Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Word About Suleiman: Part II

Where is Shaker el Absi?

That Suleiman is Syria's man is sure. His brother-in-law, after all, was the official spokesman for the Presidential Palace in Damascus and its occupant at the time, Hafez el Assad.

As for Suleiman’s purported even-handedness throughout the Cedar Revolution, my guess is that it was more an issue of the Commander correctly feeling and reading the international pressures felt by a man in his position, rather than any sense of moderation or nationalism that stayed his hand.

Along the border with Syria, Suleiman’s officers have hardly moved a finger in response to the massive weapons transfers that continue unabated [a few busts here and there were carried out by security agencies supervised by ministries currently under the control of the March 14th movement – e.g. Customs (Ministry of Finance), and ISF (Ministry of the Interior)].

And, of course, who can forget Nahr el Bared. Despite the bravery of the rank and file, the most important questions and their answers [leading back to Syria] have been “officially” buried by the Commander and his staff.

Where is Shaker al Absi?

All this to say, of course, that Suleiman is Syria’s man [and we haven’t even mentioned anything dating back past the year 2000].

Already the Lebanese streets and airwaves are being plastered with posters and songs praising the Commander’s rise to power [those in Montreal can check AM radio frequency 1450 Hz, for live broadcasts of the “Voice of Lebanon”]. And already comparisons are being made with that other Commander who, in 1958, provided the country with another “least worst” choice of the Presidency.

At that time, the masses were all too happy to give up some basic freedoms in order to be rid of a political class preying on their livelihoods. Fifty years later, the Lebanese general public seems to have given its final acquiescence [extorted by Damascus’s terror, Hizballah’s blockages, Aoun’s destructive treachery/idiocy/cowardice, and to some extent March 14th ineptitude – or at least, the ineptitude of those left alive by the Syrian assassination campaign] to the sacrifice of the country’s absolute sovereignty, in favor of relief (from the four extortions listed above) and the semblance of sovereignty through the attainment of some objectives…pending Damascus’ approval, of course.

So congratulations to Gen. Michel Suleiman for his replacement of Gen. Emile Lahoud in the seat of the Presidency [and to Gen. Georges Khoury for his rumored replacement of Suleiman in the seat of Army Commander].

As for my first question to the new president: Where is Shaker el Absi!?


  1. Please allow for some link updates, etc...

    Also, don't forget to check part i of a word about suleiman, and the first post of the "word" series: a word about aoun (including an important correction made to the original post).

  2. What do we know about Georges Khoury?

  3. He's head of Military Intelligence in Lebanon, having been appointed after after Raymond Azar's imprisonment.

    Before that he held the post for all of Mount Lebanon. Before that he held the post for Kisrewan.

  4. Lalebanessa7:21 AM

    My best guess is that shaker el-absi went back to Syria where he was probably "suicided".

  5. Thats my guess too Lebanessa... problem is with who let him go back...

  6. Thats quite a big accusation your making there Jade. So Suleiman did know about the whereabout of Shaker el Abssi and those behind him? And Rifi and our other guys in the intelligence services knew absolutely nothing about it? Although I do understand his close ties to Syria, but I find it hard to believe that any man alive would be able to betray his army men to that extent. Yet again we have Aoun, so who knows?

    Either way, as more time passes by, and as the opposition applies more blackmail, it seems that Suleiman's nomination would be dropped, and the March 14 leaders would go back to their senses and elect a president with a 50+1 vote.

  7. Well the "accusation" is that Suleiman aided Absi in his escape to Syria [where he was then "buried", most likely].

    With respect to Rifi, I doubt he doesn't know, but I also doubt that he - or those he answers to [Future Movement] - are willing to precipitate a conflict with the Army Commander over it.

    In any case, it looks like Hizballah has gotten a little too comfortable with the Presidential void.

    What you're seeing now is the unveiling of what some analysts view as Lebanon's Sunni-Shiite rift.

    The argument goes as follows: Aoun, and the Christians in general were being used as a cover for this rift. Hizballah (i.e. Iran), for its part, can't afford to have this rift in the open because (1) it will instigate an Arab popular backlash against it, (2) its agenda of tripartism (which is in opposition to the Taef) is basically dependent on the Sunnis agreeing to it also. Aoun, for his part has agreed with this agenda because Hizballah tells him he would represent the Christians, they the Shiites, and Hariri the Sunnis - and so Aoun goes with it, essentially trying to asign to himself all Christian representation in order to sell it out to Hizballah's push for tripartism (in which the Christians would lose 50% representation to 33%).

    Anyway, back to today's reported delays. The majority shouldn't give in. Afterall, the "resigned" ministers are still collecting paychecks (have been from day 1), an are still showing up to their offices, removing documents, and enforcing their directives.

  8. BJ - you forgot to add the inactions of the Army on Jan 23. I agree that on March 14 it must have been clear to even a blind man that Syria was on the way out - Suleiman did the "smart" thing, which is nothing. That's what he has mostly done - "nothing". The Army went to the south because they had to - he had nothing to do with it, except of course to assign those who went. I understand that most of them were already from the south.

    I expect that IF the Army stationed in the South and on the Syrian border were not "sympathizers", that the efforts at control would have been more successful.

  9. Orange Storange6:12 PM

    NewTV live:
    Demonstration in Da7ieh and they cut the road by burning tires as the electricity cut since 4 pm yesterday.

  10. Anonymous6:30 PM

    The ISF and Army are now saying that they opened the roads without any resistance and are keeping the situation under control there.

    (El Nashra)

  11. Orange Storange6:38 PM

    You know the minister of electricity is from HIZBALLAH!!

  12. Anonymous6:42 PM

    Citizens protesting against repeated power failures set fire to rubber tires in Hizbullah-controlled south Beirut Monday evening, police reported.
    A terse police report said the move was apparently "spontaneous" and not organized by any political faction.

    The electricity authority issued a statement earlier in the day notifying citizens of a series of failures that have led to separating power stations from the main network, enforcing a general power failure.

    The statement, however, pledged that repair works are underway and power distribution would return to normal soon.


  13. Anonymous6:56 PM

    pictures of road closure:

    (EL Nashra)

  14. Hey Ace,

    Yeah...January know that was the first time I blogged about Suleiman being Syria's choice for the Presidency?

    The title of that post was Army Command

    Thanks to everyone for their comments and updates. The situation seems to have been brought under control.

    As for the Presidential situation, about an hour after I put up my "Aoun is providing cover for Hizballah (Iran)" comment above, the buffoon went ahead and did it again, this time declaring that he - ie Hizballah, ie Iran - had no intention of allowing Suleiman to occupy the Presidential seat before Christmas.

    We'll see how far into the abyss this coward/traitor/idiot takes us this time...

    ...meanwhile, Jumblatt took the same tone (kinda) as this post

  15. sofodey9:22 PM

    Orangeguy...The acting electricity minister is Safadi. He practises nepotism at its best and in the past year filled all posts, which were cut out by the Hizballah guy "Fneish" in order to save costs and increase efficiency, with his guys from Tripoli.
    But since Safadi is a March 14 fellow then I'm sure he' a good, caring, honest, loving and democratic person.....

  16. Orange Storange1:15 AM

    Dont put words in my mouth sofodey...

    ...if you love a weapons-smuggler like safadi thats your problem!

    As for Fneish, everybody knows he is still cashing his check and takign documents from the ministry all the time.

    He is resigned like elton john is straight!

  17. ibovski3:33 AM

    The opposition never did really care for the constitution to start with: Aoun was against Taef, so was Hizballah, so it is weird that they are insisting on the "procedure" following which we should amend the constitution. Latest rumors say Gen. Michel Suleiman is o.k.ed by some folks in Damascus but not other (Like the intelligence) and this where the delay is coming from. Who knows... The most dangerous and destructive thing that happened to Lebanon is the imbecile, senile old general that called Aoun .... halla2 tnehheyye bel ha2 ya general aoun, inti wou jama3tak ma btousalou la zinnari.. P.S. sheikh aoun and orange kids this is not an insult, just a figure of speech like ur general argued....

  18. In a way, this assassination was a response to the perceived possible positives highlighted in this post.

    Both Michael Young and Tony Badran highlighted the Arab angle in their respective posts, while also agreeing with the Lebanon-centric elements I presented in my post on the assassination.

    This Arab angle holds that Syria is desperate to rejoin the Arab fold, something which would require them to completely abandon their alliance with the Iranians [as highlighted here]. But the Syrians are expert political navigators and their principle modus operandi generally dictates that they not cede any real ground or compromise, but that they create disastrous situations which they then ‘resolve’ instead [thereby leaving them unbudged on the original issues]... much for trying to be positive! It appears that if Syria does eventually manage to gain international and Arab sanction for its return to Lebanon it will likely do it on its own terms - i.e. no positives.


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