In many respects, we are here because of the nature of our “system”; rather than “sharing” the pie with one another, different leaders found it more cost-effective to bring in “outsiders”, and leverage that support against their internal rivals.
This system “worked” for them for a while. Things were good during the heydays of the civil war, when all militias combined racked in more than USD 80 Billion over 15 years. Nice racket, if you can get it…
Comparatively, peace was not as good; the “take” between 1992 and 2000 had to be shared with
That’s if we get around to auditing the books; the Faustian bargains our leaders made is such that all bills are coming due, and all at the same time…
Even before 2004, it was clear that Hariri, Shehabi, and Joumblat would be “on Bashar’s anti-corruption hit list”. It was already clear in 2004 that a Alawite regime could not endure on the long term with a powerful Sunni figure in next-door
First, the Alawite regime’s survival in
Second ,The Assad’s survival among the Alawites cannot be seen outside
So the Syrians are now stuck; they have retreated so much, there is little ground they can give anymore.
With this in mind, the Assad’s next move is predictable; they can only accept a Quisling as president of
Pity the huddle masses gathered in Beirut on March 8th; the demands of their masters will now require a lot more than braying to celebrate the great Hafez’ anniversary. Now that the master’s weakness has been exposed, it will be up to the servants to make up for it.
For Hezb, all this Iranian investment allowed it to become a prime fighting force. Put in perspective, however, the other militias got far more from their war rackets than Hezb did; it is just that Hezb’s discipline and organization allowed to improve on Bashir’s and Joumblat’s model, and thus create a true army, and a true state. But in the process, Hezb may have made more enemies than they could handle…
Regardless of the needs of
At worst, the children of Khomeini may be intent on a great Armageddon to bring about the return of the Mahdi. This is how the Persian are “selling” this to their Arab cannon fodder.
At best, the Mullahs are still realists; after all, they have to keep that Gulf “Persian”, and may well be intent on leveraging one asset to secure another, far more important prize.
For this reason,
The Americans are indeed in a quagmire in
That does not mean they are out of the game, there is far too much oil at stake… And the
The Saudi’s Bill: Property Rights!
The Saudi motives are complex, but one thing is certain; they may have allowed the Hariri assassination to slide, had Bashar known how to guarantee their interests. But as that pipeline to the strategic Zahrani refinery kept being delayed, and so is the link to a revised IPC, the only way for Iraqi Sunnis to see some profits from Kurdish oil, and the best way for Gulf Arabs to go around Syria… In the meantime, more Saudi oil had to find its way to costumers through Eilat and Ashkelon, since Suez and SUMED are already running at full capacity. Then Bashar got too close to the Iranians, who have no interest in diminishing the importance of Hormuz.
It is no wonder the Saudi royals have been growing ever more visibly impatient with the Assad clan, whose standing in the way of business… This is even more galling to the Saudis that the Assad clan’s lackeys are also trying to muscle in on many other businesses. Look back at period between 1992 and 1995, when “the Lebanese people committed $75 billion and mortgaged the future of generations to receive $6 billion in authentic public investments”, most of which went to “the few clean streets in Downtown and the
Those campers in the tent city may be on Lebanese soil, but they are really on private property.
The eviction notice will come soon.
Let’s hope it will not be addressed to