Hezbollah, Israel, Lebanon, March 14

Wikileaks Shocker: Lebanese Defense Minister Reveals Plan to Stay out of Israel’s Way in Next War

Defense Minister Elias al-Murr (R) with Lebanese President Michel Sleiman.

If you haven’t yet seen them, be sure to check out the latest Wikileaks cables released to al-Akhbar, at least one of which is tremendously damning and could have major implications for the Lebanese political scene. (See here for the Lebanon-specific ones).

In the cable mentioned, the Lebanese Minister of Defense Elias al-Murr discusses with U.S. Embassy officials his preparations for an impending war with Israel, which involved sequestering the Lebanese Army in its bases until Hizbullah is destroyed. You should read the entire cable, but I’ll post the juiciest bits below.

What makes this leak especially damning is the fact that al-Murr specifically mentions his meeting with General Michel Sleiman (who, in March 2008, was  still the commander of the Lebanese Army, and not yet the President of Lebanon) and talks about sharing his plans with him. Today, al-Murr is considered to be one of the President’s key ministers, so it’s quite possible that the toxic nature of this scandal will spread beyond the Ministry of Defense all the way to the Presidential Palace.

There has been a lot of noise over the past few weeks from March 8 circles to the effect that President Sleiman is no longer considered a “consensual” president (because of his support for Hariri’s bid to table the false witness file until after the STL indictment is released). The Wikileaks scandal is going to provide the perfect excuse  for Hizbullah and Aoun to go on the offensive again against the STL and the March 14 camp. I would not be surprised if Sleiman demands al-Murr’s resignation, just to save his own position.

Anyway, enough from me. The cable is posted below (with my emphasis in bold), and the floor is open.

**

18. (S) Making clear that he was not responsible for passing messages to Israel, Murr told us that Israel would do well to avoid two things when it comes for Hizballah. One, it must not touch the Blue Line or the UNSCR 1701 areas as this will keep Hizballah out of these areas. Two, Israel cannot bomb bridges and infrastructure in the Christian areas. The Christians were supporting Israel in 2006 until they started bombing their bridges. If Israel has to bomb all of these places in the Shia areas as a matter of operational concern, that is Hizballah’s problem. According to Murr, this war is not with Lebanon, it is will Hizballah. Murr also told us that the number of overflights recently (reftel B and C) are the highest number since 1982. The last time there were this many overflights was just prior to Israel invading south Lebanon in April 1982, he stated flatly.

19. (S) Murr said that he had summoned LAF Commander General Sleiman to discuss preparations for a Hizballah conflict with Israel on March 7. Murr was especially concerned for members of the 1st and 8th Brigades in the Beka’a valley. Murr thinks that these units will be cut off from LAF HQ support while Israel is conducting operations against Hizballah in the Beka’a. As such, they will have to turn to the local populace for food, water etc. Since the populace is mainly Hizballah supporters, Murr is afraid that these two units could be dragged into the fight, the ultimate disaster that Murr hopes to avoid. As such, Murr is trying to ascertain how long an offensive would be required to clean out Hizballah in the Beka’a. The LAF will move to pre-position food, money, and water with these units so they can stay on their bases when Israel comes for Hizballah–discreetly, Murr added.

20. (S) Murr also gave guidance to Sleiman that the LAF should not get involved “when Israel comes.” This guidance came four days after Sleiman had instructed his officers to be prepared (ref D). Murr told us that he promised Sleiman the political cover for LAF inaction. Murr’s opinion is that an Israeli action against Hizballah would not be a war against Lebanon and that Syria and Iran did not ask Lebanon’s permission to equip Hizballah with its rockets. As such, the LAF has been ordered to not get involved with any fighting and to fulfill a civil defense role, such as humanitarian support, when/if hostilities break out. Murr told us that he would personally speak to the Shia officers in the Army to make sure they understood why the Army was not going to participate. For Murr, the LAF’s strategic objective was to survive a three week war “completely intact” and able to take over once Hizballah’s militia has been destroyed. “I do not want thousands of our soldiers to die for no reason,” Murr declared.

COMMENT

21. (S) Murr’s concern over another Hizballah war with Israel appeared to be genuine. The length of time spent on this topic given the other political machinations in Lebanon during the two and a half hour conversation was indicative of his level of concern. Murr seems intent on ensuring the Army stays out of the way so that Hizballah bears the full weight of an Israeli offensive. While we have noted the increase in Israeli overflights, to include one over downtown Beirut Friday, March 7, we have not seen indications that validate Murr’s concern that an Israeli offensive might be imminent.

**

Update: One slightly fishy thing about this cable is the lack of a unique identifying ID at the top of it. Based on the code in the header and throughout the document, it would appear to be 08BEIRUT372, but if you check the previous cable detailing the meeting with Samir Geagea (which is also untitled but would appear to be 08BEIRUT331), it has the 372 marker at the bottom.) Anyone have a good contact at al-Akhbar?

Discussion

114 thoughts on “Wikileaks Shocker: Lebanese Defense Minister Reveals Plan to Stay out of Israel’s Way in Next War

  1. It would be interesting to see if this actually does have an impact internally. Lebanese politics, like elsewhere, is full of “scratch my back and I’ll scatch yours” agreements. Even for something seemingly as “unforgivable” as Murr’s implication. Wasn’t Aoun once saying he will “break the head” of someone? All can be forgiven at a moment’s notice it seems.

    Posted by Maysaloon | December 2, 2010, 3:48 pm
  2. Is there a country that repects iteself that names someone like Elias Murr (or Lilou as Dr. As’ad Abukhalil calls him) as Minister of Defence? As for the so-called president Sulaiman, he was summoned by Fouad Siniora a few days after the Zionist war on Lebanon in July 2006 to speak to the cabinet on how his army will go to South Lebanon and make house searches to confiscate whatever arms they can find. Sleiman began to explain how they will do it using a map. He was eager to do it. He was stopped by then-president Émile Lahoud. These revelations only confirm what is already known about what the US-Wahabi funded circles in Lebanon have been doing for the last few years. Those circles should be flushed away.

    Posted by NR | December 2, 2010, 4:07 pm
  3. fuel to the fire

    I can’t find the original cable but it doesn’t make much sense

    ” The planes gathered intelligence that was then allegedly passed to the Lebanese authorities to help them track down Hezbollah militants. ”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-cables-cyprus-rendition-torture

    Posted by tamer k. | December 2, 2010, 4:11 pm
  4. “Murr asking, ‘Is the purpose behind the (alleged) cable to embarrass former US Ambassador to Lebanon Michele Sisson?'”

    Qifa do you have an answer to Murr’s question?

    http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/middleeast/news/article_1603023.php/Lebanese-minister-labels-alleged-WikiLeaks-cable-inaccurate

    Posted by tamer k. | December 2, 2010, 4:26 pm
  5. The US Sieve Dept

    QN,

    My take: is it “Wikileaks” or “Department of State” leaks? I think the latter as a form of “misinformation” or some sort of political “trial balloon”. In all, nothing shocking or new; just a window of how the US government thinks off-record.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 2, 2010, 5:11 pm
  6. This will poison the waters a little. But like most of these wikileaks cables, this one seems to reveal something that is already known, but in a way that is deeply embarrassing because it was not designed for public consumption.

    Of course the Army would not intervene, and would be under instructions not to intervene. Any other instructions would be deeply irresponsible. As for Murr’s anti-Hezbollah attitude: is it a surprise that not everyone considers them to be the noble resistance? And he is, after all, speaking to the US Ambassador.

    I’m not sure these cable leaks are in the public interest. The world of diplomacy, let alone the world of personal relationships, would become unworkable if people spoke honestly at all times both publicly and privately, without regard for their audience, or if people spoke blandly at all times in case their speech were suddenly rolled out to a public audience.

    I agree with The Economist:

    “If there’s something particularly damning in the diplomatic cables WikiLeaks has gotten a hold of, the organisation should bring together a board of experienced people with different perspectives to review the merits of releasing that particular cable. But simply grabbing as many diplomatic cables as you can get your hands on and making them public is not a socially worthy activity.”

    The one you analyze here could make the grade by that measure.

    Posted by Jonathan | December 2, 2010, 5:14 pm
  7. what this shows me is a Patriot that is concerned about the relative well being of the majority of Lebanese vs. a foreign supported illegal militia.

    Posted by jimbo | December 2, 2010, 5:19 pm
  8. It cannot do anything else in the conspiracy laden country. Murr will deny he ever said that and will declare that they are nothing but fabrications by USA. HA will NOT be able to make any hay either as its mentor; Ahmadinajad already declared that these leaks are nothing but psychological warfare by USA!!

    In the backrooms everyone I am certain knows of the others opinion! Not an earthshaking revelation QN!

    Posted by danny | December 2, 2010, 5:22 pm
  9. First of all. Let me play the naysayer game that’s so popular around here..

    1) If according to Aoun & co, Wikileaks is an Israeli or Western fabrication, then clearly, this Murr stuff is fabricated by Israel for the purposes of sowing discord…Right? Or does the M8 crowd want to have it both ways here and blame Murr while still claiming Wikileaks are a fabrication?

    2) QN, you seriously said “Suleiman will ask Murr to resign” with a straight face? Come on!
    Didn’t we JUST have a conversation about how there is no accountability in Lebanon and how no one ever resigns for anything? Were you not paying attention?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | December 2, 2010, 5:37 pm
  10. I wonder if the Pope and Chief Rabi and the Chief Kadi, of any land or country, believe in their G-d as so many people seem to believe that these papers are the truth, the whole truth and noting but the truth. Oh yes I am not Iranian and I am not working for Iran.

    Posted by Rani | December 2, 2010, 6:16 pm
  11. Seems to me HA is perfectly happy when the Lebanese Army stays out of the game. What better than to be deemed the sole “defender of Lebanon”? Who could ask such a defender to put down their arms, when the so-called “official army” stays indoors to watch the war on TV?

    For HA, it’s a win-win.

    Posted by Shai | December 2, 2010, 6:24 pm
  12. Shai,

    You should know by now that HA likes having it both ways, depending on the day and the weather.
    They love to be sole “defenders of Lebanon”, but they also love to point out how their “enemies” are undermining the army and the state (when in fact, they are the ones who do so on a daily basis).

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | December 2, 2010, 6:26 pm
  13. Come on people do you think anyone in the Arab world gets affected by these leaks?! It is business as usual when you have millions of sheeple who worship you.
    I bet the mafioso Mur senior has already planned a sheeple gathering to carry Mur Jr. on their shoulders down the street by tomorrow.

    Posted by V | December 2, 2010, 6:32 pm
  14. Lebanon and Israel have so much in common. We both just so innately trust our politicians… :-)

    Posted by Shai | December 2, 2010, 6:34 pm
  15. Shai,

    It seems you are not acquainted with the “Resistance + Army + Sheeple” holy trinity.

    Posted by V | December 2, 2010, 6:41 pm
  16. Minster Murr’s revealed statements gave many reasons for those Shiia who don’t have much faith in the state, to be more suspicious. Your own defense Minster clearly sending an indirect message to the Israelis that “If they decided to invade , the army will not get involved, and as long as Israel does not bombs Christian areas , The Christians will support Israel (like they did in 2006, until Israel bombed bridges and other infrastructures in their area)”
    He appoints himself as spokesman for Christians in Lebanon. He accuses all Christians of being unpatriotic, to say it nicely. Christians have to raise their voices and defend their integrity now.
    He knows that this is not the truth; the truth is that all Lebanese would defend Lebanon.
    He makes it clear that bombing shiia area and shiia infrastructure in shiia area is ok with him. Hr instructs his army commander not to get involved, and that He, the minister would explain to the shiia officers why they army should stay out. I wonder if He would have told them that, when on vacation, they would have to visit dead families, destroyed villages, and maybe need to walk instead of driving to their homes.
    Good luck convincing shiia ,and HA supporters to move away from HA, Good luck convincing HA to give up their weapons and relay on the state to defend he south,
    This will have a tremendous impact on Lebanon. It may take awhile to see it, but I think it will.
    This man should be tried for treason. But again, Lebanon is not a country that respects itself.
    When the criminals and the corrupt are the national heroes, everything goes.

    Posted by Prophet | December 2, 2010, 6:59 pm
  17. Does his assassination attempt help explain his statments? I mean maybe he believes the Hezb wanted him dead … so why should he not fight back?

    Posted by rm | December 2, 2010, 7:06 pm
  18. Prophet,

    You’re full of hot air.

    Murr never appointed himself spokesman for the Christians of Lebanon. I believe Michel Aoun did.

    Secondly, all Lebanese did NOT defend Lebanon in 2006. The army stayed out of it. So did the Christians and everyone else who wasn’t HA.
    I didn’t see people raising their arms and heading to the South in 2006, nor do I see that happening in case of another war.

    Just stating facts here.

    You want the Lebanese Army to defend the country (as well it should)? Then perhaps you shouldn’t make your own army and shoot down the LAF’s helicopters when they tread on your private reserves that are offlimits to any non-HA personel. Until then, you have absolutely no right to ask for anyone else to come help you fight your battles.

    You can’t have it both ways. If you want to have your resistance, and snub your nose at the state and its institutions (not to mention its populace), then you can’t complain when said state and populace dislike you and do nothing to help you.

    And don’t even get me started on your call for “treason charges”. If anyone should be tried for treason, it’s the people who start their own wars (be it with other countries or with their own compatriots) with no regard to the rule of law, the state or the consequences.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | December 2, 2010, 7:14 pm
  19. Prophet,

    you forgot to ask why should the Shiaa accept and allow HA to tolerate such thugs like Murr or make an alliance with someone like Aoun or Jumblatt.

    HA is as guilty in this rotten country called Lebanon.

    Posted by V | December 2, 2010, 7:19 pm
  20. Was everyone asleep until I knocked on the door?lol

    Posted by Prophet | December 2, 2010, 7:21 pm
  21. Prophet;

    Your premise is a mafia gang takes over a whole neighborhood and terrorizes it people establishing its own zones and laws…and when a bigger bully or another gang tries to dislodge them you ask the poor people of the neighborhood to defend your turf?

    You expect the Lebanese to fight Nasrallah’s war? Please refresh our memory about July 2006. Who gave the HA militia any right to start a war with Israel? For what? to affect the release of a child killer? What noble party is that HA that causes thousands of deaths and injuries; billions in destruction of the country for its self serving masters in Iran/Syria who like cowards they are didn’t move a finger except stuck it up Lebanon’s behind!

    Trust me HA does not want any other war. They will be destroyed and will out how much the rest of Lebanese hate them.

    Posted by danny | December 2, 2010, 7:30 pm
  22. Jeezus, M7amad. La ilah w’bas :)

    “Anon” was right. You people really do like to have your minds distracted with whatever nonsense is spewed.

    I thought HA’s whole raison d’etre and justification for being armed, was that they alone were able to take on Israel, since the LAF was weak, etc.

    Now the Hizbis decided to take on a new talking point?!?! They’re upset Murr suggested the army wouldn’t intervene if Hizballah decided to start another war on account of whatshisname!?! Is that a Joke Extraordinaire?

    Or are they upset at the suggestion that the non-Hizbis are not interested in being part of any future conflict on account of Whatshisname.

    As if that’s big news.

    Tsk Tsk Tsk.

    Prophet- instead of wagging your lecturing finger and feigning shock, stick to the story. There’s a high and I mean high probability that HA was behind the murder of Hariri.

    And if so, the first person that should be tried for treason is His Royal Highness.

    Finally, you should be appalled by your ‘Sectarian’ Language. “Christians” do not need to get up and do anything. Not all Shia support Hizballah. Some would agree with Murr. Not all Christians support Murr. (Ditto Aoun and co)

    It’s clear though that you don’t put Country First, and are busy-beeing colouring each person by “Sect/Religion”.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 2, 2010, 7:55 pm
  23. The wikileaks are just that; leaks that can be plugged very inexpensively. These leaks are nothing else but sensationalism that is usually the fodder for tabloids.
    I have always been a supporter and an advocate for full transparency but that is not what the wikileaks are about. It is nothing else but an attempt to draw attention by committing an act that is not expected, an act that has a shocking value but nothing else.
    We all speak off the record at one time or another. In an hour from now I will be sending a letter of recommendation to six universities on behalf of a student. Such letters are often off the record. If someone hacks into the system and publishes my letters some students will be shocked about what they learn but the remarks that evaluated them. But what does that mean? absolutely nothing besides the shock value.
    These leaks will create embarrassments to many but in most cases the other party expected such critic al off the record evaluations. In the case of the Lebanese defense Minister, does anyone honestly expect the Lebanese army with its 2-3 bullets per soldier to seek a confrontation with the IDF? I think that the opposite is true i.e Mr. M<urr should be tried for sending an underequipped and an undertrained army to its death.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | December 2, 2010, 7:58 pm
  24. PV,
    I hope you are not confirming what Murr said about Christians being supportive of Israel in 2006.Not being supportive of the war does not necessarily mean supportive of Israel, as Murr put it.
    People didn’t have to head out to the south to show their support. Many people had questions about that war, so did I at one point. But the fact that the country was under attack, the majority of Lebanese supported HA ‘S defense of the country.
    I don’t know if Aoun really appointed himself as the spokesman for the Christian. If he really did, He had no right to. But At least Aoun, like him or not, represents at least 50% of the Christians.
    The LAF’s helicopters incident was an isolated accident. It should have never happen. But do you consider this a good reason for Murr to make the statements he did? After all He is a government minister. If he had personal issues with HA, He should never let it get in the way of defending the country, according to “the law of the land”, and offer the whole shiia community as an” operational concern”.
    Are you saying that because the Lebanese forces and Geagea fought the army, the army should never defend the Christians who supported Geagea? Are you saying that people of Magdel Anjar in the Bekaa,and people of Tripoli are not entitled for army protection because few Fateh Al-islam thugs shoot and killed few soldiers?
    Don’t get me started on the rule of law that does not exist in Lebanon. The whole state is a lawless banana republic. According to the rule of law, the state must defend its territories and citizens. For over 60 years the state, failed to do that. Don’t mention rule of law again, please.

    Danny,
    You might be right that Quntar may have killed a child. I don’t know that for sure, this is what Israel says ,and I don’t trust what Israel courts does to Arab prisoners anyway. But you need to remember that Israel has killed thousands of Lebanese kids. If we need to compare the moral ethics herel, The balance will tip against Israel, Israel was build through killing and ethnic cleansing.
    If it was not for Israel’s invasion we’d never have to have any resistance, the occupation of south Lebanon is much older than the HA. Israel’s aggression against Lebanon started in 1948, years before the Iranian revolution and HA were been conceived.

    Posted by Prophet | December 2, 2010, 8:02 pm
  25. Prophet:
    “If it was not for Israel’s invasion we’d never have to have any resistance, the occupation of south Lebanon is much older than the HA. Israel’s aggression against Lebanon started in 1948, years before the Iranian revolution and HA were been conceived.”
    I disagree. The 1948 conflict was between Israel and the Palestinians. The 1967 conflict was between Israel and Egypt and Jordan and Syria. Until the Cairo agreement which was forced on Lebanon by its Arab “brethren” (how brotherly!), until the “invasion” of 400,000 Palestinian refugees who made a mockery of what refugees are supposed to do, Lebanon had no conflict with Israel. Lebanon may have morally supported the “Arab cause,” but there was no occupation of Lebanese soil.
    Let us not pretend otherwise.

    What you call “Israeli invasion” probably refers to 1982, and without that invasion, true we may not have had a temporary occupation of Lebanese land by Israel but we sure would have remained under the boot of the Palestinian “fedayeen” thugs who have failed miserably at “liberating” their land while allowing crime and backwardness to proliferate in their community. Ditto for the “Arabs.” How else could over half-a-billion Arabs be so miserably incompetent against a mere 6 Million Jews in Israel and a total of 16 Million Jews worldwide.
    The 1982 “invasion” of Lebanon by Israel put an end to the Palestinian plan of liberating Palestine by starting with Beirut.
    Israel made a mistake by overstaying its welcome beyond 1982 and, yes, this created HA. But then HA is overstaying its welcome as a resistance past the withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon. One can clearly be against HA and against Israel. The “resistance” is either paranoid or has evil intentions, there is no other explanation. Aoun is an opportunist, in my opinion. He has taken views opposite to his earlier declared beliefs when no facts have changed. This is not politics, this is sleaziness done the Lebanese way.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | December 2, 2010, 8:15 pm
  26. Ghassan,
    Speaking off the records is something, and speaking at an official meeting, to an ambassador of another nation, where notes are being taken is something else.
    This meeting was official, and the embassy was taking notes for the records.
    This was not a discussion over a glass of wine after work hours. He was speaking on behalf of the army, and the commander. He was assuring his listeners of certain facts ;such as his instructions to the army commander, and his intentions of talking to shiia officers when the war starts.
    When you are “a defense minister of a country,” every word you say will be considered serious and representative of the state’s policy.
    It was very clear that he was talking about an expected Israeli attack-not about a HA attack. Had he expected an attack from HA against Israel, and didn’t want to drag the army into a war stated by HA, I would have understood.
    He’s offering shiaa, and their bridges and infrastructure as ‘operational concern’ to the Israelis.
    Of all people, I didn’t expect you, Ghassan, to find excuses. This spin isn’t for you.

    Posted by Prophet | December 2, 2010, 8:18 pm
  27. HP
    Do you know how many massacres Israel committed in south Lebanon between 1948 and 1982?
    You really don’t know your history .
    WHO INVITED THE PALESTINIANS INTO SOUTH LEBANON?
    Just look at how many massacres Israel committed prior its 82 invasion.
    I grew up within eye sight of the border, and don’t need anyone to explain to me what Israel did to south Lebanon , even before the 67 war.
    I usually don’t like to drop links, but I think I’m wasting my time on you.

    http://www.fact-index.com/h/hu/hula_massacre.html

    http://tyros.leb.net/massacres/

    Posted by Prophet | December 2, 2010, 8:28 pm
  28. Guys,

    Just so you know, if you put more than one link into a comment, it’s going to go to moderation and I have to release it. (This is to combat spam… although it seems a bit extreme and I may change the quota to 2+ links if I can figure out how to do so).

    Anyway, the point is that I’m going to be traveling soon and I don’t know how much access I’ll have to email, so if there’s something you really want to say and it involves lots of links, then spread them out. Otherwise, your comment may sit in moderation for a while.

    Wa shukran.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 2, 2010, 8:35 pm
  29. BV-

    Murr was trying to represent himself as speaking for all the Christians in Lebanon. The fact that Aoun does that does not invalidate that fact as represented in the cables.

    Murr was also puporting to speak on behalf of the Lebanese government, and the rest of the Lebanese people, when he tells the Americans that the LAF won’t intervene in the event of war. I thought such a decision needed the authority of the President (let alone the rest of the government). Was this an official visit by Murr to pass the message of the Lebanese government regarding an impending war, or is he a run-away political figure full of himself who claims to speak for all of Lebanon and its government, much as the common-place charge levied against HA?

    I understand your gripe against HA, but how is it that you do not find issue with, and seem unwilling to hold accountable (your favorite word), the Defense Minister of your nation who visits the main patron of one of your nation’s enemy whom, the latter, just visited upon your country a devastating war, not to mention so many of their invasions and occupations in the past, and then proceeds to share with them, actually pre-planning and strategizing, how that enemy country can win the war, and the time needed to “clean” up after his countrymen and their areas have been destroyed?

    You keep harping on those who blame Israel for all our problems, but you also are excusing what is inexcusable for a Lebanese government official by harping on HA. The two do not have to negate each other. You can call a spade a spade. Your fuming dismissal of such a grave act by an official of the Lebanese government advising on the eradication of other Lebanese and their areas by a sworn enemy makes me wonder if we should take any of your frequent indignations seriously

    Posted by Saint | December 2, 2010, 8:38 pm
  30. Also, some of you expressed a desire to see these comment threads split up into multiple pages so that you don’t get carpal tunnel syndrome scrolling down to the end on your PDA.

    Is that a widely held sentiment? Let me know if you feel strongly one way or the other.

    My only problem with splitting up into pages that are 25-50 comments long is that it makes it tougher to scan the whole thing quickly. (That’s what happened at Syria Comment, when the discussions started creeping up into the hundreds of comments, as they are here these days).

    But let me know.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 2, 2010, 8:43 pm
  31. And I’ve changed the maximum number of links in a comment to 3.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 2, 2010, 8:45 pm
  32. Prophet,
    This is a bad time of the year for me to find enough time to blog but I feel that I should clarify a point. I am neither excusing anyone or spinning on behalf of anyone. I am merely saying that these private conversatione were off the record and for ythe ears of the otgher pary only. Does that excuse either King abdullah or Mr. Murr? That is a different story. All what I am saying is that inspite of my proclivity to be way to the left of center on many issues I do not think that the leaker , in this case, is contributing to any special cause or is revealing what most of us did not know. I think that these wikileaks will cause embarassments to many but will not have a lasting effect. They will raise the level of tention between some players but will not change the game. I believe that the biggest singkle thing that the wikileaks have revealed is what many have always known politicians are not trust worthy and often public statements are issued for PR purposes.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | December 2, 2010, 8:46 pm
  33. This leak will probably change nothing. I’m sure HA already knew this and has at many occasions hinted about his knowledge of government officials wishes and hopes that Israel will wipe out HA.

    What shits me the most is him insinuating that Christians are happy with Israel’s attack against HA. that’s total BS! How can he ask for the bombing of Shia area’s but asks them to avoid christian areas?

    Bad Vilbel, If you read this statement correctly “…Two, Israel cannot bomb bridges and infrastructure in the Christian areas. The Christians were supporting Israel in 2006 until they started bombing their bridges..”, you’d realise that Murr did appointed himself spokesman for the Christians of Lebanon. He didn’t say I was supporting or LF was supporting…

    So don’t kid yourself, he did portray us (christians) as traitors siding with Israel. But the reality was totally different as I saw how christians, and sunnis were helping the Shia that were running away from the destruction in the south.

    Posted by Simon | December 2, 2010, 8:50 pm
  34. Prophet @24,

    No. I am not saying any of those things you are attempting to put in my mouth.

    I am simply saying that your first rant was a bunch of hot air. We all know the facts. The true facts. HA has a monopoly on “resistance” for all intents and purposes. Not to mention monopoly on starting war or peace. It should be no surprise to anyone that the defense minister (and this has nothing to do with Christians) wants no part of any of that crap.
    Again, if you want your country to come fight your wars and close ranks behind you, you need to acknowledge and respect said country and its institutions. You can’t set up your own thing, go your own way, repeat ad nauseam that the state was never there for you and so on, and then act incensed when someone from said state appears to dislike you.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | December 2, 2010, 8:52 pm
  35. At this point in time I’m inclined to join the club of the ‘super hi techies’ which Nahhas recently joined, and propose the following scenario. Guys, believe me, these leaks actually have been implanted into the database of the state department for reasons that only they and their Zionist clients know. If you do not believe me ask Nahhas and the ITU.

    But assuming as usual that the leaks contain some truth in them, what I found most scandalous were not Murr’s revelations about his plans for destroying Hizb by Israelis, and shame on you QN for not highlighting it. Mur actually wants to see Aoun blown up by Hizbi bodyguards and for that he (Murr) is doing his best and ‘illegally’ using his prerogatives as MoD to achieve it by denying mon General enough licences for his body guards to carry weapons, thus leaving mon General no choice but to seek protection from hizbis.

    The bit about Hizb and Israel does not IMHO deserve so much attention. If you look at it from a realpolitik point of view what Murr is doing is simply acknowledging the fact that Hizb is a separate entity from the Lebanese establishment which every one knows but denies. So why are we being hypocrite about it and falling into the State Department/Zionist implanted trap of fabrications and truth distortion?

    Isn’t the Lebanese State allowed to decide what is best for its interest against two separate entities i.e. Hizb and Israel? Why is Syria allowed to play this game when Israel attacks Lebanon and Lebanon is not allowed to do so if Hizb and Israel decide to fight?

    I may say again what is the big deal aside from Murr’s vindictiveness vis-à-vis Mon General?

    Posted by anonymous | December 2, 2010, 8:56 pm
  36. Prophet @27,

    I have no love lost for Israel or Zionism or the massacres committed either deliberately or in the name of “collateral damage.” However, as I often say to our Israeli commentators here, two wrongs don’t make a right.
    The reality is that the way the Palestinians and more generally the Arabs approached dealing with their grievances against Israel has been beyond incompetent, beyond bumbling, really, the epithet or adjective to define it has not yet been conceived let alone articulated. The tragedy for Lebanon is that the country has been used as a football in the conflict, and the weak structure of the country was never given a chance to establish and strengthen itself.

    Even if, hypothetically, I concede all the points you make, do you really think that the path HA is on and movements like Hamas are on, do you think these paths will lead to the establishments of their rights and the protection of their lands? Therein lies the madness.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | December 2, 2010, 8:59 pm
  37. And another thing, Prophet.

    Just because I point out the sillyness of the argument above does not mean that I am exhonerating Murr, or the Lebanese State, or anything else.

    I am certainly not partisan here. My position is on the record, across this blog as being just as incensed by the lack of respect for the rule of law in Lebanon by EVERYONE (M14, M8 alike, not to mention the average citizens, and most others).

    One thing does not excuse the other.

    However, I am sick and tired of this one-sided kind of argument. If you wanna start trying people for treason, I am all for that, btw, I am also on record as stating that I wanted a bunch of people tried and executed back in 2006 and 2008). Let’s do this for ALL. Not pick and choose.

    Hassan Nassrallah and his cohorts most definitely are deserving of treason charges. Technically, undermining the state, starting wars, and turning your arms against your own countrymen is the very definition of teason.

    Of course, every Lebanese official who’s ever gone to Damascus to be told what to do is guilty of treason. This includes 90% of the bozos in both M14 and M8.
    And of course, those who turned to Israel in the 80s also qualify for treason.

    In short, pretty much any of these guys who has ever declared loyalty to anything other than Lebanon (Iran, Damascus, Palestine, Israel, Washington, etc.) are all traitors as far as I’m concern.

    Anyone who has ever taken up arms against the State or against his compatriots also falls under this category.

    But please, let’s not start with Murr. Of all the criminals and traitors since the 1970s till today, he ranks probably quite below a lot of other guys who have done far worse.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | December 2, 2010, 9:00 pm
  38. To be clear one more time. My indignation was not directed at Murr for the simple fact that he was stating something we all knew as fact. This doesn’t mean I approve of the LAF staying out of the war, or that I wish destruction on South Lebanon.
    Please do not equate one thing with another.

    I was, however, indignant at Prophet’s own indignation. His post seems to indicate surprise that his own defense minister doesn’t like HA, basically.
    Really? I’m pretty sure we ALL KNOW that a lot of ppl in Lebanon do not like HA.
    I see quotes in the OPEN (not even needing of leaks) from HA officials, or FPM officials that are clear threats to their own government or state…How is this any different?

    The short of it is: There really is nothing to be surprised about here.

    And for the record, I do not interpret that comment about the “Christians” as meaning Murr self-appointed himself as spokesman. We all use that kind of wording on a daily basis. Doesn’t mean we’re spoksemen.

    I can look a few posts up and see several people saying “The shia did this.” or “The sunni would prefer that.” or whathaveyou. They’re observations.

    The truth of the matter is, most Lebanese did not support Israel’s war in 2006. From any sect. But people naturally tend to feel more invested when it affects their areas directly. And we all know Lebanese people are sectarian. I am not the least bit surprised that people in Tripoli or Keserwan did not really feel the impact of the war as much as people in, say, Bint Jbeil did, until Israeli planes dropped bombs on Tripoli or Jounieh, at which point, they got a lot more invested.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | December 2, 2010, 9:09 pm
  39. anon. @ 35 says,

    “Isn’t the Lebanese State allowed to decide what is best for its interest against two separate entities i.e. Hizb and Israel?

    Unfortunately for your logic, if not your sentiment, HA and its supporters, the majority of the single biggest sect in the country, happen to be Lebanese. By equating them with vicious foreign enemy, it speaks to your wishful thinking but not how more sensible compatriots of a common nation resolve their disagreements.

    You also have to explain to us in what official capacity Murr speaks for all of Lebanon and its government? Is he a mere Defense Minister, or the elected President of the Republic and the Commander-in-chief of the LAF?

    Posted by Saint | December 2, 2010, 9:17 pm
  40. Ghassan,
    Thank you,
    We are in agreement that the leaks brought out what was always believed to be true about politics and politicians, by the public. No surprises there.
    We have been accused of believing in conspiracy theories when we talked about scenarios that included speculations. These leaks unfortunately will raise the stocks in the conspiracy theory businesses.
    None of the leaked documents (so far) relating to Arab countries are as earth shattering as expected. They confirm the impression that many people had of Arab leaders already. But the Murr document did shock me in how blunt this guy was, and I don’t think He can be excused.
    I disagree with your characterization of these documents as “off the record conversations” though.
    With this, I’ll let you carry on with your work; I have a busy month ahead myself.

    Posted by Prophet | December 2, 2010, 9:20 pm
  41. These leaks are going to make it difficult to make Lebanon whole again , as long as there is no peaceful solution to the Mideast as a whole , Lebanon will continue to be divided and as long as the Shea in Lebanon are looked at as second class citizen Hezbollah will be there and Israel is wrong to think that they can destroy Hezbollah as no matter what Israel does Hezbollah will rise again as it did when it started , for Hezbollah to integrate in the Lebanese army The Shea should have equal rights to the Christians and Sunni and have one man one vote , until then i see only reasons for the Shea not to trust anybody and sometime i wonder how much they can resist the temptation to take over the country , it is going to be an interesting year ,

    By the QN keep the comment the way they are , one page ,

    Posted by Norman | December 2, 2010, 9:41 pm
  42. PV:

    Don’t you worry your little frantic fingers. The Nabi seems to have jumped to your side of the fence and is holding out the Pom Poms for Murr now.

    If you don’t believe me, consider what he wrote:

    >> It was very clear that he was talking about an expected Israeli attack-not about a HA attack. Had he expected an attack from HA against Israel, and didn’t want to drag the army into a war stated by HA, I would have understood.

    Indeed. He would have understood. Now all he has to do is go and READ the “Leak” again. Not the snippets that QN posted. But the full leak. And then it will become immediately evident that Murr was contemplating the scenario if Hizballah decides to retaliate against Israel for the murder of Wotshisname.

    Anon:

    LoL. High Tech away. Holy Beelzebub. The Drama.

    The fellow who was so offended by Murr’s comment because the Xtians and Sunnis took the Shia in their homes in 2006:

    The Xtians and Sunnis- if you must be “Sectarian” did the humane and righteous thing, which is to provide homes to the poor “Shia” who lost their homes. But if the honorable “Nabi” had doubts about HA’s actions in 2006, do you not think the majority of Xtians also did??! Or do you think they supported HN’s unilateral decision to poke at Israel? And if so why did the shameless lad come on TV practically crying saying “Had he known Israel, bla bla, he wouldn’t have done it”.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 2, 2010, 9:51 pm
  43. Anon:

    How come the Hizb didn’t push for Mon General to be president? Maybe he wouldn’t have been as keen as Sleiman to have them pummelled. No?

    Posted by Gabriel | December 2, 2010, 9:56 pm
  44. Saint #39

    “Unfortunately for your logic, if not your sentiment, HA and its supporters, the majority of the single biggest sect in the country, happen to be Lebanese.”

    Actually my logic implies that we have defacto partitioned entities within Lebanon Stans. I did not refer to any communities in particular and who represents who. Murr happens to be an MP (theoretically representing all of Lebanon) and the head of the most important institution. He could well be representing a huge segment of one or more of the ‘Stans’ which happen to be the internationally recognized entity called Lebanon. Also this entity happens to be the object of a tug of war between two camps that we all know who they are and what they want. That’s where the bit about realpolitik comes into play which may justify the behaviour of Murr (still assuming the leaks are genuine. Please go back and read my previous comment.). Hence my question about hypocrisy and why Syria should master and practice this art and Lebanon (or what is left of it) is denied this option should become clear. Some of the most important prerequisites for practicing realpolitiks are you have to be without emotions and devoid of ethics which clearly apply to all the parties fighting over what is left of Lebanon.

    Posted by anonymous | December 2, 2010, 10:02 pm
  45. Norm:

    I think those of us who are secular (and honest about it) fully agree with you. I think HA should be disarmed AND the confessional breakdown should be broken down.

    This b%llsh!t facade of a puppet Maronite pres, a Sunni PM, etc isn’t fooling anyone with any common sense, when the realities on the ground cannot be any more clear.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 2, 2010, 10:04 pm
  46. GK

    Your #23 does not make any sense. You claim the Wikileaks were meant for shock value and nothing else. How exactly did you come to that conclusion? I see that the released documents have spurred a flurry of media and internet commentary and discussion activity in an attempt to glean a historically forbidden window on the actual opinions and positions of major public figures around some very thorny issues, much as we are doing here.

    And aren’t off-the-record conversations more telling than on-record (public consumption) pronouncements? Without going into too much detail, is there no value at all for you in that?
    yes, we all know that Murr does not like HA. The cables did not shock us that way. But what is damning about Murr’s statements is the thoughtless candor with which he is actively passing free and useful information on Lebanon’s state of mind vis-à-vis an impending war, its plans, even advise to an enemy state that was on the verge, he was believing at the time of the visit, of a war of destruction against HA and its areas (literally much of the Lebanese South and good chunk of Beirut). Assume that the US knows all this, but how is it irrelevant in your eyes as familiar “off-the-record” stuff, that the DM of a nation ill-represents his capacity and position and presents himself as a willing vassal to the empire? If not for the petty person of Murr himself, should we not care about the sanctity of the position of the DM of the state? If we are willing to excuse such obvious complicity, against the drop of irrefutable evidence, could we uncover anything else worthy of shaming our politicians?

    I can alread see from the comments on this blog that accountability is just another political term that is as relevant as your political views.

    Posted by Saint | December 2, 2010, 10:11 pm
  47. Gabriel #39

    I missed that one. O’ My…. But now it has become even clearer to me thanks Gab I cann’t believe it. This is the clearest proof that this whole thing is planned and nothing but implanted databases and methinks hizb itself has a hand in it, i.e. they on purpose didn’t allow Aoun to become Prez so that Murr will become MoD and deny Mon Genral weapon licences forcing him to be blown up by Hizbi body guards.

    Posted by anonymous | December 2, 2010, 10:12 pm
  48. Gabi,

    Equal rights for all the Lebanese and anti discrimination laws in housing and employment will make Lebanon prosperous and bring back the immigrants from abroad when they see that they can be anything they want ,

    Posted by Norman | December 2, 2010, 10:18 pm
  49. Gabriel,

    Sorry, my previous comment was for your #43.

    Posted by anonymous | December 2, 2010, 10:26 pm
  50. Norman, Gaby:

    One man, one vote, separation of church/mosque/temple and state, true nationalism with a Lebanon-First principle, equal rights for all – especially for women!!!, and, initially and then subsequently if it wins popular vote, complete non-alignment, strict implementation of the rule of law as applied to everyone, outlawing any form of palm-greasing and enabling citizens arrest if/when it is attempted, well, herein lie the principle of a prosperous Lebanon indeed.
    The question, of course, is how to get there from here. Tough question with no easy answers. As a start, a rallying around those principles by more and more people is a necessary condition. Let’s count the vote: I start with 1 (your humble HP).

    Posted by Honest Patriot | December 2, 2010, 10:37 pm
  51. Anon:

    Why’re you going low-tech on me again? :).

    I realized I haven’t been keeping up with Lebanese affairs for the last few years, so earlier today I was catching up on some You Tube videos. There was a clip on Al Jazeera View-Opposite view with some M14 fellow called something or another Saqr and a M8 fellow whose name I can’t recall. They were discussing the “false witness” issue.

    Holy Shit. I was practically on the floor laughing hearing the other fellow talk.

    How do they keep a straight face?

    Posted by Gabriel | December 2, 2010, 10:40 pm
  52. Anon. #44

    You would be contradicting yourself when you say Lebanon is defacto partitioned, and in the same breath claim that Murr as MP represents “all of Lebanon.” If Lebanon is theoretically partitioned, how does Murr represents “all of Lebanon?”

    Murr is the MoD, “the head of most important institution” according to you, but I imagine (not being privy to documented constitutional obligations) that his responsibilities do not include setting foreign policy and deciding war and peace (let me know if you have evidence to the contrary); so how is it that he decided to speak as the official voice of the Lebanese government (but only its kosher part of course) and pass on its intent and plans to a foreign entity bent on its destruction?
    I cannot deny Murr to speak to the US or Israel or anyone else. But let him do so in his individual capacity, or the leader of certain “communities” in Lebanon who harbor a different vision of Lebanon. But in this visit and in his pronouncements, he betrayed his office and position and committed a shameful act (treason in my opinion), by passing information that can be used in a war against an overwhelming, however “unkosher,” segment of his own country.

    Posted by Saint | December 2, 2010, 10:57 pm
  53. Norman,

    You speak gems about what Lebanon needs however and since you are Syrian we would like you to hope the same thing for Syria because one if not the main reason Lebanon is unable to achieve what you recommend is a Syria ruled by a family of thugs who mastered the art of divide and conquer.

    Posted by V | December 2, 2010, 11:08 pm
  54. BV#38,
    I was never surprised that Minister Murr does not like HA. I don’t expect him to like them either. He does not have to. Not everyone has to like HA. I personably have nothing in common with HA Ideology. This isn’t about liking or disliking HA. It is about an official betraying the trust of his people.
    My shock was at how blunt in his passing information to another country, who happened to be Israel’s best friend, knowing that this information will pass to Israel.
    I was also shocked at how blunt he was at offering the whole shiia community to the enemy as “operational concern”.
    Had he done that at his own capacity as another politician, one might understand. But when he is the defense minster, in charge of defending the nation, it is a different story.
    Either he is the defense minster who is willing to defend the whole nation, or He should not hold such a position to execute his own political agenda.
    I wonder if that was his personal views or it was apart of a secret policy by a part of the government. If the answer is yes, we have bigger problem; it becomes a bigger conspiracy.
    As a nonreligious shiia myself, who hates all organized religions (and their institution, and leaders), and do not have any loyalty to any political party, I feel offended, and threatened by his statement. Sectarianism does not differentiate between secular and non secular people. Unfortunately Religion became an identity whether you want to or not. In Lebanon, your seen as a sunni or shiia or maronite, even if you an atheist or secular.
    This is a very sad reality .The reality that I grew up within eyesight of the border, and watched the horrors of the Israelis in the 70’s and early 80’s (before the 82 invasion), makes me a hard core supporter of any resistance .When I supported the resistance in days before HA was born, people like you would have called me leftist or commie, now you label me a HA, lol.
    Many of you people who blog here, have no idea what people in the south had to deal with. You just relate everything to HA, like everything started with HA.
    For years I have been advocating a strong national army that can defend the country, so the resistance won’t be needed. But when I read what Murr says, I get disappointed and discouraged.
    I never doubted the patriotism of the army. But I doubt the patriotism of politicians like Murr, who are pushing the army’s efforts backward. If you want HA to give up its weapons and if you want their supporters to give up their support for military resistance, you need to reassure these people that they will be defended and protected, and not offered as Israel’s “operational concerns”.
    His revealed statements will push back the idea of disarmament for years, I’m afraid. Not because HA didn’t know what Murr was thinking, but because of the supporters who didn’t.
    You have no idea how bad this revelation will impact Lebanon in the coming months and years. Just wait and see.

    Posted by PROPHET | December 2, 2010, 11:16 pm
  55. HP,Gabi,

    one time QN suggested having a country wide election on one day and whoever wins the majority seats will be given the first chance at forming a government , my preference is to have a whole country census and have districts like the US and have two congressmen from each district , that will be for the house these districts can be mapped with the majority of each sect in the beginning and can start with equal seats between the sects as it is now but with anti discrimination laws in housing and employments which are essential , the people of these discredits will be mixed soon and with election of people who live in these districts it is easy to over look the religion and look for the individual himself which is needed to have equal opportunity ,Election should be allowed only for residents on Lebanon not visitors from abroad , even in Israel non residents can not vote in the Israeli election ,

    Another house and probably called senate where members are elected in Lebanon,s counties and two from each county no matter what the population of these counties are , that will equate the small with the large counties with 60% majority in the senate needed for major laws,
    you can see that these rules apply in the US and anti discrimination laws can be take from the US ,

    It is unfortunate but i think these change can not take place without a guarantee of no outside money influencing the election or foreign countries interference , and without peace in the Mideast that guarantees non interference from Israel and Syria and other countries like KSA , The US and others ,

    V ,

    By the way Syria will need to do the same when it feels secure and peace is achieved ,

    Posted by Norman | December 2, 2010, 11:28 pm
  56. I meant the house will be dependent on the population of the districts one congressman for each 20000 people , while the senate is from counties not related to population ,

    Posted by Norman | December 2, 2010, 11:32 pm
  57. Saint #52

    “You would be contradicting yourself when you say Lebanon is defacto partitioned, and in the same breath claim that Murr as MP represents “all of Lebanon.” If Lebanon is theoretically partitioned, how does Murr represents “all of Lebanon?”

    Two of your premises are false rendering your argument into sophistry. Defacto partitioning is the real situation by the mere definition of defacto. Murr as I stated is theoretically representing all of Lebanon as the theoretical constitution of the theoretical Lebanon states. Now go back and reexamine your logic (sophistry) in light of the above.

    A good historical treatise is referenced down below if you need help. It was specifically authored at a time in history when the Sophists threatened to render the most precious human faculty as exemplified by its logical reasoning into what later became known sophistry. It is the Isagoge, attributed to the philosopher Porphyry – thanks for his foresight. I suggest you spend some time reading through it.

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/porphyry_isagogue_02_translation.htm

    We have Saints and Prophets. Is the Pope going to join?

    Gabriel,

    Do you have a link for that Jazeera report?

    Posted by anonymous | December 2, 2010, 11:33 pm
  58. QN,
    In order “… you don’t get carpal tunnel syndrome scrolling down to the end on your PDA.” check this link that helps “scroll to bottom” for the iPhone. It works.

    http://iphonebookmarklets.com/category/4

    Posted by IHTDA | December 2, 2010, 11:47 pm
  59. Anon:

    Straight from the Arab world’s own Fox News Network.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 2, 2010, 11:55 pm
  60. Ya Nabi,

    It’s good to hear that you consider yourself nonsectarian.

    Certainly, Murr’s candid discussion with the US embassy was highly inappropriate. He could have “acted out” precisely what he said without being overtly explicit.

    The fact he focused his expressions on the “Xtian” neighbourhoods was also highly sectarian. But being sectarian in Lebanon seems to be something quite lauded!

    It is understandable that you are disappointed that Murr is not a truly national figure, but tell me, who in the landscape is? Hariri? Jumblatt, Nasrallah?

    You don’t need a leak to tell you that none of the characters in power serve the national interest. But at worst, all you can really say about this leak is that it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth… because it’s such a crude affirmation of the truth everyone already knows.

    But this talk of treachery and whatnot is not the kind of language Lebanon needs. And if you truly believe in the national agenda, you shouldn’t be inheriting the kind of talk practiced by HN.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 3, 2010, 12:14 am
  61. Norm:

    You’re Syrian? I visited Damascus for the first time last year, and wow, what a great city! I loved it.

    As a Canadian, I’m a charterocrat. I love our charter. I don’t know if Lebanon has one. If it doesn’t, it needs one. They should just take Canada’s.

    I think part of the problem is sectarianism is simply so endemic. I am no fan of religion, and I don’t necessarily have a problem with religious expression (I’m quite the libertarian), but I just find that in the very infrequent times I visit, things seems to devolve into the more overt religious expression. More statuetes keep popping up (in Xtian areas). The local church next to our house decided to one-up the Muslims and broadcast the whole sermon on loudspeaker. I mean really, it’s a bit much.

    I think the confessional system gives some people the false sense of security. The truth is you can’t build a national program without true and honest tolerance/openness. And perhaps events in the whole region are making people cling more to whatever roots define them.

    Just read through the comments. There’s an element of trepidation in everyone’s commentary. It’s remarkable. Suddenly Murr became THE story, when the real story is a lot more basic than that. What are the other side’s concerns (people, not politicians). I think until these basic premises are dealt with, it would be near impossible to contemplate an end to this political impasse.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 3, 2010, 12:38 am
  62. Anon:

    Given that people seem to have a hard time reading/understanding the content of the *leak*, I am not sure what value there is in you explaining what “defacto” and “theoretical” mean. Perhaps it’s a language barrier.

    Maybe you should start commenting in Lebanon’s national language- French, umm, I mean Arabic instead.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 3, 2010, 12:44 am
  63. Gaby,

    Thanks for the link. It is good refreshment for that time close to two years now. I am not sure if Wahhab is still wearing a shoe. He might have gone shoeless altogether lately.

    Canada is like a whole planet by itself. I sometime think it is bigger than Mars. It also has very good landing spots for extraterrestrials especially in the prairies. BC is my favorate, though. But that has nothing to do with the Vancouver Cannucks.

    Posted by anonymous | December 3, 2010, 12:59 am
  64. Gaby #62,

    I just saw your last comment after posting my previous. Actually you just hit on a very good idea. That Isagoge of Porphyry was translated into Arabic. Let me see if I can find a link.
    Unfortunately, I have the copy on my drive but cannot find an online link for the file.
    Well, we’ll have to do with English for now.

    Posted by anonymous | December 3, 2010, 1:17 am
  65. Anon. @57

    Indeed you have a point, instead of “theoretically” partitioned, I meant to reproduce what you said which should have been “defacto” partitioned. I do not need a treatise on sophistry to come clean on an innocent misquote. You are way too tense for this.
    But you still have to own up to your own claims:

    1. Under what constitutional jurisdiction does an MP “represent all of Lebanon?” and,

    2. How is it the the post of MoD is “the most important post (I assume infusing Murr with the legal powers to say what he said ?”

    And if as you said Lebanon is defacto partitioned, then it follows that Murr could not be speaking for “all of Lebanon,” even theoretically speaking, since he knows full well that at least half of the country do not see things his way…which further belies his claims that he controls the LAF as they will logically follow their “defacto” party/sect loyalties which override any fidelity to the negligible state (thus his further re-assurance to the Embassy Charge that he will “talk to the Shia officers” not to enter the war as he knows well that they have no allegiance to him).

    Your simple contradiction is that you want Murr to represent “all of Lebanon” and “to decide what is best for its interest against two separate entities i.e. Hizb and Israel?” when the defacto reality , again according to you, is that he represents just another faction with its own political view point in a divided country. The mere fact that the US and certain European countries back M14 politics does not give one faction in a divided government more “international” legitimacy” over another. There are many other international countries that acknowledge HA and its allies. In the UN, Lebanon is a legitimate and sovereign power representing all its factions. But of course what matters to you is what the US and Israel think. And the sticky point for you is how does a government, divided over HA, unanimously advocate the destruction of HA to a foreign entity when HA and its allies and supporters make up the other half of the government without resorting to off-the-record private meetings with interested powers? You call realpolitik (talk about sophistry), we call it simple treason. Either way, this cannot represent an adult nation and how it handles its messy problems.

    You can carry on. My defacto life calls..

    Posted by Saint | December 3, 2010, 1:22 am
  66. Norman,

    How hypocritical can you get, advising Lebanese on democracy while supporting the thug Asad?

    “By the way Syria will need to do the same when it feels secure and peace is achieved ,”

    Don’t you understand that Lebanon needs Syria to stop being a dictatorship to become a thriving democracy? How come you preach to others but have “great” excuses when it comes to Syria? You either support democracy or you don’t.

    Posted by AIG | December 3, 2010, 1:23 am
  67. Saint:
    The following is article of the Lebanese constitution:

    Article 27 [Representation]
    A member of the Chamber represents the whole nation. Norestriction or stipulation may be imposed upon his mandate by his electors.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | December 3, 2010, 1:48 am
  68. Saint #65,

    I see that you have a habit of making too many ‘innocent’ misquotes. That is going to be a daunting task for me in this part of the universe to go through at this time of the day. We just happen to have almost the same length of solar day as the earthlings have. So it is sleeping time for us here. That was the reason I linked that treatise for you which is not about sophistry as you think. It is about rules of logical reasoning. I expected something like this from you and hoped to make your waiting time fruitful in order to carry on later.

    One other thing I suggest for you is to go back and read some of the comments that others made regarding the definition of treason. I think it was one of BV’s comments. You may find that your definition of this term does not fit quite well with many.

    Posted by anonymous | December 3, 2010, 1:52 am
  69. Gaby @59, wow, what an exchange! Thanks for that link.
    And to think that some people do follow the quasi- and pseudo- logic of the spherical debater in that clip in whose speeches every other word is american-israeli conspiracy and ignore the impeccable, fact-based, logical presentations by Uqab Saqr, …, well, what can I say, …, pitiful and indicative of why so much backwardness in so many ways exists and perpetuates itself in the Arab world, a world that Lebanon should be as distinct from as Switzerland insists on being distinct from the EU.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | December 3, 2010, 2:29 am
  70. HP

    I think more so than the debater, the moderator. As per my comment to anon, perhaps it’s a language thing. Such a moderation would not pass in Aljazeera english.

    Saint:

    >> You are way too tense for this.

    You should read your exchange from the beginning, and think about the words as you’re reading. You will hopefully soon find that your logic is backward. It is not anon who is (in)tense. It’s the other way around.

    >> Your simple contradiction is that you want Murr to represent “all of Lebanon” and “to decide what is best for its interest against two separate entities i.e. Hizb and Israel?” when the defacto reality , again according to you, is that he represents just another faction with its own political view point in a divided country.

    Since you don’t seem to be getting the fact that anon is mocking you in every response. Perhaps I’ll have a go at explaining “de facto” and “theoretically”.

    Contrary to how you understood Anon in Earth world (Anon is from Mars), Anon did NOT say he “wants Murr to represent all of Lebanon”. He said, in principle (i.e. theoretically), Murr SHOULD be representing all of Lebanon.

    Anon does NOT disagree that Murr is NOT IN FACT representing all of Lebanon. Or that De Facto, i.e. what is effectively the reality on the ground, he is only representing his view/sect/whatever.

    At no point in his discussion has Anon taken a stance on what should theoretically be the case, versus what is defacto the case.

    Hence rendering all your points meaningless.

    He simply stated that despite what should theoretically be the case. That is: elected officials should speak for the whole country is not in fact the case in reality. Since in effect the leadership of HA works in the interest of their “Stan”. While Murr is working for his Stan.

    Since HAstan doesn’t care to consult with the OfficialLebanonstan regarding its deicisions on when to pick fights (and hence makes National Decisions that are potentially contrary to the wishes of the government, then really there is no point for you to ocmplain about what Murr said with regards to his Stan (read that as either: Community, Official Gvmt Stan, or, or).

    Posted by Gabriel | December 3, 2010, 4:56 am
  71. Wow someone from Canada saved a Martian day.

    I should visit this planet Canada more often. I may even settle in BC after landing in the Prairies.

    How could you do all this Gaby and even in English and not in any of the official languages of any of the stans?

    Posted by anonymous | December 3, 2010, 7:34 am
  72. Ah the joys of the moral high ground.

    Its amazing that so many of you claim to want Lebanon to be a free democracy, but when at least 40% of the people disagree with your vision for Lebanon you all become abrasive and rude both to the poster and the community.

    Its remarkable that anyone who claims to stand for Lebanon can defend the comments of a countrys DEFENCE MINISTER who describes the wholesale destruction of entire towns and neighborhoods IN HIS OWN COUNTRY BY A FOREIGN COUNTRY as “operational concern” simply because they don’t agree with those people’s politics.

    I wonder what the uproar from most of you would have been if this had been a Hizballah minister talking to the Iranian or Syrian ambassadors?

    I have tried to put across the thinking of the “other” for you in my time here. This has never been an attempt to dissuade or convert any of you but to at least stop this “tea party” mentality that those you don’t agree with cannot be part of their own country until they agree with your vision and desires. I can see now that this effort is futile and counter productive. As a memeber of the “sheeple” who according to you cannot think for himself, takes his orders from abroad and has a nefarious agenda I hope that one day we (the aforementioned sheeple) will one day feel that we do not need a military force to do the job of the state so that a)the people of the South don’t have to defend this country all by themselves and b)people like you can stop being so degrading to the “others”.

    In the meantime, if you really want to see Hizballahs arms disappear, and since so many of you seem to reside in the US, I suggest you work on the US govt. rather than the Lebanese one. I suggest you stop the US govt. from stoping the LAF from being as well armed as Hizballah. When you do that, come back and we’ll talk giving up arms. Until then, the arms of the Resistance are where they are and where they stay.

    Posted by usedtopost | December 3, 2010, 7:36 am
  73. “I can see now that this effort is futile and counter productive.

    Please ContinueToPost.

    Posted by anonymous | December 3, 2010, 9:15 am
  74. UTP,
    You are absolutely right when you point out that an argument, any argument, will fall under its own weight when it lacks internal consistency. And you are also right to suggest that had an HA official been caught telling the Iranian ambassador about his plans to deal with Israel then that would have created a bigger splash among some commentators.
    But do the leaks, whether about HAmember-Iran or Murr-US , of themselves and by themselves warrant such a reaction? If you still recall, we touched on this same issue during the 1st day of the Wikileaks revelations concerning Arab Government request /urging to bomb Iran. I was of the impression that both sides will dismiss this and soldier on as if nothing has happened since all of these conversations were not meant to be public positions. We all express an opinion about events and/or individuals at times in confidence in order to spare our relations with others from further detrerioration. I also believe that the Wikileaks would have a lasting effect by causing embarrassment to the players named and will probably introduce more mistrust between the parties. But all of that will not have legs and the wikileaks effect will be behind us soon, all over the world, because fundementally we all know that all sides , all over the globe, have their own private assessments of events and developments that are not meant for the general public.I don’t think that there is a single country in the world that does not believe that its diplomatic pouches should be held in secret.

    BTW, have you also noticed that many of the politicians who jumped the gun in assessing the leaks find themselves in an awkward position now that the leaks favour their position Ex. GMA dismissed the leaks as intentional in order to raise the level of tension in the region. That makes it more difficult for him to turn around the next day and use the leaks that he denounced the day before as evidence that supports his position. Politicians, give them enough rope and they will hang themselves :-)

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | December 3, 2010, 9:17 am
  75. GK,

    The village idiot of Rabieh will come up with a twist and believe me; his followers will accept his lunacy. :D

    Posted by danny | December 3, 2010, 9:19 am
  76. GK:

    Kindly refrain from speculating as to how some commentators would respond, and whether the splash would be bigger or smaller.

    UtP:

    That was a loaded post. I for one don’t stand on the Moral High Ground. Perhaps my own little sandhill of morality. Or perhaps this sandhill may look like a pile of dung to others.

    On your hypothetical situation. As I said to GK above, please don’t presume to know how people will respond. If curious, you can simply ask them.

    I’ll volunteer my view. I believe in the peace initiative, and a stable country. So if

    >> I wonder what the uproar from most of you would have been if this had been a Hizballah minister talking to the Iranian or Syrian ambassadors?

    And the nature of his discussion was along the lines of the discussion that Murr had. And if his discussions were Pro-Peace, and anti-let’s say Geagea- who was firing rockets at Syria, then I would have no issue with such a discussion.

    This is not a hypothetical. Minus the Hizballah-talk-to-Syria-leak, the situation was one of many situations in the Lebanese civil war. For one, I did not support Aoun’s offensive against Syria- not because Syria is brotherly- but because it led to an unnecessary loss of life.

    On the other silly note- and at the risk of sounding rude, it was really very silly- about democracy and hypocrisy. I don’t see it that way at all. First, Democracy has to be anchored on the rule of law, and on the adoption of a basic charter of rights that recognize the rights of individuals. It does not suffice to simply throw in numbers like 40%, or 60% or 90%. If 99.99% of Lebanese think it’s ok to treat a Srilankiye like crap. That doesn’t make that “idea” acceptable.

    Democracy simply has to be predicated on basic rights.

    Either way, if your numbers are right and 40% of the Lebanese believe in the right of HA to pick a fight with Israel wherever and whenever they want without a broader consensus, then they are in fact a minority position defying the will of the majority.

    The status quo suits His Royal Highness just fine. Being the opposition with his little Bantutistan under his full control is what lets him get away with his little game. He has no real interest in changing this.

    I’m willing to wager on the fact that if HN was President/PM of Lebanon, not a peep would come from Lebanon against our friendly neighbour down South.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 3, 2010, 11:02 am
  77. Gabriel,
    I’m not sure if youre rebutting my argument or just trying to prove it. That is one hell of a sandhill you are standing on.

    Your post is a combination of misquotes, putting words in my mouth and yes the usual condecension;

    Did I really presume how others would respond and was your scenario one I mentioned? You invent a scenario and tell me how you would respond to it. But in your scenario, I would still be bewildered by any Lebanese support for such an action no matter what community was going to be bombed (oh and your supposition about firing missiles, try doing some research rather than just believing the anti-HA proaganda machine – assuming you don’t already know the truth).

    But to be clear, you are alright with the discussion (and I presume the probable ensuing destruction) but you are against “unnecessary loss of life”. I’ll spend some time working on that logic.

    Oh and on my other “silly note”.Firstly I did not say 40%, I said at least 40% (since the opposition won more than 50% of the vote in the last elections) and I didn’t say anything about acceptability. I was saying there was a profound juxtaposition between demands for a proper democracy and the out of hand rejection of what a good number of people want. It seems to me that if you are that strong a believer in democracy, you should at least make the effort to understand what at least half the population are supportive of.

    And exactly what “rights” are being held back by HA from anyone?

    “Bantutistan”? Really? Do you get how obnoxious you sound using statements like that? Almost racist I would say.

    Posted by usedtopost | December 3, 2010, 11:47 am
  78. Mo,

    A neighborhood (mostly Shia inhabited areas) are controlled by gun wielding mafioso s (HA militia) and then you think that people have a free will to voice their opinion (or else off course :D).

    Just curious about your definition or understanding of democracy.

    Posted by danny | December 3, 2010, 11:58 am
  79. Gabriel says,
    “Kindly refrain from speculating as to how some commentators would respond, and whether the splash would be bigger or smaller.” You cannot be serious, can you? :-)

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | December 3, 2010, 11:59 am
  80. danny,
    The only place such a neighborhood exists is in your head.

    Heres an idea, buy a ticket to Lebanon, go to the “mostly Shia inhabited areas” and i’ll give you a $100 for every “gun wielding mafioso” you spot.

    Your spouting of anti-HA drivel in my time here is so ridiculously hollywood, your descriptions of the Shia so wonderfully sterotypical, that I have to really wonder whether you believe what you say or can you really be that misinformed. If you are really as frustrated as you always sound with HA then I would invest in some valium type drugs as the frustration is likely to get a whole lot worse for you.

    Posted by usedtopost | December 3, 2010, 12:16 pm
  81. Hi Elias,

    I checked with Al Akhbar regarding the ID discrepancy that you pointed out. Basically, this was a typo where the beginning of the header from one document was accidentally left at the top of the following document when it was posted by Al Akhbar. There were two mistakes like this that have been corrected.

    Emily

    Posted by EDB | December 3, 2010, 12:53 pm
  82. Thanks EDB. That seems like a reasonable explanation, but I’d love ot have them explain how they got these documents since Wikileaks has not even published them or recognized al-Akhbar’s exclusive.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 3, 2010, 12:57 pm
  83. Oops. I meant that the beginning of the header at the top of one document was accidentally left at the bottom of the previous document. A copy-paste mistake in other words.

    Posted by EDB | December 3, 2010, 1:01 pm
  84. Al Akhbar has received numerous queries about this from news organizations. They said they are going to publish a statement soon.

    Posted by EDB | December 3, 2010, 1:06 pm
  85. ”danny,
    The only place such a neighborhood exists is in your head.

    Heres an idea, buy a ticket to Lebanon, go to the “mostly Shia inhabited areas” and i’ll give you a $100 for every “gun wielding mafioso” you spot.”

    Danny,buy the ticket,believe me you will earn much money,especially in the south.

    Posted by Phil | December 3, 2010, 1:34 pm
  86. Prophet #54: “People like you…”

    People like me?

    What’s that mean? Do you know who I am or what I’m like? I doubt it.
    Do you know where i was in 1982? I doubt it.
    Do you know whether or not I have sympathies to “lefty” or “Commies”? I doubt it.

    I’m not entirely sure what you’re implying there. But please do not assume to know me beyond the opinions I’ve stated on this blog.

    For the record: I am and have always been a left-leaning guy (in principle), advocating for a democratic, strong, secular, non-sectarian and independent (of all foreign interference) Lebanon. If you read my other posts, you’ll see that I have criticized every one of our political leaders AND their followers for having ZERO concept of Lebanon. That’s right. ZERO. This goes across the board to what the kids now know as M14 and M8 (some of us predate those distinctions and remember entirely different groupings from the 60s and 70s).

    Point is, I make no excuses for Murr and his idiotic comments. But I clearly am not the least bit surprised that each and every one of our leaders thinks and says shit like that. Murr is by no means someone to be singled out.
    If there were any cables detailing the discussions between Hassan Nassrallah and the Iranian ambassadors, I can promise you, they would contain references to “The Christians” and “The Shia” and about operational concerns. That’s a promise.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | December 3, 2010, 1:51 pm
  87. One slightly fishy thing about this cable is the lack of a unique identifying ID at the top of it. Based on the code in the header and throughout the document, it would appear to be 08BEIRUT372, but if you check the previous cable detailing the meeting with Samir Geagea (which is also untitled but would appear to be 08BEIRUT331), it has the 372 marker at the bottom.) Anyone have a good contact at al-Akhbar?

    It may look fishy, indeed, but if yoo look closer to the other cable, you’ll notice that Al-akhbar has included a portion of the header of another cable at the bottom of that one, it’s a just a copy/paste error. Nothing fishy!

    Posted by lebaneny | December 3, 2010, 2:47 pm
  88. UtP.

    I was responding your hypothetical. And your incomplete hypothetical at that.

    I turned your hypothetical into an Apples and Apples argument. Not an Apples and Lebanese Figs argument, the way you were desperately trying to do.

    Here are your words- I repeat- YOUR words:

    >> I wonder what the uproar from most of you would have been if this had been a Hizballah minister talking to the Iranian or Syrian ambassadors?

    So what’s the context of Hizballah meeting Iranian/Syrian ambassadors? Did they walk in and talk to them for no reason? What was the discussion about.

    I filled the gaping holes you left out with scenarios identical to what the Murr leak presented.

    Back to the Aoun example. Just because I said that I didn’t approve of his actions, doesn’t mean I didn’t approve of his will to expel Syria. And just because I didn’t think his action was good, doesn’t mean I didn’t think Syria responded brutishly. These positions are not mutually exclusive.
    And if the Sunnis and Shias stayed out of that conflict for sectarian reasons. That would have been their business. But I wouldn’t do what you’re doing and feigning fake shock at the comment.

    Do yourself and read the “leak” again. Then read it again. From beginning to end.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 3, 2010, 2:48 pm
  89. UtP:

    Sorry I glossed over your comment last time around, and missed the following:

    >> And exactly what “rights” are being held back by HA from anyone?

    Where did I say HA are withholding people’s rights?!?! Please don’t put words in my mouth. I was explaining my view on democracy. And that you can’t win an argument just by throwing percentages. My point was that you can’t call me a Hypocrite by supporting Democracy will rejecting that 40% or at least 40% support HA. I gave the example of the Srilankiye to highlight the point.

    That does NOT mean I said HA was depriving people of rights.

    On the topic you mentioned on the 40%. My specific point was that even if they had 40% or at least 40% support, HA shouldn’t have made a War and Peace decision without consulting and getting the buy-in from the State.

    >> “Bantutistan”? Really? Do you get how obnoxious you sound using statements like that? Almost racist I would say.

    Get a grip on things. Racist?! If you want to argue, argue. But you don’t need to make it personal.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 3, 2010, 3:00 pm
  90. Phil,

    Seriously? You seem to be living in your own oxygen deprived cocoon. All HA gangsters are mafioso s! Lest we forget they almost blew off half of the city because of a dispute over a parking space.

    Keep your money Phil. You will need it for help.

    Posted by danny | December 3, 2010, 3:08 pm
  91. On the issue of HA holding back peoples’ rights:

    How about the right for a Shii to oppose them politically? Bassem el-sabe3 is not welcome in da7yeh, ahmad el assaad was intimidated during the last election, ali al-amin was also intimidated – and those are just the first 3 names that come to mind.

    Posted by R | December 3, 2010, 4:10 pm
  92. Guys, could we try to keep this comment section somewhat free of personal insults and snide little jabs at each other?

    Nothing kills a blog faster than an unwelcoming comment section.

    Debate the ideas, and leave the hysterics at the door, thanks.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 3, 2010, 4:45 pm
  93. Bad Vilbel@86
    Ok strike the “people like you “out.
    I have, over time, read many of your comments. I don’t always agree with you, but I respect your right to your own opinion regardless. That being said, we may agree on more things than we disagree.
    My point with The Murr revelation is that He as a defense Minster who is supposed to be in charge of defending the nation, not conspiring against his own people.
    As politician, He is entitled to take any position he wants regarding HA, But NOT as a defense minister.
    His hatred to HA is being extended to a large potion of the population, and the consequences of his action could cost thousands of lives. It was obvious that the value of a life of a certain sect is not as equal to the life of other Lebanese .Bridges in certain areas are more important than others.
    My whole point was that ;His hatred toward HA is not an excuse .And No one should find excuses for him. I would have the same views if similar revelation involved any official.

    Posted by Prophet | December 3, 2010, 4:56 pm
  94. “Danny,buy the ticket,believe me you will earn much money,especially in the south”

    Don’t forget to visit that famous city in the Bekaa valley in order to capitalize the most on your investment.

    By the way is this offer retroactive?

    Posted by anonymous | December 3, 2010, 5:17 pm
  95. Prophet,

    Fair enough.

    I’ll note that all politicians in Lebanon act as politicians first, and representatives of their people and of the state second (well, actually, never). Again no surprise that Murr would say stuff like that.
    Truth is, they all do. I promise you Hariri, Nassrallah, Jumblatt all say stuff like that when talking to foreign diplomats because they all view themselves as being “chiefs” of their respective groups/sects and politicians maneuvering for their own benefit.

    I’ve much often railed about all of these guys and how they have no concept of being statesmen, or “representatives” in ANY way. It’s an endemic mentality issue (which I always seem to go back to). There is almost no professionalism in these guys. What’s worse, they NEVER seem to differentiate between wearing their official hat and their private/personal personas.

    So on that front, we are in agreement.

    And I am pretty sure no 2 bridges are alike and not 2 sects are as important to ALL of these guys. You think Jumblatt doesn’t care more about a bridge in the Shouf than he does a bridge in Keserwan?
    Similarly, you think Nassrallah gives a flying F about a bridge in Batroun over one in Bint Jbeil?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | December 3, 2010, 5:46 pm
  96. I’ll offer a simple example, btw, that comes to mind. I expressed outrage at the time (and still do today just thinking about it).

    If we wanna start fussing over people with official titles, who endanger lives instead of doing their actual jobs.

    Exhibit A: May 7, 2008. Regardless of who you blame for what in those events. How can the army commander at the time (Suleiman, now president) let his troops stay on the sideline, when certain militias and gangsters terrorized and vandalized Beirut? Why is it a big scandal when Murr wants the LAF to stay out of the fray against Israel, but no one seems to care that the LAF, who’s duty is to protect the citizens, of ANY confession and affiliation, stood on the sidelines and watched Beirut burn? Is that not grounds for trying Suleiman for treason (not to mention every idiot in the cabinet at that time, who’s job would’ve been at the time to order the army in).

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | December 3, 2010, 5:52 pm
  97. comment #86 is a cogent warning about knowing/judging the “person” of one making a particular argument. but the last statement of that comment-” If there were any cables detailing the discussions between Hassan Nassrallah and the Iranian ambassadors, I can promise you, they would contain references to “The Christians” and “The Shia” and about operational concerns. That’s a promise–” negates all of that. the episode brings to mind the paradox of schrodinger’s cat. the wikileak has opened the box and we find the cat dead. much of the discussion seems to center on the geiger counter or who may have purchased the hydrogen cyanide. no matter the setup, the cat is dead, and, to this observer, wikileaks has provided a good service in opening that box. elias murr should never participate in treasonous and perfidious discussions where he freely and sadly relinquishes his duty: the protection of a majority of his countrymen. i resent and reject his statement that, although these discussions took place, the telling of these discussions is both “inaccurate and incomplete”. the cat is dead in this scientist’s observation. and until the similar leaks containing putative meetings between syed nusrallah and ahmadinajad are similarly presented and observed, they should not be prophesied!

    Posted by anthony adamany | December 3, 2010, 5:55 pm
  98. Anthony,

    There is no prophesying here. I’m sure we all suspect what kind of language is employed off camera when various Lebanese actors talk to various foreign actors, in a very sectarian country, where allegiances to said foreign actors are often built on sectarian tilts.

    You’re kidding yourself if you think that only us civilian internet bloggers say “The Christians this” or “The Shia that” or “The sunni this” or “The jews” that.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | December 3, 2010, 5:57 pm
  99. I’ve had my issues with the system and those running, and riding it for years, I’ve written about it few times at this forum.
    It comes down to one question; National identity. We have none, or as many as the number of sects that make up the Lebanese society.
    Until Lebanese find a common national identity, I assume these things will happen.
    I’m pleased we are in agreement on the official capacity versus the personal one of these people.
    The least we expect from them is “to differentiate between wearing their official hat and their private/personal personas.”

    As much as the republicans hated Bill Clinton, You‘d never find a republican conspiring against Clinton with foreigner.
    But in Lebanon, every game is a fair game, unfortunately, and All whores claim virginity.
    Btw, We have no bridges in Bint Jbeil. lol

    Posted by Prophet | December 3, 2010, 6:09 pm
  100. Your last post is precisely how I feel about things, Prophet. Well said.

    No national identity and none in sight.

    And none of these guys differentiate between their official hat and their private lives. We see that line crossed daily.

    And you’re absolutely right about Americans (Clinton or any other). That’s the point I made earlier in this thread (or the last, I forget) when I mentioned accountability, rule of law, and stop signs. We (Lebanese) just don’t get it, when it comes to that stuff.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | December 3, 2010, 6:24 pm
  101. to bad: of course i can speculate as well as anyone- that is my training. my point is that ‘lias murr “confirmed” the speculation that some folks can escape common decency,and, in so doing, suggest means of carrying war to portions of his country

    Posted by anthony adamany | December 3, 2010, 6:34 pm
  102. “I’ve had my issues with the system and those running, and riding it for years, I’ve written about it few times at this forum.
    It comes down to one question; National identity. We have none, or as many as the number of sects that make up the Lebanese society.
    Until Lebanese find a common national identity, I assume these things will happen.”

    Thank you # 99 for proving my comment #35.
    Even though it took 64 comments to reach the same conclusion, I can still say there is hope.

    So, aqain what was the whole fuss about? And now we just started talking Quantum leaps and Shroedinger cats! What do these primitive techies have to do with qwerki leaks? How can you be sure that the cat was not pre-implanted dead in the first place into the box in the same way these qwerkies were implanted in the data bases of the State Department? No, no! We are not going to go that road. Please leave quantum mechanics out of this.

    Look guys, every thing can be explained based on conspiracy theories even physical stuff. Those physicists are probably the most stupid there is on this planet earth. They keep looking for a unified theory while there is one already. The only thing they could come with is a probabilistic predictions of a cat in a box that may end up dead after all this effort. I can tell you right now with the full certainty of the authority of SyG HNA the cat was preimplanted dead into the box.

    Posted by anonymous | December 3, 2010, 6:39 pm
  103. Anon,

    Surely you meant quarky leaks and not qwerki leaks?

    Prophets, Saints, and now Theoretical Physicists. But why so hard on the Physicists. It’s only the Ziono-Western brand (and their Arab sympathisers) still tumbling in Space Time looking for that Unified theory.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 3, 2010, 7:21 pm
  104. Gaby,

    I tried to preserve the rhyme.

    We are simply trying to help. The theory is there and already verified. What are they still looking for? I’m not being hard on them. Didn’t someone from their own species with very fuzzy looking hair said the Law must be simple? What could be simplest than a nature conspiring on us? Think about it for a minute.

    Posted by anonymous | December 3, 2010, 7:43 pm
  105. to anonymous and gaby
    i am quite delighted by your very humorous contribution to this otherwise dark matter. i am not “bitter”.

    Posted by anthony adamany | December 3, 2010, 8:21 pm
  106. Gaby ,

    Decentralization is essential for Lebanon , make cities composed of small towns with city councils and mayors that manage police firefighters and ordinances that regulate what can be done in their towns with city council approvals and after debates ,

    What i do not like about the parliamentary system is that it ends up people voting for the Sonni list or the shia list or the Christian list having districts and local elections where people vote for people they know will make it more likely for people to vote for good candidate they know in their town than voting for a religion or ethnicity ,

    Posted by Norman | December 3, 2010, 11:02 pm
  107. Norman,

    Lebanon already have “Municipal” elections for electing mayors, etc. These elections are held at different times from the ones held for electing MPs to parliment. They are just as folkloric as well, lol.

    Posted by Ras Beirut | December 4, 2010, 11:58 am
  108. anon,102
    None of the leaked documents (so far) relating to Arab countries are as earth shattering as expected.
    They confirm the impression that many people had of Arab leaders already.
    People in Arab countries have been labeled conspiracy theory addicts for years.
    These documents have just proved that some (at least) conspiracy theories are very real. Dirty business is always done in dark rooms. It is a reality confirmed.
    I can understand a king (being a king and the law) making any statement or decision He wishes, but I can’t understand a minister acting like a king.

    Posted by Prophet | December 4, 2010, 1:20 pm
  109. Bashar Assad said in early May 2007 that Lebanon and the entire region will burn if the STL is formed. That was the time when the UN was preparing to create the STL. I cannot recall if it was reported in some media (al-Nahar probably) that Assad told Ban Ki Mon in a phone conversation that the region will burn or if Assad said it in a different context. You may want to try to search Al-Nahar archives if you’re really interested.

    Posted by anonymous | December 4, 2010, 1:46 pm
  110. First apologize. My last comment was supposed to be in a different thread.

    Now to you Prophet 108,

    I hope you do not understand from my previous comments 102 to 104 (including Gaby’s) that I actually believe in conspiracy theories. I was being sarcastic. It was obvious. Wasn’t it?

    Besides my address to you in that comment ends with the Thank you note for acknowledging my conclusion of comment 35. The rest of the comment was addressed to the specialists in the primitive subject of Quantum Mechanics. As a proponent of conspiracy theories, I am sure you wouldn’t want to be classified among such primitives. In my opinion, Conspiracists are far more sophisticated.

    Now to you Anthony 105,

    As you may well know sweetness and bitterness do get mixed together quite often. I could think of one such case which is also dark in nature. It is something that can be bought off the shelf like bitter sweet chocolate. It is my favorite. And very often Doctors prescribe bitter medications for reasons they only know. (No personal offence was implied in those previous comments)

    Posted by anonymous | December 4, 2010, 2:07 pm
  111. LOL anon.

    Posted by Prophet | December 4, 2010, 3:29 pm
  112. Thanks Ras beirut

    Posted by Norman | December 4, 2010, 5:37 pm
  113. AIG responds to Norman:

    Don’t you understand that Lebanon needs Syria to stop being a dictatorship to become a thriving democracy? How come you preach to others but have “great” excuses when it comes to Syria? You either support democracy or you don’t.

    AIG,

    That’s the whole Syria Comment readership in a nutshell, preaching democracy to everyone except themselves.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 4, 2010, 6:42 pm
  114. AP,

    One on the reasons that Syria does not have Democracy is it’s fear of Israeli and other contries and outside money interference as it is done in Lebanon ,

    Posted by Norman | December 4, 2010, 7:05 pm

Are you just gonna stand there and not respond?

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