Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Syria isn't gonna let go... at least not as easily as we think.

One of the most contentious issues that lebanon is dealing with now is:

what do we do with Syria's "leftovers"?

the opposition wants to get rid of them... Hizballah is adamant that these individuals don't suffer the fate of the SLA big-wigs.

Some estimates put Syria's Lebanon-profits at $750 million a year in hard currency. They had Lebanese partners, and are probably counting on them to guard their "assets" after the withdrawal.

Let me just provide some examples of Syrian-Lebanese "economic cooperation":

1. syria has connected its electricity grid to Lebanon's and is "doing us a favor" by selling us power. The problem with their generosity is that we have more than enough power-generation capacity - our problem is with feul aquisition.

2. Last year, Syria completed a natural gas pipeline into Lebanon. This pipeline is supposed to supply us with "cheap and reliable" gas for our power plants. The problem with this offer is that Qatar (and even Iran) have offered us gas at much cheaper rates.

The reality is clear:

Lebanon was, and still is, a major source of hard currency for the Syrian regime and its cronies. They're not gonna let go that easily!


Anonymous said...

With freinds like Syria, enemies like Isreal seem down right chummy

Raja said...

nicely said!

ThinkingMan said...

Economic co-operation is a death trap leading to economic integration which is Syria's goal. See my analysis of the joint Communique they issued which covers economic integration. Even some EU countries don't have economic integration yet, and typically, the richer country (Lebanon) always has to pay to price for integrating with a poorer one (Syria)!

Raja said...


the Syrian regime had a comprehensive integration strategy for Lebanon. It was political, military and economic.

On the political front, they would practically force people into parliament, and stuff the bureaucracy with their cronies.

On the security front, they created so many links with the Lebanese security services that the boundaries between the two national services almost dissapeared.

On the economic front, they created enough links to (reportedly) suck out $750 million from Lebanon annually.

What is worrisome is that they had 15 years to do all this. It will take a considerable effort to dismantle all of it.

Anonymous said...

Another example of the bast**ds not letting go!

BEIRUT, Lebanon - An explosion rocked a Christian area north of Beirut early Wednesday, killing at least one person and wounding two others, police said.
Police had no immediate word on what caused the blast near Jounieh, the main Christian port city 10 miles north of Beirut's center.

LBC TV, the leading station in the country, said three people were killed and two wounded in the blast, which occurred shortly after midnight.

The explosion came amid major political turmoil in Lebanon in the wake of the Feb. 14 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and the subsequent withdrawal of Syrian troops to east Lebanon and Syria. Demonstrations and counter-demonstrations, although largely peaceful, have kept tension high between the pro-Syrian and the anti-Syrian camps

ThinkingMan said...

"What is worrisome is that they had 15 years to do all this. It will take a considerable effort to dismantle all of it. "

Amidst all of this, I am still optimistic that we can undo the dammage. But the urgency is there now. The Syrians and their game are being exposed, left, right and center; everyday. The Lebanese will turn a blind eye anymore to the Syrian conspiracy.

ThinkingMan said...

Correction: "The Lebanese will NOT turn a blind eye..."

Mustapha said...

Food for thought guys:

it took 30 years for saddam to build 'his' iraq and 3 days for it to crumble, be optimistic, the Syrians will be smoked out completely