Skip to comments.Lebanon: Lahoud's Police Regime Seen Crumbling with Syria's Exit
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
Is there concern about a vacuum of power if the military and or police are disbanded?
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 :-)
|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
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.
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.
I know....to 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.
France wants their colony back so Chiraq is soldily behind getting Syria out. Kofi...is mostly harmless.
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 autonomy....you 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.
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.
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