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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Reshuffling in the Middle East: destroying the Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Beirut railway

Gibran Tueni is dead (Allah Yer7amo). I was never a fan of the guy, and I don’t see what the big deal is about his guts. When he received information from the American and French intelligence services present IN LEBANON about threat to his life, he fled to Paris, and then he was told by the same intelligence services to return. Could it be that Mr. Tueni was merely a tool in the hands of the intelligence services of the Americans and French? After all, if the Syrians had wanted to kill him, they had quite a lot of time to do so, when the spotlight was not on them as it is now. Moreover, if the Syrians were so deep in the hole that they are to be held responsible for his assassination, could they not have massacred his family to hurt him? And then of course we have people accusing HezbAllah & Amal of staging fake attacks (the one on Sheikh Yazbek) to get sympathy and cover up on the assassination that was to take place. These people forget to mention that using this logic, we can argue that Walid Jumblatt was the one who placed the 4 rockets (3 American, 1 Russian) on the main Chouf road, with the same purpose in mind. HezbAllah & Amal of course condemned the assassination of Tueni, but it seems to me that no matter what they say or do, they will always be accused. It appears that the Sunni za’imship is determined to isolate the Shi’ites of Lebanon and topple the Alawite regime in Syria, and replace it with a Sunni regime, to make up for the loss of Sunni hegemony in Iraq. It is highly possible that the assassination of Hariri was planned and executed by the Americans so as to bring about these changes, with the hope of dealing with the Sunni insurgency in Iraq. Could it be that Tueni’s timely murder was an American reminder to the international community that there should be sanctions against Syria? In fact the Sheikh Yazbek assassination attempt and today’s explosion in Nabatiye could be interpreted as an American message to HezbAllah and Amal that the changes planned will take place no matter what, and the best they can do is remain quiet. This of course was met by HezbAllah & Amal ministers by a refusal to be subdued, as seen in their withdrawal from the Cabinet meeting yesterday. I think it would be foolish to dismiss the quagmire in Iraq as a possible source of change in Lebanon. It’s also interesting to see how Basshar al Assad will react to the expected changes in the region. I think that if the situation goes on long enough there is a big chance that his regime will survive, because the Americans can’t stay in Iraq forever and Iran (maybe) has the ability to go nuclear, which would draw a Shi’ite line all the way from Tehran to Beirut (which would be interesting, because it can also lead to the desire to continue the line all the way to Shi'ite Baku, passing through Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh). Saddam was getting a bit out of control, so America replaces him with a regime shared between long-oppressed Shi’ites and Kurds, and in return topple the Assad regime of Syria and give the Sunnis there and in Lebanon something to be happy about. The complete disregard of the Sunnis on the political scene in post-Saddam Iraq is the equivalent of the planned disregard of the Shi’ites and Alawites in post-Assad Syria and the Shi’ites in post-Feb.14 Lebanon. But keep in mind that Lebanon is a unique case since the Shi’ites there are the biggest sect, whereas the Shi’ites in Syria and the Sunnis in Iraq are not. Of course, any such lines, whether Shi'ite or Sunni is perceived as a threat by both USA and "Israel", which is why we can see the two opt for reshuffling the cards and dealing a different hand to soothe the growing resentment towards the West that the current oppressive system has given rise to.


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