Monday, November 28, 2005

Conspiracy versus conspiracy: Hariri Inc versus Syrian Regime. When witness Muhammad Zuhayr As-Siddiq was testifying against Syria, the Syrian government labeled him as a crook and a liar. When Husam Husam testified today against the Hariri Inc, Hariri Inc described him as a crook and a liar. There are two or more conspiracies clashing in Lebanon today. Certainly, there was a conspiracy to kill Hariri, and that produced a counter-conspiracy by Hariri Inc (and US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia behind them) to undermine the Syrian regime and to install a pro-Bush arrangement in Lebanon in the name of seeking "the truth." The two conspiracies are clashing, and lies, fabrications, and murders are being utilized for that purpose. In that sense, the Mehlis investigation and team is a mere tool in the hand of the 2nd conspiracy. I find it ironic that Hariri Inc is now labeling Husam Husam (h as in Hawaii and not Halab as in Aleppo) as a "liar and suspicious" as Hani Hammud (former Communist Action Organization member who now is chief of propaganda for Hariri Inc) described him today. But when his account as the "hooded witness" filled the pages of the Mehlis report Hariri Inc treated the report as credible and solid, and the credibility of Husam was not questioned then. But Husam today invoked the name of every enemy of Syria in Lebanon, just as the Mehlis Report (and Hariri Inc not far behind it) invoked the names of the top leaders of Syria. Tit for tat, as they say in China. Lawyer of Jamil As-Sayyid said today that Husam lied before, and he may lie again. True. But Husam is a difficult foe for Hariri Inc. Their propaganda is now confused and on the defensive. I am glad that Hariri Inc is in the hands of the incompetent (and slow) Sa`d Hariri. But the competent and highly shrewd Fu'ad Sanyurah is really in charge. Sanyruah is so shrewd that he used to do what Kissinger used to do during Nixon times. Kissinger used to call the press and tell them how drunk and crazy Nixon was so that the press would trust the reassuring presence of Kissinger in the White House. Similarly, when Rafiq Hariri would inaugurate some of his hyper-capitalist measures in the Lebanese economy, Sanyurah would criticize him privately to Lebanese journalists, and express his astonishment at Rafiq Hariri's extreme capitalist advocacy. I never thought that I would say this: but Syrian TV has been interesting in the last two days. This Husam show is quite interesting, and he names names. But Syrian production of propaganda is not very refined, although the interview was well done (by the able Nidal Qabalan) and the press conference was relaxed by Syrian governmental standards. And Husam would evaluate each question with a label, as in "this is a beautiful question" or this is a "nice question", etc. (You have to see the little space Hariri rag, Al-Mustaqbal, devoted to the press conference of Husam. Four years ago, Al-Mustaqbal newspaper ran a very long interview (in two parts) with Angry Arab. But it was all about women's issues and feminism.) At this point, I am so firm in my belief in the necessity of combating Hariri propaganda although I have such limited means and very little, if any, access to the Arab media, except an occasional Al-Jazeera appearance. (A HaririWatch website is being set up, and several of view offered to help. I should tell you when the site will be up and running). And now the Mehlis team summoned two women in Sidon for questioning. One is the sister of the mayor of Sidon. These two women are related to may family by marriage. They have nothing to do with anything, and this explains the outrage in Sidon. They believe that this was motivated by political consideration of the Hariri Inc due to their opposition to Hariri Inc. There is fear in Lebanon today; I am told that this case has instilled fear among people. People are now nervous about criticizing Hariri. My uncle (on my mother side--a Sunni from Beirut) who is close to 90 has been warned to refrain from criticizing Hariri. But the good news is this: the Hariri functionaries and members of parliament are so unimpressive. Rafiq Hariri never liked good and competent people (except in his financial empire). The late Basil Fulayhan was an exception with his competence. I mean, when you look at people like Ahmad Fatfat (Minister of Ping Pong in Lebanon), you can only wonder if there are any Lebanese who are naive to the point of thinking that his ilk are capable of constructing a new Lebanon. A new Lebanon? An undisguised version of the very old Lebanon is being constructed before your eyes, and some Lebanonse have not noticed, and some don't care.
PS: To discredit Husam, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat could not find anything to attack him on except his...class and profession. They called him mockingly, the "barber of Beirut" because he worked as a barber. When you think about it, it is not very flattering to the Lebanese, or many of them, that a family (the Hariri family) was able to buy 70% or more of an entire homeland. And what a homeland?