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

Sunday, December 10, 2006

What's The Rush?

Bakkir Ba3d!

One mark of a great statesman is to know when to be patient and when to take bold action or when to utter strong words in prelude to action. Here are two examples of the bold and the beautiful. It may not be "the blind leading the blind" but it sure is the visionless leading the way to nowhere.

Harb: Sfeir Asked Lahoud Bluntly to Resign. Why now and why the bluntness Your Holiness? Lahoud's terrible influence only became apparent a few days ago? Wait a while longer so we can all say again that you are wise and measured.

And, after months of sheer insults from Hezbollah, PM Seniora/Sanioura/Siniora to Hezbollah:

"You are not our Lord and the party (Hizbullah) is not our Lord … Who appointed you to say I am right and all else is wrong?" Saniora asked Nasrallah.

That's great Milquetoast but why the rush? Wait until the Hezbollah guys are eating pizza on your PM desk, instead of in your stairway. Plenty of time to spare.

Furthermore, no serious Lebanese politician worth his salt would criticize anyone by merely saying "you are destroying the country". Because, you know, that's usually OK with many in the country and is not a very convincing argument in Lebanon.

To be really "scathing" in your response, you have to add that what's happening is bad for the Arabs and/or Palestine.

And so we get:
He [Seniora] said Hizbullah's resistance, because of the party-led protest in Beirut, was "losing the backing of all Arabs and Muslims, asking: "Are the streets of Beirut the terrain for the resistance? Is Israel here in Beirut?"
The man can't even see that as he attempts a response to Hezbollah, he is further recognizing their so-called "resistance" credentials and undermining his position. Talk about shooting yourself in the head errr.. foot.

Of course diplomatic language is even worse in its blandness and uselessness. Here's another master of the very obvious: U.S. Official Warns Lebanon Situation Could Get Worse. And another: Saudi King: "Dark Clouds Threatening Civil Strife in Lebanon".

Thanks guys! Without your insight I would have thought Lebanon was doing peachy keen.


  • At 12/10/06, 1:43 PM, Anonymous Vox P said…

    Very good points Josey. Unfortunately, these are very good point.

    I guess that if destroying Lebanon was in the interest of Arabs and Palestine, Siniora would then argue that we should destroy Lebanon.

  • At 12/10/06, 3:57 PM, Anonymous Through Gracepeace said…

    Words in hearts healing

    Then the Lord whispered in our hearts…..
    Words can reach where weapons cannot

    We asked our village sage, how can we restore
    warmth to the face of our souls when
    the favorite poisons of Satan,
    fear, despair, and hatred alight
    upon innocent hearts as ashes
    from the funeral pyre of joy

    How can the eyes of faith close to sleep when
    across the night bed of hope
    sheets of despairing pall are spread and
    the lurid hollow eyes of perjury beam, and
    subvert words of sacred text, laughing
    as divine counsel is debased and done violence

    Dear sage, we asked, how can goodness smile when
    unabashed hatred slaps virtue off the face of shame
    emboldening hatreds minions, who feverishly
    twist and mutilate the morals of their victims
    deceiving those souls until they believe that
    sin is virtue, murder is justice, and hatred is love

    As he spoke, his downcast voice intoned that
    riotously, by perverse commission
    Satan's minions bathe in rivers of wine in Hades, and
    with vapid mocking lust, they harvest
    those deceived souls, reaped by suicides sickle

    Your path to heaven cannot be paved with
    chaste corpses across a river of blood, embrace
    the dreadful ebb and flow of truth in your heart, meet
    doubt and dishonor when they surface, for they
    reveal to you that compassion, not revenge, fulfills the soul

    His voice beamed as a bright light when he said
    bravely, deeply, reach into your heart
    without guile, without deceit, without prejudice
    touch faith there, then inexorably
    God's words in hearts healing
    like the timeless rain, drawn unrelenting to the sea
    will swell into a profound unsounded amity
    in the soul's oceanic sanctuary, and become peace
    lapping upon the shores of divine purpose

    Copyright © April 2006

  • At 12/10/06, 6:19 PM, Blogger Charles Malik said…

    Unfortunately, Saniora also de-escalated today. He toned his rhetoric down, just as Hezbollah strengthened theirs.

    Then again, Saniora might have been trying to keep a lid on the pot while Saad Hariri was rounding up the troops in Tripoli.

    Everyone sees that Lebanon will not be able to change unless limits are placed on Syria. Everyone knows that the status quo is good for the Syrian regime because they can build off their already present network instead of being blocked by UN commissions and border posts.

    And yet, no one does anything.

    Jumblatt just stopped talking. He's been pointing at Syria for awhile, and no one is listening. He can't do it on his own, being that he controls one of the smallest sects in the country.

    And everyone goes on talking...

  • At 12/10/06, 8:18 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Yes Charles, they keep talking and have little idea what they say. If only they knew the power of ideas and words and that things could be different if they had been on the Jumblatt wavelength.

    I agree with you: it's too late for Seniora to act tough and gain respect. The signal should have been sent before thousands converged on Beirut

    Seniora had his (easier) chance when Jibril's thugs and others were challenging him 1 1/2 years ago.

    Instead of projecting strength and putting at least some doubt in the minds of his enemies, he clearly signalled that he would never use force. He actually plainly said so.

    His unwillingness to use force against MINOR FOREIGN CRIMINAL enemies of his and of the state told Hezbo and Bashar all they needed to know.

  • At 12/10/06, 11:53 PM, Blogger Charles Malik said…

    I don't know if it is entirely Saniora's fault.

    Even though he holds a higher position, he is still subject to Hariri's whims. Which means he's subject to Saudi whims.

    The main culprit here, going all the way back to Hariri's assassination, is Malik Abdallah. He hasn't been willing to take aggressive action. He's always a step behind the Syrians. He still believes he can broker a deal.

    Hezballah laughably claims that 14 March is stalling. In fact, it is Malik Abdallah, a man the Americans listen to over Jumblatt.

    The Saudis didn't want to act against the Syrians while they controlled Lebanon. They should have acted aggressively when one of their citizens was assassinated. The Syrians know all of this. It's only a matter of time before the Saudis start spewing money and passing the problem over to someone else.

    The question is who that someone else is. There's no Rafiq around any more.

  • At 12/11/06, 12:34 PM, Blogger Blacksmith Jade said…

    I think the point of alluding to Israel was to make the point that the only reason the Lebanese have tolerated Hizballah's weapons [and arrogance] had been because they had sworn to use them against Israel, and only Israel. In alluding to Israel being in Beirut, he was illustrating to them they could not transfer their war-language used against Israel this summer (..."we will surprise them...") to the Lebanese scene without anyone noticing or without it costing them dearly. It was a shrewd remark.

  • At 12/11/06, 5:32 PM, Blogger Ecce Libanus said…

    Lakk tele3 3a lsééné sha3r ana w éllon, bass baddak mrétt yésma3; "it's all in the semantics, stupid." And as long as these spinless phonies (min Seniora w jérr) keep up the useless "Sayyid" and "Muqaawamé" bromides, Muqaawamé-in-chief and his louts will keep getting an erection, regardless of how "scathing" and "bold" an epileptic fit Seniora goes into.
    The lip-service to the Arabs and Arabism is another story and another one of them jaded bankrupt platitudes. All I can think is "ayré bhal 7adaara."

  • At 12/11/06, 8:01 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…


    You are too easy on Seniora. Once you are PM you can tell the Saudis (and Saad Hariri) to scram, to some extent.

    The Saudis have not made one right decision in ages. If we can't say "no" to Saudi nor to Syria and the PA and Hezbo etc.. We are useless.

    Also the Saudis won't kill you if you disagree with them and they certainly won't go the Hezbo camp.

    What does Seniora have to lose? OK it's perhaps nice to have Saudi support and money. But it's also moe important for our guys to do their duty, lead, and uphold the law.

    Like the old Churchill-Chamberlain quote. Seniora was given a choice between confrontation and dishonor. He picked the latter but shall have both.

  • At 12/12/06, 3:18 PM, Blogger Wil said…

    JW, I don't know what religion you "belong" to, but I would be comfortable with you as PM.

  • At 12/15/06, 11:15 AM, Blogger NancyD said…

    What is your point?

  • At 12/15/06, 5:53 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…


    My oft-made point is that our leaders' offers are always too-little-too-late.

    My other point is that you have to counter your enemy's propaganda.

    If you let the enemy define the terms of the debate (they are "resistance" and "pure") you've already lost.

    Wil, thanks for the vote of confidence.


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