All players come together in the Lebanon Project: Bibi Netanyahu and Howard Jonas (IDT Corp. and owner Net2phone sunsidiary in Beirut, Lebanon) – Sharon’s bulldog general in South Lebanon Effi Efraim (settler on Golan Heights with extremist views on Palestinians) – Rupert Murdoch supporter of Israel with ties to Mossad – Dick Cheney ties to Halliburton, Texas oil, Bush family and Saudi Princes – Michael Steinhardt a Wallstreet hedge fund investor, philanthropist and sponsor of Jewish Birther program. These persons have been covered in my diary – 1967 War – Israel – Rothschild – Cheney – Spoils.

Missing one piece to the Lebanon puzzle, someone also heavily involved in banking/investments and a rival to Rafiq Hariri. His name is Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal. Son of Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (called the “Red Prince”). Now we have a full circle of common ground for plenty of mischief in the Middle-East. Some highlights below …

The year 2005 was one of great turbulence in Lebanon with a number of high-profile assassinations. It’s clear many colonial powers are meddling in Lebanon politics as they have since forming of independent states. Eight years have passed since the Hariri assassination and the STL tribunal has had a difficult time coming to a conclusion. The Mehlis Report has laid accusations at the feet of Bashar Assad and Syria for the Hariri killing, however the evidence was based on false witness accounts and biased reports by the FBI and Shin Bet organisations who had a dual agenda. Later the UN STL report cleared the Syrian generals and Intelligence service. Presently in The Hague a trial in absentia of four suspects from the Hizbollah group is in its early stages. Providing evidence and witness accounts to the Defense lawyers seems to be kind of difficult. In the Mehlis report I found that the Hariri murder was claimed within one hour and a video was published. While looking for a motive, I will also look at the developments in Lebanon and its neighbours as a result of the murder. The larger picture of the region, influential players, the Iraq War, Sunni and Shia sectarian civil war and the religious hatred between Jordan, Saudi Arabia (GCC countries) and Iran play a role. Events in the Biblical lands between Palestine and Mesopotamia are never in a scope of years or decades, but goals are set in centuries. There is an undercurrent of policy between states, an evolution that is not discussed or published. Best example is Israel, where settlement policy is set at a creeping pace and will not be deterred when “peace talks” with its enemy summons hope.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Seeks Deeper Ties To News Corp

CAIRO (Huff Post) Jan. 18, 2010 — The Saudi billionaire whose investment firm is one of the biggest stakeholders in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. said he is looking to expand his alliances with the media giant, in the latest indication that his appetite for growth remains robust even as his company retrenches.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of the Saudi king and who was listed last year by Forbes as the world’s 22nd richest person, met with News Corp.’s chief executive Rupert Murdoch on Jan. 14 in a meeting that “touched upon future potential alliances with News Corp.,” according to a statement released by his Kingdom Holding Co.

 « click for story of Prince and NY Mosque

Media reports have indicated that News Corp, parent to Fox News and Dow Jones & Co., among others, may be thinking of buying a stake in Alwaleed’s Rotana Media Group, which includes a number of satellite channels that air in the Middle East.

Kingdom Holding’s statement said Alwaleed is already the second largest stakeholder in News Corp., with 5.7 percent of the shares of the media company. The stake is held through Kingdom Holding, in which Alwaleed holds a 95 percent stake. The investment company has a diverse portfolio, ranging from hotels to shares in Apple, eBay and Citigroup.

Alwaleed, and the investment firm, were hit hard by the global meltdown. He has since focused on shoring up borrowing power, in part through a recent decision to transfer 180 million of his shares in Citigroup to Kingdom Holding. In a statement last week, he described the move – valued at about $600 million – as key to facilitating future borrowing and growth.

The Saudi royal also met last week with Citigroup’s chief executive Vikram Pandit, according to a statement e-mailed by Kingdom Holding.

Lebanon’s telecommunication scandal for control of the State

Lebanon’s Cell Phone Scandals: a battle between Rafiq Hariri and President Émile Lahoun – Jan. 2003  

On paper, 86% of LibanCell came to be owned by Ali and Nizar Dalloul (Nizar was a business partner of Hariri) , sons of former Defense Minister Mohsen Dalloul, a close ally of Lebanon’s billionaire prime minister, Rafiq Hariri. According to reliable sources, the Dalloul brothers actually fronted for Syrian Vice-president Abdul Halim Khaddam (a Sunni ousted by Assad in 2005) and former Syrian Chief of Staff Hikmat Shihabi. Cellis came to be 30% owned by a close friend of the Assad family – Public Works and Transport Minister Najib Miqati, along with his brother, Taha, and nephew, Azmi.

A fierce struggle between the two rivals erupted over what to do in the interim, with Lahoud demanding that the state temporarily take over the network and Hariri pushing to keep the status quo until the auction. Lahoud’s plan received the endorsement of the half-Lebanese Saudi Prince Al-Walid bin Talal, who had expressed interest in replacing Hariri.

Daily-Kos diary with comments – Lebanon in the Year 2005 – Investigation into Hariri Assassination

Below the fold a bit of history and the serie of CIA coups under Eisenhower …

Al Walid bin Talal donates millions to Sidon, Tripoli projects

(Lebanonwire) Oct. 7, 2004 – Saudi Prince Al Walid bin Talal visited the southern city of Sidon and the northern city of Tripoli  where he donated more than $5 million for educational and environmental projects, according to a report in As Safir. Bin Talal is grandson of the first Lebanese Prime Minister Riyadh al-Solh who was originally from Sidon.

    Al Solh served as prime minister of Lebanon twice. His first term was just after the Lebanon’s independence (25 September 1943 – 10 January 1945). Al Solh was chosen by president Bishara Al Khouri to be his first Prime Minister. Al Solh and Khouri achieved and implemented the National Pact (al Mithaq al Watani) in 1943 that provided an official framework to accommodate the confessional differences in Lebanon. The National Pact was an unwritten gentleman’s agreement. The Pact stated that president, prime minister and Speaker of the Parliament in Lebanon should be allocated to three major confessional groups based on the 1932 census, namely the Maronite Christians, the Sunni Muslims and the Shiite Muslims, respectively.

    Al Solh held the same post again from 14 December 1946 to 14 February 1951 again under the presidency of Bishara Al Khouri.  Al Solh was critical of King Abdullah and played a significant role in granting the blessing of the Arab League’s political committee to the All-Palestine Government during his second term.

    King Abdullah I of Transjordan, the Hashemite dynasty

    Abdullah dreamed of a Greater Syria comprising the borders of what was then Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon and the British mandate for Palestine under a Hashemite dynasty with “a throne in Damascus”. Because of this dream, he was the only Arab leader to accept the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.

    On July 20, 1951, Abdullah was assassinated on the steps of one of the holiest shrines of Islam, the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, during Friday prayers, by a Palestinian opposed to Jordan’s tolerance of Israel.

    A few days earlier, Riad Bey al-Solh, a former prime minister of Lebanon, had been assassinated in Amman, Jordan, where rumours were circulating that Lebanon and Jordan were discussing peace with Israel.

    Abdullah was in Jerusalem to give a eulogy at the funeral of the former Lebanese prime minister and was shot while attending Friday prayers at the steps of the al-Aqsa Mosque.The gunman fired three deadly bullets into Abdullah’s head and chest. The king’s grandson, Hussein bin Talal (King of Jordan from 1953 to 1999) was at his side.

Sidon Visit

In Sidon, Bin Talal donated $5 million for a project to remove the infamous “mountain of garbage” along the Sidon-Tyre highway. The paper said a protocol was signed between the municipality of Sidon and the Walid Bin Talal Charity Foundation to remove the “mountain of garbage” within three years in accordance with environmental and health standards. During the signing ceremony, the mayor of Sidon Abdul Rahman al-Bizri said, “Sidon today is reliving its second independence from environmental pollution and its hazards”.

The paper said that a welcome tent was set up for Bin Talal adjacent to the “mountain” which “reeked”. It added that Bin Talal was welcomed by several Sidon influential personalities such as Bizri, Laila al-Solh (daughter of the late Prime Minister Solh) and Sidon MP Osama Saad. However, the paper pointed that Sidon MP Bahia al-Hariri (Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s sister) and her supporters did not attend.

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Lebanon religious groups distribution (Wikipedia)

But the paper said the visit did not go without censure adding that “a limited number” of pamphlets were distributed in Sidon signed by the so-called “honorable people of Sidon” which criticized Bin Talal’s “booby-trapped visit” and said that “Sidon will not be bought even by the grandson of Solh”. The pamphlet charged Sidon will always be “loyal to Rafik Hariri”. It is believed that Bin Talal has political aspirations in Lebanon, where he has invested in numerous banking and tourist projects.

America’s Syria obsession and CIA sponsored coups 1949-1955

America first intervened into Syria in March 1949 by toppling the democratically elected President Shukri al-Quwatly who had been elected for a five-year-term in 1943. The CIA-sponsored coup d’état installed Colonel Husni al-Zaim, the “America’s Boy” to power. Unlike nationalist Quwatly, who did not toe the American line, al-Zaim was too compliant to fulfil American desire. He legitimized Israel by signing an armistice with it and allowed ARAMCO (Arabian-American Oil Company) to pipe Saudi oil through Syria to the Mediterranean coast. Between 1949 and 1955, America staged five military coups in Syria to complete the de-democratization process in the country.

Newly discovered documents reveal a joint Anglo-American ploy to overthrow the anti-Western Syrian regime in 1957. Interestingly, very similar to what America and its allies have been doing since 2011 to overthrow the Assad-regime through the “Free Syrian Army”, President Eisenhower and Prime Minsiter Macmillan wanted a “regime change” in Syria in the name of the “Free Syria Committee”.

Hariri , Waleed Bin Talal met in Saudi Arabia – 2011

(Yalibnan) Jan. 1, 2011 – Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri met with Prince Waleed Bin Talal at his office in Saudi Arabia, according to a statement by Hariri’s press office. Hariri was accompanied by his adviser Hani Hammoud, the statement said. The statement added that Hariri discussed with the Saudi prince the latest developments.

The statement also said that Hariri thanked the prince for his support to Lebanon .. . specially in the fields of investments and charitable contributions. Both men held a short meeting on the sidelines of the opening of the Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut on June 9 last year and agreed at the time to meet again soon.

The rivalry between the late Saudi King Fahd and the Crown Prince and now King Abdullah had its impact on Lebanese internal politics. Former PM Rafik Hariri (Saad’s father) was Fahd’s man in Lebanon while Prince Waleed bin Talal, (whose mother, Princess Muna al-Solh, was the daughter of Lebanon ‘s first prime minister, Riyadh al-Solh), was Abdullah’s choice. Abdullah, according to reports , preferred to see his nephew Waleed bin Talal serve in Lebanon.

Abdullah I of Transjordan meeting in Amman with Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia

Al-Sham Islamist group claims assassinations of Rafiq Hariri, Gebran Tueni and Pierre Gemayal in 2005

Initial reports indicated that a hitherto unknown group, “Strugglers for the Unity and Freedom of al-Sham ” (where al-Sham refers to ancient Greater Syria) claimed responsibility. The statement taking responsibility was faxed to Reuters and included a warning that the same fate awaited other opponents of “Arabism” in Lebanon, claiming that the assassination has succeeded in “shutting up” a traitor, and “turning An Nahar” (Arabic for Day) into Dark Night.

Push by Saudi Clerics for an Islamic State in Al-Sham (Syria)

My recent diary – On the Altar of Mossad – Rafic Hariri and Ben Zygier

The accusation against Ben Zygier must have been as grave as the Vanunu affair. I’m thinking more along the line of the Hariri assassination. The Mehlis Report got the wrong suspects and the STL trial of Hezbollah agents is very weak and based on circumstantial evidence provided by Western powers and Israel. One of Australia’s top cops and former chief investigator for the tribunal, Nick Kaldas, reiterated accusations that Hezbollah was behind the killing.

Syria comment: Who Killed Hariri? The Simplest Theory

See my earlier diary – Israel’s Prisoner X Sudden Death -CENSORED-.