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22 November 2006

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Will

Very good classical reference. Phoenix was the brother of Europa. She was the Tyrean (Sur)princess famously carried off to Crete by Zeus in the form of a bull and cofounded the Greek-Canaanite Cretan civilization- and gave her name to the landmass on the other side of the Hellenspont.

Her brother Cadmus while searching for her settled in Boetia, founded the unfortunatie royal house of Thebes, and brought the Phoenician alphabet to the Hellenes.

The magikal Phoenix bird figures prominently in the magikal world of Harry Potter. It's about time for the next book to come out. I guess it"ll be during the Summer. I can hardly wait.

will

there are so many threads. but i"ll state my opinion again.

Pierre Gemayel was knocked off by the mainly Christian Greek (RUM) Orthodox Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party (SSNP) underground military wing. This was done either as a target of opportunity or under orders of Syrian military intelligence. This is the same group that nocked off Pierre's uncle Bashir a long time ago. They are always also gunning for Jumblatt as a target of opportunity. Just as the Israelis are always gunning for Nasrallah and probably Aoun.

What does Syria want? The "captured" Golan heights (Jebel Druze). Why won't the U.S. salve Syria's pride, obey U.N. resolutions, reintegrate Syria in the world community and help give it back? The Israeli Lobby that controls U.S. politics.

It's always about Israeli settlements. The West Bank, excuse, por favor,Judea & Samaria, and the Golan- Shabaa Farms.

Michael

Part of me can't help but ask the question: Could perhaps Israel and the US have 'plans for Lebanon'? Would they be happy to martyr up Pierre Gemayel for the larger cause?

Geoff

what do you think/make of this:

Gunmen opened fire Tuesday on the office of a minister of state, his office announced, just hours after the assassination of anti-Syrian minister Pierre Gemayel.

"The office of the state minister for parliamentary affairs, Michel Pharaon, in the Ashrafieh neighborhood was the target of gunshots today from gunmen in a white Suzuki car," it said.

cheSF

Bad juju for Lebanon--what I find interesting in this case is that this assassination was carried out by gunshot, rather than explosives, which were the modus operandi for the past few assassinations (Hariri, et al).

imo, it points to Hizbullah, as they are pushing to dissolve the current government, in hopes that they can gain more power, based on their increased population, which is a perceived threat to the rest of the population. Given that the Hizb act solely in their own interests, this could spell doom for the uneasy balancing act that is necessary for this country to function.

Also, per the post topic, it seems that old scores and rivalries are still perpetuating, and that Aoun's alliance with Hizbullah may indicate yet another subcurrent to the drama...

Piotr Chmielarz

I suspect that neoconservatist can be behind it or their friends from Mossad. They decide to do this na attempt to worse position in Syria and to get pretext for ridding Hezbollah. They have now UNIFIL forces. I'm not logistic but this forces can sent some units to Beirut in which will be manifestation against Siniora goverment. There will be Hezbollah board on this manifestation. So they can arrest them after that they can begin disarming of hezbollah forces. Because Lebanes goverment can't rely on his army so maybe forces from other countries as for example USA will be sent on intervention as it was in 1959 or 1982. I'm not sure if I have memory but hitlers plan of conquering Czechoslovakia in 1938 and in 1939 revivwe possibility of killing gemran ambassador or consul as pretext for intervention.

Leila

Everybody finds the culprit in their favorite adversary. Read Juan Cole (lecture on failures of Bush diplomacy, well-deserved in my opinion, but still) and Tony Badran (it's always, always Syria's fault, they are the new Hitler of the Arab world and must be deposed or crushed ASAP, no diplomacy possible).

I have no opinions on the culprit because I really have no clue. But at this point I have learned to look at all speculation as a reflection of that person's political sympathies.

That said, I agree with J. Cole that Bush's bungling has made the whole situation worse. The Israeli assault of 2006 would not have happened had Bushco not agreed, and I believe that assault made unstable Lebanon even more unstable. So there you have my stance, while I am not happy with Syria and am willing to consider the possibility that she is culpable, I really think the bigger picture is that the US makes huge foreign policy mistakes that involve mass killing of Arabs. Of course this destabilizes the region.

walrus

As usual the key question has not yet been asked...."Cui Bono?" Who benefits?

This action destabilises Lebanon even further and inflames the situation and blackens Syrias (already black( name.

Now who could possibly like Lebanon to be a total basket case and Syria and Iran demonised?

Babak Makkinejad

It is pointless for the Western powers to have any political interest whatsoever in Lebeanon.

Syria can wreck that country - just like Russia can wreck Ukraine, US can wreck Canada, and so on.

Leave them alone to fight it out and/or settle their differences through the machinations/interference of the neighboring states.

US & EU have no dog in that fight - let Arabs, Turks, Iranians, and Israelis try to come to a settlement there.

MarcLord

Leila @ 2:52

I don't know Lebanon. I do study methods of achieving results, and have been lucky in that regard witout overstepping my internal ethical boundaries.

That said, this assassination looks like a classic false flag operation, and a very well-timed one. I would've been less quick to conclude that had the attack on the US Embassy in Syria not enjoyed similar timing. At least two birds with one stone, low risk of blowback. It makes Hezbollah look bad just as they're scoring a monumental victory (resuming relations with Iraq after 25 years), and stirs up real outrage against them in Lebanon.

Chaos can be the cheapest way of maintaining status quo. There's a very different take on the attack on the US embassy over at the Counterterroism Blog, which points to how Syria may have benefitted from the US embassy attack. It posits that Syria used another method for achieving results: "If the equation is to your disadvantage, create a new problem, offer to solve it, obtain recognition; and by that you'd change the equation."

The whole post is at: http://counterterrorismblog.org/2006/09/us_embassy_assad_allows_attack.php

Cloned Poster

Someone has plans for the Levant, except unfortunately, the Lebanese citizens (aka Phoenicians) themselves.

Cui Bono? Everybody but the Phoenicians.

Charles

Absolutely the prime beneficiaries of this are Israel & and those operating POTUS. 1st out with the Syrian Army. Then a failed "anti-terrorist experiment". Just when noises are made about talkining with some of the locals besides Israel, presto, a murder that ensures nobody but investigators from some UN tribunal will be talking to the Syrians - about Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Golan - anywhere. God forbid there's any accomodation with Sryia, who'd you be forced to accomodate next - the West Bank?

Cui bono indeed.

jonst

Will,

Just curious...if its always about the Golan, what was it about in 56? Or 67?

rick

I am sure I don't know, but I think Hizballah is about the least likely suspect. The victim, as has been pointed out, was a nobody, and where is the benefit for them? This is waaay too smart of a crowd for anyone to assert that it was a clash-of-civilizations-thing, where HA whacked him because he was christian...

All that said, if I was a betting man with money to lose, I'd put half of it on Israel and the other half on non-political personal reasons, like gambling/drug debt or some such. That would explain the run-up-and-shoot method of killing, as loan sharks usually have limited access to explosives. I might even put 2/3 on the latter, just to be contrary.

JerseyJeffersonian

I have heard it advanced that a prime motivation for the assassination was to bring the current Lebanese government closer to dissolution, and in the near future (see reason below). Under their constitution, if 2/3 of the mandated seats in the cabinet are not filled, the government is dissolved and new elections are mandated. Recently, the six Hezbollah cabinet members resigned. There are 24 seats in the cabinet, and with the demise of Gemayel, the margin for dissolution is only one. So who wants to be next? Crucially, the issue is before the house in Lebanon to approve moving forward on the formal judicial proceedings to investigate the assassination of the former Premier Rafik Hariri, much to the displeasure of the Syrians who were in it up to their eyeballs and stand to lose big-time if the facts come out. It is clearly in their interest to cause the government to fall and end the threat to them posed by allowing such an investigation to proceed. Hezbollah thinks that if there are new elections they could add seats, and in the context of the late conflict with Israel, they may be correct. This looks like a confluence of interests to me.

Got A Watch

15 posts, 15 theories. Many sound plausible...but who really knows? I just saw the UN has been asked to investigate. It would seem difficult for foreign investigators to actually get to the real bottom of this crime.

Reports which say this faction or that one ordered the hit can only be inconclusive - as was well stated above, each onlooker brings their own villain to the blame table. IMHO the "who benefits" theory is probably most likely. Just another sad new day in the "New Middle East".

Mo

Like every other potential suspect, you have to ask what the SSNP have to gain from it or if under orders from Syria, what Syria has to gain at this moment. If it was Syria, why someone so low profile and yet so likely to enflame the Christian community?
Like wise with the US and/or Mossad.

The fact is that contrary to reports, Lebanon slipping back into civil war benefits no-one externally that I can think of. A lawless Lebanon cannot benefit the west as it would make HA more powerful. A lawless Lebanon does not benefit Syria either. They have nearly 1 million people working in Lebanon, jobs that would disappear in the event of war.

What is most troublesome is that many of the current ministers make a nice living funneling IMF loans, EU loans and other various sources of income into their own bank account. These same men are also very much linked to the civil war which they also made a very good living from. Given that their positions are now so threatened, are they the ones that would benefit most from a return to civil war?


nb. cheSF, HA werent looking to dissolve the current govt. they were looking to be given a greater share of the seats.

will

Add a few more points
1. the "majority" is the majority in the parliament b/ does not represent the majority of the population.

2. In addition to the Shiite ministers that resigned, A Christian minister also resigned.

3. The negotiatians got up to the point of cabinet parity but HA-Aoun wanted veto power.

4. Even a new election is still rigged b/c of the old electoral law which underrepresents the Shiites.

5. It appears that the Druze are way over represented.

6. I had repeated the fact the Syrian National Socialist Party (which the Phalange/Kataeb blammes for Gemayel's hit) has a flag featuring a three legged swatsika or propellor. Darn, i just noticed that NC Dept. of Transportation has the same exact descign on their seal.
http://www.ncdot.org/

They catch a lot of flak, I-40 eastbound was recently closed, the nation's highway that runs from the Atlantic to the Pacific was recently closed due to a sinkhole. I hope it doesn't slow me down today getting to Granma's house for Turkey. If they mess with me, payback will be a letter to the editor complaining about their "swatsika."
Have a good Thanksgiving."

parvati_roma

A three-legged swastika? You mean like this?

Will

@jonst
Will,Just curious...if its always about the Golan, what was it about in 56? Or 67?

ya gotta be kidding? nobody can be that much out of it. I"ll try a short answer. Prior to 73', it was about a binational secular state in Palestine- full circle- a sol'n being proposed again now. You know the usual human rights suff, all men endowed by God having equal rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. The return of refugees to their homes. The eighteneeth century Enlightenment ideals clashes with the Torah No religious states. Back then,, there were no religious Islamic extremists as now.

The 1956 was a false flag operation by France & Britian plus Israel that was busted by Eisenhower. Israel would invade the Sinai in response to terro and Anglo-French force would protect the Canal. Soviets took advantage of the fiasco too massacre Hungarians freedom uprising.

1967 was a sneak Pearl Harbor attack war of agression(Most Americans think Arabs started it!) that took land from all surrounding states except Lebanon (that would be later) followed by colonization and settlement. What was the difference from that and 1939? Answer P.R.

Sadat offered a full Peace treaty to get the Siai back. Dayan famously said better "Sharm El Sheik w/o Peace than Peace w/o Sharm El Sheik." Then came the 73 war, the Operation Nickel Grass American resupply, the Oil embargo, the worldwide nuclear alert. Without the mammoth resupply the Israelis would have lost the war and would have had to resort to their nukes to hold on the Sinai.

America had to pay billions of blackmail money (and still pays to Israel and (also Egypt) for Peace between them and to get Israel out of the Sinai. That really started the gravy train. Much simpler if LBJ had not greenlighted the 67' war or had the guts of Eisenhower. Come to think of it, barring Civil Rights, LBJ third worst prez, after Buchanan & Dumbya.

Syria wanted the same deal. Golan for Peace. Rabin agreed but was killed. It's called the "Rabin Deposit." Barak had agreed, but he backed out, he thought he couldn't politically deliver. Pretextually it's supposed to be the Syrians wanted to touch Lake Gallilee (Chinerreth). The shore has receded some 100 meteres in the meantime mooting the point.

The PLO gave up on their binational state. Rabin brought them back from Tunis to counter Hamas. The US has made a deal to facilitate all this as a price for Arab cooperation for Gulf War 1- Madrid-Oslo all this. Rabin was killed. Israel reneged on Oslo, first with Bibi then big time with Sharon- always the terror thing.

The Abdullah Beirut initiative for full peace with trade that was signed by all 22 Arab nations including Saddam's Iraq based on a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, return of Golan is dead in the water because
ya got it- terror.

Col Lang thinks it's about water. Golan heights is about high ground. And the West Bank is also the high ground. You have to look at a 3d topo relief map to properly appreciate it.
high ground=water

Tim

It has only been a couple of months since the Israelis bombed Lebanon to smithereens. They obviously want Lebanon in chaos.
Maybe a few well placed assassinations can do what bombs couldn't?

Charles

I fumble fingered my intended post looking for a cite. Point is, over at Juan Cole, discussion supposes that Cheney's duty is to reassure the Saudi's. After the chaosification of Lebanon, the massive refugee flows of those too poor to have other escape options from a post-U.S. Iraq, not to mention the storm of terror following the U.S. strike on Iran - sooner in the electoral cyle than later - the Saudi borders and state will be protected - at least til the Americans figure out the true state of their reserves. Until then, they can continue their trade in sexual slavery in "peace"

Leila

PPS/SSNP cyclone has four points. Yes it looks unnervingly like a swastika:

http://www.ssnp.com/

A cousin of mine once flew in to JFK from Lebanon and was unnerved to see a big old rattling "bomber" of a car pull up with an enormous cyclone (Saiqa - PPS/SSNP symbol) painted on the hood. He said that between the battered look of the car and the size of the emblem, he thought he'd gotten off the plane in Beirut by accident. This was back in the 80s. IF there are any PPS members left in New York, you can bet they don't paint their emblem on their cars these days.

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