Inside Nahr al-Bared and Bedawi Refugee Camps

Who’s Behind the Fighting in North Lebanon?
Random excerpts of Franklin Lamb’s article at CounterPunch

“To understand what is going on with Fatah al-Islam at Nahr el-Bared one would want a brief introduction to Lebanon’s amazing, but shadowy ‘Welch Club’.
The Club is named for its godfather, David Welch, assistant to Secretary of State Rice who is the point man for the Bush administration and is guided by Eliot Abrams.
Key Lebanese members of the Welch Club (aka: the ‘Club’) include:
The Lebanese civil war veteran, warlord, feudalist and mercurial Walid Jumblatt of the Druze party( the Progressive Socialist Party or PSP)
Another civil war veteran, warlord, terrorist (Served 11 years in prison for massacres committed against fellow Christians among others) Samir Geagea. Leader of the extremist Phalange party and its Lebanese Forces (LF) the group that conducted the Israel organized massacre at Sabra-Shatilla (although led by Elie Hobeika, once Geagea’s mentor, Geagea did not take part in the Sept. 1982 slaughter of 1,700 Palestinian and Lebanese).
The billionaire, Saudi Sheikh and Club president Saad Hariri leader of the Sunni Future Movement (FM).
Over a year ago Hariri’s Future Movement started setting up Sunni Islamist terrorist cells (the PSP and LF already had their own militia since the civil war and despite the Taif Accords requiring militia to disarm they are now rearmed and itching for action and trying hard to provoke Hezbollah).
The FM created Sunni Islamist ‘terrorist’ cells were to serve as a cover for (anti-Hezbollah) Welch Club projects. The plan was that actions of these cells, of which Fatah el-Islam is one, could be blamed on al Qaeda or Syria or anyone but the Club.
To staff the new militias, FM rounded up remnants of previous extremists in the Palestinian Refugee camps that had been subdued, marginalized and diminished during the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. Each fighter got $700 per month, not bad in today’s Lebanon.
[…]
Things started to go very wrong quickly for the Club last week.
FM “stopped” the payroll of Fateh el-Islam’s account at the Hariri family owned back.
Fateh-al-Islam, tried to negotiate at least ‘severance pay’ with no luck and they felt betrayed. (Remember many of their fighters are easily frustrated teenagers and their pay supports their families). Militia members knocked off the bank which issued their worthless checks. They were doubly angry when they learned FM is claiming in the media a loss much greater than they actually snatched and that the Club is going to stiff the insurance company and actually make a huge profit.
Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (newly recruited to serve the bidding of the Club and the Future Movement) assaulted the apartments of Fatah-al-Islam Tripoli. They didn’t have much luck and were forced to call in the Lebanese army.
Within the hour, Fatah-al-Islam retaliated against Lebanese Army posts, checkpoints and unarmed, off-duty Lebanese soldiers in civilian clothing and committed outrageous killings including severing at four heads.
[…]
The Seniora cabinet convenes and asks the Lebanese Army to enter the refugee camp and silence (in more ways than one) Fatah-al-Islam. Since entrance into the Camps is forbidden by the 1969 Arab league agreement, the Army refuses after realizing the extent of the conspiracy against it by the Welch Club. The army knows that entering a refugee camp in force will open a front against the Army in all twelve Palestinian refugee camps and tear the army apart along sectarian cracks.
[…]
The Welch Club’s major error was when it attempted to influence the Lebanese Army into disarming the Lebanese Resistance led by Hezbollah. When the Army wisely refused, the Club coordinated with the Bush Administration to pressure Israel to dramatically intensify its retaliation to the capture of the two soldiers by Hezbollah and ‘break the rules’ regarding the historically more limited response and try to destroy Hezbollah during the July 2006 war.
The Welch Club now considers the Lebanese Army a serious problem. The Bush administration is trying to undermine and marginalize it to eliminate one of the last two obstacles to implementing Israel’s agenda in Lebanon.
[…]
For their part, the Welch Club wants to keep some Palestinians in Lebanon for cheap labor, ship others to countries willing to take them (and be paid handsomely to do so by American taxpayers) and allow at most a few thousand to return to Palestine to settle the ‘right of return’ issue while at the same time signing a May 17th 1983 type treaty with Israel with enriches the Club members and gives Israel Lebanon’s water and much of Lebanon’s sovereignty.

Long story short, Fatah el-Islam must be silenced at all costs. Their tale, if told, is poison for the Club and its sponsors.
We will likely see their attempted destruction in the coming days.
Hezbollah is watching and supporting the Lebanese army.”

5 comments

  1. Sophia · · Reply

    Moussa,French blogger Loubnan Ya Loubnan has also posted on the links between the hariri family and fatah el islam (al qaida). I posted yesterday with pieces translated from his article. I think the links between the hariris and these groups illustrate very well how these groups are financed and maintained to serve the poltiical purposes of the world class neocons. Political assassinations in Lebanon are similarly means for the same ends, opinion manipulation and assault on democracy. My thoughts are with you all. And I think of my village who will be affected by this turmoil. The Iraqisation of lebanon is on its way…

  2. Anonymous · · Reply

    moussa,although i read counterpunch pretty regularly, i have to say that this is a little far fetched, even getting close to a fable. perhaps the americans may have a hand (nothing is impossible with them), however, hariri and the govt being involved goes completely against ALL of their interests. financially and socially. if they would provide concrete proof, i would buy into it then. when i say concrete proof, i mean like steven jones with the theory of 9/11 being an inside job. this article, as well as seymour hersh is nothing less than an analysis. im one for conspericies, but this is a bit far fetched, and logic has to come into play. even hariri knows that a bunch of rag tag team of mujahadeen that are not organized are not going to take on hez, let alone defeat them. they forgot to mention one very importan pc of info. last summer during the july war, bin laden’s son was let into syria and welcomed w/open arms..hmmmmm.the bottom line is this, fateh al islam is nothing less than a terrorist organization. although i have been and still am a staunch supporter of seniora and his constituents, i do give nasrallah credit for one thing. him refusing to be involved in the sectarian game.god bless lebanon and those that defend it.peacebuckeye

  3. Jeha · · Reply

    The facts are mor complex; some of this mess owes to Hariri’s habit to buy problems away can easily backfire.Hariri and Joumblat made a deal with Hezb and Amal, thinking they can easily win the elections in the rest of the country. Recall how much they were trying to push Ghattas Khoury, to the detriment of Pussy Ashkar or Solange Gemayel…As a response, the Christians did not participate in Beirut, and then surprised them; the electoral deal so angered them they voted Aoun’s list in, and some of Joumblat’s list barely snack in.So they had to win the north at all costs, if they wanted to control the parliament. In trying so desperately to win the elections, they through so much cash, some of it went to those guys…Another mistake is when they paid some nasties in the Taamer district in Saida to go away. Where did they go? Tripoli…The rest is details. Yes, Hariri is partly responsible for this mess, but that does not absolve all the other actors who still control many services…

  4. Anonymous · · Reply

    excellent post Ur-shalim, good job as always!

  5. You write: “Since entrance into the Camps is forbidden by the 1969 Arab league agreement…”You (and others) should get your facts straight. That 1969 “Cairo agreement” between Lebanon and the PLO was officially cancelled/abrogated by the Lebanese parliament in a unanimous vote – May 21st, 1987.

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