Monday, February 27, 2006

Hizbollah vs Israel killed Hariri

Yesterday in a televised interview Sheikh Naim Kasem, vice secretary-general of Hizbollah replied to the concern that they have their own intelligence apparatus as: "our apparatus is only directed towards Israelis and their work in Lebanon, that is why we dont have any information and didnt participate in the investigations."

In this statement, he replied to the concern of MP Jumblatt on why they are not supporting the investigations with all the information they have.

Indirectly, he confessed that they believe its not Israel that is responsible for all these attacks, as their Intelligence is ONLY directed to Israel's work in Lebanon...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sfeir for Presidency

I think the definition of seculrism should be modified at least in Lebanon:
It should be the seperation of religion from public affairs "Unless when it is to our advantage."

Now, (among others)
Remains of Qornet Chehwan are behind the Maronite Cardinal...
Lebanese Forces are as well (as always) ...

Also Jumblatt requested from the Cardinal to call for a meeting that involves all Maronite leaders and figures to fix the conflict of the successor of Lahoud.

Even Mr. Nabih Berri said he is behind bkerki..

If the definition of secularism is modified, then as a secular I see the Cardinal of the Maronite Church as the most representative Maronite leader.

Sfeir for Presidency...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Presidency empty since November 2005--- March14 bloc says

Yesterday the office of the President issued a statement that if the presidency was empty then all decisions that were taken including forming governments and their decisions should be cancelled... one of them is the pardon to Samir Geagea

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Where is the Constitutional Council ???

The Lebanese Constitution mentions the creation of a constitutional council to look in to the constitutionality of laws, acts and decrees.

The term of the current (2004) council was extended along with Lahoud in an unconstitutional way. Until now we dont have a council to look in to the petitions against some MPs regarding the 2005 elections.

Hopefully, in 2006 this council would be re-activated away from any political tension to safeguard the constitution...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Baabda Aley and Constitutional Conflict

It is worth 10million Lebanese Pounds to create a constitutional problem in the country.
Now that all big blocs agreed on nomination of Mr. Pierre Dakash as the only candidate for the upcoming elections. Any Maronite, who have the minimum requirement to run for this vacant position can create a constitutional problem.

If any Maronite pays his nomination fee (10 Million Lebanese Pounds) . This means elections should take place (ofcourse Dakash will win) but it means that the current (President/not President) will have to sign the call for elections. March 14 coalition might be forced to re-admit his legitmacy as failing to fill the vacant position within 60 days is also a violation to the constitution.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Baabda Aley VS Baabda

Toppling Lahoud became the main item on the March14 forces agenda.. Lahouds deadline is March14 until they will decide to topple him...
The problem that March14 forces will face is UNconstitutionality of Lahoud vs the constitutional deadline to call for Baabda Aley byelections March 17, 2006.

Will March14 forces re-admit that Lahoud is a President and request from him to call for elections through a decree or would they fall in to another constitutional problem. The best way out is to avoid having elections for this particular post and have one runner from all parties (tawafukeyyan).

Lahoud and March 14 groups...

The March14 forces issued a statement yesterday saying that:

1- Lahoud is the last remaining representative of the Lebanese-Syrian security services that are accused of killing Hariri. He is unconstitutional, still taking orders from Syria and is meddling in the affairs of the government; Therefore his presidency should end.

2- The Lebanese should continue the Independence intifada by toppling Lahoud with a deadline March 14 2006.

3- If Lahoud doesnt resign till then, the March 14 majority bloc will topple him constitutionally.

==========

One, there is no new information in this statement, except that since the Intifada, we had elections based on a decree from Lahoud. The government was formed with consultations with him. He issued the decree that formed the current governmnt. He chaired many Council of ministers meetings. He blocked many decrees and held Council of Ministers meetings in Baabda. So whats new in him being the head of the Lebanese - Syrian security apparatus?

Two, what will happen now with the government. Will they stop meeting until one month, if not will their decrees require Lahoud's approval.

Three, did they all agree on the candidate (atleast the initial one) from among March 14 bloc. Its more democratic if they dont, but in March 14 coalition there are more than ten people related to candidates with a parliamentry block of some six people as majority.

Forth, the main focus shouldnt be on unconstitutionality of Lahoud but on their second part of the declarationthat we had to give Lahoud and Hizbollah a chance to show their alligence when embrassed by the Lebanese, and after several months they proved their loyalty is not to Lebanon.

Five, Its great to have back the spirit of the Bristol opposition in the sense of specifying the current battle despite of differences in stands regarding many issues. The current issue they have as a priority is to topple Lahoud. Next month they will have another priority that gathers them all.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Resistance or Militia or both... What is the current status of Hizbollah

Many of the Lebanese militias fought against the Israeli invasion as militias resisting an occupier. The special status of Hizbollah made it only a resistance as it didnt take any part of the local Lebanese micro politics after Taef. The leadership of Hizbollah used to refuse to be part of any local Lebanese conflict, as they used to say: We have Israel to fight and a land to free.

Now that the land is free, Syria is out, and Hizbollah being an integral part of the day to day politics of Lebanon. Its status changed from a resistance against Israel. To an armed party inside the Lebanese government. Consequently, its a militia primiraly. Now they are still resisting to liberate the Shebaa Farms, and to protect the borders.

Mr. Hassan Nasrallah acknolwedged in the latest televised interview he had on NTV that his party is organizing 'reminder operations' every four five months which contradicts his stated objective to liberate the farms from the Israeli occupation. In other words, he is doing the 'reminder operations' to keep his weapons legitimate as resistance.

We should acknowledge the fact that in "New Lebanon", our government can not protect the 70+ border entry points with Syria that Jumblatt mentioned, can not expand its soverignty over many closed areas, and can not protect its national figures. All this make the current Lebanese formal bodies and security agencies incompetent to protect the South and being accountable for every rocket being bombed from Lebanon.

Integrating the party in the army will do a problem in the alligence of its men who believe in the Iran model of belief. The wilayet al fakeeh is more legitimate than the General of the Lebanese Army. If their leadership issue a takleef shar3i, they wont check with the Lebanese Army leadership about it. Unless if Hizbollah re-decide to make itself a defensive group against Israel. Then, we can have it as a seperate entity in the Army. If its Leadership takes a unilateral decision, it will be treated as a seperation movement in the army. A pre-condition for this is its withdrawal from the Lebanese poltics or else it will be a political party inside the army.

So, Hizbollah is a militia resisting some times and just a militia with its weapons just a plus for Syria in the negotiations with Israel or to Iran in the negotiations on its nuclear rights.

Now that in the Hariri post-2000 governments they got the south security privatized for them, the Lebanese Government should call them to official negotiations not in the Parliament as a praliamentary bloc but as a party negotiating with the Lebanese Government.

An internal April-understanding like pact should be signed with them to ensure when/how and why they can use their current arms.

Also, a timeline for disarming their forces should be set with a deadline not to exceed two years.

Resistance is a movement against an occupier. When the occupier leaves, so does the resistance to it...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Will the Parliament majority vote for Aoun as President

Regardless of the way the March 14 coalition will choose to topple Lahoud, they will need the vote of Aoun's Block.

Who is the candidate for Presidency of March 14? Would it be from LF, Qornet, Tajadod, Hariri's Ghattas Khoury...
The majority they have is over six to seven seats and they have probably more than that as candidates...

I think they will eventually get Aoun in to Presidency to avoid FULL responsibility for the new Lebanon phase. They had to get Aoun so that to topple Lahoud and reunite the previous opposition. Other than that they will have to bare the consequences in the 2009 Parliamentary elections of being accountable for all the executive power in the current phase.

Do we need Aoun for the new phase?
I dont think we can handle another military man in power. If Lahoud forced his ministerial quota to every government. Aoun can do more since he is backed by a parliamentary bloc.
He can bloc each and any te3yeen decree that he doesnt like. If the current parliament majority opposes him, he can suspend the government with his 1/3 quota with Hizbollah-Amal ofcourse.

Lahoud's Removal: How to

The people who protested on February 14 gave the March 14 leadership a second chance, the intifada IN the intifada was initiated. Now its time to be critical to avoid doing the same mistake of March 14. What the March 14 leadership gave: new elections altho based on the 2000 law and an alliance with Hizbollah that made us here now...

All the 'members of the majority bloc' are with removing Lahoud. Hureyyi camp is with this demand, since two months now without any single move towards that. We got the momentum back..

I think the issue now is not his UNconstitutionality since it can not be questioned by the Parliament that accepted to acknowledge his legitmacy after the decree to form the government, the consultations, and the other decrees he signed and meetings in Baabda that he chaired.

Passing a constitutional amendment to force a shorter term for him is disrespecting the constitution even if for a good cause this time.

Now there are some 'allegations' that the Parliament of any NORMAL country should react to either to clear the President from those allegations or just stop his term through the proper channels. The step can be take n from a positive perspective, atleast in the way it can be proposed.




the allegations include:
1- the statement of former Interior Minister Sleiman Franjieh and former PM Omar Karameh who explicitly said in the LBC documentary recently published on "2005 Independence" that:
A meeting was held in Baabda last year before the assassination of Hariri between the President, the SPEAKER, the PM and Minister of Interior, were the President requested to include the Director of General Security Jamil Sayyed.

The meeting was to discuss the ways to get according to them an electoral law that gets Syria a majority in the April 2005 parliamentary elections. This constitutes a ground for questioning /removing the President since the meeting was held in Baabda, he called for it, and participants in the meeting are announcing this. Also, it requires questioning from the perspective of the International Investigation as they said that a majority in the Parlimanet wasnt easy to get given Hariri's stubern stand not to include pro-Syria people on his Beirut lists and insisting to run in the hardest constituency.


2- According to items 125 and 126 of the 1 Mehlis report:

Colonel Ghassan Tufayli of the wire tapping -service in the Lebanese Military Intelligence said that several important people such as former presidents, prime ministers and deputies were permanently wiretapped. “The protocols were forwarded on a daily basis to General Raymond Azar and to the head of the army, General Michel Suleyman. According to Colonel Tufayli’s statement, General Raymond Azar sent the protocols to the Lebanese President and to General Ghazali, the head of the Syrian Military Intelligence Service in Lebanon.”

126. “According to Tufaily the Republican Guard Brigade also had an internal wiretapping service.”

3- Item 200 of the 1st Mehlis report:
Mr. Ahmad Abdel-Al of Ahbash has been "in frequent contact with Mahmoud Abdel-Al, his brother, who is also active in Al-Ahbash. Mahmoud Abdel-Al’s telephone calls on 14 February are also interesting: he made a call minutes before the blast, at 1247 hrs, to the mobile phone of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and at 1249 hrs had contact with Raymond Azar’s mobile telephone.”


Now is the perfect time to react to Lahoud, if they dont they will be just a bunch of reactionary opposition who lost another opportunity to remove or atleast question Lahoud. Although Jumblatt for example can not be bllamed for this as he was with removing him since March 14, but the problem was with the LF-Kornet. The main thing that united all speakers yesterday and mainly their speeches was Removing Lahoud.

The file can be initiated by 1/2 +1 to initiate the Parliamentary Investigative Committee, after the report is finalized we will need Aoun for the two-thirds to remove Lahoud.