Lebanon, Syria

People of the Book

saehI’ve written something for The New Yorker’s literary blog about the fire at the Sa’eh Bookshop in Tripoli. The first paragraph is below, followed by a jump to the site.

If you’d like to donate books to the library, check out the book drive’s Facebook page. Would prefer to make a cash donation? Here’s the relevant page.


Letter from Lebanon: A Bookshop Burns

On a Friday night shortly after New Year’s, a group of men broke into an antiquarian bookshop in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli and set it on fire. The shop belonged to Father Ibrahim Sarrouj, a Greek Orthodox priest. A longtime resident of Tripoli’s old Serail neighborhood, he had amassed a large collection of books—rare first editions of scholarly texts, novels in different languages, dictionaries, encyclopedias, out-of-print magazines—in the forty-plus years since he opened for business. The fire burned for under an hour before it was discovered, but an untold number of books were destroyed.

Tripoli is a mess. Just a few miles from the Syrian border and comprising a religiously mixed population, it’s become one of the most dangerous places in Lebanon. Sunnis and Alawites—variously at odds since the Lebanese civil war and now feeling the stakes of their feud deepened by the existential conflict next door—lob mortars and rocket-propelled grenades at each other’s neighborhoods while car bombs explode outside congregational mosques. A preponderance of religious and political powerbrokers in the city has made it difficult for the Lebanese Army to establish order. Radical Islamists—previously a kooky fringe in Lebanese politics—attract more support each day from Tripolitans incensed by Hezbollah’s involvement on the side of the Assad regime in the Syrian civil war, which has brought over a million refugees into Lebanon. Meanwhile, the princes of the alleyways (as neighborhood strongmen are sometimes called) vie for influence with the city’s other grandees, including two Sunni billionaire politicians and a former security czar. (keep reading)


425 thoughts on “People of the Book

  1. BV,

    What you said in your last comment, no one can argue with. You basically made an accurate diagnosis of the problem(s).

    The question is what then? Now that you have identified the illness, can you come up with some form of social contract that every one can sign on? This is the crux of the problem. There are tons of analyses that all agree with what you said. But they cannot go beyond being as such: analyses.

    I am afraid, that a time may come soon when a general realization will set in that this post Sykes-Pico arrangement of Lebanon, Syria and beyond was fundamentally flawed, artificial and made the greatest disservice to the area and its people. It will look like it was only meant to serve an era and the powers who benefitted from it, and that era is now coming to an end. This is not my own discovery. The subject is widely discussed in many circles inside and outside Lebanon and in some cases in the open.

    And that’s when everyone will need to look for cover.

    Posted by Mustap | January 27, 2014, 2:25 pm
  2. Good grief, this lady looks like a porn star! I have to admit, I got a bit distracted watching her lol

    Another observation, on most Lebanese political shows, the interviewer asks a question and proceed to interrupt and argue with the guest, as if to prove they know better or something, very unprofessional and far from the journalistic ethos of objectivity.

    Posted by Vulcan | January 27, 2014, 2:30 pm
  3. MUSTAP,

    The solution, the “what then?”, is exactly what Wakim is proposing: Reform of the now-defunct system into a secular, non-sectarian system. Same thing I’ve been saying.
    In practice, the way that can be accomplished is by having all parties sitting in a national conference (a Taef of sorts, only not sponsored by foreign powers) where all parties sit at a table and provide CONCESSIONS by agreeing to work for a new Lebanon.
    That means all parties will have to agree to give up what makes them who they are (a near impossible task, I admit).
    HA, Hariri, the FPM, the Christians, Jumblatt, etc sit in a room and all agree to work for Lebanon and not for their sect, create a new secular, non-sectarian constitution, universal suffrage, popular vote for the president. A secular/democratic election law for parliamentary elections, and agreeing to hand over all power to the state and its institutions (and yes, this includes disarming) and to abide by the rule of law (this also means a truly independent judiciary).
    What are the chances of this actually happening? Zero. Sadly. Because none of these parties have any vested interest in doing what it takes for Lebanon, because 1) This reform will mean they all cease to exist in their current form. 2) They are all beholden to foreign powers who have no interest in giving up their Lebanese pawns for free.


    Porn stars are actually a lot more attractive looking than this.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 27, 2014, 2:43 pm
  4. BV,

    But Najah Wakim is nobody.

    So you gave a theoretical solution and then replied to your own solution by saying that it has zero chance of success.

    Now you need to go back and think the other part of my comment.

    Are we to enter post Sykes-Pico era?

    My answer is chances are way geater than zero and closer to 70% increasing by the day.

    Posted by Mustap | January 27, 2014, 2:57 pm
  5. LOL @ “Doctor Geagea? What Doctor?”

    This is priceless entertainment.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 27, 2014, 2:58 pm
  6. I read your comment. But what do you propose for the post Sykes-Picot era?

    Yes. I said the chances of my solution to pass are zero. There is a difference between what I would like to see happen, and what I think will happen.
    My prediction for what will happen is that Lebanon will continue to be as it is today, for the foreseeable future.
    Sometimes, proposing solutions is indeed theoretical because there are no solutions that have a realistic chance of passing. I believe that is the case in Lebanon.
    I think the best we can do is to push and educate towards this secular systematic reform. But I have no illusions in the short term.
    Sometimes, there are no solutions possible…Not everything is solvable.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 27, 2014, 3:02 pm
  7. BV,

    There are many proposed solutions and I think they are all workable solutions better than the current stagnation. Examples:

    1) Lebanon may shrink back in size to well know historical geographies. Aoun will then have his say and become what he always wanted to be less the bickering with un-enthusiastic Lebanese from other sects.

    2) Jumblatt will continue to cater to his communal instincts in the Chouf mountains without having to play the spoiler joker

    3) Sunnis and Shia will square it off among themselves without having to resort to the tactics of artificially enlarging their ‘dicks’ using fake and un-enthusiastic allies (like Aoun, Jumblatt, etc…)

    4) We can go further and talk about merger after merger after dissolutions that will make some groups happy and others less happy.

    5) The possibilities are endless.

    But they all have one common denominator: the are ALL workable.

    In fact, the region may have already entered its 100 year war, all thanks to Hassan of Bazorieh, his Iranian masters and their Alawite clients.

    I say 100 years. But it could 5 or 10.

    Posted by Mustap | January 27, 2014, 3:30 pm
  8. Considering the world politics in this day and age, I don’t see scenarios involving secession/partition/re-drawing of the maps as very realistic, to be honest. Not to say they can’t happen. But I think them just as unlikely as my proposed solution.

    For the most part, the days of redrawing maps (a la WW2/post-colonial era) are long gone.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 27, 2014, 3:35 pm
  9. On the contrary, the borders have been in a state flux throughout the world since WW2. Africa for example, south east Asia, the Soviet Union…..

    I see the same thing happening in the Middle East within the next 10 years.

    Days of redrawing maps are not gone at all.

    Posted by Mustap | January 27, 2014, 3:47 pm
  10. You know though , Bad Vilbel, Wakim is pro-resistance altough he has expressed his disagreement (albeit with underdtanding reasons for this) with HA on entering the syrian foray.

    Here is what he said -as an instance- on the burgas accusation:

    إذا كان ضمير هؤلاء قد سمح لهم بتجاهل التاريخ المشرف للمقاومة ودورها الوطني الكبير في تحرير الأرض في أيار العام 2000، وفي صد العدوان في تموز 2006، فكيف لهم أن يتجاهلوا دور المقاومة وسلاح الردع الذي تملكه في منع إسرائيل من الاستيلاء على مجالنا البحري وعلى ثروات لبنان النفطية؟ وكيف لهم أن يتجاهلوا حقيقة أن الدولة اللبنانية لم تجرؤ منذ العام 1960 على التفكير في استثمار مياه الليطاني إلى أن مكنتها المقاومة من اتخاذ القرار بتنفيذ المشروع الحيوي الذي وضعه المهندس المرحوم إبراهيم عبد العال؟”. وختم: “إن هؤلاء الذين يرفعون عقيرتهم بالصراخ ضد المقاومة وسلاحها، ويفبركون الاتهامات المضللة ضد حزب الله إنما يثبتون أن أعداء الداخل أشد خطرا على لبنان من أعداء الخارج”.http://alkhabarpress.com/%D9%86%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%AD-%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%83%D9%8A%D9%85-%D8%A3%D8%B9%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AE%D9%84-%D8%A3%D8%B4%D8%AF-%D8%AE%D8%B7%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D9%84%D8%A8/#sthash.8WLTqNA2.dpbs

    And in regards to the involvement in syria

    أشار رئيس “حركة الشعب” النائب السابق نجاح واكيم إلى ان “الشعب يقع ضحية الإرهاب المتنقل بين مختلف المناطق اللبنانية”، معتبراً ان “الرأس المدبّر واحد لكل التفجيرات التي حصلت في مختلف المناطق، لأنه من الواضح ان الغاية من كل هذه التفجيرات هي إشعال الفتنة الطائفية في البلاد، وهذا الهدف المحدد يعود لجهة محددة”.

    وفي حديث تلفزيوني، أضاف”إذا راقبنا الخطاب السياسي لكافة الأفرقاء في البلاد، نرى ان هناك جهة معينة تشكّل بيئة حاضنة لهذا الإرهاب من خلال خطابها السياسي، ونرى من لا يريد الفتنة في البلاد ومن يريدها”، مستغرباً “الوقاحة أو الصراحة السعودية بإعلانها التحالف مع إسرائيل”.

    كما رأى ان “لبنان لم يكن يوماً مستقلاً بالمعنى الحقيقي للإستقلال”، لافتاً إلى “غياب عقاب المجرم في البلاد”، معتبراً ان “هناك أمراً ما يعدّ في لبنان ونرى بدايته في التفجيرات المتنقلة التي تشهدها البلاد”، مشيراً إلى انه “ضد قتال حزب الله في سوريا، إنما هذا الحزب ليس أول من شارك في الحرب السورية وليس الأخير”، لافتاً إلى ان “حزب الله ذهب إلى سوريا ليس للقتال إلى جانب النظام السوري، إنما لحماية لبنان في سوريا”.

    وشدد واكيم على انه “لا يمكن ان يسقط النظام في سوريا من أجل نظام بديل”، معتبراً ان “السبيل الوحيد للخروج من الأزمة السورية هو الحوار بين الأفرقاء”.


    Posted by Trinkets | January 27, 2014, 5:47 pm
  11. BV, The only issue I take with calling Lebanon a failed state is the implication that it migrated there from the unfailed position. It’s a miracle things function at even this basic level. Another reason I am happy to have HA around, they provide, in close coordination with the LAF, the ‘monopoly on violence’ that the state should really be providing.

    Posted by Epok | January 27, 2014, 5:53 pm
  12. Mustap, the redrawing of borders such as there has been, mainly around the end of the cold war, looks to me mostly like previously existing political entities with pretty clear borders disengaging from collapsing empires. The central asians states had a long history before the USSR and just reverted to that. The problem in the middle east is that in some places where that could happen naturally, kurdistan comes instantly to mind, there are powerful (NATO) players who will prevent it. In others, like SA, the previous borders are not well defined. In the specific case of Lebanon it is hard to see how, given todays population distribution, partitions could be drawn. I was quite surprised on an exploratory drive into Nahr Brahim to find it completely settled by shia…I had always had a map in my mind where coastal beirut north until batroun was christian, but nope…

    But I do agree that there is a bigger issue problem in the region…these countries are not particularly natural border-wise speaking.

    It’s useful, to give context, to remember that Italy is only 150 years old. The Cote D’azur was not part of france until the 1860s, so the concept of stable borders and peace is not that old in Europe although we often have the impression its always been this way. The French Revolution took about 45 years to play out.

    Maybe Condi was right, birth pangs of a new ME (apologies, I hate her and that disgusting quote).

    Posted by Epok | January 27, 2014, 6:06 pm
  13. Trinkets…good job on Michael Weiss and thanks for the quote from Wakim as Bing translated below:

    “If the conscience of these people has allowed them to ignore the history of the resistance and the role of supervisor of Grand National Liberation in May 2000, and in repelling aggression in July 2006, how to ignore the role of resistance and deterrence, which is owned by preventing Israel from taking over our maritime wealth Lebanon oil? How can they ignore the fact that the Lebanese State since 1960 dared to think of the Litani water investment that enabled her opponent from making the decision to implement the vital project of the architect, the late Ibrahim Abdel Aal? “. Seal: “those who raise their voice to shout against the resistance and disarm, and manipulate the misleading accusations against Hezbollah, but prove that the enemies inside more dangerous on Lebanon from enemies abroad”

    Wakim appears to be in alignment with the commonly held near universally scathing contempt for “the enemy within”.

    BTW. According to the immediate post-bombing local media reports, the Burgas crime scene was immediately “secured” by the FBI, CIA,and the Mossad.

    See a pattern?

    BV. That broadcaster looks very much like a character on Bravo’s The Shahs of Sunset.

    Posted by lally | January 27, 2014, 6:08 pm
  14. Thanks for the Aoun supporters for pointing out that the LAF is deeply penetrated by the terrorist proxies of the Iranian theocracy, something we all knew for quite sometime. But now is officially admitted.

    It is now up to the French, the US and other donors contemplating providing assistance to the LAF to revise their plans accordingly. And perhaps, they should then classify the LAF as a state sponsor of terrorism.

    On the next round, whenever it comes, the LAF would be a legitimate target for Israeli attacks. And we’ll have no excuse to complain or object to any friend or foe.

    Aounish stupidity in full display. We, who are against such agenda, should just sit down and watch the buffoons of the General playing their spiteful and sectarian agendas in the open. We only need to give it a little kick and it will ju….st flourish!!! That’s all.

    Please, enlighten us more with your ‘valuable’ insights on how the Lebanese State should function.

    Congratulations QN about your enchantment with the General and his folk.

    When we say peasants attempting to be statesmen, you laugh at us. Or should we say now donkeys playing pianos?

    Ivy league. ha….?

    Posted by Mustap | January 27, 2014, 6:11 pm
  15. So there are people , good people, who don’t see having moqawama and urgent reforms as mutually exclusive. In fact, i wouild venture that he sees both as necessary to maintain integrity on thhe external and internal fronts (this support, im positive, does not extend to shady characters on the M8 side).

    Also, from the interview, one can infer that his suggestion is not to haver the vampirr-like fortune-sucking feudal-political lords to gather around the table and magically give us a true uncorrupted democratic sysyem. He proposes using the imminent void by pushing through an alliance of uncorrupted civil socviety leaders and likeminded politicians.

    Lets be real, this would be more doable than having the feudal leeches let go of arteries.

    Posted by Trinkets | January 27, 2014, 6:13 pm
  16. My last comment pertains to the Wakim interview.

    Posted by Trinkets | January 27, 2014, 6:16 pm
  17. Hey Ivy league,

    You need to remember, that current borders in the Middle east are much much newer than all that you mentioned, and therefore are far far from stable, not to mention that they were drawn by outside powers that are no longer relevant.

    It doesn’t matter what population nahr Ibrahim or Batroun may have. We are not discussing details here. We’re looking at the big picture and where things are heading. Delineations may come in later.

    But tell your General that this is his only option to become a president of something (in this case a farm suitable for peasant work as befits the qualifications)

    Posted by Mustap | January 27, 2014, 6:20 pm
  18. 1) I don’t agree with Wakim on everything. The “resistance” support being a major sticking point. I still found most of what he had to say quite salient.

    2) Epok: I agree with you that Lebanon was almost always a “failed state”. But it certainly has been more so after the retirement of Fouad Chehab. I’m not saying I’m pro Chehabist, but the state certainly functioned with a certain degree of what makes for states: Some sovereignty, prior to 1969, a state monopoly on power (again pre 69), functional institutions (pre 75), and so on. It’s certainly failed and fallen much harder since then.

    3) Trinkets: While I agree that having an alliance of uncorrupted civil leaders push the reform onto Lebanon, etc, we all know that that’s very unrealistic considering said “uncorrupted civil leaders” are few and far between in Lebanon, and have very little following. Not to mention no ability to commit violence to bring about their change. The current leaders, on the other hand, have a following, the strength of some force, etc. The argument is moot anyway, the likelihood of either happening is zero.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 27, 2014, 6:23 pm
  19. Also, I don’t understand how some of you are humouring suspicious elements here supporting the partitiining of Lebanon and bombing of Lebanese citizens. I mean, show a modicum of belonging. Again that destructive long stick.

    Posted by Trinkets | January 27, 2014, 6:24 pm
  20. Bad Vilbel, have you joined any such organisations – instead of just discussing it here for the purpose of ‘sharpening arguments against others’? I think instead of being half assed (no offense, i include myself), we can assume there are like minded others (and lebanon is bursting at the seams with people who are fed up with the system) and perhaps do our part?just as thought…I find the lazy pessimism rather depressing.

    Posted by Trinkets | January 27, 2014, 6:30 pm
  21. Trinkets,

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but lazy pessimism is my thing 🙂

    All joking aside, I have been pretty pessimistic about Lebanon since growing up there. I have since moved on with my life. Unlike some, I value my family, my health, my career and my social conscience, more than I value the idea of liberating Palestine, or preserving Christianity in the ME, or any of those notions. So I moved away and have not regretted it one bit.
    Every one of my pessimistic predictions for Lebanon and the region has so far come to bear, so no, I have long stopped trying to make a difference.
    Does it make me a hypocrite for following from afar and engaging in internet debate on the topic? Probably. But that’s the best I have to offer. I’m a selfish guy who’s had a lot taken away from me by Lebanon and the Lebanese people (I grew up there in the civil war years) and have therefore made the conscious decisions to think more about myself and the things that matter to me. I’ve already sacrificed enough for Lebanon in my youth and have frankly not gotten anything to show for. Lebanon can go to hell now for all I care, basically.
    Very cynical, perhaps. But I’m being perfectly honest here.

    I’m not one to sit in my comfy chair here abroad and tell those of you who chose to stay to “keep up the good fight” and “keep sacrificing for the good of your children”. Not in the light of how poorly things have turned out for my generation. My advice now is “Get the hell out and give your children a normal life.”

    Doesn’t stop me from chiming in with my pessimistic 2 cents here.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 27, 2014, 6:58 pm
  22. It looks like dilettantes can only write extremely boring and parasitically long long comment. But when it comes to comprehending what others say, they need urgent help.

    Hey trinkey what island do you come from?

    Posted by Mustap | January 27, 2014, 7:00 pm
  23. Mustap, you may have misunderstood me. I like being called Ivy league…you can all me caviar eater too (I actually don’t like it that much and save my money for truffles, white ones).

    but seriously, you may have misunderstood me, I am in fact saying that it would be pretty reasonable for the relatively new borders of the Mid East to be volatile given how recently they were volatile in places that now appear the ultimate in stability. So I think you are violently agreeing with me…make a note, it’s rare.

    Who is to say, that the correct model for Lebanon is not Spain under Franco?

    And as for this gem “… the Aoun supporters for pointing out that the LAF is deeply penetrated by the terrorist proxies of the Iranian theocracy, something we all knew for quite sometime. But now is officially admitted.” ammm….officially admitted? Which official…

    Is it a secret that Aoun, who led the army, has massive support within the army? Is it a secret that the shia in the army sympathise with Hezballah? Is it a secret that Hezballah makes huge efforts to help the army maintain neutrality even insisting they tolerate a piece of ambulant filth like as sir until it was too late?

    Actually assir is a good point. A disgusting individual, a person who was responsible for the deaths of several LAF servicemen. The trigger happy Grand Theft Auto side of me was itching for HA to send a couple of of their operatives to dissect him and the rubbish around him, maybe dump into the sea like the US did to ObL. But they did not. Typical example of long term interests and thoughtful action.

    Just to be clear, I was pointing out that the portioning of Lebanon which I hear even sane people discuss sometimes is, IMO, a complete geographical impossibility.

    Actually the beautiful thing is that Israelis, with their settlement web are making the part ion of palestine impossible in the same way. Birth rates being what they are and relative emigration rates to NYC being what they are, it it not obvious that Palestine will come into being by simple force of demographics and it will be from sea to jordan. And I suspect the Palestinians, despite their current trauma, will tolerate the large jewish minority. Honestly, what is up with the Israelis? In 1967 they took the west bank and gaza despite a clear cabinet decision not to. They then refused to return them despite clearly foreseeing the disaster that would follow, and they are now integrating the Jews and Palestinians in a tight woven tapestry…how else can it end?

    Posted by Epok | January 27, 2014, 7:14 pm
  24. BV, Your comment on why you left Lebanon made me think (and made me sad). A lot of us here have no clue what we are doing here. Increasingly little clue. I wonder if it might be that the ‘revolted’ ones who should become the revolutionaries have all left, and those here are just the experts and letting things slide.

    My pet theory about why HA has accomplished more than any of the other militia is that the Christians feel quite at home in France or the US, the sunni feel broadly at home in the region whereas for an Arab Shia there hasn’t really been anywhere to call home (Iran not being arab, the shia in the arab countries marginalised) and so they have no where else to go, they stay and fight.

    Posted by Epok | January 27, 2014, 7:21 pm
  25. No, it doesn’t make necessarily you a hypocrite, Bad Vilbel. I think its a common malaise many immigrant lebanese and arab people carry. i’m being a bit pompous here but still, its palpably common, a combination of being rightfully concerned with your life (however you see that), a variant degree of dislike and yet a residual care for the country, jadedness, some lack of mindfulness towards others (-see last paragraph-) adulterating the first element mentioned herein and perhaps a bit of maladriotness – a something not quite right. a paradoxical mix, a bit distasteful (to me). I see in in many here – and there are others who just have sad eyes (I’m talking of arab immigrants – especially iraqi and syrian). I feel for the latter more. They’re sweeter people.

    Sorry, it might just be that I’m seeing too many ghosts with sad vacant stares.

    Anyway, its always good not to be a party pooper for those who can’t afford (have the means) or want to leave the country. Lebanon is full of good honest people; its not fair. Where there’s a Wakim, there’s way!

    Posted by Trinkets | January 27, 2014, 7:26 pm
  26. “whereas for an Arab Shia there hasn’t really been anywhere to call home (Iran not being arab, the shia in the arab countries marginalised) and so they have no where else to go, they stay and fight.”

    I kinda disagree Epok. Shia were (at least almost) as likely to be working in the Gulf Arab as the Sunni or anyone else. Its just recently – with the Gulf Arab increased hostility towards Iran- that the rifts have grown wider and Shiites – not just Arab, Pakistani and Indian as well as others- feel that the threat of having their resident visas being annulled by the UAE, KSA (and most certainly Bahrain) and other GCC countries . I used to live and work there for a while. But, religiously – and it depends on which GCC country we’re talking about (UAE has shia mosques, I can’t imagine KSA having any in non Shia regions, ie all metropolitan areas and the larger part of the country)- the Shia cannot always practice the idiosyncratic elements of their religion.

    I also have reservations about Lebanon Christians being able to acclimatize better than others. I suppose its a question of how much one is attached to one’s religion. For a practicing Maronite, being in Montréal, for example – where there is a large and, as i hear- dynamic church presence- might well be an advantage that a practicing moslem (sunnite or shia) can’t profess to having.

    Posted by Trinkets | January 27, 2014, 7:39 pm
  27. ‘Ivy League’ (with sarcasm to be clear this time & with no ambiguity),

    I sarcastically called you Ivey League, because you were eager to show us off your resume as if we are an employment agency. And now you are telling me you like being made the object of sarcasm? In this case, you’re welcome and you can be certain that we will not disappoint you. This is a laughable behaviour to be displayed on pages like a blog. I mean who are you trying to impress? A group of anonymous posters, Some of whom may have achieved more success than you can dream to accomplish in a lifetime and others may be just the average Joe?

    But this is typical show off Lebanese behaviour, which many of us have shed away long ago since we left this hell hole where you currently live. It seems that your apparently unproven residency in ‘Ivy League’ environment only helped you to reinforce this childishness. So what is so Ivy about your credentials to look for, assuming we are really interested in your resume? Zilch.

    Worse, when you say what you said about the LAF and Hezbollah, it clearly shows that you are a simple novice who has no real experience in life. Who will say what you said?

    Now as to your claims about the LAF, are you aware that more than half of its staff are from the North who would sack your General and Hezbollah on a whim? And who would buy your preposterous claim that the General really has the imagined massive support within the army after 25 years since he was discharged? Most if not all of his peers are now retired. It is more likely Suleiman has the real support within the LAF and not your pathetic senile General.

    I really do not understand this subject of Assir and your Grand Theft Auto zeal to witness the full dissection of the person’s body in public in order to satisfy your sectarian most base instincts. Why ask Hezbollah to do it for you? Why not go and do it yourself? I am sure you will feel more satisfied, accomplished and proud of a real achievement having done something you really want to do in life. And as an additional tip, you can come back here, share the experience with us and add it to your ‘Ivy’ credentials!

    Posted by Mustap | January 27, 2014, 7:47 pm
  28. Trinkets…I sometimes feel very optimistic too. There are a lot of great people here and there is a ‘vibe’ that I think is unique. Perhaps the web between people has to be stronger to account for the lack of state.

    It’s only a little theory…I know the Shia (and Christian) Lebanese were pretty welcome all over the gulf. I lived in Saudi for 5 years. But I don’t know if anyone would be able to settle in any of those countries and call them home in a multi-generational way the way people who emigrate to the US, Brazil or France often do. eh…forget I said anything…it’s weak.

    Posted by Epok | January 27, 2014, 7:48 pm
  29. Epok “Actually assir is a good point. A disgusting individual, a person who was responsible for the deaths of several LAF servicemen. ”

    And now we have a multitude of Assirs, north and elsewhere. The Internal Security Force people eat fish (sorry, no arak with that though or they’ll get their heads chopped off I guess) with the Assiris.

    Notwithstanding the anti-resistance sensibilities of some here, here is Zahran on the sordid state of our security and the takfiris (don’t ask why NBN – its certainly not because i’m in love with the makeup (though it would be nice we don’t overtly disparage people with poor choice of accessorizing themselves)

    Posted by Trinkets | January 27, 2014, 7:49 pm
  30. I am indeed a simple novice…someone more sophisticated would not have engaged with you I suppose…

    Posted by Epok | January 27, 2014, 7:50 pm
  31. BTW, sorry Lally if many of my links center on arabophone material (if, i assume correctly, you don’t understand or read arabic). But, well, there’s no escaping…

    Posted by Trinkets | January 27, 2014, 7:53 pm
  32. Trinkey,

    Mosques in Montreal are every where and they are not the Shia type. Just to let you know in case you’re thinking of moving over. And by extension every major metropolitan in this part of the world has similar arrangements.

    Now I am sure you are from some remote island and have never seen the civilized world, notwithstanding your preposterous claims . So what island you currently live on? Or could it be you are from some remote mountain village in the hell hole you’re trying to escape from?

    Posted by Mustap | January 27, 2014, 7:57 pm
  33. Can we ditch the gutter talk, Mustap? Walla mish daroureh.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 27, 2014, 9:01 pm
  34. QN,

    It was not my objective to exchange such trivialities. I apologize to you.

    But it was necessary, in my opinion to respond to a very grave and irresponsible comment by what I am convinced is a simple amateurish novice speaking of the Lebanese State and Army as he/she did.

    If you like just say the word. I will post no more.

    Posted by Mustap | January 27, 2014, 9:23 pm
  35. Almost choking on hatred there. And not too bright either. Can’t they pay for better propoganda? Maybe its voluntary work, hence the lack in quality.

    Mosques attract muslims of all nationalities. So, its not a Lebanese affair.

    On the other hand, Maronite churches happen to cater, typically, to Lebanese. And there is a large Maronite community in Montréal.

    Ergo, the spirit is both religiously and culturally communal with the Maronites => communal and dynamic (forming a network of people meeting people)=>feels more like home than would a mosque with its international multiethnic clientele. I also remember they’ve recently had a change of bishop.

    Posted by Trinkets | January 27, 2014, 9:33 pm
  36. Trinkets, you too. Propaganda w ma propaganda… Kelo 7akeh bala ta3meh.

    In other news: People are eating grass in Homs: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25908347

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 28, 2014, 9:14 am
  37. Synagogues attract Jews of all nationalities.

    I hope this post adds to the “conversation” we’ve been having over the last few days, and prevents Iran and Hezbollah from entering Syria to prop up a murderous, autocratic tyrant.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 28, 2014, 9:32 am
  38. Why do I have a feeling Mustap is none other than…drumroll … The Iceman? I maybe wrong, but I detect the same (na3ra ta’efiya)
    love this word na3ra, what does it exactly mean in English? Anyone knows?

    Posted by Vulcan | January 28, 2014, 9:35 am
  39. Me too what? Im not telling people they come from hell holes and advocating Israel’s bombing of Lebanese. Yes its propoganda. That indivuidual has not been discussing but propogating his poison out of hatred. Ill call it out as I see it.

    Posted by Trinkets | January 28, 2014, 10:05 am
  40. No personal attacks, please, plain and simple. It quickly gets out of hand. I don’t have the time or inclination to moderate the “he-said, no-he-said” stuff in this comment section. So just do me a favor and keep it above board.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 28, 2014, 10:22 am
  41. Vulcan

    The word na`ara means chauvinism, arrogance, haughtiness.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 28, 2014, 10:23 am
  42. I don’t see the personal from my side. Ok, except for the choking bit…beh, thats what you should have -perhapz rightfully , and will try to avoid henceforth- objected to..not the propoganda bit (which was genuinely impersonal even Iif possibly hyperbolic. Hatred was an accurate description).

    Posted by Trinkets | January 28, 2014, 10:30 am
  43. Vulcan,

    I was also wondering whether it was iceman cometh…Although I have not heard him invoke the “Law” yet. 😀

    Hey teacher leave them kids alone!!!

    Posted by danny | January 28, 2014, 11:04 am
  44. I am not aware of a previous incarnation of having lived in an ice age.

    Anyway, with regards, to QN’s request about keeping above board, there is no problem with that.

    But sarcasm should be considered above board. You know you can accomplish a whole lot with certain trivial arguments using the technique. Besides much of what is written nowadays would be unreadable without it (just scroll upward or downward through this thread to satisfy yourself).

    Propaganda 7hki bala ta’meh needs sarcasm, that is my HO.

    But, I am sure Akbar Palace doesn’t feel at home when and if he goes to a Synagogue, unlike the na’arajiyeh who prefer a cocoon of their own they call home.

    Posted by Mustap | January 28, 2014, 11:34 am
  45. O’ just to be exact, I have been through a polar vortex they call the polar pig. I am not sure if that is considered an ice age.

    Posted by Mustap | January 28, 2014, 12:06 pm
  46. coming from نعر which is, i think is to have a nasal inflection, to have a twang. I suppose the word نعرة on its own indicated a stylsitic inflection towards the subsequent qualification: so together, a sectarian inflection. Although نعر as a verb suggests directionality `moving or heading towards. so a sectarian inflection indicating an antagonism against a sect on the part of another party.

    perhaps both are related to the fly (nasally sounding and in motion) – another semantic i found

    Posted by Trinkets | January 28, 2014, 12:33 pm
  47. But, I am sure Akbar Palace doesn’t feel at home when and if he goes to a Synagogue…


    I feel most at home with people who expect the same from from me and my people as they expect from themselves and their people.

    I’d say that’s about just over half the participants here.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 28, 2014, 1:23 pm
  48. Thanks QN and Trinkets for the linguistic hand. Sorry to have interrupted, sometimes we need a distraction, sort of like a Rob Ford room clearing fart, to put everything into perspective.

    Mustap, sorry to have confused you with a previous poster who had a similar combative style. I agree with your insistence on allowing the martial art of sarcasm.

    Posted by Vulcan | January 28, 2014, 1:23 pm
  49. So anyone know if we’re getting a government?

    Posted by Epok | January 28, 2014, 1:33 pm
  50. Not if Basil keeps on throwing a tantrum.

    Posted by Vulcan | January 28, 2014, 1:45 pm
  51. If der General is so worried about the Christian rights, why not let the phalange take the ministry of energy?

    Posted by Vulcan | January 28, 2014, 1:48 pm
  52. Akbar Palace,

    Just making sure you caught the sarcasm! I didn’t mean it seriously.

    As you may have noticed, some need a clear explanation of what was intended, as we have discovered to our dismay!

    Vulcan… It’s OK.

    Posted by Mustap | January 28, 2014, 2:00 pm
  53. Mustap,

    I wasn’t sure if you were being sarcastic; I usually employ quotes or a wink. I have been enjoying your posts because I can tell you’re not a professional muqawama!

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 28, 2014, 2:34 pm
  54. When der General says “The Christians” he really means “My immediate family”… Transpose that into his speeches about the government and it will suddenly all make sense 🙂

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 28, 2014, 2:38 pm
  55. Akbar Palace,

    The intended sarcasm was addressed to the resident propagandists on site ,who made an earlier comment extolling the virtues of having church(es) with only ONE ethnicity/nationality usually attending I have been to Montreal, and I know for sure that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The church(es) in question is usually attended by a variety of people of differnt backgrounds and nationalities.

    You made an intelligent comment in response to that comment, which I used in the context of my comment.

    Thank you for that. As you clearly pointed out and anticipated, it did contribute immensely to a dead and boring thread.

    Now, I need to make couple comments/questions about the government that seems to be on the cesarean table in Lebanon.

    Does the energy ministry have the same threatening effects on Christians’ well being in Lebanon as we have been told here and elsewhere by ‘may he entomb the General’s eyes’ as the General would love to, compared to threats of so-called phantom ‘takfiris’?’ This is what Bassil is telling us, isn’t it?

    Why doesn’t the General and his beloved son in law sit down and make a complete list of all the perceived threats facing his Christian faithfuls and tell us what they are so that we can deal with them one a t a time?

    We promise to make him extremely comfortable in return.

    Posted by Mustap | January 28, 2014, 3:31 pm
  56. LoL @ ‘ may he entomb the General’s eyes’ I don’t think the non Arabs would ever get this one..they aren’t much into entombing for love like us.

    BV, I am so innocent, all the while thinking he was about change and reform.

    Posted by Vulcan | January 28, 2014, 4:08 pm
  57. This is a tricky one. If I write it in Arabic, non-Arabs wouldn’t understand it either!!


    Posted by Mustap | January 28, 2014, 4:19 pm
  58. OK, I found it.

    Watch the movie Troy and pay attention to Peter O’Toole’s agony in wanting to entomb Hector by putting two coins on his eyes.

    Any other suggestion is also welcome.

    Posted by Mustap | January 28, 2014, 4:25 pm
  59. Who mentioned it as a virtue? And who said ‘only’? I said typically. Apparently my description was accurate.

    I didnt just happen to visit…and yes, I know a couple of families who go to the mentioned church – its a lebanese hotspot, naturally.

    But then again, blind hatred never made one cognisant.

    Posted by Trinkets | January 28, 2014, 4:31 pm
  60. Mustap,

    Thank you for your patience. My knowledge of Lebanon and the “players” are very limited. Even in Israel, new “players” come on the scene (e.g. Bennett), so it is a bit hard keeping track of them. I remember when the christians were close to the Zionists; now they back HA. Am I right or did I generalize too much?

    My understsnding of Lebanese politics is that the players and groups change alliances a lot in order to survive.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 28, 2014, 4:37 pm
  61. Is this humoring me?

    C’mon either/or.

    On a positive note your comments are becoming shorter which is a good sign: Less 7haki bala ta’ameh.

    Posted by Mustap | January 28, 2014, 4:40 pm
  62. Akbar Palace,

    You generalized a little bit.

    Many Christains nowadays are still opposed to Hezbollah. Some of them are in bed with Hezbollah through an autocratic form of an arrangement with the organization struck on their behalf by one person who is good at misleading. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some audience among his followers who listen to his argument or lack thereof. It is mostly indocrination based on cultivating fears, imagined or real, and a nostalgic yearning to an era in which the Christains had many privilages and now they have less.

    The funny thing about it is that those Christians who benefited from the privilages in the past are now opposed to Hezbollah. The Christians who follow the General enjoyed very little privilages in the past and they now are in bed with Hezbollah hoping they will get to discover the taste of privillages they never had with the help of Hezbollah terrorism.

    But truth is, Hezbollah wants all the power for its Iranian masters which supesedes any other prerogative.

    You are right. Lebanese change allies as they change shoes.

    Posted by Mustap | January 28, 2014, 4:51 pm
  63. How loyal are the Palestinians do the various other Lebanese groups? Surely there is some recognition that much of Lebanon’s suffering, both by the imposition of Hezbollah and control influence and prior to that Syrian, has been in the name of support of “The Resistance” on their behalf. Lebanon could have a peace deal with Israel tomorrow, with all the economic benefits that would entail, if not for loyalty to the Palestinian cause. Obviously, Lebanese understand what they have chosen. Does the appreciation run both ways?

    Posted by dontgetit | January 28, 2014, 5:18 pm
  64. ooops. Lot’s of typos above. Here is the corrected version:
    How loyal are the Palestinians to the various other Lebanese groups? Surely there is some recognition that much of Lebanon’s suffering, both by the penetration of Hezbollah control and Iranian influence and prior to that Syrian control and influence, has been in the name of support of “The Resistance” on their behalf. Lebanon could have a peace deal with Israel tomorrow, with all the economic benefits that would entail, if not for loyalty to the Palestinian cause. Obviously, Lebanese understand what they have chosen. Does the appreciation run both ways?

    Posted by dontgetit | January 28, 2014, 5:19 pm
  65. Hah! And we’re back to the Palestinian cause….

    There’s a saying “More catholic than the pope”, I believe.
    Apparently, Lebanese (specifically the leaders and their rhetoric) are more pro-Palestinian than the Palestinians themselves.

    HA, and the pro-resistance figures often speak of the Palestinian cause as going hand in hand with “resisting Israel”, when they are the ones who are starving the Palestinian inhabitants of Yarmouk.
    The Palestinian factions in Lebanon have not had much significance, I would argue, ever since HA took over the mantle of resisting Israel in the 90s, under Syrian hegemony. Basically, once the Assads (father and son) had played out their use for the Palestinians, and found themselves with a better armed, more directly compliant, local force (HA), the Palestinians became pretty much moot and useless as a political card. So they were mostly forgotten. They’re given lip service now and again.
    With the advent of takfirism, the Palestinian camps in Lebanon (already deemed outside of the control of the Lebanese state) simply turned into a hot bed for the tafkiri “reaction” to HA and the Syrian civil war (your Fath Al Islams, your Assirs, and now, apparently, your Nusra Fronts in Lebanon).

    I hope that answers your question (if it was really intended as such).

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 28, 2014, 6:24 pm
  66. You are right. Lebanese change allies as they change shoes.


    Thanks for the explanation. It is a “schonda” that a peace treaty can’t be signed with Lebanon. I think HA would prevent it.

    Here is the definition of “schonda” FYI. Another yiddish “sch”-word everybody should know. BTW – My link refers to “Eric Cantor”, I guess, because he is a Jewish Republican. Another example of why Joos are so dumb in my estimation. All my jewish heroes are conservative republicans or likudniks. 🙂


    Another conservative Jew, Charles Krauthammer, is a “mensch” unlike the team of schtoopid Jewish Senators we have in congress like Levin, Boxer, and Schumer…

    That’s your lesson for today;)

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 28, 2014, 7:41 pm
  67. One F-in’ Republican in a sea of Liberals. What a schonda!


    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 28, 2014, 7:46 pm
  68. QN

    Do you think that HA will be willing, out of loyalty, to stand with GMA? Is this just obstructionism or is GMA making sure that no government is formed (either on behalf of a third party or for his own existentialist needs)? I had the impression that HA and Hariri finally wanted to form a government that will neither have the Baabda nor the People resistance in their stance. Could this be a complication between GMA and HA (reaction to the Syrian campaign)? Is there a strong figure to replace GMA or Bassil in the pursuance of the MOU with HA or is this a family affair?

    Posted by Parrhesia | January 28, 2014, 7:54 pm
  69. Family affair.

    And i think GMA is just posturing for his share of the spoils, regardless of HA and Hariri’s stance. Trying not to feel left out, if you will.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 28, 2014, 8:06 pm
  70. The corporal and FPM have been left out of the two most important decisions lately. The senile village idiot is a good tool in the hand of HA.

    He was ignored when they extended the parliament’s term…He was again ignored when they extended Kahwaji’s term. God knows what’s the political deal that Iran is working out with the US. HA will follow what their masters dictate in Tehran. Remember Nassrallah making fun of M14 and taunting them in his December 2013 speech; whereas he “instructed” them to accept the 996 formula…or lose everything…The bearded wonder has folded like a cheap bill lately.

    Posted by danny | January 28, 2014, 8:44 pm
  71. A Palace. The late salafist al-Zarqawi accused HA of protecting Israel from Sunni takfiri terrorists wanting to cross Lebanon’s southern border

    BTW. There’s a new meme gaining ground; the Salafist Crescent:

    “In the last decades an Iran-dominated Shia Crescent was considered the main
    threat to Israeli and regional security. The growing involvement of Salafi
    jihad in the region has produced a new threat. The latest operations of
    al-Qaeda and its affiliates in the three countries of the Shia Crescent –
    Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon – highlight the group’s growing regional influence
    and ambitions.”


    Posted by lally | January 28, 2014, 8:46 pm
  72. I don’t understand the various numeric formulas that have been discussed with regards to the government.

    Could anyone, please, explain the difference, if any, between 9-9-6 and 8-8-8?

    Let me first say what I understand:

    In 9-9-6, both March camps would get two 9’s. In other words, anyone camp can use a veto. They have no need for an extra minister who is not in their camp neither overtly nor covertly to obstruct.

    In 8-8-8 no one will have a veto, at least in theory. But how can we guarantee the ministers in the supposedly neural block are not just overtly neutral, but in fact are covertly pro- one or another camp and would resign or join the camp of the non-neutrals on orders from Tehran, through the Da7hye deep tunnel sewers?

    This is just a curiosity on my part. The non-curious part of me says there should be no government with Hezbollah, and there should be no such nonesense as people, resistance army ‘schnonda’.

    Point a la ligne.

    Posted by Mustap | January 28, 2014, 9:56 pm
  73. Even the Big Satan is urging that the Hezzies be included in the government?

    Probably under the orders of the Lil’ Satan.

    Posted by lally | January 28, 2014, 10:28 pm
  74. Bad Vilbel:
    You sort of answered my question, but not really. I was asking what the Palestinian posture (the ones living in Lebanon, in particular, I guess) was towards Lebanon and the Lebanese people, not which Lebanese groups claim to support the Palestinians the most.
    I realize that Palestinian opinion need not be a monolith, but there must be some sense of consensus opinion. Are they appreciative of the degree to which Lebanon’s politics and circumstances are a driven by support for the Palestinian cause? Is there gratitude towards Lebanon as a good ally?
    Or are they resentful that you aren’t doing enough? Or does no one know because no one talks about it?(Unlikely, but, perhaps because I don’t speak Arabic, I have never seen anything on this from the Palestinian end even if I have from the Lebanese.)

    Posted by dontgetit | January 28, 2014, 10:37 pm
  75. I am a medium sized Satan, but I don’t see how you form a government without Hezbollah. They are there, and a major player. You should make them disarm, though. Either that or turn command and control over to the army. That won’t happen, of course.
    Not sure there is any good solution.

    Posted by dontgetit | January 28, 2014, 10:41 pm
  76. A Palace. The late salafist al-Zarqawi accused HA of protecting Israel from Sunni takfiri terrorists wanting to cross Lebanon’s southern border


    Give up on the HA bandwagon and do yourself a favor. Sunni and Shia thugs and crazies are not good for anyone.

    If the majority of arabs had the mindset of the partipants here, the violent arab theocrats would all be begging in the streets.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 28, 2014, 11:01 pm
  77. Lally, this was known back in 2005; the Al Qaeda so called 20 year old plan.

    Its a silly delusion that Al Qaeda’s operations and expansion into Lebanon were a result of HA entering the Syrian arena or indeed were triggered by it. It might be voiced as an alibi but, in reality, one can only accept it in ignorance of a preexisting will to infiltrate Lebanon and generally the Levant.

    Unfortunately, intra-regional hatreds, arab regime corruption and despotism, lack of regional cohesion going back to the defeat of the pan-arab project and long term perspective blinds many and plays into their hand (as well as, naturally, Israel’s).

    perhaps you can run this thorough the translation site (or possibly the whole article)?

    فعلى سبيل المثال، تمكن أحد الأجهزة الأمنية، بعد انقضاء عام على الأحداث في سوريا، من الحصول على مضمون مراسلة بين أمير «جبهة النصرة» أبو محمد الجولاني وأحد أعضاء «القاعدة» البارزين في لبنان، تتضمّن خطوطاً عريضة لمرحلة ما بعد إسقاط النظام السوري، من بينها العمل على استقطاب كفاءات شبابية كمتخصصين في الطب والكيمياء والكومبيوتر والاتصالات، والانتشار الأفقي بين مختلف المناطق اللبنانية تحضيراً للعمل في لبنان.
    وتوضح المعلومات والوثائق التي حصل عليها الجهاز الأمني أن «الاستراتيجية القاعدية»، في لبنان والمنطقة، تتضمّن أهدافاً محددة على الصعيدين الميداني والاستقطاب البشري. وتعتمد هذه الخطة على وثيقة يتناقلها قياديون مرتبطون بـ«القاعدة»، تبدو أقرب ما تكون الى «استراتيجية تنظيم القاعدة ومراحل تنفيذها»، وهي مستقاة من كتاب صدر عام 2005 للصحافي الأردني فؤاد حسين بعنوان «الزرقاوي الجيل الثاني للقاعدة». فقد أجرى حسين مقابلات عدة مع كل من الشيخ «أبو محمد المقدسي»، أحد أبرز منظري «القاعدة»، و«أبو مصعب الزرقاوي»، في سجن سواقة الأردني. واللافت في الوثيقة تطابقها شبه التام مع أحداث السنوات الماضية وما يجري حالياً من أحداث. الوثيقة المذكورة، إضافة إلى كتاب آخر بعنوان «هكذا نرى الجهاد ونريده» يجري تداوله على المواقع الجهادية، يستعرضان الأهداف والخطط والمراحل المحدّدة سلفاً لوصول التنظيم إلى الحُكم. وتتحدّث الخطة عن «توسيع رقعة العمل الجهادي ليشمل العالم كلّه، باعتبار أنه سيساهم في تعاظم قوّة الأمة وإرهاب أعدائها»، وهي مقسّمة إلى سبع مراحل، وترتبط بجدول زمني يبدأ عام ٢٠٠٠ وينتهي عام ٢٠٢٠ موعد «تحقّق النصر النهائي».

    Perhaps you were already privy to the plan itself but to remind http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/13208/jihad-2020-assessing-al-qaida-s-20-year-plan

    I have my reservations about the part where he mentions that no jihadists played a role in the uprising. Its common knowledge that the extreme Muslim Brotherhood factions overlap with the Jihadists/Takfiris and they certainly played a strong part in the upheaval against Morsi and of course in Syria.

    Posted by Trinkets | January 29, 2014, 12:20 am
  78. And impotantly (in the sense of relevantly) note the last paragraph

    حزب الله في عيون «القاعدة»

    تتداول مواقع «جهادية» كتاباً بعنوان «حزب الله اللبناني وتصدير المذهب الشيعي الرافضي»، يعرض عقيدة الحزب من منظور «القاعدة». وقد نُشر الكتاب أول مرّة في موقع «منبر التوحيد والجهاد» الإلكتروني الناشط في نشر أفكار منظّر «القاعدة» الشيخ أبو محمد المقدسي، أستاذ أبو مصعب الزرقاوي، علماً بأن كاتبه هو الشيخ عبد المنعم مصطفى حليمة الملقب بـ«أبو بصير الطرطوسي»، الذي وقف في الصراع الدائر في سوريا إلى جانب «الجبهة الإسلامية» ضد تنظيم «الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام». ويختصر الكتاب نظرة «الجهاديين» إلى حزب الله، محاولاً تحذير أهل السنّة منه، ولا سيما أهل فلسطين. ويرى الشيخ أن «حزب الله اللبناني هو البوابة الكبرى لحركة التشيع العالمي، عبر بوابة فلسطين التي يتّخذ منها مطيّة لتنفيذ مهمته الحقيقية بنشر التشيّع في العالم». والجدير بالذكر أن الكتاب صدر عام ٢٠٠٢، قبل نحو عقد من تدخل حزب الله في القتال في سوريا.


    Posted by Trinkets | January 29, 2014, 12:26 am
  79. I don’t think there’s much of a “Palestinian opinion about the Lebanese” in a political sense these days. The Palestinian groups in Lebanon became mostly irrelevant in the 90s. They are not a factor.
    As for the civilians, I suspect many have differing opinions on the matter.
    But the way you asked the question made me think you thought of a “Palestinian viewpoint” in the same way as we talk about “The Shia” or “The Christians” or “The sunnis”, ie, to mean a group with a certain political leaning as a whole.
    I don’t believe there is much of that in terms of the Palestinians in Lebanon anymore.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 29, 2014, 1:55 am
  80. Trinkets.

    Is this 2/2004 State Dept translation of the “Zarqawi Letter” sufficient to grasp Zarqawi’s violent animus and his detailed plans for Shia and other enemies ? In his own words :

    “3 [sic]. The Shi`a

    [They are] the insurmountable obstacle, the lurking snake, the crafty and malicious scorpion, the spying enemy, and the penetrating venom. We here are entering a battle on two levels. One, evident and open, is with an attacking enemy and patent infidelity. [Another is] a difficult, fierce battle with a crafty enemy who wears the garb of a friend, manifests agreement, and calls for comradeship, but harbors ill will and twists up peaks and crests (?). Theirs is the legacy of the Batini bands that traversed the history of Islam and left scars on its face that time cannot erase. The unhurried observer and inquiring onlooker will realize that Shi`ism is the looming danger and the true challenge. “They are the enemy. Beware of them. Fight them. By God, they lie.”

    I first read about the Zarqawi accusations about Hezbollah securing Israel’s border in the Israeli media at the time he made the statement. The Israelis tasked with Israel’s defense/security know the score even as it mystifies American/UK/French/ Zionists of all faiths and factions; especially the Likud and their niks.

    “One, irreconcilable theological differences: Al Qaeda follows a Manichaean ideology that sees Shiite Muslims as the lowest of the low, even worse than the Jews and the “crusaders.” For Al Qaeda, Shiites are rawafidh (rejectionist Muslims) and should be fought like all other infidels. A week before he was killed by a U.S. air strike, the Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, issued a fiery statement accusing Hezbollah of acting as a protective buffer for Israel. Hezbollah, generally reserved in its comments on internal Islamic issues, first commented on Al Qaeda and its ideology soon after the 9/11 attacks when Hassan Nasrallah, the party’s secretary general, described it as an “entity trapped in medieval ages and bent on killing innocent Muslims.” In June 2006, Nawaf al-Musawi, the director of Hezbollah’s external relations office, replied to Zarqawi’s allegations by accusing him of being a tool of the United States and Israel against Arab resistance groups and by viewing his criminal acts as solely intended to ignite civil wars and sectarian fighting.”


    Posted by lally | January 29, 2014, 2:10 am
  81. Two things I’d like to add, though to unrelated bits of the the thread. Iran and Hezballah, in my view, are very concerned about the possibility of intra-islamic war. Recall that Iran suffered the Iraqi onslaught and would like to avoid a repeat I assume. Hezballah lives in a complex environment and also would probable like to keep tensions down. By supporting the basically sunni Palestinian cause, they make common cause with the sunni. Specifically for Hezballah, there is also the fact that it is hard to imagine a long term political solution in Lebanon as long as we have several hundred thousand non-passported, rights-abrogated palestinians living in misery here. I think that most lebanese have at some point realised that Lebanon can not really ever become stable longterm unless this huge issue is resolved. So I think there are many valid reasons why on a simple interest calculation HA supports the cause. Seperately there is a moral issue. I personally think the Palestinians are one of the most pathetic groups of people ever to be oppressed. They have no discipline, no loyalty to each other and honestly, at this point I personally couldn’t care less who lives to the south (assuming whoever it is is afraid enough of HA to leave us alone). I have spoken to several influential Palestinians and I always ask why they don’t come up with a plan and stick to it, or even why don’t they just dissolve the PA and effectively integrate Palestine and Israel and take it over from inside…the short answer is there are too many sell outs. Anyway, as I said, only tangentially my problem.

    About the government: if you live here you know that the electricity issues is a big problem. You would also know that getting gas out of the ground would be good from a public finance PoV among others. Wanting to stay in that ministry (which is not where you steal money, that would be telecoms) is about finishing what is underway: electricity rebuilding and gas exploration. The stealing from that ministry, remember this is the ministry running the EDL, the biggest money loser in the country, is about Lebanons interests. He even said to the mar14 guys…let us set it up, you can come steal later when the money flows. I have been involved in brining one exploration company through the process…it was pretty professionally run until the government resigned hampering progress.

    Finally, does anyone believe that a fait accompli government will actually take power? The parliament will not give it a vote of confidence. So they will not legally be entitled to take over the ministries. And then what, two ministers, two PM? An even worse situation than now? And if geageaos Saad of jeddah desides on street action, what then? HEzballah would probably find itself more or less obliged to do a repeat of May 2008 but followed by a proper coup d’etat…

    Do any of the followers of mar 14 engage their critical faculties? Ever?

    Posted by Epok | January 29, 2014, 4:54 am
  82. Who are you calling march 14 followers?

    The only follower I see here is you, justifying Baby Basil and senile Aoun’s shameless obstruction for the sake of STEALING. Who are you fooling really? We are all Lebanese here, unfortunately, some lack the integrity to admit that those they favor do engage in stealing.

    Posted by Vulcan | January 29, 2014, 10:15 am
  83. Also “I personally think the Palestinians are one of the most pathetic groups of people ever to be oppressed. They have no discipline, no loyalty to each other ”

    you are the typical bigot unless you include the Lebanese in that assessment.

    Posted by Vulcan | January 29, 2014, 10:22 am
  84. Thanks, BV. That answered my question (or, more correctly, advised me that there is no real answer).
    In return:

    Spoiler Alert: What follows has absolutely nothing to do with Lebanon or the Middle East. It is a link to an article that is an example of a bizarre slice of American culture. I am including it because readers of this blog, despite the obviously excellent English skills, do not all live in the US and might find the diversity of thought here interesting. To people who don’t live here or are not familiar with what is currently being taught in the our universities, this article might seem like a parody (much like I think some of the people who post here read like parodies). But it is real. People do think like this. Although if you read the comments, you will see that plenty of people thought the author is an idiot. For what its worth, this article has spawned a ton of counter-articles and responses, which you can search for if you want. Anyhow, here goes:


    tl:dr [First World Problems]

    Posted by dontgetit | January 29, 2014, 12:23 pm
  85. Dontgetit,

    I skimmed through the comment section of your linked article. To be honest with you, I would say more than 90% of the comments wouldn’t pass the QN aboveboard criterion, which is an extremely relaxed criterion in my opinion. Not that we should complain and call for additional restrictions. Just comparing.

    Parodies?… don’t even mention the term to the ‘resistance yoga’ class here on QN. This is a dead serious class, or else the bearded turbaned one with his field marshal will get you excommunicated for not doing your daily ‘exercise’ you’re being paid for as good as you should, never mind being the ‘heavyset’ or the skinny type.

    Posted by Mustap | January 29, 2014, 2:02 pm
  86. The odds for forming an all-neutral government are now much much higher than forming one based on any of the floated numerical formulas.

    It remains to be seen when and if the LAF will act decisively to enforce the rule of law and remove obstructing ex-ministers from government buildings. Miqati will not pose a problem. He’ll just go home no questions asked.

    This will be a crucial test for the LAF and may decide its fate among the majority of the Lebanese everywhere as well as among international would-be suppliers of arms. If it fails to do its job and enforce the law, it would most likely forgo any chances of receiving assistance from France, US or other western states for the purchase of weapons.

    Posted by Mustap | January 29, 2014, 3:39 pm
  87. Dontgetit, we liked you more when you belonged in the Resistance Camp.

    Posted by Vulcan | January 29, 2014, 3:41 pm
  88. Dontgetit,

    Why did you leave the resistance camp? I was thinking about joining, but I wasn’t sure about their benefits package.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 29, 2014, 7:32 pm
  89. EPOK, great post and analysis.

    In other news, anxiously awaiting a press conference from M14 politburodemaning 4G services to the oppressed prisoners in Roumieh.


    Posted by tamer k | January 29, 2014, 7:48 pm
  90. Epok,

    Do you ever wonder what is it like to get an Ivy League education (as per your word); and be so shallow and clueless at the same time when it comes to politics?

    Ever wonder where did ImBassil get his millions from? …and stop calling the village idiot a non sectarian; where all the while he is yelling incoherently about Christian rights!!…Not Lebanese rights.

    I have never met more clueless people than the followers of “Orange”…

    Posted by danny | January 29, 2014, 10:49 pm
  91. Thanks BV, Epok and Danny for your responses. It would be a shame if FPM is only a family affair and is not a real lasting institution (just for pluralism’s sake).

    Epok, HA cannot take over the government. Not at this stage. Not only because it will destabilize the whole region but because HA will no longer be a functioning entity with political cover. The question is whether they can afford to throw FPM off the next government while holding on to that political power that allows free reins and legitimacy. They may seek out legitimacy from Hariri or from Independents and Jumblat but that can never be as sure a thing as the agreement with FPM. Other options may be being part of the government without FPM and working out a deal with them later; or accepting a de facto government while ensuring that this parliament would not have a say (on constitutional ground) on the legitimacy of the parliament as long as either Suleiman or Qahwaji be the next president. I am not sure if this analysis makes sense; others may be better at reading what will transpire. One thing is certain: HA cannot take over the government as Epok describes; it needs to be able to function with political allies. That is why it cannot afford to lose FPM. That is not to say that I side with either M14 or with M8. Like many on this blog, I do hope that democratic processes may soon supersede feodal ones in governing the country.

    Posted by Parrhesia | January 30, 2014, 2:29 am
  92. Corr: legitimacy of the government.

    All this may be, like BV said, maneuvering to get better posts for FPM and not a serious disagreement with HA–but HA is taking a hell of a risk for an ally it has sidestepped lately as Danny points out.

    Posted by Parrhesia | January 30, 2014, 2:54 am
  93. Parrhesia, Thanks for an intelligent response. I believe that Hezballah has a combination of intelligence and discipline that makes for long term power accretion. It makes their opponents mad. They make calculations based on the long term and are willing and able to make huge sacrifices for long periods of time (including accepting to have less than 10% of the governments ministries despite clearly being the most powerful political force in the country). Their alliance with Aoun is deep and I don’t believe they sidestep him play dirty. I do believe though, that they realise he has no where else to go and that they can cajole him into making sacrifices knowing they are not taking the risk of him departing the alliance.

    I also agree that they have every interest in promoting the state, operating within the current political framework and using slow but steady pressure to move things forward. They are patient.

    However, as may 2008 shows, they are also not willing to go down any road that leads to catastrophe. In my view May 2008 put them in a position where they had to make a bad choice or accept a worse choice. I actually moved back to Lebanon in the wake of 2008 because I felt that things had been put onto the right track. I may have been right locally, but I did not imagine Syria happening.

    The region has totally changed since this summer. Their is a clear and unstoppable ascendance of Iran (which is really Iran with Russian and Chinese backing). There is no other dependable strategic partner: Israel causes problems, not solved them, Saudi has revealed itself to be a potentially traitorous servant, and the rest….well…either too small to be relevant or too messed up to help. Of course right now is not the optimal moment for a coup d’etat in Lebanon, but if descent into chaos is the alternative then yes I believe HA would act, I believe they have a detailed plan to do something.

    They might be willing to tolerate a short period of time where an un-acclaimed by parliament set of ministers sits outside the ministries waiting for the current guys to leave, but the legal position is clear, the LAF would have no grounds to act legally and would remain neutral as peas keepers. Resolution would not be easy nor would its source be clear.

    My analogy for the current situation is that you have HA and the saudis sitting at a chess game. Both are pretending to behave but the saudis keep wanting to move the pawns like queens. The saudis are threatening to end the game and overturn the chess board. But then the game ceases to be a game and it becomes the real world, and in the real world would the saudis want their proxies in a full on battle with HA? Given the regional situation today?

    The die hard geagea and hariri people, the ones who pretend to love lebanon but get offended that the army took Assir out, their squeals are the squeals of the powerless. But, on the other hand, blowing up civilians with 30kg car bombs is also the act of the powerless.

    Posted by Epok | January 30, 2014, 3:49 am
  94. The LAF would certainly have to keep the peas since it will be basella season, but they will simultaneously need to keep the peace.

    Posted by Epok | January 30, 2014, 3:52 am
  95. Tamer K…there must be grounds on this Rumi Prison issue to take a few senior officers and try them for treason…incredible.

    Posted by Epok | January 30, 2014, 3:58 am
  96. The legal grounds are very clear even to ‘non-Ivies’ (again sarcasm).

    If a newly formed government doesn’t get vote of confidence it becomes the new care taker government

    The outgoing care taker government ceases to exist. Thetefore, its ex-ministers would violate the law if they continue to occupy government buildings. They would have to be ejected by force.

    It is my ‘non-Ivy’ opinion that the army has no choice but to act, despite the objections of tye senile General who apparently ‘enjoys massive support’ within the armed forces.

    It is about time the the field marshal takes things into his own hands and head downtown to Nejmeh square with enough narjillehs and tents and camp there for a while with some hardcore ‘Ivy’ supporters. Hezbollah already did its share of two years service in the Square. The field marshal needs to do some real field work and not just sit down and tell us that the loss of the energy minstery by his ‘charming’ (mahdoum ye’ebir 3youno) son in law threatens the existence of Christians in Lebanon.

    Posted by Mustap | January 30, 2014, 7:52 am
  97. Vulcan,

    I wasn’t calling anyone specifically a March 14 th follower, and I understand that the implication I was could cause offence 🙂

    As for the loyalty/Palestinian thing, True the Lebanese as a whole do not have a great track record, but at least certain sub groups do. Homogenity is an important factor within groups. The finns are correct in my view to limit immigration. It’s not a rascist thing, it’s pragmatic. Look at the UK and France and all the problems linked to large immigrant pools. The US is a different kettle of fish. Everyone is an immigrant-it’s like everyone being a new kid at school (I know the American Indians are not, but they are about 1.5% of population).

    Within homogenous groups the Lebanese do better. Looking back further than 1975, the Maronites survived in the Kadisha valley for a few centuries, they seemed pretty ‘solidaire’

    When the Nakba happened, my dad was about 3. My grandfather used to tell him that in his village, which was a popular mountain resort for tourists, lots of Palestinians responded to the problem by just extending their vacations…permanently. His comment was that if the elite behaves like that, the place was screwed.

    It boggles my mind that no group has been able to achieve any success against the israelis at any time since 1948.

    To be clear, I think that they are victims, that Israel is engaged in an apartheid situation just as bad as South Africa and I listed my soda stream on ebay…I always found Scarlett very hot, but what an appalling lack of judgement. I suppose she has to work in Hollywood, though, with the Katzenbergs, Spielbergs, Goldwyns and Mayers…I don’t fault her calculation but still…

    Posted by Epok | January 30, 2014, 8:51 am
  98. With all due lack of respect for your clearly inferior educational outcome (no sarcasm, take it as insult) I do not think you have reviewed the constitution with a lawyer (the one I looked over it with graduated first from Harvard Law and USJ). One can have opinions on many things but on this point you are just wrong. Still, don;t worry, with a bit of study you too might aspire to take come online courses from an Ivy provider.

    Posted by Epok | January 30, 2014, 8:53 am
  99. Mustap, I reread your post and feel that my post did not adequately convey my contempt. I want to be clear that when I insult someone, I realise that the dialogue or contact with that person may be permanently terminated. In this case, that is my fond wish, so here goes. You are an idiot.

    Posted by Epok | January 30, 2014, 8:56 am
  100. Epok of the century,

    The contempt goes both ways. But I will sugar coat my reply to your insult in order to keep it aboveboard as required by QN’s Law. You are not an idiot. You’re an Ivy dimwit.

    No, your wish will not come true. You are on public forum, and as such are subject to its rules and criticism from whoever sees the stupid utterances you make.

    Your wish will come true only when you go private.

    Posted by Mustap | January 30, 2014, 9:25 am
  101. Boys boys boys… *sigh*

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 30, 2014, 9:43 am
  102. We are all Law abiding QNers, not the online trained Ivy Leaguers.

    Posted by Mustap | January 30, 2014, 9:59 am
  103. Epok,

    Just a few remarks…Not that I want to get into the middle of a pre Super Ball skirmish here.

    A. “With all due lack of respect for your clearly inferior educational outcome (no sarcasm, take it as insult) I do not think you have reviewed the constitution with a lawyer (the one I looked over it with graduated first from Harvard Law and USJ)”.

    It seems all Lebanese are graduating with Law degrees at Harvard; but how on earth does that make you a “Constitutional Lawyer” in Lebanon?

    B. When Miqati government was formed; the transition happened and then the parliament convened to give a vote of confidence.

    Also; mustap is right when he says:”If a newly formed government doesn’t get vote of confidence it becomes the new care taker government”…

    C. If you think all the BS that your senile village idiot is spewing should be taken for gospel…Now you know who are the sheeple. Agent orange must be having a bad effect on the herd.

    D. Stop the stupid remarks about Hariri, Geagea or whatever. You will not find many on this forum who follow them; not unlike HA/Orange herd.

    Posted by danny | January 30, 2014, 10:41 am
  104. So, Danny you think now I have enough understanding of Law as your fabled ice-age friend used to be?

    Glad I didn’t disappoint you!!

    Also glad I didn’t tarnish the reputation of the Lebanese being universally adepts in it.

    We are indeed a breed of born lawyers. Why do we need to go to Harvard or USJ to become what we already are?

    It’s in the genes.

    Posted by Mustap | January 30, 2014, 11:02 am
  105. Danny, I am not sure what you point (a) is about since I was not talking about myself and did not say he was a constitutional lawyer. One should consult a lawyer because the law is not just about reading a document, it is about precedent and previous jurisprudence and as such is not always accessible to laymen, even people with Ivy league education (btw trying to attack me on this basis does’t really work…it’s a good thing).

    But I did consult him because I was curious if my reading of the constitution was enough to go on. With Constitutions it often is, they are very essential documents, not often contradicted in law (by design).

    Your understanding of the law is incorrect. No government can take power without parliament giving its vote of confidence. Normally this is a technicality, but in this case it would not be.

    You can state the contrary but Article 64 Point 2 is pretty transparent on the subject:

    “The government shall not exercise its powers before it gains confidence nor after it has resigned
    or is considered resigned, except in the narrow sense of a care-taker government.”

    Click to access Lebanese%20Constitution.pdf

    I suppose one of the benefits of education is that they teach us to go to the source. They also teach us that assertion by itself is of no merit.

    I am sorry I bring qualifications up (like my friend the Harvard lawyer) I realise that qualifications are not respected in politics. I do hope you respect them next time you go to the doctor though, or the lawyer, or try to build a building.

    Posted by Epok | January 30, 2014, 11:38 am
  106. But in truth I am not a lawyer. And just to prove Ivy Epok’s point about how failed my education is, here it is:

    I am very highly placed in the most profitable company in the world in ABSOLUTE terms and it happens to be an energy company. I am not allowed to mention its name, on a forum like this, due to professional obligations. But you can easily find out by searching online (as this is your preferred way to become an Ivy Leaguer). I gave you enough clues.

    If the energetically mahdoum Bassil really wants to be an energy minister, which is unlikely, he will have to do his best to kiss my… unless he wants to keep the oil and gas underwater for the next thousand years.

    I will overlook the kissing part with the next minister when he takes over.

    Posted by Mustap | January 30, 2014, 11:43 am
  107. It boggles my mind that no group has been able to achieve any success against the israelis at any time since 1948.


    Define “success” in this regard. HA threw the Zionists out of Lebanon. Isn’t this success? Of course, Anwar Malik the Alergian commentator has a YouTube video that sort of throws water on the notion the arabs succeeded against the Zionists. And you should search Youtube to see how emphatic he was.

    Sharon’s strategy of giving up land for nothing was a great political ploy involving little risk. When the arabs have to govern themselves, they fail.

    BTW – I don’t see how Sodastream is making a profit. It’s no cheaper “brewing” your own soda, it takes more time, and you need this cluttering equipment. I say buy the f-ing soda at the store! And always buy generic. Israrl should stick to Hi Tech.

    Scarlett Johannson. What can I say. Her downfall is she’s a typical hollywood liberal. Anyway the new killer actress is Jennifer Lawrence….

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 30, 2014, 11:56 am


    yikes! ;o)


    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 30, 2014, 11:59 am
  109. Hi AP,

    I think Hezballah was successful against Israel, I meant no Palestinian group. I admit I wasn’t very clear.

    I think it’s a bit harsh to say the arabs can not govern themselves. Much as I dislike current Saudi policy, I can not ignore that the gulf countries, especially Oman and Dubai, have done a pretty good job considering the challenges of managing sudden vast wealth and living in this crappy neighbourhood. Compared to the oil rich and resource rich countries in Africa, the gulf looks like sweden…

    But yeah, things could be better. Esp in bey.

    Posted by Epok | January 30, 2014, 12:09 pm
  110. As for soda stream, I only thought it was good for turning tap water into sparkling…

    Posted by Epok | January 30, 2014, 12:10 pm
  111. Epok,

    I suppose you could make just sparkling water, but I think they make their money selling top-line flavors like Coke and 7Up, etc.

    Sell your Sodastream and do your job to thwart Zionism and jobs for Palestinians.

    I think it’s a bit harsh to say the arabs can not govern themselves.

    Yes, and I also think it is a bit harsh to say:

    Israel is engaged in an apartheid situation just as bad as South Africa

    So I guess we’re even! Arab-Israelis have just as many rights and privledges as black South Africans and Jewish Israelis today, with MORE rights and MORE opportunity than anywhere else in the ME. If you want to label Israel as an “Apartheid State”, you may as well put it on every arab state as well.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 30, 2014, 12:41 pm
  112. Epok, here`s what Wakin has to say about Jumblatt (quite an interesting tale there) , Amin Jmayel and the usual suspects

    س: ما سبب تبدل سياسة وليد جنبلاط؟
    ج: وليد جنبلاط ليس متقلباً كما يقول البعض، مع الاسف نحن لا نجيد قراءة تاريخنا، كل الطبقة السياسية منذ 200 عاماً لليوم هي نفسها، لا أحد يهمه الا زعامة الطائفة وكلهم يعلمون أن زعامة الطائفة تأتي من الخارج، وليد جنبلاط كان زلمة سوريا ونصّبوه على الطائفة، جاء من يقول لوليد جنبلاط ان اميركا تريد إعادة رسم جغرافي للمنطقة وسيكون هناك دولة درزية وإذا اردت أن تعطيك اسرائيل هذه الدولة عليك أن تلتزم بدفتر الشروط هذا وفيه مهاجمة سوريا وحزب الله وأمور أخرى والى آخره، التزم بكل ما طلب منه ولكنه تفاجأ بانه لم يرى الدولة الدرزية التي وعدوه بها. بالمقابل أراد جهة ترعاه راجع السوريين فارسلوا له دفتر الشروط.
    ألم يذهب كميل شمعون وبيار الجميّل الى سوريا حيث قالا لحافظ الاسد “خذوا هذا البلد فليأكله السبع ولا يأكله الضبع”. نعم كميل شمعون وبيار الجميل عرضا على حافظ الاسد ضم لبنان.

    أمين الجميل اعترف وافتخر بعلاقته بإسرائيل
    الاميركي حكم البلد “بصرمايتو”

    س: هل انت متأكد من هذا الشيء، هل لديك وثائق تؤكد كلامك؟
    ج: نعم نعم، هناك معلومات وهذا االشيء معروف عند الجميع، وسنه 1978 كانت السيادة بالتعاون مع اسرائيل وبوجه سوريا، هل تابعت أمين الجميل عبر قناة الجزيرة حيث قال وبلسانه وانا سمعته مفتخراً بالعلاقة التي بنوها مع اسرائيل، وفي اليوم الثاني القى خطاباً تحدّث به عن السيادة بوجه التدخل السوري، ماذا عن التدخل الاسرائيلي؟ انا في حياتي لم أكن رجل احد في لبنان بدليل أن الاميركي حكم البلد “بصرمايتو” وانا كنت ضده، أرسل الاميركيون لي السكرتير الاول بالسفارة الاميركية ديفيد هيلد، حينها مشى معه الكثير من هؤلاء الوطنيين الذين أصبحوا ابطال اليسار بثورة الارز، ذهب من عندي شحطاً، عام 1994. وايضاً عرض السوريون الوزارة عليي عندما كانوا يحكمون البلد وانا رفضت.


    Posted by Trinkets | January 30, 2014, 1:22 pm
  113. Epok,

    You are spinning and spinning. Let me give you a hint about reality checks here. Stop the bullshit about your consultations with “lawyers”…I clearly stated what I stated. Go back and read it again. As far as the “interpretation” of the so called Lebanese constitution; there is a precedent alright! A precedent where Berri shut down the parliament just because he had the KEYS!!! Precedent where the village idiots throws around meaningless slogans and statements.

    There is a precedent that your colorful side is a mafia…that would not hesitate to kill maim and intimidate to get others to see their ‘constitutional” rights.

    I challenge you to go back a few years… and not find a situation whereas both sides will parade so called constitutional experts and interpret the laws based on their stance(totally opposite).

    So please CAN your freaking so called education. You are sounding more and more like a lonely boy/girl who is looking for attention!

    Posted by danny | January 30, 2014, 1:42 pm
  114. AP, The mere fact that the Israelis measure themselves today by the standards of the arab states shows how far they’ve fallen. That country was founded by European idealists. They did a pretty good job setting things up, but it’s been all down hill since. You want to compare Israel to Saudi? Fine…Saudi might not be an apartheid state, but it has some serious issues, and it’s certainly near the bottom of any league of decency.

    But Israel is way off the path by any measure…I don;t even see who it could be argued otherwise. Anyway, of little interest, I can see where it’s going…single state, palestinian majority…it’s happening.

    btw, the South Africans also used to use that things about how well payed the blacks were in their factories…nice.

    Posted by Epok | January 30, 2014, 6:16 pm
  115. Trinkets, my arabic isn’t all that great [american mom] but I think the just of it is that Jumblat was willing to betray his country in an alliance with Israel in order to get a druze state, and the Gemayle clan was in league with them too…I always wondered about the details surrounding Bashir Gemayle’s death, why and who killed him.

    Who is this Wakim anyway?

    Posted by Epok | January 30, 2014, 6:20 pm
  116. Danny…you’re cracking me up. I gave you a link to the constitution…read it.

    Posted by Epok | January 30, 2014, 6:21 pm
  117. Epok,

    Somehow you seem to be on an island listening to the echo of your own voice….It maust be gratifying for you to be emulating the village idiot. 😛


    Posted by danny | January 30, 2014, 6:33 pm
  118. You want to compare Israel to Saudi? Fine…Saudi might not be an apartheid state, but it has some serious issues…


    I’ll compare Israel to any modern industrialized country. Btw – The KSA is more like an “Apartheid State” than the Zionist State in so many ways it’s amazing you would want to go there: freedom of religion, freedom of preds and the media, and even rights of women and that lovely thing called “sharia law”….

    If you need a boogeyman, just walk across the ME. You’ll bump into one every 20 km…

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 30, 2014, 8:10 pm
  119. Naja7 Wakim is a Nasserite leftist politician who has been – for a long period of time measured by, not days, months or years, but by the modules of burdened puffs, cigarettes and packs thereof – fighting against corruption and a non-sectarian state. the fact that you don’t know him is a bit sad – there are some good people driven out of the limelight, people who do not belong to the class of feudalist overlords cum 3omala playing a generational game of musical chairs. part of the problem here is that many of the people we’re talking about, shouldn’t have been there to be talked about in the first place.

    The gist is, yes, that Jumblatt -with a history of being Syria’s henchman- wanted to jump ship (ie Lebanon) after being told that Israel would permit him to preside over a Druze state allowed for within the US plan to repartition the middle east.

    Content of interview didn’t make mention Gemayal working with Jumblatt on the above though. He’s mentioned in connection with his treasonous dealings with Israel.

    Also mentioned is an account of Kamil Sham3oon and Pierre Jmayel going to Assad and asking him to annex Lebanon to Syria.

    The expression “l3ameilé bdamon” sometimes just makes sense. Its a subcultural sort of thing, no?

    So, although you’re sort of right about many Palestinians, the Lebanese are not better. And the Lebanese, by comparison to the Palestinians, are living under far more favourable conditions. Imagine had we been (directly) colonized – we would have torn each other a long time ago. Can’t you see the likes of some people here, gleefully waving their Israeli (Arab) passports, while the Israelis proper training police dogs to maul anyone who says ‘allah w akbar’?

    “129 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,519 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000. (View Sources & More Information)

    1,104 Israelis and at least 6,836 Palestinians have been killed since September 29, 2000. (View Sources & More Information)

    9,104 Israelis and 50,742 Palestinians have been injured since September 29, 2000. (View Sources & More Information.)

    During Fiscal Year 2013, the U.S. is providing Israel with at least $8.5 million per day in military aid and $0 in military aid to the Palestinians. (View Sources & More Information)

    Israel has been targeted by at least 77 UN resolutions and the Palestinians have been targeted by 1. (View Sources & More Information)

    0 Israelis are being held prisoner by Palestinians, while 5,007 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel. (View Sources & More Information)

    0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians and at least 27,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since 1967. (View Sources & More Information)

    The Israeli unemployment rate is 6.9%, while the Palestinian unemployment in the West Bank is 22.6% and 27.9% in Gaza. (View Sources & More Information)

    Israel currently has 260 Jewish-only settlements and ‘outposts’ built on confiscated Palestinian land. Palestinians do not have any settlements on Israeli land. (View Sources & More Information)”

    from http://www.ifamericansknew.org/

    But the hateful and bitter lot talking about comparing and measuring pints of blood….as if Israel can be measured by whats happening in Syria given the involvement of that other near-Israel in the gulf that we call Saudi Arabia… and, in their petty hatreds, desperate to absolve Israel with their drivel about how many Israel has killed over this year in comparison to the fatalities in Syria. These same people also, farcically, want to deny that there are such things as takfiri groups inspite of the concurrence of the whole world now over this matter. Their haughty stupidity and petty hatefulness blinds them, like little particles of hate nihilistically animated in brownian motion.

    People of that nature look back at the region cursing it for its ailments when they and their likes, their pettiness and hatreds, are but an original part of that rottenness. They curse Arabs and they can’t realize they are a curse upon the region and Arabs.

    Posted by Trinkets | January 30, 2014, 9:46 pm
  120. correction: fighting against corruption and for a non-sectarian state

    Posted by Trinkets | January 30, 2014, 9:48 pm
  121. Hm. Epok doesn’t know who Najah Wakim is. I’m gonna go ahead and guess that Epok is not Lebanese or at least has not lived in Lebanon in the past 40 years.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 31, 2014, 12:09 am
  122. Sorry but I didn’t intend that this (knowledge of Wakim) should be used to score a point against anyone – and that was not my intended purpose. I mean that it is sad that people like Wakim don’t get more exposure (because they’re not endowed with a ma7sobiyé). And he lay low for a long time, refusing to reenter the political fray through the backdoor (ie that acts as the maindoor within the Lebanese tradition) , although he got offered parliamentary positions during the Syrian era and he refused. A really good decent guy and a perfect gentleman. More sad, its painful that his like are not at our helm but the likes of Harriri and Jumblatt. But even if he did give up smoking, I can’t really imagine him without a fag.

    Posted by Trinkets | January 31, 2014, 12:59 am
  123. BV, I am (I already said this in another post) half Lebanese half American. I live in Lebanon, but grew up mostly in the UK. My knowledge of local politicians is not all that great when it comes to supporting actors, marginal players and details. Understanding what happens in Lebanon depends more on correctly figuring out what the major players internationally, regionally and locally are trying to do. Saudi, Hezballah, US, Israel etc influence events here, geagea is probably as low as you need to go, and even he isn;t really necessary anymore. [If you have doubts about me living here, I had lunch at Kitsch, a restaurant right above Hayek electric on the street coming off gemayzeh at Ahwet Leila. Hayek also runs generators and cable tv to the neighbourhood around here, and he has a little furn for manoushie-I don’t buy mine there though, I go to Ghattas a couple streets over towards sofil centre]. Plus I asked my girlfriend who grew up here about him and she had only a vague idea who he was so…

    Trinkets, did not take it as a point against me, not afraid to ask a question when I need to. Thanks for the answer. I agree with you on Palestine big picture wise, but I still think they have been poorly led.

    AP, you want to compare Israel to what, Norway? Switzerland? France? You were doing better when you were in the company of Saudi Arabia.

    I lived in Saudi for 5 years, I don’t need any education about the downsides of that place, especially these days when they are in league with the lovely apartheid state to the south. But calling it an apartheid system is just misleading, and unnecessary-there are many brushes you can tar them with.

    Apartheid has its root in the Dutch word ‘apart’ which spawned ‘apartheid’ ‘separateness’ in Afrikaans. What is a country that builds a giant wall trying to say about its two populations? That they represent a model of harmony? If anything, Israel is a satirising apartheid it is taking it to such an extreme. You the Israel/Palestine argument doesn’t even have an emotional sting to it. It is so obvious to so many people everywhere that the whole system is wrong, that I don;t even feel a need to argue it. The disinvestment movement is global and is raising the conciseness of people like midwestern americans…I think the work of the Palestinians is done. Oh, and Netanyahu not going to Mandela’s funeral because of “financial concerns” was such an awesome demonstration of truth. Probably the single ntanyahu action I appreciate the most.

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 3:31 am
  124. Danny, you are a funny guy. I’ve had too good laughs out of your comments. Very enjoyable…keep up the good work.

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 3:59 am
  125. Maybe we should all meet up for coffee…that would be real proof.

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 5:44 am
  126. Who the f#$k is Najah Wakim and why are the Lebanese so gullible to believe anything he says to be gospel? Is it because of their tribal mentality that they believe in a charismatic leader to lead them and their puny minds? Just because he talks a lot about politics, does not make him intelligent,it makes him a conspiracy theorist.
    Trinkets, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but your reading into the Joumblatt situation via Wakim is way off target. Firstly there never was, and never will be a Druze state because it contradicts the very basic tenets of the faith and therefore any talk of a Druze state is laughable within the circles of the “uqqal” who hold considerable sway over any decisions that the Druze chieftain makes regarding the destiny of the community. So Joumblatt would not have had this intention.
    Joumblatt is pragmatic and a realist whose main intention is survival. He acquiesced to Syrian hegemony because he wasn’t going to be an idiot and oppose the firm choke hold that Hafez Al Assad had over Lebanon especially when his father’s lofty ideals and rejection of Syrian entry led him to his death. He hates the regime more than anything, but bowed his head and bit his tongue until he saw an anti-Syrian movement gaining momentum, saw his chance to break free, joined Hariri and reconciliated with the Christians and at its peak culminated in the M14 demonstrations.
    How the hell did Wakim get information that Israel Lol and America Lol persuaded Joumblatt to “jump ship” Lol in exchange for a Druze state Rofllllllllll.
    Just because he looks cool chain smoking cigarettes and talking conspiratory politics does not mean we swallow his words whole.

    Posted by Maverick | January 31, 2014, 7:08 am
  127. Now we all know why the village idiot is insisting in keeping the oil revenues in his family. 😀

    Posted by danny | January 31, 2014, 7:56 am
  128. Am enjoying the comment section these days. New post coming this weekend.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 31, 2014, 10:16 am
  129. Maverick, I think this quote sums up the majority of leaders around the world. replace the word Joumblatt with another name and replace the issue of Syria and Hafez with what ever crisis they are facing:

    “Joumblatt is pragmatic and a realist whose main intention is survival. He acquiesced to Syrian hegemony because he wasn’t going to be an idiot and oppose the firm choke hold that Hafez Al Assad had over Lebanon especially when his father’s lofty ideals and rejection of Syrian entry led him to his death.”

    The other approach is basically what I consider the New Hampshire Patriot response “Live free or die”. Or the other version “Better to die on your feet than live on your knees”.

    Now these are some catchy slogans, they touch some bloody-minded part of every human being I think. But it’s not clear that many people actually agree. I think most mothers would rather live on their knees than die on their feet. I think most people just want to get along. But, on the other hand, the ones who actually express “live free or die” but their actions…well they are quite inspiring.

    Joumblatt clearly believe that it’s better to live on ones knees. Honestly, me, I don;t know if I’d have the balls to die for ‘freedom’. But how can I not respect those who do, even more so for not being able to myself!

    And that is why I love Hassan Nasrallah and all the Hezballah guys. “Live or die”-Hezballah/New Hampshire

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 10:28 am
  130. I wanna edit:

    And that is why I love Hassan Nasrallah and all the Hezballah guys. “Live FREE or die”-Hezballah/New Hampshire

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 10:57 am
  131. there is of course the Saad version “Better to live in jeddah than die in beirut” Or “Live free or move to jeddah”…i might need some help on this one.

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 10:58 am
  132. Live free or die? 🙂

    I don’t think that’s quite the ethic that is operative in Hizbullah’s case.

    Being willing to sacrifice oneself for a greater cause is not impressive to me. A jihadi suicide bomber’s self-sacrifice is not separable from his larger project. Most of the time, it’s a poor deluded young kid brainwashed into believing this is his best option.

    HA is a military force, and like any military force it depends on people willing to die. The US army, the IDF, and ISIS are no different in this respect.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 31, 2014, 11:10 am
  133. AP, you want to compare Israel to what, Norway? Switzerland? France? You were doing better when you were in the company of Saudi Arabia.


    Sure, let’s compare. How do Norway, Switzerland and France treat their citizens compared to Israel (and to Saudi Arabia for that matter)?

    I lived in Saudi for 5 years …. But calling it an apartheid system is just misleading, and unnecessary-there are many brushes you can tar them with.

    Now, as far as the term “Apartheid” is concerned, I found this definition:

    Apartheid (Afrikaans pronunciation: [ɐˈpartɦɛit]; an Afrikaans[1] word meaning ‘the state of being apart’, literally ‘apart-hood'[2][3]) was a system of racial segregation in South Africa enforced through legislation by the National Party (NP) governments, the ruling party from 1948 to 1994, under which the rights of the majority black inhabitants were curtailed and Afrikaner minority rule was maintained.


    Here’s what one black South African said about Israel being an “Apartheid State”:


    So as far as the State of Israel is concerned, there is no “racial segregation”, and thus, no “Apartheid”. The use of this term for Israel is intended for the profession muqawama only. Arabs and Jews can shop, play golf, go to the theater, go to the hospital, the doctor, or travel across the country together, unimpeded and guaranteed by law. The same goes for housing.

    Here is Freedom House’s list of countries with their respective ranking from “Free” to “Not Free”, Israel is the only “Free” country in the ME (KSA isn’t even listed), whereas Turkey is the only European country that is not “Free”.



    It was a pleasure informing you of a part of the ME that you have little knowledge about. Perhaps this is why so many Africans are trying to risk their lives crossing into Israel and why Israeli-Arabs don’t want to live under Palestinian leadership??

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 31, 2014, 11:12 am
  134. AP, a little article I stumbled across today. You’re right it’s not an apartheid state. It sounds more like prison.


    Now I don;t believe that some random article is proof of much, but you started it…and from israellycool.com? Sounds like a haven of impartiality.

    It’s not that I don;t like discussions, and you are certainly polite and pleasant to discuss with, but I can’t get excited about this argument at all. It just seems too obvious to me.

    And every Lebanese knows about Israel…they occupied Beirut and the South, we see them fly above us every day…we know exactly what they are.

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 1:00 pm
  135. QN,

    You really do not understand the mentality of soldiers in the IDF or their families. There is a HUGE difference between willing to risk your life and willing to die. As a veteran of many years of the IDF I can tell you that IDF soldiers are willing to risk their life but are not willing to die. A suicide bomber is not taking any risk as the outcome of his action is clear: death. The IDF soldiers and the families who send them to fight are willing to take risks but only under certain very clear conditions:
    1) There is no viable political alternative and there is a clear political or security goal being pursued
    2) The chances of success are high
    3) The government has done its utmost in planning so that risks are minimized

    Any government that goes to war without all the above conditions satisfied will not stay in power.

    We serve our country becomes our country serves us. It is not an ideological contract, but a utilitarian one. Of course there are people who are ideological in the IDF, but don’t forget that it is a conscript army and that 90% of the soldiers would rather be on the beach or at the university instead of eating dust, greasing tanks and cleaning latrines.

    So no, Hezbollah is VERY different from the IDF. The IDF cannot mount a suicide operation, Hezbollah can. All Hezbollah fighters or almost are doing what they are doing because of deep religious and ideological beliefs. The soldiers in the IDF are there 1) because they have to be there 2) because they want to serve their country as long as it serves them.

    Posted by AIG | January 31, 2014, 1:01 pm
  136. A new spokesman for all Lebanese is borne! Stay in your crib young lady/man!

    Posted by danny | January 31, 2014, 1:03 pm
  137. QN,

    I appreciate what you are saying. I also think that it is actually quite immature in many ways to “die for a cause”. It’s kind of lazy, thought wise. Hence my reluctance to personally sign on. In fact living a compromised life is probably the hardest way to push a cause forward (Hezballah is pretty good on this count too though, after all their leader basically has to hide underground). Mandela did not die for his cause, but he suffered.

    On the other hand I think I see a difference between someone who proclaims “live free or die” and a Qaeda suicide bomber.

    I recall reading a book about the battle of Stalingrad and there were suicide actions that were undertaken by the Russians that were really amazing. They served the interest of the group. The US Army used to send bombers over Germany with a tail of fighters. The Bombers acted as bait to the luftwaffe, when they would come up to shoot, the fighters would swoop in and shoot down the german planes. The idea was to eliminate the luftwaffe so that on D-Day there would be no airborne threat. It worked, but those were very close to suicide missions.

    So it is not suicide that is the problem with the qaeda guys, or death, it’s the free part.

    Qaeda would be more like “(you better) Live Sharia, or (we) die”

    Hezballah is “Live Free or Die” They don;t seem eager to die other than for the free part.

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 1:10 pm
  138. AIG,
    Hezballah fighters (actually fighter, I only know one) told me that his experience with the IDF and then in Syria completely backs you up. He said fighting the IDF was easier because an IDF soldier, once cornered, would surrender. Whereas the Chechen or whatever in Syria, once cornered, would detonate himself killing anyone nearby. Much harder to fight people who are willing to kill themselves…and btw I am not disrespecting the IDF. I think that is pretty normal behaviour.

    However, Hezballah, which did at one point mount suicide operations relatively frequently, has publicly stated that they consider those a waste of precious blood. That is not really how they fight.

    The whole soldier thing, anyway, is a different argument. The US army did studies showing that most soldiers do not fire their weapons even under fire (I can find it by googling but can;t be bothered, it’s mentioned in Joanna Bourke’s An Intimate History of Killing). Killing is quite unnatural. The main motivation for soldiers who did shoot and kill, is not, it seems-based purely on my reading- hatred of some random enemy, but love of ones fellow soldier. Maybe you can tell me, would you say you were more motivated by saving your comrades or by killing the enemy?

    I don’t think anyone trying to understand HEzballah by viewing them in a similar light to Qaeda is going to understand much.

    The masters of the stupid Suicide approach were the Iranians during the I/I war. They sent tens of thousands to their deaths. But I think that is a historical aberration and a great abuse of religion and nationalism by Khomeini (who himself was an aberration in Iranian history, being way to strict a literalist to be considered par tot the shia mainstream). But there are so many examples of suicide tactics, I don’t think the tactic can be universally condemned.

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 1:28 pm
  139. And so it follows that when Syrians ask for their “freedom”, Hezbollah and Iran step in to prop-up the despot and kill the “terrorists” who had the “chutzpah” to call for their freedom.

    Funny how the muqawamistas have a stadard of rules that they can apply however they see fit, and never equally for all people.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 31, 2014, 1:33 pm
  140. AIG, Also, I do not think that Hezballah is motivated by religion or ideology. Those may be part of the system of tools that they use, or their belief structure (like the way American’s believe in Life, Liberty etc), but the motivation to fight is the legitimate pursuit of their rights.

    The sacrifices that Hezballah members make are huge, but these kids grew up under Israeli occupation and continue to feel acutely the risk that Israel poses…yesterday the announcement that civilians would be targeted (as opposed to the usual untargetted mass killings) is a typical case of why no Hezballah guy would consider standing down today.

    The US used to think the vietcong were motivated by communist ideology. it took macnamara bout 50 years to realise it was a war of national liberation.

    Ideology will not get the requisite numbers onto the battle field for the requisite length of time. If the Israeli government really believes that Hezballah is some kind ideological construct that “hates you for your freedoms” then we’re all in a lot more shit than we know….they ain’t giving up, ever, and that’s a grass roots thing.

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 1:34 pm
  141. AP…You really think the truth about Syria can be summed up in two lines…no. But in two words, yes: proxy war.

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 1:36 pm
  142. For the record, I was not questioning Epok being Lebanese. Nor was I using the lack of knowledge of Wakim as a way to score a point.
    I must have missed the comment where Epok said he/she lived in Lebanon. So to this point, I had no idea what the commenter’s background was (beyond being somewhat pro-HA in his views).
    I was simply surprised at people not knowing who Wakim is. He must be keeping a low profile these days maybe. For those of us who grew up in Lebanon in the civil war years, it was hard not to know who he was. That’s all.
    In a country where most of the political names have stayed the same for about 50 years now, it was just surprising to me that Wakim has apparently faded out of view. That’s all.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 31, 2014, 1:40 pm
  143. HA is a terrorist organization, and like many other similar organizations it depends on people who are willing to die.

    HA goes a step further than other terrorist organizations. It relies heavily on political assassinations to achieve political ends.

    So we need to qualify the motto(s). Live as the wali of Iran says or die.

    Or even better: give us the government or you die.

    The above sound more accurate in my HO.

    Posted by Mustap | January 31, 2014, 1:46 pm
  144. BTW, let’s take the personal background aspect away and talk about something more neutral, Vietnam.

    I went through a phase of reading tons of stuff about Vietnam, from the Battle of Dien bien Phu to the US withdrawal.

    I was educated in the US system and somehow thought we “won” in vietnam…how this thought arrived in my 15 year old head, I do not know…maybe the US is in bit of state of denial and that comes through in the history books.

    But, having read a bit about it, it was pretty clear that Jane Fonda was right, the North Vietnamese were the side you had to support. The Americans were there based on some misguided theory about dominoes and an ultra-ideological anti communist stance. The US destroyed vietnam, dropping more bombs on it than all sides used in WW2. Deforested it, and then left defeated.

    And then they build a monument to the fallen soldiers in DC.

    I stood looking at that thing this summer wondering…WTF would a vietnamese think looking at this. I can;t see it as a whole lot different than the Germans building a monument to their fallen soldiers in WW2….as in…yeah, shitty war, we did bad things, it was stupid, but hey those are dead germans and must be honoured.

    The US should build a monument to the crime it perpetrated on vietnam and examine what went wrong and how they could kill millions of vietnamese for basically no good reason.

    But no, monument up and hey, let’s go kill a couple of hundred thousand iraqis…or criticise the Japanese PM for visiting the Yasukuni war shrine (which is just their equivalent of the vietnam war memorial)


    No disrespect to the poor schlubs who got drafter to vietnam and F.U there, they should also be commemorated as victims of their own government.

    So…Vietnam? South Lebanon. US bombers? israeli bombers.


    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 1:50 pm
  145. BV…all good. Offer of coffee still stands.

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 1:51 pm
  146. btw, i really urge a reading of that article about the japanese war shrine (it from today) it is hilarious in its hypocrisy

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 1:55 pm
  147. Epok,

    Instead of arguing out of ignorance I suggest you read: http://www.amazon.com/Privilege-Die-Hezbollahs-Legions-Endless-ebook/dp/B003L786TG/

    In 6 years or so, the average 20 year old Hezbollah fighter would have not lived ONE day under Israel occupation. The average Hezbollah 20 year old was 5 in 2000. Since 2006, Hezbollah has not fired a shot at Israel or Sheba Farms or anything related to Israel. In fact they have not mounted ONE “resistance” operation in 7 years. You can interpret this anyway you like, to me it is clear that they were soundly defeated in 2006 despite the poor showing of the IDF. I think Hezbollah is a big liability for Lebanon and that it endangers Lebanon much more than it defends it. But as usual in the Arab Israeli conflict, Arab delusions like yours are what drives the discussion instead of facts. After the next war, we can revisit. When people have different views about the future, all one can do is wait for the future to unfold.

    Posted by AIG | January 31, 2014, 1:57 pm
  148. Here is a list of Israeli casualties in wars:

    In 18 years in South Lebanon Israel lost 256 soldiers, about 15 per year. There is no comparison between South Lebanon and Vietnam. I guess most Lebanese are just not aware of the numbers.

    Posted by AIG | January 31, 2014, 2:08 pm
  149. Epok,

    Yes, “proxy war”. Iran and Hezbollah are proxies keeping the Assad clan in power.

    It took several months to a year for foreign fighters to gain enough strength to counter Assad.

    During that approximate first year, unarmed demonstrators were deemed “terrorists” by head deathpot, Bashar Assad. Fire at will: no courts; of course, this is the ME. Just glorious shabiha getting bankrolled by the self-appointed muqawama-in-chief.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 31, 2014, 2:31 pm
  150. AIG…that argument doesn’t seem very powerful to me. The US did not fire a single shot at the USSR for 55 years and yet the war continued to consume vast amounts of money, time, energy, political capital and men (for the side show proxy battles). seven years ago the IDF bombed Lebanon for 34 days. This is alive and well in the minds of every single person who lived it…

    Hezballah doesn’t need to mount resistance operations because there are no more prisoners and even prior to 2006 they stated they would not use arms to hasten the return of land. There is, today, no fundamental issue between the two, but that does not mean they would lay down their arms. Israel overflies Lebanon every week. The behave provocatively on the border regularly. Syria and Israel hand their armies facing off from 1973 until now…why? It’s called a call war.

    And please, do not insult me with accusations of Arab Delusions. You are the deluded one I would argue, you are the one living in a country that as a majority of Palestinians who consider themselves and are considered but your state enemies, how long is that going to last?

    As for vietnam, it’s a qualitative comparison. Obviously they are not the same war…but you are not looking to understand, just defend the indefensible: the state of Israel. Enjoy it while it lasts…

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 2:38 pm
  151. And by the way, Lebanon is till under Israeli occupation…it’s called the Shebaa farms.

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 2:38 pm
  152. AP: proxy…need two to party.

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 2:39 pm
  153. Epok,

    The American losses in Vietnam were part of the cold war. The US entered Vietnam under the “dominoes” theory. The Russian losses in Afghanistan were part of the cold war. The Russians and Americans were shooting at each other. That is why the argument I made is powerful, because it shows exactly the losses incurred by Israel, which were very small.

    As for Hezbollah’s rhetoric, you are again inventing your own reality. Hezbollah clearly said that their arms were in order to free the Sheba Farms. Except that after 2006 they began to downplay this because they knew they were defeated so badly in 2006 that they couldn’t afford another confrontation with Israel. Between 2000 and 2006 there were many Hezbollah attacks against Israel, almost all not related to capturing prisoners. After 2006, ZERO attacks. The conclusion is clear.

    You come for a long line of deluded Arab “thinkers”. We have been hearing the nonsense about Israel for decades and Israel has only been getting stronger absolutely and even more so in relative terms to the Arab countries around it. The Arab Spring is the final nail in that coffin. Israel is also becoming a major energy exporter. You define reality through your own delusions and not through facts. You understand nothing about Israel. Again, we will just wait for the future to unfold and revisit.

    Posted by AIG | January 31, 2014, 2:55 pm
  154. AIG

    The distinction you draw between being willing to die and willing to risk death is reasonable, but I wouldn’t use it to distinguish between HA and the IDF. Hizbullah hasn’t been known for regular suicide operations since the 80s. They’re a more conventional fighting force today.

    My point (to Epok) was that being willing to die (or to risk death) is not something that should automatically grant a person or organization respect. I think the cause is more important in determining that question. Shebaa, to my mind, is a pretext.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 31, 2014, 2:59 pm
  155. Here is the list of the attacks on Sheba Farms before 2006:

    What happened, why ZERO attacks after 2006?

    Posted by AIG | January 31, 2014, 3:00 pm
  156. AIG, you called me deluded twice. I’m drawing the line…plus the quality of the back and forth is too low. ( Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Hey, I’m more articulate than George W Bush.)

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 3:07 pm
  157. QN, funny how far these comments have drifted from the bookstore…

    Posted by Epok | January 31, 2014, 3:10 pm
  158. I don’t know where Epok got the idea that Americans think we won the Vietnam war (perhaps he meant he was explaining he was misinformed as a 15 year old). While people might argue about the degree to which it was a draw, a loss or a rout (or maybe had some positive elements mixed in with the bad) it is generally considered to have been a U.S. failure of one kind or another. It certainly is not viewed as a success.

    Posted by dontgetit | January 31, 2014, 3:11 pm
  159. Epok,

    Yes, run away with your tail between your legs. It is clear for all that you are not able to address the facts I presented. I gave strong evidence that your assertions about Sheba were just wrong and of course instead of confronting the facts and changing your mind, you find sorry excuses to run away. Again, you are a clear example of deluded thinking.

    Posted by AIG | January 31, 2014, 3:14 pm
  160. Enough with the deluded this and the deluded that.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 31, 2014, 3:18 pm
  161. Maverick : “Who the f#$k is Najah Wakim and why are the Lebanese so gullible to believe anything he says to be gospel? Is it because of their tribal mentality that they believe in a charismatic leader to lead them and their puny minds? ”

    Firstly, it is exactly because Najah Wakim was not a ‘charismatic leader’ but rather an independent politicians who waged his own wars against Syrian interference and Harriri/Jumblatt/etc corruption, that he has helped bring to light the many cases of theft and embezzlement on the part of the aforementioned (for instance, his Al-2ayadi Al-Soud book), that he was bought over that makes of him one of the good guys in my book. He’s been around for a long time and has proven to be one of the clean and honest politicians around – and not ‘politician’ in the Lebanese tradition. The fact that you suggestively dismiss him in such a flippant manner tells me more about you than him and about how people can fall victim to their own cynicism. It also shows an automated disrespect for others’ intelligence by assuming everyone is stupid for not being as flippantly dismissive of others.

    Secondly, I am aware that some people are so decadently fed up with the Lebanese that they’re ready to condemn anyone or anything Lebanese, extending – again by association and not by logic- a blanket condemnation in the vein of the sentiment expressed by Maverick. I find it, personally, part of the symptom o f the disease and not a diagnosis of the disease . That there are hordes running after a sect leader waving a wad of money does not imply that all Lebanese are that way and, again, it is precisely because Wakim (amongst others mentioned already, Baroud, Hoss and so on) counters the current quasi-feudal regime with focus on civil society and rights and on transitioning to a non-sectarian state…etc that renders him the opposite of a tribal leader. He is an independent leftist-leaning intellectual-politician, sidelined for not playing the game.

    So, from the front, I have no qualms about having people like that at the helm and would hope that the Lebanese quit focusing on the ‘tribal leaders’ who have razed off, as per the proverb, “the green and the desiccated”

    Maverick : “Trinkets, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but your reading into the Joumblatt situation via Wakim is way off target. Firstly there never was, and never will be a Druze state because it contradicts the very basic tenets of the faith and therefore any talk of a Druze state is laughable within the circles of the “uqqal” who hold considerable sway over any decisions that the Druze chieftain makes regarding the destiny of the community. So Joumblatt would not have had this intention.”

    Firstly, its not my reading. I am literally rephrasing-translating Wakim’s statements which, if you have been paying attention, have already been disclosed by other sources – therefore this is not a reading (would would be an extrapolation) .

    Secondly, it was not stated that a Druze state was going to be impending. It was stated that Jumblatt was

    Thirdly, the reason you give for why Jumblatt would not have entertained that prospect is a nonreason. (lets not even draw an extensive parallel with how universally this principle is inapplicable: according to many orthodox Jews, it is explicitly forbidden to set up Israel from the point of view of their religion). While people focus on how HA has entered the Syrian fray as have the Futurisists, the Takfiris and so on, people somehow overlook the cross-national (Lebanese-Syrian) sectarian role Jumblatt has assigned himself from the get go to represent himself as the most influential Druze leader IN Syria. It is almost so expected of him t have done so, that its overlooked. The intra-Druze politicking on his part (across borders) has overshadowed and actually led his internal lebanese politicking.

    a- To begin with, was there such a plan?

    50’s to 70’s:

    «وعندما ابلغت المخابرات الاسرائيلية بقبول بعض الوجهاء الدروز بالتعاون معهم سرّ ‏اليهود لذلك كثيراً، وأخذوا يكثرون من التردد على مجدل شمس، ويسدون الخدمات للناس، ‏وينفذون المطالب بسرعة مذهلة. وبدأ تنفيذ المخطط اذ انتدب كمال الكنج للاتصال بدروز ‏سوريا ولبنان، بعد ان وُضعت قوائم بأسماء الوجهاء الدروز الذين يمكن التعاون معهم ‏وطريقة اصطيادهم. ولذلك ذهب الى روما «بمهمة كعضو في لجنة اسرائيلية تدرس مع السلطات ‏الايطالية موضوع تصريف الفاكهة من اسرائيل، متخذين من كون مجدل شمس بلدة غنية بالفاكهة ‏ذريعة لوجود كمال في اللجنة. كما أشاع كمال، قبل مغادرته مجدل شمس بأنه سيداوي عينيه ‏لدى اطباء في تل ابيب، وقد يُضطر لعرضها على اختصايين خارج اسرائيل.‏
    وبذلك حضر كمال كنج الى روما برفقة ضابط مخابرات اسرائيلي (من الشين بت) تحت اسم ‏‏«يعقوب». ويصف كمال ابو لطيف يعقوب هذا فيقول انه رجل متوسط القامة، احدب، يتقن ‏اللغة العربية. وكان كمال الكنج قد اقترح الاتصال بكمال ابو لطيف وهو ضابط سابق في ‏الجيش السوري، وقريب له. ووافقت المخابرات الاسرائيلية على ذلك بعد ان قامت بجمع ‏المعلومات عنه.‏
    ولذلك استدعي ابو لطيف الى روما، واجتمع مع كمال الكنج الذي اخبره بالمخطط، واتفقا على ‏ابلاغ الجهات العربية المعنية بالطريقة التالية:‏
    ‏1- يقوم كمال ابو لطيف باعلام كمال جنبلاط بالامر، ليقوم بدوره بإعلام السلطات ‏اللبنانية وغيرها من السلطات العربية التي يجد من المناسب اعلامها.‏
    ‏2- يقوم كمال ابو لطيف، بعد اخذ موافقة جنبلاط، باعلام السلطات السورية.‏
    وبعد ان عاد كمال ابو لطيف ونفذ ما اتفق عليه، طلب منه متابعة الاتصال مع المخابرات ‏الاسرائيلية. فسافر مرة ثانية الى روما، واجتمع بـ«يعقوب» وكمال الكنج …»‏
    ‏«واتضح، لابي لطيف، المخطط على الشكل التالي :‏
    ‏1ـ حدود الدولة الدرزية: تمتد هذه الدولة من جبل الدروز الى الشاطئ اللبناني محيطة ‏باسرائيل. وتشمل: القنيطرة، وقضاء قطنا، وضواحي دمشق (بعض قرى الغوطة الدرزية)، ‏فقضاءي بلدة الشويفات.‏
    ‏2ـ عاصمة الدولة الدرزية: ومن المقرر ان تكون السويداء او بعقلين عاصمة هذه الدولة. ‏وذلك حسب ايّ من دروز لبنان او سوريا يكونون اكثر تعاونا مع اسرائيل.‏
    ‏3ـ عَلَم الدولة: هو العلم ذات الالوان الخمسة الذي وضعتْه فرنسا للدولة الدرزية بعد ‏تقسيمها لسوريا.‏
    ‏4ـ السكان: يكون المسلمون السنيّون والشيعة في لبنان الجنوبي وكذلك في حوران والبقاع ‏الغربي مخيّرين بين البقاء كأقلية لا شأن لها ضمن الدولة الدرزّية او الرحيل. اما ‏المسيحيون فلا ضير من بقائهم. ويمكن اشراكهم في الحكم كأقلية.‏
    ‏5ـ المقومات الاقتصادية: هي مضمونة من قبل اسرائيل، بتعهدات اميركية. يصبح ميناء صور ـ ‏بعد تطويره ـ الميناء التجاري للدولة، ويبقى ميناء صيدا لتصدير النفط.‏ http://www.nadyelfikr.com/showthread.php?tid=19945

    Late 60’s:

    “The borders proposed in what came to be known as the Allon Plan, drawn up in July 1967 by then-foreign minister Yigal Allon, were similar to those of Ze’evi’s imagined state of Ishmael as well as plans drafted by other military and political figures of the day. Allon’s name was also linked to a plan to establish a Druze state in the Golan Heights.

    According to Shimon Avivi, who researched the topic, this idea was first broached during the War of Independence, before Operation Hiram in Upper Galilee. “After doubts were raised about the IDF’s ability to conquer all of Galilee, the Foreign Ministry’s Middle East desk suggested the idea of establishing a Druze autonomy with the community’s leaders in the Galilee. In the department’s view, this could destabilize the adjacent Arab regimes. In the end, however, the idea was rejected by Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett and Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and was then completely abandoned in the wake of the IDF’s success in the operation.”

    The idea of creating a Druze state was raised again after Israel’s sweeping victory in the Six-Day War. In a letter to Haaretz dated June 26, 1967, Binyamin Krisher of Tel Aviv wrote, “I am not very expert in the demographic conditions of the Golan Heights. But it seems to me that it makes sense to settle ‏(voluntarily‏) the Druze from Syria and from Israel in this territory, which will constitute a Druze unit of self-rule. Naturally, this can be considered only if the Druze themselves aspire to it.” A week later, on July 2, a similar proposal was raised by another Haaretz reader, Ze’ev Katz, from Haifa: “After the IDF inflicted a crushing defeat on the Syrian forces, I think now is the time to pay a debt of honor and help the Druze liberate themselves from the burden of their generations-long oppressors, the fanatic Syrian Muslims. It is our duty to extend them aid and support in their battle to establish a free Druze state on Jabal al-Druze. What we did not do during the Druze revolt, we must now rectify.” http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/the-palestinian-state-of-ishmael-as-envisioned-by-rehavam-ze-evi-1.319271

    In the 80’s

    “In this context, one must shed light on an Israeli study published by the Egunim Journal of Strategic Studies in 1981. This study revealed that Israel’s American-backed strategy seeks to establish a new Middle East in which Israel would become a safe country surrounded by fragmented and divided communities that do not pose any threat to Israeli security or stability. In this context, one should mention the division of Egypt between Muslims and Copts; the division of Saudi Arabia between the Nejd and Hijaz; the division of Sudan between North and South; the division of Lebanon into five small states; the division of Syria between an Alawite state on the coast and Sunni states in Aleppo and Damascus; not to mention a Druze state in “Gaulinna,” [Golan] according to the Israeli expression. Under these circumstances, Russia would definitely lose its foothold in the region.”

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/iw/contents/articles/politics/2012/01/diplomatic-interpretation-of-sr.html#ixzz2rzXQozcr


    “A weak, Sunni-dominated central government in Damascus would have limited authority over the loosely ‘sectarian’ based political coalitions and powerful ex-militias holding sway on the ground (see SYRIA: Weak government will struggle post-Assad – March 19, 2012):

    The Alawi minority would claim the coastal mountains where their community is concentrated.
    The Kurdish population, primarily located in the north and north-east, already sees an opportunity to carve out an autonomous region.
    A mixture of Sunni urban elites, former regime elements and ex-militia groups would control Damascus and Aleppo.
    Islamist militias and tribal forces would retain control in much of central, eastern and northern Syria.
    Sunni jihadist and tribal forces in Iraq could potentially merge with affiliates in eastern Syria to create a de facto territory straddling the border.
    The south and west are likely to be controlled by a combination of former regime elements, Sunni urban business elite, Druze and local tribal forces.
    A Druze enclave would provide a buffer between Islamists in central Syria and Israel, and could also link with the Druze in Lebanon.”


    Is it a conspiracy theory; is it not a conspiracy theory? To be honest, this -also flippant- dismissal by way of accusing people of being conspiracy theorists- a quite fashionable thing to do nowadays, to cast doubt over someone’s intellectual integrity prior to going through the process of disproving the concerned’s arguments or presentation – is disingenuous. There is simply far too material around to indicate that yes, te (further) balkanization of the middle east is seriously being entertained by a number of US and Israeli strategists. This is not to say that I don’t believe that the US doesnt have different teams working on different tangents – they must achieve a balance between the long term perspective (which is not mutable having to do with energy, wealth..etc), the medium term perspective (which identifies strategies and allies/enemies, mutable) and short term perspective (tactics, may appear to be contradictory and paradoxical…only because to ensure if Plan A doesn’t work, B works, or C or D…). The partitioning of the middle east falls within the medium term perspective. This would fall perfectly in line with iconic strategists (who are also pedagogues and therefore ensure a lineage of ideas and national interests throughout the establishment – whether you are a democrat or a republic).

    If you believe that the US and Israel- amongst others- function at the spur of the moment, haphazardly, without drawing up big geopolitical framework that affords them ‘best-way-forward’ schemes to reach specific strategic goals, if you think they’re like a good cross section of the Arabs, looking at each other suspiciously, like a herd of sheep who can no longer determine who is a sheep and who is a wolf-in-sheep skin or who is a sheep-convert-to-wolf (and there are such creatures) then there is no reason to continue discussing this – you’re looking at it from sheep eyes.

    If you want to call the very domain of geopolitics as the domain of conspiracies and this gives you a false confidence, by all means, go ahead.

    b- Did Jumblatt set a precedent, previously?

    “You may recall that Walid Jumblatt (an important Lebanese Druse leader) dallied with the Israelis back when Israel was in a position to help advance Druze communal interests vis-a-vis Lebanese Forces in the early 1980s.”

    from http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Analysis-Druse-state-in-Syria-could-be-Israeli-ally-330018

    c- Accounts of the narrative:

    ودعا شيوخ الطائفة الدرزية في البيان “إخواننا وأهلنا في كل مكان أن يكونوا يقظين أمام ما يحاك من مؤامرات ودسائس تعبث بأمن الوطن والمواطن” منوهين أن أحد لا يستطيع العبث بوحدة الوطن.
    كما عبر البيان عن رفض الطائفة الدرزية “اللقاءات المشبوهة التي ظهرت في الآونة الأخيرة في أمريكا وغيرها من الدول من قبل بعض الساسة في لبنان وإرادتهم في توريط أهلنا وأبنائنا في لبنان مما بات يشكل مصدر إساءة لتاريخ وماضي المسلمين الموحدين”.
    ويأتي بيان الطائفة الدرزية في سوريا على خلفية الزيارة الأخيرة لرئيس اللقاء الديمقراطي الزعيم الدرزي وليد جنبلاط، الذي دعا من الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية إلى إسقاط النظام السوري وإرسال سيارات مفخخة إلى دمشق ردا على “التدخل” السوري في لبنان.
    وكان موقع “أوميديا الإسرائيلي” ذكر أن لقاءً جرى بين وليد جنبلاط خلال زيارته لواشنطن وممثلين عن أيهود أولمرت رئيس الحكومة الإسرائيلية وان اللقاء كان إيجابيا”.
    كما أشارت صحيفة “هآرتس” الإسرائيلية إلى أن جنبلاط التقى خلال زيارته لواشنطن رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي السابق ووزير الدفاع الحالي إيهود باراك الذي قالت إنه التقاه في واشنطن برعاية نائب الرئيس الأميركي ديك تشيني وأحد الأميركيين من أصل لبناني، وقد بحثا كيفية التعاون لمحاولة إضعاف الجبهة السورية الممانعة لإسرائيل”.

    دعا النائب السابق ناصر قنديل بكركي إلى «قيادة انتفاضة لبنانية في وجه مشروع الوصاية السعودية الذي يستهدف لبنان، إذا كانت منطلقاتها في مواجهة الدور السوري في لبنان سيادية». وحذّر، في مؤتمر صحافي عقده أمس بمكتبه في بيروت، «من مخطط أسود يستهدف لبنان عام 2008 انطلاقاً من الاستحقاق الرئاسي»، الذي رأى فيه «مدخلاً لتفجير سياسي يراد منه خلق المناخ المؤاتي لتبرير مخطط، يعمل النائب وليد جنبلاط على وضع اللمسات الأخيرة عليه في زيارته إلى واشنطن، التي ستتضمن لقاء مع وزير الدفاع الإسرائيلي إيهود باراك». واتهم قنديل جنبلاط «بالسعي للتفاهم مع الاسرائيليين على مشروع دولة درزية، موازية للدولة الكردية في شمال العراق، تضم الجولان وجبل العرب في سوريا ومنطقتي راشيا وحاصبيا بالإضافة إلى الإمارة الجنبلاطية، على أن يقرر الاسرائيليون حرباً محدودة على لبنان وسوريا تستهدف احتلال هذه المناطق وتسليمها إليه». ورأى «أن هذا المخطط يتزامن مع تفاهم بين جنبلاط ورئيس الهيئة التنفيذية في القوات اللبنانية سمير جعجع على ترشيح الأخير للرئاسة بالنصف زائداً واحداً، لأن مشروع جنبلاط يحتاج إلى حريق كبير لا يشعله إلا وصول جعجع للرئاسة». وأضاف: «إن الشق الثاني من المشروع الذي رسم تفاصيله جوني عبدو وإليوت أبرامز، هو بناء قاعدة عسكرية اميركية في القليعات». وتحدث قنديل عن «معلومات» تشير إلى «نية أميركية لنقل كل من عبد الحليم خدام وعلي البيانوني إلى الشمال لقيادة أعمال التخريب ضد سوريا، فيما يتولّى الملك السعودي تأمين وصول عديله الثاني رفعت الأسد لقيادة شق مقابل من هذا التخريب. وقد ظهرت بدايات الإعداد لهذه الأعمال بوجود ابن رفعت الأسد في الشمال، ووجود مكاتب تنسيق لكل من الإخوان المسلمين وخدام في بيروت».

    d- Is it possible? Yes. Is it definite, I don’t know. Is it probable? I think it tips in favour of probability.

    i- Jumblatt’s history speaks for itself. It certainly does not negate collaboration with israel or extremely pro-israeli/neocon figures (for instance, elliot abrams) who might offer him something enticing.

    ii- Extrapolating from the above, when people like Wakim talk, I listen, I know they have a track record of exposing cases of corruption and the like without vested personal interest, they have the national and regional interest in mind. We cannot all provide evidence to backup a belief in a certain individual or group, but sometimes, the history of that person and that group are exemplary enough to allow you to trust him, her or them.

    Likewise, contrarily, when the history of another individual or group is sordid, rife with corruption and furnishes nothing but evidence of self interest and sectarian-feudal interests, the opposite is true.

    iii- does it make sense on the basis of what Epok calls his ‘communitarianism’ over and above nationalism? Naturally it does – and can be seen as one conclusion of such a communiarianism.

    I am led to assume that he

    Posted by Trinkets | January 31, 2014, 3:25 pm
  162. Correction: Secondly, it was not stated (by Wakim or in my rephrasing) that a Druze state was going to be impending per se. It was stated that Jumblatt was told that it was on the table if he would jump ship. The pretext was furnished in the form of preexisting plans having to do with the new middle east. Whether it is or is not impending is besides the point. Its an account of him being enticed by it.

    Posted by Trinkets | January 31, 2014, 3:31 pm
  163. A question for AIG: What is Israel’s interest in Lebanon (meaning its territory, or taking control, and ignoring Sheba Farms)? My understanding is that generally, Israel wants a secure border, which means, originally, no bullets or rockets from the Palestinian camps, and, now, none from Hezbollah either. But beyond that, they really have no interest and would rather have peace and even commerce. Are there other views, including inside Israel? Claims about wanting water? What would Israel want from Lebanon in order to sign a peace deal? Maybe they don’t want one so they can continue to overfly Lebanon chasing down Syrian arms transfers.
    But it seems that the primary cause of Israeli threats to Lebanon is Hezbollah. With no Hezbollah, what would Israel care about Lebanon for at all? Are the Palestinian camp arms still relevant to you?
    I know you are not Israel’s spokesman but can you give me your personal view as well as what you think are the major strands in the Israeli body politic (if they differ from yours)?

    Posted by dontgetit | January 31, 2014, 3:49 pm
  164. Dontgetit,

    It is quite simple. All one has to do is look at the relations between Israel and Lebanon from after the end of the 47-48 war till the 69 Cairo Agreement which created the Palestinian militia problem in Lebanon.

    If Israel was in any way shape or form interested in any Lebanese land, why didn’t Israel attack Lebanon in 67 at the end of the 6 day war? Never got a good answer to that one from the “resistance” deep thinkers.

    There is a unanimous view about Lebanon in Israel. All we want are a quiet border. Nothing else. And in that sense the 2006 war was spectacularly successful as far as Israel is concerned. The Lebanese border has never been more quiet.

    Israel is not interested in a peace agreement with Israel because it is obvious it is not worth the paper it would be printed on. Why bother? One day maybe when the Lebanese government is actually sovereign in Lebanon that could become relevant.

    Posted by AIG | January 31, 2014, 4:03 pm
  165. Another coorection: There is simply far too material around to ignore (not indicate) that yes, the (further) balkanization of the middle east is seriously being entertained by a number of US and Israeli strategists.

    Posted by Trinkets | January 31, 2014, 4:13 pm
  166. Correction: Israel is not interested in a peace agreement with Lebanon because it is obvious it is not worth the paper it would be printed on.

    Posted by AIG | January 31, 2014, 4:17 pm
  167. So, Trinkets, Epok:
    What do you think are Israel’s interests in Lebanon? Do you think it wants Lebanese territory? Do you think AIG is wrong or being misleading?

    Posted by dontgetit | January 31, 2014, 5:15 pm
  168. I think the vast majority of Lebanese would also prefer a quiet border. But this isn’t to say that symbols aren’t extremely important in our part of the world. My Syrian friends used to laugh at me when I would complain about the regime’s mukhabarat agents in Beirut airport prior to 2005. “What’s the big deal?” they’d ask. “You’re not being seriously inconvenienced, so get over it.”

    The Israeli overflights and occasional border incidents fall in the same genre. They’re symbolic reminders of Lebanon’s vulnerability. But just because they are symbolic does not mean that they are any less generative of support for the resistance.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 31, 2014, 5:18 pm
  169. QN,

    I just don’t see how the point about the overflights is relevant. It is just a means to collect intelligence about Hezbollah. I have no illusions that it generates support for Hezbollah, but so what? It is not as if the flights were stopped that Hezbollah would disarm or change its views. We have already seen that when they were worried about there being a resolution about Sheba Farms they invented the Seven Villages as a bone of contention.

    If both people prefer a quiet border, then perhaps we will get one. Unfortunately, I am not that optimistic since at a certain point in time, Hezbollah will look foolish calling itself a “resistance” when it hasn’t undertaken a “resistance” operation in years and years. Just as Assad was ridiculed about the Golan, at some point people will realize that Hezbollah are not doing much either as it concerns Israel or even the Sheba farms. Then what? There will be pressure on Hezbollah to do something eventually.

    Posted by AIG | January 31, 2014, 5:35 pm
  170. If the Israelis promise and offer guarantees through American channels that they will stop overflights once Hezbollah disappears as a milita, then I have no problem with overflights. The Israelis can continue overflights as long as Hezbollah is operatong as a proxy militia on Lebanese soil.

    This is no different than what transpired after Cairo 1969. It is the responsibility of the Lebanese State to exercise monopoly over military activities over the land(s) that fall within its jurisdiction.

    Of course, Hezbollah is also to blame for the duplicitous game it plays: on one hand acting as a proxy to a foreignentity to which it swears absolute allegiance, and on the other hand claiming to be Lebanese with no allegiance whatsoever to Lebanon.

    The people of Lebanon must call Hezbollah for what it is and stop falling into the trap. Hezbollah is not Lebanese. Any Lebanese who is a member of this organization is a foreign agent, and a terrorist for that matter. I consider Raad, Hajj Hassan and Mansour as the ministers of terrorism in the Miqati outgoing government.

    Posted by Mustap | January 31, 2014, 6:04 pm
  171. DontGetIt;

    Lets assume my cousin and I live in two houses right next to each other. We share some utilities, you know, lets say a well, garden and whatnot.

    Someone comes into my cousin’s house, kills some of his family, locks up some and throws my cousin and the rest of his family out. They find refuge in my house.

    This someone then starts stealing from the well, the garden…and, in fact, it seems he also had plans to take over at least part of my house because well, it apparently has facilities that he doesn’t have. http://imaginationpluspolitics.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/water-gas-oil-syria-lebanon/

    And in fact, over the years, he proved this – he starts encroaching and stealing from me. He kidnaps part of my own immediate family now who stand up to him, throws them into jail.

    My cousin of course wants to get his place back; he fights back. I find myself in a specific situation: Morally and emotionally, I know where I stand. But also, rationally, I have all the reasons to see an existential threat from that kleptoparasite – I would be stupid not to assume that a person who did this to my cousin will have no reservations about doing it to me. So, naturally, I help. He barges in, takes over my house, kills many of my family. Unfortunately, some of my family are born to be traitors and he befriends them to give the semblance of normalcy around him and to gather allies around him – he gives false promises, incentives, illusions… . Anyway… they get bitten eventually, badly.

    The kleoptoparasite starts pretending to be the victim – he wants his situation to be normalized so that, at least, my cousin’s place ill be all his…with my cousin still a refuge in my own house. Morally, I cannot kick him out – but the situation has twisted our relationship with each other at points – some of my family fight with his.

    Anyway, I remember what the kleptoparasite did to my cousin, I am aware of his theft of part of my property and facilities, I know that this is his natural inclination, his racist preclusion of my cousin’s rights AND my own, I know some of my family is rotting in his jails, I know he wants part of my house, and I know he’s spreading his poison around in the region, taking advantage of neighbourly feuds and indeed intra-family feuds to turn the neighbours, who have been living with each other for a long time in relative stability and peace, against each other and make them forget his iniquity.

    So, I believe you ask your question with some simplistic assumptions – namely, that Israel and Lebanon are equivalent in some ways, the first posing or not posing as a danger to the other. Another assumption is that you may even frame the existence of Israel as a normal ‘neighbour’, a neighbour with its own indigenous stance – rather than a usurped stolen stance, a colonized one across the borders from us.

    Firstly, it is immoral to overlook that original act of theft, murder, subjugation and banishment on the part of Zionism ( whatever one thinks of intra-Arab feuds, in fact, the latter has been exasperated by the former). It is immoral to normalize them, to wash away the rights of the Palestinians just because the Zionists came with more muscle and more wit. This is recent history; more recent than the holocaust. Many in the region, however, have neither a sense of what is right (but of what is might). So Israel, as a regular country, does not yet exist. Not to many of us.

    Secondly, if we had any respect to the Lebanese people who got killed by the Israeli wars on us, for their families (many of whom formed HA in the first place), for the Lebanese tortured by them, thrown in jail indefinitely … we, as a complete nation, would see that Israel has historically qualified itself as an enemy. It has already furnished us with enough reasons. However, some (Lebanese) people didn’t live in South Lebanon during that time, didn’t have members of their family killed or kidnapped and thrown into jail, tortured. So, they don’t see why Israel should be an enemy.

    Thirdly, it is sheer stupidity to assume that Israel does not pose a serious short term and long term threat to us. Had we any perspective for the country of ours, we would have recognized this. Many do, many don’t. The latter function ad hocly, they react in accordance with outside influences or petty hatreds – not in accordance with nation-wide recognition of where the threat emanates from.

    So, it is not just about posing a danger to us. It is a danger, in its racist nature, in its self evident modus operandi, in the portfolio of its inhumane violations.

    And as such, Epok, I disagree about not caring about who lives to the south of us for all the above reasons. Put intra-arab/intra-regional affairs, the endemic problems, the tyrants on one side…and Israel on another.

    Posted by Trinkets | January 31, 2014, 6:56 pm
  172. Correction: – I would be stupid not to assume that a person who did this to my cousin will have reservations about doing it to me.

    Posted by Trinkets | January 31, 2014, 7:01 pm
  173. There is ONLY ONE solution to end intra Arab feuds: Iranian theocracy must cease and desist from its current behaviour of creating proxies to serve it under the false pretext of fighting Zionism.

    The Iranian theocracy is committed to the goal of fighting Zionism to the last drop of Arab blood, in the same vein as Hafiz was committed to fighting Zionism to the last drop of Lebanese blood for more than 30 years.

    Arabs are now in the process of awakening to the facts presented above. At one point in time they were enchanted by the falsehoods propagated under so-called ‘resistance’ narrative. This is no longer the case. Hezbollah terrorists are now responsible for more Arab blood than Zionism was ever responsible for since it came to the scene. The horrific sectarian wars waged by Hezbollah, its Alawite criminal allies and their supporters in the Iranian theocracy in Syria and sometimes in Iraq and Lebanon present vivid images to every sensible Arab who sees clearly where the danger and enemy are.

    I was one who never believed any word Hassan of Bazourieh said. Neither, did I believe the illusions that so many Lebanese and Arabs allowed themselves to be hypnotized by with regards to so-called victories or ‘liberation’ of lands from occupation. Any rational analysis of such hollow claims proves their lack of merit and substance.

    The brief period of hypnosis the Arabs went through by allowing themselves to believe in such false narratives only testifies to the collective failures of Arab intellectuals and their ability to see what is right and just and what is sheer demagogeury and indoctrination by falsehoods. It is very encouraging and very good reasons for hope when you browse through major Arab media nowadays and witness the paradigm shift from the past unfolding in front of you by reading individuals expressing in the open clearly articulated views describing Hezbollah and the Bazourieh turbaned Iranian agent for what they are: mere tools in the hands of a foreign entity that has one and only one objective, which is to subject the Arabs to its dictates, pull them to the dark ages or make them fodder for their wars by proxy, i.e intra Arab feuds.

    The real war starts east of Euphrates.

    Posted by Mustap | January 31, 2014, 7:27 pm
  174. Trinkets,

    In summary, I was a little passionate in my response against Wakim not because I don’t like his views, I do for the most part but because he has like many commentators in Lebanon especially the romanticised Left go one step further and lament on regional and world politics like they know everything for certain. In this case he was off the mark.

    Posted by Maverick | January 31, 2014, 8:33 pm
  175. Mustap, AIG,

    Nice posts. The “resistance” can’t be measured in ohms any more. It’s now down to milliohms. Goes with brain size as well.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 31, 2014, 10:27 pm
  176. Freedom House is a sham, as are NED, USAID and Open Society Instutite and is the AEI. These are all known to be yet more tools used by the US admin and toe US interests. The fact that these sources are being brandied about to score a point show that the concerned individual does not care enough to dig through the turf of seeming-impartiality thrown atop such organizations, does not care to identify where his source comes from and is positioned relative to the topic and cares solely to use any tool s/he can reach out to in order to buttress his quasi-religious and petty hatred against Syria, the resistance and their supporters.

    So, to continue…In other words, these organisations are not neutral, were never neutral and have little interest in reflecting accuracy. They’re know from Latin Americans countries to Russia to the Middle East to work in tandem with- and sometimes act as the NGO front to – the CIA for the destabilization of many countries (many intelligence personnel, in fact, set up the organisation and are associated to it (see below . The organisation is known to be involved aiding insurgency against regimes that are seen as obstacles to the US. Generally, the above NGOs have contributed greatly to the creation of the so called colour-revolutions and arab spring revolution.

    “Describing itself as a “clear voice for democ­racy and freedom around the world”, Freedom House has a history of mud­dying the politi­cal waters of targeted nations.
    Freedom House was formed in the United States in 1941 to counter iso­lationism and to support the Mar­shall Plan, and has largely been sup­ported by US federal funding.
    According to the US Institute of Policy Studies, in 2001 Freedom House had and income of around US$11 million, increasing to over US$26 million in 2006.

    “Much of the increase was due to a rise between 2004 and 2005 in US gov­ernment federal funding, from US$12 million to US$20 million. Fed­eral funding fell to around US$10 mil­lion in 2007, but still repre­sented around 80 percent of Free­dom House’s budget,” read a state­ment on the Inter Press Service (IPS) website.
    The strong financial links between the US government and Freedom House have resulted in critics ques­tioning how an organi­sation that claims to be independent could be funded by a government which it seeks to be independent from.

    These strong links have cemented suspi­cions that Freedom House is indeed used by the US government to do hatchet jobs on nations deemed to be threats to America.” http://www.sundaymail.co.zw/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30803:cias-freedom-housea-house-of-destruction&catid=46:crime-a-courts&Itemid=138#.UuyAlvmSxWU

    Fondée en 1941, Freedom House est, selon ce qui
    est mentionné sur son site, « une organisation non
    indépendante qui aide au développement
    des libertés dans le monde » et qui « soutient les
    initiatives citoyennes non violentes dans les sociétés où
    la liberté est déniée ou menacée43 ». De nombreuses
    politiques américaines de haut rang ont été
    les chevilles ouvrières de cet organisme. Parmi elles,
    mentionnons James Woolsey, l’ancien directeur de la CIA,Zbigniew Brzezinski, l’ancien conseiller à la sécurité
    nationale du président Jimmy Carter, Donald Rumsfeld,
    le secrétaire à la Défense du président George W. Bush, et
    Stuart Eizenstat, le sous-secrétaire d’État aux Finances
    sous l’administration du président Bill Clinton.
    La Freedom House reçoit principalement un soutien
    financier de la USAID, de la NED et de la Soros Foundation44.
    Elle possède des bureaux dans une douzaine de
    pays, dont un seul pays arabe, la Jordanie.
    Le nom de la Freedom House est régulièrement cité
    lorsqu’un gouvernement chute ou est malmené. Du
    à la Serbie, en passant par le Salvador, le
    Nicaragua, le Venezuela, Cuba ou la Bolivie, des millions
    de dollars ont été dépensés pour le financement et la
    d’activistes antigouvernementaux45.
    La Freedom House publie régulièrement une « carte
    de la démocratie ». Celle datant de 2011 montre
    que, d’après elle, aucun pays arabe n’est considéré
    comme libre à l’exception du Maroc, du Liban et du
    Koweït, qui, eux, seraient « partiellement libres ». Ahmed BinSaada, Arabesque Américaine,

    Posted by Trinkets | February 1, 2014, 1:34 am
  177. Trinkets,

    You forgot to include their website. Some may want see how they are funded, staffed and supported….


    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 1, 2014, 9:47 am
  178. AP,

    Don’t waste time dude. If the Trinkets says they are “tools” ; then they are. He should know, 😀
    Anything that does not suit the trinketsl; are a sham. Capishe?

    Posted by danny | February 1, 2014, 10:02 am
  179. Trinkets, ok you sold me…I do care about who lives to the south, I suppose it depends on the price i have to pay to move the current tenant out.

    Dontegetit…I was referring to my confused 15 year old self…but questioning how I got confused.

    It’s like how they (don’t) teach us about the massacres against the American Indians…how would American self-image survive that.

    As for what do the Israelis want…I firmly believe that the Israeli government had an extremely clear and lucid set of desires back around the time of 1967 war…but behaved emotionally…

    now I think they are irrational even in their thinking

    Posted by Epok | February 1, 2014, 10:19 am
  180. Danny,

    Of course your right.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 1, 2014, 10:46 am
  181. And when I say irrational, I mean irrational in the way the government of W was, mistaken calculations of self interest.

    Concrete example of the first point: the minutes of cabinet meetings prior to 1967 war clearly show that the government did not want to end up owning gaza and west bank, yet they took it and kept it. They foresaw all the issues that came to pass, and yet despite a perfect analysis, managed a total disaster in execution.

    Concrete example in recent times: the settlements…intertwining the populations in a way that ensures a single state with a Palestinian is almost a certainty. Perfect execution, idiotic analysis.

    Posted by Epok | February 1, 2014, 10:53 am
  182. Trinkets…quality commentary…really I am very impressed.

    Posted by Epok | February 1, 2014, 11:05 am
  183. Isn’t it amazing how the fact that some of HA funding comes from Iran tarnishes them 100% but USAID is supposed to impartial…why bother discussing with such people.

    Posted by Epok | February 1, 2014, 11:08 am
  184. Epok

    I find accusations of puppetry to be so tiresome. No reasonable commentator would be under the illusion that there are such things as “impartial” funding sources. Saudi Arabia buys influence in Lebanon with money. Qatar does the same thing, as do various European countries and the United States. Iran’s multi-million dollar investment in Hizbullah also has strings attached. Surely this doesn’t need to be debated.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 1, 2014, 2:48 pm
  185. QN, and how does your tiresomeness figure here – or,, why should we care about your tiresomeness in absence of relating it to a point of substance? Are you trying to say that we should not discuss it because you’re bored by it? Why should your being bored figure in here?

    Yes, there is outside funding across the board (even the ‘I love life’ M14 campaign was financed by USAID). And Epok isn’t denying that; but eventually Iran is anti-Israel and Iran is not our enemy (although Saudi Arabia is certainly paying a lot of money to make it seem this way). US, however, is unconditionally supportive of Israel and ISrael is our enemy.

    Which is to say, if you identify your enemy (and yes, different parties identify different enemies), you also identity a chain of support that you would be against, a life line sustaining your enemy.

    Why do you think the unconditionally pro-israeli supporters here on your board are necessarily conditioned to be anti-iran? And, please note, here I don’t mean all people who are anti-resistance, for instance, this doesnt apply to Vulcan and Bad Vilbel whose arguments seem to be motivated by a concern for Lebanon itsel. In fact, they, pro-israelis have yet to prove that Iran is indeed an enemy of Lebanon. In reality, neither do they care about Lebanon or the Lebanese (didn’t they call it a hellhole?), they care about either the takfiri project or the Israeli one. And why would they not sink low enough to be using arguments used by takfiris and the hypocritical Mostaqbal people (well, apparently the latter are now they’re migrating to the takfiris side) – as tools in their box?

    Now on the other hand, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are paying money to blow us up – aren’t they more likely to be enemies? Israel? (well, I won’t repeat, my previous posts suffice here).

    Or are you also bored by the rhetoric that we have an enemy? I think this is what you really want to say but you’re not saying. Well, I’m equally bored by that sort of boredom. So what? The issue is neither my tiresomeness nor yours; I would hope the discussion would not be so ego-centric.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 1, 2014, 3:25 pm
  186. The only thing worth mentioning with regards to foreign funding to various groups in Lebanon is whether a certain donor is seeking to create with such funding a paramilitary group to act on its behalf inside Lebanon, for the express purpose of hijacking power to serve the interests of the foreign entity by the use of the militias.

    The answer to the above is very obvious, and therefore is not worth debating except from the point of view of a propagandist, hence the extraordinary length of worthless comments causing severe strains on our most outer limbs.

    Again when the argument exceeds one or two short paragraphs, then you don’t know what you’re talking about. You are propagandizing.

    Posted by Mustap | February 1, 2014, 3:25 pm
  187. Furthermore, since we agree that the funding sources are biased and contribute to the struggle happening between, largely, two camps, with two different aims (although I believe M14’s only aim is anti-resistance; they have no other raison d’être), we can then rationally deduce that these sources are – at least- not neutral third-parties. And, if I understand Epok correctly, what s/he is saying is that: M14 cannot pretend not to be supported financially by the US (as well as KSA and Qatar). His/her point was specific and not what QN purported it to be as: ‘everyone is being funded from the outside’.

    Moreoever, we cannot rely on such apriori biased organisations or personalities – with ideological, financial and national obligations that necessarily determine their worldview- to give us an accurate assessment on ground – as someone here tried to do with Freedom House. Or someone else tried to do with Michael Weiss (or indeed Michael Young and other so called experts). And Im sure we’ll here more of this sort of nonsense.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 1, 2014, 3:52 pm
  188. QN, Were you agreeing or disagreeing? The tone sounds disagree but the content is a restatement of my view. In fact in an earlier post I specifically said that while Israel is completely dependent on US funding, it does not seem to be acting in any way other that what it perceives as its own interest. Suffice it to say that people can be puppets or people can be free irrespective of their funding sources. I would hate to think that all university research sponsored by outside funding is biased by the source of the funding, just like it would be naive to think none of it is. So in fact, a funding source in and of itself proves nothing…it may be worth investigating though.

    Anyway…I’m going hiking now.

    Posted by Epok | February 1, 2014, 4:03 pm
  189. to clarify further:

    And, if I understand Epok correctly, what s/he is saying is that: M14 cannot use the criticism that HA is being funded by an outside country, Iran, while ignoring that it, M14, is supported financially by the US as well as KSA. In other words, it cannot, on this point, abstract itself, elevate itself above the fray, to act as a neutral third party to pass judgement on the side while it does exactly the same thing, only perhaps in a more sneaky way.

    And, inversely, the souces of funding cannot claim neutrality – given their agendas and positioning in a geopolitical and actual military battle and given their support of one party against another.

    Epok, I think you took the same pathway I did, only in reverse. And just because its well trodden, QN, does not disqualify it as a valid pathway.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 1, 2014, 4:06 pm
  190. QN, and how does your tiresomeness figure here – or,, why should we care about your tiresomeness in absence of relating it to a point of substance? Are you trying to say that we should not discuss it because you’re bored by it? Why should your being bored figure in here?

    Really? I’m not allowed to say that I find a certain discussion “tiresome”? 🙂

    Or are you also bored by the rhetoric that we have an enemy? I think this is what you really want to say but you’re not saying.

    Whatever floats your boat.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 1, 2014, 4:22 pm
  191. Anyone telling you that you’re not allowed?. And I’m allowing myself to ask you those questions, quite simply. But if its like you to tell people you find their discussion tiresome ‘just-coz’ then I guess my questions were rhetorical.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 1, 2014, 4:30 pm
  192. Epok,

    My point was simple. There are many countries that try to buy influence in Lebanon by giving money to different political parties. M14 gets money and so does Hizbullah. M14 is subject to foreign pressure and so is Hizbullah. M14’s sponsors have agendas and so do Hizbullah’s sponsors. Does that mean that these parties are mere puppets carrying out the directives of their sponsors? That’s the reading that I find tiresome, because one encounters it so often as an accusation slung at one side but not the other.

    Foreign sponsorship is a common denominator, and so may as well be set aside as a real point of difference that distinguishes between the two main political axes.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 1, 2014, 4:32 pm
  193. Trinkets said: “but eventually Iran is anti-Israel and Iran is not our enemy (although Saudi Arabia is certainly paying a lot of money to make it seem this way). US, however, is unconditionally supportive of Israel and Israel is our enemy.”

    Iran is not our enemy? But an alarming number of Lebanese disagree with you. Actually, I’d venture to say that a great many Lebanese view Iran with more antipathy than they do Israel. Does that make them Zionists? Does it mean they’ve been seduced by Saudi propaganda? I find that idea problematic. How do we know that those who view Saudi Arabia as an enemy haven’t been seduced by Iranian/Baathist propaganda? On what basis can you make a compelling argument either way?

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 1, 2014, 4:46 pm
  194. Epok said: “I do care about who lives to the south, I suppose it depends on the price i have to pay to move the current tenant out.”

    This is, more or less, the opinion of the majority of Lebanese (based on the rhetoric of their elected representatives). Most are deeply sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. Most would also like to see the Palestinian refugees return to their homes. Most would likely not do business with Israelis or visit Israel during their lifetimes following a peace deal.

    But most would sign a peace deal rather than commit the country to be the arena of more wars with Israel. The price has been too high, and I don’t think there are more than a handful of Lebanese politicians who truly believe otherwise (yes, that includes most of HA’s pols, and we know what people like Nabih Berri and Jawad Khalifeh believe).

    After all, if Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and the PA have either signed agreements with Israel or entered serious negotiations with the purpose of doing so, why wouldn’t the Lebanese feel compelled by the same realities to follow suit?

    Unfortunately, Israel doesn’t feel it needs to do business with anyone.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 1, 2014, 5:08 pm
  195. Valetines in the ME makes me Nervous NewZ

    I wish people would stop speaking so poorly against theocracies like Iran. It is the theocracies like Saudi Arabia that have perverted freedom and democracy. 😉


    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 1, 2014, 6:46 pm
  196. Akbar Palace,

    This is what the Iranian theocracy prohibits,


    Did you join ‘resistance? May be dontgetit side effects?😒

    Posted by Mustap | February 1, 2014, 7:02 pm
  197. Akbar Palace,

    Any country can prohibit whatever it feels is offensive to its culture. That kind of pohibition does not affect us. It is their life first and foremost. That also applies to the Iranian theocracy as far as their prohibitions are concerned.

    Saudi’s extent of having influence in Lebanon doesn’t go beyond having Lebanon as a viable tourist destination for few summer months. That option doesn’t work for them if Lebanon is unstable or is infected by the ‘resistance’ worm or any other virus. If they want to pay for that, in addition to sending tourists in the summer to spend thousands of bucks in Lebanon, then I have no complaints.

    That’s not the case with the Iranian theocracy which in fact is a huge strain on the Lebanese economy. Lebanon is paying the theocracy for allowing its ‘resistance’ folk free roaming access over Lebanese territories.

    In true Lebanese spirit, we like those who pay us and cost us nothing in return.

    Is there a difference between the two in your opinion, at least as far as Lebanon is concerned?

    Posted by Mustap | February 1, 2014, 7:31 pm
  198. Mustap,

    Yes, I’m still in the process of finding the best resistance movement to join.

    I’m thinking of asking Lally for her advice on this. Does being anti-Zionist take precedence or should it be anti-American first or anti-freedom…there’s really a lot to consider. Of course the last thing I want from my future resistance membership is anything that will help my community live in peace and tranquility.

    Thanks for asking…this will obviously take time and a lot of careful research.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 1, 2014, 7:39 pm
  199. Mustap,

    Per your last post, you summed it up quite concisely and I agree with you 100%.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 1, 2014, 7:43 pm
  200. As much as I don’t like theocracies, monarcies, and Saudi Arabia’s love for remaining in the 13th century, they are not a threat to the ME like Iran. That’s clear.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 1, 2014, 7:49 pm

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