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

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Bad News Behind The Bad News

Definition of madness: Doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting a different result.

Catastrophes keep raining on Lebanon and the authorities keep responding by doing the same things and by saying the same things.

At the very least two of those things must change:

1) Officialdom has to be held accountable before and after the fact, a couple of examples:

Saniora/Seniora has been lax on these Fatah-el-Islam scum, and before on Jund-el-Sham and others. Why? The army and government were threatened and attacked several times before the recent Nahr el-Bared attack: there was Saida/Ein-el-Helweh, Syrian border, Naameh etc. Yet nothing from the authorities.

So Naharnet today:

Heavy artillery and machine gun fire boomed around Nahr al-Bared on Tuesday as Prime Minister Fouad Saniora's government authorized the army to finish off Fatah al-Islam militants holed up inside the northern Palestinian refugee camp
OK. So Milquetoast dithers for years, is forced to find his nuts for a couple of hours, and shortly thereafter we get, tada:

PLO representative Abbas Zaki said after the meeting that Palestinian factions, in collaboration with Saniora's government, were in the process of "setting out mechanisms to contain" the fighting between the army and Fatah al-Islam.
""Mechanism to contain"? Contain what? The genie in the bottle? My vote goes AGAINST "containment" and FOR: "we shall shell the crap out of you until you are all dead or you surrender unconditionally, and let that be a lesson to all others thinking of futzing around with our security".

Other example. Moron-in-Chief Lahoud tells us at every opportunity that his crown achievement is a strong army capable of protecting the nation. Now we find that the army needs help to deal with 150-200 thugs.

From Naharnet:
Economy Minister Sami Haddad, in an interview with CNN, urged world help to the Lebanese forces "both logistically and with military equipment" in order to win the battle against Fatah al-Islam.
Good job Lahoud, 9 years in power, 3 unconstitutional, strengthening our 70,000-plus army and we still need help with 200 freaks who slipped in under your army's nose.

2) Lebanese officials have to stop subjecting their policies/rhetoric/persona to Palestinian/Arab priorities.

You have to start asserting clearly and loudly that Lebanese matters prime ALL. If you are shy about saying "Lebanese OVER Palestinian matters" in you own country then GO HOME, or go work in the camps, or go get a useless job with the Arab League, or better yet plain go to hell.

Government Spokesman Ghazi Aridi:

Speaking after a government meeting late Monday, Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said the cabinet stressed the "need to end the terrorist phenomenon that is alien to the values and nature of the Palestinian people."

"This phenomenon which attacked the Lebanese army and other security forces is harmful to all of Lebanon, its people, security and stability, and is a permanent threat to the Palestinian people," he added.
"Harmful"? They're attempting to overthrow YOUR government and destroy you as a state you fool.

And Ghazi, please, pretty please, can't you people pee without lecturing us on Palestine? Is that why you waited forever to act? It was only a threat to Lebanon before and now it's a threat to the Palestinians?

Some think I make a big deal out of this but attitudes matter. If you are going to apologize for defending yourself, you've already lost.

Yallah, we're still on square one.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Where Have All the Bloggers Gone?

When I check my old bookmarks, and links, it’s depressing. Most of the older active Lebanese blogs have turned cold silent or are blogging at a snail’s pace.

Perpetual Refugee, Ecce Libano and Vox blogged last in December 2006.

December 2006, last entry by Raja and Doha at Lebanese Bloggers who won’t bother telling us that they are OK or why they faded.

Lazarus at Letters Apart formally shut down his blog in January 2007 (new blog now Laz?).

Charles Malik at Lebanese Political Journal, one of the most prolific Lebanese bloggers, shut down his blog, came back for a couple of posts in April and since then: nothing. In fairness, Charles posted an explanation at the time.

Lebanese Abroad last posted in December 2006. Thinkingman, the blogger there, was I believe the founder of openlebanon.org, which used to be the leading portal for Lebanese blogs. That portal has gone wacko with the updates (and my mails to them have gone unanswered).

Even the Lebanese Bloggers Forum where tens of bloggers posted (with variable quality) appears to have slowed down and seems less politically focused.

Of course, some newer blogs have entered the fray (Blacksmiths, Voices on the Wind etc), and some of the old stalwarts are alive and kicking Tony of Across-the-Bay (after a lull), Mustapha at the revamped Beirut Spring, and Abu Kais at Beirut-Beltway. Beltway is where the discussion seems to be nowadays. Keep it up fellows.

I can’t say I am surprised at this drop in activity. We all have lives, and the barrage of bad news from Lebanon atop the sheer bad faith of the players over there is just overwhelming.

Here’s hoping that we hear back from most of you, or at least drop us a line here below or on your blog to let us know you’re OK.