Lebanon

Lebanese Air Force Gets a Cessna With Teeth

208b_lebanon_dev_by_ws_clave-d7asu0xYesterday, the U.S. Department of Defense announced the sale of a military aircraft to Lebanon. The plane is a trusty Cessna 208B Caravan, the “single-engined turboprop, fixed-tricycle landing gear, short-haul regional airliner and utility aircraft” that has cast fear into the heart of many a seagull over the beaches of Lebanon. Its gunmetal grey frame, silhouetted against cerulean skies, tells our enemies that they have about half an hour to find cover before the machine gunner duct-taped to the fuselage finds his range.

I’ve kidded about the Cessna in the past, but maybe the joke’s on me this time. Take a look at this contract:

Orbital Alliant Techsystems Inc., previously known as Alliant Techsystems Operations LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded a not to exceed $26,134,804 firm-fixed-price contract for support of the Lebanon Cessna 208B Caravan Program. Contractor will provide one commercial-off-the-shelf Cessna 208B Caravan with a Garmin 1000 baseline glass cockpit, avionics package and Pratt & Whitney PT6A-140 turboprop engine. Modification of this aircraft will include an AN/ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser system, Terma aircraft survivability equipment suite missile warning system, electro-optical infrared imaging system MX-15D, broadcast microwave system data link system, surveillance tracking and recording system mission processor unit obsolescence re-design and hard points on each wing capable of carrying and employing AGM-114 Hellfire Missiles. Work will be performed at Beirut, Lebanon, and is expected to be complete by May 30, 2016. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. This contract is 100 percent foreign military sales to Lebanon. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-15-C-3035).

Given that Lebanon’s only real airborne military capacity is currently being delivered by Hizbullah’s drones, this sale is a positive development. (Thanks to the anonymous reader who flagged the notice.)

Update: Joshua Landis adds, in the comment section: “Don’t laugh at these things. I sat next to an ex-CIA salesman for these things on my flight to Amman. He claimed you can fly one of these things for $450 an hour, which is $1,000s less than anything else. They are inexpensive to maintain; they land in the desert; they are armored; and they can stay aloft for over 8 hrs without landing. Perfect for surveillance of borders and killing “bad guys,” he said. He has sold dozens in the Middle East, where the market is. Lots to Egypt and Jordan. He said there was lots of resistance to buying these small planes because purchasing officers cannot make much money off commissions because the price is so low. But, he suggested that “these babies” can actually be flown and maintained by local engineers and crew with minimal fuss and expense. More up-scale planes just sit on the tarmac and rot because they are way “too complicated and expensive.”

Discussion

201 thoughts on “Lebanese Air Force Gets a Cessna With Teeth

  1. Suitable for the annual November 22 flyover at Baabda, at least.

    But seriously… is there a story behind the story here?

    Posted by Jim Reilly | May 29, 2015, 10:49 am
  2. Contractor will provide one commercial-off-the-shelf Cessna 208B Caravan with a Garmin 1000 baseline glass cockpit

    $26 million for one little Cessna? The LAF should have discussed their needs with their southern neighbor for a better deal…

    http://www.iai.co.il/2013/32981-46349-en/MediaRoom_News.aspx

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 29, 2015, 10:55 am
  3. That press release is actually quite content-rich so let’s parse some of it, just for fun …

    Firstly, the contractor went from a limited liability company (LLC) to a corporation (Inc.). This suggests growth. The question now is, is the corporation a type-S or a type-C? If the contractor has dreams of being publicly traded, it’s gotta be type-C!

    The contractor’s name changed from Alliant TechSystems Operations to Orbital Alliant TechSystems! Granted, these names suck big-time, but the addition of ‘Orbital’ suggests some kind of merger or acquisition perhaps?

    The “sole-source acquisition” means there was no competitive bidding process here!

    I agree that the price at first seems downright exorbitant, but there’s verbiage scattered throughout that hints at where the money is going! At first I was confused as to why the work needed to be performed on-site (“at Beirut, Lebanon”) but the phrase “LifeCycle Management” towards the end suggested to me that the price includes basically maintenance and perhaps even an extended warranty, not to mention personnel training and skills transfer! This stuff ends up costing vastly more than the hardware itself!

    Posted by Samer Nasser | May 29, 2015, 11:32 am
  4. It’s stealth and can hover over any cave; crevice or ravine. 😛

    Posted by danny | May 29, 2015, 1:07 pm
  5. Samer,

    Orbital and ATK just merged a few months ago. Both companies do space hardware, rockets and satellites. They support NASA heavily as a major client. Didn’t know any of them did aircraft sensors.

    Sierra Nevada (for example) does small aircraft surveillance work. Wonder why they were overlooked. FYI, This company is privately owned by a Turkish-American family.

    http://www.sncorp.com/AboutUs/FatihOzmen

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 29, 2015, 1:41 pm
  6. AP,

    Do you work in this industry?

    Yeah, “Orbital” does have space connotations! No surprise there … Also no surprise that they’re down in TX!

    Funny you said “aircraft sensors”. It reminded me of some friends of mine who work at Goodrich!

    It’s hard to tell exactly what modifications this aircraft is being retrofitted with, because the descriptions seemed somewhat generic. Also hard to tell whether the contractor is manufacturing any of the components or simply doing system integration. All I know is that the phrase “microwave systems” brought back nightmares for me from graduate school courses I suffered through, that were significantly attended by Lockheed Martin employees …

    A friend of mine worked for the US Navy in Newport, RI, on their radar installations! He gradually became disillusioned with government work and got a job with Boeing Satellite Systems just outside of LAX! As for me, I’ll leave wireless and RF (radio frequency) engineering to the next guy, thank you very much! It’s too specialized for me, and I really don’t like to get pigeon-holed career-wise …

    Posted by Samer Nasser | May 29, 2015, 2:27 pm
  7. Samer,

    I worked in the defense industry for a long time, so I know the companies, generally, and what they do. I worked with TCOM L.P. years ago, that’s how I got to travel to Kuwait and Abu Dhabi.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 29, 2015, 2:50 pm
  8. I like to joke that if you’re an Arab working at an American Engineering corporation, you experience this weird, “inverse” phenomenon where the lab technicians are more “worldly” than the executive management!

    If the director asks you where you are from and you tell him, it’ll just draw a blank stare!

    But if the lab tech asks you where you are from and you tell him, he’ll be like, “Yeah, I know where that is! I’ve been there!” … Because chances are very good he’s ex-military! 🙂

    Posted by Samer Nasser | May 29, 2015, 3:17 pm
  9. These Caravans are great for hauling newspapers from Miami to the Bahamas and come back with a load of Bananas, used to do that route back in the days.

    In most cases FMS contracts that involve specialized military hardware are sole sourced.

    Posted by Vulcan | May 29, 2015, 3:23 pm
  10. Samer,

    I worked with a Syrian-American years ago on commercial aircraft. He seemed even more “patriotic” than most people. This was before the “change of events”. Assad was in power. I think I mentioned this before. He claimed his father was fairly high up in government, but something went awry, and his father lost his business and his favor with the political establishment. We talked how Hamat Gader was once part of Syria. Nice guy. I wonder how he feels about Syria today. Oy!

    From my experience, there are few arab-americans in the defense industry, especially on classified projects.

    There’s no question why the CIA is aptly named “Christians in Action” 😉

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 29, 2015, 3:44 pm
  11. That’s no ordinary Cessna! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcxKIJTb3Hg

    Posted by aron | May 29, 2015, 4:14 pm
  12. Don’t laugh at these things. I sat next to an ex-CIA salesman for these things on my flight to Amman. He claimed you can fly one of these things for $450 an hour, which is $1,000s less than anything else. They are inexpensive to maintain; they land in the desert; they are armored; and they can stay aloft for over 8 hrs without landing. Perfect for surveillance of borders and killing “bad guys,” he said. He has sold dozens in the Middle East, where the market is. Lots to Egypt and Jordan. He said there was lots of resistance to buying these small planes because purchasing officers cannot make much money off commissions because the price is so low. But, he suggested that “these babies” can actually be flown and maintained by local engineers and crew with minimal fuss and expense. More up-scale planes just sit on the tarmac and rot because they are way “too complicated and expensive.”

    Posted by joshlandis | May 30, 2015, 12:49 am
  13. Anyone interested in buying one? http://www.aviatorshotline.com/aircraft?field_condition_value_many_to_one=All&tid_1=All&title=Cessna+Caravan I wonder how much the 2004 model would cost, it says to call them for the price.

    Posted by Nadim Shehadi | May 30, 2015, 5:06 am
  14. Thanks Josh. Will add you comment to the above.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | May 30, 2015, 7:46 am
  15. @akbar_palace: There’s nothing that indicates this is a single Cessna. The $26M is to support the Cessna *program*.

    Posted by sam adams the dog (@samadamsthedog) | May 30, 2015, 9:21 am
  16. The equipment may come in handy. Question is, will the pilot(s) be Hezbollah compliant 🙂

    Posted by Ray | May 30, 2015, 11:16 am
  17. The price is around 15 Million per plane. add training, maintenance, spare parts and life support for the US team, it adds up to about 26 million

    Posted by Vulcan | May 30, 2015, 2:41 pm
  18. Sam,

    The article said specifically:

    “Contractor will provide one commercial-off-the-shelf Cessna 208B Caravan with a Garmin 1000 baseline glass cockpit, avionics package and Pratt & Whitney PT6A-140 turboprop engine.”

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 30, 2015, 3:28 pm
  19. Apologies, Akbar_Palace. I missed that. I just saw the word “program”, and assumed there was more than one plane.

    Posted by sam adams the dog (@samadamsthedog) | May 30, 2015, 8:26 pm
  20. right after when you enjoyed a read, you have the super troll zionist linking to another israeli site – total joke – mustap’s trolling could also have been spinned as sectarian sarcasm.

    Posted by 3issa | May 31, 2015, 12:11 pm
  21. “White as Sheet” Alert for Threesa NewZ

    Threesa,

    What do you think of the following article? Were you in the audience?

    Surprised by the president’s bluntness, the scholars went “white as sheets,” some of those in the audience told a Western official.

    http://news.yahoo.com/special-report-egypt-deploys-scholars-teach-moderate-islam-080709553.html

    Posted by Akbar Palace | May 31, 2015, 12:42 pm
  22. Mustap will be unblocked tomorrow, if he’s interested in returning.

    The rules are simple: no insults or personal attacks. Childish little nicknames for each other are also pointless (that means you, Akbar Palace).

    I don’t have the time or interest to be impartial or consistent in my moderating practices. I scarcely have a chance to peruse the comment section once every few days. This is not a kindergarten. Please learn how to behave yourselves or go hang out on YouTube and leave comments on Fox News videos. I’d really rather just shut down the comment board altogether than have it polluted by nonsense.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | May 31, 2015, 8:22 pm
  23. Looks like HA is busy all over the Middle East. This time in Cyprus.

    Hezbollah is doing a great job protecting Lebanon as well as “resisting” democracy…

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4663612,00.html

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 1, 2015, 9:14 am
  24. Well, maybe or maybe not. It’s hard to tell with these kinds of reports, based as they are on anonymous sources with their own axes to grind.

    How someone thinks about this report likely depends on what theory seems more plausible to him or her:

    1) Theory #1. With its erstwhile “resistance” credentials tarnished by its role in Syria, HA looks to create some mayhem directed against an Israeli target in order to distract attention from its deeply unpopular intervention in Syria.

    2) Theory #2. With HA bogged down in Syria, Israel (or circles in Israel) sense a golden opportunity to strike against HA and are looking to manufacture a pretext (or to create an atmosphere conducive to pretexts). Because of its Syrian commitments, HA for its part is not eager to open the Israeli front at the moment. But an open conflict between HA and Israel might scupper or at least complicate the US-Iranian nuclear talks. Therefore (theory #2 concludes) the cited report is part of an Israeli-sourced PR campaign aimed at creating suitable conditions for an Israeli strike.

    Me, I think that #2 is more probable, but as I said, this is based less on the sketchy evidence than on what one has come to expect of the different parties in the circumstances.

    Posted by Jim Reilly | June 1, 2015, 5:49 pm
  25. Jim Reilly,

    Just to be clear, are you responding to the Ynet article I linked to just before your post? If so, the article was very short and to the point, so these these 2 theories are yours.

    I don’t adhere to them.

    1.) I think HA plans for operations all the time irrespective of their their fight in Syria or not. HA has conducted operations outside of Lebanon even when Assad was comfortably in power in Syria.

    2.) I personally don’t believe Israel made this incident up, and I believe the article when it says a Mossad operation was following this individual for some time. Israel doesn’t need to create “pretexts” to attack HA or Syria. If Israel finds a disturbing target in Lebanon or Syria, Israel attacks. Period.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 1, 2015, 6:39 pm
  26. 3issa,

    Thanks for your support. I wasn’t gonna come back but I’m making this comment for you. So, tell me please, what is to be done about this infamy?

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v-YQ8QU2n8w

    I know that the King of Moroco is Wise. And he’s also an authentic sayyid unlike the many fake inauthentic ones that we’re plagued with.

    But, brother we need to think about this unpleasant event which will cause unpleasant distractions to our Morocan brothers by exposing them to decadence and corruptions with many undesirable consequences.

    How could the Wise King of Moroco allow this to happen? This thing could never happen under the Wiser than ever Wise King of the Wise Kingdom.

    Posted by mustap | June 1, 2015, 6:58 pm
  27. Jim, if theory #2 was the case, why would the Mossad tip the Cypriot authorities? Why not carry out or allow the operation to be carried out and have a reall ” pretext” to hit HA? If you are alluding to a false flag op, that’s not how it is done. This seems to be a legit dragnet that resulted in an HA operative getting busted before committing a terror act.

    Posted by Vulcan | June 1, 2015, 9:28 pm
  28. Vulcan and AP, you both might be right or you both might be wrong; there is no way of telling. Events will demonstrate one way or the other.

    I was assuming (perhaps mistakenly) that 1) HA is a rational political actor; 2) neither HA nor their Iranian sponsors want to escalate things with Israel at this point, with HA’s hands full in Syria; and 3) therefore the veracity of the anonymously sourced Cyprus report was questionable. But after making my original post, a third “theory” occurred to me: that elements in Iran hostile to the US-Iran negotiations are active within HA, hoping to use sympathetic elements in HA to provoke a blow-up that will complicate any US-Iran agreement.

    It all becomes Alice-in-Wonderland-like after a while. Until Qifa Nabki’s comments section made me fall off of the wagon, I had largely stopped trying to figure things out in this hall of mirrors in real time. “Al-haqiqa” — or a reasonable facsimile thereof — usually emerges in time.

    The Cessna story is more productive because it’s actually based on an apparently verifiable document.

    Posted by Jim Reilly | June 1, 2015, 10:01 pm
  29. Just MHO, but the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. I concur with Vulcan. One can always verify by asking Cypriot authorities.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 1, 2015, 10:19 pm
  30. Actually I’m now leaning towards theory # 3, its funny how this Iran deal sort of unified the hardline camps in the region. Obama works wonders, I just feel sorry for the 7 liberals here. 😀

    Posted by Vulcan | June 1, 2015, 10:34 pm
  31. AP,

    “HA has conducted operations outside of Lebanon even when Assad was comfortably in power in Syria.”

    Yes, but the really interesting question now is will they given that he is not.

    “One can always verify by asking Cypriot authorities.”

    OK, can you see to it that this is fully done so we rest assured.

    Posted by Badr | June 2, 2015, 3:27 am
  32. Badr, Jim Reilly,

    We can speculate. But like I said, I usually believe Ynet, and anyway, it seems history repeats itself…

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/man-detained-in-cyprus-was-planning-attack-on-israeli-targets-for-hezbollah-1.451000

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 2, 2015, 7:17 am
  33. John Kerry, decorated war hero and swift boat commander who testified against our soldiers and our role in Vietnam, fell off his tricycle. Instead of flying home in a C-17 cargo plane, I would have bought him a coach fare on Southwest. But nothing is too expensive for Secretary of State “Lurch”…

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3106197/John-Kerry-picked-C-17-plane-airport-Geneva-breaking-leg.html

    I hope sarcasm isn’t against forum rules!

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 2, 2015, 8:12 am
  34. Reporting from Beirut, it’s thick on 7th century air, like everywhere in this sick Orient

    Sarcasm is always welcome here, thanks to Professor E

    Posted by Vulcan | June 2, 2015, 8:52 am
  35. We are so anxious to hear about the JLO appearance and how her skirt directly affects the struggle to free Palestine and the Arab world from the infidels.

    Posted by Vulcan | June 2, 2015, 9:00 am
  36. 3issa,

    OTOH I’m very pleased by the reactions of the vast majority of our responsible Morocan brothers who have taken action already or are planning to take action against this act of lewdness and disgusting shamelessness,

    https://www.alarabiya.net/ar/north-africa/morocco/2015/06/02/العدالة-والتنمية-سهرة-لوبز-استفزاز-لمشاعر-المجتمع-المغربي-.html

    Nevertheless, this should have never happened in the first place. Characters who lack the minimum level of decency such as this shameless must never be allowed into Moroco.

    Posted by Mustap | June 2, 2015, 9:28 am
  37. Somebody isn’t afraid to tell it like it is NewZ

    QN,

    I got this interesting response from someone named Kazemi on Professor Josh’s website:

    70. Kazemi said:

    51. AKBAR PALACE said:
    And kind of funny you mention second class citizens considering the way Palistinains and Israeli Arabs are treated…
    Israeli-Arabs are treated equally to Israeli-Jews.
    http://www.israellycool.com/2015/06/01/photo-of-the-day-new-doctors/

    Funny thing is that Palestinians are not allowed to become doctors, engineers, or go to public schools or universities in Lebanon. I suspect more of the same in Syria and Iraq and maybe Egypt. They are only allowed to have a job as a laborer.

    And then some Arabs have the galls to criticize Israel as being racist?

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    June 2nd, 2015, 4:28 am

    76. Kazemi said:

    #75. AKBAR PALACE

    Unfortunately what you observe is exactly what we get from our Islamic culture and from our political culture, in the Middle East.

    Generally Middle Easterners are more interested in proving themselves right on their politics or religion (i.e. on ideology), even if that means by violence. The concept of let’s put these aside these differences and instead invest in progress, and build a country, does not make sense there. In particular with Islam where material progress is frowned upon and considered detrimental to the worship and submission to Allah.

    This is because historically due to lack of economic growth and political advancement, all movements within society were win-lose movements. Economic progress by some meant that some other people had to become impoverished. For one person to gain, another person had to lose. A zero sum game. Same in politics. The only way one person could be of service to the community was to put another person down and declared unsuitable or such.

    The whole concept of setting differences aside in order to achieve group success by building, adding value, and by progressing individually or through a community doesn’t exist in our culture, and let’s face it.

    Take the sorry state of the Syrian opposition today. You would think they would be most interested in setting aside their many irreconcilable differences and come together at least to craft a Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a starting point — a document that can be a very simple expression of agreed principles.

    But you don’t see that desire. The interest is for the time being to defeat the enemy, and then once defeated, to fight one another and prove why their exclusive ideas and principles are the correct one. They will even cut their own noses to spite their opponents.

    The last thing the intelligentsia of the M.E. ever end up doing is to sit down with people they disagree with and see how they can build a country.

    This said, a good place to start would be the Syrian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

    https://syriacharter.wordpress.com/

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    June 2nd, 2015, 9:09 am

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 2, 2015, 9:43 am
  38. Couldn’t have been said better

    Posted by Vulcan | June 2, 2015, 10:16 am
  39. Wait till you find out about the social behavior lol

    Posted by Vulcan | June 2, 2015, 10:17 am
  40. Yaa msha77ar Hal 7aki

    Posted by Vulcan | June 2, 2015, 10:19 am
  41. Or the corporate and business dealings and ethics ….ya habibi

    Posted by Vulcan | June 2, 2015, 10:23 am
  42. Finally, the Arab MSM oooohhhhh baby

    Posted by Vulcan | June 2, 2015, 10:24 am
  43. I want to learn more about the Wise Kingdom™. JLO wouldn’t stand a chance!

    Here’s my social behavior:

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 2, 2015, 10:31 am
  44. Man, QN is lucky I can’t post pictures 😀

    Posted by Vulcan | June 2, 2015, 11:14 am
  45. What a good time we are having boys

    Posted by 3issa | June 2, 2015, 1:28 pm
  46. Uncle Tom Vulcan (respectfully) do you really look for friends here ? While the terrorist cheerleader is clearing building troll bridges and the other one is hating Shiites for no reasons… What are your motivations? You made your point about the bestial nature of the locals, we got it. What do you want then ?

    Posted by 3issa | June 2, 2015, 1:30 pm
  47. Uh oh, Vulcan is in trouble with one of the Resistance Pros…

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 2, 2015, 1:45 pm
  48. The rules are simple: no insults or personal attacks.

    “Uncle Tom Vulcan (respectfully)…”

    3issa,

    Can you explain how using the term “Uncle Tom” is respectful? Why don’t you just make a counter point like how democracy and freedom is so widespread in the ME or how everything is the fault of the Zionist conspiracy.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 2, 2015, 2:00 pm
  49. What do you call yourself 3issa or Threesa? I’m confused. I always see you addressed as Threesa.

    I’m not sure how to address you and I don’t want to be disrespectful.

    I can always call you uncle and I guess I would be safe.

    But I will never call you or anyone sayyid until it’s proven to me without any doubt you’re for real. I cannot ascribe to our Holy Prophet any impersonators.

    Posted by Mustap | June 2, 2015, 2:32 pm
  50. Comment removed by moderator.

    Posted by Vulcan | June 2, 2015, 5:09 pm
  51. Vulcan has been suspended for the rest of the week.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | June 2, 2015, 5:18 pm
  52. Hey Doctor (QN),

    What do you make of the “reconciliation” between FPM and LFs. What’s the politicking about? Existential threat to the Christians’ dwindling numbers in Lebanon?

    Posted by danny | June 2, 2015, 7:12 pm
  53. Danny,

    Interesting analyses by Moulahazat on his blog regarding your question.

    http://moulahazat.com/2015/06/02/the-war-for-shamel-roukoz/

    Posted by Inquisitor | June 2, 2015, 9:21 pm
  54. AP,

    The quote you posted uses broad generalizations that are not worthy of discussion and that reiterate Orientalist tropes: to ascribe attitudes to all Middle Easterners or to ME intellectuals is not only always inaccurate but also condescending (the same trope when used about all westerners, all christians, all muslims or all jews reek of racism if not ignorance).

    One may talk of established political practices, institutions or even cultural markers but one needs to provide solid support and arguments to prove one’s point. Dialogue anywhere, whether in the Middle East or elsewhere, requires differences of opinions, but such opinions are always measured and assessed by their rational support–and not by mere proclamations as your post does.

    Forgive me if I am not open to engage in dialogue based on racist premises. There are no “middle easterners”–only human beings who live in the middle east where there are always different and differing approaches to cultural, religious and political beliefs. Ideologies presuppose common beliefs but that does not mean that there are groups of human beings who are blindly driven by ideologies while others that are not. Everyone can potentially question dominant ideologies–including you, or else why would you be interested in posting on a blog with different POVs.

    Cheers!

    Posted by Parrhesia | June 3, 2015, 2:16 am
  55. The quote you posted uses broad generalizations that are not worthy of discussion and that reiterate Orientalist tropes…

    Parrhesia,

    Thanks for the response. It seems you are discussing this, and that is your prerogative. You know my background and my opinions, I think, and I found this person’s opinion to be a good bit eccentric from what you commonly find on these websites.

    If you look back over the past year of posts, they are basically, of the theme, “my side is the right side and your side is the murderer; and it’s all Israel’s fault anyway”.

    So when I read an ARAB/MUSLIM poster not falling into this monotonous deluge, I take notice.

    Forgive me if I am not open to engage in dialogue based on racist premises.

    Again, you are free to post what you like. My point is that this region, “The Middle East”, is beset by numerous problems, and I think one has to acknowledge what they are and fix them (sorry, I’m an engineer).

    – lack of liberal democracy, multiparty elections, and term limits
    – lack of strong, impartial and independent judicial branch of government

    These two things are what is lacking the most in the ME, not in Europe, not in Asia, not anywhere else in the world. These are not racial issues, these are regional issues.

    There are no “middle easterners”–only human beings who live in the middle east…

    Parrhesia,

    Sorry, there ARE Middle Easterners. The IS a ME, and people live there of all races and religions. Of course they are human beings, and they are SUFFERING and have been suffering for a long time now.

    Ideologies presuppose common beliefs but that does not mean that there are groups of human beings who are blindly driven by ideologies while others that are not.

    I posted an article a few days ago about Sisi’s speech at Egypt’s al-Ahzar University, which, I believe, is a Muslim-oriented school for the main purpose of advancing Islam. Apparently Sisi wanted to tell the audience that they have to “moderate” their views on Islam. One observer stated that the audience of clerics were as “White as Sheets” (see link below).

    What do you think about that Parrhesia? Do you think Sisi has a valid concern? Personally, I think he’s about 50 too late. And that’s just ONE person, who, unfortunately, was NOT elected to his position by his people. Personally, I favor President Sisi. He is NOT secular by any stretch of the imagination, and he seems smart and practical. Yet, he kicked out an elected President and now wants to kill him. There’s a lot to figure out, and I think we have to get REAL when discussing the many problems facing the Middle East.

    http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/4704.htm

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 3, 2015, 7:39 am
  56. Parrhesia,

    Speaking for racism, there is also another little problem in the ME. Guess what it is?

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/06/03/former-al-jazeera-staffer-now-facing-jail-says-was-duped-by-biased-company/

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 3, 2015, 7:47 am
  57. I’m NOT a Middle Easterner. I am of a specific ethnicity having specific culture and with specific history. Jews/Khazars are prone to creating misnomers and all sorts of confusions in order to feel they have some sense of belonging. The sample we have here is a clear example of this practice. The 3issa/Threesa confusion is yet another example.

    Only if Jews/Khazars didn’t wander so much, they would have solved their problems and relieved the whole world of so many problems.

    Posted by Mustap | June 3, 2015, 8:23 am
  58. Is another war inevitable this summer? A weak a lebanese army does not benefit Israel:

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.659401

    Posted by Ray | June 3, 2015, 9:46 am
  59. Is another war inevitable this summer?

    Ray,

    Sure. At any time. It could be precipitated by HA lobbing a few missiles or killing someone on our side of the border, or even bringing sophisticated weapons and missiles into the area.

    Of course we can debate who starts what, with both sides pointing to the other side of the border. I don’t see why Israel would want to start a war, and I don’t know what Iran/HA will do if they have their backs against the wall in Syria.

    What else is new?

    Mustap,

    Jews and Khazars aren’t wandering as much as we used to. And I can tell you personally, that I’m OK with that.;)

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 3, 2015, 11:16 am
  60. I don’t believe Jews/Khazars are finished wandering, judging from continued attempts to create confusions of which we have a good example right here.

    We asked the Wise King if such socially misbehaving clowns as portrayed in the picture posted at June 2, 2015 above should be allowed into the Wise Kingdom in order to learn about it, and the request was denied with no appeals allowed. Reason cited was minimum prerequisite for a certain level of Wisdom was lacking and therefore such visits can be of no benefit to the Wise Kingdom.

    OTOH, the citizens of the Wise Kingdom now have the ability to sue the Wise King, the Wise Crown Prince and ALL the Wise Princes in a Court of Law. This was ordained by the Wise King himself just today while visiting the holy city of Mecca.

    Again: Unmatched Wiser than ever Wisdom.

    Posted by Mustap | June 3, 2015, 12:49 pm
  61. Mustap,

    Why would Jews/Khazars want to go to the Wise Kingdom™?

    We have Israel, which is freer and more fun for both muslims and Jews/Khazars alike.

    There’s more to life than sipping camel milk.

    http://www.haaretz.com/travel-in-israel/israel-nightlife

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 3, 2015, 1:03 pm
  62. Click here to enjoy seeing some scenic view pictures from the “paradisiacal kingdom”!

    Posted by Badr | June 3, 2015, 2:53 pm
  63. Vulcan did declare he was willing to be a shahid for the team…..Oh No.

    Ray…the LAF is kept neutered by design. Lebanon should forgo buying weapons via the Saudis be they French and or American. Cut the crap and invest in Russian or Chinese platforms. They have little interest in following the Israeli purchase planning approval process.

    My new favorite possible monkey wrench now aimed at CW re the Hezbollah (and Hamas) relationship with Israel is being thrown into the works by former Mossad Chief, Ephraim Halevy. He sees the practicality of making common cause with them in order to confront Daesh:

    [“Hezbollah, day by day, is contributing to the security of the state of Israel,” said Halevy during a conference held by the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies in Israel.

    Halevy’s seemingly shocking comments were not quite as controversial as they may have first appeared. One of the conclusions reached at the conference was that the path to victory in smaller wars against irregular forces and terrorist organizations — like Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas in Gaza — can be achieved through a confluence of various interests.

    Halevy went on to address Hezbollah’s involvement in the bloody Syrian civil war. He stressed that the group’s entanglement in the fierce combat raging in Syria boosted Israeli security because it has kept the organization’s hands tied while inflicting many casualties among its well-trained fighters.

    Another way Hezbollah is contributing to Israel’s security, he said, is by “challenging and weakening [the Islamic State] in a significant manner, a manner in which we are not capable. We cannot compete with them.”

    Halevy also highlighted recent events in Gaza, wherein Hamas reportedly has been making efforts to suppress the growth of the Islamic State in the Gaza Strip.

    “A group of individuals raised the flag of the Islamic State atop a mosque [in Gaza],” said Halevy, “and within a few hours they were buried and the flag was burned.”

    He noted that, “if we had done this, we would not have had any casualties, and they would have condemned us the world over.”]
    http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/05/28/former-mossad-chief-hezbollah-day-by-day-is-contributing-to-israeli-security/

    aussi

    “Ephraim Hélevy notes that are freely Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Syria, Israel would never have done it without drawing the ire of the international community and commissions of inquiry not to mention the losses lives of soldiers. “The geostrategic situation is not as simple and binary that can be imagined,” adds the former director of Mossad.”

    …and from Sheldon Adelson’s “bibitron” freebie daily “bibitron” senior defense correspondent Yoav Limor:

    “These insights could ultimately lead to bizarre bedfellows. Hezbollah, which is classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S., is already serving American interests by fighting Islamic State in Syria, and Beirut could eventually be asked to officially coordinate with Washington if the threat against Lebanon materializes. Taking that thought a step further, cooperation between Israel and Hezbollah suddenly doesn’t seem so outrageous: Compared to Islamic State, Hezbollah looks like a group of boy scouts. They are certainly a rational, deterrable adversary, to which the old adage “better the devil you know” certainly applies.”
    http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=25813

    Posted by lally | June 4, 2015, 12:59 am
  64. Edit to add link to second quote re “Ephraim Helevy” , Hamas and Hezbollah.

    http://www.leptithebdo.net/2015/05/27/ephraim-halevy-le-hezbollah-rend-service-a-israel-1638/

    Posted by lally | June 4, 2015, 1:03 am
  65. lally,

    You have come to your senses and realized that the Jewish State has always been not so strange bedfellows with the Khamas and Khiszballah as well as cuz Assad!

    Posted by danny | June 4, 2015, 5:55 am
  66. Lally,

    It’s not real complicated, “Hezbollah, day by day, is contributing to the security of the state of Israel”, because they are fighting an equally repugnant terror organization while weakening their own position.

    Anytime you can get two terror organizations to fight each other to the death, you know there’s a G-d out there Lally. C’mon Lally, you know you love ZIonism.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 4, 2015, 7:11 am
  67. There’s nothing new in this assessment of a Khazar/Zio analysis of the Syrian situation. The Russians know it, The mullahs know it, the Americans know it and the Wise Kingdom also knows it,

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4664764,00.html

    Assad is due to become history any moment now. He has been advised by his mullah overlords to withdraw to what is perceived by them to be defensible positions abandoning the vast majority of Syrian landscape to the revolutionaries. The Russians are reported to be seeking a reasonable deal over Assad’s head while the mullah’s and their hezie tails are scrambling to come up with a fall back position. The debate now within Assad circles on who is best to hand over Damascus to: ISIS, Nusra, Ahrar, Fateh

    With the stunning successes in Yemen against the Hourhie terrorists, the Wise Kingdom and its allies are now presented with the opportunity of extending their Decisive Storm Campaign to include the Syrian skies while Assad and his overlords are breathing their last breath. It’s time to extend the campaign by targeting the thousands of Afghan/Iranian/Hezzie and other hired mercenaries deemed necessary by the mullahs to keep a dying Assad a little longer on artificial life support. It’ll only be a matter of time before the convoys of mercenaries paid for by the mullahs will get blown off to dust on their way to the mayhem. It’s believed that the mercenaries must get what they were paid to do. A Decisive Storm over Syria will ensure they will get exactly that.

    Posted by Mustap | June 4, 2015, 8:43 am
  68. The mullahs/hezies would welcome any recruits as potential ‘shahids’ especially those with similar experience from a QN website. Yellow color wraps are always provided courtesy of Resistance Inc.

    Posted by Mustap | June 4, 2015, 8:52 am
  69. The deepest man I have discovered on the internet. Bear through his explanation of music and wait for the discussion on the rest and the ME, if you can, and see how this discussion evolves after the 9th minute.

    You will find introductory videos of this man during the same event, should you not be familiar with this conductor.

    Posted by Ray | June 4, 2015, 11:04 am
  70. The ridiculous idea that Hezbollah is contributing to Israeli security reminds me of another completely absurd and naive notion, that Hezbollah is contributing to Lebanese security! This is not true, for the simple reason that the way the argument is presented, the only way it can possibly be true is if Hezbollah were a bunch of chumps, which they most certainly are not!

    Anyone who expects Hezbollah to exclusively and single-handedly spend its blood and treasure, take flak and endure enormous adversity for his sake or benefit is a complete moron! It’s only fair if that person is right there alongside Hezbollah in the Qalamoun or wherever! Otherwise, a Hezbollah partisan who loses a Hezbollah loved one to, say, ISIS or Nusra in Syria, will hate ISIS and Nusra for sure! But they will also despise the non-fighting Lebanese, whom they will regard as a bunch of pansies! Over time, if this sentiment is allowed to build through Hezbollah’s suffering, then the organization will become more intransigent in Lebanon, not less! It will seek to advance in Lebanon at the expense of other Lebanese under the firm conviction that this is what it is due! This is what it has earned!

    Years ago, when this whole mess got started in Syria, I argued in another blog (won’t say which one for privacy reasons) that the only option Lebanon had was a confederation with Syria! And now I am convinced that I was completely right in that assertion! It seems Hezbollah was the first party in Lebanon to realize this and went all in for Assad, which is sad because they had the basic confederacy idea right but they locked onto the wrong target and sided with a genuinely evil party, destroying their own reputation in the process!

    Also, moving on to AP’s assertion that Hezbollah and the rebels in Syria are “weakening their own position” through “fighting”, I’ll grant that I used to think this was true, but in my current jadedness realize it isn’t. On a relative basis, it is possible to argue that these belligerents are being strengthened, not weakened! Sure, Syria is utterly destroyed at this point and most of its displaced have little to no prospect of returning to a normal life anytime soon. But the belligerents don’t have to worry about that! They also don’t have to worry about a job, a home with a two-car garage, summer vacations in London or whatever and wherever! All they need to do at this point is fight, which doesn’t cost that much money, is quite sustainable, and if you look at it through the narrow prism of not having to worry about or be restrained by “velvet gloves”, can result in the fighting party becoming quite “strengthened”, at least according to their definition of the word!

    The problem is that what comes out the other end of this grueling process will be something few non-invested people will be able to deal or reason with, let alone profit from! Think Al Shabab in Somalia or the Taliban in Afghanistan! In the end, perhaps the inevitable outcome of the Syrian catastrophe will be that the Levant will be handed over to the militants and they will get to decide what is best for it! If this does indeed turn out to be the case, it would be the height of hubris and arrogance for a Lebanese or Israeli or anyone else to think he possesses the guile and cunning to shape this arrangement to his advantage! Other conceited parties have similarly taken up such historical wagers and lost big-time! Again, to buttress this assertion, I need to cite no quintessential example other than Hezbollah in Lebanon! There was a time when the Lebanese thought they could control Hezbollah and the Syrians scoffed at the idea that Hezbollah would come after them in Syria! And yet, look at where we are today! 🙂

    Posted by Samer Nasser | June 4, 2015, 12:06 pm
  71. Ray,

    Thanks for the post. I couldn’t open your link, but Mr. Barenboim has a fairly good website with lots of information.

    I think Mr. Barenboim is a musical genius, a good person, and deserves a lot of respect. I also don’t agree with him on many issues. I’d like to see how he would have handled the major Israeli wars in 1948, 1967 and 1973 if he were PM. How would he handle the current state of affairs now that missiles are flying into Israel?

    Would he “solve” the dispute by simply withdrawing Israel to the ’67 borders? All indications are the he wouldn’t.

    But he’s a nice guy and his heart is in the right place.

    http://www.danielbarenboim.com/journal/israel-has-forgotten-its-moral-courage.html

    …it would be the height of hubris and arrogance for a Lebanese or Israeli or anyone else to think he possesses the guile and cunning to shape this arrangement to his advantage!

    Samer,

    I agree. Israel will stay on the sidelines unless something threatens Israel’s security.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 4, 2015, 12:22 pm
  72. Danny, there is an older precedent of Israeli cooperation with the Khalangists the supercedes them all…..

    Posted by lally | June 4, 2015, 2:03 pm
  73. AP,

    Israel faces a vexing problem dealing with militants on its borders, and the contours of this problem are outlined by its difficulty dealing with Hamas in Gaza!

    One problem here is that the distances concerned are very small, rendering something like, say, the nuclear deterrent quite useless!

    The other problem is the vastly unequal level of military power which necessitates “asymmetric tactics” on the part of Israel’s adversaries and the necessary but very difficult discussion around “the disproportionate use of force” on the part of Israel and its allies!

    This problem plays out in the now familiar series of events where a party like Hamas launches a series of crude rockets into Israel and Israel responds with punishing power from the air! This kind of thing used to be quite controversial in the past, but now it’s not! Think of the Goldstone report, which ultimately worked out in Israel’s favor!

    But Israel has the same military problem that, say, the Kurds have in Syria and Iraq, in the sense that it might be able to militarily advance along its fronts, but international pressure will not allow it to seize territory or “transfer” either native populations out or its own Jewish settlers in! In any case, it won’t be able to do this without the use of ground troops, and I think Israel doesn’t enjoy as much of a military advantage when it comes to soldier-to-soldier combat!

    Another problem with the “disproportionate response” is that sometimes Israel will have to take a few licks and restrain itself! I am distinctly referring to a recent incident when Hezbollah ambushed some Israeli soldiers and everyone thought it would lead to a war in Lebanon but it didn’t!

    Where am I going with all this? Let’s conduct a hypothetical failure mode analysis. You seem so assured that Israel has the means to defend itself, and I share your confidence! But at what point does this proposition start to shake a little? 10,000 militants on Israel’s borders? 20,000? 50,000? 100,000?

    Mind you, this is not only a question Israel faces. Lebanon is in the same predicament, as is Jordan!

    Posted by Samer Nasser | June 4, 2015, 2:14 pm
  74. Samer,

    Michel Aoun, disregarding the fact he’s senile, thinks he has the cunning and the guile to shape the outcome to his advantage. So does يقبر عيون عمو Jibran Bassil. I wouldn’t say the latter has achieved senile ‘honors’ yet. But he believes he can control nonetheless. But, we all know how arrogant the Lebanese are. To be honest I don’t see why. I mean, being Lebanese these days most probably sucks.

    With regards to confederation with Syria, I believe it was always the case but not officially. Hezies screwed it up as you said. I disagree with you regarding hezies becoming more intransigent within Lebanon when Assad falls. While they may despise the other Lebanese to their hearts content, as they currently do, yet they will turn into rabbits when Assad is gone. Most likely, Shiite themselves will take care of hezies for the sake of their own survival. Hezies will be hounded like dogs after Assad.

    Posted by Mustap | June 4, 2015, 2:16 pm
  75. Lally my dear,

    The floor is all yours! Go ahead and educate us buffoons!

    How well did Israel’s co-operation with Lebanon’s Phalangists turn out for either party? What about Israel’s co-operation with the Shah of Iran?

    From what I understand, this kind of thing was the result of a deliberate Israeli doctrine around the 1960’s of an “alliance of minorities” against the Arabs! I am convinced that the vestiges of this kind of thinking explain today’s bizarre Israeli fascination with the Kurds, for example!

    So yeah, the floor is all yours! Go ahead and chart your ideas! What exactly do you have in mind? An Israeli alliance with Hezbollah? With Assad? With the Kurds? With Iran? With the Maronites? With the Druze? With the Alawites and Shias? Where does this kind of thing lead in your estimations?

    Posted by Samer Nasser | June 4, 2015, 2:23 pm
  76. Mustap,

    The operative phrases in your entire argument above are “when Assad falls, “when Assad is gone” and “after Assad”!

    I agree with you that Hezbollah without Assad, not to mention without Iran, is in trouble in Lebanon! But is this a foregone conclusion at this point? How does Lebanon go from here to there in any case? Will there be another war in Lebanon?

    Posted by Samer Nasser | June 4, 2015, 2:31 pm
  77. Samer,

    Lally is our resident conspiracy theorist. I am credited with her nickname: “Foggybottom”. But in the spirit of fairness, I not using nicknames anymore when addressing forum participants.

    Good points and questions.

    But at what point does this proposition start to shake a little? 10,000 militants on Israel’s borders? 20,000? 50,000? 100,000?

    Mind you, this is not only a ques.tion Israel faces. Lebanon is in the same predicament, as is Jordan!

    Sounds like that movie “War War Z”.

    I don’t know. Maybe we’ll find out.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 4, 2015, 2:46 pm
  78. Samer,

    What you said is correct.

    But I have no doubts Assad will fall and it’ll happen very very soon.

    Posted by Mustap | June 4, 2015, 4:12 pm
  79. I starts getting interesting after the 9th minute into the discussion.

    Posted by Ray | June 5, 2015, 1:01 am
  80. Strange but true ME NewZ…

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4665275,00.html

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 5, 2015, 8:33 am
  81. Mustap,

    The Syrian Arab Army might seem like they’re losing ground but the state media refers it as ‘tactical withdrawal’ so don’t get your hopes up too high its part of their grand plan.

    Posted by Maverick | June 6, 2015, 3:35 pm
  82. Maverick,

    I wonder when the so-called Syrian State Media has become a source worthy of consideration.

    Based on your source my hopes have now become even higher.

    …………,,,,.

    In other developments a repentant Rumsfeld admits Iraq invasion was wrong and GWB was wrong,

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/americas/article4462278.ece

    It doesn’t mean that people with common sense should wait for Rumsfeld to say so in order to use their common sense. We’ve been saying this all along.

    Posted by Mustap | June 6, 2015, 4:18 pm
  83. “Assad is due to become history any moment now.”
    “the end of Assad is very near”

    Sure, as I have been waiting for [“The bombing of Assad will begin shortly.”] to materialize since last October!

    Posted by Badr | June 7, 2015, 2:50 am
  84. OK mr. Badr when the military planning is complete, you’ll be informed. But you can be sure it’s not gonna happen on a full moon. It’ll be in one of those moonless nights. And when the moon becomes full again Assad will have turned to dust as promised.

    Posted by Mustap | June 7, 2015, 8:12 am
  85. Mustap,

    When Assad is gone, will muslims stop killing each other or will they start killing khazars?

    I’m ready to make a gentleman’s wager if you are.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 7, 2015, 11:49 am
  86. Akbar Palace,

    Do you realize that your last comment is the most idiotic of all comments you made in your entire commenting cares?

    The immediate question which comes to mind when anyone reads this comment of yours is this: are you against killing period? Or are you against killing Khazars ONLY?

    I’m ready to make a gentleman’s wager that you would never answer the above question honestly?

    Posted by Mustap | June 7, 2015, 12:52 pm
  87. Mustap,

    Don’t get your feathers ruffled.

    I axed a simple question. When Assad goes, will muslims stop killing muslims? You’ve been making LOTS of predictions, so I feel it’s time to make a wager. R u game? You have all the answers, so show the forum how confident you are.

    Here’s what I have in mind:

    1. When does Assad get get whacked? (It’s the ME, so don’t expect a fair trial)

    2. Once Assad’s regime falls, will there be more Muslim – on – Muslim murders or will there be more Muslim – on – jewish murders or more jewish-on – Muslim murders? Of course we’ll have to define “murder” because humans aren’t smart enough to have one definition that all can agree on.

    So one bet follows the other, assuming there is a claim peace follows Assad’s ouster.

    To answer your question, yes, I am against all murders. Period. But even though I am against murders, I know they will continue, disproportionately, in the ME.

    Place ur bets.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 7, 2015, 2:49 pm
  88. Akbar Palace,
    Since you’re throwing hypothetical question, then it’s
    now your turn to place your wagers on some real life questions:

    1). Will neten continue murdering Palestinian children in Gaza and elsewhere whether Assad goes or stays?

    2) Will neten continue to appease the murderous Jewish/Khazari extremists by creating illegal posts on lands rightfully, legally and historically belonging to Palestinians regardless of Assad becoming dust?

    3) Will neten continue to be the asshole he really is whether Assad goes or stays?

    Posted by Mustap | June 7, 2015, 3:06 pm
  89. Mustap,

    Sorry bro. You’ll have to answer my questions first. Then I’ll entertain yours. But if you want to squirm around my questions, that’s fine, at least the forum will recognize you’re all talk and nothing more.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 7, 2015, 3:11 pm
  90. Akbar Palace,

    I hope, against hope of course, that you realize that there’s nothing squirmy about not answering hypothetical questions?

    But refusing to answer real life questions like the three questions I asked you is very squirmy.

    I wonder now who is all talk and nothing more.

    Posted by Mustap | June 7, 2015, 3:24 pm
  91. Mustap,

    No problem. I get it. Assad will be gone on some “moonless night” and nothing will change. Another despot down, and a few dozen more to go.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 7, 2015, 4:44 pm
  92. Akbar Palace,

    You must realize by now that, thankfully, project American Century is dead, cremated and disgracefully burried. So why do you keep trying to resuscitate the dead?

    Keeping it where it belongs, in the trash bin, is the best the world can have. Could you imagine? Yanks all over? 😞

    Posted by Mustap | June 7, 2015, 5:35 pm
  93. Mustap,

    You talk big for someone who is too afraid to put their money where their mouth is.

    If ur not too afraid, tell us where YOU invest your hard-earned Canadian Dollars?

    My money is firmly in the hands of the “dead”, “cremated”, and “burried” “yanks”. 😉

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 7, 2015, 6:05 pm
  94. Akbar Palace,

    I do not invest in America. As you may well know there are many other more secure and more profitable locatuons around the globe where I can keep my loonies safe and growing.

    Posted by Mustap | June 7, 2015, 6:31 pm
  95. Possible paradigm shift, cont:

    Two Arab newspapers run same conclusion: In Israel & DC Hamas & Hezbollah are starting to look like necessary/useful evils; ruing the “good old days”
    Translated today by Mideastwire.com:

    “On June 8, the Ad-Diyyar daily newspaper carried the following report by Ibrahin Nassereddine: “You should thank God for having Hezbollah in Lebanon since it constitutes a powerful obstacle to the entry of the terrorist groups coming from the Syrian lands.” This is what a prominent American staff at the American embassy in Beirut said to a group of March 14 leaders including prominent officials from the Future movement. Of course, these were stunned when they heard these words from the prominent American figure. They left the meeting with the naïve impression that Washington is now viewing the crises in the region with Iranian “eyes.” Otherwise, who else could these words be interpreted and is their another approach for the subject?

    and Saudi’s Asharq al Awsat:

    “…In Israel, a prominent military source said yesterday that the objective behind the firing of the latest rockets from the Gaza territory consists of starting a fire between Israel and Hamas. He added that the radical organization that admitted having fired the rockets expects Israel to attack Hamas thus achieving its own aspirations. Thus, the situation seems quite complicated. On the one hand, “we want Hamas to be a weak and minor group. But on the other hand, we want it to be strong enough to abort all the terrorist operations and to prevent rockets from being fired against Israel…”

    If true that the M14 cadres see only that America must be seeing through Iranian eyes…..they know nothing about the essential martial nature of the United States of America and that the quote is entirely within the expected perspective from a warmaker’s cultural PoV.

    Posted by lally | June 9, 2015, 12:10 am
  96. Lally,

    Can you make your point in one coherent sentence? Not sure what you are trying to say in your post above.

    Meanwhile, this article shows, believe it or not, that there is still close cooperation between the US and Israel, despite the commie POTUS.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4666484,00.html

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 9, 2015, 7:44 am
  97. Lally,

    You are quoting the rag Al Diyar and then make an assumption that a group of people…M14 are living in lala land. We all know that HA is doing what it’s trained to do: Kill people. If its not Israelis let it be cannibals from KSA. No issues for us on this side of the fence.

    Posted by danny | June 9, 2015, 11:19 am
  98. Following my previous comment I ought to say I am not sure that bombing Assad at this stage would not bring more harm than good.

    Posted by Badr | June 9, 2015, 12:22 pm
  99. It is no secret to anyone that both the M8 and the M14 clans consist of a bunch of idiots beyond imagination. Needless to say characters like Hariri, Aoun, Geagea, Nasrallah and the rest of the gang are among the least inspiring if not the most boring on the face of this planet. It seems this has to do with some inherent extremely low IQ’s. It’s also no secret to anyone that Charles Ayyoub of the rag tag Ad-Diyar is a wannabe moron pothead. His Ad-Diyar is in the same league as the other rag tag Al-Akhbar of the other wannabe moron pothead Ibrahim Al-Amin. Both wannabes are well know mouthpieces for the so-called Resistance Inc. Ayyoub’s recent scandal of begging Assad for money under the pretext that he (Ayyoub) will go broke is a clear example of the intellectual bankruptcy he’s inflicted with.

    What matters, on the other hand, is what is happening as we speak in Southern Syria and the Qalamoun region. In the south, the other army of the revolution, the Islam army, led by Zahran Alloush, and heavily armed by the U.S., Jordan, and most importantly by the Wise Kingdom, today obliterated the regime and hezie forces around Dera’a, and also took complete control of the second largest brigade of the regime and confiscated all the weapons.

    The same army is now moving towards the Qalamoun with a huge force aimed at cleansing the whole area of regime regime and hezie presence and ensuring continuity of supply routes to the north. Brigades from North and south are converging on the Qalamoun ensuring that Nasrallah will continue to insatiably consume more Qalamonade as he speaks and indoctrinated the gullible crowds while at the same time exerting huge pressure on the market of the yellow colored wraps driving the prices of the commodity to skyrocketing levels.

    In order to counteract the steady stream of defeats, Assad now resorted to the new tactic of raising so-called benefits to those in his retreating army who are willing to jump to the front lines. It’s reported that such men will be compensated additional 10000 Syrian pounds ($37.00) if they willingly take their positions at the front lines. Assad did not promise his fighting men any yellow wrap honors as Nasrallah did to his own, however.

    Posted by Mustap | June 9, 2015, 12:33 pm
  100. After Assad, the ME will still have its hands full.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32831854

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 9, 2015, 1:41 pm
  101. The deal to depose Assad among the so-called powers to be is now in circulation. Assad may go to exile in Russia. This is the clearest proof of the shameless hypocrisy of those involved. Assad deserves nothing less than public hanging. With such shameless behaviour these impotent so-called powers have zero chance of defeating ISIL or any of its franchises.

    In the meantime 14 hezies turned to dust today in the Irsal wilderness, while Jumblat called on his Druze compatriots to make good with their neighbours for the sake of their future.

    The 14 hezies will be accorded full yellow wrap ‘honors’ as promised by so-called الوعد الصادق.

    Posted by Mustap | June 10, 2015, 8:32 am
  102. Speaking words of Wisdom, let it be.

    🙂

    Posted by Ray | June 10, 2015, 11:25 am
  103. During what appeared to be military maneuvers by the RG’s (Revolutionary Guards) of the mullah regime, two shells landed in the center of the city of Asfahan, second largest in Iranistan. One shell landed in a public garden while another landed in the main city center mall.

    Apparently, the RG’s are conducting military maneuvers targeting populated cities in order to determine the RG’s preparedness to deal with situations similar to the one in Syria. This is extremely prudent, but not necessarily wise. We have a very popular adage in Arabic: if thou haven’t died yet take heed of those who died before thee.

    Mullah prudence is no doubt exemplary as well as proactive.

    Posted by Mustap | June 10, 2015, 12:12 pm
  104. Federalism. A once taboo subject now seems more and more the way forwards for the levant ?

    http://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/federalism-can-calm-sectarian-differences-in-the-arab-world

    Posted by Ray | June 11, 2015, 1:26 am
  105. It’s been observed that, last month, Nasrallah made more appearances to deliver speeches than usual. He appeared three times in less than a month. What could be the reason? What’s the urgency about?

    I tend to think that the man likes to drink Qalamonade. It has nothing to do with wide spread discontent inside the flock as some spinners are trying to spin. The faithful are ready and willing to give up soul and every precious thing for the honors of the coveted yellow wrap.

    ……….,.

    Posted by Mustap | June 12, 2015, 8:59 am
  106. Any thoughts about the Druze situation? Walid Jumblatt has been calling on Druze of the Hawran to join their neighbors in opposition to the Assad regime. Yet Druze militias appear to be fighting in Suweida on the regime’s side. And Druze in Idlib province are being badly treated (= forced to convert, killed, etc.) by the triumphant opposition forces there. Horns of a dilemma, it seems to me.

    Posted by Jim Reilly | June 12, 2015, 2:04 pm
  107. This might help you understand what Mr. Jumblat is juggling with, Jim.

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/least-20-druze-killed-al-nusra-syrias-idlib-province-1024189110

    Posted by Ray | June 12, 2015, 5:23 pm
  108. Alligator tears of General Kharfan and mullah yellow media over the Druze,

    https://www.alarabiya.net/ar/last-page/2015/06/12/شاهد-DNA-.html

    Posted by Mustap | June 12, 2015, 8:55 pm
  109. There are some who pour fuel to the fire and there are others who pour water. Joumblatt, ever prudent has set the tone and dismissed any aggressive rhetoric that other Druze leaders in Lebanon expressed. Wiam Wihab the Syrian regime lackey and perpetual agent provocateur has incited the Druze for his own narrow selfish interests as he called on the community to bear arms and side with the regime, even threatening to create an army of 200k men. Quiete delusional he is. Perhaps the regime lovers drink from the same well.
    The incident in Idlib was an isolated incident that started off with a quarrel and exploded out of proportion. It is tragic, but nevertheless not a repeated pattern. Coincidently, it came at the exact time as the Free Syrian Army – southern front seized control of Syrias second largest army base- 52- in Deraa and moved swiftly to gain control of Thahla airport just east of Swaida which is you might say the capital of the Druze sect in Syria.
    The Druze are split between pro- regime and pro-revolution as many small incidents’ have occurred throughout the last 5 years to show this but today the Druze face a fork in the road and there can be no sitting on the fence. Threatened by ISIS from the North East, regime pull out of the province and a sweeping FSA from the west the inhabitants of Sweida are forced into action. The FSA have sent a formal message that they view the Druze as ‘brotherly’ and respected nationals and then offered to aid them against ISIS if they relinquish support for the regime. Most inhabitants look to the FSA as friendly but the recent events in Idlib and the state controlled media depiction of the opposition forces as taqfiri groups has the Druze nervous as some took up arms and repelled the FSA at Thahla airbase.

    Posted by Maverick | June 13, 2015, 4:05 am
  110. Jim,

    There will be more killings and relentless PR BS dished out by the Assads and Yellow jackets. There will be also the standard Modus operandi methods by the regime forces…Bomb the Druze and blame others. They had done that so many times in Lebanon through the civil war years.

    https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/NewsReports/565426-druze-cleric-accuses-regime-of-shelling-suweida

    IMO Jumblat is doing the best swivel dance to keep the Druze relatively insulated. However; at one point or another the majority has to tilt one way or another. They cannot act as if they are separate from others.

    I think their best option is listening the WJ and coordinate with the Southern Front Rebels and even join them. The midnight hours is near. If they don’t engage now; they’ll have the savages of ISIL and maybe Nusra (although WJ astutely is trying to avoid a massacre by branding Nusra as a nationalist force) knocking at their doors

    Posted by danny | June 13, 2015, 8:51 am
  111. The one defining moment Maronites have, to bring forwards an honest and clear “Lebanese” President
    and all they have is Aoun or Geagea? Why they don’t pelt them with eggs at every opportunity is beyond me.

    They should be re-termed Moronites.

    They should also abdicate from the Vatican. They’re not up to date with it in 2015. Pope Francis is too radical.

    Just insane.

    Posted by Ray | June 13, 2015, 9:29 am
  112. Thanks for the comments about the Druze and Jumblatt’s position. Over the years he has swiveled one way and then another (some have compared him to a weathervane) in efforts to reduce the Druze community’s exposure to harm, and to avoid battles that they cannot win. Now that Syria is also in play, the stakes are very, very high indeed.

    Posted by Jim Reilly | June 13, 2015, 10:19 am
  113. Seems pretty simple to me: survival.

    You back the group who’s murdering eveyone else but you.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 13, 2015, 6:05 pm
  114. This one is for Ray who’s always praying, either talking to himself, the pope, the patriarch or to General Kharfan,

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sWZmkZGZEEE

    Posted by Mustap | June 13, 2015, 8:27 pm
  115. AP,

    According to your logic, though, Jumblatt should be backing the regime but he’s not. Leaving aside (but not forgetting) his political and personal reasons for hating the Assad family, I think WJ is trying to think “one move ahead” — what will protect Syria’s Druze minority when the Baath regime is gone?

    Posted by Jim Reilly | June 14, 2015, 7:35 am
  116. You are right Jim. WJ; has made his deals with HA to protect (as much ad possible…remember may 7) his community. Now he knows the Druze in Syria (especially suweida..based on geography) can only ultimately survive if they bet on the winning horse. NOT Assad. He will be fertilized soon the same way he has eliminated all his officers of the “Lebanese file”.

    AP how do you ascertain the protection quotient?

    Posted by danny | June 14, 2015, 7:54 am
  117. What Israel will do for those not seeking statehood.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4668331,00.html

    Posted by Ray | June 14, 2015, 9:20 am
  118. The Druze of Sweida have an opportunity to break cleanly from the regime and support the FSA southern front who are made up of mostly ex army soldiers of SAA including high ranking officers. The other contingents are mainly anti regime men from the local population. There are also other factions that are united under an Islamic banner but are vehemently anti-taqfiri.
    Syrian State run media and some opportunists in the Western media have run a vicious disinformation campaign to brand all opposition groups as Takfiri and oppressive inorder to create a dichotomous narrative, that of Assad or ISIS. Not only have many Middle Easterners bought into this but also a large segment of Western opinion.
    The FSA have even offered the inhabitants of Sweida protection from the inevitable confrontation with ISIS, yet the Druze are split in their decisions for several reasons;
    1) there are many serving in the SAA, and government offices which they depend on for livelihood
    2) fear of regime back lash and barrel bombs if they were to defect
    3) scarce resources and ammo for any military action
    4) the Syrian Rebels have been less than inviting to non-Sunna types in Syria

    There has been a massive push recently by some to join the revolution including major figures in Syria and Lebanon but there still remains a stubborn resistance to this idea

    Posted by Maverick | June 14, 2015, 10:18 am
  119. The Druze have historic relations with the Wise Kingdom which goes back all the way to the Wise Founder of the Wose Kingdom. The Druze also know that when the French persecuted them, only the Wise Kingdom stood by their side and gave them support, refuge and all they needed.

    https://www.alarabiya.net/ar/last-page/2015/06/14/الدرزي-الذي-كان-مستشارا-للملك-عبد-العزيز-وأول-سفير.html

    The current Wise King will make sure the Druze are taken care of and that they will make the right choices exactly as WJ advised.

    Posted by Mustap | June 14, 2015, 10:29 am
  120. Jim, Danny,

    You guys are much more aware of the many groups and leaders in Lebanon than I am.

    That being said, my general understanding is that small minorities tend to back the warlord with the most firepower. The people on the street either during the Lebanese civil war (or today with ISIS) better show respect for the conquering soldiers lest they be executed quickly and mercilessly.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_in_Lebanon

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/lebanon.htm

    For example, a number of christian parties supported Israel when the IDF was occupying Southern Lebanon. That changed as the IDF got bogged down in Lebanon, and when the IDF finally left altogether.

    Now Christian parties are split between the March 8 and March 14 blocs, and I suspect more parties will pull away from the March 8 Alliance as HA, Syria and Iran weaken.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_Lebanon

    I think WJ is trying to think “one move ahead” — what will protect Syria’s Druze minority when the Baath regime is gone?

    One can see how WJ changes his pro-Syrian stance depending on who is winning in the political and military arena:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Socialist_Party

    Druze in Israel are generally more pro-Israel than other arab-Israelis.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_Druze

    You are right Jim. WJ; has made his deals with HA to protect (as much ad possible…remember may 7) his community.

    Exactly. This is no surprise.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 14, 2015, 10:45 am
  121. I heard it said that Aoun once defended his alliance with Hizballah (in a conversation with former Patriarch Sfeir) by saying that the Maronites needed friends no matter who won the Sunni-Shiite power struggle in Lebanon. I wonder if a comparable dynamic is underway now, with Jumblatt opposed to the Baath regime and other Druze figures choosing to work with it.

    Posted by Jim Reilly | June 14, 2015, 10:47 am
  122. I wouldn’t be surprised. A kharfan would say many things.

    Posted by Mustap | June 14, 2015, 11:42 am
  123. Jim, a good majority of Maronites are allergic to Muslims of any form or culture.

    The Druze are the Druze.

    Posted by Ray | June 14, 2015, 1:04 pm
  124. In fact, Jim, the Maronites are allergic to any form of culture.

    They seem to be in possession of the Holly grail and all its secrets.

    Posted by Ray | June 14, 2015, 1:11 pm
  125. A more charitable (?) view would understand Maronites and Druze as communities who, once upon a time, saw themselves to be at the center of the story of Lebanese exceptionalism and the Lebanese project. Now, both fear marginalization (or already have experienced it). Their internally divided communal leaderships operate from positions of anxiety and apprehension, not from positions of strength.

    It’s disconcerting when interlocutors — may I presume most of you are Lebanese? — make sweeping indictments of entire Lebanese communities. C’mon folks, you share the same country.

    Posted by Jim Reilly | June 14, 2015, 2:08 pm
  126. I keep asking myself what makes Lebanese a community?

    I have no answer.

    When will there be an admission that Lebanon came into being as a result of foreign manipulations and it continues to tread towards its final resting place as a result of foreign manipulation

    Posted by Mustap | June 14, 2015, 2:33 pm
  127. As an old mentor once said (in a conversation), most of the Arab countries east of Egypt were created at the same time in the same way. Why then did some Arabs insist that Lebanon was uniquely illegitimate or misbegotten? Anyway (Jim observes), Lebanon in its modern form has been around for nearly a century, which in historical time counts for something. All small countries owe something to “foreign manipulation” for their original birth or subsequent survival.

    Posted by Jim Reilly | June 14, 2015, 3:41 pm
  128. We observed that the Wise Kingdom lies east of Egypt and was not misbegotten by foreign manipulation.

    Posted by Mustap | June 14, 2015, 6:08 pm
  129. What makes a nation of nomads wandering the desert a community. It is a community of uneducated simple minded Bedouins. Oil has made a bunch of camel Jockeys rich and they wonder what makes Lebanon a community.

    Well at least we have a country whose people (yes the community and nation of Lebanon) can talk fight and negotiate. We do not wait for the high from camel dunk!

    Ray, seriously refer back to your alter egos of the past and you’ll find that no single sect or religious entity has been a perfect example of exemplary citizenship. You can always meet Peter in Dubai.

    Posted by danny | June 14, 2015, 6:10 pm
  130. The Wise Kingdom is the most advanced and most powerful in all the Arab world. Kid yourself not. Also, it’s people are among the best educated and most intelligent. Envy and jealousy are not going to help you in this case.

    There is no such thing as Lebanon not to mention a Lebanese community. In fact, there was never a Lebanese community. Your social network does not extend beyond the mountain caves where جعجوع lives.

    Posted by Mustap | June 14, 2015, 6:26 pm
  131. The Wise Kingdom is the most advanced and most powerful in all the Arab world.

    That’s not saying much these days.

    It wasn’t long ago when Sunni strongman Saddam breached Saudi Arabia in Khafji. That is until the US and Great Britain helped to kick him out.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Khafji

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 14, 2015, 9:58 pm
  132. Wise Kingdom brave soldiers under General Khaled bin Sultan with the help of Qatari army won Khafji.

    Yanks and Brits did bullshit.

    Posted by Mustap | June 15, 2015, 12:26 am
  133. Origins of many modern states owe something to “foreign manipulation.” Thus Lebanon is more typical than its detractors would have it. (In Washington DC you see a number of places named after Lafayette — who was he?) As for Saudi Arabia — wise or otherwise, who knows? — it emerged in a British imperial context; conquered the Hijaz because Britain allowed it (and had grown tired of Sharif Hussein); and consolidated internal authority by crushing internal dissent (the Ikhwan) in 1928 with British-supplied armored cars because Britain insisted that Abd al-Aziz should respect the newly drawn Jordanian and Iraqi borders. And all of this is before the US entered the picture and adopted the Kingdom as a major client state.

    Posted by Jim Reilly | June 15, 2015, 7:18 am
  134. You must kidding history prof.

    Wise Kingdom did not emerge because Britain allowed. It emerged DESPITE of Britain. the Arabs got tired of Hussein’s treasons and gave their support to the Wise Founder of the Wise Kingdom.

    In case you haven’t noticed during your history searches, Britain got the axe from King Abd Al-Aziz viz a viz oil exploration. It is even well known fact to every historian the King turned down a special Rolls Royce gift sent to him by Churchil.

    So much for your history ‘expertise’. I could say your statement applies more accurately to Egypt rather than the Wise Kingdom.

    But believe me Lebanon was never a country not to mention a community. It was a French miscarriage par excellence.

    Posted by Mustap | June 15, 2015, 8:56 am
  135. Clients sometimes turn on their patrons, or seek new ones. (Cf. King Hussein of Jordan in 1956-57: bye-bye Britain, hello USA.) My original point — which hasn’t been convincingly challenged here — is that there is nothing remarkably arbitrary or implausible about Lebanon’s origin story, when seen in the context of its neighbors.

    And anyway, Churchill wasn’t even in office when Abd al-Aziz gave the oil concession to Standard Oil of California.

    Posted by Jim Reilly | June 15, 2015, 9:21 am
  136. I highly recommend James Barr’s book “A line in the sand” that uses newly declassified documents which reveals the intense Franco/British rivalry for the Middle East. The espionage and deadly traps they laid out for each other is revealing.

    It also expands on the details of the first terrorist acts by Zionists against the British in Europe with the help of the French. Really an enriching read.

    On the Druze:

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/syria-s-druze-waging-peace-times-war-1346190462#pq=QTerIm

    Posted by Ray | June 15, 2015, 9:35 am
  137. Wow, you proved my point. Of course Churchill was not in office when SoCal got the concessions. The gift was sent in the 1940s when Churchill WAS in office.

    Therefore, Britain had nothing to do with the emergence of the Wise Kingdom, otherwise it would have got the concessions in the early 1930s instead of SoCal.

    There’s no need to challenge your assertions about Lebanon. The proof is in the pudding. Lebanon is NOW not a country. It never was.

    Posted by Mustap | June 15, 2015, 10:01 am
  138. How about it, Lebanese readers? Do you have a country? And if you do is it less of a country than its neighbors? As a student of nationalism (including religious nationalism) I’m curious.

    Posted by Jim Reilly | June 15, 2015, 10:27 am
  139. Well, I’m a Lebanese reader who knows that Lebanon is NOT a country. How about that? Does that count?

    It’s (Lebanon) more like several farms with different breeds.

    What is religious nationalism by the way? That’s new to me. Or has it always been the brand of nationalism that France intended for Lebanon? If so, then indeed there was no Lebanon and France was the worst midwife in history.

    Posted by Mustap | June 15, 2015, 11:26 am
  140. I certainly did not grow up in a country. I grew up in an enclave. I think Lebanon had a chance of becoming a country after the Syrian pullout but those dreams were shattered when Hezbollah aimed their weapons on its own countrymen in 2008.

    No. Lebanon is still not a country.

    Posted by Ray | June 15, 2015, 12:29 pm
  141. It hasn’t had a President for over a year. What country 🙂 ?

    Posted by Ray | June 15, 2015, 1:16 pm
  142. How could there be a Lebanese without a country called Lebanon, albeit a very dysfunctional one! And a truly secular Lebanese (sadly a rare breed) does not use any other attribute to identify his nationality.

    Posted by Badr | June 15, 2015, 3:11 pm
  143. The only Politician that seems have a true and deep affinity to the lands called the “Lebanon” is actually Walid Joumblatt.

    Posted by Ray | June 15, 2015, 3:17 pm
  144. I like the way some who claim endowed with logical argumentation present their so-called ‘impeccable logic’. There’s no surprise here since it’s known to be a common trait among people with origins tracing back to that geographical area commonly referred to as the Levant. Usually, these ‘super-logical’ characters are referred to as philosophizers as opposed to philosophers.

    OK Mr. Full Moon. I may call myself Torontonian in reference to a known place called Toronto, in which case I’m referring to myself in relation to a well known geographical area which is NOT a country. I hope you would be able to philosophize the similarity with my referring to myself as Lebanese, and hope you continue to provide us with more of your ‘impeccable and unique logical arguments’.

    Posted by Mustap | June 15, 2015, 3:52 pm
  145. Country it is. A nation it is not.

    http://www.beirutreport.com/2015/06/held-by-hezbollah.html

    Posted by Ray | June 16, 2015, 11:14 am
  146. The beirutreport article could be a wonderful piece in the NYT, Washington Post, or some BDS magazine.

    But why ruin a good thing?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 16, 2015, 12:25 pm
  147. My pleasure to pose a clearer version of my rhetorical question:

    Would there be the label of Lebanese nationals, if there were no country called Lebanon!

    Posted by Badr | June 16, 2015, 4:49 pm
  148. It’ is vulgarly patronizing and condescending for an outsider such as a so-called ambassador of Khazars/Jews to tell Americans what’s good or bad about their President.

    Come to think about it, why would anyone care about what a Khazar/Jew thinks when it comes to American issues?

    Posted by Mustap | June 17, 2015, 2:11 pm
  149. Jim,

    I think that there was a previous discussion of nationalism on this blog. Responding to your prompt, Renan’s understanding of nationalism (language, culture, history, ethnicity, etc. as the foundation of a common or shared identity) is no longer a helpful approach today. Peter van der Veer’s definition of religious nationalism is only relevant to Southeast Asia (although it could be applied more broadly if we consider ethnic purity or neo conservative tradionalist discourses as quasi religious narratives). I think that we can still use Benedict Anderson approach to national identity as an imagined community if we supplement it with Juan Flores revision: “the imaginary… is the community represented cor itself, a unity fashioned creatively on the basis of shared memory and desire, congruent histories of misery and struggle and intertwining utopias.”

    According to this last definition, the Lebanese form an imagined community and can indeed be considered a part of the more localized nation called Lebanon as well as the trans-national “Arab Islamic” community (that has a deeper or more expansive set of shared memories, desires, histories, and hopes.

    To be clear, the Lebanese imagined community “harbors… an ensemble of cultural values and practices created in itz own right and to its own ends… listen to their own kinds of music, eat their own kind of food, dream their dreams and snap their photos… attesting to a deep sense of autonomy and self referentiality” while being immersed in intertwined dependencies and historical or social impositions…. Lebanese identity does not need to be articulated in a uniform discourse as long as it affirms “cultural and social realities, myths and possibilities, as they are inscribed in their own human trajectory.” (Flores, 2000).

    Posted by Parrhesia | June 17, 2015, 2:40 pm
  150. It’ is vulgarly patronizing and condescending for an outsider such as a so-called ambassador of Khazars/Jews to tell Americans what’s good or bad about their President.*

    *except when told by primitive Saudis/muslims

    Posted by Akbar Palace | June 17, 2015, 3:09 pm
  151. Mustap and AP:

    Please take a break from the comment section for the rest of the month.

    Thanks
    QN

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | June 17, 2015, 3:56 pm
  152. Testing 123

    Posted by Vulcan | June 17, 2015, 4:13 pm
  153. Parrhesia,

    Thank you for your remarks.

    I’ve come to think of national identity as imagination (facilitated by literacy and modern communications) + modern state power and institutions = definitions of inclusion and exclusion. So, I’m less persuaded by various versions of primordialist argument, from the simplistic (i.e., most nationalist polemicists) to the sophisticated (Anthony Smith). The book “Tormented by History: Nationalism in Greece and Turkey” is one that I have read most recently that explores these issues. The unnamed mentor whom I referenced a few messages ago was the late Kamal Salibi, whom I understand to have been (in his later life) a liberal-minded Lebanese nationalist who sought to incorporate both Arabist and localist dimensions into his understanding of historical Lebanon.

    In the Arab world, I think that Jordanian nationalism is an almost perfect laboratory study for the articulation of a particular type of national identity that had no precedent prior to the arbitrary creation of the Jordanian colonial state. This has nothing to do with “authenticity” or “inauthenticity” — Jordan is real, and so are the identities that have become attached to it (or that have emerged to contest it). In much the same way, I think, the “authenticity” or “inauthenticity” of Lebanese identity is a false debate. It seems to me that Lebanese argue about the content of this identity, so ipso facto it exists.

    Similar comments apply to other communities defined these days as “nations” — not least in the country where I live, Canada, or the country of my birth, the United States.

    I used the phrase “religious nationalism” without defining it. By this I mean, when a historically interpreted religious identity becomes reified into a claim for political power, and sets boundaries of political inclusion or exclusion. Zionism, Wahhabism, Greek nationalism, Maronite petit-Libanism are a few that come to mind.

    Posted by Jim Reilly | June 18, 2015, 7:04 am
  154. Professor Reilly,

    So what exactly is the explicit message regarding “religious nationalism” in connection with national identity?

    Posted by Badr | June 19, 2015, 6:34 am
  155. Simply, that national identity-formation is often mixed up with religious identity. Once again, Lebanon is part of a common story, not a bizarre exception as some of those who decry confessionalism would have it. (I’m not an advocate for Lebanese or any other kind of nationalism — I’m just trying to understand the phenomenon and explain it to myself, in order to give students in my classes something to think about. The QN blog reaches a different public, so it’s interesting to see what gets expressed.)

    Posted by Jim Reilly | June 19, 2015, 7:10 am
  156. There has been a lot of noise made by the March 8 camp that the anti tank missiles received by the army are defective. However, this report expands on the issue in by far more interesting ways:

    https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/blogs/565455-the-french-anti-tank-missiles

    Posted by Ray | June 19, 2015, 9:01 am
  157. Jim,

    The latest case of the shooting of African American Christians in the US by a “?” leaves much to question about what exactly religious identity means. No? Just saying.

    Posted by Ray | June 19, 2015, 12:58 pm
  158. No matter what the Bible or the Quran says … “from my dead hands” prevails.

    Posted by Ray | June 19, 2015, 1:06 pm
  159. Thanks Jim for your thouvhtful reply.

    Badr, a version of “religious nationalism” claims that religious identity (with its associated myths built on a particular interpretation of religious texts) replaces traditional national identity (with its corresponding myths building on an interpretation of culture and history) in defining a universal belonging to a community and a group. Van der Veer argues that religious nationalism developed as a form of resistance to globalization or to global ideologies (capitalism, socialism, etc.). Such an interpretation may not apply to Lebanon since there are no concerted efforts by a legitimate political body to found the “belonging” to a nation on religious texts or traditions (as was the case in India by the RSS, VHP and BJP or in Pakistan or, more broadly by Qutb and others).

    An argument can be made that some European conservative parties are trying to do the same based on a particular interpretation of the history of Western Christianity or that US religious conservatives (hard core evangelicals or people like Santorum) may be flirting with that version of religious nationalism.

    Religious nationalism is in the minority of reactions to neoliberal capitalism (where the market stands for God and salvation is defined in terms of economic well being), however, as nationalism is becoming subsumed under global consumer identities.

    Interesting topic but too broad to be addressed in a post.

    Posted by Parrhesia | June 20, 2015, 6:14 am
  160. Wikileaks released +50,000 documents of a stash of +500,000 it received through Yemeni Hackers from several ministries, including the Foreign, Interior and Security apparatuses.

    I believe we will be in for some very interesting reading in the coming days.

    Merry Christmas ! 🙂

    Posted by Ray | June 20, 2015, 7:57 am
  161. Here is the first summary without any mention of MTV and Geagea leaks and so much more already circulating on the net.

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Jun-20/303058-wikileaks-reveals-saudi-intrigue-and-unpaid-limo-bills.ashx

    Posted by Ray | June 20, 2015, 10:36 am
  162. The media silence on this is news in itself 🙂

    Only Al Akhbar is having a field day.

    Posted by Ray | June 20, 2015, 11:37 am
  163. Professor Reilly, Parrhesia, thanks for the response. Now if religious nationalism plays a role in shaping the national identity, wouldn’t this at least lead to that some nationals feel less equal than the rest of their fellow citizens, not to speak of an outright discrimination.

    Posted by Badr | June 21, 2015, 3:51 am
  164. Ray,

    This is awesome and also could be out of context. It will not hurt anyone. Remember the leaks prior? Berri’s and Murr’s comments about 2006 Israeli campaign? Their followers are blind and stupid.

    In Lebanon almost everyone knows that they all are “sponsored” by foreign entities. Mostly by the Iran or KSA/Qatar.

    It just reinforces the notion that all politicians are whores. Bought and sold.

    Posted by Danny | June 21, 2015, 6:17 am
  165. Dany,

    Here’s the roundup so far. Remember it’s 69,000 cables and it’s only been 36 hours and it’s a weekend. There are another 440,000 to be released.

    – Shi’ite MP Ali Bazzi of Amal works for the CIA and is spying on Hezbollah. He’s finished (or dead or in exile).

    – Samir Geagea gets funding direct from Saudi Arabia. He’s finished.

    – MTV asked for $20m for pro-Saudi coverage. They received $5m. They can kiss advertising $ for their nightly News goodbye.

    – Saudi Arabia asked for the release of the Fatah Al Islam members jailed after the Nahr El Bared war that caused 168 Army casualties.

    – Saad Hariri asked journalists inside Saudi Arabia critical of him to be censored. Yay, freedom of speech!!

    – The sales proceeds of 3m barrels of oil in 2012 never reached the Yemeni treasury. That’s about $300m.

    – Qatar financed the unrest in Yemen through the Muslim Brotherhood to prevent Hadi from reaching the presidency to the tune of $250m. This proves that it wasn’t Saleh that was behind it.

    – Saudi Arabia offered the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt $10B (that’s with a capital B) to ensure the release of Mubarak.

    – A cable revealed that Saudi Arabia was/is planning on running a pipeline through Yemen (to avoid the straight of Hormuz) which could very well be at the center of the Yemeni was to begin with.

    Not newsworthy?

    What is stunning is that there isn’t as much as a word about it on CNN, BBC, Huffington Post, etc.. The NYT is actually downplaying it 🙂

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/world/middleeast/cables-released-by-wikileaks-reveal-saudis-checkbook-diplomacy.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=2

    Posted by Ray | June 21, 2015, 7:34 am
  166. Ray,

    What’s so significant about what you posted so far. Most of these are suspicions that a lot of people had…Do you think the world collapsed after the wikileaks of the past two years? You are jumping for joy too soon.

    Posted by Danny | June 21, 2015, 8:08 am
  167. Dany,

    I don’t think it has sunk in yet how huge these cables actually are and will eventually become.

    If you have not noticed, the powers that are obviously holding their breaths all over the world. Not a peep from anyone 🙂 All the major news corps. Dead silent.

    I can hardly imagine the Dutch staying silent on the Saudi Ambassador to the Netherlands having raped a maid and which was hushed up (probably with cash) by local authorities.

    There are revelations that will shock and outrage communities individually all over the world.

    Most people, probably (?) feel that if isn’t on CNN or the BBC it’s a non event. That’s not where the news is happening any longer. You need to be on Twitter for that nowadays. That’s where the pulse is.

    First questions that comes to mind:

    How will these leaks impact Muslims around the world and will it be used as a recruiting tool by ISIS? If not, would that not be a surprise?

    Posted by Ray | June 21, 2015, 8:59 am
  168. One has to ponder how much money CNN and An Nahar and most major news sources have gotten these past 48 hours to keep their mouths shut.

    It is scary.

    Posted by Ray | June 22, 2015, 5:18 am
  169. Ray,

    I don’t understand why you think this is a big deal? It has blown over already. Find something else dude.

    BTW, in Lebanon anything can be denied. Who says the authors of those cables were accurate in their assessments.

    FYI. Re: Ali Bezzi.

    http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?fromval=1&cid=23&frid=23&eid=217006

    I guess CNN does not have to report it lol. Although ZNN had a long reportage on it. 😀

    Posted by Danny | June 22, 2015, 8:33 am
  170. Thanks for the info on Ali Bazzi via Al Manar. That really has my head scratching.

    Posted by Ray | June 22, 2015, 11:59 am
  171. Problem is, I don’t read Arabic. Which I think is why there seems to be a lot of reluctance to report on it?

    I guess it would be like the Chinese Foreign Ministry was hacked but there is little any none Chinese readers could do about it 🙂

    Posted by Ray | June 22, 2015, 12:03 pm
  172. Coming back to Al Manar refuting the Al Akhbar Saudi Cable leak on Bazzi…

    Does that mean that Hezbollah does not have final editorial say at Al Akhbar?

    Just asking.

    Posted by Ray | June 23, 2015, 2:05 pm
  173. More importantly: why would Al Akhbar publish such a potentially explosive revelation without consulting the “Leader” on it?

    It is rather strange.

    Posted by Ray | June 23, 2015, 2:12 pm
  174. Or maybe Ali Bazzi was a double agent ?

    Posted by Ray | June 23, 2015, 2:17 pm
  175. Ray,

    I think Mustapha/Iceman is missed now. Why are you so befuddled. How about HA making sure it is published to refute it and expose the wise kingdom’s foolishness of a desperate attempt to sow discord between HA/Amal.

    Posted by Danny | June 23, 2015, 5:20 pm
  176. Yes. Very plausible, Danny.

    I would recommend a good book, should you have time for such things, titled “A Spy among Friends”.

    Beirut and the spy games during it’s hey days.

    Posted by Ray | June 24, 2015, 11:56 am
  177. Back then it was the flashy Brits, the Americans, the Soviets.

    Nowadays it’s the Saudis and the Iranians with a bit of Turkish flavor and some Russian salad.

    Posted by Ray | June 24, 2015, 12:06 pm
  178. Danny:

    “BTW, in Lebanon anything can be denied.”

    Is an emphatic denial still given as much “weight” as irrefutable proof?

    BTW, the aircraft subject of this thread is blessed with Israeli avionics. Isn’t that convenient?

    Posted by lally | June 24, 2015, 11:02 pm
  179. State Department recently approved two FMS cases for Lebanon. Six Super Tucano turboprop fighter planes and 1,000 Hellfire missiles. Not bad, HA now has a mini Air Force, all paid for by the Wise Kingdom!

    Posted by Vulcan | June 25, 2015, 8:31 am
  180. lally there is no such thing as irrefutable proof in Lebanon. For example: If there is video evidence as well as numerous witnesses of Nassy’s thugs killing someone…Would you call that irrefutable proof?

    Posted by Danny | June 25, 2015, 8:35 am
  181. “It’s not my habit to run away in the middle of a battle.”

    Guess who uttered those precious words lately!! Senility is a marvelous thing sometimes!

    Posted by Danny | June 26, 2015, 6:57 am
  182. Danny,

    Here’s a rundown of Maronite politicians popularity as per Twitter followers:

    Ziyad Baroud – 218K
    Samir Geagea – 131K (courtesy of the KSA)
    Samy Gemayel – 124K
    Nadim Gemayel – 56.3K
    Sleiman Frangieh – 50.4K
    Michel Aoun – 31.1K (unverified account and nobody wonders why)
    Nayla Tueini – 18.7K
    Roger Edde – 12.5K

    Posted by Ray | June 26, 2015, 8:23 am
  183. Looks like the Wise ISIS is having a field day today, France, Tunisia, Kuwait.

    Posted by Vulcan | June 26, 2015, 8:45 am
  184. Ray,

    You are sounding so much as the alter ego of mustapha. Kindly let me know how did you ascertain the numeric values of each candidates followers by region.

    BTW. Roger Edde? WTF! He just sits on the beach at Edde Sands and drinks!

    Yes Vulcan. The wiser kingdom strikes again. By beheading, guns and bombs. More to come.

    Posted by Danny | June 26, 2015, 8:55 am
  185. I did not and do not ascertain any value to anything. I am simply providing you with raw data as it is.

    You must be a Maronite, Danny? I am not.

    There obviously must be some charisma that Mr. Baroud holds over people interested in lebanon that other Maronite leaders don’t seem to have. Go figure.

    Posted by Ray | June 26, 2015, 9:06 am
  186. Ray,

    Just a friendly, good-faith note to inform you that Nayla Tueni is not Maronite. She’s actually Greek Orthodox, as was her father, the late Gebran Tueni. Nayla’s also married to Malek Maktabi, who is a Shiite Muslim! That marriage is enough for her to earn the coveted “Mad Props” award from me! I am very much in favor of inter-faith (and inter-ethnic, inter-racial, inter-national) unions! 🙂

    I won’t presume to know Nayla’s politics, but from my experience Lebanese Greek Orthodox are quite different from Lebanese [Catholic] Maronites! For example, I knew these Ohio-based Greek Orthodox sisters back in college! They were hard-core SSNP. The SSNP’s “hurricane” logo hung in pendants from their necklaces and everything! They loved Syria and hated Israel! They were also tough as nails and could bite the ass off a bear! But granted, this was a long time ago, way before the Arab Spring of 2011, and I have no idea what they are like today! 🙂

    Posted by Samer Nasser | June 26, 2015, 9:43 am
  187. Thanks, Samer.

    Sorry for that mistake.

    Posted by Ray | June 26, 2015, 12:12 pm
  188. Ray you are editorializing…

    ” Samir Geagea – 131K (courtesy of the KSA)”

    Is that raw data? What is your source?

    Posted by Danny | June 26, 2015, 4:31 pm
  189. No Danny. This is inside information I have from someone that worked in an advertising agency that conducted the March 14 campaign a few years bacj.

    How else do you think Saad Hariri has half a million followers 🙂

    Posted by Ray | June 27, 2015, 9:12 am
  190. So you have “inside info”. That does it. Golden. We Trust in Ray. 😛

    Posted by Danny | June 27, 2015, 9:35 am
  191. Dany,

    You think there are half a million Twitter users in the country?

    If so, they must all be Sunni 🙂

    Posted by Ray | June 27, 2015, 9:38 am
  192. Whatever the Twitter math, one thing is for sure. There is overwhelming evidence that the Maronites like and listen to Ziyad Baroud.

    Enough said!

    Posted by Ray | June 27, 2015, 9:51 am
  193. So how does Mr. Samy envisage the geography of a federal state? What becomes of Beirut ?

    http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/183923-sami-gemayel-calls-for-national-gathering-to-establish-new-lebanon-after-election-of-president

    Posted by Ray | July 5, 2015, 12:48 pm
  194. Before we know it we’ll be discussing a UN Mandate for the city of Beirut.

    Posted by Ray | July 5, 2015, 12:52 pm

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