Analysis:Was Burj Abi Haidar a battle by proxy?

Members of the Al-Ahbash group carry the coffin of Ahmad Jamal Omeirat, who died in Tuesday night's clash, during his funeral procession in Beirut's residential area of Burj Abi Haidar, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010. AP

By Michael Young

You had to agree with the pro-Hizbullah daily Al-Akhbar when it observed in its Wednesday edition that one could only “naively” assume that the Burj Abi Haidar fighting the previous evening was the result of a personal dispute between supporters of Hizbullah and the Society of Islamic Philanthropic Projects, known as the Ahbash.

We can only speculate about precisely what did happen. However, most media outlets agreed that tension had been brewing in the neighborhood for some time. The Ahbash are close to Syria, not to say the Syrian intelligence services, which has long employed the group as a counterweight to Sunni militant groups the Syrian regime considers threatening, above all the Muslim Brotherhood. In the postwar period, the Syrians used the Ahbash against the Hariri family – indeed Ahbash members were suspected of involvement in the assassination of the former prime minister, Rafik Hariri – and to undercut the authority of the mufti and the Sunni religious establishment.

Hezbollah supporters carry the coffin of Hezbollah official Ali al-Jawad, who died in clashes on Tuesday night, during his funeral procession, in the southern village of Kfar Fila, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010. AP

To interpret what happened as a Sunni-Shiite clash may be understandable, but there was really much more to it than that. Here was, perhaps, the first armed confrontation between Iran and Syria in Lebanon, through proxies, to determine who will dominate the country in the future. More specifically, the Syrians, in endeavoring to revive their hegemony, have entered into a struggle for power with the only force that can stand up to them locally, Hizbullah, on which Damascus seeks to impose its priorities. Not surprisingly, Hizbullah has refused to surrender the political gains it accumulated during the past five years – gains, above all, in the service of Iran.

The heart of the problem is the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. A decision is expected from the institution in the coming months – whether indictments or the identification of suspects. Hizbullah feels it will be targeted by such a step and has raised the heat on the government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri to immediately end Lebanon’s cooperation with the tribunal. Hariri has refused, and can afford to buy time. That’s because Hariri knows that Syria intends to use any tribunal decision as leverage over Hizbullah, to push the party to surrender to Damascus key posts it controls in the public administration and the security and military apparatus.

In light of this, Syria, like Hariri, is waiting for the tribunal to come out with something first, before opening negotiations with Hizbullah; while Hizbullah’s secretary general, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, keen to avoid any such bargaining, is out to create an intolerable situation on the ground so that Hariri is left with no choice but to scuttle the tribunal before its findings push the party into a corner.

Initially, Hizbullah felt that it had a range of options to intimidate Hariri. Party spokesmen ominously mentioned a return to May 2008, when Hizbullah and Amal overran western Beirut militarily and forced the government of Fouad Siniora to annul two decisions that the party regarded as threatening. Hizbullah officials also raised the possibility of bringing down the current government. However, at a summit in Beirut several weeks ago, President Michel Sleiman, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and President Bashar Assad of Syria signed on to a statement that effectively ruled out both measures.

Consequently, it could be that Hizbullah’s fight against the Ahbash, even if the incident that prompted it was not premeditated, was a message to Damascus that Hizbullah would not readily bend. And this on a night when Nasrallah made a speech virtually calling for the “Iranization” of Lebanon. Hizbullah had no interest in assaulting Hariri’s Future Movement, as this would have transgressed all red lines, leading to a major breakout of Sunni-Shiite hostility. But by going after the Ahbash, Hizbullah was able to send a subtle warning to Hariri, but also a more pointed one to Damascus.

Conversely, some observers have suggested that what happened was a Syrian warning to Hizbullah. Yet there are problems with this theory, not least that time is on Syria’s side when it comes to the tribunal, and Damascus gained little by provoking the party. Either way, both Hizbullah and the Ahbash were armed and ready for one another.

What will be interesting to watch in the coming weeks is what happens on the margins of the Syrian-Iranian struggle over Lebanon. The Parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, whose allegiances are with Syria, must yet be very careful of how he manages his relationship with Hizbullah. It was indicative of Berri’s dilemma that during the Burj Abi Haidar incident Amal issued a statement saying it was not involved, even as some of its men fought on Hizbullah’s side.

Walid Jumblatt is another politician who must play the Syria-Hizbullah rivalry very carefully. He has been especially vocal recently in calling for the tribunal to be abandoned. That’s because it only exacerbates the tensions between Damascus and Hizbullah, and Jumblatt and his community happen to be caught in the middle. The Druze leader has been the target of repeated condemnation in Al-Akhbar lately, principally because Hizbullah views him as particularly vulnerable (which Jumblatt is), and wants to keep him in line.

Baabda summit July 30, 2010 . Shown from left : President Bashar Assad of Syria , King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, President Michel Suleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri

Was the Burj Abi Haidar skirmish the first in a series of similar occurrences? It’s difficult to say, but for now nothing indicates that the Syrians and Hizbullah are near to reaching middle ground by tempering their ambitions. What divides Syria and Iran is power, which is something neither is presently inclined to share in Beirut. Even if Hizbullah and Syria avoid episodes like the one on Tuesday, there will be other outbursts of violence or political altercations as the tribunal nears the time when it takes some sort of action.

Particularly revealing is the extent to which Hizbullah feels confident that it can out-maneuver Syria in Lebanon. Damascus was never very good at anchoring itself among the Lebanese without its army and intelligence services around to enforce its dictates. Ironically, Hizbullah has become the principle bulwark resisting a Syrian comeback, because the party wants to preserve Lebanon for Iran. What abysmal choices we Lebanese are left with. DS

  • DanDan

    Very nice analysis…

  • Elias

    Time will tell after the STL issues its ruling whether this is a proxy war or not. However its very interesting analysis and cannot be ignored. The fact is the battle was so intense it makes it more worrisome and very discomforting. I hope this will be the last internal fight.

  • Tony A

    wow, well that puts things into perspective for sure.

    but i would like to bring hope as usual to this pessimistic article cos michael has not mentioned the will of the people. what do the people want?

    you see, i already posted a while back that the syrian ban on the veil was to let saudi and iran know that hey, we’ll talk but let’s not get too close. it was an obvious message for sure.

    if the lebanese people have to pick between the lesser of 2 evils to have some influence on lebanon, then syria will be the obvious one though none of us would really like to make that choice cos we want neither.

    there is no way that HA will last much longer with its threats cos the STL is there to specifically put pressure on it to get in line with lebanon’s vision.

    HA really has no choice but to eventually become a political voice in the parliament and like the article says, which i have also posted, the LAF and HA will have to hammer out what post go to who.

    on a personal note, i have a few friends here in canada that are shiite and they simply said it was a contained skirmish and it was no big deal.

    all i hope is, that they’re right.

    HA is for sure sensing some sort of noose tightening, so like the IRA, it took some pushing and shoving, but at the end, they dismantled and HA will not really dismantle, they will assimilate a different outfit.

    that outfit will be the one that restricts their voice to only a political one cos by then, they wont be able to order the LAF around cos it will have a structured ptocol of duty to adhere to and HA knows that.

    all this crap going on is HA making sure they get some slice of the action cos syria has a little and if iran thinks its gonna get a big piece, well, dream on cos this leb says no thanks.

  • John

    A hodpodge of misinformaiton and spectulations to keep the public ignorant.

  • John

    hodgepodge*

  • That sad reality also reminds us that we are sitting on a boiling volcano.

    Where do you live Sebouh?

    Also as promised (although this is just the start) click on my name for more…

    🙂 Cheers!

  • Massachusetts

    Did you click on my name?

  • Tony Smith

    It sounds like every country in the middle east is fighting for control of Lebanon.

    Does Lebanon and the Lebanese poeple have any saying on this?

    Devide and conquer..that works perfect in Lebanon..very sad 🙁

  • The Plot to Kill Rafiq Hariri—-

    There are a few little doubts regarding the volcano that could erupt in Lebanon when the “TEL” finally accuses a group of Hizballah high-ranking members in connection with the Rafiq Hariri crime. The indictment could include names as the assassinated Moughniyed, his lieutenant and relative Mustafa Badr Al-Din and operatives as Abd Al Majid Ghamlush and Hajj Salim, among other suspects.

    ——–

    According to some sources from Lebanon and Syria, neither Badr Al-Din nor the other people mentioned are in any of these countries at the present time. As occurred in the AMIA case, it is very likely that the suspected individuals are alive and kicking, but very far from Lebanon and probably hidden in Iran.

    ——–

    It is very important to take into account that the killed political leader was aware of the heightened threat against his life. Besides, he was well protected by highly trained bodyguards and several sophisticated security measures.

    ———

    Most of the horrifying details that have emerged during the past years regarding the Hariri killing could compete with Hollywoodian popular thrillers of corruption, power and crime in the Levant, as “Syriana”, “Body of Lies”, etc.

    ———

    As it appeared prima facie during the first stages of the criminal investigations and according to many experts, the highly complex criminal operation that killed Rafiq Hariri would not have been done without close cooperation between the Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services (Mukhabarat) that were very linked at that time.

    ——-

    Notwithstanding, it is highly probable that the Tribunal will accuse Hizballah’s leading members for the murder of Rafiq Hariri, exonerating Syria from all of the charges and leaving the terrorist Lebanese organisation in a very difficult situation.

    ——–

    Syria was accused and expelled from Lebanon because of its high profile connection with the mentioned political crime. A few months after the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, Syria notified the United Nations that it had withdrawn all of its troops, military assets and intelligence apparatus from Lebanon.

    ——–

    But many events have occurred thereafter, when the skilful Syria began to cut all the links between the Hariri crime and his Government. Among other several suspicious facts was the “suicide” of brigadier general Ghazi Kanan, a leading member of the Assad clan in Lebanon for twenty years.

    ———

    Syrian sources claim that Khanan acted alone and independently of his government, something that is unthinkable, if not a joke, because of the tight control on the most prominent officials of its intelligence services. He could have been killed or pressed to commit suicide, but his disappearance was very convenient to cut a key link to the suspected Syrian participation in the plot to kill Rafiq Hariri. The same President Bashar Al-Assad had threatened Mr. Hariri to break Lebanon over his head if he did not back an extension of Emile Lahoud’s presidency. Al-Assad was quite sure that Hariri was part of a plot — together with France and Saudi Arabia – to separate Lebanon from Syria.

    ———-

    Another missing “link” could be the late megaterrorist commander Imad Moughniyed, who was also killed by a bomb after being handed to his assassins on a silver plate. That

    very complex operation could not have been executed without the complicity and cooperation of several foreign intelligence services, including a sector of the Syrian “Mukhabarat” led by members of the Presidential family .

    ———

    Besides, if the potentially accused perpetrators of the Hariri assassination are running away to Iran and being hidden in that country — as occurred in Argentina’s AMIA case –,

    it will be an impossible mission to expect any kind of cooperation from its authorities. The main Iranian indicted individuals who ordered and planned the terrorist attack that killed 85 people in Buenos Aires on July the 18th 1994, are now high-ranking members of the Cabinet , the “Council of Guardians” and also advisors to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s inner circle.

    Best regards.

    Horacio Calderón – Expert in Middle Eastern Affairs – Buenos Aires – Argentina

    • VOICE OF TRUTH

      horacio,

      your analysis makes a lot of sense and you definitely know your subject.

      i am amazed how people from foreign countries see political events in lebanon.

      from their own perpective they can deliver a very accurate and unbiased expose of the lebanese situation, you can rarely find among lebanese themselves.

      my question to you horacio is this: do you think the hariri case will proceed any further in the coming future beyond the stage of naming/indicting the accused persons you mentioned, since you are guessing these people might be already well hidden somewhere in iran or that would be the end of it???????

      • Dear “Voice of Truth”:

        Thank you very much for your comments. I would like to make it clear that I gained my expertise in Middle Eastern Affairs doing the field, and not only studying. I have visited 53 times the Near Eastern (Levant), Middle Eastern and North African countries, having held meetings with leaders, presidents and ministers. But going straight to the point, kindly see my assessment:—–

        1) It is highly unlikely that the Hariri case will not proceed any further than “naming /indicting” the accused persons I have mentioned, among others.—–

        2) As far as the Hizballah is concerned, its is unlikely that its Shura and the Iranian leadership will allow to send the indicted individual before any Special Tribunal that they are unable to control, as it is the case of the “STL”. The “STL” on the Hariri case did not announce yet the expected indictment, but Nasrallah fiercely rejected any involvement in the killing, accusing Israel for the assassination. Of course, Nasrallah expects a huge backlash for the Hizballah and himself upon the official release of the expected indictment. If the “STL” finally accuses senior Hizballah members, as expected, it will probably have serious consequences for this organisation; domestically, regionally and globally as well. Despite his objections against the “STL” during the past years, Hizballah approved the constitution of the tribunal for the Hariri case, when they were part of the Lebanese Cabinet of Ministers. Therefore, it is not acceptable that Nasrallah and his main lieutenants intend now to ignore the results of the “STL” investigation, even if he feels that Hizballah was abandoned, if not betrayed by the Syrian Government.—–

        3) The recent summits in Damascus and Beirut should be considered as steps in a wider extraordinary political and diplomatic scheme that seem aimed to avoiding new Lebanese inter-sectarian struggles. King Abdullah, President Assad and the other chiefs of State could have recommended Saad Hariri to avoid any implementation of a “STL” ruling against Hizballah. Otherwise, Hizballah could have at its disposal a new pretext to assault again the Sunni areas of Beirut or even provoke a new war with Israel. The Beirut meetings could have culminated in a secret pact among all the parties involved. If the suspected secret agreement really exists, it could severely restrict a future implementation of any “STL” ruling against Hizballah. Also, they could have been done with the purpose of delaying or purely and simply suspending sine die any further legal actions to punish the accused individuals, institutions, etc. Some of the mentioned heads of State and leaders are perhaps awaiting new events, which could create other kind of scenarios, and had preferred to avoid any unexpected risk attaching to the “STL” indictment… Yes, one of the most likely war scenarios – that could appear at any time — would start with an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites. If this were the case, it would be rational to think that King Abdullah and his main partners had decided to dedicate their best efforts to delay the “STL” expected announcement. Or, in contrary, evading or delaying to implement any enforcement measure against Hizballah in Lebanese territory.—–

        4) Syria is abandoning their all alliance with Hizballah and Iran and will not only defy the last country in Lebanon but also in Iraq. Syria is the Achilles heel of such entente, due to its old role of strategic bridge between Iran and the Hizballah’s strongholds. Besides, the Syrian strategists probably fear that any suspected move detected by Iran, could unleash destabilisation campaigns and other covert actions against its regime. Moreover, the Syrian Mukhabarat should be aware that Iran and its proxies have secret assets inside the country and the Government, which could be activated at any time. There is no doubt that Syria has historical regional geopolitical ambitions that are not rigidly limited by its claims regarding the return of the Golan Heights, which were seized by Israel during the 1967 “Six-Day War”. These ambitions have a name: Lebanon. Downgrading or breaking the Syrian existing alliance with Iran lies only on a price, although a huge price. Or perhaps a prize, which sounds better… But a Syrian U-turn against Iran and Hizballah has a political and geopolitical cost that is higher than some state global actors as the United States thought it would be: a full patronage of Lebanon.—-

        5) It is highly likely that Hariri case and the AMIA bombing in Argentina, among other horrible crimes, are part of a set of measures to mount a casus belli against Hizballah and its patron Iran. As and end to my comments, it could be worth wondering whether or not it is time to counter and defeat the threat that poses Iran and its terrorist network, led by the Hizballah and other proxies and allies.—–

        Kind regards.

        Horacio Calderón

  • Comment to my point 1) It is highly unlikely that the Hariri case will NOT proceed any further than “naming /indicting” the accused persons, because some state actors are looking for punishments other than the legal one… The recent clashes in Beirut between Hizballah and a pro Syrian organisation, shows that the tensions mount and the winds of war start to blow.

  • joey

    thats prove my point thats any trouble in lebanon there is one big name behind it SYRIA so when is the lebanese people gonna wake up and smell the coffe as tony A keep saying syrian are no friends to lebanon and they do the imopossible to keep it in trouble

  • Dear Joey:

    This assessment is not written in detriment of Lebanese sovereignty,but all the contrary. As a pure analysis of what is going on in the Levant and neighbourhood, it is noteworthy to admit that Syria without Lebanon could be as weak as Russia losing control of any of its key geopolitical buffers. Moreover, remember that a “Bilād ash-Shām” (بلاد الشام ) is not only a dream but also a project that have survived for a very long time.

    —–

    Lebanon is for Syria a buffer, an urgent geopolitical imperative, but also a matter of national security and economic survival. The Lebanese territory has strategic insurmountable natural barriers, as the Eastern Lebanon Mountain Range and other mountain valleys, which Syria needs to secure the vital core of its own territory, which does not have any important natural geographical defence. As far as economic matters are concerned, other remarkable “treasures” are the Lebanese ports that Syria also needs to insert the country in the global economy. Besides, its jobless labour force could be more easily absorbed in Lebanon, alleviating the Syrian high unemployment rate, etc., etc. etc.-

    —–

    As far as Israel is concerned, this country considers Syria a predictable enemy that has respected during decades a de facto peace, while controlling the Southern Lebanese frontier and acting as a stabilising force at the same time. For that reason, Israel will probably not raise any major objections to a future and de facto Syrian patronage of Lebanon. At the present time Israel probably felt that Syria could neutralise and perhaps destroy the Hizballah military wing and therefore influence the post-war political outcome by regulating the activity of the current Iranian proxy.

    —–

    Besides, Israel is really worried regarding any change in Syria that could replicate an Iraq-like regional and domestic chaotic scenario.

    —–

    But many governments are wondering if the planned Machiavellic agreement is really worth the price if it includes a spoil of war called Lebanon. Nonetheless, all those state actors are aware that giving the patronage of Lebanon to Syria is a condition sine qua non for any deal with President Al-Assad. If it could not be so, they will have to find another way to disarm by force the Hizballah and taking this dangerous leverage off Iranian hands.

    Kind regards.

    Horacio Calderón

  • VOICE OF TRUTH

    dear horacio,

    very interesting posts and thanks for taking the time to reply to my questions.

    nevertheless i need some clarifications from you on some of the points you mentioned in your posts and i am quoting:

    “…a syrian u-turn against iran and hezballah has a political and geopolitical cost that is higher than some state global actors as the united states thought it would be: a full patronage of lebanon.”

    “…all those state actors are aware that giving the patronage of lebanon to syria is a condition sine qua non for any deal with president assad. if it could not be so, they will have to find another way to disarm by force the hezballah and taking this dangerous leverage off iranian hands.

    1- what do you mean by full patronage of lebanon? would it be similar to the post 2005 era? what kind of governing system would be applied? and what would be the extent of western powers political and or military role in such a scenario in lebanon.

    2- who and what could undermine this “planned machiavellic agreement”as you call it?

    3- do you think there might be any gentler ways to convince hezballah and all the illegal military groups lebanese and foreign to disarm peacefully and swiftly to the lebanese authorities? and could the lebanese armed forces take over the control of lebanon alone or assisted by… thus implementing the taef and the un resolutions 15559 and 1701 without waging countless wars on several fronts?

  • Dear Voice of Truth:

    Kindly find below my answer:

    1) It is difficult to accurately answer your first question, because it will depend from a post-war outcome. Why? Because Hizballah will not give nor share up peacefully its power in Lebanon. As far as Syria is concerned, it is unlikely that President Bashar Al-Assad will be willing to face such a risk as breaking its alliance with Iran and neutralising, if not destroying Hizballah, free of charge… As I said in my past posts, the price is Lebanon, but a future status for this country will have to be negotiated and agreed among Syria and key main state actors, as Israel, the United States, France, Saudi Arabia, etc. There are some reports assessing that Syria demands to reaffirm the agreements signed with Lebanon before its withdrawal in 2005. Therefore, the situation would not be similar to the post 2005 era, as you suggest, but the entire contrary. I am calculating that Syria will lay its cards on the table before its new partners and will not attack Hizballah until had reached an agreement. It is highly likely that President Assad will demand a post-war full control of Lebanon and “full control” means “full patronage” under NEW institutions, excluding all or many of the “status quo ante belli”.

    2) The main actors that could sabotage such “Machiavellic” agreement are the United States, France and the United Kingdom. But, if they do it, it will not be

    to bring justice and sovereignty to Lebanon but to meet their own agenda.

    3) Not at all. I do think that there is not any other way to disarm Hizballah than defeating by force this terrorist organisation that also is the main Iranian proxy in the Levant. As far as the Lebanese Armed Forces are concerned, they cannot disarm Hizballah by force and are also infiltrated by this organisation. Besides, it is noteworthy that in case of a domestic new inter-sectarian and/or regional war, the LAF’s multi-ethnic and multi-confessional ranks will defend their own people, rather than obeying the government. Moreover and thanks to Hizballah’s veto power, no decision can be taken without its approval, and it includes the LAF.

    Kind regards.

    Horacio Calderón

  • A sort of post scriptum for Voice of Truth.–

    A Kuwaiti newspaper — cited by AP and Strafor — reported that Hizballah and the Syrian army have initiated military cooperation to prepare for possible armed conflict with Israel. After reading my last posts, you might ask me, what it this? Well, it is a sort of deception tactics, often used by wise leaders and commanders to distract or mislead, letting a potential enemy only react to the wrong circumstances. Syria cannot show all its cards and both Iran and Hizballah know very well what is going. As far as these two last actors are concerned, they are also planning their own moves. It also is a very deadly chessgame and only God Knows what will be the future of Lebanon and the entire region…

  • Tony A

    dear mr calderon,

    i have fully read and highly respected your posts being that you have been well versed in this area for quite a while.

    my father was VP of BP in Abu Dhabi and since the age of 10, though i’m a pacifist, i’m a strong activist for the truth in regards to palestine and lebanon.

    i say the age of 10 cos the monister of OPEC, sayyed mane3 saeed al oteiba used to come to our house for lunch and we would go play bowling with him before his driver would drive me and my brothers back home and my father would stay with him.

    we have also had the ambassador to lebanon in abu dhabi come for visits and i would hear so many different things.

    many many many years ago, the british ambassador told my dad that for the war in lebanon to stop, another war must be started. well, the iraq kuwait and afghanistan wars started in that whole area but before that in 1982, a new group Hizbollah (HA) emerged in lebanon due to lack of security in the shiite areas from the LF which made the shiites fear for their existence.

    No one had actually thought of that as the palestinians were fighting in the south plus the LAF werent defending that area cos the palestinians were not legally or lawfully under lebanese army (LAF) protection but that error of judgement forced the shiites to protect themselves which gave rise to HA.

    is lebanon currently paying for this mistake of neglecting a people that at one time called itself lebanese?

    for sure.

    my remedy sir with all due respect and utmost humility to your position as i also request guidance should i be wrong of my above assessment but, i am merely making a suggestion which is positively open for debate – is to not use force with HA as its a lose lose situation for all sides.

    currently i can see that lebanon’s alliance with syria is to forge a unity that will first and foremost appease syria in knowing that israel will not be stationed at its borders.

    i also see that the amalgamation of trade and economics deals signed between the 2 countries which allows for buildings of dams, ease of goods across borders, most likely prisoner swap in the future, exchange of information and possible arms deals, will bring lebanon to a different negotiating level with HA.

    by delaying the STL which i never saw as a valid one only because of its creation in the UN, whereas i believe all international court proceedings should be held at the Hague – i can see why it was created in the UN for the sole purpose of exerting pressure on HA to disarm.

    i see gaegae’s invitation as a very good thing for HA to merge with the LF. i see this as a preliminary stage front for debates that will set up the formal duties and postions of the HA/LF marriage that will abide by the lebanese code of conduct.

    will it come easy? no! is there hope for it? yes.

    i only see hope for this marriage to occur after the STL has been settled and after HA is given immunity from prosecution cos i feel that they are the scape goats here being that neither syria nor israel can be touched being that they’re recognised governments.

    why do i say israel? well, with all the captures of spies and all the articles that have commented on the deals that the US offered syria, i humbly also point a finger to israel.

    the US had offered syria at one point when it was occupying lebanon the whole of lebanon in exchange for the dismantling of HA. upon syria’s refusal, there are reports that the US orchestrated the killing of hariri thus forcing syria to withdraw hoping to (as you said above) neutralise HA being that syria didnt cooperate.

    well how was that going to happen if not by the use of the sleeper cells you have also mentioned from the iranian sides (i believe that the term you used was secret assets) but now on the israeli side.

    so many spies caught working for israel and some inside the HA camp itself.

    a beautifully masterminded orchestrated plot that points to syria and HA leaving israel and the US in the clear. such a complex operation that needed so many logistics and planning that i only see HA as the scapegoat in this chessgame as you call it which is why its kicking and screaming knowing that it has been cornered though it agreed on the constitution of the STL but is now realising that its queen has been taken thus leaving it very vulnerable.

    this is where i humbly make my suggestion to which i saw a very positive sign for the king of saudi and the president to come to lebanon and meet here on our “turf”.

    with HA being vulnerable at this stage, you offer immunity to its leaders and its existence thus allowing it to absorb into the army knowing full well that it will still maintain its political wing and help it distance itself from iran by reassuring it through agreements and laws that it will get the recognition it deserves as a lebanese party whose people will be protected fully under the lebanese army flag as well as offering it some posts in the army that might be more of a status mainly than an actual function to the operation of the army.

    by doing this, you will safeguard lebanon’s internal security and avert a civil war. israel and the US would have gotten what they wanted cos as you said, syrian influence over lebanon will be good for israel’s security and hopegully then, if israel strikes iran, HA would have been dismantled by then and its a win win situation for all sides excpet for now we enter a new sage of the iranian sleeper cells which is a totally different topic.

    thank you for your patience and kind attention to my post as i humbly allow for your wisdom to partake in my suggestion.

  • Dear Tony:

    Thank you very much for your message and I of course share your feelings regarding the peace. But remember that I am an analyst who is trying to assess the current Lebanese lamdscape and its probable future scenarios, including the worst-case ones. As far as Iran and Hizballah are concerned, they launched two terrorist attacks in Buenos Aires, killing dozens and wounding hundreds. Therefore, I hope that my country will have a chance to bring the before a Tribunal. If it could not be so, I shall celebrate if someone does our job…

    Kind regards.

    Horacio

    • Cathy

      Horacio, with all due respect, I hope that whoever perpetrated the buenos aires bombing will be brought to justice be it Hizballah or Iran or anyone else.

      However, there was absolutley no proof against HA. As a matter of fact, many failed and improper investigations have been led and even your own president called it a disgrace.

      they accused this lebanese of being the suicide bomber and said that there was a plaque honoring him in the south with the same date as the bombing. it turned out this guy died during battle in the south many years later.

      then there was the local connections. then there was the whole iran thing because they claimed that iran was pissed that Argentina suspended delivery of a contract for nuclear weapons. but that was proven false to since the contract was still on and never stopped.

      so you cannot just claim that HA and Iran were behind for sure just like I cant claim the contrary either.

      Let’s hope that the real killers, whomever they may be, be arrested and brought to trial.

    • Tony A

      dear mr calderon,

      thank you for your prompt response as i am saddened to hear about these events that i have no knowledge of.

      i am always eager to find the culprits of any crime as this planet has enough criminals that we dont anymore.

      the cloak and dagger plots in the political arena are so intricate that one needs to be well versed in the motive and benefits studies to pinpoint the culprits.

      i am sincerely saddened by any events that target innocent people as they are always the ones caught in the middle of the politics between elitists.

      may you find the culprits whomever they may be.

  • Cathy

    “In March 2009, a former investigator in the case, Claudio Lifschitz, claimed he was abducted and tortured by men who told him not to investigate SIDE’s involvement in the case.[33]”

    CNN. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/03/09/argentina.probe/. Retrieved April 20, 2010.

  • I am aware that Claudio Lifschitz -a former Secretary of the first AMIA case’s court- denounced his abduction by alleged SIDE’s(“SI” at the present time)agents. Notwithstanding, this last case was related to obstruction (as an alleged part of a cover up to hide a Syrian link in the AMIA attack)and does not change anything regarding the involvement of both Iran and Hizballah in such atrocities.

  • braba

    Syria lost your best card to play whit Israel:
    Guet Golan and guive a peace whit Lebanon to Israel.
    Now hezbuulla is the power whit Iran also.
    Them never will let Lebanon make peace whit Israel.
    Syria is the big lozer.
    Forguet Golan forever.

  • braba

    Syria lost your best card to play whit Israel:
    Guet Golan and guive a peace whit Lebanon to Israel.
    Now hezbuulla is the power whit Iran also.
    Them never will let Lebanon make peace whit Israel.
    Syria is the big lozer.
    Forguet Golan forever.

  • Anonymous

    Syria lost your best card to play whit Israel:
    Guet Golan and guive a peace whit Lebanon to Israel.
    Now hezbuulla is the power whit Iran also.
    Them never will let Lebanon make peace whit Israel.
    Syria is the big lozer.
    Forguet Golan forever.