Hezbollah, Lebanon

Will Hizbullah Send Lawyers to The Hague?

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) issued an important media advisory today, clarifying the next steps in the post-indictment phase of the Hariri trial. It discusses the arrest warrants, the rights of the accused, proceedings in absentia, and other issues.

Here’s what happens next:

  1. The Lebanese government has 30 days to find the four suspects, serve them with the indictment, arrest them, and transfer them to the STL headquarters in Leidschendam.
  2. If after 30 days, no one is arrested, and “if the STL President considers that reasonable attempts to serve the indictment have been made, he may order a public advertisement after consulting the Pre-Trial Judge. The Registrar would then send an advertisement calling on the accused to surrender to the Lebanese authorities for publication in the media.”
  3. “If the accused has not been arrested within 30 calendar days of the public advertisements the Pre-Trial Judge can ask the Trial Chamber to initiate in absentia proceedings.”

The other noteworthy clarification is the following:

The confirmation of an indictment does not mean that the person(s) named in the indictment is/are guilty of the crimes of which they are accused. It simply confirms that the case put forward by the Prosecutor has met the burden of proof required at this stage of the process – prima facie evidence. In simple terms this means that if this evidence were presented uncontested at the trial, it would lead to a conviction.

Of course, the evidence will not be presented uncontested. Even if the accused individuals never show up, the STL itself would appoint defense counsel for them. On the other hand, if they are in fact still kicking around, one wonders whether Hizbullah will decide to face the charges head on by appointing their own defense counsel.

It is not controversial to recognize that the Hariri investigation has been hobbled (some would say deeply compromised) by problems of unreliable testimony, sullied crime scenes, unprofessionalism, and witness intimidation (and perhaps liquidation, in the case of Wissam Eid). If the case largely depends on evidence from telecommunications data (as the CBC account suggests), maybe Hizbullah thinks that they can beat the rap. Or, at the very least, they may find it easier to undermine the court with their own narrative from the inside, rather than standing on the sidelines and pretending not to notice as the STL sails effortlessly toward a guilty verdict.

Of course, the risks of such a venture would be considerable. By participating in it, Hizbullah would in effect be lending legitimacy to the Tribunal, and they could find their image damaged further if they fail to put up a plausible defense to a compelling case by the prosecution.

One day down, twenty-nine to go…
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Discussion

98 thoughts on “Will Hizbullah Send Lawyers to The Hague?

  1. Well this is an easy one for me.

    I can say categorically that HA will not appoint its own defense or acknowledge the STL in any kind of way.
    It would be too much of a clash with (take your pick):
    – Their narrative of STL being a zionist conspiracy.
    – Their belief that they are above the law, any law, and complete disregard for the rule of law in any shape or form (unless it’s their law or Wilayat Al Faqih).

    I suspect we will see more conspiracy narratives from the sidelines (ie without ever acknowledging the court) as has been the case for the past several years.
    Also expect the attack dogs (Wahab, Frangieh, et al.) to come out guns blazing.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 30, 2011, 3:45 pm
  2. I think that we would start to get a more meaningful grasp of the next move by HA after the indictments of the Syrian nationals is revealed tomorrow. I expect that, true to form, HA will coordinate with Syria.
    If Bashar determines tomorrow that the indictees in Syria are dispensable then maybe he will agree to have them stand trial, given that the top of the pyramid has plausible deniability. If that turns out to be the case; which I personally doubt; then HA would be in a very difficult position since they have declared on more than one occasion that they will cut off the hand that tries to capture any of their members.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | June 30, 2011, 4:06 pm
  3. GK,

    Do you think Bashar can really take a chance that one of the people he “throws to the lions” will not cut a deal with some Western government or agency to spill the beans?

    For a Syrian, an indictment is as good as a death sentence or a forced exile to Iran. Unless it is someone from the first inner circle, say Maher. It is hard to imagine what Bashar would do then. He would probably have to defy the STL then.

    Posted by AIG | June 30, 2011, 4:14 pm
  4. Don’t hold your your breath. HA had already proclaimed the STL as a political witch-hunt against the group, and it is next to impossible for Syria to hand in anyone, low-level or not. So what if the court , during the on-going trials, starts asking for persons close to Bashar or even himself? Does Syria all of sudden stop participating?

    It is highly unlikely, as leaks and analysis suggest, that the court has smoking gun evidence on the culprits. Syria and HA will satisfy themselves watching on the sidelines and chipping away at the credibility of the STL. The real question is what the US/France/Saudi/Israel will try to do after this predictable theater transpires. What means/methods will they use to exact the political/military price from HA/Syria/Iran after the guilt has been “proven?” With all my respects to our little Lebanese Hamlet, that has always been the ultimate end-game from the start.

    Posted by Saint | June 30, 2011, 4:36 pm
  5. Saint asks a good question.
    What happens AFTER?

    Assuming Syria/HA is proven guilty (Which is certainly not a forgone conclusion), what happens next? (And this is probably years away).

    I think it simply lays the groundwork for international sanctions and pressures, not unlike the ones faced by Serbia to turn over Milosevic, say, etc.

    End game? Hard to say. Specially considering that if the regime in Damascus doesn’t stick around that long, any said sanctions become moot.

    HA/Lebanon is a different story. And the big unknown.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 30, 2011, 5:12 pm
  6. The sad reality is that Hizballah has and will position the indictment as one against the Shi3a community. The uphill battle for the STL is to show that this is false. In that context, Hizballah handing the accused and sending lawyers to defend them will be an act of defending the “suspects” while ignoring and attacking the tribunal without handing any suspects will have more impact as showing the STL out to get the Shi3a in Lebanon. The symbolism is too omnipresent for Hizballah to ignore. In short, this is their “defense” strategy.

    Posted by MM | June 30, 2011, 5:13 pm
  7. AIG,

    Why couldn’t al-Megrahi implicate al-Gaddafi?

    Posted by Badr | June 30, 2011, 5:31 pm
  8. Hezbollah will not cooperate in any way with the Zioconned STL’s den of spies, regardless what the little stupid ophthalmologist does in regards to Syria’s mastermind of the assassinations, i.e. Asef Shawkat the assassin in Chief.

    http://newhk.blogspot.com/2011/01/components-of-white-house-murder-incs.html

    Posted by HK | June 30, 2011, 5:31 pm
  9. I have not seen Kalam Al Nass tonight neither have I read the transcript but I have been told that HA spokespersons have acted very arrogantly and have implied that HA is above all this talk related to STL and have even stated clearly that Bashir Gemayel was a traitor…
    If the above is true then the escalation in rhetoric could inflame passions in the country. HA is nacting like a guilty party that deems it is above the law. This is not the first time that prosecutors bring charges that do not stick. In a civilized society one defends his/her rights by following the accepted judicial procedure and not by acting as a vigilante.
    It is unfortunate that HA insists on taking the law into their own hands and insist that they are the chosen untouchable peoplewho do not need to obey the general rules that other mortals are subjected to.This is pure vigilanteism as I have argued before. I am convinced that their ought not be any special treatment for those who show no respect for the law. Arrogance as demonstrated by the behaviour of HA , all throughout this sordid affair, will not end well for its practioners because it never does. The faster they rise the harder they fall.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | June 30, 2011, 6:08 pm
  10. Badr,

    He could have, though apparently he didn’t. Is this a chance Assad would want to take?

    Posted by AIG | June 30, 2011, 6:33 pm
  11. AIG,
    If Syria is to avoid becoming another N. Korea or maybe a Zimbabwe then Bashar Assad might be inclined not to burn all the bridges with the international community. If he does choose that route; which I doubt that he will; then probably that will be better for those indicted who will in most likelihood be eliminated/commit suicide.
    If these individuals “spill the beans” then Syria can always claim that these were the doings of a rogue element that the top of the pyramid does not approve off. Putin has already made sure that Bashar has immunity.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | June 30, 2011, 6:42 pm
  12. saint,
    So according to Nasrallahs logic, it was Israel that killed Harriri. And it was also Israel along with the US and some Arab states that established and supported an investigation on the murder that they had committed. Twisted much? And all along Nasrallah and his team were trying to dismantle the STL at every turn. Just brilliant. Agatha Christie , eat your heart out.
    In defense of an ideology that defines an identity, people would go to great lengths to deny the truth. As seen by the Syrian regime apologists, logic is severed only to be replaced by twisted facts, misguided statistics, lame questions, and placing blame on a fabricated culprit- real or not.
    Not unlike those dungeon dwellers of the SC who deny cold hard evidence in the form of amateur videos, the pro resistance camp will huff and puff to obfuscate the realities on the ground.
    But fortunately, people have had enough of the BS, and see straight through the fog. Nasrallah and the rest of the dictators are not Gods, they DO lie, they DO kill, they would do anything to protect themselves and their interests.such is the frameworks for people in power.
    For all its shortcomings, the STL does provide an overarching message to would be transgressors in the future,and along with the Arab spring, whatever the outcome, the people of the ME demand accountability , especially to those they have mistakingly revered for too long.

    Posted by maverick | June 30, 2011, 6:45 pm
  13. Ghassan,

    HA spokespersons have acted very arrogantly and have implied that HA is above all this talk related to STL

    See my above comment….

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 30, 2011, 7:07 pm
  14. HA will certainly not give up their successes in the court of public opinion by turning up to an actual court hearing, whether as lawyers or defendants. Many in Lebanon have either bought HA’s line or have decided that they don’t know who to trust and don’t really care. This has been a great success for HA.

    However, two things could have some impact on the court of public opinion. Their success so far has been because they haven’t had an opposing voice. March 14 failed at rising to this political task, and of course, the STL is supposed to keep itself above the fray of public debate. But now as the STL can mount an opposing voice as it scrutinizes the evidence in a public courtroom. What impact could this have on public opinion? Sadly the impact will be minimal as so many in Lebanon paradoxically combine incredible levels of skepticism with incredible levels of credulity, liable to suspect a international investigation even while believing all manner of conspiracy theories.

    The second force that might in some way reshape the court of public opinion is what happens in Syria in the coming months. If HA loses its ally in Damascus it might have more trouble shaping narratives to its purposes.

    Posted by Jonathan | June 30, 2011, 8:11 pm
  15. What did HA spokesman say on kalam al nass?

    Posted by joe | June 30, 2011, 8:13 pm
  16. I should say that my comment on the propensity of many Lebanese to believe in conspiracy theories does not necessarily differentiate them from the rest of the world. But the issue is given urgency in Lebanon given that the nation’s institutions cannot sit on anything like a bedrock of public trust and legitimacy. Legitimacy in Lebanon seems endlessly questionable and contestable.

    Posted by Jonathan | June 30, 2011, 8:20 pm
  17. Jon,
    Nicely put.
    I just don’t think anything HA do themselves can alter many people’s preception in Lebanon anyways. Those that are opposed are not surprised, and those that support HA will stubbornly defend until the death.Nasrallah can come out and admit to the killing, his supporters will concoct all sorts of reasons as to why. It’s not a question of forming an opinion based on the facts provided, its forming facts based on the ingrained opinion . The supporters will believe anything, because their mind is already made.

    Posted by maverick | June 30, 2011, 9:26 pm
  18. I think that when looks at the situation going on in the Middle East, one can easily understand why the “Religions” took root in this area.

    I am always astounded by the people who say things such as:

    “Every Lebanese person knows that HA would never kill a prime minister”.

    “Every Lebanese person knows HA will never take arms against another Leb”.

    Etc. Etc.

    The status or stature of HA, of Hassan Nasrallah, is something not accorded to a person since the Prophets of Old.

    It is bizarre. People are so invested in those characters.

    There are a lot of open questions. Read Chibli’s essay, which I gladly say, addresses the issues I’ve been asking about. This is not an open and shut case.

    But the behavior of HA is not that of an innocent party. What should concern everyone is the “Truth”. What happens after this truth is revealed is immaterial. Justice is not sending the perpetrators the gallows. If Warlords got a free pass before. Hey, what’s another. As long as the truth comes out and a new paradigm of coexistence is defined.

    Posted by Gabriel | June 30, 2011, 9:56 pm
  19. “This is pure vigilanteism as I have argued before.”

    gus has HA acted in any other way as far as you know? Let’s forget about the brainwashed remarks of HA apologists here for a moment. Nassrallah had that mischief in his eyes…but it has waned into bloody drunken guilt ridden stare. He has been proven a liar over and over again. He will use the sectarian card…Ne will try and try. In the end a few of the comments above open the wound for full view.
    What’s next? They will flaunt and lie and pontificate. However; if the guilty arrow and evidence digs into their existence they will blow back.

    Bashar might try to manipulate and squeeze his existence out of his own mess by negotiating what KSA/USA had offered him before. Hand over the culprits; cut off from Iran and DESTROY HA even if it takes years!

    No other options available. All the yelling; screaming and Bullshitting is finished.

    HK take a freaking holiday from your stupid repetitious remarks and follow the trials.

    Time to pay up!!

    Posted by danny | June 30, 2011, 10:23 pm
  20. A potential problem that the STL and UN Security Council face is the question of what constitutes a “reasonable attempt to serve the indictment”. Presumably they understand that Lebanon is a nation in name, but in reality it is fragmented into separate jurisdictions, such that the State, whose organs are themselves highly differentiated along sectarian lines, is unable to do certain things, such as arrest high-ranking members of Hizbullah. It is tantamount to asking the State to arrest a foreigner not within its jurisdiction. So will no attempt be considered a “reasonable” attempt?

    Posted by Jonathan | June 30, 2011, 11:29 pm
  21. In the previous message, by “foreigner not within its jurisdiction” I meant a non-Lebanese person actually outside of Lebanon, not a foreigner living within Lebanon.

    Posted by Jonathan | June 30, 2011, 11:45 pm
  22. Maverick,
    I am not arguing anyone’s logic in my post. We have been over this too many times. I am simply stating that the Hariri killing has been and continues to be is a regional/international political power play. As a little but still relevant point, let me also say that the Hariri murder was/is also a useful tool for many local Lebanese chieftains/warlords/murderers each with their own vicious and criminal past, who were adversaries of Hariri while he lived but have all of sudden become beacons of law and justice. But besides their non-stop rhetoric and ability to rouse sectarian sensibilities, their capabilities are negligible at best thus rendering their little interests secondary here. It is for the big boys in the region and the world, based on very specific and narrow geostrategic /political interests (and you can bet that “justice” for Hariri and “rule of law” for Lebanon has little to do with these interests) to decide what to do with and how far to take this file(once convictions are doled out). That is where the real game will be played.

    What you also said in 17 applies to all sects in Lebanon. The shia are not exceptional in this regard.

    Posted by Saint | June 30, 2011, 11:52 pm
  23. Saint,
    Of course that mentality applies across the board,but no more so than HA. Here I am not pointing to the shiaa or the concept of resistance, just strictly, the culture that HA has created.
    Hypethetically, if Naim Qassem was the head of the party, would it enjoy as much support?
    Would HA supporters be as defiant?
    It is the fact that the larger than life Hasan Nasrallah with his eloquence,charisma and courage give HA an undisputed aura of righteousness denying any claims of dishonesty or malpractice.
    But realities on the ground paint a diff picture. Difference is some people come to a conclusion from these realities and some try to twist and turn the realities into their one track mind.

    Posted by maverick | July 1, 2011, 12:26 am
  24. And on the same post, again, you’ve just spewed out broad generalizations which are vague and does not really address the real issue. Do u doubt that HA had a hand? Or are u trying to change the focus of the issue by blaming international conspiracies and getting back at the Lebanese warlords?
    What is it?

    Posted by maverick | July 1, 2011, 12:37 am
  25. Maverick,

    Let’s agree that this mentality you speak of is only a matter of degree owing to the unique personal charisma of SHN. But the fact is that each religious group in Lebanon has deified their sects’s chief du jour at the expense of most of the national interest. Mention Ja’ja or our newest billionaire Sunni chief Saad in any negative light and at least two otherwise very eloquent commenters on this blog will tear you up. It is akin to playing sectarian “chicken,” betting that the other sect will blink first and forsake their own sect’s chief. It does not even matter how bad and criminal any of these chiefs are. In the end they represent the sect and its interest in a hostile and competitive environment and everyone, even if it goes against basic truths and justice they have come to know, will find very little benefit in jumping camp, especially when the other sects are still clinging on to their own narrow welfare. There is little alternative as things stand.

    The political situation I am describing is not a generalization, but rather the real political context of the STL. You may elect to see things differently. There has been plenty written, pro and con, on this blog and elsewhere. I do not hope or expect to change your mind. I have written about my own position on whether or not HA had a hand in it on this blog somewhere, sometime ago (basically that I am do not rule it out but that I am doubtful because they did not need to, and that the STL has been compromised /politicized and cannot be trusted) . The fact is this difference in perspective will see that the various camps will stick to their positions and little political movement or re-alignment will happen on the ground until the trial is over. Once that happens the real power-players will step in and decide how this game will continue and maybe end, and most of that will have very little to do with justice but rather the current political realities and their own national interests.

    Posted by Saint | July 1, 2011, 1:55 am
  26. I think there is a need for some people to hear this outloud:

    YES, Hizbullah is above any law and any verdict that is entirely woven by lies, false testimonials, and above all BAD INTENT.

    What Hizbullah is doing is the wisest thing to be done, ignore it.
    We Lebanese of all people should know by now that there is nothing easier than light up a match and throw it into a long-time-oily situation. We of all people should know that had Hizbullah reacted, the streets would rage.

    Hizbullah made it clear that it is neither involved nor interested in an STL that is no more than a SHAM.

    R.M.H

    Posted by R.M.H | July 1, 2011, 2:03 am
  27. فتنة تستهدف المقاومة

    يوماً بعد يوم تكشف المحاكم الدولية، ومثلها المحكمة الدولية الخاصة بلبنان، أنها أداة لتسييس العدالة واستخدامها لتصفية حسابات سياسية ودولية، وإذا لم تكن المحكمة الدولية الخاصة بلبنان قد بدأت المحاكمات بعد للحكم عليها، لكن تجارب تحقيقاتها، وطريقة إقرارها وقضية شهود الزور التي تنصلت منها وغيرها، تنبئ بأن لبنان قادم على تحديات كبيرة قد ترهن مستقبله ومستقبل الأجيال المقبلة، وستعرضه لضغوط كبيرة وتضعه تحت رحمة قضاة دوليين يتكشف يوماً بعد يوم مدى “مصداقيتهم”، ومنهم على سبيل المثال لا الحصر القاضي ريتشارد غولدستون، الذي تراجع عن تقريره في مقال صحفي أطلق فيه أحكاماً وتراجع عن أخرى من دون تحقيق ولا تثبت؛ فقط لكسب الرضى الإسرائيلي

    فإن من السهل الاستنتاج أن اللحظة السياسية التي اختارها القائمون على القرار السياسي للمحكمة الدولية ترتبط بمرحلة الإعداد العملاني لحرب جديدة متوقعة على المقاومة في لبنان، وربما على سوريا أيضاً. ويعتقد هؤلاء أن القرار الاتهامي سيتيح اتخاذ مزيد من العقوبات الدولية ضد سوريا وضد المقاومة، وسيسهم في تعزيز الأرضية الداخلية في لبنان من أجل التهديد بحرب أهلية أو الشروع فيها. وبالتالي، فإن أصحاب وجهة النظر هذه يفكرون في أن كل ذلك سيساعد إسرائيل على شنّ حرب ناجحة لا تقدر المقاومة على صدّها، ولا يكون لبنان إلى جانبها

    Hezbollah will not cooperate in any way shape or form with the Zioconned STL’s den of Western Criminal disgusting spies, regardless what the little stupid ophthalmologist does in regards to Syria’s mastermind of the assassinations, i.e. Asef Shawkat the assassin in Chief.

    http://newhk.blogspot.com/2011/01/components-of-white-house-murder-incs.html

    Posted by HK | July 1, 2011, 2:41 am
  28. I know this may be a trivial question, but is Syria legally forced to cooperate with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (aka, Special Tribunal Against Syria (copyright QN))? Does the STL/STAS have any jurisdiction outside of Lebanon?

    Posted by Usama | July 1, 2011, 2:43 am
  29. The US scumbag are promoting a “road-map” for political reforms in Syria which would transform the regime of Bashar Assad but leave him in place, for he has been a prime mover and shaker in the infamous White House Murder INC, since 2000, together with his assassin in Chief Asef Shawkat and his MI Goons in Syria and Lebanon…. – despite demands for his overthrow during the country’s bloody three-month shenanigans….Syrian opposition sources have revealed that the CIA and US state department have been discreetly encouraging discussion of the unpublished draft document which circulated at an unprecedented opposition conference held on Monday in Damascus. The US ambassador is urging dialogue with the regime,…to preserve, protect and nurture the infamous White House Murder INC, the sources say. Assad would oversee what the road-map calls “a secure and peaceful transition to civil democracy…”. … ” LOL :)

    http://newhk.blogspot.com/2011/01/obama-perpetuates-utter-lies-between.html.

    http://newhk.blogspot.com/2011/01/components-of-white-house-murder-incs.html

    Posted by HK | July 1, 2011, 2:52 am
  30. The Security Council can force Syria to comply with the STL. The STL would need to report Syria to the Security Council and they would act. Threats of sanctions were used early on to try to force cooperation. Of course, Bashar has bigger problems right now, so such threats wouldn’t mean a whole lot.

    Posted by Jonathan | July 1, 2011, 3:37 am
  31. Previous message was to Usama #27 and so is this:

    Lebanon’s compliance is already set in place by Ch. VII, not to mention previous commitments to cooperate. Syria could have Ch. VII thrown at it too.

    Posted by Jonathan | July 1, 2011, 3:41 am
  32. twenty-eight to go

    Posted by Honest Patriot | July 1, 2011, 4:50 am
  33. Maybe I missed it; was the Lebanese government policy statement published?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | July 1, 2011, 5:17 am
  34. HP,
    Yes it was and the item of of interest is the following:

    ـ ان الحكومة انطلاقاً من احترامها القرارات الدولية، تؤكد حرصها على جلاء الحقيقة وتبيانها في جريمة اغتيال الرئيس الشهيد رفيق الحريري ورفاقه، وستتابع مسار المحكمة الخاصة بلبنان التي انشئت مبدئياً لإحقاق الحق والعدالة بعيداً عن أي تسييس او انتقام وبما لا ينعكس سلباً على استقرار لبنان ووحدته وسلمه الأهلي.

    Note that it speaks of the government respect for international decisions while a previous item speaks of “government obligation to implement 1701″
    The difference in wording (Obligations vs respect) is what the March 14 is using to argue that the ministerial statement distances Lebanon from its STL obligations.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 1, 2011, 6:04 am
  35. Good to see Interior Minister Charbel promising security forces will seek to arrest suspects – and also reminding all that no one is guilty until found guilty by tribunal – that would be better than another option being discussed -how a Syria break-up could lead to break-up of Lebanon:

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2011/Jul-01/Syrias-partition-could-crack-Lebanon.ashx#axzz1PnkctiGq

    Posted by J Estiphan | July 1, 2011, 6:51 am
  36. Another Day in Paradise

    Nothing issued by the UN or the ICC will be enforced, and whoever is found guilty will not be brought to justice. And the “resistance” and their enablers will do what they do best.

    Any questions?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 1, 2011, 7:20 am
  37. BV/Danny…
    The recent couple of days have made it crystal clear that it has been about nothing but the STL for years.
    The last cabinet was forced out of office and obstacles in the formation of a new one have been set up in order to ensure that once the indictments were issued the official Lebanese cabinet was not committed to enforcing its moral and legal international obligations.
    I still believe that Mikati thought five months ago that he could act as a saviour but HA ‘s machinations have proven to be too much for him. This might be his last political hurrah especially if he fails to stand up to SHN over the coming days.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 1, 2011, 7:45 am
  38. Ghassan Habibi,

    I have tremendous respect for you, but you are an eternal dreamer… :)
    If anyone fails to see the utter machinations of the most odious White House Murder INC, since 2000 from NYC to the Levant to the Hindu Kush, then they really need their head and their eye sight examined fast. STL, UNIIIC & ALL UNSC resolutions since then are mere tools for the crumbling Empire, desperately trying to save its skin in Eurasia and beyond…!!!

    Posted by HK | July 1, 2011, 8:15 am
  39. HK’s Employment Makeover

    The US scumbag are promoting a “road-map” for political reforms in Syria which would transform the regime of Bashar Assad but leave him in place, for he has been a prime mover and shaker in the infamous White House Murder INC, since 2000…

    HK,

    Are you still taking money from the “US scumbag” aka “Murder Inc.”? What does that make you? A “John”?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 1, 2011, 8:44 am
  40. Ghassan,

    The comments on this blog through and through attests to mine and I would say with his permission BV’s firm belief that it was; is and will be STL!!

    I somehow want to add another layer to your rationale re: Miqati. When he was “volunteered” by Syria as a PM designate. I believe he thought the winds of change will never reach Syria. He did it as a favour to Bashar as well as at the same time trying to cut through the Hariri influence in Lebanon. However; he never thought in his wildest dreams that he was going to be PM again. He was assured that the vacuum will stay in Lebanon; but the Syrian hand was forced by the unrest and instability there.

    I will stick to my guns!

    Posted by danny | July 1, 2011, 9:27 am
  41. Double-talk, double-think, double-dealings, all are reasons why Obomba really is a “Dick Cheney in disguise…” He never intended to seek “victory” in Afghanistan, only to prolong the war until it could be either expanded or relocated next-door to MENA, Pakistan and then onwards into Central Asia. The right-wing’s great disillusionment with Obomba is merely the beginning of their own awareness of the fearless leader’s true intentions. They have all been falling for the bullshit spewing out of Washington for ten years or more. It is only that the left-wing was a little quicker to recognize “shit creek” when they saw it. Someone tell the right-wing and the Army guys to “stop paddling the infamous White House Murder INC,” since they are going nowhere…. :)

    Posted by HK | July 1, 2011, 9:32 am
  42. Double-Talk (con’t)

    HK,

    Since you obviously hate the US, can you tell the participants here why you live in the US?

    QN,

    If HK refuses to enter into a dialogue, and just spam the blog with same “stuff”, I would consider a ban. Although I’m against censorship, I am also against spamming. Just MHO.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 1, 2011, 9:44 am
  43. Four arrest warrants issued, including two for senior Hezbollah officials. Of course, The Hague circus of injustice would never indict the true perpetrators: the White House Murder INC’s assassinations at home and abroad….Mossad, Asef Shawkat and CIA. The CIA-Mossad-NATO wars will now be directed against the Hezbollah-dominated government of Lebanon, spreading Syrian mayhem across the border. It is Netanyahu’s “Clean Break II” in action…. :)

    Posted by HK | July 1, 2011, 9:50 am
  44. HK Says:

    May 15, 2011 at 1:57 am
    Daily Digest about IsraHell and the crumbling ZOG rat-hole in DC.

    IMF chief Ziocon Dominique Strauss-Kahn arrested at JFK airport for sexually assaulting a maid at a mid-town Manhattan hotel. Strauss-Kahn and his fellow IMF degenerates have been assaulting nations and their peoples for years.

    HK,

    Now that the DSK case is looking like a “shakedown” by a woman of the muslim faith, will you be offering a retraction for demonizing the IMF chief, Israel and the “crumbling ZOG rat-hole”? Will you be, instead, demonizing the muslim world now that we know the maid was a muslim?

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/sources_assault_case_against_apart_9p7wWKT0k7qa8X2Qwt8lZI

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 1, 2011, 10:00 am
  45. The Syrian People’s “Clean Break” NewZ

    HK,

    When you read the news (more Syrians killed today by the Assad regime), it seems that Assad has implemented the “Clean Break” strategy single-handedly, without a drop of US, Israeli or “Ziocon” intervention!

    And since you also hate Assad, isn’t that a good thing?

    http://www.iasps.org/strat1.htm

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 1, 2011, 10:31 am
  46. The fix is in: Strauss-Kahn’s accuser now being accused of criminality and lying. The Guinean-born chambermaid could have never hoped to have received a fair trial in New York City: the city that is owned and operated by Strauss-Kahn’s “team.” A rape victim is now being turned into a criminal. Typical modus operandi for the Ziocon ruling elite. Rothschild Reuters already propelling Strauss-Kahn from Riker’s Island to Manhattan house arrest to the Elysee Palace. We reported on how former NYPD top officials and former federal prosecutors hired by Strauss-Kahn’s pals would turn this case against the maid. What we said on May 24: “These agents-for-hire can be expected to scour Guinea for any evidence they can use to disparage the sexual assault victim and if they come up empty-handed, they can be relied on, in typical neocon fashion, to forge documents to libel the victim.” “They” have now done so…. :)

    Posted by HK | July 1, 2011, 11:28 am
  47. Ghassan,

    I see you’re coming around to Danny/my point of view.
    I’m still waiting on QN to see the light…hehehehe

    All joking aside, I think the lip service from minister Charbel Nahhas is nothing more than an attempt to give the STL what amounts to “reasonable attempts” to serve the arrest warrants.
    It costs the cabinet nothing to pretend, and it kicks the can of “rejecting the STL” down the road 30 days.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | July 1, 2011, 12:50 pm
  48. AIG #10,

    A directive by a word of mouth is hardly an incriminating evidence.

    Posted by Badr | July 1, 2011, 1:06 pm
  49. Off Topic but oh soooo relevant!

    Love it or hate it – Canada continues to be a unique country, not only for us; descendents of Lebanese ancestry & heritage but certainly for many nationalities that have experienced the lack of humanity and justice wherever they hail from. So – as much as we complain about Canada – Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver etc – it is nice to think that we are allowed to complain. Just for the hell of it – today – lets take the time to complement ourselves and our ancestors for having chosen to live in Canada and to enjoy this unique Country of ours. Canada Eh!

    Cheers to Gaby; ice(whatever covert op you are at…) and all of you fortunate enough to call Canada home.

    Posted by danny | July 1, 2011, 1:06 pm
  50. If only it wasn’t so freaking cold in Canada….

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | July 1, 2011, 1:24 pm
  51. http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/15755

    بلّوه واشــربوا ميّتو

    في الضاحية

    ما تعليقك على صدور القرار الاتهامي؟ سؤال لم يُثر حفيظة ابن الضاحية الجنوبية عبّاس حيدر الذي كان مسترخياً، ظهر أمس، في مقهى «الجزيرة» عند أوتوستراد هادي نصر الله. لم يلفته السؤال، لم تتغيّر تقاسيم وجهه، كأنه لم يسمع شيئاً. فضّل أن يقول «كش داما» لغريمه على طاولة اللعب، قبل أن يلتفت إلى سائله ويجيب بلهجة الساخر: «عن أي قرار اتهامي تتحدث؟ عزيزي، ألم تسمع عن بُركة الماء الكبيرة التي أنشئت في وسط الضاحية؟ سنبلّ فيها ذاك القرار ونسقي ماءه لكل القائمين على المحكمة الدولية». يلتقط حيدر «الريموت كونترول» ويخفض صوت سمير جعجع الذي كان في تلك الأثناء يعقد مؤتمراً صحافياً، ثم يلتفت إلى محدّثه مردفاً: «مهما فعلوا، فإن مشروع إسرائيل قد انتهى، والمقاومة لن تعود إلى الوراء، هل بيدهم فعل أكثر مما فعلوه في حرب تموز قبل 5 سنوات؟». يعيد الرجل الأربعيني تركيزه إلى طاولة اللعب، ليدخل بعده المواطن جهاد بركات على خط الحديث. «لن تجد هنا أحداً يكترث لتلك الكذبة الكبيرة المسماة محكمة دولية، ولا لأي قرار يصدر عنها، لكننا في المقابل نكترث كثيراً لعدم حصول فتنة بين السنة والشيعة، وكلنا يقين بأن هذه الفتنة لن تحصل». لا يرى بركات في القرار الاتهامي إلا «جزءاً من الحرب المفتوحة على المقاومة، لكنهم عبثاً يحاولون. سبق أن اجتمع العالم كله علينا وفشل، واليوم ثمة مشروعان في المنطقة، مشروع فتنة ومشروع مقاومة، وكما العادة لن يكون النصر إلا حليف المقاومة». يضع الشاب «نبريش» الأركيلة على فخذه ليرفع سبابته نحو صورة كبيرة للشهيد عماد مغنية، ويقول: «ترى، هل يخاف من لديه قادة مثل هؤلاء؟ صدّقني، مشكلتهم معنا أنهم لم يفهمونا بعد، أو ربما فهمونا ولكنهم يكابرون، هم مشكلتهم مع مبدأ المقاومة، فليقولوها، كفاهم التلطي وراء عناوين سخيفة».
    خارج المقهى، وفي كل شوارع الضاحية، كان المشهد أمس عادياً كسائر الأيام. حركة سير طبيعية وعجقة ناس. ليس ثمة ما يشير إلى صدور قرار اتهامي عن محكمة دولية، يطلب، كما أشيع، توقيف 4 أشخاص من أفراد حزب الله أو مقربين منه. وبعد جولة على مقاهٍ ومحال تجارية في الضاحية، تبيّن أن أسماء المطلوبين التي ذُكرت في وسائل الإعلام غير معروفة لدى أبناء المنطقة. لكن اسم مصطفى بدر الدين وحده، من بين الأسماء المتداولة، استوقف المواطن علي مزنّر، ليسأل إن كان هو نفسه الذي ذُكر سابقاً في تقرير لمجلة «دير شبيغل» الألمانية. وبعد عملية بحث على الإنترنت، أجراها داخل محله المُعدّ لبيع الهواتف الخلوية في منطقة المريجة، تأكّد له ظنّه. بعدها مباشرة قال: «يكفيني هذا دليلاً على أن المحكمة الدولية غير نزيهة، وأنها مُعدة للتوظيف السياسي، وإلا كيف تُسرب منها هذه المعلومات قبل فترة طويلة على صدورها؟ على كل حال، هذا قرار فتنوي باطل، يبلّوه ويشربوا ميتو».
    داخل مقهى «أبو عساف» في منطقة الشياح، المعروف ببعض روّداه الذين يتابعون أخبار السياسة، سُمع أحد شاربي القهوة يقول لأصدقائه: «حسناً، وأخيراً صدر القرار الاتهامي، أهلاً أهلاً، فليأتوا إلى الضاحية وليأخذوا المطلوبين إن استطاعوا». تسأله عن رأيه بما يمكن أن يحصل، فيقول لا شيء، فقط «سيسعون الى الفتنة بين اللبنانيين، لكن المقاومة ستبقى بخير».

    Posted by am231 | July 1, 2011, 3:11 pm
  52. “May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!”
    Daniel Webster

    Happy 4th of July and GOD BLESS AMERICA !

    Posted by V | July 1, 2011, 5:53 pm
  53. Happy 4th of July and GOD BLESS AMERICA !

    One day i hope the world will be organized like the US with the same political and economic systems.

    Posted by Norman | July 1, 2011, 6:14 pm
  54. Norman,

    Do you really think we believe you? You are an extreme Baathist. I can bring 100 quotes from you to prove that.

    Posted by AIG | July 1, 2011, 6:23 pm
  55. I was wondering where Norman and Alex had disappeared to.
    After the big hoopla, last month, regarding the Syrian uprising, how it was only 300 people, funded by KSA, terrorists, etc….

    Funny how those guys kinda go quiet and disappear back into the woodwork when events bypass their narratives.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | July 1, 2011, 6:40 pm
  56. Three cheers to that Danny! Happy canada day to all.

    BV. There’s always a week or two in Cuba or Mexico to look fwd to :)

    Posted by Gabriel | July 1, 2011, 7:30 pm
  57. AIG: Homework assignment. Start posting those 100 quotes you refer to. Let’s have some real debates. The Lebanese scene is getting old.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | July 1, 2011, 7:54 pm
  58. NORMAN: in his own words

    Norman Says:

    July 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm
    Happy 4th of July and GOD BLESS AMERICA !

    One day i hope the world will be organized like the US with the same political and economic systems.

    From Syria Comment: (boy this was easy)

    303. Norman said:

    Tara,
    And that is why they should stop the demonstrations and let the army clean the streets , Then ask for permit and demonstrate, now people are being killed and armed groups are in the streets,

    There should not be term limit in Syria as the people should have the right to elect president Assad if they want as long as it is done freely and under judicial supervision,
    .May 30th, 2011, 10:16 pm

    http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=9986&cp=all#comments

    104. norman said:

    Tara,

    We all want democratic reform in Syria, but we do not want to destroy Syria like Iraq and then rebuild it , Syria is not rich to do that, The president just need to move faster and declare a comprehensive program for reform , release the political prisoners and call for discussion on his program, I think that he will do that soon .
    .May 27th, 2011, 12:07 pm

    http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=9898&cp=all#comments

    216. norman said:

    WD,

    I am willing to take a chance that the Baath party might lose and a new government without the control of the Baath party comes to Syria , but i am not willing to take a chance with the president or the army, monitors can be used for the parliamentary elections .

    We ca not leave Syria leaderless .
    .May 24th, 2011, 2:45 pm

    http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=9759&cp=all#comments

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 1, 2011, 8:49 pm
  59. Norman, I’m not so sure that the US is the model to follow. The entrenched powers have morphed into self-pertpetuating 2 party machines that more and more resemble each other when it comes down to it. Even our formerly admirable free press has become an arm of the “state”.

    The parliamentary systems, esp of Canada (close family members are expats in Alberta) appear to be more representative to me.

    Posted by lally | July 1, 2011, 9:34 pm
  60. Norman,

    I would also suggest that the US and Canada are too pro-israel.

    You may want to opt for an Iranian-style theocracy.

    Lally, any thoughts on this? I think we should give Norman every possible option.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 1, 2011, 9:43 pm
  61. Rafiq Hariri had a vision for Lebanon.

    So what’s Najib Miqati’s “vision” for Lebanon ?

    Hassan Nasrallah’s raison d’etre is Israel. What is his “vision” for Lebanon? Modeling it around the Iranian regime. If it works for people living in the South, go ahead and designate him Mayor of the South.

    Does Sir Walid Jumpalot have a vision for Lebanon beyond his fiefdom in the Chouf? I don’t think so. So why give him the time of day beyond designating him Mayor of the Chouf?

    I doubt Michel Aoun or Dr. Samir Geagea will be relocating to either the Chouf or the South … so vote for him by all means as your mayor in the Kiss(behinds)rewan area.

    All I want is 24 hour a day electricity that can be supplied to me at reasonable prices and the choice to buy it from whoever is willing to sell it to me at a better price. Be it the South, the North the West or the East … I don’t give a fuck.

    I also wouldn’t mind paying less for my mobile phone bill from whoever gets a kick listening to my conversations, if that comes as a perk.

    As for the $60billion Lebanese debt … I would suggest Nabih Berri explain to the Lebanese exactly why the price to rebuild Beirut and Lebanon cost as much as it did.

    Posted by R2D2 | July 1, 2011, 10:03 pm
  62. BV,

    It;s freaking hot this week dude. 34 degrees….Before you jump; it’s Celsius not Fahrenheit. :D

    Posted by danny | July 1, 2011, 10:40 pm
  63. Dear A Palace.

    Sorry, but you meangrrrlrrrrrrrs on this thread will have to play “Heathers” w/out me.

    Posted by lally | July 1, 2011, 11:14 pm
  64. Ya QN and QN-commentators (ALL, including GK, AIG, AP, Gaby, Iceman, lally, danny, Norman, etc. etc. (sorry if I missed you and you should be prominent ;-)):
    Is it me or does it seem that some form of democracy, albeit messy, is working not too badly in Lebanon these days. Compared to all other Arab countries (noting that Lebanon’s Arab identity is less than 100% as I hope everyone would admit) somehow in the last two years, with the last undemocratic hoopla being the 2008 HA takeover of the streets, there’s been a lot of barking all around but a relatively controlled security situation and some level of resignation to allowing the democratic process, despite sometimes intense word exchanges, be the guide.
    I would take this as a positive development and one that augurs well for the future, especially if those movements advocating secularism keep getting stronger and as long as free access to information, a free press, and some of the fundamental tenets of democracy are respected.
    Don’t know about you but there is a level of fatigue setting in, in regards to those traditional politicians whose faces and voices seem now more as background noise that one ignores as one goes about one’s daily life than anything else.
    Pontificatory pronouncements and analyses welcome. But hey, don’t blame the messenger.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | July 2, 2011, 4:41 am
  65. AP @58, you’re bailing out AIG and doing his homework for him?
    Tsk tsk tsk…
    You better ground him and follow your example in doing the rest of it.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | July 2, 2011, 4:43 am
  66. Another noteworthy system that seems to be getting its act together not too badly is Morocco. Check the latest news items in that charming country.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | July 2, 2011, 4:44 am
  67. I’m mulling a moniker change…to…OO = Objective Observer. What do you think?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | July 2, 2011, 5:08 am
  68. Interesting developments and posturing in the STL indictments yesterday and today. It seems to me that some pretty smart course has been agreed upon to satisfy everyone. Here’s the scenario:
    The four accused will be sought by the Lebanese police through normal procedures of identifying residences from the mayors of their hometowns, finding that they are not there, reporting they cannot be found. After the 30 days period in-abstentia trials begin. HA rejects the trials and their verdict as a sham and an Israeli conspiracy. M14 hails hat justice is being done, albeit without the ability to enforce the sentences. The four accused will lead happy lives in Iran with possibilities of travel to countries who do not cooperate with the STL (not sure who these would be but perhaps places like Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, etc.). Life will continue normally in Lebanon with every side claiming victory and a relative peace imposed by the assured destruction (annihilation) of Lebanon should HA dare to play any games on the border or otherwise.

    This is why I said in #57 “the Lebanese scene is getting old.” I predict Lebanese politics are going to get boring on the international level very quickly (but of course stay very much the center of the world for the Lebanese in Lebanon, many of whom will continue to think that they are the center of the world and that every happening worldwide is affected by and is intended to affect Lebanon).

    The key and most important happenings are now in and relating to Syria. These happenings are going to produce a seismic shift in the region’s order, but it is not quite certain yet which way the shift will happen. Nevertheless, things don’t seem quite positive for the Assads, as many commentators, bloggers, and journalists imply.

    Time for some predictions on that Syrian scene. Of course we can go read SyriaComment but as AP noted earlier, “it’s a zoo over there.” Not surprising, given the tremendously serious changes and tragedies happening in Syria, the fact that Syria is much larger than Lebanon, and the fact that there are many commentators with excellent credentials but with widely differing views. Prof. Landis is doing an excellent job at keeping things distilled as much as possible but it’s still very confusing to me (and I guess to AP as well).
    The clarity of a QN is direly missing there. Need to simplify the problem to the core issues and build a simple predictive paradigm for the Syrian case.
    Curious to read opinions of the “typing hands” on this blog.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | July 2, 2011, 5:21 am
  69. Excuse me if these questions have already been covered. I’ve read QN for about 2 years now but have only recently started reading the comments; this will be my first one.

    We’ve seen the technical evidence. But most murder cases have a motive too, and all political killings definitely have a motive. I haven’t seen any particularly good ones put out there. So if the telecom data is right, why did HA kill Hariri?

    Most of the leaks seem to have focused on the tech evidence, but there hasn’t been any sort of narrative formed around why HA would want RH killed. My understanding is RH was meeting with SHN pretty regularly up until he was killed. I would also characterize HA’s behavior as more reactionary than proactive. Taking these two points into consideration, I find it odd that HA would take such a big risk as killing a bigwig like Hariri. I don’t really buy the acting-on-behest of Syria argument, because characterizing the Syria-HA relationship as one like a vassal-lord type relationship strikes me as an oversimplification.

    The more plausible situation that I can see is that there are some sort of organizational dynamics within HA that aren’t widely known. Is there an Iran-Syria tug of war for control of HA? What kind of evidence is there to support that?

    [Conspiracy] Theories?

    Posted by jahd | July 2, 2011, 5:52 am
  70. Welcome, Jahd. Good questions.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | July 2, 2011, 6:01 am
  71. HP…Mother Superior is infinitely better reflection of your personality.:P

    Posted by danny | July 2, 2011, 8:21 am
  72. Again, another sponsored Israeli-American effort to undermine the Lebanese resistance…

    Very simple, commit a crime and blame your enemy (CIA/Mossad tactics inherited from MI5/MI6) . We’ve seen this over and over. You have to be really dumb to fall for it again. :)

    http://newhk.blogspot.com/2011/01/obama-perpetuates-utter-lies-between.html

    http://newhk.blogspot.com/2011/01/components-of-white-house-murder-incs.html

    Posted by HK | July 2, 2011, 8:31 am
  73. “We’ve seen this over and over. You have to be really dumb to fall for it again. :)”

    Really? …and you keep on repeating the same old refrain…Your second sentence seems to reflect a sense of reality for you? :P

    Posted by danny | July 2, 2011, 8:41 am
  74. Jahd #69, the motives have not been discussed in depth, and in a public manner, for the very same reason no body moved yesterday in Lebanon, although the “bomb” fell after 6 years in the waiting: it is a subject you can simply not discuss without immediately causing raising voices and exchanging of treason accusations. So far, both parts have been more or less successful in reining in the heated sentiments (and statements) from both sides. Or, to be more cynical, none of the sides has decided yet to use their “street”. I don’t completely disagree with Mona Yacoubian’s article in FP, describing yesterday’s publication of the accusation act (or the beginning of it) as an “anticlimax” moment. She is right that HA has prepared its constituency for the choc. The defenders of the other side have also been “prepared” for it as a result of the numerous leaks, at least in the sense that it didn’t come as an unexpected shock. But one thing is to debate endlessly and from all angles a hypothetic accusation, and another very different when detailed accounts of the preparation and execution of a political crime of this size start to emerge before a public Court. Some observers (I’m not talking about here at QN) seem not to have grasped the caliber of the event: the single fact that it has effectively been published is big news, after the to-be-accused side had almost succeeded in convincing its followers that the whole thing was a foreign conspiracy to trash HA, one that amounted to nothing more than a wet dream of the prepubescent 14M, instead of the nightmare it is supposed to be for 8M. I believe time might tell otherwise, and the STL will not collapse unless the whole UN thing collapses somehow. It will take time, like other tribunals, but it will continue its course. The Defence Team will have good points to oppose the Tribunal in many ways, after all, international justice is only at its beginnings, and often surfs in uncharted waters. But if the Accusation has indeed a case, (and I doubt it that the UN body would go for unsustainable accusations), the sessions being open to everyone to see, I don’t see how the accused can sideline the continued erosion of that bad PR by the dropper. Surrounding states have shown circumspection so far, but I expect the big “sunni” states not to let pass the opportunity to set scores with the ‘axis of refusal’. In the battle against it they have been so far, more often than not, the losing side, but the reactions over the events in Syria suggest that a “Sunni Wall” is being erected, with Turkey and Qatar in it in addition to the ‘usual culprits’, against the perceived Shia push. If the STL provides the kind of ammunition it could be expected to provide, I have no doubt that it will be used against the “Resistance” camp. The question is not if, but when, each side will consider the amassing of forces is completed, or the other side’s weakness is attained enough to launch a full attack that will ignite the respective “streets”. So far it is not in the interest of any of them to push for strife in the street. The waters are sufficiently muddied as they are, and the STL is now a ticking bomb working against HA and everyone that sided with it. HA’s strategy of yelling louder than the accuser, and erecting themselves as victims has worked well among its followers so far. But neither that strategy, neither the one ignoring the accusations altogether, will erase the effect the mothers and children of fallen victims,and the mutilated survivors, have on the public when they appear live on TV (see the last Kalam Al Nas) as reminders that a crime was indeed carefully planed and committed by somebody. Those are the ones the Party of God needs to convince, if it is concerned by fitna and by the future of the nation.

    Posted by mj | July 2, 2011, 8:50 am
  75. jahd @69, I suggest starting with the best analysis I’ve seen years ago from Prof. Landis of http://www.syriacomment.com
    Here it is linked below. Let us know what you think of it.

    http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/L/Joshua.M.Landis-1/syriablog/2006/01/who-killed-hariri-pushed-against-wall.htm

    Posted by Honest Patriot | July 2, 2011, 8:57 am
  76. danny, wlaa, you deserve une “fessée”

    administered

    by a real Mother Superior

    Posted by Honest Patriot | July 2, 2011, 8:59 am
  77. #64,

    Are you colour blind? Those were Black Shirts out there in THIS January 2011…Just for curiousity do you think a gun to the collective head of Lebanese is a functioning democracy? The mafia dude set the rules on our street to. As far as we pay our monthly stipend and lent them rape a girl or two on occasion; they will let us drive our cars and complain about the congestion and double parking. :D

    Posted by danny | July 2, 2011, 9:03 am
  78. Ya HP 66#…. as a Moroccan, I do support you objective comment that Morocco is a charming country! Marhaban bikoum fi bilad Al Maghrib!!

    … still, 98% of confidence vote is… shall I stay, striking my natural skepticism. :-)

    Posted by 3issa | July 2, 2011, 9:24 am
  79. shall I say

    Posted by 3issa | July 2, 2011, 9:25 am
  80. On motives,
    Hariri was getting too big for his own shoes……and he was starting to oppose and antagonize ……and was creating quite a large following to boot….Had friends in high places who could get things done……Dictatorships bent on control and iron fist rule can’t allow for mavericks can they now? hell, they would kill their own people in cold blood to keep the status quo. Hariri was in the clear so as long as he toed the line, and defended the Syrians and the party of God in international circles. But cracks appeared, Hariri was questioning the status quo and he had the money, the power, the associates and the mass following…..he had to go. Lebanon was starting to get a life, an independent life and that posed the single greatest threat to the resistance camp. Hariri among others, was a tall poppy that embodied the independent Lebanon….and like many before him and many after him, anyone who questions the emperor must be removed.

    Posted by maverick | July 2, 2011, 9:28 am
  81. Jihadist-American Resistance Cheerleader News

    HK,

    What “Lebanese Resistance” are you referring to?

    And why should the Lebanese risk their lives while you are sitting pretty and employed by the “crumbling ZOG rat-hole”?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 2, 2011, 10:26 am
  82. Lally,

    A republic is better for fragmented societies like the US and the Mideast with small districts and representatives that give voice to their people in the districts than being hostages to a party platform. anti discrimination in housing and employment are needed in addition to registration where people live not where they come from ,

    Posted by Norman | July 2, 2011, 10:48 am
  83. There is an item in the Israeli press that both Maher Assad and Assef Shawkat are indicted by the STL. If that is true then the Syrian regime will not be able to cooperate with the STL and that will quicken the downfall of the regime. The implications of that will shake Lebanese politics to its core as it will weaken and even marginalize HA.

    HP
    If the Lebanese oligarchical feudalistic system is democratic then please consider me a strong opponent of democracy:-)

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 2, 2011, 11:38 am
  84. The answer to Jahd’s #69 questions can be found in maverick’s good summary in #80. The better question is what will happen next. Anyhow, we will be hearing from Lebanon’s Supreme Leader shortly at 8:30 PM and he will lay out the road map that his epigonous government will follow.

    Posted by MM | July 2, 2011, 11:58 am
  85. HP @ 64

    “(noting that Lebanon’s Arab identity is less than 100% as I hope everyone would admit)”

    Could you explain to us simpletons how Lebanon’s identity is less than 100% Arab? So we would “admit”

    Is it because we have Armenians and Kurds as Lebanese citizens? Or because the Maronites think they are French? Or are you referring to our “Phoenician” roots?

    Posted by V | July 2, 2011, 12:16 pm
  86. Mother Superiors administering fessees!!!!

    My oh my HP….you really are a kinky one!

    Posted by Gabriel | July 2, 2011, 12:18 pm
  87. V:

    What’s it to you if X, Y or Z feel French. Or Phoenecian or Turkish or Baloot.

    Haven’t we moved beyond Identity crisis.

    Posted by Gabriel | July 2, 2011, 12:34 pm
  88. V
    Of course there are some Armenians and some Kurds in Lebanon but they are peripheral to the Lebanese character. It is the Maronites and their French roots that matter. Why some still have the picture of Charles de Gaulle adorning their otherwise blank walls :-)

    Do you know the ditty that used to be very popular among many Maronites ( I do not have an Arabic Keyboard and so i will muder the transliteration but I hope that you can read it:

    Limen Tallet min Albhour……….When it became visible from the sea

    Amet Almaota min Alkbour……The dead rose from the graves

    Saret Tghanee w Tkoul………..They sang and said

    Al Bindayrat Fransawieh………It is the French flag.

    With such folklore how can you doubt the Frenchness of the Maronite> If you do not believe me , go and ask taunte:-)

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 2, 2011, 12:39 pm
  89. Thanks HP (75). If I could summarize the logic behind the “pushed against the wall theory:” (1) Syria could defeat lebanon in any sort of conflict, so (2) Efforts in Lebanon to harm Syria internationally can be effectively deterred in Lebanon, hence (3) killing Hariri was meant to deprive Syria’s enemies of a figure to rally around.

    I’m not so sure if I buy it. This is a very syria-centric theory, and doesn’t explain why Hezbollah would be the ones to pull the trigger, or even participate. We all know that the Syrian security apparatus in Lebanon was strong enough to pull this off on their own. So why include Hezbollah and risk tarnishing one of your most useful assets in the region?

    From the perspective of HA’s leadership, what did they have to gain from killing Hariri? Like I said before, Hezbollah is not a vassal of Syria, they have their own interests, just like syria has theirs. I dont really recall a lot of domestic military activity on the part of Hezbollah, so why poke out your head in 2005 when Bush was riding high and super trigger happy?

    Also, it is crazy to think that a lot of the case against HA materialized because one guy called his 7abibti.

    Posted by jahd | July 2, 2011, 1:00 pm
  90. pS Crazy in a “wow” kind of way, not crazy in a “that’s not compelling” kind of way.

    Posted by jahd | July 2, 2011, 1:03 pm
  91. GK lol got it, i actually knew it was our “Frenchness”; i just couldn’t resist yanking HP’s chain

    Gaby- i really don’t care am very ok with anyone claiming they are anything they like to be. I agree we should move past this “identity crisis” therefore mentioning the percentage of our Arabness is really unnecessary and is by itself perhaps interpreted as “Identity Crisis”

    Posted by V | July 2, 2011, 1:10 pm
  92. I don’t know about you, V, but for me, with Armenian/Turkish roots, an early upbringing in an open society in Lebanon exposed to all world cultures, somehow I don’t feel 100% Arab. Sure, I know the language, have affinity to Lebanon itself, but I don’t have much if anything in common, nor do my ancestors, with the bedouins of the Arabian peninsula nor with their modern day morphings. I’m not the one who defines “Arab countries” and “Arab league” and “Arab this” and “Arab that.” To be certain, there is an angle to Arab culture and norms that is exemplary, laudable, and which is proven to have ensure the continuity of civilization as we know it. Of that, anyone who identifies themselves as “Arab” can be proud (and strive to perpetuate such honorable accomplishments). On the other hand, stoning of adulteresses, honor killing, discrimination against women, code for “how to beat your wife,” and I could go on, regrettably associated with Arab culture in some areas and at some periods is nothing that any self-respecting human would want to associate themselves with. Somehow I am convinced you would reject that as well.
    Lebanon may have an Arab character among other characters but the day it identifies itself as exclusively an Arab country is the day it is doomed.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | July 2, 2011, 1:27 pm
  93. Live blogging Nasrallah’s speech in a new post, guys.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | July 2, 2011, 1:32 pm
  94. jahd, the fortunes of HA were at one time intimately tied to those of the Syrian regime. All their weapons came through Syria. Their operations within Lebanon, during Syrian occupation, were and had to be fully coordinated with Syria. The theory advanced by Prof. Landis is derived from pronouncements by SHN (Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah). That theory has to be seen in that context.

    … and, just like there was some deniability built in to allow Pres. Bashar Al-Assad to deny vehemently with apparent sincerity any involvement (as, for example, in his interview with Charlie Rose http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/484), similarly appropriate deniability must have been built into the higher cadres of HA for this crime.

    Sure, the crime is being dismissed by many as one that we need to move past and get over, etc., without insisting on full daylight on what happens. I don’t see this happening. There is a strong constituency that sees this assassination, particularly taken together with all the ones that followed, as a fateful turning point in the history of Lebanon, one that will never be forgotten and whose lessons will long be heeded. These methods of getting political goals accomplished shall never be allowed, if the international justice system has anything to say about it. Let’s wait and see.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | July 2, 2011, 1:34 pm
  95. “So why include Hezbollah and risk tarnishing one of your most useful assets in the region?”

    Seriously? Is that all you have? Do you suggest they implicate themselves? Pfffft

    Posted by danny | July 2, 2011, 2:27 pm
  96. Jahd,

    Good questions. At the same time, I think for many of us, some who have asked ourselves these questions… The truth is we don’t really know what exactly HA is/was thinking. If they were involved, is this really a step too far for them? Does any of us really know?

    These are hypotheticals, not fully understood scenarios, etc.

    But can anyone argue with the following fact:

    HA has not over the last 5 years taken the issue of the assassinations anywhere as seriously as it does the issue of Israel, spies, etc.

    It is a very bizarre reality.

    A very bizarre one indeed

    Posted by Gaby | July 2, 2011, 3:15 pm

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