Hezbollah, Lebanon, March 14

The Hezbollah Misconnection

A confidential document obtained by CBC news which connects Hizbullah to the Hariri crime. Click to enlarge. (h/t BeirutSpring.com)

A confidential document obtained by CBC news in 2010 which allegedly connects Hizbullah to the Hariri crime. Click to enlarge. (h/t BeirutSpring.com)

A couple weekends ago, The New York Times Magazine ran a story (“The Hezbollah Connection“) about the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the decade-long investigation into the killing of Rafik Hariri. Written by Ronen Bergman, an Israeli journalist and military analyst, it rehearses a narrative that has become familiar to Tribunal watchers and has appeared in various accounts over the past several years in outlets such as Der Spiegel, Le Figaro, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), and others.

There are a few new bits and pieces in Bergman’s version:

  • A more detailed account of the background of Ahmad Abu Adass, who has not been salient to the investigation for several years, since he was determined not to be the bomber.
  • Some fleshing-out of the character of Mustafa Badreddine and his Benz-driving, ball-cap-wearing alter ego, “Sami Issa”…
  • A more granular treatment of the communications analysis at the heart of the investigation.

A central part of the narrative is occupied with the career of Wissam Eid, the Lebanese police captain who used cell phone records to track Hariri’s killers, connecting them to Hezbollah. Bergman here builds on a 2010 documentary by Neil Macdonald of CBC, which argued that “the UN commission in Lebanon did no telecom analysis at all for most of its first three years of existence,” and that it was only in late 2007 that it “brought in a British firm called FTS to carry out the specialized analysis.”

This move led to an “earth-shattering” breakthrough: the discovery of the phones of the hit squad that shadowed Hariri on the day of his murder. This was followed by a second “earth-shattering” development: the discovery of Wissam Eid’s work, who had made all of these connections over a year earlier and had sent a report of his findings to the UN commission which “had promptly lost it.”

As I wrote in 2010 (see here, here, and here), there is something odd about this account. Consider the following:

  1. Between 2005 and late 2007, when the UN commission was apparently not doing any telecom analysis, it released no fewer than eight reports which alluded to extensive telecom analysis. (See here for a list of the relevant excerpts from those reports.)
  2. The German newspaper Der Spiegel published a story in October 2005 (“Bye-Bye, Hariri!”) which described “the analysis of the mobile phone records [as] one of Mehlis’ most important pieces of evidence, [which] led to a group of five high-ranking intelligence officials the UN investigator believes made up the core of the conspiracy group.”
  3. The French newspaper Le Figaro published a story in August 2006 (“L’ombre du Hezbollah sur l’assassinat de Hariri“), which stated that the Lebanese police and the UN commission were working on a new angle of the investigation that pointed to Hezbollah, based on telecoms analysis.

In other words, by the UN’s own admission and according to the reporting of two stories in 2005 and 2006 (i.e. well before late 2007), it is apparent that telecoms analysis was a central part of the investigation from its very beginnings, and led to major breakthroughs in the investigation from its very beginnings. The idea that an “earth-shattering” discovery only took place after the British firm FTS entered the picture is very puzzling, and makes it difficult to accept the account presented by Bergman and Macdonald.

Who cares? Maybe the CBC and NYT accounts rounded the corners a little bit, playing fast and loose to heighten the drama. That may be true, but I’m still interested in knowing what the true story was. My feeling is that there are two ways to read the discrepancy between the CBC/NYT narrative and the historical record.

  1. The UN was aware of the telecoms analysis being performed by the Lebanese police. It referred to this analysis in its reports, read about it in the press, but refused to authorize its own telecoms analysis for three years until late 2007. This the gist of Neil Macdonald’s response to my query in 2010.
  2. The UN was actively engaged in telecoms analysis all along (as Mehlis indicates in the 2005 Der Spiegel piece), but was banking on it leading to the conviction of the four generalswho might have been rolled up neatly to implicate Bashar al-Assad. As Eid discovered, though, the telecoms trail did not lead to Damascus but to al-Dahiyeh, an inconvenient terminus in the context of 2005-6, when Hezbollah and the Future Movement were sharing a government and sectarian tensions were high. So his report was conveniently “lost” while the Syria angle was pursued until every last witness had recanted and the case was stone cold. Then, lo and behold, the commission brings in a telecoms analysis firm in late 2007 and they make an “earth-shattering” discovery (that had been reported twice in the press already and in eight UN reports)… and boom: we have a credible culprit again.

Even if you prefer the first reading, you still have to account for why the UN would have refused to authorize telecoms analysis from 2005-07. My guess is that the investigators were fully aware of the telecoms work and where it had led, but were also confident that they had Assad on the hook, thanks to the testimony of witnesses like Muhammad Zuhayr Siddiq (who ended up being very damaging).

When the Syria case fell apart, they turned back to the Hezbollah connection.

This is quite speculative, and I’m happy to be convinced otherwise.

Discussion

188 thoughts on “The Hezbollah Misconnection

  1. I believe, if my memory helps me, that there was some kind of a Non-event when a backroom deal was made by the ‘world authorities-to-be’ in which Assad and his nearest of kin were given full immunity and that’s when the story in the media changed. That was pre-1910 when Assad was still perceived as some kind of legitimate non-entity.

    While we can maintain that this whole Hariri and STL affairs are Non-events, we can not help but wonder what difference does it make whether Assad is implicated by himself, Hezbollah by itself or both acting in unison? The last one being the most likely scenario.

    If Assad did it he did it with Hizbis help, or vice versa.

    The differences between such two NON-entities is irrelevant as events of last couple years have proven.

    Posted by Mustap | February 20, 2015, 10:25 am
  2. This may be the reason you are looking for and why Wissam Eid was liquidated in Jan. 2008?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/22/world/middleeast/22mideast.html?_r=0

    Posted by Ray | February 20, 2015, 11:31 am
  3. Also the reason why the focus shifted from Assad/Syria to Hezbollah?

    Posted by Ray | February 20, 2015, 11:39 am
  4. Great Read Elias. One of the biggest problems for an international court operating in the Arab world is evidence. For the ICTY, there was evidence such as meeting minutes and even a napkin with Paddy Ashdown’s sketch on it.
    This is to say that while there may have been signs to point towards Syria at the outset, they weren’t strong enough to submit as evidence in court. Phone calls from one of the networks that allegedly shadowed FPM Hariri to one of Assad’s men (or Assad himself) are not sufficient evidence for trial.
    Marten Youssef

    Posted by Marten Youssef | February 20, 2015, 3:28 pm
  5. Thanks Marten. Obviously, you’re right about this matter of evidence. The question is: was the evidence for Hizbullah’s alleged involvement also there very early on, or did it only emerge in late 2007?

    I can’t expect you to comment publicly on this, but perhaps you can send me an email. 😉

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 20, 2015, 3:36 pm
  6. The most important factor which made and will make this lame STL non-relevant, or a NON-event to keep consistency, is the very obvious fact which has become crystal clear even to the most simple minded Arab as to why the world keeps throwing life jackets to a regime which has lost all legitimacy, in addition to any innate ability to survive.

    Examples,

    1) The NON-events of the Hariri/STL affairs in which Assad was awarded immunity for unspecified concessions made behind closed doors at the most critical time when he was cornered for the so-called NON-event. In my opinion, STL lost ALL relevance at that very monent forever. And there is no way it can reclaim any shred of it.

    2) The many instances during the last four years of the uprising in which so-called ‘powers-to-be’ bought the ridiculous narratives of the crumbling regime by diverting the issues to non-relevant NON-events other than the true nature of the uprising.

    3) Most recently, the so-called ‘powers-to-be’ under UN auspices through the envoy Di-Mistora threw another life-line to the dying thug by offering him a so-called role in the perceived unspecified outcome. While in unison with it, the crumbling one attempted to prove his non-relevance by attempting to capture territories that have long been lost. That last life line turned the magic against the magician, when the results turned out to be more losses for the forever crumbler along with all his associates,

    http://www.alarabiya.net/ar/arab-and-world/syria/2015/02/20/قوات-النظام-تفشل-بقطع-طرق-إمداد-المعارضة-بشمال-حلب.html

    So, please sell your STL relevance somewhere else. No Arab in his right mind would listen to such masquarade of a so-called tribunal.

    Save your money.

    Posted by Mustap | February 20, 2015, 4:08 pm
  7. In addition to above.

    So-called STL knows full well it has no real jurisdiction on the case. It cannot for example indict Assad or any of his next of kin and expect compliance. Hence, the backroom deal was struck under the thin veal of hypocritic execuse of excluding so-called sovereign figures in the regime from prosecution. Similarly, while there was no similar deal struck with Hezbollah, yet the STL knows again that indicting or not indicting Hezbollah suspects will make no difference in terms of compliance. Hezbollah will simply NOT hand over any sudpect. The only thing the STL can do is bully the non-state of so-called Lebanon since there is no such state.

    Therefore, what’s left for the UN created STL to do in this case? Even if irrefutable evidence is handed over to such body proving that Assad and/or high figures in the Hezbollah hierarchy planned and ordered the killing, there is nothing it can do in light of the above except playing with the media as it exactly did in order to try to extract some concessions from these two suspects when the interests of ‘powers-to-be’ at the UN deem it appropriate. And of course, the whole saga suits the STL bureaucracy quite well by keeping it on a steady payroll as everybody goes home happy at the end of the day knowing they have a cheque coming at the end of the month.

    This is exactly what this STL did and it continues to do. So, the suspects were right from the very beginning. This so-called STL was created for a political purpose.

    Now, we have to say as we have been saying all along: both Hariris (Sr, and Jr.) are idiots. They’re not politicians, not equipped to be politicians and shouldn’t be in politics.

    End of story.

    Posted by Mustap | February 20, 2015, 5:14 pm
  8. Always a joy to read your clear analysis. My question in this whole telecom issue are the many reports during the last years on Israeli spies that were supposedly discovered. How much can one trust telecom data??

    Posted by Umm iDriss | February 21, 2015, 4:29 am
  9. Umm Idriss

    That’s a good point. There was a smart piece about this by Marwan Taher in al-Akhbar a few years ago.

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/stl-telecom-analysis-uncovering-weakest-links

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 21, 2015, 10:25 am
  10. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is the only hope Lebanon has for finding out the truth. Does anyone else around here have an alternative way? I say let the bash the STL ground move to Tehran & leave us in peace.

    Posted by B | February 21, 2015, 12:00 pm
  11. I would say it’s pretty done for spin purposes. The CBC/NYT want you to believe that the telecom analysis is a ‘slam dunk’. If only one does this analysis, they claim, the patterns will emerge clearly and without doubt. The reason the UNIIIC did not point at Hizballah immediately, the claim, was because they had not done the analysis at all.

    You can’t sell this narrative if in reality telecom analysis was being done from the start and it did not immediately lead to Hizballah. Maybe the analysis is not as clear and definite in its results as they make it out to be.

    I don’t think the CBC/NYT reports are innocent and honest. They are selling something, not trying to be true.

    Posted by RedLeb | February 21, 2015, 1:08 pm
  12. STL is a “non-event”, or what we call in english: “BS”.

    After 10 years, there has been no trial, findings or conclusions? Who gets a trial 10 years after the murder?

    And only 22 people were killed. This is an everyday occurrence in the Middle East. We’d have thousands of trials if people were all treated equally.

    Fagetaboutit.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 21, 2015, 2:10 pm
  13. The trial will continue and it will have verdicts. The same doubters/spinners always. Whether the evidence was collected and when will all become obvious. As for switching the focus from Assad to HA. Well there was always the presumption that the hit men was HA and the mafia don; Assad. So they killed off all the people in the Syrian mukhabarat that had any connection with Lebanese file (Rostum will disappear conveniently soon)…Even muggsy was taken out most likely with the implicit help of the Syrian mukhabarat.

    So what if the trial starts on the tenth year. Why don’t people wait and see. As for you AP, are you afraid that BiBi and his buddies could one day be called on the carpet for crimes against humanity or terror charges?

    Posted by danny | February 21, 2015, 2:27 pm
  14. Someone should appoint AP as a Justice Minister.

    No. He is not an anti-Semite.

    Posted by Ray | February 21, 2015, 2:46 pm
  15. Danny,

    Anyone who has committed crimes should stand trial. But 10 years after the fact? In the US, everyone has the right to a “speedy” trial, which typically can be a few.months to a year, but TEN YEARS?

    I hope they find the murders of these 22 people including Hariri. But, like Jesus, there are thousands of martyrs out there who have been killed just these past few years, and their killers are still wining and dining.

    If BB and/or the GOI are found targeting civilians simply because they were civilians and not military targets, they should be made to pay a heavy price.

    And as you know, this is the exact “MO” of the Hamas/Hezbo/Iran/Assad “wesistance” axis we’ve all come to love and cherish.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 21, 2015, 5:12 pm
  16. AP,

    Time is not important as far as it can be proven. How long did the Yugoslavia trials last?…The international community took a decision to try Hariri’s assassins. Now if you have a problem with that you will have a problem with everything. If you’d like our Wise King’s disciple can introduce you to KSA justice.

    Posted by danny | February 21, 2015, 5:31 pm
  17. AP, don’t worry…Here it is!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Criminal_Tribunal_for_the_former_Yugoslavia

    BTW are you afraid there could be a mossad angle revealed to the Hariri assassination? 😀

    Posted by danny | February 21, 2015, 5:36 pm
  18. Danny,

    I applaud your optimism. I guess I gave up on ME optimism a long time ago. I hope your right and I’m wrong.

    Mossad angle? Why would the GOI want to knock off Hariri? When has the GOI worked with the Hezbos and Assad? Afraid? Pul-eeeeze!

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 21, 2015, 6:14 pm

  19. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is the only hope Lebanon has for finding out the truth. Does anyone else around here have an alternative way? I say let the bash the STL ground move to Tehran & leave us in peace.”

    Easier said than done. How many divisions have you got?

    How many does the STL have?

    How many does Hariri have?

    Short of that, I don’t see anyone going to Tehran.

    Most likely you’ll end up applying for immigration somewhere in the world, if you haven’t already.

    Posted by Mustap | February 21, 2015, 6:28 pm
  20. AP,

    I’m no lawyer, but I believe the phrase you’re looking for is “statute of limitations”.

    Certain crimes have statutes of limitations. One that immediately comes to mind is rape, for example. A rape victim cannot prosecute a case against his or her rapist more than a certain amount of years after the crime has supposedly taken place. I don’t know what the exact rationale for this is, but I think it has to do with the strength of witness testimony and the effect that time has on a person’s memory.

    But you’d be surprised how many crimes there are out there for which the statutes of limitations never expire. I’m pretty sure that murder falls in that category. Haven’t you ever heard of cold cases that suddenly warm up even decades after the fact when new leads come in, seemingly from nowhere? I think the police are even obligated to continue investigating under these circumstances.

    I’m not following this STL case too closely at all, but I would imagine that if the accused are successfully prosecuted even in absentia, then a sealed arrest warrant can be issued that will essentially last forever. Lebanon doesn’t even need to apprehend the suspects. It could be 30 years in the future, one of them could be traveling through a European (or otherwise affiliated) airport, and he could be arrested right there and then, and he’ll be in the international detention/prison system for quite a while thereafter.

    I do agree with you however that there’s something quite grotesque about spending all this time and money trying to identify Rafik Hariri’s murderers in Lebanon, while simultaneously making the argument that you can’t continue to count the dead in next-door Syria because it’s too dangerous to do so! It’s so abhorrently screwed up! But alas, I don’t want to hammer this point too aggressively because the last thing I want is for Lebanon to get sucked into the horrible, Syrian quagmire or for the Lebanese to bear an undue, sacrificial burden to solve their region’s largest and most intractable problems!

    Posted by Samer Nasser | February 21, 2015, 9:13 pm
  21. I do agree with you however that there’s something quite grotesque about spending all this time and money trying to identify Rafik Hariri’s murderers in Lebanon, while simultaneously making the argument that you can’t continue to count the dead in next-door Syria because it’s too dangerous to do so!

    Samer,

    Yes, exactly.

    Statute of limitations does vary depending on the law. And I have severe mixed feelings about putting a 90 year old in jail for his crimes of the Holocaust. Evil has a way of slipping justice.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 21, 2015, 9:30 pm
  22. Oh, this is great. Why oh why doesn’t Giuliani run for president? We need him now….

    http://nation.foxnews.com/2015/02/19/watch-giuliani-destroys-obama-epic-speech-netanyahu-man-who-fights-his-people-unlike-our

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 21, 2015, 9:51 pm
  23. So called STL suffers from several deficiencies such as inefficacy, insuitability and of course the most important of all, namely, lack of jurisdiction over the case.

    1) on the question of its ineffectiveness, one needs to realize that justice in Lebanon and elsewhere in the rogion is perceived to have been served in cases like this assassination only when the assassinated is avenged in kind before he is laid to rest. If longer than 24 hours have passed and no such thing happened then it is considered by custom that the blood of the killed has been wasted. Having said that, there’s NO statute of limitation in an Arab’s mind on such crimes. Notwithstanding the important issue of lack of jurisdiction afflicting the STL, one may ask just for the sake of argument what punishment will this so-called tribunal impose if it ever reaches a verdict in absentia or in the most unlikely scenario while the accused are present? Will it impose capital punishments. If not, then why not? The injured party may not feel justice is done for anything less than such Since we’re arguing for the sake of argument knowing there’s no jurisdiction here for the tribunal we need to argue also for the sake of argument about the expected outcome even in theory. Don’t tell me you need the tribunal just for the so-called TRUTH. Even, the Hariris and most of Lebanon and beyond knew this so-called TRUTH (حئيئة 😀) the very first night the man was assassinated. They knew exactly who were the culprits. Lacking jurisdiction, this so-called tribunal will never know what it’ll do with any possible verdict. Forget about حئيئة حبيبي. This is called BS.
    الحئيئة كل واحد راح يكتبها عزوقو باعلامو الخاص ويروجها للجمهور اللي بدو يختار ويسمع كمان عزوقو. سمعت بشي اسمو دء المي وهو مي؟

    2) on the issue of its insuitability, the Hariris have exposed themselves to the most hortific of all accusations that can be levelled on a party in Lebanon or elsewhere in the region by opening the door to what is rightly considered a tool for blackmail of what’s looked at by many as so-called progressive anti-imperialist regimes and allies. Why would a respected familty such as the Hariris seek justice from a foreign body that has no relevance whatsoever to a prevailing culture? Besides the ensuing state of being incarcerated as trojan horses in the hands of the ‘imperialists’ they (Hariris) looked impotent, weak, irrelevant, and insignificant. A more appropriate means of seeking justice in their case would have been a scenario in which they put a bounty on the heads of the culprits going all the way to the top decision makers, something like tens of millions of dollars on each head. It would still be cheaper than this lame STL, but the likelihood of justice being served would be far far greater. The case would be settled once and for all, with their honor kept intact and without the need for washing dirty laundries in the open. At least, they would still be considered relevant and PATRIOTIC.

    3) not even the most prominent scholars of law in the whole world can come up with legal justifications that would give this so-called tribunal jurisdiction over the case. Basically, its proceedings and arguments will look something like what we sometimes here at this QN get engaged in, namely a futile exercise of argumentation (90% of the time irrelevant, NON-eventful and arguing only for the sake of argument, the remaing being tiresome Zio propaganda accompanied by few so-called drum beaters of lost Lebanese tribes seeking, in the wrong quarters, relevance long lost for good).

    Posted by Mustap | February 22, 2015, 12:06 am
  24. Oh yeah AP, lets elect Rudi, the racist fascist for president.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 22, 2015, 3:05 am
  25. Vulcan,

    How is Rudy a racist fascist, because he denounces Islamic terrorism? You do the same thing right here on this forum.

    He has fire in his belly, something our candidates are sorely lacking.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 22, 2015, 7:01 am
  26. Irony of ironies: Rudy declared that Obama doesn’t love America and promptly discovered that America doesn’t love Rudy…

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 22, 2015, 7:47 am
  27. QN,

    You’re here commenting! Awesome!

    Considering Obama’s low approval ratings and the landslide win by the Republicans recently, I would bet Rudy could beat Obama in an election hands down.

    Go Rudy!

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 22, 2015, 8:24 am
  28. BTW, Obama has already made it clear he doesn’t love America by his constant apologies, his wife’s comment that, “…for the first time I’m proud to be an American…”, to refusing to wear lapel pins, etc.

    Rudy is spot on, no one around the world is afraid of Obamba, certainly not the Iranian mullahs and certainly not Putin (who Obama whispered he’d have “more flexibility” to succumb to his wishes).

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 22, 2015, 8:30 am
  29. The world urgently needs leaders who can sit down and come up with an effective scheme to end Jewish terrorism once and for all.

    Posted by Mustap | February 22, 2015, 8:46 am
  30. Is Rudy racist? It depends on how you think of racism.

    It’s more likely an uncontrolled feeling of jealousy combined with raw emotional sense of realization of the NON-eventfullness when it comes to little Italy in America compared to darky America. Unfortunately for Rudy, no Italian made it that far compared to a darky.

    Also no other Prez in history of this US of A has been ridiculed and even called a liar inside the congress like the present.

    And when you compare so-called patriotic less-than-literate presidents who left office with bankrupt economy, this one brought sense and economic prosperity despite all odds.

    Another reason for the illeterates to feel and express jealousy and with venom.

    Posted by Mustap | February 22, 2015, 9:35 am
  31. The world urgently needs leaders who can sit down and come up with an effective scheme to end Jewish terrorism once and for all.

    Moe,

    Joo terrorism only concerns anti-semites who don’t think joos should defend themselves. This is a very small group of retards.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 22, 2015, 10:27 am
  32. Jewish terrorism concerns the world as a whole. Actually, the retards have made themselves easily recognizable. The world has experienced their level of retardation for some 70 years now. It is believed by many that the level is comparable to what many believe in the evolutionary circles as predating current human state of evolution.

    But who knows exactly? Anyone still believes Darwin?

    Posted by Mustap | February 22, 2015, 10:49 am
  33. Moe,

    If you feel the need to stop joo terrorism, do your best. Just make sure you don’t kill thousands of ur own people in the process.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 22, 2015, 10:54 am
  34. No AP, not because he denounces Islamist terrorists. Gotta hand it to him tho, he does manage to reference 9/11 in every conversation because he just loves America sooooo much. Giuliani comes from a long line of criminals who evaded military service. He evaded it himself.

    To paraphrase the late, great Ann Richards: “Poor Rudy, he can’t help it. He’s got One World Trade Center stuck in his mouth!”

    The only way people like Huckabee, Geraldo and Rudy 911 can get any media attention is to make bigoted, ignorant, illogical statements about Obama. Of course that’s as American as baseball, apple pie and slavery.

    Guiliani is an ill-educated, bigoted, angry man who will never attain his dream of becoming president.
    But don’t worry Bush 3 will fill in for him.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 22, 2015, 11:03 am
  35. Vulcan,

    9-11 had a big affect on the US. More were killed on 9-11 than Pearl Harbor, except this was NY, not the Hawaiian Islands.

    Sorry if this act and others made America act against Islamic Terrorism, but that’s what it is habibi. And if you’re happy Obama refuses to use that term, fine.

    I (and most republicans) believe you have to act against your enemy and not pretend it doesn’t exist. Islamic terrorism isn’t just killing joos and christians.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 22, 2015, 11:12 am
  36. Guiliani is an ill-educated, bigoted…

    Giuliani was educated as a lawyer. That’s plenty of education. Why do you say he and Jindal are bigots?

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudy_Giuliani

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 22, 2015, 11:21 am
  37. AP, you keep bringing Islamists and terrorism into this, my beef against Rudy got nothing to do with this, and if you must insist, Obama’s record on fighting and droning the terrists is there for you to look up. Rudy loves America so much that he draft dodged. The only thing Giuliani loves more than pretending to love America is capitalizing on tragedy. Fuck this guy.
    I have a feeling if Obama could cut ‘God Bless America” in his chest with a razor blade, this obtuse nut bag would still say “Obama doesn’t love America”

    Posted by Vulcan | February 22, 2015, 11:27 am
  38. FYI I am against Obama being so PC about that term.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 22, 2015, 11:33 am
  39. Vulcan,

    I’m not here to change ur mind. Obviously you feel strongly about Rudy and that’s that. I’m one of many that, like you, feels very strongly about Obama and I thought Rudy’s speech in Arizona to an applauding group of Iranian – Americans was spot on.

    Now, I’ve seen you write a number of posts lambasting Islamic jihadists. Why is it OK for you but not Guiliani? Do you think Obama’s foreign policy is good? What do you propose the US do with Iran and the rest of the ME.

    Here’s ur chance to provide an opinion instead of reflexive criticism.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 22, 2015, 3:12 pm
  40. AP, I don’t rate the President based on foreign policy, it’s almost a constant for both camps. I must say I was sort of vindicated watching the Middle East implode because Obama “pivoted” or tried to. How ironic, now they want us back in. it’s late and I’m not a foreign policy strategist, but in short, I wish for further withdrawl, let them consume each other for another 100 years. Hopefully by then Elon Musk would have found us a way out.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 22, 2015, 3:51 pm
  41. …let them consume each other for another 100 years…

    Vulcan,

    That was exactly what the US did when the Iran – Iraq War was all the rage. Then Saddam got frisky. The despots and the jihadists, like sharks, seem to always have to keep moving.

    What is ur purpose for participating here? Do you think another 200,000 dead arabs should take place or do you think (like Sisi) the international community needs to do something?

    I think pulling out of Iraq was a mistake, and the US and the West have to stabilize this part of the world before the bloodshed spreads. Just IMHO.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 22, 2015, 4:00 pm
  42. “Six days after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, President George W. Bush spoke at the Islamic Center of Washington.

    “These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith. And it’s important for my fellow Americans to understand that,” he said. “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. . . . Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.”

    Sounds a lot like BHO, doesn’t?

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/02/19/presidents-obama-bush-sound-a-lot-alike-on-countering-islamic-extremism/

    Posted by Vulcan | February 22, 2015, 4:03 pm
  43. Yes Vulcan, it does sound a lot like BO. But their approaches to the problem are VERY different, and, it only goes to shoe that GWB is not a racist. Going after murdering Islamic jihadists is not the same as going after all muslims. The two are not related, unless a muslim aids and a bets these psycopaths. And, btw, many do.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 22, 2015, 4:19 pm
  44. And no that’s not what we did during the Iran Iraq war, we backed Saddam and Israel supplied Khomeini with weapons.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_support_for_Iran_during_the_Iran–Iraq_war

    Posted by Vulcan | February 22, 2015, 4:23 pm
  45. Watch this to see what we did In Iraq it’s a bit long but it’s well worth it.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 22, 2015, 4:31 pm
  46. Vulcan,

    I’ll keep this short (as I usually do).

    Why do you post here? To make friends with Moe and Threesa?

    You don’t have to tell me what the US did in Iraq. I know! What the US did in Iraq was bring down a murderous despot and give the Iraqis the opportunity to live as free people. Thanks to GWB, Iraqis VOTED for the first time in recent history.

    What did the Arab League do to help the Iraqis? Answer: whine and complain

    Then ur hero Barrack had to do what all you anti-war supporters wanted. Get out. Now look at the mess. Barrack has to go in again!

    There is plenty of blame going around, but only GWB gave the Iraqis the opportunity to govern themselves as we wasted OUR blood and treasure for Iraq’s benefit.

    Now answer my questions w/o the history lesson. I took that class.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 22, 2015, 5:33 pm
  47. One man’s terrorist is another man’s paymistress:

    “…..Which makes it very odd that Giuliani, Bolton, Ridge, Bush-era Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and Bush Homland Security adviser Frances Frago Townsend attended a rally last month in Paris to support the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a terror group dedicated to overthrowing the Iranian regime. It’s odd because 1) The MEK are communists (that’s an MEK terrorist pictured along with the group’s logo, which features a sickle), 2) they helped Saddam Hussein carry out atrocities against Iraq’s Shiite population in the 1990s, and 3) they killed Americans in the 1980s and helped carry out the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. But it’s also odd because the MEK is currently on that State Department list of terror groups, so happy thoughts about them are illegal.”

    http://gawker.com/5723432/rudy-giuliani-and-john-bolton-are-terrorists-now

    CNN has been dry humping this Guliani story non stop like it’s a potentially gravid issue. Funny that they forgot that Rudy not only supports gay marriage, he also got cozy real cozy with COMMUNISTS!!!!

    Posted by lally | February 22, 2015, 7:14 pm
  48. MEK

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 22, 2015, 8:08 pm
  49. Al-sisi calls out the clerics to discuss the 800 lb gorilla in the chat room that everyone, including Obamba, is afraid to address…

    http://www.raymondibrahim.com/from-the-arab-world/egypts-sisi-islamic-thinking-is-antagonizing-the-entire-world/

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 22, 2015, 9:57 pm
  50. Akbar, take a break for a couple days.

    Thanks
    QN

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 23, 2015, 9:55 am
  51. Comment removed by editor.

    Posted by Ray | February 23, 2015, 11:53 am
  52. The Tao of Blazing Saddles. Blessed be true Jewish Geniuses.

    Posted by Ray | February 23, 2015, 12:21 pm
  53. According to Al Akhbar, Saad Hariri is returning to the Grand Serail.

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/hariri-returning-grand-serail

    I do not see how his presence could, in any way, be productive for Lebanon anymore. He should stay in Paris and Riyadh until the STL is concluded.

    Posted by Ray | February 24, 2015, 1:48 am
  54. “He should stay in Paris and Riyadh until the STL is concluded.”

    He should get out of politics altogether regardless, and he could stay wherever he wants.

    Posted by Mustap | February 24, 2015, 1:54 am
  55. There are people still debating the IS phenomenon.

    How can this latest Hollywood movie not clearly point out that is, just such?

    http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/168771-is-jihadists-kidnap-90-christians-in-syria

    Posted by Ray | February 24, 2015, 6:23 am
  56. Reliable sources: Al Akhbar!!!!

    Posted by danny | February 24, 2015, 8:02 am
  57. Here’s an example of Wisdome Arabs and the world in general should be proud of.

    Saudi court gives death penalty to man who renounced his Muslim faith.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/24/us-saudi-execution-apostasy-idUSKBN0LS0S620150224

    Posted by Vulcan | February 24, 2015, 8:45 am
  58. Shocking news, V. I would not want to be poor, modern and Saudi at this moment. A prison.

    Danny, Al Akhbar is the mouthpiece of Hezbollah. Sometimes there is misinformation. Sometimes there are messages.

    Posted by Ray | February 24, 2015, 12:08 pm
  59. Let’s just hold on to our Camels, Guys.

    We’re Lebanese 🙂

    Posted by Ray | February 24, 2015, 12:38 pm
  60. It looks like the world is paying high price for the faults of America under its incompetent president George W. Bush. Not long ago we concluded here that Bush committed grave and unforgivable mistake(s) by drawing America into conflicts that it cannot resolve. Instead America under such incompetent presidents ends up compounding the problems of others and it’s own problems. There was no reason whatsoever for America to attack Iraq in 2003. Saddam was definitely a much better leader than what America left in Iraq.

    However, the world is very fortunate to have wise leaders such as His Wise Majesty of the Wise Kingdom not mention the Wise Monarch of the Maghreb. May Allah guide them and protect them.

    Posted by Mustap | February 24, 2015, 8:06 pm
  61. Looks like a slow news day….

    Posted by danny | February 25, 2015, 8:07 am
  62. Believing something is true and proving it beyond a reasonable doubt are two separate issues. Unfortunately, once again we fall into this trap by deciding to let emotions and anger dictate judgement. Several attorney’s and international law experts who have looked at the case stated that the evidence for indictment is not there.

    Revenge and Justice should not be confused.

    When families of the victims of the civil war asked if they could utilize the DNA banks that have been set up for the STL as they are getting old and some had passed, they were told by March 14 officials that they should let the past go. It is very ironic that the families of 140000 Lebanese killed and 17000 still missing should just let the past go, but the Lebanese government should burdened with paying over 36 million for the STL budget in 2014 for so called “justice. ”

    Until we truly understand and believe in freedom and justice for all, we will never live in a peaceful and just society.

    Posted by Free | February 25, 2015, 5:12 pm
  63. Despite falling oil prices, Wise Kingdom increased reserves last month alone by $4 billion.

    No doubt, it is the result of wisdom at work while we see other states complaining about falling prices.

    Posted by Mustap | February 26, 2015, 12:29 am
  64. Danny – Less news on QNN means Lebanon is relatively calm. No news, good news 🙂

    Posted by Ray | February 26, 2015, 3:18 am
  65. Until we truly understand and believe in freedom and justice for all, we will never live in a peaceful and just society.

    Free,

    What do you suppose it will take to get the Middle East to move in this direction?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 26, 2015, 7:51 am
  66. Ray,

    Calm before the storm.

    Free,

    “Several attorney’s and international law experts who have looked at the case stated that the evidence for indictment is not there.”

    Is the STL trial being conducted in Abu Tanjara’s kitchen? What are your fears?

    Posted by danny | February 26, 2015, 8:07 am
  67. Observers are expecting that the upcoming meeting next week between the Wise King and the Turkish President will represent an important turning point for the region as a whole.

    Posted by Mustap | February 26, 2015, 8:22 am
  68. As I had mentioned above…The last criminal is about to accidentally commit suicide. 😀

    “He argued the security chief was of no more use and had been killed to hide what he knows about “Bashar al-Assad’s secrets, especially since he gave the order to assassinate Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.”

    https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/NewsReports/564889-syrian-security-chief-injured-in-fighting

    Now all people connected to the Lebanon file will be eliminated. Next; Bashar will accidentally trip over his prada shoes and crack his head wide open. The Persian takeover almost complete.

    Posted by danny | February 26, 2015, 9:34 am
  69. It is of vital importance that Israel re-elect this fine man.

    http://www.alternet.org/world/benjamin-netanyahu-has-been-lying-americans-20-years

    Posted by Ray | February 26, 2015, 11:25 am
  70. Bush Lied, People Died* NewZ

    Ray,

    The only people in the world that “lie” are American and Israeli conservatives. We understand.

    http://www.inquisitr.com/1634428/saddam-era-iraq-wmd-found-by-u-s-forces/

    *orders of magnitude more died because jihadists and arab despots didn’t “lie”. They just murdered people as they always promised us.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 26, 2015, 11:41 am
  71. Today’s QN, “Test your knowledge of American Politics” Quiz

    Which of these two American government workers is fondly referred to as “Lurch”?

    US Library of Congress reference:

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 26, 2015, 11:46 am
  72. Who pays you to keep posting on this blog? And why?

    Posted by Ray | February 26, 2015, 12:43 pm
  73. The Wesistance Utopia call Aza

    Ray,

    I get paid with a small stipend from Brown University. 😉

    Thank you for the horrible, horrible video showing the destruction in Gaza. The Gazans and Hamas are getting exactly what they want, AND, they want more!

    But when I ask another militant when he thinks the next war will come, he jokes: “With Israel or with Egypt?”

    And another war with Israel is inevitable, say the militants of Islamic Jihad. They say they lost 145 fighters during the last conflict. Many more civilians were killed. So what was achieved?

    “Our biggest achievement is that we stood our ground, and we challenged the occupier,” said Abu Ibrahim, a commander of their Saraya al-Quds brigade.

    “Unlike the whole world, we are still able to say ‘no’ to them, ‘no’ to the occupation. We are still able to resist.”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-31637592

    Anyway, when Israel gave back Gaza, it was in much better shape.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 26, 2015, 1:08 pm
  74. Danny,

    I have no fears. I actually teach Transitional Justice and teach about all the tribunals (their pros and cons). If you take the ICTR, we had about 800,000 thousand individuals slaughtered by the Hutu, but when the RPF came in they killed about 100,000. When the prosecutor for ICTR wanted to indict RPF members they threatened the process and she backed down. Hutu men were rounded, just for being Hutu, and put in overcrowded jails for years without being indicted. Their rights were ignored.

    I believe in accountability and protection of human rights for everyone, the victim and the perpetrator; the difference being is that I do not believe that the end justifies the means. And I am not naive to believe that tribunals cannot be politicized.

    Akbar,

    We need to truly address the issue of civil and political rights. The problem that we face in the ME is that we keep picking and choosing when to respect human rights, and as I mentioned above, believe that the end justifies the means. We need to recognize that a victim can be a perpetrator and a perpetrator can be a victim. In many places, understandably so, civil society has been co-opted, and the need for security has trumped freedoms. In Lebanon, we still have a majority of the population willing to sacrifice the security and rights of others for their own security and rights. The reason being is we have never had a state capable of protecting its citizens; and the blame today is on both camps and not just one. And more importantly, on the citizens that keep voting for the same people over and over.

    I wish there was an easy solution, but at the heart of everything in the ME is the respect for identity, security, and rights of all. While these needs are not negotiable the means for providing them are.

    Posted by Free | February 26, 2015, 1:13 pm
  75. Habibi AP,

    From a “savage” Semite from and in the Levant, I would not advise you take the BBC that appointed the HSBC Chairwoman of Corruption, seriously.

    Posted by Ray | February 26, 2015, 1:14 pm
  76. Ray,

    Lost me on HSBC. Anyway, all those millions and billions Gaza could have used to make this part of Palestine a resort city has been wasted, don’t you think? At what point do you fault Gazans and Palestinians, or is that a cultural impossibility?

    Free,

    In Egypt, the choice has been shown to be between an autocratic theocracy or an autocratic military coup. I’m for the side what promotes the most freedom, and right now, it is neither. The military has been more pro-Israel, so guess which side I prefer! Unfortuantely, their “army” has let Sinai become a safe-haven for jihadis.

    Lebanon, to me, is a Rubic’s cube of clans and tribes. And the central government is a weak noodle. As you explained. I think the answer to the ME is a LARGE force of foreign troops a la WW2 Germany and Japan.

    We need to truly address the issue of civil and political rights.

    Free, you hit the nail on the head. There are no civil and political rights in the ME. Period.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 26, 2015, 1:34 pm
  77. Guys, don’t forget to blame the “Emperialist Zionist Colonialist” conspiracy for the troubles in the ME
    I don’t wanna hear any more of that “civil, political, human rights for all” nonsense.
    Arab Muslims are not responsible for anything there, it’s Satan’s fault.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 26, 2015, 2:36 pm
  78. The gravest problem facing the ME is the presence of this so-called entity of Izrahell. Had this entity not existed, Ametica will not have needed to wage all these futile wars to keep a mere handful of so-called Zios living on stolen lands. Instead, America is hijacked by a bunch of zealots serving the agenda of these handful of Zios at the expense of poor Amerian lives and American economy. When the American people wake up to the plots of the Zios against their country then we may begin to see some progress elsewhere.

    President Obama already started the process of dis entanglement, but the special Zio interest groups keep plotting to turn the clock backwards and to continue to drag the American public deeper in the pit.

    America will have to either wake up or it may continue to get suckered by the suckers.

    Posted by Mustap | February 26, 2015, 3:29 pm
  79. No Moe,

    Joos haven’t hijacked the USA, Islamic extremists and arab despots have. ISIS, al-Queda, the Iran-Iraq War, Arafat, Assad, Saddam, Muammar, Hezbollah would still be fighting and killing fellow muslims. Your post shows you’re an anti-semitic used car salesman.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 26, 2015, 3:53 pm
  80. Who’s Moe ?

    (or is it Mow? isn’t this how Joos pronounce Moe?)?

    Let’s be clear on some QN formalities now that there’s a new QN sheriff on duty. No one would like to turn QN town into a mowing pasture for Zios as happened in Palestine.

    You want to mow? May be you should join some mowing cows in some legal mowing fields outside this civilized town.

    In other words mow away.

    Or is two days suspension not enough for mowing cows?

    Posted by Mustap | February 26, 2015, 10:51 pm
  81. It’s becoming more and more obvious that the entity most firmly allied with the Obama administration re Iran et al is the Israeli security establishment. Our Generals have candid conversations with each other.

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/02/israel-netanyahu-speech-congress-aipac-kerry-mossad-idf.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Posted by lally | February 27, 2015, 12:42 am
  82. Lilly,

    I noticed during my 2 day absence, that you guys have nothing to talk about when Israel is mentioned. Why do you suppose that is the case, when the entire ME is falling apart? AIPAC vs. Nutty Yahoo. Great conversation at the JCC gym. Liberal vs. Conservative Joos. Who will win? The world waits in anticipation!

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 27, 2015, 8:03 am
  83. Sorry, when Israel ISN’T mentioned…

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 27, 2015, 8:03 am
  84. My trigger finger’s itching …

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 27, 2015, 8:49 am
  85. QN,

    I’d be interested in knowing why your trigger finger is itching. No discussion of Israel? Please communicate, I can’t read your mind.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 27, 2015, 8:57 am
  86. No ad hominems please.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | February 27, 2015, 9:38 am
  87. AP,

    I realize that a large part of it is you being forced to aggressively defend yourself in response to attempts to drive you into a corner, but even then, I gotta admit to you that I REALLY don’t like it when you repeatedly express your trademark argument that is always a riff off this basic theme:

    “More muslims have been killed by fellow muslims (despots and jihadists) than have been killed by Americans and Israelis (conservatives, liberals, neoconservatives, neoliberals, or otherwise)”

    To me, this argument reads as frivolous (almost sentimental if it wasn’t so abhorrent) garbage, and I will try to explain why:

    1) It’s moral relativism at its worst
    2) It’s shoddy accounting with no attempts to empirically substantiate
    3) It’s cherry-picking with no attempts to contextualize

    And lastly, and most objectionably:

    4) It’s gerrymandering

    To elaborate on this final point, you have to realize that in the recent past up to the present, the disproportionate amount of muslim deaths at the hands of Israelis have been Palestinians and Lebanese, and the disproportionate amount of muslim deaths at the hands of Americans have been Iraqis and Afghans.

    You don’t get to water down these numbers and make them seem insignificant by averaging them out against the entire muslim population on Earth. It’s sleazy, and the kind of tactic that might be employed by, to use your own expression, a “used car salesman”!

    Posted by Samer Nasser | February 27, 2015, 12:49 pm
  88. The Syrian regime’s perspective of the IS phenomenon:

    Posted by Ray | February 27, 2015, 12:54 pm
  89. No Nasser.

    You didn’t analyze exactly what the objective of this character is behind the clumsy so-called arguments he has to bombard us with as his daily routine to spread Zio propaganda and create confusion.

    Zios have their own step by step manuals on how to interact with others and spread confusion while presumably pretending to be arguing.

    It’s all there in the manuals. Those who are good at it sometimes produce results for their Zio masters. Those who are apprentices as in the case of the subject produce clumsy results.

    When the time permits, I will direct you with link(s) to such manuals. Now it doesn’t.

    Posted by Mustap | February 27, 2015, 2:59 pm
  90. I gotta admit to you that I REALLY don’t like it …

    “More muslims have been killed by fellow muslims (despots and jihadists) than have been killed by Americans and Israelis (conservatives, liberals, neoconservatives, neoliberals, or otherwise)”

    To me, this argument reads as frivolous (almost sentimental if it wasn’t so abhorrent) garbage, and I will try to explain why:

    Samer,

    I think the issues here anger a lot of people including myself. My anger comes out in my writing as sarcasm or substituting someones name with my own, made-up name, etc. For some participants here it comes out as ad hominems, name calling, shouting. I like your writing style, your temperament, and the way you come off in your posts, so I make an extra effort not to employ these methods when responding to you.

    To elaborate on this final point, you have to realize that in the recent past up to the present, the disproportionate amount of muslim deaths at the hands of Israelis have been Palestinians and Lebanese, and the disproportionate amount of muslim deaths at the hands of Americans have been Iraqis and Afghans.

    You don’t get to water down these numbers and make them seem insignificant by averaging them out against the entire muslim population on Earth. It’s sleazy, and the kind of tactic that might be employed by, to use your own expression, a “used car salesman”!

    I hear what you are saying, and I am disappointed that you describe my arguments as being “abhorrent”, “garbage”, and “sleazy”, BUT (putting myself in your shoes), I understand your pro-Palestinian/arab point-of-view, and so I am not surprised you feel this way.

    From my vantage point (so you may have to step into my shoes for a few seconds), I don’t understand the “disproportionate” attention on Israel for Israel’s crimes, versus the lack of attention on arab/muslim crimes from the arab or muslim crowd. I claim this disproportionate attention is cultural, or simply taking sides. Certainly most jews are pro-Israel, and this is cultural as well.

    So yes, Israel has killed Palestinians and civilians. Under what circumstances? Did Israel fire live ammunition into crowds of unarmed protestors like Bashar Assad and his shabiha*? Did Israel take a community of palestinians and gas them like Saddam did against the Kurds in Halabja or create mass graves totaling 300,000 palestinians?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabiha

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/jun/27/syrian-army-defector-wasid-deraa

    What about Egypt’s demonstrations?

    Israel returned Gaza to the Palestinians with no piece of paper promising peace. Israel got nothing in return and, perhaps, didn’t deserve anything in return. But Israel’s experience with Gaza is a story that will be told to anyone asking Israel to give up more. At some point Samer, the attention needs to turn ELSEWHERE instead of the usual suspect. All dead people who are killed before their time is a huge tragedy.

    *similar instance in Israel on a much smaller scale, 13 dead as opposed to thousands. GOI conducted an inquiry/commission

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_2000_events

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 27, 2015, 3:39 pm
  91. AP,

    Very quick response here. I really should be working right now instead of writing this.

    I think part of the problem here is that you are perhaps a bit fatigued from repeated and protracted exposure to Israel-baiting/blaming and you’re a bit twitchy in that you don’t discriminate well between what is a serious allegation and what is impotent flailing on the part of the Arabs you’re communicating with.

    I don’t blame you entirely here, because the Arab World is chaotic, and it surprises even me that there genuinely seem to be quarters who don’t buy into the premise that Israel has a right to exist in peace and prosperity, or who somehow predict that Israel will disappear at some point. I think this should be a red-line to Israelis. There is no point having a discussion with anyone who wants you to pack up and go somewhere else. It should also be a red-line to Arabs. There is no point having a discussion with anyone who has such a poor grasp of reality.

    But alas, I think there are two groups of people who have a right to continue to obsess about Israel, by virtue of how much they have endured and how much they have experienced. These are the Palestinians and the Lebanese. Ideally, I hope that the Lebanese will eventually become like the Egyptians. They will remember hostilities with Israel but hopefully relegate them to the distant past.

    The Palestinians are much more problematic. The problem with the Palestinians is that they are the only people on Earth that Israelis cannot lecture to that they should look elsewhere other than Israel for the source of their problems. In fact, I think it’s a fair assessment to argue that Israel is the cause of most of the problems of the Palestinians! So yes, this should be a red-line to Palestinians. There is no point having a discussion with anyone who is in complete, vehement, arguably malicious, denial as to how you ended up in your miserable circumstance.

    Posted by Samer Nasser | February 27, 2015, 4:47 pm
  92. Denial isn’t just a River in Misr

    But alas, I think there are two groups of people who have a right to continue to obsess about Israel, by virtue of how much they have endured and how much they have experienced.

    Everyone has the right to obsess over anything they want Samer. The nation that obsesses the most over Israel is….drum beat….the mullahs in Iran, about 2000 miles away.

    The Saudis don’t obsess, the Jordans and Egyptians haven’t obsessed, but Iran does.

    So much so in fact that it has caused much violence and bloodshed as they daily call for war with Israel along with their proxy, Hezbollah. Iran’s obsession with Israel has caused the Iranians to pursue a nuclear program when they have enough oil and resources to power their economy for years. Their obsession has them isolated with the West and sanctions hurting. Their obsession has them supporting a tin-pot dictator who has murdered his own people because he allow them to run their sophisticated missiles across Syrian terrortory into the hands of their sectarian proxy.

    So I say obsess all you want. Enjoy it, preach it, write about it, cut yourself up with it, blow yourself up with it, but it takes 2 to make peace. Israel cannot make peace with herself. Fifteen years ago, Ehud Barak met with Arafat at Camp David. The gap narrowed considerably, and Arafat walked away without making a counter offer. Lebanon, same deal, except the GOL is run by Hezbollah. You can’t continue to be at war with Israel, allow a extra-governmental militia to have free reign to amass weapons in this state of war, without consequences. Before and after the Lebanese civil war, the border between Israel and Lebanon was always defined and internationally recognized. So what’s the problem? We know what the problem is Samer. Don’t be in denial!

    In fact, I think it’s a fair assessment to argue that Israel is the cause of most of the problems of the Palestinians!

    Of course Israel is a problem for Palestinians (especially Hamas) because Israel exists as a Jewish State on land that the Palestinians claim as their state. I get it. And until the 2 sides scratch out a plan for peace, I don’t see that changing.

    There is no point having a discussion with anyone who is in complete, vehement, arguably malicious, denial as to how you ended up in your miserable circumstance.

    Samer,

    Those are strong words coming from you, and disappointing. The only other person who keeps using the term (“denial”) is Threesa. You both now have something in common. And what am I in denial over? Do I deny the right of the Palestinians or the Iranians or the Lebanese a state of their own? No. Do I deny any arab country to consider themselves a “Islamic” state like Iran, Pakistan or KSA? No. Do I deny that the Palestinians haven’t suffered? No. They have.

    What I do deny, is that the people you claim, “There is no point having a discussion with anyone who wants you to pack up and go somewhere else” are somehow weak and insignificant in the Middle East. It is the rejectionists and the “resistance pros” who are calling the shots in the ME. That isn’t Israel’s fault, and this seems to be ignored by most, if not, all the participants here.

    And again, our discussion is hyper-focused on Israel. Therefore, I deny the perception that Israel is the greatest threat to arabs and muslims. Really? How so, when a majority of arab/muslim Israelis prefer living in Israel than Palestine. Lastly, I also deny that there are no serious threats against Israel from Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 27, 2015, 8:24 pm
  93. ……The report cited sources close to [Chief of Staff Gabi] Ashkenazi and [Meir] Dagan — who since stepping down from their respective posts have both been outspoken in their opposition to a strike on Iran — to the effect that as the two men were leaving the meeting, Netanyahu “matter-of-factly” instructed them to initiate the “P Plus” code, which is essentially a readying of the military to imminently launch an attack.

    Ashkenazi and Dagan reportedly vehemently objected to the order. “You may end up going to war based on an illegal decision,” the former intelligence chief was quoted as saying. “Only the security cabinet is authorized to make such a decision.”

    Later, Dagan would say that “the prime minister and the defense minister tried to steal a war – it was as simple as that.”

    Read more: Ex-Mossad chief: PM taking ‘intolerable’ risks with Israeli security | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/ex-mossad-chief-pm-taking-intolerable-risks-with-israeli-security/#ixzz3T0JkvrN8

    Will the zionist diaspora and their agents of influence listen?

    Posted by lally | February 27, 2015, 10:52 pm
  94. Yes folks, another post about Israel. Sorry.

    Listen to what Lally? Are you now concerned for the Jooish state?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 27, 2015, 11:04 pm
  95. Lally,

    If you really want a good source of info on Israhell, find it at this website. Good source. Tell ur friends. Ur welcome.

    http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com/?m=1

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 27, 2015, 11:14 pm
  96. Samer,

    Your friend gets most of his talking points (or non-talking points to be fair) from sources like this one,

    http://www.theisraelproject.org

    He, however, turns them into clumsy and tiresome reiterations ad infinitum. Apparently, that’s the only strategem he learnt during his training: repeat the same fabrications over and over again until you bore others to death.

    Typical car salespersons tactics. No substance or any intellectual veracity whatsover behind the endless stream of mumbo jumbo.

    Posted by Mustap | February 28, 2015, 11:35 am
  97. Samer,

    Fyi, I get no “training” and read no manuals. I get all my info from reliable news sources. 😉 Not twitter, not Mondoweiss, not antiwar.com, not juancole, or veteransnewsnetwork or Press TV or SANA

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 28, 2015, 1:02 pm
  98. From the AFP, Islamic (not jooish) State abduct 220 christians….

    About 220,000 people have since been killed in a devastating conflict that has driven half of Syria’s population from their homes.

    http://news.yahoo.com/us-led-raids-targets-christians-seized-143247132.html

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 28, 2015, 1:13 pm
  99. “He, however, turns them into clumsy and tiresome reiterations ad infinitum. Apparently, that’s the only strategem he learnt during his training: repeat the same fabrications over and over again until you bore others to death.”

    Sort of like when you keep bombarding us whith how wise your kings and kingdom are, like a used car sales manager…

    Posted by Vulcan | February 28, 2015, 1:16 pm
  100. Mustap,

    What “fabrications” are you referring to? Can you be more specific?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 28, 2015, 1:34 pm
  101. Absurdly “Religious” fabrications could be a start for the devout believers and contributors on this blog?

    Posted by Ray | February 28, 2015, 2:15 pm
  102. “Sort of like when you keep bombarding us whith how wise your kings…………………etc”

    NOPE.

    Can’t compare apples and oranges.

    Posted by Mustap | February 28, 2015, 7:15 pm
  103. “What “fabrications” are you referring to?…………………………….etc”

    EVERYTHING.

    Posted by Mustap | February 28, 2015, 7:16 pm
  104. So proclaimed the Grand Vezir of the wiser bunch!

    Posted by danny | March 1, 2015, 7:54 am
  105. Yes, Danny, “everything” is a fabrication so says the KSA cheerleader. The fact that arabs have killed orders of magnitude more of their own than Israel is a fabrication.

    It’s also a fabrication that Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran are obsessed with Israel’s destruction and further violence.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 1, 2015, 10:08 am
  106. A used lemon car salesman never misses an opportunity to make his usual worn out sales pitch.

    Posted by Mustap | March 1, 2015, 10:57 am
  107. QN,

    Will you be tuning in to listen to “The Speech”, or will you be boycotting like the faithful Obama supporters? 😉

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/netanyahu-s-moment_867715.html?page=2

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 1, 2015, 11:27 am
  108. Hezbollah seeks secular, democratic state

    Ray,

    I’ve heard it all before. When is the next election?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 2, 2015, 9:36 am
  109. Ray,

    You should check with Mousawi and Raad along with the sewer rat to see what’s their definition of “non-sectarian” and especially democratic state?

    Does that mean they can vote themselves in by force and call it democratic? Does it mean they will relinquish their arms to the state? …or give up their private mini state? SNAP THE Freaking hell out of it!…

    Posted by danny | March 2, 2015, 9:48 am
  110. Danny – Are you self employed? A wise Plumber, a Cook, or an Electrician?

    Or are you just Angry?

    Posted by Ray | March 2, 2015, 1:26 pm
  111. All of the above Ray….and have no patience for idiotic comments. 😀

    Posted by danny | March 2, 2015, 4:04 pm
  112. QN, when you get a chance, what is your opinion on this? I think a lot of your participants would agree with it. Do you?

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/state-department-tweets-speech-by-cleric-who-blames-unrest-on-global-zionist-conspiracy/

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 3, 2015, 10:30 am
  113. the speech and the senile groopies in the audience are a disgrace – God Bless Us All

    Posted by 3issa | March 3, 2015, 11:54 am
  114. Thressa, what are watching that for? You should be busy sending concrete to Gaza.

    I saw the last half of the speech, and what struck me was I think BB was speaking not just for Israel, but also for the arab community that isn’t so friendly with Iran (KSA, Jordan, Egypt, etc).

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 3, 2015, 12:02 pm
  115. Is responding to a terrorism groopie like the one trolling this blog, considered a violation of the boycott?

    Let me guess, some Enlightened SLAyer gonna jump in here ?

    Palestine

    Posted by 3issa | March 3, 2015, 12:24 pm
  116. Comment removed by moderation.

    Posted by Samer Nasser | March 3, 2015, 12:50 pm
  117. Samer,

    I think Threesa has every right to arm Hamas with concrete. If Threesa wants Hamas to build tunnels with the concrete instead of roads and houses, that’s Threesa’s choice.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 3, 2015, 12:55 pm
  118. Samer,

    As far as “play the victim” is concerned, I humbly would not wish Israel to fall to the level or the rest of the intolerant ME, as this region is littered with victims, mostly arab and muslim.

    Maybe we should work on a better PR campaign. How do you think we can get Rouhani, Assad or ISIS to address the US Congress?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 3, 2015, 1:10 pm
  119. Don’t weasel out of this Akbar Palace!

    You were delighting in Israel’s destruction of Palestinian neighbourhoods in Gaza!

    Your taunt to 3issa made no mention of tunnels and only an expert in sordid, post-facto Israeli rationalizations would have understood what you supposedly meant! But that’s not what you initially meant! The “tunnel” excuse is just your cynical escape vehicle, to afford you the distance to compose yourself and passive-aggressively resume your sh*tty canard, where you lament being the quintessential, misunderstood, helpless victim!

    Seriously dude, how stupid do you think we are?

    Posted by Samer Nasser | March 3, 2015, 1:14 pm
  120. You were delighting in Israel’s destruction of Palestinian neighbourhoods in Gaza!

    Samer,

    Your anger is misplaced. If you think Israelis were delighted in this past Gaza operation, then you don’t know Israelis. But you can bet Israelis were mourning for the scores of dead Israeli soldiers more than the Palestinians. Is that odd to you?

    Seriously dude, how stupid do you think we are?

    Samer,

    Look at the ME. Look at your leaders. I don’t know if stupid is the right word, but it isn’t very different.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 3, 2015, 1:19 pm
  121. Comment removed by moderation.

    Posted by Samer Nasser | March 3, 2015, 1:22 pm
  122. Samer,

    I learned from another blogger, years ago, that it is effective to answer a question using the same wording, so there is less opportunity for misinterpretation.

    Anyway, now that I’ve caused you distress, I will humbly refrain from posting here. I do not want to be the focus of the discussions, and I know this is (more or less) and Lebanese-centric web sitel. I can easily refrain from a week of posting; of course, QN can throw me off at any time he wants.

    FYI, there were areas of agreement with me from other participants here on QN, so there is something perhaps to think about.

    See you guys later.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 3, 2015, 1:32 pm
  123. Akbar Palace,

    It would require energy for QN to moderate this blog thoroughly enough to create a iron-clad case against you to justify throwing you off in a way that would indisputably be perceived as fair instead of persecuting!

    Also, even if it was fair, all indications are that you would not perceive it that way. You’ll go screaming of offense at the risk of causing QN considerable embarrassment!

    So basically, he has to put up with you and you know it! That’s why you so confidently strut and weasel your way around here and test the limits of what you can get away with!

    All this is a testament to your mediocre intelligence and horrible character of course, which helps us better understand why you post anonymously and are too chicken-sh*t to reveal who you really are!

    Posted by Samer Nasser | March 3, 2015, 1:42 pm
  124. AIG – Have you filed for immigration papers, yet 🙂 ?

    Or still a believer?

    Posted by Ray | March 3, 2015, 2:27 pm
  125. I must say for the record that the US congress has been in a NON-eventful state of existence as of late. So I would concur with president Obama’s assessment.

    OTOH, the Wise Kingdom under the guidance of his Wise Majesty the Wise King charged forward towards the nuclear arena by signing an important treaty with the South Koreans today.

    Once again, unparalleled wisdom at work.

    Posted by Mustap | March 3, 2015, 10:23 pm
  126. Samer,

    Please observe the forum rules: no ad hominem attacks or foul language.

    Wa shukran.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | March 4, 2015, 4:44 am
  127. An important article on the behind the scenes struggle to save the Druze communities in Syria from Al Nusra.

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/agreement-between-walid-jumblatt-and-al-nusra-front

    Posted by Ray | March 4, 2015, 5:00 am
  128. QN,

    Fair enough! I’m guilty as charged with the “ad hominem attacks” and “foul language” transgressions. I accept full responsibility for what I did and apologize to anyone I might have harmed.

    However, I want to advise you that your attempts at moderation here, while necessary, are not sufficient. For one thing, the rules should be posted in their own page that is linked to from the comment entry form, so that a commenter knows in advance what he is getting himself into.

    Also, the list of transgressions cannot simply end with “ad hominem attacks” and “foul language”. There are other serious transgressions that should be considered which in my humble opinion are absolutely blighting this blog and causing a significant amount of aggravation around here.

    For example, I think the comment policy over at “Skeptical Science” is very close to perfect:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/comments_policy.shtml

    I want to bring your attention in particular to the following clauses in the policy:

    1) Comments should avoid excessive repetition
    2) No sloganeering
    3) No accusations of deception
    4) No politics (as in, it should even be possible to discuss politics without getting political)
    5) No inflammatory tone (which is distinguished from profanity as being “overheated rhetoric”)

    Again, I respect very much that you are a busy man and I don’t want to pile on to your workload, so feel completely free to ignore this advice. I offer it in the best of faith with no strings attached.

    Posted by Samer Nasser | March 4, 2015, 10:30 am
  129. Hi Samer,

    If ever you would be interested in an internship in Lebanon, do let me know.

    I am in need of a secretary.

    Posted by Ray | March 4, 2015, 10:43 am
  130. Ray,

    Kindly provide your full name, address and telephone number and I promise I will contact you. But alas, I am not looking for employment, least of all in Lebanon.

    Posted by Samer Nasser | March 4, 2015, 10:51 am
  131. It is interesting to read that there has been a 300% increase of IS sympathizers on Twitter in 2014. Although most of them reside in Saudi Arabia, the per capita ratio would make Lebanon the highest?

    http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2015/03/isis-twitter-census-berger-morgan

    Posted by Ray | March 6, 2015, 5:40 am
  132. Does anyone have a realistic notion of how John Kerry et al can counter Iran’s influence in Lebanon?

    I notice that it’s chic among some of the enlightened diaspora to oppose the most efficient means of countering the terrorist hordes over the border. The LAF is not to be working with HA to defend Lebanon because.

    Really. Think those people have the best interests of Lebanon in mind. Really?

    Posted by lally | March 6, 2015, 10:31 pm
  133. So lally in your enlightened mind we should embrace one terrorist entity to fight another? You are totally amazing!

    Posted by danny | March 7, 2015, 9:56 am
  134. What do I mean if I say someone does not have your best interests in mind?

    Do I mean I have your best interests in mind?

    Do I mean I know what your best interests are?

    Do I mean you need someone to tell you what your best interests are?

    Looks like a NON-event.

    Posted by Mustap | March 7, 2015, 10:57 am
  135. Yeah, Lally! Slice that salami! 🙂

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salami_tactics

    Posted by Samer Nasser | March 7, 2015, 4:28 pm
  136. New York Times Correspondent Nick Kristof filed a dispatch from Gaza with a very touching, embedded, 7-minute video, in which he calls the place a “museum of humanitarian catastrophe”:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-winds-of-war-in-gaza.html

    Posted by Samer Nasser | March 7, 2015, 5:41 pm
  137. Meir Dagan, former head of the Mossad speaks from his heart to the citizens of Israel during anti-likud/bibi rally in Tel Aviv:

    “We deserve a leadership fight rifts, we deserve a real opportunity for all citizens of Israel to integrate into society. Leadership will approximately hearts and will unite Jews and Arabs, orthodox and secular. Leadership will serve the public and not herself.

    I have a dream

    This is no longer a question of left and right. It is a question of the way, the vision and a different horizon. Albert Einstein once said – excuse me, I use anecdotes – that this insanity “doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.” Israeli citizens are sane enough to realize that you can not expect different results lay leadership has accumulated six years of consecutive failures.
    It is no coincidence that most of them majority of former security chiefs, chiefs of staff, heads of the Shin Bet and Mossad, believe necessary to exhaust all possibilities to reach a political settlement. We understand the cost of war. We have experienced the loss of our friends, and our commanders Fkodino. I feel that price every day. We won the war, know that ours is successful only when we know that the war is over.”
    https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=iw&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ynet.co.il%2Farticles%2F0%2C7340%2CL-4634370%2C00.html&edit-text=

    It’s said he is in failing health.

    THIS is the speech the world and the disgracefully craven US Congress should hear, Wolf Blitzer.

    Posted by lally | March 7, 2015, 11:48 pm
  138. Lally is still trying to save Israel from its demise. How cute is this resistance pro?

    Well, Muslims, Arabs and Iranians (mind you) also have a dream : no more Zionist state and complete takeover by the Palestinians of every bit of stolen property. Thank you.

    Posted by 3issa | March 8, 2015, 6:05 am
  139. However, 3issa, the first step to achieve your dream is to swear allegiance to the Wise King of the Maghreb. And further, there ‘s no common dream between Arab and Iranian. In fact, currently the Iranian theocracy is as much a cancer as the Zio cancer.

    You need to read and learn from Sammer about what he said above.

    Posted by Mustap | March 8, 2015, 12:38 pm
  140. The thuggery cohort ruling Iran is just another clique of despots. Do you have a problem with the existence of the Iranian people ? Because last time I checked, they have no problem with the existence of Arabs (except a minority of filthy Sunni haters and a handful of Persian supremacists idiots)

    Posted by 3issa | March 8, 2015, 3:16 pm
  141. I would argue that 99% of the Iranian people do not know or bother at all about the extremist Shias who insult the tenets of mainstream Islam (ahl sunna wa jamaa).

    Posted by 3issa | March 8, 2015, 3:17 pm
  142. Why do you think I have a problem with the existence of the Iranian people? Did I say that?

    You need to understand exactly what has been said before responding carelessly and may even say in a stupid manner, unless you want to look distracted and incapable of carrying out a coherent conversation.

    Having said that, let me explain to you what a coherently comprehending reader would understand from what I said, and in which case s/he would not respond in such a manner as you did.

    While neither you nor I can speak on behalf of the Iranian people, what I said means nothing more than saying the Arabs and the Iranian people DO NOT share the same dreams. This has nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of either people. In fact, this is my conclusion from my experience dealing with the Iranian people that I know. I have determined that Arabs and Iranians DO NOT share similar dreams as the Arabs.

    So, if you read carefully and understand as above would you have still made such incomprehensibly and contradictory comments as above?

    Next time, I will not bother teaching elementary comprehension. Make sure you read and you understand. We don’t have time for idle talk, and would like to keep this space as civil as it has become lately especially after the exit of the resident troll who kept everyone distracted by idleness and superficiality of comments such as calling names etc…..

    Posted by Mustap | March 8, 2015, 4:44 pm
  143. My calculus is far more complex than cute, Issa. I would save my own country from defending the zionist entity from the foolish actions of venal blood hungry machers and politicians of DC and TA if the same leadership holds sway in Israel. You do realize that America has an understanding with the rogue nation to defend her from retaliation from everyone and anything, don’t you? We really don’t need to be stirring up more $#!t in the ME.

    Israelis need to listen to their security chiefs who dread the idea of the resistance axis unloading their considerable cache of weaponry on the vulnerable and weak citizenry of Israel. The Israelis have been sold a myth of zionist supremacy and apparently have no idea how easy it would be to decimate their own population along with the enemy civilians they would cheerfully incinerate.

    It’s bloody obvious that the zionist diaspora is insane and so firmly embedded within the corrupt American polity that it is imperative that the Israelis save themselves from those who lust for wars for their sake. I have long contended that the western zionist diaspora constitutes the most dire existential threat to Israel and recent events do nothing but reinforce that perspective.

    I am a patriot.

    Posted by lally | March 8, 2015, 6:58 pm
  144. There’s nothing complex at all in your so-called calculus. Even, an Arab child is aware of such supposedly complex calculus: you’re saying put your eggs in this so-called resistance axis basket: a piece of baloney and continuosly refuted mis-calculus.

    As to the so-called considerable fire-power of this axis, here’s what it means: it’s well known discredited “Iranian Theocracy” empty posturing since every one knows it is a carry over remnant residing in their psych of old destroyed Persian empty pomp (Thanks to Khalifah Omar who destroyed it for ever to no possible return no matter how your theocrats dream).

    It’s often said there’s no stupidity that equals that of an ajami. Now we see how true this is. Everyone knows the age of building empires is gone forever. The Ajam (your Iranian theocrats) are still dreaming such empires can still be built. You and them will realize shortly this bankrupt way of thinking when things begin to crumble like dominoes in all the areas your theocrats are trying to gain a foothold. The result will be no different than what befell previous empires and their builders. In your case it will be even worse when you’re faced with complete bunkruptcy economically and in life when you look into the huge losses resulting from investing in such futile endeavour.

    As an Arab, why would I care about whether an Israeli is secure or non-secure? By definition, the Israeli is an invader and thus the less secure s/he is the more I and every Arab would feel happier about it.

    Also, what America does is of no consequence in this case. It’s doing what it has been doing since the Zios took flight.

    Posted by Mustap | March 8, 2015, 7:48 pm
  145. Mutsap. Stick to the points you can’t possibly miss; you know, those parade-ready playsword ones.

    The brand-spanking-new head of the Israeli Air Force feels duty bound to inform the citizens of Israel that they must understand the limits to the overhyped and overpriced “Iron” dome, etc:

    “In an interview in the March issue of the air force’s magazine, the reporter asked [Amir] Eshel if the anti-missile defense system – which was widely used during Israel’s summer war with Hamas in Gaza and widely credited with saving Israeli lives – could live up to the public’s expectations.

    “The problem is that the expectation is that Iron Dome will provide a complete solution – that we won’t get hit,” Eshel said. “And that is why I am saying here and now, publicly, “We will probably not see the results we saw in Operation Protective Edge [again].”

    Eshel continued, “We will thwart much rocket fire and will be effective in many areas, but we won’t know how to fully protect the state of Israel. It won’t happen. ”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.645864

    That Major General Amir Eshel is a presently serving officer makes his candor all the more unusual and noteworthy.

    Posted by lally | March 9, 2015, 12:04 am
  146. I still don’t see how it matters to me as an Arab if this so-called iron dome works or not. Nor do I see why it matters to the so-called resistance bums with their so-called massive fire power.

    If it works at a hugely inaffordable cost then I would feel somewhat at ease knowing that the invaders had to pay such a heavy price to subsidize their invasion. If it doesn’t work that’s even better knowing that the invaders still do not feel secure despite the huge cost they incurred in the process.

    What I don’t understand most is why should I, an Arab, care what an Israeli invading general would have to say to convince his invading flock of Zios about what he’s doing to provide them with security and thereby securing his position as an invading general. Much less do I understand is why does a so-called resistance supporter feels the need to even care about such issues of security for invaders. These all look like NON-events.

    Now, back to your theocrats, do you not think it’s so stupid and dumb to even think in this time and age that it’s still possible to build empires as in old days? Doesn’t entertaining such futile pursuits only hasten the final demise of whatever remnants of persia still there is after khalifa Omar destroyed it once and for all? I mean think about it. What’s the percentage of authentic persians are still there in today’s Iran? 30%? 35%. Tops. What happens when the Tajiq, the Azeris, the Belush, the Ahwazis, the Kurds and myriads others begin to assert their indepence and start devouring persian cats?

    One more thing. Do you really believe that khamenei, khomeini and all so-called seyyeds are real seyyeds? C’mon. This is all bullshit. The Prophet may peace be upon him never sired such progenies, nor did Ali and nor did his sons.

    The only real Seyyeds there is are those that we know for sure are seyyeds like the King of Morroco and those that are well known to be Ashraf (meaning the honored ones in case you do not understand Arabic) residing in Mecca and Medinah who can truly trace their lineage to the holy house. The rest are all fake and can never stand the test of the burden of the proof.

    OTOH, as an Arab, I really don’t mind if the Ajams like your theocrats find it necessary to lie with regards to their lineage in order to feel honorable, especially when such honor can only be achieved through looking up towards an Arab dynasty. It seems khalifah Omar did a very good job. Khosroe is gone for ever. No progenies of his are left to look up to.

    Posted by Mustap | March 9, 2015, 1:37 am
  147. Did AIG die, or is his too busy campaigning for Netanyahu these days ?

    Posted by Ray | March 9, 2015, 11:00 am
  148. Lally,

    I know nothing about weapons systems or defense systems, but I am a hardened engineer, and I can guess at what the Israeli Major General you are citing is thinking about when he tries to tone down the invincibility expectations of Iron Dome.

    It’s plain old reliability. Or, when it’s applied to a high-availability scenario, up-time.

    For example, in IT, the reliability question is always posed as, “How many nines do you have?”

    The gold-standard is “5 nines”, or 99.999% up-time.

    Entry-level is considered “2 nines”, or 99% up-time. Anything less than 99% reliable, from an IT perspective, is not reliable enough and not worth deploying.

    To get reliability that high, you generally need to employ lots of back-up redundancy. You need to have fail-overs in place that immediately switch over to redundancies when anything stops performing. Needless to say, if the requirements are stringent enough, then meeting them can become very complex and very expensive.

    The reliability calculations are really quite simple enough. For example, I have no idea how reliable Iron Dome is but let’s assume for now that it’s 90% reliable. Let’s also ignore for now all the wizardry that went into achieving that specification. I think for example that Iron Dome fires at least two missiles at everything it’s intercepting, in the hope that at least one of those missiles will hit its target. That’s a perfect example of redundancy in action for you, by the way.

    But anyway, let’s get back to the 90% reliability. What that basically means is that for every 100 missiles launched at Israel, 10 will hit. For every 1,000, 100 will hit. For every 10,000, 1,000 will hit. And so on.

    I think the problem here as the Israeli Major General sees it is self-evident enough.

    Posted by Samer Nasser | March 9, 2015, 11:05 am
  149. (Sorry … is he)

    Samer – You have a Beautiful Mind.

    Can you solve this for the rest of us too ?

    Posted by Ray | March 9, 2015, 11:40 am
  150. Well, I was gone for almost a week, and I see the majority of the discussion was focused on the usual suspect and, specifically, whether or not the usual suspect can defend itself. Certainly not Lebanon.

    So, the next time one of the participants here has trouble with the subject of my posts, I’ll know what to say.

    New York Times Correspondent Nick Kristof filed a dispatch from Gaza with a very touching, embedded, 7-minute video, in which he calls the place a “museum of humanitarian catastrophe”

    Samer,

    What should anyone care about Gaza, when their suffering is 100% their own doing? If a large segment of the Gazan population is trying to kill me and my people with missiles, why should I be concerned for THEM?

    The best defense probably isn’t Iron Dome. The best defense is ensuring the response is too painful for the bully to throw another punch.

    From the article you linked to:

    The suffering here has multiple causes. Israel sustains a siege that amounts to economic warfare on an entire population. Hamas provokes Israel, squanders resources and is brutal and oppressive in its own right. Egypt has closed smuggling tunnels that used to relieve the stranglehold, and it mostly keeps its border with Gaza closed. The 1.8 million Gazans are on their own, and one step forward should be international pressure on Israel and Egypt to ease the blockade.

    Yet I have to acknowledge that Israel’s strategy of collective punishment may be succeeding with a sector of the population. Gazans aren’t monolithic in their views any more than Americans, but many said that they were sick of war and of Hamas and don’t want rockets fired at Israel for fear of terrible retribution.

    “I don’t want resistance,” said Khadra Abed, a 50-year-old woman living with her family in the remains of her home. “We’ve had enough suffering.”

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 9, 2015, 11:45 am
  151. Akbar Palace,

    I actually agree with you here. Iron Dome is not enough and so some type of deterrence strategy on Israel’s part is required. Missiles raining down on Israeli cities is definitely a red-line and justification for vigorous military action by the Israelis.

    I don’t want to harken back to what occurred here last week, but my gripe with you at the time was that you brought up Israel’s blockade of Gaza specifically as it pertained to concrete, thereby invoking the spectre of Gazan destruction and de-development, which some might extrapolate to the situation with Arabs in the West Bank and perhaps even in Israel proper.

    I understand that the situation with Israeli Arabs is more murky and not as clear-cut, but I don’t think you can dispute that the West Bankers and East Jerusalemites are definitely getting screwed. Of course you will say that it’s all self-wrought by them and necessary to ensure Israel’s security.

    And so carousel will continue to turn, and turn, and turn, and turn …

    Welcome back to the blog, by the way! Don’t you like it rough every once in a while? 🙂

    Posted by Samer Nasser | March 9, 2015, 12:10 pm
  152. Samer,

    I appreciate the tone you have today. I must of have hit a nerve about the concrete. The jibe last week was to point out that something as innocuous as concrete can be wasted on building tunnels into Israel. Hence the blockade.

    If I were Palestinian, say, I think the approach by Abbas is more realistic. If you don’t want a final agreement and end claims with Israel, just don’t make an agreement. But that doesn’t mean you have to engage in violent resistance like Hezbollah and Hamas.

    My absence was to see where the forum would go if I left, as I felt like I was posting too much as a percentage of posts. Plus, I didn’t think I could make a nice guy like you so f’ing angry. Anyway, AIG is gone, so there are no other Zios here to offer a different perspective.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 9, 2015, 12:21 pm
  153. Brief addendum to my earlier comment on Iron Dome’s reliability:

    What I failed to consider at the time, but definitely alluded to by the end of the post, was Iron Dome’s SCALABILITY.

    To go from 100 interceptions to 10,000 interceptions is a 100x increase in scale, or two orders of magnitude.

    Is Iron Dome as reliable at scale? At what point does the cost of operating such a system, again at scale, logistically break either the supply chain or the bank?

    Posted by Samer Nasser | March 9, 2015, 1:09 pm
  154. The argument by some in Israel will always be that they understand the Arabs and the Persians better than the Arabs and the Persians understand themselves. After all, they just want to pose in Jeans and a Nuclear arsenals.

    It’s so idiotic that it pains me how a culture that brought up some of the world and humanity’s greatest minds are being reduced to this.

    Posted by Ray | March 9, 2015, 1:36 pm
  155. It’s so idiotic that it pains me how a culture…

    Ray,

    If you can find a more tolerant “culture” in the ME, please point it out to us.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 9, 2015, 1:43 pm
  156. Are you TUV certified Samer?

    I mean are we mirror images?

    Posted by Mustap | March 9, 2015, 2:39 pm
  157. Where do I begin ?

    Ever climbed the mountains of Lebanon?

    Or crossed the desserts of Syria?

    Posted by Ray | March 9, 2015, 2:45 pm
  158. Mustap,

    No! I have a pretty solid background in Digital Integrated Circuit [VLSI] design, albeit several technology nodes behind where the IT industry is at now! Sensing commoditization in that space, I flirted with a move to Analog IC design, but hated and failed miserably at it! I then sauntered my way through CompTIA, Intel, Microsoft, Cisco and NetApp datacenter territory before saying, “Screw this! It’s way too much infrastructure!” and leaping straight into the cloud! 🙂

    So yeah, Windows Server, Windows Azure and Office 365 are what I do now, when I’m not trolling this blog! I want to build the highly efficient, performant and virtualized enterprises of the future! 🙂

    Posted by Samer Nasser | March 9, 2015, 3:07 pm
  159. Meanwhile, here is one area where the Arab world (well . . . Egypt) leads the way.

    Posted by dontgetit | March 9, 2015, 5:40 pm
  160. Rare footage of Lebanon in 1921. A silent film promoting tourism in Lebanon. Enjoy.

    Posted by Ray | March 10, 2015, 9:21 am
  161. American people are faced with the task of liberating America from continuing sinister Zio attempts to hijack American political institutions.

    After hijacking the senate, Zios are now attempting to hijack the White House through the hijacked senate.

    Once a thief is always a thief. The world should not have allowed Zios to get away with their theft of Palestine. It set a bad precedent for the criminally inclined.

    Posted by mustap | March 10, 2015, 2:34 pm
  162. Mustap,

    I think you live in Canada, right? In any case, the only countries that are “hijacked” are those where the leaders are self-elected. That includes MOST of the Middle East, including your Utopian theocratic monarchy of Saudi Arabia.

    Because in Saudi Arabia NO ONE has final say except for a handful of rich sheikhs, you could say Saudi Arabia is “hijacked”, certainly more than in free Western societies where people are free to run for office and, hopefully, garner enough votes to lead their constituency.

    The senate isn’t hijacked if the leaders are elected. The White House also is not “hijacked”, especially since the “Zios” overwhelmingly elected the bastard now pretending to lead MY country.

    Just a suggestion, either fight to eliminate Israel like your Iranian friends, or build a bridge and get over it. The whole “Zio thief” theme is getting old and very boring.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 10, 2015, 3:14 pm
  163. Oh look! Another muslim mouths off against joos and “Zios”. We should invite him to participate here on QN!

    Anyway the brainwashed jihadist does what most Islamic fanatics do: he kills a fellow muslim.

    Yup, those intolerant “Zios” are the biggest threat to the entire Muddle East.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2988352/Islamic-State-s-propaganda-arm-announces-broadcast-execution-Israeli-spy-captured-Syria-year.html

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 10, 2015, 7:41 pm
  164. The troll was not banned ??!!??

    Posted by 3issa | March 11, 2015, 3:34 am
  165. Threesa,

    Why should I be banned? You’re here.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 11, 2015, 7:42 am
  166. Akbar Palace said to Mustap blah, blah, blah……..

    Then began calling names.

    Nothing new. NON-event at best.

    Posted by Mustap | March 11, 2015, 8:11 am
  167. More on the NON-Event:

    JERUSALEM – The father of a Palestinian killed by the Islamic State in Syria said Wednesday that his son was no Israeli spy but was tricked into joining the militants who killed him after he tried to come back home.

    Said Musallam said ISIS lured his 19-year-old son Muhammad with promises of women, money and cars.

    “They promised a lot of things and then I came here and there is nothing,” Musallam recalled his son saying in a phone call home from Syria.

    The son said he was in Raqqa, the de-facto capital of the Islamic State group, and had heard his mother was sick and wanted to come back, the father added.

    His wife cried and she and other family members were too distraught to watch, he added. The family said it had begun a customary three-day mourning period, though there will not be a mourning tent because they live in a Jewish area of east Jerusalem.

    My prayer goes out to the Musallam family.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 11, 2015, 9:57 am
  168. Aside from the constant NON-eventful call naming irritating silliness that the resident Zio is engaging in, he’s contributing nothing of value to this blog that was recently cleansed of ad-hominems at a great effort.

    Why should anyone listen to such cheap and contradictory propaganda that such ad-hominem’s producer par excellence is so eager to spread repetitively?

    If this Palestinian was indeed a Zio spy, then why should we care about him getting executed?

    If this Palestinian was indeed lured by worldly promises as his next of kin claim, then again that’s his choice to which he paid the price. Again, why should any one care? Or as in the case of the troll shed crocodile tears?

    These comments coming from the resident troll are dragging this blog down and making it of no relevance.

    A NON-eventful occurrence at best.

    Posted by Mustap | March 11, 2015, 2:30 pm
  169. Mustap’s new Patent: The “Non-Event™”

    Mustap,

    For such a “NON-event” you sure are spending plenty of time commenting. So please, I encourage you NOT to respond to my NON-Eventful posts 😉

    My question, to whomever wants to comment, is how and why are these teens leaving home to fight in Syria (this Palestinian boy comes to mind as well as the 3 british girls)? Where are their parents? How are they getting brainwashed? And most importantly, why aren’t they killin’ joos? I thought killin’ joos was priority numero uno.

    Threesa?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 11, 2015, 3:10 pm
  170. You are all ignoring my post above which is much more interesting than this blather.

    Posted by dontgetit | March 11, 2015, 3:35 pm
  171. It seems that some wise one has been wising up others to some unwise ones:

    Saudi’s ‘Julian Assange’ returns to Twitter
    BBC Trending

    Posted by Badr | March 12, 2015, 8:26 am
  172. The Wise Kingdom and its Wise leadership are aware of the presence of desperate attempts to spread misinformation and innuendos using non-verifiable reporting means by relying on techniques of mass communication.

    The key word here is desperate.

    NON-event at best.

    Posted by mustap | March 12, 2015, 2:38 pm
  173. 70 Lebanonese were given 24 hours notice by Emirates government to go seek employment from Nasrallah employment agency believed to be located in south Beirut.

    Posted by Mustap | March 12, 2015, 8:23 pm
  174. Mustap,
    You openly stated in one of your comments that you are a sectarian bigot and hate religious minorities, but gloating at and mocking the misfortune and suffering of people, no matter who they are, clearly shows what a scum bag you are.

    QN, until when this cocroach will be freely allowed to infest this blog with his sick Wahabi ideology here ? He needs to be banned permanently please.

    Posted by Vulcan | March 13, 2015, 3:02 am
  175. For those interested in the upcoming Non-Event™, it looks like the Zionist Union will get more votes than Likud. The question is, can they form a coalition of greater than 60 seats. I don’t think so. They will need a coalition made up of both the Arab List and the religious parties. Crazier things have happened, so I guess we’ll see. I think BB can form a coalition even if he gets 20 seats, so I don’t see a “unity government” either.

    Of course, I hope BB wins. That’s just my personal opinion. Not that he’s so wonderful, it’s just that the other leaders are not as good.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4636623,00.html

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 13, 2015, 7:35 am
  176. Vulcan must be banned forever this time.

    Please QN take action as a non-biased sherif of your town.

    Posted by Mustap | March 13, 2015, 8:27 am
  177. Mustap,

    I thought you might be interested in this Non-Event™, but I doubt it. Anyway, interesting story, as the world turns increasingly ignorant and sectarian.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4636684,00.html

    Posted by Akbar Palace | March 13, 2015, 1:47 pm
  178. Akbar,

    Didn’t you say up above u don’t want that I comment on your NON-comments? Which by the way I agree with because I don’t see the point of commenting on NON-eventful NON-comments.

    So why u’re asking me to comment now? Are u bored of NON-event fullness?

    By the way I didn’t bother to read ur linked article. I don’t see a point.

    …………..

    NON-Akbar comment,

    On another point, QN may choose to overlook the ad-hominem made by Vulcanup above, which would mean now he’s a biased sherif. As far as I’m concerned I don’t see the point of engaging in a shouting match with someone like this so-called Vulcan. I have proven him on many occasions to be incapable of conducting any meaningful conversation except through the only skill he has which is creating ad-hominems to draw attention to himself. So, let him chew his own……..

    Posted by Mustap | March 13, 2015, 3:36 pm
  179. The blog’s comment section is closed for a week.

    Update: Make that a month.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | March 14, 2015, 5:42 am
  180. Complicated but interesting article from French-Lebanese political specialist René Naba on Ali Ashgari. According to Naba, Asghari was on the basis for pointing at Hezbollah: http://www.madaniya.info/2015/10/19/ali-akbar-asghari-du-terrorisme-et-de-la-duplicite-du-discours-occidental/

    Posted by umm iDriss | October 19, 2015, 6:44 am

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