Lebanon has truly lost one of its finest sons. Elie Hobeika will go down in history as one of Lebanon’s most honorable men, who sacrificed their lives so that Lebanon may live. His story will be passed down from generation to generation and from father/mother to son to daughter. We tell the enemies of Lebanon that WE ARE ALL HK, Elie Hobeika for Ever !!
My dear friends and fellow admirers of HK, Elie HOBEIKA.
You have written so many letters of condolence since Elie Hobeika died that I've been overwhelmed at the task of answering them. But know this, all of them meant something, all of them moved me deeply, all were appreciated, and all were read. Elie Hobeika was larger than life and there was never a room he entered that he left without making his mark. At some point in his life, he passed from being merely memorable to being legendary.
In the twenty-eight years he was in the service of Lebanon, Elie Hobeika concentrated on the task of defending his country and he did so, exceedingly well. In the next few years left to him, he put all his efforts into the art of being a terrific son, a loving father, a unique Leader, a brother of great substance, a beloved Leader, and a friend to tens of thousands. Out of politics, the hero let his genius for humor flourish. Always in motion he made his rounds in Beirut each day and no one besides himself knew how many stops he put in during a given day. He was like a bee going from flower to flower, pollinating his world with his generous gift for friendships, flexibility and acumen.
Elie Hobeika was a man's man, a soldier's soldier, a natural Leader. There was nothing soft or teddy-bearish about him. His simplicity was extraordinary. He died without ever complaining about anything. I think he loved ALL his extended family and friends with his body and soul, yet no one ever lived who was less articulate in expressing that love. On the day that I told him that there was nothing more to be done for him, " They want you out, I said, ". He simply said "Don't worry about it". I've had a great life. No one's had a life like me. Everyone should be so lucky."
Elie Hobeika believed in dialogue, debate, and argumentation in a peaceful way, which was characteristic of him throughout his life. Elie Hobeika never believed in the use of crude and gratuitous violence to achieve political aims, or to solve any intractable problems.This does not negate the fact that during war time, he was a heroes hero on the battlefield, a courageous fighter and a legend. Many of his comrades in arms will attest to many of his legendary achievements on the battle field,and in the pursuit of peaceful coexistence among the various Lebanese factions, and our immediate neighbors throughout his career, despite the fact that he was acutely aware of the insurmountable difficulties and historical and religious divisions, and the numerous foreign interference and interventions on the Lebanese political and security landscape, during the last 4 decades until this very day.
Elie Hobeika died with exemplary courage, as one would expect.
He never complained about pain or whimpered or cried out. His death was HEROIC . He never quit fighting, never surrendered, and never gave up. He died like a king.
He died like The Great Phoenix,
. . . for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help from pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night....
HK for EVER.
I thank you with all my heart.
My Country LEBANON.
The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know, but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of rugged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!
The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm red soil.
Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.
Core of my heart, my country!
After Jesus, Mary and all Saints,
Land of ALL God's Glory,
Land of ALL Religions and Heroes,
Land of the rainbow gold, land for
All minorities no matter their origins,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze ?
An opal-hearted country,
A willful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendors,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.
هوى «الفارس» شامخاً
بين وقفاتك الشُّمِّ العابقة برائحة الرجولة، المُتّكئة على صنّين وحرمون، وبين وقفات أولئك السياسيين الأذلاّء، الذين
يتسكعون على أبواب السفارات، ويُرددون أقوالَ أسيادهم فرقٌ كبيرٌ، كما بين رأس الأرزة وجذع الشّوح...
بين لبنانك السيِّد الحرِّ المستقل، لبنانك القوي، لبنانك الثابت على التفاهم والوطنية، وعلى الشراكة الحقيقية والمواطنية الصادقة، ولبنانهم التبعي المملوك، لبنانهم الضعيف، القائم على الاستثمار والاستئثار، وعلى حَلْبِ خيراته، والتفرّد به غنيمةً سمينةً، بونٌ شاسعٌ كما بين النُّبل والدناءة، وكما بين الشهامة والخنوع...
يا صاحب اللفتة الشمّاء، والكفِّ السمحاء،
يا أيّها الليث الرابض على مشارف الوطن لحماية ترابه المقدّس،
يا أيّها الممتلئ نعمةَ المجد،
يا أيها الصوت الصارخ في رحاب الحرّية، والمزمجر في أرجاء الكرامة والعنفوان، والهادر في فضاء العزّة والشهادة،
يا مَنْ يُطربكَ صهيلُ الخيلِ، ويُسكرك صليلُ السيوف، وتبشُّ لزغردات النّصر، وتنصت لحداء البطولة، وتخطفك أناشيد الحريّة...!
يا قائدًا كبيرًا،
ويا نسيبًا عزيزًا،
شموخُ رأسِك، مـا أحْنتْهُ نائبــةٌ صنوُ الجبـالِ، يُحاكي شمخةَ القِمَمِ،
عيناكَ قُدسانِ، نور الحقِّ نورُهُما، عينٌ على الحبِّ، والأخرى على العَلَمِ،
سَهِرْتَ عُمرَكَ للأرزاتِ تَحرُسُها نَمْ يا حبيبي، فطولُ العمرِ لمْ تَنَمِ.
I don’t know when I first heard the song. It was a long time ago that I first heard this little hymn, this little song, this musical refrain. I believe that it is a memorable song for life. It goes like this:
It’s about love, love, love,
It’s about love, love, love,
Cause God loves us we love each other,
Father, Mother, sister, brother,
Everyone sing and shout, cause
That’s what it’s all about love.
It is short; we can listen to it again, to get the movement and flow of words.
It’s about love, love, love,
It’s about love, love, love,
Cause God loves us we love each other,
Father, Mother, sister, brother,
Everyone sing and shout, cause
That’s what it’s all about.
That’s what it is all about, and that is what this sermon is all about today. It’s about love. That’s what our hymns are all about today: love. That’s what life is all about: love.
It’s about love, love, love. From the moment you are born until the moment you die; and every second and every minute and every hour and every day and every month and every year and every decade, the purpose of life is God giving you and me the time to learn how to love, as God loves. The purpose of time, of every moment and every day and every year is that God is teaching us what it means to be truly loving people. That’s what it is all about. That is what it has always been about.
The shape of God’s love in us is forever changing throughout all of our lives. The shape of God’s love in us never stays the same....
Death comes. The house is empty. The apartment is empty. Time is empty. The shape of love is a great, big gaping hole in one’s heart…and memories.
And that’s what it’s all about. It’s about love, love, love.
It’s about love, love, love.
Cause God loves us we love each other,
Father, mother, sister, brother,
Everyone sing and shout, Cause,
That’s what it’s all about.
That’s what life is all about. From the moment we are born until the moment we die; every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every month, every year, every decade, and every moment in between, God is trying to teach us one thing. To love as God loves. And the shape of love is always changing. The shape of love is always expanding. Foolish is the person who thinks that she or she knows what love is at fifteen, or twenty-five or fifty-five or seventy-five, because the shape of God’s love in us is forever expanding and changing in our lives.
The Apostle Paul wrote one of the most beautiful odes to love found in either secular or religious literature when he wrote the following words, the text for today. As many of you know, this is my mantra, one of the three passages of Scripture that I recite to myself every day and have for many years. It has become the code of my life, my spiritual gyroscope, my compass, my inner guiding light.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have the faith to move mountains but am not a loving person, I am nothing. If I give away all that I have and deliver my body to be burned, but am not a loving person, I gain nothing. … A loving person is patient and kind; he or she is not jealous or boastful, arrogant or rude, irritable or resentment. A loving person does not insist on one’s own way. A loving person does not rejoice in those things that are wrong but a loving person rejoices in those things that are right. A loving person bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. … If this quality of love ever becomes yours, it will never pass away. As for tongues and religious ecstasies, they will cease. As for knowledge, it too will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our ecstasies are imperfect, but when the Perfect One comes, our imperfections will pass away. … When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I reasoned like a child, I thought like a child. When I finally became a mature person (for some of us, that is later in life than earlier), I gave up my childish and self-centered ways. …Now, I see in a mirror dimly, but in the future, more clearly. Now I know things only partially, but in the future, I shall understand all things fully, even as I have been fully understood my God. … So, faith, hope and love abide, these three, but the greatest gift that God has given to us is his love. Therefore, make love your goal, your reason, your purpose for living.”
That’s what it is all about. It’s about love, love, love. From the moment you are born until the moment you die; with every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every month, every year, every decade, and in every moment in between, God is teaching you and me the same thing: to be like God, to be fully the most loving person that God can make of us. That’s what it is all about. If anyone asks you what it is all about, what life is all about, it is about love, learning to love with the love of God.
God commands us to love one another in these ways. It is like God commanding fish to swim. It is like commanding birds to fly. It is like God commanding daffodils to be beautiful. When God commands us to love as God loves, God is simply commanding us to be the kind of people that we were created to be in the first place.
And that is what it is all about.
It’s about love, love, love.
Cause God loves us we love each other,
Father, mother, sister, brother.
Everybody sing and shout, Cause
That’s what its all about. Amen.
Open Letter to Fellow Christians By sherry clark.
"If you are open to recognizing that the United States behaves much as other great powers have behaved, but you get your information through the standard American Channels, I dare you to expose yourself to the facts that have been suppressed by our newspapers and magazines. If you are one who wants to be a disciple of Jesus, you will have some hard thinking to do about what American Christians are called to be and to do at this historic moment."-John B. Cobb Jr, coauthor of The American Empire and the Commonwealth of GodNever utter these words, "I do not know this, so therefore it is false." One must study to know, know to understand, and understand to fairly judge. I sincerely hope that you don't know what is going on in this country…because that would explain the eerie silence emanating from the Christian community. I can easily forgive you for not rising up to speak out against such grave threats if you haven't yet recognized them as such. I myself have just woken up from the fantasy of what I thought was America. I thought that America, the land that I loved was good…like Santa Clause.I now know I live in a place whose government openly tortures people and justifies it. I live in a country that on the basis of outrageous lies is waging an illegal war with illegal weapons and with no end in sight. I live in a country that suppresses science which may prove to threaten the survival of the human race! I live in a country that glorifies greed, intolerance and ignorance through a culture reinforced through mass media. I live in a country that claims to be democratic yet votes are repeatedly stolen. No, this isn't a place I recognize, and the more I see it as it is, the more I know our country needs powerful voices to proclaim our Christian ideals….our ideals of love, compassion, honesty, and courage.Silence in such immoral times is complicity to the crimes that are known yet unrepudiated. The pacifists of the world have historically allowed the evils of slavery, the holocaust, and segregation to continue unchallenged. Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it, yet the disastrous course of this regime makes silence unconscionable. We are in the midst of modern-day Muslim Holocaust with US playing the part of the Fourth Reich.May this letter serve as the religious community's notice that from now on, you must either stop being mistaken in believing our war is just and subsequently speak out against it, or cease being HONEST. If you bow down through your silence and let these atrocities continue unchecked, then what is the purpose of the Christian life? We cannot serve two masters. We cannot allow lies to flourish, while the truth is hidden under our breath. Can God feel welcome in places where truth is not?"Those who do not stand up for something, will bow down to anything."A truth of this nature and of this magnitude has the power to radically transform our wealthy, yet morally bankrupt society. The veil of lies that has darkened our once rational and collective consciousness is acting like a cancer growing untreated…invading once healthy parts of the body, until the entire body relinquishes in the struggle. Until you look deeply into the cells, it is impossible to decide which is healthy and which is malignant. The explanation, "I can't believe that!" just isn't good enough when so much is at stake."For whenever you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."-Arthur Conan DoyleThe Widows and families of the victims of September 11th, are begging Americans to stand with them in demanding a new investigation. We as Christians are told to defend the widows, yet too few among us has demanded a new investigation. If it weren't for the relentless efforts of the September Eleventh Widows, America would not even have the 9/11 Commission Report. This "conclusive investigation" failed to mention World Trade Center 7, and saw the source of funding into the 9/11 attacks "of little practical significance."It is disturbing to me that the Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas H. Kean said, "FAA and NORAD officials advanced an account of 9/11 that was untrue...We, to this day, don't know why NORAD told us what they told us...It was just so far from the truth." Likewise, Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Lee Hamilton, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Homeland Security Advisory Council said, "We got started late; we had a very short time frame...we did not have enough money...We had a lot of people strongly opposed to what we did. We had a lot of trouble getting access to documents and to people. ... So there were all kinds of reasons we thought we were set up to fail." For more opinions on this issue, look at http://www.patriotsquestion911.org/.Does this mean that 9/11's "conclusive investigation" failed? If September Eleventh has not been properly investigated, then how can we know how to properly respond to it? How can there be justice and peace without the truth? Christians seem to mistake the absence of conflict as peace, but peace can not be attained without boldly facing the lies which started the conflict! A lasting peace can only be secured when it is built upon a foundation of truth. The truth may be scary, but the lack of it is much more treacherous.How can our faith be relevant when unable to address the problems of today? Silence to injustice is betrayal to the oppressed. Lies of omission and commission lead down the same road of destruction! We must save our own troops and the Iraqi people alike from any more unnecessary deaths.There are some who seem to believe that when the truth is this bloody we should just bury it, but I disagree. I believe that when the truth is so gruesome, we each have an obligation to expose it for what it is. This truth will signal a wake up to Christian patriots to blow their horns like Gabriel, or choose to play Taps for freedom, justice and peace.Christians offer no support to our brave soldiers if we refuse to face the truth of why they are there. We allow more soldiers to die if we fail to learn and spread the message of the truth...the "good news" and the bad.Instead of shouting the ever popular, "Free Darfur!" we should remove the log out of our own eyes and shout "Free Iraq!" to the real terrorists…which truth be told…is US! The United States of America is a terrorist nation, and through our Christian community’s silence, we are complicit in our own government's crimes.Iraq didn't have Weapons of Mass Destruction, and yet...who did? Have you ever heard of depleted uranium warheads? Already, birth defects are so pervasive and severe that new Iraqi parents don't ask, "Is it a boy or a girl?" Instead, they ask, "Is it normal?" The effects of our illegal war is that the ancient land where Jesus once walked will be uninhabitable…forever.Dr. David Ray Griffin is right, "Religions of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your impotence!"Authors Website: http://www.waronwar.us/
Now for Worldly Matters of Fact.
SAVING LEBANON FROM THE USA
"EVERYTHING you know is "said" to be "WRONG" !
"The Truth IS STRANGER than fiction."
"The Truth is ALWAYS the FIRST CASUALTY OF WAR."
"OFFICIAL LIES are ALWAYS the BIGGEST LIES OF ALL."
"The more things change, the more they STAY THE SAME."
MOUHAMMAD FOUAD AL-SANNYOURA, PAWN OF CIA, TRAITOR IN CHIEF, LIAR.
The Planning started way back in the US Strategic Agreement in 1998....
The TOOLS.... and the Kleiat Air Force Base in North Lebanon ???
The Murders and the "Outcry"...
THE END GAME .... KSA [ DIVIDED IN THREE TERRITORIES? ]
THE THUG FROM TEXAS, MANIPULATED BY DICK CHENEY,
THE STOOGE OF THE MOTHER OF ALL LOBBIES,
THE PETROLEUM LOBBY , OF TEXAS...
"THE SUM OF ALL LOBBIES WORLDWIDE"
THE LITTLE DONKEYS
From a LEBANESE WHO DOESN'T WANT TO BE A PAWN,
in some insane clash of civilizations, religions, or sects :
Finding themselves somewhat bogged down in the Iraqi quagmire, the neoconservatives are reveling in the latest crisis, displaying their customary hubris in re-seizing the initiative. The U.S. press and blogosphere is awash with neocon-inspired calls for indefinite shooting, no talking and extension of hostilities from Lebanon, to Syria and Iran, with Gingrich calling this a third world war to "defend civilization."
Disentangling Lebanese interests from the rubble of neocon "creative destruction" in the Middle East has become an urgent challenge for the Lebanese . An America that seeks to reshape the region through an unsophisticated mixture of bombs and ballots, devoid of local contextual understanding, alliance-building or redressing of grievances, ultimately undermines both itself and LEBANON. The sight IN Summer of Secretary of State Rice homeward bound, unable to touch down in any Arab capital, should have a sobering effect in Washington and Beirut.
But The vile Lebanese phony leaders, with murky pasts, some of them murderers themselves, or accomplices and/or accessories to murder...well known to us, and their impotent coalition of cowards, thieves and liars, made fiery speeches after the failed war of USA and Israel this summer. They lashed out at Hizbullah , Damascus and Tehran. They blamed Syria for ALL assassinations, which is partially true and they know it, but since their closets are full of it, they have to follow instructions from CIA, MOSSAD and Neoconville with half-truths and utter fabrications . What is the cause of their panic? Why have these archenemies united against the Hizbullah? The reason behind their panic is that Shiites are demanding their due share in the government. The traditional ruling elites are not willing to share the power with Shiites, PERIOD, and have been recruited by Neoconville to become tools and lackeys.
The language of their speeches is politically incorrect. It angered the Shiites when they watched on television insults hurled at their faith and their leaders. They did not think for a moment that their rousing speeches could further increase the sectarian divide.? Of course they did, but this is precisely what they are aiming for, courtesy of their master handlers in CIA, NSC and MOSSAD.
Afghanistan is yet to be secured, Iraq is an exporter of instability and perhaps terror too, Resistance fighters have been strengthened and encouraged, while the public throughout the region is ever-more radicalized, and in the yet-to-be "transformed" regimes of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, is certainly more hostile to Israel and America than its leaders. Neither listening nor talking to important, if problematic, actors in the region has only impoverished policy-making capacity. But Iran knows best the History of the USA , CIA and MOSSAD, better than anyone in the region, starting with the Aug. 19th 1953 coups d'etat against Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, and operation AJAX.
Lebanon does have enemies, interests and security imperatives, but there is no logic in the country volunteering itself for the frontline of an ideologically misguided and avoidable war of civilizations, shaped by a criminal gang in Neoconville and Herzliya.
God bless common sense. No one should want to be the sacrificial lamb for another failed crusade, especially the Lebanese, who should know better, especially since they live in the neighborhood, unlike pro-war Americans, far too many of whom tend to belong in this category of : criminal gangs in the US Government and Militaro-Industrial-oil Complex .
Beyond that, Lebanon and its friends in the World should seriously reconsider their alliances not only with the neocons, but also with the "Christian's minorities Rights" so-called defenders in USA, with their close ties to The largest "pro-Israel" lobby, mobilized by Pastor John Hagee and his Christians United For Israel, a believer in Armageddon with all its implications for a rather particular end to the Middle East History of Religions. This is just asking to become the mother of all dumb, self-defeating and morally abhorrent alliances. Lebanon should know better.
The JULY 12th - August 14th 2006 WAR of Annihilation.
The BUSH+CHENEY Energy MATRIX, coming to a place
near you SOONER THAN YOU THINK....
The awakening is near.It will be like a hurricane
passing with untold fury.
Mark my Words: In the 80s... the Catch phrase in
Washington DC was , is :
Ohh: " Senator, I Don't Recall... " during the
Iran-Contra Gate... of RONALD Reagan.
In the coming years, very soon, the Catch Phrase
in Washington DC, is for sure,and will be :
"Senator: It is YET to be determined"
because we learned well;the lessons of
Iran/Contra... we think we managed to hide
our dirty deeds WELL; " Who did what, to the
energy security of the USA, where and When ?
" It is Yet to be determined ? Is the Senate
& the House "In" on the Shenanigans?
In the New Energy World War IV ,
NEOCONVILLE Energy Matrix GATE... ?
It's going to be HELL on the POTOMAC.
Mark My Words.
Cheney Faction Lashes Out
Against LaRouche Exposés
by Jeffrey Steinberg
According to a well-placed Washington source, in October of this year, a series of heated, closed-door debates took place in the office of Vice President Dick Cheney. The subject: whether or not to launch a public smear campaign against Democratic Party Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche, over LaRouche's year-long campaign to expose the Vice President as the leader of the neo-conservative war party inside the Bush Administration, responsible for the disastrous Iraq war and schemes for a string of future, similar senseless military engagements, all aimed at promoting a unilateral American imperium.
While some Cheney political aides opposed getting into such a flight-forward confrontation with LaRouche, some of the office hotheads, including the Vice President himself, as well as his chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby, reportedly insisted that the LaRouche exposes could not go unchallenged, according to the source.
Now, with the publication, on Nov. 24, of a scurrilous attack on LaRouche by neo-con scribbler Kenneth R. Timmerman, in the Moonie-owned Insight magazine, it is clear that Cheney and company have launched a dirty tricks effort against the Democratic Presidential candidate.
Parallel Dirty Tricks in Europe
In Europe, a similar Cheney-led smear campaign is underway against LaRouche, emanating out of England, and spreading into Germany and elsewhere. The ostensible subject of the European slander is the suicide death of a young British man, following his participation in a Schiller Institute youth conference in Germany. Despite a thorough investigation into the incident by both German and British authorities, the smears have persisted, confusing many in Europe. The publication of the Insight attack on LaRouche now confirms that the British media slanders of LaRouche are part of the same Cheney-led dirty tricks effort, to subvert LaRouche's Presidential campaign in the United States.
A 'Rogue Intelligence Cabal'...
The Nov. 24 Insight piece, accompanied by a photograph of Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith and Pentagon Office of Special Plans (OSP) head William Luti, accused Lyndon LaRouche of being the architect of a campaign to expose the OSP as a "rogue intelligence cabal," behind the unjustified and unwarranted Iraq war. Timmerman, whose attack on LaRouche is also being promoted by neo-con propagandist Frank Gaffney, through his Center for Security Policy website, lamented, "All this silliness could become deadly serious if Senate Democrats get their way, led by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI)."
Rockefeller has launched an SSCI probe into the OSP, and, in an Oct. 1 letter to Feith, demanded answers to a series of questions. A subsequent Oct. 30 letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, co-signed by Rockefeller and intelligence panel chairman, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), gave the Pentagon 24 hours to produce the material and supply witnesses.
In fact, on Oct. 27, Feith did submit a memo to the SSCI, with a top-secret annex, detailing "proof" that Saddam Hussein had been behind the Sept. 11, 2001 al-Qaeda terror attacks on New York and Washington. The Feith annex was also leaked to the neo-con Weekly Standard, which published lengthy excerpts from the classified document on Nov. 14, proclaiming "Case Closed"—i.e., that Dick Cheney's lying assertions that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 were now "proven."
Actual intelligence experts made mincemeat out of the Weekly Standard's effort to defend Cheney by regurgitating the Saddam-ran-Osama bin Laden fairytale. Former Defense Intelligence Agency Mideast head, Col. Pat Lang, debated Weekly Standard author Stephen Hayes on CNN on Nov. 20, and exposed the Feith memo as a cherry-picked collection of raw and uncorroborated intelligence reports. Former CIA officer Larry Johnson told The Hill on Nov. 19, "If anybody doubted that there was such a thing as intelligence with a [predetermined] purpose, this is a case study. Just because someone says something and it gets 'classified' stamped on it, doesn't necessarily mean it's true."
The leaking of the Feith annex to the neo-con media occurred simultaneously with the theft of Democratic Party staff memos from the Senate intelligence panel and the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sources say that both the thefts and the leaking of the pilfered staff memos to the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, and right-wing radio gadfly Sean Hannity, were all aimed at bullying Democrats into a defensive posture—allowing Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) to shut down the work of the Senate Intelligence Committee altogether, on the grounds that the Democrats were playing "partisan politics" with the national security of the United States in the midst of the "war on terror."
Maronite Patriarch Elias Hoyek, a man of Honor, Integrity, dedication and courage.
False Flag Operations, and Assassinations EXPERT.
KILLERS, MURDERERS, ASSASSINS, LIARS.
Several Senate sources have confirmed that Frist's unprecedented Nov. 14 shutdown of the SSCI's probe came under direct orders from the Vice President.
However, the whole scheme backfired, as Rockefeller refused to be cowed, and, instead, forced a criminal probe into the leaks and the thefts.
On Nov. 21, the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Pickle seized four computer servers at the Senate Judiciary Committee office, to determine how the theft of the staff memos, addressed to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) took place. Both the CIA and the SSCI have demanded a similar probe by the Department of Justice into the Feith memo leak, and the theft of a staff memo to Senator Rockefeller.
The stench of Watergate is in the air, and this time, the prime target is not the President, but Vice President Dick Cheney.
It was against the backdrop of this accelerating fight over the fate of Vice President Cheney that the Timmerman piece was published in Insight magazine.
After going through a defense of the legitimacy of the Pentagon OSP, and revealing that he had been given direct access to their office and the visitors sign-in logs, Timmerman posed the question:
"So how did a legitimate and effective Iraq planning office get painted as a dire 'cabal?' As incredible as it may seem, it began with conspiracy-theorist Lyndon LaRouche, a self-styled Democratic Party presidential aspirant who claimed in March that a 'cabal' of pro-Israel conservatives he called the 'Children of Satan' were running a rogue intelligence operation at the Pentagon. Their mission: fabricate intelligence and drag the Untied States into a needless war, all at Israel's bidding. It was all very dark, murky and conspiratorial. If responsible journalists had been doing their job, the story never would have crept from the LaRouche Website into the light."
Timmerman lashed out, "Instead, like a virus jumping from animals to humans, the story erupted in a May 6 article by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker." From there, Timmerman ranted, the LaRouche material—including the role of the late Leo Strauss, the intellectual guru of the neo-cons—found its way into the pages of the Guardian, Time, and scores of other "mainstream" publications.
The end-result: According to Timmerman, "Luti's office now stands accused by Sens. Rockefeller and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) of illegally organizing clandestine intelligence operations overseas." Among the allegations cited by Timmerman, and blamed, ultimately on LaRouche: That Luti's OSP coordinated its intelligence operations with a "rump unit" in the Office of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon; and that OSP personnel conducted unauthorized meetings overseas with Iranians.
An unnamed Administration official was quoted by Timmerman, "This is Church Committee stuff," a reference to the late 1970s Senate probe of CIA and FBI misdeeds.
The misdeeds, once again, are definitely there. OSP was set up at the Pentagon, in part, to come up with "off-the-reservation" unvetted intelligence to promote a war that Cheney and company had already decided on launching. Ostensibly run by Luti and Feith, the unit, in fact, was steered by Libby, on behalf of Dick Cheney, according to eyewitness accounts.
CIA Director George Tenet has reportedly told several Congressmen and Senators that he is convinced the Pentagon was engaged in unauthorized covert operations, that first require Presidential Findings.
These are serious crimes—far beyond the scope of the original Watergate scandal. Attacking Lyndon LaRouche for his persistent campaign to expose Cheney et al. is not going to change that one iota.
Tenet says he's a scapegoat on Iraq 'slam-dunk'...
One more cover-upper Story, one more jumping ship...
The former CIA director lashes out at the White House.
By Greg Miller
Times Staff Writer
April 27, 2007
WASHINGTON — Ending two years of silence on his role in the Iraq war, former CIA Director George J. Tenet is using a new book and a barrage of upcoming television appearances to accuse the White House of making him a scapegoat and of ignoring early CIA warnings that Iraq was sinking into chaos.
In a taped interview scheduled to air Sunday on CBS, Tenet said President Bush had made up his mind to invade Iraq long before the CIA director made his infamous Oval Office remark that it was a "slam-dunk" case that Saddam Hussein's government had banned weapons.
Tenet was even more forceful in his criticism of Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, saying that the two had destroyed his reputation by repeatedly using the "slam-dunk" line to pin blame on him for the decision to go to war.
"It's the most despicable thing that ever happened to me," Tenet said in the "60 Minutes" interview, according to an excerpt CBS released Thursday.
Speaking about the December 2002 meeting in which he sought to assure President Bush that the evidence against Iraq was solid, Tenet said: "I'll never believe that what happened that day informed the president's view or belief of the legitimacy or the timing of this war. Never."
Tenet's comments represent a new and potentially politically damaging source of fire in the ongoing battle among Bush administration officials over blame for the Iraq war. Tenet's entry is remarkable because he previously had been seen even by many of his supporters as excessively loyal to the Bush White House, which awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom when he left the CIA in 2004.
Tenet's book, "At the Center of the Storm," is to be released Monday.
The book's publisher, HarperCollins, has not issued advance copies.
But colleagues of Tenet and former CIA officials who have read all or portions of the 576-page book said it offers a detailed account of the CIA's role — as well as the agency's increasingly dysfunctional relationship with the White House — through a tumultuous period including the Sept. 11 attacks and the aftermath of the Iraq invasion.
Former officials said the book makes a compelling case that Cheney and other administration hawks pressured the CIA to find nonexistent links between Iraq and the Al Qaeda terrorist network, and often were hostile to post-invasion assessments that portrayed conditions in Iraq as deteriorating.
"The administration is not going to be happy," said Mark Lowenthal, a former senior aide to Tenet at the CIA who said he reviewed portions of the book. "But the administration is not happy with George anyway. This administration and the intelligence community became estranged in 2004 to the point where the administration was convinced the CIA was actively working to elect John Kerry."
A spokesman for the White House National Security Council said administration officials had not seen the book or Tenet's interview, but he defended the decision to invade Iraq.
"The president made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein for a number of reasons, mainly the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq and Saddam's own actions," the spokesman, Gordon Johndroe, said.
Lowenthal declined to discuss details of the book, saying he had promised to keep its contents under wraps until its release. Other officials discussed aspects of the book on the condition that they not be identified because they were not authorized to disclose its contents.
Cheney has continued to suggest there was an IraqAl Qaeda connection in interviews and speeches, despite congressional findings and other investigations that have concluded that Hussein and Al Qaeda did not collaborate and were wary of each other.
"George is going to talk not so much about Cheney the person but about what Cheney's actions caused," a former CIA official said. "We spent thousands of man-hours trying to prove this case."
As it became clear after the invasion that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction or close ties to Al Qaeda, Tenet initially defended the Bush administration, saying the CIA was not pressured into reaching conclusions before the war. But a former senior CIA colleague of Tenet said there was a difference in how the White House approached the two issues.
"We've always drawn a distinction between the way the administration dealt with us on WMD and the way the administration dealt with us on the issue of Saddam's potential or possible links to 9/11," said the former colleague. "On WMD, they asked a lot of questions and they pushed the evidence as far as they could…. On the other issue, we developed the belief early on there was not a close connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda that could be called operational. It's not really much of a secret that the administration kept looking for one."
Two former CIA officials said the part of the book with the most new information focuses on post-invasion warnings. The book "plowed some new ground as far as agency views and comments on the situation on the ground in Iraq," one official said.
In particular, the readers said, the book describes warnings from the CIA station in Baghdad that were greeted with dismay and mounting suspicion within the White House, including a November 2003 assessment that described the situation as an insurgency.
After that assessment was leaked to the press, Bush summoned Tenet and other CIA officials to the White House and warned that he didn't want anyone in his administration to use the term "insurgency," according to the officials.
"There's a lot of stuff in the book that paints a picture of an administration wrapped in its own beliefs, not being able to handle information that was contrary to those beliefs," said the former official who commented about Tenet's view of Cheney.
The official said the book is also critical of Rice.
Tenet "has a strong belief that Condoleezza Rice has been a failure as a national security advisor, and that's one of the themes," the official said.
Tenet, who served as CIA director for seven years, engages in some hairsplitting over his role in certain controversies. He acknowledges having used the term "slam-dunk," for example, but in his interview with "60 Minutes" he insisted he had not meant that the evidence was unequivocal that Iraq possessed banned weapons — only that he had believed the government could make a compelling case to the public.
Former officials said the book also examines the "16 words" controversy surrounding the CIA's efforts to warn the White House against including in Bush's 2003 State of the Union address the allegation that Iraq had sought uranium from Africa.
Dick Cheney’s office produced the American-Israeli plan, with Elliott Abrams, a deputy national-security adviser, according to several former and current officials. (A convicted criminal , warmonger , racist and liar .) They believed that Israel should move quickly in its air war against Hezbollah. A former intelligence officer said, “We told Israel, ‘Look, if you guys have to go, we’re behind you all the way. But we think it should be sooner rather than later—the longer you wait, the less time we have to evaluate and plan for Lebanon II, Iran, before Bush gets out of office.’ "The Pentagon consultant told me that intelligence about Hezbollah and Iran is being mishandled by the White House the same way intelligence had been when, in 2002 and early 2003, the Administration was making the case that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. “The big complaint now in the intelligence community is that all of the important stuff is being sent directly to the top—at the insistence of the White House—and not being analyzed at all, or scarcely,” he said. “It’s an awful policy and violates all of the N.S.A.’s strictures, and if you complain about it you’re out,” he said. “Cheney had a strong hand in this.”...
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.|National Journal 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"....
"credible" intelligence sources....?
These are the only people "in the know" when
I was lucky to have some of the knowledgeable
ones.... TALK, and I did.
I am willing to tell you about some of them
But, it is impossible to make something
"credible" without some context.... That's
what I tried to do, by giving you some
background, which is obviously too distant
in time, to make too much sense for you
TODAY, in the environment we are in today.
given the Cacophonies of Lebanon, Iraq,
Iran and Israel/Palestine...and those
facts that I described, are too
distant in time, in the eighties....
For your information also, I would like
to tell all of you, that the Hariri
family, did their OWN PRIVATE
INVESTIGATION, WITH TOP WORLD RENOWN
INVESTIGATORS... AND IT SEEMS THAT THEY
WERE NOT MORE SUCCESSFUL EITHER...IN
GETTING ANY HARD "EVIDENCE".
Empirical evidence is nowhere to be found yet,
despite all the international investigations and
the "monies" spent, given the extreme
sophistication of the "operation itself".
It is an extremely clever operation, well done
and extremely hard to decipher with such
devastation and size of the BOMB.
It is not necessarily the sophistication of the
Bomb itself... it did not have to be.... All it had
to be is, devastating enough to do maximum
damage, and successful in reaching the target.
It had to be very "sophisticated" in the sense
that until today, no one was able to determine
with certainty, the Origin of the explosives used,
nor their "clever deadly MIX", and the
TRIGGER had to be sure enough to carry out
his deed, when instructed to go for the KILL.
That has been the strength of the operation
from the start, and the Fact that I am 100% sure
about: it was a suicide operation, pure and simple,
with the trigger inside the truck.... Abou Ala',
a 22 year old "indoctrinated" fellow, from either
Morocco, Iraq, or Arabistan [Iran] , that much is
KNOWN by DST, the DGSE, BND, and CIA.
None of them knows more about that suicide
bomber, where, how,who...?
NONE of them knows anything about him.
This is the major strength of Assef Shawkat's
The logistics are not very difficult, given what
Beirut is about: a small center of town, where
it is extremely easy to follow someone, given the
length of time they have been tracking his every
moves.... even when he was in the most personal
of situations.... and in every meeting he had
anywhere within Lebanon.
So, I am absolutely convinced, given the time
I spent looking into this, since Elie's assassination
in January 24th 2002, every day since, with many
sources, in many countries, that it is the exact same
TEAM who did BOTH operations...as far as the
preparations go, the planning , etc. and this TEAM
was encouraged by the success, in very quickly,
"burying" the whole operation in 2002, and were
absolutely convinced that this NEW operation on
Hariri, is going to be similar in nature, in the sense
that it will take them a couple of weeks of "NOISE"
from the entourage, and then everyone will fall in
line and shut-up.
This much, I grant you that they miscalculated,
but the other side of the "isle" wanted them to
believe that, in order to be able to apply pressures
on SYRIA, and get them to FOLD in line... and do
certain things... but that is a different angle, which
I am less interested in, for now....but is very
flagrant all around us, everyday since February
The "Bait" which was given to Assef Shawkat
to make his move on Rafic Hariri, as I told you
here in this, is definitely the fact that Hariri gave
money to a group of Muslim Brotherhood, at the
instigation of someone within Saudi Intelligence...,
who are even more extremists than Bayanouni,
and that is unforgivable to the Syrians. Assef
Shawkat had penetrated that group earlier,
and this fact was known to CIA and MOSSAD
Nobody needed to say or do anything more
than that fact of giving money... in order to have
SHAWKAT make his move ASAP. It is nothing
to do with 1559 or anything else.
Nobody had to sit in a dark room and conspire
in any way shape or form....with Syrian
Intelligence or any other Intelligence.
This act was the death nail of Rafic Hariri,
and it is very surprising that he did what he did,
when he did it . That's ALL, hence the definite
manipulation.... Rafic had never done that
before, he knew better.... he was up close and
personal with ALL of the Syrians, so why now?
ALL what I am telling you here is FACT, from
Intelligence sources, active, high ranking and
with tremendous access, DIRECTLY FROM
THEM, it is not an interpretation from
me....or " A THEORY" IN ANY WAY.
Let me also add that it is not that we will never know...
as you see, it is more like: NO ONE WANTS TO REALLY
REALLY KNOW, IS MORE IN LINE WITH "THE TRUTH"
OF TODAY... when you see the OFFICIAL INVITATIONS
ASSEF SHAWKAT RECEIVES TO COME TO PARIS,
and the number of times he has been to PARIS, since the
Hariri or Elie's MURDERS.... and he was received with
OPEN ARMS by DST, DGSE and others...
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.
April , 2007 -- WMR was the first to report on the establishment of a major US airbase in northern Lebanon to facilitate logistics for America's planned long-term stay in the Middle East, including the occupation of Iraq. On July 21, 2006, we reported, "With the carrying out of the Clean Break by Israel and the United States, profits for companies like Halliburton are bound to skyrocket. The Israeli attack on Lebanon is already estimated to have resulted in $2 billion in damage to Lebanon's infrastructure. WMR previously reported that Jacobs/Sverdrup has been promised a lucrative Pentagon contract to build a large U.S. airbase in northern Lebanon.
The editor reported on March 11, 2005: "Washington and Jerusalem media experts spun Hariri's assassination as being the work of Syrian intelligence on orders from President Bashar Assad. However, a number of Middle East political observers in Washington claim that Hariri's assassination was not in the interests of Assad, but that the Bush and Sharon administrations had everything to gain from it, including the popular Lebanese uprising against the Syrian occupation. Lebanese intelligence sources report that even without a formal agreement with Lebanon, the contract for the northern Lebanese air base has been let by the Pentagon to Jacobs Engineering Group of Pasadena, California. Other construction support will be provided by Bechtel Corporation. Jacobs Engineering and Jacobs Sverdrup are currently contracted for work in Saudi Arabia for Aramco, Iraq for the U.S. occupation authority, Bosnia, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Yemen, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. The Lebanese air base is reportedly to be used as a transit and logistics hub for U.S. forces in Iraq and as a rest and relaxation location for U.S. troops in the region. In addition, the Lebanese base will be used to protect U.S. oil pipelines in the region (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Mosul/Kirkuk-Ceyhan) as well as to destabilize the Assad government in Syria. The size of the planned air base reportedly is on the scale of the massive American Al Udeid air base in Qatar. A number of intelligence sources have reported that assassinations of foreign leaders like Hariri and Hobeika are ultimately authorized by two key White House officials, Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliot Abrams. In addition, Abrams is the key liaison between the White House and Sharon's office for such covert operations, including political assassinations."
Our Lebanese sources as well as the Lebanese daily newspaper Aldiyar now report that a NATO base is to be built soon on the grounds of the largely abandoned airbase at Klieaat in northern Lebanon. The base will serve as the headquarters of a NATO rapid deployment force, helicopter squadrons, and Special Forces units although the cover story prepared by the Lebanese and US governments is that the base will provide training for the Lebanese army and security forces. The base was pushed by elements in the office of the US Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Bush administration had recently warned Lebanon about the presence of "Al Qaeda" teams in northern Lebanon. Before his assassination, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was known to have been strongly opposed to any U.S. military bases in Lebanon, including the proposed airbase in Kleiaat.
America's new Kleiaat airbase in northern Lebanon prepares to host rapid deployment force. Assassinated former Prime Minister Hariri was adamantly opposed to the American base...and much more....? see below.
"Most information in Lamb's article came from WMR "
Lebanon and the Planned US Airbase at Kleiaat
May 30, 2007 Counter Punch
Franklin LAMB - On July 14, 1982, (Bastille Day) the late Bashir Gemayel sat with Ariel Sharon, Raphael Eytan, and Danny Yalon at the French flag draped Le Chef Restaurant in Ashrafiyeh, east Beirut for one of their working lunches.
As was by now their habit, the Israelis were inclined to pressure their recently anointed selection for Lebanon's next president. They were there to present a request for one more favor from the handsome 'golden boy' of the Phalange movement, as their army tightened its noose around west Beirut.
There was a good chance they would succeed . After all, Basher was beholding to the Zionists, for their many 'considerations', including the weapons skimmed from what the US reflectively shipped to Israel on demand, the intelligence sharing and assassinations of Palestinians who Bashir could not abide. The trio lunching with him that day, under the celebratory French flags in this francophone neighborhood could easily destroy Bashir Gemayel and he knew it.
They seriously underestimated the Palestinian hating, Muslim despising, would be phonetician Prince, Le sheik Bashir. In misjudging the charismatic Maronite, the Israeli trio had failed to appreciate that, on any day of the week, the average Lebanese is rather more sophisticated, clever, descent, and patriotic than many Israeli or American politicians give them credit for. The same obtains today.
Sharon pulled out a piece of paper from his chest pocket, as one Phalange security person who guarded the restaurant door recalls, and shoved it across the table to Basher. Written on it was Israel's 'one last request' which contained one word: Kleiaat
The Israelis studied Bashir's face for a sign of his reaction as he picked up the small piece of paper. Bashir, appearing to suppress a yawn, had heard this 'one last request' hustle many times and had long felt contempt for what he called "these pressure lunches." Yet, former alter boy that he was, the martyred, and still much loved Lebanese patriot, pressed his lips together and listened politely as is the Lebanese custom, as Sharon expounded on the details.
Bashir, fuming inside and about to erupt in anger as he had sometimes done previously when he felt squeezed by Sharon, instead smiled at the anxious trio. He leaned forward and whispered with a voice they still say in his Bikfayya neighborhood, would make women swoon: 'you will not be disappointed, my dear friends".
Sharon was delirious with Bachir's response and slapped him on the back, a gesture of friendship that the former parish crucifer found deeply offensive.
Returning to his Achrafieh Headquarters, bounding up the stairs to his office to meet with aids, where less than two months later, he would die from an assassins' bomb which would level the building and killed and wounded more than 200, Bashir bellowed as he entered his office, "An Israeli air base in Lebanon? Those crazy sons of bitches won't get one grain of sand from Kleiaat"
Nearly 25 years to the day later, some well informed sources within the Palestinian community as well as, Sunni, Shia, and Christian political analysts, agree on one point. In a coma as he may be, but Ariel Sharon
As residents of Bibnin Akkar, less than two miles from the site of the proposed US base and the Lebanese daily newspaper Aldiyar speculate, construction of a US airbase on the grounds of the largely abandoned airbase at Klieaat in northern Lebanon may begin late this year. To make the project more palpable, it is being promoted as a 'US/NATO' base that will serve as the headquarters of a NATO rapid deployment force, helicopter squadrons, and Special Forces units.
The base will provide training for the Lebanese army and security forces fighting Salafi, Islamist fundamentalists and other needs.
The Pentagon and NATO HQ in Belgium have given the project which, will sit along the Lebanese-Syrian border, using this vast area "as a base for fast intervention troops", a name. It is to be called The Lebanese Army and Security training centre".
Kleiaat, a nearly now abandoned small airport, was used by Middle East Airlines for a period for commuter flights between Beirut and Tripoli. Residents of the area report than during the Civil War (1975-1990) a commuter Helicopter service was also operated due to road closures.
The proposed base was measured by this observer to be roughly two and one-half miles down the beach from Nahr al-Bared Palestinian Camp. Both share pristine Mediterranean beachfront. Kleiaat is an expanse of gently undulating sandy dunes covered with long prairie grass and brush.
Despite opposition from Lebanon's anemic environmental movement, that argues that the pristine area should be left to its many varieties of birds and wildlife, the local community is watching closely.
Not much activity is going on as of May 29, 2007. About 20 Quonset huts, some recently driven stakes, no evidence of heavy equipment or building material. The three man army outpost fellows appeared bored and did not even ask for ID as I toured the whole area on the back of a fine new BMW 2200cc motorcycle courtesy of one of the local militia sniper guys who until two days ago was firing into Nahr al-Bared until the Lebanese army stopped him after the PLO leadership complained.
Lebanese entrepreneurs at Bibnin Akkar, a Sunni community loyal to the Hariri's, and who will be the chief financial winners from the project, see opportunities with thousands of new construction and related jobs coming. One kind fellow who hooked me up last night to intermittent internet via a jerry rigged dial up arrangement on one of his shop's two computers envisages running a fine new internet café with at least 50 wireless computers. Hotels, restaurants and businesses of various sorts are planning expansions to meet the demand of the expected workforce.
Who will not benefit from the building boom will be the 40,000+ Palestinians from Nahr al-Bared which is literally next door to the anticipated project These refugees, who were driven from their homes a in Palestine in 1948 and 1967, from Tal el-za'attar by the Phalanges in 1975, and others who came as a result of Israeli attacks on Lebanon in 1978, 1982, 1993, 1996, and 2006, will gain no work from Kleiaat. The reason is that the 70 top trades and professions in Lebanon are denied to the Palestinians under Lebanese law.
Even if the 20,000 Palestinians displaced by the current conflict with Fatah al-Islam are allowed to return, which I expect will be the case, and even if Palestinian fears that the Camps will be demolished are unrealized, as I believe, they will remain destitute, according to UNRWA who considers 10,000 of them 'special hardship cases".
As reported by the NATO headquarters in Brussels, as well as by residents in Bibnin Akkar on May 28, 2007, an American-German-Turkish military delegation toured and surveyed Akkar region. US Embassy 'staff' have reportedly visited Kleiaat airport earlier this year to look over the site. David Welch also had a quick look at the site during his recent visit.
A Lebanese journalist who opposes the base commented on May 28, 2007, "The Bush administration has been warning Lebanon about the presence of Al Qaeda teams in northern Lebanon. And the base is needed to deal with this threat. Low and behold, a new "terrorist group" called Fatah al-Islam appears near Kleiaat at al-Bared camp".
The Pentagon argues that the military base will contribute to the development and the economic recovery in the region, advising the Lebanese government to focus on the financial aspect and positive reflection on the population (95% Sunni) of the region.
Contenders for the billion dollar project, according to the Pentagon procurement office could be Bechtel and Halliburton and other Contractors currently doing projects in Iraq.
The martyred Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, saw potential for the Kleiaat airport as well. But he opposed a US airbase. Instead, Hariri, which the green grocer who sells fruits and vegetables to the Lebanese army patrolling the Tripoli-Syria four lane road in front of Nahr al-Bared, commented, " Rafik Hariri, may he rest in peace, loved Lebanon. But he never saw a piece of real estate he didn't want to develop!" Hariri envisaged a billion dollar Free Commercial Zone and a port, despite Syrian opposition, and had investors lined up before he was murdered. Damascus was opposed to the Hariri dream because the new Port and Free Zone would drain the revenues from the nearby Syrian Port at Latakiyyah.
According to Washington observers watching developments, the base has been pushed by elements in the office of the US Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the urging of Israeli operative Elliot Abrams. AIPAC can be expected to do the necessary work in Congress and with House Foreign Affairs, Appropriations, Intelligence, and Armed Service committees hermetically sealed by stalwarts of the Israel Lobby, it can be expected that it will be added as a rider to an unsuspecting House bill coming along.
"We need to get this base built as quickly as possible as a forward thrust point against Al Qaeda and other (read Hezbollah) terrorists", according to AIPAC staffer Rachael Cohen. Asked if Israel will offer training and advisors to the Lebanese army, Ms. Cohen replied, "we will see what we will see, Lebanon, smezzanon its not about them, its about stopping the terrorists stupid!"
"The question for Lebanon is whether the Lebanese people will allow the base to be built. Few in North Lebanon doubt that Israel will have access to the base " according to Oathman Bader, a community leader who lives in Bahr al-Bared but has fled to Badawi.
Fatah al-Islam and their allies have pledged martyrdom operations to stop the project, according to the Fatah Intifada, the group that expelled Fatah al-Islam from their camp on November 27, 2006.
According to a columnist at Beirut's Al-Akbar newspaper," a US project like that would split Lebanon apart. No way will Lebanon allow it. Probably every group in Lebanon would oppose it , from the Salafi, Islamists fundamentalist to moderate Sunnis to Hezbollah. Can you imagine the Syrian reaction?"
Commenting on this project, one Arab-American from Boston, doing volunteer work at the Palestinian Red Crescent Hospital, Safad, noted :
"Hopefully the US pro Middle East peace, pro-Palestinian, and pro-Lebanon organizations with better phone and internet connections that exist locally, will join the opposition in Lebanon to this base and fight it in Congress. Welch and the US Embassy in Beirut should be questioned about it" ...
In response to Mr. Franklin LAMB's article about the
events of Nahr El-Bared in North lebanon, and its total
fallacies concerning Mr. Elie Hobeika:
I will add to what you have written so far on Lebanon,
the following crucial findings.... which obviously you
are not privy to, and have succumbed to the "boiler Plate"
Israeli circulated stories about Mr. Elie Hobeika,
and the Sabra/Shatila Saga....in your excellent article
on Nahr Al-Bared... Obviously, if you are interested in
pursuing this, I would ask you to kindly correct the record,
by doing a piece on this in any which way you see fit?
Of course the story has to have lessons for now
and the future, otherwise what's the point?
The lesson is assassinations, car bombs, civil wars, ethnic wars, religious and sectarian wars, Shi'a versus Sunni, etc etc , we thought it was the thing of the past for us, but it seems now that it's deja vu all over again.... and it brings back such painful memories of the Lebanon we all love so much. It should talk about war crimes, the double standards, the double speak... you name it, it's all there. By the way: ask any Palestinians "in the know", who were Arafat's closest intelligence aides and they should know all about ELIE Hobeika, and especially ask them WHY Arafat never ever said anything bad about Elie...or never ever mentioned ELIE... in the context of SABRA / Shatila.... because Yasser Arafat knows exactly what happened there, and who did what , where and when and to whom.... That is the real story, and you can review Arafat's record in case I missed anything ?These are indisputable facts, which took a lot of effort to clarify, over a long period of time...
In response, I will tell you:
I did authenticate what was/is known first hand as FACT.
a: Sabra Shatila was pre-planned within the invasion plans, under the names, "Spark" and "Iron Brain". These were operational plans. Ounce Bashir Gemayel was assassinated, Sep. 14th 1982, the whole plan was put in motion.First came the Sayyarets Metkal, special forces of IDF. IDF had specific lists with names of people to be eliminated, with exact maps and plans of were these people lived, most Sayyarets spoke Arabic, they entered the huts or Homes of these Palestinians, and some Lebanese... and called them by their names and were instantly showered with bullets by IDF troops.
b: Then, IDF flew into BIA, Beirut International Airport, in a C130 Hercules transport plane,in full view of many Lebanese Army officers & troops, a whole unit from Saad Haddad's SLA militia and were introduced into the camps with orders to mop-up, as much as they can, the remaining "terrorists" with a kind of chock and awe against civilians, to push them to flee, with the hope of creating a mass movement of civilians, outside of Lebanon, or at least Beirut in the first place. This was the intended target of the clean-out process. It did not work as planned...
c: Syrian units were still in Beirut undercover, and colluded with IDF in this particular operation of the camps, and actively participated in the killings with IDF troops and SLA of south Lebanon the first 2 days. That's a FACT from the horse's mouth ( aka xxxxxxx), hence, Elie was targeted for being the ultimate "fall guy" and the whole story was orchestrated worldwide in a Media frenzy in 1982, to put the blame on one "rogue unit" of Elie Hobeika's ( amn ) brigades. The whole story was started by one correspondent of TIME in Jerusalem by the name of David Halevy , obviously being "FED" by MOSSAD folks, and the whole story kept being repeated for over 30 years word for word . This story was a pure Fabrication by special disinformation units of IDF and AMAN .
The cover-up process was an important issue all along. ******************************************************
d: On the third day, and after meetings of the General Command of the LF with Ariel Sharon and Fadi FREM, who was the commander of the LF, with the Gemayel senior, and Amine Gemayel, three small units of LF, were ordered into the camps, at the insistence of SHARON and Raphael Eitan, to help,in the mopping-up operations.... of the "terrorists" from the camps, knowing full well how these young men, who had a complete loyalty to Bashir Gemayel, who had just been buried, would react in such an environment, and obviously excesses were committed. PERIOD. But the bulk of the Killings were already done by IDF and SLA and the SYRIAN units, present among IDF troops, in full coordination with AMAN. Elie Hobeika had no say whatsoever in the decision to order any units into the camps that day, and was against going there to west Beirut in the first place, and this is probably why he was chosen to be the overall "fall-guy" by Ariel Sharon and IDF. Remember that Bashir Gemayel had refused to join IDF, in the military operations throughout, and refused to sign any separate peace with Israel, and it is possible that this is the main reason for his assassination? Elie Hobeika was always supportive of Bashir's decisions, whatever they may have been, and his main task was to execute Bashir's policies... and there is also the Kleia'at Airbase which you mention in your latest excellent article... and other issues pertaining to the strategic decision of Israel to keepthe Alaouite Regime of Syria in power for decades....it is a DEAL still in the works today.... for another three decades at least.... despite all the HOOPLAS of today's pressures on Syria, which have to do with the IRAQ theater of operations and USA's wishes....
e: The way the cover-up was engineered, is actually quite simple. This by the way,from an "eye witness account of someone who was there"... Elie Hobeika was very busy investigating the Murder of Bashir Gemayel. He was called in urgently, and told that some Lebanese " Christians" were targeted in Sabra Shatila, because some poor families were actually living there, believe it or not, among the camp residents, and he knew that to be the case, and that Sharon wanted to meet him there in the camps, to discuss some urgent matter. Elie was well known to be extremely concerned when any Christians were targeted or killed.
That was the main "raison d'etre" of the LF, and the main mission, protecting the Christian community, wherever they happen to be, and so he rushed in for the "meeting", and to see first hand what was going on with these Christian folks there. Upon arriving into the camps, Sharon was there waiting for him, and started walking together in the camp alleys. All of a sudden, while inspecting some corpses... a CAMERA from IDF showed up and started filming Elie Hobeika...IDF was deployed throughout the camps. Elie, was a bit stunned, so he turns around,becauseAriel Sharon was right next to him, a second ago..., to see where is Sharon and stick by him..., only to find that SHARON had sort of "disappeared" into one of the many alley ways of the camps instantly,in order not to appear on camera with ELIE obviously, as the camera appeared instantly, without prior warning. Obviously,the whole scene was designed by IDF and AMAN, to frame Mr.Elie Hobeika... and he immediately got the message,and told someone who was next to him form the LF, " Akalna AL-Darb " .... meaning: we took the HIT. Elie kept saying all along on Sabra Shatila, that there is THREE sides involved in that SAGA, but it seems that everyone "agreed" on having the LF Christian Militias'...
to be the "SCAPEGOAT" and more specifically himself being the Fall Guy. Hence, when all the books and shady publications made their way into the limelight again in the late 1990s, targeting him alone, he rebelled and said that he was willing to come to Brussels and tell-all, if and when the courts decided to hear the case against Sharon... But obviously it was not to be, and in my view, the whole case in the Belgium courts, was a "Noisy Operation" in order to consume the murder of Mr. Elie Hobeika, and silence him for GOOD, and that's precisely what happened. Hence, my utter disgust with this world of deceit , deception, phony justice, and phony diplomacy, etc. worldwide.
More for you:
2), the responsibility of blowing up the
marines rests squarely on Reagan.
When the Marines first went in, their approach
to all camps was neutral and stood up to the
Israelis on many occasions. If Reagan had not
listened to Sharon and Company and the pro-Israeli
currents in the U.S. and forced that crappy
one-sided peace treaty on Lebanon; the marines
would have been fine. It is more likely that the
Syrians were behind that bomb than anyone else;
the Syrian attitude was then and remains
that no peace in Lebanon without peace in Syria.
I will tell you this: When I see today's
headlines: GOP contenders embrace Reagan legacy...
It makes me laugh.... since he never did anything
at all in response to the most Horrific act
against the Marines in their combat History...
But more importantly, I know also for a fact,
that you are right about your conclusions on
the marine Barracks bombings, but the missing
piece which nobody talks about, except for some
"shy, very shy" references to that effect...
at the time of the Bombings in 1983, in some
medias, is that the Israeli services had
PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF THAT OPERATION, and
Lebanese Military Intelligence knew about it.
The Israeli services "CHOSE NOT TO TELL THEIR
AMERICAN COUNTERPARTS", about what they knew,
because they did not want US forces so close to
their borders.... with intentions to stay
in Lebanon, over the long haul... if they
could find bases in Lebanon.... and they
still do want bases today, these same Americans.
The Lebanese Military Intelligence told Robert
Macfarlane about the info in person, but Mr.
Macfarlane dismissed the info as "crap" and said :
"do you know what it means to have the US Congress,
approve, endorse and finance the Marine's
presence in Lebanon?...
that means we are here to stay, and no one
will be able to dislodge the USA from Lebanon....
Few months after that statement by Macfarlane,
in front of my friend Zahi Boustany, who told
me that story himself by the way... ,
Macfarlane and the US troops abandoned Lebanon
and left Beirut and the whole area....
Zahi Boustany was then, the head of the Lebanese
Surete Generale...but the Americans did not trust
his information.... Had the Israelis said that
same info to the Americans, they would have
probably taken it more seriously.
This is a sad statement folks, I know, but HUMINT is
sometimes so devastating, but in the 80s, the USA was
so enamored with the ALL important "Technical means",
and probably thought that they knew BEST...!
They did not then, and they still don't know now.
This for starters:
I am not jumping through hoops, I am just telling it like it is...
This one here is probably the most poignant...
The Palestinians never really left Beirut with all their equipment. There were quite resourceful in hiding some of their arms. They had other camps never visited by the Israelis in the north and the Bekaa....and got some "local help" in order to recover their strength and try to keep some presence in Lebanon, "outside the bounds" of Syrian Hegemonistic pressures on the Palestinian decision making process...and this covert help was given by none other than AMINE GEMAYEL, now President of Lebanon in 1983, after the murder of his brother Bashir... in an effort to keep some pressure on the SYRIANS...But if you recall, Arafat did come back to Tripoli and tried to make another attempt at establishing himself there... only to be chased away in brutal operations by the Syrian Army... and this is additional proof of the collusion between the IDF and the criminal Alaouites Syrian elements in Damascus and the Regime there. In fact, the Syrians continued what was started at Sabra and Shatila with IDF, but wherever the Pales. happen to be. They wanted to mold the Pales, into submitting to their will, politically and militarily... and succeeded over time, in eliminating the Palestinian factor from the Lebanese scene...until today... and the need for the USA... to prepare the ground for the beginning of the works at the Kleiat airbase for NATO ...and the US Air force...
That's the motive of CIA.... by planting these Bombs and blaming the boogie man.... for the American naive public opinion.. that's enough...
for the peasants of the middle east too...
But as Lebanon woke up and saw through the plot and stopped the CIA and Mossad, so shall Iraqis,,,, regardless of their beliefs.
This is the tactic they used in the 70's and 80's in Lebanon and I am not surprised to see you having even thoughts about that..
The Brits invented the idea... they so managed to split India..into Pakistan and India. and throughout the times have preoccupied them.. with 3 wars and now a stalemate over Kashmir..
The Israelis have done that in Lebanon to weaken that very potential country..but somehow this Hezbollah group seems to have brought most of it under control.. nevertheless the tactic of divide and rule worked almost 20 years for them...
They are doing it in Iraq... a civilization that lived together for 1400 years suddenly cant seem to live next to each other.. upon USA's arrival..
CIA is sending and arming Iranian minorities to start military conflicts and prompt ethnic division... in a civilization that has lived together for almost 3000 years all upon the so called election of the Neocon gang of thugs and Killers.
I can go on and on..but you see.. sitting there in Virginia...and causing such preoccupations doesn't change the fact that these car Bombs are being planted by CIA operatives to cause divisions among the Iraqis... Lebanese, and beyond.
It takes very little courage to go to war. It takes a lot of courage not to go to war.
Al-Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has the courage to do both.
I know most of the right-wingers commenting on this worldwide will not agree on the content of this piece...that's fine, I just want you to look at the table reproduced in it.
In good faith you can see that Hezbollah did not launch a rocket attack on Israel since 2000 and all rocket attacks did not have an identifiable source
All attacks of the resistance were on the Sheba'a farms that Israel is occupying irrespective of whether they are Lebanese or Syrian since they are not Israeli (And by the way they are Lebanese : )
So to those who see Hezbollah as the biggest devil in the middle east reconsider based on actual facts. Hassan Nasrallah has actually shown that he was one of the best and wisest politicians the region ever had. And by the way Nasrallah is a moderate...in case Israel kills him its chaos in the region with the hardest in Hezbollah coming to power.
The Israeli leadership is trying to enable this destabilizing factor. I think Israeli citizens should be aware of that ...
For forty years, Seymour Hersh has been America’s leading investigative reporter. His latest scoop? The White House’s secret plan to bomb Iran
By Matt Taibbi
04/16/07 "Rolling Stone" 04/02/07 -- -- - On May 29th, 1975, an aide to then-White House chief of staff Donald Rumsfeld sat down with a yellow legal pad and in careful longhand sketched out a list of possible responses to a damaging investigative report in The New York Times. "Problem," the aide wrote. "Unauthorized disclosure of classified national security information by Sy Hersh and the NYT." He then laid out five options, ranging from the most ominous (an FBI investigation of the newspaper and a grand jury indictment) to the least offensive ("Discuss informally with NYT" and "Do nothing"). Number three on the list, however, read, "Search warrant: to go after Hersh papers in his apt."
The note's author? A viper-mean Beltway apparatchik named Dick Cheney, who was making his name doing damage control for the Republican White House after the Watergate disaster. Coming so soon after Nixon was burned at the public stake for similar targeting of political enemies, the Cheney memo was proof that the next generation of GOP leaders had emerged from the Watergate scandal regretting only one thing: getting caught.
This year, an almost identical note in Cheney's same tight-looped, anal script appeared as a key piece of evidence in the trial of another powerful White House aide, Scooter Libby. The vice president's handwritten ruminations on how best to dispose of an Iraq War critic named Joe Wilson are an eerie reminder of how little has changed in America in the past three decades. Then as now, we have been dragged into a bloody massacre in the Third World, paying the bill for the operation with the souls and bodies of the next generation of our young people. It is the same old story, and many of the same people are once again in charge.
But some of the same people are on the other side, too. In the same week that Libby was convicted in a Washington courthouse, Seymour Hersh outlined the White House's secret plans for a possible invasion of Iran in The New Yorker. As amazing as it is that Cheney is still walking among us, a living link to our dark Nixonian past, it's even more amazing that Hersh is still the biggest pain in his ass, publishing accounts of conversations that seemingly only a person hiding in the veep's desk drawer would be privy to. "The access I have -- I'm inside," Hersh says proudly. "I'm there, even when he's talking to people in confidence."
America's pre-eminent investigative reporter of the last half-century, Hersh broke the story of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and was on hand, nearly four decades later, when we found ourselves staring back at the same sick face in the mirror after Abu Ghraib. At age seventy, he clearly still loves his job. During a wide-ranging interview at his cramped Washington office, Hersh could scarcely sit still, bouncing around the room like a kindergartner to dig up old articles, passages from obscure books and papers buried in his multitudinous boxes of files. A hopeless information junkie, he is permanently aroused by the idea that corruption and invisible power are always waiting to be uncovered by the next phone call. Somewhere out there, They are still hiding the story from Us -- and that still pisses Hersh off.
During the Watergate years, you devoted a great deal of time to Henry Kissinger. If you were going to write a book about this administration, is Dick Cheney the figure you would focus on?
Absolutely. If there's a Kissinger person today, it's Cheney. But what I say about Kissinger is: Would that we had a Kissinger now! If we did, we'd know that the madness of going into Iraq would have been explained by something -- maybe a clandestine deal for oil -- that would make some kind of sense. Kissinger always had some back-channel agenda. But in the case of Bush and this war, what you see is what you get. We buy much of our fuel from the Middle East, and yet we're at war with the Middle East. It doesn't make sense.
Kissinger's genius, if you will, was that he figured out a way to get out. His problem was that, like this president, he had a president who could only see victory ahead. With Kissinger, you have to give him credit: He had such difficulties with Nixon getting the whole peace package through, but he did it. Right now, a lot of people on the inside know it's over in Iraq, but there are no plans for how to get out. You're not even allowed to think that way. So what we have now is a government that's in a terrible mess, with no idea of how to get out. Except, as one of my friends said, the "fail forward" idea of going into Iran. So we're really in big trouble. Real big trouble here.
Is what's gone on in the Bush administration comparable or worse than what went on in the Nixon administration?
Oh, my God. Much worse. Bush is a true radical. He believes very avidly in executive power. And he also believes that he's doing the right thing. I think he's a revolutionary, a Trotsky. He's a believer in permanent revolution. So therefore he's very dangerous, because he's an unguided missile, he's a rocket with no ability to be educated. You can't change what he wants to do. He can't deviate from his policy, and that's frightening when somebody has as much power as he does, and is as much a radical as he is, and is as committed to democracy -- whatever that means -- as he is in the Mideast. I really do believe that's what drives him. That doesn't mean he's not interested in oil. But I really think he thinks democracy is the answer.
A lot of people interpreted your last article in "The New Yorker" as a prediction that we're going into Iran. But you also make clear that the Saudis have reasons to keep us from attacking Iran.
I've never said we're going to go -- just that the planning is under way. Planning is planning, of course. But in the last couple of weeks, it has become nonstop. They're in a position right now where the president could wake up and scratch his, uh --
His nose, and say, "Let's go." And they'd go. That's new. We've made it closer. We've got carrier groups there. It's not about going in on the ground. Although if we went in we'd have to send Marines into the coastal areas of Iran to knock out their Silkworm missile sites.
So the notion that it would just be a bombing campaign isn't true at all?
Oh, no. Don't forget, you'd have to take out a very sophisticated radar system, and a guidance system for their missiles. You'd have to knock out the ability of the Iranians to get our ships.
So this is the "fail forward" plan?
I think Bush wants to resolve the Iranian crisis. It may not be a crisis, but he wants to resolve it.
The other implication of your piece is that we went into Iraq as a response to Sunni extremism, and now we are realigning ourselves with Sunni extremists to fight the Shiites. Is it really that simple? Are we really that stupid?
From what I gather, there's no real mechanism in the administration for looking at the downside of things. In the military, when they do a major study, they say something like "We give it to you with the pluses and minuses." They usually show it to you warts and all. But these guys in the White House don't want the warts. They just want the good side. I don't think they know all of the consequences.
This seems to be something that Bush has in common with Nixon: the White House ignoring everyone and seeking to become a government unto itself.
One of the things this administration has shown us is how fragile democracy is. All of the institutions we thought would protect us -- particularly the press, but also the military, the bureaucracy, the Congress -- they have failed. The courts . . . the jury's not in yet on the courts. So all the things that we expect would normally carry us through didn't. The biggest failure, I would argue, is the press, because that's the most glaring.
In the Nixon years, you had the press turning against the Vietnam War after the Tet Offensive, you had Watergate, you had all these reasons why the press became involved in bringing the Nixon administration to an end. But it hasn't performed that function in Bush's case. Why do you think that is?
I don't know. It's very discouraging. I've had conversations with senior people at my old newspaper, the Times, who know that there are serious problems there. It's not that they shouldn't run the stories that they run. They run stories that represent the government's view, because there are people at the Times who have access to senior people in the government. They see the national security adviser, they see Condoleezza Rice, and they have to reflect their view. That's their job. What doesn't get reported is the other side. What I always loved about the Times when I worked there is that I could write what the kiddies down the line said. But that doesn't happen now. You're not getting broad, macro coverage from the White House that represents anything like opposition. And there is opposition -- the press just doesn't know how to deal with it.
But why isn't there more of an uproar by the public at atrocities committed by American troops? Have people become inured to those stories over the years?
I just think it's because they are Iraqis. You have to give Bill Clinton his due: When he bombed Kosovo in 1999, he became the first president since World War II to bomb white people. Think about it. Does that mean something? Is it just an accident, or is it an inevitable byproduct of white supremacy? White man's burden? You tell me what it is, I don't know.
You talk a lot about the similarities between Iraq and Vietnam: how Lynndie England is the new Lt. Calley, how it's lower-middle-class white kids from America killing nonwhite people overseas. Yes, there's this similarity -- but why is this same kind of war happening again? Is this a pattern that's built into the way our government works?
I don't know. Why would you go to war when you don't have to go to war? It takes very little courage to go to war. It takes a lot of courage not to go to war.
I once had a friend -- this was thirty years ago -- from a major university. He studied the scientific problem the government had of detecting underground missile tests in Russia. It took him a couple of years, but he solved the problem. At that point the Joint Chiefs of Staff was against any treaty with the Russians on testing, because we couldn't detect when they cheated. My friend attended a meeting of the Joint Chiefs and demonstrated conclusively that there was a technical way of monitoring missile explosions inside Russia, even without being on-site. But when the meeting was over, the Joint Chiefs just issued a sigh and said, "Well, we better go back to a political objection to the treaty now." Where there had been a scientific objection to a treaty, now there was a political objection. So you begin to see that pushing for peace is very hard. There is safety in bombing, rather than negotiating. It's very sad.
Did America learn anything from Vietnam? Was there a lesson in the way that war ended that could have prevented this war from starting?
You mean learn from the past? America?
No. We made the same dumb mistake. One of the arguments for going into Vietnam was that we had to stop the communist Chinese. The Chinese were behind everything -- we saw them and North Vietnam as one and the same. In reality, of course, the Chinese and the Vietnamese hated each other -- they had fought each other for 1,000 years. Four years after the war ended, in 1979, they got into a nasty little war of their own. So we were totally wrong about the entire premise of the war. And it's the same dumbness in this war, with Saddam and the terrorists.
On the other hand, I would argue that some key operators, the Cheney types, they learned a great deal about how to run things and how to hide stuff over those years.
From the press?
Oh, come on, how hard is it to hide things from the press? They don't care that much about the straight press. What these guys have figured out is that as long as they have Fox and talk radio, they're OK in the public opinion. They control that hard. It kept the ball in Iraq in the air for a couple of years longer than it should have, and it cost Kerry the presidency. But now it's over -- Iraq's done. A lot of the conservatives who promoted the war are now very much against it. Some of the columnists in this town who were beating the drums for that war really owe an apology. It's a sad time for the American press.
What can be done to fix the situation?
[Long pause] You'd have to fire or execute ninety percent of the editors and executives. You'd actually have to start promoting people from the newsrooms to be editors who you didn't think you could control. And they're not going to do that.
What's the main lesson you take, looking back at America's history the last forty years?
There's nothing to look back to. We're dealing with the same problems now that we did then. We know from the Pentagon Papers -- and to me they were the most important documents ever written -- that from 1963 on, Kennedy and Johnson and Nixon lied to us systematically about the war. I remember how shocked I was when I read them. So . . . duh! Nothing's changed. They've just gotten better at dealing with the press. Nothing's changed at all....
END GAME 1 : IRAN WMD
We are now being quietly prepared for a possible
war against Iran.
On the basis of Iran's quest for nuclear power
and some mis-translated comments by the Iranian
President and giving it the label "centre of the
axis of evil",we are told that Iran has to be
neutralized before it nukes Israel.
"Iran has threatened to wipe Israel off the map.
and they want nuclear weapons". Once again,
public perception is being swayed with twisted
words, half truths and assumptions, so when
the time comes, we will all agree that the
bloodthirsty tyrant can't be allowed to possess WMD.
Ahmadinejad's supposedly anti-Semitic comment was
interpreted as word or words in Farsi to equal
"wipe off the map" in the way we understand the term.
What he was saying was that he looked forward to
the day when there was no "Israel" on the map......
meaning a single Palestinian State, with a single
government, representing all citizens,irrespective
proposition for a solution to the Israel/Palestine
Of course, there is no headline in that and there
is no ammunition for mounting a war, but Karen Hughes
is still there "selling" the people of about 100,000.
If he were such a rabid anti-Semitic,would they still
Interpretation of speech as call for referendum....
Iran's stated policy on Israel is to urge a one-state
solution through a countrywide referendum. Juan Cole
and others interpret Ahmadinejad's statements to be
an endorsement of the one-state solution, in which a
government would be elected that all Palestinians
and all Israelis would jointly vote for; which would
normally be an end to the "Zionist state".
In November 2005 Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah
Khamenei, rejecting any attack on Israel, called
for a referendum in Palestine:
We hold a fair and logical stance on the issue of
Several decades ago, Egyptian statesman Gamal Abdel
Nasser, who was the most popular Arab personality,
stated in his slogans that the Egyptians would throw
the Jewish usurpers of Palestine into the sea.
Some years later, Saddam Hussein, the most hated
Arab figure, said that he would put half of the
Palestinian land on fire.
But we would not approve of either of these two
We believe, according to our Islamic principles,
that neither throwing the Jews into the sea nor
putting the Palestinian land on fire is logical
Our position is that the Palestinian people
should regain their rights.
Palestine belongs to Palestinians, and the
fate of Palestine should also be determined
by the Palestinian people.
The issue of Palestine is a criterion for
judging how truthful those claiming to support
democracy and human rights are in their claims.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has presented a
fair and logical solution to this issue.
We have suggested that all native Palestinians,
whether they are Muslims, Christians or Jews,
should be allowed to take part in a general
referendum before the eyes of the world and
decide on a Palestinian government.
Any government that is the result of this
referendum will be a legitimate government.
Ahmadinejad himself has also repeatedly called
for such solution.....
Most recently in an interview with Time magazine.
You have been quoted as saying Israel should be
wiped off the map.
Was that merely rhetoric, or do you mean it?
Ahmadinejad: [...] Our suggestion is that the 5
million Palestinian refugees come back to their
homes,and then the entire people on those lands
hold a referendum and choose their own system of
government. This is a democratic and popular way.
It isn't really news when it comes 4 years late!
To anyone with half a brain, it was obvious at
the time....as was the inevitable outcome.
Unfortunately, it would have been career suicide
to say such things in 2002/2003 ?
Atrocities attributed to "rogue" Shiite and Sunni militias —
trained by Americans, "advised" by Americans, run largely by former CIA assets
By Chris Floyd
The recent revelations about the virulent spread of death squads ravaging Iraq have only confirmed for many people the lethal incompetence of the Bush Regime, whose brutal bungling appears to have unleashed the demon of sectarian strife in the conquered land.
The general reaction, even among some war supporters, has been bitter derision: "Jeez, these bozos couldn't boil an egg without causing collateral damage."
But what if the truth is even more sinister? What if this murderous chaos is not the fruit of rank incompetence but instead the desired product of carefully crafted, efficiently managed White House policy?
Investigative journalist Max Fuller marshals a convincing case for this conclusion in a remarkable work of synthesis based on information buried in reams of mainstream news stories and public Pentagon documents.
Piling fact on damning fact, he shows that the vast majority of atrocities attributed to "rogue" Shiite and Sunni militias are in fact the work of government-controlled commandos and "special forces," trained by Americans, "advised" by Americans and run largely by former CIA assets, Global Research reports.
Saddam's security muscle
We first reported here in August 2003 that the United States was already hiring Saddam's security muscle for "special ops" against the nascent insurgency and reopening his torture haven, Abu Ghraib.
Meanwhile, powerful Shiite militias — including religious extremists armed and trained by Iran — were loosed upon the land.
As direct "Coalition" rule gave way to various "interim" and "elected" Iraqi governments, these violent gangs were formally incorporated into the Iraqi Interior Ministry, where the supposedly inimical Sunni and Shiite units often share officers and divvy up territories.
Bush helpfully supplied these savage gangs
Bush helpfully supplied these savage gangs — who are killing dozens of people each week, Knight-Ridder reports — with U.S. advisers who made their "counter-insurgency" bones forming right-wing death squads in Colombia and El Salvador.
Indeed, Bush insiders have openly bragged of "riding with the bad boys" and exercising the "Salvador option," lauding the Reagan-backed counter-insurgency program that slaughtered tens of thousands of civilians, Newsweek reports.
Bush has also provided a "state-of-the-art command, control and communications center" to coordinate the operation of his Iraqi "commandos," as the Pentagon's own news site, DefendAmerica, reports.
The Iraqi people can go without electricity, fuel and medicine, but by God, Bush's "bad boys" will roll in clover as they carry out their murders and mutilations.
Packing high-priced Glocks
For months, stories from the Shiite south and Sunni center have reported the same phenomenon: people being summarily seized by large groups of armed men wearing police commando uniforms, packing high-priced Glocks, using sophisticated radios and driving Toyota Land Cruisers with police markings.
The captives are taken off and never seen again — unless they turn up with a load of other corpses days or weeks later, bearing marks of the gruesome tortures they suffered before the ritual shot in the head.
Needless to say, these mass murders under police aegis are rarely investigated by the police.
Milking Iraq dry — into hands of a few Bush cronies,
The Bushists may have been forced to ditch their idiotic fantasies of "cakewalking" into a compliant satrapy, but they have by no means abandoned their chief goals in the war: milking Iraq dry and planting a permanent military "footprint" on the nation's neck.
If direct control through a plausible puppet is no longer possible, then fomenting bloody chaos and sectarian strife is the best way to weaken the state.
The Bushists are happy to make common cause with thugs and zealots in order to prevent the establishment of a strong national government that might balk at the ongoing "privatizations" that have continued apace behind the smokescreen of violence, or at the planned opening of Iraq's oil reserves to select foreign investors — a potential transfer of some $200 billion of Iraqi people's wealth into the hands of a few Bush cronies, The Independent reports.
The violence is already dividing the county into more rigid sectarian enclaves, The New York Times reports, as Shiites flee Sunni commandos and Sunnis flee Shiite militias in the grim tag team of their joint endeavor.
Terrorized, internally driven society much easier to manipulate
It's all grist for the Bushist mill: An atomized, terrorized, internally driven society is much easier to manipulate.
And of course, a steady stream of bloodshed provides a justification for maintaining a U.S. military presence, even as politic plans for partial "withdrawal" are bandied about.
There's nothing new in this; Bush is simply following a well-thumbed playbook.
In 1953, the CIA bankrolled Islamic fundamentalists and secular goon squads to destabilize the democratic government of Iran — which selfishly wanted to control its own oil — and pave the way for the puppet Shah, as the agency's own histories recount.
In 1971, CIA officials admitted carrying out more than 21,000 "extra-judicial killings" in its Phoenix counter-insurgency operation in Vietnam.
In 1979, the CIA began sponsoring the most violent Islamic extremist groups in Afghanistan — supplying money, arms, even jihad primers for schoolchildren — to destabilize the secular, Soviet-allied government and provoke the Kremlin into a costly intervention, as Robert Dreyfus details in his new book, "Devil's Game."
Later, Saudi magnate Osama bin Laden joined the operation, and sent his men to the United States for "anti-Soviet" terrorist training, as the BBC's Greg Palast reports.
Remarkably consistent for more than half a century
The policy has been remarkably consistent for more than half a century.
To augment the wealth and power of the elite, U.S. leaders have supported — or created — vicious gangs of killers and cranks to foment unrest, eliminate opponents and terrorize whole nations into submission.
The resulting carnage in the target countries and the inevitable blowback against ordinary Americans mean nothing to these Great Gamesters; that's simply the price of doing business.
Bush's "incompetence" is just a mask for stone-cold calculation.
Crying Wolf: Media Disinformation and Death Squads in Occupied Iraq
Global Research, Nov. 10, 2005
Frontline Police of Iraq are Waging Secret War of Vengeance
The Observer, Nov. 20, 2005
Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam
Metropolitan Books, 2005
Killings Linked to Shiite Squads in Iraqi Police Force
Los Angeles Times, Nov. 29, 2005
The Salvador Option
Newsweek, Jan. 14, 2005
Die Laughing: The Bush Way of Rehabilitation
Empire Burlesque, Aug. 29, 2003
Iraqi Guards Seen as Death Squads
Newsday, Nov. 15, 2005
Sunnis Accuse Iraqi Military of Kidnappings and Slayings
New York Times, Nov. 28, 2005
Sunni men in Baghdad targeted by attackers in police uniforms
Knight-Ridder, June 27. 2005
Abuse of Prisoners in Iraq Widespread, Officials Say
Knight-Ridder, Nov. 29, 2005
Robert Dreyfus on Bush's Deadly Dance With Islamic Theocrats
TomDispatch, Nov. 30, 2005
A History of Violence: Robert Dreyfuss Interview
Salon.com, Nov. 28, 2005
Documents From the Phoenix Program
The Memory Hole, May 2003
Secrets of History: The CIA in Iran
New York Times, April 16, 2000
The Hidden History of CIA Torture
TomDispatch.com, Sept. 9, 2004
The World's Most Dangerous Man
Antiwar.com, Nov. 30, 2005
Abuse Worse Than Under Saddam, Says Iraqi Leader
The Observer, Nov. 27, 2005
Revealed: The Grim New World of Iraqi Torture Camps
The Observer, July 3, 2005
Lost Amid the Rising Tide of Detainees in Iraq
New York Times, Nov. 21, 2005
Did the President spike the investigation of bin Laden?
Greg Palast, Nth Position, March 2003
If the CIA Had Butted Out [In Iran]
Los Angeles Times, Oct. 21, 2001
Up in the Air: Where Is the Iraq War Headed Next?
The New Yorker, Nov. 5, 2005
Private Security Crews Add to Fear in Baghdad
The Washington Post, Nov. 28, 2005
UK Funds Aid Iraqi Torture Units
The Observer, July 3, 2005
The CIA and Operation Phoenix in Vietnam
Ralph McGehee, Feb. 19, 1996
U.S. Senate Review of Operation Phoenix
United States Senate, Feb. 17 to March 19, 1970
Counter-Revolutionary Violence: Bloodbaths in Fact & Propaganda
Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman
Project X, Drugs and Death Squads
Consortium News, 1997
Phoenix Project: It's How We Fought the War
Los Angeles Times, May 3, 2001
The Phoenix Program Revisited
CounterPunch, May 15, 2004
The Gentlemanly Planners of Assassinations
Slate.com, Nov. 1, 2002
"The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their “vital interests” are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death: these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the “sanctity” of human life, or the “conscience” of the civilized world. ”
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
It has been sixty years since members of the United Nations have voted to
adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a minimum standard for
It is paradoxical that a primary contributor to the authorship of this most
important document was Charles Malek from Lebanon, a country whose very
constitution is based on sectarian principles that violate the most basic
principle of the document that one of its sons helped formulate.
To be fair though, Lebanon is only one country among many that have failed
to implement the associated ideas of human dignity, individual liberty,
social and economic justice as spelled out in the UDHR. Unfortunately, the
ugly face of cultural and religious relativism seems to have dealt a severe
blow to the idea of universalism and cosmopolitanism as envisioned by
Charles Malek and his colleagues. Many of the countries of the North have
spared no effort to spread civil liberties as enunciated by the UDHR while
those in the south have emphasized social and economic freedoms.
The UN is launching a major educational campaign, all over the world,
in an effort to remind us of these simple and honorable ideas that go a
long way in celebrating our humanity.
We, in Lebanon in particular, should resolve to use these sacred principles;
arrived at by the help of one of our favorite sons; in order to solve once
and for all the recurrent crisis that divides us and dehumanize us. We
should never forget that we are all born free and equal and that all
standards whether based on ethnicity, racial origin, religious practice,
gender or sexual orientation are artificial barriers that will only keep us
from becoming truly free and human. Is it time that we proclaim that in the
new Lebanon individuals will not be judged by their religious practices but
by their deep moral convictions and allegiance to sovereignty and human rights.
The attached is a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations
adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the
full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic
act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text
of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read
and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions,
without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable
rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom,
justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous
acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a
world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and
freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of
the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as
a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human
rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed
their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the
human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to
promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation
with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and
observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the
greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims
THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a
common standard of achievement for all peoples and all
nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society,
keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and
education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by
progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal
and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of
Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are
endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one
another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this
Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex,
language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin,
property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made
on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the
country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent,
trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade
shall be prohibited in all their forms.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to
equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against
any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any
incitement to such discrimination.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national
tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the
constitution or by law.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an
independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and
obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed
innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he
has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act
or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or
international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier
penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal
offence was committed.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy,
family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and
reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such
interference or attacks.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the
borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to
return to his country.
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely
arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and
principles of the United Nations.
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the
right to change his nationality.
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race,
nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They
are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of
the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is
entitled to protection by society and the State.
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this
right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either
alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his
religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right
includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive
and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country,
directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of
government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections
which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret
vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is
entitled to realization, through national effort and international
co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each
State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his
dignity and the free development of his personality.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just
and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration
ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity,
and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the
protection of his interests.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation
of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health
and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing,
housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to
security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old
age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.
All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least
in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be
compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally
available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the
basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human
personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and
friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further
the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be
given to their children.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the
community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material
interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of
which he is the author.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights
and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full
development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject
only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of
securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others
and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the
general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the
purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State,
group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act
aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
بين الكلمات والمواقف، صورة مصغرة عن ما نطمح إليه
24 كانون الثاني 2002
هل من الصدفة أن نقرأ مواقف الكنيسة المارونية في هذه الفترة الحساسة من عمر الوطن، وأن تكون ملتبسة وغير واضحة ؟!
هل من الصدفة أن نسمع كلامًا فيه مساواة بين الحق والباطل ؟!
قد تكون الحقيقة غير مملوكة من طرف واحد، وبالتأكيد لا قدرة لأحد أن يمتلكها بالكامل. ولكن هل يجوز أن تنطلق الحقيقية من فعل مجتزأ وإرادة ناقصة وصورة مشوهة عن التاريخ والأصالة.
إذا كان قدر اللبنانيين أن تتجاذبهم إراداتٌ خارجية مبنية على مصالح دول غير عابئة بمصير وطن وشعب، فما بال الكنيسة اليوم لا تبحث عن مصلحة رعيتها، ولماذا عودة الحق إلى إصحابه هي بمثابة حلم لا يجوز وضعه على سلم أولويات المرحلة الراهنة، وإلى متى سنبقى نؤسس وندمر، ونعلو ونسقط، نُساير الآخرين فنصبح مع الوقت أهل زمة عندهم.
ولأنَّ، فعل " لأنَّ " في ورقة الثوابت المسيحية لديها دالات كبيرة قد يصعب على البعض تداركها سريعًا، " ولأنَّ من رفض قيام لبنان مسيحي منعزل عن محيطه، له على الشريك الآخر أن يرفض معه قيام لبنان مسلم متنكر لصيغتة، ولأنه لا بديل للمسيحيين عن الاندماج في محيطهم والتآخي ضمن مجتمعهم، مع الحفاظ على شخصيتهم وهويتهم الحضارية المتجذرة في الشرق والمنفتحة على حضارة الغرب، ولأن الحياة المشتركة الواحدة هي أكثر من عملية تلاصق قسري، إنما هي مدخل الى المواطنية ومنظومة حقوق وواجبات، تلجها الجماعات الروحية اللبنانية طوعاً عندما تطمئن الى استقرارها ومستقبلها."
واليوم عندما وجدت هذا الإنحدار في خطاب كنيستنا، لم أجد أقدر مما قلته في حفل عشاء هيئة رعشين – إغبه في تموز الماضي، لذا أعود وأنشره علّكم تجدون فيه شيئًا مما تنتظرونه.
هل مصادفةٌ، أن نحتفلَ اليوم بعشاء هيئة رعشين – إغبه في التيار الوطني الحر ولبنان يعيش بين مطرقة الفوضى وسندان الأمل بالسلم المنشود.
كيف لنا أن نؤسس لنبني وطنًا شعبه ينشد السلام، تواقًا إلى بناء وطنٍ يجسّد طموحاته وأحلامه، ويؤمّن له الحد الأدنى من الاستقرار والأمن والراحة.
كيف لنا أن نتحرر من هيمنة الكبار في الخارج وإجرام بعض الصغار في الداخل!؟
كيف لنا أن نتحرر، ما دام هناك البعض يساوي بين خيار النصف زائدًا واحدًا ونصاب الثلثين الدستوري لإنتخاب رئيس للجمهورية؟
كيف لنا، ما دام البعض، ويا للأسف، غالبيتهم من الموارنة، يجدون في مخيم المعارضة المطالب بالشراكة والعدل في الحكم، في أحد مواقف عاصمَتَنا بيروت، حالة لزعزعة الإستقرار وتدهور الإقتصاد وتعكير السلم الأهلي. ولا يعترضون أو يتساءلون عن الأسباب الموجبة لإنتخاب رئيس "كيف ما كان".
كيف لنا، ما دامت الذاكرة الجماعية للمجتمع اللبناني عمومًا والمسيحي خصوصًا غائبة حينًا ومغيبة حينًا آخر، رافضةً التمرد على واقع مُنحدر وصلنا إليه.
من هنا أما زلتم تتساءلون أيها الأصدقاء، لماذا خيار الفوضى يساوي خيار السلم في هذه الأيام.
- ثماني عشرة سنة وقف أباؤنا وأجدادنا على أبواب الملاجئ يشهدون على دمار أسواق بيروت وجونية، طرابلس وزحلة، فتحولوا مع الوقت شهود زور على القتل والسرقة عاجزين عن إقفها.
- وبعدها جاءت ثماني عشرة سنة من حربٍ إقتصادية لسنا في وارد الغوص في أسبابها، بحيث لم تسمح لنا، نحن جيل الغد، أن نعيش طفولتنا كما عاشها أمثالنا في بلدانٍ أخرى.
واليوم هل يُعقل أن نسمح لهم أن يسرُِقوا من عيون أجيالنا وأولادنا وأحفادكم حلم الطفولة وأمل المستقبل وحنين الماضي؟
هل تسمحون لمن باعنا واستثمرنا ودمّرنا وقتلنا، وطأطأ رؤوسنا، أن يُعطينا دروسًا في الوطنية والأخلاق والدستور.
هل يجب أن نُذكرّهم من هي كسروان- الفتوح؟
هل يجب أن نذكرهم أن مِعقل الموارنة هنا، فلا زعامة لأحد إلا من أرض العُصاة، من مِعقل التاريخ والأصالة.
ومن على تخوم رعشين جاءنا اليوم، من يعمل على أن يكون عاصيًا على بناء الدولة، من دون أن يدرك أن مفهوم العاصية عندنا هو طلب للحرية وليس إستزلامًا لقريطم.
هل يجب أن نذكرهم بأن أبناء العاصية، لم يقترعوا للعماد عون في العام 2005 نائبًا، بل اقترعوا له رئيسًا للجمهورية اللبنانية المنشودة.
وهل يجب أن نذكرهم بأننا لن نتخلى بهذه السهولة عن حقنا في الخيار ونستسلم للباطل.
وإذا كتبَ لنا، أن نخسر معركة بناء لبنان، فنحن على إستعداد أن نخسرها بشرف وبكرامة من أن نبيع أصواتنا وأصواتكم لنتاجر بها مهما غلت التضحيات.
بالأمس البعيد، غاب علامة من لبنان، هو بطريركِنا، بطريرك انطاكيا وسائر المشرق إسطفان الدويهي، رحل يوم كان لبنان في أمّس الحاجة إلى أمثاله وما زال. اليوم نناديك ومن عليائك، كم نحن في حاجة إليك وإلى صولجانك واقفًا الى جانب العماد عون والى جانبنا من إجل إسقاط كل مخططات التقسيم والتوطين والإلغاء.
أين أنتم يا مفكري هذه الطائفة؟ أين أنت أيها العلامة الأب ميشال حايك؟
أين رحلتُم، تاركين وراءكم بيوت الجهل والكفر تعشِّش وتتكاثر ولا من رادعٍ؟
ألا يحق لنا أن نبني من كلماتكم قصورًا للعلم والثقافة، ألم يأت السيد المسيح ليقول للفريسيين وفي بيت الله: بيتي بيتَ صلاة يسمى، وأنتم جعلتموه مغارةً للصوص.
هل الكفرُ للتغيير كفرٌ؟
أم الدعاة للسارقين صلاة؟
أيها الكتبة نذكركم بما كتب في الكتاب المقدس في سفر أخبار الملوك الفصل 2 الآية 4 .
" لا يموت الآباء بالبنين، ولا يموت البنون في الآباء، بل كل آمرئٍ بخطيئته يموت. "
كسروان- الفتوح، ورعشين وإغبه حالة لبنانية صرف، وجزء من المعادلة الوطنية الكبرى، من هنا التنافس هو حق مشروع أمام كل الأحزاب. لذا فليكن التنافس حقًّا مقدسًا، والإختلاف حقًّا مقدسًا، والتعددية حقًّا مقدسًا، والتفاعل حقًّا مقدسًا.
ولكن حذار تكرار تجارب الماضي، فإنًّ المرء لا يُلدغ من الجحر مرتين.
ولنبني لبنان كما قال العماد عون وكرر دائمًا، على قاعدة أن نكون أبعادًا لبنانية في الخارج لا أبعادًا خارجية في الداخل.
عاش: الوزير السابق ايلي حبيقة; شهيدنا البطل،وعريس بسكنتا, عميد الشهداء.
عاش: إلياس (إيلي) حبيقة .
A security paradigm ?
Before the region declines more into chaos, it is imperative that the Arab states rally and define their mutual security interests.
The war of words between the Bush administration and Iran has escalated into a physical show of firepower that is making the jittery Gulf and Middle East region ever more edgy. In addition to its huge military presence in most of the Arab countries of the Gulf, the United States has built a naval armada in the Arabian Sea that is reminiscent of 19th century "gunboat diplomacy". In response, Iran's firebrand president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has upped the ante with more defiant statements about his country's pursuit of nuclear capacity. He also ordered three days of missile-testing manoeuvres. As a result of these confrontational postures, the Middle East/Gulf region is now skirting the precipice.
With the situation in Iraq deteriorating further and US casualties rising, congressional and popular opposition to President Bush's policies is reaching an all-time high. To seasoned analysts, the US campaign in Iraq is petering out. On the other hand, Turkey, which has been nervously watching the re-awakening of Kurdish nationalism in northern Iraq, is getting into the melee, not so much to protect the Turkoman minority in Kirkuk but as much to avert the resurgence of the nationalist ambitions of its own Kurds. Instability is rocking the region and Israel is playing the éminence grise. Nothing short of new, region-specific security arrangements will stop the confrontation and the slide towards war and restore stability to this turbulent area.
Regional security in the Middle East and Gulf has been undermined by the US invasion of Iraq and Israel's occupation and decimation of the Palestinian territories and people. This has radicalised the region, unleashing indomitable forces of resistance and dividing states into pro- US "moderates" and anti-US policy "radicals". Political polarisation of the region has, in turn, fuelled internal dissension, curbed civil liberties, increased state repression, and arrested the growth of democratic institutions and practices.
The trouble with regional security alliances in the Middle East is that they are historically notorious. The Baghdad Pact, the Central Treaty Organisation and the Middle East Defence Organisation of the 1950s, as well as the Soviet Union's alliances of the 1960s, were never completely Arab-focussed . They were mostly Cold War shadowboxing that stymied the revival of Arab nationalism.
By the end of the Cold War, bipolar spheres of influence and alliances melted into US hegemony in the Middle East, with Israel as the chief US surrogate. The US invasion of Iraq that is now foundering left Arab regimes in the Gulf and the Middle East completely helpless, except for some political bleating here and there. Leading Arab countries were cowed by the overwhelming force of the invasion and the much-mooted "New Middle East" initiative, which called for democratic reforms, implying regime change. The recent lip service support by some leading Arab countries of President Bush's last-ditch endeavour to save the US from itself -- code-named the New Way Forward in Iraq -- is more like a tacit recognition of US failure than an effective show of solidarity. Inevitable US withdrawal will leave Iraq worse off than it was before the invasion, with continued sectarian violence and political uncertainty. It will also leave behind a dangerously unstable region. Hence, the region needs a new, home grown security regime.
The collapse of the former Soviet Union that marked the end of the Cold War left US interventionist policy carrying no legitimacy. There was no threat to its oil interests or impediment to access to growing markets. The 11 September 2001 attacks on the US created new momentum for the launching of a global war against terrorism. However, the campaign against Iraq shifted that focus and did not inhibit terrorist activities. Its style did not persuade anyone that it was designed to liberate Iraq or to protect the US against weapons of mass destruction that in any case were never there. It appeared, at least to Arab nationalists, a reincarnation of 19th century colonial conquests and thus provided ideological ammunition for resistance that was peppered with terrorist attacks on a much wider scale.
President Bush and his key lieutenants have reiterated that the US cannot afford to fail in Iraq because the consequences would be catastrophic. They are right, except that the US is losing dramatically. So before exiting Iraq, President Bush's hawkish strategists might be tempted to take on Iran as both political cover for US failure in Iraq and a consolation prize for a disgruntled US public that is increasingly leaning towards investigating why the US went to war there in the first place. A military strike against Iran would please Israel, shore up sagging US prestige, and impress Arab sceptics that the US is still the only superpower that can save them from the evils of regional radicalism.
The US has come a long way in preparing the Arab Gulf and Middle Eastern states for this possibility. Backed by Israeli intelligence, it launched a psychological campaign aimed to trigger Sunni-Shia rivalry and a fratricidal war. It used the misguided statements of Iranian President Ahmadinejad to paint Iran as the worst threat the Arabs could face after the demise of Saddam Hussein. It started an estimated $20 billion arms race in the Gulf states to help them build defences against a potentially nuclear Iran. At least six Arab countries are now seriously contemplating the development of nuclear technology. Egypt, one of the first signatories of the UN Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty when it was adopted in 1968, and that has for almost three decades promoted the idea of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, is now revisiting the issue of the development of nuclear technology for stated peaceful purposes. Washington and Tel Aviv want to ignite the region before America exits.
The problem is that the impact of a strike on Iran is as unpredictable as the possible retaliatory reaction, both immediately and in the long term. US strategic assets and alliances in the region would suffer and radicalism would become rampant. And it would not spell the end of Iran's nuclear ambitions. Destabilisation of the region would best serve the interests of Israel in sidetracking the Palestinian question. There is no consensus in Israel on replicating the land-for-peace formula, which served as the basis for peace with Egypt, to attain an honourable and secure peace with the Palestinians.
Arab Middle Eastern and Gulf countries need a region-based new paradigm for collective security. It would be founded on the primary and collective interests of these countries, to the exclusion of foreign powers. The Arab League's Collective Defence Agreement is a dead horse that has never been seriously activated and cannot be revived or built upon. Past experience with colonial-era defence pacts with foreign powers has left bad memories that have been further exacerbated by the US's "you are either with us or against us" polarisation strategy.
Countries of the region, with the exception of Israel, need to convene a conference that would negotiate and draft a blueprint for regional security. Israel could not be associated with any such arrangement until it has concluded peace treaties with all Arab countries on the basis of a satisfactory settlement of the Palestinian problem. While Israel is geographically located in the Middle East, its neighbours perceive it as a foreign and aggressive military power that occupies Arab territories and seeks expansion, not peace. The status of Turkey as a potential partner would be determined by the nature of its relations with NATO and the European Union.
The lessons of the conquest and destruction of Iraq have yet to sink in. When they do, Arab countries of the Middle East and the Gulf will realise that being politically and militarily embedded with the US is a recipe for durable instability and chaos.
History of American Military Interventions worldwide.
1846- Mexique. A l'issue d'une guerre qu'ils avaient programmées et provoquée, les USA s'emparent de la moitié du territoire mexicain. Ce territoire conquis s'appelle aujourd'hui : la Californie, le Nevada, l'Utah, l'Arizona, le Nouveau-Mexique, le Colorado (en partie).
1852-1853- Argentine. Les « marines » débarquent et s'installent à Buenos-Aires pour protéger les « intérêts » américains face à une révolution.*
1853- Nicaragua. « protection » des citoyens et intérêts américains pendant des troubles politiques.
1853-1854- Japon. Plan « d'ouverture du Japon » et expédition Perry qui conduit, avec les navires de guerre américains, à forcer le Japon à ouvrir ses ports aux États-Unis.*
1853-1854- Ryukyu et Iles Bonin. Attendant une réponse du Japon l'autorisant à se rendre dans ce pays, le contre-amiral américain Perry, opère une démonstration navale de force et débarque par deux fois. Il obtient des autorités de Naha, sur l'île d'Okinawa, la gestion d'une concession minière. Il opère la même démonstration de force dans les îles de Bonin afin d'obtenir des facilités commerciales.*
1854- Nicaragua. Pour « venger » une offense faite au ministre-résident américain en poste au Nicaragua : destruction de la vile de Greytown (San Juan del Norte)*
1855- Uruguay. Les marines américaines et européennes débarquent pour « protéger » les intérêts américains au cours d'une tentative de révolution à Montevideo.
1859- Chine. Intervention américaine destinée à protéger les intérêts américains à Shanghai.
1860- Angola. Intervention en Afrique occidentale portugaise pour assurer la sécurité des citoyens et des biens américains pendant une révolte indigène à Kissembo.
1893- Hawaii. Sous couvert officiel de protéger les vies et les biens des américains, cette intervention visa à mettre en place un gouvernement provisoire sous l'autorité de Sanford D. Dole.
1894- Nicaragua. Intervention pour protéger les intérêts américains à Bluefields à la suite d'une révolution.
1898- Cuba. Sous prétexte de libérer l'île de la tutelle espagnole, les USA s'installent et imposent une base militaire, la possibilités d'investissements financiers américains et un droit d'intervention dans les affaires intérieures du pays.
1898- Porto-Rico, Hawaii, Wake, Guam. Sous prétexte de défaire la tutelle espagnole, les USA s'installent et imposent une base militaire, la possibilités d'investissements financiers américains et un droit d'intervention dans les affaires intérieures du pays.
1898- Philippines. L'archipel est vendu aux USA par l'Espagne (décembre 1898), les philippins se soulèvent contre les États-Unis (février 1899), les USA envoie 70 000 militaires qui mettront trois ans pour mater le soulèvement (des milliers de pertes).
1903- Colombie. Les États-Unis fomentent une « révolution » à l'issue de laquelle ils créent de toute pièce la république de Panama qui lui assure le contrôle du célèbre canal et des bénéfices énormes qu'il génère.
1915- Haïti. Nouvelle intervention et occupation des troupes américaines pour… 19 ans.
1916- République Dominicaine. Quatrième intervention et maintien des troupes américaines pour… 8 ans.
1926- Nicaragua. Nouvelle intervention et expédition de 5000 militaires pour contrer une révolution.
1945-46- Chine. Les USA bombardent la Chine.
1946- Philippines. Colonie américaine jusqu'à l'occupation japonaise, les Philippines accèdent à leur indépendance en 1946 en concédant aux USA un droit illimité d'exploitation des ressources naturelles du pays au titre des dommages de guerre. Jusqu'en 1992 les USA conservent 23 bases militaires et participent à la répression des opposants communistes ou musulmans.
1947- Grèce. Les américains volent au secours de la dictature de droite mise en place par les britanniques et menacée par la guérilla de gauche. Les USA livrent 74 000 tonnes de matériels militaires et d'armements et envoient 250 « conseillers » militaires sur le terrain, assurant ainsi la victoire des force de droite en 1949.
1950- Porto Rico. Les troupes américaines qui stationnent en permanence écrasent un mouvement d'indépendance. 2 ans plus tard Porto Rico se voit accorder le délicieux statut « d‘État libre associé aux États-Unis »
1950- Corée. Les armées de la Corée du Nord franchissent le 38ème parallèle et pénètrent en Corée du Sud. A la « demande » des Nations-Unies qu'ils dominent très largement, les USA « acceptent » d'aider à repousser l'agression armée. 2 millions de coréens trouvent la mort au cours de cette guerre.
1950-53- Chine. Les USA bombardent la Chine.
1953- Iran. Un coup d'État orchestré par la CIA est mené par l'armée et les grands propriétaires fonciers après que les britanniques aient organisés le boycott des compagnies pétrolières iraniennes suite à leur nationalisation en 1951. Les USA vont alors soutenir pendant les 25 ans qui suivent l'homme fort du pays, le Chah d'Iran. Celui-ci devra s'enfuir en 1978 devant le raz-de-marée de la révolution islamique. (2 ans plus tard, en 1980, la guerre entre l'Iran et l'Irak sera une aubaine pour les industries d'armements, notamment américaines).
1954- Guatemala. Des mercenaires entraînés par la CIA au Honduras et au Nicaragua renversent, avec l'aide de l'aviation américaine, le gouvernement le plus démocratique que le Guatemala ait jamais connu.
1958- Liban. Des milliers de « marines » sont envoyés au Liban pour empêcher le renversement du gouvernement pro-américain et protéger les intérêts américains dans cette région riche en ressources pétrolières.
1958- Indonésie. Les USA bombardent l'Indonésie.
1960- Guatemala. Les USA bombardent le Guatemala.
1961- Cuba. Armés et entraînés par la CIA, plus de 1000 exilés cubains débarquent dans la baie des cochons avec l'espoir de provoquer une rébellion contre le gouvernement castriste en place très populaire. Le soulèvement n'a pas lieu, les mercenaires sont rejetés à la mer, les USA frappe d'embargo Cuba. En 2002 l'embargo américain dure encore.
1961-1972- Vietnam. Pendant 11 ans les USA, prenant le relais de l'armée française, utilisent tout leur arsenal militaire y compris chimique pour venir à bout d'un mouvement révolutionnaire nationaliste d'indépendance. La guerre la plus longue dans laquelle se sont embarqués les USA fera des millions de morts vietnamiens et américains sans succès pour le plus puissant des pays de la planète.
1961-1972- Laos Cambodge- Bien qu'officiellement pas en guerre avec ces deux pays, les USA y effectuèrent d'incessantes attaques aériennes et d'innombrables massacres de populations.
1964- Panama. Les « marines » qui protègent les intérêts des administrations américaines du canal de Panama écrasent une révolte visant à nationaliser ce secteur stratégique. Après avoir protéger et utiliser le dictateur panaméen Noriega pour leurs attaques contre le Nicaragua sandiniste, les USA s'en débarrassent. 26 000 soldats américains envahissent le pays sous couvert de le faire comparaître devant les tribunaux américains pour trafic de drogue. Des centaines de civils périssent sous les bombardements.
1964- Congo. Les USA bombardent le Congo.
1965- Indonésie. Prétextant une tentative de coup d'état des communistes pourtant proches du pouvoir de Sukarno, une opération militaire sanglante dont les dirigeants sont téléguidés par la CIA est menée. Des centaines de milliers d'indonésiens sont victimes d'une chasse à l'opposant, la longue et meurtrière carrière de l'homme de paille américain Suharto commence pour culminer au Timor-oriental.
1965- République Dominicaine. Sous le couvert de l' « Organisation des États Américains », les USA interviennent militairement pour contrer une prétendue menace communiste. La bataille de Saint-Domingue fait quelque 10 000 victimes.
1965- Pérou. Les USA bombardent le Pérou.
1967-69- Guatemala. Les USA bombardent le Guatemala.
1970- Oman. Épaulées par les « conseillers » américains, les troupes iraniennes tentent d'envahir le sultanat.
1970- Proche Orient. Implication militaire des USA auprès d'Israël dans les guerres qui ont lieu dans cette région du globe.
1973- Chili. Suite à la réforme agraire et aux nationalisations, les États-Unis, par l'intermédiaire de la CIA et de la firme ITT, fomentent un coup d'état militaire qui conduit à l'extermination du Président élu de gauche Salvador Allende. Des milliers de morts, de femmes et d'enfants torturés, de disparus et l'installation de la dictature d'extrême-droite du général Pinochet, conseillé par la CIA.
1975-1999- Timor Oriental. Les USA soutiennent sans faillir l'invasion et l'annexion conduite par l'Indonésie de Suharto. Un tiers de la population est décimée en près de 25 années. Alors qu'en 1999 lors d'un référendum, 80% de la population du Timor-oriental choisit l'indépendance, les USA soutiennent les exactions et la terreur de milices téléguidées par l'armée indonésienne qui s'opposent à l'indépendance. Les États-Unis finissent par accepter, sous la pression internationale, l'idée d'une force de maintien de la Paix de l'ONU.
1980-1990- Salvador. Les USA s'engagent militairement aux côté des forces gouvernementales, de l'oligarchie au pouvoir et des « escadrons de la mort » pour contrer la guérilla de gauche. En 1980, l'archevêque Romero, très populaire chez les pauvres, est assassiné par des hommes proches de la CIA. En dix ans, la guerre civile fait 100 000 morts.
1981-1988- Nicaragua. Les USA n'acceptent pas la série de réformes que les Sandinistes arrivés au pouvoir en 1979 engagent. Les États-Unis apportent leur soutien aux « contras » basé au Honduras. En 1986, le scandale de l'Irangate révèle que le produit financier des ventes d'armes américaines à l'Iran a servi a financer les groupes terroristes de la « contra ».
1982-1984- Liban. Israël et les USA envahissent le pays du Cedre.
1983- Grenade. Embourbés au Liban, les États-Unis font une démonstration de force en envahissant la minuscule île de la Grenade prétextant de la sécurité de quelques citoyens américains. Huit ans plus tard, le « Wall Street Journal » qualifie cette démonstration « d'invasion des banques », l'île était en fait devenue un paradis pour la fraude financière et l'évasion fiscale.
1986- Libye. L'aviation américaine bombarde des villes libyennes, faisant des centaines de victimes parmi les civils et les officiels.
1986- Les USA sont condamnés pour "usage illégal de la force" contre le Nicaragua par la Cour internationale de justice de La Haye .
1989- Philippines. L'aviation américaine prête main-forte aux forces gouvernementales pour contrecarrer un des nombreux coup d'État contre la présidente Corazon Aquino, farouche opposante aux communistes et aux indépendantistes musulmans.
1989- Panama. Les USA bombardent le Panama.
1991- Irak. Allié précieux des États-Unis dans la région durant de longues années, Saddam Hussein envahit le Koweït sans en référer à la superpuissance. Les USA, n'acceptant pas de perdre le contrôle sur une partie des ressources pétrolières du Golfe, déclarent la guerre à l'Irak en janvier 1991 et mettent en place une coalition militaire internationale qui, avec le soutien de l'ONU, libère le Koweït. L'Irak est placé sous embargo.
1994- Haïti. Ayant occupé Haïti de 1915 à 1934 puis soutenu les deux effroyables dictatures de François et Jean-Claude Duvalier de 1957 à 1986, les USA se montrent favorables au renversement par coup d'état en 1991 du premier président élu du pays le père Aristide. Parmi les militaires impliqués dans le coup d'état, le colonel François formé, comme les dictateurs latino-américains Noriega et d'Aubuisson, dans la même académie militaire américaine. Trois ans plus tard les États-Unis interviennent militairement pour remettre en scelle le Président déchu.
1998- Irak. Les USA et l'Angleterre reprennent leurs bombardements sur l'Irak et se fixent comme objectif l'élimination physique de Saddam Hussein et la mise en place d'un gouvernement de remplacement.
1998- Soudan. L'armée américaine détruit par missiles des usines pharmaceutiques supposées servir de lieux de production d'armement chimique à des fins terroristes.
1999- Yougoslavie. Au mois de mars, sous l'impulsion des États-Unis, l'OTAN bombarde le Kosovo et la Serbie ou s'opposent l'Armée de Libération du Kosovo qui depuis 1998 mène des opérations de guérilla et les forces de polices serbes qui, de leur côté, prennent en otage les populations civiles. Des centaines de bombes à uranium appauvris sont testées par les USA.
2001- Afghanistan. Suite aux attentats meurtriers commis le 11 septembre aux États-Unis et attribués à l'organisation Al-Qaida dirigée par Oussama Ben Laden , les États-Unis forment une coalition, implantent des bases au Pakistan et bombardent massivement le pays. Les talibans islamistes sont renversés, les USA ne parviennent pas à imposer leur « protégé » (l'ancien roi), un gouvernement de transition est mis en place, les prisonniers de guerre se voient déniés par les USA les droits internationaux reconnus par les conventions internationales, certains prisonniers sont déportés sur la base militaire américaine de Guantanamo et subissent un régime d'exception contraire aux principes internationaux et à la législation américaine elle-même. Derrière ces événements les USA légitiment leur allié dictateur du Pakistan, assurent peu à peu leur mainmise sur le transit des ressources naturelles régionales.
2002- Corée. Les États-Unis placent ce pays au nombre des composantes de "l'Axe du Mal", nouvelle doctrine militaro-mystique de mise en place de "guerres préventives" contre tous ceux qui ne s'alignent pas sur les USA
2002- Irak. Les États-Unis font pression sur la communauté internationale pour lancer un corps expéditionnaire en Irak visant au renversement de Saddam Hussein, à l'instauration d'un gouvernement favorable à leurs intérêts, à l'obtention des principales parts de marchés de la reconstruction du pays après bombardements, à l'octroi de concessions sur les immenses ressources pétrolières du pays. Fin 2002, les USA et leurs alliés anglais ont massés des dizaines de milliers de soldats sur-équipés sur place, prêts à une offensive.
2003- Irak. Les États-Unis se placent hors la Loi internationale et les décisions de l'ONU et envahissent dans la nuit du 19 au 20 Mars, avec le soutien de l'Angleterre, l'Irak. Un déluge de feu s'abat sur le pays et la population dont déjà près de 500 000 personnes sont mortes en 10 ans du fait du blocus économique (800 missiles Tomahawk, 23 000 bombes à uranium, à fragmentation, mini-nucléaire). Un mouvement mondial d'opposition à la guerre et à l'agression militaire des États-Unis se développe en faveur de la Paix et pour le respect du droit international. La majorité des pays de la planète condamnent l'agression américaine contre un pays souverain. Par cet acte les USA ouvre la voix dangereuse et criminelle à la doctrine de la guerre préventive permettant d'attaquer tout pays ne se soumettant pas à la conception impérialiste américaine ....
2007- ??? Lebanon .
A delight for the eye, roughly like getting poked with a thumb,"The Dying Swan" is an anesthetic for the aesthetic sensesthat is bound to leave you feeling completely numb.This baleful ballet is stunning for its ham-handed,doleful delivery of clueless cliche.The post-modern, German-style choreography borders onan approximation to political pornography. Ostensibly,and not very sensibly, "The Dying Swan" attempts to createan allegory in which the decline of the American Empireis clumsily compared to the painfully maudlin, triteimage of a breath-taking, beautiful sunset. Instead, the "The Dying Swan" takes a graceless and embarrassing plunge into the night, skids across the bare,square stage- covered with what looks like slippery linoleum - like a squawking duck whose wings arecovered with petroleum ... hardly conducive to artistry.In the early ballets at the court of Louis XIV, elevation was accomplished by the use of such machinery as levers and pulleys.Wires were used to produce the illusion of flight in early nineteenth century ballets. In the "Dying Swan", the dancersdescend on the stage like so-many flightless dodos, bobbing up and down awkwardly on plainly-visible bare wires, like so many yo-yos.Rather than making dance phrases cohere in relation to dynamic sequences, "The Dying Swan" insults theintelligence of the hapless audience with a relentless assault on the senses.In nowhere is this more evident than in the limp and lamelimb movements of the dancers. The ballet's protagonist,the Prancing Prince of Preemptive Peace, attempts to strut back and forth across the stage, as if preparingto pounce, like a leopard pacing. Unfortunately, the overweightperformer seems more like a bucket of lard stuffed into leotards,like a skin-tight sausage casing.After being knocked out of the park like a baseball-ballerina in a sports arena, the ballet sinks, blowing enough ballast to dump the ballerina down a latrine.Prejudicially eschewing anything that might be perceived as slightly "gay", this lead-footed ballet creates an impressionnot so much of fluttering butterflies as of a gooey,peanut-butter Fluffer-Nutter served up in a high schoolcafeteria that has little more sense of nutrition thanof ballet tradition.In the third movement, "Death of Democracy", we see thePrancing Prince, deep in denial, dancing with hisdeparted lover, Lady Liberty. Unable to admit thethe truth that is evident in her lifeless form, he continues goose-stepping and pathetically schlepping across the stage, dragging her around like a potato sack,not seeming to realize how completely hackneyed is this unoriginal imagery.The pitiable lack of preparation in the repertory is almost beyond repair. In extremely poor form, the performers helplessly falter and flail, and in the final analysis, fail.For all of its inflated pretensions, "The Dying Swan"trips on its own egregious exaggerationsand falls flat on its aspirations.It is simply battle fatigue, when the audience, withheavy hearts, takes out hankies, honks and starts to cry.Regretting your mistake not simply to sneak off during the intermission, you find yourself just waiting for this beleaguered ballet to bite the bullet and die.My greatest fear, for the clutzy fiasco that is "The Dying Swan", is that it will stumble from its unmitigated opening-night disaster in B.2 to an even bigger one in I2.
The Truth Behind The Israeli Secret Services.
http://newhk.blogspot.com/ " Exclusive "
"Y'all gotta start thinking on a different level-
like the CIA does. We're through the looking glass.
Here white is black and black is white."
Perception is paramount to reality in the Middle East.
Most of the known, and some of the written, history is
based on myths and half truths. All parties in the Arab
-Israeli conflict, and in the inter-Arab conflicts, have
engaged in spreading lies and dis-information, and
unfortunately most of these stick to the minds of the
The party that has most benefited from and made use
of this fact has been, and still is, Israel.
It has been the main and most pervasive purveyor of lies
for many reasons, but the main one has been its strong
influence, and sometimes its actual control, of most
main media in the west. Many Arabs do not trust their
own government controlled media, and often turn to
foreign sources, like the BBC World service and CNN,
to get their information. Israel has been extremely
active since its inception and mostly since the 1967
war in spreading the lies about its own prowess
vis-�-vis the Arabs.
One of the most effective media campaigns has been
the one to portray the Israeli secret service,
especially the Mossad, as a heroic group of
dedicated and patriotic men who are in direct
war with the Arab hordes and international
terrorists. Most of the now-famous operations,
like the Adolf Eichman abduction in 1960, have
been translated into best-selling books and
box-office hits at the cinema
(Black and Morris, 501).
The truth behind the Mossad and other Israeli
secret services is far more insidious and
unethical and it is a catalogue of crime,
of murder, internationally illegal acts,
intra-organizational conflict, and inept
handling of sensitive operations.
We will see evidence of this, particularly
the role of these services in the 1982
Invasion and in particular with the Sabra
and Shatilla Massacre, as well
as the eventual Intelligence failure in Lebanon.
Then we will work on explaining the functions of
the different organizations, showing that not
only can we expose them,but that it's possible
to counter them successfully.....
The Role and Function of the Agencies
1- Mossad: (Hebrew:
HaMossad LeModi'in U'Letfkidm Meyuhadim.
(Mentioned 78 times in Kahan)
2- AMAN: (Hebrew:
Agaf Modi'in. English: IDF Intelligence Branch)
(Mentioned 104 times in Kahan)
3- Shin Bet, or
Shabak: (Hebrew: Sherut Habitachim Haklali.
the occasional extra-judicial execution specialists.
(Mentioned 8 times in Kahan)
4- LAKAM: (Hebrew:
Lishka le Kishrei Mada.
Portrait of the KILLERS AND MURDERERS
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.
Les analyses sont différentes, les opinions variées. « L’Orient-Le Jour » a demandé à une trentaine de personnalités chrétiennes du monde politique, académique et de la société civile de répondre dans ce cadre à trois questions complémentaires sur ce sujet.
Ces trois questions sont : « 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 ?
– « 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. »
The Apostle John’s vision has been around for over 1,900 years. Few have understood it. Few today comprehend its meaning within the context of history, prophecy and current world events. Yet if we attune ourselves to the flow of global events, which have taken on a heightened drama, a more frenetic pace, over the past two years, the vision becomes clearer. The apocalypse is becoming a reality!???? [2010/2012]?
Even the headlines that the most respected of publications are employing to describe the current state of the world speak volumes as editors strive to convey a sense of the disproportionately unusual, unprecedented nature of current world trends.
“And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads” (Rev. 9:4). The only people to be saved from this living nightmare will be those who have the seal of God in their foreheads! Do you know what that seal is? You need to know!
These are desperate times. We literally live, right now, in that prophesied time of no more delay in the fulfillment of end-time prophecy (Rev. 10:6). Time is running out!
Did you know that, right within the midst of the end-of-the-age prophecy of the apocalypse, God guarantees a place of safety to those who are sealed with His seal in their foreheads? (Rev. 12:6). It’s time to get serious about what you are going to do in response to this heightened pace of apocalyptic events beginning to engulf this world.
That place of safety has to do with a deep repentance from sin. Failure to repent will result in the most terrible of consequences: “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” (Rev. 9:20-21). Their ultimate end if they refuse to repent is forecast in Revelation 22:14-15. Their hope of eternal life is cut off—forever!
Yes, even after punishment for sin is enacted, some will refuse to repent! But those who do heed this final warning from God to repent of sin, even within this last hour, and submit to His government over their lives in complete obedience to His authority, are promised the greatest of rewards: “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4)....?
War, geopolitics and high finance.
RAFIQ Hariri was the symbol of Lebanon's renaissance from the devastation of its civil war to his own people and the international financial markets. A Sunni Muslim from Sidon, Hariri earned billions of dollars as a contractor and confidant of the senior powerbroker princes in Saudi Arabia and leveraged his political influence in Riyadh, Washington and Paris to emerge as Lebanon's prime minister in the 1990's.
Hariri's Solidiere rebuilt Beirut's chic downtown, his ambitious development plans attracted petrodollars from the Gulf and the savings of the Lebanese diaspora, his government floated billion in sovereign Eurobond debt in the offshore capital markets, he created profitable capitalist enclaves in Beirut's currency and construction markets even for his allies in Syria's Baathist regime in Damascus.
Hariri shuttled from the Elysee Palace and the White House to the inner sanctums of the Saudi and Kuwait royal families and the boardrooms of the IMF and the World Bank to engineer the Paris II Conference, the donor conclave that saved Lebanon from sovereign debt default, a lira meltdown and the bankruptcy of its banking system. To the international bankers of Wall Street and the City of London, Hariri was Mr Lebanon, the symbol of the Arab state once again destined to become the Switzerland of the Levant. Yet on St Valentine's Day 2005, nemesis overtook Rafiq Hariri when an assassin's bomb exploded amid his Mercedes motorcade as it sped on the Beirut Corniche.
The Hariri assassination set off a chain of events that makes geopolitics a sword of Damocles that still haunts the Lebanese banking system and financial markets. The war with Israel last summer and the political impasse between Hezbollah and the Siniora Cabinet has naturally escalated the political risk premium implicit in Solidiere's share price, Lebanon's sovereign Eurobonds and the credit ratings of Beirut's major private banks.
Hezbollah's tent city in the heart of Solidiere's downtown and the Ottoman era Serai, home to the Fouad Siniora's embattled government, is a continual symbol of Lebanon's political nightmares. It is no coincidente that as Hezbollahs's challenge to the Lebanese state intensified after the war, Moodys downgraded four Lebanese banks's financial rating strength to D. This raises the prospect of monetary Armageddon in a nation which, apart from its existential risk of sectarian slaughter and the threat from and Israeli and Syria's war machines, is burdened by the highest public sector debt/GDP (180%) ratio in the emerging markets.
Yet Lebanon's banking system and financial markets have remained remarkably resilient even though the Israel war inflicted $11 billion in damages, destroyed countless bridges, roads, factories, homes and power generation plants. Beirut's bankers estimate that only six per cent of the Lebanese banking system's loans were to the devastated swathes of Shia Lebanon, the Dahiya suburbs of Beirut, the Bekaa Valley and the stricken moonscape of far south villages like Qana, Bint Jbeil and Khiam. Hezbollah, Siniora's government and international donors bankroll reconstruction finance, with a minor role for Beirut's family owned private bankers. The governor of the Banque de Liban estimates only $100 million of war related provisions were needed in the banking system's $17 billion in loans. However, the war caused incalculable damage in human lives, lost tourism, export and VAT revenues and capital flight.
Hezbollah's money machine is a shadowy underground network that encompasses Shia merchants in West Africa, immigrants in Michigan and Brazil to the Revolutionary Guard's Al Qods Bridge in Iran and the religious charities and foundations of Shia Lebanon. The US Treasury has blacklisted Iran's Bank Saderat, which has branches in both the Dahiya and the Bekaa, for its role in helping the Revolutionary Guards distribute Iranian petrodollars to Hezbollah. Of course, Iran's $200 million in annual aid to Hezbollah is dwarfed by the United States and its $ 3 billion in loans and grants to the Israelis.
Hezbollah distributed Iran's largesse to its Shia constituents to build homes in Shia Lebanon's war traumatised villages and Beirut suburbs. The Banque de Liban governor noted that the $100 cash bills distributed by Hezbollah volunteers did not originate from Lebanon. The US Secretary of State branded Iran as "the central banker of terrorism" for its role in financing Hezbollah, whom it blames for the suicide truck bomb that massacred 240 Marines in their barracks and the kidnapping/videotaped murder of the CIA station chief in Beirut. The yellow flag with a Kalashnikov fist, the flag of Hezbollah, is quite possibly also the logo of the most powerful merchant bank and development agency in Lebanon, so powerful that it finances its own militia and arsenal of lethal missiles and rockets that forced Israel to evacuate its coastal town in the Galilee. As the US Treasury tightens its noose around the Ayatollah's banking system in the Euromarkets, it is inevitable that the financial shock waves will hit Hezbollah's clandestine war chest.
The Siniora government has managed to prevent a run on the Lebanese pound or foreign debt but Lebanon's credit rating is sovereign junk at a dismal B, privatisation and economic reforms are stymied by sectarian fiefdoms in the cabinet and the private bankers of Ashrafiyeh and Ras Beirut accumulate foreign assets in Syria, Algeria, Sudan, Iraq and the Gulf. Lebanese banks hold so much government debt that a default would mean the destruction of the Lebanese banking system. The prospects of a compromise between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government seems remote.
France, the US, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf oil sheikdoms sponsored the Paris III donors conference that averted a banking crisis in Lebanon. Paris III was a financial lifeline for Fouad Siniora and his Sunni Muslim, Druze and Maronite Christian allies in the Lebanese Cabinet. Yet more than $ 4.5 billion of the $ 7.8 billion donor funding is conditional on economic reforms under IMF diktat. The Banque de Liban has $ 19 billion in hard currency reserves and gold. The Lebanese central bank kept the pound stable during the summer Israeli attack, even though it was forced to raise interest rates to 30 per cent to stem capital flight. But geopolitics determines Lebanese finance, as it determines so much else. In the Levant, to twist Shakespeare, uneasy lies the head that wears a crown or a moneylender's pinstripes!
Syria signals little cooperation with Hariri court, After the meeting of Walid Al-Moallem, the Syrian Foreign Minister, with CONDI RICE IN "SHARM" and her tacit approval of the maneuvers to Cover Syria's and CIA/MOSSAD murderers....
Syria will not cooperate with a U.N.-backed tribunal to try the number one Syrian suspect, ASSEF SHAWKAT, and Maher Asswad in the killing of a former Lebanese premier if the court takes actions that undermine Syrian sovereignty, Bashar al-Asswad said.
"We have nothing "directly" to do with the court, since our master is CONDI. Any cooperation requested from Syria that compromises national sovereignty is totally rejected," Asswad told a parliament session in the Syrian capital.
"Some don't differentiate between cooperation and abandoning sovereignty. The abandonment of sovereignty means that Syrian law no longer protects Syrian citizens," Hence Condi's protection , Asswad said.
Diplomats said the comments indicated that it would be difficult for Syria to cooperate with the tribunal if it indicts Syrian officials, but Condi will see to it that no one is indicted .
Asswad has repeatedly denied any Syrian involvement in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, but has said any Syrian found to be involved would be tried by a Syrian court, just like Ghazi Kanaan was "suicided" by Shawkatt.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said this week Washington might seek to unforce setting up of the tribunal by the U.N. Security Council after a political crisis in Beirut paralyzed parliament and blocked any attempts to get Lebanon to approve the court, thanks to CONDI's friends and upon her tacit instructions, to help their 4 buddies who are in Jail for their protection, because they know too much, and two of them are CIA agents.
A United Nations investigation has implicated Top Lebanese and Syrian security officials in the assassination made in USA and Herzlyiah, via Damascus and Assef Shawkat.
SEEING THE LIGHT AND POWER OF FRIENDSHIP!
“To our joy or to our misery, the contingencies of reality have a great influence on what we say, when writing in the wake of personal disaster,” . It is hard to talk about yourself, and so before I describe my current writing experience, at this time in my life, I wish to make a few observations about the impact that a disaster, a traumatic situation, has on an entire society, an entire people. I immediately recall the words of the mouse in Kafka’s short story “A Little Fable.” The mouse who, as the trap closes on him, and the cat looms behind, says, “Alas . . . the world is growing narrower every day.”
Indeed, after many years of living in the extreme and violent reality of a political, military and religious conflict, I can report, sadly, that Kafka’s mouse was right: the world is, indeed, growing increasingly narrow, increasingly diminished, with every day that goes by. And I can also tell you about the void that is growing ever so slowly between the individual human being and the external, violent and chaotic situation within which he lives. The situation that dictates his life to him in each and every aspect.
And this void never remains empty. It is filled rapidly — with apathy, with cynicism and, more than anything else, with despair: the despair that fuels distorted situations, allowing them to persist on and on, in some cases even for generations. Despair of the possibility of ever changing the prevailing state of affairs, of ever being redeemed from it. And the despair that is deeper still — despair of what this distorted situation exposes, finally, in each and every one of us, on both sides of any conflict.
And I feel the heavy toll that I, and the people I know and see around me, pay for this ongoing state of war. The shrinking of the “surface area” of the soul that comes in contact with the bloody and menacing world out there. The limiting of one’s ability and willingness to identify, even a little, with the pain of others; the suspension of moral judgment. The despair most of us experience of possibly understanding our own true thoughts in a state of affairs that is so terrifying and deceptive and complex, both morally and practically. Hence, you become convinced, I might be better off not thinking and opt not to know perhaps I’m better off leaving the task of thinking and doing and establishing moral norms in the hands of those who might “know better....”on both sides of any conflict.
Most of all, I’m better off not feeling too much — at least until this shall pass. And if it doesn’t, at least I relieved my suffering somewhat, I developed a useful numbness, I protected myself as best I could with the help of a bit of indifference, a bit of sublimation, a bit of intended blindness and large doses of self-anesthetization, knowing how deep, grave and desperate, the Lack of Leadership is worldwide .
In other words: Because of the perpetual — and all-too-real — fear of being hurt, or of deceptive petty politicians, or of unbearable loss, or even of “mere” humiliation, each and every one of us, the conflict’s citizens, its prisoners, trim down our own vivacity, our internal mental and cognitive diapason, ever enveloping ourselves with protective layers, which end up suffocating us, because of very low expectations from the so-called "elite" and from perpetual feudal war-lords, clinging to failed and miserable policies.
Kafka’s mouse is right: when the predator is closing in on you, the world does indeed become increasingly narrow. So does the language that describes it. From my experience I can say that the language with which the citizens of a sustained conflict describe their predicament becomes progressively shallower the longer the conflict endures. Language gradually becomes a sequence of clichés, colors and slogans. This begins with the language created by the institutions that manage the conflict directly —the war-lords, the feudal elite, the army, the police, the different government ministers; it quickly filters down to the mass media that are reporting or regurgitating "words", syllables and "formulas" about the conflict, germinating an even more cunning language that aims to tell its target audience the story easiest for digestion; and this process ultimately seeps into the private, intimate language of the conflict’s citizens, even if they deny it... leaving no room for cool and thoughtful analysis, to produce a lasting political formula for decent and long-lasting Good Governance, in a time of conflict and utter gridlock.
Actually, this process is all too understandable: after all, the natural riches of human language, and their ability to touch on the finest and most delicate nuances and strings of existence, can hurt deeply in such circumstances, because they remind us of the bountiful reality of which we are being robbed, of its true complexity, of its subtleties. And the more this state of affairs goes on, and as the language used to describe this state of affairs grows shallower, public discourse dwindles further. What remain are the fixed and banal mutual accusations among enemies, or among political adversaries within the same country. What remain are the clichés we use for describing our enemy and ourselves; the clichés that are, ultimately, a collection of superstitions and crude generalizations, in which we capture ourselves and entrap our enemies. The world is, indeed, growing increasingly narrow.
My thoughts relate not only to the conflict in the Middle East. Across the world today, billions of people face a “predicament” of one type or other, in which personal existence and values, liberty and identity are under threat, to some extent. Almost all of us have a “predicament” of our own, a curse of our own. We all feel — or can intuit — how our special “predicament” can rapidly turn into a trap that would take away our freedom, the sense of home our country provides, our private language, our free will, our Honor, our Independence, our self-worth, etc. !
In this reality we authors and poets write. In Lebanon , Israel and Palestine, Chechnya and Sudan, in Colombia New York, and in Congo. Sometimes, during my workday, after several hours’ writing, I lift my head up and think — right now, at this very moment, another writer whom I don’t even know sits, in Damascus or Tehran, in Kigali or in Belfast, just like me, practicing this peculiar, Don-Quixote-like craft of creation, within a reality that contains so much violence and estrangement, indifference and diminution. Here, I have a distant ally who doesn’t even know me, but together we weave this intangible cobweb, which nevertheless has tremendous power, a world-changing and world-creating power, the power of making the dumb speak and the power of perception, or correction, in the deep sense it has in the human mind... and could even add, edit, or transform some thoughts and adapt them to a somewhat similar environment somewhere on this planet.
As for me, in recent years, in the facts that I wrote, I almost intentionally turned my back on the "elites", and feudal fiery reality of my country, the reality of the latest news bulletin. I had written notes about this reality before, and in essays and interviews, I never stopped writing about it, and never stopped trying to understand it. I participated in dozens of protests, in international peace initiatives. I met my neighbors — some of whom were my enemies — at every opportunity that I deemed to offer a chance for dialogue. And yet, out of a conscious decision, and almost out of protest, I did not write about these disaster zones yet, because this does not enjoy people’s complete attentiveness as the nearly eternal war thunders.
About five years ago, when my friend HK, was savagely assassinated, I could no longer follow my recent ways. A sense of urgency and alarm washed over me, leaving me restless. I then began writing notes, that treat directly the bleak reality in which we live. A way that depicts how external violence and the cruelty of the general political and military reality penetrate the tender and vulnerable tissue of a single family, ultimately tearing it asunder.
“As soon as one writes,” “one miraculously ignores the current circumstances of one’s life, yet our happiness or misery leads us to write in a certain way. When we are happy, our imagination is more dominant. When miserable, the power of our memory takes over.” It is hard to talk about yourself. I will only say what I can at this point, and from the location where I sit.
I write. In wake of the death of my friend Elie Hobeika, in the war between Israel and Lebanon, the awareness of what happened has sunk into every cell of mine. The power of memory is indeed enormous and heavy, and at times has a paralyzing quality to it. Nevertheless, the act of writing itself at this time creates for me a type of “space,” a mental territory that I’ve never experienced before, where death is not only the absolute and one-dimensional negation of life.
Writers know that when we write, we feel the world move; it is flexible, crammed with possibilities. It certainly isn’t frozen. Wherever human existence permeates, there is no freezing and no paralysis, and actually, there is no status quo. Even if we sometimes err to think that there is a status quo; even if some are very keen to have us believe that a status quo exists. When I write, even now, the world is not closing in on me, and it does not grow ever so narrow: it also makes gestures of opening up toward a future prospect.
I write. I imagine. The act of imagining in itself enlivens me. I am not frozen and paralyzed before the predator... At times I feel as if I am digging up people from the ice in which deceit enshrouded them, but maybe, more than anything else, it is myself that I am now digging up.
I write. I feel the wealth of possibilities inherent in any human situation. I sense my ability to choose between them. The sweetness of liberty, which I believed that I had already lost. I indulge in the richness of true, or borrowed, intimate language. I recall the delight of natural, full breathing when I manage to escape the claustrophobia of slogan and cliché. Suddenly I begin to breathe with both lungs.
I write, and I feel how the correct and precise use of words is sometimes like a remedy to an illness. Like a contraption for purifying the air, I breathe in and exhale the murkiness and manipulations of linguistic scoundrels and language rapists of all shades and colors. I write and I feel how the tenderness and intimacy I maintain with language, with its different layers, its eroticism and humor and soul, give me back the person I used to be, me, before my self became nationalized and confiscated by the conflict, by Mafias, by black-ops, by government's assassins and pseudo-armies, by despair and tragedy.
I write. I relieve myself of one of the dubious and distinctive capacities created by the state of war in which we live — the capacity to be an enemy and an enemy only. I do my best not to shield myself from the just claims and sufferings of my enemy. Nor from the tragedy and entanglement of his own life. Nor from his errors or crimes or from the knowledge of what I myself am doing to him. Nor, finally, from the surprising similarities I find between him and me.
All of a sudden I am not condemned to this absolute, fallacious and suffocating dichotomy — this inhumane choice to “be victim or aggressor,” without having any third, more humane alternative. When I write, I can be a human being whose parts have natural and vital passages between them; a human who is able to feel close to his enemies’ sufferings and to acknowledge his just claims without relinquishing a grain of his own identity.
Sometimes when I write, I can recall what we all felt in Lebanon, for one singular moment, when the airplanes of the Israeli Air Force, pounded our towns and villages, our buildings and infrastructure, killing tens of thousands of our citizens for the last 40 years ago, after decades of war between the two nations: then, all of a sudden, we discovered how heavy is the load we carry all our lives — the load of enmity and fear and suspicion. The load of permanent guard duty, the heavy burden of being an enemy, at all times.
And what a delight it is, to think that one day, may be, just may be we could remove for one moment the mighty armor of suspicion, hate and stereotype. It is a delight that is almost terrifying — to stand naked, pure almost, and witness a human face emerge from the one-dimensional vision with which we observed each other for years.?
I write. I give intimate private names to an external and foreign world. In a sense, I make it mine. In a sense, I return from feeling exiled and foreign to feeling at home. By doing so, I am already making a small change in what appeared to me earlier as unchangeable. Also, when I describe the impermeable arbitrariness that signs our destiny — arbitrariness at the hands of a human being, or arbitrariness at the hands of fate — I suddenly discover new nuances, subtleties. I discover that the mere act of writing about arbitrariness allows me to feel a freedom of movement in relation to it. That by merely facing up to arbitrariness I am granted freedom — maybe the only freedom a man may have against any arbitrariness: the freedom to put your tragedy into your own words. The freedom to express yourself differently, innovatively, before that which threatens to chain and bind one to arbitrariness and its limited, fossilizing definitions.
And I write also about that which cannot be brought back. And about that which is inconsolable. Then, too, in a manner I still find inexplicable, the circumstances of my life do not close in on me in a way that would leave me paralyzed. Many times every day, as I sit at my desk, I touch on grief and loss like one touching electricity with his bare hands, and yet I do not die. I cannot grasp how this miracle works. Maybe once I finish writing these memories, I will try to understand. Not now. It is too early.
And I write the life of my land, Lebanon. The land that is tortured, frantic, drugged by an overdose of history, excessive emotions that cannot be contained by any human capacity, extreme events and tragedies, enormous anxiety and paralyzing sobriety, too much memory, failed hopes and the circumstances of a fate unique among all nations: an existence that sometimes appears to be a "message to the world", especially to Israel..., a story of mythical proportions, a story that is “larger than life” to the point that something seems to have gone wrong with the relation it bears to life itself. A country that has become tired of the possibility of ever leading the standard, normal life of a country among countries, a nation among nations.
We writers go through times of despair and times of self-devaluation. Our work is in essence the work of deconstructing personality, of doing away with some of the most effective human-defense mechanisms. We treat, voluntarily, the harshest, ugliest and also rawest materials of the soul. Our work leads us time and again to acknowledge our shortcomings, as both humans and souls.
And yet, and this is the great mystery and the alchemy of our actions: In a sense, as soon as we lay our hand on the pen, or the computer keyboard, we already cease to be the helpless victims of whatever it was that enslaved and diminished us before we began to write. Not the slaves of our predicament nor of our private anxieties; not of the “official narrative” of our country, nor of fate itself. Hence, I will say this from the heart:
The Lebanese people are getting so tired of the Feudal Sectarian Mess and of the so-called March 14th stooges, prisoners of the American/Israeli new-imperialistic and Hegemonistic formulas, which made of them traitors to the real March 14th Spirit, and the whole mess called Lebanon. Despair is in their faces and immigration is on the rise. There is a danger that there will reach a point where no body cares about anything anymore. To avoid this situation, the silent opposition should take action and take it soon. One idea is to ask the UN to put Lebanon under its mandate and send a bigger force to dismantle the Sectarian system for good. The UN mandate, constituted of European forces only, is needed to avoid chaos and bloodshed for many years. After-all, the Lebanese have proven that they are not mature or capable of ruling themselves and thus they need to be governed by an outside authority. It could be that the 30 years of Syro-American inspired occupation, has made the Lebanese so dependent on another country to resolve their problems and they lost their ability to rule. The UN mandate will help to disarm all the feudal elitist entities in Lebanon, apprentice Lebanese in running a modern form of government, reform the constitution to rid Lebanon of the Religious sectarianism. The UN should stay in Lebanon for 50 years till the sectarian generations are turned over and new generations take over to continue the development of good governance in a modern decentralized state, to liberate the energies of the talented youths of Lebanon ounce and for all.
We write. The world is not closing in on us. How fortunate we are. The world is not growing increasingly narrow...???
A personal note on Iraq's quagmire...
One day I realized that those "private contractors"
had ample incentive to keep the pot boiling in Iraq.
They have found a gold mine there--we can be sure
they are not anxious for the violence in Iraq to end
too soon. Since they are generously funded,
generally immune from prosecution, and since their
activities are kept hidden from the public in general,
it would be pretty easy for those private contractors
to set a few roadside bombs, pick off a few American
soldiers with sniper rifles, and stir up sectarian
strife at every opportunity. It would be good for
There are about 140,000 private employees, about
46,000 assigned to private combat duty, just like
American soldiers. They are assigned to key areas
and travel all over Iraq, just like American soldiers.
They drive vehicles, just like American soldiers.
They travel Iraqi roads, just like American soldiers.
So why are they not being killed and maimed, just
like American soldiers? Some 30,000 young
Americans have been seriously wounded and
crippled in Iraq.
We don't seem to see any private contractors blown
to pieces and laying legless in hospital beds, just like
American soldiers. What could be the reason?
Do they know where the bombs are? Do they know
where the attacks will occur? Are the "insurgents"
giving the private contractors a free pass?
Outsourcing the War - 126,000 private U.S.
personnel in Iraq.
Jeremy Scahill, bestselling author and investigative
reporter for The Nation, testified May 10 before the
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on
the impact of private military contractors on the conduct
of the Iraq War.
Watch/listen to his testimony - (it's not quite 6 mins).
the full text of his testimony:
Below is an excerpt of his remarks:
Outsourcing the War
..there are at least 126,000 private personnel
deployed alongside the official armed forces.
These private forces effectively double the
size of the occupation force, largely without the
knowledge of the US taxpayers that foot the bill.
While tens of thousands of these contractors
provide logistical support, thousands are heavily
armed private soldiers roaming Iraq. We do know
that there are some 48,000 employees of private
military companies in Iraq alone.
These forces work for US companies like
Blackwater, Triple Canopy and DynCorp as well as
companies from across the globe. Some contractors
make in a month what many active-duty soldiers
make in a year. Indeed, there are private contractors
in Iraq making more money than the Secretary of
Defense and more than the commanding generals.
The testimony about private contractors that I hear
most often from active duty soldiers falls into two
categories: resentment and envy.
They ask what message their country is sending
them. While many soldiers lack basic protective
equipment--facts well-known to this committee--
they are in a war zone where they see the private
soldiers whiz by in better vehicles, with better armor,
better weapons, wearing the corporate logo instead
of the American flag and pulling in much
more money. They ask: Are our lives worth less?
Of course, there are many cases where war
contractors have hoarded the profits at the top and
money has not filtered down to the individual
contractors on the ground or the armor to protect them.
The second reaction is that the active-duty soldiers
see the "rock star" private contractors and they
want to be like them. So we have a phenomenon
of soldiers leaving active duty to join the private sector.
There is slang in Iraq now for this jump. It is called
"Going Blackwater." To put it bluntly, these private
forces create a system where national duty is outbid
Just as there is a double standard in pay, there is a
double standard in the application of the law.
Soldiers who commit crimes or acts of misconduct are
prosecuted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
There have been some 64 courts martial on
murder-related charges in Iraq alone. Compare that to
the lack of prosecution of contractors.
Despite the fact that tens of thousands, perhaps
hundreds of thousands, have streamed in and out of
Iraq since March of 2003, only two private contractors
have faced any criminal prosecution. Two. One was a
KBR employee alleged to have stabbed a co-worker,
the other pleaded guilty to possession of child
pornography images on his computer at Abu Ghraib
prison. In four years, there have been no prosecutions
for crimes against Iraqis and not a single known
prosecution of an armed contractor.
That either means we have tens of thousands of Boy
Scouts working as armed contractors or something is
fundamentally wrong with the system.
Brig. Gen. Karl Horst of the 3rd Infantry Division
became so outraged by contractor unaccountability
that he began tracking contractor violence in Baghdad.
In just two months he documented twelve cases of
contractors shooting at civilians, resulting in six
deaths and three injuries. That is just two months
and one general.
They have not been prosecuted under the UCMJ,
under US civilian law or under Iraqi law. US
contractors in Iraq reportedly have their own
"What happens here today, stays here today."
That should be chilling to everyone who believes
that warfare, above all government functions,
must be subject to transparency, accountability
and the rule of law.
These are forces operating in the name of the
United States of America. Iraqis do not see
contractors as separate from soldiers--understandably,
they see them all as "the occupation." Contractor
misconduct is viewed as American misconduct.
Watch/listen to his testimony - (it's not quite 6 mins).
the full text of his testimony:
The power of weakness
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
I don’t like you to blow your own horn too much. Is that really true? Too bad the Christians in Corinth couldn’t have gotten by with so little. But without their stubbornness, I suppose we wouldn’t have much of the wisdom Paul wrote in Second Corinthians...
First a little background for today’s text. At the beginning of 2 Corinthians, Paul tells of his experiences in Asia (1:8,9). There, Paul writes, he was burdened beyond his abilities, to the breaking point, and God didn’t relieve his suffering. Why? God let Paul suffer so he could learn to rely not on his own strength, but on God’s strength. Wow. Think about that — the apostle Paul still learning lessons of discipleship.
Now, as he writes this letter, Paul is trying to help the Corinthians grow in the faith. But they’re resisting. They’re questioning Paul’s power and authority. Paul’s letters may be bold, some say, but when you actually see him, he’s of no account (10:10). So, to get through to these people, Paul is forced to boast of his qualifications as an apostle, even though he realizes that when he does he sounds like a madman (11:23). I’m a Hebrew, I’m an Israelite, I’ve been persecuted, Paul tells them (11:21-26). He has a long list of credentials, but his greatest is this: in Paul’s own personal weakness is the power of Jesus Christ.
Why does Paul spend so much time developing that idea? Why do the Corinthian Christians need to hear that message? Well, it seems the Corinthians fancied themselves as especially strong. In 1 Corinthians 1, which we looked at last week, we learned that the Corinthians thought themselves strong in worldly wisdom. In 2 Cor. 8-9 we have indications that they’re strong in cash. As a large, cosmopolitan port city, we know the Corinthians were strong in Mediterranean culture. Unfortunately, they were also strong in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:21). They seem to have spent too much time comparing themselves to other people rather than to God’s holiness (2 Cor. 10:17), and they were plagued by the presence of “super-apostles” teaching a different gospel (2 Cor. 11-12).
How did Paul deal with these problems? Well, as always, he proclaims Jesus Christ first and foremost. Paul also does something that he doesn’t often do: he holds himself up as an example of authority and power. As in the first letter, however, he lets the Corinthians know that true Christian strength comes through weakness, because in our weakness we learn to depend on God.
As we saw last week, God chose the weak to shame the wise (1 Cor. 1:27). Shame was an important word in Paul’s day. Our culture today is all about money and fame, but in the first century everything revolved around honor and shame. Certain actions produce honor, which you wanted to get as much as you could, and others produced shame, which you wanted to avoid at all costs. An utterly radical element of the Kingdom of God is that God turns everything upside down (and still does, by the way). In weakness is strength. In dependence is power. In dying to ourselves is eternal life. Earthly power, worldly strength, visual beauty have nothing to do with honor in the Kingdom of God. In fact, all those things can be an obstacle to true honor.
That’s why God may sometimes break us to help us learn to depend on him. Now this is not a boot camp thing — you know, breaking someone down to build them back stronger. No. This is about breaking Christians down to make us weaker! Have you ever experienced a situation like that — being broken down to learn dependance on God? Most of her life my mother was a very strong, independent woman, raised in the Church of Christ in North Carolina. But when she had heart bypass surgery, something changed in my mother. By her own testimony, her heart became softer. I believe that being forced to see how much she depended on others for her very life forced my mother to see her own weakness. I pray that God doesn’t have to put any of us under that kind of ordeal to break through to us.
But whatever form it takes, this breaking is a source of blessings to the Christians. Please read Mt. 5:3-11. Notice how all those blessings are upside-down from a worldly perspective? That’s because what Jesus is talking about is not simply a ticket to heaven for each Christian. When we become disciples of Christ we’re entering a new Kingdom that is already taking shape right here, right now. And the rules are like nothing else in the world around us.
Now here’s something to consider: In a practical sense, how does suffering and weakness really bless us? Well, first of all, when we finally admit our weakness, we don’t have to try to be strong enough for God. The effort to be strong enough to please God, by the way, may be one of the most harmful elements of Christian discipleship. What do I mean? These kinds of things: keeping our distance from other Christians by telling everyone “fine” when they ask how we’re doing; dressing well and grooming with great care to give the impression that all is right with us and our family; trying to act like we didn’t scream at each other getting ready for services this morning. All of that is dishonesty, retrograde motion. The more we become like Christ, the more we see where we fail — and admit it! And that’s not to draw attention to ourselves (“Oh, look how pathetic a disciple I am people!”) but to draw attention to the God who loves us anyway and can use even broken vessels like us. You see, God doesn’t accept us because we’re good or useful to him, but simply because he loves us. Let’s remember that.
The wonderful fact is, our weakness doesn’t have to discourage us, because we already have God’s power. As Paul told the Ephesians, God “has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). Jesus told us that when two or three are gathered in his name, he is with us (Mt. 18:20). That means we have his power with us—not simply in you, not in me, but in us, the church. That’s why gathering together is so important: not only that you yourself won’t be condemned, but so the church can be full of the power that God intends for us. I don’t know about you, but I want to be part of that and to help others be a part of it.
So we already have God’s power, but we still need to acknowledge it in order to put it into action. Doing that is really very simple — just back off trying to do things with our own power. It’s as simple as the words of “Jesus Loves Me”: “Little ones to him belong/They are weak, but he is strong.” Isn’t that encouraging? What? could it really be that simple? Well, yes, it’s very simple, although putting it into practice may not be easy if we’ve spent our whole lives trying to be the strong ones. So how can we learn to live like little children before our loving Father?
Looking over 2 Corinthians, we can find at least five clues. I’ve organized them here in a way to help us remember them; the first letter of each clue spells out what putting these ideas into practice will bring to God.
So how do we learn to find strength in weakness?
Paul begins 2 Corinthians (1:3-5) by Giving glory to God (we got that first letter in there three times!). That’s Paul’s practice in all his letters, by the way. He talks about himself only when he has to. He doesn’t write much about his own obedience, and he rarely talks about his own testimony. He does have a passion, however, for proclaiming the goodness and mercy of God. Can we do the same thing? Can we proclaim the love of God out of the overflow of a grateful heart?
Next, when we are suffering, we need to Look to the “eternal weight of glory” (4:15ff) that awaits Christians one day. When our own burdens weigh us down, we don’t have much energy left to glorify God. But as Paul reminds the Corinthians, “this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory.” There’s nothing like persecution and suffering to help us see the big picture—that we are weak but God is in control and will one day dry every tear. Can we learn to trust God in that way without having to endure serious, excruciating suffering? I think a better question is: Can we learn to trust God even with it?
Here’s another clue: Only Jesus (4:1-5). We are called to be faithful to God’s Word (in both senses), and to proclaim Jesus Christ as his slaves. It’s easy to become burdened with many side issues, but at the center of our hope, our mission, our good news and our life is Jesus Christ. He’s the master. Period. (And that’s a good thing, by the way).
Why? Because of what we Remember: Christ died for us (5:14-17). Our faith, our doctrine, our worship, our hope and strength and life all flow out of that fact, that Christ died for us. That’s why Paul determined when he was with the Corinthians to know nothing but “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). Meditating on that thought alone will change us in practice into what God has made us in fact: new creations.
Finally, we need to remember that Jesus Christ is “Yes” (2 Cor. 1:18-22). And what, exactly, does that mean? The Corinthians seem to have criticized Paul for his fickleness (“Yes he will, no he won’t”). And how does Paul respond? To paraphrase: “Fine. You can call me yes/no, but Jesus is always yes.” Which means that Jesus is always dependable, always trustworthy, always effective, always loving. We can depend on him — stake our very lives on his steadfast love. The sad fact is that the best Christians may let us down. Even worse, the church may hurt us and prove itself untrustworthy. But we can count on Jesus. And the more his church draws near to him, the more we can count on each other.
See what those letters spell? Glory. That’s what we bring God when we learn to trust him in our weakness.
All Christians are called to weakness before Almighty God. Some Christians are blessed with the ability to acknowledge this fact rather easily. Too often these are the Christians the rest of us look down upon, but they’re the ones Jesus blesses in Mt. 5:3-11. But most of us, I think, find it very hard to let go of our own little power and submit ourselves to the overwhelming power of God.
Letting go of our own strength is nothing more than what Jesus himself did,
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil. 2:6-8).
As someone has said, the crucifixion isn’t simply Jesus getting what we deserve (although of course he did); it’s God the Father finally getting what he deserves. God deserves all of us, our whole lives. That’s what Jesus calls Christians to do— give up ourselves to find eternal life. And here’s the upside-down part: in doing so, we’ll be exalted, too.
Have you admitted your weakness? Or have you tried to convince others, maybe even yourself, that you’re strong enough for whatever comes your way? Can you fall at Jesus’ feet and acknowledge him as all your righteousness and strength? Please do, and be blessed.
La milicienne a déposé les armes
Jeune chrétienne maronite quand la guerre du Liban éclate en 1975, Régina Sneifer s’engage dans les milices chrétiennes. Vingt ans plus tard, elle affronte ce passé dans un livre, « J’ai déposé les armes ». Une autocritique exigeante à l’image de celle qu’elle rêve pour le Liban d’aujourd’hui
«On n’est pas nombreux à dire “il n’est pas beau notre passé”. Mais on ne passera pas à une autre étape si on n’ose pas regarder ce passé en face. Pendant la guerre, on se voilait la face. Aujourd’hui encore le voile est toujours là.» Ce soir d’octobre, dans un café autour de la gare Montparnasse, dans le brouhaha de la salle, Régina Sneifer s’exprime d’une voix douce teintée d’une légère intonation levantine, mais avec passion.
Même après avoir quitté son pays en 1986 en pleine guerre, le Liban continue de l’habiter. Et pourtant, alors qu’il vient de replonger dans la guerre en juillet, et encore plus à cause de cela, elle voudrait que tous les Libanais puissent enfin regarder leur Histoire en face et parler. Faire ce travail que Régina, l’ancienne combattante des Forces libanaises, a accompli. Vingt ans après, en 2006, elle vient de «déposer les armes », le titre de son livre la fin d’un long cauchemar (1).
Celui-ci commence le dimanche 13 avril 1975 quand une fusillade éclate entre des Palestiniens et des phalangistes libanais. La guerre fait irruption dans la vie tranquille de l’adolescente de 13 ans dont la vie s’écoulait dans « un ennui docile qui paralyse ma pensée », écrit-elle. Pour tous ceux qui le connaissaient, le Liban, « petite Suisse de l’Orient », n’était-il pas synonyme de douceur de vivre ? Ses parents, chrétiens maronites, vivent à Hadath, dans la banlieue sud de Beyrouth, entre l’église et le cimetière.
Au Liban, rien ne favorise la mixité
Un père charmeur, « généreux de cœur et de parole », croyant mais non pratiquant, une mère qui s’occupe du commerce familial et ne manque à aucun prix la messe matinale. Régina, ses trois sœurs et son frère sont élevés dans un monde protégé « entre chrétiens » où l’on ignore tout ou presque du voisin musulman.
Les relations entre les communautés sont régies par le «pacte national libanais» (2). Censé représenter toutes les communautés, il échoue cependant à les cimenter autour d’une citoyenneté commune. Les Libanais de toutes confessions vivent-ils en harmonie ? En apparence seulement. Car rien ne favorise la mixité, ni l’école, ni l’université ne sont des lieux d’intégration au Liban. En 1976, elle rencontre Jamal, un musulman. « Jusque-là je n’avais jamais rencontré de chiite, je ne savais pas comment ils vivaient, et nous vivions dans le même pays ! »
Côté chrétien, les chefs de clan font la loi et organisent leurs milices, particulièrement les maronites. Ils dominent alors la scène politique, mais se sont toujours sentis fragiles. Ouverts sur l’Occident, liés à l’Église de Rome, minoritaires dans une région majoritairement musulmane, ils vivent aux côtés de musulmans dont la plupart ont fait allégeance à la nation arabe. «… Les obus qui transforment nos maisons en tombeaux et rongent les quartiers (…) renforcent le sentiment de persécution et d’injustice, principalement chez les maronites… »
"Défendre ma famille et mon Liban"
En 1980, le pays vit sa cinquième année de guerre, Régina a 18 ans. « Je suis alors en pleine révolte. Toute mon énergie va désormais dans un seul sens : défendre ma famille et mon Liban. » Menacé de tous côtés, le pays se délite. Comme beaucoup de jeunes de sa génération, animés par un sentiment louable de patriotisme, elle endosse l’uniforme des Forces libanaises dirigées par Béchir Gemayel. « Quand on est jeune, on a envie d’être utile. On n’a pas peur de mourir, on a de l’énergie. »
Rétrospectivement, dit-elle aujourd’hui, « j’étais le profil idéal. Dans le marketing du cœur, j’étais le cœur de cible. » « Chacun trouve son équilibre comme il peut. Ma stratégie de survie, c’était m’engager, renforcer mes croyances. » Son parcours commence par les transmissions, se poursuit par un entraînement militaire. Tribuns populistes et chefs de guerre se succèdent pour exalter le patriotisme de leurs militants. En même temps, la guerre fait ses premiers morts dans les rangs de ses proches, de ses amis.
En septembre 1982, le chef chrétien Béchir Gemayel est assassiné. S’ensuit une guerre de succession. Séduite par le discours de Samir Geagea, influencé par la lecture de Teilhard de Chardin, Régina rejoint ses rangs. Cependant, rapidement, elle « se sent mal à l’aise dans son entourage, trop tribal » à son goût et passe dans l’équipe de Karim Pakradouni, responsable du secteur de l’information au moment où va naître la LBC, la télévision des Forces libanaises.
"Sommes-nous en train de servir une cause ?"
Dans le même temps, Samir Geagea et un autre leader chrétien, Elie Hobeika, s’affrontent militairement. L’entourage, les amis de Régina se divisent. Les purges et règlements de compte ont lieu dans les milices chrétiennes. La jeune femme commence à douter, à se poser des questions : « Sommes-nous en train de servir une cause et laquelle ? »
C’est alors que l’un de ses meilleurs amis, Ghassan, est recherché par les hommes de Geagea. Régina croit l’aider en le persuadant de se livrer et prouver qu’il n’a rien à se reprocher. Elle l’accompagne et le voit disparaître dans le bâtiment transformé en prison.
Ses convictions basculent quand elle réalise que, dans cette prison, des hommes, qui comme elle se sont battus pour leur pays, sont torturés par les siens. Ce jour-là, elle comprend que la violence qu’elle avait acceptée jusque-là est inacceptable. Elle aimerait revenir en arrière, arrêter le temps. « Même l’opinion publique, écrit-elle, ne réagit pas. Elle n’arrive peut-être plus à discerner l’ami de l’ennemi, la propagande de l’information, la force de la violence. »
Alors, pendant quarante jours, elle se rend à la prison, comme pour expier sa faute, organise des visites de médecin, apporte colis et vêtements. «Comment puis-je garder ma foi dans cette cause sans avoir honte de ces visages torturés ?» Un matin de septembre 1986, elle apprend que des prisonniers ont été tués, « balancés à la mer avec un poids » et parmi eux, un de ses amis, Loubnane. En vain, elle cherche quelqu’un pour lui dire « c’est horrible ».
Elle passe la nuit de Noël avec les prisonniers tous réunis autour d’un moine maronite, le P. Khawand. Il ne prononce pas un mot mais se met à chanter des mélodies libanaises « en quelques secondes, sa voix avait transformé la prison et ouvert un chemin vers l’extérieur ». Il vit aujourd’hui en ermite dans la montagne.
"J’ai fermé la porte"
Le lendemain, Régina quitte le Liban pour Paris. « J’ai fermé la porte. » Elle a 24 ans. Pendant trois ans, elle coupe tout contact avec ses amis, ne maintient que des liens avec sa famille qui ignore ce qui s’est passé. Ses premiers mois sont difficiles : « En arrivant ici, j’étais dans le coma. Je ne supportais pas le confort de vie. La normalité est insupportable quand on a connu le chaos. »
Elle sursaute au son des feux d’artifice, des trains. La naissance de son fils Fadi la raccroche à la vie. Pendant longtemps elle se reproche d’être partie. « Je n’ai pas fui par peur, mais je ne pouvais plus porter ce poids. J’étais malade. »
C’est parce que son pays est à nouveau au bord de la rupture après l’assassinat de Rafic Hariri, en février 2005, qu’elle se décide à parler. A révéler ce passé dans l’espoir d’ouvrir les yeux de ses compatriotes au moment où « les mécanismes qui nous ont jetés alors dans cette guerre sont toujours présents. L’ignorance de l’autre. La méconnaissance des histoires complexes des communautés qui forment notre pays. Les immenses peurs ancestrales enfouies et transmises de génération en génération. »
Le « Printemps de Beyrouth » passé, les rancœurs accumulées pendant toutes ces années sont revenues à la surface. La guerre des mots a resurgi. Chacun exhumant ses martyrs de la guerre, exaltant leur sacrifice, chez les chiites comme chez les chrétiens. « Les martyrs sont ceux que l’on a condamnés à mort. Ce sont des victimes innocentes. »
"S’il y a du sacré, c’est dans la vie"
Elle s’insurge contre la « sacralisation de la mort. S’il y a du sacré, c’est dans la vie. Qu’offre-t-on aux jeunes qui cherchent à se reconstruire une identité forte ? On leur promet la mort. Les mêmes jeunes portent des drapeaux avec la croix et le glaive. »
Régina veut convaincre qu’« avec tout ce qu’on a vécu, il faut réfléchir, faire notre examen de conscience. Il faut aller vers l’homme, le citoyen, l’universel. Il faut sortir de sa communauté, exister en dehors d’elle. Nous les maronites, nous n’avons pas eu notre époque des Lumières. On est encore dans l’obscurantisme. Il faut apprendre à penser par nous-mêmes. »
En cette fin d’après-midi d’automne, à Paris, Régina semble en partie apaisée. «J’ai vécu toutes ces années habitée par la honte. Je n’ai jamais pu dire ce qui s’est passé. Comment raconter une chose pareille quand on était soi-même dedans ?» Elle a pourtant réussi. Avec courage, sincérité et beaucoup d’amour pour son pays, pour ceux qui ne sont plus, elle a puisé au fond d’elle-même les mots pour dire l’inacceptable. En « déposant les armes », elle apporte l’espoir, la conviction que la paix est possible. Aujourd’hui, elle fait face à ce passé qui l’a hantée « jusqu’à l’obsession ». «J’ai posé mon fardeau, dit-elle, je me sens libre.»
(1) J’ai déposé les armes, une femme dans la guerre du Liban, Les Éditions de l’Atelier, 204 p., 17 €.
(2) Un accord non écrit qui fonde un confessionnalisme politique « provisoire ».
ANNEX: HK Notes and Diaries.
Hamas is a Palestinian group known both for charitable works benefiting the
Palestinian population and suicide attacks against Israeli targets. Hamas
was formed in 1987, after a Palestinian uprising began the year before. Some
claim that Israel indirectly supported and perhaps even directly funded
Hamas in its early years in order to divide the Palestinians politically.
For instance, a former senior CIA official will later claim that Israel's
support for Hamas "was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a
strong, secular PLO [Palestinian Liberation Organization] by using a
competing religious alternative." Hamas begins attacks on Israeli military
and civilan targets in 1989 and will begin suicide attacks on these targets
in April 1994. The US will not officially declare Hamas a terrorist
organization until 1995 (see January 1995). This means that funding Hamas is
not a crime in the US before that year, but knowingly participating in or
supporting a violent act overseas outside of the rules of war such as a
suicide bombing could still potentially result in criminal charges in the
US. [United Press International, 6/18/2002; Associated Press, 3/22/2004]
Mohammad Salah, a Palestinian-American living in Chicago as a used car
salesman, was reputedly trained by Hamas in terrorist techniques, including
the use of chemical weapons and poisons, in the late 1980s. Working on the
orders of high-level Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouk, Salah leads a four day
Hamas training camp in the Chicago area in June 1990. According to one
trainee, the approximately twenty-five trainees study Hamas philosophy,
receive weapons training, and learn how to plant a car bomb. Two of the
trainees are ultimately selected to fly to Syria, where they undergo more
advanced training in making car bombs and throwing grenades. Ultimately,
they are sent into Israel to launch attacks. Similar training camps take
place in Kansas City and Wisconsin from 1989 through early 1991. Then, Salah
is told by Marzouk to change his focus from training to fundraising. In
early 1992, Salah receives about $800,000 from Saudi multimillionaire Yassin
al-Qadi, and he temporarily invests it in a BMI real estate scheme (see
1991). Between June 1991 and December 1992, Salah repeatedly travels to the
Middle East and spends more than $100,000 in direct support of Hamas
military activities. He attempts to spend the $800,000 that is still
invested in BMI, but BMI is unable to quickly liquidate the investment.
Marzouk sends Salah almost $1 million to spend. Salah goes to the West Bank
in January 1993 and begins dispersing that money, but he is arrested before
the end of the month. With Salah arrested, Hamas needs a new point man to
collect and transfer new money raised in the US. Jamil Sarsour, a grocery
store owner in Milwaukee, is chosen. It will be reported in 2003 that
Sarsour is still living openly in Milwaukee (see June 2-5, 2003) [Chicago
Tribune, 10/29/2001; LA Weekly, 8/2/2002; Federal News Service, 6/2/2003]
Mercy International USA's logo. [Source: Mercy International USA]The 1999
book Dollars for Terror will allege that in 1989, Mercy International, a
"subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood, was able to establish its
headquarters in the United States, in the state of Michigan, with the
assistance of the CIA. The Agency provided significant logistical and
financial support to this 'humanitarian' organization, enabling it to act
clandestinely in the various Balkan conflicts as well as within the Muslim
communities of several Russian republics." [Labeviere, 1999, pp. 364] Mercy
International will later be tied to al-Qaeda in a number of ways. For
instance, in the mid-1990s its Pakistan branch will be headed by Zahid
Shaikh Mohammed, brother of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (see
1988-Spring 1995). [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/2002] Its Kenya branch will be
tied to the 1998 US embassy bombing there. Its Philippine branch is tied to
Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden's brother-in-law. [Burr and Collins, 2006,
pp. 128, 188-189] Branches of this charity in different countries have
slightly different names such as Mercy International-USA and Mercy
International Relief Agency, and it has been claimed that the US branch has
no connection with the terrorism-related branches. However, a 2003 article
will draw links between the US branch and other branches. [National Review,
Prior to this year, President George W. Bush is a failed oilman. Three
times, friends and investors have bailed him out to keep his business from
going bankrupt. However, in 1988, the same year his father becomes
president, some Saudis buy a portion of his small company, Harken, which has
never performed work outside of Texas. Later in the year, Harken wins a
contract in the Persian Gulf and starts doing well financially. These
transactions seem so suspicious that the Wall Street Journal in 1991 states
it "raises the question of. an effort to cozy up to a presidential son." Two
major investors in Bush's company during this time are Salem bin Laden and
Khalid bin Mahfouz. [Intelligence Newsletter, 3/2/2000; Salon, 11/19/2001]
Salem bin Laden is Osama's oldest brother; Khalid bin Mahfouz is a Saudi
banker with a 20 percent stake in BCCI. The bank will be shut down a few
years later and bin Mahfouz will have to pay a $225 million fine (while
admitting no wrongdoing) (see October 2001)).
Al-Qaeda bomber Ramzi Yousef is said to be recruited by the CIA, though
details are not known. Author Richard Labeviere reported without elaboration
in a 1999 book, "A classified FBI file indicates that [Yousef] was recruited
by the local branch of the CIA." [Labeviere, 1999, pp. 220-221] In 1995,
Newsday will report, "FBI officials also are considering a probe of whether
the CIA had any relationship with Yousef, who fought with the CIA-financed
mujaheddin in Afghanistan in the 1980s." [Newsday, 4/16/1995] But there
appears to be no further reporting on whether such a probe was conducted.
Yousef is believed to have masterminded a series of bombings in the early
1990s, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the planned Bojinka
attack, before being captured in 1995 (see February 7, 1995). If Yousef was
recruited by the CIA, it may have been in the late 1980s when the CIA
recruited and trained thousands of people around the world to fight in
Afghanistan (see 1986-1992). In the late 1980s, Yousef was studying
engineering at a Wales college, but he'd also joined the Muslim Brotherhood
while there. During a break from school in 1988, he went to one of bin
training camps in Afghanistan and spent several months honing his
bomb-making skills. [Miller, Stone, and Mitchell, 2002, pp. 78]
The core of the future Philippine militant group Abu Sayyaf fights with bin
Laden in Afghanistan and its training there is paid for by the CIA and
Pakistani ISI. In 1986, the CIA agreed to support an ISI program of
recruiting radical Muslims from other countries, including the Philippines,
to fight in the Afghan war (see 1986). By one estimate, initially between
300 and 500 radical Muslims from the southern Philippines go to Afghanistan
to fight. [Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College,
In 1987 or 1988, bin Laden dispatches his brother-in-law Mohammed Jamal
Khalifa to the Philippines to find more recruits willing to go to
Afghanistan. It is estimated he finds about 1,000 recruits. One of them is
Abdurajak Janjalani, who emerges as the leader of these recruits in
Afghanistan. When the Afghan war ends in 1989 most of them will return to
the Philippines and form the Abu Sayyaf group, still led by Janjalani (see
Early 1991). [Contemporary Southeast Asia, 12/1/2002; Manila Times,
2/1/2007] Journalist John Cooley will write in a book first published in
1999 that Abu Sayyaf will become "the most violent and radical Islamist
group in the Far East, using its CIA and ISI training to harass, attack, and
murder Christian priests, wealthy non-Muslim plantation-owners, and
merchants and local government in the southern Philippine island of
Mindanao." [Cooley, 2002, pp. 63] After having read Cooley's book and
gathering information from other sources, Senator Aquilino Pimentel,
President of the Philippine Senate, will say in a 2000 speech that the "CIA
has sired a monster" because it helped train this core of the Abu Sayyaf.
[Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel website, 7/31/2000]
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin forms Hamas as the military arm of his Islamic
Association, which had been licensed by Israel ten years earlier (see
1973-1978). According to Charles Freeman, a former US ambassador to Saudi
Arabia, "Israel started Hamas. It was a project of Shin Bet, which had a
feeling that they could use it to hem in the PLO." [CounterPunch, 1/18/2003;
Dreyfuss, 2005, pp. 191, 208] Anthony Cordesman, a Middle East analyst for
the Center for Strategic Studies, states that Israel "aided Hamas
directly-the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO." A
former senior CIA official speaking to UPI describes Israel's support for
Hamas as "a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong,
secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative." Further, according
to an unnamed US government official, "the thinking on the part of some of
the right-wing Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the other groups, if
they gained control, would refuse to have anything to do with the peace
process and would torpedo any agreements put in place." Larry Johnson, a
counter-terrorism official at the State Department, states: "The Israelis
are their own worst enemies when it comes to fighting terrorism. They are
like a guy who sets fire to his hair and then tries to put it out by hitting
it with a hammer. They do more to incite and sustain terrorism than curb
it." [United Press International, 2/24/2001 Sources: Larry C. Johnson,
Unnamed former CIA official]
During a secret visit to Pakistan CIA Director William Casey commits the CIA
to support the ISI program of recruiting radical Muslims for the Afghan war
from other Muslim countries around the world. In addition to the Gulf
States, these include Turkey, the Philippines, and China. The ISI started
their recruitment of radicals from other countries in 1982 (see 1982). This
CIA cooperation is part of a joint CIA-ISI plan begun the year before to
expand the "Jihad" beyond Afghanistan (see March 1985). [Rashid, 2001, pp.
The CIA, ISI, and bin Laden build the Khost tunnel complex in Afghanistan.
This will be a major target of bombing and fighting when the US attacks the
Taliban in 2001. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/23/2001; Hindu, 9/27/2001] It
will be reported in June 2001 that "bin Laden worked closely with Saudi,
Pakistani, and US intelligence services to recruit mujaheddin from many
Muslim countries," but this information has not been reported much since
9/11. [United Press International, 4/10/2004] A CIA spokesperson will later
claim, "For the record, you should know that the CIA never employed, paid,
or maintained any relationship whatsoever with bin Laden." [Ananova,
Quoting a French intelligence report posted by PBS Frontline, The New Yorker
reports, "During the nineteen-eighties, when the Reagan administration
secretly arranged for an estimated $34 million to be funneled through Saudi
Arabia to the Contras in Nicaragua, [Osama's eldest brother] Salem bin Laden
aided in this cause." [PBS Frontline, 2001; New Yorker, 11/5/2001]
Afghan opium production rises from 250 tons in 1982 to 2,000 tons in 1991,
coinciding with CIA support and funding of the mujaheddin. Alfred McCoy, a
professor of Southeast Asian history at the University of Wisconsin, says US
and Pakistani intelligence officials sanctioned the rebels' drug trafficking
because of their fierce opposition to the Soviets: "If their local allies
were involved in narcotics trafficking, it didn't trouble [the] CIA. They
were willing to keep working with people who were heavily involved in
narcotics." For instance, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a rebel leader who received
about half of all the CIA's covert weapons, was known to be a major heroin
trafficker. Charles Cogan, who directs the CIA's operation in Afghanistan,
later claims he was unaware of the drug trade: "We found out about it later
on." [Atlantic Monthly, 5/1996; Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), 9/30/2001]
Salem bin Laden, Osama's oldest brother, described by a French secret
intelligence report as one of two closest friends of Saudi Arabia's King
Fahd who often performs important missions for Saudi Arabia, is involved in
secret Paris meetings between US and Iranian emissaries this month,
according to a French report. Frontline, which published the French report,
notes that such meetings have never been confirmed. Rumors of these meetings
have been called the "October Surprise" and some have speculated that in
these meetings, George H. W. Bush negotiated a delay to the release of the
US hostages in Iran, thus helping Ronald Reagan and Bush win the 1980
Presidential election. All of this is highly speculative, but if the French
report is correct, it points to a long-standing connection of highly
improper behavior between the Bush and bin Laden families. [PBS Frontline,
Journalist Simon Reeve will claim in the 1999 book The New Jackals that US
officials directly met with bin Laden in Afghanistan in the 1980s. He will
write, "American emissaries are understood to have traveled to Pakistan for
meetings with mujaheddin leaders. [A former CIA official] even suggests the
US emissaries met directly with bin Laden, and that it was bin Laden, acting
on advice from his friends in Saudi intelligence, who first suggested the
mujaheddin should be given Stingers." [Reeve, 1999, pp. 167, 176] The CIA
begins supplying Stinger missiles to the mujaheddin in 1986 (see September
1986). After 9/11, the CIA will state, "Numerous comments in the media
recently have reiterated a widely circulated but incorrect notion that the
CIA once had a relationship with Osama bin Laden. For the record, you should
know that the CIA never employed, paid, or maintained any relationship
whatsoever with bin Laden." [US State Department, 1/14/2005]
Osama bin Laden begins providing financial, organizational, and engineering
aid for the mujaheddin in Afghanistan, with the advice and support of the
Saudi royal family. [New Yorker, 11/5/2001] Some, including Richard Clarke,
counterterrorism "tsar" during the Clinton and George W. Bush
administrations, believe he was handpicked for the job by Prince Turki
al-Faisal, head of Saudi Arabia's Secret Service. [New Yorker, 11/5/2001;
Sunday Times (London), 8/25/2002] The Pakistani ISI want a Saudi prince as a
public demonstration of the commitment of the Saudi royal family and as a
way to ensure royal funds for the anti-Soviet forces. The agency fails to
get royalty, but bin Laden, with his family's influential ties, is good
enough for the ISI. [Miami Herald, 9/24/2001] (Clarke will argue later that
the Saudis and other Muslim governments used the Afghan war in an attempt to
get rid of their own misfits and troublemakers.) This multinational force
later coalesces into al-Qaeda. [Clarke, 2004, pp. 52]
The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan. The Russians were initially invited in
by the Afghan government to deal with rising instability and army mutinies,
and they start crossing the border on December 8. But on December 26,
Russian troops storm the presidential palace, kill the country's leader,
Haizullah Amin, and the invitation turns into an invasion. [Blum, 1995, pp.
342] Later declassified high-level Russian documents will show that the
Russian leadership believed that Amin, who took power in a violent coup from
another pro-Soviet leader two months before, had secret contacts with the US
embassy and was probably a US agent. Further, one document from this month
claims that "the right wing Muslim opposition" has "practically established
their control in many provinces. using foreign support." [Cooley, 2002, pp.
8] It has been commonly believed that the invasion was unprovoked, but the
Russians will later be proven largely correct. In a 1998 interview, Zbigniew
Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser, will reveal
that earlier in the year Carter authorized the CIA to destabilize the
government, provoking the Russians to invade (see July 3, 1979). [Le Nouvel
Observateur (Paris), 1/1998; Mirror, 1/29/2002] Further, CIA covert action
in the country actually began in 1978 (see 1978), if not earlier (see
1973-1979). The US and Saudi Arabia will give a huge amount of money
(estimates range up to $40 billion total for the war) to support the
mujaheddin guerrilla fighters opposing the Russians, and a decade-long war
will ensue. [Nation, 2/15/1999]
In the 1960s Osama bin Laden's brother Mahrous bin Laden joined a rebel
group opposed to the Saudi government. With his assistance, in 1979 the
rebels smuggle weapons into Mecca, Saudi Arabia, using trucks belonging to
the bin Laden family company. Five hundred rebels then seize the Grand
Mosque in Medina, Islam's holiest mosque in its holiest city. They try, but
fail, to overthrow the Saudi royal family. All the men who took part are
later beheaded except Mahrous. Eventually he is released from prison because
of the close ties between the bin Ladens and the Saudi royal family. Mahrous
apparently abandons the rebel cause and joins the family business. He is
eventually made a head of the Medina branch and a member of the board. He
will still hold these positions on 9/11. But a newspaper reports that "his
past [is] not forgiven and most important decisions in the [bin Laden family
business] are made without Mahrous' input." [Sunday Herald (Glasgow),
10/7/2001; New Yorker, 11/5/2001; Ha'aretz, 12/18/2002]
At some point in the late 1980s or early 1980s while bin Laden is still
finishing his university degree, he apparently visits the US. Author Peter
Bergen will later claim, "Undoubtedly, bin Laden took his son for medical
treatment to a western country and it's either the United States or the
United Kingdom. There's some kind of controversy about that." Khaled
Batarfi, a close childhood friend to bin Laden, will later recall more
specifically, "In Washington airport, Dulles Airport, people were surprised
at the way he dressed, his wife dressed. Some of them were even taking
photos and he was kind of joking about it. We were like in a zoo." [CNN,
8/23/2006] Apparently, this is bin Laden's only known visit to the US.
The CIA begins covert action against the Communist government in
Afghanistan, which is closely tied to the Soviet Union. Some time this year,
the CIA begins training militants in Pakistan and beaming radio propaganda
into Afghanistan. By April 1979, US officials are meeting with opponents of
the Afghan government to determine their needs. [Blum, 1995, pp. 344] Robert
Gates, who will become CIA Director in the early 1990s, will later recall
that in a meeting on March 30, 1979, Under Secretary of Defense Walter
Slocumbe wonders aloud whether there is "value in keeping the Afghan
insurgency going, 'sucking the Soviets into a Vietnamese quagmire.'" [Gates,
1996, pp. 145] In March 1979, there is a major revolt in Herat province, and
in June and August there are large scale army mutinies. [Cooley, 2002, pp.
5] President Carter will formally approve covert aid to opponents of the
government in July (see July 3, 1979), which will result in a Russian
invasion in December (see December 8, 1979).
In 1977 Zbigniew Brzezinski, as President Carter's National Security
Adviser, forms the Nationalities Working Group (NWG) dedicated to the idea
of weakening the Soviet Union by inflaming its ethnic tensions. The Islamic
populations are regarded as prime targets. Richard Pipes, the father of
Daniel Pipes, takes over the leadership of the NWG in 1981. Pipes predicts
that with the right encouragement Soviet Muslims will "explode into
genocidal fury" against Moscow. According to Richard Cottam, a former CIA
official who advised the Carter administration at the time, after the fall
of the Shah of Iran in 1978, Brzezinski favored a "de facto alliance with
the forces of Islamic resurgence, and with the Republic of Iran." [Dreyfuss,
2005, pp. 241, 251 - 256]
ISRAELIS vs ARABS
WHO ARE THE REAL TERRORISTS?
By: Hal Turner
North Bergen, NJ USA -- For years, we in America have supported Israel
both financially and militarily because we perceived they were the
innocent victims of hostile and violent neighbors. The US media has,
for years, provided extensive coverage of every incident involving
Arab-against-Israeli violence. From shootings, to car bombs to suicide
bombers, we in America have seen it all. Or have we?
Why would rational human beings, given a choice, choose to attack their
neighbors rather than live together in peace? More pertinent, why
would a rational human being choose to blow himself up rather than
live? The Israelis, the US media and our politicians would have us
believe that the Arabs are simply not rational. They routinely tell us
that Arabs are "religious fanatics" who "hate freedom" or "hate our way
of life" to quote George W. Bush. These arguments are fallacious and
The reason for Arab against Israeli violence is simple: The Israelis
have been systematically repressing and brutalizing hundreds of
thousands of Arabs on a scale unparalleled since World War 2. I have
Below are photographs of the victims of Israeli violence. They depict
brutal, violent death, horrific personal injury and devastation of
property which is simply unfathomable. ALL of it was perpetrated by
Israelis against Arabs. ALL of the victims are civilians.
As you view these pictures ask yourself this question: What would YOU
or YOUR LOVED ONES do in retaliation for these things?
DANGER: SEVENTY-SEVEN GRAPHIC PICTURES OF BRUTAL
VIOLENCE, DEATH AND INJURY.
NOT FOR VIEWING BY PERSONS WITH WEAK HEARTS!
Genocide Advocated by The Talmud
Minor Tractates. Soferim 15, Rule 10. This is the saying of Rabbi
Simon ben Yohai: Tob shebe goyyim harog ("Even the best of the
Gentiles should all be killed").
This passage is not from the Soncino edition but is from the original
Hebrew of the Babylonian Talmud as quoted by the 1907 Jewish
Encyclopedia, published by Funk and Wagnalls and compiled by
Isidore Singer, under the entry, "Gentile," (p. 617).
This original Talmud passage has been concealed in translation.
The Jewish Encyclopedia states that, "...in the various versions the
reading has been altered, 'The best among the Egyptians' being
generally substituted." In the Soncino version: "the best of the
heathens" (Minor Tractates, Soferim 41a-b].
Israelis annually take part in a national pilgrimage to the grave of
Simon ben Yohai, to honor this rabbi who advocated the
extermination of non-Jews. (Jewish Press of June 9, 1989, p. 56B).
On Purim, Feb. 25, 1994, Israeli army officer Baruch Goldstein,
an orthodox Khazar from Brooklyn, massacred 40 Palestinian
civilians, including children, while they knelt in prayer in a mosque.
Goldstein was a disciple of the late Rabbi Kahane who has stated
that his view of Arabs as "dogs" is "from the Talmud." (Cf. CBS 60
Univ. of Jerusalem Prof. Ehud Sprinzak described Kahane and
Goldstein's philosophy: "They believe it's God's will that they commit
violence against 'goyim,' a Hebrew term for non-Jews." (NY Daily
News, Feb. 26, 1994, p. 5).
Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg declared, "We have to recognize that Jewish
blood and the blood of a goy are not the same thing." (NY Times,
June 6, 1989, p.5).
Rabbi Yaacov Perrin says, "One million Arabs are not worth a
Jewish fingernail." (NY Daily News, Feb. 28, 1994, p.6).
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.
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.
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."
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."
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 .