Hezbollah, Lebanon, Syria

Are the Gloves Coming Off?

A week ago, Jamil al-Sayyed’s threats sounded like the rantings of Uncle Junior: unintelligible, inconsequential, and frankly a little embarrassing to the whole family. `Uqab Saqr (who seems to have become Saad al-Hariri’s unofficial spokesman) dismissed the ex-security chief as a mentally unbalanced has-been, and added that his threats do not reflect the positions of Damascus or Dahiyeh.

A week later, however, one is beginning to wonder if Uncle Junior hasn’t found a way to make himself useful after all. Defying the authorities to arrest him, he arrived in Beirut today and was warmly received by a Hizbullah escort. No immigration officers dared spoil the welcoming party.

So is al-Sayyed speaking for Syria and Hizbullah or not? At the very least, it looks increasingly like they are not willing to drop the “false witness” file anytime soon. This is their only real mechanism to de-legitimize the Tribunal if indeed indictments are issued against members of Hizbullah.
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Discussion

85 thoughts on “Are the Gloves Coming Off?

  1. If indeed “false witnesses” were “planted” into the investigation at the early stages … I’d neutrally like to know who planted them as well.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | September 18, 2010, 3:05 pm
  2. Witnesses are just that! Maybe they were not credible. But what the heck is a “false witness”?

    If this is the only sliver of “excuse” they have left to discredit STL; they are really scrambling! I believe Syria has decided to ratchet up the pressure on our Sad Saad who continues to “avoid strife” based on guidance from KSA…while the country keeps moving towards the inevitable second but more permanent May7th…
    Syria and HA are not convinced that the STL will not lead to indicting their them!!

    Nothing will except the collapse of STL!

    Summer is over and I don’t think it will be a calm Christmas!

    Posted by danny | September 18, 2010, 3:52 pm
  3. The people belonging to the Lebanese political class deserve each other. All are corrupt, horrible individuals.

    As much as I feel that Jamil Sayed needs to be in jail he seems to have a point on some issues (very sad day for Lebanon when such things happens).

    As for the STL, there will always be a question of credibility, UNLESS they can prove any accusations beyond reasonable doubt, and I mean beyond reasonable doubt (Computer Generated Visuals Effects, collated google photos and bad music won’t cut it anymore)

    Posted by Devin | September 18, 2010, 4:14 pm
  4. When will M14 supporters finally admit that Hezbollah is never willingly going to put down its arms and become just a political movement? You cannot start to fix a problem until you are honest with yourself what the problem really is.

    Posted by AIG | September 18, 2010, 4:33 pm
  5. R.I.P Lebanon, for when you a person Like Jamil El Sayyed is allowed to hold a press conference in the VIP lounge of Beirut airport, reasserting (more like defiant) his threats against every single body of the ELECTED government, and then is allowed to go home escorted by the Hizb’s henchmen (in unmarked cars by the dozen). And yes, some were proud to say that they were going over to his house to have coffee. Meanwhile, where is goatee Saad? Enjoying some “reflection” time abroad. Call of civil strife were made once again by Mr Al Sayyed whom portfolio of abuse of human rights is way to long to mention; and yet, once again the government stance was absent. What can the Lebanese expect from the same government which held a hero’s welcome to Samir Kuntar.
    TFEH !

    Posted by marillionlb | September 18, 2010, 5:33 pm
  6. Why is anyone surprised? This has been going on for decades. Everyone knows that Hezbollah is guilty of something and the govt is too weak to do anything about it.
    Previously, the govt tried to assert itself, and you all know where that led to. If law and justice were to prevail in Lebanon, then, from my understanding, hizb should be prosecuted for all the atrocities it committed in Lebanon since the amnesty in 91 – and that includes the wars of 96, 2000, and 2006. Even then, they should reopen all wartime files like they did for Samir Geagea.
    My gut tells me though, that once the international community deals with Iran, a solution to Lebanons problem will not be far off. And even then, will we be see groups going after Hezbollah to settle scores???
    Sorry for the rant, but their politics really annoys me sometimea…

    Posted by LebExile | September 18, 2010, 5:50 pm
  7. Tfeh indeed, this is the result of giving in to the demands of Syria’s thugs at every turn since 2006.
    why would HA and its dogs back off now ?

    Cedar Revolution my …
    I hope Jumblat, Hariri and company end up in the slammer just for the fun of it.

    Posted by V | September 18, 2010, 8:54 pm
  8. Well, this is going to effect the rapture…

    Posted by Abu Guerrilla | September 18, 2010, 10:47 pm
  9. It amazes me that pple can’t see the STL as the comical play that it is! The same way i was amazed in 2005, while i was in Lebanon for a holiday, how masses of pple stood in “wasat beirut” being preached by pple who were oppressing them since 1990.

    It amazes me still that after all those serious accusations (whether they are true or false should be investigated) that the government hasn’t suspended that Mirza judge. how can an accused oversee the investigation? only in Lebanon.

    I don’t think al-Sayyed is speaking for Syria and Hizbullah. Though i believe he is protected by them, and so he should be. He has accused 1/2 of the “ELECTED” (how funny is that word… elected in lebanon hehehe) government of being corrupt towards the STL. starting from hariri himself!

    Do you (the pple of lebanon) not realised that you have been made fool of for the last 5 or 6 years?

    You know wat, i don’t know why i’m even interested in lebanese politics. the more i learn about it, the more i realise that it’s the pple’s fault. Thank God I was born and raised in Australia.

    Everything that happens in Lebanon, is the PEOPLE’s fault. because you that live in lebanon are so blinded by trivial and stupid quarrels that makes any sane person watching from outside just shake his head in disbelief.

    Posted by Simon | September 18, 2010, 10:50 pm
  10. I do not understand why should we expect anyone who believes in the rule of law and not the misrule of men, with apologieas to Ms. Scarry, to either “drop” a significant file or to expect that correcting an investigative path that led to a deadend is a delegitimization of a Judicial system. Are we seriously suggesting that a Judicial system loses its legitimacy when the accused party does not agree with the indictment and eventually judgment of the court? If that is so then that is blasphemous. Since I have no idea and no one else does, who is going to be indicted and on what grounds then no one, absolutely no one has the right to make baseless accusations and to expect reasonable people to listen to such gibberish.
    Sa’ad Hariri, who should have never been given the opportunity to be the chief executive ought to resign for his collosal failure to lead and the Hezbollah led coalition should insist on a one colour cabinet either led by the March14 bloc or under its own leadership. All parties ought to either “lead, follow or get out of the way”. This tower of babel, a poor excuse for a government, should be ended for the sake of the country.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | September 18, 2010, 11:43 pm
  11. Actually, the following should read as:

    “being preached TO by pple who HAD BEEN oppressing them since 1990.”

    “starting WITH hariri himself!”

    “you have been made foolS of for the last 5 or 6 years?”

    “PEOPLES’

    “you WHO live in lebanon”

    Born and raised in Australia, were you Simon? I guess they don’t teach English in schools there any more.

    Posted by Ed | September 19, 2010, 1:19 am
  12. @Ed, hehehe u crack me up. screw wats being said, and just be a troll about how its being said.
    wow, ur so smart, u managed to pick up mistakes through out the comment! lol

    grow up pple! (shit i said pple and not people!). dats y things never happen in lebanon as everyone wants to be a smart ass.

    Mate, i’m proud to be an Australian, not a maronite leb, or sunni leb, shiia leb, or watever BS leb that you guys always manage to put as a prefix to your lebanese identity.

    Posted by Simon | September 19, 2010, 2:45 am
  13. Amen Ghassan. Though you know the hizb is so inclusive that they could never call for a one color cabinet – they only care for national unity…

    My mom hit me with a great line yesterday at lunch that I think sums up the situation. I was arguing for the collapse of the government and the state. I said we should either be folded in to Syria (or Israel for that matter) but no more of this nonsense called the Republic of Lebanon. She laughed off my suggestion and said that I am now talking nonsense. To quote her “The Lebanese are not governable period.” The only correction I would make to that is to say that the Lebanese are not governable in Lebanon.

    I believe it was an English traveler sometime in the 1500s that said that the Lebanese were a people with great opportunity, except that they are so tribal and unable to work with each other that they are doomed to unreached potential (I wish I can find this quote) – because it still fits today some 500 years later. Lebanon’s history is the repeat of the same foolish mistakes over and over and over again. The only difference is that about every 200 years or so the names change.

    Maybe we should revert to being small city states. Or better yet, let’s just revert to a form of government that has been in existence here since the establishment of the ‘great’ Republic: Anarchy. Khalas stop the charade folks. I hereby declare the Anarchy of Lebanon.

    As a last note. Jail is too good for the rotting piece of flesh that lives below pondscum, Mr. Jamil Sayyed. As ruler of the Anarchy of Lebanon I call to hang him by his balls and whip him with bamboo like he used to treat his prisoners that he imprisoned time and time again on false or trumped up charges. Only in Lebanon can the pillar of oppression claim to be oppressed.

    Posted by Johnny | September 19, 2010, 5:00 am
  14. The only way out of this is for Hariri to grow some balls and call for a national referendum and let the Lebanese vote on the fate of Hezbollah’s weapons and militia.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | September 19, 2010, 6:04 am
  15. Sometimes I wonder why analyze anything that goes on in Lebanon! When a gang that’s armed to its teeth and aims that have nothing to do with Lebanon…is holding the rest of the country hostage all talk is a waste of time!
    The first priority; if there were to be a country called Lebanon…should be the total disarmament of that land!

    Any other talk is dust in the wind…

    Posted by danny | September 19, 2010, 7:17 am
  16. If the false witnesses did indeed mislead the investigation for many years then wouldn’t it be cognizant to find out why these witnesses provided discredited testimony (perhaps they were trying to purposely mislead the investigation, money, or hell maybe even fame)? Isn’t it the natural course of an investigation to want to find out if these witnesses acted on their own or under the auspices of a particular group?

    Posted by tamer k. | September 19, 2010, 8:19 am
  17. There is something to the false witness file– and you can be sure that it involved Hariri paying people to say the right thing, continuing where his father left off in terms of wielding his wallet. Did he do this to unjustly accuse Syria or because he knew that there would never be enough evidence to prosecute Syria or because he was told to do this? We will in all likelihood never know. Hezbollah would not be as emboldened if there wasn’t something to it– they’re risking a lot by threatening force every single time they don’t like something. As for protecting Essayyed, I fail to see how this is possibly wise of Hezbollah, especially towards their allies in FPM, who cannot afford to embrace Essayed. Elias– I wish they had just ignored Uncle Junior; his performances are so deeply embarassing and ego-maniacal. Hearing him speak about justice– which he seeks only for himself and not the other imprisoned generals– is like watching Israelis bemoan their suffering at the hands of Hamas (toy) rockets. So here’s my question: yes it makes sense for Hezbollah, if they wish to bury the Tribunal– to harp on the false witness issue. But why embrace Essayed like this? There’s more to it. Has Syria decided to re-install Essayyed in some fashion?

    Posted by ammanihateyou | September 19, 2010, 8:49 am
  18. Hi Jhonny.
    Why do you think that being taken, absorbed, conquered, amalgemated, federated or what so ever with, Israel could solve any of the problems of Lebanon? or why could, would, should, may, want, agree Israel to opt for such a thing?
    At this monent Israel is also, among other things, occupied with the fate of a politician that lied to an inqiring judge, should he be able to returne to public office now? soon? or after several years?
    And the Judge, who found him guilty, but did not pass judgment yet, asked the state attorney how often were people brought to justice for that crime, and many people laughted.

    Posted by Rani | September 19, 2010, 10:52 am
  19. It would be interesting to hear the worshipers of AOUN justify the latest and the reasoning behind their partners HA providing cover for the yellow jameel essayed.
    anyone out there ?

    Posted by V | September 19, 2010, 12:24 pm
  20. V,

    From browsing the AWF (Aoun worshipers forum) the answer is quite simple:
    Hariri is the Saudi leader of corrupt mafia that is strangling Lebanon and stealing Christian rights and therefore any method to get rid of him is justified.

    Seriously though, what is so different about Hariri making Kuntar a hero for political purposes and FPM using Sayeed to attack M14?

    Posted by AIG | September 19, 2010, 12:41 pm
  21. @V:

    What Aoun’s stances are making clear is that the Karam file is a highly charged one that could implicate others.

    The question is … who sold Karam out? Abou Jamra?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | September 19, 2010, 12:51 pm
  22. Peter,

    Does it matter? FPM is supposed to be with HA against arch enemy Israel right??

    Posted by danny | September 19, 2010, 1:29 pm
  23. AIG,

    Seyyed had tortured and killed and beat up ets…thousands of FPM followers through the year! That’s why it’s different!!!!

    Kuntar did neither to Hariri!!!

    Posted by danny | September 19, 2010, 1:36 pm
  24. AIG,

    There is no difference; Welcoming Kuntar as a hero is a disgrace.
    Actually it is more disgusting to see Hariri and Jumblat make the 180 degrees to save their own ass.

    Posted by V | September 19, 2010, 1:43 pm
  25. Lebanese will understand the following.
    جميل السيد يساوي ميشال سليمان. الأول مؤتمن على أسرار الثاني. والعكس صحيح. مدّد لبنان لحزب الله ونظام الوصاية ست سنين يوم انتخب (وافق على( سليمان رئيسا. نقطة عالسطر

    Posted by noble | September 19, 2010, 1:48 pm
  26. Noble,
    The unconstitutional election of Michel Suleiman was a charade. Make it look as if he is chosen by the March 14 crowd and never make an issue of the fact that his candidacy violates a clear constitutional provision. March 14 has been outmaneuvered on all the important issues.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | September 19, 2010, 2:29 pm
  27. Rani,

    No one can solve the problems of Lebanon except the Lebanese. Unfortunately something happens to Lebanese when they come to Lebanon. They no longer seem to be able to think straight, nor are they able to appreciate someone else’ success, nor act for the greater good. I do not seriously argue for anyone to come and try to rule Lebanon – especially the Israeli’s.

    I think we are forever doomed to the rule of the mightiest tribe. An Afghanistan of sorts, but with a better economy. This barbarism is all the more reason for no one to come and try to rule Lebanon.

    Posted by Johnny | September 19, 2010, 3:26 pm
  28. Some of you should hie over to friend-of-QN Andrew Exum’s site. He posts a critique of a policy paper by one Jeffrey White that strongly advocates the IDF swarm southern Lebanon, take control ie reoccupy and move beyond the Litani along with bombing the crap out of Lebanon and then some.

    http://www.cnas.org/blogs/abumuqawama/2010/09/next-war-hizballah-vs-israel.html#comments

    To Exxum’s credit, he strongly advocates against such stupidity.

    Posted by lally | September 19, 2010, 8:40 pm
  29. Ghassan,
    I have no political penchant. I read, reflect, and opine. The constitution is the charade.
    Here’s a paragraph from the “latest version” of the Lebanese constitution (whose guardian is Sleiman):
    ” رئيس الجمهورية هو رئيس الدولة ورمز وحدة الوطن. يسهر على احترام الدستور والمحافظة على استقلال لبنان ووحدته وسلامة أراضيه وفقا لاحكام الدستور. يرئس المجلس الاعلى للدفاع، وهو القائد الاعلى للقوات المسلحة التي تخضع لسلطة مجلس الوزراء.” الدستور اللبناني – المادة 49
    The commander in chief of the Lebanese Armed Forces – the President – is commanded by the council of ministers.
    Hariri, father and son, are Saudi citizens. Shouldn’t we question their allegiance? Lebanon needs to rewrite its constitution. QN is a perfect scratch pad.

    Posted by noble | September 19, 2010, 8:55 pm
  30. Sadly, Lebanon is on its way to self destruction. Unfortunately, the majority of Lebanese pledge allegiance to another country, either Syria, Iran or Saudi Arabia. The Lebanese state has become a convenient cover-up for these foreign-pledging groups. Only the Christians, who believe in a physical lebanese entity (because they have nowhere else to go) are stuck in the middle divided by General Iznogood. Sayyed is another fuse of the dynamite that is waiting to tear the country apart.
    I don’t know about you guys but I really don’t see a simple way out of this mess. Call me skeptical, but don’t blame me for not being realistic.

    Posted by EV | September 20, 2010, 1:15 am
  31. Has any of you come across the “Spider and the Sun” theory?
    It is one of the many theories that are fascinating me recently.

    Posted by Samah | September 20, 2010, 3:44 am
  32. Opinion in Asharq Alawsat

    Title: From One Sayyid to Worse!
    20/09/2010
    By Tariq Alhomayed

    Tariq Alhomayed is the Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Al-Awsat.

    A witness to the political thuggery in Beirut today, led by former Major General Jamil Al-Sayyed and Hezbollah, would truly realize the level to which Lebanon has now sunk. We now see a former security man making physical threats, and we also see Hezbollah, believed by some to have seized the moment of confusion amongst the ranks of the March 14th Alliance- after Saad Hariri’s created a media storm via our paper, when he spoke with apologetic language towards Syria- to revel that its position is much more dangerous then previously thought…

    Read the full article –
    http://aawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=2&id=22380

    Posted by Honest Patriot | September 21, 2010, 10:09 am
  33. As I keep saying, it’s a pretty hopeless cause. Lebanon is pretty much doomed to turn into a complete failure before things MAY have a chance of getting better.

    Lebanon is inching closer and closer to being a failed state in every sense of the word. Thuggery, blackmail, all the proper ingredients are there.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 21, 2010, 12:57 pm
  34. I mean how worse can the HA’s “resistance” be…or how low can they stoop?

    If anyone had witnessed the HA “occupation” of the airport with armed gangs of mafiosos (all bearded for good measure of course)what other conclusion can they come to?

    Does anybody wonder whether the airport “security” is Lebanese hands?

    Pity the nation!

    Posted by danny | September 21, 2010, 3:26 pm
  35. Nobody wonders whether the airport security is in Lebanese hands.
    We all found out it isn’t back in 2008. Didn’t we?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 21, 2010, 4:06 pm
  36. BV @33: AIG said exactly the same thing a couple of blog-posts back, that things will get worse and fail before they have a chance to get better. Just an observation of a correlation in thinking.

    BV and danny, the one curiosity – actually enigma – is what General Aoun is doing amidst all this. Is here a real genius, calculating the necessity of mitigating the negative effects by playing along with HA, or a megalomaniac willing to sacrifice any and all principles out of spite and for the pursuit of his personal agenda, somewhere in between, or just a senile old man?
    I ask because, were it not for the positions the General took, many an event development would have taken a completely different path.
    Now, I will say that acquaintances in the country seem to sign up for the General’s rationale – primarily because they feel he has always been an honest person who tells like it is (ignoring, it seems, the flip-flop in his positions, his willing to be exiled rather than stand up to his principles and supporters, and then willing to exonerate Syria and HA after having been recorded saying “Je suis sur” (I am certain) about his opinion of Syria’s involvement in Hariri’s assassination and many other reversals in position) and who knows how to maneuver for the best interest of the country and to protect the rights of the Christian minority (feels strange to say it but indeed the Christians in Lebanon are now a minority).

    So, what gives with the General and his supporters? Is he right?
    Are the folks who strongly advocate that HA will transform into a purely political movement and allow for the diversity that Lebanon has to thrive right?

    Of course, I know your opinion. It is hard to argue against this opinion when one reads about the developments, the maneuvers, the sad fate of those who got assassinated (all from one side) or maimed. Yet, as many of us breathe sighs of relief at having been able to make a stable life outside the country, we all likely have relatives, friends, acquaintances who, for one reason or another, can’t leave. We care deeply about them and really want to consider scenarios where life for them finds a way to fit within an eventually stable and peaceful country where civic sense begins germinating and growing. Many have told me this is just wishful thinking and maybe it is.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | September 21, 2010, 5:45 pm
  37. I think the Aoun story is quite simple. He was consumed by his personal ambition to be President and by his little discussed sectarian agenda of not letting the Sunnis take over Lebanon. He really believed that by signing the MOU with Hizballah he would be able to achieve those goals and also control HA. He was of course wrong on all counts, but he has no backup strategy that is not suicidal. He is stuck.

    Posted by AIG | September 21, 2010, 6:39 pm
  38. HP,

    Let me take a try at this.

    First: The General has had mental issues that have been documented by people in the know. He had been a visitor of Deir el Saleeb going back in early seventies. Sr. Manougian was his attending…
    I don’t think senility has much to do with his “maneuvers” as much as the napoleon syndrome.

    Second:He fought two failed “wars” and he was one of the main reasons for the mass and final emigration of Christians from Lebanon. He lost in Lebanon but he hollered in exile. Reminds of Rabbit of Golan!!

    Third: His options were limited. Either join in with the other Christian leaders; such as Gemayel or Geagea or create a new path offered to him on a silver platter. “Repent” and move on. His gamble was always that the hatred the Christians felt toward the Lebanese Forces would be greater than any blatant flip flop he made. After all for Christians the Sunnis were much hated than the Shiites!
    He has been somewhat right at that strategy although with true colours of HA coming through his shine is losing its lustre.

    Third: I think most in Lebanon are survivalists and followers of the Mafia chiefs they call leaders. Waleed Beyk anyone? I would suggest at least 50% of the families in Lebanon are on payroll of one country or another…through Iran & KSA…

    Amazingly enough the only leader of any political party that’s acting as a statesman and staying true to his stance has been Samir Geagea.

    In conclusion I do not see any sliver of ray through the increasingly dark clouds! HA has been getting more and more bold and crass in their stances and treatment of the state. The last of course was their challenging the state and daring them to uphold the law! They don’t give a rat’s ass about Jameel Sayyed! They would have blown everything apart four years ago; if they cared!!!
    Seyyed seems to be a convenient stooge to use at the moment. It really is Not about that spent human being but…it is all about the changing rules of the game as HA puts the hammer down!!

    Posted by danny | September 21, 2010, 6:46 pm
  39. I’m gonna go ahead and say that Danny’s analysis/theories are probably pretty spot on.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 21, 2010, 7:51 pm
  40. AIG, danny,

    How come the General is able to command such a following, including otherwise smart and decent folks in Lebanon? My inclination has been to blame the kind of media that filters down to these folks and the extremely shrewd propaganda and argumentation that HA uses, led of course by Mister Charisma with the charmingly cute smile so effectively hiding a sinister agenda, the one and only Sayyed “H”imself.
    However, I still find it extremely strange that folks’ minds can be played with in such a manner. Maybe it is the survival instinct which recognizes – perhaps unconsciously – that there is no other choice for those stuck in the country. It is still extremely puzzling to me.

    Maybe you can also relate to this. Heaven forbid you try to express an opinion about the General to the folks back home. You get accused of being brainwashed by American media and not to understand really what goes on in the country.

    I’m also sure there are others in this blog who disagree with all this. Heck, of course, there are those who consider HA to be truly the party of God and the hero of all parties that ever existed and that 2006 was a Divine Victory, etc.

    One separation is necessary, however, in my humble opinion. The social and cultural activities of HA are to be lauded. Just looking at their children’s programs on TV, promoting science, education, good language skills, one can project a much better educated populace in the next generation. Eventually, this is the kind of generation which – as in Iran – will start demanding modernity and true democracy. If indeed things go bust in Lebanon, the hope is that this new generation will be the one to restore it to sensible civilized values, starting with separation of church/mosque/synagogue and state.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | September 21, 2010, 8:11 pm
  41. You’ve got to hand it to HA. If you install Chrome TV (which works automatically only if you use Google’s Chrome browser), their TV station (Al-Manar) is the only one available for free viewing (or, for that matter, for any viewing on ChromeTV).
    http://tinyurl.com/ChromeTV

    Funny, they seem more avant-garde than any other station in Lebanon, espousing “open access” as early adopters when their competition is winnowing its international viewer base by requesting paid subscriptions which effectively cuts out 95% of its potential viewership.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | September 21, 2010, 8:19 pm
  42. Quoting HP
    “The social and cultural activities of HA are to be lauded. Just looking at their children’s programs on TV, promoting science, education, good language skills, one can project a much better educated populace in the next generation. Eventually, this is the kind of generation which – as in Iran – will start demanding modernity and true democracy. If indeed things go bust in Lebanon, the hope is that this new generation will be the one to restore it to sensible civilized values, starting with separation of church/mosque/synagogue and state.”

    HP,
    You are so dead wrong on this issue of education of Children. If you look closer you will be horrified at the extent of brainwashing and damage being done to the young in schools or thru mass media. We have a new generation in Lebanon that is being taught so much hate, so much anti-Semitism and so much intolerance. The Hizb and majority of the Shiaa young are being taught the Ideology of Al Hussein martyrdom, the idolization of Khomeini, the Iranian Islamic revolution figures and various religious 7th century Myths. I don’t know about the young of the Sunni sect, they are probably being pushed toward the Wahabi or Salafi type ideology.
    I doubt there is a lot of stress on freedom, democracy, tolerance and respect for Human rights or the environment in the current curriculums of the Shiaa Mabarat Schools or other Schools sponsored by any of the current political forces in Lebanon. This is all far from the goal of separation of church/mosque from government and democratic values.
    I predict that the coming 2 or 3 generations will be nothing but more of the failures we have today.

    Posted by V | September 21, 2010, 9:17 pm
  43. V,

    My Christian Lebanese friend at work says the same thing. Strangely, he’s more hardline than most Jews I know.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | September 21, 2010, 9:57 pm
  44. V, you may be right but there is also a good dose of good programs, just from random watching of clips at various times on Al-Manar through ChromeTV. One program was about organic agriculture. Not bad. I don’t know what the overall effect of all the programs will be on the future generation but comparing to Iran, for example, a fair percentage of students there end up very well educated in the sciences, with some who go to the most prestigious university applying to graduate school in the U.S. and being very competitive. What I ask is whether such aspect of education – objective science – doesn’t lend itself to influence part of the population towards objective thinking and hence away from religious fanaticism. Maybe not but it sure seems that at least some percentage would be positively affected. Let’s not forget that it’s only through oppression that the current regime in Iran continues to reign. Like all autocracies, it’s bound to implode, sooner or later. Maybe things will get much worse first. I hope not but hope by itself is just a survival instinct. Nothing more.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | September 21, 2010, 10:08 pm
  45. HP,
    Nazi Germany had the best Engineers and Scientists.

    AP,
    Intolerance, racism, bigotry and anti-Semitism are not traits of just one religious group or sect in Lebanon.
    The hate and discrimination between Christians and Muslims fueled 15 or so years of killings.
    It’s not surprising that your new “Christian Lebanese” co-worker is a hardliner against Hizb & company but if you look deeper you may find out that his views are generated by hate for the Muslims and not out of love for the Jews or out of noble ideas such as equality among people.

    Posted by V | September 21, 2010, 10:55 pm
  46. HP,

    First off, I think Danny’s analysis of the General is spot on.

    If you’re wondering what makes the General’s supporters tick. Well it is not that hard to figure out at all. His main core supporters are “Maronite Christians”. The year 1989 is a very important year for this core support, “the Taef agreement”.

    His regaining “Christians’ Rights” is his message to these folks that the sunni PM has taken away the Maronite’s rights thru that agreement, and this message resounds very well in the mountains. Never mind that the power was transfered from the President to the cabinet and not the PM per se.

    It is an ideology based on false hopes, since the Aounajiyeh can’t turn back the clock on this transfer of power. Going back to the 6/5 and absolute presidential Maronite power is a pipe dream. Heck, just survey the Shiaa and going back to that order is not in the cards. In fact, their view of past Maronite domination of state power is no different than that of the Sunnis.

    HA is astute enough to indulge the General and give him a bit of room to blow some steam off. That’s all. If they were that deep into him, they would have put the hammer down hard enough and got him the presidency instead of going for Suleiman. But they know better about his inner motivations.

    Posted by Ras Beirut | September 21, 2010, 11:43 pm
  47. On a lighter note what’s up with all these laptops in front of the Lebanese council of ministers when they meet?! Is it supposed to convey how professional, result oriented and focused on building Lebanon they are? I bet very few of them know how to use it lol

    Posted by V | September 21, 2010, 11:47 pm
  48. V,

    They use them to play video games.

    Posted by Ras Beirut | September 21, 2010, 11:51 pm
  49. lol in that case i predict a March 14 Win

    Posted by V | September 21, 2010, 11:55 pm
  50. HP,

    I think V addressed the issue of “modernity” with HA media.
    As for Aoun. I do not want to sound redundant.

    His support primarily was that of following a dream of being free from Syrian hegemony! Christian opposition was brutalized by the Syrians; harassed and killed during the 90’s..

    Other factors:
    The hate of the PLO and the Sunnis..
    The hate of LF and its brutality during late 80’s..
    The people on payroll…

    People were blinded through the promise of change. He has proved to be first class flip flop artist… a Liar…a nepotist…an opportunist and a zaim similar to the other mafia families in Lebanon.

    The luster is off..but the other factors override any intelligent logic…

    Posted by danny | September 22, 2010, 7:48 am
  51. From naharnet.com
    http://tinyurl.com/naharnet22092010
    Report below, followed by a question from me:

    <>

    Here’s the question:
    What does “”Disputes will not be resolved on the street unless the other team commits a mistake.””
    How much more clearly can a threat be made?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | September 22, 2010, 3:01 pm
  52. Here’s that report linked above, just in case the link stops working after a while…
    From Naharnet:
    “Opposition Sources: Entering Airport was Coordinated with the Security Forces
    Sources in the opposition stressed on Wednesday that the developments at the airport that accompanied the arrival of former General Security chief Major General Jamil al-Sayyed to Lebanon was “fully coordinated with the security forces.”
    They told the Central News Agency that they are keen to continue waging the political confrontation in the country through its constitutional and legal institutions, adding: “Disputes will not be resolved on the street unless the other team commits a mistake.”
    They stated that the opposition does not seek to take matters into its own hands in the false witnesses case in the investigation of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
    The sources said that the matter will be resolved through the judiciary and the government, revealing that Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar had reached results in the case, but they have not yet been announced.

    Beirut, 22 Sep 10, 18:24″

    Posted by Honest Patriot | September 22, 2010, 4:39 pm
  53. HP,

    My friend…Let’s take off the kiddie gloves and call a spade a spade! HA has been acting as a terrorist mafia and nothing else! It seems everything they do is to protect the “STATE”…but as they see it!
    Latest example…
    “Qassem: What happened at airport was to protect Lebanese judiciary

    To read more: http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=202998#ixzz10IGSf6cP

    So…If anyone makes a “mistake” (of trying to impose the rule of law and institutions)then voila! We will deal with you in the streets by burning your house and neighborhood…and if that doesn’t work then killing your whole family…

    Now Capische?

    Posted by danny | September 22, 2010, 4:51 pm
  54. This should be interesting:

    “An unnamed Free Patriotic Movement source told MTV on Wednesday that FPM leader MP Michel Aoun is verbally attacking the Internal Security Forces (ISF) – Information Branch and Attorney General Judge Said Mirza because FPM official Fayez Karam – who was arrested last month – confessed to Aoun’s knowledge of his collaboration with Israel since 2006.”

    The hypocrisy has no bounds. Of course, I’m sure the Aounists will insist this is all just a bogus story planted by Saudi Arabia or somesuch.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 22, 2010, 5:17 pm
  55. danny, mon ami, je comprends. Mine was a rhetorical question.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | September 22, 2010, 5:26 pm
  56. BV,

    While I agree with most of what you say, unnamed “sources” are not very credible. The idea that this is a bogus story is not too far fetched.

    On another note;

    here is what French Amb. to Lebanon Denis Pietton said today (rough translation):

    “Communications (that have) taken place between Saudi Arabia and the French capital may have contributed to the delay in issuing the Indictment from September till later in the year. (Pietton) did not rule out the possibility that PM Saad Hariri is aware of this as well.”

    Should this not be considered as an indication that the STL is infact politicized?
    I wonder if Pietton’s statement stems from idiocracy on his part, or if its part of a broader French change in policy.

    Posted by A Purple Monkey | September 23, 2010, 2:04 am
  57. Purple Monkey, I always try to remember that information, and mis-information commandos are full part of the cold and hot wars. If this is true everywhere, it is specially evident in the Middle East. So yes, unnamed sources are not to be trusted blindly, and neither are named ones (for example, how are we suppose to take news like yesterday’s announcement -by a fundamental pres outlet- that the American Embassy was about to ask its citizens to leave Lebanon, followed by a rather firm denial by the Embassy itself, asking the newspaper to correct the publishing?)I’d be glad to know the inner details of how the story got out…but I don’t expect to know them soon.

    Posted by mj | September 23, 2010, 2:53 am
  58. OK, I would understand that Winep is not halal on QN…but hell, we’re on a secular site after all (and we, who unlike others, happen to be breathing and eating on this tortured land, are getting truly scared, if you know what I mean).

    Posted by mj | September 23, 2010, 3:32 am
  59. MJ, Al Akhbar is prone to a major screw up/propaganda piece every once in a while. I was asked by a plethora of people yesterday whether I had received this message or not. I did not.
    _______

    To FPMers,

    With regards to Fayez Karam… Are we now to suspect that all of the arrests made by the ISF Intelligence Bureau are illegitimate? Why does the FPM only question the arrest of Fayez Karam? What about the others?

    So far all the arrests have been supported by hard evidence. It’s likely that this arrest would have been made without the same level of evidence (after all this is Lebanon), but it would have been so easy to refute if it was – so it just doesn’t make sense.

    Now, whether GMA knew of this collaboration or not I wont speculate. Usually spies would not tell their bosses that they are spies especially if the boss just signed an MOU with Hizb. Unless of course GMA has outsmarted the Sayyed and signed the MOU so he can get his spies a little closer.

    The above is a little far fetched. Let’s not forget the General is a former army man, and I can’t credit this much intelligence to an army man.

    I voted FPM in the last 2 elections. They will not get my vote in the next one. This is a shame of course because of all the political parties in Lebanon they truly have the most promise, but unfortunately I have to agree entirely with Danny’s assessment of GMA: “a zaim similar to the other mafia families in Lebanon.”

    So until the General is asked to retire I can not take the FPM seriously.

    Posted by Johnny | September 23, 2010, 6:39 am
  60. Rule of Law anyone? This is a very interesting piece.

    http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&8E94BAF8F42AB253C22577A70019331A

    So it seems that the government will find the courage to issue an arrest warrant against Jamil al Sayyed, who threatened resorting to the streets – quite possibly leading to all out chaos and renewed war.

    But according to an unnamed high ranking M14er they still don’t have the balls to carry through and make the actual arrest.

    No victor no vanquished coming back to haunt us?

    To M8ers
    I find it amusing that Sayyed came out with his tirade immediately after his meeting with Assad. One can only assume that Assad has blessed this current campaign which could very well turn the capital’s streets bloody.

    How is this in the interests of Lebanon?

    To Hizbers,
    If the Souris come back to impose peace on the barbaric Lebanese, will you liberate the land from their army and tanks?

    Posted by Johnny | September 23, 2010, 6:58 am
  61. To those that heard Obama’s UN speech:

    This guy must be under the impression that Muslim Arab countries back the declaration of Universal Human Rights. They don’t!

    They signed their Sha’ria compliant version in Cairo not too long ago.

    Is he ignorant on this issue … or sending a message?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | September 23, 2010, 10:57 am
  62. to PeterinDubai
    1. He already got the Nobel prize for peace so why should he care to know?
    2. Seems that unlike us, here in the ME, some of the people on this blog can find what he knows and what he is ignorant of, they live near the man, they can go and ask.
    p.s. Do it carefully if you have ME documents or a ME sounding name.

    Posted by Rani | September 23, 2010, 12:10 pm
  63. I don’t think it’s all that far fetched that Aoun knew about Karam’s alleged contacts with the Israelis.
    Let’s not forget that contrary to what all these bozos (this includes the M14 camp too) claim in public, they ALL have had contacts with everybody at one time or another (which is not necessarily the same as outright spying, mind you).
    Besides, I’m pretty sure Aoun himself had contact with Israelis, Americans and Syrians, back in the days where he was PM, or back when he commanded the units at Souq Al Gharb.
    People forget that in Lebanon, despite the appearances these leaders like to present of being all black or white. They’re all pretty grey. Or more aptly, poop-brown.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 23, 2010, 2:10 pm
  64. No one should be surprised by Hezbollah’s actions. I think Hezbollah believes that an indictment by the STL is no different than a guilty verdict, and because a formal indictment is so damaging hezbollah has no choice but to confront the STL head on.

    1) Either because they are culpable and are trying to sabotage the investigation

    2) Or they are innocent and would rather fight the STL now then wait until the inevitable indictments, realizing that there is no difference between an indictment and a guilty verdict.

    Is it too far fetched to believe that the STL can be wrong? Mehlis was so certain he named specific people in the Syrian government, how did the evidence change to lead to the new conclusions? With so much turnover/leaks/discredited witnesses it is the obligation of the government to perform some due diligence because it appears the country is headed towards cataclysmic strife.

    I want to know what information Saad Hariri is privy too that led him to “exonerate” the Syrian regime a few weeks ago, did he not accuse them of murdering his father in 2005? What justice is he looking for? He needs to tell us how he got enlightened after 4 years of accusations against the Syrian regime. Because I still believe that I would be hard pressed to find many people in the future movement who don’t believe that the upper echelon of the Syrian government didn’t have a hand in Hariri’s murder.

    With all the rhetoric about how Sayyed attacked the zaim of the Sunni community I think it is only a matter of time before this leads to an al qaeda type inspired group fighting in the name of the oppressed Sunni Community of Lebanon. People forget that during the May 7 clashes that there where TWO SIDES fighting each other, both sides had weapons. And the lesson of May 7 is that street to street ak/rpg fighting is not a smart way to fight hezbollah and her allies. Suicide bombings against soft hezb targets is a real possibility, and chaos will ensue! I hope I am wrong

    Posted by tamer k. | September 24, 2010, 7:47 am
  65. tamer k.,

    You are right in that only the deluded, the blindly devout, or those who otherwise have a personal stake prompting them to be in denial, only such folks can truly believe (or repeat it to themselves enough until they believe) that upper echelons in the Syrian regime – as well as, likely, military elements in HA – did not have a hand in, or more likely, planned and executed the assassination of Rafiq Hariri.

    The level of intelligence in both organizations has clearly been demonstrated to be extremely high. Appropriate deniability, shielding of the leaders from knowing so that they can appear fully sincere in their denials, all such measures were put in place, as well as many other deeply twisted methods, to handle any fallouts. It is clear that the openly express outrage of the million-person march on March 14, 2005 was not anticipated. And for those who claim otherwise, wake up to the reality that these were mostly ordinary folks and quit your evil accusation that this was planted and not a genuine, true Lebanese reaction.

    Hope you’re wrong too, tamer k., but am extremely saddened at the continuing deterioration of any hopes a few of us keep holding on to, not for our sake, but for the sake of other family and friends who are essentially stuck there.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | September 24, 2010, 10:31 am
  66. At this point I think the one hope we can hold on to is that the Palestinian-Israeli talks lead to a permanent solution, after which, maybe it would be the beginning of the end of the danger of severe strife in Lebanon.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | September 24, 2010, 10:32 am
  67. HP,

    You are still in denial that any Palestinian-Israeli agreement will not influence Lebanon for the better. Why would it?

    The strife in Lebanon is galvanized around the Shia-Sunni divide and is unrelated to the Palestinian issue. Furthermore, any solution would entail the Palestinians staying in Lebanon which will only aggravate the situation. In fact, since a peace agreement will weaken Iran’s and Syria’s influence, they will try to undermine it, certainly using Hamas by maybe also Hizballah. Thus, a peace agreement will destabilize Lebanon more.

    Posted by AIG | September 24, 2010, 12:17 pm
  68. Ah. Every morning, I sit down at my desk, with my coffee, and peruse the news, assuming I’ll find some new depths or lows when it comes to our ridiculous country.

    Today, no exception:

    “Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has placed a “contingent of fighters” at the disposal of the Sudanese government to confront what he termed as “colonial troops” in Darfur, the Sudanese newspaper Alahram Today reported Friday.”

    I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Is it the fact that the “resistance” is now expanding to fight wars that have nothing to do with Lebanon or Israeli invasions. Or is it the fact that these guys are siding with a genocidal government responsible for the murder and displacement of millions of innocent civilians. Or is it the fact that they’re throwing in their lot with a leader who’s currently wanted by the international community on War Crime charges.

    Yeah. HA is most definitely a nationalistic, noble, anti-occupation, protector of the innocent, organization. It’s written all over their actions. Daily.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 24, 2010, 12:33 pm
  69. AIG, Ah! but when you take away the excuse of protecting Lebanon from the Israeli threat, and when the Palestinians accept a peace agreement, what is left to justify a military wing of HA? At that time, if civil war is going to happen, fine, let it happen, but no more false excuses and the mask behind wanting “wilayat al-Mahdi” (awaiting the Shiite Messiah) will have fallen and everyone will know what they’re dealing with.

    On the other hand, let us be honest and accept the fact that the scenario of a civil war in Lebanon following a Middle East settlement is by no means a certainty. We simply don’t know. I understand, AIG, what your analysis and predictions entail, but I’m not sure you’re necessarily right. For that we should get a fair survey of opinions of folks from every party on the ground in Lebanon.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | September 24, 2010, 1:34 pm
  70. HP,

    I really don’t understand your point. How is the fact that Israel signs a peace agreement with the Palestinians going to convince anybody that is not convinced already that Hizballah needs to disarm? Did Egypt disarm after its peace agreement with Israel?

    Hizballah will just say that Lebanon still needs to be protected from Israel and only the resistance can do that. And their supporters will of course accept that. Nothing will change. In addition, Hizballah will reject the agreement and call the Palestinian leaders traitors and collaborators and highlight how they were coerced into an agreement and how important the “resistance” is to make sure this does not happen to Lebanon. You keep pinning your hopes on something that cannot ever help you.

    Posted by AIG | September 24, 2010, 1:43 pm
  71. Tamer K,
    At the risk of repeating myself for the umpteenth time ( I guess going around in circles is inevitable in an open forum) let me say it again. Sa’ad Hariri is no different than any other person in the eyes of the judicial system and so he neither has the right to exonerate anyone nor the right to pronounce anyone guilty. Only a court of law is capable of doing that.
    We all know that Sa’ad Hariri is not a shrewd experienced politician and that had it not been for the rotten Lebanese political system then he would not be either an MP nor a PM. But thats what we have and we have to deal with it. The interview in the Shark AlAwsat is the one that has led to so many of the interpretations that are in essence along the line that you (tamerk) allude to. I beg to differ. March 14 has more than once explained both officially through press releases and unofficially through statem,ents by high ranking officials that all what Saad Hariri meant in that interview is to say that Syria has been accused of the crime on the basis of political analysis and fragmented unofficial evidence. That accusation stands in the field of public opinion but is worthless in the judicial field. So since there is nothing to gain from making “political” accusations the best and only option is to let justice take its course. Let the investigation lead to where the evidence takes it irrespective of whether it is Hezbollah , Syria or anybody else.
    It is assinine to interpret a call for the rule of law as exonerationj of one party or another. Saad Hariri is not in a position to exonerate anyone and we misinterpret his remarks at our peril.
    I cannot believe the time, the energy, the ink and the broad band that have been devoted/wasted on this issue. There is only one responsible thing to do. Await the indictments, analyze the evidence and then prepare for a defense of the accused since everyone is entitled to the presumption of being innocent until proven guilty.

    AIG,
    You are right that a Palestinian Israeli agreement does not bode well for Lebanon in the short run if the rejectionists are not contained. But I do think that HP is correct to say that if the agreement between Israel and the PA turns out to be comprehensive and to have the backing of most of the Arab states then that would eventually lead to a marginalization of the rejectionists and force Lebanon to deal with the reality that the Palestinian “refugees” are not going away.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | September 24, 2010, 1:58 pm
  72. GK,

    I am trying hard to think of an example where armed rejectionists in the Arab world were marginalized by a political or social process instead of being dealt with by force. I can’t think of such an example.

    As long as Hizballah represents 90% or so of the Shia in Lebanon, it cannot be marginalized. And why would the Lebanese Shia begin trusting anyone else to represent them after a peace agreement? You are going to achieve that just by political reforms in Lebanon. The Israeli-Palestinian issue is just not relevant to marginalizing Hizballah.

    Posted by AIG | September 24, 2010, 2:49 pm
  73. Civil Strife here we come!

    http://nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=203662

    Supporters of the indictment will face the same response as the US-Israeli aggressor, he added.

    Future Movement members who think there is no problem with the upcoming indictment accusing Lebanese should know that the “period after the indictment will not be like the period before,” Moussawi said, adding that those committed to the tribunal should be “scared, and not just worried.”

    Posted by tamer k. | September 24, 2010, 3:12 pm
  74. Civil strife, fetna shmetna.. i just want to know who will HA be fighting against? they are the only one armed to the teeth ! no one in Lebanon stands a chance, this whole charade maybe to justify them officialy taking over the whole Country.

    Posted by V | September 24, 2010, 4:01 pm
  75. Now lets concentrate on the important stuf.. anyone has a really good Shawarma recipe ?

    Posted by V | September 24, 2010, 4:04 pm
  76. Where is the Qnion when we need it the most

    Posted by V | September 24, 2010, 4:13 pm
  77. Actually, I wish they would go ahead and take over the country. That would be the first step to their demise.

    HA has gotten the best of both worlds by controlling the country in a political sense, without having to ever be accountable for shit, by keeping themselves “outside and parallel to” the government and the state.

    Let them start the Islamic Republic of Lebanon and then we’ll see how long they last.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | September 24, 2010, 4:24 pm
  78. V
    While you are waiting for the Qnion take a look at the Onion post ” God had also an incredibly busty daughter” :-0

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | September 24, 2010, 4:53 pm
  79. lol good one Professor

    Posted by V | September 24, 2010, 6:01 pm
  80. V, there’s no secret to Shawarma. The key ingredients are (1) a good cut of meat, usually sirloin works well (2) the “spices” — these are referred to in arabic, of course, as the “shawarma spices” or “seven spices” (sab3 bharat) and you can buy them from any middle eastern store if you happen to have one close to you or just order them online (just google shawarma spices for options) (3) cut the meat to desired size, mix with salt, seven-spices, and, optionally, a little bit of red wine (4) marinate (5) in the oven at about 350 to 400 degrees until desired tenderness and dryness is achieved.

    Now, what is challenging, is how to make “toum” to come out the way the good restaurants make it. I’ve searched a long time and experimented in vain until, from down under, I discovered the perfect recipe posted by a Lebanese Australian. I tried it and it works PERFECTLY!!

    If someone asks I’ll give them the link but maybe first some might enjoy the detective work of searching and discovering that site.

    Kasskoun!

    HP

    Posted by Honest Patriot | September 24, 2010, 9:29 pm
  81. AIG @71, my point is that Lebanon is made of more than the fanatical members of HA. Why, within HA, as within Iran, there are real people seeking, like any other human, a decent life and good future for their children.

    We have to be careful here to buck the trend, sometimes intentional, to demonize whole people or whole categories of people. Of all people, a Jew should understand that!!

    It’s unclear what will happen to the Palestinians in Lebanon after a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I recognize that Israel would like nothing better than to have them settle in Lebanon and hence have the problem go away as far as Israel is concerned. On the other hand, all declarations from all representatives in Lebanon seem to be unanimous in that permanent settlement of the Palestinians in Lebanon is Not an option. This morning I heard on an Arabic radio station in Canada that the option of assimilating a large percentage of such Palestinians in Canada itself is being studied. Regardless of what the solution will be, it is hopefully likely (from a Lebanese perspective) that it will NOT involve them remaining in their full numbers in Lebanon.

    At the same time, once the excuse of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is gone, particularly if it is endorsed by the Arab League and perhaps even followed by a peace with Sryia, how is the FPM going to continue supporting HA keeping its arms? As I said above, the will and the politics will clearly require the merger of the armed HA elements into the Lebanese Armed forces. Whether a civil war then ensues due to extremist elements still wanting to create a shiite country in Lebanon — this being admittedly a possibility — remains to be seen. As I said above, so be it if it happens and we’ll see where things end up. At the same time, there is a clear scenario where gradually things do improve and a coexistence formula emerges – painfully but determinedly – to make Lebanon, in the long run, the true symbol of coexistence of religions. I know I’m going to draw a lot of silly laughs from the cynics here. Fine. We’re looking at long term evolution of people and countries on a scale that may perhaps be beyond my lifetime. Nevertheless, the seeds for such coexistence, gradual emergence of civic sense, technology coupled with the entrepreneurship of the Lebanese leading to a shedding of the ills that have plagued this society for decades and maybe centuries, these seeds are present, I believe and are undeniable as evidenced by both anecdotal cases and general trends (despite the appearance of chaos). I know that many folks here, some of whom had tremendously bitter experiences, don’t see this and I acknowledge that but also ask that my viewpoint not be ridiculed but objectively understood as a real possibility.

    In the end, unlike the radical elements you refer to who had to be put down by force (like the rebellious Palestinians in Jordan in 1970, and the muslim brotherhood in Hama that was flattened by Hafez Assad), HA and the Lebanese shiites should not be painted with this brush. They are Lebanese citizen, born in Lebanon, wanting a decent life. That there is a military wing and extremists among them is clear but let’s not demonize the whole shiites. This is exactly the kind of trap that leads to horrors, consciously or unconsciously.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | September 24, 2010, 9:46 pm
  82. Above I refer to anecdotal examples and trends. An example of a trend is that now the Lebanese ID card no longer identifies a person’s religion.
    An anectdotal example is the youtube video of a public service message I posted earlier about the self-realization that confessionalism is dominant in Lebanon (and by inference that it should be eventually eliminated for the benefit of nationalism). Here’s that link:

    Posted by Honest Patriot | September 24, 2010, 9:51 pm
  83. Here’s another anecdotal example:

    Posted by Honest Patriot | September 24, 2010, 9:52 pm
  84. HP, you are great thanks for the recipe 🙂

    Cheers!

    Posted by V | September 25, 2010, 12:51 am

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