September 9/07

Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 1,1-16.18-23.  The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the king. David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph.Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah.Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile. After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah. Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us."

Lebanese Army: Let Them Have Life. Etienne Sacre (Abu-Arz).September 8/07
Hezbollah in Clear Violation of UNSCR 1701.PM Saniora’s Government Security Forces: Lack of Performance & Corruption
Report: Hezbollah Guilty of 1983 Beirut Terrorist Attack on US Marines. Iran fined $2.65 billion for ’83 Beirut bombing
Lebanon's business community has yet to play its proper role.The Daily Star. September 8/07
Will the Democrats be able to say 'yes' on Iraq? By David Ignatius.September 8/07

Latest News Reports From Miscellaneous Sources for September 8/07
Christian leader says Hezbollah could torpedo vote.Reuters
Thousands Attend Launching of Anti-Hizbullah, Anti-Amal Shiite Group-Naharnet
Syria mulling 'responses' to Israeli airspace violation.AFP
Saudi Arabia, Lebanon ask Sharif to quit plans to return.Hindu
Tueni: I will Neither Vote for Aoun Nor for Geagea.Naharnet

US court fines Iran 2.65 bln for 'heinous' 1983 Lebanon attack.AFP
Deserter from Assad's Presidential Guards Corps Arrested.Naharnet
Aoun Hints at Formation of Parallel Government.Naharnet
Analysis: Israel less worried about Syria despite reported ...Ha'aretz
What About Syria
.CBS News
Air show in Syria
'Israeli terror activated against Syria'
Golan Druze on pilgrimage to Syria
Cyprus offers financial aid for Lebanon's reconstruction.People's Daily Online

French FM to visit Lebanon as election nears.Middle East Times
World Bank grants 100 million dollars for Lebanon reforms.AFP
Mystery surrounds Syria-Israel incident.Reuters
Kucinich tours south Lebanon.Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Kouchner to resume mediation efforts in Beirut
-Daily Star
Lebanon seen as 'puppet' abroad - Fadlallah
-Daily Star
Siniora secures $100 million of Paris III pledges
-Daily Star
UNHCR official visits to assess refugees' conditions
-Daily Star 
Army kills fugitive Fatah al-Islam militant as hunt for escaped fighters persists
-Daily Star
Lebanon signs loan deals with World Bank, EU to help reform, reconstruction
-Daily Star
Nadim Makdisi dies at age 86
-Daily Star
Women bear brunt of post-war crises
-Daily Star
Zouk's night markets attract record number of visitors
-Daily Star
Beach-goers share Ramlet al-Baida with oil, floating garbage
-Daily Star
Syria threatens response to Israeli overflights
-Daily Star

US court fines Iran 2.65 bln for 'heinous' 1983 Lebanon attack
14 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AFP) — A US federal judge on Friday ordered Iran to pay 2.65 billion dollars to families of 241 soldiers killed in the 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks in Beirut, calling his ruling a warning that attacks on US citizens will not be tolerated.
Judge Royce Lamberth said the award "may be the largest ever entered by a court of the United States against a foreign nation." Expressing admiration for the fallen soldiers and sympathy for their families, Lamberth issued his decision after considering claims by 1,000 family members and a small number of survivors. "The court hopes that this extremely sizeable judgment will serve to aid in the healing process for these plaintiffs, and simultaneously sound an alarm to the defendants that their unlawful attacks on our citizens will not be tolerated," he wrote in his ruling from a federal court in Washington DC.
A previous court in 2003 held that Iran provided financial and logistical help for the lethal 1983 attack carried out by the militant Shiite group Hezbollah.
Although the bombing occurred nearly 24 years ago, "it is clear from testimony presented to this court ... that intense suffering experienced on that day has had a tragically lasting effect on the plaintiffs who have brought this action," Lamberth wrote. The judge indicated that the US administration had at no point warned the court that the case could interfere with US foreign policy interests. US troops were deployed in Lebanon in 1983 as part of a UN-sponsored multinational peacekeeping force in hopes of containing the country's civil war.
On October 23, 1983, a 19-tonne explosives-laden truck rammed through barricades and detonated in front of the US barracks in Beirut, demolishing the building in a massive explosion. The attack was the "most deadly state-sponsored terrorist attack made against American citizens" until the attacks of September 11, 2001, the judge said. As part of the same wave of attacks, a French barracks was also bombed, killing 58 French paratroopers. Families in the case welcomed the ruling. "The families were very gratified by the judge's decision," spokesman Steven Hofman told AFP. "Their effort is to seek accountability for what occurred and against state sponsors of terrorism."
The Iranian regime has dismissed the 2003 ruling holding it liable for the bombing, saying the decision was "provoked by the Zionists."
While Iran denies responsibility for the bombing, it played an instrumental role in the founding of Hezbollah in the 1980s, which was initially dedicated to driving out Israeli forces and now advocates the destruction of Israel. The families will face an uphill battle trying to collect the money, which they hope to secure through the seizure of Iranian assets around the world. The spokesman said the families are lobbying the US Congress for legislation that would make it easier to chase down and seize Iranian assets. In Iran, a hardline group has celebrated those who carried out the bombing as "martyrs" and in 2004 gathered at a monument dedicated to the attack. The 1.5 meters (five feet) high monument at the Behesteh Zahra cemetery outside Tehran -- where many soldiers of the Iran-Iraq war are buried -- features sculpted images of US troops picking up dead bodies.
The group, which calls itself the "Committee for the Glorification of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement," says it has no ties to Iran's clerical regime.

Thousands Attend Launching of Anti-Hizbullah, Anti-Amal Shiite Group
More than 5,000 people took part in the launching of a new anti-Hizbullah, anti-Amal democratic Shiite movement calling itself the "Lebanese Choice."
The crowds came from Baalbek, a Hizbullah stronghold, as well as from Hermel, Zahle and the Western Bekaa Valley to attend the event initiated by the Lebanese Choice, a movement that groups people from outside the main Shiite Hizbullah and Amal parties.
Personalities and tribes from renowned families like al-Masri, Jaafar, Hamiyeh, Nassereddine, Laqqis and Meqdad were also present at the opening ceremony which took place at a restaurant in Baalbek late Friday.
"The Lebanese Choice is a reflection of our firm belief in Lebanon's unity," said a statement by the group.
"The Lebanese Choice does not declare that it can change the Lebanese equation … But it hopes to be able to propose a Lebanese viewpoint," the statement added. Beirut, 08 Sep 07, 13:49

Tueni: I will Neither Vote for Aoun Nor for Geagea
MP Ghassan Tueni supported Speaker Nabih Berri's initiative, saying any other alternative than that would be destructive for Lebanon.
Tueni said another alternative to Berri's offer – which is aimed at rescuing Lebanon from its months long political impasse –could also "create a vacuum," thus threatening Lebanon and its structure.
Berri last week announced that the Hizbullah-led opposition was willing to give up its demand for a national unity government in return for consensus over the next president for Lebanon.
"The initiative distinguished Berri as Parliament Speaker and not spokesman for the minority opposition," Tueni said in an interview with New TV.
Tueni pointed out to what he termed the "existing duty" which stipulates that a consensus president should neither be from the opposition ranks nor from that of the March 14 Forces.
Asked if the ruling majority would vote for Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea if the opposition chose Free Patriotic Movement chief Gen. Michel Aoun, Tueni said:
"March 14 Forces cannot nominate Geagea. And if it did, I will neither vote for him nor for Aoun," Tueni stressed. Beirut, 08 Sep 07, 12:46

Deserter from Assad's Presidential Guards Corps Arrested
Lebanese Security patrols on Friday arrested two Syrian citizens in north Lebanon for allegedly belonging to the Fatah al-Islam terrorist group.
The two were identified as Mohammed Sheik Othman and Ahmad Hassan Labj.
The arrests were made in line with a man hunt launched by army and police patrols for Fatah al-Islam terrorists who escaped the army crackdown on Nahr al-Bared camp last Sunday. Reliable sources said Othman testified to interrogators that he is a deserter from Syrian President Bashar Assad's Presidential Guards Corps.
Othman, according to the sources, also testified that he had training on bomb-making, booby-trapping and assassination at a camp run by the Syrian-sponsored Fatah al-Intifade (uprising) group in east Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. Lebanese Army patrols on Thursday killed two Fatah al-Islam terrorists in separate clashes in the northern Akkar province. Around 12 terrorists had escaped the crackdown on Nahr al-Bared. The army and police have killed and captured four of them and eight remain at large. At least 224 Fatah al-Islam terrorists have been killed since the confrontation with the army broke out on May 20. Lebanese security agencies also arrested 204 Fatah al-Islam militants.The army lost 163 soldiers in the 106-day confrontation that ended last Sunday. Beirut, 07 Sep 07, 18:22

Lebanese Army: Let Them Have Life
Etienne Sacre (Abu-Arz)
September 7, 2007
Thanks to the Army for this great victory because Lebanon was in dire need for it in order to overcome the complexes of inferiority, incompetence, weakness and irresolution that have stifled it throughout the past decades. Thanks to the Army because it was able, in the midst of difficult political circumstances and in spite of limited logistics capabilities, to crush an army of professional terrorists that the most powerful armies equipped with the most advanced weapons have been unable to defeat. The Lebanese Army has thus become an example to be emulated in courage, fearlessness and superior combat skills.And thanks to the Army because it has gave back to the State its lost prestige and to the people their missing pride and their humiliated dignity, and to the desperate Lebanese a dose of hope they have longer for many years. Thanks to the Army’s loyal martyrs and its disabled and wounded soldiers who raced for martyrdom and with their pure blood wrote Lebanon’s modern history. They indeed have breathed new life into the country for the rise of a new State that is respected by people and of which its own people can be proud. Thanks to our great people who rose up in sincere spontaneity, from Al-Naqura in the south to the Great River in the north to honor its heroic Army and celebrate with it this great national occasion. In this, our people have proven once again that they are one, and that the appearances of sectarian division are foreign to them and are only of the politicians’ making. So blessed be the hands that waved to the Army and sprinkled its hero soldiers with rice and flowers as a token of loyalty, love and appreciation. Thanks to the Security Forces who hunted the terrorists and uncovered their sabotage networks, and who captured their sleeper and active cells. They were the watchful eye protecting the country. Thanks also to the Lebanese Red Cross for the many sacrifices it offered and the efforts it exerted in rescuing the wounded and transporting them to the hospitals. Indeed, they were the unknown soldiers of this battle. A word of gratitude goes also to the Lebanese media, the journalists, photographers and reporters who accompanied these events and reported on them to the public reliably and honestly. They contributed in their own way to achieve this magnificent accomplishment and deservedly earned the title of the “Fourth Power”.  A nation that has an army like the Army of Lebanon truly deserves to live.

Aoun Hints at Formation of Parallel Government
Free Patriotic Movement leader Gen. Michel Aoun hinted at the formation of a parallel government if the country's competing political camps fail to agree on the next president for Lebanon. "The second government will include members of all (the country's) religious sects in line with the proposal of President (Emile) Lahoud," Aoun told Dubai Satellite Channel. Lahoud has said he would name army commander General Michel Suleiman as his provisional successor if Parliament fails to elect a head of state by Nov. 24. Aoun said the Hizbullah-led opposition was seeking to unify its ranks in a new government, stressing that he will not "abandon Hizbullah for the sake of March 14 Forces." He accused the United States of political discrimination. "The blind American support for the Saniora government is obvious … America became a party in the conflict between (government) opponents and followers," Aoun said.
Meanwhile, Maronite Patriarch Butros Sfeir told LBC television that "we want a president who is at an equal distance from all the political parties," stressing that the new head of state has also go to be "accepted by all."Sfeir's remarks came following talks in the Vatican with Pope Benedict XVI, who was reportedly praying for Lebanon to appoint the next president in line with the constitutional deadline. "The new president has to be a fair and just man, who will be the pride of the nation and not come on the throne to fill his pockets or cause any trouble," Sfeir stressed. Beirut, 08 Sep 07, 06:29

Fatah al-Islam Militant Killed Near Nahr al-Bared
Lebanese troops killed a Fatah al-Islam militant and captured another near the devastated Nahr al-Bared refugee camp on Friday, as they hunted down Islamists on the run, an army source said. He said one of the Fatah al-Islam fighters was killed during clashes in Ayoun as-Samak which lies north of the Palestinian refugee camp.
Another militant was captured in the same area, the source added. The army later announced that a body had been found of another Fatah al-Islam militant killed on Thursday in Ayoun as-Samak, where a second Islamist was killed in the same incident. About 15 militants who fled the camp have either been killed or captured this week, according to an AFP count from military reports. Nahr al-Bared camp was the scene of a deadly 15-week standoff between soldiers and Fatah al-Islam that ended last Sunday after the al-Qaida inspired terrorists tried to break through the army siege. Many of the militants were killed during Sunday's battles but some escaped. Authorities said at least 220 of Fatah al-Islam militants were killed and 202 were taken prisoner during the standoff. The army lost 163 soldiers in the fighting.(AFP) Beirut, 08 Sep 07, 08:40

EU Grants Lebanon 100 Million Dollars
The European Union has granted 74 million euros (100 million dollars) to finance six projects for reconstruction and economic reform in Lebanon, Prime Minister Fouad Saniora said Friday. The EU aid was part of the 7.6 billion dollars pledged by international donors at a Paris conference in January to help the country recover from the massive destruction inflicted during last year's war with Israel. "The grant will help Lebanon carry out its economic reform program. It is part of the assistance pledged at the Paris III conference," Saniora told a news conference. The aid will help cover reconstruction and economic reform programs in areas most affected by the war, EU ambassador Patrick Laurent told the joint news conference. The European Union and its member states vowed to provide 40 percent of the grants and soft loans promised at the Paris conference, with much of the assistance granted on condition that Lebanon carry out much-needed reforms. Israel staged a massive 34-day assault on the country after Lebanon's Shiite militant group Hizbullah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border attack on July 12, 2006. The air, sea and ground offensive caused immediate material damage estimated at 3.6 billion dollars in a country plagued by deep political and economic crisis. Lebanon has a huge public debt which ballooned to 41 billion dollars -- more than 180 percent of gross domestic product -- after the Israeli war. The Western-backed Beirut government has mapped out a five-year economic reform plan that includes a two percent rise in value-added tax (VAT) to 12 percent from 2008 and privatizing the electricity and mobile telephone sectors.(AFP) Beirut, 07 Sep 07, 19:19

Kouchner to Lebanon … Again
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner will pay a visit to Lebanon next week to help political leaders avert a crisis over the election of a new president, his ministry said Friday. Kouchner is to make his first visit to Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan beginning on Monday and will stop over in Beirut on Thursday.
The minister wants to "pursue talks with Lebanese parties" following a meeting in the Paris region in July and a subsequent visit to the region, said foreign ministry spokesman Frederic Desagneaux. Lebanon's parliament is due to convene on September 25 to elect a successor to Syrian-backed President Emile Lahoud amid an ongoing dispute between the pro-western government and the Hizbullah-led opposition. France in July hosted a conference of politicians from all the Lebanese factions including Hizbullah, which is backed by Iran and Syria, to try to break the deadlock. The resignation in November of six pro-Syrian ministers, five of them Shiite, sparked the current political crisis, the country's worst since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war. The nation has been in turmoil since the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri, which was widely blamed on powerful neighbor Syria and subsequently forced Damascus to end 29 years of military domination in Lebanon.(AFP-Naharnet) Beirut, 07 Sep 07, 19:12

Iran Allegedly Skirts Hezbollah Arms Ban
C. I. Bosley
Arms Control Today
September 2007

Hezbollah in “Clear Violation” of UNSCR 1701
PM Saniora’s Government Security Forces:
“Lack of Performance & Corruption”

A year after the United Nations imposed a ban on arms sales to Hezbollah in the wake of its 2006 clash with Israel, the Shiite group in southern Lebanon is rearming. Iran and Syria have been implicated in the weapons buildup.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a report June 28 on implementation of last year’s UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which calls for a permanent cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon, implements an arms embargo on Hezbollah, and requires disarmament of the group, which the United States and some other Western countries have designated a terrorist organization. The 34-day war began last year when Israel launched a July military offensive into southern Lebanon after Hezbollah militants there abducted two Israeli soldiers. (See ACT, October 2006.)
In his report, Ban furnished details of extensive armaments smuggling across the Syria-Lebanon border to Hezbollah, as well as to Palestinian militants. Israel asserts these transfers occur weekly. One such incident occurred June 5, when Lebanese troops in the Bekaa Valley seized a truckload of rockets and mortars destined for Hezbollah. Ban termed the clandestine weapons shipments “of great concern” and in “clear violation” of Resolution 1701.
In a separate report, a UN team of experts tasked with assessing the situation along the Lebanese border concluded June 26 that Lebanese border guards demonstrated a “worrying lack of performance.” The Security Council had commissioned this fact-finding mission, citing “mounting information” on breaches of the arms embargo.
Although the Lebanese army deployed last fall more than 8,000 troops to guard the 250-kilometer boundary with Syria, the UN team determined that Lebanese security forces lacked adequate resources to accomplish their objective. Moreover, the experts faulted border guards for instances of “corruption.” Still, in recent months Hezbollah has publicly protested the seizure of its munitions by Lebanese authorities.
The majority faction of the Lebanese parliament issued a January statement contending that “forces directly affiliated with Syrian intelligence” were transporting weapons into Lebanon. Syria’s government denies any involvement, but an Israeli official told Arms Control Today Aug. 3 that Hezbollah is “feverishly receiving major supplies” from Syria.
The Israeli government claims that Iran is the source of many of the weapons transferred through Syria to Hezbollah. During the 2006 war, ordnance with Farsi lettering was discovered in southern Lebanon. In May, Turkish officials interdicted two shipments of Iranian weapons en route to Damascus, confiscating 300 rockets hidden underneath construction materials.
Iran’s ties to Hezbollah are long-standing. The organization was co-founded by Ali Akbar Mohtashemi Pour, then Tehran’s ambassador to Damascus. Arms Control Today asked Iran’s Mission to the UN about these links, but it declined to comment for this story.
Should Israel’s allegations prove accurate, both Tehran and Damascus would be acting in violation not only of Resolution 1701 but also Resolution 1747. That resolution, implemented in response to Iran’s failure to address the International Atomic Energy Agency’s concerns over its nuclear program, prohibits all Iranian weapons exports as well as all trafficking in Iranian weapons by third parties.
Ban has urged Iran and Syria to do more to prevent the weapons smuggling. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner also called for an increase in international pressure on those two countries.
Hezbollah contends it has replenished its stockpiles. Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s head, asserted July 28 that his group again possesses “rockets that can hit any area” in what he termed “occupied Palestine,” meaning Israel. (See ACT, October 2006.)
Hezbollah’s Mohtashemi Pour maintained in an August interview with the Iranian newspaper Sharq that in recent months “the Islamic Republic has made available long-range Zelzal-2 missiles” to Hezbollah. Israel contends that it had destroyed all of Hezbollah’s Zelzal rockets during the first night of the 2006 war. 

An Idealistic Alternative to the Saudi Arms Deal
Walid Phares
Author: Walid Phares
Source: The Family Security Foundation, Inc.
Date: August 10, 2007
Iran as a nuclear presence in the Middle East is putting new pressure its neighbors to beef up their own arsenals. Meanwhile, the U.S. is considering selling a great deal of arms to Saudi Arabia to protect itself. FSM Contributing Editor Walid Phares suggests a different solution.
An Idealistic Alternative to the Saudi Arms Deal
By Walid Phares
The U.S. government is considering a new gigantic arms sale to the Saudi Kingdom – up to 20 billion dollars' worth of complex weaponry. The proposed package includes advanced satellite-guided bombs, upgrades to its fighters, and new naval vessels, as part of a U.S. strategy to contain the rising military expansion of Iran in the region. The titanic arms deal is a major Saudi investment to shield itself from the Khomeinist menace looming at the horizon: an Iranian nuclear bomb, future Pasdaran control in Iraq, and a Hezbollah offensive in Lebanon.
The real Iranian threat against the Saudis materializes as follows:
1. If the U.S.-led coalition leaves Iraq abruptly, Iranian forces – via the help of their militias in Iraq – will be at the borders with the Kingdom. Throughout the Gulf, Iran's mullahs will be eyeing the Hijaz on the one hand, and the oil rich provinces on the other.
2. Hezbollah threatens the Lebanese government, which is friendly to the Saudis. Hezbollah, already training for subversion in Iraq, will become the main trainer of Shi’a radicals in the Eastern province of the Kingdom.
3. Finally, Syria and Iran can send all sorts of Jihadis, including Sunnis, across Iraq's borders, almost in a pincer movement.
In the face of such a hydra-headed advance, the Wahhabi monarchy is hurrying to arm itself with all the military technology it can get from Uncle Sam. Riyadh believes that with improved F-16s, fast boats, electronics and smarter bombs, it can withstand the forthcoming onslaught.
I believe the Saudi regime won't. For, as the Iraq-Iran war has proved, the ideologically-rooted brutality of the Iranian regime knows no boundaries. If the U.S. withdraws from the region without a strong pro-Western Iraq in the neighborhood, and absent of a war of ideas making progress against fundamentalism as a whole, the Saudis won't stand a chance for survival. For the Iranians will apply their pressure directly, and will unleash more radical forces among the neo-Wahhabis against the Kingdom. The Shi’ite Mullahs will adroitly manipulate radical Sunnis, as they have demonstrated their ability to do in Iraq and Lebanon.
So what should the U.S. advise the Saudis to do instead of spending large amounts on arms?
First, if no serious political change is performed in Arabia, the 20 billion dollars' worth of weapons would most likely end up in the hands of some kind of an al Qaeda, ruling over not only over Riyadh, but also Mecca and Medina. That package of wealth, religious prestige and modern arms, at this point of spasms in the region, is simply too risky strategically.
But there are better ways to spend these gigantic sums in the global confrontation with Iranian threat and in defense of stability. It needs a newer vision for the region. Here are alternative plans to use the 20 billion dollars wisely but efficiently; but let's not count on the far-reaching mainstream of Western analysis at this point:
Dedicate some significant funds to support the Iranian opposition, both inside the country and overseas. Establish powerful broadcasts in Farsi, Kurdish, Arabic, Azeri and in other ethnic languages directed at the Iranian population. That alone will open a Pandora's Box inside Iran. Realists may find it hard to believe, but supporting the Iranian opposition (which is still to be identified) will pay off much better than AWACS flying over deserts.
Slate substantial sums to be spent in southern Iraq to support the anti-Khomeinist Shi’ia, the real shield against the forthcoming Pasdaran offensive. Such monies distributed wisely on civil society activists and on open anti-Khomeinist groups, would build a much stronger defense against Ahmedinijad's ambitions.
Lavish funding should be granted to the Syrian liberal opposition to pressure the Assad regime into backing off from supporting terrorism. Without a Mukhabarat regime in Damascus, the bridge between Tehran and Hezbollah would crumble. Hence, the Syrian opposition is better off being backed in its own home than for Saudi Arabia to fight future networks in its own home.
Allocate ample funding to the units of the Iraqi army that show the most efficiency in cracking down on terrorists, and which prove to be lawful and loyal to a strong central government, pledging to defend its borders, particularly with regard to Iran. That would include the moderate Sunnis in the center, and the Kurdish and other minority forces in the North. A strong multiethnic Iraq, projecting a balance of power with Iran's regime, is the best option for the Peninsula.
Grant abundant aid to the Lebanese government, the Cedars Revolution NGOs, and the Lebanese army to enable them to contain Hezbollah on Lebanese soil. Earmark some of these grants to the Shi’a opposition to Nasrallah inside his own areas. When Hezbollah is isolated by Lebanon's population, Arab moderates around the region can sleep much better at night.
Spend real money on de-radicalization programs inside the Kingdom and across the region. With dollars spent on moderate imams and not on the radicals, Riyadh can shake off the radical Salafi clerics, and have an impact the Jihadists' followers. By doing so, it will prevent Jihadism from becoming (as it has already) the only other option on the inside – if the Iranian axis will put pressure on the country.
Forward meaningful sums to support the current Somali government against the Islamic courts and help the moderates in Eritrea and Sudan. The best defense against radicalism coming from the horn of Africa is to support the moderates in East of the continent.
Invite the U.S. military to abandon Qatar as a regional base and to relocate to the Eastern provinces of the Kingdom, with as many billions of dollars as required to help in reinstallation and deployment facing Iran's threat. A military attack by the Iranian regime on Saudi Arabia would then become a direct attack on the United States.
With the remaining billions, the Saudi Government would renew, remodel, and retrain its forces so that along with its allies (the U.S., Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Gulf states), they would deter an Iranian regime, which will be defeated by its own people.
That, of course, presumes radical reforms take place, quickly, in the Peninsula. But isn't such a hope just a desert mirage?
Indeed, the points I suggested in this article, although logical in terms of counter-radicalism strategy, have very little chance of being adopted or even considered in Riyadh. The Kingdom, sadly, wants to confront the Islamic Republic only with classical military deterrence, not with a war of ideas. Perhaps this is why the region's "friendly" regimes have preferred not to endorse "spreading democracy" as a mean to contain terrorism. The reason is simple: democratic culture will also open spaces in their own countries, a matter they haven't accepted yet.
**Editor's note: In a recent column, Dr. Walid Phares used the term "lobby" and "lobbyist" -- by which he meant "advocate" and "one who advocates" -- while referring to Mr. Jim Guriard. Mr. Guirard and others may have inferred incorrectly that this implied "paid". Dr. Phares did not so assert or imply, and regrets any misimpression. Dr. Phares makes no representation as to Mr. Guirard's income sources or motivations.
# # Contributing Editor Walid Phares is the director of Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a visiting scholar at the European Foundation for Democracy, and the author of The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy.
read full author bio here
© 2003-2007 All Rights Reserved

Hezbollah Guilty of 1983 Beirut Terrorist Attack on US Marines.
Iran fined $2.65 billion for ’83 Beirut bombing

Updated: 1:25 p.m. ET Sept 7, 2007
WASHINGTON - Iran must pay $2.65 billion to the families of the 241 U.S. service members killed in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, a federal judge declared Friday in a ruling that left survivors and families shedding tears of joy.
U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth described his ruling as the largest-ever such judgment by an American court against another country. "These individuals, whose hearts and souls were forever broken, waited patiently for nearly a quarter century for justice to be done," he said.
Iran has been blamed for supporting the militant group Hezbollah, which carried out the suicide bombing in Beirut. It was the worst terrorist act against U.S. targets until the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Hundreds of people crowded into a federal courtroom to hear Friday's ruling. Parents have grown old since their children were killed. Siblings have grown into middle age. Children have married and started families of their own.
Weeping spectators stood and erupted in applause and hugs as Lamberth left the bench.
Getting the money could be difficult
The ruling allows nearly 1,000 family members and a handful of survivors to try to collect Iranian assets from various sources around the world. Finding and seizing that money will be difficult, however, and the families are backing a law in Congress that would make it easier for terrorism victims and their families to do so.
Families were encouraged by Libya's decision to ultimately accept responsibility for the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Scotland. The country, once a pariah by Washington's view, agreed to compensate the families of the 270 victims. Part of the $2.7 billion has been paid. A final $2 million installment to each family is outstanding.
"This is a sense of victory, of winning a battle," said Paul Rivers, who was a 20-year-old enlisted Marine on the second floor of the barracks when it exploded. "When we win the war is when we collect, when we make them pay for what they did."
Iran has denied responsibility for the attack. The nation did not respond to the 6-year-old lawsuit and was represented only by an empty table.
Family members said they hoped Friday's ruling would pressure foreign governments not to sponsor terrorism. Lynn Smith Derbyshire, whose brother, Vincent Smith, was killed in the attack, said countries won't stop until "it begins to actually cost them money to kill Americans."
‘You can’t take enough money away’
Some disagreed about whether that will happen. Roxanne Garcia-Bates, who was 16 when her brother, Randy Garcia, was killed, said she was surprised to find a sense of comfort being with the other families in court. She said she was pleased that Lamberth had made such a strong statement, but doubted that Iran would change anytime soon.
"You can't take enough money away to get them to stop what they're doing," she said.
All agreed that emotions remain raw to this day.
Rivers described being one of the second floor's five survivors. All but him lost arms or legs, he said. He was buried in the rubble for two hours, he said. Debris had punctured his eardrum and "I literally had rocks inside my head."
Shirley Murry of Baltimore, who was 16 years old at the time, described the tense days of waiting around the television for word of her brother, Ulysses Parker. Today, every time the news carries a story about a fallen soldier or an explosion overseas, she said it's like that first day all over again.
Lamberth said the law "offers a meager attempt to make the surviving members whole." He said he hoped the judgment would alert Iran that terrorism has consequences and help in the families' healing process. Pausing, he added:
"That's all I can do."
© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

The World Council of the Cedars Revolution
Representing the hopes and aspirations of many millions of Lebanese in Lebanon and throughout the Diaspora

7th of September 2007
Open Letter
H.E Nabieh Berri,
Speaker of The Lebanese Parliament
and Members of The Lebanese parliament
Beirut, Lebanon
RE: The Profile of the Next President of Lebanon
Must Implement UNSC Resolutions
Dear Honorable Speaker and members of Lebanese Parliament,
Lebanon, as a multicultural society, is uniquely positioned as the only nation in the Middle-Eastern Arab World with a constitution that guarantees democratic rights and principles. These democratic rights are now in grave danger as a result of years of foreign occupations, the presence of armed militias and terrorist organizations and a huge Palestinian refugee population that has harbored terrorist groups sworn to the destruction of democracy. Therefore, the next President of Lebanon must adhere to the following principles.
1) The next President of Lebanon must be selected from those who put their lives on the line and participated as stakeholders in the Cedars Revolution on the 14th of March 2005.
2) The next President of Lebanon must declare, before selection and nomination, to be completely clean and without any ties to the Syrian and Iranian regimes, nor any other regime; and must not have any association with their proxy terrorist organizations in Lebanon, such as Hezbollah.
3) The next President of Lebanon must demonstrate, before nomination and election, total opposition to Syrian/Iranian occupation of Lebanon and must be prepared to defend Lebanon at all costs.
4) The next President of Lebanon must be totally committed to the full implementation of UNSC Resolutions 1559 and 1701 within the six year Presidential term. Such a commitment includes disarming all militias and terrorist organizations on Lebanese soil. Negotiations and terms of disarmament shall be within a framework as determined by the United Nations Security Council.
5) The next President of Lebanon must present a blueprint for the implementation of UNSCR 1680 which will finally, permanently and effectively establish the Lebanese – Syrian border demarcation and insist on an exchange of Ambassadorial representation for each country.
6) The next President of Lebanon must be willing to follow up and ensure that Justice is carried out and prosecutions executed upon those who are found guilty of assassinations of Former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri and others.