A very strange story

Something really weird is happening with the UN Harriri investigation:

Hezbollah's leader on Sunday denounced U.S. and French opposition to
letting the chief U.N. investigator in the assassination of former
Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri identify the countries he feels
are hindering the probe.

Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said the

U.N. Security Council
debate over naming the 10 nations was further proof that the
investigation into Hariri's February 2005 killing was being politicized.

"It is a big scandal for the United States and France to reject
naming these countries in the Security Council. The big question is
why?" Nasrallah said in an interview with the Kuwaiti newspaper
Al-Anbaa. Excerpts were carried Sunday by the official National News
Agency and Hezbollah's own Al-Manar TV station.

The bombing that killed Hariri was widely blamed on

Syria,
and mass street protests by Lebanese over the slaying and international
pressure forced the Damascus regime to end a nearly three-decade Syrian
military occupation of its smaller neighbor.

Lebanon's politics have since been snarled in a standoff between the
pro-Western government and groups such as Hezbollah that are allied
with Syria.

U.N. officials had earlier accused Syria of resisting the Hariri
investigation, in which the suspects include several pro-Syria Lebanese
generals.

But in his fourth report to the Security Council on Dec. 16, chief
investigator Serge Brammertz said Syria was now assisting his team in a
"timely and efficient" manner. He said, however, that 10 other
countries had failed to respond to 22 requests for information.

[...]

Last week, Russia sought to have Brammertz provide the Security Council
with the names, but was blocked by opposition from the United States,
France and other council members.

Okay, what the fuck is going on? And which 10 other countries are on that list? And why are the US and France stopping their revelation? Who is on it? The kneww-jerk response from the arab street would probably be Israel, but that's just one country and it would be too cliche and stupid for Israel to do so. So the real question is, if Israel is one of those 10 countries, who are the other 9? And why do I have the feeling that the list will include a very specific Gulf Country that has very strong support to the Harriri side?

I guess we will know sooner or later. Right? 

Comments

  1. It has to be the Saudis.

  2. Well, it may be the Saudis, but who are the other nine? Is this going to be like the Agatha Christie novel, Murder on the Orient Express, where ALL TWELVE SUSPECTS killed the victim?

  3. There is still a Hariri investigation?

    Well, I don’t see why the US and France should be blocking the release of a list of countries that have not co-operated. But is anyone sure that is what happened? People mis-characterize UN activities all the time. What is Russia’s interest in this, anyway? Do they have an interest in Lebanon, beyond their Interest in Iran?

    This statement:

    Last week, Russia sought to have Brammertz provide the Security Council
    with the names, but was blocked by opposition from the United States,
    France and other council members.

    Is bullshit. There are only two ways to block something in the security council. VETO, which obviously didn’t happen, or the word VETO would have been used.

    The other is by majority vote. If Russia made a motion and it didn’t pass, it’s because they didn’t have majority vote to get it passed. Which means it was a lot more than the US and France in opposition, it was a majority of the security council.

    Why would a majority of the security council be opposed to this motion by the Russians if it was above board? I smell political gamesmanship.

    Especially combined with Hezbollah’s recent antics, acting as if they actually support the investigation.

  4. It’s hard to believe 10 countries would have information of interest. Or 3 even…

  5. Even if 1 of the 10 is Israel, that would be enough. Even if Israel was only advising you’d better not start this, and the other 9 demanded not to continue, it is Israel to blame completely and solely.

    Dont you get it?

  6. Anywya, this is according to Nasrallah. Where’s the hard proof?

  7. omg, looking for info on this i got into this crap:
    http://www.irc-online.org/content/3388

    Anyway, what about this then? (About more than a year ago)

    Security Council Tells Syria to Cooperate

    Monday October 31, 2005 10:46 PM
    By EDITH M. LEDERER
    Associated Press Writer

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) – A united Security Council warned a defiant Syria on Monday of possible “further action” if it doesn’t cooperate with a U.N. investigation that has implicated top Syrian officials in the assassination of Lebanon’s former prime minister.

    But the United States, France and Britain had to drop the explicit threat of sanctions to win unanimous support for the resolution at a rare meeting of the foreign ministers from most of the council’s 15 members.

    The three nations stressed they will press for tough U.N. measures if Syria does not comply fully with the probe into the killing of Rafik Hariri and 20 others.

    Their original resolution threatening sanctions had to be watered down to get all the council members on board. Russia, China, Brazil and others, particularly Algeria, the only Arab nation on the council, strongly opposed putting sanctions on Syria.

    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the resolution still left Syria in a corner.

    “With our decision today, we show that Syria has isolated itself from the international community – through its false statements, its support for terrorism, its interference in the affairs of its neighbors, and its destabilizing behavior in the Middle East,” she said. “Now, the Syrian government must make a strategic decision to fundamentally change its behavior.”

    The resolution requires Syria to detain anyone considered a suspect by U.N. investigators and let them determine the location and conditions under which the individual is questioned. It also would freeze assets and impose a travel ban on anyone identified as a suspect.

    Those provisions could pose a problem for Syrian President Bashar Assad as well as his brother, Maher Assad, and his brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, the chief of military intelligence. The Syrian leader refused a request from chief investigator Detlev Mehlis to be interviewed, and investigators also want to question his brother and brother-in-law.

    Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa watched the vote and listened to speeches from all 15 council nations demanding his government fully cooperate. He then lashed out at Mehlis and the council for accusing Syria of committing a crime without producing any evidence.

    He said accusing Syrian security forces of having advance knowledge of Hariri’s killing was tantamount to charging that U.S. officials knew ahead of time about the Sept. 11 attacks, Spain knew about the 2004 train bombings and Britain knew about this summer’s London bombings.

    The comment visibly angered British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who called it “the most grotesque and insensitive comparison,” “appalling,” and “absurd.” He said any council member concerned about adopting the resolution under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, which is militarily enforceable, should have their misgivings allayed by al-Sharaa’s defiance.

    Rice told reporters afterward that al-Sharaa’s outburst was “a tirade which made the most bizarre connection.”

    She noted al-Sharaa was accused of lying in a letter to the Mehlis commission and said his intransigence showed Syria wanted to discredit the U.N. investigation even after a Security Council vote strongly supported it.

    Rice was asked whether putting the resolution under Chapter VII would give the United States unilateral authority to use force against Syria, as it did in Iraq.

    “This Chapter VII resolution is very explicit in what it means, which is that Syria must cooperate with the Mehlis report and then, if necessary, the council can come back and consider other measures, or other action. … That is what we intend to live by,” she replied.

    Rice stressed the resolution also tells Syria “in no uncertain terms” that it should “not interfere in Lebanese affairs in any way.”

    Syrian troops occupied much of Lebanon for nearly 30 years, until Hariri’s Feb. 14 assassination triggered widespread street protests by Lebanese and intensified international pressure that forced Assad to order a complete withdrawal last spring.

    Boutros Assaker, the acting secretary-general in Lebanon’s foreign ministry, told the Security Council his country had entered a new phase in its history and was trying “to consolidate its political independence” and enhance its sovereignty.

    What the Lebanese people want, he said, “is the truth, the whole truth … of this heinous, terrorist crime.”

    France’s foreign minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, said the resolution “makes a clear, firm and urgent appeal to Syria” to cooperate with the Mehlis investigation, which has been extended until Dec. 15.

    At the end of his speech, al-Sharaa reiterated the importance of the presumption of innocence and insisted Assad’s regime would “fully cooperate with the international commission until conclusive evidence is found of the perpetrators of this heinous crime.”

    “I look forward to the full cooperation by the government of Syria in substance as well as form,” Straw retorted, then added: “But I have to say after what I’ve heard I’m not holding my breath.”

    Several other council members, however, noted Syria’s recent promises to cooperate.

    Assad on Saturday ordered that a judicial committee be formed to investigate Hariri’s assassination – a point stressed by al-Sharaa. A presidential decree said the committee will cooperate with the U.N. probe and Lebanese judicial authorities.

    Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, whose country has large Lebanese and Syrian communities, made clear any further action against Syria would require Security Council approval.

    “Brazil will not favor hasty decisions that may lead to an undesirable escalation of the situation or further endanger the stability of the region,” he said.

  8. So basically they didn’t want to impose sanctions on the uncooperative countries.

    Now this makes sense. Thanks Suzanne. Sounds a lot more reasonable than the usual conspiracy theories being flown abound.

    Obviously the root cause of this problem is inaccurate reporting by the AP, trying to implicate America in Hariri’s murder by lying. Maybe we should start a conspiracy theory in the other direction :

    Why does the Associated Press explicitly lie to implicate america ? A quick search gives a blog on them : http://www.theaugeanstables.com/

    Anyone know about this Al-Jazeera “journalist” that was arrested with re-constructed “documentary” tapes ?

  9. Oh Man this is juicier than a bisexsual love triangle on Jerry Springer!

    We need to have a public revelation and where better to reveal secrets than the Maury Povich Show.

    Maybe Maury Povich could invite the leaders of suspected countries on his show and read their names off from a secret sealed envelope, one by one. Except instead of saying “you are NOT the father” it would be “you are NOT the assassin”

  10. Anonymous Leb says:

    Craig,

    > There is still a Hariri investigation?

    I case this was a rhetorical question i completely fails to see what you are implying. Can you please explain ?

    > Well, I don’t see why the US and France should be blocking the
    > release of a list of countries that have not co-operated.

    I guess then you agree with Nasrallah who asked :”The big question is
    why?” :-)

    > But is anyone sure that is what happened?
    I guess not, in all cases it is easy for the US and France and other countries to say what rally happened, if something else happened.

    > his statement: [...] Is bullshit. There are only two ways to block something in the security council. VETO [...] The other is by majority vote. [...]

    There is a third way (which is what happened according to the report) you threaten to block it in its current form and ask for it to be changed, in this case -allegedly- russia is being asked to change its draft from asking bramertz to “disclose the name of the 10 countries” to “be more specific about who did not cooperate”.

    > I smell political gamesmanship.

    Well then you agree with Nasrallah again “the investigation into Hariri’s February 2005 killing was being politicized” :-)

    Twice in one post! I am impressed.

    PS no hard feelings, just teasing.

  11. Brammertz had basically said “if things don’t improve, I’ll reveal the names,” but he also said he had no intention to reveal them — yet. In other words, Brammertz already felt that he had sufficient leverage to deal with those who had not yet responded to his questions.

    Russia then meddled, trying to distract from its client state Syria, and to politicize things. And everyone else seems to have said “let Brammertz manage his own investigation without interference from Russia.” US, France, etc. disapproved of Russia’s draft letter meddling with the investigation.

    Hizballah, as usual, is trying to spin the situation. That’s Hizballah for you.

    http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/newsdesk.nsf/0/A42BA6D78F57D660C2257261002BA5C4?OpenDocument

  12. Anonymous Leb,

    I case this was a rhetorical question i completely fails to see what you are implying. Can you please explain ?

    It’s called “sarcasm” – after almost 2 years of (blocked) “investigation” I am assuming that anybody who had anything to hide has covered their trail as best they can. Could explain why Syria is suddenly being co-operative, wouldn’t you say?

    I guess then you agree with Nasrallah who asked :”The big question is
    why?” :-)

    No, I’m not. I’m asking why anybody cares what Nasrallah and Russia have to say on this matter. I think it’s pretty safe to assume that whatever maneuvering they are doing is meant to obfuscate and confuse.

    I guess not, in all cases it is easy for the US and France and other countries to say what rally happened, if something else happened.

    It was right there in that article:

    France argued that if Brammertz wants the council to take action, he can ask members at any time, but the council should not interfere until he asks for assistance, a view backed by the U.S., Britain and others, council diplomats said last week at U.N. headquarters in New York.

    Didn’t you read it?

    There is a third way (which is what happened according to the report) you threaten to block it in its current form and ask for it to be changed, in this case -allegedly- russia is being asked to change its draft from asking bramertz to “disclose the name of the 10 countries” to “be more specific about who did not cooperate”.

    No, that’s not a “block” – that’s a compromise. Not the same thing. Which further casts doubt on Nasrallah’s statements. If that is what happened. However, I did not read that, in that article. Did you? I just read it again, and saw no such suggestion. As far as I can tell, Russia suggested this, and everyone else on the security council thought it was a bad idea.

    Well then you agree with Nasrallah again “the investigation into Hariri’s February 2005 killing was being politicized” :-)

    I do agree with him about that! And I further posit that Hassan Nasrallah himself is the one doing the politicizing!

    Lookie here!

    Nasrallah described this as a “cover-up” that “raises a lot of suspicions.”

    Hezbollah! Declaring a cover-up in the Hariri Assassination. Can you believe that shit? Are his supporters really that stupid? I guess maybe they are, considering the history.

    PS no hard feelings, just teasing.

    No hard feelings from me. I don’t want Hezbollah disarmed, defanged, added to the political process, or anything else. I want Hezbollah destroyed. The Hariri investigation doesn’t get me what I want. So it’s not a big deal to me.

  13. hehe, it shows, at least, France and US are on the same waves for once :lol:

  14. Shhh Nomad!!! :P LOL