October 05/07

Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 10,1-12. After this the Lord appointed seventy (-two) others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.' If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God is at hand for you.' Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, 'The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.' Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand. I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.

Washington Sources on Lebanon's Presidential Election.By: By Jeffrey Imm. Counterterrorism Blog. October 4/07
Corner Syria at the Annapolis conference.By Michael Young. October 4/07
Ending the sit-in protest in Beirut would further its legitimate goals.
The Daily Star. October 4/07

Latest News Reports From Miscellaneous Sources for October 4/07
International Probe Requested into Lebanese Missing in Syria-Naharnet
Hundreds March to Protest Attacks against Anti-Syrian Personalities-Naharnet

Hizbullah: No Decision to remove Tent City-Naharnet

Lebanon Dancing to the Beat of Different Drums.ABC News
Hizbullah gets stronger in s. Lebanon.Jerusalem Post
Bush, Hariri to Discuss Elections, Syria's Influence-Naharnet

2 Wounded in Clashes in Mieh Mieh Refugee Camp-Naharnet

Neighboring countries rush to help Lebanon fight raging wildfires.International Herald Tribune
Middle Eastern cult heroes.Guardian Unlimited
Maronite Bishops chide Lebanese leaders-Daily Star
Both sides await results of Hariri's talks with Bush-Daily Star
Sayyed presses campaign for release from custody-Daily Star
SOLIDE wants international probe on missing Lebanese-Daily Star
Fatah al-Islam 'tried to ally with Future Movement-Daily Star
UNIFIL deplores Israeli overflights as new Qatari troops arrive and Finns wind down-Daily Star
No constitutional obstacles between Salameh, presidency - law professor-Daily Star
BMI boss visits Beirut to tout benefits of new London flight-Daily Star
Hike in oil prices on horizon as world crude prices push higher-Daily Star
Lebanon douses fires with outside help-Daily Star
Long-awaited dam opens in mountains north of Beirut-Daily Star
Bekaa farmers take advantage of political vacuum to grow lucrative cannabis crop.AFP
Cinema provides nine ways to forget about Lebanese politics-Daily Star
Polish envoy to Iraq survives bombing.AFP
Abbas and Olmert agree to tackle formal negotiations after peace conference.AFP
Bandits gun down Iranian Shiite cleric.AFP
Iranians demand asylum - from Cypriot water tower.AFP
The US failled to broke the Syrian-Iranian partnership
.Voltaire Network

International Probe Requested into Lebanese 'Missing' in Syria
Human Rights activists called for an international investigation of hundreds of Lebanese whose disappearance they blame on Syria whose forces were dominant in Lebanon between 1976 and 2005."The question of the Lebanese prisoners held in Syria will only be resolved by an international commission of inquiry," said Ghazi Aad who heads SOLIDE, a non-governmental organization for the 640 people listed as missing. Aad, at a sit-in organized outside U.N. offices in Beirut, charged Lebanese authorities had failed to act on the issue since the April 2005 withdrawal of Syrian troops, first deployed in Beirut a year after the outbreak of civil war. "We criticized the government for handing responsibility for this question to a Lebanese-Syrian commission. Our criticism has been justified because the commission has not come up with any result two and half years on," he said. Aad said an international probe was the only way forward since Syria considers that the issue has been resolved since its December 2000 release of 54 Lebanese.(AFP) Beirut, 04 Oct 07, 07:06

Hizbullah: No Decision to remove Tent City
Hizbullah said Wednesday there was no need to call off a 10-month sit-in in downtown Beirut in what appears to be a quick rejection of a call by Maronite Bishops to "liberate" the capital's commercial district. Hizbullah stand was outlined by the deputy head of its politburo Mahmoud Qmati in a dialogue with reporters after a meeting with Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun. In answering a question about reports concerning the possibility of calling off the sit-in in Beirut's Riyadh Solh Square, Qmati said: "nothing requires calling off the sit-in in downtown Beirut. Consensus hasn't been achieved to remove the tents." However, he said that if "serious consensus is achieved, solutions would roll." Maronite Bishops said in a statement earlier in the day that time is ripe for the Hizbullah-controlled Tent City to be removed. Beirut, 03 Oct 07, 20:41

Corner Syria at the Annapolis conference
By Michael Young
Daily Star staff
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Bashar Assad, never a man to accept conditions, is nevertheless imposing some of his own on the United States. In an interview with the BBC earlier this week, the Syrian president said he would only attend a conference on Middle East peace scheduled for November in Annapolis, Maryland, if the issue of the Golan Heights were discussed. "It should be about comprehensive peace, and Syria is part of this comprehensive peace. Without that, we shouldn't go, we wouldn't go," Assad said.
Assad's position is understandable. The idea of inviting Syria to the conference as a member of an Arab League committee dealing with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was never going to float in Damascus. On the other hand, Washington was never going to regard as a priority Syria's interest in United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which governs the status of the occupied Golan Heights, when Assad's regime is briskly undermining UN resolutions on Lebanon and other regional conflicts. However, from Lebanon's perspective, and despite Syria's destructiveness in the country, is there an advantage in seeing Assad locked into a negotiation process with Israel?
The question may be badly posed.
Ultimately, if the November conference turns into a success, it might be impossible to prevent Syria from elbowing its way onto the table. There are several reasons for this, not least that Israel might have an incentive in resurrecting its Syrian track in order to play it off against the Palestinian track, as it did throughout the 1990s. The fact that Syria might be interested far more in a negotiating process than in a peace settlement would only interest the Israelis more.
It is equally likely that the Saudis, whose relations with Syria have descended to subterranean levels, would nonetheless encourage a Syrian track. This makes sense because King Abdullah's peace plan will not go very far if Syria and Hamas, instead of being in the room, are actively working to scuttle it from the outside. The Saudis also realize that if Syria is a full participant, this will make it much more difficult for other Arab states to oppose negotiations. Saudi Arabia would therefore gain latitude to make possible dramatic moves of its own in its dealings with Israel.
More generally, there are those who believe that unless Syria is offered something serious, it will continue to try imposing its writ on Lebanon. There is skepticism, even cynicism, in Beirut when it comes to such an argument. After all, the Syrians throughout the 1990s viewed their talks with Israel as just another opportunity to further tighten their hold over the Lebanese. The late Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, implicitly recognized that link when he famously remarked that he preferred Syrian soldiers in Lebanon than on the Golan Heights. The reality at the time, however, was that the international community readily pushed the Lebanese track to the backburner, awaiting a resolution, first, of the Syrian-Israeli conflict. In other words Syrian President Hafez Assad, until the Syrian-Israeli track broke down in March 2000, was on the verge of having his soldiers deployed both on the Golan and in Lebanon.
If Syria's entry into the Annapolis process - assuming there is such a process - is inevitable, then Lebanon and its friends must ensure that what Syria gains on the Golan it surrenders in Lebanon. One way to do so is to use the November conference as leverage to secure formal Syrian approval of all UN resolutions and statements relating to Lebanese matters, particularly Resolutions 1559 and 1701, as well as statements calling on Damascus to delineate its border with Lebanon in the Shebaa Farms area. Lebanon should be invited as a full participant at the conference. It should use the event to reaffirm its respect for UN resolutions and possibly to put a mechanism in motion to update the 1949 Armistice Agreement, whose implementation was part of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's seven-point plan endorsed by the government last year. How would Syria respond to delineating the Shebaa border? In late September, the Syrians told Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos that they were willing to transfer the Shebaa Farms to UN custody. Moratinos, who has been overly alert to Syrian anxieties despite the attack that killed six troops of the Spanish contingent in South Lebanon last June, recently sent a letter to this effect to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The seriousness of the offer bears scrutiny. As is often the case, it was not the Syrians making the announcement but someone speaking in their name, affording Assad deniability. That said, bringing up the Syrian offer in the context of the November conference could put Damascus on the spot, forcing it to reveal its true intentions.
They're not difficult to deduce. Syria had always described the farms as Lebanese. Moratinos' letter suggests Damascus believes they belong to Syria. The practical result of this is that any delineation of borders still requires a Lebanese-Syrian agreement, which the Syrians refuse to discuss while Shebaa remains occupied. The Syrians sold Moratinos a bogus concession, so the Shebaa deadlock continues. Yet it is still possible that a Syrian track with Israel would force Syria to inject some clarity into the Lebanese track, particularly on the Shebaa Farms.
All this will not prevent Syria from pursuing its destabilization of Lebanon and trying to reassert its hegemony over the country. Indeed, if a negotiating process buys the Syrian regime breathing space and international goodwill, this may have terrible consequences for Lebanon and for the Hariri tribunal. However, if Syrian participation in the Annapolis meeting cannot be avoided, if Syria uses the gathering to jumpstart talks with Israel, then Lebanon and those who want to see UN resolutions pertaining to Lebanese issues implemented have to be prepared. And that means showing Syria that its track with Israel can only move forward once Damascus complies with the Lebanon resolutions.
**Michael Young is opinion editor of THE DAILY STAR.

Ending the sit-in protest in Beirut would further its legitimate goals
By The Daily Star
Thursday, October 04, 2007
There are far too many balls bouncing around Lebanon's political arena these days for any one of them to be definitively described as being in a particular court, but there is no doubting that the country's opposition parties have an opportunity to score an important point. The Council of Maronite Bishops has called for an end to the sit-in that has clogged Downtown Beirut since last December, reasoning that under the terms of the compromise initiative undertaken by Speaker Nabih Berri, the action no longer has its stated raison d'etre: the resignation of the current Cabinet to make way for a government of national unity. Whether or not one agrees with this logic, the fact remains that as the opposition's prime mover, Hizbullah has little to lose and much to gain by declaring an end to the protest as a gesture of good faith to its political rivals.
There remain several imposing hurdles for the opposing camps to surmount if they are to grasp the chance presented by Berri's proposal and elect the next president by consensus. Unilaterally withdrawing one of the smaller ones would therefore demonstrate the opposition's commitment to a negotiated solution. It would also relieve some of the pressure on the area's shops and restaurants - not to mention the thousands of people who work for them, many of whom are members of the opposition's natural constituency - just in time to welcome those Arab tourists who might still vacation here for Eid al-Fitr in about 10 days. In addition, it would lend momentum to those moderate voices on both sides of the political divide who are racing against time to hammer out a deal before the whole country staggers into a constitutional no man's land. It would also reward the Maronite patriarch, Cardinal Nasrallah Butros Sfeir, for the helpful stance he has adopted by (rightly) accepting the opposition's interpretation of the two-thirds quorum required for a first presidential election session in Parliament.
Every compromise involves give and take, and each is almost inevitably opposed by hard-liners on both sides. If the decision is to be taken out of the immoderate hands on the fringes, therefore, reasonable figures closer to the middle must accommodate one another to guard against the accusations sure to be lobbed at them by their respective erstwhile allies.
Rebuilding the trust eroded by the events of the past three years or so will not take place over night. There will be periods of little or no progress, and full-fledged setbacks will threaten at every turn. The sit-in, though, constitutes one of those rare bargaining chips that promises considerable benefits without risking undue losses. Far from betraying those who have devoted themselves to the protest, ending it would make their legitimate aspirations more achievable.

ADC and sympathizers alike shall condemn terrorism
Washington DC, October 2nd, 2007/SAMIR MRAD
ADC Remembers Sabra and Shatila? Everyone should remember all tragedies. But we should all remember the atrocities the Terror Palestinians organizations (PLO, PFLP, PFLP-GC, etc…) committed in Lebanon, during the civil war? How about the mayhem the Palestinians of Fatah-Intifada and Hamas are still causing in Lebanon? It seems that history has been twisted, as usual to serve the other party’s ambitions, but that is very common for the Palestinians radicals and their way of using their own people to earn more sympathy and publicity from the world. If, ADC in its September 17, 2007 issue remembers Sabra and Shatila, we would like to add some events that are important to remember, as well. It is a known fact, that the PLO in the 1970s had established its headquarters in west Beirut and created a state within state in southern Lebanon known as, Fatahland. Arafat used it to secure a base for the PLO to launch rockets on Israel, therefore, isolating the Lebanese Government and in return, increasing Hezbollah’s influence in the area in the early 80’s.When the Palestinians entered Damour in 1976, it was not enough for them to stop and claim victory, but they went on killing and throwing families out with their babies and burning down all the houses. Damour was destroyed. And ADC should remmeber those innocent civilians too.
Furthermore, Palestinian radicals like to believe that they are the victims, but we wonder who trained terrorists and hijacked airplanes. Again, who killed and took American hostages? Did ADC forget that?In an L.A. Weekly interview published May 30, 2002, Robert Fisk mentions how Arafat ordered his commanders to surrender with a cease-fire. However, at the last moment, Arafat told his men to open fire on the Lebanese fighters who were coming to accept the surrender. The only conclusion that Robert Fisk came up with, was that Arafat wanted more Palestinian "martyrs" in order to publicize the Palestinian position in the war.
How about Fatah al Islam? Finally, not to forget to mention the threat that we face from the armed Jihadi Palestinians and boiling camps that might erupt anytime.
This is only a reminder, for some people who claim to know history and market their own peoples’ blood to gain publicity. We would have preferred to read an article that condemns terrorism and all ethnic wars. It is about time, that ADC and sympathizers alike to the "Palestinian cause," to investigate and write on issues that help decrease terrorism and not write articles, which implicitly seek for revenge, unless they support Palestinian terrorist activities and would rather focus on issues that are no vital threat to the world. Hundreds March to Protest Attacks against Anti-Syrian Personalities More than 3,000 people have marched in a candle light vigil through downtown Beirut to protest the wave of attacks against anti-Syrian personalities in Lebanon. The demonstration was organized by the family of Charles Shikhani, 28, who died in the car bombing that targeted anti-Syrian MP Antoine Ghamen Sept. 19. Men and women, wearing white shirts and carrying a candle, marched silently Wednesday night in a procession led by Charles' father, Samir, to the Place de L'Etoile, where parliament is located. Ghanem was the eighth Damascus critic to be killed in Lebanon since the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005. Syria has denied involvement in the Hariri killing and the subsequent assassinations and assassination attempts that have rocked Lebanon over the past two years. Beirut, 04 Oct 07, 08:20