Elections, Free Patriotic Movement, Hezbollah, Israel, Lebanon, March 14, Reform

Day of Hypocrisy

The political story in Lebanon is changing so quickly that I’m loathe to forecast how things are going to play out over the next couple of weeks. A few quick thoughts, though, on the calculations of the various players and the choices they face:

1. Tables are turned

Lebanon’s Sunnis are calling for a “day of rage”, but  it’s more apt to call it a day of deep hypocrisy and cynicism. Consider the following:

  • In 2005, after winning a majority in the elections, the March 14th coalition wanted to nominate a Shiite Speaker of Parliament other than Nabih Berri. The main Shiite parties, Hizbullah and Amal, made a big fuss over this and claimed that such a move would violate that infamously vague clause of the Lebanese Constitution (Preamble, j), which states that “there shall be no constitutional legitimacy for any authority which contradicts the pact of communal existence.” March 14th acquiesced and appointed Berri.
  • In 2006, Hizbullah and Amal withdrew from the Siniora government and then called it illegal and unconstitutional because of the lack of Shiite participation. Speaker Berri then refused to allow Parliament to convene for over a year and a half, so as to prevent the body from ratifying the Lebanese government’s cooperation agreement with the UN Special Tribunal (later passed via Chapter VII), and voting on Emile Lahoud’s presidential successor. (I recommend reading Gary Gambill’s superb discussion of the 2006 constitutional crisis for more background on this issue.)

So, these two parties — Hizbullah and Amal — have played the “consensual democracy” card to the hilt over the past six years, using its logic to demand executive appointments, block legislation, and, eventually, bring down Hariri’s government. And yet, today, these same parties are the ones acting like the fish-out-of-water majoritarians whom they accused March 14’s leaders of being between 2005-09.

Meanwhile, March 14th supporters are calling for a day of Sunni rage, burning cars, and rioting in the streets, while the West threatens Hizbullah to respect Lebanon’s pact of communal coexistence. How d’ya like them apples?

2. Consensual vs. majoritarian democracy

While I sympathize with those who chafe at the hypocrisy of March 8th’s newfound majoritarian impulses, I strongly support the democratic principle that legitimizes Hizbullah’s current move. The March 8th coalition is now Lebanon’s parliamentary majority. They should have the right to bring down this government and form their own. Governments fall all the time, all around the world. This should be able to happen in Lebanon without sparking sectarian protests.

On a slightly more abstract note, I found myself wondering today (as I did back during the 2006-08 constitutional crisis), what effect the majority coalition’s pro-democracy rhetoric would have on Lebanon’s political culture in the long term. The fact that we’ve seen both sides of the political divide appealing to a majoritarian logic within the space of six years seems significant to me. No?

Obviously, what I would like to see happen is for this new method of choosing prime ministers (and speakers) to be enshrined in the Constitution, such that we don’t keep flip-flopping between consensual and majoritarian procedures every other year. A precedent has been set. Let’s stick with it. But you can bet that won’t happen.

3. Another desperate move?

Setting aside the cynicism of Hizbullah’s political strategy, I continue to think that it’s somewhat desperate and uncharacteristically short-sighted. What has Hizbullah really achieved by replacing Hariri with Miqati? The Daily Star (now owned by Hariri, fyi), argues vociferously against Miqati’s candidacy today in its editorial, on the basis that he is not a consensus candidate and that he would have had to agree to March 8th’s conditions with regard to the Tribunal before being nominated.

But even if Miqati did agree to doing the opposition’s (excuse me, “the new majority’s”) bidding, isn’t it obvious that he can’t end Lebanon’s cooperation with the STL on his own? He needs the cabinet to vote on it. And since both he and Nasrallah are currently calling for a national unity government, the Miqati government would effectively be hamstrung by the same conditions that Hariri’s was, and so any move to withdraw the Lebanese judges from the court, stop financing, and abrogate the cooperation agreement could be torpedoed by Hariri’s coalition. The only way that Hizbullah and its allies could ram through their agenda on the STL would be by either:

  1. denying March 14th a blocking third in the cabinet, which would be the biggest act of chutzpah I’ve seen since… well, since Hizbullah appointed a Sunni PM other than Hariri;
  2. counting on the fact that Hariri would refuse to join their government, thus giving March 8th leeway to do whatever they wanted.

The first option is highly unlikely; the second is deeply unsatisfactory, as it will simply re-energize Hariri’s base in Lebanon, and make Hizbullah look like it is willing to contravene every principle, custom, and precedent of Lebanese consociationalism in order to suffocate the STL. And it wouldn’t work! That’s what so desperate and puzzling about this whole strategy. The court has been set in motion. The evidence is going to be made public sooner or later. It’s just that it will now come out with an angry Sunni audience in Lebanon led by a politician who has less to gain than ever from playing by Hizbullah’s rules. Had they tried to find a way to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again, they could have at least made Hariri do the talking when Lebanon got around to formally denouncing the STL indictments. Now it will have to be Miqati, who has already been branded as a Hizbullah puppet. (That’s too bad, because I think he’s actually light years more competent and a better fit to be PM than Hariri will ever be.)

What would you do if you were in Hariri’s shoes? Join the government and play the role of spoiler (as Hizbullah/FPM have done since 2008)? Or stay out of the government, hoping that March 8th will fall on its sword before the 2013 elections? The floor is open.

PS: Andrew Exum has a very interesting piece on where Israel fits into this picture.

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Discussion

178 thoughts on “Day of Hypocrisy

  1. Good luck to Hezbollah and its allies. The Resistance and the arab brothers of Lebanon are with them.

    The Lebanese who don’t like it can move to Canada (with Ben Ali’s family) or the USA, they already love the american life style. They can go have fun with Britney Spears, we’ll keep Fairuz (youse guys can take Nancy and Haifa).

    Good Luck to Lebanon!

    Posted by Tunisian | January 25, 2011, 11:54 am
  2. Hariri was not a consensual PM, he was even more partisan than Miqati.

    The STL is just another way for the International Community to mingle into Lebanese affairs, SHN is right to want to cut all contact with the STL.

    Posted by Tunisian | January 25, 2011, 11:55 am
  3. The Daily Star’s journalists will be furious at that accusation that they’re a Hariri paper habibi 😉

    Hariri’s group bought a minority stake a while ago, but he certainly doesn’t have any editorial influence.

    Posted by Sasa | January 25, 2011, 11:59 am
  4. Mini Hariri and March14th puppets of the West/Israel have been dumped…they outlived their usefulness to the PNAC Killers…now it’s the treatment of the SHAH…that they will get from the crumbling Empire….

    Day of thuguishness, stupidity and utter criminality of the Proxy CIA/MOSSAD Militias.

    Thugs, Hooligans, Salafis, Takfiris, Fateh Al-Islam killers–are key components of the March14th traitors–attacking the Lebanese Army, wounding at least 35 and lynching crews of Al-jazeera, Al-Arabiya and New TV. “Just imagine the response if this was Hezbollah’s people doing it, God Forbid….”

    Posted by Jim | January 25, 2011, 12:04 pm
  5. QN,

    Great analysis.

    Yes not only hypocrisy but the unabashed gull to get on TV (I am referring to Nasrallah) and lecture the Lebanese as if he had nothing to do with the events between 2005 tp present. From assassinations, downtown loitering, 2007 January, May 7th 2008 to cutting off tongues to blatant threat of WJ…etc…etc..etc…Here we have the head of a terrorist mafia lecturing us with calm about democratic process along with Berri. What democracy?

    #2) Dude what are you supporting? So next time someone kicks you out of your home at the point of a gun; feel free to call him the new homeowner and provide him with all the rights of a democratic system! Are you saying on how they got the mojority had no bearing for you? I am shocked!

    #3. assuming that Miqati stays on; my suggestion as it was before. We will join in with a 10+1 formula as HA used it as its divine right and that of his opposition. Any mention of Resistance has to be excluded from the ministerial statement. I am certain the new standards will be imposed by HA and all apologists here will hail the dawn of a new day.

    My comment has always been you deserve the country that is Lebanon. The people even if they live in USA and the West still burn with their old tribal hatred. Lebanese deserve the wrath of Imam Hussein. Yalla get ready to learn more about Willeyet el Fuckih.

    Posted by danny | January 25, 2011, 12:06 pm
  6. How the United States withdraws troops from Iraq will be the determinant of how geopolitical power shifts in the Middle East and Persian Gulf… If the U.S. removes too many forces too quickly, they run the risk of Iraq aligning completely with Iranian power, which would force all surrounding Gulf nations to politically acclimate to the new power balance…. Because of this possibility Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and UAE will continue to apply political pressure to the U.S. to stay in the region, and the U.S. will continue to secretly reach out to Iran in order to secure their interests in the region….The situation in Lebanon should be seen in this light. Saad Hariri and March14th stooges of the Neocons have been dumped and thrown aside because of their utter corruption and subservience to the crumbling Empire of the Killers/Assassins, the USA and Israel who have become utter losers in the eyes of the World….they had to be dumped and they got what they deserve, and those who dumped them first are their “Masters”….it’s obvious.

    Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, Lebanon and Iran would long since have returned to fruitful pursuits like organic gardening had Israel accepted the ONLY AND PEERLESS PEACE PLAN ON THE PLANET – of THE 2002 ARAB LEAGUE INITIATIVE… Wake up, and smell the roses, peace has been on the table for years, and Israel, only Israel and their US PNAC/NEOCON lackeys, have been the source of wars and turmoil in the Greater Middle East and the Arc Of Crisis…, threatening global security by their inane focus on land theft, wars,”energy security”, choke points…, raw materials, assassinations and aggression as some-senseless-how weighing on the side of “their security”. NUTS, BONKERS, CAVEMEN, OPEN YOUR EYES. NO, OPEN YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS!

    Posted by Jim | January 25, 2011, 12:09 pm
  7. Jim…Would you kindly stop spamming this blog? thank you

    Posted by danny | January 25, 2011, 12:11 pm
  8. I know that if God is anywhere, he is not in Lebanon; but I am still praying for my country. Things are getting out of control.

    Posted by Nasser V | January 25, 2011, 12:19 pm
  9. That is the way with intelligence agency gambits–They usually recreate previous gambits…, or mirror-image reverse images of them…

    If watching military spy operations unfold gives you a feeling of “déjà vu,” that you are watching some sort of sick psyop rerun, then you probably are… How anyone could still believe the obvious bullshit thrown our way, after watching a river of it flow by us on a daily basis for eleven years since 2000 for some…, and for over 40 years for others in Lebanon…..is beyond believable….

    Posted by Jim | January 25, 2011, 12:21 pm
  10. To all conspiracy theory lovers: could what have happened (Mikati’s appointment, Harriri’s nationalistic speeches, HA call to respect the democratic rules, etc.) be the undisclosed SS deal?
    If that’s the case, then the real confrontation was delayed until the disclosure of the content of the details of the indictments. Convenient to all?

    Posted by IHTDA | January 25, 2011, 12:30 pm
  11. I want to say I told you so, but I am disappointed nevertheless. I predicted a Mikati appointment a few posts ago but with the approval of Hariri. I think its political suicide for Mikati to go about his appointment with no consultations with, or guarantees to Hariri (unless there is a back door deal we don’t know about)
    To answer QN’s question, if I was Hariri, i would not refuse to participate outright. I would listen to what Mikati has to offer and negotiate in public. By that I mean as transparent as possible. If M14 is to get a blocking third then I would have M14 participate but without the FM. I would have the best of both worlds that way.

    Posted by MM | January 25, 2011, 12:32 pm
  12. Sasa

    A senior editor told me a month ago that Hariri bought the paper. 🙂

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 25, 2011, 12:43 pm
  13. Since I know and hope many or some of Hariri’s and M14 strategists are reading this, I will expand a bit:
    1-FM need not participate in this government if M14 is to get a blocking third.
    2-Giving the PM (Mikati in this case) the free hand to choose Sunni Ministers works in favor of Hariri in the future.
    3- Mikati is being put on the defense and with regards to any political salvation within his community he will have to be an extra stubborn defender of “sunni rights” (if there is such a thing)within the government. I don’t doubt that he will.
    4- With regards to the STL, if there is a blocking third to M14 then this third will try to thwart any cancellation attempts of the STL and resign at will when most appropriate.
    5- Everybody needs to look ahead to the 2013 elections. We all know that the real electoral battles will be in Christian areas and the biggest prize is the vote of Aounis or quasi Aounis who are with the STL, and they are many. (yes there will be some extra seats up for grabs in the Mountains as well)
    6-FM should prop their christian allies in the next government and they should give up any seats allocated to the FM to their Christian allies.
    7- FM should stay out of the government and should work on putting its house in order. (A tall and arduous assignment)

    Posted by MM | January 25, 2011, 12:46 pm
  14. This is all democracy in action… Hezbollah and its allies control the most seats in the Lebanese parliament, so they have the constitutional right to nominate whoever the hell they like to be the prime minister.* In that way, Nagib Mikati is as or more legitimate a choice to be the prime minister as/than any of the prime ministers during the 30-year American sponsored/ Syrian occupation… And after spending Lebanon’s first 50 or so years as its most underrepresented and ignored major sect, the fact that the Shi’a are now exercising political power in line with their demographic strength is not in and of itself a bad thing….

    Posted by Jim | January 25, 2011, 12:48 pm
  15. Take Mini-Hariri and let him run for office in the USA, he has a lot of expertise in Sectarian Bigotry to offer… However he will never pass a senate hearing because of his close ties with Fateh Al-Islam which is a branch of Al-CIAda… I wonder how the US is giving him a Green Card…

    Posted by Jim | January 25, 2011, 12:58 pm
  16. Question to anyone interested — If Miqati buckles under the pressure and resigns, and the crisis continues, what other PM candidates are available to M8?

    Obviously none of them will be acceptable to the Sunni community, but I guess they would need at least some name recognition and a minor base if M8 is going to try this trick again.

    So, Omar Karami and … who exactly? Could Salim el-Hoss be dragged out of retirement?

    Posted by aron | January 25, 2011, 1:16 pm
  17. Hoss, No way, he is too ill…and very old.
    Safadi, may be, he is also itching for the Job…
    Then you have Makhzoumi and many others who would be delighted.

    Posted by Jim | January 25, 2011, 1:22 pm
  18. Personally, I wonder if March 8 ran this by the Saudis at all. And if so, what did they have to say about it?

    Posted by sean | January 25, 2011, 1:29 pm
  19. M14 should sit out as opposition.

    Mikati should be given free reign. Let’s see what he’s made of. Will he follow the path of truth and justice, or will he buckle like a deck of cards.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 25, 2011, 1:39 pm
  20. How much Hariri/Soros/NED money for the “rent-a-mob” and “Cedar II evolution…?” Time for a Wikileaks cable dump from AMEMB Beirut….

    Posted by Jim | January 25, 2011, 1:41 pm
  21. To Jim,
    Fateh Al Islam have been created by the syrian intelligence. It was been proved back then. If you can prove the oppposite please go ahead. As of saying that HA are practicing democracy, please tell us about the democracy that they practiced in 2008.
    Plus adding that march14 are puppets of the west/israel, and you’re referring that they’re traitors, well guess what? HA are the puppets of Syria/Iran. HA are traitors as well.

    Cheers,

    Posted by Hey | January 25, 2011, 1:43 pm
  22. Sean,

    I read the post on your blog and I think you are over intellectualizing the situation a bit. HA have to do something, they are in a pickle. What to do is not quite clear to them but I think they feel the more balls are up in the air, the more there are things to negotiate upon. They are not thinking long term whatsoever so the issues of hypocrisy does not really matter to them. In a battle of life and death, hypocrisy does not carry much weight. And this criticism goes to QN also, the hypocrisy issue is interesting but does not help explain anything. It is such a small price for HA to pay in the larger scheme of things.

    Posted by AIG | January 25, 2011, 1:59 pm
  23. QN,

    The HA moves are quite desperate. Their end game is completely unclear. You can sense the nihilism on the FPM board. It is all about rubbing it in the face of FM at this point.

    Posted by AIG | January 25, 2011, 2:01 pm
  24. @22,23

    No one is desperate but you, AIG/Agent Provocateur par excellence… You are desperate for real fights on the streets in Beirut and all over Lebanon. Rest assured, it ain’t happening. STL is a bad Joke. The whole world knows it. Hezbollah is there to stay, rest assured.
    Shocking, ‘Your’ side didn’t get its way… Reminds me of the 2000 re-count….

    Posted by Jim | January 25, 2011, 2:08 pm
  25. Your scenarios assume that HA (and M8) actually want a government in place… My thought is that after pulling the plug they ‘leaned’ on enough folks (Jumblatt) to deny M14 a majority and the ability to get their PM and govt. This means that M8 has a majority, and they put forward a PM candidate to prove it, but will NOT form a govt. They will spend the next several weeks and months talking a lot about a unity government, but making it as difficult for Hariri as possible, and counting on him to not go along with it. However, they will refrain from setting up a M8-only version.

    Essentially, the name of the game *right now* is to temporize and buy time, pending the STL indictments being made public (and then seeing how it pans out). Rather than a M14 govt backing the STL, or a M8 govt against the STL (but not credible), best for them right now would be NO government. Clearly this is not tenable for the long haul, but HA is in a tough spot and buying time is the best they can do *right now*…

    Who knows what will happen next? Possibly pressure builds to “resolve the crisis” as this ‘no government’ drags on and others try and “mediate” a compromise… Possibly someone slips up badly… Possibly…. Bottom line, who knows? However, they have shown that they are more ‘nimble’ than M14, so counting on that plus intervening circumstance!

    P.S. Of course this could be nonsense, no one really knows. However, in this scenario Hariri is doing exactly what they want.

    Posted by Tosk59 | January 25, 2011, 2:35 pm
  26. Tosk,

    Your post mirrors my own thinking. I suspect the Mikati thing is mostly a time-buyer. Endless “discussions” about unity governments will ensue but no government will come in place anytime soon.
    Until something else changes the equation (indictment made public?).

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 25, 2011, 2:48 pm
  27. بن لادن والظواهري ظهروا اليوم في طرابلس٠ فجور لم نرى له مثيل في لبنان قبل اليوم٠ هؤلاء هم محبي الحياة الذين غسلوا أدمغة اللبنانيين منذ ٦ سنوات٠ يا عيب الشوم

    Posted by Jim | January 25, 2011, 2:49 pm
  28. Nicely unbiased post. Too many people are simply siding with the new majorities recent moves without refereeing to the past moves by the then M8 opposition and how they thwarted every possible attempt by M14 to actually run a viable government. Circumventing every constitutional right that the M14 majority had earned. Now that the tables are turned, it’s okay to use such systems to enforce the government that is not based on consensus. Strange, but only in Lebanon. The dream of the movement that began in 2005 are over and all power that Syria had lost has returned even stronger.

    I propose to the M14 members of government to resign at this moment. Create a vacuum so large that the world will take notice and understand that making deals behind the backs of half the Lebanese (in country, more than ½ over the world) will not succeed. This will force the hand of the new majority and new elections would have to be put in place as the current government would fail to represent the country as a whole.

    Posted by imi | January 25, 2011, 2:49 pm
  29. This will not force the hand of anyone, man. You should know better.
    In Lebanon, it doesn’t really matter what legitimacy you have, or how noticed it is by the outside world.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 25, 2011, 3:28 pm
  30. “How d’ya like them apples!”

    When I saw the AP headline to the effect of Hezbollah picking PM, that’s exactly what I thought of writing as a comment here on QN. No foolin’.

    Posted by Pirouz | January 25, 2011, 3:34 pm
  31. OH dear lord! Sometimes it’s hard not to choke when reading things like this:

    Aoun: Asking us to Choose between Hariri and Civil Strife is Not a Democratic Approach

    Wow! That’s RICH! Someone remind this idiot what he was saying in 2006-2008. Please.
    Why isn’t Future TV showing clips of these bozos contradicting themselves.
    Just to show people…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 25, 2011, 3:34 pm
  32. BV: The token Tunisian on the forum expects you to take his way or resettle in Canada/US since you apparently like to boogie to Britney Spears.

    Do you think he cares to see anyone contradicting themself?

    Posted by Gabriel | January 25, 2011, 3:55 pm
  33. It will be ironic if people die , then the Judje decides that ther is not enough evidence to take to trial.

    Posted by norman | January 25, 2011, 4:16 pm
  34. imi, 32. Your proposal to the M14 members of government to resign at this moment is useless since the government has collapsed any way. One can’t resign from a government which is considered constitutionaly,and legally “resigned “constitutionally”.
    If you meant that they resign symbolically, they would be the laughing stock of the whole world.
    However, your early election idea is not bad, except that both sides would have to agree to an early election.
    Our political system does not call for early election when a government collapses, it does call for new consultation (Member of Parliament to indirectly elect) to choose another candidate for the office of PM.
    Party switching is very common, political alliance shifting happen all the time all over the world. Why are Lebanese flipping all of a sudden? The process may not be perfect, but we should allow for this experience to be tested.
    When democratic US senator of Connecticut Lieberman switched sides, no one called for early election. He surprisingly was reelected again.
    Others like Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) who He spent almost 30 years as a Republican and switched to the Democrats in 2009, at least in part because he thought he had a better chance of winning reelection.
    Specter didn’t even make it to the November general election, as he lost the Democratic primary to Joe Sestak.
    So why not wait until next election and let people choose whoever they want as a majority. Those who switched sides, may get punished by their eown constituency or they might prevail ,and win again.

    Posted by The Prophet | January 25, 2011, 4:29 pm
  35. QN,

    Thanks for clearing things up once more, even as events are fast unfolding.

    However, I would agree with AIG, that HA moves are desperate and as well executed as their tactic may have been this week, they have only one thing in mind, bringing down the STL.

    “[M]ake Hizbullah look like it is willing to contravene every principle, custom, and precedent of Lebanese consociationalism in order to suffocate the STL”. It seems to me that this is what they have prepared the ground for and they may just succeed in doing so. What comes next is everybody’s guess. Shortsightedness and short-term memory, after all, abound in Lebanon (and almost everywhere else).

    Before Miqati’s nomination, it sounded as though M8 was not going to give M14 a blocking third. However suicidal that may be for Miqati, HA and Aoun, may just stick with that idea. With the indictments as their horizon, 2013 is still far away for the “new majority” and I do not think that HA worry about burning all their cards on the STL. … they’re in a hurry.

    Posted by kws | January 25, 2011, 4:45 pm
  36. Prophet,

    I don’t understand your point. I thought Mikati was already appointed, no? If so, isn’t the new government technically already in place. And aren’t M14 defacto only sitting as opposition in parliament.

    The system is so complex.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 25, 2011, 4:56 pm
  37. …….. Plea for Help………

    I have tried everything that I know of but so far I do not have an answer to what I think is a basic constitutional issue.

    Gabriel/ BV/ HP/ anon/MM/ tamer k/ Danny / UTP/ Prophet….

    If you have any connections to a source either within the government , the press or anyone that can provide an answer to this question I will be in your debt forever:-):

    Article 69 section 3 of the Lebanese constitution is very clear in stating that as soon as the cabinet is considered resigned then the Chamber of Deputies is to convene AUTOMATICALLY in an extraordinary session that is to last until a new cabinet wins a vote of confidence. Why isn’t the Parliament in session and why no one is raising the issue?
    No matter who wins ane irrespective who forms the new cabinet the Chamber is to be in an extraordinary session. It must. There is no choice. Why isn’t it? Please help if you can.

    Posted by ghassan karam | January 25, 2011, 4:56 pm
  38. Jim,
    Bin laden wal zawaheri? w hal 100,000 kharoof who stand up labbayk ya hussein 3am yebko 3a ayr met men 1000 sine w 3am y7amlo el sinne el zaneb haidol chu betsamiyon abu danab mahek?

    Posted by fo0fo0 | January 25, 2011, 5:12 pm
  39. Ghassan,

    The answer to your question is simple.

    Your question being “Why isn’t the Parliament in session and why no one is raising the issue?”

    The answer being: Because as hard as it may be for you and me to even conceive of such a thing, in Lebanon, the constitution is quite frequently ignored entirely. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if it turns out that half the MPs don’t even KNOW this article exists.

    In Lebanon, the average Joe knows nothing of the constitution. And the politicians conveniently avoid referring to it unless they need to. Most of our politics takes place outside of parliament and outside of the constitution.

    Frankly, I don’t understand why you are focusing on THIS question.

    I mean, it was pretty clear that our constitution said the Army Commander cannot be elected president. Yet he was.
    It’s pretty clear that the constitution says a lot of things that get routinely ignored.
    Why is this any kind of surprise to you?

    I blame the lack of a 4th estate for most of this. Politicians will always do as they please. The difference is that in other countries, there are independent (or somewhat independent) organizations who hold their feet to the fire by pointing out such transgressions.

    If this were to happen in Germany, or France, or Canada or the USA, you’d have all sorts of Bill O’Reillys and Rush Limbaughs and CNNs and LeMonde headlining their papers with “Why is the Parliament not in extraordinary session?”
    That is what brings this stuff to people’s attention.

    No such thing in Lebanon.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 25, 2011, 5:12 pm
  40. Ghassan,41
    You are absolutely right.The Chamber of Deputies is suppoised to convene automatically in an extraordinary session.Srprisenly no one from M14 has raised this question.
    My only guess is that the parliament is already in a holiday vacation(Christams break).I know it sounds like a silly reason, but in Lebanon ,everything is possible.lol
    Gabie,40
    imi in #32 made the suggestion that M14 members of the government should resign.
    However, the care taking government is still in place until a new government is sworn in,and approved by parliament

    Posted by The Prophet | January 25, 2011, 5:16 pm
  41. Ghassan,
    Not expecting an answer soon,I did send an email to the Lebanese parliament website,asking for a some explanation.

    Posted by The Prophet | January 25, 2011, 5:25 pm
  42. The current caretaker government has shown that it is inept at managing its own thuggish and paid protesters… Once again, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s speech, regarding the protests and all other issues in Lebanon and beyond, outshone Mini-Hariri’s speech by a humongous margin…. It seems that Hezbollah knows how to combine subtlety with strength…. They need a representative government that can build a coherent and convincing argument for the upcoming withdrawal of Lebanese cooperation with the STL. They have most of the Christians and most Lebanese on their side for this one… Hariri is going to play the spoiler and he won’t do it anywhere as well as the previous opposition…. He’ll be sidelined. Nasrallah and Aoun’s bloc mentioned the neo-liberal economic policies and corruption that All Hariris promote and the resultant poverty that he has inflicted on Lebanon and many of his own supporters’ regions… They may well be able to ride the current wave of dissatisfaction running through the Arab street…and Hizbullah is there to stay come hell or high water, continuing what they do best, defending Lebanon against all aggressions from the ZIOCONS and their local March14th stooges…

    Posted by Jim | January 25, 2011, 5:35 pm
  43. QN, There is a third option that you missed. If Future does not join the government (or even if it does), Hizballah can remain outside of it by choosing not to have any ministers in the government, and thus technically remaining in the opposition. They have already announced that they will not take part, and I wonder if this means zero cabinets for them. In many ways though, I think many people will then call this a puppet government with the Hizb effectively controlling it from the outside. But this would be one way to keep Future in check and also to answer your question of how to minimize Future’s effectiveness as an opposition.

    Mikati has suggested a government of technocrats. That’s another option.

    Posted by S | January 25, 2011, 5:39 pm
  44. Jim,

    Did you complain when Nassrallah’s thugs took to the streets in May of 2008 and burned tires on the airport road?
    Cause if you’re only now complaining about this, then you’re a hypocrite.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 25, 2011, 5:45 pm
  45. BV,
    M14 and M8 and their supporters have the same genes.So no one is surprised at the reaction of M14 or its supporters.What we saw on TV ,just proves that Both sides Lebanese are guilty .

    Posted by The Prophet | January 25, 2011, 5:58 pm
  46. just proves that Both sides are guilty .

    Posted by The Prophet | January 25, 2011, 5:59 pm
  47. What a difference a week makes. The old majority must have seen the new majority coming? Wonder how is Jumblatt’s relationship with Hariri? Was it just a convenience?

    Who was Nasrallah talking about today? anyway, he also feels that because the STL will likely indite some of his members the best way to deal with it is to overthrow the current government to try to negate internal support for the court. Good luck with that.

    Posted by george | January 25, 2011, 6:02 pm
  48. Latest on Egypt protest.
    Three dead,including a police officer, after thousands protest in rare Egypt outpouring.. Are we about to witness another Arab regime fold?

    Posted by The Prophet | January 25, 2011, 6:11 pm
  49. I wonder about Egypt too. I don’t think Mubarak would fold as easily as Ben Ali. Much more at stake here. Not to mention that Egypt has a lot more Islamists than Tunisia. So who knows…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 25, 2011, 6:13 pm
  50. I’m afraid that if Mubarak’s regime is to fold, it will get very bloody and brutal before it throws the towel,at least, according to many Egyptian friends.

    Posted by The Prophet | January 25, 2011, 6:16 pm
  51. why is everyone on this site (moderator included) reluctant to call this for what it is: a Coup D’Etat. HA, coerces our own Hamlet, I mean Jumblatt, to throw his weight behind its political agenda. Do we really think Walid bey did this out of political pragmatism. No, he did it because the memory of his people’s wipe out in Choueifat burns deep into his emotional psyche. In his mind he has spared the Druze from a possible massacre. And that is worth more than any political victory. Without HA’s arsenal the above noted coercion wouldn’t have been possible. So how is this not a coup? And who cares anyway. The place is ungovernable. Enjoy March 8. And President Sleiman, thanks for nothing.

    Posted by Paul | January 25, 2011, 6:18 pm
  52. I agree with the Prophet, Mubarak will not fold so easily. Matter of fact, makes me wonder why Ben Ali folded. I would guess pressure from the security forces. That is not likely to happen in Egypt.

    Posted by george | January 25, 2011, 6:24 pm
  53. Witnessing Hizbollah’s ascencion over the last two decades including thwarting/ overcoming mighty obstacles to become what they are today, reveals a political acumen/finesse that would make unravelling such a hard earned well calculated adventure with one silly/desperate move highly unlikely.
    Theres just more than meets the eye.
    If this whole fracas is about the STL, wouldnt they want to just sit out patiently and reject any indictments as false when it does come out officially as they have been doing, knowing well, that there arent many policing units in the world that could physically arrest them ,or atleast the upper echelons, rather than, going the direction of uncertainty and not having a feasable end game risking its very existance just to (attempt) in nulling the STL.
    Just doesnt add up.

    Posted by Maverick | January 25, 2011, 6:42 pm
  54. george
    Bin Ali’s military refused to shoot people to save his regime.
    Egyptian Military is the regime, so they’ll support Mubark as long as they can.
    Since the overthrow of King Farook, Only military men ruled Egypt.

    Posted by The Prophet | January 25, 2011, 7:08 pm
  55. Jim,

    You’re a phony and a fraud. Here’s your first post:
    https://qifanabki.com/2011/01/19/syria-saudi-lebanon-2/#comment-18252
    in which you bragged of having been in psyops and what have you. Then you post something in Arabic, then you call Saad Hariri “Mini-Hariri.” The only other contributor who has used “Mini-Hariri” that I’m aware of is Joe M.
    I’m wondering if Joe M. has decided to have some fun.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 25, 2011, 7:24 pm
  56. What the past few years have highlighted (beyond all the hypocrisies everyone is hung up on) is that HA whether through the ballot or not, wields a tremendous amount of power in Lebanon.

    I go back to my basic point. Whether or not you amend the constitution, whehter or not you amend electoral law, it’s hard to see an outcome different in spirit from what we see today.

    And so, if a party wields such tremendous power, why has it not used it to settle the question of assassinations, when in fact it should be a question that bears quite strongly on every person’s mind.

    Judging by HN’s latest speech, and various commentary here (some appear anxious to deport permanently those they disagree with or are different from them- in true homage to Zionist thinking). It appears not to be question that bothers at least some people.

    Was Syria singlehandedly behind the assassinations, and is HA protecting it because it is a conduit for its own power?

    Or is there something to be said about HN’s comment that all he wants is to be left alone, to be shot in the chest, and not to be stabbed in the back. (The speech had me roll on the floor laughing, but even I have to salute HN for such powerful poetic imagery). Talking about the American agenda, are there those that perceive the Hariri Snr and M14 aftermath as a “stab” in the Resistance’s back.

    I reiterate my belief. I don’t know how the whole cabinet business works entirely (QN, that article you linked to was great!). But Mikati should be allowed to govern unimpeded, and to form a proper government to function with. Only then will we see if he plans to steer the course of truth and transparency, or to be the face of a power that lurks in the shadows.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 25, 2011, 7:38 pm
  57. Honest Patriot 59,
    I may have used Mini-Hariri as well, but I’m Jim,and have his writing skills either,lol

    Posted by The Prophet | January 25, 2011, 7:52 pm
  58. I may have used Mini-Hariri as well, but I’m Not Jim,and I DON’T have his writing skills either,lol

    Posted by The Prophet | January 25, 2011, 7:53 pm
  59. Ghassan,41

    I don’t know the answer to your question and honestly I don’t know what difference would it make if the Parliament was in an extraordinary session nor is it clear what does that mean. However, I suggest you enlist the help of QN who can pass along your question to some of his Lebanese journalist contacts who in turn need to ask that question to some MPs. Alternatively, QN may send your question to one or more MPs that he may have a direct personal (cordial) relation with – I think he mentioned meeting Alain Aoun in the past.

    Posted by MM | January 25, 2011, 7:55 pm
  60. Qifa ya Qifa,

    Hmmm … Personally, I find this to be one of your least satisfying posts. Lebanese pols hypocritical?; consensual democracy a contradiction terms? Alert the media!!! Oh, wait … Exum’s commentary is even more silly, although its silliness is probably more a function of the funhouse that is WDC than his analytical abilities. If the Israelis want to torch all of Lebanon, they will. Congress will support them, either way.

    The black box is the Saudis (one need not love conspiracies to see the what IHDTA is suggesting in Comment #10: the first rule of the S-S initiative is there is no S-S initiative). I mean this literally, and also not-so.

    For lots of reasons, everyone wants to make this about HA’s encounter with “national politics,” but just as interesting (and just as vexing for the concerned party) is that of Hariri, Jr.’s. Can HA as we know it survive leading a governing coalition: possibly not. Can Sheikh Saad survive being outside the government: possibly not.

    What we have now is a weakening of both positions: Hariri is now even more dependent on his “foreign support” and HA is now even more dependent on their Lebanese and Syrian allies. Does this relative and respective weakening make them more amenable to a coming deal? Probably. Will some Lebanese get killed in the process? Hopefully not.

    Was there a deal? Is there a deal? Who knows, who cares. The real crisis point remains where “they” always prefer it: in the near distance. And really that’s the thing about inevitability: it’s always around the next corner.

    PS: Apple-picking is done in the Fall, or so the Batrounis tell me …

    Posted by david | January 25, 2011, 8:09 pm
  61. BV, MM
    Thank you for your response. The issue is important to adhere to because it is a constitutional requirement and because in this case it is not terribly significant. It demonstartes respect for the rule of law. If we cannot respect such a neutral issue then what can we respect. Is the constitution to be treated as a cafeteria line, pick and choose whatever suits you or is it an absolute requirement. Does the fact that we have not paid attention to it in the past necessarily mean that we should not pay attention right know when all parties claim that they are committed todemocracy and the rule of law. From where I am standing this simple requirement is a test about whether we are moving in the right direction or not. If we cannot abide by the small things then there is no way that we are going to abide by the more difficult requierment. BTW, a Chamber that is is an extraordinary session is one that is constantly vigilante about the development , is following them and is constantly working towards a solution of the standoff. It shows that the MP’s are earning their keep by taking their responsibilities seriously. I for one cannot vote for any of the 128 clowns. Never have and never will.

    MM, I have tried the parliament, members of the press, friends and ministers to no avail so far.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 25, 2011, 8:16 pm
  62. Ghassan, you’re preaching to the choir.
    But we’ve already established that these people have no respect for the rule of law. So what are you getting at? Just reiterating what we already know?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 25, 2011, 8:24 pm
  63. To answer your question again: You say this is a test.
    I say Lebanon has failed that test. And has been failing similar tests for a long time.

    Now what?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 25, 2011, 8:25 pm
  64. QN,
    To answer another question in your post, HA will do whatever is needed to 1)achieve its goals (be it guns or votes in parliament), and 2)to have the entire Shia sect under its control by politically eliminating any other legitimate competitor.
    I find it brilliant (in a Mafioso kind of way) the way HA politically eliminated Hussein Al Husseini, the former speaker of parliament who was an MP until 2009. To those unfamiliar, he would be the Shia version of Mikati. Someone who has a certain degree of legitimacy within his own sect and he would have been M14’s choice for Parliament speaker instead of Berry in 2009. Knowing that, HA forcibly sidelined him as you can tell from his press release.

    الحسيني يعزف عن خوض الانتخابات اللبنانية اعتراضا على «احتكار التمثيل وتزييفه»

    ندد بالوحشية في القول والعمل.. وإحلال الحزب محل الوطن
    بيروت: «الشرق الأوسط»
    أعلن رئيس مجلس النواب السابق حسين الحسيني عزوفه عن الترشح للانتخابات المقبلة، في مؤتمر صحافي عقده أمس، لأنه يرفض «احتكار التمثيل أو تزييفه، لأنه يقوم على إحلال الشخص أو الحزب محل الجماعة أو محل الوطن». ومما قال: «لنا مشروعنا. وإنني أفاخر بما تحقق منه وبما هو قيد التحقيق. أفاخر بمشاركتي في تأسيس حركة المحرومين وفي تصور الحرمان وفي تصور إزالته، في رؤية مدنية لا طائفية ما زالت هي الرؤية حتى الآن. أفاخر بمشاركتي في تأسيس المقاومة المسلحة والمقاومة المدنية، حيث لا وصاية لسلاح على نفس وإنما لتحرير الأرض». الحسيني أعلن فخره بالمشاركة في إنهاء الحرب الأهلية ومواجهة الفتن ومعارضة الاتفاقات التي فرضتها نتائج الحروب وتلك التي كانت من مقدمات الحروب. وقال: «أفاخر بمشاركتي في (اتفاق الطائف) وثيقة الوفاق الوطني التي نصت على أن الإنماء المتوازن هو ركن من أركان وحدة الدولة واستقرار النظام. ولغيري أن يجيب عن سؤالكم: لَِم لمْ يكن تقيد بذلك الميثاق، حينما توافرت الفرصة؟ أفاخر بمعارضتي اقتسام الأرض أو الشعب أو المؤسسات، من الاتفاق الثلاثي إلى اتفاق الدوحة، مرورا بالثلاثيات والرباعيات والخماسيات. ولي ولكم بل علي وعليكم أن نسأل الغير: إلى أين يأخذنا هذا الاقتسام؟ أفاخر بمشاركتي في العمل على إقامة الدولة المدنية، حيث لا يكون فرض لدين بالإكراه ولا رفض لدين بالإنكار، حيث لا وحشية في القول ولا وحشية في العمل، بل مدنية ترتقي بالبشر إلى أقصى إمكاناتهم الإنسانية، في القول وفي العمل، متكافلين متضامنين. ولي ولكم بل علي وعليكم أن نسأل الغير: ما المشروع إذا لم يكن هذا المشروع؟». واعتبر أن الإصرار على محاولة الاستمرار في الترشح «فيه إيهام للناس، مع دفعهم إلى ما يكاد لا يطاق، في أمر ليس فيه أي نفع لهم». وانتقد الاستحقاق الانتخابي، قائلا: «هذه ليست انتخابات، لا قانونا ولا فعلا وهذا ترشح في غير محله». وأضاف: «العودة إلى المؤسسة الدستورية الأولى التي هي الشعب لا تكون بتزييف تمثيله، بل بإطلاق قدرته في ثورة دستورية تعيد إليه السلطة المصادرة بقوانين انتخاب يخجل آباؤها من الإقرار بأبوتها الشنيعة، تسترا، لا صدقا أو شعورا بالذنب».

    http://www.aawsat.com/details.asp?section=4&issueno=11104&article=516280&feature=

    Posted by MM | January 25, 2011, 8:28 pm
  65. Dave,

    Hariri was never in a strong position, he’s been playing the role of compromiser for some years now. So it’s hard to see how his position is any weaker now.

    Hizballah has waded into new political waters, and so it is difficult to tell now whether it really is in a weaker position or not. I think that will all depend on broader regional developments.

    On another note. First Tunis, now Egypt. And over in Palestine, Al-Jazeera leaks some info on how far the “secular” Palestinian leadership was willing to prostrate itself (and still got nothing but a slap in the face).

    All of this won’t bode well for the cause of justice and truth, or (GK) the pursuit of the rule of law in Lebanon. It’ll be the rule of the streets for many years to come.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 25, 2011, 9:11 pm
  66. Lots of interesting comments and questions; I’m too swamped to respond for now. May try tomorrow, but also unlikely. Am reading, however.

    (Dawood ya Dawood: go eat a spring roll) 🙂

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 25, 2011, 10:08 pm
  67. Good job!

    Posted by AK | January 25, 2011, 10:15 pm
  68. Random Question here. How important to Lebanese Politics are the Political Wives? For instance during the syrian occupation is it true that alot of the politicians pimped out their wives to syrian generals and other high ranking people in order to receive favors, ie parliament seats or money, from the occupation forces?

    Posted by Joe Nobloch | January 25, 2011, 11:39 pm
  69. Does anyone have a notion of the Saudi position on Misqati vs Hariri?

    Posted by lally | January 26, 2011, 12:07 am
  70. Norman 37,

    It doesn’t look like it is going to be as ironic as you think,

    رئيس قلم المحكمة: الإعلان عن أسماء المتّهمين في قضيّة الحريري خلال أسابيع
    25 كانون الثاني, 2011

    أعلن رئيس قلم المحكمة الدوليّة الخاصّة بلبنان هيرمان فون هيبيل أنّ “مذكّرات التوقيف بحقّ المتّهمين في جريمة اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري ستدخل حيّز التنفيذ بالتعاون مع حكومة بيروت التي يتوجّب عليها تسليمهم، مستعينةً بدول أخرى إذا كان ذلك ضروريّاَ”. هيبيل، وفي حديث لموقع صحيفة “دير شبيغل” الألمانيّة، قال: “من المحتمل أن يُعلن عن الأسماء الواردة في القرار الظنّي في غضون 6 إلى عشرة أسابيع وقد تبدأ المحاكمة في مهلةٍ أقصاها أوائل شهر أيلول المقبل”.

    الموقع، من جهته، أشار إلى أنّ “المحكمة الخاصّة بلبنان تقترب أكثر فأكثر من اتّهام قادةٍ في “حزب الله” في عمليّة الاغتيال”، معتبراً أنّ “كلمات هيبيل تكتسب أهمّيّة خاصّة في ضوء الأوضاع السياسيّة المتوتّرة في لبنان حالياً”، ومتوقّعاً أنّه “في ظلّ عدم القدرة على تشكيل حكومة جديدة وتالياً استمرار الأزمة لأشهر عدّة، قد تعمد المحكمة للتحرّك بطريقةٍ أسرع ممّا كان مرتقباً”.

    |

    There are for sure some people who will get accused and they probably know themselves already.

    Posted by anonymous | January 26, 2011, 12:08 am
  71. lally,
    Your question IS the $64 million question especially due to the total official silence emanating from SA. Yet there are a few clues. The most credible, based on what I have learned, is the fact a an MP from the Chouf by the name of Nemeh Attiya was on a visit to SA and when he came back he went straight to Mikati. Attieh is a billionaire with lots of business in the kingdon and was very close to March 14. Yet he voted for Mikati. These tea leaves are being read by many as signs that SA and Hariri are not on very good terms currently.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 26, 2011, 12:20 am
  72. N. Mikati is a consulting member in the ICG – remember that ICG report QN posted few posts back? T. Mikati (Najib’s brother) is an Assad advisor. Mrs. Arbour prepared that report while she was in Damascus. QN posted it immediately after returning to the US and continued to refer to it in his following posts. If you recall the report calls for sacrificing justice in the case of STL for the purpose of prudence.

    Now Mikati (Taha’s brother) is PM nominee. Does this look like a conspiracy theory? Or is there some substance behind it?

    Mikati is marketing himself as a compromise candidate, while he claims he only promised HA to protect so-called resistance. Wow… that looks to me like a very compromising PM-to-be.

    What about May 7 and the civilians who were left without any protection facing the thugs of this shameless ‘resistance’? Does he have any plans to protect them against the Iranian armed and funded gangs who staged the coup to appoint him PM? Will he cooperate with the STL and arrest those who will be indicted, and hand them over to face justice?

    On Feb 14, the best thing March 14 would do is for all its MP’s to resign from Parliament and force new elections.

    Posted by anonymous | January 26, 2011, 12:40 am
  73. GK 73,

    His name in Nehme Tohme.

    In SA being a billionaire and with business contacts does not always translate into political contacts.

    Tohme voted with his block, the former democratic gathering.

    As for SA’s position, al-Faysal’s reaction to al-Moallem in the latest Arab FM meeting in Egyot speaks volumes and makes SA’s position more than clear.

    I doubt Tohme will have any contacts within the SA establishment that would come close to Al-Faysal’s influence.

    FYI – all the Sudeiris are staunchly for STL, and are anti-Assad rapproachemnet. These are the ones that count in that ‘desert’ kingdom.

    Furthermore, ‘nothing’ on earth external to SA would cause discord among the royals no matter what branch they happen to be. They know their priorities very well.

    Posted by anonymous | January 26, 2011, 1:48 am
  74. I think what is most likely to happen is that the Future Bloc/Lebanese Forces “March 14” will be a Loyal Opposition, and a constructive Opposition with a coherent programme. They can have influence on individual laws and in the committees of Parliament and just by helping to frame the debate ahead of the 2013 elections.

    It could be the start of something closer to a two party alternate governing arrangement.

    What we need next is a proportional voting system and scope for those that want to vote for MPs that do not belong to one of the 18 official communities – that is to say, we need to have a set number of seats set aside for those votes that choose not to have the sect listed on their I.D. Papers – seat numbers should be set adjusted as a ratio of ratio of the general public choosing not to have their sect listed on their I.D. papers – i.e. an incentive to progressively move to a parliament of equal-sized electoral districts and, hopefully, more and more openly contested seats based on merit and programme – not community.

    It won’t happen, though, without a safeguard. I’d love a Senate – with two seats each per sect for all 18 sects and also with the right to vote for anyone of Lebanese origin that can prove it.

    As for the United Nations’ panel and the United Nations and international law. Well, the Palestinian Authority will hopefully shortly seek UNSC resolution confirming the illegality of what is happening in Jerusalem and palestinian territories. It is for the U.S. and Israel to implement international law – the assassination of Palestine, a crime against humanity, was hatched in 1920 in London and Paris – let us see if the international community will act first on this huge festering crime, if it does, then let us then act on the crime which was the murder of the then opposition MP the late Harriri.

    Posted by J.Estiphan | January 26, 2011, 2:59 am
  75. QN, **Day of Hipocrisy** you say?

    You are right, the pro-western leaders in the arab world will fall one after another. The hippo-crisis has taken its toll. Time they are a changing.

    I just hope that some wise western country will take this opportunity to enter this new age with a new respectful relationship with the Arab World.

    Good Luck to the Lebanese people!

    Posted by Tunisian | January 26, 2011, 5:40 am
  76. Maverick at #57 raises a very good point. Really there is more than meets the eye.

    I won’t go into details, but there is/was another option for the Sunnis: the repeat of the resignation of Amin Hafez in 1973, who was nominated against the will of Sunni community, but after 3 days he was forced to step down and Rashid Karami (the choice of the community) assumed he post.

    My guess is that the ‘day of anger’ was supposed to be the prelude for that. But obviously this has no momentum, beginning from the internal forces.

    Has anybody factored in the curious timing of the resignation of the Maronite Patriarch? This is the beginning of a new Taef (maybe Doha 2).

    And outside powers are too consumed with situations unfolding in the Arabic Maghreb to bother with who will be prime minister of Lebanon.

    I don’t see many options for Hariri. His best bet will be to play the opposition for a while (Berri is already giving him lessons about how to be a good opposition).

    Posted by XP | January 26, 2011, 6:06 am
  77. Tunisian@76
    Thank you for your comments. Good luck to Tunisia. Don’t ever listen to the criminal Jeffrey Feltman….he is bad news for Tunisia and bad news for the Middle East. Jeffrey Feltman is an arch Zionist.
    The best thing March14th thugs, stooges, traitors and lackeys of USA, ever did is what they did on February 5th 2006… and what they did yesterday, just to show the whole world who they really are….
    Their true colors shined through and through Yesterday. All Lebanese see them for what they are…and the Whole World dumped them because they know that they don’t have enough legs to stand on….

    Posted by cvghfx | January 26, 2011, 6:06 am
  78. Here is a humble and respectful Lebanese woman:

    Times are really changing, and a new relationship must be installed between the West and the Arab world. I can bet that the “smart” secret services of the “wise” western countries are already aware of that and that they will work in order to be part of this New Age.

    Posted by Tunisian | January 26, 2011, 6:50 am
  79. Tunisian@79
    Thank you for that link…
    What you should be aware of is that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah heard about that woman’s plea on TV and sent her his 3abaya/overall to her house with a special messenger…
    Game Over from Newsweek….
    Saad Hariri had never had much of a common touch. In 2006, when his country was under Israeli bombardment, he was in Italy much of the time. His reputation for ineptitude was enhanced when his secret testimony to the special tribunal recently leaked to the press. His remarks not only insulted the Syrians (he called Bashar Assad “an idiot”) but even his own longtime patrons in Saudi Arabia. In one passing remark he referred to Mohamed bin Nayef, the head of Saudi counterterrorism operations and son of a likely heir to the Saudi throne, “a butcher.” Even without that, some Saudi officials have been saying privately that their patience with Hariri had run out. “Hizbullah turned out to be way smarter than their enemies had said, and Saad Hariri turned out to be way more stupid than his friends had feared,” says Lebanese blogger Amal Ghandour.

    On Tuesday morning, even before the parliamentary vote for Mikati, Hariri’s supporters called for a “day of anger.” Roads in Beirut and the northern city of Tripoli were blocked with burning tires. Sporadic gun battles were also reported. Hundreds of Hariri thuggish supporters, mostly young men, marched through Nour square in central Tripoli carrying signs critical of Hezbollah, including one that read “No to Hezbollah’s Prime Minister.” An Al-Jazeera TV crew and many other TV crews and cameras, vans and up-links were attacked and its vans were torched. But hoped-for rallies in Beirut never materialized, and Hariri went on TV in the afternoon to call for calm, while his paid thuggish crowds continued for hours their barbaric destruction of private property all over Lebanon. Game over….

    Posted by cvghfx | January 26, 2011, 7:03 am
  80. In terms of Hizbullah’s political strategy, there is another option that hasn’t been considered in the post above: allow M14 a blocking third in the cabinet but focus on corruption & false witnesses, rather than pulling out of the STL. It’s possible that they no longer have an interest in the government pulling out of the STL; perhaps that is part of the “before/after the indictment” difference. In a recent speech, SHN mentioned the false witnesses issue, corruption and “conspiracy against the Resistance” as issues the opposition won’t be silent about; he’s also made a separation between the two tracks of gov’t & STL. “Conspiracy against the Resistance” is certainly vague, but it does leave open the possibility that they’ve moved on to a new phase in which getting the gov’t to pull out of the STL doesn’t matter. Maybe an investigation into the false witnesses will do enough to discredit the STL…

    So maybe that’s the end-game (for now)? If the M8 government focuses on corruption and false witnesses, does M14 really have a good reason to bring down the government?

    Posted by new-at-posting | January 26, 2011, 8:04 am
  81. anon,
    Thanks for the correction of the MP’s name. As I said in my post that bit of information was relayed to me by a friend in an email. I make no claims of knowing who is Mr. Tohme or what he does.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 26, 2011, 8:50 am
  82. Jim # 46

    Please don’t plagiarise comments that I leave on other forums.
    All: the original is here:
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2011/01/miqati-in-beirut.html

    Posted by Sisyphus | January 26, 2011, 9:50 am
  83. The solidere share price is up 4.5 percent this morning. Clearly, investors do not view the mikati nomination as the disaster that some people seem to portray it as.

    Posted by EHSANI2 | January 26, 2011, 10:12 am
  84. Jim,

    Besides being a spammer you are a plagiarizer! Now that is the lowest. You should be banned for your dishonesty and as HP said above for being a fraud.

    Posted by danny | January 26, 2011, 10:25 am
  85. Hezbollah is a human organization that stands for justice, equality, sovereignty and love, that is why the USA hates it. The same USA listed President Mandela as a terrorist simply because he wanted to free his people from a genocide the Europeans settlers were committing on their people, The USA is an utterly disgusting empire, the defender of oppression, terror and racial hegemony that they are still running….As for Israeli land theft, aggressions and double speak for decades…,Turkey was Israel’s key to keeping Iran, Syria etc. at bay but Israel fumbled…. Without a respectable Palestinian state, Israel will soon be surrounded by Irans….

    Nagib MIKATI got Saudi blessing who dropped the boy toy Hariri like a hot potato. France blessed Mikati too…

    It was a brilliant move by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah…. Patience is a virtue… He achieved what he wanted to achieve, to delegitimize the “Israeli-US” tribunal project. The Hariri/Saudi/US/Israeli/French experimentation (march14th puppets) seems will be fractionalized and eliminated as well…

    Posted by cvghfx | January 26, 2011, 10:26 am
  86. With it in mind that KSA has blessed Miqati, maybe this pullout by HA was the SS deal. Though the Saudis could just be cutting their losses as much as possible by establishing positive relations with a new potential PM. It also doesn’t explain why mini-Hariri called for a day of rage.

    Posted by Nasser V | January 26, 2011, 10:44 am
  87. Turkey was Israel’s key to keeping Iran, Syria etc. at bay but Israel fumbled…

    cvghfx,

    I don’t think Israel “fumbled”. Israel is Israel. I think what has changed is the Turkish government is turning away from Attaturk and becoming Islamist.

    It seems to me, Arab and Muslim governments are half-way there. They’re going from dictatorship to theocracy. The next step will be from theocracy to democracy.

    And that’s fine as long as it remains an internal issue.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 26, 2011, 11:16 am
  88. No Comment

    الصحافة في لبنان

    سمير مسره

    عندما قرأت صباح هذا اليوم العنوان الرئيسي لجريدة النهار ارتسمت على وجهي ابتسامة ساخرة جعلتني اكثر اقتناعاً بمدى انحياز بعض الوسائل الاعلامية لما هو باطل وبعيد عن الحق والحقيقة. فلو كان يوم الغضب البارحة وما رافقه من اعمال شغب من فعل المعارضة السابقة، لكان عنوان جريدة النهار مختلفاً تماماً ولكانت اطلقت عنان الذين يكتبونه لتتكلم عن مدى همجية هذه المعارضة, وارتباطها بمحاور الشياطين, وتشجيعها لشريعة الغاب، وانقلابها على الأخلاق والاعراف الدستورية.

    للأسف، لقد سمح بعض الاعلام في لبنان لنفسه ان يكيل بمكيالين وبدل ان يمتهن الدفاع عن الحقوق والمنادات بالممارسة الصحيحة للسلطة, اصبح يغطي المخالفات ويشوه الحقيقة ويسوق لبروباغندا مؤذية لا هدف لها الا تأجيج الصراعات.

    اذا وضعنا افتراضياً ملف المحكمة الدولية جانباً، اين هي هذه الصحف من مسائل الفساد، والقفز فوق القوانين، والرقابة الغائبة، والادارة السيئة لاموال الدولة، والقضاء المتأرجح بين الادمية والتبعية السياسية؟ لماذا لا يتكلم الصحافيون الكرام في بعض هذه الصحف عن هذه المواضيع وعن مدى ضررها على المواطنين فيحللوا مكامن الاخطاء ويقترحوا الحلول؟ اليست هذه هي رسالة الصحافة ومناقبتيها ؟

    اين هي هذه الصحف من مسألة التدخل الخارجي المفضوح وشبه اليومي لسفراء وقناصل دول اجنبية في حياتنا اليومية السياسية؟ لو كنا في بلد يحترم بعض الاعلام نفسه لكانت قامت دنيا هذا البعض ولم تقعد بمجرد خبر زيارة سفيرة اكبر دولة في العالم لنائب نجله ونحترمه, كي تقنعه بأخذ موقف معين من الاستشارات النيابية, ناهيك عن سائر الضغوط التي مورست على كثير من النواب.

    دعوتنا الصادقة لبعض هذا الاعلام ان يعود الى روح الرسالة التي جعلت من الصحافة عن حق السلطة الرابعة في تكوين الاوطان. نحن لا نطلب منهم ان يصفقوا او يهللوا لنا ولكن نطلب منهم اللا تعميهم الاحقاد و الاغراءات و المصالح ، فيصبحوا ادوات لسلطة رابعة تهدم بينما هي في الحقيقة موجودة أساساً لتبني

    Posted by cvghfx | January 26, 2011, 11:21 am
  89. As I said before, Jim is a phony and a fraud. Get off this blog or reveal yourself for who you really are.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 26, 2011, 11:56 am
  90. QN,
    Agree with you regarding hypocrisy of hizballah but
    Both sides are guilty. Didn’t M14 deny aoun the presidency
    Even thought at the time he received about 70% of the Christian
    Votes and now they are complaning that miqati does not represent Sunni ?

    Posted by Erraticideas | January 26, 2011, 12:02 pm
  91. cvghfx @89, so, you rattle off accusations and dismissal without referring to facts and without referring to reason. You remind me of this episode below – ignoring facts, failing to provide any refutation, and telling the other guy to shut up. Brilliant.
    And no, I’m not a zionist, neo-zionist, nor pro-zionist. I call them as I see them.
    http://tinyurl.com/4dyclk9

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 26, 2011, 12:04 pm
  92. Btw, where is president Sleiman? Did he give any comments recently about his position on the form of the government?
    GK, as president Sleiman is the protector of the constitution, maybe he can help answer your question. QN, Any contact with Z. Baroud?

    Posted by IHTDA | January 26, 2011, 12:22 pm
  93. I think these two op-eds might provide *some* insight to lally’s question #73:

    http://international.daralhayat.com/internationalarticle/227586

    http://www.aawsat.com/leader.asp?section=3&article=605550&issueno=11747

    Granted, neither of these journalists speak for the Saudi Government, but they may not have been so forthcoming without its tacit approval. Plus, the papers are both Saudi owned (I believe…please correct me if I’m wrong).

    Was this whole thing, from the resignations to the reaction to Mikati’s designation, actually part of an S-S or S-S-T-F-Q (etc.) deal? Possibly…

    Posted by Indie | January 26, 2011, 12:29 pm
  94. [Moderator’s note: I changed your name from Anonymous to Anonymous#2 because we already have an “Anonymous”]

    Richard ARMITAGE started calling our Nationalist and Valiant Resistance of Hezbollah: “A-Team of Terrorism”… many years ago…WHY?

    As a pro-Hezbollah person in the West, I think that you are ALL here missing a few things. For example, why does the US-Israeli propaganda machine describe Hezbollah as the “A-Team of terrorism” if Hezbollah only matters in a “little slice of Lebanon” as you all put it? There are several reasons:

    1) Hezbollah has in the past, and will in the future, defeat the Israeli war machine anytime…. Thus, in the mid-long term, Hezbollah will be the main force which will bring down all of the Israeli Apartheid regime.

    2) Hezbollah is a living example, that even a VERY SMALL but truly religious and dedicated group of people can hold their ground against the entire USraelian Empire. The Divine Victory in 2006 was not only a defeat for Israel, it was a defeat for the entire worldwide US/Zionist power configuration…just look at Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco…,

    3) Very importantly, by NOT, repeat, NOT engaging in terrorism, Hezbollah proves wrong all the Zionist propaganda which says that all Muslims are terrorists or all resistance to the crumbling Empire is terrorist….

    4) Hezbollah offers the Muslim world a VIABLE alternative to the Wahhabi crazies on one hand, and the corrupt dictators a la Mubarak and Assad on the other….

    All these are the reasons that while it is wrong to call Hezbollah the “A-Team of terrorism” it would be fair to call Hezbollah the “A-Team of the Resistance to the Empire”. To tell you the truth, I believe that Hezbollah has more power than even a major country and regional superpower like Iran….

    As for Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, I consider him the indisputable leader of the world wide resistance to the utterly corrupt and crumbling Empire….

    Hezbollah and Sayyed Nasrallah are no Lilliput. They are *giants* which the Zionists have very good reason to hate and fear….They are a superb and very successful Lebanese Nationalist Resistance.

    Could you tell me whom you would single out as the most influential leader and/or movement in the resistance to the Empire?

    Yet again, Sayyed Nasrallah and Hezbollah have played their hand just *beautifully*, I would say in an ‘Aikido-like’ manner: these used every move made by their opponents to turn the situation to their advantage… Even this ill-conceived puppet STL ‘tribunal’ will end up having made Hezbollah only much stronger….
    This, yet again, only further confirms my belief that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Hezbollah are by far the smartest political actors on the planet….

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 26, 2011, 12:37 pm
  95. So, Anonymous is the antipode of anonymous. Very interesting.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 26, 2011, 12:44 pm
  96. Posted by cvghfx | January 26, 2011, 12:53 pm
  97. Erraticideas

    Putting aside the question of what the Sunni vote is, the question of Mikati vs. Hariri is a simple one. Mikati was the M8 choice. Hariri was the M14 choice.

    Calling Mikati the “compromise candidate” is disingenious. (PS- I understand Mikati earned more popular votes from the Sunni street than Hariri).

    But the point remains that Mikati was the M8 choice (whether or not he’s representative). Which means that although they were supposedly the Opposition, they are the ones who at the end of the day have been dictating things.

    On the point on Aoun, agreed (I think that was a M14 bumble). But again, politics aside, Aoun who up until 2005 had at least some Principles behind him, has done a complete switcheroo and shown that he does politics just like everyone else.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 26, 2011, 12:59 pm
  98. If Saudi was in on this plan, then the US couldn’t have been far behind.

    Who knows, in a few month, maybe the STL will fold (insufficient evidence or some likewise excuse?).

    Then we will be in an interesting situation.

    All the Anti-STLers who say it’s politicized will now say it was an honest organization.

    And all those pro-STLers who say its honest will say its become politicized.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 26, 2011, 1:15 pm
  99. Gabriel,
    “Aoun …..shown that he does politics just like everyone else.”
    Did you have doubts about the veracity of the above statement before
    2005?
    Anyway that is beside the point. Lebanese should decide
    once and for all if they want sects to elect their representatives
    and amend the constitution accordingly, otherwise stick to
    The current constitution. And this applies to all sides so in 2013
    I am looking forward for berri to be kicked out.

    Posted by Erraticideas | January 26, 2011, 1:16 pm
  100. Honest Patriot,
    im not jim. QN will tell you that we have different IP addresses… if you need evidence.

    but i don’t write as much now because 1) i have less time, 2) there are a bunch of new users who have taken over the discussion (and tend to be pretty wild with facts), 3) i am unclear that the majority of discussants are arab. i have no use talking to the likes of israelis/zionists masquerading as lebanese (And i may be wrong about that, but that’s the feel i get). (im not referring to you)

    Posted by Joe M. | January 26, 2011, 1:36 pm
  101. though, i don’t think you have the right to tell someone to get off the blog. just because you don’t like them (for whatever reason). that’s a joke.

    Posted by Joe M. | January 26, 2011, 1:37 pm
  102. Gotta love these people who are up in arms about FM’s “thugs” using words like “barbarian” and condemning attacks on the media.

    These being the same people who brought out their guns in 2008 and burned down various TV stations and newspaper buildings.

    Really. At LEAST have the decency to admit that BOTH “streets” are thuggish (because as HP pointed out yesterday, it’s our Lebanese genes).

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 26, 2011, 1:41 pm
  103. so how many showed up tonight for the sit in?
    All of you talking about M14 and what they represent go check. See the pictures on their website do not believe OTV or Tayyar or Manar see the Leb Forces website, Now Hariri and or Future Mvt website.
    Yesterday was the best they can do. It’s downhill from here on.
    It’s Funny Sami Gemayel wants new elections. As if one defeat is not enough. In their worst case scenario M8 represented at least 55 per cent of the Lebanese people. (results of the last elections.) now subtract from that Jumblat Miqati and Safadi what remains? without counting all those disillusioned with M14 after the Wikileaks and NTV leaks. They should count their lucky stars the new majority is offering them the 3rd +1 in the cabinet.

    Posted by elsheikh | January 26, 2011, 1:51 pm
  104. GK,
    I take it that Article 69 means that from the moment the Cabinet collapsed until the moment the new Cabinet is voted on the Parliament may not do any other business. They are in an extraordinary session now in that they may not convene to do anything other than consult on the new Prime Minister and vote on the new Cabinet. Does that sound plausible?

    Posted by Jonathan | January 26, 2011, 2:01 pm
  105. Sounds plausible to me, Jonathan.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 26, 2011, 2:04 pm
  106. Dear Joe M.,

    I was only half-joking when I was suggesting you might have decided to have some fun. As much as I’ve disagreed with your views at various time I’ve always had the greatest respect for your intellect and without necessarily knowing you, for you personally.

    Thanks for chiming in. At least now I can breathe a sigh of relief (;-))

    There’s always a risk in these forums of having wild contributions, extreme contributions, etc. I tend to think that somehow things filter themselves over time.

    With Jim, well, if only we could know that he’s really genuine and not masquerading in one way or the other, then perhaps it would be ok, but then he proved himself to be a phony when he engaged in plagiarism and thankfully, the actual author caught him. Of course I can’t and I don’t have the right to chase him or block him but hey, I can call him out on it and verbally challenge him to put up or shut up.

    Good luck to you in your endeavors.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 26, 2011, 2:20 pm
  107. HP,
    I did find out, maybe over a week ago, that Jim was copying the blog that worships Elie Hobeika a few lines at a time and I posted that. Then He stared copying a few paragraphs at a time from the book about Covert ops. After that he posted that story about the gunslinger which has been posted to a very large number of blogs , some as far back as 2008. All the others however named the source but not Jim.
    Joe m. on the other hand is a lawyer, maybe even a prosecutor who does not have the time to go around plagiarizing and copying blogs. I have developed, just like you a tremendous respect for Joe m although I think that his analysis often rests on moving sand 🙂

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 26, 2011, 2:39 pm
  108. Jonathan #108,
    That is my understanding and that is why I have been trying for three weeks to get someone to address the issue.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 26, 2011, 2:41 pm
  109. I wonder if Hariri regrets selling 1/2 of Martyr’s Square to put up three nasty towers? It has rendered as impossible the ability of any Lebanese movement to gather more than a million people in any public space.

    Posted by Johnny | January 26, 2011, 2:46 pm
  110. elsheikh,
    Your numbers are correct but you do not seem to make it clear that under the current constitutional formula of 50% of the seats in the parliament for Moslems and 50% for Christians this inequality will always be there when 40 % of the voters get less than 25 % of the seats. In current day Lebanon the majority is not measured by summing up the individual votes cast for each party but is detrmined by the number of seats won. Is it fair? of course not, is it likely to change this formula in the near future NO since this is not the product of an electoral law but of a constitutional clause.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 26, 2011, 2:49 pm
  111. Erraticideas

    Call me naïve, but yes. He was supposed to be the secular alternative. He was not from one of the traditional families. His party was not supposed to be sectarian. And his agenda was supposed to be pro- some of the type of democratic reforms that everyone here appears to laud.

    So yes, I did expect more from him. But now he’s just another Jumblatt. So its disappointing.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 26, 2011, 2:57 pm
  112. Gabriel says:
    “All the Anti-STLers who say it’s politicized will now say it was an honest organization.

    And all those pro-STLers who say its honest will say its become politicized.”

    That is an interesting observation and especially so since it might actually happen. Remember the initial days of the Wikileaks. Aoun and many of his supporters called it a Zionist US conspiracy to sow dissent . When the leaks became in their favour then the Wikis became the product of courageous individual crusaders bent on revealing the true Zionist imperialist plot. Well done , again 🙂

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 26, 2011, 2:59 pm
  113. PS. I won’t be surprised (in fact I expect) that when the dust settles, and the STL issue goes somehow, and when all the hypocrites go back to playing the same old game, that El General will be sidelined again, and then I will expect that he will go back to harping about the politicization of STL.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 26, 2011, 3:04 pm
  114. Outstanding analysis and prognosis in The Huffington Post:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hussain-abdulhussain/hezbollah-vs-the-world_b_813927.html

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 26, 2011, 3:05 pm
  115. Who in the world today is the guarantor of Justice?

    And whose Justice?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | January 26, 2011, 3:13 pm
  116. Thanks HP.

    I agree with the analysis and disagree with those above who seem to be hallucinating that the STL will fold and go away. It is not only about HA! It is about Israel, Iran & Syria.

    I reiterate that the overconfidence shown by HA/Syria has pushed them to series of total screw ups since 2005. They still have not realized that their days of killing and getting away with everything is long gone. It is a global issue.
    We have waited long and we soon will see the domino effect. I just feel sorry for the poor residents of Lebanon.

    Posted by danny | January 26, 2011, 3:29 pm
  117. Superman?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 26, 2011, 3:29 pm
  118. Ghassan

    I agree with you about the issue of our constitution and our distribution of seats in parliament depending on sectarian balance. For the record i am for abolishing without any delay of the entire confessional system we have and for the principle of one man one vote (the whole country should be one electoral district). If we are to live together in the country the 1st step is to learn how to vote for our representatives not based on what religion or sect they are.
    In the meantime the Hariri supporters (what is left of them) constitute less than a minority right now and frankly i don’t think they should expect to hold the entire country hostage.

    Posted by elsheikh | January 26, 2011, 3:35 pm
  119. elshiekh,

    I agree with you on being for the immediate abolishing of the confessional system.

    I gotta question your second statement though: “Hariri supporters constitute less than a minority”? Where are you getting that from?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 26, 2011, 3:44 pm
  120. Bad Vilbel

    Please read my post 107.

    Posted by elsheikh | January 26, 2011, 3:50 pm
  121. #107,

    I don’t understand your point. The elections are not based on the total number of votes but who wins in the electoral districts. You are sorely mistaken if you think Safadi or Miqati can muster anything in any upcoming elections. As for Jumblat; easy does it ya Sheikh. He will have a lot of dissent…Trust me the druse are not a bunch of sheep. Hamadeh along with disillusioned others wish shove WJ sideways.

    Next you will tell me that George W. Bush did not win the presidency as Gore had more votes lol…

    Posted by danny | January 26, 2011, 3:58 pm
  122. Danny with the above post you just proved that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Hariri NEEDED both Safadi and Mikati in order to win Tripoly, you are looking at the Trio going against him in the next election he is going to be trashed. Look at the result of that last Bi election and you will understand what i mean. Please stop reading Now Hariri and or the New York Times. As for Jumblatt go read up on the Lebanese and you will see who will get the votes next time. Hamadeh? what a joke he won’t get a dozen votes by himself. you remind me of those who thought that Ahmad El Asaad will challenge the Hizb/Amal in the south he did not register in the electoral landscape in spite of all the money he received.

    Posted by elsheikh | January 26, 2011, 4:10 pm
  123. This is a good question now:

    Interpol just issued a warrant for the arrest of Bin Ali. Will Saudi Arabia give him up?

    Posted by elsheikh | January 26, 2011, 4:15 pm
  124. ElSheikh,

    I too am missing your point, I think.

    I get that M8 has a pretty large base of support. No one denies that. But I really don’t see that Hariri’s support is a “minority”. You must differentiate between the people going out on the street and protesting (call them Hariri’s thugs, if you will) vs. the average Sunnis (let’s face it and be sectarian) from Beirut, Saida, Tripoli, Hasbaya and even Tripoli who are definitely pro M14 and anti M8. You can’t possibly be telling me now that the “Sunni community” is pro M8 all of a sudden. Cause if that’s what you’re saying, well, then I guess HA and co. have been arguing with noone for the past 6 years…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 26, 2011, 4:33 pm
  125. I agree with ElSheikh on the Hamadeh/Jumblatt thing. The druze will continue to follow Jumblatt. Hamadeh alone is really no different than Ahmad Al Assaad. Now THOSE guys are “minorities”.
    But Hariri? I don’t think so.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 26, 2011, 4:34 pm
  126. elsheikh,

    You are regurgitating same old rhetoric and false bravado. Please kindly provide me with facts or figures. You can hallucinate or dream if you wish but your opinion stays as is. We saw lots of people like you who proclaimed victory in the past elections only to be bitch slapped by the voters! Now chill and take a breather before you go off on a tangent with no proof. We definitely see you in 2013 if there is a country called Lebanon then. Or you can vote for a democratic Hizbestan!

    You have dropped a notch or too in your amazing analysis when you proclaimed.

    “you remind me of those who thought that Ahmad El Asaad will challenge the Hizb/Amal in the south he did not register in the electoral landscape in spite of all the money he received.

    Really 3ammo? You are so typical of the rest of HA followers. Our suggestion has always been to have a non sectarian free society to vote…UNLIKE your version whereas HA still possesses arms and threatens people to recive votes. Off course you forgot to mention that Asaad was harassed and his supporters intimidated and threatened…their cars burned and their houses attacked…
    …and Pleeeese don’t talk about money if you would want to have a shred of credibility. HA gets millions a year from Iran..but to you that doesn’t count.

    Talk about a brainwashed cadre!!
    Now have a nice day.

    Posted by danny | January 26, 2011, 4:38 pm
  127. “Lebanon’s Sunnis are calling for a “day of rage.” Is this hypocrisy or demagoguery?!

    The Hariri Benladenite Mohamad Kabara admitted that what’s being described as “Lebanon’s Sunnis” calling for a day of rage were not:
    أكد عضو تكتل “لبنان أولاً” النائب محمد كبارة، أن الأكثرية الصامتة وإن لم تشارك في الإحتجاج…

    http://www.elnashra.com/news-1-525413.html

    Posted by NR | January 26, 2011, 4:50 pm
  128. Elshickh,
    There is no doubt that Hariri will have a harder time carrying Tripoli next time election is held in Lebanon. But I doubt He will loose any(at least Sunni) seats in Beirut, unless a new electoral law is passed.

    Posted by The Prophet | January 26, 2011, 4:52 pm
  129. Prophet

    I never said anything about him not carrying the seats in Beirut, Though i believe depending on the new government performance the new majority will give him a run for his money. Tripoli is almost lost especially if you include Karami with Mikati and Safadi. Remember in the last election Karami by himself against the three billionaires gave a great showing (30k Votes to some members of the coalition wining with 40K votes.)

    Danny your concerns for Lebanon are touching however i’ll make the math simple.
    1- Shia can we agree that 90 % oppose Hariri?
    2- Christians i’ll be generous and give him 50% (with yesterday’s performance of the Salafis shouting Sunni Sunni) that number will be dwindling by the minute.
    3- Druze with Arslan, Jumblat , and Wahhab now on the same side who do you think will command most of their votes (Hamadeh?)
    4- Sunni’s

    a- In Beirut let’s say he gets 60-70 per cent ok?
    b- Tripoli i’ll be generous and give him by himself 30%
    c- Akkar he might have a good showing there (but if the new government make a token gesture of investment in the area his support will erode quickly this is the most forgotten area in Lebanon
    d- Saida another 50%
    e- Beka’a look at the results from the last election it was close but lets say another 60%

    add these up and the last are just the sunni’s
    Hariri’s support is directly related to his being in power, without the Premiership he is a goner. He is not his father that guy was a politician this is a child being fed what to say by prince Bendar

    The most important factor everybody seems to forget is that Hariri with his latest stunt has lost the support of at least some of the Saudi royals. Najib Miqati would have never accepted the post if he did not get some support from the royal family.
    Things may change but as of now it does not look good for him.

    Posted by elsheikh | January 26, 2011, 7:24 pm
  130. I did notice that the Saudis don’t seem to be falling over themselves to help Hariri this week.

    * First they declared the “King had washed his hands of the Lebanese mediation business”.
    * No official statements in support of Hariri after his government’s resignation.
    * Critical opinions in a couple of Saudi newspapers.
    * Warning Saudi citizens about travelling to Lebanon.

    None of those items by themselves are very conclusive, but I do see a bit of a trend there. Cold shoulder from KSA to Hariri? Taking on a wait and see approach? Letting Syria have its day for now? Not sure what’s afoot, but something is.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 26, 2011, 7:34 pm
  131. elsheikh,
    I couldn’t help but note the irony in your last post. You are proud of the fact that the “majority” have the blessings of Saudi Arabia, at least some of them, and are obedient followers of Syria; Jumblatt, Arslan, Wahab…; and Iran HA. Are we to be proud of this? Is Lebanon a sovereign state or is it a mandate? And please do not come back with some examples about the other side. If you really care about the country then you would be very highly critical of both. Danny and BV are extremely critical of HA and its allies but if you have bothered to read the positions of each then you would have found out that they do not give March 14 a pass. They are equally critical of the bumbling idiots of March 14 that remind one of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 26, 2011, 7:37 pm
  132. BV,
    Here we go again. Should I start eating my beret 🙂

    ميقاتي للـ”او تي في”: لن اوزع الحصص بل سأعطي الشخص المناسب المنصب المناسب وارحب بشعار اللاغالب ولا مغلوب

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 26, 2011, 7:46 pm
  133. That very sentence is self-contradictory.

    On one hand, he says he’ll give the job to the most appropriate person (at least that’s how I interpret “Al Mounasseb”) and on the other hand he talks about “No winners, no losers”.

    You can start eating your beret, Ghassan.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 26, 2011, 8:03 pm
  134. Ghassan

    It is a sad state of affairs when we cannot rule ourselves. This is the sorry state of this country they called Lebanon. I do blame both sides and i never claimed i supported Hizballah. I do not support any political party, thoughts or ideologies based on religion be it Christian, Muslim Jewish Buddhist etc etc.. In that respect i have an issue with the Hizb. However at the same time I see in the two sides of the conflict one side taking a conciliatory position, even toning down the sectarian rhetoric and the other side inflaming the masses and deploying a sectarian language like never seen in the country since the civil war.
    In a perfect world i would line them all in front of a firing squad or at least deport them outside the country (i do not support the death penalty) 🙂 but we do not live in a perfect world. Yes the M14 are a band of bumbling idiots as u called them maybe the M8 group will fare no better however i would like to see them get a chance.
    I would like to see Mikati form a government and i would like to see some questions answered. I am not willing to have the country destroyed over the death on any leader no matter who he was least of all Hariri.
    Now i have to go brave the Nor’easter to coach a game of youth soccer talk to you all soon

    Posted by elsheikh | January 26, 2011, 8:17 pm
  135. ElSheikh,

    Your rant there looked very promising until you made the claim that M8 was “conciliatory”. That kinda showed you to be somewhat biased.

    While not denying that Hariri and co. have “inflamed masses” and played sectarian, it is somewhat disingenuous of you to ignore the fact that M8 inflamed the masses in 2008. M8 was never conciliatory. Give me an example of conciliation please.
    All we heard from HA MPs were threats about cutting off the hands of others, etc. That’s conciliatory?
    They bullied and threatened non-stop.
    They took to the streets in 2006-2008, with their sit in.
    Then they took to the streets with weapons in May of 2008.
    And not sectarian? Give me a break. What do you call the logic that “Without proper shia representation, we deem the Saniora government unconstitutional”? That wasn’t sectarianism?

    Stop trying to paint yourself as a neutral here. If you were a neutral, you would have pointed out about M8 the exact same things you are going on about today for M14 (Sectarianism, thuggery, inflaming masses, etc) and you would have never called M8 “conciliatory”.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 26, 2011, 8:27 pm
  136. Sheikh:

    While this forum is graced with many well-read individuals, so far, no-one really knows what kind of government of policies Mikati will pursue. Mikati himself has been adopting a very conciliatory tone.

    Should Mikati be seen as doing M8’s bidding, rest assured that all your numbers will be off. I doubt he’ll even be able to muster 20% support amongst the Sunnis.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 26, 2011, 8:28 pm
  137. BV.

    At the end of the day, Saudi, I believe will try to appear diplomatic (publically).

    I don’t think anyone really cares if it’s Mikati or Hariri or their grandmother. The issue here is the STL, and I don’t doubt that Saudi Arabia is very much in support of that.

    (I don’t think Mikati will be rocking the boat).

    Nothing will come of the STL (no one will be held to account), but I think the Saudis will cherish nothing more than to have the Sword of Damocles hanging over the head of Hizballah.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 26, 2011, 8:34 pm
  138. Gaby, you’re French educated, aren’t you? The give-away? “publically”
    I bet you also say “substraction”
    All in good humor…

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 26, 2011, 8:43 pm
  139. Hahahahah.

    That was good humour, or should I say humor :D. Humbug.

    No, I barely get by with French :D. I blame the Americans. They have bastardized the english tongue, that nowadays, even I get confused.

    In this case, I’d like to say it was a spelling error (I typically do write it publicly. But in the true spirit of debate, you may find this an interesting read. Please disregard its content!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleonasm

    (Search for publically)

    :D.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 26, 2011, 9:11 pm
  140. QN,

    Are you really sure the new ‘majority’ would go ahead and pull the lebanese judges on their own?

    i am not sure M8’s appointment of Miqati is anything more than political blackmail to Hariri. i.e. we can let you become PM again but you have to reject the STL, i’d be highly surprised if they would make such a move without his official support on this considering the huge negative PR backlash HA would get afterwards. such a move just seems too stupid

    Posted by Innocent Criminal | January 26, 2011, 9:41 pm
  141. #133,

    Wow you said all that without a making a point. You write like a HA cadre and think like a Aouny. You ignore all your friends’ or comrades barbaric attributes (about chopping off our limbs)and being financed from Iran and Qatar in the tune of billions of $$$. People heard rants from people like you in previous elections and
    I am sure you’ll come with some ready made excuse when you are chilled in 2013 elections.

    As for KSA why don’t you guys stop the conspiracy and dark scenarios. Is it not possible that they know that Miqati cannot achieve anything but talk out tired old cliches while STL trial date draws closer?
    Why should they sound support to anyone! Lebanon has been thrown into a “lull” mode until dust clears…whereas our Spiritual Supreme leader of Lebanon goes on TV to declare his new plans for Lebanon.

    Stay tuned!

    Posted by danny | January 26, 2011, 9:43 pm
  142. ElSheikh!
    Why do you think the Mikati government will do a better job than any of the last 10 of governing. The place is ungovernable. That should be obvious.

    Posted by Paul | January 26, 2011, 9:51 pm
  143. QN and all:
    I am new to this site. Have you ever discussed partition. If yes, can you point me to a thread. If not, why not? I don’t buy the “a small country is not viable” argument in a world of Slovenias, Macedonias, etc…
    It seems like every time one of the main communities have the power it is “my way or te highway”. We then fight, beat the heck out of each other and get back in our uncomfortable stasis. Wash, dry, repeat…
    My experience with Lebanese people (limited, I must add despite my being originally lebanese)is that when I mention partition, I get the furtive looks and whispered answers like when one is told that their uncle died from a “coronary”.

    Posted by Paul | January 26, 2011, 9:58 pm
  144. Ghassan,
    I’m jealous you never defended me like you defend BV and danny lol

    Posted by The prophet | January 26, 2011, 10:04 pm
  145. Paul,
    We are an example of tolerance, democracy and the famous “Ta3ayoush” the world should try to draw examples from us, Lebanon is a message to the world. We love each other to death that’s why we won’t partition 🙂
    But why ask about partition? Wouldn’t it be much easier to abolish sectarianism, adopt secularism, one man one vote and equality under the law?
    Why does it work in the USA and many parts of the world but not for us?

    I am in Beirut and talked to many so called M14 or Hariri fans, everyone is so disgusted and has truly given up… It is safe to say M14 is no more.
    Welcome back Syria

    Posted by V | January 26, 2011, 10:32 pm
  146. V:

    We love each other to death

    Did you mean that literally 😀

    Posted by Gabriel | January 26, 2011, 10:35 pm
  147. V,149
    I feel that Hariri,intentionally or as a result of his attempt to outsmart Bashar,Paved the road for Syria to drive back in.
    Does any of his supporters see or admit this?

    Posted by The prophet | January 26, 2011, 10:40 pm
  148. Nabi ?!?!?

    If M8 (the original one) had its way, Syria’s army would not have left in the first place!

    Syria never really left. M8 has been with them in spirit all along. Now you want to pin their proverbial return on Boy Hariri?!?!

    Posted by Gabriel | January 26, 2011, 10:54 pm
  149. Apart from Superman and Berlusconi … is there anyone out there that is the true and rightful bearer of justice?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | January 26, 2011, 10:58 pm
  150. prophet,
    Truth be told, I used them to make a point 🙂 No one would dare tempt the gods by using a prophet though.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 26, 2011, 10:59 pm
  151. Gabriel- literally! And we have the track record 🙂

    Prophet- I think people are just so resigned, the luster and romantic feelings of the revolution are no longer there with the failure after failure and countless mistakes since 2005. They just want any semblance of normalcy in their daily lives… it is so understandable given the misery they live in. unlike us the pontificating armchair Generals from Miami or Toronto they don’t care who wins anymore.

    Posted by V | January 26, 2011, 11:02 pm
  152. It might be smarter for humankind to keep believing there is a God than it is to believe that human beings really care about one another.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | January 26, 2011, 11:10 pm
  153. Paul re 146
    I am not as pessimistic as you are, we will stumble on a good government in the end

    Bad Vilbel I am biased yes and i will give you example on why i i used the words conciliatory. Yes they took to the streets and yes they demonstrated and had sit ins however how many people were killed ? or even injured. Not counting the ones that M14 shot M8 and the Hizb were not responsible for that. Now we get the old story of the 2008 issue. Yes they took to the streets and disarmed the so called freedom fighters from the Future Movement however what did they do them? were they not all delivered to the Lebanese army ? yes they burned Future TV and i condone that but give me an army in the world that can control its foot soldiers so as no problems arise? It does not exist. Let’s continue about 2008 who committed the massacres? who went into the hospitals to kill the wounded? and yes the actions of Hizballah were legitimate. Let me explain, in 2006 the M14 leadership was conspiring against the Hizb and yes they were waiting if not praying for the Israelis to win. That in itself is treason and at the end of the war M8 said we will forget about what happened. the dismantling of the communication network was an attack on the life line of the resistance and yes they were and will always be entitled to defend themselves. So keep 2008 aside the act of the Lebanese government at the time was an act of treason whether people like it or not. As long as we have our pesky neighbor on our southern borders we need a resistance to be armed. You don’t like it go and arm the Lebanese army if the US won’t do it then take the weapons from Iran they already offered them . Arm the military to defend our borders and i will be the loudest clamoring for disarming Hizballah.
    After all of that upon toppling the Hariri government and getting Mikati the nomination every single member of the opposition has declared they want a Unity Government with the 1/3 plus one blocking vote to the opposition (m14) compare that to the unilateral streak M14 had.
    I am wondering with the patriarch now accept majority rule will he still lecture that we should have an opposition that does not participate in the decision? As for the issue of the shia representation i will not address it as it will be now the one card that Hariri has if he elects not to participate in the government being formed.

    Finally can you show me where and when the Hizb and the opposition took to the streets like goons shouting (shia shia shia and the day of the shia has come?).
    Man look at the formation of the old government and the electoral lists for the Parliamentary elections while Hizb was sacrificing its own representation in favor of its allies you had Hariri and his allies bickering for weeks on who gets on which list. Give me one example like the issue of Jizzine between Aoun and Berri when they did not agree on all the candidates they let the decision to the people and i did not see them loose their mind on it. They are still allies as far as i can see.
    Shall i go on?????

    Posted by elsheikh | January 26, 2011, 11:17 pm
  154. Gabriel

    “Should Mikati be seen as doing M8′s bidding, rest assured that all your numbers will be off. I doubt he’ll even be able to muster 20% support amongst the Sunnis.”
    and what is M8’s bidding can you explain that to me?
    If you are talking about the STL it is a forgone conclusion that the next government will withdraw support and withdraw the judges. Hariri himself accepted that fact and was signing on the deal until he got his orders to reject it.
    what is so scary about M8? and them having control ?

    Posted by elsheikh | January 26, 2011, 11:21 pm
  155. PiD

    Did you ever consider changing your moniker to RandomThoughtOfTheDay

    Sheikh

    Hope the soccer match was fun! Putting aside my personal feelings on M8, there is nothing “scary” about M8 (mostly I think the Aoun contingency is comical). But the optics is what matters. M8 picked Mikati. M14 didn’t. My personal view is that if Mikati is seen (or is made to be seen) to be compromising M14 interests then he will not get those votes you believe he will.

    Don’t ask me to define “compromise”. People will define their dignities in their own way, and it is for the electorate in Tripoli and elsewhere to decide what those limits are.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 26, 2011, 11:33 pm
  156. Gbaie,152,
    It was not my intention to pin anything on Hariri that was not there.
    Although you are right that Syria’s influence never left, and that M8 were never shy about their alliance with Syria, But It is also true that M8 were very shy to admit that Syria was interfering in Lebanon. They were even shy about their visits to Syria for few years.
    That being said, there is no denial that Hariri’s attempt to reestablish relationship with Syria, and His attempt to use his new relationship was Syria against M8, opened the door widely and officially for Syria to be involved openly.

    Posted by The prophet | January 26, 2011, 11:37 pm
  157. P.S.

    I don’t quite understand the Hariri willingness to sign on to the S-S initiative. There are clearly larger forces going on, and the “advisors” of all political parties are busy-beeing contemplating scenarios, plotting paths, etc.

    Hell I’ve tried in this forum to play Devil’s advocate and ask people hypotheticals without much luck. So it beats me what’s going on in the minds of the political parties themselves.

    The STL will march on. With or without official support from Lebanon. If it’s muzzled, it will be for reasons far greater than Lebanon. So what Hariri signs on to or not is quite irrelevant.

    The question is what is Hariri hoping to get if the indictments are damning and conclusive. 2/3 months into the first day I chanced upon QN, and I haven’t found an answer yet.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 26, 2011, 11:38 pm
  158. Ghassan,154
    Not to get anon on my case again because of my often use of quotes;I’m tempted again;lol
    Though the the name of the author escaped my already poor memory, this quote came to mind:
    “I tell you in truth: all men are Prophets or else God does not exist.”
    Not I dare say this if I was not living where I am.lol

    Posted by The prophet | January 26, 2011, 11:48 pm
  159. Sorry for messing up you name(in#160), Gabie.That was not intentional either.LOL
    Even Prophets mess up

    Posted by The prophet | January 27, 2011, 12:06 am
  160. I’ve had to bite my lips at every spelling and grammar mistake… I keep telling myself…

    “I’m a Hollow Reed, Stress blows through me like the wind”

    Not all of us can quote Jean-Paul Sartre.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 27, 2011, 12:15 am
  161. Gabie,
    Thank you so much.lol
    It is Jean-paul-Sartre. I was too lazy to Google it.lol

    Posted by The prophet | January 27, 2011, 12:28 am
  162. El Shiekh,

    “Let’s continue about 2008 who committed the massacres? who went into the hospitals to kill the wounded? and yes the actions of Hizballah were legitimate”

    We must be talking about different events.Just from the photos alone, i saw heavily armed balaclavad goons running riot, standing over a few men tied up on their knees. I saw photos of massacres in the mountains and gaping holes in houses. Not exactly your peaceful demonstrations.Dont forget a few died at the hands of Hizb/Amal while attending the Feb 14 rally last year or was it the year before? Ive lost count.

    So spare me the one eye blind BS.

    That doesnt mean I’m Justifying the latest actions, im just saying selected memory runs rampant in the Lebanese.

    Posted by Maverick | January 27, 2011, 3:04 am
  163. GK #112,

    But Parliament is not doing any other business, is it? So it is in extraordinary session now (session in the sense of semester, or period of time) during which time its only task is to elect a new Prime Minister and approve a new cabinet. So long as they don’t do anything else, and we can be sure they won’t, then it seems constitutional.

    Posted by Jonathan | January 27, 2011, 4:11 am
  164. I notice this disagreement between those that say “March 14” won more seats than “March 8” lists (60 to 57 or whatever), therefore al Harri has moral rights to premiership; Others say that 55 per cent of votes cast when to lists identified as in “March 8” camp, so it is morally in the favour of the new PM to ascend to office – i.e. this week’s development at last reflect the results of the 2009 elections.

    I don’t think either argument is particularly convincing.

    When a citizen votes for a candidate, if the candidate is successful to become an MP, at that point it is up to the M.P. to use his or her best judgement about what is in the national, regional or communal interest on issues of the day – and to vote accordingly.

    Voters get their say and judgement at the next elections.

    There is no shame at all in what these Sunni, Druze and Christian M.P.s from Tripoli and the ex-Democratic Gathering have done i.e. “switched horses”. It is their job to assess all the information at their disposal, and make a call. Whether we agree or not is another matter.

    Many in the U.K. were recently disgustined that the Liberal Democrats (of the centre-left) could have formed a majority coalition government with other centre left parties (Labour, Welsh, Scottish nationalists etc) but they choose to go with the right-wing Conservative Party even though centre-left parties got a very big majority over the centre-right parties.

    But that doesn’t mean that the Liberal Democrat MPs have conducted a “coup” or acted unethically – on the contrary, they made a call, that’s their job. Voters will assess their performance in due course.

    Posted by J.Estiphan | January 27, 2011, 7:35 am
  165. The lemmings charging over the cliff….

    As predicted,White House officials with no understanding of the region’s dynamics have completely failed throughout the ME, Persia, Africa and Asia in general….Everywhere you look to, US presence is in ruins, from supporting dictator despots who are falling like a domino, to corrupt, treacherous, criminal, unelected weak PLO leadership, to waging war on peaceful Lebanon in 2006….
    Obama is a weak neocon President, continuing the disastrous BUSH policies/criminality, has completely eroded the little remaining US credibility in the eyes of the world….
    It is not often that one sees an entire nation marching in lockstep to go over a cliff into an abyss, but that is essentially what the United States is doing at the moment. Not only have there been strong hints from the Obama Administration that the US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan will go on into the dim future, but there is also no sign of any necessary course correction in other areas…. Israel, backed by Washington, continues its reckless policies and may be cranking up for a new war against Lebanon….

    The most dangerous fools are the ones that don’t realize how stupid they are….

    Posted by cvghfx | January 27, 2011, 7:44 am
  166. @ Gabriel 159

    I like it 🙂

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | January 27, 2011, 9:25 am
  167. “So, Anonymous is the antipode of anonymous. Very interesting.”

    HP 99,

    Your intersting observation confirms what I have been saying all along.

    HA is a terrorist organization since it came into being back in the 80s. Historical record clearly proves this fact.

    It is undemocratic and that has been clearly proven since it was given a chance to participate in the process. The recent events proved further it will not hesitate to use its Iranian funded militia to effectively conduct a coup contrary to all norms agreed to in Lebanon. There is no need to further elaborate on its past reliance on obstructionism and the use of terror and force against civilians.

    HNA is a demagogue who uses all forms of speech injcluding ditortion, hyperboles and outright lies to hypnotize and misguide the gullibles among his followers.

    Lebanon’s scetarian problem has now been superseded by the presence of illegal arms in the hands of the paramilitary organization of HA which has no purpose but to intimidate, coerce and thretaen civilians and politicians alike to force its way on the country. Lebanon will remain sectarian until this terrorist organization disbands and disarms. In fact, the sectarian problem is right now not THE issue in the presence of such paramilitary organization.

    Posted by anonymous | January 27, 2011, 9:49 am
  168. Richard ARMITAGE started calling our Nationalist and Valiant Resistance of Hezbollah: “A-Team of Terrorism”… many years ago…WHY?

    As a pro-Hezbollah person in the West, I think that you are ALL here missing a few things. For example, why does the US-Israeli propaganda machine describe Hezbollah as the “A-Team of terrorism” if Hezbollah only matters in a “little slice of Lebanon” as you all put it? There are several reasons:

    1) Hezbollah has in the past, and will in the future, defeat the Israeli war machine anytime…. Thus, in the mid-long term, Hezbollah will be the main force which will bring down all of the Israeli Apartheid regime.

    2) Hezbollah is a living example, that even a VERY SMALL but truly religious and dedicated group of people can hold their ground against the entire USraelian Empire. The Divine Victory in 2006 was not only a defeat for Israel, it was a defeat for the entire worldwide US/Zionist power configuration…just look at Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco…,

    3) Very importantly, by NOT, repeat, NOT engaging in terrorism, Hezbollah proves wrong all the Zionist propaganda which says that all Muslims are terrorists or all resistance to the crumbling Empire is terrorist….

    4) Hezbollah offers the Muslim world a VIABLE alternative to the Wahhabi crazies on one hand, and the corrupt dictators a la Mubarak and Assad on the other….

    All these are the reasons that while it is wrong to call Hezbollah the “A-Team of terrorism” it would be fair to call Hezbollah the “A-Team of the Resistance to the Empire”. To tell you the truth, I believe that Hezbollah has more power than even a major country and regional superpower like Iran….

    As for Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, I consider him the indisputable leader of the world wide resistance to the utterly corrupt and crumbling Empire….

    Hezbollah and Sayyed Nasrallah are no Lilliput. They are *giants* which the Zionists have very good reason to hate and fear….They are a superb and very successful Lebanese Nationalist Resistance.

    Could you tell me whom you would single out as the most influential leader and/or movement in the resistance to the Empire?

    Yet again, Sayyed Nasrallah and Hezbollah have played their hand just *beautifully*, I would say in an ‘Aikido-like’ manner: these used every move made by their opponents to turn the situation to their advantage… Even this ill-conceived puppet STL ‘tribunal’ will end up having made Hezbollah only much stronger….
    This, yet again, only further confirms my belief that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Hezbollah are by far the smartest political actors on the planet….

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 27, 2011, 10:22 am
  169. There’s a new post everybody, with guest contributions from some of you…

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 27, 2011, 11:35 am
  170. It looks like Jim decided to change his handle to Anonymous2 🙂

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 27, 2011, 11:40 am
  171. ElSheikh,

    Imma stop debating. We can agree to disagree.
    When you have to write 2 pages of “let’s forget about 2008” to explain to me that M8 is “conciliatory”, well…it’s kinda hard to accept.

    Kinda like me saying “if you discount Hitler invading Poland, The Czechoslovakia, Austria, and all that, then it is clear the Allies started WW2 and Hitler was conciliatory.”

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 27, 2011, 1:43 pm
  172. 176 Ghassan. ROFL. Jim???

    Posted by Paul | January 27, 2011, 9:42 pm

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