Lebanon, March 14, Syria

Okab Sakr, Purveyor of Fine Armaments & Explosives

It’s a little late in the game for me to hide the fact that I’ve long cultivated an unhealthy obsession with Okab Sakr and his formidable rhetorical skills. His performances on the Lebanese evening talk show circuit are the stuff of legend (see here and here for only a couple of my purplest paeans to the Eagle’s eloquence), but it’s been a while since he’s made an appearance on primetime.

The reason why, as everyone knows by now, is that he has been acting as a principal liaison between the Syrian opposition and various foreign governments, mainly Saudi Arabia.

Today, OTV and al-Akhbar are teaming up to put Okab back on primetime with an exposé of his involvement in Syrian arms trafficking, including promised recordings of conversations between him and people who want to do things with guns.

Here’s the first clip in the series:

Thinking aloud for now… Of all the people that Saad Hariri or the Saudis or whoever could have tapped to get involved in the weapons racket, why Okab Sakr? Why not use someone with relevant experience like Antoine Zahra (who is now bizarrely acting as M14’s official emissary to Hamas)? The choice of Sakr as arms dealer makes even less sense to me than Michel Samaha’s pretensions to espionage.

And yet, and yet…


116 thoughts on “Okab Sakr, Purveyor of Fine Armaments & Explosives

  1. A Lebanese politician is arming the same groups who hold his fellow Lebanese citizens hostage, while claiming that he is staying in Turkey to secure their release and help Syrian Refugees in Turkey. I mean we could give the guy a break if these recordings have any semblance to an Iran-Contra type transaction but I don’t think that’s the case.

    I don’t understand why the future movement spent so much energy on denying the undeniable. Bashar and Co are your sworn enemies, and you are fueling a civil war in Syria by acting as Saudi stooges, own up to it.

    If I was M14 I would let Hezbollah be, I would sit on the sideline, throw my “political” support behind the opposition in Syria and wait for the dominoes to fall. Without Syria, hezbollah in the face of Israel’s upgraded capabilities ie Iron Dome etc, is just another militia with AK’s and RPGs. Weapons which will come in handy if their sunni brothers in Lebanon become so emboldened and replicate the daily killings in Iraq and Pakistan of the “rafidah”

    Nasrallah needs to ditch his rockets and realize that Israel is no longer his enemy, its car bombs going off in Dahiyeh. When the salafis are done in Syria, they are coming to Lebanon to pick a bone with Bashar’s allies.

    Posted by tamer k. | November 29, 2012, 11:43 am
  2. If they present convincing stuff, this is going to join the implausible musee-des- horreurs that the war in Syria has brought to Lebanon…unless it is not convincing, and goes to join the shuhud al zhur file? Wait and see…

    Posted by mj | November 29, 2012, 12:52 pm
  3. Now should we believe these recordings that supposedly are authentic…and not believe STL…I can sense HA’s annoying maneuvering to scare of Lebanese Christians! There’s no other value to this! ClAoun’s refrain about FM(Sunnis) and Lebanese Christians’ fear of them.

    Elections must be near and the village idiot seems to be cornered. Funny enough that the orange general was accusing LF/Kataeb of selling out the Christians rights to the Sunnis! Coincidence?


    Posted by danny | November 29, 2012, 1:01 pm
  4. “Let them provide non-fabricated evidence that I am arming Syrian rebels, and if they proved it I would be ready to go on trial,” Sakr told Future TV on Wednesday evening.


    He also went on to say something along the lines that he is not shabiha and that he would not provide arms in a civil war, and that if he is guilty of providing arms he would be willing to shoot himself. I cannot find the transcript or clip from that future TV interview but I’ll look for it.

    The audio I heard on TV was pretty compelling

    Posted by tamer k. | November 29, 2012, 2:38 pm
  5. For the arabic challenged readers al akhbar which is in possession of these recordings just released its exclusive in english


    Posted by tamer k. | November 29, 2012, 2:40 pm
  6. he is fighting for freedom of the people. don’t spin this story. I am sure the Syrians are thankful for the great concern and commitment Hariri has shown for the past decades in favour of Syria’s nation building towards a prosperous country enjoying the rule of law, and not a family dynasty that confiscates resources, cripple the country with debts, while embezzling public funds under while claiming open markets and privatization.
    The Syrian people are in debt to this great man and equally to his aids that didn’t spare a second in working to provide the welcome and full support for the freedom fighters and the founding fathers of the democratic federation. There is going to be links onto how Okab Sakhr is meeting to set another keystone of future Middle East by drafting the future constitution of Syria. God bless Hariri, a true leader who shapped the ME for the better and for ever. The world is looking in awe to his achievementS. Iran and HA can just brace themselves and admit the truth.

    Posted by Bear_X | November 29, 2012, 2:58 pm
  7. Interesting to read of the comments on the al-akhbar page in response.

    Posted by EJ | November 29, 2012, 3:00 pm
  8. This is the link to the interview sakr did a few weeks ago in which he denies being involved in the arms trade just scanned through the interview @35 minutes he has some kind words for al alkhbar newspaper and @22 minutes he starts a long diatribe trying to discredit what was written in the western news papers regarding his involvement in the procurement of arms

    Posted by Tamer k. | November 29, 2012, 3:40 pm
  9. Things seem to be getting juicier by the day.

    Posted by Gabriel | November 29, 2012, 3:45 pm
  10. juice it baby!

    Posted by 3issa | November 29, 2012, 4:50 pm
  11. Thanks Tamer.

    I’ve also posted the clip that OTV aired today above (replacing the teaser clip that I had posted earlier).

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | November 29, 2012, 5:03 pm
  12. We were used to more eloquent sentences from him. What is the verdict, Qifa? Is that his voice on the phone?

    Posted by mj | November 29, 2012, 5:46 pm
  13. Let me get this straight, HA is crying foul because KSA/Hariri/Saqr are providing weapons to the Syrian rebels but they can go on fighting alongside Bashar because it’s their jihadist duties.

    Looks like Ibrahim Al- Amine is competing with sleazy Charles Ayoub

    Posted by Vulcan | November 29, 2012, 6:00 pm
  14. That was Iceman on the phone

    Posted by Vulcan | November 29, 2012, 6:03 pm
  15. loooooooooooooooooooooool. I just fell off my chair!

    Posted by Gabriel | November 29, 2012, 6:13 pm
  16. lol ..yeah who could deny it

    Posted by Vulcan | November 29, 2012, 6:19 pm
  17. Gabriel,

    It’s the Lebanese way, pick a fruit, beat it to a pulp, and juice the S**t out of it. OTV and AlAkhbar’s operation style are not any different, they just want to get him back for what he said against them in the above interview.
    Immature and sensational.

    Posted by Maverick | November 29, 2012, 6:24 pm
  18. Well OTV & Al Akhbar have idiot followers who would believe any crap they throw out there! Iceman loool…Now that’s a scoop. 😀

    Posted by danny | November 29, 2012, 7:29 pm
  19. Sounds like him to me. Ya di3aan el zika.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | November 29, 2012, 7:36 pm
  20. Well at the least the next time AP asks, we can say that Oqab is personally distributing munitions 😛

    Posted by Gabriel | November 29, 2012, 8:40 pm
  21. incomplete: next time AP asks what the Arabs are doing about Syria.

    Posted by Gabriel | November 29, 2012, 8:41 pm
  22. QN,

    My brother and I sound identical over the phone…So you think it sounds like him; then would be an indictment? BTW Manar had this news about a month back…Does this give you a clue? Again; as I mentioned above it seems to be another soap opera scene to help out our deranged General. BTW did you know that the clAoun was hounded in Canada and hardly could make his visit commitments in Montreal and partially in Toronto?
    I have a solution though…Let them pay the FBI labs to confirm the authenticity of the tape. 😀

    Posted by danny | November 30, 2012, 8:05 am
  23. Danny

    I think it’s very likely that it’s him because I’ve been hearing about this new role of his since last November. Then we have all the news reports in the Arab and Western media.

    What I find interesting, in both the Saqr and Samaha cases, is that political operatives are getting so deeply involved in military matters.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | November 30, 2012, 9:14 am
  24. Without wishing at all to discount the possibility of this being true, the question that immediately struck me was: Why would a FSA fighter leak to Al Akhbar, of all media? It’s orientation vis-a-vis the regime is hardly a secret.

    Posted by Alex Rowell (@disgraceofgod) | November 30, 2012, 9:26 am
  25. Alex

    $$$ ?

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | November 30, 2012, 9:31 am
  26. Elias,

    Most likely answer I suppose. Quite a risk though. Selling out your own arms dealer seems mad.

    Posted by Alex Rowell (@disgraceofgod) | November 30, 2012, 9:42 am
  27. QN,

    Samaha was caught on tape and he has confessed. Saqr seems to be denying it “vehemently”. If he were lying and the tapes could be proven authentic it would damage his cred beyond repair.

    On second thought it might enhance it lol…as he would be on equal footing with Nassrallah and the rest of Lebanese clowns (pols). 😛

    Posted by danny | November 30, 2012, 9:52 am
  28. You can just sense the glee and the smirks at Al-Akhbar with this sensation…and they’re gonna run with it. That is his voice by the way.
    The question is, after two years, isn’t it a little late in the game and a little hypocritical for Al Akhbar to be taking the high moral ground over who is funding who. To many, what Okab is doing is quite honorable. Using any means necessary to provide the downtrodden with some leverage/defense against a merciless and belligerent oppressor. It pales in comparison with HA sending their own operatives into the battle field. I think were past the stage of keeping it on the low for public image purposes, they should all just come out and say it. At least one figure did of late, Walid Joumblatt said F**k it! lets not hide behind thumbs, and called the Druze of Syria to join the revolution…officially. Now put your money where your mouth is Jumbi and sent through arms…Im sure Okab still holds you in high esteem.

    Posted by Maverick | November 30, 2012, 5:31 pm
  29. Sunnis and Shi’ites need to get back to basics.

    Parma Ham isn’t kosher. Fois Gras is ok.

    Posted by JY | November 30, 2012, 6:06 pm
  30. Will the new Egyptian constitution account for Muslim Vegetarians sacrificing a Pumpkin during Eid El Adha?

    Posted by JY | November 30, 2012, 6:26 pm
  31. Maverick,

    You see the HA fighters are fulfilling their “Jihadi duties”…While Saqr is fermenting strife between Shia & Sunna! Capische??

    Posted by danny | November 30, 2012, 6:29 pm
  32. Since we spun all kinds of paranoid conspiracy theories for Michel Samaha and Wissam Al Hassan, it’s only fair that we do the same for Okab Sakr. No?

    So…Who wants to go first?
    What will it be?

    Sakr was set up via entrapment by a syrian regime stooge or HA.
    Sakr was set up by a former FSA stooge that changed his ways and double crossed the rebels?
    Sakr set himself up all on his own, just like Wissam Al Hassan faked his own death..?

    Come on guys! Howcome when it’s the M8 gang, they’re so good at coming up with fantasyland explanations for everything, but when it’s the M14 crowd, the excuses and explanations are far less creative? Should I read too much into that? 🙂

    Ah wait. I know. It’s the Israelis. They entrapped Sakr by pretending to be Saudi arms dealers supporting the rebels, only to turn around and sell out their own zionist sympathizer in Lebanon (after all, we all know M14 are zionistas) the same way as they’ve been killing off all the other M14 zionists over the past few years, in coldly calculated ploy to remove all obstacles to HA/M8 taking over Lebanon, which would then justify an Israeli invasion to steal the Litani waters! Brilliant!

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | November 30, 2012, 7:54 pm
  33. Danny,

    I get it I get it, it is only legit when “he” deems it so. Full beard is En Vouge, Scruffy beard with a shaven moustache area is Faux Pas.

    Posted by Maverick | November 30, 2012, 8:18 pm
  34. Perhaps this is the reason for the full fledged support the Lefties and progressives in the Levant give to HA, it’s Beard-sympathy, Beard-envy, I dunno…Some testosterone -fuelled quasi-Freudian follical connection.

    Posted by Maverick | November 30, 2012, 8:23 pm
  35. Danny,

    I think what is surprising about the Oqab involvement is that I would have thought that it simply makes him quite vested in what’s going on in Syria.

    And in a part of the world where politicians slither their way from position to position, it seems as though it’s a big gamble on his part.

    Perhaps one that may pay off ultimately.

    Posted by Gabriel | November 30, 2012, 8:47 pm
  36. So much for the policy of Disassociation. Who were they fooling anyway. Disassociation was Newspeak for supporting the Baath Regime.
    If proven guilty, Oqab won’t be despised because of his involvement, rather because he lied blatantly. His history of outrageous and poignant monologues would take a serious nose dive.

    Posted by Maverick | November 30, 2012, 9:09 pm
  37. Lol Maverick, outreageous and poignant monologue! It is true that it seemed difficult to place a word of dissent when his verbal machine gun was shooting. To place any word, in fact, as the tv anchors will tell.

    I think the big shock comes from the unglamurous sight of thinking about him among real machine guns and munitions, -and MONEY- , instead of him shooting his powerful (and bloodless) retorical and linguistic weapons.

    Somehow he made us lose yet a bit space of inocence, of the very little cultural innocence we have left by now.

    In the face of it, Okab Saker took already a big gamble when he put himself at the service of Hariri. He was more than aware of the full implication of the leaders of his sect in the opposed camp in this fight. In the very sectarian Lebanese political market, he was already a cultural traitor, the kind that denies your arguments every day (like every non-Sunni at the service of Hariri happens to be whenever the argument against the FM is that of nurturing sectarian hatred). When he knew this was a battle to death, he was left with the choice: full service to the Master (with financial worries solved for life) or the trip into oblivion in the long road of the Syrian torment. Knowing that he was fair game anyway, he chose to dye rich, and famous?

    The mistery will remain of why in this world would Hariri chose a Chi’a to be his main dealer in a market supposedly full of takfiris?

    Posted by mj | December 1, 2012, 6:33 am
  38. I have no idea about Lebanese politics
    I little trivia
    Okab Sakr name is weird its literal translation is “Vulture Hawk” !!
    is there such a hybrid creature?
    or does that mean he looks like a Hawk but he is a Vulture?

    Posted by zaz | December 1, 2012, 11:17 am
  39. I finally got around to actually listening to the audio clip.

    Is it me? Or was that conversation bizarre?

    It sounded like Abu Nu3man (?) was almost begging for the weapons. Couldn’t answer “how” much weapons they need. Everything was wishy-washy.

    If this is what passes for as “military” planning on the Saudi-Qatari-Oqab Saqri axis… it’s pretty pathetic, no?

    Posted by Gabriel | December 1, 2012, 11:38 am
  40. Gabriel,

    you are correct. It seems too much full of BS. That’s why I suggested may be Al Akhbar should get it authenticated by FBI (or similar) labs…But they won’t as they know it is a a con job .The fact that Sakr was vehemently denying it should give us a clue…Unless you think Sakr is clueless!!

    Anyways; regardless; the dumb crowd in Lebanese politics believe anything they want. facts are irrelevant!

    Posted by danny | December 1, 2012, 4:12 pm
  41. I just listened to the latest recording on the al-Akhabr Arabic page. I was disappointed, there is something so voyeuristic about knowing Hariri is not sleeping, worrying and working. I want to hear more…..

    Posted by Shammy | December 1, 2012, 4:27 pm
  42. The dialogue is somehow unconvincing as written if one is to believe that this is how these things are arranged. Reading the al_Ahkbar transcripts produced several HUH? moments; no one actually involved in RLweapons transfers would be so “wishy washy,” pleading and squishy. The vagueness is in contrast to this claim of strict accounting :
    “Later on, instructions were given to rig supply trucks transporting weapons with explosives that can be detonated in the event they are captured or ambushed. The strict measures in place include disciplining anyone responsible for losing a single bullet or shell.”

    It’s almost as if this “re-enactment” series is designed to add credibility to a pr campaign aimed at potential donors/supporters and/or members of Congress familiar w/M14.

    Wissam al_Hasan is often invoked; was his agency involved in the project?. Wissam talked too damn much.

    From the first tape/transcript;

    AN: Delivery, as usual, will be divided up…… Try to get them in any way possible, God bless you. I don’t know what to say, after God, there is only you.

    OS: Will you be there at the delivery?

    AN: No brother, Abu al-Nour will be there with the guys and the cars. They will take them from you as usual.”

    Could AN be The Iceman?

    Posted by lally | December 2, 2012, 2:48 am
  43. I think what’s more bizarre than the recordings is Al-Akhbar’s reporting.

    All of a sudden, it appears as though it is now Pro-“Revolution”. It has a mole that is filling in the blanks. The good Syrian people are being hijacked by none other Oqab, who apparently is second to God, in the eye of some of those who call themselves revolutionaries.

    But then, there is confusion in the Mole’s narrative. Ever eager to demonize Oqab, the mole boldly states that Oqab doesn’t care about the Syrian people, he doesn’t “love” them. His obsession is only the regime which ironically could have been toppled “four times over” had it not been for Oqab.

    Which could point to one of two things: a) Al Akhbar is full of S&%t, or b) Oqab really wasn’t the “best choice” to “run” these operations on behalf of Saad Hariri. Clearly his lack of knowledge in military strategizing has prevented him from achieving his sole goal (getting rid of the regime).

    Or maybe, just maybe: Oqab is not really anti-Regime. Maybe he is there to “weaken” the revolution. Clearly, he’s single-handedly slowed down their pace by more than 75%! Could Oqab be a double agent?

    Posted by Gabriel | December 2, 2012, 11:47 am
  44. At least this blog is focusing on the most important issue in the region 🙂

    I see everybody is still whistling past the graveyard.

    Posted by AIG | December 2, 2012, 12:20 pm
  45. I love the comments in here about his credibility being damaged beyond repair. This is the cesspool that is Lebanese politics that we are talking about. Nothing and no one is damage beyond repair. Credibility? What is that? Pah lease. If anything, to his people, he’s a hero.

    Posted by Delbert | December 2, 2012, 12:48 pm
  46. Okab Sakr has just admitted to al jadeed that the recordings are authentic and that he will issue clarification in the al sharq awsat newspaper tomorrow.

    Posted by Tamer k. | December 2, 2012, 4:40 pm
  47. Shalom AIG,

    How right you are. It must be all those Venezuelan and Turkish soap operas the Lebanese have been used to watching since they were born. I mean, pass the baklawa around, the Palestinians won the lottery, Tahrir square is back in full swing, the Syrian rebels are ‘touring’ all major cities in Syria, be sure to see them in a theater near you.

    P.S., How’s Bibi’s blood pressure levels these days?

    Posted by Maverick | December 2, 2012, 4:49 pm
  48. Sakr’s splainin’ should be of great interest.

    Could things possibly get even zanier?

    Posted by lally | December 2, 2012, 6:45 pm
  49. I can’t wait!

    Posted by Gabriel | December 2, 2012, 7:37 pm
  50. Maverick,

    cc: AIG

    I had to look up the term “…whistling past the graveyard…” to understand what that meant. Now I know, and I fully agree with what AIG is alluding to.

    There is a perfect storm brewing, and the UN and the US are unwittingly bringing us closer to the eye of the storm.
    As interesting (and incomprehensible) as internal Lebanese politics go, it will be forgotten when the storm hits.

    BB’s blood pressure is fine; his patience is wearing thin.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 2, 2012, 11:46 pm
  51. AP,

    Would you like to stick your neck out? What storm exactly, and by when?

    Posted by Badr | December 3, 2012, 4:16 am
  52. Well QN was right! What kind of bozos are leading this country? Movie later. 😀


    Posted by danny | December 3, 2012, 7:42 am
  53. Badr,

    All this is just MHO. But the storm includes the following ingredients:

    1.) Huge anti-government upheavals in the Arab world namely Egypt and Syria

    2.) Spreading Islamism in the Arab/Muslim world

    3.) World economic danger with the “leader” of world capitalism employing the highest levels of “Tax & Spend”

    4.) The “leader” of the free world with a foreign policy of “Apology First”

    5.) And last but not least, a gift for Hamas and the Palestinians for launching hundreds of rockets into Israel thanks to that wonderful body called the UN.

    Mix it all together and you get instability and war.

    QN, define “reactionary”.


    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 3, 2012, 8:22 am
  54. AP, you forgot to add to the mix

    Intransigent Israeli rightwing leaders insisting on building on stolen land

    Posted by Vulcan | December 3, 2012, 9:35 am
  55. Any word yet on the interview with Oqab?

    Posted by Gabriel | December 3, 2012, 10:29 am
  56. Stolen Land Alert


    You need to make up your mind, is Israel a legitimate, sovereign country or not? You go “both ways” habibi.

    If Israel IS a legit state (as you mention previously), what is “stolen land”? Also you should recall that the Intransigent Israeli Rightwings Leaders™ (IIRL), proposed a final agreement to the Palestinians where 95% of the West Bank along with the already returned Gaza for a Palestinian State.

    That’s why I took it off the list. The IIRL have always been open for negotiation, whereas the IPRL keep receiving gifts for doing nothing except firing missiles.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 3, 2012, 10:40 am
  57. AP:

    Can you take a time out for one thread.


    Let’s try to keep this discussion focused.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 3, 2012, 10:53 am
  58. Maverick,

    I think Bibi’s blood pressure is quite low. He is going to win the election and command a huge coalition. The Europeans are making the same mistake that Obama made regarding the settlements and Bibi is setting them up nicely for a fall. The country best prepared for the intensifying shit storm we are in the midst of in the middle east is Israel and Bibi knows it.

    He has made Cyprus a de facto protectorate of Israel (because of the natural gas and the need for Cyprus to counterbalance the Turks) and has improved vastly the connections with Greece. Add to that the extremely tight connection with several other European countries, like the Czech Republic, and you realize that the Europeans, who can only do things by unanimous consent, have zero power.

    Add to that the fact that Israel is the only stable country in the region currently, and the only one not facing a threat of civil war or upheaval, and really who can the Europeans deal with if they want influence?

    And though this is not due to Bibi, I also direct you to the US Congress. If the Europeans want a fight with the US Congress, they are welcome.

    Israel has never been so strong relative to the Arab countries around it just by the fact that Bibi has chartered a steady economic course while the Arab spring is turning out to be quite detrimental for the economies of the countries around Israel.

    That is not to say that I wish that Bibi’s foreign policy would be more creative or that I like all his coalition partners. But he has proven himself to be pragmatic and consistent on all policy fronts and extremely responsible on the economic front. Israel with all its security problems has a credit rating higher than Italy, Spain or Ireland.

    Posted by AIG | December 3, 2012, 1:33 pm
  59. Azizi AP,

    My mind is made up. I reiterate that Israel is a legitimate country and the Jewish people have every right to a secure homeland. I also believe the same applies for the Palestinians. Building on the contested E1 which is occupied territory and is essential for a contiguous Palestinian state, deals a severe blow to a 2 state solution, so how is it that Israel is trying to solve this problem in good faith, if they insist on more settlements before a final agreement is reached? This is grabbing land and imposing facts on the ground, hardly peace offering.

    Posted by Vulcan | December 3, 2012, 2:08 pm
  60. Dr.Qifa, maybe you can open a dedicated Arab israeli conflict space so we can duke it out over there and not have to always hijack posts about different subjects. Of course you can shut it down once the conflict is resolved 🙂

    Posted by Vulcan | December 3, 2012, 2:26 pm
  61. Vulcan,

    Will respond later. Good idea for Dr. Napkin.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 3, 2012, 3:10 pm
  62. AIG,

    Silly naive me, thinking what a perfect opportunity for Israelis to reflect on their course of direction and perhaps re think strategies/attitudes.
    Was your diatribe a continuation of the typical arrogance inherit in Israeli attitudes i.e E1, or just a cover for a growing insecurity? Because I don’t think isolation is a good policy for Bibi and co. no matter which way you spin it.

    Posted by Maverick | December 3, 2012, 5:23 pm
  63. RE:Oqab,

    2 things;

    Good: In a few months time after the revolution concludes, Oqab will be seen as a major supporter and a somewhat quasi hero.
    Bad: He lied blatantly on live TV to the people he vehemently proclaims to support. Credibility?Nil.

    Posted by Maverick | December 3, 2012, 5:30 pm
  64. Maverick:

    Good summary.

    Re: Credibility. I think that is the item that will be most damaged. Although being as eloquent as he is, and so self assured, brilliant at re-direction (see interview posted above by Tamer), I’d be curious to see how he wiggles out of this.

    If he manages it, I’d say.. Hats off to him for sheer brilliance.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 3, 2012, 6:36 pm
  65. Maverik,

    “Silly naive me, thinking what a perfect opportunity for Israelis to reflect on their course of direction and perhaps re think strategies/attitudes.”

    I agree, that is quite silly and naive to assume. In the end, the strategies are assessed based on their results. If you can show me a country with a better strategy in our region, kindly point it out.

    “Was your diatribe a continuation of the typical arrogance inherit in Israeli attitudes i.e E1, or just a cover for a growing insecurity?”

    It was the typical arrogance this time. It can’t be helped that describing facts seems arrogant. Bibi is giving the EU the old “take the goat into the house treatment”. Here is the shortest version of this story I could find:
    In a few months the EU leaders will be granted a “great” victory when Bibi delays building in E1.

    “Because I don’t think isolation is a good policy for Bibi and co. no matter which way you spin it.”

    You must be kidding. You somehow equate Israel’s position with isolation. We have basically the full access to EU programs as an EU member and we have free trade agreements with both the US and Europe. We have excellent relations and roaring business with China and India. Putin is a friend of our foreign secretary not to mention the half million Russian tourists that come to Israel every year. Yes, we are “isolated” from the Arab and Muslim world (not all of it of course). Since it has been going on for over 60 years, we are kind of used to it by now. And they also don’t let us play sports in Asia, so we have to suffer our “isolation” and play in Europe. Bummer.

    Posted by AIG | December 3, 2012, 6:56 pm
  66. AIG,

    Maybe i am exaggerating a little, or being hopeful, but when I refer to Isolation, I mean politically speaking. Israel will still receive that many tourists, and still share strong economic ties with Europe bit in a narrative where the West supports Israel unconditionally, things have changed no?
    The European conspiracy against Israel in the latest UN bid was not an isolated incident but perhaps a sign of a shift in attitudes? and just recently Israeli envoys are being summoned including France and Britian for the E1 illegal settlements;


    Even the White house has ruffled it’s feathers over this.

    Is this just business as usual in Tel Aviv or are Israeli’s concerned?

    Posted by Maverick | December 3, 2012, 7:38 pm
  67. Maverick,

    The US would not sell weapons to Israel till after 1967, after which the French had a weapons embargo. We had no relations with China, India, Russia and many other countries till the early to mid nineties. From 1975 to 1991 the “Zionism is Racism” UN resolution stood. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_General_Assembly_Resolution_3379)

    It is not only business as usual, the right wing parties thrive on this. The “all the world is against us” meme plays well with the Israeli public especially when combined with “we won’t let the Europeans push us around ever again”. Chalk up another 2 seats for Bibi in the next Knesset, 1 fromm the left and one from the parties to his right.

    As for EU shift in attitudes, Israel has never been more integrated with EU, and it all happened during Bibi’s tenure:

    So nothing has changed. And with some historic perspective it is clear things are getting constantly better.

    Posted by AIG | December 3, 2012, 8:49 pm
  68. Momkin titaergimli haezae?

    My mind is made up. I reiterate that Israel is a legitimate country and the Jewish people have every right to a secure homeland.


    If Israel is a legitimate country, why do you use the “stolen land” phrase so loosely? What land is stolen, what land is NOT stolen? Tell us.

    IMHO, the last Israeli/American offer (where 95% or so of the WB was given over to the Palestinians including half of the Old City of Jerusalem) was pretty good. The Palestinians are the ones who insist on the green line and no part of the Old City for the State of Israel. Who is intransigent and who isn’t?

    I also believe the same applies for the Palestinians. Building on the contested E1 which is occupied territory and is essential for a contiguous Palestinian state, deals a severe blow to a 2 state solution, so how is it that Israel is trying to solve this problem in good faith, if they insist on more settlements before a final agreement is reached?

    According to Oslo area E1 was not included. See the following map.

    Click to access ocha_opt_area_c_map_2011_02_22.pdf

    As if the agreements are being adhered to :o(. Firing missiles into Israeli population centers is strictly forbidden per the Oslo agreement. Also going to the UN for recognition is against the Oslo agreement. Building within area C is permitted.

    This is grabbing land and imposing facts on the ground, hardly peace offering.

    “Facts on the ground” just means Israel isn’t going to stop with their claims just because someone says they have to. Yamit was a “fact on the ground” in the Sinai. It didn’t prevent peace with Egypt. The scores of settlements in Gaza didn’t prevent the Israelis from returning it for NOTHING in return.

    I suggest you get off the “Poor Palestine” band-wagon and start asking the Palestinians what they are most interested in: a life of peace and prosperity or a life of confrontation with Jews.

    Mae hiyae ginseyyaetaek?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 3, 2012, 8:55 pm
  69. “The” graveyard?

    Which one? There are many.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 3, 2012, 9:12 pm
  70. By the way, stay tuned for my latest conspiracy theory.

    Team Hariri leaked this material, and no one else.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 3, 2012, 9:15 pm
  71. Perhaps its worth saying that a Saqr is born every minute…

    Posted by AIG | December 3, 2012, 10:20 pm
  72. “Team Hariri leaked….”

    OK. Why not?

    The graveyard is an apt description of the inevitable results for the looming Operation Noble Saviors to destroy and/or secure Syrian bio(?)/CHEM weapons depots. Major simultaneous pushing of related storylines is prepping ignoramus var.americanus for yet another regretfully essential democracy rescue mission in the “ME”.

    AIG. Quit channeling Henny Youngman while you still can. Altho, Sakr/freier born every minute is pretty good.

    Posted by lally | December 4, 2012, 12:28 am
  73. Can someone translate the above post into anglais sil vous plais? Merci. My secret decoder ring is on the fritz…

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 4, 2012, 1:10 am
  74. AP,

    Ill try. I think she’s taking a swipe at American interventionism and AIG for his comic one liners ala some classic comedian. She happens to use an extremely sarcastic tone. She also mockingly, warns of US involvement and the apocalyptic scenario following it.
    I think then the mockery goes south when she refers to Oqab as a Freier, German for prostitute…he is taking money for services rendered no?

    Posted by Maverick | December 4, 2012, 1:29 am
  75. Better Safe than Sorry

    Warning of “apocalyptic scenarios”? You mean 40, 000 dead Syrians is NOT any sort of Apocalypse or “Nakba”?

    Please tell Lala in her own special language that we appreciate her dire warning while the ME seems to be crumbling around us thanks to her resistance heroes in Iran and their Islamist allies.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 4, 2012, 2:12 am
  76. It’s your Yiddish that’s on the fritz, freier.


    Posted by lally | December 4, 2012, 2:45 am
  77. Perfect your English first, then Yiddish (“freier”) and Hebrew (“hasbara”)


    You may have me confused with your official translator, Maverick. I know what a “freier” is, thank you.

    And when I think of a “freier”, unfortunately, I think of the millions of Arabs living under the dictators you seem to support so nicely. I’m willing to bet you don’t live in Syria, motek.

    BTW – Thanks for posting in English.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 4, 2012, 8:06 am
  78. Pity the poor Syrians, pawns of a regional game; gulf arabs vs Iran, Hariri vs Nasrallah, brother vs brother.


    Posted by tamer k. | December 4, 2012, 1:01 pm
  79. VULCAN, no israel is not a legitimate country and as for people who believe in judaism, they have a right to live secure in their ethnic countries, they do not have a right to colonialize, steal and occupy someone elses land just because they want to have a jewish state for people from all over the world who happen to believe in judaism. If they insist on such a state then that state belongs somewhere empty which isent already inhabited. There is nothing legitimate about israel.

    Posted by Omar Beiruti | December 4, 2012, 1:30 pm
  80. +1
    and Maverick, how dare you use that Hamas slogan, “stolen land” so lightly? REPENT!

    Posted by 3issa | December 4, 2012, 2:23 pm
    You are free to believe in whatever you wish, however reality is something else. and from the looks of it (past 60 some years) people like you, won’t be able to ever change the reality that Israel do exist as a legitimate country and will continue to do so way after you are gone.

    Posted by Vulcan | December 4, 2012, 3:31 pm
  82. While I’m at it, OMAR, in that imaginary legitimacy they exist in, they were able to achieve governance, GDP, healthcare infrastructure, universities, scientists, musicians, mathematicians, doctors, chemists etc etc way better than you would ever dream of achieving in any Arab country. And to top it all off they are also much more humane towards their own than say Bashar, Saddam, Al Sauds, Khomeinis, Qadhafi et al

    Thank God they are not a legitimate country, because if they were, they would probably master the making of better Homus and Falafel. Cry Havoc then.

    Posted by Vulcan | December 4, 2012, 4:05 pm
  83. Can the FM fall any lower? Mikati is sure looks like a statesman in front of this new militia, too bad the sunni street doesn’t appreciate him


    “The Future bloc held the Lebanese government and Hezbollah responsible for the death of twenty-two men from Lebanon in a Syrian border town last week.”

    and on another note they want my text messages

    The bloc expressed its surprise at some MPs’ position regarding the Internal Security Forces’ request to attain text messaging content in order to investigate the October 19 assasination of ISF intelligence chief General Wissam al-Hassan.

    btw The Iranian Regime called they were wondering if Okab was available to smuggle arms into bahrain in order to liberate the opressed majority in that country.

    Posted by tamer k. | December 4, 2012, 7:29 pm
  84. FSA threatens Hezbollah, I believe this will be a reality.

    good luck lebanon

    Posted by tamer k. | December 5, 2012, 2:25 pm
  85. Tamer:

    Why would the Iranian regime be so inclined?

    They’ve been busy for quite some time smuggling arms to places like Iraq, to Hamas and to Hizballah.

    Surely, it is not beyond their means to smuggle arms themselves to Bahrain, if they were so inclined to do so!

    Posted by Gabriel | December 5, 2012, 4:40 pm
  86. While the Sunni majority is moderate, the Sunni crazies are like prime numbers. Whenever you identify a crazy Sunni, you can be sure that an even crazier one is lurking out there.

    Posted by AIG | December 5, 2012, 5:46 pm
  87. AIG,

    Why prime numbers? How about just plain integers?

    Posted by Gabriel | December 5, 2012, 11:46 pm
  88. Because it is not trivial identifying a large prime number and they are thinly dispersed between the integers.

    Posted by AIG | December 6, 2012, 2:09 am
  89. Our mate Oqab just wiped his backside with the leaked tapes on live TV.LOL.this is boy wonder of Lebanese politics.

    Posted by maverick | December 6, 2012, 7:09 am
  90. If he is boy wonder, who’s Batman?

    Posted by Yooos | December 6, 2012, 7:15 am
  91. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2012/Dec-06/197472-saqr-says-calls-made-to-negotiate-release-of-kidnapped-lebanese.ashx#axzz2DqeVQ4xk

    Yes he did. A star is borne and the moronic orange battalion has been exposed to look like a desperate unit!

    Posted by danny | December 6, 2012, 7:20 am
  92. Lally, is there any way I can get in touch with you? Anonymously or whatever. Your comments are priceless. I have an offer to make you. callmecynical2011@gmail.com

    Posted by Lally. Get in touch please | December 6, 2012, 7:40 am
  93. Danny,

    How are the Lebanese split between pro and anti-Assad sentiment?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 6, 2012, 8:19 am
  94. I am completely awed by this gentleman. Wow.

    A pity really that QN didn’t get around to provide his conspiracy theory before this news conference. Maybe not much of a conspiracy after all.

    M14 must be popping open the Champagne bottles now.

    Non-alcoholic of course. 😀

    Posted by Gabriel | December 6, 2012, 8:53 am
  95. @Vulcan
    what? did they achieve all of that without some extraordinary help from Europe and USA?
    and at a time when Europe colonization project was in a jeopardy
    maybe they thought this is our last colony, let it be an independent one and let them live there as Europeans (a large percentage of them came from Europe and USA)
    well if you think 60years of makes you legitimate state and think that you will stay that way for ever
    the French in Algeria stayed for 130years and in the end they left it in 3months before the declaration of independence and most of them weren’t even French to begin with
    and the French gov had to give them nationality because they were left without one and it was his fault that they were in that stat
    I heard some claim 2022 would be the end … well wait and see

    Posted by zaz | December 6, 2012, 9:39 am
  96. what? did they achieve all of that without some extraordinary help from Europe and USA?


    Let’s see. How did Europe help Israel?

    1.) Allowed Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine
    2.) Then they murdered 1/3 of our people.
    3.) Then they prevented them from immigrating to Palestine at the height of WW2 despite the carnage.
    4.) Then the US prevented jewish refugees from entering the US.

    Despite these hardships, Jews perservered to create a wonderfully productive and free state where the arabs living there have the most freedom and opportunity in the Middle East.

    What’s your excuse?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 6, 2012, 10:02 am
  97. Homes, not Sarin Gas requires Serious Action

    That feisty opthamalogist and supporter of “arab resistance” (against the illegitimate entity only), is ready to gas his own people. The arab media and the UN must be going crazy. I wonder if an Syrian ambassador will get summoned by a western government (or by an arab or muslim government)?


    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 6, 2012, 10:08 am
  98. If Okab Sakr were an American, he could be the subject/ conman hero of a grand comedic farce of a film. The guy makes Goebbels look like an amateur.

    Some favorite quotes:
    “Yes I am guilty of providing milk for infants and blankets for the displaced. Guilty as charged, let them prosecute me!” Sakr exclaimed adding that those who are accusing him are liars and fabricators of truth.”

    “Sakr continued, saying that he had contacted media outlets telling them that yes he was involved, “I fooled you all with your lies so that you would continue drowning. I watched you all go down from a hotel room and not from a military operation room,” he said.

    “I did all this so I can reveal how a political assassination is prepared and how the road is paved in this regard.”

    Referring to an interview he had done with Paula Yaacoubian, Sakr said that he had staged his answers and even his body language so that the interview would be sliced and edited in a provocative manor by “rival” media outlets.

    “They completely fell for it!” he said. He added, “that the media had said that I was paying Abou Ibrahim a monthly fee of $50,000. This is also a fallacy, I paid him once to cover the food expenses of the Lebanese detainees in Aleppo.”


    “To the party responsible for the “scandal” he said: “You have lost all your credibility, you are puppets on a black comedy stage.”


    “Replying to questions regarding the validity of the tapes presented Sakr said that all the tapes can be subject to laboratory testing for legitimacy”.


    Perhaps the FBI could help you out with that authentication business, Mr Sakr. Although, I imagine that their Lebanese file is rather full at present….

    Posted by lally | December 6, 2012, 12:13 pm
  99. Goebbels meets Goebbels

    The guy makes Goebbels look like an amateur.


    You don’t like Goebbels? THE top cheer-leader for mass-murdering, unaccountable and lawless regimes?

    I suppose I’m a bit surprised.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 6, 2012, 12:39 pm
  100. @Akbar Palace
    such ingratitude to your European benefactors!
    did you forget the GBritain and France helped you build Nuclear program and some (in Syrian FP talk: “if they exist”) Nuclear warheads?
    I won’t speak about WWII veterans helping Israelis win their wars
    they must be turning in their graves from such ungrateful words!
    and the annual Money donated by Aunt America?
    what about your ex-persecutors the Germans giving you some cool toys like those dolphin subs??

    Posted by zaz | December 6, 2012, 12:41 pm
  101. Lally…

    Conman extraordinaire? Yes

    Sleazy politician? No doubt about it!

    But who can question how diabolical brilliant it was!

    Posted by Gabriel | December 6, 2012, 12:43 pm
  102. Yes, the Jews got it all while the Arabs only got trillions of dollars in oil money mostly from the US and Europe and hundreds of billions of dollars of weapons and support from the Soviet Union. So unfair. It easily explains the relative success of Israel.

    Posted by AIG | December 6, 2012, 12:48 pm
  103. ZAZ,

    Help from countries such as France, Great Britain, the US, and even Turkey wax and wane throughout the years. I don’t need to conduct a history lesson to try to reprogram your already defected world-view. You can’t teach a retard algebra.

    Most of Europe’s recent antagonism toward Israel is fear of Arab terrorism. One of Arabia’s greatest exports besides oil.

    Anyway, you didn’t answer my question: “What’s your excuse?”

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 6, 2012, 12:56 pm
  104. @AP
    well I didn’t need a more clearer answer
    you have nothing to say so you resort to such a level of..
    well forget it then no need to keep a discussion with someone showing to respect

    Posted by zaz | December 6, 2012, 1:14 pm
  105. Some days ago, a journalist from al-Akhbar was the guest of a morning show on al-Jadeed. From his answers to the anchor woman -a good chunk of the program turned around this affair- one could conclude that al-Jadeed had not been the chosen TV channel to go hand in hand with the newspaper because they could not afford to pay the price asked for the scoop. OTV not being known for their financial might, I wondered at the time about the couple featured by al-Akhbar and OTV in this dance…then there is the funny sound of the published tapes already commented here…
    If the A-A/OTV tapes are extracts from the OS tapes, the doctoring should be evident for all to see? Any reactions from the concerned media yet?

    Posted by mj | December 6, 2012, 1:29 pm
  106. the drama continues

    1) Al Alkhbar journalist “claimed” that Okab and an arab country offered a blank check for the remaining recordings 2) OTV had its sound technician put something together that showed that the recordings okab presented today where tampered with.
    3) Al Akhbar is going to release the rest of their recordings

    we’ll have to wait until some real experts weigh in

    Posted by tamer k. | December 6, 2012, 3:00 pm
  107. This would be hilarious in a vaudeville kind of way if real people weren’t dying…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | December 6, 2012, 3:13 pm
  108. OTV’s “voice analysis”.

    Posted by tamer k. | December 6, 2012, 3:14 pm
  109. Gaby. I am in awe……

    Posted by lally | December 6, 2012, 4:04 pm
  110. Lally,

    You must admit your “brethren” (Manar/Orange/akhbar…Just to remind you)…feel totally naked with a pain in their collective asses. I am a fan of Oqab> Bravo. 😀

    Posted by danny | December 6, 2012, 4:58 pm
  111. Waiting for our grand puba QN to chime in with a counter conspiracy theory. 😛

    Posted by danny | December 6, 2012, 5:01 pm
  112. …and lally Everyone want your number. What’s your sign? 😀

    Posted by danny | December 6, 2012, 5:01 pm
  113. New post is up, ladies and gents.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 6, 2012, 6:28 pm
  114. He gave arms to the FSA? Give the guy a medal.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 6, 2012, 9:41 pm

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