Arab affairs

Editorial: The affiliated Europe and the Arab developments

The events currently unfolding in the Arab countries and the European positions towards them reveal that the Western political and strategic mentality is still governed by a colonial logic which is controlled by the executive priorities and plans drawn up by the American Empire. Indeed, the European role seems to be blindly following the decision-making center in Washington, while the American higher policies are renewing their tight commitment to Israel and to hegemony over the Arab oil, i.e. the two pillars of the Western colonial project in the Arab region since the beginning of last century.
The Israeli factor is the decisive element in the Western and European inclination in particular, at a time when the Americans are sensing the signs of a new conservative right-wing power in the Arab countries: The international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood. They thus want the Syrian command to engage in dialogue with the latter organization and to allow it to participate in the authority in the hope that it would contain the stringency featured in the Syrian position towards Israel, the files of the Arab-Israeli conflict and especially the resistance movements, in order to facilitate the negotiations which Obama’s administration intends to launch before the pullout from Iraq. In the meantime, the European governments seem to have lost all credibility at the level of the Syrian issue, considering they are acting as tools in the hands of the Americans while completely disregarding the fact that what is happening in Syria is not a popular revolution, rather scattered demonstrations which are staged by an obvious minority in the ranks of the Syrian people and are led by political movements that are embraced by the West. The most important among the latter is the Muslim Brotherhood group which is used as a cover by the armed Takfiri groups. Consequently, the Syrian authorities that are determined to proceed with reform to serve the Syrian people and achieve Syrian national interest, are engaged in a battle to defend the control of the national centralized state against the project of terrorism and secession, but also against the takifirs who placed their signatures on the corpses of the soldiers and the officers they mutilated after their kidnapping and liquidation.

Editorial: Marginal extensions behind the Takfiris and the agents of the West
Some liberal and left wing groups and personalities in Syria are participating in the actions staged against the authority, while trying to give the impression that the ongoing actions carry their own print. In the meantime, some veteran left wing figures from outside of Syria are calling – based on the aforementioned - for the adoption of positions supporting these actions. The nature of the forces composing the so-called Syrian opposition prompts the conclusion that what is happening cannot be perceived without taking into consideration the crucial political role of the Muslim Brotherhood organization, which is supported by the United States, Europe, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in order to undermine the resisting Syrian national and patriotic positions.
These liberals and left-wingers know very well that following the weakening of the existing Syrian state, this front’s next goal will be to get rid of and eliminate the left wing and liberal groups, unless the direct outcome of the weakening of the centralized state is a civil war that would last years if not decades and that will consequently eliminate the dreams of reform of the people as it happened with the Lebanese dream of change in the seventies. Indeed, the latter dream has been broken and absent for over thirty years, because the Lebanese left wing got lost in the lap of a traditional command that wanted to exploit its popular momentum to serve its status within the sectarian regime, knowing there is no room for any comparison between the popular weight of the Syrian opposition groups and the Lebanese left wing before the war. This is due to the fact that all the components of the Syrian opposition failed to gather 50 thousand demonstrators from all the Syrian regions on any given Friday, while millions abstained from taking to the streets, especially following the speeches of strife coming from abroad and the horrific killings which targeted officers and soldiers. These millions are supporting President Al-Assad, the centralized state and the national principles.

The Arab file

• Syrian President Bashar al-Assad received a delegation including prominent economic figures from Damascus, and another including 32 dignitaries from Deir ez-Zor to listen to their demands and opinions in regard to the current situation in the country and its future.
Al-Hayat daily reported in this context that the Syrian president received 35 sheikhs and figures from the Deir ez-Zor governorate, as part of the meetings he is holding with the local representatives of the different Syrian areas. It quoted Sheikh Khalil Abboud al-Jadaan, who took part in the meeting, as saying that the participants reiterated their loyalty to President Assad and to the reforms he is conducting in the country. The sheikh also added: “We have presented the demands of the inhabitants of the eastern areas in regard to agricultural, water, developmental and services issues. The president was very understanding and promised to meet them all.”
Al-Hayat continued that hundreds of Syrian citizens gathered in front of the American embassy in Damascus to protest against the American interference in Syrian affairs.
• The Syrian television aired confessions by the members of an extremist terrorist group which carried out killings and terrorization targeting the citizens of the city of Daraa.
• The Syrian Network for Human Rights welcomed the issuance of the two legislative decrees to annul the state of emergency and the state security court and the law to organize the right to stage peaceful demonstrations. On the other hand, the network condemned the criminal acts and the violence carried out by gangs that are killing and mutilating the corpses with cold blood, saying that they constituted the most serious violation of human rights and went against all the divine and human laws and against the international agreements.
• In the meantime, the Syrian army started exiting the city of Daraa on Thursday, after it had entered it on April 25 in response to the calls of the citizens that sought its help to get rid of the terrorist groups.
• The Syrian Interior Ministry announced the release of 361 people among those who surrendered themselves to the authorities and were dubbed “the implicated in the riots.” The Interior Ministry stated that they were released after they pledged not to repeat any acts that would undermine security, calling once again for the non-staging of any marches, demonstrations or sit-ins under whichever headline before getting an official authorization.
• On the internal level, the European Union approved a decision to impose sanctions on 14 Syrian officials due to their role in the violence, without however mentioning the name of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad among them.
• On Friday, citizens took to the streets in a number of provinces and cities and then scattered shortly after. In the meantime, armed groups attacked and clashed with an army force in Homs, thus causing the fall of ten martyrs from the army and the killing of a number of elements from the terrorist groups.

• American President Barack Obama surprised the world by announcing the killing of the number one terrorist enemy, the leader of Al-Qaeda organization Osama Bin Laden, in a commandos operation staged in the town of Abbottabad near Islamabad. He said – a few months before the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks- “America has met its commitment to achieve justice and the world has now become a safer place.” Many capitals around the world welcomed Washington’s announcement of the death of the leader of Al-Qaeda, while some expressed fears towards possible retaliatory attacks.
• For its part, the Al-Qaeda organization pledged to avenge the death of its leader, warning the United States against touching the corpse of Ben Laden or that of any of those who were killed with him in the American operation and urging it to surrender these corpses to their families.

• Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh refused to sign a settlement agreement which was previously proposed by the Gulf Cooperation Council to exit the crisis. In the meantime, the anti-regime demonstrations continued in Sana’a to demand the president’s departure, while the opposition parties warned Saleh against using “the war on Al-Qaeda” as a cover to kill those opposing his regime.
• On Friday, the Yemeni president warned against the arrival to power of his oppositionists whom he described as being “outlaws”, at a time when hundreds of thousands of Yemenis demonstrated in Sana’a and other cities to demand the toppling of the regime and Saleh’s departure.

• The Libyan regular forces intensified their attacks on Misratah and other cities, in parallel to raids launched by NATO against several locations affiliated with Gaddafi.
• During its meeting in Rome, the international contact group on Libya ratified the establishment of a fund dubbed “Temporary Financial Mechanism” to help the Libyan transitory council. It also decided to hold its next meeting in the United Arab Emirates.
• American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the American administration decided to ratify a law allowing the United States to use part of the money of Muammar Gaddafi and the Libyan government in the US in order to help the Libyan people. These sums are estimated at 30 billion dollars.
• It is widely believed in Benghazi that Gaddafi had so far been able to confront NATO, thus prompting efforts deployed by some parties inside the Western alliance to put an end to the military operations against Gaddafi’s regime. At this level, NATO had said that its operations so far had only succeeded in destroying 40% of Gaddafi’s forces, which practically meant that it would require many months to eliminate them all. Consequently, political dialogue might replace the military option as signals have been sent by European states - namely Italy - regarding the discontinuation of the air bombardment within the next couple of weeks and the launching of negotiations with the regime.

• The Bahraini authorities arrested two former deputies from Al-Wefaq association which represents the main Shiite movement in the kingdom in the context of their campaign which has been ongoing against the oppositionists ever since they suppressed the protests in March.
• For his part, American President Barack Obama called on Bahraini Monarch king Hamad Ben Issa al-Khalifa to respect “the international rights of the people.”

• The Palestinian factions signed an agreement in Cairo to end the four years of division. Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Meshaal assured in a celebration staged in Cairo their determination to turn “the dark pages of the divisions” and overcome any obstacles hindering the actual implementation of the agreement which was considered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as being “a strong blow to peace.”
• It is worth mentioning at this level that the signing of this reconciliation agreement between the two biggest Palestinian movements, Fatah and Hamas, would not have been possible had it not been for the Egyptian revolution which toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak and introduced a new authority enjoying a new vision and a new approach. This was confirmed by Khaled Meshaal in a televised interview in which he said that the revolution of the Egyptian people pushed this reconciliation forward.

The Israeli file

• The Israeli papers issued last week talked about the reconciliation agreement which ended the dispute between Fatah and Hamas. The papers thus pointed to the different Israeli reactions toward the Palestinian reconciliation signed by the Palestinian factions and announced in Cairo on Wednesday. And at a time when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked the agreement and considered it to be a blow against peace, a document by the Israeli Foreign Ministry called for another approach in dealing with the reconciliation, and head of Israeli General Security – the Shabak - Yuval Diskin, believed it was unlikely to stand during the implementation phase.

• In the meantime, Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, called on the European Union to discontinue all the aid to the Palestinian authority if Hamas does not recognize Israel and reject violence.

Haaretz spoke about a secret report drawn up by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, saying that the Palestinian reconciliation agreement constituted a positive opportunity for Israel.

The Lebanese affairs

Editorial: Wikileaks and the futilities of the Lebanese leaders
The documents carried by the Wikileaks website and featuring the conversations of the Lebanese leaders with figures from the American embassy in Beirut, would summon – in any country that respects itself - the political elimination of many among those who work in public affairs by trying them in court on charges of treason and forcing them to urgently resign from the post they occupy, whether they are presidential, parliamentary or ministerial posts. More importantly, they should prompt those who are loyal to them to redo their calculations, disown them, and refuse to succumb to the idea that so-and-so are references to which they owe their loyalty and obedience at the level of any given affair. There is no doubt on the other hand, that the Wikileaks documents proved there are honorable people among those who argued with the Americans with their clear and blunt positions, thus revealing that their statements in the backstage were the same as the ones they issued in public, especially in regard to the relationship with Hezbollah and the position toward the resistance option.
What President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati said came as a surprise to some and was morally shameful. They thus revealed a logic in humoring the hideous American and conspiring against a partner in the country and especially the resistance, knowing that the statements in which the two leaders denied what was attributed to them did not convince us at all.
Humoring the Americans by slandering the most honorable force in Lebanon and the noblest phenomenon in Arab history based on the illusion that the American consent paves the way before important positions is a shameful moral decadence. Therefore, the least that could be expected from the president of the republic and the prime minister-designate would be a public apology to the resistance and the Lebanese public opinion, had we been living in a country in which morals prevail over politics.
In the meantime, the statements of some politicians such as Minister Elias al-Murr against President Suleiman stand as proof for decadence, opportunism and deceit. Defense Minister Murr, who has stabbed his former father-in-law President Emile Lahoud in the back, has now stabbed General Michel Suleiman before the American diplomats, although he spent his days and nights praising General Suleiman and saying that he was the most eager to see him becoming president. He earned the prize for that through his nomination by General Suleiman as minister in the two governments that were formed following the Doha accords.

The Lebanese file

The Wikileaks documents
• Al-Hariri: we need helicopters to defeat Hezbollah
• Samir Geagea: Syria must be subjected to a new international resolution.
• Jumblatt: I will prepare the fighters for the second round of the battle with Hezbollah.
• Gemayel: March 14 ready to undertake any step to defeat Hezbollah.

• Head of the National Struggle Front Deputy Walid Jumblatt believed that the demands of some parties at the level of the government formation had become futile and could consecrate the lethal stalemate in the country in parallel to the increase of the political, financial, economic and social challenges that “require a reference that is unfortunately still missing.”

• Head of the Change and Reform bloc General Michel Aoun indicated that the non-formation of the government was due to external reasons.

• Speaker Nabih Berri said to As-Safir newspaper he was upset about the situation reached by the government formation process, assuring he was extremely disgusted by this situation. He indicated that he used all the possible recipes to help deal with the problems at hand, adding: “There is nothing I did not do, and I have presented all possible suggestions. Unfortunately, stalemate continued due to mutual spite.”

• For his part, Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati talked before a delegation including the directors of Arab and foreign news agencies about the efforts deployed to “carry out all possible contacts so that the government is harmonious.” He assured that these contacts were ongoing and that “a solution must be reached and the right decision must eventually be adopted because we are all on the same boat and any hole in it will drown us all.” Then he announced there were many demands presented by the blocs and the sides that supported his designation and that he was handling them with the president of the republic “in what goes in line with our vision for the next government and its role based on the stipulation of the constitution.”

• In the meantime, the economic committees warned against the deterioration of the economic situation in the country due to the governmental crisis, thus forming a follow-up committee to contact the political leaders and threatening to adopt more stringent positions in case no positive outcome is reached.

News analysis: The post-targeting of Syria stage
Far away from the details of the information and facts confirming the presence of a regional-international plan led by the American-Western-Israeli alliance and its Arab tools to target Syria, they are enough to learn the seriousness of what is witnessed by the only Arab country that is hosting the resistance and standing fast in the face of Israel, as well as the repercussions that will be caused by Syria’s weakening, depletion, or drowning in a state of chaos and domestic fighting due to the current events.
The elimination or obstruction of the Syrian strength in the context of the general balance in the region and especially at the level of the Arab-Israeli conflict, will create a new political state that will facilitate the cornering of the Palestinian resistance factions to force them to accept the settlement that includes the elimination of the right of return, the removal of the Palestinian arms in Gaza, and the establishment of a non-sovereign Palestinian entity whose map is drawn up based on what the Israelis refer to as being the exchange of the lands. This would allow Israel to take a big part of the occupied West Bank in exchange for parts of Negev and Sinai that will go to the promised Palestinian entity.
Syria’s victory over the American-Western-Israeli-Arab plan will give a new push to the resistance bloc, prevent the liquidation of the Palestinian cause and force Israel to think twice before any new military venture in Lebanon. Some of those dealing with the Syrian event are not taking these elements into consideration and are sometimes impressed by the West’s fabrication regarding the internal situation in Syria. This is rendering them part of the targeting choir, regardless of their good intentions or their talk about the rightfulness of the Syrian choices on the domestic and pan-Arab levels.

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