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

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Simple Idea for the Simple Minded

Two days ago, another major figure/official in Lebanon, General Francois el-Hajj was killed by a massive car bomb. Of course it’s a major security blow to the country. The man was Army Chief Michel Sleiman/Suleiman’s right hand man. Hajj’s bodyguard, Khairallah Hadwan also died, as did a third unidentified person.

The car bomb method has claimed many lives in the past two years. Every time, the pattern is the same: powerful bomb, prominent figure assassinated, several passers-by die. The government and MPs and foreign governments, all condemn. Another file is added to the Hariri file at the UN. The majority M14 accuses Syria. The opposition M8 accuses Israel. No one is ever caught and no deterrent is put in place.

Of course asking for martial law or a state of emergency is too much for the hapless government of Milquefuck Seniora/Sanioura. Maybe a nuclear attack wiping off the country would sway this stupid government. Then again, maybe not. Since 2005 only one ex-PM was killed, 4 sitting MPs, 2 major journalists and now one Army general. There was also the little matter of the July 2006 war, and a major attack by Islamists on the Lebanese army (LAF) in 2007.

Asking for special or expanded powers to search for weapons, explosives and political assassins is still not high up on the government’s priority list. A few months back, the government was busy screwing up; moving the Easter Holiday from Monday to Good Friday and then back to Monday, a real major issue in a country where there is hardly an economy anymore.

After your now routine car-bomb and routine condemnations, the other very familiar story: people arrested in connection with the exploded car, people claim they sold the car to unknown, people released, end of story and end of investigative track.

In this latest instance, the same fascinating story. Investigators talk to 3 men (from Taamir, near Ein el-Helweh) who owned the car. They say they sold the car to a fourth man. Daily Star story:

The fourth man was also detained and questioned and claimed to have sold the vehicle, a 30-year-old, olive green, BMW 320, to two unidentified men just two days before the attack. The fourth owner of the vehicle said he did not know the names of the two buyers, as they paid him in cash, took the car and left promising to contact him in order to complete registration procedures, but never did.
It’s getting to be boring by now, in each car-bomb murder the sales chain ends with a guy who sold it to “unknown” for cash.

Idiot Saniora and idiot Sabeh and all the other incompetent criminal frigging sub-idiots, how about making it ILLEGAL to sell to “unknown", like after the 4th or 5th or 6th car-bomb. We are now at number 12 or 14 depending on how you count.

How difficult is it to pass a law that puts the (or some) responsibility of these crimes on the last KNOWN idiot in the chain of sales. You are selling your car? By law, you will need to know the name of the buyer and ID him/her. Make a lapse punishable by 10 years in jail or even by a death sentence for all I care. Of course this would have to be massively advertised.

Can we tighten this part of the law or does that also have to involve France, Germany, Syria and Botswana you Goddamn nincompoops?


  • At 12/13/07, 9:58 PM, Blogger Super Dude said…

    As usual a great post with good ideas.

    I just want to address the martial law/weapons search/confiscation.

    First point:
    Seeing how the security 'apparatuses' (they have how many already?) are infiltrated by elements that undermine the effectiveness and credibility of these institutions, are you sure this will work? How trustworthy are they, to actually do their job? They might use delay tactics or even try to protect the 'criminals' (or freedom fighters/democracy protectors etc...).

    I honestly think they are not up to the task, even if the government ordered them to do so.

    Which brings us to point 2, the HA weapons. There will be a mini war if anyone, government or not, tries to disarm them. And you can't say you will disarm everyone, except for HA, because we will go do a round table to disarm them. Which is what they have been blabbing about since the round table was invented.

    And we know what round table discussions do. They go round, round and round to infinity...

  • At 12/13/07, 10:49 PM, Blogger karlos said…

    hmmm. If there was such a law Josey, people would simply report their cars being stolen 2 days prior to the attack... I don't think any such law would help.

    I agree with superdude, only, if one tries to disarm HA, there would be a mega-war, not a mini-war. I really think the Israelis and/or Americans would come in to assist 'liberating' the Lebanese.

  • At 12/14/07, 6:19 AM, Blogger Ecce Libanus said…

    there's always a devastating commentary on Lebanon's Kleptocrats in your irreverence and satire, JW! Saddly, it all falls on deaf ears.

    As a graffiti (on my school-bus' route) read back in 1978, "les murs ont des oreilles, Sarkis, mais tes oreilles ont des murs..."

    I seriously doubt that those who hold the reigns of power in Lebanon are interested in anything beyond immediate gain and self-aggrandizement. Precious little has changed since 1978. And short of a serious application of the rule of law (or as you suggest "a nuclear attack wiping off the country" and starting anew with a clean slate) will do little else to better our lot.

  • At 12/14/07, 10:37 AM, Blogger Ms Levantine said…

    I have a very hard time undrstanding why our gutless leaders make no efforts to impose the rule of law.

    For eg. in 1982 Bachir Gemayyel gets killed. A guy called Chartouni gets arrested. Amine becomes president. Chartouni is not put on trial and there is no investigation. In 1990 the Syrians get him out of Roumieh. He must be smoking cigars somewhere today.

    17 years later, Amine's son gets murdered. Had he insisted on the rule of law in 82, his son would still be alive today.

    As someone told me in the late 70's: In Lebanon alliances are always shifting. The only losers are those who get killed (Halle mate, rahet 'aley).

    Happy holidays to all.


  • At 12/15/07, 9:41 AM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Thanks all, and happy Hannukah and Adha and Christmas (in chronological order).

    Karlos, I am just saying make it more difficult and force people to be aware.

    If the car is not really stolen you got solid suspects (owners).

    And if it's really stolen, you might get more witnesses, or a chance of catching the thieves etc...

    Point is just one example (beyond martial law) of little things that can be done and are not.

  • At 12/15/07, 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Good post as always. Nincompoops is the right word to use here. I have never in my life seen such incompetence, negligence and stupidity as I do on a daily basis in Lebanon. And I've been around the block a few times...

    I've been clamoring for martial law for well over a year now. Of course, as soon as you or me come up with such pronouncements (same as for your law idea), a bunch of PC idiots and other nincompoops jump up and down, and start claiming it will offend such and such sect, or trample on the rights of such and such private citizen, or upset the "delicate balance" of Lebanon's makeup.

    You know what guys? As of right now, there is no "delicate balance" to upset. There is no private rights and all the sects are already offended. So let's stop caring so much about everyone's sensibilities and start enforcing stuff.

    In most countries - check that. ALL COUNTRIES - except Lebanon and Somalia (see in what August company we reside?) the moment national security is endangered, people's sensibilities, political correctness, sectarian balance, and all that stuff takes a back seat. The US passed the patriot act after 9/11 (whether we like it or not). Other countries declare a state of emergency, or martial law, in order to restore order to the nation.

    And yet, we sit around, with our thumbs up our asses, complaining about "delicate sectarian balance" and everyone's "sensibilities".

    Maybe that idea of nuking the whole nation off the face of the planet is not so bad after all. Then again, I bet you someone will still be complaining about "delicate sectarian balances" the day after a nuke was dropped on Lebanon.

  • At 12/15/07, 10:32 PM, Blogger Ecce Libanus said…

    JW, not to sound frivolous or anything, but that's not PC enough. You cannot, CANNOT put Adha in the the lot and leave out Kwanza. c'mon!
    peace --lnh

  • At 12/16/07, 9:26 AM, Blogger Marillionlb said…

    Even if I do agree fully with the rule of law, any law; I cannot see it happening in a country where even traffic lights are regarded as Christmas decorations. I had my car stolen less then a year ago, and I still have to hear a word from anyone. Moreover I applied for my ID card 19 months ago just to hear last Monday that I will have to go through the fingerprinting process again.
    Would you trust anyone withing the government, army, security forces ...etc to obied by the rule of law; let alone apply them?
    But yes, I am a dreamer too!


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