Bush Administration Policy in Disarray - Syria Comment

Bush Administration Policy in Disarray

[Comment by Joshua Landis] Washington's Middle East policy is in deep trouble. The ultra conservatives, such as Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal, are advocating bombing Syria again in order to broaden the crisis. They believe that Hizbullah is too strong to do any remedial work in Lebanon to defeat it. Stephens knows that the Bush administration will not bomb Syria, so he advocates pulling the chain on Lebanon. His last line says it all: "Lebanon will continue its transformation into Hezbollahstan, a sad fate for a country that might have stood for something fine."

Perhaps a decrease in US interest would be the best thing for Lebanon.

The flollowing story in French is about a UN investigative team that spent three days interviewing the editor in chief of "Al Siyassa" of Kuwait. It is discovering a complex dissinformation ring linked to the March 14 leadership and Israel.

Ahmad Jarallah (Al Siyassa Koweit) under thorough interrogation by the Bellemare’s Hariri commission as reported by Al Diwan for propagating false information and hampering the investigation.

“La Commission d’enquête internationale sur l’assassinat de l’ancien Premier Ministre libanais HARIRI interroge le propriétaire du quotidien koweitien As-Syassa
1 mai 2008

Le quotidien koweitien Al-Diwan a rapporté citant des sources de presse au siège de l’ONU à New York et d’autres sources au sein des bureaux du quotidien koweitien Al-Siyssa qu’une délégation de la commission d’enquête internationale sur l’assassinat de Hariri composée de 3 enquêteurs accompagnés de techniciens et d’analystes d’informations s’était rendue au Koweït où elle avait interrogé pendant 3 jours et au rythme de 10 heures par jours l’éditeur et propriétaire du quotidien koweitien As-Siyassa Ahmed EL-JARALLAH connu pour ses positions alignées sur les forces du 14 février au Liban et accusé par l’opposition d’être le porte parole d’Israël et des alliés des Etats-Unis au Liban.

L’interrogation de M.EL-JARALLAH s’inscrit dans le cadre d’une enquête secondaire ouverte par le nouveau chef de la commission d’enquête internationale sur l’assassinat de HARIRI sur la présence de groupes et de réseaux chargés de fournir des fausses informations ainsi que des faux témoins à la commission d’enquête pour brouiller le cours de l’enquête qu’elle mène sur l’attentat ayant coûté la vie en 2005 à Beyrouth à l’ancien Premier Ministre libanais, Rafic HARIRI.

Selon des sources à l’ONU, le magistrat BELLEMARE a décidé de former une telle commission après avoir subi de fortes pressions de la part de la Russie, de l’Afrique du Sud, de la Libye, et de la Chine pour le pousser à prendre les mesures adéquates contre ceux qui veulent faire avorter l’action de la commission d’enquête internationale.

Le magistrat BELLEMARE a réussi à mettre la main grâce à l’aide de l’une de ces grandes puissances (peut-être la Russie) sur des enregistrements audio, des messages électroniques, et des fax contenant des ordres reçus par le propriétaire du quotidien koweitien As-Siyassa et son réseau de la part de responsables de la propagande auprès du député Saad HARIRI à savoir : le Ministre libanais Marwan HAMADE, le député Bassem EL-SABAA, les deux conseillers de Saad HARIRI, le journaliste Fares KHACHAN et Hanni HAMOUD.

Ces responsables font partie d’autres réseau de propagande liés à la famille HARIRI, à Israël et à ses collaborateurs libanais aux Etats-Unis et qui appartiennent au soi disant groupe mondial de soutien à la révolution du cèdre à savoir : Ziad ABDELNOUR, Walid FARESS, Jo BIANI, Tom HARB, et Kabalan FARES.

Le rédacteur des affaires juridiques au sein du quotidien koweitien Al-Diwan, M.Hamed YOUSSEF a affirmé avoir suivi cette question sur le terrain et obtenu une confirmation des informations fournies par les sources de presse à l’ONU de la part d’une partie indépendante à savoir : un haut fonctionnaire au sein du quotidien koweitien As-Syassa qui lui a affirmé que Ahmed EL-JARALLA avait refusé d’accéder à la demande de la commission d’enquête internationale de venir à Beyrouth sous prétexte que sa vie était en danger.

M.YOUSSEF a également affirmé que l’agent d’Ahmed EL-JARALLAH à Beyrouth Samir GHERIAFI écrivait dans les journaux sous le pseudonyme de Hamad GHERIAFI et qu’il prétendait être installé à Londres alors qu’il travaille au bureau de Marwan HAMADE à Beyrouth et ne réside pas à Londres comme l’a découvert la commission d’enquête internationale.

Les sources de presse à l’ONU d’ajouter : 7 enquêteurs de la commission d’enquête internationale sur l’assassinat de HARIRI sont entrés dans les bureaux du quotidien As-Siyassa accompagnés d’agents de sécurité en civil pour interroger Ahmed EL-JARALLAH qui a nié être impliqué dans un réseau sécuritaire et médiatique chargé de propager des rumeurs pour brouiller l’action de la commission d’enquête.

Selon ces sources, ce réseau est composé de dizaines de journalistes dont Samir GHERIAFI et un autre journaliste installé à Paris à savoir : Nizar NAIOUF, propriétaire du site électronique Al-Hakika (la vérité) et qui reçoit une somme mensuelle de 1500 euros de la part de Saad HARIRI.

Cette somme est virée sur le compte de NAYYOUF à Paris par l’intermédiaire de Bassil YARED chargé par Saad HARIRI de verser des pots de vin et d’acheter les consciences dans la capitale française. (As-Saoura)

From Lebanon to Hezbollahstan
May 13, 2008; Page A15
Bret Stephens

On Friday, Hezbollah gunmen set fire to the Beirut offices of Future TV, a Lebanese broadcaster. On a purely symbolic level, it was an apt demonstration of where the Party of God stands in relation to the future itself.

But that wasn't the worst of what has happened in the past week in Lebanon, where scores of people have been killed in interfactional violence. More ominous was the role of the Lebanese army, avowedly neutral and nominally under civilian control. "An army officer accompanied by members of Hezbollah walked into the station and told us to switch off transmission," an unnamed Future TV official told Reuters. So much for army neutrality.

[From Lebanon to Hezbollahstan]
AP
Shiite gunmen patrol the streets in Chouweifat, south of Beirut, May 11.

The army also countermanded government orders to dismantle Hezbollah's telecommunications network at the Beirut airport and remove the brigadier responsible for airport security, who is said to be a Hezbollah pawn. "I have called on the army to live up to its national responsibilities . . . and this has not happened," Fouad Siniora, Lebanon's increasingly irrelevant prime minister, said on national TV.

Future historians will look for the precise moment the Lebanese Republic began to transmogrify into Hezbollahstan. Was it the June 2005 murder of anti-Syrian journalist Samir Kassir – the earliest sign that Syria, whose 29-year military occupation of its neighbor had ended just two months before, intended to reinsert itself by stealth and terror (and with the connivance of Hezbollah)? Was it the role played by the Maronite Gen. Michel Aoun, a hero of the last Lebanese civil war, who returned from exile in 2005 intending to play the part of de Gaulle only to become, after striking a bargain with Hezbollah, another Pétain?

Was it the summer war of 2006, when Israel failed to destroy Hezbollah militarily and, in so failing, gave Hezbollah an aura of invincibility? Was it the unwillingness of international peacekeepers to patrol the Lebanese-Syrian border, thereby allowing Hezbollah to rearm itself after the war? Was it the absence of an effective, or even intelligible, American policy toward Lebanon, epitomized by Condoleezza Rice's decision to rehabilitate Damascus by inviting it to November's Annapolis Middle East conference?

The answer is all of the above: An accumulation of policy mistakes, political dodges and moral atrocities that have nearly killed the "new" Lebanon in its crib.

Demography has also played a role. Christians in particular have been fleeing Lebanon for decades. And though a census hasn't been taken in Lebanon in 75 years, Nizar Hamze of the American University of Beirut estimates that there are between eight and nine live births per Shiite household. The comparable figure for Lebanon's Sunnis is about five; for Christians and Druze, about two. These numbers must ultimately count against an outmoded constitutional order geared to favor Christians first, Sunnis second, Shiites third.

But even if Lebanon cannot escape its Shiite destiny, it is not ordained that it must also become a Hezbollah state, taking its orders from Tehran. So what are the U.S.'s policy options?

Inside Lebanon, they are few. No American president will send American troops back to Beirut and risk a reprise of 1983. Supplying the Lebanese army is a nonstarter; it is no longer clear whose side that army is on. Should the U.S. arm the anti-Hezbollah factions in the event of an all-out civil war? Some of them, like Samir Geagea's Lebanese Forces, have well-earned reputations as war criminals.

A more productive thought comes from Dwight Eisenhower, who observed that "if a problem cannot be solved, enlarge it." The reason the U.S. lacks for options in Lebanon is because it has no policy toward Syria.

In 2003, Congress passed the Syria Accountability Act, but the administration has observed only its weakest provisions. They could be enforced in full. A Syria Liberation Act, similar to the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, would be a step forward. So would international sanctions for Syria's violations of the Nonproliferation Treaty, exposed by Israel in its raid last year on an unfinished nuclear reactor. Bombing the runway of the Damascus airport for the role it plays in serving as a conduit for Iranian arms to Hezbollah would also be an appropriate signal of American displeasure.

None of this is likely to happen, however. U.S. policy toward Syria will continue to vacillate between partial engagement and partial ostracism, achieving neither. And Lebanon will continue its transformation into Hezbollahstan, a sad fate for a country that might have stood for something fine.

The Other Mideast Talks 
Israel and Syria are edging closer to the negotiating table. What Bush must do to make sure they get there.
By Mohamad Bazzi | Special Guest Columnist
May 12, 2008 

If President George W. Bush truly wants to leave a legacy of peacemaking in the Middle East, he's looking in the wrong place. Instead of focusing exclusively on Israeli-Palestinian talks, Bush should do more to encourage renewed Israeli-Syrian negotiations.

The United States has much to gain strategically from renewed Israeli-Syrian dialogue. Syria could be pressed to play a more constructive role in the region—instead of being a spoiler or, worse, turning into a full-fledged rogue state.

In recent months Israeli and Syrian leaders have been exchanging positive messages through Turkish mediators. Unlike the weak Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Syrian President Bashar Assad can actually deliver on a peace deal with Israel. The Israeli-Syrian track can move faster than Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, where the two sides are still far apart on the central issues: Israeli settlements, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the final status of Jerusalem. By contrast, the Syrians and Israelis mainly need to negotiate over the return of the Golan Heights, a strategic terrain that Israel has occupied since the 1967 Middle East war. …

Even without a regional settlement, Israel has much to gain from a deal over the Golan. It would mean not only a peace treaty with Damascus but an end of Syrian aid to what is now Israel's most dangerous enemy: Hizbullah, the Lebanese Shiite militia that did surprisingly well in its war with a far superior Israeli army in the summer of 2006. On May 9, Hizbullah dispatched hundreds of heavily armed fighters into West Beirut, and within 12 hours it had altered Lebanon's delicate political balance. Hizbullah's military victory—in which it quickly routed Sunni militiamen, took control of their political offices and shut down media outlets owned by the Sunni leader Saad Hariri—is likely to bolster Assad's position in any negotiations.

Lebanon's Sunni bloc built militia, officials say
The Future movement used a security firm to assemble a private force, officials say. But the fighters were no match for the Shiite group Hezbollah.
By Borzou Daragahi and Raed Rafei, Special to The Times
May 12, 2008

BEIRUT — For a year, the main Lebanese political faction backed by the United States built a Sunni Muslim militia here under the guise of private security companies, Lebanese security experts and officials said.

The fighters, aligned with Saad Hariri's Future movement, were trained and armed to counter the heavily armed Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah and protect their turf in a potential military confrontation.

But in a single night late last week, the curious experiment in private-sector warfare crumbled.

Attacked by Hezbollah, the Future movement fighters quickly fled Beirut or gave up their weapons. Afterward, some of the fighters said they felt betrayed by their political patrons, who failed to give them the means to protect themselves while official security forces stood aside and let Hezbollah destroy them.

"We are prepared to fight for a few hours but not more," said one of the Sunni fighters in the waning moments of the battle. "Where do we get ammunition and weapons from? We are blocked. The roads are blocked. Even Saad Hariri has left us to face our fate alone."….. 

Four days that changed the Middle East
Rami G. Khouri
Monday, May 12, 2008

Events in Beirut and other parts of Lebanon continue to move erratically, with simultaneous gestures of political compromise and armed clashes that have left 46 dead in the past week. The consequences of what has happened in the past week may portend an extraordinary but constructive new development: the possible emergence of the first American-Iranian joint political governance system in the Arab world. Maybe. ….
… Lebanon can only exist as a single country if its multi-ethnic and multi-religious population shares power. As the political leaders now seek to do this, they operate in a new context where the strongest group comprises Iranian- and Syrian-backed Islamist Shiites and their junior partners, Christian and Sunni Lebanese allies. They will share power in a national unity government with fellow Lebanese who are friends, allies, dependents and proxies of the United States and Saudi Arabia.

If a new Middle East truly is being born, this may well prove to be its nursery. |Full Story

Lally Weymouth interviews Olmert in Newsweek, here (Thanks FLC) 

Do you want peace with Syria, and do you think it's obtainable with President Bashar al-Assad?
We are very unhappy with the continued intensive involvement of Syria in the affairs of Lebanon and the lack of a democratic process in electing a new president in Lebanon. We are also unhappy with the continued links between Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. [But] the relations between us and Syria have to be reexamined, [as well as] the possibility of making peace. It's not something that can be done publicly. I don't mind that President Assad made an announcement that there will be negotiations, but the actual negotiations ought to be discussed quietly. In principle, we are ready for it if they are.

In order to have a full peace with Israel, would Syria have to break with Iran? Is such a break possible?
Look, I don't know if this is a possibility or how you can describe it in terms of probabilities. But one thing I know, if I don't check it, I will never find out. I think at the end of the day, this will have to be the choice of Syria.

Have there been direct Israel-Syrian talks, or have they all been conducted via the Turks?
I prefer not to go into these details.

Hasn't the United States been apprehensive about Israel-Syria negotiations for some time?
The international and local press . . . [has left] the impression that America does not allow Israel to engage in negotiations with Syria. This is not true. I never heard from my friend George W. Bush any warning or any request not to negotiate with the Syrians. I think that if the Syrians will handle the negotiations with us in an appropriate manner, they will be surprised to see how these negotiations can improve their status with America. My personal view is that no one can be of better help to this process than President Bush. Because any new president in America, if confronted with this issue, will have to wait two years at least until he learns enough and finds the appropriate time to devote to this, while Bush knows, Bush is familiar, and Bush understands. Therefore, if one is interested in a [Syrian-Israeli] process that ultimately leads to a public endorsement by the United States of America, then he has to hurry up. I believe, for reasons that I don't want to go into, that for Syria, the road to Washington must cross Jerusalem. I know what I'm talking about.

Officials in the U.S. government are reportedly concerned that Syria's real price for peace is Lebanon. The U.S. is interested in the survival of the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora.
I know what our expectations are. I know what the Americans' expectations are. I'm not going to do anything which [is in contradiction] to what my understanding of [what] the fundamental interests of the United States are in this part of the world.

So is this a pure deal about the Golan?
I didn't say that. I said that this is an attempt to achieve peace between Israel and Syria. And at the same time, to also make sure that the interests of free, democratic Lebanon are well protected. What the ingredients of peace [are] is something that will have to be discussed. I would not limit it to only one issue. It has to be peace from both sides–no threats or attacks from both sides.

What is your assessment of Assad?
Look, Assad is the president of Syria. He enjoys fairly effective control over his country. And I'm looking forward to negotiating with him.

"Bomb Syria" Woolsey advises McCain
Eric Margolis: Former CIA head James Woolsey heads group of neocon advisers to John McCain
Monday May 12th, 2008

John McCain has recruited several members of "The Committee on the Present Danger" as foreign policy advisers, including former CIA head James Woolsey. Do Woolsey's viewpoints represent McCain's vision for America and the world?

Comments (66)


Alex said:

“James Woolsey heads group of neocon advisers to John McCain”!!

Another macho president who does not know the difference between Sunnis and Shia who is impressed with Woolsey types.

That’s it … if McCain wins, WW3 is coming… starting in the Middle East.

I imagine if it looks like he is winning … Iran will make life miserable for the US army in Iraq to make it clear to the American people that if they elect McCain they will also pay the same price the people of the Middle East will pay if McCain faals in love with Woolsey’s strategic plans.

Here in Canada everyone is hoping for Obama.

May 13th, 2008, 2:40 pm

 

JustOneAmerican said:

Perhaps a decrease in US interest would be the best thing for Lebanon.

Perhaps a decrease in interest by all foreign powers would be the best thing for Lebanon.

As long as Iran and the US are enemies then the US will work to oppose Iranian influence no matter where it is. That is why the US is involved in Lebanon and it will remain US policy whoever becomes President. If you want to see the US out of Lebanon, then there must be a rapprochement between the US and Iran – something that is more likely to happen under Obama than McCain, though not by as much as most seem to believe.

May 13th, 2008, 2:54 pm

 

kingcrane jr said:

Josh,
You made my day with the Al-Siyasa / Bellemare news.
As to Dubya, his current predicament reminds me of this joke about Francois Mitterand:
(1) Savez-vous que Francois Mitterand vient de gagner le prix Nobel de Chimie?
(2) Pour quelle raison?
(1) Parce que, avec Delors et Deferre, il a fait de la merde.

May 13th, 2008, 2:54 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

If Iran does what you are saying Alex, it will only help McCain win.

May 13th, 2008, 2:55 pm

 

kingcrane jr said:

Alex,
There is a large file on McCain as a POW turned collaborator to the North Vietnamese.

May 13th, 2008, 3:01 pm

 

ugarit said:

The Al-Siyasa/Bellemare news should really be translated into English so more Americans are aware of what’s going on.

May 13th, 2008, 3:18 pm

 

ugarit said:

Why can’t US governments have a dialog with Hizballah? Oh sorry I forgot that any “enemy” of Israel must be an “enemy” of the US.

May 13th, 2008, 3:22 pm

 

ugarit said:

Kingcrane Jr. said: “There is a large file on McCain as a POW turned collaborator to the North Vietnamese.”

You must be reading http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn04192008.html 🙂

May 13th, 2008, 3:23 pm

 

ugarit said:

Obama will have very little choice but to continue Bush’s and the US’ imperial legacy. Let’s not put too much hope in him. No pun intended 🙂 He will certainly be more civil than McCain or Clinton for that matter, however.

May 13th, 2008, 3:28 pm

 

RB said:

Given the mandate of Bellemare and of the Special Tribunal, I very much doubt they were interviewing al-Siyassa staff over the issue of rumour-spreading. I doubt even more that the Russians would be providing them with highly sensitive COMINT on the issue.

Much more likely they were asking Jarallah about al-Siyassa’s supposed telephone interview with missing witness Mohammad Zuhair al-Siddiq, who disappeared from France in March.

May 13th, 2008, 3:32 pm

 

abraham said:

Ugarit said:

Why can’t US governments have a dialog with Hizballah? Oh sorry I forgot that any “enemy” of Israel must be an “enemy” of the US.

It’s because they’re still pissed at all the marines that got killed in the 1983 barracks bombing in Beirut. Of course, they never positively identified Hizballah as the culprits(“Islamic Jihad” claimed responsibility), but they have their suspicions 🙂

May 13th, 2008, 4:10 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

ugarit said:

Why can’t US governments have a dialog with Hizballah?

Ugarit:

I would first ask why can’t the Government of Lebanon have a dialog with Hizballah?

After you get an answer with that, you may be able to answer your own question.

Professor Josh states:

Washington’s Middle East policy is in deep trouble.

I see this statement in nearly 50% of all your threads, and in the liberal media every week, every month, going back to the Utopian Jimmah Carter presidency. If ever there was a “worn out” statement, this is the one.

To me, this only underscores the severity of the situation and that there is really nothing the US can do to please the theocracies of the Middle East short of selling Israel down the road.

Which will never happen.

May 13th, 2008, 4:12 pm

 

abraham said:

Anyone who puts any sort of faith into Obama that he’s going to be more even-handed and wise with his handling of events in the Middle East is going to be a sore asshole the first time he acts there.

It’s going to be four more years of American blundering accompanied by continued decline into mediocrity.

We don’t need a new president, we need a new revolution.

May 13th, 2008, 4:13 pm

 

abraham said:

I’m sure by now everyone’s seen President Chimpanzee offer to assist the Lebanese Army. If I didn’t feel my life spilling out of me everytime I have to watch that guy I would have let out a huge laugh.

He would probably have better luck offering assistance to Sadr in Iraq.

May 13th, 2008, 4:15 pm

 

kingcrane jr said:

Ugarit,
Correct.
The full version is best, but it is only accessible to Counterpunch suscribers.

May 13th, 2008, 4:16 pm

 

JustOneAmerican said:

The US has been providing assistance to the Lebanese Army for some time. I don’t see why this should be criticized. At some point, when a political settlement is reached, the Army will and should be the only military force in Lebanon. My understanding is that all parties basically agree with this premise. The Army will have to have the capability to defend Lebanese territory when that happens. Since military capability cannot be created quickly, it seems appropriate to begin to improve those capabilities before the political disputes are sorted out.

Now, one might argue that US is doing this hoping the Army will eventually be strong enough to counter and defeat HA, but as we’ve seen the Army wisely stays out of such domestic disputes.

May 13th, 2008, 4:33 pm

 

abraham said:

The US should take its arms and stick it up its ass. Since it’s my money, I’d much rather we spend it on endeavors that will promote peace instead of giving more welfare to other countries that inevitably uses it to bite the US in the ass. So since we’re going to take it in the ass anyway, I’d much rather we do it to ourselves, and it’ll be cheaper too.

May 13th, 2008, 4:39 pm

 

abraham said:

Confronting Questions, Obama Assures Jews of His Support
By LARRY ROHTER (LA Times)

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/13/us/politics/13obama.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&ref=politics&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

Faced with doubts about his support for Israel and American Jews, Senator Barack Obama has stepped up his efforts to reach out to the Jewish community over the past month, giving speeches and granting interviews to confront questions about the militant Palestinian group Hamas and his commitment to Jewish causes and values.

The efforts are part of “a very strong counteraction” against what the Obama campaign considers misinformation about the candidate, said Representative Robert Wexler, a Democrat from South Florida who often speaks on Jewish issues for the Obama campaign.

“We’re going to continue to keep making this case with initiatives to make it clear that his support for Israel could not be more unequivocal,” Mr. Wexler said.

Like I said.

Later on in the article, we have this:

“I think that the idea of a secure Jewish state is a fundamentally just idea, and a necessary idea, given not only world history but the active existence of anti-Semitism,” Mr. Obama said in the interview. “That does not mean that I would agree with every action of the state of Israel.”

But, Mr. Obama continued, “the fundamental premise of Israel and the need to preserve a Jewish state that is secure is, I think, a just idea and one that should be supported here in the United States and around the world.”

No, he wouldn’t necessarily agree with every action of Israel, but he’ll condone it nonetheless.

May 13th, 2008, 4:52 pm

 

norman said:

Lebanon’s Hariri vows no surrender to Hezbollah
Tue May 13, 2008 12:35pm EDT
By Alistair Lyon, Special Correspondent

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s Sunni Muslim leader Saad al-Hariri pledged on Tuesday there would be no political surrender to what he called a bid by Hezbollah and its Syrian and Iranian backers to impose their will on the nation by force.

The Shi’ite Hezbollah group and its opposition allies have routed supporters of the Sunni-led government in Beirut and hills to the east in fighting that has pushed Lebanon to the brink of a new civil war.

“They simply are demanding that we surrender, they want Beirut to raise white flags… This is impossible,” Hariri told a news conference in his first public appearance since Hezbollah swept through Sunni-dominated areas of the capital last week.

“They will not be able to obtain Saad al-Hariri’s signature … on a deed to surrender to the Iranian and Syrian regimes.”

Lebanon experienced its calmest day since violence broke out on May 7 after U.S.-backed Prime Minister Fouad Siniora outlawed Hezbollah’s communications network and fired Beirut airport’s security chief, who is close to the Shi’ite group.

Hezbollah said this was a declaration of war and swiftly took over much of Beirut, crushing pro-government Sunni Muslim gunmen. It then handed over its gains to the army.

Hariri’s Future TV, forced off the air during the battles, resumed broadcasting shortly before the news conference.

Hariri, son of slain ex-premier Rafik al-Hariri, said the two decisions, now a dead letter, were no threat to Hezbollah.

“This was not an attack on Hezbollah. This was a decision made by Iran and Syria to attack Lebanon, to take Lebanon over and put it in Syrian-Iranian hands,” the business magnate said.

Bitterly questioning the Shi’ite Islamist group’s promise to use its arsenal only against Israel, Hariri said:

“When these same arms that came from Iran and Syria are pointed at Lebanese, it means there’s a start of maybe a civil war. We don’t want a civil war because a civil war needs two sides and we will not lead the Lebanese into a civil war.

Arab League mediators are due in Beirut on Wednesday to try broker a solution to the political crisis that led to Lebanon’s worst internal fighting since the 1975-90 civil war.

Lebanon’s army earlier stepped up patrols as part of a drive to restore order after a week of fighting in which Hezbollah and its allies triumphed in Beirut and hills to the east.

The army measures were not seen as a challenge to Hezbollah, which has avoided friction with the military — whose own composition reflects Lebanon’s volatile sectarian mix.

Wary of fragmenting its ranks, the army has stayed neutral in the conflict, which has killed 81 people, wounded 250 and raised Arab and international concern over Lebanon’s future.

SETBACK FOR U.S. POLICY

Saudi Arabia said that if Iran endorsed Hezbollah’s actions it would affect the Islamic Republic’s ties with the Arab world.

“Of course, for Iran to back the coup that happened in Lebanon … will have an impact on its relations with all Arab countries,” said Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal.

In Tehran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied his country was meddling in Lebanon.

Troops took over more positions held by Druze forces loyal to pro-government leader Walid Jumblatt, whose mountain fiefdom east of Beirut was attacked by Hezbollah on Sunday.

But in the hill resort town of Aley, a grocer named Wassim Timani, who is loyal to Jumblatt, was not sure peace would last.

“The army’s presence here is only for show. It won’t be able to do anything if the truce is violated,” he told Reuters. “We have shown it all respect but we will not hand over our guns.”

Even if the army halts all fighting, it has no plans to remove street barricades paralysing Beirut port and airport as part of the opposition campaign to press its political demands.

U.S. President George W. Bush is to consult allies on how to assist Lebanon when he visits the region this week. He pledged more aid to help the Lebanese army defend the government.

Bush will travel to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, starting on Wednesday, and plans to meet Siniora in Egypt on Sunday.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner hinted at a possible U.N. Security Council resolution on Lebanon.

“A resolution, which is still not entirely complete, could be proposed to the Security Council,” Kouchner told parliament.

The government has for 18 months resisted opposition demands for veto rights in cabinet, though Hezbollah has now shown it has the military muscle to block decisions it dislikes anyway.

Political turmoil has left Lebanon without a president since November. Parliament speaker and opposition leader Nabih Berri has postponed until June 10 an assembly session called for Tuesday to elect a head of state. It was the 19th such delay.

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May 13th, 2008, 4:58 pm

 

JustOneAmerican said:

Abraham,

As I said above, I would like all foreign powers to leave Lebanon alone. In any event, how is supporting a neutral national army not promoting peace? And anyway, it’s not just the US – many nations are supporting the Lebanese Army.

May 13th, 2008, 5:01 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Justoneamerica

The US admnistration is rightly worried that the weapons they will give Lebanese army may end up by being used against Israel, as the Lebanese army general ( future president) mentioned several time that he considers Israel to be the enemy number one, not HA.
This is why the US has refused to provide planes, helicopters etc,, to the lebanese army during the fight in the palestinians camps. The lebanese general Sleiman complained bitterly about the lack of ressources and threatened to buy necessary transport and weapons from Russia. The US does not trust the Lebanese army, they trust their loyal Lebanese clients, such as Hariri, Geagea and Jumblatt.
This is why the situation is much tortuous than it looks.
For the US, Israel’s security is much more important than Lebanon stability.

May 13th, 2008, 5:02 pm

 

ghat Albird said:

The following is a verbatim quote by the late Senator Fullbright of Arkansas.

“Israel controls the United States Senate. Around 80 percent are completely in support of Israel; anything Israel wants it gets. Jewish influence in the House of Representatives is even greater.” — US Senator William Fulbright.

Since Senator Fullbright has been dead for a number of years one would think given the neocon promoted cakewalk and disaster into Iraq and with damands by the same neocons such as Woolsey to invade Iran.

Or as Hillary is quoted as promising ‘obliterating” Iran that the parties who do not want to include Hezbolla members as a contributing party to the Lebanese society in governmental positions can be accused of being influenced if not directed by the same people that Senator Fullbright mentions in his book.

Is it not over due for the Lebanese to consider each other as Lebanese first and foremost? Accusing and denigrating one another can only lead to ….

May 13th, 2008, 5:07 pm

 

abraham said:

I normally wouldn’t post an entire article but I think this one is worth it to get as many eyeballs here to read it as possible.

The original article has links embedded if you’re interested in knowing where the author gets the source for some of his assertions, though not all his assertions are attributed to anything.

The original article is here.

5 Myths on Who’s Really ‘Pro-Israel’

By Jeremy Ben-Ami
Sunday, May 11, 2008; B03

Six decades ago, my father fought alongside Menachem Begin for Israel’s independence. If you’d have told him back then that politicians in the world’s last superpower would be jockeying today to see who can be more “pro-Israel,” he would have laughed at you. Grateful as I am for decades of U.S. friendship with Israel, I have to wonder, as the state my father helped found turns 60, just who is defining what it means to be pro-Israel in the United States these days.

Some purported keepers of that flame claim that supporting Israel means reflexively supporting every Israeli action and implacably opposing every Israeli foe — adopting the talking points of neoconservatives and the most right-wing elements of the American Jewish and Christian Zionist communities. Criticize or question Israeli behavior and you’re labeled “anti-Israel,” or worse. But unquestioning encouragement for short-sighted Israeli policies such as expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank isn’t real friendship. (Would a true friend not only let you drive home drunk but offer you their Porsche and a shot of tequila for the road?) Israel needs real friends, not enablers. And forging a healthy friendship with Israel requires bursting some myths about what it means to be pro-Israel.

1.American Jews choose to back candidates largely on the basis of their stance on Israel.

This urban legend has somehow become a tenet of American Politics 101, which is why politicians work so hard to earn the pro-Israel label in the first place. But it’s a self-serving fable, cultivated by a tiny minority of politically conservative American Jews who actually are single-issue voters. Most Jewish voters make their political choices the way other Americans do: based on their views on the full spectrum of domestic and foreign policy issues.

Moreover, the American Jewish community still has a markedly progressive bent. Exit polls suggest that nearly 80 percent of Jewish Americans voted for John F. Kerry over George W. Bush in 2004; some 70 percent of them were opposed to the Iraq war in 2005, according to the American Jewish Committee; and polls show that most American Jews say they favor a more balanced U.S. Middle East policy that’s aimed at achieving peace.

2.To be strong on Israel, you have to be harsh to the Palestinians.

Wrong, and counterproductive to boot. One popular way for members of Congress to earn their pro-Israel stripes is to come down as hard as possible on the Palestinians, by using economic and diplomatic pressure or giving the Israelis a freer hand for military strikes. That may satisfy some primal urge to lash out at Israel’s foes, but it does Israel more harm than good.

As Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has argued, Israel’s survival depends on offering the Palestinians a more hopeful future built on political sovereignty and economic development. As long as Palestinians despair of a decent and dignified life, Israel will be at war. And as long as the only channel for the Palestinians’ ingenuity is building better rockets, not even the Great Wall of China will protect Israel’s cities from their wrath. Helping the Palestinians achieve a viable, prosperous state is one of the most pro-Israel things an American politician can do.

3.The Rev. John Hagee and his fellow Christian Zionists are good for the Jews.

Hardly. Are Israel and American Jewry really so desperate that we must cozy up to people whose messianic dreams entail having us all killed or converted to Christianity? Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel, and his ilk believe that Israel dare not cede any territory in the quest for peace, claiming that the Bible promised all of the holy land to the Jews. In other words, Christian Zionists look at the trade-offs that Israel must make to achieve peace — and hope to thwart them. Then again, peace is not what these folks have in mind; they hope that Israel will seek to permanently expand its borders, thereby goading the Arabs into a war that will become the catalyst for Armageddon and the second coming of Christ. Do your ambitions for Israel extend beyond turning it into the fuel for the fire of the “End of Days”? Then Hagee and company are not — repeat, not — your friends.

4. Talking peace with your enemies demonstrates weakness.

You don’t need an advanced degree in international relations to recognize that pursuing peace only with people you like is pointless. Most Israelis know this; a recent poll in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz found that two-thirds of Israelis favor cease-fire negotiations between their government and Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip, exactly because Hamas is such a bitter foe. But in Washington, we self-righteously refuse to engage — even indirectly — with Hamas, Iran or Syria.

Hamas won the most recent Palestinian national elections in a landslide. Do we seriously think that it can be erased from the political landscape simply by assassinations and sanctions? Precisely because Hamas and Iran represent the most worrisome strategic challenges to Israel, responsible friends of Israel who’d like to see it live in security for its next 60 years should be engaging with them to search for alternatives to war.

5. George W. Bush is the best friend Israel has ever had.

Not even close. The president has acted as Israel’s exclusive corner man when he should have been refereeing the fight. That choice weakened Israel’s long-term security.

Israel needs U.S. help to maintain its military edge over its foes, but it also needs the United States to contain Arab-Israeli crises and broker peace. Israel’s existing peace pacts owe much to Washington’s ability to bridge the mistrust among parties in the Middle East. So when the United States abandons the role of effective broker and acts only as Israel’s amen choir, as it has throughout Bush’s tenure, the United States dims Israel’s prospects of winning security through diplomacy. The best gift that Israel’s friends here could give this gallant, embattled democracy on its milestone birthday would be returning the United States to its leading role in active diplomacy to end the conflicts in the Middle East — and help a secure, thriving Israel find a permanent, accepted home among the community of nations.

May 13th, 2008, 5:19 pm

 

abraham said:

JustOneAmerican said:

As I said above, I would like all foreign powers to leave Lebanon alone. In any event, how is supporting a neutral national army not promoting peace?

Because as soon as they start receiving “support” from foreign entitites they are no longer “neutral”.

The US won’t be giving any arms to the Lebanese army until a pro-Western commanding general is installed, i.e. a guy who will take orders from Washington.

At any rate, Bush is stupid enough to not understand that any weapons given to the army will only end up in the hands of Hizballah. I’m sure his handlers will warn him of this before he signs the agreement.

May 13th, 2008, 5:23 pm

 

JustOneAmerican said:

Why-Discuss,

I would agree that Israel’s security is much more important to the US. And yes, the US doesn’t completely trust the Army and is probably hedging against the Army taking sides in the future and the potential for future instability. The US does not provide unstable governments with those kinds of advanced capabilities. The US has sold fighters to both Jordan and Egypt, among others, and I suspect it would to Lebanon as well once there is a unity government and a formal peace treaty with Israel.

Still, the US could be providing weapons directly to factional forces instead of the LA, which I think everyone would agree is a terrible idea.

May 13th, 2008, 5:26 pm

 

abraham said:

Here’s another article that is worth posting, but I won’t, just follow the link:

http://tonykaron.com/2008/05/08/israel-is-alive-zionism-is-dead-what-now/

I’m not saying Tony Karon writes for all Jews, but he’s lucid and logical and a terrific essayist, and he backs up everything he writes with relevant sources.

Anyway, his article reflects everything I have been saying about the state of Israel (“gone by 2025”).

Here’s one excerpt that says it all:

So what, exactly, is Israel, now? Avram Burg, former Knesset Speaker, appeared to sense the writing on the wall in his plaintive op ed in 2003:

We live in a thunderously failed reality. Yes, we have revived the Hebrew language, created a marvellous theatre and a strong national currency. Our Jewish minds are as sharp as ever. We are traded on the Nasdaq. But is this why we created a state? The Jewish people did not survive for two millennia in order to pioneer new weaponry, computer security programs or anti-missile missiles. We were supposed to be a light unto the nations. In this we have failed.

It turns out that the 2,000-year struggle for Jewish survival comes down to a state of settlements, run by an amoral clique of corrupt lawbreakers who are deaf both to their citizens and to their enemies. A state lacking justice cannot survive. More and more Israelis are coming to understand this as they ask their children where they expect to live in 25 years. Children who are honest admit, to their parents’ shock, that they do not know. The countdown to the end of Israeli society has begun.

May 13th, 2008, 5:34 pm

 

JustOneAmerican said:

Because as soon as they start receiving “support” from foreign entitites they are no longer “neutral”.

Then how is the LA supposed to get arms if not from a foreign supplier? By this logic it is impossible for the Army to remain neutral and become a capable force at the same time.

The US won’t be giving any arms to the Lebanese army until a pro-Western commanding general is installed, i.e. a guy who will take orders from Washington.

I might suggest there’s a difference between a “pro-Western” leader and one that is a US puppet. And anyway, one can turn the arguments you make here around and apply them to HA and Iran – are they equally valid in that case?

May 13th, 2008, 5:46 pm

 

norman said:

QN,

What is to do now?.

May 13th, 2008, 5:55 pm

 

abraham said:

Then how is the LA supposed to get arms if not from a foreign supplier?

They should buy them with Lebanese money.

I might suggest there’s a difference between a “pro-Western” leader and one that is a US puppet.

I agree.

And anyway, one can turn the arguments you make here around and apply them to HA and Iran – are they equally valid in that case?

Yes.

May 13th, 2008, 5:56 pm

 

kingcrane jr said:

My fact checker has sent me this:

1-The Western powers that are helping the Lebanese Army are offering exchange programs for a few select officers, hardly something worth mentioning. Most of the help has been in fact given to the “FSI” (les Forces de Securite Interieure, a once folkloric but capable bunch that rewarded members with large mustaches with extra pay and trained its members for peacekeeping) now known as “ISF” (Internal Security Forces, a de facto militia working for the March 14 movement).

2-One key difference between Hasan Nasrallah and Saad Hariri is that the former is magnanimous. During the war of 2006, Marwan Hamadeh promised to “deliver” Hasan Nasrallah to the enemy, and HN had to be very careful. In contrast, and notwithstanding his collaboration with the enemy, Saad Hariri was deemed to be “off limits” and there have been special instructions to keep him safe, even if some of Saad Hariri’s own allies would love to see him “martyred” for the cause of the M14 movement. So, no guts or bravado here; only the fact that he has been assured by HN in person that he would be safe. And it is obvious that, despite the rhetoric, Saad Hariri trusts HN.

May 13th, 2008, 5:56 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Abraham,
Just wait patiently until we disappear. According to your posts that will not be long. In the mean time do something constructive instead of quoting internal Jewish debates.

May 13th, 2008, 5:58 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

ghat Albird said:

“Israel controls the United States Senate. Around 80 percent are completely in support of Israel; anything Israel wants it gets. Jewish influence in the House of Representatives is even greater.” — US Senator William Fulbright.

You mean AIPAC failed to “silence” an American legislator? But that doesn’t jive with what the “experts” here on “Baathist Comment” say.

May 13th, 2008, 6:36 pm

 

ugarit said:

Akbar Palace said: ‘You mean AIPAC failed to “silence” an American legislator? But that doesn’t jive with what the “experts” here on “Baathist Comment” say.’ in response to

‘“Israel controls the United States Senate. Around 80 percent are completely in support of Israel; anything Israel wants it gets. Jewish influence in the House of Representatives is even greater.” — US Senator William Fulbright’

Fulbright said that decades ago. It’s now much much higher than 80 percent because AIPAC has become more mature and more effective.

May 13th, 2008, 7:12 pm

 

abraham said:

AIG, I am doing something constructive: I’m engaging in internal Syrian debates. What are you doing here?

AP, you are a failure as an American so it’s probably better you did move to Israel so you can continue your failure over there. Fullbright was in fact silenced by the Israel lobby. He gave the above quote once he was out of office.

From Wikipedia:

Fulbright retired from the Senate in 1974, after being defeated in the Democratic primary by then-Governor Dale Bumpers. Previously the same year Anti-Defamation League, the leading Jewish defense organization, claimed that Fulbright was “consistently unkind to Israel and our supporters in this country”. In response to this Bumpers received considerable financial support from the pro-Israel community…

May 13th, 2008, 7:13 pm

 

Oliver MacDous said:

CNN arabic is saying that the Sunnis are asking for Salafists to come to the rescue. This is what I predicted and here is the link

http://arabic.cnn.com/2008/scitech/5/13/cyber.war/index.html

On a different note, the declarations of the Saudi Foreign Minister reflect the position of the kingdom as protector and guarantor of the Sunni interests in the Lebanon and the world, a position that is no longer a match with reality as we have seen what happens to them in Iraq and Lebanon.

As I said before, once it became clear that the Hizb was not going to target the leaderships personally in a physical way, it seems that they have not resorted to posturing about not surrendering after they received instructions from their patrons in the various embassies.

This should allow for a face saving mechanism as the army will decide for them. It seems to me however, that the pattern of leaders refusing to take responsibility for their actions is well entrenched in the Arab world and the usual Bull S…. of making a defeat look like continued resistance the only remaining virtue in this sorry state of affairs.

My understanding from the latest declaration of the opposition is that the forces used in this last confrontation were not the front line troops but mainly the local reserves that were used so effectively to nip in the bud the formation of a new front against the resistance.

In all of this, the urge on the part of the administration to hit Iran is greater than ever as the latest truce between the Mahdi army and the Iraqi forces was brokered in Tehran, the US helicopters were fired upon with air to surface missiles, more than a 1000 rockets and mortar rounds landed on the green zone in the last 40 days of fighting, and then the debacle of the Saudi sponsored Lebanese militia including the disarmement of the PSP of its heavy weapons.

How come the Saudi Prince did not include Syria in his accusations is a puzzle though or did I miss something.

In the meantime, Ahamdenijad opted not to respond to the Prince’s diatribe.

The dogs bark and the caravan moves on.

May 13th, 2008, 7:24 pm

 

JustOneAmerican said:

Abraham,

Thanks for the responses. It appears we are largely in agreement.

May 13th, 2008, 7:36 pm

 

ugarit said:

Abraham: “It’s because they’re still pissed at all the marines that got killed in the 1983 barracks bombing in Beirut”

As you hinted at, that’s not the reason. The reason of course is that when Israel designates an entity as an enemy then the US government follows through. Historically the state of US politics with respect to the middle east will be seen as a sectarian coup by a very small minority.

May 13th, 2008, 7:39 pm

 

Qifa Nabki said:

Abraham,

If Obama is so bad, who are you going to vote for?

And if what we need is a “revolution”, what are you doing to promote it? (Just in case I want to join you).

😉

Ammo Norman,

I am very frustrated with the situation. Both sides are still trying to one-up each other (they are in their manic state, as you say, while the Lebanese public is in its depressive state).

What no one seems to realize is that the first politician who stands up and makes a major concession, if he phrases it intelligently and pragmatically, will garner a great deal of sympathy from the Lebanese street. What is a major concession? For the opposition, it would be something like this:

“In the interests of the unity of the homeland, and to block the road from those who would seek to promote fitna and those foreign patrons who strive to block a Lebanese solution, we are announcing the end of all civil disobedience and the lifting of the downtown sit-in for a period of one week, as a gesture of goodwill for the majority to come to the parliament building, elect General Michel Suleiman and adopt the 1960 electoral law.”

For the majority it would go something like this:

“In the interests of the unity of the homeland, and to block the road from those who would seek to promote fitna and those foreign patrons who strive to block a Lebanese solution, we are announcing the approval of the opposition’s proposal of the 1960 electoral law, and we invite the opposition to end all civil disobedience and lift the downtown sit-in, come to the parliament building and elect General Michel Suleiman.”

The side that does not take this deal will face a lot of pressure from its less committed supporters, while the side that offers it will look like it made a good faith effort that was rebuffed by a foreign sponsor.

May 13th, 2008, 7:48 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Bla, bla, bla. Israel controls the US and everything is Israel’s fault. Oh the poor Arabs. They can’t do anything but complain.

May 13th, 2008, 7:50 pm

 

abraham said:

QN said:

If Obama is so bad, who are you going to vote for?

The only viable (in the sense of saving America from decline) candidate in this election: RON PAUL.

And if what we need is a “revolution”, what are you doing to promote it? (Just in case I want to join you).

I’m arming myself.

May 13th, 2008, 8:14 pm

 

abraham said:

AIG, complaining is a decidely Jewish pasttime. Please!

Anyway, I accept your apology.

May 13th, 2008, 8:16 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Abraham and QN,
Would it be fair to report then that there is an armed Arab militia in the US that is planning a revolution and communicates via this blog?

🙂

May 13th, 2008, 8:24 pm

 

abraham said:

AIG, no, but it would be fair to say you are a dolt. I’m an American patriot. I adhere to the tenets laid out in our Constitution, a document that is very foreign to you apparently. The government that is currently holding us prisoner here in the US is a threat to not only our own democracy but to world peace. I am not the only one who harbors these opinions.

If/when something happens, believe me, it won’t be just me.

May 13th, 2008, 8:31 pm

 

Seeking the Truth said:

Abraham,

Is there anything holding back any American eligible to vote in the next election from voting for your favorite candidate, if she/he wishes to?

May 13th, 2008, 8:39 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Abraham,
You are a colonialist. The constitution was written by white male land owners that took their land from the natives by force, and many of them also owned slaves. The constitution does not give any rights to Native Amercians and ignores completely how the lands were stolen from the natives. It is an imperialist and racist document that ignores completely the rightful owners of the land. Shame on you.

May 13th, 2008, 8:44 pm

 

offended said:

Alahum la shamateh! but the news of Al Jarrallah (after becoming on the top of the world by interviewing the Sultan of Oman!), being probed now simply rocks!

Alex, Josh: I owe you a coffee!

May 13th, 2008, 8:48 pm

 

abraham said:

Seeking the Truth asked:

Is there anything holding back any American eligible to vote in the next election from voting for your favorite candidate, if she/he wishes to?

Yes, the fact that the two party system has marginalized all the good candidates and promotes only those who play along with the system of patronage that has replaced our so-called democracy ensures that only those politicians that are willing to sell themselves to the highest bidder are allowed to get their names on the ballot. Hence, people like me are disenfranchised and our seething only increases. But some day…

I could certainly write in Ron Paul on my ballot, for all the good that would do. But I’m done with this cute little theater called “voting”. I’ve been done with it for a long time in fact. Voting is just another way to waste time in the day, like posting comments to a blog.

AIG, America was founded in hypocrisy, and the Constitution was pure but promulgated by flawed men who ultimately did not practice what they preached. It is a perfect example of how politics and compromise to lesser intellects destroys hope and promise.

That being said, at least I am able to admit this about my country.

May 13th, 2008, 9:00 pm

 

JustOneAmerican said:

Yes, the fact that the two party system has marginalized all the good candidates and promotes only those who play along with the system of patronage that has replaced our so-called democracy ensures that only those politicians that are willing to sell themselves to the highest bidder are allowed to get their names on the ballot. Hence, people like me are disenfranchised and our seething only increases. But some day…

That is something I can agree with and is why I mostly vote independent. Of course you are free to not vote, but opting out only enables the current flawed system.

May 13th, 2008, 9:32 pm

 

abraham said:

JOA, this is a topic for another blog, but I see it completely opposite: participating in voting merely legitimizes an already flawed system.

May 13th, 2008, 9:36 pm

 

JustOneAmerican said:

Abraham,

Touche’

AIG,

What country isn’t, ultimately, colonialist? You go back far enough and almost always you’ll find one group displacing another group. This shouldn’t be taken to excuse early American hypocrisy even though such hypocrisy was necessary for the creation of the USA. Sometimes you have to take what you can get in a compromise.

It would be nice if your government and its Arab neighbors showed a little more hypocrisy from your respective absolutist positions – maybe you’d get an imperfect compromise but one that might be better than the stupid and never-ending status-quo you have now.

May 13th, 2008, 10:07 pm

 

ugarit said:

“AnotherIsraeliGuy said to Abraham,
You are a colonialist. The constitution was written by white male land owners that took their land from the natives by force, and many of them also owned slaves…”

AIG at least now you realize what Israel is about. Perhaps one day it will be e a truer democracy where non-jews are equal nationals and citizens to jews. The US is attempting to evolve in the direction of more equality (not always successfully and not always willingly). No one can claim that Israel is even attempting to move towards more equality for non-jews. I’m talking about Israeli citizens and not the doubly poor Palestinians in the “West Bank”, Jerusalem and Gaza.

BTW, there are Palestinian refugee camps under Israeli occupation control. When are they going to be given Israeli citizenship so those poor Palestinians can no longer claim to be refugees. The US eventually gave rights and citizenship to its non-European inhabitants. When will Israel do this?

The claim that Israel must remain a jewish state is akin to Europeans/Whites stating that the US must remain White.

May 13th, 2008, 10:27 pm

 

ugarit said:

AnotherIsraeliGuy said: “…Oh the poor Arabs. They can’t do anything but complain.”

Stop complaining about our complaining.

May 13th, 2008, 10:32 pm

 

ugarit said:

“If one wants the citizens of the US to start seeing themselves as any other nation and then worry about their internal problems, then McCain would be the better candidate. The other candidates would prolong the pain of the world and US citizens. McCain would further isolate the US and that may be not a very bad thing.” — anonymous

May 13th, 2008, 10:57 pm

 

ugarit said:

“Seeking the Truth said: Is there anything holding back any American eligible to vote in the next election..”

Yes. There are millions of Americans who are not permitted to vote because they are or were convicted felons. Many of us know how unjust the US justice system can be to the poor and the disenfranchised.

May 13th, 2008, 10:59 pm

 

ugarit said:

“Mr. President [Bush]…Shutup”. Written by a pro-US, right-wing newspaper in Lebanon:

“سيدي الرئيس… إخرس !
كان ينقص اللبنانيين في ايامهم السوداء والبائسة هذه وصول تصريحات الرئيس جورج بوش السيئة والسخيفة ايضا والتي توفر من حيث يدري او لا يدري مسوغات لتعميق الانقسام .
لذلك احس كثيرون في هذا البلد المتعوس الذي يواجه الانهيار ان اقل ما يجب ان يقال الآن، ردا على بوش، هو ان كلامه يصب الزيت على النار ويؤجج الصراع ويحض على الفتنة.”

http://www.annahar.com/content.php?priority=8&table=makalat&type=makalat&day=Wed

May 14th, 2008, 2:14 am

 

norman said:

QN,

Now can tou tell me how you can make them do the right thing ,

Sorry , nothing will.

May 14th, 2008, 2:45 am

 

Qifa Nabki said:

Ammo Norman,

You underestimate me. I am secretly a Mexican-Lebanese multibillionaire who has no problem greasing the palms of corrupt Lebanese leaders. Just you watch. When a breakthrough finally happens, you’ll know whom to thank.

Buenos noches… 😉

May 14th, 2008, 2:54 am

 

norman said:

QN,

I am glad .

May 14th, 2008, 3:05 am

 

SimoHurtta said:

Abraham and QN,
Would it be fair to report then that there is an armed Arab militia in the US that is planning a revolution and communicates via this blog?

To whom AIG you are reporting? To your wife or Mossad? Is AIG Jewish Defence League (JDL) still an armed militia in USA?

By the way, AIG, Israel had yesterday the formal 60 year celebration party in Finland. Not a single member of the Finnish government attended. They had obviously better parties.

May 14th, 2008, 4:10 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Sim,
What you report is sad. Did anybody from Nokia attend?
(I believe you but would you mind posting a link to the source, even if it is in Finnish? Thanks.)

May 14th, 2008, 4:24 am

 

SimoHurtta said:

Glad to serve you master AIG.

LINK

Are you going to report this party report as an anti-Semitic attack against the Jewish Nation? By the way I seriously doubt that Finnish government members would attend the celebrations of Burma or Zimbabwe held in Finland. Nokia’s personnel attend every party if it is good for business. But as you know Arabs buy hundreds of times more mobile phones and network technology as Israelis can. 🙂

It would be interesting to know did the ministers of Norway and Sweden attend the 60 year parties in their countries.


You did not answer my question AIG. Is JDL in USA still armed?

May 14th, 2008, 4:40 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Sim,
Who is Pertti Torstila?

The JDL is armed and dangerous and will combat Abraham’s militia even if QN joins. They plan to close the road to JFK tomorrow.

May 14th, 2008, 4:59 am

 

SimoHurtta said:

Pertti Torstila is the Secretary of State of the Foreign Affairs ministry. A civil servant, not a member of the government.

The JDL is armed and dangerous and will combat Abraham’s militia even if QN joins. They plan to close the road to JFK tomorrow.

So there is an armed Jewish militia in USA. Can this be reported? 🙂

May 14th, 2008, 5:08 am

 

abraham said:

AIG, you cursed Israeli. When the Golan is liberated I will drink only of the wine from Syrian Golan.

May 14th, 2008, 6:14 am

 

Qifa Nabki said:

I have decided not to join Abraham’s militia. Abraham makes too many concessions. I am a purist.

😉

May 14th, 2008, 11:44 am

 

Nur al-Cubicle said:

The government that is currently holding us prisoner here in the US

Amen, brotha’. We have been trapped in this terrible nexus of the dirty dozen: Ledeen, Cheney, Woolsey, Elliot Abrams, Fox, AIPAC, GOP, neocons, Likud, Lieberman, Feith, and their agents in Kongress.

To put pressure on this bunch, the sad reality is that it almost seems that we have to rely on Hamas, Hezbollah and the Russians to do the “dirty” work. Ain’t that a damn shame? Our own best people have little to no influence.

May 14th, 2008, 5:40 pm

 

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