Thursday, June 14, 2007

Playing by the Rules

Two days ago, I was in distress.

I called a number of very close friends of mine who had confirmed their flights to Lebanon and I told them the situation looked bad. When they quizzed me as to what exactly had tipped the scale of my reasoning from controlled analysis - throughout three weeks of bombs, smuggling of weapons and fighters across the Syrian border, an ongoing insurgency in Nahr el Bared, and attempts to ignite it in other camps in the country - to simple unease I couldn't provide them with a solid answer. The only thing I could provide them with was a somewhat abstract overview of the overall situation.

As the day went on I tried to rationalize this feeling, and commenting on fellow blogger Failasoof's post about a rally for the Army held in the northern city of Tripoli, I wrote:

The Syrians, who are undeniably behind this mess, usually leave a door open to a minimal solution after they create a crisis, they do this in order to put on a show for foreign diplomats to show them that they can contain unfortunate situations in Lebanon (situations which they themselves bring about) if they are engaged on their own terms. In this case they seem to be augmenting the crisis, a bad sign.

Speaking to another close friend, and former co-contributor, I went over an old post of his and examined how the somewhat abstract Principles of the Alawite Regime were being turned into destructive realizations:
  • No Principle (when the situation requires)
  • Create the fire then sell the water
  • Defeat is victory
  • Always negotiate on the verge of the abyss
  • There are no 'burned' cards
  • The regime never fights, others fight for it
  • Survival is revival
And while the Lebanese had been living with the repercussions of this modus operandi for decades now* it was the fact that they had not even tried to sell the water to the fire they had started in Lebanon, that obviously worried me**.

Then came yesterday, the bomb that rattled the ground and the assassination that shook a nation. Member of Parliament Walid Eido, a legal expert, former judge, and one of the most influential legislators within the Future Movement had been struck down by a car bomb. The cold implications of the 'hit' were many. This was the first assassination of a member of the predominantly Sunni Future Movement since the death of Rafic Hariri, it was a hit against a man who was pivotal in the drafting and passing of a Chapter 7 UNSC Resolution to try and judge the perpetrators of that crime, and it was the only real response to a superficial overture made by the leader of that party, and son of the assassinated former Premier, to Syria's allies in the country.

The hit came after the French and Saudi announcement of informal talks among the country's different political groups. A little get together in which the French would let each party know that if they wanted to play Lebanese politics under an umbrella different from Syria's, they could be accommodated. The effectiveness of the line was immediately evidenced by a beaming Aoun, just returned from a visit to the French capital and proclaiming to anyone who would listen that "things would now be different!"

Not so fast, said Syria yesterday...not so fast.

And so, while Syria's Lebanese quislings continue to utter such senseless words as Internationalization and National Unity Government***, while Lebanon's political debutantes continue to await their cup of coffee, and while foreign diplomats continue to trip over themselves in their rush for public humiliation in Damascus, the regime in Syria will continue to play the game by their rules.


*For example, the regime has struck alliances with destructive elements across all sectarian, religious, and ideological lines, operating in Lebanon. In this day and age we have the Shiite fundamentalist Hizballah, the Sunni fundamentalists in the Palestinian camps, and the variety of secular (e.g, SSNP) or clan-based (e.g., Suleiman Frangieh's Zogharta-based Marada) pro-Syrian groups operating in Lebanon.

**Don't get me wrong. There is no prouder moment for me than to have added my voice to those chanting for freedom from Syria's tyranny in the Cedar Revolution. Any regular reader of this blog will be all too familiar with my deep desire and advocacy of Lebanon being able to stand up on its two feet and confront Syria's interference in the country as a sovereign nation and within the international networks and institutions that make up the international community of sovereign states.

***While their backers in Syria continue to kill off, one by one, the members of the country's legitimate Parliamentary majority (reduced from 71 to 68 - out of 128, i.e. four left to go for the Syrians), and the members of the country's Cabinet (one member of which was assassinated, another member of which had his offices attacked the same day of that assassination, and three members of which were in the vicinity of the most recent assassination, yesterday) - the loss of one more member would cause the collapse of the government under the constitution.


  1. You are on a definite roll BJ - another great post.

    And 'they' all wonder why Ministers are out of the country. Well Duh! They are scared stoopid.

    They should all go to the Serail and stay there. Assassins are all over the world. You can run, but you can't hide.

  2. Anonymous9:01 PM

    Check out for a scoop/scandal. A news anchor at NBN (Nabih Berri Network) owned by Nabih Berri, say on the air about Walid Eido " Why did it take them so long to assassinate him ? " and she giggles with her friend, then she says " you think Ahmnad Fatfat is next?". It;s all too clear where this freankin opposition, Syria worshippers and HibIran wa bilad fares stand. Fcuk em

  3. Thanks Ace.

    Unfortunately I fear the worst may still be ahead of us. The Syrians cannot, at any cost, allow any victory in Nahr el Bared to translate itself into a national phenomenon. That will mean more pain for us.

    The security forces have done a good job in moving to intercept the terror cells, boobytrapped cars, and fighters Syria continues to try and smuggle and active in Lebanon.

    But as we witnessed yesterday, the extent of their network, and the maliciousness of their allies, in Lebanon is formidable.

  4. Thanks for the link Anon., we posted our comments at about the same time so u didn't get a chance to see that I had linked to it in the comment directly following yours.

    I just ask that everyone please keep a respectful attitude and vocabulary.

  5. Anonymous9:43 PM

    "I just ask that everyone please keep a respectful attitude and vocabulary."

    No can do! That woman is a bitch and I hope she rots in hell!

  6. Anonymous11:28 PM

    This woman should be afraid for her life.

  7. i used to be afraid of living in israel.. but i decided that it couldnt keep me away..

  8. El Cid12:36 AM

    Just checking in.

  9. Anonymous2:21 AM

    Put up the NBN video.

  10. Anon, well you're direct I'll give you that.

    The video is circulating widely within the blogosphere and amongst Lebanon in general so if you really need to see it you can follow one of the many sidebar links to fellow bloggers who have put it up (theres a link this very same comments section even!).

    Its a disgusting video, it needed to be shown, but now that others have put it up for viewing I don't think theres any need for me to take part in inflaming an already heated situation (not that I'm passing judgement on those who chose to post it, like I said it needed to be seen).

  11. saltydog4:10 AM

    It certainly looks like Syria is going for broke this time. Let us hope that what is broken is Syria itself. My thoughts are with you and your beautiful country.


  12. I just heard the NBN vidio hit CNN ... I've been promoting all day for this video to go out to every media, person you know or don't know, and news media world wide. It's disgusting, but the tactics and the mind-set of a certain group of people in Lebanon - including a news organization that is owned and under the direction of the President of the Parliament and a prominent person in the 'opposition' needs to be shown. A major part of this 'war' against the Government is a PR war and the Government has done a really piss poor job of fighting it. Maybe they are now 'waking up'. We can only hope so.

  13. You're probably right Ace. In any case I just saw a story about the video on BBCNews.

    The news is out there, and the reprecussions will have to be that every supporter of the so-called opposition in Lebanon will have to look themselves in the eye and come face to face with the reality of the objectives, tactics, and mindset of those they support.

  14. Anonymous7:04 PM

    Good post Blacksmith Jadius! Btw, u didn't mention the Gazan crisis... I think it has Syrian designs, at least in part, as well. Recently, it was rumoured that Assad threatened to set the region aflame from the Mediterannean to the Caspian... I think he's made good on his promise with the first action being the Fatah el Islam attacks in the north moving to further south and even more south to Gaza, then Eido, now the southern border!

  15. Hey anonymous,

    Thanks for your comment. The Assad threat was widely reported. The events in Gaza, Lebanon, and perhaps even Iraq (check this article out), are of course very related!

    Some commentators and I have been discussing the subject in this thread: Click Me! (scroll down to the comments section)

    I hope you join us...


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