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17 January 2011

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J

Colonel,

There are a lot of finger-pointing by many both inside and outside Lebanon at the Israeli Mossad as the culprits, and at the same time the Israelis are constantly wagging their tongues (and the tongues of their paid-stoolies) at Hizb.

confusedponderer

I read here that they investigators made a phone traffic analysis and spotted the 'red team' phones, a number of anonymous prepaid cell hones, which made calls among each other before and around the assassination. As I understand it they then were able to 'link it to Hezbollah', apparently because one of these cell phones called a Hizbullah number, or called a place which then had an outgoing call to a Hezbollah number, which, voilá, proves that they must be behind it.

I don't buy that. Looks to me as if someone hung a fruit low and easy to grasp.

William R. Cumming

Lebanon long ago ceased to have the trappings of a nation-state but it certainly can bring down the whole house of Middle Easter House of Cards.

mo

I doubt any of the M14 groups is in a position to take Hizballah on in a civil war no matter how well their training has gone in Jordan. That is especially true since Jumblatt left the M14 alliance as his positions in the mountains, militarily, are very well defended.

The fact that Obama is pushing for this means that there are plans afoot. I seriously doubt it will stop with getting the assassination pinned on Hizballah. There must be a plan with what to do with that result.

The danger for Lebanon in my view is two-fold.

First, we are likely to see white flag acts of violence that are intended to inflame and lead to a spiral of tit for tat killings (even if one side has to do the killings for both!).

Secondly, the STL was convened under Chapter 7. What will the US do with the powers a Chapter 7 resolution allows? And how much worse will it be if M14 don't get to rule in a new cabinet?

walrus

So? Do we see a pattern of behaviour here?

jonst

I've used it before on this blog....but as Nietzsche wrote, "how good bad music and bad reasons sound when marching against an enemy".

Or, in this case, an enemy of our 'friend'.

Clifford Kiracofe

1. Some biographic data:

"In 1969, Hariri established Ciconest, a small subcontracting firm, which went out of business soon. He then went in business with the French construction firm Oger for the construction of a hotel in Ta’if, [Saudi Arabia]], the timely construction of which brought him in good graces with King Khaled. Hariri took over Oger, forming Oger International, which became the main construction firm used by the Saudi Royal family for all of their important developments. As a result, only a few years after his first contract with King Khaled, Hariri had become a multi-billionaire."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafic_Hariri

The Hariri family are a Saudi asset, evidently. The Saudis "made" their man Hariri. Little Hariri and his auntie know on which side the bread has been buttered.

There are, of course, Sunni politicians who would be acceptible to the Opposition thus bringing the country together a bit. But this would be good for Lebanon and thus not acceptible to Israel.

2. As far as I know, there is no significant oil in Lebanon. Maybe someone will discover something offshore someday or whatever but....

I agree that this is not about oil. It is about Israel. Israel defined as the state of Israel and those"pro-Israel" forces in the Diaspora who support the Zionist program: the Basel Program and the Biltmore Program. AIPAC, for example, in the US or the Jewish Agency globally etc.

The United States have had a "strategic alliance" with Israel since very pro-Israel Lyndon Johnson. Johnson the consummate politician knew very well on which side his bread was buttered.

Our present policy is simply the continuation of our 4 decade long strategic alliance with Israel. Until this alliance is dissolved our policy will not change and is predictable.

3. Israel demonstrates daily that its regional objective is to keep things as destabilized as possible. Weak regimes pose less threat.

Lebanon as an example of a modern multi-confessional constitutional democracy in the Middle East is not seen as in Israel's interest because Israel wants to pose for propaganda purposes as the
only "democracy" in the Middle East.

4. The Hariri case and little Hariri are very useful to Israel given their regional objectives. Thus the combined weight of the pro-Israel lobby is placed behind Hariri as a useful tool in a broader project.


Clifford Kiracofe

mo,

Will on the other Hariri thread pointed us to this article by Franklin Lamb:
http://www.counterpunch.org/lamb11192010.html

Lamb seems well informed and this is a reasonable assessment it appears to me.

J

Colonel,

Just as her predecessor former U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon 'Israeli tool' Jeffery Feltman, it seems that our current Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly is also sticking her nose into the Lebanese domestic tabbouleh much to the angst of the Lebanese Government.
US ambassador to Lebanon summoned amid tension

Foreign governments are increasingly seeing U.S. Embassys/Consulates stationed on their soil as little more than major espionage bivouacs disguised as embassies. Case in point
Swiss lawmakers angry at alleged US spying program

So, should we the U.S. 'cut back' at the least or the most 'withdraw' All U.S. Diplomats (spelled Ambassadors/Consular Affairs) persona's due to their very high costs to the taxpayer along with their extravagant life styles abroad?

J

Colonel, Phil,

On another note, it appears that the Israelis dwarfs are coming out of the woodwork. Ehud Barak has surrounded himself with four Lieberman-look-alike dwarfs who will do his every bidding.
Netanyahu: Barak's split from Labor strengthens Israel's government


Norbert M. Salamon

Miscalculation by USA foreign policy [extremely common occurence world wide] re Lebanon might [most likely will] have serious negative effects on Israel. Perhaps that King Abdullah indicated that he will return to Saudia Arabia, has some connection to the recent "revision" of the Saudi Forerign policy re:Harir issue perpetrated by his TEMPORARY replacement.

Thomas

In regards to Lamb article posted by Clifford,

“On November 11th, Vice Premier and Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom predicted that “a Special Tribunal for Leban (STL) indictment against Hezbollah will lead to the implementation of Resolution 1559 and the forced disarming of the Party as well as the collapse of the effort at a Syrian-Lebanese-Iranian-Turkish alliance””

So the disarming will be done by whom?

“According to one State Department lawyer, “If the STL indicts and convicts one member of Hezbollah we win. A driver, a boy scout, we don’t care. The Security Council can do a dozen things to topple Hezbollah. For example, can you imagine the effect of Iranian style sanctions if applied against Lebanon until the killers are handed over? The Lebanese only care about money and with all those sects hating each other anyhow, the country will quickly implode in recriminations and civil war if they’re forced to diet a bit…And very tough sanctions against Syria? The US and Israel will only have to collect the pieces and do what should have been done half a century ago and that was to install governments that understand regional and international realities.””

Oh, I see the US will do the dirty work or will we?

Phil Giraldi

This is getting too complicated for me. One always expects that we will prefer our crooks to their crooks but the Israeli hand in all of these maneuvers is becoming increasingly difficult to comprehend. There have been indications for some time that Israel might be planning some military action against Hizbullah but the recent backdown on Iran's nuclear timetable (combined with Netanyahu's contrary demand to the US for greater military pressure on Iran) eliminates at least some of the casus belli unless it's all some kind of ploy that will play out presently. I suspect Colonel Lang is right that the usual players prefer complete anarchy in all Arab countries as a way of securing Israel. If so, it is a fool's solution for our neocon friends.

Don't know why Hillary is going around calling for Arab reform and Biden threatening intervention in Pakistan either. Could it be guided by the same logic? Maybe. Is there a puppet master out there who is directing all of this or is this driven by some perverse form of fuzzy logic?

Charles I

Return of U.S. amb to Syria for the first time in 5 years, coincidence?

Clifford Kiracofe

Perhaps the Israelis and friends have several plans:

Plan A, the war on Iran
Plan B, the war on Lebanon
Plan C, the war on Lebanon and Syria

If they can't get enough folks on board -- at this time -- for Plan A, then B and C become reasonable options.

Plan B, the war on Lebanon with massive civilian infrastructure damage hits Syria indirectly owing to the economic relationship between Lebanon and Syria.

Plan C, the war on Lebanon and Syria together is a notch up from plan B in terms of regional devastation and turmoil.

Instability and regional "balkanization" is the desired outcome. This has been the Israeli objective since 1948 has it not?

It would seem more than logical that the Secretary of State is advised by the Assistant Secretary for the region, Mr. Feltman:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_D._Feltman

And Dennis Ross appears to rule the roost in the White House.

We have had a "strategic alliance" with Israel since 1967. Israel is the regional marcher state for the US imperium. Thus, US policy should not surprise; it should be predictable.

Charles I

"Is there a puppet master out there who is directing all of this or is this driven by some perverse form of fuzzy logic?"

Like Pat says, I don't think we'll ever know who killed him. Maybe the killers themselves don't ultimately know.


The CBC did a lot of reporting on the cell phones, red, yellow and even blue teams last year. The most coherent iteration of the entire cell phone investigation, time-line of reporting of Lebanese investigators and others the to the UN, connecting particular phones to particular players by name. Its fairly lengthy, almost tediously detailed, but it is a data template to consider the issue against for those with too much time on their hands. It details the heroic work of Lebanese ISF Captain Wissam Eid prior to his own explosive death one week after meeting the UN in 2008.

SPECIAL REPORT
Neil Macdonald
CBC Investigation: Who killed Lebanon's Rafik Hariri?

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/11/19/f-rfa-macdonald-lebanon-hariri.html

In the wilderness of mirrors department is the reporting of Hizbullah's warning Captain Eid that some cell phones uncovered in the investigation were being used in counterintelligence ops against the Israelis, and to back off. Contrasted by claims of two cell phone employee suspects that they were Israeli agents that surfaced:

Moqawama.org Yearly Review: All About the US-“Israeli” Scheme on Lebanon.

http://english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=13058&cid=214

or

http://wn.com/lebanon_clamps_down_on_%27israeli_spies%27__19_may_09?orderby=published

I heard that claim once on mainstream news last year, hard to find such reference now. . . and I doubt the ME equivalent of the Soviet archives will survive to settle the matter 75 years from now.

Fitzhugh

The late Captain Wissam Eid believed that Hizbullah carried out the assassination on orders from Syria (according to CBC, not me). He died January 25, 2008 when his quatre quatre exploded; which only reinforces your point that killing is commonplace in Lebanon and that no one really knows who killed Rafik Hariri.

walrus

I have a feeling that what is coming is an attempt to place sanctions on Lebanon in an effort to start a civil war over the attempted disarming of Hizbullah. To put it another way: "Let's you and him fight!"

Since there is a considerable Lebanese diaspora of not inconsiderable wealth and influence, I have a feeling that this could go spectacularly wrong for Israel if the Lebanese as a country, resist the invitation to civil war and instead portray this effort as collective punishment.

Patrick Lang

Thomas

“If the STL indicts and convicts one member of Hezbollah we win. A driver, a boy scout, we don’t care. The Security Council can do a dozen things to topple Hezbollah. For example, can you imagine the effect of Iranian style sanctions if applied against Lebanon until the killers are handed over? The Lebanese only care about money and with all those sects hating each other anyhow, the country will quickly implode in recriminations and civil war if they’re forced to diet a bit…And very tough sanctions against Syria? The US and Israel will only have to collect the pieces and do what should have been done half a century ago and that was to install governments that understand regional and international realities.”

What is the exact citation for this quote? pl

J

Charles I,

A killing like Hariri's, don't kid yourself as there are those inside Lebanon that know exactly 'who/whom' pulled (and orchestrated) the trigger on Hariri. With all high profile killings, there are 'loose ends'.


Grumpy

The problem with this whole thing is this, as long as you look at the ME, through geo-political eyes, you'll never see it. This is not a religious issue, though the are some religious underpinnings to the problem. Would that having been said, we need to watch the template or lens that we use to view this area. Most of the issues, like those in other areas within the region, are tribal.

We need to be careful as we walk. Think of yourselves, as walking the point. There is a very appropriate phrase or term used by our people in Iraq and Afghanistan. I hope they will permit me to use it, with due respect to them. The term is “swivel head”. As we walk, our thinking needs to be three-dimensional, if not four dimensional. Hey Grump, what is the fourth dimension? The fourth dimension is no longer looking outward, but inward. By this, I mean this, how do we process the information? This may be the hardest part of the “real battle”.

Patrick Lang

Grumpy.

In the ME tribalism IS geopolitics. BTW, I agree with what Highlander said a few days back when he judged that Lebanon has little or no strategic interest for the US. On the other hand, for the Israelis and those devoted to Israel, Lebanon is a major feature of their universe. pl

Clifford Kiracofe

"“If the STL indicts and convicts one member of Hezbollah we win. A driver, a boy scout, we don’t care."...

pl,
the quote appears to be as the one in the article by Franklin Lamb which Will placed on the other Hariri thread for us.

original article by Lamb, who appears to be based in Beirut, at:
http://www.counterpunch.org/lamb11192010.html

DanM

That "boy scout" quote caught my eye too. It was published here http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/11/21/lebanons-tribunal-as-bludgeon/?wpmp_switcher=mobile&wpmp_tp=1
in November by Franklin Lamb. This website describes Lamb as: "Director, Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace, Beirut-Washington DC, Board Member of The Sabra Shatila Foundation, and a volunteer with the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign, Lebanon."

J

Colonel,

And since it appears that the 'Israel universe' by hook-n-crook are the parties that are steering our U.S. ship of state, then does not Lebanon become a 'major feature' in our U.S. universe whether we the U.S. think so or not?

How do we the U.S. rid ourselves of the Israeli parasite that has affixed itself upon our U.S. mantle, short of killing people? Our first American revolution was to rid ourselves of the British Crown parasite, now only to be once again enslaved by another 'foreign' parasite. Arghhh.

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