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

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Song Remains the Same

Reading the daily news in Lebanon is like being the Bill Murray character in the movie Groundhog Day, where Murray wakes up every day to find out, again: "It's Groundhog Day!"

Here's a sample from the past 48 hours of stories we've been reading for weeks, if not for years. These stories just won't die. They will kill us all, but they just won't die.

1) The "Arab League envoy" story.

Like a bad sequel to Return of the Living Dead, Amr Moussa is due back in Beirut to mediate between the different parties. The number of times a League Secretary has visited Lebanon to mediate approaches infinity. How about we stop welcoming and meeting the most useless human being on the planet: Amr Moussa, head of the Effing Arab League?

Where is Sawsan Darwish to suggest that someone shoot the miserable son of a bitch? Just like that, for no reason. Just because every frigging Lebanese, on all sides I guarantee, is beyond sick and tired of seeing Moussa's name and silly smile in the news.

And, in the unlikely event someone notices the SOB is missing, we can always open another one of our very open-ended investigations, and I personally promise that we won’t rest until blah blah blah…you know the rest.

2) The "UN help" story.

Seniora/Saniora wants UN help in the murder of MP Walid Eido. Fuad, the UN can’t even help itself. Kofi Annan in his day let the Rwanda massacre happen right under his nose.

The current UN is still “working” on Darfur at the rate of 200,000 dead per year. And Ban Ki-moon (Amr Moussa in Korean) thinks global warming is responsible for genocide in Darfur. In Lebanon they're already "helping" in the camps, and the South, and with Hariri tribunal. No thanks, I’ve seen and gotten enough help and protection from the UN.

3) The "tightening the noose" on Nahr el-Bared story.

Stop clearing ordnance and mines and booby-trapped buildings and booby-trapped corpses in Nahr el Bared by sending in Lebanese soldiers. We lost three more valiant soldiers today. Blow up the Goddamn remaining quarter. The camp's civilians have left, and those still there have made their choice.

Protect your soldiers and their morale. Decisiveness and ruthlessness is not a bad signal to send to the creeps-in-wait in Ein el Helweh, Naameh etc. Stop “tightening the noose” on Nahr el Bared. It’s costly and cruel to both sides (if civilians are left) and not very believable three weeks into the “tightening”.

4) The "apply the law this time" story.

M14 thinks it can wait out an enemy like Syria/Iran/Hezbo. M14, your leaders/MPs are being murdered one by one. The other side's are not. Stop thinking the law is a negotiable joke. It’s great and overdue to call for by-elections under the 2-month constitutional requirement for a replacement election (Article 41 of the constitution).

MP Pierre Gemayel was murdered in November 2006, 7 months ago. Had you forced an election then, maybe the law would be less of a joke and maybe Walid Eido would be alive today and maybe Lahoud would be less defiant today and maybe you would not be used as a doormat.

(I know, Lahoud won't sign now and would not then, but now M14 will go ahead anyway and force the issue)

5) The "round-table talks" story.

Paris St-Cloud, after Taef, Lausanne, downtown Beirut, etc Stop going to round-table meetings with people who have no interest in a solution and/or no power to negotiate one. Been there done that. When we are lucky nothing happens, otherwise it's Cairo 69 or Taef 89: the matrices of the catastrophes befalling Lebanon.

If only we would get away from these recurrent bad ideas/habits. It may not solve the problems but it sure would give our leaders and readers a needed break from useless tiresome garbage.


  • At 6/19/07, 12:46 PM, Anonymous Bad Vilbel said…

    I agree with you on each and every one of those points.

    I'm so tired of these envoys, and these calls to talk and negotiate. The M14 side continues to show weakness by appearing unwilling to stop talking.
    You kill them, they wanna talk, you bomb them, they wanna talk.

    I'm really starting to favor the somewhat undemocratic notion of a strongman. I really think Lebanon needs one of those military rulers to break some necks and put things back in their place.

    As much as I hate the authoritatrian regimes in the Arab countries, you have to have but a bit of admiration for the Hashemites in Jordan, for example, who can rule with an iron fist, make peace with Israel, and manage to keep things quiet at home.

  • At 6/19/07, 2:20 PM, Blogger m. said…

    very true. which is why i feel like not blogging any more ...

  • At 6/19/07, 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    I don't have anything critical to add, only that this post was hilarious...in a very sad way. Lebanese news depresses and frustrates me...but yet fascinates me. Btw, I like the Korean Amr Moussa reference...

    Umm Kais

  • At 6/19/07, 3:06 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Bad, Laz (m.) and Umm K,

    Thanks guys,

    This piece started as a (longer) rant, and ended up bastardized with "funny" and "un-funny" parts, though the subject as always is depressing.

    I am at a loss as to what tone I should use these days.

    And I, like all of you guys, am tempted to do a "Laz" or a "Sopranos" on my readers. We're all beyond fed up.

    BTW my next piece may be "positive", I see a few cracks (am I nuts?)

  • At 6/19/07, 4:10 PM, Anonymous Maher said…

    You're such a hypocrite. A few days ago, you were bitching about Sawsan Darwich's halakuna mentality and today you display the same pathetic mentality and want the "miserable son of a bitch" shot down just you're "beyond sick and tired of seeing his silly smile in the news".
    You are no better than the NBN Bitch. You just have different enemies. You and her suffer from the same disease.

  • At 6/19/07, 10:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    should I cry or should I laugh? should I travel to Lebanon first of July or give the morons more time i.e postpone again?
    should I forget about this country and settle into long humid depressing east coast
    summer(s)or just listen to my nirvanna optimists friends with their usual "khalas cherie viens ma fi chi".
    where else can I get my beer served with carrots and lemon juice? where else can I play 14 with the "ammat" and laugh endlessly at 100 years old family jokes?
    where else can I enjoy a day in a 5 stars beach resort at $15 a day entrance fee then drive home for a short nap then decide between 5 outings options?
    I will put up with a lot for just a glass of wine on a Lebanese sunset.
    Love your posts JW. Keep them coming

  • At 6/19/07, 11:53 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…


    lovely comment, I miss the same things (especially the lemon-carrots).


    I was wondering how long before I got the "hypocrite" comment.

    I actually had a footnote about that in the original post for people a bit slow in the subtlety department.

    I ended up removing it. Footnotes don't help jokes nor the flow of a piece.

    Would I be tearing my hair out if Amr Moussa fell off the end of the earth? No. And no pretense here though I would not be gloating either.

    You may not like it but mine is a "joke" BECAUSE no REAL people were killed its vicinity (and I hope it stays that way).

    Ten REAL people died with Eido, the country was shattered, and Sawsan Darwish was gloating about it, and genuinely asking for more bloodshed to fit her agenda.

    No one could take my OUTLANDISH line seriously. I am not advocating murder, let alone one that would accomplish nothing.

    Again, since you need things spelled out: I don't care for Moussa. Still, I don't want anyone blown up or murdered in cold blood anywhere.

  • At 6/20/07, 1:27 AM, Blogger Jester said…

    Josey... I'd love to debate with you, but you leave me no room. Its like mirroring my thoughts in words.

    Well said on all points!


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