Lebanon 2006 wikileaks on Al Akhbar website

Links: http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/6853 to http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/6869

I love this one – /node/6860: august 5, towards the end: ‘UNSYG’s Personal Representative for Lebanon Geir Pedersen stressed that Israeli military action would not achieve the intended political objectives and that the longer it took to reach a cease-fire, the greater the prospect of a “total collapse” in Lebanon. Pedersen provided a laundry list of “doomsday” scenarios including a Hizballah attack on Tel Aviv, an influx of al-Qaeda-styled militants into Lebanon, and Samir Ja’ja “going mad and declaring his own kingdom.”

There is also the maronite patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir holding high christian values such as charity and love for fellow human beings in a distressed situation (node/6858): ‘Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir, the highest authority in Lebanon’s Maronite Christian community, noted repeatedly in the meeting that he is troubled by the displaced Shi,a who are seeking refuge in Beirut and Mount Lebanon. He was clear that the Shia cannot remain in ‘this region’ and must go back to ‘their areas’. He acknowledged that resettling people from Beirut,s southern suburb, where crowded ten-story apartment buildings are now flattened, would be the starkest challenge. He added that jobs and temporary housing in the south are essential to attract Shia out of the schools and churches where they are currently housed. He warned that if immediate action is not taken to relocate the Shia back to the south they will move further into the Mount Lebanon region. Ambassador assured Sfeir that the return of displaced Shia to the south would be one of the top priorities in the post-conflict agenda.’

6869: a nice gem from the Israeli side (Dov Weissglas talking): ‘What would have Sharon done?

It is unlikely that Nasrallah expected that Hizballah’s strike would provoke a big crisis. There were too many variables that he could not have forecast, including that one of the cameras on the border had malfunctioned, allowing the Hizballah team to approach without being detected; that two soldiers would be captured alive; that the IDF would immediately launch a half-baked rescue attempt that would hit a mine and incur eight more casualties, upping the ante for Israel; etc.
— Given the circumstances, Sharon might not have even reacted to the kidnapping of the two soldiers, certainly not immediately. If he had responded, Sharon would have known not to set ambitious goals (e.g., the rescue of the soldiers; the destruction of Hizballah) that were beyond his power to

deliver. When Olmert and Peretz did, they were forced to continue military operations. The longer the war dragged on, the worse they looked.
— Instead, Sharon would have just said that we had to punish Hizballah. Then he could have let them have it for a few days and declared victory whenever he chose.
— Olmert and Peretz placed too much faith in what they were told and had no experience that could allow them to suggest alternatives. Sharon knew that IDF Generals always exaggerate capabilities. “Arik always said, take everything they tell you and divide it by ten.” Peretz, in particular, had no such “BS detector”.’

As always: check Friday Lunch Club for updates such as:’Elias Murr: “We will prevent missiles lauch from SOLIDERE … & Marwan Hamadeh: “We should erect an electric fence along the Syrian-Lebanese border“…’ and ‘Abdallah of Jordan: “Send a multinational force to destroy Hezbollah!”

More sources: Angry Arab should of course be daily reading for you anyway, and Nicholas Noe has this to say on the wikileaks, and especially on Naharnet – which should be avoided by anyone seriously interested in Lebanon anyway…

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