Tough times ahead

Following my previous post a friend volunteered to alert me to two interesting points and one sickeningly disturbing point.

The first point is that that Hasan Sabe’ resigned in February. (I am not sure that Sabe’s resignation is effective, as it has not been accepted.)

The second point is an article in the constitution which necessitates that all sects be represented in the government, so Lahoud seems right when he says the government has no constitutional integrity at this point. (I think this can be easily remedied by appointing some other Shia ministers)

The third point is that the number of ministers in the government could also be decreased by assassination. I decided, after much consideration and with some reserve, to look at this very disturbing point.

While a strong point to make and be very cautious of, it is unlikely, in my opinion, that a minister will be targeted. I personally do not think that Hezbollah, as some may think, would resort to it.

I also think that whoever carried out those assassinations and various acts of terror of the last months will now target a very high-profile Sunni cleric, Mount Lebanon Mofti Jouzou. Whether it is the saboteurs of the Syrian regime or the schism-in-Islamic-sects creators of Mossad/CIA, this man seems to be the most logical next target. The word in the street is that he is in grave danger.

I say this because he has repeatedly attacked Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and others with vigor unprecedented of a cleric, and this has created even more sectarian tension that will probably explode if he is attacked. This sectarian significance is the main reason I do not rule out the second option, i.e. that he will be targeted by someone aiming to ignite a sectarian strife. The violence that may ensue will probably be small-scale if compared to the possible outcomes of assassinating a figure like Jumblat, Nasrallah, or Saad Hariri, but another factor here is that Jouzo’s security precautions are, most probably, virtually non-existent, and he is currently very outspoken.

To make this clear, I personally liken this period to the period just before the late Gebran Tweini was assassinated. A few weeks before the assassination, Housam Housam said that Tweini had asked him for the names of bodyguards of Hasan Nasrallah. Bashar Assad had also given a speech where he attacked “some Lebanese media outlets acting as agents for the enemies”. That also seemed like an admittance of responsibility for the attempt on May Chidiac’s life. I remember having a discussion after Gebran’s assassination with a good friend, himself a journalist and a blogger, saying that he should not have come back and he was not supposed to return then, while his life was in danger. I still am shocked by that return.

Back then, I shared my analysis on Gebran's possible targetting with an old friend, and now I think it can be made public as a good insight into the current situation.

Obviously, I sincerely wish that this does not happen. I also hope that things will go well in Lebanon and a peaceful transition of power, especially the Presidency, takes place in the near-to-medium future. On the other hand, I do not allow my hopes to block any discussion of the situation at hand, in an attempt to shed some light on it. God help Lebanon in the tough times ahead.


At Monday, November 13, 2006 3:51:00 AM, Blogger hillz said...

ya hassan, jombla6's latest declaration was the following:
"وإني أقرأ في عيونهم عندما يتحدثون أنهم يعترفون بضلوعهم في الجريمة"

Sectarian tension is already found and is reaching an explosive limit, especially between the shitte and the sunni.
if this scenario is implemented (hopefully not), then HA will be accused, sunni/shitte conflict will explode, march 14 will retrieve the "explosive cars out of da7yeh" famous "unrevealed/imaginary" information, and pushes again for disarming HA. Morover HA will lose alot.
march 14 talks these days about assasinations and explosions and fights in street. no they don't talk. They assure that (geagea and jombla6).
yeh, they know everything before, (soub7ano Allah) and HA will do it all for sure according to them..
but talking about a third party involvement makes us yucky ya hassan and ancient arabs that believes only in conspiracy theories.. ;)
one fact remains. after each assasination, march 14 is pushed again to the front (Although weaker).

At Monday, November 13, 2006 4:52:00 AM, Blogger Hassan said...


I made an argument a long time ago that some of these explosions are too convenient (especially in timing) for March 14 to be done by the Syrians. Many people still have not forgiven me for that. I understand their outrage, but I owe it to them not to humor that outrage.

So, I stress that point, and add that these explosions often happen when Jomblat, Geagea, and now Condi Rice tell us they expect acts of terror. It is much like when Bin Laden appeared just before the American Presidential elections and this swayed the voters towards Bush again.

And oh yes, I believe in the necessity of conspiracy theories. Side note: Must read poem (http://www.selvesandothers.org/article9763.html)

I do not think it is a bad thing. I always quote the Lavon Affair (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavon_Affair) just to ask people to give the conspiracy theory the benefit of the doubt. Conspiracy theorist is what you would have called me had I said in 1954 that the attacks on the British were a covert operation by the Israelis to reverse the British decision to withdraw from the Suez Canal.

At Monday, November 13, 2006 4:55:00 AM, Blogger Charles Malik said...

Which assassins were too convenient for 14 March?

It definitely wasn't Tueni, Chidiac, Hawi, or Kassir.

Perhaps you're referring to Elias el Murr?

At Monday, November 13, 2006 5:11:00 AM, Blogger Hassan said...

In terms of timing or effect, many of the explosions were actually convenient. May's was just before the government would decide whether or not to ask for the extension of scope of the international investigation to include all explosions. Gebran's took place on the very morning of the cabinet meeting to discuss the international tribunal. At such times, any discussion, requests for changes, or objections are illustrated as complicity in the act.

Also some of the recent attacks were used by politicians to further push certain agendas. Of course, the other side of the coin is that they can use anything to push their agendas, so any day is a convenient day. I still remember when Weam Wahhab's bodyguards killed a young man in Jehlieh after a fight and Akram Shehayeb went on TV to say that Iran was behind the incident.

At Monday, November 13, 2006 4:21:00 PM, Blogger carine said...

hassan -- the other-other side of the "convenient timing" coin is that the attacks could have been miscalculated intimidation tactics, designed to stall the very projects they ultimately catalyzed.

right after february 14 2005, so many people argued that it couldn't be the syrians, because there's no way they'd be that stupid.

if it was the syrians who killed hariri, and thus they ARE that stupid, so to speak, there's no reason why they might not be stupid again and again. regimes in this bit of the world aren't exactly famous for their flexibility or openness to change, and murder has an impressive track record.

At Monday, November 13, 2006 6:13:00 PM, Blogger Hassan said...

Carine, I agree that some in the Syrian regime are that stupid, and that is why I mention the Syrian "preparing the atmosphere". Still, this does not negate my point.

I am saying that this is too much of a coincidence. There are too many forces on the ground that we are overlooking, and which have an interest in strengthening the anti-Syrian stand.

Anyway, it is a way of thinking. One either allows for all the options and waits for a credible truth or one doesn't. I'll just play the devil's advocate till we have something more tangible.

At Monday, November 13, 2006 7:15:00 PM, Blogger Rhiannon said...

israel and the USA had a lot to gain in Hariri's death. I don't think Syria was involved at all.

At Thursday, November 16, 2006 3:54:00 AM, Blogger R said...

Let me pose a couple of questions:

-Assuming that some of the assassinations were "convenient" to March 14, does that mean that they comitted them or were complicit? For example, did jumblatt know about the attempt on Hmede's life? Did Saad know about his father's assassination before hand? and so on...

-On the other hand, if indeed western powers were involved in the assassinations, what do they have to gain, by weakening their 'allies'? Also how do they strengthen the anti-Syrian hand by killing the anti-Syrian leadership. I am just wondering here.
Feel free to enlighten me.

At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 12:04:00 AM, Blogger lebanese_student said...

You were eerily right about the assassinations...after gemayel one more and the government is rendered disbanded.


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