Thursday, August 30, 2007 

Hariri finds a new puppet

Now that Amin Gemayel has been thoroughly defeated, Hariri has turned his attentions to this man: Boutros Harb (that's Peter War in English).

Harb is a Hariri MP, and says he is a consensus candidate - which is laughable, because he also says he wants to disarm Hizbollah. That's further even than Gemayel went.

"We need to consecrate the principle of the state holding a monopoly on arms while not disavowing the sacrifices of the Resistance [Hizbollah]" he said. And he wants an "historic reconciliation with Syria".

Harb is the second man to announce his candidacy for president (despite AP's mistake) - Michel Aoun, former warlord and anti-Syrian crusader, turned Hizbollah ally, also says he can lead Lebanon.

The current president, Emile Lahoud, says that if no candidate is agreed upon by the time he leaves office on November 23, he will set up an interim government led by Army Commander Michel Suleiman (there are many precedents for this). The country would then be led by two governments.

Thursday, August 23, 2007 

Syrian journalists arrested in the Occupied Golan Heights

Two Syrian journalists have been arrested by Israeli Occupation Forces.

Ata Farahat and Yousef Shams - correspondents for Al Watan - have been detained on unknown charges. They are Syrians, working on Syrian territory.

A handful of their colleagues have been demonstrating outside the UN office, carrying pictures of the two men, and fifteen other Syrians who have languished in Israeli jails for more than twenty years.

It is Israel's latest attempt to make Syrians living under occupation quiet. A number of protests have taken place in the Israeli Occupied Syrian Territory, and some demonstrations by Israeli Jews have taken place in Jerusalem.


The BBC website is looking very very sloppy tonight

...forgive my rant...

First, this photo caption refers to a Muslim MP as a Baroness (a Baroness is a title like Sir). Not only is she not a Baroness, but the article itself even talks about her possibly becoming one in the future.

This is just careless. In a story about an English plumber winning an award in France we hear the same thing twice:

"He said that the judges would be surprised to realise that he is English - a competitor's work is just given a number to avoid any bias.

"When you do the competition you don't give your name, you just have a number so it eliminates bias with the judges. I think they'll be a bit surprised." "

And this just doesn't make a bit of sense.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 

Iraqi Prime Minister praises Syria's co-operation

Nouri Al Maliki has been visiting Damascus for the first time since he came to power.

He says Syria's co-operation is helping to stabilise Iraq. The US accuses Damascus of the exact opposite.

Diplomatic relations between Syria and Iraq were only restored last year after a break of 25 years. Syria was a fierce opponent of Saddam Hussein, and hosted most of the opposition during the Saddam years.

And, yes, Nouri Al Maliki used to live in Damascus.



In the space of one interview:

"I don't think sophisticated weaponry will be of use in such a battle which really involves street fighting."

"Politicians shouldn't talk about military matters."

Ahmad Fatfat, Minister of Ping Pong.

Thursday, August 16, 2007 

From the BBC website

What a wonderful juxtaposition.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 

Lebanese Army: Fateh Al Islam is not connected to Syria

The head of the Lebanese Army has categorically ruled out any connections between Fateh Al Islam and Syria.

The Army is currently fighting the group in Nahr Al Bared.

General Michel Suleiman also denies the group has links with the Hariri government:

"[Fateh Al Islam] is not sponsored by Syrian intelligence, nor it is backed by Lebanese government circles. It is a branch for al-Qaida which had been planning to use Lebanon and Palestinian camps as safe haven to launch its operations in Lebanon and abroad."

In recent months, many government figures have stopped accusing Syria of supporting Fateh Al Islam, since it became clear most of the members are Saudi. The government has also started blaming Al Qaeda - and not Syria - for the bomb attacks on Beirut.


Please don't forget about Nicole - reward

Canadian 32 year old Nicole Vienneau is still missing somewhere in Syria. There is a 1 million Syrian Lira reward.

She was last seen in Hama on 31 March 2007. Her brother's blog is here.

If you have ANY slight thoughts that you MAY have seen her, please, please email him:

Saturday, August 11, 2007 

Iraqi refugees tortured in Jordan

"So it’s becoming a bigger story now on the blogosphere, Iraqis in a prison at the Queen Alia Airport, where they are interrogated for hours, whipped by the evil Jordanians, then put in a cage with lions and those who are lucky enough to survive the ordeal are sent back to Iraq to die.
Most have rushed to the defense of Iraqis, which is fine. But I am surprised that no one even bothered looking at it from the Jordanian angle.
They don’t live in refugee camps they live in urban areas, predominantly the capital Amman, which is home to about 2.3 million Jordanians. In other words, nearly one third of the city is Iraqi.
Food prices have gone up. ... Not to mention the burden on other infrastructure that includes sewage, waste disposal, health, education, roads, government services and yes, our security apparatus.
The influx of Iraqis has virtually destroyed any hope of the average Jordanian becoming a home owner."

Wednesday, August 08, 2007 

Iraqi refugees in Jordan will be allowed to go to school

Jordan has ended its discriminatory policy, and allowed Iraqi refugee children to go to school.

Until now, only rich families could send their youngsters to school, by paying.

It means they will have similar rights to refugees in Syria - Iraqis in Syria get free schooling and healthcare.

There are an estimate 1.2 million in Syria, and 750,000 in Jordan. None of Iraq's other neighbours allow refugees in (Kuwait, Saudi, Iran and Turkey).

Monday, August 06, 2007 

Interior Ministry confirms Aoun win

Aoun has won Metn by 400 votes, according to the Interior Ministry.

Gemayel has rejected the result, announced by his own government. Boo hoo.


Gemayel complains of vote rigging

...apparently there wasn't ENOUGH vote rigging to let Gemayel's Kataeb Party win.

"Kataeb nomenklatura instructed their voter-supporters to "vote very early in the AM and go home". The plan is to create "disturbances" at the ballot [boxes], prompting early closures."

Get all our votes in quickly, then force the polling stations to close so they can't vote. Hariri-Democracy.


Aoun claims election win - Gemayel refuses to concede defeat

Aoun claims he has won the Metn by-election by around 4000 votes - according to information he received from the Interior Ministry.

Gemayel has refused to concede defeat, demanding a new vote, being the democrat that he is. He slammed Aoun voters as "newcomers", a racist reference to the Armenians who backed Aoun.

Walid Junblatt, laughing at the outlandishness of his own statement said the win for Aoun would be the start of a new civil war.

Gemayel's personal defeat in this election for a single parliamentary seat virtually rules him out of winning the presidency. If he has indeed won the seat, it will be by such a narrow margin that it will seriously damage his presidential campaign. Don't forget - he wasn't competing directly against Aoun, but by an Aoun party member.

In the battle between Gemayel and Aoun-party member, Gemayel has on this day ended his facist dynasty forever. And although Aoun will always be remembered as the arrogant warmonger that extended the civil war by a year, the hammering of the Phalange Party is something to celebrate.

Choosing between blood-thirsty former Prime Minister who thought he was President - and - war-leader former President who signed a peace treaty with Israel. Tough choice.

Saturday, August 04, 2007 

Blogging Jordan's first private TV channel

ATV, Jordan's first TV channel was taken off air before it even started, in the spirit of free Arab media.

Here's how Jordan's bloggers are dealing with it:

Roba: "Are you telling me that after all the years worth of preparing and all the money poured into campaigning, the ATV staff, who already have experience with media and the way things are done in Jordan due to Al-Ghad Newspaper, uh, forgot to complete their paperwork? What, it just slipped their minds?"

And on the other side of the fence...

Black Iris: "ATV has been the on-again off-again satellite station that is the first private news network in Jordan. ... They’ve been seen filming and filming and filming all over town; archiving and archiving and archiving. Is it possible that in all the hustle and bustle…they forgot to submit the paperwork?!"

Friday, August 03, 2007 

Pro-Syria campaign grows in the Occupied Golan

A summer camp has opened in the area of the Syrian Golan Heights which is currently controlled by the Israeli Army.

Chanting pro-Syrian slogans, they are calling on the Israeli government to hand their land back to Syria.

In recent weeks, there have been regular demonstrations, as talk of a Syrian-Israeli peace deal steps up. A group of Israeli Jews even took their campaign to Jerusalem. They were seen hanging Syrian flags over a major highway, and calling on their Prime Minister to talk to Syria.

Thursday, August 02, 2007 

Rockets fired in Beirut

ANB is reporting that Katusha rockets have been fired in the Sports City area of Beirut, near the Sabra refugee camp.


Lebanese investigation blames Fateh Al Islam militants for February bus bombing

An investigation by Lebanese authorities has blamed Fateh Al Islam militants for blowing up a bus in February outside Beirut. 3 people died.

At the time, Hariri and mad-dog Junblatt both blamed Syria. Their own police have now contradicted them.

It comes just days after UN investigator Serge Brammertz said that Rafiq Al-Hariri's killers were not Syrian.

The Hariri clan was funding Fateh Al Islam until recently. Now, the Army is fighting them at the Nahr Al Bared refugee camp. Hundreds of people have died. Many of the dead fighters were found to be Saudi.

About me

  • Written by sasa
  • From Damascus, Syria
  • From Damascus to London via Beirut. Based in and out of the central Damascene hamlet of Saroujah. News and feelings from the streets every day. I'm talking rubbish? Leave a comment. Welcome to the information democracy. See below for info about this site.
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