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Monday, December 19, 2005

Jumblatt: Syria trying to change balance of power

In a interview with Orbit Sunday night, and in reference to the spate of killings and attacks in the country since October 2004, Walid Jumblatt said the "murderers' objective is to kill enough MPs to bring about a change in the balance of power within parliament and make the country ungovernable. "

"A change within parliament may be the prelude to a return of Syrian domination," Jumblatt said, adding that "Syrian intelligence networks were not dismantled with the pullout of Syrian military forces in April and that sleeper cells, in place for decades, are still ready to strike."

Lazarus from Letters Apart was able to catch the interview and posted a bunch of quotes. According to Jumblatt, Lahoud is the reason many of the security appointments have not been made yet, including the head of airport security. He charged that after 30 years in Lebanon, the Syrians "had the networks they needed, and had the money. They had the money, from Iraq's oil, from the Baath, from Saddam, and from Bank Medina - one of the reasons for Hariri's assassination is the Medina scandal," Lazarus quoted Jumblatt as saying.

Jumblatt also claimed the commander of the Lebanese army received threats from Assef Shawkat, Syrian military intelligence chief. (In an interesting development, the Lebanese army Sunday permanently closed the infamous military route into Syria. This comes after reports that a suspect in the Tueni bombing used the special road to cross into Syrian hours after the assassination.)

On asking for Hizbullah's protection:
They have the best military strength. The Lebanese security forces aren't strong enough yet, so I asked for their help, at least for political protection ... I welcome Hezbollah to ask Syria 'To where' [ Ila Ein]"
And then this:

Enough of blaming America or blaming Israel. Enough of blaming the Arab-Israeli
conflict ... Why should Lebanon remain hostage to the Arab-Israeli conflict? Open up the Golan front."

Jumblatt has been escalating his verbal war against the Syrian regime since Tueni's assassination. Last week, he called for regime change in Syria.

"This time this regime should change and should be tried," he told CNN last Tuesday, adding that "this guy (Bashar) in Damascus is sick. If he stays, we won't have stability in the Middle East. Anyone who opposes the Syrian regime is assassinated. They execute you then they cry for you; walk at your funeral. They will try to invent all kinds of excuses."

This time Jumblat won't change his mind. It's too late.

You know what they say: arnab arnab fil golan...
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