Hezbollah, Lebanon, March 14

Hariri Tribunal Reports Tell a Different Story than CBC Account

I spent an hour or so this morning going through previous reports by the United Nations International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC), in order to see how the historical record tallies with Neil Macdonald’s report about the Hariri investigation for CBC.

As you’ll recall, Macdonald makes the following basic points in his piece:

  • The UNIIIC did not begin analyzing telecommunications data until late 2007, because Serge Brammertz (the successor to Detlev Mehlis) refused to authorize this kind of work.
  • When they finally got around to looking at phone records, the investigators happened upon the “earth-shattering” discovery of the so-called “red network”: the group of phones carried by Hariri’s hit squad.
  • As they soon discovered, however, a young Lebanese police captain named Wissam Eid had already discovered this network and the networks behind it as early as the spring of 2006, and submitted a report to the UNIIIC that detailed his findings. Eid’s work pointed to Hizbullah’s complicity in the crime.
  • This report was put into a drawer and did not resurface until the end of 2007, at which point the UNIIIC established contact with Eid. A month later, Eid was dead.

So far so good?

Now, let’s go back to the reports that were issued by the UNIIIC between 2005 and 2007 (a period during which, according to Macdonald’s sources, no telecommunications analysis was carried out by the investigating commission). What we find is a drastically different account of the work that was taking place, and not just under Detlev Mehlis (generally portrayed as an effective investigator) but also under his successor Serge Brammertz (who comes off as timid and incompetent in Macdonald’s account).

The following excerpts are taken from the first eight UNIIIC reports, which cover the tenures of Mehlis and Brammertz. Have a look and let me know what you think:

UNIIIC Report #1 (Mehlis, 22 Oct 2005)

144. Investigations by both the ISF and Military Intelligence have led to six pre-paid calling cards, which telephone records demonstrate were instrumental in the planning of the assassination. Beginning at approximately 1100 hrs on 14 February 2005, cell site records show that cellular telephones utilizing these six calling cards were located in the area stretching from the Nejmeh Square to the St. George Hotel, within a few-block radius and made numerous calls with each other and only with each other. The phones were situated so that they covered every route linking the Parliament to Kuraytem Palace: that is, cellsite records demonstrate that these telephones were placed to cover any route that Hariri would have taken that day. One of the cellphones located near the Parliament made four calls with the other telephone lines at 1253 hrs — the time that Mr. Hariri’s convoy left the Nejmeh Square . The calls — and all usage on the cards — terminated at 1253 hrs on 14 February, a few minutes before the blast. The lines have all been inactive since.

145. Further investigation has revealed that these six lines — along with two others — were put into circulation on the 4 January 2005, after calling number 1456 activated them. They were all activated at the same location in northern Lebanon between Terbol and Menyeh. Since they were first purchased in early January 2005, until the time of the explosion, the lines only had calls with each other. In that time period, until the assassination, there appears to be a correlation between their location and Hariri’s movements, suggesting that they might have been used to follow Hariri’s movements in that time period.

UNIIIC Report #2 (Mehlis, 12 Dec 2005)

65. As previously noted (see S/2005/662, para. 192), telephone analysis has been a central aspect of the present investigation. Since October 2005, the Commission has concentrated on organizing the telephone data received into manageable databases so that it can be more easily accessible for future analysis. That process has involved compiling over 400,000 records from 195 different files (based on requests for telecommunications data) into one central database. Another database contains over 97 million telecommunications records of all the calls in Lebanon between 7 and 21 February 2005. Those two databases will permit a standardized search of any relevant telephone number and its contacts in an efficient manner which will facilitate future telephone analysis projects.

73. The Commission has not had time, in the short period available since the end of October 2005, to investigate meaningfully the following issues that were raised in the previous report: … Identification, location and further contacts related to the ring of prepaid telephone cards, including eight significant telephone numbers and 10 mobile telephones, which are believed to have been used to organize surveillance of Mr. Hariri and carry out the assassination (see S/2005/662, paras. 121 and 148-152).

UNIIIC Report #4 (Brammertz, 10 June 2006)

51. Communications analysis is a major task, with the collection of up to 5 billion records by the Commission currently under way. All must be sifted, sorted, collated and analysed. This work is painstaking in its depth, with any linkage established almost exponentially generating further linkages. The Commission has devoted a project team of analysts and investigators to this task and is acquiring specialized software and hardware to accommodate the project requirements. Such traffic analysis work requires focus. Hence, the Commission is concentrating on the immediacy of the Hariri case and closely associated links with the operation and other relevant issues, and the results of this work are continuously integrated into the broader case components.

52. The traffic and intercept analysis has expanded beyond the immediate utilization of the six subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, referred to in the Commission’s previous reports, on the day of the attack. Complex linkages, associated calls and geographic locations of a broader time period are being scrutinized and added to the overall investigation findings. The communications currently under analysis also have an international dimension, although the Commission is not in a position to make final conclusions about the significance of such calls at this stage.

UNIIIC Report #5: (Brammertz, 25 Sept 2006)

39. The Commission has devoted considerable resources to the analysis and investigation of the communications traffic aspects of the case. This topic has yielded important results, and enables the Commission to establish links that otherwise would not be evident. Much of the work is reactive in nature. However, some of the analytical work is also proactive and speculative, and builds upon known facts and develops investigation themes. It has elicited a number of leads and continues to provide the Commission with better understanding of the communications linkages relevant to the crimes.

40. The links that are being established through the communications work demonstrate a complex network of telecommunications traffic between a large number of relevant individuals, sometimes through intermediary telephone numbers or locations and sometimes directly. A series of investigation leads has been developed as a result of these analyses, which the Commission regards as a priority. Much painstaking work is required to track down each individual connection or link and exempt it from the enquiries or continue with it as a working lead. Similarly, the Commission understands better the preparatory aspects of the attack through its communications analysis; this work remains ongoing in conjunction with timeline analyses, and is one of a number of areas where comparative analysis with the 14 other cases is being pursued. For example, knowledge of the activities of the six subscriber identity module (SIM) card holders who are alleged to have been part of the bombing team, both geographically and in communications terms, has become clearer and more detailed.

41. The Commission has also developed direct and indirect linkages between significant individuals in disparate groups that are relevant from an investigative perspective. Explanations for these linkages are in some cases not immediately apparent, and the Commission is working to understand their relevance to the crime itself, to those potentially linked to it and to other individuals.

42. The international dimension of the communications analysis continues to provide investigative leads, as the Commission develops its knowledge of the complexities of international call routing and receives responses to its requests from States where telephone call traffic has been traced. To date the Commission has engaged 17 States in this aspect of its work, and has received considerable assistance and responses from a number of them.

43. The relevant communications links emanating from within Lebanon or outside the country of those individuals whom the Commission wishes to interview and/or continues to investigate are being systematically reviewed, and the results are providing further investigative leads.

UNIIIC Report #6 (Brammertz, 12 Dec 2006)

43. The Commission has conducted seven interviews in connection with the alleged bombing team and their use of six telephones to communicate on the day of the attack and in the days leading up to it. These interviews have provided new leads that are currently being pursued and will lead to more interviews in the next reporting period. Analysis of the use of other associated subscriber identity module (SIM) cards is also ongoing.

44. The location of the telephones when used and the purposes for which some of the linking numbers were used have revealed the high degree of security-aware behaviour exhibited by the individuals under investigation. Some persons used multiple mobile cellular telephones during a short period of time or registered telephones using aliases. While such compartmentalization of telephone usage makes analysis more complex, it helps to provide an understanding of the modus operandi of the perpetrators.

45. During the reporting period, communications traffic analysis has continued in support of the other investigative projects. This work consists of preparation for interviews of key persons and preparing specific reports on communications between selected individuals. For the purpose of preparation of interviews, data relating to the different telephones used by the interviewee during a certain period of interest are gathered and organized into an exploitable electronic format. The analysis then focuses on the personal contacts and communications links of the interviewee, the use of intermediaries and the frequency, timing, type, duration and location of the calls, as well as international call activity.

UNIIIC Report #7 (Brammertz, 15 Mar 2007)

34. The Commission’s analysis of communications traffic continues in order to support and validate different points arising from the investigations. Much work has been done to support the interviews conducted, in order that respective communications contact with other persons of interest to the case can be discussed with witnesses. Patterns of communications traffic, including frequencies and timings of calls, and linkages and clear associations to others, are all developed and elicit investigation leads.

35. In relation to the six mobile cellular telephone SIM cards allegedly used by the team that executed the operation on the day of 14 February 2005, the Commission has developed further information of interest relating to associated earlier operations, including possible surveillance and reconnaissance activity, possible practice-runs or earlier attempts to kill Rafik Hariri, and other actions undertaken by the team. New areas of interest have emerged from this analysis and are currently being examined.

36. The Commission has also undertaken an investigative project examining the role of the persons using the six SIM cards and activities that can be inferred from their use. This exercise is supported by the Commission’s existing communications traffic analysis projects in relation to the cards. The objective is fourfold: first, to reaffirm the validity of the hypothesis that the cards could indeed have been used by the bomb team to execute its task; second, to establish whether other modes of communication must have been used between the members of the team, and also perhaps with other individuals, in order for the attack to take place; third, to allow the Commission to establish a better understanding of how the crime was committed on 14 February; and finally, to understand further what other activity the bomb team undertook, and what locations it travelled to and why, in the days leading up to the attack.

37. Such extensive analysis enables the Commission to reach a better understanding of the bomb team, its role in the crime and its other activities. This in turn creates further investigative leads geographically and temporally, and pointing to the activities of individuals outside the immediate bombing team the Commission believes were using the six SIM cards.

38. This detailed examination of the activities of the six SIM cards has resulted in a number of significant elements for ongoing investigation. These include, but are not limited to: potential identification of the role of each participant in the preparation, planning, surveillance and actual attack; the bombing team’s anticipation of Hariri’s activities and movements; and possible earlier attempts on Hariri’s life.

39. One working hypothesis is that the bomb team had to ensure that Hariri was indeed dead after the explosion in order for the video claim of responsibility to be delivered and to have resonance with its intended audience. It is possible that the team, and those commissioning the crime, could not afford to deliver a claim of responsibility to the global media if Hariri had survived the attack. Thus, the Commission is exploring the hypothesis that one member of the team, or an associate, was tasked with confirming the death of the principal target as soon as possible and may have contacted someone waiting for the news. Based on existing information, the time frame for this activity would have been within approximately 45 minutes of the explosion.

40. This in turn led to the series of events related to the taped claim of responsibility and the subsequent telephone calls made to media outlets. The Commission is examining the hypothesis that one or more members of the bomb team was responsible for delivering the tape and making the subsequent telephone calls to the media. Other variations on this hypothesis are being explored to establish the numbers of perpetrators who may have been involved on the day of the attack.

UNIIIC Report #8 (Brammertz, 12 Jul 2007)

41. The Commission has consolidated its sizeable holdings of call records, communications data and analyses related to specific time periods, institutions and individuals of relevance to the Hariri investigation. Since its inception, the Commission has acquired more than 5 billion records of telephone calls and text messages sent through cellular phones in Lebanon, as well as communications data from a number of other countries. The Commission has also acquired a very large number of detailed subscriber call records. Since 2005, the Commission has issued more than 300 requests for assistance to support its communications analysis related to the Hariri investigation.

42. The Commission’s communications analysis provides valuable input to the investigations in establishing links between individuals, analysing the behaviour and activity of a number of persons of interest to the investigations and analysing call patterns for specific numbers, times and locations. It is also a very valuable resource in preparing for witness interviews. Given the proven investigative value and potential of communications analysis, the Commission has recently sought outside expertise to help exploit its communications data holdings and analysis. The Commission has also recently acquired new hardware and software, which will allow it to conduct more comprehensive data searches.

43. On the basis of the consolidation exercise, the Commission has confirmed and advanced its earlier conclusions that individuals using six mobile cellular telephone SIM cards acted in a coordinated manner to conduct surveillance on Rafik Hariri in the weeks prior to his assassination. A detailed analysis of the use of these cards on the day of the assassination indicates that these individuals played a critical role in the planning and execution of the attack itself, as demonstrated by their movements and call patterns. The Commission has established the origins of the SIM cards and is finalizing its understanding of the circumstances around the sale of the cards and a number of handsets to the individuals who made use of them in the surveillance of Rafik Hariri. A number of interviews were held during the reporting period to advance this line of inquiry.

46. The Commission has also been focusing on establishing horizontal and vertical links between individuals linked to the crime scene and those who may have been involved in the preparation of the attack or may have had prior knowledge of the attack through the analysis of telephone communications. Several telephone numbers have been identified and scrutinized as a result of this line of inquiry.


So, what do you think? Does this look like the work of an investigating commission that was not engaged in telecommunications analysis? When I asked Mr. Macdonald about the discrepancies between the statements of his sources and the first Mehlis report, he insisted that all of the telecommunications work done before late 2007 was performed by the Lebanese police and not by the UN Commission. He added that the UNIIIC was “generally aware” of the work being done by the Lebanese, but that “actual telecomms analysis by the commission itself, as I reported, was not authorized until late 2007.”

As others have already noted, this simply does not add up, and the above survey of the UNIIIC reports confirms the contradictions in the CBC account. Even if we accept the testimony of Mr. Macdonald’s sources and assume for a moment that all of the discussions in the UNIIIC reports about communications analysis prior to late 2007 were just made up, how does this explain the suggestion that the discovery of the red network by the UNIIIC was “earth-shattering”? After all, they had already discussed this network in eight different reports from 2005-2007! And the network was not just discussed under Mehlis. Brammertz devotes pages to the discussion of how the UNIIIC was trying to develop its lead vis-à-vis the red network.

But let’s also assume, just to give Mr. Macdonald’s sources the benefit of the doubt, that it was not the UNIIIC that was investigating the communications traffic, but rather the Lebanese police. How does one then explain how the UNIIIC became privy to the work that the Lebanese were doing (so as to be able to mention it in the eight reports between 2005-07), unless of course the UN was working in close cooperation with the Lebanese and not, as Mr. Macdonald’s sources suggest, in isolation from them?

I will endeavor to get a response from CBC about these questions. Stay tuned.


Update 1: Buried in the comment section of the last post is this gem from RedLeb, who basically says exactly what I said in this post (and much more), but more succinctly. I reproduce his comment in full below:

“It is not enough for Macdonald to say that ‘Mehlis was aware of the ISF’s early telecomms work’. Macdonald’s report, especially the video, emphatically makes the claim that the commission only identified the Red team late in Brammertz’s tenure, and only after much prodding.

However, the commission’s reports are clear that the Red team was identified at the initial stages of the investigation and that signal analysis was a key technique used by the commission.

This contradiction with the documented historical record undercuts the report’s credibility. It is obviously trying to sell you something. And what I think what it is selling is the linkage between the Red team and HA.

The Red team stands out in any signal analysis. It is a closed network, located at the scene of the crime, and ceased to exist immediately after the assassination. By focusing on the slam dunk part of the Eid’s analysis, we are asked to adopt the further linkage of the Red Team to HA.

What is that linkage? Did someone on the Yellow team call the Hospital and then someone at the Hospital call a government issued HA phone line?

How about if an Israeli agent calls someone at AUH, and then someone at AUH calls AUB? Can I then claim the Dean of AUB is an Israeli spy?

And this whole ‘mathematical genius’ spin. It just sounds like a way to cater to the Leb ego so as to distract our suspicions. Tell me Eid used some special software. Tell me he set up a database. Hell, tell me wrote a computer algorithm to do signal analysis. I will believe you. But a super-mathematical genius who could ‘intuit mathematical patterns’? No. Just… no.

I speculate that the attack on Wissam Hassan is to undermine the ISF’s work on Israeli spies and Israel’s penetration of the Lebanese telecom network. At Nahass’s conference this week, Wissam Hassan was specifically named as helping out in the investigation of Israel compromising HA phone lines. By labelling him an HA accomplice, the whole Israel angle can be explained away.

The attack on Bellemare and Brammertz are interesting. Whoever fed Macdonald his information must have felt the indictments are not going to come out, or will fail to name HA members. Thus the report serves to indict HA in the media, regardless of the path the STL takes. The whole ‘Getting Away with Murder’ angle is that HA did it, we know they did it, but here’s why the STL won’t indict them. Is someone nervous?

I think the only factual we get out of the whole report was from Bellemare’s press release in which he stated he is working on the draft of the indictment. So we know that’s coming sooner than later.”

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233 thoughts on “Hariri Tribunal Reports Tell a Different Story than CBC Account

  1. Don’t expect a reply till Monday.

    Canadians, lawyers, you know.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 26, 2010, 3:04 pm
  2. Unfortunately, QN, I think you’re wasting your time giving the CBC report the benefit of the doubt, when it’s clear the reporter was just regurgitating the sensationalist opinion of a source with an axe to grind.

    Posted by Mehdi2 | November 26, 2010, 3:19 pm
  3. Great work and effort none the less.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 26, 2010, 3:36 pm
  4. QN,

    Wow man! All this investigative work. Bravo. It’s time to vote you for president!
    PiD; do you have a problem with the mounties?

    Posted by danny | November 26, 2010, 3:40 pm
  5. The crux of the CBC report and that of the STL is in their convergent conclusions involving HA. The timings may be off between the STL and CBC, but that should not detract us from keeping our eyes on the ball and that is HA is guilty of carrying out the crime.

    I would like now to see more data on who “ordered” the crime.

    Great work QN in bringing to light this discrepancy.

    Posted by Hippo | November 26, 2010, 3:49 pm
  6. “The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.”

    Albert Einstein

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 26, 2010, 3:56 pm
  7. Someone said in the previous thread the killing of Mr. Eid is the clue that points towards the killers. CBC report or any other stories are mere conjectures. It is a waste of time spending a whole evening to sift through apparent contradictions to deal with conjectures. We can all wait for the STL indictment and then we can all judge it.

    However, it is obvious when reading any Hezb sympathetic media (particularly the ridiculous reporting of al-Akhbar – at least Mcdonald has the courtesy to cite sources for his claims) or even the few Hizbis who show up here every once in a while that they are frantically engaged in defensive maneuvres based only on conspiracy theories for the sole aim of discrediting the investigation, even though an indictment is not yet issued. An innocent party would not do that. Actually it would submit itself to investigation.

    Posted by anonymous | November 26, 2010, 5:05 pm
  8. Those who like conjectures may find the following analysis interesting,


    I too would like to echo one of its conclusions: “please have mercy on our intelligence and save us from digging into the idiotic theories of the conspiracies of the enemies of ‘resistance’.”

    Posted by anonymous | November 27, 2010, 12:09 am
  9. Damn, now that’s what I call a slam dunk. I suspected that the Tribunal reports would show this, but just didn’t have the time or energy to find and read through all the Brammertz ones. I’m glad you did.

    Posted by Ben Ryan | November 27, 2010, 1:58 am
  10. It seems to me McDonald had better go back to his farm….(Old Mc Donald had a farm, iya iya yoo…)

    Posted by Georges Melki | November 27, 2010, 5:10 am
  11. McDonald must have been really impressed with his sources to not even bother to read the UNIIIC reports.

    One good thing about the CBC report is that it put Eid’s assassination back in the mix for public discussion. If there is one clear piece of evidence right now that the UNIIIC and the Tribunal are not sham investigations, it is Eid’s assassination. Admittedly one could concoct all manner of explanations for it, but as old Occam would have it, the simplest explanation may well be the best. The phone track must have been getting somewhere. (But did the killers also buy the “lone genius” narrative?)

    Given all the ridiculous talk of false witnesses, it has been a relief to have this crime – the murderous obstruction of justice – given a bit of attention.

    Posted by Jonathan | November 27, 2010, 5:52 am
  12. Nice work, Elias. Kind of unbelievable that CBC didn’t do basic fact checking before they ran the story.

    Posted by Ben | November 27, 2010, 7:00 am
  13. Jonathan, exactly!
    It is not an unreasonable conjecture to suspect that (a) “the phone track must have been getting somewhere,” but also that (b) evidence indicting Eid’s boss as the worst kind of traitor was being uncovered by Eid.

    Thumbs up also to anon’s posts 8 and 9.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 27, 2010, 7:54 am
  14. I do not want to rush to judgement and I am more than glad to wait to see who is being indicted , for what and on what grounds yet the latest attempt by HA and its allies to discredit the phone records on the basis of Israeli spies in the telecommunications sector comes across as another desperate attempt at clearing potentially damaging evidence. IIf HA was able to clear the names of a few of its members when the telephone record showed that they were acting as agents then why shouldn’e it be as simple to clear the record presented by the prosecutor.
    The ability to fabricate calls from certain numbers is not to be taken lightly but as evidence it is not damning . It is simple to refute. If the fabricated evidence shows that I placed a call from close to the St George say at 4:00pm of March 10 when I was at the time in Cyprus or maybe Tripoli then the fabrication will simply not stand.
    Isn’t it time to stop the guessing and wait for the evidence? Isn’t it also ironic that those who fear sedition the most are the only ones capable of causing it?
    It is time to get this case behind us and to move on. (I can hardly wait for Dec. 10 . Would Belmare finally deliver his report?)

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | November 27, 2010, 9:34 am
  15. Okay, I might be kind of late to the party on this one, but I’ve been going through a backlog of blog reading and I just saw this linked on Beirut Spring from 18 November:


    So CBC *and* BBC were both set to air video documentaries on the Hariri assassination at virtually the same time, huh? Why now? Did they really cancel it because of the tensions in Beirut? Because it would seem that those tensions are the only reason that this might be newsworthy at the moment – it’s not like right now is an anniversary of the crime or anything.

    I’m really curious about the content of that nixed BBC series. Was it the same scoop pushed by the same person/people? Did they cancel it because they found out CBC was also doing it, or because they bothered to compare their data with the Tribunal reports and realized they had it way wrong?

    Very curious indeed.

    Posted by Ben Ryan | November 27, 2010, 9:59 am
  16. Ben

    I was wondering about that myself. The producer of the BBC special was supposed to be some Saudi, no?

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | November 27, 2010, 12:41 pm
  17. Apparently the BBC documentary was much more detailed:

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | November 27, 2010, 12:48 pm
  18. “Tell me Eid used some special software. Tell me he set up a database. Hell, tell me wrote a computer algorithm to do signal analysis. I will believe you. But a super-mathematical genius who could ‘intuit mathematical patterns’? No. Just… no.”

    If you look at the picture of Eid in the CBC article (and also in the video at 05:36 min.), he has an Oracle book on his desk in front of him. That implies he is likely to have set up a database to analyze the phone numbers.

    Posted by Hippo | November 27, 2010, 1:06 pm
  19. Only conclusions based on conjectures of the CBC and the BBC are:
    1) CBC dramatizes Eid’s murder. Thanks to CBC for this only.
    2) BBC puts Syria and Bashar himself in the circle of the accused along with hi-ranking Hizbis. Thanks to Hamade and Khaddam.

    Posted by anonymous | November 27, 2010, 1:11 pm
  20. #18,

    If you look at the picture of Eid in the CBC article (and also in the video at 05:36 min.), he has an Oracle book on his desk in front of him. That implies he is likely to have set up a database to analyze the phone numbers.”

    Why did Eid have to die if he was so mediocre according to you?

    Posted by anonymous | November 27, 2010, 1:41 pm
  21. #20
    I don’t know where you got the idea that I was implying he was mediocre. I was just pointing out that he may have used a database to analyze the phone numbers. That doesn’t mean he was mediocre.

    Posted by Hippo | November 27, 2010, 1:50 pm
  22. Why was George Hawi assassinated?

    He was neither here or there?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 27, 2010, 2:15 pm
  23. Who carried out all the assassinations post Hariri ?

    Hassan Nasrallah and his team?

    Does only Hariri count ?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 27, 2010, 2:28 pm
  24. … or matter ?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 27, 2010, 2:29 pm
  25. I personally don’t miss Gibran Tueni whom I know to have been an extremely vain narcissist who married a Lebanese woman that was Bassil Assad’s mistress while married to a prominent Lebanese business man, who was abducted in the trunk of a car during their divorce proceedings.

    Posted by SyrianLover | November 27, 2010, 2:48 pm
  26. #22,

    Hawi was not investigating any murders. Eid was. Does that answer your question?

    #23, #24,

    Does it only matter to you when the victim(s) is(are) one of your own? Or is so-called ‘resistance’ so sacred to you and should be placed above the law?

    Posted by anonymous | November 27, 2010, 2:50 pm
  27. No … it doesn’t.

    None and all the victims are of my own.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 27, 2010, 2:57 pm
  28. Doesn’t Hawi fit within the pattern of anti-Syrian assassinations? There was also a theory that an old grudge was finally being exercised, under cover of the atmosphere of terror.

    If the indictments do end up pointing at HA for the Hariri bomb, it will be interesting to see how some of these other assassinations fit in. If its surprising – even implausible – that HA would assassinate Hariri, it seems even more implausible that it would conduct such a long bombing campaign. Then again, it all came to an end with the assassination of Mughniyeh.

    Posted by Jonathan | November 27, 2010, 3:07 pm
  29. Jonathan,

    Hawi needs to fit in within the Hezb’s agenda too.

    Not that I’m trying to defend them.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 27, 2010, 3:36 pm
  30. Funny how the Mossad operatives that have been all over this blog suddenly remain silent.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 27, 2010, 3:48 pm
  31. Peter,
    I agree. It’s hard to see a HA motive for all those assassinations. It’s hard even to see one for the Hariri assassination, though 1559 is potentially significant. Once again… the Tribunal speculator’s catch-cry… we’ll have to wait and see.

    Posted by Jonathan | November 27, 2010, 3:50 pm
  32. #28,

    I do not know which planet you come from.

    Does it make sense to you as a possible motive eliminating few MPs from parliament by assassination would turn the political landscape upside down?

    Even better would it not make sense if the party behind it knows full well it cannot be challenged even if the murders get uncovered?

    Do you really think Hezb really cares less if it gets accused?

    Participants here (like you and me) do not know even 1% of what Hezb itself knows about the upcoming indictments. So why do you want to burden us with speculations and not allow us time for the indictment to be issued and then make judgemnents. But you can read on and speculate if that is what you prefer,


    Posted by anonymous | November 27, 2010, 4:37 pm
  33. I am waiting for a safety deposit box key that will have all the info that is needed to implicate every body ,

    Posted by Norman | November 27, 2010, 6:46 pm
  34. PiD;

    Seriously now please let us know who are the “mossad operatives on this blog”…Yallla i am sure we are all interested in your revelation.

    Posted by danny | November 27, 2010, 8:06 pm
  35. Jonathan,

    The assassinations and the explosions in Lebanon all stopped after Doha not Mughnieh’s “suicide. 😀

    Posted by danny | November 27, 2010, 8:07 pm
  36. Hippo,
    No one is denying that Eid was a Software Engineer or that he worked on signal analysis. I’m sure he used computers and databases in real life. The issue is how the CBC report wants you to believe he obtained his conclusions from some unique ability rather than the mundane tools of the trade.

    Signal analysis is not particulary complicated. It requires a lot of computing power because it is a combinatorial problem, but cluster finding algorithms are pretty straightforward.

    Posted by RedLeb | November 27, 2010, 8:40 pm
  37. The thread about Eid reminds me of the of the futile discussions about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? The simple answer is who cares. It does not matter whether Mr. Eid was a genius or whether he used computer algorithms and data mining techniques to uncover what he has allegedly uncovered about the telephone users in the Hariri case. If the proof of the pudding is in the eating then Mr. Eid , according to the records, was the first to gain that particular insight. Nothing else matterseven if he had relied on reading tea leaves.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | November 27, 2010, 9:04 pm
  38. OK.

    So the UN did all this work- between 2005 and 2007. What on earth did they find out about the phones? Red Orange Blue networks, etc.

    And why was Bellamare upset about the documentary?

    So far the evidence put by Nahhas is fickle, and a full story is not told. If Israel truly was responsible and those phones were “tracking” Hariri, his movements must have been known to them. So who gave the movements?

    At the very least, the CBC report was cohesive, even if it “downplayed” STL’s earlier work.

    Posted by Gabriel | November 27, 2010, 9:13 pm
  39. Fully agree GK 37. Plus one should add to your comment why was Mr. Eid killed?

    Posted by anonymous | November 27, 2010, 9:14 pm
  40. I am confused with all this allegations and counters. Now every second of HA media along with FPM is filled with “experts” trying to explain that how easy it would’ve been for anyone to “fake” the telephone records etc…etc…
    My question to all the HA “defenders” is(it is very simple):
    If what HA is professing about the ease of faking these data is true and believable; why don’t they bide their time and wait for the indictments. If it happens that one of its members were accused; then present this so easy to understand premise to the court???

    Simple enough?

    Posted by danny | November 27, 2010, 10:01 pm
  41. #39

    “Simple enough?”

    No, it is not that simple. The audience at the Hague is not the same audience as in Lebanon and the surroundings.

    I mean to say that one audience lacks the proper tools and sophistications to understand HA logic. The Lebanese are well known for being super sophisticated. Other societies have not yet achieved the same levels. Sorry for sounding racist but I couldn’t find a better way to explain it. It is just too complicated.

    Posted by anonymous | November 27, 2010, 10:55 pm
  42. As I indicated in my previous post the initial telecommunication analysis provided to the UN commission was not the work of the ISF and its information branch headed by wissam Al Hasan, former head of Harriri security but by the technical branch of the Lebanese army intelligence lead by Ghassan Tufaili under the command of General Raymond Azar,this branch had identified the assassins network and its details , the army concluded its investigation and submitted its findings to Mehlis by the end of April 2005 .


    It should be noted that Raymond Azar the head of Lebanese army intelligence was imprisoned for about four years along with three other heads of the security branches in what was for all intents and purposes a coup de et ate on orders from Detliv Mhelis based on false testimony to the commission by a witness , one of a handful of false witnesses that accused Syria and the four generals / heads of the security apparatuses of murdering Harriri , these false witnesses were presented to the commission by Wissam Al Hasan , this is significant because the information branch was the semi private investigating arm of the harriri family and was supported by no less than half a dozen intelligence services from around the world, all of them had an interest if not in toppling the regime in Syria at least in having its cooperation on a number of issues including its porous borders with Iraq , its relation with Iran and its support of Hizballah .

    The CBC innuendos about wissam Al Hasan’s loyalty to Harriri and the veiled suggestion that he was a Hizballah operative is a clever as opposed to intelligent attempt to deflect the single most pressing issue that would undermined the credibility of the STL and prove its political manipulation namely the false witness issue being pressed by Hizballah through the Lebanese government agenda and by Jameel Al Sayed ,an ex accused general in the Harriri murder ,through legal cases in Syria , France and at the Huge.

    The way I see it ,Harriri Inc,and the guardians of the STL are trying to shore up their defenses by sacrificially presenting Wissam Al Hasan at least where it matters from their prospective, the minds of western public opinion, not as the loyal Harriri operative who manipulated witnesses and misled the UN investigation into accusing Syria of assassinating his boss on the behest of his new boss Saad Harriri and his dear Jeff for the benefit of the US , Saudi Arabia and Israel, no, this Wissam Al Hasan who may been complicit and may had advanced knowledge of the planed assassination of Harriri had misled the UN investigation into accusing Syria on the behest of Hizballah to protect himself and those Hizballah elements presumably involved in the assassination.
    The CBC in print and via the documentary report try to impress the above suggestion upon the reader/viewer’s mind by presenting the depth of Wissam Al Hasan connection to Hizballah through the hundreds of phone calls made and received by him to and from Hizballah officials.

    Wissam Eid in the CBC report was the fluffy package that wrapped the message ,his work and role are cryptically presented as it is of no significance at least to the report , in reality, Eid work is based on the theory that if the eight closed cell network was the Harriri assassins “Business” network then the assassins must have had their own personal phones on them while on the site of the assassination, accordingly he came up with a set of phones that had communicated with phones that communicated with more phones that belonged to a Hizballah hospital.

    Of interest with regard to Eid work is the visit to the Genealogical clinic by the STL investigators who according to the latest Lebanese media reports were after the medical record of Sayed Hasan Nasrallah’s daughter in order to gleam from her medical record the phone numbers belonging to her and her husband, the current commander of Hizballah , needless to say , not only the buck stopped there but in the Mhelis the STL investigators lost a USB reportedly detailing the tree of the investigation.

    Also , Sayed Hasan Nasrallah in his press conference at which he presented the Israeli surveillance footage and suggested that Israel was involved in the assassination , he systematically presented the modus operandi of Israeli operatives involved in assassinations on Lebanese soil who admitted being present at the site of the assassinations within a 24 hours time window of the assassinations.
    This is significant in that Nasrallah asserted at the same press conference that Hizballah have prove that a known Mossad agent, an ex Lebanese army commander named Ghassan El Jad currently living in Israel was at the site of the Harriri assassination the day before the event and that the cell phone network Eid Identified was in fact involved in El Jad surveillance not in the Harriri assassination as advanced by Eid theory.

    Also in the same press conference in what seems to be a message to the STL , in response to a question from the press about the lines of communications between Saad Harriri and himself he responded that his lines are always open and anyone interested in communicating with me can give his MP Hajj Hasan Khalil a call as “I don’t use the phone”.

    Posted by Diab | November 27, 2010, 10:56 pm
  43. #41

    You seem to admit that the phone network is in fact the network of assassins according to your first paragraph,

    “As I indicated in my previous post… assassins network and its details.

    You used the words assassins network. We do not know yet if the phone records will be the only evidence the STL will present or if there are other pieces of evidence. But your admission is significant particularly if it may end up representing a Hezb view. So, perhaps there could be a solution if the Lebanese would come to an agreement on the admissibility of the phone records as evidence based on your analysis. So why doesn’t Hezb submit itself to investigation in this case? There is nothing to lose, and there could be lots to gain, particularly when there is so much sophistication at work on the part of Hezb sympathetic media. So why not wait until the STL makes its case and then Hezb can present its own? Why is Mr. Nasrallah frantically making appearances about a case when there is no case yet? Politicians in the West who get involved in scandals respond with simple no comment answers to media leaks. Such answers usually preserve their dignity in front of the public despite the gravity of the situation. Is Mr. Nasrallah aware of this pitfall of his? Or does he find appearing on the big screen every once in a while a small reprieve connecting him to the realities of the outside world out of the isoltation of his enforced hiding?

    Posted by anonymous | November 28, 2010, 12:23 am
  44. #32 anonymous,
    I have no interest in defending Hezbollah. My use of the word “implausible” was not meant to suggest that they must be innocent. I simply meant that when the finger was first pointed at them, I found it hard to believe. It seems like such a risky move for a party in their position to conduct a long campaign of terror. I can see the motive for Hariri: 1559 and the potential strengthening of Hariri’s power in the 2005 elections suggested a growing threat to Hezbollah. But why so many others? (This is an open question, not a defense of Hezbollah.) I await the presentation of evidence. Let the cards fall where they may.

    Posted by Jonathan | November 28, 2010, 1:09 am
  45. QN,

    Wow. So the BBC documentary had participation from Hariri, Hamadeh, Jumblatt, Mehlis, David Satterfield, and Bellemare, *as well as* Syrian Ambassador Imad Mustapha and Ali al-Hajj? While Macdonald says he couldn’t get Hariri or Jumblatt to comment for his? Embarrassing.

    And enlightening. All of those people participated for their own reasons, and at least Mustapha would only participate with the go-ahead from Assad. And while Mehlis, Hamadeh and Khaddam might have participated in an attack on Hezbollah/Syria, Hariri and Jumblatt are playing a different game these days. Not to mention Bellemare’s interest in not publicly taking sides. So it would seem they at least thought that this story would be balanced.

    So then it gets pulled, after al-Akhbar says it’s going to accuse Hezbollah and Syria… I don’t think that makes sense. It’s not like the producers read al-Akhbar that morning and went, “Wait, play that back now… oh my god, we *are* accusing Hezbollah! Shut it down!” My bet is they knew or found out about the CBC documentary and didn’t want to release both at the same time.

    Posted by Ben Ryan | November 28, 2010, 3:57 am
  46. @danny 34

    Pro-Israel media: Bloggers join media war

    Some 1,000 new immigrants and foreign-language-speaking Jews volunteer to army of bloggers set up by Absorption Ministry and Foreign Ministry with the stated objective of flooding blogs with pro-Israel opinions


    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 28, 2010, 6:14 am
  47. PiD @30
    You said:”Funny how the Mossad operatives that have been all over this blog suddenly remain silent.”

    I just wanted for you to simply assist me in identifying some of those operatives LOL…and you are offering a link from Ynetnews?

    That does not back up your statement about THIS blog.

    Posted by danny | November 28, 2010, 8:12 am
  48. “There were statements in the past few weeks that [they] were waiting for the [issue] of the indictment and that [they] would reject it if it was not based on evidence. How can you reject it if you say [the STL] is a [credible] and legal court?” – SHN

    guilty or not hezbollah recent media blitz would make any Manhattan PR firm drool.

    Posted by tamer k. | November 28, 2010, 11:32 am
  49. My understanding is Nasrallah puts it this way:

    “You are either Pro-Israeli or Anti-Israeli. If you’re Anti-Israeli you have to be Pro-Hizballah.”

    Seems you can’t be both … Anti-Israeli and Anti-Hizbollah.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 28, 2010, 12:01 pm
  50. #48 tamer,

    Hezbollah may have done well in the court of public opinion over the past few months, but their job has been made easy. Their intended audience is ready and waiting to have its ears scratched with talk of false witnesses and phone tampering, and in general it is an audience that can be both unreasonably credulous and unreasonably skeptical. Also, as Bellemare has to remain silent, there is no authoritative voice to refute what they say.

    Posted by Jonathan | November 28, 2010, 1:00 pm
  51. tamer #48
    Nasrallah is saying it is not enough to reject an indictment. You have to reject the court itself.

    But the question remains why are his ministers still in a government formed based on recognition of the STL?

    Peter #49,
    You are doing a very lousy job defending HA. I have done much better job than you above understanding and relaying what Nasrallah was saying and I am not even Hizbi. I wouldn’t want you as a political ally. I would rather have you in the opposite camp because then I can deal with you easily instead of having you as a baggage and a burden as in the case of mon general with the muqawama. And please spare me the geagea mantra as i am not one of them, of course with all due respect.

    Posted by anonymous | November 28, 2010, 1:20 pm
  52. Anonymous,

    Either you or I have misunderstood Peter (probably both, he will definitely correct us).

    What I understood from his post is that HNA is quite like Bush, either you are with us or against us. This leave the people with little room to criticize what the supposed leaders do or say. To blindly follow is the main problem the Lebanese have to overcome.

    Posted by IHTDA | November 28, 2010, 1:41 pm
  53. #52 IHTDA,

    Whatever Peter had in mind is immaterial regarding HNA statement. My interpretation of that statement IS THE accurate interpretation.

    I still hope I was wrong and that Peter was not defending HA.

    Posted by anonymous | November 28, 2010, 1:53 pm
  54. QN spent hours of his time wading through UN reports. The poor fellow’s been trying desperately to poke holes through the CBC report.

    Then in one fell swoop. Some other fellow posts a verbose post and a link to the great investigative newspaper “Al-Akhbar” suggesting the whole thing was a farce. All the original telecomm analysis was done by some army fellow who ended up accused by the STL, after submitting his findings to them.

    Poor QN seems to have wasted his time.


    Whatever else you may believe, while HA are called “Opposition” in Lebanon they carry the military clout in the country.

    In an effort to dress the Pig with Lipstick, they’ve been trying desperately to project the image that they have the best interests of Lebanon at heart, and that they are the proper vanguards of the interests of all Lebanese. Perhaps this is why you find it hard to understand why they may in fact be responsible for the string of assassinations.

    The truth is, forget the Optics. At the end of the day, it is in their best interests. And even if they are in fact guilty of those assassinations, there will be no political or legal repercussions on them. Hence the flurry of diplomatic activities that have been on-going.

    Posted by Gabriel | November 28, 2010, 1:56 pm
  55. QN:

    Flushing the truth seems high on your agenda. I see in the STL website that they have positions open.

    Since you seem thorough in your work, and your heart seems to be in the right place. Perhaps you should apply.

    Take in all the evidence the STL has. Take in all the counter evidence being peddled by HA and its allies, and weave us a new story of intrigue.

    Posted by Gabriel | November 28, 2010, 2:00 pm
  56. Peter in Dubai.

    At the point, I think Hariri doesn’t matter one bit. To hell with Hariri. I mean really, if his own son doesn’t care… why should anyone else?!?!?

    I think we should find the killers of Eid.

    Because frankly if his poor family had to lose a son on account of some bulls&%t time wasting and money wasting (yes, including my own tax payer money)… then they alone deserve some answers.

    Posted by Gabriel | November 28, 2010, 2:08 pm
  57. #43
    My previous post was to refute the claim made by CBC that the commission did not look into the telecommunications angle and to clarify that it was the army intelligence that provided the info rather then the ISF.


    I had inserted a link to “Al Akhbar” report that exhaustively details the work done to identify the assassins and their network, too bad you don’t seem to know Arabic or care for that matter.

    Harriri was assassinated by assassins who used a closed network of eight cell phones, what am I admitting to ? that he was assassinated ? by assassins? using cell phones?
    The intent from posting here is not to defend anyone but to give important background details omitted by the CBC report which is just that a piece of information which in omitting many of the details I mentioned became a collection of misinformation .
    You are asking Nasrallah to come out from hiding and lay bare his organization on the alter of an international court run by his bitter enemies , why would anyone do that.

    Also , Nasrallah in hiding is denying the Israelis a cheap and easy victory but he is no less connected with reality , especially his reality then Saad Harriri , Ehud Barak or Gabi Ashkenazi.

    Posted by Diab | November 28, 2010, 2:48 pm
  58. #57,

    I gave you the benefit of the doubt in my previous reply. But it seems to me you are taking us for granted. So what is the real deal with you and your idiotic Akhbar ‘gem’?

    Why did it take the CBC report to air for al-Akhbar to come up with its latest so-called ‘breakthrough’? That is more than 5 years after Azar and Tofaili allegedly discovered the phone network of assassins.

    Are we idiots to believe that Azar spent 4 years in prison and his lawyers didn’t use his and Tofaili’s so-called intelligence findings in his defence? Or at least allow al-Akhbar or other mouthpiece of Syria and its tails in Lebanon to present those findings to the public much earlier?

    Actually it was also al-Akhbar’s own words which used the same words as you did i.e. “assassins network” which is a clear admission of the admissibility of phone records as evidence according to you, al-Akhbar, the Intelligence of Azar and Tofaili that if we to believe that story then phone records must be admitted as evidence. That is exactly the admission you made in that ridiculous ‘gem’ of yours. Now either you lack a logical sense of reasoning or you are assuming us idiots. So make your pick.

    Gabriel #56,
    I do not think Hariri compromised so far. Let’s wait and see. If he does it will be political suicide for him. Jumblat may want him to do that. But then Jumblat wasn’t able to make use of Hariri’s case and the other martyrs’ cases to get back at Syria and settle his dad’s score. He too may feel pressured from his community for this failure. The Druze never forgive their spilled bloods even after centuries had passed unless they get forced to do it as in the case of poor Walid.

    Posted by anonymous | November 28, 2010, 3:40 pm
  59. lHTDA … spot on.

    However, here are my observations:

    The phone network was well known to the Hizb as early as 2005, but they never discredited the STL till after 2008 and intensively till after the Der Spiegel report.

    Why ?

    I believe the key lies in one very telling revelation that came about in 2008 and those where that Syria was in back door negotiations with Israel through Turkey.

    This revelation was swiftly followed by the March 2008 incidents where Nasrallah surprisingly reneged on his own words and turned his weapons internally.

    Why ?

    Because a Syria willing to make peace with Israel in early 2008 while Bush was in power can only be understood that a backdoor deal was being conducted conducted by Syria in return for the Hariri indictment.

    i.e., The tribunal had become politicized.

    Surely enough Walid caught wind of it … and resultantly abandoned March 14.

    The Israelis gave Assad a sterling excuse to save face and take a public step back from negotiations following Israel’s violent Gaza incursion.

    Nasrallah understood after the Der Spiegel report that the Hizb alone were going to be indicted as ordering and executing the Hariri assassination.

    At worst, Hizballah probably offered some “logistical” cooperation to the assassination in keeping track of Hariri’s movements. But they did not order it, or were responsible for setting it up (Mistsubishi vans, 1 ton of explosives) or setting up the ridiculous alibi for his murder.

    If you see it from within this context, you can understand Nassrallah’s difficult position of sitting between a rock and a hard place being framed for something he was a part of … but not really responsible for.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 28, 2010, 4:46 pm
  60. Both Assad Sr. and Jr. knew how to play their cards with Bush Sr. and Jr. when it comes to the US advancing their agendas in the region on behalf of Lebanon.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 28, 2010, 5:07 pm
  61. The Golan might be a matter of pride and principle to Syria, but control of Lebanon is by far more strategic and valuable.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 28, 2010, 5:14 pm
  62. Peter #59,

    Now you proved it.

    But I stand by my previous comment to you. I would not want you as political ally. I can deal with you easier in the opposite camp.

    Your supposed explanation in that comment of yours is one of the most stupid I have ever read. Al-Akhbar ‘gem’ of the latest Hizb raider of this blog perhaps is of better value as a distortion tool than yours that Hizb can make use of to defend itself. So why do you bother?

    Posted by anonymous | November 28, 2010, 5:55 pm
  63. I’m sure you can, anon …

    You obviously have a bigger political agenda than I do.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 28, 2010, 6:12 pm
  64. I’m no fan of religion or aristocracy.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 28, 2010, 6:26 pm
  65. Anything about Hariri murder on the released documents from wikileaks ,

    Posted by Norman | November 28, 2010, 6:33 pm
  66. PiD,

    Stay focused and back up your statements with facts or links. It seems you are writing words hoping it makes a coherent sentence. We on this side of the ocean know very well what is valued and not to Bashar Assad and how he has managed to stay in power with the help of the Jewish State. Now spare us their “intelligence or cunning”(“Both Assad Sr. and Jr. knew how to play their cards with Bush Sr. and Jr. when it comes to the US advancing their agendas in the region on behalf of Lebanon.”)…Seriously!

    Posted by danny | November 28, 2010, 6:44 pm
  67. Norman,
    So far there does not appear to be anything but I am willing to bet that the relationship between HA, Syria , Iran on one side and Saudi Arabia on the other is going to take a major turn for the worst. (The revelations that the King of SA urged that Iran be hit supports the early rumous that were in circulation last summer that SA agreed to give the Israeli AF the right to flyover Saudi territory on its bombing missions in Iran.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | November 28, 2010, 7:10 pm
  68. GK,
    Don’t you think for a moment that Iran was cognizant of KSA’s stand or the other way around? It seems to be a minor inconvenience as in ME; if you spit at any of these leaders’ face they might think its raining!
    They’ll write it off as a fake or forged docs! Do you think only HA can do that?

    Posted by danny | November 28, 2010, 7:33 pm
  69. Ghassan,

    Some times i wonder why Iran is so insistent on supporting the Palestinians and Arab rights when they only got attacked first by Iraq , then now by KSA instigating the US and Israel on attacking them,

    Posted by Norman | November 28, 2010, 8:23 pm
  70. Danny,
    Many suspected that this would have been the attitude but to have it in the open is bound to be very embarrassing and is bound to create tension. Real politik will force both sides to ignore it publicly and to proceed as if this was only a bump in the road. It is much more than that.

    Iran prior to the revolution was noton the Palestinian side. This would lead me to the conclusion that the support from Qom is not for the Araba or the Palestinians but is predicated on a religious view of the world. I think that this is another reason that the Saudi Monarchy and Iran dhave to be suspicious of each other. Remember that the King no longer refers to himself as the King of Saudi Arabia but the guardin of the two Holy Places . He thinks of himself as the genuine article, as the leader of the Moslem and the Arab world. He will view the Iranian support only as medling. I believe that the crown prince will be even more straight forward in dealing with Iran and Syria once he takes over.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | November 28, 2010, 11:06 pm
  71. @Danny

    “Both Assad Sr. and Jr. knew how to play their cards with Bush Sr. and Jr. when it comes to the US advancing their agendas in the region on behalf of Lebanon.”

    Meaning, the cost being Lebanon. Valuable to Syria … and insignificant to the US.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 29, 2010, 4:19 am
  72. GK,
    Iran have seen your realpolitik and raised you! Love them or hate them their response is sheer bloody diplomatic genius.

    Posted by usedtopost | November 29, 2010, 10:38 am
  73. UTP,
    I am in total agreement with you on this. The only question though is the effect that this will have on the future relations.

    Posted by ghassan karam | November 29, 2010, 10:57 am
  74. Thats what is so inventive in their response. They’ve given the Gulf states a free pass while putting the ball firmly back in the Gulf states court. Its now not only up to the Gulfis to decide how future relations proceed, but if they want good relations they will now have to go that one step further to mollify the Iranians.

    I can see why only they could have invented Chess now….

    Posted by usedtopost | November 29, 2010, 11:37 am
  75. UTP
    I don’t think they had a choice. They couldnt touch the ball.
    The position of the gulf states is known to Iran before the leaks. With situations in Iraq, Lebanon , nuclear issues and their internal problems; i believe they have enough on their plate.

    Posted by IHTDA | November 29, 2010, 12:23 pm
  76. Mo,

    What’s so “invetive” in their response?Really? As I mentioned above they will brush it off as fake (interpret it as you wish).
    “Mr Ahmadinejad shrugged off the leaks at a televised news conference on Monday, saying no-one should waste time reviewing the information.

    “We don’t think this information was leaked,” he said. “We think it was organised to be released on a regular basis and they are pursuing political goals.”BBC

    Now if that’s not following the path of their usual rhetoric ala HA style; what is?

    Now they really think its pouring. 😀

    Posted by danny | November 29, 2010, 12:24 pm
  77. IHTDA,
    Yes, with all the issues they have they can’t afford for it to have turned nasty but they could have ignored it and let it fester.

    Seriously, can that chip on your shoulder get any bigger?

    Posted by usedtopost | November 29, 2010, 12:38 pm
  78. Mo,

    Now my point with you is you are trying to make Iranians look “inventive” and creators of chess lol??? You should get out more often. Their response is simple as it has been with most all other countries’ governments that have had “leaks”…Again; try to breathe some fresh air and stop worshiping anything Persian…You sound a little lovestruck.

    Posted by danny | November 29, 2010, 12:52 pm
  79. Those who are interested in the entire file of the leaked documents, Here it is. Enjoy and analyse,lol.

    Posted by Prophet | November 29, 2010, 2:36 pm
  80. Assuming these leaks are accurate, why should anyone be surprised? What is the big fuss about?

    If I was in the Gulf, I wouldn’t want Iran to have any nuclear development, so I would encourage the destruction of its program by whoever is willing to do it. First, Iran occupies three Arab islands. Second Iran threatens blowing up Hormuz every time it likes to show off. Third Iran (through HA) was behind several high profile bombings in SA… Plus many countless belligerent acts not to mention its mistreatment of minorities within Iran. Does anyone know that Sunnis are not allowed to have mosques, schools or be elected to parliament in Iran? Does any one know Sunnis form over 35% of Iran’s population? Does any one know how Iran treats its Arab minorities in Arab Stan?

    Now If I were not in the Gulf (which I am not) I would still want to see Iran’s nuclear program destroyed because it is a threat to world peace.

    Finally, I really cannot see anyone can feel elated about anything simply because somebody invented chess. What is the big deal about it? With all due respect, since Alexander and even earlier this area which is called nowadays Iran has been vanquished by every civilization. Yet, the current regime and the previous regime of the shah will waste no opportunity to speak of so-called glories of Persian civilization? What glories are they talking about? I sometimes wonder why they chose this particular bird as their symbol. It is one of the weakest and yet it displays nothing but empty pomp.

    Posted by anonymous | November 29, 2010, 3:34 pm
  81. anon

    where do u live ?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 29, 2010, 3:38 pm
  82. I am a Martian.

    Posted by anonymous | November 29, 2010, 4:00 pm
  83. You must be another “volunteer” on this blog.

    Indonesians, though Muslims, are not Arabs. Neither are Iranians or Turks.

    Filipinos, though Christians, are not Europeans, Americans or Semites either.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 29, 2010, 4:03 pm
  84. Also cows in India are sacred. In Japan they are Wagyu. In the US they are certified Angus. In England they are mad. In Saudi they are Halal.

    Do you have cows on Mars?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 29, 2010, 4:18 pm
  85. Correction … they are Kobe in Japan.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 29, 2010, 4:24 pm
  86. PiD:

    You were the first time around. They are Wagyus.

    I think (hope?) Anon was just being facetious- seeing that a few people were bouncing around like little school girls with PomPoms over Iran and their “strategicness”.


    Be that as it may, KSA is not exactly the light of Nations. Everything you said about Iran applies (and perhaps 10-folds more to KSA).

    As a general comment, I think the Lebanese should really focus on their country and not concern themselves with the geopolitics of the region.

    And I don’t think they can do that without the STL seeing through its investigations, and publishing fully its findings, irrespective of the fear mongering some are trying to promote relating to the repercussions of such a move.

    Posted by Gabriel | November 29, 2010, 5:22 pm
  87. Anon #80 said:

    “What is the big deal about it? With all due respect, since Alexander and even earlier this area which is called nowadays Iran has been vanquished by every civilization. Yet, the current regime and the previous regime of the shah will waste no opportunity to speak of so-called glories of Persian civilization? What glories are they talking about? I sometimes wonder why they chose this particular bird as their symbol. It is one of the weakest and yet it displays nothing but empty pomp.”

    The above takes the gold for being the most ignorant statement I have ever seen on this blog by what is clearly a cultural and religious bigot.

    So you do not think that major developments that could potentially affect the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran is important? Who are the major patrons of HA and Saad Hariri?

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | November 29, 2010, 6:09 pm
  88. GK:

    I think we all know that Iran and KSA are the patrons of Nasrallah and Hariri. That much we know, the same way we know that behind the scenes, KSA wants Iran neutered.

    On camera, I don’t think Nasrallah or Hariri would be flattered to declare themselves agents of Iranian and Saudi interests.

    For the past 30 years, Lebanon has been the stage where this geopolitics has played out.

    I think if Lebanon wants to work as a “nation”, all these players have to extricate themselves and their respective roles as stooges to others.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see this happening any time soon. That’s why I salute the CBC report, and the excellent work done by Neil.

    More leaks like those are needed, until all those emperors have no more clothes.

    Posted by Gabriel | November 29, 2010, 6:30 pm
  89. GK #88,

    I am really disappointed with you. You probably need to brush up on your English. If you read my comment again carefully, you will find out that in fact I am not attacking anybody. I did not even mention the people. I mentioned the land. And I simply stated facts.

    But I do respect your opinion, nevertheless

    Posted by anonymous | November 29, 2010, 6:44 pm
  90. Another “inventive” comment. this time from KSA. 😀

    The WikiLeaks documents which portrayed Saudi Arabia as supporting US military action to halt Iran’s nuclear drive “do not concern the kingdom,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

    “These documents do not concern the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Nor has the kingdom had any role in producing them,” Saudi Foreign Ministry spokesperson Osama Nugali told AFP.

    “Nor is it aware of their authenticity. Therefore Saudi Arabia cannot comment on them,” he said. “The kingdom’s policies and positions have always been clear.”

    To read more: http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=219467#ixzz16iLIAt33
    Only 25% of a given NOW Lebanon article can be republished. For information on republishing rights from NOW Lebanon: http://www.nowlebanon.com/Sub.aspx?ID=125478

    Posted by danny | November 29, 2010, 6:46 pm
  91. Did I miss it or why is it that no one is commenting on or quoting from SHN’s Sunday speech?
    I think it is fascinating in many ways:

    1- The preamble praises the importance of technological development and study, including the education of women!!! It asserts the necessity of such advancement and study.
    2- It claims some detailed analysis of the alleged penetration of the Lebanese wireless network has concluded that hijacking of lines is possible (and was in fact done) whereby calls are planted as attributable to a given phone number without the owner of that phone/number having any knowledge of it.

    Now, I think this is significant because these are claims that can readily be verified and proven or disproved.

    3- SHN praises the Saudi-Syrian efforts at averting a crisis in Lebanon and says they are continuing despite what some naysayers and saboteurs like to claim.

    QN: subject of another post? I assumed you would have analyzed all this by now.

    http://media.almanar.com.lb/video/Nasrallah/sayed hasan 28-11-2010.wmv

    A word of caution: the speech uses some graduation occasion so the video first goes through much of that. SHN’s speech starts at a TBD hour/minute of that video (forgot to mark it and the video is over 2 hours, so you have to search).

    Alternatively, some kind of translation of parts of the speech can be found on youtube. Search for “[Part 1/4] Sayyed Nasrallah(HA) Speech November 28, 2010”

    Okay, awaiting our fearless leader’s analysis….

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 29, 2010, 7:25 pm
  92. Sorry, my link above is not clickable. Just copy and past the whole link and it will work (Arabic only). For a translation look on YouTube as indicated above.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 29, 2010, 7:28 pm
  93. Anon,
    This is not the place for a tit for tat. Only an ignoramus will deny the glories of the great Darius and possibly one of the largest empires and greatest empires that ever existed. Don’t bother to respond .

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | November 29, 2010, 8:02 pm
  94. GK gets an extra point for using the word “ignoramus” in a sentence! 🙂

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | November 29, 2010, 8:18 pm
  95. GK #92

    Please explain where that empire was and how great (or greatest) it was. Perhaps a smartamus knows all the answers. And excuse my ‘ignoramus’ condition for preventing me from complying with the imperial orders of the great Darious.

    If this is not the place for tit for tat, why did you bother yourself? Was that being smartamus or ignoramus? I thought I would ignore you after my last comment. Where did you learn English, by the way? You do not have to respond as I do not give orders. It is completely up to you.

    Posted by anonymous | November 29, 2010, 8:37 pm
  96. This tactic of insult coupled with attempted diversion into the realms of irrelevancies is a very common signature of the hasbarista troll subset.

    HP. I too hope QN does a post on this topic of the SHN speech; you bring up some important points.

    When one starts with fact that the details as presented at an international conference of telecomm peers in Mexico were credible enough to pass an anti-semitic delegitimizing resolution on a (secret) vote, the chances are good that the technical stuff is solid.

    Posted by lally | November 29, 2010, 9:43 pm
  97. Does anyone know if the BBC documentary is scheduled to air at some later time or whether it simply will not air at all?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 29, 2010, 10:46 pm
  98. On the accusation of the penetration of the Lebanese wireless network and the various subversive methods of cloning numbers and misrepresenting calls, etc., it would be good to have some kind of reaction or opinion from our friendly Israeli commentators, AIG? Shai? Rani?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 29, 2010, 10:48 pm
  99. It’s such a big shock that Arab media, for the most part, avoided publishing and discussing the latest revelation from wikileaks.
    Even the loyal commentators of this blog seem to be indifferent, to what is considered by western media a big story.
    What was supposed to be embarrassing to the united states, has turned into a realization that the leaked documents portray some Arab leaders in a bad light .Some , were secretly urging the united states to do the dirty work for them, and attack Iran, at the same time they were calling Iranians fellow Muslim brothers.
    None of the leaked documents (so far) relating to Arab countries are as earth shattering as expected. They confirm the impression that many people had of Arab leaders already. So, Why the embarrassment? Why the silence by Arab media?
    For Arab journalist to ignore the biggest story on the internet is really problematic. On one hand, they want to be part of the story, on the other, they “need” to be careful on what to report without getting in trouble.
    Even main stream media outlet, such as Al-jazera, is saying so little about the leaked documents, so they would not get the Qatari Emir pissed off.
    One document caught my attention is a document sent from US Embassy in Tel Aviv (July 2007).
    It is clear that the discussion between Mossd director Dagan and Frances Fragos Townsend, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (AFHSC) is on how to use the UNSC to pressure Syria away from Iran.
    Any who still has any doubts that the international investigation of the assassination of PM Hariri, has not been politicized , this document should make it very clear that Israel ,and the US have used this investigation, and the STL TO PRESURE Syria and try to disarm HA.


    ¶5. (S) Dagan echoed other reports that Syria expects an
    Israeli attack this summer, and has raised its level of
    readiness. Despite the fact that Israel has no intention of
    attacking, said Dagan, the Syrians are likely to retaliate
    over even the smallest incident, which could lead to quick
    escalation. Dagan believes that Syria’s strategic alliance
    with Iran and Hizballah has not changed, and that Assad views
    these policies as both “successful and just.” There is a
    tendency to assume that Syria can be separated from Iran,
    said Dagan, and that this offers the key to weakening
    Hizballah. Dagan argued that the opposite is true: by
    enforcing UN resolutions on Lebanon and increasing efforts to
    disarm Hizballah, the international community can remove the
    glue that binds Iran and Syria. Enforcing the resolutions
    would put additional pressure on Assad, who fears being tried
    for the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri
    above all else. The advantage of such an approach, continued
    Dagan, is that the legal ground is already in place for
    action by the UNSC. This credible threat could sufficiently
    frighten Syria away from Iran and towards more natural allies
    in the Arab League. “

    Posted by PROPHET | November 29, 2010, 11:07 pm
  100. Here’s a question:
    Is the plural of ignoramus ignorami or ignoramuses?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 29, 2010, 11:43 pm
  101. In Act III Scene 10 of the Imaginary Invalid by Molière, he uses derivatives of that word (ignoramus): ignorantus, ignoranta, Ignorantum.
    Let the derivatives multiply!

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 29, 2010, 11:48 pm
  102. Jeezus

    I’m brushing up on my english skills just going about my day to day trolling. I had to type in “define Hasbarista” into my faithful Google search box- and even that didn’t return a response.

    My oh my, we Lebanese really are smart.

    Anon did you really have to go on that anti-Persian rant? You ruffled a couple of feathers, and the Anti-Hasbarists have popped out like the weed in my garden.

    HP: Are you open at all to the possibility that HA was behind this? And if they are responsible, what are you going to do about it?

    Posted by Gabriel | November 29, 2010, 11:49 pm
  103. And here’s the evidence, lest anyone accuses my court of being politicized:

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 29, 2010, 11:50 pm
  104. HP:

    Take it easy on us simple folk. We barely get by with English, now you’re throwing in French into the mix.

    Posted by Gabriel | November 29, 2010, 11:57 pm
  105. Gabriel #101,

    Even you Brutus?

    What the hell did I say about Persia that no body knows? I did not even mention Persia. After all I was commenting on some one getting so elated claiming chess to be a Persian invention whereas in fact it is of Indian origin. You just have to Google and WIKI comes up thus,
    (If you can, please do not forget to support poor Jimmy Wales for the WIKI treasure he created for the whole world.)
    And then you have all these has baristas wanting Iran to stealthily have nukes in order to destroy the gulf, the hormuz, Arab Stan and send assassins to Lebanon and elsewhere to kill at will. And yet they do not want to allow any gulfi or arabi or anyone in the world to open his or her mouth claiming some sort of scandal in the name wiki (dness).
    What does he think he is doing this shameless Degan who wickedly stole the wiki name just to enrich himself at the expense of our stupidity? At least Jimmy Wales is benefiting humanity with real knowledge, and yet he still has to beg and plea for help to carry on with his noble mission. What benefits are we gaining from Degan who is busy inflating his pockets at the expense of our insatiable stupid quest for curiosity? Could you imagine the state we’re in right now: invention rights of chess were blatantly stolen and no body dared to open his mouth all in the name of wiki(dness).

    Posted by anonymous | November 30, 2010, 12:48 am
  106. Gaby my friend, maybe you are new to QN (?).
    Until we get some convincing evidence to the contrary, my guess has always been that it is a combination of HA and Syria that ordered and executed the assassination of Hariri and the motive for it was articulated eloquently in 2006 in this post (with apologies to those who read that link for the n-th time):

    It might well be that the planning and execution were done without the knowledge of (or with deliberate design of plausible deniability by) the top leaders in the 2 entities, but that will be for history to determine.

    One has to admire, though, the cunning strategy by HA — regardless of whether they are innocent or guilty. They sure know how to play their cards. Heck, they have the support of FPM’s General Aoun, and he has managed to convince (along with the charisma of SHN) many a Christian in Lebanon, including members of my family.

    As to “what are you going to do about it,” that is a question that will be answered frankly by those who are sincere. In my case, I have left a long long time ago and there’s nothing I can nor wish to do other than help in limited individual ways that are, frankly, of no one’s business but mine and those whom I help. I have never participated in politics in Lebanon and I’m not about to start. Commenting here is an intellectual exercise driven by an interest in the region and in the country and a hope to see a better future for both.

    Finally, as far as the French is concerned, may I suggest, humbly, that Molière is really part of the international literature and here is, for those interested, a translation of the “Malade Imaginaire” = “The Imaginary Invalid”
    – courtesy Google Books – with the link, I think, pointing to the passage about those derivatives of that lovely word “ignoramus.”

    You’ll need to add the h t t p colon slash slash (because if I put 2 links in one post, it goes to arbitration by his majesty the QN)


    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 12:49 am
  107. OK, Moliere link will probably not work above. Here is a clickable link:


    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 12:53 am
  108. Gaby, are you Israeli?
    If so, can you please comment on this theory of the penetration and manipulation of the wireless network in Lebanon by Israel?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 12:55 am
  109. HP,
    The penetration and manipulation of the wireless network in Lebanon by Israel is not a ‘theory’. SHN did not come up with this claim out of the blue, he was referring to investigations that have been carried out over the past months by HA, Army Intelligence, ISF, Information Bureau and was being reported in the media. The Telecom Ministry had a press conference last week detailing the technical specifics.

    And anonymous, danny, and Gabriel: yes, it is in fact a conspiracy cooked up by the cunning HA, the Lebanese government and Hariri’s Information Bureau. Don’t feel the need to state the obvious.

    Posted by RedLeb | November 30, 2010, 2:26 am
  110. Thansk RedLeb #108 for info.

    Please tell your ‘genius’ Lebanese ISF, Army Intel, HA and Leb government and Hariri Bureau that an electrical engineer from Mars says a MAC address of a cell phone cannot be duplicated.

    Posted by anonymous | November 30, 2010, 3:29 am
  111. anon #109,

    a cell phone doesn’t have a MAC address but a IMIE. Press these keys on your cell *#06# and you might be able to see yours.

    The IMIE can’t be duplicated, but can be misreported by the software communicating with the wireless stations. Many known Internet attacks use this technique of misreporting MAC addresses to gain access. It’s doable, but on planet Earth only; I don’t know about other celestial spheres.

    Posted by XP | November 30, 2010, 4:26 am
  112. #108 RedLeb

    What is frustrating about the way in which Nasrallah is using the issue of phone evidence is that, as with the false witnesses, he simply wants to use the court of public opinion. It is enough to say that this infiltration has occurred, without waiting for expert testimony about the particular evidence being used and the likelihood of it being fabricated, and certainly without waiting for such evidence or the testimony to be subject to legal scrutiny and to be either admitted or thrown out.

    Posted by Jonathan | November 30, 2010, 4:35 am
  113. Jonathan, correct. I like your posts.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 5:07 am
  114. QN, so much material to analyze! come out come out wherevere you are.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 5:10 am
  115. the key question is emerging (bravo BV) for your early insight).
    Who killed Eid and why?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 5:13 am
  116. To HP 97
    As far as an old person know much can be done about intercepting and faking electronic communication not every thing. These who know do not tell, would you or I if it was our living?. I wrote here long time ago “optical fibers”. Every embassy in Lebanon is playing such electronic games to some degree, look at them and see. Just an example: not long time ago the best and latest German Electronic ship was operationg off Lebanon as a UN ship. Some Russian electronic ships used to be in that corner of the world, I dont know about now. Some of the most modern electronic war bases ever built and operated are in Cyprus. Israel was, is and will be part of such games as any state that is under the threat of war if not extermination should do, like Lebanon the state ! not extra state organization which will use such systems for its good, that was why Eid was killed. I realy do not know more than that.

    As for the latest sensation in intercepted data. One never fake 100% , one fake about 5-15% the rest in such cases are half secrets that every body thinking himself half clever would naturally expect. The natural feeling of pride of such person “you see how clever I was !!” helps imbed the faked 5-10%. People in the ME even in the smallest village have been doing it for generations, just listen to your elders or read history.
    As for Iran, Cyrus the Great was the first known non-Jewish Zionist. As for ancient Empires and modern analogies: Between about 1930 and 1944 Italy was the Roman Empire. For generations Egypt rulled this area. Presently Greece and Macedonia are fighting who realy realy represnts the past glory of the Macedonian Empire, and very lately some body is trying to revive the Ottoman Sulatante and will soon claim to be the right Chaliff, corruption and cruelty included, as our elders and history will tell us.
    As for the latest sensation please notice how little do people realy care about the fate of the Palestinians. How much crying in public and how little when leadrs realy talk.

    As for this blog. I was just reading not responding. It was clear to me from the begining that at the end after spending millions and bombing and killing some not so decent and some very decent people as Mr. officer Eid [who realy realy represent the future of Lebanon and for me his killing is more tragic than the killing of hariri ] every body will unite in blaming the Jews, see Chaplin the “Great Dictator” and listen to Nasralla & Jumblat and the rest. That is why I entered only when invited because of respect to this blog and the persona who invited me.

    Posted by Rani | November 30, 2010, 5:16 am
  117. Actually anon,

    If you go a little further than just viewing the wiki page you will find that there are competing theories on the origins of Chess and both India and China can claim to have invented the game that the chess we know today evolved from. However, the Persian version is the actual basis of modern chess. But since your historical knowledge of the region seems to be desperately limited, we understand.

    Oh and congrats on achieving the almost impossible as it seems you have aquired the derision of commentators on both sides of the divide. Kudos.

    There are two reasons SHN is talking to the court of public opinion.

    One is that HA believe this indictment is meant to stir up trouble in the country by achieving some sort of popular backlash againts them. Since HA care a lot more about avoiding conflict internally than they do any kind of external attack be it military or legal, that is the court they address.

    The second reason is that Lebanon being Lebanon, an accusation is as good as being found guilty (e.g. see Syria and the Hariri Assasination) so God only knows the reaction to an actual indictment. So again, HA are trying to head off that reaction by talking to the public.

    Posted by usedtopost | November 30, 2010, 5:45 am
  118. utp, I think you put your finger on the key issue. talking only to the close-by circle IiS the problem. American citizens are far and open-minded. Why not convince them with facts and articulate arguments like the proponents of Israel do?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 6:39 am
  119. ~fair instead of far

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 6:41 am
  120. Rani is right. when all else fails, blame Israel and “the Jews.”

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 6:45 am
  121. HP,
    “American citizens are far and open-minded”; is this sarcasm?

    The same open-minded people that have 12000 conspiracy theories about the assassinations of JFK or MLK?

    On the same note, let me ask you how the US could have survived as a nation if the true killers of JFK and MLK were disclosed? SHN’s latest speech should be viewed in that context.

    Posted by XP | November 30, 2010, 6:59 am
  122. HP,
    I’m not sure why SHN should be addressing US citizens or if you are even joking.

    And I’m not sure what you mean by “close-by circle” but if you mean HA supporters then that is exactly the opposite of what I meant. The public opinion I was refering to are those that do not support HA.

    As I try not to knowingly address Israelis I didn’t bring it up but since you mention it lets please not use the tired “blame the Jews” accusation and the implications associated. If you are going to repeat worn Israeli adage that the Arabs only hate Israel because its a Jewish nation then we have to have an entirely different conversation.

    As for blaming Israel, well its accusation by deduction is it not? If HA are saying they did not do it and Syria is out of the frame, that only leaves one viable suspect, does it not?

    Posted by usedtopost | November 30, 2010, 7:12 am
  123. HP:

    Israeli?! No, No, No. I’m “Lebanese”. I put the quotation marks because there’s nothing very Lebanese about me. I suppose though that that makes me less interesting. I am new here, I guess I was drawn by the intrigue of seeing fellow Lebanese startled by the mere suggestion HA could have a hand in the murder(s).

    As for Moliere, I was meaning to thank you for the link you posted. And judging by the madness (no pun intended)- it was just what the Doctor ordered. So Thank you.

    Posted by Gabriel | November 30, 2010, 7:15 am
  124. utp, fair point about JFK but the investigation was thorough and unobstructed, I think.
    Ii take back “blame theJews,” you’re right, but keep “blame Israel.”
    Convincing the non-HA Lebanese is working. Howeveer, without allowing full cooperation with the STL and its independent investigators, convincing the world won’t work.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 7:22 am
  125. sorry for typos– on phone web

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 7:23 am
  126. HP,
    JFK wasn’t my point but it was a point well made (XP could have included 9-11 in that list).

    Some hopeful news for you though in regards to the STL. Nabil Qaouq made an “interesting” statement on Monday; It included the standard “United States wants to use the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to stab the Resistance and Syria in the back” but it also included the statement “The Resistance accepts the challenge and it will only emerge victorious from it.”

    Now I’m not sure but there was a hint there that HA truly believe that the false witnesses and the telecoms data are all the STL have got and that coupled with the new technical analysis of what Israel was able to do with the Lebanese telecoms system may have them believeng that they can challenge this at the STL.

    Posted by usedtopost | November 30, 2010, 7:37 am
  127. #116 utp

    I agree with both of your points. But if it is true that Hezbollah members are to be indicted, then there is more to say. They would prefer to defend themselves in an arena in which ambiguity, rhetoric and political horse-trading are the rules of the game, and, more importantly, an arena in which they are the most powerful player. It’s a shame that they will not (I imagine) properly contest the evidence presented. Presumably if evidence is fabricated, finger-prints will remain on it somewhere.

    #120 XP

    You raise a good point about political violence. At some point or other, all nations forget particular acts of political violence, or rewrite them in some strange way to conveniently fit a national narrative. Without such forgetting of violence and division, how would they ever unify? Is international law preventing this necessary communal forgetting, or rewriting, from happening in Lebanon? I guess the counter-argument is that political violence in Lebanon has been ordinary – part of the political furniture – rather than extraordinary over the past decades.

    Posted by Jonathan | November 30, 2010, 7:39 am
  128. If HA is innocent and i, furtjer, no “rogue elements” from HA had anything to do with the assassinations of Haririri, importantly Eid, and all the others, they will really need to stand up and fight ffor their innocence on the international stage, not cower and manoeuver like Iran

    Accusing Israel of the Hariri crime is likwe accusing Iran of the attack on its own nuclear scientists.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 7:53 am
  129. utp, sorry for confusing the JFK reference. I would be happy if the trigger-people are identified for Hariri as for JFK.
    But 9-11 ??
    But 9-11? any doubts there?
    dont tell me u think the US didd it !

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 7:57 am
  130. HP,
    They can counter specific evidence laid against them but stand up and fight on the international stage? Have you seen the array of forces, political, media and military, that is stacked up against them? You have to take that into account when you accuse them of manevuring.

    How is accusing Israeli of killing Hariri anything like accusing Iran of killing its own scientists? Are you suggesting that Hariri was an Israeli asset?

    Like is said to HP, it is possible that if all the evidence there is is what he know about, then they may just change tack. That I suppose is to be seen once the indictment is made and the prosecutions case released.

    Posted by usedtopost | November 30, 2010, 8:02 am
  131. utp, no, Hariri was not an Israeli agent but wanted peace, removal of Syrian forces from Lebanon, and disarmamaent of HA. how it in Israel’s interest to take him out? He was solidifying international support for his agenda and was getting there.
    See the oft-cited Landis analysys on syriacommment in 2006.

    Like HA took the lead in discipline, reform, and personal wethics, they can lead – at last – the 2ticulate persuasion on the world stage.
    If they are innocent they CAN do it.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 8:10 am
  132. Hi guys

    I’m going to try to put up another post in the next couple days but it’s going to be a bit tight, as I’m preparing for a trip to Beirut.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | November 30, 2010, 8:13 am
  133. Beirut. Ah! Finally we will know the truth fom QN’s taxi driver reports. Can’t wait.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 8:22 am
  134. I don’t think HA concern is whether they are innocent or not, or whether they can face the forces opposing them. They are afraid of the madness of the crowds.

    Let’s not forget the plight of Syrian workers in Lebanon after 2005. And then there weren’t even any indictments. Who can stop the madness once the peoples of Lebanon are seized by it?

    Maybe most of you know that Lebanese fans are not allowed to enter the football field during matches. The crowds are not trusted to watch a match peacefully, and accept victory or defeat. And now it is expected of these same people to accept the ruling of a court about a highly sensitive issue? It borders on the surreal.

    Posted by XP | November 30, 2010, 8:29 am
  135. HP,
    And he was going to disarm HA how exactly? He could back all the resolutions he wanted at UNSC, since when were HA going to give a damn about that?
    How is it in Israel’s interest to take him out? Well lets see, if he achieved all the aims you claim he was after, Israel would have had quite the competitor next door would it not? Investment may have been diverted. Tourists may have been diverted. And the only way he was going to disarm HA would be if he had managed to secure amrs and training for the LAF that allowed them to actually defend Lebanon.

    Meanwhile his death threw the country into political maelstorms, put massive pressure on Syria and allowed for the creation of the STL.

    Enough possible motive?

    Posted by usedtopost | November 30, 2010, 8:49 am
  136. Mo,

    Seriously please advise what’s the percentage of Gulf money/tourists would be going to Israel?
    What’s the percentage of expats ditching their country and visiting Israel?
    What investment are you talking about? It seems that despite the “maelstrom” you are talking about the investments have spiked.

    Please let us know what scientific or economic data do you have to support this dream conspiracy motive?

    Again I pose the question: If Hassan Nasrallah & even the village idiot think forging the evidence (telecommunication) is quite easy why don’t they wait for the indictments and IF any of their members are indicted present this “simple” premise to the courts?

    Posted by danny | November 30, 2010, 9:59 am
  137. I think the wiki leaks is the greatest thing that could have happened to the world and especially the ME region.

    It may serve to accelerate the peace process.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 10:03 am
  138. Danny,
    if you haven’t learnt to read how are you going to cope with scientific and economic data?

    Look up the defenitions of “possible” and “motive”.

    Also, you can use this internet thing to find all about how people from countries other than the Gulf go on holiday as tourists, and you can look up the scientific formulae for how one can have a spike in investments that would have been higher if the situation was calmer.

    And maybe you can visit sites that actually report from Lebanon so that you can read the comments of the president of the Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture and Industry Mohammad Choucair when he says “foreign investments dropped from $5.7 billion in 2009 to $4.7 billion in 2010 as a result of tense political debates”.

    But hey if you can’t even see the two words from a post you may have a hard time with all that.

    Posted by usedtopost | November 30, 2010, 10:19 am
  139. UTP #135,
    As one TV commentator often says; I do not recall who is it: you are entitled to your opinion but not to your own facts.
    The Israeli economy does not have to worry about Lebanese competition. They are in a completely different league. Israel was ranked in the 2010 HDI issued by UNDP as the 15 th country in the world and it would be the 8th country based on non income indicators. Lebanon was not ranked this year for the lack of data but my best guess is that we would have been around 70. (Syria was about 111or maybe 114).
    And please do not forget that in the same way that the US benefits from a prosperous EU and the EU obviously benefit from a healthy US the same is trus in the Middle East. Economic growth and prosperity is not a zero sum game. Israel wil benefit from a robust Lebanese economy in the same way that Lebanon will benefit from a healthy Israeli economy if it ever comes to that. That is the essense of healthy competition.

    Posted by ghassan karam | November 30, 2010, 10:21 am
  140. Peter,
    How do you think the peace process will be affected in your opinion?

    In mine, I doubt it will have any effect on the peace process based on whats been released so far. Israel has not faced anything in the leaks to embarass it and the only Palestinian thing of note is that Abbas had some sort of knowledge of the Gaza campaign which frankly surprises no one in the slightest.

    Posted by usedtopost | November 30, 2010, 10:22 am
  141. GK,
    I presented nothing as “fact” hence the “possible” in my sentence.

    Secondly, what exactly are you providing as fact? That Israel is higher than Lebanon in the HDI of the UNDP? What I was providing was a possible scenario if history had been different not Lebanon as it is now. Are you suggesting that a stable Lebanon would in no way threaten the Israeli economy? Tourism just as one example?

    The US and EU are not comparable to Lebanon and Israel. In the former there is an amicable, friendly relationship with lots of close co-operation. I don’t see the Shia of South Lebanon happily greeting tourists from the south and I don’t see their being a big market for Israeli products in Lebanon.

    But again, I presented this all as conjecture on what may have been.

    Posted by usedtopost | November 30, 2010, 10:32 am
  142. UTP,
    I think that the operative word in my post; at least the intended operative phrase :-); is that economic growth is not a zero sum game as most people view it. It is exactly the opposite of that. It is a win win.

    Posted by ghassan karam | November 30, 2010, 10:40 am
  143. GK,
    I’m trying to understand what you mean so bear with me as you are the professor and I the layman.

    If X is the average number of tourist who travel to Israel in a year. If we assume that peace with Lebanon is not a prime affector of tourist numbers then that figure will not change much.

    So if y% of that figure decide to visit Lebanon instead of Israel because Lebanon is stable then Israel has lost that % of visitors and Lebanon has gained them (and their dollars).

    From an economic perspective how is this win-win?

    Posted by usedtopost | November 30, 2010, 10:49 am
  144. utp,

    Only 281 of +250 thousand have been made public so far.

    Can you imagine how much is still out there?

    There are over 10,000 cables on Israel, 7,000 on Lebanon and about as much on Syria.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 10:54 am
  145. Mo;

    You are impressive.:D

    Posted by danny | November 30, 2010, 10:55 am
  146. Mo,

    I read English not Hizbittzy lol. 😀

    Posted by danny | November 30, 2010, 10:57 am
  147. utp,

    Syria, Israel and Lebanon would benefit touristically with peace.

    It would open up a whole new market.

    Also it would open up the market for a billion muslims the Israelis have limited access to.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 11:01 am
  148. Peter,
    Only peace with the Palestinians will open the market for the billion Muslims, not peace with Lebanon. I don’t see how peace with Lebanon would benefit Israel in any way, bar perhaps a slight increase in investment in the far north of the country.

    Posted by usedtopost | November 30, 2010, 11:07 am
  149. utp,

    Peace with Lebanon can only come through a comprehensive regional peace.

    I agree that peace with Lebanon alone is a spit in the ocean to the Israeli economy.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 11:11 am
  150. HP:

    My question on what you’re going to do about it was not intended to pry on your personal situation. It is a generic global question that really ought to be at the heart of discussions amongst the Lebanese on either side of the fence.

    This is the question you should be asking your pro-SHN family.

    This is the question that should be asked of the pro-SHN posters here.

    It is a hypothetical situation, that could very well and most likely will be true. All other discussions on this speech or that speech is secondary.

    What kind of social pact will emerge in Lebanon if HA is in fact responsible?

    Posted by Gabriel | November 30, 2010, 11:13 am
  151. Gabriel,
    For that scenario to be pondered you would first require some pretty daming evidence to convince those of us on this side of the fence that HA was responsible.

    Posted by usedtopost | November 30, 2010, 11:22 am
  152. Anon:

    For the record, I still think (hope?) you were being facetious.

    That said, was poking fun at the “Bird” really necessary. That show of bravado and machismo did not serve any constructive discussion, and quite frankly was rather childish. Wouldn’t you agree?

    Given that some posters are itching to charge anyone that disagrees with them of being pro-Israeli troglodytes, why arm them?

    On another note, you sounded quite bellicose. We don’t need more wars in the Middle East. We need peace and prosperity. Only that will help rid the region of this debilitating fanaticism.

    Posted by Gabriel | November 30, 2010, 11:26 am
  153. UtP.

    Why wait. Ponder away. Are you not a citizen of Lebanon? And given that a large number of people believe- rightly or wrongly- that HA was in fact responsible, why won’t you entertain the possibility that they are?

    At the very least, treat it as a Hypothetical. What would you do? How would this change your view?

    Or would you rather never know? Just for the sake of keeping the peace?

    Posted by Gabriel | November 30, 2010, 11:39 am
  154. Gabriel,
    For the record, its not a question of entertaining a possiblity but rather being asked to conjure a scenario that is akin to asking Americans to entertain the possiblity that Obama and the Democrats were behind 9-11. Those that would believe that, in my mind, would so only because they have a deep seated antagonism already.

    So in a hypothetical world where Obama, Clinton and Pelosi masterminded the attack on the twin towers, my views would change as radically as an Americans would in that scenario because there would be no “Resistance” based excuse for the act.

    But I’m willing to bet that the anons and the Dannys of Lebanon would, if HA were exonerated, just move on to the next idea of trying to get the weapons from out of the HA’s hands.

    Posted by usedtopost | November 30, 2010, 11:58 am
  155. Gabriel,

    If SHN was filmed ordering and planning the assassination he’d say the tape was doctored.

    … and 95% of his supporters would support his claim.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 12:04 pm
  156. I, for one, give UTP/Mo a lot of credit for being patient and generously civil with us, as it seems he is outnumbered in the recent posts. One has to observe that his arguments are not unreasonable or impossible although many of us believe they are improbable. He could argue (and does) that he similarly considers our arguments not unreasonable or impossible but improbable.

    I think I stated in much earlier posts that if UTP was the kind of political opponent that folks like us — if we were in politics — were encountering, then all the problems of Lebanon would be solved tomorrow. That is not the case, however, and we must await some clearer evidence that would be enough to convince one or the other of the parties.

    I’m really curious to see the analysis of the SHN Sunday speech by QN. We may discover insights that we haven’t thought of before.

    I, for one, found that speech to be quite different from the others, somewhat more conciliatory, migrating towards the inclination to find a solution that maintains order in Lebanon and averts a crisis. Also, I note that SHN indicated in that speech that, as far he knows and is concerned, that’s pretty much it for the evidence that the STL has. Paraphrasing, he said “that’s it about what the STL has as evidence; you’ve read it in Der Spiegel, in the CBC report; there’s nothing else that they have, and for whatever they have we have clear evidence that shows how Israeli penetration of the Lebanese wireless system was used to plant evidence.”

    Now, there is — again Kudos to BV — one remaining crucial item that has no answer and that cannot be attributed by any logic to Israel:
    Who killed Eid? and why?
    Surely, if Eid was preparing a dossier damning HA, Israel is not going to get rid of him (or will they? huh UTP? will they?).

    Fishy fishy…

    Sad that innocent folks like Eid end up victims. We have to admire the stoicism of his family. Validates my reasons for leaving 30 years ago.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 12:45 pm
  157. Gaby effendi,

    IF (and it’s a very big IF) HA is proven without the shadow of a doubt to have perpetrated the planning and execution of the Hariri assassination, I would expect another gathering akin to March 14, 2006 which may well end in some massacres followed by military intervention from one or more of the neighboring countries (guess who) as well as US and European forces and maybe Arab forces.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 12:47 pm
  158. … and this is why, now that I think about it, there is such a flurry of activity to contain any repercussions and perhaps sacrifice the truth to “save Lebanon.”

    Posted by Honest Patriot | November 30, 2010, 1:11 pm
  159. UtP:

    I can’t accept the premise of your counter. At least not the way you phrased it. Bin Laden and co. come regularly on TV and take much pride in claiming responsibility for 9/11.

    Now it’s another matter for you to suggest that Clinton/Obama were in bed with Bin Laden.

    So would you in the case of my hypothetical, join the bandwaggon and demand HA be disarmed?

    Posted by Gabriel | November 30, 2010, 1:20 pm
  160. About the observable effect of peace between Israel and Lebanon. I know nothing about the future, but see below. The calculations above are way beyond me. Right now, as can be seen from Israel, when there is some thing that look a little bit, may be, perhaps like peace, at least one medium hotel is being built near the fence. Very many large houses which look as if they will have rooms for tourists are being built from Nakura to Gagar, some, I am told, with HA money, may G-d bless them for that even if they can be also prepartions for war. One also see tourists in Lebanon comming near the border fence to see Israel. Tourist movement in South Lebanon is growing. Some body wrote that he is going to Beirut, could he take a taxi to Bint Gbail and tell us how it is. Do not believe a zionist like me

    As for fantasy talks about a rosy future and tourists. In Europe, Holland gains from tourists to Belgium and so Austria and Switezland, common transportation joint tours etc. In Jordan tourists stay in Jordenian hotels and go by bus to the holy places in Israel. Just think about a price war between Leb. Air and El-Al, Jordan Air is doing fine in such war. Think about a car ferry Cyprus – Lebanon -Israel. As for Israeli tourists in South Leb.? once there is peace it will take time but it will happen. Many Lebanese from the south worked in the past, till about 1999, in Israel. Israelies go to Sinai, tourists from the USA go to Viet Nam.
    Oh yes, and persons like Eid could buy, borrow, learn or even steal few ideas from the USA or even Israeli Hi Tech industry and turn Beirut into the silicon valley of the Arab world. Seeing the above numbers in GK 139, do you realy believe that by nature Israelies are smarter than Lebanese? I as an Israeli do not think so at all and knowing Lebanese abroad it may be even the other way arround.

    Posted by Rani | November 30, 2010, 1:27 pm
  161. HP:

    Strangely, I quite agree with HA that the STL has in fact become politicized. Though truth be told, my feeling is that the “Politicization” is very much in HA’s favor.

    I find it hard to believe that STL will issue any indictment that is contrary to what deals are happening in the background by the various players. Unless of course, there’s even more happening in the background that we don’t know yet about.

    Posted by Gabriel | November 30, 2010, 1:33 pm
  162. Gabriel,

    I had been arguing for a while that the Lebanese Govt. should have called for a National referendum to allow the Lebanese to vote on the fate of Hizballah’s militia and weapons.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 1:48 pm
  163. HP, thanks for the Kudos.

    It seemed pretty obvious to me that the Eid assassination was the only one that wasn’t directly a political move but rather a move to cover up something that someone didn’t want known.
    Clearly, that becomes the key to any respectable investigation or trail of clues…

    Who benefits from Eid’s murder? That is the real question.

    Lots of other good points made in this thread, namely the question that if SHN has pretty solid evidence that phone records can be falsified, and so on, then why not bring that to court?

    And to whoever said “If SHN was videotaped ordering the murder, he’d say it was doctored and his followers would believe him.”
    THAT is the problem with Lebanon. Right there.
    I’ve made a similar argument (in less gentle terms) recently, saying something to the effect that even if Hariri was videotaped raping a little girl, he would face no accountability and would be voted back in on the next election cycle.

    This mentality of blindly following the leader and accepting any ridiculous excuse or conspiracy theory they might concoct has been (and continues to be) the greatest obstacle towards the ascent of Lebanon into the ranks of true, civilized and respectable state.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | November 30, 2010, 2:15 pm
  164. I don’t understand what purpose the STL serve if there is not going to be any punishment regardless of who did it. All this talk about sanctions or Israeli war against Lebanon as a result of the STL findings is just talk or wishful thinking perhaps on the part of the many nihilists in Lebanon.

    as for the public opinion court and instead of all these tiring efforts to discredit the investigation and the STL, Hizballah and Syria’s defense should and could be simple as such
    “Was that wrong? Should we not have done that? I tell you, we gotta plead ignorance on this thing, because if anyone had said anything that that sort of thing is frowned upon… you know, cause we’ve killed a lot of people in the past, and I tell you, people do that all the time.”
    It would be ok enough for the Lebanese and Lebanon!

    Posted by V | November 30, 2010, 2:42 pm
  165. By the way QN am in Lebanon too as of Dec 9th let me know if you need a driver 🙂

    Posted by V | November 30, 2010, 2:45 pm
  166. Nice Seinfeld quote there, V.
    Don’t think I didn’t see what you did there. 🙂

    I don’t know if you qualify to be QN’s driver. Do you have the insight into conspiracies that his usual “Abbas” does?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | November 30, 2010, 3:13 pm
  167. It is day break in this part of the universe. Earthlings are still debating the egg and chicken argument, it seems.

    XP 111,
    Cell phones have both MAC and IMEI addresses. In fact every device has a MAC address. Both addresses have similar uniqueness characteristics. In fact you could read both addresses if you take out the battery and read behind it on the phone. Data collected by the phone providers include IMEI addresses and other data which is stored on the SIM cards as well as data relating to cell towers, place, time and duration of calls and other info. Software may be designed to spy and break into this information. It has not come to my attention yet that phone provider data collection software would misread that address information. The SIM data is more of a personal nature that would require any intruding software on the phone to have preknowledge of that person’s personal details. That would put HNA in even a worse situation. Were those involved, presumably from his organization, penetrated by the Israelis according to his premises? If not what is the likelihood that the Israelis tampered with this data? I would say it is getting very slim (thanks again to BV, you are always ahead of the game. I was planning on saying exactly what you said. I.e., the onus is on Nasrallah to prove the tampering)

    But here is the good one for HNA that will keep him in the distortion game. Actually, I said the addresses cannot be duplicated. The statement is not 100% correct. There are some fake (or duplicate) addresses which would require non-conformance from a manufacture or a reprogramming effort on the hardware itself i.e. the handset. But there are very few of these devices in existence as they would be immediately disconnected from the network of any provider any where in the world and very quickly

    The one who posts while not knowing past from present,
    Derision? Does that make you happy and post again? I would say you would need to practice Labayka ya Nasrallah a lot more than what you are doing right now. Or perhaps learn how to play chess yourself instead of relying on your Imam to teach you. Go back and watch that video again.

    You did point out the significance of Eid’s murder in the previous post. However, Arab media reported it ahead and it was al-Arabiyya. People here (QN, the one who used to post and others) would now jump and say O’ that was all precoordinated between CBC and BBC then as we thought all along. But I did use your observation to focus the thread on Eid’s issue instead of what was intended in this posting. It is unfair despite the apparent contradictions in McDonald’s report to ignore this important piece of information which he brilliantly highlighted.

    That was the actual reason for that comment of mine. You need to provide a shock in order to keep the thread focused instead of getting diverted by the Wiki sensation as others would have preferred. But still I do not think I went overboard. That was just a bird after all and others may see things in it that they would like. But, at least you can safely say the rulers (at least the last two regimes) of that land are full of empty pomp.

    Those who are not convinced about the value of the STL, you have to think again. Knowing who was behind the murders is important even if the killers do not get the punishment they deserve. They need to be exposed in the public arena for the future.

    Posted by anonymous | November 30, 2010, 4:17 pm
  168. HP,

    I do not think that people like Mo could solve the problems of Lebanon. How can you live in a neighborhood where Mo wants annihilation of Israel and/or will never recognize the existance of that state. How do you envision that Lebaon’s problems will be solved when Mo supports an illegal militia (HA) that would not hesitate to flex its terrorizing muscle against anyone who would not agree with it…Or cut off the tongue, hand and any body parts that you have…

    Mo said:

    “But I’m willing to bet that the anons and the Dannys of Lebanon would, if HA were exonerated, just move on to the next idea of trying to get the weapons from out of the HA’s hands.”

    Yes I do want that armed gang disarmed as it serves the orders of its master (Iran)! How can it call itself a resistance when its goals are are those of its masters in Qum? How on earth can Mo justify the actions of “his side of the fence” when they export terror to Palestine, Yemen, Azerbaijan,Iraq, Argentina, etc etc…
    …and Yes he will not accept their guilt as he is in total denial and consumed by the opium of his religion.

    BV, even if Hassan Nassrallah pulled the trigger himself and confessed; HA would say that was an Israeli impostor that had infiltrated HA!!!

    Posted by danny | November 30, 2010, 4:27 pm
  169. lol BV that’s one of my favorite quotes
    And yes i can come up with shocking conspiracy theories to qualify for QN taxi driver.
    On the serious side I was trying to point out that sadly the Lebanese can never hold anyone accountable regardless of the rhetoric or the story being fed.

    Posted by V | November 30, 2010, 4:37 pm
  170. It all goes back to accountability.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | November 30, 2010, 5:08 pm
  171. BV #163

    “This mentality of blindly following the leader and accepting any ridiculous excuse or conspiracy theory they might concoct has been (and continues to be) the greatest obstacle towards the ascent of Lebanon into the ranks of true, civilized and respectable state.”

    Replace “Lebanon” with the United States.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 5:19 pm
  172. If G. W. Bush cannot be held accountable, how can Hassan Nasrallah or Bashar Assad?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 5:34 pm
  173. Do true, respectable and civilized people in the world need any more proof that G.W. Bush’s America committed a crime in Iraq?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 5:43 pm
  174. Ghassan@139
    It was the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York who said the famous quote:
    “You are entitled to your opinion but not to your own facts.”
    Not trying to outsmart you, Ghassan, I’m just lending a helping hand.I hate when I can’t remember a name or some thing when I need it. lol

    Posted by Prophet | November 30, 2010, 5:46 pm
  175. I’m no defender of Syria or Iran …

    But killing a person who was green lighted by the US and the Gulf Arabs to wage a war against Iran for years, that cost a million lives which resultantly bankrupted Iraq … and which the Gulfies were not willing to foot the bill for (remember the fury why Saddam invaded Kuwait?)

    What was he hanged for ? The Kurds ??

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 6:14 pm
  176. Who supported Michel Aoun during his megalomanic tenure in 89-90 against Syria? Iran?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 6:22 pm
  177. Prophet,
    Thanks for the tip. I don’t even need to look it up because as soon as you mentioned Senator Moynihan it all came back to me; Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC uses the phrase and he used to be the Chief of Staff for the senator. Tnx again.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | November 30, 2010, 6:24 pm
  178. UTP,
    I did not mean to neglect the discussion earlier today Re Zero sum game vs win win but I had to attend to a few other issues such as meetings and lectures:-)
    As well as you know one can build all sorts of arguments based on various assumptions. You are absolutely right that in a static world of a specific number of tourists,who have a fixed amount of money to spend and who would either visit A or B then the conditions for gain by one are the losses of the other would be guaranteed. But I do not think that tghe real world works that way. What if the number of potential tourists and the money avilable to them rises and what if these tourists are willing ti visit both A and B , especially since they happen to be in the same neighbourhood. In that case both can win. This is simply the idea behind trade. Both parties to an exchange can gain otherwise the exchange will not take place.You can look at peace as a form of synergy if you want.
    BTW the other important issue in this equation is that Lebanon does not pose a threat to the Israeli economy that is structured around high tech and military sales and is not nearly as reliant on tourism as Lebanon is.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | November 30, 2010, 6:40 pm
  179. Peter In Dubai,

    You’re being completely ridiculous.

    I’m no fan of Bush, or of most US politicians.
    But you don’t have to go far to see accountability at play in the US.

    – 2 weeks ago, a whole bunch of elected officials lost their jobs because the public was fed up with them (even if you disagree with said public). When was the last time MPs in Lebanon lost their jobs due to anything other than assassination or death by natural causes?

    – At every level of govt. be it the cabinet, or local city councils, people resign when a scandal occurs. Members of congress have been jailed as recently as last year or two for inappropriate use of funds (see Rep. Trafficant). Cabinet members resign after they bungle things up. Chiefs of Police step down. Mayors step down. Governors of California are recalled.

    You’re comparing that to Lebanon? SERIOUSLY?

    Are you 12?

    Show me ONE MEMBER OF LEBANESE PARLIAMENT who has resigned. ONE! ONE is all I ask for.

    Name one cabinet minister who was forced to step down for incompetence. ONE!

    Name me one instance of an official imprisoned after facing trial for corruption, embezzlement or really, ANYTHING.

    Name one Lebanese official who was recalled by the public…

    Come on. This is a freaking joke. I can’t believe I even bothered to reply.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | November 30, 2010, 6:41 pm
  180. The wikileaks, if ever made available in their totally, will be by far more constructive to us simple human beings than the STL in understanding what, who, and why we simple human beings are subjected to what we are in this world.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 6:45 pm
  181. BV

    I am most certainly not a fan of any Lebanese Public Servant either,

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 6:51 pm
  182. “Serving” people is a demeaning in this part of the world.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 6:58 pm
  183. Really. Most leaders of the world, be it Bush or many others, have blood on their hands. Not to exhonerate that, but mentality-wise, there is a HUGE difference between what accountability means in the US (at a societal and cultural level) and what that word means in Lebanon.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | November 30, 2010, 6:59 pm
  184. remove the “a” in my last sentence

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 7:00 pm
  185. Just don’t call a Lebanese Govt official a “Public Servant”.

    Tell him he’s a “manager” … and he’ll understand his republic are servants,

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 7:16 pm
  186. Anon..

    Excuse my ignorance on all thing telecomm. Frankly, I don’t understand how the whole thing works. When the telecomm company logs the information logs the call, does it not store it in some sort of database? And if so, couldn’t one conceivably alter that database?

    On another note, what’s your feeling on the spies allegedly caught.

    Posted by Gabriel | November 30, 2010, 7:28 pm
  187. BV,

    Sorry but…Husein Huseini??

    Posted by danny | November 30, 2010, 7:34 pm
  188. PiD,

    You keep on making ridiculous comparisons between a civilized country and the fountain of corruption (Lebanon). Please entertain us with your train of thought!

    Bush could have made errors…but he did not rule USA as a dictator…and lest you forget; he was re-elected!
    So kindly please stop this double talk and constant switching left, north, right and centre. Either tell us what you think or stop spamming!

    Posted by danny | November 30, 2010, 7:39 pm
  189. Hussein Husseini TALKED about resigning.
    And I recall having a conversation at the time in which I stated he was the ONLY guy in parliament who recognized the election of Suleiman as being unconstitutional.

    Having said that. Didn’t mr. Husseini end up keeping his seat?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | November 30, 2010, 7:40 pm
  190. Besides. Husseini or not. My point still stands.
    It’s a cultural difference between Lebanon (and the Arab world at large, I suspect) and the “west”.

    The concept of accountability is almost sacred in the US. Granted, it doesn’t always WORK the way it was intended. But for the most part, that notion is ingrained in the culture and society. People expect to see heads roll when things go wrong. Be it the guy in charge of FEMA after the hurricane, or some school administrator found to have had an illicit affair with a student.
    Or, something as basic as getting a ticket for blowing a stop sign.
    There’s a reason why Americans stop at stop signs, or red lights, even when there is NO ONE ELSE IN SIGHT.

    Compare that to our culture of laissez faire and “everything goes” in Lebanon and you begin to understand that there are intrinsic differences between our cultures. Differences that made your previous comparison of president Bush completely off.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | November 30, 2010, 7:46 pm
  191. danny

    spending hundreds of millions of dollars in the US to win an election is common place and kosher in the US. In Lebanon it’s considered a conspiracy. And rightfully so.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 7:51 pm
  192. PiD

    In USA the money is spent on PR campaigns as well as Ads…In Lebanon it’s placed in sandwiches!
    Now do you taste the difference?

    Posted by danny | November 30, 2010, 8:11 pm
  193. Bad Vilbel,

    Dude I’m with you. I thought you wanted one example. He resigned. Now whether it was accepted or not; as usual it is lost in the translation…

    Posted by danny | November 30, 2010, 8:14 pm
  194. Give me a good sandwich … and I’ll be more than ready to pay for it than any useless political rhetoric.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | November 30, 2010, 8:19 pm
  195. BV
    Just in case that you might have missed the latest from Aoun: The aim of the Wikileaks is to extort and to create an explosion in the area.
    Obviously the good general would not say who is doing the extortion to whom and whether Julian Assange knows where is Lebanon and who is GMA? The hubris.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | November 30, 2010, 8:38 pm
  196. GK,

    Do you hear the echo of Amjad?

    Posted by danny | November 30, 2010, 8:43 pm
  197. PiD,

    I know you do. 😀

    Posted by danny | November 30, 2010, 8:55 pm
  198. Gabriel,

    You seem to know a lot about telecom. You described it well. Of course data is stored in a database. You just need to watch the CBC movie again and you will see Eid was looking at nothing but an Excel sheet. Perhaps reading would produce a different perspective,


    Was Eid given a distorted database going back a year or so in time and then got killed for it? May be HNA can shed light on this in his next speech. I bet he will be talking more in depth about databases this time than the mere mention of the word data.

    As for Israeli spying, yes they would have done it through eavesdropping on telecom. But that is completely different from collecting phone data by phone providers. Did they have the means to alter that particular database that Eid was looking at? That too HNA can provide some convincing proofs if he has. To me HNA has really proven himself a hi-tech savvy. Every one should be happy to listen to him providing evidence free of distortion.

    Posted by anonymous | November 30, 2010, 10:20 pm
  199. PID- whatever you are smoking it must be good

    now that BV mentioned it, can you people imagine a 4 way stop sign in Beirut.

    poetry in motion 🙂

    Posted by V | November 30, 2010, 10:21 pm
  200. V,

    First time I saw a working 4 way stop intersection in the US I could not believe my eyes. The best strategy for the Arabs to get rid of Israel is to introduce 4 way stops here. We would kill ourselves quickly.

    Posted by AIG | November 30, 2010, 10:56 pm

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