Hezbollah, Syria

Nasrallah on Syria: More Equal Than Others?

The following is a list of Hizbullah secretary-general Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah’s comments on the various Arab uprisings. First one to spot the odd one out wins a plate of Syrian baklawa. (Source: almanar.com.lb)

Tunis: “We must congratulate the Tunisian people on their historic revolution, their struggle, and their uprising.”

Egypt: “In Tunis and Egypt, tyrants have gone away…We call on the people of Egypt and the people of Tunis to unite, because division could be a prelude to the resurrection of the ruling regimes…”

Libya: “A group of young men and women rose and they were faced with bullets; war was imposed on the popular revolution. What is taking place in Libya is war imposed by the regime on a people that was peacefully demanding change; this people was forced to defend itself and war broke out in the east and the west, with warplanes, rocket launchers, and artillery and brought back to our memory the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and all of Israel’s wars. Such serious crimes should be condemned and the revolutionary people of Libya should be helped so as to persevere.”

Yemen: “It is not possible to keep silent about killing and oppressing the demonstrators [in Yemen]. We praise the steadfastness of the Yemeni people and their commitment to their peaceful movement, although we know that Yemen is full of weapons.”

Bahrain: “Why is the movement [in Bahrain] condemned and the injured accused? Just because they are Shiites? If most of the opposition in Bahrain are Shiites, does this outlaw them and make them subject to fatwas? We’ve always been with the Palestinian people, but the sect of the Palestinian people was never an issue for us. Nobody asked about the confession and sect of the Tunisian and Egyptian peoples; we have an obligation to stand by the downtrodden. Iran stood by the people of Palestine, Tunis, Egypt, and Libya; was this based on secular considerations? I find it very weird to hear some people calling on Egyptians to take to the streets, Libyans to kill Gaddafi, but when Bahrain is involved, their ink dries out, and their voices dampen.”

Syria: “First, we should be committed to Syria’s stability, security and safety. Second, we call upon the Syrian people to maintain their regime of resistance, as well as to give way to the Syrian leadership to implement the required reforms and to choose the course of dialogue. Third, we as Lebanese shouldn’t interfere in what is going on in Syria, but let the Syrians themselves to deal with the issue. Fourth, we should reject any sanctions led by US and the West asking Lebanon to abide by them against Syria, which is the most important goal of Feltman’s recent visit to Lebanon.”
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Discussion

83 thoughts on “Nasrallah on Syria: More Equal Than Others?

  1. Me, me, me,…
    uh,…,uh,…
    the last one?
    Where do I claim my prize?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | May 26, 2011, 10:40 am
  2. Libya:”What is taking place in Libya is war imposed by the regime on a people that was PEACEFULLY DEMANDING CHANGE”…

    Yemen:”We praise the steadfastness of the Yemeni people and their commitment to their PEACEFUL movement”…

    Syria:”Second, we call upon the Syrian people to maintain their regime of resistance, as well as to give way to the Syrian leadership to implement the required reforms and to choose the course of dialogue..”

    Hmmm….Nothing about PEACEFUL protests? Although Yemen & Libya had armed element to their uprising from day one.

    ” Third, we as Lebanese shouldn’t interfere in what is going on in Syria, but let the Syrians themselves to deal
    with the issue…”
    vs.
    “: “Why is the movement [in Bahrain] condemned and the injured accused? Just because they are Shiites?

    I guess he can pick and chose on where to INTERFERE…

    Nassrallah had lost his charm the moment he started yelling at the TV monitors. Currently he resembles a worn out cleric (Bin Laden) who is constantly in hiding and may be watching porno too. :D

    Posted by danny | May 26, 2011, 10:47 am
  3. HP,

    Dude you have to go to Damascus. :D

    Posted by danny | May 26, 2011, 10:50 am
  4. HP.

    Congratualstions; YOU WON!!!!!!

    Perhaps now we could move on to discussing the resignation of Baroud over the ISF coup @ Ogero?

    What’s going on with that monkey business?

    Posted by lally | May 26, 2011, 10:57 am
  5. QN
    Off topic: knowing ZB, what would you think his next step? Is this the end of his political career?

    Posted by IHTDA | May 26, 2011, 10:58 am
  6. The full context of Sheikh Nasrallah’s view on the Syrian revolutionaries is more depressing.

    After praising Syria’s role in Lebanon he said:

    When we express our concerns about Syria, we express our concerns about its regime and its people, and we would worry about what is being plotted against Syria and its people. Secondly, the position of Syria in relation to Israel and the resilience of Syria. Thirdly, Syria’s position in light of the [US] project of a new Middle East. Also, our stance regarding Syria takes into account the regime’s willingness to make reforms.

    We believe in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and believe in his reforms and that he is willing to achieve it, providing this issue happens peacefully.

    There is data that proves that the majority of the Syrian people still support the regime. Bringing down the Syrian regime benefits Israel and the US.

    (My bold)

    The fairly clear conclusion from his speech is that Hezbollah will support Arab revolutions, but only if the old regimes they overthrow are not part of the pukka Resistance against Israel and America.

    Consider this: both Ben Ali and Mubarak were “secularist” strongmen with cosy relationships with the West until they started shooting their own people en masse. Gaddafi may be anti-American, but he is held responsible for the disappearance of Imam Musa al-Sadr in 1978, which would explain why Lebanese Shias don’t like Gaddafi. Saleh in Yemen is considered a US ally in the “War on Terror” and Bahrain hosts the US Fifth Fleet.

    In other words, none of these leaders (except Gaddafi) could be considered anti-Israeli and anti-American by Hezbollah’s (somewhat exacting) standards.

    The obvious conclusion is that Hezbollah supports democracy, but only as a secondary priority. The top priority is the right foreign policy alignment. This is precisely the same attitude that the United States had during the Cold War.

    Posted by Niklas Smith | May 26, 2011, 10:58 am
  7. I don’t like baklawa.

    Posted by R2D2 | May 26, 2011, 11:10 am
  8. اللي اختشو ماتو

    There, I’ve always wanted to say that in the comments.

    Posted by J of Chalcedon | May 26, 2011, 11:24 am
  9. So Nasrallah uncovers his true face to reveal that what is most important is how the various ‘revolutions’ effect the interests of his constituency… and not some high-minded principles.

    Shock! Horror!

    OK, now he can shuffle off stage left, to join *all* the other political leaders who do the same – President Obama, Cameron, Merkel, Berlusconi, GCC heads, various monarchs, etc., etc.

    Posted by Tosk59 | May 26, 2011, 11:32 am
  10. Re Ziad Baroud: it’s been a long time coming.

    He has wanted to resign for the past two years (since the Hariri govt was formed), mostly because he has no effective authority over the ISF even though it’s technically under the MoI.

    I’ll try to talk to some people and write something up tomorrow.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | May 26, 2011, 11:32 am
  11. Did anyone note the Nasarllah small faux pas in his speech: He repeated twice maybe even 3 times that he was told of only one Gulfi citizen who has $3300 billion deposited in US banks. This amount is greater than all the assets of all US banks !!!

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | May 26, 2011, 11:36 am
  12. What is even more shocking than Nasrallah’s speech is how many still believe his BS.
    R.I.P Lebanon.

    Posted by marillionlb | May 26, 2011, 11:48 am
  13. The sheer hypocrisy of this demagogue never seizes to amaze. Though just as the mask of Assad the “reformer” thug has fallen so will this egomaniac nutcase. Though one can’t help but pity the man, for his self-made righteous world of “resistance” is crumbling before him.

    Posted by MLK | May 26, 2011, 12:02 pm
  14. marillion- Why is it shocking? He keeps his word a hell of a lot more than any other Lebanese leader, probably any Arab leader as a matter of fact.

    Smith- The US’s and Israel’s top concern is still the right foreign policy alignment…just look at the way Obama has reacted to revolutions at first, tiptoeing around certain revolutions but not others. Foreign policy alignment is every country’s top concern except maybe some European countries.

    Posted by Nasser V | May 26, 2011, 12:22 pm
  15. I liked the part about the Sheba Farms and how they need to be freed. What? Sorry, one minute…

    Correction: There is no mention of the Sheba farms. Why has Nasrallah dropped this issue over the last 5 years? Maybe because he is doing nothing that even resembles “resistance”?

    Posted by AIG | May 26, 2011, 12:23 pm
  16. If he is doing nothing that resembles resistance, why are your leaders periodically issuing threats? Stockpiling weapons and waiting for your army to slip up is the most resisting he can justify now..he’s not stupid enough to slip up and let you, the radical Lebanese right and the US accuse him of being responsible for the deaths of 1500 civilians again. Pretty simple answer, surprised you are even asking such a question.

    Posted by Nasser V | May 26, 2011, 12:28 pm
  17. HK broke a Fuse

    We believe in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and believe in his reforms and that he is willing to achieve it, providing this issue happens peacefully.

    There is data that proves that the majority of the Syrian people still support the regime.

    HK,

    What do you make of the fact that your Hezbollah heroes still support the “thug” and “murderer”-in-chief,(your words) Bashar Assad?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 26, 2011, 12:35 pm
  18. I believe I was the first to point out Nassrallah’s speech and I even had to vomit after reading it in the PREVIOUS thread.
    So I think I deserve the prize….

    QN, make with the baklawa!

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | May 26, 2011, 12:55 pm
  19. Are not Hezbollah’s positions just as biased, maybe in a different direction, as the US’s, Israel’s, and just about everyone? This question is addressed to anyone who is soooooo disgusted by his positions on the revolutions.

    Posted by Nasser V | May 26, 2011, 1:01 pm
  20. Nasser#19:

    LoL. Superb.

    I think the point is that those leaders are always so busy pointing out how everyone else is a hypocrite, without cleaning their own house first.

    Or as you put it, quite succinctly:

    He keeps his word a hell of a lot more than any other Lebanese leader, probably any Arab leader as a matter of fact.

    I think people would be a little less sickened, or shocked if everyone just ate a little more humble pie, and said that at the end of the day… they are all the same, self-serving trash.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 26, 2011, 1:12 pm
  21. Sure, everyone is a bit of a hypocrite. But some quite a bit more so than others. Specially when they claim to be so special and divine.

    While the US has always had its biases, it’s been pretty consistent about condemning violence on peaceful protesters. They condemned their own allies (Mubarak, Saleh, Ben Ali and Bahrain) as well as Gaddafi and now Assad. Their on-the-ground response varies due to many considerations: Intervening in Libya for example is a lot more doable than getting in any way involved in Syria, for obvious reasons (Iran, etc).

    I’d say the US is fairly consistent, even though yes, like everyone else, it has its own interests at heart and its own biases.

    But how can you even compare that to Nassrallah’s bullshit…That I don’t know.
    Some of his statements were utter and complete lies: “Lebanon is free and democratic”? Wait. I have to vomit again. This coming from the guy who pointed his guns at his compatriots who disagreed with him.
    This while any attempt at protesting against Assad in Lebanon is met with mafia-like threats (Bristol incident)…Yes. Free and democratic.

    Then again, I don’t think Hassan Nassrallah has ever truly lived and experienced a free and democratic society, since he’s spent most of his life in Lebanon and/or Iran. He wouldn’t have a frame of reference I suppose.

    He keeps his word a hell of a lot more? Really. Besides, why should we compare him to other leaders? They’re all shit.
    But where has Nassrallah kept his word?

    “We shall never turn our weapons against fellow Lebanese”. Oh wait. That was a lie.

    I could go on.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | May 26, 2011, 1:46 pm
  22. Nasser,

    Are you joking? Sheba Farms was the great Nasrallah mantra for YEARS after 2000. So what happened, they are not important anymore? Why doesn’t he mention them anymore? Is just mentioning them going to cause war???

    Posted by AIG | May 26, 2011, 2:00 pm
  23. Well Nasrallah’s came out and said that he will continue to resist even after Shebaa is freed, so it can’t really be used as a justification to keep arms. He has also said that Hezbollah will not put its arms down. Also maybe he is finding that the Lebanese are currently very supportive of Hezbollah and thus there is no need to use nationalism to rally them, which was another function of bringing up Shebaa.

    Why do you think he isn’t talking about it?

    Posted by Nasser V | May 26, 2011, 2:17 pm
  24. BV – Yes the US condemns its acquaintances when they use violence against protesters, albeit reluctantly. But what about when their best friends use violence against protesters? I’m talking about the Israelis of course. Not a peep eh?

    Posted by Nasser V | May 26, 2011, 2:19 pm
  25. Also BV, don’t you think you are leaving some critical facts out of the equation when you say that Siniora and his gov simply ‘disagreed’ with Hezbollah, and that is what prompted them to use violence?

    I believe just the way Nasrallah handles domestic politics, and relations among other sects, to be much more straightforward and trustworthy. When he talked about what Hariri Jr. said to himself about the STL, did you doubt his word? When he makes a threat to Israel, do you disregard it as you do for Hamas? No.

    Are you assuming that Hezbollah is threatening protesters against the Syrian gov? It is probably Syria, don’t you think? Anyways, unfortunately threats and corruption go hand in hand with democracy – though who knows, maybe you live in Switzerland.

    Posted by Nasser V | May 26, 2011, 2:26 pm
  26. Nasser:

    http://articles.cnn.com/2001-04-17/us/us.mideast_1_palestinian-mortar-attacks-israeli-strike-israel-reoccupied?_s=PM:US

    It seems the US condemns Israel as softly as it condemns Bahrain :)

    Posted by Gabriel | May 26, 2011, 2:26 pm
  27. Nasser 14, even if in comparason Nasrallah fares better to rest of our rotten political class; it is still shocking to hear him spew his venom over and over again on TV. Did you know that hotels started getting cancelation calls? Who gave the right to this self proclaim divine protector to speek and act in my name. I do not care about the Syrian, the Iraqi, the Palestinian, the Yemeni, …etc problems right now, I am in deep enough shit as it is. Before adopting every single “Muslim” on this earth and far beyond, let us clean house first, let Hassan come clean with his fellow Lebanese. Let him at least start by regonizing what he did on the 7th of May and apologize for it.
    I would take a fickle Junblat anytime over a devious Hassan.

    Posted by marillionlb | May 26, 2011, 2:34 pm
  28. I’m definitely interested to hear HK’s point of view. Actually, I just can’t wait.

    Posted by 3issa | May 26, 2011, 2:53 pm
  29. Nasser,

    He isn’t talking about Sheba because he is afraid someone will ask what he has done about it in the last 5 years and why exactly does Hezbollah need weapons if it only plans to use them against fellow Lebanese?

    By the way, where is the promised revenge for Mugniyeh? We also stopped hearing about that. If anything Hezbollah does will get many Lebanese killed and Lebanon destroyed, what exactly is the purpose of the “resistance”? If Israel wanted a border on the Litani, we would have taken it in 1967. But in fact, we left Lebanon alone even though it was defenseless. Israel has zero plans to attack Lebanon if not attacked. But continue believing the nonsense Nasrallah tells you.

    Posted by AIG | May 26, 2011, 2:57 pm
  30. Nasser,

    I didn’t go into the details of May 2008 because I don’t want to get bogged down in the old “he said, she said”. We all know what happened. I was merely pointing out that Nassrallah, just like all the others, is a hypocrite and changes his story every time it suits him.
    And I don’t JUST mean May 2008. There are daily details and minutiae of HA lying and being hypocritical (mind you, that doesn’t mean I absolve the other Lebanese leaders. They are just as bad).
    But at the end of the day, I don’t understand why Nassrallah still has this aura of being more “honest” than the rest that some of you seem to maintain. His party’s actions have demonstrated a complete disregard for the rest of the Lebanese population, its will, and its institutions. Not to mention his methods are those of a bully and a thug. He’s no different than all those warlords of the civil war era, or the dictators of the Middle East he was speaking against (Mubarak et al.)
    He talks big, but when push comes to shove, he resorts to violence and intimidation anytime his positions are threatened or his views differ from those around him.

    And I literally laughed out loud at the “Maybe the Lebanese do not need to be reminded of Shebaa because they are all already behind HA” logic. That was pretty freaking funny.

    1) We all know that not all Lebanese are behind HA. Even if you disagree with the other camp, it is pretty clear there IS another camp, no?

    2) If Lebanese were behind HA, why does he need to remind us of all this other stuff on a bimonthly basis?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | May 26, 2011, 3:01 pm
  31. after reading most of the comments, my fears are re-assured. We, the arabic people of the middle east do not deserve democrasy, freedom of speach and should be happy when we r ruled by a dictator, and let me tell u why. I never liked nasr allah, never will, but thats because he a religious figure as much as a political one. Never the less, the man fended off one of the most effective armies in the world (along with the help from al-assad might i add). It’s amaizing how quickly we forget the huge achievments of the people we hold up as hero’s. Even the lebanese army was craping their pants in 2006, while hizb-allah fought the israelies. And what kind of treatment does he get now? ungreatful much??? i’m not lebanese, not religious, and never liked hizb-allah and nasr allah but still i comment a man for doing what no other arab leader has done for a very long time. and that was only 5 years ago, whats the matter, he’s not the flavor of the week anymore? is that how we treat our heros? if thats the case, then we dont deserve heros, we diserve leaders who kick us in the ass, keep us in line and make sure we don’t kill each other, thats it.

    Posted by suppa_fly54 | May 26, 2011, 3:07 pm
  32. Gabriel – It’s a shame nobody has cajones like Powell anymore.

    But what I’d really like to see is some condemnation of the autocratic police tactics Israel imposes on peaceful West Bank protesters, arresting them whenever. Or maybe condemnation of the treatment of Palestinians that are Israeli citizens during protests.

    I just do not think that any of the players in this game are better than any others, and I strongly believe it. This doesn’t mean I am not rooting for one side though, of course, as I am obviously sympathetic to Hezbollah.

    Posted by Nasser V | May 26, 2011, 3:10 pm
  33. Nasser.

    I thought Obama just called on Israel to base its peace on 67 borders. And wasn’t powell just the friendly face of the Bush administration?

    Either way, the link is about as irrelevant as condemnation of Bahrain. Noone should take it seriously. Just seems to me that the US has best friend status with israel and the gulf.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 26, 2011, 3:19 pm
  34. AIG

    سوريا ساعدت بقوة في الحفاظ على وحدة لبنان. سوريا أوقفت الحرب الأهلية الدموية التي كادت تقضي على لبنان وعلى شعب لبنان. سوريا ساعدت لبنان ودعمت مقاومته فكان التحرير عام 1985 في الجبل وبيروت، صيدا وصور والبقاع الغربي والنبطية، وصولاً إلى 25 أيار عام2000 وتحرير كامل الشريط الحدودي باستثناء مزارع شبعا وتلال كفرشوبا، وصولا إلى الصمود والانتصار المعجزة في حرب تموز

    Nasrallah mentioned Sheba’a in his speech.

    Posted by elsheikh | May 26, 2011, 3:20 pm
  35. Well I was talking about condemnation with respect to revolution/treatment of protesters. Obviously, with Israel, there is just soo much to criticize that some critical remarks will spill out just to mitigate damage to US reputation- but I don’t think there is any condemnation with respect to protesters.

    Posted by Nasser V | May 26, 2011, 3:22 pm
  36. Powell eventually resigned because he actually was a friendly guy, and didn’t like his friendliness being taken advantage of.

    Posted by Nasser V | May 26, 2011, 3:23 pm
  37. elsheikh – his most recent one?

    Posted by Nasser V | May 26, 2011, 3:24 pm
  38. elsheikh,
    If this is from his last speech it proves my point even more. He only mentions it in passing and does not discuss how soon it will be liberated. Why?

    Posted by AIG | May 26, 2011, 3:29 pm
  39. Maybe he wants to take you be surprise :)

    Posted by Nasser V | May 26, 2011, 3:41 pm
  40. Nasser,

    So you don’t have any answer that makes sense. But of course, that will not change your opinion of Nasrallah.

    Posted by AIG | May 26, 2011, 4:07 pm
  41. GK, # 11

    I heard SHN’s speech live. He did not say what you wrote in 11.

    He said that he was told by one Gulf Businessman that he did not want to name, that ALL GCC countries have what amounts to 3300 Billion USD deposited in Western Banks.
    He might have meant States Sovereign funds and GCC citizens with deposits in US Banks!
    He also mentioned Shebaa Farms and Kafarshouba.

    As for the previous thread, the Ogero Mobile Network has been in operation since 2007 apparently. :)

    Posted by HK | May 26, 2011, 4:32 pm
  42. HK,

    cf #17 & #28…. please don’t forget us

    Posted by 3issa | May 26, 2011, 4:47 pm
  43. AIG, it doesn’t look like you changed your opinion of Nasrallah either.

    So you want a timeline for the liberation of Sheba farms. You sound like you care. When Lebanon is made up of people who all support the resistance culture, the resistance would never stop, not that it has now.

    Posted by wiggum | May 26, 2011, 5:01 pm
  44. it’s a shame baroud resigned today, and i hope the lebanese people will rise up against the state within a state called the future movement soon enough. enough with the pillage, enough of of solidiere, enough of the cellis scam, ogero scam and the international call centers run by the hariri goons, enough of the secret contracts awarded to sukleen, enough of the purposeful neglect of state ministries in order to fulfill their dreams of privatizing all of lebanon’s industries. here is to hoping for a sea of change in lebanon

    Posted by tamer k. | May 26, 2011, 5:02 pm
  45. @QN #10

    “mostly because he [Baroud] has no effective authority over the ISF even though it’s technically under the MoI.”

    If Baroud was sequestered from oversight of the ISF, who or what was effectively in charge?

    Posted by lally | May 26, 2011, 5:19 pm
  46. “i hope the lebanese people will rise up against the STATE within a STATE called the future movement soon enough…”

    Wow…It looks like the Hizbies have resurfaced….Again that was a funny statement lol coming from HA members…:D

    Posted by danny | May 26, 2011, 5:29 pm
  47. HK # 41
    I used the term faux pas on purpose. This is a mistake but since he was reading it and since he repeated it shows that there is a misunderstanding of the magnitude of what makes the world tick. I did listen to the speech again and he said something like this: I was told by a friend that a Gulf country has $33300 billion deposited in US banks.
    Let me repeat that total deposits in all US banks as of April 30 2011 amounted to $1526 billion.

    You do not need to listen to the whole speech again if you wish to double check on what I said , just go to the 36 minute

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | May 26, 2011, 5:33 pm
  48. Ghassan,

    We all know that the Jewish bankers control the world’s finances, so clearly, the gulfies and the Jews are in cahoots to steal the gazillions of billions of dollars along with the oil, water and land…
    It all makes sense once you put it all in context (and are willing to do away with your brain)….

    (End Sarcasm)

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | May 26, 2011, 5:47 pm
  49. Nasrallah’s point is that since the oil belongs to all the Arab nation, it should be invested in Arab countries. The problem is that the Gulfies think that oil belongs to them, not the “Arab nation”.

    Posted by AIG | May 26, 2011, 5:53 pm
  50. Nothing new here. You can’t expect anything less from a communal Zaim, whose sole responsibility is the facilitation of his sects’ rise to power. You can’t blame him for doing just that.
    But you can point out the level of drunken power the HA have exercised in the last few years or so, and their daily arrogant and venomous speeches that reveal an organization less wanting to find solutions on a national level than to further the narrow interests of its power base.
    Power corrupts, even the self proclaimed divine! and Nasrallah is not spared.Lets not be fooled by the turban and the cause.

    Posted by Maverick | May 26, 2011, 6:11 pm
  51. Refreshing to see the “resistance camp” back in here, really.

    and maybe we need to get a closer look at the future movement to get some closure on Tamer’s opinion. Perhaps this movement has many shadows lurking underneath its blue sky veneer.

    Tamer, would you mind elaborating on the workings of the FM and how they pose as the most dangerous single threat to Lebanon?

    Posted by Maverick | May 26, 2011, 6:19 pm
  52. HK
    You know from my original post that the figure that i was refering to was $3300 billion and not $33300 billion That was a typo because the whole world does not have anything approaching 33300 billion lol.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | May 26, 2011, 6:46 pm
  53. AIG,
    I am not sure whether you speak Arabic or not, I will assume that you do not because clearly your interpretation was not on Nasrallahs mind. He was pooh pooing (is that a word?) the US contribution of $2 billion to Egypt. He made that very clear.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | May 26, 2011, 6:49 pm
  54. It’s always those who don’t have that complain about how they’re somehow entitled.
    I’m no rabid capitalist (although my above statement might indicate so), but one has to wonder why, say, Iran isn’t giving Egypt $2Billion, while Nassrallah poo-poohs the American contribution.

    I also wonder why all these M8 types (Berri comes to mind) manage to hold all kinds of investments in the USA and elsewhere around the world, if that’s such a no-no according to his lordship Nassrallah.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | May 26, 2011, 6:57 pm
  55. The Ogero debacle is becoming more interesting as new details are becoming more available.
    It is clear that the details will not be known for a while but Superman Baroud proved to have feet of clay :-)
    As for Nahas , his record of obstruction and self serving acts does not help. Why would he want to dismantle a government owned network in order to give to the private company?
    This case should be investigated by a competent judiciary whose judgment will be accepted by all. That is one reason why many of us keep calling for an independent judiciary. Does the law permit a minister to act in his/her ministry as if he/she is the sole owner or are there rules and regulations that describe the limits of his/her actions. Does the minister have the right to refuse to submit to the general treasury the sum of accounts in the ministry? Does a minister have the authority to order the transfer ownership of government property?

    http://www.lebanonfiles.com/news_desc.php?id=240919

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | May 26, 2011, 10:35 pm
  56. If we were to treat the speech objectively, then I would say he made a positive contribution by proposing two criteria one should observe in deciding to support the regime or the revolution: 1) The regime which is fighting or resisting in the Arab Israeli conflict should be immune and must be supported, 2) Corrupt regimes must not be supported and should be overthrown.

    On criterion #1): The Assad regime fails miserably as it never fired a single bullet in the Golan since 1973. It neither fought nor resisted to regain its lost territory.

    On criterion #2): The Assad regime is the most corrupt in the Arab world if not the whole world.

    Other than that the speech sucks.

    Posted by iceman | May 26, 2011, 10:37 pm
  57. Al Balad the only tabloid in Lebanon missed a great opportunity to run a creative headline today in Beirut. The honour was stolen by Al Mustaqbal that ran with “Baroud Explodes”.

    (For the non Arabic speakers; Baroud is Gunpowder in Arabic)

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | May 26, 2011, 11:37 pm
  58. Iceman.

    You and I agree on this one…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | May 27, 2011, 12:44 am
  59. QN: It should be mentioned that the ISF isn’t the only fiefdom in Baroud’s portfolio over which he effectively has no control. General Security is a similar, and even larger, problem.

    Posted by sean | May 27, 2011, 12:45 am
  60. You know AIG, BV, I swear for some reason when I refreshed earlier I did not see your comments – sorry. I am drunk and home now, and will attempt to answer you at this late hour.
    AIG- I don’t understand your point. He isn’t talking about Shebaa because he doesn’t want people wondering why he only uses his weapons against fellow Lebs? Well most pro-Hezb Lebs and Lebs in general will recognize that yes, Israel made the Lebanese pay dearly and whether a fault of the Hezb or not, it was a result of the Hezb’s actions. Because most Lebs recognize this, they have an easy answer to your question. Hezbollah, a movement of the people (I wish I knew how to italicize because I would’ve italicized this last part – though at least 2/5 Lebs are pro-Hezb ), thus has an excuse as to why they ought to not use their weapons against Israel. NOW Hezbollah has an extremely effective communications network that enables it to wage war effectively, so far for the most part only when attacked and hence on the defensive (yes- the Hezb did start the 06 war but who turned it into a full on war? Who indirectly lead to the deaths of ~100 Israeli CIVLIANS and directly to death of 1500+ Leb CIVILIANS?) The government tried to dismantle this network shortly after the war ended, a time when the Hezb was uneasy. At least to me, a member of the Leb diaspora who has visited many times, the Hezb’s rationale for taking to the streets makes sense. God damn any loss of life but you know what, I do not place the blame squarely on the Hezb only, but the damn Siniora government who was influenced from outside Lebanon (don’t bother disputing this). The way to go about ending armed parties in Lebanon is not by some dirty legal maneuver.
    Also AIG, the only reason Israel didn’t conquer to the Litani is because of international opinion. Duh. And I have enough trust in Nasrallah to know that there will be revenge for Mughniyeh. El Sayyed is waiting until an equivalent target is available at the right time. You will see.
    Now, AIG, I am trying to be intellectually honest in my response though I know I am colored by emotion. Yes I do have a high opinion of Nasrallah, but then again, if my role model for politicians is the average politician, nobody has told me why I shouldn’t revere him.
    BV- Of course there is another camp! When I say the Leb this, the Leb that, of course I am not speaking for all Leb. When I say that, I am talking about my belief of how the majority of Leb feel. I do believe the majority of Leb support the Hezb and I stand by my statements even if they make you laugh, I’m glad I could put a smile on your face tho! . He reminds of us ‘all the other stuff’ (I’m honestly not sure what you’re referring to but I’ll guess) to make sure we don’t forget about him! A part of gaining popularity comes down to simply being involved. If Nasrallah did not give a speech every so often, people would forget about him – it’s that simple IMO.
    Also Suppafly is a good example of what I believe to be the general Arab reaction to Nasrallah and Hezbollah’s accomplishments in the Arab eye. He is an example of why Arabs and Israeli war commanders respect the man.

    Posted by Nasser V | May 27, 2011, 1:19 am
  61. Pardon my typos and errors, I shall pass out now. That square after ‘tho!’ is a smiley BV, lol. I wrote my response in MS word, I find it easier.

    Please do point out any fallacies you find, but understand that emotion is as much a part of any argument on here as logic, and I think this fact is overlooked too often. To be honest, the only personal casualty I have suffered at the hands of the Israelis is luckily my uncle’s pool house in the Bekaa, but I feel like I feel for all Lebanese.

    Posted by Nasser V | May 27, 2011, 1:26 am
  62. and this is why Lebanon is a constant battlefield, with immature macho men not wanting anything else in life but to massage their egos by playing the war drums. It is an extension into adulthood, of the childish games like cops&robbers, cowboys&Indians etc.
    Most political parties cater to these childish men, but HA goes a step further in its romantic appeal and proven strength, in addition to a larger than life supreme leader.
    Keep waiting for revenge ya Nasser…meanwhile go hunt some migratory birds, the rest will just have to suffer the consequences.

    Posted by Maverick | May 27, 2011, 2:09 am
  63. If the news turned out to be true, that these so-called equipment are highly important and contain information on the missing Estonians file , amongst other vital information…and that the telecommunication ministry ( Nahas-Aoun-HA) wanted these equipment for personal reasons, then I believe what Rifi did was justifiable and a pretty strong move. Furthermore, Baroud is a sulk.

    Posted by Maverick | May 27, 2011, 2:30 am
  64. Most of the footage(s) referred to in this AI report about last two months Syrian events has been shown here and elsewhere. But Amnesty is putting it in proper persepective away from media manipulation,

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/syria-video-points-%E2%80%98shoot-kill%E2%80%99-policy-security-forces-2011-05-26

    There’s also a link at the bottom to a story about recent incidents involving torture and detention.

    There are also reports of attempts by security thugs to hide dead bodies by either burning them or in some cases throwing them into the sea chained with heavy weights. 200 such bodies (burned) have been reported from the Dera’a region alone.
    ………………….

    Nahhas’s barge into the Adliyye building is political bickering. But there could perhaps be a desire on HA’s part to control telecom as soon as possible since a government doesn’t seem to be on the horizon. So this could be a case of HA manipulating its tails to its advantage.

    The question is not whether a judicial inquiry can/should/cannot/shouldn’t be made. The question is whether an acting minister can act in the manner by which Nahhas acted. There is, it seems, a cabinet decision about the case.

    I do not understand Baroud’s position. He is an acting minister after all. So why does he have to re-resign?

    But the event was designed certainly to flame passions at a time when Aoun is invovled in another emabarassing wikileaks ‘revelation’. It would also complicate Miqati’s mission as Rifi now is the most popular figure in Miqati’s hometown.

    It is not that Miqati’s mission wasn’t complicated already.

    Posted by iceman | May 27, 2011, 5:47 am
  65. Iceman @64, the amnesty international video is compelling and heart wrenching. The immediate reaction is one of deep sorrow and sadness for the hapless victims of such abject terror.
    There is no question now, I think, that International Justice must be pursued against the murderers and perpetrators. No one should be subjected to such agony and the responsible persons and parties – directly or indirectly – whether by direct guilt or by guilt through abstention must be brought to justice and punished.

    My heart goes out to our Syrian brothers and sisters and extended families. This is a very sorrowful period.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | May 27, 2011, 7:44 am
  66. On HA front…It seems that Jumblat’s swivel head has bobbed again. From Naharnet.
    http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/7067-jumblat-hizbullah-putting-aoun-at-forefront-doesnt-want-cabinet-to-be-formed

    Posted by danny | May 27, 2011, 7:48 am
  67. GK,

    I’ve heard that figure thrown around in the US, by people who are more or less knowledgeable, that KSA has around 3 Trillion USD in Cash. Is it all in USA, and in what instruments…? I don’t know! :)

    Posted by HK | May 27, 2011, 8:01 am
  68. QN, we need a primer on the background relating to Baroud’s resignation. Some of us haven’t followed that stuff and yet are quite interested and intrigued by the context along with some illuminating and entertaining QN perspective and commentary.
    Any plans to monetize QN? I want to get in on the ground floor if so. ;-)

    Posted by Honest Patriot | May 27, 2011, 9:18 am
  69. HK,
    This whole issue might look as if it is peripheral but it is not. It does give us a view on how some view the world. Saudi Arabia cannot have deposits or even investments that get anywhere to that magical figure of $3.3 trillion. Here is a back of an envelope calculation: Saudi Arabia has produced around 85.6 billion barrels of oil between 1980 and the end of 2010. If we are to use an average price of $30 ; which is probably excessive; then the total value of all the oil production in that time period would be $2.568 trillion. I rest my case.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | May 27, 2011, 9:32 am
  70. HK,
    Her is another set of figures that is precise:
    As of the end of April 2011 (4 weeks ago) the total US currency all over the world amounted to $949.1 billion. (This is the sum total of all outstanding dollars in the world).
    The other figure that is also relevant is the total of M1 at the end of April 2011. M1 amounted to $1.9 Trillion and this figure is the total of all currency plus all checkable deposits plus travellers checks held by US institutions.
    M2 on the other hand is around $9 trillion but that is composed of M1 plus savings accounts plus non jumbo CD plus money market mutual funds held by individuals.
    The UK is still the number one direct investor in the US with just over $2 trillion of investments.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | May 27, 2011, 9:58 am
  71. I listened to Baroud’s speech

    He makes perfect sense to me and I commend him for his courage to have served when he did and for the efforts he exerted. The arguments he makes about why he is resigning are perfectly logical, legitimate, and, contrary to others’ opinions here, fit perfectly within a statesman’s political behavior.
    What Lebanon needs is more of such competent AND courageous people, not more criticism of the few who are there. Criticism is easy. Being in the arena fighting is not.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | May 27, 2011, 11:50 am
  72. Nasser,

    I appreciate the good nature of your response to me. But I simply think I’ll disagree with the gist of it. Without meaning personal offense to you, I will agree with Maverick about this macho childish way of thinking displayed by many Lebanese, that’s been our undoing. Young men seem to have a problem maturing in our country. Maybe it’s sexual repression, or who knows what, but there’s a most definite childishness and focus on machismo and showing off that one’s d*** is bigger than everyone else’s.
    This is most apparent in the types of people who choose to be politically involved, join militias (no matter which side) or generally speaking, run around acting like football hooligans with over-the-top sheeple/mob like behavior with regards to this or that cause.
    But I digress into the real of psychology here :)

    Ghassan,
    I find it very interesting that most of these conspiracy theories are so easily dispelled by some simple back-of-the-envolope math, a couple of google searches, and public information. Yet so many people choose to deny the obvious and resort to overly complicated theories to fit their world view.
    I do not speak only of the 3Trillion dollars story. But many others like it.

    Again, we’re going into psychology here, but it never ceases to amaze me how the human persona goes to great lengths to make up fantastical narratives to fit their world view than accept even the slightest inkling that they may have been wrong, or duped.

    Case in point: I was reading an article – in light of the May 21st Rapture predictions – where various sociologists and psychologists have studied various doomsday believers over the ages and have found that when these prophecies fail to materialize, the effect, for the most part seems to be to re-inforce these people’s beliefs (while they find bizarre explanations as to why the Rapture didn’t happen) rather than having these people come to their sense, or realize they were duped.
    It’s very counterintuitive to me. But fascinating…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | May 27, 2011, 1:01 pm
  73. GK#70

    I don’t understand your point.

    Saudi Arabia has produced around 85.6 billion barrels of oil between 1980 and the end of 2010. If we are to use an average price of $30 ; which is probably excessive; then the total value of all the oil production in that time period would be $2.568 trillion.

    If this money did nothing more than sit in bank accounts, earning 1%, over 30 years:

    2.568 trillion @ 1% becomes 3.01 trillion
    2.568 trillion @ 10% becomes 15.16 trillion
    2.568 trillion @ 20% becomes 118 trillion

    Posted by Gabriel | May 27, 2011, 1:28 pm
  74. #74,

    Gabe what if they invested like Waleed bin Talal in Citigroup and lost billions over and over again? That’s without spending a penny and living under a tent with no electricity. :D

    Posted by danny | May 27, 2011, 3:39 pm
  75. Gabriel,
    Are you trying to suggest that all the oil revenue is a surplus:-) Don’t make me laugh. Saudi Arabia ran deficits all thoughout the the late 80,s. how do you suppose they pay for all the government subsidies, castles, Don Perignons … not to mention part of the Lebanese media :-)

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | May 27, 2011, 4:00 pm
  76. Gabriel,
    I am sorry but I hit the post button by mistake. Remember by the way that not all the price of a barrel is net becasue they have to pay the exploration expenses, fund R&D and pay their producing and distribution partners. your largest error , besides all the above is to apply an interest rate on the basis that these funds have been available for 30 years when in reality they are nothing but an annual stream. Don’t push me to do all the calculations of the net revenue from sales and then deduct the annusl saudi budget expenditures in an effort to calculate the surpluses over these past 30 years. I am sure that the net surpluses is a huge figure but it is no where even close to these figures being bandied about.
    Don’t forget that Saudi Arabia is a large country and has a profligate life style. Its absorptive capacity is rather large.

    BTW, I cannot substantiate this but I have heard that one of the largest importers of XO Cognac and Johnny Walker Blue label are the Gulf countries :-)

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | May 27, 2011, 4:17 pm
  77. Like many of you I have been intrigued and fascinated by the debacle de jour in Lebanon. As I indicated yesterday, it is these events that highlight the importance of transparency and independent trustworthy judiciary. Since bot of the above are in short supply in today’s Lebanon we have no choice but to speculate.

    (1)It is clear that the telephony equipment that is involved is not illegal. Everyone in the government seems to have known about it. In addition I think that it would be highly unlikely that the Chinese would donate a gift that is intended for illegal use.
    This also means that the FPM have known about this equipment for 4 years and i imagine Nahas new about it from his first day in office.
    If that is so, which I believe it is, then why did he choose to act upon this dismantelling when he did? Why not six months ago why not last week? If he has always known about this then why not use a less confrontational method of resolving the issue? Couldn’t he just go public about this equipment that is being misused or used illegally?
    The above leaves me no choice but to suggest that minister Nahas has chosen to create a theatrical scene by surprising and ambushing Rifi et al. I believe that Nahas was dotivated by the politics and not the merits.

    (2) the second issue is that of minister Barouds’ resignation. To resign is defineed as to give up and to submit. There is room for resignation but obviously this was not one of them. You resign when a superior insists on following one policy that you feel is misguided. Only one point of view should prevail and so you resign.
    This was not the case in this sordid affair. One of the highest officials in the country does not resign when his/her subordinates do not follow his/her instructions. In this case the minister felt that he was in the right and he owed the Lebanese people, the ones that have entrusted him with carrying and enforcing the law, to take a stand and fight for what is right. He should have not resigned but instead explained in detail the case and what has led to it. He should have insisted on being fired if higher ups are not willing to come clean and enforce the law.
    Baroud exploded at the wrong time.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | May 27, 2011, 4:38 pm
  78. am i the only one that thinks your nasrallah sounds like elmer fud?

    see here for reference:

    Posted by CultofAssad | May 27, 2011, 5:36 pm
  79. On this topic, here’s Khaled Saghieh (editor of al-Akhbar, the paper that people like to say is “owned” by Hizbullah, which is untrue):

    Syria and Hezbollah

    One would not be revealing a secret if one says that Hezbollah is not a reform party. It does not have a reform program in Lebanon and it has no intentions to support a major reform program presented by any of its allies. And when it was reassured to that there were no political forces in the country that are seriously planning on attacking the Resistance, [Hezbollah] did not even care about taking part in the government. Hezbollah does not belong to the “Democracy First” group. As a party the priority of which is resistance, it is even willing to sacrifice many aspects of the democratic work if these are in contradiction with the work of the Resistance.

    “All of this is well known and proven through theory and practice. The Hezbollah that succeeded in liberating the land and in achieving the victory of July 2006, is the same party that did not hesitate to perpetrate the events of May 7 or to implement the plan of the deployment of the black coats. In both cases, there were political forces that were deliberately hurting the Resistance and the Resistance was responding in its own manner, and in a way that does not conform to democracy. It is true that Hezbollah prefers that the country be ruled by a majority that supports the Resistance. However, it will not relinquish the resistance even if it does not have [the support of] such a majority.

    “If this is the point of view of the party concerning reform and democracy in Lebanon, it probably has a similar point of view when it comes to Syria. It will not sacrifice an ally or a friend at any time just because [this ally] does not abide by the rules of democracy. Therefore, it would be a naïve thing to expect a position from Hezbollah in support of ousting the system in Syria. Those people who excel at giving a romantic taste to the Resistance and to Hezbollah, must perhaps stop doing that in order to be fair to the party and to its role, and in order to prevent countless disappointments…

    “But on the other hand, it seems that Hezbollah has become the prisoner of an image that has been imposed on it. Its Secretary General spoke about reform in Syria. He went to the extent of asserting that the Syrian leadership is willing to make major reform steps. Meanwhile, this reform has so far failed to express itself except through harsh violence. One must not expect promises of reform in Syria from the part of Hezbollah. However, everyone expects Hezbollah to be concerned about every Syrian drop of blood in order to be loyal to the public of the Resistance at least. Simply, what everyone is expecting is [that Hezbollah] should at least present its condolences for the martyrs who have loved Syria like no one ever did.” – Al-Akhbar Lebanon, Lebanon

    (Translation courtesy of Mideastwire)

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | May 28, 2011, 8:52 am
  80. QN
    Thank you for highlighting the AlAkhbar piece by Khaled Saghieh who I have learned to hold in high regards over the past few years.
    I do not always agree with Mr. Saghiehs interpretations of events but I totally subscribe to this one.
    It is a mistake to expect organizations and individuals to take positions that contradict their basic beliefs. I have been harping on this issue for years. Hezbollah cannot be expected to be democratic, liberal and a guardian of personal freedoms. If it does then it would not be a Hezb Allah inspired b6y the Quran and guided by the principle of the Willayat Al Faqih. I guess that what I am saying is that we should not be surprised when the Pope acts as a Pope or a General acts as a General.:-)
    The problem with the public position of Hezbollah is that they want to market themselves as democratic when they are not.
    As an aside, and again I have tried to clarify this many a time, I strongly believe that Hezbollah are entitled to believe in whatever they feel comfortable with and if they have enough support to take over the cabinet but what they are not entitled to is the monopoly on illegal weapons and all the power that flows from it.

    Ironically Obama suffers of the same problem of misplaced expectations as Hezbollah. Those that expected him to be a progressive have simply misread his record. He is essentially a centrist with some positions to the slight left of center and to expect him to be otherwise would only lead to disappointment.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | May 28, 2011, 10:43 am

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