Lebanon, Syria

The Number One Sunni in Lebanon


Shortly after Najib Miqati became prime minister of Lebanon early last year, he went on Marcel Ghanem’s venerable political talk show, Kalam el-Nas.

Marcel asked him to respond to his opponents’ critique that he was not “Sunni enough” to assume the post from which Saad Hariri had been unceremoniously ejected by Hizbullah and its allies. Miqati responded with a hysterical tirade, which you can watch here. (Translation is below)…

Mikati: “I don’t accept anyone to question my Sunnism. If there’s a Sunni in Lebanon, it’s me. I won’t accept it! And those who want to hand out certificates (of Sunnism) can go do it on their own. I’m Sunni in belief, Sunni in practice, Sunni in politics, and I’m the number one defender of the Sunnis in Lebanon. If you want to talk about Sunnis, I’m the one with the highest number of Sunni votes. In the ballot boxes of Tripoli, 87% of the Sunnis voted for Najib Miqati, which has never happened in the history of elections in Lebanon. So [whoever is questioning my Sunnism] can get lost, with all my respect for the muftis and who else is concerned with this issue. I’m the Number One Sunni in Lebanon!”

Marcel Ghanem: Great. Moving on…

Today, the Sunni credentials of many of Lebanon’s leaders, including Messrs. Miqati and Hariri, are being challenged again. The situation in Tripoli has consumed the news, and I have nothing to add to the many good commentaries by Maya Mikdashi, Emile Hokayem, Karl Sharro, Michael Young, Mustapha Hamaoui, and others.

Except for this one thing: Before last week, I would have been surprised if 1% of the many Lebanese political junkies who read this blog could tell me who Shadi al-Mawlawi or Ahmad Abd al-Wahed were. Today, the identities of these men and the tension surrounding the former’s imprisonment and the latter’s death are causing a major headache for the sitting government.

The Future Movement has seized on these events to make a typically hamfisted play, pressuring Miqati to resign. I don’t see that succeeding unless the situation in Tripoli becomes far worse. And even in such a case, I continue to believe that Hariri has no desire to return to the limelight so soon. He is biding his time abroad not because of security threats but because the position of the Lebanese Prime Minister — the Number One Sunni in Lebanon — is precisely where he doesn’t want to be right now.

There will be a lot of bluster in the press for a few days, but behind the scenes, Lebanon’s political establishment will likely try to find a way to make its Tripoli problem go away. The truth is that no one is the Number One Sunni in Lebanon, which means that no one is ideally positioned to gain any political traction from the situation in the North.

Update: Have a look at Mitch Prothero’s piece for FP, which makes a similar point…

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Discussion

347 thoughts on “The Number One Sunni in Lebanon

  1. LOL @ Marcel Ghanem’s ” Moumtez”, the timing would have captured the envy of any stand up comedian. Absolutely obliterated his excellency.

    Posted by Maverick | May 22, 2012, 1:27 am
  2. Here’s how the government and the judiciary work under the Number One Sunni in Lebanon with 99% backing (of Bashar of course)..

    After the big hoopla that the stout “Lebanese intelligence” agencies arrested a shmo in a dramatic fashion announcin g that he is a member of a very dangerous terror network (You think they would know a bit about Terrorism lol); here’s what they do: He is released on bail for guess what???? $30. Now if this is the culprit that has been causing all this grief…Why on earth release him or a $30 bail?

    “Military Investigating Judge Nabil Wehbi, following Militay Prosecutor Saqr Saqr’s recommendation, ruled that Mawlawi should be released on LL500,000 bail”

    Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2012/May-22/174264-lebanese-judge-approves-mawlawis-release-on-bail.ashx#ixzz1vapxrgy9

    Give me a break…

    Posted by danny | May 22, 2012, 6:34 am
  3. *$300….

    Posted by danny | May 22, 2012, 6:39 am
  4. Lally,

    In the last thread you claimed:

    Rumor has it that the sheik’s vehicle stocked with all sorts of weapons. That could be a reason why he didn’t stop for the checkpoint.

    There’s also a “rumor” that the GOI is spying on Turkey using birds.

    Just a suggestion, but it would be useful is you used fact to formulate your opinions instead of rumor (aka “self-fulfilling prophecy”),

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2012/May-21/174096-lebanon-boils-after-sheikh-killing.ashx#axzz1vayUcihH

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 22, 2012, 7:09 am
  5. As I said in the last thread, I don’t see why QN thinks this government has done pretty well (or whatever the exact wording was).
    As Danny pointed out, if Mawlawi is truly some kind of terrorist, then releasing him on $300 bail seems retarded.
    And if he isn’t connected to any kind of terrorism, then this whole damn thing is a giant snafu/egg in the face.

    And then there’s the murder of the sheikh. Let’s see what the “investigation” reveals on that one…

    The real deal here is that this so-called government plays second fiddle to the militiamen and other forces and fails utterly at doing it’s job.
    I still cringe reading Jean Qahwaji’s retarded comments.

    Qahwaji: “More than half of the gunmen in Tripoli are under the politicians’ influence.”

    “They therefore are obligated to order them to withdraw from the street and work on easing the heated political rhetoric,” he noted.

    “They should create a suitable atmosphere to harbor the army since it remains the Lebanese people’s first and last resort,” declared Qahwaji.

    He stressed: “If the army’s authority is destroyed, then nothing will remain of the military institution.”

    Asked about the political decision that the army was waiting for in order to deploy in Tripoli, he said that the army “entered the area of clashes as soon as they started but it went under fire, and the most important issue was to protect our troops.”

    “When we made sure that everyone is demanding the army to intervene and that the army and troops will be safe from any sporadic gunshots, we decided to heavily deploy in the areas of tension,” Qahwaji told the daily.

    Yes. Read that again. Re-read the bolded section.
    I can’t even begin to tell you how much this disgusts me.

    The commander of the national army, in a supposedly independent UN-recognized state, is
    1) Asking permission from a bunch of thugs before he can do his job.
    2) Concerned with the safety of his troops first and foremost (as opposed to, I don’t know, the civilian citizens who his troops and himself are supposedly sworn and employed to protect and defend).

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | May 22, 2012, 2:00 pm
  6. As I said in the last thread, I don’t see why QN thinks this government has done pretty well (or whatever the exact wording was).

    BV,

    I guess it has to do with expectations. But I have to agree with you. Pretty bad for a so-called “sovereign state”…

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 22, 2012, 2:04 pm
  7. BV

    My comment was about how Miqati has managed the security situation in Lebanon for most of the past year, since the Syrian revolution erupted. The events of the last week have clearly been a disaster for his govt, but I think that they were largely out of his control.

    In general, I think that he has been able to operate far more successfully than Hariri was. He has handled Aoun’s nonsense very well, kept Lebanon on track with the STL, kept the Americans/Saudis happy and the Syrians at a brotherly arms’ length… all while pressing ahead with the gas file, telecom upgrades, managing the debt crisis, etc.

    All told, I think he’s done a pretty good job.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | May 22, 2012, 2:25 pm
  8. I guess you have lower standards than I do, QN 🙂

    All joking aside, I understand what you’re saying. It sounds like you’re basically giving him a passing grade for being a yes-man to everyone (Americans/Saudis/Syrians/etc). Foreign policy-wise, fine. He gets a D (passing, but barely).

    Domestic-wise, I disagree.

    What progress has been made on the gas file? None.
    The Israelis are just about to start drilling, and we’re still blowing hot air while our politicians try to figure out how to best embezzle any future proceeds.

    What progress on the telecom side? None that I know about.

    Debt crisis? Now you’re reaching. What has Mikati done about the debt crisis? What has he done that Hariri, Saniora or anyone before them didn’t do? Begging the Europeans for money while showing absolutely no growth in the economy, no modernization and no plan to fix the debt issues.

    You’re just basically saying that Mikati treads water and avoids getting shot or blown up (like his predecessor’s dad) by giving all sides nods and smiles and doing nothing. If that’s the standard, then fine. Kudos!
    I think my standards for good governance are a bit higher than that. Sorry.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | May 22, 2012, 2:49 pm
  9. I don’t pretend to understand what’s going on.

    But all this talk about Syrian traps and whatnot (a la MYoung) seems a little much. Are the various streets of Lebanon still so very fickle, it doesn’t take much more than a Fart to have them spill into mayhem?

    Posted by Gabriel | May 22, 2012, 3:11 pm
  10. PS (For those in Lebanon)

    What’s the sense of the situation there… Is it just petty stuff going on or does it look like those little incidents are going to blow over into something bigger? Is it safe to go there this summer?

    Posted by Gabriel | May 22, 2012, 3:15 pm
  11. gabriel you sound like such a Lebanese…You really want to go into a totally messed up situation. Today supposedly 16 Lebanese of Shia sect were “abducted” in Syria. Do you think Bashar would hesitate a moment to kill those “abducted” to further incite and deepen the rift between Sunnis & Shias? I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. However; I would not put this “abduction” past mukhabarat!
    Off course the HA/Amal crowd started burning tires right after the news was out. The Supreme governor of Lebanon went on the TV to say that people should not close streets as that does not accomplish anything. Now how bloody stupid is this coming from a guy who almost burned Lebanon to hell in January 2007, May 2008 and numerous other times…and coined it a glorious day for Lebanese!!

    Posted by danny | May 22, 2012, 4:09 pm
  12. Gabriel,

    Of course the Lebanese street is fickle.
    How long have you been around?
    This is the “street” that gets up in arms at the drop of a hat. You cut somebody off and they go get their friends and their guns.
    Someone somewhere farts sideways and they get all up in arms chanting “B’rooh, b’dam, nafdika ya “.

    Come on man!

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | May 22, 2012, 4:14 pm
  13. Danny not me.

    A friend is going for a wedding and asked if it was safe. I wasn’t sure what to say… (I mean not sure if what’s happening is just some petty things confined to particularly excitable sections of Lebanon, or if Beirut really may boil over in the next few weeks).

    Posted by Gabriel | May 22, 2012, 4:19 pm
  14. BV/Danny.

    I think that’s my point. If the street really is that fickle, then Syria doesn’t really need to do much to get anyone up in arms [not that I’m putting anything past Mukhabaratis].

    Still, something really ought to be said/done about this Fickleness. Is there nothing that can be done to make the streets a little less excitable? Perhaps a la QN’s and Monolith’s small steps strategy to “Fix” Lebanon.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 22, 2012, 4:23 pm
  15. Side note:

    I still laugh at the “Number One Sunni” claim, lol.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 22, 2012, 4:33 pm
  16. Here’s one for you gaby…maybe we should all move there with QN as our fearless leader and Monolith as the administrator…We can BV in charge of the cabinet and get an old friend AK as the Speaker of the house. Ghassan will be assigned the justice portfolio and in charge of putting a new constitution in place….
    But Gaby where do you fit in? The foreign minister and in charge of negotiations with AIG? 😛

    Posted by danny | May 22, 2012, 5:53 pm
  17. Given my track record of failed negotiations here at qn… I’m not sure that portfolio would be the right one, lol

    Posted by Gabriel | May 22, 2012, 6:35 pm
  18. QN #7
    I believe that at Oxford all exams are graded by 3 different readers and it is not uncommon to have the same paper graded as excellent by one and given a failing grade by another. Judging performance of governments is not any better. This is what makes a horse race.
    I would be willing to argue, if you so choose, exactly the opposite of your take on every single issue that you have given the current cabinet in Lebanon credit for.
    I am even willing to show my hand right from the start. Lebanon has witnessed under this cabinet a deterioration in practically every single measurable yardstick, bare none. ((Was the previous government more efficient, in some sectors yes and in others just as bad but this is not the point))

    Posted by gkaram | May 22, 2012, 10:24 pm
  19. Gabriel,

    No it ain’t that fickle, but lets do a bit of empathy work and stand in one’s shoes; Your typical Lebanese Sunni man.
    From the killing of Rafiq l’ Hariri in 2005 and the monopolization of power by HA ever since to the May 8 militia-style intimidation. The M8 rhetoric slandering the FM, Hariri and Sunnis at every turn. The black shirts incident and the consequent fall of the Hariri cabinet. The undiscriminating mass killing on a mostly defenseless Sunni civilian population in Syria and Lebanon. You have yourself quite a lot of pent up anger, rage, resentment and a sense of victimhood all bottled up. It’s not difficult to find a spark in a simple act of lets say an assassination here, a farce of a an arrest there and a constant barrage of rhetoric brandishing the Sunni community of harboring/supporting terrorists.
    And the rest is quite unsurprising. Its only natural that even your average moderate Sunnite in Lebanon does not feel a little hard done by and enraged. Some may argue, Hafez al Assad used these tactics during the civil war in Lebanon to manipulate the dynamics. Its the same old story.

    Posted by maverick | May 23, 2012, 6:11 am
  20. “Free Syrian Army denies abducting Lebanese pilgrims”

    “Sheikh said the Syrian regime “treats the FSA as a scapegoat. We condemn this abduction, which does not represent the values of the [Syrian] revolution.”

    “The kidnapping “is no doubt the work of the regime, which wants to sow chaos in the region,” Sheikh added.”

    “The Syrian National Council “does not think it is impossible that the regime is involved in this operation,” in order to sow “disorder” in neighboring Lebanon, the group said.”

    To read more: http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=400110#ixzz1vgjZFaAp

    Well I guess others think so as well…

    Posted by danny | May 23, 2012, 6:42 am
  21. If Lebanon were a barn full of dry and flammable hay, then a little spark or a f..t in G Minor would flare it up. If the hay is damp, then if you throw torch after torch and pour gazoline on it, it will not flare up.

    Since the summer of 2004 there has been several ‘incidents’ every year, each one would have been enough to flare up a new civil war, but it did not. Imagine half the country demonstrating against Syria in March 2005 in the belief that it was behind the Hariri assassination. Then you have the other half of the country demonstrating under the banner of ‘Thank you Syria’. Also imagine in the summer of 2006, half the country believing that the other half was cheering Israel on and encouraging it to destroy it while the second half believes that the Israeli attack was provoked in order to legitimize the agenda of the first half. November 2006, occupation of downtown Beirut and siege of the Serail (after the Government voted for the STL). Again imagine May 2007, Nahr el Bared could have flared up the whole country (ten days before the STL vote at the UN). Think of May 2008 with Hizballah attacking the city. Other incidents like the Arab University clashes that happened on the day of Paris III, the kidnap of the two Ziads, numerous assassinations with an NBN speakerine saying well done and who’s next. Men in black and threats to cut of hands and heads and all that etc… etc….

    Gabriel, you can tell your friend that getting married is far more risky than going to Beirut for a wedding at any time.

    It is too obvious that this is an attempt to destabilize the country, when the game is that transparent, it has much less chance to succeed. What the government has failed to do is to find a way to operate on day to day matters and get out of the paralysis and this has nothing to do with being Sunni or Shia, nor has bad calculations in January 2011 when some firmly believed that Syria was immune to the protests in the region and that the Asad rule was eternal and would last till after eternity.

    Posted by Nadim Shehadi | May 23, 2012, 7:09 am
  22. Hi Ghassan

    I would love to debate you on these points, but I have my family in town from Lebanon and elsewhere for graduation. It’ll be a busy few days, but I’ll try to check in in the evenings.

    Carry on…

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | May 23, 2012, 7:13 am
  23. Maverick,

    While I may agree with the points you raised individually, on the whole I can’t possibly agree with the sentiment of your post! I tend to see eye to eye on this point with Mustapha from over @ Beirut Spring.

    You’ve brushed off the question of fickleness and explained it away with a list of grievances- as I said- true individual point to individual point. But the end result is that really it doesn’t take much to spark anything, and in my books that is the definition of fickleness.

    If you want to bring in the historical grievances to make a slightly different argument- that “Look Gaby, look how much this poor community had to deal with”, and based solely on the volume of supposed legitimate grievance, you want to argue that it by definition cannot be explained as “fickle”, then I disagree with you.

    I don’t want to turn this into a Sunni-Shia argument, and I am commenting as a removed observer… if dispossession is the name of the game, then the Shia are far more dispossessed, and were so for much longer. And for much longer and to this day, they do not have what I think ought to be an equitable space and authority in politics. What they lack in the system, they’ve made up for with the rather brutish Hizballah- its weapons and whathaveyou. And they’ve made up for it by exploiting Syria’s interest in forever meddling with Lebanon. So they’ve managed to “Get their way”.

    The other point you bring up- and which again I disagree so very strongly with is this following sentance:

    “The undiscriminating mass killing on a mostly defenseless Sunni civilian population in Syria”

    Look, it’s all fine and dandy that people are sympathetic, that they take sides. Why can’t we use that argument for the Sunnis of Iraq, or the Sunnis of Turkey. They too have borders with Syria, and they too have families strewn across the border!

    Why is Lebanon so unique in having its streets shouldering the grievances of “Sister” Streets in neighboring countries- was that not the lesson of the Civil War? That in the interests of Civil Peace, maybe the Lebanese should care a little less about the grievances of non-Lebanese!

    Posted by Gabriel | May 23, 2012, 7:22 am
  24. Gaby,

    Here is an interesting piece that echoes Maverick’s note above. http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/lebanon%E2%80%99s-sunni-street-takes-charge

    This is also an interesting read: http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/journey-outside-state

    It’s Ibrahim al Amine so you have to read it with a dash of salt… For instance he doesn’t point out the obvious: His M8 cronies have been using these tactics since 2005 and earlier. If you can get over his blaming only one side then it is quite an insightful read. In other words, what he says applies to both M8 & M14.

    My two cents: the place is slowly but surely continuing its downward spiral. Last year it was only Hizballah that was above the law. Now certain Sunni groups are above the law as well. Let’s see the government dare to arrest another islamist in Tripoli or arrest anyone for burning down political party offices in Tarik el Jedideh. Soon you’ll have some radical christian groups pushing the limits.

    I have to disagree with QN here – at least from a rule of law standpoint – things are much worse under Miqati. Some of the other indicators that matter (to me at least):

    Electricity: Shortages are much worse today that they were a few years ago. They approved the Minister’s plan a little over a month ago. No tender documents have been issued or any of the other practical steps that need to be taken initiated. They’re still trying to form committees.

    Oil & Gas: No progress. Sure a law that was drafted by Hariri’s government was passed, but they still can not agree on who will sit on the committee that distributes the wealth.

    Telecoms: No improvements whatsoever in rates & accessibility. Sure they introduced 3G, but since its introduction dropped calls are much worse. Dealing with Ogero… ha!

    Water: No improvement. Continuous shortages when we should have surpluses. And NOT ONE PERSON is doing anything about this.

    Economy: Cost of living significantly up – inflation has been relentless in the past 2 years. Rents and food costs have nearly doubled.

    Culture: Movies are being censored and old Beirut torn down house by house to make way for the skyscrapers – that do not have infrastructure (roads, water and sewage) to support them.

    Environment: What environment? We’re actually down to about 15% tree cover now. Quarries are relentless and construction does not stop. Luckily there is no manufacturing industry to speak of or else this would be a toxic dump.

    Yes the Syrians have not invaded, but this is not due to Miqati – and the proxy war is around the corner no matter what Miqati tries to do/say.

    All that said, don’t get me wrong, I am no fan of Hariri and I do like Miqati. However, I think he needs to lead a technocrat government that is equi-distant from all the morons that make up his cabinet today.

    I haven’t lost all hope for the place yet, but sure am getting close. Fortunately I am one of the lucky few with a passport that can take me anywhere I want to go. I almost feel sorry for the rest of the assholes that don’t.

    As they say in one of my new favorite African countries to visit: You Reap What You Sow.

    Posted by Johnny Seikaly | May 23, 2012, 7:32 am
  25. I realized I never answered your question. The street is not fickle. It makes very calculated moves upon clear instructions. You have a few troublemakers from all sides that will go out and burn tires and make loud noises, but once the leadership asks them to go home, they do.

    The new variable that Al Amin’s alludes to in the article I posted above, is that the Sunni component of the street no longer listens to the existing political leadership. Hariri/FM had to support the release of Mawlawi. Otherwise, they would not have gotten the mobs off the streets.

    Posted by Johnny Seikaly | May 23, 2012, 7:53 am
  26. That’s actually quite an interesting take on things.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 23, 2012, 8:12 am
  27. Johnny

    I’m preparing a post on Ibrahim al-Amin’s nonsense.

    As for the other points, I’ll try to check in later and respond. Thanks.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | May 23, 2012, 9:36 am
  28. QN, I look forward to it.

    Daily Star seems to agree with me on government performance.

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Editorial/2012/May-22/174214-head-in-the-sand.ashx#axzz1vhaIn1lg

    The money quote: “Not only have many aspects of life worsened – traffic, electricity rationing, oil prices – but the simple ABCs of governance have not even been carried out. The government has, as yet, failed to produce a budget, which is a basic and fundamental step for the daily workings of any state.

    On top of that, issues of safety and security seem to be spiraling out of control. Even without the events of the last few days, kidnappings, murders and robberies seem to have become a daily occurrence.”

    Just to be clear, I am not advocating a return of Hariri or National Unity crap. Am just saying that this Miqati cabinet can not be viewed as a success on any level. Sure he inherited this mess, but hasn’t done anything to fix it – in my book.

    Posted by Johnny Seikaly | May 23, 2012, 10:23 am
  29. If the death of Assef Shawkat is true then this has to be a major setback for the Syrian dictatorship. This will most probably lead Maher and Bashar Assad to become more defensive than ever and will probably lead to an escalation of the responses by the regime to any act by the opposition. Could this event cause more serious cracks in the ruling cabal? I sure hope so for the sake of all freedom loving individuals whether they are Syrian, Lebanese or even Martians.

    Posted by gkaram | May 23, 2012, 10:41 am
  30. Gabriel I can assure you in the streets of beirut there is a generalized feeling of doom. I have not experienced such an eerie silence and emptiness for very long. It is like we are all expecting the thing to blow anytime. quite unpleasant.

    Posted by rm | May 23, 2012, 4:46 pm
  31. Ok guys, a good friend of mine has this on his blog….

    http://blogbaladi.com/najib/lebanon/last-96-hours-in-lebanon/

    Gabby do you get the picture?

    Posted by danny | May 23, 2012, 6:35 pm
  32. Gabriel,

    I’m in no way justifying the anger on the streets but was alluding to the rest of the iceberg, so to speak, instead of the tip. There is constant pressure on all Lebanese but some are in real pressure cookers with no outlet to ” Fesh khel2oon”. For example, I can easily recognize the tight position the Sunni community has been in as opposed to the Shia or had multiple levels of outlets to take out their frustration, i.e. the street, downtown sit-in, politically, and militarily. Not to differentiate, but you have to call a spade a spade.
    I agree with Johnny, that the streets are not as independent as one might think and it takes one call from the top for the henchmen to abandon the street. However, it might be a little more difficult for the Sunnites who lack a strong central leader and that this vacuum have left the Salafis/extremist elements to fester. This is where the fickle street is coming from mainly, and you have a lot of powers taking advantage of it.
    But to take it one step further, I do place some blame on Harriri who is being a real 5 yr old sulk. He has tarnished his reputation and that of his party/movement.

    Posted by Maverick | May 23, 2012, 8:31 pm
  33. correction:
    *as opposed to the Shia WHO had

    Posted by Maverick | May 23, 2012, 8:32 pm
  34. Danny,
    I think that the post on Blogbaladi for May 22nd was one of the worst experiences that could happen to anyone anywhere.. Take a look if you have not seen it already:

    http://blogbaladi.com/admin/lebanon/kidnapped-sunday-night/

    Posted by gkaram | May 23, 2012, 9:40 pm
  35. I think the criminal acts committed since Monday are opportunistic in nature. The shootings in Hamra/Caracas and Jdeideh are most certainly so. This is a great time to settle personal scores.

    Pretty soon we will all be vigilantes. If I may dream for a moment… I’ll finally get to hook up the anti-aircraft gun to the roof of my car. I’ll dare anyone to cut me off then! 🙂 If fuel prices weren’t so outrageous I’d steal the bulldozer down the street and commute in it. Now that would be fun.

    Back to reality, and dodging bullets in the land of milk and honey. If anyone’s in Beirut this coming Friday, support the arts and come check out my band. (Sorry for the plug QN).

    https://www.facebook.com/events/383585625021366/

    Posted by Johnny Seikaly | May 24, 2012, 7:26 am
  36. @Nadim Shehadi, comment 21.

    Safer than getting marreid? 🙂 Tell that to the (how many exactly) people who lost their lives in the past month in Lebanon due to “security incidents”.

    Transparent attempt to destabilize the country? I agree. It’s quite transparent.
    But your logic that transparency makes it less likely to succeed is a far fetch. I think it was pretty transparent and obvious to most that Lebanon was being destabilized in the years prior to 1975. “Security incidents” abounded. Arms flowed into the country. Everyone was getting ready for something. It was pretty freaking transparent to all, I think. It still lead to 15 years of civil war.

    I don’t really understand the delusion some people live with. The situation in Lebanon has been deteriorating steadily since the Hariri assassination and Syrian withdrawal. I’m not linking cause/effect here, just picking a date in time before which I think a certain status quo was stable, and after which things have been essentially on a downward trend.

    Will it inevitably lead to a civil war? I don’t know. Only time will tell.
    But the ingredients are certainly there, as they were in 1975.
    One heavily armed side, dominating the country, for all intents and purposes. Sectarian lines drawn in a way where a couple of sects feel they are being squeezed out (whether rightly or wrongly is immaterial here). A rather unstable region…The ingredients are ALL THERE. And the signs are not good, IMO.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | May 24, 2012, 12:59 pm
  37. Mr. gkaram,

    What journalistic standards does the news website you contribute adhere to?

    Is it a tabloid?

    Posted by Monolith | May 24, 2012, 3:14 pm
  38. QN,

    I finally decided to sit down and actually read the manual on the Lebanese product.

    On page 1367 it says:

    BRAINS NOT INCLUDED!

    Posted by Monolith | May 24, 2012, 3:24 pm
  39. “The latest Darwinian Evolutionists have recently discovered that the God gene exists in the Lebanese genome and also contains a rare gene that impedes any long term visioning and reasoning of life.”

    Source: Yalibnan

    Posted by Monolith | May 24, 2012, 3:32 pm
  40. AIG,

    Beware the inbreeding.

    Posted by Monolith | May 24, 2012, 3:39 pm
  41. @Nadim Seikaly,

    Great posts. I agree with you completely about this government’s performance (and much like you, I have no love for Hariri).

    Good point about how we now have Sunni groups acting above the law now too. I hadn’t thought of it quite this way, but it’s exactly right. And how long before other groups follow this path, as you said…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | May 24, 2012, 4:09 pm
  42. Prime Minister Miqati,

    What defines being the Number One “Sunni” in Lebanon?

    What does it mean in the context of my being a “non-Sunni” in Lebanon?

    Much appreciated,

    Concerned Lebanese Citizen

    Posted by Monolith | May 24, 2012, 4:36 pm
  43. Monolith says:

    “Mr. gkaram,

    What journalistic standards does the news website you contribute adhere to?

    Is it a tabloid?”

    Isn’t that a childish question? Such an assinine observation normally would not merit a response but I have to tell you that one of my basic shortcomings, amond many, is that I cannot bear fools gladly. No one should.

    Posted by gkaram | May 24, 2012, 6:38 pm
  44. Not at all. It is a genuine one.

    What standards of journalism does the website you openly contribute to adhere to?

    Is it on the ground journalism … or hearsay?

    Posted by Monolith | May 24, 2012, 7:20 pm
  45. “If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding. How can you
    have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”

    Posted by Monolith | May 24, 2012, 8:56 pm
  46. R2D2 has resurrected.

    Posted by Maverick | May 24, 2012, 10:51 pm
  47. @46…Keen eyes. 😀

    Posted by danny | May 25, 2012, 7:23 am
  48. I am not As’ad Abukhalil. But I am Angry!

    Posted by Monolith | May 25, 2012, 7:41 am
  49. Lol maverick… You beat me to the punch!

    Posted by Gabriel | May 25, 2012, 8:23 am
  50. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/25/world/middleeast/with-syria-in-turmoil-iran-seeks-deeper-partner-in-lebanon.html

    Boy are the Iranians dumb. Any predictive cause and effect analysis of Lebanese politics is plain hubris. Hindsight though is quite good.

    Posted by AIG | May 25, 2012, 9:51 am
  51. Jihadi BS Alert

    Russian arms shipments are on the way to Damascus.
    Why is it that blowhard Nasrallah doesn’t have any of his famous “resistance” venom for Russia and Assad?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 25, 2012, 11:03 pm
  52. Enjoy this wonderful occasion, QN. A new crop of students are eagerly waiting to hear your lectures as of a few months from now. Congratulations.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | May 27, 2012, 9:52 am
  53. I guess allowing the FSA, Turkey and Hariri to secure the release and return of the 11 kidnapped Lebanese was a bit of a tall order for Mr. Assad.

    I think he’d rather return them in body bags than to admit he’s lost control.

    Posted by Monolith | May 27, 2012, 2:12 pm
  54. The story of the 7 Estonians and the Lebanese 11.

    or…

    Snow White and the 7/11 Dwarfs.

    Posted by Monolith | May 27, 2012, 8:20 pm
  55. Monolith,

    Are you R2D2? You sound a lot like him. Maybe you’re from the same Day3a!!

    Posted by Ras Beirut | May 27, 2012, 10:48 pm
  56. Danny and Gabriel,

    I am reminded of the discussion we had about honor.

    38 Arab kids are murdered in cold bold. What in your opinion is the honorable thing to do? I am not implying anything nor making a judgement. Just trying to understand your concept of “honor”.

    Posted by AIG | May 27, 2012, 10:53 pm
  57. What used to be considered “honorable” action by the West would be to actually search for the truth about our next target for regime change’s responsibility for the deliberately brutal massacre and then proceed accordingly. But those were the good old days. Now, it’s beyond the pale to even question the dominant narratives even if they make no effing sense.

    As an Israeli from the used to be only-“democracy”-in-the-Middle-East did you feel “dishonored” by the thousand-strong race riot in Tel Aviv, AIG?

    Posted by lally | May 28, 2012, 12:05 am
  58. Lally,

    If you explain to me what it means to be “dishonored” I could answer your question. That is my question.

    The West’s target for regime change? Assad is the target of his own people. If you don’t respect that and support Assad, you really have a problem.

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 12:24 am
  59. I always assumed “honor” meant resisting Israel.

    I’m sure Lally has a more nuanced explanation that side-steps the 13,000 or so killed by Baathist shabiha..

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 28, 2012, 12:54 am
  60. Is the concept of “honor” a foreign one to you AIG? If so, that would explain a lot about why you have trouble with understanding the related term; “dishonored”.

    c’est dommage.

    Let’s try again.

    Did you, AIG, as a citizen of the ODitME, feel shamed by your countrymen and their ladies demonstrating their anti-democratic racism so openly?

    Posted by lally | May 28, 2012, 1:18 am
  61. Ras Beirut,

    Who is R2d2?

    What does coming from a Day3a have to do with anything?

    There are many prominent Lebanese that come from Day3as.

    Are you a Beiruti Elitist that thinks little of people with roots from Lebanese Day3as?

    Posted by Monolith | May 28, 2012, 4:48 am
  62. Peter please shut your trap as it is so obvious who you are!!

    AIG, What on earth are you talking about?

    Posted by danny | May 28, 2012, 7:07 am
  63. Lally,

    Are you implying that being dishonored is being ashamed? So are the concepts the same? That is obviously false. I suggest you try again.

    No, I am not ashamed by the behavior of my fellow countrymen. They should be ashamed for their deeds. It seems you are living in constant shame for what your country and compatriots do. That explains a lot.

    But really your whole attitude in my opinion is antisemitic. In a country of 7 million there will of course be racists, murders, pedophiles etc. etc. Israel’s crime rate is well below the US’s for example. Yet, you want Jews to be ashamed for something that is quite normal in all populations. And you set a standard for democracy that is “special” for Israel. The usual double standard.

    Plus, it is amusing to see how you prefer to blame the “West” instead of Assad. And then you want to lecture us also on democracy after you endorse the Assad kind.

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 9:11 am
  64. Danny,

    Do you remember the discussion we had after I said that democratic Arab countries would not go to war for the Palestinians and you thought that I was implying Arabs are not honorable? If not, never mind.

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 9:16 am
  65. AIG,

    There were hundreds killed by your (IDF) bullets and ammunition….In cold blood. Is that honorable?
    …As for any murder; be that cold, hot or lukewarm blood; it is NOT honorable!

    Posted by danny | May 28, 2012, 9:36 am
  66. Danny,

    Killing in cold blood is immoral, whether it is done by someone in the IDF or not, but I don’t see how that is relevant. Whether it is “honorable”, that is exactly the question. It can’t be for example that “honorable” means “moral” because honor killings are not moral. What I am trying to understand is what “honorable” means to you.

    And I am not discussing the murders themselves, but the appropriate actions given that they happened. What is “honorable” to do now from your perspective?

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 9:50 am
  67. AIG,

    I really don’t know what the hell you are talking about! It means Israeli bambing of Lebanon indiscriminately is immoral and NOT honorable. It means any killing by any regime is immoral and NOT honorable….and comparison to the IDF’s killings in COLD blood through the years is more than relevant. What “moral authority” do you have to judge others while ignoring the mess in your own house?

    Posted by danny | May 28, 2012, 9:54 am
  68. Danny,

    What I am trying to figure out, is what you mean when you talk about “honor”. How is that not clear? Allow me a leading question that perhaps will make things clearer: What is the difference in your mind between being moral and being honorable? Is there a difference? If yes, what is it?

    Where did I claim by the way that I have “moral authority”? As for making judgments, I have the right to make them, and you have the right to ignore them, and vice versa. But I don’t see how that is relevant because I haven’t made any judgment about others in this discussion.

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 10:11 am
  69. AIG:

    The context of “honour” in our thread 2 posts or so ago had a different context.

    If one acts dishonourably, they should feel “ashamed”.

    What constitutes honour and dishonour may well be subjective. I don’t know if there is another word that separates “value” systems, in say the way there may be a difference between the words: “Ethics” vs. “Morality”, the former being a more legal term, and the latter more values based.

    I am not here to weigh in on what acts may be considered dishonourable, or otherwise. What interests me is Equality of Metrics and Equal Applications thereof. My charge against you at the time (and I don’t particularly care to revisit that discussion out of respect for our host… but you are welcome to re-read it) was that you in general do not appear to apply metrics equally.

    I don’t understand the relevance of your question regarding the 38 dead Arab kids.

    It is shameful. It is a horrible act…. and then what?

    Are you asking whether the “honourable” thing in my view is to support seeing Syria descend into chaos and civil war (with potentially thousands of more dead Arab kids) because 38 Arab kids died? [I am assuming here that you are talking about the recent massacre in Syria].

    Posted by Gabriel | May 28, 2012, 10:58 am
  70. Gabriel,

    You may be interested in Equality of Metrics, whatever that is, but I am interested in solving problems that are important to me. And I admit upfront that I would act differently if someone murdered tens of Jewish children. Is that an example of not applying “Equality of Metrics”? If it is, I am quite proud of it because it seems to me your “Equality of Metrics” is tantamount to an excuse to do nothing always.

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 11:05 am
  71. AIG:

    You and I live in drastically different planets.

    Add to that- I did not understand a word of #70. Equality of Metrics is simple. Start with a Metric, and see how you apply it in various situations. At the very least, don’t judge others for applying your Metrics in similar situations.

    How would you act if someone murdered Tens of Jewish Children?

    What would you do?

    And why don’t you do it in Syria as well? Meaning- would you only do “it”, whatever it is that you would do, if the victims are Jewish?

    Posted by Gabriel | May 28, 2012, 11:22 am
  72. Gabriel,

    The metric is simple: People who murder children should be stopped.
    And even though I support this principal I would only apply it to Jewish children because I cannot apply it universally. But I would at least apply it to some small group while you would not apply it to any group.

    You live in on the planet “universalism” where you discuss principals you never plan to employ in reality while I live in the planet “reality”. You care so much about everybody that you don’t do anything. I care more about a small group of people and act accordingly. In plain words, your “equlaity” is an excuse to do nothing.

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 11:34 am
  73. What’s your point AIG? I have answered your abstract question. Now what? what I want to do about it? I have been in support of military intervention to toss out the murderous regime. Are you bored?

    Posted by danny | May 28, 2012, 11:35 am
  74. Danny,

    Would you volunteer to take part in a military intervention?

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 11:40 am
  75. Dude; that’s not my country! Why don’t you; as it is a universal issue? The blood of a Jew or a Syrian child should be the same to you. Right? Also, IDF would love the opportunity to clear its tarnished reputation after the 2006 fiasco. 😀

    Posted by danny | May 28, 2012, 11:45 am
  76. AIG:-

    Actions and Decisions are not simple binary choices. 49 kids dead. Ditto: Roll in the Tanks.

    Life is more nuanced. Those tanks kill people as well.

    Yes, 49 dead kids is terrible. So what do you propose? US fighter jets flying over Syria and dropping “Precision” guided missiles. And when one takes a wrong turn and kills hundreds, they say Oops. Sorry.

    At some point, someone needs to weigh the Pros and Cons and future fallouts from actions and make informed decisions. Is the right decision in this case to have the “West” intervene militarily? I don’t know. Or it depends. The “West” needs to tread very carefully in the Middle East, and worry about the Optics. We don’t need this to be yet another Chapter in the on-going saga of the East complaining about Western Colonialism. A little behind-the-scenes reshuffling of Dictators du Jour. Because I tell you, if that’s what ultimately happens in Egypt and Libya and and and… mark my words, that’s what the headlines will be in the Arab world for some time to come.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 28, 2012, 11:52 am
  77. Danny,

    Well the blood of a Syrian kid and a Jewish kid are not the same to me. I would act in the case of Jewish blood but would not in the case of Syrian blood. But it seems you want to argue that their blood is the same as American and Lebanese kids to you, and yet you are not prepared to act.

    Gabriel,

    Yes, yes. There are always reasons not to do anything while espousing “Equality Metrics”. Rationalizing while kids are being murdered is always easy. What are “Equality Metrics” worth if always one can say that “there are no simple choices”. What that really means is that there are no real principles you adhere to. It is just hot air. If tomorrow Assad murders another 50 kids and the next week another 50, you will still come back with the same rationalizations.

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 12:32 pm
  78. AIG:

    I don’t understand your angle.

    You come here, and state that while you are opposed to the Principle of Murdering Chidren… you ” would only apply it to Jewish children because you cannot apply it universally. ”

    Then you come here and ask whether myself or Danny are willing to “apply it to Syrians”. Even though neither Danny, nor I are Syrians.

    So why do you think Danny or I should do something that you yourself are not prepared to do?

    Posted by Gabriel | May 28, 2012, 1:05 pm
  79. AIG:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6981557.stm

    Apparently many of the (>1000) people killed in Lebanon were Women and “Children”.

    You write:

    The metric is simple: People who murder children should be stopped.

    Given that in 2006, apparently the people murdering children were Israeli soldiers… what did you personally do to follow your principles and stop the murders?

    Posted by Gabriel | May 28, 2012, 1:27 pm
  80. Gabriel,

    My angle is simple. You are trying to push the “Equality Metric”. Of course I think it is ridiculous and would not act according to it. But why would you not act according to it if it is your principle? Why do you find surprising that I would expect you to act according to a principle you support? And how is it relevant that I don’t act according to it since I don’t support it? You are either willing to apply your principle to Syrians are not. If you are, I am not seeing it. In fact you pretty much said you plan to do nothing. If you are not, then why are you telling us you support the “Equality Metric”?

    In 2006 no Israeli soldier targeted any child directly or had any intent to kill a child. If any would have, I and many others would have stopped them. But again, how is this relevant at all? In addition, if you believe Israel actually massacred children in 2006 then the fact that you did nothing shows you do not really adhere to the principle. When do you actually apply your beliefs, or are they only theoretical, and not actually strong enough to ever apply?

    What action would ever cause you to say: I am picking up a gun and going to protect some children. If there is actually no action that would cause you to do this, what exactly are your “Metrics” worth?

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 2:02 pm
  81. Gentlemen, isn’t that simple to you? AIG just want to know what “honour” means. He is constantly hearing about this word, and want to understand it. Period.

    Posted by 3issa | May 28, 2012, 2:03 pm
  82. “In 2006 no Israeli soldier targeted any child directly or had any intent to kill a child. If any would have, I and many others would have stopped them…”

    I guess mass murder is not as bad as murder. Your planes dropped millions of cluster bomblets all over Lebanon and kids and adults alike are still dying. I guess the premeditation and intent of IDF goes beyond serial killing.

    Posted by danny | May 28, 2012, 2:07 pm
  83. Danny,

    We have had the discussion about what Israel did in 2006 many times already. Why repeat it?

    But let’s build on it. If you believe that Israel committed mass murder, what exactly did you do to stop it? Or is mass murder of Lebanese also not a good enough an excuse to do anything?

    3issa,

    Humor me then and explain what is the “honorable” thing to do when children are murdered and we all know will also be murdered in the future by Assad forces. I think I will understand what “honor” means from this example.

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 2:16 pm
  84. AIG, you are becoming awfully boring…I do not want to insult you by replying to your idiosyncrasies. I could go back 70 years but I won’t!!!!!!!!!!

    It seems your folk are advocating a military solution to the Syrian problem. Maybe you should sign up again..

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/un-troops-to-syria-now-1.432873

    Posted by danny | May 28, 2012, 2:19 pm
  85. AIG:

    In 2006 no Israeli soldier targeted any child directly or had any intent to kill a child.

    How do I know that? How do I know that those planes that were bombing Lebanon from the High Skies had the “Intent” to kill a child.

    Likewise, how do you know that those Bashar henchmen who killed the children had the “Intent” of killing children? Maybe they too just went into the towns and sprayed them with bullets!

    In addition, if you believe Israel actually massacred children in 2006 then the fact that you did nothing shows you do not really adhere to the principle.

    My principle is Equality Metric. You clearly still don’t understand what that means.

    So I explain it again:

    1) If you are going to give a Free Pass to Israeli soldiers dropping bombs and killing children- be they Palestinian or Lebanese- don’t come here and feign moral outrage at the death of 50/100/1000 children at the hand of the Assad Thugocracy. Be consistent.

    2) If you don’t feel that you need to do anything as a Jew to help Syrian Children, because you focus your efforts on helping Jewish children, and you can’t possibly have all the necessary time in the Day to solve all the world’s problem, then extend the same courtesy to someone like Danny…, to allow him to- from a distance- complain about the Assads without actually having to go there himself to do something about it.

    I hope this clarifies things.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 28, 2012, 2:41 pm
  86. Gabriel,

    Since you raised the issue it is you that has to show that Israeli pilots intended to kill Lebanese children. So where is your proof? As for the case in Houla, how exactly do you slit the throat of several kids by accident without intent?

    You are evading the questions regarding your “Equality Metric” and playing games. It is your principle, NOT mine. Therefore, it is fair to ask how you apply it to YOURSELF, not keep giving me examples how I apply or don’t apply a principle I don’t adhere to. Why should I apply it if I think it is stupid?

    I am willing to protect Jewish kids. So, are there ANY kids you are willing to protect? If not, what exactly are your principles worth? Are you just articulating a principle you never plan to apply?

    Danny,

    Since when does an editorial in Haaretz represent Israel? How many Syrian kids are you willing to see killed before you do something concrete to protect them?

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 3:00 pm
  87. AIG:

    Since you raised the issue it is you that has to show

    https://qifanabki.com/2012/05/21/the-number-one-sunni-in-lebanon/#comment-35722

    Please bear in mind who “raised” the issues. It started with a question that you posed. So- it is you who raised the issue.

    As for the slit throats, how do you know who did the throat slitting?

    You rely far too much on speculation, heresay and whathave you. You brought up the murder of the Syrian children, and feigned outrage at it. You likewise dismissed the murder of Lebanese children in the 2006 war as being “Unintentional”, thereby giving yourself and the Israelis moral license for those murders.

    So no, since you brought it up, the onus is on you to explain the apparent difference in your position. Until such time that explain this point, I remain true to the “Equality Metric”. As you noted, I did nothing about the Israeli murderous rampage, as I do nothing about Assad’s murderous rampage.

    If you find the Equality Metric a ludicrous concept. Fine. Find it ludicrous. It simply means you are a hypocrite. In which case, may I humbly ask you, why did you bring up the topic at all? Is it because you are bored as Danny asked you earlier?

    Posted by Gabriel | May 28, 2012, 4:05 pm
  88. PS:

    Since Danny has openly stated that he supports intervention in Syria, what more do you propose he do to help the Children of Syria? And why have you asked him how many more children he is “Willing to See killed?”.

    By that same token, you didn’t explain why there is a bigger onus on the Non-Syrian, very-much-Lebanese Danny to do something more to stop the Children being killed, than say, you a Non-Syrian, very-much-Jewish AIG.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 28, 2012, 4:10 pm
  89. Gabriel,

    Evade, evade, evade with irrelevancies, I see that is your strategy today. I asked a simple question, why can’t you give a simple answer: I am willing to protect Jewish kids. So, are there ANY kids you are willing to protect? If not, what exactly are your principles worth? Are you just articulating a principle you never plan to apply?

    A hypocrite is a person who articulates a principle he never plans to apply.

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 4:10 pm
  90. Gabriel,

    You and Danny have evaded stating clearly whether you care about Syrian children as much as Lebanese or Canadian. I have been honest. You are evading and trying to run away from answering this simple question. So, do you care about Lebanese or Canadian children as much as you care about Syrian children? I don’t think I will get a straight answer, but please surprise me.

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 4:14 pm
  91. AIG:

    A hypocrite is a person who articulates a principle he never plans to apply.

    AIG’s Principle:

    People who murder children should be stopped.

    As we clearly demonstrated. This is a principle that you articulated that you don’t really plan to apply. Therefore you are a Hypocrite. Or you should rephrase your principle to:

    People who murder Jewish children should be stopped.

    A simple rephrasing of your Principle will have put this whole matter to rest, and I would have no argument with you.

    My principle has been described succinctly and beautifully in the following post, by none other than yourself!

    https://qifanabki.com/2012/03/08/satire-the-syrian-revolution/#comment-34428

    My honorable Father, as my honorable self.. do not think the Cesspool called the Middle East is worth fighting and dying for. We preferred getting an education, and leaving the area for the fanatics to kill each others’ childrens in.

    If this Principle that you yourself espoused and suggested is not good enough for you anymore, what then do you want me to say?

    Good day.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 28, 2012, 4:19 pm
  92. AIG.

    Stale and whiney hasbarisms aside, “race riots” or, more accurately, pogroms, are not considered normal behavior in democracies. Funny that you are seemingly unaware of such norms. Although, it’s significant that unlike yourself, plenty of your fellow Jewish Israeli countrymen and ladies are horrified enough to express their own profound distaste for the shameful phenomenon of their fellow citizens going rogue on a helpless minority.

    It’s OK that you, personally don’t get the concept of “honor”. Frankly, the modus operandi of your contributions here and on SC have suggested that “honor” is beyond your ken.

    Consequently, as with trying to explain the concept of “empathy” to a psychopath, it’s really a waste of time to engage you on the issue.

    Posted by lally | May 28, 2012, 4:21 pm
  93. You and Danny have evaded stating clearly whether you care about Syrian children as much as Lebanese or Canadian.

    Last I checked, Danny and myself are both Expats.

    While I do not like to speculate as to what Danny spends his days doing in the lovely city of Montreal, may I humbly suggest that perhaps, while your planes (Israeli planes that is) were bombing and killing Lebanese children, he was perhaps munching on a fine Amir Shawarma and slurping on a cocktail from Antabli.

    I was pleasuring myself in Toronto.

    What more of an answer do you want?

    Posted by Gabriel | May 28, 2012, 4:25 pm
  94. Lally,

    Right, one incident in Israel makes it not a democracy. Your double standards are amusing as usual. And you speak of “honor” while supporting Assad. You would fit cozily in some totalitarian regime. You got the double speak down pat. It turns out you are just another run of the mill racist. You are not for human rights, you are against Israel and would use any ally to achieve your goal.

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 6:16 pm
  95. Gabriel’s Cesspool is another Man’s Freedom Fighter

    My honorable Father, as my honorable self.. do not think the Cesspool called the Middle East is worth fighting and dying for. We preferred getting an education, and leaving the area for the fanatics to kill each others’ childrens in.

    Gabriel,

    It is interesting that you call the ME a “Cesspool”. My frequent trips to Israel never gave me that impression. Perhaps that is what Israelis are doing: defending themselves and preventing Israel from becoming another part of that “cesspool”.

    And it isn’t just me that doesn’t consider Israel as cesspool. Many people who aren’t even jewish are risking their lives crossing into Israel. Arab-Israelis living in Jerusalem are opting for Israeli citizenship. And the arab-Israeli population is growing.

    With that in mind, I find the moral-equivalence argument laughable. Israel’s defense of its borders and its fight against Hamas and Hezbollah don’t compare to Assad’s murder of demonstrators in a country where he was never elected and his “subjects” have no freedom of speech.

    Israel has made many mistakes. But no Israeli mistake compares to what Assad has done to Syria.

    Lastly, if you know of a method to defend yourself from missile attacks that are fired illegally from within population centers, please let us know.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 28, 2012, 6:19 pm
  96. Gabriel,

    Thank you for clarifying that basically you are just about talking and would never do anything concrete to save children from massacre. Why do you even bother to read news about the middle east if you could not be bothered to do anything when children here are murdered?

    Your petty principles are just a mockery of morality because as you admit, the way you apply them is by doing the same thing equally with all massacres, you just do nothing.

    Posted by AIG | May 28, 2012, 6:28 pm
  97. #96:

    Bang on AIG. You’re a sharp one!

    It’s all about talking. And that’s what you are here doing re: the dead Children of Syria. You are here just talking. Why are you here talking?

    Why don’t you go do something about it?

    You live in Israel, it’s a short trip for you. I have to fly across an ocean and a continent!

    Posted by Gabriel | May 28, 2012, 7:50 pm
  98. I find the moral-equivalence argument laughable. Israel’s defense of its borders and its fight against Hamas and Hezbollah don’t compare to Assad’s murder of demonstrators in a country where he was never elected and his “subjects” have no freedom of speech.

    AP:

    Why do you find it laughable? Sectarian talk is your specialty!

    Maybe the Assads, and their clans should do what Israel did and expel all those pesky Demonstrators across the Golan border and into Israel, where the Israelis can care for those children that AIG is apparently losing sleep over! Give them life, and voting rights! :D.

    Then I can come here to QN’s forum and say that this is an “existential” issue for the Alawi clan, forever considered a heretical offshoot, and forever at risk of complete annihilation by unfriendly Sunnis!

    The Alawis- dear AP- if indeed they are behind these attrocities are behaving much as some of the hawkish Jewish Israelis do. The former to protect their hold on power which is their guarantee to communal safety, and the latter to protect their “borders” and ultimately power over the sliver of land called Israel.

    That you would deny the Alawis and their supporters the sort of luxuries you entitle the Jewish state with is rather Anti-Alawist!

    Posted by Gabriel | May 28, 2012, 8:29 pm
  99. Maybe the Assads, and their clans should do what Israel did and expel all those pesky Demonstrators across the Golan border and into Israel, where the Israelis can care for those children that AIG is apparently losing sleep over! Give them life, and voting rights! 😀

    Gabriel,

    You’re joking right? I’m not sure why you’re asking Syria to “expel” demonstrators; the effing kill them.

    And you are not reading AIG correctly, he clearly made no bones about it – he cares for his people over that of any other. Which, to me, is not only common sense, it’s honest.

    To me AIG, has the right to speak about this, he’s picked up a gun and fought to keep Israel safe from that big “cesspool” you called the ME.

    The Alawis- dear AP- if indeed they are behind these attrocities are behaving much as some of the hawkish Jewish Israelis do.

    Gabriel,

    You’re really scrapping the bottom of the barrel. “Hawking Jewish Israelis” do not fire missiles into Israeli population centers or turn the IDF against peaceful demonstrators and nowhere to the tune of 13000 dead all while prohibiting the population from voting and speaking their minds.

    That you would deny the Alawis and their supporters the sort of luxuries you entitle the Jewish state with is rather Anti-Alawist!

    Gabriel,

    What are you talking about? If Syria (or any arab country) had free elections, their ethnicity and their religion wouldn’t matter. That the Assads spent 5 decades creating sectarian division, throwing people in jail, controlling the media, and aiding and abetting terrorism is not Israel’s fault.

    It is the fault of all the arabs and their friendly academics that let this happen.

    Finally, they’ve had enough. I hope.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 28, 2012, 8:52 pm
  100. AP:…

    No AP, I’m not joking. Since AIG seems to be losing sleep over all the dead Syrians, he should propose to do something about it, and offer the Syrians to send their unwanted demonstrators to Israel, whereby they can be granted Israeli citizenship and be granted equal rights, and voting rights, and the right to not being butchered!

    Posted by Gabriel | May 28, 2012, 11:35 pm
  101. Gabriel,

    If the children involved were Jewish, nobody would get away with murdering 5 children. That is because many Jews believe that protecting other Jews is something worth sacrificing for.

    Why should I help the Syrian children, if you, an Arab, are not willing to help them? If you think Arab blood is cheap, who am I to argue with you? For the sake of Syria’s children I hope enough Arabs view things differently from you.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 12:00 am
  102. AIG:

    I’m Phoenician :).

    Why are you holding your breath for me to do something about non-Phoenician Syrians ;). Yalla- go- help the poor chaps. Why are you wasting your time “talking” here @ QN!

    (PS: I’m not really into all that Biblical stuff, but aren’t the Arabs and Jews born from the same seed or some other such non-sense about all being children of Abraham? ).

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 12:11 am
  103. PS, AIG:

    You really should re-read that thread from the post a couple of QN posts ago.

    https://qifanabki.com/2012/03/08/satire-the-syrian-revolution/#comment-34404

    You really are a funny chap. One moment you say you don’t expect the Lebanese to fight for anyone that is non-Lebanese, and now you want their “Arab” pride to kick in, and send their children to die for the Syrians.

    Make up your mind :).

    But as I said in that post some months back, you are shameless. You think the Jews have honor and the Arabs have none. Bas Kifayi, 7el 3an teezna.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 12:19 am
  104. Gabriel,

    Still waiting for your answer: If you are not willing to help, why should I be willing? If you don’t care enough about them, why should I?

    No, I am not holding my breath about you going to help them, you after all use “Equivalence” and help nobody.

    Is there no difference in your mind between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has been going on for decades and massacres in your backyard where tens of children are killed? Massacres that if not stopped now, will probably get worse?

    And as for your question, do you really believe that doing nothing about a massacre of children by your “brothers” is “honorable”? If you are proud of this, just say so. What is so difficult?

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 12:30 am
  105. ?!?

    What are you driving at AIG. Scroll up to the beginning of this asinine discussion and you tell me who is the one who came to this forum and brought up the question of dead Syrian children.

    It is not I who came here and insisted you do something about it!

    If you don’t care to go do something to help your “Cousins” in your backyard [they are in your backyard… in my backyard, there is the US!], then keep your shameless mouth shut and don’t start silly conversations.

    But don’t come here trying to be clever. As I’ve told you time and time again, you don’t have the skillset necessary to string together a coherent post.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 12:37 am
  106. Still evading the question: Why should I care about your fellow Arabs if you don’t?

    You don’t get it do you? If they were Jews, I would do something. But they are Arabs, so the onus is on you to take the lead. And if you don’t want to, then accept the fact that this is not “honorable”. If you insist you are “honorable”, let’s see the argument.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 12:44 am
  107. Gaby the Phoenician…….

    AIG is both honor AND humor impaired. He thinks “honor” is for freirs and something for the Goyim-at-large to fret over.

    Anti-Alawitism indeed!

    Posted by lally | May 29, 2012, 12:53 am
  108. Jesus Effing Christ.

    AIG: If you don’t care about the Arabs and the Syrians and whether they live or die, then please do us all a favor and stop writing about it, and pretending like you give half-a-rat’s a$$. Eff-off and stop asking silly questions.

    I am dishonourable. I don’t care about the “Arabs”, or the “Jews”. “Christians”, or “Muslims”. You can all take turns kissing my a$$. Is that clear enough for you?

    Khalas. 7el 3an teezee!

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 12:59 am
  109. #107.

    LoL.

    It’s alright, as long as I put a smile on your face (and mine ;).. ), then it’s all good.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 1:01 am
  110. Lally,

    I think people like you and Gabriel are the main reason Jews need a country. I am sure that if Jews are massacred you would come help immediately…
    Yeah right. You would convince yourself in 5 seconds that letting Jews die is the “honorable” thing to do.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 1:02 am
  111. Gabriel,

    I didn’t say I don’t care about Arab children, I asked why I should care more than you, an Arab. And you still have not answered that question.

    How about the tens of children murdered in Houla, can they also take turns kissing your behind? Or don’t you care about children also?

    If you admit you are dishonorable, why are you offended when I hint that your actions may be dishonorable? Instead of playing cute let’s see you try give an argument why doing nothing about children being massacred is “honorable”.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 1:07 am
  112. AIG:

    Have you no respect for QN? Do you want him to shut down this thread also?

    Kifayi = Enough.

    Seriously, enough is enough.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 1:19 am
  113. Gabriel,

    Boy are you a hypocrite. Why don’t you follow your own advice? If “enough is enough”, just don’t answer. In case you do, you have left many questions unanswered. I suggest you work on them.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 1:23 am
  114. AP: “You’re really scrapping the bottom of the barrel. “Hawking Jewish Israelis” do not fire missiles into Israeli population centers or turn the IDF against peaceful demonstrators and nowhere to the tune of 13000 dead all while prohibiting the population from voting and speaking their minds.”

    I think that describes quite accurately the actions of the IDF in the occupied territories. Intifadas 1 & 2 and the countless operations that in fact sends hundreds of missiles into civilian population centers, UN compounds, etc.

    If the territories are not Israeli, then why are you building settlements on them?

    Posted by Johnny Seikaly | May 29, 2012, 3:10 am
  115. No AP, I’m not joking. Since AIG seems to be losing sleep over all the dead Syrians, he should propose to do something about it, and offer the Syrians to send their unwanted demonstrators to Israel, whereby they can be granted Israeli citizenship and be granted equal rights, and voting rights, and the right to not being butchered!

    Gabriel,

    I didn’t perceive AIG “was losing sleep over all the dead Syrians”. When did you get that impression.

    It would be nice if you responded directly to AIG’s questions instead of making up straw-men.

    I think that describes quite accurately the actions of the IDF in the occupied territories. Intifadas 1 & 2 and the countless operations that in fact sends hundreds of missiles into civilian population centers, UN compounds, etc.

    Johnny Seikaly:

    I suppose when you have no answer to the arab-killing-arab phenomenom rampant in the ME “cesspool” (Gabriel’s term, that I agree with btw), there is nothing else to do except to bash the usual suspect.

    Israel’s fight against this violent uprising did not come close to the carnage experienced today in Syria where over 13000 have died in just over 1 year.

    Moreover, the Israeli government acted with the support of the people against a hostile, non-Israeli population. I wish I could say the same about Syria’s actions.

    In any case, the intifada finally brought the two parties together and has provided the Palestinians self-government. We’re still waiting Assad to negotiate with, er, his own people.

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

    Getting back to AIG’s question, it would be nice to know why Israel and the US has to save the Syrians before, say, the Arabs (e.g. the Arab League) do.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 29, 2012, 6:57 am
  116. Egyptians torch Shafiq headquarters as vote triggers violence

    http://news.yahoo.com/egyptians-torch-shafiq-headquarters-vote-triggers-violence-080759898.html

    Lally,

    What do you think of “The Pipes Rule of Arab Elections”? Maybe we can prove him wrong this time, but my suspicion is that the military overlords aren’t going to let the Islamist win.

    If you know the result ahead of time, you are voting for the real powerbroker. If you don’t know the result in advance, then you are voting for a position that hardly matters.

    http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2011/10/the-pipes-rule-of-arab-elections

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 29, 2012, 7:07 am
  117. AP & AIG,

    It seems everything is about Jews and Arabs for you. You have no humanity at all as it is reflected in the actions of the barbarian IDF (I am still waiting your answers whether dropping millions of cluster bombs all over Lebanon achieved a military purpose or was a mass murder…).

    Stop lumping everyone in one bucket. To me there are nations. Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians, Libyans etc…They are held together by some cultural similarities and a few understand each others’ language. When you call on “Arabs” to intercede…they have up to their limits… If you both are children bored stiff and looking for a dumb ass playground scrum; go somewhere else.

    The current asinine questions are of Kindergarten variety and do not deserve waste of breath. I suggest Gabby enjoy the 30 degree beautiful Summer in Spring that we have been having and have a chilled Steam Whistle instead of popping a nerve.

    Posted by danny | May 29, 2012, 7:28 am
  118. It seems everything is about Jews and Arabs for you.

    danny,

    I suppose if arabs recongized Israel, it wouldn’t be an issue. As it stands Lebanon, Syria and Iran are still officially at war with Israel. So yes, we’re talking about unpleasent things: war, despotism, racism, violent insurrection, human rights, etc.

    I participate on these websites to see how arabs deal with the situation, to see what they think, and to discuss these issues with them.

    Anyway, I’m not sure what Israel can do to defeat Hezbollah without hurting the people that live near them and their missile launchers. Maybe you know. I don’t.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 29, 2012, 8:49 am
  119. Danny,

    Your humanity is measured when evil is perpetuated in your neighborhood to your people. Did you volunteer by the way to help clear the cluster bombs? Did you at least send money to help clear them? If the diaspora Lebanese really cared about this issue they would have raised enough money to solve the problem in a few months instead of letting it linger for years and give more opportunity for children to get hurt. Actions speak louder than words. You had your chance to show you cared, but the fact is that all you care about is using this to attack Israel. You are great at blaming Israel, but at doing something useful on the ground, not so much.

    The current questions are simple. At what point do you stop giving excuses and say “no more massacres on my watch”? If it is never, just say so and at least admit that your rhetoric is useless crap that you never plan to backup or implement. It is all hot air that you will keep emitting even while children are being massacred next door.

    And let’s discuss the cluster bombs. First of all they came almost all from artillery and not from planes. Israel used them to fire at areas from which Hezbollah fired rockets. In order to have a chance to be effective you need a weapon that targets an area because of the lag between the time a launch is detected and the response. It is a completely sensible system designed to address the issue of squads firing rockets and running away. The problem is not the concept, the problem is the fact that there were so many duds (bomblets that did not explode). This was not foreseen. Cluster bombs were designed to blow up on impact, not stay around as duds. With hindsight, given the limited success of the system and the high dud rate, it should not have been used. But hindsight is always 20/20.

    I remember after the war how you all promised to take Israel to the Hague for war crimes and what have you. You don’t need guns or violence for that. You only need lawyers and money. So, show me ONE legal action by Lebanon or Lebanese that has gone anywhere. Show me ONE. Either there is no good evidence against Israel or you were not bothered enough to pursue cases against Israel. Take your pick.

    But now you use this “cluster bomb” meme to deflect from a very basic question. Oddly enough, it only bolsters my argument. It is also a case in which you did not step up to the plate when you had a chance.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 9:27 am
  120. AP..

    “It would be nice if you responded directly to AIG’s questions instead of making up straw-men.”

    I’ll consider it once all my questions are answered.

    For now, we’ll confine it to a simple one:

    Was it more “honourable” for my father to leave the Middle East, send me to school and university?

    Or would it have been more honourable for him to stick around in the Middle East and “sacrifice” us for every child killed wrongly in the “Arab” world.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 9:37 am
  121. (This is not addressed to AIG) 😀

    AIG#111 says:

    I didn’t say I don’t care about Arab children

    AIG#119 asks Danny:

    Did you volunteer by the way to help clear the cluster bombs? Did you at least send money to help clear them?

    Comedy par excellence. The svengali dares question Danny’s Humanity! He cares so much about Arab Children he didn’t lose any sleep over the fact that his Army dropped cluster bombs that would kill those children he cares so deeply about.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 9:45 am
  122. Gabriel,

    I have been so clear. I care about Arab children, but less than I care about Jewish ones.

    And as usual you miss the point or you want to make it go away: Why should I care more about Arab kids than you? You say you care about everybody, but your actions show you care about nobody.

    If you are sincere about the cluster bombs, why didn’t you organize to get rid of them quickly? If you are not willing to help your children, do you really expect me to do so?

    Let’s see if you have an honest bone in your body. Why did you do so little about the cluster bombs if you think it is such a huge problem? You didn’t need guns or violence. Just money and organization and a little will power.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 10:04 am
  123. “Was it more “honourable” for my father to leave the Middle East, send me to school and university?”

    That is a BS question since it is a stupid excuse not do anything when 40 kids are slaughtered. The two issues are not related. Just say that it is “honorable” for you not do anything given the massacres in Syria. Why can’t you bring yourself to say these things? I’ll tell you why, because you know it is not “honorable” but are trying to save face.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 10:07 am
  124. Say it AIG:

    #123: Say that you think it was less honourable for my father to leave and send me to school! Explicitly. Don’t sugar-coat your view on this. Don’t call it a “stupid excuse not to do anything”.

    #122: I didn’t ask you to care about Arab children more than me. But first you have to answer the core question. If you really did care about Arab children, why did you stand idly by as your army- the IDF- dropped thousands of cluster bombs that would “apparently non-intentionally” but inadvertently kill “Arab” children?

    Once this core question is answered and it must be answered first, then, and only then can you and I enter into a competition of who cares more about “Arab” children!

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 10:22 am
  125. Gabriel,

    There you go again, evading clear questions and asking stupid ones.

    Immigrating to better your family is “honorable”. Doing nothing while 40 kids are slaughtered is not. What can be simpler than that? Why is the fact that you left the area mean that you should not do anything when your fellow Arabs are being murdered? What is the connection??????

    As for your second irrelevant question, if I have to put Arab children in danger to protect Jewish ones, I would do it. That does not mean I am doing it happily or don’t care about Arab children. It means I care about them less than I care about Jewish children, exactly what I have been saying all along. If anyone, Jews including, would massacre Arab Israeli children I would be on him like a ton of bricks. I would not stand on the side and make excuses.

    Now, you have a long list of questions you have to answer. Get to work.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 10:38 am
  126. Immigrating to better your family is “honorable”. Doing nothing while 40 kids are slaughtered is not. What can be simpler than that? Why is the fact that you left the area mean that you should not do anything when your fellow Arabs are being murdered? What is the connection??????

    What precisely do you want me to do? Immigrating, pursuing a life/career/education outside the Middle East is mutually exclusive to dropping things and dedicating my time to “saving children from being slaughtered”. If I told you I wrote a letter to my MP suggesting he act more strongly against Syria is that “sufficiently honourable” action for you? What if I sent cash to the FSA? Would that be sufficiently honourable?

    And given that you have limited your moral obligation to only helping Jewish Kids for a community that numbers in the tens of millions, and left me with the herculean tasks of worrying about Arab kids- for a community that numbers in the hundreds of millions. You have already tasked me with a moral task tens-of-fold larger than the expectation you set on yourself!

    I want you to be explicit. Given what is clearly at least in part a mutually exclusive choice- do you believe that my Father took the dishonourable path? And if so, why two/three QN posts ago did you take exception to my accusation that you suggested Arabs have no honour? Clearly, you seem to believe it to be true!

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 10:48 am
  127. if I have to put Arab children in danger to protect Jewish ones, I would do it

    I suppose Assad’s army, who are mowing those children in Syria feel precisely as you do.

    If jeapordizing the lives of Children from the Opposition camp de facto prolongs their hold on power and their perceived protection of their own children…

    .. they would and in fact do do it.

    So AIG, explain to me, how are you different from Assad’s thugs?

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 10:51 am
  128. ” Immigrating, pursuing a life/career/education outside the Middle East is mutually exclusive to dropping things and dedicating my time to “saving children from being slaughtered”.”

    That is a BS excuse. Nobody is asking you to dedicate your whole life to saving children from being slaughtered. You seem to think it is unreasonable to ask you to do something if it bothers your career. If you have to put your career on hold to serve a few years in the army or support an effort to stop massacre of kids, what is the big deal? People all over the world do it all the time.

    ” and left me with the herculean tasks of worrying about Arab kids”

    I have asked you to repeatedly define the community that you care about enough to act when its kids are massacred. Ok, it is not all the Arabs, fine. What is it then? The Lebanese? The Lebanese Christians? Nobody?

    ” Given what is clearly at least in part a mutually exclusive choice”

    Only in your mind it is a mutually exclusive choice. It is a very inconvenient choice, but not even a partially mutually exclusive one. Take the issue of cluster bombs. If you would have devoted a year to get rid of them quickly, would it have been the end of the world? So it would take you one year longer to finish college. What is the big deal? And if there were 10,000 doing it, the problem would have been solved very quickly. But complaining about it and not making this minimal effort is strange to me.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 11:05 am
  129. “So AIG, explain to me, how are you different from Assad’s thugs?”

    So when Obama sends drones that inadvertently kill children, he is no different than Assad’s thugs. You are just digging a deeper hole for yourself. Let’s hear you say Obama is just as bad as Assad.

    You also want us to believe you would not protect your children if it may mean that you may hurt other children. Go sell your BS somewhere else.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 11:10 am
  130. NOTE TO ALL

    I’m updating the look of the blog today… will explain later.

    Carry on.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | May 29, 2012, 11:23 am
  131. LoL AIG:

    You are quite the character.

    So let’s summarize:

    1- You want me to dedicate a year to help clear Cluster bombs from Lebanon.
    2- You want me to dedicate more time to help Syria’s dying children.

    How about Libyans, Tunisians, Egyptians, Iraqis, Yemenis, Bahrainis. Their children are dying too. Should I dedicate some time to help those “Arabs” as well? How much time? A year each?

    As Freddy Mercury once asked.. Who wants to live forever?

    I do, I do. I can be declared a Saint! Saint Helped-All-The-Arab-Children!

    Indeed not- they are not mutually exclusive!

    How’s this for a novel idea: You go tell your government to not drop Cluster bombs that hurt Arab children, and I don’t need to concern myself with wasting a year of my life proving to you that I am as humanist as I self-proclaim to be. Capisce?

    As for the rest of your asinine drivel. It is not I who came here and issued a lofty principle- that I never meant sincerely:

    People who murder children should be stopped.

    That principle seems to have been watered down before I could even say Bob’s Your Uncle!

    First, it was reduced to:

    People who murder Jewish Children should be stopped.

    Now it has become:

    People who murder Children in order to Protect Jewish Children should be encouraged.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 12:07 pm
  132. Gabriel,

    Yes, let’s summarize. I want you to do ONE of many things. You are not willing to do anything, fine. Just be clear that your high falutin rhetoric is BS and that you are all show.

    I want you to define what community you are willing to sacrifice a year of your life to help. So far the answer is not even one. Excellent.

    And then you go to really crazy territory. Your way of being a humanist is to tell people who do bad things not to do them instead of actually doing something constructive for those harmed.

    Your principle is that people who kill children should be stopped unless you need to make even a small sacrifice for that. I at least have a pretty large group of children I am willing to help. I don’t call myself a humanist. But you calling yourself a humanist is a sick joke.

    You have a long list of questions you need to answer. Get to work.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 12:57 pm
  133. Summarizing the ME Cesspool in one Easy statement

    AIG,

    So the ME is “cesspool”, the arabs shouldn’t do anything to make the cesspool better, and, BTW, Israel is no better than the rest of the cesspool.

    Conclusion:

    Israel must change.

    QN,

    Do you agree with my assessment??

    BTW – Why did you have to mess around with something good? As my father used to say, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”. Where’s the cow smoking the nargila?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 29, 2012, 12:58 pm
  134. I want you to define what community you are willing to sacrifice a year of your life to help. So far the answer is not even one. Excellent.

    AIG- I live in a country called Canada. And I am a very proud Canadian citizen. First and foremost, my concern is Action on the home front. And helping better my adopted country.

    While I certainly would like to expand my sacrifices to other domains, perhaps by beginning with my country of origin- Lebanon- I see war-mongering a$$holes like yourself proudly proclaiming they take pride in cluster-bombing Arab children to “protect Jewish ones”.

    I don’t see the value of wasting my time/energies/finances building and re-building and helping a country that you will help destroy the next day. That’s why it takes a back seat. Until then, the best I can do is to come to a forum like QN, and find an a$$hole like yourself, and constantly remind them just why they are immoral, war-mongering, hate-propagating a$$holes, in the hope that perhaps some human values eventually creep in and that they do more to stop cluster bombing Arab children.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 1:07 pm
  135. “Your humanity is measured when evil is perpetuated in your neighborhood to your people. Did you volunteer by the way to help clear the cluster bombs? Did you at least send money to help clear them? If the diaspora Lebanese really cared about this issue they would have raised enough money to solve the problem in a few months instead of letting it linger for years and give more opportunity for children to get hurt. ”

    Now AIG you are saying that after you destroyed my country and perpetuated mass murder; you are asking me to clean up the mess you created?…and if I did not send money that makes me less human… Are you serious or totally deranged from whatever cheap stuff you are inhaling?

    I’m really astounded at your logic(rather lack of)…although I should not be.

    Posted by danny | May 29, 2012, 1:17 pm
  136. Gabriel,

    I see you are losing it. What a lame excuse not to help remove cluster bombs from Lebanon. You won’t do it because you think that someday in the future Israel may do it again! Do you also not waste time heeling wounded people because them may be wounded again in the future? And according to your logic, why should the Lebanese government build more power plants? After all, Israel may bomb them in the future. In short, a neat, but quite crazy argument not to do anything.

    Your squirming cannot hide your true nature. You are not a humanist. You are a BS artist, talking the humanist jargon with zero intention of ever putting it into action. In addition, the way you sooth your conscience is to convince yourself that people that are protecting their country are immoral. That must be so intellectually satisfying for you, you have the perfect excuse to do nothing. If you did something it may be immoral.

    To summarize, just bankrupt arguments on top of bankrupt arguments.

    You are forgetting the questions you promised to answer. You know, questions like why I should care about Arab kids if you don’t? There is a long list. Get to work.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 1:21 pm
  137. “Now AIG you are saying that after you destroyed my country, you are asking me to clean up the mess you created?”

    Boy are you strange. Who do you expect to help you? God? You can live in your shit, or you can rebuild. If you want to punish yourself and do nothing because you think someone else should, be my guest.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 1:24 pm
  138. AIG:

    Guy, truly you are missing a few wires.

    PS. I’m not sure which questions you continue to imagine that I have not answered. I never asked that you “care” about “Arab children” more than I do. I couldn’t care less whether or not you care about Arab children, or whether you care about them more than I do…

    I simply suggested that you should not be a liar and pretend as though you did care. Something we have already demonstrated was never true and to which you have already admitted. As such, this particular conversation is formally concluded!

    Capisce?

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 1:45 pm
  139. Perhaps someone should have studied philosophy after all. 😉

    Posted by Badr | May 29, 2012, 1:48 pm
  140. Oh, there are tons of questions you ignore.
    Let’s start with this one: Why weren’t you willing to do anything concrete about getting rid of the cluster bombs?
    And please, the truth, not the BS answer that Israel may bomb again.

    And then you can proceed to this one:
    At what point do you say “enough is enough” about Assad massacring Arab kids? If the answer is “never”, just say it.

    I have a feeling though that you plan to continue ignoring my questions.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 1:52 pm
  141. And about the Arab kids, you really do not understand the question do you? How do you expect anyone else to take the lead to save Arab kids if Arabs themselves are not willing to do this? You want something to be done, but are not willing to make the slightest sacrifice to make it happen or to show minimal leadership. What is your BS about caring worth if your BS caring never gets translated into action? Nobody expects you to solve the problem by yourself, but at least show a sincere willingness to be part of the solution and contribute instead of sitting back and expecting others to solve your problems.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 1:57 pm
  142. NO I AIG…I would support freedom fighters to wreak havoc in your country and screw up your daily marvelous life in your kibbutz…just the same as you did in mine. I suggest you might be living in shit as the stench is coming through your side…

    Posted by danny | May 29, 2012, 1:58 pm
  143. “I would support freedom fighters to wreak havoc in your country and screw up your daily marvelous life”

    Then what leg do you have to stand on and complain when we screw up your country? Have it your way.

    Just for your knowledge, Arab “freedom fighters” did that for decades. But unlike you, we didn’t wait for the Arabs to rebuild what they destroyed or give lame excuses and do nothing because things may be wrecked again.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 2:11 pm
  144. AIG:

    The time for serious engagement with you is long passed. You are not here to have serious and honest discussions. This much is clear. I have demonstrated time and time again that you have dithered on the most basic of points.

    Why do you ask what concrete things I did to “remove” cluster bombs. If I told you I donated money to help the displaced during the war, would that give me a “medal”? In fact, I did give money. Should I advertise it and have my name written in neon? Should I tell you how much money I sent? So that you can pull out your calculator and decide whether I did enough to “help” the victims you helped create in the first place. Or were you intending to suggest that perhaps I should have donned my field clothes and personally help remove your depleted uranium shells or whatever else you rained down on Lebanon. Maybe you suggest I should just join Hizballah to restore the “honor” of the dead children you left in the wake of your attacks.

    The premise of your question is so absurd, it cannot but invite the greatest mockery.

    If you were sincere in wanting to engage, this question would never have come out of your mouth. You are trying desperately hard to discredit my sincerity, but you do so from a position of disadvantage. I have been a proponent of Peace and Co-existence from the get-go. And never would I ever utter a ludicrous comment that “I would rather see a Jewish kid die, if it means that an Arab kid may live”, something you rather proudly said of yourself (in reverse of course).

    That’s the difference between you and me.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 2:14 pm
  145. By the way, any chance of you becoming a “freedom fighter” or might that inconvenience your career?

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 2:15 pm
  146. Gabriel,

    You are becoming a shadow of a joke. You really believe idle talk means being a proponent of Peace and Co-Existence? Your pretentious BS is hilarious. You are playing the harp while Rome burns. Get one bucket. No, it will not put out the fire, but if another 100,000 do also, it will. Your indifference to the massacres in Syria is appalling to me. I know what I would do if those children were Jewish, I sure as hell would not be twiddling my thumbs like you are.

    So stop calling yourself a humanist or a proponent of this or that. You are a BS artist who cares about nothing.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 2:24 pm
  147. Congrats on the new look of the site!!

    Skipping briefly through the last 100 or so comments, maybe a name change would also be in order.

    How about “The Argument Clinic” ?

    Posted by Monolith | May 29, 2012, 2:39 pm
  148. I am going to take my chances about the possibility of earning the anger/ire of some of the readers but I feel that this is warranted:

    “An argumentum ad hominem is any kind of argument that criticizes an idea by pointing something out about the people who hold the idea rather than directly addressing the merits of the idea. ”Ad hominem” is Latin for “directed toward the man (as opposed to the issue at hand)”. An alternative expression is “playing the man and not the ball”. Some examples:

    Ad hominem attacks are ultimately self-defeating. They are equivalent to admitting that you have lost the argument”.

    Come on guys/gals back to an in depth discussion of ideas :-).

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | May 29, 2012, 3:23 pm
  149. GK,

    I totally agree with you. I am discussing the following idea though I understand why it is not always clear: What is it worth holding the idea that children should not be murdered if there is nothing you are willing to do to stop such murder? I think that it is not only worthless but also self contradictory. I would argue that to claim you have a belief but there is practically no situation where you would act according to this belief is nonsense. If that is the case, you don’t hold the belief. Thus a person with humanist beliefs that don’t get applied when it counts is not a humanist. When you say that to a person, it does sound like an ad-hominem attack, but it is more concrete and causes more self reflection than discussing a hypothetical person. And even if I followed that route, Gabriel would think anyway that we are discussing him.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 3:47 pm
  150. LoL AIG.

    Do you really think I’m that self absorbed?

    Don’t defend the indefensible, and instead, why don’t you carry on your line of questioning with GK. Perhaps he can furnish you with more concrete answers about what he is personally doing to save the Children of Syria from being slaughtered.

    Who knows, you may have better success with him, and we may all come out a little smarter and more informed as a result.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 4:27 pm
  151. AIG,

    By your logic on this blog, Germans were right to rid themselves of a semitic tribe that held absolutely no Germanic Patriotic beliefs whatsoever and cared more about their Jewish children than they did about Jurgen, Klaus and Alois’s ones.

    Posted by Monolith | May 29, 2012, 4:33 pm
  152. You are so self absorbed that you don’t even realize that much of GK’s criticism is directed at you. Oh, well. You are so self absorbed that you interpret every argument as an attack on your “honor”. And you are so self absorbed that you give arguments that crazy people shun from. My favorite being that you did not think it worthwhile to work on removing cluster bombs because Israel may bomb again.

    GK never claimed to be “honorable” and “moral” like you claim to be. You are a perfect poster child for how ridiculous vapid “humanism” is.

    You have a long list of questions to answer. Get to work.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 4:40 pm
  153. “By your logic on this blog, Germans were right to rid themselves of a semitic tribe that held absolutely no Germanic Patriotic beliefs whatsoever and cared more about their Jewish children than they did about Jurgen, Klaus and Alois’s ones.”

    Really, how so? Please spell out the argument step by step and show the analogy.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 4:41 pm
  154. AIG,
    To pracice what one preaches would be ideal. But we do not live in a perfect world. Don’t misunderstand me, I am a big fan of the need to practice what we preach, actually I often use the concept in public lectures as well as articles etc… But the sad fact is that I have never seen or heard of anyone that practices what they preach. That is a flaw in each of us, in some it is less visible than in others. Does that mean,that we should never take anyone seriously since no one practices what they preach? My answer is that we need to make a distinction between the message and the messenger.We could reject the personal attribute of the messenger but yet agree with the thrust of the argument that she is advancing. Would the ideas of MLK be less valuable if he occasionally deviated from them? (THat is a purely hypothetical question). Or would the philosophy of Peter Singer regarding animal Liberation be less powerful and less moral if we find out that he uses leather belts? I should hope not.
    I guess what I am saying,AIG, is that a concept can be discussed productively irrespective of whether the discussants live by the positions that they advocate or not. Maybe that is the real meaning of the phrase: “Do as they say not as they do”.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | May 29, 2012, 4:43 pm
  155. I’m not here for an argument with you, AIG

    If you’d like to have one with me …. I charge $300 an hour for a one off and $2500 for ten one hour sessions.

    Posted by Monolith | May 29, 2012, 4:55 pm
  156. GK,

    If a person says that he is willing to help you move and each time you move he finds an excuse not to help, do you keep taking seriously his belief that he wants to help you move?

    Does this mean that you should completely dismiss this person as such? No, but it means you can dismiss his claims that he wants to help you move.

    Ideas without actions based on these ideas are easily dismissed and are mostly ineffective. That is why role models are much more important than people with lofty ideas. If MLK did not actively protest but only preached, he would have been marginal. If Mandela were not in prison for his actions, but in Canada enjoying the good life, nobody would have listened to him. You lead by example, there is no other way.

    And finally, action brings clarity. The paper and brain can contain any fantasy you choose. Only when the rubber hits the road do you know which ideas are pipe dreams and which are realistic.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 4:57 pm
  157. Monolith,

    No problem. You are here to write nonsense. We understand.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 5:01 pm
  158. AIG,

    Truly you are being tiresome.

    I claimed to be honourable? Seriously? Do you read what I write?

    https://qifanabki.com/2012/05/21/the-number-one-sunni-in-lebanon/#comment-35812

    Read again 😉

    PS- While I won’t speak for GK’s intent, none of his admonishment really applies to me. I have been patiently absorbing all your “ideas” and assessing them for what they are. Scratch the surface a little, and one finds you are not here to be serious. That is all there is to it. There is therefore no real reason to carry on with you, except for a little shits and giggles.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 5:17 pm
  159. AIG,

    My brother.

    Posted by Monolith | May 29, 2012, 5:20 pm
  160. Gabriel,

    You are a liar. If you claim to be dishonorable, why are you offended when you think that someone called you dishonorable? Go peddle your BS elsewhere. Not only do you view yourself as “honorable”, you view yourself also as someone who can teach morality to others while in fact being a vapid do nothing who wouldn’t interrupt his career to stop children being massacred.

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 5:26 pm
  161. Aig nobody wants to see anyone saved…its post modernism…archaic nonsense such as honor has been defeated long time ago…wake up My Fellow Semite!..Welcome back R2D2…! You have been missed! ICEMAN if you read this…just post something, your take on todays Syria can be very interesting…Night Night shababbbbb

    Posted by 3issa | May 29, 2012, 5:43 pm
  162. *Eyeroll*

    AIG, AIG.. you don’t stop do you?

    You think I’m here moralizing? Was it me who came here loftily saying “Thou shall not kill Children”, and “Those that kill Children must be stopped!”.

    Those, sir, were your words. Not mine.

    All I did was take you to task.

    We discovered, in the process that you don’t really believe your words. You believe that sometimes, it is OK to kill Children- as long as they are not Jewish- and as long as the reason why those children are being killed is the belief that it will protect Jews.

    Those Sir, were your hateful words, and they are written here on QN’s forum. I did not put a gun to your head and force you to say those things. You said them. Now stop pouting like a child.

    Given that you have constructed for yourself all sorts of caveats and loopholes for when it think it is ethical and moral to murder children, I simply suggested that it is perhaps in poor taste that you wag your own Moralizing finger at others who may select for themselves similar caveats.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 29, 2012, 6:14 pm
  163. Gabriel,

    Your usual BS. You lie, and then you lie so more. And then you distort.

    Here is a simple question for you: Is it ok for Obama to order drone attacks that may kill children? I asked you this before and you ignored it. There is a list of tens of questions you ignore.

    And now for your lies in the last post. Do you not believe that child murderers must be stopped? Instead of bull shitting, give a straight answer, if you even understand that concept.

    And it is amusing that you distort my views about children when you clearly wrote that even if Lebanese kids are massacred, you would do nothing! If this is not true, just say what is.

    We are still interested in knowing if you claim to be dishonorable, why are you offended when you think that someone called you dishonorable? Hey, how about those stupid rules you impose and never follow, like answering other people’s questions?

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 6:44 pm
  164. I decided once never to post again on this blog. But I am responding to the plea by 3issa and it will be one time only.

    3issa, my take on Syria is very simple. It is not time for talk. It is time for action. As for me I am doing the least that can be done by a person in my situation. We are actively involved in raising funds for the Syrian revolution. We have successfully raised considerable amounts in recent months with the help of concerned communities. All funds were securely delivered to proper recipients.

    As for my take about this discussion, it is: ashamed to share common background and residence status with a hypocrite. Canada would be better off with his likes a million miles away.

    Thanks to the Canadian government and all other governments for doing today the least that can be done.

    Posted by iceman | May 29, 2012, 8:05 pm
  165. More Questions Gabriel can’t Answer

    If a person says that he is willing to help you move and each time you move he finds an excuse not to help, do you keep taking seriously his belief that he wants to help you move?

    AIG,

    I think the difficulty is that Israel is suddenly not the only bogeyman in town, and the arab street is having a hard time re-adjusting. Consider the various dilemmas now emerging:

    – do we support Assad or not, after all, he’s a proud resistance supporter and came a long line of resistors, transformers, and power cells

    – does the new government in Egypt tear up the peace treaty with Israel? What’s best for Egypt? Food or the end of the Zionist project?

    – why isn’t Abbas resisting the Zionists like Arafat did in the “good ‘ol days”? And if he doesn’t, why should I?

    – Why isn’t Hezbollah doing anything to help Assad? He could deflect attention from the terrorism he’s fighting to the REAL terrorists in occupied Palestine?

    – Why is Iran meddling in Syria? Is this good or not? I’m confused.

    – Why did Hamas break relations with Assad? Why isn’t anyone going after the real criminals in the world?

    – Why isn’t the Mossad being sued for 9-11?

    – Where’s Edward Said when you need him? A few stones thrown over the fence against the Zionists could provide a huge morale boost.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 29, 2012, 9:15 pm
  166. Ice ce baby…Don’t go away dude. 😀

    Posted by danny | May 29, 2012, 9:15 pm
  167. AIG,

    I have the same question to you and all other Israeli guys (which you conveniently are not answering): Does drooping millions of cluster bombs on Lebanon serve a military purpose? You won’t answer it as a psychopath nation you guys get off on mass murder. Instead you go on forever about ME cleaning up and rebuilding my country. Honestly; it is non of your damned business on how we run our country!

    Posted by danny | May 29, 2012, 9:28 pm
  168. “iceman Says:

    April 29, 2011 at 5:18 pm
    Aside from sanctions and diplomatic pressure on the Syrian regime, I am totally against any military intervention
    whatsoever in Syria from Europe or the US.
    Jordan or Turkey are differnt ballgame, and they can make a difference when such interventions become warranted. Actually, I would like to see the Jordanian army crossing the border to Deraa right now.

    The Syrians will do it themselves and are in no need for any NFZ’s or similar actions from the ‘civilized’ world.”

    https://qifanabki.com/2011/04/27/some-worthwhile-reading-on-syria/

    So, does the iceman’s trust that the Syrians will do it for themselves (w/Jordan and/orTurkey) still hold?

    “3issa Says:

    December 1, 2011 at 8:52 pm
    iceman, where are thou?

    lally Says:

    December 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm
    Iceman is training the FSA ?

    https://qifanabki.com/2011/11/30/mikati-to-make-major-address-concerning-lebanon-cabinet/

    Clo$e.

    Posted by lally | May 29, 2012, 9:36 pm
  169. Funny that the Iceman will never post here again but is such the fan that he reads deeply into the weeds and catches 3issa’s modest plea & relents, just this once. One would think the consuming business of greasing the skids of “the revolution” would preclude the kind of dedication required for reading through these long threads.

    Gaby was right that the Iceman hates him. Still.

    Posted by lally | May 30, 2012, 12:39 am
  170. “do we support Assad or not, after all, he’s a proud resistance supporter and came a long line of resistors, transformers, and power cells”
    OMG, as far as political wit goes, that is a classic!
    Funny thing is we are in desperate need of resistors in Lebanon.

    Posted by Maverick | May 30, 2012, 1:36 am
  171. Thank you Iceman.

    Lally, if you skip the boring discussion between the pride of the phoenicians and the resident shameless zionist…this blog is actually very quick to read. And I believe there is no hate at all…but maybe a pinch of honor 😀

    Posted by 3issa | May 30, 2012, 1:48 am
  172. LOL 3issa, did you know the Arabs invented the word ” Honor”, infact they invented a lot of things. The world should be grateful to the Arabs, because without them we’d still be living in caves.

    Posted by Maverick | May 30, 2012, 2:01 am
  173. Maverick, that was more likely to come from R2D2. Never mind, you finally solved a major historical mystery. Now we know who infected the Japanese with the virus.

    Posted by mj | May 30, 2012, 2:58 am
  174. Committing suicide rather than surrendering to the enemy? I think the Japs took it one step further, the Arabs OTOH opted for the ‘other’ option, killing one’s sister to defend one’s honor. Killing people from other sects to defend one’s honor. Killing children en masse to defend one’s honor. There goes my self loathing again.

    Posted by Maverick | May 30, 2012, 3:09 am
  175. Yeah, I prefer the “seppuku” version too. What a pest, this H thing of witch the spotting only cleans up with blood (one’s blood, one’s sister’s, daughter’s, wife’s, one’s enemy’s, one’s enemy’s wife/children blood, you name it). H like Human? Surely H like Hate.

    Posted by mj | May 30, 2012, 3:23 am
  176. H like Hummus or H like Hamas?

    Posted by 3issa | May 30, 2012, 4:09 am
  177. Funny thing is we are in desperate need of resistors in Lebanon.

    Maverick,

    Don’t forget the transistors. They’re the ones that change sides depending on the facts on the ground.

    BTW – Russia is still against any intervention against Syria. Has the arab world “gone nuts” against the Russian government yet like they have against the usual suspect? When do the Russian skyscrapers start falling? Maybe Lally knows.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18260992

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 30, 2012, 6:23 am
  178. Does drooping millions of cluster bombs on Lebanon serve a military purpose? You won’t answer it as a psychopath nation you guys get off on mass murder.

    Danny,

    AIG answered your question yesterday (see the time stamp below).

    Posted by AIG | May 29, 2012, 9:27 am

    You may think Israel is a “psychopath nation” and that we “get off on mass murder”, but from my vantage point, Israel isn’t the one that doesn’t recognize the neighboring state, calls for its destruction, and instigates wars.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 30, 2012, 6:34 am
  179. AP,

    That does not answer the simple question. “Does drooping millions of cluster bombs on Lebanon serve a military purpose”??? Do you a comprehension problem?? A simple yes or NO??

    Posted by danny | May 30, 2012, 7:07 am
  180. But 3issa,”…. if you skip the boring discussion between the pride of the phoenicians and the resident shameless zionist…” it’s obvious from the Iceman’s comment about Canadian shame that he didn’t skip it.

    THAT’S what’s weird 😉

    Posted by lally | May 30, 2012, 7:52 am
  181. OMG OMG OMG.

    Iceman’s Back!

    LoL Lally, you stole the words right out of my mouth!

    Now I’m having trouble finding out where I left off with poor AIG!

    Posted by Gabriel | May 30, 2012, 9:06 am
  182. Here is a simple question for you: Is it ok for Obama to order drone attacks that may kill children? I asked you this before and you ignored it. There is a list of tens of questions you ignore.

    AIG. It is not me ignoring your questions. Rather it is you ignoring other peoples’ questions.

    Twice or Thrice, Danny has already asked you what you thought the military value of cluster bombs were. Why do you suppose he asked you the question. And why did you not respond directly to the question.

    Of course sometimes in War, situations will arise when civilians die, when children die. And it would be rather bizarre, unless one is completely anti-any-war, to expect anyone to think that no child would die in a war.

    That said, the question of “Intent” should not be as loose a concept as you are making it out to be. There is a difference between targeted missiles and a bunker busting bomb that takes out 2 city blocks.

    When the Americans decided to Nuclear bomb Hiroshima in the 2nd world war,, their primary intent may not have been to kill children. But surely there is a difference between that and a drone attack. A child may die in a drone attack. But you can bet your a$$ that a child will die in a nuclear attack. Likewise, spraying a civilian population with Cluster bombs is different from a targeted drone attack.

    When you take actions that you know for certainty will kill children, don’t hide behind the question of intent. Say it as it is. Say that you believe it is OK sometimes to kill children if there is another important end-goal.

    Whether or not you personally believe there is a distinction between those scenarios is something that I don’t know, and I don’t particularly care to know. That you evaded Danny’s question multiple times suggests to me that you are not interested in having the discussion or really exploring the topic.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 30, 2012, 9:16 am
  183. Danny,

    My interpretation of AIG’s explanation is “yes”. To me, it sounds logical that cluster bombs would be used against mobile missile launchers and the personnel that use them.

    But if you have a better method, let’s hear it. I’m not a military expert.

    Targeted missiles (like the ones from drones) may be a good idea, if you can find the target, which is usually hidden among civilians.

    Of course, I would prefer there was no war, but if nuclear weapons in the hands of the Iranian government is unacceptable to the world powers, unlimited weaponry up against the Israeli border may be unacceptable to the GOI. Therefore, it would only take a “spark” to give the GOI the pre-text to conduct their usual, 10 year de-weaponization program in Lebanon.

    You can call us “psychopaths”, but I think it’s the rejectionists in Lebanon who are. Just MHO.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 30, 2012, 9:27 am
  184. AIG hates me, iceman hates me…

    does anybody, anybody at all love me?

    🙂

    Posted by Gabriel | May 30, 2012, 9:38 am
  185. AP,

    Let AIG answer the question. As for your knowledge the use of cluster bombs serve NO military value when used in populated areas except killing of innocent civilians for years on end! You are free to Google and see that over 100 nations have signed on to the banning of the use of cluster bombs. I suggest you read more about it. They are tools of mass murder.

    Posted by danny | May 30, 2012, 9:40 am
  186. Gabriel and Danny,

    I clearly answered your question in the post AP mentioned. Of course there was military rational to use the cluster bomb artillery since you needed an area effect because of the lag between the detection of the area from which the missiles came from and the response. This lag allowed the shooters time to move and therefore an area had to be targeted. Nobody sprayed civilian populations. The attacks were always in response to a missile being fired.

    In fact, you are complaining about the aftermath, in which people were hurt by duds, not the actual shooting. Nobody expected that there would be so many duds and given the limited usefulness of the weapon as it was assessed with hindsight, I would not use it again.

    But there is absolutely no difference between Israel using these bombs and Obama using drones to target areas where there may be children. The actual initial impact of the cluster bombs killed very few children if at all and of course there was no intent to target children.

    And after the war if you guys are so incompetent and callous that you can’t get your act together and get rid of the duds on your territory quickly, then it is your problem. If you don’t care enough about your kids to quickly get rid of the duds, I don’t see why I should care more.

    And that is the crux of the matter. Obviously your complaints are BS, because when you had a chance to quickly remedy the situation you didn’t. You failed again big time and Lebanese kids paid the price. When somebody shoots missiles at us, we don’t wait to fix the situation, we do it quickly. You just complain and think that makes you moral. No, it only makes you incompetent and immoral. Being moral means actually helping people, not having fun in Canada and pointing fingers.

    Posted by AIG | May 30, 2012, 9:48 am
  187. And this leads back the stopping massacres in Syria. You even admit that if massacres happen in Lebanon you would do nothing to stop them! You are willing to do nothing when your own kids are killed. How more incompetent can you get? How more immoral can you get? There is an infinite distance between your rhetoric and your actions.

    Posted by AIG | May 30, 2012, 10:05 am
  188. Gaby, AIG and I both love you.

    He just has a different way of showing his affection; sort of like the little boy who pokes pokes pokes to get attention.

    Posted by lally | May 30, 2012, 11:05 am
  189. AIG:

    That’s not an answer.

    First you begin by saying that those Cluster bombs have some “Time-delay” strategic value (even though that time delay inevitably harms civilians). Then you conceded that your first sentence was rubbish by saying that you would “not use clusters again since they were not effective”.

    Next, you suggest that it was immoral for me to stay in Canada and have fun instead of flying back to Lebanon to spend a year clearing the duds you left on Lebanese soil. So the only way to do the moral thing in your view is to risk my life and my family’s well-being by going to Lebanon and personally helping to remove the duds that you left.

    Will you cry if one of those duds blew me to pieces? Will you personally support the family I would leave behind?

    You seriously take no moral responsibility for putting those duds there in the first place?

    Posted by Gabriel | May 30, 2012, 11:13 am
  190. Gabriel,

    It is a perfectly clear answer. In 2006 it was the first time that the integrated cluster artillery system was used. It was developed exactly for these situations in which areas had to be hit. It was expected that the system would work well but only in hindsight it was clear that it was not effective and that the dud rate was way too high. Hindsight is of course 20/20, but weapon systems do not always work as expected. I only know now that they were not effective but given what was known before the system was used widely, it was the correct decision to use it and given what we know now it is correct not to use it again.

    Of course it was immoral for you to stay in Canada. You claim to be moral and care about Lebanese children, yet you won’t do this minimal thing. What does it mean that you care about a country if in times of crisis or danger you are not willing to help? What does it mean that you complain about Lebanese kids being killed from duds yet are not willing to risk anything to take care of the problem? If you don’t care about Lebanese kids just day so. Then your action makes sense. But you are like the person saying he wants to help you move but always finds excuses not to do anything. Do you really want people to take you seriously if you just talk when you have had ample opportunities to show you are sincere? You raised the issue of the cluster bombs. So if it really bothers you, why did you do nothing when a clear route for help was available?

    Get it into your head. It is your job to help Lebanese children. It is my job to help Israeli and Jewish ones. It is your job to protect Lebanese kids. It is my job to protect Israeli ones. If each one of us does his job, kids will be protected. Do your duty, don’t use the actions of others as an excuse to do nothing.

    Posted by AIG | May 30, 2012, 11:31 am
  191. You didn’t answer…

    Would you have cried if one of those duds killed me as I was clearing them? Would you have stepped in and helped the family I left behind?

    Posted by Gabriel | May 30, 2012, 11:36 am
  192. Oh, and about the risk involved. Are you joking? If an Israeli dies serving Israel, do I ask you to take care of his family? I will not cry for you just as you don’t cry for Israelis that die. Is that an excuse not to perform your duty? Should Israelis refuse to go to the army because Gabriel will not cry for them and won’t take care of their families? Where do you come from with these ridiculous arguments?

    Posted by AIG | May 30, 2012, 11:37 am
  193. AIG.. Answer please!

    It’s not a ridiculous question. It’s quite pertinent to your asinine comment.

    You live in Israel. When war comes to you and you do the utmost to protect Israeli children, etc, you do so on your own turf, and out of necessity.

    I live in Canada. My family is in Canada and elsewhere outside of Lebanon. I care about my own children and family more than I care about other Lebanese peoples’ children.

    So answer the question. If I went to Lebanon to do some charity work clearing the duds that you dropped on lebanese soil, and for which you take no moral responsibility… and as a result I died, and my children became fatherless…. will you care for them. And if not… who will care for them?

    PS- I am no military expert, but according to Wiki, those cluster bombs have been around for a while- not only since 2006.

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

    Posted by Gabriel | May 30, 2012, 11:52 am
  194. Gabriel,

    Cluster bombs have been around for a while, but the system to detect shooting and quickly direct an artillery cluster bomb response was new.

    What do you mean, answer your question? I answered it. Isn’t it clear I would not take care of your family just like you would not take care of mine if I die serving Israel?

    I care also more about my children than other Israeli’s children but that does not mean that I am not willing to take no risk whatsoever to protect other Israeli kids. That is what solidarity means. We fight together for the benefit of all because we care enough about one another even though we care about our loved ones more.

    And if you care enough about Lebanese children you take the small risk that you may die helping them. We take such risk doing things everyday, like driving a car. By the way, who will take care of your family if you die in a car accident? Just apply the answer to this question to your question. You are just giving excuses to do nothing.

    Posted by AIG | May 30, 2012, 12:06 pm
  195. Do you really think the risk of clearing explosive devices carries the same risk as driving a car?

    Either way, if some madman rams into me and kills me while driving, his insurance company will pay money.

    Who will care for them when I die on a trip to Lebanon clearing the bombs that you left? You’ve specified it’s not you. So who will it be?

    Why does caring about Lebanese children mean i should physically go clear the duds that- and let’s not forget this- you dropped? Why is financial support not sufficient?

    PS: I don’t see what the novelty of the system to detect shooting and quickly direct cluster bombs have to do with potential of unexploded duds. Did the developers of the Cluster bomb device used in 2006 run engineering verification and validation tests to demonstrate their design will result in minimal non-exploded devices? If not, are you suggesting they really did not anticipate the issue!

    PS2: Out of curiousity, did AP ever go to Israel and take up arms to protect Jewish children?

    Posted by Gabriel | May 30, 2012, 12:18 pm
  196. You would of course not be clearing the explosives, but marking areas where they are so children know not to play there until experts in clearing explosives come. That is quite a low risk job. And if you went through an accredited NGO or some GO, they usually have life insurance coverage for their volunteers. Just excuse after excuse on your side to ignore your moral obligation that you claim to have. The only conclusion I can reach is that you is that all your talk of morality is hot air.

    What does it matter who dropped the bombs? If a burglar ransacks your home, do you leave it like it is and wait for the burglar to return and tidy up? Do you tell your kids you are not cleaning up because the burglar is responsible? Maybe that is what you do, but not normal people.

    The issue is not whether financial aid or doing the job yourself is enough. The issue is getting the job done quickly so that Lebanese kids are not at risk. Not going yourself but organizing and helping others to go would have even been fine. But the results speak for themselves. Incompetence and callousness combined so that the result was that the problem lingered for a long time and children died. Sending $10 and hoping that helps means you don’t give a damn about Lebanese kids.

    Posted by AIG | May 30, 2012, 12:36 pm
  197. No system is ever tested to the extent it was used in the war. In addition, the dud problem was associated with how the bombs were stored. When “fresh” munition was tested, the dud rate was reasonable.

    As for what AP did, how is that relevant? Is he complaining about cluster bombs in Lebanon and doing nothing? You are. I don’t know about AP personally, but the Jewish diaspora in genera; has time and again helped Israel and made sacrifices for Israel. If there were cluster bombs duds endangering Israeli kids and Israel needed volunteers, many diaspora Jews would come and help and they would also send huge amounts of money if needed.

    Posted by AIG | May 30, 2012, 12:42 pm
  198. AIG.

    If a burglar robs my home is an if. I don’t know when to anticipate him and who he is… and when he runs off, I still likely don’t know who he is.. But right now, I am talking directly to the chap who left me with duds on Lebanese soil, and who wants me to leave my family for 1 year, and risk death, to clean up the mess he left in Lebanon.

    And in the process of all of this, this chap (that’s you) won’t even take any moral responsibility for leaving those duds there in the first place.

    I tell you, if I ever caught that burglar.. I’d make him clean up and pay for all the stuff he stole or damaged!

    Anyways, it’s nice and telling that you managed to compare yourself to a burglar. I think the analogy was quite fitting.

    Posted by Gabriel | May 30, 2012, 1:17 pm
  199. 2nd post.

    The Lebanese diaspora makes lots of sacrifices for Lebanon and donate a lot of money.

    What does that have to do with asking you for accountabity for dropping those cluster bombs in the first place?

    Posted by Gabriel | May 30, 2012, 1:19 pm
  200. many diaspora Jews would come and help and they would also send huge amounts of money if needed

    Gabriel,

    If you want a good investment during these difficult times, you may want to invest in Israel Bonds.

    Lally, how about you?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 30, 2012, 1:26 pm

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