The New Syria Peace Envoy’s Bloody Background

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This isn’t the first time that Brahimi has served as the United Nations special representative to a hotspot with questionable results.  He served in that capacity in Iraq during the formation of the Interim Iraqi Government, which was established in June 2004 after extensive negotiations. He sympathized with the insurgents in Iraq, who were killing innocent civilians as well as targeting American troops.

“I think it’s a little bit too easy to call everybody a terrorist,” he explained. Alluding to the role of the U.S. administrator in Iraq at the time, Paul Bremer, Brahimi called him a “dictator.” Brahimi ended up resigning his post in frustration, much as his mentor Kofi Annan just did with respect to the position that Brahimi is now taking over for Syria.

Aside from these disturbing details regarding Brahimi’s supposedly illustrious diplomatic career, he has made some alarming remarks about terrorism and Israel.

During a 2005 interview at Berkley, Brahimi said:

If you are talking about terrorism, you need to sit down and understand what is making these people put dynamite around their waists and blow themselves up. Because they are Muslims, because they are stupid, because they want to go to paradise? Maybe some do, but I think most of them have other motivations.

One such motivation appears to be what Brahimi called the “Israeli policy of domination and the suffering imposed on the Palestinians,” which Brahimi told French radio in 2004 was “the great poison in the region.” He went on to condemn “the equally unjust support…of the United States for this policy.”

Brahimi amplified his attack on Israel in an ABC television interview with George Stephanopoulos a few days later: “I think there is unanimity in the Arab world, and indeed in much of the rest of the world, that the Israeli policy is wrong, that the Israeli policy is brutal, repressive, and that they are not interested in peace no matter what you seem to believe in America.”

The feckless Kofi Annan was bad enough as the joint UN-Arab League peace envoy in Syria.  Lakhdar Brahimi, his successor, is even worse.  He brings to the table a checkered career in which he rationalized the kind of brutal repression in his own country of Algeria that Assad is displaying in Syria, and in which he enabled Syria and Hezbollah to strengthen their stranglehold in Lebanon under the phony National Reconciliation Accord that he helped mediate.

In sum, Brahimi is not a man of peace or true reconciliation, as further evidenced by his ambivalence about terrorism and his incendiary rhetoric against Israel.  Yet – no surprise –  the Obama administration supports Brahimi 100 percent for his new position.

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  • polnick

    Fighting in Syria is a battle between two elements of moral behavior, both are repressive. Only progressive mindsets can create a new order and restore peace. Millions of Ecstasy pills dropped on Syrian cities will cause new behavior patterns. Sharia Law will not be wanted by Syrians high on Meth-Viagra. Sunni, Shi`ite, Alawite, and Christians can hug and kiss. The Ecstasy pill will be displayed on the nation’s flag and saluted by fun loving patriots.

  • Schlomotion

    Brahimi sounds like the Ehud Barak of Algeria. One man's "disturbing facts about his record" is another man's national heroism. What makes Mr. Brahimi (al-Ibrahimi/of Abraham)'s virtues into vices is apparently his support for the Palestinians. This is the fifth time the Israel Lobby has come out against one of The Elders because he spoke out against the annexation of Palestine and the inhuman conditions of Israeli occupation and perpetual embargo.

  • Ghostwriter

    And you,Schlockmotion,sound like a pinhead with is almost every time we hear from you.

  • Oscar

    Mr. Ibrahimi fought the French occupation prior to 1962 (Before Algeria's Independence), was his duty and right. So, Mr. Klein you are barking the wrong tree. As for the 1992 "Civil Unrest" in Algeria, A foreign Minister has very little to change. in fact, The atrocities have been committed by both parties (FLN and FIS). If Algerian already have had Amnesty and forgave actual killers, then sure Mr. Ibrahim deserve any amnesty. I believe your article has no leg to stand on without this misrepresentation about Mr. Ibrahimi. The fact that Mr. Ibrahimi stresses the point to treat the root cause of the Problem and not the Symptoms. And the root cause of "most" terrorism committed by Muslims is the miss treatment and humiliations of Palestinians by the Zionist State. Since Ibrahimi seems to rationalize the suicide bombers and tries to get down to the root cause, the conservatives like yourself that support Israel, see Mr Ibrahimi as a treat.

    • Joseph Klein

      The root cause of “most” terrorism committed by Muslims is the jihadist, Islamic supremist ideology that inspires them to kill all over the world – not only Jews but any “non-believers” including Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, and even Muslims considered heretics such as the Sufis. The violence occurring in Mali, Sudan, Nigeria, the Philippines and other areas far removed from the Middle East have nothing to do with the Palestinians and everything to do with Islamic fanatacism.

      Whether or not Mr. Brahimi has been forgiven by his own people in Algeria for his role in defending the military coup is irrelevant to the question of whether his willingness to be a mouthpiece for atrocities committed by, or with the blessing of, his FLN party undercuts his moral authority to serve as a peacemaker in Syria’s civil war. And his so-called mediation efforts in Lebanon helped set the stage for Syrian occupation and the armed superiority of the Hezbollah militia. With this as background and Brahimi’s statement over the weekend that it is too early to ask Assad to step aside, it is no wonder that the Syrian opposition does not trust him. The Syrian National Council opposition group demanded that Brahimi “apologize to our people” for his remark which they said was “against humanity and peace.” It seems that Brahimi cannot break his old habits.