1.29.2007

The Totalitarian War on Lebanon

The Middle East totalitarian axis represented by the Iranian terrorist armed gang of Hezbullah, is attacking Lebanon's freedom and democracy. Meanwhile, the international community continues its support to Lebanon and its legitimate and democratically-elected independence government and assures the achievements of the Cedar Revolution which kicked out the totalitarian occupation in 2005.

Nevertheless, as I frequently said before, the essential problem was diagnosed and the prescription was and still obvious and stated in the historic UNSC resolution 1559. I frequently warned of not fully implementing this resolution that it would cause Lebanon to be held as a hostage on behalf of some regional totalitarian regimes. So, the international community should do more with the concerned totalitarian regimes to save Lebanon and the democratic project in the Middle East.

Here are some related reports.

Some related posts and articles:

- Lebanon's Independence and Democracy

- Lebanon Under Attack

- Beirut and Iranian Gangs

- Syria's Role in Lebanon

- Totalitarianism, Violence and Terror

- Middle East Totalitarian Axis

- Hariri Assassination Suspects and Independence Government

- Rice on Middle East Crisis and Resolution 1701

- Middle East Salvation

- The International 'New Deal' of the Middle East

- Middle East Totalitarians and Existential Choice



Paris III Provides Lebanon with 7.6 Billion Dollars

Naharnet
25 Jan 07

International donors meeting in Paris on Thursday pledged more than 7.6 billion dollars in aid for Lebanon to bolster the Western-backed government in Beirut and help the country recover from war. Saudi Arabia, the United States, France and multilateral funds led the drive to raise the massive aid package at a donors' conference for Lebanon, which was partly ruined during the July-August war between Hizbullah and Israel.

The biggest pledges came from the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, which together contributed more than two billion dollars (1.5 billion euros).

Saudi Arabia put forward 1.1 billion dollars (846 million euros), the United States gave 770 million dollars and France a loan of 500 million euros (650 million dollars).

"The amount raised totals a little over 7.6 billion dollars," French President Jacques Chirac announced at the meeting attended by more than 40 countries and international organizations.

The meeting was held two days after protests led by the Syrian-backed Hizbullah opposition erupted into violence, leaving three people dead and fueling fears Lebanon could slide back into the civil strife.

"We can't overcome all our problems alone. We need the support of the international community," Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Saniora told the gathering at a Paris convention center.

Saniora has been facing calls from Hizbullah to step down and make way for a new government of national unity that would leave the Syrian- and Iranian-backed movement and its allies with veto power in cabinet.

The billions of dollars in aid were a clear sign of support for the embattled prime minister and provided a lifeline for his government as it battles its opponents and seeks to pull the country away from the brink of financial collapse.

Chirac opened the meeting with an appeal to help Lebanon, saying "a very substantial and immediate financial support from the international community is absolutely indispensable."

Lebanese officials have said they need several billion dollars to rebuild villages and infrastructure devastated in the month-long war between Israel and Hizbullah.

Lebanon's public debt has reached 41 billion dollars (32 billion euros), more than 180 percent of gross domestic product.

Pledges for Lebanon's recovery also came from the Islamic Development Fund offering 250 million dollars and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development with 700 million dollars.

Britain offered 48 million dollars (37 million euros) to a U.N. agency to assist Palestinian refugees, many of whom are in Lebanon.

Much of the aid is in form of grants, soft loans and direct support to the Saniora government which has proposed a five-year reform plan that would see a hike in taxes and privatization.

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Clashes Spread in Beirut Raising Fears of Civil War

Naharnet
25 Jan 07

At least one person was killed and more than 47 people were wounded in spiraling violence between pro and anti-government factions in Beirut Thursday.

Defense Minister Elias Murr ordered a nightime curfew to help the army enforce law and order.The army command said the curfew would last from 8:30 pm Thursday until 6 am Friday.

Security sources said the casualties included 17 wounded soldiers, four of whom are officers.

They said at least 200 cars were smashed in the clashes pitting supporters of the Moustaqbal movement, headed by parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri, against an alliance grouping Hizbullah and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri's Amal movement.

The clash reflects the sharp split between Sunni Muslims, represented by Moustaqbal, and Shiites, led by Hizbullah and Amal.

Police sappers also defused a rocket that was directed at the Moustaqbal newspaper in Beirut, shortly before it was set to launch.

"Luckily they discovered it. It would have resulted in a massacre. The newspaper is packed by journalists at this time of the evening," Editor Nassir al-Assad told Naharnet by telephone.

Staccato bursts of gunfire echoed across the streets as tongues of flame shot up in the sky from dozens of deserted cars.

The sudden outbreak of violence started as a quarrel between students from the Moustaqbal movement and members of the Amal movement at Beirut Arab University.

Hariri, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Berri and Premier Fouad Saniora issued separate statements urging restraint and calling on all followers of all the factions to withdraw from the streets.

Nasrallah also Issued a Fatwa, or religious ruling, instructing his followers to cooperate with the army and withdraw from the streets.

Ambulances, their sirens wailing, sped across the streets evacuating casualties to Beirut's hospitals.

The state-run Lebanese University and other institutes suspended classes until Monday, in an effort to avoid the spread of violence.

The quarrel started around noontime at BAU and Amal tried to send reinforcements in mini busses from its stronghold in the district of Zokat Blatt to rescue their comrades besieged at the university's soccer stadium in the Sunni District of Tarik Jedideh.

Helmeted troops of the Lebanese army moved into the BAU campus and opened fire in the air to disperse the mad crowd, said a student who was reached by Naharnet through his mobile telephone.

"The situation is very tense. Moustaqbal supporters are at the basketball stadium and Amal followers are at the soccer stadium. Both factions are separated by army troops," said the student who asked not to be identified.

Meanwhile, Residents of Tarik Jedideh, which is a stronghold for the Moustaqbal movement, rushed to back their student comrades, the student reported.

He said followers of both factions used sticks, bottles and even broke desks to use them are weapons in the confrontation.

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Warning of new Lebanon protests

BBC News
24 January 2007

Lebanon is returning to normal after a nationwide anti-government strike led by the Hezbollah faction, but the group has warned of more action to come.
Bulldozers cleared debris from Beirut streets after fighting that saw three people killed and 100 injured.

But Hezbollah and its allies threatened even more dramatic steps if they were not granted a government role.

There was no indication that any deal was reached to end the strike, leaving Lebanese fearful of a new flare-up.

Sectarian tensions

The BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut says people in the city are well aware that there could still be worse to come.

Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran, has been campaigning since the beginning of December to replace the Western-backed cabinet with a government in which it would have a veto.

But Prime Minister Fouad Siniora still enjoys strong support from his loose alliance of Sunni Muslims, Christians and Druze, and is backed by powerful outside players, including the US, France and Saudi Arabia.

Our correspondent says that although there has been no explicit statement as to why the strike was lifted, Beirut newspapers suggest Saudi Arabia and Iran may have intervened to reduce sectarian tensions.

Any such development, he says, would be an encouraging sign in a region where sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shia have been rising sharply.

Scorched roads

Many Lebanese found themselves unable to go to work on Tuesday as businesses were closed, roads blocked and flights cancelled.

The strike then turned violent as opposition and government supporters fought in the streets, burning barricades, throwing stones and exchanging gunfire.

Roads around the country were cleared by sunrise, though, after bulldozers took to the streets at night to clear away the burnt remnants of tyre barricades.

Beirut's international airport re-opened on Wednesday morning, reports said.

But the scorched roads and traces of broken glass were a reminder of a traumatic day which people will not be quick to forget, our correspondent says.

The opposition is demanding a big enough share in government to give them veto power over any decisions they do not like - a step the Western-backed government has not been willing to take.

Mr Siniora has said he will stand firm against what he called "intimidation" and government officials insist they have made no concessions to persuade the opposition to back down.

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Nassim Yaziji's Neo-Internationalism

Nassim Yaziji's perspective

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1.24.2007

Lebanon Under Attack

The "Iranian Armed Group of Hezbullah" has proved to the whole world that they are the "Iranian Terrorist Armed Group of Hezbullah" after their latest terrorist attacks. This time it is not the Israeli civilians are the victims, whom their government proved that it is totally out of the strategic sense of the 'new Middle East' after Iraq when it secured and supported over the past years a totalitarian terrorist regime, which is one of the two operators of the Iranian Terrorist Armed Group of Hezbullah, and ultimately made a fool of itself after the result demonstrated in the high cost it paid last summer. This time the victims of Hezbullah are the Lebanese civilians who were yesterday under attack of the Hizbullah terror. The aggression targeted Beirut besides freedom and civilization as quite expected from a totalitarian armed gang as Hezbullah on behalf of the Middle East totalitarian axis and to preclude the Special Tribunal for Lebanon at any cost.

On the other side, it was really impressive how the Lebanese Christians and Muslims were working together side by side to defend their country and their freedom. It was really a promising model for the civilization's renaissance in the Middle East in face of the prevailing uncivilized totalitarianism and authoritarianism there.

As I frequently said before, the problem was diagnosed and the prescription was and still obvious and stated in the historic UNSC resolution 1559. I frequently warned of not fully implementing this resolution that it would cause Lebanon to be held as a hostage on behalf of some regional totalitarian regimes.

I will repost my article, Lebanon's Independence and Democracy, written more than a year ago:

Some related posts:

- Beirut and Iranian Gangs

- Syria's Role in Lebanon

- Totalitarianism, Violence and Terror

- Middle East Totalitarian Axis

- Hariri Assassination Suspects and Independence Government

- Rice on Middle East Crisis and Resolution 1701

- Middle East Salvation

- The International 'New Deal' of the Middle East

- Middle East Totalitarians and Existential Choice



Lebanon's Independence and Democracy

The forces of the old Middle East, the pre-2003 Middle East, through the totalitarian-terrorist alliance, are fighting to survive. After the consecutive failures in Iraq to restore the totalitarianism as an indispensable guarantee to the Middle East stagnancy, which based on the authoritarianism and the interdependent system of despotic regimes to ensure their sustainability, the pursuit now is to impede the international pro-democracy effort to spread out in the Middle East.

I have frequently said that liberating Lebanon belongs to the same sense of the course of action of liberating Iraq. This course of action represents the international "new deal" in the Middle East through the strategic effort to end the cold-war era in the region besides the Soviet legacy there. The success in Lebanon is important as much as the success in Iraq; it is a requisite for the long-term stability and for a thriving democratic project in the region.

The regional totalitarian and terrorist forces and their Lebanese proxies are flouting the international community and the international resolutions by murdering and intimidating the Lebanese politicians and intellectuals who are the symbols and cadres of the liberating Cedar Revolution. Furthermore, they are hindering the political reform in Lebanon and stalling the Lebanese people's ability to rule themselves and their country independently, freely and democratically.

Lebanon now is almost besieged from outside and inside too. The terrorist groups, which are directly attached to foreign governments characterized with their destructive role in the Middle East, as the Iranian terrorist group of Hezbullah and some Palestinian gangs commanded by a neighboring totalitarian regime, are still holding their arms and military bases on the Lebanese territory. Furthermore, some parties of those, mainly the Iranian terrorist group of Hezbullah, are playing the role of hindering the elected government from discharging its responsibilities in protecting the Lebanese people, sovereignty and democracy and ensuring the Lebanese independence and integrity through their participation in the government or/and their possession of arms and bases on the Lebanese territory constituting a de facto state inside the legitimate state.

The international powers must clearly realize the disastrous effects and consequences to inflict the stability and the democratic movement in the region and the geopolitical achievements of the Operation Iraqi Freedom too if they did not move seriously to ensure the full implementation of the UNSC resolution 1559. Furthermore, the international community holds the responsibility to protect the Lebanese people through decisive international measures.

The indecisiveness of the international community about the comprehensive war against Lebanon and its freedom and independence may ultimately cause Lebanon to be held as a hostage on behalf of some regional totalitarian regimes. In addition, it would let the Middle East reformers down and would serve the Middle East authoritarian status quo alongside risking more the regional security and fragile stability.

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Nassim Yaziji's Neo-Internationalism

Nassim Yaziji's perspective

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1.20.2007

Explaining Bush's Plan to Secure Baghdad

Here are a backgrounder by the Council on Foreign Relations explaining the Bush's plan to secure Baghdad, which is at the heart of the security section of the U.S. new Iraq strategy, and some responses to this strategy by the CFR scholars.

My comment on the U.S. new Iraq strategy is available here.


Bush’s Plan to Secure Baghdad

By Lionel Beehner, CFR Staff Writer
January 18, 2007

Introduction

At the heart of President Bush's new stabilization plan on Iraq is securing Baghdad, depicted in this interactive map. A large percentage of the additional 17,500 U.S. forces going to the capital will be deployed to protect the local population. Unlike previous efforts to secure Baghdad, the plan calls for more American soldiers to be embedded with Iraqi forces, to remain in cleared areas around the clock, and to be given greater freedom to take on Shiite militias as well as Sunni insurgents. Once security is established, the U.S. military will then focus on economic reconstruction and handing security operations over to the Iraqi authorities.


What are the specifics of the Baghdad plan?

The plan relies on U.S. soldiers, working with their Iraqi counterparts, to establish a stronger physical presence in neighborhoods rife with violence. Unlike previous missions, analysts say, the nature of the plan is more defensive than offensive: to help Iraqi forces secure Baghdad's population, not kill large numbers of insurgents. Some specifics of the plan:

  • The number of U.S. forces in Baghdad, currently twenty-four thousand, will be initially boosted to thirty-one thousand—an addition of two brigades. There are also three additional brigades (roughly ten thousand troops) that could be "put in the pipeline on the U.S. side that are on orders to go," according to the congressional testimony of Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • U.S. forces will be scattered throughout Baghdad's nine zones, each of which will be patrolled by one Iraqi police or army brigade and one American battalion (roughly 600 soldiers divided into four companies of 150 each). The number of Iraqi security forces in Baghdad will eventually grow from forty-two thousand to fifty thousand.
  • U.S. troops will be housed in the neighborhoods they patrol in so-called "joint security stations" (essentially thirty-odd police stations outfitted with beds) with their Iraqi counterparts. Unlike previous missions in which U.S. soldiers departed areas soon after clearing operations, U.S. soldiers will remain in clear areas "24/7," as one military official put it.
  • Two of the three Iraqi brigades sent to Baghdad will be Kurdish peshmerga forces, which are highly disciplined but may trigger resentment among Sunni Arabs. Gen. Pace told Congress that Kurdish forces should help "balance" the forces and mitigate Shiite-Sunni divisions.
  • An Iraqi commander, Lt. Gen. Aboud Qanbar, will oversee the security plan, with the help of two jointly appointed division commanders to oversee operations east and west of the Tigris River. U.S. and Iraqi officers will be paired down the chain of command, though it was not immediately clear whether Qanbar would have command authority over U.S. forces.
  • The U.S. military plans to double or even triple the number of military transition teams, which are embedded with Iraqi security forces to train Iraqis on policing, security, and counterinsurgency operations.

Which neighborhoods will be targeted?

Gen. Pace says mixed Shiite-Sunni neighborhoods, particularly those in Baghdad's center, will be targeted first. This includes areas around the fortressed Green Zone and east of the Baghdad International Airport. Frederick W. Kagan, research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and architect of the surge plan, advises against incursions into Sadr City, a slum of some two million Shiites, because it may damage the prime minister's political base and provoke street-to-street fighting between the Mahdi Army, a Shiite militia, and the U.S. military. But some American officials say Sadr City remains the source of the violence in Baghdad and must be drained of its sectarian militias.


How is this plan different from earlier efforts to secure Baghdad?

Unlike previous efforts to clear and hold neighborhoods that have failed, U.S. forces will have, in effect, freer rules of engagement to target Shiite militias. Last October, when U.S. forces apprehended a top commander of the Mahdi Army, Shiites protested and the prime minister ordered him released. Now, U.S. forces will be given more freedom to target Shiite militia strongholds without interference from the prime minister. Under the plan, U.S. forces will also remain once particular areas are cleared of insurgents instead of relying on Iraqi forces to hold them. This, military experts say, was what doomed the Operation Together Forward plan to secure Baghdad last summer.


Does the current plan only include Baghdad?

No. It also calls for around four thousand U.S. troops to be deployed to Anbar Province, principally to target al-Qaeda and other insurgents in the region west of Baghdad. Kagan writes that the violence in Baghdad and the insurgency in Anbar are inextricably linked because of "spillover effects." The plan also calls for doubling the number of so-called provincial reconstruction teams (PRTs)—civil-military development units in rural parts that have had some success in Afghanistan—to twenty-two and a fivefold increase in the number of reconstruction specialists to five hundred nationwide. An additional $10 billion will also be given to the Iraqi authorities to accelerate reconstruction efforts.


What does the Iraqi government think of the plan?

It's unclear. In late November, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki reportedly proposed a drawdown of U.S. forces out of Baghdad and redeployment to the city's periphery and Anbar Province, thus allowing Iraqi Shiite and Kurdish forces to restore order in the capital. Advisers to Maliki, as well as members of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), a large and influential Shiite political party, have gone on record opposing more U.S. troops in Baghdad. But after a long telephone conversation with President Bush, Maliki later signed onto the White House's surge plan. It remains unclear if Maliki or Qanbar, his appointed commander, will be in charge of the Baghdad operation. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in her testimony before the Senate, stressed that Bush's plan was based on input from Maliki as well as senior U.S. military officers on the ground.


What are the timelines to carry out this plan?

While the U.S. military has not laid out any definite timelines or benchmarks to meet, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told lawmakers he expected results within a matter of months, not years. "With these kinds of counterinsurgency campaigns, you'll know if you've failed probably within six months," says Andrew Exum, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "But you won't know if it's completely successful for about ten years." Kagan predicts the plan would require at least eighteen months to show results.


What evidence is there that such a plan may work?

Some experts point to previous success stories in Tal Afar and Mosul where counterinsurgency operations worked and insurgent strongholds were cleared and held. But not everyone agrees these models can be applied to Baghdad, a city of six million inhabitants, given its size and sectarianism. "The bottom line is we've been touting up Tal Afar [as a model] for the past two years, but we've never done it," says Exum. "The idea that we're going to do it now [in Baghdad] seems ridiculous." But proponents of the plan say the appointment of Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, a top counterinsurgency expert, signals the mission will be managed better than previous efforts. "He'll act with vigor," a former CIA officer tells Harpers.org. "There'll be no more micromanagement from Washington."


What are some common criticisms of the plan?
  • It's a military solution to a political problem. "We don't know with any clarity exactly what the new political objectives that the administration is trying to achieve are," says Gen. Charles G. Boyd, who heads Business Executives for National Security, in an interview with National Interest online. "There is a very good understanding that, in the end, you're not going to solve [this war] with military force." CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Vali R. Nasr agrees. "There is violence in Iraq because there is no political agreement among Shias, Sunnis, and Kurds," he writes. "The new strategy presents no roadmap out of this."
  • It's only temporary. The surge of forces into Baghdad cannot be sustained indefinitely, military experts say. "Insurgents and militias have an incentive to wait us out by hiding their weapons, melting into the civilian population and reemerging as soon as conditions improve for them," writes CFR Senior Fellow Stephen Biddle .
  • Force ratios are insufficient. Some advocates of the surge originally sought between eighty thousand and one-hundred thousand troops to secure Baghdad and Anbar province. They point to a preferred force ratio of one soldier per forty or fifty civilians (Baghdad's six million residents would require a joint U.S.-Iraqi troop presence on the magnitude of over one hundred thousand).
  • Chain of command is unclear. U.S. military officials stress that the new plan is Iraqi- conceived and Iraqi-led, but Gen. George Casey, the head of multinational forces in Iraq, says "American forces will remain under American command, period."
  • Iraqi forces are unreliable. Secretary Rice, testifying before Congress, said she was "confident" Prime Minister Maliki would provide the troops he promised in a timely fashion. But there are increasing doubts among lawmakers in Congress about the reliability of the Maliki-led government in Iraq to deliver on his promises of more Iraqi forces.

Does this kind of urban warfare portend greater U.S. casualties?

It is very likely, military experts warn. "We must expect more Iraqi and American casualties," said President Bush in his January 10 address. Much will depend on how and in which parts of Baghdad the U.S. forces are stationed. "If you start more aggressive patrolling you should expect more casualties," says Exum. "Especially if they try to take on the militias, you'll see really intense heavy fighting." Similar efforts to secure Iraqi cities led to spikes in American combat casualties, most notably Fallujah in November 2004 (seventy-one killed) and Baghdad in July 2006 (around eighty killed). Analysts say casualties are typically higher in the early stages of any counterinsurgency campaign than later on.

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CFR Scholars Respond to Bush's New Iraq Strategy

Max Boot, Senior Fellow for National Security Studies

Will the troop surge work? Beats me. But does anyone have a better idea? Pulling out now could turn Iraq into a Rwanda-style genocidal civil war. My sense is that most Americans recognize this and still want to salvage an acceptable outcome if possible. Given that our current strategy clearly is not working, there are only two realistic alternatives: decrease or increase the size of U.S. forces. The former strategy runs a great risk that the Iraqi Security Forces, even if provided with more U.S. trainers, will disintegrate in the face of greater sectarian violence. The latter strategy is far from foolproof but offers probably the greatest chance of improving conditions on the ground.

However, there is a big question that remains about President Bush's increased deployment: Will 21,500 extra troops make a big difference? Based on classic counterinsurgency calculations (1 soldier or policeman per 40 or 50 civilians), pacifying Baghdad, a city of 6 million people, requires a force of some 150,000. The beefed-up U.S. force in Baghdad still will be less than 40,000 strong. Even if the Iraqis provide some reliable forces to work with them, this would be sufficient to control only a portion of the city—Sunni and mixed Sunni-Shia neighborhoods. Sadr City, where some 2 million Shia live, would probably remain in the grip of the Mahdi Army. This is far from ideal, but if a mixed Iraqi-U.S. force could have success in stabilizing even a good chunk of Baghdad this would represent major progress. At best the troop surge will buy time for much-needed reforms, assuming that the Iraqis are willing to make them. At worst it will have no impact at all. But I think it is worth one last shot before we throw up our hands in despair and concede defeat.

Stephen Biddle, Senior Fellow for Defense Policy

Under previous U.S. strategy, the odds for success in Iraq were very poor. Does the new strategy improve them? The answer is: some, but not very much. There is some good in the new strategy. Changing the mission of U.S. troops to emphasize population security for Iraqi civilians, for example, is a step in the right direction. So is the replacement of the old, open-ended U.S. commitment with a new willingness to make our presence conditional on Iraqi political progress toward reconciliation. But there are also some important shortcomings. In particular, the new troop commitments still leave us well short of the usual rules of thumb for the number of troops needed to pacify a city the size of Baghdad, much less the rest of central Iraq. And if our presence is insufficient to provide real security, then the political leverage we get from a threat to leave or a promise to stay is correspondingly limited.

So the new strategy is a long-shot gamble. The odds are a little less long than before, but only a little. Are the odds too long? There is no objective analytical answer. The issue turns on one's personal tolerance for risk and cost, and reasonable people will judge the same odds differently. After all, failure in Iraq would do grave damage to U.S. interests—it may be worth a long shot gamble to get even a small chance at averting disaster. But the chance offered us here is not very great, and the cost of the gamble in American lives is heavy. It is not unreasonable to judge that the odds are now too long, and the cost too high.

Steven Cook, Douglas Dillon Fellow

In announcing a plan to send an additional 20,000+ troops to Iraq over the course of the next few months, the Bush administration seems to want to correct past mistakes, but does not have the resources to do so effectively. More interesting than the so-called "surge" is the administration's emphasis on devoting additional resources to reconstruction and job creation for Iraqis. In the abstract, these initiatives are positive, but they are based on the premise that economic development can ameliorate the logic of sectarian and insurgent violence in Iraq. This is a dubious assumption as it gives short shrift to the primary political issues that contribute to uncertainty and instability in Iraq. The Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds have widely divergent views about who should control Iraq, how the country's resources should be distributed, and how the basic governing institutions will function. Unfortunately, given circumstances on the ground there is very little the United States can do militarily or politically to alter this state of affairs. It is difficult to admit, but Iraq may very well be lost.

Michael Gerson, Senior Fellow

The speech was direct, strong and detailed. But the policy announced tonight matters far more than the words—and that policy represents a major shift. For the first time since the fall of Baghdad, the president has set out a realistic plan to secure the citizens of that city in order to allow political and economic progress to move forward. Much will depend on the performance of the Iraqis themselves, but America at least has defined a necessary, measurable goal, and promised the resources and troops to meet it. In the process, the president has shown that he is unimpressed by the conventional foreign policy wisdom. Instead of going to Iran as a supplicant, he is sending a carrier strike group to the region. Instead of abandoning a struggling democracy, he asserts that democracy is worth fighting for, and that our long-term security depends on democratic progress. Instead of seeking cover for retreat, he points out that retreat may also have unintended consequences, including genocidal levels of violence in Iraq. This new approach is likely to put his critics on the defensive, at least for a time. The commander-in-chief has proposed a new course, and skilled military leaders believe it will work. Given the stakes, it is hard to argue that America should not even try.

James Hoge, Editor, Peter G. Peterson Chair

The Bush plan to send more troops to combat insurgents and militia in Iraq faces huge obstacles to success. Iraq's Maliki government has to date proven incapable and unwilling to allow political and economic developments necessary to stabilization. And it has failed to stem Sunni insurgents and has refused to suppress Shia death squads. Meanwhile, the insurgency has gained new recruits among despairing Iraqis and increased the effectiveness of its tactics. In the U.S. Congress, critics are scrambling to set limits on the amount of resources and the time allowed for them to work. Opinion polls show a large majority of Americans doubt the tide can be turned or that U.S. security requires it. Counterinsurgency experts find wholly inadequate to the security challenge the number of additional troops and the short time envisioned for their activation. Unless conditions in Iraq noticeably improve, Bush will lose his remaining leverage and will finish out his presidential term isolated and marginalized. As the 2008 elections draw near, division will grow sharper within Republican ranks between supporters and doubters of escalation. And Democratic presidential candidates will feel heat from the party's base to embrace a quick disengagement. The most realistic outlook is for civil strife between Shias and Sunnis to rage on for a number of years until there is a clear winner, a compromise borne of exhaustion or a break up of the country. The challenge for the United States will be to keep the entire, oil-rich region from descending into chaos. No more important crisis faces the United States in the year ahead.

Gideon Rose, Managing Editor, Foreign Affairs

The changes the president has suggested to the Bush administration's policy in Iraq are generally sensible, and the logic behind them is sound. But given how badly the situation there has deteriorated over the last three and a half years, the new approach is unfortunately much too little, much too late. Stuff has happened, as Donald Rumsfeld might say, and there is no good reason to believe that Iraq's descent into further chaos and open civil war can be reversed. The president is correct to point out that failure will be a disaster for Iraq, the Middle East more generally, and the United States itself. One can only wish that his administration had taken this concept to heart from the beginning and planned and acted accordingly. Unfortunately, the real tasks at hand now are managing the failure so as limit its fallout and transitioning to a post-Iraq American foreign policy.


Gary Samore, Vice President, Director of Studies

The president's plan is intended to buy political space for national reconciliation in Iraq. The hope is that an influx of additional American and Iraqi (mainly Kurdish) forces into targeted areas of Baghdad will suppress Sunni terrorism and Shia death squads long enough to allow the emergence of a centrist Iraqi government that represents the majority elements of the Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish communities, while isolating extremists from each group. Unfortunately, prospects for the plan's success are not great. The additional forces may not be enough to make a sustained dent in the daily insurgent and sectarian death toll, especially because groups opposing the U.S. may believe they are on the verge of victory. Even if violence is temporarily reduced, the mutual tensions and divergent interests of the main political players in Iraq may be too great to overcome on such central issues as the sharing of power and oil revenues. If the president's plan fails to show results, demands for a 'phased redeployment' of U.S. forces—in effect a retreat—will become much stronger and perhaps irresistible. Unfortunately, an American withdrawal from Iraq under current conditions is likely to leave Iraq itself and the region as a whole in even greater peril.


Steven Simon, Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies

The administration must be seen to be taking the initiative in Iraq, yet there are no plausible paths to recovery. The temporary deployment of additional troops is one way out of this bind. By framing the effort as "a supporting role," the president puts the onus on the Iraqi government to staunch the violence and work harder to lure Sunnis into a unity government. So the new approach serves two purposes: it responds to Americans who want to see a change of course, while creating the impression that if it does not work, it will be because the Iraqis have failed us. The reality therefore is that the troop increase is necessarily cosmetic. At this point, the United States does not have enough deployable troops to "clear, hold, build," even as the president's reluctance to acknowledge the growing chaos in Iraq has undermined public confidence in his judgment. The resulting lack of both military capacity and popular support suggest that the "surge" will probably turn out to be just a stage on the way to a withdrawal by the party taking office in January 2009.

The president certainly believes that terrorism will get worse if the United States withdraws. He has said: "If we fail in Iraq, it's going to embolden al Qaeda types. It will weaken the resolve of moderate nations to stand up to the Islamic fascists. It will cause people to lose their nerve and not stay strong." This suggests that the president is unaware that the jihadists already think they have won because America confirmed their narrative so comprehensively by invading Iraq to begin with and because they can plausibly—if not entirely accurately—claim to have thwarted Washington's imperial designs. Both factors undoubtedly contribute to recruitment. It also suggests that the president is unaware of the degree to which the chaos in Iraq has strengthened the very authoritarian regimes in the region the United States had hoped would embrace a modicum of political reform. It is true, nonetheless, that al-Qaeda has gotten a toehold in western Iraq, which it will expand and use as a base of operations if left unhindered. This will be a security challenge for the United States in the years ahead. Jordanians have already paid a heavy price in blood. Whether the best way to counter this development is a long term presence in Iraq—"fighting them over there so that we don't have to fight them over here…"—is open to serious doubt. Since the surge strategy allocates only a small part of the additional troops to Anbar province, the new administration strategy is not likely to resolve this uncertainty.

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Nassim Yaziji's Neo-Internationalism

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1.15.2007

The U.S. New Iraq Strategy

Finally, the US has acknowledged the regional active role in Iraq's instability and violence. So, it will activate the regional dimension in the U.S. new Iraq strategy as an essential element.

It is quite clear that without foreign support the insurgency in Iraq cannot be sustainable or politically effective. As the Iraq's insurgency has its domestic roots, the foreign (regional) input and intervention were essential in turning its efficacy from the security level to the political level. Here I should remind that the insurgency course in Iraq was in reverse that the violence advanced or led the political issue or problem not the political strife which produced the violence. That indicates that there are external roles and players taking their parts in this whole operation and manipulate the course of events there.

So, as we should be totally aware of the domestic roots of the insurgency in Iraq, we should also be aware that it is definitely a regional issue and a deliberate war on the Western world on behalf of the totalitarianism in the Middle East, especially the Iraq's two neighboring totalitarian regimes as I said frequently before. Therefore, this new 'regional' move in the new strategy is really an indispensable step forward.

The other achievement by this new strategy is a very important one that the US has not accepted the blackmail of the regional totalitarian despotic regimes trying to save their heads after the geo-strategic change in the post-Iraq Middle East and the beginning of the democratic movement in the region. If the US consented to that blackmail—as it did before in the past, the consequences would be more than disastrous to the region and to the US and its interests in this region and to us, the peoples of the Middle East, especially the democratic intellectuals and activists. Changing the strategic course in the Middle East after Iraq and blowing up the nascent democratic course there on behalf of totalitarian rogue regimes and their regional system of despotism, violence and extremism will be more than a huge historic mistake that no one can take.

I will post the White House fact sheet on the president's strategy which summarizes Bush’s new strategy for Iraq and a related report by the State Department's information service. I recommend that you read this strategy alongside the U.S. Middle East strategy.

Some related comments and articles of mine:

- The Neo-Internationalism After 9/11 and Middle East Democratization

- Defining the Iraqi Question

- Totalitarianism, Violence and Terror

- Iraq Victory: Middle East Salvation

- Middle East Totalitarians and Existential Choice

- Middle East Totalitarian Axis

- Middle East Salvation

- Lebanon's Liberation and Independence

- The International 'New Deal' of the Middle East


White House Outlines Bush’s New Iraq Strategy

Key elements are security, political, economic and regional

The following fact sheet summarizes President Bush’s new strategy for Iraq. This strategy is also the subject of a televised address to the American people scheduled for the evening of January 10.

(begin fact sheet)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
January 10, 2007

Fact Sheet

The New Way Forward In Iraq

The President's New Iraq Strategy Is Rooted In Six Fundamental Elements:

1. Let the Iraqis lead;
2. Help Iraqis protect the population;
3. Isolate extremists;
4. Create space for political progress;
5. Diversify political and economic efforts; and
6. Situate the strategy in a regional approach.

The Consequences Of Failure In Iraq Could Not Be Graver – The War On Terror Cannot Be Won If We Fail In Iraq. Our enemies throughout the Middle East are trying to defeat us in Iraq. If we step back now, the problems in Iraq will become more lethal, and make our troops fight an uglier battle than we are seeing today.

Key Elements Of The New Approach: Security

Iraqi:

• Publicly acknowledge all parties are responsible for quelling sectarian violence.

• Work with additional Coalition help to regain control of the capital and protect the Iraqi population.

• Deliver necessary Iraqi forces for Baghdad and protect those forces from political interference.

• Commit to intensify efforts to build balanced security forces throughout the nation that provide security even-handedly for all Iraqis.

• Plan and fund eventual demobilization program for militias.

Coalition:

• Agree that helping Iraqis to provide population security is necessary to enable accelerated transition and political progress.

• Provide additional military and civilian resources to accomplish this mission.

• Increase efforts to support tribes willing to help Iraqis fight Al Qaeda in Anbar.

• Accelerate and expand the embed program while minimizing risk to participants.

Both Coalition And Iraqi:

• Continue counter-terror operations against Al Qaeda and insurgent organizations.

• Take more vigorous action against death squad networks.

• Accelerate transition to Iraqi responsibility and increase Iraqi ownership.

• Increase Iraqi security force capacity – both size and effectiveness – from 10 to 13 Army divisions, 36 to 41 Army Brigades, and 112 to 132 Army Battalions.

-- Establish a National Operations Center, National Counterterrorism Force, and National Strike Force.

-- Reform the Ministry of Interior to increase transparency and accountability and transform the National Police.

Key Elements Of The New Approach: Political

Iraqi:

• The Government of Iraq commits to:

-- Reform its cabinet to provide even-handed service delivery.

-- Act on promised reconciliation initiatives (oil law, de-Baathification law, Provincial elections).

-- Give Coalition and ISF authority to pursue ALL extremists.

• All Iraqi leaders support reconciliation.

• Moderate coalition emerges as strong base of support for unity government.

Coalition:

• Support political moderates so they can take on the extremists.

-- Build and sustain strategic partnerships with moderate Shi'a, Sunnis, and Kurds.

• Support the national compact and key elements of reconciliation with Iraqis in the lead.

• Diversify U.S. efforts to foster political accommodation outside Baghdad (more flexibility for local commanders and civilian leaders).

-- Expand and increase the flexibility of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) footprint.

-- Focus U.S. political, security, and economic resources at local level to open space for moderates, with initial priority to Baghdad and Anbar.

Both Coalition And Iraqi:

• Partnership between Prime Minister Maliki, Iraqi moderates, and the United States where all parties are clear on expectations and responsibilities.

• Strengthen the rule of law and combat corruption.

• Build on security gains to foster local and national political accommodations.

• Make Iraqi institutions even-handed, serving all of Iraq's communities on an impartial basis.

Key Elements Of The New Approach: Economic

Iraqi:

• Deliver economic resources and provide essential services to all areas and communities.

• Enact hydrocarbons law to promote investment, national unity, and reconciliation.

• Capitalize and execute jobs-producing programs.

• Match U.S. efforts to create jobs with longer term sustainable Iraqi programs.

• Focus more economic effort on relatively secure areas as a magnet for employment and growth.

Coalition:

• Refocus efforts to help Iraqis build capacity in areas vital to success of the government (e.g. budget execution, key ministries).

• Decentralize efforts to build Iraqi capacities outside the Green Zone.

-- Double the number of PRTs and civilians serving outside the Green Zone.

-- Establish PRT-capability within maneuver Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs).

• Greater integration of economic strategy with military effort.

-- Joint civil-military plans devised by PRT and BCT.

-- Remove legal and bureaucratic barriers to maximize cooperation and flexibility.

Key Elements Of The New Approach: Regional

Iraqi:

• Vigorously engage Arab states.

• Take the lead in establishing a regional forum to give support and help from the neighborhood.

• Counter negative foreign activity in Iraq.

• Increase efforts to counter PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party).

Coalition:

• Intensify efforts to counter Iranian and Syrian influence inside Iraq.

• Increase military presence in the region.

• Strengthen defense ties with partner states in the region.

• Encourage Arab state support to Government of Iraq.

• Continue efforts to help manage relations between Iraq and Turkey.

• Continue to seek the region's full support in the War on Terror.

Both Coalition And Iraqi:

• Focus on the International Compact.

• Retain active U.N. engagement in Iraq – particularly for election support and constitutional review.

(end fact sheet)

Bush’s Address on Strategy in Iraq is available here.

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Bush Sending Additional U.S. Forces To Support Iraqi Troops

By Stephen Kaufman
USINFO Staff Writer

Washington – In a televised address to the American people January 10, President Bush announced the deployment of five additional U.S. Army brigades to Iraq to support Iraqi army operations in and around its capital, Baghdad, and two Marine brigades to Anbar province to assist in operations against al-Qaida.

Bush said the deployment of more than 20,000 additional U.S. forces in support of an Iraqi plan to bring security “will change America’s course in Iraq, and help us succeed in the fight against terror.”

The president said security is the “most urgent priority,” especially in Baghdad because 80 percent of the sectarian violence occurs within a 30-mile [48-kilometer] radius of the capital.

The five U.S. Army brigades are expected to remain under U.S. command but will work with and in support of the Iraqi forces who are charged with patrolling, setting up checkpoints and demonstrating to the city’s residents that Iraqi forces are providing security.

The two Marine brigades will assist Iraqi forces and local Sunni tribes in Anbar province that are resisting al-Qaida’s use of the area as its base of operations in Iraq.

Bush ascribed the failure of previous attempts to secure Baghdad to an inadequate number of Iraqi and American troops available to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorist and insurgent forces, as well as “too many restrictions on the troops we did have.” He said U.S. military commanders reported that the new Iraqi security plan addresses those mistakes and told him “this plan can work.” Iraqi and American forces will be able to enter neighborhoods where political and sectarian interference had previously prevented them.

Bush added that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki “has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.”

The Iraqi government plans to take security responsibility for all of Iraq’s provinces by November, pass legislation to share the country’s oil revenues, undertake political reforms and spend $10 billion on reconstruction and infrastructure projects.

Earlier in the day, a senior administration official told reporters that the plan is “a different and better concept of operations,” than in the past. It will be “adequately resourced first and foremost by the Iraqis,” as well as by the additional U.S. forces who were requested by the Iraqi security officials and commanders.

Bush said initial U.S. hopes at the end of 2005 for political progress in Iraq were “overwhelmed” in 2006 by the country’s sectarian violence. The current situation in Iraq is “unacceptable to the American people and it's unacceptable to me,” Bush said, adding that the current strategy in Iraq needs to be changed, and “[w]here mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.”

He said the Iraqi government is aware that “America’s commitment is not open-ended,” and if it does not follow through on its promises, “it will lose the support of the American people -- and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people.”

PRESIDENT PLANS ADDITIONAL ECONOMIC AID TO IRAQ

The president also said the new plan will include additional economic assistance and doubling the number of provincial reconstruction teams charged with helping Iraqis build up local governments, assisting local reconciliation efforts and providing local economic assistance.

The official said that Bush drew two conclusions from recent consultations on and review of U.S. policy in Iraq: “there are no silver bullets” to solve the problem instantly and “America cannot afford to fail” in Iraq.

In combating sectarian violence, the president said only the Iraqi people themselves can end the violence by deciding to live together in peace, and that the Iraqi government “has put forward an aggressive plan to do it.”

He said Iraq’s moderate neighbors have a vested interest in its success and need to increase their support for its unity government, while also pledging to interrupt the flow of support to extremists from Iran and Syria.

Bush said “millions of ordinary people” in the Middle East and South Asia are “sick of violence and want a future of peace and opportunity for their children.” They are looking at Iraq in order to see if the United States will withdraw or stand with the people of Iraq, he said.

Victory in Iraq will achieve “a functioning democracy that polices its territory, upholds the rule of law, respects fundamental human liberties, and answers to its people,” the president said.

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1.10.2007

Iran, the Real Picture

Iranian regime, the leader of the Middle East Totalitarian Axis (META), is fighting back after the geo-strategic change in the Middle East through the liberation of Iraq and the semi-liberation of Lebanon and the new regional and international realities associated with the Bush Forward Strategy of Freedom. The Iranian battle is pretty clear in Iraq and in Beirut's streets and somewhere in Gaza, associated with Iranian defiance on the nuclear question strengthened by the status and performance of the META.

The picture of the regionally rising Iran and the retreating Western democratic involvement associated with the new Middle East project is not accurate. The real picture is wider and has a different nature should we have a strategic and comprehensive vision.

This analysis by the Council on Foreign Relations is helpful to conceive a more comprehensive and realistic perspective.

(The unanimously-adopted UNSC resolution 1737 which sanctioned Iran on the nuclear issue can be downloaded here.)


Tehran on the Hot Seat

December 26, 2006
Prepared by: Robert McMahon

The story of Iran this year has been of a nation on the rise regionally, with clear influence in Lebanon and Iraq and a growing assertiveness about its right to develop nuclear energy. But there has been a break in the narrative at year’s end. Troubling signals for Tehran have suddenly sprouted up in many directions. Despite a continuing surge in revenues from its energy stocks, Iran’s oil minister acknowledged the country was having difficulty funding oil projects because of what the Financial Times calls “de facto financial sanctions.” At the same time, authorities were confirming gains by reformers in municipal elections and impressive vote totals for “moderate conservatives” like former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in the election for members of the Assembly of Experts, which has the power to select the country’s next Supreme Leader (RFE/RL). Other sour notes for the government include a rising student protest movement (NYT) against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a UN General Assembly vote censuring its human rights record.

But Tehran’s biggest source of concern, despite declarations to the contrary, is a UN resolution passed unanimously (WashPost) by the UN Security Council on December 23. The resolution sanctions the government for failing to heed its demands to suspend its uranium enrichment program, which a number of Western states believe is cover for a weapons program. It bans the import and export of materials and technology used in uranium enrichment, reprocessing, and ballistic missiles. Even though the European states that drafted the resolution have removed provisions related to a Russian-built light-water reactor and travel bans, there are overtones of the UN sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s that have already chilled international investment in Iran. In a new CFR.org Podcast, sanctions expert George A. Lopez of Notre Dame University says that Iran’s inadequate response to a wide range of carrots and sticks offered by negotiators over the past year has frustrated erstwhile backers such as Russia. Even a resolution that amounts to a “slap on the wrist” to Iran should raise worries in Tehran, he says, about Security Council unity. UN sanctions would only intensify concerns over the weak state of the economy, according to this CFR Backgrounder.

One cause for the shift in fortunes appears to be growing exasperation with the performance of Ahmadinejad, such as his recent hosting of a conference of deniers of the Nazi Holocaust. “His radicalism is beginning to rub people the wrong way,” says CFR Senior Fellow Ray Takeyh, pointing to results from the recent elections. He says the Iranian public does not appreciate “the confrontational rhetoric, the anti-Semitism, and the opprobrium that he brings internationally to Iran.” And analyst Kaveh L. Afrasiabi notes that a survey of Russian press signals that “Ahmadinejad's radical brand of politics has made it all but impossible for Russia to resist the combined US-European Union pressure to overcome its objections to sanctions on Iran” (Asia Times).

The Iranian president seems unruffled by the latest trends, again touting the country’s nuclear capabilities in an appearance on December 20 (IRNA), and vowing to continue its nuclear program “with full speed” (NYT) after the passage of UN sanctions. But even if he were to become moderate or marginalized, few experts expect dramatic changes in the country anytime soon, pointing to the considerable powers of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini and the country’s unelected Guardian Council. Iran analyst Karim Sadjadpour of the International Crisis Group writes that Iranian public opinion, especially among its huge youth population, “has never appeared to figure prominently in Khamenei’s consensus-building process” (Washington Quarterly). But Khamenei is aging and said to be ailing, raising the newly elected Assembly of Experts to new prominence (Stratfor).


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1.06.2007

Rice Stresses Middle East Democracy after Baker Report

After Mr. Baker's funny study which missed its time of pre-9/11 and its world of Cold War and studied not this Middle East but a past Middle East of Mr. Baker's time, Dr. Rice reasserted the U.S. commitment to Middle East democracy.

Here is a related report followed by the executive summery of the Baker-Hamilton report (Iraq Study Group):

Rice Says U.S. Support for Middle East Democracy Is Nonnegotiable

By David McKeeby
USINFO Staff Writer
15 December 2006

Washington -- Responding to calls for the United States to engage Iran and Syria to help secure Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said December 14 that even though diplomatic negotiation may be built on artful compromise, Iran and Syria must understand that U.S. support for democracy in the region is nonnegotiable.

“If they have an interest in a stable Iraq, they'll do it anyway,” Rice told the Washington Post editorial board, and should not expect “compensation,” such as support for Syria’s hope of international acceptance of a rollback of Lebanon's democratic government by Hezbollah, or for Iran’s desire to end U.N. deliberations over sanctions on Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.

Rice also said that although the White House continues its comprehensive review of U.S. policy in Iraq and any new course might be a departure and an evolution in current operations, there will be no change in the Bush administration’s central objective: a democratic Iraq that can sustain, govern and defend itself.

To this end, she said, Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish political leaders are working with Iraq's prime minister to build a moderate center and to move together to confront the forces of extremism perpetrating sectarian violence in and around Baghdad, Iraq.

“Iraqis are really the only ones, ultimately, who can solve the sectarian problem,” Rice said. “We can help. We can support. We can do a lot of things. But ultimately they are the ones who can solve it.”

The region’s new strategic context also gives rise to another top U.S. priority, Rice said: the pursuit of a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians.

“We're going to go to the Middle East a lot next year,” Rice said.

Today, she said, mainstream Arab states would like to see a resolution to the long-standing conflict, and President Bush’s policy since 2001 of a two-state solution, which also has been accepted by Israel, is the way to move forward.

It will be a long road of tough negotiations, Rice said, but “in the next two years nothing would be better than to really put the time and energy into trying … to show people in the international community that this new strategic context has the capability of being a truly more stable and democratic one than the one that was left.”

U.S. COMMITMENT TO DEMOCRACY IN REGION UNCHANGED

The United States remains committed to supporting people across the Middle East who reject extremism and embrace democracy, Rice said.

Across the region, she said, a “new strategic context” is taking shape from the convergence of greater political freedoms and a debate within Islam about the role of religion in politics and society.

As a result, mainstream states such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the Gulf states that are committed to progressive reforms now find themselves confronted by more extreme views from countries such as Iran and Syria as well as from groups like Hezbollah and Hamas.

This new strategic context unites several seemingly disparate conflicts in the region, Rice said, including the ongoing violence between Iraq’s Shiites and Sunnis, efforts to topple Lebanon’s democratically elected government, and moves to block a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians.

In contrast to these products of extremism, democratic reforms, such as municipal elections in Saudi Arabia, qualifying women to vote in Kuwait, and similar developments in Bahrain, Oman, Morocco and Jordan, are bringing greater stability and prosperity to mainstream Arab states.

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Iraq Study Group Report: Executive Summary

(begin text)

[Report of the Iraq Study Group]
6 December 2006
Executive Summary

The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. There is no path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved.

In this report, we make a number of recommendations for actions to be taken in Iraq, the United States, and the region. Our most important recommendations call for new and enhanced diplomatic and political efforts in Iraq and the region, and a change in the primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq that will enable the United States to begin to move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly. We believe that these two recommendations are equally important and reinforce one another. If they are effectively implemented, and if the Iraqi government moves forward with national reconciliation, Iraqis will have an opportunity for a better future, terrorism will be dealt a blow, stability will be enhanced in an important part of the world, and America’s credibility, interests, and values will be protected.

The challenges in Iraq are complex. Violence is increasing in scope and lethality. It is fed by a Sunni Arab insurgency, Shiite militias and death squads, al Qaeda, and widespread criminality. Sectarian conflict is the principal challenge to stability.

The Iraqi people have a democratically elected government, yet it is not adequately advancing national reconciliation, providing basic security, or delivering essential services. Pessimism is pervasive.
If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences could be severe. A slide toward chaos could trigger the collapse of Iraq’s government and a humanitarian catastrophe. Neighboring countries could intervene. Sunni-Shia clashes could spread. Al Qaeda could win a propaganda victory and expand its base of operations. The global standing of the United States could be diminished. Americans could become more polarized.

During the past nine months we have considered a full range of approaches for moving forward. All have flaws. Our recommended course has shortcomings, but we firmly believe that it includes the best strategies and tactics to positively influence the outcome in Iraq and the region.

External Approach

The policies and actions of Iraq’s neighbors greatly affect its stability and prosperity. No country in the region will benefit in the long term from a chaotic Iraq. Yet Iraq’s neighbors are not doing enough to help Iraq achieve stability. Some are undercutting stability.

The United States should immediately launch a new diplomatic offensive to build an international consensus for stability in Iraq and the region. This diplomatic effort should include every country that has an interest in avoiding a chaotic Iraq, including all of Iraq’s neighbors. Iraq’s neighbors and key states in and outside the region should form a support group to reinforce security and national reconciliation within Iraq, neither of which Iraq can achieve on its own.

Given the ability of Iran and Syria to influence events within Iraq and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq, the United States should try to engage them constructively. In seeking to influence the behavior of both countries, the United States has disincentives and incentives available. Iran should stem the flow of arms and training to Iraq, respect Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and use its influence over Iraqi Shia groups to encourage national reconciliation. The issue of Iran’s nuclear programs should continue to be dealt with by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany. Syria should control its border with Iraq to stem the flow of funding, insurgents, and terrorists in and out of Iraq.

The United States cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East unless it deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict and regional instability. There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon, Syria, and President Bush’s June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. This commitment must include direct talks with, by, and between Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians (those who accept Israel’s right to exist), and Syria.

As the United States develops its approach toward Iraq and the Middle East, the United States should provide additional political, economic, and military support for Afghanistan, including resources that might become available as combat forces are moved out of Iraq.

Internal Approach

The most important questions about Iraq’s future are now the responsibility of Iraqis. The United States must adjust its role in Iraq to encourage the Iraqi people to take control of their own destiny.

The Iraqi government should accelerate assuming responsibility for Iraqi security by increasing the number and quality of Iraqi Army brigades. While this process is under way, and to facilitate it, the United States should significantly increase the number of U.S. military personnel, including combat troops, imbedded in and supporting Iraqi Army units. As these actions proceed, U.S. combat forces could begin to move out of Iraq.

The primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq should evolve to one of supporting the Iraqi army, which would take over primary responsibility for combat operations. By the first quarter of 2008, subject to unexpected developments in the security situation on the ground, all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq. At that time, U.S. combat forces in Iraq could be deployed only in units embedded with Iraqi forces, in rapid-reaction and special operations teams, and in training, equipping, advising, force protection, and search and rescue. Intelligence and support efforts would continue. A vital mission of those rapid reaction and special operations forces would be to undertake strikes against al Qaeda in Iraq.

It is clear that the Iraqi government will need assistance from the United States for some time to come, especially in carrying out security responsibilities. Yet the United States must make it clear to the Iraqi government that the United States could carry out its plans, including planned redeployments, even if the Iraqi government did not implement their planned changes. The United States must not make an open-ended commitment to keep large numbers of American troops deployed in Iraq.

As redeployment proceeds, military leaders should emphasize training and education of forces that have returned to the United States in order to restore the force to full combat capability. As equipment returns to the United States, Congress should appropriate sufficient funds to restore the equipment over the next five years.

The United States should work closely with Iraq’s leaders to support the achievement of specific objectives -- or milestones -- on national reconciliation, security, and governance. Miracles cannot be expected, but the people of Iraq have the right to expect action and progress. The Iraqi government needs to show its own citizens -- and the citizens of the United States and other countries -- that it deserves continued support.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in consultation with the United States, has put forward a set of milestones critical for Iraq. His list is a good start, but it must be expanded to include milestones that can strengthen the government and benefit the Iraqi people. President Bush and his national security team should remain in close and frequent contact with the Iraqi leadership to convey a clear message: there must be prompt action by the Iraqi government to make substantial progress toward the achievement of these milestones.

If the Iraqi government demonstrates political will and makes substantial progress toward the achievement of milestones on national reconciliation, security, and governance, the United States should make clear its willingness to continue training, assistance, and support for Iraq’s security forces and to continue political, military, and economic support. If the Iraqi government does not make substantial progress toward the achievement of milestones on national reconciliation, security, and governance, the United States should reduce its political, military, or economic support for the Iraqi government.

Our report makes recommendations in several other areas. They include improvements to the Iraqi criminal justice system, the Iraqi oil sector, the U.S. reconstruction efforts in Iraq, the U.S. budget process, the training of U.S. government personnel, and U.S. intelligence capabilities.

Conclusion

It is the unanimous view of the Iraq Study Group that these recommendations offer a new way forward for the United States in Iraq and the region. They are comprehensive and need to be implemented in a coordinated fashion. They should not be separated or carried out in isolation. The dynamics of the region are as important to Iraq as events within Iraq.

The challenges are daunting. There will be difficult days ahead. But by pursuing this new way forward, Iraq, the region, and the United States of America can emerge stronger.

(end text)
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1.01.2007

Statute of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Here is the official full text of the statute of the special tribunal approved by the United Nations Security Council for trying all those who are found responsible for the terrorist crime which killed the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and other Lebanese martyrs of the Cedar Revolution, the Lebanese freedom and independence revolution, followed by the list of attacks perpetrated in Lebanon since 1 October 2004 included in the Secretary-General's report to the Security Council.

Hope that 2007 will be the justice year for Lebanon.


Statute of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Having been established by an Agreement between the United Nations and the Lebanese Republic (hereinafter “the Agreement”) pursuant to Security Council resolution 1664 (2006) of 29 March 2006, which responded to the request of the Government of Lebanon to establish a tribunal of an international character to try all those who are found responsible for the terrorist crime which killed the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and others, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (hereinafter “the Special Tribunal”) shall function in accordance with the provisions of this Statute.

Section I
Jurisdiction and applicable law

Article 1
Jurisdiction of the Special Tribunal

The Special Tribunal shall have jurisdiction over persons responsible for the attack of 14 February 2005 resulting in the death of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and in the death or injury of other persons. If the Tribunal finds that other attacks that occurred in Lebanon between 1 October 2004 and 12 December 2005, or any later date decided by the Parties and with the consent of the Security Council, are connected in accordance with the principles of criminal justice and are of a nature and gravity similar to the attack of 14 February 2005, it shall also have jurisdiction over persons responsible for such attacks. This connection includes but is not limited to a combination of the following elements: criminal intent (motive),
the purpose behind the attacks, the nature of the victims targeted, the pattern of the attacks (modus operandi) and the perpetrators.

Article 2
Applicable criminal law

The following shall be applicable to the prosecution and punishment of the crimes referred to in article 1, subject to the provisions of this Statute:

(a) The provisions of the Lebanese Criminal Code relating to the prosecution and punishment of acts of terrorism, crimes and offences against life and personal integrity, illicit associations and failure to report crimes and offences, including the rules regarding the material elements of a crime, criminal participation and conspiracy; and
(b) Articles 6 and 7 of the Lebanese law of 11 January 1958 on “Increasing the penalties for sedition, civil war and interfaith struggle”.

Article 3
Individual criminal responsibility

1. A person shall be individually responsible for crimes within the jurisdiction of the Special Tribunal if that person:

(a) Committed, participated as accomplice, organized or directed others tocommit the crime set forth in article 2 of this Statute; or
(b) Contributed in any other way to the commission of the crime set forth inarticle 2 of this Statute by a group of persons acting with a common purpose, where such contribution is intentional and is either made with the aim of furthering thegeneral criminal activity or purpose of the group or in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit the crime.

2. With respect to superior and subordinate relationships, a superior shall becriminally responsible for any of the crimes set forth in article 2 of this Statute committed by subordinates under his or her effective authority and control, as aresult of his or her failure to exercise control properly over such subordinates,where:

(a) The superior either knew, or consciously disregarded information that clearly indicated that the subordinates were committing or about to commit such crimes;
(b) The crimes concerned activities that were within the effective responsibility and control of the superior; and
(c) The superior failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures withinhis or her power to prevent or repress their commission or to submit the matter tothe competent authorities for investigation and prosecution.

3. The fact that the person acted pursuant to an order of a superior shall notrelieve him or her of criminal responsibility, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment if the Special Tribunal determines that justice so requires.

Article 4
Concurrent jurisdiction

1. The Special Tribunal and the national courts of Lebanon shall have concurrent jurisdiction. Within its jurisdiction, the Tribunal shall have primacy over thenational courts of Lebanon.

2. Upon the assumption of office of the Prosecutor, as determined by the Secretary-General, and no later than two months thereafter, the Special Tribunal shall request the national judicial authority seized with the case of the attack against Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and others to defer to its competence. The Lebanese judicial authority shall refer to the Tribunal the results of the investigation and acopy of the court’s records, if any. Persons detained in connection with the investigation shall be transferred to the custody of the Tribunal.

3. (a) At the request of the Special Tribunal, the national judicial authorityseized with any of the other crimes committed between 1 October 2004 and 12 December 2005, or a later date decided pursuant to article 1, shall refer to the Tribunal the results of the investigation and a copy of the court’s records, if any, forreview by the Prosecutor;
(b) At the further request of the Tribunal, the national authority in question shall defer to the competence of the Tribunal. It shall refer to the Tribunal the results of the investigation and a copy of the court’s records, if any, and persons detained inconnection with any such case shall be transferred to the custody of the Tribunal;
(c) The national judicial authorities shall regularly inform the Tribunal of the progress of their investigation. At any stage of the proceedings, the Tribunal may formally request a national judicial authority to defer to its competence.

Article 5
Non bis in idem

1. No person shall be tried before a national court of Lebanon for acts for which he or she has already been tried by the Special Tribunal.

2. A person who has been tried by a national court may be subsequently tried by the Special Tribunal if the national court proceedings were not impartial or independent, were designed to shield the accused from criminal responsibility forcrimes within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal or the case was not diligently prosecuted.

3. In considering the penalty to be imposed on a person convicted of a crime under this Statute, the Special Tribunal shall take into account the extent to which any penalty imposed by a national court on the same person for the same act has already been served.

Article 6
Amnesty

An amnesty granted to any person for any crime falling within the jurisdiction of the Special Tribunal shall not be a bar to prosecution.

Section II
Organization of the Special Tribunal

Article 7
Organs of the Special Tribunal

The Special Tribunal shall consist of the following organs:

(a) The Chambers, comprising a Pre-Trial Judge, a Trial Chamber and an Appeals Chamber;
(b) The Prosecutor;
(c) The Registry; and
(d) The Defence Office.

Article 8
Composition of the Chambers

1. The Chambers shall be composed as follows:

(a) One international Pre-Trial Judge;
(b) Three judges who shall serve in the Trial Chamber, of whom one shall bea Lebanese judge and two shall be international judges;
(c) Five judges who shall serve in the Appeals Chamber, of whom two shallbe Lebanese judges and three shall be international judges;
(d) Two alternate judges, one of whom shall be a Lebanese judge and oneshall be an international judge.

2. The judges of the Appeals Chamber and the judges of the Trial Chamber, respectively, shall elect a presiding judge who shall conduct the proceedings in the Chamber to which he or she was elected. The presiding judge of the Appeals Chamber shall be the President of the Special Tribunal.

3. At the request of the presiding judge of the Trial Chamber, the President of theSpecial Tribunal may, in the interest of justice, assign the alternate judges to be present at each stage of the trial and to replace a judge if that judge is unable to continue sitting.

Article 9
Qualification and appointment of judges

1. The judges shall be persons of high moral character, impartiality and integrity,with extensive judicial experience. They shall be independent in the performance of their functions and shall not accept or seek instructions from any Government orany other source.

2. In the overall composition of the Chambers, due account shall be taken of the established competence of the judges in criminal law and procedure andinternational law.

3. The judges shall be appointed by the Secretary-General, as set forth in article 2 of the Agreement, for a three-year period and may be eligible for reappointment fora further period to be determined by the Secretary-General in consultation with the Government.

Article 10
Powers of the President of the Special Tribunal

1. The President of the Special Tribunal, in addition to his or her judicial functions, shall represent the Tribunal and be responsible for its effective functioning and the good administration of justice.

2. The President of the Special Tribunal shall submit an annual report on the operation and activities of the Tribunal to the Secretary-General and to the Government of Lebanon.

Article 11
The Prosecutor

1. The Prosecutor shall be responsible for the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the Special Tribunal. In the interest of proper administration of justice, he or she may decide to charge jointly persons accused of the same or different crimes committed in thecourse of the same transaction.

2. The Prosecutor shall act independently as a separate organ of the Special Tribunal. He or she shall not seek or receive instructions from any Government orfrom any other source.

3. The Prosecutor shall be appointed, as set forth in article 3 of the Agreement,by the Secretary-General for a three-year term and may be eligible for reappointment for a further period to be determined by the Secretary-General inconsultation with the Government. He or she shall be of high moral character andpossess the highest level of professional competence, and have extensive experiencein the conduct of investigations and prosecutions of criminal cases.

4. The Prosecutor shall be assisted by a Lebanese Deputy Prosecutor and by suchother Lebanese and international staff as may be required to perform the functions assigned to him or her effectively and efficiently.

5. The Office of the Prosecutor shall have the power to question suspects, victimsand witnesses, to collect evidence and to conduct on-site investigations. In carrying out these tasks, the Prosecutor shall, as appropriate, be assisted by the Lebanese authorities concerned.

Article 12
The Registry

1. Under the authority of the President of the Special Tribunal, the Registry shall be responsible for the administration and servicing of the Tribunal.

2. The Registry shall consist of a Registrar and such other staff as may berequired.

3. The Registrar shall be appointed by the Secretary-General and shall be a staff member of the United Nations. He or she shall serve for a three-year term and maybe eligible for reappointment for a further period to be determined by the Secretary-General in consultation with the Government.

4. The Registrar shall set up a Victims and Witnesses Unit within the Registry. This Unit shall provide, in consultation with the Office of the Prosecutor, measures to protect the safety, physical and psychological well-being, dignity and privacy of victims and witnesses, and such other appropriate assistance for witnesses who appear before the Special Tribunal and others who are at risk on account of testimony given by such witnesses.

Article 13
The Defence Office

1. The Secretary-General, in consultation with the President of the Special Tribunal, shall appoint an independent Head of the Defence Office, who shall be responsible for the appointment of the Office staff and the drawing up of a list of defence counsel.

2. The Defence Office, which may also include one or more public defenders, shall protect the rights of the defence, provide support and assistance to defence counsel and to the persons entitled to legal assistance, including, where appropriate, legal research, collection of evidence and advice, and appearing before the Pre-Trial Judge or a Chamber in respect of specific issues.


Article 14
Official and working languages

The official languages of the Special Tribunal shall be Arabic, French and English. In any given case proceedings, the Pre-Trial Judge or a Chamber may decide that one or two of the languages may be used as working languages as appropriate.

Section III
Rights of defendants and victims

Article 15
Rights of suspects during investigation

A suspect who is to be questioned by the Prosecutor shall not be compelled toincriminate himself or herself or to confess guilt. He or she shall have the following rights of which he or she shall be informed by the Prosecutor prior to questioning, ina language he or she speaks and understands:

(a) The right to be informed that there are grounds to believe that he or she has committed a crime within the jurisdiction of the Special Tribunal;
(b) The right to remain silent, without such silence being considered in the determination of guilt or innocence, and to be cautioned that any statement he or she makes shall be recorded and may be used in evidence;
(c) The right to have legal assistance of his or her own choosing, including the right to have legal assistance provided by the Defence Office where the interests of justice so require and where the suspect does not have sufficient means to pay for it;
(d) The right to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he or she cannot understand or speak the language used for questioning;
(e) The right to be questioned in the presence of counsel unless the person has voluntarily waived his or her right to counsel.

Article 16
Rights of the accused

1. All accused shall be equal before the Special Tribunal.

2. The accused shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing, subject to measures ordered by the Special Tribunal for the protection of victims and witnesses.

3. (a) The accused shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according tothe provisions of this Statute;
(b) The onus is on the Prosecutor to prove the guilt of the accused;
(c) In order to convict the accused, the relevant Chamber must be convinced of the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

4. In the determination of any charge against the accused pursuant to this Statute, he or she shall be entitled to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality:

(a) To be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he or she understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him or her;
(b) To have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his or herdefence and to communicate without hindrance with counsel of his or her own choosing;
(c) To be tried without undue delay;
(d) Subject to the provisions of article 22, to be tried in his or her presence,and to defend himself or herself in person or through legal assistance of his or her own choosing; to be informed, if he or she does not have legal assistance, of thisright; and to have legal assistance assigned to him or her, in any case where the interests of justice so require and without payment by him or her in any such case ifhe or she does not have sufficient means to pay for it;
(e) To examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him or her and toobtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his or her behalf under thesame conditions as witnesses against him or her;
(f) To examine all evidence to be used against him or her during the trial in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Special Tribunal;
(g) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if he or she cannot understand or speak the language used in the Special Tribunal;
(h) Not to be compelled to testify against himself or herself or to confessguilt.

5. The accused may make statements in court at any stage of the proceedings, provided such statements are relevant to the case at issue. The Chambers shall decide on the probative value, if any, of such statements.

Article 17
Rights of victims

Where the personal interests of the victims are affected, the Special Tribunal shall permit their views and concerns to be presented and considered at stages of the proceedings determined to be appropriate by the Pre-Trial Judge or the Chamber andin a manner that is not prejudicial to or inconsistent with the rights of the accused and a fair and impartial trial. Such views and concerns may be presented by the legal representatives of the victims where the Pre-Trial Judge or the Chamber considers it appropriate.

Section IV
Conduct of proceedings

Article 18
Pre-Trial proceedings

1. The Pre-Trial Judge shall review the indictment. If satisfied that a prima faciecase has been established by the Prosecutor, he or she shall confirm the indictment. If he or she is not so satisfied, the indictment shall be dismissed.

2. The Pre-Trial Judge may, at the request of the Prosecutor, issue such ordersand warrants for the arrest or transfer of persons, and any other orders as may be required for the conduct of the investigation and for the preparation of a fair and expeditious trial.

Article 19
Evidence collected prior to the establishment of the Special Tribunal

Evidence collected with regard to cases subject to the consideration of the Special Tribunal, prior to the establishment of the Tribunal, by the national authorities of Lebanon or by the International Independent Investigation Commission in accordance with its mandate as set out in Security Council resolution 1595 (2005) and subsequent resolutions, shall be received by the Tribunal. Its admissibility shall be decided by the Chambers pursuant to international standards on collection of evidence. The weight to be given to any such evidence shall be determined by the Chambers.

Article 20
Commencement and conduct of trial proceedings

1. The Trial Chamber shall read the indictment to the accused, satisfy itself that the rights of the accused are respected, confirm that the accused understands the indictment and instruct the accused to enter a plea.

2. Unless otherwise decided by the Trial Chamber in the interests of justice, examination of witnesses shall commence with questions posed by the presiding judge, followed by questions posed by other members of the Trial Chamber, the Prosecutor and the Defence.

3. Upon request or proprio motu, the Trial Chamber may at any stage of the trial decide to call additional witnesses and/or order the production of additional evidence.

4. The hearings shall be public unless the Trial Chamber decides to hold the proceedings in camera in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

Article 21
Powers of the Chambers

1. The Special Tribunal shall confine the trial, appellate and review proceedings strictly to an expeditious hearing of the issues raised by the charges, or the groundsfor appeal or review, respectively. It shall take strict measures to prevent any action that may cause unreasonable delay.

2. A Chamber may admit any relevant evidence that it deems to have probative value and exclude such evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the need to ensure a fair trial.

3. A Chamber may receive the evidence of a witness orally or, where the interestsof justice allow, in written form.

4. In cases not otherwise provided for in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, a Chamber shall apply rules of evidence that will best favour a fair determination ofthe matter before it and are consonant with the spirit of the Statute and the generalprinciples of law.

Article 22
Trials in absentia

1. The Special Tribunal shall conduct trial proceedings in the absence of the accused, if he or she:

(a) Has expressly and in writing waived his or her right to be present;
(b) Has not been handed over to the Tribunal by the State authorities concerned;
(c) Has absconded or otherwise cannot be found and all reasonable stepshave been taken to secure his or her appearance before the Tribunal and to inform him or her of the charges confirmed by the Pre-Trial Judge.

2. When hearings are conducted in the absence of the accused, the Special Tribunal shall ensure that:

(a) The accused has been notified, or served with the indictment, or notice has otherwise been given of the indictment through publication in the media orcommunication to the State of residence or nationality;
(b) The accused has designated a defence counsel of his or her own choosing, to be remunerated either by the accused or, if the accused is proved to beindigent, by the Tribunal;
(c) Whenever the accused refuses or fails to appoint a defence counsel, such counsel has been assigned by the Defence Office of the Tribunal with a view to ensuring full representation of the interests and rights of the accused.

3. In case of conviction in absentia, the accused, if he or she had not designated adefence counsel of his or her choosing, shall have the right to be retried in his or her presence before the Special Tribunal, unless he or she accepts the judgement.

Article 23
Judgement

The judgement shall be rendered by a majority of the judges of the Trial Chamber or of the Appeals Chamber and shall be delivered in public. It shall be accompanied by a reasoned opinion in writing, to which any separate or dissenting opinions shall be appended.

Article 24
Penalties

1. The Trial Chamber shall impose upon a convicted person imprisonment for life or for a specified number of years. In determining the terms of imprisonment for the crimes provided for in this Statute, the Trial Chamber shall, as appropriate, have recourse to international practice regarding prison sentences and to the practice ofthe national courts of Lebanon.

2. In imposing sentence, the Trial Chamber should take into account such factors as the gravity of the offence and the individual circumstances of the convicted person.

Article 25
Compensation to victims

1. The Special Tribunal may identify victims who have suffered harm as a result of the commission of crimes by an accused convicted by the Tribunal.

2. The Registrar shall transmit to the competent authorities of the State concerned the judgement finding the accused guilty of a crime that has caused harm to avictim.

3. Based on the decision of the Special Tribunal and pursuant to the relevant national legislation, a victim or persons claiming through the victim, whether or not such victim had been identified as such by the Tribunal under paragraph 1 of this article, may bring an action in a national court or other competent body to obtain compensation.

4. For the purposes of a claim made under paragraph 3 of this article, the judgement of the Special Tribunal shall be final and binding as to the criminal responsibility of the convicted person.

Article 26
Appellate proceedings

1. The Appeals Chamber shall hear appeals from persons convicted by the Trial Chamber or from the Prosecutor on the following grounds:

(a) An error on a question of law invalidating the decision;
(b) An error of fact that has occasioned a miscarriage of justice.

2. The Appeals Chamber may affirm, reverse or revise the decisions taken by the Trial Chamber.

Article 27
Review proceedings

1. Where a new fact has been discovered that was not known at the time of the proceedings before the Trial Chamber or the Appeals Chamber and that could have been a decisive factor in reaching the decision, the convicted person or the Prosecutor may submit an application for review of the judgement.

2. An application for review shall be submitted to the Appeals Chamber. The Appeals Chamber may reject the application if it considers it to be unfounded. If it determines that the application is meritorious, it may, as appropriate:

(a) Reconvene the Trial Chamber;
(b) Retain jurisdiction over the matter.

Article 28
Rules of Procedure and Evidence

1. The judges of the Special Tribunal shall, as soon as practicable after taking office, adopt Rules of Procedure and Evidence for the conduct of the pre-trial, trialand appellate proceedings, the admission of evidence, the participation of victims,the protection of victims and witnesses and other appropriate matters and may amend them, as appropriate.

2. In so doing, the judges shall be guided, as appropriate, by the Lebanese Codeof Criminal Procedure, as well as by other reference materials reflecting the highest standards of international criminal procedure, with a view to ensuring a fair and expeditious trial.

Article 29
Enforcement of sentences

1. Imprisonment shall be served in a State designated by the President of the Special Tribunal from a list of States that have indicated their willingness to accept persons convicted by the Tribunal.

2. Conditions of imprisonment shall be governed by the law of the State of enforcement subject to the supervision of the Special Tribunal. The State ofenforcement shall be bound by the duration of the sentence, subject to article 30 of this Statute.

Article 30
Pardon or commutation of sentences

If, pursuant to the applicable law of the State in which the convicted person is imprisoned, he or she is eligible for pardon or commutation of sentence, the State concerned shall notify the Special Tribunal accordingly. There shall only be pardonor commutation of sentence if the President of the Tribunal, in consultation with the judges, so decides on the basis of the interests of justice and the general principles of law.

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Attacks perpetrated in Lebanon since 1 October 2004


  1. 1 October 2004: Car bomb, Marwane Hamadeh and driver wounded, bodyguard killed.
  2. 19 March 2005: Bomb, 11 persons wounded and serious material damage to buildings and cars.
  3. 23 March 2005: Bomb, 3 persons killed, 7 persons wounded and serious material damage to buildings and cars
  4. 26 March 2005: Bomb, 6 persons wounded and serious material damage to buildings and cars.
  5. 1 April 2005: Bomb, 9 persons wounded and serious material damage to buildings and cars.
  6. 6 May 2005: Bomb, 11 persons wounded and serious material damage to buildings and cars.
  7. 2 June 2005: Victim’s car, Samir Kassir killed.
  8. 21 June 2005: Victim’s car, George Hawi killed.
  9. 12 July 2005: Car bomb, Elias El-Murr and 2 other persons wounded and1 person killed.
  10. 22 July 2005: Bomb, 13 persons wounded and serious material damage to buildings and cars.
  11. 22 August 2005: Bomb, 11 persons wounded and serious material damage to buildings and cars.
  12. 16 September 2005: Bomb, 1 person killed and 10 persons wounded and serious material damage to buildings and cars.
  13. 25 September 2005: Victim’s car, May Chidiac seriously wounded.
  14. 12 December 2005: Car bomb, Gebran Tueni and 2 other persons killed.

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Nassim Yaziji's Neo-Internationalism

Nassim Yaziji's perspective

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