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Monday, September 12, 2005 

Detlev Mehlis arrives in Damascus - Ghazleh in suicide attempt?

Detlev Mehils has arrived in Damascus - his convoy protected by an umbrella of Syrian Army helicopters.

There are also claims that Rustom Ghazaleh - who has been put under house arrest by President Bashar Al-Assad - has attempted to kill himself. Syria has denied the reports.

The reports do not come from a reputable source - the Kuwaiti gossip rag As-Siyassiyeh. As-Siyassiyeh carries virulant anti-Syrian stories almost daily, almost none of which turn out to be true.

Ghazleh was the feared head of Syrian Military Intelligence in Lebanon, during Syria's presence. He was one of the 'old guard' - a powerful opponent of Bashar's liberalisation.

He is said to have been sidelined since the Party Conference in May, where Bashar moved anti-reform figures out, and replaced them with people closer to his line.

Mehlis's meetings are being kept under wraps, but he will definately meet Ghazaleh, Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan, and the two heads of Beirut security Mohammed Khallouf and Jameh Jameh. He may meet Bashar to discuss meeting other officials. But Mehlis has been careful to point out that there are no Syrian suspects, only witnesses.

Mehils brings with him 24 investigators and translators.

Detlev Mehlis, head of the UN team investigating the murder-plot against former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, will be armed with a secret weapon when he goes to Damascus Monday, Sept 12. The Syrians, who deny any role in the death, now says the UN investigators are welcome.

That weapon is the testimony taken from Col. Zuheiri Safi, a Syrian intelligence officer who defected to Paris in early August and proved a gold-mine. He supplied his French intelligence interrogators with the names of colleagues directly complicit in the assassination. He also named the contact men in President Bashar Assad’s bureau and among his close aides who were instrumental in the various stages of preparing the conspiracy.

Among them is the director of Syrian military intelligence Asaf Shouaqat, the president’s brother-in-law.

DEBKAfile’s Washington sources reveal that the assistance rendered by the Syrian president’s uncle Rifat Assad was crucial in getting Col. Safi to open up. He liaised between him and the American and French parties on the terms of his defection. Without his mediation, our sources say, the Syrian intelligence officer would not have defected and there would be no direct evidence linking President Assad’s bureau to the crime.

It must be said here that Rifat has a vested interest in his nephew’s downfall. He has long harbored ambitions to become president of Syria and, with Bashar gone, he would be a leading candidate to succeed him.

With this clincher in hand, Washington warned Assad not to attend the UN General Assembly opening in New York this week. If he insisted, he would be the only member of the Syrian delegation admitted to the US on a diplomatic passport. The others, including his bodyguard, would have to line up for ordinary visas at the US consulate in Damascus.

The Syrian president decided to stay at home.

Mehlis, also armed with information obtained from the four senior Lebanese security officers - all Syrian allies, arrested in Beirut ten days ago - will demand in Damascus to interview top Syrian intelligence officers. He may also ask to see president Assad.


The Al-Seyassah newspaper in Kuwait, a maverick trailblazer when it comes to freedom of the press in the Arab world, has an interesting article this morning about the investigation of Mehlis. It reports that when Rafik Hariri visited Assad the last time, that fateful ten minute meeting, Hariri recorded the conversation that took place including the threats Assad dispensed with so easily using a special pen that Jacques Chirac of France gave it to him after complaining to Chirac of the menaces and threats he usually receives every time he visits Assad.

The article continues that Mehlis intends to have Assad listen to the tape when he visits Syria tomorrow in pursuit of the truth of who killed Hariri.

For one moment, just put yourself in Assad’s shoes listening to a tape that demonstrates his gangster style of politics. Imagine for a moment what the first words Assad will utter after he hears himself threatening Hariri. Will he say: “This is fake, I never said that”? Or will he say: “This is taken out of context, he threatened me first’? Or will he simply just breakdown and cry while confessing to the killing?

All of this of course is hypothetical.

What we Syrians and many others fail to see in this tragedy is something that goes deeper than the whole investigation.

What kinds of people are governing Syria today?

The world over, statesmen, leaders, and aspirers for government office compete to show off their qualities to place in the service of the public. The public can see a Ghandi or an Adenauer as easily as these people see themselves as servants of their own people. They serve to accomplish greatness for a cause that is larger than the person serving. Churchill was that kind of man.

In Syria, the whole country is governed by thugs, literally and figuratively. Men who ask to be served by the masses. They tend to be the center of fake adoration and forced love. There is no greatness in the Assad clan. There is only selfishness, corruption, and abuse of power. Syria deserves much better than that and there will be no tears shed when this clan falls on its head. In fact, Syria will celebrate that day like no other.

It is our duty as Syrians to insure that we transition ourselves to a democracy peacefully, to protect the minorities including the Alawite sect from acts of revenge or violence and to assist the Kurds who suffered greatly, to open up the country with freedoms whether one of expression, of suffrage, or political participation, to become a strong nation because only through strength can we be peaceful, to build an economy where individuals are empowered to excel and not to limit their ambitions, to strengthen women’s movements so that they can help educate our future generations of steady leaders, and to generate the energy it takes to re-build our country after 42 years of destructive policies.

With unity, we can achieve our dream. With peace, we can regain our dignity.

DEBKAfile is the magazine of the Israeli Defence Forces.

Al-Seyassah - that "maverick trailblazer when it comes to freedom of the press in the Arab world" - peddles gossip and rumour, and last carried an accurate story in 1921.

Funny, 1921 is about the last time you had any freedom to think, and were not governed by a "family."

Try to see beyond what is forcefed you, (ex. US and Israel Bad, Arabs are good)

Continued foolishness will make you foolish, and foolish, and even looking more like the fool you are.

You talk of Arab 'freedom to think'. But do you really care about Arab freedoms? If you did then you would not be duplicitous in your condemnation. The greatest repression of Arab freedom is in Occupied Palestine and Occupied Iraq. Every single repressive Arab regime (including Syria until 2003) is supported by the US. So please don't patronise me with your concern about our freedom.

Apparently the evel doers seem to have their way to this site,enough fabriation of acusation of Syria ,what is realy killing them is that Syria did not sign surrender treaty with Israel like egypt Jordon ,i think the time has come for Syria to declare it,s Arabic stand and their unequavical support for the liberalation of palestine and Iraq,may be it is time for Syria to stop the flow of Araab and non Arab fighters into Iraq as as aresponse to the arrogence and the continued threats by the American leaders,may be it is time for Syria to declare the US enemy of the Arabs and ask for help from all who want to stop the american intrventions especialy china and russa

correction :Syria should stop helping the US by preventing the flow of Arab fighters,no matter what Syria does they are planing an attack againgst it and Syria should be ready

Can Syria ask the UN to investicate the killing of the democraticly elected chelian president ayendi by the. CIA?

Can't Al-Seyaseya Debka and Bashar Assad all be liers? Debka File said that Bashar was hiding in Aleppo back in April, after ASef Shawkat silently revolted against him.

It also said that King Fahd was mummified and placed on a chair four months before he dies..so many rumours.

Point is, nobody knows what is happening except the fact that our Great movement, the Civil Disobedience Movement will pervail, and once the ultimatum is given, Bashar will have no choice but toi give us the Parliament, with all of its powers.

Read all about it, join, and please spread the word. The easiest, most peacuful practical revolution that canb take place in the Mother Land.


Syria Forever

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  • 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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