LEBANONESQUE

Impressions, views, and steam-blowing by a lonesome cowboy.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Here Comes Fatfat!

These are the people in charge of Lebanon. Oh mighty God, have mercy on all of us.

Ahmad Fatfat is the interim Interior Minister. Word in Beirut is that he is one of the smart ones in the current government. I'll give him credit for showing his face on TV, which is more than can be said about PM Milquetoast Siniora and AWOL Defense Minister Murr. During the first week of the war, the champions of TV appearances were the Minister of Culture and the Minister of Sports. The Minister of post-Um-Kulthum Tarab Music was a close third.

It was all very reassuring not to hear form the top brass while the country was being bombed to kingdom-come.

Now to Fatfat, from an interview with the Aussie ABC from August 2, 2006 (hat tip Claire, full interview here):

WARNING! Long rambling sentences, but worth the read to gauge the depth of the catastrophic incompetence and incoherence we are facing.

TONY JONES: Why is it, Dr Fatfat, why is it the Lebanese Government and the Lebanese army have been unable to make any headway at all up to and before this offensive began in disarming Hezbollah and taking away its missiles, which are situated on your own sovereign territory?

DR AHMAD FATFAT: It's a very interesting question. Look, you have an occupied territory by Israel in Shebaa. They don't get out, they don't withdraw from it. We have three prisoners in Israel. One of them is still there for 29 years. You understand 29 years in the prison. All the days, all over the last month, the sovereignty of our space in air, in water, on the ground was affected by Israel. So why did we have to have the resistance? We not have the obligation to do the resistance to this all-Israeli aggression. If they want peace, it is so easy. They can get out from Shebaa, they can liberate the prisoner, give us the plan and the map of the mine in Lebanon they put 10 years, more than 10 years, ago and they respect our sovereignty. In this case, it is so easy to control all of the border by the Israeli army and to have a real control and real sovereignty on Lebanon. Basically, they don't want peace. They really prefer this situation because they prefer to make a war against Lebanon, than to have it against Syria or against Iran.


Is Fatfat offering "peace" for Shebaa, a few prisoners and a mine map? Of course not, Israel would gulp that offer in 2 secs. The Lebanese government is on record "last country to make peace" and Hezbo is on record "no peace ever ever never ever."

It gets better (or rather worse).

TONY JONES: Dr Fatfat, it sounds like you are in fact supporting the offensive which began with Hezbollah rocket attacks on northern Israel. You describe that as resistance, do you?

DR AHMAD FATFAT: Sure because Israel is doing the same. Now any act of war against Israel is a act of resistance. It's a war. They impose - they want this war. We want peace, but they prefer to have war. It is a price of the war for everybody.

The meaning of the above paragraph is a fascinating mystery to me. Read on.

TONY JONES: But it does seem clear that in this case, this war began with Hezbollah bombing with its missiles Israeli cities. Now, you are part of the Lebanese Government. Under the UN Security Council Resolution 1559 under which the Syrian army was withdrawn from Lebanon, your government was obliged to actually disarm Hezbollah, but now you are telling us you actually support what they are doing.

DR AHMAD FATFAT: No, no. It is different. It is so different. We have, as I said, an occupied territory. We have a plan of seven points that our Prime Minister presents to the meeting in Rome a few days ago. It is so clear. After a complete cease-fire, we exchange prisoners, we ask Israel to go to the blue line, the border line, we can - so we stop to attack Lebanon and they have to respect our sovereignty. So we accept to have international forces. By international, what we mean is UN forces to control the zone, to protect Lebanon from Israeli attack and to respect cease-fire and the Lebanese army can have the control of all of the Lebanese territory so we can have no more attack. This is a solution to go to the agreement of armistice of 49 because this is not a war beginning now. It's a war of at least - very soon it will be for 60 years. It's a new battle.


The mystery deepens but in typical Arab fashion, after a devastating loss on the terrain, Fatfat thinks he can go back to the status quo ante. (You know like: hey dude let's go back to 1948 borders or 67 borders, it'd be cool)


TONY JONES: Dr Fatfat, do you agree Hezbollah, and their missiles, should have been disarmed in southern Lebanon or do you think they are in fact part of a resistance movement of which your government is part? It is quite confusing.

DR AHMAD FATFAT: No, no, no, not confusing. Until now - until we have occupied territory in Shebaa and we have prisoners, we have the obligation to have resistance. We cannot dismiss like that. We can not resign. What you are asking me is that you resign occupied territory with prisoners in relation to our space, of our water every day? It is not admissible. No one can admit this situation. If they respect the Lebanon territory, they respect Lebanon independencies and leave the Lebanese territory in Shebaa, they leave our prisoner, so no need to resist us or militia or anything. Now we can not except the nomination of militia to Hezbollah. It is a resistance and we need peace. We are working for a package deal and this package deal, this agreement, Hezbollah has partly accepted. So we present it to the international community in Rome and our friends in the Arab world and in Europe accept it. We have only now to convince the American diplomacy so we can have a lot of pressure on Israel to stop this war and have cease-fire. Then we are going to a real package deal to have real peace in our region.


Is he intimating that before July 12, life in Lebanon was terrible and conditions intolerable? Well thanks Hezbo and Fatfatian "tolerators", you took care of that.

You can read the whole thing if you are into masochism. And if you can make sense out of any of it, I'll nominate you for the 2006 Nobel in Logic.

For my part I'll say: this is what happens when you try to entertain a major contradiction on important matters: You sound like a fool and your policies lead to disaster. Maybe after all Fatfat is not as smart as Murr and Siniora who were in hiding the first 2 weeks and are keeping their mouths shut (for the most part).

Those are the people in charge of Lebanon. Lord have mercy.

84 Comments:

  • At 8/3/06, 1:33 PM, Blogger Ecce Libanus said…

    I love it when you start kicking ass!

     
  • At 8/3/06, 2:24 PM, Blogger Lazarus said…

    maybe i'm just sleepy, but am i the only one who did NOT understand a single sentence of his?

     
  • At 8/3/06, 2:27 PM, Anonymous ghassan karam said…

    And unfortunately so many are hitching their wagons to this nincompoop idiot and the other members of this sorry excuse for a cabinet.

    None of them has had the courage to denounce HA and say outloud that its military activities are in direct contavention of the Lebanese state.

    BTW, Nasrallah has just delivered a 45 minute speech in which he acted and was treated as the absolute and only leader of the Lebanese farm. He indicated that HA will fire ,what many have been expecting for a while, its long range rockets into Tel Aviv.

    What a sorry lot we have. Pity Lebanon who is caught in a no win situation as a result of these spinless jellyfish masqurading as ministers.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 3:02 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    You're not alone Laz,

    I could not read the whole thing, my head started to spin.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just love having Baghdad Bob back! This time he looks like Jerry Garcia. Good Stuff! Nothing is better than hearing such ridiculous statements from these people.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ghassan,

    "Nasrallah indicated that HA will fire ,what many have been expecting for a while, its long range rockets into Tel Aviv."

    Actually he said IF Israel bombs Beirut HA will fire rockets into Tel Aviv.

    Dalal

     
  • At 8/3/06, 3:31 PM, Blogger Ghassan said…

    Dalal, I stand corrected. But the "if" does not change the thrust of my argument. I do not believe that HA has the authority to declare either war or peace. We should not allow the logic that HA is defending the country without reminding ourselves of the fact that the coutry did not choose this war. HA 's actions become nothing more than a self fulfilling prophecy.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ghassan,

    I agree with you, but Lebanon is being bombed and Israel is refusing the cease fire. What other options does Lebanon have now?

    Dalal

     
  • At 8/3/06, 3:56 PM, Anonymous Battal Agha said…

    What a pity - to think that Lebanon is governed by a group of moron as good as Fatfat... And they truly believe that they are in charge.... What a Joke... God Save Lebanon and the Lebanese. With such a Government who needs ennemies???

     
  • At 8/3/06, 4:08 PM, Blogger Wil said…

    Yeah, actually, it does sound like that Baghdad Bob dude.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 4:15 PM, Blogger Achillea said…

    Israel is refusing the cease fire

    Israel has offered a ceasefire several times, as did SecState Rice. Hez refused on all your behalfs. A stop to this has been available since the beginning:

    Return the kidnapped soldiers.
    Cease the rocket attacks on Israeli population centers.
    Live up to your end of UNR 1559 and disarm the terrorist militia in Lebanon's sovereign territory.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 6:25 PM, Anonymous vox said…

    "We have three prisoners in Israel. One of them is still there for 29 years."

    So all of this destruction is to liberate a guy who crushed the head of a 4-year old?

     
  • At 8/3/06, 7:53 PM, Anonymous LF said…

    YOU DONT DESERVE TO BE LEBANESE. STICK TO THE UNITED STATES YOU SURE FIT IN WELL THERE WITH THE REST OF THE SPASTICS.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oooh, I think you hit a nerve. Apparently, the only one in his head.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 8:41 PM, Anonymous LF said…

    FUK RESOLUTION 1559. WHEN THE USA AND ISRAEL START RESPECTING ALL THE UN RESOLUTIONS AND YES I MEAN ALL EVEN THE ONES ABOUT THE PALESTINIANS THEN LEBANON WILL RESPECT 1559.

    P.S: ISRAEL CHOSE THIS WAR NOT LEBANON. NOT HIZBALLAH. THEY BOMBED THE SHIT OUT OF EVERY CORNER IN THE COUNTRY EVEN NEAR MY HOME IN CHRISTIAN ACHRAFIEH. NASRALLAH ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS SAID HE IS WILLING TO STOP IF ISRAEL SWOPS PRISONERS. WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO GIVE BACK THEIR PRISONERS AND FORGET OURS? SCREW THEM THEY ARE NOT BETTER THAN US. WE WILL FIGHT TILL THE END. TILL OUR LAST BREATH AND WE WILL WIN.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 8:46 PM, Anonymous LF said…

    p.s: SCREW BUSH AND HIS NEW MIDDLE EAST THEORY. HE THINKS HE HAS A NEW MAP OF THE MIDDLE EAST? THIS FOOL OF A COWBOY WHO EATS LIKE A PIG. WELL WE HAVE A NEW MAP OF THE WORLD TOO. NO ISRAEL AND AMERICA SPLIT INTO 50 INDEPENDANT COUNTRIES. SEE HOW POWERFUL YOU ARE THEN . MOTHER FUCKERS.

    ALLAH OUWEIT LEBNEIN HAKIM W BAS

     
  • At 8/3/06, 8:57 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    lf,

    Go back and read fully Hezballah and Nasrallah statements: No peace even if the Palestinians sign one, this is the umma's war whether the Lebanese like it or not etc.

    Also please mind your language. I am not a prude, but garbage language for NO reason or mere rants will be deleted.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    LF said, "SCREW THEM THEY ARE NOT BETTER THAN US. WE WILL FIGHT TILL THE END. TILL OUR LAST BREATH AND WE WILL WIN."

    Dude,

    By all means, pick up a gun and rush to South Lebanon and fight.

    Indeed, Lebanon did not choose this fight, but if you abdicate the power to dictate your country's foreign policy and the power to conduct war to a bunch of Hezbollah thugs, then war apparently it is.

    If you are so proud of the Hezbollah kidnapping Israeli soldiers, then you should live with the consequence of Israeli response.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 9:10 PM, Anonymous Ursus said…

    WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO GIVE BACK THEIR PRISONERS AND FORGET OURS?
    Well let's see, "your" prisoners ran an incursion into Israel, killing civilians including a 4-year-old girl, and were arrested by the local police. Meanwhile the Israeli "prisoners" were soldiers who were minding their own business until a raid party came and kidnapped them and dragged them back across the border.

    You're not going to get very far with arguing that the "prisoners" are morally the same.

    Looks like the Lebs still haven't managed to put their balls back in their sack and step up to reclaim their country from a group of islamo mafia thugs. Israel will have to keep doing it for you.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 9:22 PM, Blogger DWPittelli said…

    The man is somewhat evasive. He backs Hezbollah. And the English of this transcript is awkward, in particular its non-parallel use of prepositions and incorrect near homophones. But he is no idiot, and is not really that hard to understand. Read the below, with my added punctuation, and [bracketed inserts].

    TONY JONES: Dr Fatfat, do you agree Hezbollah, and their missiles, should have been disarmed in southern Lebanon or do you think they are in fact part of a resistance movement of which your government is part? It is quite confusing.

    DR AHMAD FATFAT: No, no, no, not confusing. Until now - until we have [back the] occupied territory in Shebaa and we have [our] prisoners [back], we have the obligation to have resistance. We cannot dismiss [matters] like that. We can not resign [ourselves to the situation]. What you are asking me is that [we] resign [ourselves] to occupied territory, with prisoners, in relation to our [lost] space, [and] of our water every day? It is not admissible [--acceptable]. No one can admit [--accept] this situation. If they [--Israelis] respect the Lebanon territory, they respect Lebanon['s] independenc[e] and leave the Lebanese territory in Shebaa, they leave [--return] our prisoner, so [then there's] no need to resist [for] us, or [to have a] militia or anything. Now we can not [acc]ept the nomination [--use of the name] of "militia" to Hezbollah. It is a resistance, and we need peace. We are working for a package deal and this package deal, this agreement, Hezbollah has partly accepted. So we present it to the international community in Rome and our friends in the Arab world and in Europe accept it. We have only now to convince the American diplomacy so we can have a lot of pressure on Israel to stop this war and have cease-fire. Then we are going to a real package deal to have real peace in our region.

    Note that if Hezbollah is not a militia, as he states, then Security Council Resolution 1559, which "Calls for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non- Lebanese militias" does not apply to Hezbollah.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 9:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lebanon is being bombed and Israel is refusing the cease fire. What other options does Lebanon have now?
    Has the world gone bloody crazy? The answer is obvious: kill the damn terrorists! Good grief, people, the fact that there's even a question about what should be done here is insane. End the moral equivalency, destroy Hezbollah and bring real peace to the Israel/Lebanon border. Every bomb that falls on Lebanon is Hezbollah's fault.

    NASRALLAH ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS SAID HE IS WILLING TO STOP IF ISRAEL SWOPS PRISONERS.
    How many times have we heard these lies? "Well, if they just give up this territory, we'll stop attacking." "Well, if they just give us these prisoners, we'll stop attacking." All lies, again and again. Every inch of territory given back was used for attacks against Israel; they'd be fools to make yet another agreement with terrorists who want nothing more than what Iran's president called for: total eradication of Israel. The day will come very soon where Islamic fascism joins Naziism, fascism and communism on the ash heap of history, where it belongs, but only if Israel and the US don't back down from the fight yet again.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 9:48 PM, Anonymous stubby said…

    WELL WE HAVE A NEW MAP OF THE WORLD TOO. NO ISRAEL AND AMERICA SPLIT INTO 50 INDEPENDANT COUNTRIES. SEE HOW POWERFUL YOU ARE THEN .

    Honey, that's just pitiful. Sounds like my 4 year old when I send her to bed: Well, when I'm a grownup I'll do whatever I want and I'll never go to your house! So there!

     
  • At 8/3/06, 10:34 PM, Blogger Pixy Misa said…

    Tony Jones is well-known for tossing softballs to his interview subjects. But there have been a couple of examples recently where the interviewee has been so incompetent and incoherent that he's been forced to ask some serious questions.

    I think the previous case was Robert Fisk.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 10:38 PM, Blogger Pixy Misa said…

    AMERICA SPLIT INTO 50 INDEPENDANT COUNTRIES.

    Ah, Federalism is alive and well in Lebanon. ;)

     
  • At 8/3/06, 11:40 PM, Anonymous ghassan said…

    Stubby,
    You must be or have been a parent because you r diagnosis is right on. LF, and many others have been acting and posting some very juvenile things. LF is going to counter the US plan by having a plan of his own for the whole world. I believe that such meaningless nonsensical rants are usually sufficient evidence to send such individuals into facilities for the mentally challenged.

    I find myself again in total agreement with Josey. This current conflict is only tangentially connected to Lebanon. Iran can care less about a Lebanese Sheba'a farm. Tehran is interested in promoting the Umma and spreading its brand of Islam all over the globe. The Iranian HA, the Lebanese HA and all other HA's will act as the vant garde for the new global empire. That in itself is not threatening had it not been for the fascist means to accomplish the mission.
    We in Lebanon must understand that HA is only using its Lebanese connection because it is useful at this stage but HA is no more than an extention of an Iranian group of mullahs who have designs over the Middle East and beyond.

     
  • At 8/3/06, 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    NASRALLAH ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS SAID HE IS WILLING TO STOP IF ISRAEL SWOPS PRISONERS.

    Is that why Hezbollah fighters marched down the streets of Beirut on Al Quds day and Nasrallah said they are going to Jerusalem?

     
  • At 8/4/06, 12:27 AM, Blogger Ghassan said…

    LF,
    I have had to correct the gross misinformation about the UNSC resolutions over ten times over the past month.
    Her we go again. THer are two types of security council resolutions: those passed under chapter six and those passed under chapter seven.
    Chapter six resolutions do not dictate a solution. They only recommend or suggest or even condemn but it is up to the two parties in question to agree on an acceptable resolution.
    Chapter seven resolutions on the other hand are those that do not give the parties any leeway. they just order a particular outcome

    What gets lost on most people is that Israel is not in violation of any UNSC resolutions because 242... are passed under chapter six i.e. these resolutions ask Israel and its neighbors to agree on a resolution that is acceptable to them. So far both parties have failed to arrive at an agreement.
    1559 ,on the other hand, is passed under chapter seven. Under this resolution there is nothing to be discussed. Syria had to pull out and Lebanon has to disarm the militias. It is similar to an order. Believe it or not besides 1559 every single UNSC chapter seven resolution has been implemented. 1559 will have to be implemented also. There is no other choice .

     
  • At 8/4/06, 1:46 AM, Anonymous Corey k said…

    Ghassan, thank you for the clarification of the UN chapters and their application to various resolutions. I was not aware that this was how it worked.

    And as for LF, tell you what-when the
    Mexican separatists finally get their 150-year-old wish and try to take California for themselves as "Aztlan", you can go fight on their behalf, too!

    CK

     
  • At 8/4/06, 3:38 AM, Blogger Charles Malik said…

    That was really funny. Also tragic.

    Fatfat has support because, in a country of yes men, he's willing to say something else. That's not always something intelligent.

    Sadly, in this case he's expressing the views of the Future Current. If this is what they are thinking right now, I'm very afraid.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 4:45 AM, Anonymous baghdadijew said…

    Betwwen Fatfat and Hassan what chance has Lebanon got?

     
  • At 8/4/06, 6:53 AM, Anonymous Tony said…

    Poor Dr. Fatfat. Hizbullah probably had a knife at his daughter's throat during that interview. That and a good case of Orwellian doublethink.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    WATCH THIS INTERESTING ME THINKS.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKq38COoTG8

     
  • At 8/4/06, 8:48 AM, Anonymous Ursus said…

    Hey anonymous, if you think Chomsky is interesting you should check some of his other works. Start here.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 9:05 AM, Anonymous The Monster said…

    Shebaa Farms is a bogus claim. It was part of Syria before Israel captured the Golan Heights while defending itself in the Yom Kippur War. Syria has never signed a peace treaty with Israel. It and Lebanon have never recognized Israel, which would be an essential element of such a treaty.

    The UN observers (you know, those nice guys you see with their flag flying along side HA) said that Israel completely withdrew from every square centimeter of Lebanese territory six years ago in compliance with 1559.

    Now Lebanon says that Shebaa was really theirs all along. The problem is that there was never any official agreement between Syria and Lebanon to convey Shebaa Farms to Lebanon. (The reason for this is that Syria technically claims that all of Lebanon is actually part of Syria.)

    Since Syria lost Shebba Farms in a war that has never been ended by treaty, at this point it is no longer Syria's to give to Lebanon. If Syria and Israel would agree to a treaty under which Israel would give Shebba Farms back to Syria, then it could give the land to Lebanon.

    In the meantime, if you're saying that Lebanon has attacked Israel to try to gain territory, that's fine. Israel is completely justified in responding to such an attack. If, in the process, the Districts of Sour, Bent Jbail, Marjaayoun, and Hasbaya (including the town of Shebaa) are annexed just as the Heights have been, what will you have accomplished?

     
  • At 8/4/06, 9:40 AM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Monster,

    All I am saying is that we are led by delusional fools or gutless wonders.

    Of course Shebaa is bogus, and even if legit not worth what happened.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So all of this destruction is to liberate a guy who crushed the head of a 4-year old?

    Kind of puts the death penalty into perspective...

     
  • At 8/4/06, 10:26 AM, Anonymous The Monster said…

    Sorry, Josey. I wasn't talking about you, but about Fathead, and anyone else talking that Shebaa smack. I should have made that clear.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 10:31 AM, Blogger dougjnn said…

    Monster—
    Shebaa Farms is a bogus claim. It was part of Syria before Israel captured the Golan Heights while defending itself in the Yom Kippur War.

    Regardless of whether Shebaa is bogus it would be useful to Israel to give it to Lebanon (so long as Syria formally disavows ownership) in a ceasefire deal, which ideally would actually become a peace deal (though that wouldn’t make Syria happy before it has it’s own peace deal involving more of the Golan than Israel last time wanted to give up).

    And the three Lebanese prisoners as well, despite the fact that one of them is a cold blooded bare hands murderer of a little girl and her father. He took them as hostages while trying to avoid capture by IDF forces while inside Israel on a terrorist raid.

    Why useful? Because Hezbollah’s claim to the rest of the Lebanese nation to still need to exist as a separate well armed militia is based on being a national resistance movement. The grievances it claims still need redressing are Shebaa farms and the three prisoners.

    The greatest prize for Israel in all this would be if Hezbollah disarms or is merged and integrated into the Lebanese Army, and the rockets destroyed. That may not be achievable. It’s certainly not achievable by Israeli military force alone. And thoughts that a multinational forces is going to disarm Hezbollah by force is pure fantasy on the part of Israelis and many Americans. Never going to happen. They may verify that it’s being honestly done and they may patrol the borders against an agreement that no new arms come in for Hezbollah. But they aren’t going to fight a guerilla war with Hez to force them to do anything.

    However disarming Hex IS what the rest of Lebanese society other than the Shi’a wanted and were trying to achieve politically before the war started. It’s what they’ll want after the bombing stops as well, and when the blood cools, many may want it more urgently than before.

    Israel’s agreeing on these two points (while of course getting their two soldiers back) will aid in it happening. And really, in the scheme of things, it’s not giving up anything worth.

    The usual Israeli mantra about concessions making Israel look weak is completely out of touch with Lebanese dynamics on these points. Agreeing on these two in return for Hez disarming would by Siniora’s government and the power of negotiations look strong, helping to get Hez disarmed.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 10:45 AM, Anonymous The Monster said…

    dougjnn

    Not for a cease fire. If Israel and Lebanon work out a treaty under which Israel renounces any claim to the Shebaa Farms, and Lebanon recognizes Israel's right to exist in peace on its side of a border they both agree to, then there is a peaceful resolution.

    Israel occupied the Heights once before, and withdrew without a treaty. That is a mistake they should never make again. You want peace with Israel, you sign a peace treaty, under which you admit you have responsibilities.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 10:46 AM, Blogger dougjnn said…

    Anonymous--
    So all of this destruction is to liberate a guy who crushed the head of a 4-year old?

    The destruction is to deter Hezbollah both directly and indirectly (through the pressures of the rest of Lebanon and the international community) to not indulge in any future rocket attacks on Israel or cross border raids. Israel also hopes to get Hezbollah disarmed, the rockets destroyed, and that there is an agreement that Lebanon (with the help of the international forces) won’t let any more rockets or other arms for Hezbollah come across it’s borders.

    The disarming part is tricky. It’s also political. And swapping Shebba farms and agreeing to a complete prisoner exchange helps in exchange for Hez disarming is how to get it done. Maybe an agreement now to hand over Shebba once the disarming is complete.

    That creates just the right sort of pressures on Hezbollah. Were they serious about putting Lebanese national interests first?

     
  • At 8/4/06, 10:58 AM, Blogger dougjnn said…

    The Monster said...
    Israel occupied the Heights once before, and withdrew without a treaty. That is a mistake they should never make again.

    Shebba Farms isn’t up on the heights, it’s at the bottom of them and a bit around the corner. It’s not strategic (unlike the Golan Heights), it’s tiny, and it’s not very valuable. It’s symbolic for Lebanon and Hezbollah, but not even very symbolic for Israelis. It’s an easy trade if you can get something for it.

    Not for a cease fire. If Israel and Lebanon work out a treaty under which Israel renounces any claim to the Shebaa Farms, and Lebanon recognizes Israel's right to exist in peace on its side of a border they both agree to, then there is a peaceful resolution.

    No, it’s not for a ceasefire. It’s to get rid of the rockets and get Hezbollah disarmed or merged into the Lebanese army. Those things are very valuable.

    A full peace deal would be nice by Syria will try very hard to block it and may be able to, through the two Shi’a parties, one of which is Hezbollah. Syria may do jujitsu with Shebaa farms as part of it’s blocking strategy. A deal whereby Lebanon agrees that it will have no further issues blocking a peace deal and recognition of Israel once Israel concludes one with Syria might work.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 10:59 AM, Anonymous Ursus said…

    Regardless of whether Shebaa is bogus it would be useful to Israel to give it to Lebanon

    Giving up land and releasing criminals back to HA would not be "useful" in any sense of the word, except for HA who would be seen as having achieved victory (they got the land and prisoners, which is what they say this whole thing was about). Handing victory to HA would not be useful to anybody except HA, and it would be bad for the rest of the world, since HA would be emboldened from their victory.

    If it was all done as part of a formal package that required dismantling HA first then sure, that would certainly be worth it.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 11:06 AM, Blogger dougjnn said…

    ghassan karam said...
    What a sorry lot we have. Pity Lebanon who is caught in a no win situation as a result of these spinless jellyfish masqurading as ministers.

    I would love you comments as to what I said just above on how to help the Lebanese get Hezbollah to destroy it’s rockets and merge into the Lebanese army.

    If the three Lebanese prisoners were returned in a prisoner exchange as part of the ceasefire and Israel formally agreed to hand over Shebaa farms to Lebanon (since Syria has been saying it’s Lebanese despite the UN saying it’s Syrian), but only once Hezbollah had ACTUALLY turned over it’s rockets for destruction and merged fully into the Lebanese army, what would happen?

    Would the rest of Lebanese society put sufficient pressure on Hezbollah to get them to agree to this? What would the ministers do? How would the dynamics play out?

     
  • At 8/4/06, 11:06 AM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Guys,

    the Shebaa vs disarming Hezbo idea was floated before (by Israel).

    Nasrallah was quick to point out that after Shebaa, there were other issues, like the 7-villages, and Jerusalem etc

    It's an endless game.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 11:17 AM, Blogger dougjnn said…

    Ursus said...
    If it was all done as part of a formal package that required dismantling HA first then sure, that would certainly be worth it.

    That is of course exactly what I suggested.

    With the proviso that the prisoner exchange happens immediately. Shebaa is agreed to immediately contingent on third parties verifying that the rockets had been destroyed and Hez had merged into the Lebanese army. Hez would also forswear operating in the future as an independent militia.

    Frankly it seems to me to be absolutely no brainer worth it for Israel.

    But lots of Israelis and their ardent US supports don’t think so, or only do with the greatest of reluctance. The pig headed stubbornness, or rather a sort of absolutism, of many of these never ceases to amaze me.

    It will be tough for the balance of Lebanon to pull off. But even if it sits out there, Hezbollah not really disarming having agreed to (or even after refusing to do so directly), and Shebba therefore still in Israeli hands, THAT tends to keep the right sort of pressure on Hezbollah.

    You mean you’re going to send rockets in Israel AGAIN and seriously risk ANOTHER Israeli bombardment and invasion, when all you have to do for us to get back the Shebaa farms you say means so much to you and should mean so much to the rest of us, is just GET RID OF THOSE DAMN ROCKETS.

    Yuup. Right dynamic.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 11:23 AM, Blogger dougjnn said…

    oseyWales said...
    Nasrallah was quick to point out that after Shebaa, there were other issues, like the 7-villages, and Jerusalem etc

    What’s the 7 villages purported issue?

    Just because Nasrallah wants to keep claiming that national honor demands that he keep up his war with Israel doesn’t mean the rest of Lebanon is going to buy it, especially after they’ve paid such an enormous cost in this war.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 12:26 PM, Blogger SteveR said…

    It's funny - as I was reading the Minister's comments, becoming more confused and frustrated by the minute, I vision of Cindy Sheehan popped into my mind!

     
  • At 8/4/06, 12:50 PM, Anonymous LF said…

    Captured Hizbollah Fighters Paraded Friday 4 august

    Israel has shown off what it says are captured Hizbollah fighters following one of the heaviest nights of air raids since the conflict began. The Israeli army did not say where the men were captured but fierce fighting has continued in southern Lebanon.... etc


    WHEN SADDAM HUSSEIN PARADED PRISONERS THE WHOLE WORLD WAS QUICK TO CONDEMN HIM. THEY SAID HE WAS VIOLATING INTERNATIONAL LAWS OR SOMETHING OF THE SORT.
    IF THESE ARE NOT DOUBLE STANDARDS I DONT KNOW WHAT IS. FUKING HYPOCRITES.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 2:04 PM, Blogger Andy said…

    There is this myth that keeps floating around that Syria has given the Shebaa Farms to Lebanon. IN fact, Bashar al-Assad, two days ago, left the matter very much in the air:
    Al-Hayat: The issue of demarcating the borders has been raised, and UN Security Council Resolution 1680 asks Syria to demarcate the borders (between it and Lebanon). What is your position on this?
    President al-Assad: In November, prior to the decision, there was a direct response by the Syrian Prime Minister to the letter by Prime Minister Siniora, containing Syria's approval of demarcating the borders. But the game is pretty clear. Even if we agree, we knew what Siniora's game was. At the time, the issue was the Shebaa Farms. For us, we cannot demarcate the Shebaa Farms right now. We should begin in the north, or somewhere else, but not in the Shebaa Farms, under Israeli occupation. This is our position, which is clear. As for demarcating the border, as you know, two years ago we demarcated the border with Jordan, and there was no problem.


    It's pretty clear that Syria isn't just going to roll over for a deal that marks the border.

    Josey: Nice commentary, and I'm sorry that you have such horrendous representatives in Fatfat and Nasrallah.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "IF THESE ARE NOT DOUBLE STANDARDS I DONT KNOW WHAT IS. "

    Then you don't know what is.

    See, the illegality of parading prisoners is part of the Geneva Convention and Hezballah isn't a signatory. So Israel is well within their right to just shoot their prisoners whenever they want.

    Now, if they had used CAPSLOCK when typing, then they may be eligible for international sanction.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    shebaa farms is part of occupied Syria. Of course Syria is free to give what they don't control to anyone, Right?

    Lebanon tried to postpone disarming Hezbollah, knowing that it would cost lives.

    Not that decision is costing lives.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 2:54 PM, Blogger BigLeeH said…

    Dougjnn said...

    But lots of Israelis and their ardent US supports don’t think so, or only do with the greatest of reluctance. The pig headed stubbornness, or rather a sort of absolutism, of many of these never ceases to amaze me.

    It will be tough for the balance of Lebanon to pull off. But even if it sits out there, Hezbollah not really disarming having agreed to (or even after refusing to do so directly), and Shebba therefore still in Israeli hands, THAT tends to keep the right sort of pressure on Hezbollah


    I must agree about the pig-headed stubbornness of the Israelis. They are without a doubt the most intractible, unreasonable, hard-headed people on earth -- except for everyone else in the region, most of whom are worse.

    The problem with your Shebaa for disarmament theory is that the crisp distinction you make -- between Hezbollah disarming and Hezbollah continuing as an armed militia -- is unrealistic. What would happen if your plan was put into effect right now would be the follwing sequence of events.

    1) Israel would stand down and be replaced by an under-staffed international force.

    2) Hezbollah would surrender dozens of old, non-functional and/or short-range rockets along with hundreds of outdated small arms. They will claim that is all that remains.

    3) The international forces will attempt to verify that Hezbollah has not hidden any arms. This process will take a long time and will be inconclusive; each time a new cache of rockets is found Hezbollah will claim that the latest find is the last of them. This go on until the attention-span of the international community has been exceeded.

    4) Shebaa Farms will not be ceded to Lebanon because the international force will not be able to verify that Hezbollah has disarmed. Much of the Arab press will forget that the Shebaa Farms deal was contingent on the disarmament of Hezbollah and attribute the failure to Isreaeli intransigence.

    5) Iran and Siria will begin to quietly rearm Hezbollah. The Lebanese government and the international forces will be aware of this but will be unable to stop it. A certain amount of unavailing 'diplomacy' will ensue.

    6) Hezbollah will begin lobbing missles at Israel again, using Israel's failure to turn over Shebaa Farms (as they "promised" they would) as part of the rationalle for the attacks.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 5:11 PM, Blogger Subsunk said…

    Is lying the national pasttime of Islam? Or are the moderate- and non-Muslims of the Middle East just too cowardly or brainwashed to stand up to radical bullies?

    Most Westerners learned to stand up for what they believe in when pressed by bullies. We don't always do so, but it is ingrained in us to try. I wonder if there is something in Islam which makes standing up to folks who advocate killing outsiders above all else something of a sin against itself, and therefore, this is a waste of time (i.e. Islam will always hate the West, always try to kill the West, and will only stop when Muslims are dead)?

    Subsunk

     
  • At 8/4/06, 5:15 PM, Anonymous Ursus said…

    Not your first rodeo, is it, BigLeeH

     
  • At 8/4/06, 6:27 PM, Blogger Papa Ray said…

    Subsunk said: " I wonder if there is something in Islam which makes standing up to folks who advocate killing outsiders above all else something of a sin against itself,.."

    Well, I could fill up the maximum comment area with quotes from the Qur'an that advocate either killing, imprisoning, converting or making slaves out of (disbelievers) outsiders, but I won't.

    I could also give many quotes from the Qur'an and other Muslim writings on the punishment for believers if they give aid to unbelievers or disobey the Qur'an's instructions.

    You see, the Qur'an is the actual word of God and so it must be believed, followed and enforced.

    That is at the root of all the problems concerning Muslims since the 6th century. In my humble opinion. But what do I know, I only started learning about Islam in 2002.

    I am sure I have only scratched the surface and that I take many things out of context and that Islam is really the religion of peace that most believe it is.

    Ask me again in another four years and see if I have changed my mind.

    If I'm still around and your still around.

    Papa Ray
    West Texas
    USA

     
  • At 8/4/06, 6:53 PM, Anonymous LF said…

    PAPARAY,

    SHOW ME SOME QUOTES.


    ''I could also give many quotes from the Qur'an and other Muslim writings on the punishment for believers if they give aid to unbelievers''

    ENLIGHTEN US. OR JUST SHUT DA FUK UP.

     
  • At 8/4/06, 6:55 PM, Anonymous LF said…

    paparay,

    FROM THE KORAN. NOT SO CALLED ''OTHER WRITINGS''. I WANT ACTUAL QUOTES FROM THE KORAN PLZ.


    OR JUST SHUT DA FUK UP

     
  • At 8/4/06, 7:53 PM, Blogger dougjnn said…

    BigLeeH said…

    “What would happen if your plan was put into effect right now would be the follwing sequence of events.”

    That is a plausible scenario. And I will agree that Hezbollah COMPLETELY disarming is improbably. The important thing would be to get the longer range and bigger rockets.

    As well I’m not at all sure that helping enforce and enforcing a border ban on more rockets coming in wouldn’t work w/r to big rockets. They’re not so easy to hide.

    If both those things were verified by the international community as working for say two years, it would be good for Israel to have agreed to hand over Shebaa and make good on it even if the ban weren’t perfect.

    It 1) deprives Hez of most of it’s actually scary rockets as opposed to annoying ones (or scarry ones for a few Israeli border villages;

    2)it with the prisoner exchange will deprive Hez of it’s major excuses for re-attacking Israel. And given the damage that Lebanon is currently suffering the internal pressure on it to not re-attack will be great.

    None of this is perfect. It’s just a lot better than if the attempt to trade Shebaa for disarming and keeping new rockets from getting to Hez hadn’t been made.

    What world work better?

     
  • At 8/5/06, 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I saw that interview and didn't know whether to be angry at him for failing to denounce Hezbollah for the misery it has brought upon Lebanon or feel sorry for him for being a Hezbollah stooge. Mind you earlier on (7.30 Report, same station) we saw the Lebanese Minister for Social Affiars.

    It's about time Lebanese stood up and stood together to destroy this cancer called Hezbollah.

    DAB

     
  • At 8/5/06, 4:58 PM, Anonymous LF said…

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14337.htm WATCH THIS

     
  • At 8/6/06, 3:56 AM, Blogger M. Simon said…

    If Israel returns the head crusher the government will fall.

    Such wishful thinking is not a solution.

    Israel must keep attacking until all delusions are gone.

    =============================

    The Jerusalem Post says Qana may have been totally staged.

    It is also a story about bloggers.

    Bloggers get results

    BTW we may know where the dead bodies came from. See the A.J. Strata link at the above location




    The Jerusalem Post says Qana may have been totally staged.

    It is also a story about bloggers.

    Bloggers get results

    BTW we may know where the dead bodies came from. See the A.J. Strata link at the above location

     
  • At 8/6/06, 4:01 AM, Blogger M. Simon said…

    Israel has already agreed to hand over Shebba.

    All that is required is for Syria to formally renounce claim to the area.

    Perhaps Hizbollah needs to kidnap some Syrian soldiers and fire some rockets into Syria to get them to act. LOL.

     
  • At 8/6/06, 4:07 AM, Blogger M. Simon said…

    lf,

    Papa Ray is indisposed so I am filling in:

    Hizbollah and Hamas have constructed core ideologies based upon this Islamic theology of Jew hatred, which one can glean readily from their foundational documents, and subsequent pronouncements, made ad nauseum. Hamas further demonstrates openly its adherence to a central motif of Jew-hatred in Muslim eschatology—Article 7 of the Hamas Charter concludes with a verbatim reiteration of the apocalyptic hadith alluded to earlier:

    “The Last Hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: `Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him’; but the tree Gharkad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 40, Number 6985).

    Apocalyptic Muslim Jew-hatred

     
  • At 8/6/06, 5:10 AM, Anonymous LF said…

    MSIMON,


    I ASKED FOR A QUOTE FROM THE KORAN. I DONT KNOW WHERE THE HELL YOU GOT THIS QUOTE FROM. TRY AGAIN. MAYBE NEXT TIME.


    PAPARAY SAID: ''I could also give many quotes from the Qur'an and other Muslim writings on the punishment for believers if they give aid to unbelievers''


    YOU SEE OTHER WRITINGS DO NOT INTEREST ME. WHAT THE KHOMEINI WROTE OR BINLADEN WROTE IS UNIMPORTANT. WHATS IMPORTANT IS WHATS IN THE KORAN.

    P.S: STILL WAITING. AND QANA WAS NOT STAGED. SHAME ON YOU AND YOUR ZIONIST PROPAGANDA. NEXT YOU WILL BE SAYING THAT THE FARMERS THAT WERE BLOWN TO PIECES IN ALQAA IS ALSO STAGED.

     
  • At 8/6/06, 6:18 AM, Blogger Paul Edwards said…

    LF, here are the quotes you're looking for in the Quran:

    http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/call_to_muslims.htm

    My favourite is verse 33:50 which says you can have sex with your slaves:

    http://www.oneummah.net/quran/33.htm

     
  • At 8/6/06, 8:03 AM, Anonymous LF said…

    PAUL EDWARDS,


    YOUR FIRST LINK IS NON EXISTANT. AND THE SECOND ONE I SEE NOTHING ABOUT JEW HATING AND PUNISHING BEELIEVERS THAT HELP NON BELIEVERS. AS FAR AS YOUR COMMENT ABOUT BEING BEING ABLE TO SCREW SLAVES I DIDNT FIND IT, I ACTUALLY FOUND STUFF ABOUT MARRIAGE.


    YOU FAILED AGAIN. KEEP LOOKING.

     
  • At 8/6/06, 8:08 AM, Anonymous LF said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 8/6/06, 8:50 AM, Blogger Paul Edwards said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 8/6/06, 9:23 AM, Anonymous LF said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 8/6/06, 9:23 AM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Ok, I am deleting.

    LF and Paul, take your discussion somewhere else.

     
  • At 8/7/06, 10:00 AM, Blogger arch.memory said…

    Josey-
    RE: Your "rejected" comments:
    It is not me who calls it "Comment Moderation"; it is Blogger. I will gladly call it "censorship" if it scratches your itch. And I see that you excercise it quite liberally here as well. So, let's not hide behind our (thin) fingers.

     
  • At 8/7/06, 10:44 AM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Arch

    Yes, I apply it (deletion/censorship) when it's off topic and/or foul mouthed gratuitously.

    I also explain why I delete (or leave enough).

    We are all protective of our mothers, but this is a debate on a big thing: the future of our country (or lack thereof).

    Yeah, it scratches my itch. Thanks, though I wish you'd clafify that matter also under your own post.

     
  • At 8/7/06, 12:22 PM, Anonymous Idris said…

    I saw Seniora crying about his Arabism. What a pitiful show. Before that he had invented an Israeli mssacre in Houla, now everyone knows there was only ONE dead.

     
  • At 8/7/06, 12:25 PM, Anonymous Delbarre said…

    Cheating and lying
    Reuters drops Lebanese photographer over doctored image
    Sun Aug 6, 2006 5:56pm ET

    LONDON (Reuters) - Reuters, the global news and information agency, told a freelance Lebanese photographer on Sunday it would not use any more of his pictures after he doctored an image of the aftermath of an Israeli air strike on Beirut.

    The photograph by Adnan Hajj, which was published on news Web sites on Saturday, showed thick black smoke rising above buildings in the Lebanese capital after an Israeli air raid in the war with the Shi'ite Islamic group Hizbollah, now in its fourth week.

    Reuters withdrew the doctored image on Sunday and replaced it with the unaltered photograph after several news blogs said it had been manipulated using Photoshop software to show more smoke.

    Reuters has strict standards of accuracy that bar the manipulation of images in ways that mislead the viewer.



    "The photographer has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image, saying that he was trying to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under," said Moira Whittle, the head of public relations for Reuters.

    "This represents a serious breach of Reuters' standards and we shall not be accepting or using pictures taken by him," Whittle said in a statement issued in London.

    Hajj worked for Reuters as a non-staff freelance, or contributing photographer, from 1993 until 2003 and again since April 2005.

    He was among several photographers from the main international news agencies whose images of a dead child being held up by a rescuer in the village of Qana, south Lebanon, after an Israeli air strike on July 30 have been challenged by blogs critical of the mainstream media's coverage of the Middle East conflict.

    Reuters and other news organizations reviewed those images and have all rejected allegations that the photographs were staged.



    © Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

     
  • At 8/7/06, 12:38 PM, Anonymous Claire said…

    Lebanese PM Now Says 1 Killed in Strike

    Quote of the Day

    The trees in the south say, 'We are Hezbollah.' The stones say, 'We are Hezbollah.' If the people cannot talk, the stones will say it."
    Issam Jouhair, a Lebanese car mechanic, on the widespread presence of the group in southern Lebanon.


    A lire:
    http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/08/06/news/charity.php




    Qana is a Hezbollah-occupied town (source: a Hizbollah sympathizer being interviewed), . Approximately 150 rockets had been launched from Qana. There is a rocket launch site 30 yards from that (4 story) building.

     
  • At 8/10/06, 2:16 PM, Blogger Bad Vilbel said…

    Ok, I'm a few days late to this post, but wow. This goes to show how ridiculously incompetent our politicians are.

    This is a bit of a rant on my part, but why must we allow people like this to be our leaders? Why must politicians as a whole (be it Fatfat or President Bush, who sounds just as confusing and confused) speak in riddles and vagueries? Is it just me or has politics in the 21st centuries devolved to a new low? What happened to leaders who spoke out and meant what they said, and said what they were thinking, plain and simple? If we can do it day in and day out on our blogs, why do we need these idiots? Where are the historical men of previous eras? Where are the likes of DeGaulle, Churchill or whoever else? Is the human gene pool incapable of producing such men anymore?

     
  • At 8/10/06, 5:00 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    bad vilbel,

    In the case of Lebanon, Syria made sure no bold leaders would emerge (starting with the assasination of Riad el Solh to Tueni).

    There are other reasons too, I guess. Talk to people around you. I know I disagree with most of my friends and family. They defend these idiots.

     
  • At 8/31/06, 2:20 PM, Anonymous Hamid- Liban said…

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Subversion de Seniora par Michel Aoun au profit du Hizboullah.

    http://www.lorient-lejour.com.lb/page.aspx?page=main-page

    « La 1701 n’est pas applicable à la carte ; ceux qui l’ont provoquée doivent en assumer les conséquences »
    Siniora : Le gouvernement reste, n’en déplaise à ses détracteurs
    Olmert exclut devant Annan la levée immédiate du blocus ; Rome met en garde Damas : Tout trafic d’armes vers le Liban « se saura »

    « Le gouvernement restera, n’en déplaise à ses détracteurs. » L’annonce faite hier aux Libanais, au régime syrien et au monde par un Premier ministre plus pugnace et plus déterminé que jamais n’avortera sans doute pas ce stérile et très déplacé faux débat, mais oblige tous ceux qui l’enveniment à revoir leur copie et à prendre consience des priorités du Liban.
    Parmi celles-ci, et outre la reconstruction du pays, il y a la levée du blocus imposé au pays par Israël et qu’Ehud Olmert entend garder, même après sa rencontre avec le très zélé Kofi Annan. Il y a aussi, et surtout, le respect de la légalité internationale, auquel Fouad Siniora tient tout particulièrement. Il l’a d’ailleurs rappelé très fermement : « Nous nous serions bien dispensés d’une action qui nous oblige aujourd’hui à être soumis à des résolutions internationales. La 1701 n’est pas applicable à la carte ; ceux qui l’ont provoquée doivent en assumer les conséquences », a-t-il affirmé, avant de s’envoler pour Stockholm et pendant que le pourtant modéré Romano Prodi mettait sérieusement en garde la Syrie : « Tout trafic d’armes vers le Liban se saura, et la communauté internationale ne restera pas à regarder. »
    lire aussi >>

    In the Spotlight

    Aoun: Saniora Will 'Pay the Price of his Stubbornness' and Will be 'Forced to Leave Quickly'
    Gen. Michel Aoun criticized Prime Minister Fouad Saniora's refusal to resign, saying his government is bound to collapse any time, As Safir reported Thursday....

     
  • At 9/4/06, 10:29 AM, Blogger Fearless said…

    Another one from Fatfat the 'Genius". We do not want peace with Israel. Or how we shall not implement Resolution 1701.
    Asharq Al-Awsat Interviews Lebanese Interior Minister Ahmad Fatfat

    03/09/2006
    By Thair Abbas



    Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat- Lebanese Interior Minister Ahmad Fatfat talks exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat about Hezbollah's 'Deterrence Theory,' UN peacekeeping troops and the adoption of the 'Syrian Model' in the Golan"

    The following is the text of the interview:

    (Asharq Al-Awsat) what direction is the situation in Lebanon going?

    (Fatfat) I think we are moving toward the complete implementation of Resolution 1701. I think that all sides are now convinced that this resolution is the best solution. The problem today is that Israel - as usual - looks down on the UN resolutions and tries to encroach upon them. The most prominent of these encroachments are not lifting the siege it imposes by sea and air on Lebanon, not ending the hostilities, and prevaricating about the withdrawal.

    However, the more important question is: At the strategic level, in which direction are we moving? There are many differences between the situation before and after 12 July. When Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah says that he did not expect the magnitude of the Israeli reply, this means that the studies on which the principle of deterrence was based ought to be revised, because Lebanon has paid a frightening price for the deterrence theory. At the same time, no one can deny that there is a victory at the military level. Israel considered itself defeated merely because of the fact that it was not able to achieve complete victory. What is new is that the Israeli public opinion now realizes after 50 years of being in an impregnable fortress it cannot stay isolated from the effects of war, and that war can reach it at any time. Israel used to settle all battles quickly without affecting its home front, but now the Israeli public suddenly realizes that the war could reach their homes, and every facility they have.

    We in the Arab world celebrate any victory, because since 1948 we have been living in a state of major psychological destruction. These feelings of humiliation and injustice motivate many people to follow extremist directions. Twenty years ago, I was partly thinking like this; I left my home and my school and joined the Palestinian resistance, because we felt oppressed and humiliated. Every generation grows up to be fiercer than the one before it.

    (Asharq Al-Awsat) how has the Israeli bombardment effected the domestic situation?

    (Fatfat) Israel wagered on creating a rift in Lebanon between the resistance and the people. This has not happened, and will never happen. Even if the Lebanese people were not in agreement with what happened, we would not create a rift that benefits Israel. The Lebanese people's steadfastness and unity, not to mention the government's steadfastness and stances, were part of the victory.

    (Asharq Al-Awsat) But there are clear political differences?

    (Fatfat) This is another issue. These are the laws of political life. Like in any other country, political differences do occur. However, in pivotal issues, the Lebanese become unity.

    (Asharq Al-Awsat) There are many politicians who blamed Hezbollah during and after the war?

    (Fatfat) The people did not. Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah said that Hezbollah had miscalculated. Therefore, blame is no longer an accusation. Hezbollah's fighters have performed a marvelous job, and showed important steadfastness, in addition to the people's steadfastness. This subject is no longer a taboo, and it could be discussed through political and democratic procedures. For instance, the questions that ought to be addressed are: In what direction are we moving? Why were not everybody consulted about the decision to go to war?

    On the morning of 12 July, Prime Minister Fouad al-Siniora met an official of Hezbollah, and asked him about what was happening; after the latter answered, Al-Siniora said: "Israel is going crazy," but the official answered: Israel will not do anything. I heard the same thing from Deputy Hussein al-Hajj Hasan, who said to me that Israel's reaction would be limited.

    Moreover, the part of the weapons used by Hezbollah in the battle was tactical; we can say that Hezbollah on its own could decide the use of such weapons. However, the use of strategic weapons to strike at the depth of another country is tantamount to inviting that other country to strike at the Lebanese depth. This is something that cannot be delegated to a single side within the state; it is the right of the state to decide this.

    (Asharq Al-Awsat) What is the alternative to the "deterrent theory," which you said it collapsed?

    (Fatfat) There are alternatives in the region. I am not talking about the Egyptian or Jordanian models, i.e. through a peace treaty. We cannot sign a peace treaty for a very simple reason - in addition to the national and emotional reasons - namely that we have 500,000 Palestinians in Lebanon, and we cannot do anything before resolving their situation, because we cannot absorb them. There is the Syrian alternative; the situation in the Golan is very comfortable for the Syrians, and for 32 years not a single bullet has been fired.

    (Asharq Al-Awsat) But this option has not restored for the Syrians a single inch of their territories?

    (Fatfat) They have regained some destroyed houses, which they have not restored so far, in Al-Qunaytirah. Once there are no occupied Lebanese territories, and the UN forces are at the borders, we will stop the state of war with Israel, there will be a no-war situation, and we will pursue a political solution for the Palestinian issue.

    (Asharq Al-Awsat) There are international discussions about linking the Israeli siege to the situation at the Syrian borders in order to stop the supplies of weapons?

    (Fatfat) The Lebanese Army has conveyed to the UN secretary general through Army Commander Gen Michel Suleiman that the Syrian borders are literally waterproof, i.e. not even water could pass through these borders without being observed. Israel has the air and space resources to ascertain this. However, this mission could be undertaken by the army now, but not after two months, because you cannot keep the soldiers at a height of 2,000 meters during winter. The army needs logistics and its aircraft need to be equipped with night sights and surveillance equipment to allow a reduction of the number of soldiers at the borders. Otherwise, the borders would be liable to infiltration. We do not need UN soldiers at the borders. We have conveyed this to the UN secretary general, he was satisfied with what we did, and he has been acquainted with the deployment maps.

    (Asharq Al-Awsat) What about the situation of the airport and the port?

    (Fatfat) For years I have not heard of a security infiltration at Beirut Airport. As far as the passengers are concerned, the airport has been under control from a security viewpoint. We lack the equipment to examine the contents of the containers; however, bear in mind that all the containers that arrive at the Beirut Airport come from European airports, and would have been subject to examination. As for the port, there are measures that ought to be adopted, because the same as in all ports in the world not all containers are subject to examination, and only random checks are carried out. We have asked for scanners for comprehensive checks, and the UN team has been satisfied with the measures we adopted.

    (Asharq Al-Awsat) You have established a supreme border-surveillance committee. Is this aimed at curbing the powers of "mistrusted" organizations in Lebanese security?

    (Fatfat) This step has been distorted. We are not curbing the powers of anyone. What we are doing is a proper reading of Resolution 1701, which does not ask us to do anything other than to apply the Lebanese laws. The resolution prohibits any weapons entering Lebanon unless they are for the State of Lebanon. The role of these organizations is to implement these rules.

    (Asharq Al-Awsat) Then, what is the role of this committee?

    (Fatfat) Its role is to coordinate between the organizations. The problem we used to face, and which made it necessary for the International Air Transport Association, IATA, to address a warning to us, was that there were many security organizations at the airport, while in the airports everywhere in the world there is one organization only.

    (Asharq Al-Awsat) It is being said that Director of Public Security Maj-Gen Wafiq Juzayni and Airport Security director Wafiq Shuqayr are being marginalized because they are politically supported by Hezbollah?

    (Fatfat) This is not true. It was the head of airport security who proposed his assistant as a coordinator of the security organizations operating at the airport. This committee doest not take away any of the powers of the chief of the airport security. As for the issue of the border surveillance committee, it has been established in order to be the contact point with the mission sent by the UN secretary general, and the role of this committee is advisory.

    (Asharq Al-Awsat) Will there be an international presence at the airport and the other border crossing points?

    (Fatfat) We do not feel that this is necessary. Resolution 1701 is clear in specifying that it is up to the Lebanese security forces to ask for international support in the form of equipment or troops. There is no need for this at the airport or the port. As for the border crossing points, we only need equipment; the army situation there is very bad, and the soldiers sleep either on the ground or in their vehicles.

     
  • At 9/4/06, 10:30 AM, Blogger Fearless said…

    President Assad gives directions to rebuild three Lebanese towns
    Sunday, September 03, 2006 - 07:00 PM
    www.sana.org/eng/21/2006/09/03/62834.htm


    DAMASCUS, (SANA- Syrian News Agency) - President Bashar al-Assad gives
    directions to the concerned parties Sunday to rebuild three Lebanese towns,
    Qana, Sidqein and al-Qulila in a step to support the brotherly Lebanese
    people's steadfastness and to contribute in canceling the Israeli barbarian
    aggressions' aftereffects on Lebanon.

    The Lebanese National News Agency said that Speaker of the Lebanese
    parliament Nabeih Berri and Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad al-Siniora were
    informed about the Syrian decision of rebuilding the three Lebanese towns.

     
  • At 9/5/06, 6:56 AM, Blogger Fearless said…

    LIBAN. En pays maronite, la guerre a renforcé l'animosité envers le Hezbollah et Israël.


    Baudoin Loos, envoyé spécialà Annaya, Byblos et Amchit
    Mardi 5 septembre 2006

    Depuis le monastère Saint Charbel, à Annaya, la vue comblerait les plus blasés. Au loin, 1100mètres plus bas, l'éclatante Méditerranée; en face, les fières montagnes du Kesrouan. Quelques dizaines de pèlerins respectent le silence qui enveloppe les lieux. Nous sommes ici au cœur du pays maronite. Où le français a encore droit de cité. Une zone que la guerre de juillet-août a épargnée. Mais, au Liban, la politique n'est jamais loin.

    «Guerre injuste»

    Pour le Père Paul, jeune quadra qui vient d'arriver pour entamer une retraite de quelques jours, «cette guerre injuste avait visiblement été planifiée par Israël, qui n'avait besoin que d'un prétexte. Le Hezbollah a été critiqué, au début, par nombre de chrétiens, puis l'ampleur du malheur a entraîné un vaste mouvement de solidarité entre Libanais. Des familles entières ont été décimées par les bombes israéliennes: comment rester insensible à une telle misère humaine?»

    Claudine, jeune mariée qui travaille à l'accueil du monastère, adopte une vue plus critique. «Vous savez, tout le monde en veut au Hezbollah pour cette guerre. On dit ici que le Hezb' est borné et que les Israéliens sont des criminels. Ces guerres à répétition nous épuisent. Mon mari et moi songeons à émigrer en Australie.»

    Son supérieur, le Père Jean, entend nuancer: «Chaque communauté libanaise réagit selon ses affinités, mais nous avons senti que les frappes israéliennes féroces avaient atteint tous les Libanais, dont la société a été terriblement affectée par cette guerre. Cela dit, les divergences demeurent entre chiites, sunnites, etc., et nous vivons dans un étrange état de guerre froide interne.»

    A Byblos, sur le littoral, les touristes ont déserté. A l'instar des sites historiques prestigieux de Baalbek (temple romain) et d'Anjar (ruines omeyyades), la forteresse croisée ne reçoit plus aucun visiteur. Un restaurateur désœuvré nous livre son fatalisme: «La guerre ne charrie que chômage et misère pour les Libanais. Bien sûr que le Hezbollah est responsable. Et d'abord son chef, Hassan Nasrallah, un type sans doute remarquable, mais qui n'a pas daigné consulter les Libanais avant d'attaquer Israël. Toutefois les Israéliens l'ont largement dépassé en agressivité excessive.»

    «Le Hezbollah doit désarmer»

    Une cliente fait son apparition. Elle tient à donner son avis. «Ces chiites sont fous de dire qu'ils ont gagné la guerre, mais les Israéliens n'ont pas à se vanter: ils ont voulu détruire un pays qui se redressait, qui commençait à rivaliser avec eux, sur le plan économique et culturel. Maintenant nos infrastructures sont paralysées, et ils nous ont noyés dans les dettes.»

    Rencontré à la terrasse d'un café, Elie Khoury, ne cache pas son ire. «Ce conflit tout à fait inutile nous ramène vingt ans en arrière, nous dit cet étudiant en informatique dont le père fut un membre éminent des Forces libanaises pro-israéliennes pendant la guerre civile. Ce n'est pas la guerre des Libanais. Qu'avons-nous à voir avec le culte du martyre des partisans du Hezbollah? On peut comprendre pourquoi les jeunes, désespérés, veulent partir. Moi, je reste. Mais je considère que le Hezbollah doit désarmer et devenir un parti comme les autres.»

    A Amchit, non loin de là, Abdallah Zakhia, un avocat vétéran de la cause des droits de l'homme, articule un discours sans concession, assez répandu chez les intellectuels: «Comment le gouvernement libanais a-t-il pu laisser se développer une milice comme celle du Hezbollah devenue plus puissante que l'armée nationale? Et ils osent crier victoire! Mais de quelle victoire s'agit-il? C'est une défaite sur tous les plans. Il faut limiter les pouvoirs du Hezbollah sinon les guerres continueront à se succéder.»

    Tout le monde n'entre pas dans cette logique, chez les chrétiens. Que la guerre a également traumatisés. «Pas mal de chrétiens méprisent les chiites, qu'ils ne connaissent pas, confie Reine, une Beyrouthine plutôt laïque de 38 ans. Mais nous sommes aussi nombreux à vouer une admiration fascinée aux miliciens du Hezbollah qui ont réussi à mettre à mal la plus puissante armée de la région.»




    © Le Temps, 2006

     
  • At 9/6/06, 9:11 AM, Anonymous Idris-Liban Sud said…

    Le film "Hezbollah - Attaque par le Mandataire" qui décrit le retrait israélien du Liban et les attaques de terreur ultérieures contre Israël qui ont été réalisées avec le soutien de la Syrie et de l'Iran.

    Le film décrit non seulement les actions militaires de l'Israël, mais reflète aussi l'effet du terrorisme du Hezbollah sur la population en Israël.
    pour voir le film cliquer : http: // switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp ? ClipMediaID=191786*ak=null.

    Vous pouvez aussi cliquer pour télécharger une copie du film (19.4 MB): http: // switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp ? ClipMediaID=191784*ak=null pour télécharger une copie du film (19.4MB).

    La fièvre d'espion balaie Hizbullah après le fait de "découvrir" deux réseaux Israélien Mossad qui ont inclus des agents chiites libanais

    L 'Appareil de Sécurité Spécial efreysante du Hizballah est ayant découverte deux réseaux d'espionnage d'agents libanais que le Mossad a plantés à l'intérieur du Hizbullah auparavant et pendant la guerre du Liban. Un a travaillé de Beyrouth, le deuxième dans le Sud Liban. Les deux réseaux, selon les sources, ont planté des appareils d'écoute et un équipement de surveillance aux postes de commandement du Hizballah auparavant et pendant la guerre. Ils ont aussi saupoudré de la poudre spéciale de phosphore à l'extérieur des habitation de bâtiments les de commndement de guerre d'Hizbullah et les lanceurs de fusée comme des marqueurs pour les attaques aériennes. Les avions militaires d'Israël et les hélicoptères étaient capables de frapper ces endroits avec la grande exactitude. Bien avant la guerre, le réseau de Beyrouth avait pénétré les cercles intérieurs du Hizbullah

    Bien avant la guerre, le réseau de Beyrouth avait pénétré les cercles intérieurs de l'échelon du Hizballah et annonçait sur leurs activités et mouvements aux contrôleurs israéliens. Son centre a été trouvé dans le district chiite de Beyrouth de Dahya, la citadelle Hizbullah. Les coups de téléphone anonymes courts donneraient leur rendez-vous aux agents pour ramasser des ordres et équipement d'espionnage et des cachettes pour retransmettre leurs renseignements.
    Le deuxième réseau a été composé de deux cellules opérant du village d'Itrun le Kibboutz opposé Yaron et Bint Jubeil. Dirigé par les vétérans de l'Armée libanaise du Sud (la force qu'Israël a créé pendant son occupation), son emploi devait "peindre" des cibles pour la Force aérienne israélienne et l'artillerie. Leur chef était Mahmoud Al-Jemayel.
    Halil Mantsur, un villageois d'Itrin, était responsable des communications par la clôture de sécurité; Muhammed Bassem, un chiite de Bint Jubeil, a dirigé des opérations de terrain. Le reseau avait 20 opératives recrutés des villages libanais du Sud et un certain nombre de Palestiniens des camps autour de Saida. On leur a payé $500 par mois pour espionner sur Hizballah. Un taxi local a conduit l'opératives à leurs attributions et les a rendus à leurs maisons. Le réseau de Beyrouth était le plus sophistiqué.


    La décision française de construire les ponts temporaires et des routes leur réparation va faciliter la contrebande des armes lourdes et des fusées par le Hizbullah. Ce aussi longtemps que les contrôles sur la frontière syrienne ne sont pas établis par la FINUL.

     
  • At 9/9/06, 2:06 AM, Anonymous Hamid- Tyre said…

    +++JORDAN TIMES 8-9 Sept. '06:"Old divide dogs Lebanese search for
    consensus" by Jonathan Wright, Reuters
    QUOTES FROM TEXT:
    "conflict with Israel is inevitable as long as ... Israel even exists"

    "Lebanon should withdraw from any conflict and be neutral"
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EXCERPTS:
    Beirut:- Abu Abbas..., has ready answers to the litmus-test question which
    has traditionally split his country down the middle - whether it should opt
    out of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
    Lebanon is an inseparable part of the Arab world, he says, and conflict with
    Israel is inevitable as long as any Arab land remains under Israeli
    occupation or Israel even exists. ... the 30-year-old bachelor, who supports
    the Shiite Muslim movement Hizbollah.
    Abu Abbas lives in the southern suburbs of Beirut, where hundreds of
    thousands of Shiite Muslims from the south have settled over the past three
    decades and where the Shiite movement has a large and loyal following.
    Shiites say Hizbollah and its weapons are needed to defend Lebanon against
    Israel, but many disagree in a country where politics have always been
    shaped by sectarian divisions, which fuelled a long civil war.
    Many Christian, Sunni Muslim and Druze leaders are part of a coalition which
    wants Lebanon to distance itself from any conflict with Israel.
    Poorer than average, under-represented in the religion-based system which
    governs Lebanese politics, but demographically on the rise, the Shiites feel
    empowered by the outcome of the one-month war between Israel and Hizbollah
    in July and August.
    .....Less than 3km (two miles) away, in the middle-class
    Christian-dominated district of Ashrafiyeh, the mood is rather different
    after the latest round of conflict with Israel.
    During the civil war, which lasted from 1975 to 1990, this was a stronghold
    of right-wing Christian militias with a world view diametrically opposed to
    that of Hizbollah.
    Many of the militias played down Lebanon's Arab identity, emphasising the
    Phoenician and Mediterranean elements in the country's heritage. They took
    up arms largely in response to the armed presence in Lebanon of Palestinian
    refugees, who were dragging their country into conflict with Israel.
    Some cooperated with Israelis, on the principle that my enemy's enemy is my
    friend. But in the end, they failed to impose their vision on the country as
    a whole or create a viable enclave in the territory they controlled north of
    Beirut.
    Ashrafiyeh Christians now offer a more diverse range of opinions, reflecting
    the political divisions within the Christian community and their more modest
    ambitions.
    Far from promoting secession or reliance on a sectarian militia, some
    Christians said they favoured strengthening the Lebanese state. Others said
    Hizbollah had fought for a just cause and had shown impressive military
    prowess against Israel.
    But Tony Khouri, a driver in his 50s, said: "Lebanon should withdraw from
    any conflict and be neutral. Bigger states like Egypt have pulled out and
    Egypt has 70 million people." "All of us are for the state, a strong state
    and a strong army, and we don't care for the political parties. Hizbollah
    should close down and its fighters join the army," he added. ....
    The war also exposed the weakness of the Beirut government.
    Critics of the system say a stable and strong state requires an end to the
    sectarian system of government in which official posts are assigned on the
    basis of religion.
    ...For us, jihad [holy war] is a duty and as long as Israel exists there
    cannot be peace. People are proud of their martyrs.
    In fact, the martyrs don't die. It is us who are dead," he said.

     
  • At 9/9/06, 7:38 AM, Anonymous Delbarre said…

    A question for you Lebanese:
    How come the Hizballah 'heroes" never fougt the Syrian occupation of Lebanon?

     

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