Beirut in the Rearview Mirror

Dear friends, apologies for the scattershot postings these days. I’ve just embarked upon my winter holidays and am now looking forward to the perspective (and broadband connection) that comes with leaving Beirut for a few weeks. All this is to say that my inexpert musings over the next month or so will not even be possessed of their solitary virtue, namely proximity to the theatre of operations.

A belated Eid Adha Mubarak to all of you and a merry Christmas.


17 thoughts on “Beirut in the Rearview Mirror

  1. Christmas mubarak and merry Adha to you too. I am heading towards the theatre of operations myself in 4 days, 18 hours, and 49 minutes. Does a rearview of a rearview yield an un-reversed image, I wonder?

    Posted by Ms. Tee | December 21, 2008, 10:10 am
  2. All the compliments of the season QN, whatever your religious affiliation may be or not be!

    Hope 09 is a good one for you!

    Posted by Enlightened | December 22, 2008, 8:11 pm
  3. QN,
    Happy holidays.
    Since I am being censored at SC, I was wondering whether you would agree to host a discussion about “Syria is the only game in town”. The only one making sense in that discussion is you, but as usual, you are too diplomatic which allows issues to be swept under the carpet. For example, the expectation that Syria is so valuable that it will get whatever it asks for without giving anything is quite amusing, especially with Iran being defacto a bankrupt country.

    Posted by AIG | December 24, 2008, 6:33 pm
  4. AIG

    That’s me, Mr. Diplomatic. So you want me to turn my blog into an AIG-friendly underground Syria Comment? To backstab my Arab brethren? To cold-heartedly consort with the enemy in such a public fashion?

    Oh well, I guess I could use the hits… 😉

    But AIG, I think you overestimate the number of people milling around here, looking for stimulating conversations. In fact, I’d wager we’re the only ones.

    Feel free, though, to air your thoughts here.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 24, 2008, 7:37 pm
  5. Actually, give me til tomorrow and I’ll create a new post for the discussion.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 24, 2008, 7:39 pm
  6. QN,

    Have a great holiday season. May the next year bring joy & peace to all.

    Posted by Ras Beirut | December 27, 2008, 12:32 pm
  7. And to you, Ras Beirut.

    AIG, I think the conversation has moved on at Syria Comment, so I can’t muster the energy to create a post. (I’m glued to the news in Gaza).

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 27, 2008, 2:03 pm
  8. QN,
    It is always the same topic: The Arabs are too busy fighting Israel to have a serious discussion on how to get their house in order, but they have always plenty of time to advise Israel how to change and keep warning it about its future.

    About Gaza, it is sad that things had to turn out this way. But it is inevitable that we will continue having these low intensity wars for the foreseeable future until Bashar and other despots stop funding “resistance”.

    Posted by AIG | December 27, 2008, 3:44 pm
  9. QN,
    You write:
    “Even by Israel’s standards, this massacre is just sickening.”

    Those dead are mostly Hamas members, so how is this a massacre? By the way, can you clarify how the Israeli standards relate to the Lebanese ones. The Lebanese killed 200,000 of their own country men. Now that is a massacre. Israel still has a lot to “learn” from Lebanon. Over all of its existence, Israel has never killed the number of Palestinians that Lebanese have. Sad but true. But perhaps I am missing something here and you are not employing double standards and are after all judging Israel and yourself by the same standards. Care to explain?

    “Reports abound on attempts to draw Hizbullah into the conflict.”

    Sources? Sounds to me like internal Lebanese politicking. What is the interest of Israel to fight a two front war? What is the interest of Hizballah to attack Israel before the elections? Not everything is about Lebanon.

    Posted by AIG | December 28, 2008, 1:48 pm
  10. AIG

    Huh? Do you expect me to defend the Lebanese? Do you really expect me to believe that the Civil War was not a sickening massacre? You’re out of luck.

    I thought you weren’t a fan of the two wrongs make a right argument.

    How many of yesterday’s dead are Hamas members exactly? How many are civilians? How many are children?

    The reports may indeed be internal politicking, but while I think Hizbullah has no interest whatsoever in attacking Israel at this stage, Israel has plenty of interest in drawing Hizbullah in, under any circumstances.

    Can you explain what this is about exactly?

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 28, 2008, 2:28 pm
  11. QN,
    I am trying to find out exactly what you mean by “Israeli standards” and how these standards are different from Lebanese, Syrian or any other standards. Look, you used the term “Israeli standards” so it makes sense to ask you you what you mean. I think you are employing double standards, but maybe I am wrong.

    What Israel is doing is fully justified in its own right. Israel needs to care about its own citizens more than it cares about Palestinians. It is the Hamas that must care for them. That is a basic truth that you find hard to accept.

    The reports so far show that at least 75% of people hurt were Hamas. There is always going to be collateral damadge when fighting an organization like Hamas.

    Why is it in Israel’s interest to fight Hizballah now? What can we gain from it? We already have complete peace on our northern border. We really cannot gain anything more.

    Posted by AIG | December 28, 2008, 2:35 pm
  12. AIG

    What’s so hard to understand? The one-day death toll in Gaza yesterday was the highest in 40 years. That’s what it means to be set a new standard in violence.

    And now you want to minimize it by trying to compare it to Lebanese and Syrian standards of violence? Who do you think you’re talking to? Give me a break.

    You can only be guilty of having a double standard if you defend one side and condemn the other.

    When you reduce the current campaign as “caring for its citizens”, you make a mockery of all reasonable argument. Why not just carpet bomb Gaza? What crosses the line, in your mind, as far as violence goes? When does self-defense become senseless agression?

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 28, 2008, 2:49 pm
  13. QN,
    Trying to evade the question?
    You wrote:
    “Even by Israel’s standards, this massacre is just sickening.”

    Does this sentence not imply that according to you, Israeli standards are worse than others? Since you are Lebanese, I can only assume that Lebanese would view this as sickening, way before Israelis. How else should I interpret what you wrote?

    So what if the death toll in Gaza was the highest in 40 years? In 40 years, there were never so many rockets fired at Israel and such a hostile entity controlling Gaza.

    When does self-defense becomes senseless aggression? When it is not self-defense. The Hamas is a legitimate target and Israel has every right to attack it until it stops shooting rockets at Israel. Even if they shoot ONE rocket at israel, because their intent is to kill Israelis, Israel has the right to try killing as many of them as possible while minimizing collateral damage.

    Posted by AIG | December 28, 2008, 3:03 pm
  14. What is especially galling for me QN is that even though Israel has consistently shown that even though it is not a saint, it has fought much cleaner than any of its neighbors. Yet, when it comes to YOUR society, you always find excuses, like yes, they are bad but they need decades to improve so let’s give them a chance. But when it comes to Israel, you demand the highest standards, standards not shown by ANY Western army in similar situations.

    What should I make of this? Why are you trying to fix MY society while giving yourself decades to fix yours? Why aren’t you as patient with Israel as you are with your fellow Arabs? Perhaps we also need a few more generations before we can be held to your imaginary standard, a standard that NO OTHER WESTERN ARMY has ever lived up to.

    Posted by AIG | December 28, 2008, 3:10 pm
  15. AIG, this is one of those ridiculous conversations that you seem to specialize in instigating.

    My point is very simple. Even by Israeli standards — standards which gave us the 2006 war in Lebanon, 1500 people dead, a million cluster bombs, etc. — the current assault on Gaza is sickening. These are the standards that deem a single Jewish life equivalent to hundreds of Palestinian lives. We could go on and on.

    Are Israeli standards worse than Lebanese ones? Syrian ones? Iraqi ones? I have no answer to this question. They strike me as equally bad.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 28, 2008, 3:18 pm
  16. Yet, when it comes to YOUR society, you always find excuses, like yes, they are bad but they need decades to improve so let’s give them a chance.

    Huh? What excuses do I make for my society? Again, who do you think you’re talking to? Now you’ve ceased making sense.

    This thread is closed.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 28, 2008, 3:27 pm
  17. QN,
    Yes, of course these conversations are ridiculous. After all, Jews should learn to accept that every once in a while some Arab will kill one or two of them, and they should accept that without doing anything. Yes, and unlike Arabs that go to war with the aim of “throwing the Jews in the sea”, Jews have to go to war and make sure that their enemies are well taken care of.

    QN, fix your own society first, and then complain about the Israeli one. Oh, I forgot, you need decades to do that so you are more concerned with Israel right now.

    Look how more worried you are about Israel trapping Hizballah than about making sure Hizballah does nothing stupid. Don’t you find that strange? Shouldn’t you be worried about your own countrymen first? Shouldn’t you be talking to them instead of complaining about Israel? Does that not makes sense to you?

    Posted by AIG | December 28, 2008, 3:32 pm

Browse archives

wordpress stats plugin
%d bloggers like this: