Impressions, views, and steam-blowing by a lonesome cowboy.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Fun with Bashar Assad, Baby Doc

Excerpts from the latest interview with Syrian president Baby Eye-Doc Bashar Assad. As usual with my "fun" pieces, my comments/additions are bracketed. (From Naharnet, full story here)

[Title: Assad] Says Lebanon Faces Civil Strife, Thumbs his Nose at U.S.

Lebanon's legacy of political turmoil offers fertile ground for a new bout of "Iraq-style sectarian schisms," Syrian President Bashar Assad said in a defiant interview that blamed Israel for Rafik Hariri's assassination.

[But Mr. President, you make "sectarian schisms" sound like a bad thing. Didn't your father use those tensions and schisms to enter Lebanon and rule it, his greatest achievement?

Don't you use similar tensions today in Iraq? Helping and supporting terrorists blow up 50-60 Iraqi Shias a day should be another winner for your regime, if not with the Iraqi people at least with the confused Al-Jazeerah viewers. That would be those wired sophisticates in the Arab world who think that Israel killed Hariri.

But forgive me, for a second, I forgot that you too are a sophisticated "wired" guy. After all, we heard that you did have a dial-up internet connection those 6 months you were being "western educated" in London.]
"Lebanon's history of instability dates back to hundreds of years, and this is being exploited now to push it into sectarian strife similar to what is happening now in Iraq," Assad was quoted as saying.

[Yep, see above for a reminder of who took advantage of sectarian strife in both Lebanon and Iraq]

According to Assad, there are no "legal bases" for questioning him or his foreign minister, Farouk al-Shareh. The international investigators should, instead, look towards Israel, "the prime beneficiary" from Hariri's murder.

[On Israel's assassination of Hariri, let me says this: it is good that you finally left Lebanon.

With all the sacrifices you made for Lebanon, it wasn't working. I mean your army could not stop the 1982 Israeli invasion. And with one Moukhabarate agent per Lebanese family for some 30 years, the darn Israelis still managed to kill Hariri. So thanks for your efforts, but I think it was time Lebanon tried something else.

What remains a bit of a mystery to me is "why are the Israelis only killing people who wanted the Syrian army out of Lebanon?" Does that mean that Israel wanted Syria to stay in Lebanon? I am confused.

It is also very interesting that Hariri, Tueni, Kassir, Chidiac were at the top of Israel's "to-kill" list. Does it mean that these people were more dangerous to Israel's security than, say, your friends Nasrallah, Jibreel, Kanso, Qandil?
Lest the latter feel "dissed", I am sure you guys are on the list, just more toward your natural place, at the bottom.

But anyway, I hear you Bro President, Israel is responsible for all the bad things in this world, and that includes my recent haircut.]

"There are also Lebanese sides who could have perpetrated the attack," he [Assad] said, without explaining how Syria's military, which was in firm control of Lebanon at the time, could have missed the planning of a bombing that involved sophisticated jamming and surveillance and up to 1,000 kilogram of explosives.

[I agree with you there, Baby Doc. However, the chance of a Lebanese side doing this without your orders and knowledge is one-in-a-gazillion. But like I said before, you tried to stop the murder, you could not, thanks for trying, goodbye.]
Asked about reports that Hariri had recorded the Aug. 26 acrimonious meeting, Assad said: "Where is that recording? Why hasn't it been made public?"

[I can't tell you the where and the why. But I do know this Mr. President: if there is a recording and when it becomes public, you or Buthaina Chaaban already have a statement ready to go.

Your communique will say that Israel must have doctored the recording and that it is not your voice. Some of your tricks are getting very, very, very old, except of course for the al-Jazeerah fools, some of which are my good friends.]

Khaddam, according to Assad, was "an implementing tool in a conspiracy to bring (Syria) to its knees, extract great concessions and block many of our national and regional plans."

[Khaddam is a "tool" IMO, but I don't think that is what you meant. Anyway, it is very unfortunate for Lebanon that Khaddam's master plan involved screwing Lebanon for 30 years, as step-one (for cover?), before getting to his real purpose which had been, all the while, to screw Syria. As to your national and regional plans, what may those be? Better yet, is there a DOMESTIC plan for Syria?]

The former vice-president [Khaddam], now in self-exile in France, served alongside the late Hafez Assad for nearly four decades. But for the current president, who succeeded his father in 2000, Khaddam "has no credibility among the Syrians."

[If you say so Mr. President. On a personal note, for me, the loathsome Khaddam has now more credibility than Farouk el Shareh. Granted that is not saying much.]

"He [Khaddam] is involved in a conspiracy to drive a wedge between the Syrians and their rulers long before he stepped into the public limelight … The persons are not important, what is important is the plot," he said.

[And anyone disagreeing with you, or not related to the Assad family, is automatically an accomplice in this vast plot.]

Assad, whose challenge to the international community since September 2004 has isolated his regime, admitted that Egypt was campaigning on Syria's behalf in the international arena.

[Thanks Hosni. Now please go back to screwing the Egyptian people. We, in Lebanon, have more than our share of people trying to screw us, starting with our very own president and our speaker of parliament.]

"It is a relationship built on the deeply rooted bonds between President Hosni Mubarak and the late Hafez Assad," said the young president.

[It's all in the family. Long live Arab monarchism socialism and God help you if your last name is not Mubarak or Assad. Or much worse, if you are Lebanese, Amr Mussa may come to your help.]

He [Assad] said he often would not see eye-to-eye with Mubarak, "but we discuss these differences with utmost honesty."

[Yeah, when I think of Arab rulers, more specifically you Baby Doc or Mr. Mubarak, the first thing that comes to my mind is "utmost honesty". And then, my eyes tear up with emotion. I am just a sentimental guy.]

He [Assad] described the American intervention in Iraq as a "quagmire," and said his country stood ready to dispatch troops to eastern neighbors "if the Iraqis asked us to."

[Phew!! At least you did not say "western neighbor". I am sure you could easily find a couple of Iraqi Kanso-Qandil-Frangieh hyenas who will gladly ask you in, and sing your favorite lullaby: "bil dam, bil rouh...".

But if the Iraqi people have not learned about Baathism from their own 30-years experience, and from Lebanon's 30-years experience with your regime, then all I can say is that they will deserve your embrace and the goodies which come with it.

And that goes triple for the Lebanese, if they let you, or your influence, back in their country.]


  • At 1/7/06, 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You don't seem to get it.What baby doc
    means is that Jamil Sayyed,Mustapha
    Hamdan,Rustom Ghazaleh,Assef Chawkat,
    Maher Assad and himself work for the
    I would not be surprised to learn
    that Hassan Nasrallah operates with
    the Israelis' blessings.
    Time will tell.

  • At 1/8/06, 12:23 PM, Anonymous ghassan said…

    Josey, I don't know what is your line of work in the "real" world but if these kind of questions were anywhere intuitive and sponyaneous then you should consider investigative journalism as a career. A job well done.

  • At 1/8/06, 1:07 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Thanks Ghassan,

    BTW are you the same person as new blog id GhassanK?

  • At 1/8/06, 1:44 PM, Anonymous ghassan said…

    Josey, once last week I did sign an entry on the Blog of Kais ghassanK only because I had already posted a comment earlier that day and I did not want to look as if I was monopolising the open access privilege:-)
    (I would not have signed as ghassanK had I known that somebody else uses that signature)

  • At 1/8/06, 6:39 PM, Blogger Yazan said…


  • At 1/10/06, 8:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Syrian President Bashar Assad said in a defiant interview that blamed Israel for Rafik Hariri's assassination."

    Assad knows what he's talking about. After all, he's fueling a civil war himself.

  • At 1/12/06, 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Paris devient la citadelle des ennemis du régime syrien

    FRANCE. Pour échapper aux bombes, les opposants à Damas se sont réfugiés dans des résidences surprotégées.

    Sylvain Besson, Paris
    Jeudi 12 janvier 2006

    Une haute porte cochère s'entrouvre pour laisser passer une limousine noire. Sur le trottoir, un garde muni d'une oreillette scrute les alentours d'un œil vigilant. Derrière les colonnes du hall d'entrée, on aperçoit d'immenses portraits de Rafic Hariri, l'ancien premier ministre libanais assassiné le 14 février 2005 à Beyrouth. Bienvenue à la villa Eiffel, somptueuse demeure parisienne où le fils de Rafic Hariri, Saad, s'est réfugié pour échapper aux attentats qui ensanglantent le Liban depuis des mois.

    Il est loin d'être le seul dans ce cas. Marwan Hamadé, ministre druze des Télécommunications et l'un des principaux adversaires de l'influence syrienne au Liban, réside presque à temps complet au Plaza Athénée, un hôtel de luxe situé dans une rue huppée de la capitale française. Le 1er octobre 2004, à Beyrouth, il avait été grièvement blessé dans un attentat à la voiture piégée, imputé comme les suivants à la Syrie ou à ses alliés libanais. Depuis, Marwan Hamadé observe la plus grande discrétion sur ses déplacements. «On ne sait jamais exactement où il est», expliquent des sources bien introduites dans les milieux libanais anti-syriens.

    Le membre le plus en vue de la communauté des opposants au régime de Damas réfugiés à Paris est désormais l'ancien vice-président syrien, Abdel Halim Khaddam. Depuis sa résidence à deux pas de la très chic avenue Foch, il multiplie les déclarations incendiaires contre Bachar el-Assad, le chef d'Etat syrien: «[C'est] un impulsif, un nerveux et un grand peureux», affirmait-il au début de la semaine dans un entretien au Monde.

    Pas de sécurité absolue

    Abdel Halim Khaddam se dit persuadé que son pays est bien responsable de l'assassinat de Rafic Hariri. C'est sans doute pour cela que de nombreux policiers en civil et en uniforme gardent les abords de son hôtel particulier: impossible d'en approcher sans autorisation officielle. Pourtant, la France affirme que l'ancien vice-président syrien séjourne sur son territoire à titre purement privé. «Nous n'avons pas de dialogue avec M. Khaddam, précisait il y a quelques jours le Ministère français des affaires étrangères, ce qui ne nous empêche pas de prendre en compte certaines réalités pour ce qui est des menaces qui pourraient peser sur lui.»
    Un policier ajoute que l'imposant dispositif déployé autour d'Abdel Halim Khaddam ne garantit pas sa sécurité à 100%: «On peut toujours éliminer quelqu'un si on le veut vraiment. Mais le faire ici signifierait qu'on attaque directement le gouvernement français. En revanche, ceux qui veulent rentrer dans leur pays le font à leurs risques et périls.» C'est ce que démontre le cas du journaliste libanais Gebrane Tuéni, assassiné le 12 décembre dernier à Beyrouth dans un attentat à la voiture piégée alors qu'il revenait justement de Paris.

    L'exode massif des opposants à la Syrie désole Chibli Mallat, un politicien libanais qui a choisi de rester à Beyrouth «par courage ou par inconscience»: «En principe, le Liban est un pays libre. Mais il y a ce phénomène extraordinaire où la moitié de nos politiciens sont à Paris. Ceux qui sont encore là se sont terrés dans des endroits sûrs, comme Walid Joumblatt ou Michel Aoun. C'est une décapitation effective de l'opposition qui a un effet démoralisant dans la population, d'autant qu'il y aura sans doute d'autres attentats.»

    Le juge Mehlis remplacé

    Les Libanais hostiles à l'influence syrienne en sont réduits à espérer que la commission d'enquête nommée par l'ONU pourra démasquer les assassins de Rafic Hariri et, par ricochet, les responsables des autres meurtres. Le 6 janvier, son président, le juge allemand Detlev Mehlis, a recueilli le témoignage de l'ancien numéro 2 syrien à Paris.

    L'ONU a annoncé mercredi le remplacement de Detlev Mehlis, qui démissionne pour raisons personnelles, par un magistrat belge, Serge Brammertz, procureur adjoint de la Cour pénale internationale. Ce dernier aurait demandé des garanties concernant sa sécurité avant de reprendre cette enquête à hauts risques.


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