A Christian militia member in Hanayna, Lebanon has claimed that 15,000 are armed and ready to fight. Overnight he’s destroyed the commonly held perception that Hizbollah is the only Lebanese militia still left.
The man, who spoke under condition of anonymity to the BBC, revealed part of their arms cache.
He said they would not kill Lebanese, but would be willing to fight the Palestinians. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians live in Lebanon’s refugee camps, and he blamed them for starting the fighting during the Civil War.
In Damascus, meanwhile, reporter Tim Whewell spoke to Ammar Abdulhamid (Damascene rent-a-dissident) and made an interesting revelation. The only reason Ammar can speak freely, he claimed, and the only reason Western journalists can work freely, is because all eyes are on Damascus right now.
Ammar has a very interesting plan for Syrian reform today. He says the French and US should be involved in high level secret diplomacy to sell their plan for Syria. Syria’s very own reformer-in-residence Bashar Al-Assad would then announce the plan and be supported in this ‘brave move’ by Chriac and Bush. Bashar recieves a promise of peace talks with Israel in return (to talk about getting the Occupied Golan Heights back). Bashar emerges as the greatest hero since Saluhadin, free elections are held and Bashar wins a landslide.
Syria develops, and Bush is placated. The American Air Force saves those expensive bombs, and Syrians don’t die.
Thumbs up from me! But two reasons this wont happen until 2008: George War Bush, and Syria’s old guard.
In other news, Turkey and America have avoided a diplomatic row over Syria. Turkey was the latest victim of American Embassies meddling in domestic affairs of other countries. The Ambassador ‘suggested’ that Turkey’s Foreign Minister shouldn’t visit Damascus (wasn’t Colin Powell in Syria two years ago?). But he quickly retracted that statement when it became clear that Turkey, unlike most parts of the Middle East, hasn’t been colonised yet.
Last year the US Ambassador to Beirut met the opposition and urged that government to carry out his wishes.