hizballah in Baalbek in the Biqa Valley, and it quelled the fierce fighting in the northern port city of Tripoli between the pro-Syrian Arab Democratic Party and the Sunni fundamentalist Tawhid (Islamic Unification Movement). The Bombing of the US Embassy Annex In September 1984, William Casey, head of the CIA, was spending lots of time at Langley raising consciousness about a possible terrorist attack in the closing weeks of the US presidential campaign. He made it clear that the entire U.S. intelligence community was on terrorist alert. He dreaded that a strike again by suicide bombers would show the impotence of the United States. The political repercussions could be substantial. Reagan’s presidency stood for strength. Nothing in the last years had demonstrated weakness more than an inability to stop these attacks. For seventeen months Casey had been throwing assets at the problem, training, information exchange, the development of a network involving some one hundred countries. There had been significant upgrading in forty countries of CIA capabilities in paramilitary training, hostage rescue and VIP protection. The CIA had just trained sixty Lebanese agents. Nearly fifty people at CIA headquarters worked exclusively on terrorism, as well as dozens more at the NSA and in the military intelligence services. Casey demanded results, and there had been some success. Intelligence had determined that Spain’s ambassador to Lebanon was being tracked, and the CIA had suggested he leave Lebanon. He did not and was later kidnapped. Some of the most concrete intelligence that was coming in classified reports showed that explosives and timed fuse bombs were being moved by Iranians operating out of their embassy in Damascus under the protection of diplomatic immunity. In August, reports had shown that explosives had been moved into Lebanon, where the trail was lost. With the Marines gone, the U.S. ambassador’s residence and the American Embassy annex in the relative security of Christian East Beirut were the remaining major targets. The CIA and other intelligence agencies cranked out reports but not much exactness to the warnings. At 11:40 A.M. Thursday, September 20, in a replay of the April 1983 attack, a van with diplomatic license plates pulled into the U.S. Embassy annex in East Beirut, zigzagging and threading its way around the staggered row of concrete dragon’s teeth designed to slow all vehicles. One guard’s M16 jammed. The security guard for the British ambassador, who was visiting the embassy, opened fire, pumping five shots into the van, he hit the driver and the van headed into a parked vehicle some thirty feet short of the ramp leading to the garage underneath the embassy. The van detonated, leaving a crater twenty-six feet in diameter. At least twenty-four people were killed, including two American servicemen. Another ninety were wounded, including U.S. Ambassador Reginald Bartholomew, who was buried in the rubble but emerged with only minor injuries. Overhead photography later showed that the van, or one just like it, had been practicing outside a mock-up of the embassy annex in the Bekaa Valley. American intelligence concluded that Hezbollah and Sheikh Fadlallah were behind this attack, just as they had been behind the 1983 bombings at the embassy and the Marine barracks. The attack could not have occurred without Syrian knowledge and assistance. Lebanese Forces Coup For sometime friction had been mounting between the Lebanese Forces and Amin Gemayel. Not willing to tolerate a Lebanese forces which was hostile to him Amin had to remove Fadi Frem and so throughout 1984 he used his base in the Phalange to undermine Frem with a view to replacing him as soon as Frem's mandate as head of the LF expired. In November 1984 Fuad Abou Nader, a member of the Phalange party, was elected as head of the Lebanese Forces. Nader was a 28-year-old medical doctor and Amin’s nephew. He was appreciated and respected by the troops for his courage on battlefields and had distinguished himself on various fronts. He had been Chief of Operations and Chief of Staff from 1982 to 1984. Amin, hoped he could influence Fuad Abou Nader and as a result control the Lebanese Forces. Soon Amin began to press the Lebanese Forces to disarm and to hand over the Port of Beirut. This port was a massive source of revenue for the LF. Amin also asked them to hand over the LF pension fund and all the assets they managed. The clincher was the dismantling of the Barbara checkpoint, another huge soucre of income for the LF. This checkpoint was held by Samir Geagea. After weeks of prodding, the Lebanese Forces agreed to truck their men and weapons out of East Beirut, into the mountains, but they adamantly refused to comply with the other demands. Trouble was brewing and tension mounted to breaking point in early 1985 when the Kataeb leadership visited Damascus in February. Geagea's militiamen continued to refuse the government's repeated requests to dismantle the checkpoint and toll station and so the commander of the Lebanese Forces, Fuad Abu Nader, finnaly removed Geagea from his post on March 11th 1985. Geagea's ouster, supported by Syria, quickly stirred dissension within the Lebanese Forces. For the Lebanese Forces this was the last straw but Abu Nader tried to end the rift by announcing that in the future the Lebanese Forces would function independently of the Phalange Party, but his move came too late. The next day, on March 12th, the Lebanese Forces reacted. At dawn, a military force led by Samir Geagea moved forward from Byblos and rolled down the coastal line to Nahr el Kalb Tunnel, hatch to Beirut and barely a few kilometers from the outskirts of the Northern Matn. Northern Matn was under the control of Amin Gemayel’s Force 75. On his way, Geagea took over all of the Kataeb and Lebanese Forces’ barracks, posts and checkpoints formerly held by Fuad Abu Nader’s men. At the same time, Hobeika and his forces stormed the Baabda district and Ashrafieh. The coup was bloodless without resistance and without human nor material losses. The only serious opposition came at Nahr Ibrahim late in the night of the 12th. A post held by Joseph el Zayek, Elias’s brother, fought a battle despite the odds against him. He was a fervent and loyal supporter of the Kataeb Party. Fuad Abu Nader maintained control of his own birth place, Ghazir in Kessrouan but agreed to step down peacefully. Syria massed troops around the Christian heartland north of Beirut, but agreed to give Gemayel time to neutralize the revolt before resorting to armed intervention but as the LF did not directly threaten Gemayel's rule or attempt to tople him, the Syrians decided not to interfere. With the stunning success of the coup, the Lebanese Forces laid their hands on and secured the Kataeb Party’s properties, real estate, businesses and media. Radio Voice of Lebanon and Al Amal newspapers both organs of the Kataeb Party were seized. The radio station, situated in Sassine in Ashrafieh, fell without any resistance. From this point the Phalange Party became solely a political party and had lost its influence and control on the Lebanese Forces. Amin Gemayel's authority was greatly undermined. ELIE HOBEIKA became the new head of the Lebanese Forces. The End of the Murabitun and the War of the Camps By the end of 1984, numerous Lebanese sources reported a substantial resurgence of the Palestinian political and military presence in the capital. The following year, Israel's withdrawal from Sidon (February) and Tyre (March-April) initiated a similar reemergence of Palestinian guerrilla groups in local camps there. Such developments were viewed with concern by Syrian who did not want to threaten the Israelis with a reestablishment of a semi-autonomous Palestinian base of operations in Beirut and the south, particularly one loyal to the PLO. At first it encouraged its own Palestinian clients to compete in the process, facilitating the entrance of Sa'iqa, PFLP-GC, and Abu Musa's Fateh-Provisional Command into these areas. In camps under direct Syrian control, Nahr al-Barid and Baddawi in the north, and Wavell in the Bekaa, these groups quickly gained the upper hand. But in areas beyond Syria's writ it soon became apparent that the independent Palestinian organizations Fateh, the PFLP and DFLP had far stronger popular support. Amal also viewed the reestablishment of a Palestinian political and military presence in Beirut and the south with concern. Hostility towards the Palestinians stemming from Shi'ite-PLO conflict in the late 1970s and early 1980s was reinforced by fears that a resurgent Palestinian presence would threaten the powerful political position that Amal had established for itself in post-1982 Lebanon. When Amal and the PSP seized control of West Beirut in February 1984, Amal established military posts in and around the camps. As the IDF withdrew, it did the same in Tyre and Nabatiyya in the south. Just as relative calm was restored to Christian East Beirut, fighting broke out again in West Beirut. Under Syria's aegis, Amal attempted to consolidate its control over West Beirut. Amal struck first in an April 15 with a joint PSP assault that routed the once-formidable Sunni Murabitun militia of the Independent Nasserite Movement in a matter of days and sent its leader, Ibrahim Kulaylat, into exile. The Murabitun was one of few groups in Lebanon to still support a Palestinian armed presence. Shortly thereafter, encouraged by Syria, Amal turned its attention to the Palestinians in the camps of Sabra, Shatila, and Burj al Barajineh. The first round of what was to become known as the "war of the camps" began 19 May 1985, with an incident between Palestinians in the Sabra camp and Amal militiamen. Heavy fighting quickly erupted between the approximately one thousand armed Palestinians in the Sabra, Shatila and Burj al-Barajineh camps and Amal's more than three thousand fighters, the latter supported by over a thousand soldiers of the predominately Sh'ite Sixth Brigade of the Lebanese Army and even some units of the predominately Christian Eighth Brigade stationed in East Beirut. Syria labeled the fighting an "Israeli-US plot being implemented by Yasser Arafat" declaring that "Lebanese nationalists have the right to refuse to allow Arafat and others to restore the anomalous state of affairs that previously existed." On May 30 1985, much of Sabra fell to its attackers. Amid Arab and Soviet political pressures on Syria and an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers scheduled to discuss the issue June 8, Amal declared a unilateral ceasefire the next day. Despite this, small-scale fighting continued for weeks. In Shatila, Palestinian defenders retained control of a small area around the camp's mosque, despite repeated efforts to dislodge them. Burj al-Barajina was not penetrated at all, but nevertheless remained under siege as Amal prevented supplies from entering or its population from leaving. Finally, after fighting that had claimed more than six hundred dead and two thousand wounded, a ceasefire agreement was signed by Amal and representatives of the Palestine National Salvation Front in Damascus on June 17. Yet the tensions which had sparked the camps war had not been resolved, and they would soon be manifest elsewhere. In Sidon, Palestinian and particularly Fateh, reorganization attracted stern warnings from Amal, the local Popular Nasirite Organization, and influential Sidon Deputy Dr. Nazih Bizri. Clashes between Amal and Palestinians in the camps erupted again in Beirut briefly in September, and once more for a week from 29 March 1986. Then, on 19 May 1986, one year to the day after the first round of the camps war, a second round began. Once again Amal was unable to penetrate the camps, despite a supply of T-54 tanks provided it by Damascus after the previous fighting. After the failure of more than a dozen ceasefires, the fighting finally died down with the deployment of Lebanese Army units and Syrian military observers around the Beirut camps June 24 1986. This set the stage for the third and most severe round of the camps war. It began with an incident September 29 at the Rashidiyya refugee camp on the outskirts of Tyre in which Palestinians allegedly fired on an Amal patrol. Amal immediately surrounded the camp, demanding the surrender of all arms inside it. The demand was refused. By late October, the fighting had spread to Sidon and Beirut. In an effort to relieve pressure on Rashidiyya, Palestinian forces in Sidon broke through Amal lines November 24 to seize the strategic hilltop village of Maghdusha, overlooking the coastal highway south of the city. As Amal's military weaknesses became evident, Syrian special forces reportedly aided it in the battle for Shatila. In Sidon, Israel launched multiple air-strikes against Palestinian positions around the city. As before, the clashes led to an emergency session of Arab League foreign ministers, and diplomatic intervention to halt the fighting. Iranian mediation secured a partially effective ceasefire between Amal and the Palestinian National Salvation Front (PNSF) on December 15 1986. But while pro-Syrian groups withdrew from around Maghdusha, Fateh who was excluded from the negotiations refused. It insisted that it would not turn over its positions around Maghdusha without a ceasefire in Beirut, guarantees of security in the Sidon area, and the lifting of Amal's siege around the Tyre refugee camps. Some of these positions were subsequently vacated to Hizballah and Popular Nasirite Organization militiamen in January, and some supplies allowed into the beleaguered camps. But for the most part the sieges continued, and new fighting soon erupted. In Beirut, the shelling of the camps was compounded by a blockade of food and medical supplies that resulted in sickness, starvation or death for thousands of trapped residents. Finally, on February 21, 1987, the first of seven thousand Syrian troops were deployed in West Beirut. On April 7, following an agreement with the PNSF, Amal lifted the siege as Syrian forces took up positions around the camps. That same month, negotiations between Amal and the PNSF took place with the aim of achieving a ceasefire in the south. Throughout the two years of fighting, the Palestinians, with indirect support from the Druzes, put up stiff resistance against the Amal attacks, and so Amal was weakened. Although many Palestinians were killed in the battles and about 25,000 took refuge in Druze controlled areas, the Palestinians managed to retain control of the camps. At the end of the war an official Lebanese government report was released which breaks down the casualty figures from 1975 to 1990. The total number of casualties was put at 3,781 dead and 6,787 wounded in the fighting between Amal and the Palestinians. Furthermore the number of Palestinians killed in internal power struggles in the camps was around 2,000. Israeli Pullback Some Israeli policymakers considered South Lebanon's Shias natural allies, especially because both Israel and the Shias wanted to prevent the PLO from returning to the area. Some Israelis envisioned a Shia buffer state modeled after "Free Lebanon," controlled formerly by Saad Haddad (Haddad died of cancer in January 1984 and was replaced by retired Lebanese general Antoine Lahad). Indeed, about 10 percent of the SLA was Shia, and the IDF armed and supported several Shia groups. These hopes, however, were never realized. The Shias, in fact, turned out to be implacable foes, vehemently resisting the Israeli presence in southern Lebanon. Concerned about the growing number of casualties inflicted on the IDF by Shia militants, on February 16, 1985, the IDF implemented the first stage of a withdrawal from Lebanon, evacuating its troops from the northern front at the Awali River to south of the Litani River, thus removing Sidon from Israeli control. Sidon's feuding factions, determined to avoid a flare-up of internecine violence in the wake of the Israeli withdrawal, formed a special committee to organize the smooth entry of Lebanese Army troops into the city. On February 17, a 3,000-man detachment of the army's predominantly Shia Twelfth Brigade took over the Israeli positions as the populace celebrated in the streets. Yet Israel's withdrawal gave it no respite from guerrilla attacks. On the contrary, the guerrilla campaign escalated into full-scale warfare, with most of the attacks occurring in the vicinity of Tyre. Frustrated by its inability to curb the resistance fighters, Israel resorted to what it called the "Iron Fist" policy, which entailed retaliatory and preemptive raids on villages suspected of harboring Shia guerrillas. On March 4 1985, an explosion devastated a mosque in the village of Marakah--only hours after the IDF had inspected the site--killing at least twelve people, many of whom were Shia guerrilla commanders. On March 11 1985, a large Israeli armored force wreaked vengeance on the village of Az Zrariyah, killing 40 people and detaining 200 men. The IDF hastened its withdrawal from southern Lebanon, adhering to an accelerated deadline voted by the Israeli cabinet, and pulled its troops back to a 9 mile deep security zone along the Lebanese-Israeli border. Israel also closed its detention center in Ansar and freed 752 of the inmates. But, in violation of the Geneva Conventions, which forbids transporting prisoners of war across international boundaries, 1,200 prisoners were transferred to Israel. Israel preserved a security zone approximately five to ten kilometers wide, which it handed over to the SLA. Some 150 Israeli combat troops and 500 advisers remained within the security zone. Events in Southern Lebanon Celebrations of Israeli pull-out were short lived. In March and April of 1985, a new round of Christian-Muslim fighting pitting a Palestinian-Druze-Shia coalition against the Lebanese Forces engulfed Sidon. The army was dispatched but appeared powerless to stop the combat. On April 24 after 40 days of combats, the Lebanese Forces fighters started to withdraw from Saïda. The Israelis continued their withdrawal in the West of the Bekaa region. The Lebanese Army settled in the evacuated areas but the PSP massed troops in the Barouk. The Christian villages east of Sidon began to fall on April 26 to a Leftist pan Arab and Palestinian forces, soon after several hundred Lebanese Forces troops pulled out of the heights above Sidon. Less than 48 hours later, Palestinians along with Muslim militiamen stormed up the hills and captured several Christian villages. Tens of Christian villages in the Iqlim El Kharroub and East of Saïda were looted, vandalized, and burned. The State was more powerless than ever, the Lebanese Army being unable to stop the massacres of Christian civilians. A few days later, Druze militiamen struck at other Christian villages in the region just north of Sidon and the Awali River. The operation was necessary according to Walid Jumblatt, to ''cleanse the area of the Lebanese Forces.'' The Druze, however, have long sought to control the territory north of Sidon in order to give them access to the sea. United Nations refugee officials estimated that between 10,000 and 20,000 Christians were made homeless by the fighting. It was the Christians' worst setback since the Chouf Mountain war in 1983. On May 2 the Lebanese living overseas occupied the Lebanese embassies and consulates in the West, in order to attract the attention of the public opinion to the fate of those living in South Lebanon. Throughout the first two weeks of May, as militiamen from at least three different factions took over the region, residents of West Beirut and Sidon drove into the Christian villages to join in the looting. They loaded their cars and pickup trucks with furniture and clothing, raided vegetable gardens and stripped an entire banana plantation before returning home. Some shawled women were seen squatted in doorways, laying claim to the possessions inside and, in some cases, even the house itself. Most of the Christians had fled inland to the stronghold of Jezzine where they were protected by Lahad's SLA while others fled south to the Israeli security zone and took refuge in the region of Marjeyoun before the advancing militias swept into their villages. The civilains that stayed behind were murdered. It cannot be known for certain how many hundreds of civilians were slaughtered. This defeat was a very serious blow to the Lebanese Forces and particularly to Geagea who had only recently taken over command. With Geagea disgraced, Elie Hobeika, head of LF intelligence division, called for a meeting of the Lebanese Forces Politburo and forced Geagea to step down. Hobeika was elected the new head of the LF on May 9th 1985, Geagea became Chief of Staff. Almost as soon as Hobeika took over the LF he started singing the praises of Syria and he even visited Syria on 9th September. Many in the LF started to smell a rat, they felt something had gone terribly wrong and began to look at Hobeika with suspicion. The Tripartite Accords. In late 1985, Syria sponsored yet another agreement among Lebanon's factions aimed at ending the ongoing war. On December 28, the leaders of Lebanon's three main militias--Nabih Berri of Amal, Walid Jumblatt of the Druze Progressive Socialist Party, and Hobeika of the LF--signed the Tripartite Accord in Damascus. Although this agreement resembled many previous failed Syrian initiatives to restore order in Lebanon, it was more comprehensive. It provided for an immediate cease-fire and an official proclamation of the end of the state of war within one year. The militias would be disarmed and then disbanded, and sole responsibility for security would be relegated to the reconstituted and religiously integrated Lebanese Army, supported by Syrian forces. More broadly, the accord envisaged a "strategic integration" of the two countries in the spheres of military affairs, national security, and foreign relations. The accord also mandated fundamental, but not sweeping, political reform, including the establishment of a bicameral legislature and the elimination of the old confessional formula, which was to be replaced by majority rule and minority representation. The accord differed considerably from others in as much as these signatories were the actual combatants in the war, rather than civilian politicians. This factor engendered considerable optimism in most quarters but great trepidation in others where it was viewed as an attempt to reconstruct Greater Syria. The most vehement protests came from the Sunni community, which was prominent in politics but had little military strength after its militia, the Mourabitun, had been crushed earlier in the year...HENCE, CIA comes in to scuttle the accords through Amine Gemayel and Samir Geagae, both CIA proxies, with the help of Oliver NORTH from the American Embassy in AWKAR. http://newhk.blogspot.com/2009/01/for-how-long-are-we-dead-set-on-being.html Gemayel refused to endorse the agreement, however, and solicited the support of the Lebanese Forces Chief of Staff Samir Geagea, who had been demoted only eight months earlier for his anti-Syrian, Christian supremacist stance. Fierce fighting raged within the Christian camp between partisans of Hobeika and Geagea. On January 16 1986, Hobeika flew to Paris, and then to ZAHLE. LEBANON's defeat was a major blow to Syrian prestige, and Syria retaliated by urging the militias it controlled to attack Christian areas. The Presidential Palace and Gemayel's home town of Bikfayya were shelled, and a series of car bombs were detonated in East Beirut. But the Christians closed ranks around their beleaguered president, and the Tripartite Accord was never implemented. Geagea, emboldened by his restored power, then challenged Gemayel and the Phalange Party directly. In July he announced the creation of the Free Lebanon Army, which was to be under his sole command and was to serve as his personal power base. But LF loyalists fought this plan....after what they saw from Geagea...the KILLINGS of at least 650 young men on barren walls in east BEIRUT. http://wiredlebanon.blogspot.com/2009/01/lebanese-civil-war-and-tripartite.html Pax Syriana On July 4, 1986, Syrian troops entered West Beirut for the first time since being expelled during the 1982 Israeli invasion. Approximately 500 Syrian troops, working with the Lebanese Army and police, cleared roadblocks, closed militia offices, and collected weapons. In mid-February 1987, however, a new round of fighting broke out in West Beirut, this time between Druze and Shia militias, both of which were regarded as Syrian allies. The combat was described by witnesses as being of unrivaled intensity in twelve years of war, with the militiamen using formations of Soviet-made T-54 tanks that Syria had supplied to both sides. Five days of combat caused an estimated 700 casualties and set much of West Beirut aflame. Syria acted decisively to stop the chaos in West Beirut, and it seized the opportunity to reimpose its hegemony over the areas in Lebanon from which it had been evicted by Israel in 1982. On February 22, 1987, it dispatched 7,500 troops, configured in two brigades and a battalion, from eastern Lebanon. The Syrian troops, most of whom were veteran commandos, closed down some seventy militia offices, rounded up and arrested militia leaders, confiscated arms caches, deployed troops along the major roads and at Beirut International Airport, established checkpoints, and sent squads on patrol in the streets. The Syrian Army did not shy away from violence in its effort to restore order to the Lebanese capital. In the first two days of its police operation, Syrian troops shot some fifteen Lebanese of various militias. Then on February 24 a dozen trucks full of Syrian commandos entered the Basta neighborhood, a Shia stronghold, and attacked the Fathallah barracks, the headquarters of the Hizballah organization. There, Syrian troops killed eighteen Hizballah militants. In mid-April the Syrian Army deployed troops south of Beirut. Approximately 100 Syrian commandos, fighting alongside soldiers of the Lebanese Army's Sixth Brigade, occupied key positions along the strategic coastal highway linking Beirut with southern Lebanon and took control of the bridge over the Awwali River, near Sidon. By mid-1987 the Syrian Army appeared to have settled into Beirut for a protracted stay. Lebanon's anarchy was regarded by Syrian officials as an unacceptable risk to Syrian security. The government of Syria appeared prepared to occupy Beirut permanently, if necessary. The senior Syrian military commander in Lebanon, Brigadier General Ghazi Kanaan, said that militia rule of Lebanon had ended and that the Syrian intervention was "open-ended," implying that Syria would occupy West Beirut indefinitely. Meanwhile Syrian officials indicated that thousands of additional Syrian troops would probably be sent to Beirut to ensure stability. Kanaan declared that Syria would take full responsibility for the security of foreign embassies in West Beirut, and he invited foreign missions to return. Kanaan also promised that Syria would expend all possible efforts to secure the release of Western hostages held by Lebanese terrorists. The Attack on Ashrafieh On September 27 1986, a 3,000-man force loyal to Hobeika launched a surprise attack across the Green Line from Muslim West Beirut against East Beirut. The night before a small group of Hobeika's men had taken the LF by surprise at Sodeco and captured the crossing point across the Green Line. Hobeika's men, supported by Syria and their leftist allies, surprised and forced back Geagea's militiamen and managed to get as far as Sassine Square. The LF counter attacked and things started to go badly for Hobeika. At 10:30 am the Lebanese Air Force flew over Ashrafieh and the Lebanese Army's Tenth Brigade entered the fray on the side of Geagea's LF. By noon the invasion of East Beirut was halted. Obviously the situation room at the US embassy in AWKAR was in full swing again...helping its PROXIES of CIA. The assassination of the Prime Minister Mr. Rashid KARAME The Prime Minister Mr. Rashid KARAME was assassinated by Samir Geagea; blown out of the sky from his Helicopter, Geagea was indicted, convicted and sentenced for life in jail, until his sudden release in 2005 by his CIA masters. Nabih BERRI will pay dearly for that soon. General Michel Aoun As the end of President Gemayel's term of office neared, the different Lebanese factions could not agree on a successor and compromise candidates were rejected by the Syrians. Consequently, when his term expired Gemayel appointed in the first minutes of September 23, 1988, Army Commander General Michel Aoun as interim Prime Minister, until new elections could be held. Salim al-Hoss with Syrian backing objected to this and continued to act as de facto Prime Minister based in West Beirut saying that he was the prime minister. There can be no doubt about the constitutionality of the Aoun government. Article 53 of the Lebanese constitution states that the president appoints the ministers, 'one of whom he chooses as prime minister'. The current premier does not have to resign; the president can dismiss him and appoint a new prime minister. Moreover, the Aoun government kept the rules of the National Pact. If the presidency is vacant, the cabinet is the sole executive . . . There was a precedent for this: in 1952, President Beshara al-Khoury appointed the commander of the army, Fouad Chehab, who was a Maronite, Prime Minister of an interim government until elections could be held. Lebanon was thus divided between an essentially Muslim pro-Syrian government in west Beirut and an essentially Christian government in east Beirut. The working levels of many ministries, however, remained intact and were not immediately affected by the split at the ministerial level. Any attempts to hold new elections were blocked by the militias or by the Syrians repeated efforts to reason with the Syrians proved fruitless. Aoun felt that the power of both of these interfering forces, the militias and the Syrians had to be reduced. Aoun felt that the authority of the state had to be exerted throughout the country and so Aoun tried to find political solutions the reduce militia power and loosen Syrian grip on the country. International campaigns were launched to apply pressure on Syria. The War of Liberation In February 1989, General Aoun ordered the Lebanese Army to close illegal ports run by the LF. On 14 February 1989 Aoun struck at the LF in the Matn and in East Beirut and after two days of fighting the army gained the upper hand. The LF surrendered the Port of Beirut which was thus removed from LF control for the first time since the early days of the war, the LF also gave up its major taxes and acknowledged Aoun's military council's supremacy. From the Syrian point of view Aoun had made a huge and worrying public relations advance in Syrian occupied areas as pro Syrian politicians welcomed Aoun's assault on the LF and moved for similar measures in their sectors. Syria became enraged when on 24 february 1989 Aoun ordered the closure of all illegal ports to compel shipping to use the Port of Beirut and so the Syrian controlled militias refused to comply with Aoun's orders. On March 6 Aoun activated the army's 'Marine Operations Room' and started a blockade of West Beirut militia ports. The attempt by Aoun to close illegal militia ports in Syrian controlled and mainly Muslim parts of the country resulted in the shelling of east Beirut by pro-Syrian militias and the Syrian Army. On 14th March 1989 Aoun had no choice but to declared a 'War of Liberation' against the Syrian Army in Lebanon. This led to a 7 month period of shelling of East Beirut by Muslim pro-Syrian militias and by Syrian forces and the shelling of West Beirut and the Chouf by the Lebanese Army with some support from the LF. Aoun answered Syrian shelling of East Beirut with unprecedented targeting of Syrian military installations across Lebanon from Beirut to the central Bekaa. The shelling during the war of Liberation was very heavy and caused nearly 1,000 deaths, several thousand injuries, and further destruction to Lebanon's economic infrastructure, the Syrian forces also imposed a land and sea blockade. Shipping entering ports under Lebanese Army control was fired upon by Syrian artillery based in West Beirut and the Koura. Events in July impelled both Aoun and the Syrians toward military escalation. Aoun wanted to break the maritime constriction of East Beirut, which now threatened his political viability, and Syria felt pressed by financial costs and rising international concern. In early July reports of a large Iraqi consignment to Aoun, including Frog-7 surface-to-surface missiles which could be used against the Syrian capital, led Syria to impose a gunboat blockade on Jounieh. Using Tripoli as a base, up to six gunboats at any one time cruised 10—15 kilometres offshore, shelling and arresting incoming vessels. By late July the civilian population of East Beirut faced strangulation, raising doubts in Baabda for the first time as to whether Aoun could continue. At this point LF chief Samir Geagea finally agreed with the army to co-ordinate artillery fire to help ships enter, and Aoun, who had shown relative restraint since May, energetically pursued escalation, including commando raids against Syrian army positions, to force immediate internationalization of the war. Numerous attempts to defeat Aoun through repeated pro Syrian militia assaults on the Lebanese Army defending strategic town of Souq el-Gharb failed and so it was decided that a larger scale Syrian attack was required. The morning of 10th August 1989 saw extremely heavy bombardment of Souq el-Gharb which was to last for until the morning of 13th August 1989, when units of the Syrian Army, Syrian Special Forces troops, Jumblatt's PSP militia, Palestinians guerrillas, and Communist Party troops launched a general assault on the town. Despite the attackers breaching the perimeter early in the battle, and Lebanese army counter attack dislodged the Syrians and their allies. During the battle Walid Jumblatt announced that Souq el-Gharb had been 'liberated from the occupation of the Lebanese Army' and called for a press conference to be held at Souq el-Gharb. Upon their arrival, the international press was surprised to see that the Lebanese Army in Souq el-Gharb had won a decisive victory in the face of overwhelming odds. Casablanca Arab summit Some months earlier, in January 1989, the Arab League had appointed a six-member committee on Lebanon, led by the Kuwaiti foreign minister. At the Casablanca Arab summit in May, the Arab League empowered a higher committee on Lebanon - composed of Saudi King Fahd, Algerian President Bendjedid, and Moroccan King Hassan - to work toward a solution in Lebanon. The Casablanca committee issued a report in July 1989, stating that its efforts had reached a "dead end" and blamed Syrian intransigence for the blockage. After further discussions, the committee arranged for a seven-point cease-fire in September, bringing an end to the War of Liberation, followed by a meeting of Lebanese parliamentarians in Taif, Saudi Arabia. The Taif Accords After a month of intense discussions, in October 1989, the deputies informally agreed on a charter of national reconciliation, also known as the Taif agreement. Muslim MP Nazim Qadri was assassinated two days before the Ta'if conference convened after making public statements calling for a Syrian withdrawal. During the Ta'if negotiations, a Sunni MP from Tripoli, Abdel Majid al-Rafei, told reporters that "the presence of Syrian troops on Lebanese territory is a contravention of the Arab league charter" and that "since 1976, the Syrian regime has not only interfered in Lebanon, but also massacred and destroyed cities." Within 24 hours, Syrian forces had arrested around 200 of his followers in and around Tripoli. The Syrians were not willing to tolerate any resistance to their occupation. Some months earlier, in May 1989, the Grand Mufti of the Lebanese Sunni community, Hassan Khalid, who had expressed his support for Aoun was assassinated just days after meeting with officials from Aoun's administration. The deputies returned to Lebanon in November, where they approved the Taif agreement on November 4, and elected Rene Moawad, a Maronite Christian deputy from Zghorta in north Lebanon, President on November 5. General Aoun, claiming powers as interim Prime Minister, issued a decree in early November dissolving the parliament and did not accept the ratification of the Taif agreement or the election of President Moawad. General Aoun's main objection to it was that Syria had committed itself neither to rapid nor complete withdrawal. To the contrary, he complained, Syrian forces were to stay in place for a full two years, ostensibly "assisting the Lebanese government extend its authority." After that, Syrian forces were to be redeployed only as far as the Beqaa valley. The Agreement gave no timetable for any further Syrian withdrawal, merely stipulating that "such withdrawals would be negotiated at the appropriate time by the governments of Lebanon and Syria." Furthermore, General Aoun charged that the political reforms were unacceptable because they simply shifted power from the office of the President to that of the Prime Minister without solving any fundamental political problems. Fearing a Syrian assault, hundreds of thousands of Lebanese flocked to the presidential palace in late December 1989 to form a "human shield" around the compound after Syrian military forces surrounding the free enclave began massing for an imminent invasion. The presence of thousands of Shi'ite and Sunni Muslim Lebanese at these demonstrations illustrated the multi-confessional appeal of Lebanon's first popular nationalist movement. Sunni religious leaders in West Beirut sent a "Muslim Solidarity Delegation," led by Sheikh Hassan Najar, who gave numerous rousing speeches during the demonstrations. The Assassination of PRESIDENT Rene Moawad . As the days passed Moawad was becoming embarrassed with heavy handed Syrian desires to push through the accords and Syrian press even went so far as to invent aggressive anti Aoun interviews which Moawad felt obliged to disclaim. As Moawad found himself to be unable to win over army officers and men who all remained loyal to Aoun, Moawad refused to replace General Aoun with a new armed forces commander, preferring negotiation to confrontation and he would not allow the Syrians to dislodge Aoun militarily. President Moawad was assassinated on November 22, 1989, by a bomb that exploded as his motorcade was returning from Lebanese independence day ceremonies. 550lb (250kg) of remote controlled explosives destroyed the president's Mercedes in the heart of Syrian held west Beirut. The enormous amount of explosives used, were placed over a period of some days, inside a sweet shop on the road along which the car would pass. The explosives were detonated as the car passed the shop and it has been suggested that the device used also triggered a secondary bomb hidden inside the car. The occupants were vaporized, the rear section of the vehicle was tossed onto the roof of a local building with the front half being thrown 200 yards away into a parking lot. No investigation was carried out into the murder...but I am able to tell the world that WALID JUMBLATT conspired with Yasser Arafat in order to assassinate President-elect Rene MOUAWAD, because Joumblatt hated the Chehabists to extremes... and President Mouawad was a CHEHABI par excellence....The family of President MOUAWAD should know that fact, despite all attempts by CIA to give them false leads...because Walid Joumblatt is a CIA asset since AUB... The parliament met on November 24 in the Beqaa Valley and elected Elias Hrawi, a Maronite Christian deputy from Zahleh in the Beqaa Valley, to replace him. The results of the election were broadcast on Syrian radio ten minutes before the vote actually took place. President Hrawi named a Prime Minister, Salim al-Huss, and a cabinet on November 25. Despite widespread international recognition of Hrawi and his government, General Aoun refused to recognize Hrawi's legitimacy, and Hrawi officially replaced Aoun as army commander in early December. The vast majority of the Lebanese Army, however, again remained loyal to General Aoun. The Begining of the End, The War of Elimination General Aoun's attempt to break the power of the militias and his standing up to the Syrians made him extremely popular with a cross section of the Lebanese population, this was manifested by large demonstrations in his support around the Presidential Palace. Samir Geagea and the LF were now rapidly loosing prestige and control of the Christian enclave. Geagea was becoming seduced by the Taif agreement which could open the way for him to receive a high government posting should he side with Hrawi and the Syrians. The LF hoped that siding with the Taif agreement would give the militia international respectability and that once Hrawi was bought into power the LF could detach him from Syria and use him as a cover to restore its domination of the enclave. The LF, in January 1990, made no secret of its option of linkage with Hrawi “if things don't work out with the general” or its derision for the “circus” of pro-Aoun demonstrations. Syria, which was well aware of the LF scheme, encouraged Hrawi to entice the militia. Also in January 1990, rumours surfaced in East Beirut about alleged LF contacts with American officials and Syrian officers regarding an LF ditching of Aoun. Whether these reflected reality or disinformation, they certainly raised tensions. The daily al-Safir later quoted a reference by Christian deputies to “the capitals that were behind encouraging the LF to go into the battle with Aoun.” Only Washington and Damascus could have had this interest. By this point the LF was probably already plotting a surprise military strike to paralyse army communications to coincide with a “security plan” proposed for West Beirut in early February. On 30 January, Aoun intervened after army and LF mobilizations in a clash over LF use of school buildings in a Beirut suburb—he announced a compulsory “uniting of the rifle” in East Beirut, meaning absorption of the LF into his army brigades. For the LF this was a declaration of war. Immediately after Aoun’s “unification of weapons” speech, the LF stormed, captured, and held the Lebanese army barracks of Amshit, Sarba, Safra, Halate and the naval base at Jounieh, spread through the urban area and secured the Ashrafieh hill, adjacent to the militia “war council”. The unthinkable had happened. The LF had gone to war against Aoun who had been concentrating his forces against Syria was not prepared for a flare up within his base area. The army had taken no precautions with regard to its scattered barracks, ammunition dumps, and other assets in the LF heartland. The big Adma base which was exposed to LF encirclement had limited ammunition and no provision had been taken for the dispersal of the helicopter fleet which was destroyed by the LF on the first day of fighting. The ferocity of the army-LF war of February—May 1990 was determined by the fact that the army started from a much eroded geographical position—the Matn—and faced the task of “conquering” more an 80% of the East Beirut enclave. A new Iraqi arms shipment in early 1990, “to be divided equally between the army and the LF” and intended by Iraq for trouble-making against Assad, meant East Beirut’s weapons stocks were at an all-time high. The Maronite community could thus blow itself apart in grand style. The LF’s arsenal was not much more inferior to that of Aoun and it had a less arduous task of holding ground in urban and mountain terrain favouring the defence, especially in winter weather. Awareness of its unpopularity merely made the militia more ruthless. Through the first month the army launched attacks with increasing desperation to crack the LF. In early February Aoun cleared the LF from the coastal Matn, seizing the militia barracks at Dibye. This almost brought a morale collapse in the militia, but the destruction in the battle zone, which in three days matched the landscape created by years of shelling in old central Beirut, deterred Aoun from marching into Jounieh. Instead the army tried to outflank Jounieh and split the Kisrawan in a mountain push—a much longer distance in worse terrain and weather. This gave the LF time to recover its balance. The army push petered out and Aoun turned to Beirut. He drove the LF out of its Ayn al-Rumana pocket in an artillery firestorm. For each of these assaults the army used about 1,000 men and 40 to 100 armoured vehicles. Finally, on 1 March, Aoun tried to overcome the LF’s defences around its “war council,” to bring the surrender of Ashrafieh and shatter the LF’s apparatus. However, the army had to break off the engagement—the 400 commandos who had spearheaded successive battles were exhausted and an ammunition shortage silenced the army’s American howitzers. Aoun had to fall back on inferior Iraqi supplied Soviet artillery pieces. Military loss were heavy, by 1st March the Army had lost 32 officers and 251 soldiers dead; 40 tanks, 10 APCs, and 11 helicopters destroyed; 20 tanks and 15 APCs damaged. The two groups that were best able to resist the Syrians were now fighting each other, and many soldiers on the opposing sides either knew each other or were even related and so refused to fight and simply went home. Aoun was reduced by the end April to half of his original military capability. He had lost his air and naval bases, major stocks of 155-mm shells, and 25% of his tank force. The initiative now passed out of his hands permanently. Syria aimed to have the LF and Aoun reduce each other to a point at which the LF would have to submit to the Ta’if arrangement without a quid pro quo, and Aoun would be so emasculated that he would either have to surrender or suffer a swift military blow. The second phase was a stand-off, with shelling exchanges continuing until late May when an Iraqi-sponsored truce brought an uneasy calm. The population had faced intolerable disruptions and over 320,000 people had fled the enclave by the time the fighting stopped. The old East Beirut, where power centres had cohered against strategic challenges, was gone for good. In its place was a shell containing two entities, each anxious to blot out the other but unable to do so. The final blow came on 9th April 1990 when the Lebanese Forces announced their support for Taif and their readiness to hand over the institutions under their control to the rival government in west Beirut. The fighting continued and over 900 people died and over 3,000 were wounded during these battles called the 'War of Elimination' by Samir Geagea. The Gulf War and the Syrian-American alliance At the end of the 1980s, as superpower bipolarity faded and the U.S. became the dominant world power, the administration of President George Bush sought to buttress the Western position in the Middle East, to guarantee secure access to the Persian Gulf oil reservoir. Two important goals were to reduce instability in the Eastern Mediterranean, by quietening the Arab-Israeli conflict, and to restrict the influence of the Islamic regime in Iran. Also, the U.S. wished to assist conservative authoritarian regimes friendly to the West to maintain themselves. The U.S. might push for limited “democratization,” but appeared sympathetic to the view that Middle Eastern societies did not provide a suitable basis for popular participation in politics. One of the prominent new features of Middle Eastern politics after the Cold War was Syria’s enhanced importance for the U.S. even while Syria’s strategic position deteriorated. On the one hand, Syria’s partnership with Iran allowed it to be a “go-between” with Tehran for the West and the Gulf oil states; Syria had become the major Arab state confronting Israel; and Syria was seen as the key to quietening Lebanon. Syria thus appeared to be critical to post—Cold War American plans for a Western-oriented order in the Middle East. On the other hand, Damascus had effectively lost Soviet patronage by 1989, meaning it had no superpower backing and little hope of weapons replacement in case of war with Israel, and the Syrian economy was hobbled by its military burden and the inefficiencies of a mafia-style dictator-ship. The situation seemed to increase the prospects for drawing Syria into a cooperative relationship with the West and whetted American expectations; a shrewd operator like Hafiz al-Assad could use this to improve Syria’s bargaining position. Syria expected the U.S. and Israel to commit themselves to a pack-age of regional rewards before it shifted its posture. The package would include full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan, acknowledgement of a Syrian free hand with the Lebanese regime, an appropriate financial payoff, and widened access to Western aid and technology. On its side the U.S. indicated friendly intentions, but would not oblige Damascus on Arab-Israeli matters, or on a relaxation of the official American view of Syria as a state that supported “terrorism,” until Assad committed himself to full peace with Israel. General Aoun’s 1989 campaign against the Syrians inconvenienced the U.S. In the American outlook, Aoun distracted attention from Israeli-Palestinian issues, was trying to create complications between the West and Syria at a time when the U.S. wanted to bring Syria into its new “order,” and was behaving in a way likely to make Lebanon even more attractive to disruptive forces, particularly Shi’ite Islamic radicalism. For their part, Lebanon’s Shi’ite militants enabled Iran to affect Middle Eastern affairs far beyond its own borders. In short, Lebanon’s Christian and Shi’ite communities each presented a serious challenge to U.S. policy for “stabilizing” the Middle East. The fact that Aoun and Hizballah both represented populist upsurges left the Americans cold—this only made it more imperative that both be curbed. In 1989-90, a degree of U.S.-Syrian collaboration was established as the best means, according to the Bush administration, of putting a lid on Lebanon’s turbulent affairs. The U.S. worked with Syria and Saudi Arabia to have General Aoun removed in favor of a new Taif Lebanese regime the function of which was not to satisfy the aspirations of the Lebanese people, but to ensure that Lebanon ceased to be a distraction. Iraq’s 2 August 1990 seizure of Kuwait, the Iraqi-American confrontation, and the infusion of Western forces into the Persian Gulf transformed Middle Eastern political calculations. The U.S. now needed—or, more accurately, imagined itself as needing—the broadest possible Arab military participation, and Syria suddenly found itself the object of the most flattering Western attentions. Assad tested the winds of the world for a week or so, calculated that his Iraqi enemy was head-ed for catastrophe, and offered himself as a partner in the American-led coalition. By mid-August, as the daily al-Safir noted, it was obvious that “Gulf events have removed foreign barriers standing against the Hirawi government asking Syria to strike at the unnatural situation in East Beirut.” Intensified Syrian-American consultations culminated in the 13 September visit of Secretary of State James Baker to Damascus. Assad provided troops to sit in Saudi Arabia and in late September, clearly at Baker’s request, made his first personal visit to Tehran to “secure continuation of Iran’s adherence to [U.N.] sanctions [against Iraq].” In exchange for involvement in the Gulf, Damascus expected and got approval to settle things in Beirut, by whatever means. In late August the U.S. ambassador to Syria gratified Syrian officials and the Hirawi regime by publicly stating that “we [the U.S.] want to see immediate implementation of Ta’if.” American reservations about Syria’s association with “terrorism” temporarily vanished. The only American requirements, completely coincident with Syria’s own approach, were that the operation must be swift and by invitation of the Hirawi government, to counter comparisons with Iraqi behavior concerning Kuwait. Curiously, in mid-September the Israelis seemed convinced that Syria was too busy with the Gulf crisis to open “an additional front” in Lebanon—this after the U.S. had already assured Lebanese officials, and by extension the Syrians, that Israel would not interfere “provided there is no movement southward.” The question arises as to whether the U.S. sought to neutralize Israel by deliberately misleading the Israelis about American-Syrian understandings. Coordinated activities by the Hirawi government and Syria went ahead slowly as Assad wanted to give Aoun a last chance to submit. The LF-Kateab camp in East Beirut threw in its lot with the regime: Assad was so pleased with Kata’ib leader George Sa’ada at a late July audi-ence that he asked him “not to stay away from us too long.” On 21 August, parliament met with the necessary two-thirds quorum, courtesy of the LF, and voted through the Ta’if constitutional amendments. The National Assembly approved, and President Hrawi signed into law, constitutional amendments embodying the political reform aspects of the Taif agreement. These amendments gave some presidential powers to the council of ministers, expanded the National Assembly from 99 to 108 seats, and divided those seats equally between Christians and Muslims. This completed the formal legal base of the regime, at least to the satisfaction of its partisans. On 23 September, LF and Syrian delegations had a productive session in the Beqaa and on 26 September the LF handed over the crossing points on Aoun-LF fronts to Hirawi government troops. On 28 September, the Ta’if regime committed its prestige and existence to a successful showdown by imposing a siege on the Aoun area, blocking food supplies to the population. 13th October 1990 In October 1990, the Syrian military supported by a few Lebanese troops loyal to Hrawi launched an attack against General Aoun. The attack came just after 7:00 a.m. on the 13th October and started with an air raid by Syrian Soukhoi fighter bombers against the Palace and the Ministry of Defence. For many years a no fly zone over the whole of Lebanon had been enforced by the Israelis preventing the Syrians from using their airforce, on this day however, the Syrians were allowed to fly by the United States as reward for their joining the NATO coalition against Iraq in the Gulf crisis. Immediately before the assault, Syrian aircraft overflew the Matn to test the efficacy of American intervention with Israel. The air attacks lasted 13 minutes after which Syrian special forces troops advance under massive artillery cover, LF artillery joined Syrian artillery and fired on the Lebanese Army. The French considered intervention through their fleet positioned off the Lebanese coast, but after this did not materialize, General Aoun realizes that he cannot win and at 8:45 a.m. announces his surrender from the near by French embassy in order "to avoid even more bloodshed, limit the damage and to save what remains." The surrender is broadcast on all radio stations throughout the day as General Aoun personally contacts his field commanders to orders that they "obey the orders of the commander in chief of the Army, General Emile Lahoud." At 10:00 a.m. the Syrians enter the Palace but despite this, many units of the Lebanese Army initially refuse to surrender and heavy fighting continues, a Lebanese Army unit counter attacks Deir al-Qalaa, at Beit-Mery, and manages to oust Syrians special forces that had occupied the monastery by force at the very start of the day. The Lebanese unit finds that some of the monks in the monastery had been killed by the Syrian troops. At Douar, on the Bikfaya front, the elite commandos engaged Syrians tanks and caused heavy damage. On the hill of the Prince, at Souk al-Gharb, the cadets of the military Academy, assisted by regulars of the 10th Brigade put up a very hard fight. In Suq al-Gharb itself, Aoun’s Lebanese army units, with only a fraction of their pre-February 1990 hardware, killed about 400 Syrians before the front was overrun. The Lebanese Army headquarters at Yarze even refused to give the ceasefire order finally announcing it 12:30 p.m. It was fortunate that Aoun had managed to directly speak to many of his units and so prevent much bloodshed. Disaster did strike however at Dahr el-Wahesh, village between Aley and Kahaleh, where the 102nd unit of the Lebanese 10th Brigade had been positioned. The 10th Brigade had been rather thinly deployed throughout the front line and during the battle some of its units had been unable to communicate with their headquarters and those at soldiers at Dahr el-Wahesh, numbering less than one hundred had not heard the radio broadcasts. Details of the events that followed are rather vague due to the lack of survivors. It seems that heavy fighting had occurred from the outset around the village with Syrians taking heavy losses. After the ceasefire was announced, around one thousand Syrian soldiers along with a handful of troops from the Lebanese 6th Brigade which was traditionally loyal to Amal, approached the village from Aley during what they believed was a ceasefire. The Lebanese soldiers unaware of the ceasefire fired upon the Syrian column with light artillery. The Syrians were caught in the open and in panic some Syrians ran straight towards the Lebanese positions and some ran into a mine field. A Lebanese officer of the 6th Brigade informed the defenders of Dahr el-Wahesh that the fighting was over and that they should surrender. The officer commanding the 102nd and his men would only surrender to a Lebanese Army unit and not to the Syrian Army. The Syrians however would not pull back and a fight to the death followed. Estimates of Syrian losses ranged from 160 to 450 in the battle that followed and it seems that the 102nd fought on until their ammunition ran out refusing to let Dahr el-Wahesh, which overlooks the Palace, fall into Syrian hands. Later that afternoon some 80 bodies of soldiers of the 102nd would be brought to a Baabda mortuary, most had their hands tied behind their backs and had been shot in the back of the head, some had been stripped down to their underpants before being executed. The Syrians executed one of the officers, Emile Boutros, by forcing him to lay down on the road and then driving a tank over him. At least 15 civilians were executed by Syrian soldiers in Bsous after having been rounded up from their homes, and another 19 people, including three women, were reported to have been killed in cold blood in al-Hadath. Around the Presidential Palace another 51 Lebanese Army soldiers were stripped and excecuted. It was also reported that at least 200 supporters of General Aoun, most of them military personnel, were arrested by the Syrian forces in east Beirut and its suburbs, these men simply disappeared. Father Suleiman Abu Khalil and Father Albert Sherfan, two priests, also ''disappeared'' during the events of 13 October 1990. Father Albert Sherfan was the head of the Deir al-Qalaa Monastery in Beit Meri and Father Suleiman was the treasurer. On 13 October 1990 it was reported that the Syrian forces took up a position near the monastery, after a long battle which claimed the lives of 25 Syrian soldiers, because of its strategic position overlooking the Metn districts and other areas. These two priests, who had not been killed in the battle, ''disappeared'' on the same day together with some soldiers of the Lebanese army who had apparently taken refuge in the monastery. The brother of Father Suleiman Abu Khalil recalls: ''On 13 October 1990 the monastery was occupied by the Syrian forces. I tried to obtain an authorization to go and see Suleiman but I couldn't. At about 10am a Syrian officer asked to enter the monastery to have a drink of water. Father Suleiman appeared at the balcony and at the same time another monk came out to see what was happening. The Syrians apparently were surprised to see that there was more than one monk in the monastery and became suspicious that people might be hiding there. Accordingly, the Syrian officers rang all the Lebanese authorities they could reach to allow them to enter and search the monastery. When they went in they found Lebanese soldiers in civilian clothes. They arrested everyone they found and took them away, the soldiers in a lorry and the two monks in a Range Rover. All were taken first to Anjar and then to Far Falastin in Damascus. We contacted a lot of people to intervene on their behalf but all our efforts came to nothing.'' The Murder of Dany Chamoun Over the next few days after the surrender of General Aoun, Syrian agents moved into East Beirut and many Aoun supporters were arrested. Opposition was put down. On 21st October 1990, Dany Chamoun, the leader of the National Liberal party, who was against Syrian presence in Lebanon and had been a strong supporter of General Aoun's policies was killed in cold blood by Samir Geagea's gunmen who broke into his apartment in the early hours. His wife and his two young boys, aged 5 and 7, were also killed in the most disgraceful of ways. The scale of the horror and the savagery of the killings were barbaric even by Lebanese standards. The housekeeper took Dany's baby daughter and hid in the attic, they were the only survivors. What is not surprising is that the assassins were found and put in jail for life, I.E. Samir Geagea and his trigger men, only to be released in 2005 on orders from CIA... Nabih BERRI has a lot of explaining to do in due course, and he will pay for it DEARLY.... On December 24, 1990, Omar Karami was appointed Lebanon's Prime Minister. General Aoun remained in the French embassy until August 27, 1991 when a "special pardon" was issued, allowing him to leave Lebanon safely and take up residence in exile in France. 1991 and 1992 saw considerable advancement in efforts to reassert state control over Lebanese territory. The militias were dissolved in May 1991 with the important exception of Hezbollah and units of Amal so that they can carry on the fight to oust the Israelis from Lebanon, and the armed forces moved against armed Palestinian elements in Sidon in July 1991. In May 1992 the last of the western hostages taken during the mid 1980s by Islamic extremists was released. The Election of 1992 A social and political crisis, fuelled by economic instability and the collapse of the Lebanese pound, led to Prime Minister Omar Karami's resignation May 6, 1992. He was replaced by former Prime Minister Rashid al Sulh, who was widely viewed as a caretaker to oversee Lebanon's first parliamentary elections in 20 years. The elections were not prepared and carried out in a manner to ensure the broadest national consensus. The turnout of eligible voters in some Christian locales was extremely low, with many voters not participating in the elections because they objected to voting in the presence of non Lebanese forces. There also were widespread reports of irregularities. The electoral rolls were themselves in many instances unreliable because of the destruction of records and the use of forged identification papers. As a consequence, the results do not reflect the full spectrum of Lebanese politics. Elements of the 1992 electoral law, which paved the way for elections, represented a departure from stipulations of the Taif agreement, expanding the number of parliamentary seats from 108 to 128 and employing a temporary districting arrangement designed to favour certain sects and political interests. According to the Taif agreement, the Syrian and Lebanese Governments were to agree in September 1992 to the redeployment of Syrian troops from greater Beirut. That date passed without an agreement. Trouble in the South, Operation Accountability, Operation Grapes of Wrath and the Qana Massacre Fighting continued in the south between Hezbollah and the Israelis to various degrees of intensity. During the escalation in the fighting in July 1993 known as "Operation Accountability" in Israel and the "Seven Day War" in Lebanon, some 120 Lebanese civilians were killed and close to 500 injured by a ferocious Israeli assault on population centers in southern Lebanon, an offensive which also temporarily displaced some 300,000 Lebanese villagers. The stated goals of the Israeli operation were not only to punish Hezbollah, but also to inflict serious damage on villages in southern Lebanon and create a refugee flow in the direction of Beirut so as to put pressure on the Lebanese government to rein in the guerrillas. Hezbollah, in retaliation, indiscriminately fired a number of Katyusha rockets across the border into northern Israel during that week, killing two and injuring twenty four civilians. To end the fighting in July 1993, the United States brokered an unwritten agreement between Israel and Hezbollah, the July 1993 "understandings." The agreement supposedly prohibited attacks on civilians, but both sides understood the agreement to mean that if one side broke the rules, the other side could do so as well. As a result, between July 1993 and April 1996, both sides have accepted civilian casualties whenever their side had attacked civilians first. In April 1996, the agreement that had ended the July 1993 fighting broke down under the weight of cumulative violations by both sides. Civilians in Lebanon and Israel were dying. On April 9, Israeli officials declared that "these rules of the game are not good and cannot remain," and that "residents in south Lebanon who are under the responsibility of Hezbollah will be hit harder, and the Hezbollah will be hit harder." Within forty eight hours, Israel launched what it referred to as "Operation Grapes of Wrath." Between 160 and 170 Lebanese civilians were killed during the sixteen day offensive and over 350 wounded. Fourteen Hezbollah fighters were killed. Estimates of the number of displaced civilians range from 300,000 to 500,000 civilians, including well over 150,000 children. In the single most lethal event of the operation, on April 18, 1996, at least seventeen Israeli high explosive artillery shells hit a UNIFIL compound near the village of Qana, in which over 800 Lebanese civilians had taken shelter. Some 102 civilians were killed. A U.N. inquiry found that it was "unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of gross technical and/or procedural errors," strongly suggesting that the base had been deliberately targeted. According to the Israelis "At 1352 and 1358 hours, respectively, Israeli locating radar had identified two separate targets in Qana from where fire had originated. The first target was located 200 meters or so south-west of the United Nations compound. The second target was located some 350 meters south-east of the compound. The data had been sent automatically to the Northern Command and to an artillery battalion located on the Israel-Lebanon border, about 12 kilometers from the sea. The battalion comprises three batters with four guns each. It is equipped with M-109A2 guns (15-millimeter caliber). When the battalion received the data, it checked the targets on a map and found that one of the two locations was between 200 to 300 meters from the United Nations position at Qana. The commanding officer had therefore sought instructions from Northern Command, which rechecked the data and gave permission to fire. This decision had not been taken lightly; officers of some seniority had been involved. When the order to fire came, the first target had been engaged by one battery, using all four guns. Thirty-eight shells (high-explosive) had been fired, about two thirds with impact fuses and one third with proximity fuses. (Proximity fuses cause a round to explode in the air above the target; they are often used for anti-personnel fire.) The two types of fuses had been employed in random order. Convergence fire had been used so that the impacts would be concentrated in the target area. Regrettably, a few rounds had overshot and hit the United Nations compound. " A UN team questioned a number of witnesses on the activities of Hezbollah fighters in Qana prior to the incident. The following was found: (a) Between 1200 and 1400 hours on 18 April, Hezbollah fighters fired two or three rockets from a location 350 meters south-east of the United Nations compound. The location was identified on the ground. (b) Between 1230 and 1300 hours, they fired four or five rockets from location 600 meters south-east of the compound. The location was identified on the ground. (c) About 15 minutes before the shelling, they fired between five and eight rounds of 120 millimeter mortar from a location 220 meters south-west of the centre of the compound. The location was identified on the ground. According to witnesses, the mortar was installed there between 1100 and 1200 hours that day, but no action was taken by UNIFIL personnel to remove it. (On 15 April, a Fijian had been shot in the chest as he tried to prevent Hezbollah fighters from firing rockets.) (d) The United Nations compound at Qana had taken a large number of Lebanese seeking shelter from Israeli bombardments. By Sunday, 14 April, 745 persons were in the compound. On 18 April, the day of the shelling, their number is estimated to have been well over 800. When the Fijian soldiers heard the mortar being fired not far from their compound, they began immediately to move as many of the civilians as possible into shelters so that they would be protected from any Israeli retaliation. (e) At some point (it is not completely clear whether before or after the shelling), two or three Hezbollah fighters entered the United Nations compound, where their families were. The UN findings were that the distribution of impacts at Qana shows two distinct concentrations, whose mean points of impact are about 140 meters apart. If the guns were converged, as stated by the Israeli forces, there should have been only one main point of impact. The pattern of impacts is inconsistent with a normal overshooting of the declared target (the mortar site) by a few rounds, as suggested by the Israeli forces. The findings conclude "While the possibility cannot be ruled out completely, it is unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of gross technical and/or procedural errors." The Israeli offensive in April 1996 ended with a cease-fire agreement, brokered by the U.S., that was an improvement over the July 1993 understandings. This time, the agreement was contained in a public written document that included a commitment by both Israel and "armed groups in Lebanon" to "insuring that under no circumstances will civilians be the target of attack and that civilian populated areas and industrial and electrical installations will not be used as launching grounds for attacks." The agreement also established a group consisting of Lebanon, Israel, Syria, France and the United States to monitor compliance with the agreement. However the agreement did not stop the fighting altogether, it only toned it down carrying on in a low intensity form for the next couple of years without major incident. Hit and run attacks by Hezbollah and ambushes against the Israelis and the SLA caused high casualties and in 1999 the SLA were no longer able to maintain their positions in and around Jezzine and so in the last few days of May 1999 they withdrew. The SLA moved south but some 250 SLA militiamen chose to remain behind and surrendered to Lebanese authorities, they were then jailed them for various terms ranging from one year to ten. Over the next few weeks fighting between Hezbollah, the Israelis and the SLA intensified and slowly began to target civilians. On the 23rd June 1999, three civilians were wounded, including a 12 year old boy, in Israeli artillery attacks on Qabrikha and Yater, and on the 24th June, shells fired from the Israeli occupied enclave wounded a woman in Qabrikha. Hezbollah listed 21 attacks on 11 Lebanese villages between June 19 and June 23 1999 and said it had on several occasions fired warning mortar rounds at border outposts, but when the Israelis failed to get the message it was compelled to fire deeper into Israel. Citing a marked increase in assaults targeting civilians in south Lebanon, Hezbollah gunners unleashed four volleys of Katyusha rockets into northern Israel on the afternoon of the 24th June 1999 as a “warning message” to Israel to halt its violations of the April 1996 Understanding. Twenty nine rockets were fired. In Israel, military sources claimed five people suffered mild wounds or were treated for shock. The Israeli response was heavy. Israeli fighter-bombers on the night of 24th June blasted power plants, bridges, telephone exchanges, and other infrastructure facilities across Lebanon causing millions of dollars of damage. At least seven people were killed and more than 35 wounded. In response, Hezbollah unleashed more volleys of Katyusha rockets into northern Israel, killing two Israeli civilians. Dinnieh Uprising On New Year's eve 1999, as Lebanon entered the year 2000 full of hope and joy, attention was quickly turned away from south Lebanon as a group of Sunni fundamentalist militants went on the rampage in north Lebanon. The DINNIEH is a CIA operation, lock stock and BARREL, the deputy attorney general of the USA, complained because of the detention of MR.KENJ... who carried a US passport... MR. KENJ is one of the KILLERS of the Lebanese army officers...just like Samir Geagea did earlier in the 1986-89... The mountainous area of Dinnieh northeast of Tripoli suffered a 4-day "war" between Lebanese Army units and a group of 150-200 Sunni fundamentalist militants, in which 11 troops(including one officer), 5 civilians and 27 attackers were killed, and 6 soldiers, 12 civilians and 20 attackers wounded. The events started when the militants ambushed an army unit in the village of Assoun, killing five soldiers and army Major Milas Naddaf was kidnapped. The militants belonged to the "At-Takfir wal-Hijra" organization. The ambush and abduction triggered the largest military operation since the end of the civil war, involving 4,000 troops, tanks and helicopters, and the fighting extended to the village of Kfar Habou, where the rebels leader Bassam Kanj was killed after a battle. In the house where Kanj took refuge, the body of Major Naddaf was found with his throat slit, along with the mutilated bodies of two hostages, 21-year-old Sarah Yazbeck and her mother Salwa Raad both of whom had been brutalised before being murdered. By January 5th 2000 security forces said that the operation was over and that 67 Islamic fighters had been captured. The group's membership was extremely multifaceted. Although most were from Lebanon, there were also a significant number of Palestinians, Syrians, and others from elsewhere in the Arab world. Most had been previously affiliated with anti-Syrian Sunni Islamist movements such as Jama'a al-Islamiyya and Al-Tawhid al-Islami. The Lebanese-born leader of Takfir wa al-Hijra, Bassam Ahmad Kanj (also known as Abu A'isha), and many of its members reportedly fought with the Afghani mujahidin against occupying Soviet forces in the 1980's. It seems that Kanj received financial support from fellow Afghan veteran Osama bin Laden through bank accounts in Beirut and north Lebanon. While the Dinnieh clashes were under way, on January 2, a gunman claiming to be "a martyr for Grozny" fired several rocket-propelled grenades at the Russian embassy in Beirut, killing a security guard and wounding several others before he was kileed by Lebanese security forces. Lebanese officials publicly dismissed the man, a Palestinian named Ahmad Raja Abu Kharrub (alias Abu Ubeida) as a psychologically unstable individual. However, according to reports, Abu Kharrub was a member of Usbat al-Ansar (the Partisan League), a Sunni Islamist Palestinian group linked to Takfir wa al-Hijra, based in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp near Sidon. The leader of Usbat al-Ansar, Abd al-Karim al-Sa'di, is said to have sent members of group to Beirut and other areas of Lebanon in November to avenge Russian atrocities in Chechnya. Usbat al-Ansar is also suspected of responsibility for a grenade attack against a Lebanese army checkpoint near the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp that wounded a soldier on the same day. The following week, four unidentified gunmen disguised as Army soldiers attempted to launch another attack on the Russian embassy from the neighboring Bohsali building, but the plot was foiled by security forces. South Lebanon flared up soon after and during January and February 2000 seven Israeli soldiers were killed in guerrilla attacks. Israel retaliated by bombing three power stations in Lebanon, wounding 15 civilians and causing $20 million in damage. Israel Withdraws As part of Ehud Barak's election campaign he promised to withdraw Israeli troops from Lebanon by July 7 2000. As the deadline approached the SLA began to collapse with many of its troops abandoning their positions. As the deadline for ending the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon neared, fighting intensivied with ten people being wounded on May 18th 2000. The injured included two Israeli soldiers, two members of the Israeli-run South Lebanon Army (SLA) militia, a Hezbollah guerrilla, four Lebanese civilians and a U.N. peacekeeper. The exchanges of artillery fire and Israeli air raids on suspected guerrilla targets continued into the night. With this, the causualty toll in fighting in the year 2000 stood at eight Israeli soldiers dead and 25 wounded, 24 SLA members killed and 37 injured, 10 guerrillas dead and eight hurt, five Lebanese civilians dead and 61 wounded, one Lebanese soldier injured and two U.N. peacekeepers wounded. On 20th May 2000, the Israeli airforce attacted a military base of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command (PFLP-GC) near Deir al-Ghazal in the Bekaa Valley. The Israelis destroyed 10 T-55 tanks killing a handful of Palestinian guerrillas in the process. It was becoming obvious that the Israelis were going to pull out well ahead of the July 7 deadline and over the next couple of days dozens of Israeli allied Lebanese militiamen fled to Israel's border, asking for asylum after their military outposts fell to Hezbollah guerrillas. The SLA did put up a fight in some places with SLA fire claiming six Lebanese lives on May 22. On the night of the 22nd May 2000, under cover of darkness the Israelis began their final pullout which was complete by the 24th. SLA units throughout the security zone began to disintegrate almost immediately after Israeli troops began pulling out of the central sector and abandoned large stocks of heavy weapons and armored vehicles to advancing Hezbollah guerrillas, forcing the Israeli Airforce to divert aircraft from ground support missions to the destruction of SLA arms caches. Within 24 hours of the start of the pullout the SLA had completely collapsed. The speed of collapse of the 2500 man strong SLA was surprising with some 1700 surrendering and the rest, along with their relatives, taking refuge in Isreal. While the speedy collapse of Shiite SLA units was expected, IDF military planners had assumed that predominantly Druze and Christian units in the more heterogeneous eastern and western sectors would remain intact. The rapid collapse of the SLA appears to have been a result of several factors. Firstly, a threat made by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah to "liquidate" all SLA members who fail to surrender when the Israelis pull out was taken very seriously by the SLA rank and file. Secondly a secret deal reportedly negotiated in advance by Druze leader Walid Jumblatt and Nasrallah resulted in most Druze SLA units surrendering en masse to Hezbollah, this left the remaining units isolated and demoralized. Thirdly, General Lahd traveled to France in mid May for an extended visit with his family, the last opportunity to do so, he thought, before the situation in south Lebanon heated up prior to the scheduled withdrawal of Israeli forces by July 7. His absence caused a tremendous drop in the morale of SLA troops. After belatedly learning of the turn of events in the south, Lahd quickly flew back to Tel Aviv and drove up to the border, only to discover that there was no South Lebanon Army left for him to lead. The conduct of the Hezbollah guerrillas in the areas previously held by the SLA was most honorable. Revenge killings, mass murders, and massacres that many feared would take place did not occur. The Lebanese government welcomed the pullout but demanded that Israel abandon the Shebaa farms that were captured in 1967. Israel claims that these farms were Syrian but the Lebanese and the Syrians both claim that the farms are Lebanese. The matter was investigated by the UN and it was decided that the pullout was complete. The Shebaa Farms. On October 7th 2000, in an operation which had been planned for months, three Israel army technicians conducting a routine check of the border fence near the village of Shebaa suddenly came under rocket and machine gun fire from a team of Hezbollah guerrillas. During the fifteen-minute clash, in which all three of the soldiers were wounded (one of them seriously), another team of guerrillas proceeded to cut through the border fence and abduct the soldiers, while nearby Hezbollah units launched a heavy artillery bombardment of neighboring Israeli outposts to pin down IDF reinforcements, wounding six Israeli soldiers. The captured men, later identified as Omar Suwad, 25, Benyamin Avraham, 20, and Adi Avitan, 20, were shoved into two (or three) get away cars on the Lebanese side of the border which sped off in different directions, while an estimated 400 guerrillas deployed in forward positions in neighboring villages to prepare for an Israeli ground offensive. Israeli television stated that "a severe ultimatum" threatening to "retaliate very forcefully" unless the soldiers were returned had been issued to the Lebanese government, while the Lebanese media reported that the Israel threatened to bomb Beirut if Hezbollah failed to release them within four hours. Although Israeli air force planes penetrated Lebanese air space after the abduction (which had been meticulously avoided since the IDF pullout in May), no retaliatory action was forthcoming. On October 15, speaking before a joint session of the Arab and Islamic Nationalist Conferences at the Carlton Hotel in Beirut, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah announced the capture of a fourth Israeli, later identified as Elhanan Tennenbaum, a 54-year-old reserve air-force colonel. "God help the prime minister today," he added, turning to Lebanese Prime Minister Selim al-Hoss and other government officials in attendance, "in dealing with the many phone calls he will get from Albright." Nasrallah later said that Tennenbaum was an undercover Israeli intelligence operative who had been attempting to infiltrate the group. According to this account, he was lured to Lebanon by the prospect of meeting with a senior Hezbollah official (with whom he had established contact through an intermediary) and was seized upon entering the country. Israeli officials insisted that Tennenbaum was a civilian employed by a consulting firm linked to two prominent Israeli electronic and military communications companies, Tadiran and Rafael, and that he was kidnapped in the Swiss city of Lausanne. Israel held Syria responsible for the incidents and threatened retaliation against Syrian interests in Lebanon. Diplomatic efforts to gain the release of the prisoners which continued for months but were interrupted as Hezbollah struck again four months later on February 16, 2001. In an anti tank missile ambush one Israeli soldier was killed and two others wounded when Hezbollah guerrillas destroyed a patrolling Hummer jeep in the Shebaa farms area. Israel shelled south Lebanon in retaliation to a Hezbollah guerrilla attack and again said that it held Syria responsible but did not retaliate against Syria as Isreal was still trying to secure the freedom of its captured soldiers. On April 14 2001 Hezbollah fighters destroyed an Israeli tank in a cross-border missile ambush, prompting Israeli jets, helicopter gunships, tanks, and artillery to blast the outskirts of Shebaa and Kfar Chouba in south Lebanon with sustained fire. Hezbollah guerrillas hit the Israeli Merkava tank with a Sagger missile and killed an Israeli soldier and wounded three others in the Shebaa Farms area, where the borders of Lebanon, Syria and Israel meet. A special U.N. envoy said the next day that the rocket attack that killed an Israeli soldier in a disputed border zone violated the U.N.-drawn boundary between Lebanon and Israel. Again Israel said it would hold Syria responsible for the attack. In the very early hours of April 16th Israel struck Syrian positions in Lebanon. Israeli jets bombarded a Syrian radar station in the mountainous region of Dhar al Baydar, 45 kilometers (27 miles) east of Beirut, at 12.30 am Monday (2130 GMT Sunday). The planes also fired at a Syrian anti-aircraft position two kilometers away in the Mdeirej-Hammana region near the Beirut-Damascus highway. Israel said the raid on a Syrian radar station in Lebanon was a clear message to Syrian leaders that they would pay if they did not drop support for Hezbollah guerrillas. Security sources said four Israeli planes carried out three successive runs, firing six rockets on the Syrian radar station and one on a nearby Syrian position. The Israeli warplanes killed at least three Syrian soldiers and wounded six others in the attack. One of the Syrian soldiers killed was an officer. September 11th 2001 In a series of coordinated terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, members of the al-Qaida militant Islamist group hijacked four aircraft. They crashed two into the two towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York City and a third into the U.S. Department of Defense headquarters, the Pentagon, in Arlington County, Virginia, just outside of the capital, Washington, D.C.. A fourth hijacked plane was intentionally crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers fought back and stormed into the cockpit. The attacks were the first highly lethal attack by a foreign force on the mainland U.S. since the War of 1812. With a death toll of nearly 3,000, the attacks exceeded the toll of approximately 2,400 dead following the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The way the United States looked at the Middle East suddenly changed. No longer were terrorists going to be allowed to have shelter in the Middle East. Afghanistan was quickly invaded, the Taliban removed from power and Al Qaeda training bases destroyed and terrorists captured. The Al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and the Taliban leader Mullah Omar have so far evaded capture. In a video broadcast on October 28th 2004 Bin Laden explained his reasons for attacking the United States: "But after the injustice was so much and we saw transgressions and the coalition between Americans and the Israelis against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it occurred to my mind that we deal with the towers. And these special events that directly and personally affected me go back to 1982 and what happened when America gave permission for Israel to invade Lebanon. And assistance was given by the American sixth fleet. During those crucial moments, my mind was thinking about many things that are hard to describe. But they produced a feeling to refuse and reject injustice, and I had determination to punish the transgressors. And as I was looking at those towers that were destroyed in Lebanon, it occurred to me that we have to punish the transgressor with the same -- and that we had to destroy the towers in America so that they taste what we tasted, and they stop killing our women and children." The Assassination of Mr.Elie Hobeika At 9:50 AM on January 24, 2002, Hobeika and three bodyguards left his apartment on Kamel Asaad street in suburban Hazmieh southeast of the capital en route to his office in Sin al-Fil. Shortly after their departure, the blue Range Rover they were driving slowed down to pass by a white Mercedes 280 parked on the side of a narrow road. As Hobeika's car passed the Mercedes, an estimated 22 kilos of high explosive in the Mercedes was detonated apparently by remote control. Hobeika and his bodyguards, Dimitri Ajram, Walid Zein and Faris Sweidan, were instantly killed. The explosion reportedly catapulted Hobeika's body over sixty meters from the wrecked SUV. The explosion injured six bystanders. The blast blackened neighboring apartment buildings, destroyed dozens of cars parked nearby, and even shattered glass windows up to one kilometer away from the scene. There was no claim of responsibility for the mid-morning blast, but also no shortage of possible suspects. Lebanon was quick to accuse Israel, claiming that 45-year-old Hobeika was killed to prevent him from testifying in an impending court case against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Belgium. The prosecution in the case holds Sharon directly responsible for 1982 massacre in Sabra and Shatilla. Although Hobeika's lasting claim to notoriety was his during the 1982 massacre, in July 2001, Hobeika broke his characteristic silence over the Sabra and Shatila massacre to plead innocent of any involvement, claiming to have documents and tapes that proved he was not in the vicinity of the camps at the time. In a secret meeting in Beirut with two visiting Belgian senators on January 22nd 2002, Hobeika reportedly informed them that he feared for his life. One of the senators, Josy Dubie said in Brussels on the day of the assassination that when he asked Hobeika if he felt threatened, he replied: "I feel threatened. I have revelations to make." The senator also said, "I then asked why he did not make these revelations now and he replied to me: 'I am saving them for the trial.' which is the right thing to do, on direct orders from Mr. Elie Hobeika's counsel " . This is what CIA tried to disseminate about this odious assassination. Since Israel has carried out similar assassinations of its enemies in Lebanon in the past (e.g. the January 1979 assassination of Abu Ali Hassan Salameh, the commander of Yasser Arafat's Force 17), it might have been able to carry out the assassination of Hobeika, either directly or through Lebanese proxies, even in an area like Hazmieh. In the aftermath of September 11, Hobeika attempted to win American support by contacting the CIA to offer his help in locating and capturing Imad Mughniyah, the former head of special overseas operations for Hezbollah who is listed on the Bush administration's most wanted terrorist list. Hobeika had collaborated with CIA operatives in Lebanon in the early 1980s and attended a training course at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia in 1982. His services would have been a valuable asset in the hunt for Mughniyah. Hobeika owned one of the largest private security firms in Lebanon (in effect, a small militia made up of bodyguards with legally-registered weaponry and skilled intelligence operatives) that has a presence in the largely Shi'ite southern suburbs of Beirut - the most likely location of Mughniyah. By late 2001, the Syrians had completely withdrawn their protection of Hobeika and instructed the Lebanese judiciary to take action against him, or at least threaten to do so. Given the timing of the judicial moves, it appears likely that the Syrian intelligence learned about his attempts to approach the CIA and this would have given them a strong motive to eliminate him, or allow others to eliminate him, before he could do so. The event could serve as a pretext for a massive crackdown on opponents of the Syrian occupation in Lebanon. More generally, the assassination, which bore an uncanny resemblance to killings during the war, lent support to Syria's claim that a withdrawal of its forces from Lebanon would lead to internal violence and instability. During the last month of his life, Hobeika was extremely distraught due to the steadily escalating measures taken against him by the Syrian-backed regime in Beirut and became wildly paranoid. During the funeral of a close ally and confidante, former MP Jean Ghanem, who died on January 14 from injuries sustained in a car crash in Hazmieh, Hobeika told several people that the latter's death was not accidental. Hezbollah's political leadership has its own grudge against Hobeika dating back to the March 1985 car bomb attack against Fadlallah, as does the movement's main external sponsor, Iran, for his role in the deaths of four Iranian diplomats during the civil war. A more immediate motive for eliminating Hobeika would have been the desire to preempt his assistance to the CIA in locating Imad Mughniyah, the head of Hezbollah's Foreign Operations Branch (jihaz al-amaliyyat al-kharijiyya). Hizbullah knows very well who ordered the car bomb on The Allamah Mouhammed Hussein Fadlallah. They know that it was CIA, and Amine Gemayel and Johnny ABDO carried it out; murdering 85 innocent civilians and missing its target... In light of the large numbers of Palestinians that Hobeika was responsible for killing during the war in Lebanon, the possibility that an armed Palestinian faction carried out the assassination cannot be discounted. In 2001, a senior official of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement in Lebanon, Bassam Abu Sharif, threatened to kill Hobeika.... Another possible culprit is the radical wing of the LF. In 1991, according to the Lebanese authorities, LF operatives loyal to Samir Geagea carried out a 1991 bombing which destroyed Hobeika's car and killed one of his bodyguards. In June 1998, the Lebanese authorities claimed to have uncovered a plot by former LF intelligence operatives to assassinate Hobeika, as well as Maj. Gen. Ghazi Kanaan, the chief of Syrian military intelligence in Lebanon, and then-Interior Minister Michel Murr. The 13 alleged members of the cell who were arrested by security forces reportedly received their orders via the Internet from an LF office in Australia. However, as the above failures illustrate, radical LF factions have been thoroughly penetrated by Lebanese and Syrian intelligence over the last ten years. It is highly unlikely that any anti-Syrian faction of the LF could have undertaken an operation of this complexity in Hazmieh unless it was coordinating with the Syrians - which seems unlikely. Hobeika's enemies had many reasons to despise him. He betrayed his people to the Syrians and was seen as a mass murderer by the Palestinians. For many, he was first an Israeli agent, and later a Syrian agent. For others still, he was a double agent and a hated and dangerous man....? History will be the judge of that... and I am sure history will be extremely kind to MR. Elie HOBEIKA. The assassination was never forgotten .... this is what really happened: http://newhk.blogspot.com/2008/12/uniiic-ii-report-revisited.html Operation Defensive Shield Suicide attacks by Palestinians in Israel against civilians that had started in 1995 had become much more frequent and savage and by early 2002 the situation for the Israelis was becoming unbearable. In March 2002 suicide bombings had almost become a daily occurrence: 2 March: Nine people killed including two babies, and 57 injured after suicide bomb attack in an ultra-Orthodox area of Jerusalem. 5 March: One person killed and several others injured in suicide bomb attack on a bus at Afula central bus station. 9 March: 11 people killed and 50 injured in suicide bomb attack on busy cafe in west Jerusalem, near the official residence of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. 20 March: Seven people killed in a suicide bomb attack on a bus carrying mainly Arab laborers near the northern town of Umm el-Fahem. 21 March: At least two people killed and more than 20 injured in suspected suicide bomb attack in the centre of West Jerusalem. 22 March: Bomber kills himself and wounds an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint at Salem, on Israel's border with the West Bank. 26 March: Three injured in car bomb blast near a shopping centre in Jerusalem. 27 March: In the Israeli resort of Netanya, a bomber blows himself up at a hotel, killing 28 Israelis celebrating Passover. 29 March: A woman bomber kills herself and two others at a Jerusalem supermarket. 30 March: A suicide attack on a Tel Aviv restaurant leaves the bomber dead and 30 Israelis wounded. 31 March: Bomber attacks restaurant in Haifa, northern Israel, killing himself and 14 Israeli Jews and Arabs. On the same day, another bomber kills himself and wounds four people in an attack on an office for paramedics at the Jewish settlement of Efrat, south of Bethlehem. The Israelis needed to act and so on March 29th 2002 they launched Operation Defensive Wall (Shield) in which the IDF entered the west bank and occupied Palestinians towns and cities so as to destroy Palestinian terrorist infrastructure. Soon Arafat was trapped in his head quarters confined to one wing and after heavy fighting some 4000 Palestinians were arrested across the west bank. Hezbollah acting in support of the Palestinians immediately started to launch daily attacks against Israeli positions in the Shebaa farms sector in what can only be described as an attempted to open a second front. In a worrying development Palestinian guerrillas started launching Grad and Katusha missiles against Israel proper from south Lebanon, this was in breach of agreements established between Israel and Lebanon. Israel vowed a "cruel response" if Hezbollah and Palestinian attacks from Lebanon did not stop and blamed Syria for the escalation. Hezbollah attacks on Shebaa went on unabated and so on April 3, 2002 Syria began shifting some its occupation troops in Lebanon in an apparent bid to make them less of a target for any Israeli retaliation to attacks by Hezbollah. Most Syrian troops stationed in Mount Lebanon and along the coast were redeployed towards the Bekaa valley along the strategic Dahr el-Baidar mountain pass, 15 miles east of Beirut as stipulated in the Taif agreement. More incidents were reported of missiles striking Israel and so the Lebanese police moved to arrest those responsible. On Thursday April 4 2002, three Palestinian guerrillas were caught in a car on the coastal road between the cities of Sidon and Tyre, about 55 kilometers (34 miles) west of Chebaa Farms, with Grad rocket detonators in their possession. The Russian-made 120 mm Grad missiles have a firing range of up to 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) and so capable of hitting northern Israeli cities. The next day after Lebanese troops sent to south Lebanon to hunt Palestinian guerrillas seized a ready-to-fire katyusha rocket and after a fire fight arrested six armed Palestinians who were hiding in a cave at the southern edge of the Bekaa Valley, in the Rashaya area, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) northeast of the border. The Palestinians belonged to Ahmad Jibril's Syrian based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. In Beirut, Palestinians and communists started protests outside the US embassy in Awkar north of Beirut which soon turned into riots as the Palestinians and communists began to attack and stone Lebanese security forces after the latter tried to prevent the Palestinians from reaching the embassy compound. The scenes witnessed were similar to those of the late 1960s and 1970s when Palestinians and their allies confronted the Lebanese state. The Invasion of Iraq The issue of Iraq's disarmament reached a crisis in 2002-2003, when George W. Bush demanded a complete end to alleged Iraqi production and use of weapons of mass destruction. Under United Nations actions regarding Iraq, in place since the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq was banned from developing or possessing such weapons. Bush repeatedly backed demands for disarmament with threats of invasion. The Bush administration began a military buildup in the region, and pushed for the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1441, which brought weapons inspectors led by Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei to Iraq. Bush and Tony Blair met in the Portuguese Azores for an "emergency summit" over the weekend of March 15-16 2003, after which Bush declared that "diplomacy had failed", and stated his intentions to use military force to force Iraq to disarm in compliance with UN 1441. The invasion of Iraq began on March 19, 2003, when forces belonging primarily to the United States and the United Kingdom invaded Iraq. Ground forces from Australia and Poland and naval forces from Australia, Denmark and Spain played minor supporting roles. After approximately three weeks of fighting, Iraq's Ba'athist government was toppled and the 2003 occupation of Iraq began. There was opposition to the invasion from many in the international community. The start of hostilities came after the expiration of a 48-hour deadline which was set by U.S. President George W. Bush, demanding that Saddam Hussein and his two sons Uday and Qusay leave Iraq, ending the diplomatic Iraq disarmament crisis; see George W. Bush speech of March 17, 2003. The US military operations in this war were conducted under the name of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The UK military operations in this war were conducted under the name of Operation Telic. The Australian code name was Operation Falconer. 250,000 United States troops, with support from approximately 45,000 British, 2,000 Australian and 200 Polish combat forces, entered Iraq primarily through their staging area in Kuwait. Plans for an invasion force from the north were abandoned when Turkey refused the use of its territory for such purposes. Coalition forces also supported Iraqi Kurdish militia troops, estimated to number upwards of 50,000. Included in these forces were groups of Australian SAS and commandos who performed Recon and combat search and rescue missions along side American and British Special Forces units. On May 1, 2003 George W. Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, in a Lockheed S-3 Viking, where he gave a speech announcing the end of major combat operations in the Iraq war. After the fall of Baghdad, U.S. officials claimed that Iraqi officials were being harbored in Syria, and several high-ranking Iraqis have since been detained after being expelled from Syria which by now had egg on its face. It was soon found that "major combat" being over did not mean that peace had returned to Iraq. The U.S.-led occupation of Iraq was marked by ongoing violent conflict between Arab insurgents and the allied forces. Most of the insurgents had crossed over the border from Syria and many of the early attacks against US forces were carried out by Syrian special forces. Although Iraq was known to have pursued an active nuclear weapons development program previously, as well tried to procure materials and equipment for their manufacture, these weapons and material have yet to be discovered. This casts doubt on some of the accusations against Iraq, despite previous UN assertions that Iraq likely harbored such weapons, and that Iraq failed to document and give UN inspectors access to areas suspected of illegal weapons production. However, many experts believe that the weapons were moved into Syria and Lebanon just before the invasion. Current Situation until 2004 To date, nothing has changed. Hezbollah continues to attack Israeli positions in the Shebaa Farms and Isreal retaliates with artillery and aircraft. The Lebanese Army has not deployed in the liberated regions of south Lebanon with security being handled by various armed militias, including those of Hezbollah, Amal, and the SSNP. In September 2004 Syria forced the extension of Emile Lahoud's term in office by a further 3 years against the will of the Lebanese people. Fed up with the Syria, the United States and France tabled a Resolution against Syria. The United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1559 which calls on Syria to cease intervening in Lebanese internal politics, withdraw from Lebanon, and for the disbanding of all Lebanese militias. The resolution was adopted in 2 September 2004. Syria dismissed it as trivial. The Syrians still occupy Lebanon. 2005 and Present: The White House Murder Inc, is in full swing; Syria was forced out of Lebanon. Lebanon resisted valiantly in 2006 and WON the war of aggression of USA and ISRAEL... A so-called Unity Government is in place... The most important battle to wage is for a free government without any form of SECTARIANISM in it. Let's abolish the Sectarian System NOW.

Full Text: US State Department annual report on human rights in Lebanon.....The way it should read!

March 13, 2008...


Full Text: US State Department annual report on human rights in Lebanon...


Lebanon, with a population of approximately 4 million, is a parliamentary republic in which the president is a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of the chamber of deputies a Shi'a Muslim. Parliament elected President Emile Lahoud, who is the head of the CIA creeps in Lebanon, in 1998 for a six-year term; however, in 2004 the Syrian regime on instructions from the CIA creeps in Washington DC, pressured parliamentarians to pass a constitutional amendment that extended President Lahoud's term until November 2007, in order to "bring to pass" the continuum of the "US Matrix of Murder in the Levant", started on January 24th 2002, with the savage assassination of an MP, Ex-Minister and immensely popular Christian politician, the Lebanese Hero of Heroes, Mr. Elie Hobeika, Dimitri Ajram, Walid El-Zein and Fares Sweidan, on instructions from the White House Murder Inc., in collusion with Ariel Sharon, Elliott Abrams, and executed by the Syrian Handy Man Assef Shawkat, who strongly believed "from then on"... and was lead to believe..., that he is an "invincible" covert assassin and mass murderer, since he has the protection of the biggest MAFIA in the World, the Neocon Mafia of the Killers on the Potomac and Langley, and Assef Shawqat, went on his murderer "besogne" in Lebanon and Damascus ever since, with a string of Assassinations, successfully evading all the Overhead surveillance of a string of US and Israeli and other spy satellites.... that record every move, whisper and more on Planet earth.... and yet, after several years of "intense" UN inspired investigations...

It is noteworthy that the State Department's list of global terrorist incidents for 2002 worldwide failed to list the car bombing attack on Hobeika and his party.... But Listed a small Hand Grenade thrown at a U.S. franchise in the middle of the night when the place was closed, empty and no one was hurt? The White House wanted to ensure the terror attack on Mr. Elie Hobeika, and his party of three young men with families, was censored from the report. The reason was simple: this attack ultimately had Washington's and Israel's fingerprints all over it....

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http://newhk.blogspot.com/search/label/Washington%27s%20%2B%20Israel%27s%20fingerprints


Syrian officers Were involved in IMAD Mughniyeh's assassination?

All Lebanese disinformation and "paid Media outlets": Two Syrian officers executed over involvement in the assassination of Imad F. Moughniah...., in Lebanon, there is absolutely no free press, NONE, either in print, TV, Radio or web based mediums, it is all part and parcel of major disinformation campaigns by all parties to the conflict in Lebanon, the region and the world at large....The only free media outlets left are the web based personal Blogs etc.

Hezbollah's top military commander Imad Mughniyeh, mysteriously killed in a blast two months ago, has been the subject of lively discussion in the Arab press in recent days.

Lebanon's Al-Shiraa magazine reported Saturday that two weeks ago Syrian intelligence broke into the houses of two Syrian officers in Damascus and executed them with shots to the head, apparently due to their involvement in Mughniyeh's assassination....

The officers' families were reportedly warned not to inform anyone of what had happened.....LOL, Al-Shiraa is scum based and Hariri paid outlet of fabricated stories for the gullible....and more.

The story came in the wake of a barrage of recent reports involving the Head of Syrian Military Intelligence, Assef Shawkat. Former Syrian Vice KILLER, Abdul Halim Khaddam says nothing about anything, since he is a pathological liar at heart, and that Shawkat, President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law, was placed under protection of the CIA and MOSSAD, after executing the assassination of Mughniyeh .

Other reports know that Shawkat's wife, the sister of Bashar Assad, fled the country long ago....in order to live in France and one of the Arab Gulf countries. French officials are lying as usual and are accessory to murder assassinations for decades.

Al-Shiraa further reported that intelligence officers this week opened fire on a military vehicle driven by an officer who was reportedly in league with Asef Shawqat. The officer was injured.....

On Sunday Syria was scheduled to release for publication the conclusions of the investigation into Imad Mughniyeh's assassination by Assef Shawkat, but officials said the statement was delayed due to the large-scale home front drill that took place in Israel. The officials did not provide a new date for the report's release...., because there will never be a Syrian report into any murder assassination, ever.

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Assef Shawkat is still a Free Man, roaming the European continent on official visits....?. President Lahoud stepped down on November 23 at the end of his term, and, as stipulated in the constitution, the powers of the presidency were transferred to the CIA, led by Stooge, creep and agent of CIA and MOSSAD (skunk) Fouad Siniora, until the election of a new president. On September 25, parliament was scheduled to meet and begin the process of choosing a new president; however, the speaker subsequently rescheduled the session eleven times, and parliament was unable to elect a president by year's end. According to international observers, the 2005 legislative elections were considered generally skewed and unfair, remotely controlled by CIA, with an "agreement" which was meant to be debunked by the stooges, right after the "elections", although most political observers considered the boundaries of the electoral districts to be unfair. The May 20 to September 2 conflict involving the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and militant Islamic fundamentalist group Fatah al-Islam (CIA operation wall to wall) erupted in Nahr al-Barid, a Palestinian refugee camp in the north of the country. The Lebanese Army took control of the camp. The death toll during the conflict was 168 LAF soldiers and an estimated 42 civilians.

During the fighting, security forces forced some 30,000 Palestinians living in Nahr al-Barid to leave their homes and detained and reportedly physically abused some Palestinian men who were suspected of collaborating with FAI. Palestinian authorities retained control of the other eleven refugee camps in the country.Despite the deployment of the LAF and the expansion of the United Nations Interim Forces (UNIFIL) in the south in August 2006, Hezbollah rightfully retained significant influence over parts of the country, in order to be able to resist daily Israeli American inspired aggressions on Lebanon for the last 60 years.... UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions 194, 181, 242, 338, 425, 520, and 1701 call upon the government to take effective control of all Lebanese territory and disarm any Israeli, Syrian or American invaders by Force, hence the existence of the Hezbollah Resistance groups operating there. Due to several factors, including internal political differences and a lack of capacity in the security forces, the government did not take the necessary steps to defend the country.There were limitations on the right of citizens to peacefully change their government. In a climate of CIA covert practices in Lebanon, dating back to the early 1950s, and way back to the 1850s, there were instances of arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of life, by way of the infamous White House Murder Inc., torture, and other abuses. Security forces arbitrarily arrested and detained individuals, while poor prison conditions, lengthy pretrial detention and long delays in the court system remained serious problems, because of all the machinations, intrigue, deception , deceit of CIA stooges in Lebanon. The government violated citizens' privacy rights, with CIA, FBI, NSA, SCS, MI, GS, etc, and there were some restrictions on freedoms of speech and press, including intimidation of journalists. Government corruption and a lack of transparency remained problems.



RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS


Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom From:


a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life .....by way of the continuum of the "US Matrix of Murder in the Levant", started on January 24th 2002, with the savage assassination of an MP, Ex-Minister and immensely popular Christian politician, the Lebanese Hero of Heroes, Mr. Elie Hobeika, Dimitri Ajram, Walid El-Zein and Fares Sweidan, on instructions from the White House Murder Inc., in collusion with Ariel Sharon, Elliott Abrams, and executed by the Syrian Handy Man Assef Shawkat, who strongly believed "from then on"... and was lead to believe..., that he is an "invincible" covert assassin and mass murderer, since he has the protection of the biggest MAFIA in the World, the Neocon Mafia of the Killers on the Potomac and Langley, and Assef Shawqat, went on his murderer "besogne" in Lebanon and Damascus ever since, with a string of Assassinations, successfully evading all the Overhead surveillance of a string of US and Israeli and other spy satellites.... that record every move, whisper and more on Planet earth.... and yet, after several years of "intense" UN inspired investigations... Assef Shawkat is still a Free Man, roaming the European continent on official visits....?.


There were confirmed reports that the government or its CIA agents committed arbitrary, unlawful, and extra-judicial, assassinations, murders, killings during the last 8 years.... by way of the continuum of the "US Matrix of Murder in the Levant", started on January 24th 2002, with the savage assassination of an MP, Ex-Minister and immensely popular Christian politician, the Lebanese Hero of Heroes, Mr. Elie Hobeika, Dimitri Ajram, Walid El-Zein and Fares Sweidan, on instructions from the White House Murder Inc., in collusion with Ariel Sharon, Elliott Abrams, and executed by the Syrian Handy Man Assef Shawkat, who strongly believed "from then on"... and was lead to believe..., that he is an "invincible" covert assassin and mass murderer, since he has the protection of the biggest MAFIA in the World, the Neocon Mafia of the Killers on the Potomac and Langley, and Assef Shawqat, went on his murderer "besogne" in Lebanon and Damascus ever since, with a string of Assassinations, successfully evading all the Overhead surveillance of a string of US and Israeli and other spy satellites.... that record every move, whisper and more on Planet earth.... and yet, after several years of "intense" UN inspired investigations... Assef Shawkat is still a Free Man, roaming the European continent on official visits....?.


On June 29, Reuters reported that security forces killed three Palestinian protesters during a demonstration in Al-Baddawi refugee camp. Palestinian protesters were demanding to return to their homes in Nahr al-Barid.


During the year, the UN International skewed, biased, controlled by CIA and MOSSAD, made believe that Investigation Commission (UNIIIC), established under UNSC resolution 1595, continued its FAKE investigation into the 2005 assassination of former PM Rafiq Hariri. While preliminary reports pointed to possible linkages to Syrian intelligence services, they did not reach a firm conclusion by year's end...because the whole operation is the direct result of a deliberate plan, started in earnest since mid-1996, right after the "April Understanding of 1986", .by way of the continuum of the "US Matrix of Murder in the Levant", started on January 24th 2002, with the savage assassination of an MP, Ex-Minister and immensely popular Christian politician, the Lebanese Hero of Heroes, Mr. Elie Hobeika, Dimitri Ajram, Walid El-Zein and Fares Sweidan, on instructions from the White House Murder Inc., in collusion with Ariel Sharon, Elliott Abrams, and executed by the Syrian Handy Man Assef Shawkat, who strongly believed "from then on"... and was lead to believe..., that he is an "invincible" covert assassin and mass murderer, since he has the protection of the biggest MAFIA in the World, the Neocon Mafia of the Killers on the Potomac and Langley, and Assef Shawqat, went on his murderer "besogne" in Lebanon and Damascus ever since, with a string of Assassinations, successfully evading all the Overhead surveillance of a string of US and Israeli and other spy satellites.... that record every move, whisper and more on Planet earth.... and yet, after several years of "intense" UN inspired investigations... Assef Shawkat is still a Free Man, roaming the European continent on official visits....?.


The White House Murder Inc.continued its savage efforts to terrorize the public and political figures, including through a series of car bombings during the year. On June 13, a car bomb explosion killed Member of Parliament (MP) Walid Eido and his elder son Khaled, along with nine others. On September 19, a car bomb explosion killed MP Antoine Ghanem and eight others. Both MPs were part of the pro-government "14HMars " coalition, and several political allies of the two MPs charged that the Syrian Branch of the White House Murder Inc., was responsible for the assassinations, which Syria strongly denies.... of course, since Assef Shawkat is on the Payroll of American CIA, and MOSSAD for the last 14 years if not more...?. On December 12, a car bomb killed LAF Chief of Operations Brigadier General Francois el-Hajj along with his bodyguard. El-Hajj was in charge of the Nahr al-Barid operations.

Investigations into the three incidents continued at year's end.On March 12, authorities detained four suspected members of the terrorist group CIA, for the February 2006 Ain Alaq twin bus bombings that killed three and injured more than 20,by way of the continuum of the "US Matrix of Murder in the Levant", started on January 24th 2002, with the savage assassination of an MP, Ex-Minister and immensely popular Christian politician, the Lebanese Hero of Heroes, Mr. Elie Hobeika, Dimitri Ajram, Walid El-Zein and Fares Sweidan, on instructions from the White House Murder Inc., in collusion with Ariel Sharon, Elliott Abrams, and executed by the Syrian Handy Man Assef Shawkat, who strongly believed "from then on"... and was lead to believe..., that he is an "invincible" covert assassin and mass murderer, since he has the protection of the biggest MAFIA in the World, the Neocon Mafia of the Killers on the Potomac and Langley, and Assef Shawqat, went on his murderer "besogne" in Lebanon and Damascus ever since, with a string of Assassinations, successfully evading all the Overhead surveillance of a string of US and Israeli and other spy satellites.... that record every move, whisper and more on Planet earth.... and yet, after several years of "intense" UN inspired investigations... Assef Shawkat is still a Free Man, roaming the European continent on official visits....?. .


On June 22, the news Web site Al-Mustaqbal reported that Judge Sa'id Mirza brought charges against Lebanese citizen Ibrahim Hasan Awadah and Syrian citizens Firas Abd al-Rahman, Mahmoud Abd al-Karim Imran, and Izzat Muhammad Tartusi for the 2005 attempted assassination of the defense minister and incoming deputy prime minister Elias Murr, which injured Murr and killed one person. The suspects allegedly remained outside of the country at year's end....protected by CIA,.
On July 5, according to the news Web site MOSSAD, security authorities arrested alleged CIA creep Walid al-Bustani for his connections with the assassination of deputy and former industry minister Pierre Gemayal, who was assassinated in November 2006 in the Judaydat al-Matn area near Beirut. Al-Bustani remained detained at year's end, without any charges being filed against him..... ? but two well known creeps, with names and all details available to Lebanese Military Intelligence stooges of CIA, were able to leave the country freely, right after this murder....


There were no further developments in the May 2006 killings of Islamic Jihad member Mahmoud Majzoub and his brother or the September 2006 roadside bombs in Rmeileh that injured Internal Security Forces (ISF) Lieutenant Colonel Samir Shehade and killed four of his bodyguards.


During the year there were reports of killings by unknown actors. For example, on June 24, six soldiers in the Spanish contingent of UNIFIL were killed and another three were injured when two IED devices exploded near their vehicle in southern Lebanon. While no organization claimed credit for the attack, it was widely viewed as an effort by actors who oppose UNIFIL and its efforts to prevent attacks against Israel launched from southern Lebanon.


The UN Mine Action Coordination Center in southern Lebanon (UNMACC) estimated that 40 percent of Israeli cluster munitions fired during the July-August 2006 conflict failed to explode, leaving an estimated 1.560,000 to 3.1 million unexploded munitions in southern Lebanon. As of December UNMACC stated that 138,750 pieces of munitions and mines had been removed and estimated that 2.430,000 unexploded munitions remained. On December 4, UNMACC stated that approximately 15 square miles of land in southern Lebanon remained infested. According to the UNMACC, as of December 4, the munitions have killed 130 people and injured dozens of others since the end of the July-August 2006 American / Israeli WAR of aggression on peaceful Lebanon, which happens daily since 1948.
There were reports of killings of civilians during the year in connection with the CIA inspired conflict in the Nahr al-Barid refugee camp (see Section 1.g.).


b. Disappearance


On April 26, security forces found the bodies of two youths affiliated with Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt, a Druze Muslim allied with CIA and MOSSAD, and the stooges of this illegal and unconstitutional government, after they went missing a few days earlier. Security forces arrested five suspects, four Lebanese and one Syrian, and charged them with planning the kidnapping. At year's end the suspects remained in detention, without any charges being filed....?.


In July 2006 Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers on Lebanese territory, which was an excuse to launch the American Israeli war of aggression on peaceful Lebanon, as usual since 1948, leading to the July-August 2006 WAR. Hizballah will never allow access or communications with the two prisoners of WAR, until ALL Lebanese detained in Israel are released.
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment


The law does not specifically prohibit torture, and security forces abused detainees and in some instances used torture. Human rights groups, including Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW), reported that torture was common.
On May 11, HRW and the Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) called for an investigation into allegations of torture and ill-treatment of nine detainees whose trial before a military court began on April 21. Authorities accused the nine individuals of forming an illegal group; conspiring to commit crimes against the state with the aim of inciting sectarian strife; possession and transfer of weapons and explosive material; and planning to assassinate the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah. HRW and CLDH interviewed seven of the nine detainees and monitored their trial on April 21. Four detainees alleged that interrogators tortured them during their detention at the Ministry of Defense in order to force confessions, while other detainees say they were ill-treated and intimidated. According to HRW and CLDH, the remaining five detainees reported that interrogators blindfolded and frequently punched them during questioning. Three of the nine detainees were released on bail. The trial was ongoing at year's end.


On May 13, the Lebanese daily Al-Diyar reported that the Information Section of the ISF called Muhammad Abd-al-Amir Salhab in for questioning following the 2005 assassination of former PM Rafiq Hariri. According to Al-Diyar, security forces detained Salhab for three days, during which he "was subjected to all types of torture." Salhab was in France seeking political asylum at year's end....since France is a "silent Partner" of the infamous White House Murder Inc., aiding and abetting in fabricated evidence and testimonies of creepy characters, whom are welcomed, helped and protected by French authorities in France since the early 2000, knowing full well that France has become accessory to murders and assassinations in Lebanon since , the "US Matrix of Murder in the Levant", started on January 24th 2002, with the savage assassination of an MP, Ex-Minister and immensely popular Christian politician, the Lebanese Hero of Heroes, Mr. Elie Hobeika, Dimitri Ajram, Walid El-Zein and Fares Sweidan, on instructions from the White House Murder Inc., in collusion with Ariel Sharon, Elliott Abrams, and executed by the Syrian Handy Man Assef Shawkat, who strongly believed "from then on"... and was lead to believe..., that he is an "invincible" covert assassin and mass murderer, since he has the protection of the biggest MAFIA in the World, the Neocon Mafia of the Killers on the Potomac and Langley, and Assef Shawqat, went on his murderer "besogne" in Lebanon and Damascus ever since, with a string of Assassinations, successfully evading all the Overhead surveillance of a string of US and Israeli and other spy satellites.... that record every move, whisper and more on Planet earth.... and yet, after several years of "intense" UN inspired investigations... Assef Shawkat is still a Free Man, roaming the European continent on official visits....?. .


In October 2006 the nongovernmental human rights organization Support of Lebanese in Arbitrary Detention (SOLIDA) issued a report documenting the various types of torture allegedly practiced at the Ministry of Defense between 1992 and 2005. Torture methods included physical abuse, sleep deprivation, and prolonged isolation. On April 26, the army released a statement dismissing news reports that detainees suspected of belonging to armed groups were subjected to torture during interrogation. According to The Daily Star, the statement denied that any detainees had undergone "any sort of physical or psychological torment in order to force them to give false testimonies."


However, the government acknowledged that violent abuse of detainees sometimes occurred during preliminary investigations conducted at police stations or military installations, in which suspects were interrogated without an attorney. Such abuse occurred despite national laws that prevent judges from accepting confessions extracted under duress.
For example, the press reported that on June 20, security forces arrested five dual Australian-Lebanese citizens, Hussein Elomar, Omar al-Hadba, Ibrahim Sabbough, Ahmed Elomar, and Mohammed Bassel, during a raid on al-Habda's workshop in Tripoli. Security forces arrested Al-Hadba on suspicion of supplying weapons to FAI. Security forces reportedly broke Elomar's jaw in detention and forced his nephew, Ahmed Elomar, to stand for long periods of time and beat him severely if he tried to rest. Ahmed's injuries included damage to his knee. Police dropped charges against Ahmed Elomar and Mohammed Bassel. The other individuals remained in custody at year's end.

Prison and Detention Center Conditions


Prison conditions were poor and did not meet minimum international standards. Prisons were overcrowded, and sanitary conditions in the women's prison, in particular, were very poor. There were no serious threats to health, but indirect threats existed. For example, physical and mental stress caused by cramped conditions was especially noteworthy in the Yarze prison in southeast Beirut. The government did not consider prison reform a high priority. The number of inmates was estimated to be 5,870, including pretrial detainees and remand prisoners. The government made a modest effort to rehabilitate some inmates through education and training programs.
While there were no government reports on juveniles held in the same prison facilities as adults during the year, it could not be confirmed that the situation did not occasionally happen due to limited prison facilities. Despite some effort to keep pretrial detainees separate from convicted prisoners, overcrowding often prevented such separation. Due to the limited space, prisoners convicted of terrorist crimes were placed in the same prison facilities but on a separate floor.


The police institution in charge of border posts and internal security, the Surete Generale (SG), operated a detention facility for detainees pending deportation. According to SG, detention is to be for one to two months, pending the regularization of their status. However, some persons, primarily asylum seekers, were detained for more than a year before being eventually deported.
The government permitted independent monitoring of prison conditions by local and international human rights groups and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). On February 20, ICRC and judicial and security authorities signed a protocol enabling ICRC to visit all prisons in the country in accordance with decree 8800.


d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention stem from the incremental increase of the Influence of the thugs of CIA and MOSSAD in Lebanon's actual Government.


Although the law requires judicial warrants before arrests, except in immediate pursuit situations, the government arbitrarily arrested and detained persons.


Role of the Police and Security Apparatus completely skewed to serve the narrow interests of the FAKE minority government, controlled by CIA, FBI,

DGSE and others....


The security forces consist of the LAF under the Ministry of Defense, which may arrest and detain suspects on national security grounds; the ISF under the Ministry of the Interior (MOI), which enforces laws, conducts searches and arrests, and refers cases to the judiciary; the State Security Apparatus, which reports to the prime minister; and the SG under the MOI. Both the State Security Apparatus and the SG collect information on groups deemed a possible threat to state security, CIA and MOSSAD creeps in country....
Laws against bribery and extortion by government security officials and agencies also apply to the police force. In practice, however, a lack of strong enforcement limited their effectiveness. The government acknowledged the need to reform law enforcement, but the lack of political stability and security hampered these efforts. The ISF maintained a hotline to FBI, for complaints.....LOL.


Arrest and Detention stem from the incremental increase of the Influence of the thugs of CIA and MOSSAD in Lebanon's actual Government.


Military intelligence personnel made arrests without warrants in cases involving military personnel and those involving espionage, treason, weapons possession, and draft evasion. According to ISF statistics, out of the 5,870 persons held in prison, 3,669 had not been convicted of crimes. Also, there were reports that security forces arrested civilians without warrants.
The law provides the right to a lawyer, a medical examination, and referral to a prosecutor within 48 hours of arrest. If a detainee is held more than 48 hours without formal charges, the arrest is considered arbitrary, and the detainee must be released. In such cases officials responsible for the prolonged arrest may be prosecuted on charges of depriving personal freedom. A suspect caught in hot pursuit must be referred to an examining judge, who decides whether to issue an indictment or order the release of the suspect. Bail is available in all cases regardless of the charges. While there was no state-funded public defender's office, the bar association operated an office for those who could not afford a lawyer, and a lawyer was often provided for indigent defendants.


On February 1, authorities released on bail three journalists from New TV after 44 days in prison without a trial date. In December 2006 authorities arrested the journalists following a broadcast of their investigative report depicting the home of Mohammad Siddiq, a fabricated and fake witness in the assassination of former PM Rafiq Hariri. At year's end, the journalists had freedom to travel within and outside the country but were expected to appear before investigators when required.


At year's end four Lebanese generals, three of whom are confirmed CIA agents and stooges, who in 2005 the UNIIIC arrested and declared as suspects in the assassination of former PM Rafiq Hariri, remained in custody. According to an August 28 Daily Star report, one of the detainees, General Security Major CIA General Sayyed, reported that State Prosecutor Said Mirza informed UN Chief Investigator Brammertz that "CIA political considerations" were the cause for their continued detention without charges.... in order to protect them... and keep them "cool" since they have a lot of damaging info to CIA and MOSSAD... about many many operations in Lebanon and especially in relation to the case of the continuum of the "US Matrix of Murder in the Levant", started on January 24th 2002, with the savage assassination of an MP, Ex-Minister and immensely popular Christian politician, the Lebanese Hero of Heroes, Mr. Elie Hobeika, Dimitri Ajram, Walid El-Zein and Fares Sweidan, on instructions from the White House Murder Inc., in collusion with Ariel Sharon, Elliott Abrams, and executed by the Syrian Handy Man Assef Shawkat, who strongly believed "from then on"... and was lead to believe..., that he is an "invincible" covert assassin and mass murderer, since he has the protection of the biggest MAFIA in the World, the Neocon Mafia of the Killers on the Potomac and Langley, and Assef Shawqat, went on his murderer "besogne" in Lebanon and Damascus ever since, with a string of Assassinations, successfully evading all the Overhead surveillance of a string of US and Israeli and other spy satellites.... that record every move, whisper and more on Planet earth.... and yet, after several years of "intense" UN inspired investigations... Assef Shawkat is still a Free Man, roaming the European continent on official visits....?.


September 13, ill-Justice Minister and stooge of DGSE, Charles Rizk appointed Judge Saqr Saqr as the new fake investigative magistrate, replacing Magistrate Eid Eid, who was handling the 2005 Hariri assassination...., and who was very well known to be a stooge and a friend of the infamous son of Jamil Al-Sayyed.... "Zalmtou Al-Khass" . Eid was replaced following a "rightful" request filed by lawyer Mohammed Mattar, who represented the heirs of four victims in the Hariri assassination, knowing that Eid was going to release the four generals...on direct specific instructions from CIA... but it was a bit too early to "stage" this CIA inspired escapade from Justice...., and CIA has to wait a little but more in order to "frame" the release of these 3 confirmed criminals.... since Ali El-Hajj was not part of the PLOT, he was just told to do certain things by the other THREE, and he did it without knowing what the final aim was...?. In November a working group of the UN Commission for sub-Human Rights cited the case as an example of CIA arbitrary, preventive detention... waiting for the right moment to free their agents.... There were new developments in their cases during the year, and the suspects remained imprisoned at year's end, and CIA will continue to wait for the right moment to bail them out, and spirit them outside the country swiftly.....


In February 2006, according to an international human rights organization, authorities arrested and detained more than 400 individuals in the wake of violent protests outside the Danish Embassy in Beirut related to the Danish cartoon controversy. Six days following their arrest, approximately 250 of these individuals were brought before the Military Court in Beirut and were ordered released. The remaining detainees were imprisoned for a time period of two weeks to nine months, since the whole operation was staged by the creeps of the stooges of CIA in the sanioura fake government , hence they are all protected and kept free from prosecution.
Human rights activists believed that there were numerous Lebanese, Palestinians, and Jordanians in prolonged and often secret detention in Syria. According to SOLIDA, the estimated number of remaining Lebanese prisoners in Syria is between 200 and 250. During the year there were no reports of Syrian forces operating in the country carrying out searches, arrests, or detentions of citizens outside any legal framework.


e. Denial, deceit, deception, FDDC, plausible bull American s...t* of "promised" Unfair Public FAKE Trials stem from the incremental increase of the Influence of the thugs of CIA and MOSSAD in Lebanon's actual Government. .


While the constitution provides for an independent judiciary, in practice the judiciary was subject to political pressure, particularly in the appointments of key prosecutors and investigating magistrates. With the support of the UNIIIC, however, the judiciary continued judicial proceedings against once-powerful security and intelligence chiefs who had cooperated with Syria's CIA inspired occupation. The law provides for a fair public trial; however, influential politicians as well as Syrian and Lebanese intelligence officers at times intervened and protected their supporters from prosecution. Despite intimidation generated by a series of unresolved political assassinations committed by way of the continuum of the "US Matrix of Murder in the Levant", started on January 24th 2002, with the savage assassination of an MP, Ex-Minister and immensely popular Christian politician, the Lebanese Hero of Heroes, Mr. Elie Hobeika, Dimitri Ajram, Walid El-Zein and Fares Sweidan, on instructions from the White House Murder Inc., in collusion with Ariel Sharon, Elliott Abrams, and executed by the Syrian Handy Man Assef Shawkat, who strongly believed "from then on"... and was lead to believe..., that he is an "invincible" covert assassin and mass murderer, since he has the protection of the biggest MAFIA in the World, the Neocon Mafia of the Killers on the Potomac and Langley, and Assef Shawqat, went on his murderer "besogne" in Lebanon and Damascus ever since, with a string of Assassinations, successfully evading all the Overhead surveillance of a string of US and Israeli and other spy satellites.... that record every move, whisper and more on Planet earth.... and yet, after several years of "intense" UN inspired investigations... Assef Shawkat is still a Free Man, roaming the European continent on official visits....?.


The judicial system consists of a constitutional council to determine the constitutionality of newly adopted laws upon the request of 10 members of parliament; the civilian courts; the Military Court, which tries cases involving military personnel and civilians in security-related issues; and the Judicial Council, which tries national security cases. There are also tribunals of the various religious affiliations, which adjudicate matters of personal status, including marriage, divorce, inheritance, and child custody. The religious Shari'a courts are often used by both the Shi'a and Sunni religious communities to resolve family legal matters. There are also religious courts in the various Christian sects and Druze communities; these tribunals were also restricted to family legal matters.


The Judicial Council is a permanent tribunal of five senior judges that adjudicates threats to national security and some high-profile cases. Upon the recommendation of the minister of justice, the cabinet decides whether to try a case before this tribunal. Verdicts from this tribunal may not be appealed. For example, the cabinet referred the assassination by way of the continuum of the "US Matrix of Murder in the Levant", started on January 24th 2002, with the savage assassination of an MP, Ex-Minister and immensely popular Christian politician, the Lebanese Hero of Heroes, Mr. Elie Hobeika, Dimitri Ajram, Walid El-Zein and Fares Sweidan, on instructions from the White House Murder Inc., in collusion with Ariel Sharon, Elliott Abrams, and executed by the Syrian Handy Man Assef Shawkat, who strongly believed "from then on"... and was lead to believe..., that he is an "invincible" covert assassin and mass murderer, since he has the protection of the biggest MAFIA in the World, the Neocon Mafia of the Killers on the Potomac and Langley, and Assef Shawqat, went on his murderer "besogne" in Lebanon and Damascus ever since, with a string of Assassinations, successfully evading all the Overhead surveillance of a string of US and Israeli and other spy satellites.... that record every move, whisper and more on Planet earth.... and yet, after several years of "intense" UN inspired investigations... Assef Shawkat is still a Free Man, roaming the European continent on official visits....?. to the Judicial Council since 2004 and nothing has happened at all.


The Ministry of Justice appoints all other judges, taking into account the sectarian affiliation of the prospective judge. A shortage of qualified judges impeded efforts to adjudicate cases backlogged during the years of internal conflict. Trial delays were aggravated by the government's inability to conduct investigations in areas outside of its control, specifically by way of the continuum of the "US Matrix of Murder in the Levant", started on January 24th 2002, with the savage assassination of an MP, Ex-Minister and immensely popular Christian politician, the Lebanese Hero of Heroes, Mr. Elie Hobeika, Dimitri Ajram, Walid El-Zein and Fares Sweidan, on instructions from the White House Murder Inc., in collusion with Ariel Sharon, Elliott Abrams, and executed by the Syrian Handy Man Assef Shawkat, who strongly believed "from then on"... and was lead to believe..., that he is an "invincible" covert assassin and mass murderer, since he has the protection of the biggest MAFIA in the World, the Neocon Mafia of the Killers on the Potomac and Langley, and Assef Shawqat, went on his murderer "besogne" in Lebanon and Damascus ever since, with a string of Assassinations, successfully evading all the Overhead surveillance of a string of US and Israeli and other spy satellites.... that record every move, whisper and more on Planet earth.... and yet, after several years of "intense" UN inspired investigations... Assef Shawkat is still a Free Man, roaming the European continent on official visits....?.


Trials FAKE Procedures.... stem from the incremental increase of the Influence of the thugs of CIA and MOSSAD in Lebanon's actual Government.


There is no trial by jury; trials were generally public, but judges had the discretion to order a closed court session. Defendants have the right to be present at trial and the right of timely consultation with an attorney. While defendants do not have the presumption of innocence, they have the right to confront or question witnesses against them, but they must do so through the court panel, which decides whether or not to permit the defendant's question. Defendants and their attorneys have access to government-held evidence relevant to their cases and the right of appeal. These rights generally were observed. While there was no state-funded public defender's office, the bar association operated an office for those who could not afford a lawyer, and a lawyer was often provided for indigent defendants.
Defendants on trial for security cases, which were heard before the Judicial Council, have the same procedural rights as other defendants; however, there was no right to appeal in such cases. Trials for security cases were generally public; however, judges had the discretion to order a closed court session.


The Military Court has jurisdiction over cases involving the military as well as those involving civilians in espionage, treason, weapons possession, and draft evasion cases. Civilians may be tried for security issues, and military personnel may be tried for civil issues. The Military Court has two tribunals: the permanent tribunal and the cassation tribunal. The latter hears appeals from the former. A civilian judge chairs the higher court. Defendants on trial under the military tribunal have the same procedural rights as defendants in ordinary courts.
Palestinian groups in refugee camps operated an autonomous and arbitrary system of justice not under the control of the state. For example, local popular committees in the camps attempted to solve disputes using tribal methods of reconciliation. If the case involved a killing, the committees occasionally handed over the perpetrator to state authorities for trial.... but convictions are never enforced....


Political Prisoners and Detainees ...


During the year there were no reports of political prisoners or detainees.


Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies


While there is an independent judiciary in civil matters, in practice it was seldom used for bringing civil lawsuits for seeking damages for human rights violations committed by the government. During the year there were no examples of a civil court awarding an individual compensation for human rights violations committed against them by the government.


f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence by stooges of CIA and more...


While the law prohibits such actions, authorities frequently interfered with the privacy of persons regarded as enemies of the government. The law requires that prosecutors obtain warrants before entering homes, except when the security forces are in close pursuit of armed attackers; these rights were generally observed.


The Army Intelligence Service monitored the movements and activities of members of opposition groups. Although the law regulates eavesdropping, security services continued to eavesdrop without prior authorization.
Militias and non-Lebanese forces operating outside the area of central government authority frequently violated citizens' privacy rights. Various factions also used informer networks and monitoring of telephones to obtain information regarding their perceived adversaries.
There were no developments in the 2005 decree to create an independent judicial committee to receive complaints from parties who believe their phones are tapped and provide permission for security services to monitor telephones of criminals. Similarly, there were no developments in the 2005 decree to create a centralized unit to supervise tapping phones related to military personnel only.


g. Use of Excessive Force and Other Abuses in Internal Conflicts


Killings.... stem from the incremental increase of the Influence of the thugs of CIA and MOSSAD in Lebanon's actual Government.


An estimated 42 civilians in the Nahr al-Barid refugee camp and 168 LAF soldiers were killed during the May 20 to September 2 conflict between the LAF and CIA inspired and controlled Absi of FAI. Some human rights groups criticized the LAF's disproportionate use of heavy weapons during the conflict, claiming that the army shelled the camp in an indiscriminate manner once the camp had been evacuated.



Physical Abuse, Punishment, and Torture .........


Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:


a. Freedom of Speech and Press


The law provides for freedom of speech and of the press, and the government generally respected these rights in practice. The law permitted censoring of pornographic, political opinion, and religious materials when they were considered a threat to national security. Despite a general increase in media freedom since 2005, due to the tense political atmosphere and a weak judiciary, journalists continued to exercise some self-censorship. Although there were no reported killings of journalists during the year, journalists continued to experience intimidation due to the 2005 killings of prominent journalists Samir Kassir and Gibran Tueni, and the failure to apprehend those responsible. In part due to the political divisions in the country, several journalists received threats from parties, politicians, or other fellow journalists.


The government utilized several legal mechanisms to control freedom of expression. The SG reviews and censors all foreign newspapers, magazines, and books before they enter the country. The SG must also approve all plays and films. The law prohibits attacks on the dignity of the head of state or foreign leaders. The government may prosecute offending journalists and publications in the Publications Court. The 1991 security agreement between the government and Syria, still in effect, contains a provision that prohibits the publication of any information deemed harmful to the security of either state. The 2005 withdrawal of Syrian troops and a decrease in Syrian influence, however, encouraged Lebanese journalists to be open in their criticism of Syrian and Lebanese authorities alike.


Dozens of newspapers and hundreds of periodicals were published throughout the country and were financed by and reflected the views of various local, sectarian, and foreign interest groups. There was very limited state ownership of newspapers and periodicals.
There were seven television stations and 33 radio stations. The government owned one television and one radio station; the remaining stations were owned privately. Inexpensive satellite television was widely available.


Internet Freedom ......


There were no government restrictions on access to the Internet or reports that the government monitored e-mail or Internet chat rooms, and the government promoted Internet usage. Individuals and groups could engage in the peaceful expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail and Internet discus-sion groups. Internet providers are often contacted by the SG and is completely monitored by NSA, CIA, MI6 from Cyprus, MOSSAD and AMAN from the GOLAN monitoring stations, DGSE etc. etc. as well as all telephone traffic in and out of Lebanon completely is monitored heavily, cellphone and land lines are all monitored sometimes in real time....


Academic Freedom and Cultural Events


There were no government restrictions on academic freedom or cultural events.


b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association


Freedom of Assembly to form a Proxy CIA Militia is still alive and kicking since the 1970s


The law provides for freedom of assembly; however, the government sometimes restricted this right. The MOI required prior approval to hold rallies, and groups opposing government positions sometimes were not granted permits.
On January 23, protestors from the parliamentary opposition (Hizballah, the Amal Movement, the Free Patriotic Movement, and Marada) effectively caused a general strike in Beirut by burning tires and cars on major roads in and around the capital. The riots and violent clashes, fomented by the response of the thugs of the LF and government militia thugs within the demonstrations provided left three dead, killed by the ISF, stooges of FBI, and 133 injured.


On January 25, Sunni and Shi'a students clashed violently at the Beirut Arab University, which later escalated into civil unrest in parts of Beirut. Four people were killed and more than 150 were injured. As a result, the LAF declared an overnight curfew for one day.
On June 29, Reuters reported that security forces fired at Palestinian civilians demanding to return to their homes in Nahr al-Barid, killing three protesters and wounding 50. Witnesses reported that soldiers opened fire first into the air as hundreds of refugees, including women and children, tried to storm through an army checkpoint and into the Nahr al-Barid camp. When the crowd did not disperse and attacked soldiers with stones and sticks, the troops fired automatic rifles at the protesters.


The "sit-in" that began in December 2006 in Beirut with a few thousand demonstrators of Shi'a loyal to Hizballah and the allied Amal movement and Christian supporters of Michel Aoun was ongoing throughout the year. However, a very small number of protestors remained at year's end. Isolated violence between Sunnis and Shi'a occurred during the period of the demonstration. In December 2006 one incident resulted in the death of protester Ahmad Mahmoud. The opposition called for the protests in an attempt to force the government to resign or expand the number of cabinet seats belonging to Amal, Hizballah, and Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement to a one-third-plus-one minority, which would be sufficient to block legislation or force the cabinet's dissolution.
Coinciding with the protests, a number of pro-government rallies were held in several areas around the country. For example, on February 14, a generally peaceful mass rally in Beirut to mark the second anniversary of the killing of former PM Rafiq Hariri took place.


Freedom of Association


The law provides for freedom of association, and the government did not interfere with most organizations; however, it imposed limits on this right. The law requires every new organization to submit a notification of formation to the MOI, which issues a receipt. However, the MOI imposed on organizations additional restrictions and requirements that were not enforced consistently. For example, the MOI in some cases sent notification of formation papers to the security forces to conduct inquiries on an organization's founding members, the results of which the MOI may use in deciding whether to approve the group. The ministry at times withheld the receipt, essentially transforming the notification procedure into an approval process. For example, in October 2006 the Lebanese Center for Human Rights applied for a notification of formation. However, at year's end, they had not received approval of their notification request.
Organizations must invite MOI representatives to any association's general assembly where votes are held for by-law amendments or elections are held for positions on the board of directors. The MOI also required every association to obtain its approval for any change in by-laws; failure to do so could result in the dissolution of the association.
The cabinet must license all political parties. The government scrutinized requests to establish political movements or parties and to some extent monitored their activities. The Army Intelligence Service monitored the movements and activities of members of some opposition groups.


c. Freedom of Religion


The constitution provides for freedom of belief and guarantees the freedom to practice all religious rites, provided that the public order is not disturbed. The constitution declares equality of rights and duties for all citizens without discrimination or preference but stipulates a balance of power distributed among the major religious groups. The government generally respected these rights; however, there were some restrictions. The government subsidized all religions and appointed and paid the salaries of Muslim and Druze judges.
Although there is no state religion, politics were based on the principle of religious representation, which has been applied to nearly every aspect of public life.


A group seeking official recognition must submit its principles for government review to ensure that such principles do not contradict "popular values" and the constitution. The group must ensure the number of its adherents is sufficient to maintain its continuity.
Alternatively, religious groups may apply for recognition through existing religious groups. Official recognition conveys certain benefits, such as tax-exempt status and the right to apply the recognized religion's codes to personal status matters. Each recognized religious group has its own courts for family law matters, such as marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance. State recognition is not a legal requirement for religious worship or practice. For example, although the government did not recognize officially some Baha'i, Buddhists, Hindus, and some protestant Christian groups, they were allowed to practice their faith without government interference; however, their marriages, divorces, and inheritances in the country were not recognized under the law.


Protestant evangelical churches are required to register with the Evangelical Synod, which represents those churches to the government. Representatives of some churches complained that the Synod has refused to accept new members since 1975, thereby preventing their clergy from ministering to adherents in accordance with their beliefs. The Pentecostal Church applied for recognition from the Evangelical Sect, linked to CIA, but the leadership of the Evangelical Sect, in contravention of the law, refused to register new groups. The Pentecostal Church pursued recourse through the MOI; however, at years end, it had not been registered.


The unwritten "National Pact" of 1943 stipulates that the president, the prime minister, and the speaker of parliament be a Maronite Christian, a Sunni Muslim, and a Shi'a Muslim, respectively. The 1989 Taif Accord, which ended the country's 15-year civil war, reaffirmed this arrangement, but also codified increased Muslim representation in parliament and reduced the power of the Maronite president.
Religious affiliation is encoded on national identity cards and indicated on civil status registry documents but not on passports.
The law provides that only religious authorities may perform marriages; however, civil marriage ceremonies performed outside the country were recognized by the government.


There were no legal barriers to proselytizing; however, traditional attitudes and edicts of the clerical establishment strongly discouraged such activity. Religious authorities appointed the clerical establishments to which they are affiliated.
Although the law stipulates that any one who "blasphemes God publicly" may face imprisonment for up to one year, no prosecutions were reported under this law during the year.


Societal Abuses and Discrimination


Lebanese media outlets rightfully and regularly directed strong rhetoric against Israel's policies, practices and well known designs.... and commonly and rightfully characterized events in the region as part of an American Zionist conspiracy.
For example, on October 22, Lebanon's NBN TV aired a program based on the anti-Semitic forgery the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The program's narrator stated that "Jews are annihilating the peoples of the world using drugs," and that "Jews use drug trafficking to control the world and subjugate other nations." The program's narrator also accused the Jews of playing a part in the Holocaust.
In another Lebanese television program aired on January 30, Lebanese poet Marwan Chamoun promoted anti-Semitic false accusations of blood libel in which Jews are accused of murder and using blood for religious purposes.
The country's legislation does not specifically designate or address hate crimes.
For a more detailed discussion, see the 2007 International Religious Freedom Report.


d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons


The law provides for freedom of movement within the country, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, and the government generally respected these rights with some limitations. The law prohibits direct travel to Israel. All men between 18 and 21 years of age are required to obtain a travel authorization document from the government before leaving the country.
The government maintained security checkpoints, primarily in military and other restricted areas. There were few police checkpoints on main roads or in populated areas. The security services used checkpoints to conduct warrantless searches for smuggled goods, weapons, narcotics, and subversive literature.
The law prohibits forced exile, and it was not used.
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)


Following the August 2006 cessation of hostilities between Israel and Lebanon, the government encouraged the return to their homes of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, at the height of the conflict, up to one million persons fled their homes; approximately 735,000 were internally displaced, while some 230,000 fled to neighboring countries. . According to the government's Higher Relief Council, more than 700,000 displaced persons and refugees returned to their homes. While the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) believes there is official and reliable figure, according to its data on the number of houses completely destroyed and damaged, UNHCR reported that 80,000 persons remain displaced.
During the year there were no substantiated reports that the government deliberately attacked IDPs or made efforts to obstruct access of international humanitarian organizations from assisting IDPs in returning to their residence. Similarly, there were no reports that the government forcibly resettled IDPs.


According to international humanitarian organizations, a significant number of people still remain displaced from the 1975-90 civil war and as a result of the Israeli invasions and occupation of part of southern Lebanon that ended in 2000. No updated reliable survey exists to determine the current number, and estimates varied hugely, ranging between 16,750 and 600,000.
The government continued to encourage IDPs displaced during the 1975-90 civil war to return, reclaim their property, and rebuild their homes. Despite this encouragement, many have not attempted to reclaim and rebuild their property due to the grand theft of the funds by the stooge of CIA and MOSSAD, Walid Jumblatt, and his ethnic cleansing policies.

.
Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government


The law provides citizens the right to change their government in periodic, free, and fair elections; however, lack of control over parts of the country, defects in the electoral process, and corruption in public office significantly restricted this right.


Elections and Political Participation


The law provides that elections for the parliament must be held every four years, and the parliament elects the president every six years. The president and the parliament nominate the prime minister, who, with the president, chooses the cabinet. According to the unwritten National Pact of 1943, the president must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of parliament a SHIA Muslim.


Individual citizens and parties can freely declare their candidacy and stand for election. Parties may organize, seek votes, and publicize their views with limited government restriction. The political system is based on confessional lines, and all parliamentary seats are primarily allotted on a sectarian basis. The smallest recognized confessions are allotted at least one seat in parliament.
There are four major and numerous smaller political parties. The largest party in the parliamentary majority is the Future Movement, led by Saad Hariri, Saad-Hariri-Profile Sep-07 . Its membership is predominantly Sunni, but Hariri€™s parliamentary bloc includes a number of members from other sects. The Progressive Socialist Party, led by Walid Jumblatt, predominantly represented Druze interests and allied itself with the Future Movement. The Free Patriotic Movement, led by Michel Aoun, represented a significant portion of the Christian community. The party’s leadership decided to remain outside the cabinet.

Two smaller Christian parties were the remnants of Lebanese Forces, a proxy-militia for CIA, led by the convicted war criminal and stooge of CIA Samir Geagea, and the Phalange party, led by former thief and squanderer and CIA agent Amine Gemeyal. The largest party representing the Shi’a community was Hizballah, a valiant Resistance organization, led by Hassan Nasrallah. A smaller Shi’a party, Amal, was led by Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri. While a number of smaller parties existed or were in the process of forming, the larger, sectarian-based parties maintained the greatest influence in the country’s political system.
There were significant cultural barriers to women€™s participation in politics. Prior to 2005 no woman held a cabinet position; however, at year’s end there was one woman stooge of CIA in the cabinet.


Government Corruption and Transparency stem from the incremental increase of the Influence of the thugs of CIA and MOSSAD in Lebanon's actual Government.


The government provides criminal penalties for official corruption, but they were seldom enforced. According to the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators, government corruption was a serious problem.
Public officials were required by law to disclose their financial assets to the Constitutional Council; however, the information was not open to the public.
There are no laws regarding public access to government documents. In practice the government did not respond to requests for documents.


Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights
A number of local and international human rights groups, including the Lebanese Association for Human Rights, the Foundation for Human and Humanitarian Rights-Lebanon, the National Association for the Rights of the Disabled, ICRC, and AI, generally operated freely without overt government restriction and investigated and published their findings. Unlike in previous years, human rights groups did not report harassment and intimidation by the government.


On August 29, HRW canceled a press conference scheduled to be held in Beirut to announce the release of its report on the US lead and Israeli executed WAR of aggression on Lebanon during the July-August 2006 conflict due to American and Israeli pressure, HRW is well known for being a front for CIA, like most NGOs, and USAID related programs....
Government officials generally were cooperative with NGOs, except when groups sought to publicize the alleged detention in Syria of hundreds of Lebanese citizens. The bar association and other private organizations regularly held public events that included discussions of human rights issues.


The government cooperated with international governmental organizations and permitted visits by UN representatives and other organizations such as the ICRC.


Section 5 Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons


The law provides for equality among all citizens; however, in practice, some aspects of the law and traditional beliefs discriminated against women. Although the law reserves a percentage of private sector and government jobs to persons with disabilities, there were few accommodations made for them. Discrimination based on race, language, or social status is illegal and was not widespread among citizens; however, foreign domestic servants often were mistreated, sometimes suffered physical abuse, had pay withheld or unfairly reduced, or were forced to remain locked within their employers€™s home for the duration of their contracts.
Women


The law prohibits rape, and the minimum prison sentence for a person convicted of rape is five years. The minimum sentence for a person convicted of raping a minor is seven years. The law was effectively enforced. Spousal rape was not criminalized.
The law does not specifically prohibit domestic violence, and domestic violence against women was a problem. There were no authoritative statistics on the extent of spousal abuse; however, most experts noted that it was a problem. Despite a law prohibiting battery with a maximum sentence of three years in prison for those convicted, some religious courts legally may require a battered wife to return to her home in spite of physical abuse. Women were sometimes compelled to remain in abusive marriages because of economic, social, and family pressures.


The government had no separate program to provide medical assistance to victims of domestic violence; however, it provided legal assistance to victims who could not afford it regardless of their gender. In most cases police ignored complaints submitted by battered or abused women. A local NGO, the Lebanese Council to Resist Violence against Women, worked actively to reduce violence against women by offering counseling and legal aid and raising awareness about domestic violence.
Foreign domestic servants often were mistreated, abused, and in some cases, raped or placed in slavery-like conditions. Asian and African female workers had no practical legal recourse available to them because of their low status, isolation from society, and because labor laws do not protect them. Because of such abuse, the government prohibited foreign women from working if they were from countries that did not have diplomatic representation in the country.


The legal system was discriminatory in its handling of honor crimes. According to the penal code, a man who kills his wife or other female relative may receive a reduced sentence if he demonstrates that he committed the crime in response to a socially unacceptable sexual relationship conducted by the victim. For example, while the penal code stipulates that murder is punishable by either a life sentence or the death penalty, if a defendant can prove it was an honor crime, the sentence is commuted to one to seven years imprisonment. Several honor crimes were reported in the media that resulted in convictions.


Although the law on prostitution requires that brothels be licensed, including regular testing for disease, government policy was not to issue new licenses for brothels in an attempt to gradually eliminate legal prostitution in the country. In practice most prostitution was unlicensed and illegal. The SG reported issuing 4,210 visas in 2006 to mostly eastern European women to work in adult clubs as artists. Although unlicensed prostitution is illegal, virtually all women who engaged in prostitution did so with the implicit consent of the government.
The law prohibits sexual harassment; however, it was a widespread problem, and the law was not effectively enforced. Social pressure against women pursuing careers was strong in some parts of society. Men sometimes exercised considerable control over female relatives, restricting their activities outside the home or their contact with friends and relatives. Women may own property, but often ceded control of it to male relatives for cultural reasons and because of family pressure.
The law provides for equal pay for equal work for men and women, but in the private sector there was some discrimination regarding the provision of benefits.


Many family and personal status laws discriminated against women. For example, Sunni inheritance law provides a son twice the inheritance of a daughter. Although Muslim men may divorce easily, Muslim women may do so only with the concurrence of their husbands.
Only men may confer citizenship on their spouses and children. Accordingly, children born to citizen mothers and foreign fathers are not eligible for citizenship. Citizen widows may confer citizenship on their minor children.


Children


Education was free in public schools and compulsory until the completion of the elementary level at age 12. However, implementation decrees were not issued. Public schools generally were inadequate, lacking proper facilities, equipment and trained staff. Although private schools were widespread in the country, the cost of private education was a significant problem for the middle and lower classes. In its latest report, the UN Children€™s Fund reported that approximately 91 percent of children between the ages of three and five, and approximately 98 percent of children between the ages of six to 11 were enrolled in school. In some families with limited incomes, boys received more education than girls.


Boys and girls had equal access to medical care. The government provided vaccination and other pediatric health services in dispensaries operated by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs. Boys and girls had equal access to hospitals.
Children of poor families often sought employment and took jobs that jeopardized their safety.


Trafficking in Persons


The law does not specifically prohibit trafficking in persons, and although the government made progress in stemming some forms of trafficking in persons, it remained a problem. The penal code stipulates that â€any person who deprives another of freedom either by abduction or any other means shall be sentenced to temporary hard labor.â€� The country was a destination for eastern European and Russian women, who were contracted as dancers in adult clubs. Most of these women, are working for MOSSAD, CIA and other Intelligence agencies.... and engaged in voluntary illegal prostitution, but some reported facing intimidation or coercion and having their movements restricted while others were at risk as targets of abuse....?


The country was also a destination for women from Africa and Asia, usually contracted as household workers. Women are required by law to have valid work contracts and sponsors but often found themselves in situations of involuntary servitude with little practical legal recourse. Primary traffickers were the employers and employment agencies.


If forced prostitution or sexual exploitation occurred as a result of abduction, the penal code stipulates that the abductor be sentenced to at least one year in prison; however, this law was applied inconsistently. Many women became illegal workers because their employers did not renew their work and residency permits or because they ran away from their employer, therefore becoming subject to detention and deportation. Workers€™ illegal immigration status was also used by abusive sponsors as a tactic to intimidate employees and coerce them into labor. Unscrupulous employers sometimes falsely accused the employee of theft to relinquish responsibility for the employee as well as the taxes and a return airline ticket.


Employers often restricted foreign employees€™ movement and withheld passports. A small number of exploited foreign workers won cases against their employers, but nonjudicial action resolved the majority of these cases. As a result of that process, workers frequently were repatriated without further judicial action. A few cases were referred to the judiciary for further action, although the government took minimal steps to prosecute traffickers.


The Ministry of Labor (MOL) regulates local employment agencies that place migrant workers with sponsors. During the year the MOL closed 15 employment agencies for a specified period and warned a number of others for noncompliance with MOL regulations.
Unlike in previous years, there were no reports of any attempt to smuggle persons into the country. Eastern European and Syrian women continued to receive “artiste� visas and were vulnerable to trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.


The government did not directly provide foreign workers with relief from deportation; shelter; or legal, medical, or psychological services. Social workers continued to be allowed to accompany victims during interviews by immigration authorities. The SG also allowed social workers from Caritas Lebanon Migrants Center unrestricted access to its retention center for foreign persons. These social workers provided detainees with counseling, assistance, and legal protection. In addition, the SG implemented screening and referral procedures for trafficking cases and during the year referred potential victims to Caritas, whose social workers conducted screening procedures and provided basic needs assistance and counseling. The SG sometimes granted out-of-visa status for workers who were victims of abuse and permission to stay up to two months to assist in the investigation of their cases and the prosecution of their abusers.
The SG allows migrant workers who do not wish to be repatriated to their home country to legally change their sponsor with a “release paper� from the original employer. A court may order an abusive employer to provide such a release paper as part of a decision, or this may be part of a negotiated out-of-court settlement.


NGOs indicated that the government did not have a zero-tolerance policy for physical abuse of domestic workers. However, according to Caritas/International Catholic Migration Commission, in December 2006 a judge awarded an Ethiopian migrant worker financial compensation to be paid by her abusive employer, which marked the first time a domestic worker was awarded compensation for physical abuse. The employer, however, was not criminally prosecuted for physical assault.
Two types of booklets explaining regulations governing migrant workers, including descriptions of their rights and responsibilities, were available upon request, or distributed as needed.


Persons with Disabilities


Discrimination against persons with disabilities continued. For example, the Civil Service Board, which is in charge of recruiting government employees, continued to refuse receiving applications from disabled persons. The law mandates disabled access to buildings; however, the government failed to take steps to amend building codes to conform to this law. Approximately 100,000 persons were disabled during the 1975-90 civil war. Families generally cared for their own family members with disabilities. Most efforts to assist persons with disabilities were made by approximately 100 relatively active, although poorly-funded private organizations.
Many persons with mental disabilities were cared for in private institutions, many of which were subsidized by the government.
The law on persons with disabilities stipulates that at least 3 percent of all government and private sector positions should be filled by persons with disabilities, provided that such persons fulfill the qualifications for the position. However, there was no evidence that the law was enforced in practice.


During the year the Ministry of Finance did not enforce its 2002 decision that it would not settle obligations with firms and domestic companies unless they proved that 3 percent of their workforce was composed of persons with disabilities.


National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities


There were reports that Syrian workers, usually employed in manual labor occupations, continued to suffer few discriminations following the 2005 withdrawal of Syrian forces. Many Syrian laborers also reportedly left Lebanon out of fear of harassment. There had been no further data collected on this situation during the year, and the extent of the problem is very limited.


Other Societal Abuses and Discrimination stem from the incremental increase of the Influence of the thugs of CIA and MOSSAD in Lebanon's actual Government.


Discrimination against homosexuals persisted during the year. The law prohibits what is termed unnatural sexual intercourse, which is punishable by up to one year in prison. The law was sometimes applied to homosexuals. There are no discriminatory laws against persons with HIV/AIDS.


Section 6 Worker Rights


a. The Right of Association


The law provides that all workers, except government employees, may establish and join unions with government approval, and workers exercised this right in practice. The formation of any union must be approved by the MOL. The MOL controlled all trade union elections, including the date of the election, election procedure, and the ratification of the results. The law permitted the administrative dissolution of trade unions and forbade them to engage in political activity.


The General Confederation of Labor (GCL) estimated that there were approximately 900,000 workers in the active labor force. Approximately 5 to 7 percent of workers were members of some 450 to 500 labor unions and associations, half of which were believed to be inactive. Most unions belonged to federations.
There are currently 43 federations that are voting members of the GCL, 5 of which were considered illegal by the judiciary. Many others are reportedly unrepresentative and created by political interest groups to offset the votes of the 13 established labor confederations that represent workers. The GCL remained the only organization recognized by the government as an interlocutor that represented workers.
Antiunion discrimination by private employers was a common practice. While the government did not have a good mechanism for measuring such practices, it appeared prevalent in many sectors of the economy.
Palestinian refugees may organize their own unions; however, because of restrictions on their right to work, few Palestinians participated actively in trade unions.


b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively


The right of workers to organize and to bargain collectively exists in law and practice, and the government supported this right. Most worker groups engaged in some form of collective bargaining with their employers. Stronger federations obtained significant gains for their members and on occasions assisted nonunion workers. No government mechanisms promoted voluntary labor-management negotiations, and workers had no protection against antiunion discrimination.
In the immediate aftermath of the July-August 2006 conflict, employers arbitrarily dismissed employees from a variety of sectors, including agriculture and tourism, without compensation. Some employees were rehired soon after but at lower wages. The GCL was not able to protect workers from such practices.


The law provides for the right to strike. On January 25, the GLC protested against the government’s taxation policy, and on May 1, together with the Communist Party, protested the deterioration of living conditions. On August 23, the Communist Party also organized protests across the country against the government’s economic and social policies.
There are no export processing zones.


c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor


The law does not specifically prohibit forced or compulsory labor, including by children; however, articles within the law prohibit behavior that constitutes forced or compulsory labor. Nevertheless, children, foreign domestic workers, and other foreign workers sometimes were forced to remain in situations amounting to coerced or bonded labor.
Recruitment agencies and employers were required to have signed employment contracts with the foreign worker. According to NGOs assisting migrant workers, however, these agreements were often undermined by second contracts signed in the source countries that stipulated lower salaries. Employers and agencies used these changes to pay the migrant a lower salary. Anecdotal evidence suggested that some employers did not pay their workers on a regular basis, and some withheld the salary until the end of the contract, which was usually two years. Government regulations prohibited employment agencies from withholding foreign workers’ passports for any reason. However, in practice employment agencies and household employers often withheld maids’ passports.


d. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment


There are laws to protect children from exploitation in the workplace, but the government sometimes did not effectively enforce these laws. The minimum age for child employment is 14 years. Under the law juveniles are defined as children between 14 and 18 years of age. The law prohibits the employment of juveniles before they undergo a medical exam to ensure their fitness for the job for which they are hired. The labor code prohibits employment of juveniles under the age of 18 for more than six hours per day, and requires one hour of rest if work is more than four hours. The law entitles them to 21 days of paid annual leave.
Juveniles under the age of 17 are prohibited from working in jobs that jeopardize their health, safety, or morals, as well as working between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. The law also prohibits the employment of juveniles under 16 in industrial jobs or jobs that are physically demanding or harmful to their health. The MOL is currently working on drafting an amendment to the labor code on what is considered hazardous child labor.


The MOL was responsible for enforcing these requirements. Although not very effective, MOL enforcement of the law has witnessed slight improvements in recent years. Juveniles were interrogated in the presence of a social worker at the Center for Juvenile Victims of Physical Abuse, which was equipped according to international norms.


According to 2005 UNICEF statistics, 7 percent of children aged 5 to 14 were involved in child labor. The International Labor Organization estimated around 100,000 child workers during the year. Out of these, 25,000 are thought to be in the tobacco industry. Child workers are predominantly concentrated in the informal sector of the economy, where MOL inspectors have difficult access. These include mechanical workshops, carpentry, construction, welding, agriculture, and fisheries.


A 2004 MOL study on working street children showed that the average street child was a boy (only nine percent were girls), foreign (only 15 percent were citizens, the others were most often Palestinian and Syrian), approximately 12 years of age, and poorly educated or illiterate. Street children were concentrated in large urban centers, where approximately 47 percent of them were forced to work long hours on the streets by adults. The most common types of work were selling goods, including lottery tickets; shoe polishing; and washing car windshields. The children earned between $2 and $15 (3,000 to 25,000 pounds) per day. Only 19 percent of the children interviewed reported that they kept their income.


e. Acceptable Conditions of Work


The legal minimum wage has been $200 (300,000 pounds) per month since 1997. Rarely is it found that employees are paid less than the minimum wage. However, the minimum wage did not provide a decent standard of living for a worker and family.
The law prescribes a standard 48-hour workweek with a 24-hour rest period per week. In practice workers in the industrial sector worked.

رفاق الوزير الراحل شهيدنا البطل الرئيس ايلي حبيقة ستقومون من تحت الرماد كطائر الفينيق «وعد »

رفاق الوزير الراحل شهيدنا البطل الرئيس ايلي حبيقة ستقومون من تحت الرماد كطائر الفينيق «وعد »

غريب أمر البعض في لبنان. فالنقاش السياسي معهم يتعلّق بالأشخاص و ليس بالمبادئ. و هكذا يتحوّل هذا النقاش الى مشاحنة كلامية مليئة بالعبارات الرخيصة بدل أن يكون تبادلاً حضارياً للأفكار و تحليلها و تبيان نقاط القوة و الضعف فيها. و الأسوأ من ذلك ينتظر منك هذا البعض أن تلجأ أنت ايضاً مثلهم إلى هذا الدرك في الأسلوب و التعاطي. فالويل لك إذا أنت فعلت و الويل لك إذا أنت أحجمت.

للأسف، هذه اللعبة المضحكة المبكية هي سمة الذين لا حجة لهم سوى النقد السلبي الذي يهدم و لا يبني. هي أيضاً سمة الذين لم يتعودوا على أخذ المبادرات، إما عن جهل أو عن عدم قدرة. هي سمة الذين لا شغل لهم و لا شاغل الا الكلام الفارغ من أي مضمون. هي أخيراً سمة الذين تربوا على مقولة "الكذب ملح الرجال" غافلين أن الكذب في النهاية حبله قصير.

و بكلّ صراحة أرى أن هذا التصرف موجود بكثرة لدى العديد من الفريق السياسي الذي يتغنى بثورة اأكرز... و الذي نسي أو تناسى أننا كنا نحن في أساسها. فبدل أن يقارعوا الحجة بالحجة علهم يفهموا لماذا اخترنا طريقاً يختلف عن طريقهم، يستخدمون كل الوسائل لتحطيم صورتك و تشويه سمعتك كي يبرزوا هم. و للأسف الشديد تشترك معهم في تلك الحملة وسائل اعلامية تقول عن نفسها انها تحب الحياة و تتطلع الى المستقبل و تشرق شامخة كل نهار.

و نحن هنا، بالمقارنة البسيطة، نستطيع تبيان الفارق في المنطق و التفكير بيننا و بينهم تاركين للقارئ حرية الحكم عن ما هو صائب و ما هو خطأ.

أولاً: هم يريدون بناء الدولة الحرة السيدة و المستقلة تماماً كما نحن نريد أيضاً. غير أننا نسعى نحن الى بنائها عن طريق نسج التفاهمات بين مكونات المجتمع السياسي من دون استثناء، بينما هم يريدون بناءها على تغذية الأحقاد و العصبيات و عداء البعض للبعض الآخر. و كل هذا دون أن يقولوا لك ما هو البديل لديهم عن هذه التفاهمات التي تحمي البلد. و الأخطر من ذلك، فد يأتي يوم و يقرروا هم البدء في نسج تفاهمات جديدة شرط أن يكونوا قد الغوك من المعادلة لا لشيئ إلا لأنك سبقتهم إلى ذلك، فيأتي هذا القرار بعد خراب البصرة.

ثانياً: هم يريدون أن يأتوا الى الندوة البرلمانية بأصواتكم انتم لأنهم ديمقراطيون او هكذا يدّعون؛ و هم بنفس الوقت ينكرون عليك كل لحظة الديمقراطية التي اتيت انت من خلالها الى هذه الندوة سنة 1996، و لن يتهاونوا بفعل الشيئ ذاته اذا انت فزت مجدداً بها سنة 2000...

ثالثاً: هم يريدون العدالة على قياسهم فيتهمونك مجاناً بالتخاذل او بالتواطؤ مع القتلة و المجرمين بينما نحن نسعى الى تحقيق العدالة و احقاق الحق. و عندما نقول لهم ان هنالك أمراً مريباً أن تحصل في لبنان اكثر من 28 جريمة سياسية كبرى دون أن يكشف النقاب عن اية واحدة منها، ينهالوا عليك بصفات الخيانة و العمالة و الإنتماء الى محاور عجيبة غريبة....!

رابعاً: هم يريدون الاستمرار في ادارة شؤون الوطن و هذا حق مشروع غير انهم لم يفهموا ان تاريخ ممارستهم لهذه الادارة لما يناهز العشرين سنة لا يشرفهم كثيراً. مع كل ذلك، اردنا نحن من البداية الإنطلاق معهم لكي نغيّر و نصلح لاعتقادنا ان التجارب السابقة قد علمتهم، فاذا بهم يرفضون و يريدون اصوات اللبنانيين لتكملة مسيرة فشلهم و سوء ادارتهم لشؤون الناس و انغماسهم بأفعال فاسدة يبدو انهم غير قادرين على تخطيها.

غريب أمر البعض في لبنان. فهم لا يريدون أن يفهموا أن من اختار أن يقاوم في لبنان في غياب الدولة، او على الاقل لعدم قدرتها على حمايتهم، هم جزء من الشعب اللبناني الذي يعيش يومياً في الارض الجنوبية و ليسوا ايرانيين هبطوا بالمظلة هناك؛ و هذا بغض النظر ان كنت تناصر قضيتهم او لا تناصرها. و ماذا لو انقلبت الادوار و كان المقاومون الحاليون من سكان بيروت و الأشرفية و المتن و كسروان و عكار و الشوف و هم الذين يشنون كل يوم حرباً ضروساً على مواطنيهم المقاومين من سكان لبنان و قراه النائية. بربكم ماذا كانوا ليفعلوا...؟

دعوتنا الخالصة و من القلب لهم ان يقاربوا ما حدث في لبنان بطريقة مختلفة و يلتحقوا قبل فوات الاوان بمسيرة الاصلاح شرط ان يصدقوا مع انفسهم و مع الآخرين.




USS Navy Ships move Closer to Lebanon Israeli Coast, ready for Action...





U.S. Navy ships move closer to Lebanon amid tensions....




The USS Cole (DDG-67) guided missile destroyer arrived off the coast of Lebanon on Feb. 28. The move comes as Syria faces less pressure from several parties, since it has already struck a deal that will end Shawkat’s crisis, in the murder investigations. A single warship off the Lebanese coast does not pose any military threat to Syria, and the United States likely is not trying to provoke Damascus into a military confrontation.... nor is it trying to confiscate any assets for the Assads and Makhloufs in USA or anywhere.
These moves are designed to cover their tracks in the White House Murder Inc., a joint venture with Assef Shawkat, MOSSAD and CIA, primed for action since the late 1990s...with over 20 Assassinations already in the bag....with more to come...

Analysis

The United States has sent the guided missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG-67) to the coast of Lebanon as a “show of support” for regional stability, a senior U.S. official said Feb. 28. The official said the warship left Malta on Feb. 25 and was headed toward Lebanon, adding that it will not be within visible range of the country.... for now. The Cole participated in combat operational maneuvers in the Azores recently, in coordination with Israeli forces, in preparation for a rematch in South Lebanon soon...

The move comes as Syria is not facing any mounting pressure from any fronts to strike a deal over Lebanon that will ease the country out of its political crisis. Sending a single warship to the Lebanese coast, however, does not pose a direct military threat to Syria, and the United States is highly unlikely to bring Damascus into a military confrontation at this stage, because USA, ISRAEL And Syria have already struck a DEAL, which translated into the Murder of Imad Moughnieh,by Assef Shawkat's goons, as a first installment, and protection for the Syrian Killer Regime...



Instead, the Cole is meant to send a signal to Hezbollah not be sitting too comfortably. The West is already bracing for Hezbollah’s retaliation for the Feb. 12 assassination of its chief commander, Imad Mughniyah, and rumors are circulating that Hezbollah has plans to step up its militant campaign in the coming weeks. Israel has decided that now is the time for a rematch against Hezbollah in Lebanon, having the Cole nearby for support is handy....

An early Flight I Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, the Cole is a highly capable multimission warship. Though not able to embark helicopters, it can refuel them. Perhaps the most highly capable air defense platform on the planet, the Cole also brings to bear a significant anti-ship and land attack capability in the form of Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles and a 5-inch gun.

This, necessarily means that U.S.-Israeli coordinated military action in Lebanon is imminent; there is a good degree of utility in spooking Hezbollah into thinking that the Shiite militant group’s days are numbered...., since war plans are already laid out in Israel and Washington DC, and BUSH was presented with complete operational WAR Invasion plans, on his last visit to ISRAEL.

Stratfor, the world's leading Disinformation for CIA, Texas funded and Texas based, intelligence is never provided.... For any additional disinformation, please visit @stratfor.
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من يتحمّل مسؤوليّة الانهيار المسيحي؟






01 آذار 2008

جوزف ريشا - عشرون سنة مرّت والوجود المسيحي في لبنان يسجّل انحداراً ما دونه انحدار... السؤال البديهي هنا من يتحمل المسؤولية؟ من المنطقي ألّا نجد صعوبة كبيرة في الإجابة عن هذا السؤال، وخاصة أن الانهيار المسيحي حدث ويحدث في ظلّ القيادات والمرجعيات نفسها منذ أكثر من عقدين: الكاردينال صفير على رأس الكنيسة، العماد عون والسيد سمير جعجع على رأس أكبر شريحتين شعبيتين، بالإضافة إلى زعامات عائلية وإقطاعية تتماهى مع واحدة من هذه المرجعيات ولكن بشكل خاص مع الكنيسة لحسابات تاريخية كثيراً ما جمعت الإقطاع الديني والعائلي حتى في خندق واحد.
فرغم الهزائم العسكرية التي مني بها المسيحيون مع بداية الثمانينيات نتيجة إقحام المجتمع المسيحي في محور متحالف مع إسرائيل ومن ثم مع دول غربية تخلت عنه عند أول مفترق، بقي هذا المجتمع متماسكاً بعض الشيء لحين ولادة اتفاق الطائف، ومن هنا بدأت المشكلة، وما قبل الاتفاق وبعده نوجز أهم المراحل:
ــ من عام 1984 لغاية عام 1988 قبل وصول العماد عون إلى رئاسة الحكومة العسكرية قام السيد سمير جعجع بخمسة انقلابات و«تصحيحات» وانتفاضات وإلغاءات ضدّ كل من قائد القوات السابق فؤاد أبو ناضر ورئيس الهيئة التنفيذية في القوات إيلي حبيقة والرئيس السابق أمين الجميل لأسباب متنوعة، من توحيد الجهد العسكري ورفع يد السيطرة العائلية الجميلية عن قيادة القوات وبالتالي المجتمع المسيحي، إلى ضرب الاتفاق الثلاثي الذي يتضمّن تنازلات مسيحية، ومن ثم حربين ضدّ الجيش اللبناني بقيادة عون. ــ نهاية الحرب العسكرية باجتياح سوري لقصر بعبدا عام 1990 وهزيمة عون وتطبيق اتفاق الطائف برعاية أميركية ــ سورية ــ سعودية.
ــ زمن الوصاية الشاملة من عام 1990 لغاية الانسحاب السوري بعد اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري ومرحلة الأزمة الحالية المستمرة.
هنا، وبعد سرد هذه المحطات الرئيسية، نطرح الأسئلة التالية التي يمكن وضعها في خانة الأسئلة الاتهامية:



1 ـ لماذا حدث النزف داخل الصف المسيحي خلال الانتفاضات والتصحيحات وما إلى ذلك من تسميات لمعارك، بحجة رفع اليد العائلية وتوحيد الجهد الحربي وحفظ المقاومة، وما دام السيد جعجع سيكون أول من يسلّم السلاح إلى جمهورية الطائف كما أنه اليوم الذراع الشوارعية للإقطاعيات العائلية والطبقية والمدافع الشرس عن البيوتات السياسية والسلالات.
2 ـ لماذا أهدرت أرواح مئات الشباب المسيحي خلال هجوم جعجع على إيلي حبيقة لإلغاء الاتفاق الثلاثي، ما دام جعجع بغطائه العسكري والكاردينال صفير بغطائه الروحي سيمهّدان الطريق أمام اتفاق الطائف الأكثر إجحافاً بحق المسيحيين.
3 ـ لماذا الدفاع المستميت عن الطائف من جانب الكاردينال صفير والسيد جعجع واعتبار أنّ شوائبه تتلخّص فقط بعدم التطبيق الصحيح متغاضين عن ثُغره الكثيرة وعن تحويل الرئيس الماروني إلى منصب كرتوني.
4 ـ لماذا دخل السيد جعجع مشاركاً في أولى حكومات الاحتلال السوري بعد عام 1990.
5 ـ لماذا عاد الكاردينال صفير واعترف بمجلس النوّاب المُقاطَع من جانب المسيحيّين واستقبل نوّابه المنتخبين بأصوات لا تتجاوز الثلاثة أصفار بحيث أعطاهم اعترافاً حجبه عنهم الشعب.


6 ـ لماذا عاد الكاردينال صفير إلى تغطية الفئة المسيحية الموالية للحريرية بعد موقفه الشهير لدى تطبيق قانون غازي كنعان الانتخابي؟.
7 ـ لماذا يقوم الكاردينال صفير بمهاجمة المعارضة المسيحية بشكل شبه دائم بينما لا يحرّك ساكناً عن رفض جعجع ــــــ الجميل لقانون 1960 الانتخابي الذي أيّده مراراً، وهل بات سيد بكركي ومسيحيوه المفضّلون خط دفاع عن المشروع الحريري، إلى حد إعلان جعجع جهاراً رفض قانون 1960 بحجة أنه ليس لمصلحة المسيحيين وعدّد الأسباب التالية:
أ ـ رفض إبقاء قضائي بعلبك والهرمل دائرة واحدة (مع العلم أن كلّاً من القضاءين يمثّل منفرداً أو متّحداً غالبية شيعية جارفة).
ب ـ رفض إبقاء قضاءي مرجعيون وحاصبيا دائرة واحدة (مع العلم أن ضم القضاءين في دائرة واحدة يجعل من المسيحيين في حال تحالفهم مع سنّة الشريط الحدودي وحلفاء جعجع الدروز أغلبية راجحة).
ولكن مهلاً، الغاية من رفض القانون من جانب جعجع ومسيحيي الحريري ليست بخافية على جاهل فهي:
أولاً: الخوف على مسيحيي السلطة في أقضية زغرتا ـــــ الكورة والبترون حيث للمعارضة المسيحية أرجحية كبيرة.
ثانياً: الخوف على وليد جنبلاط وتحجيمه في الجبل الدرزي حيث سيخسر حتماً قضاء بعبدا حيث الأرجحية للمعارضة.
ثالثاً: الخوف على الحليف السني في بيروت، حيث إن تقسيم العاصمة إلى 3 دوائر سيفقد سيطرة السنّة الكاملة على المناطق المسيحية والشيعية من العاصمة.




Syria's role in leaning on Hezbollah... Assef Shawkat's SMI Assassins for Hire

With tears in their eyes and flowers in their hands people paid tribute to their national hero. Sad at the loss, which can not be compensated yet pride was all over their faces,sacrificed their son of the soil. His was a death for a noble cause of dying for one's own country. Such men are not born everyday, they belong to the rare class of humanity, who are an example in themselves, and they are the ones who set precedents. And they themselves are unprecedented.
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Elie Hobeika: He who sows to the Spirit, will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Our Lebanese heroes who gave their lives on the altars of the nation also taught us that he who has faith in the nation, in liberty, and in the rights of its citizens will defend them with absolute vigor and most honorable dedication, and will not fear any threats, threat of oppression, the loss of position or property, or the disappearance of "Thyself" in a Fiery Syrian/Israeli Car BOMB, with CIA's Blessing... aiding and abetting, covering-up, inventing disinformation to muddy the waters... etc.
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The quiet relationship between Israel and Iran.

Syria's role in leaning on Hezbollah

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WMR has learned of additional pressure being brought to bear by Syria's enigmatic military intelligence service, led by Syrian President Bashar al Assad's brother-in-law Assef Shawkat, on Lebanese Hezbollah.

Yesterday, WMR reported on Shawkat's role in eliminating Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughniyeh with a car bomb in Damascus. The role of Asef Shawkat's covert operatives has been evident since the January 24, 2002 car bombing in Beirut of Lebanese Member of Parliament, ex-Minister and Popular Christian political leader Mr. Elie Hobeika. The car bombings by Shawkat's operatives gave critical plausible deniability to the CIA and Mossad. Hobeika was, according to our intelligence sources, aware of the links between Shawqat, Iran, the United States, and Israel...and more.

Lebanon has not been responsive to the Bush Administration. It has had to endure serial failures during a thirteen-years run of failed projects in Lebanon....since the advent of the cacophonies of Netanyahu , Clean Break, PNAC, JINSA and the Neocons...Mr. Elie Hobeika was MURDERED by the USA's CIA, in collaboration with MOSSAD and ASSEF Shawkat's goons, PRECISELY because ALL these plans were presented to him, packaged obviously in obfuscated ways... trying to "entice" him, "incentivize" him to join.... in this "Endeavor" and the New alliance of CIA/MOSSAD.... but Mr. Hobeika "saw through" their "presentations..." UTTER Failure, and an attempt to pull him into a "quagmire" of sorts.... in order to sink him into carrying their dirty hats.... one more time.... in an abominably unfair way... which is always their way.....That's why ELIE Hobeika refused all their attempts at pulling him back into their charades.... and their miserable plans of the 70s and 80s.... etc.

Among these were the murder of Rafik Hariri, the 2006 July War, the tempting 'forward reaching' NATO airbase at Kleiat, importing Salafists to fight Hezbollah, trying to organize a Northern Sunni army around Tripoli and Akkar to fight the Shia in the South, offering to fund a third Shia political party to confront Hezbollah and Amal, working to ignite a civil war, and since January 24th 2002, proven allegations of a 'green light' for political assassinations in an attempt to finger and use Syria.... as a willing partner and convenient cover for their dark plans, by way of Elliott Abrams, Assef Shawqat etc. and their Lebanese/Syrian Cohorts... The Club is nearly at its wits end and is becoming aggressive, according to many Staff Member at the US Senate Intelligence Committee.... and various Intelligence sources in Europe and the USA....

That knowledge, and the fact mentioned in earlier intelligence reports, that he adamantly refused offers, inducing him to join this covert US strategy , since the latter part of the 1990s, and because it is a given, for people "in the know", that had he been alive today, he would be able to decipher with great ease, all these covert links, was considered dangerous in some circles in Damascus, Jerusalem, and Washington... Hence, the Savage assassination of January 24th 2002, by Shawqat's goons....

WMR has also learned from our Middle East sources that the capture by the French Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST) of a Hezbollah cell in France and the simultaneous rolling up of another Hezbollah cell in Morocco by Moroccan intelligence, came as a result of information provided directly by Shawkat. Apparently, Shawkat wanted to warn Hezbollah against retaliation for the Mughniyah assassination.

The ploy to send a warning to Hezbollah from Damascus had its limits. A French security and intelligence delegation from France is due in Beirut today to work out a quiet deal on the capture of the Hezbollah cell in France, and the Hezbollah cell in Morocco has not been charged with any crimes. However, it is clear that Hezbollah is being warned that its operations can be contained with the help of Syria and, to a lesser extent, Iran.

As far as Iran's discrete ties to Israel are concerned, WMR has learned from Middle East sources that Iran's former top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, is a descendant of one of Tehran's wealthiest Jewish merchant families. Larijani remains a member of the Iranian National Security Council and is a top adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

These familial religious links and pasts are not lost on Israeli leaders. Israel's former President, Moshe Katsav, forced from office over sexual assault allegations from female staffers, is an ethnic Iranian. On September 25, 2006, WMR reported, "Moshe Katsav, an Iranian Yazdi Jew, is said to have an important direct link to former Iranian President Mohamed Khatami. One of Katsav's cousins studied with Khatami at Tehran University."

Such old religious ties are not merely limited to Iran. A top Saudi journalist told this editor that many people in Saudi Arabia are well aware that the present ruling Saud ruling family are descendants of a Jewish merchant family from Basra, in present-day Iraq. Their ancestor is Mordakhai bin Ibrahim bin Moshe, who changed his name to Markhan bin Ibrahim Musa. One of Markhan's sons was named Saud, an ancestor of the ruling Saud family. There have been and remain close and discrete links between Israeli and Saudi intelligence, as well as quiet financial and other commercial ties between the two nations.

Behind the MEDIA smoke screens in the Middle east.



Elie Hobeika: He who sows to the Spirit, will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Our Lebanese heroes who gave their lives on the altars of the nation also taught us that he who has faith in the nation, in liberty, and in the rights of its citizens will defend them with absolute vigor and most honorable dedication, and will not fear any threats, threat of oppression, the loss of position or property, or the disappearance of "Thyself" in a Fiery Syrian/Israeli Car BOMB, with CIA's Blessing, aiding and abetting, since 1997, when he adamantly refused to play Ball again...
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February , 2008 -- Behind the media smoke screen in the Middle East.

Reality paints a much different picture of Middle East covert operations.



Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell tipped his hand just a bit when he recently opined that Syria may have been responsible for the February 12 car bombing in Damascus of Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughniyeh. McConnell, according to WMR's Middle East Intelligence sources, provided only a small part of the ntelligence cooperation that actually occurs in the Middle East between factions from the Syrians, Iranians, Israelis, and Americans.

It is becoming apparent that the head of Syrian military intelligence, Assef Shawqat, and a group of his operatives in Syria and Lebanon have been carrying out a number of car bombings, including that of Mughniyeh and Lebanese politicians, in order to provide "plausible deniability" and a firewall between Syria and the Israelis and Americans. This whole Covert effort started in earnest with the Assassination of Mr. Elie Hobeika, January 24th 2002. Mr. Hobeika was closest to this group, earlier in his career, hence it was decided to take him out of the picture first, because he adamantly refused offers to induce him to join this whole strategy anew, since the latter part of the 1990s, and because it is a given, for people "in the know", that had he been alive today, he would be able to decipher all these covert links with exact details, names, and more...! Significantly, Shawkat is the brother-in-law of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

WMR's sources report that "a faction" within the Iranian military decided to help the Shawkat faction take out Mughniyeh in order to avoid an outbreak of war between Hezbollah and Israel in south Lebanon and a possible concurrent "shock and awe" US air strike on Iran. Hezbollah's operational command maintains close links with the Iranian embassies in Syria and Lebanon. In addition, Hezbollah's Special Security Apparatus is provided with weapons, military training, and money by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Al Qods force of the IRGC.

Shawkat has maintained close ties with the CIA, providing the agency with extraordinary rendition prisons and torture rooms for individuals grabbed by CIA operatives around the world, including Canadian citizen Maher Arar, a native of Syria. In September 2006, a Canadian Commission of Inquiry concluded that Arar, who was kidnapped while transiting JFK Airport in New York, was tortured by Syrian military intelligence. The report stated that Shawkat's service tortured Arar "while interrogating him during the period he was held incommunicado at the SMI’s [Syrian Military Intelligence's] Palestine Branch facility.”

After the car bomb hit on Mughniyah in Damascus, Shawkat's intelligence operatives ensured that the scene of the bombing was completely cleansed by
first light the next morning. The only signs that the bombing had occurred were some black marks on the street and some minor damage to adjacent walls.

What is lost on the Western media is that there are covert channels between Israeli, Syrian, and Iranian intelligence. The Secretary of the conservative
Islamic Coalition Society and close friend of Ayatollah Ali Khamanei is Habibollah Asgaroladi, a radical Muslim who rejected attempts by former President Mohammad Khatami to improve relations with the United States. Khatami's entreaties were also rejected by the neocons in the George W. Bush administration.

Asgaroladi is a member of the Expediency Council, an influential advisory group in the country chaired by former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
who was the main Iranian interlocutor between the Americans and Israelis in the Iran-contra scandal during the Reagan-Bush administration in the 1980s. More noteworthy is the fact that Asgaroladi, counted as one of Iran's richest men, converted to Islam from Judaism during the time of the Shah's reign.

According to WMR's Iranian sources, beyond his radical rhetoric, Asgaroladi serves as an important back channel to Israel, especially in matters of trade matters. Asgaroladi's position in Iran has been likened by WMR's Middle East sources to the large number of Turkish leaders whose families converted
from Judaism to Islam before and after the Turkish secular revolution of Kemal Ataturk. In fact, knowledgeable Turkish sources report that Ataturk,
himself, was one such convert. These Turkish leaders provide much of the support for close Turkish-Israeli relations, including military and intelligence links.

Our Middle East intelligence sources report that the Syrians, Israelis, and Iranians prefer that U.S. intelligence remain largely ignorant of "some covert" and "subtle links" between Israel, the minority Alawite Muslim regime in Damascus, and factions within the mullahs in Tehran. However, it is just possible, that ignorance by the United States... that could propel America into a disastrous military action in Iran.

"SWAP" MADE IN THE WHITE HOUSE'S MURDER INC...

http://elie-hobeika.blogspot.com/
Most Charismatic and Unforgettable Leader, a Visionary
and a Hero.RIP.


With tears in their eyes and flowers in their hands people paid tribute to their national hero. Sad at the loss, which can not be compensated yet pride was all over their faces,sacrificed their son of the soil. His was a death for a noble cause of dying for one's own country. Such men are not born everyday, they belong to the rare class of humanity, who are an example in themselves, and they are the ones who set precedents. And they themselves are unprecedented. Elie Hobeika, RIP.
------------------------------------------------------------


Here's a "taste" of what's to come for Lebanon.....

Annapolis will represent another signpost in the US drive to solidify the de facto unholy alliance that has bound Israel and the so-called "moderate" Arab states under US patronage. In this case, it is easy to be optimistic about prospects for Lebanon ....

For Lebanon the US project means eliminating Hizbullah's core "Resistance" capabilities..., one way or the other, so as to remove Israel's only genuine security threat and deprive Syria and Iran of leverage in their own negotiations with the US regarding the Golan Heights and nuclear arms respectively....

However, in light of the failure of the July 2006 US-Israeli war to destroy Hezbollah, the US has for now shifted its strategy away from a military solution to co-opting the Lebanese state, its cronies, stooges and creeps of Elliott Abrams, itself to pursue these tasks on its behalf-much as it has done in Palestine with Abu Mazen's recent declaration of war against Hamas....

By recognizing March 14's disputed claims to executive authority (now apparently reinforced with the governments' assumption of presidential powers), encouraging it to reject the opposition's repeated calls for a national unity government, and supporting its call for the full implementation of UNSC resolution 1559, the US appears to believe it has accomplished the first stage of this strategy which has focused on removing the Resistance's official cloak of state legitimacy it enjoyed under President Lahoud....

The second phase of US strategy is to create what the Pentagon calls a "strategic alliance" with the Lebanese army--the only state institution that enjoys broad support from all Lebanese communities, regardless of sect or class-- by transforming it into a force that would confront, rather than support, the Resistance. US military aid has been rising exponentially, as has the EU's; while March 14 has been working hard to install officers loyal to its cause in a bid to reverse the army's pro-Resistance sympathies...., and the "White House Murder Inc.", was busy... Murdering those who are not compliant, as was the case, with the assassination of General Francois El-Hajj .... and More...

After seven years of ignoring the plight of the Palestinians and often actively undermining the “Road Map” and other such peace agreements, the Bush administration decided to convene Annapolis at a time when the American, Israeli, and Palestinian leaderships were in their weakest political positions; hardly a recipe for success, unless, we look at things from a different angle.

The Palestinian leadership, considered illegitimate by a large portion of Palestinians, when looked at from this new angle, barely makes it into the picture as the disposable policy conduit of the heavy weights, the U.S. and Israel.

The only way we can understand and explain Annapolis is through the consistent behavior of both the U.S. and Israel over the last years; through their methods of operation - that would hardly change overnight - and not through their words or photo ops. We need to look for similarities in their policies and approaches and to consider where they would be implemented next and how Annapolis would facilitate that.

Fighting terrorism and outside threats is at the core of both American and Israeli domestic and foreign policies and their sustainability depends on such threats. Recently, even though such threats have not diminished, the populations all over the world have adjusted to their levels as in the case of Al-Qaeda, or outright rejected them as insignificant regional threats as in the case of the violence between Israelis and Palestinians, even worse for Israel, more and more the violence is perceived as disproportionately one sided and a direct result of the occupation of Palestinian lands and Israeli intransigence.

For the U.S. and Israel to preserve their policies and strategic objectives, the threat level has to evolve and increase beyond what it is today.

The grounds are being prepped for such an increase and Annapolis is but a “signpost”, it is so correctly cautioned. The U.S. and Israel are actively engaged, through the use of military force, economic pressure, financial incentives, political arm-twisting, etc…, in creating and widening rifts between countries and within populations in the Middle East in order to transform an entire region stretching from Pakistan to Algeria.

By the day, the rifts are expanding in Lebanon, Iraq, and Palestine, and it is no secret that the U.S. is going to implement the so-called successes of the Anbar province of Iraq, paying a segment of the population for forcibly policing another, in the volatile Tribal Regions of Pakistan. We also know of clandestine operations in Iran to undermine the Iranian government through discontented minorities. Such clandestine operation could also be taking place elsewhere.

The large and enduring threat that the U.S. and Israel are looking for can be described as a contiguous swath of land where the so-called radical Muslims roam unchecked. The relationships between populations and countries that compose it is of no consequence as long as, to the average western observer, the region resembles an incomprehensible and menacing brew, a sort of an active volcano, impossible to control or predict, that could spew its terrorism lava at any moment and only the vigilant eye of the U.S. and its allies could protect the world.

“with us or against us” will be redefined and re-imposed. Even though the question is the same as after 9/11, the scope is different. After 9/11, it was imposed on countries, now, it will be imposed on individuals in the greater Middle East region; it will be the question that defines the fault line of a rift.

Annapolis is the forum where the new “with us or against us” was formally proposed and the Palestinian issue will be split in half along the fault line it creates. There will be moderate Palestinians who are “with us”, and radicals “against us”; the Palestinian issue would be solved by simply having it vanish.

Annapolis is where Israel is given the cover to pursue two diametrically opposed policies. One that would reward a so-called moderate (compliant) West Bank with some form of peace while the other would punish Gaza with the harshest of treatments to make certain that Gaza is forced into the “against us” camp.

The so-called moderate Arab states would use the treatment of the West Bank as the fig leaf they so desperately need to relieve them from the burdensome Palestinian issue. They might even help rehabilitate Israel, normalize relationships, or even form an alliance if Israel is made to be perceived as the only regional power that could counter-balance a menacing nuclear Iran.

In contrast, the treatment of Gaza, which is mostly Muslim, would be a stronger rallying cry for the radicals and would surely increase their fervor and numbers.

Both sides of the rift, the “with us” and “against us”, would have their supporting arguments but they are no longer countries, they are now individuals. The net effect of this policy toward the Palestinian issue would be the polarization of Arab and Muslim societies down to the smallest of social units; the rift will be within families, even between couples.

Still, this is not sufficient for the U.S. and Israel since these individuals are too dispersed. If we were to think of this new policy toward Palestine as the driving force behind this rift, the critical mass where all the ingredients are present, the powder keg that would make it happen is Pakistan and no one other than bin Laden is holding the match.

In his recent audio, released through Al-Jazeera, bin Laden hinted at the illegality of the War in Afghanistan but supplied no credible evidence. His attempt at driving a wedge between Europe and the U.S. could only be described as amateurish and his allegations dismissed as bogus.

As someone who has researched and written extensively on the legality of the Afghanistan war, I can assure you that bin Laden’s allegations are no joke. The Afghanistan war was illegal beyond the Iraq war; the victims of the Afghanistan war are not only the innocent civilians, but also every soldier who has died, and even you and I.

It is reported that bin Laden’s recent release targeted Europe’s population. The truth is, it targeted U.S. and European leaderships since they are the only ones who knew what he was talking about.

The proper evidence will be supplied by bin Laden sooner or later since the West would never dare supply it. It will surface when it benefits him the most. The most likely time would be, since it also fits the often observed symbiotic relationship between him and Bush, shortly after Musharraf, the Pakistani president, launches the long awaited military campaign against the Tribal Regions with the help of U.S. military advisers.

Should we wait for bin Laden to light the fuse when it benefits him and those imposing the “with us or against us” option, or, should I inform you now in the hope that you could resurrect the good options?

Since I have written about this crime extensively, and fulfilled my duty by informing the Democratic Judiciary Committees in both U.S. House and Senate, I see no reason why you should not have known about it even sooner.

What bin Laden said is true; the evidence that Al-Qaeda bore the sole responsibility for 9/11 was obtained by the U.S., through human intelligence, on September 26, 2001, ten days before the invasion of Afghanistan.

The tape released by the Pentagon on December 13, 2001, showing bin Laden confessing to Khaled Al-Harbi of his involvement in the attacks was the result of a sting operation run by U.S. intelligence with the help of Saudi intelligence on September 26, 2001.

Intelligence operatives had four days advance notice of the date of the meeting and taping, twenty four hours advance notice of its location, and knew that bin Laden would be in that village for at least three hours if not overnight since his family also lived in that village.

Instead of killing him or capturing him as per Bush’s famous promise “dead or alive”, this perfectly scripted opportunity was used to tape him. If bin Laden was killed or captured on that date, the U.S. would not have had any international support or legal standing to invade Afghanistan ten days later.

Based on actions by NATO, and statements by high-ranking Pakistani officials in the beginning of October 2001, the evidence seems to have been shared with them because of their importance in the war effort, but, such evidence of bin Laden’s guilt was not shared with the Taliban even though they offered bin Laden in exchange.

The U.S. had the military clout and, so shortly after 9/11, the strong international support that would have forced the Taliban to hand over bin Laden and avert war if evidence of his guilt was provided. This is also the path dictated by the Geneva Convention and the UN Charter. The U.S. chose to conceal the evidence and go ahead with the invasion; that is what bin Laden means by “the U.S. insisted”.

The release of such information by bin Laden, coupled with verses from the Koran, Hadeeth, or Muslim history relating to acts of treason against Islam or the Prophet, augmented by announcement of the capture of a Saudi intelligence cell inside Al-Qaeda assigned to kill him, would surely inflame sentiments in Pakistan and elsewhere against Musharraf and his patrons, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

The rift could only get wider and would stretch from Pakistan to Gaza on the Mediterranean and maybe even Algeria and Morocco on the Atlantic; now that is big enough. Iran, caught in the middle would be further isolated and cut off from an important energy client, India. The U.S. would re-deploy to the safety of the Kurdish area in Iraq and meddle at its leisure while the rest of Iraq plunges into a civil war. The Iraqi Sunnis would rely on the U.S. for military support, and Saudi Arabia for financial support and volunteers. Iran would be sucked deeper into the conflict.

This last option, “with us or against us”, put on the table in Annapolis is a lose-lose proposition; it is an ugly choice between sides of a rift at the expense, and thereby demise, of all the good options that reflect peoples’ aspirations, interests, visions, and true potential.

---------------------------------------------------------------



Special Investigation.
**********************

"SWAP" MADE IN THE WHITE HOUSE'S MURDER INC...

This is the "Arbitrage" DEAL of the Century....
A "Derivatives Contract of sorts, offered to Assef Shawkat..."
You GET US... Imad Moughnieh's HEAD... and we will get you
off the HOOK in Rafic Hariri's Murder ....
ASSEF SHAWKAT Delivered the Goods, it was an offer he could
not afford to refuse.... BINGO.
This Swap... is at the Low-end of the Hizbullah Spectrum for Assef
Shawkat....and is something Assef Is "able" to Survive...He thinks,
but for Hezbollah, it's a major Blow... ( A Suivre )

February 13th... and Syrian Military Intelligence.... A Very Special
Anniversary.... of Sorts for THE Murderer ASSEF Shawkat, Official
Representative of the "White House Murder INC."...

This is the Anniversary "week" of Ronald Reagan, President Reagan,
was the President of the USA in 1983... when the Marines were
"smoked" in Beirut's BIA vicinity... courtesy of Hafez Assad....
The Great Criminal mind of the White House's Murder Inc., ...
as always... has targeted Imad Moughnieh, as a "present" for
Ronald Reagan's "Anniversary" Celebrations... just like he did
in his earlier Assassination endeavors....

Congratulations CIA.... Your Murder Laundry now, is "worthy"
of the Middle East's long record of Assassinations....

ASSEF SHAWKAT murdered Imad Moughnieh yesterday
in Damascus, courtesy of Mitsubishi Corporation's well
"rounded" specially designed SEATS, delivered in time,
and with great Taste.... In order for Assef Shawkat to
"present" his credentials, Officially... to his Masters
in CIA's Langley, and Herzliah's MOSSAD and Israel.
Assef Shawkat is now the Official representative of
Elliott Abrams in Damascus SYRIA. Congratulations
ASSEF, and Bushra.
Now, the 241 Marines, William F. Buckley, and many others,
like Colonel Higgins, Robert Stethem, etc. can rest in Peace....
and the French DRAKAR occupants, RIP, 25 years later.....
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
المعلم: دمشق "ستعلن اسم المسؤول عن مقتل مغنية" : ASSEF SHAWKAT

15 شباط 2008

A SCRIPT MADE IN HOLLYWOOD AND LANGLEY VIRGINIA TO FREE ASSEF SHAWKAT FROM THE SWIFT AND INEVITABLE RETALIATION OF HEZBOLLAH, AGAINST THE KILLER OF IMAD MOUGHNIEH, ASSEF SHAWKAT. TEL AVIV AND CIA AND MOSSAD ARE ALL SCRAMBLING TO GIVE A SOLID COVER TO THEIR KEY MAN IN DAMASCUS ASSEF SHAWKAT, THE KILLER MURDERER OF MR. ELIE HOBEIKA , ON THE ORDERS OF CIA AND ...., THE VEGETABLE OF Beirut.........,

أعلن وليد المعلم وزير الخارجية السوري أنه سيتم قريباً الكشف عن نتائج التحقيق في حادث اغتيال القائد العسكري في حزب الله عماد مغنية في دمشق.ASSEF SHAWKAT


ووعد المعلم بتقديم ادلة قاطعة على هوية من قام بالاغتيال ومن كان وراءه، ملمحاً لأول مرة إلى مسؤولية إسرائيلية. ASSEF SHAWKAT

في هذه الأثناء اذاعت قناة العالم الإيرانية شريط فيديو قالت إنه للانفجار الذي اودى بحياة مغنية في دمشق. ASSEF SHAWKAT

وقالت القناة إن الفيديو التقط عن طريق كاميرا هاتف محمول وانه اظهر السيارة المفخخة التي انفجرت بجانب سيارة مغنية وأضافت أن التفجير تم عن طريق التحكم عن بعد. ASSEF SHAWKAT

وكان وزير الخارجية السوري، قد صرح الخميس بأن التحقيقات التي تجريها اجهزة الامن السورية حول مقتل مغنية تسير بشكل جيد، وقال إن الحادث "جريمة ارهابية".ASSEF SHAWKAT

وجاء تصريح وزير خارجية سورية خلال المؤتمر الصحفي المشترك الذي عقده مع نظيره الايراني منوشهر متكي، الذي يزور دمشق حاليا بعد مشاركته في تشييع جنازة مغنية. ASSEF SHAWKAT

ونفى المعلم وجود صلة بين مقتل مغنية ومقتل رئيس الوزراء اللبناني الراحل رفيق الحريري الا من حيث التوقيت كما امتنع عن الادلاء بأي تعليق حول ما اذا كان قد تم اعتقال أي شخص في اطار التحقيق. ASSEF SHAWKAT

إلا انه اكد في الوقت نفسه أن اغتيال مغنية نسف أي فرصة للسلام بين اسرائيل وسوريا. ASSEF SHAWKAT

أما متكي فأعرب في المؤتمر الصحفي عن ثقته القوية في أن اسرائيل تقف وراء اغتيال مغنية. ASSEF SHAWKAT

وكان الأمين العام لحزب الله حسن نصر الله قد القى بمسؤولية اغتيال مهنية على اسرائيل في خطاب القاه بالامس وهو ما رفضته إسرائيل. ASSEF SHAWKAT

وما زالت سوريا واسرائيل في حالة حرب من الناحية النظرية كما شهدت الفترة الاخيرة توترا في ضوء قيام طائرات اسرائيلية باختراق المال الجوي السوري وقصف اهداف داخل اراضيها.

"العقوبات بالمثل" ASSEF SHAWKAT

وفي تطور آخر، وفي أول رد فعل على قرار البيت الابيض بتشديد العقوبات المفروضة على سورية، والذي يشمل مسؤولين حكوميين ومتعاملين معهم، قال وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم ان دمشق سترد على تلك العقوبات "بعقوبات". ASSEF SHAWKAT

وقال المعلم ان "هذه ليست المرة الاولى التي تتخذ فيها الولايات المتحدة اجراءات ضد سورية، لكننا في هذه المرة سنعاقب الولايات المتحدة". ASSEF SHAWKAT

وكان الرئيس الامريكي جورج بوش قد قرر توسيع نطاق العقوبات المفروضة منذ عام 2004 والتي تشمل كل الصادرات الامريكية الى سورية ما عدا الاغذية والمواد الطبية.

وقد اقرت حينها هذه العقوبات بسبب اتهام واشنطن لدمشق "بدعم الارهاب الدولي وتقويض الجهود الامريكية في العراق". ASSEF SHAWKAT

واضاف المعلم: "هناك العشرات من المواطنين السوريين الذين راحوا ضحايا خلال الحرب العدوانية الاسرائيلية على لبنان، سيرفع اهلهم دعاوى لمقاضاة الولايات المتحدة، حيث استخدمت اسرائيل السلاح الامريكي في قتلهم". ASSEF SHAWKAT



Scenarios and Related Risks for Lebanon:


http://elie-hobeika.blogspot.com/

Most Charismatic, Unforgettable Leader, a visionary and a Hero. RIP

http://wiredlebanon.blogspot.com/

http://phoeniciaphoenix.blogspot.com/

http://jnoubiyeh.blogspot.com/

As the election of a Lebanese President is postponed yet again, and for the ninth consecutive time, for lack of a political understanding between the Majority and the Opposition, four possible scenarios for the immediate future of the country spring to mind, each carrying with it its inherent security risks.


First Scenario and Related Risks:


Under the first scenario, Washington and Riyadh might strike a deal with Syria (and beyond it Iran). Damascus would then put pressure to bear on its friends and allies in Lebanon (Amal, Hezbollah and the likes of Michel Murr or Suleiman Frangieh), for them to put pressure in turn on Michel Aoun and bring him to toe the line. The latter would grudgingly agree and Parliament would convene to elect General Michel Suleiman as President. Such a scenario would go some way towards correcting the imbalances inherent to the lopsided application of the Taef Agreement, allowing the Christians to gain some of the ground lost to the Sunnis since 1989 and allowing the Shiites to at last turn their July 2006 military gains into real political gains.

In as much as prioritizing security risks is at all possible, the risks inherent to the First Scenario would, in order of likelihood, be:

(1) a war waged by the Army against Al-Qaeda-like Islamist groups;

(2) warfare in and around the Palestinian refugee camps as the war between the Army and Sunni Islamists groups overflows;

(3) operations staged by Sunni Islamist groups against Unifil units deployed in the South;

(4) acts of revenge by Sunni Islamists against Lebanese officials and Sunni “traitors”;

(5) acts of provocation by Sunni Islamists against Shiite targets;

(6) a wave of political assassinations by one or more foreign party seeking to again rewrite the Taef Agreement to suit its needs.


Second Scenario and Related Risks:


Under the second scenario, despite Damascus (and beyond it Tehran) having successfully struck a deal with Washington and Riyadh, Syria’s and Iran’s mainly Shiite allies in Lebanon might prove unable to convince Michel Aoun to toe the line and would feel compelled to put an end to the alliance they struck with him in 2006. With Aoun isolated from his allies and still refusing to negotiate, General Suleiman would refuse to run for president and a weak Christian candidate would be elected in his stead. This scenario would favor both the Shiites and the Sunnis, but it would work against the Christians. It would, in effect, take the country back to the early nineties when, after the assassination of President René Moawad, the forced exile of General Michel Aoun and the imprisonment of the assassin and serial murderer Samir Geagea, the Christians were marginalized and Rafic Hariri struck a deal with Damascus that allowed him to run the country for twelve years.

In as much as prioritizing security risks is at all possible, the risks inherent to the Second Scenario would, in order of likelihood, be:

(1) civil strife in the Christian regions as had happened following the 1989 assassination of President Moawad, when the Syrians succeeded in “Syrianizing” the Taef Agreement and the Christians were torn apart by a fratricidal war pitting opponents and proponents of Taef;

(2) operations staged by Sunni Islamist groups against Unifil units deployed in the South;

(3) a war between the Army and Al-Qaeda-like Islamist groups;

(4) warfare in and around the Palestinian refugee camps as the war between the Army and Sunni Islamists groups overflows;

(5) a wave of political assassinations by one or more foreign party seeking to again rewrite the Taef Agreement to suit its needs.


Third Scenario and Related Risks:


Under the third scenario, no deal having been reached between the West and the Syrians, the Majority would convene its MPs in haste to elect a president from its midst in the absence of Opposition MPs and, more importantly, in the absence of any Shiite MP. This would in effect take the country back to the autumn of 1989 and more particularly to the few weeks which elapsed between the signing of the Taef Agreement in October 1989 and the assassination of newly-elected President René Moawad on 22 November.


In as much as prioritizing security risks is at all possible, the risks inherent to the Third Scenario would, in order of likelihood, be:

(1) attempts on the life of the next president who will find himself in a similar situation to President René Moawad who was assassinated in the immediate aftermath of the signing of the 1989 Taef Agreement;

(2) .attacks on State institutions;

(3) attacks on the State’s foreign backers and notably on Unifil units deployed in the South, by Sunni Islamist groups and also possibly by Shiite groups;

(4) a resumption of rocket attacks across the border with Israel;

(5) Inter-Palestinian clashes in and around the refugee camps.


Fourth Scenario and Related Risks:


Under the fourth scenario, with the constitutional vacuum persisting, the power struggle between the various Lebanese factions and communities would gradually move away from a beleaguered and henceforth largely irrelevant central State apparatus, and take on a more regional and territorial form reminiscent of the 10-year inter-confessional civil war which, in effect, ended in 1985 with the signing of the short-lived Tripartite Agreement.


In as much as prioritizing security risks is at all possible, the risks inherent to the Fourth Scenario would, in order of likelihood, be:

(1) attempts on the life of Druze leader Walid Joumblatt, and or Saad Hariri ;

(2) civil strife in the Druze and Sunni regions; etc.? A New Pseudo-Cedar Revolution... made In Jeffrey Feltman again?

(3) sectarian incidents in religiously heterogeneous regions such as West Beirut, Iqlim al-Kharroub and the Shouf, Sidon and the South;

(4) inter-Palestinian clashes in the refugee camps;

(5) attacks on Unifil units deployed in the South;

(6) Cross-border rocket attacks on Israel.

(7) A coordinated, targeted attack in Iran, Syria and Hezbollah by USA and Israel....is most likely soon.

* - we are still in an artificial "waiting Game" expressly controlled by the Americans and the Israelis... because the Americans have come to the conclusion that SYRIA is on a "winning path".... if things continue the way it is going now.... and that SYRIA is "draining" the USA [ istinzaf ] Politically over the long haul... and that the US and Israel have devised a PLAN to make SYRIA PAY.... Militarily... and they think that they are abler to get militarily, what they were not able to get Politically from SYRIA.... and IRAN in a ricochet... and may be get them apart finally.....
Hence , I see a very Fast and Furious WAR in preparation with Israel and USA, and this WAR is coming sooner than anybody thinks.... and obviously it will target IRAN also for sure and South Lebanon inevitably... despite the UNIFIL...
One clear indication the upcoming visit BARAK to Cairo this week to see Mubarak....and many other infos falling together....



http://phoeniciaphoenix.blogspot.com/



http://hobeika.blogspot.com/

NR

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MY FRIEND ELIE HOBEIKA, HK / الشهيد ايلي حبيقة HK

تقديرينا و محبتنا الى روح الرئيس HK
ايلي حبيقة
HK من كل اللبنانيين

/ WHERE IS "JUSTICE" WHERE IS "BEIRUT MERE DES LOIS" ?? WHERE ARE THE "BALTAZAR GARCONS" OF LEBANON ???

HKتقديرينا و محبتنا الى روح الرئيس
ايلي حبيقة من كل اللبنانيين /
MY FRIEND ELIE HOBEIKA, HK

One can see the wisdom in his very visage. The hazel eyes, glowing from sockets lined with deep suntan emotions, beam with the brilliance of a limelight. His hair, looking like spun silver, sits neatly in place upon his head. Yet, as he nods slightly, it sparkles, each strand in concert, as if to echo the exuberance of his own nature.

His nose, strong and stately, arcs proudly above the overshadowed yet undaunted mouth. The lips, bold as they are, show incredible kindness and generosity, especially when he curls them into one of his particularly boyish grins. His countenance mirrors his being and in that beautiful angel face one can see a child playing in a meadow.

His forty six years do not show themselves in his posture. He stands tall, erect; and moves with unmitigated grace. Always dressed in perfect clothes, his bright colors dazzle and shine in the Lebanon sun. What a sight this man is to behold! The experiences, heartbreaks, loves, joys, and victories of forty six years of living, all combine into one fascinating embodiment within him, a Heroes' Hero and the greatest man ever.



تقديرينا و محبتنا الى روح HK الرئيس ايلي حبيقة من كل اللبنانيين

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A moral and intellectual paralysis had fallen upon Christendom. {GC88 60.2}
The condition of the world under the Romish power presented a fearful and striking fulfillment of the words of the prophet Hosea: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee; . . . seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." "There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood." [HOSEA 4:6, 1, 2.] Such were the results of banishing the Word of God. {GC88 60.3}

?.....قدر العظماء


قدر العظماء أن يمضوا شهداء
+++++++++++++++++++++++
























‏«الطائف» و«الاتفاق الثلاثي»‏









لا يمكن الحديث عن تهميش الدور المسيحي في لبنان دون ذكر اتفاق الطائف الذي شلح المسيحيين ‏الدور والموقع والصلاحيات الى دون مستوى الشراكة الحقيقية.‏
وبعد أكثر من سنة ونصف على قيام حكومة السنيورة تتصاعد الشكوى من استمرار التهميش ‏الذي أكدت عليه خطب البطريرك والذي قبل به جعجع منذ اليوم الأول حجماً تمثيلياً هو 24/1 ‏وبحقيبة هامشية كوزارة السياحة
ويستذكر قادة مسيحيون أن مضمون الشراكة المسيحية في النظام الطائفي رسمته معادلات ‏الاتفاق الثلاثي مقارنة بواقع الطائف، والذي في كل الاحوال حتى ولو احسن تطبيقه حرفياً لا ‏يعطي التمثيل المسيحي في السلطة حجماً حقيقياً وموقعاً في الحياة الداخلية وصلاحيات دستورية ‏في عمل النظام بمقدار ما كان سيؤمنه الاتفاق الثلاثي الذي كرس بالتفصيل صيغة «المثالثة» ‏في المواقع وفي الشراكة، وتعامل مع المواقع المسيحية في السلطة على قدم المساواة في الاحجام ‏والصلاحيات مع المواقع السنية والشيعية، وكان ذلك نتيجة مفاوضات صعبة وشاقة قادها ‏ايلي حبيقة بحرص شديد رافضاً أي تصرف «الحاقي» في اي مواقع طائفية اخرى تمثل المسيحيين وأي ‏تغاضى في حجم العلاقات والدور في تركيبة السلطة التي أقرها الاتفاق الثلاثي. كما يقول أحد ‏المسيحيين الحقوقيين المهتمين في اجراء مقارنات في الصلاحية بين ما تبقى لرئاسة الجمهورية في ‏نصوص الطائف او بين الموقع الرئيسي المتساوي مع الموقعين الشيعي والسني في الصيغة التي توصل ‏لها الاتفاق الثلاثي والتي وضعت في هيئة مجلس رئاسي، وبالتالي فان انقلاب جعجع على الاتفاق ‏الثلاثي ادخل المسيحيين في حالة من الاستنزاف عبرت عنها الحرب التي شنت ضد العماد عون ‏واضطرته الى مغادرة البلاد. وكانت الثمرة اتفاق الطائف، ولو جاز للمسيحيين ان يعينوا ‏المسؤول عن خفض سقف الدور المسيحي في النظام اللبناني الى ما دون التسوية التي ابرمها ‏حبيقة في الاتفاق الثلاثي، فان جعجع بنظرهم هو المسؤول مرتين، المرة الأولى عندما انقلب على ‏الاتفاق الثلاثي والمرة الثانية لانه أعطى الفرصة لحرب داخل المناطق المسيحية ووافق على ‏السقف الادنى الذي قلص صلاحيات رئيس الجمهورية لصالح حلفائه في الطائفة السنية، بينما بقي ‏حبيقة على قناعاته وثوابته واسس حزب «الوعد» رافضاً مصادرة اسم القوات اللبنانية ‏احتراماً ووفاء لدور بشير الجميل مؤسس القوات اللبنانية معتبراً أن عائلة بشير وابنه هما ‏الاحق بالتسمية، كما رفض مصادرة اسم حزب الكتائب احتراماً ووفاء لدور بيار الجميل ونجله ‏امين وعندما حاول كشف خيوط مجزرة صبرا وشاتيلا التي لاحقته «كالظل» سقط شهيداً «مظلوماً».‏
والآن في ظل ما تشهده البلاد يحاول المسيحيون ان يتذكروا تلك الحقبة والمرحلة التي ظلمها ‏البعض في حينه، وجاءت النتائج والانجازات بعد 23 سنة دون المستوى بكثير.. فهل يتعظ ‏البعض.



قـرر الخروج عن صمتـه ودق ابواب بكركي مجددا وذكر محطات عدة
فرنجية: اتخوف ان تؤدي المواقف الملتبسة الى تغطية مشروع التوطيـن
واردد مع المسيح: بيتكم بيت صلاة فلا تجعلـوه مغــــارة للصوص
7 شباط 2008
اعلن رئيس تيار المردة سليمان فرنجية انه قرر الخروج عن صمته "لأن السكوت عن الخطأ خطيئة، وذكر محطات رأى فيها "إضعافاً لدور الكنيسة وتهميش المسيحيين وتيئيس اللبنانيين". واعتبر ان بكركي حليفة الغرب فإذا خاصموا سوريا خاصمتها واذا حالفوها وافقتها.
وابدى تخوفه من ان يؤدي ما اسماه "المواقف الملتبسة للكنيسة والمحطات المتلاحقة الى تغطية مشروع التوطين الاخطر على لبنان". وتمنى "ان نردد مع السيد المسيح بيتكم بيت صلاة فلا تجعلوه مغارة للصوص وكل ما نتمناه ان تعيدوه بيتاً للصلاة وليس مغارة لبعض اللصوص".
صدر عن فرنجية البيان الآتي: لأننا ابناء الكنيسة وحريصون عليها التزمنا الصمت انسجاماً مع بيان المطارنة الموارنة الصادر بتاريخ 19/01/08 ورغبة بعض الاساقفة الاجلاء ومع تمنيات السفارة البابوية التي نحترم ، غير ان استمرار الكلام اليومي ومحاولة تحريف الواقع في البيان الاخير للسادة الاساقفة وتحويل الكلام من ردّ على الشخص الى اتهامنا بمحاولة النيل من الكنيسة التي هي اكليروس وعلمانيون، ونحن جزء اساس منها ، يدفعنا الى الخروج عن الصمت، لان السكوت عن الخطأ خطيئة ونورد، احتراما منا لذاكرة شعبنا، المحطات التي نرى فيها اضعافا لدور الكنيسة وتهميش المسيحيين وتيئييس اللبنانيين .

1.غطيتم الطائف سنة 1989 الذي جرّد رئيس الجمهورية من صلاحياته وبعدها بكيتم على الاطلال.
2.غطيتم دخول الجيش السوري في 13 تشرين الاول 1990 الى قصر بعبدا مركز الرئاسة الاولى لضرب العماد ميشال عون بحجة ان المرحلة تقتضي ذلك، وتقولون انكم خصوم سوريا ، انتم حلفاء الغرب فاذا خاصموا سوريا خاصمتموها واذا حالفوها وافقتموها.
3. سنة 1992 انتخب مجلس للنواب قاطعتموه سنة كاملة ومن ثم اعترفتم ومشيتم.
4.غطيتم التمديد للرئيس الراحل الياس الهراوي سنة 1995 واجتمعتم في السفارة البابوية مع وليد جنبلاط لأن جنبلاط رفض زيارة بكركي ولم تجرأوا على فرض الزيارة عليه. مددتم ومن ثم بكيتم.
5. وفي مرسوم التجنيس أرسلتم الرسائل واللوائح وحين بات واقعاً شكلتم لجنة للتصحيح "ولات ساعة مندم".
6.سنة 2001 اعطيتم صك براءة في ما سُمّي مصالحة الجبل لمن هجّر ابناء الجبل ولليوم لم يعودوا ولا يزالون مهجرين.
7.سنة 2005 ناديتم بقانون القضاء الذي عملنا عليه انقاذا للصوت المسيحي وشهدت ساحة الصرح للمرة الاولى حالة وحدة مسيحية فتنصلتم منه وتنكرتم له ومن ثم بكيتم القضاء على قانون القضاء.
8.سنة 2006 اعترفتم بانه بات للمسيحيين ممثلُ ومن ثم ارتضيتم عدم اشراكه او مشاركته في الحكومة امعاناً في تهميش المسيحيين.

وقبل كل ذلك كيف للمسيحي ان ينسى النيل فعلاً من الكنيسة حين استشهاد المونسنيور خريش ورمي جثته التي جمعت اشلاء في ما بعد من دون ان تكلفوا خاطركم عناء الادعاء على القاتل او على الاقل الاصرار على كشفه.
وكيف للمسيحي ان ينسى دوركم المتفرج على التقاتل المسيحي - المسيحي الذي شهدته الطائفة على مدى سنوات، وبدل التحصن في بكركي والاستشهاد اذا دعت الحاجة غادرتم بكركي ليلاً وتوجهتم الى الديمان هرباً ام تنصلاً؟ وهل ما حدث معكم في 1989 والذي تذكرون به في كل حين دفعكم الى تغطية الدخول السوري الذي تم بتغطية دولية الى قصر بعبدا مركز الرئاسة الاولى ومركز المسيحيين الاول؟
وكم نتخوف ان تؤدي هذه المواقف الملتبسة وهذه المحطات المتلاحقة الى تغطية مشروع التوطين الاخطر على لبنان.
وكم نتمنى ونحن ابناء الكنيسة الحريصون عليها وتاريخنا شاهد ان نردد مع السيد المسيح "بيتكم بيت صلاة فلا تجعلوه مغارة للصوص" وكل ما نتمناه ان تعيدوه بيتاً للصلاة وليس مغارة لبعض اللصوص مع ايماننا ان ابواب الجحيم لن تقوى على الكنيسة .
وكلامنا ليس مرحلياً انما نضعه امام شعبنا والتاريخ.









http://elie-hobeika.blogspot.com/ CIA "blowback”. Refers to retaliation for illegal operations Carried out abroad, kept secret from the US public. These operations included clandestine overthrow of governments, counterinsurgency militias, , training of foreign militaries In the techniques of state terrorism, rigging of elections in foreign Countries, interference with the economic viability of countries, as well as The torture or assassination of selected foreign Leaders.

January 21-24, 2009 -- Nazi Germany and Zionist Israel, Then and Now...

January 21-24, 2009 -- Nazi Germany and Zionist Israel, Then and Now...

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HK Elie HOBEIKA

HK    Elie  HOBEIKA
HK For Ever

The Assassination of MP and Minister Mr. Elie Hobeika, January 24th 2002. "A wilderness of mirrors"

It was done by Ariel Sharon and Shaoul Mofaz, Orchestrated for them by OSP of the Pentagon,together with Assef Shawkat of Syrian Military Intelligence, planned by Jamil El-Sayyed, executed by Raymond Azar of Lebanese military Intelligence.| Just before his death, Elie Hobeika publicly declared his intention to testify against Ariel Sharon about his involvement in the Sabra and Shatila massacre in a Belgian court's trial for crimes against humanity. A Belgian senator, Josy Dubie, was quoted as saying that Hobeika had told him several days before his death that he had "revelations" to disclose about the massacres and felt "threatened". When Dubie had asked him why he did not reveal all the facts he knew immediately, Hobeika is reported to have said: "I am saving them for the trial". Lebanese Interior Minister Elias Murr has accused Israel of being behind the act, citing a trace on the license plates of the sedan. The only sad part is the Lebanese "Gullible" STOOGES of the March 14th pawns of the Neocons, who believe all the American/Israeli Crap. Of course Hariri and many others were KILLED by the Syrians of Assef Shawkat the thuggish monster, but the machinations which entrapped" Hariri and others... into Believing wholeheartedly that the WEST and ISRAEL are "finally" going after the Alaouite Syrian regime of the ASSADS, and are about to destroy them for good.... are so NAIVE beyond belief..... and the FACTS have proven so far that these Lebanese have been "used", and are still being used so badly , solely for the aims of the US Neocons and Israel, and even Jacques Chirac believed this story-line.... only for a while, in order to get him on board the band wagon of assassinations made in Mossad and CIA,the good old boys network of 911. Of course, the net result in 2005 is a Syrian exit from Lebanon, and that's very good, but no change of regime will take place in Syria, and Hariri should have known better.... BUT, this is for another day,since the Syrian regime, had penetrated these extreme groups all along, and the CIA/MOSSAD clique knew it also, before Hariri,was "nudged" into giving the most extreme elements of the Moslem brotherhood's in Syria money,in order for ASSEF SHAWKAT and his Military Intelligence goons to "discover" Rafic,and do the suicide bombing of the century.Ghazi Kanaan will fall into this trap again later, and will be presented with the most damning evidence by Asef Shawkat, before he was "suicided" in his Damascus office of the interior ministry, courtesy of Asef Shawkat. Excellent planning, courtesy of the folks of Herzlyiah/Mossad and Langley's CIA, the good old boyz network of 911.

UTTERLY DISREGARDING ALL THE SACRIFICES ?

BASHIR GEMAYEL AND ELIE HOBEIKA ARE TURNING IN THEIR GRAVES, SEEING THE AGONY OF THE REPUBLIC AND THE DESPERATION OF THE "FEBRUARY 14TH" NEOCON PAWNS, UTTERLY DISREGARDING ALL THE SACRIFICES OF THE LONG 17 YEAR WARS, IN THEIR ATTEMPT AT FINALIZING A PACT WITH THE NEO-ZIONISTS IN USA, IN ORDER TO SETTLE THE HALF-MILLION PALESTINIANS IN LEBANON FOR GOOD, DESPITE THE CONSTITUTIONS CLARITY IN FORBIDDING THAT POSSIBILITY.

Fatah has lost its soul from its inception in 1964, it was a tool of Egyptian Intelligence, then, very quickly, it became a tool of the American CIA, long before anyone knew it. They have become over time, agents of Israel's MOSSAD and the United States.
They are not Palestinian but outsiders, who came from Tunisia and other Arab countries. When they were in Lebanon, The Jewish state and the United States had the best spy network in the world, and
Fatah was the main culprit, together with many other branches of the infamous PLO, who was used by both Israel and USA, in an orchestrated nexus, to try to destroy Lebanon and its "message", in an attempt to bury the "Palestinian" cause in Lebanon for GOOD.... They failed then, They should fail again. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Who's Behind Fatah Al-Islam in North Lebanon? THE CLUB OF THE KILLERS AND MURDERERS OF ELLIOTT ABRAMS.
Wearing a beat-up ratty UNCHR tee-shirt left over from Bint Jbeil and the Israeli-Hezbollah July probably helped. As did, I suspect, the Red Cross jersey, my black and white checkered kaffieyh and the Palestinian flag taped to my lapel as I joined a group of Palestinian aid workers and slipped into Nahr el-Bared trying not to look conspicuous.
فك الارتباط... والانحطاط
بقلم: زينا الخوري
البروباغندا الهائلة التي استخدمها تيار المستقبل لتغطية «فك الارتباط» مع «فتح الاسلام» ‏تشبه المرهم. قد توقف حدة الوجع مرحلياً. لكنها حتماً لن تشفي السرطان.‏
وكلام والد القتيل (ابوجندل)، الذي سقط في باب التبانة يوم الاربعاء الماضي، اقوى من ‏حجج جوقة المدافعين الذين استنفروا لفتح جبهة سياسية، مغايرة للواقع الحقيقي في طرابلس. ‏قال الوالد المفجوع بانه «نحن مع الشيخ سعد... دمنا فداء الشيخ سعد... ولكن اذا لم ‏يعطنا حقنا سوف نأخذه بيدنا. ونحن قدها وقدود»؟
المحطات الموالية للشيخ سعد حذفت اسمه من التصريح الغاضب. بينما ركزت عليه محطات اخرى. ‏وحذف الاسم لن يغيّر شيئاً في الواقع المأزوم في المناطق الطرابلسية الفقيرة، من باب ‏التبانة الى باب الرمل والتربيعة خناق حمارو. هذه المناطق تربت على الولاء لحركات اسلامية ‏متجذرة فيها.‏
من الجامع المنصوري الكبير خرجت تظاهرات تأييد لثورة الجزائر، ولجمال عبد الناصر، ولياسر ‏عرفات، ولحركة التوحيد... وتمثال رجل الاستقلال عبد الحميد كرامي الذي كان يستقبل ‏الداخلين الى الفيحاء اقتلع من موضعه وحلت مكانه عبارة: «طرابلس قلعة المسلمين».‏
وكلام الصحافي الاميركي سيمور هيرش على ‏C.N.N‏ بعد احداث نهر البارد، كشف ان «حكومة ‏السنيورة دعمت فتح الاسلام بعد ان تلقت مساعدة من المملكة العربية السعودية اثر اتفاق ‏سري بين ديك تشيني وايليوت ابرامز وبندر بن سلطان في واشنطن قضى بخلق ثقل سني في ‏لبنان«لمواجهة الثقل الشيعي».‏
اما جنسيات القتلى، وكمية الاموال التي كانت في حوزتهم ومعظمها ريال سعودي، وطريقة ‏دخولهم الى لبنان عبر المطار، واسلوب عيشهم «السخي جداً» فتفضح هوياتهم.‏
من حق الشيخ سعد ان يستخدم كل طاقته لينفي علاقة تياره بمجموعة ارهابية هاجمت الجيش ‏اللبناني. لكن نوعية المتطوعين للدفاع عنه، خاصة بعض الذين تستضيفهم الـL.B.C‏ بلغ ‏خطابهم حداً من الانحطاط يثير الاشمئزاز.‏
كلام بعضهم اشد تعصباً وخطراً على الوطن من رصاص فتح الاسلام.‏
عيب!
Our mission was to facilitate the delivery of food, blankets and mattresses, but I was also curious about the political situation. Who was behind the events that erupted so quickly and violently following a claimed 'bank robbery'? A heist that depending on who you talked to, netted the masked bandits $ 150,000, $ 1,500 or $ 150! It seems that every Beirut media outlet has a different source of 'inside information' based on which Confession owns it and 'knows' the real culprits pulling the strings. But then, even we who are particularly obtuse have realized, as the late Rafic Hariri often counseled: "In Lebanon, believe nothing of what you are told and only half of what you see!" My friends made we swear out loud that I would claim to be Canadian instead of American if Al Qaeda types stopped us inside the Camp. My impression was that they were not so worried about my safety but for their own if they got caught with me. It would not be the first time that I relied on my northern neighbors to get me out of a potential US nationality jam in the Middle East, so I ditched my American ID.
We were advised as we approached the Fatah al Islam stronghold that we would be in the cross-hairs of Lebanese army snipers from outside of Nahr el-Bared Camp as well as Fatah al-Islam snipers from the inside, and that any false move or bad luck could prove fatal. After three days of shelling and more than 100 dead and with no electricity or water, Nahr el-Baled reeks of burned and rotting flesh, charred houses with smoldering contents, raw sewage and the acrid smell of exploded mortars and tank rounds. Press figures of 30,000-32,000 are not accurate. 45,000 live in Bared! Contrary to some reports food and water still not being allowed in. 15 to 70 percent of some areas destroyed. Some light shooting this morning and afternoon. Army shelling at rate of 10-18 shells per minute from 4:30 am to 10 am on Tuesday. Army will not allow Palestinian Red Crescent to move out civilians because they don't trust them. Only the Lebanese Red Cross is allowed. It is possible to enter Bared from the back (east side). The Army taking cameras of journalists they catch. The Lebanese government is controlling the information and don't want extent of damage known yet. Still unrecovered bodies. 40 per cent of the camp population have been evacuated. The rest don't want to leave out of fear of being shot or that they are losing their homes for the 5th time or more for some. No electricity and cell phone batteries are dying. Relatives who fled are telling families to stay because there are not enough mattresses at Bedawi Camp. Bared evacuees are living up to 25 in one room in Badawi schools etc. 3,000 evacuees in one school in Bedawi. UN aid is starting to arrive at Badawi but workers not able so far to deliver it to Bared due to attack on relief convoy on Tuesday. I met Abdul Rahman Hallab famous for Lebanese candy factory in Tripoli. Helped him unload 5,000 meals to evacuees from Bared staying in Badawi. He is Lebanese not Palestinian. The camp population all say that Fatah Al-Islam came in September-October 2006 and have no relatives in the camp. They are from Saudi, Pakistan, Algeria, Iraq, and Tunisia and elsewhere. No Palestinians among them except some hanger-ons. Most say they are paid by the Hariri group. Reports that Fateh al-Islam helps people in Bared are denied. " All they do is pray, one woman told me..and do military training.. They are much more religious than the Shia" she said. Population of Badawi camp was 15,000 and as of this morning it is 28,000. Four bodies arrived this morning at Safad, the only Palestinian Red Crescent Hospitals in north Lebanon. I was told the army will have to destroy every house in Bared to remove Fateh al Islam. I expect to stay in Bared tonight with aid workers. Some say FAI with die fighting others than a settlement could be negotiated. I may try the latter with NGO from Norway here. Not sure if anyone in government is interested. One minute ago a member of Fateh at_Islam walked into the medical office I am using at Safad Hospital and said they want a permanent ceasefire and do not want more people killed or injured. They claim to have no problem with the army Now some background about Nahr el-Bared. Like the other Palestinian camps in Lebanon, it is inhabited by Palestinians who were forced from their homes, land, and personal property in 1947-48, in order to make room for Jews from Europe and elsewhere prior to the May 15, 1948 founding of Israel. Of the original 16 Refugee camps, set up to settle the more than 100,000 refugees crossing the border into Lebanon from Palestine during the Nakba, 12 official ones remain. The camp at Tal El-Za`tar was ethnically cleansed by Christian Phalange forces at the beginning of the 1975-1990, Lebanese Civil War and the Nabatieh, Dikwaneh and Jisr el-Basha camps were destroyed by Israeli attacks and Lebanese militia and not rebuilt. Those remaining include the following which currently house more than half of Lebanon's 433,276 Palestinian refugees: Al-Badawi, Burj El-Barajna, Jal El-Bahr, Sabra and Shatilla, Ain El-Helweh, Nahr El-Bared, Rashidieh, Burj El Shemali, El-Buss, Wavel, Mieh Mieh and Mar Elias. Nahr el-Bared is 7 miles north of Tripoli near the stunning Mediterranean coast and is home to more than 32,000 refuges many of whom were expelled from the Lake Houleh area of Palestine, including Safad. Like all the official Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, plus several 'unofficial' ones, Nahr el-Bared suffers from serious problems including no proper infrastructure, overcrowding, poverty and unemployment. Tabulated at more than 25%, Nahr el-Bared has the highest percentage of Palestinian refugees anywhere who are living in abject poverty and who are officially registered with the UN as "special hardship" cases. Its residents, like all Palestinians in Lebanon are blatantly discriminated against and not even officially counted. They are denied citizenship and banned from working in the top 70 trades and professions (that includes McDonald's and KFC in downtown Beirut) and cannot own real estate. Palestinians in Lebanon have essentially no social or civil rights and only limited access to government educational facilities. They have no access to public social services. Consequently most rely entirely on the UNRWA as the sole provider for their families needs. It is not surprising that al-Qaeda sympathies, if not formal affiliations, are found in the 12 official camps as well as 7 unofficial ones. Groups with names such as Fateh al-Islam, Jund al-Shams (Soldier of Damascus) , Ibn al-Shaheed" (sons of the martyrs) Issbat al-Anssar which morphed into Issbat al-Noor - "The Community of Illumination" and many others. Given Bush administration debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan and its encouragement for Israel to continue its destruction of Lebanon this past summer, the situation in Lebanon mirrors, in some respects, the early 1980's when groups sprung up to resist the US green lighted Israeli invasion and occupation. But rather than being Shia and pro-Hezbollah, today's groups are largely Sunni and anti-Hezbollah. Hence they qualify for US aid, funneled by Sunni financial backers in league with the Bush administration which is committed to funding Islamist Sunni groups to weaken Hezbollah. This project has become the White House obsession following Israel's July 2006 defeat. To understand what is going on with Fatah al-Islam at Nahr el-Bared one would want a brief introduction to Lebanon's amazing, but shadowy 'Welch Club'. The Club is named for its godfather, David Welch, assistant to Secretary of State Rice who is the point man for the Bush administration and is guided by Eliot Abrams, and CIA. Key Lebanese members of the Welch Club (aka: the 'Club') include: The Lebanese civil war veteran, warlord, feudalist, mass murderer of the Christians in Lebanon and mercurial Walid Jumblatt of the Druze party( the Progressive Socialist Party or PSP) Another civil war veteran, warlord, terrorist, and serial Killer (Served 11 years in prison for massacres committed against fellow Christians among others) Samir Geagea. Leader of the extremist Phalange party and its Lebanese Forces (LF) , and Fares Souaied and his thugs,and few other peripheral and unsavory characters, not even worth mentioning here.... but in 1982 this is what really happened:
To silence a popular Lebanese Christian politician who was planning to offer irrefutable evidence that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon engineered the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian men, women, and children in the Beirut refugee camps of Sabra and Shatilla in 1982. In addition, Sharon provided the SLA forces & IDF who carried out the grisly task. At the time of the massacres, Elie Hobeika was intelligence chief of Lebanese Christian forces in Lebanon who were battling Palestinians and other Muslim groups in a bloody civil war. He was also the chief liaison to Israeli Defense Force (IDF) personnel in Lebanon. An official Israeli inquiry into the massacre at the camps, the Kahan Commission, merely found Sharon "indirectly" responsible for the slaughter and fingered Hobeika as the chief instigator, while in fact Mr. Elie Hobeika was never anywhere near Sabra or Shatila in Sep. 82, he was very busy investigating the assassination of President elect Bashir Gemayel . The Sabra and Shatila Massacre was planned within the Invasion plans of the IDF in 1982 when it invaded Lebanon, and it appears under the name of Operation Spark, and Operation Iron Brain. Its finer details were worked out between the 1st of September when the alliance with Bashir collapsed, and the 12th of the same month when Sharon met with Bashir. The LF was perceived as unreliable and that the mopping up of the camps was to proceed with or without them. AMAN could rely on the SLA to get the job done, and it would assist them with IDF Special Forces, or Sayerets as they are called in Hebrew. It is quite clear that the Sayerets were in the camps as the former fighters in the camp have told us repeatedly . But the presence of the Sayerets indicates clearly that the Massacre was what is called in intelligence lingo a Black Operation, which is a secret operation that is carried out by the intelligence agents and special forces upon a decision taken by the Chief Executive and a few of his ministers. Israeli Secret Services and the Sayerets have carried out many Black Operations, including the Qibya Massacre of 1953, the attack on the Beirut International Airport in 1968, and the assassination of Abu Jihad in Tunisia, 1988. During the 1982 Invasion, and according to IDF historian Samuel Katz, the Sayerets were deeply involved in the military operations. These forces,which like all Special Forces in the world, are made up of hard brutal killers, who volunteer for the job and know exactly what it entails. In short, Israel's Secret Services' role in Sabra and Shatilla Massacre is not only undeniable, but is far more involved than what "Kahan Commission" stated. One day when Appendix B finally comes to light, this theory will be proven, although it is clear that there is enough evidence to back it up. As an epilogue, Israel's secret services, CIA & the Mossad, assassinated Elie Hobeika in Beirut in 2002, using CIA & local witting proxies, in what is obviously an attempt to conceal the truth about the Massacre. If anyone doubted the involvement of the Israeli intelligence, this should silence the naysayers. Mr. Elie Hobeika Never set foot at Sabra & Shatila in September of 1982, nor had anything to do with that horrible crime, in any way shape or form. It was an IDF operation with AMAN and MOSSAD at the Helm. Besides Sayyeret Metkal's units in the camps, there were three additional units which came from 3 different entrances to the camps, and the SLA forces of Saad Haddad, brought into Beirut by IDF. ALL these units were under direct orders of IDF officers, and IDF troops were totally occupying Beirut militarily . The First unit was lead by Z.M. , The second unit was lead by M.M. and the 3rd by C.G. It is noteworthy to say that M.M. had met and had dinner with B.N. in his home in west Beirut, before entering the camps, he dined and spent the night there....but these units were brought in the camps on the last day of the operations, to set them up for the world media to see and portray as if they were the instigators. Combatants who were there said that upon arrival to the camps, they were shocked to see all the killings, because ALL of these units arrived there when the Sayyarets had finished the job completely with the SLA forces of Saad Haddad. These are eye witness accounts. Those LF will be forced into the mountain war within few months, and a new trap will be set up for them by IDF, whereby eye witness accounts say that every time they advanced into a new village, winning a very bloody battle with casualties, orders will come for them to retreat from IDF officers. In some cases IDF artillery were shooting at both sides,reigniting the battles again and again. Thousands of Christians were massacred, their villages in ruins in a futile fight until exhaustion and complete retreat.
This is the legacy of IDF in Lebanon over 40 years. The Kahan Commission never called on Hobeika to offer testimony in his defense. However, in response to charges brought against Sharon before a special war crimes court in Belgium, Hobeika was urged to testify against Sharon, according to well-informed Lebanese sources. Hobeika was prepared to offer a different version of events than what was contained in the Kahan report. A 1993 Belgian law permitting human rights prosecutions was unusual in that non-Belgians could be tried for violations against other non-Belgians in a Belgian court. Under pressure from the Bush administration, the law was severely amended and the extra territoriality provisions were curtailed. http://newhk.blogspot.com/ Hobeika headed the Lebanese forces intelligence agency since the mid- 1970s and he soon developed close ties to the CIA. He was a frequent visitor to the CIA's headquarters at Langley, Virginia.
The billionaire, Saudi Sheikh and Club president Saad Hariri leader of the Sunni Future Movement (FM), and "darling" of the neocons in USA , Israel and France. Over a year ago Hariri's Future Movement started setting up Sunni Islamist terrorist cells (the PSP and LF already had their own militia since the civil war and despite the Taif Accords requiring militia to disarm they are now rearmed and itching for action and trying hard to provoke Hezbollah). The FM created Sunni Islamist 'terrorist' cells were to serve as a cover for (anti-Hezbollah) Welch Club projects. The plan was that actions of these cells, of which Fatah el-Islam is one, could be blamed on al Qaeda or Syria or anyone but the Club. To staff the new militias, FM rounded up remnants of previous extremists in the Palestinian Refugee camps that had been subdued, marginalized and diminished during the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. Each fighter got $700 per month, not bad in today's Lebanon. The first Welch Club funded militia, set up by FM, is known locally as Jund-al-Sham (Soldiers of Sham, where "Sham" in Arabic denotes Syria, Lebanon, Palestine & Jordan) created in Ain-el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp near Sidon. This group is also referred to in the Camps as Jund-el-Sitt (Soldiers of the Sitt, where "Sitt" in Sidon, Ain-el-Hilweh and the outskirts pertain to Bahia Hariri, the sister of Rafiq Hariri, aunt of Saad, and Member of Parliament). The second was Fateh-al-Islam (The name cleverly put together, joining Fateh as in Palestinian and the word Islam as in Qaeda). FM set this Club cell up in Nahr-al-Bared refugee camp north of Tripoli for geographical balance. Fatah el-Islam had about 400 well paid fighters until three days ago. Today they may have more or fewer plus volunteers. The leaders were provided with ocean view luxury apartments in Tripoli where they stored arms and chilled when not in Nahr-al-Bared. Guess who owns the apartments? According to members of both Fatah el-Islam and Jund-al-Sham their groups acted on the directive of the Club president, Saad Hariri. So what went wrong? "Why the bank robbery" and the slaughter at Nahr el-Baled? According to operatives of Fatah el-Islam, the Bush administration got cold feet with people like Seymour Hersh snooping around and with the White House post-Iraq discipline in free fall. Moreover, Hezbollah intelligence knew all about the Clubs activities and was in a position to flip the two groups who were supposed to ignite a Sunni ­Shia civil war which Hezbollah vows to prevent. Things started to go very wrong quickly for the Club last week. FM "stopped" the payroll of Fateh el-Islam's account at the Hariri family owned back. Fateh-al-Islam, tried to negotiate at least 'severance pay' with no luck and they felt betrayed. (Remember many of their fighters are easily frustrated teenagers and their pay supports their families). Militia members knocked off the bank which issued their worthless checks. They were doubly angry when they learned FM is claiming in the media a loss much greater than they actually snatched and that the Club is going to stiff the insurance company and actually make a huge profit. Lebanon's Internal Security Forces (newly recruited to serve the bidding of the Club and the Future Movement) assaulted the apartments of Fatah-al-Islam Tripoli. They didn't have much luck and were forced to call in the Lebanese army. Within the hour, Fatah-al-Islam retaliated against Lebanese Army posts, checkpoints and unarmed, off-duty Lebanese soldiers in civilian clothing and committed outrageous killings including severing at four heads. Up to this point Fatah-al-Islam did not retaliate against the Internal Security forces in Tripoli because the ISF is pro-Hariri and some are friends and Fatah al-Islam still hoped to get paid by Hariri. Instead Fatah al Islam went after the Army. The Seniora cabinet convenes and asks the Lebanese Army to enter the refugee camp and silence (in more ways than one) Fatah-al-Islam. Since entrance into the Camps is forbidden by the 1969 Arab league agreement, the Army refuses after realizing the extent of the conspiracy against it by the Welch Club. The army knows that entering a refugee camp in force will open a front against the Army in all twelve Palestinian refugee camps and tear the army apart along sectarian cracks. The army feels set up by the Club's Internal Security Forces which did not coordinate with the Lebanese Army, as required by Lebanese law and did not even make them aware of the "inter family operation" the ISF carried out against Fatah-al-Islam safe houses in Tripoli. Today, tensions are high between the Lebanese army and the Welch Club. Some mention the phrase 'army coup'. The Club is trying to run Parliament and is prepared to go all the way not to 'lose' Lebanon. It still holds 70 seats in the house of parliament while the Hezbollah led opposition holds 58 seats. It has a dutiful PM in Fouad Siniora. The club tried to seize control of the presidency and when it failed it marginalized it. Last year it tried to control of the Parliamentary Constitutional Committee, which audits the government's policies, laws and watch dogs their actions. When the Club failed to control it they simply abolished the Constitutional Committee. This key committee no longer exists in Lebanon's government. The Welch Club's major error was when it attempted to influence the Lebanese Army into disarming the Lebanese Resistance led by Hezbollah. When the Army wisely refused, the Club coordinated with the Bush Administration to pressure Israel to dramatically intensify its retaliation to the capture of the two soldiers by Hezbollah and 'break the rules' regarding the historically more limited response and try to destroy Hezbollah during the July 2006 war. The Welch Club now considers the Lebanese Army a serious problem. The Bush administration is trying to undermine and marginalize it to eliminate one of the last two obstacles to implementing Israel's agenda in Lebanon. If the army is weakened, it can not protect _over 70% of the Christians in Lebanon who support General Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement. The F.P.M. is mainly constituted of well educated, middle class and unarmed Lebanese civilians. The only protection they have is the Lebanese Army which aids in maintaining their presence in the political scene. The other type of Christians in Lebanon is the minority, about 15% of Christians associated with Geagea's Lebanese Forces who are purely militia. If the Club can weaken the Army even more than it is, then this Phalange minority will be the only relatively strong force on the Christian scene and become the "army" of the Club. Another reason the Club wants to weaken the Lebanese Army is that the Army is nationalistic and is a safety valve for Lebanon to ensure the Palestinian right of return to Palestine, Lebanese nationhood and the resistance culture led by Hezbollah, with which is has excellent relations. For their part, the Welch Club wants to keep some Palestinians in Lebanon for cheap labor, ship others to countries willing to take them (and be paid handsomely to do so by American taxpayers) and allow at most a few thousand to return to Palestine to settle the 'right of return' issue while at the same time signing a May 17th 1983 type treaty with Israel with enriches the Club members and gives Israel Lebanon's water and much of Lebanon's sovereignty. Long story short, Fatah el-Islam must be silenced at all costs. Their tale, if told, is poison for the Club and its sponsors. We will likely see their attempted destruction in the coming days. Hezbollah is watching and supporting the Lebanese army.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Le Chant des Partisans, "La Marseillaise de la Résistance", fut créé en 1943 à Londres. Immédiatement, il devint d'hymne de la Résistance française, et même européenne. La génération des 20-30 ans se le réapproprie, sur un rythme au goût du jour, sans pour autant en changer un seul mot, dans son combat contre la xénophobie...Ce n'est pas un hasard : "ami, entends-tu... " est un chant de fraternité, de combat contre les forces de la nuit, un appel intemporel à résister . La Fédération Nationale des Déportés et Internés, Résistants et Patriotes tient donc à ce que son histoire soit connue.


" Ce chant est à jamais inscrit dans l'histoire" ( Pierre SEGHERS, "La Résistance et ses poètes", Ed. Seghers, 1975).
Il est né le 30 mai 1943 dans la banlieue de Londres, entre midi et 16 heures.
Chanté à voix basse, sifflé sourdement, le Chant des Partisans évoque la chape de plomb qui s'est abattue sur le pays occupé, la censure, les souffles et murmures de la clandestinité, la nuit où des ombres furtives collent des affiches, sabotent les voies ferrées, se glissent dans les maquis, se cachent loin des poteaux d'exécutions . Mais l'âpreté des paroles en dit long sur la lutte implacable des maquisards et des combattants de l'ombre, sur le nécessaire recours aux armes, sur les risques de chaque minute. Hymne de la Résistance, "Le Chant des Partisans" est aussi un appel à la lutte fraternelle pour la liberté, dans la dignité nationale, laique et moderne, [Wa3ad] : "C'est nous qui brisons les barreaux des prisons pour nos frères ; la certitude que le combat n'est jamais vain "si tu tombes, un ami sort de l'ombre". Et si la fin de ce chant semble absorbée par la nuit et se perdre, c'est que la nuit est l'heure de tous les rêves, à commencer par le rêve d'une liberté à conquérir éternellement. Chant de fraternité, nul ne peut confisquer le Chant des Partisans à des fins contraires à ses origines et son sens profond... Comme nul ne peut confisquer La Marseillaise, hymne de la Révolution Française, ET LIBANAISE DEPUIS TOUJOURS, fondatrice des valeurs d'égalité, et de démocratie qui sont celles de la Fédération Nationale des Déportés et Internés, Résistants et Patriotes ...
Ami entends-tu Le vol noir des corbeaux Sur nos plaines. Ami entends-tu Les cris sourds du pays Qu'on enchaîne, Ohé partisans Ouvriers et paysans C'est l'alarme! Ce soir l'ennemi Connaîtra le prix du sang Et des larmes… Montez de la mine, Descendez des collines, Camarades. Sortez de la paille Les fusils, la mitraille, Les grenades. Ohé! les tueurs A la balle et au couteau Tuez vite! Ohé! saboteurs Attention à ton fardeau… Dynamite… C'est nous qui brisons Les barreaux des prisons Pour nos frères. La haine à nos trousses Et la faim qui nous pousse, La misère. Il y a des pays Où les gens au creux des lits Font des rêves. Ici, nous vois-tu Nous on marche et nous on tue Nous on crève… Ici, chacun sait Ce qu'il veut, ce qu'il fait Quand il passe Ami, si tu tombes, Un ami sort de l'ombre A ta place. Demain du sang noir Séchera au grand soleil Sur les routes. Chantez compagnons, Dans la nuit, la liberté Nous écoute… Ami, entends-tu Les cris sourds du pays qu'on Enchaîne!… Ami, entends-tu Le vol noir des corbeaux sur nos Plaines !…

A REVOLUTION IS THE ONLY ANSWER

With the arrival of the Presidential election season, there has been a great deal of commentary about Lebanon and "the Lebanon model."

I am very much aware that Lebanon is often seen as the last reservoir of consensual Democracy in the world. I realize that my country is seen as an odd animal, able to call a gigantic strike at any moment for valid reasons. The huge demonstrations last year and in 2005, organized to rebel against the ruling Syro-Lebanese Mafias, and the blind ruling elite's hegemony on power, in a feudal political system, dominated by family financial institutions, with strong bonds to the free masons worldwide, ignorant of the plight of unemployed Lebanese, all over the country, and insensitive to the brain drain and hemorrhage of the young generations, immigrating in droves to find a free education, jobs and security, puzzles a lot of people. Many take the view that the Lebanese denial of political ethics and flexibility is just a refusal to face reality.The truth is very different. The fact is, the rest of the world is jealous of Lebanon, and its geo-political environment. Lebanon has been a laboratory of new ideas for the neighborhood at large.... for decades, and Lebanon paid dearly for that prime political research facility....for the east and the west, and all their Intelligence apparatuses....

If Lebanon attracts more attention than any other country, as well as high levels of Arab investment, it is because the quality of life is so high. When I hear the elite bashing Lebanon's supposed weaknesses, I wonder why so few Lebanese people buy houses in the Syrian countryside, while so many Arabs are doing so in Lebanon. The reason is the same: The quality of life in Lebanon is one of the envy of the world. No doubt about it. And Lebanon is not going to decline: Lebanese productivity and acumen is also one of the highest in the world, and will stay so. I wonder how long the caricature of a gridlocked Lebanon can survive.

There are, of course, some good reasons to criticize Lebanon. One is the nature of its political elite - old, in place for more than 300 years, fascinated by the past, unaware of world realities. They are as pathetic as young people in Lebanon are dynamic.

A revolution is inevitable. But when? How? Rapidly? Quietly? Profoundly? A new elite will emerge with the deep dynamism of the Lebanese people. In this regard, the presidential election Should and will shed some light... and give hope and a new meaning to REVOLUTION.

Politicians such as SANYOURA have no honor. To hold on to his power after all these demonstrations? How does he think he is serving the Country, and its people? Will he apologize? No, he will deny all culpability since he took office as finance minister, when we have over 45 Billion USD in DEBT?. Will Bush admit his blunders in Lebanon, IRAQ and Palestine? Of course not.... he is now after IRAN.... and desperately trying to keep Sanyoura and Olmert in office,as stooges and likely supporters of his new found ambitions.
To think that Yitzhak Rabin resigned because his wife had a foreign checking account--that was an honorable man.
A bunch of amateurs wrecked havoc on the civilian population of the Cedar and dropped millions of cluster bombs on the children of Lebanon, instead of taking on the Hezbollah. When to many Latte drinking "cowards" to make up an army, Israel can always rely on the assassins in blue to slaughter children. Now THAT should have been in the NEWS.Two Schmucks that have brought themselves and their countries huge amounts of shame.... Sanyoura and GWB.
This criminally insane,pathetic little man Sanyoura does not have the decency to do the right thing, has absolutely no self respect, for himself or his country. Citizens of Lebanon, rise up as one man,and get rid of this disaster, or you will lose your beautiful country get rid of him NOW BEFORE ITS TOO LATE.

But lest foreigners get the wrong impression, let me be clear: Lebanon, and the Lebanese Resistance in particular, is not going to surrender to any model. Lebanon will never become a carbon copy of any other country. And the RESISTANCE will continue in its own way, UNTIL the International community puts some sense in the head of the Israeli Governments and the Military-Security Mafias in Israel and Texas for GOOD.

Yes, Lebanon is an exception, but no more than any other country is an exception because of its own particular history, geography and culture. There is no reason, therefore, why the Lebanese would seek to imitate any other doctrine or set of rules coming from outside.

Lebanon has been built around strong individualism, a unified language and grand projects. This has made Lebanon what it is today - a strong people, with a high standard of education, and a Leadership position in Resistance to hegemony. If Lebanon is an exception, it is happy to be one. It cannot, and should not, destroy its main attributes just to please its foes.

There is no such thing as a universal, ideal model for the resistance that Lebanon and others should imitate. There are only national situations. In policy terms, the future of the resistance lies not in surrendering to an overwhelming worldly desires , but inventing new ways of balancing the Resistance with democracy. This balance, and the means of achieving it, are specific to each country's geographical , security, and geopolitical situations.

That is why, in this presidential season there should be an agreement, among all the parties to keep a balance between the power of the state and the power of the Resistance.

The defense of the RESISTANCE, as the cement of the nation, is one of the Nation's key roles, at a time when weak regional leadership, suggests that other nations are failing in that fight. Neither sides in Lebanon wants the country to become a patchwork of ethnic communities, in a loose federal system, bound to fail miserably the test of time and aspirations of a great people, with a mission and a "message to the world" ....

Lebanon has many problems - high unemployment, lack of vision from its collective entrenched Leadership, weakness of institutions, inadequate integration of poor minorities, public debt and threat of political decline to civil disturbances, or more..., to name a few. But there is no model outside Lebanon to solve these problems.

The Lebanese are happy to consider the so-called "Neutrality model" of Austria and Switzerland, and to admire some dimensions of it, such as its enduring friendship and relative tranquility of its security policies, given the peaceful coexistence of their neighboring countries, and Israel should be made to become similar in nature to the countries surrounding both neutral European States, who live in harmony and Peace. But it should be warned against imitating the whole recipe, may be, given the history of the Israelis and the Syrians of the last 60 odd years, in relation to "old tranquil" Lebanon of the past?

For instance, Lebanon believes passionately in assimilation, and should be wary of imitating the dangerous shift toward atomized lives or separate communities as we see in Iraq or the Israel/Palestine, models....

The Lebanese are not convinced that a nation can survive without a strong security and Resistance backbone. Lebanon will build on its assets: a strong Resistance, an efficient private sector, when the security environment allows... , a strong private initiative, and try to reduce its weaknesses by improving the legal system, independent judiciary, checks and balances, strong institutions, a new set of political leaders, free of the shackles of the feudal corrupt and criminal families, who ruled Lebanon for decades, research and competition, better social services for the poor and elderly, etc. etc. to name a few, but most of our youth know all the recipes, and are capable of being very creative in all fields, especially the environment.... where things are getting to be critical.

The next challenge will be to introduce new ideas to the doctrine of the Sectarian/Religious dominance of daily life, in Lebanon as elsewhere. Globalization has so far taken place only in the economy. We need a globalization of separation of church and state and Democracy, too. For that, we need to imagine the use of new technologies in politics..., which would apply to ALL countries, in the age of the New Imperialism of the western powers, fighting for Energy Security and Energy footholds and CONTROL OF RESOURCES on a Global scale, not just in the Middle East or central Asia, and a new concept of participatory democracy. We need to reorganize and revive the institutions of global world governance, in a tough security environment for all, and a new multi-polar world order to be...

Post-modern notions have blurred the strategic clarity of Lebanon's political elites. The economic cost of building a strong military force may be high, but it is not an optional expense. Too often, wishful thinking supplants reality, but today, the only option we have,is to support and defend the Lebanese Resistance to Israeli and Syrian aggressions.
These are some of the things that all democratic parties of the world should work for, together, instead of trying to export their own very specific recipes to environments that are totally unsuitable for them. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ FPM-Hezbollah: Divorce: Irreconcilable Differences... ************************************************************************************* My Comment: Excellent article in many ways, but misses the point completely on the Hizbullah-FPM understanding, in a deliberate and systematic manner, for "obvious" and canny reasons... in an attempt to "Glorify" the "De Gaulle in AOUN", for if he was to "fall" again in this "trap", Aoun will be depicted as a "rudderless YoYo" and will be "vaporized" by his detractors.... and this piece is part and parcel of that daily "game" since summer of 2005. The whole "case" for Aoun's Understanding with Hizbullah is of Paramount Importance for Lebanon as a whole, and for the dwindling Christian communities of Lebanon and beyond in the M.E. because it cements the strong "BOND" between Moslems and Christians, which is essential for keeping one element of the "new civil war" in preparation by the neocons, out of the whole equation in Lebanon. This is of Paramount Importance, if we were to have a chance at preserving the Peace among all peoples of Lebanon, and of Paramount Importance, if we are serious about Eliminating the Sectarian Formulas for Good, one day..., from the Lebanese Political Dictionary, which is the ultimate wish of the "silent Majority" of Lebanese anywhere in the World and in Lebanon, Hence Aoun's Political move since 2005 is an extremely well calculated political Strategy, which is a normal thing to do in any Democratic environment, and it should be lauded for what it is, despite the "historic" baggage of the messenger, which is not the issue anymore today. GMA's detractors are biting their tongs and their fingers daily, because they were not savvy enough in 2005, to do this political strategy themselves, since they were too busy, making and utterly "breaking" a Political convenient "alliance", which is the specialty of the so-called March14th gang of pawns. These criminal stooges have no morals, no scruples, no values, no principles and no back bone and no spine. They are destined in the dust-bin of History . +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ FPM-Hezbollah: Divorce: Irreconcilable Differences. Dr. Joseph Hitti - 5/18/2007 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++ With the deadline looming for the Lebanese Parliament to elect a new President of the Republic of Lebanon this summer, there is an undeniable quest by many Lebanese for a “strong” President who would be unlike the riff-raff Presidents the country has had during the three decades of the war. Many of the latter were pure Syrian puppets (Elias Hrawi and Emile Lahoud); or the Lebanese equivalent of Bashar Assad, i.e. corrupt feudal weaklings who are reluctantly given the mantle of the family, and I mean by that Amin Gemayel; or “compromise” technocrat Presidents like Elias Sarkis, who are clean and mean well, but have no constituency to back them. There is no doubt that the country needs a “strong” President, although different people may have a different definition of “Strong”. From a purely sectarian standpoint, i.e. from the perspective of those in the Maronite Christian community who think of the President as “the community’s” exclusive man, a “strong” President is someone who will re-assert some power into the hands of a defeated and battered community. For secular-leaning Lebanese who are tired and disgusted of the paralysis in which the sectarian allocation of power continues to plunge the country, “strong” means someone who can be the President of all Lebanon; someone who will reassert the power of the President to the detriment of the three-headed Taef Cerberus that now rules this mutant monster of a country ravaged by the cancers of sectarianism, feudalism, cronyism, the rampant power of the unelected religious elites; and finally, someone who will begin to combat corruption and take back this country from the hands of the religious, feudal and money elites and restores to its rightful owners, the ordinary people of Lebanon. The problem is that many in the country, out of resignation and lack of faith in the possibility of change, will tell you that in Lebanon, only a “compromise” President can be elected because this is how it has always been. They forget that the country’s strongest Presidents were non-compromise Presidents - Frangieh, Chamoun, Bechara Al-Khoury, Fouad Chehab - and it is under their terms that the country prospered between 1940s and the 1970s. Unfortunately, the only candidate on the roster for this summer’s election who is, in principle, a strong candidate is MP Michel Aoun, leader of the Free Patriotic Movement. All the others appear to be “compromise” types (Boutros Harb, Nassib Lahoud, Nayla Mouawad, Fares Souaid), technocrats who can do a lot for this country but lack political backbone (Riad Salameh, Chebli Mallat), or feudal old guard (Dory Chamoun, Suleiman Frangieh, Amin Gemayel (again?)), if not outright warlord criminals (Samir Geagea). I said Michel Aoun is “unfortunately” the only strong candidate because, while espousing reformist and progressive ideas that rallied around him the majority of the Lebanese people, he has compromised his strength and alienated many of his own people with a cheap, convenient political alliance with the pro-Iranian Hezbollah organization that left him surrounded by political careerists whose follow a man rather the ideas he embodies. There is no other explanation to this alliance other than a vindictive and desperate move by Aoun to counter the power of the feudal-financial-warlord conglomerate of Hariri-Geagea-Jumblatt-Gemayel which is backed for pragmatic reasons by the West. And instead of maintaining the high ground, keeping an equal but objective distance from all his enemies, and appealing successfully to the ultimate wisdom of the people of Lebanon, Aoun plunged head-first into an alliance with Hezbollah that has all the accoutrements of a Faustian deal in which he thought he’d get a last chance at the presidency in exchange for allying himself with the ultimate loser that Hezbollah is very likely to be when all of this is said and done. In the process, Aoun changed his discourse from a pure but sensible and reasoned (rather than atavistic nativist) Lebanese nationalism into a bitter anti-Western, anti-American, anti-anyone who just could not accept the anomalous Hezbollah status quo. And in so doing he ruined any future chance of a real and badly needed revolution in the Lebanese political and social landscape, because he disappointed the idealists, jaded the people at the cost that such a revolution would entail, and handed the ultimate enemies of Lebanon - the Hariri-Geagea-Jumblatt-Gemayel conglomerate an easy victory . In other words, Aoun was Lebanon’s best chance for change, but the Lebanese people may have to wait for a couple of generations before that chance comes again. Yet, there is still one last moment, one last window of opportunity before this summer’s rendez-vous with destiny. Aoun can declare the failure of his alliance with Hezbollah and still have a chance at recovering lost ground and at reforming this dying country. Time for Aoun to tell the Lebanese people that his alliance with Hezbollah was a tactical maneuver that backfired, but not a strategic vision because there can be no alliance between radical medieval-vintage Moslem fundamentalists and secular democrats. In so doing, Aoun would pull the rug from under all his detractors, especially the Hariri-Geagea-Jumblatt-Gemayel multinational conglomerate, and say to the Lebanese people that he is still strong, but now he is on the right side of history. There is still time to recoup some glory by adopting the role of the arbiter and the referee, i.e. the statesman that many thought he was, not only within the Christian community, but also between the communities in Lebanon. Iran is clearly on a collision course with the rest of the international community which is set to act very soon against Iran. The repercussions of a conflict with Iran will definitely reverberate in Lebanon, since Hezbollah will most likely try to “help” Iran by deflecting attention away from it, which it usually does in the south of Lebanon, like it did last summer. This time, the enemy is very likely UNIFIL, as the mounting frequency of incidents and complaints by Hezbollah and “its” Shiites in the south goes on building. UNIFIL, after all, represents the “West”, the Great Satan now on the soil of Lebanon. Instead of cornering himself further into defending the indefensible, Aoun should jettison Hezbollah and Nasrallah before it is too late, recoup his standing among the Christians and the rest of the Lebanese communities, isolate Hezbollah and put pressure on it to relinquish the power it has hijacked from the Lebanese people and the State. Aoun should declare as obsolete the Memorandum of Understanding he signed with Hezbollah since it has not stood the test of time. None of its provisions has been implemented: - The Lebanese refugees in Israel are still in Israel - Syria, Hezbollah’s co-masters with Iran, has not surrendered the Shebaa Farms to Lebanese sovereignty, which would satisfy the most contingent provision of the Memorandum of Understanding: Hezbollah’s supposed willingness to disarm. - Hezbollah has not taken any measure on the ground that indicates an adherence in spirit, if not in the letter, to the provisions of the Understanding. To the contrary, Hezbollah has become even more emboldened, radicalized, belligerent, fighting tooth and nail against the legitimacy of the State’s institutions and the International Tribunal, and in fact did start a war on behalf of the Lebanese people last summer that it will only repeat in one giant Samson-like suicide operation that Hezbollah in fact pioneered in the 1980s. Over the last weeks and months, FPM leaders have increasingly claimed the mantle of “defenders” of the Christians, while diverging with Hezbollah over the International Tribunal: The FPM says it will support it, Hezbollah says it will be a declaration of war. The FPM says it wants to give the Christian community its due share of power by taking the decision away from the Hariri-Geagea-Jumblatt-Gemayel consortium of the old guard, only to turn around and give it to Hezbollah, the stale resistance guard. The reason is obvious: The Shiite street is secured by Hassan Nasrallah and Naim Qassem; no danger there of deconstructing the monolithic behavior of medievally-minded people into thinking for themselves. Ditto with the Sunni and Druze communities and their monolithic Jurassic era intra-communal structures. Only the Christian community shows some diversity - some call it division, I prefer diversity. So Aoun’s FPM is worried it may have lost ground within the Christian community because of its untenable positions, and has therefore begun to lay claim to the mantle. It just may be too little too late, but it’s worth a shot. The price, though, is a Aoun re-conversion. In the end, the presidential elections are another one of the millions of chances that the Lebanese had to set their country back on the track of reason. What they decide to do is really up to them, people and leaders. They can yell and complain that everyone else is interfering, but Aoun has one very last chance to rally the Lebanese people behind him. He needs to make one correction. Even though it may be too late, the alternatives are even more disastrous. Dr. Joseph Hitti is a democracy activist who writes for the Global Politician about issues relating to Lebanon.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ مقاتلون بلا قضية بقلم: زينا الخوري من جديد يهدد الوضع الفلسطيني المأزوم لبنان بالانفجار الشامل، بعد مرور اكثر من 35 ‏سنة على شرارة الحرب الأولى.‏ لا شيء تبدل. بل على العكس. ازدادت العقول تشنجاً. وازدادت الرؤية غموضاً. وظهرت حالة ‏اسلامية سلفية متشددة، اتخذت من المخيمات درعاً لها، وتحصنت خلف اللاجئين، لتحقيق اهداف ‏تتخطى حدود فلسطين.‏ يقول أحد علماء الدين السلفيين في طرابلس: «هناك امبراطوريتان في العالم اليوم اميركا ‏والقاعدة. واميركا لن تستطيع أن تهزم القاعدة على أرض لبنان لاننا سوف نحاربها بكل ‏قوانا».‏ الشيخ السلفي كان يتحدث من طرابلس وليس من مخيم نهر البارد. وهو معروف بمواقفه وخطبه ‏المؤىدة للسلطة. وهو واحد من مجموعة كبيرة تعيش في المدينة، التي رفعت فجأة البيارق ‏السوداء على زوايا الشوارع، التي ينتشر فيها الجيش وقوى الامن بكثافة. ويتساءل زائرها ‏ان كانت تلك البيارق السوداء شارات حزن، أم رايات جهاد؟ في الحالتين انها تعكس واقعاً صعباً ومريراً، وتبشّر بمستقبل يشبه لونها.‏ في حديث الى النيويورك تايمز قال مدير عام الامن الداخلي اللواء اشرف ريفي «أن فتح ‏الاسلام تضم 50 عنصراً ممن قاتلوا في العراق». فرد عليه المنشق السعودي في بريطانيا محمد ‏المسعري مصححاً للصحيفة نفسها: «لديك 50 مقاتلاً من العراق في لبنان.. هناك نحو خمسة الاف ‏او اكثر ينتظرون اللحظة المناسبة للتحرك».‏ نجهل صحة هذه الأرقام. لكن الفكرة في ذاتها مرعبة، لاننا نكتشف حالة جديدة فوق ارضنا ‏الجميلة. ونصحو على مرقد العنزة الفريد وقد تحوّل الى «بؤرة» يصدر اليها «الارهاب». وان ‏الحالة «الجهادية» القائمة عندنا اليوم هي «فائض» مقاتلين في العراق تم تصديرهم الى لبنان ‏ليخلقوا حالة توازن مذهبية.‏ حين تحوّل هؤلاء «المجاهدين» الى مقاتلين بلا قضية، انقلبوا على «حاضنهم».. وها هم يدمرون ‏لبنان!‏ ‏«وطني دائماً على حق».. شعار لا بد ان يتحول الى بيان حكومة وحدة وطنية مهمتها الوحيدة: ‏انقاذ لبنان! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
مصدر دبلوماسي اميركا ستحول لبنان الى ساحة صراع جديدة
‏ مع القاعدة للتخفيف من مأساة جنودها في العراق‏
رغم تحشرج كلمة النصر في حناجر البعض حتى اختناق الانكار والتنكير، اضحى غني عن البيان ان ‏انتصار حزب الله في حرب تموز شكل بالقطع واليقين اختراقاً لجدار الصوت العربي المهزوم، وتمفصلاً ‏بين حقبتين. فاذا كان البعد القتالي اتكأ على معادلة ما بعد... ما بعد، فان البعد ‏الاستراتيجي بكل ارهاصاته ومكوناته المادية والسيكولوجية اسس لمعادلة ما بعد انتصار تموز ‏الحامل وبكثافة لتداعيات جمة على الواقع العربي عموماً واللبناني بوجه خاص. ‏
من هنا فان توصيف السيد حسن نصرالله لنصر تموز بالتاريخي والاستراتيجي لم يتأت عن تصور ‏عدمي او فراغي فالنتائج الظاهرة وتلك المغمورة المستبطنة المهيأة للانكشاف، وضعت سيّد ‏المقاومة الذي صاغ تاريخية الانتصار في منزلة القادة التاريخيين كقامة سياسية فذة مستشرفة ‏قادرة في الزمن العربي القائم على اداة الصراع وخوض غماره والحاق الهزيمة بالعدو، وما ‏دعوة السيد نصرالله لترقب النتائج قبل لجنة فينوغراد وآثارها ومقدماتها سوى جانب من ‏مزايا تلك الشخصية اللماحة حيث تبدي للعيان، للباحث والقارئ والمتابع وكل ذي بصيرة ‏بان النصر هو النصر ولا معنى آخر له خصوصاً عندما يجري تشخيصه بالعين الصهيونية اي بعين ‏المهزوم لا بالعين المحلية الغافلة المستغفلة!!!‏
في هذا السياق رأى مصدر دبلوماسي رفيع المستوى خلال دردشة خاصة مع عدد من النخب ‏السياسية والثقافية اللبنانية ان الاحداث التي يعيشها لبنان منذ اغتيال الرئيس الشهيد ‏رفيق الحريري وصولاً الى حرب تموز تندرج في التفاصيل الدقيقة للعبة الامم كجزء عضوي من ‏المشروع المعد للمنطقة ولبنان يؤثر ويتأثر بما حوله وهو اشبه «بشلة حرير» ملقاة على ‏اشواك الازمات الناتئة في الشرق الاوسط.‏
واشار المصدر الدبلوماسي الى ان الولايات المتحدة وفرت كل المناخات لتغذية النفس المذهبي في ‏لبنان بعدما فشلت في حربها بالواسطة على حزب الله ونغصت عليها المقاومة العراقية وجودها ‏الهانئ في العراق.. ويتابع المصدر عينه: ما يجري في الشمال اللبناني ليس بعيداً عن ‏تشابكات وعقد الجوار في فلسطين والعراق، فالمساعي جارية على قدم وساق لطي صفحة العودة ‏عبر تماهي الوجود الفلسطيني بالملف اللبناني الداخلي واستخدام المخيمات الفلسطينية ‏كاحتياط سني لمواجهة حزب الله. وعلى اللبنانيين ان يتنبهوا جيدا فالتوطين قائم لا محالة ‏والعرب جميعهم ابلغوا منذ اتفاق اوسلو انه من السهل على اسرائيل استخدام السلاح ‏النووي على القبول بمبدأ حق العودة لفلسطينيي الشتات. ‏
ويقول المصدر الدبلوماسي: ان اسرائيل كانت تعد العدة خلال عدوان تموز للقيام بعملية ‏تطهير شاملة لفلسطينيي الـ 48 تحت دخان العدوان بحيث تتولى اميركا التي تخوض عمليا الحرب ضد ‏حزب الله اسكات المجتمع الدولي فيما تكون وجهة فلسطينيي الـ 48 طبعاً لبنان لاكثر من هدف، ‏لكن هزيمة اسرائيل العسكرية وارباكاتها السياسية الداخلية جعلتها في موقع الاضعف على ‏القيام بخطوة كبيرة من هذا النوع... وتضيف المصادر نفسها: ان الترانسفير الجديد لفلسطينيي ‏الـ 48 ما زال قائما ووضعته القيادة الاسرائيلية على نار حامية لكن هذه المدة الى ‏الضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة حيث يجري الحاقهم بمناطق السلطة بعد افراغ عدد من المستوطنات ‏التي تطوق القطاع والضفة وتتحول اسرائيل الى كيان يهودي صاف.و ترى المصادر نفسها ان ‏قضية المناضل الفلسطيني عزمي بشارة المدافع عن حقوق فلسطينيي الـ 48 لا سيما مساواتهم ‏باليهود من حيث الحقوق، جزء من هذا المخطط وما تركيب الملفات الامنية لعزمي بشارة سوى ‏بروفه لاخماد صوته وحركته تبدأ بفرد وتنتهي بجماعة.‏
ويعود المصدر الدبلوماسي عينه الى الملف اللبناني وفي السياق يقول: دائما يكمل الاميركيون ‏ما يعجز الاسرائيليون عن اتمامه بحيث يقفلون لهم او يعملون على اقفال الملفات الناقصة... ‏انظروا الى «ولش» قصد لبنان لبحث قضايا تتعلق بالحكومة ورئاسة الجمهورية واذا به يُلمح ‏عند مغادرته الى الريبة التي تنظر بها اميركا لتنامي المجموعات الاصولية في شمال لبنان ‏وتعامي الدولة عن تلك الحركات ولم تمض ايام قلائل حتى اندلعت ويا لها من مصادفة!! معارك ‏نهر البارد بين الجيش اللبناني وما يسمى بفتح الاسلام التي بات واضحاً كيف جرى استنباتها ‏واي حضن يرعاها ويغذيها ويمولها؟؟ ويضيف المصدر نفسه: الم يتنبه اللبنانيون الى كلام ‏غوندوليزارايس عن ان لبنان هو خط الدفاع الاول عن السياسة الاميركية في المنطقة، الا يفترض ‏ان يكون خط الدفاع الاول حيث يوجد 120 الف جندي اميركي في العراق، اليس هذا الكلام بحد ‏ذاته استجلاباً واستحضاراً ودعوة مفتوحة للمتطرفين الاصوليين من مختلف الدول العربية ‏والاسلامية الى لبنان (ساحة الجهاد الا الاسناد) التي تحدث عنها «نغروبونتي» منذ ثمانية اشهر ‏امام لجنة الشؤون الخارجية للكونغرس الاميركي.‏
ويتابع المصدر الدبلوماسي: لقد ادهشتنا الاندفاعة الاميركية اللافتة لدعم الجيش اللبناني ‏في هذا الظرف وبالطبع كل محب للبنان يأمل تعزيز قدرات الجيش والحفاظ على جهوزيته ‏العالية لكننا ايضا نتذكر جيداً كيف سقط ما يزيد عن الخمسين جندياً في حرب تموز واستهدف ‏الاسرائيليون ثكنات الجيش ومواقعه وعناصره على الطرقات من دون ان توجه اميركا لوما او ‏انذارا لاسرائيل.‏
ويتابع المصدر الدبلوماسي: اخشى ما اخشاه ان تكون لهفة الاميركيين وغيرتهم على الجيش تمويه ‏وتمهيد للمحظور باسلوب مخادع ومغاير لسيناريو غارنر الحاكم العسكري الاميركي في العراق ‏بداية الغزو حيث جاء حل الجيش العراقي كأول الغيث للفتنة والتفتيت وترسيم حدود ‏الدم... خلاصة الامر وفق المصدر الدبلوماسي: هناك سعي اميركي محموم لخلق بؤرة صراع مع ‏القاعدة او المؤمنين بايديولوجيتها في لبنان، للتخفيف عن الجيش الاميركي المدمى والمنهك ‏والمذعور في العراق، فيجري تحشيد الاصوليين في لبنان تحت مسميات مختلفة لقتال العدو المفترض ‏اميركا، فيأتي السيناريو الاميركي الملهوف على الجيش اللبناني لتصويره انه يتلقى السلاح ‏والدعم العسكري واللوجستي من اميركا (عودة الاسلام) لمقاتلة الارهاب من نوافذ «فتح الاسلام ‏وجند الشام» وابواب نهر البارد، فتقاتل اميركا هؤلاء بالجيش اللبناني الذي زُج في هذا ‏الصراع الجانبي وهو المصاب في الصميم من حفنة قتلة ومجرمين، في وقت يجب ان ينحني كل صاحب ‏عقيدة او مسؤول او انسان عادي لهذا الجيش الوطني الذي يصون السلام الداخلي في لبنان ‏ويدافع عن كرامة كل عربي في مواجهة العدو الاسرائيلي حيث ساحة صراعه الحقيقية ‏والطبيعية.‏
يتابع المصدر: لكن اغراق الجيش اللبناني في متاهة المخيمات ودهاليزها الملتبسة يحقق ‏الاهداف الكبرى لاميركا واسرائيل، حيث تنتقم اميركا واسرائيل من الجيش اللبناني وعقيدته ‏القتالية الوطنية والقومية التي جعلت منه نصراً وسنداً للمقاومة واختلطت دماء الجنود ‏اللبنانيين بدماء المقاومين في مواجهة اسرائيل.‏
كما تجري زعزعة الثقة بين الجيش والمقاومة من خلال تصوير الدعم الاميركي للجيش وحربه في ‏المخيمات خطوة اولى للارتداد والانقضاض على سلاح المقاومة تمهيداً لاغراق الاثنين معاً في النفق ‏المذهبي القاتل.‏
وختم المصدر: اعتقد انه لن يتحقق هذا الحلم الشنيع لان مقاربة السيد حسن نصرالله لملف مخيم ‏نهر البارد تنم عن مسؤولية وطنية عالية اربكت الاميركيين رغم محاولات تأويل وتحوير خطابه، ‏وحقيقة ضرب الاميركيون على رأسهم عندما رُفعت صور السيد حسن نصرالله في المخيمات في الشمال ‏وعندما ادخلت المساعدات من حزب الله للمدنيين الفلسطينيين وكلام السيد نصرالله وضع الاطار ‏الموضوعي للحل الذي من المحتم سيجهض فبركات ولش وادارته وباختصار ولنكن صريحين التخندق ‏المذهبي يسقط الانتصار التاريخي والاستراتيجي، التخندق المذهبي يضعف المقاومة وثقافة المقاومة ‏ويريح اسرائيل ويقويها ويعوض عليها هزيمتها في تموز، التخندق المذهبي يحول الفلسطينيين الى ‏ورقة في التوظيف الداخلي اللبناني ليغدو التوطين امرا ممكنا، او ليس هذا ما يريح ‏اسرائيل وتسعى اليه جاهدة.‏
ونبه المصدر الى ان البعض لا يعي خطورة الوضع في لبنان ويتعاطى بخفة وبرودة مع قضايا ‏حامية كقضية نهر البارد التي قد تتحول الى بحر ساخن في الفوضى والدموم والدموع.
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Citizens of Lebanon, if you don't get rid of this,criminally insane,incompetent,pathetic fool,who masquerades as a prime minister,I am very much afraid it will not be another war,but another Genocide God forbid . GET RID OF THIS GOVERNMENT AND ALL ITS CRONIES NOW .
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Arabs Never Ever Learn....

Words of Wisdom, Spoken by an American Barbarian Killer Monster, from a clique of Murderers, lusting for power,

profit and greed.

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Let's get it over with! You morons like Hamas and your deluded leaders think the US is weak? Our weakness is in giving you the time of day...in fighting a civilized war against tribal animals who, like lemmings, cyclically flock to their collective suicides harboring delusions of grandeur, most recently, the coming of the 12th Imam. 1956, 1968, 1973, 2006. You never learn. Even the prayers of Imams 1-11 won't give you a prayer of a chance of seeing the day #12 arrives. You are sick with blood lust! Your arrogance in feeling the false hubris of Russian arms and UN paralysis after a conflict in Lebanon which was fought on the Israeli side with one arm and nine fingers tied behind its back and you think you won? You consider it a victory if Israel loses a few tanks and Hezbollah is saved from annihilation by a UN cease fire... Remember the vaunted Soviet tanks rotting in the deserts after previous wars with Israel. Remember Saddam's retreat from Kuwait, leaving behind his army's tanks and men! Those are the images you ought remember! They will be the ones remaining after your next Armageddon. This time, the parking lot of useless Russian armor will be a lot bigger. Thank you Russia and Iran for again emboldening your client states Syria and Iran into their cyclical hubris. Your arms merchants made a financial killing! But that's where the 'killing' ends. As in '73, you give your clients false hubris. This time, it's highly likely you have hastened the day when the world will rid itself forever of your tribal blood-lusting client list. Next time Putin, you will have to find other customers for your vaunted armor. The old list of customers is about to be winnowed. Soon - courtesy of Assad and his monkey string puller Ahmadinejad - you'll give Israel and us a casus belli, the result of which your delusions of grandeur will be vaporized. The whole mess is sickening and needs to be brought to a close once and for all. Bring it on, you death-wish barbarians! You can't live in peace with Jews so you will get what you wish. Believe the US is weak. Forget that one carrier group in the Persian Gulf can flatten all your cities into glass parking lots. You had your chance at peaceful co-existence but you mongrels are bred to fight and die for your god, Allah. Your Temple Mount will become a trampled mound of dust upon which the Third Jewish Temple will be built. You have only yourselves to blame! Enjoy the 72 virgins. You'll have to make a reservation and wait your turn in line. They'll be awful busy very soon!
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A real prophet has spoken. And like all prophecies, it will some day be fulfilled, Not certain when, but it is getting closer. (Isaiah 17:1) pray to the real God of the Bible for protection and guidance. Cut out all the bluster. He is in control, and we can count on Him.

Arithmetic of Disdain

Arithmetic of Disdain

Arithmetic of Disdain There is no democracy in the world that should tolerate Air Raids being done for decades by IAF at its cities, without taking every reasonable step to stop the attacks. The big question raised by Israel's military actions in Lebanon is why all this "DISDAIN." ?
The answer, according to the laws of humanity, is that it is racism, jealousy and pure HATE, to attack civilian targets, for so long in Lebanon, as every effort is made to reduce to rubble any peace, and maximize civilian casualties in Lebanon in order to satisfy the consecutive Israeli leader's lust for violence, destruction and death, in Lebanon and beyond, because of a "culture of Violence" so pervasive in Israel and in USA.
If the objectives cannot be achieved without "clear excuses", the Israelis and the Americans will "invent or Create" a "terrorist Act", in a false flag operational scheme, to get their ways and continue the hegemonic lust for "energy" control and "protection". If the gulf between the West and Muslim world continues to widen, it is not because of some pathological hatred of all things Western and Christian in Muslim hearts. It is Israel’s policies towards Lebanese, and Palestinians and the West’s connivance of this apartheid regime that make our world a dangerous place to live in.
Some civilian casualties, that must be "proportional" to their Strategic Goals, or collateral Damage, as they call it, amounting to several hundreds of thousands of DEATHS, in Iraq, or in Lebanon, or Palestine, or anywhere else, is "worth it" in their book...
Casualties that would be prevented by the Peaceful coexistence, is never in the cards for Israel or USA's administrations.
This is all well and good for democratic nations that deliberately locate their military bases away from civilian population centers. Israel has its air force, nuclear facilities and large army bases in locations as remote as anything can be in that country. It is possible for an enemy to attack Israeli military targets without inflicting "collateral damage" on its civilian population, because Israel has received and continue to receive TENS of Billions of US dollars, in order to turn its territory into an Offensive Military Machine, bent on terrorizing the whole area for decades, until all energy supplies in the area run out, then, they might "consider" PEACE.
Hezbollah and others, by contrast, try to protect their countrymen and women, the best way they can, with the little means they have to operate with, and mount a military Resistance structure, out of densely populated areas, because over the years, Israel has forcibly pushed the populations of south Lebanon to head north, in order to escape the brutality if its daily bombardments, and repetitive brutal incursions and invasions of south Lebanon, for over forty years. They launch antipersonnel missiles with ball-bearing shrapnel, designed locally, because they cannot acquire adequate defensive weapons from the WEST, to defend themselves, and they do that, in order by to maximize Israeli military and other casualties, in a desperate attempt to keep Israeli offenses from annihilating whole villages and towns throughout Lebanon. This chorus of futile and "shy" condemnation of Israel over the years, actually encourages the Israelis to operate freely and terrorize cities, towns, villages, Hospitals, ambulances in all civilian areas, all over Lebanon and beyond. While Israel does everything to maximize civilian casualties on Lebanese civilians, in a desperate attempt to foment civilian unrest, and condemnation of the Hizbullah Resistance, a diplomat commented years ago, that Israel "have mastered the harsh arithmetic of DISDAIN. . . . Lebanese casualties play in their favor and Pals. casualties play in their favor." These are groups that send children to schools like everybody else in this world, and sometimes without the child or the parent knowing that his child will ever come back home from school, or might be sacrificed in an Israeli or American Air Raid somewhere. Several thousands have died in these raids in south Lebanon, Iraq, or Afghanistan recently. This misuse of civilians as targets and fuel for American and Israeli Proxy Wars, requires a reassessment of the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions, and the ICC in the Hague.
The distinction between combatants and civilians -- easy when combatants were uniformed members of armies that fought on battlefields distant from civilian centers -- is very easy in the present context. Now, there is a continuum of "BESTIALITY", Made In Israel and USA worldwide, laws must change, in order to take to courts and indict the Barbarians in the Pentagon and Tel-Aviv. Near the most civilian end of this continuum are the pure innocents -- babies, hostages and others completely uninvolved; at the more combatant end are civilians who willingly harbor Resistance, provide material resources and serve as human support; in the middle are those who support the Hizbullah fighters politically, materially and spiritually, just like in the second world war. The laws of war and the rules of morality must adapt to these realities. An analogy to domestic criminal law is instructive: A bank robber who takes a teller hostage and fires at police from behind his human shield is guilty of murder if they, in an effort to stop the robber from shooting, accidentally kill the hostage. The same should be true of Israelis who use civilians as targets from behind F16s and F15s and SAAR naval gun boats, and indiscriminately and brutally they fire their rockets. The Israeli state' terrorists must be held legally and morally responsible for the deaths of the civilians, even if the direct physical cause was an Israeli rocket anywhere. Israel fired hundreds of thousands of mortar shells in south Lebanon over the years, they should be made to pay compensation and damages to all families, towns and municipalities for the damages they inflict. Lebanon must be allowed to finish the fight that Israel and America started over 60 years ago, even if that means military and civilian casualties in Israel . A Lebanese democracy is entitled to prefer the lives of its own innocents over the lives of the civilians of an aggressor, especially if the latter group contains many who are complicit in deliberate terrorism worldwide. Israel will -- and should -- take every precaution to minimize civilian casualties on the other side, because Israel has a history of deliberately executing false flag operations and terrorism with their US allies. On July 16, Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, announced there will be new "surprises," and Israel will be resisted, repelled and Beaten, wall to wall, if it continues its daily aggressions over Lebanon, and keeps occupying the Shebaa farms.
Cluster Bombs and other illegal weapons that are used by IDF, IAF and other rockets will be allowed to be pre-empted by the WESTERN world one day ???? Or their use will be a perpetual, deliberate Imperial Design to keep this whole area on a powder keg for ever? At least until all Energy resources have been exhausted? Israel never left Sheba'a Farms of Lebanon in 2000 and will have to do so soonest. These are "occupied" territories. Yet they serve as launching pads for attacks on Lebanese civilians daily. Occupation does cause Resistance, and, Israel, the US and the UN know that the term "terrorism" seems to cause more resistance to injustice, because it is used and abused in the wrong context deliberately to smear just causes worldwide. The "Western world" has to come to its senses soon, and ensure that these so-called Leaders of the State of Israel cease to be terrorists, and Israel ceases to be a safe haven for a Global Mafia....
http://anaconda-manifesto.blogspot.com/

Blind Leading the Blind

Blind  Leading the Blind
IDF Courage .

From an "OLD Timer "

لماذا عَبَسَ شاكر؟
بقلم: زينا الخوري
‏«لو اراد شاكر ان يبقى في ليبيا عام 1995 لاستطاع ذلك. قرار القذافي يومها بطرد ‏الفلسطينيين لم يشمل المجنسين. وشاكر يحمل الجنسية الليبية».‏
هذا ما قاله الطبيب عبد الرزاق العبسي شقيق شاكر العبسي لجريدة لوموند. وصف شقيقه ‏بأنه «مناضل يقاتل لاسترجاع القدس اتخذ طريق الاصولية بعد ان يئس من القومية العربية ‏واليسار..»!‏
شاكر العبسي فلسطيني يحمل الجنسية الاردنية. مال الى اليسار في شبابه. قرر ان يصبح طبيباً ‏فذهب الى تونس. ثم بدل رأيه فالتحق بفتح عرفات التي ارسلته الى ليبيا حيث اصبح طياراً. ‏وحصل على الجنسية الليبية.‏
ذهب الى نيكاراغوا فحارب في صفوف الصندينيين. وانتقل الى بيروت ليقاتل الى جانب عرفات، ‏وخرج معه الى تونس. حصل على الجنسية التونسية. قاتل الى جانب ليبيا في تشاد. وقاتل في ‏اليمن. وحصل على الجنسية اليمنية.‏
وجاء الى سوريا فانضم الى فتح الانتفاضة. وسجن ست سنوات لتهريب السلاح الى لبنان. وحارب ‏في العراق الى جانب ابي مصعب الزرقاوي. وعاد الى لبنان وانتفض على الانتفاضة، وتحول الى ‏مسلم متعصب... انتفض على الشعب اللبناني كله.‏
مسيرة طويلة تشبه قصص الافاعي. مقاتل «عشوائي» ام صاحب قضية كما وصفه شقيقه؟ وأية ‏قضية؟!‏
فلسطيني، اردني، ليبي، يمني، سوري، فتحاوي، صانديني، زرقاوي، مموّل بالريال السعودي... ‏وجاهز للذبح في اية لحظة.‏
لمن يعمل اليوم في لبنان؟ لمصلحة القضية الفلسطينية؟ ام لمصلحة الاسلام والمسلمين؟ حتماً لا. ‏من اين يأتي بالسلاح والرجال؟ كيف صمد كل هذه المدة داخل المخيم؟‏
البعض يريده حالة سوريا «صافية». والبعض يصر انه مع القاعدة. والحقيقة ان قاعدته ‏الوحيدة هي قتلنا.‏
موجع ان يكشف التاريخ ذات يوم ان شاكر العبسي كان رأس الحرب في مشروع جهنمي لتفتيت ‏لبنان... انه لا يختلف كثيرا عن بوسطة عين الرمانة ومشاريع كيسنجر عام 1975.
----------------------------------------------------------- I cannot say that I know that area of Hazmiyyeh well, but, my best friend who was drafted into the Maghaweer in summer of 1974 had guard duty at the building that housed the head of Lebanese military intelligence. I used to go visit him to cheer him up; he was super depressed during that year. What I remember is that building was at the end of a cul de sac. One day I was there visiting and I see a Ford that had the number 13 on it painted in a circle. You know Fords at the time were very rare in Lebanon since Ford was embargoed after the 67 war; it was very easy to spot. Anyway, I used to also hangout at my swimming coach's scuba diving shop next to the British Embassy, which is near IC, ACS, and AUB. I used to see that Ford (temporary entry plate) go in and out of the AUB teachers' residence gate. I asked my friend what that car did up this way, he said it visited that apartment on regular basis; the apartment was opposite to them on the cul de sac. A lot of people go in and out of that apartment, often carrying very sophisticated weapons and what looked light night time surveillance or targeting equipment. So, they tell us that educational institutions are just that, to me, it was enough proof that they were used for shady activities. So, we kept tabs on that car and it would make the trips to Hazmiyyeh on the worst of days, if you recall there was tons of clans in shayyah and stuff, and still, would make the trip because there must have been something important; it was not your casual social visit....

Petty Sectarian Bigot and a Petty-Neocon LIAR par excellence....

قالوا: ما هو الفارق بين المحكمة ذات الطابع الدولي وبين المحكمة الدولية.‏ قلنا: الاولى لكشف القتيل والثانية لكشف القاتل يقو فأسفّا في كلامهما في اللغة وفي ‏المضمون. من يغفر له؟ بقلم: زينا الخوري كتب الاستاذ فؤاد السنيورة رسالة مقتضبة الى الامم المتحدة. أدخلته كتب التاريخ.‏ تحمّل وحده المسؤولية امام الله والوطن والضمير. وألقى على كتفيه تبعات «الهوى الدولي» وما ‏يجلبه من عواصف.‏ نسي «الحقيقة» واخبر محبوبته الدولية عن «المأزق. وسوء الحظ. والطريق المسدود. وطلب بإلحاح ‏قرارا ملزما حفاظا على استقرار لبنان، وتحقيق العدالة، وصدقية الامم المتحدة، والسلام ‏والأمن في المنطقة».‏ ولان فريق «الاكثرية» حريص على كل هذه المبادئ «الاخلاقية» طالب بالفصل السابع، لأنه لم ‏يحمل القتل والدمار والموت والتهجير الى كل بقعة حل فيها».‏ وهلّلت «الاكثرية» عاليا للقرار السنيوري الشجاع. واثبتت كالعادة »ان العرب ظاهرة ‏صوتية» لجميع المناسبات. لكنها ماذا حققت فعليا؟ ماذا غيّرت في واقع لبنان المتأزم؟ وهل ‏حقا سوف تولد المحكمة هذا الاسبوع؟ كان من المفترض ان تجري الولادة القيصرية قبل 16 ايار ليفرح بها «والدها بالتبني» الرئيس ‏جاك شيراك قبل رحيله، فيصرخ: اطلق يا رب عبدك بسلام.‏ و«الاكثرية» موعودة ان يأتي الترياق في نهاية ايار. لكن وزير خارجية بلجيكا الذي تترأس ‏بلاده مجلس الامن في الشهر المقبل، صرّح يوم همروجة الرسالة بأن «اقرار المحكمة الدولية بموجب ‏الفصل السابع ربما يعقّد الامور على الارض بدل ان يحلها».‏ لقد كتب السنيورة رسالته في عز الحشرة. كان الوطن يغلي من جنوبه الى بقاعه والعاصمة. ‏واصوات ضحايا حرب تموز الذين يطالبون بحقوقهم وتعويضاتهم المشروعة، ترتفع محمّلة الرئيس ‏السنيورة المسؤولية.‏ عندما كتب رسالته الى الامم المتحدة، تحولت الأنظار من الداخل الناقم على المسؤول الظالم ‏الى الخارج القادم بالظلم العارم. وعاد حديث المحكمة يشغل الناس علها تنسى البيوت ‏المهدّمة ومئات ملايين الدولارات التي نجهل اين صرفت... لكن الجمرة تحرق موضعها. وام القتيل ‏لا تنسى.‏ الشعار الوحيد الذي يستطيع «كاتب الرسالة» ان يرفعه امام السراي الآن، لكي يقرأه ‏الوزراء: «ليغفر الله لنا ولكم!».‏ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I’m told by Intelligence sources that while Rafic Hariri was in the US visiting Donald Rumsfeld, he mentions Koley'at Airport again... but an agreement failed to materialize again.Hariri was approached by US Intelligence earlier and had refused categorically to discuss US rights for an Air Base in North Lebanon, specifically the Koleiat Airport. Rafic Hariri was eyeing a pristine stretch of beach front land properties north of Tripoli , stretching for miles inland and into the hills behind it, and north to AKKAR . These beaches are of an immense value for a developer and Hariri had huge plans for the area,after he finds a permanent solution to settle the Palestinian refugees elsewhere. He had specific plans for that too, but did not want any Syrian meddling into these monumental projects, and local SUNNI traditional Leaderships did not like very much Hariri having an eye on these areas, especially that if he were to develop such properties, immense benefits for the area would ensue, with thousands of jobs at stake and economic development for an area desperate for investment and jobs. Had he succeeded in getting these projects off the ground, Rafic Hariri would have threatened the local traditional Sunni leaders of Tripoli, and his hegemonistic leadership on the Sunnis in Lebanon would have been almost complete.... but Rafic refused to play ball with the Americans and he wanted to develop that particular airport himself and turn it into a major international tourist hub, after building huge projects in the area . In order to protect his new "turf" and his potential Mega-investments in the North Lebanon, he resorted to a dangerous tactic, traditional to his Saudi Mentors.... Extreme Sunni local tribes, "turned Jihadists" in order to scare overseas investors and Imperial Hubris from poking in his projected new investment territories, and keep everyone away from the "prize"....the end result is what we see today in the North Of Lebanon, in Nahr Al-Bared and in all of the areas stretching from Jubeil, all the way to Kleiat and Akkar....[ watch and learn from the New Hollywoodian long Film, Unfold in front of your very eyes...] When this approach with Hariri failed, the US turned to another local Sunni with strong ties to the Syrians...What I can tell you is that 4 years ago, a Lebanese middleman approached then Transport Minister Najib Mikati and told him the US is very keen on Koley'at. Mikati went to see his Syrian mentors (Makhloufs) and tried to woo them by promising riches ensuing from modernization work on the airport and basing rights for the US Air Force and NATO etc. At first the Syrians were willing to play, then US-Syrian relations soured.... for a while..... a tug of war is sure to unfold here, and the winners will have a big prize. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fouad Sanyoura & CO. : petty politicians.... Sanioura is a THUG, A criminal and a THIEF.

Were Fouad Sanyoura not a petty politician, he would go home today and save us the huge protest rallies, which represent over 50 % of the Lebanese populace, [ by comparison, this would make for a demonstration of about 30 Million French in the streets, or about 150 Million Americans protesting their Governments policies ...] and the daily interviews with opposition politicians of the last 6 months .
The most urgent humanitarian crisis on the planet, is in the Bekaa, South Beirut and South Lebanon, it's Lebanon. Beirut is now the ultimate laboratory of perverse social engineering: a brutalized, militarized, neo-Spartan future three-tier society where privileges are enjoyed by the first tier - the Al-moustaqbal gangs, the handsomely paid US shadow proxy-militias/army of contractors - and the second tier - pro-government politicians who spend most of their time in London/Paris/Washington or Middle Eastern capitals. The overall population are just corralled, humiliated and treated as mere slaves, after last year's brutal and barbaric Israeli Air, Sea and Howitzers bombardments of the civilian populations of Lebanon and the infrastructure, over 5 weeks - extras in their own land....only good for utter humiliation, neglect and disdain by the so-called Sanyoura government.

Petty Politicians, Sanyoura & Olmert, identical twins, made in USA.

Petty  Politicians, Sanyoura & Olmert, identical twins, made in USA.
Petty Politicians, Sanyoura & Olmert, identical twins, made in USA

FREE LEBANON , LAND OF THE "MESSAGE".

FREE LEBANON : "MESSAGE" TO THE WORLD .
WE MUST FREE LEBANON'S YOUNG GENERATIONS FROM THE FEUDAL POLITICS OF A BLIND RULING "ELITE".
Bashir Gemayel and ELIE Hobeika , ARE turning in their Graves, when they see these pathetic " New Alliances " made in Neoconville USA , Midwifed by amine Gemayel, between the so-called LF, Joumblatt " The NEW Darling of the Neocons" Agent in Chief, the criminal Killer Samir Geagea, Moufti JOUZOU, with PLO/FATH of all people, The New Hariri STOOGES of Saad Hariri and other unsavory characters not worth mentioning here.
WALEED JOUMBLATT, Amine Gemayel, The Batrak SFEIR , the criminal Geagea, hungry for more Christian blood , because he has always been a serial killer and a murderer all his adult life, including 11 years in solitary confinement for murders committed in the 80s, and many other murders still to be judged, and ALL the March 14th whacko's, have permanently DERAILED, AND ELIMINATED FOR GOOD, the amazing gatherings of good will and NONSECTARIAN MANIFESTATIONS of a NON-SECTARIAN NATIONAL IDENTITY. The March 14th group decapitated the NATION with their petty sectarian and weak formulas, built around self aggrandizement of miserable individuals, who don't have enough legs to stand on... Assef Shawkat is back with a vengeance, ASSEF SHAWKAT IS A MONSTROUS SERIAL KILLER, NOW SUPPORTED BY THE WEST AGAIN.....HE IS TRYING TO COME BACK WITH A VENGEANCE, PRECISELY BECAUSE OF THE FAILURES OF THE MARCH 14TH PETTY SECTARIAN POLITICS, AND NOT AT ALL BECAUSE OF THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DIVIDE, WHO ARE NATURALLY EXERCISING THEIR RIGHT IN A PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY. MARCH 14TH GROUP HAVE FAILED MISERABLY THE TEST OF HISTORY, AND THEIR LEGACY WILL BE IN THE GUTTER OF LEBANON'S HISTORY, FOR THEY HIJACKED THE DREAMS AND ASPIRATIONS OF SEVERAL GENERATIONS OF VERY TALENTED YOUNG LEBANESE PEOPLE, FOR THEIR PETTY SECTARIAN AND BIGOTED POLICIES.

2012 theories and the MAYAN Calendar....

"There is no logical way to the discovery of elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance..." ?
PHI POINT !

The December 26, 2004 Sumatra Quake was probably Hyper Dimensionally initiated / related to the June 8, 2004 Venus passage.

When intuition speaks.....

I decided to check today's quake in Indonesia with the June 8 Venus transit :

1191 days .

I expected it to be a possible Phi point and guess what:

1191 times 1.61803399 = 1927 days

1927 days after September 12, 2007 :

December 21, 2012 The end of the Mayan Calendar!.....?
the 'communication' is profound and indeed Venus related as described in the HD Design:

This is really 'in the face':

March 28 - The 2005 Sumatran earthquake strikes off Sumatra, three months after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. At a magnitude of 8.7 it is the second largest earthquake since 1965.

March 28, 2005 - September 12, 2007: 898 days

or EXACTLY 4 Venus years in Earth days: Venus at same geometrical position during these Sumatra quakes!!! Do you believe it's just coincidental ???
I expected Pope related info but this seems to be a surprise, but could be significant with a sense for symbolism:

Papal stargazers reach for heaven .... 01/10/2007....

For the second time in seven years the Vatican is hosting a scientific conference for astronomers.

More than 200 scientists from 26 countries including the United States, Britain, Italy, Germany, Russia, and Japan have gathered in Rome for a five-day meeting on disc galaxies.

At the Papal University in Rome, normally frequented by Catholic theologians studying the Bible, the scientists, including Jesuit priests who work at the Vatican's own astronomical observatory, will be grappling with abstruse formulae and mathematical simulations about the physical origins of the universe, involving concepts such as cold dark matter and black holes.

Father Jose Funes, the head of the Vatican Observatory, said exciting new discoveries have been made with the help of space telescopes since the Holy See's last meeting on galaxies in 2000.

"Disc galaxies are a hot topic," he said.

'Hot topic' ....

Father Funes has a small full-time staff of only 13 scientists, most of them Jesuit priests, to run his astronomical research programmes, but co-operates with many prestigious universities around the world.

Why does the Vatican fund astronomical research after centuries of public dispute over the relative roles of science and religion?

Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, a member of Father Funes's team and curator of one of the world's most important collections of meteorites, kept at Castelgandolfo (the Pope's summer residence), explains.

"They want the world to know that the Church isn't afraid of science," he said.

"This is our way of seeing how God created the universe and they want to make as strong a statement as possible that truth doesn't contradict truth; that if you have faith, then you're never going to be afraid of what science is going to come up with.

"Because it's true."

The conference will kick off with a discussion about our own galaxy, the Milky Way, before proceeding to more abstruse concepts of space and time involving how galaxies, stars and planets came to be formed and evolve.

'Against scripture' ?

The Catholic Church became seriously interested in stargazing as far back as four centuries ago, when Pope Gregory XIII set up a committee to examine the implications for science involved in the Pope's 1582 reform of the calendar.

In that year the Julian calendar, used since the days of Julius Caesar, was replaced by the more scientifically accurate Gregorian calendar.

The Julian calendar year had been calculated slightly too long, and after the passage of many centuries the spring equinox had drifted backwards, causing errors only remediable by a shift to a new calendar system.

Then came Galileo Galilei, the Italian whom Albert Einstein called "the father of modern science".

Galileo, who was born and studied in Pisa, first visited Rome in 1612 to share with Jesuit mathematicians and philosophers his new telescopic observations of the moons of Jupiter.

He argued that his studies proved the fallacy of the Aristotelian view of the universe and the correctness of the theories of the Polish mathematician and scholar Nicolaus Copernicus.

It was Copernicus who first theorized - a century before Galileo - that it was the earth that moved around the sun, and not vice versa.

Heresy ?

Galileo was later attacked by Catholic theologians who held that his theories went against scripture, and was eventually tried for heresy by the Inquisition.

It was not until the reign of Pope John Paul II - nearly four centuries later - that the Catholic Church finally admitted that Galileo had been right and he was officially rehabilitated.

What could be called the Vatican's first scientific astronomical observatory was finally set up in 1789 in a building which still exists near the Apostolic Palace, called the Tower of the Winds.

A century later, in 1891, Pope Leo XIII, in an attempt to counter the persistent perception of hostility by the Church towards science, set up another small astronomical observatory on a hill behind the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica.

This was abandoned, however, in the 1930s, by which time light pollution from the city of Rome prevented the study of the fainter stars, and a new Vatican Observatory with German-made telescopes was set up at Castelgandolfo in the Alban Hills, 25km (15.5 miles) south-east of Rome.

Further expansion of the Italian capital and brightening of the night sky meant that Vatican stargazers were forced to relocate yet again to a higher, less polluted observation point.

In 1981 they chose a mountaintop in the US near Tucson, Arizona, where in 1993 the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope was completed, equipped with a new large American-made 1.8 meter mirror.

ICH

2/07/2007

Bashir and ELIE , MUST be turning in their Graves, when they see the " New Alliances " made in Neoconville USA.







HK:


Ce que je n’oublierai jamais, mon cher Elie, c’est le jour de ton départ ! Comment aurais-je jamais pu imaginé que tu tomberais à « Hazmieh », lâchement assassiné ! Comment pouvais-je expliquer à tes amis, la cause de ta mort si incompréhensible et injuste ? Dans notre pays, on assassine les héros au lieu de les glorifier et on récompense les assassins !C'est l'individualisation de cette personnalité, de sa trajectoire, à une époque où le renseignement devient plus technique qu'humain (la faille des Américains, l'une des sources de leurs déboires au Moyen Orient), sa médiatisation connotée, qui fait de HK, Elie Hobeika un héros sans égal...
6 ans après, tu es toujours présent parmis nous.
100 ans
après, tu seras toujours présent parmis nous.

Je n’oublierai jamais !Je n’oublierai jamais !

Dans les rues de la ville il y a mon Allégeance . Peu importe où il va dans le temps divisé. Il n'est plus mon amour, chacun peut lui parler. Il ne se souvient plus; qui au juste l'aima?
Il cherche son pareil dans le voeu des regards. L'espace qu'il parcourt est ma fidélité. Il dessine l'espoir et léger l'éconduit. Il est prépondérant sans qu'il y prenne part.
Je vis au fond de lui comme une épave heureuse. A son insu, ma solitude est son trésor. Dans le grand méridien où s'inscrit son essor, ma liberté le creuse.
Dans les rues de la ville il y a mon amour. Peu importe où il va dans le temps divisé. Il n'est plus mon amour, chacun peut lui parler. Il ne se souvient plus; qui au juste l'aima et l'éclaire de loin pour qu'il ne tombe pas?
Ils sont venus, les forestiers de l'autre versant, les inconnus de nous, les rebelles à nos usages.
Ils sont venus nombreux.
Leur troupe est apparue à la ligne de partage des cèdres
Et du champ de la vieille moisson désormais irrigué et vert.
La longue marche les avait échauffés.
Leur casquette cassait sur les yeux et leur pied fourbu se posait dans le vague.

Ils nous ont aperçus et se sont arrêtés.
Visiblement ils ne présumaient pas nous trouver là,
Sur des terres faciles et des sillons bien clos,
Tout à fait insouciants d'une audience.
Nous avons levé le front et les avons encouragés.

Le plus disert s'est approché, puis un second tout aussi déraciné et lent.
Nous sommes venus, dirent-ils, vous prévenir de l'arrivée prochaine de l'ouragan,
de votre implacable adversaire.
Pas plus que vous, nous ne le connaissons
Autrement que par des relations et des confidences d'ancêtres.
Mais pourquoi sommes-nous heureux incompréhensiblement devant vous et soudain pareils à des enfants?

Nous avons dit merci et les avons congédiés.
Mais auparavant ils ont bu, et leurs mains tremblaient, et leurs yeux riaient sur les bords.
Hommes d'arbres et de cognée, capables de tenir tête à quelque terreur
mais inaptes à conduire l'eau, à aligner des bâtisses, à les enduire de couleurs plaisantes,
Ils ignoraient le jardin d'hiver et l'économie de la joie.

Certes, nous aurions pu les convaincre et les conquérir,
Car l'angoisse de l'ouragan est émouvante.
Oui, l'ouragan allait bientôt venir;
Mais cela valait-il la peine que l'on en parlât et qu'on dérangeât l'avenir?
Là où nous sommes, il n'y a pas de crainte urgente.

Oh la toujours plus rase solitude
Des larmes qui montent aux cimes.

Quand se déclare la débâcle
Et qu'un vieil aigle sans pouvoir
Voit revenir son assurance,
Le bonheur s'élance à son tour,
À flanc d'abîme les rattrape.

Chasseur rival, tu n'as rien appris,
Toi qui sans hâte me dépasses
Dans la mort que je contredis.
Au plus fort de l'orage, il y a toujours un oiseau pour nous rassurer. C'est l'oiseau inconnu, il chante avant de s'envoler.


*********************************************************************************
Mon futur à présent,
Mon chemin face au vent,
Pour vivre à tout les temps, tu seras,
Mon futur a présent,
Pour vivre en frères de sang,
L'amour à tout les temps, tu seras, tu seras.

Chaque jour de plus est un jour de pluie, quand on retient la vie,
On a bien inscrit dans ton coeur d'oiseau, ne pas quitter le nid,
Mais je vois dans tes pas de danse naître la confiance, en moi,
Tu seras mon arme et la bannière de ma foi, tu seras, tu seras...
تقديرينا و محبتنا الى روح الرئيس الشهيد ايلي حبيقة من كل اللبنانيين


*****************************************************************************
Will the Lebanese ever learn ounce and for all...that their subservient so-called leaders to CIA for decades...has brought about the utter dislocation of the national institutions on purpose by CIA...because it is the ONLY way for CIA and its new-found Siamese twin...MOSSAD, to keep a direct and daily influence on our institutions, our legislative agenda, our executive powers...and last but not least...the quintessential choice made by CIA, ALL THE TIME, to chose and make believe that it is a"Lebanese choice"...a weak President with no powers to speak of, except for show..., in order to maintain a divided power structure....from which to enter, subvert, penetrate, subjugate, obfuscate... through the inevitable triumvirate of the "three" Presidencies..., which is a fallacy in of itslef, since there should be only ONE President, a Speaker, and a Prime Minister....a unique game of Chicken and egg...of smoke and Mirrors...is perpetuated daily by stupid and pretentious media for FDDC...?
إن القوات اللبنانية التي تأسست العام 1976 وكانت إطاراً تنظيمياً ضم أربع قوى مقاومة وهي: أحزاب الكتائب والوطنيين الأحرار وحراس الأرز وحركة التنظيم، لم تكن أبداً حزباً بل كانت تحت القيادة السياسية للجبهة اللبنانية وسلاحها كان موجهاً للدفاع عن الوطن والمجتمع.
إن الإتحاد من أجل لبنان، المؤلف من فرقاء أسسوا القوات اللبنانية وشكلوا مجلس قيادتها بالتساوي، يؤكد أن ما يسمى حزب القوات اللبنانية – الهيئة التنفيذية ليس القوات اللبنانية التاريخية.
القوات اللبنانية الحقيقية ليست ملكاً لفرد أو فريق معين، وإن أستعمل شعارات ورموز القوات فلا يحق له أن ينسب لنفسه لا تاريخها ولا شهدائها لأنه نتاج إنقلاب مسلح قام به للإستئثار، خلافاً لروحية المؤسسة.
يرى المجتمعون إن عدم توازن الدولة اللبنانية التي يعتبر رئيس جمهوريتها بمثابة الحكم، يعود إلى عدم وجود صلاحيات تسمح لفخامته القيام بدوره المطلوب، فلا تبقى الموازنة العامة، على سبيل المثال، موضوع تجاذب بين رئيسي المجلس والحكومة فتتعطل الدولة.
فليعط رئيس الجمهورية صلاحيات دستورية تمكنه من القيام بدوره الوطني فتستقر البلاد...

ولن تستقيم شؤون مؤسسات الدولة وشجونها إلا حين تعود لترتكز إلى الدستور بدلاً من أن تستمدّ قوتها من مواقع نفوذ خارجية، طائفية كانت أم غيرها. والمدخل للوصول إلى ذلك هو تطوير الدستور بشكل يعيد إنتاج تلك المرجعية على رأس الهرم والتي تسمح بالتحكيم بين المؤسسات وإيجاد المخارج عند إستحقاقات الخلافات الكبيرة. ورغم التحفّظات الطائفية التي يمكن البعض أن يحتمي وراءها لرفض هذا التطوير للصيغة الحالية، تبقى رئاسة الجمهورية هي الأكثر تأهيلاً للعب هذا الدور.

ففي الشكل أولاً، رئيس الجمهورية هو رأس الدولة والحكم بين مؤسساتها وفق ما ينصّ الدستور الحالي الذي يعطي الرئيس هذا الدور نظرياً دون إعطائه الصلاحيات للقيام به فعلياً. ووفقاً للروحية ذاتها، رئاسة الجمهورية هي الوحيدة بين الرئاسات الثلاث التي تنتخب بأكثرية الثلثين، أي شبه الإجماع، مما يجعل منها الأكثر أهلية للعب دور المرجعية الأساس للنظام اللبناني الحالي ومؤسساته.

وفي المضمون ثانياً، أظهرت تجربة "الجمهورية الثانية" التي لم تبدأ فعلياً إلا منذ 2005 أن تحوّلات كبيرة طرأت على طبيعة اللعبة السياسية من جرّاء التغييرات الدستورية التي حصلت في الطائف. فاللعبة أصبحت لعبة توازنات بين تكتلات سياسية برلمانية "طائفية" مستقلّة كلها، بما فيها المسيحي منها، عن رئاسة الجمهورية، مما يعزّز موقع الرئاسة كحكم وطني بين كل المكوّنات الطائفية للنظام السياسي اللبناني. هذا ما يفرض إذن تطويراً دستورياً يعيد إلى الرئاسة ببعدها الوطني وليس الطائفي حدّاً أدنى من الصلاحيات التي تخوّلها التحكيم عند نشوب أزمات كبيرة كالتي شهدناها في السنوات الأخيرة وإعطائها إمكان حلّها أو حسمها عبر آليات دستورية (كحلّ مجلس النواب أو إقالة الحكومة) تبقى مشروطة وإستثنائية طبعاً، وتعزيز فاعليتها وتأثيرها في إصدار وإعتراض المراسيم والقوانين والقرارات.

يبقى أن النظام بحاجة إلى تطوير إضافي لكي يعزّز إستقراره ويحمي نفسه من صراعات مستقبلية أصبحت دورية في ظلّ شكله الحالي والحلول المنشودة هي نفسها ما كانت مقترحة، من دون تطبيق، منذ عشرات السنين بما فيها ما ورد ضمن إتفاق الطائف، وأبرزها أمران: اللامركزية وإلغاء الطائفية السياسية.

فاللامركزية هي خطوة كبيرة نحو إستقرار النظام في لبنان وتحصينه تجاه أزمات وخضّات مستقبلية، إذ أن معظم الأزمات الداخلية التي شهدها لبنان على مستوى الحكم جاءت على خلفية توازنات داخل السلطة والنظام، مع شعور مجموعات طائفية بالغبن من جرّاء مجموعات أخرى وقد شهدنا فصولا عديدة من تلك التجارب أكان حول الصلاحيات مثل حقبة ما قبل الطائف، أو حول قانون الإنتخابات وما أصاب المسيحيين من جرّاءه بعد الطائف، أو الإنماء الإنتقائي عبر مجالس وصناديق تصادرها مواقع نفوذ طائفية.

وعليه، فإن اللامركزية تساهم بشكل فاعل في تحقيق إنسجام بين المسؤول والمجتمع الخاضع لمسؤوليته، بين الموارد والمشاريع داخل منطقة واحدة، مما يؤمّن حداً أدنى من الإنماء المتوازن بين المناطق بعيداً عن الإعتبارات الطائفية والخلفيات الإنتخابية لمراكز القرار المركزية كما هي الحال اليوم، ناهيك عن التسهيلات الإدارية للمواطنين ومشاركة كلّ منطقة في وضع سياستها وأولوياتها المحلّية.

أما تجاوز الطائفية السياسية وإرساء قواعد الدولة المدنية فيبقى الهدف الأسمى للصيغة اللبنانية من أجل معالجة شوائب النظام الطائفي مما يسمح حينها بقيام نظام ديموقراطي تنافسي ومستقرّ كما في معظم الديموقراطيات، يعمل على قاعدة الأكثرية والأقلية ويتساوى فيه المواطنون في كل مواقع الدولة مهما كانت إنتماءاتهم الطائفية. وقد نصّ إتفاق الطائف على إلغاء الطائفية السياسية وإنشاء مجلس للشيوخ على قاعدة طائفية وتحرير مجلس النواب من القيد الطائفي لكنّ ذلك لم يطبّق حتى الآن ولن يحصل إلا إذا توافرت مناخات ملائمة وإيجابية، ما زال لبنان شديد البعد عنها اليوم.

لا شكّ في أن التحدّيات كبيرة أمام بلد صغير هو الأضعف في المعادلة الإقليمية القائمة ويحمل في تكوينه مكامن ضعف أساسية تفاقم مشكلته، لكن على اللبنانيين ألا يستسلموا للقدرية أو منطق الإنتظار والإستقواء بالخارج، مما يدفعهم نحو الرهان بدلاً من المبادرة، وإلى اليأس والهجرة بدلاً من المثابرة، بل عليهم الإقتناع أولاً ثم العمل بشكل جدّي ثانياً على تحقيق تلك التغييرات الشجاعة المطلوبة لبلوغ حال إستقرار داخلية شبه مستدامة. أما تخلّفهم عن ذلك فهو ينبئ بمستقبل مقلق للغاية لأنهم سيكرّسون فشلهم وعجزهم الحاليين عن إدارة شؤؤنهم بمفردهم ويشجّعون حينها عودة زمن الوصايات على وطنهم.

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The International Criminal Court's Obligations Today.

The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people....?



1) United States must negotiate peace with the countries in the Middle East, especially Iran and Syria. Not only would this give the United States leverage to convince these groups to put a halt to covert funding of groups behind suicide bombings. But it sometimes seems as if these groups are funded solely because they attack Israel, ally of the United States. Regarding many of the groups behind the suicide bombings, Arafat really has little or no control over those organizations, and yet the suicide bombings must stop if peace is to be achieved. What follows is a brief overview of the main groups carrying out suicide bombings:

a. Hamas or Islamic Resistance Movement (Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyya), a wing of the Muslim Brotherhood (an Islamist group founded in Egypt as a response to Nasser's secular pan-Arabism), has the stated goal of the destruction of Israel and the creation of an Islamic state. Hamas does not accept Arafat's leadership, in part because he is a secular leader, and in part due to a schism relating to the peace process. Hamas is the second most powerful Palestinian group, after Arafat's Fatah party, and it is possible that the leadership of Palestine could fall to a member of this group if a chain of succession is not set up within Fatah.
b. Hizbollah (Party of God), this shi'ite Resistance group operating from Lebanon, was originally funded by Iran, with logistical help from Syria. Hizbollah was originally created in response to the Lebanese civil war, and still received a great deal of funding and leadership from Iran. They also desire a change from feudal sectarian system, to a stable Republic .
c. Islamic Jihad (al-Jihad) has the stated goal of the overthrow Israel as well as secular Arab governments. Islamic Jihad receives support and support from Iran as well as other Arab countries.
d. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is an unofficial wing of Arafat's Fatah group, and was created after the last Intifada in response to the success of Hamas and Hezbollah. What is so unusual about this group is that they are secular when compared to the other groups, with their goal being a Palestinian, but not an Islamic, state. The secularism of this group, as well as they fact that they are the only group with female bombers, brings a new dimension to the suicide bombings, and says something about the situation; the movement is not only religious but is in some quarters wholly political.
Yasser Arafat has little or no control of the majority of these groups, and so Sharon's constant demands that Arafat to put a halt to the bombings will accomplish nothing, because Arafat does not, and can not control most of these groups, and in most cases the peace agenda is contradictory to the goals of the military wings of these groups. The only way to put a halt to these radical groups is to cut off their international funding and support, and the only way to accomplish that is to make peace with the countries that sponsor those groups. (This is all in addition to the fact that the United States needs to pull its head out of the international political sand and realize that we cannot have things our way, with brutal murders and assassinations of everyone who does not accept our Dictates all the time. We are a super power not a recalcitrant two year old.)

2) Jerusalem should be under the control of the United Nations, for several years until it is able to take control, as an independent city, somewhat akin to Vatican City. There will never be peace in the Middle East until the issue of Jerusalem is resolved. United Nations control of an independent Jerusalem would be required for several years to keep the peace. During this time, illegal Jewish building projects in Arab areas must be halted, and control given back to Palestinians in the Arab portions of the city. After such a time as it would take for tempers to cool and saner heads prevail, a council, similar to what has been used before, would rule the city, populated by members of all three faiths, perhaps 40% Muslim, 40% Jewish and 10% Christian. Although it would be more democratic to the set the control along population percentages, such a solution that might allow either the Jews or the Muslims control would simply not work, at least until relations have dramatically improved between those groups, because much like the situation regarding the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the various Christian sects, one group can not be trusted to treat the others fairly.

3) Israeli withdrawal to United Nations sanctioned borders. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 242:

Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;
This would require a withdrawal from the West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza. Jerusalem, as previous mentioned, would be under international control. There is also a probable need for international troops to remain along these borders until tensions have cooled to a significant degree.

4) Major modification of the Right of Return versus the Law of Return. The Law of Return grants every Jew the right to go to Israel as an oleh (Jewish immigrant), and the Israel Nationality Law automatically confers Israeli nationality on every oleh upon entering the country unless he specifies otherwise. The law even provides that a Jew who expresses his desire to settle in Israel may be granted nationality by virtue of the Law of Return even before he physically immigrates. From the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: (http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH00kp0). Contrasted with this, Palestinians who fled areas of fighting, or had the lands taken by force by the Israeli government, are forbidden to return to their lands and have yet to receive compensation for the loss of their lands. In addition, many Arabs who remain in Israel fear that if they leave they will also be unable to return, and may also suffer the loss of their homes and lands. The Right of Return, or at the very least compensation, must be given those Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes.

5) Major modification of water rights. One Israeli kibbutz uses as much water as forty average sized Palestinian villages. Palestinians collect rain for their drinking water, while Israelis have swimming pools and green lawns. (http://www.loe.org/series/troubled.htm) Such an unequal allocation of water resources is untenable. No country can grow without fresh water resources, and access to clean water is a basic human requirement. It is impossible to achieve a modern state without education, it is impossible to achieve education without health, and it is impossible to achieve health without clean drinking water. This basic right, to clean water, stands in the way of peace and prosperity in the Middle East. I believe that the Palestinian population will remain in poverty, ill health, and susceptible to the messages of radical groups until the issue of water rights and access is resolved.

6) Arafat and Sharon should both be brought before a war crimes tribunal for their actions starting with Lebanon and moving forward to the current Intifada. Allowing these two to escape retribution only furthers hostility, and sends a message to the international community that the ends do justify the means.


"We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love on another."

--Jonathan Swift
To be honest, I am not sure that even those drastic measures would work, and I am pretty sure that the United States has little interest in either making peace with any members of the “Axis of Evil” or in partaking in an international presence along an Israeli-Palestinian border, and I fear that without United States and international involvement and intervention, any peace process will be doomed to failure from the start.

I was listening to the news over the weekend, and they were interviewing some of the business owners in Ramallah who are finally able to return to their stores after the curfew and siege were lifted, only to discover that everything was looted or destroyed, ostensibly by the Israeli soldiers. One gentleman, the owner of a cyber café and computer store, said that there was not a single piece of equipment left whole, that everything he owned had been destroyed, and he was now completely bankrupt. What I found most disturbing about the interview was that the gentleman, quite obviously educated and savvy, said that he now clearly understood what motivated the suicide bombers.

Looking at Ramallah and Jaffa and other such areas of contention, it is clear that Israel, instead of solving problems, is only creating more hatred and fueling the radicals, a situation that is counter to every peace goal they claim they are attempting to make. Changes must be made, both by the Israel and Palestinian governments and in the attitudes of the Israeli and Palestinian people is the situation is to be resolved.


"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

--George Santayana

History Will Teach Us Nothing ...



I think that what disturbs me most about the constant warfare and violence, is that not only are two groups that coexisted peacefully for centuries now bitter enemies, but that it seems that the Israelis, the very people who had struggled for so many years to overcome racism and hatred and segregation, are now using these tools of hatred to subjugate another population, just as they were subjugated throughout Europe and much of the world.

And now, for something completely different….

Regarding the angel guarding the Garden of Eden:


"And the Lord said unto the angel, 'Where is the flaming sword that I gave unto thee?' And the angel answered, saying, 'I had it here a minute ago, can't think what's become of it, be forgetting my own head next'. And the Lord did not ask him again."

--Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman in Good Omens .


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عودة أيلول الاسود


نلاحظ، من باب المصادفة، ان المبادرات العربية، واللهفة السعودية، والاهتمام الاخوي على ‏أشكاله، توقفت كلها بعد القمة العربية.‏
كأن ما دار طوال شهر آذار من حركات وحوار يشبه الكذبة. غزل بلا نسيج لترطيب المناخ قبل ‏العرس. وعندما انتهى عرس القمة انفخت الدف وتفرّق العشاق.‏
بعد العرس بدأ فصل جديد من المسرحية العربية المستمرة عنوانه: تطبيع العلاقات مع ‏اسرائيل.‏
الحقبة الجديدة مبنية على الشدة، ورفع الصوت، والذهاب بالامور الى خواتم التعقيد. وهي ‏تعتمد اسلوب القصف المركّز على المواقع المعاندة كي تستسلم حين تدق ساعة التطبيع. ‏والتطبيع لن يرى النور قبل نزع سلاح حزب الله، وكسر رأس حماس، وجر «المتطرفين» الى خانة ‏‏«المعتدلين» اكراماً لعيني الجارة «الحبيبة» اسرائيل. والمبادرة العربية لاقت الترحيب ‏والاجماع، لأن سكان المنطقة وحكامها تعبوا بعد نصف قرن من الصراع العربي الاسرائيلي.‏
ولكن حين يدعو ملك الاردن عبدالله بن الحسين الى «اسقاط حق العودة واستبداله بحق التعويض» لا ‏بد من أن نصاب بالذهول، ثم نشقّ صدورنا ونصرخ: وا... عرباه!‏
ماذا يبقى من السلام حين يسقط حق العودة؟ وما هي هذه الحلقة الجهنمية التي تطوق عنق ‏لبنان، وتعمي عيون الناس عن الحقيقة؟
لقد حارب اللبنانيون التوطين طوال نصف قرن، وها هو ملك الاردن يدعونا علناً، الى توطين ‏الفلسطينيين، وتحت غطاء عربي، يرافقه عزف الاوركسترا المحلية الحاكمة التي تلهي الجمهور ‏بالتطبيل والتزمير.‏
سبق للبنان ان ذاق طعم «الهدية» الاردنية عام 1970 بعد مجازر «أيلول الأسود». تلك الهدية ‏بالذات كانت الشعرة التي قصفت ظهر البعير واشعلت الحرب الاهلية في وطن الارز. واليوم يبدو ‏ان لا شيء تغيّر. والموضوع الفلسطيني، بالواسطة الاردنية، سوف يكون المدخل لعودة المدافع ‏الى الساحات...‏
همس الى الاباء الاجلاء:‏
دفعنا مئة الف قتيل، وعشنا ربع قرن من الحروب، لمنع التوطين. وكل ما يجري يقودنا ‏كالنعاج
الى نقطة البداية
!

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إفلاس وردة فعل
30 تشرين الثاني 2007

الشارع المسيحي في حالة انعدام وزن يسبق السقوط العظيم.
كل "الوفاء للوفي"، يجب أن لا ننسى الماضي حتى لا نقع في الأخطاء التي وقعنا فيها سابقًا، اما المسامحة فلا تصح الا عندما يعترف الخاطئ بالخطأ ويطلب الغفران .....



لا سنوات الحرب الطويلة، ولا قوافل الشهداء، والتهجير والهجرة، والفقر والتجويع، ولا العنف الدموي تركت اثرها في عقل الجماعة. فشلت في خلق حالة " وعي شعبية " تعلمها كيف تميّز بين الحق والباطل !
عقل الجماعة المسيحية لا يزال في جهالة يتنعّم. لذلك يتأرجح الناس بين الأبيض والأسود.

ثمة حقيقة ثابتة ، أفرزتها معركة رئاسة الجمهورية ( الفارغة ) بغض النظر عن من هو على خطأ ومن على صوابها. حقيقة الإفلاس الكامل، والعجز عن أي طرح انقاذي من قبل مسيحيي 14 آذار. لم يتبدّل خطابهم السياسي رغم الظروف والمخاطر. كأنهم في جمود فكري تولده عادةً صدمة كبيرة، أو خوف هائل، أو ضياع خدر.

قلبهم على لبنان وعلى الدور المسيحي، لكنهم يرددون المقولة التي يحددها سعد الحريري وينظََّر لها مروان حمادة وجيفري فيلتمان. ويسوقونها أمام الناس لتصدق !

معركة رئاسة الجمهورية فضحت افلاس هذه المجموعة لأن مواقفها تحولت الى "ردة فعل" على المعارضة. لم تعد افكارهم هي الفعل الذي ينبع عن السلطة الحاكمة. والمفروض ان يحصل العكس. انحصر دورهم في " تسخيف " طروحات الجنرال عون وتفريغها من مضمونها لحظة تبصر النور.
لم يقدموا أية فكرة بديلة للخروج من الأزمة المستجدة، لكي يدرسها الناس ويقارنوا بينها وبين طرح المعارضة، العاجزة عن اختراق الجدار الدولي الشاهق.

وهكذا يعيش المسيحيون حالة احباط، وقرف، وانعدام وزن، تجعلهم يكفرون بكل شيء. ولا يفكرون الا بمغادرة الوطن. وهذه الحالة "الإحباطية" جزء من خطة شاملة يتمّ تنفيذها على مراحل، ومرحلتها الحالية عنوانا "الفراغ الرئاسي ".

ما فشلت مخططات كيسنجر عن تنفيذه عام 1975 يتحقق اليوم بأسلوب " أنابوليسي " جديد. والموجع ان الفريق المسيحي الذي حارب هذه المخططات في الماضي، وقدّم آلاف الشهداء لمواجهتها، يعملُ اليومَ على تنفيذها. ويفعل ذلك باسم الشهداء.

«من احداث 1860 الى مرحلة بشير وحبيقة وجعجع وعون, الموارنة لم «يقاتلوا كما تقاتلوا«

معروف جنبلاط بصدقيته وثباته على مواقفه المعلنة. فهو قبل انتخابات 2005 وصف سلاح "حزب الله" بالسلاح المقاوماتي الشريف. وبعد ان حصل على اصوات مناصري حزب الله، قال ان سلاح الحزب هو "سلاح الغدر". هكذا كان يتصرّف مع الرئيس الراحل رفيق الحريري كلما تأخر الحريري في الدفع. مرة كان يضعه في خانة "حيتان المال" ومرة اخرى في مصاف القديسين. مواقفه من سوريا وقصر بعبدا تميّزت بـ "النطنطة" نفسها.. ولا شبيه له في لبنان سوى الساكن حديثاً في "معراب".. وبئس من جمعهما فوق جماجم الشهداء وأجراس الكنائس والأديرة المسروقة وأنقاض القرى والبلدات المهجرة!!

الإغتيالات المرعبة التي أنطلقت بقتل الرئيس إيلي حبيقة في 24/01/2002: " رحم الله إيلي حبيقة: حبيقة كان مبدعا في حياته وسيظل حاضرا في غيابه ".

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We missed the opportunity !

We don't need a Winograd report on the political and military failures of the leadership of the Hebrew country in its war against Lebanon in order to know what happened last summer on our land and in our skies. Or to know who was the loser and who was the victor.
It was reasonable to assume the war and its ramifications would affect Lebanese politics, and that a review would be conducted of the policy that guided the proceedings of last summer. Even if this leads to the government's resignation and the formation of a new government, lessons would be learned from this difficult experience, and this would unify the ranks, something that would eliminate the deep rift created by the war. We missed the opportunity to determine who was responsible for what happened on both sides of the fight in Lebanon. If we had done so, even by means of a "limited Winograd," our crisis would not have continued throughout this entire period, without a solution, and we would not be nearing presidential elections. Likewise, we would not be living as if we were two countries, two peoples and a tribal democracy that rules out the ability to meet and reach a mutual understanding and bridge the gap separating the two sides.
What has happened since the war is that the church joined the ranks of one side in the conflict when it should have brought the two sides closer and searched for the common ground between them. Is it not a pity that the Christians lost the fruits of their struggle against the Syrian-sponsored regime, because of the stupidity of the American sponsors of a criminal serial killer and a murderer, by the name of samir geagea and waleed joumblatt, who are positioning themselves and their stooges to be CIA proxy militias again, just like in the 1970s and 1980s, and we have seen the end result of this terribly divisive enterprise and the cowardice of the various American Administrations, at precisely the most awkward of times when they cut and run, leaving behind their proxies in a desperate situation to fend for themselves, or, when the Christians tried desperately to broker a peace agreement locally, the American destructive and disruptive enterprise chose to defeat the local understanding to end the fighting , at a time when we should have recreated a moderate force to counterbalance the other forces comprising the homeland?

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زينا الخوري - خُطف مواطنان من قلب بيروت في ليلة داكنة. فدبّ الذعر في نفوس الناس، ووضع العقلاء ‏اياديهم على قلوبهم وتذكروا الماضي.‏
سرت الشائعات كالنار في الهشيم، استنفرت القوى الامنية، نشط اهل السياسة صارخين: لا ‏للفتنة! صار القلق سيداً. واحس المواطن اللبناني باقتراب الموعد.‏
هكذا بدأت عام 1975. بعد حادثة البوسطة الشهيرة جاء السبت الاسود. خُطف مواطنون ‏حزبيون. فدب الذعر. وحين ظهرت الجثث المشوهة، خرج الانصار الى ساحة البرج. فكانت مجزرة ‏القتل على الهوية.‏
واختلط الحابل بالنابل. اقفلت الطرقات. نبتت خطوط التماس. سيطرت المدافع وانتشرت لغة ‏الموت. وطال الرحيل على هدير الراجمات واخبار خطفَ، قتلَ، هاجرَ.‏
مرعبة جريمة قتل زياد وزياد. بشاعتها لا توصف. خاصة ان زياد طفل ما يزال في الصف ‏السابع. وقتل طفل يشبه قتل ملاك. يذهب الشر الى اعماق اعماق الجحيم.‏
قتل طفل عمداً، وببرودة اعصاب، دلالة عتمة وحشية تتخطى حدود الجريمة الفردية، لتصل الى ‏الجماعة كلها. يريد القاتل ان يبعث الى كل واحد منا برسالة تقول: سوف اقتلك، كائناً من ‏كنت. لا شيء يرعبني. انا اليوم خاطفك.. غداً انت جثة هامدة!‏
هل هي جريمة مدبّرة لاسباب سياسية؟ هل هي جريمة ثأر عشائرية تقليدية؟
لا فرق. لقد اظهرت الخوف العميق، والرعب في النفوس. كشفت الهواجس التي تسيطر على ‏اللبنانيين. وفجرت الرفض والاستنكار على جميع الاراضي اللبنانية.‏
طيبون اهل زياد وزياد. فقراء. يقتاتون من رزقة البحر وصيد السمك. انهم نموذج للشعب ‏المسحوق الذي يدفع الاثمان الباهظة من جراحه ودموعه.‏
وحش القاتل، لا يسمع النحيب. لا يعرف حريق الدمع. ولا تهمّه براءة الطفولة. سكين الحقد في ‏يديه امضى.‏
المرعب؟ حالة تعلو فوق الجريمة. فتجعلنا نشعر ان ما حصل، على فظاعته، «بروفا».‏
انه البرق يسبق عتمة الغيم... ومخاض العاصفة... فوق تراب وطن مخطوف.‏
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I will only say this :

Even before it emerged on the map as a nation,
Lebanon's history was checkered with periods
of prolonged calm alternating with outbursts of
violence. There are signs it may be heading for
another round of Proxy-Wars made in CIA, just
when it seemed set for a period of peace and
reconstruction.There is no doubt that the country's
religious diversity plays a crucial role in Lebanese politics.
For one thing, it prevents class-based politics...[FOR HOW LONG?],
thus pushing secular ideologies into the sidelines. Yet history
also shows that almost all of Lebanon's internecine feuds have been
due to foreign intervention - and so it is again. It is no secret
that ALL factions have resumed arming themselves - if only in
response to the massive onslaught of the USA and Israel this summer.





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محكمة الشرف الرفيع

زينا الخوري

20 نيسان 2007
عندما يدعو النائب وليد جنبلاط امين عام حزب الله الى «الطلاق السلمي»، تتكاثر الاسئلة.. ‏واولها من يُطلق من وفي اية محكمة؟
هل الحزب الاشتراكي يطلّق حزب الله ام ان الطلاق يطال الطائفة الشيعية بأكملها؟ وهل المحكمة ‏موجودة في المجلس الشيعي ام في مجلس الامن؟
هل يجمع حزب الله والوطن زواج متعة، ام زواج ماروني شعاره: ما جمعه الله لا يفرقه الانسان؟
وليد جنبلاط يدعو حزب الله الى القبول بحكم المحكمة مسبقاً. على علته. ومن دون اعتراض. هل ‏بهذه السهولة يتم الطلاق في زخمة المشاكل التي «تشربك» اهل البيت والاقارب والجيران وتنغص ‏عيشهم؟
لمن تكون حضانة الاولاد؟ من يأخذ بيت الجبل؟ من يحتل محطة الساحل؟ ماذا عن النفقة...؟
منذ وضعت الولايات المتحدة حزب الله على لائحة الارهاب ظهرت شعارات محترفة لتسويق الكراهية ‏وتقليب الرأي العام ضده. تماماً كما حصل مع صدام حسين. ابرز تلك الشعارات: دولة ضمن ‏الدولة. المال الالهي. خطف الوطن. الذراع الايرانية... وكما يتولى نجوم الفن الترويج ‏اليومي لمساحيق الغسيل... يتولى نجوم السياسة عندنا تسويق هذه الشعارات العالية ‏الاحتراف.‏
فكرة «الطلاق السلمي» من انتاج محلي، اوحت بها للمؤلف كثرة الطلاق في الوسط السياسي، حيث ‏يغيّر البعض الزوجات كما يغيّر الكلسات. ويرسلون المطلقة المغلوب على امرها للعيش في ‏الخارج مع الاولاد. ولكن اذا كان عدد الاولاد هو مليون فماذا نفعل بهم؟ هل يلجأون الى ‏حضانة في المختارة ام المنارة؟ ام نلقي بهم في البحر ليأكلهم السمك؟‏
الطلاق في المحكمة الدولية لن يمر «بالسلامة» التي يحلم بها وليد بيك. والسبب ان ام الاولاد ‏ليست مقطوعة من شجرة. وهي ابنة عشيرة كبيرة لن تتخلى عن حقوقها المشروعة وقد حفظت جيداً ‏شعار: لا يسلم الشرف الرفيع من الاذى!‏
همسة الى الاباء الاجلاء: شبعنا سفك دماء!‏

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IT'S QUITE AMAZING HOW MUCH THEY LOOK ALIKE, IT'S DOWNRIGHT "SINISTER..."
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صلّوا ولا تملّوا
بقلم زينا الخوري
تزامنت عريضة «السبعين» الى الامم المتحدة مع احداث دولية كثيرة. لكنها تقاطعت مع بيان ‏الاساقفة الموارنة. فبدا ان خط التوتر العالي الذي «يغزّي» الموقعّين، يمرّ قريباً من سماء ‏بكركي.‏
امين عام الامم المتحدة اخبرنا «ان الوثيقة قيد الدرس» تماماً مثل الجنسية قيد الدرس، التي ‏لا تزال منذ نكبة 1948 عقدة مستقبل لبنان!‏
ولأن مجلس الامن لم يعتبر مذكرة «السبعين» وثيقة لبنانية رسمية، اتبعها الرئيس فؤاد ‏السنيورة برسالة مستعجلة بناء على نصيحة فرنسية. فالرئيس جاك شيراك يريد ان يرى ‏قانون المحكمة قبل رحيله عن الاليزيه، ويسعى لولادة المحكمة بأي شكل من الاشكال: عبر بيان، ‏من خلال معاهدة عن طريق الفصل السابع، لا فرق. دينه للشهيد فوق كل اعتبار. وفي جميع ‏الاحوال سوف يتم تجاهل رئيس الجمهورية اللبنانية، وحقه الدستوري بالتوقيع على المعاهدات ‏الدولية.‏
ورغم ان المندوب الروسي في الامم المتحدة اعلن ان لا ضرورة للعجلة و«معنا حتى نهاية مهمة ‏سيرج براميرتس في حزيران 2008» الخطوات الدولية تتسارع وكأننا في سباق مع الزمن، والمسألة ‏مسأل حياة او موت!‏
لماذا هذه اللهفة؟ لماذا هذا الركض الذي يوتر الاجواء ويعزز في الحقيقة دور رئاسة الحكومة ‏على حساب رئيس الجمهورية؟ هذا ما يحب ان يشغل بال بكركي قبل اي امر آخر.‏
لكن «الدير القريب لا يشفي». لذلك يقصد طلاب المعجزات الاديرة البعيدة. المشكلة ان الدير ‏الدولي الذي يتضرعون اليه يقع في ساحة معركة، وتدور حوله مجموعة حروب قاتلة قد تقضي ‏على لبنان. وبدل ان نحمي رأس وطننا عند تغيير الدول، ها نحن نرمي به عمداً وسط ‏النار.... ونأمل ان تحصل معجزة تنقذه.‏
نصيحة للأباء الأجلاء لبيان الشهر المقبل: صلّوا ولا تملّوا!‏
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Israel's deadly stupor


IF EHUD OLMERT had been as adroit and resolute in defending his nation from its enemies as he is in defending his grip on power, Hezbollah today would be even more victorious, while Olmert would be despised from Dan to Beersheba. Instead, the heroic Resistance organization is hailed throughout the world for its glorious resistance of the American/Israeli attack on the civilian infrastructure all over Lebanon last summer, all the while Olmert -- despite surviving no-confidence motions in the Knesset on Monday -- is so reviled by his countrymen that according to the latest poll, 0 percent of Israelis would vote for him today, or any day in the future.

The poll follows the release of the interim report of the Winograd Commission, a blue-ribbon panel appointed last September to cover-up the American insistence to attack Lebanon and Israel's failings in its second Lebanon War. The report is scathing. It documents in damning detail the bungling, the willful blindness, and the almost criminal savagery of IDF and IAF that pervaded the highest levels of Israel's government during the war by attacking unarmed civilians, and the 50 years leading up to it, hence the growing Resistance of the people of south Lebanon, who are joining Hezbollah in droves to defend their homes, villages and towns and attempt to recapture the Shebaa farms, occupied by Israel.

The commission blasts Olmert for making rash and uninformed decisions, and pronounces him guilty of "a serious failure in exercising judgment, responsibility, and prudence." It is equally critical of the inept defense minister, Amir Peretz, whose incompetence crippled Israel's ability to defend itself from Hezbollah's RESPONSE TO ISRAELI attacks, and of former military chief of staff Dan Halutz, who never warned his clueless superiors that the armed forces were prepared for a ground offensive in southern Lebanon....for years, and had been planning for it with the Pentagon for years, but that IDF troops were becoming cowardly and terrorized by the heroic resistance of Hizbullah, and unable to fight, AND THAT THEY WILL LOOSE.

The immediate trigger for the war was Israel's July 14th incursion across the Lebanon-Israel border, in which eight soldiers were killed and two others kidnapped. But Hezbollah had been openly preparing for resistance to Israeli attacks for six years, ever since Israel's defeat and retreat from southern Lebanon in May 2000. Making no attempt to disguise its intentions, Hezbollah swept into the territory Israel had abandoned, creating a network of fortified bunkers and launch sites and deploying thousands of missiles and rockets along the border to defend Lebanon and its people from daily Israeli aggressions, which is the normal thing to do. All the while Israel looked on, and started preparing for revenge since May 2000.

"Every alarm bell should have been ringing," Jerusalem Post editor Dav Horovkitz writes. "But many of the warning systems had, literally or figuratively, long since been useless."

How could Israel have been so cowardly? What could have accounted for such lethargy in the face of a deadly preparedness that was growing more resilient and courageous by the day?

The answer, says the Winograd Commission, is that too many of "the political and military elites in Israel have reached the conclusion that Israel is beyond the era of wars." Unlike their forbears, who understood that the Jewish state would never have peace until Israel gave back ALL the occupied territories, today's Israeli leadership imagines that it can achieve peace by means of daily aggressions and assassinations.

"Since Israel did intend to initiate a war, made in USA," the report concludes, senior officials decided that Israel "did need to be prepared for 'real' war." And that being the case, "they did also update in a systematic and sophisticated way Israel's overall security strategy and considered how to mobilize . . . all its resources -- political, economic, social, military, spiritual, cultural, and scientific -- to address the totality of the challenges it faced, but Israel failed miserably."

Fed up with loosing, aching to live normally, Israelis lulled themselves into a stupor. They shook hands with Yasser Arafat and ran away from Lebanon and expelled the Jews from Gaza. They blamed themselves for their enemies' hatred and turned to more savage aggressions and bombings and targeted assassinations in Lebanon, IRAQ, Palestine and more daily attacks on

south Lebanon. They tried to be Sparta, one Israeli commentator wrote last year. But to survive in the Middle East, even Israel must sometimes loose, to demonstrate the futility of the Israeli and American culture of violence, intrigue and murder .

"We are tired of being so cruel," Olmert moaned in a 2005 speech. "We are tired of our savagery." But those who grow tired of the daily savagery of Israel, generally end up being prepared to resist , defend and defeat Israel anytime, on the battleground of honor in south Lebanon.

As America's beleaguered ally searches for new leadership, one voice worth heeding is that of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah .

"We are like a mountain climber who gets caught in a snowstorm," Nasrallah said at this year's Victory Rally in September 22nd. " If he falls asleep, he will freeze to death. We are in terminal danger because we are desperately hated by Israel since the 2000 defeat of IDF. I will allow myself to say a few popular, fashionable words: Our passionate lunging for peace is working for us. It brings us closer to Resistance to occupation and Israeli fears from peace, and helps improve our very honorable resistance over time.

With enemies like ISRAEL AND USA, weariness is a luxury LEBANON cannot afford. And lest we forget, ISRAEL HAS ALWAYS BEEN AND is our enemy FOR NOW.

********************************************************************************
WHERE IS "JUSTICE" ? WHERE IS "BEIRUT MERE DES LOIS" ? WHERE ARE THE "BALTAZAR GARCONS" OF LEBANON ???


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
الاحراج الاصولي
بقلم: زينا الخوري
لا شك ان فريق 14 آذار شعر باحراج كبير إثر احداث طرابلس. فالكشف على جثث القتلى ‏اظهر ان بعض هؤلاء من «مجموعة الضنية». ومنهم من كان سجينا في روميه. وتم الافراج عنهم ‏بقانون العفو، وبطلب من نواب هذا الفريق.‏
الاحراج يكون عادة مدخلا للنقد الذاتي. يلي ذلك الاعتراف بالخطأ. لكن فريق 14 آذار لجأ الى ‏سياسة «داوني بالتي كانت هي الداء». و«الفاليوم» المعتاد هو توجيه الاتهام الى سوريا. ‏اما تطور الاحداث وترابطها، فكشف ان عصابة «فتح الاسلام» تتخطى الحدود السورية الى مناطق ‏ابعد، ودور اكبر، وربما تدار بواسطة الاقمار الصناعية.‏
الادارة الاميركية، مثل فريق 14 آذار، لا بد من ان تشعر بالاحراج ايضا. فهي منذ غزوة ‏افغانستان، وبعدها غزوة العراق، حددت الخطر والهدف بالارهاب «الاصولي» المتجسد بتنظيم ‏‏«القاعدة».‏
اما في لبنان فاختلف هدفها. اختارت عندنا سلاح المقاومة، رغم ان المسافة شاسعة بين ‏الاثنين. في ارض الجوار تنبع الاصولية من رحم سلفية سنية متطرفة. وعندنا حركة شعبية ‏شيعية هدفها تحرير ارضها من الاحتلال الاسرائيلي.‏
ومنذ خروج الجيش السوري من لبنان، ركّزت الادارة الاميركية انظارها على المقاومة وسلاحها. ‏جعلته هدفها الاول. لانه الخطر الفعلي على حدود اسرائيل. وطالبت الدولة بنزعه... وغضّت ‏الطرف وتجاهلت «المجموعات المتطرفة» التي كانت تنمو داخل المخيمات الفلسطينية. واكتشفنا ‏اليوم ان هذه «المجموعات» تكاد تحكم الطوق على العالم العربي كله.‏
غزة تسقط في ايادي الاسلاميين المتطرفين. مصر مهددة بالخطر نفسه. المملكة العربية السعودية ‏واجهت منذ اسابيع قليلة مجموعة مماثلة. تركيا تحاول ان تمنعهم من الوصول الى السلطة ‏وتتعرض لانفجاراتهم. العراق مسرحهم الدامي المفضل... وفي افغانستان يسددون ضرباتهم بقوة.‏
اذا كانت سوريا وراء كل هذا، فلا بد من ان تكون هي الدولة الاقوى في العالم!‏
الاحراج؟
قلت: طقّ شلش الحياء.‏
قالوا: لم يكن موجودا اصلاً!‏





Les chrétiens ont un rôle à jouer dans la neutralité du Liban ...??
==============================================================================

Depuis le retrait de l’armée syrienne, la question du rééquilibrage sur le plan de la participation chrétienne est au cœur du débat politique.


« Comment sortir de la marginalisation chrétienne actuelle ? » ; « Quelle participation pour les chrétiens et dans quel cadre ? » ; « Quel rôle pour les chrétiens à l’avenir dans la formule libanaise ? ».


Après le député Ghassan Tuéni, qui avait mis l’accent sur le fait que « nul ne peut marginaliser les chrétiens s’ils cessent de rechercher un rôle contre l’autre », c’est au tour du chef du Courant patriotique libre, le général Michel Aoun, de poursuivre le débat :

– Comment sortir de la marginalisation chrétienne actuelle ?

دور البطرك التاريخي


بقلم: زينا الخوري


قدر البطريرك نصرالله صفير ان يرأس الطائفة المارونية في حقبة مصيرية تتطلب الكثير من ‏الحكمة! ودوره اليوم اكثر صعوبة من دور البطريرك الياس الحويك في ولادة دولة لبنان ‏المستقل بعد سقوط الامبراطورية العثمانية.‏
يومها لجأ الحويك الى «الام الحنون» فرنسا لتحقيق هدفه. ومن الطبيعي ان يتطلع البطريرك ‏صفير اليوم، على طريقة سلفه الحويك، صوب الغرب حيث مرجعيته الدينية. ومن الطبيعي ان ‏تختلف النظرة الغربية عن المنظار الشرقي. واهمية «البطرك» التاريخي ان يعرف السبيل ‏الاسلم الى المراعي الخصبة...‏
في العشرينات من القرن الماضي، يوم كان العالم العربي يغرق في جهالة وينام في تصحر، كانت ‏طريق الغرب هي طريق المستقبل بلا منازع. اليوم كل شيء تبدل.‏
صحيح ان الولايات المتحدة هي القائد العالمي بامتياز. لكن الصحيح ايضاً ان السياسة ‏الاميركية مبنية على مبدأ القوة. وهي تواجه اخفاقات كبيرة وتتبدل باستمرار...والصحيح ‏ايضاً ان الموارنة مشرقيون. وكنيسة البطريركية المارونية هي انطاكيا.‏
القلق اليوم كبير. والاشهر التي تفصلنا عن ايلول قليلة. والصيف قصير. الكروم تنضج ‏باكراً. والفعلة قليلون. فعلى البطريرك التاريخي ان يؤدي دوراً تاريخياً يمنع «كرمه» من ‏اليباس.‏
نقطة الخلاف الجوهرية اليوم تتمحور حول انتخابات رئاسة الجمهورية. والسؤال الاساسي: ما ‏هو النصاب القانوني للانتخابات؟ هنا جوهر الازمة التي قد تقضي على الجمهورية. وهنا ‏الدور التاريخي لبكركي وواجبها اولاً الحفاظ على الجمهورية. كيف؟
‏- فليأمر غبطة البطريرك صفير بسحب موضوع النصاب من التداول في البازار السياسي... ‏نهائياً.‏
‏- ولتشكل بكركي لجنة قانونية من خيرة القضاة، وخبراء القانون الدستوري، تمنحها صلاحيات ‏تحديد دستورية آلية انتخاب رئيس الجمهورية. وليتقيّد الجميع بقرارها.‏
‏- وليقفلُ المنبر الاعلامي على درج بكركي مؤقتاً، لكي تتوقف المبارزة الاستفزازية بين ‏المرشحين.‏
‏- وليُحذف الكلام السياسي من بيانات الاساقفة الشهرية.‏
الحقبات التاريخية تحتاج الى افعال تاريخية لا الى اقوال عابرة.‏



« La fin de la marginalisation des chrétiens nécessite deux conditions : le respect de la Constitution, d’une part, et une volonté franche de coexistence, d’autre part.
En effet, l’idée même du Liban a été fondée sur les principes de la coexistence et du consensus.
Tout groupement confessionnel qui ne respecte ni ces principes ni les règles de partenariat qui en découlent, non seulement marginalise les chrétiens, mais met aussi en danger la pérennité de la formule libanaise actuelle.
Par ailleurs, la protection des Libanais, chrétiens ou musulmans, ne découle pas tant d’un système propre à chacun que du simple respect de la Constitution libanaise. Les chrétiens sont aujourd’hui marginalisés car la Constitution a été violée plus d’une fois. Elle l’a été dans le choix d’une loi électorale anticonstitutionnelle, dans la violation des articles de la Constitution relatifs à la présidence de la République, et plus généralement dans toute la pratique gouvernementale qui se fait aux dépens de leur représentativité et de leur droit à être partie prenante dans la décision nationale.
Le Liban ne retrouvera la stabilité qu’à travers un système politique juste et une vision nationale commune. Or, aucun système politique libanais ne peut être stable sans une représentativité équitable et un vrai partenariat entre les différents groupements religieux libanais. Toute tentative de marginalisation d’une composante de la société, à l’instar de celle qui a encore frappé les chrétiens aux dernières élections législatives, prolongera indéfiniment la lutte de pouvoir interne et se fera aux dépens de la stabilité du pays.
Les Libanais doivent arriver à la conviction que seule la règle du “ni vainqueur ni vaincu” est la bonne pour préserver leur coexistence. Une conjoncture favorable à une partie ou à une autre restera circonstancielle et passagère, et ne peut être que génératrice de troubles et de tiraillements. Aucune partie libanaise ne doit adopter une stratégie hégémonique, quelles que soient les circonstances internes et externes en sa faveur ; c’est une stratégie inévitablement perdante au bout du chemin. »


– Quelle participation pour les chrétiens et dans quel cadre ?

– « Aujourd’hui, à l’heure où une nouvelle “guerre froide” à caractère confessionnel se dessine dans la région, les chrétiens sont plus que jamais appelés à jouer un rôle de rassembleur et d’amortisseur au sein de la formule libanaise. C’est grâce à eux que les dissensions, voire les dissonances régionales, peuvent être atténuées au Liban et que tout différend politique interne ne deviendra pas systématiquement un élément de conflit dans la région; c’est grâce à eux que la raison d’être d’un Liban pluriel et pluraliste restera d’actualité et que cette expérience multiculturelle perdurera.
Le Liban trouve sa force mais aussi sa faiblesse dans sa diversité. Cette pluralité est à la fois source de richesse et de prospérité, mais aussi source de vulnérabilité et de dangers, surtout quand elle est victime de manipulation par l’étranger.
Les chrétiens profondément et intrinsèquement attachés à l’entité libanaise ont un rôle majeur à jouer dans la neutralité du Liban par rapport aux démarcations régionales et dans la refondation d’un projet libanais dans lequel toutes les factions libanaises trouveraient leur intérêt et leurs aspirations au-delà de toute tentation régionale. »


– Quel rôle pour les chrétiens à l’avenir dans la formule libanaise ?


دور البطرك التاريخي


بقلم: زينا الخوري


قدر البطريرك نصرالله صفير ان يرأس الطائفة المارونية في حقبة مصيرية تتطلب الكثير من ‏الحكمة! ودوره اليوم اكثر صعوبة من دور البطريرك الياس الحويك في ولادة دولة لبنان ‏المستقل بعد سقوط الامبراطورية العثمانية.‏
يومها لجأ الحويك الى «الام الحنون» فرنسا لتحقيق هدفه. ومن الطبيعي ان يتطلع البطريرك ‏صفير اليوم، على طريقة سلفه الحويك، صوب الغرب حيث مرجعيته الدينية. ومن الطبيعي ان ‏تختلف النظرة الغربية عن المنظار الشرقي. واهمية «البطرك» التاريخي ان يعرف السبيل ‏الاسلم الى المراعي الخصبة...‏
في العشرينات من القرن الماضي، يوم كان العالم العربي يغرق في جهالة وينام في تصحر، كانت ‏طريق الغرب هي طريق المستقبل بلا منازع. اليوم كل شيء تبدل.‏
صحيح ان الولايات المتحدة هي القائد العالمي بامتياز. لكن الصحيح ايضاً ان السياسة ‏الاميركية مبنية على مبدأ القوة. وهي تواجه اخفاقات كبيرة وتتبدل باستمرار...والصحيح ‏ايضاً ان الموارنة مشرقيون. وكنيسة البطريركية المارونية هي انطاكيا.‏
القلق اليوم كبير. والاشهر التي تفصلنا عن ايلول قليلة. والصيف قصير. الكروم تنضج ‏باكراً. والفعلة قليلون. فعلى البطريرك التاريخي ان يؤدي دوراً تاريخياً يمنع «كرمه» من ‏اليباس.‏
نقطة الخلاف الجوهرية اليوم تتمحور حول انتخابات رئاسة الجمهورية. والسؤال الاساسي: ما ‏هو النصاب القانوني للانتخابات؟ هنا جوهر الازمة التي قد تقضي على الجمهورية. وهنا ‏الدور التاريخي لبكركي وواجبها اولاً الحفاظ على الجمهورية. كيف؟
‏- فليأمر غبطة البطريرك صفير بسحب موضوع النصاب من التداول في البازار السياسي... ‏نهائياً.‏
‏- ولتشكل بكركي لجنة قانونية من خيرة القضاة، وخبراء القانون الدستوري، تمنحها صلاحيات ‏تحديد دستورية آلية انتخاب رئيس الجمهورية. وليتقيّد الجميع بقرارها.‏
‏- وليقفلُ المنبر الاعلامي على درج بكركي مؤقتاً، لكي تتوقف المبارزة الاستفزازية بين ‏المرشحين.‏
‏- وليُحذف الكلام السياسي من بيانات الاساقفة الشهرية.‏
الحقبات التاريخية تحتاج الى افعال تاريخية لا الى اقوال عابرة.‏



Maronite Patriarch Elias Hoyek, a man of Honor, Integrity, dedication and courage.





False Flag Operations, and Assassinations EXPERT.



DIVERSION TACTICS





KILLERS, MURDERERS, ASSASSINS, LIARS.








– « Nul ne peut imaginer un Liban sans sa composante chrétienne originelle. Il ne serait alors qu’un clone de certains pays de la région dans leur quête d’identité et à l’avenir incertain, tel l’Irak, pris dans un tourbillon de violence et d’instabilité. Le Liban que nous connaissons ne pourrait jamais survivre à la disparition de l’un de ses piliers fondateurs.
Les chrétiens continueront de jouer leur rôle pilote dans la nation libanaise sur tous les plans : culturel, économique, social et politique. Si le Liban est resté un pays unique et admirable malgré tous les drames qui l’ont frappé au fil des dernières décennies, c’est grâce à sa diversité culturelle et religieuse dont la dimension chrétienne est une condition sine qua non. »
*********************************************************************************
Lessons from Israel's Lebanon war resonate globally...


A new report provides a window into an increasingly insurmountable task facing democracies: winning war, regardless of military superiority.

By Ilene R. Prusher | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor



As Israelis continue to absorb the impact of a stinging report indicating that the country's leaders "severely failed" when leading the country in a war against Hizbullah last July, it became increasingly clear that the conflict will be absorbed in the public mind as an almost complete fiasco.

This despite – from a strictly military point of view – the devastating losses imposed on Lebanon. Israeli military experts also say that several key goals – "degrading" the military capabilities of the Iranian-backed Hizbullah and getting the international community to keep a closer eye on Lebanon – were unrealized.

But last week's Winograd Commission report on the war provides a window into what may be an increasingly insurmountable task facing modern democracies: winning war, regardless of military superiority.

Both Israel and the United States are face to face with religious militants and insurgency groups – organizations that are committed to an idea but not necessarily a country or its leadership. From Hizbullah in Lebanon to Al Qaeda in Iraq and around the world, victory is in the eyes of the beholder.

Each group has the Internet at its fingertips and an increasingly sophisticated public-relations machine to strike at the home front, from Hizbullah's slick marketing proclaiming "Divine Victory" after the Lebanon war to Al Qaeda's professional video-distribution network.

The traditional scorecards used to tally winners and losers, experts say, were designed for a battlefield that is fading into obsolescence.

"None of our paradigms apply today. All of our models are becoming irrelevant," says Michael Oren, a senior fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and the author of several books on the Middle East.

One of the key changes emerges from the reality of facing off against nontraditional combatants. Those opponents find it easier to hide amid civilians and engender the loss of innocent life. "If you're compelled to fight an un-uniformed enemy, he's also forcing you to inflict civilian casualties. The irregulars know this, and that it will find its way onto TV sets, and it will affect your ability to fight them any further," Mr. Oren says.

The media's role

Although newsreels once drove home some of the horrors of World War II and viewers saw disturbing images of the war in Vietnam through network television footage, the media today can bring tragic scenes to the public eye in minutes, swaying opinion with the alacrity of an e-mail.

"The media isn't only more intense; it's more instantaneous, and everyone with a cellphone with a camera on it is a virtual reporter," Oren adds. "War is fought in real time now, and that greatly limits your latitude if you're fighting someone like Hizbullah."

After five weeks of war, Hizbullah's top leadership survived, claiming victory.

Hizbullah was able to herald Israel's retreat – following its reoccupation of positions in south Lebanon – as capitulation. Meanwhile, many in Israel decried the wanton loss of both Lebanese and Israeli life, as others argued that their leaders sent in reservist soldiers unprepared for battle, making the war particularly ill fought.

"There's no question that whether it's the insurgency or Hizbullah, the victories are Pyrrhic," says Oren. "The impression is created that they have won, and this is rife with implications."

US-Israeli parallels

The Israeli decision to go to war against Hizbullah in Lebanon – a decision which, the commission charged, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made hastily – bears remarkable correlations to President Bush's Iraqi venture.

Each leader was relatively quick to take his country into a war for reasons that looked convincing enough at the time, and which, when first launched, prompted mostly tepid reservations. Each leader stands faulted for not having been more adept at planning, for not having anticipated what would go wrong, and for either under-utilizing or disregarding entirely the advice of some of their own best experts.

Each also faces quickly dwindling public support and mounting pressure from lawmakers and rivals. In the US, this has crescendoed in the congressional challenge to Mr. Bush in demanding a timetable for drawing down troops in Iraq, tied to a spending bill. And in Israel, this has Mr. Olmert's political peers abuzz, waiting for an appropriate moment to unseat him without having to endanger their own positions in government.

"The heart of the failure is this kind of intellectual laziness," says Ari Shavit, an influential columnist for Haaretz newspaper. "It's like, 'Oh, let's have it easy,' " he says with a dismissive air. " 'Let's just send the planes and let them solve the problem.'"

His reference is to the approach Israel took at the start of the war, which has primarily been blamed on Israeli army Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, who has since resigned. Israelis blame Mr. Halutz, an airman, for relying too heavily on air superiority and not sending in ground troops until very late in the war.

A commander sending his soldiers to do house-to-house operations knows he's sending them on a perilous mission. But fighting from the air often causes a great deal of "collateral damage" and doesn't necessarily put any of the goals within reach.

By comparison, the US faced a similar dilemma in the Iraq war, which got the post-Hussein period off to a disastrous start. Amid disagreements among top Army brass over whether there were going to be enough "boots on the ground," then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld argued for the most conservative – and least expensive – estimates.

Today, few would argue against the understanding that there were not enough troops to secure Iraq from the start, which quickly unleashed unrest.

To be sure, the differences are almost as remarkable as the parallels. Washington's goals in Iraq were largely based on the regime's supposed weapons of mass destruction and Mr. Hussein's oppressive rule, while Israel said it was focused on getting its soldiers back that had been captured by Hizbullah, and, at the same time, inflicting heavy damage on Hizbullah's increased military capacity.

Robert Blecher, a fellow at the Center for Human Rights at the University of Iowa and an editor of Middle East Report, says that ideally, the Winograd Report should provide a chance for reassessing whether diplomacy could have played a more prominent role last summer. The report faults the prime minister for not involving his own foreign ministry in the decision making process.

"The Winograd Report [is] as a potentially watershed moment in how national decision making is done," says Mr. Blecher, an expert on Israeli and Palestinian affairs. "There needs to be a better calibrated mix of military and diplomatic means to achieve the goals."


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Harvard's Twisted Report on Israel's Invasion of Lebanon
May 11, 2007
FRANKLIN LAMB - First it was (and is) that would be tenure-denying, torture-justifying, Israeli occupation apologist, opponent smearing, Alan Dershowitz. I could deal with Alan.

But now it's Marvin Kalb! A boyhood hero of mine!
When I spent a year at Harvard Law School, studying the Chinese Legal System a while back, Dershowitz did not appear particularly out of control.

Neither did Marvin Kalb when we chatted at a Washington NBC function and who seemed reasonable enough as moderator of Meet the Press. So the problem for sure has got to be Harvard! Or maybe it's just me!

Currently a Senior Fellow at Harvard's, Joan Shorenstein Center, (no hard feelings that it's paid for by Walter Shorestein-AIPAC's favorite member and Californian fundraiser or that its DC office is very cozy with the nearby AIPAC office), Kalb recently published a 'study': The Israeli-Hezbollah War of 2006: The Media as a Weapon in Asymmetrical Conflict. He was joined by Carol Saivetz. So far so good. I'm all for 'academic studies.

The JTA news desk featured Kalb's work on May 3, 2007 and AIPAC is now busy flooding Congress with this "academic study" as they attempt to intimidate the fourth estate with shrieks of "See we told you so! You guys are anti-Israel and maybe closet anti-Semites! We have Harvard scholarship to back it up!"
Some Harvard scholarship!

I won't nit pick Kalb's heavy duty sources for his tome: Fox News, Bill Kristol's, Weekly Standard, Anderson Cooper's " Hezbollah is still a Secretive Organization"( I hope they are or I'm in trouble!) The Jewish Press's Media Monitor, and as Kalb assures us "interviews with many Diplomats", none of whom he names. Forget about the DC Madams phone records, I am more curious about Kalb's secret 'Diplomats" and my concern is about what Harvard publishes as 'scholarship' these days....

Kalb doesn't tell us how much time he or his sources actually spent in Lebanon doing research during or since the July war, but there were many solid journalists there, and while they don't need me to defend their work, I would offer Marvin a couple of fact-checks and an observation or two.

Kalb's Abstract of his 'research paper' succinctly presents his thesis: During the Hezbollah-Israel "summertime war" (as in picnic, I guess) "the media moved from being objective to becoming "fiery advocates (of Hezbollah) and thus "a weapon of modern warfare".

Kalb claims the media gave Hezbollah, which he calls "a closed sect" (that doesn't sound too good) "total control of the daily message of journalism and propaganda" and this fact "victimized Israel" because the latter is 'an open society" whereas Hezbollah is " a closed society, that engages in " undemocratic control of the media", is militant, secretive, a religiously fundamentalist sect, a state within a state, sub-national (not good)'Party of God", , resisting 'the infidel' and seeking 'divine victory' and supported by Iran and Syria (!) )and, if that is not enough, is similar to the Mahdi army. Kalb never mentions that Israel is supported by the US to the tune of 15.1 million dollars a day or 300 times more than the CIA claims Hezbollah gets in foreign aid each year and receives 83% of its weapons from the US, to the tune of tens of Billions of USD, for decades.

Kalb's first problem with the media focuses on the UN media website. His research reveals that the much maligned UNIFIL observers, who Israel have bombed and shelled 15 times in the past quarter century, posted on its media web site Israeli cross border incursions that took place each preceding day. The same job the UN has been tasked with doing since 1978, as it has documented more than 18,000 Israeli violations of Lebanese territory including its air and sea space. Remarkably Kalb's 'research' in this respect is identical to that of AIPAC's Lori Lowenthal Marcus,

"What Did You Do during the War, UNIFIL?" in The Weekly Standard of mid-august. Kalb and Marcus claim that Hezbollah fighters, if they had laptops with internet connections (there was no electricity in the south after the first few hours of Israel's bombing) Hezbollah fighters learned something about where the Israelis were and hence got "a gift" from the UN which became an extremely valuable intelligence asset for Hezbollah, and Hezbollah exploited it."

Fact check : Kalb and Harvard's Shorenstein Center may want to know that Hezbollah fighters, organized in groups of two or three (sometimes five depending on the weapons used) know every inch of their assigned areas in South Lebanon, in fact, much better than the UN does. They were born in these villages, have fought the Israelis in this hilly terrain since the 1970's and on July 12th knew exactly which 3 entry points (out of a possible 24) the IDF was going to use to invade Lebanon and they were waiting for them. Hezbollah also had a fairly good idea where every Israeli was at any given time during the conflict. Israel's problem was that they could not find Hezbollah until they wanted to be found whether it was at Maroun al Ras, Eita Al-Chaab, Bint Jbeil, Yarun, Khiam or anywhere along the 'blue line'.

The Harvard study complains that the UN did not report on Hezbollah movements, thereby exhibiting anti-Israel bias.

Fact check : Excuse me Marvin but if the IDF with the latest US technology and night vision equipment, scores of cameras mounted on Israeli Heron, Searcher Mk II, or Hermes 450 drones, and close up satellite imaging could not find Hezbollah fighters, the UN observers along the blue line dodging Israeli shells were unlikely to. (On July 26 Israel did bomb the UN post near Khiam killing four UN observers-Canadian, Chinese, and Finnish) Moreover, the UN mission is to report crossings of the 'blue line' (only Israel was doing that), not to survey what is going on inside Lebanon.

Moreover, blaming the UN for doing its job, which Israel has done for 25 years, and claiming Hezbollah fighters, under a blitz in a free fire zone, including an estimated 4.8 million cluster bombs, were running around with laptops and relied on the UN website for Israeli movements is patent nonsense. His conclusion that "the UN media gave Hezbollah an extremely valuable intelligence asset which they exploited" is fantasy. "Tink tank" 'researchers' really should get out to the field more often and learn the lay of the land, so to speak.

Kalb is troubled by what his research revealed:

"They (the Israelis) couldn't keep a secret. Hezbollah, on the other hand, controlled its message with an iron grip. It had one spokesman and no leaks. Hezbollah did not have to respond to criticism from bogglers, and it could always count on unashamedly sympathetic Arab reporters to blast Israel for its "disproportionate" military attack against Lebanon during the 2006 summertime war in the Middle East, it was Israel versus Hezbollah, led by the charismatic Hassan Nasrallah, and because Israel did not win the war, it is judged to have lost."

Fact check : Hezbollah operated an efficient press information office with several spokesmen and plenty of backgrounders and volunteer staff who answered every question they could and who did help the media. Nasrallah gave no interviews during the 33 day conflict but did issue statements. With virtually the whole Israeli military after him,pounding a block of flats with 23 Tons of high explosives in 2 minutes, whenever they thought Nasrallah was there, he was lying low....

Kalb's research found that "the media showed too much destruction of Lebanon and in its reporting did not credit Israel's argument that international law allowed Israel to bomb civilian areas if soldiers were hiding within these homes." Israel used this same argument during its 1978, 1982, 1993, 1996, invasions, as it does in Palestine today. In the summer of 2006 it was very easy for the media to find evidence in Lebanon. 950,000 civilians were bombed out of their villages and the 132,000 homes destroyed or partially damaged ,and were crowded into public parks in Beirut and schools or received in private homes all over Lebanon and Syria. The media had lots of eye witness sources regarding the destruction of Lebanon and they properly reported what they learned.

Kalb cites Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni's statement to the New York Times, following the slaughter at Qana, "When you go to sleep with a missile, you might find yourself waking up to another kind of missile" as authority. Israel later admitted there were no missiles fired from Qana, and no Hezbollah in the area, but that it had made a deliberate mistake in killing those 38 civilians hiding in the shelter. Kalb might want to inform diplomat Livni that none of the 10 adults or 28 children had gone to sleep with a missile at Qana, and the same thing happened in the first Qana massacre of 1996, when IDF massacred 95 civilians near a UN post in QANA.

Fact check : Again, researcher Kalb seems not to understand how the war was being fought on the ground here in South Lebanon. Hezbollah was not hiding from Israeli forces among the civilians. Contrariwise, they were eager to engage Israel every chance they got. Typically Hezbollah fired their missiles from camouflaged areas such as banana groves, orchards, dense foliage, bunkers, holes in the ground, sides of rocky hills and valleys not from houses or towns. They knew very well that Israel would not hesitate to bomb civilian houses which they have been doing since the late 1960's. After a particular mission, Hezbollah fighters would ditch their weapons and try to sleep. Only rarely making their way back to their villages to check on their families or property.

With respect to Israel's admitted "mistake" of bombing the Qana shelter, according to NGO-Lebanon, Israel made 6,979 'mistakes' in bombing during the 33 day July War. Maybe Kalb finds that statistic acceptable given that Israel launched more that 17,000 attacks at more than 8,000 targets, including 300,000 artillery shells and approximately 4.8 million cluster bombs. The juggernaut international Israeli press operation did. Most of the media did not.

Kalb's research also finds it problematical that "not only diplomats but the media forgot about who started the war and focused on Israel's "disproportionate response." (Kalb's quotation marks imply that his research found no disproportionate response which puts him at odds with virtually all the world's media including Israel's)). So they did and should have. The applicable principle of international law is simple enough. When one side trespasses, captures soldiers or commits a hostile act that does not allow the other side, in retaliation, to slaughter hundreds of civilians and destroy much of the country. The related principle of international law is the obligation to discriminate between civilian and military targets. Israel's responsive killing of more than 1,450 civilians, nearly 1/3 of them children, many fleeing in convoys waving white flags, or following Israeli orders to flee, or hiding in cellars with no fighters in the area, was indeed disproportionate to the capturing of the two soldiers. The international media properly reported these war crimes.

Kalb's research revealed that "Supporters of Israel's position, (including scholars) tend to dismiss the proportionality/disproportional debate as misleading and foolish". He may be right regarding the first group but he's dead wrong regarding the second.

Kalb fails to mention the reams of available material on the subject of Israel's illegal "disproportionate" bombing, which he denies occurred, including many testimonies from the Israeli military to the effect that Israel "lost it" early in the conflict, after being repeatedly ambushed and not being able to locate Hezbollah fighters and in a vengeful frenzy carpet bombed much of south Lebanon, and many other parts of Lebanon, especially south Beirut and Baalbek, creating a free fire killing zone.

"What we did was insane and monstrous, we covered entire towns in cluster bombs, we fired 2,800 cluster bombs, containing over 1.2 million cluster bomblets" (IDF head of just one rocket unit quoted in Ha'aretz on 9/12/06)

"In the last 72 hours we fired all the munitions we had, all at the same spot, we didn't even alter the directions of the gun. Friends of mine in the battalion told me they also fired everything in the last three days-ordinary shells, clusters, whatever they had." (Israeli reservist in an artillery battalion, quoted in Ha'aretz on 9/8/06)

Kalb, admits that Israel has tough military censorship laws, which did not allow reporting, for example, of the weapons stores and bases in northern Israel that many of Hezbollah's missiles were aiming at, rather than targeting civilians, but his media research criticized Hezbollah for restricting movement during Israel's bombing in Lebanon. Hezbollah press aids did sometimes suggest, during intensive bombing that for safety reasons, reporters might want to watch the action on Al Manar TV. The reason is that Hezbollah films most of its battles live, because over the years Israel undercounts its causalities and over counts Hezbollah's (Kalb uses Israel's claim of 600 Hezbollah killed in the July war when the actual figure is 264).

Fact check : Al Manar viewership is often higher in Israel during conflicts than Israeli stations because Israelis have greater confidence in Al Manar for truthful reporting than their own government fed stations. Despite this well known fact, scholar Kalb, perhaps recalling his days as a reporter in the USSR, smears Al-Manar: "for reports and information about the war, Al-Manar was to Hezbollah what Pravda was to the Soviet Union." Israeli TV viewers don't agree....

Kalb finds a media 'clash of civilizations' problem when Newsweek did not run a gruesome photo and Arab media did. His research concludes: "Two value systems were clearly in collision: one didn't go with the gruesome photo, one did go with it, in fact deliberately spread it far and wide, wanting nothing more than to use any and every weapon of "information" to defeat Israel", while Israel and the DOD
in the US, " Pentagon" spend hundreds of millions of USD on FDDC, to spread lies and dis-information worldwide, to cover their horrendous murders in Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere, and cover the fact that the war on Lebanon in 2006, was a joint US/Israeli operation wall to wall, made in the "culture of Violence" of DOD and Tal-Aviv.

Interestingly Kalb's conclusion is nearly word for word, the one that appeared on AIPAC's website, before Kalb completed his own 'study'.

To paraphrase Alan Dershowitz's statement on his website ("I like Carter") re President Carter, just before he trashed him, I want to say: "I like Marvin Kalb". And I won't trash him. But if he'll come to Lebanon I'll show him around and help him with additional sources for the next printing of his 'study'....

Franklin Lamb's just released book, The Price We Pay: A Quarter Century of Israel's Use of American Weapons in Lebanon is available at Amazon.com.uk. His volume, Hezbollah: a Brief Guide for Beginners is due out in early summer, 2007. He can be reached at fplamb@gmail.com
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قبل أن يصبح المسيحيون وراء المحيطات !
17 نيسان 2007
ريما فرح - أميركا «صديقة» للبنان، وكذلك فرنسا، فشكرا لهما على «صداقتهما». ولا يسعنا نحن اللبنانيين المسيحيين تحديدا الذين نشأنا على «رعشات» قبلة أنظار اسلافنا التي هي الغرب، ونمونا بفضل «الرضاعة الطبيعية» من ثدي أمنا الحنون فرنسا، واستمرينا في الرضاعة حتى بعد ان تخطينا عمر الفطام، من وقفة تقييم لهذه «الصداقة»، ولمفعول هذه «الرضاعة»، وما هو مردودهما على المسيحيين في لبنان، لنتبيّن، ولنبيّن للآخرين ونضع اصبعنا في عيون كل من يواجه بعضنا بالتعييب، ربطه لمصيرنا بالمشروع الأميركي وحليفه الفرنسي الشيراكي في المنطقة.
فماذا يعني ربط المسيحيين في لبنان بالمشروع الأميركي في المنطقة؟

الاستنتاج يتوضح في هذا المسار:

في العام 1975 اندلعت الحرب في لبنان، في الوقت الذي بدأت فيه الولايات المتحدة عبر وزير خارجيتها آنذاك هنري كسينجر سياسة السلام المنفرد بين اسرائيل والدولة العربية المحيطة بها، بدلا من سياسة الحل الشامل، وتزامنت مع توقيع اتفاق سيناء الثاني بين مصر واسرائيل الذي مهد لاتفاق كامب ديفيد. ويستشم من هذه السياسة، لا بل يتخطى الأمر حاسة الشم ليتأكد بالفم الملآن، والعين المجرّدة، والعقل المتزن، وأصبع توما، ان مشروع توطين الفلسطينيين اللاجئين الى لبنان هو جزء بارز وعامل أساسي في خطط هذه السياسة... فكانت الحرب ضد التوطين وشكل رأس حربتها المسيحيون...

تطورت الحرب واستفحلت، وكان وقعها على المسيحيين قاسيا. هجرة الى الخارج وتهجيرا من الداخل الى الداخل، وتورطا بعلاقات عسكرية «انقاذية للوجود» مع اسرائيل، والأم الحنون فرنسا مكتفية بدور المتفرّج، الى آن جاء ترياق النصيحة للحل من الصديقة اميركا عبر دين براون (سفير سابق للولايات المتحدة في الأردن) الذي استعان به كيسنجر ليبلغ القادة المسيحيين (سليمان فرنجية وكميل شمعون وبيار الجميل) انه لا يمكنهم توقع الانقاذ على يد البحارة والجنود الأميركيين كما في العام ,1958 وليقنعهم انه ليس أمام المسيحيين سوى الهجرة والرحيل، وان البواخر الأميركية مستعدة لنقلهم الى كاليفورنيا ومنحهم تأشيرات دخول واقامة كيان لهم.
وتوالت رعاية اميركا لاتفاقية وادي عربة بين اسرائيل والأردن، ثم جاء اتفاق اوسلو، وموضوع حق عودة الفلسطينيين الى بلادهم يبتعد أميالا، وتوطينهم في دول الشتات وفي المقدمة لبنان، يقترب بسرعة الضوء.

في العام 1983 وغداة انسحاب الجيش الاسرائيلي من الجبل، أي بعد عام على الاجتياح الإسرائيلي الصديق لأميركا، للبنان، اندلعت حرب ضارية بين الدروز والمسيحيين هناك، فكانت النتيجة تهجيرا كبيرا للمسيحيين من هناك وضحايا كثيرين وتدميرا شبه شامل، ونيوجرسي (البارجة الأميركية العملاقة) تنظر عن قريب من مياه لبنان الاقليمية، ومعها كل المارينز.. وكرت هذه السبحة في درب جلجلة المسيحيين، لتشمل الشحار الغربي واقليم الخروب وشرق صيدا وساحل جزين في العامين 1984 و1985 في أحداث مماثلة.

«ضبضب» الأميركيون وجودهم وحوائجهم، وغادروا تاركين المسيحيين لمصيرهم المحتوم بعدما توصلت «والية» العالم اليوم، الى تفاهم ما، مع السوريين والإسرائيليين، كان سبقه ما عرف ضمنا باتفاقية الخطوط الحمر...

في العامين 1989 و1990 اندلعت حربا التحرير والإلغاء، فدمرت مناطق المسيحيين عن بكرة أبيها، بعدما انحشروا جراء التهجير برعاية الأميركيين والإسرائيليين وسواهم وتحت انظارهم، بين كفرشيما والمدفون، كما دمر اقتصادهم ومعه آلتهم العسكرية، بعدما كان الأميركيون أنفسهم وحلفاؤهم الإسرائيليون، بما لهم من «مونة»، قد اسقطوا الاتفاق الثلاثي في العام .1985 الى ان جاء الطائف المرعى غربيا وعربيا، ولزم الملف اللبناني تباعا للسوريين، فكان ما كان من احباط عند المسيحيين، واستأثر بالسلطة من استأثر من الطوائف التي ما زالت تستأثر اليوم في زمن التحرير والسيادة!، كما في زمن الوصاية!، حتى ان أولئك، وباستقواء الوصاية مارسوا كل ما يكمن على قادة مسيحيي تلك المرحلة لمنعهم من قيام مرجعية مسيحية فاعلة...

واليوم، نرى البعض من المسيحيين يهلل للمشروع الأميركي الجديد القديم، والذي أولى ركائزه ما عبّر عنه جون بولتن قبل عام من انهم ينظرون الى الشرق ومنه لبنان، على انه مكوّن من عنصرين سني وشيعي، والمسيحيون فيه حالة ثقافية، وهذا يعني ان المسيحيين ليسوا في معادلة هذا الشرق، ولن يكونوا فيه شركاء او اصحاب قرار. ثم واولى نتائجه هجرة 800 الف مسيحي من العراق والحبل ع الجرّار. وإذا ما قدر للمشروع الأميركي النجاح في سوريا كما هو مرسوم، والذي عليه يُعوّل المتهورون، فإن مصير مسيحيي سوريا سيكون مطابقا لمشهد مسيحيي العراق، من دون ان ننسى مسيحيي فلسطين الذين لم يبق منهم في أرضهم سوى 2٪.

أما مسيحيو لبنان اصحاب «الدور الرائد» في الكيان وفي بناء حضارة الشرق، فماذا ينتظرهم؟.. في حال نجح المشروع الذي يراهن عليه البعض، رجاء اتبعوا السيناريو التالي: توطين للفلسطينيين في لبنان، هي نفسها القضية التي قاتل لمنعها المسيحيون منذ العام 1975 وسقط لهم بسببها وما تلاها اكثر من مئة الف قتيل، وهُجر حوالى 300 الف، وهاجر الى الخارج عدد مماثل، ودمرت معظم بلداتهم وخارج كانتونهم الذين حشروا فيه بعد العام ,1985 وقُضي على معظم مواردهم واقتصادهم هناك... ثم في أسوأ الأحوال دويلة وفق نظام فدرالي، او دويلة بعد التقسيم، وكلاهما لا مقومات لدولة فيهما ومن خلالهما... لكن فيها بالتأكيد، خسارة المسيحيين لأهم مواردهم الاقتصادية والانتاجية، تهجير جديد، وهجرة متزايدة الى الخارج، هذا إذا استبعدنا احتمال الوقوع في التجربة ثانية او ثالثة او رابعة.. وعاد بنا الحنين الى الصراعات الداخلية بين الأخوة والرفاق وابناء «الصف والخط والقضية» على «قيادة المجتمع»!.

وهذا يكفي، ومن المستحسن وقف سياق السرد عند هذه الحدود، كي لا نفجع المؤمنين بالنتيجة: «سلام على الدور الرائد والفاعل، وعلى كرسي انطاكية وسائر المشرق»، والى اللقاء وراء المحيطات...، لكننا سنتواصل عبر الانترنت...

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لقد تحالف التيار مع حزب الله انطلاقاً من ورقة تفاهم شاملة اعتبرها المدخل الصحيح لمعالجة ‏الازمة اللبنانية من جذورها. بينما تتهم القوات اللبنانية حزب الله «باقامة دولة داخل ‏الدولة» والتسبب بحرب تموز.‏
في الواقع السياسي الفعلي: القوات اللبنانية، المتحالفة مع تيار المستقبل ووليد جنبلاط، ‏تسير في خط السياسة الاميركية حتّى... «العضم». وهي تؤمن ان القوة الاميركية سوف تنتصر. ‏ومن مصلحة المسيحيين ان يسيروا في ركابها.‏
ولم يقطع الجنرال شعرة معاوية مع الاميركان، لكنه يؤمن ان السلم الداخلي الناتج عن ‏التحالف مع حزب الله، هو الضمانة الفعلية، والحقيقية، للحفاظ على وحدة البلاد. ولولا هذا ‏التحالف لما مرّت حرب تموز من دون انعكاسات داخلية خطيرة جدا...ولكانت نتائج الصراع ‏الداخلي اكبر ضررا على لبنان من العدوان نفسه.‏
والخلافات الشعبية مع النازحين كانت احدى الاوراق التي راهنت عليها اسرائيل. وقد اسقطها ‏تحالف التيار مع حزب الله. والحزب يحفظ للتيار هذا الموقف.‏
في بكركي قال الدكتور جعجع انه يقف على طرف نقيض مع الجنرال عون... فالى اين يتجه ‏المسيحيون في الاشهر المقبلة؟ واي دور تلعبه بكركي؟

ميليشيات جعجع وجنبلاط تتلقى تتدريبها في إسرائيل

قالت صحيفة «الوحدة» الاردنية: إن مجموعة مكونة من 42 من عناصر ميليشيا سمير جعجع ووليد جنبلاط تتلقى تدريبات عسكرية في معسكرات خاصة داخل اسرائيل تستمر ثلاثة أسابيع .

ونقلت الصحيفة عن مصادر مطلعة قولها: إن هذه هي الدفعة الثالثة التي وصلت الى اسرائيل جوا للتدريب العسكري عن طريق عواصم أوروبية بجوازات سفر من دون تأشيرات دخول حتى لا يتم كشفها. ‏

وقد وصل مع هذه المجموعات أربعة من مسؤولي ميليشيات جعجع وجنبلاط وعادوا الى بيروت عن طريق باريس بعلم السلطات الفرنسية. ‏


الثلاثاء‏، 10‏ نيسان
2007‏،

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فأس الغضب
بقلم: زينا الخوري
على طريقة الاستشهاديين صوّر الطالب الكوري الجنوبي ‏Cho Scung Hui‏ (تلفظ حسب الواشنطن ‏بوست: جوه سونغ - وي) نفسه، ثم مضى في مهمته الانتحارية. قتل 32 طالباً في جامعة فرجينيا ‏من بينهم لبنانيون في عمر الورود.‏
ارتدى قبعة بايسبول سوداء، ادار وجهها الى الوراء، فبدت كالرباط الذي يلفه ‏‏«الجهاديون» على جباههم قبل العمليات، وحمّل اميركا مسؤولية الحادثة فقال:‏
‏«ايها الفاسدون... المتعجرفون... الاغنياء! كان امامكم مئة مليار فرصة لتفادي هذا ‏اليوم. لكنكم قررتم اراقة دمي، حشرتموني في زاوية وتركتم لي خياراً واحداً فقط. كان ‏القرار اصلاً قراركم انتم. اليوم اياديكم ملطخة بالدماء. لن تُغسل الى الابد...!»‏
غاضب. مضطرب. محبط، قليل الكلام. هكذا وصفه رفاقه، لكن طالب الادب الانكليزي، الذي يكتب ‏اشعاراً مليئة بالموت، ابن المهاجر الكوري الجنوبي صاحب المصبغة، كان قنبلة بشرية غاضبة ‏على المجتمع الاميركي، والطريقة الاميركية، والحلم الاميركي...‏
ارتكب مجزرة. لكن نظراته بقيت هادئة، بلا اضطراب. وفي عينيه لمعة حزن اكثر من شراسة ‏جنون.‏
اما عبارة «‏Ismael AX‏»، «فأس اسماعيل» التي وشمها على ذراعها، ووجدتها الشرطة على ‏اوراقه الخاصة، فتدعو الى الحيرة، وتوجب التساؤل العميق عن السبب الحقيقي للجريمة. خاصة ‏ان الشريط الانتحاري تضمن عبارة نافرة موجهة الى يسوع: «يسوع يُحب ان يصلبني، كان يعشق ‏ان يزرع السرطان في رأسي، ويرعب قلبي، ويمزق روحي...»‏
لن يعرف احد ماذا كان يدور في رأس «سونغ» لحظة نفّذ جريمته المرعبة. لكن لا بد ان يتوقف ‏عندها الاميركيون طويلاً ومعهم العالم. ربما يفهمون ان صور الانتحاريين في الشرق تنتقل الى ‏الرؤوس في الغرب. و«الارهاب» الذي جاؤوا ليحاربوه شرقاً، تحمله الرياح في كل اتجاه.‏
غاضب واحد قتل 32 بريئاً في اميركا عندما طفح كيله. فماذا يفعل مليون غاضب في بلد صغير ‏مثل لبنان؟
همس الى الاباء الاجلاء: أكسروا فأس الغضب!‏



#######################################################################

This is MADE in "GeaGea and Jumblatt's land" since 1983 until present and counting.....Their AIM IS FOR THE LAST CHRISTIAN TO LEAVE Lebanon FOR GOOD...
**************************************************************************************************

WALEED IN DESPERATE NEED OF HIS DOSE...



++++++++++++++++

Ce qu’on peut apprécier de la part du criminel Joumblatt, c’est sa facilité à rappeler le passé des autres sans jamais se souvenir du sien, ainsi que des rôles de ses alliés terroristes durant ce même passé.

Je ne peux oublier dans le passé récent, cette accaparation d’une révolution populaire, celle du 14 mars 2005 en parti politique. C’était le peuple et non des politiciens qui appellent ensuite au retour aux maisons pour continuer la ratatouille politicienne habituelle.

“rentrez chez vous maintenant, on s’occupe de tout”, avait à l’époque déclaré le sieur de Moukhtara. On voit bien aujourd’hui ou cela nous à mener, avec une alliance “électoraliste” pour obtenir Baabda Aley et les sièges de Saïda, convergences d’intérêts puis la divergence qui a amené à l’éclatement de cette même coalition gouvernementale en 2006 et la paralysie qui en a suivi.

Une personne qui aurait vraiment le sens des responsabilités commencerait avant tout non pas par attaquer ses adversaires mais par les comprendre, à répondre à leur inquiétude pour trouver un moyen de s’en sortir en cas de situation aussi grave que celle que traverse le Liban.

Ainsi, nos politiciens devraient répondre à des questions tels que:

* Quelles garanties peut on aujourd’hui avoir vis-à-vis de sa propre personne, lui même ne s’était-il pas allié à Hafez el Assad et même aujourd’hui à Khaddam qui ont trempé dans l’assassinat de son propre père? Au nom du tribunal international, ne devrait on pas juger tous les fouteurs de guerre en commençant par ceux de la guerre civile et ainsi promouvoir une réconciliation réelle entre libanais?
* Ne devons nous pas éviter toute provocation qui pourrait ramener au pire, à savoir au conflit, ayant conscience aujourd’hui que le principal danger est celui d’une déflagration entre sunnites et chiites?
* Quelles réformes peut on faire au système politique pour que celui ci soit plus homogène et non paralysable au premier problème venu.
* Quelles relations peut on avoir avec nos voisins?

Bien sur que d’autres questions se doivent d’être posées, la liste est non exaustive....
**********************************************





WHOLESALE TRAITORS FOR DECADES, Yesterday to Syria & CIA, Today to AWKAR, CIA, DGSE and KSA etc.








IF YOU OPEN THE COURT CASE AGAINST ME The BATRAK, [SUITCASES OF CASH IN MY PRIVATE JET AT LE BOURGET...] THEY WILL OPEN YOURS...AFTER YOU LEAVE OFFICE:SWARKO IS MY NEO'CONN BUDDY...]







I DID NOT DO IT; IT SO HAPPENS THAT IT WAS THERE IN MY JET. AND I was told that FRENCH CUSTOMS WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO FIND IT ...YA AKHI...? So I got caught with lots of CASH in my suitcases, but most people know by now, especially people who have been close to me for decades... that I have a Malignant Self Love - I am Narcissistic by nature... despite all these books written about me telling my flock that I care so deeply about them..., In Lebanon, we write books full of falsehoods, we clean the record of the assassins, and we destroy the credibility and wonderful record of the HEROES.





THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT HIM, THE VATICAN'S HANDS ARE TIED BY CIA, THE NEOCONS AND "OPUS DEI"...

http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/1983/07/willbedone.html



LOVERS AT FIRST SIGHT and More..."Sannioura is Stooge Nr.: 1 "










هنا السؤال نوجهه الى الاكثرية والى الرئيس السنيورة: هل هم يعتبرون ان هذه القيمة ‏العالية التي قدمها لبنان في الدفاع عن نفسه عبر المقاومة هي قيمة عالية تمتلكها الاكثرية ‏والحكومة ام هم يشاركون واشنطن في انها عبء عليهم ولا بد من العودة الى النقاط السبع ‏كمدخل لبحث موضوع المقاومة.‏
الاشارات كثيرة بأن الرئيس السنيورة والاكثرية لا يريدون المقاومة وهم منحازون ضد فئة ‏كبيرة من شعبهم لصالح القرار الاميركي وبعض الاوروبيين ويظهر ذلك من خلال تصريحات زعماء ‏الاكثرية وتصريحات الرئيس السنيورة كما ان الاشارة الاهم هي ان لبنان تلقى مساعدات ‏نقدية بعد العدوان الاسرائيلي بلغت مليارين ومئة مليون دولار ويكفي ان نرى كيف يحبس ‏السنيورة هذه الاموال ولا يدفعها حتى الان بكامل حسابها للمتضررين من العدوان الاسرائيلي ‏كي نتأكد ان الرئيس السنيورة غير مهتم بقدرة الصمود لدى شعبنا في وجه اسرائيل.‏
في 15 ت2 انهت اسرائيل دفع كل التعويضـات وقـدمـت كل المساعدات في مناطق شمال فلسطين بسبب ‏حربها وبسبب القصف الصاروخي للمقاومة على تلك المناطق.‏
بينما الرئيس السنيورة الذي امتلك القرار المالي لم يدفع سوى 30% من المساعدات التي جرى ‏تقديمها للبنان نتيجة العدوان الاسرائيلي وما زال يحتفظ بالمبالغ بينما الناس في حاجة لها ‏ولو دفع الرئيس السنيورة المليارين ومئة مليون دولار في 15 ت2 2006 كما فعلت اسرائيل ‏لكانت الملياران دولار شكلت دورة اقتصادية هامة في البلاد خصوصا انها اموال لا تخرج من ‏الخزينة بل دفعتها دول عربية واوروبية وصناديق مالية ومتبرعون لبنانيون وعرب ومن كل ‏العالم.‏
السؤال هو هل يحق للرئيس السنيورة ان يأخذ من شعبه اللبناني ما لم تستطع اسرائيل اخذه ‏من اللبنانيين بالقوة وهل يحق للرئيس السنيورة بقرار من الاكثرية اضعاف قدرة الصمود ‏لدى شعبنا اللبناني امام اسرائيل فيما المطلوب تعزيز قدرة الصمود لدى شعبنا خاصة ان ‏الاموال وردت من دول للتعويض على المتضررين من العدوان الاسرائيلي يحتجزها اي السنيورة ‏في حسابات مجمدة بدل دفعها للناس المتضررين.‏
صعب ان ينظر اللبناني الى رئيس حكومة يضعف قدرته على الصمود في وجه العدو الاسرائيلي. ‏ومن الموجع والمؤلم ان نرى اقتراحات من رئيس حكومة لبنان بشأن النقاط السبع لا تصب الا في ‏خانة اميركا واسرائيل ويبقى السؤال هل الرئيس السنيورة رئيس حكومة لبنان ويهمه لبنان ‏ام هو مساعد لكوندوليزا رايس ام اغراه الغداء مع الرئيس بوش والجلوس على طاولة البيت ‏الابيض؟
ونحن رأينا كم من زعيم عربي واسلامي تغدى على طاولة الرئيس بوش في البيت الابيض بينما ‏شعبه لا يحترمه ولا يقدره.‏






المزارع المرهونة
بقلم: زينا الخوري
عشية وصول امين عام الامم المتحدة بان كي مون الى دمشق، توجه الرئيس فؤاد السنيورة الى ‏القاهرة.‏
حين تتقاطع الزيارتان تبدو محطة القاهرة بدلاً عن ضائع. السنيورة يبحث فيها عن فرصة ‏اضاعها في بيروت، او عن «زمور» عجز عن شرائه من الشام.‏
قد تكون معظم المشاكل التي يواجهها لبنان اليوم ناتجة في الاساس عن القطيعة بين «الحكومة» ‏ودمشق. لقد حرص السنيورة على وصفها «بالشقيقة» وهو يوجه اليها اللوم في القاهرة ‏فقال: «إزاء عدم تعاون الاخوة السوريين في موضوع مزارع شبعا بات الحل الامثل ان توضع تحت ‏وصاية الامم المتحدة».‏
ووصاية الامم المتحدة تشبه الخصخصة. مرفق حيوي بعد الآخر. هنا المحكمة اولاً ثم المزارع، ‏يتبعها البحر... وسهلنا والجبل.‏
فالمحكمة والمزارع نقطتان ساخنتان تحشران الحكومة السنيورية في زاوية، وتضعان لبنان كله ‏على حد السكين. والهدف في النهاية هو الوصول الى مصب واحد: نزع سلاح حزب الله، عن طريق ‏انتفاء وجود «مبرر» للمقاومة.‏
وكأن ما تمنّع عنه الجيش السوري، وعجز عنه الجيش الاسرائيلي، يستطيع الفريق السنيوريّ ان ‏ينفّذه على طريقة «شبيك لبيك». علماً ان سحب المزارع، كما المحكمة، من التداول، لا يحل ‏المشكلة الداخلية.‏
الحركة السنيورية باتجاه مزارع شبعا، هي في الوقت نفسه محاولة لتسديد دين سياسي، الى ‏الداعمين الغربيين، الذين بدأوا يوجهون اليه العتب. فقد قال مصدر اميركي رفيع المستوِى ‏لوكالة اسوشيتيد برس: «ان انتقال المحكمة الدولية الى مجلس الامن يمثل اخفاقاً سياسياً كبيراً ‏لحكومة فؤاد السنيورة....!».‏
من هنا تبدو زيارة القاهرة محاولة لجدولة الديون السياسية، او دفع الفوائد. وكأن ‏‏«الاكثرية» تحاول ان ترهن مزارع شبعا في مصرف الامم المتحدة لتحصل على قرض سياسي جديد، ‏تواجه به حزب الله.‏
لا عجب! منذ عقود يقوم الاسلوب السنيوري على الاستدانة. والرجل يعشق الديون لانه لا ‏يسددها....‏
اما الشعب اللبناني «المعتر» فيدفع عنه الفواتير!‏


MADE IN USA AND ISRAEL FOR LEBANON'S CHILDREN, for 40 years and counting...




IDF, IAF, in action, 'COURAGE' only over civilian areas in Lebanon.



I JUST TOOK 6 MILLION US DOLLARS FROM BANK AL-MADINA FROM RANA, I DON'T
WANT TO GIVE IT BACK.... PLEASE, MAKE ME PRESIDENT FOR LIFE...






LIARS LIARS...WE LEARNED FROM OUR BUDDIES THE SYRIANS...YOU KNOW;
WE KILL, MURDER... THEN WE COME TO THE GRAVE TO MOURN, and "pray" for that we
shall not be discovered so soon....






I AM A LIAR AND I CAN PROVE IT .... THANKS CONDI, WE KNOW THAT FOR SURE



MORE ABOUT LIARS, IT'S HER SPECIALTY



MARWAN IS ALWAYS: CIA, CIA , CIA, He is the Biggest "HAKHAM", the
highest "o...priest"





I KNOW THAT MY HANDS ARE BOTH IN THE COOKIE JAR FOR YEARS, DAMN THESE
POOR LEBANESE....WHAT A CURSE...THEY ARE SO DEMANDING OF MY TIME...

IF YOU OPEN THE COURT CASE AGAINST ME [SUITCASES OF CASH IN MY PRIVATE
JET AT LE BOURGET...]THEY WILL OPEN YOURS...AFTER YOU LEAVE OFFICE:
SWARKO IS MY NEOCONN BUDDY...]THE CASH IS FOR MY MASTER HARIRI...who is offering me a residence after the Elysee Palace, and protection...I ONLY GOT A BIG BIG CUT...









مرتجع مع الشكر
19 نيسان 2007
زينا الخوري

قبل ان يغادر الاليزيه يصر الرئيس جاك شيراك ان يقدّم المحكمة الدولية «هدية وداع» الى ‏الشعب اللبناني. كتب عليها: عربون وفاء لصديقي الشهيد رفيق الحريري.‏
من حق الرئيس الفرنسي، ومن حقنا قبله، ان نعرف القاتل لنسوقه الى العدالة. لكن حياة ‏لبنان كله مرهونة اليوم في مجلس الامن من اجل «الهدية». وهي لن تصل الى بيروت الا عبر ‏البوابة الروسية. والبوابة مقفلة. لذا يحاول «الصديق الوفي» ان يفتحها بشتى الوسائل.‏
بحثاً عن المفتاح الروسي تأتي زيارة خبير القانون الدولي نيكولا ميشال، الذي لاقاه الى بيروت ‏السيد الكسندر سلطانوف في محاولة اخيرة، ويائسة، للخروج من المأزق. المشكلة ان المفتاح ‏الروسي الضائع قد يكون سقط قرب الحدود وليس في قلب العاصمة. لذا يتوجه السيد بان كي ‏مون الى دمشق بعد ايام قليلة.‏
فالأمين العام للامم المتحدة، الذي يعني اسمه بالانكليزية «مفتاح القمر»، يحمل في اجندته ‏مفاتيح كثيرة، لكنها بالنسبة للقضية اللبنانية تصلح لاقفال الابواب... وتعجز عن فتحها.
إنه يسافر الى الشام تحت عنوان «مكافحة تهريب الاسلحة من سوريا الى لبنان». وهذا البند ‏يعرقل صدور تقريره حول القرار 1701، بسبب اعتراض بعض الاعضاء في مجلس الامن، وفي طليعتهم ‏دولة قطر!‏
و«تهريب السلاح» امر مهمة اسرائيلي، ولازمة تتكرر على ألسنة كثيرة للتسويق. أما المطلوب ‏فعلياً فهو «وجود دولي» ما على الحدود بين لبنان وسوريا، كمقدمة لمشاريع الحلول التي يتوقف ‏عليها مصير المنطقة. والامين العام يحمل اقتراحاً جديداً لهذا الوجود هو: «لجنة مراقبة ‏مدنية».‏
سوريا ترفض اي شكل من اشكال التواجد الدولي على حدودها مع لبنان. واعلنت مراراً انها ‏سوف تقفل هذه الحدود في حال حصوله.‏
سبق للبنان ان ذاق طعم «العرقلة» على الحدود... اما الاقفال فطعمه «حاجة تانية».‏
‏«هدية الوداع» قد تتحول الى قنبلة. ليتنا نكتب عليها: مرتجع مع الشكر!‏



I AM MR. BUSH. I AM HERE TO TELL THE LEBANESE THAT WE DID IT;
"THE TERROR CAR BOMB JANUARY 24TH 2002, THEN WE DID IT AT VALENTINE's
because RAFIC IS OUR FRIEND, SO WE MADE IT VERY SOPHISTICATED FOR HIM";
TO HK ELIE HOBEIKA, we did it WITH SHARON AND SHAWKAT, THEN WE DID IT
AGAIN FOR RAFIC HARIRI, MY FRIEND..., JUST BECAUSE WE BECAME
SO GOOD AT IT, AND WE WILL DEFINITLY DO IT AGAIN SOON....




THIS IS FOR SERGE BRAMMERTZ FROM GWB... FOR DNA TESTING II




I AM THE EMPEROR OF THE UNIVERSE AND I SPEAK TO GOD FROM ABOVE...





I JUST HELP MR. bush's friends, buddies and agents, and I Help
MOSSAD and the Syrians,WITH ALL THE MONEY THEY NEEDED, TO "OIL" THEIR
"ROGUE" INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS, and I help myself, AND MY FRIENDS AND
LOVERS, AND THEY ARE LEGIONS,EXCEPT FOR ONE: HE IS SOOO GOOD, I MARRIED
HIM IN PARIS OF COURSE...Please keep me in RIO DE JANEIRO...












I am a thug, an IDIOT, and I love the Maameltain WHORES...








French Government is the most hypocritical institution, they are training
Iranian Intelligence in Normandy France, all the while claiming to be
"supportive" of UN actions and Embargo... towards IRAN....


http://www.fas.org/irp/world/iran/index.html



صندوق المهجرين يمول التظاهرات الفرعية الداعمة للحكومة
بطاقات توصية لدفع طلبات ترميم منجز لحامليها أكانوا من المرممين أو المهجرين أم لا
.................................................04 نيسان 2007
ملف أزلي ينتقل مع حكومات ما بعد الطائف ولا يبدو أن الحل قريب والسبب معوقات كثيرة ليس أولها اقتصادي ولن يكون آخرها السياسي والنتيجة واحدة: عشرات آلاف العائلات هجرت بعد أن ذبح أبناء لها واحتُلت بيوتها وقراها في الجبل وشرقي صيدا وجزين والزهراني ما زالت ممنوعة من العودة الى قراها
وما زالت كلمة "عودة" بمثابة حلم انتقل من الآباء الى الأبناء. مئات الملايين من الدولارات صرفت في سبيل هذا الملف الذي لم يقترب بعد من خاتمته. فالأموال دفعت وتُدفع لكن للجميع الا لأصحاب العلاقة. والتغني بالمصالحة التاريخية في الجبل بعد زيارة البطريرك مار نصر الله بطرس صفير الى الجبل وتحالف الفريق المسيحي في 14 شباط مع النائب وليد جنبلاط لم يثمر نتائج على أرض الجبل حيث لم تتعدَّ نسبة العودة 17 %. ولم ينسَ اللبنانيون بعد أن أهالي كفرمتى في انتخابات 2005 النيابية أدلوا بأصواتهم في صناديق وُضعت على مدخل البلدة.

ويبدو أن من أولويات السلطة في الآونة الأخيرة أن تدفع طلبات الترميم المنجز بدلاً من تخصيص أموال الصندوق المركزي للمهجرين لعودة من هجروا قسراً وأجبروا على ايجاد البديل لمنازلهم التي أخذت منهم. وفورة الترميم المنجز في الآونة الأخيرة تأتي بالتزامن مع التظاهرات التي تنظمها الموالاة في المناطق بعد أن بدأت المعارضة اعتصامها المستمر حتى اليوم. وهذا التزامن ينسب دائماً للصدفة. فإلى متى سيظل الملف عالقاً وأبناء الجبل مهجرين؟
مسؤول ملف الهجرين في التيار الوطني الحر المهندس سيزار أبو خليل يجمع الوثائق والدلائل التي ستشكل له ملفاً سيتم تفجيره في المستقبل القريب ويظهر بالرسومات البيانية والأرقام والتواريخ كيف تزامن دفع مبالغ الترميم المنجز مع التظاهرات وكيف عاد بعدها ليختفي.

ويخبر أبو خليل أن واحداً من جماعة الأكثرية أرسل شخصاً ببطاقة توصية الى رئيس صندوق المهجرين لقبض طلب ترميم منجز. وبعد أن تم كشف هذا الأمر وعرضه في جريدة الأخبار، أصدر الصندوق بياناً ينفي فيه الموضوع، ولسخرية الصدف تم الدفع للشخص نفسه يوم نشر البيان في الجريدة نفسها.

ويقول أبو خليل: "ملف المهجرين يعنى بالتهجير الذي حصل بين عامي 1983 و1985 في سبعين قرية في قضاء الشوف و51 قرية في قضاء عاليه و27 قرية في قضاء بعبدا وحوالي تسع قرى في المتن الشمالي و67 قرية في شرقي صيدا وجزين والزهراني. عدد العائلات التي تعرضت للتهجير 150 ألفاً وحوالي 3 آلاف قتيل.

التيار الوطني الحر لطالما اهتم بها الملف لكن في السابق كان هناك الاحتلال السوري الذي طغى على نشاطنا. وبعد أن تخلصنا منه بدأنا التركيز على أحد الأمراض المزمنة التي نعاني منها وهي التهجير. والجميع يذكرون أن الرئيس العماد ميشال عون في تموز 2005 وفي اولى جلسات المجلس النيابي أثار الموضوع وعرض للاجئين اللبنانيين الى اسرائيل وداخل لبنان والمعتقلين في السجون السورية. وبعدها جاء البيان الوزاري لحكومة الرئيس فؤاد السنيورة الذي أخذ على عاتقه في البند السادس إنهاء ملف المهجرين وإقفاله إقفالاً تاماً. وعملاً بأصول الممارسة الديمقراطية أعطينا الحكومة الجديدة التي تعهدت بإنجاز الملف، فرصة لتنفذ ما وعدت به. لكن بعد مرور سنة من عمر هذه الحكومة وأكثر من 17 سنة على ما سمي وثيقة الوفاق الوطني التي كان أحد بنودها عودة المهجرين، وبعد مرور 13 سنة على تأسيس وزارة المهجرين، وبعد دفع أكثر من أربعة أضعاف الموازنة الأصلية التي رصدت لإقفال الملف والتي كانت بقيمة 400 مليون دولار وبعد دفع أكثر من مليار و600 مليون دولار، كانت النتيجة أن 17 % فقط من المهجرين عادوا الى القرى التي شهدت مصالحات وخمس قرى ما يزال أهلها ممنوعين من العودة إليها وهي بريح، كفرمتى، عبيه، عين درافيل وكفرسلوان. في المقابل، في شرقي صيدا ناهزت العودة 45 % من عدد العائلات الأصلي. ورغم أن العدد غير مرضٍ ونريده أن يصبح تاماً إلا أن التفاوت في النسبة مع قرى الجبل سببه وجود عامل في الجبل غير موجود في الجنوب وهو النائب وليد جنبلاط. الانتماء السياسي للعائلات المهجرة يسهل تحديده من خلال الانتخابات النيابية الأخيرة التي نلنا فيها في هذه المناطق 81% من أصوات المسيحيين المهجرين.

ما يحصل في الجبل جريمة تطهير إتني يفوق ما حصل في أي مكان في العالم. فما معنى أن يتم ارتكاب مجزرة وتهجير من نجوا منها ومن ثم منعهم من العودة؟ ما توصيف هذا الأمر بغير التطهير الإتني؟ ومن ناحية أخرى، عندما ندقق في الموضوع يتبين لنا أن الأموال كانت تدفع بالتوازي مع الانتخابات النيابية الأخيرة. والمحتل قبض بأقل تقدير، ضعف ما قبضه المهجر الذي ترك منزله قسراً وأمن البديل على مدى 25 سنة. هذا عدا عن المدفوعات الوهمية، إذ دفع في القرى حيث يوجد ثلاثون بيتاً 330 إخلاء. والأمثلة والدلائل عرضناها في مؤتمر عودة الحق الذي نظمناه في 30 أيلول 2006 وكان من المقرر أن ننظمه في تموز بعد مرور سنة على تشكيل الحكومة والبيان الوزاري، لكنه تأخر بسبب حرب تموز. وعندما عقدنا هذا المؤتمر وأظهرنا كل هذه التجاوزات، تحركت جماعة النائب جنبلاط الذي استدعى على عجل وخلافاً لكل الأصول، لجان العودة في قرى الشحار وتم نوع من مصالحة صورية يوم السبت 30 أيلول بالتزامن مع المؤتمر ووعد نواب اللقاء الديمقراطي ومن بينهم النائب فؤاد السعد بأن الدفع سيتم يوم الإثنين الواقع فيه 2 تشرين الأول 2006. واليوم وبعد أكثر من ثلاثين إثنين من ذاك الاثنين وبعد اجتماع المصالحة، لا هذه الأخيرة وُقعت ولا التعويضات دفعت ولا المهجرون عادوا. وأكثر من ذلك، نرى نواباً أحزابهم ممثلة في الحكومة يظهرون أنفسهم كرواد للديمقراطية ويطالبون بإنجاز الملف. ونحن نخبرهم أن من أبسط القواعد الديمقراطية وجود موالاة ومعارضة. والاطراف الممثلون في الحكومة ليس دورهم المطالبة

ما يحصل في الجبل جريمة تطهير إتني وفي شرقي صيدا مؤامرة تساعد على التوطين

بل وضع برنامج مفصل بالوسيلة والمهلة والكلفة المحددة لإنجاز أمر ما، والمعارضة هي التي تطالب. وإذا كان عاجزاً عن ذلك عليه الاستقالة من الحكومة والانضمام الى صفوف المعارضة للمطالبة. لا أفهم كيف يمكن لوزير أن يطالب في حين عليه هو أن يحل المشكلة. هذا كله حصل بعد مؤتمر العودة الذي سألناهم بعد انتهائه لماذا لم تتم المصالحات فأجابونا أن العائق مادي. بينما نرى الدفع بالمليارات في طرابلس وبيروت للترميم المنجز. وهنا لا بد من شرح هذه العبارة ليفهمها الجميع. فمن تضرر بيته في الحرب وأعاد ترميمه على نفقته الخاصة ولا يملك الإثبات على ذلك، يتقدم بطلب يتضمن افادة عقارية بملكية العقار وإخراج قيد وثمة مئات الآلاف من هذه الطلبات التي لا يمكن أن نعرف الصحيح منها مما يقبض مالاً سياسياً أو ترضية سياسية. وحالياً أعمل على تحضير ملف جديد ويتضمن معطيات ورسومات تظهر كيف يتم الدفع بالتزامن مع التظاهرات التي تنظمها الموالاة دعماً لحكومة السنيورة في مواجهة اعتصام المعارضة اللبنانية. ففي تظاهرات طرابلس تركز دفع طلبات الترميم المنجز على طرابلس وضواحيها لابتزاز الناس ودفعهم للمشاركة في التظاهرات. وفي تظاهرة دير القمر تم الدفع للقرى المحيطة وكذلك الأمر في بيروت خصوصاً عندما كانت الوفود تقصد السراي الحكومية وكان الدفع يتركز في الحي أو المحلة التي تزور السنيورة. هذا فساد مضاعف فهم لا يشترون فقط أصوات الناس بل ويدفعون لهم من أموال المكلفين اللبنانيين وبغض النظر عن أحقية هذه التعويضات. وحتى حيث تكون محقة هم يبتزون المواطن ليعطوه حقه. الدفع يتوازى زماناً ومكاناً مع التظاهرات الفرعية الداعمة لحكومة السنيورة. وهذه ليست المرة الأولى التي تستعمل فيها أموال المهجرين والمكلف اللبناني كمال سياسي. ففريق الحريري- جنبلاط مارس هذا الأمر في انتخابات 1996 و2000 النيابية. وهذا ما أظهرناه في مؤتمر حق العودة الذي تم بعده دفع أكثر من 20 مليار ليرة وهذا المبلغ لا يعد شيئاً تجاه الافين والمئتي مليار التي دفعت سابقاً لكنه يشكل دفعة أولى من أي مصالحة لأن المصالحة تحتاج بين أربعين وستين مليار بحسب كل قرية من القرى التي لم تشهد بعد مصالحات. لذا يجب التركيز على اولوية دفع التعويضات لعودة المهجرين وليس للترميم المنجز فالمهجر ما زال خارج منزله على عكس الترميم المنجز.

وبالنسبة لشرقي صيدا والقرى التي لا تقع ضمن نطاق عمل صندوق المهجرين بل ضمن نطاق مجلس الجنوب، ما زالت التعويضات أقل منها في جبل لبنان الجنوبي. والقانون 362 الصادر في العام 2001 ويذكرنا به باستمرار رئيس الحكومة ووزير المهجرين ويتيح للحكومة الاقتراض للدفع للمهجرين، وينص في المادة الخامسة منه على مساواة التعويضات في هذه القرى بقرى جبل لبنان الجنوبي، وهذا المطلب ينسحب على المناطق اللبنانية كافة. فالبيت في الضاحية الجنوبية الذي تضرر في حرب تموز 2006 أقر له مبلغ ثمانين مليون ليرة مقابل ثلاثين مليون في الجبل وعشرين مليون في شرقي صيدا علماً أن مهجري المنطقتين الأخيرتين ظلوا خارج منازلهم مدة أطول بكثيرمن مهجري الضاحية الذين عادوا فور انتهاء الحرب. وفي شرقي صيدا لا تزال هناك أراضٍ في المية ومية محتلة من قبل فلسطينيين رغم صدور أحكام قضائية تقضي بالإخلاء. و الفريق السياسي المتسلط في هذه المنطقة يحول دون تنفيذ هذه الإخلاءات ربما لأن ذلك يشكل خطوة الى الأمام في اتجاه التوطين الذي يظهر للعلن أنهم رواده ويتعهدونه في لبنان.
لماذا لم يعد المهجرون بعد؟

لأن العودة تحتاج الى مقومات سياسية وأخرى مادية. يجب أن يعود المهجرون بكرامتهم السياسية وأمنهم السياسي وبدون أن يكونوا مذلولين لوليد جنبلاط أو أن يتعرضوا للاضطهاد والمضايقات. ومن الناحية المادية ليس بإمكان الجميع اقتصادياً أن يعيدوا بناء منزل بعشرين ألف دولار، فهذا المبلغ لا يكفي لإنشاء الأساسات. من لديه الامكانات اعاد ترميم بيته لكن من لا يملكها قبض الدفعة الأولى وهي عشرة آلاف دولار ولم يكمل البناء. والقرى التي جرفت وهجر أبناؤها لا يقتصر العمل فيها على دفع التعويضات لأن الخسارة تفوق هذا المبلغ بأضعاف، بالاضافة الى الحياة التي قطعت وتيرتها والأعمال التي زالت. وهنا أيضاً ليست مقررات مؤتمر العودة مجرد إنشاء لاختتام المؤتمر، بل نعمل في التيار على مشاريع عدة لتثبيت الناس في قراهم.

أحياناً يتذرعون بأن الناس ليسوا في قراهم بسبب هجرة الريف. فكيف نفسر مجيء ابن دقون التي تبعد 20 دقيقة عن بيروت من بلونة التي تبعد عنها 45 دقيقة؟ فيما دقون تقع ضمن نطاق بيروت الكبرى ويمكن اعتبارها إحدى ضواحيها الجنوبية الشرقية. هناك عامل يمنع الناس من العودة وهو وليد جنبلاط وصندوق المهجرين ووزارة المهجرين وهؤلاء غير موجودين في شرقي صيدا حيث تبلغ نسبة العودة ثلاثة أضعافها عن الجبل. لكن من تداعيات ورقة التفاهم بين التيار الوطني الحر وحزب الله حل المشكلة في المناطق المسيحية التي تقع على حدود المناطق الشيعية، الا أن المشكلة تبقى اقتصادية. القانون 362 أقر بمساواة التعويضات لكن من الممسك بوزارة المالية منذ 1992 حتى اليوم؟ الصرف ليس في يد نبيه بري أو حزب الله. فلطالما تباهى فريق السلطة بأنه يمسك بالملف الاقتصادي فيما الملف الأمني مع رئيس الجمهورية وملف المقاومة مع الشيعة. أنا لا أدافع عن مجلس الجنوب لكن ما من أموال تحول إليه. فمنذ سنوات نعمل وفقاً للقاعدة الاثني عشرية وما من موازنة.

ما رد فريق السلطة على كل هذه الاتهامات خصوصاً مسألة دفع تعويضات الترميم المنجز؟

الاجابة دائماً تكون استيعابية وهم لا ينفون الأمر لكنهم يؤكدون أنه من قبيل الصدفة. والتسمية لم تعد متصلة بشيء حدث بل بكمية من المال يريدون تقاسمها وتوزيعها على الطوائف. في مؤتمر العودة أظهرنا تجاوزات كثيرة وطلبنا اعتبار الأمر اخباراً لكن حتى الآن لم يتحرك أي من هذه الملفات ولم يتم تحويلها الى المحاكمة، لا بل هناك جرائم تسقط بمرور الزمن الثلاثي وأخرى بعد عشر سنوات واضاعة الوقت هذه تسقط الكثير من الجرائم وهم اتخذوا القرار بعدم الرد. هم على انقطاع تام مع الرأي العام اللبناني فأكثر من نصف الشعب اللبناني نزل الى الشارع وكأن شيئاً لم يكن. لقد نصبوا أنفسهم علينا وكأنهم منزلون إلهياً. لذلك لا يمكن إصلاح الموجود لأنه فاسد بل يجب أن نغير لنصلح النظام. كل ما يخرج منهم ويردون به على اتهاماتنا أن الأمر من قبيل الصدفة. فما هذه الصدفة أن يبلغ الدفع أوجه في العام 2000 ومن ثم يعود ليصبح صفراً في الأعوام 2001 و2002؟ صادف الدفع الانتخابات ثلاث مرات لكنهم ما كانوا يقصدون ذلك. بالاضافة الى ذلك، يطل علينا وزير المهجرين ليطمئننا الى أنه يشتغل بتوجيهات النائب جنبلاط لكن هذا التطمين يعطي مفعولاً عكسياً لأن خلال 13 سنة لم يعد المهجرون ولم تدفع الأموال والنهب والسرقة على أوجهما. ومن ثم يفخر بإنجاز كبير تم في مصالحة بعورتة- دقون التي وقعت في حزيران 2005 في عهد حكومة الرئيس نجيب ميقاتي والوزير عادل حمية. وهناك طرف آخر أراد تبني مصالحة كفرمتى التي تمت قبل شهرين من خروجه من السجن. بات من عاداتهم تبني انجازات الآخرين. ومصالحة دقون- بعورتة لا أراها انجازاً لأن أهل بعورتة الذين احتلوا دقون قبضوا عشرين مليار ليرة فيما نال أهل دقون عشرة مليارات الذين تهجروا وأمنوا البديل عن بيوتهم طوال سنوات.

بعد أن حرك التيار الوطني الحر الملف ظهر الكثير من الغيارى على الموضوع وهذا لا يزعجنا لأن ما يهمنا هو أن يعرف الرأي العام اللبناني من يثير الموضوع لأهداف سياسية ومن يثيره لأهداف انسانية وحقوقية. ولا بد من أن نشير الى أن أحدهم قال إنه لم يعد بإمكاننا الحديث عن مجازر الجبل بعد مصالحة الجبل وتحالف القوات مع جنبلاط. فهؤلاء الذين لا نعرف كيف ماتوا وأين ألا يجب أن نكتشف حقيقتهم؟ نحن طالبنا بكشف المقابر الجماعية لأن هذا يحل الكثير من مشاكل المفقودين. كما أننا لا يمكن أن نعفو عن جريمة لا تزال مستمرة. وكما قال العماد عون :" الغفران لا يجوز اذا لم يتم الاعتراف والاعتذار". والجريمة مستمرة فبماذا تختلف جرائم الابادة والتطهير العرقي عما يحصل في الجبل؟ الناس لم يعودوا بعد أي أن الجريمة تكمل، فهناك أناس ارتكبت في حقهم مجازر وهجروا واليوم يمنعون من العودة. أليس هذا تطهيراً عرقيا؟ ننصح من يريدون اقفال الملف بعد مصالحة الجبل الشهيرة والحلف المسيحي- الدرزي هل انتهت الجريمة؟ بحكم الوكالة الكبيرة التي منحنا اياها الناخبون في مناطق التهجير حيث تجاوز حجم التأييد 80%، تترتب علينا مسؤوليات كتيار لملاحقة مصالح شعبنا وإيجاد الحلول. عملنا يتخطى توثيق المخالفات التي ترتكبها الوزارة والصندوق في هذا الملف الى دراسة الحلول في قرى معينة وفي جبل لبنان الجنوبي ككل".







الحقيقة : بيشمركا كردية في لبنان لمساندة ميليشيات 14 آذار
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مئات المقاتلين من بيشمركة البرزاني بتصرف " 14 آذار" في بيروت .. غب الطلب !أسابيع قليلة تفصل عن المواجهة "الحاسمة " أو المصالحة " الدائمة "
مشروع التوطين في " القريعة "(*) وشريط " جزين ـ مغدوشة " الصيداوي يسير قدما بهمة ملايين الدولارات السعودية لدار الافتاء و ضابط مخابرات " فتح " المفتي محمد علي الجوزو !؟
ليئا أبراموفيتش ( تل أبيب ) ، ترجمة " الحقيقة " وخاص بها : وصل الرئيس اللبناني الأسبق أمين الجميل إلى كردستان العراق في 29 تشرين الأول / أكتوبر الماضي دون أي إعلان أو إشارة مسبقة . كانت الزيارة مفاجئة للجميع ، داخل لبنان وخارجه . فلم يعرف سابقا عن آل الجميل أنهم أقاموا أي علاقة ، من أي نوع ، مع الحركات الكردية . يضاف إلى ذلك أن الحركة الكردية وقفت تقليديا مع القوى اللبنانية المناهضة لما عرف بـ " اليمين المسيحي " الذي مثلته دائما القوات اللبنانية والكتائب ، فضلا عن حزب الأحرار وآل شمعون . أكثر من ذلك ، لعبت الحركات الكردية دورا عسكريا ، وإن على نطاق محدود ، في دعم ما عرف خلال الحرب الأهلية اللبنانية بـ " الحركة الوطنية " . ولم يقتصر هذا الدعم على المجتمع الكردي الموجود في لبنان ، بل تخطاه إلى استقدام مقاتلين أكراد من سوريا والعراق لدعم حركة فتح الفلسطينية في جنوب لبنان . ويمكن أن نذكر في هذا السياق ما قام به الزعيم الكردي السوري صلاح بدر الدين الذي كان مقربا من ياسر عرفات . وتشير مصادر إسرائيلية معنية بالشأن اللبناني أن صلاح بدر الدين ، الذي يعيش الآن في ضيافة مسعود البرزاني في إربيل ، استقدم خلال الثمانينيات مئات المقاتلين الأكراد الذين تمركزوا في قلعة الشقيف جنوب لبنان ، وشاركوا في التصدي للقوات الإسرائيلية في العام 1982 . وقد زار صلاح بدر الدين رام الله مرات عدة منذ قيام السلطة الفلسطينية مبعوثا في مهمات سرية خاصة من قبل الزعيم البرزاني لمقابلة عرفات ثم أبو مازن .

لكن هذا الوضع تغير الآن . ومنذ ذلك الحين ، أو على الأقل منذ الاحتلال الأميركي للعراق ثم اغتيال الحريري ، جرت مياه كثيرة من تحت جسور التحالفات في المنطقة . فالزعيم " الدرزي " اللبناني وليد جنبلاط ، الذي يخوض معركة حياة أو موت بالنسبة له مع النظام السوري وامتداداته في لبنان ، أصبح حريصا ، بمناسبة ودون مناسبة ، على التذكير بأصوله " الكردية " ، وهي القصة ـ اللغز التي لا يعرف أحد الآن كيف ومتى حصلت طالما أن " التبشير الدرزي " توقف منذ ألف عام ، وأقفلت أبواب الطائفة بـ " الضبة والمفتاح " ، كما يقول المصريون ، منذ وفاة الحاكم بأمر الله الفاطمي ! وتعتقد مصادر إسرائيلية التقت جنبلاط خلال العام الأخير أكثر من مرة على هامش ندوات ومؤتمرات دولية أنه بات مقتنعا بـ " الصيغة العراقية " التي أسفر عنها الاحتلال الأميركي باعتبارها " الحل الأمثل" للبنان . و قناعته هذه ليست وليدة تصور نظري كما يمكن أن يتكهن البعض ، وإنما ذبذبات الموجات القصيرة التي يصعب على غيره التقاطها .
يدرك جنبلاط من خلال زياراته الخاصة إلى واشنطن أن الإدارة الأميركية باتت ترى تقسيم المنطقة إلى " معازل وكانتونات طائفية " ، وإن ضمن حدود فيدرالية ، هو الطريقة الأمثل من وجهة نظرها للخروج من المستنقع الذي وجدت نفسها فيه بعد احتلال العراق . وليس لبنان خارج تصورها هذا ، إن لم يكن في القلب منه . وكان بإمكان جنبلاط ، وغيره ، ملاحظة ذلك منذ أن بدأ بعض الأصوات الأميركية يعلو بما كان " محرما " الحديث عنه حتى وقت قريب ، لاسيما ما يتصل بتقسيم العراق إلى ثلاثة كانتونات : شيعي وسني ، فضلا عن الكردي القائم بقوة الأمر الواقع . وقبل ذلك ، وبالتساوق معه ، حديث أكثر من مسؤول أميركي سابق عن الأمر نفسه فيما يخص لبنان ، وهو الأمر الذي اضطرت الولايات المتحدة في الماضي لأن تبرم معاهدة غير معلنة مع الأسد الأب لمنع حصوله في هذا البلد رغم أنه كان المطلب الأساسي لحلفائها اللبنانيين ، لاسيما " القوات اللبنانية "!
من الواضح أن ثمة تيارا قويا في " الاستابلشمنت " الأميركية ، بشقيها الجمهوري والديمقراطي ، بات يدفع باتجاه " عرقنة " الوضع اللبناني . وليس هذا أمرا مزعجا بالنسبة لجنبلاط الذي طالما اعتقد أن أي انصهار وطني في لبنان سيكون على حساب نفوذه المذهبي . ومن يراقب مناوراته وتطور خطها البياني منذ مصرع الحريري بإمكانه أن يلحظ ذلك بسهولة . ولم تكن ردة فعله " العدوانية " تجاه تحالف عون ـ حزب الله إلا التعبير المكثف عن ذلك ، بغض النظر عن كل ما قاله وما سيقوله عن هذا " التحالف " لجهة أنه " سيعيد الوصاية السورية " إلى لبنان . وهو يبذل جهودا استثنائية لمنع أي تقارب سني ـ شيعي لاعتقاده أن أي تقارب من هذا النوع لن يسدد أحد فاتورته إلا هو شخصيا .
بالتساوق مع ذلك ، ركب جنبلاط موجة الحملة المذهبية التي تقودها " السنية السياسية " الشرق أوسطية ضد إيران وحلفائها من داخل غرفة عمليات مشتركة يرابط فيها على مدار الساعة قادة السعودية ومصر والأردن ، ومن وراء الستارة قادة واشنطن وتل أبيب . وقد أصبحت تعابير من مثل " الفرس" و " المجوس " ، رغم ما تنطوي عليه من مضمون ونبرة عنصريين يذكران بخطاب صدام حسين خلال حربه على طهران ، مكونا أساسيا من مكونات خطابه السياسي . ويبدو جنبلاط في هذا السياق صادما ومذهلا في قدرته على ممارسة نمط من السياسة غير مسبوق في بذاءته وانتهازيتة الأخلاقية والسياسية . فالجميع يعرف " أنه زار طهران أكثر مما زارها حسن نصر الله شخصيا " حسب ما يقول مراقب إسرائيلي معني بالشؤون اللبنانية . ويضيف هذا المراقب " إن عدد زيارات جنبلاط إلى إيران منذ قيام الثورة الإسلامية بلغ أكثر من تسع عشرة زيارة ، بينما لم يزرها حسن نصر الله أكثر من إحدى عشرة مرة حسب ما تؤكده مصادر الاستخبارات إسرائيلية . هذا على الرغم من أن معظم زياراته (نصر الله) أحيط بالسرية لأسباب أمنية " . يضاف إلى ذلك ، والكلام لم يزل للمراقب ، إن جنبلاط كان يتلقى حتى وقت قريب جعالة مالية سنوية من طهران تتراوح ما بين 20 إلى 30 مليون دولار بتوصية من حزب الله وحركة أمل ، على أساس أنه يشكل ظهيرا سياسيا داخليا لا غنى عنه للحزب في تأمين الغطاء السياسي الداخلي لمعركته ضد إسرائيل و سلاحه في آن معا " !
يدرك جنبلاط ، والقول لم يزل للمراقب ، أن الفشل الأميركي في العراق دفع واشنطن واليمين الإسرائيلي إلى " مذهبة " المواجهة الدائرة في الشرق الأوسط لتصبح " سنية ـ شيعية " . فالولايات المتحدة أدركت أخيرا أن انتصارها على الساحة العراقية بات مرهونا باستقطاب أوسع تحالف شعبي ورسمي في وسط " السنية السياسية " رغم النكسة التي أصيب بها هذا التحالف في حرب إسرائيل الأخيرة ضد حزب الله ، والتي لم تسفر سوى عن رفع صور نصر الله في حرم الجامع الأزهر وشوارع عمّان . وهذا آخر ما كان ينتظره المحافظون الجدد وإيهود أولمرت ، ومعهما ملكا السعودية والأردن والرئيس المصري ، وإلى حد ما أبو مازن في رام الله ! ويعتقد جنبلاط ، وقد يكون محقا في ذلك ، أن انتصار التحالف الجديد هو الوحيد الذي يضمن مستقبله السياسي . ولهذا وضع بيضه كله في سلته ، وحرق جميع مراكبه التي يمكن أن تؤمن له عودة مأمونة في حال فشل رهاناته . وتجاوز في ذلك جميع الخطوط التي كانت بالغة الإحمرار بالنسبة له حتى وقت قريب ، مثل المواجهة مع إسرائيل ومستقبل القضية الفلسطينية ، ومسألة التوطين التي تشكل المسألة الأكثر حساسية في لبنان . أو على الأقل هذا ما كان يعلن عنه دوما . وتفيد مصادر إسرائيلية وثيقة الصلة بالساحة اللبنانية أن جنبلاط أبلغ مؤخرا أكثر من مصدر أوربي وأميركي أنه بات مقتنعا بأن " توطين حوالي نصف مليون فلسطيني في لبنان هو السلاح الأمضى للتغلب على معضلة الأكثرية الديمغرافية الشيعية في لبنان مرة واحدة وإلى الأبد ، على اعتبار أن معظم هؤلاء ، باستثناء أقلية مسيحية اندمجت مع مسيحيي لبنان منذ وقت مبكر بعد حرب العام 1948 ، هم من المسلمين السنة " . لكن جنبلاط يعرف أن التوطين في لبنان مسألة قد يكون من المستحيل إنجازها قبل حصول حرب أهلية ولو على نطاق محدود . إلا أنه ، في المقابل ، يدرك أن هذه المسألة التي كانت تفتقر إلى أي دعم محلي أو عربي في الماضي ، بل ومن المحرمات ، باتت اليوم حديث الأروقة السياسية في أكثر من عاصمة معنية ، وفي أوساط قيادات " السنية السياسية " اللبنانية ومرجعيتها السعودية . وتسجل مصادر استخبارية إسرائيلية عدة وقائع حديثة العهد في هذا المجال ، لعل أهمها التالي :
ـ قرار السعودية منح جنبلاط تلك المبالغ السنوية التي كان يتلقاها من طهران حتى قبل سنتين ، لقاء السير في مشروع التوطين ؛
ـ قرار السعودية منح دار الإفتاء اللبنانية ، المرجعية الروحية لسنة لبنان ، مبلغ 15 مليون دولار لمساعدتها على شراء أراض في مناطق تابعة لمنطقة " القريعة " (1) قرب مدينة صيدا تضمها إلى أراضي الوقف التابعة لها . وهو أكبر مبلغ تتلقاه دار الإفتاء في تاريخها . على أن يكون ذلك جزءا من عملية أوسع نطاقا لشراء المنطقة بكاملها وبناء مجمعات سكنية حديثة لفلسطينيي المخيمات في الجنوب بتمويل أوربي ـ سعودي لحكومة السنيورة و " تيار المستقبل" . وتؤكد مصادر إسرائيلية أن مبلغ عشرة مليارات دولار أصبحت متوفرة لإقامة هذه المشاريع السكنية ولتسديد أثمان الأرض المشغولة الآن بالمخيمات الفلسطينية . وتشير أحدث المعلومات المتداولة في الأروقة الإسرائيلية وأروقة السلطة الفلسطينية برام الله إلى أنه تم شراء أكثر من مئة عقار كبير مساحتها تقارب مليوني متر مربع خلال الأشهر الأخيرة وحدها في المنطقة الممتدة بين بلدة جزين الجنوبية شرقا و شاطىء البحر غربا . وطبقا للمعطيات التفصيلية ، فإن العقارات التي تم شراؤها من قبل مسؤولين لبنانيين في " تيار المستقبل" و دار الإفتاء تشمل خراج بلدات وقرى قبيع ، روم ، كفار فالوس ، جنسنايا ، بيصور ، حيداب ، مكنونية ، حسانية ، المجيدل ، طنبوريت ، زغدربا ، عين الدلب ، وصولا إلى أطراف مغدوشة والغازية ومخيم المية ومية . واللافت أن العقارات التي يجري شراؤها بسرعة فائقة تتمتع بميزة التواصل الجغرافي من جهة ، وبكون جهة واحدة هي التي تقوم بعملية الشراء!؟
لكن الملاحظة الأبرز في هذا المجال هي أن العقارات المشتراة تتصل بشكل شبه تام مع مشروع " كفار فالوس " الذي بدأ الرئيس الحريري بإنشائه منذ نهاياة السبعينيات ، وأكمله في العام 1985 دون إي إعاقة (!؟) من القوات الإسرائيلية و " جيش أنطوان لحد " اللذين كانا يسيطران على المنطقة . وبحسب مصادر إسرائيلية فإن " فكرة توطين الفلسطينيين في هذه المنطقة كان الرئيس الحريري أول من طرحها حين طالب أطرافا أوربية ( فرنسية ؟) بالتدخل لدى إسرائيل للحصول على ضوء أخضر منها من أجل إشاء مشروعه " ! وتنقل هذه المصادر عن الوسطاء الأوربيين تأكيدهم " أن الحريري يرى في المشروع نواة لمشروع مستقبلي يمكن أن يكون حلا للوجود الفلسطيني في لبنان ، فضلا عن كونه حلا للمشكلة الديمغرافية في الجنوب اللبناني " . وذلك في إشارة منه إلى الغالبية التي يشكلها الشيعة هناك ! ويضم مشروع " كفار فالوس " ، الذي تعرض لبعض الأضرار خلال استهدافه غير المقصود أثناء مواجهات مسلحة حدثت في المنطقة العام 1985 ، جامعة تضم كلية للهندسة الصناعية وأخرى للزراعة الغذائية ، وثالثة للتمريض ، فضلا عن مدارس نموذجية من مستوى رياض الأطفال حتى الثانوية . ومن الواضح ، حسب مصادر إسرائيلية معنية ، أنه بدأ بمشاريع إنمائية من هذا النوع " بهدف التغطية على الهدف الاستراتيجي "! ويقع المشروع الذي تبلغ مساحته أكثر من مليون متر مربع على تلة حرجية ترتفع عن سطح البحر حوالي 500 متر وتقع في منتصف الطريق بين صيدا وجزين!؟


ـ تقديم مبلغ خمسة ملايين دولار من السعودية لمفتي جبل لبنان محمد علي الجوزو خلال زيارته الأخيرة للسعودية كتكاليف لحملته الإعلامية والمذهبية التي يشنها ضد حزب الله خصوصا والشيعة عموما ، على اعتبار أن حملة من هذا النوع لا يمكن أن تقوم بها " دار افتاء " مباشرة ، كونها مؤسسة رسمية تمثل السنة ككل في لبنان ، بمن فيهم الجزء المتحالف مع الشيعة . وتسجل المصادر الإسرائيلية تطورين مهمين في هذا السياق ، أولاهما قيام الأمير بندر بن سلطان ، رئيس مجلس الأمن الوطني السعودي ، بترتيب عدد من اللقاءات بين المفتي الجوزو وأجهزة استخبارات " فتح " في جدة والطائف والرياض خلال الأشهر الأخيرة . وتكشف هذه المصادر عن أن المفتي الجوزو كان علاقة تاريخية " تنظيمية " وثيقة بهذا الجهاز وقادته السياسيين و التنفيذيين مثل صلاح خلف و هايل عبد الحميد ( أبو الهول ) وقبله أبو علي حسن سلامة . حيث كان ، طبقا لهذه المصادر ، موظفا رسميا عندهم يتلقى مبالغ مالية ثابتة . أما ثاني هذين التطورين فهو إقدام المفتي الجوزو ، الذي يمثل تيارا وهابيا متطرفا غير معلن داخل دار الافتاء ، على فتح النار باتجاه نبيه بري زعيم حركة أمل ورئيس مجلس النواب ، بالشدة نفسها التي فتحها على حزب الله . وهذا ما كان تحاشاه حتى وقت قريب انطلاقا من تصور في دار الإفتاء و " تيار المستقبل " يقوم على أن فتح النار على نبيه بري يعني القطيعة النهائية مع الشيعة و إغلاق آخر نافذة حوار معهم كان يمثلها شخصيا من خلال " اعتداله " واعتباريا من خلال رئاسته مؤسسة البرلمان .
ـ تكليف الرئيس الأسبق أمين الجميل من قبل تحالف " 14 آذار " ، لا سيما جنبلاط و " تيار المستقبل " ، بزيارة كردستان العراق من أجل تعميق الصلة بتيار رئيس الإقليم مسعود البرزاني . وتسجل مصادر الاستخبارات الإسرائيلية في هذا السياق ، والتي لم تكن بعيدة كما يبدو عن ذلك ، أن الزيارة التي حصلت نهاية تشرين الأول / أكتوبر الماضي كانت بترتيب مع مسشار الأمن القومي الأميركي ستيفن هادلي الذي وصل إلى إربيل بالتزامن مع وصول الرئيس الجميل ، وحضر معظم اجتماعاته مع الزعيم البرزاني ومسؤولي أجهزته الأمنية والعسكرية ( البيشمركة ). وبحسب هذه المصادر فإن الرئيس الجميل "طرح على القيادة الكردية بشكل رسمي إمكانية دعم تحالف 14 آذار يالمقاتلين الأكراد المدربين جيدا إذا ما تطورت الأمور في لبنان باتجاه المواجهة المسلحة . وقد حصل الجميل على وعد الرئيس البرزاني بتلبية الطلب حين الاقتضاء " . وتؤكد هذه المصادر أن " الرئيس البرزاني أخبر ضيفه أمين الجميل بأنه يستطيع تأمين ما بين 800 إلى ألف مسلح من البيشمركة . وهو ما يكفي لخلق نوع من التوزان العسكري مع ميليشيات المعارضة ، باستثناء حزب الله ، على اعتبار أن هذا الأخير لا يمكن له أن يتورط في مواجهة مسلحة داخلية ويترك ظهره مكشوفا أمام إسرائيل والقوة الفرنسية في اليونيفيل التي تتربص به شرا " . وتشير المصادر الإسرائيلية إلى أن " التحالف المستجد بين الزعيم البرزاني و قوى 14 آذار اللبنانية سيكون واحدا من محاور البحث على انفراد بين الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد والرئيس العراقي جلال الطالباني خلال زيارته نهاية هذا الأسبوع إلى دمشق ، على اعتبار أن الطالباني لا يمكن أن يقبل بهذا التطور بالنظر لعلاقته التاريخية مع دمشق وطهران " . ( كتب هذا التقرير قبل زيارة الرئيس العراقي لدمشق ـ المترجم ) .
من الواضح أن الأسابيع القليلة القادمة ستكون حاسمة جدا على الساحة اللبنانية ، وستشهد تطورات غير مسبوقة منذ انفجار الأزمة مجددا بعد اغتيال الرئيس الحريري . ومن الأكثر وضوحا أن شعرة واحدة باتت تفصل بين الحل والمواجهة الشاملة التي لن تنحصر هذه المرة ، فيما لو حصلت ، داخل الحدود اللبنانية . وستكون الأطراف الإقليمية والدولية في ساحة المواجهة لأول مرة بشكل علني ، بعد أن كانت لاعبا من وراء الستار على مدار الأزمة اللبنانية المعاصرة التي بدأت في العام 1975 ولم تجد حلا جذريا حتى الآن ، والتي لن تجد لها مثل هذا الحل ، على ما يبدو ، طالما لم تستطع " الإستابلشمنت " الأميركية رؤية المنطقة والعالم إلا من ثقب أنبوب نفط أو من خلال النظارات السوداء التي يرتديها الأصوليون في الـ Meah Shearim ( الهامش2).

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(1) ـ منطقة جغرافية " جردية " غير مأهولة تقع في إقليم الخروب ، قضاء الشوف . كانت أولى المناطق التي حاول الرئيس الحريري أن يقيم فيها مشروعا اقتصاديا ـ اجتماعيا لإسكان الفلسطينيين المهجرين في لبنان خلال الحرب الأهلية . إلا أنه توقف إثر حملة احتجاجات سياسية وإعلامية وشعبية قوية على خلفية ما نشر في حينه من معلومات عن علاقة المشروع بـ " مؤامرة التوطين " . ( " الحقيقة " )

(2) ـ الميه شآريم ( מֵאָה שְׁעָרִים ) : حي " المئة بوابة " في القدس . ويعتبر حاضرة اليهود الأرثوذوكس المتطرفين . ( نشكر السيدة ر . خ . على التصويب الذي وصلنا منها بصدد ترجمة هذا التعبير العبري).




http://newhk.blogspot.com/





le guerrier de la Paix, Mr. Elie Hobeika:

Le guerrier de la paix se comporte parfois comme l'eau, et il se glisse entre les nombreux obstacles qui parsement sa route.

En cela reside la force du courage: jamais un marteau ne peut le briser, ni un couteau le blesser. L'epee la plus puissante du monde est incapable de laisser une entaille a sa surface.

Tenue a sa source, elle acquiert peu a peu la force des fleuves qu'e!le rencontre.

Pour le guerrier de la paix, il n'existe rien d'abstrait. Tout est concret, et tout lui inspire respect.

Il ne reste pas assis, dans le confort de sa tente, a observer ce qui se passe de par le monde.

Le guerrier de la paix accepte chaque defi comme une occasion de se transfomer lui-meme. Le guerrier transforme sa pensee en action.

Un guerrier courageux pense simultanement a la guerre et a la paix, et il sait agir selon les circonstances.

Un guerrier de la paix ne reste jamais indifferent a l'injustice. Il sait que tout est un, et que chaque action individuelle affecte tous les hommes de la planete

Alors, quand il se trouve devant la souffrance d'autrui, il se sert de son epee pour remettre les choses en ordre.

Un guerrier de la paix n'est jamais lache. La fuite peut etre une excellente methode de defense, mais on ne peut y recourir quand la nation est en danger.

Dans le doute, le guerrier prefere affronter la defaite puis soigner ses blessures - car il sait que, s'il fuit, il donne a l'agresseur un pouvoir plus grand que celui qu'il merite... Le pouvoir de falsifier l'histoire.

Dans les moments difficiles et douloureux, le guerrier assume sa position defensive avec heroisme, resignation et courage.

Et le guerrier de la paix de dire:

" Bien que je sois passe par tout ce par quoi je suis passe, je ne regrette pas les problemes dans lesquels je me suis engage, parce que ce sont eux qui m'ont mene la ou je voulais arriver.

Je porte en moi les marques et les cicatrices des combats -elles sont les temoignages de ce que j'ai vecu et les recompenses de ce que j'ai conquis.

C'est moi qui ai decide de prendre cette voie.

Cette phrase renferme tout son pouvoir. Il a choisi la route du defi et du courage legendaire,pour laquelle il a paye avec sa vie, et le martyr ne se plaint jamais.

6 ans après, tu es toujours présent parmis nous.

100 ans après, tu seras toujours présent parmis nous.

Je n’oublierai jamais ! Jamais !


You Have Your Lebanon and I Have My Lebanon

Gibran Kahlil Gibran

(written after the first World War, in the 1920’s)
You have your Lebanon and its dilemma. I have my Lebanon and its beauty. Your Lebanon is an arena for men from the West and men from the East.

My Lebanon is a flock of birds fluttering in the early morning as shepherds lead their sheep into the meadow and rising in the evening as farmers return from their fields and vineyards.

You have your Lebanon and its people. I have my Lebanon and its people.

Yours are those whose souls were born in the hospitals of the West; they are as ship without rudder or sail upon a raging sea…. They are strong and eloquent among themselves but weak and dumb among Europeans.

They are brave, the liberators and the reformers, but only in their own area. But they are cowards, always led backwards by the Europeans. They are those who croak like frogs boasting that they have rid themselves of their ancient, tyrannical enemy, but the truth of the matter is that this tyrannical enemy still hides within their own souls. They are the slaves for whom time had exchanged rusty chains for shiny ones so that they thought themselves free. These are the children of your Lebanon. Is there anyone among them who represents the strength of the towering rocks of Lebanon, the purity of its water or the fragrance of its air? Who among them vouchsafes to say, “When I die I leave my country little better than when I was born”?

Who among them dare to say, “My life was a drop of blood in the veins of Lebanon, a tear in her eyes or a smile upon her lips”?

Those are the children of your Lebanon. They are, in your estimation, great; but insignificant in my estimation.

Let me tell you who are the children of my Lebanon.

They are farmers who would turn the fallow field into garden and grove.

They are the shepherds who lead their flocks through the valleys to be fattened for your table meat and your woolens.

They are the vine-pressers who press the grape to wine and boil it to syrup.

They are the parents who tend the nurseries, the mothers who spin the silken yarn.

They are the husbands who harvest the wheat and the wives who gather the sheaves.

They are the builders, the potters, the weavers and the bell-casters.

They are the poets who pour their souls in new cups.

They are those who migrate with nothing but courage in their hearts and strength in their arms but who return with wealth in their hands and a wreath of glory upon their heads.

They are the victorious wherever they go and loved and respected wherever they settle.

They are the ones born in huts but who died in palaces of learning.

These are the children of Lebanon; they are the lamps that cannot be snuffed by the wind and the salt which remains unspoiled through the ages.

They are the ones who are steadily moving toward perfection, beauty, and truth.

What will remain of your Lebanon after a century? Tell me! Except bragging, lying and stupidity? Do you expect the ages to keep in its memory the traces of deceit and cheating and hypocrisy? Do you think the atmosphere will preserve in its pockets the shadows of death and the stench of graves?

Do you believe life will accept a patched garment for a dress? Verily, I say to you that an olive plant in the hills of Lebanon will outlast all of your deeds and your works; that the wooden plow pulled by the oxen in the crannies of Lebanon is nobler than your dreams and aspirations.

I say to you, while the conscience of time listened to me, that the songs of a maiden collecting herbs in the valleys of Lebanon will outlast all the uttering of the most exalted prattler among you. I say to you that you are achieving nothing. If you knew that you are accomplishing nothing, I would feel sorry for you, but you know it not.

You have your Lebanon and I have my Lebanon.

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أن نَخْـرقَ سَقـفَ بكركي... فَلِكَي نرى الله


ناصيف قزّي *



بعد أكثر من شهرين على إطلاق ما سُمِّيَ «الثوابت المارونيَّة»، ومعها «مسوّدة ميثاق الشرَف»، وغداة صدورِ رسالةِ البطريرك المارونيّ في بِدءِ الصَوْمِ الكبير، وبُعيدَ إعلان «بيان مجلس المطارنة الموارنة» الشُباطيِّ الأخير، الذي تبنّى بوضوح ما «ظَنَّه بعضُهم محاولةَ انقلابٍ ترمي الى تغييرِ مسار البلد» والى «إحباطِ مؤتمر باريس 3»، ليشكر «أهل الخير من دول العالم الذين يسارعون إلى نجدتنا»، ويلقي اللوم على «المسؤولين بيننا» الذين «يُغرقون البلاد في خلافاتهم ومشاحناتهم وارتهان بعضهم للخارج»، بعد كل ذلك، وبغض النظر عما ترمي إليه بعض التعابير من دلالات، وبعدما كانت ورقة «الثوابت المارونيَّة» قد قدَّمت حلاً سياسياً متكاملاً لقي إجماعاً لبنانياً، أتت «رسالة الصوم» لتتطرَّق، من جديد، بالإضافة الى ما حملته من مفاهيم عامة في محبة الوطن والأرض والمواطنين، الى الشأن السياسي. وفيما أشارت الى ارتفاع الدين العام، والى شكوى المواطنين من الفقر والعوز، ذكَّرت بـ«إقفال العديد من المتاجر وخاصة في وسط العاصمة لما أقيم فيها من خيم نصبها المضربون الذين يقضون معظم أيامهم ولياليهم في تدخين النارجيلة ولعب الورق وقتل الوقت». وقد جاء هذا الكلام نافراً، كما لو أنَّه ليس للاعتصام أيّ هدفٍ وطني، وأنَّه لا مشكلة دستوريَّة للحكومة... والفريقُ الحاكم ليس متسلطاً ولا ضارباً عرض الحائط بكل الأعراف والمواثيق.
ألم يكن من الأجدى بصاحب الغبطة والنيافة أن يقارب المسألة الوطنيَّة كما وردت في إعلان «الثوابت المارونيَّة»، التي أكَّدت أنه لا يمكن «لملمة الوضع المتفجِّر» إلا «من خلال تأليف حكومة وفاق توفّر مشاركة واسعة على مستوى الوطن(...) وإذا تعذَّر ذلك، السعي الى تأليف حكومة من مستقلِّين تعمل على إقرار قانون جديد للانتخاب(...) بغية توفير تمثيل صحيح لكل فئات الشعب»(...) يتم بموجبه «إجراء انتخابات مسبقة»... ويصارُ من ثَمَّ الى إيجاد حلٍ «لواقع رئاسة الجمهوريَّة»؟ ونحن على يقين، من أنه، وبمجرد الموافقة المبدئيَّة على ذلك، لا يبقى أحد في الشارع؟
في الواقع، ما من عاقل، ومهما أغرق في طوباويَّته، يمكنه أن يمر مرور الكرام على بعض تلك الأحكام والاستنتاجات والنعوت التي وردت في «البيان الشهري للمطارنة» وفي «رسالة الصوم»... والتي، وفي أحسن الأحوال، تتعارض مع روحيَّة ورقة «الثوابت المارونيَّة» الصادرة قبل شهرين، وعن المرجعيَّة نفسِها.
هكذا، إزاء مواقف الآباء الملتبِسة من بعض القضايا الوطنيَّة، والتي اعتدنا أن نشير إليها همساً، منذ أن كنا نلملم بقايانا في زمن التهجير ومآسيه، لا خوفاً من «محاكم التفتيش»، ولا احتراماً لموقع الكنيسة ورمزيَّتها في نفوسنا فحسب، بل لعدم إيذاء مشاعر المؤمنين، أولئك الودعاء الذي غالباً ما تلتبس عليهم الأمور، فلا يعودوا يميِّزوا بين الرسالة وحاملها.
إزاء هذه المواقف، وبغض النظر عما يمكن أن يفتقِدَ إليه بعض الكلام الوارد في النصوص من الدقة والموضوعيَّة، لجهة إحكام الربط بين المسبِّبات والنتائج، كان لا بد لي أولاً من أن أختلي بنفسي، كما في أوقات المحن والمفترقات والعثرات، لأستقرئ التاريخَ وأحداث التاريخ ومساراته كافة، فأرصُدَ فصولَ المعاناةِ وما عاشَهُ أجدادُنا من عذاباتٍ مدى قرون... قبل أن أسأل عن ماضي وحاضرِ ومستقبلِ كنيستي المارونيَّة... الكنيسة التي أسّسها، قبلَ أربعةَ عشرَ جيلاً، بطريركُ أنطاكيا الماروني الأول مار يوحنا مارون، على اسم ذلك الناسك العظيم مار مارون، والتي كانت، مع سواها من جماعاتٍ دينيَّةٍ مسيحيَّةٍ وإسلاميَّة، في أساسِ بناءِ لبنان. وكم تماهَيْتُ في رحلةِ الهواجِس والهمومِ تلك، مع كلِّ عذاباتِ شعبيّ، لأسألَ ما إذا كانت كنيستي اليوم، وفي ضوء ما تتخذه من مواقف، لا تزالُ حقّاً كنيسةََ الشعب... كنيسةََ المتألِّمين والودعاءِ والبسطاء... كنيسةَ المؤمنين... الكنيسةُ التي طالما حافَظَت على أصالتها الروحانيَّة والنسكيَّة، تلك التي شكَّلَت أبهى مظاهرها؟
أنا أعرف ان الكنيسة هي كنيسة الرجاء، لكني، وحقِّ السماء، صرت أفقدُ الرجاءَ كلما نظرتُ الى كنيستي؟
أفقد الرجاء عندما أسمع سيد الصرح يتحدث عن «زمن البؤس». وقد كرَّر ذلك مراراً وتكراراً، ليعودَ اليوم فيختمَ به «رسالة الصوم»... الرسالة التي من المفترض أن تحضِّرَنا الى زمن القيامة... زمن التجدُّد والانبعاث.
أفقد الرجاء عندما أرى بعض الآباء والمعاونين منشغلين بالشأن اليومي، من تشريفات واستقبالات ومواكبات وإطلالات وكاميرات، أكثرَ من انهمامهم بنشر رسائل التجديد في الكنيسة وفي حياة الجماعة، من الإرشاد الرسولي الى المجمع البطريركي وسواهما من الرسائل الكنسيَّة التي لا تنضب. حتى إن النرجسيَّة حَدَتْ بعضهم على التنظير لـ«حب الحياة» في إعلانات تلفزيونيَّة ترويجيَّة فئويَّة...!؟
أفقِد الرجاءَ عندما أسمع مسلسل تصريحات بعض صغار الساسة الموارنة التحريضيَّة، والمتكرِّرة بشكل منتظم من على درج الصرح، ومن دون أي محاولة من الكنيسة للَجْمِها.
أفقد الرجاء عندما أعي مدى التباعد القائم بين مسيحيَّة الصفوف الأماميَّة والكاميرات المكرَّسة ومناداة هذا بالبيك وذاك بالشيخ، وملكوت المسيح. أليس هو القائل، على ما جاء في عظة البطريرك لمناسبة عيد مار مارون، «إنكم إخوة، والكبير فيكم، فليكن لكم خادماً»؟هل يمكن أن تتعاطى بكركي بالسياسة من بابها الضيق، هي الحريصة كلَّ الحرص على الوجود التاريخي للموارنة وللبنان، أم شيء ما يدور في أروقتها في غفلة عن سيِّدها؟ ومتى تتمُّ المصالحة بين الكنيسة والشعب، فتصبح الكنيسة كنيسة الشعب لا كنيسة المتسلّطين الذين أثروا من دون عناء... أولئك الذين يصعب عليهم أن يكسبوا ملكوت السماء؟
وبعد،
إلى متى سيبقى سقف بكركي حاضناً بعض الحقيقة وغافلاً أو متغافلاً عن بعضها الآخر؟لا أريد، هنا، وبأي حال من الأحوال، أن أخدِشَ صفاءَ الإيمان وطهره عند المواطنين الطيِّبين. وإذا كان البعض يرى أنّي أخرُق سقفَ بكركي، أنا الماروني الحريص، الذي اطمأنَّ إليه، يواكيم مبارك، العالم الموصوف، «فاطمأنَّ قلبُه على الموارنة ولبنان» ــ ورد ذلك في مقدمة الخماسيَّة الأنطاكيَّة/أبعاد مارونيَّة، ص. XLV ــ إذا كنت حقاً أخرُق سقف بكركي... فلكي أرى الله!؟ أنا الذي أراه في عيون كلِّ الصامتين والحائرين والقلقين من أبناء شعبي... أراه في وجوه كلِّ المعتصمين الصادقين الصامدين والصابرين في ساحات البطولة والشرف... حتى يعودَ لبنان وطن الشراكة الحقيقيَّة... وطن الرسالة والرسوليَّة... وسيعود.
هل يدرك الأحبار مدى التوتر الذي يحدثه البيان الشهري للمطارنة الموارنة في نفوس الناس، عندما يجافي الحقيقة، قلْ بعضَها؟
يذكِّرني هذا البيان الشهري، الذي يصدر في الثانية عشرة ظهرَ كلّ أول أربعاء من الشهر، فينتظره الكثيرون من اللبنانيين، كمن ينتظر الفرج الآتي من مكان ما، لينصدموا، عند إذاعته، بمضمونه، الذي غالباً ما يأتي مشابهاً لبيانات الحكومة اللاشرعيَّة، فيتسبب لهم بارتدادات انفعاليَّة تنكأ عمق مشاعرهم... ولا سيما عندما يستمعون إليه وهو يخرج عنوةً، كلماتٍ ملحّنةً، من بين شفاه أمين سر البطريركيَّة المارونيَّة المطبَقَة. يذكِّرني هذا البيان الشهري، بصفارات الإنذار Les Syrennes، التي كانت تزعَقُ ظهرَ كلِّ أولِ أربعاء من الشهر في باريس، يوم كنت على مقاعد الدراسة في عاصمة الثقافة، فيتنبَّهُ الناس فجأة الى إمكان اندلاع الحرب، ليستدركوا فوراً أن ما يجري هو مجرد تجربة.
فلكي يخرجَ «بيان المطارنة الشهري» عن كونه صفارة إنذارٍ تجريبيَّة، ينتهي في الأذهان عند الانتهاء من إذاعته، أدعوكم، أيها الأحبار، الى التبصّر أكثر فأكثر في هموم الناس والوقوف على قناعاتهم، وذلك بعدم غضِّ الطرف عن الحقائق الأساسيَّة التي قد لا تأتيكم من أولئك الزائرين المداومين، المتزلِّفين والمأمورين، الذين يحلِّلون كل شيء بحسب مصالحهم الذاتيَّة.
أدعوكم، أيها الأحبار، للعودة الى الناس والوقوف بجانبهم أكانوا في الطرق والساحات، أم في المنازل والمعابد والحقول؟ ألم يفعل ذلك الرسل والقدّيسون؟ وهل يعقل ان تكون الكنيسة على الحياد أمام جيش محتل أو حكمٍ مستبدّ أو سلطة جائرة... مهما تكن المبرِّرات؟
واسمحوا لي هنا أن أعود الى كتابات أحد جهابذتنا الأفذاذ، وهو واحد منكم، المطران أنطوان حميد موراني في كتابه طريق الإعجاب بالله، إذ يقول، مستلهماً رسالة بولس الرسول الى أهل روما: «السلطة هي أداة الله لخيرك، لكن خَفْ إذا فعلتَ الشرَّ، فإنها لن تتقلَّد السيف عبثاً... ولذلك لا بد من الخضوع، لا خوفاً من الغضب فقط، بل مراعاة للضمير أيضاً. فمثل هذه الطاعة هي للخير العام. والسلطة هي من الله. لكن لها حدوداً. فالسلطة وُضعت لخيرنا، ومتى لم تعد تحافظ على خيرنا بل تناقضه، فإذّاك لا بد من مقاومتها حتى الثورة». أليس هذا ما عُرِف بـ«لاهوت التحرير»؟ أليس في هذا الكلام ما نحن حقاً بفاعلين؟
عودوا إلينا بالبساطة والمحبة، أيها الأحبار، وعلِّمونا المقاومة... مقاومة الشر... والشر بيننا ومن حولنا. علّمونا مكافحة الفساد... والفساد مستشر في كل مكان. دعوا «غضبنا المقدَّس» يُدرِك، ولو لمرَّةٍ، مبتغاه. أعيدونا الى «نداءاتكم الخمسة»، تلك التي أزاحت يوماً عن صدورنا كابوس الخوف والذل في زمن الوصاية. ثم أعيدونا معكم الى الله... الى السماء وتعاليمها... الى الروح وصفائه. انبذوا الأحقاد واجمعوا شملنا. أعيدونا من عثار... ثم علّمونا من جديد فعل المحبَّة وفعل الإيمان وفعل التوبة وفعل الرجاء... وكلّ الوصايا... التي ما زلنا، ومنذ طفولتنا، نرتجف عند سماعها كي نلتزم... ولو كان ذلك مرهوناً بضعفنا البشري.
بكلمة، أعيدوا إلينا كنيسة الرجاء... لكي يعود إلينا الرجاء...!؟
اصغوا إلينا، أيها الأحبار... فمن حقنا أن تصغي الكنيسة إلينا وأن تسأل عن همومنا، في وقت تبدَّد فيه الحكم وتسلَّطت الحكومة وانتُهك الدستور وازدوجت معايير الأمم ومواثيقها... فأنتم الأب الذي يُفترض به أن لا يفرِّق... وأن لا يعامل الجلاد والضحية المعاملة نفسها.
ثم، هل يعني توقيعنا الميثاق، «ميثاق الشرف»، أن نتخلى عن حقِّنا الديموقراطي المشروع في الاحتجاج بشكل سلمي؟ وأين وجه الشبه بين هذا التحرك والرصاصات القاتلة؟
هل يَعقُل أن لا ترى «رسالة الصوم» الكبير من دلالات للتحركات الشعبيَّة المعترضة، سوى بعض السلبيات، من «شلّ الحركة الاقتصاديَّة» الى «العادات الدخيلة على مجتمعنا»، مروراً بـ«بلبلة الحياة الاجتماعيَّة»؟
ومنذ متى كان مجتمعنا مجتمع الخنوع والانهزام والقبول بالذلّ والرضى عما يجري من دون أية مساءلة؟ وهل «محبة الوطن» تفرض علينا الصمت إزاء الأخطار التي تهدِّد الوطن؟هل نسي صاحب الغبطة والنيافة أنه وافق الإكليريكيّين في غزير وشجَّعَهم، يوم كان مدرِّساً في أواخر الستينيَّات من القرن الماضي، شجَّعهم على التجمهُر والاحتجاج بالعنف واقتحام الصرح والصراخ في وجه سيِّده، آنذاك، الكاردينال بولس المعوشي، للمطالبة بحقوقهم البسيطة؟ هل نسي؟ وأين البساطة في قضيتنا اليوم؟ أليست قضيَّةً كيانيَّة تلامس حدَّ ضياع الوطن؟
وبعد،
نسألكم، أيها السادة، أن تُخرجوا بعض الأحبار من اللوحات الإعلانيَّة والصور الترويجيَّة لـ«حبِّ الحياة»، لأنَّنا، نحن المسيحيِّين بالتحديد، ندرك تماماً أننا «نحيا لنحب»... فالحب عندنا هو الغاية الأساسيَّة وليست الحياة. ألم يرد في «رسالة الصوم» أن «المحبة هي الألف والياء في الدين المسيحي»؟
أخيراً، تؤرقني كنيستي... كنيستي العجوز. فما أخشاه، بعد ما شهدناه ونشهده من مفارقات، هو أن يكون «مجلس المطارنة»، بناءً على وشايات كاذبة ومضلِّلة، قد اتَّخذ قراره بالصلب... كما حدث لنا مرّة في أورشليم منذ نيف وألفين... فتبقى الساحةُ، عندئذ، مفرغةً لذاك «الذي يتزيَّا بملاك النور»... ذاك الذي حذَّرنا منه بولس الرسول في رسالته الثانية الى أهل قورينتوس.
أخاف من «ملاك النور» هذا... لكن حكاية شاوول ماثلة في قلب التاريخ... لتزفَّ البشارة وتملأ الزمان فرحاً ورجاءً. الكنيسة لا تشيخ... إنها تجدُّد دائم... كما المسيح في صورته الأزليَّة... و«أبواب الجحيم لا تقوى عليها»...!
وختاماً، أرجوكم في المرَّة الثانية، أيها الأحبار، أن توقِّعوا الميثاق، «ميثاق الشرف»، بأنفسكم قبل أن ترسلوه الى بعض الذين كان من المُفترض أن يوقِّعوه، علَّهم يخجلون... كي لا يعود إليكم، في نزاعه الأخير، لتمشحوه...!؟* أستاذ الفلسفة في الجامعة اللبنانيَّة



يا .. مار مارون

غسان الشامي

‏الثلاثاء‏، 06‏ شباط‏، 2007

عندما قرأت كتاب تاريخ الموارنة للأب بطرس ضو عام 1990 ، الذي طبع بأمر من البطريرك نصرالله بطرس صفير ، وكان حين طباعة الكتاب أمين سر البطريركية المارونية ، لفتني فيه وجود خريطة سمّاها المؤلف "مهد الأمة المارونية" وموقعها في شمال سورية ووسطها ، وبعيداً عن الدخول في سجال حول تعريف الأمة ، وهي واقع اجتماعي بحت ، لا تفصّل في الجغرافيا على مقاس طائفة أو مذهب ، فإن الكتاب حفزني لزيارة "المدن الميتة " وسورية الوسطى مرات عدّة مستطلعاً ومستمتعاً ، وصولاً إلى البحث عن مدفن مار مارون ،الذي أفرد له الكتاب صورة واضحة في قرية "براد".

وفي رحلة البحث عن مهد مار مارون الآرامي السوري ، وصلت إلى قرية أكدة قرب الحدود مع تركيا التي كانت تدعى "كيتا" ومنها انطلق الناسك من حضن معلمه الشهير "زابينا" إلى بلدة " نيارا " القريبة من "اعزاز" حيث تنسك مع صديقه داميانوس في كوخ على بيدرها ، وصولاً إلى " كفر نبو" منطلق حضوره وتبشيره وانقضاضه على التماثيل الوثنية وبناء كنيسته وصولاً إلى مدفنه في " براد".

كان مشوار البحث طويلاً ، لكنه يستحق العناء ، نجم عنه فيلمان وثائقيان، واحد خلال زيارة البابا يوحنا بولس الثاني إلى سورية ضمن مجموعة أفلام "أعمدة النور" حيث كشف للمرة الأولى ناووس مار مارون ، والثاني قبل سنتين وعنوانه " في ديار مار مارون" تابع بالصورة الموثقة حياة ناسك الشمال السوري ورحلة الموارنة إلى لبنان.

ما سبق تمهيد طويل للدخول في لجاجة الأسئلة التي تؤرق الباحث عن الحقيقة، فلقد تصورت بعد الكشف عن موقع تبشير مار مارون والناووس الذي ضم جثمانه منذ العام 1410 للميلاد أن تسعى البطريركية المارونية ، التي تأخذ حضورها من اسم شفيعها إلى الحج نحو ذلك الشمال الجميل الذي عاش فيه الراهب والناسك الآرامي ، الذي توفي بعد مرض دون أن يترك رهبانية أو يؤسس طائفة أو مذهبا ، بل ترك فضائل شاعت بين أهل زمانه فتحولت" كفر نبو" لسنوات طوال إلى موئل للحجيج، وكذلك المعبد الملحق بكنيسة جوليانوس في " براد" حيث وضع جثمان مار مارون، لكن وبعد ست سنوات من إزاحة التراب الذي غطى الناووس طيلة أربعين عاماً يبدو أن السياسة توغل في الإيمان ، فالبطريركية لم تنبس ببنت شفة ولم تحرك ساكناً وسافر البطريرك عبر القارات إلى رعيته في البرازيل وكندا وإلى البيت الأبيض ، ولم يزر رعيته السورية أو ملاعب طفولة ونسك وناووس وكنيسة شفيع بطريركيته.

لا تبرير إيمانياً وحتى سياحياً لهذا الأمر ، إلاّ أن مار مارون " لسوء طالعه " في العصر الأمريكي ، أنه سوري الأرض والهوية والولادة والتبشير والوفاة، في زمن نسي الكثيرون بيوتهم وأروماتهم وأجدادهم وقراهم ، بعدما دخلت السياسة والأحقاد ، التي يصل بعضها إلى العنصرية المطلقة، بعض محاريب من آمنوا.

أسوق هذا الكلام لأنه لا يمكن طمس حقائق التاريخ والجغرافيا ، وعيد مار مارون بعد غد ، فمهما تغرّب القوم لا بدّ من أرض وهوية لهم ، وإلاّ سيصبحون تفصيلاً في سياق التاريخ، وهذا ما جعلني أغض الطرف عن تصرفات بعضهم السياسية عبر تاريخنا الطويل ،وتحديداً خلال الحملة الصليبية ، رأفة بانتماء إلى هذه الجغرافيا وهذا التراث .. وللذين يقرؤون الأحداث جيداً عليهم مراجعة حقبة البطريرك يوسف الجرجسي!!.

في التاريخ عبرة..لذوي الانتماء.





http://elie-hobeika.blogspot.com/
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الخط الاحمر بقلم: زينا الخوري
رسم السيد حسن نصرالله خطين احمرين: الجيش اللبناني ودخول المخيمات، فقامت القيامة. وفي ‏الحقيقة كان يرسم الخط الاخطر على سلامة لبنان.‏يوم تحوّل اللاجئ الفلسطيني الى مقاوم، رفع شعار «هويتي بندقيتي». فتحوّلت المخيمات ‏الفلسطينية الى محميات. كان هدف البندقية تحرير القدس واستعادة فلسطين. ومع مرور الزمن ‏تغير التصويب... وصارت «المخيمات» اماكن عاصية، خارجة على القانون.‏ما الفرق الى اية جهة تنتمي «فتح الاسلام»؟ واذا كان شاكر العبسي ربيب المخابرات ‏السورية، ام هو من صنع المخابرات الاردنية، او صدّره لنا ابو مصعب الزرقاوي ليقطع ‏رؤوسنا؟ المهم هو الدور الذي يقوم به هذا التنظيم الاجرامي على الاراضي اللبنانية.‏لقد لجأت هذه المجموعة الارهابية بداية الى مخيم عين الحلوة. ثم انتقلت الى نهر البارد. فضّلت ‏النهر على العين لان برودة النهر وكثافة سكانه تؤمن لها حماية غير متوفرة على العين.‏الجيش اللبناني مجروح. وقد سقط له عدد كبير من الشهداء الابرار. من حقه وواجبه ان يطبق ‏العدالة ويقتص من المجرمين. والشيخ حسن نصراله يعرف اكثر من غيره خطورة الامر. وهو حريص ‏على الجيش حرصه على الوطن. وهو حتماً لا يدافع عن القتلة.‏لكن الفرق شاسع بين القبض على عصابة ارهابية مجرمة، وبين الدخول في حرب مخيمات، تنطلق من ‏البارد لتعمّ المناطق كافة. الحالة الثانية بداية زلزال تقودنا الى الفوضى، التي تحوّل ‏وطننا الى عراق آخر. وهذا ما يطلبه الذين يتآمرون على لبنان.‏عام 1973 وقع الصدام الاول مع المخيمات. وكان الرئيس سليمان فرنجية مصمماً على حسم ‏الموضوع... لكنه توقف؟الجيش السوري بكل عناده لم يدخل لاستخراج ابو عمار... بل فاوضه لترحيله. وشارون مر بجيشه ‏الجرار بالقرب من هذه المخيمات.‏ودخول الجيش اللبناني اليوم في حرب استنزاف مع المخيمات هو الخط الاحمر في هذه المرحلة ‏الصعبة من تاريخ لبنان؟ فكفى مزايدة وتحريضاً!‏

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Lebanon: France Moves To Incite Civil Unrest
Saturday, 21 April 2007, 1:35 pm
Column: Rami Zurayk

Chiraq’s Lebanon
By Prof. Rami Zurayk
French President Jacques Chirac is set on starting a new bout of civil fighting in Lebanon. For months, his ambassador to Lebanon, Bernard Emié has been pumping steroids into the muscles of the US supported Lebanese Government. The French are conniving with the US administration to block all possible avenues for compromise between the Lebanese Government and the Opposition. This is effectively paralyzing the country and creating an environment conducive to civil strife.

Last week, while the Lebanese were commemorating the start of the 1975 war with chants of “never again”, France was submitting a strongly worded motion to the UN Security Council. The text openly referred to the Lebanese Resistance as a “militia” (a term still rejected by the Lebanese state) and called for its disarmament. It also drew explicit connections between Iran’s nuclear aspirations and the resistance to Israel. The motion is so extreme in its support of Israeli ambitions that it is being opposed by China, Russia, South Africa, Ghana, Congo, Panama, and Qatar, all currently members of the UN Security Council.

What does Chirac want? Not much: an International Tribunal empowered by the UN Security Council. The Tribunal will exact revenge for the murder of his friend and benefactor, Rafic Hariri, the Lebanese (born) Saudi magnate who was Lebanon’s prime minister for over a decade.

What’s wrong with a UN sponsored International Tribunal? A lot has been written about this supra-judiciary tool. Besides the intricacies related to national sovereignty and legal minutiae, the main issue lies in the use of the Tribunal as a political tool. The current perception of the Lebanese Opposition is that this Tribunal cannot be neutral nor objective (the UN being a surrogate of the US administration); and that its main purpose is to end resistance to US (and Israeli) hegemony in the Middle East. In simpler terms, phony International Justice will be used as the weapon to accomplish what neither diplomacy (UN resolution 1559 calling for the disarmament of the Resistance) nor violence (33 days of relentless Israeli bombing, mayhem and destruction of Lebanon in July-August 2006) could achieve. Disarming the resistance will facilitate the physical elimination of its leadership and remove the last bastion of opposition to Bush’s New Middle East.


Lebanon is a nation hopelessly divided into self-serving sects. Weakening one sect will automatically strengthen the others. Hizbullah and the Resistance represent today the Shi’a sect of Lebanon. Eliminating their leadership will automatically relegate the Shi’a back to their traditional low caste status.

For this reason, many Lebanese are very hostile to an UN-sponsored International Tribunal. For this same reason, many Lebanese want the International Tribunal. The US-supported Lebanese Government has sent a draft approval of the International Tribunal to the Security Council. To become legal, this draft has to be approved by the Lebanese Parliament and countersigned by the Lebanese President. This is where the stalemate of the LIARS, lies....
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TAKE THREE:
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New UK Ambassador Starts SECRET Mission in Yemen : RE :THE COLE INCIDENT....

Last Friday, March 9th, Mrs. Frances Mary Guy, the new Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Yemen arrived in Sanaa to start her mission as the ambassador appointed by Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Mrs. Frances Guy has previously worked in several posts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UK and in British embassies in Paris, Amman, Khartoum, Bangkok, and Addis Ababa....
It is worth mentioning that this is her first post as "Ambassador", even though it will be her third position as an "undercover...in Her Majesty's Secret Service" in the Arab world..........
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Negotiations to find a compromise between the International Tribunal and the protection of the Lebanese Resistance from US and Israeli vindication have been going on, but very slowly. Chirac, however, is in a hurry. He wants a tribunal before the end of his term in May 2007. He has been unremittingly lobbying for the Tribunal to be approved by special UN Security Council resolution under the 7th Article of the UN Charter. This would effectively declare Lebanon a non-state, and place it under the control of the UN. This is also the best way to start a civil war. The Opposition has repeatedly warned that forcing the International Tribunal through the Security Council will lead to “chaos”, a euphemism for unbridled civil violence. But what does Chirac get out of that? After all he opposed the US sponsored invasion and destruction of Iraq, and has bragged plenty about it. Could it be that the alligator actually has a heart? That he really misses his friend Rafic Hariri? That the insurmountable loss has turned him into a political vigilante? This is the story being peddled by the Hariri-controlled media in the A