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.


  • At 9/21/07, 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well said JW, and it made me laugh!


  • At 9/21/07, 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Witty and poignant... Thank you for a good read and a sad smile.
    Many Aounistas actually beleive all this... unbeleivably sad and tragic.

  • At 9/23/07, 6:59 AM, Blogger FaiLaSooF said…

    Good post. I hope people can read this and use their minds a little bit.

    In all cases,we are heading to a critical phase of liban's history, let's just hope we'll be able to survive it....

  • At 9/24/07, 5:05 PM, Anonymous ali said…

    Absolutely childish.

    The question is if it is Syria behind this, why don't they just assasinate Ja'ja' and Jumblat? Why are they going after the political "small" fry so to speak?

    You call Berri's initiative lame. What is it that you propose instead?

    And please don't regurgitate M14 demands. We know what their demands are. We also know what the opposition wants. In risk of war where one group can eliminate another, which is suicidal for the entire country, the only solution is an obvious compromise.

    What is your compromise? What is M14’s compromise?

  • At 9/24/07, 5:44 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…


    Don't be calling me names especially when you have no argument.

    You think Berri, Lahoud and Aoun are in danger?

    You think the enemies of Syria are killing M14 MPs to strengthen Hezbo's hand?

    The small fry gets it for all sorts of reasons. That does not mean Joumblatt and Geagea are not targeted (and Bashir and Hariri were no small fry).

    And if you can't fathom that Berri is not targeted, there's no point getting into other stuff with you.

    Finally, screw M14. You know I am very critical of them. Compromise? Not really, just ELECT a reasonable guy.

    How about parliament just meets, does its duty, and elects someone, anyone, ACCORDING TO THE LAW, not according to Berri's distortion of it.

    How about Berri says everyone SHOULD attend the session (not that they will listen)?

    On what planet do people agree on a consensus canditate before an election? What are elections for?

  • At 9/24/07, 9:53 PM, Anonymous sal said…

    Very well put Joseywales!

    As long as people keep regurgitating what political "leaders" (Ha!!) feed them without questioning it, Lebanon will always be in shambles.

    Ali, sorry to tell you that you are a perfect example of why the country will not progress before several decades. Educate yourself (not on the history of the country as it has been related to you) but on how a real democratic system works.

    Stop following the person! agree or disagree with the position!

  • At 9/25/07, 3:40 AM, Anonymous ali said…

    What democratic principles are you guys talking about? This is a confessional system resting on some make-believe democratic outlines that is scared sh*tless of real democracy. Heck, we haven’t had a census in our entire history.

    Deals are always made to balance the powers and numbers of the different sects, especially the three big ones. This has always been the case in our history. Power sharing, and political appointments are always brokered before elections even take place.

    This also, I don’t have to remind you, is not just a simple choice for president. It is not like we are free to make our own destiny. We are beholden to the political, military and financial patronage of regional and international players who are playing us like chess pieces in their own power games.

    It seems local players have chosen their sides and will not budge. There are competing loyalties, conflicting interests, disparate sectarian visions, motives within motives, fear and loathing, you name it. So no-it is not as simple as choosing any “reasonable” guy out there. I wish this were the case. Unfortunately, some reconciliation on a presidential figure will have to come to ease the tension and provide for some stability to let heads cool and heal some long-festering wounds. If the M14 believe all of a sudden that they really live in some true democratic nation and want to elect their own guy based on their own exegesis of the constitution the other group be damned, then let it roll. We’ll be trading barbs long into the future while this sorry nation accelerates its decent into the historical aberration it has tried hard to escape.

  • At 9/25/07, 7:02 AM, Blogger JoseyWales said…


    Whatever system it is (and I hate it) , WE (people and leaders) signed on it, and all sides agreed on it including the Syrians.

    If we don't follow our own rules then what? My opinion? Your opinion? Assad's opinion?

  • At 9/25/07, 1:43 PM, Blogger Bad Vilbel said…

    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.

    This made me laugh quite a bit. It's indeed THAT ridiculous. Yes, there must be a few MILLION idiots who actually believe that is exactly what is happening in the Arab world. It says something about our collective IQ. Doesn't it?

  • At 9/25/07, 1:50 PM, Blogger Bad Vilbel said…

    It's pretty useless to argue with Ali. We've all tried it. The guy doesn't budge of his beliefs, even when they are in complete disagreement with common sense, rational or critical thinking.

    Yes. He's right about one thing: Our system is not democratic. It sucks royal ass. It needs to be changed.
    But nevertheless, it is a system we all agreed on. The whole point of having rules is to abide by them or change them. But we can't just ignore them or make them up as we go along.

    Would a football match work if the 2 teams didn't agree before hand to follow the rules (no matter how unfair they thought said rules were)? And if someone on either team breaks a rule, there is a referee there to enforce penalties of some kind.
    Without any of that, it's anarchy.

    Some people just seem incapable of grasping these very simple concepts. And these same people are so easily distracted by demagoguery and conspiracy theories to see the simple issues right in front of them.

  • At 9/27/07, 2:02 PM, Anonymous ali said…


    Of course, I am beyond education, and so stuck within my own narrow and fearful thinking that I cannot fathom all the truths you’ve hurled at me. And so it is with half of the Lebanese of who do not agree with you. You possess the truth and we are all merely sheep blindly following self-serving shepherds.

    It seems to me however that it is you who cannot grasp how Lebanon’s decisions are not its own, however much you dress it with the apparently innocent (not to say naïve) “these are the rules guys..” argument. The opposition accuses the gov’t of taking the country not to where Lebanon necessarily finds its salvation, but to where a forcefully present hegemonic super power that has perpetrated catastrophic damage to our region already finds its own interests; our own stability, agreement and goodwill be damned.

    Neither M14, nor M8, makes entirely independent decisions. They are both tied to external regional and international players locked in a power struggle that are exerting their weight and pressures on both camps. The region, and consequently Lebanon, are both paralyzed. That is reality. These are not just political issues that can be argued away and solved with a simple “democratic” vote; these are life and death issues, and for both camps, might I add.

    In the end, it does not matter what I believe. I may not agree with everything M8 is thinking or doing (and I have many reservations and questions of them), but like many, I find many of M14 positions and personalities detestable. I know you do not agree with M14 entirely, but you stick with them because they are closer to your thinking. So there we are. Neither camp of followers like what they see, but in absence of a third choice that makes better sense, they are forced to take sides. That is also reality.

    So the question is: where do we go from here? How will these issues get resolved? You can stick to your line of your own constitutional interpretation and argument, as will the M8, all you want, but in the end, this is only a sideshow to the bigger issues that are paralyzing and plaguing us. And unless some sort of agreement on some sort of compromise on these issues takes place then you and I and this little sick nation we are fighting for will be going to hell in a hand basket.

    BV-I do not need you to discuss anything with me. You are not doing me any favors here, neither do I need your acknowledgment. I do not expect a response every time I comment on these blogs. I see much commentary I find ridiculous; I just leave it alone. I trust I have not changed anybody’s opinion either. So if you find it frustrating that you have not been able to persuade me otherwise, then by all means let it be. These blogs serve more as venting venues for a select group of people who are ideologically bent to begin with. I doubt very much you will find many persuadable people here. Those who agree with you already came agreeing with you. You just happen to eloquently lead their arguments (and you are eloquent, our own disagreement notwithstanding).

  • At 9/28/07, 1:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wait so please do enlighten me mr wales... so if march 14 had their say and elected a president with 1/2 + 1 who would that be? who's the nominee that would get 51 % of the votes?? harb? lahoud moawwad? or jaja3...
    that charade is funny...
    and u speak of democracy in lebanon..that was pretty cute , not to say funny

  • At 9/28/07, 7:19 AM, Blogger JoseyWales said…


    This post is about Berri and the targets of assassination. Not every post on every blog is an opportunity for you to explain to us, again and again, your philosophy of life. That's why, as you say, there's often no debate. Focus on one issue at a time.


    u speak of democracy

    Where do I speak of democracy?

    As to your election question: On this planet, people have elections FIRST, THEN they know the name of the winner, not the other way around.

    What the hell is your argument? The minority should elect the prez because you like them?

    PS For the nth time, the 2/3 quorum is ILLEGAL, go read the law. Or, if unclear, PARLIAMENT should interpret the law not Nabih.

  • At 9/28/07, 1:56 PM, Anonymous ali said…

    So you understood my last reply to Bad Vilbel's comment to be about my "philosophy of life?"

    You are right, there is no debate here...


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