From his time in Cairo, Lawrence was aware of the extravagant promises the British government had made to Hussein in order to raise the Arab Revolt: full independence for virtually the entire Arab world..............His first act of sedition — and by most any standards, a treasonous one — was to inform Faisal of the existence of Sykes-Picot.....The True Story of Lawrence of Arabia
. Previously and Previously
Syria Options Go From Bad To Worse
As reports have surfaced of possible use of sarin gas in the Syrian civil war, calls by long-time proponents of U.S. intervention on behalf of the anti-Assad rebels have grown to a fever pitch. These same voices, both at home and abroad, have evoked the administration’s previously stated “red line” on use of chemical weapons. But even assuming that reports of WMD usage in Syria turn out to be true, the Obama Administration’s position may be far more nuanced than previously thought. [more inside]
It's been five years
since the death
of Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh
in Damascus. No one ever claimed responsibility for killing him. Hezbollah publicly blames
Israel's Mossad, a charge they unsurprisingly deny. So, who killed The Driver? [more inside]
Syria vows to retaliate
after attack on police and security forces in the North West kills 120
However there is a big gap between the media in Syria and what is happening in the street.
It is reported that blogger Amina Abdallah (Previously
) has been kidnapped
The Portrait of a tortured, murdered and mutilated 13 year old boy
has become a rallying point for the uprising.
The Syrian regime has raised ghosts
that will not go away indicating Alawite hit squads protected by the army.
There are cracks
in the House of Assad and as is becoming normal in these situations communication with the outside world
There is also the danger of the unrest spreading
into Lebanon where the black-market price of an AK-47 rifle is now said to be $1,500.
The Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land
is a comprehensive spatially-referenced database of current archaeological knowledge of all periods of Levantine history and prehistory. Spatial search
is a good entry point, as are the Palestine Exploration Fund historic maps
. You can also search by time period
or dig into the many ancient Empires of the area
. Or just look at everything
in the database. The site is a work in progress, but a cool one powered by a consortium of over 30 professional archaeologists. May require Google Maps. via
22 basic suggested readings on the Middle East
from history professor and informed commenter on Middle Eastern affairs Juan Cole
"Syria's Lebanese allies are trying to undermine the Hariri investigation from within, and are expected to escalate their efforts very soon, maybe even this week
In this episode of the George & Tony Show
the President and the Prime Minister are in Russia eating brie, discussing geopolitics, leaving their mics open
, and whatnot.
Who really killed Rafik Hariri?
Does it really matter? Is the current finger-waving at Syria really about an assassination, or the culmination of long-held US plans?
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was killed Monday in a massive car bomb attack in Beirut.
The billionare was
Lebanese PM from 1992 until 1998 and then again from 2000 until 2004 when he resigned
after Syria pressured the Lebanese parliament to amend the country's constitution to permit pro-Syrian president Emile Lahoud
to remain in office. The resignation of the once friendly Hariri, a Sunni, coupled with the alienation by Damascus of Druze leader Walid Jumblat
has isolated Syria in Lebanon and diminished the influence of France
Through the Hariri foundation
, Rafik Hariri was, as a Lebanese friend remarked "pretty much single handed in rebuilding Lebanon, making it a descent place to visit, developing programs from schools to hospitals, … much of it is his own money."
point at Syrian involvement
and the US has recalled it's envoy from Damascus.
Official confirms that Syria allowing Qaida to operate in Lebanon
Ok Israeli intelligence so I assume some will dismiss this as propaganda, though clearly US knows of this and works along with Israeli intelligence. And Syria occupies Lebanon with thousands of troops and thus runs the country. Meanwhile, we will (or will not) busy ourselves with Iraq.
Middle East war predictions
"..what we are witnessing looks like joint preparations by the Palestinian Authority, Syria, its Lebanese client, Iraq, and Iran, for war on a regional scale, against both Israel and U.S. interests. I fear we may face a major, sudden, external assault on Israel, meant to precede U.S. action against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, and indeed prevent the U.S. from going there by enmiring it in the defence of Israel. [From The Ottowa Citizen, lead link in today's Wall Street Journal Best of the Web]
Syria on Brink of Conflict Over Lebanon
For reasons unkown to me, the Liberals (the Znetters) fail to mention this 30 thousand man troop occupation of Lebanon and focus on Israeli occupation of land taken in war; conservatives never mention this occupation. American political figures ignore or push this aside; and Arabs, about to meet in Beirut for their summit brush this aside, but for the Lebanese, a sore issue.
Syria on brink over conflict with Lebanon
Our good friends on the far Left never address this other occupation in the Middle East, an occupation that is not the Israelis in Palestinian lands; and our policy makers in Washington almost never discuss the issue either, but to the people who live in Lebanon it is their country that for many years has been occupied by some 35 thousand man army of Syrians against their will. And it is beginning to anger them.