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

Friday, September 21, 2007

Nabih Berri: You're Safe Baby

In the wake of the latest political assassination (MP Antoine Ghanem) Speaker Nabih Berri/Berry did what Lebanese politicians do best.

1) Mastering the obvious: there’s a conspiracy against Lebanon.

2) Self-aggrandizing: the assassination targets the country, but also Berri’s lame "initiative" (to elect a consensus president).

We all agree on conspiracy. We all agree that the conspiracy seeks to destroy Lebanon. We all agree that, so far, the conspiracy has only targeted anti-Syrian/M14 MPs and personalities.

Based on that last fact many accuse Syria.

Also based on that same fact, others exculpate Syria and say it’s the devious Americans trying to destroy the region. The devious Americans/Zionists, the theory goes, are killing their own allies to make Syria look bad. That is, of course, when the devious Americans are not blowing up their own soldiers in Iraq to justify staying there. Those are the same devious Americans who blew up the twin towers on September 11, 2001, in order to have an excuse to go to Iraq. Why? So they could finally blow up their own troops there, to destabilize the Middle East which heretofore had been an oasis of peace and stability.

One fact, different interpretations. Take your pick.

Back to Lebanon and the conspiracy. Here’s another fact: NO ONE from the pro-Syrian coalition has been targeted, including Berri and his friends. What could that FACT mean?

It could mean that the people behind the conspiracy are happy and satisfied with what Berri and friends are doing, and that Berri is therefore (unwittingly?) helping the conspiracy.

Or it could mean that Berri's disappearance, or his allies', would not harm Lebanon whatsoever, so why bother?

Or it could be that the devious conspirators, hate Berri and want him out. However, they are afraid to touch him for fear of being uncovered. Then, everyone would know it’s not the Syrians, and the devious Americans would be exposed. Better keep killing their allies.

Or it could mean that targeting Berri and his friends could be actually be "good" for Lebanon and "bad" for the conspiracy guys. So NO, NO, Berri must be protected at all cost.

Take you pick.

Face it Nabih Berri. The conspiracy guys want to kill Lebanon and hurt it badly. They go after the country’s ASSETS. And guess what? You are not an asset. You are NOT a danger to the conspiracy, to say the least. Taking you out, or your friends, would NOT harm Lebanon.

Whomever the conspirators may be, they know that much. That is why you, Nabih Berri, are safe and the country is not.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Olmert: In the Footsteps of Saniora

Well, well. Two days after the mysterious Israeli air raid on Syria we get a plausible explanation.

U.S. Official: Israel Raided Syria to Stop Hizbullah Supplies

Israel carried out an air strike well inside Syria last week, apparently to send Damascus a message not to rearm Hizbullah in Lebanon, a U.S. defense official said Tuesday.
Someone took a leaf out of our own Milquetoast Seniora’s book, more specifically out of volume II, the one titled “The fine art of ‘Too little, Too Late’”

What the hell? Israeli intelligence has been saying for months now that Hezbollah’s arsenal in Lebanon is now bigger and more lethal than it was prior to the July 2006 war. Hezbollah claims as much, touting 30,000 rockets or some such number.

I am not sure what Israel is thinking but this air raid seems more related to pressuring Syria as we go into the Lebanese presidential election and to testing Syria’s new Russian air defenses (or see UPDATE below), rather than stopping Hezbo weapons. Too late there.

Plus, you know, our own Saniora is on the case:
Saniora Urges Syria to Help Prevent Arms Smuggling into Lebanon
"Help prevent"? It is their INTENT PURPOSE to send these weapons to Lebanon for nefarious purposes.

Syria has had a 50-year plan to ship weapons to Lebanon for the express double purpose of destabilizing Lebanon and of threatening Israel (in that order). They are also trying to kill PM Seniora/Saniora who keeps calling them “brothers”.

In light of the above, Dim Bulb Seniora woke up two days ago and decided to boldly turn things around by asking Syria to be nice.

"We've always expressed the necessity for serious border control and suitable efforts by our brothers in Syria to control these borders," said Saniora
This is pathos of the utmost.

On the very serious matter threatening to tear the country asunder, the presidential election, re the Berri initiative we have:

Saniora also said that he was open to studying an initiative proposed by House Speaker Nabih Berri[...]
It is a question of moving toward what it is possible to create" and what can be "developed," Saniora said after meeting Arab League chief Amr Moussa.
Study “this” and move toward “that” and create “this” and develop “that” before sticking it where the sun don’t shine Milquy Boy, after of course you’ve discussed our national destiny with yet another frigging foreigner.

But in all that, I must be missing something. Because not only did Olmert adopt Seniora’s (non-) method but now the Syrians are imitating the Master of Inertia.

After the air raid, Syrian Vice President Shara thundered:

"I can say now that in Damascus a series of responses is being examined at the highest political and military levels. The results will not take long in coming," Mr. a-Shara told the Italian newspaper.
Yes, it will not "take long" and very soon, I am sure, NOTHING will happen. You make your enemy-brother Seniora teary-eyed and so very proud.

***UPDATE: Still unclear what, if anything, was raided. See this BBC story and many others. The target had to be important given the risk (and the message is still there). New more dangerous missiles to Hezbo? Chemical weapons/plants? Even nuclear facilities? The speculation goes on.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Angels on Pins and Pinheads

With our mental midgets calling one another names in the midst of an national existential crisis, some of their more reasonable allies and academics met recently in Switzerland to discuss serious matters: power sharing, the constitution, solutions to political blockage, relations with Syria.

I was initially encouraged when reading the lengthy piece: serious people from all sides debating the real issues.

Alas, those people want to keep a low profile and are discussing solutions for a future Lebanon, WHEN THE CURRENT STALEMATE IS RESOLVED. Excuse me but isn’t that putting the cart before the horse? Talk about being out of touch and wasting resources. There may not be a country after this crisis. With the crazies and the hotheads away, why not address the way out of the PRESENT problem.

Elsewhere, in an opinion piece, Chibli Mallat asks more immediate and relevant questions. Why is the head of parliament (Berri who rants about US interference) asking the opinion of the US on the Lebanese constitution?

And why are we even discussing the 2/3 quorum business, when it’s the duty of the MPs to show up and elect the new guy? Especially when nothing is preventing them from being present and voting, even if it means abstaining with a blank vote.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Aoun-Sense: Fun With Micho

But first and more important: Congratulations to the Lebanese Army for winning the long fight at Nahr el Bared. The cost was very high with 158 soldiers killed and many wounded. The nation should be humbled and very grateful.

In a blurb on Naharnet:

Aoun: March 14 'Bunch of Corrupt People'

Free Patriotic Movement leader General Michel Aoun lashed out at the majority March 14 Alliance, saying they "are nothing but a bunch of corrupt people."

No big scoop there Micho. Is that worth a press release? Now you, Michel Aoun, have been working with the likes of Nabih Berri and Michel Murr, certainly no strangers to corruption and abuse of power. Do they have a dimension beyond “corruption” which makes them acceptable in your eyes? I mean other than supporting you politically for their own personal and corrupt ends.
"They [M14] dare not share power with anyone, not even partially, because they are a bunch of corrupt people," Aoun told supporters who visited him at his residence in Rabiyeh.

OK Micho, if you “share power” it’s automatically “partially”. See, if it’s not “partially” then they have all of the power or you have all of it. In either case it’s not “sharing” anymore. I know some words are difficult for you to understand. Look them up. I suggest you start with: “constitution”, “quorum”, “tire burning” and “legal protest” among others.

"They [M14] should not be permitted to choose the next President for Lebanon," Aoun insisted.

Let’s say they are corrupt, and many are as are many of your allies. The constitution (get a copy) says that sitting MPs get to vote in the presidential election. It does not say that only “clean” MPs approved by Micho get to vote. Then again, we could amend the constitution to say that, and we could make it “for one time only” just for kicks.

He [Aoun] said talk about electing a new head of state by a two-thirds quorum or a half-plus-one of MPs has become "like a dancing game."

You’re right on this one, except that you and your friends are in the middle of the dance and totally out of step (again, read the constitution).

"…No. We do not choose Iran as a substitute for America nor Syria in place of America," Aoun said. "Instead, we choose peace instead of civil war."
Well, maybe not you, but what about your Hezbo friends. They chant “Death to America” and have pictures of Khomeini and Khameini everywhere. I’d venture to say they made a choice.

As to “peace over civil war”, that makes you different from your opponents? Are they actively seeking the inverse? Civil war over peace? Would anyone on planet earth make that choice? (Which makes the statement obvious and empty).

More low-level trash-talk can be found there (Daily Star), where Aoun calls some opponents “kitties” and they call him a “coward” and then Aoun’s office says they’re “childish”…