Across the Bay

Thursday, July 20, 2006

What Kind of Ceasefire?

LBCI News quoted Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt as calling on Egyptian TV for a ceasefire 'within the framework of a resolution that protects Lebanon and does not come at the expense of the state.' He stressed that the need is to safeguard the Taef Accord and the armistice agreement with Israel, so that war does not erupt again under whatever pretext.

He was also quoted in AKI as saying, 'southern Lebanon needs international protection and not a [Hezbollah-Israeli] ceasefire at the country's expense.' (Update: More of Jumblatt's comments on Egyptian TV, in Arabic, can be found here.)

Jumblatt rejected the latest address by Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah, especially the part where Nasrallah said that Lebanon was in a war 'whether it wants to or not.' Jumblatt said nobody can singlehandedly hijack the decision of war and peace, and the solution is for the Lebanese state to exert its control over all its territories, adding: 'no one can play around with the security of the south and the security of Lebanon.'

The Druze leader also criticized the bombastic rhetoric of the Iranian president who 'does not care for the Lebanese people,' and who has bigger non-Lebanese calculations, as well as the talk of the Syrian regime and of presidents Bashar Assad and Emile Lahoud, who hold a 'vengeful hatred towards the state of independence in Lebanon.'

Jumblatt called for a passageway for humanitarian purposes, but said that it should not be via Damascus, 'whose regime is assassinating [former PM] Rafik Hariri for a second time.' He added, 'we say to this regime that our patience is long, and one day the truth will be revealed.' He pointed out that since the war broke out, the Syrian regime has been trying to escalate in order to escape the international tribunal, as it is the only court that could hold it accountable. He assured that 'no matter how many bombs fall on us, we must not forget the issue of the international tribunal, no matter the price.'

Jumblatt, it seems, gets it.

Addendum: The point is, since the Syrian regime's sinister cheerleaders have already come out from under their rocks to suggest that the US should "cut a deal" with Syria (why, they never say. They're just propagandists, either sinister and malicious, or plain stupid.) over Lebanon and that somehow Syria will "solve" this issue (yes, cause you see, Syria's history and current status suggest that!). Jumblatt understands the Syrian trap here, its false claim. The Syrian intention -- and that of its despicable, contemptible cheerleaders both here in the US and in Syria -- is to undermine the state. That is why it is trying now to interfere in order to maximize its own gains, and those of Hezbollah (or at least limit its losses, which are in fact its own). But that is all. Because Syria's aim is the same as Hezbollah's: undermining the Lebanese government, and the reduction of Lebanon to Hezbollah (that is why those "spontaneous" "solidarity" rallies in Syria only have Hezbollah flags and Hezbollah posters.)

In fact, that is what this whole thing is all about from the Syrian angle. By reducing the Palestinian Authority to Mashaal and Lebanon to Nasrallah, Assad aims to undermine the respective governments and tries to then sell himself, with the help of his propagandists, cheerleaders, and sycophants in the US, as the real reference or the man who holds the solutions. But everyone knows that he is not! It's a big deception. A big bluff. It has no substance. It's an attempt to pull a fast one. All those people talking about "the Sunni Arab fold" should ask themselves what the "fold" is, when did it exist, and when was Syria ever part of it?! As for those who say that Syria can still be pulled away from Iran, they should find themselves another line of work, as they clearly understand nothing, nor have they been following events closely. It's cheap cliches and one liners like "old guard" and "reformist impulses." It's plain old garbage.

Assad is but a two bit thug who is only good at killing and destroying. The Assad regime was never able to be part of any solution ever, not under Hafez and certainly not now. The Bush administration clearly is not falling for this stupidity, nor are the French or British. This won't stop the propagandists, cheerleaders, and sycophants in the US.

Addendum 2: Since the Syrian regime's hounds are barking louder, let me just remind readers of the White House position. Here's WH spokesman Tony Snow:

"Q Just one final one on this. Why shouldn't the President be the one to mount an aggressive diplomacy, pick up the phone, call Assad of Syria and say, put an end to this, and start negotiating directly with the Syrians?


MR. SNOW: Because the track record stinks. I don't know if you remember all the old pictures of diplomats in the Reagan years going -- in the Carter, Reagan, and maybe even the early Bush years, the first Bush administration -- who knows, Clinton may have done it, too -- sitting around there drinking tea with Hafez al-Assad, the father, having to sit there for five, six, ten hours, listening to polite but long discourses on greater Syria, and at the end of that, having gotten nothing.

There is absolutely no reason to assume, based on the track record, that negotiations and conversations with the Syrians would yield any fruit."

Enough said. Now let the hounds bark as loud as they want. It makes no difference.