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Friday, November 25, 2005

Hafez and the 400 agents

It took two events for Syria to allow Mehlis to interrogate Syrian suspects in the Hariri murder.

The first involved a threat by Mehlis to refer Syria to the Security Council next week if the regime doesn’t quit devising stupid delay tactics.

The second involved Hafez al-Assad, who has made a comeback.

Read on.

In a surprise announcement Friday, Deputy foreign minister Walid al-Moualem told a news conference that "the Syrian leadership has agreed to ... [Mehlis's] compromise proposal on holding the interviews of the five Syrian persons at the U.N. headquarters in Vienna."

Moualem said Syria received "guarantees on the right of the individuals, who will be accompanied by legal representatives, and on the respect of Syria's sovereignty." The unnamed five will return to Damascus after the interviews, he added. No word yet on whether Assef Shawkat will be among the chosen few.

The announcement comes a day after Moualem's boss, Farouk al-Sharaa, lashed out at Detlev Mehlis for allegedly refusing to sign a "cooperation protocol" over the questioning of six Syrian suspects. Sharaa said Mehlis's rejection of the Golan Heights as a venue for questioning raises doubts among Syrian leaders over his motives, adding that the German investigator's refusing to sign a cooperation protocol means "the commission is refusing to cooperate with Syria."

Sharaa left us on Thursday saying there was still "hope for the signing of a protocol" as sought by Damascus. But,

"if a country has asked Mr Mehlis not to cooperate with Syria, that is another matter," the foreign minister said, referring to Washington. "Syria is being unjustly targeted."


So this "protocol" that Mehlis "unjustly" rejected demanded that the questioned individuals not be arrested, among other ridiculous demands. The mere idea of a protocol between Mehlis and the Syrian regime is, in fact, a violation of UN Security Council resolution 1636 which demands full and unconditional cooperation with the commission. In any case, no legal authority anywhere in the world would agree to sign such a protocol prior to interrogating murder suspects.

Mehlis, tired of the Syrian regime's delay tactics and constant twisting of logic, reportedly threatened to refer Syria's helpless maneuvering to the security council for some disciplinary action.

Around the same time, God decided he had had it, especially after Sharaa's comments yesterday. In an unprecedented move that will not be recorded in any religious book (most major religions stopped redacting religious texts), God released Hafez al-Assad from hell to talk some sense into his son:

جاء ذلك بعد أن ترأس الرئيس السوري حافظ الأسد اليوم اجتماعا للجبهة الوطنية التقدمية – التي تضم عددا من الأحزاب السورية على رأسها حزب البعث الحاكم - لبحث قضية التعامل مع لجنة التحقيق الدولية .
وقالت وكالة الأنباء السورية الرسمية "سانا" إن القيادة المركزية للجبهة تدارست الأوضاع السياسية الراهنة والأوضاع على الساحات العربية والإقليمية والدولية" واستعرضت "التعاون السوري مع لجنة التحقيق الدولية".

In English, the first line of the above text reads: "This came after President Hafez al-Assad presided over a meeting of the national progressive front..."
To be fair to al-Jazeera, the mistake was AFP's and not theirs. But their editors missed it, which prompted my imagination to create the following ironic and surreal scenario:

Hafez: "You killed Rafik? Who built your palace? You shame me. Hand the bastards over", Hafez told Bashar. "I should have listened to your brother when he told me Assef is bad news," Hafez said.

While you ponder the absurdity of this situation, which pits a dead dictator against a failed one, I leave you with a tale called "400 agents" by the author of "Saad Hariri killed his father." The translation is courtesy of AFP, God's official agency.

Over 400 agents from Israel's spy agency Mossad are in Lebanon, Syria's official Ath-Thawra newspaper charged Thursday, the latest volley in a increasingly vitriolic war of words with Lebanon's new leaders. "You have to recognise the danger of having more than 400 men from Israel's Mossad in Lebanon who are working with the other (Lebanese) agents who once supported the Zionist enemyand its militias," wrote editor Fayez Sayegh.

"These agents are encircling Lebanon like a belt that will explode when Israel and its strategic ally the United States have decided," he said, charging that there was also an increasing number of agents from the CIA and European states in the country.

"All these agents came to Lebanon... to sow dissent, revive hatred, reinforce pressure on Lebanon and Syria and above all spy on national forces, the Lebanese resistance and Palestinians," said the paper.

UPDATE. It's on Elaph too! Hafez lives and is presiding over meetings in Syria!

ترأس الرئيس السوري حافظ الاسد اليوم اجتماعا للجبهة الوطنية التقدمية لبحث "التعاون السوري مع لجنة التحقيق الدولية" في اغتيال رئيس الوزراء اللبناني السابق رفيق الحريري كما افادت وكالة الانباء السورية الرسمية سانا.

They failed to indicate at which hotel they are staying.
Unless they prefer camping cars.
Anyway their Mukhabarats are very precise:400 exactly
Now that the Mossad number has been unveiled we can
sleep peacefuly.
Excellent stuff!
Lol! You've outdone yourself with this! Welcome back Hafez. Many have missed you!
this is why they call it all Baath... bringing back to lifr political fossiles, again and again
Seems like some are wishing the "good" old days of Hafez were back...
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