LEBANONESQUE

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

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Two Good Reads

A couple of good opinion pieces I just read.

First, Amir Taheri makes the point that interrupted wars can be worse than the alternative, by prolonging the conflict for years.

Full article: The Myth of Hezbollah Victory. Excerpts:

One British newspaper speaks of "a convincing victory" for Hezbollah while another claims that Israel "won by achieving most of its objectives."

When all is said and done, however, such claims and counter-claims are irrelevant. The reason that the protagonists know in the heart of their hearts, what the real situation is. Even those who are delusional genetically know, deep down, whether they have won or lost.

The first point that merits consideration is that the world today seldom allows war to do its job to the full.

War occurs when two or more adversaries realize that there are no other means of resolving a political conflict. The task of war is to help the adversaries discover each other's threshold of pain. Once one adversary is pushed to that threshold he would surrender, allowing the war to end with a clear winner and a clear loser.

Nowadays, however, war is not allowed to continue until that threshold of pain is discovered. In most cases, the so-called "international community", symbolized by the UN, intervenes to stop war before it has done its job. As a result, in the past five or six decades, the world has become full of inconclusive wars each of which has bred an even bigger conflict. The mini-war fought between Israel and Hezbollah is no exception.

That, however, is not the case with the people of Lebanon who will have to pay the price of the conflicting claims of victory made by the various protagonists. They did come close to their threshold of pain and were clearly not prepared to see the war continue much longer.

That may well be the only good news to come out of this tragedy. Those who wish to plunge Lebanon in another war for whatever reason may have to think twice before they pull the trigger.

The most pain in this last war was, of course, inflicted on the Lebanese. I am still hoping that somehow that pain will be translated into a debate on the madness of the internal situation in Lebanon and on resolving it. However I must say my hope hangs on little, if any, evidence so far.

Ralph Peters has a good summary of where we are now in the Middle East and in the war on terror, and what to expect next. New York Post piece: Moment Of Truth, some excerpts:

Lebanon, the region's other "almost" democracy, is in shambles, thanks to Hezbollah's ruthlessness and Israel's misjudgments. By failing to take Lebanon's complex group psychologies into account, Israel's air campaign converted Hezbollah opponents into Hezbollah supporters.

Syria escaped the recent fighting with just a few tactical nicks. Now Bashar Assad appears stunningly unaware of his odious regime's vulnerability. And over-confident dictatorships do very stupid things.


[Paging Ammar Abdul-Hamid, you there?]

The region's Sunni- Arab autocracies - on which we have relied, to our great shame - are terrified and unstable. Egypt, the Gulf city-states and even Saudi Arabia expected Israel to make short work of the Shia-Hezbollah problem. Instead, Hezbollah won - and the subjects of those sheiks and kings and eternal presidents have been cheering.

Crucial oil producers on the Arab side of the Persian Gulf grow more vulnerable each day. Iran intends to exert hegemony over the region through nuclear threats and the exploitation of Shia discontents. The world's worst real-estate investment is luxury property in Dubai.


Both articles are worth a full read.

35 Comments:

  • At 8/20/06, 1:45 PM, Anonymous Ferhat said…

    Libanoscopie.com | «la victoire fictive du Hezbollah au Liban»

    Le texte original + mes commentaires




    Après 34 jours de combat, le secrétaire général du Hezbollah annonce la victoire, ses partisans s’en prennent à cœur joie en déambulant sur les ruines encore fumantes de ce qui étaient, il y a encore un mois, un quartier aux immeubles de plusieurs étages réduits en poudre, un village, une bourgade ou encore une ville dévastée par un souffle qui a détruit la majeur partie de son existence. La Syrie applaudit, l’Iran jubile, la victoire de la Umma sur le projet sioniste.

    Mais comment mesurer une victoire ? Libanoscopie a posé cette question à un expert en stratégie politique :« Pour annoncer avoir gagner une guerre il y a trois conditions :

    Soit en faisant subir des pertes décisives à la force militaire adverse en l’empêchant de pouvoir continuer le combat,

    Soit en faisant subir des revers militaires par une invasion incisive du territoire ennemi,

    Soit en gagnant les objectifs déclarés pour cette même guerre.



    Or en ce qui concerne le Hezbollah aucune de ces conditions n’a été remplies.


    L’armée israélienne, bien qu’elle ait subi quelques revers, est bien loin d’avoir subit des pertes colossales, et sa capacité dans sa force de frappe aérienne, navale et terrestre est presque intacte. Pas d’invasion du territoire ennemi, au contraire c’est l’armée israélienne qui a envahi le territoire libanais et occupé une partie de Sud Liban.

    Quant aux objectifs du Hezbollah, la récupération des Fermes de Chebaa et le retour des trois détenus libanais dans les geôles israéliennes il n’en est presque plus question et même Israël détiendrait une quinzaine de nouveaux miliciens de Hezbollah.

    Les chiffres démontrent la défaite cuisante du Hezbollah. Malgré une tentative de faire taire les medias locaux et arabes et de les empêcher de dévoiler les vrais chiffres, il en ressort et toujours selon des sources officieuses, et souvent cherchant à garder l’anonymat de peur de représailles, que le Hezbollah aurait subit une destruction totale de ses infrastructures logistiques et économiques, et que le nombre de miliciens et cadres de ce parti tués durant cette guerre se situerait autour de 1 500 personnes.

    Cette annonce de la victoire ressemblerait plus à une tentative de retourner la défaite en victoire, un effet propre à la culture dont est issu le parti de Dieu.



    Le texte ci-dessus est à la fois vrai et faux, logiquement vrai et objectivement faux. Si on suppose que l’objectif du Hezbollah est la récupération des Fermes du Chebaa, oui il a échoué. Cette vérité se lézarde si on prend en compte le fait que la vie de ses prisonniers importe peu ou pas du tout à cette organisation qui utilise les Libanais chiites comme boucliers. Mais, si les Libanais sont heureux en pensant que le Hezbollah a été vaincu, il y a un problème car le Hezbollah ne sera jamais vaincu.

    Son objectif n’est pas territorial mais politique. Le Hezbollah est le grain de sable qui a fait enrailler les rouages de la constitution libanaise fondée sur le partage fragile des responsabilités. Le Hezbollah refuse les règles du jeu et demande à tous les autres de jouer selon ses règles à lui. Qu’importe si la constitution a délimité les pouvoirs de chaque communauté, c’est elle qui est désormais ictive et non la victoire du Hezbollah.

    Les Fermes du Chebaa et les prisonniers du Hezbollah ne sont pas des objectifs de cette organisation métastasique. Les objectifs du Hezbollah sont définis à Téhéran et non pas en fonctionn des intérêts nationaux du Liban. Quant à l’armée Israélienne, elle n’a pas réussi à démenteler le Hezbollah, ni même à le désarmer et en plus elle a expérimenté les limites d’une armée classique en guerre contre un ennemi fantôme.

    La victoire dans cette guerre ne peut être jaugée par des critères d’une guerre classique. La guerre du Hezbollah est la vitrine des guerres à venir qui opposeront les armées des pays dotés de gouvernements démocratiques et d’une opinion fluctuante à des groupes terroristes dotés d’armes sophistiquées et soutenus par des populations complices et sacrificielles. La victoire du Hezbollah n’est pas seulement basée sur sa pratique non conventionnelle de la guerre.

    Le Hezbollah est riche grâce au pétrole iranien. Le Hezbollah ne sera jamais vaincu car il achète le silence de ses victimes. Il détruit et il rembourse. Il habitue les libannais à vivre ainsi. Connaissez-vous des libanais qui refuseraient l’aide du Hezbollah pour se reloger ? Les Libanais vivent ainsi, comme les iraniens : vaincus.

    Les iraniens s’imaginent qu’ils sont Perses et pensent qu’ils peuvent résister à la pression en se réfugiant dans la drogue ou les rêveries, et les Libanais de guerre las vivent dans l’illusion d’une constitution cosmopolite qui grantirait une paix qui n’existe plus. Si la victoire de Nasrallah est fictive, nos illusions le sont aussi.

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

    To the commenter above, can you speak or post in English???

     
  • At 8/20/06, 7:10 PM, Anonymous Vox P. said…

    Wait till you read the Economist, the so-called liberal quality newspaper.

     
  • At 8/21/06, 6:27 AM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    Iran and Syria do not let up!Israel, US foil transfer of arms from Iran to Hizbullah

    ANKARA, Turkey



    Israeli and American intelligence agencies alerted Turkish authorities last Friday that several Lebanon-bound Iranian planes, loaded with military hardware meant for the Hizbullah, were making their way through Turkish airspace.

    The intelligence agencies were tracking several suspicious Iranian aircraft as they were taking off from an Iranian airfield.



    Turkey was then warned about the planes and their cargo which were to fly over Turkish airspace. Shortly after Turkey was tipped off, Iranian officials ordered the planes to return to their point of departure, where, according to unconfirmed Turkish reports, the arms were removed from the Iranian planes.

    After offloading the arms, the planes took off again and were forced to land in Turkey for inspection by the airport authorities. Turkish aviation officials said that no weapons were found on the planes.

    Since the war with Hizbullah erupted last month, and especially since the ceasefire, Turkey has intercepted several Iranian and Syrian Lebanon-bound ships in the Eastern Mediterranean sea, as well as two transit trucks from Syria.

    Meanwhile, the London-based Arab daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported on Monday that large amounts of rockets have been transferred from Iran to Syria en route to the Hizbullah in Lebanon.

    According to the report, the Iranian Revolutionary Commands have set up a special body in Damascus whose aim is to supply all of Hizbullah's needs.

    It was also reported on Monday that British officials were investigating reports that night vision goggles uncovered in a Hizbullah hideout were manufactured in Britain, a Foreign Office spokesman said on Monday.

    "The Israeli Defense Forces have told us that they have found some night vision equipment in southern Lebanon that they believe to have been manufactured in Britain," the spokesman said.

    Britain's The Times newspaper reported Monday that Israeli officials believe the goggles may be from a consignment sold by Britain in 2003 to Iran.

    The sale to Teheran was supposedly intended to bolster Iranian efforts to combat heroin smuggling across the Iran-Afghanistan border as part of the United Nations Drugs Control Program, the newspaper claimed.
    AP










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  • At 8/21/06, 6:38 AM, Anonymous Hamid-Liban said…

    After being photographed the money is taken back. Another propaganda trick by Hizbullah.

    Some of the money (Dollars) may be counterfiet.


    http://www.snappedshot.com/index.php?/archives/70-A-sudden-lack-of-context.html#

    Now that Hezbullah has suddenly morphed into a philanthropic organization, we learn from this photograph that they are distributing approximately US$12,000 to the needy in areas destroyed by Israel.

    Of course, what is our intrepid photographer obviously not curious enough to know? Well, that Hezbullah has already been dinged for counterfeiting U.S. currency:

    One of the most prominent and influential members of the Hizballah terrorist organization, along with two of his companies, was designated by the Treasury Department today under Executive Order 13224.
    Assad Ahmad Barakat has close ties with Hizballah leadership and has worked closely with numerous Islamic extremists and suspected Hizballah associates in South America's tri-border area (TBA), made up of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. . . .

    Barakat has also been involved in a counterfeiting ring that distributes fake U.S. dollars and generates cash to fund Hizballah operations. As of early 2001, Barakat was one of two individuals reportedly in charge of distribution and sale of the counterfeit currency in the TBA.

    Once again, it's left to the Blogosphere to ask the questions the media isn't interested in asking.




    http://www.dailystar.com.lb


    Hizbullah gives rent money to owners of destroyed houses

    By Leila Hatoum
    Daily Star staff
    Saturday, August 19, 2006


    BEIRUT: Hizbullah started on Friday to hand out cash to the citizens of the southern suburbs who lost their houses during the 33-day Israeli offensive on Lebanon. Hizbullah's leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah had earlier pledged to compensate all citizens who lost properties during the intense fighting.

    Nasrallah estimated the number of damaged houses at 15,000, and from the moment the cease-fire came into effect last Monday, Hizbullah and its volunteers have moved fast to assess the damages and receive applications from the people.

    Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Hizbullah worker said that those who incurred damages or lost their houses in the extremities of the southern suburbs such as Hay al-Sellom "have already received their compensation."

    "Every house owner who lost his house will receive $12,000, and every tenant will receive $8,000" the worker told The Daily Star as he was overseeing the distribution of the money on Friday.

    He said that the party is paying each citizen who lost his house $8,000 to buy furniture and another $4,000 to cover one year's rent, until the original houses are rebuilt.

    "They will move their new furniture to their new houses afterward," he said.

    As for those living in the heart of the extremely damaged areas of Haret Hreik, Mouawwad, Sfeir and Roueiss, residents started to receive their compensation on Friday at the Hizbullah-run Al-Shahed school, near the airport road.

    "People present their applications to any of nine pre-designated schools in the southern suburbs. We process their applications and then they come here and get paid," the Hizbullah worker said.

     
  • At 8/21/06, 6:47 AM, Anonymous Roger said…

    Hizbullah fighters and operatives were seen
    returning with tens of thousands of Lebanese residents to the communities
    from which they had fled in July. The sources said some of the Hizbullah
    fighters were seen with weapons and communications equipment.

    "They are quite open about it," a source who tracks Hizbullah movements
    said. "The Lebanese know it and even our soldiers at their posts in Lebanon
    see them."

    Under a United Nations-arranged ceasefire, Hizbullah operatives were not
    allowed to bring their weapons to southern Lebanon. The Security Council
    resolution also called for the surrender of Hizbullah weaponry.

    Nasrallah, dizzy from his adulation in the Arab world as the modern Saladin
    and as the first leader who defeated Israel and caused an Israeli withdrawal
    from Arab land, sent fighters again and again to try and kidnap Israeli
    soldiers. While the ostensible goal was to free Lebanese and Palestinian
    prisoners, the real one was to demonstrate openly that even after Syria's
    pullback from Lebanon, Hizballah was continuing the jihad against Israel.


    The Beginning of the War

    On July 12, 2006, Hizballah succeeded in kidnapping two wounded Israeli
    soldiers after a cross-border ambush. Although Nasrallah expected an Israeli
    response similar to the one in October 2000, this time Israel reacted with
    great force. It destroyed Hizballah's headquarters in Dahiya, its social
    institutions, and also the home and offices of senior Lebanese Ayatollah
    Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, who, despite his past rivalry with Nasrallah,
    nonetheless supported him. Nasrallah shifted in a moment from being a public
    orator, to becoming a supplier of pre-recorded tapes. He was surprised by
    the Israeli response and so were his Iranian patrons.

    Iran, which had replaced Syria as the primary actor in the Lebanese arena,
    was not pleased with the timing of Nasrallah's move, but nonetheless
    supported it. From Iran's standpoint, the region had been ignited too early,
    before its nuclear program was ready. Hence, it lost an important factor of
    deterrence it had built in Lebanon against Israel. The large-scale use of
    rockets and missiles against the Israeli home front has impaired the power
    of the threat.

    Israel's aim in the war was to break Hizballah's military power. At the same
    time, however, the Palestinians, Syria, and Iran are watching Israel and
    gauging its resolve to use force. Each side will draw its lessons in the
    future. From Hizballah's standpoint, any settlement that ends the war
    without involving its disarmament will enable the jihadist movement to rise
    again like a phoenix, rehabilitate itself, and continue its jihad against
    Israel.


    A Weapons Embargo?

    It is, therefore, vitally important to implement the relevant articles of UN
    Security Council Resolution 1701 regarding the disarmament of Hizballah.
    Unfortunately, this obligation, also contained in Resolution 1559 from 2004,
    is the subject of a plan which, according to Resolution 1701, is to be
    developed in the next month by the UN secretary-general and implemented at a
    later date. In the meantime, Hizballah has stated that it refuses to disarm.
    This situation elevates the importance of an embargo on supplying Hizballah
    with weapons, as called for in the UN resolution. However, there has been no
    decision to deploy a special force that would supervise the embargo on the
    Syrian-Lebanese border and in the Lebanese seaports and airports.

    Right now, Resolution 1701 just calls on Lebanon to secure its borders;
    UNIFIL may assist the Lebanese government if requested. The resolution also
    only calls on states to refrain from selling weaponry to Hizballah, but does
    not authorize any state to enforce an arms embargo. What is necessary is the
    establishment of special forces that will carry out this mission of
    monitoring the entry-points into Lebanon.

    Given the huge amounts of Iranian weaponry that were delivered to Hizballah
    in the past six years, this is a glaring inadequacy in the resolution. This
    point was also made by Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, who stated: "As
    long as Syria can send weapons to Hizballah, there will be no change in the
    situation. Not with this regime in Damascus. We need a force that can cover
    all of Lebanon, like in Kosovo. Monitor the Syrian border, then talk."6
    Failure to enforce a real arms embargo against Hizballah will empty the
    entire UN resolution of its content and increase the risk of a violent clash
    erupting between Hizballah and the international force, and of continued
    military conflict between Hizballah and Israel.

     
  • At 8/21/06, 6:51 AM, Anonymous Ferhat said…

    Sorry mate Anonymus. I quoted the text from :www.Libanoscopie.com |

    In it's original language which is also mine. I can't oblige translating it for lack of time. Sorry I apologize.
    Ferhat

     
  • At 8/21/06, 6:55 AM, Anonymous Hamid- Liban said…

    Israeli Warplanes Roar Over Lebanon

    By ZEINA KARAM
    Associated Press Writer


    AP Photo/SERGEY PONOMAREV

    AP VIDEO
    Lebanon PM: "Bombs Are Crime Against Humanity"




    World Video







    BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) -- Israeli warplanes roared over Lebanon's northern Mediterranean coast and along its border with Syria on Monday, after the Lebanese defense minister warned rogue Palestinian rocket teams against attacking Israel and provoking retaliation that could unravel an already shaky cease-fire.

    Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said countries that don't have diplomatic relations with Israel should not be permitted to contribute troops to an international peacekeeping force for southern Lebanon. That would eliminate Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh - among the only countries to have offered front-line troops for the expanded force.

    Olmert also ruled out peace talks with Syria as long as it supports "terror organizations." Earlier Monday, a top government official suggested it was time to resume talks with Syria despite its support for Hezbollah.

    With concern mounting over the fragile truce, Israel sent war planes Monday over the coastal city of Tripoli, some 35 miles north of Beirut, and over Baalbek, scene of an Israeli commando raid two days ago which Israel said was to disrupt weapons shipments for Hezbollah from Syria.




    Lebanon considers overflights a violation of the U.N. resolution that ended 34 days of fighting last week.

    Defense Minister Elias Murr said he was confident that Hezbollah would hold its fire but warned Syrian-backed Palestinian militants against rocket attacks which might draw Israeli retaliation and re-ignite full-scale fighting.

    "We consider that when the resistance (Hezbollah) is committed not to fire rockets, then any rocket that is fired from the Lebanese territory would be considered collaboration with Israel to provide a pretext (for Israel) to strike," he said Sunday.

    Israel has long accused Syria, along with Iran, of arming and supporting Hezbollah. During the war, however, Israel avoided trying to draw Syria into the conflict, apparently fearing another front or closing peace options.

    PHOTO GALLERY

    Israel-Lebanon Conflict












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    On Monday, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter said Israel should resume the negotiations that broke down in 2000.

    "What we did with Egypt and Jordan is also legitimate in this case," Dichter told Israeli Army Radio. Asked if that meant Israel should withdraw to its international border with Syria, giving up the Golan Heights region Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast War, he said: "Yes."

    But Olmert ruled out talks with the Syrians unless they stop sponsoring "terror organizations."

    "I recommend not to get carried away with any false hopes," Olmert said Monday, during a tour of northern Israel. "When Syria stops support for terror, when it stops giving missiles to terror organizations, then we will be happy to negotiate with them. ... We're not going into any negotiations until basic steps are taken which can be the basis for any negotiations."

    Vice Premier Shimon Peres said Israel had other concerns at the moment. "We have the burden of Lebanon and we have the negotiations with the Palestinians," he told Israel Radio. "I don't think a country like ours can deal with so many issues at a time."

    As part of the cease-fire agreement, Lebanon has begun deploying 15,000 soldiers to the south, putting a government force in the region for the first time in four decades. They are to be joined by an equal force of international peacekeepers, but wrangling among countries expected to send troops has so far delayed assembly of the force.

    The reluctance of European countries to commit substantial numbers of troops has raised doubts about whether the truce can hold.

    France, which commands the existing force U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon known as UNIFIL, had been expected to make a significant new contribution that would form the backbone of the expanded force. But President Jacques Chirac disappointed the U.N. and other countries last week by merely doubling France's contingent of 200 troops.

    French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said he has called for a meeting of European Union diplomats in Brussels this week to "find out as rapidly as possible what the different European partners plan to do concerning Lebanon."

    Douste-Blazy indicated more European troops could be sent later, once the U.N. has clarified the mandate of the force, including the rules of engagement.

    In Lebanon, Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, a Sunni Muslim, and parliament speaker Nabih Berri, a Shiite and Hezbollah supporters, decried the destruction wrought by Israeli bombs as "crimes against humanity" during a highly publicized tour of the devastated guerrilla stronghold in Beirut's southern suburbs on Sunday.

    "What we see today is an image of the crimes Israel has committed. ... There is no other description other than a criminal act that shows Israel's hatred to destroy Lebanon and its unity," Saniora said to a big crowd of reporters and television crews invited on the tour of the region where Israeli airstrikes destroyed whole neighborhoods.

    "I hope the international media transmits this picture to every person in the world so that it shows this criminal act, this crime against humanity," the Western-backed prime minister said.

    Arab League foreign ministers convened for an emergency meeting in Cairo to discuss a plan to create a fund to rebuild Lebanon. The meeting ended with no plan, but foreign ministers said a social and economic council would convene to discuss how to fund the rebuilding.

    Diplomats said Arabs want to counter the flood of money that is believed to be coming from Iran to Hezbollah to finance reconstruction projects. An estimated 15,000 apartments were destroyed and 140 bridges hit by Israeli bombardment in Lebanon, along with power and desalination plants and other key infrastructure.

    "This is a war over the hearts and mind of the Lebanese, which Arabs should not lose to the Iranians this time," said a senior Arab League official, speaking on condition of because he is not authorized to talk to the media.

    Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah has not said where the money would come from, but Iran, which helped create Hezbollah and is its strongest supporter, is widely believed to have opened its treasury for the rebuilding program.

     
  • At 8/21/06, 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    THE "AWAR" EYE DOCTOR HAS GONE OVERBOARD:
    Aug. 20, 2006 18:37 | Updated Aug. 20, 2006 18:43
    Syria: 'Half men' not Arab leaders
    By ASSOCIATED PRESS
    KUWAIT CITY


    Syria's President Bashar Assad was not referring to Arab leaders when he said that those who did not support the guerrilla group Hizbullah were "half men," his foreign minister said in an interview with a Kuwaiti newspaper.

    "What President Assad meant by this phrase was those individuals inside Syria and maybe outside it who threw doubts on the ability of the resistance to achieve victory," Foreign Minister Walid Moallem told the Al-Anba daily, which provided excerpts of the interview to The Associated Press. The full interview is to be published Monday.

    Assad said in a televised speech Tuesday that the Lebanon war had "unveiled half men" - a reference to the opposition of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan to Hizbullah's abduction of two IDF soldiers and killing of eight others on July 12 that triggered the fighting between Israel and the group.

    His comments sparked a wave of anger among Arab countries and underlined the divisions among them.

    Though Moallem skipped an Arab League meeting of foreign ministers on Sunday, his comments appeared to indicate that Syria, who along with Iran is a major supporter of Hizbullah, was trying to mend the split.

    The Syrian president is "keen on personal and official relationships" with Arab leaders and on "Arab solidarity", Moallem told the newspaper.

     
  • At 8/21/06, 7:23 AM, Anonymous Victoria said…

    With doublespeaking France, honor gets lost in translation
    French is the traditional language of diplomacy. Diplomacy is the art of saying one thing while doing another.

    In recent weeks, France stepped forward to act as a broker of peace in Lebanon. “Act” is the key verb in that last sentence, as it now would seem that the only other verifiable part of the sentence is “in recent weeks.”

    To correctly parse that sentence, one must understand that when France suggested it wanted to broker peace in Lebanon, it did not necessarily mean “broker” or “peace” or “Lebanon” in the way we might understand those words. The same is true when France further suggested it wanted to “lead” a “strong” “multinational” “force” there.

    I don’t speak French, so I have no idea what the actual French words are for those concepts or what possible nuances there may be. I’ve been relying on news reports in English, which now inform me that the French do not intend to send any significant number of troops to what is supposed to be a force of 15,000 in Lebanon, like everyone thought they said they would.

    The heady moment of peace brokering having passed, uponsober reflection, the French now say they already have a general and some staff in south Lebanon ordering about UNIFIL, the U.N. monitoring entity there. That’s plenty of leadership, the French suggested: All France needs to contribute now is another 200 combat engineers.

    In tactical terms, when it comes to securing a Middle East conflict zone, that can be referred to as “squat.”

    The United Nations, which is trying to salvage what is left of its own self-respect after the utter failure of UNIFIL in Lebanon, is now publicly begging European nations to contribute troops.

    To find the last plain-speaking French leader, it is necessary to go back to Napoleon Bonaparte. He said he was going to take over Europe, and proceeded to do so. No, scratch that. He said he was going to bring French liberty and equality to Europe, then crowned himself emperor. Subsequent French history offers us a sordid string of third world colonizations followed by bloody wars to hang on long after the time to relinquish colonies had passed, setting the stage for corrupt government and prolonged conflict in places like Vietnam.

    More recently, we’ve seen the naked hypocrisy of Dominic de Villepin in the United Nations, braying about his humanitarian concerns for the Iraqi people, while trying to ensure mass murderer Saddam Hussein remained in power to honor his French contracts.

    The shamelessness of France knows no bounds. They have a domestic Arabic population and business interests in the Mideast to satisfy. They desperately want to be taken seriously as a major power. So they sat down with the United States and hammered out a peace plan. Then, before the ink was dry, they shrugged a Gallic shrug.

    I wish I could be charitable here and find some good excuses for the French. Ernest Hemingway, who had a soft spot for them, used to like to say, “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk.” But Hemingway, unlike the French, had a sense of honor.

    French was once the lingua franca, back when men wore powdered wigs and France was a power to be reckoned with. None of those things are true now. French has been replaced by English as the language of foreign policy, business, tourism, the Internet and just about everything else.

    If we, those of us who enjoy conducting business in English rather than say, Chinese or Arabic, want it to stay that way, I’d suggest step one is that we should continue to state clearly our intentions and do what we say we aregoing to do. Even when the world doesn’t necessarily like what we are saying.

    That is our French lesson for the day.

    http://news.bostonherald.com/columnists/view.bg?articleid=153613

     
  • At 8/22/06, 8:14 AM, Anonymous Hamid-Liban said…

    Lebanese Professor: "To Be a Shi'ite Now..."

    In an article published on August 7, 2006 in the Lebanese daily Al-Nahar,
    Mona Fayyad, a professor at the Lebanese University, attacked the uniform
    pro-Hizbullah, pro-Iran thinking expected of and imposed upon Shi'ites in
    Lebanon.(1) In the days following its publication, several reactions to
    Fayyad's article were published in Al-Nahar and on the Internet.

    The following are excerpts from an English translation of Fayyad's article
    that was posted on the Internet,(2) and excerpts from the reactions.


    "To Be a Shi'ite Means That You Do Not Question the Meaning of Resistance
    and Pride"

    "We are going through a catastrophic and existential period that will have
    long-lasting impacts on our country and region for the next century; and
    since we are facing such a dangerous juncture, I saw fit to pose some
    questions that one might pose to one's self, or in secret, and wouldn't dare
    publicize, in fear of being accused of being a foreign agent or a traitor,
    or even a blasphemer. Confronting difficult questions and putting them out
    in public could help prevent us from falling to the precipice from which
    there is no return, and could help leaders take the appropriate decisions in
    order to stop this hellish war, whatever the cost may be.

    "What is the meaning of being Shi'ite for the majority of Shi'ites at this
    point and at this critical juncture?

    "To be a Shi'ite means that you entrust your fate to the wise and infallible
    leadership without daring to ask any question, even if just as a point of
    understanding.

    "To be a Shi'ite means watching the Al-Manar channel, or New TV or NBN,
    exclusively, and that you enjoy their inspirational songs and their
    exclusive news, and that you look with enmity on all other channels because
    they are either 'American' or 'Zionist,' as long as they refer to Israeli
    forces by their name, and do not call them the 'forces of the enemy,' and do
    not have enough eulogies and only broadcast information.

    "To be a Shi'ite means that you do not question the meaning of victory. Is
    it the victory of armies while keeping soldiers - flush with weapons -
    alive, while destroying all of what is built, and the killing of the human
    beings that worked hard to build it up, and constitute the true protection
    for the fighter himself?

    "To be a Shi'ite means that you do not question the meaning of resistance
    and pride. Is it fleeing from bombing and being heaped together on the tile
    floors of schools...?

    "To be a Shi'ite is to contribute to the creation of a Lebanese 'Karbala 2,'
    as the Iraqi 'Karbala 1' did not perform its role as needed in building up
    the Arabs and carrying them on to victory over the enemy."


    "Didn't We See... That Syria is the Cornerstone of This Region?"

    "To be a Shi'ite is to be a hero that does not feel hurt nor complain, and
    does not have psychological crises, and accepts sacrificing himself and his
    country and everything that was accomplished so that he can teach Israel a
    lesson, and expose its craziness and ensure its defeat, as was indicated to
    us by the Syrian Minister on the BBC, that Israel is the loser... You see it
    is now hated more than ever before, and it is indicted by most of the
    nations of the world... now that they see for sure - and the lesson is still
    proceeding - the extent of its savagery and folly.

    "When you are Shi'ite, you have to accept this logic, and even praise it,
    admiring its eloquence, its wisdom, and its global role in spreading the
    legal education and the enactment of international treaties and its role on
    a popular level, in resistance and liberation. Didn't we see, through this
    war on us, that 'Syria is the cornerstone of this region?' These are the
    very words of the [Syrian] minister himself.

    "Of course all this destruction was necessary in order to ensure with
    concrete evidence the validity of this reasoning; because of the level of
    our objective thinking, we only work with evidence and empirical
    experimentation.

    "To be a Shi'ite is to accept that your country be destroyed before your
    very eyes... and that it comes tumbling down on your head, and that your
    family be displaced and dispersed and becomes a 'refugee' at the four
    corners of the nation and the world, and that you accept standing up to the
    enemy with no complaints as long as there is a fighter out there with a
    rocket that he can launch at northern Israel - and maybe even at its south -
    without asking about the 'why' or about the timing or about the usefulness
    of the end result.

    "To be a Shi'ite is to accept that you sacrifice all, as long as you have
    someone who will compensate you with money, and that someone will look over
    you as you rebuild what he destroyed. What is your problem with that?

    "You see, we are a people of heroes that knows nothing but sacrifice, and we
    can absorb mental shocks and the death of loved ones and the humiliation of
    displacement and the destruction of the infrastructure of the state - since
    it is a weak, corrupt and follower state. Is it not enough to have on our
    side a strong country [i.e. Syria] whose foundations we work to support in
    confronting the unjust American might and the Israeli war machine from
    hell? - that machine whose weakness we have to prove, as well as its
    inability to inflict any harm on the fighters of Hizbullah, or on its
    ability to limit their military capabilities, and to prove that at any
    price?"


    "What is the Purpose of Liberating a Country? Is it to Destroy it All Over
    Again and to Make it Possible for it to Be Occupied Once More?"

    "To be a Shi'ite is to keep silent and not to ask what is the purpose of
    liberating a country. Is it to destroy it all over again and to make it
    possible for it to be occupied once more? And not to ask about the role of
    the leadership: Is it to preserve its military power and keep its men flush
    with arms without any care or concern for the normal human being? Being a
    Shi'ite means that you can only thank Hizbullah for its heroism and
    sacrifice. It is not your role to contribute to 'weakening' it or to
    'breaking its word' or to making it know when to back down or compromise to
    preserve its victory on the one hand and to preserve the Lebanese nation and
    its people, as well as its development, on the other hand!! That means never
    to question whether pride takes precedence over the lives of others and
    whether stones take precedence over arms."


    "To Be a Shi'ite Means to Incapacitate Your Mind and to Leave it to Khamenei
    to Guide You... and He Imposes on You a Notion of Victory That is No
    Different Than Suicide"

    "To be a Shi'ite means to confer on the leader of the resistance his role as
    a loyal hero to the cause of the Arab nation in its entirety, not only
    whether you like it or not, but whether that nation likes it or not. You
    only have to hear the popular praise of the masses, that was preceded by the
    praise the masses heaped on their loyal hero 'Abd Al-Nasser, and is still
    shedding tears for its other hero, Saddam Hussein. And the masses are still
    able to heap praise on any hero that tickles its dreams and its feelings so
    that it can sleep tight at night... or to recover its lost dignity under the
    boots of rulers like Saddam, as long as we, and only we, pay the price until
    your real awakening.

    "But the question is, to what degree can we rely on these incapable masses,
    who are enslaved by their rulers, to liberate themselves without even
    thinking about reconsidering this Jihadist and revolutionary plan!! Are they
    empowered? Are they wise enough? Have they prepared the ground for that? Do
    they have tools for fighting and remaining steadfast other than the arms of
    zeal and emotion and oratory?

    "If you are a Shi'ite you are not to ask this leadership how the groundwork
    was prepared to absorb this indiscriminate war and its 'potential'
    consequences. Where are the hospitals, the ambulances, not to speak of the
    shelters? These are the responsibilities of the state - which was never
    consulted in declaring war - so that it can be blamed for its weakness and
    lack of wit. You see, the state is only needed when it is called upon to
    heal wounds, but the wise and existential decisions are not within its
    realm.

    "To be a Shi'ite means to incapacitate your mind and to leave it to [Iranian
    Supreme Leader] Khamenei to guide you and to decide for you what he wants
    concerning arms for Hizbullah, and he imposes on you a notion of victory
    that is no different than suicide."


    "Isn't it a Priority to Make Iran a Regional Shi'ite Superpower? What is the
    Problem With Sacrificing a Country Called Lebanon?"

    "To be a Shi'ite means to defend the meddling of the Iranian [Foreign]
    Minister Mottaki in Lebanese state affairs without even trying to care for
    appearances. Maybe he came to 'point out' to the ministers of Hizbullah that
    they [the Hizbullah ministers] 'did not agree' to the seven-point plan,
    especially the point about the multinational force, so that the door of the
    resistance would not be shut, and so that we can remain a country exploited
    and abused, after it was proven that the Shab'a Farms are Syrian and would
    be dealt with in accordance with Resolution 242... And in that he is warning
    them about putting their Lebanese identity before their following Iran.

    "They have to, against their own will, put the Iranian nuclear program and
    the interest of the state of Iran ahead of the interest of their state, and
    ahead of the preservation of the lives of the Lebanese or their possessions,
    whether these Lebanese are Shi'ite or otherwise, but especially if they are
    Shi'ites. Isn't it a priority to make Iran a regional Shi'ite superpower?
    What is the problem with sacrificing a country called Lebanon? Or the
    Shi'ites of this 'Lebanon'?"


    "If You are a Shi'ite and You Dare Write Such Writings and Think Such
    Thinking, Then You Must Be a Foreign Agent and a Traitor"

    "And in this tense mood, if you are a Shi'ite you have to listen to your
    Shi'ite speaker, who is disturbed and angry, and who wants to turn the world
    on top of the [Lebanese reform movement] 14th of March, and who wants to
    forbid the deployment of multinational forces. And you hear him distribute
    labels of foreign servitude, treason, Americanism and Zionism left and
    right, without raising your lip. You have to absorb his anger and agree with
    all his opinions, of which we have mentioned but a small sample. This is
    what takes you as far as possible from thinking: who the heck you are? Are
    you a Lebanese citizen? Does your being a Shi'ite mean that you have to give
    priority to Iran over Lebanon? Do you have the freedom to have your own
    opinions? Freedom of expression? Is it possible to think calmly and to ask
    where are we going with this nation, the institutions of this state, with
    pluralism, with the coexistence that we have to defend now?

    "If you are a Shi'ite and you dare write such writings and think such
    thinking, then you must be a foreign agent and a traitor, in favor of
    partition and naturalization of Palestinians [in Arab states]. You must be
    with the Zionist and Israeli projects, and you defend the state, with its
    corruption and favoritism, and you support the biased American policies, and
    you accept its short-sightedness, and its support for the terrorism of the
    Zionist state, and its failure to give the Palestinians their state like all
    other creatures of God, under the pretext of not supporting the terrorism of
    Hamas. And that means you support Israel itself and its satanic war machine
    and its extreme savagery, and you justify its killing, its occupation, and
    its folly, and you are lucky if you are not accused of being the one
    destroying houses on people's heads and the dismemberment of children's
    corpses and scattering them on the heaps of debris - [all this] by raising
    your voice.

    "Did I forget any of the symphony? If I did, please excuse me, because I
    cannot miss any of the news shows any more. I have to go see who is being
    displaced and whose house is being destroyed at the moment - that is, if he
    manages to survive."


    Reactions to Mona Fayyad's Article

    Two articles in the Lebanese daily Al-Nahar - one from August 10, 2006, by
    Naif Karim and another from August 12, 2006, by Sanaa Haj - accused Mona
    Fayyad of superficiality and of distorting the facts, and mimicked the style
    of her article.

    Karim wrote: "The hypothetical Shi'ite is supposed to give up his weapons
    and sleep in the arms of the wolf, relying on the protection of the
    international community and not troubling himself or his country with
    [issues of] liberating territories... [or] liberating Lebanese prisoners...
    The hypothetical Shi'ite is supposed to accept it as inevitable fate that
    there are networks of Israeli agents who plant bombs and kill activists from
    Sidon to Ba'albek... A Shi'ite who counts as a pure Lebanese is one who
    condemns [Syrian Foreign Minister] Walid Al-Muallem and [Iranian Foreign
    Minister] Manuchehr Mottaki for their open interference in Lebanon's
    affairs, [but] throws flowers to Condoleezza Rice and approves of the New
    Middle East that she is weaving from the blood of our children."(3)

    Sanaa Haj, a university lecturer, wrote: "To be a Shi'ite means having to
    justify [the activity of] the resistance [i.e. Hizbullah] - to foreign
    [parties] and unfortunately also to domestic [ones]... [It means having] to
    convince others every day that you are loyal to your country, which you
    nourish with your blood and your determined stand, and to constantly prove
    that you are an Arab and not an Iranian... to endure the sight of your
    family members in South Lebanon being killed and uprooted from their
    homes... to keep silent and not dare to express your enthusiasm and your joy
    at the victories of the resistance, so as to not offend the sensibilities of
    certain people in Lebanon..."(4)

    In an August 12, 2006 article in Al-Nahar, Isma'il Sharaf Al-Din responded
    to Naif Karim's claims, saying that Karim had not answered the legitimate
    questions raised by Mona Fayyad. Sharaf Al-Din, who sees himself as a
    displaced Shi'ite, wrote that he agreed with Fayyad's statements and wished
    to add one of his own: "As a Shi'ite, you must first of all demand an
    accounting from those who started this adventure, which, as an initial
    result, caused more than one million Lebanese, most of them Shi'ites, to be
    displaced from their homes, with [entire] cities and villages being emptied
    of their inhabitants."(5)

    Reformist columnist 'Aziz Al-Haj posted a reaction on the reformist website
    Elaph, stating that Mona Fayyad "is not the only one who writes with such
    candor out of love for Lebanon and its people." He listed many others who
    had written in the same vein, in the London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq
    Al-Awsat and in the Kuwaiti press, and who had incurred a torrent of curses,
    insults, and accusations of being communists.(6)


    Endnotes:
    (1) Al-Nahar (Lebanon), August 7, 2006.
    (2) The translation was posted on the website "New England Americans for
    Lebanon" and has been lightly edited for style.
    http://www.10452lccc.com/hizbollah/fayad10.8.06english.htm , August 11,
    2006.
    (3) Al-Nahar (Lebanon), August 10, 2006.
    (4) Al-Nahar (Lebanon), August 12, 2006.
    (5) Al-Nahar (Lebanon), August 12, 2006.
    (6) http://www.elaph.com/ElaphWeb/ElaphWriter/2006/8/168599.htm , August 10,
    2006.

     
  • At 8/22/06, 9:20 AM, Anonymous Hamid- Liban said…

    The Awar Eye Doctor from Damscus and his infantile Insults.
    Syrian leader Bashar Assad has alienated many of his fellow Arab leaders by calling them "half men."

    Embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad moved Monday to ease tensions with Arab leaders whom he had mocked as incompetent in confronting Israel - causing the latest rift among Arab states.

    Last week, Assad knocked Arab leaders as "half men," underlining the sharp division among Arab nations as they tried to forge a unified front to resolve the Lebanon crisis, triggered by Hezbollah's July 12 abduction of two Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

    ----

    Assad said in a televised speech Tuesday that the war had "unveiled half men" - a reference to the opposition of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan to
    Hezbollah's abduction of two IDF soldiers that triggered the July 12
    fighting between Israel and the group.

    Arab governments did not officially comment on Assad's jibes in Tuesday's speech. Instead, the task has been left to newspapers in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, some of which are state-run. Several launched personal and direct attacks on Assad.

    One paper described the Syrian president as a rose that has failed to bloom. Another berated him for remaining silent throughout the fighting between Israel and Lebanese-based Hezbollah. And a third mocked his talk of resistance even though Syria did not fire a single bullet toward the Golan Heights.

    His attempts at explaining his comments are even more laughable.

    On Monday, Assad sent a letter of condolence to Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak for the death of scores of Egyptians in a train collision earlier in the day.

    Meanwhile, two of his ministers gave interviews to explain that Bashar did not mean to insult Mubarak or other Arab leaders.

    In his letter, read on Egyptian state TV, Assad did not mention his earlier jibe. But his information minister, Mouhsen Bilal, told the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper that Assad's comments were not directed at Mubarak.

    "Mr. President did not mean Egypt or its leadership, it was blame meant for other Arabs," the information minister said.

    In an interview with a Kuwaiti newspaper, Foreign Minister Walid Moallem also said Assad was not targeting Arab leaders when he said that those who did not support Hezbollah were "half men."

    "President Assad meant by that phrase individuals inside Syria and maybe outside it who cast doubt on the ability of the resistance [Hezbollah] to achieve victory," Moallem was quoted as saying.

    Biggest. Dork. Ever

    If I were Mubarak and the other Arab leaders criticized by Assad, I would not be too insulted - considering this is Assad's idea of a real man:





    And still on the subject of "half men," meet the Terrortubbies:

     
  • At 8/22/06, 10:29 AM, Anonymous David- Tel Aviv said…

    NO RALLYING AROUND THE FLAG IN ISRAEL

    Do you wish to know why Israel and the US are a success and the Arab world a failure? It is because Israelis are not in the street demonstrating their love for Ehud Olmert the way Egyptians demonstrated their love for Abd'l Nasser following the 1967 debacle.



    Then, Nasser did the honorable thing and resigned but his people brought out huge crowds who demanded he stay. Babies were named after him and ignoring the fact that he is responsible for the loss of the Golan Heights, Syrian fans still carried his photo in 2002. The same can be said about Arafat, Saddam and now Nasrallah and Saniora.

    Indeed, you cannot point to a single failure (and there were plenty) foreign and domestic which resulted in the overthrow of a single Arab dictator. The Falkland Island debacle ended the rule of the Generals in Argentina but the bloody ten year war between Iran and Iraq merely strengthened the despotic rule of their regimes.



    Why? Because the Arab/Muslim world lives in a state of denial or in what Fuad Ajami aptly calls Dream Palace of the Arabs in which every defeat is treated as a victory. Anwar Sadate lost the Yom Kippur War but Egyptians celebrate it as a victory every year. It is this tradition that permits Nasrallah to stand over the ruins of Southern Lebanon and declares victory.

    Israelis engage in no similar escape from reality. Just read this devastating open letter sent to Defense Minister Amir Peretz and IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz in protest at the handling of the war by the government and senior military officials by the unit which spearheaded the attack on Lebanon:


    We, fighters and commanders at the Spearhead [Hod Hachanit] Brigade, were called up to enlist under an emergency mobilization order [Tzav 8] on July 30, 2006. Our attendance was complete in all battalions.
    As we were signing on the battle equipment and weapons, we knew that we were signing for much more. We left behind wives and children, girlfriends and families. We put aside our jobs and livelihoods; we were prepared to carry out our mission under the most difficult of conditions, in heat, thirst or hunger.

    At the back of his mind, each and every one of us knew, that for the just cause of protecting the citizens of Israel, we would even put our lives on the line.

    But there was one thing we were not and would not be willing to accept: We were unwilling to accept indecisiveness. The war's aim, which was not defined clearly, was even changed in the course of the fighting.

    It goes mercilessly on. When all said and done, this no hold bar demand for accountability is the real secret of democracies in general and the Israeli one in particular. It is the sweet that comes out of the bitter.

    When will the Arabs/Muslims learn that submission to God should not translate to submission to gangsters, terrorists and tyrants? When will they leave the dream palace and dare to look reality in the face in the manner the Israeli reservists do and demand that their leaders do?

    The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind

     
  • At 8/22/06, 11:55 AM, Anonymous Roger said…

    How efficent is the Enforced UNIFIL?

    Hizbollah pushes past UN guards in show of force

    By Patrick Bishop in Naqoura


    (Filed: 21/08/2006)

    The Daily Telegraph, London

    Hizbollah mourners on a funeral parade shoved aside anti-tank barriers at a United Nations base in Lebanon yesterday in a demonstration of their new political strength.

    The party had been told it would be allowed to bury three "martyrs" at the Naqoura town cemetery inside the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) compound, but only if there was no flag-waving or political sloganising.

    When the chanting procession, several hundred strong, reached the gates, it found the way barred by cruci-form steel tank traps. Mourners argued with the French guards, but failed to gain entry.

    advertisement
    A mob of young men then dragged the barriers away and the UN opened the gates. "They will eat us alive," said a middle-aged official as the throng surged in.

    A column of black-shirted men carried the three coffins to the graveyard. They waved yellow Hizbollah banners and portraits of the movement's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, and yelled anti-Israeli and anti-American doggerel.

    Among the mourners was Naqoura's mayor, Hussein Darwish, a 59-year-old former teacher. "Israel is allowed to carry on raiding our country without Unifil doing anything," he said, referring to an abortive raid by Israeli commandos in the Bekaa valley the previous day. "Why do they try to stop us burying our dead the way we wish?" The angry scenes were seen as a troubling portent of what may happen when a boosted UN force begins deploying to police the delicate, week-old ceasefire.

    "Until now we've had good relations, but I don't know what will happen after this," said Mr Darwish. "Every-one is waiting." Others among the mourners complained that when they sought shelter at the base during the bombardments of the month-long conflict, they were placed in open ground without bedding or water.

    Unifil's hitherto easy dealings with the locals are partly due to its initial mandate, which only required it to observe and report. The new force will be expected to fill the space left by the departing Israelis and Hizbollah fighters, and police the border area, although its rules of engagement have not been finalised.

    Its activities will inevitably bring it into close contact with Hizbollah, which has moved fast to consolidate its political grip on the region.

    Nowhere in the border area yesterday was there any sign of the Lebanese Army. It has been warned by Israel that it will not be allowed to deploy close to the frontier before the arrival of international troops. There was little sign yesterday that the security vacuum would be filled soon.

    UN officials are desperate to get a vanguard force of 3,500 on the ground within a fortnight. But Israel is opposing the use of troops from some of the Muslim countries with which it does not have diplomatic ties but have offered to supply soldiers.

    By last night, Unifil's standing force of 2,000 had been supplemented only by the arrival of 49 French military engineers.

     
  • At 8/22/06, 9:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    fuck the french! they pretended to "work" with the Americans on a ceasefire mainly to force Israel's hand and stop the annihilation of the Hezb. Now that the real work begins, that the French really have to show their mettle and turn their words into action, they're pulling out. sending us a measly 400 boyscouts? Fuck them

     
  • At 8/23/06, 7:31 AM, Anonymous Hamid- Liban said…

    Assad thinks he is the Real Boss of Lebanon and he decides. The Lebanese government does not exist as far as he is Concerned. All This in contravention of UN resolutions 1559 and 1701.




    Syria will not stand for international troops deployed on the Lebanese-Syrian border says president Bashar Assad

    August 22, 2006, 11:14 PM (He spoke in an advance of an interview to be aired by Dubai television Wednesday. This would be a withdrawal of Lebanese sovereignty and a hostile position, he said.

    Israel prime minister Ehud Olmert assured UN envoys Tuesday night that Israel would lift its sea and air blockades over Lebanon as soon as international troops were in place to police the borders and stop the smuggling of arms to Hizballah from Syria and Iran.

    Friday, the European Union presidency meets to discuss the Lebanon force which is more or less stalled.

    Assad also refused to draw the border in the Shebaa Farms area before Israeli forces leave. He added: “Hizballah’s victory was enough to teach Israel a lesson that the isolation of Syria has failed.”

     
  • At 8/23/06, 7:42 AM, Anonymous Hamid- Liban said…

    Ils s’enervent en Iran!!!
    Mardi 22 août 2006



    Selon le journal Asharq Al-Awsat, les Iraniens n’apprecient pas tant que cela les largesses de leur gouvernment vis-a-vis du Hezbollah :

    The Iranian government’s pledge of 500 million dollars to Hezbollah has angered many Iranians who say they are still awaiting money to help rebuild their homes that were damaged by wars and natural disasters, informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

    The anger is particularly fierce in the Khuzestan district, which sustained severe damage during the Iran-Iraq war, and in Bam, which was hit hard by an earthquake three years ago. . . .

    “Informed sources” told Asharq Al-Awsat that spontaneous demonstrations were staged in Bam and in Khuzestan on Friday as protesters shouted slogans critical of Hezbollah and the government. They were demanding their homes be rebuilt instead of the government intervening in Lebanese affairs.

    Traduction Lagrette
    La promesse de 500 millions de dollars du gouvernement iranien au Hezbollah a mis en colère beaucoup d’Iraniens qui disent qu’ils attendent toujours de l’argent pour aider à reconstruire leurs maisons qui ont été détruites par les guerres et les désastres naturels, ont déclaré des sources informées au journal Asharq Al-Awsat.

    La colère est particulièrement forte dans le district du Khuzestan, qui a connu le plus de destruction lors la guerre d’Iran-Iraq et à Bam, qui a été frappée durement par un séisme il y a trois ans….

    “Les sources informées” ont déclaré à Asharq Al-Awsat que des manifestations spontanées ont été organisées à Bam et au Khuzestan vendredi durant lesquelles les manifestants criaient des slogans contre le Hezbollah et le gouvernement. Ils demandaient que leurs maisons soient reconstruites plutôt que le gouvernement intervienne dans les affaires libanaises

    C’est seulement maintenant qu’ils s’en rendent compte !?!
    Mardi 22 août 2006
    Titre d’un article de la Islamic Republic News Agency :

    [b] Iran needs more psychologists, psychiatrists[/b]

    [color=darkred][b]L'Iran a besoin de plus de psychologues, et des psychiatres [/b][/color]


    http://www.irna.ir/en/news/view/line-22/0608226604010744.htm
    Iran needs more psychologists, psychiatrists: Official Kermanshah, Aug 22, IRNA
    Iran-Psychology-Shortage
    Head of Iran's Psychology and Psychiatry Organization said here on Monday that keeping in mind the high level of social problems in the country, we are today faced with shortage in number of practicing psychologists and psychiatrists.


    Dr. Gholam-Ali Afrouz who is in Kermanshah to take part at the opening ceremony of the country's Seventh District Psychology Council added in an interview with IRNA here on Monday night, "There are seventeen million families in Iran, each of which an average of 4.2 population."
    He said, "We need one psychologist, or psychology consultant per each one thousand families in order to meet the international standards, that is to say, we are in need of 17,000 psychologists and psychology consultants altogether, where as their number in Iran is less than 4,000 today."
    The head of the country's psychology organization emphasized, "The root for all social delinquencies is the existing psychological problems and this is a social complex in need of being tackled by top psychology and and sociology experts."
    Afrouz said, "In a country where seven million divorce dossiers are at the present time filed at the family courts, addiction to narcotics is rising rapidly, and the mental hospitals have no vacancy, it is obvious that we need more active psychologists."
    He added, "Fifty-one percent of the juvenile culprits at state training centers are the students that have been kicked out of schools and this means the Education Ministry needs to pay closer attention to mental health of the students."
    The official said that in order to eliminate the country's deficiency in the field we need to increase the capacity of psychology schools throughout the country and to accept the top students for studying such courses.

    The country's Seventh District Psychology Council began its activities on Monday in the presence of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychology consultants from Iran's Kermanshah, Ilam, Lorestan, Hamedan, and Kurdistan provinces, with Kermanshah as its center, at that city's Martyr Avini Hall.

    2329/1771



    ---> Iran-Psychology-Shortage

     
  • At 8/23/06, 10:33 AM, Anonymous Claire said…

    Arab standards of Journalism.
    Al Jazeera full steam for Hizbullah.
    Hezbollah's propaganda ministry
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/753672.html
    By Rafik Halabi

    A month before the war in Lebanon broke out, the Al Jazeera channel began filming documentary programs, which have not yet been broadcast, about life in Israel and, among other things, the Hebrew press. In an interview that a reporter for the channel conducted with me, she read out questions that had been dictated by the office in Amman and the editorial desk in Qatar. I told her the Israeli press reflects, in many cases, the opinions of the government and the public's wishes. The Hebrew press has for the most part moved to the center and is even moving rightward. I asserted that the role of the media is not to join the cheerleading squad of the government and the street. To my mind it is natural and good that in Israel different approaches be represented and criticism of the press's functioning be expressed.

    Al Jazeera wanted to depict the ills of the Israeli press with respect to its attitude toward the Arab population in Israel, the Palestinian problem and the approach to Islam. However, the directors and editors of the channel need to examine their consciences with respect to their part in Lebanon War II.

    I will begin by saying that it is to Al Jazeera's credit that it has changed the journalistic and cultural values in the Arab world. On its news and current affairs programs harsh criticism of their regimes is heard from Egyptian, Jordanian and even Moroccan and Saudi intellectuals. Al Jazeera is the Hyde Park of the Arab world.


    However, during the Lebanon War the channel set aside its journalistic values and enlisted on behalf of Hezbollah. Right during the first week Ghassan bin Jado - the director of the office in Beirut and Hassan Nasrallah's darling - was granted an exclusive interview with the chairman in his hideout.

    The field reporters for Al Jazeera, most notably among them Abbas Nasser, had no hesitations about describing the Israel Defense Forces' actions as a "barbaric attack." In their opinion, the air force was only seeking out "the weak" civilians, "the children, the old people and the women." The claim that Hezbollah fighters were concealing themselves in underground hideouts beneath the homes of the miserable civilians did not interest them. They broadcast shocking, vivid descriptions and chilling footage of the killing at Qana, the likes of which have not been shown in the West for years.

    The Al Jazeera journalists wanted to provide a victory for Hezbollah in the psychological war. In a number of cases, when they invited an Israeli interviewee they treated him like a punching bag, as though they saw it as an obligation to insult him and in this way make their contribution to Hezbollah's war effort. When their Israeli interlocutor expressed criticism of the war or of the government, I felt the Al Jazeera people did not understand the freedom of expression and the democracy in Israel. The matter of the IDF spokesman's representative who in the interview with him evinced arrogance and insensitivity - merits investigation by the IDF. Nevertheless, he and all the other Israeli spokesmen were invited in order to "get hit on the head" more than to voice what they had to say.

    At the end of last week, when television crews were permitted to go down south, Bin Jado was accompanied by a Hezbollah fighter whose entire function boiled down to holding a microphone in front of the man who gave extravagant descriptions of his heroism in face of "the Zionist soldiers, who wept like women." He acted like a spokesman and not like a journalist, in a way that only reinforced the sense that Al Jazeera was functioning as the Hezbollah's propaganda ministry.

    Al Jazeera apparently has two distinct codes: The one relating to the Arab world is based on journalistic values of fairness and search for the truth; the other has to do with Israel. All of the commentators who appeared in the Al Jazeera studios in Egypt and in Beirut saw only Israeli failures. And what about the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of Lebanese refugees whose world had come tumbling down on them? In Lebanon are they not mourning the hundreds of dead, the dozens of destroyed villages? Is it reasonable to assume that the $12,000 dollars that Islamic resistance activists are handing out in front of the cameras will be greeted with cries of "Long live Nasrallah?"; the impression emerged that Al Jazeera has an ideological line that is nourished by "the Arab nationalists" and "the Islamic resistance."

    Al Jazeera, my favorite channel, severely disappointed me during the Lebanon War when it fled from fulfilling its journalistic obligation and preferred to serve as a bulletin board on which the Hezbollah hung its statements.

    The writer is a journalist and lecturer in communications.

     
  • At 8/23/06, 2:56 PM, Anonymous sam said…

    Could you please give us a link to the Taheri article?

    (BTW, JoseyWales, do you have a policy that no comment should be shorter than a thousand words??)

     
  • At 8/23/06, 5:46 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Ooops, Sorry Sam.

    I guess I linked twice to the Peters piece. The link to Taheri is fixed now in the body of the piece.

    You can also find it on: benadorassociates.com.

    Yes Sam, I have a policy against posting full articles and comments longer than "War and Peace".

    I am just being LAX on this post since my post was 2 articles. But WATCH OUT: deletion will be back any time now, and certainly with subsequent posts.

     
  • At 8/23/06, 11:43 PM, Blogger Fares said…

  • At 8/24/06, 12:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lebanon will become an international pariah state if she embraces non-state terrorist actors as a legitimate state actor.

    France is reluctant to lead a UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon because your governement refuses to take responsibility for disarming your terrorist proxy army, Hisballah. A Lebanese man was abducted for planting a bomb on a German train.

    The primary question is will Lebanon become a terrorist state, or a responsible nation-state respected by the international community.

    You were given the benefit of the doubt this time due to your Democracy was so promising and immature. Now, you have a decision to make. If you choose to retain your terrorist proxy army, then God help you.

     
  • At 8/26/06, 12:31 AM, Blogger Fearless said…

    Nasrallah’s machinations :

    1. He has notified Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora that the only concession he is willing to make with regard to the Hizballah presence in South Lebanon is to avoid exhibiting his fighters’ weapons in a demonstrative fashion.

    2. Hizballah forces in the South will not oppose the deployment of Lebanese troops and a strengthened UNIFIL force, so long as they understand who their hosts are, namely Hizballah. The inference here is that foreign peacekeepers’ steps will be dogged by Hizballah fighters. This action nullifies the injunction to the Beirut government to assert Lebanese sovereignty in every part of the country, which was stressed by the US president in his speech.

    3. Siniora must stop referring to Hizballah’s disarmament else Hizballah ministers and MPs will topple his government by withdrawing their parliamentary support.

    Nasrallah is not standing aside for anyone – certainly not the US-backed Siniora government - to carve out a new future for Lebanon. His men are already out consolidating his “state within a state.” Rather than wait for government or international assistance to repair destroyed villages in the south, Hizballah volunteers are on the spot helping the returning refugees to start reconstruction work. Just as Olmert talks about rebuilding northern Israel after it was pummeled by 4,000 Hizballah rockets, so too does Nasrallah use the language of a national leader in reference to the ravaged South.

    Monday, Aug. 14, in his 10th televised speech of the war, the Hizballah leader made no bones about being short of funds, but said his men would be on hand to help with repairs.

    This device is a neat way of opening the door for Hizballah fighters and cadres to reach their former bases, fortifications and bunkers facing the Israeli border, in their capacity as volunteers and aid workers donating their services to the national reconstruction effort.

    To rebuild his depleted South Lebanon army, Nasrallah also quietly ordered all Hizballah fighters in the north, the Beqaa Valley and Baalbek, to pack their bags and head south with their families

     
  • At 8/26/06, 12:37 AM, Anonymous Abu Kais said…

    Who is the head of the Syrian Mukhabarat in Lebanon now?
    Is it Immad Mughniyeh?
    I knew Ghazi Kanaan ( al marhum). I knew General Rustum Ghazale.

     
  • At 8/27/06, 5:24 AM, Anonymous Ian said…

    When in need even a joke of an MP like George Galloway is welcome chez le Hizbullah

    George Galloway is a joke in British politics. On the payroll of Saddam for years. Expelled from the Labour party, he went on to form RESPECT in a predominntly Muslim area. Funny to see the Chador clad populace cheering him. No self respecting Englishman will ever do so.
    The man has been prostituting himself for years, including asking for funds for himself on Al Jazeera. In Damascus along side Fascist, David Duke, he was supporting Bachar.


    British MP George Galloway Asks Al-Jazeera Viewers For Funds and Says: Bush-Blair Relations Resemble Clinton-Monica Relations; Arab Rulers are Fornicating With Foreign Occupiers

    To view this Special Dispatch in HTML, visit: http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD124106 .

    The following are excerpts from an interview with British MP George Galloway, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on August 8, 2006.

    TO VIEW THIS CLIP: http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=1228


    Interviewer: "There is identity or harmony – and some even say subordinate relations – between the American and British policies, in a way that sometimes seems detrimental to British interests, or even to the popularity of the British prime minister. Could you explain this, at least from your perspective?"

    George Galloway: "Well, it's the same kind of relationship that Ms. Lewinsky had with the former U.S. president. It's dishonorable, disreputable, unequal, and humiliating for a once great country to be the tail of the American dog, when the head of the dog is as crazy as Bush is. It's very degrading for us. Our foreign ministry knows this very well. Our ambassadors in the Arab countries know this very well. They tell Mr. Blair, though not loud enough, not courageously enough, but he's not listening to them, because he has this special relationship with George W. Bush, which is not only degrading but is placing our people in danger. Our interests are being sacrificed as a result, and the name of our country is being dragged through the mud everywhere in the world. We are now the third most hated country on the earth, after the United States and Israel. This is not a place that most British people want to be."

    [...]

    "I'm very sorry that so far we have not been able to remove this prime minister, who has committed so many crimes. I'm very sorry that so many people in the Arab world have had to suffer as a result of this special relationship between Tony Blair and George W. Bush."

    [...]

    "Two of the Arab world's beautiful daughters, Jerusalem and Baghdad, are in the hands of these foreigners, these occupiers, and nothing can be done by the Arab rulers, because they are in bed, fornicating with the foreigners, who are occupying and using these beautiful Arab daughters as they will."

    [...]

    "You know, I don't want to embarrass any particular Arab ruler, but once I spoke to a prince. I told him there were three British newspapers on sale for 100 million pounds – The Daily Express, The Sunday Express, and The Daily Star. Three important newspapers. 'Why don't you buy them,' I said. 'You could make a foothold for a decent point of view on the Arab world, if you were to buy these newspapers.' He could have bought them, but he didn't have the courage to buy them. He'd rather spend the money on other things. You know, in London, there is enough money thrown onto the roulette tables of London's casinos by Arabs, which could buy media in America and Britain, and transform the landscape. But I tell you, the good news is this: In the desert, just a few drops of water can transform the landscape. All we need is a few drops of water, because the American and British people have no faith, no trust, in their leaders. They know that the policy of their leaders is leading them to disaster. We need to intelligently apply the resources that we have, and people can contact me, to my e-mail, through my website, georgegalloway.com. I have many ideas on how we can do this. I just don't have any money."

    [...]

    "Walid Jumblatt was a friend of mine, and his father was someone that I greatly admired. But now I'm ashamed that I sat in the house of Walid Jumblatt, and took coffee from his cups. I think that the mistakes that Mr. Jumblatt made, not only in the last few weeks, but especially over the last 12 months, when he did his best to divide the people of Lebanon from the people of Syria, and to encourage the Franco-American imperial plan for Lebanon, was a shameful act. I'm sorry to say that, because I have many times sat in his house. It pains me to say that, but of all the actors in the Middle East region, the one who has really let everybody down is Walid Jumblatt. I hope that he will wake up one morning, realize this, and correct this mistake, because he has wounded the Arab nation, and this is not something that should ever be done by someone who carries the name of Jumblatt."

     
  • At 8/27/06, 5:30 AM, Anonymous Ian said…

    George Galloway MP

    George is live on talkSport 1089/1053 AM
    Saturday and Sunday between 8pm and 10pm

    Live Internet link (click the LISTEN NOW button in the side bar) at:
    http://www1.talksport.net/index.asp

     
  • At 8/27/06, 6:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Turning the stench of defeat into the smell of victory

    No one does Lebanon like Michael Young. You have to read this.

    So perhaps a victory it is, but in that case Hezbollah's victory is no different than most other Arab victories in recent decades: the "victory" of October 1973, where Egypt and Syria managed to cross into Israeli-held land, their land, only to be later saved from a thrashing by timely United Nations intervention; the "victory" of 1982, where Palestinian groups were ultimately expelled from West Beirut, but were proud to have stayed in the fight for three months; the Iraqi "victory" of 1991, where Saddam Hussein brought disaster on his country but still held on to power. Now we have the Hezbollah "victory" of 2006: the Israelis bumbled and blundered, but still managed to create a million refugees, to kill over 1,000 people, and to kick Lebanon's economy back several years. One dreads to imagine what Hezbollah would recognize as a military loss.

    Yea me too. I want to know how Hezbollah defines the word "loss".

     
  • At 8/27/06, 6:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Setting the ultra hardliners aside, all the Arab world's Sunnis support Hezbollah. Well, there might be an exception: Lebanon's Sunnis.

    MARWAHEEN, LEBANON - They pushed, shoved, shouted and cursed one another.

    In the end, posters of Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah would not be plastered around this tiny Sunni Muslim village in southern Lebanon mourning the loss of 23 of its own, slain in an Israeli air attack during the month-long war with Hezbollah.

    "Why do you want to put up an image of someone who is killing us?" one man screamed as a mob of dozens waved their fists and thrust open palms toward Nasrallah supporters clutching posters of the bearded and bespectacled Hezbollah chief. "We don't want to see it!"

    Joining those Sunnis are the Christians in South Lebanon

    Anger is more common in a handful of Christian villages where residents blame Hezbollah - and its capture of two Israeli soldiers July 12 - for Israeli reprisals that destroyed large swaths of this country.

    And how did Hezbollah fire their rockets?

    "Nobody wants Hezbollah here," Adel Abdallah said. "They don't want to fight for Lebanon. They fight for themselves, for Iran, for Syria."

    When the war broke out, residents said several Hezbollah fighters in civilian clothes entered the village and set up rocket launchers that were fired south toward Israel. They moved them around, and one was set for a time on top of a house that was subsequently destroyed.

    A teenage girl who was in Marwaheen for the first three days of the war said she saw a Hezbollah fighter set up a rocket launcher with a timer on a nearby hillside, and then run to the other side of the village near her home, taking refuge between civilian houses.

    Streaks of red light crossed the sky as the launcher fired a volley into Israel, and minutes later, Israel returned fire and huge explosions tore
    through the launch site, she said.

    A number of those Sunni Lebanese were brave enough to confront Hezbollah's "freedom fighters"

    "We begged them to leave," the girl said, declining to be named because she feared retribution from Hezbollah. "We told them, 'Get out! We have children here. We don't want anybody to get hurt.' But they ignored us."

    Wassim Abdallah, a 24-year-old who was in Beirut during the fighting, said Hezbollah fighters did not hurt anyone, but that one burst into his aunt's home. "She pleaded for him to go away, but he put a gun to her head and told her to shut up," he said.

    There was a surprise awaiting them

    A few blocks away, what residents described as a weapons depot belonging to Hezbollah lay destroyed. The stone house's roof had collapsed onto a pile of rubble, out from which peeked rocket-propelled grenades, mortar tubes and a dark green box that apparently once stored ammunition.

    "Nobody knew they were using our houses to store weapons. We were surprised to find them" after the war, Wassim said. "How could they keep weapons in the middle of all these civilian houses?"

    And many of the people I talk to think I have cussed God when I tell them that I don't think Hezbollah are that nice and dandy.

     
  • At 8/27/06, 7:53 AM, Anonymous Roger said…

    Western media outlets have preferred, during the Hezbollah`s Blitz, to show dolls and teddy bears on the rubble of houses, crying women lamenting their lost houses (kilometers apart, on numerous occassions).

    In the Arab world and the West some believed that this stage cast scenario was the only truth. But now, with the fear for Hezbollah`s terror releasing its choking grip around the throats of Southern Lebanese civilians, the facts come out.

    Hezbollah lured Israel into taking out their rocket launching installations and depots. Hezbollah, while targetting Israel`s civilian population, was deflecting the consequences of these acts to the civilian populations of Lebanon. For which it cares less than the dung of a blind donkey.

    How courageous of the Lebanese to come out and tell the truth. How couragous of their erstwhile supporters to face this side of the story. To realize that most stories have more than one side, and that an ideological view of events wastes the brain

     
  • At 8/27/06, 4:23 PM, Anonymous Delbarre said…

    Nasrallah and his lame excuses on NTV TV for vbringing destruction and death to Lebanon:
    Nasrallah:We wouldn't have kidnapped soldiers had we known it would have brought

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3296401,00.html

    Nasrallah: We wouldn't have kidnapped soldiers had we known it would have brought war

    Published: 08.27.06, 20:24

    Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah told Lebanese television NTV that "our organization would not have kidnapped thw two Israeli soldiers if it would have known that Israel would launch war of this size."

    Nasrallah added that the multinational force in Lebanon was not aimed at disbanding his organization.

     
  • At 8/27/06, 8:25 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    delbarre,

    Here's my posted comment re this statement on Lebanese Political Journal.

    [Nasrallah says] We did not think it would lead to war?

    Then you are unfit to lead anything you schmuck, let alone take the country to war illegally.

    Israel had been saying for months the pain will be severe on all on Lebanon (though Israel could have been even clearer by say dropping something on Assad rather than buzzing him).

    This stupid excuse has to rank up there with Nasser's 67: We expected them to attack from the East, they came from the West. Well then, everything is OK and forgiven now????

    These are the heroes of the Arab street, incompetent and murderous, yet charismatic fools.

    If there is any common sense left in Lebanon, Shia or otherwise, this son of a thousand bitches should be hanged by his privates very soon.


    [I truly think the only hope for Lebanon is for people to rise very quickly NOW, lambast Nasrallah and the HA leadership, and take bak the iniative.]

     
  • At 8/28/06, 7:58 AM, Anonymous Delmotte said…

    AQs they say in English: it is not over until it is over. Here is a little poem:
    "Yalla, ya Nasrallah,
    we'll screw you, Inshallah
    and send you back to Allah
    with all your Hezbollah"

     
  • At 8/28/06, 8:07 AM, Anonymous David said…

    As a friend of Lebanon I say to you watch out you are about to become refugees in your OW@N country.
    Nasrallah is moving Rickets and arms in open daylight frm the Chebba cfarms area nd Arqub to the North unimpeded under the nose of the deployed Lebanese army and non existent UNIFI 2.

    A whole genration of young Shiites is being indoctrinated:
    Documents captured during the second Lebanon war reveal how Hezbollah raises funds and at the same time furthers its propaganda and indoctrination campaign, stressing the younger generation .

    Please see:

    http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/hezbollah_funds.pdf

     
  • At 8/28/06, 8:22 AM, Anonymous Hamid- Liban said…

    Hassan Nasrallah’s apologetic speech Sunday night contrasts starkly with his rapid rearmament of Hizballah‘s war machine


    Hizballah’s leader said in a broadcast (NTV) speech Sunday night that he would not have ordered the kidnap of two Israeli soldiers had he know it would lead to war.

    Sources reveal the other side of the picture: While saying mildly that in his view a second round of the war is not indicated, Nasrallah has just finished reconstituting his Southern Nasser Brigade command (short range Katyusha rockets) in the port town of Tyre after collecting its elements form various south Lebanese villages to the east.

    Beirut sources report Nasrallah goes in fear of an Israeli attempt on his life.


    UNIFIL-2 is shaping up as an international shield for Hizballah’s unimpeded rearmament and Iran’s strengthened grip on Lebanon.

    SHEBAA, Lebanon -- Lebanese troops Friday pressed their historic deployment to ... Khiam, the Arqub region, and Kfar Shuba, as well as Shebaa.
    www.metimes.com/articles/normal.php?StoryID=20060818-102430-3327r -


    As you all know, Hassan Nasrallah today told Lebanon "ops, I'm sorry folks, if I only knew it would be that harsh I wouldn't have done it." Yea right. Well, too late mister.

    I logged on Al Arabiya website to see what people wrote in response to Nasrallah's statement. I was greeted by a very pleasant surprise. Many of the comments were lambasting Nasrallah. I didn't do a count and I don't expect these voices to be the majority on this particular thread. But if they were a minority, they were definitely very significant.

    I have wrote before that I believe the eyes of the Lebanese, at least the non-Shiite among them, will turn to Hezbollah once they are lifted away from Israel. It looks like this is actually happening now. I don't have a doubt Nasrallah's confession today emanated from the heat he's feeling coming from a wide array of Lebanese as well as the undeniable fact that Hezbollah's organizational infranstructure and Shiite areas were severly bombed resulting in loss in propety worth billions of dollars (my heart goes out to the Iranian taxpayer who will pay for this!)

    I'll translate a number of these comments for you.

    "This is a very strange statement from the secretary general of Hezbollah and pushes us to consider him fully responsible for the crisis and ask him to forsake his weapons and allow his ranks to join the national army"

    "What is this crap and political ignorance! Were you overtaken by machoism and adventured with the lives of the Lebanese without calculating Israel's reaction."

    "Sayed Nasrallah says that if he knew Israel would react that way he wouldn't have kidnapped the 2 soldiers. However, he previously said that his party knew Israel was planning to bomb Lebanon and they were prepared for this?????"

    "Hehehehehehe. He started to admit his defeat."

    "Hassan Nasrallah admitted that he destroyed Lebanon and pushed the Lebanese into a political maze that they will find it very hard to come out from. The bitter truth is that he admitted defeat."

    "So it turned out to be true afterall…an uncalculated adventure" (BP: uncalculated adventure was the term used by Saudi Arabia to describe the Hezbollah operation)

    "Mr. hesen if you are aman you must resign .you have distroid labanan. whwat doyou wont from labanan ,because of your folish bhavear you have killed 1000 peopls of labnan" (BP: this person's English is very poor yet I chose to post exactly what he wrote)

    There are numerous comments like the ones above. My guess is that they mostly came from Lebanese and a few non-Lebanese Arabs who dared to think.

     
  • At 8/28/06, 3:56 PM, Blogger FreeCyprus said…

    Seems The State Department was surprised by Nasrallah's statement that he would not have ordered the abduction of two Israeli soldiers if he had known it would lead to a large war.

    Is he telling the truth or is this just PR on his part

     

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