I recorded a discussion with Michael Young this weekend about the situation in Syria and its impact on Lebanon. You can watch the whole thing at the Bloggingheads website, but be sure to come back and comment.
Michael is the opinion editor of the Daily Star, and the author of a very interesting book about Lebanon called The Ghosts of Martyrs Square, which I discuss here and here.
I tried to listen for a while, i stopped when i got to Michael young’s admiration at the peaceful demonstrations:
FYI the following is extremely graphic
anybody who sees these and still talks about peaceful demonstrators looses any kind of credibility in my opinion. You want to condemn the security forces ( regime forces or even thugs if it make you feel better) fine just be ready to condemn all violence. The above is not justified by whomever it is perpetrated.
Great interview and informative. However, nothing new. QN; maybe you should do an interview about Lebanon alone; in case of the toppling of the murderous regime of Assads
Totally unrelated … but it’s great the American Congress finally got the reality slap they deserve by having been downgraded to AA+ status.
Personally, I think they should be given an F- for their handling of just about everything since the 80’s.
Interesting times are ahead of us.
Hope you’ve enrolled your kids into Chinese class at school.
A very powerful video, elsheikh.
As much as I want to see a change toward democracy and freedom of expression in all Arab countries, and especially Syria, watching this video and few others on CNN and on youtube, showing all of those armed men shooting at whoever, kind of scars me a lot. It seems that the Islamite might fill the vacuum of this regime if it falls.
I don’t doubt that thousands of Syrians have been taking to the streets calling for a change in a very peaceful manor, but these armed men might steal all dreams of young Syrians ,who are longing for freedom and democracy.
To the wise heads above:
When you treat people like animals … expect them to retreat likewise.
Correction … if you treat people as beasts … you better be prepared to them reacting to you as beasts.
Get your thoughts straight R2D2.LOL
Prophet is spelled with one t … whatever works for you, however.
I’m not going to shoot you over it.
Its a shame they dont have better weapons to face the murderous thugs of Assad.
maybe HA can donate some ! ?
HA? Help the oppressed against tyranny? Wherever you get that idea?
Naharnet is reporting only “a few hundred” protesters in Martyrs Square tonight, in solidarity with the Syrian people…
Seriously? Only a few hundred?
Where is the hypocrite “Sayed Mozzarella” who was indignant at the killing of Bahraini protesters by the Al Khalifa thugs? Is it because the ones being killed in Syria are Sunni he is silent?
Interesting to see Marcel Khalifa joining the protesters in Martyrs Square. i miss the seventies and his songs, back then we were very naive to put it mildly and so romantic about the revolution. “ya 3ali na7noo ahlo aljanoub 7ofat al mudouni narwee seeratoka”
now its ya Esteeth Nabayh na7noo ahlo al janoub and we want more villas and lahmeh meshweyeh.
So, you found ONE video of armed men defending Hama! And you came to the conclusion that the demonstrations are not peaceful!
How about the hundreds of videos showing Bashar’s thugs killing civilians? How about the 2000 killed so far? How about the tens of 1000s in prisons? How about the continuous massacres of Syrian people since March 2011?
Did you expect the Syrian people to be cowards? Do you think that they will allow the 1982 Hama massacre to happen again?
Are you comparing Bashar’s actions to those armed ppl in this video? That SOB is sending tanks and bombing civilians…
I really advise you to send this video to the UN. Maybe they will get a resolution to protect Bashar’s thugs from these “armed” groups.
Thank you. That was an interesting discussion. While you both seemed to lament the lack of U.S. diplomatic initiative in dealing with Syria, I am sure you realize that, for the next two years, U.S. foreign policy will be non-existent unless there is an immediate crisis that affects direct and tangible American interests. I don’t think the White House will do anything that requires the President to take off his bathrobe and leave his room. Domestic policy will be scary enough and there, at least, there is consensus on the objective if not the means.
All valid points by Elias and Michael, but nothing new.
Ideally, the Alawites and other minorities in Syria would overcome their fear and join the Sunni majority in establishing a new democratic process in the country.
But we all know, from our own experiences of erratic minority behaviour in Lebanon, that this won’t happen.
My only query is the Syrian Army. Without any serious defections, this pillar of support will make it difficult for Assad to be dislodged.
Saudi meddling might give the opposition further confidence, but it could also polarise the opposition. We all know Saudi interests are religious-based, and their concern is seeing a Sunni power emerge that is subservient to KSA, and an opponent to Iran.
The US talks of a regional contact group, but all the major regional powers have competing interests in Syria (including Turkey), so I’m not sure how any of them will be able to agree on an acceptable post-Assad transformation.
The same neighbours have failed miserably at co-operating in Iraq, why would anyone think a regional contact group will work in Syria?
To the contrary, Saudi meddling signals that it’s game on with Iran in Syria, and the Saudis are diving in. I don’t suspect the Iranians to just cower away, thus turning the Syrian revolution into a proxy Iranian-Saudi conflict.
Will the Iranians respond by backing the Shia in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia?
Our greatest fear is, as Michael put it, a sectarian conflict spanning Lebanon-Syria-Iraq with the Saudis and Iranians playing kingmakers.
One hope is that the Turks, and possibly the Obama administration (certainly not the hawkish elements in the US, who are pushing for the contrary) share a similar fear.
Israel might agree to Assad’s removal so long as it doesn’t result in either a Sunni Islamist or another pro-Iranian leadership. A Syrian civil war will most likely see instability on the Golan Heights vis-a-vis South Lebanon.
Ironically, a stable and democratic Syria might be Israel’s best option.
It’s ultimately up to the Syrian people whether they turn into a Lebanon/Iraq, or somehow find a way to avert a civil conflict.
To # 14
if you want me to post hundreds of Videos I am more than willing to do so However you miss the point of my post, and this is not the venue for this kind of demonstration.
you only condemn violence that you do not like. I sent out a call to condemn all violence on all sides.
That is the difference between people who truly believe in democracy and the rule of law compared to people who claim they are for human rights when it suits their agenda.
Where was your outrage and your so called fear the the innocent Syrian when the violence in Lebanon was directed by M14 thugs against Syrian workers??? now you are showing concern over Syrian civilians? Spare me the crocodile tears
To Vulcan # 12
The difference between what is going on in Syria and Bahrain is that Bahrain was truly peaceful demonstration. Show me the reports where Bahraini’s were massacring the police and Saudis sent to crush them. Where did you see the burning of Government institutions and the armed uprising? Before you ask Sayyed Hassan for a position on Syria. Where is your position on KSA, on Bahrain? why are you not demonstrating for the Women’s right to drive in KSA?
A small question why is the call for dialogue ignored by the opposition in Syria? Bashar is saying he is willing the allow elections before the end of the year. If the opposition is so popular and the uprising is so well entrenched it should be a very decisive victory. Why don’t they test him? What do they have to loose if the elections are not fair they go back to the streets it’s a win win situation for them.
From my almost-daily “Aoun’s most memorable quotes” segment. I bring you this latest gem:
“Syrian People are Committing Terrorism, Not the State.”
Wow! I am simply dumbfounded. Speechless. Just…Wow!
You have “hundreds” of videos showing Syrian civilians carrying arms! Make sure you send them to Al Manar because they just have couple of videos showing “terrorists” in Syria. And make sure to copy the UN. There is a big possibility that they will apologize to Assad and CO for the latest condemnation. And they might instead condemn the “terrorists” in Syria.
So you believe in democracy. Let me guess, you are with all the uprisings in the region other than the ones in Syria and Iran because “you do believe in democracy”. And for sure you are against March 14 in Lebanon because they won the last two parliamentary elections and most if not all of the other elections.
You want to talk about Lebanon. You mentioned “M14 thugs against Syrian workers”. Let me remind you that the only thugs in Lebanon are Hezbollah and their allies. They are the ones above the law. And they made sure that their allies are above the law as well. They can get away with any crime in Lebanon. Since 2005, there is no March 14 party who has official military wing. All what happened so far is a reaction to Al Hizb Al Ilahi. And every single problem that happened in Lebanon since 2005 (including Hariri assassination) is primarily caused by Hezbollah and their gangs.
Turkish FM Davutoglu at a news conference in Ankara: The Syrians are the ones to decide their fate and our aim is to put an immediate end to the bloodshed.
The next days will be crucial according to the FM. Let’s see …
Leb Not Patriot
wow you have a hard time understanding anything. Maybe that explains you following the boy wonder (Hariri Jr. just in case you did not understand what i am asyaing)
Please tell me where did I defend the regime? I spoke up against violence everywhere by everybody.
You on the other hand want to pick and choose what you want to condemn i am just trying to tell you that violence is wrong whether in Syria or in Bahrain, KSA or Libya…
Now as for Lebanon. Get over it man, it’s a natural transition of power, it happens everywhere. Give me a few months and if this government keeps up the Biz as usual we have had over the last few years i will be the first to denounce it. For now i will use a wait and see approach that made a number of promises i want to see what they will do.
You want to blame HA and Syria for everything and anything fine, if that makes you happy go ahead. I do not discriminate i believe the entire political class in Lebanon should be eradicated. Jr and his click are as guilty if not more than anybody else
My Idea of democracy is a bit more complex than mimicking the worst elements in western civilization and calling that modernization and feeling good about it
Just curious. You say “I spoke up against violence everywhere by everybody.”
Did this include the violence perpetrated by HA/SSNP/Amal in May 2008?
Or you just referring to other Arab spring revolts (Bahrain, Syria, etc.)?
It’s tragic that most people assume that if one is anti-HA, Aoun or Assad … it automatically makes them staunchly pro-Hariri or March 14.
It’s a misconception by many people on this and other blogs.
I agree. I have been just as critical of M14’s pitiful performance and Hariri’s complete incompetence as I have been of HA/FPM.
For different reasons though.
When it comes to M14, it’s been corruption, bumbling incompetence, the inability to govern and most importantly the complete lack of vision.
When it comes to M8, well, it’s been the pure thuggery, blackmail and bullying tactics. Not to mention the violence and demagoguery. And of course, the complete disregard for the notion of law or state.
And I’ve also been critical of the Lebanese population at large, for being naive, easily manipulated, sheeple, who continue to think in sectarian terms (despite constantly bitching about it).
Really, in all of this, not a single person/group/party/movement gets a passing grade, as far as I’m concerned.
It’s been a while 🙂
Violence is never the answer. Let’s put this to rest. I am against violence everywhere. Iraq Iran Palestine Lebanon Syria France England………
What happened in 2008 should not have happened, the same way that what happened in 2006 should not have happened. Let us not hide behind our little finger: while i do not condone the events of 2008 they were a direct response to the plot that failed in 2006. Had some Lebanese and Arabs not gambled on the failed Israelie military strike that will cripple HA. 2008 might not have happened.
Now before you all scream bloody murder i a1m not saying that Jr and his minions plotted or even had knowledge of what was going to happen ( i am not privy to such information unfortunately) however I do not think anybody could deny the fact that at the start of the campaign they were setting the stage for a HA military defeat and when that goal failed they shifted position the salvage what they can. (had the roles been reversed M8 might have done the same)
This blame game can go on forever, it is not constructive and will lead us nowhere.
we need to live in the present not the past so we can build a future.
The problem is the HP wants me to denounce violence on one side, while completely ignoring another.
I have been reading for a few months now all the hypocrisy on this board and others about democracy and the rule of law. When these same people are as far from democracy as it can be.
How seriously you want me to take this so called revolution for freedom when the King of the most repressive regime in the ME is endorsing it. It’s funny we are getting lessons on Democracy from the likes of Bahrain and Kuwait, and you want me to take that seriously?
Gem from elsheikh…
“Now as for Lebanon. Get over it man, it’s a natural transition of power, it happens everywhere.”
Yup natural transition is threatening people with death….Black shirts and all! But what the hell it happens anywhere!
Armed uprising? It is your convoluted dreamland. Change the channel from time to time. Don’t be afraid you might learn a thing or two. You constantly inundate with aouny like insane comments and expect to be taken seriously??
When you start living in the real world you might look at things differently.
Talk all you want about threatening people and the black shirts etc. it is nonsense and you know it. If Jumblat feels threatened why does he keep coming back to Lebanon ? he can be brave and follow his conscience and tell his people I am doing what i believe in even if i have to stay outside Lebanon. Your fearless Leader Jr is doing just that isn’t he????
As for the events in Syria it is because i DO change the channel that i condemn Violence on all sides. Keep watching MTV and Future and read Now Hariri. Very credible sources of information. Did you listen to even one of Sheikh 3r3our’s sermons. Do you even know who he is ? Go ahead and listen maybe that will illuminate some of your ignorance on that matter.
You have a strong opinion living in what you describe as the real world. So do I.
What is the real world to you?
We all have our own personal experiences of it. What is yours ?
I have lived and worked in three continents over a few decades. I grew up in Lebanon during the civil war. I lived thru the 1982 invasion in west Beirut and all the rest saw more atrocities than i care to remember.
I was a reluctant guest of the PSP on two occasions1987 and 1988 one in Chouf and the other in Shehhar (kfarnatta to be exact).
Was also a reluctant guest of the Leb Forces in 1982.
I do not have to explain reluctant guest do i?
Survived Aoun’s attack on West Beirut in 1989 (i was at Verdun when they started shelling)
Survived the Moawwad car bomb (I was at Sanayeh)
I know in this world you can go at any moment. You live your life accordingly.
Elsheik, sorry I didn’t understand your allusion to sheik 3r3our. What did you tried to say?
3issa this is one of the so called leaders of the peaceful revolution in Syria . YouTube him (videos posted by his supporters) listen to what he says then come and let me know what you think
OK I get it, you putted in that sense.
For the record, you and I are contemporaries. I lived through exactly the same events you mention above (if it helps set the perspective).
My family was “reluctantly” evicted from Furn El Shebbak in the 70s. I too lived through the 1982 siege of Beirut (and remained in the city when it was near empty). I wasn’t in Sanayeh when Muwwad was blown up, but I’ve been nearby several such events. Also happened to be in Verdun when Aoun launched his “war of independence”. For all I know, we were neighbors…
Regardless. I still find your last comment somewhat disingenuous. You pretend to condemn all violence, but then you proceed to make excuses for May 2008. “Because they had to defend themselves against the plot”.
I don’t care about plots (even assuming there was one) when it comes to violence. Either there is NO EXCUSE period. Or, violence is acceptable in cases where someone is being persecuted/oppressed/defending themselves.
If you accept the latter, then the Syrian population has every right to defend itself against oppression, even with violence and arms. It’s no different than HA defending itself from a so-called plot. Right?
You are lecturing about hypocrisy (and i agree with you that some people close their eyes when it comes to Shia protesting in Bahrain), but don’t be a hypocrite yourself. If it’s ok for an armed militia in Lebanon (HA) to defend itself from plots, then it certainly is ok for the population of Syria (yes, even the Islamic extremists among them, which I doubt are the majority) to defend themselves with force too.
There is no way you can disagree with my above statement without being a hypocrite.
Also, no offense, but you are being selective in your youtube/video skills there.
Let’s accept that there are some extremists and “terrorists” taking advantage of the Syrian uprising. I’ll give you that.
Are you going to tell that because of a few bad apples, you’re assuming the hundred of thousands of people in Hama, Deir El Zor, etc. are all extremist terrorists?
I find that hard to believe. Specially considering Bashar was SO keen on reminding us that there are no exteremists in Syria, etc for the past 5 years. Now we’re expected to believe that they’ve been living in Syria for years in the hundred of thousands and were just waiting for King Abdullah to give the word to spring into action? I don’t buy that for one minute.
Secondly, for each video of “violent protesters”, youtube is crawling with videos of beatings, tanks firing at residential areas, etc.
I think if you want to be objective, as you claim you are, it would be very hard to deny that the regime is committing violence against its people (and not just against a few armed terrorists).
Lastly, who cares if KSA supports or opposes a popular uprising. I don’t define myself by Hariri or Nassrallah. Why should I define myself by King Abdullah?
Just cause it suits his regime and his goals to suddenly embrace the Syrian people doesn’t make their cause any less just.
It’s so childish to go by who supports who to define a cause, instead of looking at the substance of the cause. I would like to think we’re a bit more mature than that.
By your logic, you should now be supporting Ghaddafi’s regime, cause the evil Americans/French/NATO people are against him?
Or do you recognize that regardless of who is against him, he is a ruthless tyrant who needs to go and who’s people’s grievances are legitimate?
Thanks dude for letting me know who lives in the twilite zone. 😀
I have listened to the “Blogging Heads” exchange and found it to be informative and well done. ( I might even suggest to some of my colleagues assigning the exchange as a required viewing in some of their PS courses).
My only remark; and it might appear to be very peripheral; concerns what I took to be your expectation that the US should have a special standing policy regarding each and every country in the world. I respectfully disagree. An effective foreign policy does not need to be hemmed by a rigid inflexible policy. There is nothing wrong with observing events and taking positions that are commensurate with current developments. It seems to me that flexibility and willingness to modify policy as developments change is far preferable to dogmatic and doctrinaire positions.
I am not suggesting that a country is not to have some major guidelines within which its foreign policy is set but I am suggesting that these guidelines need be universal, and general in order to provide room for maneuver as events take place.
The major ingredient in US foreign policy is to protect the interests of the US and its citizens ( as it should be) and to promote whenever possible democracy and human rights. ( I do not think that it is either helpful or realistic to suggest that high level US officials are going to hold meetings in order to develop specific detailed policies for each and every country in the world).
An interesting observation. I’ve often thought about that same point myself, but never really quite had it coalesce into a concise thought as the one you just phrased.
I am not being selective go back and read what i said before i am condemning all violence by all sides. That means i condemn the violence of the security forces and also that i acknowledge the violence by the security forces.
I know about all the you tube and i have stated before i do not read one opinion or one voice. I am a person who reads a variety of opinions from all walks of life from Haaretz and the Jerusalem post to SANA and Press TV. From Manar to NewTV to LBC and MTV. (i take a pass of Future i’ll admit to that one).
Again you are missing my point, I am against all forms of violence, I am not defending HA, Syria or Iran. You are assuming that because i do not accept that the protests are peaceful I am for the regime.
I am no fan of Gaddafi however you are right in assuming i do not support what is happening now in Lybia. Just because the US/France or the UN say it’s ok does not mean it’s OK. You call him a ruthless tyrant he seems to enjoy enough support of his population to remain in power fighting the entire NATO alliance.
Finally regarding 2008. I did make it very clear that i did not agree with what happened. However i was putting it in perspective. You on the other hand want me to forget what happened in 2006 while you keep reminding me of 2008, that is selective in my opinion.
We seem to share a similar history, i thought the Syrian presence in Lebanon overstayed it’s welcome by the early 90’s and was not afraid of saying it out loud. However i never forget who the real enemy is i hope you know what i mean
Ghassan you said :
“The major ingredient in US foreign policy is to protect the interests of the US and its citizens ( as it should be) and to promote whenever possible democracy and human rights. ”
That first part of the sentence is the best i have read on this blog and i agree with you completely. However that second part about democracy and human rights is a bit outlandish if not from the “Twilight Zone.”
Did you read history ? ever? where did the US promote democracy and human rights? please enlighten me ?
In East Timor? In Africa? In South America? in Eastern Asia? where……
Human rights? have you lived in the US? do you know anything about the US? you want to hear about human rights in the country that has 65 Million uninsured? without access to healthcare? human rights and two to three million homeless children, 22 Million incarcerated?
The country where a man last week went to a bank stole a 1 Dollar bill and waited for the police because he was sick and could not afford medication and needed some where to live? Human rights and Guantanamo,? Torture? Abu Ghraib? 1.5 million Iraqi’s dead should i go on?????
Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of the US. I know it and i appreciate all it has to offer but let’s be realistic here and just state the facts. Human rights do not register on the scale. It’s big money and Big Business it’s the same everywhere It’s the rich Vs the Poor.
I was once told a joke (what is the difference between a US fighter plane and a USSR fighter plane: The US will bring the pilot and have him sit then builds the plane around him. The USSR will build the plane then digs a whole and ask the pilot to sit in it) Both planes serve the same purpose and both pilots are trained to do the same thing , it’s the presentation that is different.
Dude do not copy my phrase…It was patented. 😛
i did put it in between quotation marks Danny.
however i should have attributed it to you .
El Sheikh, if you are looking for Utopia you are right it isn’t in the US nor anywhere else on this earth. But if you make a comparison yes the US is leading on the democracy and human rights front in comparison with for example Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China or you name it.
I live in the US since 1983, my rights are so much better guaranteed here than in Lebanon or any other Arab country. I happened to have been overseas during Sept 11 and flew back to the USA on Sept. 18 2001, the ICE agent’s only words to me were welcome home!
Now let’s imagine a Jew flying to Lebanon right after the 2006 war and compare how he would be greeted by our finest Amn el 3am
I am looking for a utopia you are right, I id not say the US is not better than a lot of places. I chose to be here and i am part of its system.
I have experienced its best and its worst and i am not complaining,
I am not advocating Iran or Syria of KSA or Russia or god forbid China.
As for your comparison about Sep 11. You are a US citizen you should be welcomed here.
There are Jews living both in Lebanon and Syria they are few i agree but i did not see them being held responsible or discriminated against in Lebanon. In fact isn’t the Synagogue in Beirut being renovated and rebuilt right now.?
Yes an Israelie will not be welcome in Lebanon. Why should they? our countries are at war. Until peace is signed they should be treated as they are : enemies.
let me ask you how are the Israelie treating Lebanese or Palestinians ? that is the valid comparison
Similar to how the Lebanease have treated each other and the Palestinians. we have killed as much and continue to have them in concentration camps.
Your “rant” suffered of two flaws:
(1) You chose to ignore totally the qualifier in the sentence that you quoted.
(2) Your selective memory or lack of it has dismissed Wilsonianism and its great world wide contributions including the founding of the UN, the tremendous impetus that had on decolonization of Africa and the leadership of Elinore Roosevelt in writing and promoting the UN Declaration of Human rights…
If Aoun is delusional and somewhat insane as the latest quotes have him….whats with the rest of the FPM. Dont they realize it? Im sure Alain Aoun among others would calla spade a spade and condemn the violence in Syria. Like all parties in Lebanon, the FPM has come a looooong way. Shame.
clAoun is a total shameless idiot. It seems everyone knows that; but it serves their needs for the moment. How can anyone else blame the Syrian people instead of the Bashar? If my memory serves we right; the village idiot made a comment along the same lines when he visited Syria the first time a few years back. I remember him demanding that the Lebanese apologize to Syria although we all know how the mukhabarat treated Lebanese through 92-05.
As for the rest of the FPM or supposed “followers”…They are incoherent bunch divided among:
1. Diehard loyalists.
2. Kids who think he is their cartoon superhero
3. Christians (Maronite) who hate Sunnis with extreme prejudice
4. Haters of LF.
The Christian followers of FPM are betting that HA mafia’s “protection” is worth the sale of their dignity.
1- you might call it a rant , but did i say anything wrong or not true. As for the qualifier if you mean ” whenever possible” i did not ignore it i am merely asking you when did the US promote Human Rights and Democracy?
2- As for the second part ( Woodrow Wilson? Really???) let’s see i will not go on a second rant however maybe you should Google the following:
Wilson and Race, Wilson and Haiti, Wilson and Cuba, Wilson and the Dominican Republic, Wilson and WW1, The Ludlow Massacre, The espionage act, American exceptional-ism The list goes on…
If i am critical of the US that does not make me a supporter or Iran or Communism etc …
Ghassan i make it a point of reading your posts whenever you do post, I might not agree with most of what you say but that does not mean i do not respect your opinion or analysis. However and I apologize up front if i seem condescending a bit, have you ever lived outside Lebanon? Have you ever Read : Zinn, Chomsky, Finklestein, Loewen?
There is another point of view out there,
I certainly did not forget what happened in 2006.
Israel bombed South Lebanon into the stone age, and killed 1200 mostly civilian Lebanese because Hassan Nassrallah took it upon himself to make a statement and kidnap some Israeli soldiers.
No. I have not forgotten that at all….
But let’s move on. Clearly, our views of history differ and are tainted by our differing biases.
And from today’s “I can’t believe I just read this” file, I give you the mother of all headlines.
Just when you thought Lebanon could not be any more surreal..
We get this:
“PFLP-GC Accidentally Kidnapped the Seven Estonians.”
“after extensive investigations, it became evident that the PFLP-GC was behind the abduction, stating that the group’s leader Ahmed Jibril openly confessed that it had kidnapped them.
He justified the abduction by saying that the cyclists were suspected of being Jewish, a matter which has been repeatedly denied, continued the negotiator.”
Wow. Why has Ahmed Jibril not been arrested yet? Or at least been brought in for questioning?
Oh, that’s right, i forget. Because there is no law and order in Lebanon when it comes to these clowns.
So let me get this straight…Kidnapping, in every country in the world, is a crime. But in Lebanon, it’s a political game? No consequences whatsoever. Specially if there’s some kind of excuse like “I thought they were Jewish”.
Seriously? What does it matter whether they’re Jewish, Estonian, or Sri Lanki? Kidnapping is kidnapping.
Only in Lebanon is there even an explanation provided for such ridiculous actions.
what a surprise BV i went straight to that beacon of journalism Naharnet and low and behold i find the article you are referring to.
For Nahar and Naharnet if a child dies in Zimbabwey it’s either the Syrians or the palestinians
that is when they are not reporting on another Leb Genious who discovered the cure for cancer or colonized Mars . Without forgetting the Tabboule abd Fattouch Guiness records
Well, yeah, I got that from Naharnet. It’s still pretty freaking hilarious, regardless of the source.
Besides, who do you think kidnapped the Estonians? And why have the authorities refused to say anything about their investigation (alleged) on the matter?
Where are the conspiracy theorists now? Let me guess, the Estonians were kidnapped by another Zionist/CIA plot?
Oh no, wait, if that was the case, Hassan Nassrallah would have come out in another sweaty video address to inform us of it.
If this was a run of the mill criminal kidnapping, I think we’d have heard so by now.
Naharnet or not, we all know who tends to like kidnapping western foreigners in Lebanon. It’s not usually Hariri, Geagea or Jumblatt (not that they haven’t done their share of kidnappings in other areas). But come on! Who do you realistically figure was behind this?
Speaking of funny. Gotta love Ghadafi and Ahmadinejad saying that the “crackdown” on the riots in the UK is unacceptable.
These guys are really hilarious. If they weren’t responsible for real people dying, I’d love to see them on a weekly comedy hour…along with some other clowns from our own neck of the woods.
Who mentioned CIA, Or Zionist? frankly i do not know who kidnapped them. Heck the report could be true for all i know I was just commenting on its source.
I have read a lot about Salafi’s involvement.
But really look at the Naharnet report not one source not one link it’s all anonymous and somebody said.
I stopped reading them when they banned me from posting. It’s funny as i do not think of myself as offensive. I hope i am not wrong.
Then i look at the posts they allow and it seems that they only keep those who are offensive and abusive (on both sides)
Naharnet is not a news site its a site with the mission on enhancing the sectarian tensions in the country
On a different note can somebody explain to me what happened with the electricity issue today? Anybody aware of the plan the Aoun submitted and why it was delayed?
I’m curious about the electricity thing as well.
PS: The Zionist/CIA plot thing was a joke. Not directed at you. Just your typical conspiracy theory… 🙂
Maybe the one time I will ever agree with Aoun’s statements. But I think people should indeed storm the parliament…I think they should’ve a long time ago.
My understanding is that the electricity law proposed by the FPM would give Bassil some kind of carte blanche to use up 1.2 trillion USD towards creating new electricity.
March 14 opposes the law citing the lack of checks and balances (Bassil would be unaccountable to parliament, apparently) and the lack of auditing.
At least, this is what I read. Perhaps someone knows if this is indeed true and if not, what the real issue is.
It’s $1.2 Billion. We’re talking about Lebanon here.
It’s crazy with all that is going on these days you can’t even get a clear picture who said what where and when.
You see give it time and you will see it the same way the General sees it 🙂
Let’s start the movement here and call for a storming of Parliement
Considering the ridiculous stuff the General says on a daily basis, I doubt I’ll see it “his way” any time soon.
I doubt anybody is capable of seeing what that deluded old man sees in his head.
Having said that, even a broken clock is right twice a day… 🙂
I hope we can learn a thing or two about freedom and democracy from the brave citizens of syria, egypt, bahrain, libya, tunisia among others.
Pity the sectarian divide that keeps our government perpetually afloat.
Watching (CSPAN) re WINEP’s hosting of the serious Syria regime gamechangers panel.
Bottomline? The Alawites simply must lead a coup.
Tamer #60, I agree, very powerful documentary that ruffled a few feathers in the Gulf. Al Jazeera kind of redeemed itself on Bahrain. Chapeau.
I was surprised by the quality of the image, after all the blurry stuff on youtube we’ve been forced to watch. All of a sudden it seems a story not coming from an Arab revolt, like we are not looking through the keyhole any more. We got so used to murky phone tapings, for a long while I thought I was watching a reenactment of the events…It seems it is not, which made me wonder why it took such a long time for the channel to air the documentary…did they keep it in store waiting for the right moment to air it? I rather think they where afraid to put the “actors” in harm’s way…
In any case, after all the discredit AJ earned through the non-coverage of Bahrain, I’d love to know the inside story of it.
Interesting tidbit today (albeit nothing earth shattering) about the STL informing Marwan Hamadeh, Elias Murr and May Chidiac that their assassination attempts are connected to the Hariri and Hawi assassinations.
After reading the news blurps on naharnet I don’t know If i can take anything seriously in the news, Did anyone hear what Fares Soaid said in arabic about the blast being linked to the STL, is the translation below accurate?
Was the blast a result of a bomb detonated at the wrong time, or was it a hand grenade that exploded? Was it a personal dispute or was it linked to the geopolitical issues in the country.
12 hours ago Al-Rouwad Website: Diya’s brother arrived at the hospital and said that his brother is a member of Hizbullah.
9 hours ago Al-Manar: Preliminary investigations revealed that a dispute over money erupted between the two victims in the Antelias blast, which led to a fight that resulted in the detonation of the bomb that was in their possession.
8 hours ago March 14 General Secretariat coordinator Fares Soaid called on the government through the Central News Agency to immediately inform the Lebanese of the details of the Antelias blast: The explosion took place after the STL achieved progress in the Hariri investigation.
6 hours ago NBN: Interior Minister Marwan Charbel stressed during the ongoing cabinet meeting that the Antelias blast resulted from a personal dispute.
6 hours ago Security sources to Al-Manar: Antelias blast victim Hassan Nayef Nassar was suffering from a financial crisis that prompted him to search for creditors and he owed an amount of money worth between $100-120k to Ihsan Ali Dia, who was also killed in the blast. Nassar brought Dia to FNB Bank in Antelias, where a friend who works there was supposed to lend him money, then a fight happened and the hand grenade exploded.
5 hours ago MTV: According to investigations, Dia and Nassar were preparing for a terrorist act and security cameras in the area recorded what happened.
is it any wonder why this country is so divided, just look at our media outlets, stooges of either political camp.
What’s hilarious is the way the narrative jumps to the bomb/grenade part as if that’s the most natural of things.
– X owed money so went searching for creditors.
– X found Y and they went to the bank.
– X and Y got into an argument.
(so far…this could be the narrative in any civilized country, or movie, or TV show…)
– A bomb/grenade went off…
Anywhere else in the world, or during any police investigation anywhere in the real world (as opposed to the twilight zone that is Lebanon), the FIRST question would be “Why did these people have a bomb or a grenade when visiting a bank to settle a financial matter?”
But no, not in Lebanon. Here it gets glossed over as if it’s completely normal…And instead, elaborate conspiracy theories and counter theories come out. yes, I am sure this was part of the STL/Zionist/Hezbollah/CIA/Zimbabwe Jewish Elders conspiracy on Lebanon. Just like everything else. *sigh*
Next time I have an argument with my girlfriend, I’ll have to make sure there are no bombs or grenades around, since apparently, that’s common place during disputes.
I think I thought up a new game and/or stand-up comedy routine…
Re-write any news headline from the world with the Lebanese spin.
For example: “The maid claims DSK assaulted her in his hotel room, then the grenade in their possession went off….”
ahahaha thanks BV, you killed me.
I am not defending the barbaric Syrian regime but read this gem from one of the M14 idiots
واعتبر النائب عقاب صقر في اتصال عبر «ل.بي.سي»، انه «إذا كانت المدافعة عن دم الشعب السوري والمطالبة بوقف سفك الدماء جريمة لبنانية وتدخلا بالشأن السوري، فأنا اعتبر ذلك جريمة شرف وهذا التدخل شرعي».
how much more retarded can these people be ! ?
Nice one BV. I really needed a laugh this morning.
What’s scary is I live less than a km away from the blast site, and I sometimes take my 1year old daughter to pick fish for our aquarium right there. I wonder more and more on a daily basis if I should get out of here. I guess I have an equal chance of perishing from some freak episode in any US city… Especially considering I am Lebanese and will likely have a grenade on me. 🙂
I’m tired of GMA continuously rambling on and on about thieves in the cabinet. Why hasn’t he demanded an enquiry into wrong doings of ministries and those that were in charge of them ?
Either put up … or shut up.
I fail to understand what is “retarded” about the statement in question. Its construction follows clearly the simplest and most common type of argumentation: (1) Premise (2) Inference and (3) conclusion.
The village idiot first has to account for the millions (estimated $40m) he embezzled in late 80’s from LAF coffers. He should account on his family’s sudden spike to multimillionaires column. He should account to all those first.
As for his constant refrain about his “crusade” against corruption…He thinks; rightfully so; that Lebanese are idiots and will accept him as a “clean” politician.
This guy is comparing the Lebanese intervention or condemnation of the Syrian regime to “Honor Killing” and saying it’s legitimate, enforcing the idea that Honor Killing is legit. Which is abhorring.
By the way Al Mustaqbal voted along with Amal against changing the law regarding Honor Killing they wanted to keep the punishment for someone who commits such a crime to 6 months in jail or perhaps no punishment at all like in most cases.
But, but….GMA has FILES on all of them!
(He’s been repeating that since 2005…Yet he still hasn’t produced any files or evidence against anyone).
Re: Honor Killings.
There is no such thing. There should be no such distinction from a legal standpoint. Honor Killing is just killing. Which is murder/manslaughter/etc.
Yet another one of those brilliant moments that reminds us why Lebanon is indeed so much more democratic and modern than the rest of the Arab world (as we are so fond of claiming)…Oh wait. No we’re not.
I wonder if the senile GA considers Nabih Berri a thief too and if he wants to hold him accountable like he wants to hold Saniora and Hariri accountable.
You should try posting these questions on Tayyar.org’s forum.
I did. They were removed within 1 minute. 🙂
I did not understand جريمة شرف
to be the same as “Honour Killing”. To me , Mr. Saqr was saying that if defending the right of a people is a crime then I will be proud to commit such a crime.
that’s the way I would have seen it too. Saqr is too smart to make a stupid remark of equating it to “honor killing”!!!!!
It’s high time that the blatant censorship and lack of freedom of speech on GMA’s Tayyar forum is fully addressed and exposed.
Anyone seeing the resemblance between GMA and Kim Il Jong on this blog ?
No one apparently seems to be aware on the Dear Leader forum.
Your blog is loosing its charm. It seems to have been monopolized by a bunch of folks, Christian expats, biased Sunni’s and Israeli Jews, united in their convection against HA, Shia’s…mirroring the divide in the Middle East where Sunni Muslim monarchies are the strongest bulwark of American foreign policy which blatently supports Israel. Sometimes, it seems that somehow they have been unable to digest the reality of Shia empowerment in Lebanon and unable to say that directly, for fear of appearing hollow, this bunch finds ways to get to them otherwise. The few folks who gave them a run for their money have left seeing it as a lost cause…..hope you are taking notice!!!
How the hell do you know who is Christian and who is Sunni or Jewish on this blog ? please enlighten us. this mentality of classifying people’s political opinions along secterian lines when you dont really know who is who is really stupid.
Just to have you know there are many Shia who are opposed to where HA is taking Lebanon and the region. how do you classify those ? traitors to the Sect ?
I love these people who waltz in and start making assumptions and generalizations. And it’s nice to see the sectarian card being played front and center by those who claim to be against it.
So now we’re a bunch of Expat Christian, biased sunnis and Jews eh?
Doesn’t matter what our opinions are, and what logic they are based on. It’s our label of “Sunni/Expat/Jew” that matters…How enlightened.
The Resistance camp took flight from ‘ere cos its not much use threatening and intimidating behind a computer screen.
Theres been no direct comments intended towards the Shiaa here,or any religious grouping/ Sect. Ive been following this blog for a long time, and I fail to see any comments of a sectarian nature.But What I do see, is vehement and vociferous attacks against thuggish regimes, leaders, Zaims and regressive ideologies which any sane person should be doing.
It is no secret that a majority of posters on this blog attack HA/ Syria/Iran on a daily basis not based on their background but on their actions and intentions and they do not spare other camps either, not least being Suadi Arabian/ Israeli/American policies.
IMO, this is the most balanced blog because every one and every camp gets a hiding and no one is spared…and most of the time they are arguments based on logic and reasoning.
I’m just really enjoying the reactions of the resistance lot crying foul, kicking and screaming, blaming others, and denying facts. I believe you have an undisputed leader representing you in every form, and his name is Michel Aoun.
Get over it !!!
I would love to challenge you to “define” me! So if we voice our opinions regarding the current affairs we are against Shia? What kind of twisted logic do you have? In the past couple of years I have been following the blog I have encountered a couple of “sectarian” comments if you even qualify it that way. Shia or not they are all Lebanese right? Unless HA has empowered you to qualify yourself as a Shia; W of F Party, HA, Protector of the Umma and THEN Lebanese.
Enjoy your summer and multifaceted and all inclusive Manar or FPM sites.!!
It’s the typical “if they state an opinion that’s not the one I want to hear, they must be Hitler” argument that’s so prominent on internet forums and blogs and in modern discourse.
It’s sad that fewer and fewer people are willing to accept differences of opinion as being just that: differing opinions.
Nowadays, it seems to be the fashion to just take any difference of opinion as a personal attack on self, and whatever identifies one’s self (in this case a particular sect).
#84 Maverick and others: your comments “The Resistance camp took flight from ‘ere cos its not much use threatening and intimidating behind a computer screen.” and “enjoying the reactions of the resistance lot crying foul, kicking and screaming, blaming others,”…appear to prove my hypothesis right! For all the hullaballo about liberty, freedom, democracy and rule of law….I don’t see a vociferous outcry to let the political power in Lebanon reflect the reality on ground where the Shia are a majority….to be openly against it would get a person labelled as a bigot..so, do the next best thing, don’t talk about it :-).
If you are all so concerned about the people of Syria and their right of self determination or for that matter anywhere else in the Middle east, then be more so about Lebanon and let the cause of Liberty take its own course. It’s like the British and Americans, they worked and talked for the cause of democracy/liberty in their countries while treating the colonies and blacks as sub-human respectively.
I’m not an arab and do not live in Middle east, so, consider me as an observer without an axe to grind. The fact remains that somewhere deep inside, you do not want to be ruled by those once considered lowly inspite of their superior numbers and trust me, you’r not alone here. This is true every where, In south Asia , Latin america etc where power resides in the hands of an elite from a minority ethnic or racial group and they don’t want to give it up to either the lower castes, mullattos or indigenous people and couch this inane opposition in moral terms.
Keep singing the songs of liberty…it’s fooling no one else!
Dude, why does it matter that the Shia (or any other sect) is a majority if you claim to not be sectarian?
I don’t give a rat’s ass who the majority is. What we need is a nation of law and order. The rule of law must come first and apply to all (majorities, minorities, etc).
I’ve been saying on this very forum, for a very long time, that sectarianism needs to be abolished completely. I have stated many times I am in favor of a popular vote system (and yes, I realize full well that if the Shia are a majority and vote for their sect, we’d end up with a Shia president or PM, and I’m perfectly fine with it).
I’d like to think that over time, people would actually vote for those who serve them best and that sect would play a smaller and smaller role in the matter, but I guess that’s a pipe dream for the time being.
Myself and several others here (and you’re more than welcome to search the back issues of this blog) were extremely critical of the cabinet of national unity of Hariri. Many of us were very critical, not only of the way it functioned, and of its M8 component (and Aoun’s penchant for obstructionism), but also for Hariri’s and M14’s complete incompetence.
I dare you to find me opinions more balanced than this in the Orange Room or wherever.
We were also quite critical of the very concept of national unity government for the simple reason that it doesn’t work. La Ghaleb, La Maghloub is a recipe for complete paralysis.
In a properly functioning system, he who wins the elections gets to govern, unilaterally, and then is held accountable in the next elections.
Which is why many of us allged “zionist/sunni/expat Christians” here were actually quite happy to see M8 form the new government uniliaterally. For the first time in Lebanon’s history, one side gets to govern, and we can see how well they do. That doesn’t mean I like them or their methods. I still think they are mostly bullies (I am speaking of the M8 camp here). But that is my personal opinion and I am entitled to it.
I still agree that they are currently in government, and plan to hold them accountable for their work come next elections.
So again, I ask, show me where any of this is biased-sunni/jew/expat or sectarian logic.
And show me what other blog or forum you frequent that is more balanced than this one.
I’ve seen the crap that passes for “dialogue” in the Orange Room. I have never even bothered to spend any time in the Future blogs because they are just as ridiculous. I have no love for bullies, personally, but I’m all for dialogue. Just because I don’t like that HA runs around bullying people doesn’t mean I am a biased sunni.
I also happen to think Hariri and co. are corrupt and incompetent.
I, and others here, have called time and again for the entire political class to be wiped out for Lebanon to move forward.
Sadly, that is not gonna happen as long as sectarian mentalities continue to thrive (and your focus on the shia is just as sectarian as the others and their Christian minority crap, or their Sunni crap. You’re no different. You just happen to be from a different sect than they are. But you sound just as sectarian).
If everyone in Lebanon actually went to the polls and voted for change, and for new leaders, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Everyone talks a big game, everyone bitches about sectarianism and all that, but when push comes to shove, they go to the poll and vote on sectarian basis. And that goes for the Shia, Sunnis, Christians and whoever else. They’re all just as bad. Quit bitching about sectarianism and DO something about it, people! They all talk the talk but no one walks the walk.
So please, spare me the “we are the majority” bullshit. In a non-sectarian world, it shouldn’t matter how many shia, druze or sunnis there are. It should only matter what their agenda and platform is.
“.I don’t see a vociferous outcry to let the political power in Lebanon reflect the reality on ground where the Shia are a majority…”
Shia are NOT a majority; not by a long shot. Now that’s a fact to start with. You are a blatant sectarian racist singing tunes of Liberty while tooting your racist tune.
“The fact remains that somewhere deep inside, you do not want to be ruled by those once considered lowly inspite of their superior numbers and trust me, you’r not alone here…”
???? WTF??? What the hell are you talking about? You seems a bit on the light side. I think I have spent more time than you warrant. Crawl back into your neo-Nazi hole.
Liberty, Democracy and Majority rule do not entitle anyone to own Rockets and Weapons outside the State control. as simple as that !
#88: “I don’t give a rat’s ass who the majority is. What we need is a nation of law and order. The rule of law must come first and apply to all (majorities, minorities, etc).”
That’s what Bashar is saying in Syria and hanging on to power!! The point is that ‘law’ is not sacrosanct…it’s defined by the rulers like the ‘prison term for anyone critising the King’. Law and policies that flow from it have no meaning if they are not established by a representative and participatory government. In Syria they had an ’emergency’ law for decades (imagine an emergency situation that lasts 40 successive years), only repealed when the heat was turned on!!! In US, racial segeration and slavery was practiced by law. So start giving a rat’s ass about the majority. All the anti-Syrian barbs appear hollow unless you look inwards in Lebanon and make corrections.
I agree with Vulcan