Across the Bay

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Syria Unleashes al-Qaeda

During the recent war in Lebanon, I made sure to collect and publicize for the record all the Syrian threats about al-Qaeda in Lebanon, and how they would be unleashed against the UNIFIL and the Lebanese government. The obvious target, aside from re-dominating Lebanon, is to kill the Hariri tribunal and UNR 1701.

So, as the draft of the international tribunal was finished and was sent to Lebanon to be approved, Hezbollah and Amal withdrew from government (as they did back in December when the decision to form the tribunal was adopted by the cabinet after the Syrian regime murdered MP Gebran Tueni).

But -- funny coincidence -- two interesting news items appear the day after the withdrawal of the HA/Amal ministers. First, longtime Syrian hired pen, Charles Ayyub of the pro-regime rag ad-Diyar, penned a typically rambling piece, which, as with all regime officials, flaks and hired hands, contained a number of threats. The threats aren't just the usual ones against the March 14 forces. This time they directly threatened the UNIFIL and the implementation of UNR 1701.

On the same day -- for the Syrian threat which I laid out months ago to be fully revealed -- a statement from "al-Qaeda Lebanon" (previously unknown) in the (Syrian-penetrated) Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, suddenly (!) surfaced vowing simply to "destroy the corrupt cabinet that takes orders from the US administration" (phrasing identical to daily Syrian propaganda).

Put two and two together and the Syrian threats from back in July (starting with Bashar himself, down to Walid Moallem and Mohsen Bilal, all the way to Amr Salem) are now under way.

The set-up -- as the Syrians always do, which is what they did with Hariri too -- had been ongoing in the pro-Syrian rags, especially in al-Akhbar. The line was that any security disturbances will be caused by March 14 and the Americans (accusing, in al-Akhbar and ad-Diyar, the American embassy of smuggling weapons to Lebanon and training "special forces" on embassy grounds).

The order has gone out, it seems, from the state sponsor of al-Qaeda and terrorism, which is Bashar Assad's Syria (Sec. Rice wasn't kidding when she said that it was a "dangerous state" and "not a state that contributes to stability in the Middle East"). But no matter, the tribunal isn't going away, regardless of the "engagement" chatter.

Addendum: We should probably connect the "Al-Qaeda" appearance in Lebanon with what Mohsen Bilal told UPI a few days ago that the US made a big mistake in ejecting the Syrians from Lebanon because "Lebanon was one of the few states that had 100% security because of Syrian presence." They're not big on subtlety, these thugs.