Hezbollah, Lebanon, March 14, Syria

Syria’s Man in Lebanon Goes Downtown

Here’s a quick postmortem I’ve written for Al-Monitor on the very strange news of former minister Michel Samaha’s detainment yesterday by Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces. First paragraphs below, then much more after the jump.

Three Reasons Why Syria’s Man in Lebanon Was Arrested (Al-Monitor)

What to make of today’s arrest of former Lebanese minister Michel Samaha?

The silver-tongued politician, well-known for his close ties to the Syrian government and its allies in Lebanon, was arrested Thursday morning at his home in a Beirut neighborhood. A group of police officers reportedly stormed the apartment at dawn, while the couple was still in their pajamas, “armed as though they were going to go liberate something,” said Samaha’s wife, Gladys.

Within a few hours, a Lebanese TV station was reporting that Samaha had confessed under interrogation that he had participated in a plan to transfer “explosives from Syria to Lebanon in order to carry out bombings in North Lebanon, particularly in the area of Akkar, with Syria’s knowledge.”

As of the time this post went to press, no official word had come out regarding the reasons for Samaha’s detainment or his alleged confession.

In the meantime, though, here are three reasons to pay close attention to this story.

Keep reading.

Discussion

152 thoughts on “Syria’s Man in Lebanon Goes Downtown

  1. The problem is, you have given three different, and for the most part mutually exclusive, reasons for his arrest. Yes, they are all reasons to pay attention to the story, but that’s not what the headline says. Of the three, you find the first implausible and seem on the fence about the other two. You don’t quite come out and say you believe any one.

    But while you are at it, why don’t you mention the two other implausible reasons that have been cited in news reports? (1) He was collaborating with Israel; and (2) his arrest had something to do with the Hariri tribunal.

    Oh, and reports also varied, at least at the start, as to whether he had been arrested or just brought in for questioning. Maybe that’s known now. One report even implied that he might meet the fate of Antun Saddeh. Now, i’m only a dog (IOAD™), but as long as you’re going for the implausible, *that’s* what i call implausible.

    Posted by samadamsthedog | August 10, 2012, 12:21 am
  2. Not to jump the gun especially from this source, but it does make for delicious information;

    http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/49565-samaha-reportedly-told-investigators-this-is-what-bashar-wants

    If it does claim to be true, how does such a staunch supporter and trusted ally fold so easily and cough up this kind of information, unless….. it is, in line of the defection trends, another quasi-forced defection?

    Posted by Maverick | August 10, 2012, 2:19 am
  3. Delicious and humongous story, though many things are strange and implausible at this point.

    Regardless of the details, couldn’t have happened to a more deserving slimy snake bigwig. And the fact that other Syrian dogs in Lebanon will be shaking in their boots right now is icing on the cake. Plus now the apologists for Syrian mukhabarat methods are appalled at the presumed lack of due process? Welcome to the club, MOFOs.

    As to:

    “armed as though they were going to go liberate something,” said Samaha’s wife, Gladys.

    Let’s hope this is the start of the liberation of the country of scum, murderers, foreign agents and profiteers like you know who, Gladys.

    Posted by OldHand | August 10, 2012, 3:40 am
  4. Strange,,,Not the arrest of a traitor and bona fide “gun” for hire; but the reasons that there speculated about!
    I still think this could be the start of a “case” to be made for his involvement in the Hariri killing for STL.

    Sorry QN:
    “On the other hand, if Hezbollah keeps mum about Samaha’s arrest, Mikati will come off looking like a crime-busting superhero…”

    Not happening!!

    As for the harmonious atmosphere among the March 8 grouping; well; it seems the swivel head of WJ has been spinning very hard lately…all away from the HA…

    Posted by danny | August 10, 2012, 4:26 am
  5. “The case will be transferred to the judiciary as of tomorrow not only because the investigation has been completed, but also due to the intensive pressure and uninterrupted phone calls requesting to transfer the issue speedily to the judiciary so that it is out of the Information Branch’s hands.”(Al Joumhouriya, as quoted in Now Lebanon). Ininterrupted phone calls. Now that’s graphic…I really wonder if the FSI could pull something like this without strong evidence. ‘Bold”, is all I can think of…

    Posted by mj | August 10, 2012, 7:53 am
  6. Sam Adams the Dog said:

    “The problem is, you have given three different, and for the most part mutually exclusive, reasons for his arrest. Yes, they are all reasons to pay attention to the story, but that’s not what the headline says.”

    As I’m sure you know, titles are not the domain of writers but editors, and I didn’t choose this one. I’ve asked it to be changed because, as you point out, it is misleading. I have no idea why he was arrested.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | August 10, 2012, 8:56 am
  7. Let me clarify my initial comment which I think highlights the crucial issue here.

    First, let’s be reminded of this:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7394853.stm

    “Violence erupted in Beirut after the government moved to shut down Hezbollah’s telecoms network and remove the chief of security at Beirut airport for alleged sympathies with Hezbollah.”

    What is happening now is very similar. The arrest is a huge challenge to Hezbollah especially after Nasrallah has unequivocally supported Assad. So either Hezbollah has weakened significantly or someone is making a big mistake and something similar to the events of May 2008 will soon be repeated. I would be surprised if Hezbollah takes this quietly no matter how strong the evidence against Samaha is.

    The mere fact that this is happening is evidence that mindsets have changed and people are willing to challenge Hezbollah. If this would have happened in 2009, it would have never been made public in the interest of avoiding fitna. But of course the willingness to challenge Hezbollah does not equate with the ability to prevail. So again, let’s hope there is no gross miscalculation here.

    Posted by AIG | August 10, 2012, 10:26 am
  8. AIG, unlike 2007 this time HA is the Gov of Lebanon. What are they going to do? surround Mikati or attack the ISF?

    I think the ISF have solid evidence implicating Samaha… HA is weakened due to what is happening in Syria, their hands are tied internaly… they can only be agressive on your borders now. its prime time for a diversion.

    Posted by Vulcan | August 10, 2012, 11:20 am
  9. Vulcan,

    I think there are many things Hezbollah can do, the simplest being to send armed men to free Samaha from his prison. Are the ISF or the Lebanese army going to shot at them? Very unlikely.

    Anything can happen but it would be suicidal for Nasrallah to instigate something with Israel while his logistical back end (Syria) is in such turmoil. Also, let’s not forget that in 1982 the IDF ended fighting the Syrians even though neither side wanted this. The last thing Assad needs is Israelis in his back yard or controlling parts of the border between Syria and Lebanon. Add to that the fact that the Iranians need to use Hezbollah as a deterrence against an attack on them. It is highly unlikely that they would allow Hezbollah to blow this up by instigating a war. So all in all, the Israeli diversion scenario is highly unlikely in my opinion.

    Posted by AIG | August 10, 2012, 11:36 am
  10. Thanks QN – but my role as word police continues: The incident is very simply part of a transition process that started in 2005 when the Syrian troops left the country. During the 15 years that Syria was put in charge of Lebanon – there was a systematic take over and planting of their people in every institution, organization, political party and even parliament and the Judiciary. The army and the security establishment are no exception, even teh Kataeb party had pro-Syrian leaders during the period. The main problem in the transition is how to reverse that process. There is no need to give it a sectarian label as it involves everybody almost equally and reversing this will take a long time as in all transitions. This is not confined to the Lebanese either, the same happened with the Palestinian factions and organizations and with the Islamists. In fact the Syrian regime did that in Syria itself, it even infiltrated the church. It is also using the same instruments of creating sectarian tension in order to prevail and survive. The formula is to create a problem and then intervening to solve it, like sending Al-Saeqa to attack a village during the civil war and then sending the Yarmouk brigade to ‘protect’ it. Maybe by calling it sectarian we are falling into that trap.

    Posted by Nadim Shehadi | August 10, 2012, 12:16 pm
  11. Nadim

    Thanks for your comment, which is helpful as always.

    Just to play devil’s advocate, isn’t it disingenuous to characterize the situation in the ISF so neutrally as a mere “reversal” of the effects of Syrian influence? It’s fairly clear that the Information Branch is loyal to Hariri’s people, who are very vocal about General Security being loyal to Hizbullah and Syria.

    Even if we don’t use the sectarian label, what’s clear is that there’s a serious showdown going on in the intelligence services, and this (like any political feud in Lebanon) always has the potential to take on a sectarian cast when pushed in that direction.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | August 10, 2012, 12:23 pm
  12. Qifa,

    To play counter-devil’s advocate, as partisan as the ISF possibly are, do you think they would arrest a totally innocent guy of the heft of Samaha for the hell of it?

    Someone has been putting bombs all over the damn country forever with strong “political” backing. At what point does the state go against those bastards and protects citizens for ONCE?

    Finally, if what you are saying has truth to it, whoever engineered this arrest was very smart (from a sectarian angle) to start with a Christian (non-Aouni) bastard.

    Posted by OldHand | August 10, 2012, 3:12 pm
  13. Old Hand

    I agree, it’s very strange all around.

    Strange that Samaha would be involved in something operational like this and strange that the ISF would act in so decisive a fashion.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | August 10, 2012, 3:26 pm
  14. Qifa Nabki,

    This does seem to be the start of something much bigger.

    This is the first significant and public use of a Lebanese government asset against the Syrian regime and its allies.

    In Lebanon, allies of Syria and Iran and members of Hezbollah are untouchable… until now. This is speculation, but my assumption is that the ISF Information Branch likely could not have ordered the search and arrest on its own. Most likely, they uncovered the plot, revealed what they had uncovered to US, French, Saudi, Qatari intelligence agencies, collected evidence, and once the evidence was damning enough that no one could offer Samaha plausible deniability, they presented it to the Prime Minister. Foreign ambassadors might have briefed Miqati, as well. Miqati had no choice but to support the operation.

    Hariri and the Information Branch likely would not have made such a public move if they did not have significant foreign support. Another interesting part is that only now does the ISF have the capability of gathering intelligence on Syrian sources before attacks occur. From 2005-7, the intelligence agencies and security advisers to M14 politicians knew that attacks were being plotted, but the only thing they could do to prevent an assassination was to tell politicians to flee the country or live in a compound surrounded by a militia.

    Now, for whatever reason, they have the capability to do real police and intelligence work. In some ways, it reminds me of the Army and Hezbollah digging up CIA and Mossad cells.

    Now, evidence of culpability is being made public in a way not seen since Dubai authorities uncovered the Mossad assassination of Mabhouh.

    Posted by Charles | August 10, 2012, 3:42 pm
  15. Vulcan,

    The ISF Information Branch has been constantly targeted since 2005, and somehow it has managed to survive. Some powerful interests are protecting it, which is why the current government, likely, has not shut it down.

    Hezbollah might want to shut down the Information Branch now, but as QN notes, this would likely spark a much larger sectarian conflagration.

    I’m sure there are a number of devious plots in play, and a few others being crafted as we comment.

    Posted by Charles | August 10, 2012, 3:46 pm
  16. Actually Charles, Hezbollah won’t shut down the Information Branch because its head, Wissam al Hassan, is a double agent working for Hezbollah. He always has been. He always will be.
    The only person who has ever mentioned the Information Branch in a negative light is Michel Aoun.

    Posted by Pong Lenis | August 10, 2012, 7:51 pm
  17. Why was there such a concerted rush to emphatically deny that oh no! there is absolutely no connection to the STL; that vehemence is enough to suggest a tie-in.

    Speaking of process questions, the very recently appointed ACTING General Prosecutor Judge Samir Hammoud makes me wonder about the independence of the judicial branch from the prosecutorial one.

    Hezbollah has apparently gone to ground.

    Could there be a more broad agenda unveiling? The US sanctions on HA and warnings of Dangers To Americans from Hezbollah cells just about everywhere emerged fullblown today, 8/10/12. The administration’s bureaucratic volley was accompanied by formulaic fear mongering about the most terrifying terrorists of all ably (and predictably) orchestrated by CNN.

    One could almost suspect that the campaigns of demonization are softening up yet more targets of our righteousness. Team America has to build ‘em up before enlisting the public approval of taking ‘em down. Seen that MO a few times before.

    Posted by lally | August 10, 2012, 8:01 pm
  18. QN

    we make the same point. Rifi and his information branch were created to have a security institution free of Syrian influence. to be precise, this was done by Miqati government in 2005 and not by Harris. I only question the use of the label “sectarian” my pet obsession.

    Posted by Nadim Shehadi | August 10, 2012, 8:28 pm
  19. Theres a bigger picture. The arrest of someone of this calibre has set a precedent and broken one of the unwritten rules of Lebanese politics – You dont face charges for anything unless you lose your power and/or foriegn patronage.

    The fact is that it is extremely unlikely that he was so persoanlly involved in the kind of stuff we are reading about but it is also extrememly unlikely that the ISF would do this without both major evidence and major backing.

    But, I would not be surprised if Hizballahs Intelligence apparatus has stuff equally incriminating on some M14 politicians. And if he goes down, I wouldn’t be surprised if a pretty major M14 figure didnt get a early wake up call in the near future.

    Posted by mo | August 11, 2012, 7:04 am
  20. Mo said: “The arrest of someone of this calibre has set a precedent and broken one of the unwritten rules of Lebanese politics – You dont face charges for anything unless you lose your power and/or foriegn patronage.”

    Judging from Hizbullah’s silence on the matter, maybe he’s lost his patronage.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | August 11, 2012, 7:22 am
  21. As you all know, this is huge on too many counts to be listed in a comment.

    Couple of quick thoughts:

    -To those who think Samaha too smart to do this, he may not have had a choice (like the Syrian PM who just defected and did not want the job) .

    -Why would Syria do it this way? Dunno but a major mistake and a sign that they are panicking into stupid stuff (Thank God)

    -Finally I fail to see how igniting Lebanon, yet again, solves Assad’s fundamental problem. Sounds like the idiot’s answer to any problem, from threats to the regime to Asma’s bad mood, is: blow up neighborly Lebanon.

    Posted by OldHand | August 11, 2012, 8:26 am
  22. Qifa, their silence is deafening but I think the big red line that has been crossed here is that he clearly hasn’t lost the patronage. Thats the big deal here – If he had it would be no surprise as Lebanese politics is a deadly jungle and if you dont have protection you go down. No matter how bad things look for Assad in Syria I find it difficult to believe that the ISF (and by extension M14) feel that Syrian influence in Lebanon is at such a low that they can be more fearless in their actions but then again they have miscalculated before.

    I suspect this is a going to get nasty and I doubt Hizballah will let this go unanswered.

    Posted by mo | August 11, 2012, 9:04 am
  23. Hizballah is letting this go unanswered, as for the ISF or the military court judges feeling lucky, not only they are charging Samaha but also Ali Mamlouk the syrian security chief.

    Posted by Vulcan | August 11, 2012, 1:46 pm
  24. Its not only the ISF who have become more “fearless” in their action, everyone else is taking jabs at the Hezb from the President all the way down. Watch this space here, the Hezb are gonna feel the pinch in the coming months. M14/independents/Assir and co./civilians will be vociferous in the disarming campaign while the centrists will act as peace keepers and put the integrated defense strategy on the table as a way of bringing the Hezb in from the cold.
    Angry Arab thinks the Hezb will only get stronger after the fall of Bashar, me thinks the Hezb will be placed in a tight position whereby a major over haul of the party will be inevitable.

    Posted by Maverick | August 11, 2012, 5:32 pm
  25. Except for Assad’s precarious situation, what has fundamentally changed to make people less intimidated by Hezbollah? Hezbollah would be weakened by Assad’s fall, but by how much? Without Syria’s backing Hezbollah cannot fight a war of several weeks against Israel (for many reason the major one being logistics). However, that does not diminish their military capabilities internally. So why are the the other parties acting like there is blood in the water? The major factor that would weaken Hezbollah internally is a significant cut in Iranian funding and there is not much evidence that this is happening even though it is quite possible.

    Unless there is miscalculation like in May 2008, there is some hidden undercurrent that at least I am missing.

    Posted by AIG | August 11, 2012, 6:12 pm
  26. AIG,
    One other major aspect of HA’s superiority is the moral support of the population. When you lose “face” one too many times and that commandeering respect they earned ever since their ascendancy to monolithic proportions, then the backlash is going to be just as intense as was their support. A considerable number of Lebanese are against the group but have been so covertly. The trend to overtly oppose the group has been on the rise ever since the Syrian crisis and the current government performance. They will be inevitably isolated and all the rockets and the funding would mean nothing without the respect of the population around them. In a way, they mirror the regime in Syria, and the more negative PR they cause for themselves, the more the Lebanese are going to be more fearless and expressive in their disapproval.
    I believe they will be placed in a tight spot where they will be either forced to fight back or forced to integrate. This not only depends on Nasrallah but also on how accomodating the Lebanese will be towards the Shiaa community.

    Posted by Maverick | August 11, 2012, 6:50 pm
  27. Seems to me the Assad preoccupation with saving his butt along with Iran’s preoccupation with saving their regime is allowing quiet dissatisfaction of the Hezbos to become 10 decibels louders in volume.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | August 11, 2012, 6:54 pm
  28. AIG – Lebanon is not the wild west for Hizballah to storm the jail and release their ‘ally’. This is in fact what the idea was when Israel invaded in 2006. Now the reason why Hizballah claimed victory for that war, is not that they defeated the IDF, it is that the Israeli attack vindicated their political and moral position as a resistance. Imagine a discussion in a cafe between a March 14 and a March 8 chap on the 10th of July 2006, 2 days before the war. The conversation would go like this: M14 would argue that ‘the Israelis left the country in 2000 and that now the Syrians are gone too and Lebanon has the protection of the UN, the EU, the Arab League and the USA it is on the right side of the fence and Hizballah should finally disarm in accordance with Taef and with 1559 and join the rest of the population in building a new Lebanon etc.; there is no need for an armed resistance anymore’. The M8 chap would draw on his shisha and reply that ‘this is b******t; Israel is a dangerous enemy that still occupies the Shebaa farms and Kfarshouba hills, it has designs over Lebanon and it could attack anytime. If Israel attacks then neither the UN, nor the US, EU, Arab League or any security council resolution will lift a finger to help us. It is only the arms of the resistance that can do that.’ Two days later, Israel vindicated all of M8’s points and rendered all of M14’s arguments redundant. This is what Maverick means by the moral high ground that gives Hizballah power. If they start acting like the wild west they would loose it. In fact if Hizballah attacks the prison it would be committing moral suicide, attacking Israel or even better, Israel attacking Lebanon is the best thing that can happen to it. The arrest of Samaha also causes similar damage to M8, its nothing to do with releasing Samaha, in fact if anything, he would be begging the Lebanese government to stay in Jail – with everything he knows, I would not sell him life insurance if he were set free.

    Posted by Nadim Shehadi | August 11, 2012, 7:59 pm
  29. Nadim,

    I think you are wrong for the simple reason that if attacking Israel is good for Hezbollah, they had plenty of opportunities to do so in the last 6 years. But they didn’t.

    As for the discussion between M8 and M14 you describe, I find it baffling. First, Hezbollah can “vindicate” their position any time by attacking Israel, as they did in July 2006. Of course Israel will respond and no one will help Lebanon. It is not Israel that vindicated the M8 position, it is Hezbollah. So, Hezbollah will always have the “moral” high ground because they can always attack Israel and prove themselves right.

    Second, I just don’t get the argument. It is basically that the Lebanese state cannot be both sovereign and protect itself from Israel. The argument is that Lebanon must cede its sovereignty over parts of its territory and over the decision to go to war to a foreign funded militia.That is what M8 guys are selling you and it seems you are buying it. If you agree to this, why bother having a Lebanese state?

    Why is what Hezbollah did in May 2008 not “moral suicide” and attacking the prison is? Attacking the Shouf and Beirut is much worse, and the result? Junblatt changed sides. There is no morality whatsoever involved in the considerations of most of the public that support Hezbollah. Most support Hezbollah because of its sectarian nature and the fact that it strengthens the Shia position in Lebanon. I suggest reading the FPM forum. It is clear that all the Hezbollah supporters that post there would cheer storming the prison and the FPMers would hem and haw but remain as allies to Hezbollah, just as they did in May 2008.

    Posted by AIG | August 11, 2012, 9:27 pm
  30. The M8-M14 arguments as presented (but nor endorsed?) by Nadim have holes, here are two:

    1) Israel attacked in July 2006 after Hezbollah attacked and killed Israeli soldiers on the border, not because Israel is “dangerous”. If you don’t live in the twilight zone, or in Lebanon, an attacked army will respond with lethal force. That war was a vindication of the M14 argument, and previously the anti-Palestinian forces’, don’t screw with Israel and it won’t screw with you (Shebaa is an easily resolved issue from a purely Lebanese angle).

    Nasrallah himself called his July action a “mistake” initially, and subsequent arguments by supporters that Israel (is “dangerous”) and was going to attack Lebanon one day anyway are beyond idiotic.

    2) A fallacy/irony: the role of the UN/US. “They” supposedly won’t do anything but Hezbollah and its allies were desperate for a cease-fire in the last days. But Hezbos can have it both ways, by waiting (and pressuring behind the scenes) for a cease fire while insulting the UN and Siniora (calling him a ‘traitor’) for arranging the cease-fire and getting them a Chapter 6 rather Ch. 7 resolution. Thank Fufu, now we’ll call you and the UN scum and US stooges etc for saving our butts. (What do you think would have happened without a UN cease fire?)

    Posted by OldHand | August 12, 2012, 9:09 am
  31. If this whole story is true (I am waiting the final answer from judiciary), we will remember that on august 2012 ISF thwared attempt to create civil strife in lebanon.

    Posted by karoum | August 12, 2012, 2:30 pm
  32. I read that the Lebanese are protesting against anal exams on suspected homosexuals.

    How does that work exactly? Caution! You are about to enter the “No Spin Zone”….

    Posted by Akbar Palace | August 13, 2012, 9:41 pm
  33. QN- things are deteriorating fast, we need a post on how bad you think it may get, you have 24 hours or i will start kidnapping bald people :)

    Posted by Vulcan | August 15, 2012, 11:48 am
  34. Vulcan,

    You asked what Hezbollah can do and you got an answer pretty quickly. These Shia tribes are acting under the supervision of Hezbollah. It is a clear message that Hezbollah can cause chaos in Lebanon if it wants.

    Unfortunately Nasrallah likes brinkmanship and is a gambler, as he showed in July 2006 and May 2008. If you live on the brink you sometimes fall and I think he is miscalculating severely.

    Posted by AIG | August 15, 2012, 3:23 pm
  35. Can anyone explain why the Saudis and the Emirati are asking their citizens to leave Lebanon?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | August 15, 2012, 3:56 pm
  36. AP…

    … to avoid anal exams maybe?

    Posted by Gabriel | August 15, 2012, 5:12 pm
  37. AIG, there is a chance Hezballah lost control of these people and they are simply being “tribal”, it happened many times in Lebanon where armed thugs turn rogue and act on their own .
    Having said this, you may very well be right, it’s not a coincidence that Bashar decided today to bomb the houses in Azaz where the 11 Lebanese are held.

    Posted by Vulcan | August 15, 2012, 5:26 pm
  38. LOL Gab

    Posted by Vulcan | August 15, 2012, 5:26 pm
  39. One can’t go wrong by blaming everything on Hezbollah. Yes indeed, even Assad’s bombing of Azaz is payback for HA’s refusal to bust Samaha out of the pokey.

    The hezzies probably ARE behind the rectal interrogations, too.

    Posted by lally | August 15, 2012, 5:39 pm
  40. Well, I’ve been silent for some time, as there hasn’t been much new posted on this blog. But this is a good one. I’m just gonna sit back and watch the wild ride.
    I find it pretty amusing that the overarching tone of the comments is “conspiracy theories” (of various flavors and bents).

    How you all been btw?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | August 15, 2012, 6:06 pm
  41. The Hezzie Rectal Exam Conspiracy

    Gabriel,

    Can you be serious for just one minute?

    Who’s decides who gets the rectal exam? Isn’t this against an individual’s human rights? Who pays for it?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | August 15, 2012, 7:28 pm
  42. No doubt this is the fault of some Hezzie honeypot:

    http://www.thearabdigest.com/2012/08/the-free-syrian-armys-first-sex-scandal.html

    Posted by lally | August 15, 2012, 7:48 pm
  43. AP.

    I am no expert on the question of rectal exams, how they are conducted, and what one learns from such exams! I am unclear whether such exams can be proven in a court of law to demonstrate one’s sexuality!

    How could you possibly expect anyone to be serious about such a discussion?!? The best we can do is laugh about it!

    BV. We missed you.

    Posted by Gabriel | August 16, 2012, 4:14 pm
  44. I love the fact that any random family can have a “military wing” these days. And can even public ally advertise it to the media, alongside openly admitting to kidnapping.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | August 16, 2012, 7:37 pm
  45. The Miqdads announced a stop to all military operations, but it was reported that a column of Miqdada tanks was seen approaching the Syrian borders and the SS Moussawi just entered the gulf of Ouza3i and the Zou3ayter drones were flying all day. The situation is very tense; I am on my way to Beirut and will be on the ground tonight to brief you guys on the location of the feared long range Hashish rockets.

    Posted by Vulcan | August 17, 2012, 3:27 am
  46. VULCAN is it really funny to make jokes about that?

    Posted by Karoum | August 17, 2012, 4:38 am
  47. …Get the new MacDad’s at your nearest resto….

    Posted by danny | August 17, 2012, 7:20 am
  48. Gabriel,

    No one is explaining what is going on in Lebanon today. Some pro-Syrian was brought in for questioning by the police. Meanwhile, the Gulf States are telling their people to leave the country. I don’t get it.

    What’s going on?? AIG talks about some sort of “brinkmanship”??

    I will continue posting about the rectal exams until I get an answer. Consider this an official warning.

    Outraged Lebanese demand end to anal exams on gay men

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19166156

    Posted by Akbar Palace | August 17, 2012, 7:21 am
  49. “Outraged Lebanese demand end to anal exams on gay men”…How would you know if they were gay AP?

    What’s your pre occupation with Lebanese anal exams? You should see your shrink. :D

    Posted by danny | August 17, 2012, 7:43 am
  50. You should see your shrink.

    Danny,

    I did. He asked me what was wrong.

    I said, they found 60 bodies in a Damascus suburb today, and 70 bodies in Iraq, and the only thing the mullahs in Iran and their friends in Southern Lebanon can complain about are the Joos, and that we’re “an insult to humanity”.

    So my doctor said I should stop reading the news and instead participate on QN and discuss rectal exams.

    Make sense?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19281043

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19293304

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4269728,00.html

    Posted by Akbar Palace | August 17, 2012, 10:20 am
  51. Get another opinion…It seems your shrink needs to be shrunk. :D

    Posted by danny | August 17, 2012, 11:09 am
  52. Danny,

    There seems to be spillover from Syria and into Lebanon. What are the police doing about this? What are the Hezbos saying? Are the Hezbos still blaming the Zionists for everything including global warming?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19329633

    Posted by Akbar Palace | August 21, 2012, 8:51 am
  53. AP,

    Police in Lebanon are too busy with anal probes to worry about spillovers…

    Posted by danny | August 21, 2012, 9:46 am
  54. Danny,

    It’s a thankless job, no doubt.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | August 21, 2012, 3:50 pm
  55. Question to the Experts Here:

    Since HA’s primary concern and purpose is the security of Lebanon, are they rushing to Northern Lebanon to help quell the violence there?? Are they taking sides or are the mediating??

    Posted by Akbar Palace | August 22, 2012, 10:31 am
  56. Vulcan,

    Here is some eye witness evidence supporting the claim that Hezbollah are playing an active part in the kidnappings:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/08/21/dont_pity_the_nation

    Posted by AIG | August 23, 2012, 9:22 am
  57. I think the Lebanese government should give the anal probe portfolio to Hezbollah, and let the police keep the peace.

    Just thinking out loud.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | August 23, 2012, 10:52 am
  58. I invite all of you to read on http://www.aljoumhouria.com the files. Amazing job by ISF – Intelligence Branch, something that lebanese can be proud. Dear webmaster, maybe is it an interesting thing to write about this lebanese intelligence agency, only 7 years of existence and a lot of achievement.

    Posted by Karoum | August 28, 2012, 2:07 pm
  59. Karoum, its The Mossadomizer! it has dual use.

    Posted by Vulcan | August 28, 2012, 7:08 pm
  60. Mossadomizer? Very good Vulcan.

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…….how do you know about the Mossad’s secret interrogation weapon? “Helping out” in Iraq?

    Posted by lally | August 29, 2012, 11:36 am
  61. Let me enlighten you Missy, I worked as a cook in Iraq :)

    besides the Mossadomizer is a patented Lebanese invention

    Behold, the Mossadomizer!

    http://qifanabki.com/2009/05/10/laf-secret-weapon/

    Posted by Vulcan | August 29, 2012, 6:18 pm
  62. A “cook” of what? Vulcan.

    Intelligence?

    Bogus Lebanese claims of authorship aside, the Israelis pioneered Mossadomizing, thankyou very much.

    Posted by lally | August 29, 2012, 9:44 pm
  63. Lally,

    You didn’t answer my question about why you think “The Three Amigos” (Chomsky, Finkelstein, Cook) have virtually nothing to say about Assad’s “legacy” in Syria?

    Don’t you have some jihadist/”resistance” hasbara to provide us with?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | August 29, 2012, 11:25 pm
  64. Anyone want to comment about Mursi’s speech at the recent summit in Iran?

    So far I give Mursi positive grades…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19418556

    Posted by Akbar Palace | August 30, 2012, 6:54 am
  65. Lally, auxilio ..

    Been crusing and living the Labyrinthian Beyrouth, i wish i can express the show and what swirls in me mind when watching.

    I think i need a English writer teacher for hire.

    apree mwa lo deelooj!

    Posted by V | August 30, 2012, 4:52 pm
  66. apree vooz, V?

    You are a proud phonetician indeed!

    Posted by lally | August 31, 2012, 9:33 pm
  67. Elias,

    Well, with the election is just 2 months ahead, one big foreign policy issue now is Iran. With all this in mind, who do you think would be better for Lebanon: Obama or Romney? Why?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 2, 2012, 4:53 pm
  68. AP…Sorry to jump in but American foreign policy is not made by the presidents…Same results either way!!

    Posted by danny | September 3, 2012, 4:07 pm
  69. Danny,

    My experience is that the US president DOES make “American Foreign policy”. The Secretary of State, Secretary of Defence, and the head of the Nation Security Council, the 3 most important cabinet positions, all convene to advise the president. In the end, only the US president makes the final decision.

    For example, Barack Obama, made the decision to attack OBL’s hideout, conduct a no-fly zone in Libya, and stay out of Syria. But if you think these 3 decisions were made by someone else, please let us know.

    While you contemplate a response, I have another question. How do the Lebanese feel about Nasrallah’s concern of Israel with respect to his non-concern with Assad? Does something not “jive” here or do the Lebanese have a split personality, whereby, Arab suffering can never be worse than Israel’s existence?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 3, 2012, 11:28 pm
  70. AP,

    You are so simplistic…(in this case). :D

    About Nassy…Who cares about his drivel at this moment. Are you really concerned about his bark or bite?

    Posted by danny | September 4, 2012, 8:27 am
  71. You are so simplistic…(in this case).

    Danny,

    How am I simplistic? Can US generals attack Libya or OBL without Obama’s OK and without the knowledge of the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Defense? There’s plenty to complain about, but conspiracy theories should be relegated to other websites. We’re too smart here!

    Considering the damage he’s been responsible for before, I am concerned.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 4, 2012, 10:42 am
  72. So you think that the fact that a president has to give an OK makes him the one shaping the foreign policy of the country. Please. He is not the one who thinks, reflects, he is merely the one following the mainstream agreed upon idea amongst the “experts” and other “advisors”.

    That doesn’t mean that there is a conspiracy and the puppet master is the same since the inception of America. There are circles of policy makers that are more or less influent depending on the administration in charge. For domestic issues, the differences can be substantial, but for foreign policy there are roughly no changes. And it is even more true for the Middle East region. I believe that the foreign policy of the US vis a vis the ME didn’t budge of a iota, despite empty speechs, for many reasons but the main one is the “bond” between the US and the colonial artefact Israel.

    (and just in case you want to bring up the withdrawal from Iraq under Obama’s regime, don’t bother with that, it was a logical step to be done, not a shift whatsoever)

    Posted by 3issa | September 5, 2012, 5:55 am
  73. (off topic: what is happening with Samaha bey ? he will remain in jail forever, or they are waiting to get a clearer picture of the probable outcome in Syria before doing something concrete about him)

    Posted by 3issa | September 5, 2012, 5:59 am
  74. 3issa’s American Foreign Policy Lesson

    So you think that the fact that a president has to give an OK makes him the one shaping the foreign policy of the country.

    3issa,

    Apparently you have a bit more to learn about the US government. Uh, yeah, if after careful reflection, the US president decides (for example) that establishing a no-fly zone over Libya is NOT in America’s best interest, then he doesn’t give the OK.

    Those “shaping the foreign policy” is the president’s cabinet (most the Secretary of State), his political party, advisors (possibly spouse, the VP) and a whole slew of advisors. Ultimately, the president with all the information at hand, makes the call.

    He is not the one who thinks, reflects, he is merely the one following the mainstream agreed upon idea amongst the “experts” and other “advisors”.

    Every US President “thinks”, has his own chosen set of advisors, etc. Barack Obama’s advisors are not the same as GWB’s advisors. Joe Biden is not Dick Cheney.

    That doesn’t mean that there is a conspiracy and the puppet master is the same since the inception of America.

    What “puppet master” are you referring to “since the inception of America”? I know of no person who can live 236 years.

    …but for foreign policy there are roughly no changes…

    Really?

    You’re saying Obama’s complete refusal to vote for the war to oust Saddam Hussein and his policy of immediate withdraw of US forces from Iraq is “no change” from the Bush Administration? You’re saying Obama’s “New Beginnings” speech made in Cairo is “no change” from the Republican foreign policy?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/us/politics/04obama.text.html?pagewanted=all

    I believe that the foreign policy of the US vis a vis the ME didn’t budge of a iota, despite empty speechs, for many reasons but the main one is the “bond” between the US and the colonial artefact Israel.

    3issa,

    You are free to believe what you want. Clearly, the US is pro-Israel, both from the “majority” of each party: the Rebulicans and Democrats. With that in mind, that is why I think Arabs are not nuanced enough to notice the differences in the approach of all US presidents.

    What about GWB’s father George “Herbert” Walker Bush and his arabist Secretary of State James Baker? What about President “Peace not Apartheid” Carter?

    Are they really still “all the same” because despite their differences, they all afford Israel the right of any sovereign country: the right of self-defence?

    Slowly, the arab world will “build a bridge and get over it”, i.e., the State of Israel, and learn to live with it. If arabs can live with their cozy Arab despots/murderers, they can certainly live with Israel.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 5, 2012, 7:26 am
  75. AP the zionist lol,

    I regret having posted something directed to you, there is actually no point in responding to you. You choose bits of what I wrote and give it a spin that serves your reply. Anyway, I said: “There are circles of policy makers that are more or less influent depending on the administration in charge. ”

    And these are these people whom the point of view will weight heavy or not depending on the “camp” at the white house. And the president will then pick up advisor etc etc from these groups of people.

    And when you say that an individual such as George W Bush can reflect on foreign policy issue, you are just ridiculing yourself. (btw, this man is a convicted war crime criminal).

    And also, by mentionning, “New Beginnings” non sense, you are just giving an example of the empty speech BS that doesn’t change anything to the Foreign Policy. Can you give me one example of a concrete change, or a real shift of US foreign policy related to that speech in Cairo ? I’ll wait.
    However I can see that the opposite (i.e. no change whatsoever) is true: full support to Israel and full support to dictatorial regimes following the US (until the last moment before they get ousted).

    It may be an oversimplification, but your so-called foreign policy lesson is just pathetically empty of substance.

    And of course, you are again ridiculing yourself by not grasping the 2nd degree when I talk about the conspiracy since the inception of America.

    And of course, the 2nd part of your post is my favorite, the classical zionist morale BS about how unuanced, binary and ultimately backward the Arabs are for rejecting this door for democracy that the Apartheid State is. And you can’t underestimate how “slow” the Arabs are in accepting Israel. A slowness synonym to immobility.

    Please, first, move to Israel, you’ll be more credible (like likudnid AIG), then engage in bridge building, see the failure with your own eyes, and 1. pack up and go back home 2. fight until the end 3….there is no third option for you because you’ll never accept to live in an Israel without its Jewish State label

    Posted by 3issa | September 5, 2012, 12:50 pm
  76. 3issa – yadi yadi yada… an Arab product pontificating and analyzing US policy making, is quite pathetic and frankly a bit insulting. Spare us and stick to a couscous recipe or something Moroccan

    Posted by Vulcan | September 5, 2012, 2:37 pm
  77. V. Good boy.

    You should try some of our hashish. Or in the same moronic clichés you like, we also have easy going women. Idiot.

    Posted by 3issa | September 5, 2012, 5:25 pm
  78. Vulcan, are you standing up/in for your dear cousin? How sweet…….

    American foreign policy at the political platform level is providing a very helpful & timely real life lesson; naturally it’s the Democrats effing it up. At the Dem convention, their party platform came under fire because they didn’t say GOD and declare that holy Jerusalem belongs to the Jews. Naturally, the corrections were made as soon as Obama heard it was controversial and that Alan Dershowitz would be calling.

    So democratically, the required voice vote of the Democratic convention delegates was taken in order to approve (by 2/3) the changes. And then another vote was taken; and yet a third voice vote was taken…..

    oops:

    The fact that the ayes never came close to the 2/3 rule was ignored.The Democratic delegates in the hall are the party’s loyal and dedicated footsoldiers who have just learned that their voices are in essence, naught but white noise. Their political “leadership” just learned that unlike themselves, the core of the party apparatchiks does not genuflect to order.

    The party poobahs and nabobs were visibly gobsmacked at the results!

    Awesomeness.

    Posted by lally | September 5, 2012, 8:32 pm
  79. 3issa’s Free Entertainment right here on the QN Network

    AP the zionist lol,

    I regret having posted something directed to you, there is actually no point in responding to you.

    3issa,

    Sure, because I write what you don’t want to hear. You don’t want to hear that some American presidents have been trying to reach out to the Arab and Muslim world; yet the Arab and Muslim world never reciprocates. They’re either too busy moaning and whining about the West or Israel or too busy staying alive under the thumb of the despot du jour.

    You don’t want to hear that to Arabs, only Israel is an unacceptable “Entity”, yet Saddam Hussein, Assad, Nasrallah, Meshaal, Abbas, Ahmadinejad and all the autocratic regimes are somehow acceptable.

    You don’t want hear that most Arabs are suffering more than the Palestinians.

    You don’t what to hear the obvious, that Israel and Palestine have to learn to live together.

    You choose bits of what I wrote and give it a spin that serves your reply.

    Be specific. Identify something I said that isn’t correct.

    Anyway, I said: “There are circles of policy makers that are more or less influent depending on the administration in charge. ”

    Of course there is influence. What I am trying to say is that it comes from many directions, and the President has to make a decision based on what he thinks is best for the country.

    And these are these people whom the point of view will weight heavy or not depending on the “camp” at the white house. And the president will then pick up advisor etc etc from these groups of people.

    Advisers are picked. And….?

    And when you say that an individual such as George W Bush can reflect on foreign policy issue, you are just ridiculing yourself. (btw, this man is a convicted war crime criminal).

    Anyone can “reflect on foreign policy issues”. The man sitting at the hooka bar can reflect on foreign policy issues. The president has the added power of (arguably) the smartest people in their field to help him make that decision.

    And also, by mentionning, “New Beginnings” non sense, you are just giving an example of the empty speech BS that doesn’t change anything to the Foreign Policy. Can you give me one example of a concrete change, or a real shift of US foreign policy related to that speech in Cairo ? I’ll wait.

    The change is the wording of the speech itself. You wouldn’t find one arab leader reciprocate likewise.

    However I can see that the opposite (i.e. no change whatsoever) is true: full support to Israel and full support to dictatorial regimes following the US (until the last moment before they get ousted).

    Define “full support”. The US and Israel have disagreed many times. Again, you are to blunt to see the differences. There were many disagreements with Carter, James Baker, and even now with Obama.

    You confuse “full support” with recognizing Israel’s right to exist and defend itself. If you’re waiting for the US administration to say Israel must unilaterally withdraw to the ’67 borders without a peace treaty or commit suicide to that 3issa is a “happy camper”, you will be waiting a long time.

    It may be an oversimplification, but your so-called foreign policy lesson is just pathetically empty of substance.

    Of course. I need to learn about “Foreign Policy” from Hamas and Hezbollah and Nejad and the rest of the completely ostracized ME.

    And of course, you are again ridiculing yourself by not grasping the 2nd degree when I talk about the conspiracy since the inception of America.

    I’m ridiculing myself because I don’t accept your admitted “conspiracy theories”? Pul-eeeeeze! Next you’ll be telling me Mohammad Atta was Netanyahu’s next door neighbor.

    And of course, the 2nd part of your post is my favorite, the classical zionist morale BS about how unuanced, binary and ultimately backward the Arabs are for rejecting this door for democracy that the Apartheid State is.

    3issa,

    When the arab world can bring its per capita GDP from $4000/yr to $40000/yr, replace their leaders with those that allow freedom of speech and free elections, and when they take the time to build their infrastructure instead of exporting terror, perhaps I’ll change my mind.

    And you can’t underestimate how “slow” the Arabs are in accepting Israel. A slowness synonym to immobility.

    I really don’t care if some arabs prefer to live under “resistance” rabbits like Assad if it makes them feel better. My advice and my comments are just my opinion.

    Please, first, move to Israel, you’ll be more credible (like likudnid AIG), then engage in bridge building, see the failure with your own eyes, and 1. pack up and go back home 2. fight until the end 3….there is no third option for you because you’ll never accept to live in an Israel without its Jewish State label

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 5, 2012, 8:34 pm
  80. Lally,

    How do these party conventions work in the arab world?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 5, 2012, 8:40 pm
  81. AP,
    Really there is nothing to discuss with you. Your answers are depressing.
    Say you are smarter and you won the argument.
    Ill never write anything directed to you again. #pi**ing_in_the_wind

    Posted by 3issa | September 6, 2012, 1:43 am
  82. 3issa, I prefer Lebanese hashish, and your women are a bit hairy for my taste.

    The only idiot is you, before lecturing on Israel and America why don’t you plug your head out of your ass and concentrate on the sewer you live in that is the Arab world.

    Lolla, no am not, my cousin doesnt need help, i am only standing up to the fake Resistance.

    Posted by Vulcan | September 6, 2012, 3:10 am
  83. Hey Vulcan, this is what I do actually, that’s why I am fighting to make deplitatory creams free in Morocco and avocating the ouster the US and that “thing” from the Arab lands.

    But do not worry, once our lands are free, you’ll be welcomed as a tourist. Our casinos and brothels in Jounieh and Hamamet needs your $ money. a8lan wa sa8lan wa mar7aban

    Posted by 3issa | September 6, 2012, 3:45 am
  84. Cousin Vulcan,

    “Fake Resistance”. Good wording.

    It’s mind-boggling how a whole people can be so focused on one country that isn’t their own, while letting their own countries fall to pot. But I’m encouraged that arabs are beginning to wise-up.

    Right now the “resistance” is mostly against the Syrian “Long Neck Geek”. I haven’t seen too much “resistance” in the Apartheid State. Most of the resistance there is against paying high prices at the shouks and shopping malls.

    The Egyptian model will be interesting, and it remains to be seen how Mursi will deal with any “opposition”. Also I’m curious about term limits. Will Mursi make himself “President-for-Life” like most of our despot friends? Maybe Elias understands how the new Egyptian government works.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 6, 2012, 7:09 am
  85. AP, move to Israel, but do not unpack.

    Sincerely,

    The Fake Resistant

    Posted by 3issa | September 6, 2012, 10:19 am
  86. 3issa,

    I thought you weren’t going to address me here on the forum.

    If arabs in Europe and North America can support the Palis and the Long Neck Geek, then I’ll assume I can support the Apartheid State.

    I hobe this doesn’t disabboint you.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 6, 2012, 10:44 am
  87. But how would you know the difference between a fake resistance and the real deal, Vulcan? Despite your denial, your dear dim cousin is very grateful for your masterful framing.

    Speaking of Arab swamps, chef…how are things stewing in southern Iraq these days?

    Posted by lally | September 6, 2012, 4:08 pm
  88. Darling,

    At the risk of sounding idealist, puritanical or naive, a true resistance starts with one bettering his or her self and community first. knowing the state of Arab society and unless a person is a hypocrite, the only moral standing would be to abandon all forms of struggle against Empire and concentrate on locally brewed imperialism and colonialism. if I am to reflect on our state as Arabs, we are colonized and occupied by ignorance, poverty, religious extremism, corruption, racism, sectarianism, nepotism and feudalism to name a few ailments. So let’s not resort to “Fake Resistance” in order to cover up our incompetence and complicity in being who we are now, a nation in constant decline.

    I have not been in Basra in while but I am told the food is much better to accommodate all the different “Squirrels” running around town.

    Posted by Vulcan | September 6, 2012, 4:49 pm
  89. Anyone contribute to AltCity.me?

    Poor QN.

    Posted by Gabriel | September 6, 2012, 6:33 pm
  90. Vulcan, you are a self hating jew

    AP, good point, I shouldn’t have adressed you…but you know, don’t expect rigor and consistency from the Sons of Ishmael

    Posted by 3issa | September 6, 2012, 7:03 pm
  91. Snookums

    “At the risk of sounding idealist, puritanical or naive, a true resistance starts with one bettering his or her self and community first”

    SHN would no doubt agree, especially with this part: “and concentrate on locally brewed imperialism and colonialism.”

    Unless of course, you don’t consider Israel to be “local”……

    BTW, the Dear Cousin’s Homeland suffers from many of the same distressing problems as cited it your litany of woe. The DCs are even more helpless to address the growing “ignorance, poverty, religious extremism, corruption, racism, sectarianism, nepotism and feudalism” that is rending Israel from within.

    Lebanon is a conundrum. On the one hand, the lack of unity (nationalism) promotes weakness. One the other hand, the lack of unity also prevents the “permanent” rule of any would-be dictators, ruling royals and/or the proxies of ambitious hegemons. It seems that all such efforts to herd this most fractious bunch of cats always comes to grief. There is strength in weakness.

    Vulcie? “Squirrels” are not a species commonly found in desert environments. They are boreal creatures. One can only hope that their supplemented diet doesn’t cause them to “bloom” in Basra and completely overrun the native habitat like those pythons in Florida’s swamps.

    Posted by lally | September 6, 2012, 8:34 pm
  92. “Real Resistance” Lesson #1

    Lala axes:

    But how would you know the difference between a fake resistance and the real deal

    Lala,

    The “real deal” resistance is when you kill thousands of your own people and then blame it on the Jews. Hitler and Nazi Germany are a great example of “real deal” resistance.

    The “fake resistance” is the one that’s non-violent.

    The “real deal” resistance is the one where your hard-working resistance leaders (e.g. Asthma “Candlestick” Assad and her really brave Husband “Bash”) make sure their subjects get some serious jail time for not saying the right things at the right time because this could obviously hurt “The Cause”.

    The “fake resistance” is allowing people to say what’s on their mind, because they know their cause is strong enough for dissent.

    The “real deal” resistance is keeping your people in deep poverty and squalor by stealing from them while blaming it on, you guessed it, the Sunnis, because the Sunnis are “sectarian” (key word) and anyway, the Sunnis must be pro-Saudi, and we all know the Saudis are really Jews so, you get the picture.

    The “fake resistance” is keeping the heat on your enemy politically, but still permitting your people to thrive in business, and become powerful individuals like Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson and Colin Powell. We all know this never works and is more Zionist propaganda (aka “Hasbara”).

    The “real deal” resistance walks out of the UN when a Zionist takes the podium.

    The “fake resistance” walk out when the non-Zionist murderers of arabs take the podium.

    The “real deal” resistance blames all catastrophes on the Jews, because they have super-natural evil powers.

    The “fake resistance” uses real/obvious evidence to prove why the catastrophe happened.

    So yes, Lala, these are a few examples showing the difference between the “fake resistance” and the “real deal” resistance (the one you are so enamored with).

    BTW – you didn’t answer my question about those brave resistance fighters: Jonathan Cook, Noam and Norman. Don’t you agree that they make great “real deal” resistance jockeys? They meet all the criteria above!

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 6, 2012, 8:49 pm
  93. “if I am to reflect on our state as Arabs, we are colonized and occupied by ignorance, poverty, religious extremism, corruption, racism, sectarianism, nepotism and feudalism to name a few ailments. So let’s not resort to “Fake Resistance” in order to cover up our incompetence and complicity in being who we are now, a nation in constant decline.”
    As the popular myth goes, these ailments would not have existed if it werent for the imperialists and colonialists who created these problems so they can take away from the Arabs. Lol

    Nice quote Vulcan.

    Posted by Maverick | September 6, 2012, 9:04 pm
  94. DCs are even more helpless to address…

    Lala,

    More helpless than who?

    Israel per capita GDP: $31,400 (2011 est.)

    Israel unemployment rate: 5.6% (2011 est.)

    Lebanon per capita GDP: $15,700 (2011 est.)

    Syria per capita GDP (before the Jews revolted): $5100

    Syria unemployment rate: +12%

    Egypt per capita GDP (before the Jews revolted): $6600

    Egypt unemployment rate: +12%

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 6, 2012, 9:06 pm
  95. “Maverick”:

    “As the popular myth goes, these ailments would not have existed if it werent for the imperialists and colonialists who created these problems so they can take away from the Arabs. Lol”

    Lol is right that you would believe that your overlords give a flying burrito brother about anything but complaisance. Folly.

    Your patrons are themselves in decline….haven’t you noticed? Or are you too bedazzled by the spectre of a GOP hollywood icon dialoging with an empty chair @ GOP2012 in Tampa? Or the prospect of a mass public swooning of Republican conventioneers in reaction to a wisely cancelled holographic living vision of HISHOLYSELF Ronald Reagan?

    Seriously America? Emulate this? Seriously?

    Woe unto me and mine…..

    Posted by lally | September 7, 2012, 12:48 am
  96. Gaby.

    Classes @ Brown have started for QN’s lucky students.

    Posted by lally | September 7, 2012, 1:29 am
  97. Lally,

    I have no idea what you just said, excuse my ignorance. Re-phrase, I actually understood your whole obsession with the latest in American conventions but what has that to do with anything resembling that age old myth whom “we” Middle Easterners so vociferously express at every turn when the wind changes blaming ” Al Sahyooooni” and Amrika while walloping in our own pile of goo. That’s what the underlying stream is in this blog I believe for most participants here anyway. Look in the mirror instead of East or West.

    My patrons!?! Lool, you don’t get it. Please see: Moniker. Don’t read too much into it.

    And just remember to be thankful, at least you have a right to express an opinion wherever you may be. I can’t say much for the people who cannot form an opinion, are too scared to form an opinion, or don’t really matter what their opinion is because the regime you so love to defend does not even entertain the possibility of a differing opinion. It is not only forbidden but transgressors will be thrown into the dungeons without a right to defend themselves indefinitely.
    At least be balanced and criticize all parties that are guilty, the same, otherwise you’re just another product of propaganda and bias no matter how eloquently you wrap your words and messages.

    Posted by Maverick | September 7, 2012, 3:12 am
  98. I’m just pasting here a post from “Angry Arab” As’ad Abu Khalil. (his short comment is at the end)

    Democratic Platform on the Middle East: the Barry Obama years
    The Democratic Platform has three paragraphs on the Middle East: two of them deal with Israel and partly says this: “President Obama and the Democratic Party maintain an unshakable commitment to
    Israel’s security. A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States not simply because we share
    strategic interests, but also because we share common values. For this reason, despite budgetary
    constraints, the President has worked with Congress to increase security assistance to Israel every single year since taking office, providing nearly $10 billion in the past three years. The administration has also worked to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region. And we have deepened defense cooperation – including funding the Iron Dome system – to help Israel address its most pressing threats, including the growing danger posed by rockets and missiles emanating from the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. The President’s consistent support for Israel’s right to defend itself and his steadfast opposition to any attempt to delegitimize Israel on the world stage are further evidence of our enduring commitment to Israel’s security.” And the last paragraph–the only one that does not deal with Israel–says this: “Elsewhere in the region, President Obama is committed to maintaining robust security cooperation with Gulf Cooperation Council states and our other partners aimed at deterring aggression, checking Iran’s destabilizing activities, ensuring the free flow of commerce essential to the global economy, and building a regional security architecture to counter terrorism, proliferation, ballistic missiles, piracy, and other common threats.” This is the true stance of the US in the Middle East: it is Israel and then the Gulf dictatorships. And you dare wonder “why they hate us”?

    http://angryarab.blogspot.fr/2012/09/democratic-platform-on-middle-east.html

    Posted by 3issa | September 7, 2012, 5:51 am
  99. Vulcan and Maverick: 3

    Resistance Leaders: 0

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 7, 2012, 8:06 am
  100. This is the true stance of the US in the Middle East: it is Israel and then the Gulf dictatorships. And you dare wonder “why they hate us”?

    Dear Angry Arab,

    Who hates who? If you want love, get with the program, and “resistance” isn’t the program.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 7, 2012, 8:12 am
  101. I dont want to adress you. But your moronic question calls for an answer.
    They= Arabs (lets simplify), or those dying thanks to the US
    Us= USA

    This “why they hate us” is a classic in the mouth of those bomb carpets lovers who struggle for democracy.

    Posted by 3issa | September 7, 2012, 12:49 pm
  102. Dear Resistance Leader who doesn’t want to address me,

    Sbeaking of “moronic”, all 25,000 deaths are due to arabs killing arabs, which began with the Dr. Pencil Neck Geek’s army shooting into crowds of civilians protesting his “rule”.

    Stob blaming others for your failures.

    If you want to blame someone, blame Assad, and his allies Russia and China, who all have the power to stop this via the UN.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 7, 2012, 12:58 pm
  103. The brave Resistance professionals of the Syrian army are now shelling Palestinians??

    “Why are they doing this? What good is shelling a camp with houses and bakeries? They are making sure that every Syrian and Palestinian turns against them,” complained one Palestinian resident near Yarmouk, who also asked to remain anonymous.

    OMG, the resistance community may pop an artery!

    http://news.yahoo.com/bombardment-blasts-rock-syrian-capital-143257596.html

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 7, 2012, 3:35 pm
  104. Alex’s concern about “violence and mass murder NewZ

    Wow. I found this old file in my archives from 5 years ago. This was a response to AIG because of something AIG said to one well-known poster named Simohurtta, and anti-semite from Finland:


    Alex said:

    AIG,

    Sim is not a bad antisemite, YOU are a bad Jew.

    Thou shalt not murder
    Thou shalt not steal
    Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.

    Stop wrapping your violent aggressive and selfish attitudes with beautiful words like “Democracy”.

    Anyone who tried to tell you that you are wrong, you call him an antisemite.

    If an intelligent Israeli journalist in Haaretz says something sensible and peaceful, you and Akbar try to portray him as a 6% minority whose opinion does not count. If an American analyst promotes the idea of dialogue with Syria Akbar calls him clueless.

    And of course the only thing you are understanding from my comment here is: “This is all coming from a Syrian regime tool … that explains it”

    By discrediting anyone who criticizes yo, you have lost the ability to listen to those who are explaining to you that you are mostly an advocate of violence and mass murder for your own selfish reasons… a fake sense of security and a reinforcement for your superiority complex.

    October 16th, 2007, 7:24 pm

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 8, 2012, 6:19 pm
  105. It seems QN dumped us for his paying students !

    Posted by Vulcan | September 11, 2012, 7:38 pm
  106. I don’t know. It is times like this where I think Obama should make another speech in Cairo. You know, to help repair the damage GWB created.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 11, 2012, 10:43 pm
  107. enough speeches already!

    Take a look at this beauty here;

    http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/assads-useful-idiots/374/

    Posted by Maverick | September 11, 2012, 11:49 pm
  108. Useful idiots. The world is full of them. If Obama wins re-election, we’ll have this group to thank.

    Meanwhile, our US Ambassador to Libya was murdered yesterday. A big “thank you” for helping the Libyans attain freedom. No good deed goes unpunished in the ME…

    http://news.yahoo.com/u-ambassador-libya-three-staff-killed-rocket-attack-091505030.html

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 12, 2012, 6:48 am
  109. Ha ha. I’m still here… just very very busy.

    Will try to say something relevant this weekend.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | September 12, 2012, 8:15 am
  110. Reporting from Beirut-

    The Pope will be here tomorrow or Friday, there is poetry everywhere and love is foaming out of Lebanese politicians and all men of the cloth are singing praise of Lebanon, the message to humanity. We are the example of tolerance and co-existence the world should marvel at and learn from.

    Meanwhile and elsewhere, the “Defenders of Prophets” who will rule the ME for the coming 50 years are setting more examples in tolerance and respect for life.

    Ya habibi ya Allah

    Pax Vobiscum

    Posted by Vulcan | September 12, 2012, 7:37 pm
  111. I am a little offended that the mobs did not bother to burn an Israeli flag this time. Being the “little Satan” is not what it used to be.

    Posted by AIG | September 13, 2012, 2:30 pm
  112. AIG,

    Not to worry. The day isn’t over yet. Plus, it’s election season…

    http://www.danielpipes.org/11949/islamist-assault-western-cringe

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 13, 2012, 3:55 pm
  113. AIG,

    We are so happy that you guys are back in the picture! A gift for you on Rosh Hashanah! Lakhayem

    Posted by danny | September 14, 2012, 1:59 pm
  114. Hey AP,

    It seems to me the guy you often link to his articles in admiration, has a POV on intervention in Syria, which is much closer to that of Obama’s than to yours.

    Posted by Badr | September 14, 2012, 2:03 pm
  115. Phew, I can now emit a sigh of relief.

    AIG,

    I know, I was getting worried.

    As far as “the guy” I often link to, Dr. Daniel Pipes, I differ with him on very few points. I differ with him on Syria. Obama is a two-faced liberal ideolgue who will say that helping the Libyans will prevent human suffering, while with Syria, it not part of the equation. Pipes could care less about saving the lives of arabs.

    My opinion is yes, helping muslims and arabs will DEFINATELY not be remembered or reciprocated. As a human, I can’t see the suffering or murder of thousands of innocent people, and I believe it is on our best interest to get Assad out, even if there is a hostile Islamist who replaces him.

    I am still puzzled why the american jewish community is so enamoured with BO. Apparently the democrat party and liberalism is more important than the welfare of the economy and Israel.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 14, 2012, 2:58 pm
  116. Glad that the victimization junkies got their fix at long last.

    Posted by lally | September 14, 2012, 3:09 pm
  117. I never thought of the rioters in the Muslim world in that way, but you have a point.

    Posted by AIG | September 14, 2012, 4:12 pm
  118. lol. and all of the sons of Abraham too….

    Posted by lally | September 14, 2012, 5:27 pm
  119. Today Colonel Harland David Sanders was struck down in Tripoly, Lebanon

    Its a sad day for all Kentucky Fried Chiken Lovers, somewhere in a bunker a bearded Anti Empire warior shed a tear and settled for Falafel.

    Posted by Vulcan | September 14, 2012, 6:24 pm
  120. KFC is only edible when it is piping hot…….

    Posted by lally | September 14, 2012, 8:24 pm
  121. There they go again. Now they even made the Lady of Seas cry. And the sea of Lebanon is so full of oil that it is pouring out of the Lady’s eyes too, together with the usual blood…(can’t be olive oil, past seasons were too dry)

    http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/53641-reports-lady-of-seas-weeps-blood-oil

    Posted by mj | September 15, 2012, 7:31 am
  122. Really disgusting to see 2 hardcore likudniks joking together
    Scary

    Anyway AP said that Muslims and Arabs are not grateful. I can confirm that. We don’t consider that we should be thankful to KFC for having invaded our lands.

    Posted by 3issa | September 15, 2012, 9:18 am
  123. And there you have it. 3ISSA has summarized the problems of the middle east in the most succinct way. Two Jews joking is scary and disgusting but some Sunnis torching a KFC, not scary at all and of course justified.

    Posted by AIG | September 15, 2012, 11:36 am
  124. LOL AIG, it is easy to read a comment the way your bigoted and sectarian mind needs to read it.
    Pack up, brother.

    Posted by 3issa | September 15, 2012, 12:59 pm
  125. 3issa,

    in light of your latest profound comments, shouldn’t you be boycotting this Blog ?

    Posted by Maverick | September 15, 2012, 10:03 pm
  126. The Internet and Blogs are Arab innovations, they weren’t introduced by the dirty Zionists and Colonial Infidels. And the KFC in Tripoli was owned by Bush Junior

    On another subject i hear the Saudis are soliciting designs for a second network of roads and highways to be used by women only when the Saudis lift the ban on women driving

    Posted by Vulcan | September 16, 2012, 7:02 am
  127. Hey do I really need to say that I was joking when talking about the KFC invasion?
    I just love it…but really hot only lol

    V, are you sure that internet comes from Arabia. I knew about apple being definitely an Arab initiative.

    If that parallel highways thing is true. Well that’s a news lol. Arabs are very creative.

    Posted by 3issa | September 16, 2012, 9:27 am
  128. Vulcan (or anyone else for that matter),

    How do you explain the entire ME going nuts, with violent demonstrations numbering tens of thousands for over a week because of a dumb video, yet, not even remotely similar demonstrations against Bashar Assad and his murder of THOUSANDS of innocent people?

    May I assume that Mohammad’s name uttered in disrespect is MORE IMPORTANT than the lives of people??

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 17, 2012, 8:11 pm
  129. I wonder if those highways in Saudi Arabia will show higher accident rates. You know- women drivers and all!

    On another note:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-19600879

    AP.. Ayrabs are Craaaaaaaaaaaaaazy!

    Posted by Gabriel | September 17, 2012, 8:52 pm
  130. It seems Hassan doesn’t want to be one-upped.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19631471

    Posted by Gabriel | September 17, 2012, 9:20 pm
  131. Gaby. Good answer!{)

    Poor Rushdie is compelled to revist his claim to fame by imagining that his novel is too “hot” to be published in this climate. No indeed, Mr Rushdie. There would be a bidding war among those who consider themselves holy warriors of one sort or another. They would reli$h the feeding frenzy.

    NBC news just told me that HSN claims that The Satans: large and SMALL, are engaged in a campaign to set Christians and Muslims @ eachother !!!!!!!!!!! Everyone seems rather impressed with the peaceful demonstrating terrorist masses except for our Dept of State. Evidently, the overwrought little bunnies know bupkes about the Hezzie discipline. So fearful are they that they want the citizens to get outta town and are burning classified documents just in, you know, case.

    Why does it sort of look more like what a responsible government ministry would do in anticipation of a war?; a real war that would decimate the State’s ability to function among the anticipated devastation…..

    Speaking of commemorations, let us observe the 30 year anniversary of Sabra and Shatilla by saluting this revelation of the shocking Israeli version of the wkicables as documented by the brilliant young Columbia doctoral candidate author. His Israeli pedigree and impeccable scholarly credentials no doubt helped with gaining access to archival materials of conversations between the American fecktards and Israeli principals involved in the 3-day moving slaughter of the innocents.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/17/opinion/a-preventable-massacre.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3

    Bravo, Seth Anziska, bravo.

    Posted by lally | September 17, 2012, 10:42 pm
  132. Gabriel,

    I have to agree with you unless there’s a better answer.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 17, 2012, 10:57 pm
  133. Lally,

    Are you really an expert on “slaughter of the innocents”? What are your credentials?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 17, 2012, 11:01 pm
  134. What? Syrian fighter jets fired missiles into Lebanon? I wonder what the great poobah and “protector” of the Lebanese People had to say about this?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 17, 2012, 11:33 pm
  135. SHN has become an astute politician.

    Obama, Mursi, SHN or the Dalai Lama…Once into power, values and principles are replaced with interests.

    Posted by Maverick | September 18, 2012, 12:19 am
  136. no, the Dalai Lama is holly.

    Posted by 3issa | September 18, 2012, 4:24 am
  137. …But nasrallah is “divine”!!

    Posted by danny | September 18, 2012, 10:27 am
  138. AP –

    This Arab proverb may be the answer ” Me and my brother against my cousin; me, my brother, and my cousin against the stranger”

    In seperate news, Arab mobs inexplicably break into “I Feel Pretty”

    Posted by Vulcan | September 18, 2012, 11:59 am
  139. Vulcan,

    The Jewish Tanak explains it thusly;):

    And he said: ‘Hagar, Sarai’s handmaid, whence camest thou? and whither goest thou?’ And she said: ‘I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.’

    9 And the angel of HaShem said unto her: ‘Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.’

    10 And the angel of HaShem said unto her: ‘I will greatly multiply thy seed, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

    11 And the angel of HaShem said unto her: ‘Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son; and thou shalt call his name Ishmael, because HaShem hath heard thy affliction.

    12 And he shall be a wild ass of a man: his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren.’

    13 And she called the name of HaShem that spoke unto her, Thou art a G-d of seeing; for she said: ‘Have I even here seen Him that seeth Me?’

    14 Wherefore the well was called ‘Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

    15 And Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.

    16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 18, 2012, 3:16 pm
  140. no comment

    Posted by 3issa | September 19, 2012, 7:32 am
  141. Apropo and timely tweet from Max Blumenthal:

    “Against stupidity, God himself is helpless” — old Jewish proverb

    Posted by lally | September 19, 2012, 2:59 pm
  142. QN Learning is Fun… and Educational!

    Lala,

    Here’s another old Jewish proverb…

    First mend yourself, and then mend others.

    http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Jewish_Proverb/

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 19, 2012, 4:31 pm
  143. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19646748

    Tsk Tsk. Charlie Hebdo does it again. Give it to the French. Maybe they didn’t have balls in Hitler’s time, but now! Ooh La-La!

    Meanwhile, over @ the UK’s Guardian, once actress, now Muslim spokeswoman, Orientalist extraordinaire, Myriam Cerrah, weighs in on the question of Aisha.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2012/sep/17/muhammad-aisha-truth?INTCMP=SRCH

    Apparently she knows the “Truth”.

    Posted by Gabriel | September 19, 2012, 5:26 pm
  144. CAMERA asks some pretty good questions in my estimation. Thank goodness. I suppose this is why the Anti-Defamation League exists. An as usual, the damage has been done…

    http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=2&x_article=2294

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 20, 2012, 11:17 am
  145. A Question to our Zionist and Arab Comrades in the know.

    Now that POTUS bluntly stated that he won’t be paying any attention to the “noise” and that there will be “consultation but no cooperation”, what are the chances of Bibi going at it alone and how soon?

    Should we make a dash to the bank ?

    Gracias!

    Posted by Vulcan | September 24, 2012, 4:42 pm
  146. Qifa Nakba

    Vulcan,

    You’re funny.

    Cash has been “King” for the past 5 years, and, IMO, will be in the near future.

    BB is between a rock and a hard place, and here are his 2 options as I see it. All “lose/LOSE”…

    1.) Attack Iran before the election:

    Result: Obama will have to blunt criticism toward Israel. Everything depends on the Iranian response. Some bombs falling into Tel Aviv, some heavy infrastructure loses. Will it escalate? Will the US get involved? Will Hezbollah get involved? Will Israel be fighting both in Lebanon and Iran? It will last for a month at most.

    The media will then question if Israel did this out of necessity or only to derail the Obama re-election.

    It will be Iraq/Bush all over again. Lots of second guessing. OTOH, will Israel have good intelligence to counter the media and the Obama administration? Is it really “noise” or is it deafening sound waves?

    In no way can a pre-election war between Israel and Iran help Obama.

    2.) Waiting until after the election:

    Obama may downgrade relations with Israel. No election to hold him back. Obama may have no qualms with a nuclear Iran at all. Really Israel is the only perceived dog in this fight.

    As you can see, waiting until after the election would be a bigger loss than going before the election. Attacking Iran, now and the mess it will incur, is still better than depending on Obama until after the election. Sometimes, waiting just isn’t worth it. As Jefferson once said, “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” Any small disruption of Irans nuclear capability will be perceived as an Israeli victory. With the US standing silently in the background, the BO administration will look impotent. The screaming at the UN will be a victory for the Syrian Pencil Neck who is already on page 32…

    Only Israel creates Nakbas. The rest is terrorism.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 24, 2012, 8:32 pm

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