“How Hizbullah Blundered and Why Things Will Get Worse,” by Rex Brynen

Rex Brynen of McGill University makes a powerful argument that Hizbullah has blundered (Copied below). He is correct that the Shiite move on Sunni West Beirut has exacerbated sectarian anxieties and fears – not only Sunni fears, but Christian fears as well. Lebanon's other sects now realize how little stands between them and Hizbullah's militia.

Second, Sunnis such as Salim al-Hoss and Najib Mikati who would be expected to lead Lebanon in a compromise and who have showed themselves in the past to be willing to work with Syria even at the most trying of times, have taken an anti-Hizbullah line. This demonstrates how difficult it is for Sunnis to reach out to Hizbullah and Syria at this moment. This is not a good sign for a future compromise.

The rhetoric on all sides as grown worse than I have seen it since the civil war. Siniora has said that Hizbullah has done things that the Israelis never did when they occupied Beirut. The PPS or SSNP issued a statement that they would hold Hariri personally responsible for the killing of their people in Tripoli. Nasrallah called the Lebanese government illegal, and on it goes.

Most distressing is Rex's conclusion about the March 14 Movement's determination to ignore the implications of Hizbullah's occupation of West Beirut. In this he may well be correct. It is, after all, how March 14 responded to the Hizbullah's tent city. In essence, Siniora's government will dare Hizbullah to carry out the coup the Shiite party clearly does not want to carry out. The game of chicken will continue. Hizbullah's use of force will neither lance the boil of paralysis that has overtaken Lebanon's government, nor will it serve as a wake up call to Lebanon's bickering factions that they must compromise. That is what Rex is predicting. Here is his analysis:  

Rex Brynen wrote in the Comment Section:

It has also demonstrated that it can game out its actions and is prepared for its end-game, something that others in the region seldom seem to do.

While Nasrallah is certainly a good strategist, one is as much struck by his missteps as his successes in recent years.

First, there was the 2006 war, which Hizbullah clearly did not foresee (although it was quite foreseeable). As it turns out they secured their “divine victory” because the Israelis made even more serious mistakes, but it certainly wasn’t a triumph of strategic master thought.

Then there was the withdrawal from cabinet, and the “tent camp” siege of the government–which turned out to NOT to have the rapid and decisive effect that Hizbullah intended. Nasrallah seems to have never anticipated that he would simply be ignored, and that it would be business as usual in the Grand Serail.

Finally, there is the take-over of West Beirut. While the rather foolish and incautious cabinet decisions were the cause of this, I think it was also driven by Hizbullah’s continuing inability to leverage M14 as much as they wanted to. The withdrawal of fighters from the street (albeit, after some very thuggish behaviour by their Amal and SSNP proxies) was clearly intended to spin this all as a reluctant Hizbullah with a national agenda (rather than a sectarian move), they’ve clearly underestimated the effect in the Christian community where it has all done substantial damage to Aoun (a fact that even his most loyal deputies are privately admitting). Given that the Christian community is the only one in play–the Shiite, Sunni, and Druze communities are all pretty much solidly behind the Hizbullah/Amal, Mustaqbal, and the PSP respectively, and now even more so–the long term result could be a politically weakened M8. Ironically, this comes at a time when M14’s weak government performance were causing it some real problems with its constituents–however, events in Beirut will now counter that with a “rally around the (sectarian) flag” effect.

It is also possible that the M14 groups will now do some serious arming and training (despite all the accusations, their past efforts have been VERY limited and haphazard), probably with Saudi/Jordanian/Egyptian support–not really in Hizbullah’s long-term advantage.

Finally, what does Hizbullah do if M14 just ignores Hizbullah’s obvious preeminent military power? I suspect they’ll do exactly that: not soften on the “presidential package” (next cabinet/PM, new electoral law), leaving Hizbullah no better off than before. Indeed, given the damage M8 has taken in non-Shiite communities, in a few months it could even be in a somewhat worse position.

In short, I think this is far from being an unalloyed masterstroke of strategic brilliance.

Ex-IDF Chief: Hezbollah rule in Lebanon may help Israel beat it
By Yoav Stern and Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondents, Haaretz Service and Channel 10

Former IDF chief of staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak said Sunday Hezbollah's persistent attempts to take over Lebanon could eventually benefit Israel in its struggle against the militant group.

"If an armed conflict erupts it will be simpler to strike Lebanon when Hezbollah is the legitimate ruler," Shahak told the Army Radio.

Earlier on Sunday, Israel's Vice Premier Haim Ramon told cabinet members that Lebanon must be viewed as a "Hezbollah state," after the Shiite guerilla group seized control over the western part of the Lebanese capital over the weekend.

"Lebanon has no government. It is a fiction, there is only Hezbollah," Ramon said during the weekly cabinet meeting. "Hezbollah is directly responsible for everything that happens [in Lebanon], and the organization completely controls the state."

Furious Sunnis feel betrayed by their leader
from Monday's Globe and Mail
May 11, 2008

…. “I blame Saad Hariri for what has happened. He practises politics in the Middle East. You need to make a militia to protect your people here, or you will be demolished,” said Talal, a 51-year-old lawyer who asked that his last name not be used. A day before, he said, Shia militiamen from the Hezbollah-allied Amal movement broke into his apartment, stealing jewellery and asking about members of Mr. Hariri's Future Movement.

While most Lebanese have kept weapons in their homes since the country's 1975-1990 civil war, the Sunnis found themselves outnumbered and underequipped on Friday as Hezbollah and its allies carried out their lightning occupation of West Beirut. “We are fighting with sticks and stones and they have Iranian weapons,” complained Abu Tariq, a Future Movement leader in Tariq al-Jadeeda. Hezbollah is backed by both Iran and Syria.

The Future Movement, so hopefully named by Mr. Hariri's peacemaker father, formed the backbone of the peaceful uprising after his assassination in 2005 that became known as the Cedar Revolution. Those protests, which drew hundreds of thousands of people into the streets, forced Syria to withdraw its soldiers from Lebanon after a 29-year stay.

That revolution lay in shambles Sunday. Even after Hezbollah and its allies withdrew their fighters from areas of West Beirut they had seized on Friday, the Shia militant group's yellow banner hung over numerous Sunni neighbourhoods, leaving no question as to who was now the power on the ground.

Despite its popularity, the Future Movement had no fighting wing that could stand up to Hezbollah or Amal. Even as the government became more deeply embroiled in the escalating political standoff with the heavily armed Hezbollah, it directed its efforts – and the funding it received from the United States and its allies in the Sunni Arab world – into building up the national army as a military counterweight.

That strategy failed last week, as the army, afraid of splitting along sectarian lines, stood aside as Hezbollah captured West Beirut and briefly made Mr. Hariri a prisoner in his own home.

With Sunni rage rising and Mr. Hariri discredited in the eyes of many, some now worry that al-Qaeda-style radical Islamists could fill the void and give deadly direction to the anti-Shia sentiment, as in Iraq….

Comments (115)

jo6pac said:

So, what havw you to say

May 12th, 2008, 3:10 am


norman said:

It is time for Hezbollah to achieve a decisive victory as the government does not seem to understand and seems intended on confrontation probably encouraged by the US and KSA.
It is time to stop being wishy washy.

May 12th, 2008, 3:13 am


PenGun said:

One must not forget the American navy with assault capability is just off the coast. The attempt to remove the security chief and shut down, starting at the airport, Nasralla’s C3 network would certainly get my attention. The airport is prime landing real estate for the US fleet. I don’t believe there is a better place for them to land. In fact any other landing zone near Beirut has quite serious tactical disadvantages.

May 12th, 2008, 3:14 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Are you encouraging Hizballah to more violence or have I misread your comment?

May 12th, 2008, 3:15 am


JohnPaulJustLikeThePope said:

This is an enlightening post for me. My limited view of Lebanon has caused me to alternate between fears of a civil war to optimism that this would lead to conciliation. RB points out that both are unlikely to be imminent, but in time Hezbollah’s actions will lead to a much more forceful armed opposition in the future. While wounds are still fresh, it really is in Hezbollah’s interest to mend fences before parties in the government acquire the means to present a military threat. RB thinks that a mending of fences will not take place and points to recent comments by leaders in Lebanon. I think perhaps people may be in shock and cooler heads may prevail. “May” is of course at the beginning of “maybe”, as in maybe or maybe not. I am sure communities recently occupied will seek the means to defend against these invaders. Hezbollah demonstrating restraint will do little to mollify the worries of those who see just how prone they are to attack by forces who have a willingness to take innocent lives.

May 12th, 2008, 3:21 am


wizart said:

Let’s keep Alla, the Pope & all Rabbis out of politics for peace;)

A Mee N O O O
M ore
E nlightenment
E mpathy
N o more wars

May 12th, 2008, 3:40 am


norman said:

This is what you said ,

Hezbollah should do the same to the Lebanese government that wanted to disrupt it’s communication and make it vulnerable to the Israeli attack.

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

There is only one way to deal with Hizballah. Let them understand that if they hit Israel, Israel will hit back DISPROPORTIONALLY (remember that we are a “criminal state”, so they really have no excuses anymore). But as long as they do nothing against Israel, Israel will not attack them. The old rules of the game are gone. These are the new rules. We have nothing to talk to Hizballah about. They know the rules and they can decide if they want to attack Israel or not.

Asad thinks he can influence the tribunal using Hizballah arms and pushed Hizballah to act. He will pay a heavy price for this. The only thing that will keep the Leabanese Sunnis down is a Syrian occupation of Lebanon. Let’s see Asad go for that.

Hizballah was the FIRST to cross the unwritten rule in Lebanon that weapons should not be used as part of the internal debate

May 12th, 2008, 3:44 am


Alex said:


I think it is not over. Everything is possible. this quick victory is meaningless… M14 still enjoy 40 to 50% of popular support … you can’t undo that in in one week.

But Hizbolah (and Syria) are much smarter than the M14 and their Saudi Arabia.

When Hariri was assassinated, they had an incredible chance to unite Lebanon behind them as most Lebanese people wanted to do something to help Hariri Jr. after his father’s death.

Instead M14 decided to take revenge from Syria’s allies in Lebanon … and their corruption made them scared from Aoun, so they lost him too … Aoun wanted to put one of his men as minister of legal affairs. He wanted to put in jail all those who stole money and gave Lebanon a 45 billion national debt…and that probably included … the saint himself (Hariri senior)

Nasrallah already showed signs of his wiser approach .. he withdrew his fighters immediately. He is respecting the Lebanese Army … he basically did the job that General Suleiman should have done … take over everywhere and become president and select his own cabinet ministers.
But Michel Sleiman was not able to do that … so Nasralah did it for him.

There is a good chance this move might turn out to be OK.

In the mean time, Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabia is working 24 hours a day to poison everything … Sunni .. Shia … Alawite … Iran … Sunni …

We’ll see .. it will be a battle betwen Nasrallah and Bashar on the one side, both tring their best to reduce Sunni fears … and Saudi Arabia’s P.R. machine trying to scare the Lebanese Sunnies from the Shias and Iranians.

May 12th, 2008, 3:47 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Are you realy saying that Hizballah should treat fellow Lebanese like it treates Israel? Should Hizballah react to its fellow Lebanese citizens like Hizballah reacts to Israel and Israel to Hizballah?

Don’t you understand the difference? Don’t you understand that inside countries all political disagreements need to be solved by debate and elections and not by violence?

May 12th, 2008, 3:48 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

You are way oversimplifying the situation. What is scaring the Sunnis in Lebanon is not Saudi propoganda. It is reports from their fellow Sunnis in Beirut. Read the FM blog. The fact that the Future TV building was burned down and other media outlets were closed down is not propoganda.

May 12th, 2008, 3:52 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

As for the Israeli response it is natural. Without the cover of being independent and different from the Lebanese state, Hizballah will not be able to wage war on Israel just as Asad cannot wage war on Israel because he fears the destruction of Syria.

I agree with Rex 100%. Hizballah are like a dog chasing a car. If he ever catches it, it will not know what to do with it. They cannot take over the state because they do not want to be responsible for Lebanon and they cannot coerce a national unity government. They have no endgame, they can only spoil.

They may have been dreaming to run Lebanon like the Syrians did by intimidation. But this will not work anymore for two reasons. Internally, people will not shut up anymore. Externally, they will have no international legitimacy and without it even the Syrians had to withdraw.

May 12th, 2008, 4:08 am


Enlightened said:

Getting sad very sad!

Aussie’s death sparks Lebanon alert

Arjun Ramachandran
May 12, 2008 – 11:22AM

The Australian Government has urged Australians not to travel to Lebanon but says it is too early to consider evacuating those already in the country, after an Australian man was killed in fierce fighting over the weekend.

The 41-year-old Melbourne man, Fadi Sheikh, was visiting his parents when he was killed in fighting between pro- and anti-government groups in the country’s north. He had a wife and four children.

He had been visiting his parents for the first time in several years after emigrating to Australia with his wife in the 1990s, said Antoun Issa, a member of the Australian Lebanese Youth Association.

The mob attack was part of fighting in Lebanon between Shiites loyal to the Lebanese opposition group Hezbollah and Druze supporters of the ruling coalition.

In the country’s worst civil strife since the 1975-90 war, dozens have been killed.

Mr Sheikh, from Craigieburn in Melbourne’s northern fringe, was in a coalition-opposition office, used for providing the community with safety advice and information, when it was stormed by a pro-government mob, Mr Issa said.

He said the mob attacked everyone inside the building, including Mr Sheikh, who was not in Lebanon for a political reason.

“He just happened to be there in the wrong place at the wrong time when a mob of about 100 pro-government loyalists attacked,” Mr Issa said.

“It was quite brutal. Some people tried to escape and were hunted down and killed.”

Mr Issa said he knew Mr Sheikh through family connections.

Mr Sheikh had been due to return home to Australia in two weeks.

Mr Issa said Mr Sheikh’s wife was hysterical.

“Absolutely hysterical, she can’t even speak,” he said. “She’s mortified.”

Mr Sheikh had not seen his parents for several years, he said.

The couple had become Australian citizens, started their family here and had just finished building a family home, Mr Issa said.

He said the Sheikhs’ children were between three and 12 years in age.

“This death underlines the highly dangerous situation in Lebanon and the need for Australians to continue to exercise extreme caution,” a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said.

“Political tensions are very high and there continue to be outbursts of politically motivated violence, including exchanges of weapons fire particularly in Beirut,” the DFAT website says.

The department was also concerned for thousands of Australians already in Lebanon, and warned them to remain indoors away from windows.

“There are currently 2956 Australians in Lebanon who have registered with DFAT. However we estimate there may be as many as 25,000,” the spokesman said.

Australians should avoid any protests or demonstrations as they could turn violent. It was “not possible to predict where the next flashpoints might be”, the spokesman said.

“Australians should not assume that any lull in the fighting means the situation is safe and we urge them to maintain extreme caution.”

The spokesman said it was too early to consider evacuating Australians from Lebanon, a course of action taken by the Government after conflict erupted between Lebanon and Israel in July 2006.

“We are not at [the point of evacuating Australians] yet … however we are continually looking at the situation,” he said.

– with AAP

May 12th, 2008, 4:16 am


Alex said:

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.”

The head of a conventional private security firm in Beirut, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the Sunni force was “not really ready.”

“You can’t just spend millions of dollars to build an army in one year,” he said. “They have to be motivated and believe in something. They have to be willing to die.”

Lebanon’s U.S.-backed government and the Iranian-backed opposition led by Hezbollah have been mired in a political stalemate for more than a year. The country has been without a president since November.

Amid the political crisis that has sharpened differences among various religious communities, Lebanon’s army and Internal Security Forces had played a peacekeeping role, preventing clashes without confronting any of the different armed groups. They feared any robust intervention would break the unity of the armed forces and plunge the country into civil war.

But the crisis has created a power vacuum. Hariri’s deputies have denied his movement was building a militia, though ranking military officials, independent analysts and employees of the security firm, called Secure Plus, say it was doing just that.

Private security firms are the latest arrivals to a hodgepodge of armed groups that include Islamic militants inspired by Al Qaeda, Palestinian militias based in the country’s dozen refugee camps and Hezbollah.

With speed that surprised observers, Hezbolllah last week took over West Beirut and crushed the Future movement’s fighters.

Hezbollah said its move was aimed at stopping the government, which had outlawed the militant group’s private communication system, from hampering its ability to confront Israel. But it appears the Shiite militia’s main targets were the Future fighters, some of them operating under the guise of Secure Plus.

For months, Lebanese security officials in the army and the Internal Security Forces warily watched the growth of the Future-Secure Plus fighting force. Officials close to and inside Hezbollah said they were monitoring the growth of the potential threat.

Over the last year, Secure Plus went from a small security company to an organization with 3,000 employees and unofficial associates on the payroll, mostly poor Sunnis from the country’s north. Some were armed with pistols and assault rifles.

“We have . . . thousands of young people in plainclothes working with us all over the country,” a company official said before the clashes started.

Even those who feared the development hoped the Future movement’s growing military capacity would create a “balance of terror” with the more heavily armed Shiite fighters, government officials and members of the group say.

“On the one side, Hezbollah has trained military groups allied with it,” said a high-ranking official with the Internal Security Forces, which has received $60 million in training and equipment from the U.S.

“On the other side, the Future movement has created security firms to protect itself.”

Secure Plus declined multiple requests for interviews. It was the largest of dozens of security firms that have sprung up in recent years. Run by retired Lebanese army officers, it ostensibly provides security for banks, hotels and offices. Hariri’s media office denied there were any official links between Secure Plus and the Future movement.

“Future bloc has members of parliament, not fighters,” said Hani Hammoud, a spokesman for Hariri. It “believes in the rule of law, and that it is up to official security and military agencies to resolve any problem that might arise.”

Secure Plus employees, in beige pants and maroon shirts, were drilled for months in basic military training, including hand-to-hand combat. At least two dozen informal offices were opened in Beirut.

For a monthly salary of at least $350, they served eight hours a day guarding offices, patrolling neighborhoods on motorcycles, communicating via walkie-talkie and remaining on call to defend against threats to Sunni neighborhoods or offices of the Future bloc, employees of the company said. Though the group was officially barred from carrying weapons, many had them anyway. One said he bought guns from Hezbollah.

In the last few months, fighting regularly broke out between Sunni supporters of the Future bloc working formally or informally with Secure Plus and Shiites allied with Hezbollah and Amal, another militia. The clashes often took place in West Beirut, a patchwork of Sunni and Shiite areas.

The government became so worried about street battles that in February it convened an emergency meeting of military officials and government and opposition leaders. All agreed to stand by the army and the security forces if they intervened, even if it meant some of their own fighters would sustain casualties. But Lebanon’s weak government made little attempt to interdict the arming of such groups.

“We cannot ask the Christian Lebanese or Sunni Lebanese to give up their arms when others have arms,” said Ahmed Fatfat, a leader of the Future bloc and a Cabinet minister.

When the clashes began last week, the Sunni fighters proved no match for Hezbollah’s firepower, discipline and intelligence capabilities.

Secure Plus and Future movement offices and strongholds were pummeled. Hezbollah first targeted Future movement positions in mixed Sunni-Shiite neighborhoods, easily defeating them.

Meanwhile, the Shiite militiamen encircled but did not enter Sunni strongholds, terrorizing fighters into giving up without causing huge casualties on either side.

Hezbollah also shut down the Future movement’s media outlets, cutting off its ability to rally public support.

The Sunni fighters may have been lulled into a false belief that Hezbollah would not enter into full-fledged confrontation. The security company executive said the Future fighters were caught off guard by the speed of the offensive.

“Maybe they thought they could hold Hezbollah off for a few days or a few weeks before help arrived,” he said. “They faced an onslaught that they had never planned for.”

After the Future movement fighters gave up, Hezbollah handed them over to the Lebanese army, freeing itself of caring for prisoners while preventing the captured fighters from reentering the battle for at least a few days.

At a hospital near the scene of some of the heaviest fighting, a Future movement fighter employed by Secure Plus wandered stunned in his pajamas with his two sons, who also served in the Sunni militia. His sons had suffered minor wounds after being beaten up by Hezbollah fighters.

Once he realized that Hezbollah’s victory was inevitable, he and his sons tried to escape their rivals’ clutches by staying home. But to no avail; Hezbollah knew where they lived.

“I didn’t leave my home,” he said. “They came for us.”


Daragahi is a Times staff writer and Rafei a special correspondent.

May 12th, 2008, 4:43 am


Alex said:

If this is true, it demonstrates the extent to which the situation will deteriorate in the region in the coming months:


الفيصل يشبّه نصر اللّه بشارون
مواجهة عنيفة بين دمشق والرياض… وموسى منزعج من اللجنة الوزراية الموسّعة

انعكس الانقسام اللبناني الحاد انقساماً حاداً في القراءة العربية لتطورات الأزمة في بيروت. واستهلك الاجتماع الوزاري العربي في الجامعة العربية عشر ساعات من السجالات التي كانت كافية لعدم الخروج بقرار نوعي، وخصوصاً أن التباين في شأن تشخيص ما يجري سبّب عدم التوافق على جملة من المقترحات المتبادلة، فيما كان المميز في اللقاء السجال العنيف الذي دار بين وزير الخارجية السعودي سعود الفيصل ومندوب سوريا في الجامعة السفير يوسف أحمد، قبل أن يتدخل الأمين العام للجامعة عمرو موسى، داعياً إلى صيغ وسطية تقوم على فكرة أن الجامعة معنية بإعادة الاعتبار إلى مبادرتها من خلال تفعيل الاتصال مع اللبنانيين، لكن دون التوصل إلى موعد ثابت للقدوم الى بيروت بسبب صعوبات متنوّعة بعضها سياسي وبعضها الآخر تقني.
من جانبه كان الوزير طارق متري يخرج ويدخل إلى الجلسة مقدّماً معلومات كمراسل حربي، وأكثر من الحديث عن حصار منزل سعد الحريري والسرايا الكبيرة، إلى جانب حديثه المتكرر عن قصف براجمات الصواريخ لمعقل وليد جنبلاط المحاصر، قبل أن يكرّر الحديث عن ضرورة دعم العرب لحكومة الرئيس فؤاد السنيورة الشرعية. وهو ما واجهه به آخرون بينهم السفير السوري يوسف أحمد لناحية أنها حكومة خلافية وتمثّل أقل من نصف اللبنانيين. كذلك تدخل متري مرة أخيرة رافضاً الاقتراح اليمني بأن يرأس قائد الجيش العماد ميشال سليمان الحوار قائلاً إنه «مجرد قائد للجيش وموظف ولا يمكنه الاضطلاع بدور سياسي»، في ما بدا أنه موقف تحفظ يعود الى انتقادات من فريق السنيورة الوزاري لقيادة الجيش على خلفية عدم استجابتها لطلب الحكومة التصدي للمتظاهرين ورفضاً لطلبها من الحكومة إلغاء القرارين الصادرين عن الحكومة.
وقدم الوزير السعودي مداخلة طويلة، استهلّها بالحديث عن الحرب المجنونة التي يخوضها حزب الله في بيروت، وتناول الأمين العام للحزب السيد حسن نصر الله مباشرة، واصفاً إياه بأنه شارون، لأنهما «اتفقا على اجتياح بيروت». وقال «إن الحكومة الشرعية في لبنان تتعرّض لحرب شاملة ولا يمكننا كعالم عربي أن نقف مكتوفي الأيدي، وإن إيران هي التي تتولى إدارة الحرب وحزب الله يريد أن يفرض على لبنان دولة الولي الفقيه، وعلينا القيام بكل ما يلزم لوقف هذه الحرب وإنقاذ لبنان ولو تطلب الامر إنشاء قوة عربية تتولى الانتشار سريعاً في لبنان وتعيد إليه الأمن وتحمي الشرعية القائمة. وعلينا الآن أن نخرج أولاً ببيان يدين صراحة حزب الله وإيران على الاجتياح القائم، ونرسل تحذيراً الى المسلحين لكي يوقفوا المعركة ويتم انسحابهم، ومن ثم علينا أن نقف الى جانب حكومة السنيورة ونشكرها على صمودها وندعم موقفها».
وبعد توقف الوزير السعودي طلب السفير السوري الكلام فقال إن «وزير الخارجية وليد المعلم يغيب لأسباب خاصة، وإن دمشق ترى ما يجري في لبنان شأناً داخلياً، وهي لا تريد التدخل، ولكن الوزير السعودي قدّم مداخلة منحازة، وعرض مجموعة من الأضاليل تحتّم عليّ التقدم بمداخلة حتى لا تصبح مواقفه حقائق».
وتوجه السفير السوري الى الوزير السعودي قائلاً: «أنتم الآن تكشفون عن موقفكم الحقيقي والمنحاز الى جانب فئة من اللبنانيين ضد فئة أخرى، وأنت تقول إن حكومة لبنان شرعية وكلنا يعرف أنها حكومة أمر واقع، وهي لا تمثل اللبنانيين جميعاً، بل تمثل جزءاً منهم. وعندما اتخذت القرارات الأخيرة بعد اجتماع دام 11 ساعة، فهذا يعني أنها كانت تعرف مضاعفات هذا الموقف، ولكنها كانت تدرس التداعيات وفقاً لوجهة نظرها، وهي التداعيات التي أدّت الى ما يجري الآن». وأضاف «كما أنك تريد إرسال قوات عربية الى لبنان، هل تريد من العرب أن يذهبوا الى لبنان لمقاتلة غالبية اللبنانيين دفاعاً عن سمير جعجع الجاسوس الإسرائيلي والعميل الذي بات اليوم حليفكم».
قاطعه الفيصل: «ليس حليفنا». فرد السوري: «حليفكم ويتلقى منكم الدعم والأموال ايضاً، وهل تريد أن تفرض علينا مفاهيمك، وتريد أن تقول لنا إن إيران هي العدو لا إسرائيل التي تقتل الأطفال يومياً دون توقف، وتريد أن ترسل الآن القوات الى لبنان ولم تحرك ساكناً يوم كانت إسرائيل تقصف لبنان دون توقف، لماذا لم تفكر بإرسال قوات لمواجهة الاجتياح الاسرائيلي. ثم إنك تتحدث عن حزب الله بصورة عدائية. وأنت وكلنا يعرف أن هذا الحزب تغيّر كثيراً عما كان عليه يوم قام، وهو قدم التضحيات الهائلة من أجل لبنان بلده ومن أجل أمّته وهذه أثمان لا يقدمها إلا من يريد الخير لبلده. أما إيران التي لم تكن إلا الى جانب قضايانا ووقفت الى جانبنا فتريد أنت أن تفرض علينا أنها العدو. وقبل مدة حين أثرنا في الاجتماع المغلق في القمة العربية ملف العلاقات العربية ـــــ الإيرانية كان الكل حاضرين ولم يقل أحد إنه يواجه هذه المشكلات فهذا يعني أن السعودية تريد أن تفرض هواجسها علينا وهو أمر لن نقبل به».
عاد الفيصل ليقول إن إيران تدعم الانقلاب، وقال للسفير السوري: «أنت تتحدث معي بطريقة وتلفت الى موقعنا كأننا الى جانب إسرائيل، وإذا كررت هذا الكلام فسوف يكون لي موقف آخر».
فرد السوري بحدة: «لا تهدّدني، وإذا تكلمت أنت بكلام مختلف فسوف تسمع مني ما لم تسمعه من أحد قبلاً. وأنا أقول لك وللجمتمعين إن الجامعة العربية يجب أن تكون على مسافة من الجميع في لبنان، وهناك المبادرة العربية التي أقرت هنا، والتي يعرف الأمين العام أنها خطة مرحب بها لدى الجميع على أساس أنها سلة وليست مجموعة خطوات منفصلة».
وكانت الخلافات قد بدأت في مستهل الجلسة بسبب إصرار مصر والسعودية على أن يتضمّن البيان الختامي «إدانة» لقوى المعارضة اللبنانية التي سيطرت على بيروت. وقالت مصادر عربية إن الأمين العام للجامعة العربية عمرو موسى «لم يكن سعيداً بتأليف لجنة وزارية عربية موسعة تتولى مهمة الوساطة مع مختلف الفرقاء اللبنانيين، وأنه كان يفضل في المقابل لجنة مصغرة تقتصر عضويتها على قطر وجيبوتي لتحقيق فاعلية أكثر».
وأوضحت المصادر أنه «في ضوء التنافس بين الدول العربية على الانضمام للجنة، تم تجاهل تحفظ موسى على الرغم من إشارته الضمنية الى أن اللجنة الموسعة قد لا تحقق أهدافها».

May 12th, 2008, 4:52 am


Alex said:

64 leading Jordanians (all Sunnis and Christians) sign a letter of support to Nasralah. They include many newspaper editors, heads of Jordanian unions, ex-ministers, professors, journalists …

في رسالة الى حسن نصرالله … 64 من القيادات الشعبية والسياسية والصحفية والدينية في الاردن : نحن مع المقاومة والمعركة الحالية في لبنان ليست طائفية

اعتبرت 64 شخصية أردنية أن “أمام المقاومة في لبنان دور تاريخي كبير لتكون قاعدة وقائدة المقاومة العربية الواحدة في الوطن العربي كله”. وقالوا في رسالة رفعوها لامين عام حزب الله حسن نصر الله والرئيسين اللبنانيين السابقين إميل لحود وميشيل عون أنهم يرفضون تصنيف المعركة الدائرة في لبنان وفق أسس مذهبية أو طائفية أو إقليمية وخاطبت الرسالة نصر الله على ضرورة أن ترتبط المقاومة في لبنان والعراق وفلسطين بعلاقات عضوية مصيرية فيما بينها والتأكيد على الخط الاستراتيجي المصيري, كحالة ضرورة قصوى يجب أن تلتزم بها وتدعو لها جموع الشعب العربي

وأضافت أن الامال العربية والوحدة العربية تبنى الان من خلال مقاومة الاحتلال في لبنان و فلسطين و العراق و كل الارض العربية, مشيرة إن مصير الامة العربية ومستقبلها كله يتقرر الان في معارك المواجهة فيما بين قوى المقاومة و قوى الاحتلال ورفضت هذه الشخصيات تصنيف المعركة الدائرة الان في لبنان وفق أسس مذهبية أو طائفية أو إقليمية وقالت إن المعركة تدور في حقيقتها حول كيفية تشكيل الوطن العربي والامة العربية, متسائلة هل إنهما يتشكلان وفق إرادة و مصلحة الامة العربية أم وفق إرادة و مصلحة أعداء الامة العربية واكدت الرسالة أن المقاومة المسلحة هي السلاح الاستراتيجي بيد الامة العربية كلها في مواجهة القرصنة والبلطجة الامريكية الصهيونية ضد الامة العربية

اما الشخصيات الموقعة على الرسالة فهي: بهجت أبو غربية شيخ المجاهدين, بسام الشكعة رئيس المؤتمر الوطني الفلسطيني, يعقوب زيادين الامين العام للحزب الشيوعي السابق, وزكي بني ارشيد أمين عام جبهة العمل الاسلامي, وآمنة الزعبي رئيسة اتحاد المرأة في الاردن, وحسين مجلي رئيس المنتدى العربي/نقيب المحامين السابق/نائب سابق

وليث شبيلات نائب ونقيب مهندسين سابق/رئيس لجنة مكافحة الصهيونية, وحاكم الفايز رئيس اللجنة الوطنية لدعم العراق, وسعيد ذياب أمين عام حزب الوحدة الشعبية, والدكتور طارق كيالي أمين عام جبهة العمل القومي, وصالح العرموطي نقيب المحامين, وسعود قبيلات رئيس رابطة الكتاب

ومنهم ايضا جورج حداد كاتب صحفي, وفهد الريماوي رئيس تحرير صحيفة المجد, والدكتور هشام غصيب مفكر وكاتب, ومسلم بسيسو كاتب صحافي, وعليان عليان كاتب صحافي, والدكتور محمد الشياب أستاذ جامعي وكاتب, وراضي صدوق كاتب صحافي, وموفق محادين كاتب صحافي, وعامر التل رئيس تحرير صحيفة الوحدة, وغيداء درويش

ومنهم ايضا د. هاني الخصاونة وزير سابق, ومحمد هاشم السقاف وزير سابق, والمحامي سليم الزعبي وزير سابق, ود. محمد الحموري وزير سابق, ود. عبد الرحيم ملحس وزير سابق, ومحمد البشير رئيس نقابة مدققي الحسابات السابق, والمحامي مجلي نصراوين رئيس المنتدى الاشتراكي, وعماد الدبك رئيس لجنة التضامن مع المقاومة العراقية, والمهندس ميسرة ملص رئيس لجنة الحريات في النقابات المهنية, ونادية شمروخ نائب رئيس اتحاد المرأة, والمحامي سميح خريس عضو مجلس نقابة المحامين, والمحامي نعيم المدني عضو مجلس نقابة المحامين سابقاً, والمحامي صالح المغربي, والمحامي ناصر بقاعين, والمحامي فايز شخاترة, والمهندس ياسين الطراونة, والمهندس خالد رمضان, والمهندس تيسير الزغير, والدكتور أحمد العرموطي, وجورج حدادين نقيب سابق, والدكتور فارس الفايز, والمهندس شادي مدانات, وحيدر الزبن, والمهندس سعد العبادي, والدكتور هشام البستاني, والمهندس خليل قنصل, والدكتور منيب عماري, ويونس حسن, والدكتور حسان بدران, والدكتور عدلي الدلال, والمهندس علي صبيح, والمهندس سعد بلاونة, والدكتور وهيب الشاعر, والدكتور منير بلاونة, والدكتورة أسماء الختالين, والكاتب الدكتور عصام الطاهر, والدكتور بطرس حجارة, وعزمي أبو حجلة

ملحوظة من المحرر : لا يوجد بين الموقعين على هذه الرسالة شيعي واحد … فالمسلمون هنا كلهم من السن

May 12th, 2008, 5:34 am


Averroes said:

What everyone seems to be ignoring, is that Hizbullah is NOT alone in the move. In the Jabal (Junblat’s Druze stronghold) there was no HA fighters. They were all either Druze (Wahhab and Arslan) or Christian, also from the area.

The next step might be a move by Aoun against Jaja’s areas, if Siniora does not back down and revoke the two decrees.

It is a political conflict, with both sides having all sects. Karami today stated his position with the Opposition. So did an important Sunni scholar in the North (Munqara) and Maher Hammoud of Sidon and Abdalla Al Jabri, all Sunnis.

Note how yesterday Siniora signaled that the government had not really made the decisions, and today he’s insisting that the government will not revoke them. Despite my feelings toward this person, I feel sorry for the position he has put himself in. He is under extreme pressure from the Americans NOT to give in. You could hear it in his voice when he speaks.

For all the above, I think that Rex Brynen’s analysis is incorrect.

May 12th, 2008, 5:41 am


Naji said:

Lovers and Normal Life Return To Beirut’s Corniche
كورنيش البحر يستعيد عشّاقه وشيئاً من الحياة الطبيعية
راجانا حمية


… وعاد «الكورنيش» إلى حياته، لم تفلح الأحداث التي عاشتها شوارع بيروت من إزاحة البحر عن عرشه، لم يغب عنه بعض روّاده…حتّى «وقت الحزّة». في الجولة الأولى على كورنيش عين المريسة، بعد ثلاثة أيّام من الرصاص، لم يكن المشهد عند بحر العاصمة يشبه شوارعها، وكأن الشاطئ لم يعش الحرب نفسها… أو أنّه لم يعشها، أقلّه من وجهة نظر «العم حسن»، الذي لم يفارق حياته هناك منذ ما قبل الحرب الأهلية عام 1975. لم يكترث العم «الصيّاد» لأيّام «الحرب» الثلاثة، ولا «لما سيأتي إن أتى»، فالحياة التي بدأت في «عزّ» الأزمات عند بحر بيروت «لن يغيّرها حدث نعيشه في كلّ يوم». العمّ حسن لم يكن وحيداً في حبّه للبحر، ثمّة أشخاص آخرون ممّن عشقوه لم يتركوه أيضاً خلال هذه الأيّام، فكانوا زوّاراً دائمين له «وإن كان من بعيد»، بعدما منعت قوى الجيش اللبناني والأشرطة الحمراء المرصوفة عند الكورنيش المرور خوفاً عليهم من الموت برصاص قنّاصٍ أو اشتباك. ولكن رغم كلّ هذا الخوف، لم يجد بسّام عواضة مفرّاً من اجتياز كلّ الطرق المقطوعة و«خطوط التماس» من الضاحية الجنوبيّة لبيروت للاستمتاع بـ«كزدورة» على الكورنيش.
يعرف بسّام أنّ المخاطرة ليست محسوبة في تلك الأجواء، ولكنّه يعرف أيضاً أنّه لا يستطيع التخلّي عن البحر، فمنذ كان في الرابعة عشرة من عمره، أي منذ عشرين عاماً، يقصده، لأنّه «بتحرز 20 سنة ليصير البحر بدمّي».
إن كان العم حسن وبسّام قد اختارا بإرادتيهما أن يقصدا الكورنيش «مهما تكن الأوضاع»، إلاّ أنّ الكورنيش خلال الأيّام الماضية اختبر الوحدة، بعدما انقطع عنه غالبيّة روّاده، وإن عادوا أمس ـــ في اليوم الأوّل للهدنة ـــ إلّا أنّ العودة لم تكن على ما يرام مقارنة بـ«أيّامه العاديّة»، ومعظم زوّار أمس كانوا مسكونين ببعض الخوف ممّا قد يحصل، رغم فرحتهم باسترجاع أوقاتهم الجميلة في محلّاتٍ ومقاهٍ بدأت بفتح أبوابها تدريجيّاً، وممارسة هواياتهم من الصيد والرياضة والسباحة والركض… ولقاء الأحبّة.
عند الكورنيش أمس، لم يصدّق الزوّار أن العودة ستكون سريعة، ولكنّهم في الوقت نفسه، لم يصدّقوا أنّ كلّ شيء انتهى، إذ يصف البعض أنّ هذه العودة «ليست طبيعيّة ولا شبه طبيعيّة».
هل يُعقل أن نشهد صباحاً آخر شبيهاً بصباحات الأيّام الثلاثة الماضية؟ سؤال لا يغيب عن زوار الكورنيش، يجيبون عليه بـ«ربّما، ونعم»، ويقول عماد الذي لم يترك الكورنيش أبداً «أتينا الآن إلى الكورنيش، ولكن من يضمن لنا العودة مساءً أو في اليوم التالي، وخوفنا ليس من اليوم بل من اللي بعده». رغم المخاوف لا يغيب الأمل بعودة الكورنيش إلى سابق عهده، إذ يتوقّع بعض «المياومين» على الكورنيش أن يستعيد الشارع حركته العاديّة خلال ساعات.

عدد الاثنين ١٢ أيار ٢٠٠٨

May 12th, 2008, 6:07 am


AusLeb84 said:

Arslan & Wahhab have practically nothing in the Chouf, The “opposition” is mainly Shia all these very small groups who support them do not have much support amongst the population.

Reports from the ground in the Chouf are stating Arslan and Wahab are losing men to the PSP.

Najib Mikati criticized the Hizb of Sayid Hassan, and Omar Karami stated if it becomes a sectarian war “our place is with our sect”. He made it clear his men would not be fighting in the ranks of Sayyid Hassan.

The Hezb has proven itself to be a threat to Lebanon, Sayyid Hassan sat before the Lebanese nation and lied through his teeth that the weapons of the “resistance” will never be turned on the Lebanese “thats final”. And as soon as he finished his speech his followers attacked Beirut.

The General Aoun has been severely weakened in the Christian community, the FPM has been losing supporters to the Phalange and the Ouwet for a couple of years now, since the General aligned with the Hizb.

The Hizb claims that it defends Lebanon from Israel, yet has harmed Lebanon far more than the Israeli war did.

That been said, this is not going away. The hatred is settling and any lull will be used to rearm and train, the coming months will see establishment of new militias for Lebanon. I would agree with Rex Brynins comments on the direction this would take.

May 12th, 2008, 6:24 am


Averroes said:


I agree to the hatred part, and we know who we have to thank for it, the hysterical Saudi media.

The funny thing about the media is it generates the same amount of response to a huge event as to a smaller one. It is highly non linear.

You have to admit that quite a bit of the hatred many Sunnis feel toward the Shiites of Lebanon is of an elitest and racist angles. Many of my Lebanese friends just can’t swallow the fact that these ‘peasants’ are now more organized, more powerful the the Beiruti Sunnis. It’s a shame, but it’s true and please don’t deny it.

True, Karami said that if this turned out to be something OTHER than the Muqawameh we know, then we will either go home, or stand with our sect. This is very balanced and acceptable. Overall, Alarabiya posted his statement as “Karami backs Hizbullah in his occupation of Beirut”

Junblat has given in completely and has agreed to giving up his positions. So much so that the Mustaqbal people are now blaming him for chickening out. I don’t know what reports you’re talking about, but it sounds like you’re in front of the TV desperate for any news. It also tells that you’re likely Durzi, w ahla b’ibn elJabal.

Also, three of JaJa’s leaders have asked to be relieved as soon as the clashes started.

But that’s beside the point. The point is, this is NOT a sectarian takeover. This is a political move and you’d better pray that it stays this way. If you’re a Durzi, you should know that some Saudi inspired factions also view you as Rafidah, my friend.

HA have not made street executions, have not looted, and have not used any of its heavy weapons. It has kept its word, and it will continue to do so. But your leaders left them them no choice. Billahi 3alaik, had Junblat’s guys had the upper hand, what would they have done to the Shiites? Please ask yourself this deep question and be honest about it. We already saw how they cut three HA men into shreds when they had the chance.

Don’t you think it’s a sham that your leader admits publicly that he was lying for 25 years? Hea really sounds very convincing in many of those recordings on YouTube, where he commends the Resistance, and attacks Israel. All of that was lying? He sure fooled a lot of people.

You have to understand that the Shiite community is also scared by the amount of hatred radiating from the Mustaqbal and its Saudi mentors. They are seeing first hand what your leaders want to do to them. HA has been very merciful to their fellow Lebanese, but many of you cannot seem to see through the Ta’ifa. This is the true mseebeh of Lebanon. Be brave, and rise over the sectarian view, and this white revolution can be yours too.

May 12th, 2008, 7:02 am


Innocent Criminal said:


While the burning of the “old” Future TV building might have not been propaganda. Future TV’s decision not to continue airing when they can is propaganda. They are more than capable of airing but they refuse to so they can gather sympathy.

I am particularly appalled by Al Arabiya’s coverage, its truly disgusting and pathetic. they’re the Fox News of the arab world

May 12th, 2008, 8:12 am


ausamaa said:

Why are we surprised by this?

Al Arabia is part owned by Al Harriri and the rest is for different Saudies, so what do you expect.


Saudi Style, or Siniora Style?

May 12th, 2008, 9:02 am


Innocent Criminal said:

I expected them to bias, just like every other network out there. But what they’ve pulled is beyond blatant, it was repulsive. I think it might have even turned off some of their most dedicated viewers.

As for the post, I’m with Rex on this one. Just like i said before. HA might have won the armed conflict but they certainly lost the PR war

May 12th, 2008, 9:39 am


M. said:

To all of you fools, ideologists to whom I tried giving the benfit of the doubt, you show yourselves in all your perversity. You living abroad and theorising about what should and shouldn’t happen and still defending the undefendable, that Hizb of misery and hate, you show perversity beyound what I would have expected. We live in Beirut and we don’t need Al Alabyia to know, feel and smell what’s going on. And for those outside, the world is full of other medias al Alabyia is not alone and everybody can see everything. What bothers you is that al Alabyia is throwing in your face (even if it’s not totaly objective, but who is?) something that would pain any conscience, when there is a conscience. What is going on shows that March 14 doesn’t have weapons (not real ones anyway), is taking a risk (since we’re abviously and expectedly left out by the West and the weak Arabs will do us no good) and is (in spite of all the shortcomings,mistakes, weaknesses…of its leadres) the voice of free people in Lebanon. It also shows that Hizb is ready to burn Lebanon if it can’t control or to burn it in order to control it. They will control it, only because they can militarly, not because they are right or represent any livable project for Lebanon.They will control it by force, and Syria might come back, but for supposedly educated people to back it up as legitimate is intellectual prostituion, sheer madness, ideological blind pride..or all.
I’m disgusted to see the extent of your defense of Syria and Hizb, no matter what and beyond all reason and in spite of all good faith. From where I stand seeing my country go to hell again, I have to realy hold on to my faith not to wish the worst on you, your families and your countries, so that you can have a taste of what we’re going through and for which you find excuses and even blessing through your perverse logic. Shame on you.

May 12th, 2008, 9:58 am


ausamaa said:

Rex Brynen wrote:

“The game of chicken will continue. Hizbullah’s use of force will neither lance the boil of paralysis that has overtaken Lebanon’s government, nor will it serve as a wake up call to Lebanon’s bickering factions that they must compromise”

This may be very correct especially with shameless people like Siniora and Junblat and Hariri are lurcking around with their strings being pulled by Saud Al Faisal and Condalisa Rice, and…. Mohammed Abu Al Ghait for their own ends. Not Labanon’s.

That is why I beleive that Hizbullah and the Opposition should move swiftly and decisively resolve the sitution on the ground once and for all. Unless of course the Army led by Michel Sulieman takes over and removes the Siniora government and spark a new political process. I beleive that such a move by the Opposition is unescapably necessary, including storming the Sarya, kicking out the Siniora, and ending the crisis in the quickest manner even if the cost is high in terms of its popularity internally. If a serial mass muderer like Ja’ja and Junblat could wipe the slate clean and return to the front as National Leaders and champions of Democracy and Freedom after all the attroceties they have committed, Hizbullah’s task in regaining any lost internal poularity would be a very easy task in Lebabnon indeed.

The Siniora government has no intention of resolving this crisis amicably, nor does the Saudies and the Egyptians. The Arab League delegation is not intended to be more than an a dose of Panadol or a “feeler” of the Opposition’s resolve and intentions, and a delaying tactic. Would you believe that a delegation that does not include the Saudies who are the prime supporters of Al Siniora and the prime antagonists of Aoun, Berri and Hizbullah would just stand by and allow the Amer Mousa party to acheive anything worthwhile? There will be more stagnation, more Cole stuff empty threats, and more “worries” about a civil war that is refusing to happen because the worriors are not “equal” in the least sense of the world.

Enough is enough. A short painfull injection today is better than an endless continuation of the situation that has prevailed since three years.

Let us get away from the big lie of National Reconciliation reached through intermidiaries and dialouge. It is a big lie. As big as the la Ghalib wala Magloub (no winner and no loser) myth. In Lebanon there has always been a winner and a loser, From 1958, to 1969 to 1982 and 1983 to Al Taif to 1992 until today. Why do we fool ourselves?

A Lebanese government headed by Karami or Al Huss under a Presidency of Michel Suliman, and a fair Election Law can not be expected to be realized through mediation. Apparently,
it can come through force only. Through creating a de-facto situation on the ground that forces every one to live with it. After that, Hizbullah, Amal and Aoun can “prove” their good intentions by withdrawing and handing over to such a saner authority. Prolongation of the crisis will only bring more misery and suffering without a serious movement towards a reoslution of the situation. Simply because such a resolutioin of the situation will be seen a declaration of the defeat of the Saudi/Bush project which aims at only two things: the containment of Hizbullah, and a declaration of Victory for Saudi nd Bush against Syria and Iran. The Saudies and Bush do not want to see that, and the Saudies can not willingly afford to accept it. They will see it a serious disaster for them.

So instead for allowing Lebabnon to burn for months and maybe years to save the Saudies from losing face at the expense of the Lebanese lives and blood which they shamelessly claim to care about, now is the time and the moment to resolve this in a much faster and less painfull manner. The nobel intentions of Hizbullah and Aoun can be demonstrated,or tested,later.

At the moment, the un-noble intentions of the Saudies is all that one can see. Not only in Lebanon, but also in Iraq and Palestine. You gotta be a fool if you dont see them.

Time for the Opposition to move now, rather than later!

May 12th, 2008, 10:04 am


ausamaa said:

Post Script…

The Transparency of “Good” Intentions!!

Lebanon has been strangled economically for the last three years. THe current wave of inflation has eaten into the income of its citzens, many of whome are unemployed. The Siniora “democratically elected” government has been at loss as to what to do. Imported oil prices are sky rocketing and hurting the Lebanese tremendously, people can not afford to provide for themselves in some areas of Beirut, Trippoli and elsewher. Can someone for the love of God tell me WHO MUCH did Saudi Arabia go out of its way to help its brotherly and most beloved Lebanon in such a trauma situation. If only to prove to its antagonists that it really cares about Lebanon? Billions upon Billions of Dollars are floating in Saudi. They fallinf over themselves to rescue City Bank. They can not even find enough opportunities to invest this surplus. And what did they do to beloved Lebanon? If they have written of the whole of Lebanon’s national debt to support their Seniora and Harriri, it would have been a mere drop from the petro dollar hail storm. What did they do?

Lip service at best is what they gave Lebanon. A couple million hundred dollars here and there and a term-deposit in the Central Bank. Out of the billions upon billions of their surplus. How about a free supply of oil products at least to keep transportation and electricity going. THat will cost Saudies shipping costs only. Less perhaps that the Travel and Accomodation costs of Saud Al Faisal and Al Khoja which is all taken up in the name of supporting and helping brotherly Lebanon.

That is not exactly Loving or Caring about Lebanon. or is it? I do not want to go deeper into this and claim that the Saudi and Bush intend to keep Lebanon starved purposly, under the false or true expctation that people will get too desperate and needy. And Beggers can not be Chosers after all. Same like they did to Jordan for years, same like they did to Gaza. Both places with Sunnie not Shieat populations.

Come on guys.. come on.. are we so brain washed that we refuse to see things even when they are hitting us stark in our faces.

Correct me if I am wrong please.

May 12th, 2008, 10:32 am


Reading Into The Situation | The Beirut Spring, a Lebanese Blog said:

[…] Rex Brynen, of McGill University argues that Hezbollah has made a big mistake , something which it lately seems to make a habit of: […]

May 12th, 2008, 10:46 am


Saroukh said:


Thanks for your valued comments. Quick question.

Had Saniora had the balls or ability of Hafez el Asad would you be in agreement with a mass slaughter of Dahiyeh in order to “move swiftly and decisively resolve the situation on the ground once and for all?” Like what happened in Hama.

Don’t get me wrong I am not a supporter of the Sanioura government, and up until Friday (when I had to leave my house due to fighting and fear of my American wife being abducted) my support leaned towards the opposition. But it is NOT acceptable that they take to the streets by force and shut down opposing view points.

Hizballah has proven two things this past week. The first is that they are the power in Lebanon (this did not to be proved). The second and more important is that there will NEVER be a day that the Lebanese people can decide if they want to continue the resistance or not. This decision is solely in the hands of the Hizb, and the source of its wisdom and jurisprudence – Iran. In fact the Hizb proved that we Lebanese can not even discuss this option without them turning their weapons on us.

Case in point:
Summer 2006. National round table dialog. As soon as the issue with Hizb weapons come up, they abduct two soldiers and start a war.
Summer 2008. Government takes action against command and control, they take to the streets and occupy the city by force.

The Hizb is not interested in Lebanon. The Hizb exists solely to be an Iranian blade in Israel’s neck. It is a bargaining chip for the Syrians and Iranians.

Look deeply inside your soul and answer this. If the Lebanese in a referendum decided that there is no more need for armed resistance would the Hizb give up its weapons? Surely not, and to quote you once again don’t be “so brain washed that we refuse to see things even when they are hitting us stark in our faces.”

Why does the Hizb not utter a breath when Syria violates Lebanese sovereignty whether they are the earth mounds that cut off Lebanese farmers from their land on the border or Syrian navy that prevents fisherman from fishing our waters? Why no mention of the thousands of Lebanese who are still missing – either dead or imprisoned in Syria?

This is not a national resistance. It was until 2000 and thank God for them up until that point. It is a bargaining chip for Syria and Iran.

I agree with your other points regarding Saudi Arabia. I care not for them or their ways. But neither Iran or Syria have our best interests in mind either. In fact no one in the world does, especially not our crappy leaders. They are all bought and sold for a dime.

A change needs to occur – in fact many of the changes you are calling for need to occur. But we brute Arabs need to learn how to effect change without violence. Lest we prove the Israeli’s right that the only thing an Arab understands in force…

May 12th, 2008, 12:12 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

How about the Syrians get their filthy hands of Lebanon so the substantial aid that the Saudi and international community gave Lebanon has a chance to help?

How about the Syrians let the Lebanese solve their problems peacefully instead of arming to the hilt a religious militia?

How about Syria fight its battles with Israel itself instead of forcing the Lebanese to do that and wrecking their country?

How about the Mice of the Golan stop talking like they are the Lions of Beirut and keep wishing violence on Lebanese? When you are willing to fight, let us know. But the lowest thing is being a coward and urging others to war. You cannot go lower than that.

May 12th, 2008, 12:17 pm


Oliver MacDous said:

The game of chicken is over. HA is going to lance the boil once and for all. It has proven that it can take on its opponents both militarily and politically. It has consolidated its relation with the army putting its fighters on the front line to clear the way for the army to keep the peace without threatening its unity. As of today, the BBC is reporting two columns of HA fighters moving from the East on the Chouf mountains. The clashes in the north have resumed. Tripoli is split and it seems that the 50 000 Alawites of the city are well prepared to fight there.

HA will split the opposition in two, they will offer an olive branch to the Sunnis and they will once and for all demand that Jumblatt effectively remove himself from the leadership of the Druze community. Already voices within his community are rising to ask him to step down. He will do so in favor of his son and hence continue some influence there behind the scenes. He already asked that the personal conflict he has with Nasrallah not harm his community. Yet, his forces have been most sectarian in kidnapping and killing HA men.

I commented before that the Sunnis are the big losers as they have had no worthy leadership whatsoever. Like Saddam the Sunni leaders think that the average militiaman will die for them simply because they are paid to do so. They have not learned from the Afghan war and the South Lebanon wars that it takes a commitment and an ideology to mobilize the community. The Sunnis will look at the difference in fighting spirit between the Hariri Playboys and the Fatah AlIslam in Nahr Elbared and will draw the conclusions correctly about this lack of leadership.

This debacle is one more recruiting tool for the Jihadi Salafists and they are striving to make a significant presence in Lebanon, because the central authority is inherently weak, and the border is close to Israel, and the UNIFIL is acting as an extension to NATO>

Saudi Arabia is going to restart building the Sunni community from scratch. They will continue to support Hariri and money will pour on the Sunnis of the opposition to switch allegiance. However, both Karame and Arslan have committed their communities to be supporters of the resistance. Therefore, this seems to be a red line they will not cross.

Finally, Mousa is already preparing the world for Arab League failure as he says that the effort is worth it but he cannot guarantee success. The days where Egypt and Saudi Arabia occupied the central stage of Arab politics are over as Iran has effectively built an alternative group in the hot spots that count.

May 12th, 2008, 1:21 pm


Saroukh said:


Thanks but no thanks. How bout Israel return land it has occupied and annexed in contravention to international law? How bout it cease to build settlements on occupied land? If it does not want to give back any of this land how bout it adopts a one person one vote policy and become a true democracy? Then it will take away any excuse for continuing the war.

To the other Israelis on this site. Please stay out of this one and don’t come to our (Lebanese) assistance. I hope to one day be able to visit you and vice versa but until your government decides to become law abiding and become part of the region you have no place in this conflict. You can discuss the Kosovo separatists to your heart’s content since athletically, culturally and politically you consider yourselves European.

Last bit on Israel. Thank you for teaching the Hizb the art of the over reaction, then quieting media in order to control the spin.

On another note. This from NOW Lebanon:

Syrian official daily Al-Baath said on Sunday that Hezbollah had foiled a US-planned coup to seize control of Lebanon.

“The Americans launched a pre-emptive strike against opposition nationalist forces, starting with the (Hezbollah) resistance, and attempted a Washington-planned coup but were taken aback by the opposition, which restored order in Lebanon,” it said.

Now that has got to be the most intelligent, fair and balanced report I have ever read. I did not realize a government could stage a coup against itself (since everyone here agrees that Saniora is a US agent). I hope this does not offend anyone, but is the editor of al-Baath a Homsi by any chance? 🙂

May 12th, 2008, 1:27 pm


EHSANI2 said:

Dear M,

I hope that you don’t think of me as an ideologist. I think that what is happening in Lebanon is horrific, but not unexpected.

The Taif accord is now 19 years old. This is the period that HA has used to gain an insurmountable lead over the other parties when it comes to arming itself to the teeth. How the majority of the Lebanese politicians and the Saudis agreed to this has to be one of the biggest blunders of all times. I am of course referring to the directive that forced all parties to surrender their arms with the exception of HA.

No one of course had the foresight to understand the implications of that decision at the time. During the next 19 years, HA broke away from the pack. It created a force stronger than the country’s own army and the rest is history.

I mention this to highlight the fact that HA did not arm itself overnight. This was done under the noses of everyone as agreed by the Taif accord itself. KSA sanctioned it then. Now, it is shocked to this how this monster has turned against it.

The short sighted Lebanese politicians of March 14th still did not grab the severity of this as recently as the Syrian pullout of Lebanon. Rather than refrain from attacking Damascus daily, they went on the attack even after the last Syrian soldier left. Jumblat started referring to Bashar as the head of the snake. What on earth was he thinking? What did he expect this to get him in the long run? A 1-800-flowers delivery?

As one of the most astute observers of the region recently wrote to me, in the Middle East “always bet with the radicals…the clean shave, college educated are too scared to play in that terrain”.

Dear M,

Those of us of the clean shave type face a head wind in this region. Your passionate comment reflected this sentiment.
Regrettably, one is hard pressed to see a reversal in this trend.

HA is fully aware that this is its chance to translate its power on the ground into permanent gains politically. It may not say it publicly now but its objectives perhaps include the permanent redrawing of the map when it comes to the way the Shias are represented in Lebanon.

May 12th, 2008, 1:29 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

Former Hezbollah secretary general slams the group’s behavior
May 12, 2008

Hezbollah’s former secretary general, Sheikh Subhi Al-Tufaili, said that the group “has its let go of its sanctity in spite of all the pretexts” it has given by turning its weapons against fellow Lebanese.

Tufaili called for Hezbollah’s immediate withdrawal from Beirut and said that the matter of changing the head of the airport security does not justify what has happened.

He also noted that there are no doubts that Hezbollah’s communications officers are the backbone of its strength.

“There is no doubt that the government’s decision over Hezbollah’s landline network was stupid. But does solving this problem require what has happened in Beirut?”

Tufaili noted that much more dangerous decisions were taken against the resistance in the past, but Hezbollah managed to overcome them. “It could have ignored this decision or informed officials that it is forbidden to touch the landline network,” he added.

He also said that what has happened in Beirut was not necessary because it has opened “the doors of hell, and we don’t know how to close them unless there are other reasons for what is happening that we are not aware of.”

“What happened has increased the Sunni-Shia strife in the whole Islamic world. This serves the interests of major powers and is a gift to the Zionist enemy, because the resistance’s use of its weapons in Beirut will ruin it, similar to what happened with the Palestinian weapons used in Beirut in the 1970s. Soon everyone will see this clearly.”

Tufaili said that a resistance that fights against its own people faces a certain death.

May 12th, 2008, 1:32 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


Superb comment. Your words are a breath of fresh air, even if that breath stands no chance against the head wind of our region.


May 12th, 2008, 1:35 pm


ausamaa said:


First, since you live in Beirut, then you know that what you accuse Hizbullah of doing is a DECISION by the Lebanese OPPOSITION not only by Hizbullah. And please don’t tell me that they all are a nobody.

Second, I am afraid I can not give you a quick answer to your question about what my position would be if SINIORA acted swiftely and decisivly against Al DAHIA (!!) as I need to research that one thorughly before answering as such a question forces one to stretch his imagination to way beyound its limit. Any way, if some one else other than Hizbullah fought and defeated Israel and paid by the blood of its sons and daughters to defend Lebanon, then maybe I will support a swift conquest of a DAHIYA by a Siniora.

Third, if you agree that Hizbullah IS the power in Lebanon, why do little midgets like Siniora and Junblat and mini-Harriri rationally chose to play hardball with him?

If you tell me its because Siniora, Junblat and mini-Harriri are champions of Freedom, Independence and Soverignity, I will tell you to butt out.

But if you tell me its because they have not only miscalculated ( and may have actually right-calculated) to get Hizbullah and the Opposition and Lebanon into the current situation to serve the Agenda of their masters, then I will ask you to call on them to butt out for committing one after another a stupid and provactive acts.

And if you believe any political change can come without a degree of violance, then you will be contradicting the facts of social and political changes through out history not to mention your contradiction of Condi’s Birth-Bangs of the New Middle East theory. You seek changes? Great. But be ready for the unfortunate fact that Change does not occure because one side is more charitable than the other, does it?

And have you really seen acts of Slaughter in West Beirut in the past days? In Tripoli where the Al Mustaqbal had little power yes, in the Mountain where the remenant of Junblat forces were trying to reneg on his words, yes, but in Beirut???

And I really hope that you and your family will remain safe.

May 12th, 2008, 1:37 pm


Naji said:

MacDous or Shanklish, this is one astute well-informed and witty Observer…!!

I wish such people would stop using these silly monikers and delight us all with the privilege of at least a hint at their true identity…!!

By the way, General Aoun is giving a press conference right now… important information and positions…, but, most importantly, he took my advice to all the Lebanese and asked them to “put their heads in the freezer”… i.e. CHILL…! 😉

May 12th, 2008, 1:40 pm


Alex said:

Sami Moubayed

“If I wake up, will the Israelis go away? If not, I am going back to sleep!” said a dear friend in Lebanon a few years ago, as I woke her up when I called to make sure that she and her family were safe. Indeed, in the midst of an air raid, she went back to sleep.

I have had to make this phone for too many years and far too often; in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 (many times), 2006 (daily), 2007, and now again in 2008. But this time it wasn’t Hizbullah versus Israel; it was Hizbullah versus March 14.

The Lebanese have become so accustomed to war that they can now sleep through it. They have developed a routine to prepare themselves: For quick, one-day outbursts, they just get batteries for their radios. For longer sieges, they purchase plenty of food, particularly those that are easily made; canned products for example, Advil, Panadol Night, plenty of nuts—good for de-stressing—and a lot of cigarettes.

Despite the writing on the wall indicating that something ugly was about to erupt, my friends in Beirut were caught off guard last Wednesday. This morning, I called up another friend who screamed that gunmen had pointed their rifles at her head while leaving work. I asked her if I can help in any way, she shouted, “Get me bread, water, soap, cigarettes! I am stranded in my home in Beirut!”

Sadly I could provide none of the above. All I could do, as the Beirutis were burying their dead, was just pray that the dark clouds over Lebanon will pass and the horrific psychological damage done to the residents of Beirut will heal.

Back in 1998, Israel launched a major air strike on Lebanon, cutting off electricity by hitting the Jamhour power plant and breaking the sound barrier over the skies of Beirut, Sidon, and South Lebanon. I was standing at a small vendor in Quraytem waiting to buy some manakish, a classic Lebanese meal, for dinner. The horrible sound produced by a sound bomb that landed nearby made me tremble. The manakish seller laughed heartily; “You Syrians are soft. So soft! You are not used to this—and this is nothing compared to what we went through during the war. We the Lebanese, along with the Palestinians and Iraqis, are more well-rounded than you Syrians!”

The old man was right and his words have been ringing in my head for the past 72-hours, 10-years onwards. Can Lebanon, which is used to conflict, economically, infrastructurally, and psychologically sustain another civil war?

An elderly woman standing behind her coffee machine near AUB last week tried to assure it could. In the 1990s, she made my coffee, every single morning for more than five years. She was battered and wrinkled with age, but still standing behind her coffee machine, still optimistic, still surviving, still exceptionally warm.

“Don’t worry my son,” she said, remembering that I was Syrian. “These are dark clouds that will not last. What’s important is what’s in the heart, and there is nothing but love between ordinary Syrians and ordinary Lebanese. But I wouldn’t say the same for us Lebanese. It’s those wicked politicians; they are maniacs! They are responsible for this mess!”

When I asked if she was preparing to close down if another war broke out between Lebanese parties, she snapped back with her heavy Beirut accent, “Close? Why in the world would I do that? This shop did not close down—not for a day—during the invasion of Beirut! They shelled us for ten weeks, non-stop, and we never close down! If a few gangsters take to the streets, do you honestly think that I would close down?”

The Lebanese people—the manakish vendor, the woman behind the coffee machine, the janitor, and the newspaper boy—are usually wiser than analysts, journalists, and decision-makers when it comes to war in Lebanon.

Lebanese politicians have never failed to attract attention to their small nation, making their affairs the center of Arab attention for the better part of the past 50 years. At times, they were able to elicit sincere admiration, as during the impressive and constructive era of Prime Minister Rafiq al-Harriri in the 1990s. At others, they extracted sympathy, as they did throughout the seventeen-year Civil War that they endured. Their resilience has earned them extreme honor: they shacked off the dust of war and reconstructed their state with determination and pride.

Today, however, that feeling of extreme pride has faded and turned to shame. The imminent possibility of yet another sectarian outburst has shocked observers. I think it already has started. It’s war in Beirut, but this time its not between Muslims and Christians, it’s between Shiites and Sunnis. I find the barbarianism, sectarianism, and foolishness of Lebanon’s leaders—with no exceptions or exclusions—repulsive.

Loyalty in Lebanon remains to the sect, rather than to Lebanon. National awareness and allegiance are both completely lacking. When the dark clouds began to clear in 1991, right after the Civil War, there was hope that Lebanon would experience a resurrection. A “new Lebanon” with a reinvented public awareness would be freed from memories of a dark wrangled past. The trial of Samir Gagegea was an assurance that Lebanon was on the right track.

But the fact that some of the war leaders who were responsible for massacres during the turmoil had turned into “democrats” and were occupying seats in Parliament was a turn-off to the optimists. Although in the post-Taif era people once again began singing the national anthem, saluting the Cedar of Lebanon (as the sole symbol of state), opening roads, building bridges, trading with the outside world, and tearing down war-torn buildings to erase memory of an immediate past, these measures only mended surface wounds and did not address internal ones. The fundamental elements that caused the war in the first place still existed: The school segregation, the hatred, and the superiority and revenge complexes all remained intact.

Is this the democracy Arabs have been hailed for years? Since its independence in 1943, Lebanon has always been the ideal democracy of the region. Not anymore. Not after it spent seven months and counting with no president, and certainly not after May 7, 2008.

Given the right mentality and attitude, though, it could rise to become the most promising state in the Arab world. As Arabs, we have always had high hopes for Lebanon; it was truly the Switzerland of the East, a country of innovation, romance, education, literature, music, arts, and democracy.

Said Takkiedinne, a prominent Syrian Social Nationalist Party member, once described the Lebanese as embodying “sophistication” itself when residing in Europe and mirroring “tribalism” itself when residing in Lebanon. One can see the truth in his statement by observing the current bloodbath in Beirut. A professor in the AUB psychology department was once asked how peace will come to Lebanon. He replied, “When the Lebanese start to love their children more than they hate each other!”

May 12th, 2008, 1:59 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


You do not have to like Israel or you may even hate Israel. I don’t care. If you are fighting for democracy, I will support you without expecting anything in return.

By the way, there is one person one vote in Israel.

May 12th, 2008, 2:07 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

“This morning, I called up another friend who screamed that gunmen had pointed their rifles at her head while leaving work. I asked her if I can help in any way, she shouted, “Get me bread, water, soap, cigarettes! I am stranded in my home in Beirut!””

I thought you were not allowing statements about guns pointed at heads.

May 12th, 2008, 2:14 pm


Naji said:

The wisest, most honest and most informed words so far have just been uttered by General Aoun…!! He also confirmed my alarm of the past few weeks, which everybody seemed to ignore at the time and have now forgotten, about an impending attack by Israel… which HA pre-empted…!!

As Simo would have put it, it is amusing how everybody keeps talking about HA’s obligations towards Lebanese democracy and civil progress when these people are literally FIGHTING FOR THEIR LIVES…!!! For God’s sake, what was attempted a couple of summers ago, and was about to go down THIS summer, is nothing less than a GENOCIDAL ATTEMPT AT ETHNIC CLEANSING… Israeli/Lebanese style… financed by the Saudis, covered by America and its Arab lackeys, and approved by the entire “civilized” world…!! The whole damn world gathered against them… and when they survived they licked their own wounds and prepared for the next round while watching the instigators and collaborators in their own house conspire, also for the next round…!! Clean-shaven or not, I don’t think their current reaction could be matched in its civility and magnanimity by even the best in Simo’s own country…!

May 12th, 2008, 2:17 pm


why-discuss said:

14 Mars Leader, Carlos Edde, accuses the army and General Sleiman to be on the side of Hezbollah and wonder if he is really the candidate they want:
“Today we see the supreme evidence with the passive attitude of General Sleiman who behaves like a president candidate who wants to please the opposition. He cedes the airport to Hezbollah, let the Futur TV burn, disarm the few fighters belonging to the majority, let Aley and its surroundings been bombarded and refuss by spirit of’ neutrality’ to disarm the fighters of Hezbollah.”
L’Orient le jour 12 may 2008

The question of the Army attitude and strategy in this war seems to be overlooked. If it’s real that the Army is siding with Hezbollah, then the Hezbollah-Army represent a powerful military and political alliance. This show also that ultimately they could merge, if a national defense strategy is decided, as Nasrallah has been calling for.
The fear of the sunni establishement is that Lebanon, as Gaza, becomes a ‘hostile’ state to Israel and could be outlawed, demonized and submitted to economical boycott by the world community.
Hezbollah must be aware of this danger too but they seem to be determined to move to that extreme should the present governement refuses to share power and vow to protect the Resistance.
The ball is the camp of the present governement and its allies.
Either they collaborate with the Hezbollah and Aoun for a share of power or they let Lebanon become an outlawed country like Gaza.
A hard choice for the stubborn 14 Mars leaders.

May 12th, 2008, 2:19 pm


Mazen said:


Actually, I think you do need Arabiya and Mustaqbal to feed you with daily doses of hate. Hate hate hate is all that radiates of these channels. Many Syrians had respect for M14 at first, but you eroded it away with your hate. And now you want to wish us and our families the worst. Well, what else did we expect?

May 12th, 2008, 2:20 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

We should never forget
1)lebanon is made of Christian,Sunni,Shiite,and Druze, each looking for their interest.
2) foreign power has strong and definite influence in Lebanon.
3) money talks.
HA will not, will never,makes any gains, from what he just did.

May 12th, 2008, 2:22 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

I love it when you and others start justifying Hizballah actions based on future actions Israel will take. How low can you go? How can you have a rational discussion when all your arguments are based on the intentions of Israel which you know nothing about?

Tell your friends the cowards that if they want to preempt an imaginary Israeli attack they should attack Israel and not Sunnis. That is the way it works. Who is Hizballah’s enemy, fellow Lebanese or Israel?

May 12th, 2008, 2:24 pm


ausamaa said:

Another press conference is scheduled for Junmblat shortly. Once he finishes his meeting with the US Charge de Affairs. I am not joking.

Let see what words of Wisdome she has whispered in his ear!

May 12th, 2008, 2:27 pm


Alex said:


This savage move by HA so far resulted in 48 dead people … probably more than half are by Al-Mustaqbal supporters taking revenge .. like those who killed the SSNP people and mutilated their arms and legs.

Yet, we have a representative of the country that killed 1500 Lebanese as revenge for the 2 soldiers Hizbollah killed, here “defending democracy” and defending Lebanon’s Sunnis … ignoring the fact that among those 1500 killed by Israel, hundreds of Sunnis died … even though, according to AIG’s sectarian tactics here, the Sunnis had nothing to do with Hizbollah’s decision to ambush those Israeli occupation soldiers in summer 2006.


When the Saudis agreed to allow Hizbollah to keep its weapons, they simply delayed having to address the issue of unfair representation of the Shia community for some time in the future.
that time did NOT come yet. I think and hope Nasrallah will not make use of this display of force to score some quick gains for the Shias.

I expect him to do the opposite … to show that he is not going to benefit (directly) in any way.

We’ll see his next news conference.

The real criminals are at Al-Arabyiah in my opinion. They are lusting for a Sunni Shia war in Lebanon … they want Hizbollah to kill Sunnis everyday so that their King will gain some popularity in the Arab street against he current popularity champions Nasrallah and Assad.

They need to highlight “the fact” that Shias are enemies of Sunnis.

Let’s quote the AIPAC representative on Syria Comment “How low can you go”?

May 12th, 2008, 2:34 pm


ausamaa said:


Why angry and surprised by Al Arabiya? They are doing their job as thet are paid to do. Harriri is one of three owners of Al Arabiya. Didn’t you know?

The good news as you said before is that Al Jazeera is being freed from recent restrictions which prevailed during the short Saudi Qatari honeymoon.

May 12th, 2008, 2:48 pm


why-discuss said:

Jumblatt in Time.com

full article

“I am a hostage now in my home in Beirut,” he said over the telephone to his rival Nabih Berri, the speaker of parliament and a top opposition leader, while TIME waited nearby for an interview. “Tell [Hizballah leader] Sayeed Hassan Nasrallah I lost the battle and he wins. So let’s sit and talk to reach a compromise. All that I ask is your protection.”

Sitting in his garden terrace in Beirut, with just a few family members and loyal retainers, Jumblatt is quickly coming to grips with the new political landscape. “The U.S. has failed in Lebanon and they have to admit it,” he said. “We have to wait and see the new rules which Hizbollah, Syria, and Iran will set. They can do what they want

May 12th, 2008, 2:48 pm


ausamaa said:

But he is not free to act. Junblat has just cancelled his scheduled press conference after his meeting with the US Charge de Affairs.

Imagine what Pressures Siniora, Harriri and Junblat are coming under now? The Saudies and Bush would just not leave them alone.

على زوق زوقك

May 12th, 2008, 2:53 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Are you also having problems seeing the difference between fighting an external enemy and fighting your fellow citizens?

The dead and the wounded so far are a very sad consequence, but in the short term Hizballah also murdered any chance of true democracy in Lebanon by using weapons to enforce their political will. I find that very disturbing even if you think it is no big deal.

As for trying to saddle Israel with the blame for the 2006 war, most Lebanese know exactly who the real culprit is.

For once, there was a chance to play by democratic rules in an Arab country and resolve issues using debate and elections and not using violence. Hizballah have killed this small chance and yet you are cheering them on.

May 12th, 2008, 2:57 pm


sam said:

The question that I would like answered is this. Why would any Libnany citizen whether shia,sunni,christian, want non-libnany sunnis fighting their battles against any group. Saad Hariri and his money are single handedly responsible for flooding Libnan with battle hardend sunni fighters from Iraq, and arming them, with the help of Prince Bandar. I don’t have the link anymore, but after the 2006 war, there was news reports of KSA arming and funding Sunni militia to take on HA. Some of those arms were probably used in Nahr al bard against the army. That’s probably why m14 was reluctant to not unleash them against HA, which we have to constantly remind everyone that they are Libnan! All the pro-gov backers are complaining about HA turning arms against Libnany, the arms are for the resistance of Isreali aggression, so if anything stands in the way to fight any future Isreali attacks, it’s no holds bar!

May 12th, 2008, 3:07 pm


Alex said:


Sorry, but I go with numbers of people killed…. one innocent Israeli killed by Hamas is like one innocent Christian Syrian worker killed by the anti-Syria haters … this is obviously too far from the way you see things.

In Iraq everyday more people die than all of those who died in Lebanon so far due to this supposedly savage Hizbollah attack … I don’t like what is happening in Lebanon … but excuse me if I don’t react more than I react to the equivalent DAILY tragedy in Iraq that you don’t give a damn about because it is in Israel’s best interest.

The biggest crime of our time is what is happening in Iraq … when millions die and lose their homes and lose their country and lose their honor …

May 12th, 2008, 3:26 pm


SANDRO said:

Finally the political prophets of God on earth have begun action. When you see them killing people and bombing neighbourhoods it is so divine image, so enlightening. I think all people defending the light of God that is HA would like to be inside the battlefield of God against the devil, crushing the head of unknown people to the other side of the street, with unknown children, even all syrian militar and political men would like to figth in Lebanon but God did not call them. Oh, they will have to wait the call of God. This is the final fight of HA for Democracy in the name of God !!! Oh sorry did I say democracy ? Did Mr. Mahoma ever talked in his book about democracy ? Was he interested in hellenistic political theories that were “revealed” more than 1000 years before he was born or died.

May 12th, 2008, 3:34 pm


Observer said:

Maybe I will change my post to Shanglish MacDous but this is one small attempt at Chilling out in these unfortunate times. In Lebanon there will never be full winners and full losers. When the Syrians tried to be the full masters of the country they failed and were either corrupted further or weakened by passive resistance until the assassination of Hariri put them out completely.

I think that HA did pre empt a plan for Lebanon as I said in another post, but which plan is not entirely clear. Local, regional is not clear. They knew of all the moves of the coalition and where they were located and the blocking of the airport was to insure that no one leaves and no rescue could come.

The army is on their side and is doing its utmost to come of this intact with the help and coordination of HA.

Despite the fact that Hariri labeled his movement the Future movement, all of his actions continued to point to the past, including the grudge he holds with Syria, the tribunal, etc. at a time when most Lebanese want stability, a better standard of living and an end to their divisions.

Hariri showed himself to be totally outclassed politically. I watch Jumblatt essentially concede defeat and put his fate in that of his community and in so doing he will unite the Druze around their common goal of being an intact community that will continue to have its priviliges and special status. This in contrast to the Sunnis that have put their fate in a second rate non political player who has abandoned his troops at the most crucial time and felt manipulated by everyone. I do not know what promises they got from France and the US, but clearly the Cole is not going to deliver for them.

Siniora and his group are now trying to stay in power to salvage some bargaining position and I can assure you that one of the points that they will negotiate secretly is that no investigation into their wheeling and dealings that led to money being poured into their coffers while the country is saddled with 45 billion in debt is carried out.

For that to occur they will scrap the tribunal if need be.

Now what is intriguing to me is how stupid the Saudis turned out to be. There is a huge difference between the influence they had under Faisal then what we have now. They knew everybody, kept in touch with every political faction, compromised for the sake of stability, and kept their distance and their tracks covered very well. Today, they are left in paralysis not knowing what to do with their alliances, not knowing how to continue to pretent that they are the protectors of the true faith, not clear on how to modernize the kingdom without losing control, and most importantly not putting their own house in order with over 6000 princes receiving a salary from birth and doing nothing.

May 12th, 2008, 3:36 pm


norman said:

سوريا تتهم أميركا بتعطيل الحل في لبنان بإرسالها كول

May 12th, 2008, 3:36 pm


SANDRO said:

I am so scared these days of seeing the real beasts that are liying under the mask of God fighters and Revolutionary guards of God. This is the Absolute Anti-Democracy. It is up to them to believe or not in democracy. One can prefer Democracy or Dictatorship but if they do not believe in democracy why do they make this big effort talking all day about democracy ? This is the confussion tactics to destroy democrats. Fighting with arms when they lost democratic elections, creating terror in the public opinion to let the majority give up the power to their hands. This is the real face of fascists, be islamic, christian or jewish. And this is what Aoun and HA are doing right now. Destruction of democracy.

May 12th, 2008, 3:53 pm


abraham said:

In short, I think this is far from being an unalloyed masterstroke of strategic brilliance.

What is Rex Brynen arguing? That Hizballah has planned this all along? What brought him to that conclusion? All I see here are actions and reactions. I don’t recall anyone considering this an “unalloyed masterstroke of strategic brilliance”. What is he talking about?

Also, the Israeli analysis (from the Ha’aretz article) assumes that Hizballah is planning to take over Lebabon, despite any evidence of this. Notwithstanding the wishful thinking of their analysis and the assumptions they want to make that will, in their sick minds, open the door to another assault on Lebanon, attacking Lebanon will only result in a Hizballah counter-attack, and we saw how that turned out in the Summer of 2006.

This is all much ado about nothing. Propaganda, all of it.

May 12th, 2008, 4:06 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

What do you mean I don’t give a damn about Iraq? I would very much like to see a democratic Iraq even if that means the Shia control it and are close to Iran. As long as it is a true democracy, I don’t care.

The difference between us is that you blame only the US for what is going on there. Yes, the US made mistakes, but the main culprits are the Jihadis that are killing Shia just to terrorize the population. The US did not blow up the Samara mosque not did it blow up Shia in markets using car bombs.

It is a fact that the Kurds are very pleased with what the US did and if countries like Syria would not have been afraid of a real democracy next door and sabotaged the Americans by letting jihadis enter, things in Iraq would have been much better. Much of the blood spilled in Iraq is the fault of Asad.

And by the way, ethics is not accounting. If Abraham Lincoln would have gone by numbers killed he would have never fought the Civil War and freed the slaves for which over 600,000 people paid with their lives. If the only thing that mattered is number killed then the US would have negotiated with Hitler. If they were only interested in numbers killed the founding fathers of the US would never have started the War of Independence. They would have accepted British rule which after all was rather benign for that time. The Americans at that time had more rights than modern Syrians have now.

Freedom is not cheap. You pay for it in blood. If there is one thing I would die for it is freedom. Patrick Henry said: Give me liberty or give me death. He did not say, let me kowtow to a dictator because he is strong and people may die if we stand up to him. He did not say let’s not do anything becuase some religious zealots will blow us up.

May 12th, 2008, 4:06 pm


abraham said:

Furthermore, this idea that KSA or Jordan or Egypt will now get serious about training a militia to take on Hizballah is more wishful thinking. We’ve seen the best they can do over and over and it’s pathetic. These countries can’t defend themselves, even with American weaponry and training. So what makes anyone think they can then train a militia group to take on Hizballah?

When I read an analysis, it would be nice if the person doing the writing actually analyzed and didn’t just write about their wishlist of things they want to see happen.

May 12th, 2008, 4:09 pm


abraham said:

AIG said:

Don’t you understand the difference? Don’t you understand that inside countries all political disagreements need to be solved by debate and elections and not by violence?

You mean like the withdrawal from Gaza?

May 12th, 2008, 4:13 pm


abraham said:


Why are you trying to promote this FM blog you keep pointing to as the de facto representation of Lebanese Sunni thought? I’m sure all the hardcore members of the FM militia are ranting quite severely right now because they just had their incompetent, Jordan-trained asses handed to them. What else are they going to rant about? Perhaps how soundly they were defeated by Hizballah? Would you expect them to be praising Hizballah and discussing how to emulate their tactics?

You are, as always, are simply acting as a conspiracy generator.

May 12th, 2008, 4:19 pm


abraham said:

The Hezb has proven itself to be a threat to Lebanon, Sayyid Hassan sat before the Lebanese nation and lied through his teeth that the weapons of the “resistance” will never be turned on the Lebanese “thats final”.

The error in your assumption is is that Hizballah is fighting Lebanese. It isn’t; it’s fighting American proxy forces.

And in any event, I don’t think that prohibition is meant to stand if Hizballah is attacked or threatened by other Lebanese, which is clearly what transpired here.

May 12th, 2008, 4:38 pm


GreaterSyrian said:

from Gary Leupp at Counterpunch.org, 5/11

“Giraldi provides details. He reports that the meeting came as “the direct result” of Hizbollah advances in Lebanon in recent days. (Recall that the U.S. State Department lists the Shiite organization Hizbollah as “terrorist” and as a tool of both Iran and Baathist Syria. In fact it is probably the country’s largest and most popular political party and has built significant ties with some Christian and Sunni groups. Hizbollah’s rapid seizure of the Muslim sections of Beirut, accomplished with little resistance, may have been deliberately provoked by the U.S.-backed quasi-government of Lebanon when the latter shut down the party’s private communications network.)
If Benjamin Netanyahu is Israeli prime minister at the time of the planned attack on Iran, a time of apocalyptic confusion might be the perfect opportunity to empty the West Bank of its Palestinians. This NSC agreement “in principle” to attack Iran is an agreement to risk all these ramifications, confident that the press and politicians will cooperate.

May 12th, 2008, 4:42 pm


abraham said:

Saroukh said:

But we brute Arabs need to learn how to effect change without violence.

Speak for yourself if you’re going to adopt the trash sociology of the Orientalist.

Lest we prove the Israeli’s right that the only thing an Arab understands in force.

It’s already been proven that the opposite is in fact true.

May 12th, 2008, 4:50 pm


SANDRO said:


Even if the government is acting pros US and Israel, this is the democratically elected government. What is bad in being more pro US than pro Iran or pro-Syria or viceversa ? Is bad maybe for you but not for others. How can you know without elections if people in Syria prefers being pro-Iran than pro-US ?
Democracy means that maybe you are very unhappy with your government but you have the right to express your vote and opinion by word or written. Those who cannot accept this are not democrats, they are fascists. And may be trated like fascists and sent to prison in case the act against democracy. The system must defend itself. The military in Lebanon did not defend the system, so the military in Lebanon is cleraly not a part of democracy or he is playing pro Hizballah.

May 12th, 2008, 4:58 pm


GreaterSyrian said:

From AsiaTimes, 5/10/08, INTERESTING. What happened to this president?

May 10, 2008

War funding and war rhetoric
By Sami Moubayed

DAMASCUS – In 1936, a senior aid approached Syria’s new president Hashem al-Atasi, explaining the presidential budget which had a special clause for “classified activities”. This was a special amount allocated by parliament for the president to distribute at will, without presenting receipts, or explaining himself to the legislative branch.

Fuming, Atasi crossed off the amount and angrily snapped, “This is incorrect! A president should not have money to distribute freely without being checked by parliament. It is not his right and it is not his money.” The late Syrian leader returned the money untouched – every single year – to the Syrian treasury during his…

May 12th, 2008, 4:59 pm


norman said:

Angry Arab,,

Saudi Arabia has just announced the closure of its embassy in Beirut, and the recall of its ambassador from Lebanon. The announcement said that Al-Qa`idah in Lebanon will now officially represent the Saudi government in Lebanon, and is authorized to issues visas

May 12th, 2008, 4:59 pm


abraham said:

By the way, there is one person one vote in Israel.

Meanwhile, 1.5 million Gazans starve on your border, a direct result of your “democracy” in action.

May 12th, 2008, 5:06 pm


abraham said:

How can you have a rational discussion when all your arguments are based on the intentions of Israel which you know nothing about?

Oh, no, Mr. Mossad. We know all too well of Israeli intentions after 60 years of having to live with them in our midst. In fact, we know you Israelis better than you would ever hope to.

May 12th, 2008, 5:09 pm


Innocent_Criminal said:

there are 2 reasons and 2 reasons only why the saudis would pull out their ambassador.


  • they are worried they will be attacked by militias in the impeding chaos


  • they are getting out before outside forces (i.e. US or Israel) start hitting HA

May 12th, 2008, 5:19 pm


abraham said:

Observer said:

Now what is intriguing to me is how stupid the Saudis turned out to be.

Observer, what you ascribe to Saudi stupidity is much better explained when you realize it is at the directive of the Americans. The Saudi-American dynamic is still a mystery to most people. Who knows what deal the Saudi’s struck with the Americans in the wake of 9/11? Once we figure it out (if ever) it’ll explain a lot that has happened in the ME for the past 8 years.

May 12th, 2008, 5:21 pm


SANDRO said:

Maybe the big mistake is the wishfull thinking of believing that arabs just because they are arabs will be ready to support the worse of arabs (or even just muslims in the case of Iran) just before supporting a cause presented by America. If America had good relations with Syria, most syrians would prefer America than Iran, and would be proud of having “american imperial citizenship” like actually Jordans do. The second “if” of course would be “if there were democracy to know what people think”. So this is a perfect falacy, change dictator and bring one pro-American, then establish good relations with America and Syrians will be pro-America, even if Palestinians starve or God is in prison. Same to apply in any other country.

May 12th, 2008, 5:24 pm


abraham said:

Freedom is not cheap. You pay for it in blood. If there is one thing I would die for it is freedom. Patrick Henry said: Give me liberty or give me death.

That’s funny, because that’s exactly what the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank are doing every day.

AIG, I didn’t realize you were such a student of American revolutionary history. It’s just too bad you and your fellow zealots never take away any lessons from it.

May 12th, 2008, 5:25 pm


Alex said:


the deal was that after Saddam is out, after Syria’s strong man (Hafez) passed away, and with Mubarak getting old and in no position to object, the U.S. will simplify the regional power structure by talking to only one Arab regional power … Saudi Arabia.

It was not necessarily an evil scheme, maybe they thought it is easier to manage the Arab world with one leadership address in Riyadh than to send the U.S. secretary of State to shuttle continuously between Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad, and Riyadh in order to get the Arabs to approve new plans and directions.

But their severe miscalculations resulted in many people dying, and many countries in chaos… Syria insisted to remain one of the Arab regional powers… it was essential that only Saudi Arabia represents the Arabs… they are still trying hard to keep Lebanon a Saudi protectorate.

As I said few days ago .. tomorrow will bring us more drama … nothing can be changed dramatically over night. We will see more attempts from the bitter “leaders” in Washington and Riyadh who will try things they really did not want to try … but Syria and friends are not leaving them any other option.

Nasrallah and General Michel Sleiman need to move very fast to establish order and to take Hizbollah away from any place it should not be in.

Seniora and Hariri should still be allowed to remain the majority leaders and to lead the Lebanese government.

But … something tells me that Seniora will not play along .. he will obstruct things enough to make sure there are no solutions out of this Hizbollah move … he will make sure Lebanon is NOT better off after Hizbollah’s “corrective movement”

I might be wrong of course .. I hope I am.

May 12th, 2008, 5:33 pm


Naji said:

HA is holding a press conference now…


May 12th, 2008, 5:34 pm


abraham said:

Sandro said:

Even if the government is acting pros US and Israel, this is the democratically elected government.

That’s debatable, since the Lebanese government is well past its “sell by” date. And to call the Lebanese government “democratically elected” is a stretch anyway, considering how Lebanese politics work. And based on the US applying influence over the decisions of Jumblatt, Hariri and Seniora, how are they representative of the people of Lebanon? Hariri and Jumblatt and Seniora represent the interests of the Saudis and the Americans. The interests of the Lebanese people come second.

If America had good relations with Syria, most syrians would prefer America than Iran, and would be proud of having “american imperial citizenship” like actually Jordans do.

With logic like that, who could argue? Unfortunately, you are wrong. I wouldn’t exactly call the average Jordanian “pro-American”. Most Jordanians are ready to hang their king if given the chance. The Syrian regime is relatively popular, certainly more popular to Syrians than “King” Hussein is to Jordanians. If the Syrian regime sold out to the Americans as Jordan did, support for Bashar would plummet overnight. Heck, it wouldn’t even wait that long.

May 12th, 2008, 5:39 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

Four days that changed the Middle East
By Rami G. Khouri
Daily Star staff
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.

If Lebanon shifts from street clashes to the hoped-for political compromise through a renewed national dialogue process, it will have a national unity government whose two factions receive arms, training, funds and political support from both the United States and Iran. Should this happen, an unspoken American-Iranian political condominium in Lebanon could prove to be key to power-sharing and stability in other parts of the region, such as Palestine, Iraq and other hot spots. This would also mark a huge defeat for the United States and its failed diplomatic approach that seeks to confront, battle and crush the Islamist-nationalists throughout the region.

The brief, isolated, but intense clashes that occurred in the four days between Wednesday and Sunday threatened a total, Iraq-like collapse of Lebanon, with the Hizbullah-led alliance controlling power in the capital Beirut and other critical areas. The frantic pace of political and street action comprised and clarified four noteworthy developments, whose implications for the rest of the Middle East could be momentous:

1. When the government decided to challenge Hizbullah on Tuesday by announcing it was sacking the Shiite army general in charge of airport security and dismantling Hizbullah’s underground security telecommunications network, Hizbullah saw this as the first serious attempt by the government to try and disarm it. Hizbullah immediately challenged the government, warned it against these decisions, and made a show of force to protect its security and telecommunications system. When street clashes started in several parts of Beirut, the Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hizbullah-led opposition alliance quickly and roundly asserted its dominance over the US- and Saudi-backed government alliance. Put to the test, the new balance of power in Lebanon affirmed itself on the street for the first time in less than 24 hours.

2. All the Lebanese parties repeatedly indicated a preference for political compromise over communal war, but also showed they were prepared to fight if forced to. The persistent negotiations via the mass media included critical agreements on naming the armed forces commander, General Michel Suleiman, as the new president, resuming the national dialogue, forming a government of national unity, and revising the electoral law before holding parliamentary elections next year. Negotiating offers came in sequence from Hizbullah secretary general and Shiite leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Future Movement head and Sunni leader Saad Hariri, Sunni Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, and the Shiite Amal movement of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, a Hizbullah ally.

3. The newly vulnerable government effectively backed down Saturday and reversed its two decisions, as Hizbullah had demanded. The street balance of power was translated into a new political equation inside Lebanon. Hizbullah and its allies had achieved on the street that which they had been asking for politically: the capacity to veto government decisions that were seen as threatening Hizbullah’s security and resistance activities.

4. By immediately handing over to the armed forces those few buildings and strategic locations that they had taken over in Beirut, Hizbullah and its allies sent the signal that they did not want to rule the entire country, and that they trusted the army as a neutral arbiter between the warring Lebanese factions. Prime Minister Siniora sent the same message when he asked the armed forces and their commander, Suleiman, to decide on the fate of the two contested government security decisions that had sparked Hizbullah’s move into West Beirut. The armed forces emerged as the powerful political arbiter and peace-keeper, effectively forming a fourth branch of government, and the only one that is credible and effective in the eyes of the entire population.

All factions have agreed to get their gunmen off the streets and leave only the army and police as public security guardians. Now they are expected to follow up quickly by formally naming Suleiman as president (to which they have all agreed already), agreeing on a transitional national unity government of technocrats, and drawing up a new election law. The precise sequence of those events is one of the disputed points that must be agreed, but agreement may be easier now that the army has emerged as a pivotal arbiter and political actor.

The new domestic political balance of power in Lebanon will reflect millennia-old indigenous Middle Eastern traditions of different and often quarreling parties that live together peacefully after negotiating power relationships, rather than one party totally defeating and humiliating the other. 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.

May 12th, 2008, 5:44 pm


ausamaa said:

From Al Jazeera:

63% of respondents to its poll regarding Lebanon said that the Lebanese Government is responsible for the current security crisis in Lebanon.

So, those who think the same at Syria Comment are not unique in the opinions they voice here. Unless the visitors of Al Jazeera site are overly biased also:

مدة التصويت: من10/5/2008 إلى 13/5/2008
موضوع التصويت

من يتحمل مسؤولية تفجّر الوضع الأمني بلبنان؟

الخيارات النسبة عدد الأصوات
الموالاة 63.2%

المعارضة 18.0%

الاثنان معا 18.8%

إجمالي المصوتين 38734

نتيجة التصويت لا تعبر عن رأي الجزيرة وإنما تعبر عن رأي الأعضاء المشاركين فيه.

May 12th, 2008, 5:45 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

It is not my cup of tea but I know you like poetry so here goes:

I think it will cheer you up a little.

May 12th, 2008, 6:04 pm


SANDRO said:


It seems you are very naive about democracy. Do you think in Germany, France, Spain, Great Britain or Italy, external pressures did not play an important role in some parts of their history ? People can elect someone who is a puppet of the Devil or some one who is stupid but this is the democratic election and if you do not accept it, like or not, you are not a democrat. And that’s all. So, in Lebanon you can vote for a pro-american or for a pro-irani but at the end the anti-syrian won democratically. You can say they had no brain, no reflexion, no religion, no intelligence, they were puppets. Whatever you want but they are the democratic winners and you are the losers. Like HA and Aoun are.

And those who are trying to change this democracy are fascists, because they think their opinion is more valid than the opinion of the majority.

May 12th, 2008, 6:11 pm


Naji said:

The question and answer session is brilliant…must see…!!

These people are so idealistic and principled, yet quite shrewd… makes it difficult for all the pundits, analysts, and cynical academics and citizens to figure out correctly… making the situation all the more dangerous…!!

In response to a question, the HA spokesman was almost surprised and insisted that all the “military action” was strictly a reaction for self-defense and the defense of Lebanon and its Resistance… Their political grievances , on the other hand, will be addressed through demonstrations and civil disobedience as was originally planned…!

May 12th, 2008, 6:14 pm


ausamaa said:

Saudi closed its Embassy in Lebanon without giving a day’s notice!!!

Any take on this?

And please dont tell me Israel is going to invade or the Marines are going to land on the beaches of Lebanon so the Saudies decided to be far away.If you tell me that they have information that Israel and the US are planning to attack Syria and Lebanon at the same time, I may beleive it a bit more. Maybe they dont want to extend financial assistance to a coming government not fully owned by them? Or is it too much humilation by many during the Arab League ministrial meeting in Cairo yesterdy?

They just packed their bags and left! Reminds me of how some young card players throw their cards on the table in disgust, spoil the game for others, and angrily quit the game when they lose a couple of hands.

They are so used to having things their way, that their Love for Lebanon is not enough of a motivation to keep them trying to help their “brothers” there.

Now things may start moving forward..

May 12th, 2008, 6:15 pm


norman said:


i wonder if the us is planing an attack,

May 12th, 2008, 6:24 pm


Naji said:

Aussamaa, I like your take on the Saudi Embassy closing… I hope you are correct…!!

norman said:
Angry Arab,,
Saudi Arabia has just announced the closure of its embassy in Beirut, and the recall of its ambassador from Lebanon. The announcement said that Al-Qa`idah in Lebanon will now officially represent the Saudi government in Lebanon, and is authorized to issues visas
May 12th, 2008, 4:59 pm

Innocent_Criminal said:
there are 2 reasons and 2 reasons only why the saudis would pull out their ambassador.

they are worried they will be attacked by militias in the impeding chaos

they are getting out before outside forces (i.e. US or Israel) start hitting HA
May 12th, 2008, 5:19 pm

May 12th, 2008, 6:27 pm


abraham said:

Sandro said:

It seems you are very naive about democracy.

Oh, ok Sandro, I get it now. You are a fan of democracy insofar as it puts those with whom you agree in power.

May 12th, 2008, 6:37 pm


Qifa Nabki said:



Ouwet guys are so slimy.

May 12th, 2008, 6:37 pm


Bashmann said:

Alex and Norman,

I’m answering your previous comments on this thread, as you seem to be living on this blog.

There are a lot of things you both do not know about me, so please DO NOT assume you do, you know what they say when you assume.

Alex, your attempts in you previous comment in depicting my opposition to the Syrian regime as “an anti Shia and anti Alawite” is slanderous and defamatory and frankly shows your despicable tactics to which I’m pointing to. I do not appreciate it and will not tolerate another comment from you in such a fashion, so please refrain from smearing my character by pure judgmental phrases and measure up to the rules you make everyone on SC adhere to. Here is what you said;

“You continue to imagine that anyone who does nto share your anti regime anti Shia anti Alawite feelings is not objective.”

“And I happen to believe that your idols in Saudi Arabia”

“many of you that make you till this day dream of taking revenge from the Alawites”

You have certainly proved to me one thing about your sentiments towards the opposition which are blinded by your motives (whatever those might be!!). I will not conjecture, speculate, nor personally throw labels on you, so please do not do the same. I simply stated you support the regime by your own words which you emphasize at every opportunity;

“I happen to believe that “the regime” is the best thing out there for the stability of Syria, and on the long run, for the stability of the Middle East.”

No matter what your opinion of the regime it’s yours and I’m simply pointing out the follies of your stand and convictions. Your attitudes towards dissenting Syrian voices are similar to the regime and I would not expect otherwise from you, even when those attitudes seem to be counter-productive to the “stability” of Syria which you seem to be so concerned about. I happen to believe that ONLY true political reforms and the rule of law will save Syria from imminent disaster in the near future. You happened to think those reforms are not first priority. Tell that to the prisoners of conscience in Syrian jails.
I will advance my argument and you will yours. Stick to these guidelines please.

The unfortunate thing about all this that you brought up my supposed “revenge from the Alawites” and “Anti Alawite feelings” into the discussion to portray me as a sectarian zealot. I feel you have shown your true colors by these judgmental statements and I’m frankly embarrassed to even get involved into such a sectarian discussion on this blog, but if you insist on dragging me into it then I have no choice but enlighten you about my ancestral background.

Let me give you one small fact about me which might surprise you and Norman to know, my mother, may she rest in peace, is an Alawite. Surprise!! You should be. I know more about the Alawite sect. than both of your combined knowledge. I have cousins, uncles, and aunts that had been hugely impacted by the sectarian practices of the Assad family. With this said, I would advice you both to check my blog by clicking my name above and I dare you to find a single phrase which constitute a sectarian remark. I make a point of my opposition to the regime that I will not descend to the level of sectarian speech or remarks.

I warn you not to even go there.


Your statement is also erroneous and judgmental:

“What I fear is that your objection to the regime comes only from the fact that Bashar Assad is not Sunni, and that is shameful.”

Take the same advice I gave Alex.


May 12th, 2008, 6:42 pm


Alex said:


I checked your blog long time ago and i told you that I liked your opinions there.

But I know people with an Alawite parent who still hate Alawites or Shia being in power in any country.

So that does not prove a thing… I know many people who think they are secular (because they have Christian friends, or because they drink), but they just can not tolerate the Shia to be in power.

What I said was my opinion. I still stick by it. We had too many conversations for me not to have that opinion.

Here is a sample of your opinions:

“Conscious decision! By who? Mr President? Bashar could not see beyond his nose. His novice adventure in power cost him 30 years of political, ideological, and strategic maneuvering that his father built.
He was kicked out of Lebanon in a humiliating fashion, alienated his best money sources, i.e. Saudia Arabia, and opened the country for the Mullah’s of Iran and their fanatic adherents, and you talk about radicalism!

You are a mouth-piece of a regime that has lost touch with reality.
Ehsani analysis are based on reality, you on the other hand is delusional.”


One more thing … I am a big fan of Rime Allaf and she is a serious regime critic … I also like Murhaf Jouejati, another regime critic …. and I like Aref Dalileh and Michel Kilo … all regime critics. And I said that it is a shame that the regime has them in prison.

But you want me to also support Mamoun Homsy types … crooks or idiots who pretend to be democratic reformers.

May 12th, 2008, 6:58 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

Abraham, this one’s for you: 😉

(From Angry Arab) :

Just a word of caution on Lebanon. These are historic times in Lebanon. I have been thinking about the significance of them as I am trying to finish my article for Al-Akhbar, and I have been experiencing my first writer’s bloc. I am not pleased with the exuberance that is exhibited by some leftists toward the developments in Lebanon. I believe that the radical left, or the revolutionary left, should be careful in evaluating the situation. I see that the Lebanese Communist Party has for all purposes conflated its position with that of Hizbullah–at least during this crisis. The radical left should keep a distance from an organization (i.e. Hizbullah) with which it does not share an ideology–a religious fundamentalist one at that. Today, I kept thinking of the leader of the Iranian Communist Party who sang the praises of Khumayni only to be forced to appear on TV (after the revolution) and make Stalinist-style “confessions”. He later was executed as were other communists. The radical left, it has to be ascertained is fiercely opposed to the US/Israeli/Saudi plan and its implementers in Lebanon (Jumblat, Hariri, and Ja`ja` and the other gangs of March 14), and is dedicated to the liberation of Palestine. But it can’t abandon its other important principles of social justice, secularism, and pluralist politics–and these are issues that Hizbullah either opposes or has a bad record on. The Left in Lebanon remains the only group without a militia and it is not an accident: the March 14 and the Hizbullah-led opposition don’t want the left to play a role in Lebanon, and this was something that the Syrian regime and Iran (and Israel of course) agreed on. I was also displeased with the closure of Hariri media, as much as I detest them and as much as I believe that they have been engaged in acute sectarian mobilization that is exactly the same as of the propaganda of Al-Qa`idah. I will not enjoy writing in Al-Akhbar and attacking my opponents if they are not on an equal footing: especially if their media are closed. One sided polemics are the stuff of which the Saudi and Syrian media are made, and we can’t replicate that in Lebanon. Having said that: i still blame the Hariri Inc for the crisis, and their external backers: the agenda of the external backers pose the biggest threat to Lebanon and Palestine, but that does not mean that the left should be a mere cheerleader of organizations that are not leftist.

May 12th, 2008, 7:09 pm


ausamaa said:

Naji, Norman

Saudi departure from Lebanon,

One also has to make allowances for the possibility that the Saudies were subjected to great pressures by the Bush Administration to follow a certain ominous course which they considered as being exceedingly tougher than their ability to follow, coupled with not being fully capable of controlling their allies who could have stronger ties to the Bush crowd (which partially explaines the contradictions in the Feb 14 camp) that they decided that the whole thing is too much to for them to bear.

And I dont beleive they left out fear that some Lebanese would attack them. No one in the anti-Feb 14 crowd would contemplate and commit such a senseless act, unless they feared or were warned of an attack from “the black” and yet undiscovered ghosts who have committed Hariri’s and the other assasinations in Lebanon.

Let us see what they have to say themselves and even then we will have to read between the lines.

Anyway, Lebanon is known for driving nuts all powers who thought they have figured things out there.

May 12th, 2008, 7:13 pm


abraham said:

QN, I read As’ad’s blog daily and wouldn’t miss a post, so I’ve already read this. Thanks anyway 🙂

As’ad is basically admonishing Hizballah to not be dicks, and I agree. Of course, an old communist like As’ad thinks socialism is the answer to everything, and of course he’s wrong. There is no one political ideology that can solve all problems, and there is no political problem that can be solved by one ideology.

May 12th, 2008, 7:18 pm


Alex said:

Qifa NAbki,

I suggested that AlManar or NBN should voluntarily close for as long as AL-Mustaqbal is closed.

What do you think?

May 12th, 2008, 7:21 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


I wish you were president of Lebanon.


May 12th, 2008, 7:25 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

Abraham said:

As’ad is basically admonishing Hizballah to not be dicks, and I agree.

I actually think that I would consider giving up a finger or a toe to see As`ad (or Abraham) tell Hassan Nasrallah not to be a “dick”.

That memory, I would treasure for life.


May 12th, 2008, 7:27 pm


Naji said:

“other important principles of social justice, secularism, and pluralist politics–and these are issues that Hizbullah either opposes or has a bad record on”… I just don’t know where Abu Khalil gets this…?? I don’t want to be stuck defending HA on everything, but these people, while very religious, are completely secular, democratic, pluralistic, and are all about social justice… just watch Al Manar for a few days….!!! On these issues, unfortunately perhaps, the torch has long ago passed from the “radical left” (is there even still such a thing?!) to the religious parties…!! Perhaps, like me, he finds them aesthetically disagreeable… and that causes him the reticence and hesitancy he complains of…?! I find that their principled stances and idealism more than make up for their religiosity and scruffy beards…!!

May 12th, 2008, 7:35 pm


ausamaa said:


Why is Future TV still off the air? Hizbullah’s Fadlalah was on TV two days ago and said he wished they resumed brodcasting immediately. They are enjoying playing the victim to draw much needed sympathy.

You know what I think?

قاطعين ايدن و عم يشحدو عليها

And they have Al Arabia TV also, so, they can use it as they like, and they have been…

May 12th, 2008, 7:36 pm


Naji said:

Speaking of Al Manar, Ibrahim Al Amin (Chief Editor of Al Akhbar) is on… not to be missed in these circumstances…!!

Ibrahim Al Amin thinks there will be war, …and he is very well informed…!!

He is also quite critical of the opposition on many counts, but on a different level than the M14ners…

My earlier predictions are sort of coming true, but… I feel quite awful about it…!!! I would much rather that my positive-thinking predictions came true instead… there was even a glass of araq and an argileh on the corniche, on QN’s account and in his company, in it for me…!!

Well, on a positive note, it’ll all be over by Autumn… whatever it is…!!

May 12th, 2008, 7:39 pm


Oliver MacDous said:

Amin Gemayel just returned to Lebanon from Paris and he was afraid that the leader of the Lebanese forces will try to oust or negotiate a better position with him out the country.

Frank Lamb reports that the popularity of Jumblatt in the mountains has essentially crumbled and he lost his base.

Hariri met with the US and UK ambassadors and he did not seem to be interested in politics any longer and certainly not in any advice the US is giving him anymore.

The Saudi Ambassador departure indicates a war is in the offing, not only he left but they closed the embassy.

This fits well with information that the NSC has approved a plan to attack one or several camps of the Quds force near Tehran in retaliation for what is happening in Lebanon ( courtesy of Garry Leupp @ counterpunch.org )

Some are calling on the army to remove the illegitimate Siniora from office.

As for the Saudi policy I quote Einstein when he defined insanity as the persistence in doing the same thing when it has resulted in bad situations. I do think that they are in a full panic mode and that they are paralyzed with internal fighting over the succession between some factions and others including the Sudeiri clan and the clan of late Faisal.

This is absolutely awful on all accounts.

May 12th, 2008, 7:43 pm


norman said:

Can the Arabs pull Lebanon back from the brink?
By Roula Khalaf

Published: May 12 2008 17:36 | Last updated: May 12 2008 17:36

When Hizbollah overran west Beirut last week, humiliating the governing coalition and its Sunni leadership, it demonstrated by force what many Lebanese already knew – that, as the most heavily armed group in the country, it had the power to devastate its opponents.

But in using its military might, for the first time, against other Lebanese parties, the Shia movement also sent a chilling message to the leading Sunni powers in the region.

Civil war fear as Lebanon clashes escalate – May-12Sunni vow revenge in struggle with Shia – May-12Iran and Syria accused over Beirut chaos – May-11Editorial Comment: Beirut on fire – May-09FT Briefing: Hizbollah – May-09Hizbollah seizes Muslim west Beirut – May-09If pushed too far, Hizbollah warned, it was now willing to be dragged into civil war, one in which it was, in any case, likely to prevail. And as many in the Middle East are all too aware, a sectarian war in Lebanon might not end there.

Will Saudi Arabia, the main backer of the Lebanese government, allow its allies to capitulate to the Iranian-backed Hizbollah? And how long might it be before Iran, and Israel too, become more deeply entangled in the Lebanese quagmire?

With Iraq still burning and Palestine in perpetual turmoil, Middle Eastern rulers have been desperate to prevent another conflict. Yet, for months now, the region has been swept by conspiracy theories and rumours of imminent conflagration.

Even as the Gulf celebrated its economic prowess, splashing its oil wealth on development projects, its leaders have been spooked by the gloomy mood around them.

Some analysts foresaw a new war starting with a big bang – an American strike on Iran or an Israeli military campaign against Syria. Others expected an intense Israeli assault on Gaza that would eventually draw in Hizbollah and, in time, more neighbours.

Still others feared a weak and divided Lebanon was the most likely flashpoint, forecasting renewed violence between Hizbollah and Israel along the southern Lebanon border or the long-drawn out political struggle in Beirut spilling into all-out conflict.

Now that at least one of the scenarios is being played out, what will the region do about it?

Arab foreign ministers rushed to Cairo for an emergency Arab League meeting over the weekend, a predictable but probably futile step. Then, true to form, they set up an oversized committee to travel to Lebanon.

Privately, the Saudis and Egyptians were making clear that Hizbollah’s show of force was unacceptable, but offered little in the way of concrete measures to counter it.

Part of the problem is that Lebanon has been a divisive factor in Arab politics, pitting Syria, which backs the Hizbollah-led opposition, against Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others. The regional heavyweights boycotted the Arab League summit in Damascus in March because Syria dismissed their pleas to help facilitate the election of a Lebanese president (a post vacant since November).

Not long before that, Syria’s allies in the Lebanese opposition shrugged off an Arab League proposal for an end to almost two years of paralysing power struggle in Beirut.

The fact is that Arab states will not rescue Lebanon by simply talking to each other. Most have no leverage over the Lebanese opposition. And those who do – notably Syria – are intransigent.

Surely a more useful attempt at dialogue should involve Iran, Hizbollah’s chief backer. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran have an interest in containing a Sunni-Shia conflict of the vicious kind that has blighted Iraq – and that is what Lebanon’s violence is bound to develop into unless rapidly checked.

Saudi Arabia can ill-afford to have its Sunni allies routed by a Shia group and could, eventually, be forced to intervene militarily. But Iran too has much to lose from a Lebanese civil war, not least Hizbollah’s aura of mighty resistance movement confronting Israel.

It was a tacit agreement between Riyadh and Tehran that had until now contained the Lebanese crisis to a tense political standoff, stopping previous violent outbursts from spiralling out of control. This understanding has now broken down. But it has to be restored if Lebanon is to be pulled back from the brink.

The writer is Middle East editor of the Financial Times
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

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May 12th, 2008, 7:44 pm


Alex said:

Ausamaa … I know, but it would be smart to match them whatever they do … it would be good for the history books to show that HA closed Almanar when Almustaqbal was forced to close.

And you know what … these days the less TV the better … with the exception of LBC which is doing great so far, all the others are very biased.

If it were up to me, I would close them all .. NBN, Almanar, Aarabiya …

May 12th, 2008, 7:46 pm


Loubnan ya Loubnan - le retour « Ibn Kafka’s obiter dicta - divagations d’un juriste marocain en liberté surveillée said:

[…] Bien évidemment, il y a l’incontournable Angry Arab, a.k.a. As’ad Abu Khalil (qui passe chez Democracy Now), à déconseiller aux hariristes hypertendus. D’autres blogs généralistes sont également très utiles – Friday Lunch Club, et des analyses intéressantes chez Abu Muqawama et Syria Comment. […]

May 12th, 2008, 7:56 pm


SHAMI said:

Alex ,
how do u estimate anti alawi feelings in Syria,it have increased or decreased compared to 40 years ago ?
what’s your plan for a healthy political transition ….?do u think that a political and peaceful alternative in Syria is possible ?Or change can only happen through violent means?
(plz stay in syria )

May 12th, 2008, 7:59 pm


Naji said:

OH, NO… !!! Observer, in MacDous mode, has just confirmed my earlier scenario… and I have come to believe that he knows everything…!!

It is that 3-pronged defanging crap… another fucking hot summer of criminal lunacy… 🙁

Btw, what happened to our young MSK…??! Wasn’t his las gig working for Jumblatt…?! I am worried for him…

May 12th, 2008, 8:01 pm


Seeking the Truth said:

Alex said:
I am a big fan of Rime Allaf and she is a serious regime critic…

Could you please provide a sample of (web link to) her critisism of a political policy of the regime.

May 12th, 2008, 8:20 pm


ausamaa said:

Does the Cole have fire power much superior to the nuclear powered aircraft carrier called USS Israel which is in the immediate vicinity of Lebanon???

It is did not just happen to be returning to base in Italy is it?

As to WAR, No War, an nformed Seer has told me after consulting with a source within the Bush directionless policy making group in DC.

May 12th, 2008, 9:29 pm


Simon said:

These articles sound like spin from the losers and their supporters. Similar to how Hizbullah “lost” to the Israelis. Look for the moment Hizbullah kicked the Marth 4th’s butt, deal with it. Do what George Bush never does, live in the reality.

May 12th, 2008, 9:37 pm


Naji said:


I’ll sleep on your assurance… You better be right…!

“the Bush directionless policy making group” always leaves mayhem in its wake when lost… 😉

May 12th, 2008, 9:42 pm


ausamaa said:


But as I wrote two days ago: After so many lost battles, Bush must have developed a sportsmanship approach to winning and losing. He seems reconciled with himself, revenge is not a must-do thing and losing does not bother him anymore.

May 12th, 2008, 10:01 pm


abraham said:

I am not sure about whether there will be a war. My personal feeling as of right now based on everything I’m reading and observing is that, if there was a war planned, it is being held off, for now.

On the other hand, the Saudi’s leaving town is an odd thing. I don’t know that the Saudi’s would leave in a huff even if the gang they were backing was routed and himiliated. There’s something to that that needs to get investigated. I’m not sure what it means.

May 12th, 2008, 11:28 pm


Alex said:

SHAMI said:

Alex ,
how do u estimate anti alawi feelings in Syria,it have increased or decreased compared to 40 years ago ?
what’s your plan for a healthy political transition ….?do u think that a political and peaceful alternative in Syria is possible ?Or change can only happen through violent means?
(plz stay in syria )

Seeking the Truth said:

Alex said:
I am a big fan of Rime Allaf and she is a serious regime critic…

Could you please provide a sample of (web link to) her critisism of a political policy of the regime.



The plan is to start with limited seats in parliament for independents and other political parties (non religious and non ethnic based) … then few years later go for more political reforms that should lead to a freely elected prime minister.

Then … we’ll see : )


You don’t need links … Rime criticizes everything. But she does it in a very balanced way. And she knows how to do that without helping her country’s enemies.

May 13th, 2008, 6:47 am


Antoun said:

Rex Brynen analysis sounds reasonable.

Hizballah promised not to use its arms against the state, and it has.

It has broken promises, weaved in and out of its opponents neighbourhoods quite easily, humiliated March 14 leaders and so forth.

Its reputation among the Lebanese may have been damaged, and fears of its power are growing.

Or is it?

I noted in my own analysis that a strong PR war would be under way to win the hearts of minds of the Lebanese. I noted that Hizballah had a lot of work to do to recover the trust of the Lebanese people.

And March 14 appear to be helping them.

I’m not sure when Rex wrote his analysis, but I wrote mine before news of the Halba massacre came out.

100 FM supporters killed 12 SSNPers, mutilated their bodies and destroyed the SSNP office. The injured who went to hospital, were hunted down by the FM supporters and killed in the hospital.

Other incidents have indeed taken place throughout the country, but the spin on this one is that some foolish FM supporter filmed the massacre.

The SSNP have released the videos onto the internet. YouTube had them on for a while, but took them down. Lebanese sites still have them up. I have them up on my own blog.

Thousands have viewed, thousands are disgusted. The main Opposition internet forum, LFPM.org, have posted links to the videos and people are venting their disgust and anger. People who have never liked the SSNP are venting their disgust and anger.

Saad Hariri has lost an opportunity to gain in the PR war, an advantage Rex Brynen was sure March 14 would take. He has shot himself in the foot. Images of this atrocious, barbaric act, committed by Future Movement supporters, is all over the internet, and even foreign media outlets are beginning to get their hands on them. Whether they air it to the Western public is another question.

I’m praying the SSNP restrains itself and doesn’t carry out revenge attacks. Then it will truly be a civil war. But it will be hard for a generally vengeful party like the SSNP, with the full backing of Syria, to control its rage.

I’m praying.

May 13th, 2008, 12:36 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Hezbollah now acting the silly Mottakian Diplo in Lebanon. Respecting and seeking compromises with traitor thugs that are on CIA-Mossad payroll. Having Qatar as lead negotiator is an offence to any decent person dignity and honor. This country not only sleeping in the same Israeli pants Olmert wearing, but it has been a prime hole in the ground for waging genocidal wars on our Greater Syria and its people since the first Persian Gulf war. It has provided Mossad and their underling the American armada all the bases and logistics to carry out unhindered these crimes against our nation. Qatar is training with Mossad agents and the West for prep to an attack on Iran as we speak right here. The resistance in Lebanon should have some dignity and honor and not bend over or take anything from the dirty hands. They should have it their way, because it is the only right way. All Moslems, including Syria’s Sunni Moslems are in support of the Lebanese resistance. You have the power use it, the American style. Have the cowards surrender or else.

May 14th, 2008, 5:59 pm


wizart said:

Future TV denied FM had anything to do with Halba. Absent absolute evidence to the contrary, the story is part of a smear campaign. Anybody can shoot a massacre video and use it to attack his target.

May 14th, 2008, 6:37 pm


ugarit said:

“By the way, there is one person one vote in Israel.

Meanwhile, 1.5 million Gazans starve on your border, a direct result of your “democracy” in action.”

There are millions of Palestinians in Gaza, “West Bank”, Jerusalem who are not citizens of Israel yet Israel occupies the land and controls virtually every aspect of their lives. When will those Palestinians be given Israeli citizenship?

May 14th, 2008, 6:59 pm


Jihad Nasr said:

Mr. Landis, I don’t see how Rex Brynen’s argument can be described as “powerful.”

Mr. Brynen makes two very weak points.

Firrt, Mr. Brynen pretends that Sayed Narallah made a blunder by not foreseeing the 2006 Zionist onslaught on innocent civilians in Lebanon. Such talk begs the question: did Mr. Brynen foresee such crimes against humanity back then?

Mr. Brynen undermines his “powerful” argument by stating that the DEFEAT, yes Mr. Brynen, DEFEAT of the Zionist army was possible “because the Israelis made even more serious mistakes, but it certainly wasn’t a triumph of strategic master thought.”

It might interest Mr. Brynen, and many other deniers of the total triumph of Hizbollah in the 2006 INTERNATIONAL WAR on the party and its supporters, especially Muslim Shiites, to read how Hizbollah defeated the Zionist army on three fronts: intelligence, media and the battlefield. A detailed study of the subject was written in Asia Times by Alastair Crooke and Mark Perry. Here is the link: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HJ12Ak01.html.

Second, Mr. Brynen writes that “there was the withdrawal from cabinet, and the ‘tent camp’ siege of the government–which turned out to NOT to have the rapid and decisive effect that Hizbullah intended. [Sayed] Nasrallah seems to have never anticipated that he would simply be ignored, and that it would be business as usual in the Grand Serail.”

Aside from being condescending, Mr. Brynen as well as others like him seems to forget that had Sayed Nasrallah wanted to enter the Grand Serail he would have done it from day one. And many, many, many Lebanese wanted Hizbollah to get rid of the collaborationists and criminals inside the Serail, the same ones whom Mr. Brynen was defending back in 2007 when they were destroying the Palestinian refugees camp of Naher El-Bared.

It is understandable that Mr. Brynen would take the side of the Siniora gang that fed him propaganda and lies when he was welcomed inside the Serail. And he had the audacity of protesting on the pages of the Middle East Report the destruction and havoc brought on the camp and its civilian inhabitants by thugs like Sionira and Hariri. According to him, the Siniora government “has broken with more than half a century of Lebanese government policy in an effort to improve the living conditions of Palestinian refugees.” Both Muhammad Ali Khalidi and As’ad Abukhalil have made an excellent job in responding to the preposterous claims made by Mr. Brynen in defending what can only be described as a criminal gang in Beirut.

Finally, one can only advise readers of this blog and elsewhere to watch what Sheikh Maher Hamoud, the Imam of the Quds Mosque in Sidon, has said on Aljazeera’s “Hiwar Maftou7” a few days back. It is the best antidote against the propaganda coming out from the Grand Serail in Beirut and McGill University in Montréal!

May 17th, 2008, 1:04 pm


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