Posts Tagged ‘FSA’

As Syria Continues To Simmer, Lebanon Remains in Limbo

January 16, 2013

Pat_BeirPatrick Henningsen
21stCentury Wire
Jan 16, 2012

BEIRUT – On arrival to Lebanon’s capital city, all seems very functional and normal on the surface, as the city runs business as usual.

Below the surface however, there is a feeling of trepidation, an unspoken collective worry that a city and country who has gradually managed to pick up the pieces from the decades-long conflict which stretched through the 70’s and 80’s, an Israeli occupation of its south, followed by a brief, albeit destructive, ‘33 Day War’ with Israel in 2006 – might once again be dragged into another sub-regional conflict. It goes without saying that police and security services in Lebanon are on high alert.

Tourism Hit Hard

The neighboring conflict has also had a very negative impact on Lebanon’s tourism, keeping away the much-needed outside currency for which many jobs, independent hotels and other SMEs are dependent for their economic survival. But despite the recent problems, Beirut is still moving ahead, still attracting some foreign investment made visible by the hundreds of new building projects springing up all over the city. And as expected, the restaurants seem busy and the cafes are still buzzing.

Already there is a tangible presence of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and in the capital Beirut, who have fled from the fighting and breakdown of society currently unfolding next door. The impact of the Syrian conflict on its neighbor Lebanon in such a short space of time is substantial.

Latest reports put the number of Syrian refugees recently accumulated in Lebanon at 300,000. This figure is contrasted by the number of Palestinian refugees whose ancestors fled Israel’s ethnic cleanings in 1947-48, still housed in Lebanon today – which is currently estimated at 500,000.

The Issue of Sectarianism

Lebanon is, more than ever, a demonstration of sectarianism par excellence. In of country of 4 million, there is differentiation within the Christian community – Greek Orthodox, Maronite, Melkite, Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic, as well as within and the Muslim community – Sunnis, Shi’ites, and Druze.  In addition to this, there is a substantial Armenian community, a large community of foreign nationals from the US and Europe, Asian and African migrant workers, and a small Jewish community. One might also note that the internal rifts between Christian and Muslim factions are almost as great as the polarity separating Christians and Muslim as a whole.

That said, it is also the only society in the region where contrasting religions and cultures are completely intermingled and where tolerance has evolved into a virtue.

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Co-existance: A scene from a recent Christmas illustrates the country’s diversity (PHOTO: Mary Henningsen)

In its totality, Lebanon consists of some of 19 religions and dozens more ethnic , groups. Many a thesis and book have sought to chronicle (and will continue to argue no doubt) this strive towards cultural détente in the Levant. One such writer is Lebanese-American Professor Walid Phares, who sums up the country’s current alignment as follows:

“Although multi-ethic and multi-religious, Lebanon was viewed by the political establishment as a unitary republic which can only have a majority and a minority. Therefore, and without a mechanism of decentralization, Federation or simply pluralism, that establishment was vying over who really represents the “majority” of all Lebanese, and who reduced to a “minority.” The debate was then about numbers, census, demographic changes, communities who have allegedly increased in numbers because of poverty versus communities who have decreased in numbers because of emigration. But that was a false problem.”

Much of the country’s political energy has been expended over the course of the last half century in determining who is the majority and who is the minority, and although the intention was to present a fair solution to representation in its central government, it has also been the source of internal power-politics, which some believe laid down a fertile soil for the sharp upheaval Lebanon experienced from 1975 onward.

Nowhere is the nation’s simmering ‘political ratio’ reflected more than in its own constitution – a document which goes to extraordinary lengths to secure some form of socio-religious balance. The Lebanese constitution mandates that the office President should be held by a Maronite Christian, the Speaker of the House held by a Shi’ite Muslim, and the post of Prime Minister held by a Sunni Muslim.

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Beirut shoulders a diverse collection of ethnic groups, along with their corresponding political issues (PHOTO: Patrick Henningsen)

Many academics such as Phares, feel that the future would be brighter if Lebanon would embrace its multicultural reality and take a feather out of Belgium’s or Canada’s cap, and consider phasing out its historical obsession with ethnic and religious minorities and majorities. In other words, if Lebanon could embrace ‘multiculturalism’, it wouldn’t need the old system. This idea is easier said than done, as vested political interests and blood spilled over decades has, to a large degree, cemented traditional political and social paradigms into place.

Syria Simmering Next Door

What’s foremost on the minds of Lebanese in 2013 is what will happen with Syria, and will Lebanon we dragged to their war. Alongside this, many are left questioning whether or not Lebanon will ever achieve some form of long-term peace with its southern neighbor Israel. The former is the key to its short-term prosperity, while the latter is the key to healing wounds still festering from the wars, as well as the influx of Palestinians it has had to shoulder since 1948.

The situation in Syria is made even more complex by the fact that a number of foreign powers with vested interests in Damascus regime change are supplying fighters, arms, logistics, money and mass media support – which has always been a recipe for chaos throughout history. Among these foreign actors vying for position in Syria are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey, US, UK and France (somehow, it’s all beginning to look more and more like pre-WWI power-politics).

Syria has long played an overshadowing role in the stability – and destiny of its smaller neighbor Lebanon. The scares still run deep from Syria’s obtuse and often disjointed alliances with different factions over the course of Lebanon’s Civil Wars in the 70’s and 1980’s. The result of Syria’s hand in those affairs has been a dysfunctional, and often times confusing relationship between Damascus and Beirut, as well as the cause for political dysfunction within Beirut itself.

In 2013, however, the alignments are markedly different from previous decades. For starters, Syria, itself, is now a major piece on the global chessboard, not least of all because of its three major allies, all of whom seem to run contrary tocentral planning in the West – namely, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran and now Russia. All interested parties see Syria as the key domino, and this, rightly so, is the cause for much worry right now.

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Stunning countryside: Sunset over the historic Chouf mountain range in southern Lebanon (PHOTO: Patrick Henningsen)

Lebanon has a number of internal issues I’m sure it would prefer to sort out first before being dragged into another sub-regional conflagration – like it’s own central government, its economy, its potentially massive tourism trade, and of course, the Palestinian refugee issue.

Yesterday, I was able to travel south the ancient city of Tyre, some 16km from the the Israeli border. The ruins are stunning, but so are the Palestinian refugee camp which runs alongside it. It’s was a little tragic, if not amusing to discover there that some Palestinians in need of rock for building their homes had permanently borrowed some of the antiquity ruins next door. In a certain way, some five millennia of history puts the current protracted upheaval into some perspective.

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Ancient city of Tyre in Lebanon (PHOTO: Patrick Henningsen)

The recent past certainly has pulled Lebanon down in a spiral of social tension and extreme economic strife, but set against the larger backdrop of successive empires and cultures who have been overlaid on to this small, but historically pivotal region, it’s merely the latest chapter in a much larger epic novel. Many people outside of Lebanon – academics, archeologists, tourists – all long to see Lebanon achieve stability and one day showcase its incredible cultural and historical wealth to the world.

In essence, making the difficult transition from a fractured state, to one of stability and eventual prosperity. I talked about this to one long-term Beirut resident, named Jamal, who put it simply, “To do all this, first we need to have peace.”

It’s that simple. On paper anyway.

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Writer Patrick Henningsen is a roving correspondent for the UK Column, as well as host of 21st Century Wire TV programme airing Thursdays at 6pm on PSTV SKY channel 191 in the UK.

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Cameron and Obama’s Hired Thugs Now Butchering Their Way Through Syria

December 7, 2012

These people only care about their own lucrative careers, and a life of priviledge on the taxpayers dime.

21st Century Wire
Dec 7, 2012

What a lark. Directing a war from the comfort of a golf course, or over a warm Cognac at Chequers. While they wine and dine in DC and Westminster, their hired hands work overtime to make rivers of blood in Syria.

Barak Obama and David Cameron, flanked by their ‘diplomats’ Hillary Clinton and William Hague, are all doing their bit to increase the bloodshed in Syria by backing the FSA rebel, al Qaida jihadist terrorists, who are presently working their way through the once stable country like termites eating through a once healthy home.

Blood comes cheap, and with budgets tight at home, western leaders are happy with the current arrangement. Rebel terrorist fighters are being paid between $500 and $2000 per month, and arms are free of charge through various NATO proxies and Gulf States. Their job assignment is a blunt one – to intimidate loyal pro-Syrian citizens, and to butcher thousands of innocent civilians – all in all, inflicting a reign of terror much like that one engineered by Washington in Nicaragua during the 1980’s. This is who Washington, London and Paris are backing in their quest to finally bring Syria under their globalist umbrella.

We have never have witnessed this level of open international criminality and hypocrisy by our puppet leaders in the West.

At least with Iraq, Bush and Blair tried to be creative with their lying by making up unbelievable stories of “mobile anthrax labs”.

Nine years on, our well-paid elite political prostitutes don’t even bother with fish stories, they just put the weapons in the hands of terrorists, and pay these professional murderers to kill indiscriminately.

All this will eventually bring shame to the citizens of western nations in the long run, much the same way that the Nazis brought shame to the German people (but no shame to the corporations, bankers and elites though – because you can only feel shame if you have a conscious to begin with).

They will keep using the same tried and tested methods, unless they can be stopped by their own electorate.

Here is a video promoting Obama and Cameron’s favoured operatives in Syria…

Watch:

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“Western Leaders Are Encouraging Terrorist Blood Bath in Syria” says Henningsen

December 3, 2012

Pat3_color21st Century Wire’s analyst Patrick Henningsen talks with RT News about the West and their Gulf state proxies’ backing of terrorist groups in Syria in order to accelerate regime change in Syria and to further destabilize the Middle East region. Washington and Britain are actively supporting al Qaeda and other FSA-related foreign fighters in Syria, a policy which is an international war crime and is costing thousands of innocent lives, and billions of dollars to western taxpayers and to the people in Syria.

http://www.21stcenturywire.com

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So, How Many Syrian Terrorists Come from Libya?

November 14, 2012

The U.S. supported opposition which overthrew Libya’s Gadaffi was largely comprised of Al Qaeda terrorists

According to a 2007 report by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s center, the Libyan city of Benghazi was one of Al Qaeda’s main headquarters – and bases for sending Al Qaeda fighters into Iraq – prior to the overthrow of Gaddafi:

Al Qaeda is now largely in control of Libya.  Indeed, Al Qaeda flags were flown over the Benghazi courthouse once Gaddafi was toppled.

(Incidentally, Gaddafi was on the verge of invading Benghazi in 2011, 4 years after the West Point report cited Benghazi as a hotbed of Al Qaeda terrorists. Gaddafi claimed – rightly it turns out – that Benghazi was an Al Qaeda stronghold and a main source of the Libyan rebellion.  But NATO planes stopped him, and protected Benghazi.)

CNN, the Telegraph,  the Washington Times, and many other mainstream sources confirm that Al Qaeda terrorists from Libya have since flooded into Syria to fight the Assad regime.

Mainstream sources also confirm that the Syrian opposition is largely comprised of Al Qaeda terrorists.  See thisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthis and this.

The U.S. has been arming the Syrian opposition since 2006. The post-Gaddafi Libyan government is also itself a top funder and arms supplier of the Syrian opposition.

Source: Blacklisted News

‘DAVID CAMERON’S HIT LIST’: Govt supporters are ‘dead men walking’ in Syria

November 12, 2012

The new Syrian opposition coalition is now seeking official recognition from abroad, and aims to administer the flow of funds and potentially arms to rebels. UK Prime Minister is backing them with all they require, and recogizes the Free Syria Army (FSA) terrorists he’s arming as ‘more legitimate’ than the Assad government.

The FSA, and other Saudi and a Qaida terrorists supported by Cameron, Hague, Clinton and Obama – are now executing Syrian civilians whom they suspect are supporters of the national government in Syria. So, if Cameron and Co. support these terrorists. then Cameron and Co. support  the butchering they have been carrying out over the last several months. This is a shocking state of affairs for the West – akin to real war crimes now.

Is Cameron is now officially the new Blair?

But the anti-Assad forces may see direct assistance from foreign troops, as a British top soldier has said hundreds of UK troops could be deployed to Syria if ‘the humanitarian situation worsens’. Meanwhile, fears are mounting that rebel fighters are increasingly targeting civilians for simply showing allegiance to the government, as Maria Finoshina explains:

TENSION: 3 Syrian Tanks Enter Demilitarized Zone in Golan Heights

November 3, 2012

IDF files complaint with UN forces after Syrian tanks enter buffer zone to take part in battles with rebels; army also raises alert level in area

By Yoav Zitun

Three Syrian tanks entered the demilitarized buffer zone in the central Golan Heights on Saturday, leading the IDF to raise its alert level in the area.

The Israeli army has also lodged a complaint with UN forces enforcing the ceasefire in the Golan Heights.

The Syrian tanks entered the village of Bir-Ajam, located just a few kilometers from an IDF outpost, and took part in battles against Syrian rebels.

Over the past 24 hours a number of mortar shells fired as part of the Syrian infighting landed in the demilitarized zone. One of them may have been the cause of a fire that erupted Saturday at Mount Hosek, located near the Israel-Syria border.

Also on Saturday, Syrian rebels launched a dawn assault on a strategic airbase in the north of the country, trying to disrupt strikes by warplanes and helicopters that pound rebel-held towns and give the regime of President Bashar Assad a major edge in the civil war.

The assault, reported by activists, comes a day before the start of a key international conference in Qatar at which the United States and its allies aim to reorganize the opposition’s political leadership and unite their ranks. The leadership-in-exile has been widely seen as ineffective and out of touch with rebel fighters on the ground.

Rebel forces attacked the Taftanaz airbase early Saturday morning in fighting with government forces that continued into the afternoon, the anti-regime activist Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Joining Syrian rebels in the attack were fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic militant group made up of foreign jihadis, according to the Observatory. Al-Nusra fighters, who are considered among the most experienced and disciplined among the opposition forces, have led attacks on other airbases in the north in past months.

The Taftanaz base mainly houses military helicopters, near the main highway between the capital Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo, where rebels and the military have been battling for control for months.

Online activist videos claim to show the battle, with rebels firing rockets and mortars, and smoke rising over buildings and an airstrip area. An activist speaking in the video identifies it as an attack by rebels and Jabhat al-Nusra on the base.

The videos appear genuine and are consistent with other Associated Press reporting in the area.

Read more at: YNet News

Henningsen: ‘US and allies are unleash hell in Syria, new violence levels reached’

September 26, 2012

Iran’s Press TV Channel says its correspondent Maya Nasser has been shot dead by a sniper while reporting on air about today’s twin blasts in Damascus. Patrick Henningsen – a geopolitical analyst for the current affairs website “UK Column” – believes the Iranian journalist’s death is unlikely to be an accident. Henningsen also highlights the role of foreign fighters in Syria, who are logically, materially and financially supported by US and western governments.
http://www.ukcolumn.org

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