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

A Return to Arms

It took them a while, but Lebanon’s March 14th coalition has finally gotten around to officially opting out of Najib Miqati’s government. Let no one imagine that this has actually made Miqati’s job any easier: it has been clear for the past several weeks that the major obstacles to this latest round of cabinet formation politics have nothing to do with the challenges that beset Saad al-Hariri’s effort in 2009. This time, it’s all about Michel Aoun and his desire to land the coveted Interior Ministry, which very few politicians — even among his own allies — are particularly jazzed about.

All eyes are on the parliamentary elections of 2013. With electoral issues (from districting to registration to long-awaited reforms like pre-printed ballots) in the hands of the Free Patriotic Movement, Jumblatt would have to worry about his own backyard, Berri would be eyeing Jezzine, and President Sleiman could kiss his chances to bless a successful “independent” Christian slate in the Metn goodbye. It’s not a little deal, hence the political gridlock.

So, now that Hariri and co. are out of a job, whatever do you suppose they plan to do with themselves? Answer: organize a huge rally downtown on March 14th protesting Hezbollah’s arms. On the face of it, it’s not a bad idea; revolution is in the air these days, and the unemployed and disgruntled youth of Lebanon’s cities have no decrepit dictators to rebel against. Sectarianism is too squishy a target, so weapons it is!

Here’s a question, though: which weapons are objectionable? Hariri’s latest speech left me a little confused on this score. On the one hand, he’s anti-weapons, but on the other, he’s pro-resistance. What does that mean? And what is he suggesting Hizbullah should do? Hand over its pistols, bowie knives, and slingshots, but hold on to its 9M133 AT-14 tank killers and C802 anti-ship missiles? Most Lebanese I know who have a problem with the “weapons issue” are not worried about being killed by a Hizbullah fighter firing an AK-47; they’re worried about their house being flattened by an Israeli F-16 retaliating against the Hizbullah fighter with the AK-47.

So let me just say that I’m not on the edge of my seat, awaiting the results of March 14th’s latest publicity gambit, the so-called “referendum on Hezbollah’s weapons”. It seems to me that this is a pretty straightforward issue to campaign on, and yet they always manage to sound like they don’t really know what they are in favor of.

I hope to have an interesting interview with Gary Gambill for y’all, later this week. In the meantime, let’s have some fun with a poll.

Discussion

220 thoughts on “A Return to Arms

  1. The question is; would Hariri and co. have made an issue of the weapons, had He not been ousted from office?
    How can he consider the same weapons, He approved (Army, people, and resistance) in his cabinet, as illegal now? Does He support a resistance without weapons?
    He fails to offer any alternative to the armless resistance He ‘supports”.
    Who is He kidding? This man is confused, and unqualified for anything. This whole new dance against the weapons, is a preparation for his ultimate attack, once the anticipated STL indictment I s handed, and made public. He must be counting on the security council passing a resolution against Lebanon under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.”
    Again, I reiterate my earlier prediction that Lebanon will have no cabinet any time soon.

    Posted by The Prophet | March 3, 2011, 4:02 pm
  2. Prophet,

    We all concur with your prediction that Lebanon will not have a cabinet soon. However, we have different explanations. We have not heard yours yet!

    QN, you are correct that there are multiple issues at play here.

    1. Syria.
    2. STL
    3. Elections

    Now let me try to tie them up. I am quite certain you will agree that a cabinet can be formed anytime as far as Syria decides it. After all; all the players from clAoun to Slyman are Syria’s men! Syria is waiting for the STL indictments to make its next move. I am sure you all agree that the first indictments are the most important ones. clAoun with encouragement of Bashar is trying to weaken the other Christian parties by appearing to champion the Christian side.

    Aoun on his own would not dare play an obstructing game unless so directed by his masters in Damascus.

    As for Hariri’s statement; as usual he is being vague and idiotic! Trying to play the Israel card lol. That’s why Ameen Gemayel suggested clearer policy regarding the guns. As you said the AK 47 is directly connected to the F18 or the newest bomb flattening our homes!

    Weapons HA and palestinian ones as well as all the rag tag groups are the main issue!

    Prophet the alternative to your manufactured “resistance” is peace treat with Israel and demarcation with Syria.

    Respectfully

    Posted by danny | March 3, 2011, 4:52 pm
  3. oops…Peace treatY…

    Posted by danny | March 3, 2011, 5:02 pm
  4. Not to defend Hariri, but the reason he tip-toes around the issue of resistance is because in Lebanon, Israel and Sectarianism are pretty much taboos. Specially Israel.
    No matter what you believe, or what policy you espouse, it is simply too “dangerous” to ever mention anything that might vaguely or remotely sound like “being pro-Israeli”. It’s that simple.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | March 3, 2011, 5:24 pm
  5. Danny,@2

    1-
    “However, we have different explanations. We have not heard yours yet!” lol .
    Before you hear my explanation, you assume that it is different than yours.
    You may not have read my prediction few threads back, but I’ll sum it up for you, knowing (maybe not), that it will be “different than yours”.
    M8 brought down The Hariri government because of the collapse of the Doha agreement, and the Total failure of Hariri, and his “unity Government”. They also brought it down because of the collapse of the SS “agreement”, which were supposed to find a solution to the STL and the way Hariri and his cabinet was supposed to deal with it.
    M8 knows that the STL is coming and no one can stop it at this stage. So why would they want to have a government to deal, and cooperate with it? I Don’t think Ha feels that a government sponsored by them is in their best interest at this time.

    2- The resistance, you call “manufactured” is the one that liberated Lebanon. It was that same resistance that made it possible for me and thousands others to visit our home towns which were occupied by Israel and its scumbags collaborators. It was not your “ peac4e treaty” that liberated the occupied areas of Lebanon, nor was it your “ peace treaty that made it possible for people to go back to their towns and villages .

    3- As for “peace treaty “being the alternative; you are too hopeful. I don’t see anyone begging you, or offering a peace treaty for you from Israel’s side, unless you are willing to submit to all of Israel’s conditions for the price of a peace treaty? You are not thinking of a treaty similar to the MAY 7 ONE, I hope not.
    My question is why peace treaty? Why not a NON-AGGRESSION TREATY?
    If Israel withdraws from all Lebanese territories , stops all kind of violations against Lebanon’s land, air, sea, and compensate Lebanon for all the damages it caused over the sixty some years of terror, then, and only then, I’d consider a Non –aggression treaty. They leave us alone, we’ll leave them alone.
    As a Lebanese, I do not want a peace agreement with those who killed, and d destroyed my country. I do not want to see an Israeli flag flying Lebanon’s air.
    Please do not come back telling me about my grievances ,and what not. The German people are not done (OVER 65 YEARS) yet paying for the atrocities they committed against the Jews. I don’t deserve less then they do. These are my personal views.
    I’m leaving the Palestinian question and the refugee out for now.

    Posted by The Prophet | March 3, 2011, 5:38 pm
  6. I do have to add,that yes democratization in Syria and Lebanon,and the rest of the Arab countries are a must.
    I think it might come to Syria sooner than you and I think.
    But my hope is we,IN LEBANON, get democracy, A true democracy. Let us worry about our own democracy now.

    Posted by The Prophet | March 3, 2011, 5:55 pm
  7. QN,

    March 14 should have called for a national referendum on Hizballah’s arms when they had the chance to.

    I debated that a while back and remain an advocate of it.

    The outcome of the poll here won’t surprise anybody.

    I’d love the Orange room to conduct such a poll though.

    I tried several months but the webmaster didn’t post my thread and was even nice enough to send me an email saying “nice try”.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 3, 2011, 6:20 pm
  8. RTOTD,

    1) I too think M14 should have called for a national referendum back when they won the parliamentary elections. While there was disagreement about the validity of said parliamentary majority vs the popular vote, a national referendum woulda put that argument to rest once and for all. I even advocated a “One time, everything goes” referendum with ALL the issues listed.

    1) HA’s arms.
    2) Abolishing sectarianism completely from national politics.
    3) A new modern constitution.
    4) A census.

    Woulda been NICE to see the results to that.

    But something like that woulda meant “The Christians losing their privileges” or somesuch nonesenese, so there never really was any hope of it ever taking place.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | March 3, 2011, 6:24 pm
  9. I have to wonder why the Orange Room would have such a problem with your poll. Not to mention the hypocrisy of denying you that poll.
    “Nice try” for what?

    If they’re so firm in their beliefs, what problem would they have with such a poll (which would in theory, corroborate their beliefs)?

    Or are they too afraid of the truth?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | March 3, 2011, 6:25 pm
  10. I regret not saving the emails I got from the Orange room webmaster in response to my attempted posts or replies on their site.

    In hindsight, they are actually pretty damning to this Clockwork Orange movement.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 3, 2011, 6:31 pm
  11. March 14 did not win the last elections because of Hariri’s political brilliance or charisma, or Amin Gemayel’s aloofness, or Geagea’s hawkishness, or Jumblatt’s LSD trips … and the dozen other useless faces attached to the movement.

    They won because educated people did not want Lebanon to fall into the hands of an Iranian backed religiously fanatical militia.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 3, 2011, 7:00 pm
  12. #5…
    “2- The resistance, you call “manufactured” is the one that liberated Lebanon. ”

    Well my friend; Syria and its mukhabarati “sisterly” butchers did more unprovoked and “leisurly” killings and maimings than IDF.
    Now you think HA liberated the South; while you disregard that No ONE in Lebanon could have expressed a view contrary to Syria’s for 15 years and not have seen the tail end of Aanjar or beau rivage or some sick bastard’s dirty dungeon. So spare me all the talk of “liberation’ as far as you chose to act as if the elephant in the room didn’t exist!

    Posted by danny | March 3, 2011, 7:03 pm
  13. PTOTD, M14 won the election because they had more Petro-dollars to fly people in ,and to buy votes.Saudis alone spent $700 millions.Votes were going for a $1000 or more in some districts.

    Posted by The Prophet | March 3, 2011, 7:05 pm
  14. Prophet,

    How can a country function unless all armed forces are under one command which itself is under political command which itself is voted in or out by the public?

    Any other formula is doomed to failure and is nothing other than an “Animal Farm” rotation of who the abuser is. At this time, in Lebanon, it is HA. Merge HA military wing into the Lebanese Armed forces; make them special units if you will; create a super-military-police that summarily takes care of any traitors who collaborate or give national secrets to ANY outside country or power (be it Israel or Syria or Zimbabwe or …). Eliminate sectarianism and confessionalism summarily and immediately. Separate church/mosque/temple and state. Then sit back and enjoy the new Lebanon.

    Miss any one of the above and it will be more of the same in that lovely country.

    Agree?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 3, 2011, 7:11 pm
  15. You called the Israeli army IDF? WOWO. Now I get it. Nothing else to add.
    You choose to close your eyes and ears to the truth.
    And you ignored my question about the non aggression treaty.I Guess your use of the term IDF should explain that.
    “””So spare me all the talk of “liberation’ as far as you chose to act as if the elephant in the room didn’t exist!””” Does that mean occupations and liberation didn’t happen?lol
    You should ask your M14 buddies who spent more time in the waiting rooms of Anjar,than the time Kenaan granted them.

    Posted by The Prophet | March 3, 2011, 7:12 pm
  16. Smartass,

    Nobody bought my vote … and the countless votes of my friends and acquaintances who all voted for the first time in their (and my) life. Some even flew in “on their own expense” to vote (believe it or not!)

    It wasn’t a pro-Hariri/Jumblatt/Geagea/Gemayel/Pharaon/etc. vote.

    It was a keeping Lebanon out of the abyss vote against a religiously indoctrinated, Iranian funded, group of people that think they hold the “keys” to heaven.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 3, 2011, 7:18 pm
  17. HP,
    I look forward to the day Lebanon does not need ,and does not have an armed resistance.
    Trust me , people of the south would love to live a normal life, with no fear or worry about Israel and its aggressions.
    But as of now, the fear is not there, and the trust in a Lebanese government to defend them is not totally there.The sectarian divide is making things worse.
    This is the truth. They have had enough, yet they are fearful of being left defenseless.
    I have no problem if one day Ha,merges its full time fighters into the army.

    Posted by The Prophet | March 3, 2011, 7:19 pm
  18. WHY THE FOUL LANGUAGE? CAN’T YOU EXPRESS YOUR THOUGHTS AND IDEAS WITHOUT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH?
    If you didn’t get paid for your votes, thousands others did,smartass.lol

    Posted by The Prophet | March 3, 2011, 7:21 pm
  19. correction to 17

    “But as of now, the fear is not there, and the trust in a Lebanese…. ” should have read as follows:
    “But as of now, the fear is still there, and the trust in a Lebanese…. “

    Posted by The Prophet | March 3, 2011, 7:23 pm
  20. Prophet #13,

    I didn’t know Lebanese Expats were poor fellahin breaking their backs as laborers working the fields in Brazil, Africa, the Arab Gulf and the US.

    I guess as a “Prophet” … you know better and your input on this blog is invaluable.

    Are you Hindu, by the way?

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 3, 2011, 7:35 pm
  21. Both sides paid for votes. That’s not the point. A referendum at that point would have made it clear to all what the PEOPLE wanted.

    It’s pretty ridiculous to bring up vote buying as a complaint only when it suits one argument. If vote buying invalidates the M14 win in 2008, then by extension, it should also invalidate all sorts of other things, such as the voting for Miqati by MPs during consultations, for example.

    You can’t pick and and choose what votes you want to discount and which ones you wanna agree to.

    Also, what’s wrong with calling IDF “IDF”? That’s its name. No?
    I call Hezbollah “Hezbollah” even if I don’t like them. That’s the name they chose for themselves. Ditto “March 14”, “SSNP”, “IDF”, “Israel” or “Iran”.
    Choosing to acknowledge a name that’s recognized by all, simply because you find its owner offensive makes you simply appear childish.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | March 3, 2011, 7:40 pm
  22. PTOTD,&20
    What is your point?Do you think all Lebanese Expats are very wealthy?
    And no, I’m not Hindu, I’m as Lebanese as one can get.

    HP&21
    If you read my comment carefully,You’d notice that I was not talking about one side buying votes. I said M14 won because they had more(than M8) money to spend on buying votes.
    there is a lots of things wrong with saying “IDF”,If you are a Lebanese. Israel calls its killing machine IDF, WHEN WE KNOW It is nothing but an aggressive ,offensive army,occupying Army.
    Would an Israeli call HA a resistance? not really.Calling(by a Lebanese) Israel’s army IDF is like an Israeli calling HA a resistance.

    Posted by The Prophet | March 3, 2011, 8:00 pm
  23. I’ve never seen a real hardcore Lebanese Hindu.

    Are you going to harass me for a donation in your Hara Krishna outfit for a meal at Mc Donald’s?

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 3, 2011, 8:20 pm
  24. Do You have issues with Hindus?
    You don’t look like the type that would donate for any cause, so I’ll spare you. You seem like a confused individual..LOL

    Posted by The Prophet | March 3, 2011, 8:29 pm
  25. Israel calls Hizbollah “Hizbollah” which is its official name.
    Of course, they use whatever adjectives they see fit such as “terrorists”.

    IDF is their official name for it. You can add any adjective you choose such as “barbaric” or “butchers” or what you see fit…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | March 3, 2011, 8:32 pm
  26. The day I run for a popularity contest, I’ll beg for your vote.lol

    Posted by The Prophet | March 3, 2011, 8:33 pm
  27. Fair enough, BV.

    Posted by The Prophet | March 3, 2011, 8:35 pm
  28. 24,26 were meant for RTOTD.

    Posted by The Prophet | March 3, 2011, 8:36 pm
  29. Nabi ya Nabi I did not use UDF.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 3, 2011, 8:50 pm
  30. IDF

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 3, 2011, 8:52 pm
  31. Prophet you must be getting high on some sick stuff brother. 😀
    The military forces of Israel is called IDF. What do you want be call them? Create a name and I’ll appease you. Yalla you win a contest! Please stop the BS about money buying votes. How about Iranian money? qarati? ok…How about coersion at the point of a gun?
    Prophet your futile attempt of deflection of the murderous Syrian regime and mukhabarat does not change the facts that they murdered at random…and when one (Hariri Sr.) decided to rebel against them; they killed him.
    Before you go on a tangent about how do I know bla bla bla…Let’s take Elias Murr’s documented case. He was threatened by ghazali that he would break his head if he did not obey his orders.That’s NOT fiction. It did happen!

    BV, I am all for referendum etc as far as there are NO illegal weapons and/or militias such as HA or Palestinian factions roaming around. How could you expect any free voting under duress?

    Posted by danny | March 3, 2011, 9:16 pm
  32. Here’s a gem from our “educated” PM designate(maybe from online Toledo U lol…)
    “Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati on Thursday evening voiced surprise at Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare’s requests for information from Lebanese authorities.

    “As far as I know, and according to what is public, the indictment has been handed over [to the pre-trial judge] and this means the end of the investigations,” Mikati told Al-Manar TV.

    To read more: http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=246563#ixzz1FagF8IGk
    Only 25% of a given NOW Lebanon article can be republished. For information on republishing rights from NOW Lebanon: http://www.nowlebanon.com/Sub.aspx?ID=125478

    Now what kind of an idiot would think that investigations are over? Bellemare as well as UN spokespersons have said time and again the investigations are continuing and will till they uncover all that is needed to exhaust the trail…

    Good one Miqati. You have been knighted as an honorary member of HA.

    Lakhayem

    Posted by danny | March 3, 2011, 9:42 pm
  33. The STL will be indicting members of Hezbollah. And some news agencies are talking about senior members of that militia. If the STL provides serious evidence against them they will not be able to defend themselves anymore. Instead they will be trying to justify why they did it. For sure, they will imply the Hariri was dealing with Israel!

    There will be serious backlash.

    I think the countdown on Hezbollah presence in Lebanon has started in 2005 when they have assassinated Hariri…

    Posted by LebanesePatriot | March 3, 2011, 10:13 pm
  34. I do not agree that the revolution should only be about weapons. The revolution must highlight the fact that the so-called resistance is illegitimate. And HNA is a big liar.

    Posted by anonymous | March 3, 2011, 10:34 pm
  35. The Resistance has served it’s roll in Lebanon and Isreal is all but removed from Lebanese soil. The way to get them to leave the rest will require a united front. I think the problem with Hizballah and their arms is that it has become some kind of divine edict. This is not acceptable to most of the Lebanese. The resistance is a Lebanese issue and I believe we as a society have matured beyond allowing a group to hijack the cause just because they were instrumental in delivering the Country from occupation. But occupation occurred both ways as Syria also occupied yet Hizballah did not resist against them. M14 and their followers were instrumental in ending Syria’s occupation via peaceful resistance. So this is the true delema. Resistance is about freeing ones Country from all forms of occupation, not just by being selective. It’s time now for Hizballah to lay down their arms and join the LAF. Peace.

    Posted by george | March 3, 2011, 11:11 pm
  36. I disagree.

    HA did not end any occupation.

    HA must not join the LAF.

    Criminals, who are mercenaries of foreign powers, cannot and should not do any of the above.

    HA must simply disband.

    Posted by anonymous | March 3, 2011, 11:23 pm
  37. Let me take this opportunity to state again that there is a huge difference between resistance as a concept to which a people is entitled and the illegal,undemocratic, theocratic group called Hezbollah who wishes to monopolize the right to resist, pay homage to a foreign regime and act as a state within a state. That is not popular resistance, that is chicanery.
    What makes HA acceptable or not has absolutely nothing to do with whether Sa’ad Hariri or anyone in March14 has any charisma or credibility. These are completely two different issues.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | March 3, 2011, 11:29 pm
  38. So, we are actually having a “revolution” in Lebanon on March 14? Will someone be storming al-Dahiye?

    Posted by Saint | March 3, 2011, 11:30 pm
  39. danny,31
    I wish I can get high on some stuff, then I would not be as worried about all the mess we have in Lebanon.
    You know that votes were bought by both sides in the last Lebanese election; there is no reason to deny or defend. My point was that M14 had more funds to buy votes than M8, and it did fly in people and pay for their trip to vote. It is obvious that the Saudis invested more than the Iranian in that election. So, slow down your bla bla bla ……about No votes were bought by M14(which tipped the results),and by M8.
    I have never defended anything the Syrian intelligence has done in Lebanon. I was critical of Syria’s practices and behavior when all ofM14 were in bed with Syria. I always blamed Lebanese for allowing, and most of the time inviting Syrian interference in Lebanese affairs. I understand geography and history, yet Lebanese always used Syria’s influence in their own struggle against each other.
    So there is nothing to deflect or run away from here. In your previous posts, you had accused HA of killing Hariri, now you seem to change your mind and accuse Syria. Which one is it?
    My honest opinion is that; I don’t know for a fact that Syria killed Hariri, but I would not be totally shocked if they did. Yet I won’t dismiss other scenarios. If it is true that Syria killed Hariri, then Saad is the biggest hypocrite Lebanon ever known for exonerating Syria from his dad’s assassination. Can he come back in a month, and blame Syria again?
    Anyway, I’m not holding my breath to find out the truth through the STL. That is another subject.
    You still avoid addressing my option of Non-Aggression treaty (under the conditions described in #5) with Israel as another alternative to peace treaty. What is your take on that? And why does it have to be a peace agreement? Why does it have to be a love affair?

    Posted by The Prophet | March 3, 2011, 11:31 pm
  40. Anonymous, it’s not fair to call those who are members of Hizballah as foreign mercenaries. They are Lebanese regardless of who is backing them. Unless you have lived under a rock over the last 30 years, most if not all political parties were or are backed by foreign powers. I fully understand your resentment against Hizballah as they are backed by a ruthless regime in Iran, but you can not fault their followers for this. I believe there is a better way out of this mess and it involves bridging the lack of trust from both sides and if we can’t, god help us all.

    Posted by george | March 3, 2011, 11:32 pm
  41. Prophet,
    I’ve read your posts and some of your posts contain good insights. Regarding the murder of Hariri, I think it best to wait for the the STL to hand out their verdict.

    Posted by george | March 3, 2011, 11:36 pm
  42. GK-

    What democtratic legal entity made HA “illegal?” And how is their “theocracy” relevant to the topic? Would an atheist resistance group be ok?

    Posted by Saint | March 4, 2011, 12:01 am
  43. It is not a matter of who is backing who. It is a matter of allegiance. And their allegiance is Iranian. No resentment is involved. It is simply facts without having to live under rocks.

    Posted by anonymous | March 4, 2011, 12:03 am
  44. Saint,
    If you do not think that a theocracy is relevant then we obviously have nothing to talk about. Good day.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | March 4, 2011, 12:18 am
  45. QN,

    Confused about what Hariri is saying. Aren’t we all. This says it all: “Lebanon comes first and not the arms… The STL will come first.”

    Posted by Deen | March 4, 2011, 5:18 am
  46. ok I didn’t read the comments but I have to say that they sound like they don’t know what they’re talking about, because they are never straightforward about anything. Which is silly cos, no matter what, the road back is one too easy to take with all the Lebanese politicians. It goes “yeah we’ve been misleading you for about 5 years, doing nothing we promised to do, wasting money, making you poorer and more miserable but we’re sorry, let’s go back to the start now.”
    One thing is for sure, elections always change everything in Lebanon and some of the weirdest alliances can take place. After all, it’s each his own interests, as long as you have a common enemy, you can disregard your own disagreements for a while.
    In my opinion,”the unemployed and disgruntled youth of Lebanon’s cities” will definitely not be part of that rally, as much as they would like to emulate a trendy revolution. Simply because, most of them are blasé with it all and they don’t trust those leaders anymore. Also because those same leaders focus on sectarian-fuelled speeches to rally the masses, so those masses are definitely not the educated youth you have in mind, they’ll be the youth that attacks journalists.
    I’m pretty sure the outcome of the march 14 rally is going to be a couple of wobbly speeches, aggressive at times but with no real substance or real line of action regarding anything. People will talk about it for a few days and then it will be back to diplomacy (hypocrisy filled) routes. Lebanese politics are getting redundant and boring!

    Posted by blasé [e] | March 4, 2011, 6:46 am
  47. Prophet,
    “then Saad is the biggest hypocrite Lebanon ever known.” You are a bit harsh on WJ. I thought he was the biggest hypocrite.

    Saint,

    Theocracy is a political ideology, while atheism is a metaphysical one. When you talk about political issues of course theocracy matters. If there were/is a system of political theory known as ‘atheocracy’ then that should matter too.

    Posted by XP | March 4, 2011, 6:49 am
  48. QN, how representative is the set of this poll’s contributors?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 4, 2011, 7:54 am
  49. nonaggression treaty (prophet-5), linked to noncooperation/boycott/sanctions, could be a good model, for other countries as well, [especially the u.s.:)] and maybe it could really change how the arms issues in lebanon can even be thought about.

    Posted by j | March 4, 2011, 8:48 am
  50. HP

    I have no idea. Judging from the politics of the current crop of commenters, I’d say it’s pretty heavily anti-Hizb. 🙂

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | March 4, 2011, 9:24 am
  51. Deen,

    You and me both. Or how about Aoun: If we want the Interior Ministry portfolio, then who is stop us from taking it?! But who said we wanted it?

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | March 4, 2011, 9:25 am
  52. what a strange bunch these lebanese

    Posted by imi | March 4, 2011, 9:32 am
  53. Kudos to Hezbollah and a Carte Blanche a SHN.

    Posted by HK | March 4, 2011, 9:37 am
  54. It is funny how pro Hezbollah ppl think that Hezbollah was created and managed by Lebanese. I ‘d like to see them say that when Iran will stop sending money and weapons and orders!

    Posted by LebanesePatriot | March 4, 2011, 9:52 am
  55. A trillion Hurrah’s to Hezbollah and to SHN.

    Posted by HK | March 4, 2011, 10:10 am
  56. Prophet,

    You are make unsubstantiated accusations and putting words in my mouth. Typical HA rhetoric I might add.

    Let’s see.
    A. I agree that both sides as usual (it has been going on for decades)paid $$$. I just would like to know who’s your accountant or source when you make the assertion that M14 spent more? Please provide SOME (not a lot mind you lol)evidence or facts.
    B.Where on earth did I accuse NOT accuse Syria and HA as well Iran in being complicit in the murders of Hariri and the subsequent assassinations and bombing? However, unlike you, I will abide by what STL verdict. Only guilty parties bring in footage from 1997 to show that Israel was tracking Hariri lol…or by amazing coincidence have a “crack group of counter espionage agents” tracking an Israeli collaborator at the EXACT time the bomb went off. That suggests either you like the good stuff or you are sectarian as you believe all the unsubstantiated BS that comes out of Nassrallah’s mouth.

    C.Again what Saad did has no affect on the investigations and its imminent results…and I really don’t care what he says or not. Again I will wait and see what evidence STL has and who is indicted and convicted.

    D.What’s you issue with not having a peace treaty with your neighbours? What’s up with that? Do you hate Jews or Syrian brothers? Stop playing with words my brother and spinning. The worst of enemies learn how to put the past behind and move forward to better themselves and their nations.

    Posted by danny | March 4, 2011, 10:45 am
  57. HK,
    You are free to create your own facts and to spin events anyway you choose but the foul and obscene language towards the end of your post is purely gratuitous , insulting and outrageous. It just does not add anything to your argument so could you please restrain yourself.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | March 4, 2011, 10:51 am
  58. HK

    Please take another break from commenting for a few days. I’m tired of moderating your every comment.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | March 4, 2011, 10:57 am
  59. …ooops too much caffeine.
    The above should have been…
    A.you are MAKING…

    B.Where on earth did I NOT accuse…

    Respectfully

    Posted by danny | March 4, 2011, 11:02 am
  60. danny,
    If it’s caffeine addiction, then you are forgiven, at least by this Prophet. LOL. For a second, I was wondering who was doing the smoking.
    A- At least you brought yourself to admit that votes were bought. I’m not an accountant, but what we know for a fact is that the Saudis(NYT report) invested $700 millions ,and the united states(Feltman’s own words to congress) invested $500 millions.
    I don’t know how much Iran invested, but it can’t be anywhere near the $1.3 Billions invested by the Saudis and the United States, unless you have some numbers to share with us.
    BTW, there was a positive side to all of this; between the $1.3 billions, and what ever billions Iran invested, it was the biggest stimulus any small country ever got.
    ( Hope Ghassan karam would explain to us the positive economical effect(if any) of all this money on Lebanon when the rest of the world was suffering)
    B-Your own words “when one (Hariri Sr.) decided to rebel against them; they killed him.
    Before you go on a tangent about how do I know bla bla bla…Let’s take Elias Murr’s documented case. He was threatened by ghazali that he would break his head if he did not obey his orders.That’s NOT fiction. It did happen”.
    while previously you were sure that ha did it. It might be convenient for you to combine both.lol
    C- As far as the investigation, I don’t see how an investigation can be credibility when a witness and the victim’s son are meeting in the presence of investigators.
    D-Again, Why doe sit have to be a peace agreement and love affair? You have not answered my question. Why not a non aggression? As a Lebanese I don’t want to see our enemies enjoying our sky resorts.
    And I DON’T HATE THE JEWS, nor do I HATE ANYONE. Is it either love affair or hate and war?
    As a matter of fact , my Jewish friends have a better understanding of my views then my fellow Lebanese.
    Any way, we do see things differently, and I accept that.

    Posted by The Prophet | March 4, 2011, 1:59 pm
  61. Caffeine effect here as well.lol
    D-Again, Why does it have to be a peace agreement and love affair?

    Posted by The Prophet | March 4, 2011, 2:05 pm
  62. Wow. You know for a FACT that the Saudis invested $700M and the Americans $500M?

    Where did you get these facts from? Link? Quote? Documentation?

    Again, I don’t give a crap about who spent more at this point. We all know both sides did.
    But I find it somewhat abhorrent that someone would post numbers as “facts” like this.
    I find it highly unlikely that the an official in the State dept. (Feltman) would announce in public that the US spent money trying to buy votes. The legal implications of something like that inside the US would be outlandish.
    And I highly doubt the Saudis would announce or publicize whatever it is they spent.
    So again, I ask, where do you get these “facts” from?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | March 4, 2011, 2:21 pm
  63. M14 pitfall has always been their appeasement approach, they need to grow some kahunas and have a true agenda to move Lebanon forward instead of their constant defense mode and fall back on the usual anti-Israeli rhetoric to prove they are as rejectionists as the other camp. They will be surprised to know how many Lebanese would back a peace treaty and total disengagement from the Syrian Palestinian Iranian thawra thawra 7atal nasr

    Posted by V | March 4, 2011, 2:46 pm
  64. BV,
    Yes , that was my point ,that both sides spent money to buy votes. But you seem to be offended by the big numbers spend by M14.
    Are you disputing all the reports about Saudi money being used to tip the election results in favor of M14?come on now, do you really want me to find you links ?
    As for feltman’s announcement that the united states had s pend $500 million to weaken Ha and M8( Yes, He didn’t say :”to buy votes”);again, it was wildly reported.
    I’m at work now, and I don’t have the time to search for links, but as soon as I get some free time, I will.

    Posted by The Prophet | March 4, 2011, 3:03 pm
  65. What Hariri said today about the so-called ‘muqawama’ makes some sense but not complete sense. He should come out with a clear statement saying this HA ‘muqawama’ is illegitimate. Instead he said we’re all ‘muqawimoun’ but the HA ‘muqawama’ is directed towards the people and the state. That is not enough. There’s no such thing as ‘muqawama’ against the people and the state. These acts are called crimes and subversions. He should say HA is a bullshit ‘muqawama’ (period).

    Posted by anonymous | March 4, 2011, 3:19 pm
  66. Offended? No I am not offended by the big numbers. I am offended by people who throw out random assertions and try to pass them off as “fact”.

    $500M spent to “weaken HA” is not at all the same as vote buying. In fact, I highly doubt a single cent of it was vote buying. (The Saudis is a different matter). Weakening HA, as far as the US is concerned means a lot of things, from aid to the Lebanese Army, to USAID stuff, to anti-terrorism stuff (like the busting of cigarette or drug traffickers linked to HA), to list but a few.

    And I’m sure the Iranian can count their donations of highway repaving in the Bekaa (i think) and the “Resistance Park” in Maroun El Ras in the same way as “weakening the USA’s influence” or “Promoting the Resistance”.

    Those things are not at all the same thing as vote buying. Yet you used that $500M number as if it was specifically dedicated to flying in people and having them vote M14.
    It is one thing to disagree about some things and opinions. You often make valid points. But I really find it offensive when people play around with words (the way you took “weakening HA” and turned it into “vote buying”) to then push home certain points as “facts”.

    Also, 2 can play that game, and it quickly devolves into stupidity. Example? It is wildly known that Iran funds HA to the tune of about $4B a year (No link provided, of course), so I’m gonna go ahead and assume all of that is used for vote buying. And therefore, it is now FACT that HA has spent $4B of Iranian money to buy votes, and yet still lost the election.
    I’ll take it a step further. It is a well known fact that HA funds their operations through illegal drug activities, so I’m gonna go ahead and make that leap of words and distortions to announce the “FACT” that you, Prophet, being an HA supporter (again, I love to take leaps with my assumptions, it’s fun!) are probably involved in illegal drug activities!

    See how fun and silly it is to throw out random accusations by taking one item and distorting it and generalizing it?

    So please. Spare me those antics.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | March 4, 2011, 3:32 pm
  67. Prophet,

    I swear you spin a lot…and know the cycles. Have you ever worked as a Maytag repairman? 😀

    It seems either you are having a comprehension issues or go back to that stuff you are inhaling lol.

    If you can guide me as to anywhere, anytime I have made the assertion that money had not been spent to buy votes…Go ahead I am waiting. BV answered to the constant allegations and rumour based “facts” of your statements. Links and facts please.

    B.So you are now telling me that all politicians “worked” with the Syrians on their free will. I guess when a mafia points a gun to your head and threatens you with death if you do not cooperate it means “they were in their laps”. Great logic amigo. I wonder what happened to Rene Mouawad, Bachir Gemayel, Mufti Khaled, etc..etc.. when they challenged the Syrians. Not to mention hundreds (thousands) of Lebanese who disappeared or were found in their car trunks or are still languishing in Syrian jails?

    C. A victim or his kin have the right to sit with any witness that is corroborating their story. This is NOT Iran or Syria lol…or disregard them altogether.

    D. Dude; the idea behind peace treaties to bury the hatchet and live harmoniously in the same neighborhood. i do not consider the people of Israel as my enemies! Neither do I consider the Syrian people as my enemies…

    I see things clearly as I am not hamstrung with allegiance to any party or warlord. I would like Lebanese to be as free as any Canadian or French or American and enjoy the talents that God bestowed to them.

    Posted by danny | March 4, 2011, 3:36 pm
  68. Prophet,
    The US did invest even more than 500 Mil and it is all on programs to teach the Lebanese about governance, democracy, rule of law and few other economic and infrastructure programs and yes some programs to legally and openly steer the Lebanese youth away from HA influence and ideology, as a contractor I run some of these programs for USAID and DoD these are all legitimate security assistance and capacity development programs for the Lebanese Government and people there is nothing unethical or illegal about this money or these programs, unlike the illegal Iranian money to fund rockets and weapons to a militia or the Saudi money for that matter to buy votes or fly people to vote.
    the M8 camp and their wild conspiracy theories about the Great Satan took those figures mentioned by “Jeff” and turned it into Millions in bribes to a group of Lebanese to buy votes or tarnish Hizballah’s image.

    Posted by V | March 4, 2011, 3:39 pm
  69. XP,

    Assume HA existed strictly as a political organization, would their ideology matter that much? The fact is we have many socialists, communists, Christians, atheists, and others who fought against Israel and believe it is a racist and belligerent colonial aggressor who has trampled on the rights of the Palestinians and other Arabs, has total disregard for any international laws or human rights, and who keeps killing and humiliating Palestinians, and usurping more and more of their land. It is still occupying Lebanese and Syrian land, will not decide on its final borders, and will not allow the millions of Palestinian refugees (1/2 million of whom are still in our tiny country and who have presented all sorts of problems). That is the central “ideology” of the arms, regardless of the ideology of the one doing the resisting. Only a steadfast belief in arms drove them away, and making them re-consider. The resistance line is only getting stronger and the recent Arab awakening will only beef up those ranks until a new reality sets in where the Zionists and their backers realize that a true and sincere wish to live in peace in the region is the one and only solution. This is absolutely the wrong time to get rid of the arms or to mount a petty, narrow-minded and ultimately ineffectual political campaign against them that is sure to net nothing but more agitation, hate and sectarianism. The stakes for the long term for Lebanon and the region are bigger than the amateurish and dazed provincialism of Hariri or the insidiousness of the small-time players around him.

    Posted by Saint | March 4, 2011, 3:42 pm
  70. BV,

    There is no point to keep running around same issues when we both know that US money and Saudi money, as well as Iranian money to influence the election of 2009.
    You think I was playing on words, and then you counter that with playing on words.
    You are good at it, and definitely funnier than me,
    The $500 Mil, spend by the united states, were spend on different projects as you say, but you omitted the amount of money (reported that Ahmad Asaad received $50 mil). His brand new cars were flying off the roads of the south throughout the election season. You also omitted to say that the Lebanese forces got part of that sum to spend on the election.
    Votes can be bought in different ways. Hariri and co. used the straightforward transaction method of buying votes, Ahmad Assad paid with cars, and cash. I don’t know how Geagea, and the rest of M14 angels spent their share of this money, but no doubt ,all this money was spent to influence and corrupt the system and the people.
    I don’t know why you always associate me with HA. I’m not A supporter of HA .The only thing I agree (and respect) with HA is their resistance part. I don’t need to apologies for that, since I supported resistance against Israel before HA was created.
    Is it fair to assume that you are a supporter of party X or Y when I disagree with your views on some topics? I know it is not.
    Just because I’m always critical of M14 clowns, does not make me a M8 supporter either. Other than that, I find both M14 and M8 as corrupt. So stop this nonsense of associating people you may disagree with as this or that.
    As for the drug trafficking, I read as much as you read about it, I Have no way of knowing the truth.
    I won’t ask you for links, or documentation to support those assumptions because you said you wanted to counter my play on words…. I need not defend myself against Drug charges. I’ll just laugh it off. lol
    .

    Posted by The Prophet | March 4, 2011, 4:09 pm
  71. Let’s suppose all you said is true, do you think HA is onboard with “true and sincere wish to live in peace in the region is the one and only solution.” As you want the Zionists and their backers to understand? Isn’t HA’s stated ideology and goal to annihilate Israel?

    Posted by V | March 4, 2011, 4:09 pm
  72. WOWO. Two more POSTS to answer,lol
    What did I get myself into here.LOL
    OK danny,and V I will reply later on, in one post. work is calling now.lol

    Posted by The Prophet | March 4, 2011, 4:11 pm
  73. 71 was directed to Saint, so how do you suggest making peace in the region ? i dont think the elimination of a nation is going to bring you peace.

    Posted by V | March 4, 2011, 4:13 pm
  74. Prophet,

    “but you omitted the amount of money (reported that Ahmad Asaad received $50 mil). His brand new cars were flying off the roads of the south throughout the election season. You also omitted to say that the Lebanese forces got part of that sum to spend on the election.”

    If you are claiming the US paid for the above, that is utter bullshit and nothing more than Al-Manar and NBN propaganda. if Ahmad al Assad got cars and Geagea got money it isnt from the US Government.

    Posted by V | March 4, 2011, 4:27 pm
  75. V-
    No one is talking about “eliminating” Israel or Israelis. But an elimination of Israel’s racist and expansionist policies and an acknowledgment of the injustice perpetrated against the Palestinians would be a good first step. In other words, the racially prejudiced concepts that “Israel” is based on. You cannot build a colonialist, chauvinist enterprise in a sea of people whose rights and interests are secondary to yours or which you can ignore or quash at your whim and expect peace in return. That is the mentality that is standing in the way of any viable solution. No one has a problem with any Jews who see themselves as equals to others of different faiths and ethnicities, or who wish to live in a democratic and free state with them.

    Posted by Saint | March 4, 2011, 5:12 pm
  76. The 2008 campaign was the costliest in history, with a record-shattering $5.3 billion in spending by candidates, political parties and interest groups on the congressional and presidential races.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1108/15283.html

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 4, 2011, 5:13 pm
  77. How many Shi’a votes were March 14 able to buy ? And how many Sunni votes were March 8 able to buy ?

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 4, 2011, 5:17 pm
  78. Yes, money was spent by both parties flying in Lebanese from around the world that would have voted at their embassy had they been permitted to do so.

    Nobody “bussed” these people like sheep from the hotels to the voting booths or put a gun to their heads to make sure they voted for the candidate they “paid” for.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 4, 2011, 5:25 pm
  79. RTOTD #76,
    If a population of 310 million held its most expensive elections in history in an environment that is arguably one of the most expensive in the world , and yet the total price tab was $5.3 billion then a population of 4 million should have been able to hold an equally expensive elections at less than $70 million. Know that is an interesting observation and food for thought 🙂

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | March 4, 2011, 5:27 pm
  80. GK,

    We have more billboards in Lebanon than the entire United States.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 4, 2011, 5:34 pm
  81. I am going to revisit a topic that I posted about towards the end of the previous thread which to my surprise did not generate any reactions Maybe the message is not important to most but maybe it got lost in the transition to a new thread. So please allow me to ask again about about what will be the reaction in Lebanon if it turns out the the biggest weapon in the next few weeks will be used on behalf of March 14 and it will not be AK-47’s RPGs’ or even SAMs. I can forsee the great probability that chapter 7 will be used to target the Lebanese government and the governments of any regional power that does not assist the STL in tracking down its suspects once the indictments are made. Don’t forget that chapter 7 gives the UN the right to demand performance under the statute. Before someone jumps to remind us that Israel has not been held accountable to numerous resolutions it is important to make sure that all are aware that none of the said resolutions was passed under chapter 7. Chapter 6 resolutions request, they are advisory while chapter 7 resolutions give the UN the power to demand compliance or else.
    I believe that there is a good chance that these will be the big guns used in support of March 14.
    Can Lebanon or any other country afford to resist compliance with chapter 7?
    Not when we they wish to avail themselves of all the other benefits of the UN organization and their attendant benefits.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | March 4, 2011, 5:53 pm
  82. Surely the UN can decide to place the various resolutions against Israel under Chapter 7? Why pick and choose and who is doing it?

    Posted by Saint | March 4, 2011, 6:05 pm
  83. This is the same UN that only two weeks ago allows one country to veto a resolution supported by over a hundred countries that merely tried to uphold international law by saying that Zionist settlements on occupied Palestinian land are illegal.

    I wonder if the same veto-carrying, justice-and-rule-of-law upholding country is the one pushing the Chapetr 7 statue?

    Posted by Saint | March 4, 2011, 6:17 pm
  84. The UNSC members decide prior to voting whether a particular action/resolution is to be a section 6 or 7. Many members will be willing to support a resolution under chapter 6 but will not if the same resolution is to be under chapter 7.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | March 4, 2011, 6:18 pm
  85. That is not what I read. This is the only quickest thing I could pick up form Wiki:

    “Chapter VII resolutions are very rarely isolated measures. Often the first response to a crisis is a resolution demanding the crisis be ended. This is only later followed by an actual Chapter VII resolution detailing the measures required to secure compliance with the first resolution. Sometimes dozens of resolutions are passed in subsequent years to modify and extend the mandate of the first Chapter VII resolution as the situation evolves”

    This still begs the question: why rush only some crisis into chapter 7, and not others? Who decides and why?

    Posted by Saint | March 4, 2011, 6:25 pm
  86. As long as Corporate Capitalist America dictates US policy, the UN is a lame deadbeat organization and its worst enemy.

    The apparent fact that individuals involved in drug money laundering and banking a terrorist organization involved in political assassinations can walk away with $500 million in 2011… as long as they comply with American (?) or corporate capitalist ideologies is stupefying, to say the least.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 4, 2011, 6:30 pm
  87. Quote of the day:

    “Lebanese I know who have a problem with the “weapons issue” are not worried about being killed by a Hizbullah fighter firing an AK-47; they’re worried about their house being flattened by an Israeli F-16 retaliating against the Hizbullah fighter with the AK-47.”

    Posted by Jesse Aizenstat | March 4, 2011, 6:37 pm
  88. On the bright side … I made home made butter today and I have to say it is delicious! I am testing some herb infused creams that I will churn into butter in 48 hours.

    Will keep you all posted.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 4, 2011, 6:54 pm
  89. Saint #85,
    So what is it that you find in contradiction to what I said. The UNSC members decide how to handle each problem that they are confronted with. Usually it is much easier for them to agree on a measure that does nor require a chapter 7. That is precisely why there aren’t many chapter 7 resolutions.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | March 4, 2011, 6:57 pm
  90. RTOTD
    You should find a acronym that would spell R2D2(That would be so much easier than the current handle:-))
    We all know that you prefer a one liner to a lengthier post but often these one liners just do not make sense lol.
    So what are you trying to convey in #86? How does the fact that Americas business is business make the UN lame and its own worst enemy?
    Then you jump from this to money laundering by expressing your disgust at the fact that The Lebanese Canadian Bank was merged with SG. First let us ask the most significant question: what country seems to be most concerned about money laundering, has led the international effort to fight it and make it an illegal activity? As well as you know most countries in the world do not have laws againsr money laundering and never question the origin of an individuals wealth. If they did then none of the dictators and politicians in many countries would be billionaires when their salaries are barely sufficient to pay their laundrey bill.
    The second point to keep in mind is that the US authorities were able to exert enough pressure on a Lebanese Banking institution so as to force it to liquidate i.e stop its money laundering. How can that be a bad outcome? The acquiring institutionwon the auction by offering $500 million only because they feel that the clean assets that they are to get are worth more than that otherwise they would not have offered to buy it for that much. Do you seriously propose that a better outcome would have been to close this money laundering operation through a much more costly procedure tpo the Lebanese economy by freezing the assets of the bank in question which would have started a bank run by the depositors that would have at least had some minor and possibly major repercussions on the Lebanese economy? Rationality dictates that we choose the least costly option for getting the same identical result: get this bank out of the money laundering business.
    Silly me, I was glad that we have one less money launderer when some would have preferred to achieve the same result but at putting a whole country at risk.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | March 4, 2011, 7:32 pm
  91. Ghassan,

    You brought up a good point with the chapter 7 issue. I haven’t commented on that yet because frankly, I am not sure how HA will react to such a move.
    I suspect that is really what everyone’s been playing towards. All these games with governments, etc, are to that end. Always have been.

    On one hand, I don’t think it is in the interests of the USA and its allies to slap Iran-style sanctions on Lebanon (assuming it refuses to abide by a Ch.7 resolution). That would really accomplish nothing but alienate many Lebanese. On the other hand, I don’t think what more could be done to enforce the STL’s results. I mean, what good is a trial (let’s assume we get a trial and convinctions) if the guilty party cannot be punished/apprehended/etc because the govt of Lebanon refuses to abide by said decision.

    So my answer to you here is: I don’t really know.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | March 4, 2011, 7:33 pm
  92. “Future mobilizes supporters in north ahead of March 14 rally in Beirut”

    A rally in support of a rally? go figure

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=125641#axzz1FgCtNhah

    Posted by tamer k. | March 4, 2011, 8:24 pm
  93. BV,
    My thoughts on the probability of using chapter 7 in Lebanon in conjunction with the STL have evolved over the past few months. I used to think that chapter 7 will be used as a silent reminder that unless the authorities live up to their responsibilities then there is a procedure to force them to do so. I am of the opinion that after the forced and unexpected change in government that chapter senev has become almost a certainty.
    What concerns me the most is the fact that Lebanon cannot withstand the pressures that accompany chapter seven. Don’t forget that the UN reserves the right to use force in order to execute chapter 7 and that such an action might lead to the unanticipated consequences of strengthening the position of HA if chapter seven leads to economic uncertainty, flight of capital and an increase in immigration by the skilled and relatively well off.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | March 4, 2011, 8:55 pm
  94. GK 81,

    The fact that Lebanon has been allowed to shirk its international obligations since hizbies created the heresy of duality of authority in the country has become well known. Whether ch. 7 will be the right or appropriate weapon to use to bring Lebanon back to international legitimacy is yet to be seen. But I believe the biggest weapon to be used against Lebanon would be its national debt. Do you have any idea what ratio of that debt is owed to international debtors? As for the Lebanese Banks financing this debt, do you also have an idea who control those banks? What is the extent of foreign ownership of those banks?

    Posted by anonymous | March 4, 2011, 10:29 pm
  95. Ghassan,

    I disagree with you that the biggest weapon for M14 is not the Chapter 7 as much as the STL.

    HA is scared from the STL. I do no think they are scared from sanctions on Lebanon. Their finances are not from Lebanon anyway. Nevertheless, they are scared from the STL. They did everything in their power since 2005 to obstruct its creation. Check out my post: http://bit.ly/dz2OCp

    Frankly, I have no idea why they are scared from the STL. If they are not scared, they would not have done what they did so far. They were working full time (+over time) on one think: “oppose the STL”

    Posted by LebanesePatriot | March 4, 2011, 10:30 pm
  96. anon #94 LP #95,
    Lebanese sovereign debt is a huge problem and we have discussed it in great details both on this blog and a few others.
    It will be difficult for Lebanon to avoid a Greek/Irish?portugese type of restructuring and even if it could it shouldn’t since the price of avoiding a problem is too high.
    LP
    Lest you forget, STL was established under chapter 7 which is supposed to act as the sword of Damocles over those indicted.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | March 4, 2011, 10:57 pm
  97. Ghassan,

    All that is well and good, but my point stands, I think. While Lebanon as a nation, and its “educated well off elite” might suffer from sanctions, etc. HA doesn’t really care and won’t necessarily be swayed by such pressures. Net result: Failure to hurt HA + Managing to hurt and antagonize those in Lebanon that aren’t pro HA. Which is why I think it is not in the best interest of the “west” to proceed with Ch.7.
    It would gain them nothing and actually go a long way in hurting whatever support they have in Lebanon. So why do it? I don’t think the USA and their allies would go down a route that ultimately hurts their cause more than it helps them and does not accomplish the desired objective of weakening HA.

    The only way Ch7 would be effective is if an international mandate to use force to remove HA (read, a US invasion of Lebanon) is in the cards. And that certainly is NOT in the cards.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | March 5, 2011, 1:16 am
  98. qn, “. . .revolution is in the air these days, and the unemployed and disgruntled youth of Lebanon’s cities have no decrepit dictators to rebel against. Sectarianism is too squishy a target . . .”

    lebanon may lack a ‘decrepit dictator’ and sectarianism may be too ‘squishy’ to spark reform. but aren’t the forces that suffocate political-economic and social justice in lebanon the same ones as those in tunisia and egypt? and aren’t those forces also the real target in lebanon? an article by Walter Armbrust, “A Revolution Against Neoliberalism?” appeared on the jadaliyya site as well as al jazeera and a bunch of other sites. (www.jadaliyya.com/pages/contributors/10682) it asks what kind of change is explicit/implicit in the revolts. it ends with,

    “The demands of the protesters were clear and largely political: remove the regime; end the emergency law; stop state torture; hold free and fair elections. But implicit in these demands from the beginning (and decisive by the end) was an expectation of greater social and economic justice. Social media may have helped organize the kernal of a movement that eventually overthrew Mubarak, but a large element of what got enough people into the streets to finally overwhelm the state security forces was economic grievances that are intrinsic to neoliberalism. These grievances cannot be reduced to grinding poverty, for revolutions are never carried out by the poorest of the poor. It was rather the erosion of a sense that some human spheres should be outside the logic of markets. Mubarak’s Egypt degraded schools and hospitals, and guaranteed grossly inadequate wages, particularly in the ever-expanding private sector. This was what turned hundreds of dedicated activists into millions of determined protestors. If the January 25th Revolution results in no more than a retrenchment of neoliberalism, or even its intensification, those millions will have been cheated. The rest of the world could be cheated as well.”

    if it turns out that these uprisings are for systemic change, could lebanon be immune?

    Posted by j | March 5, 2011, 1:23 am
  99. Saint,

    Why do you suppose half of the ME is demonstrating but Arab-Israelis aren’t?

    Perhaps the “racist policies” in Israel aren’t quite as bad as the policies of most Arab countries?

    Could I be correct?

    Anyway, Daniel Pipes is optimistic:

    http://www.danielpipes.org/9534/arab-revolt

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 5, 2011, 3:56 am
  100. Ghassan,

    I still wonder why they, HA and co, did not allow the STL to be formed using our parliament?

    They could have avoided letting it formed under the ch7.

    Was this a stupid move by Al Hizb Al Ilahi?

    Posted by LebanesePatriot | March 5, 2011, 9:40 am
  101. “Perhaps the “racist policies” in Israel aren’t quite as bad as the policies of most Arab countries?”
    Not at all,I hear Ghandi is just as popular as Golda Meir and Menachim Begin according to the Israeli populace.
    “Why do you suppose half of the ME is demonstrating but Arab-Israelis aren’t?”
    yes, thats it, the Arabs are just so overwhelmed by Israeli hospitality.

    Posted by maverick | March 5, 2011, 10:11 am
  102. Maverick #101

    Arabs in PALESTINE have been protesting since 1948.

    Posted by LebanesePatriot | March 5, 2011, 10:26 am
  103. I believe,HA is not the best representative of “resistance”, but it is at the end of the day the only formidable resistance group that can at least pressure,deter,alter Israeli policy.Necessary evil perhaps. I am of the opinion that , in light of the Arab revolts,and perhaps the Arab awakening, Israel will have to make some adjustments accordingly.So as Saint said above,this is no time to strip HA of its weapons.

    I mean really, the M8-M14 saga is just soooo pathetic in light of what is happening regionally, Ive lost interest and hope.

    Posted by maverick | March 5, 2011, 10:26 am
  104. Saint 75
    “No one has a problem with any Jews who see themselves as equals to others of different faiths and ethnicities, or who wish to live in a democratic and free state with them”.

    Go tell that to the Jews who were kicked from: Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Morroco, and more. Were they “equals” in every thing and all things? realy? honestly?

    Posted by Rani Hazbani | March 5, 2011, 12:41 pm
  105. LP 102 & Maverick #101

    Arabs in PALESTINE have been protesting since 1948.

    But that is the whole point!!!
    Arabs belonging to a minority in Israel have been demonstrating since 1948 both as representatatives in the various democratic organs and in any other way. Jews in the Arab muslim countries never ever demonstrated which show how much they enjoyed being kicked out.

    Posted by Rani Hazbani | March 5, 2011, 12:49 pm
  106. It is baffling that the entire political community remains silent on the Lebanese Canadian issue.

    Why aren’t the FPM’ers out there raising their voices on the corruption that has taken place there?

    What’s even funnier is that it’s Antoun Sehnaoui that closed the bid.

    It’s a strange world we live in.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 5, 2011, 1:19 pm
  107. Rani,

    Exactly. Do as I say, not as I do.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 5, 2011, 1:31 pm
  108. r2d2 🙂
    FPM’ers own LCB , at the the largest part of it.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | March 5, 2011, 2:14 pm
  109. GK,

    The LCB sale to SGBL is a huge blow to the FPM and the Hezb.

    The private accounts of many people in March 8 are now in the hands of March 14.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 5, 2011, 5:35 pm
  110. GK,

    Would it technically be possible for the LCB to erase the account history of ex-clients ?

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 5, 2011, 5:36 pm
  111. By the way … my comment on the issue on the Orange Forum was deleted 🙂

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 5, 2011, 5:42 pm
  112. My post was:

    “Why is nobody within the FPM raising a stink on the corruption that obviously has taken place within the LCB?”

    Michel Aoun = Hugo Chavez

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 5, 2011, 5:56 pm
  113. My post was:

    “Why is nobody within the FPM raising a stink on the corruption that obviously has taken place within the LCB?”

    Michel Aoun = Hugo Chavez

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 5, 2011, 5:56 pm
  114. Will Cuba be next ?

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 5, 2011, 5:59 pm
  115. r2d2 #109,
    The forced sale of LCB was done in order to stop the illegal money laundering. The owners should be glad that the final resolution was a forced sale of the bank instead of a bank run that would have possibly brought down the bank and left the owners with peanuts.
    As for your other point about FPOM accounts being in an institution not under their control my response would have to be so what? If an account is legitimate then the new owners would do whatever they can to keep these businesses for which they have paid a handsome sum of money. If the accounts are engaged in illegal activities then these accounts will have to establish another illegal outlet and with time they would.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | March 5, 2011, 6:17 pm
  116. Didn’t get it, GK.

    You sometimes speak in a language I don’t fully get.

    I’m pretty much a black on white person. I’m horrible on grey matters.

    Best Regards

    R2D2

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 5, 2011, 6:30 pm
  117. I have not been programed to understand Aramaic.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 5, 2011, 6:52 pm
  118. O)r Latin for that matter.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 5, 2011, 6:54 pm
  119. Lebanon has to decide if Lebanon strength come from it’s weakness as it was the case in the seventies and eighties when Lebanon gave up to the Palestinian, Israeli,Syrian demands or the strength of Lebanon comes from it’s weapons ((( Hezbollah )) weapons and it’s ability to defend itself, Lebanon is better off gather around Hezbollah making it an essential strategy in defending Lebanon.

    An attack by Israel on Iran or Syria that Hezbollah stays out of as i expect will go a long way in having faith in Hezbollah intention.

    Posted by Norman | March 6, 2011, 10:03 am
  120. 3ammo Norman, assuming that the HA weapons do indeed provide this capability for Lebanon (and that itself is debatable), the problem will still remain that such adoption implies intrinsically a “giving up to the demands” of Iran which finances these weapons. True independence and assertion of individual identity for Lebanon has to come from the unity of all its people and factions and rallying around a “Lebanon First” principle, around the exclusive concentration of military power in one institution (the Lebanese Army), around complete separation of church/mosque/temple and state, around full equality of every citizen through a 1-person-1-vote. These principles would be enshrined in the revised constitution and not changeable by the whim of politicians or a temporary majority.
    I personally would throw in the nationalization of the Palestinatians but that’s a less arguable concept on the basis of fundamental principles.
    This is the dream.
    I bet it’s the dream of many a citizen of other countries, including all Arab countries.
    It will happen, eventually, as it is an inevitable force. The only question is how much time/years all this will take.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 6, 2011, 10:46 am
  121. Follow the revolt on Twitter #unitelb #lebanon

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 6, 2011, 10:51 am
  122. http://www.twitvid.com/5WUGS

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 6, 2011, 11:05 am
  123. HP,

    If you can do all the other things you mentioned, there will be no need for Hezbollah to feel that they have to defend Lebanon,
    You have to remember that the Lebanese defense minster asked that only the Shia areas attacked while sparing the Christian areas, how can you or anybody trust somebody like that, prosecute him to prove the unity of Lebanon (( If you Can ))

    I doubt that you can achieve any of what you want.
    Israel has been getting 3 billion dollars from the US for many years, the Us practically consider Israel a forefront base.

    Netanyahu does not seem to do what the US wants and Hezbollah loyalty is to Lebanon while accepting all the help it can get, you might ask about the interest of Iran in supporting Hezbollah, I believe it is diversion and to make Israel worry about another front.

    Posted by Norman | March 6, 2011, 11:20 am
  124. If a Lebanese defense minister made the request you mentioned, then he should be put on trial for treason!
    I know that my view is rather idealistic but I trust the youth of the country feel deeply such idealism. The barrier to overcome is one of full trust amongst the Lebanese. I do think the current entrenched leaders are a problem in getting such trust to take hold.
    The younger politicians are so much more likely to be the true transformational factor in getting closer to the ideal I imagine.
    It is quite refreshing to see the movements in the Arab countries successfully led by the youth. It will come to Lebanon sooner or later.
    Cheers!

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 6, 2011, 11:59 am
  125. Amen, R2D2 (I like that new diminutive of your handle! Brillian, GK!)

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 6, 2011, 12:01 pm
  126. 123 Norman
    “you might ask about the interest of Iran in supporting Hezbollah, I believe it is diversion and to make Israel worry about another front”.

    Do you read what you write? You are making, on a supposedly Lebanese blog, Lebanon as a “diversion”, a “target” a “second front” !!!! in a modern intensive war and then you say that this will make “Israel worry”.

    The people living in that “diversion”, “target” “second front” have been asked about that briliant idea?

    Hay !! what about being a “diversion”, a “target” ? a “second front”? What will Israel do to cure that “worry?”

    And that briliant calmly stated so called rational idea, does not worry people in Lebanon at all? only in Israel? strong stuff they are producing now in the Bekka.

    Posted by Rani Hazbani | March 6, 2011, 12:04 pm
  127. http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&2397ADF16CD7C470C225784B0026AE4B

    “Hizbullah Accuses March 14 of Implementing Israeli Demands: Its Current Goals Seeks to Thwart Miqati’s Mission”

    When all else fails… use the “Israel Factor.”

    Am I the only one who sees the irony and ridiculous pretense in this?

    Smells like the “birther movement” in the U.S., or the losers who rush to use the “race card” in the U.S. when things don’t go their way. Every extremist movement has its favorite scapegoat.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 6, 2011, 12:08 pm
  128. IMHO, it is the responsibility of the Shia community to revolt against HA if they expect other Lebanese communities to sympathize with them when attacked by Israel.

    Mr. Murr’s statement must be understood in that context. If HA hijacks the authority of the State and declares war unilaterally as it did in 2006, if its base constituency’s will is also hijacked or supportive of HA’s action, then the problem lies with the community and it needs to prove where its allegiances belong.

    The issue of HA is that of allegiance to Lebanon and is not the issue of the defense of Lebanon. Again, IMHO, HA is the least capable of doing the latter and definitely suffers from huge deficiencies in the former. In fact, its allegiance belongs to Iran.

    Posted by anonymous | March 6, 2011, 12:40 pm
  129. It is indeed a fact that, notwithstanding all the posturing and bragging about “resistance” and “defense of Lebanon,” the Israeli military has the capability to flatten the whole country in less than a week. What prevents this is not the existence nor the arms of HA, but rather the international powers, principles, and, one has to be fully candid and honest, internal Israeli democracy that is unlikely to permit such action unless a real proven threat to the existence of Israel is demonstrated and which can only be bucked by such brutal action.
    Let us not forget that what stopped the 2006 destruction is NOT HA, but the successful interference of the U.S. and other U.N. powers and the persistent, although sometimes desperate, pleas and activism by the then PM Fouad Siniora. Let’s also not forget that neither Syria nor Iran lifted a single real finger in the defense of Lebanon then but they both cowered in their corner. Some partners. Whoever said that both these countries will defend the Arab causes down to the last Lebanese and the last Palestinian was right on.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 6, 2011, 1:28 pm
  130. Okay, since I still have the floor, let me say that it is quite important to acknowledge the effectiveness and righteousness of HA when they correctly claim credit for forcing the decision from Israel to withdraw from South Lebanon in 2000. Remaining in Lebanon too long beyond their initial welcome was a strategic mistake by the Israeli planners. HA deserves rightful credit for mounting a determined resistance to inflict mounting pain on the Israeli military until they decided that they better withdraw.

    Regrettably, HA then extended their reach in their own strategic mistake by their current claims and behavior.

    Of course HA members are all Lebanese and have the same full and inalienable rights as all Lebanese. The right formula will one day emerge but certainly the elements of a formula that allows continued HA armed capability in fiat of the Lebanese state are NOT part of this “right.”

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 6, 2011, 3:54 pm
  131. Walking amongst the young 7000-8000 demonstrators today, of all walks of life, the ones that struck me the most were the young women in headscarfs and families of apparent Muslim background that joined the walk.

    It really was very endearing.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 6, 2011, 4:06 pm
  132. R2D2,
    Who was the sponsor of todays march? It seems that there are two groups competing with each other instead of cooperating to get say 20,000 participants so that no one will be able to dismiss the message. I think that the first such organized group was the Laique Pride.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | March 6, 2011, 4:12 pm
  133. GK,

    I don’t know.

    But I wished I was 21 again.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 6, 2011, 4:19 pm
  134. And as a 21 year old … Let’s abandon exploitation of whatever gas and oil fields are out there on our coast for $104 a barrel and focus and how else we can warm our water in winter and cool our water in summer to enjoy being human.

    Nothing else,

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 6, 2011, 4:49 pm
  135. I found that you’re putting forward too many premises that cannot be supported, HP, in 130. In fact, I disagree with most if not all of them.

    Posted by anonymous | March 6, 2011, 5:10 pm
  136. shoo bek ya anonymous? it’s not possible to disagree with “all” of the premises in 130 because, for example, how can you disagree with the fact that HA is made up of Lebanese? that they have the same inalienable rights as any other Lebanese?

    Now, perhaps the key premise you disagree with is that HA was instrumental in driving the Israeli armed forces to be withdrawn by their political leadership in 2000. If you do, I would maintain that this is, I think, a fact. None other than Ehud Barak used the unacceptably high rate of soldier casualties to rationalize the need to withdraw.

    Oh, and how can you disagree with the statement that “continued HA armed capability in fiat of the Lebanese state [is] NOT part of [their] ‘right.'”?

    You see, there has to be a give and take in any successful formula for a peaceful and prosperous Lebanon. Furthermore, there are certain principles and fundamental rights that must be respected as they apply to all Lebanese. Finally, one cannot allow a distaste for a certain group’s politics to extend to robbing them of their right, or to wanting the solution to involve their complete subjugation (or re-subjugation) as second class citizens.

    Shoo bek ya zalameh?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 6, 2011, 6:31 pm
  137. HP,

    Israel was losing on average 10 soldiers per year in Lebanon. Barak’s point which with hindsight is obviously nonsense is that there is so little benefit in staying that even 10 lives per year are too much.

    Posted by AIG | March 6, 2011, 6:43 pm
  138. Ya HP,

    I disagree with your central premise which ignores the issue of allegiance I mentioned in my 128. Even though, HA, is made up mostly of Lebanese, its allegiance has been declared by HNA to belong to Iran on more than one occasion.

    Unless and until the issue of allegiance is brought forward to the forefront, Lebanon will not move forward on inch on any other issue. In fact, political confessionalism cannot be dealt with effectively until the allegiance of all Lebanese to Lebanon is beyond any question.

    You also acquiesce to the premise that HA would like to propagate and that is its so-called righteousness. This premise should be dispelled once and for all. HA is a rogue organization involved in numerable acts of terror and criminal behaviour. Describing it as righteous is a painful assault on reason.

    I mentioned in previous posts, and also referred to facts, that real resistance ended in 1983 when Israel was driven from Beirut, the mountains and most of the south. What happened afterwards was political capitalization on this concept of resistance with the end result as we see today an organization armed for the only purpose of challenging the central authority and paralyzing the state – not to mention the use of arms to subvert the state and kill its own people.

    A citizen of a country has all the rights enjoyed by other citizens as long as he/she does not commit treason. HNA, and perhaps his followers either knowingly or unknowingly, committed acts of high treason against the State as mentioned above. He deserves to be exiled or executed by a firing squad or hanged as the judge may deem appropriate.

    I do agree with your final conclusion that arms should be out. And no body said it louder and clearer than the living woman martyr in downtown Beirut today,

    http://www.14march.org/news-details.php?nid=MjgxMTYy

    Finally, I feel dismayed and disappointed by some so-called intellectual Syrians who come here and preach to the Lebanese while deliberately ignoring what is best for their own miserable state in their own country,

    http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/394E1B63-488A-4FF1-BD39-0CD306261FFE.htm?GoogleStatID=9

    But what else do you expect from disciples of Joshua Landis?

    Posted by anonymous | March 6, 2011, 7:19 pm
  139. HP.

    Your version of what happened in ’06 to end the war does not comport with the Israeli (or US!) reality at all.

    The Israeli military was failing to dent HA’s ability to completely disrupt life in northern Israel; the late & haphazard deployment of IDF ground forces and subsequent reservist casualties created an untenable FAIL situation for prolonging the conflict.

    For Israel, the longer the war went on, the more inept they looked; HA’s aerial barrages were increasing.That reality plus the growing and intense intl. pressure to end things were the factors that culminated in the UNSC-crafted outcome.

    As far as HA’s current deterrent value, it’s become immeasurably greater; the estimates are that HA has increased it’s rocket/missile arsenal 3-to-5 fold with ALL of Israel now within reach.

    There are no missile defense capabilities that can prevent severe damage to civilians and infrastructure from strategic firings of missile volleys. In fact, after the recent slew of dire assessments about HA’s current capabilities, one retired IDF general frankly opined that the only Israeli option was to mount an intense and widespread aerial blitzkrieg over several days duration followed by a *massive land invasion; international opinion be damned.

    * as noted in #126 re “strong stuff they are producing now in the Bekka.”

    Your sadly misplaced faith ie; “internal Israeli democracy that is unlikely to permit such action unless a real proven threat to the existence of Israel is demonstrated and which can only be bucked by such brutal action.” does not reflect the current mood of the Israeli polity in any way, shape or form. The mere capability of any State/entity in the region to damage Israel constitutes “a real proven threat” to the Israeli doctrine of deterrence. Israelis are always cheering on their military aggressions in the early stages…

    If you are relying on the American MSM for information about Israel…it’s a very thin gruel. I suggest that you (and others) eschew the warped filter and read what Israelis have to say about their situation.

    Ynetnews (Eng version) is a good start for one-stop shopping:
    http://www.ynetnews.com/home/0,7340,L-3082,00.html

    Posted by lally | March 6, 2011, 7:43 pm
  140. AIG, are you saying that Israel should have continued its occupation of South Lebanon beyond 2000?

    anonymous, the question of allegiance, as important and critical as it may be, cannot trump the fundamental rights of every Lebanese citizen. Fundamental freedoms extend to the right of opinions and beliefs. When actions become illegal, then these have to be dealt with. I am no supporter of HA, quite to the contrary, but without acknowledging and dealing rightfully and positively with the rights of their members and supporters there can be no real accommodation and civil peace.

    Lally, geographic and other life constraints do make much of my news come through the “filter” of what arrives to the U.S. but I have to believe that of all places in the world we have the most access to any news we care to look for and read. I am not disputing that the combination of military and political factors combined to convince Israel (as it did HA) to acquiesce to the cease-fire and agreements that ended the 2006 war. What I am stating is that from a military perspective, Israel did have the ability to flatten all of Lebanon and, in so doing, silence any and all weapons, HA or otherwise. It continues to have this capability. If provoked to enough levels, it will.
    I would very much like to see those, like you, who go through those explanations and analyses favoring HA to really address the question of Syria and Iran not lifting a military finger in support of HA during the 2006 war. All we saw and heard was rhetoric. Actions speak louder than word. Syria and Iran’s inaction betray their real courage (or lack thereof) and unprincipled monochromatic pursuit of their own interest to the exclusion of any other. Now, there is nothing wrong in pursuing one’s country’s interests. This is the way the game is played. There is something wrong in hypocritically claiming to stand for certain principles when in fact it is all about your own interests.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 6, 2011, 8:41 pm
  141. AIG, another question, please:
    Can you comment about what the Israeli public opinion would be if the government wanted to take the action of flattening Lebanon in response to some HA action which caused some harm to Israel.
    Let’s say that there was nothing that gives Israel cause for concern that it was weakened in some way or lost any ability to respond but that the government wanted to deal definitively with this problem notwithstanding the expected international uproar. So, they’re going to simply destroy Lebanon, not for the purpose of destroying Lebanon, but for dealing a definitive blow to HA, wiping out all its arms and capabilities, and not caring about any and all collateral damage not matter how severe.

    Your considered opinion on this is appreciated and might help either set me straight or provide some reasoned arguments in favor of the points I was raising that maybe can sway Lally’s opinion.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 6, 2011, 8:52 pm
  142. I hope that many have noted how broken is the system of cabinet selection in Lebanon has become. Instead of paying utmost attention to the qualification of the proposed minister the preoccupation is in allocation of ministries to political parties who can then nominate whoever they want to fill these seats. How lucky we must be to know that we are blessed with the people like Gebran Basil who is being nominated to fill his fourth differenr ministry post 🙂 Jack of all trades and master of none. When will we learn? where is the outrage? Does anyone know what is the meaning of responsibility and citizenship? Where is it written that we complain about politicians day and night and then go and reelect them? There must be lots of truth to the expression that people get the government that they deserve.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | March 6, 2011, 9:00 pm
  143. HP,
    as you can see, if it were not for Hezbollah Israel would have stayed in Lebanon and probably annexed it for it’s water calling it necessary for the security of Israel,

    About destroying Lebanon in the next war, That they would do without hesitation if Hezbollah is not there to fight back and destroy Tel Aviv, we should all remember that when Hezbollah threatened Israel of an attack on Tel Aviv if Beirut down town was attacked , we all know that Israel did not dare to attack the airport or the down town , Israel understand only force being nice is not something they understand,

    Posted by Norman | March 6, 2011, 9:20 pm
  144. HP,

    In 2000 I supported the withdrawal from Lebanon. Now, I am not sure it was the smart thing to do. Historical hypotheticals are almost impossible to evaluate.

    I am not sure what you are asking regarding Israeli reaction. I agree with you that if HA provokes Israel enough, Israel will flatten large areas of Lebanon.

    Posted by AIG | March 6, 2011, 9:21 pm
  145. “People get the government they deserve” pretty much embodies my thoughts on Lebanon. I’ve said this time and time again.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | March 6, 2011, 9:25 pm
  146. Norman, “fight back and destroy Tel Aviv?”
    Hmm. I doubt that this would come to pass. In less than a few hours, a preemptive strike would do the flattening AIG agrees Israel would not hesitate to proceed with.
    As far as the Beirut airport, I’m not sure I understand. Israel bombed enough of the airport to make it unusable. They could have done much more damage but refrained from doing so.
    I know that HA makes all these claims but I don’t think there is any substantiating that the restraint from Israel was due to their fear of HA vs. the reaction of the U.S. and the International community (and, I have to assume a certain level of Israeli public opinion).

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 6, 2011, 9:34 pm
  147. HP,
    i do not have the same faith of the concern of the Israeli public for Lebanon and the Lebanese, after all more than 1200 Lebanese died, mostly civilians and nobody moved in Israel or the West.

    Posted by Norman | March 6, 2011, 10:10 pm
  148. HP,
    By the way Israel lives off the fear that we have from it , it can not stand a long war, their economy and daily lives will be destroyed,

    Posted by Norman | March 6, 2011, 10:13 pm
  149. With all this talk of yester wars I can’t help but reminiscence the 4 televised appearances HNA bestowed us with during the 2006 war.

    I was in Lebanon at the time and I vividly recall how during his 3rd televised speech on a Thursday night he appeared morally and physically weakened, for he certainly didn’t anticipate the brutal and devastating Israeli response. He said as I recall he was 100% behind the joint efforts of Saniora and Berri to broker a UN resolution and went even further in claiming he never prevented the Lebanese army from entering the South, cause he was never fearful of the army, but rather feared for its safety (from Israeli harms we suppose).

    Though on his 4th TV appearance only four days later his speech and tone were 180 degree of change. It was right after the announcement of the UN 1701 resolution, he appeared more energized and defiant. He lashed out against Saniora and his government for selling out the resistance.

    Pity Saniora, a great statesman in my book, never stood a chance against a demagogue the likes of HNA.

    Posted by mlk | March 6, 2011, 11:52 pm
  150. HP,

    Flattening a city or a country, and defeating an adversary are not the same thing. That’s exactly what happened during the 2006 war. They flattened entire towns and villages in the south (Youtube is full of these videos), and large parts of the Dahiye, but hardly made a dent in HA’s arsenal or its fighting capability. In fact they could hardly advance beyond a few hundred meters into Lebanese territory and could not hold on to either 3aita or Bint Jbeil, two towns you can see across the fence from their border. They hit all the targets they thought they had in Lebanon, with all the knowledge they have through friendly US satellites, aerial photography, and some very large spy operations on the ground. Yet the forces that kept them at bay at the borders numbered about 600 fighters by most estimates. This is Israel’s real fear right now: that it may mount another war that may well flatten most of Lebanon, as you say, earning it more international condemnation, yet at the same time lose the actual war, once more. And this time this indiscriminate bombardment will not come without a price as it knows that HA has only grown stronger, has more weapons, and will use more lethal rockets against its own towns, bridges, factories and institutions. I am absolutely sure that if Israel has any confidence it could win the war then we would have seen one by now. There are many conflicting opinions and doubts in their ranks, and for good reason.

    Posted by Saint | March 7, 2011, 12:02 am
  151. Saint, “Flattening a city or a country, and defeating an adversary are not the same thing.”

    I think you should tell that to the Japanese and have them reconsider their surrender in the wake of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Regrettably, I think this hollow bravado is a sad indication of the futility and disconnect from reality of HA and its supporters. That the uneducated or the hopelessly fanatic think this way is understandable although not excusable, but that otherwise well educated and reasoned and seemingly balanced folks get taken by such fallacy is quite bewildering. Is it any wonder Israel has defeated the Arabs in all its wars in the 20th century. The real question is whether the 21st century will usher an enlightenment brought about by the wiser youth which will enable a disconnect from the fallacious tendencies of the current and past generations.

    mlk, “Pity Saniora, a great statesman in my book, never stood a chance against a demagogue the likes of HNA.”
    I am 100% with you and we both can await an objective writing of history that will undoubtedly set the record straight.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 12:57 am
  152. mlk, the situation in assessing Siniora is the way it is because of the lack of access to the truth in its purely objective form by the people of Lebanon. Members of my family are taken by the SHN rhetoric and by the incredible spin put on the news in such a way that it causes choices that defy logic.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 1:00 am
  153. Dear All,

    I REALLY don’t get it.

    Do you REALLY think that HA is capable of standing up to the Israeli military machine? What gives? Do you folks have any REAL knowledge of military capabilities, operational considerations of war, and tactical and strategic weapons’ capabilities and the comparison between the combined military capability of Iran + every Arab country + HA in comparison to Israel’s ????

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 1:07 am
  154. … and by the way, do you realize the validity of the wisdom that the great Anwar Sadat articulated decades ago, that fighting Israel means fighting Israel+U.S.A. ?
    Never mind the reason for this. That’s the subject of yet another debate and of yet another sequence of utter failures of the Arabs in advancing education and economic and intellectual progress to the benefits of their people and to the effective influencing of the U.S. public opinion.
    Start with the first question and let’s see if your views help confirm the saying that those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat its mistakes.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 1:11 am
  155. HP,

    Where does one begin?

    Anyway..the real futility is the belief by Israel that it can make its victims submit by bombing them into surrender. That security and peace (for them) is won through threats and intimidation and bombing the neighborhood after every little skirmish. They have done that to the Palestinians for 60 years. Are they any closer to real security and peace? Have the Palestinians submitted to them? And what is Israel going to do, throw a nuke on Gaza or Tyre in the end? Not unless it wants to condemn itself into oblivion, and write in blood forevermore the script of its own destruction.

    The recent history of resistance though negates this thinking, and in spite of this obscene posturing by Israel, has shown that continued and determined resistance, not hollow bravado, has netted real gains and kicked Israel out of Gaza and South Lebanon. It had also given Israel its first military defeat in 2006. What had Arafat and now Abbas gotten the Palestinians of the West Bank and East Jerusalem with all their nauseating supplications? More Jewish settlements on stolen Palestinian land?

    And since we are disconnected from reality, please then tell us, what is your plan exactly? How do you propose to negotiate with an enemy whom you have already submitted to and acknowledged that you cannot defeat? What incentive do they have in negotiating with you since they believe and have made you believe as well that they are invincible? Look at the archive of the Palestinian Papers uncovered by Al-Jazeera and the stupid and insane and humiliating concessions that Abbas was willing to give the Israelis and yet they still trampled on him.

    Anyway, this is all a hypothetical. I don’t believe there will be another war anytime soon. Yes there will be lots of posturing by the Israelis, none of which passes the muster anymore. And everyone knows that HA will not start a fight either. HA’s mere existence, without war, is enough pressure on Israel and provides a great counter-weight in any sincere negotiations in the future. To attack this valuable asset right now, in the midst of all that is happening in the region and the emergence of the voice of the real Arab people whose opinions on this issue has been proven and substantiated through so many polls, is ridiculously stupid to say the least. Maybe some of us are deluded. But history is moving in the right direction, and we can actually say to our children and the generations after then that we fought for and won our own freedom, and did not have to settle for the humiliating crumbs of our oppressors.

    Posted by Saint | March 7, 2011, 2:00 am
  156. Ya HP ya habibi,

    Don’t say I did not try to warn you about the folly of acquiescing to the HA propaganda of self-righteousness. This is what you get from give and take with such people.

    Sure. You can give and take with people of reason. But you get entrapped into a give-but-never-take mode by your own reasonableness when you extend such reasoning to the unreasonable.

    You already know they want to fight Zionism to the last Lebanese. So what’s the use of giving to the undeserved?

    You are dealing with the same Nazi mentality that we know so much about. Good luck.

    Posted by anonymous | March 7, 2011, 2:08 am
  157. Okay, Saint. Many of us here share the same goals, including you and me. Honest disagreements on the means to the same end are legitimate and understandable. The end, here, is understood to be peace and prosperity for all the people in the region with focus on individual, family, and community well-being.
    I guess we’ll agree to disagree and hope developments are for the betterment of everyone.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 2:09 am
  158. Tayyib anonymous, I’m living and learning. Cheers!

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 2:10 am
  159. HP @157.

    That was going to be my own point to you next, but kudos to you, you beat me to it.

    As for anon, I was going to make a comment on his bigotry, sectarianism and possible insanity, and your own tender rebuke of him. Ironically, he also beat me to it. His comment at 156 couldn’t be a better description of himself.

    Posted by Saint | March 7, 2011, 2:23 am
  160. I find it stupefying that 50 people on this blog believe that Hezballah is an essential part of Lebanon’s defense/resistance strategy and should remain untouched.

    What is Hezballah defending … apart from its inculpation in assassinations?

    What is Hezballah resisting?

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 7, 2011, 3:43 am
  161. “internal Israeli democracy that is unlikely to permit such action unless a real proven threat to the existence of Israel is demonstrated and which can only be bucked by such brutal action.”

    Was Hamas a real threat to the existence of Israel in 2008 after they decided to flatten the bantustan?

    Posted by tamer k. | March 7, 2011, 6:49 am
  162. R2D2 @160, there is a narrative which justifies the HA weapons and many folks have articulated it here. I don’t agree with its premises but it’s clearly there. Remember that GMA is now an apologist of the weapons too, and he is indeed backed by a significant percentage of the population.

    tamer k., you make a good point. I should have added to the triggers of a devastating blow by Israel, other than an existential threat, an incessant attack on their civilian population by random rocket launches. There is no question that if HA starts engaging in this from Lebanon, and is not deterred by the initial responses and pressures, the eventual response will be flattening of a number of portions of Lebanon and, possibly, to make a point, strategic infrastructure of the country.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 7:30 am
  163. Gadhafi: “Crackdown on Libya revolt is like Israel’s Gaza war on Hamas”

    That’s the first interesting statement I’ve heard out of this buffoon. It brilliantly depicts the US’s double standards.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 7, 2011, 8:36 am
  164. Lebanon !

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 7, 2011, 8:58 am
  165. When was the last time Nasrallah mentioned the Sheba Farms? What happened to the project of freeing them? What has happened is that since 2006, Hezbollah has become completely passive. Strategically, Israel got exactly what it wanted, a quiet border. Since 2006 the Lebanese Israeli border has been just as quiet as the Syrian-Israeli border, exactly what Israel wants. Hezbollah has lost all its ability to harass Israel.

    Posted by AIG | March 7, 2011, 11:12 am
  166. AIG, you mean all the rhetoric of the Sayyed and of his Iranian partners are not destroying the “zionist entity?”
    Sheesh, and we all thought that the Divine Victory was continuing its conquest by the sharpness of the spoken word.
    Come on, admit it, Israel’s feelings are hurt, badly hurt.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 12:40 pm
  167. Norman 143
    “as you can see, if it were not for Hezbollah Israel would have stayed in Lebanon and probably annexed it for it’s water calling it necessary for the security of Israel”

    Annexe Lebanon? Realy? Look! Lebanon has only two marked borders, the sea, and the one with Israel. There is no real marked, accepted, agreed border between Lebanon and Syria, in any conventional meaning of the word “border”. Any Lebanese can get to the well marked border with Israel, the “blue line”. Many area, thousand of dunams, in the east of Lebanon are prohibited areas and what may, could, should have been Lebanon is occupied by Syrians. No Lebanese citizen can get there, just like that, without questions asked, like a person walking in his own land. That annexation, border-less system, is enforced by the HA, talking about traitors and such. Those areas, with the help of the HA, were already practically annexed by Syria, and you are talking about annexing?
    That is strange, some of you seem to read Isreali papers every day and yet you know only what you want to know. It was said by some Lebanese that if they knew that or this about Israel they would not have started the 2006 war, perhaps.
    Now about water.
    The water in the whole ME is gone. The climat have changed. The big rivers, flowing south from Anatolia for generations, were taken over by Turkey with the Arabs saying nothing. Large parts of Syria have reverted to desert. Jordan is getting more and more dry, depending partly Israeli water. The so called “rivers” of Lebanon are gone, there is less and less water in them. These of you living in Beirut look east, compated to 20-30 years ago, how much snow do you see? Talking about the next ten years and then more, there is no water in Lebanon for the Lebanese themselves. There is nothing to take or give.
    Israel has no interest what so ever in Lebanese water. As I said, soon there will be very little, practically none of that. Israel has decided to live on desalinated water and initiated a gigantic national desalination system. That is a fact, you can checke it in he net, if you care to learn. Stop that story about Israel stealing your water and start doing some thing about that, some of you have already started systems of water conservation and stoped blaming Israel for the changing climat, others should follow them.

    Posted by Rani Hazbani | March 7, 2011, 1:31 pm
  168. All well and good then. Why are you complaining; and the sarcasm? Why is Barak still threatening Lebanon then? One gets the sense AIG is bemoaning the lack of “harassment” by HA. As we say in Lebanon, “7torna ya 3ar3a mnan manna nbousik.” Conversely Israel’s daily fly-overs and constant incursions to place spy cams and listening posts in Lebanese areas is not harassment. As usual, what is allowed for Israel would get a doomsday scenario for any other party in the region.

    Posted by Saint | March 7, 2011, 1:36 pm
  169. Hmm. Well, AIG, what gives? Can you see to it that these fly-overs cease? And please restrain the Israeli politicians from threatening Lebanon, and in particular HA.
    On second thought, never mind about the rhetoric. Let the fight be one of words but stop already those fly-overs.
    On third thought, why the heck are the fly-overs needed? It’s all psychological warfare because as best I can tell, satellite imagery and stealthy reconnaissance flights can do a much better job at the information gathering Israel would want.
    Why all the noise making?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 1:46 pm
  170. “Humus isn’t enough. I want a State”

    Brilliant!

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 2:14 pm
  171. HP,

    Nothing can beat the intelligence gathered from overflights. Take the electroptics from the satellite which is a few hundred kilometers away, and put it in a pod to carry by a plane flying 10 kilometers in the air and you see how the plane wins every time. Simple physics.

    Barak did not threaten Lebanon, read the article. He only said that the IDF needs to be prepared to fight in Lebanon if a war erupts.

    Posted by AIG | March 7, 2011, 2:26 pm
  172. “Separation of mosque and state.” Finally! Smart evolution begins!
    Thank you Dr. Zudi Jasser.
    http://www.aifdemocracy.org/about/members.php

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 2:29 pm
  173. Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 7, 2011, 4:59 pm
  174. Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 7, 2011, 5:11 pm
  175. The second one brought tears to my eyes.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 7, 2011, 5:12 pm
  176. Go R2D2, we are all behind you. Complete and definitive separation of church/mosque/temple and state. 1-person-1-vote. Lebanon first. Any reliance on or collaboration, politically or militarily, with non-Lebanese governments outside the channels of the single democratically elected Lebanese government, to be considered treason. Freedom of belief and religion. Other than maybe a tax-exempt status for non-profit religious institutions, no other compensation to any religious figure from the Lebanese figure.
    Let’s go!

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 5:42 pm
  177. … Oh, yeah, and get the whole current ruling class out of government and prevented from running in the next election; (they can run again after they sit out the next election).
    The youth of Lebanon is the future.
    The youth of the Arab world is the future.
    Let’s stop lecturing the youth and admire their courage, initiative, and vision.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 5:44 pm
  178. Common sense in that video:
    “There is a bourgeoisie class, both in M14 and in M8 which couldn’t care less about the people. It is time for them to go.”
    “We don’t want fanatical leaders. We want a secular system where each individual practices his/her religion in the privacy of their own home and life.”
    “There are political leaders who are at the same time religious leaders. We don’t want that.”

    Refreshing notions. Where have you been all my life?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 5:50 pm
  179. Because my children should be allowed to marry whoever they want. Enough with the “taboos” and good riddance Patriarch Sfeir. You poisoned Lebanon with your personal position on civil marriage for long enough … Mon Seigneur.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 7, 2011, 6:07 pm
  180. R2D2, the rejection of civil marriage is not only a position of Sfeir. Any and all religious leaders – of any religion as far as I know – would have marriage limited to religious ceremonies, ignoring the reality that they are better off with a flock of true believers than with a flock forced into conformance to something it doesn’t believe in.
    As AIG told us some time ago, Israel has the same problem.
    I don’t know which Arab country allows civil marriage; do you? I bet the Muslim religious leaders are of the same opinion as Sfeir and the as the Rabbis.
    While having my own personal religious faith I have always felt very strongly the necessity to separate religion from state. Even way before embracing and being embraced by my current country. In fact, Jesus was one who als formulated this principles in the New Testament in his Luke 20:25 “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.”

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 6:44 pm
  181. HP,

    Close personal friends of mine regrettably born into “clearly” defined “Lebanese” identities, and of meager belongings, travelled to Damascus to tie the knot.

    Why?

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 7, 2011, 6:54 pm
  182. Shame on the clergy in Lebanon … and on those that abused of them for personal gain by greasing their lazy, comfortable and fat lives.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 7, 2011, 7:06 pm
  183. … and on a lighter note, as an IEEE distinguished awardee pointed in his acceptance speech a couple of years ago, Jesus also was the originator of digital logic where 1 and 0 are the only needed bases for coding information:
    Matthew 5:37
    “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 7, 2011, 8:08 pm
  184. Well said, all of the above few posts.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | March 7, 2011, 8:41 pm
  185. HP 183, according to what you’re saying it was not George Boole after all.

    FYI, there are sources who claim that this logic originated even much earlier than Jesus. They attribute its origin to Idriss, who some associate with the Biblical figure of Enoch. But some also deny this association.

    So, Prophets may have been Scientists and Mathematicians after all.

    Posted by anonymous | March 7, 2011, 8:48 pm
  186. HP #170,
    This is one of the most refreshing slogans that no one can oppose. She is simply fantastic. It is time for common sense isn’t it?
    (I tried to post earlier but could not because wordpress was down)
    BTW, Turkey does not seem to have a problem with civil marriage. A relative of mine went to Turkey for the marriage ceremony last year.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | March 7, 2011, 9:05 pm
  187. The best headline this morning is from the Haaretz:

    “Israel may ask U.S. for $20 billion more in security aid, Barak says

    Defense Minister tells Wall Street Journal that Israel must be on guard considering the unrest sweeping the Arab world, adding increased aid could help make Israel a ‘stabilizer in such a turbulent region’.”

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 8, 2011, 5:39 am
  188. Good luck on that in light of the new fiscal realities in the U.S.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 8, 2011, 5:49 am
  189. Won’t happen but they’ll get good PR and noodles of private donations.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 8, 2011, 5:52 am
  190. These people in “March 14” – Geagea, the Chamoun and Jamayal families and the Harri: there is something missing in what they are proposing.

    If they want to seriously propose that the people of eastern and southern Lebanon dis-arm themselves (given their actual experience of living next to the aggressive racist state to the south), then it can only be done in a quid pro quo for a free and democratic electoral system like they have in europe or south america i.e. proportional representation & one person one equally-valued vote.

    That way – sure – one person one vote and we have a President and Prime Minister that represents the majority of the country and therefore an army which is accountable to a democratic and supported Prime Minister & President.

    That is why I don’t think that Geageas, Chamoun, Edde & Jamayals etc. are being serious – they don’t really and seriously want to dis-arm Hizbuallah (which is a good idea), because they don’t offer the quid pro quo for that to happen which would be to end the Ottoman First Past The Post quota voting system in favour of a genuinely representative and democratic one.

    But on to more serious things. Now that the U.S.A., Europe and the whole world are saying they want action to stop Qadaffi and other bullies-with-weapons attack civilians, this is good news for Gaza and for Lebanon.

    It means that the precedent is now strong that the next time the Israelis want a diversion from their failed policies and they try to distract Israeli people by bombing Gaza or Lebanon for nice entertainment and diversion of their dead-end colonialist program, the next time the Israelis do that then Europe, America and countires around world including Egypt will go to the U.N. and demand a no-fly zone to protect civilians from the Isrealis.

    That is good news.

    Posted by Jean Estiphan | March 8, 2011, 6:19 am
  191. Hanna I’ll make a bet with you. Don’t attack Israel, have Syria demarcate the Lebanon-Syria border, work with the UN to recover the Shebaa farms as long as its inhabitants vote to do so, declare and enforce non-aggression towards any neighboring country with the commitment guaranteed by a government that has exclusive control of and authority on all weapons and there won’t be any cause of concern stemming from Israel.
    Name one offensive action by Israel that was not in response to a provocation. Just one.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 8, 2011, 7:54 am
  192. The next secular walk for the dismantlement of the sectarian regime in Lebanon will be held on Sunday March 27th from Sehet El Jaysh El Lubnani in Amchit … to Byblos!

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 8, 2011, 9:11 am
  193. Honest Patriot just to refresh your memory

    This is not counting all the terrorist activities and assassination conducted on Lebanese territory in the past 20-25 years

    1978: Israeli forces invade south Lebanon to attack Palestinian guerrillas, retaliating for an attack on an Israeli bus that killed more than 35 people near Tel Aviv. U.N. Security Council calls for Israeli withdrawal and an international peacekeeping force for south Lebanon.

    1982: Israel invades again, this time occupying part of Beirut. Israeli attacks leave up to 14,000 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians dead. Shiite Muslims form the militant group Hezbollah, which becomes the main opposition to the Israeli occupation.

    1982: In September, the Israeli army moves into Beirut a day after Lebanese president-elect Bashir Gemayel is killed in a bomb explosion. Israeli-allied Christian militiamen massacre hundreds of Palestinians in Beirut’s Sabra and Chatila refugee camps.

    1985: Israel retreats south, but sets up a border buffer zone in south Lebanon. Israel trades three Israeli soldiers captured by Palestinian guerrillas in 1982 for 1,150 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners.

    1986: Israeli warplane shot down in south Lebanon, navigator Ron Arad captured by Shiite guerrillas. His fate remains unclear, but he is presumed dead.

    1992: Israeli jets kill Hezbollah leader Sheik Abbas Mussawi. The group chooses current leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah.

    1993: In July, Israel launches its heaviest artillery and air assault on south Lebanon since 1982 in bid to eradicate Hezbollah and Palestinian guerrillas.

    1994: Israeli troops abduct Lebanese guerrilla leader Mustafa Dirani, hoping to use him to get information about missing Israeli Ron Arad. Israeli aircraft strike a Hezbollah base, killing about 50 guerrillas.

    1996: In April Israel launches an operation in another bid to end guerrilla attacks. Israeli jets also strike Lebanese power stations. Israeli artillery kills more than 100 Lebanese civilians sheltering at a U.N. base in Qana, south Lebanon.

    1997: Twelve Israeli soldiers killed in commando raid on south Lebanon.

    2000: In May, Israeli troops withdraw from buffer zone, ending 18 years of occupation. In October, Hezbollah captures three Israeli soldiers, later found dead, in a border attack. Later the group kidnaps an Israeli businessman.

    2004: Hezbollah swaps the Israeli businessman and the remains of the three Israeli soldiers for 436 Arab prisoners, including Dirani, and the bodies of 59 Lebanese fighters. Israel still holds at least three Lebanese prisoners and Hezbollah vows to win their release.

    2006: On July 12, Hezbollah kidnaps two Israeli soldiers in cross-border raid. Israel responds by sending in tanks and by bombing bridges and roads in south Lebanon to try to prevent the hostages from being taken north.

    Posted by elsheikh | March 8, 2011, 2:04 pm
  194. Jean Estiphan,

    I don’t think the problem is that the M14 guys don’t genuinley want to disarm HA. I think they do. But I think they don’t tie the 2 issues you mentioned together. In their minds, the 2 things are unrelated, and of course, they’d prefer to hold on to the sectarian system, since without it, they are nothing.

    I don’t really think the 2 issues are related either. But personally, I have no problem with your proposal. I doubt HA would accept it, mind you, because giving up their weapons, even if they get a non-sectarian, fully democratic system, would be the end of them as a regional player for Iran.

    Ideally, I would love to see both things you mention: HA disarming AND a secular, democratic, one-man, one-vote system implemented in Lebanon.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | March 8, 2011, 2:07 pm
  195. I am on the side of BV

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 8, 2011, 2:28 pm
  196. elsheikh, thank you for that list. I’m not quite sure if you’re seeking to validate the points I was making or to offer counter-examples.

    There is clearly a trigger in every episode you list.

    What has to be stated, clearly and unambiguously, is that NOTHING justifies any war crimes committed by either party. For example, the Sabra/Shatila massacres are some of the most despicable acts of human cruelty in history. It is outrageous that they have gone unpunished. Then again, horrors have been committed by all sides. Acts of terror against innocent civilians in Israel – take for example the Israeli athletes massacred in Munich – are another act of depraved human horror.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | March 8, 2011, 2:31 pm
  197. HP,

    You’re bordering on the offensive. There are more than one hundred resolutions against this colonialist, expansionist, murderous entity. Just one example of the twisted logic that somehow endears you to defend them: Israel, in contravention of international law and UN resolution 425 occupied south Lebanon for 18 years. Are you saying that HA, in their own land, in resisting an occupying enemy was provoking Israel’s “sovereignty” all the while? If I were to follow your assertion then, Israel’s Grapes of Wrath Operation of 1996 in which they deliberately shelled a UN compound killing over a hundred women and children, was an understandable retaliation for being attacked first, since HA was targeting them in the south, no? And all the other killings, torture and the abuse the southerners suffered?

    The list of Israel’s offenses is endless. Its crimes are endless. Give me a list of how many of their civilians we have killed and how many of us they have murdered. How many times they have bombed us many times over, for simply resisting their own aggressions.

    I am glad in the end we have a few dedicated rational people, with a long and persistent vision for the future, who have chosen a different logic than you and others keep touting. Their logic is about to bear fruit big time. It is the logic of the real sentiment of the Arab people who will, despite of their long oppression, and the fake peace signed at the expense of their own dignity, bring back the real equilibrium to this conflict to where Israel will see its true size and which will force a genuine peace for the long term interests of all the parties involved.

    Posted by Saint | March 8, 2011, 2:51 pm
  198. Facts
    In 14-15 May 1948 Lebanon invaded Israel aiming to exterminate Israel. It was a clear case of agession without any Israeli provocation. Since then Israel and Lebanon are legaly in war, pancutuated by armstices and ceasefires. In wars people are killed, also civilians. The only way to end war is by making peace not lists of blames and counter blames. In may 1948 also Egypt attacked Israel having the same aim as Lebanon. The rest of that story is detailed in numerous books. Unlike the Israeli Lebanese situation in the last 32 years not one Egyptian was killed in a war with Israel not one ! Not one house was destroyed. Why does not Lebanon try the Egyptian remedy ?

    Posted by Rani Hazbani | March 8, 2011, 2:56 pm
  199. pray tell me what was the trigger for the 1997 commando attack?

    what was the trigger for the 1993 attack?
    remember at that time Israel was OCCUPYING southern Lebanon so attacking Israeli Soldiers was a consequence of this occupation not a trigger to any so called retaliation.

    If more people took your view of condemning the atrocities of the Sabra and Shatila massacres you would find more people on the other side willing to condemn the attacks on the Athletes.

    How does the Kidnapping of the two soldiers in 2006 differ in moral justification from the kidnapping of Dirani in 1994?

    On the issue of the Arms of Hizballah. The party in the 1990’s adhered to the letter to the agreement brokered after the grapes of wrath operation and limited their scope of operation to the parts of Lebanon that were occupied. The border has been silent since the end of hostilities in 2006. Why not withdraw from the Shebaa farms and the hills of Kfarshouba unilaterally and see what happens? Take away their argument and corner them, Heck that would spot the March 14 remnants a rallying cry against Hizballah and really embarrass the March 8 allies. Why is that small step towards diffusing the conflict so problematic for Israel?

    Posted by elsheikh | March 8, 2011, 3:02 pm
  200. The Siddiq mystery …

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | March 8, 2011, 3:49 pm

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