28.6.07

Bashar to Ban Ki Moon: We are in the eye of the storm and you need to stay in contact with us

Revealed by Le Monde, a strange conversation took place last April between Syrian president Bashar El Assad (BEA) and UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon. It gives a fresh and new perspective on BEA as a head of state and politician but it also gives a clearer picture of the weakness of the new UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon, not only toward his US masters but also toward any head of state and official he meets. It is clear from the conversation that Ban Ki Moon is considered as a US puppet and everything that is said to him by officials is meant to be conveyed to his masters. Lets turn now to the conversation's minutes partially published today by Le Monde and translated here.

The meeting, which lasted more than an hour, was held on April 24th in the presidential palace in Damascus, before the UN took the decision for the Hariri international tribunal.
The situation in Iraq is mentioned but most of the conversation turns around Lebanon. BKM insists on the important role that Syria must play in order to supress Lebanon's internal divisions. He thinks Damascus must encourage the creation of the international tribunal to judge the assassins of Rafiq Hariri, and not the contrary.

The answer of BEA is pungent: "Sectarian and ethnic divisions have been deeply rooted in Lebanese society for more than 300 years. Lebanese society is very fragile and it stabilised only during the Syrian presence between 1976 and 2005 after which Lebanon entered a new period of political instability again."
"The political instability in Lebanon, added BEA, will be aggravated by the special tribunal, especially if it is under chapter seven of the UN convention, which is binding, reinforcing the constraining aspect of the tribunal. That may easily initiate a conflict and can potentially degenerate into a civil war, provoking divisions between sunnis and shias from the Meditterranean to the Caspian seas. This might have grave consequences extending beyond the Lebanese frontier.

"In the eye of the storm"
Syria, said BEA, has always played a constructive role in Lebanon, contrary to the roles played by France and the US. The influence of these two last countries is destructive to Lebanon.
Syrian foreign minister, Walid Mouallem, intervenes at that point to harshly criticize the US ambassador to Lebanon, Jeff Feltman. "Feltman must leave the country. I am ready to offer him a vacation in Hawaï."
BKM, unable to react, continues to recite his well learned lesson, and pleads for a reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Syria. "The present lebanese government is illegal'', replies BEA. ''The Syrian people hate the March 14th movement led by Fouad Siniora. I tried to talk to Siniora, but it is now impossible. However, if a unity government including the opposition is formed, Syria will revise its stance."
BKM continues to recite his lesson and expresses his fears concerning Iran's nuclear ambitions. "As an oriental, you must understand, replies BEA. Iran is a regional power and must be recognised as such. They have the capacity to derail the entire Middle east and beyond. (…) There will be no positive evolution on this question as long as the West does not recognise to Iran the right to be a nuclear power."

The meeeting ends with the usual thanks from BKM to BEA who then says to him: "We are in the eye of the storm. You will need to stay in contact with us."

I am not sure BKM understood the metaphor.

You can hate BEA, you can call him names, you can despise him, but you cannot deny that he is right in what he says. Arrogant yes, but right. Speaking about facts might also look arrogant for an international community which is increasingly neglecting facts, building foreign policies only on the fantasies of the neocon new world order.

The source article in French

P.S and Update: An anonymous reader protested (in an impolite way, go my Néthique's Icon at the top of the blog page if you want to understand what impoliteness) that there might be some translations problems because to plead for ''the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Syria and Lebanon'' is to ignore that there was never official representation in the first place between Syria and Lebanon.
I am sorry to tell this reader that I had to rely on the article of Le Monde, which, in turn, relied on the minutes of the meeting. The article states: ''M. Ban enchaîne, plaidant pour le rétablissement des relations diplomatiques entre le Liban et la Syrie.'' I doubt Le Monde's journalist mistranslated from the minutes, which might have been in English. However, I believe BKM, or those who wrote the script for him, are totally ignorant of the historic of the situation, which might explain the absence of historic perspective to the words he used in the meeting. As for myself I have to stick to my source, which is le Monde's article.

12 comments:

chahid said...

« Syria, said BEA, has always played a constructive role in Lebanon » !!! Sans commentaire ! Bonne journée.

M Bashir said...

scary.

Sophia said...

Moussa,
I agree. The worse is that this scenario is unfolding before our eyes. Lets hope there will be some awakening from some leaders at some point....

Sophia said...

Chahid,
I agree that Syria is far from having played a constructive role in lebanon but can you say that the US and France's roles are only constructive ? I think Lebanese have to awaken themselves to this reality.

Anonymous said...

Awaken and then what? What are the alternatives? You agree that Syria is far from having played a constructive role in Lebanon, and I agree that France and the USA might have been just as far. How do you suggest to play the game? If the Lebanese wake up, what would they do?

Sophia said...

Anonymous,
I am amzed that the solution to the lebanese problem does not come easily to you. It is simple. Lebanese should be willing to live together. They should stop looking for the outside to empower them against each other. If they cannot do that then they are doomed.

David Kenner said...

I reserve the right to call "BEA" all of those names you mentioned, and more. But the real reason I'm writing is because I'm confused over Assad's statement that Lebanon was only stable during Syrian presence, from 1976(!!) to 2005. I knew he was living in a self-delusional bubble, but isn't that taking it a little too far?

Sophia said...

David kenner.
I don't think BEA is delusional. In my opinion, he isa very smart man. In my opinion, he is referring, in the time interval he cited, to the absence of a partisan state in Lebanon (except the short lived Gemayel presidency). And yes, despite the fighting between 1976 and 1989, there was no partisan state in Lebanon.

Anonymous said...

Sophia
Do u see any irony in BEA complaining that he cannot work with Sinora? How is BEA even qualified to lead Syria? He is the son of the last dictator. BEA trained to be an eye doctor, not in politics. When his older brother died, BEA became "heir apparent".

Sophia said...

Anonymous,
I don't care about BEA. But I know that definitely Sanyura is not qualified to lead Lebanon.

Anonymous said...

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Sophia said...

Thanks Alex for your comment and for realising that my position is neutral and is all about facts and history. Today,s bloggers and commentators, most of them anyway view neutrality in disonnection from facts as a position between two extremes. I do not agree with this view. I think neutrality is when you stick to facts, no matter what the other positions are.
You are welcome to leave me your email in my mailbox. My email adress is:
lespolitiques@yahoo.fr

 
Since March 29th 2006