Hezbollah, Israel, Lebanon, Syria

A Puzzling Escalation in the Golan

Jihad Mughnieh appears above in photographs with Qassem Soleimani and Hassan Nasrallah.

Jihad Mughniyeh appears above in photographs with Qassem Soleimani and Hassan Nasrallah. Mughniyeh was killed in a strike by an Israeli gunship in the Syrian-controlled portion of the Golan Heights yesterday.  (h/t Firas Maksad)

The Syrian vortex has made strange bedfellows over the past year. The rise of the Islamic State had the effect of briefly putting everyone else on the same team, a federation of American fighter pilots, Hizbullah commandos, Syrian Army rank-and-file, and Iranian military strategists. Israel contributed the odd play, but mostly communicated its support for Team World in the language of press conferences and interviews with ex-Mossad chiefs. Some even wondered whether a more enduring geopolitical realignment was underway…

This was the backdrop to Israel’s puzzling strike in the Golan yesterday, which killed six members of Hizbullah and several Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Among the dead were Jihad Mughniyeh (son of the assassinated Hizbullah kingpin, Imad Mughniyeh), whose pictures with Hassan Nasrallah, Qassem Soleimani, Naim Qassem, and other top brass are all over the Internet. More importantly, the casualties included Mohammed Issa, whom some outlets have identified as Hizbullah’s commander of field operations in Syria.

As expected, Hizbullah has vowed to retaliate. These threats have been empty, of late; however, I think this operation will compel the party to act. For one thing, the recent revelation that Hizbullah’s overseas operations were thwarted by an Israeli mole has made the party look unusually vulnerable and distracted by the Syrian conflagration. Optics may be a minor concern for a party that thinks like a state, but there are strategic implications to consider as well.

For one thing, when was the last time that an Iranian general was killed by an Israeli missile?

The game of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” was bound to be short-lived. Still, I find this escalation to be very puzzling. I can think of two ways to interpret the strike:

  1. Israel either knew exactly who it was targeting, and is now changing the rules of the game in Syria (and potentially beyond Syria).
  2. Israel was moving to protect one of its spying devices and ended up squashing a more high-profile target than it had intended.

Neither argument is entirely convincing. Thoughts?

Update: Apparently Jabat al-Nusra is claiming that it was responsible for the above operation, and not Israel. That would certainly make more sense, but it doesn’t explain why Israel took credit for the operation. According to Al-Monitor, Israel and Jabhat al-Nusra have been coordinating operations in the Quneitra area since last fall, but I haven’t seen reports of this anywhere else.

Update: Apparently, the hashtag “#جهزوا_ملاجئكم” (#PrepareYourShelters) has been trending on Twitter since yesterday. Hizbullah’s TV station, al-Manar, mocked up a graphic of the hashtag in Arabic and Hebrew.

Discussion

97 thoughts on “A Puzzling Escalation in the Golan

  1. They obviously weren’t out on a camping trip.

    They knew 100% who they were. It comes adequately placed, after Nasrallah’s 3 hour long speech about having this weapon and that weapon (foolishly) and during an Israeli election.

    My 2 cents.

    Posted by Ray | January 19, 2015, 10:33 am
  2. My 2 cents: More sanctions on Iran.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 19, 2015, 10:49 am
  3. And now there’s this puzzling report… (which I’ve added in an update above):

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/16420-hezbollah-fighters-killed-in-al-nusra-front-attack

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 19, 2015, 10:57 am
  4. The view from Israel and most of the political comments are that it was very much an attempt of Netanyahu to look good in the elections. In general these elections are considered to be focused on economic issues and the lack of peace process which is bad for the Likud. A show of force in the north could return security to the agenda and help Netanyahu stay in office.

    Posted by uri | January 19, 2015, 11:17 am
  5. I doubt it. There would have been by far more media silence on behalf of Hezbollah if that was the case for at least 48 hours.

    This must have been Israeli. Else we would’t have known about it so quick.

    Why doesn’t Jabhat Al Nusra provide photographic evidence?

    Who broke the news first?

    Posted by Ray | January 19, 2015, 11:25 am
  6. QN,

    Things are not puzzling at all.

    It was an Israeli operation from the air 100%. For example, if Nusra would have done it from the ground they would have pictures of themselves with the bodies and/or belongings of the dead and the bodies would not have been so easily retrieved.

    Iran and Hezbollah understood that they could not attack Israel from Lebanon anymore and were trying to establish an operation base from the Golan to act against Israel. The commanders hit were planning an attack. The Iranians understand that since Hezbollah cannot attack from Lebanon, it is really not a threat to Israel and therefore they are weaker in the nuclear negotiations.

    The retired Israeli generals interviewed on Israeli media explained everything: Israel will not agree to attacks from the Golan or any change in the rules of the “game” there. If the options are a Nusra controlled border or a Hezbollah/Iran controlled border, we will go with the former.

    Posted by AIG | January 19, 2015, 11:26 am
  7. AIG said:

    If the options are a Nusra controlled border or a Hezbollah/Iran controlled border, we will go with the former.

    Iranian/Hezbollah-controlled borders have been pretty good for Israel, no? With the exception of 2006, Israel’s northern border has been quiet when policed by Iran and its allies. Why throw your lot in with JN after not much of a track record? Is it because they represent much less of a threat?

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 19, 2015, 11:40 am
  8. I think AIG is right.

    If at all, the Iran/Syria/Hezbollah axis were probably aiming to prepare or implement a plan destabilizing the Golan front on “Sunni” pretexts.

    Posted by Ray | January 19, 2015, 11:42 am
  9. IDF and its spies must know more than us. Right? The HA/Iran militias have been emboldened by Kerry/Obama’s wishy washy attitudes and comments. Israel saw a valuable “asset” and took it out! No escalation QN; just business!

    It is also a message to HA that Israel still has spies everywhere.

    QN, HA and IDF had been reading Qifa lately and your musing that Lebanon is relatively quiet. Well let see what the Yellow jackets would do.

    Now let’s see the sewer rat blow some more hot air!

    Posted by danny | January 19, 2015, 11:50 am
  10. “Iranian/Hezbollah-controlled borders have been pretty good for Israel, no?”

    Well let me ask you this question QN. If you were an Israeli general; which would you rather have: A uniform border that’s controlled by Iran; from Mediterranean through Syria? Or: one that pits Nusra against HA?

    I think the answer is quite simple. Nusra hates Shiites more than anything else!

    Posted by danny | January 19, 2015, 11:55 am
  11. QN,

    The Lebanese border was not quiet between 2000 and 2006. There were many attacks under the implied “understanding” that if Hezbollah attacked Sheba farms it was “ok” and would not escalate too much.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000%E2%80%9306_Shebaa_Farms_conflict

    The success of the 2006 war was in changing this equation and making the border completely quiet. Hezbollah/Iran are trying to create new “understandings” in the Golan so that attacks there would not lead to a devastating war. Israel just “explained” to them that this will not happen.

    Posted by AIG | January 19, 2015, 12:00 pm
  12. What the Islamic Powers need to debate is if beheadings are more Halal than Hangings or if they should simply follow the latest US standards of death penalties.

    That could perhaps bring the temperature down a bit.

    Posted by Ray | January 19, 2015, 12:02 pm
  13. It’s not possible after this to argue that Lebanon is a viable survivable entity. So, it doesn’t matter how you sugar-coat it. You may pretend bewildered for all the world to see, the truth of the matter is, as we’ve been saying all along, Lebanon lost its raison d’etre long long ago. In fact, we may even go further and ask the question: was it worth it to create this mess? Perhaps, there was no raison d’etre in the first place to begin with.

    Back to square one, or may be minus one.

    Briefly speaking, Nasrallah may do the mourning all by himself and for as long as he wishes. I’m not interested.

    And just in case, you seriously think we’re still waiting for the General’s answer about what to do, no we’re not. That was just poking fun on another idiotic fixture, in case you missed the jest of it. We know the Oranges like to take themselves too seriously and may misinterpret such jokes for real. Just to be clear and leave no room for misinterpretation.

    Posted by Mustap | January 19, 2015, 12:23 pm
  14. As seen on Twitter and Al-Manar…

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 19, 2015, 2:29 pm
  15. In Hebrew it says “Arm the shelters” or something to that effect as it is a sentence fragment without much sense. What do they actually mean?
    In any case, Nasrallah said on Jan 15 that there were no Hezbollah in the Golan. I guess that means Israel killed them in Lebanon and transported the bodies to the Golan.

    Posted by AIG | January 19, 2015, 2:56 pm
  16. He’s still full of hot air! The PR campaign will not scare anyone lol. It will be suicidal for HA to irritate Bibi who has his own issues at election time. Also, that will totally reverse the gains they made is Syria…A boon for ISIS/Nusra.

    Posted by danny | January 19, 2015, 2:57 pm
  17. Nasrallah’s bravado hot potatoes, not withstanding, let’s add more to QN’s jigsaw puzzle. Here’s how the theory goes. Israel capitalizes on HA’s severe financial strains and executes its sting operation knowing full well HA is bloodied both literally and financially.

    HA’s finances are cut by 60% by the Iranian masters, which is in perfect proportion to the slash in the mullahs oil income. Mullahs regular chicken banquets take precedence over supplying foreign mercenaries, otherwise severe problems may start brewing at home, if they haven’t already.

    Israel, therefore, can execute a high profile mission knowing full well it is immune from retaliation. Those coward Zios, that’s what they do all the time. They don’t face you when you’re prepared and at full strength. They always wait for the right moment to catch you off guard – one more reason for us to unite and rally behind resistance, the one and only saviour…….

    Now as you can see I’m leaving room here for the conspiracy theorists to come up with all sorts of crap about collusions and world wide plots to help the Zios in their struggles against the ‘most exalted’ resistance. But who can really tell crap is crap.

    We’re inclined to think Nasrallah is full of hot air and will do nothing. His wry smile in the picture tells it all, and shows how beaten he actually is. I mean, c’mon that’s the second Mughniyeh and the first hasn’t yet been avenged, not to mention what’s his name that electronic engineer – o’ yeah Laqqis. His hands are tied and he knows it.

    Posted by Mustap | January 19, 2015, 2:57 pm
  18. The real cowards, IMHO, are the white robed Saudis, who pay the Americans to fight their battles.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 19, 2015, 3:15 pm
  19. Prepare your shelters? And what about the Lebanese? what should they do?

    Ibrahim Al Amin is salivating for a nuclear finale! Sort of like MLK’s “I have a dream”

    http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/224145

    Posted by Vulcan | January 19, 2015, 3:24 pm
  20. How could an American suggest that America is a mercenary country on par with an organization like HA?

    I understand one has the right to be an idiot, as a birth right, but to sell idiocy to others at the risk of being called a traitor of America? Well, that’s something unheard of!!

    Keep up the ‘good work’ and learn from Fox news how to do proper smear campaigns against 1/3 of the world population. And, while at it say hi to Murdoch for me.

    Posted by Mustap | January 19, 2015, 3:57 pm
  21. Most important question that no one yet raised.

    Who gave the Zios the intel about the location and the presence of the target of the 12 hezbos/RGs?

    I believe it’s an inside job from within the resistance block.

    Zios are not capable of penetrating HA on their own and based on their surveillance technology.

    Posted by Mustap | January 19, 2015, 9:34 pm
  22. Mustap,

    The Zios have brainwave technology. Don’t kid yourself.

    http://freethoughtpolice.com/2015/01/18/the-cleansing-of-zionist-trauma-based-mind-control/

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 19, 2015, 10:23 pm
  23. Nasrallah’s hot air is obviously matched by similar zio hot air.

    Who’s caplable of doing what?

    I’m sure hezbos have succeded in melting the zio matrix of mind warping.

    So, my premise is still valid. Absence of zios abilities to penetrate hezbos collective, only one possibility remains. A mole supplied the zios with the necessary intel to pull it off.

    Posted by Mustap | January 19, 2015, 11:10 pm
  24. “The zios can’t penetrate HA on their own…it must be an inside job…it must be a mole” this analysis is truly wasted here, you should apply for a job man, the intelligence community is missing a genius

    Posted by Vulcan | January 20, 2015, 12:24 am
  25. The choppers firing kill shots story is already falling apart thanks to UNDOF reports of UAVs.
    Truth be told, trained Nusra operating surface-to-surface weaponry are sufficient to do the job given the targeting coordinates.

    Nusra was complaining of Israeli poaching on their operational scalps.

    I keep seeing the claim that the killings were related to the business with the American>Israeli run agent. Whomever was the close-in asset has surely been burned. It may have been judged to be worth the cost.

    Posted by lally | January 20, 2015, 12:37 am
  26. Hezbos are saying otherwise.

    Heli-kill it was.

    There was a mole, no doubt.

    Posted by Mustap | January 20, 2015, 12:54 am
  27. There was a mole, no doubt.

    The kangaroo court and the murder of innocent arabs begins in 3….2…1…

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 20, 2015, 8:25 am
  28. Innocent Arabs, eh?

    They were all guilty just couple days ago. What changed? Spare the crocodile tears. That’s too obvious.

    Posted by Mustap | January 20, 2015, 9:08 am
  29. Whether it was a helicopter or a drone, this should put to rest the reports that it was a Nusra operation. Maybe they participated by feeding intelligence, but the IDF could have gotten that easily from their spies along the border area.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 20, 2015, 9:24 am
  30. Geez. I need to get out of the Ashrams and get with the program. It seems nowadays an email alert from QN is the only thing keeping me up to date.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 20, 2015, 9:46 am
  31. They were all guilty just couple days ago.

    Mustap,

    How can arabs be guilty if their unelected leaders (like the ones in KSA, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, etc) tell them what the rules are, make them up as they go along, so they can get “enemies” thrown in jail, get limbs or heads cut off, or get flogged?

    A wesistance pro, is usually the one with a weapon in his hand whining about Zios while destroying the life of a fellow muslim or arab.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 20, 2015, 9:52 am
  32. There is no proof Nusra was involved in the operation or the intel. Also, there is no proof there was a mole. This is all conjecture. But considering that at least one mole was uncovered not long ago, I’m inclined to think there are more.

    I also think there will be more such moles in the future, considering the fact that the organization Will be forced into taking severe austerity measures. Consensus is oil prices will remain depressed for at least one more year, and may be two. They may even fall further

    Posted by Mustap | January 20, 2015, 9:53 am
  33. Akbar,

    Ask yourself that question. You acting dumb again? Or is it for real? Because I noticed you tend to make dumb comments every once in a while. Remember the suggestion that the US is acting as mercenery just few comments above.

    You made them guilty in your comments! And remember? We had a brawl over that. I hope you don’t suffer from chronic memory lapses.

    Posted by Mustap | January 20, 2015, 9:58 am
  34. Damaga control time. The Israelis are now saying they did not know who was in the convoy. That is BS!

    Guess somebody over there woke up to the fact that killing an Iranian General actually might be considered by Iran as a direct act of war.

    Obama & Kerry must be having a fit 🙂

    Posted by Ray | January 20, 2015, 10:59 am
  35. Obama & Kerry must be having a fit

    No, actually their daily flights into Syria and Iraq are killing many more targets, both innocent and guilty.

    But Obama is more focused on stealing from the rich to give to the poor in order to show the Russians and Chinese what REAL communism is all about…

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 20, 2015, 11:06 am
  36. Now that’s a Jewish comment if ever I’ve heard one 🙂

    Posted by Ray | January 20, 2015, 11:13 am
  37. I think this is just the next installment in the Mughniyeh saga. Ever since the assassination of Mughniyeh Sr, Hezbollah has been attempting revenge attacks, with varying degrees of success, as indeed it said it would. With the ball back in Israel’s side of the court, they take out the son. The gradual eradication of the Mughniyeh line – very symbolic.

    Posted by mdc482014 | January 20, 2015, 11:16 am
  38. General Orange teaching about direct acts of war.

    Lesson number one: Travelling some 4000 miles to set up camp on my border is an act of wonderful and welcome diplomatic cordiality.

    Tell general orange it’s damage control alright. But, it’s called protecting assets.

    O’ my my how sweet these oranges are?

    Wait till you hear lesson number two.

    Posted by Mustap | January 20, 2015, 11:19 am
  39. Now, we have a new Corlione family in town.

    Nasrallah writes the script. Israel gets production and distribution rights.

    It’ll be a box office hit, with many many awards to come.

    Title is still being debated. Ideas are welcome.

    Posted by Mustap | January 20, 2015, 11:42 am
  40. Lally, the presence of UAVs does not mean the choppers didn’t take the shot, the UAVs are there the whole day collecting actionable intel like phone or radio intercepts or any other predetermined target info.

    Posted by Vulcan | January 20, 2015, 12:51 pm
  41. What’s puzzling is your opening paragraph which suggests that the rise of ISIS have put Hezbollah on the same side as the US and Israel. That’s just untrue. But it’s probably only puzzling in your head since you’ve convinced yourself that Israel and the US are really threatened by ISIS.

    Posted by Mahmoud Badreddine | January 20, 2015, 1:35 pm
  42. Re; Fox news repeated apologies to Muslims and Free speech re-visited.

    I have changed my mind about Fox news and I don’t think they should have apologized to Muslims about their remarks which offended many throughout the world. I’m now on Fox’ sides never mind what Murdoch said. Larger issues are at play. We don’t know what to do with so many apologies anyway.

    The reason I’m doing that is because I’m choosing now to defend absolute free speech in light of Paris’ mayor threat to sue Fox news over the remarks. She’s saying she wants to sue Fox because she is enraged about the remarks because in her opinion they INSULT, DISHONOR and DEGRADE Paris, the City of ‘the light of the world’ and absolute free speech.

    Since we’re talking insults here, we may as well say, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Or does free speech work only in SOME cases but not others?

    We’re all Foxes. No more Charlies.

    Posted by Mustap | January 20, 2015, 2:25 pm
  43. Mahmoud,

    You need to get used to these suggestive posts which come out from various interest groups who are seeking to suggest to a see-nothing, know-nothing, do-nothing US administration some kind of policy formulation which may or may not become policy..

    These groups, mostly working through social media, are like pseudo political lobbies working in the US political landscape. Some of them may have access to resources from foreign entities, while others are motivated by their own political affiliations. This site is motivated by the latter.

    It’s fair play though.

    Posted by Mustap | January 20, 2015, 3:01 pm
  44. AIG,

    Netanyahu has cornered you, no?

    Posted by Ray | January 20, 2015, 3:45 pm
  45. What Devil are Israelis counting on now to see them through for the next 12 months?

    Posted by Ray | January 20, 2015, 4:02 pm
  46. So, what’s General Orange suggesting? Apocalypse Now? Armageddon?

    Any new lessons on warfare we need to learn about from General Bonaparte?

    Is the General now appointed chief of staff of the secretary?

    Posted by Mustap | January 20, 2015, 4:41 pm
  47. Mahmoud,

    Hezbollah is obviously not on the same side as the US and Israel, but shares a common enemy in these radical Islamist groups. They represent enough of a destabilizing force in the region as to warrant a sustained bombing campaign.

    Mustap said: “These groups, mostly working through social media, are like pseudo political lobbies working in the US political landscape. Some of them may have access to resources from foreign entities, while others are motivated by their own political affiliations. This site is motivated by the latter.”

    Don’t forget to say that you and all the other commenters are paid by my organization to keep up the appearance of an actual forum. I pay by the comment, and you get a raise for your exemplary performance last year, Mustap.

    Keep up the good work.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 20, 2015, 5:07 pm
  48. Just in time for employee performance review.

    Appreciate the raise, and also the exemplary performance record kept in meticulous order.

    I did say it’s fair play. Didn’t I?

    Posted by Mustap | January 20, 2015, 6:20 pm
  49. QN.
    What, exactly, has put claims of responsibility by JaN to rest? Sorry if my post was unclear; IMO, there was collusion.

    Nusra has been working with Israel and frankly, would be far more likely to have developed useful intel against an enemy entity than the Israelis can at this point in time. They have been truthful about their very restricted ability to gather their own intel on the ground. The Syrian Druze are another possibility; their Israeli brothers in the IDF are slated to become the “point of the spear” soldiers to be initially mustered against Hezbollah.

    I’ll even entertain the notion that there were two separate attacks……..;) One on the Iranians and an earlier one (as claimed by Nusra) on HA.

    Mahmoud.

    In general, “Israel” does not feel threatened by ISIS. That sanguine assessment is not universal among security types, however. They have formed an alliance with JaN and basically consider the non-Israeli populace along the Golan/Syrian borders as at the very least, living shields.

    ISIS made the US an instant enemy with their beheadings of Americans and other Westerners.

    Vulcan….

    my point was that airpower was not required to take out the vehicles; surface-to-surface missiles of whatever type could also be utilized as well as remotely detonated IEDs.

    The Izzies are now refuting the Reuters article source claims that they didn’t know an Iranian general was in the vehicle, singular.

    Frankly, the Israelis are really nonplused about this whole business and there are not only broad cynical claims that the killings were yet another aggressive military move staged prior to an election but also real fear that their leadership has recklessly endangered them. In my decade + years of watching the place, I have never seen such
    confusion.

    They have good reason to be fearful as the shelters /”Iron Domes” in place cannot begin to shield their population from the kind of onslaught they could face.

    There are those Israelis who are convinced that “mowing the grass” and the “Dahiya” option by way of massive Israeli airstrikes over a few days will be required. A major originator/proponent of those working theories is one Gadi Eizenkot, formerly of the *Northern Command during the ’06 war and now, just awaiting the call to formally take over his post of Israel’s next Chief of Staff.

    *(Eizenkot wanted to send IDF ground forces in at the very beginning of the conflict and was frustrated by higher
    ups).

    ……..the ouija board is too clogged up to read clearly right now but be warned that Israel is deploying military assets to the north.

    Posted by lally | January 20, 2015, 7:37 pm
  50. “ISIS made the US an instant enemy with their beheadings of Americans and other Westerners.”

    Baloney.

    Boco Haram committed way more atrocities than ISIS. O’ and don’t forgot Assad.

    The US does not go to war over few executions, and as we know from above examples not even something like a genocide. And please don’t recite the mantra of the savagery of the method. US execution methods are quite often more savage than severing heads, especially when the concoction goes hay wire or when the electric setup malfunctions. At least the ISIS beheaders showed efficiency so far, surprisingly with no blood spurting from the apparent beheadings. I can’t tell if that is due to a Photoshop or something else, however. Believe me, the US knows what savagery means first hand.

    The US chose to bomb ISIS because the latter threatened US interests in Iraq.

    Nevertheless, there is review of strategy going on behind the scenes among top pentagon brass about the legitimacy of the US position vis. a vis. ISIS. The Wise Kingdom wants to finish the wall ASAP. It’s top priority.

    Good points Mahmoud. More contributions please, and who knows? You may even get paid. Our ‘boss’ is very generous. (kidding).

    Posted by Mustap | January 20, 2015, 8:15 pm
  51. Also argument of ISIS beheadings made ISIS enemy of US is causally false.

    Beheadings happenned AFTER bombings NOT before.

    Checking dates is always a good practice before making bold inferences.

    Just saying.

    Posted by Mustap | January 20, 2015, 9:09 pm
  52. Lilly,

    Please stop reading Veterans News Network to get your dose of news about Israel.

    The likelihood of Israel working with a Muslim terror network is about as likely as you selling Israel bonds.

    Then again, if you can provide a reliable source/link (including the bogus Sharon quote), I’ll change my mind.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 20, 2015, 9:17 pm
  53. Here’s an early testimony to Nusra pique from a well_connected newstweeter from the “rebel” cadres:

    ” Follow

    Paradoxy
    ‏@Paradoxy13
    New spin: Pro Nusra accounts not happy w/ Israel taking credit for Jihad Mughniyeh, claim is he was killed by Nusra in Qalamoun y’day.
    Reply Retweet Favorite
    More
    RETWEETS
    15
    FAVORITES
    2

    10:27 AM – 18 Jan 2015″

    So these accounts are centered upon claiming the taking of the scalp of the son the day prior to the official timestamp?

    Why?

    Nobody’s account of the goings on is adding up.

    Posted by lally | January 21, 2015, 12:48 am
  54. Even hezbos are saying it’s zios.

    So why QN and some still insist on the nusra spin?

    Posted by Mustap | January 21, 2015, 9:39 am
  55. Lally, “well_connected newstweeters” are khara,

    Please refrain from posting your feelings as news, and instead, reference well respected news sources.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 21, 2015, 9:45 am
  56. I swear, Lally is always amazing but sometimes she’s also quite baffling! 🙂

    Doesn’t she realize by now that pro-Syrian revolution (I’m sorry, call me an idiot but I’m not going to put ‘Syrian revolution’ in scare quotes), anonymous Twitter accounts have a propensity to hate Hezbollah at this point, and therefore especially since they are hardly accountable for their tweets might relish the prospect of trolling the pro-Assad, pro-Hezbollah side with whatever they can muster, whether factual or not?

    I mean, the tweet had the word “spin” right there in it, but Lally interpreted it as “testimony”. Quite the stretch, no?

    And finally, this is the second time I read the phrase “taking of the scalp” this week. Someone used it on Twitter earlier to describe Jim Clancy leaving CNN, and now Lally is regurgitating it here. What’s going on? Are we re-enacting “Dances with Wolves” all of a sudden? 🙂

    Posted by Samer Nasser | January 21, 2015, 11:55 am
  57. Samer,

    Welcome back. Don’t be a stranger.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 21, 2015, 11:59 am
  58. Boehner invites Netanyahu to address Congress on Iran, after Obama veto threat

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/01/21/boehner-invites-israeli-leader-to-address-congress-on-iran/

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 21, 2015, 12:08 pm
  59. AP,

    I thought about you yesterday when I read this Paul Krugman piece in the NY Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/19/opinion/paul-krugman-hating-good-government.html?_r=0

    P.S.: I read Paul Krugman’s blog when I have the time and I remember giving him mad props back when he endorsed the Toronto-based group Austra’s song “Lose It” as a modern-day version of Mozart’s “Queen of the Night” aria (from the ‘Magic Flute’). Check out Austra’s song on YouTube if you’re interested, although admittedly its video is very strange and might be off-putting.

    Posted by Samer Nasser | January 21, 2015, 12:33 pm
  60. I also swear that Nasser is amazing but quite often is as baffling.

    Here’s the thing Nasser. Neither Lally nor QN are blind to things you mentioned.

    So, where is the baffling part about the spin they insist upon?

    Here’s the answer. In their spinning world of fact and fiction, pegging the operation on nusra serves a purpose. So what’s that purpose. Simple. They know hezbos are incapable of retaliation. Hence, bringing the nusra to the fore provides the missing face saver and keeps the aura of so-called invincibility of hezbos versus zios intact.

    It’s all about image my friend and warped propaganda. And why do I say propaganda? You tell me. Is saying something without proof or a slight clue called anything else?

    So, even though I don’t know who was tweeting, but I could tell s/he was satirical about that spin. In other words, s/he doesn’t like nusra and also doesn’t like hezbos.

    You gotta read between the lines my friend in order to be able to navigate this horrendous social media web of deceptions

    Posted by Mustap | January 21, 2015, 12:56 pm
  61. Mustap,

    Trust me, I am not that naive. I immediately recognized Lally’s assertion as being completely unsubstantiated and suspected her ulterior motives from miles away. The thing is, when I write at length to try to cover all angles, readers accuse me of being long-winded, obnoxious, presumptuous, boring and neurotic. So sometimes in consideration I try to edit. I’m not going to comment too assertively on this story because I know literally nothing more about it than what’s appeared in the press and on Twitter.

    Posted by Samer Nasser | January 21, 2015, 1:22 pm
  62. You see Samer, trying to cover all angles in one long comment is good but has its drawbacks exactly as you mentioned. There is also the additional drawback which is the fact that you’re addressing an audience which could be huge in some cases. Each one in such size of audience will have at least one unique angle which you may or may not be aware of. So, no matter how exhaustive you try to be there’ll always be things you may overlook. Simply, because each one of us has his/her own perspective and experiences. It’s not a question of being naïve or ‘omniscient’. Writing in such media, especially in comment sections, is an interactive process first and foremost.

    It becomes an individual choice. I find it best, if I try to be concise and cover the most essential (in my opinion) aspects of the issue(s) at hand and wait for others to say what they need to say and then carry on.

    However, being concise has a lot to it than just saying few words. It’s the ability to summarize the issues into one or two paragraphs (three at most) and still say a lot in other words.

    We had a fellow here when I first started who could write a full newspaper in one comment, lived in Beirut, had excellent command of the language, but eventually he fell into the same trap you described. In the end, he would insult everyone including the blog owner for any slightest disagreement anyone voices against him. QN had no choice but to ban him even though he liked him as a commenter. You’re not him, of course, and everyone sees your open mindedness.

    Posted by Mustap | January 21, 2015, 1:47 pm
  63. Here’s yet another ingredient for the cauldron of confusion:

    “The Saudi spy agency has cooperated the most with the Israeli spy agency,
    said the report, and added, “Saudi Arabia has been providing Israel with
    intelligence about the movements of the Syrian army and Hezbollah.”

    It noted that Takfiri terrorist groups, specially the Al-Qaeda wing in
    Syria, Al-Nusra Front, have also helped Israel with the attack.”

    http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=66146

    Posted by lally | January 21, 2015, 1:55 pm
  64. Samer,

    Thanks for thinking of me with respect to the Krugman article. ‘Nuff said, I don’t agree with him. I’ll become a liberal democrat when they start making more sense.

    Lilly,

    The IMRA article is from FARSNEWS, which also isn’t any more credible than Twitter. But I’m glad you’re reading IMRA. You should learn from them, but I see you’ve cherry-picked one lone Iranian article. IMRA and MEMRI do this frequently to show how convoluted these people are.

    Israel undoubtedly receives info from many arab sources, since they all have their own agendas. It doesn’t mean they work together hand-in-hand; they don’t even recognize each other. So what? Israel pulled the trigger, so Israel was OK with the results.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 21, 2015, 2:55 pm
  65. Most ridiculous is to allege the Wise Kingdom shares any interests with the zios, regardless of where allegations may originate from. Both zios and hezbos have vested interests in making allegations each tailored to its own liking. For example, zios would encourage hezbos versions since it suits zios’ appetite and agenda.

    The Wise Kingdom has found it childish and even tiresome to respond. Wisdom dictates ignoring such allegations.

    Regarding the recent events, the Wise Kingdom considers them non-events. Consequently, it treated them as such and made no comments about them.

    Posted by Mustap | January 21, 2015, 3:28 pm
  66. AP,

    You’re very amusingly “punk to disco” and “Scott Pilgrim versus the World” (kudos if you get that reference!) in your opinion towards Democrats. I’m so tempted to probe this aspect of your personality to get a better idea of where your hostility comes from. American politics are very complicated so I’ll steer clear here, except to speculate that perhaps your political identity is very influenced by your loyalty to Jews and to Israel.

    So I’ll ask some very simple questions from a position of near-complete ignorance: What is your opinion of the Israeli kibbutz? How important do you think it has been to the founding and subsequent survival of the Israeli state? Are you sad that the kibbutz seems to be on the verge of extinction? What do you think will replace the kibbutz? Will it be good or bad for Israel?

    I’m not trying to bait you here. I’m just trying to identify a single strain of “socialism” that you are not horrified by and might see some value in. What I am also trying to do is get you to realize that IN THE AGGREGATE it is far from a simple political matter to assert that a nation’s conservatives are better on individual freedom and liberty (both internally as well as externally) than their more liberal opponents across the aisle. Again, all one has to do is rudimentarily observe the dysfunctional countries of the Arab World to validate this suspicion and be tempted to investigate it more rigorously.

    Posted by Samer Nasser | January 21, 2015, 5:14 pm
  67. Samer,

    My conservative background came from my father. The rest came through being brainwashed by life.

    I worked on a kibbutz when I lived in Israel after college. The deal was they taught me hebrew and I picked grapefruit or sprayed cotton fields. Kibbutz I’m were good during the pioneer years of the state. Generally, I found them pure communism on a small scale, and if your happy with what the leaders give you and everyone knowing your business, then kibbutz life is for you. It wasn’t appealing to me long term.

    My understanding is that most kibbutz I’m have incorporated more “capitalist” ideas where you keep what you earn, you buy your home, you can work outside the kibbutz, etc. There have been many changes, but I’ve been removed from that scene for a long time. AIG should know more than I do on this subject.

    I think socialism can work if you are a fairly isolated country like Sweden where you are economically sound and have few social problems. The US during my father’s childhood did not have Obamacare, social security, unemployment payments, or any other “safety nets”. People worked or starved.

    I agree with liberals that we should provide for the disabled and suffering, but if half of working age Americans aren’t working, then we’ve created an economic monster.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 21, 2015, 6:26 pm
  68. Very touching. Pack up, terrorists.

    Posted by 3issa | January 21, 2015, 6:38 pm
  69. Agree 3issa. I’m touched – in fact electrified and at high voltage.

    But you, 3issa, need to take a stand. Public allegiance to the Wise King of Morocco, Amir Al-Mouminine, Mohammed le sixieme who saved the Moores recently is required and absolutely necessary. What are you waiting for? Dispel the rumors once and for all and defeat the cursed devil.

    Here’s something for you to ponder upon. Abdullah of Jordan just realized how much of an idiot he was couple weeks later after marching like a sheeple among the sheep. Obviously he got his wits back from the clue made by your own wise King. So, he (Abdullah) being embarrassed to admit it, instructed his wife to make some kind of statement indicating her unhappiness about what she said were insults to our Prophet – as if she didn’t know when she and her husband hopped on the plane en-route to Paris. It’s like damage control by proxy. He (Abdullah) is too embarrassed to come out and say something in the open.

    So what are you waiting for? You have a great King taking care of your affairs. Give the allegiance and get it done with.

    Posted by Mustap | January 21, 2015, 7:12 pm
  70. OK! Wow! This is supremely embarrassing!

    I’m sorry AP for soliciting your candor and unwittingly exposing you to an ambush while forgetting that this is such a hostile, mean-spirited environment.

    Seriously, in the absence of posting guidelines and effective moderation around here, the only sensible option left is to refrain from commenting altogether.

    Posted by Samer Nasser | January 21, 2015, 9:02 pm
  71. Seriously, in the absence of posting guidelines and effective moderation around here, the only sensible option left is to refrain from commenting altogether.

    Samer,

    Please do what you want, but I wouldn’t let anyone deter you from holding a conversation or posting your own thoughts. They certainly have no concern about what they post. We are fortunate to live in a free society; let’s promote it! We’re lucky that we can say what we want. Most arabs and muslims don’t have that luxury.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 21, 2015, 9:46 pm
  72. I fail to understand the offences at play here that warrant such request by Samer. Everyone knows Akbar sometimes makes embarassing comments. He’s posted several of this category recently and I pointed out some of them.

    Is this what Samer looking for? Someone to delete embarasing comments?

    Making embarassing comments is an inherent birth right, IMHO. It’s part and parcel of addressing a wide audience.

    Posted by Mustap | January 22, 2015, 9:49 am
  73. Ladies and gents,

    The semester has just started and I don’t have the time to moderate this comment section very closely. So please behave? Thanks.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 22, 2015, 9:52 am
  74. QN,

    You could outsource this task to a company in India/Pakistan. PM me if you need the contact info 🙂

    Posted by Ray | January 22, 2015, 10:07 am
  75. Alternatively, you could appoint Mr. Nasser to do that to ensure Palestinian Maronite etiquette on this blog 🙂

    Posted by Ray | January 22, 2015, 10:18 am
  76. Mustap,

    I was specifically referring to Issa’s “Pack up, terrorists” remark, which I considered a hostile and mean-spirited ambush.

    I was embarrassed because earlier I had tried to reassure AP by writing, “I’m not trying to bait you here.”

    Issa couldn’t restrain himself and if AP was of a paranoid variety (which thankfully he doesn’t seem to be), he might have thought that I was in on the ambush by lying and fraudulently trying to come off as the proverbial “good guy”.

    Also, please stop talking about “birthrights” and “censorship”. This blog is not a public space. It is a private one. None of us has a right to comment here. We are afforded the privilege by QN.

    But no, I’m neither a square nor a prude. You can say and do what you want. I only get slightly offended when it gets personal, especially since we are on the Internet and as you mentioned we might be “addressing a wide audience”.

    As the saying goes, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets an eye poked out.”

    And for the record, I have no idea how wide this blog’s audience really is. I am constantly reassured that there are no paparazzi outside my window. 🙂

    Posted by Samer Nasser | January 22, 2015, 10:20 am
  77. “It’s all fun and games until someone gets an eye poked out.”

    Not to worry. The armed-chair resistance pros here are non-violent and enjoy the freedoms their home countries refuse to provide.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 22, 2015, 10:37 am
  78. See? This is the frustrating pattern I see being played out on this blog over and over and over again.

    Does AP say stupid, insulting and offensive things? Of course he does!

    But I’ve noticed that he becomes more aggressive when he’s responding in kind to all the aggression that he receives from others.

    Maybe I just don’t get it and it’s fun to the people involved and I should just butt out!

    But I’m trying to demonstrate that AP can be tamed if you just treat him gently and try to understand where he is coming from.

    I have to admit he does have admirable endurance. He’s going to still be commenting here when even QN has long packed up and moved on … 🙂

    Posted by Samer Nasser | January 22, 2015, 11:04 am
  79. But I’m trying to demonstrate that AP can be tamed if you just treat him gently and try to understand where he is coming from.

    Samer,

    Yes, this is the best way to curb jewish terrorism.;)

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 22, 2015, 11:33 am
  80. OK Samer. So what’s the big deal if 3issa said what you alone considered offensive?

    We, including you, know this is a controversial topic. Both sides of the aisle have been telling each other to pack up and leave for over 60 years plus. It’s not going to end by your complaint.

    No one considers it offensive. Besides, you seem to be the one who is on edge. So you think a blog which is owned by someone who makes it available to everyone to make comments upon is still a private place? Wow. That is something. Of course, every mall in town is owned by some private entity. Last I checked, malls are looked at as public places.

    Yes it is private in the sense that the owner can choose to allow or not allow you to post. But no one has the time or the inclination to apply censorship of what you want to post and still call it a blog. And this one in particular has been operating for quite sometime without moderation or censorship with very minor problems. there are lots of these other kinds of blogs around if you’re interested. They are usually visited by the least liberal bunch, the ideologues, the manipulators and those who would like to see the world painted with a brush of their own choosing. So what do you have here? A masquerade? You’re presenting yourself as the all-knowing, the most open-minded, friend of the environment, someone who even forgot to speak native Arabic by immersing himself in the wide melting pot and swimming along and yet you want censorship?

    Give me a break. Will ya? I didn’t yet even mention your own personal attacks on me accusing me of being anti-social, which I took with open heart, having not even met me, and complaining about me as being rich as if it was the ultimate of all sins.

    Hey, why don’t you try to come down to earth and speak like the rest of the gang instead of trying to teach, lecture condescend and set your own rules in a sort of threat-like demand; give me censorship or I’m gone?

    We all know each other here even the ones who are hostile to one another. And we know how to behave ourselves without the need for some lofty etiquettes you want to enforce.

    Posted by Mustap | January 22, 2015, 11:37 am
  81. The Best of Mustap

    OK HA mouthpiece. However, you interpret IDF’s withdrawal from SL does not negate the fact that HA should he considered as an Iranian fifth colmun, and ALL its supporters are acting against the Lebanese state which means traitors. In my H opinion until you dissociate yourself publicly from this organozation that’s exactly what you are. So first work on yourself and don’t lecture us about stereotypes. It is SO disingenious AND pathetic.

    And as for being cheap, how cheap is it for HA to pay Lebanese mercenaries a mere $500 to go and fight in Syria? Looks like they are not getting many buyers and now they need help from mercenaries from Afghanistan also at $500 a piece.

    Talk of cheap again.

    Posted by Mustap | May 26, 2014, 12:05 am

    Akbar Palace,

    I am beginning to think that very few people in this world of ours would like to see Jews and Arabs as friends.

    It looks like such friendship causes too much jealousies and possibly much fear about the rise of an alliance which many perceive as threatening to them.

    Jews and Arabs may have bee their worst enemies so far. We now should work to reverse that trend.

    Posted by Mustap | May 9, 2014, 10:38 pm

    Akbar Palace,

    I believe our common problem with Iran goes much deeper than one could imagine.

    It is a clear case of two races that cannot coexist. I mean we, the Semites (Jews and Arabs, ONLY descendants of the Great Patriarch) and them the Aryans who at one point in time produced the most hated criminal in history seeking to exterminate the Semites for no reason but jealousy and spite. You know that Nietzsche was a fan of zarathustra, the so-called prophet of the Aryans.

    Of course, the Iranians will not admit to it. But they will offer lies, deceptions and dissimulations, etc….. I’m sure when it comes to it, the Wise King will never hesitate to make the right choices which will ensure that the descendants of the Patriarch are treated respectfully as they should.

    Posted by Mustap | May 6, 2014, 1:35 pm

    Akbar Palace,

    Agree, there is plenty to see even for threesas.

    But, my friend and his wife told me most Palestinians they met are very happy. Their only complaints were against Abbas and Hamas who they feel are making pawns of them and neither is qualified to be a government.

    Posted by Mustap | May 5, 2014, 8:01 am

    Akbar Palace,

    An Arab friend of mine just came back from a tour of Israel. He told me he was VERY impressed.

    Posted by Mustap | May 4, 2014, 10:19 am

    Akbar Palace,

    My friend was impressed mostly by the friendliness of everyone he met. He also liked the well planned cities lined up with palm trees and other trees. He also made a comment on how peaceful the places he visited were and the happiness of people in genral.

    I am now seriously thinking of going on a tour soon.

    Posted by Mustap | May 4, 2014, 9:50 pm

    Akbar Palace,

    I believe threesa must find the legendary iceman and they both should sit down to figure out a way out of the Arabic diglossia based on the song of the snowman. While you and I should sit down and find out a way on how to reconcile the two living semitic languages, Arabic and Hebrew. After all, on his recent visit to Israel, the Pope of Rome and Bibi engaged in a heated debate on what language Jesus spoke, with Netenyahoo insisting it was Hebrew while the Pope was adamant it was Aramaic. To me, they were all Semitic languages and that’s how they should be looked at.

    I still don’t understand why non-Semites are so eager to sow dvisions among Semites even in the name of who they consider their own god.

    Posted by Mustap | May 31, 2014, 2:07 pm

    Posted by Mustap | September 10, 2014, 2:12 pm

    May be the resident Zios can explain to us how that works, i.e. being a self hater. I just can’t. The only explanation I can come up with would be that present day Zios who claim to be Jews are in fact not Semites but members of a race that originated in East Asia sometime in the past.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 22, 2015, 11:50 am
  82. Mustap,

    Here we go. I can tell today is going to be fun.

    First off, I was obliged to complain because Issa exploited the “dialogue” that AP and I were having and therefore implicated me in his stunt by association. He wouldn’t have had the opportunity to say what he said if I didn’t stupidly say what I did.

    And don’t make out my complaint to be a bigger deal than it is. I was simply signalling to AP. I appreciate that QN is too busy to moderate here and I don’t expect him to. I value his time, as I do everybody’s, greatly. I did not call the police or my lawyer. My complaint was a throwaway comment.

    And frankly, it doesn’t matter if you thought Issa’s remark was offensive or not, because it wasn’t addressed to you. It was addressed to AP. AP is too classy to officially complain, but if you noticed he responds with aggression. That’s how you know he’s offended. I am simply trying to tone down the aggression.

    And granted, I am not a lawyer, but I continue to assert that this blog is a private space. The difference between a mall and this blog is that malls are places of business and therefore are legally bound not to discriminate. But if you want to have some fun today, go to a mall and test the limits of how much disorderly conduct you can commit there until you oblige the owners to call security and have you thrown off the premises. Here in the US, if security deems you a threat to anyone’s safety, they can shoot you dead and in all likelihood get away with it.

    But yeah, the last I checked this blog was not engaging in any type of mercantile activity, so I continue to assert that it’s private. Granted, I don’t know where the exact legal boundaries are. I will also assert that being on the Internet entails certain legal obligations, but I won’t get into that right now because it’s irrelevant to this discussion and borders on the hysterical considering the mundane circumstances.

    Posted by Samer Nasser | January 22, 2015, 12:14 pm
  83. OK. Back to the intended subject of this thread. The following bullet points (in English) from an article (in Arabic) by widely respected journo Elijah Magnier provide more background and context to the attacks:

    1. Iran IRGC Quds Brigade General Mohamad Ali Dada arrived to Syria last year to carry his responsibilities that cover the leadership/coordinator of Hezbollah both in Lebanon and Syria.

    2. The Iranian General is an expert in Guerrilla attacks and counter attacks. He has visited Quneitra many times before. He was carrying a Syrian mobil number, believed to be one of Israel tracking device to some of his movements around Syria. Israel was aware of his presence and believed to be the target not anyone else in particular in the targeted convoy. He has left Damascus a few hours before the attack, heading toward Quneitra, giving Israel enough time to decide and approve the operation. He was the target. The Israeli denial is just a way to burry the head in the sand.

    3. Mohamad Ahmad Issa, Hezbollah cmdr, is responsible of the Special forces in Syria. He used to be in charge of the Iqlim al-Tuffah province in Lebanon before the Syrian war. He has a wide expertise in high ground attacks since he has participated to many attacks against Israeli positions in south Lebanon between 1995 and 2000. His presence was limited to a request by IRGC commander, as an experienced advisor.

    4. Jihad Mughniyyah has been dispatched to Syria since over a year, as part of the “logistic and protection unit”, moving personalities or needs of troops for Hezbollah in Syria. He held no senior position within the organisation but enjoyed a moral reputation due to his late father and very senior uncle.

    5. The Iranian General was doing a military study to increase Hezbollah position in the area, at 6km from the Israeli military location and to establish more static points. The front form the Golan heights to Naqoura was formed since long date (see article @AlraiMediaGroup May 2013). It was about to increase (see Source close to Bashar Assad: ‘Hezbollah soon in the Golan Heights https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/source-close-to-bashar-assad-hezbollah-soon-in-the-golan-heights-and-syrian-tanks-will-go-to-the-jordanian-borders/ … (December 2013) #Hezbollah #Syria #Israel )

    6. Neither Hezbollah nor Iran can reply to the Israeli attack directly. They just have to accept the lost. The Israeli thoughtful attack was “lost free”. The front from the Golan Heights to Naqoura has been established long ago. Hezbollah is trying to push Israel out of its comfort zone to start patrolling the Golan and Quneitra. Hezbollah-Syria ( The “Hezbollah Syria: https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/syria-the-new-hezbollah-syria/ … May 2014) is already formed and ready to mirror Hezbollah-Lebanon, ready to face Israel special forces in Syria.

    7. The Israeli attack is a significant tactical but not a strategical hit. It won’t stop Iran from sending another General, neither from continuing supplying weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria. Hezbollah’s lost will be added to hundreds more who fell in Syria since its heavy intervention in March 2013.

    More information in these articles here:

    http://www.alraimedia.com/Articles.aspx?id=558443

    “He [the Iranian general] was carrying a Syrian mobil number, believed to be one of Israel tracking device to some of his movements around Syria”

    Somebody was a little too complaisant here. Really bad Op Sec, really bad. One assumes that will be rectified.

    #4. Makes clear why Jihad Mughniyyah would be of more concern to JaN that to the Izzies.

    Elijah Magnier tweets mostly in English but his Al Rai articles are all in Arabic dammit.

    Posted by lally | January 22, 2015, 1:17 pm
  84. It won’t stop Iran from sending another General…

    Thank you Lally for that detailed investigative reporting and the english translation.

    Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, let’s summarize:

    There were good guys and bad guys. The bad guys killed the good guys. More good guys will come to continue fighting the bad guys.

    I hope the good guys send the Supreme Good Guy.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 22, 2015, 1:25 pm
  85. Let’s dissect point by point:

    “First off, I was obliged to complain because Issa exploited the “dialogue” that AP and I were having and therefore implicated me in his stunt by association. He wouldn’t have had the opportunity to say what he said if I didn’t stupidly say what I did.”

    You’re only responsible for your OWN comments. You don’t get implicated in ‘my own stupidity’. Anyone has the right to comment on any so-called dialog you may think you’re conducting on a bilateral basis.

    “And don’t make out my complaint to be a bigger deal than it is.”

    I didn’t. You did. May be you shouldn’t have issued a threat. I was just inquiring.

    “And frankly, it doesn’t matter if you thought Issa’s remark was offensive or not, because it wasn’t addressed to you.”

    3issa’s remarks were not only not offensive to me. No one else thought they were offensive but you. And by your logic up above, I’m concerned because I also pitched in even if your complaint wasn’t addressed to me. But that’s not the real reason since I don’t buy your logic. I consider this comment section a public forum. You may call that assertion, but that’s OK.

    “And granted, I am not a lawyer, but I continue to assert that this blog is a private space…..etc.”

    Of course you’re not a lawyer. But you can make assertions as much as you want. It doesn’t make a difference. There is only one private place in this world for you, which is behind the doors of your own residence. And since you know you’re not a lawyer, there is no need to lecture about what may or may not happen at malls. From my experience, 99% of mall visitors are well behaved and don’t need security police around them.

    “But yeah, the last I checked this blog was not engaging in any type of mercantile activity,…”

    How enlightened, carrying out a simile to the absurd extremes? But come to think about, everyone is selling something even you on this blog and in other areas you engage in. Here, you’re trying to sell me your ideas and I’m trying to sell you mine. You have the choice to buy and I also have a similar choice. How’s that for a simile?

    But glad to know you admit towards the end that your assertions are hysterical. It saves me the effort.

    If you think it’s going to be interesting today, I’m sorry to disappoint you. You caught on a busy day. I’ll try my best not to disappoint you.

    As for you Akbar, go ahead and keep up the good work and promote my brand. I’m so positively grateful and indebted. (Seriously no joking here).

    Posted by Mustap | January 22, 2015, 1:31 pm
  86. Mustap,

    Wow! You’re such a paranoid mess it’s impossible to reason with you. Actually, it’s frightening how off the beaten path you are. I am amazed at QN’s patience that he’s put up with you for as long as he has. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!

    1) Relax! I never issued a threat and never even called for censorship. I only made a remark that without blog moderation one is best off refraining from commenting here. Blog moderation does not equate to censorship.

    2) You cannot claim that nobody was offended by Issa’s remark other than me because you didn’t conduct a poll or bother to ask even the person the remark was addressed to. You assumed in this case that silence equated to consent. Did you consider the possibility that maybe everyone is afraid to complain considering how crazy you get in response?

    3) You cannot argue that anyone is selling anything on this blog. An actual good or service has to be exchanged for the transaction to qualify as a sale in the eyes of the authorities.

    4) You want to call this a public forum, go ahead. I think of it as more of a dialogue forum. Fine, we can disagree on the semantics. I am not going to tutor you on how to socialize, but you really are ruining it for everybody.

    5) You do not have the liberty to do whatever you please here, and I will demonstrate that to you with a very real challenge. I have already told you my name and my place of residence, in the process affording you a lot of goodwill that neither you nor Issa has reciprocated to me.

    Now here comes the challenge: Why don’t you try to discover my social security number and post it as a comment on this “public forum”? This is about as personal and private as information gets in the US and you would be doing so completely without my consent, since while I am not a lawyer I am also not stupid.

    If you get this far and QN does not immediately delete your comment in response, I guarantee you that he will be hearing from a lawyer. Again, despite your paranoia this is not a threat. I am only engaging in this exercise to try to drill it through your skull that you cannot do whatever you please here. Your dreadful inability to socialize decently aside, restraining you from certain activities here does not equate to an egregious and intolerable curtailment of your liberties.

    Posted by Samer Nasser | January 22, 2015, 2:18 pm
  87. I vote for Samer Nasser as the QN moderator. I’ll pay.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 22, 2015, 2:53 pm
  88. Samer, this weasel is a pathetic troll, I’m surprised you didn’t pick up on that already. Ignore him.

    Posted by Vulcan | January 22, 2015, 3:16 pm
  89. So 3issa, are you going to pledge your allegiance to the Wise Emir Al Mo’meneen the King ? As this troll has been begging you to do. Or are you a revolutionary but too scared to criticize his Majesty?

    Posted by Vulcan | January 22, 2015, 3:23 pm
  90. Samer,

    I’m not going to bother about the opening part of your last comment which is full of disjointed contradictions and innuendos. Let’s go straight to your challenge, and I’ll show you that it would have been best for you not to venture into the legal arena, which you correctly admit is not your specialty. Instead you should have kept yourself to your area of expertise and avoided projecting the appearance of the ‘omniscient’, as I indicated above in an earlier comment, a well-known Arab trait which seems to have not melted away in your melting pot adventure as quickly as your native Arabic.

    Assuming that I’m the mischievous type who somehow got hold of your social security number, then neither QN nor I are in fact legally responsible for keeping your personal information secret. Actually, you cannot even sue QN for keeping the comment on his blog, nor I for that matter for making that comment. I’m NOT the party tasked with protecting your personal information, nor is QN. Of course courtesy requires that I keep it secret and QN to delete it. But law does not obligate me nor does it obligate QN. Your personal information HAS ALREADY BEEN COMPROMISED. Your only recourse is to sue the government for not doing what it is supposed to do. Even if QN deletes the comment, what prevents me from making your social security number public by other means while maintaining it came to my possession accidentally? Example a form from the government was addressed to me inadvertently and contained all that information of yours by mistake. Since, I’m the mischievous type , I make several copies of that form and negligently drop them in several public places on the premise that I’m not concerned about the information therein. And there are millions of other ways to publicize the information once it has leaked.

    As for your full name, I didn’t ask you for it. It didn’t mean anything to me and still doesn’t.

    Posted by Mustap | January 22, 2015, 4:01 pm
  91. Low oil prices frightened the market temporarily. Now the “war” dividend is upon us. A big thank you to all the ME dictators out there (you know who you are). $2/gallon! Yippee! Who’s buying a used Hummer out there? Samer?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 22, 2015, 4:09 pm
  92. Mustap,

    You’re thinking of leaks that have been made public and been sustained because they have been deemed newsworthy. My social security number is not newsworthy.

    My challenge still stands. I disagree with you that my personal information is compromised. I think it will be quite hard for you to get it. But even if you do get it, I know there are millions of ways you can publicize it, but I never challenged you on those other ways. I only challenged you on making it available through this blog.

    Do you think I would be commenting here if this blog wasn’t hosted in the US?

    But anyway, we’re veering way, way off the original topic. I registered my complaint about Issa’s remark to AP, which is really the only thing I initially set out to do. In our ensuing argument, you’ve revealed that you don’t care who anyone is here or what anyone thinks. I think this by itself is grounds not to engage or interact with you from this point on.

    The problem is that it’s easier not to comment here than to do so and then ignore your responses. Isn’t that ironic seeing as how you and Issa are so damn concerned about censorship? 🙂

    Posted by Samer Nasser | January 22, 2015, 5:16 pm
  93. Samer,

    Anything can be made newsworthy on this and any other media. You’re only presenting assertions because you don’t have anything of substance to argue with. For example: I could post it here and fake ignorance seeking opinions on what the information means which I cannot decipher and have no clue why it landed on my doorstep. Besides this is not a news media outlet.

    Your challenge has failed from the outset, because you’re confused about who has the obligation to protect your personal information. If you want to limit publicizing your info ONLY through this blog, then this is how it goes without any legal ramifications whatsoever.

    I make the comment. It takes QN several hours or a day or two to notice it and delete it. In the meantime, many readers get a peek at it and they too may choose to publicize it by their own means. We’re assuming here there are lots of mischievous actors, which may or may not be a far fetched assumption. And considering your very far fetched assumption that I will actually be able to get hold of your info, then you have no other choice but to allow for a far less far fetched assumption.

    The point is YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION HAS ALREADY BEEN COMPROMISED. And I don’t have to publish it anywhere else but here.

    You don’t want to interact? Who cares?

    And just to blow the final blow into your ridiculous façade of presumed sensitivity to others and not wanting anyone to pitch in on so-called dialogs of yours, it was you who first pitched in on an interaction that you had nothing to do with in the first place. You know? The spin about Nusra?

    Who are you trying to fool? Either follow your own rules, or throw in the towel and go on with your day.

    Posted by Mustap | January 22, 2015, 5:44 pm
  94. Let’s take a break. No comments for 24 hours. Wa-shukran.

    Starting now.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 22, 2015, 5:53 pm

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