Syria confirms Mossad behind Hariri assassination
- From: "Bachir Hay Fina" <ouwet@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 08 Nov 2005 21:01:53 GMT
al-Jazeera's program "Hiwar
Maftouh" where the Syrian Ambassador to the UAE, Riad Na'san Agha
asserted (as a fait accompli) that it was indeed the Mossad that
killed Hariri. Scroll down towards the bottom of the page for the
quote. The program also featured Josh Landis and Michel Kilo.
On a separate note, but one related to some of the things discussed on
the program, Josh Landis informs us that Syrian activist, and head of
the Liberal Democratic Union, Kamal Labwani, has met with US Deputy
National Security Advisor J.D. Crouch. The person who informed Josh of
this meeting also said that Labwani is not hiding this fact, but is
actually urging people to make sure word got out! I don't know what
the purpose of the meeting was or what was discussed. But it seems
that Labwani also went on al-Jazeera to talk about the meeting. I
couldn't find any link on al-Jazeera as of yet, but if someone saw him
or spots a link, please let me know.
Either way, I guess this should put to sleep the idea that the Syrian
opposition inside Syria (as opposed to Ghadry's party) is averse to
having any connection to the US. Apparently, they, or at least some of
them, don't mind such a connection after all, and in fact seem to want
it! At least Labwani is quite open about it. I still don't know the
nature of the meeting, but clearly the man has something in mind, and
I think that at this stage the opposition sees their goal on the
horizon, and that this is the time to act, and they are trying to take
some sort of initiative. And so they should, as this piece by Hazem
Saghieh makes clear why (I once again remind you of my own musing on
The Syrian regime is not so much based on on the plurality of levels
and centers of power as on their amalgamation and summation. This
makes it difficult for the regime as a whole not to break up once one
center (family, or...) collapses. In other words, the "minor" collapse
might open the gates for the removal of the Baath, and is tied to it.
That, by the way, is one reason (among several) why I am quite
skeptical about the feasibility of Patrick Seale's scenario of Bashar
giving up Maher and Asef.
However, it is becoming clear that taboos (including talking about
sectarianism, as evident from Anthony Shadid's recent piece) are
Update: Kais caught Labwani's appearance on al-Hurra, and relayed some
of what he said. The overall message is of weakening Assad's grip,
opening up the system, broadening the base through national
participation, in a (2-year) transition towards an open democratic
system (that doesn't necessarily have an Assad at the helms. Although,
the role of the Alawites is certainly there, and the overall idea is
in many ways similar to my own proposal on the restructuring of
power). Labwani "ruled out any chances of the regime implementing
reform now or in the future."
The main premise of weakening Assad, and the lack of any trust in his
will and ability to reform anything, echoed Michel Kilo's and Anwar al-
Bunni's comments in an interview with L'Orient-Le Jour: "l'alternative
se réduit à ces options: soit le président Assad coopère et il
affaiblit son pouvoir, soit il rejette les demandes du Conseil de
sécurité, et il menace ainsi également son pouvoir." (Emphasis mine.)
It struck me that these premises were in complete opposition to the
recommendations by Flynt Leverett and his ilk. Whereas the Syrian
opposition is against the cessation of pressure, and is asking for the
broadening of the political base and the weakening of Assad's grip,
Leverett prescribes the empowerment of Assad, the narrowing of his
base down to himself alone (esp. with the theory of giving up Maher
and Asef), and simply trusting his "reformist impulses" (based on the
woman he married of course!) and giving him a carte blanche (with lots
of "carrots" for the duration). It wouldn't be the first time Leverett
uttered such nonsense. Back in the Spring when the Lebanese opposition
(backed by 1.2 million people who took to the streets) was calling for
Syria's withdrawal, Leverett advised against such a withdrawal, and
called on the US to "enage and empower" Assad, all the while using
Lebanon -- the way he put it was infinitely more amusing: "the threat
of intensified criticism of Syrian hegemony in Lebanon" -- as
a "stick." Sheer brilliance. Needless to say that his reading couldn't
have been more wrong, and it remains so.
Update 2: I've just heard confirmation that Kamal al-Labwani was
arrested upon arrival in Syria.
posted by Anton Efendi
.. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
.. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
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