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October 21 2013

Syria : Battle for Qalamoun May Be Felt in Lebanon

Syria: Battle for Qalamoun May Be Felt in Lebanon http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2013/10/syria-opposition-qalamun-battle-qusair.html

The Qalamoun battle may have repercussions on the Lebanese interior because Liwa al-Islam, which is led by Zahran Alloush, has become the main opposition force on Lebanon’s eastern slopes in Arsal al-Ward, the Rankous Plain, and Hawsh al-Arab. That threat is serious because Alloush, who has set up his base of operations in the area, has returned from a visit to Saudi Arabia last week, where he met his financial and military authority, the director of Saudi intelligence Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Bandar holds a strong military card with which to pressure the Lebanese interior: the deployment on the outskirts of the Bekaa of 3,000 to 5,000 Liwa al-Islam fighters and an armed battalion having 23 T-72 tanks.

August 26 2013

Veteran Saudi Power Player Prince Bandar Works To Build Support to Topple Assad - WSJ.com

Veteran Saudi Power Player Prince #Bandar Works To Build Support to Topple Assad - WSJ.com
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323423804579024452583045962.html

Curieux quand même que l’article évoque l’effet boomerang du « contra-gate » sans évoquer celui du financement des Ben Laden contre l’URSS en Afghanistan.

(Lire aussi la terreur des #Jordaniens)

Not everyone in the Obama administration is comfortable with the new U.S. partnership with the Saudis on Syria. Some officials said they fear it carries the same risk of spinning out of control as an earlier project in which Prince Bandar was involved—the 1980s #CIA program of secretly financing the Contras in Nicaragua against a leftist government. The covert program led to criminal convictions for U.S. operatives and international rebukes.

“This has the potential to go badly,” one former official said, citing the risk weapons will end up in the hands of violent anti-Western Islamists.

(...)

A generation ago, Prince Bandar, in a role foreshadowing his current one on behalf of Syrian opposition, helped the CIA arm the Afghan rebels who were resisting occupation by Soviet troops.

Arab diplomats said that in meeting with Russian officials this summer, the prince delivered the same message he gave the Soviets 25 years ago: that the kingdom had plenty of money and was committed to using it to prevail.

Incidemment,

Earlier this year it [the CIA] also began making salary payments to members of the Western-backed Free Syrian Army.

June 28 2013

Une excellente analyse, dans le non moins excellent 'Jacobin Magazine', qui rappelle que Machiavel,…

Une excellente analyse, dans le non moins excellent 'Jacobin Magazine', qui rappelle que Machiavel, loin d'être un technicien du pouvoir, fut avant l'heure un théoricien de la lutte des classes ("conflitto tra gli umori", dans son langage), de la souveraineté populaire et de l'égalité. Le Prince (comme les Discours sur la première décade de Tite-Live, moins connu), est un manuel à l'usage des peuples — auxquels il dévoile les mécanismes de la domination exercée par un despote ou par l'oligarchie —, et non le bréviaire de la tyrannie.

« What Would Machiavelli Do ? », by Chris Maisano

The popular imagination gets Machiavelli all wrong — he was a patron saint of class struggle and a staunch republican.

http://jacobinmag.com/2013/06/what-would-machiavelli-do

Like Karl Marx and Adam Smith, Machiavelli is one of those canonical thinkers who are much more widely quoted than read. Far from being the evil courtier of popular imagination, in The Discourses in particular Machiavelli emerges a theorist of class struggle and an advocate of democratic control of the elites by the people in a republican polity.

As the political theorist John McCormick describes him:

Machiavelli excoriates previous writers for denigrating popular judgment and participation, and for extolling the supposedly superior governing capacities of princes and patricians. Departing from the opinion of these writers, Machiavelli argues that well-ordered republics structure themselves such that common people contain, contest and control the behavior of political and economic elites, and they place ultimate judgment over legislation and political punishment in the hands of the many and not the few. More specifically, like Rome, they establish magistracies for which wealthy and prominent citizens are ineligible, like the tribunes of the plebs, and they empower the people to veto public policies and indict individuals that threaten the common good — a common good unabashedly determined from the perspective of the people and not the elite.

The main lessons from The Discourses are that “the few always act in favor of the few,” and that the ambitions of the rich are so destructive that they must be vigorously suppressed in order to maintain the egalitarian foundations of republican liberty.

#Machiavel #idées #science_politique #philosophie #Italie #Renaissance

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