Elections, Free Patriotic Movement, Hezbollah, Lebanon, March 14, Reform

Lebanon Spent Nearly Two of Last Four and a Half Years Without a Government

chess2There has been some movement in recent days on the cabinet formation stalemate. Saad Hariri agreed to join a national unity government with Hizbullah, a welcome development after months of deadlock.

How many months precisely? Nearly ten. Tammam Salam was appointed PM-designate on April 6, 2013. As you will recall, Lebanon’s previous premier Najib Mikati spent five months forming his government in 2011 (which was about how long Saad Hariri took to put together a cabinet after the 2009 parliamentary elections.)

In view of these historical trends, I thought I’d tally up the total amount of time that Lebanon has spent since the 2009 election under a caretaker government. All told, in the 1702 days since June 7 2009, Lebanon has spent 625 days (or 37%) under a caretaker government.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Saad Hariri: Took office on November 9, 2009 after 155 days (since the June 7, 2009 election).
  • Najib Mikati: Took office on June 15, 2011 after 153 days (since the collapse of the Hariri cabinet on January 12, 2011)
  • Tammam Salam: Has been trying unsuccessfully to form a government for ten months (actually 317 days since Mikati’s resignation on March 23, 2013)

(Note that I have calculated the figures above from the end of one cabinet to the formation of a new one, which includes both the amount of time that a PM-designate spends putting together his cabinet as well as the previous period of appointing a PM-designate.)

In other words, Salam’s difficulties have precedents rooted in well-documented structural flaws of the Lebanese system, which has proven to be unworkable in the years since the departure of the Syrian army. For some context on this particular problem (cabinet formation), here are some links to my commentary from years past.

Hariri cabinet formation process (June-November 2009)

Mikati cabinet formation process (Jan-June 2011)

Salam cabinet formation process (March 2013 – today)

Update: If we push the start date of this experiment back to the day the Karami government fell following the Hariri assassination in February 2005, we end up with a similar quotient of around 37% of the last nine years without a functioning government, because we’d have to include the twenty months of no government during the Hizbullah sit-in from November 2006 until May 2008.

Discussion

230 thoughts on “Lebanon Spent Nearly Two of Last Four and a Half Years Without a Government

  1. It’s like watching grass grow. Worse than Chinese water torture…

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 2, 2014, 11:59 pm
  2. Here’s my take on this government business.

    As the main post indicates, there sre two options: political vs. neutral, A tautology of course after ten months of rehashing.

    Nevertheless, a political cabinet will lose half its members immediately after formation, since there is no political agreement in place. Salam will be forced to replace those ministers somehow in order to balance sectarian quotas. The winner in this case is Saad Hariri who will get a government without Hezbollah as he initially insisted upon, but now he gets it without any real effort or planning on his part: an undesreved win since it will only temporarily delay his eventual departure to go live in St. Tropez, delayng in the process the emergence of a real leader to play the role. Salam will lose by entering the premiership club as a limping caretaker premier without achieving any win which could be considered his own.

    A neutral government is formed right from the outset, thereby relieving Salam from the task of reinventing the cabinet one day after he announces it, but in the process he shows initiative and resolve and deprives Saad of an undeserved win. He would still enter the club limping but with a legacy of his own having taken the bold step of sticking his finger to petty idiots calling themselves political leaders. No one would blame him after the patience he exhibited. In fact, he may even gain political capital and break the many gridlocks that congested the political process almost forever.

    The next question is what will this government do? Everyone knows the answer: manage the election of a new president. So who will that be?

    There are many details in between that need to be looked at. What will the disgruntled outgoing ministers do? Will there be occupation of government buildings? Will the army enforce the law? Will Hezbollah and/or Aoun go camping downtown?

    Consideting the state of affairs (security) within Hezbollah neighbourhoods, I would say the last thing Hassan would want to do is a repeat of 2008, and perhaps he may consider camping downtown is too risky considering the circumstances. This will be his final suicide note after his debacle in Syria.

    My two cents.

    Posted by Mustap | February 3, 2014, 12:31 am
  3. Well I can tell you this QN, if you ban Trinkets, I will not read from your site ever again. And I am sure that will make some of your groupies here happy, since they don’t appreciate opposing viewpoints or good debaters like Trinkets… As far as Vulcan not being able to access your site while staying in Beirut, I live just outside Beirut and work inside Beirut, yet I have never had a problem in either location accessing your blog… Let me ask you, would you consider the teams which helped with the investigations of March 14th political figures as being neutral investigators? As you know, Iran and Hezbollah have been accused of committing terrorists attacks in other parts of the world as well, yet they have denied involvement, and clear proofs have never been offered… I happen to also know that when any Shia Lebanese person in the US committed a crime in the US, Hezbollah was always brought into the picture for political purposes and more than likely it was the Zionist influences there that did so… The Zionist groups in the US and around the world have been desperately trying to paint Hezbollah and Iran as terrorists in any way possible, even through false flag operations that they themselves organized, such as in Argentina…yet Al Qaeda groups are committing terrorist attacks around the world and nobody seems to know or want to know who is funding these attacks, why is that?? Whether it is the Saudi or Qatari governments or private donors from these countries who are funding Al Qaeda groups, it is still the responsibility of these governments to make such funding illegal and investigate and arrest them … So how come they haven’t done so??

    Posted by Marion | February 3, 2014, 1:26 am
  4. And how come the Western governments who are so closely allied with the Gulf countries, have not threatened sanctions against and frozen the bank accounts of those inside the Gulf countries who have been funding Al Qaeda groups? Will you tell me that their intelligence services in this respect are ignorant, yet when it comes to Hezbollah or Iran they are always spot on, and that the Zionist influenced policies and politics in Western countries have had nothing whatsoever to do with any of these investigations or non-investigations??

    Posted by Marion | February 3, 2014, 1:52 am
  5. Marion

    I’m a little talked-out on the STL issue, but I’ll respond to this one last comment before turning to the subject of the current post.

    Bracketing the Hariri investigation by a few years, the UN also launched investigations on the question of WMDs in Iraq and the Israeli attack on Gaza in 2009. In both of those cases (the Blix and Goldstone reports), the UN arrived at a conclusion that ran counter to US and Israeli interests. Simply put, if I’m going to give the UN the benefit of the doubt in those cases (as well as many other instances one could cite that do not serve US foreign policy) I should also give it the benefit of the doubt here. That doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t approach the trial critically, given the way the whole affair has been politicized. But I’m also perfectly willing to accept the idea that the UN has uncovered a significant amount of the truth.

    Thank you for reading.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 3, 2014, 9:41 am
  6. QN,

    I think you should look at this with a larger lens. The small snapshot could be explained away in both instances by the strong arming/terror tactics of HA.

    a. The Saniora government collapsed in 2008 because of HA(allies) burning parts of West Beirut and hundreds of killed in the mountain as well.

    b. Hariri government that was the still birth child of Doha collapsed because HA decided it does not suit it anymore; thus black shirts.

    c. It took a long time for Miqati because he seemed trapped on how to manage the anger of the Sunni street.

    d. HA is again intimidating both Salam & MS not to form a government against their “wishes” or else…

    In conclusion the only common denominator is HA’s terrorizing….and lest not forget that the Miqati government was formed without the representatives of the biggest “Sunni” bloc. There was a precedent set. They had the government and yet after royally screwing the pooch; they had the gull of blaming the other side.

    So the system that you speak about is one of a mafia militia’s terror tactics.

    Posted by danny | February 3, 2014, 9:59 am
  7. Danny, the post is not about why government’s fall but rather why they take so long to form. I think those are two different issues…

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 3, 2014, 10:06 am
  8. The Zionist groups in the US and around the world have been desperately trying to paint Hezbollah and Iran as terrorists in any way possible, even through false flag operations that they themselves organized, such as in Argentina…

    Marion,

    Can you please show proof of this “false flag operation” as well as 9-11 and the hundreds of other arab conspiracy theories? Wake up and smell the kawa.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 3, 2014, 10:27 am
  9. Marion,

    Maybe the Hezbis need a PR campaign like the Zios…

    http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/48/commercials#video=0ap2000000321517

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 3, 2014, 10:29 am
  10. As I said the Miqati government too long as he was trying to surf through the minefield of anger that the sunni street had for the fall of the Hariri government as well as the blatant form of intimidation by the “blackshirts”. Miqati had to try to simmer down the resentment felt by the sunnis for having their predominantly elected MPs left out!

    In the second case. Well HA has been threatening with God knows what if Salam were to go ahead and form a cabinet without the consent and approval of HA.

    Both cases. Terror has been working wonders in Lebanon for the yellow/orange/green colors.

    Posted by danny | February 3, 2014, 10:45 am
  11. The reason why governments take so long to form in Lebanon is because Hezbollah wants to control Lebanon through controlling the premiership. If you’re still looking for motives behind Hariri assassination in 2005, look no further. If you are a Hezbollah supporter and complaining that the Hariri case has been politicised then blame your turbaned Iranian proxy leader who sanctioned the assassination. You can’t have it both ways: kill a political leader and assume innocence in the name of political neutrality in a highly politicized assassination.

    On another note, Hezbollah may have finally found its alter image in the phantom groups created by its Baathists allies (the Baathist proxies). Balance of terror in this case may have the side effect of reigning the bully and restraining its appetite for further bullying in the political arena. The theories of cold war era are very much still applicable in our region.

    We must be grateful to the fact that the organization’s stupidity is our best ally as Lebanese.

    Of course killing innocents is not the answer. But look ye what your hands have wrought.

    Posted by Mustap | February 3, 2014, 11:19 am
  12. Mustap

    Do you have any evidence besides the Michael Weiss article you cited that the Assad regime is behind the “phantom groups” you speak about? There is a history of Syrian intelligence infiltrating terrorist organizations and using them against their opponents in Iraq and Lebanon, but I think it’s a very serious stretch to imagine that Jabhat al-Nusra, ISIS, and various other groups like these are creations of the mukhabarat being used to sway public opinion against the opposition. Just not credible, in my view. Do you have evidence?

    I’d recommend some of the ICG reports as well as the work of Aron Lund on these matters.

    Even Al-Jazeera is documenting cases of brutality against Syrian civilians by Al-Qaeda affiliates. You think this is all the work of the regime? I don’t buy it.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 3, 2014, 12:59 pm
  13. My post had little to do with the STL QN…and you conveniently ignored most of my questions which had nothing at all to do with the STL…why don’t you address those questions?

    Posted by Marion | February 3, 2014, 1:02 pm
  14. Can you show me proof that Iran was the perpetrator behind the attack in Argentina Akbar? Being accused of a crime is not the same as being guilty of it….Zionist Israel is well known for its Mossad orchestrated false flag operations…

    Posted by Marion | February 3, 2014, 1:16 pm
  15. You asked “Let me ask you, would you consider the teams which helped with the investigations of March 14th political figures as being neutral investigators?”

    I answered you.

    You also asked lots of other questions about why the US doesn’t sanction individuals and governments who support Al-Qaida. The US cannot freeze bank assets in foreign countries, but it can pressure local authorities to do so. In the case of Syria, it seems that they’ve pursued an inconsistent strategy, supporting certain rebel groups against Al-Qaida affiliates while not committing to a clear-cut policy of shutting down the financial support. (This is difficult to do, in all cases, as we saw in Iraq. Most of the attacks on the US military were by groups who received funding from Saudi and Qatari sources, in addition to Iran. The US wasn’t able to stop the money flow there either.)

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 3, 2014, 1:16 pm
  16. Marion,

    How can you have serious discussion when you say: “even through false flag operations that they themselves organized, such as in Argentina”

    First, the evidence is overwhelming that Iran and Hezbollah were behind the attack. But if you believe that Israel would kill Jews just to blame Hezbollah and score political points, then something is really wrong with your thinking.

    When you put forward arguments like yours, you are basically making the conflict one that cannot be resolved by discussion but only on the battlefield.

    Posted by AIG | February 3, 2014, 1:22 pm
  17. But if you believe that Israel would kill Jews just to blame Hezbollah and score political points, then something is really wrong with your thinking.

    Just like 9-11. Arabs can’t fathom or recognize their own cruelty so they have to blame the victim. Nazism worked the same way. Cognitive dissonance.

    Just look at F-in’ Syria… the beatings will continue until morale improves…

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 3, 2014, 1:46 pm
  18. I may be a bit late to this, as I just started catching up on posts here, but:

    Marion says “I happen to also know that when any Shia Lebanese person in the US committed a crime in the US, Hezbollah was always brought into the picture for political purposes and more than likely it was the Zionist influences there that did so… ”

    I just about fell out of my chair laughing.
    We may disagree on political opinions, and that’s fine, but this statement above is outright laughable. If you honestly believe that every petty crime in Dearborn, Michigan (for example) is managing to involve the highest authorities of Zionism/CIA/Mossad and you honestly believe those people have nothing better to do with their lives but spin an HA connection every time a liquor store gets robbed by a Shia in the US, you’re out of your vulcan mind! (Pun intentional).
    It also makes me think you’ve never lived in the US (at least not long enough to see how things work).

    It’s one thing to say that various international terrorist attacks are being pinned on HA without proof being made public (be it Burgas or Buenos Aires). At least there, you have a point (that I may or may not agree with, but a point nevertheless). But the statement about any shia crime in the US…That’s just….WOW…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 3, 2014, 1:47 pm
  19. QN,

    I have seen numerous stories and “theories” (take with a grain of salt, of course) linking ISIS with the Syrian regime. Al-Nusra, probably not. Hard to say. But there have been some rather “odd” things associated with ISIS, so it’s not that far of a stretch.
    Why do you think it so unlikely?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 3, 2014, 1:53 pm
  20. QN,

    Since the days of Abu Adass, the same scenario has been repeating itself – no change. It seems your Baathist friends lack imagination, or they are sure it is a seller scenario to idiots acting as diplomats from the west.

    There is ONLY ONE terrorist in the room: the Syrian Mukhabarat and its agents.

    Syrian involvement in Iraq terrorism during the Bush invasion is well documented. These recent groups are run by the same people that were in and out of Syrian jails for one and only one specific reason: recycling the mukhabarat agents for the purpose of buying leverage with idiotic western governments (US mostly) by nurturing terrorism and then offering themselves (Baathists) as the panacea.

    I am not sure about Nusra, however. They could have a different origin. As far as I know they are 100% Syrians. But ISIL has been disowned even by Al-Qaeda itself . There has been a recent declaration by Al-Qaeda officially disowning them. So who actually owns them? Why ISIL was NEVER attacked by the regime? Why it (ISIL) NEVER attacked the regime? The most high ranking official in ISIL is an Iraqi Baathist ex-colonel.

    The more pressing question is how do we define terrorism? Is the Syrian government a terrorist outfit, if we cite all the atrocities it committed and continues to commit against the civilian populations, carrying out full scale destruction of civilian neighborhoods, dropping explosive laden barrels from helicopters on civilians and continued use of systematic torture? Are the horrific pictures of starvations that we are seeing here north of the borders but you guys are not allowed to see further south due to Obama ‘sensibilities’ acts of terrorism or are they in fact war crimes? What do you make of the farces of the negotiating team of the regime in Geneva II negating the existence of ANY opposition in Syria and calling in effect ALL Syrians opposing the regime as terrorists?

    What about Hezbollah involvement in this war? Are they not terrorists supporting a criminal outfit elevating criminality to the levels of Nazi crimes?

    I wouldn’t buy any so-called evidence presented by a self-proclaimed expert like Lund even if the evidence in support of the above.

    Now you can see, you may choose a Lebanese topic such as the lengthy process of formation of government for your post, but it is difficult if not impossible to separate it from what goes on around you.

    Today, there was another blow off in Shweifat. There will be more tomorrow and the days to follow. All thanks to an idiot Iranian proxy from Bazourieh who thinks he will be the next Nasser. And believe me this last bit is not mine. It comes from the mouth of an idiot who sees the Bazourieh idiot as his model for achieving higher levels of idiocy.

    Makes you wonder why Wakim appeared all of a sudden!!

    Posted by Mustap | February 3, 2014, 1:56 pm
  21. Laugh all you want Bad Vibel, by the way that name suits you… And you believe I have never lived in the US?? I happened to have been born and raised there, and I don’t have a drop of Arab blood in me….Despite you almost falling out of your chair, many criminal cases, not petty criminal cases, brought against Lebanese in the US were politicized, by dragging Hezbollah into them… Cigarette smuggling cases, tax fraud cases, I even personally know a man who was taking a couple of pairs of night vision binoculars to Lebanon, who was arrested at the airport and accused of wanting to take them to Hezbollah. And because Zionist Jewish American groups got involved in his cases, they wanted to give him the maximum sentence… Yet Jewish Americans have no problems supplying night vision binoculars, amongst other things, to ILLEGAL Jewish settlers in the occupied territories…why is that so??

    Posted by Marion | February 3, 2014, 2:43 pm
  22. Marion,

    The “settlements” are not “ILLEGAL”, they’re disputed. If these lands are not Palestinian (Palestine’s borders are not defined and Palestine is not a country yet), Jordanian or Israeli, then they are disputed. In fact, they are to be negotiated in a “land for peace” deal John Kerry has a hard-on about.

    This “occubation” bs is the LEAST of the arab world’s problems.

    Go to Veterans Today if you want “engage” like-minded meshuganas.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 3, 2014, 2:55 pm
  23. Disputed? Just like the Golan Heights and Shebaa farms are disputed? when Zionists take over the lands that belong to others, they suddenly became disputed according to whose interpretation of International law?

    Posted by Marion | February 3, 2014, 3:13 pm
  24. QN,

    Saying that the settlements are illegal is like saying that “gambling is illegal”. Gambling is legal in some countries and territories and illegal in others. Would a Nevada resident really care if someone told him that gambling was illegal and they should close the casinos? What matters is the law of the land and the law that the courts respect. If you have no legal remedy, that it is just nonsense to talk about “law” in this context. It is like the people of Utah banning gambling in Nevada.

    To say that the settlements are legal or illegal is just misleading. What is correct to say is that the settlements are legal under one set of laws and illegal under another and are legal under the laws of the sovereign of the land where they actually are. Just like gambling is neither legal or illegal. It is legal in Nevada and illegal in Utah and what matters are the laws of the land. Same for same sex marriages and many other laws.

    Posted by AIG | February 3, 2014, 3:19 pm
  25. Mourtada.. Since you conveniently shifted the topic suddenly to settlements further to the south, what is your leader Hassan doing up north in Syria?

    Posted by Mustap | February 3, 2014, 3:21 pm
  26. Marion,

    The Golan heights is not disputed under Israeli law, the only law that matters in this case. The Golan was annexed by Israel and is an integral part of Israel. If you don’t like Israeli law, you are welcome to try changing it.

    Posted by AIG | February 3, 2014, 3:21 pm
  27. AIG

    The only country that disputes the illegality of the settlements (according to international law) is Israel. Even US politicians have argued that they are illegal. And when they don’t use the word “illegal” they argue that the settlements are contraventions of recent agreements, deeply problematic, unhelpful to the peace process, etc.

    In other words, let’s be serious. The settlements are illegal according to international law. You just said to Marion: “When you put forward arguments like yours, you are basically making the conflict one that cannot be resolved by discussion but only on the battlefield.” Yes indeed.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 3, 2014, 3:33 pm
  28. QN,

    But this is my whole point. The settlements may be illegal under international law. So what? The underlying assumption you are bringing in is that international law is more important than Israeli law. I don’t agree with that. And how does the fact that I view Israeli law above international law mean I am not willing to negotiate? Laws are not immutable things. They can change, both international law and Israeli law.

    In the end, peace will come from both sides negotiating an agreement that they accept, and international law or Israeli law will have little to do with it. Neither international nor Israeli law constrain the agreement as both parties can come to agreement that is not according to either one and change the Israeli law accordingly while the agreement supersedes under international law any previous claims under international law. What is unhelpful, is to consider as you seem to do international law as some word of God.

    Posted by AIG | February 3, 2014, 3:49 pm
  29. AIG/AP,
    So why is Israel “negotiating”? Why did they at one time halt settlement building or expansion?
    Isn’t the West Bank occupied territory? I don’t think Israel annexed it or even wants to annex it. It’s common sense that building settlements in occupied land is illegal.. I think?

    Posted by Vulcan | February 3, 2014, 4:05 pm
  30. This is a classic example of how the ‘resistance’ folk, like Mourtada, use a totally irrelevant topic to divert the discussion from real issues to side issues. This is also a classic example of the use of the Palestinian issue in order to divert attention from real crimes committed by the proxies of the Iranians.

    I do not see any relevance here to issues of legality or lack thereof when it comes to settlements.

    What I see is a bigger problem of delusionally indoctrinated bunch of propagandists using the same worn out rhetoric over and over again to cover up for bigger crimes.

    We all know by now that your leader Hassan is a liar. He doesn’t want Shebaa. He doesn’t want the settlements, he doesn’t want Palestine. All he wants is to serve his masters in Tehran. It is as simple as that.

    That’s why our only enemy is east of the Tigris river and those who collaborate with it or defend it. Did you get it Mourtada?

    Posted by Mustap | February 3, 2014, 4:07 pm
  31. Silly me, quoting common sense lol

    Posted by Vulcan | February 3, 2014, 4:07 pm
  32. Could there be a shift in the solar system’s gravitational axis causing so many people to become extremists?

    Posted by Vulcan | February 3, 2014, 4:13 pm
  33. Where is Trinkets? She must be experiencing the same block I had in Beirut.. I was so disappointed because usually when I go to Beirut I get insanely philosophical and overwhelmed with the urge to express my dismay here, but couldn’t do it this time.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 3, 2014, 4:19 pm
  34. No Vulcan, I’m still here.

    QN;

    “Again, please learn how to engage constructively without resorting to accusations of ignorance, disingenuousness, and ineptitude.”
    See my post Feb 2, 6:25pm. I have also added an accusation of hypocrisy (your passing on flippant condescending remarks about other people’s contributions here vs complaining about others’ pointing out the lack in logic and/or honesty in your arguments)
    Please learn how to accept criticism and to desist from being condescending to others. We are all equal here and we don’t tell each other what to learn to do. If you can’t take it that I diagnose your arguments as illogical and intellectually dishonest, that’s not my problem. I’m not here to make a friend or an enemy out of you.
    “Are these groups directly receiving money from the Saudi and Qatari governments to set off bombs in Lebanon, or does their funding come from private individuals in the Gulf?”
    If you are aware of how things are set up in the Gulf, you would not ask that question. There is a lot of monitoring of the movement of money in the Gulf, by the Gulf countries in partnership with the US and European countries. During my time in Abu Dhabi, some Lebanese Shi were let go, their residency annulled, under rather mysterious circumstances. Around the same time, the Gulf Arab countries had started about applying sanctions on HA and were determined to stem off any flow of money into their coffers. Now, if you know HA and its larger socioeconomic environs, you would also know that there is great ambiguity and variegation between individual enterprises whose owners are not part of HA but are supporters nonetheless and HA run enterprises. Naturally, this is to be expected. Anyway, a snapshot http://salmiyaplus.com/showthread.php?t=24

    What does one deduce from that? That the GCC is aware of the sourcing and movement of money and has the ability to stem it off where and when it accedes to. In other words, here we can also extrapolate that they are equally aware of funding going to groups such as Al Nusrah and ISIL –organizations who are , themselves, claiming responsibility for terrorist attacks in Lebanon (as well as Syria of course)- from their own citizens.
    Furthermore, given that organizations such as AlNusrah and ISIL are classified as terrorists, it is – as one would expect-incumbent upon the GCC to take active measurements in order to stem off the funding. Not doing so is, in itself, a sign of accepting to act contrary to international law (that has to do with funding terrorism) and is, further, nothing but an indication of active complicity and not of passive inadvertence – and it can only be one or the other. Not only that, but GCC banks, private institutions, and are being used, as well as state-allocated funds given to princes and princesses – as you well know, at the echelon of the priviledged in the GCC, there is little divide and discrimination between what is the state’s and what is the individual’s (in the case of Saudi, there is none of coure. In the case of UAE, it is a more nuanced affair).
    The GCC countries know the individuals who are funding those groups, they know how they fund them and they know that, for instance, Kuwait acts as the major hub. And yet, they have no taken no real measures to curtail the funding to terrorist groups.
    So, it is naïve to think that one can exonerate the governments from acquiescing to citizen funding of –what really is a primarily Saudi agenda- extremist factions in Syria and now Lebanon.

    …………………………………………………………………………………
    Please review the below:
    “In total, it is estimated that hundreds of millions of dollars have been funneled through Kuwait into Syria, and evidence suggests some has gone to support rival al-Qaeda affiliates Jabhat al-Nusra and theIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). Both groups have used brutal tactics in fighting not only the Syrian regime forces, but also more moderate Syrian rebel groups and civilians that do not follow the groups’ strict interpretation of Islam.
    “[Private Kuwaiti funding] plays a part in keeping these groups active,” says Michael Stevens, a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies in London. “It has enabled the rise of what you might say are some of the more extreme elements of the Syrian opposition in recent times.” http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2014/0115/Away-from-spotlight-of-Syria-aid-conference-a-murkier-fund-drive

    Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates continues to bankroll better-armed hard-line opposition groups, including those affiliated with Al Qaeda such as Jabhat al-Nusra (“Nusra Front”), according to Arab and Western officials. The Nusra Front is believed to share some of the same leadership as Al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria.
    “The Saudis don’t believe they’re fighting for regime change, they believe they’re fighting Iran,” says an Arab official with knowledge of security matters. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2013/1216/As-foreign-funds-run-dry-Syrian-fighters-defect-to-anti-Western-militias-video

    Kuwait names financier of Syrian rebels to top post
    February 2, 2014
    Far from cracking down on individual Kuwaitis who have contributed or bundled donations to fund and arm the most radical fighters in Syria, the government of Kuwait is actually rewarding one of the top bundlers, Dr. Nayef al-Ajmi, with new appointments as the minister of justice and minister of Islamic affairs. https://moneyjihad.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/kuwait-names-financier-of-syrian-rebels-to-top-post/

    Officials say they are tracking the movements of funds from various wealthy individuals in the Persian Gulf, but the governments of key Gulf countries are reluctant to crack down.
    “Unless the money is actually in the U.S. financial system, you have to point out to these governments where the money is going and try to work with them to make sure it goes to legitimate groups,” said one U.S. official who spoke with The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of intelligence related to tracking such money.
    “The U.S. can’t shut down bank accounts in Kuwait or Qatar,” the official said. “We can tell them, ‘Look at what this person is doing.’” http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/13/us-allies-let-funds-flow-to-al-qaeda-in-syria/?page=all#pagebreak
    The approach has worked with variable success over the past decade, during which U.S. authorities have worked closely with counterparts in such nations as Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to choke off streams of cash to al Qaeda’s core leadership in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
    But when it comes to stemming the flow of aid to Salafist and al Qaeda-linked groups inside Syria, the strategy has been less successful — suggesting authorities in the Gulf now may see American pressure for such action as less worthy than previous calls to block cash to al Qaeda
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/13/us-allies-let-funds-flow-to-al-qaeda-in-syria/#ixzz2sHb6PB7O

    …………………………………………………………………………………
    So, we have now established, hopefully, that uncurtailed – and even facilitated- individual subvention at the level of the citizens implicates the GCC governments. Not only that but it would be naive to think that the GCC countries- spearheaded by/principally Saudi Arabia- do not have an agenda compatible with the abovementioned ongoings.

    “The directors of Saudi policy in Syria – the Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, the head of the Saudi intelligence agency Prince Bandar bin Sultan and the Deputy Defence Minister Prince Salman bin Sultan – plan to spend billions raising a militant Sunni army some 40,000 to 50,000 strong. Already local warlords are uniting to share in Saudi largesse for which their enthusiasm is probably greater than their willingness to fight.” http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/mass-murder-in-the-middle-east-is-funded-by-our-friends-the-saudis-8990736.html

    By the way, I disagree with the article when it suggests that that support of those novel forces (which we can see in the newly organized Islamic Front) in any way contradicts Saudi’s support of ISIL and Al Nusrah. I think that the Saudis were driven to arrange for an alternative force owing to the decreasing palatability of Al Nusrah and ISIL by their western allies. Saudi Arabia has an infamous track record of creating, financing and maintaining extremist jihadists for their perusal on a geopolitical scale (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia/Soviet, Nasser’s Egypt with the MBs (before the Saudis turned on the MB)..etc).

    So, anyone who looks at both, the small picture, the big picture, and several sources can see that Al Nusrah and ISIL (and other such organisations)’ air-pipe starts in Saudi Arabia.

    So, given that al Nusrah and its brethren are themselves admitting to the attacks on Lebanese citizens, am I not inclined to see this as a clear sign that the concerned GCC countries have, by proxy, declared war on Lebanon (by declaring war on part of Lebanon)? Yes, I am inclined to do so. Not because I hate Saudi Arabia or Kuwait or…but because of the sequence of clear inference.

    “But If we’re willing to accept the Lebanese authorities’ findings in the Dahiyeh bombing, why wouldn’t we also accept their findings in the case of various other threats? Let’s recall Michel Samaha, who confessed to being part of a Syrian intelligence plot to set off bombs in Lebanon in order to incite sectarian tension?

    Excuse me, but what does this have to do with the discussion? What is this, a cocktail of throw-in-everything-at –one-go? You were talking Iran as an enemy, now Syria, now HA , now….?Everything in one basket? What is it that you want through asking that question? That Syria may do bad things…I don’t know, perhaps this was one of them. I never stood up to defend the Syrian regime or the destructive Syrian involvement in Lebanese affairs. But that purported botched assassination does in no way alleviate the GCC active involvement in now, current successive mass murder of Lebanese citizens from liability just because there maybe scumbags on the other side of the divide. Again, you disclose a lack of logic and using rhetoric merely to obfuscate and achieve points in a non-existent clichéd argument that goes on in your head not in mine: I do not support the Syrian regime just because I support HA and (and not “but”) I understand and accept that HA must build allies to achieve their goals.

    “Here again, the Lebanese authorities — with the assistance of US intelligence, German intelligence, Swiss intelligence, and a 7-year UN investigation — uncovered evidence of Hizbullah’s involvement. And yet, somehow you are not willing to entertain the possibility that this might be true, in fact calling it an “unqualified, uncertain, stubborn and illogical assumption”…

    Posted by Trinkets | February 3, 2014, 4:33 pm
  35. (contn’d)

    That is a better question. Let me say this. The US intelligence tipped off the Lebanese to catch Majid el Majid (and there are accounts – I don’t know how true- that the guy with him was a close relation to Prince Bandar and it is said that Al Majed was working for Saudi intelligence in close coordination with the terrorist cells (the Iranian embassy bombing and others)…and by the way, there is quite a bit of information on the involvement of Saudi and Qatari royalty in active participation with Al Nusrah, ISIL and others…but I’ll stop here, suffice to say, the GCC is involved in all fronts, militarily, politically, financially…). I read a few accounts that this is indication that the US wants Lebanon to stay relatively stable and, perhaps, to slap Saudi’s wayward hand. Perhaps. But anyway, the US did not disclose the connection of Al Nusrah and ISIL to Saudi, Qater and others. As you can see from the number of sources, this is common knowledge. US tipped the Lebanese on the whereabouts of Al Majed. US has an interest there to get him apprehended, obviously.

    But…this is in no way equivalent to the fabrication of evidence (what is being farcically passed off as circumstantial) in the Harriri case, where the US/Israel/NATO has an interest in eliminating HA. There is no contradiction in my believing that US wanted Al Majed apprehended and notifying the Lebanese AND in believing that the US and its allies would support a sham case against HA built on a history of erroneous accusations and corruption, false witnesses and corruption, Israeli involvement AND Israel’s reluctance to hand over possibly incriminating evidence, the concoction of a narrative out of circumstantial evidence that could be easily feigned (rather than deriving guilt from givens, givens are being concocted to lead to guilt), the revelation that the Prosecution selected civilian phone numbers and claiming they belonged to HA members, the refusal to investigate the Wissam El Hassam tangent, the Israeli drones on site and the scenario of the bombs from above… so on and so forth ..and all this after 9 years and millions of dollars paid up by the Lebanese . I don’t believe I have much more energy to argue the case here so I will redirect you to the following:

    1- ويرجح بحسون الذي “يجزم بوجود اتصالات مفبركة مقدمة الى لجنة التحقيق الدولية”، ان التعدي الذي استخدم في حالة اتصالات حزب الله هو مزيج من الـ Data forgery و الـ Data modification و التوأمة . ويلفت الى أن اسرائيل تتمتع بخبرة هائلة في هذا المجال وعلى وجه الخصوص المعهد التكنولوجي الاسرائيلي في حيفا.
    يشير بحسون الى امتلاكه معلومات ترجح ان عناصر حزب الله الذين كانوا في دائرة الشبهة بناء على ملف الاتصالات كان عددهم يقارب العشرين لكنه عاد وانخفض الى اثنين” مضيفا ان “المكالمات المشبوهة المتعلقة باتصالات مرصودة بين هذين الشخصين لا يمكن ان تستخدم كأدلة من قبل بيلمار”.

    ولماذا تم اهمال الفرضية الاسرائيلية من قبل التحقيق؟ يجيب بحسون ان “براميرتس عمل خلال 3 اشهر على فرضية استهداف صاروخ لموكب الرئيس الحريري” مشيرا الى “عدم وجود تعاون من جانب اسرائيل لذا انا متشائم حيال وصول السير بهذه الفرضية الى اي مكان، لان المحكمة التي ستتهم اسرائيل ستلغى”. ويذّكر بقضية اغتيال المبحوح في الامارات بحيث كان “المتورطون معروفي الهوية لكن احدا لم يقدم على توقيف احد منهم بسبب الحماية السياسية والخط الاحمر الذي تمثله اسرائيل”

    http://saidadays.com/news.php?go=fullnews&newsid=4327

    2- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrxPE72j87I

    3- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buBkm8jZ3EY

    4- A 2010 investigative piece published by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that UN investigators scrutinized al-Hassan as a possible suspect in the Hariri assassination. The investigators considered his alibi to be “weak and inconsistent…[he is] a possible suspect in the Hariri murder.”
    Hassan was head of late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s personal security team until Hariri’s assassination in 2005.Al-Hassan said he was studying for an exam at the Lebanese University on the day of Hariri’s assassination, and therefore excused himself from tending to his bodyguard duties. Phone records showed that al-Hassan made 24 calls in the morning of the assassination, though he claimed he was studying.
    The UN’s commission’s management decided not to proceed with investigations for fear of damaging relations with the ISF http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/13029

    5- I will end this part with this quote

    أولا إن حرية انتقاد الإجراءات القضائية وسير المحاكمات هي الضمانة الأحدث والأشد فاعلية لتأمين حسن تحقيق العدالة في أي قضية اجتازت مراحل التحقيق وباتت قيد المحاكمة العلنية فكيف في قضية أحاطت بها الريبة والشكوك منذ استناد التحقيق لشهود الزور وبعد سقطة اعتقال الضباط الأربعة وفضيحة اتهام سوريا والتراجع عن الاتهام مما يفتح باب الشك البديهي والمحتوم في صدقية الاتهام الجديد الذي شاع في الصحافة الإسرائيلية أنه مرتكز إلى معلومات قدمتها مخابرات إسرائيل لتعتمد أدلة إثبات في اتهام جهة لبنانية هي حزب الله الموجود في حالة حرب مع إسرائيل منذ نشوئه قبل أكثر من ثلاثين عاما انتهت إلى تراكم هزائم تكون عبرها دافع قوي وصارخ للثأر والانتقام يبيح الطعن والنقض بأي مستند إسرائيلي المصدر وقبل التشديد الطبيعي على البعد السيادي اللبناني المخترق في عمل المحكمة التي سعى منشؤوها لتحويلها إلى جهاز وصاية على الدولة اللبنانية وسائر المؤسسات الوطنية بما فيها الإعلام اللبناني الموصوف بحريته التي تتعرض لها مراسلات المحكمة مطالبة بتكبيلها بمحظورات كثيرة فوق القوانين اللبنانية وبالضد من فحواها المبني على مبدأ حرية الرأي والتعبير وبينما حولت المحكمة نفسها مقاما فوق المقامات الدستورية اللبنانية في منع التعرض لها وبادعاء الحصانة لكرامتها ولسير عملها باستنساب يهدد الحريات الأساسية للبنانيين في التعبير وإبداء الرأي . – See more at: http://www.neworientnews.com/news/fullnews.php?news_id=123913#sthash.WBcZaLlW.dpuf

    “In my view, it’s not because some countries are virtuous and others are not, and it’s not because some Lebanese are traitors while others are not. The rhetoric of takhwin elides complexities, in my view, and misreads reality.”

    Again,a disingenuous reading. Whether you see the GCC or Iran as a friend/enemy or not does not constitute traitorship for me. You are inferring incorrectly from what I said. Israel is the denominator. I said pro-Israel…not not pro-GCC/Iran/whatnot. Yes, totally, if you are a pro—Israeli, I see you, from a moral and national standpoint as a traitor. If you are a pro-GCC and anti-Iran Lebanese, I don’t see you a traitor – deluded perhaps, but.that is another discussion. And for the record, I’m not pro-Iran either.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 3, 2014, 4:33 pm
  36. Vulcan,

    Again, is it common sense the same sex marriages are illegal? In some cases. common sense is the basis of law, in other cases it isn’t and of course common sense changes over time. It is common sense to me that the settlement blocks near the 67 line are defacto part of Israel even though they have not been annexed. This is the view of most Israelis and I think that many Palestinians have come to accept this reality and hence that land swaps are the appropriate solution.

    Posted by AIG | February 3, 2014, 4:51 pm
  37. Wow. That’s a lot to read…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 3, 2014, 5:21 pm
  38. Note: my previous two posts are a response to QN’s questions posed on the previous thread. His text is quoted and replies follow thereafter. Can we utilize italics and bold fonts here and how please? Im not very techy.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 3, 2014, 5:34 pm
  39. Trinkets said: “If you can’t take it that I diagnose your arguments as illogical and intellectually dishonest, that’s not my problem. I’m not here to make a friend or an enemy out of you.”

    You can take my arguments any way you like. All I’m asking is that you treat your interlocutor with respect, as I am treating you. It’s a basic question of adab al-jadal. Thanks.

    On the question of Saudi/GCC financing, I’m perfectly willing to accept everything you are proposing, but I don’t see how it gets you to this conclusion:

    So, given that al Nusrah and its brethren are themselves admitting to the attacks on Lebanese citizens, am I not inclined to see this as a clear sign that the concerned GCC countries have, by proxy, declared war on Lebanon (by declaring war on part of Lebanon)?

    Why the trade in absolutes? Let’s use this logic on Iran and Syria’s sponsorship of militias in Iraq. Did those countries “declare war on Iraq (by declaring war on part of Iraq)?” Every regime in the Middle East has intelligence agencies that are neck-deep in the game of cultivating and deploying jihadis against their political enemies. This is not an exclusively Saudi enterprise. The Jordanians, Syrians, Pakistanis, Iranians, etc. are no strangers to it, and Lebanon has frequently been the arena for such proxy wars. This activity is no less a driver of anti-Iranian sentiment than anti-Saudi sentiment.

    “I never stood up to defend the Syrian regime or the destructive Syrian involvement in Lebanese affairs. But that purported botched assassination does in no way alleviate the GCC active involvement in now, current successive mass murder of Lebanese citizens from liability just because there maybe scumbags on the other side of the divide.”

    My mentioning it was not meant to alleviate GCC culpability, but to point out that if there is antipathy toward Syria and Iran, it is because of this kind of “destructive involvement”. That was the whole point of my discussion with Epok about why some Lebanese hate Iran. Yes, people tend to connect Syria with Iran, according to the same logic that they connect KSA with Qatar. Doesn’t make complete sense, but it’s not nonsensical either.

    “you disclose a lack of logic and using rhetoric merely to obfuscate and achieve points in a non-existent clichéd argument “

    How interesting. How is this relevant to anything?

    “I do not support the Syrian regime just because I support HA and (and not “but”) I understand and accept that HA must build allies to achieve their goals.”

    Let me ask you this. Would you accept this statement from a Mustaqbal supporter who argued that he does not support Nusra but he understands that the Syrian opposition must build allies to achieve their goals?

    But…this is in no way equivalent to the fabrication of evidence (what is being farcically passed off as circumstantial) in the Harriri case, where the US/Israel/NATO has an interest in eliminating HA.

    Ok, we disagree. Let’s leave it at that for now. I think you’re being intellectually dishonest and illogically biased toward Hizbullah, and you think the same of me. Fine. Let’s move on.

    Whether you see the GCC or Iran as a friend/enemy or not does not constitute traitorship for me. You are inferring incorrectly from what I said. Israel is the denominator. I said pro-Israel…not not pro-GCC/Iran/whatnot. Yes, totally, if you are a pro—Israeli, I see you, from a moral and national standpoint as a traitor. If you are a pro-GCC and anti-Iran Lebanese, I don’t see you a traitor – deluded perhaps, but.that is another discussion. And for the record, I’m not pro-Iran either.

    I think the number of Lebanese who could be called “pro-Israeli” is miniscule. Israel continues to be viewed as an enemy — ranging from a major menace to an existential threat — by virtually the whole population, which isn’t to say that a majority wouldn’t prefer a peace deal rather than war.

    Yes, there are many who are pro-GCC/anti-Iran and vice versa. I would half agree with you here, preferring to call both sets “deluded” (but I would not use that word, which strikes me as unkind and haughty). To reiterate a point from the earliest days of our exchange: I think all of these countries have been bad news for our own.

    Finally, the way to italicize text is by using the html tag i. For bold, use b. I keep trying to demonstrate, but the tags disappear as they’re supposed to. Google it and you’ll get the code.

    Can I ask you: what is your opinion on the subject of the post? How would you fix the lag time in cabinet formation?

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 3, 2014, 6:03 pm
  40. PS: The weekend is over. That means I don’t have time to respond to epic comments, as I’m teaching, going to job talks, meeting with students, etc. from dawn til dusk. So let’s try to keep the comments shorter? I’ll do the same.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 3, 2014, 6:05 pm
  41. There is a deliberate attempt by the ‘resistance’ hirelings to swamp the site with rubbish, and also to level insults on the site’s owner.

    Now we know for sure the guy is tough love for those looking for love. That’s by his/her own admission.

    Posted by Mustap | February 3, 2014, 6:05 pm
  42. QN,

    Can you set a special section for Trinkets so that she can play alone there…with a couple of her buddies?

    Posted by danny | February 3, 2014, 6:07 pm
  43. Mustap and Danny

    You don’t have to read our comments. Talk amongst yourselves.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 3, 2014, 6:09 pm
  44. QN,

    Thanks for the advice. 😀
    However; it seems people will shy away from any post if gets hijacked to the same destination irrespective of the topic of discussion.

    Here we go. I love HA. I devote my unborne children to die for Khameini. I hate Israel. All Arabs suck as far as they are Sunnis. I will stay with the Divine Party. Death to Amereeka. Long live SEYYED HASSAN NASSRALLAH.

    Posted by danny | February 3, 2014, 6:19 pm
  45. Actually, we’re not reading it. Like you we have very little time. We’re just scrolling through as fast as we can.

    Looks like Lebanon’s only employing sector nowadays is the ‘resistance’!

    Otherwise, unemployment is close to 90%.

    Posted by Mustap | February 3, 2014, 6:26 pm
  46. To bring the post back to the original topic: Delay in govt. formation.

    I’m gonna go ahead and be unkind to you here, QN. And I hope you will take it with a grain of humor, knowing that I’m not out to question your hypocrisy or disingenuousness (not a real word, I know).
    Anyway, here goes: I think it’s a silly (not to use a meaner word) question.

    You really have to ask why it takes so long to form a government? In Lebanon? A completely failed state, teeming with non-state actors and foreign proxies?
    It takes so long for the simple reason that the system is broken.
    Or rather, that there is no system, because a system means everyone agrees to play by the rules, whereas in Lebanon, nobody does.
    It takes so long for the same reason that we keep extending our president’s terms (every single one of them for the past 20 years). Same reason why it takes so long to get an oil exploration going. Same reason it takes so long to modernize, secularize, whathaveyou.
    The simple answer is: It takes so long to form a government because those who are tasked with doing so, and all the parties involved are not bound to any set of rules and simply do whatever they want. There is no clear set of rules to govern “the game” (and if there were, none of the parties agree to these rules), so everyone does whatever they want, when they want, and how they want.
    Governments are formed when all these bozos decide to form a government (or are told by their masters to do so). Governments are obstructed from formation when these bozos decide to obstruct (or are told to do so).
    Governments fall when these bozos decide they don’t want a government (or are told to so).
    There is no system. It’s anarchy. Chaos. And you’re asking to make sense of chaos?

    Besides bemoaning the incredibly broken system and its actors, is there anything more to say in this post? There really are no debatable questions here, IMHO.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 3, 2014, 6:52 pm
  47. AIG/AP,

    So why is Israel “negotiating”? Why did they at one time halt settlement building or expansion?
    Isn’t the West Bank occupied territory? I don’t think Israel annexed it or even wants to annex it. It’s common sense that building settlements in occupied land is illegal..

    Vulcan,

    Israel is simply trying to retain as much land as possible while getting a peace treaty to end the conflict. She came pretty close with Camp David 2000, which included sharing the Old City of Jerusalem. With Syria and the Palestinians do nothing but shooting themsrlved in the foot. I don’t think the GOI is going to go back to sharing the Old City.

    “Halting” settlement building inside of established settlements was never dictated by Oslo. Israel sometimes halts new housing units inside established settlements to help coax the PA along. But the PA has never done anything constructive except to throw parties when their murderers get released.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 3, 2014, 7:07 pm
  48. Bad Vilbel,

    Respectfully, I disagree.

    The General is out to fight corruption but no one else is helping with the crusade except for his turbaned friend. Lately the turbaned one was kept busy in Syria. So, the General is left alone to do the fighting at home.

    We need to debate further. There are other reasons beneath the surface.

    Posted by Mustap | February 3, 2014, 7:08 pm
  49. AIG,

    Picking and choosing between when and where to accept international law and when to reject it is not a rational strategy for any state (except for some “rogue states” or hegemonic powers)! You cannot argue that you could choose to reject certain treaties and conventions because of “national interests”–as that would defeat the purpose of international law and of being a signatory to International law documents that are rooted in treaties, conventions and agreements that developed into humanitarian law and human rights law. Please pick and choose which of the following primary documents of international you would think that a state has the “right” to accept/reject, while not acting as a pariah or rogue state, and still be accepted in the “community” of nations? 1) for humanitarian law: the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, and the Geneva Conventions and International Military Tribunals after WWII and 2) for human rights law: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESR), as well as the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. You must have not been aware that the illegality of the settlements is beyond dispute–as QN indicated, the ONLY country that illogically disputes it is the state of Israel.

    Posted by Parrhesia | February 3, 2014, 7:34 pm
  50. BV said: “Governments are formed when all these bozos decide to form a government (or are told by their masters to do so). Governments are obstructed from formation when these bozos decide to obstruct (or are told to do so).
    Governments fall when these bozos decide they don’t want a government (or are told to so).
    There is no system. It’s anarchy. Chaos. And you’re asking to make sense of chaos?

    Besides bemoaning the incredibly broken system and its actors, is there anything more to say in this post? There really are no debatable questions here, IMHO.”

    Maybe. Setting aside the factor of foreign influence, I think there may be ways to reform the system so that certain home-brewed obstacles are prevented from emerging. That’s what I was hoping to debate.

    Still, I understand the reasons for cynicism.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 3, 2014, 7:59 pm
  51. Of course there are ways to reform the system. We’ve discussed those before. A secular state, the respect for the rule of law and the constitution.
    Heck, even if the constitution was applied to the letter, the way it is currently written, we’d be further along than we are. Of course it isn’t.

    We can get into the details of how to draft a set of laws/rules/constitution that make government formation easier, but the bottom line is, none of this matters because any set of rules we come up with would require all parties to agree to them and play by them. We could come up with the best system reform in history, if no one abides by it, what difference does it make?

    To tackle the issue of government formation, I think the solution is rather simple (and is adopted in some similar form in many countries):
    1. The president and PM get together and pick a government of their choosing. It does not have to be “all inclusive”. It does not have to represent all sects. For all I care, let them choose 30 shia (or 30 Christians for that matter).
    2. The govt needs to get the parliament’s confidence. If it doesn’t the PM is automatically sacked and the president picks a new one and they form a government again.
    3. To prevent the above cycle from repeating endlessly, since it hinges on parliament’s approval (and thus parliament can choose to obstruct as is currently the case), set a time deadline. 90 days to form a new government and gain approval. If after 90 days, the parliament has failed to approve whatever governments have been proposed to it, the parliament is dissolved and new parliamentary elections are scheduled.
    4. In the case of new parliamentary elections, the existing government remains as caretaker (as it would have been for the past 90 days) with a mandate to conduct said elections within 90 days. So, at most, the vacuum lasts 90+90=180 days (These numbers are arbitrary, but I assume 90 days is a decent amount of time for each task).
    5. If the caretaker government fails to conduct parliamentary elections within 90 days, then they too are sacked and the president gets to rule by executive order and appoint whoever he wishes as new PM and a new government without needing approval by parliament and until new elections are organized.
    6. If the president does not fulfill his duties either, the army automatically assumes command of the country.

    You may see, as I enumerate my suggestion, that it still hinges on the participants agreeing to play by the rules, and operating in good faith.
    Clearly, any system is meaningless otherwise.
    In my example here, it would be easy enough for a president/PM/Parliament to keep obstructing until the army takes over, and for the army to keep putting off elections for decades….But again, all systems fail if the participants don’t operate with some degree of good faith.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 3, 2014, 8:35 pm
  52. PARRHESIA,

    On the contrary, countries rationally choose all the time which parts of international law they wish to follow even though they sign plenty of treaties. Plenty of countries flout the treaties they signed, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights being a prime example.

    You make a category mistake when you call a law “logical” or that Israel “illogically” rejects it. It is like calling “pressure” green or “love” crunchy. It is just not properties these things have. International law should be followed only if it is in the interest of the country to do so. Israel does not torture military prisoners because of the Hague Convention, but because the Israeli public does not think we should. We endeavor to give women equal rights because we think it is the right thing to do, not because it is international law.

    International law is a sad joke, as the current war in Syria has shown time and time again. I don’t think there is an international law that was not broken yet the security council is completely hopeless to do anything. In every Arab-Israeli war many Israeli prisoners were tortured by Syria and Egypt. Non of those countries was made a “rogue” nation because they completely ignored the Hague convention.

    Posted by AIG | February 3, 2014, 9:29 pm
  53. After seeing Trinket’s posts, I was reminded of this.

    Posted by dontgetit | February 3, 2014, 9:58 pm
  54. Dontgetit,

    Reading your comments, I am surprised you’re branded by other commentators as an ex-resistance diehard. You don’t fit the profile – not even remotely.

    QN,

    If you want to discuss Lebanese issues, of course after the issue of the lengthy process of government formation has been addressed, here’s a suggestion:

    Since the issue of violation of Lebanese sovereignty through its airspace by Israel was brought up recently, how about debating the continuing violations of this sovereignty by the Syrian regime both from the air and from the ground in the north and the east? Is it not important, in your opinion, that this sovereignty be protected from ALL violations no matter the source? Shouldn’t the Lebanese State in this case consider the Syrian regime an enemy of Lebanon? What about the LAF? When will it take measures to protect this sovereignty from Syrian regime aggressions and do something even symbolic? I would be satisfied even with a statement that reads something like this: we reserve the right to choose the time and place to respond to these aggressions of the Syrian regime. Or, we will choose the venue and the timing for the battle and respond decisively.

    Posted by Mustap | February 3, 2014, 10:33 pm
  55. It was just a persona I tried in for a while to see what it was like. I found it exhausting, especially the insatiable need to overuse adjectives, and was glad to give it up.

    Posted by dontgetit | February 3, 2014, 11:36 pm
  56. The Lebanese do not need a Government, they are self proclaimed Anarchists of the highest order. They only maintain a semblance of a governing body to remain a member of the international community. Kudos to the Lebanese, for being very politically mature.

    Posted by Maverick | February 3, 2014, 11:39 pm
  57. What is the point of you calling me Mourtada Mustap? Are you trying to prove something? And if you are what is it?

    Posted by Marion | February 3, 2014, 11:44 pm
  58. I just finished watching Zero Dark Thirty.

    Thank god for international law.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 3, 2014, 11:48 pm
  59. marion…. I am not trying to prove anything Mourtada. That is your name, right?

    It looks like being in the ‘resistance’ circles makes you apprehensive.

    Is this your way of avoiding answeting the question?

    If you care so much about settlements in Palestine, you should ask Hassan what he’s doing in Syria? Why is he such a liar? And why do you believe liars like him?

    This brings us full circle back to ‘dis-ingeniousness’. Or perhaps your assignment here is just to create diversions?

    Posted by Mustap | February 3, 2014, 11:58 pm
  60. A suicide bomber blew himself up in a van yesterday in Chouifat…the van driver miraculously survived…there were no other passengers…what in the world was he thinking?

    Posted by Marion | February 4, 2014, 12:15 am
  61. You can take my arguments any way you like. All I’m asking is that you treat your interlocutor with respect, as I am treating you. It’s a basic question of adab al-jadal. Thanks.

    Again, the way I treated you was better than they way you’ve been treating others. I took your discussion seriously when you presented it and assessed it as being devoid of logic or disingenuous (agree or not – and you have every right of rebuttal). Conversely, when you call others’ posts tiresome it is dismissive and condescending. I do not care for trivial and hypocritical signs of politeness; I care for an honest intellectual politeness. We are all adults here – if I tell you your argument lacks logic or is deficient in someway, do not take personal offense. On the other hand, please don’t be dismissive and accept others on equal par. Thanks.

    Why the trade in absolutes? Let’s use this logic on Iran and Syria’s sponsorship of militias in Iraq. Did those countries “declare war on Iraq (by declaring war on part of Iraq)?”

    Do you mean after the fall of Saddam? There was barely a country left let alone a government and the country was under US occupation. The situation is completely different. The US had destroyed Iraq- perhaps you should be more concerned with that ‘intervention’. Now, if a country is doing the following:

    1- Letting its clerics on its national televisions call against, not only fighting the army in Syria, but also fighting elkhawarej, ie Alawites, Shiites and so on and passing on fatwas to facilitate this.

    2- Supporting, financially, logistically and theologically groups who are now setting themselves off in parts of Beirut associated with its Shia residents to kill the maximum number of civilians, not HA but civilians.

    3- Makes very odd warnings about civil war in Lebanon when there was no such danger: ie Turki El Faisal’s veiled warning

    Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi ambassador to Washington, warned that “Lebanon is very much on the brink of … civil war”

    In other words, is passing on a veiled threat that Saudi Arabia will impel the country into civil war through its Lebanese agents be they M14 or the extremist groups its supports. Ye3ni yalli ta7ta wyalli faw2a.

    How else am I going to interpret it? Simply as your typical intelligence reconnaissance? This is now a war on a part of Lebanon as it is a war on Syria. Réveillez-vous. But the Saudis are doing what they did in Afghanistan; they pay a lot of money and direct their extremist religious wahabis to turn a generation of devout youth against a faction of their brethen (at that time, it was the educated and leftists Afghanis) and kill them.

    Iran does not do that. They, the Iranians, have issued fatwas curtailing any tafiri from the side of Shias who take it as a marja3/ theological reference. HA do not do that. When did HA walk into a sunni or christian neighbourhood, into a bus, drive a car ..and kill off people? Seriously, how could you in the right frame of mind compare al Nusrah to HA. You don’t even compare them theologically. Al Nusrah and the ISIL and even large factions of the newly formed Islamic Front are from the takfiri salafist. According to them, we (christians, aliwi, shia, whatever) have three choices: conversion, payment dhimmi tax or death. And by dhimmi, that can mean they can take -as they are doing in Syria- all of your possession. Actually, I think the dhimmi and conversion is out of the question for the shia and the alawi – its ok to chop their heads straight away.

    Do you see HA advocating this? What is this افتراء, this slanderous fabrication? This is why I accuse your arguments of either ignorance or being disingenuous. Because either you don’t know what these groups are about (theologically, politically, who funds them and for what reason they’re being used) or you know and you’re being dishonest by trying to create an equivalence between one group and another totally different group.

    Let me ask you this. Would you accept this statement from a Mustaqbal supporter who argued that he does not support Nusra but he understands that the Syrian opposition must build allies to achieve their goals?

    No I don’t. We knew what came with the Syrian regime – on the civilian level: a stultified political environment and one had to be careful with what one was saying. With the Al Nusrah and ISIL, you get blown up and your head chopped, however you minded your business because you were a shia, a christian or an alawi – not because of political indiscretion. They’ll fight and kill us for what we are, not for whom we support.

    This is exactly why I understand HA involvement in Syria. Many Lebanese don’t see the disease that is coming (and in fact, how many times were we told that we don’t have Al Qaeda and that it was just fearmongering? Well, thank you, now we have Al Qaeda opening up recruitment offices in Lebanon). They are too involved in their petty hatreds and their petty divisions of what they looted from the makeen citizen…and here we are, lambs to the slaughter. You do listen to news, don’t you?

    Some people are living in another country. I happened to come across May Chidiac’s facebook account. Do you realize that not -just-a-few people have expressed glee at the recent spat of civilian deaths. In lebanese: 3am yishmato. Civilians, not HA fighters. Not only did it show the insularity of some people from a concern that should be now nationwide, it shows, i strognly suggest, latent racism and antipathy. I could expect it from enemies, not from people of the same country. No, these people do not want a country or a nation, they don’t want to accept the other.

    Yes, if one is that sort of person, one is going to be blinded by his or her hatred and delusions (ex.that HA are wrecking the country, that the electricity shortcuts is HA’s fault, that HA are killing people from our team…not, god forbid, Israel, that HA didn’t make me a good looking person…) and they’re not after the truth (as in that farcical Harriri tribunal). If you can’t discriminate between HA and AL Nusrah, between freedom fighters fighting an enemy of the country because we don’t have a strong enough army (or a strong enough state)…and a group of people whose agenda it is is either to kill us or turn us into subservient subjects at the threatening edge of a sword, then one’s blindness is his or her own fault. Not HA’s as well.

    Thank you for the italics I hope they show up.

    About the government. I won’t go into details. I will just express a general thought.

    1- M14 are now 100% under Saudi control (I do not agree with drawing an equivalence with Iran – HA and Aoun are far more independent than M14 could ever dream of being (although they only dream of Riyals)) .

    2-Whether there will be a government or not is not really that significant at this point – what is significant is that both the absence of the government or its formation are going to be calculated to bring the country closer to the edge.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 4, 2014, 12:22 am
  62. Lool Mustap…my assignment here??? Aren’t you a bit paranoid? Shouldn’t it be up to me to give my “married” name, and not you Mustap…??? QN why do you allow such things as the divulging of last names by other commenters to take place on your blog?

    Posted by Marion | February 4, 2014, 12:27 am
  63. W2allah – aw ma ya7ilo makanouho, in kan howa aw ghayrih (ya3ni howa bas mish howa) – yse3idna 3alli jey.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 4, 2014, 12:28 am
  64. Trinkets,

    Even the EU has put Hezbollah on a list of terrorist organizations. Its about time…

    http://www.idfblog.com/hezbollah/2013/07/10/hezbollah-army-of-terror/

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 4, 2014, 12:32 am
  65. QN, please note that these individuals, and especially Mustap, are overstepping their boundaries in more ways than one, using petty language and so on. Instead of confronting me about my pointing out the lack in logic of any one of your arguments, could you please address the non-constructive (since you so care about us being constructive here) insipid vitriol coming from its direction?

    On a completely different subject, I do not like crazed and yappy pomerians.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 4, 2014, 12:33 am
  66. While I would love to continue exchanging with you Mustap, I do have to finish getting ready and than go to work…maybe you can work on also divulging my maiden name, my age, number of children and their full names, who I voted for in the last election in which I voted, etc. while I am gone….

    Posted by Marion | February 4, 2014, 12:40 am
  67. Hey Mourtada, it was you who divulged your ‘married’ name and not QN. So what does QN have to do with this? Is it also your habit to blame others for your indiscretions?

    And what made you think I am paraniod. I should give you even a bigger loooool for this than yours 😴

    But let’s go back to the real questions.

    Why do you care so much about settlements in Palestine but not so much about a liar like Hassan? Inherent disingenuity on your part?

    Why do you believe a liar like this guy, Hassan?

    What is Hassan doing in Syria? And why is he not liberating Shebaa farms and on his way to liberating the settlements?

    Why is Hassan in bed with criminals? Isn’t it because he too is a criminal?

    Why do you side with criminals?

    Posted by Mustap | February 4, 2014, 12:41 am
  68. So now Marion Mourtada you’re off to work. I see.

    FTI, the limit of my curiousity vis-a-vis your presence here does not extend beyond what you yourself divulge. Rest assured I have more important things to do than to speculate about a virtual entity.

    I wouldn’t care less for all that you mentioned.

    But I do care to know that you’re NOT disingenious.

    So in order for you to prove you are ingenious tackle the questions and avoid diversions:

    What is Hassan doing in Syria?

    Why is Hassan not liberating Shebaa?

    Why do you care about settlements but not about Hassan going up north. FYI, the settlements are southward.

    Why is Hassan a liar? Why do you believe liars like Hassan?

    Why is Hasan in bed with criminals? Why do you side with criminals?

    Have as many kids as you like, and be as young or old as you would be, and vote to whoever you like. None of that is important here.

    Posted by Mustap | February 4, 2014, 1:02 am
  69. Mustap

    Leave Marion alone. And enough with the personal attacks.

    Trinkets,

    You have stretched, kneaded, and rolled my arguments into an unrecognizable pizza. 🙂 Where did I ever equate HA with a takfiri group? We’re talking about Iranian, Saudi, and Syrian involvement in using terrorist groups as proxies. Every time I give you an example of Iran and Syria involved in this business (Shiite militias in Iraq, bomb plots and assassinations in Lebanon, Shiite militias working with Assad in Syria, etc.) you resort to a process of hedging and making allowances for why those cases don’t amount to the same species of the phenomenon under discussion. Meanwhile, you blame every radical Sunni group and their twisted ideology directly on the Gulf states. I don’t buy it.

    The equivalence I’m making is not between HA and Nusra, which is plainly wrong. It’s between the tactics deployed by the Saudi, Syrian, Iranian, Qatari, Jordanian, etc. intelligence services in places like Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. I am happy to assign blame to the Gulf axis for all the destructive groups who operate “downstream” from its intelligence services. But I also see Iran and Syria involved in the same game.

    We knew what came with the Syrian regime – on the civilian level: a stultified political environment and one had to be careful with what one was saying. With the Al Nusrah and ISIL, you get blown up and your head chopped, however you minded your business because you were a shia, a christian or an alawi – not because of political indiscretion. They’ll fight and kill us for what we are, not for whom we support.

    “One had to be careful with what one was saying”??? I wasn’t asking you about 1990-2005 ya habibna. I was asking you about the current situation (go back to the original question I asked you). By the most conservative estimates possible, the Assad regime has killed tens of thousands of Syrian civilians, through a mixture of indiscriminate bombing, laying siege to urban areas, destroying hospitals, maybe chemical weapons. Do you not see the effect that this brutality has had on the uprising? Can you not fathom that such state-sponsored violence — which is among the worst examples our region has seen in the modern era — would not provoke frenzied bouts of killing sprees by the other side (no less excusable)? The regime, with Iran’s assistance, has been the author of unimaginable destruction. This filthy record is shared by all the regimes in our region… not because they are Sunni or Shiite or Alawite.

    I’ll give you the last word, and then I think we need to stop beating this horse. Or at least find another point of entry to this discussion.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 4, 2014, 10:19 am
  70. What personal attacks, QN?

    Do you mean calling Hassan a liar is a personal attack on Marion?

    I don’t get it.

    Who cares about how many kids s/he may have or what age s/he may be? S/he brought those things up and got proper response, IMHO. I perhaps should have simply said, no thank you ma’am I am not in the market for…… That would be polite, don’t you think? Next time.

    All my questions were with regards to Hassan, a political figure, known to be a liar, a criminal and a proxy with followers who never hesitate to call anyone a traitor when it suits them, and who throw haphazard accusations of terrorism on anyone.

    Or, is it because I called her by her own-provided married name?

    C’mon, QN that’s stretching the definition of personal attack to the limit.

    I don’t make personal attacks.

    Posted by Mustap | February 4, 2014, 11:13 am
  71. QN,

    Let’s cut to the chase. I would be impressed if Mustap’s questions were answered in earnest. Why is supporting Assad so important? Why is democracy, freedom and human rights something only Israel has to improve upon?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 4, 2014, 12:35 pm
  72. Top Intel Chiefs warn Al-Qaeda forming base in Syria for possible US attacks

    US Strategy: wait until another sky-scrapper falls

    http://www.foxnews.mobi/quickPage.html?page=22995&external=2523644.proteus.fma

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 4, 2014, 10:02 pm
  73. Where did I ever equate HA with a takfiri group?

    You suggest it here, as I understood (otherwise clarify) by drawing an analogy between Syrian-HA and Syrian Opposition – Al Nusrah: Would you accept this statement from a Mustaqbal supporter who argued that he does not support Nusra but he understands that the Syrian opposition must build allies to achieve their goals?

    You’re trying to say my sympathy for the HA alliance with Syria parallels, for you, the Mostaqbal’s sympathy for the Syrian opposition (and here, we must precise what that is – it is the one on the qatari, turkish, saudi payroll?) standing on the same side of the struggle as Al Nusrah. If we assume that the Syrian gov and Syrian opposition are equivalent in this parallelism, there remains the equivalence between two entities. Al Nusrah (and its like) and HA.

    Again, no I don’t accept. For the reasons given in the previous post. Its not an acceptable parallelism. Otherwise, please clarify.

    Every time I give you an example of Iran and Syria involved in this business (Shiite militias in Iraq, bomb plots and assassinations in Lebanon, Shiite militias working with Assad in Syria, etc.)

    Who says the bomb plots and assassinations are by Iran and Syria? There are the bombs being set off by the takfiris who are supported – as I have , they themselves claim it for themselves. The M14 assassinations…you don’t have evidence and I am – to make use of some emotionally stunned vocabulary that will not be too strange for you – astounded that you completely obliterate the possibility of looking at Israel as a very possible culprit. It, again, amazes me that you cannot fathom inserting Israel, even disingenuously, in the equation.

    By the most conservative estimates possible, the Assad regime has killed tens of thousands of Syrian civilians, through a mixture of indiscriminate bombing, laying siege to urban areas, destroying hospitals, maybe chemical weapons.

    Yes, people are being killed. Don’t try to make it seem like my neglecting to mention that fact means that I am in some way an inhuman monster fascist who remains nonchalant. But its not Syria’s war on its own people; it is not so simple and if it were that simple, do you think there would be so many liberalist, intellectuals and pre-anti-Syrian regime figures who have turned against this so called revolution?

    Syria is fighting another army, not its own people, barricaded by tens of thousands of foreign jihadists, funded by the GCC countries. an army funded by other countries. the civilians are stuck in between. and syria has all the right – whatever its regime- to protect its integrity. the civilian deaths are the product of a war and the syrian state -whatever i think of it- cannot be held as responsible for protecting its own legitimacy against foreign-backed countries with agendas for the destruction of syria…simply as a way to get to Iran (and after Syria, Iran might well have been next), and get rid of the resistance axis.

    Let me briefly explain it from my point of view.

    I believe that there was a peaceful resistance to begin with; I do not – at all- discount that possibility like some do. And I – like many others- were not supportive of the regime (although this was none of my business). But at the same time, there were more malevolent forces working that -i wouldn’t even say hijacked the revolt, rather they used it as their opening. I will not give you reference links here (and you will be surprised to know that one is Israeli and the others Lebanese) , but, from day one, the largest casualties were on the side of the syrian police in Daraa NOT the civilians. The Baath headquarters were then set on fire. The murky group behind this was not the civilians and not the Syrian authorities. There was a third party with its own agenda in Syria from the get go. And this third party has always been the real power, the militarized power on ground, and their agenda never was never about democracy or freedoms. And its obvious they’ve been well trained and funded to take over/usurp the revolution. And by foreign countries/ powers that were anti-Syria (not merely anti-syrian regime) and anti-resistance (from the very beginning, way before HA’s involvement in syria that came subsequent to the global al qaeda/jihadist influx into syria, we started hearing threats about their coming after the HA. In tandem with that, they were kicking shiites out of their villages – and still HA had not participated.

    There were two significant pivotal threats that incurred the influx of iraqi and lebanese shia when it became clear what the nature of this so called opposition was: the destruction of Sayeda Zaynab shrine and the amassing on the Lebanese borders that was also working in tandem with partners in Ersal, ie to create a northern Lebanese emirate bloc to then start working its way down. The iraqi shia also have their own reasons, if you have been following the news on that front as well. The conjoint anbar region acts as an interface between syria and iraq and iraqi threats see the danger of having a neighbouring country ruled by takfiris who necessarily deem shiites heathens to be exterminated.

    It is incorrect to see that Iran is the great motivator here. Shiites in Lebanon, as we minorities should all be, and in Syria feel existential threat. Iran is a facilitator, and yes, in the greater game of geopolitics, this all is integrated, at a higher level, within the feud between Saudi Arabia and Iran. But I repeat, Iran is not sending Shia to kill themselves. We’re not seeing shiite persians or other shiites coming to blow themselves up in sunni districts, in the GCC countries. This is a Saudi Arabian game – the jihadists- par excellence. What do you know aboout the growth of the jihadist movement? Where it started, how it spread? Its interface with the muslim brotherhood in Saudi Arabia? The religious schools in afghanistan and pakistan. These Al Nusrah and ISIL are the product of Saudi investment in religious terrorism.

    So, I completely disagree with your perception that this is a sectarian war. I believe there is ONE sectarian element here, and its the al qaeda type jihadist. The Syrian Army is mostly sunni – don’t you think that the army would have long fragmented had the non-sunni elements joining the Syrian army to form those jihadists been in any way fighting for sectarian reasons? I refuse to accept your description that this is sunni-vs-shia. Yes, I believe that some sunnis are falling into the trap, because of poverty, lack of education, the tyranny they live under… but that just means that they crossed a border somewhere else, beyond sunno, shia or any regular religiosity. r

    I believe this is one of the great farces of western journalism covering Syria, their ignorance and inability to discriminate and to understand the nature of the alliances, thus calling it a sectarian war…thus relieving themselves from incriminating their own governments who have been helping feed the monster within.
    its also a deeply cynical game for the west: they don’t like the resistance axis (they could care less about whether Assad’s regime was democratic or not) and they don’t like Al Qaeda donc = pit them against each other to kill each other off.

    But you’re an Al Khanzeera fan/contributor (i wonder what benefits come with that?). Let them, the democratic state of Qatar, preach to you their version of democracy.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 1:13 am
  74. And now, with Al Nusrah and others turning against ISIL, are we seeing the signs of a Saudi-Russian deal? Watch:

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 1:38 am
  75. Oh, and the Saudi hand is not just in the Levant. Here below is Riad Sidaoui (by the way, he is also an expert on Saudi Arabian history and that of its royal family) on their involvement in Tunis, where there are no Alawites, Shiites, Iranian influence and so on, where Tunis is largely a sunni country. Saudi Arabia and Qatar (the GCC spearheads generally), in their exportation of religiious terrorism, takfir and gas/petrodollars used to buy over politicians and clerics across the region is the prime corrupter of the Arab world. (especially around the 14:50 and 21:00 benchmarks).

    Tunis is leaving lebanon in the dust; its putting itself on the right path. Then again, they’re not as close to or influenced by Saudi Arabia as we are.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 2:11 am
  76. Clarification:

    And this third party has always been the real anti-Syrian regime power, the militarized power on ground …etc

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 2:19 am
  77. Trinkets

    You fail to understand the obvious points conveyed by QN.

    It is obvious that there are two hegemonic powers in the region, and their satelittes: Saudi Arabia and Iran. The political game and Metternichean brinkmanship that they are playing has resulted in massive deaths and social instability. The point is to realize that you cannot play the blame game and side with one or the other; you cannot claim that KSA/Qatar/Turkey are the sole culprits for the situation. Nor can one claim that Iran/Syria/HA are the sole culprits. The situation, if considered objectively and in view of peace and stabilty, is maintained and perpetuated by both parties. Anyone interested in stopping the massacres in Syria and in Lebanon, should be concerned about the victims and not just in one side, in the perpetrators of crimes–or in the players. That is what diplomacy is about and what political solutions aim for: realizing the gravity of the situation and stopping the defence of one side that one believes is right–while the other is wrong. The so-called Takfiris are mere pions in a game controlled by one of the two players, as you continuously assert. So if you want to have an intelligent and informed discussion about how to remedy an inhumane situation, you cannot go on constructing webs of “truth/lies” in support of one side. That is what we call war by other means and propaganda. You need to acknowledge the desire to be objective about the realities of the situation if you were to discuss possible solutions. Absent that, you are a mere pion, like the takfiris, and are only blindly supporting a side over the other–but not contributing to any debate about diplomatic or political solutions. In case you cannot do that, just be reasonable in the number of one-sided commentaries. Although, I assume that QN does not mind the unreasonable number of solipsistic arguments.

    Posted by Parrhesia | February 5, 2014, 4:26 am
  78. Thanks Trinkets. I disagree with your assessments but will not respond any more as I promised you the last word. There are no benefits to going on Al Jazeera besides the occasional death threat. Thanks for asking.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 5, 2014, 7:26 am
  79. Trinkets,

    What is a “takfiri” pray tell? Is it possible to be a “Shia” takfiri like the Supreme Leader in Iran and the Supreme Leader of Hezbollah? You make it sound like a “takfiri” is only a Saudi or sunni cleric.

    Takfiri (from Arabic: تكفيري‎ takfīrī) is a Muslim who accuses another Muslim of apostasy

    Hamas and Hezbollah are sunni and shia, respectively, and the are BOTH extremely anti-semitic and therefore, they are both good examples of “takfiri” groups. They are violent theocrats who threaten innocent people of different religions and religious sects.

    It just so happens, Iran’s theocracy has the second highest number of executions in the world. Apparently, a lot of people are sinning against Allah in the Islamic Republic of Iran:

    http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/mar/29/death-penalty-countries-world

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 5, 2014, 10:57 am
  80. Why not also extend the perfect reasoning Parrhesia so eloquently articulated to the Arab Israeli conflict?Unfortunately HA took it upon themselves to entangle us more into a fight to the bitter end against the Israelis, while even the Palestinians agreed to the idea of settling this conflict by negotiations.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 5, 2014, 11:20 am
  81. Well said, Parrhesia.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 5, 2014, 12:26 pm
  82. Parrhesia,

    Thank you. Ditto.

    Posted by danny | February 5, 2014, 12:34 pm
  83. Parhrhesia;

    Quickly…Suffice to say that you present a generic, simplisitc theory-before-observation understanding of the complex machinations on ground. In short, you`re saying a lot about nothing. QN agrees with you because he hasa similar generic and naive viewpoint positing two parties against one another without delving into the chain of events or the nature of the parties concerned. You decontextualize, dehistoricize and hover above the events like someone who -having missed out on seeing that one started a feud by stabbing the other for a specific agenda- sees two people fighting, sees them equal in their feud. Namely, your theory is BS. Yes, all parties have agendas, yes there are heirarchies of responsibilities…but to be able to solve the problem, we must understand what is happening…and not theorize out of our own detached behind. So bring up actual occurences, references, narratives and then analyses and syntheses. And yes, look at it from both sides of the divide – by all means. But all you blew was hor air.

    In fact, the deterioration in Syria is not owing to two great hegemons but one, if we were to envisage it in terms of hegemons (which is a simplistic theorization that doesnt take into account traiditional hostilities that predate these ‘hegemons’)_. And its measure is clear if one compares Syria to Libya. Libya was virtually destroyed by the US-NATO-GCC axes with no confrontation from the other axis (partly because Qadafi was not loved by them either). There was a demonic collaboration between NATO groups and AlQaeda affiliated groups to overthrow his rule and we now see its conclusion there. In Syria, many observers concur that it is precisely Russian interests that kept the US-NATO out of a direct Syrian involvement. And in fact, I think it is precisely not the feud amongst hegemons that is at play now but a resolution of

    It is the historic US-Saudi cultivation of extrmist jihadists, in tandem with the US support for non-progressive and coiorrupt despots (religious or otherwise) that has weighed the region down – and it would not be difficult to argue that even khomeinism was a fatalistic backlash reaction to the US involvement in the region via overthrowing Mossadeq’s government back in the 1950’s and reinstating the corrupt and pliable monarchy. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/cia-assisted-coup-overthrows-government-of-iran TheUS foreign policy – going back to the British one- has been a disaster for the region. We had good regimes that were fellled because of the US idiotic choice to align itself with the oil infested monarchies of the desert rather than the liberal regimes of the Levant and the maghreb. From then onwards, this dirty breed of Islam started spreading.

    So your worldview, as I see it, is uncontextual, ignorantly agnostic, unethical and unrealistic. And to top it, you top it with smug rapproaches. Its a distateful nothing, not just nothing.

    And no, Vulcan. The same cannot be said of the Palestine-Occupation issue. These are not two parties equal in their crime and these are not two parties equal in their tendency to prove,over and over again, that peace and justice is not what they genuinely seek.

    And lest it be seen that I really do not concern myself with views from the other side, I seriously do appreciate actual ideas -from both sides of the divide- based on grounded analyses and that show a real concern for the subject. Not the proddings of a sociopathic necrophilia, forcing its abstract stick of theory into what it thinks is a dead body.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 1:43 pm
  84. To continue this:

    And in fact, I think it is precisely not the feud amongst hegemons that is at play now but a great game of bargaining between the hegemons in keeping with the US tendency now to desist from actively participating in the region in the ways that it did before, ie the so called doctrine of disengagement. Russia is actually assissting the US here and the US had been rapproaching Saudi Arabia for a while now in the matter of terrorists set loose. So,its is simplistic (again) and naive to talk about an immutable alignment in such a manner. This also explains the recent three-week-long stint of Banda Bush in russia.

    The destructive and instabilizing enzyme to be removed for the resolution of the problems in Syria is the stemming of jihadist terrorists and this is largely in GCC hands. Everything else will then have a better opportunity to fall in place.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 1:53 pm
  85. Trinkets said: “Suffice to say that you present a generic, simplisitc theory-before-observation understanding of the complex machinations on ground. In short, you`re saying a lot about nothing…Namely, your theory is BS…And yes, look at it from both sides of the divide – by all means. But all you blew was hor air…So your worldview, as I see it, is uncontextual, ignorantly agnostic, unethical and unrealistic. And to top it, you top it with smug rapproaches. Its a distateful nothing, not just nothing.

    Take a break. Walk it off. Come back when you’re ready to have a discussion without being so unpleasant.

    Thanks.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 5, 2014, 2:29 pm
  86. “We had good regimes that were fellled because of the US idiotic choice to align itself with the oil infested monarchies of the desert rather than the liberal regimes of the Levant and the maghreb. ”

    So true, if only the US had not supported the Assads for decades, there would be a liberal democracy in Syria now 🙂 Both sides have supported undemocratic regimes based on their interests. When was the last time that the Soviet Union or Russia supported a liberal democratic regime, or Iran for that matter? In Syria they support a ruthless dictator and in Palestine Hamas for example.

    Most if not all the Arab failures in the middle east are because of the Russians and the cold war. For example, the 1967 war was instigated by them. http://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/the-soviet-union-and-the-six-day-war-revelations-the-polish-archives

    The US policy in the region had two major objectives:
    1) Stop the Russians as part of the Cold War
    2) Limit the influence of Arab Nationalism (the Nasser ideology) to insure a steady supply of oil

    Posted by AIG | February 5, 2014, 2:42 pm
  87. Why not also extend the perfect reasoning Parrhesia so eloquently articulated to the Arab Israeli conflict?Unfortunately HA took it upon themselves to entangle us more into a fight to the bitter end against the Israelis, while even the Palestinians agreed to the idea of settling this conflict by negotiations.

    Vulcan,

    Yes, Parrhesia’s post was good enough to place on the kitchen refrigerator and YES, despite Tricket’s reflexive “no”, HA should both hand over their weapons to the Lebanese army and spport negotiations with the Palestinian leadership, the PA. There will come time, when the Palestinians will make a peace treaty with Israel. That will be a hard pill to swallow for muqawamistas like Trinkets.

    And if we needed any further proof why the Iranian/HA/Syrian axis is more dangerous than Saudia Arabia, we don’t have to look any further than the arab-israeli conflict. Whereas the KSA has authored peace plans, the Iranians are still hell-bent on “destroying Zionism” and gaining nuclear weapons.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 5, 2014, 2:54 pm
  88. I admit Trinkets posts were getting tiresome…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 5, 2014, 3:38 pm
  89. I am sure anyone of us with a hint of moderation on let’s say a Qifa Naltom blog would have been banned long ago, but I sincerely hope QN didn’t ban Trinkets.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 5, 2014, 4:09 pm
  90. Iranians hell-bent on destroying Zionism? Why would they interfere with Zionism’s headlong rush down the road to self-destruction?

    Posted by lally | February 5, 2014, 4:25 pm
  91. LOL. That’s a great photo. (Self-professed Scarlett fan here).

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 5, 2014, 5:19 pm
  92. Why would they interfere with Zionism’s headlong rush down the road to self-destruction?

    Lilly,

    Please don’t get me to go inside the head of anti-semites. I tried this on Veterans Today and it took me about a week to get banned, just before my brain turned to mush The same theme seems to percolate with these people:

    – jews control everything including the thermostat in your house

    – jews are going “down the road to self-destruction”

    Which begs the question, “Why does Israel seem to be the quietest, safest, and most prosperous little island in the ME?”

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 5, 2014, 5:25 pm
  93. Only recently

    Israel demolishes entire Jordan Valley village, displaces 13 Palestinian families
    Kate on January 31, 2014
    Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing

    Israeli forces demolish entire village in Jordan Valley
    IMEMC Thursday evening 30 Jan by Chris Carlson — The Israeli army demolished, on Thursday, at least 50 structures, including residences, displacing 13 families in the northern Jordan Valley, as a result, according to a local official. According to a report by WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency, the army brought bulldozers to demolish the homes, animal barns and other structures which residents of Khirbet Um al-Jimal had been using for their daily living, said Aref Daraghmeh, head of the al-Maleh local council. He described the Israeli measure against Khirbet Um al-Jimal and other similar locales in the northern Jordan Valley area as “another crime on the long list of crimes committed by the occupation forces in the area.” Israel is seeking to empty the Jordan Valley of its Palestinian residents, who are mainly Bedouin, as it plans to keep it under its control in any future deal with the Palestinians. Khirbet Um al-Jimal is notable for the substantial ruins of a Byzantine and early Islamic town which are clearly visible above the ground, as well as an older Roman village (locally referred to as al-Herri) located to the southwest of the Byzantine ruins.

    http://www.imemc.org/article/66871

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 6:42 pm
  94. This is the democratic and peaceful Israel above. This is the Israel that wants to live peacefully, to coexist with everyone around it, poor victimised israel

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wFvMZTnr37s

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 6:51 pm
  95. Yes Trinkets,

    Even democratic states have the right to move squatters and nomads off government land. Except for Israel of course.

    BTW – How many of these squatters were killed? I ask, because your hero Assad and HA kill thousands of innocent people, but your news is that of Bedouin that get moved into government supplied housing.

    http://www.knesset.gov.il/lexicon/eng/bedouim_eng.htm

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 5, 2014, 7:26 pm
  96. http://electronicintifada.net/content/four-palestinians-killed-israeli-settler-west-bank/2170

    When we say resistance, we mean resistance against these racists, this illegal state of muder, land theft, population banishment, of beating up people merrcilessly, mocking them, driving them out of their homes..by any name call it, apertheid, zionist, neo-nazi…whatever name you give it, this is what the resistance fights against. And there will be that resistance there until the fall of that ugly cancer on the face of moderrn humanity that calls itself Israel.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 7:38 pm
  97. Trinkets sounds like a cross between Mo & AKA on steroids.

    Posted by danny | February 5, 2014, 7:51 pm
  98. And what surprises me here is how some of you jump to react to any thing I or others say in support of the resistance. And yet when the self-or-other-subcontracted Israeli defenders sing the virtues of this portfolio of persecutions and crimes against humanitu, not a peep out of you, QN, Bad Vilpen, Vulcan. Not a peep. Is it because deep inside you are discreetly racist?.it it too beneath you to give voice against the zionist lackeys, the white-man-in-the-region? I understand you wish to criticize the resistance and argue against it – and thatsd fine by me. But not a peep when your neighbours’ persecutors or supporters talk about how better they are?

    Unfortunately, there is a brand of lebanese racism and superfluity that is alive and well.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 7:52 pm
  99. At least i dont sound like a supporter or a nonchalant observer of a rabidly racist, muderous and barborous ideology…which is more than i can say for the likes of you

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 7:55 pm
  100. Is it just me or does anyone else read the posts of Trinket in a posh, up- your-self British accent. Not to take anything away from his articulate opinions, but he/she sounds like the love child of Shakespeare and the Angry Arab.
    Trinkets wrote: “So your worldview, as I see it, is uncontextual, ignorantly agnostic, unethical and unrealistic. And to top it, you top it with smug rapproaches. Its a distateful nothing, not just nothing.”

    Really? I thought Parreshia’s comment was pretty damn good and did not warrant that kind of abuse.

    Posted by Maverick | February 5, 2014, 8:02 pm
  101. Read the second paragraph Maverik. I do explain why I find his or her viewpoint as described. And please don’t focus on my persona.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 8:05 pm
  102. Trinkets,

    The posters in here including myself are not objecting to your pro-resistance stances, on the contrary it is refreshing to see articulated opinions from that space, it is your demeanour and arrogance that is the issue so please let’s not hide behind the ” Just because I support the Resistance” statements.

    Posted by Maverick | February 5, 2014, 8:07 pm
  103. No. It is not because we’re secretly racist. It’s because (I speak only for myself here), I’ve gotten tired of trying to read the 3 page monologues you were posting up till yesterday.
    I tried debating with you for a while, a few days ago, but frankly, this is not my fulltime job. In fact, I have a fulltime job + a family and other concerns, so trying to sift through pages and pages of ramblings, which after reading the first few, were getting repetitive, I gave up and decided to better spend my time.
    File it under the banner of “Let’s agree to disagree and move on.”

    To the article you just linked to, I’ll say this (and I am sure you’ll flip it around anyway): I agree with you about the tragedy of uprooting the Palestinians from their village. There is no argument to be made there.
    I, however, find it hypocritical from the so-called “resistance” considering the Syrian regime is currently doing the same to many innocents in Syria, and worse, by all accounts.
    So while I can agree with you on how horrible it is to uproot villagers, I have to stop when you start telling me the resistance is here to prevent such things from happening, or to fight this kind of thing and those who do it (Israel, in this case).
    1) The “resistance” is doing the same, and worse.
    2) I don’t see the resistance fighting Israel or trying to protect the Palestinians in the Jordan valley. Show me. Where has the Syrian regime launched an offensive on the Jordan valley to repatriate the noble bedouins? Where has HA sent its operatives to kick out these vile occupiers? Oh wait, they’re too busy dropping barrel bombs on Aleppo…I guess the residents of Yarmouk and Aleppo don’t matter to you as much as those bedouins in the Jordan valley? Or maybe you can post another comment expressing your disgust with the happenings in Yarmouk and Aleppo, just to be consistent.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 5, 2014, 8:14 pm
  104. “At least i dont sound like a supporter or a nonchalant observer of a rabidly racist, muderous and barborous ideology…which is more than i can say for the likes of you.”

    And you wonder why no one is responding to you anymore? Didn’t your mother teach you to debate others with respect?
    You seem to be under the mistaken assumption – lord knows where you learned that – that calling people names and insulting them is the best way to stimulate a healthy debate. Well you’re wrong.
    I can just picture your approach to healthy debate in class:

    Teacher: “Let’s discuss the pros and cons of Max Weber’s theories about the social constructs in the 18th century.”
    Student 1: “Well I, for one think that…”
    Trinkets, interrupting: “Your mother’s a whore!”
    Teacher: “Trinkets!”
    Trinkets: “What? I’m trying to debate Max Weber! Why won’t anyone debate my eloquent points?”

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 5, 2014, 8:19 pm
  105. And what surprises me here is how some of you jump to react to any thing I or others say in support of the resistance.

    Yes Trinkets,

    Maybe you’re on the wrong website. Who would think when I get tired of responding to your “resistance posts” a large group of Lebanese would take up for a “hardline” Zionist like me.

    The world sure is a-changin’!

    BTW Trinkets,

    You need to expand your horizons. Here’s a website I like that shows a LOT about how Israelis are failing to uphold the “strict” Apartheid measures by the “hardline” Israeli government. Take a look:

    http://www.israellycool.com/page/2/?s=apartheid

    My favorite is “Abdol from Abu Ghosh”:

    http://www.israellycool.com/2013/03/12/apartheid-video-of-the-day/

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 5, 2014, 8:20 pm
  106. It is a demeanour and a style. We all have one. I detest parrhesia’s style, a necrophiliac cold incontextual detached one. I dont like tyhe way QN’s way of intellectually manoeuvering, i find it – no offense, but since we’re being all judgemental- insincere. And their style infects the substance of their posts. We all have our languages. If mine comes of as haughty and arrogant, it is because im sick of the condescension and hypocricvies around this subject and what revolves around it. I dont mean to come across as better than anyone here, im not. And, please note, just as its not my position that puts you on edge, its also not yours. Just as you and others react to my sincere anger and haughtiness, so do i react to the insicereties, passive agressive politeness and clammy saxonic-necrophilic tendencies of some here. Again, back to topic/s would be nicer.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 8:23 pm
  107. Correction:And, please note, just as its not my position that puts you on edge ( and it seems to), its also not yours that puts me on edge.

    By the way, i wasnt rude. Im not talking about people here (or their families). The concern is for the substance of their posts, their language and how they link their ideas. Yes, im judgemental .. but not rude. Whats rude about calling someone’s sensibility in approaching a subject necrophilic? Its a metaphor.

    I only made one rude comment, but its so cliched that it might have passed your notice and you focus on the , admittedly, fluffed up metaphors. And yes i belive there is nonchalance, racism, laziness, ineptitude all rolled in a pastry of confessional and tribal confessionalism. Lebanese samousas.

    Government, will it be formed or not. And please produce evidence of aoun-basil’s purported theft of public money. I dont buy the Oweit propoganda.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 8:32 pm
  108. Yes, im judgemental .. but not rude. Whats rude about calling someone’s sensibility in approaching a subject necrophilic? Its a metaphor.

    This made me crack up (in my passive-aggressive, polite, clammy saxonic way…)

    Trinkets, seriously, take a break from this blog for a few days. For your own sake. You’re suffering from over-exposure, which is a condition that most blog comment board denizens have known at some point in their lives. You don’t like what we have to say or the way we say it. That’s fine. Take a break, and if you miss us, come back and play nicely. W alla, lesh baddak twajji3 rasak?

    Before you go, though, I’ve been meaning to ask you something. One of your earliest comments here was: “Aside, QN, you have an interesting thing going on (when you don’t mess around with politics especially). Keep up the good work and cease the bad work.”

    What, precisely, is the good work of this blog, from your perspective? Just curious.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 5, 2014, 9:13 pm
  109. Fine if I made you crack up but make up your mind please. Are you asking me to stay here and answer your question or to go have a kitkat (they’re on the bds list)? You’re always contradicting yourself, as you did with giving me/accepting that Saudi Arabia supports extrmist jihadists (as if you need to, there are whole libraries on the topic) coming after us in Lebanon and then you don’t “buy it”.

    I read some of your other threads. You shed better insight on them and the discussions are less based on BS (ie no facts, no run of events, no analyses) and they tend to be of a less political nature – perhaps because its simply not your domain. Stick to the benign humanities, history, sociology that touch on our culture/s is what I mean. Do not act as a redundant tool in the traditional partisanship (and i you think you’e not…I highly disagree. I think Vulcan and Bad Vilbel (irrespective of his last irrelevant comments about me) are more agnostic than you are and they don’t share my opinion apropos the resistance. The current ongoing argments and another instance: for once and all, Chatah – Allah yir7amo- was a genuine Mostaqbal guy, associated with the Hariri family – and by extension with their corruption and state level self-serving economic manipulations. Mostaqbal and neutral knowledgeable intellectual statehood -having the citizen’s best interest in mind- do not go side by side. Anyone with a clear perspective and clearer conscience would have found the Hariri project- senior (the junior is a Saudi ping pong, project?hah) objectionable to say the least but he certainly enjoyed sailing on that yacht. In other words, he must have been -to some extent at least- a traditional mafioso like the others ( Hariri’s men, Amal’s, Jumblat’s and the like. ) be it that he had on a pleasant amicable appearance that made the americans and you comfortable with him. In other words, please valid criticism not the cliches propagated by one sude. And, while passing this criticism, I still believe that it was a tragedy that he passed away that way. Ya3ni there is no contradiction. allah yir7amo …but without eulogies that are unrepresentative. I know this is irrelevant to the last few posts bas an example, since you asked.

    By the way, Bad Vilbel, if you want genuine stuck up haughtiness, reread Piarrhea’s didactic and stuck-up post addressed to me and the snide remarks

    Although, I assume that QN does not mind the unreasonable number of solipsistic arguments.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 10:36 pm
  110. Sorry , I meant Parrhesia.
    Incidentally, they can end up meaning the same thing. the flow of everything (that is said).

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 10:43 pm
  111. Lastly, I said you were tainted with anglosaxonism, not saxonism.. the latter was for that someone else. a von Hagens rhetorician, or what about the german cannibals like Denke or Haarman. (You know, like treating ideas in that same sort of way as treating the body, in a calm, repressed germanic way, an amalgam of serenity and torture, a violating abstraction on corporeality or an attitude of “lets slice the tranches off of this badly-educated trinkets with an anti-septic stanley knife upon which glimmers the incisiveness of my dialecticism.” boring, narcissitic and sadistic. hence the necrophilic that cracked you up.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….

    Read it all:

    70% من المسيحيين مع إبقاء الطاقة في عهدة العونيين
    

    في استطلاع أجراه «مركز بيروت للأبحاث والمعلومات» على شريحة من المسيحيين اللبنانيين شملت عينة من 302 مستطلع في 22 قضاءً، رأت الأكثرية الساحقة (82 في المئة) أن وصول الجماعات المسلحة إلى السلطة في سوريا كان سيشكّل تهديداً للصيغة اللبنانية، فيما رأى حوالى 53 في المئة أن تدخل حزب الله في الحرب السورية لم يكن سبب استدراج الجماعات التكفيرية إلى لبنان. وحول استحقاق رئاسة الجمهورية اللبنانية، أيّد 36 في المئة من المستطلعين ترشيح النائب ميشال عون لرئاسة الجمهورية.

    الاستطلاع الذي أجري بين الثالث من الشهر الجاري والخامس منه، وشمل 13 مستطلعاً من بشري، 15 من عكار، 3 من طرابلس، 16 من زغرتا، 13 من البترون، 13 من الكورة، 14 من جبيل، 19 من كسروان، 37 من المتن، 21 من بعبدا، 13 من عاليه، 13 من الشوف، 43 من بيروت، 10 من بعلبك، 25 من زحلة، 8 من البقاع الغربي وراشيا، 10 من جزين، و17 من باقي الجنوب، استعملت فيه تقنية المقابلات الهاتفية، تضمن محاور عدة، وهي رفض التيار الوطني الحر لمبدأ المداورة في الحقائب الحكومية حالياً، ثم الأعراض الجانبية للحرب في سوريا وآثار تدخل حزب الله فيها، واستحقاق انتخابات رئاسة الجمهورية في لبنان.
    وإلى جانب الـ36 في المئة من المستطلعين الذين أيّدوا ترشيح عون، أيّد 23 في المئة النائب سليمان فرنجية، يليه رئيس حزب القوات اللبنانية سمير جعجع بـ12 في المئة، فالنائب بطرس حرب بنسبة 6 في المئة. وحل الرئيس أمين الجميل في المرتبة الأخيرة بنسبة 5 في المئة، فيما أجاب 14 في المئة بـ«لا أحد»، و4 في المئة بـ«لا جواب».
    وفي ما يتعلق بمعايير اختيار رئيس للجمهورية، أيّدت غالبية المستطلعين (65 في المئة) «مجيء رئيس قوي يمثل أكثرية مسيحية»، وفضّل 26 في المئة انتخاب رئيس توافقي.
    في محور مداورة الحقائب الوزارية، ولا سيما وزارة الطاقة، أظهرت النتائج أن غالبية 70 في المئة من المستطلعين تؤيد إبقاء وزارة الطاقة والمياه مع التيار الوطني الحر، وبلغت نسبة غير المؤيدين لهذا الخيار حوالى 27 في المئة، بينما رفض 3 في المئة من المستطلعين الإجابة. وبيّن الاستطلاع أن حوالى 96 في المئة ممن أيّدوا ترشيح عون لرئاسة الجمهورية يؤيدون بقاء وزارة الطاقة في عهدة التيار. كذلك فعل حوالى 71 في المئة ممن أيّدوا فرنجية، وحوالى 9 في المئة من مؤيّدي جعجع، و28 في المئة من الذين رشحوا حرب، و44 في المئة ممن أيّدوا الجميّل.
    وكشف الاستطلاع أن حوالى 42 في المئة من المستطلعين رأوا أن الهدف من إبعاد الوزير جبران باسيل عن وزارة الطاقة يعود إلى الرغبة في التحكم في الثروة النفطية، وحوالى 23 في المئة عزوا ذلك إلى نية لتعطيل عملية استخراج النفط والغاز من أعماق البر والبحر، فيما رأى حوالى 13 في المئة من المستطلعين أن السبب هو سوء أداء باسيل، بينما رفض حوالى 22 في المئة منهم الإجابة.
    وفي ملف الصراع في سوريا، بيّنت نتائج الاستطلاع أن الأكثرية الساحقة (82 في المئة) رأت أن وصول الجماعات المسلحة إلى السلطة في سوريا كان سيشكل تهديداً للصيغة اللبنانية، فيما رأى حوالى 8 في المئة خلاف ذلك، ورفض 10 في المئة الإجابة. وبَيَّن الاستطلاع أن 91 في المئة ممن رشحوا عون للرئاسة يرون أن وصول المجموعات المسلحة إلى الحكم في سوريا يشكل تهديداً للصيغة اللبنانية. وكذلك فعل 81 في المئة ممن أيّدوا ترشيح فرنجية و74 في المئة ممن أيّدوا جعجع، و61 في المئة ممن أيّدوا الجميّل، و83 في المئة ممن رشّحوا حرب.
    وحول حزب الله ومشاركته في الحرب السورية، رأى حوالى 53% من المستطلعين أن تدخل الحزب لم يتسبب في استدراج الجماعات التكفيرية إلى لبنان، في مقابل حوالى 31 في المئة رأوا خلاف ذلك. وبَيَّن الاستطلاع أن 72 في المئة ممن أيّدوا ترشيح عون يرون أن تدخل حزب الله في سوريا لم يستدرج التكفيريين إلى لبنان. كذلك فعل 69 في المئة ممن أيّدوا فرنجية، و10 في المئة ممن رشّحوا جعجع، و23 في المئة ممن أيّدوا الجميّل، و28 في المئة ممن رشّحوا حرب.
    (الأخبار) http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/200182

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 11:06 pm
  112. What I don’t understand, Trinkets, is how you can talk about being objective and talking about “facts” without pointing out the facts that don’t suit the pro-resistance narrative.

    I mean, you say “The current ongoing argments and another instance: for once and all, Chatah – Allah yir7amo- was a genuine Mostaqbal guy, associated with the Hariri family – and by extension with their corruption and state level self-serving economic manipulations.”

    Ok. Let’s say we agree with that statement. It is not up for debate or dispute here. Point a la ligne.

    Now, with that logic in mind, I am inferring from your above statement that your logic goes “If person A is a known corrupt person. And person B is associated with person A, then person B must also be corrupt.”

    Fair enough so far? That is what you are saying basically.

    If we use your logic, shouldn’t the same line of thinking apply, for example, to say “The Assad regime is corrupt and brutal” (I don’t think that fact is open to dispute, right?) and “HA is associated with Assad, therefore, HA is also objectionable, corrupt, brutal, whathaveyou”?
    Can you in all honesty tell me that you can apply that logic to Hariri/Chatah, but not to HA/Assad?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 5, 2014, 11:10 pm
  113. ]Bad Vilbel, the answer is in my previous contributions on the last two threads. Suffice to say I see no contradiction in this exigent situation and relation incurred by necessity on many different fronts and ways and that what is going on in Syria is a war on Syria (not the regime, but in its integrity so as to weaken and fragment it akin to what we see in Libya and Iraq) much more than a struggle for freedom. Some of these – as i humbly understand them- have been precised previously. Kindly review them if genuinely interested because this issue has been addressed a few times already and its fair to give others a chance to use the board and determine its direction. The above al akhbar article is interesting.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 11:26 pm
  114. Correction (apropos a previous post to QN): Do not act as a redundant tool in the traditional partisanship (and IF you think you’e not…I highly disagree.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 5, 2014, 11:28 pm
  115. Never mind I asked. Your compliments are somehow more sneering than your criticism.

    Have a kit-kat. Or two.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 5, 2014, 11:47 pm
  116. I really enjoyed the above discussion and thank you Trinkets for the beautiful adjective of “necrophiliac” attributed to my writing style.

    I appreciate your style (angry and energetic, passionate and love-blind, with a fast tempo. Definitely not necrophiliac but rather boosted as if on crack or steroids). I do not think that your style is clear enough to convey your points. I also think that your points are not just one sided but solipsitic.

    It is all good! Now that we have talked about our different styles, maybe we can pursue our passions for Lebanese affairs in our own ways and hope that we are “communicating” with each other.

    BV your comment on the hypothetical class discussion cracked me up!

    Posted by Parrhesia | February 5, 2014, 11:52 pm
  117. Parhesia,

    You’re welcome 🙂 I honestly do feel like that’s what debating with Trinkets ends up sounding like. Unfortunately.

    Trinkets,

    So, you evaded my comparison and accusation of hypocrisy by saying that “It’s ok in the case of HA/Syria because that is a matter of necessity.”
    But you refuse to use the same standards for those you don’t like. For all we know Hariri’s “objectionable” plans for Lebanon were a matter of necessity. etc.
    So, I’ll go back to my silence. There is really no point debating with someone who’s arguments are indeed one-sided. For any reasonable discussion, you have to at least apply the same standards to both sides, whether you agree or disagree with them. You cannot apply one set of standards to M14, or Israel, or whoever, and then refuse to apply the same standards to HA or Syria while making excuses.
    I suppose, using your “it’s out of necessity” excuse, the Israelis can say “We don’t really like to uproot Palestinians, but we do it out of necessity.” Would you accept that excuse from them? I’m guessing not. So what makes you think they should accept that same excuse from you when it pertains to HA/Syria?
    Again. Double standards pretty much invalidate any kind of mature discussion points. It simply does not make for good debate. Period.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 6, 2014, 1:08 pm
  118. Let’s see some outrage:
    https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/nowsyrialatestnews/534294-graphic-warning-further-evidence-of-assad-regimes-prison-executions

    Or is there an excuse for this too? “Necessity” my ass.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 6, 2014, 1:13 pm
  119. Outrage?
    per Trinkets it was either done out of necessity…Or the Takfiris did it! If all else fails they are fabricated pics doctored by the Zionists!

    Posted by danny | February 6, 2014, 3:17 pm
  120. If you noticed, the “outrage” (2 links) were bedouins getting moved off government land and, I think, a “Pallywood” movie showing an elderly palestinian woman getting beat up by “hardline” zio settlers.

    Head choppers, shabiha “bury alive” murderers and barrel bombs amounting to 130k dead are not important to muqawamas and bdsers.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 6, 2014, 3:37 pm
  121. Bad Vilbel,

    You yourself said that you stopped reading my posts. I told you the answers lie therein. Im not going to to tailor make another response for you if you don’t have the decency of confronting previous efforts – with supporting links and all. There is advancement that can be mqde – even in criticizing me- but your laziness and fatuity bring you back to square one. There is no hypocricy; the hypocrisy is in you not reading my answers and yet asking me questions. Not once have you disputed or argued for or against the information and others’ insights, pertinent to our discussions here. But thereafter, you come back to the same question. Not only hypocritical but also catatonic.

    Parrhesia, i don’t care how you find my style or content. Suffice to say that you have never once based your assessment on a contextual or relevant analyses, references or arguments. It is better you concern yourself with the solipsism of your own uninformed holier-than-though and lazy neutrality that doesnt comprehend the nature of the struggle in syria or lebanon nor even that of the larger context. You preach inanenes, in style and content. And those agreeing with you find a compatible bedrock of the same.

    The christian communities are now forming their own military groups and joining the army to protect their consistuency from the onset of the decapitating jihadists (courtesy of saudi arabia and qatar, of course). A saddening and stark article, http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/200157

    Futher evidence to support the conviction thatbthis is not a civil war, it is the money of the GCC in the form of head choppers. It is no surprise why HA are in syria. Soon, i expect we will see the resurgence of armed lebanese groups to counter ther takfiri threat. For now theyre targetting shiites in lebanon via carbombs but things will only develop.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 6, 2014, 3:55 pm
  122. BV @11:10PM:

    “Now, with that logic in mind, I am inferring from your above statement
    that your logic goes “If person A is a known corrupt person. And person
    B is associated with person A, then person B must also be corrupt.”

    It’s a logic you subscribe to so what’s your problem, BV?

    In fact, you go even further and confuse/conflate the Hizzies with
    Syrian regime aircraft and pilots:

    BV@8:14PM

    “Where has HA sent its operatives to kick out these vile occupiers? Oh
    wait, they’re too busy dropping barrel bombs on Aleppo…”

    But Mohammed Chatah…..corruption by association, like HA bombardiers over Aleppo, is in the
    eyes of the beholder;for some, no proof required.

    You too are one-sided BV altho I doubt you realize it. Claiming that you are not unidimensional doesn’t cut it, you must demonstrate evenhandedness otherwise you stand accused of the same charge of hypocrisy you level at others.

    But hey:

    Drink up and give thanks to stoned-out-of-her-mind Scarlett, guys.

    Posted by lally | February 6, 2014, 4:00 pm
  123. In case you didn’t know, It takes quite a bit for Scarlett aka Natasha to become intoxicated. Her agility is greater than that of an Olympic gold medalist. She can coordinate her body with balance, flexibility, and dexterity easily. It is possible for Her to dodge a bullet even at point blank range.
    She is an expert tactician, a very effective strategist, and field commander. She has led the Avengers and even S.H.I.E.L.D. on one occasion.

    Unfortunately Soviet experimentation has rendered her body infertile.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 6, 2014, 4:44 pm
  124. Lally? You been smoking out with Trinkets now?

    My comment was quite clear. And Trinkets, I did read your last comment, hence my answer. You followed a very clear line of thinking: Chatah associated with corrupt Hariri => Chatah must be corrupt.
    You also provided links to Israel displacing Palestinians from the Jordan Valley (which, note, I did not dispute).

    How am I possibly the one being a hypocrite (or lazy for that matter), when I provided the same line of logic (HA association with the Assad regime) and provided a link (Evidence of torture in Syrian prisons)?

    Let’s pretend this is square one of our discussion. There is no need to go back to previous quotes or opinions here because we are starting with 2 very clear cut assertions:
    1) Guilt by association
    2) Link to Israel malfeasance.

    I do not dispute either of those 2.

    Now, will you dispute the 2 items I am listing?
    1) Guilt by association HA/Assad.
    2) Link to Syrian malfeasance.

    It’s a very simple question that does not require per-requisite reading of other comments. It stands quite clearly on its own.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 6, 2014, 5:30 pm
  125. the link doesnt work Lally.

    Also, Lally, the analogy drawn by him/her is not sound. You seem to have accepted it (or accepted to assume it) in order to point out his or her hypocrisy – when in fact, s/he suffers from far more than an unwitting hypocrisy.

    I brought up the issue of necessity and I had brought up previously the issue of priority and had gone to some length in providing the rationale but, for them, whatever my answer is, they -in the pretense of neutrality- have a belief and a suspicion that antecedes a genuine desire for the truth: either because they belong to the lebanese confessional herd mentality or because they’re, simply, israelis, zionisits or zionist proxies- I speak here of the individuals I don’t care to engage with anyway.

    Necessity: Fighting against ISrael and gaining armaments.

    Priority: Who is the enemy? HA’s community – and not merely HA- as well as many other – if not most- lebanese concur that it is Israel, Syria, as corrupt as the regime was. Now, we have another priority, the takfiris, not Syria. And in fact there is a liase between the Israelis and the Takfiris.

    Chatah apropos Mostaqbal is not at bound by such imperative prerequisites. Chatah’s history was not that of being persecuted by another party, jailed, had lands stolen and family killed or thrown in jail. Chatah was not an honorable freedom fighter. Chatah was not faced with either getting eliminated or having to make regional allies. Chatah was a capitalist who made a choice out of a position of privilege and knew the ins and outs of the Lebanese corruption. And, so, the analogy is ridiculous and proves only that these individuals, yet again, fabricate (and not discover) the crudest and most unreasonable of tools to an end predetermined by them.

    And so, their purpose is, launched from their dogmatic backgrounds and mindsets, to suspect everyone as being as petty and worthy of suspicion. As petty, tribal, colonized and isolationist as the subliminal bedrock of their culture. It does not matter that HA, had they really been as they imagined, would have long taken over the government by force, not bothered to extent a hand in the direction of all other teams.

    It doesn’t matter what the takfiri threat is , whether in its micro scale (persecution of minorities and moderates) or the larger scale: a project to topple Syria and thereafter the resistance. It does not matter that there is no evidence incriminating HA in the many successive assassinations; it does not matter that HA cracked the code of the Israeli UVA’s flying over the site of Harriri’s assassination to show them studying the assassination site before and around the period of Harriri’s assassination.

    It also does not matter that the Lebanese authorties have caught a huge ring of spies working for Israel who have been tampering with the telecom systems dating back to way before the Harriri assassination – and it does not matter that the evidence provided was indeed derived from that telecom data.

    It does not matter that the Harriri tribunal has a history that it be, itself, the subject of a tribunal. Sleazy, corrupt, erratic, reliant on false witnesses, deliberately cutting off tangents in the direction of ISrael, in the direction of Wissam El Hassan. They are not able to entertain the thought that this trial may well constitute an preconceived weapon against HA, no matter what the real truth is. They think its the proverbial white-man running the show and so they are ready to kiss his behind, how could a professional-white-man be in any way complicit in this? No, I even venture that they might now this, they might know that its not the truth – but who cares for truth, their petty hatreds, akin to that cannibal we saw on tv eating a syrian soldier’s heart, is tastier.

    It does not matter that the Al Qaeda is in Syria, in Lebanon or elsewhere. And it does not matter that Al Qaeda’s work in the wider region, no,globally, relies on the assassinations of their competition, in our case: the secular figures who see themselves as fighting against the resistance. Like the (real) sunnis in iraq; they were also targetted by the al qaeda. This is part of their arsenal; it drives people back into the fearful and hating herds. Easier to conquer.

    It doesn’t matter that we also condemn the Syrian regime for its corruption and brutality throughout its history but we also don’t see that the solution is war, or cannibals. It doesn’t matter that minorities across the region are joining the Syrian regime to fight against these exclusionary forces set loose by GCC, and more indirectly by the US and, more historically, by the Brits.

    They are ready to turn their head away from the suffering of the palestinians at the hand of the Israelis, to obliterate it, by claiming that its equaled by the suffering of the Syrians at the regime and HA as they purport. It doesn’t matter what happened in Libya, in Iraq, in Egypt. It doesn’t matter that we now know who has been paying a lot of money to have their cannibalistic fanatics infiltrating the countries and it doesn’t matter that Syria, Libya (or what exists thereof), Egypt, Iraq are fighting exactly these people.

    All of this does not matter. What does matter for them is what matters to two core parts of their makeup :

    1- what the white man tells them, what his journalism tells them. you know, our history in Lebanon is partially a history of kissing white-ass at the expense of the well being of our neighbours.

    2- their primitive tribal isolationism that deems the other tribe worthy of suspicion. And therefore it has always been easier for them to make friends with a colonizing force to subjugate meighbouring tribes.

    These people, many of whom we see here, therefore can easily coincide tribalism with a semblance of civility, amorality (apropos Palestine) with bleeding-heart fakeness (Syria), they have no qualms about
    taking advantage of lies (HA) and half truths (Syria) whilst ignoring the crystal clear truth down south.

    Thankfully, not a lot of Lebanese are of that nature.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 6, 2014, 6:05 pm
  126. Note:

    Priority: Who is the enemy? HA’s community – and not merely HA- as well as many other – if not most- lebanese concur that it is Israel, Syria, as corrupt as the regime was. Now, we have another priority, the takfiris, not Syria. And in fact there is a liase between the Israelis and the Takfiris.

    I have some information on that but its wasted on most of you. Look it up.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 6, 2014, 6:07 pm
  127. Correction: It does not matter that the Harriri tribunal has a history that warrants that it be, itself, the subject of another tribunal.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 6, 2014, 6:10 pm
  128. I actually read all that. Just FYI.
    And it’s a longwinded way of again, saying that the analogy doesn’t stand because in the case of HA, the necessity of fighting Israel and gaining armaments justifies associating with the Assad regime.
    You could’ve said that in one sentence (as I just did here).
    Regardless, this is where you and I disagree. Call me what you will (lazy, hypocritical, zionist, sectarian herd mentality, that was a good one, if you only knew me personally…) I do not see the “necessity” excuse as applying only in one situation and not the next.
    I could indulge in all kinds of excuses for the Israelis displacing Palestinians. I won’t. But I am sure the Israelis themselves would be happy to cite “necessity” and a “history of oppression” or “terrorism” to justify their walls, their displacement and whathaveyou. In fact, I am fairly certain those exact excuses have been used time and again by Israel, and been condemned as “aggression” by the Arab narrative.
    So, no, I do not see how your scenario is ANY different from this one. Not one bit. Every one, in every situation, can have an excuse of “necessity”. The Nazis invaded Europe and exterminated the Jews because of necessity, and because they felt oppressed by the terms imposed on Germany after WW1. Woohoo! I guess we can now absolve the Nazis!
    The USA cited “necessity” when they invaded Iraq, looking for non-existing WMDs and felt “oppressed” by terrorism..
    The list could go on forever.
    Necessity is no excuse. You’ve just rehashed that over and over, in lengthy diatribes. But you have not provided any other real meat to your argument (verbosity of volume not withstanding). Your 60 lines of comment there pretty much boil down to “HA did it out of necessity. But when Hariri or Israel do stuff, it’s really because they’re evil.” Honestly. It may sound ridiculous that I phrase it that way, but that is what my reading of every one of your comments turns up once I boil down all the flowery language.
    Maybe we here at Qifa Nabki need some remedial “reading and comprehension” lessons, because none of us seem to read anything else in your ramblings.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 6, 2014, 6:23 pm
  129. BV,

    Thanks for cutting thru the khara. Some people judge posts by the kilobyte. I judge them by the content. A+

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 6, 2014, 6:30 pm
  130. Did I say Hariri was evil? I didn’t. Nor did I say that Chatah was evil, by extension. They’re corrupt. I did not say evil. So, perhaps you’re better off not reading FYI.

    Again here, it is priority. We all occupy different circles of Hell. Similarly, your analogy, based on simpleminded association, also didn’t recognize that.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 6, 2014, 6:35 pm
  131. Oh I read it just fine. I was indulging in hyperbole where I said “evil”.

    Priority? What priority? Fighting Israel (which, I’ll remind you, has not occured since 2006) and liberating Palestine is more important, according to your priorities, then starving Palestinians in Yarmouk (those same Palestinians your resistance claims to be fighting for, I might add). If those are your priorities, then that’s an even worse excuse.
    Oh, but those few dozen Bedouins that were displaced (not to belittle that tragedy) are more important to you than the hundreds of thousands dead in Syria. That’s one hell of a priority.
    And it’s not like after all this, you actually can show that you’ve returned said Bedouins to their village. So….yeah, priorities.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 6, 2014, 7:02 pm
  132. I don’t understand the indignant posturing, why always the tendency to accuse anyone who doesn’t toe the line of being treasonous? This doesn’t fly anymore. This fucking litmus test for who is a good Arab citizen and who isn’t, It actually makes others want to flaunt being pro Israeli out of spite, we aren’t scared anymore. There is nothing wrong with not viewing Israel as an enemy, you can tell that midget Ibrahim Al Amine to stuff it..move on.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 6, 2014, 7:27 pm
  133. 1. Yarmuok camp has been hostage by militants. Thery are blocking the delivery of food and aid, not the Syrian army and not HA. http://syria360.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/exclusive-thousands-in-syrias-yarmouk-camp-face-starvation/

    Simplistically lumping it all as the Syrian regime’s fault is simpky a lie. The yarmouk issue is being pedalled against the syrian regime exactly as were the chemical attacks actually launched by these militants….as were iraqs weapons of mass production.

    2. The only reason why there has yet been an outbreak of war between HA and Israel is owing to HA’s accumulation of arsenal that now threatens Israel as no other power had. In short, Israel sees this as a -at least- temporary stalemate. Its an ongoing intelligence and subversive war (assassination of senior HA figures). In short, had it not been for HA’s arms, Israel would have already sparked up a war. Look that up as well. Without Syria and Iran, this simply would have been impossible. So, the comeback about not there being a war since 2006 is, ironically, supportive of my convictions and not yours. And if you deny that therre is an ongoing war by other means, you’re quite deluded. However, it seems there is an impending war and israel plans on hitting civilians because it knows theres just too many rockets pointing in its direction. Look up there plan. You simply don’t read and keep yourself updates…how can you give yourself the right to pontificate?

    3- its obvious that your understanding of what is going on does not qualify you to measure priority or necessity.

    4- you hyperbolize and yet you mock me for my flowery language? Hypocrite and obviously a fan of cheap shots.

    The description in my flowery post is descriptive and on-point enough. Don’t humour yourself that I have your individual persona in mind.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 6, 2014, 8:12 pm
  134. Duplicate unintended. Tablet acting up.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 6, 2014, 8:22 pm
  135. I’m still looking for that convincing argument to compel me that the Resistance crowd are right. I see nothing but hypocrisy, contradiction, refusal to follow logic and an unshakable loyalty to a hypo-romanticised version of “Resistance”. They accuse any person who argues a point however accurate that they are traitors or Zionists or backward but don’t see their own limitations in subscribing to an old mindset prevalent during the Crusaders era. The Us vs. Them is in overdrive, the Honourable vs. the unworthy.
    A simple argument revealing the contradictions of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s speech or the hypocrisy of HA’s actions turns into accusations and ad Hominems.
    I would rather some one to come out and say ” I don’t give a stuff what you think, HA does what it does because it CAN! and if you don’t like it what are you going to do about it?”, instead of insulting our intelligence and trying to justify and reason why it does what it does as some warranted and God given right.

    Posted by Maverick | February 6, 2014, 8:52 pm
  136. Hah…weapons of mass production. Actually thats exactly what they worry about, in syria, in iraq, in iran, lebanon…

    Maverick, funny you should see it that way. Coz I see people of your inclination even less than that. Add to the hypocricy and contradiction (for ex. yes, israel is wrong to kill, exile and pillage but so is resistance against it) qualities of acquiescent selfishness, amorality, lying, low life point scoring and fabricating unjustified accusations, latent racism (israelis must somehow come as being more civilized to them/you than arabs)..and your choice from adjectives already given beforehand.

    I forgot to add another point in regards to how HA actively contributes to both : 6. that HA also helps train palestinian resistance within palestine.

    QN, good links. At last some substance. Amal’s piece is an opinion piece. I have to read ibrahim el amins piece to be able to determine whether I agree with her about his stance. I understand the gist – and i will quote from the csmonitor a supporting paragraph- and the issue -albeit with the tragic and unique situation at the yarmouk camp- really covers the radicalization of palestinians in lebanons camps as well. This is a result of money thing, ghettoization, poverty, injustice, no right of return….and, on the other hand, the increasing influence of radical clerics calling on them to join their ‘sunni brothers’. injustice and poverty and extremist religiosity. The lebanese authorities are also now discovering many palestinian members, tucked away in camps, who are part of the ring of carbomb facilitators.

    Anyway, ASG’s is an opinion piece. Not informative on the actual ongoings. Also please note that many of the subsequent critical comments on her article seem to be as interesting and may well be relevant.

    The electronic intifada site neitherr contradicts nor supports my or anyones point of view. It stops at mentioning all sides or both sides. Not informative on who is doing what.

    Now, csmonitor

    Ahmad Majdalani, a PLO Executive Committee member said before departing for Syria last week that part of the problem is that there’s no one specific party to negotiate with to ensure the steady flow of goods and medicine into the camp. “There are too many armed groups and not anyone specific that we can talk with to ensure the neutrality of the camp is maintained,” he said.

    Mr. Majdalani said an agreement signed with nine armed groups to leave the camp was thwarted after four, including Al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), stayed put.

    Complicating the issue, some Palestinians joined the FSA, while others formed an anti-Syrian government group called Liwa al-Asifa, or Storm Brigade. Those were pitted against the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a Palestinian group allied with the Syrian government. Majdalani has previously blamed the PFLP-General Command for embroiling the camp in the fighting.

    Exactly what i was suggesting and corroborates the syria360 article. The yarmouk has been hijacked by al qaeda.and when did al qaeda ever care for the lives of the civilians…and as per quote, it has succeeded in recruiting from amongst them. As it does in lebanon…

    And so, when you start claiming its all the Syrian regime’s fault and how could I support them…i would support them over al qaeda. These are not freedom fighters.

    To be honest, i cannot exactly determine what the balance on the side of the syrian regime is like. They must be heavy handed with wl qaeda and i totally understand that. But what about the civilians? Its a tough situation and the people innocent of all this are tragically stuck in the middle. But to simplify this as syrian regime against palestinians is not factual.

    Again, thanks for the links.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 6, 2014, 9:45 pm
  137. And please, no assumption that it is because they are palestinians that theyre prone to joining these terrorist cells. 3irseil is not palestinian. Neither neighbourhoods in and around tripoli, saida and so on.

    The common factor would not be a nationality but poverty. All these areas suffer from great poverty and our inept system in ameliorating their situation.

    But will look for amin’s article. I enjoy his more ‘technically oriented’ articles. Have you read his latest ‘plea’ to assir? The guy, amin, is a bit devious. He understands the lebanese mentality very well (not all writers, be they lebanese, do).

    Posted by Trinkets | February 6, 2014, 9:54 pm
  138. Sorry, to clarify the point a bit. Why did i say al qaeda.

    The most powerful anti-syrian actors would be al nusrah and ISIL..as they are elsewhere in syria. Theyre, of course, takfiri groups. Al nusrah officially belongs to al qaeda. ISIL was affiliated but owing to internal politics (and very possibly saudi influence), al qaeda recently dissociated itself from them. But in spirit and practice, these are all the same.

    The others groups have clearly implicated themselves to their people’s detriment. I would also want to know who this PLO majdalani guy is. How does he stand in relation to PFLP-General? Sometimes, internal politics play a role in one’s account of things. He didnt explain in what manner the plfp embroiled the camp. In my understanding, simpky having the al nusrah ans ISIL is an unavoidable embroilment.

    Example, lebanese camps. No one is embroiling them to side with the resistance or syria. But al nusrah and co certainly are for their own head-chopping kamikaze side.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 6, 2014, 10:09 pm
  139. An argument to justify the resistance that is not based solely on Israel’s threat could be elaborated as follows: HA was founded to defend, liberate and empower the marginalized Shia constituency of Lebanon. It resisted and ended the occupation and the tried to displace the bourgeois Amal movement by providing support, services, protection and empowerment to its constituency. Its role extended to a political empowerment after Taef and Doha may have been a start, but in order to overhaul the feodal system it allied itself with what promised to be a long-term and effective party (the FPM). Once the rhetoric of the FPM did not meet the realities of the political expectations of HA, the resistance narrative and its need for arms became the primordial guarantee for the effective functioning of HA and of its protection and empowerment of its constituency. I cannot understand how the assassination of Hariri would fit with HA interests, especially under Syrian hegemony. I cannot also understand May 2008, except as a desperate and mistaken strategy that alienated a majority of the Lebanese, including the independent Lebanese citizens that could have accepted the pan arabist narrative of resistance. HA lost the external support as well once it no longer acted as a defender of larger ideals but became in practice involved in sectarian struggles culminating in its involvement in Syria.

    The Palestinian cause is a worthy cause for many Christian, Sunni, Shia or Druze when framed nationally or regionally, but I am quite certain that even Hamas can no longer be openly allied or supportive of HA after the Syria fiasco.

    So will the government be formed without HA political control and would it accept a government that would not please FPM? Will it pressure its ally or will it accept whatever outcome as long as its military dominance is not threatened? HA relies on the status quo of the army (which has gone out of its way to support rather than alienate it). I guess that we will see. But HA would prefer a caretaker government that would not internationally undermine its political cover (thus the offer of foreign affairs to FPM) and that would nationally not try to enforce the Baabda agreements (Suleiman has been playing the good soldier by conveying an official opposition to any Syrian interventionism). If the next government could fulfill these same tasks, why should HA mind?

    Posted by Parrhesia | February 6, 2014, 11:13 pm
  140. See. Now Parrhesia goes and shows how one may frame an argument for HA without resorting to calling everyone ignorant, and without using double standards.
    Not saying I agree with that narrative, but at least it stands on some logic of its own, rather than denial of facts on the ground.

    And Trinkets, I thought you said the Yarmouk was besieged by the rebels. Now you changed your story that it is in fact besieged by the pro-Assad side, but is justified because the camp was co-opted by Al-Qaeda and/or rebel factions. At least the latter narrative makes more sense than outright denial.
    Mind you, co-opted or not, starving a civilian population is still a brutal and barbaric act. And I brought it up earlier to follow the logic of guilt by association that you were using. That has still not been addressed by all of the above comments.
    The bottom line is, HA is indeed allied and associated with a brutal regime. That fact is undeniable.
    Whether you think they have good enough reason to do so is fine. That’s your prerogative. But at least then we can get past the moral equivalency arguments where you point to others being so brutal and horrible for what they do and claim the side you support is so much better because it is above such atrocities. Which is in fact, not true.
    It’s one thing to argue opinions. It’s another to argue facts (or lack thereof).

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 7, 2014, 1:50 am
  141. Apropos Parrhesia’s post:

    Its so much nicer when we reveal the meat, then we can discuss how little of there is.

    It resisted and ended the occupation
    Incorrect. Occupation still ongoing, Shebaa Farms. Also pending issue of Lebanese prisoners. Persistent threat from Israel. Many Lebanese – here included- see that we will never find peace without a judicious resolution of Palestinian usurped rights.
    and the tried to displace the bourgeois Amal movement by providing support, services, protection and empowerment to its constituency.
    Baseless. Amal, bourgeois? Funny. Amal and HA have a genealogical link and it is more than fair to assume that there is now very close coordination. Yes during the upsurge of HA, there were many conflicts between and Amal (many of whom were zo3ran/thugs) saw it as competition on Shia turf. But your characterization is simplistic and does not depict today’s relation.
    Once the rhetoric of the FPM did not meet the realities of the political expectations of HA How did you reach that conclusion? What signals this for you?
    the resistance narrative and its need for arms became the primordial guarantee for the effective functioning of HA and of its protection and empowerment of its constituency.
    I disagree . Well before the accord with Aoun, HA’s rhetoric has always been about resistance. It is true that it was more moulded within the shia religious imagination and therefore sect-specific, but throughout, it was always there. Once can also trace a substantial base of the language to the original Amal (Musa El Sadr and Hussein El Husseini…not sho ismo hayda), the struggle for rights, resisting subjugation and so on. With time, and with the increasing circle of alliance, HA started addressing a larger audience and had to recast his speech to a cross-factional audience.
    I cannot understand how the assassination of Hariri would fit with HA interests, especially under Syrian hegemony.
    Neither can I. Not to mention that, unlike what is being portrayed, Harriri was pretty much Syria’s guy. I can better understand why some parties are cynically trying to use it to incriminate HA.
    I cannot also understand May 2008, except as a desperate and mistaken strategy that alienated a majority of the Lebanese, including the independent Lebanese citizens that could have accepted the pan arabist narrative of resistance.
    Obviously, you don’t understand it then and all you have is that regurgitated version, as decontextualized and uninformed as ..well your previous contrbutions. There were a series of events prior to May 2008 that were calculated to rid HA, forcibly of its weapons, in close cooperation with the US and the Saudis. Furthermore, the actual trigger was from the part of Mostaqbal, who were the ones to shoot at the direction of the protesters.
    • شرارة الصدامات المسلحة انطلقت من تقاطع جامع عبد الناصر ـ بربور حيث يتقابل انصار «تيار المستقبل» في الطريق الجديدة مع
    انصار المعارضة في احياء المزرعة. وذكرت المعلومات ان مجهولا القى قنبلة يدوية في اتجاه مجموعة من انصار المعارضة كانوا يتجمهرون في المنطقة، ما تسبب بجرح جنديين وثلاثة مدنيين. وأثار الحادث توتراً شديداً. وحصلت عمليات كر وفر ومواجهات بين الجانبين بالحجارة والعصي. وظل الجيش، الذي حشد قوة كبيرة في مناطق المواجهة، يعمل لساعات على ضبط الوضع والفصل بين انصار الفريقين. from http://www.aawsat.com/details.asp?section=4&article=469844&issueno=10754#.UuND_hBfrIU

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/what-really-happened-in-beirut/9340

    HA lost the external support as well once it no longer acted as a defender of larger ideals but became in practice involved in sectarian struggles culminating in its involvement in Syria.

    That’s not logical derivation not empirical induction. This is wishful thinking. For involvement in Syria, see my posts above. But obviously it’s a belief you have and therefore you are not able to meaningfully retort except in a solipsistic and catatonic repetition of this mantra you have. A wall may well be perused, if only to punctuate your litany.
    The Palestinian cause is a worthy cause for many Christian, Sunni, Shia or Druze when framed nationally or regionally, but I am quite certain that even Hamas can no longer be openly allied or supportive of HA after the Syria fiasco.
    Hamas is still supported, in more than one way, by the resistance axis minus Syria. They differ on the issue of Syria and while there is, without denial, an animosity between parts of their respective support base, officially, logistically and financially, they have both come out and stated that Hamas
    HA relies on the status quo of the army (which has gone out of its way to support rather than alienate it).
    Everyone relies on the army and the army has not wanted to displease anyone – except the takfiri groups Otherwise, define “gone out of the way”? May 2008? The Army did not stop the Mostaqbal thugs who attacked first, they did not stop the Mostaqbal militia (some of who lived near us, by the way and they were always overbearingly thuggish) and true, they did not stop HA and its allies. It literally went out of the way for everyone. Understandably.
    But HA would prefer a caretaker government that would not internationally undermine its political cover (thus the offer of foreign affairs to FPM) and that would nationally not try to enforce the Baabda agreements
    The first part of that sentence almost starts to make sense then you succumb to the clichés. Mostaqbal and its associates went to Syria way before Hezbollah. The Baabda fart, asdi farce, was a stillborn from the get go. There is no Baabda agreement, there was no Baabda agreement, there will be no Baabda agreement. It was Saad’s dirty secret. Saad bin Saud has been sending his takfiri lackeys into Syria from the get go. And I suspect he had been even before the Syrian outbreak. Thinking that things just started out of the blue is naïve. There was a ready turf and a ready band. Get over it. Ya3ni, it was Sa’ad’s version of Ma ba3da B3abda wa ma ba3da ba3da B3abda
    Suleiman has been playing the good soldier by conveying an official opposition to any Syrian interventionism.
    And garnishing King Abdullah’s pendent solemness with gracious pecks of reverence. 3ashat mamlakt al kahr wal 3ahr wal 3arbada wal sharmata wa laka l7amdo wal shokr ya malik el zaman walmakan w tab3an loubnan. Dear President, this was just a joke – like hahaha joke – please don’t put me in jail.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 7, 2014, 1:51 am
  142. Amendment:
    The Palestinian cause is a worthy cause for many Christian, Sunni, Shia or Druze when framed nationally or regionally, but I am quite certain that even Hamas can no longer be openly allied or supportive of HA after the Syria fiasco.

    Hamas is still supported, in more than one way, by the resistance axis minus Syria. They differ on the issue of Syria and while there is, without denial, an animosity between parts of their respective support base, officially, logistically and financially, they have both come out and stated that Hamas and Hezbollah’s common base of resistance remains intact and will not be impacted.

    http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/46745

    Posted by Trinkets | February 7, 2014, 1:56 am
  143. And Trinkets, I thought you said the Yarmouk was besieged by the rebels. Now you changed your story that it is in fact besieged by the pro-Assad side, but is justified because the camp was co-opted by Al-Qaeda and/or rebel factions. At least the latter narrative makes more sense than outright denial.

    Thats not what I said. Go back and read. Or don’t. Mitil 2iltah.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 7, 2014, 1:59 am
  144. Here is what how one of your pals describes the situation in Syria:

    ورداً على سؤال عن المفاضلة بين الجهات المتقاتلة في سوريا، أي بين النظام والمعارضة، اشار عميدرور الى ان المتقاتلين في الساحة السورية جهتان: «جهة تتألف من ايران وحزب الله و(الرئيس السوري بشار) الاسد، وجهة اخرى تتكوّن، من منظمات شبيهة بالقاعدة»

    Translation: In response to a question on which of the sides were seen to be preferable, Amidror (ISraeli national security adviser Yaakov Amidror) stated that the fighters on Syrian grounds belonged to either one of two groups: ” One group comprised of Iran, Hezbollah and President Bashar AlAssad, and another group comprised of al-Qaeda-like bands”

    Maybe you’ll trust your friend more than you do your compatriots.

    http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/200292

    Posted by Trinkets | February 7, 2014, 2:17 am
  145. None of what Parhesia said is factual nor does it makes any sense.

    Hezbollah was formed to serve Iranian interests. It continues to do what it was created to do from day one.

    Hezbollah does not have any interest in any Lebanese agenda. It’s main concerns are Irania interests. Lebanese interests are NOT Iranian interests.

    HezbollH is a proxy organization of a foreign entity and is an enemy of the Lebanese State.

    Let’ call a spade for what it is.

    Whether it is Parhesia or Trinkets, what we are reading is mere rhetoric with complete lack of argument and deliberate falsification based on rhetoric. Both ate opposite sides of the sane coin.

    Kizb fowq kizb.

    Posted by Mustap | February 7, 2014, 2:27 am
  146. Mustap,

    Have you always been against HA? Perhaps you can tell us how you formulated your negative opinion of them.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 7, 2014, 10:20 am
  147. Good question Akbar Palace.

    Anyone who reads any of Khominei’s book(s) will have no choice but to be against Hezbollah, i.e. if the reader is using his rational faculties and not a herd driven blindfolded idiot.

    But honestly, in my case, I just look at Hassan’s face every time he makes a speech. I happen to be a good face reader. I look at his face muscle’s movement and I immediately see a liar ( i.e. kazzab. That’s what kizb means above.)

    Posted by Mustap | February 7, 2014, 1:08 pm
  148. Time for a new topic perhaps? QN? 🙂

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 7, 2014, 1:28 pm
  149. Indeed…

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 7, 2014, 1:34 pm
  150. Mustap,

    This is where I get my translations from the ME. It posts both extremes mind you, not just real crazy stuff but also articles from arab moderates against extremist Islamists (e.g. Malik, Sultan, Muhanna, etc;)

    http://www.memri.org/middle-east-media-research-institute.html

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 7, 2014, 2:13 pm
  151. A new topic? It keeps on getting heisted towards the same sermon. I miss the Iceman. 😀

    Posted by danny | February 7, 2014, 3:23 pm
  152. I miss the Qnion, we need something about the Berri Jumblat love fest and their conspiracies against Aoun.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 7, 2014, 3:52 pm
  153. A new topic is welcome.

    I already made a suggestion about very important Lebanese issues:

    The Baathist regime and its proxies are enemies of the Lebanese State, due to contiued violation of Lebanese sovereignty from air, sea and ground by the Baathists in the north and the north east.

    The LAF has been lame with its response. It didn’t even reserve the right to respond in a time and place of its choosing.

    The Lebanese government did not even complain to the UN.

    Shouldn’t Mansour be charged with treason, and/or dereliction of duty?

    In my opinion HO, these are serious issues that need serious discussion among all serious Lebanese in order to reach an agreement on how to protect the country’s sovereignty against Baathist aggressions, and determine the enemies of the State.

    We should add Aoun and his family business ( the FPM) to potential State enemies due to obvious collusions with State enemies and their proxies, also IMHO.

    Posted by Mustap | February 7, 2014, 6:50 pm
  154. Happened to come across this. More on the Saudi and Qatari subvention of the extremist jihadists . This come from Bernard Squarcini, who was the head of the French interior intelligence agency, DCRI (direction centrale du Renseignement intérieur) in his book “Renseignements français : nouveaux enjeux” .
    There is also mention of their activities in Saida and Tripoli (per the second citation below).

    It is no secret that Saudi has long been an enclave of extremism. Petty criminals with stumps for arms and women not being allowed to drive are testimony to the State’s values.

    A regional pro-democracy revolution was anathema to the authorities in Riyadh and Doha. Similar events in Eastern Europe twenty years earlier had led to a domino effect of tumbling dictators. And so the revolution was hijacked in its bud.

    This is not a new theme. Saudi Arabia funded the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, the Madrasas in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as the Taliban. Al Qaeda developed from the Mujahideen.. There can be no doubt that Saudi money has fundamentally developed the potency of Islamic fundamentalism.

    Ever since the Arab Spring, Saudi and Qatar have sought to use their influence to gain power ‘democratically’ throughout the Middle East and North Africa by replacing dictatorships with theocracies. This is both politically and economically prudent (Islamist rulers have complete control of their followers and require little in the way of funding, as demonstrated by the support of the Taliban in Afghanistan).

    Meanwhile, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia called on Muslims to burn churches. Clerics on state-backed satellite television incited sectarian hatred and violence, calling for Jihad against all ‘Infidels’, ‘Apostates’ and anyone else not in agreement with their modus operandi. Videos were posted online calling for Jihad against Shias, Alawites, Christians and Jews and showing the murder of those who do not share their perverted ideology.

    This incitement from the Gulf was backed by money. Salafist groups have been funded and armed largely by Saudi Arabia; the Muslim Brotherhood by Qatar and Turkey (in addition to groups such as Al-Nusra in Syria where the fiercest fighters were required to topple the regime in the shortest time possible).

    This division between Saudi and Qatar highlights their struggle for regional control since the start of the Arab Spring. Qatar promoted the idea of the ‘moderate’ Muslim Brotherhood in contrast to the Saudi-backed Salafists who have not used the art of ‘”Taqiyya,” or ‘concealment’ of their Islamist objectives.

    There is evidence to demonstrate how widely Saudi and Qatari tentacles have spread. The former Head of French Interior Intelligence, Yves Bonnet accused Qatar and Saudi Arabia of funding extremist Islamist networks in France. Bernard Squarcini, a previous Head of France’s counter-espionage and counter-terrorism Intelligence agency pointed to the head of Saudi Intelligence, Bandar Bin Abd al-Aziz, supporting extremist groups from Afghanistan to Lebanon and Syria to Egypt. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ribal-alassad/understanding-and-treatin_b_4548261.html

    L’ancien patron du renseignement intérieur français Bernard Squarcini a révélé dans son nouveau livre : « Renseignements français : les nouveaux enjeux » que le chef des renseignements saoudiens Bandar ben Sultan finance les groupes extrémistes dans le monde arabe, notamment au Liban. Selon lui, les groupes djihadistes qui ont prêté allégeance à l’organisation d’al-Qaida, et qui sont basés dans les camps palestiniens près de Saida et de Tripoli, sont financés principalement par le prince Bandar ben Sultan qui adopte une politique régionale indépendante de ses frères et ses cousins. – See more at: http://top-news.me/fr/share.php?sms_id=10325#sthash.BnWbO4nu.dpuf

    Ce qui était connu concernant le financement du terrorisme en Algérie, en Syrie et ailleurs par certains pays du Moyen-Orient fait l’objet de témoignages de plus en plus nombreux et de preuves tout aussi irréfutables.
    Cette fois, c’est l’ancien directeur des services de renseignements internes français Bernard Squarini, ancien patron du renseignement intérieur français, qui témoigne sur le rôle du Qatar et de l’Arabie saoudite dans le financement du terrorisme.

    C’est dans son livre «Le renseignement français, les nouveaux enjeux», paru il y a quelques jours, que Bernard Squarcini révèle les détails de cette relation faite au détriment de centaines de milliers de victimes.

    Selon cet ancien patron des renseignements intérieurs français, les groupes djihadistes qui ont prêté allégeance à Al Qaïda «sont financés principalement par le prince saoudien Bandar Ben Sultan (secrétaire général du Conseil de sécurité nationale et chef des renseignements généraux d’Arabie saoudite) qui adopte une politique régionale indépendante de ses frères et ses cousins».

    Bernard Squarini, qui a quitté son poste il y a un an et demi, et qui assure dans son dernier livre que «Bandar Ben Sultan, chef des renseignements saoudiens, est derrière le financement des groupes djihadistes en Afghanistan, en Syrie, au Liban, en Egypte, au nord de l’Afrique», a noté, dans ce livre que «le Qatar, grand partenaire commercial et politique de la France, est intéressé par le financement, voire l’armement des groupes islamistes combattant en Afrique contre l’armée française». http://www.letempsdz.com/content/view/109449/1/

    Posted by Trinkets | February 8, 2014, 1:53 am
  155. Faced by another alliance that use the Arab Israeli conflict and jihad against Jews to achieve the same goals. How different is the Saudi Qatari Wahhabi alliance from that of the Khomenist Baathist Muqawamist alliance? They all want to impose their lovely “democratic” rule.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 8, 2014, 3:54 am
  156. The second opposes Israel and supports the Palestinian cause. The first aligns itself with Israel.

    The second sends their carbombs and their suicide bombers amongst the lebanese, syrians, egyptians, iraqis and so on. The first don’t.

    The reason why the second are fought against by the US and its european cocker spaniels is because of their anti-israeli agenda. The first is because they sincerely want to enforce their head-chopping version of the shariah and for that, they kill anyone in their way.

    The second have a valient cause, the first have an agenda as ugly as zionism.

    You comparison and drawing of equivalence pretty much echos a certain mainstream breed of journalism, uncritical, with consciously or not- roots leading to politically prejudiced elites. That nay well be the extent of your knowledge, delimited by a fundamental apriori belief.

    I gave the above links in response to a specific provocation by QN who did not buy that ksa and qatar are actively, politically, militarily, theologically and financially invested in a war against syria and now lebanon in the form of suicide bombers targetting civilians, terrorist cells in tripoli, eirseil, saida and elsewhere.

    It is greatly igorant and perverse to compare the pro iranian HA consistuency to the wahabi al qaeda one. HA has long existed happily with other sects and religions; al qaeda is by nature adverse to that. From the Saudi-qatari side, their clerics have issued fatwas and sanctified the killing of aliwis, shiites and christians – these are on official national tv channels. Irans clerics have issued fatwas condemning such practices of takfir.

    It is unfortunate that you prefer ignorant PR agnosticism over informed and vested research.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 8, 2014, 12:03 pm
  157. “HA has long existed happily with other sects and religions; ”

    Trinkets,
    You keep taking out the Jews out of the equation. Since when HA or their constituency agree to happily coexist with the Jews? Their intolerance and bigotry toward the Jewish people and their right to self determination and existence in the Middle East is equal to that of the Wahhabi intolerance and bigotry toward the Shia, Christians and other minorities.

    HA helped send suicide bombers to become “martyrs” in Tel Aviv, killing innocent Israeli people in buses and restaurants and they would continue doing so if they could.

    The Arabs killed, jailed and tormented the Palestinians just as Israel did. If you are pro Palestinian, help them resolve the conflict peacefully, instead of using them as bargaining chips in the bazaar of the Mideast power struggle.

    Your valiant cause has been nothing but a tool to perpetuate the tyranny of the Assads, Qadhafies, Saddams, Arafats and Khomeinies of the region.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 8, 2014, 12:51 pm
  158. I don’t question your view of the Wahhabi extremists, I agree 100 percent about what you described as their agenda and MO. However, I see similar behavior and animosity from the Shia extremists towards the Jews. In general this has plagued the Arab world for many decades, before Islam it was the left and Arab nationalism that peddled this hate and bigotry in the name of fighting Colonialism.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 8, 2014, 1:04 pm
  159. And quit calling me ignorant please 🙂

    Posted by Vulcan | February 8, 2014, 1:05 pm
  160. By the way, what do you think of Ibrahim Al Amin’s latest emotional appeal to Ahmad Al Assir? I bet you won’t call him ignorant and perverse for doing so.

    http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/200214

    Posted by Vulcan | February 8, 2014, 1:15 pm
  161. Trinkets,

    You are right that Iran is by far more tolerant and respectful of other people’s religious beliefs within Iran in comparison to Saudi Arabia. Jews have their synagogues and are culturally protected and endorsed by the government. Christians have their churches and also are highly protected. I, myself, have actually been part of and witnessed Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in Teheran last year where alcohol was openly served, even though I had no idea how that was possible in a country that prohibits its sale while the local police cordoned off several streets around the venue where several hundred Christian Iranians (Assyrians and Armenians, as they like to identify themselves as) to celebrate the festivities.

    But, there is little leniency for Shi’ite born Iranians. They have to abide by rather strict Shi’ite Koranic rules just as the local Saudis are obliged to by their Sunni counterparts.

    Once the Iranians stop equating freedom of expression with America, but as a human and civil right, without whipping women for not properly covering their hair, they might gain their rightful place amongst the civilized world.

    Posted by Raymond | February 8, 2014, 2:03 pm
  162. Their intolerance and bigotry toward the Jewish people and their right to self determination and existence in the Middle East is equal to that of the Wahhabi intolerance and bigotry toward the Shia, Christians and other minorities.

    They don’t have a right of self determination. The lithanian, polish, russian, german…and so on exodus of jews to palestinians didn’t belong to the region and took over other people’s houses and lands. They had neither a right of self determination not the right of even being there. They displaced the indigenous population, committing massacres the likes of Jaffa massacre (1300 killed, 70,000 displaced, Deir Yassin (200 villagers killed) , Ein el Zaytoun (70 killed), Lydda (426), Al Dawayma (445) Khan Yunis massacre, Fak’hani massacres, the two Qana massacres, the Sabra and Chatillah, The Jenin Massacre, the multiple massacres against Gaza?

    The region’s jews were living side by side with the christians and the muslims. Zionism came along with its perversions. It is not surprise that many people in the region associate jewry with Zionism. Thats all they saw in Israel – a horde of land-grabbing, murdering, terrorizing foreigners who happen to be jewish. And now, you want to judge them for that association and NOT judge the perpetrators of these massacres themselves for inviting that very association through the establishment of a blood soaked Jewish state?

    HA helped send suicide bombers to become “martyrs” in Tel Aviv, killing innocent Israeli people in buses and restaurants and they would continue doing so if they could.

    Many palestinians, secular and religious, sent suicide martyrs, in the face of a wold that did little to help them and in a world that armed Israel to the teeth. They were being drive out of their villages, towns and cities. It is a sign of the sordid state of the world and its acquiescence to the zionist project that the Palestinians resorted to such desperate measures. HA’s work – suicide bombers included- was focused on the souther lebanese border, against Israelis and, before that, against their proxies, the SLA. In short, they were not fighting civilians – they were fighting the Israel’s military and its militarized agents.

    The Arabs killed, jailed and tormented the Palestinians just as Israel did.

    Again, inaccurate obfuscation and trying to alleviate the original perpetrators of the most extreme act of violence, deportation and mass persecution against the Palestinians. The issue is not what Arabs did do or did not do. The Palestinians are in this predicament – as well as Arabs- owing to that original violation that traumatized not just the Palestinians but the region at large. The Arabs did not kick the Palestinians out of Palestine, the Arabs did not commit successive massacres against them and their neighbours over the expanse more than half a century, the Arabs did not try to take over their history, did not try to snuff out their identity.

    Whatever the Arab leaderships did and were guilty of – and they were truly guilty of many things- they did non of those things and – more importantly- they do not hold an agenda of negating the identity, history and being of Palestinians and their neighbours…and attempting to draw an equivalence between Arab leaderships – with their history of corruption, duplicity and despotism- is a great injustice, the aim of which is to cover up the restitution of Palestinian rights in a false and unethical association.

    Not to mention intellectual solecism. This Palestinian cause is one subject and the Arab corruption and despotism is another. Criticizing one does not negate criticism of the other. But also, as much as the Syrian regime is worthy of criticism and perhaps even contempt and should be changed, the fact that Syria AND Iran have been dedicated to working with the resistance in Lebanon against the proprietor of the above mentioned acts, is to its credit and, for on that front, they both surge over and above the other regional countries who can’t be bothered to stand up for a righteous cause and who were indeed complicit -whether out of stupidity, greed or hatred. Also, I believe it is equally erroneous to confuse Hafez’ regime with that of Bashar’s. I won’t go into that now – and I don’t mention it in order to defend his regime- but there are some fundamental differences that many blind haters (i don’t mind sight-enabled haters) do not take into consideration.

    I repeat. I am with changing the regime in Syria AND with the restoration of Palestinian rights. I am with the establishment of a true democracy -not the establishment of a corrupt puppet regime being pedalled now in the form of a saudi-mustered opposition. There is an opposition that neither the Syrian regime nor the so-called Syrial opposition care to mention, a truly ethically minded opposition that spent many years rotting in the Syrian prisons and, unlike George Sabra and his like, did not sell themselves to pure blind hatred and the sacrifice of the well being of their country and lots of darahim and riyals. These people are really persecuted by both of these sides and we, in our confused logic (akin to Vulcan’s), render them invisible.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 8, 2014, 2:05 pm
  163. Vulcan,

    re: Amin

    read POSTED BY TRINKETS | FEBRUARY 6, 2014, 9:54 PM

    Posted by Trinkets | February 8, 2014, 2:08 pm
  164. Hah,

    no, on the half-contrary, I suggested that Amin is perverse (devious) AND not ignorant.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 8, 2014, 2:18 pm
  165. Again, inaccurate obfuscation and trying to alleviate the original perpetrators of the most extreme act of violence, deportation and mass persecution against the Palestinians.

    Twinkie,

    “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”

    As far as my belief system is concerned, the “most extreme act of violence” is murder, not mass deportation and mass persecution. For example, it would have been one thing if the Nazis let the 6 million jews they murdered to run away to other lands. But, that wasn’t enough for them.

    In any case, if “mass deportation and mass persecution” is your “most extreme act of violence”, than we don’t have to look any further than the Assad regime, which has already created over 2 million Syrian refugees or about 3x the number of palestinian refugees than the Nakba created.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 8, 2014, 2:46 pm
  166. In 2005 The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) administers the only registration system for Palestinian refugees, but it only includes those displaced in 1948 (and their descendants) who are in need of assistance and located in UNRWA areas of operation – West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. BADIL, a Palestinian non-governmental organization, estimated that there were more than 7.2 million Palestinian refugees and displaced persons at the end of 2005. (report)

    This includes Palestinian refugees displaced in 1948 and registered for assistance with the UNRWA (4.3 million); Palestinian refugees displaced in 1948 but not registered for assistance (1.7 million); Palestinian refugees displaced for the first time in 1967 (834,000); 1948 internally displaced Palestinians (355,000); and, 1967 internally displaced Palestinians (57,000). http://imeu.net/news/article0038.shtml

    In 2003 Palestinians are the largest and longest suffering group of refugees in the world. One in three refugees world wide is Palestinian. There are about 6.5 million Palestinian refugees worldwide. More than 3.8 million Palestinian refugees and their descendents displaced in 1948 are registered for humanitarian assistance with the United Nations. Another 1.5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendents, also displaced in 1948, are not registered with the UN. About 263,000 Palestinians and their descendents are internally displaced i.e. inside present-day “Israel”. http://www.auphr.org/index.php/resources/factsheets/refugees/15-how-many-palestinian-refugees-are-there-today

    Obviously, not only are the liars ready to use any card to support their pro-zionist cause, they’re quite incompetent as well.

    Again, this is one subject and the other is another. And what happened to Palestinians and continues to happen to them is first and foremost owing to Zionism.

    On the other hand, and in the minimum, lets say that the Syrian events can be seen from a multiple viewpoints and their are overlapping areas of ambiguity.

    The questions one may pose to me and my side have been fair. If the Syrian regime is corrupt, why support it? Its a good question.

    As is my question to you (I don’t mean to the zionist lackeys), do you really think that—given all the extrmist and suspect elements being brought out to play against the regime and the absence of the truly liberal, non corrupt, non religiously extremist elements—-there is a better alternative here?

    What is happening to Syria cannot, no matter how you look at it, be seen as exclusively owing to the Syrian regime – whether you support or don’t support the regime. People are also flocking in the millions away from Al Nusrah, ISIS and its like. It is a murky combination of a civil war, terroristm and a war on syria. The latter two are inextricably bound and inflame the first. Stopping the influx of terrorism and the money to them is paramount.

    But, for sure, what the zionists did and continue to do to Palestinians is solely of the zionists’ making and fault. They are the supreme and overarching author of the Palestinian tragedies as well as their neighbours’. That there were contributors – I have no doubt about that and for that they are also worthy of contempt. But in no way does that alleviate their authorship.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 8, 2014, 3:39 pm
  167. I have no doubt about that and for that they are also worthy of contempt. But in no way does that alleviate the Zionist’s supreme, unsurpassed authorship.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 8, 2014, 3:41 pm
  168. AP, Vulcan, I don’t know why you bother. I gave up. Trinkets has an answer to everything you may throw at him. While you guys are willing to admit that what he perceives as your side (the Israelis or the Wahabis, or whoever) did wrong, he is completely unwilling to even admit that anyone on the HA/Syria side ever did anything wrong.
    I’m not sure how or why you would argue with that. There’s really nothing to argue: Trinkets is right about everything and is all knowing, all truth, all the time. Everyone else is ignorant, mistaken, or worse.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 8, 2014, 5:05 pm
  169. One can sense the desperation in the “resistance” camp now that most Arabs actually want accountable governments that better the future of their own citizens and are not buying any more the Palestinian issue as a distraction and an excuse to deny them that. Too late Trinkets, the cat is out of the bag. Even the “resistance” camp is not interested in resistance. There has not been ONE resistance operation since 2006. In almost 7 years Hezbollah has not fired one shot at any Israeli soldier. Neither has it fired one rocket at Israel. The border has been as quiet as it has ever been. Anyone remember the Sheba Farms? What happened? Nasrallah stopped even talking about it in his speeches. There has not been one operation against this area also. In short, you are trying to sell what you yourself do not believe in.

    What the Lebanese want in Lebanon is what they get when they move to the West. You can only get that when you have accountable governments and peace and your platform just can’t deliver on either. But not only that, it keeps the Arab countries weak relative to Israel and only makes your stated goals harder to get. Assad is a prime example. Israel has grown tenfold stronger relative to Syria during his tenure. And if you don’t see that after so many decades of clear evidence, I don’t know what will open your eyes.

    Posted by AIG | February 8, 2014, 5:07 pm
  170. Twinkie, et al,

    What do you think of the following Youtube video*:

    http://shariaunveiled.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/wafa-sultans-amazing-speech-at-the-david-horowitz-restoration-weekend-video-must-see/

    *(personally I think everyone has the right to believe what they want)

    BV,

    Yeah. It’s a bad habit.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 8, 2014, 5:47 pm
  171. Wafa sultan? Haha
    Just when they can’t can’t sink any lower, they revert to hate mongering self serving pay-me-for-hating-islam-per-lecture lying creeps who have been exposed for their false pretentions enough times to be boring.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 8, 2014, 6:11 pm
  172. Birds of a feather…

    Posted by Trinkets | February 8, 2014, 6:15 pm
  173. Twinkie,

    The Islamic governments of Iran, Hezbollah and neatly every arab country include denunciations of Judaism all the time in their government – controllef media. Why are you suddenly crying “hate”? Wafa Sultan only represents herself.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 8, 2014, 6:22 pm
  174. Btw – I liked her comment about Starbucks.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 8, 2014, 6:24 pm
  175. Who the hell is Wafa Sultan? Never heard of her.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | February 9, 2014, 1:09 am
  176. Monsieur,

    http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/11/wafa-sultan-a-poseur-playing-off-of-ignorance-to-further-hate/

    We must begin this profile with a question: Is there a more contemptible poseur than Wafa Sultan who calls herself an atheist but in the same breath also claims to be a Muslim reformer, which would kind of be like Christopher Hitchens calling himself a Christian reformer? It is difficult to answer that question with certainty considering the wide pool of bigots who combine charlatanism with raving and incorrigible insanity. But for sure one thing is certain, she is completely undeserving of the 15 minutes of fame she has succeeded in procuring.

    In this sense, Wafa Sultan falls into the same category as Walid Shoebat, Brigitte Gabriel, Nonie Darwish, Kamal Saleem, Zachariah Anani and other self-proclaimed turn coats from their Arab and Muslim identities. As we mentioned before this group attempts to parlay their “otherness,” and so-called “insider knowledge of the Muslim world,” (the “I’ve been there, I know” line) into a cash cow. Meanwhile, we are supposed to be duped into freaking out and running back to them for more “expert” advice brought to us from our loyal friend who ventures into the other side on our behalf.

    Not only is she a pay-as-she-talks bigot, she is also crass and quite honestly dumb – I mean, can’t they stick to Thomas Friendman, Bernard Lewis or even Daniel Pipes. They too are haters…but at least without looking like they’re gagging for it.

    Its no surprise that she’s being cited here by this individual.

    Sorry, but with this woman we’re being pulled down to the cesspools. There must be something more worthwhile to contemplate.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 9, 2014, 1:52 am
  177. BV,

    If your interested, do a google search. She made her “fame” by debating some clerics on al-Jazeera a while back by denouncing Islam (a capital offense in some muslim countries).

    The link I provided above has some background. She seems pretty authentic to me. Your opinion would be welcome.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 9, 2014, 6:45 am
  178. ….easier to do a Youtube search, and my link may have gone bad…

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 9, 2014, 6:51 am
  179. Wafa Sultan is an Islamophobic opportunist who has tried to make a name for herself by disparaging a great world civilization rather than taking issue with certain points of dogma. She tells Fox News what it wants to hear.

    Trinkets said: Birds of a feather…Its no surprise that she’s being cited here by this individual.

    Trinkets, you are starting to approach troll status. When your only apparent interest is to disparage the blog and the moral character of the people who read it, there is little point in having you around. The occasional personal remark or jibe is fine; everyone does that from time to time. But it seems your every comment is dripping with condescension and vitriol. I’m tired of it. I’ll give you another chance to clean it up, and if it proves too much for you to handle, you’ll be suspended from the comment section for a week. Thanks.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 9, 2014, 8:27 am
  180. QN,

    Do you think it is possible for this woman to communicate her message w/o being anti-muslim? What about the many points she has made about walking alone, speaking to a male neighbor, marrying pre-teens, refusing girls to edcape a burning building, etc.

    From my vantage point, she makes some good arguments from the heart assuming she isn’t lying about her life experiences. Aside from this woman, look what militant Islam has done in the ME: it is destroying a whole region

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 9, 2014, 8:41 am
  181. Akbar

    There are hundreds of millions of Muslims who would similarly find certain practices to be abhorrent, but don’t go on to claim that something called “Islam” is to blame for them — even when people act in the name of a religion. It would be just as silly to claim that Christianity itself is responsible for the crimes committed in its name.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 9, 2014, 9:02 am
  182. QN,

    I would delete that last comment, lest you want to proclaim yourself as a clean Christian.

    Then again, its your blog.

    Posted by Balesh | February 9, 2014, 10:32 am
  183. Balesh,

    I don’t follow you.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 9, 2014, 10:46 am
  184. Christianity is as hocus pokus as Islam.

    Posted by Balesh | February 9, 2014, 10:47 am
  185. I think you missed the point, which was that people use religion to legitimize all kinds of practices: peaceful, violent, liberal, illiberal, tolerant, coercive, etc. They can do this because all religions contain within them mechanisms to justify a variety of practices. Arguments to the effect that Islam (or Christianity or Judaism or whatever) is inherently violent and coercive, are simple-minded and only lead to the demonization of large proportions of the world population.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 9, 2014, 10:53 am
  186. Sorry if I missed the point.

    I guess that answers the topic of your question on this blog as to why it is so impossible to form a government in Lebanon.

    Posted by Balesh | February 9, 2014, 11:07 am
  187. It is those that in power that use it to make a living out of it.

    Posted by Balesh | February 9, 2014, 11:11 am
  188. QN,

    Lets be exact here. Who flocked to mentioning wafa sultan? Im not generalising. The description fits solely the individuals who did do so.

    I can see you’re looking for a reason to ban me, however contrived it is. Irrespective of the fact that “troll” desribes better this individual and that other one.

    Posted by Trinkets | February 9, 2014, 11:38 am
  189. Trinkets: I don’t need a reason to ban you. You would have been banned on another forum a long time ago, and I’ve already received several emails from silent readers asking me to please ban this very unpleasant character who stalks the comment section slinging vituperative accusations every which way. These include readers who are pro-resistance but are still alienated by your take-no-prisoners, inflexible, all-or-nothing, excommunicating style. You are welcome to express any opinion you like, as long as you desist from the highly personal and aggressive style of commentary. If you can’t do that, I’ll just have to assume it’s because your intention is to disrupt the discussion here, and I’ll have to suspend you. Show me you can play nicely, and you’re welcome to stay. This is your final warning.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 9, 2014, 11:54 am
  190. There are hundreds of millions of Muslims who would similarly find certain practices to be abhorrent, but don’t go on to claim that something called “Islam” is to blame for them — even when people act in the name of a religion. It would be just as silly to claim that Christianity itself is responsible for the crimes committed in its name.

    QN,

    I appreciate your response. YOU know Islam; I don’t. My opinions are skewed by the news, the arab-Israeli conflict, and my background. OTOH, the ME is made up up of theocracies and semi-theocracies where certain behavior is illegal. (BTW – Trinkets has already shown his/her disdain for “Wahhabism). If certain practices are “abhorrent”, how can they change the laws? “Supreme leaders”, “Kings” military strong-men and brotherhoods don’t seem to make good legislative powers.

    Daniel Pipes, who we all love to hate because he’s an “Islamophobe” has frequently iterated that the answer to “militant Islam” is “moderate islam”, and to my knowledge the best ME country to exhibit “moderate islam” in its legal system is probably Lebanon. Do you agree with me? Do YOU think the ME is controlled too much by Islamic law?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 9, 2014, 12:11 pm
  191. Akbar

    I would be happy to respond to you but this is a big question and I’m swamped with work at the moment. Perhaps if I have some time later, I will chime in.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 9, 2014, 12:34 pm
  192. QN,

    No problem. My questions are usually open to any participant who wants to chime in…

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 9, 2014, 12:39 pm
  193. QN, why can’t we post a gif here? sometimes it’s much more expressive than long winded responses

    Posted by Vulcan | February 9, 2014, 1:32 pm
  194. Prevents spammers. (I think…)

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 9, 2014, 1:33 pm
  195. We need to change the topic to something more productive and useful to Lebanon. There are no shortage of such topics:

    1). How to protect Lebanese sovereignty against Baathist and their proxies?

    2) How to force Hezbollah to get out of Syria in order to protect Lebanese lives?

    3) who are the enemies of Lebanese State? Ex. Baathists and proxies, Hezbollah, Iran, Aoun and family enterprise?

    4) why are the Lebanese so screwed up in their political choices? In particular, why the voter in Lebanon ALWAYS seeks to please the politician and NOT vice versa as is the case in the rest of the world where people vote?

    4) Are the Lebanese people conditioned to behave as in 4 from early childhood? Or are they in fact born to behave in this manner? i.e. genes?

    5) If they are conditioned as in 4, is this because Lebanon is such a poor country, despite the apparent wealth of ‘some’ of its inhabitants, which in the end means a Lebanese citizen must make himself useful to his politician in order to advance in life?

    Posted by Mustap | February 9, 2014, 2:19 pm
  196. Here’s a farcical comment from Naharnet:
    …“As part of the mission of controlling the land borders, army forces in the Arsal area of Wadi Hmayyed arrested Syrian nationals Omar Mahmoud Othman and Radwan Mahmoud Ayyoush for attempting to enter Lebanon illegally,” the Army Command said in a statement.

    If this statement is true. Can our LAF central command kindly explain why did they let 1.5 million Syrians in till now? Why are they targeting certain areas only? Why are they allowing HA militia to invade Syria?

    That is so funny…Our couragous parade army!

    Posted by danny | February 9, 2014, 6:47 pm

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