Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dr Landis imputed to Professor Walid Phares things he hasn’t said or wrote

Dr Landis imputed to Professor Walid Phares things he hasn’t said or wrote

1) Landis wrote that “Phares is a main proponent of a school of thought he defined as “I want regime change in Syria crowd.” There are no statements in Phares articles and the one Landis posted that quotes Phares on this. Landis invented it.

2) Landis wrote: “They argue that Syria is a third rate power that can be swatted away with one hand if only Washington has the will and is not duped by the realists.”Phares never used these words in any of his articles that we’ve read. The terminology used by Landis seems to be his not the ones of the scholar he criticizes.

3) The most erroneous imputed quote is the following: “They do not advocate a Lebanese solution to the assassinations other than to develop militias and fight.” I read and re-read the article posted and other articles and again, found nothing of the sort. Landis is simply inventing sentences and words. Phares never mentioned militias anywhere. He has been one of the main architectsof UNSCR 1559 and the call to send multinational troops to disarm the militias not to create ones.

Unfortunately Dr Landis went on a non-academic pro-Syrian advocacy track as he invented words in imputed them to other scholars. If you listen to Radio Damascus and al Manar TV commentaries you’d find the same types of comments.

Tom HarbSecretary General of the Committee for UN 1559e-mail:





اذاعة المشرق نشرة الاخبار 28/11/2006
· كبير الباحثين في مؤسسة الدفاع عن الديمقراطيات في العالم البروفسور وليد فارس يعتبر ان اغتيال الشيخ بيار الجميل هو جزء من عملية اغتيال لثورة الارز التي اخرجت الجيش السوري البعثي مهزوما من الاراضي اللبنانية .
اذاعة المشرق نشرة الاخبار 28/11/2006
وجه البروفسور وليد فارس كبير الباحثين في مؤسسة الدفاع عن الديمقراطيات في العالم ومقرها واشنطن في اطار برنامج لبنان سيدا حرا مستقلا عبر اثير اذاعة المشرق تعازيه الحارة للشعب اللبناني ولـ آل الجميل باغتيال الوزير الشهيد النائب بيار الجميل مؤكدا ان التاريخ يحفظ التضحيات , وقال ان بيار الجميل كان يمثل ما تبقى من قدرات للمقاومة اللبنانية المدنية بوجه محور الفاشية محور ما يمكن ان يسميه المؤرخون في المستقبل محور الشر اذا كان للشر كيان فلسفي سياسي هو النظام الايراني نظام الملالي التوسعي والنظام السوري برئاسة الاسد المحتل سابقا للبنان والذي لا يزال يرهب المجتمع المدني اللبناني ويرعبه وطبعا من لف لفهم وهو حليفهم في لبنان وامتداد لهم , هذا المحور لا يزال يعمل على ضرب القيادات والشخصيات والمفكرين والصحافيين الذين يمثلون الشعب اللبناني بكل اطيافه // واكد الدكتور فارس ان الشعب افرز يوم 14 اذار بداية ثورة الارز وليست نهايتها لان هذه الثورة لم تختصر بيوم واحد فهي بدات قبل 14 اذار 2005 واستمرت بعده وهي مستمرة تارة بتظاهرات ومسيرات ضخمة وطورا باشكال عدة // واعتبر فارس ان اغتيال الشيخ بيار الجميل ليس اغتيال ليوم انه جزء من عملية اغتيال لثورة الارز منذ ان خرج الجيش السوري البعثي مهزوما من الاراضي اللبنانية في نيسان 2005 وبعدما نجح اللوبي اللبناني البطل ايضا في اقناع مراكز القرار الدولية في صيف 2004 بضرورة اصدار قرار من مجلس الامن يدعو سوريا الى سحب قواتها من لبنان // واكد الدكتور فارس ان ما يحاول النظام السوري فعله هو ضرب مستقبل ثورة الارز عبر قتل قيادييها من اجل الاستيلاء على الحكم في لبنان وتحويل هذا البلد الى الجزء الثالث من المحور الخميني البعثي وكما يسعى الى اقناع الحكومة اللبنانية بعدم الموافقة على المحكمة الدولية لانه يعتبر ان تحرير لبنان سوف يؤدي الى تحرير الشعب السوري وسيكون بداية لتحرير شعوب المنطقة بما فيها الشعب الايراني ونبه فارس الى ان مطالبة امين عام حزب الله حسن نصر الله بحكومة وحدة وطنية بعد رفض هكذا حكومة على مدى 16 عاما الغاية منه تعطيل كل القرارات الدولية مؤكدا ان نصر الله وحزبه شنا حربا اقليمية من دون سبب ومن دون اي قرار من قبل الحكومة اللبانية في تموز الماضي بهدف ضرب السلام بشكل عام ولاسقاط الحكومة واقامة حكومة ائتلاف مكانها بين حلفاء سوريا وايران // ومن هنا نؤكد ضرورة استمرار ثورة الارز التي لا تضم الاكثرية فقط من الشعب اللبناني فهناك ايضا الاغتراب اللبناني كله الذي يؤيدها وهو 14 مليون مغترب اذا اضفناها الى الثلاث ملايين الموجودة في لبنان يعني ان ثورة الارز تشكل تسعين بالمئة من الشعب اللبناني//هذا وتستمعون الى نص الرسالة كاملا عند الساعة العاشرة والنصف من قبل ظهر يوم غد الاربعاء وفي كل وقت على شبكة الانترنت في موقع المشرق دوت اورغ.
= = = = = ==

Monday, November 20, 2006

Phares comments on Hassan Nasrallah speech - "DISARM TO JOIN THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS"

Phares comments on Hassan Nasrallah speech


Washington, DC, November 19, 2006

Commenting on the speech by Hezbollah's leader today, Professor Walid Phares, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies made the following remarks to Mashreq Radio and the daily as Siyassa.

First: M Nasrallah asked the Lebanese Government to either form a so-called "national unity government" or to resign and organize early legislative elections. Otherwise, M Nasrallah will wage a campaign of streets protests to bring down the Seniora cabinet. In fact, if Hezbollah's leader wishes to make a massive change in the democratic political process in Lebanon, he will have to call for an all out halting to this process as is, and go back to square one. For if Hezbollah has accepted the process back in May 2005, and obtained seats in the Parliament and the Government, then withdrew, it means that he has been using this process. If they believe the process must stop, then Hezbollah should hold an emergency congress and declare the following:

1) Disband the militia and remit its weapons to the UNIFIL and the Lebanese army in implementation of UNSCR 1559 and 1701

2) Severe its military and security ties with the Syrian and Iranian regimes

3) Stop receiving illegal money from the Iranian Government

4) Release its Lebanese prisoners and give an account for the Lebanese persons it kidnapped during the War.

When this is performed, then the Lebanese Government, and after the resignation of the pro-Syrian President of the Republic, should call for legislative elections and all political forces would participate, but without the power and influence of weapons and foreign illegal money.

Second: M Nasrallah said the previous pro-Syrian cabinet had allowed demonstrations to take place back in February 2005, and that the Lebanese Army allowed free demonstrations to move forward. M Nasrallah should be reminded that the Syrian occupation, through its controlled regime then, suppressed the Lebanese masses and instructed the Lebanese security forces to stop any popular gathering. It is only when thousands of young people marched to downtown that the officers and soldiers of the Lebanese Army opened the paths and allowed them to proceed against the Government's orders.

Third: M Nasrallah said he acts on the interests of Lebanon only. If this is the case, he should send back the weapons he received from Tehran, declare that Hezbollah is not part of the Islamic Revolution of Iran and that Syria was and still is an occupier in Lebanon. If his group achieves these goals, then he can join other Lebanese in the political process as an equal partner.

Fourth: M Nasrallah still rejects the UN resolutions pertaining to Lebanon. As long as he opposes the international legality, the international community and the popular majority in Lebanon will reject Hezbollah as a legitimate part of the country's political process. Hence, any move by Hezbollah to bring down the democratically elected Government in Lebanon will be dealt with as a move against the majority of the Lebanese People and the international community.

Dr Phares made these comments to several radios internationally, including Mashreq Radio and the Kuwaiti daily as Siyassa.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Around The Horn on Lebanon

Around The Horn on Lebanon
Steve Schippert from ThreatsWatch,

Several recent writings provide excellent analysis and commentary on the situation in Lebanon pertaining to Hizballah’s political power grab which, as Dr. Walid Phares has been saying, was Hizballah’s reason for sparking the Israeli war over the summer. While excerpts are provided here, readers concerned about the situation in Lebanon would find it well worth their time investment to read each in full.

First among the notable efforts is from Rick Moran with Hezbollah’s End Game In Lebanon Taking Shape.

What it comes down to is what has always been the greatest threat to Lebanon’s democracy; Hezb’allah and their guns. Faling to disarm the militia as they were required to do under UN Security Council resolution 1559, the March 14th Forces paid for their inability to rally enough popular support to suppress Hezb’allah first with the Israeli War and now with an existential threat to the existence of a free and independent Lebanon. Perhaps it was inevitable given the enormous difficulty in governing a country so riven with factional and sectarian divisions. But history’s judgement will be no less severe if the small group of brave democrats cannot find a way to stop Nasrallah from carrying through with his plans.

As for the United States, there is very little we can do to assist. Siniora is already battling charges that he is Washington’s stooge – charges that ring true with many ordinary Lebanese thanks to effective Hezb’allah propaganda spewed forth from Al-Manar, the terrorist media organ in Lebanon. And as Dr. Phares points out, Nasrallah’s push for power has not taken place in a political vacuum; both he and his patrons in Tehran and Syria know how to read US election results.

Rick refers to Dr. Phares’ analysis at The Counterterrorism Blog titled Hezbollah’s offensive in Lebanon has begun. In his analysis, he details the likely steps Hizballah will take in relatively short order in order for the Islamists to wrest control of the government from the March 14 coalition.

5. The projected scenario is as follows: Hezbollah and Amal movement ministers will resign from the Government calling for the resignation of the Government. The next move is to have Hezbollah, Amal, and their allies in the Parliament also resign, thus creating “conditions” for what they will coin as new elections and a collapse of the cabinet. Most of these moves have already been accomplished or are on the eve of being implemented. The pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud will declare the Government and the Parliament as “illegitimate,” and call for early legislative elections. The latter, if they take place will be under the smashing influence of Hezbollah’s weapons (a show of force was performed in the summer) and of the cohorts of militias and security agencies. Result: a pro-Syrian-Iranian majority in parliament, followed by the formation of an “axis” government in Lebanon. The rest is easy to predict: A terrorism victory.

The question today is, how to stop this from happening?

No look at Lebanon would be complete without including Michael Totten, who possesses the inate ability to communicate his informed observations in a naturally flowing and readable style that is truly rare, especially considering the topics often discussed. In A Perfect Storm?, Totten draws upon his personal experiences and knowledge of both Lebanese society, Beirut politics, personal friends on the ground and his own face-to-face experiences with Hizballah.

The Lebanese government says Syria and Iran aim to overthrow the elected government in Beirut and reconquer the country. Whether they are actually trying to do this right now or not is unknown. There should be no doubt, though, that if they don’t have a plan to execute now it’s because they want to do it later instead.

Meanwhile, a group that calls itself “Al Qaeda in Lebanon” appeared from Lord-only-knows-where and directly threatened to destroy the March 14 government. “Al Qaeda in Lebanon” may or may not exist as a wing of bin Laden’s Al Qaeda. If they do, they’re serious. If they don’t, they’re a Syrian proxy. Either way, it doesn’t look good. This is not a prank phone call.

These threats to Beirut’s elected government are concurrent with Hezbollah’s and Amal’s resignation from the Lebanese cabinet. Hezbollah and Amal quit for two reasons. The first is that the March 14 bloc refused to give Nasrallah and friends who lost last year’s election more power in a “national unity” government. The second is because it was time for the cabinet to move ahead on the Hariri tribunal. Hezbollah will not tolerate the prosecution of their patron in Damascus.

Both Rick Moran and Michael Totten refer to Charles Malik and his observation that the apparently coming Lebanese internal violence just may take place without much participation from the Christians, divided as they are in their support for the given factions. Malik asks at the Lebanese Political Journal, Will the Assassinations Prompt Sectarian Clashes This Time?

Rumors are running rampant that sectarian clashes began immediately after the Shia ministers resigned from the government. A friend in the Future Youth Organization said that young people no longer feel safe going out in the evening, and that the FYO was expecting bombs to go off the night the Shia ministers resigned. This, obviously, did not occur, but people are preparing themselves for the worst. Sadly, preparing oneself for violence, like stockpiling weapons, often makes one too quick to respond aggressively when violence is not necessary.

There has been much discussion (including on this blog) about the divisions within the Christian community. Interestingly, this division might make the Christians safer. The Christians proved last year that they would not respond to violence with violence. With the Lebanese Forces in 14 March and Michel Aoun aligned with 8 March, the Christian community will not be at the center of any sectarian clashes for, perhaps, the first time in modern Lebanese history.

While there is much to be considered, each of the above writers are a tremendous resource with their observations, comment and analysis…not to mention readable styles. I for one appreciate the way they reference each other’s ideas, considering and incorporating them into their own writing. Readers here would be well served by checking in on each of the above as they look to make sense of the Lebanese situation.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Phares to Radio Iraq: "Americans voted on Iraq without hearing Iraqi voices"

Phares to Radio Iraq: "Americans voted on Iraq without hearing Iraqi voices"
Phares in Arabic

In an interview with the Free Iraq Radio, FDD Senior fellow Dr Walid Phares said: "Obviously with the loss of Congress by the Administration, the only future possible will be discussions and negociations between the two sides on all main issues. This won't be the first time in American modern history when different parties controlled different branches of Government. There will be many areas of agreements and also other areas of difference between the two sides. However, what most experts believe is that this Congress will play a greater role in the preparation for the Presidential elections of 2008." Addressing the impact of the Iraq issue on these elections, Phares added: "Let's be clear: the voice of Iraqi intellectuals and academics was not heard in the debate that preceded elections. Millions of US citizens voted on Iraq but without hearing the voice of Iraqis. And that will certainly affect future policies on Iraq. (...)There will be pressures applied on the Administration by Congress, and on Congress by many political factions and lobbies to withdraw from Iraq faster, and in some cases voices will call for immediate pull out. But, in view of the new balance of power I don't think there will be an immediate abandonment. But the politicians of Iraq must put their utmost efforts to work with this US Congress and convince its new majority of the importance of US support to the new democracy. This is a matter Iraqis leaders haven't been successful with in the past couple years. If the latter are concerned with the return of totalitarianism to Iraq they need to work hard with the new US Congress and have their voices heard among Americans. It is not a secret that there are plans today that are different from before and may not be in the interest of pluralism and democracy in Iraq.

Asked about the Iraq study group and the ideas of former secretary of state James Baker, Phares said "there are many voices in the US and Europe supporting negotiations with the radicals. Iraqi politicians who are supportive of democracy and freedom must be attentive to this reality. If the Iraqi democratic movement has no voice in DC, some pragmatic but not necessarily attractive suggestions may well convince Congress and the Administration as a new policy in Iraq. After the last elections in the US, no one can influence the process better than the Iraqis themselves." [Listen to the interview in Arabic]
Nov 9, 2006, 18:31

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Phares to the Wall Street Journal: "Secretary Rice should convene a Lebanese NGO conference to revive the Cedars Revolution"

Will Bush Lose Lebanon, Too?
November 7, 2006; Page A13, WSJ

President Bush learns tonight whether Republicans will lose control of the House, the Senate, or both. But what's a mere midterm when his administration is on the verge of losing an entire country?

That country is Lebanon. Twenty months ago, when Syrian troops were abruptly forced out in the so-called Cedar Revolution after a 29-year occupation, the Levantine state was a byword for the ascendancy of the Bush Doctrine. "It's strange for me to say this," the Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt told columnist David Ignatius in February 2005, "but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, eight million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world."

Fast-forward to the present and then watch as the Cedar Revolution gets played in reverse. The White House issued a remarkable statement last Wednesday warning of "mounting evidence that the Syrian and Iranian governments, Hezbollah and their Lebanese allies are preparing to topple Lebanon's democratically elected government." That evidence includes recent threats on the lives of leading anti-Syrian figures, about a dozen of whom were assassinated last year. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has also promised massive demonstrations if his demand for a "national unity" government -- in which he and his allies would gain enough seats in the cabinet to exercise a veto -- is not met by the end of this week.

This could be scene-setting for another civil war, if the Lebanese have the appetite for it. Mr. Nasrallah's opponents, including the notorious Christian militiaman Samir Geagea, have put it about that if Hezbollah goes ahead with its demonstrations they will stage massive counterprotests and perhaps barricade the roads into Beirut.

What would Mr. Nasrallah do then? "He's going to push the troops of others to bring about an incident," speculates Lebanese commentator Walid Phares of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "He'll start a massive demonstration in front of [Prime Minister Fuad Siniora's] office and demand his resignation. He'll portray himself as the opposition. What he would love most of all is to have the media broadcast the downfall of the Bush-allied government."

That's one scenario, though it probably won't come to that: Mr. Nasrallah would prefer maximum autonomy within the country than actual responsibility over it. Instead, Lebanon's political classes are likely to settle on a compromise that would sacrifice at least one of the three most cherished goals of the Cedar Revolution. The first is disarming Hezbollah, as required by the 1989 Taif Accords and demanded by U.N. Resolutions 1559 and 1701. But that latter resolution, part of the cease-fire agreement arranged by Condoleezza Rice last summer, does more to shield Hezbollah from Israel than the other way around.

Second is a successful conclusion to the U.N. investigation into the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The investigation, led by low-key Belgian prosecutor Serge Brammertz, is said to be within weeks of wrapping up, and informed U.S. diplomatic sources expect that it will indict senior figures in the Syrian regime, including relatives of President Bashar Assad. But the indictments must be followed by a trial in Lebanon, which Mr. Assad is desperate to quash. Hence the Hezbollah power play: If Mr. Nasrallah and his allies can gain a third of the cabinet's seats, they can prevent the Hariri case from ever going to trial.

Finally, the Cedar Revolution was supposed to put an end to Syria's meddling in Lebanon. But that won't happen if at the end of this week's political negotiations the Lebanese government allows President Emile Lahoud, still and forever a Syrian puppet, to remain in office even as the country moves to early elections. Nor does it help that Mr. Assad continues to prove his worth to Mr. Nasrallah by serving as his main conduit of arms.

In all this, Hezbollah has been helped by the weakness of its domestic opponents. The Cedar Revolution demonstrated that Lebanon's anti-Syrian forces were a majority in the country. But those forces are fractious and unsure of themselves, and Mr. Nasrallah was able to draw down their support by striking a deal with the opportunistic Maronite leader Michel Aoun. Israel's incompetent military campaign last summer was another boon for Mr. Nasrallah, since anything less than his complete defeat in war was bound to embolden him politically.

Then there is the forthcoming report of former Secretary of State James Baker's Iraq Study Group, which is rumored to urge the Bush administration to re-engage Damascus diplomatically. In recent days Mr. Assad has been talking a blue streak about his willingness to make peace with Israel, a signal that he might be willing to play ball on that front and maybe in Iraq if only the administration lets him have his way in Lebanon.

The term for Mr. Baker's advice is "sell-out," and it is entirely characteristic of his past Mideast diplomacy. As an alternative, Mr. Phares argues that Ms. Rice should convene a conference of Lebanese NGOs in Washington as a way of bracing them for what he calls a "second Cedar Revolution." Also noteworthy is the internal Shiite opposition to Hezbollah: "The Shiite community never gave anyone the right to wage war in its name," Sayed Ali al-Amin, the Shiite mufti of Tyre, recently told Beirut's An-Nahar newspaper. With winter approaching and Hezbollah reportedly sharply cutting back on its reconstruction funds to homeless Shiites, there's an opportunity here to discredit Mr. Nasrallah and separate his organization from its religious base.

Saving Lebanon will require focus, nerve and imagination, qualities hitherto absent from Ms. Rice's tenure at State. Maybe if her boss loses his majority in Congress, he'll be less inclined to let the remainder of his legacy go down the drain with it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Future Terrorism: Mutant Jihads By Walid Phares

Future Terrorism: Mutant Jihads
By Walid Phares

The Fall 2006 issue of the Journal of International Security Affairs published my article "Future Terrorism: Mutant Jihads." The JISA also published articles by esteemed collegues from the CTB. In this piece I attempted to provide a global assessment of the Jihadi threat five years after September 11, 2001. Following are the short introductory paragraphs:

The strategic decision to carry out 9/11 was made in the early 1990s, almost ten years before the barbaric attacks on New York and Washington took place. The decade-long preparations and the testing of America’s defenses and political tolerance to terrorism that took place before September 11th—were a stage in the much longer modern history of the jihadist movement that produced al-Qaeda and its fellow travelers.

Decades from now, historians will discover that the United States, the West and the international community were being targeted by a global ideological movement which emerged in the 1920s, survived World War II and the Cold War, and carefully chose the timing of its onslaught against democracy. Undoubtedly, the issue that policy planners and government leaders need to address with greatest urgency, and which the American public is most concerned about, is the future shape of the terrorist threat facing the United States and its allies. Yet developments since 2001, both at home and overseas, have shown that terror threats in general—and the jihadi menace in particular— remain at the same time resilient and poorly understood.

Defining the war

The jihadi war against the Soviet Union during the Cold War—and the struggle against the United States and some of its allies thereafter—are all part of a single continuum. Over time, jihadi Salafists and Khomeinist radicals alike have become proficient in selecting their objectives and infiltrating targets. Indeed, an analysis of the security failures that made 9/11 possible clearly demonstrates that the hijackers exploited systemic malfunctions at the national security level. Learning these lessons is essential for better counterterrorism planning in the future. But the jihadists are also learning, and the advantage will go to the side which can adapt most quickly. If the jihadists learn to understand and anticipate their opponents, their tactics and strategies will mutate.

Read the whole article here.