14 November 2006
The noose tightens around some necks in Damascus!!
On the repercussions of the Lebanese Cabinet decision!!
Regardless of the Syrian bare proxy, Hezbollah's, enormous pains to bring down the Lebanese government through political blackmail of resignations, the Lebanese Cabinet approved a UN draft to form an international tribunal to try former Premier Rafik Hariri's assassins. It is part of a comprehensive western effort to bring massive pressure on the Syrian Allawite cabal. Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's cold-blooded murder in Beirut reminded me of one episode of The Simpsons where Bart dials 911 and is greeted with a recording, "If you know the name of the crime being committed, press 1 now." To which he exclaims, "I don't have time for this!" and hits several random buttons on his phone to which the recording replies, "You have selected regicide. If you know the name of the king or queen being murdered, press 1 now." If Bart was in Beirut on Feb. 14, he could have pressed 1 and said "Hariri." One really needs several buttons to press for explanations of "Regicide" especially when the ruling underworld clique of a dreadful Baath p arty undertakes it. Rafik Hariri's liquidation was a classical Regicide la Baath
The regicides sit deep in the conscious of nations. Hariri, as a popular leader, was the king of hearts. His murder could not subside quietly. There is some divine justice associated with elimination of leaders. The regicide of Charles I of England resulted into the final dissolution of the rump Parliament. In France, the judicial penalty for regicides was torture so as to make the regicide name names of his accomplices. The hand that attempted the murder was burnt and the regicide was dismembered alive. The murder of the Crown Prince Francis Ferdinand led to the outbreak of the First World War. Faisal ibn Musad, who assassinated his uncle, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia in 1975, was publicly beheaded. The repercussions for a regicide are immen se and the Allawite Baathists failed to consider or comprehend that.
Premier Fouad Siniora will send the draft to UN headquarters in New York and wait for the final text on the court. President Emile Lahoud, a pro-Syrian, said on Sunday that as a result of resignations, the government had lost its legitimacy, but constitutional experts have disputed his interpretation of the situation. The cabinet, normally made up Christian and Muslim ministers in equal numbers, has retained two-thirds of its members necessary to make up a quorum. The approval of the draft follows deadlocked talks over Hezbollah's demands for greater say in the government, and political tension, which now threatens to spill into street confrontations.
The decision taken by the Lebanese Premier has the blessings of various heads of Lebanon's religious sects. Among the Arab leaders called were Saudi King Abdullah, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Jordanian King Abdullah II, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Arab League chief Amr Moussa, Bahraini King Hamad Issa Bin Khalifah and Emirati Foreign Affairs Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed. Siniora called for unity to overcome the political crisis. "Here we are today on the road to revealing the truth and achieving justice through the court ... that will be formed to stop this series of terrorist and criminal acts," Siniora said. Bashar, unlike his father Assad, has very few friends in the Arab world; his alignment with Iran has left him with total reliance on Nasarullah and Ahmdeinejad. The 'troika of instability' has great nuisance value, but all of them have been playing their high stake games with a lot at stake for far too long, and now, the game has stretched a bit. Too much political capital wasted and too much destruction achieved with no result. The populace, after great wars, want to know the benefit of sacrifices of their houses and villages. The ensuing answer in its wake, of having neutralised the migh t of the great Israelite Army, is quite shallow when the wreckage of Lebanon is accounted.
Middle East Syrian- Iran terror axis based politics is in the jumble. Iran has accepted the poison chalice to help create a successor to post Osama Alqaeda. It is no more a sectarian alliance it is now 'alliance of trouble makes,' irrespective of their ideology, they first collectively want to get the west disinterested and get them out through the dirty game of body bags. They will than settle the 1400 years old scores amongst themselves to their heart delight. The only thing that stands between settling of old scores is the alliance of moderates like Egypt, Jordan, Saudi and Pakistan and now much weakened resolve of the west. It is this alliance that has helped some semblance of order in Middle East. Iran seems to have gulped down the futile brutality, depraved mentally of Al Zarqawi actions against the Iraqi Shiites. He had accused Shiites throughout history of collusion to destroy Islam and help foreign invaders of Muslim lands.
"Sunnis, wake up, pay attention and prepare to confront the poisons of the Shiite snakes," al-Zarqawi said. Today the self assumed guardian of Shiites interests is training the next leadership cadre of Alqaeda. Iranian nationalistic interests to protect 'nukes' have overtaken the carnage of Shiites. The hardcore elements of next Alqaeda according to Sunday are being trained in Iran, the very Alqaeda cadre who accused the Shiites across the Mideast same as Jews, with secret meetings and loyalty to a mother country, Israel for the Jews, Iran for the Shiites.
Politics makes strange bedfellows however this for the Shiite world is truly an unholy alliance. Western intelligence officials now believe that Iran is trying to cultivate a new generation of al-Qa'eda leaders who will be prepared to work closely with Teheran when they eventually take control.Recent intelligence reports from Iran suggest the Iranians are particularly keen to promote Saif-al-Adel, a notorious al-Qa'eda operative who is wanted in the United States for his alleged role in training several of the September 11 hijackers. Al-Adel, 46, a former colonel in Egypt's special forces who joined al-Qa'eda after fighting with the Mujahideen against Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s, was named in the FBI's list of 22 most wanted terrorists that was issued after the September 11 attacks.Iranian actions are akin to Saudis joining hand with their Wahabis noxious brothers Osama to clean of th e Shiites from Dhahran.
Nasarullah's 'pyrrhic victory' has left him politically wounded, as Amal made new gains in the valleys of the South. Olmert anxiously watches Iran's nuclear ambitions; much as Iran is certain of US inactions after a Democrat victory, but surely feels very fatigued with the idea of a pre-emptive strike, like Osirak. Bashar is alienated from the Arab League, which is commandeered by more moderate forces that are not very happy with Iranian Shiite influence on the Arab hinterland and the hijacking of Arab causes by Iranians mullahs. The latest draft of the tribunal plan has not been made public, but it is thought that the tribunal will sit outside Lebanon, possibly in Cyprus. The tribunal's statutes will rely on a mixture of Lebanese and international law, and Lebanese and international judges will sit on the tribunal. It is believed that the death sentence will not apply in the case of guilty verdicts. At the United Nations in New York, US Ambassador John Bolton said, his country was prepared to move quickly in the Securi ty Council to approve the tribunal "once we receive formal word form the government of Lebanon."
Hezbollah, whose ministers resigned on the pretext of seeking a one-third-plus-one share of Lebanese cabinet portfolios for itself and its allies, wanted an effective veto power on government decisions. The timing of the powers demanded by the Hezbollah was to veto the decision of the Lebanese cabinet to agree on the formation of a UN international tribunal. The resignation of six ministers of Hezbollah and one Christian ally did not prevent the cabinet's decision. It will have very far-reaching consequences on the future of the Syrian President. The Presidential Palace in Syria is not going to be a very serene and tranquil place tonight. The stranglehold around the conspiracy that callously eliminated Hariri is tightening. Another two ministers would need to resign for the current government to fall.
The decision of the Lebanese cabinet cannot be seen in isolation. On the one side, the west is asking the Syrians and Iranians to toe the line in Iraq so as to be given an exit from the axis of evil branding; on the other, discounting every bit of political blackmail, it is meaningful that the cabinet goes ahead with a decision that could possibly implicate the entire leadership of Hezbollah mentors. The timing could not have been better. On the eve of major political overtures and carrots being dangled by Blair in the faces Iran and Syria, a stick appears on the horizon: that of a UN tribunal based in Cyprus looking for the ultimate perpetrators of this crime. That is the kind of political twist that 'personality based tyrannies' cannot sustain. Hezbollah and its allies see the tribunal as a tool to punish Syria, blamed by many Lebanese for Hariri's killing in a suicide truck bombing last year. Damascus denies involvement. A UN commission investigating the assassination has already implicated senior Lebanese and Syrian security officials. Fortunately, the trail of electronic calls in this age of advance insurgency leaves damning verification of electronic call trails that leads to perpetrators of the c rime directly.
Ghazi Kanaan's suicide was not of the first Syrian official to be "erased" by Assad's Ba'athist machine. Some political analysts speculate that Kanaan was killed to use him as a scapegoat and hide the truth about who really killed Hariri. Once it was known that the forthcoming report contained incriminating evidence from a deep throat within Syrian Intelligence sources in Lebanon testifying, and in all probability, naming Maher Assad, Assef Shawkat, Hassan Khalil, Bahjat Suleyman and Jamil Al-Sayyed as key conspirators of the cabal who decided to assassinate Rafik Hariri, approximately two weeks after the adoption of Security Council resolution 1559, Ghazi Kanaan was dead meat. He had to be taken out. He was the smoking gun and could have virtually connected the "Baathists Allawites" to the murder of Rafik Hariri.
In poetic justice, what goes around comes around. Perhaps the noose around Ghazi Kanaan tightened a little too fast. UN chief investigator, Detlev Mehlis, had made his suspicions clear to Kanaan that Syrian intelligence services kept tabs on Hariri before his assassination by wiretapping his phone. There was evidence that a telecommunication antenna was jammed near the scene of the car bomb that killed him and 20 others on Feb. 14. Ghazi Kanaan's elimination is tyrannicide. It was an orthodox Baath-style eradication of members of a ruling mob that became superfluous or a threat to the familial collegial hierarchy.
Hezbollah was on orders from their masters in Damascus to stop this yesterday Cabinet decision at any cost. The people who portrayed their vicious 34-day self-destructive clash with Israel as victorious have once again suffered an astounding political defeat. It would not be shocking if they do not bring violent protests on the streets of Beirut. They exactly know that the time has come to protect their masters. Hezbollah's masters cannot accept the nightmarish view of seeing the Allawite clan standing in the docks indicted in a Nuremberg/Saddam kind of trial. With Ex-Syrian Vice President Khaddam in Pa ris, the deep throat of the Syrian regime could be a great help to a UN tribunal if he testifies.
Power has a price and that price, more often than not, is paid in blood. From the cruel world of organized crime to the hidden encounters behind the Iron curtain, from the ancient empires of Romans and Ottomans to the corridors of despotic powers in the Middle East, hired guns have ruthlessly pursued their trade of erasing foes and friends. Today's friends can be tomorrow's enemies and for the sake of continuation of power or alleged protection of state, no sacrifice is big enough.
A parallel can be drawn between Nazification of Germany under Fuehrer and the Baathists of Iraq and Syria. Ghazi Kanaan in all probability met the fate of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (1891-1944) C-in-C of the Afrika Korps (1942-43) | Army Group West (1944) the desert fox October 14. Soon after the conspiracy to kill Hitler fails, two generals visit Rommel at his residence in Errlingen and hand him a cyanide capsule with a message from Hitler: commit suicide and be buried with honors, or stand trial for high treason and be hanged which implies loss of his family's livelihood. Rommel bids farewell to his wife and son and is driven off in an army car. Having swallowed the capsule, Rommel was buried with full military honors and given a hero's farewell.
It is never simple. The background is too complicated; several leads and motives are available but none can be pursued, although glaringly, the story is that of a cold-blooded termination of a pawn. He put the barrel of the pistol in his mouth and felt its chill, he set his finger on the trigger, a bullet was fired. This may have been a 'suicide', or remotely possible, a preventative move on Kanaan's part, but most probably than not, it was a forced suicide. It was better to go quickly than undergo the humiliation of a Baathist's show trial, the end of which was definite. Ghazi Kanaan was the sacrificial lamb, who is now conveniently out of the way. Kanaan's family was indignant by the stance of the Syrian security services, and continues to firmly reject the hypothesis that their relative had committed suicide.
Ghazi Kanaan was the second high-ranking Syrian official who allegedly committed suicide since Bashar Al-Assad became president of Syria. The first was Prime Minister Mahmoud Al-Zu'bi in June 2000. He also killed himself in similar circumstances. The circumstances behind Kanaan's death are a little too coincidental with the events to be termed a suicide. Its occurrence hours before Assad II was to go on air for a landmark CNN interview suggests the president may have been preparing to sacrifice close aides to mute Washington's pressure on his own policies. Ba'athist Minority Rule in both Iraq and Syria had never hesitated to use murder as the most effective tool of continuation of a narrow familial-based dynasty.
Saddam's favourite film was The Godfather - and he seemed, as president, to become the personification of Al Pacino's murderous gangster Michael Corleone. He married the state and the mob successfully. He told Adel Darwish, the author of "Unholy Babylon," "Once loyalty to the family and its head is in doubt, the life of the individual concerned, or a few men, becomes worthless." The killing of his own sons-in-law was live recreation of Godfather's scene when Michael Corleone ordered the killing of his brother-in-law. Saddam and Hussein Kamel had defected with their families to Jordan. Pardoned by Saddam and nagged relentlessly by their wives, the brothers finally consented to return to Iraq if their protection was assured. However, no sooner had they crossed the border than Uday split his sisters from the two traitors and had the two men confined to their family home in Baghdad. Hours later, Uday and a unit of Iraqi Special Forces attacked the Kamel house, killing the two brothers, their father, their sister, and her three children. Not to forget the killing of Saddam's brother-in-law, Adnan Khairallah, who was also eliminated in a fatal helicopter incident. Godfather derives his legitimacy from loyalty and obedience, secured by a system of terror and reward. Once the state adopts the doctrine of "pre-emptive erasure", as the head of the family, the tyrant can liquidate anyone.
Traditionally, liquidations were justifiable tools of terrorization and perpetuation of tyranny of the subterranean world of medieval masters. However, modern age despots and tyrants are using this tool with equal effect. Every one is expendable if any danger is posed to the permanence of the ruling clout. Life is of least concern if control of the state is at stake. The back-to-back erasures were a big blow to the UN investigating commission. Kanaan knew a lot about what went on in Lebanon and who was behind Hariri's assassination. In the wake of his "suicide," it is now incumbent upon Syria "to clarify a considerable part of the unresolved questions." Syrians have to come clean. There is a need to clean up the Baathist structure that holds so many people firmly enslaved by a ruling cabal.
The facade of the international community has to be as one. After dismantling one Baathist state, this one is apparently lesser of the evils and hence more of a reason to be nice to the ongoing status quo. One thing needs to be understood: It is not just the regicide of Hariri or tyrannicide of Kanaan by a state that is the problem, it is the extinguishing of freedom and democracy within the region that is threatened by those who want to continue stifling the process of reconciliation and peace. The killing of Hariri was an oppressive show of denying democracy and the change that has affected the entire Middle East. It is indeed going to be a dull existence for the tyrants from now on. The world has unquestionably changed considerably for their tastes. The fun of freelance "eradication" has just vanished. What a wretched life to look forward to for a tyrannous regime!
The Libyan ''Lockerbie'' option of forced kneel-down confessions and then retirement from an active life of terrorism is now an acceptable currency. One thing is most probably sure, Assad Jr.'s reign as a totalitarian ruler may survive this storm, but he would need to adopt the "Libyan option" of coming clean and becoming less of a threat in the heart of the Middle East. These are changing times and the despots are learning it the hard way. The "names" of the accomplices leaked intelligently need to be saved; they implicate the Presidential Palace directly into the plot. For a brother or a brother-in-law to survive, something has to be given up. The ophthalmologist Generals are well advised to learn from the lessons and experiences of the neighbouring Baathist regime.
Iqbal Latif (Ike)_ Paris