US embassy cable - 85BEIRUT1952

JA'JA'-PHALANGE STALEMATE DRAGGING OUT

Identifier: 85BEIRUT1952
Wikileaks: View 85BEIRUT1952 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Beirut
Created: 1985-03-30 08:31:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: PGOV LE
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 300831Z MAR 85
FM AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2440
INFO AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
EUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
S E C R E T BEIRUT 01952 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR 
TAGS: PGOV, LE 
SUBJECT: JA'JA'-PHALANGE STALEMATE DRAGGING OUT 
 
1.  S-ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  PHALANGE POLITBURO MEMBER ALFRED MAHDI, WHO REMAINS 
PERSONALLY CLOSE TU JA'JA', 29 MARCH PROVIDED CHARGE 
WHAT WE SENSE IS ACCURATE WRAP-UP OF CURRENT STATE OF 
PLAY BETWEEN JA'JA' FORCES AND PHALANGE. 
 
3.  MAHDI SAID CURRENT INTERMINABLE DISCUSSIONS ABOUT 
REORGANIZED PHALANGE PARTY, ENLARGED LEBANESE FRONT, AND 
NEW CHRISTIAN COUNCIL REPRESENT DESIRE OF BOTH CHRISTIAN 
DECISION MOVEMENT (CDM) AND PHALANGE TO STRING OUT 
NEGOTIATIONS. 
 
4.  PHALANGE SEES TIME AS BEING ON ITS SIDE AS IT ATTEMPT 
TO EXPLOIT DISAFFECTION AND SPLITS IN CDM RESULTING FROM 
GROWING AWARENESS OF LACK OF SPECIFIC REALISTIC POLICIES 
AND OF DANGERS CDM HAS CREATED OF SYRIAN INTERVENTION 
AND WEAKENED CHRISTIAN UNIT. 
 
5.  CDM SEES TIME ON ITS SIDE AS IT ATTEMPTS TO SEDUCE 
REMAINING GEMAYEL BACKERS AMONG LF IN METN, TO REASSURE 
SYRIANS WHILE OPENING UP DIRECT CONTACT WITH THEM 
(NUMEROUS SOURCES REPORT HOBEIKA HAS REGULAR CONTACT 
WITH RIFFAT), AND TO STRENGTHEN ITS APPEAL AT GRASSROOTS 
LEVEL. (WITNESS JA'JA'S SFEECH TO STUDENTS BEIRUT). 
 
6.  MAHDI BELIEVES THAT TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR THIS 
SPARRING AND STALLING AND THAT TWO SIDES MUST NOW BEGIN 
TO GRAPPLE WITH REAL PROBLEMS AND SEEK GENUINE SOLUTIONS. 
HE SAID THAT ALTHOUGH HE HAS NOT SEEN GEMAYEL SINCE 
MARCH 14, HE BELIEVES GEMAYEL SHARES HIS VIEW THAT TWO 
SIDES MUST SERIOUSLY PURSUE RESOLUTION OF THEIR 
DIFFERENCES.  IF NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE TO DRAG ON 
UNCONCLUSIVELY, MAHDI SAID, ALL DANGERS PREDICTED BY 
BOTH SIDES WILL COME TRUE -- SYRIAN INTERVENTION, 
WEAKENED AND DIVIDED CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY, SHARP MUSLIM 
REACTION, ETC.  IN ADDITION, MAHDI SAID INCREASINGLY 
DANGEROUS SITUATION IN SOUTH, CUTTING OFF OF NORTH, AND 
DEGRADATION OF SECURITY IN WEST BEIRUT, CREATES BACKDROP 
OF EVENTS WHICH REQUIRES THAT RESOLUTION OF THIS 
INTERNAL CHRISTIAN QUARREL COME RAPIDLY. 
 
7.  COMMENT:  MAHDI'S COMMENTS EXPLAIN IN PART LIMITED 
PROGRESS MURR/HASHIM/PAKRADUNI COMMITTEE HAS MADE IN 
LAST WEEK, AND OFFER LITTLE OPTIMISM FOR NEAR TERM 
PROGRESS. 
 
 
LYNE 

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