Hezbollah, Lebanon

Nick Blanford and Mitch Prothero Respond to Queries about Hizbullah Involvement in Sidon

A commenter on my last post asks the following question, which many others have been asking today in the wake of two pieces written by Nicholas Blanford and Mitchell Prothero about Hizbullah’s alleged participation in the Lebanese Army’s confrontation with Shaykh Ahmad al-Assir’s supporters in Saida:

“I can’t believe the claim Hizballah was involved. TV crews from half a dozen stations were down on the scene reporting minute by minute. This includes Future TV, MTV, and LBCI, not particular fans of the hizb. And only Prothero and Blanford saw the fighters? I call bullshit. They are either helplessly befuddled journalists out of their depth or simply fabricating news.”

I asked Mr. Blanford and Mr. Prothero if they’d like to respond to the question of how they were able to get this story when no one else reported on the presence of Hizbullah fighters. They sent me the following statement, which I publish with their permission.


On Sunday night in preparation for Monday’s reporting in Sidon, Nick figured as a back-up plan approaching Abra from the east if it was too difficult to get to Abra from the west – the city – side. After tooling around for a bit in central Sidon Monday morning, it seemed the eastern approach was the one to go for. Bit of a schlep, but Nick knows the roads through Joun across the Bisri river and then hitting the Jezzine-Sidon road near Anan, then back through Kfar Falous toward Sidon. It took a little under an hour.

When we reached the western end of Majdalyoun and the bangs were getting loud, we parked up and continued on foot. We weren’t expecting to see any Hezb fighters, just wanted to get closer to the action. But after a couple of hundred meters as we entered the outskirts of Abra, some guy yelled at us to get off the road. He was hanging out with about seven or eight other guys all dressed in paramilitary clothing, some with yellow ribbons and very obviously Hezbollah. They were paranoid about our cameras and didn’t know what to do with us at first. But the sniping had picked up and so they said we could stay.

They were friendly for the most part and polite and grew accustomed to having us around. After an hour or so, we were driven down the road in one of their vehicles so the local commander – Haj – could check us out. After they saw nothing incriminating on our cameras, Haj relaxed and was remarkably open to us. He had no problem with us seeing what was going on and even agreed that we could use a couple of his comments albeit off the record. Neither of us have never seen so many Hezb fighters in one place at one time gearing up for action – they looked like a mix of saraya, regulars and special forces and probably all locals. Quite extraordinary sight. Once Haj had given us his blessing, all we got from the other fighters were brief curious glances and that was it. They didn’t bother us. Some of them were happy to chat to us or openly chat to themselves in front of us.

We stayed longer than intended because sniper fire had cut us off from Nick’s car. After a while Haj arranged for a fighter to drive Nick to his car. He took him to the junction at the top of the road, then said “where’s your car?” Nick said, about 300 metres up the hill. “300 meters? I’m not going up there,” he says. So Nick said “if you’re not going up there, I’m bloody well not going up there.” So we stayed another hour with the guys until the sniper had been dealt with.

Our location was clearly the assembly point as there is a direct road to Haret Saida nearby which is Shia populated. The fighters piling into Grand Cherokees were heading up to the mosque area which was about 700 meters to the west. One of more talkative guys said he had just returned from the mosque complex. Don’t know if there were Hezb units elsewhere on the eastern side, but doubt it. There’s no way they would come through the western side of town to reach Abra so anyone reporting from the city itself – i.e. the opposite side of Abra from us – would not have seen them. We didn’t see any other journalists on the eastern side of town, but there were plenty of civilians who were driving through the area and saw the Hezb guys.


209 thoughts on “Nick Blanford and Mitch Prothero Respond to Queries about Hizbullah Involvement in Sidon

  1. Check this out:

    The picture of a man identified as Mohammad Saleh, who was supposedly killed in the Sidon clashes, spread through Facebook on Tuesday.

    Read Full Article Sent from NOW News for iPad

    Elie Wardini

    Elie Wardini

    Posted by Elie Wardini | June 25, 2013, 12:36 pm
  2. Sure, very probably this is what happened.

    Posted by imbsp | June 25, 2013, 12:36 pm
  3. A bit off topic here, but gotta love your blog QN. Kinda like an online “Kalam Ennas”.

    Whether these Hezb men simply happened to be in the area and voluntarily decided to respond to the Assir attack, or if these men were directly following orders from high-level Hezb officials, is a question I’d like to know – albeit not quite as relevant. In the end, they are non-state sanctioned men with weapons acting on behalf of a non-state institution, whose organization is partly responsible to the increased radicalization in the region.

    I’ve read both of Blanford’s books (Warriors of God and Killing Mr. Lebanon), and I’ve grown impressed with his work, both with his writing and inside intel. I was quite skeptical of Hezbollah involvement, but the fact that these 2 men are reporting this makes me take these claims a bit more seriously.

    Posted by gbeaino | June 25, 2013, 12:48 pm
  4. All fine and done.

    But one mystery remains:

    Who funded/sponsored Ahmed Al Assir’s project?

    Posted by Whatever | June 25, 2013, 1:25 pm
  5. Fadel Shaker obviously was an early fan.

    Posted by Whatever | June 25, 2013, 1:37 pm
  6. Only R2D2 asks a question and answers it in a second post .. hot dang am good lol

    Posted by Vulcan | June 25, 2013, 3:07 pm
  7. What’s the explanation for this pre-publication Prothero tweeted hyperbole?:

    “I just spent 3 hours with the Hezbollah unit taking down Assir’s men in Sidon. There’s no debate Hezbollah led this fight. #lebanon”


    “The Lebanese Army is fighting hard and taking casualties but Hezbollah’s involvement is broad and far beyond mere assistance.”

    mitchell prothero ‏@mitchprothero 24 Jun


    “There is no debate”….. “Hezbollah LED”…..”Beyond mere assistance”

    Prothero was taken to task for his colorful exaggerations and backed down. But why resort to such distortions in the first place? 216 RT’s? Getting out early in order to promote a meme? Or a yearning to be the Hunter S Thompson of Beirut?

    Whatever, the products of Prothero and Blanford are meant for an audience that is largely clueless or is eager to exacerbate tensions for their own ends. Sad.

    As an observer, I would be inclined to think that of course Hezbollah would take action to short circuit violence from this avowed genocidal enemy rather than sit around holding hands and singing give peace a chance. It would be great to see the LAF trained, equipped and enhanced by Hezbollah’s fighters. Then Lebanon would have the beginnings of a real army rather than the deliberately neutered version that even as it is, is too independent for some folks’ “comfort”. Shamefully, those folks include the deciders in the halls of power in DC.

    Vulcan!!!! I had a similar reaction after the post about Bill Clinton being denied accommodations in the Royal Suite.)

    Posted by lally | June 25, 2013, 7:58 pm
  8. I sincerely hope that HA wa not involved in the clash….How people can trust state institution if they are biased?

    Posted by Karoum | June 25, 2013, 9:26 pm
  9. hey Lally, twitter can be tough on nuance. when i realized how it read, I backed off ‘led’ and reframed with ‘beyond mere assistance,’ an observation I firmly stand by. But yeah, that first tweet gave an impression of the situation I couldn’t completely defend and I fixed it as soon as I realized that. I apologize. Having said that, officialdom is intentionally downplaying or denying their role in the fight for political reasons and I did have informed guys telling me they led the fight and I sort of believe them. however I admit it was rash in tweeting something that deserved more nuance and quickly expanded on it. But to suggest I did it for retweets or to be some gonzo journalist is unfair and not supported in the least by the fairly dry news stories I filed in my role with McClatchy. Anyway I stand by the statements that there is no debate that Hezb played a major, previously unreported, part in the fight in Sidon and that the official claim of mere assistance greatly understated the important role I observed them conducting. it’s my job to call bullshit when i see it and everyone denying this role is either emotionally delusional or propagating bullshit for their own political gains. either way, I don’t have a stake in it and would have been perfectly happy to report that Hezbollah played no or a limited role if it were true.

    Posted by mitch | June 25, 2013, 11:12 pm
  10. Promoting the meme it is,

    ….in order to “catapult the propaganda”


    Posted by lally | June 26, 2013, 12:00 am
  11. Desperate loonies.
    Why don’t you just focus on the “man”? Was he, or was he not a fanatical, bought assassin?
    What else do we care about?
    I find the petty sectarianism of some “intellectuals” quite frightening. Are you guys going to always find excuses for Asir, Ar’our, Qardawi, or Abou Sakkar (the cannibal)?

    Posted by Antar Yacine | June 26, 2013, 12:18 am
  12. I still call bullshit

    Posted by Lena | June 26, 2013, 3:22 am
  13. Hezbollah and the Resistance Brigades were there on the ground, fighting. We all support law and order, but why were/are March 8 militias allowed to roam free and do as they wish, such as kill someone in front of the Iranian Embassy in cold blood? Invade West Beirut? Head to Syria to fight? Block the airport road anytime they please?

    The Army has a window of opportunity to prove otherwise, but this window won’t last forever. We all support the Army, for now: once it becomes really clear that you are only a criminal/terrorist if you are not allied to Hezbollah, the support that the Army currently enjoys will disappear.

    Anyone who supports Hezbollah has to be warned that people are starting to get really fed up with their bullying ways. If you want to keep civil peace in Lebanon, then all arms outside the control of the State, including those with Hezbollah and their allies, must be brought under State control. Anything else and you’re looking for trouble

    Posted by g | June 26, 2013, 5:48 am
  14. Does anyone have insights into the institutional-political relationship between the Army and Hizballah? For instance, I recall reading that the officer responsible for Beirut’s airport security is/was regarded as pro-Hizballah or as vetted by Hizballah, and March 14’s attempt to remove him back in 2008 helped to trigger Hizballah’s brief takeover of West Beirut. Does the Army have integrity as an autonomous institution, or are different sections of it tied to HA or to other political parties? Not trying to stir anything up: this is a question from someone who is trying better to understand these things.

    Posted by James Reilly | June 26, 2013, 6:20 am
  15. Yeah sure, it is all Hizballah’s fault.

    Assir was a nice man, very friendly, angelic, and a proponent of open society.
    Just like his financiers in the democratic monarchies of the gulf, his principal aim in life was to establish a just, open, and free society in Lebanon, for all, but particularly for women.

    This chap is a hero disguised as a villain by the Hizbollah monsters. He is our last Humanist, and we should all focus on bad monster Hizballah actions, like killing Lebanese soldiers at checkpoints, inciting sectarian strife, asking the Lebanese Army to splinter, and trying to start another civil war at the request of Israel, the US, and their slaves in the Gulf.

    Claro? It is all Hizballah’s bad.

    Message to the sectarian Lebanese: please, pleaaaaase, just stop ridiculising yourself, and Lebanon! Thinking along Sunni/Shi’a lines, how idiotic is that? Can’t you just see which party is patriotic and which is not? What is patriotic to you? (our Patria is Lebanon, NOT SAUDI ARABIA, and not the Sunni sect, or the Shi’a sect, or the Christian Maronite sect, etc. JUST LEBANON).

    How patriotic are Assir’s deeds? How patriotic are Hizbollah’s deeds? No matter if Hizbollah was financed by Iran, no matter if Assir or the whole Future Movement is financed by Saudi Arabia : just whom between Assir’s bozos and Hizbollah’s proponents are acting in line with our country’s interests? You already know the answer.

    Sad day when we hear what could otherwise be intelligent people scream for the interests of their “sect”, instead of their country.

    Posted by Mouna Arif | June 26, 2013, 10:10 am
  16. Mouna,

    I’ve been hearing from many of the participants here that it isn’t just Hezbollah’s fault. It is EVERYBODY’S fault for not demanding 1 Lebanese army only. Of the many militia operating in Lebanon, clearly Hezbollah is the largest and most dangerous army acting outside of the LAF. They also are taking part in operations outside of Lebanon along Lebanon’s borders.

    No one wants a civil war. They just war law and order.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 26, 2013, 11:22 am
  17. “and Hizbollah’s proponents are acting in line with our country’s interests? You already know the answer.”

    Yes we do!! I guess fighting in Syria against Syrians is in our interests…Also, killing and beating up innocent people. Please wake up! We are not blinded by the bearded one’s once mischievous spins! The mask has fallen long time ago!


    Posted by danny | June 26, 2013, 12:06 pm
  18. Some of you people (Mona, Lena, etc.) seem to believe that just because someone calls Bullshit on item A, he must definitely be a supporter of B. Two wrongs do not make a right. Never have.
    Just because some people don’t like HA, and just because some people don’t like the idea of a non-state militia being involved with the army DOES NOT MEAN that these people support Asir or think he’s a saint.
    Enough with this very Lebanese mentality (that I see perpetuated here, and on various other sites) that if one criticizes HA, then one is clearly a salafi. Or if one criticizes Hariri, then one is clearly a pro-Iranian Shia.
    It’s this stupid sectarian and closed-minded thinking that makes debate and discourse on these blogs seem childish and a waste of time.
    It is completely possible to criticize HA, Hariri, Asir, Jumblat, Aoun and Assad all in one sentence.
    I can name at least a handful of regular commenters, including myself, who have been equally critical of both M8 and M14 for YEARS on this very blog (long before anyone had ever heard of Asir).
    In my very first comment on the current situation, my first sentence was “Asir is a despicable terrorist and I hope the army hangs him by the balls”.

    But please, let us get our heads out of the sands. It is beyond hypocritical to pretend like there isn’t a bigger problem that needs addressing here!
    How can anyone expect the state and the army to be respected by the people (be it Asir, or any other extremist idiot that comes up tomorrow or next month) when one group (HA) is perceived (rightly or wrongly is not important, it is a matter of perception) to be above the law. When that group is allowed to have weapons (no matter who they claim to be protecting or defending us from). When that group is allowed to conduct its own security operations, etc. Is it really any surprise that other groups will feel slighted or oppressed? Is it any surprise that other groups will think “Well, if they can have weapons, why can’t we?”
    Is it any surprise that the next step after arming is to actually use those arms for whatever stupid cause those idiots believe in? Some idiots’ cause is gonna be to support the Syrian revolution. And some of those idiots cause is going to be to try and attack other sects, or whatever.
    The nuances of the causes themselves are irrelevant to this argument. Idiots with weapons will always cause trouble, no matter how stupid their alleged cause is. The main point here is that we have a state and we have an army. And as we all agree, the state is weak and the army is not always perceived to be neutral (specially in light of the double standards many people are perceiving these days). So let us not act all surprised and offended when phenomenons like Asir (as despicable as he may be) occur. And let us not deflect blame and pretend it has nothing to do with HA’s existence. One does not justify the other, sure. But HA is part and parcel to all these phenomenons. Every cog and piece in the Lebanese “arena” has consequences. None operate in a vaccum. HA existence and behavior most definitely have consequences, and to claim otherwise is bordering on clinical delusion.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 26, 2013, 12:11 pm
  19. The only reason why people like Assir exist is in reaction to Hezbollah. They kill Rafiq Hariri and countless others, take Lebanon to war in 2006 without asking us if we wanted to go to war, invade West Beirut, and go and fight in Syria in an attempt to cut us off from all the other Arabs, which would be a disaster (How many Lebanese work in Iran? How many Iranians come and invest in Lebanon?) All while the powerless state looks on.

    So what is the message that everyone else gets? That to put an end to Hezbollah’s abuse, you need to act like Hezbollah. You need to arm yourself, disregard state authority, and do as you please. The only wrong thing Assir did was attack the Army. Before that point, he hadn’t done anything that Hezbollah/Amal and their goon squads havent been doing for 8 years. In fact, at least he didn’t assassinate Lebanese political figures and take Lebanon to war, so in fact he was better than them.

    Anyway, Hezbollah is not really a non-state actor. They are an arm of the Iranian military and they have been occupying Lebanon for 30 years.

    Posted by g | June 26, 2013, 1:08 pm
  20. Well said Bad Vilbel.

    Posted by Sam | June 26, 2013, 1:31 pm
  21. This is the person who should be making all the decisions in Lebanon:

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 26, 2013, 1:41 pm
  22. Bad Vilbel, well said.

    Excuse me for my long response, but I feel like this is important to point out.

    We can sit here and criticize how divided we are, how politically inept we are, how we live amongst crazies that think they are above the law, how (insert Hezbollah/Assir and his movement) wants to establish an Islamic state and take over Lebanon, how corrupt our politicians are, etc., but can anyone bother to offer some solutions?

    We can find our solutions only once we know what the problems are (to which many of us love to point out), and why the problems occur (to which many of us don’t like to get into much detail). Forgive me, but I cannot accept the simplistic answer to that question that Hezbollah/Assir are the main cause of the weakening of the state. No, the power of these organizations is not based on a weak state, but on their followers – at the end of the day, if they have no followers, if they didn’t have citizens that think the same way the organization does, then the parties will die.

    So the question then becomes: why are some Lebanese attracted to them? And mind you, not just Assir/Hezbollah, but I’m talking about the same warlords and zaims that have haunted the Lebanese political scene since the Civil War – 50 years. Despite their ineptitude in governing and improving our standard of living, they continue to be our “representatives”, and the Lebanese continue to vote for them in Parliament.

    So why do we think this way? And what keeps these politicians in power despite their lackluster (to put it mildly) performance in government? The underlying trend in all of our problems since 1975 is our confessional system – we are forced to view ourselves not as Lebanese brothers and sisters, but as each of us belonging to a camp and divided along sectarian lines.

    We continue to vote for the same politician not because that politician is good at what he or she does, but if he or she comes from our sect. The politicians thus implicitly have no incentive to actually try to provide jobs and improve socioeconomic conditions in their constituency, as their role is limited to merely representing their sect’s perspective on current events. This is very dangerous, because it reduces the free exchange of ideas and criticism that is at the heart of a strong civil society and political culture.

    Similarly to what Bad Vilbel was saying, if we criticize party A, it necessarily must be the case that we belong to party B. Well I will take this idea a step further: the reason why this perception exists is because when one criticizes party A, it is perceived to be from mainstream society that one is criticizing the entire sect of party A, and since that sect has tensions with party B, then the person criticizing it must belong to the sect of party B. As soon as this is the case, the opinion of the one criticizing is quickly de-legitimized, painted not as having provided constructive criticism but rather as having insulted the ways and norms of a sect.

    Hence why I continuously propose a radical chance in the political system that may go a long way in changing the way our country perceives politics and parliament. The Lebanese cannot view their representatives as the one who represents their sect, but rather as one who will actively work to improve the socioeconomic conditions of the constituency. What we witnessed in Sidon is not a new phenomenon, but simply a symptom of our confessional system that forces us to divide ourselves along sectarian lines, thus making the country more prone to sectarian conflicts and radicalization.

    That’s my two cents. I think most of us here realize what the problems are, but it is just a matter of proposing solutions. Mine? We can start by abolishing the sectarian system.

    Posted by gbeaino | June 26, 2013, 2:02 pm
  23. Well said Gbeaino. I agree with everything you said here.

    The state has been weak long before HA or Assir existed. The Lebanese state has been kept weak by its very foundation, by its sectarian system, and by the various sectarian and feudal zaims who have benefited from said weakness since the founding of the Republic.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 26, 2013, 2:12 pm
  24. Also, to add to what I was saying earlier (and in the previous thread). This story on NOW illustrates pretty well the sentiment on the street and why I believe that HA does not exist in a vacuum and why the Assir phenomenon (as despicable as it may be) is a direct reaction to the HA phenomenon.


    Some excerpts:

    “Fine, the army got rid of Assir, but they left us with the [Hezbollah-affiliated] Resistance Brigades, who are also thugs,” said a resident living just outside the mosque complex. “We want all weapons to be with the state only. We don’t want Hezbollah’s ‘resistance,’ because their idea of resistance is a lie.”

    Others disagreed. “We are with the army and Hezbollah to stop Israel, which is the real enemy,” said a sweets vendor, who claimed to be Sunni although his arm bore a tattoo of Zulfiqar, the sword of Imam Ali, the reverence of whom is most commonly associated with Shiite Islam. “We love [Syrian President] Bashar [al-Assad], because he gave full support to us during the fight against Israel. In Lebanon, there is too much segregation, between Sunnis and Shiites, etc., but the army is united. Priority number one is to follow the army.”

    Just meters away, NOW encountered a group of youths whose views could scarcely have been more different.

    “Today, we are sad, because we are pro-Assir. This army is not a Lebanese army, it’s Hezbollah’s and Iran’s army,” said one.

    Indeed, for the first time since Assir’s movement gained local prominence in late 2011, on Tuesday Hezbollah supporters were able to openly display their allegiance. As NOW spoke to the youths, a car drove down the busy main thoroughfare playing a loud recording of a fiery speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. And on the devastated parallel street, one block away from the Bilal bin Rabah mosque, a large Hezbollah flag appeared on a balcony – apparently the same balcony that had been attacked by Assir’s gunmen a week earlier, sparking the clashes that anticipated the heavier ones that followed on Sunday.

    “They’re humiliating us,” said a car mechanic, referring to the flag. “Doesn’t Hezbollah have weapons? Doesn’t the Amal Movement have weapons? OK, then, why am I as a Sunni not allowed to have weapons?”

    Whether you agree with the sentiment or not is irrelevant, but clearly, there is a sentiment, among some, that HA is above the law, in cahoots with the LAF and is “humiliating” a certain segment of the population.
    And taking that argument to its inevitable conclusion of “If they have weapons, why can’t I?”

    This is why we need a state where ONLY the state has monopoly over weapons.
    This is why we need an army that is the sole armed force in the nation.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 26, 2013, 2:18 pm
  25. In response to gbeaino’s comment, I would like to say that we have been talking about changing the system and abolish the sectarian order for years…. But as everyone is afraid of losing its identity, nothing is happening. What really bothers me is that for the past 50 or 60 years, we have the same families that are “governing”. It has become like a kingdom, the son inherit from the father… what? There are no other Lebanese family that is capable to taking care of the country? We talk about democracy? What type of democracy we call it when the president of the Parliament has been on the job for the past what? 20 years??? . We need a new generation of politicians, far away from the mainstreeam families who will decide to work together in order to save the country. Sectarianis will only disappear when people will start to trust each other….

    Posted by imbsp | June 26, 2013, 2:27 pm
  26. People speak of Lebanon as a nation state, implying that the solution to Lebanon’s ills would be that people start acting in the interest of Lebanon. A functional nation state called Lebanon encompassing the current demographic mix will not function as (most) people on this forum would like it to function. I am not advocating ethnic cleansing, which is what Europe went through during and after WWII, but rather searching for a new definition of what a state should be. A new social contract, if you may. The USA is in this regard a model to emulate. That country has a demographic setup that more or less resembles a miniature world, and yet it functions well. The USA is an idea that has a state. Countries like Germany and Lebanon are states that have an idea. We need to move beyond the nation state as defined by Europe a couple of hundred years ago. Lebanon can and should leapfrog this sorry excuse of a statehood based on soon to be outdated European ideas of one people – one country.

    Posted by Pas Cool | June 26, 2013, 3:53 pm
  27. Agreed with you Pas Cool. The problem with Lebanon (and most ME countries for that matters) is that they were created exactly in that nation-state image by the Europeans, using somewhat artificial and arbitrary boundaries. The Arab people have not, for the most part, experienced or thought of themselves as Lebanese, Syrian or otherwise (even though they will claim they all do, to this day). They mostly still identify themselves on sectarian and tribal lines. We all know that is the root cause of all of this (and has been long before any of the current actors on the scene were even born!)
    None of this is new. What we see on the ground today are just consequences of an existing system that simply doesn’t work.

    The 8 million dollar question is: How do we go from here, to a system that works. It is no easy task. One made even harder by the fact that regional and international actors meddle continuously by patronizing the various factions and thus putting their weight (and funds) into the old broken system.

    There is going to have to be a seachange, a tsunami-level event before the balance can be tipped, as this poor balance has been weighed by A LOT towards the status quo. We’re talking earth-moving, world-shattering levels of change here.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 26, 2013, 4:12 pm
  28. Strong material from Nadim Koteich:

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | June 26, 2013, 5:12 pm
  29. I don’t understand why Hizb would take part in the operation. It just gives ammunition to their opponents. Surely the army could have dealt with Assir on their own?

    Posted by Will | June 26, 2013, 6:28 pm
  30. You people (G, Vilbel, Sam, Akbar, etc.) are just plain HILARIOUS:
    Go ahead, pat yourselves for your sectarian speeches (oh, so nicely disguised), and keep on reading Now Lebanon ! But please, don’t answer me quoting that dump.
    Hellllllooooooooo? Now Lebanon? really?

    But again, it sounds like some of you are maybe not Lebanese and you would not know immediately how weird it is to pretend you can read that thing as a “source” of news.

    Now Lebanon! You made my day!

    Why not stick with Al Arabiyya? Or better yet, Al Hurra! Hurray!

    Most of what I read here is painstakingly pawns’ manual speech.

    Harkis, anyone?

    Posted by Mouna Arif | June 26, 2013, 8:05 pm
  31. Interesting question Will. I wondered the same thing. There must have been a good reason on the ground.
    Or maybe, after the LAF took the good part of 2 months to finish off 100 guys in Nahr Al Bared, the powers that be figured that the LAF was not, in fact, capable of finishing the job easily.
    But I’d like to hear more analysis on this…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 26, 2013, 8:06 pm
  32. BV & Will,

    Seriously? Do you wander why? Irrespective of the fact that that LAF unit could not nab a stray dog in 12 hours…Never mind bringing down a fortress as they described it!…

    HA does because it wants to shove it in the collective faces of its opponents that it can and will do anything with impunity. We have had this conversation dating back to 2005 on these and other blog’s pages…As far as the opposition is scared to grow a pair; they will pummel them at every opportunity.

    How else can they cow these losers?

    Posted by danny | June 26, 2013, 9:27 pm
  33. oops…Wonder…

    Posted by danny | June 26, 2013, 9:27 pm
  34. Couldn’t say if the LAF could or counldn’t handle Assir & his assistants alone by guessing @ the details, but General Ashraf (vote for me) Rifi is highly skeptical. In his political debut interview, the ex ISF man swears that there’s no way that the accused could have killed that many LAF on their own:

    Sara Assaf ‏@SaraAssaf 6h
    Rifi: We know well abilities & resources of Ahmad Assir. There’s NO WAY his group was able to cause such casualties in Leb Army.

    ? Did M14ers act as conduits to Assir’s cell, too? Did you loot the Lebanese weapons cache again? Is that how you know well what Assaf’s are because hey, you supplied them? Uncle Sam pretends to frown on “arming terrorists” so I certainly hope that none of the salafists’ inventory was used by somebodies on our LIST. Those black al_Nusra flags left behind suggest…..lots of possibilities.

    Is the good General hinting that Hezbollah was responsible for a portion of LAF deaths? I certainly hope that’s not what he means to suggest….is it true that he took the salafist side in Tripoli? Oh dear.

    Posted by lally | June 26, 2013, 11:02 pm
  35. But Lally, The number of the army casualties is realy unbelivable. Also on some of the pictures the army does not look very professional. The HZ SOP for city fighting in Syria is very professional, by avoiding the streets and breaking through houses walls the exposure to snipers, and thus casualties, is minimized. That does not seem to have the case here, the army was exposed on the streets. The whole story is strange, clearly according to the story cited here the HZ was blocking, professionaly, the road to the city from the east, as in any “normal” police-army SOP. Probably they acted according to some plan, whos plan? I dont think one will ever have a good idea about that fight

    Posted by Rani Hazbani | June 27, 2013, 8:22 am
  36. That’s the bayan that Koteich referred to in his show last night (obviously, he knew it was coming shortly).

    I agree that it’s very dangerous for media organizations to be spreading lies about militia members fighting alongside the army. The question is: are they really lies? Or is there some half-truth lurking in the accusations? Were the guys that Blanford and Prothero met, as well as the men caught in the Al-Jadeed clip all intelligence officials dressed in civilian clothes?

    Surely it’s the job of a free press to hold state institutions’ feet to the fire, just as the ISF was questioned extensively in its arrest of Michel Samaha, and they had to release several documents corroborating the details of the confession, etc., to dispel any doubt of a conspiracy.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | June 27, 2013, 10:51 am
  37. Mouna Arif,

    Please go back and read every comment I have ever posted on this blog going back at least 5 years or more before you call me sectarian.

    And yes, I am Lebanese. Born in Beirut. Lived through the civil war, the various Israeli invasions, the PLO, the various Syrian army, and all that. So please spare me. And if you had bothered to actually read my comments you’d see that I made absolutely no excuse or justification for anyone involved. I simply asked some pertinent questions and provided some analysis. If you are only interested in calling people names instead of having a mature discourse, then this may not be the place for you. Just because I quoted NOW today to illustrated a phenomenon does not mean I belong to party A or B. I read many news outlets and have often quoted all kinds of news sources to illustrate a point.
    Does it matter where my news source was? My point was to say that some people feel slighted by HA and the LAF. Do you deny that that is a fact? Does it matter who reported it? It is truth. Even if you think those people are idiots for feeling slighted, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
    I think people are idiots for supporting Michel Aoun, but I don’t actually deny their existence. I know those people exist, whether I like them or not.
    Do you actually mean to tell me you don’t believe there are people in Lebanon who dislike HA and who feel they should be allowed to have weapons because HA is allowed to have weapons? Are you trying to tell me that there are no such people in Lebanon? And if you agree that there are, then does it matter if it’s NOW or Al Manar who reported it? What’s that got to do with the point, besides allowing you to call me sectarian without adding anything new to the debate?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 27, 2013, 12:09 pm
  38. QN,

    I’m reading this morning that HA is now vacating the apartments they had near the mosque and turning them over to the army. I am not sure I recall correctly, but didn’t HA deny having a presence there? Or was it always accepted that they did? Wasn’t the whole affair started because Assir insisted he was being monitored from those apartments?

    As for the job of the free press…Well, in the modern world, sure. But come on. You really expect the press in Lebanon to question anyone on these matters? The M14 press will continue putting out clips/photos of alleged HA involvment, the M8 press will continue to putting out stories denying HA involvment. The whole matter will be forgotten by all but us nerdy bloggers in 2 weeks time (Is anyone still investigating Okab Sakr’s recordings today? I doubt it) and everyone will move on, with their heads in the sand (ie, M14 followers will continue believing HA and the LAF are in cahoots and working for the Iranian-Safavi project, M8 followers will continue accusing everyone of being a Salafi/Zionist and life goes on…)

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 27, 2013, 12:13 pm
  39. btw, howcome only the pro-M8 camp gets to rely on the conspiracy theory to explain things that make no sense? I am reminded of how the assassinations of M14 figures is always blamed on M14 themselves, by that kind of circuitous thinking, howcome no one has yet proclaimed that HA themselves triggered the Sidon affair by disguising themselves as Assir supporters and attacking the LAF checkpoint?
    Come on you M14 supporters! You’re slacking in the conspiracy department! You must not be as good at that game as the M8 folks.

    (Just in case this wasn’t obvious to everyone, this comment is meant as a bit of humor!)

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 27, 2013, 12:28 pm
  40. One last comment. Link, rather:


    Yes, I know it’s NOW, and yes, I know it’s Tony Badran, who is a pretty biased guy, but he does raise some interesting questions.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 27, 2013, 12:35 pm
  41. Aha; you racist sectarian. 😀
    It would take a long time for HA’s militiamen to match the Assirites beards. 😛

    Posted by danny | June 27, 2013, 12:37 pm
  42. Open your eyes people!! this has the Duvdevan Unit writen all over it.

    Posted by Vulcan | June 27, 2013, 1:04 pm
  43. Where is Seymour Hersh when you need him.

    Posted by mj | June 27, 2013, 1:06 pm
  44. Vulcan, you mean AIG was the main perpetrator?

    Posted by danny | June 27, 2013, 1:32 pm
  45. How else do you explain his absense! 🙂

    Posted by Vulcan | June 27, 2013, 1:39 pm
  46. Rani Hazbani.

    I get the impression that it was the multiple attacks on LAF checkpoints that initially caused a rate of high casualties among them. The outraged response by the soldiers could lead to less than cautious forays into territories where snipers lay in wait. Early on, the HA incursion into Qusayr was hampered by significent losses due to ambush and snipers.(In the case of Qusayr, suspiciously high tech remote targeting allowed for direct hits).

    The rough similarities between Sidon & Qusayr could be one of the possibilities I mentioned in that perhaps some skilled Syrian islamist mercenaries were deployed to bulk up Assir’s forces. Whatever their eagerness, one doesn’t wave a magic wand at local Sunni volunteers and transform them into effective fighters. It could be that Rifi was referring to the amateurs directly associated with Assir & under his command as not being professionally capable of mobilizing a layered operation such as seen in Sidon.

    The LAF didn’t look “professional’? Well compared to HA fighting cadres they aren’t so much. But truth be told, HA is superior to most militaries in that regard. It’s ALL in the training & equipment: additionally, there’s no comparison between the levels of skill & experience accrued by the latter.

    I first noticed the technique of going through walls in a dense urban environment when used by the IDF in Jenin during Operation Defensive Shield. It works, so no surprise it’s adapted by whomever.

    This Pentagon briefing is related:

    “Q: Mr. Secretary, if there isn’t an international conference on Syria until the end of the summer, will the U.S. still send weapons to the Syrian opposition? Last night, General Idris told NBC’s Richard Engel that those weapons are supposed to start arriving in two weeks’ time. Is that true? t

    And, General Dempsey, in terms of spillover, has Lebanon asked for U.S. military help? And do you plan to send the U.S. military to Lebanon?

    SEC. HAGEL: Well, my quick answer to your question is — as you know, this really — the day-to-day negotiations and all the aspects of this is being handled by the State Department. I mean, we’re a part of that, but Secretary Kerry and his team have got responsibilities of — of carrying it out and implementing this and working with us on it. So I think that’s — that’s what I would say, to answer your question on this, with…

    Q: (OFF-MIKE) weapons will be coming in the next couple weeks to…

    SEC. HAGEL: Well, you’d have to ask — the timeframe and the timetables and assessments of how they get in and who does what and what exactly is being sent — and I’m not going to get into any of those details, because that’s still pretty classified.

    GENERAL DEMPSEY: We have a mil-to-mil relationship with the Lebanese armed forces now. I’ve had since I — since I commanded CENTCOM, actually, about four or five years ago. And we’ve made a recommendation that as we look at the challenges faced by the Lebanese armed forces, the Iraqi security forces with a re-emerging al-Qaeda in Iraq, and the Jordanians, that we would work with them to help them build additional capability.

    But this — when you say would we send the United States Army or the United States military into Lebanon, I’m talking about teams of trainers, and I’m talking about accelerating foreign military sales for equipment for them. This is — this is about building their capability, not ours.”

    The irony never sleeps. It could emerge that we equip the rebels who turn their guns on the LAF who fire back with weapons we supply….

    Posted by lally | June 27, 2013, 2:34 pm
  47. BV. “howcome no one has yet proclaimed that HA themselves triggered the Sidon affair by disguising themselves as Assir supporters and attacking the LAF checkpoint?”

    It’s early yet.

    The Israeli attitude is let the Arabs kill eachother; the more the better. What would AIG have to add to that?

    Tony Badran may be the biggest Lebanese shabbos goy e-ver.

    Posted by lally | June 27, 2013, 2:46 pm
  48. Lally,

    You are becoming nastier and nastier. The vast majority of Israelis do not think that it is “the more the better” regarding Arabs killing one another. And when you call Badran a shabat goy, would do you mean? Just because he is against Hezbollah that does not mean he is working for Israel. How about BV and Vulcan and QN, are they shabat goys?

    Posted by AIG | June 27, 2013, 4:24 pm
  49. I think most of us would appreciate that we maintain the integrity of this blog by not resorting to personal attacks to prove a point. Just saying.

    Posted by gbeaino | June 27, 2013, 4:46 pm
  50. I DON’T ROLL ON SHABBOS! Goddamnit Walter!!!

    Posted by Vulcan | June 27, 2013, 4:57 pm
  51. Lally,

    I am good with TB. I hope you will not flip the table on me eh?…Are you having a bad day?

    Posted by danny | June 27, 2013, 5:24 pm
  52. One of the few things I’ve learned participating on these ME related websites is how to QUICKLY one can identify a “resistance professional”, despot supporter, and/or freedom hater:

    Whenever arabs kill arabs, they quickly change the subject to US or Israeli conspiracies or, in today’s case, Shabbos goys! Lala knows so much about US policy-making but very little about anything else.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 27, 2013, 9:29 pm
  53. Vulcan,

    For you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMuFYnvSsZg

    The Shabbos quote is at 1:30.

    Posted by AIG | June 27, 2013, 10:53 pm
  54. More than a day Danny, more than a day.|

    TB is embedded @ FDD; a nest of neocons who never cease their efforts to involve MY country in military adventurism to suit their own bloody agendas. I’m sick with dread that we’re going there again and that the consequences will be unimaginable and unstoppable.

    The FDD crew are unrepentant over the havoc they have wrought and sanguine about more to come. I know them all to well.

    Here’s a quiz:

    Who said this about whom?

    “Looking back I didn’t realize that it was my z’chus [merit] that I have had one of the prominent “Shabbos goyim” in the whole world! – who turned on and off all the lights.”

    Posted by lally | June 27, 2013, 10:57 pm
  55. AIG. You are right. I generalized about Israeli opinion and I confess, flippantly reflected too many OpEds that express that sentiment, not that of the population as a whole. Any polling done on the ? …just kidding in case that’s not obvious. Digging deeper, I will generalize more and suggest that most Israelis have little interest in the Syrian situation beyond being concerned about you know, spillover.

    My likely vain hope is that both of our respective sets of sane Generals can keep the politicals and their warmongering “advisors” at bay. The strong resistance to making war in Syria (and on Iran) is coming from those tasked with it.

    Vulcan, what? You don’t “roll” on the sabbath? That would disqualify you from the honorarium, dude.)

    Posted by lally | June 27, 2013, 11:21 pm
  56. Can anyone unlock the secrets in Lala’s last post or is it hidden, once again, in the Big Lebowski dialogue?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 28, 2013, 12:05 am
  57. For intelligence officers dressed in plain clothes, they didn’t look too ‘intelligent’. They looked plump and shabby like they’re just about to go bird hunting, the Lebanese ‘Abaday’s favourite pastime. One touted a hand pistol smirking at the cameraman. The LAF might not be the Foreign Legion but surely some discipline in the ranks would be warranted, no? The arrogance and blase attitude seem very familiar.
    What about the announced martyrdom of the Hizballah militant on FB and elsewhere?

    Here’s a juicy one for ya BV, Hizballah units remained on the outskirts and surrounding the area of Abra gathering information and channelling traffic to certain areas. They gave false intelligence to the LAF for them to be ambushed and killed in such a high number only to further their claims and interests that Assir and his ilk cannot be trusted and gain sympathy to their cause. They knew this was coming, they kept provoking Assir until this showdown with the army.

    Posted by Maverick | June 28, 2013, 1:52 am
  58. Lol AP,

    If Dan Brown wanted to retire Robert Langdon, and find a heroine for his novels, he can find some inspiration in Lally’s posts.

    Posted by Maverick | June 28, 2013, 1:56 am
  59. Have recent events shown us anything about the institutional integrity of the Lebanese Army? Do studies exist that would help us better to understand the issue? E.g., are sections of the Army sympathetic to one or another political tendency? Do sectarian or regional loyalties figure in patterns of recruitment, organization, or command? (Apart from the often-referenced and now quaint tradition of Maronite C-in-C and Druze chief of staff?) I refer again to the airport security issue of 2008 that triggered Hizballah’s takeover of West Beirut. Earlier, in the bad old days of 1976 and 1984, the Army split on sectarian and political lines. Do such fault lines and tensions exist in today’s Army? Or are these questions irrelevant in the (new?) circumstances of post-2005 Lebanon?

    Posted by James Reilly | June 28, 2013, 6:44 am
  60. Shabbos Goy NewZ

    Famous Shabbos Goys: Colin Powell, Mario Cuomo, Barrack Obama*


    *more research needed

    Lastly, here is good ‘ol Professor Josh’s little history as “Shabbos Goy” during those lovely days when Bashar Assad was the leading “resistance professional” in the hearts of brain-dead academia…

    A number of Israeli reporters have contacted me since my original story ran on Syria Comment. They have their own sources in Israel but cannot use them because of Israeli censorship concerning military secrets. In this respect, I am playing the role of Shobbos Goy. Here is how Wikipedia defines Shobbos Goy:


    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 28, 2013, 7:19 am
  61. James

    All good questions, all unanswerable in any meaningful way.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | June 28, 2013, 8:47 am
  62. It was said on this blog:

    “The Israeli attitude is let the Arabs kill each other; the more the better. What would AIG have to add to that?” As an Israely I will say that this is a racist observation. Yes, some do and some dont, that is the position of most of those who care at all. Just read some USA and European blogs. As an aside more than 50 wounded Syrians were treated in Israeli Hospitals in the last ten weeks. That is less than a drop in the sea but still that is a fact.and it is the official policy of the Israeli government

    Posted by Rani Hazbani | June 28, 2013, 10:40 am
  63. Here we go again. Protests in Tripoli and Tariq Al Jadideh today. Stupidity is embodied by the following statement:

    “The current events are the result of an American-Iranian conspiracy aimed at preventing the establishment of an Islamic caliphate state in the Levant,” said Hizb ut-Tahrir official Saleh Salam.

    Gotta love how throwing the word “American” and “conspiracy” in any combination with any other words is supposed to make this stuff more palatable to the average Arab audience.
    So, we have an American/Iranian conspiracy according to one side and an American/Salafi conspiracy according to the other side.

    If only these idiots realized how ridiculously hilarious such statements sound to the average westerner, considering both Iranians and Salafis are considered by Americans to be the greatest enemy/threat at the moment.

    What truly saddens me is that people in Lebanon actually truly and honestly believe that the Americans and Salafis (or Americans and Iranians) would conspire together over some two-bit thuggery in Tripoli or Sidon or Beirut.

    Lebanon truly is another universe altogether. It wouldn’t surprise me if centuries from now, some scientists unearth evidence that the Lebanese people were actually transported to our universe from some bizarro alternate universe some millenia ago.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 28, 2013, 12:08 pm
  64. James Reilly,

    I do not know the answer to your question and am not really familiar with today’s LAF. However if the Lebanese populace as a whole constitutes a fair sample (and after all, the LAF is comprised of Lebanese people, isn’t it?) then I suspect the LAF is just as sectarian as the rest of the country. I suspect there are issues of suspicion (towards your fellow soldiers) and loyalty.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 28, 2013, 12:10 pm
  65. Rani,

    You’ll have to excuse Lala. Resistance professionals need excuses that don’t mess up their Utopian dream of undoing the year 1948.

    The whole Assad-Hezbollah thing is causing Lala distress and even minor psychosis. The Big Lebowski is really fictional, but Lala thinks it’s a communication between Foggy Bottom and Israeli military HQ in Tel Aviv.

    BTW, does your last name mean “nervous”??

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 28, 2013, 12:49 pm
  66. This place is as devoid of thinking as the SyriaComment blog commentary section. People who live in a bubble, substituting their skewed vision for facts, and patting themselves on the back, or bickering about the sex of angels as the author of the blog keeps his eyes only at his Google Analythics dashboard.

    Here is a hint for you: whenever you start talking about your comment section entitlements, it is time for you to move on, lest you want to be the blog owner’s fools.

    My last contribution to help you. No need to thank me. Take it or leave it.

    As to the quality of “your” comment section, the fact that a racist proponent of Apartheid such as the AIG personna lurks around you is telling enough. These flies are attracted by quality material, as you well know. ;-/


    Posted by Mouna Arif | June 28, 2013, 1:37 pm
  67. Mouna,

    You made three comments on this blog, all of them personal attacks, and yet you somehow have come to the conclusion that you’re a cut above everyone else. Interesting.

    Lest anyone dispel your self-satisfied illusions, yes please do hurry away, and come back only when you’re ready to have an actual debate.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | June 28, 2013, 1:57 pm
  68. Mouna Arif,

    What got your knickers in a twist?

    God Speed and hope you find the echos of your own opinions soothing to your soul. 😀

    Posted by danny | June 28, 2013, 2:25 pm
  69. Fifty-plus years from now, when “America’s moment in the Middle East” has come and gone, I suppose that talk of Chinese conspiracies will be all the rage. Behind the conspiratorial talk, though, are real feelings of victimization and vulnerability that are based on actual history. Unfortunately, the culture of conspiracy-mongering becomes self-referencing and self-reinforcing. I wonder what (if anything) can break the cycle? Ah, yes…. an outbreak of peace, love, and understanding (cue Elvis Costello) combined with a sense of personal and collective justice and security. It’ll be a long wait.

    Posted by James Reilly | June 28, 2013, 2:43 pm
  70. So, in 50 years, will we be spinning our wheels about Iranian/Chinese/Zionist conspiracies vs. Salafi/Zionist/Indian conspiracies?

    Hell, I’ll be happy to still have my faculties in 50 years….Carry on.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | June 28, 2013, 5:29 pm
  71. I can’t imagine why anyone would entertain conspiracies…….about those with track records.

    tra la………

    The 47th
    Confirmed: there are US Special Forces on the Ground in #Syria, overseeing the use of new “sophisticated” anti aircraft missiles weapons.

    Does this mean we are officialy at war or just simply establishing a defacto no-fly zone? Or both.

    No matter. Everybody knows OUR “trainers” don’t count.

    Posted by lally | June 28, 2013, 11:46 pm
  72. Saniora and Hariri gave to president a memo complaining about HA involvment in the clash. Without strong evidence they would not have done that step. Day after day HA/FPM are imposing their rule to the entire country

    Posted by Karoum | June 29, 2013, 1:49 am
  73. Porthero is still going: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/28/195327/lebanese-army-threatens-media.html

    The dramatic headline is sensationalist and pure spin. While the article is basically a response to the army’s statement on the issue, he leaves out the crucial bit which states that army intelligence units wear civilian clothing. I guess some facts just get in the way.

    Posted by RedLeb | June 29, 2013, 4:49 am
  74. For intelligence officers dressed in plain clothes, they didn’t look too ‘intelligent’. They looked plump and shabby like they’re just about to go bird hunting, the Lebanese ‘Abaday’s favourite pastime. One touted a hand pistol smirking at the cameraman. The LAF might not be the Foreign Legion but surely some discipline in the ranks would be warranted, no? The arrogance and blase attitude seem very familiar.

    For footage please scroll up and see DNA episode 28-06. Starts at 07:50.

    I think Nadim and team do a great job but still doesn’t mean this is what happened definitely, but one thing is for certain they point to the hypocrisy of pro-Hizballah media outlets.
    The lying and deception truly is amazing and one of the main reasons why the Ba’ath regime and the Syrian cronies in Lebanon have survived and flourished.
    The ministry of disinformation of 1984 meets Goebbels of Nazi Germany.

    Posted by Maverick | June 29, 2013, 9:31 am
  75. Say. Does anyone know if Judy Miller is still in Lebanon?

    Posted by lally | June 29, 2013, 12:02 pm
  76. RedLeb said: “The dramatic headline is sensationalist and pure spin. While the article is basically a response to the army’s statement on the issue, he leaves out the crucial bit which states that army intelligence units wear civilian clothing. I guess some facts just get in the way.”

    I don’t know if I’d call the headline sensationalist and pure spin (and leave aside the fact that reporters don’t write headlines — editors do). The Army’s statement contained a direct threat to file charges against the media organizations that asked questions about Hezbollah involvement, and not so subtly accused them of forging evidence.

    I’d rather the media discussion about Hizbullah and the Army moved along because it’s damaging to the Army in the long run which is a bad thing for Lebanon. I don’t buy the “intelligence officials thesis” but I don’t think it matters much in the broader context.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | June 29, 2013, 7:01 pm
  77. Another Lala post pointing to evil Amerika

    Does anyone know if Judy Miller is still in Lebanon?


    Why do you ask? Is Ms. Miller preventing Hezbo “advisors” from reaching Syria?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 30, 2013, 10:39 am
  78. Some body asked about “Hazbani”
    Before WW I my family, mother side, moved from Hazbaya in Lebanon to the south were there was more work in tzfat, Tabaria and later Rosh Pina, Metula and even Haifa and so on, it was one country till 1920. There were Arabic speaking Jews in several places in what is now south Lebanon. But with time many Jewish families moved south because of poverty and wars. Not only Jews but also some Muslim, (also Metuali) Durzi and some Christian families in Israel will tell you that they came south from Lebanon to make a living. If you look in the Israeli phone books or Hebrew Google you can still see the family name Hazbzni though many people changed it.

    Posted by Rani Hazbani | June 30, 2013, 3:14 pm
  79. QN,

    I called it spin because yes, the army did threaten a lawsuit, but the headline makes it sound like a violent threat and some tweets (by readers, not Prothero) actually portrayed it as such. It’s misleading until you read the fine print.

    Posted by RedLeb | June 30, 2013, 5:21 pm
  80. Rani,

    Thank you for sharing your family name and how you arrived in Israel. Interesting.

    The name sounds like “atzbani”. My hebrew is pretty weak right now. Maybe I’m confusing an aleph and an ayin…

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 30, 2013, 7:42 pm
  81. Instead of discussing rumors and whore-media reports that comfort one’s skewed views, prejudice, and blindness, I would advise my fellow compatriots here to take a step back, listen to Wadi3 singing “Allah Ma3ak Ya Bayt Samed Bil Janoub”.

    Al Safi, a man much, much, much worthier than the “slaves” (for lack of better word, I apologize to the moderator) of Ibn Saud in Lebanon. Ibn Saud (the whole clan of course, not one person), himself the slave of his protectors, the ones who for 100 years have been providing for the security of his fiefdom, and who owns HIM entirely.

    Is it possible anyone here considers Saudi Arabia a sovereign state? This question (and the only answer is NO) is important to the undertones of the discussion on every article of this blog: why would anyone give any credence to sub-sub-sub-slaves (holding dual Saudi-Lebanese passports) when discussing Lebanon, a sovereign state?

    “Tahit sa’fak 3al wafa rabbaytna!!!”

    Posted by Marcel Ayyoub | June 30, 2013, 9:39 pm
  82. Dear Marcel Ayyoub / Hossni El-Borazan / Antar Yacine / Mouna Arif

    It is this blog’s policy that commenters only use one moniker.

    Pick one and stick with it, or else I’ll have to block all four of your personalities.



    Posted by Qifa Nabki | July 1, 2013, 8:29 am
  83. Washington’s panties are remarkably untwisted about the notion that HA could have been involved w/the LAF response to the terrorist attacks upon it’s soldiers in Sidon. Why would that be?

    Perhaps because the planned ambushes of LAF soldiers so grossly violates the authority vested in the official instrument of Lebanese security that a gloves-off response is to be expected. (We would have probably fired some missiles into Assir’s “mosque complex”) Most Americans would be in complete agreement with that opinion and would be ok with assistance from whatever quarter helped eliminate the islamist salafi terrorist threats to the agency tasked with providing security to the civilian populace of Lebanon.

    Too bad this is not available in competently translated English; it has been greeted by predictable unhappiness in certain quarters but really, the Americans among them shouldn’t be one bit surprised @ whose side we would be on under the circumstances:

    “Washington: Lebanese army led due in full and understood lines to red and is posted in the Middle
    Washington-Joyce Karam
    Thursday June 27, 2013

    Washington has put its weight behind Lebanese army and security forces and its support in the recent confrontations against pursuing (Imam Bilal Ben Rabah mosque in Abra) Sheikh Ahmad captive. The Enterprise «Center website … And fully support what they did. And a State Department official to «life» about concerns of the Government and also vacuum the vacuum in leadership in the Sunni Street», in favour of the return of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, said Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria «dropped the concept of resistance to the Zionist enemy, exacerbating the risk of arm because of religious-oriented».
    The US official said that Washington employed military channels of communication “with the Lebanese army and Assistant Army Chief General Jean kahwaji after the outbreak of clashes in Sidon and, since 2006, we look to the army and security forces as pivotal institutions in support of stability between the parties, and to avoid sectarian mongering, and to contain the conflict spilling over from Syria. He said ” what appears to be received Sunday a move intentionally and deliberately attack followers of Sheikh Ahmed captive against the army and they had snipers on specific sites.

    The Lebanese Army-party accusations that he “fought face-off on behalf of Hezbollah, the official said” is often blamed for the army in the event of interference or did not intervene, but in the middle of all the slides and excelled in the past seven years to know when to use force and draw fire against warring parties in Tripoli, for example.

    He said that Washington supports the decision to use decisive force in Sidon as necessary. He noted that the US Administration “had seen media reports alleging involvement of some Hezbollah fighters in the fighting, but we are on the ground and understand that the army is the most important and fully support what he has done. And support for the military, expect further aid to the army and security forces and the equivalent to 75 million dollars a year. The Syrian crisis risks spreading “the importance of ensuring the stability of the Lebanese arena».

    He spoke to the «life» in Washington, said the military knows our Rouge and our funding central to its operations and if there is any sense in Washington that it is biased to one or the other, this hurt and harm the ability of the army, we offer most of their devices. He added: “this has not happened yet.”


    Posted by lally | July 1, 2013, 11:08 am
  84. Singin’ those Foggy Bottom Blues

    Today’s unsurprising but true key word which scored 8 hits in Lala’s last post:


    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 1, 2013, 11:43 am
  85. I just love lally…You always have been the optimist and clear the headed lady I was looking for… 😛

    Posted by danny | July 1, 2013, 8:41 pm
  86. Changing the subject, since we seem to all be in agreement that Lally offers an excellent insight into the machinations of the very corrupt and very, very secret American government, I would like to ask AIG a few questions about his favorite US administration (when it comes to foreign policy anyway): Obama.


    What grade to you give the Obama administration when it comes to the US economy??

    What is your take on “Obamacare”? Do you think it will affect America positively, negatively or not at all?

    If you’re curious, this is the article that “set me off”:


    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 2, 2013, 9:29 am
  87. pssssssssssssssssssstdanny……………..
    do i have the girl for you!:

    Posted by lally | July 3, 2013, 12:12 am
  88. I nominate Lally for President of Egypt. We need someone who can stand up to American colonialism, etc.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 3, 2013, 3:08 pm
  89. AP, I think you have a crush on Lally, join the club! you remind me of the pizza delivery guy when he said to the “Architect” (Danny in this case) “I love her mannnnnnnnnn”

    There’s something about Lally.. It even ryhms 🙂

    Posted by Vulcan | July 3, 2013, 4:50 pm
  90. If only our Army in Lebanon had the guts to act against Saudi businessman Hariri the same way Egypt’s army just acted against islamist “fool” Mursi.

    Politcal “Sunni” Islam has revealed itself to be a joke: traitors to the Umma, puppets of NATO (and hence Israel), sectarian immature bullies (they are eager to start a holy war against their muslim bretherns because they see them as enemies of the donkey leaders in the Arabian peninsula).

    Long live THE Resistance !

    Posted by Fattoum | July 3, 2013, 4:51 pm
  91. Lally is woman? That’s OK in the New Egypt, but I’m afraid she won’t be able to hold a high position in Hezbollah. It never an easy decision.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 3, 2013, 7:37 pm
  92. Lally;

    Everyone heard you girl. 😀

    Vulcan; I love Mary. 😛

    Posted by danny | July 4, 2013, 7:25 am
  93. Fattoum,

    So “Sunni” Islam (MB), the Egyptian army, and the young liberal progressives have “revealed itself to be a joke: traitors to the Umma, puppets of NATO (and hence Israel)?

    This is the problem with the ME, get your house in order first, then worry about the Umma, NATO and Israel for another time.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 4, 2013, 11:14 am
  94. On questions in regards to Obama from an Arab perspective.

    He’s a 3abed.

    That’s straight out of the horse’s mouth.

    Posted by Whatever | July 4, 2013, 4:53 pm
  95. Every avatar picture on this blog has a swatszika design as an overall theme.
    (Except Q’s ;-))
    I think it is somewhat bad taste, specially for us semites and arabs.

    To @Akbar, getting our house in order does involve caring about the Umma, and resisting Israel and its imperial masters/slaves (I am confused by that relationship). You know why? Because political Islam (Sunni political Islam, I am sorry to add) has foolishly sought the “friendship” of our states’ enemies to force its ugly self on our societies. So we are wed to the problem, by force. Stop pretending that there is something separate in our house that needs cleaning first. Yeah sure, the Palestinian camps, the Saudi-backed salafist movement, the Iran-backed Shia movements, the phalange, the General Hummus Army, etc., all solely internal actors/minders/problems, right? WRONG.

    Posted by Mouna Arif | July 4, 2013, 6:10 pm
  96. What about Shia political islam? Hard to deny that exists, considering there’s a whole doctrine devoted to it (Wilayat Al Faqih). Howcome you don’t mention that one in your little rant Mouna? You wanna knock political Islam? (Which honestly, deserves to be knocked, abolished and hopefully someday forgotten for the archaic mentality it espouses). You wanna knock it? Please knock it fairly. Not just one side of it.

    PS: I don’t even know how to change those weird avatars we’re assigned by default.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | July 4, 2013, 7:48 pm
  97. @VILBEL,
    The Iranian Revolution is by all account an example of a great successful revolution. No matter what you or I think about Iran.

    Instead of espousing it, learning from it, and teaming with it, joining it, making alliance with it, uniting Muslims around it, Saudi Arabia (at the request of someone ;-)), got the whole “Sunni world” in a frenzy of wars, aggression, and extremism, leading to defeats after defeats, for the last 35 years, culminating in the childish militant Salafist movement (childish in the sense: not going anywhere… futile. Harmful (to Islam) AND futile) : the Iraq-Iran war, the Lebanese civil war (second chapter), the first Western aggression on Iraq, the Iraq invasion, rape, destruction, Abou Ghraib, Guantanamo, the jihadist Islamist wars (“Bin Laden” (in quotes), Afghanistan, Pakistan), and now, the ultimate disgrace of this path we have been imposed to thread upon by the failed absolute monarchs of a few Arab puppet states: the call for sectarian war by a few Sunni surely idiotic figures against anything Shi3a!

    Why? Isn’t it evident that Shi3a Iran has succeeded in gaining its sovereignty better than its neighbours, the NATO slaves in the Persian Gulf? Or even distant Tunisia or Morocco?

    Isn’t Islam ONE? Why are these salafi fools calling for war against the Shi3a in Iran, Lebanon and Iraq? Haven’t they got enough beating, humiliation, rape and murder at the hands of the very same people they are again bent on serving (the US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, etc.)?

    Iran is a sovereign state. 30 years of Western blockade has not made it kneel. Iran could even be much better if it were not for this Damocles sword hanging over it thanks to the most powerful bullies around.

    Isn’t time the Arabs look at it as an example and a partner, and not as a threat and a foe? Why the foolishness? Just for the eyes of Ibn Saud (who only need to serve his masters so they keep him going on the throne)? Can you tell me what other reasons hold Egypt from better ties with Iran? What other reasons hold Morocco from better ties with Iran? What other reasons hold any Sunni man or woman from better ties with the Shi3a of Iran?

    There will never be enough outrage at the foolishness of the Sunni-Shi3a divide the Gulf countries are masterminding on behalf of our common enemy, the colonialists.

    Posted by Mouna Arif | July 4, 2013, 11:13 pm
  98. Mouna,

    For you everything is Islam…Right? Why don’t you ever stop for a moment and try to analyze the national pride of the Iranian people. The majority are Persians who are fiercely nationalistic. I have yet to meet someone from Iran who would NOT identify herself/himself as Persian. Stop this BS about religious crap. Both sides are using religion as a tool; same as they have used for eons to guide sheeple like…

    Posted by danny | July 5, 2013, 7:09 am
  99. @Danny,

    Yeah well, that’s another problem, thank you for pointing it out: the clear UNPATRIOTIC agenda of the ****Sunni**** Political Islam nutjobs.
    As in here:

    Look, I am “Sunni” (or at least born from Sunni parents), and I am ashamed of what these nutjobs are bringing to the name. Not in my name, enough! Islam is ONE.

    What are Al Qaida fighters from Chechenya and Afghanistan doing in Syria and Lebanon calling and exercising for violent aggressive Jihad against my compatriots? Patriotism? Why aren’t we all denouncing them instead of denouncing Hezbollah fighters’ response involvement in villages and towns bordering Lebanon and inhabited for centuries by people from both countries?

    Posted by Mouna Arif | July 5, 2013, 11:45 am
  100. Quit trying to equate two different things. No one disputes the KSA regime as being a terrible one. I have no love for it. But that, in and of itself, does not make the Iranian regime a “success”. Not by any means.
    Without comparing. Just looking at the Iranian revolution on its own: This is a non-democratic regime (I think we can agree on that?) guided by a supreme leader. Dissent is stifled, just like in any other authoritarian regime. Opposition members are routinely jailed, beaten and disappeared. Your glorious revolution has so far, involved itself in a disastrous and costly war with a neighboring country (Iran-Iraq war). Funded and armed a militia in yet another country (Lebanon), in which it meddles incessantly. How is that, in and of itself, without comparing to anyone else a “success”? If you are so critical of foreign funding and foreign meddling (as you are of KSA paying off the Sunnis in Lebanon and in many other countries), aren’t you being a hypocrite when you declare that the Iranian model is a success? Isn’t it the same thing?
    Or are you one of those people who cannot be objective and who criticizes the “wrong” in those who’s agenda you don’t like, but turn a blind eye to the same “wrongs” when it’s your team perpetrating it?

    Sadly, there are too many people like that these days.

    Me, I just stick by my own moral and ethical codes. If I think interfering in a foreign country is “wrong” (which I think it is), then I will criticize the Iranians for doing it. I will criticize the Saudis and Qataris for doing it. I will criticize the Israelis and Americans for doing it. It’s really that simple. When I follow those guidelines of mine, of being true to my beliefs and it doesn’t matter which side, or which party does it, it’s equally wrong, then my arguments and my comments on this or other blogs become very simple. I don’t need conspiracy theories. I don’t need convoluted narratives and excuses to justify why it’s ok for my team to do this, but not your team, etc.

    Hypocrisy is one of my pet peeves.

    Either it’s ok to interfere in other countries and to fund non-state organizations, or it’s not. I think it’s not. Period.
    Either it’s ok to have non-state weapons (in which case Assir, Future, Geagea and everyone else is just as entitled to weapons as HA). Or it’s not, in which case NONE of those groups, including HA, has a right to weapons and only the Lebanese Army, Police and governmental agencies are allowed weapons. I personally believe no one has the right to non-state weapons. Which is why I equally critical of HA for having weapons as I am for future or Assir for having weapons. Period. Simple.

    See? I don’t need excuses. I don’t need convoluted justifications. True civilized societies operate by the rule of law. This Lebanese mentality that each person is a special case, and each group is a special case, drives me nuts. It’s a mentality problem. I see it from both sides and I see it on an every day basis (in political settings mind you). If there’s a “No Parking” sign in front of a store, it means no parking. It doesn’t mean no parking for everyone but Abu Khara who thinks he’s special and should get an exception.

    I go to the Lebanese consulate here where I live (abroad) and i notice right away this rotten mentality. Every other place I go (bank, real estate office, accountant, DMV, etc) people stand in line for their turn. At the Lebanese consulate it’s “Fawda”. Everyone thinks they should be served without having to wait in line because they know the wife of the friend of the cousin of the guy who makes coffee at the consulate. This hypocritical mentality of “Yes we want rules! Yes we want the right thing…but only if it applies to others, not me” is the worst problem with Lebanon and is, in my opinion, the cause for our wars and our sectarianism and our divisions.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | July 5, 2013, 1:45 pm
  101. Drum Roll Please…

    Mouna Arif,

    So you think the biggest problem facing the ME is a group of Sunnis who have “no problem” with Israel?

    Just to make sure we’re on the same page.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 5, 2013, 2:02 pm
  102. Having been to both Saudi Arabia and Iran extensively throughout the past 25 years, I would rather the Saudi regime be toppled first.

    Posted by Whatever | July 5, 2013, 2:19 pm
  103. Mouna,

    You are no better than those who claim their nationality to be “Jewish”. You attack Zionism yet you want to emulate it. Stop the sectarian talk and hogwash! Persians are a nation irrespective of whether they are Shiites or Zoroastrians. Silly arguments you come up with!

    HA and Al Qaeda are the flip sides of each coin. Both sectarian terrorist groups with different barbers to trim their beards!

    Posted by danny | July 5, 2013, 3:00 pm
  104. 9/11 was master minded by a Saudi Salafist Sicko and carried out by loyal Salafist Saudi Sickos and their cohorts, funded by more sick Salafi Saudi and Gulf Nationals under the governance of a Salafi Saudi Royal family that thinks that because of their stranglehold on oil, money and power, they are also the interpreters of Islam.

    Pearl Harbor was master minded by an Imperialist Japanese General, carried out by loyal Japanese Imperialists and their cohorts, funded by Imperialist Japanese Nationals under the governance of an Imperialist Japanese Royal family.

    Roosevelt nuked Japan. Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq instead, because they are in close “approximess ” of Saudi Arabia, but far enough not to harm the preferential oil rates the crazy Salafis are willing to cut the price to them to.

    Obama is still trying to come to terms how his black ass got elected President of the United States of America.

    Meanwhile, Egypt is burning.

    Posted by Whatever | July 6, 2013, 3:38 pm
  105. Pair of B&W 802D speakers in Cherry Wood finish and in mint condition with shipping boxes available for sale. Barely used. Original price US$ 14,500. Let go price US$ 7,000 including freight charges by sea to any destination.

    Posted by Whatever | July 6, 2013, 4:45 pm
  106. @Vilbel, I stopped reading when you pretended you can equate civil society in Iran with that of Saudi Arabia.
    That is ludicrous, and an indication of great immaturity, IMO.

    Interfering in affairs of smaller countries is not wrong, it is a fact of life, will always be, so grow up and accept it. What is not acceptable though is imperialism teaching Arabs about freedom (The US invading Iraq), and tyranny telling the Syrians how to become democratic (Saudi Arabia manufacturing and sponsoring a civil war).

    Iran, the US, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and dozens of other countries mingle in our affairs in Lebanon, and it is normal, and it is the case for almost any country on earth that is not in the club of the 20 most powerful (and even then). We have to live with it. Choose our allies. And make sure the mingling of our enemies is checked and kept under control.

    The sad thing is that after decades of being treacherously raped, killed, tortured, and denied any dignity at the hands of the NATO powers, the political “Sunni” establishment is still able to convince so many people that the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia, are our allies.

    Just dump them, keep them in check, and try other “friends” for a change. Why live the life of an eternal masochist?

    Posted by Mouna Arif | July 6, 2013, 6:34 pm
  107. @Danny, take it easy with the sectarian libel, we are talking about political *Islam* here, and not about Zoroastrien or Jewish minorities in Iran.

    As to you labeling Hizballah as a terrorist organization, well you can try all you want, but you will be very unsuccessful of convincing many people in the know. Maybe you will appeal to the masses in the West though. Not even Ibn Saud will be convinced by your arguments.

    How intellectually weak is the comparison between the Lebanese organization Hizballah and the thing called Al Qaeda. I almost feel sorry for you on this occasion ;-/

    Posted by Mouna Arif | July 6, 2013, 6:44 pm
  108. 1) Where did I equate civil society of KSA and Iran? I spoke of 2 regimes that are undemocratic and uncivilized in the modern sense of the word. Are you denying that Iran tortures dissenters? Because there is pretty irrefutable proof that it does. BOTH KSA and Iran are undemocratic, both dictate religious beliefs and both repress any kind of opposition. If you deny that, then you’re really a lost cause.

    2) You don’t see the contradiction in your own very comment? In the very same comment you tell me to grow up and accept that countries will interfere in each other’s affairs, then you proceed to complain that the imperialist Americans invade other countries and that the Sunni establishment and NATO are interfering in Syria. Which one is it? Either you accept that it’s “normal” for the US and co. to interfere in Iraq and Syria, in which case, it’s ok for Iran to interfere in Lebanon and Bahrain. Or you reject both. You cannot tell me in the same sentence that it’s ok for SOME countries to interfere with each other, but not others. That is called HYPOCRISY. That is not my opinion. That is fact. That is the definition of the word “hypocrisy” in the dictionary.

    3) Where did I ever say anything about liking KSA or any of those others being our allies? I don’t want the KSA any more than I want anybody else! Please stop assuming things on my behalf. I repeat for the Nth time that I do not like KSA or their interference and funding in Lebanon or Syria or the gulf. Will you accept that? Or will you continue to be one of those people who simply paints everyone who disagrees with you with a broad brush? Just cause I criticize HA and Iran does not make me a Sunni establishment guy. It does not make me an a fan of KSA or any of those. How many times do I have to repeat that?

    4) It would be nice to be able to debate with people who can accept differences of opinion. I am sick and tired of people (and I see this everywhere these days) who feel the need to demonize anyone who disagrees with them and run around calling anyone who disagrees names. Depending on which side you’re on, the names vary, but the Modus Operandi is the same: You don’t like HA? You’re a zionist/imperailist/salafi and you must be getting a paycheck from the KSA! You don’t like M14/Future, you must be a shia fascist stooge paid by Iran.

    Do you people not see the irony in how similar those statements are? Can you conceive of the fact that people may disagree with you without being paid by some foreign power? Do you honestly believe that YOU, yes YOU, are the only sane person in Lebanon and that it is not possible that some other person has decided to exercise the near-extinct art of independent thought? Out of the approx. 3 million people in Lebanon, do you honest to God, believe that only you are not bought and paid for by foreign money, and that everyone else is? What are the freaking odds of that being true? And I am supposed to “grow up”? At least my worldview does not assume that you and everyone who shares your views is funded by Tehran. I at least have the common sense and decency to assume you’re a fellow Lebanese who, for whatever reasons, has come to different conclusions than mine.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | July 6, 2013, 7:30 pm
  109. Mouna,

    I’ll keep this short; as it has become futile to debate a point with anyone who is hell bent on twisting facts and intent on blind ;deaf and mute following of a theocratic party and militia that has no allegiance to the Nation (That is Lebanon in case you are still on one of your sermons)…

    I will by pass the Marine/french quarters as well USA embassy bombings of 1982-1983…

    Hijacking of TWA flight?
    The Tunis bombing?
    The Argentina bombing?
    Azerbaijan? Nigeria? Egypt? Hariri assassination? Lebanon (2005-present)…
    Abra? Syria? Killing and beating up people at Iranian Embassy in Lebanon?

    Those thugs have been terrorizing Lebanese more than anyone!

    I can go on and on about your divine party’s dirty and despicable type of Islam. If Islam is killing people who do not agree with you; then it should be banned!!

    …and you feel sorry for me…Wow!! Thank you. 😀

    Posted by danny | July 7, 2013, 7:43 am
  110. No no. You got it wrong Danny! Apparently, it’s OK to do all those things (bombings, assassinations, etc) if you’re doing it for the RIGHT and JUST cause. It’s only reprehensible when done by the “Sunni establishment” and its allies!

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | July 7, 2013, 11:28 am
  111. Time to revisit George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984.

    Posted by Whatever | July 7, 2013, 12:37 pm
  112. Everything in this article is, of course, a lie, but it show why the stakes in Syria are so high. The Resistance supports the Lion of Damascus to ensure that Lebanon is not forced to accept the humiliation of surrender to zionist aggression. http://www.thetower.org/article/dreaming-of-a-lebanon-completely-at-peace/
    Also-be careful of the link. It is a likud-AIPAC-Hasbara funded mouthpiece so is likely loaded with viruses and other malware.

    Posted by dontgetit | July 7, 2013, 1:55 pm
  113. You don’t need AIPAC for “Hasbara” NewZ

    All I’ve been reading the past 2 years is “Hasbara” from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran and Egypt and it all pertains to WHY muslims are killing moslems to the tune of 100,000+ and why they shouldn’t be given basic human rights like freedom of speech and free elections.

    Fortunately, there are arab posters here and elsewhere who know that AIPAC isn’t the reason.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 7, 2013, 2:51 pm
  114. dontgetit,

    You must be upset with the decision to get you off your lazy ass and into society. 😀


    Posted by danny | July 7, 2013, 5:30 pm
  115. Dontgetit,

    “Zionist Aggression” has taken on a whole new meaning these past two years.

    Arabs all over the ME are applying for “Aliyah” and learning hebrew.


    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 7, 2013, 9:49 pm
  116. AP: That video is offensive and violates every rule of the Geneva Conventions and the International Red Cross, but especially the rule against using prisoners of war for propoganda purposes. You should know better, but, of course, I don’t expect that you do.

    Posted by dontgetit | July 7, 2013, 10:25 pm
  117. Offending dontgetit is Fun NewZ

    You’ll have a difficult time proving this fellow is a POW, especially when ALL Arab-Israelis in the IDF are volunteers.

    “Dontgetit” ur web name is perfect.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 7, 2013, 11:24 pm
  118. More “POWs” to contemplate…


    Meanwhile, another repaired arab state falls apart in less than a week.

    Why didn’t the Egyptian military order a new election the day they arrested Morsi? They better set in motion a plan for elections, AND FAST!

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 8, 2013, 9:03 am
  119. What Really Offends dongetit? NewZ


    I haven’t heard any responses from you regarding my recent “offensive” posts.

    So let me ask you a question. What is the most OFFENSIVE of the following 3 events in your opinion:

    1.) A self-appointed Syrian leader who refuses to step down and avoid a civil war that has costed 100000+ lives.

    2.) An Egyptian military that arrests a democratically elected leader.

    3.) An Israeli-Arab who volunteers, freely, to join the IDF.

    Thank you in advance.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 8, 2013, 1:06 pm
  120. What is offensive is your trying to compare ordinary, internal political issues, with a murderous regime that uses traitorous prisoners of war to make propoganda films. You should be embarassed to keep bringing it up.

    Posted by dontgetit | July 8, 2013, 5:47 pm
  121. Offense is the best Defense NewZ

    What is offensive is your trying to compare…


    Apparently, you find a number of things “offensive”. That’s the key word: “offensive”.

    You have used this term when I showed you a rather sensitive and intelligent Israeli-arab explaining why he chose to join the IDF. Now you are using the same term describing a perceived “comparison” that I didn’t make.

    In my previous post I simply listed 3 things and asked you what you found most “offensive” of the three.

    These three things are unrelated. It’s like me asking someone what do you find most offensive: a.) drinking a cup of piss b.) Hitler’s gas chambers c.) watching a Woody Allen movie. I suppose everyone has an opinion, so I wanted to know yours.

    But if you can’t answer my previous post, I’ll just assume your brain had a short-circuit because the question was too difficult for you to answer.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 8, 2013, 7:41 pm
  122. Danny and Vilbel, you made it really easy for me. I can answer both of you in two small sets of words, read them, refer back to your comments, and connect the dots. Voilà. Unless you ARE minded like harkis, the dots will be connected.

    The United States of America, Iraq, Falluja, Abou Ghraib, Guantanamo, Chile, Nicaragua, Panama, Vietnam, torture in every capital around the world.

    France, Algeria, Sétif, unimaginable torture applied on a whole nation treated as “bougnoules” on their own land etc. (boring to list them all), and torture at the highest scale for more than 3 centuries.

    Now think about a dozen other Western countries’ aggression, wars, torture, killing, assassinations, camps, bombings, etc.

    And I spared you Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

    Now, what were you saying about Hezbollah or Iran, or Syria, or Lebanon? Get real. You speak exactly like these wolves (above) who always point vociferously at the shard in some poor lamb’s eye.

    Come to think of it, let’s take you seriously for a minute: can you provide the slightest element of proof of YOUR assertions about Hezbollah and the Bulgaria bombing, or the Hariri assassination?

    Hum… I thought so.

    Your speech is the speech of “tools”, there is no escaping it, and the sad bit is you most probably fall for it because of a sectarian thinking that drives you, plain and simple. It is so apparent. But you pretend you are for the “nation”? Nation of what, Islamism?

    Just be patriotic for a change.

    And @Vilbel, please, there is no contradiction between saying interference of countries in other countries business is a fact that we must live with, and on the other hand sating that aggression, rape, destruction and invasion of countries by some powerful barbarian nation is something no one should accept and forgive.

    Posted by Mouna Arif | July 8, 2013, 8:51 pm
  123. Mouna,

    …Thank you for proving my point! Thank God for your limitless hatred for the west that has given you everything; I bet. You want proof in Bulgaria eh? What a comedian. I guess the rest do not mean anything. I am patriotic; but you are programmed to be who you are. A tool indeed. 😀

    Once in a while turn off the recording in your head and listen to the rest. You might be enlightened and would most likely temper your anguish.


    Posted by danny | July 8, 2013, 9:14 pm
  124. Blaming All the World’s Ills on Uncle Sam isn’t NewZ


    Who are these weirdos??

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 8, 2013, 9:41 pm
  125. You’re honestly bringing up stuff from WW2 and colonial times? I think you’re missing the point by about 3 miles here!

    We’re talking about the world TODAY. I did not excuse or condone the Iraq invasion, or the meddling in other country’s affairs (if you recall, I said very clearly I was against it no matter who did it). In fact, I don’t recall saying “I love the USA” or “I love France” anywhere in my comments, or indicating that I prefer their approach to the world. All I stated was a simple fact regarding both the KSA and Iran being totalitarian, non-democratic, torture-practicing regimes. I am starting to think people have difficulty processing language around here. My sentence was simple and straightforward. It did NOT say “Iran and KSA are the ONLY countries in the world” practicing torture. It said “Iran and KSA practice torture”. See the difference? Nowhere did I imply that France or the USA or whoever else don’t practice torture. Did I say that? No. Don’t infer from my sentence. Don’t assume I am condoning torture by Israel or Pol Pot or Abu Ghraib or whoever else. Two wrongs do not make a right. Never have. When I say “X practices torture” that does not mean it’s ok for Y or Z to do so. It simply means X does it. Period.

    And if you really wanna drag up stuff from WW2 and the colonial times, then this discussion becomes absurd. We can keep going back in time until prehistory. How about the Muslim conquests in the days of the Prophet and his immediate descendents? No atrocities committed there? How about Karbala? No massacres? How about the crusades? No blood on their hands? Or how about the Ottomans? EVERY FREAKING civilization, from the Pharaos and Babylonians, through the Greeks and Romans, through the feudal christian kingdoms of the middle ages, the Chinese empire, the Japanese massacres in China and Korea, the 2 World Wars, and a gazillion other wars in the past 4000 years, EVERYONE has committed atrocities, massacres and torture. Not a single civilization is blood-free. So, to quote your own infamous words: “Grow up”.

    Either we can talk about the world as it is today, in which case I think any reasonable person from EITHER side would agree that various sides continue to commit crimes (be it the US, France or KSA or Iran), or you can stick your head in the sands of fantasy-lalaland where pigs fly and the unicorns roam free, and tell me that France, the USA and KSA are horrible, but Iran and Assad’s Syria are noble and do not commit any atrocities (in which case, I am fairly certain there is no reasoning with such delusion).

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | July 8, 2013, 10:04 pm
  126. @Vilbel, Danny,

    Well well, good timing. Today’s car bomb in Beirut you mean? I guess the crazies are here to make sure your points are lost forever.

    So the invasion and destruction of Iraq does not count as a barbarian act of aggression in your mind because it took place 7 years ago? You have already forgiven and ready to work hand in hand with your new “friends”? (who will throw you to the lions on the first occasion, you dumdums!)

    “Stuff happens”, n’est-ce pas ? Tools, tools, tools!

    7 years! Oh Danny, remind us again, when was that US Embassy bombing that in your blind hatred you attribute to Hezbollah (before its creation!)?

    Your immaginative “Statute of limitations” works only for HUGE aggressions by known certified aggressors?

    What are the crimes of Iran, compared to the crimes of the countries you are defending as friends of Lebanon (the USA, France or the UK)? Go as far back as 3 centuries if you want, or as far back as you want.

    But I think you have no History.

    “Qu’est-ce que le cambriolage d’une banque, comparé à la fondation d’une banque ?” (B. Brecht)

    Posted by Mouna Arif | July 9, 2013, 9:21 am
  127. Hariri blames Israel for today’s bombing. Is that a strategic decision meant to deflect outrage from targeting his FSA (Sunni) allies?

    Michael Young: “Consequence of bombing today is to further turn many Lebanese away from support of rebels in Syria, whoever actually planted the bomb.”

    Could it be that nationalism is raising it’s head in Lebanon?

    Posted by lally | July 9, 2013, 10:44 am
  128. Mouna,

    It’s obvious you do not know zilch about the roots of HA…So why discuss? As far as the bomb…well you seem to be the top conspiracy bank. It’s HA who did it!! You see you are so lame and quick with your generalization and juvenile recitation that simply should be left alone! So far you have created a borscht of events trying to moot the terrorist nature of your illegal militia. If you love it so much; why don’t you just go and help in your Jihadi duties with the “resistance shabiha”..

    Anyways; as I had said before you seem think if screaming louder will win you points. So far you have been nothing but delirious.

    lally; HA did it. They pulled the same trick a month so ago when conveniently mortars dropped in their sector.

    As for FSA support; whether the Lebanese support them or not makes no difference on the ground.

    Posted by danny | July 9, 2013, 11:42 am
  129. Mouna,

    Did I say that destruction in Iraq did not count? NO!
    I said the exact opposite. I said throughout history, everyone’s caused destruction. There is no “This guy is worse than that guy.”
    Clearly, your reading comprehension sucks. Or (more likely), you pretend to misunderstand what other people write so you can come back with idiotic comebacks.
    Have a nice day.


    Didn’t we have to hear over and over that when M14 people were getting assassinated, it was actually not being done by Syria or HA, but rather by their own camp? With the purpose of gaining them sympathy and turning people against Syria and HA?
    I guess by that logic, the bombing in Bir Al Abed should be the work of HA and Syria, trying to gain sympathy and turning people against M14. LOL…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | July 9, 2013, 11:58 am
  130. “Barbarian Act of Aggression”: The Whole Story

    So the invasion and destruction of Iraq does not count as a barbarian act of aggression in your mind because it took place 7 years ago?

    The invasion of Iraq was cheered by eveeryone except Iran. Saddam’s mass graves (300,000 dead according to BBC) were halted and Saddam was thrown out in lieu of a democratically ELECTED government.

    Iraq Body Count (one of the best organizations to document civilian deaths in the 2003 Gulf War) estimates 120,000 dead and they are still counting. OF COURSE, they do not distinguish between deaths caused by American or coalition fire or those caused by Iranian, Islamist, and Iraqi thug insurgents. The vast majority of these 120,000 deaths were caused by the latter, and they are still dropping like flies, even when US forces are long gone.

    The sad thing is that Iraq had the opportunity to create a democracy and protect herself. She failed.



    Tomorrow we’ll discuss the other Baathist wonder, Bashar Assad…

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 9, 2013, 12:07 pm
  131. No, danny. HA did not do it.

    Those making such nonsensical accusations simply reinforces how greatly they fear broadly-based Lebanese unity.

    Running scared.


    Posted by lally | July 9, 2013, 12:22 pm
  132. @Akbar, re “everyone cheered the agression against Iraq” : of course everyone knows us inferior Arabs we cheer our masters in NATO to come and bomb the hell out of us so we get rid of one man.
    You are master harki on that one, congratulations!

    Posted by Mouna Arif | July 9, 2013, 12:51 pm
  133. I see you guys here are replica of the rambos over at Joshua Landis’ site. So I leave you happily, like I left that other place after 2 weeks of reading.

    Cheers and good luck to all.

    Hasta la victoria siempre.

    Posted by Mouna Arif | July 9, 2013, 12:55 pm
  134. Mouna! dont leave before you have some baklava 🙂

    Posted by Vulcan | July 9, 2013, 2:15 pm
  135. @Akbar, re “everyone cheered the agression against Iraq” :

    I stand corrected. Those few hundred thousand in Saddam’s mass graves weren’t cheering. Those that pulled down Saddam’s statue while slapping it with their shoes were more emotional.

    of course everyone knows us inferior Arabs we cheer our masters in NATO to come and bomb the hell out of us so we get rid of one man.

    Because many arab states are “governed” by a self-appointed “strong men” (aka murders), there isn’t much opposition. People can’t vote and make themselves heard. Only arabs living in freedom can.

    Judging from the Syrian opposition, arabs are BEGGING the US to create a no-fly zone and wipe out the Assad family once and for all.

    In any case, Iraqis are still getting bombed to hell and US forces aren’t around to get blamed. It guess it must be the Israelis bombing the hell out of the Iraqis.


    But the truth is, arabs and muslims have done a much better job at killing themselves than any other people.

    Syria Comment is indicative of a split reality in the Arab World. Just like Egypt, just like Lebanon.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 9, 2013, 2:30 pm
  136. Mouna.

    Don’t let the self-appointed QN “hazing” tag team shut you out.

    Posted by lally | July 9, 2013, 2:39 pm
  137. Resistance to Sanity NewZ


    without you guys, there’s no one to haze.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 9, 2013, 2:49 pm
  138. Akbar Palace,

    Does someone, whose one of his very first comments here was this, look really as having an offended, short-circuited brain shouting beware of a likud-AIPAC hasbara, or is it rather a role-playing game?

    Posted by Badr | July 9, 2013, 2:57 pm
  139. lally,

    Join forces…Come on. Why are you so positive that the yellow terrorist entity is not the culprit behind the bombing? Especially when the clAoun already knows (like you) that Takfiri groups were behind this. Come on now enlighten me on how do you know?

    Nonsensical is what you( the lost crowd that supports the HA terrorists) always have been quick to accuse M14 in being behind everything even having the gall in accusing them that they themselves are guilty of killing themselves off!

    This reminds of the the logic that Cochrane used in OJ trial. He depicted the LAPD as bumbling fools; yet they could orchestrate the crime scene perfectly with no witnesses.

    I would suggest you don’t sink as low as others in trying to justify the unjustifiable!

    Posted by danny | July 9, 2013, 3:03 pm
  140. Danny, are you serious about HA doing it or just being sarcastic??! i hope you know how ridiculous this sounds if you were serious, besides someone in Syria already claimed responsibility, didnt they?

    Posted by Vulcan | July 9, 2013, 3:20 pm
  141. danny. HA (unofficially) and Hariri are on the same page in blaming Israel. Don’t align yourself with the terrorist salafists.

    Here’s a little OT humorous bit to lighten the mood:

    “Tuesday, July 9, 2013
    Herd of 500 goats smuggled to Israel in Hermon area undetected
    [Dr. Aaron Lerner – IMRA: The following news item from Israel Radio Reshet
    Bet is absolutely mind boggling.
    If 500 goats can be smuggled undetected into Israel what can’t be smuggled
    undetected into Israel!]

    Herd of goats smuggled to Israel in Hermon area
    Eidan Avni – Israel Radio 11:40, 9 July 2013
    [IMRA translation]

    The herd was found in a pen in the Kfar Yarka

    A severe failure on the northern border: unknown people smuggled a herd of
    500 goats into Israel over the weekend in the Hermon area.

    The investigative unit of the Ministry of Agriculture yesterday discovered
    the herd in a pen in Kfar Yarka [AL: a Druze village in the Galilee].

    It remains unclear whether goats were smuggled to Israel from Syria or

    Posted by lally | July 9, 2013, 3:31 pm
  142. Badr,

    Please cut & paste the comment you take issue with, I couldn’t find it.

    “Hasbara” has now moved into another phase now that Bashar Assad and the Muslim Brotherhood is front and center. I call it “resistance hasbara”, and I’ve never seen so many people with split personalities in my entire life. I am only encouraged by the many posters who know the difference between right and wrong.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 9, 2013, 3:32 pm
  143. Akbar Palace,

    Did you click on the word “this” in my note to you? In any case, here is the linked comment:

    “I think most of the approaches to the peace “process” are wrongheaded and will make a lasting peace very hard to achieve. If I were king of the world, I would ignore Netanyahu and Abbas for the time being and focus on the real obstacle, which is the UNRWA and the refugees. The groundwork needs to be laid for the people in those camps to come to terms with the fact that they are not returning to pre-1967 Israel. Treating them like normal refugees and helping to settle them elsewhere is the best chance of making a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians based on the West Bank. This isn’t rocket science. The UNRWA camps and the Palestinian refugee camps (and the refusal of the Arab world to integrate Palestinians or treat them like other arabs) were CREATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PREVENTING PEACE. It was done so by the arab world with the complicity of the West. And they are effective. If those parties have changed their mind and want peace, then they will have to remove the principal obstacle to peace.
    What we have instead is the worst of all worlds, where the best people can hope for is a negotiated deal that will be hated by a huge mass of people, caged among their “brethren” who will one day wake up to be told that they were sold out by “those other Palestinians” and everything they were told about returning victorious to Jaffa and Haifa was a lie.”

    Posted by dontgetit | October 27, 2010, 10:50 am

    Posted by Badr | July 9, 2013, 3:57 pm
  144. Badr,

    YOUR post (from nearly 2 years ago, I though you were commenting on something I said) seems reasonable enough. I take issue with your comment, “It was done so by the arab world with the complicity of the West”. You give too much control to “the West”. Millions of arabs have flooded to Turkey and Jordan these past few years and the West isn’t involved except to help fund and feed these refugees.

    Why have you radicalized? What’s going on in that “resistance” head of yours? I don’t want to you to be another Tsarnaev-in-sheep’s clothing.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 9, 2013, 4:10 pm
  145. Hey Akbar Palace,

    Did you really think I’m the same commentator by the nickname “DONTGETIT”! I am not.

    Posted by Badr | July 9, 2013, 4:37 pm
  146. Vulcan,

    Somewhere a days ago; it was suggested that the “Zionist imperialist side” (anyone who disagrees with HA and W of F) lack imagination. 😛

    It was sarcastic; but then again where’s AK when you need him. CIA/KGB/Mukabarat(Syrian) and other intelligence agencies have been known to create havoc to justify their actions. You could easily read a few analysis with cause who lay the killing of Asef Shawkat and his comrades to a clean up operation by Iranian intelligence.

    The point I am trying to make it is not far fetched. Also, a lot of idiots like to claim and proclaim…Remember Abu Adas? Wallaw?

    Lally; just because I am against all religious fanatics (HA included) does not make a Salafists LOl. Read what BV elaborated at lenght a few posts ago. It seems the ‘other side” is great in creating enough noise and annoyance for someone to say: OK you are right! Would you shut up now? 😀

    Posted by danny | July 9, 2013, 6:05 pm
  147. It was definitely sarcastic. But the fact that people find the notion that HA might bomb their own HQs in some bizarre bid to stir up their base or whatever is EXACTLY the kind of craziness we were hearing about the Hariri assassination and various other M14 figures.
    I find it hypocritical that people think this notion of HA bombing themselves to be that ridiculous, when people seem to very seriously and with a straight face, repeat for the past 5 years that M14 themselves were assassinating their own guys and that it couldn’t POSSIBLY be the work of Syria or HA.
    I don’t understand how people can think that way. But clearly, we see day in and day out, that people are pretty ridiculous in their logic (or lack thereof)…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | July 9, 2013, 7:30 pm
  148. Did you really think I’m the same commentator by the nickname “DONTGETIT”! I am not.


    My humblest of apologies. Sorry.

    JUst MHO, but the Beirut bombing was probably a little payback for HA’s “foreign policy” into Syria. Unless proven otherwise. We engineers believe the simplest explanation is usually the most accurate.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 9, 2013, 8:51 pm
  149. Apology accepted. No worries.

    Posted by dontgetit | July 9, 2013, 9:16 pm
  150. Exactly. The simplest explanation is usually the most probable (I’m an engineer too).
    One of the reasons I get so annoyed at the ridiculous conspiracy theories which tend in so many cases to be full of holes and contradictions, to boot.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | July 9, 2013, 9:25 pm

    Unless you state unequivocally that you are not the person AKBAR PALACE apologized to, I’m going to email the owner of this blog Mr. Elias Muhanna that you are pretending to be someone other than yourself.

    Posted by Badr | July 10, 2013, 2:36 am
  152. Badr,


    Anyway, I saw this news article this morning and it deals with my “hero”, the surviving Tsarnaev brother.

    Apparently, he wrote some incriminating words in the boat he was hiding in prior to being captured:

    “I don’t like killing innocent people,” he said, but also wrote “I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished. …* We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all.”

    *unless you’re a muslim leader and you’ve killed other muslims


    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 10, 2013, 6:44 am
  153. Stupid is as Stupid Does NewZ

    YNet slams AIG’s favorite Foreign Policy President’s (Obama) Secretary of State, John Kerry as “Clueless U.S. mediator.


    Now that the Republican Party can no longer win an election (too many voting illegal aliens becoming citizens) and over half the US population either unemployed, not paying taxes, receiving government food stamps or government assistance, the Great Socialist State has finally arrived. Move over Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Greece let us show you how is done!

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 10, 2013, 7:00 am
  154. Egypt’s “Bros” under arrest:


    “The Pipes Rule of Arab Elections” still the most accurate science known to man except for, maybe, exterior ballistics…

    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.


    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 10, 2013, 7:14 am
  155. The onset of the World Wide Web has impacted the Middle East in more ways than those that were running and ruling it for decades were aware of.

    It has redefined what Public Office means and will determine the future of anyone intending to make an “honest” living managing human and civil affairs.

    The ability to pose a question on the WWW to gain insight and understanding on any matter will outweigh “traditional” education … and will be cheaper than having to pay an arm and a leg to receive one by Harvard, Oxford or Brown.

    It will take courage for those that have been educated “traditionally” to understand how the WWW can change everything and will make use of it.



    Posted by Whatever | July 10, 2013, 12:24 pm
  156. Whatever

    Thank you for revealing yourself to be none other than PeterinDubai, R2D2, etc. Did you forget that you are banned from this site?

    Bye bye now.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | July 10, 2013, 12:43 pm
  157. Busted!

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 10, 2013, 12:59 pm
  158. I demand a prize for outing him first?!

    Posted by Vulcan | July 10, 2013, 1:56 pm
  159. Vulcan,

    I demand a seat on the UNSC.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 10, 2013, 2:08 pm
  160. Bummer! I don’t even recall why “Whatever” was banned in the first place…..

    Posted by lally | July 10, 2013, 2:29 pm
  161. File this under “DONTGETIT”:

    Rogue’s gallery of abusive regimes seek seats on UN’s Human Rights Council:


    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 10, 2013, 2:29 pm
  162. Lala,

    C’mon! Whatever was anti-Israel. AIPAC and “Foggy Bottom” control this website (among other things).

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 10, 2013, 2:31 pm
  163. Lally

    Whatever/PeterinDubai/R2D2 has trouble controlling himself on occasion, and descends into misogynistic and racist rants. He’s one of the few people I’ve ever banned.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | July 10, 2013, 2:36 pm
  164. Thanks for the reminder, QN. I thought perhaps it was for excessive sock puppetry….Too bad he couldn’t self-stifle because he has had some unique perspectives.

    BTW. I applaud your tolerance & appreciation for free speech…..

    Posted by lally | July 10, 2013, 2:48 pm
  165. <>

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 10, 2013, 3:09 pm
  166. Brown Nose Alert

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 10, 2013, 3:10 pm
  167. AP, if i was QN i’d ban you for excessive daniel pipes references.

    Posted by Vulcan | July 10, 2013, 3:30 pm
  168. Vulcan,

    My references to Daniel Pipes should do the opposite, and elevate my status to “Zionist Emeritus” or at least guesst speaker.

    But if you want, I can do some role-playing and introduce references from Juan Cole, Norman Finkelstein, and/or “Veterans Today”.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 10, 2013, 6:22 pm
  169. OK, enough BS.

    Today’s “QN” Question of the Day:

    1.) Was the Egyptian military’s ousting of the MB and Morsi from office a “coup”? (meaning the US would have to stop foreign aid to Egypt by law)

    2.) Are you glad/happy/”fine & dandy” that this occurred?

    My answers: yes, and yes.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 11, 2013, 7:10 am
  170. AP, without going into your usual tactic of “But look what the Arabs are doing to eachother”
    can you reflect on this “hasbara”


    Posted by Vulcan | July 11, 2013, 11:52 am
  171. Vulcan,

    I didn’t see anyone strike the little kid. He was crying just like the kids I see crying at Target because they don’t get a toy or a candy.

    That being said, the most disturbing thing I read in your article was that the father was tied-up and blindfolded. Why?

    In summation, since you asked, yes, the IDF can be heavy-handed and they can make mistakes and they have committed crimes. OTOH, there is a microscope on Israel and the IDF unlike any other military and OFTEN, the media makes mistakes and exaggerates these events as documented by the pro-Israel media watchdog, CAMERA.

    If the arabs treated each other as “nicely” as Israelis treat Palestinians, thousands of lives could be saved, including those with their hearts and heads chopped off. Currently the status quo is what each side wants. The PA wants continued occupation and no end to the conflict and so does the GOI.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 11, 2013, 2:01 pm
  172. Vulcan,

    When your jeep or Humvee is going 50 mph all a kid has to do is just lob a stone into the air and you get hit by a stone as if someone threw it with a speed of 50 mph. It is quite lethal to unarmored cars and gets old very fast even when you have an armored vehicle.

    The specifics of this case need to be examined further and it is quite possible the soldiers overreacted. The whole point though is not that Israel does not make mistakes. Where was this incident originally published and where did you link to? The Israeli press. The Israeli press is free and does a pretty good job of holding the IDF accountable.

    As I explained before, the IDF is a conscript army. In every unit you have left leaning people as well as right leaning ones the vast majority of which are not remotely interested in a military career and would rather be somewhere else. It is difficult to act badly without one of the soldiers going to the press. And now with every soldier having a smartphone, it is almost impossible.

    Posted by AIG | July 11, 2013, 3:27 pm
  173. This could be part of the problem. But I think there’s been a drastic improvement these past few years now that these kids are probably all grown up and fighting in Syria….


    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 11, 2013, 3:38 pm
  174. Seems as though the BBC MidEast website also carried this story (not surprising). I guess because with everything going on in the ME, this story is critical. The article explains that the father was handcuffed and blindfolded because they were take to a military base.

    Moral: Don’t throw stones? B’Tselem is needed not only in Israel? Make love, not war?


    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 12, 2013, 6:54 am
  175. “When your jeep or Humvee is going 50 mph all a kid has to do is just lob a stone into the air and you get hit by a stone as if someone threw it with a speed of 50 mph. It is quite lethal to unarmored cars and gets old very fast even when you have an armored vehicle.”

    This logical conclusion coming from another Israeli Guy

    That means you should blow up a bee with a cannon as well…as “When your jeep or Humvee is going 50 mph all a bee has to do is just sting your face and you would be zig zagging at 100mph trying to ward of the damned insect..”

    Nuke the freaking bees!

    What an IDF explanation!

    Posted by danny | July 12, 2013, 7:28 am
  176. Danny,

    The whole issue of “proportionality” is important. I agree with you. OTOH, it RARELY gets applied in the various world conflicts as much as it does in Israel.

    That is why drones are so important in Israel, because they direct missiles to very specific locations in order to decrease the chance of killing innocent civilians, despite the fact that these “resistance professionals” attack Israel, illegally, from population centers.

    In this case, the rock throwing that Vulcan linked to, I didn’t see one person get hit. From what I read, the little kid was taken to his father (they were not together) at an Israeli military base and released. Is this a “big deal” to you?

    Meanwhile, here’s an example of what happens when people throw stones at cars:


    What do you think Israel should do with the people who threw these stones?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 12, 2013, 8:33 am
  177. This kind of behavior would not be tolerated in any civilized country

    Posted by dontgetit | July 12, 2013, 9:56 am
  178. dontgetit,

    1.) What “behavior” are you questioning?

    2.) Next, give us the name of another “civilized country” in the ME, so we can investigate what, in fact, IS “tolerated” there.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 12, 2013, 10:38 am
  179. AP,

    “What do you think Israel should do with the people who threw these stones?”

    I am sure you want the honest and RIGHT answer. LEAVE THEIR LAND!!!

    Posted by danny | July 12, 2013, 12:04 pm


    Like the Sinai and Gaza? I’m afraid in those cases, the cute little stones (that can kill and injure) turn to rockets and missiles. I’m all for leaving “their land”, but it will take both sides to determine where that is exactly. Meantime, both sides are equally responsible for the fact that this problem has lingered this long.

    But let’s focus on this specific issue. B’Tselem released a YouTube video of a group of IDF soldiers escorting a 5 yrs old child into a jeep. The child was crying. Today’s MidEast BBC website is carrying this incident as their number 3 article. The title of the BBC article is “Israel accused of boy’s detention”. The boy was throwing stones with is very dangerous, and the boy’s parents were not with him, so the IDF brought the child to the father.

    That’s bascially what I saw and what I read from all these news sources. No one was slapped around, no one was hit with a baton, no one was buried alive, shot or decapitated. Frankly, I don’t find anything newsworthy except that, perhaps, “Jews are NewZ”.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 12, 2013, 1:04 pm
  181. Danny,

    A bee hitting a windshield just splatters. A stone that is big enough hitting your windshield kills you and your passengers. Let’s see what you would do in Canada to kids dropping rocks from an overpass of an highway down at the cars below. I’m sure that if it was done by a Native American the first thing the Canadians would do is leave their country. You always propose brilliant solutions.

    Posted by AIG | July 12, 2013, 1:37 pm
  182. Israel is occupying their land! Stop the BS AIG!! …and read again what I said about the bee…As usual spin it to fit the cover up the savagery of IDF!

    Posted by danny | July 12, 2013, 3:14 pm
  183. Redefining “Savagery”


    Explain how this is a case of “savagery”? No one was hurt.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 12, 2013, 5:34 pm
  184. Don’t try to be cute. The savagery was obvious-this was a five year old kid.

    Posted by dontgetit | July 12, 2013, 5:48 pm
  185. Dontgetit,

    Yes it was a five year old kid. Where was the “savagery*? Or is this word only reserved for those dressed in a IDF uniform no matter what they do?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 12, 2013, 6:01 pm
  186. sav•age•ry (ˈsæv ɪdʒ ri) n., pl. -ries.1. an uncivilized or barbaric state; savage condition; barbarity.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 12, 2013, 10:59 pm
  187. You know what? I just hope that the Arab and Muslim security forces and Armies be as much as “savages” as ghe Israeli Army or Security forces. Before criticizing try to put your houses in order ya chabeb…

    Posted by imbsp | July 13, 2013, 12:48 pm
  188. Zionist Savagery NewZ

    Although a lot of attention has been on Egypt and Syria (for some strange reason), it looks like another dozen Iraqis have been “savagely” blown to bits. An almost daily event.


    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 13, 2013, 5:56 pm
  189. Please. There is nothing in that story to indicate that five-year olds were among the people killed so there is no basis to try to compare that to IDF savagery.

    Posted by dontgetit | July 14, 2013, 8:03 pm
  190. Dontgetit,

    The savagery exposed by IDF criminals and 5 yr olds doesn’t bode well for CIA operatives and the neocon conspiracy in Iran and elsewhere.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 14, 2013, 10:54 pm
  191. In other news, some people are having interesting discussions about the Israeli strike(s) on Latakia being sourced from a Dolphin Class submarine firing missiles that quickly skim the surface and the rumored US collaboration in the operation.

    That 3 count’em 3 administration officials leaked to CNN claiming Israeli responsibility for the hit reinforces the message of joint operations.

    That’s the point.

    Some people are looking hard for Russian, Syrian, Iranian, HA, whosomever response and speculating madly about what it could mean in the crafting of policies on the fly re Syria.

    Posted by lally | July 15, 2013, 12:20 am
  192. That’s the point.


    You and dontgetit keep sbeaking in parables. What IS your point?

    Danny said previously:



    Last I heard, the GOI returned the Sinai to Egypt. It used to be a great place for tourism. Not anymore….


    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 15, 2013, 6:36 am
  193. Dear dontgetit

    I do recall that once upon a time, you espoused very different views on my blog than you do today. It was cute for a while, but now your charade strikes me as disingenuous and unhelpful. Would you mind returning to your originally scheduled personality, as promised two years ago?


    Posted by Qifa Nabki | July 15, 2013, 8:36 am
  194. Why is my TV set talking to me NewZ


    I think your website needs a resident psychologist and/or social worker. Discussing the ME tends to cause personality changes.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 15, 2013, 8:49 am
  195. I said it before!! Ha!!

    Posted by 3issa | July 15, 2013, 9:56 am
  196. Ha!! I was converted by Mo, who no longer posts here. After reading his posts for a time, it wondered what it would be like to be so unhinged and hateful and thought it would be fun to try for a while. I didn’t realize how much work it would be – frankly, I don’t know how Danny keeps it up.

    Thanks for finding my first post. It was a real question at that time as I didn’t know how embedded the term “Resistance” was in anti-zionist culture and it was confusing, since the word didn’t signify what it actually means. I realize now that it is common parlance and is used like a proper noun rather than a description, but at the time, it was relatively new to me. (I chose my name since it fit my particular question, which I thought, at the time, would be the sum total of my participation on this blog). Certainly, Hezbollah’s actions since then have made it clear that they have much more on their agenda than resisting the Zionist Entity (I mean Israel – I can write that now, in uppercase and without quote marks- what a relief).

    I have actually learned a lot here and enjoy following the discussions so thanks, Elias, for providing it. This is one of the few English language Levant-centered blogs around, which makes it quite valuable as a way of learning about the world. I look forward to participating.

    Posted by dontgetit | July 15, 2013, 10:53 am
  197. I’ve noticed that the level of discourse and the topics at hand have sharply dropped in quality in the past year or so around here. No offense to anyone. But I recall a time when we used to engage in somewhat interesting debates (albeit a lot of it theoretical and analytical, but that was the fun). It seems like now, we’ve run out of things to rehash, or I don’t know…it seems like random name-calling and spouting generalities has become the norm.
    I wonder why that is.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | July 15, 2013, 12:12 pm

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