[Warning to excitable types: Do not construe this post as disparaging to the army and its fallen heroes. I salute the army and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. This post is about our top civilian leadership, and perhaps some top army brass.]
No matter where you stand politically, you have got to admit that our government (and army) are total ZEROES when it comes to communication.
Today, I read all the news I could get my hands on. I still have no idea what is going on in Nahr el-Bared. And our high-ranking officials appear as clueless as I am, if not more.
Defense Minister Elias Murr just said military operations have stopped but the siege continues (??).
Naharnet reports more firing and shelling today, after Defense Minister Murr said operations ended.
Murr also said that there is no proof yet of Syrian ties to Fateh al-Islam. He added more info would come in the next few days (and if you believe that I have a bridge for you…).
Murr’s own PM Saniora/Seniora and others in M14 have said, or at least implied, for weeks now that there was a Syrian connection. Which is it? And if there is no Syrian connection, whence the hell is Fatah el Islam getting reinforced?
As for the army’s communications department, though they have a web site, they still live in the 1950’s. Every time the army fires a bullet, the department issues a three-page communiqué telling us that we are all brothers, with the camps, and the Palestinian cause, and all the other brothers too. You can almost hear (divine) Um Kalthoum in the background.
I don’t want any singsong from your communications department. You are the ARMY, your job in war is to break things and kill people, as they say. Just tell me what you’re objectives are, what your casualties are, and how many SOB enemies you’ve killed today.
While I try to get info on Bared, I go to the army web site and I learn that the army commander just met with an association to commemorate former President Hrawi, headed, by his widow Mona Hrawi. Top of the news on 6/22, not in some "social" section. Is that a morale booster or what?
Of course there are other "news" on the army web site, but besides the obituaries of the fallen, it is fluff and gibberish. When are we going to get rid of the communications idiots who went to the “istaqbala” school? The Lebanese know every boy-scout and girl-scout the President or the army commander meet, but have otherwise no clue what their government is doing.
Back to the government and Murr (from Naharnet).
He [Murr] said a “large number" of Fatah al-Islam commanders had been killed over the past month, while leader Shaker Abssi, deputy leader Abu Hureira and others were on the run, suggesting they were hiding in the camp among several thousand Palestinian civilians still holed up there.
The head of the gang is “on the run” inside a sub-part of the (small) camp? "On the run?" Is he jogging around the camp for exercise? Is he on the run on his treadmill? If he is in the damn area and he's the most wanted man in Lebanon, now what? The story ends here? No sane person can believe or accept that.
Murr said that a total of 76 soldiers had died since the battle broke out on May 20, and that another 150 had been wounded. He also said that there are about 100 Fatah al-Islam militants injured in the gunbattles.
The army took over 200 casualties versus 100 to end in what looks like a stalemate and more of the same garbage we have come to expect in Lebanon, including a bunch of “brotherly” thugs patrolling the streets of Saida-Taamir-Ein el-Helweh as a buffer between the army and other thugs?
Sheik Mohammed Haj of the Palestinian Scholars Association, a mediator who met with the militant group's leaders in recent days, said Fatah al-Islam "has declared a cease-fire and will comply with the Lebanese army's decision to end military operations."
Can someone explain to me what in the name of Hell does that mean? They won’t shoot at the army (for now) if the army stops shooting at them? Gee thanks!
He [Sheik Haj] said the militants would abide by conditions set by the army to end the fighting, but he would not elaborate.
So the army’s conditions DO NOT include the arrest of the thug-in-chief (and ex-Syrian prisoner) Shaker Abssi?
Ms Levantine, in a comment on another blog, suggests that maybe the politicos have stopped the army as they did back in 1973 (versus the PLO). Talk about morons who don’t learn from history.
In that regard: Murr tells the Daily Star that Army Commander Michel Suleiman would make a good president. Of course General Suleiman is NOT eligible to be elected. The Lebanese toilet-paper roll called “constitution” says the Army chief and other high officials are ineligible unless they leave office 2 years before the election (Article 49). But no one cares, its’ only the constitution. Murr and the Star don’t even bother to mention that fact.
Of course, that article was put in the law for a REASON. The reason is to prevent these high officials from making POLITICAL decisions, in the hope of being elected, close to an election. I hope that neither that, nor some political pressure, are at play here.
So why are we suspicious and entertain all sorts of crazy scenarios? Because, among many reasons, we are given ZERO information by our local ZEROES.