January 02, 2006

Former Syrian Vice President Fingers Assad

Syria's former Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam went on Dubai's Al Arabiya TV in Paris where he kicked the crap out of his former boss Bashar Assad and called him out as the lying murderous scumbag that he is.

BEIRUT: Syrian President Bashar Assad directly threatened former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri months before the latter's assassination, it was revealed Friday night in a devastatingly frank interview by a former Syrian vice president.

In a wide-ranging discussion with Al-Arabiyya Television in Paris, Abdel-Halim Khaddam added that Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud and Jamil al-Sayyed, former head of the Surete Generale, had "incited" Assad against Hariri.

"I will crush anyone who tries to oppose our decisions," Assad told Hariri during a meeting August 20, 2004 in Damascus, Khaddam told the Dubai-based Al-Arabiyya. "Hariri's nose started to bleed after this meeting," he added.

Khaddam said that it was "impossible that any apparatus in Syria could have taken a unilateral decision to murder Hariri," without Assad's prior approval. "The campaigns launched by Lahoud and Sayyed were immense and Assad was greatly influenced by them," he added.

Asked if there were any specific parties in Damascus or in Lebanon that threatened Hariri, Khaddam said: "Yes, there were many threats."

Pressed on whether they were "death threats," Khaddam replied: "When the Chief of the Intelligence apparatus in Lebanon (Rustom Ghazaleh) speaks with his guests while playing with his gun ... a lot of threatening words were used against Hariri" during one of the occasions when he was summoned to Damascus [the August 2004 meeting].

"I heard about this meeting from three sources. I heard it from Ghazi Kenaan [former Syrian Interior Minister], President Bashar Assad and the late Hariri," said Khaddam.

"Hariri was on the receiving end of some very vicious words. I knew about that from [President Bashar Assad], he told me of the conversation," the former vice president said.

"I told [Assad] you are talking to a prime minister in front of Ghazaleh ... How can you say such things in front of junior officers?" Khaddam continued.

Khaddam said Ghazaleh acted as if he was "the absolute ruler of Lebanon. He insulted senior Lebanese officials such as Hariri, Speaker Nabih Berri and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt on many occasions."
The Baath Party booted Khaddam from its ranks. Syria’s “parliament” charged him with treason.

In other news, Bashar Assad’s cousin was just arrested at Beirut’s international airport on unrelated murder charges.

What a lovely regime that country has.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at January 2, 2006 07:04 AM
Comments

At this moment, I suspect that Basher Assad and his thugs believe they have little to fear from the outside world. Their apparent indifference cannot be allowed to continue. The United States military must be given permission to attack terrorist strongholds within Syria. We probably don’t need to commit our troops to a full fledged invasion. An occasional sortie should suffice. Bashar Assad’s government may not collapse in 2006. However, it can be intimidated.

Posted by: David Thomson at January 2, 2006 09:06 AM

“…Syria's former Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam went on Dubai's Al Arabiya TV in Paris where he kicked the crap out of his former boss Bashar Assad and called him out as the lying murderous scumbag that he is” [MJT]

Michael,

With all due respect, I wish it were as simple as “the Stalinist scales fell off comrade Khaddâm’s eyes and he truly could never believe in Baathist collectivism again for he was touched by the grace of Yankee liberty, free enterprise, and the pursuit of happiness”…

1) Al-‘Arabiyya is certainly no “disinterested beacon of intellectual objectivity” beaming rays of investigative journalism into the barren Soviet-style Syrian steppes… Al-‘Arabiyya is owned by Sheikh Walid Ali Ibrahim, a brother-in-law of Saudi Arabia's late King Fahd, and a notorious rightwing Wahhâbi Islamist who once said in a TV interview that “Christians are the descendants of dogs and swine”. Mr. Ibrahim is also a significant shareholder of Saudi Oger SA, a French-Saudi joint-venture….and the main investment vehicle for Rafiq Hariri’s real estate and construction ventures in Beirut and Riyadh

2) Bashar al-Assad is no saint, but he has only been in power for the past 5 years at a time when his country was losing much of its Cold War-era “geo-strategic clout”… Abdul Halim Khaddam on the other hand has a much longer/darker track record: from 1976 till 1999 he personally supervised the execution of thousands of Lebanese resistants whose only fault had been to refuse the Syrian occupation of their country. Abdul Halim Khaddam is also on the record for having publicly and repeatedly called “his friend comrade Leonid Brezhnev the greatest leader of our time” and for having described President Reagan as “a bloodthirsty war criminal and a lackey of Zion”.

Allow me to be skeptical about the man’s recent “democratic epiphany”…

Posted by: Dr Victorino de la Vega at January 2, 2006 11:36 AM

Victorino,

Only you suggested Khaddam had a democratic epiphany. Of course he has a dark track record. He was the Vice President of Syria!

Obviously he had some kind of a falling out with the boss.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 2, 2006 11:50 AM

The baathist scum are starting to eat each other... sit back and enjoy the show in their hurry to accuse each other the whole bunch will inriminate themselves...
bye bye assad mafia clan :-)

Posted by: ALAIN at January 2, 2006 12:14 PM

Michael, Alain,

“Some kind of a falling out with the boss” is…how shall I say? ... some kind of understatement lending Khaddâm unwarranted credibility as in “this lowlife Sicilian mobster spilled the beans to the NYPD because he was fired by Don Corleone”.

The “truth” (to use Harirista vocab) is that Khaddâm hasn’t changed: he’s still a subsidized thug, a war criminal and a Soviet-trained LIAR, the only real “change” being of course that he has suddenly transferred his feudal allegiance to a much more lethal master…

If you’ve chosen to be a hit man for some totalitarian Ayyrab regime, well you might as well go for the well heed one!

TW. Wahhâbi : a member of a fanatical Islamist sect founded in Arabia in the 18th century and revived by the Al-Saud family in the 20th century (synonyms: Neo-Hambali, Islamo-fascist).

Collaborationism: the advocacy or practice of collaboration with the enemy.

Posted by: Dr Victorino de la Vega at January 2, 2006 12:16 PM

Dr Victorino...

i never said that khaddam wasn t a criminal,he s the one who ruled lebanon from damascus for 30 years and the ultimate responsible for all assassinations in our country before 2000...
i watched the guy and he said if they wanted to take me to court let them b/c i have A LOT of hidden things about them...
the next day syria fired him from the baath and decided to open the nuclear waste file that he supposedly burried in syria in exchange for a lot of $$$ ...
today he released a statement replying to that as for your analogy well khaddam isn t a lowlife sicilian mobster he was the number 2 guy in the syrian mafia so i m guessing he knows some very incriminating stuff...
he s a criminal a thief, a murderer and all you want but he s the biggest chance we have now to see the assad regime fall so i say GO KHADDAM GO!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: alain at January 2, 2006 12:44 PM

oh and btw al arabiya said that it has a second part of the interview where khaddam focuses on the syrian regime that they chose not to air pending the reaction of the syrial killing regime...
i m sorry to say but what matters for me in this whole story is the end result i don t care who khaddam is allying with i just want to see assad along with his lebanese and syrian collaborators in the next cell to saddam and his collaborators
i m telling u the show is just getting started get some pop corn a big bottle of coke and enjoy the show :-D

Posted by: alain at January 2, 2006 01:06 PM

And then?

Do you really want to be ruled by Saad Al-Hariri, the "Mufti of the (Banana) Republic" and other enlightened disciples of sheikh Ibn Baz??

Posted by: Mec de la Mecque at January 2, 2006 01:11 PM

mec please let s not turn this site into a lebanese one where people throw silly accusations left and right... the issue is khaddam and what he said so please stick to the topic

Posted by: alain at January 2, 2006 02:00 PM

Yo, Mec de la Mec. You have the exact same IP address as Victorino. That means you ARE Victorino.

Stick to one name, pal. I can see you.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 2, 2006 03:06 PM

Not that it was cryptic to begin with!
And no need for advanced cookies for that matter: the “de la” in the pseudo should have given you enough of a hint…
:)

PS you didn’t reply to my comments on the (not so) subterranean Wahhâbist puppet master guiding Khaddâm’s every pathetic move

Posted by: Dr Victorino de la Vega at January 2, 2006 03:18 PM

Yes, Vic, the "de la" was a pretty good indicator.

You're notorious in Beirut for thinking everyone and their pet kitty cat is a Wahhabi. So we're not going to have this discussion.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 2, 2006 04:47 PM

Now that scum called khaddam became a hero?! He hold Lebanon with an iron fist for decades, he is the master mind for the Baathist regime's tactics in lebanon. If you guys can trace his history with the current events in Syria, it should become clear that he doesn't care for the freedom of Syria or Lebanon nor the truth about assasinations. His speech to the corrupted-Saud's Al-Arabiya is simply a pre-emptive strike. He was already fired from the regime and was waiting to be accused as culprit for Syria's wrong doings in Lebanon!

Posted by: yassin at January 3, 2006 01:28 PM

well maybe he realised which side has the better future.. wouldn't be the first turncoat with a dirty past to be sheltered by the west. so let;s see what comes up next.

Posted by: graeme at January 3, 2006 09:46 PM

Yassin,

I think this is a kind of "the enemy of your enemy is your friend" type situation.

Confucius wrote:

The wise man does not appreciate a man because of what he says; nor does he depreciate what he says because of the man.

In other words, even scum are capable of speaking the truth.

Posted by: Shawn in Tokyo at January 4, 2006 02:39 AM

Anyone know of some 'open mike' nights in Beirut..or is that thinking a bit too far ahead?

Any musicians want to organise a jam session out there?

Let me know...

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