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Lebanon: Lahoud's Police Regime Seen Crumbling with Syria's Exit
Naharnet (Lebanon) ^ | March 18, 2005

Posted on 03/18/2005 11:47:22 AM PST by Stoat

Lahoud's Police Regime Seen Crumbling with Syria's Exit
President Lahoud's Syrian-sponsored regime is desperately fighting for survival amid a snowballing opposition drive to oust him before the spring elections in the explosive aftermath of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination.
The embattled president tried to defuse the nation's turbulence by asserting that a military government was "out of the question as far as I am concerned." But the opposition remained adamant that his police state must be dismembered and all his hand-picked commanders of the nation's major security services fired.

The crisis climbed to a new zenith Thursday when Surete Generale chief Brig. Gen. Jamil Sayyed, Lahoud's senior-most security commander, announced Thursday that he was bringing a lawsuit against his own self and the rest of the security generals in connection with Hariri's assassination.

Hariri's sister Bahia and various other opposition leaders labeled Sayyed's 'gimmick' as an attempt to escape blame, insisting his head must roll along with those of five other intelligence commanders and State Prosecutor Adnan Addoum, the justice minister in Omar Karami's outgoing government.

"The police regime is in its last dying hour," said Hariri's Al Mustaqbal newspaper of Sayyed's news conference, calling him the defense attorney of a crumbling police state system. As Safir called it a "belated attempt to shore up the police system that is falling apart with Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon."

Druze leader Walid Jumblat seized upon the Sayyed drama to issue an appeal to President Assad of Syria to dump Lahoud "so that a new president be elected by the current parliament and then we hold legislative elections for a new parliament."

Although four other parliament members have joined Jumblat's bid to sack Lahoud, Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir said from Washington he was in favor of leaving Lahoud's ouster and the election of successor to the new parliament that will be voted in next April-May.

Beirut, Updated 18 Mar 05, 10:26

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: lahoud; lebanon; syria; walidjumblat; waronterror
The President



General Emile Lahoud is the eleventh President of the Republic of Lebanon since Independence. He comes from the town of Baabdat, in the Metn region. Since his youth, General Lahoud has been recognized for his patriotic sense of duty devoted to preserving and protecting the national unity for all the citizens.

From his early childhood, Emile Lahoud witnessed the events of Lebanon’s independence. His father’s struggle for the independence of Lebanon was his first lesson. General Lahoud’s father, whose name is synonymous with the creation of the Army and the quest for independence, taught him military discipline, which accepts no alternative to the national will. It was his father who called upon the Lebanese officers of the Levant Troop to a meeting in Zouk Mikael, on 26/7/1941, where they signed the Historical Document, which stated the officers’ pledge to abide only by the orders of the National Lebanese Government. In addition, he defied the mandatory authorities when he raised, for the first time ever, the Lebanese flag above his unit’s position in Ein Al Sohat. During that period, he met General Fouad Chehab and they maintained a close friendship over the years.

Promoted to the rank of General in 1959, his father soon retired and ran for parliamentary elections in the North Metn region, where he won for two consecutive terms in 1960 and 1964. He was appointed as Minister of Labor and Social Affairs in 1966, in the cabinet of late Premier Abdallah El-Yaffi, during the term of late President Charles Helou. He was known for his sympathy towards the workers and the underprivileged. When he was in office, workers joined unions and syndicates. He was, moreover, named “The Red General” because of his great concern for the low-income class. His father’s experience in politics taught General Emile Lahoud the values of loyalty and justice, enhancing his knowledge and stressing two features: The officer who devotes himself to his country; and the politician who works sincerely and justly. He, therefore, was able to see the dimensions of political issues and tried his best not to interfere in them.

General Emile Lahoud was born in Beirut on January 12, 1936. Son of General Jamil Lahoud and Adrinée Badjakian, he married Andrée Amadouny in 1967. He is the father of Carine, wife of Elias Michel El-Murr (married in 1992), Emile and Ralph. He has one brother, Judge Nasri Lahoud, who is the President of the Council of the Supreme Justice. General Lahoud finished his elementary studies at “La Sagesse”, and his secondary studies at “Brummana High School”. He studied Naval Engineering in Great Britain. Following his father’s steps, he joined the Military Academy on the 1st of October 1956 as a marine cadet officer, and resumed his studies in Great Britain. He is a keen sportsman, an accomplished swimmer and diver.

Military life:
Promoted to the rank of “Sub Lieutenant” in 18/9/1959, he was appointed two months later as Commander of the ship “Beirut” until 20/9/1965.
Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 18/9/1962, he was appointed as Commander of the ship “Sour” 20/9/1965 till 1/10/1966, then Commander of the 2nd Division of Ships until 16/10/1967.
On 10/12/1968, he was appointed as Commander of the 1st Division of Ships. Promoted in 1/4/1969 to the rank of Lieutenant Commander, he was assigned to the Fourth Bureau of the Army Command in 26/3//1970. On the 30th of August 1973, Lieutenant Commander Lahoud was appointed as Chief of Cabinet of the Armed Forces Commander until 1/7/1979, when he was sent to further pursue his military studies in the United States. He was promoted to the rank of Commander in 1/1/1974, and Captain in 1/1/1980. Upon his return from the United States, he was appointed as Director of Personnel of the Army, and later, Chief of the Military Cabinet at the Ministry of Defense in 10/2/1983.
During is military service, General Emile Lahoud pursued several courses and training missions abroad, which promoted him to higher posts and increased his experience.
11/2/1960 till 5/8/1960: Naval course in England.
23/5/1965 till 3/6/1965: Course on rescue boats in England.
18/10/1967 till 6/3/1968: Chemical Bactirio Radiation College (CBR) in the U.S.A.
27/12/1972 till 9/7/1973: Naval Staff course in the U.S.A. (Rhode Island).
30/7/1979 till 3/7/1980: Naval Command College in the U.S.A. (Rhode Island).

31/7/1967 : Member of the Engineering Society of Lebanon
24/11/1998: Acting Honorary Chairman of the Engineering  Society
October 2002: Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects

General Lahoud received the following commendations, decorations and medals:
Commendation of the Army Command, 1958.
Commendation of the Army Commander, 1963.
Commendation of the Army Commander, 1968.
Commendation of the Minister of National Defense, 1983.
Commendation of the Army Commander, 1984.
Campaign Ribbon (memorial), 1961.
The Medal of December 31, 1961.
Lebanese Order of Merit (3rd Grade), 1971.
Medal of Merit and Honor (High Ranking Officer), Haiti, 1974.
Navy Medal (Excellent Grade), 1974.
Tudor Vladimirescu Medal (4th degree), Romania, 1974.
Lebanese Order of Merit (2nd Grade), 1983.
National Order of the Cedar (Knight), 1983.
Lebanese Order of Merit (1st Grade), 1988.
National Order of the Cedar (Officer), 1989.
War Medal, 1991.
War Medal, 1992.
National Order of the Cedar (Grand Cordon), 1993.
Medal of the "Dawn of the South", 1993.
The Medal of National Unity, 1993.
Military Valour Medal, 1994.
State Security Medal, 1994.
Commander of the Legion of Honor, France, 1996.
Order of Merit (Senior Officer Rank), Italy, 1997.
Great Cross of Argentina, 1998.
Lebanese Order of Merit (Extraordinary Grade), 1998.
Order of Al-Hussein Ibn Ali, Jordan, 1999.
Great Collar of Independence, Qatar, 1999.
Order of Saint Misrope Mashtos, Armenia, 2000.
King Abdul-Aziz Collar, Saudi Arabia, 2000.
Great Collar of The Union, United Arab Emirates, 2000.
Great Collar of Mubarak, Kuwait, 2000.
Great Collar of the Nile, Egypt, 2000.
Great Collar of Independence, Qatar, 2000.
Great Collar of the Khalifite Order, Bahrein, 2000.
Order of the White Double Cross (1st Class), Slovakia, 2001.
The "Star of Romania" Collar, 1999, 2001.
Great Cross of the Legion of Honor, France, 2001.
The Al Muhammadi Decoration (Extraordinary Grade), Morocco, 2001.
Order of November the 7th (Highest Grade), Tunisia, 2001.
Great Cross of the Grimaldi's Order, Monaco, 2001.
Great Cross of the Redeemer's Order, Greece, 2001.
National Order of Oumaya – Grand Cordon, Syria, 2002.
Badge of the order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise - 1st class, Ukraine, 2002.
Grand Collar of the Order of Makarios III, Cyprus, 2002.
National Order of Merit "Al-Athir", Algeria, 2002.
Order of the Republic, Yemen, 2002
Military Order of Oman - first category, Oman, 2002
The Order Stara Planina, Bulgaria, 2003
Gold Olympic Order, 2003
National Order of the South Cross, Brasilia – Brazil, 2004
Big Cross of the Ipiranga Order, Sao Paolo – Brazil, 2004
Order of Merit Grand Cross with Chain, Hungary, 2004
Knight Grand Cross of Merit with Gold Star of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, 2004.
Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, Poland, 2004.

When General Lahoud was appointed as Commander of the Armed Forces in 28/11/1989, Lebanon was witnessing destruction and armed conflict. There was a widespread “breakdown” on all levels, political, administrative and military. At that point, General Lahoud’s main assets were his unshakable determination and reputation, and an illustrious history of dedication and service to his country. When the nation and the Army faced an unprecedented period which required exceptional efforts, General Lahoud was asked to carry out the national rescue mission. His qualifications were a determining factor that led to his nomination. He has never longed for personal recognition nor favor.

General Lahoud took over the command of an institution ravaged by military conflict. The military's role was absent, and after the Taef Agreement put an end to the war, the Lebanese needed a guarantor to secure their future. The Lebanese recognized the need for a united and a strong military.
They were also looking for a symbol of unity, and national cohesion. General Lahoud rebuilt the Army, and provided the nation with a united military establishment.

Unity of Vision
Previously, the absence of clear vision prevented the unity of the Army, and kept it from defending the system and safeguarding the nation's integrity and security. When this vision was put in focus, the military assumed its clear objectives.
In January 1990, General Lahoud addressed the military :
" You are not armed factions in the service of personal interests, rather, you are in the service of Lebanon only. You should remain united for all the Lebanese."

Rebuilding the Army on an equitable basis
The losses that the Army suffered, both in personnel and equipment, had to be compensated in order to ensure that the military institution can fulfill its defensive and security roles. Rebuilding the Army units and providing them with their needs was done equitably in a period of harsh economic conditions through the rational use of the available resources. During that period, General Lahoud said:
" The Army's duty is to defend the legitimacy of the nation and preserve the security of citizens. We must continue our efforts to supply it on all levels with personnel, equipment and adequate training of brigades and units, in order to maintain its readiness. That is why we have implemented an emergency plan."

This plan, supervised by General Lahoud consisted of the following :

  • Repairing and restoring defective equipment.
  • Receiving grants in arms and ammunition from the Syrian Arab Army.
  • Buying used equipment in nominal prices from different sources, only using funds allocated in the Budget.
    This led to a decrease in expenses in the budget of the Army and put an end to the questionable practices that used to characterize military procurement.
Relationship with the political authority
General Lahoud was determined to develop the relationship between the political authorities and the military according to the Constitution . When he took over as Commander, General Lahoud stressed that the military shall defend the legitimacy and shall remain distant from all political or confessional interests :
" The Army is bound to defend the national principles which are : democracy, freedom, justice, sovereignty and unity. The oath we made must be fulfilled in our daily work. Experience shows that aware and enlightened soldiers are better prepared to put aside sectarian and regional tendencies. Your country is based on a democratic parliamentary system. You should protect it and preserve its liberties by abiding to the civil constitutional authority of which you are a part."
As a result, General Lahoud called for the politicization of militias and their demilitarization. On a parallel level, he called for keeping Army affairs away from political intervention.

Unity of the military in their fight against the enemy, in coordination with Syria
General Lahoud unified the strategic goals of the Army by pointing out the real enemy and by stating the national path each one must follow. Israel is the enemy which is occupying our land and threatening our stability. When the Army command sent half of its armed forces to the South and the West Bekaa to confront Israeli aggression, General Lahoud said :
" We will go to the South because we are aware that Lebanon became weak when the Army turned its back on our Southern borders. This is the land of our ancestors, and we are going to regain every bit of it, according to our government's decisions. Syria remains our best ally. It has bled with us and continues to help us. Coordination between the two armies has today reached unprecedented levels, yielding beneficial results : generous aid and equipment grants, military assistance during security missions on the ground, and the training of Lebanese military units."
General Lahoud repeatedly pointed out that the Lebanese soldiers felt at last that Lebanese citizens, from all regions and groups are supporting them on a national level. This is due to General Lahoud's success in unifying the Army's position. Citizens no longer feel regional segregation and are turning more and more towards the Army.

Institutional Work
General Lahoud has followed clear plans in his command of the Army. Promotions, assignments and courses abroad are all based on competence and productivity. This equality under the rule of Law leads to the fact that the military is subject to the same norms in defining duties, rights and reprimands.

1. Security For all Lebanese
Lebanon witnessed , under General Lahoud's command, a number of internal commitments on the political and security levels. These commitments were carried out under the firm supervision of the Army.
On the security level, General Lahoud stressed the importance of national security by linking it to fighting the Israeli aggression:
" Internal security represents the basis and the required depth to face the enemy."
Stressing the importance of internal security, General Lahoud ordered the Army to face any attempts to jeopardize the stability of the nation, and regardless of any sectarian or regional affiliation. General Lahoud was firm on this issue :
"We cannot apply the principles of six-on-six (confessional equilibrium) on security matters. Security is a vital issue and, if neglected, can be fatal. Israel will be the only gaining party in this case. "
This approach followed by General Lahoud in implementing security was highly praised by political and popular circles all over Lebanon. For the first time in Lebanon, violence was no longer the means to settle political objectives. This was manifested in a number of important events : the visit of the Pope; the visit of the French president; the parliamentary elections of both 1992 and 1996; and the municipal elections of 1998. In addition to these events, the Army ensured a proper security environment for the return of the displaced.

2. Preserving Public Liberties
The security accomplishments during the nine-year term of General Emile Lahoud were a determining factor in invigorating political life. This was manifested in a number of political events. The security umbrella of the Army, allowed political and other groups to organize their activities, whether they were rallies, meetings or elections. General Lahoud's orders were clear. They were based on the following principles :
2-1" We cannot tolerate any action that jeopardizes the security issue. Any violation will be severely reprimanded. Security is a red line that should not be crossed."
2-2 The protection of public and political gatherings and the reprimand of violence.
2-3 Preserving the liberty of all citizens who wish to express their beliefs and practice their political rights in elections and adherence to syndicates.
2-4 No interference whatsoever in any political issue, and to restrict the role of the Army to security and military matters, which are essential in providing a proper atmosphere for political freedom.
Regarding elections, General Lahoud stated the position of the Army :
" What matters to us is the secure climate in which elections will be held. We will spare no effort to protect the electoral process and all the conditions which precede and follow the process, in order to provide an equal opportunity for all candidates to exercise their democratic rights."
2-5 The Army is to stand at an equal distance from all people and groups while performing its duties, whatever their affiliations may be, whether confessional, regional or political.

The result of this policy can be summed up as follows:
-Enhancing democratic practices in all political and civil institutions of society.
-The atmosphere in which parliamentary elections were held was, in everybody's opinion, very favorable. This is attributed to General Lahoud's clear orders of non-interference of the Army:
" We have ordered all Army personnel not to interfere in any activity relating to the parliamentary elections, be it familial, religious or political. The Army has learnt from past experiences that engaging in political confrontations brought anarchy and destruction the results of which are still apparent to all. That is why we are stressing on the military to abide by military discipline and distance themselves from trivial interests for the sake of the vital interest of the nation. The Army Command reiterates its confidence in all the military who have offered through their sacrifices and efforts, great achievements in record times. On the other hand, the command will not tolerate anyone who breaches orders and participates in any activity related to the elections."

The result was an election process with no security problems, whereby the freedom of all participants was guaranteed, whether they were supporters or opponents. This was the opinion of the Lebanese and the international community.
-The same atmosphere was provided in the municipal elections which were held in 1998, after being halted for 35 years. General Lahoud's orders for these elections were as follows:
"Our country is to hold municipal elections at the end of Spring. These elections will cover all towns. That is why we stress on the following: no military personnel is allowed to attend related meetings of any sort. We will be firm with anyone who violates these orders. We are confident that all the military will enjoy a high state of awareness."

-The success of the Pope's visit to Lebanon, a visit that took place in a climate of total safety, placed Lebanon in the rank of countries that enjoy a high degree of stability. The visit was attended in all its stages by a huge public, whereby the Lebanese expressed their faith in spiritual values in an atmosphere of total serenity and stability.
-The overwhelming response of gratitude and praise to the achievements of the Army whenever the public security and stability were at risk.
-The development of economic activities was due mainly to the atmosphere of stability and security, which provides the best incentive for investment and capital attraction.

General Lahoud placed the international and external security (to confront the Israeli aggression), on the same level, since he was aware that the continuing Israeli occupation meant continuing pressure on internal security, since the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon and the West Bekaa remains the ongoing external threat. The Lebanese Army is confronting this occupation and considers it its primary concern, in accordance with General Lahoud's directives.
General Lahoud applied a new military doctrine in dealing with the threat of the Israeli enemy: Israeli aggressions aim at breaking political and diplomatic coordination between Lebanon and Syria, and thus, fighting this aggression ensures the strengthening of both the Lebanese and Syrian fronts.
In a speech to the military in 2/4/1995, General Lahoud said :
" The Israeli enemy is trying, through its daily aggressions on peaceful villages, and through its political threats, to weaken both the Lebanese and the Syrian positions, by trying to isolate both sides. Israel wants to impose its conditions as it did with other Arab countries.
But this method of pressure and aggression will never succeed as long as we are coordinating our efforts with Syria. "

General Lahoud's orders were clear: To fight Israeli aggressions whenever possible and with all available means. That is how the Lebanese Army survived the 1996 "Grapes of Wrath" Israeli aggression on South Lebanon. This aggression failed to reach its designated goals because of the alertness and readiness of the Lebanese Army, as well as the mobilized support of all Lebanese to the Army. The Army was able to absorb the results of this aggression on the military, social and humanitarian levels, thanks to Syrian aid.

In response to the dubious Israeli calls to implement the "Lebanon First" agreement, following the failure of its military aggression, General Lahoud reiterated Lebanon's coordination with Syria in facing Israeli aggression.
Thus, the Army continues to bleed, not impressed by the massive Israeli war machine. This was best manifested in the operation of Zahrani in 5/9/1997, when the Army repulsed an Israeli airborne commando unit. As for the Israeli proposal to implement UN Resolution 425, General Lahoud stressed the fact that:
" This proposal is merely formal. The true behind-the-scene proposal is an invitation to conclude military arrangements that would only benefit the enemy and abolish the Resistance. That is, Israel is trying to transform the Lebanese Army into a border police. Israel seems to forget that its withdrawal from the occupied territories is only part of the solution. As for the assurances the Israelis demand, they are intended to rid it from the security problems while ignoring critical issues, namely the Palestinian presence which should be settled by their justified right to return to their homeland. "

Any settlement outside the limits of a global comprehensive and just peace for Lebanon and Syria together will be no more than an illusion. A proper settlement can be reached only when all problems and outstanding issues are resolved, including Israel's withdrawal from the South and the Golan Heights, which is the most crucial issue.

The achievements that General Lahoud aspired for became a reality and proved that the success of building institutions is not difficult if coupled with determination, openness and hard work.
When the prevailing situation in 1989 called for a national leader who is disinterested in divisive, trivial and unimportant matters, General Lahoud was entrusted with the task of commanding the Army. Today, the achievements of his mandate have become a national banner that all the Lebanese are raising, and calling on all to follow its principles in the interest of safeguarding all the institutions of Lebanon.

1 posted on 03/18/2005 11:47:23 AM PST by Stoat
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To: Stoat

Is there concern about a vacuum of power if the military and or police are disbanded?

2 posted on 03/18/2005 12:11:47 PM PST by nikos1121
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To: nikos1121

I have no doubt that there are such concerns, but my guess is that most judge a difficult transitory phase to be preferable to the current government.

Have faith....we Americans got through our transition to self-governance, and so will the people of Lebanon :-)

3 posted on 03/18/2005 12:20:42 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: All


4 posted on 03/18/2005 12:37:08 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: All
More on this:

Naharnet News Desk

Jumblat Pleads with Assad to Sack Lahoud for a "Historic Conciliation'
Walid Jumblat has counseled President Assad to sack President Lahoud so as to escape the threat of international isolation and clear the way for a "historic, conciliatory settlement" between Lebanon and Syria "clean from the common dirt" of the Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services.
"Lahoud is the problem and he has to go as a precondition to resolve the current crisis in Lebanon," Jumblat said, speaking in several local and Arab TV interviews after Gen. Sayyed's dramatic declaration that he was bringing a lawsuit against his own self to challenge opposition charges of complicity in Hariri's assassination.

"Who is Jamil Sayyed," Jumblat asked and then answered. "Jamil Sayyed is the architect of Lebanon's current police state and had brought President Lahoud to head it." The Druze leader ridiculed Sayyed's offer to be interrogated by acting State Prosecutor judge Rabia Kaddoura.

"Kaddoura is a protégé of Adnan Addoum, who is in turn a lackey of Rustom Ghazaleh," said Jumblat. "Sayyed has led Syria to its current international isolation, which we regret. The only way out is sacking Lahoud and electing a new president by the current parliament, after which parliamentary elections would be held."

Jumblat said the opposition was willing to contest the elections under the old electoral law, accusing Lahoud and Karami of seeking to delay the formation of a new government in order to postpone or cancel the elections.

"We tell them to hold the elections under whatever law they choose and we are ready to go to the polls on their own terms," Jumblat challenged.

Beirut, Updated 18 Mar 05, 11:05

5 posted on 03/18/2005 12:48:45 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat

We didn't have a 25,000 Hezbollah like bunch of goons.


6 posted on 03/18/2005 1:10:53 PM PST by nikos1121
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To: nikos1121
We didn't have a 25,000 Hezbollah like bunch of goons.

True, but we also didn't have the massive world superpower of the United States to help us during that time either.

Naharnet Newsdesk - Bush Sketches 'Wing-Clipping' Scenario for Syria's Exit from Lebanon

Bush Sketches 'Wing-Clipping' Scenario for Syria's Exit from Lebanon
President Bush has sketched a wing-clipping scenario for Syria's exit from Lebanon, asserting that its intelligence organizations should no longer be allowed to influence government functions in Beirut and insisting the withdrawal should be completed before the spring elections for a new Lebanese parliament.
Bush outlined the U.S. stance at a White House news conference shortly before holding 30 minutes of talks with Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir during which the American president insisted that the Syrian withdrawal should be completed in time for the upcoming elections to be "fee and fair."

"We want a thriving democracy in Lebanon. We believe that there will be a thriving democracy, but only if Syria withdraws not only her troops completely out of Lebanon, but also her secret service organizations, intelligence organizations," Bush told the new conference.

"I am concerned, and the world should be concerned that the intelligence organizations are embedded in a lot of government functions in Lebanon, and there needs to be a complete withdrawal of those services in order for there to be a free election," Bush said.

He pledged his administration to work with "elected leaders of a free, truly free Lebanon, and looking forward to it." This remark fueled reports in the Beirut media that the U.S. would help Lebanon cope with its staggering national debt once Syria is out and a free government is installed in Beirut.

Bush took a jab at Hizbullah, saying it might run in the Lebanese elections on a platform of "vote for me, I look forward to blowing up America." Nevertheless, he said he liked the idea of people running for office.

7 posted on 03/18/2005 1:14:01 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat
There are three names I never thought I'd see together like that.

8 posted on 03/18/2005 1:16:28 PM PST by BJClinton (“Give me your DUmmies, your Idiots, your Leftist Wackos yearning to be sanity free.” ~PJ-Comix)
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To: BJClinton
There are three names I never thought I'd see together like that.

I us, it's insulting to have those other creeps mentioned in the same breath as our President, but at least the people making the sign had the good sense to put President Bush's name first, as it should be.

They are in a difficult position, where they need to build bridges wherever possible.  We shall, of course, watch and see if Kofi and Jacque  try to pull any shenanigans in Lebanon.  They will be under the world's microscope.

9 posted on 03/18/2005 1:20:48 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat

France wants their colony back so Chiraq is soldily behind getting Syria out. mostly harmless.

10 posted on 03/18/2005 1:25:26 PM PST by BJClinton (“Give me your DUmmies, your Idiots, your Leftist Wackos yearning to be sanity free.” ~PJ-Comix)
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To: BJClinton
France wants their colony back so Chiraq is soldily behind getting Syria out.

I am guessing that in this case, what France wants and what France will get may be two entirely different things.  The Lebanese people are highly educated and very astute.  They have been paying very close attention to world events, and they know the perils associated with French involvement, versus the benign and entirely helpful results of U.S. involvement, as demonstrated in Iraq and elsewhere.  I think that if France offers 'no strings' help, it may be accepted but the Lebanese people will be particularly wary of France and any efforts to get it's hooks into Lebanon. 

They are just now emerging from decades of oppression from Syria, and I doubt that they want to merely trade one slave master for another.  The Lebanese people yearn for freedom and can see it in their eyes and in their words. 

The domino chain that was begun with a free Iraq continues, and there is little that can stop a passionate drive for freedom short of a full-scale military clampdown.  I don't see that coming from Syria....Assad has too many other troubles at the moment.

11 posted on 03/18/2005 1:34:37 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat

For the lady in the picture with the "Independance 05" sign: By all means, set them free!!
Like to take in a game with the Yankee fan.

12 posted on 03/18/2005 2:23:01 PM PST by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: Stoat

13 posted on 04/02/2005 2:43:35 AM PST by M. Espinola (Freedom is never free!)
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