The War is Over: What Were They Thinking?

The war is over. Hizbullah has taken control of West Beirut in one day of fighting, during which Hariri's amateur and untested militia proved no match for the highly trained and war hardened Hizbullah fighters.

The outcome of this showdown was completely predictable. Anyone who expected the Lebanese Army to take on Hizbullah on behalf of the Sunni leaders of Beirut was dreaming.

It appears that the military, realizing the lopsided distribution of power, has sided with Hizbullah. Hizbullah has been turning over the strategic centers to Lebanese military elements as soon as it captures them. The military hs assumed control of the al-Mustaqbal offices.

Only yesterday, I argued that Washington had to be coordinating with Jumblatt and March 14th forces. I could not believe that Jumblatt's and the government’s efforts to dismantle Hizbullah's secure communications network was anything but a calculated effort to force a confrontation.

Qifa Nabki said I was wrong. He proposed that Jumblatt had gone of half-cocked and was dragging Hariri and Siniora into a confrontation that no one was prepared for, least of all Washington and the West. I could not believe that the pro-Western alliance would be so foolish and disorganized. When Ambassador Feltman was in Beirut, this would not have happened. He was in constant motion, conferring with the March 14 forces and brow beating Hizbullah and Aoun. One may have objected to his constant interference and hectoring, but there was little room for the lack of coordination between the US and March 14 leaders.

Now I am inclined to believe that March 14 was dragged along by rash leadership. It is hard to believe Washington would be so foolish. There will be those who believe this is part of a larger US and Israeli plan to sucker Hizbullah into overreaching only to provide justification for a second Israeli attack. Neither the governments in Washington or Jerusalem are in any clear-minded state to be thinking with such Machiavellian calculation.

I just received this note from Ehsani:

Dear Dr. Landis,

I just got off the phone with my business partner, who was staying at the Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut. Below is a summary of what he told me:

After heavy gunfire in the early hours of the morning, the hotel management advised its residents to vacate the hotel as it could not guarantee their safety. The rumor was that the HA forces might occupy the Saraya, the main government building, next door. The hotel itself was the recent spot for March 14th gatherings. Thus the hotel management was worried that HA could be planning to take over the Phoenicia itself.

At 6:15 am, my friend was evacuated with his family. Close friends guaranteed his safe passage to an apartment he owns in the Eastern (Christian) section of the city. As he left the Phoenicia, he described the scene outside as a "war zone".

The HA forces seemed to have total control of the situation on the ground. He described them to be "incredibly sophisticated" and organized as they moved through the streets.

Things could not be more different on the Eastern side of the city, where normalcy prevails. Reaching his apartment made him comfortable enough to feel like "there is nothing going on".

Normalcy is also returning to the Western or Muslim side of the city occupied by Hizbullah. The reason for this is that HA has been completely successful in overwhelming opposition forces. The other side was not even close to matching them. They were overrun with such ease that HA can see no resistance in sight.

What was March 14th thinking? What is the U.S. going to do? The French Foreign Minister states that his country will not sit idly by and watch the events unfold. But what is France going to do? Send its forces into Lebanon? Are the Americans prepared to do the same?

What is likely to happen is that the White house and Condi will condemn the latest events and claim that HA is a terrorist organization that took over the democratically elected government by force. Great, like that is really going to scare HA and convince them to retreat.

Particularly noteworthy has been the behavior of the Lebanese army. HA takes over a building and seems to turn it over to an army unit that follows behind the Shiite party. This is very odd indeed. The army seems to resemble a U.N. force that watches over buildings and streets after they have been overrun by a sovereign military force.

What the future holds, no one can say. This round overwhelmingly and devastatingly belongs to HA and its supporters. Jumblat and Hariri Junior were crushed.

Comments (263)

Alex said:

Joshua said,

“Neither the governments in Washington or Jerusalem are in any clear-minded state to be thinking with such Machiavellian calculation.”

Junblatt and geagea do not necessarily deal with the “government” in Washington … their spiritual leaders are neocons.

Joshua … you know which Think Tanks they visited in Washington, and you know that those Think Tanks displayed a pattern of escalation with Syria and its regional allies … they do not retreat .. they escalate.

And that’s what M14 did wen they went after Hizbollah’s communication network and its friendly general at Beirut’s airport.

So why would you discount the possibility that David Schenker and friends advised junblatt to try a bit harder?

May 9th, 2008, 3:57 pm


ausamaa said:

“It is hard to believe Washington would be so foolish”

Why so? Where had Bush acted in a smart manner?

And again, Siniora and Junblate must have informed -if not cosulted with- someone in Riyadh or DC before taking their Council of Ministers resplutions which provoced the Opposition’s responses.

May 9th, 2008, 4:11 pm


Naji said:

Ga’ga is calling to arms on TV now…!

Hmmm… it turned out to be quite a pathetic call to arms…!!

May 9th, 2008, 4:11 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

They actually believed Nasrallah that he would not use force against fellow Lebanese, that is what they were thinking. Check the FM forums. They are already posting videos with alleged Hizballah atrocities.

What is Hizballah’s end game? It has got none. It will not coerce a national unity government.

May 9th, 2008, 4:12 pm


ausamaa said:

Now Ja’ja is assuming the Leadership position on TV!!! He statrted by praising and saluting Beirut “which has stood up to the forces of Israeli occupation”…

WOW….!!! Some show. Great Actors.

May 9th, 2008, 4:14 pm


offended said:

Ja’ja’, essem 3la mosamma

May 9th, 2008, 4:21 pm


ausamaa said:

OK, Ja’ja said he and Feb 14 are still alive and kicking.

Hw wants pressure to be put on bad Syria and bad Hizbullah.

What is this guy betting on? The US Marines or the Saudi National Gaurd to land on Beirut beaches to save his coalition?

I dont think Bush is very interested in such a proposition.

I guess Ja’ja just had to make an appearence. And he did. Fine, what is next?

May 9th, 2008, 4:23 pm


Naji said:

One view of the progress of this thing…

Naji said:
Marcel Ghanem is interviewing that freak, Jumblatt, on LBC right now…!! A must-see…!! I think it answers many of Josh’s and QN’s speculations above…!!?

I am beginning to believe that Nassrallah did it again…! These fools seem to have overshot their mark and are really trying to back down…!! Their bluff has been called and they have been stared down… I can’t believe it…!!! Even after Nassrallah called him the worst of names, Jumblatt seems to be bending over backwards to appease…!! He is actually being polite and concilliatory…!!

I remember Nassrallah saying during the press conference that he felt lucky that the other side was in such a nervous rush that they made the great mistake of pushing several offensive measures at once during that late-night session…, making it easier for HA to make its forcefull counter-move… it would have been much harder to mount such a forceful opposition, he candidly stated, had they snuck these decisions by, one at a time…!!
May 8th, 2008, 6:28 pm

Naji said:
This appears to have been a combined/coordinated Lebanese Army/Opposition “coup” that was met by a complete and sudden collapse of the M14 forces…!
May 9th, 2008, 9:48 am

Naji said:
It is interesting to note that there was a much publicized call from General Suleiman to Pres Asad only a couple of days ago…!

Pres Asad just declared that what is happening in Lebanon is an internal matter and wished everybody luck…!! So great for Syria to be “out” of Lebanon…!
May 9th, 2008, 10:22 am

Naji said:
As General Aoun said today, this is a victory for all of Lebanon, and not for one side over the other. It was basically a legitimate/justified military takeover by the president-in-waiting, General Suleiman, assisted by HA and the opposition, but made to look the other way around for political expedience and future reconciliation. Similar to the requests that have been voiced for the declaration of martial law, but done in that wonderful Lebanese way…!

The Lebanese I heard from today are glad for any break in the stalemate and gridlock, and are quite relieved that the violence was so controlled and limited… Don’t forget that a major calamity (including another Israeli/American war) had already been factored into Lebanese minds for this summer, hence the present relief at the relatively benign unfolding of events so far… ! Things could have been, and still can get, much worse…!
May 9th, 2008, 1:53 pm

Naji said:
QN (and Honest cousine),
Basically, what will happen now, General Suleiman finally in power and elections according to the Boutrous proposals (or close) [along with removing the tents and a return to some normalcy], is what you have been advocating for all along… So why are you upset…??!! …just because it did not happen the way you expected and not by the people you expected…??! Some of us trusted the opposition side to accomplish what everybody professed to want, and we are being proven right… so far…!
May 9th, 2008, 3:22 pm

May 9th, 2008, 4:31 pm


Georges said:

I’d love nothing more than the Saudi National Guard to land in Beirut 😉

May 9th, 2008, 4:33 pm


Naji said:

FPM on Friday evening, May 9th, 2008

باسيل: التيار سيكون الى جانب اي طائفة تشعر انها مستهدفة

اعلن مسؤول العلاقات السياسية في التيار الوطني الحر جبران باسيل، وخلال حديث تلفزيوني، انه في حال كان خبر نصيحة السعودية باستقالة السنيورة صحيحا ام لا فأنه ليس سببا ليشعر احد ان فريقا قد انتصر على آخر، نحن نريد ان ينتصر لبنان. كنا نريد ان تستقيل الحكومة بسبب الأزمة السياسية التي ادخلت البلاد فيها منذ حوالى سنتين، ولم تستجب لنداء اكثر من نصف الشعب اللبناني. الواضح انه لا يوجد ميزان داخلي لاستمرار هذه الحكومة وكل الدعم الخارجي ما عاد ينفع. الركيزة الاساس داخلية وهي موجودة ايضا عند تيار المستقبل ونحن
Read Article

العماد عون : سنرجع الى حياتنا العادية و طرقاتنا ستكون آمنة اتأمل ان لا ينتهي النهار ويكون هناك طريق مسكرة وان شاء الله نخرج من مخيمات المدينة والسراي في وقت واحد

امل النائب العماد ميشال عون “ان لا ينتهي النهار ويكون هناك طريق مسكرة، وان شاء الله نخرج من مخيمات المدينة والسراي في وقت واحد”. تعليقا على الاحداث الاخيرة قال العماد عون:”احب ان اتوجه اليوم الى شعبنا، كل شعبنا على الاراضي اللبناينة بصورة عامة، وشعبنا في بيروت بصورة خاصة. اليوم هو انتصار للبنان، وليس انتصار اناس على اناس اخرين، لانه في لبنان دائما ننتصر معاً هو انتصار بالعودة الى الميثاق الوطني، الى اعادة التوازن بين مكونات المجتمع اللبناني التي كانت مفقودة مما سبب لنا مشاكل سياسية وتدخلات عالمي
Read Article

ماذا يقول الهاربون من ميليشيا تيار المستقبل؟ خاص للـ””: أين يتدربون؟ وماذا يتمنون؟

بول باسيل”غررّ بنا”،”كان في مقدور حزب الله قتلنا”، “خاننا الرائد شحرور” مسؤول تيار المستقبل في شارع الحمرا، كلمات تفوّه بها “وليدات” هاربون من ميليشيا تيار المستقبل، تراواح أعمارهم بين 19 و 21 عاماً.”صحيح إنتصر علينا حزب الله” لكن إسرائيل آتية لتهزمه” كلمات تفوّه بها البعض الآخر من الذين يقرّون بهزيمتهم علّهم يستعيدون بعضاً من معنوياتهم التي ذهبت مع أفول معلمّهم “الخائن” الرائد شحرور الذي لم يعطهم السلاح.حوالى 250 شاباً مراهقاً من بلدات عكارية مختلفة جمعتهم مصيبة المعنويات الزائفة. أحدهم كان يند
Read Article

May 9th, 2008, 4:43 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

Alex and Naji

I appreciate the fact that you are both trying to put a positive spin on things. Your argument is basically that this was a positive development, and that it will help us to solve the broader stalemate in Lebanon.

I hope you are right, but I think not.

Somehow, incomprehensibly, you imagine that the country will forgive and forget overnight, and that all of the problems that we have been facing (presidential election, electoral law, makeup of new government, etc.) will be solved happily and organically.

There is still fighting in the streets! People are talking about this action in terms of a “coup”, a “takeover”, the reassertion of Syrian hegemony, the beginning of a civil war! Since when has civil violence ever SOLVED problems of the kind that Lebanon faces? How does a military takeover by Hizbullah work to address and alleviate the paranoia that at least half of the country feels about this Iranian-sponsored super-militia?

I can think of many “responses” that Hizbullah could have taken to Jumblatt’s stupid provocation, none of which would have led to this catastrophe. Instead, they predictably played their favorite card, the DIVINE RESISTANCE card, the card that works every time, the card that causes grown men to swoon when it is waved in front of their noses, and countries to collapse into sectarian feuding and chaos.

I know that you both cannot but see good intentions on the part of the Lebanese opposition, and malicious intentions on the part of the government. This is the problem with your hopeful analysis of the events. I believe that this conflict is going to persist. The sectarian mindsets and foreign interests that got us into the situation will keep us in it.

And when all of the initiatives that you mention (Suleiman, Boutros law, transitional government, etc.) never materialize, we will expect to hear that it was America that torpedoed them, as usual.

May 9th, 2008, 4:57 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


So are you saying that you think I was right in the first place? In other words, that Jumblatt and Geagea took M14 for a ride?

If you read the posts on FPM Forum that I linked to yesterday, you will see that this is how many Mustaqbal people feel.

May 9th, 2008, 5:03 pm


Naji said:

Try to think positively and wait a little and see what happens… that is what most Lebanese are doing right now… (and remember the chill-pills… 😉 )

As I said before, the Lebanese I heard from today are glad for any break in the stalemate and gridlock, and are quite relieved that the violence was so controlled and limited… Don’t forget that a major calamity (including another Israeli/American war) had already been factored into Lebanese minds for this summer, hence the present relief at the relatively benign unfolding of events so far… ! Things could have been, and still can get, much worse…!

May 9th, 2008, 5:11 pm


norman said:


What is done is done , let us see what will happen and hope for a good resolution.

May 9th, 2008, 5:11 pm


why-discuss said:

If what you said is true, then why is Siniora not resigning as he seems totally powerless, Jumblatt and Geagea leading his ghost governement?
How do you explain the collusion of the army with Hezbollah?
It is time some serious people take over this governemnmt, not this carousel of dangerous puppets!

May 9th, 2008, 5:12 pm


Jason said:

It’s hard to sit here at defend a group such as HA. But when will Washington finally realise it cannot sideline HA and get its way in Lebanon? It’s obvious to anyone who cares to listen that Nasrallah’s restraint is the only reason Lebanon hasn’t reverted to civil war. It will be ineteresting to see how DC spins this, but Ehsani is likely right. The US will continue to ignore Nasrallah’s words and claim that he is attempting to take over the government by force. Which is a total falsification and disregard of the facts. State will be asked to comment, McCormack will either change the subject and continue restating the status quo against HA and we will be right back where we started, with a strong HA, a disfunctional Lebanese government, with a pile of propaganda that only the informed can sort out.

The situation hasn’t changed and will not change until DC realises any future agreement will end with HA being armed and DC’s influence being thwarted. DC should figure out a way to make HA a friend that can factor into its interests (i.e. like sidelining the al-Qaeda influence that is likely to spread throughout Lebanon and the Middle East. These are the real crazies DC will have to deal with, not HA’s minor demand for more cabinet seats).

Any future negotiations to end the Lebanese crises must address HA’s demand for one-third of the cabinet. I don’t see any other solution other than granting HA the one-third. It has shown that it cannot be marginalised or provoked into a civil war.

May 9th, 2008, 5:15 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

Naji, Norman

We’ll see.

Thanks for the positive statements.

I can tell you that Amal militiamen control my mother’s street in Hamra. There are snipers on the buildings, probably because several M14 politicians live in the neighborhood.

It is shocking to me that people are actually feeling triumphant about a Hizbullah win over the M14 “militia”.

But instead of coming to the conclusion that M14 never had much of a militia in the first place, the inevitable conclusion is that they were “armed to the teeth” but God once again intervened on the side of the divine resistance, and vanquished their Zionist enemies.

This makes me absolutely nauseous.

May 9th, 2008, 5:18 pm


ausamaa said:

BTW, Why is Junblat still staying surrounded -as he says- in Beirut?

Does he feel safer there instead of being alone with his own crowd up in the Mountains in Al Mukhtara? Is he afraid that Mukhtara and his group’s presence in the mountains would be the next objective of the oppositions?

Would the Mustaqbal and Feb 14 try to make things up by hitting the opposition in Sidon or Tripoli?

May 9th, 2008, 5:19 pm


Solomon2 said:

they predictably played their favorite card, the DIVINE RESISTANCE card, the card that works every time –

Yes. So only by renouncing Hezbollah’s stated goal – the destruction of Israel – can Arabs argue against their means (including the rape of Lebanon) and where is the Arab who is willing to endorse Zionism? Arabs can’t do that without being labeled “collaborators” and executed, usually without trial. Thus Hezbollah’s “moral” case for ruling Lebanon remains unchallenged.

May 9th, 2008, 5:21 pm


Seeking the Truth said:

Qifa Nabki,

Not a long time ago; if I remember correctly, you were optimistic about a positive turnaround for the events in Lebanon. Have you changed your outlook?

May 9th, 2008, 5:24 pm


why-discuss said:


RE: You obsessive reference to the divine.
From the results on the ground, we can conclude that God is not listening or you are not praying hard enough for Jumblatt, Geagea, Hariri, Hamade, Nayla Mowad and pathetic Siniora.

May 9th, 2008, 5:24 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


You continue to make no sense. First you call the Druze heretics. Then you think that my criticism of Hizbullah’s own claim to divinity represents my endorsement of such an embarassing excuse.


Yes, I think we have entered a very dangerous period.

You see, the problem is not only Hizbullah’s coup, which will enflame the sectarian sentiments in Lebanon. It is also the idiocy of March 14’s leaders. They will attempt to make political gains from this move by Hizbullah, in the same way that the opposition tried to make political gains from Israel’s war on Lebanon.

We don’t have leaders who have the interests of the country at heart, unfortunately. We have leaders who have the interests of their patrons and sponsors at heart.

So yes, I am very pessimistic.

May 9th, 2008, 5:34 pm


Innocent_Criminal said:

I agree in part with QN on this. I think HA has won the battle on the ground (though not much of a battle since the other parties have no militias), but they certainly lost the PR war. I spoke to a few lebanese and saudis that are very moderate if not pro HA and they all feel that HA has shown itself not to be what it has pretended all these years. and that it’s capable of using its weapons against the lebanese. Overall, the reviews have been negative due to the civilian deaths, violence and burning of Future tv & newspaper. The feeling is that they should’ve stuck with civil disobedience instead of turning to armed conflict.

Now whether HA reaction was a miscalculation or knew the cost yet felt compelled to act as it did I guess time will tell. But one thing for certain, HA has made a lot more enemies in the last 48 hours and the lebanese citizens will not forgive them for some time to come. That said, its sad to say that the voice of the lebanese streets doesn’t really weigh to much.

May 9th, 2008, 5:37 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


I completely agree with you.

This is going to escalate the political crisis, not solve it.

May 9th, 2008, 5:45 pm


ausamaa said:

Now Hizbullah’s action is a miscalculation?! Really?

Nassrallah yesterday asserted that he knows what he is doing, he knows the consequences, and that he is ready for them and ready to take the responsibility for those actions.

Honestly, I think the Opposition and Nassrallah should have done this a year and a half ago. Thanks God for the stupid provocation by the stupid Feb 14 which has forced Nassrallah to act.

In contrast to QN, I am optimistic in the sense that what is happening is ending a nightmarish deadlock that could have lasted another year or so. Now things will start moving. And I have no worry whatsoever that Hizbullah, Amal,or the Opposition are entertaining any thoughts of hijacking Lebanon and making it an Iranian base. Let us make a new start..

For those who are interested, yes, LBC will brodcast their weekly Star Academy show tonite. BTW, LBC directors think they live in Monaco, not in Lebanon. Life goes on as usual for them.

May 9th, 2008, 5:48 pm


Alex said:

As I said to my friend Qifa Nabki, think of the whole thing as a movie …

The picture today is only a snapshot in that long, complex movie … what we are seeing today was partly the result of the past sequence of events .. and it will affect future events.

Based on recent history, it is safe to say that future snapshots will look different from today’s snapshot.

And the actors we are watching on the screen have many other parties behind them .. directors, producers, and screenwriters.

We analyzed things as if we concluded that the movie ended (happy ending for some, sad ending for others) … it ain’t over … and it WILL be different next month … we will see different actors, there is no reason to believe that the rich plot we have witnessed so far will suddenly become predictable and boring.

May 9th, 2008, 5:57 pm


Honest Patriot said:

Qaddafi was right! Fratricide among Arabs seems more important and stimulating to them than uniting behind a common cause. Of course Qaddafi was part of the problem before becoming the wiseman.

May 9th, 2008, 5:57 pm


Innocent_Criminal said:

not that i want to contradict myself. but things can turn for the better if the Saudis feel that the situation might go out of hand and that their assets in lebanon might be in jeopardy. then they could pressure their allies to appease HA for the time being and you never know how things can progress from there. that said, this scenarios is still highly unlikely. even if compromise is the only peaceful solution.

May 9th, 2008, 6:00 pm


Naji said:

And amongst the Arabs, who takes the first prize for fratricide, consistently… chronically…??!

I like your contemplative mood today… 😉

May 9th, 2008, 6:03 pm


Majhool said:

It’s sad to see many in this forum cheerful to see the will of the people of Beirut being hijacked by HA by using force. This sentiment of hegemony expressed by some Syrians on this forum is unfortunate especially when the sentiment of most Syrians have been crushed for 30+ years. I found it important to note that mainstream Syrians don’t share the views expressed in this forum. After all, Radical SSNPers, Baathists, and Pro-Assads, only represent some beneficiaries, psychopaths, and paranoid extremists.

I see no effort made in SC to tab into the real sentiment of the Syrian people. I am yet to see Josh quoting the men and women in inner cities, northern Syria, and hundred of thousands of expatriate in the gulf and their families inside Syria. I guess Josh has access only to those who can speak up (i.e. Pro-Regime cheerleaders).

May 9th, 2008, 6:11 pm


EHSANI2 said:

Three of my Lebanese friends decided to cross into Syria to board a flight back to the U.S. They only had their American passports without a Syrian visa of course. Minutes ago,the Syrians decided to let them in regardless. I just got off the phone and my friends could not have been happier with the treatment they received thus far.

May 9th, 2008, 6:14 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


Why didn’t they stage their coup earlier?! It would have saved us so much trouble. In fact, maybe the government should amend the constitution to make room for such a useful and helpful strategem. Whenever we reach some kind of political deadlock or stalemate, we’ll just ask Hizbullah to label the government an illegitimate Zionist tool, withdraw its ministers, set up a tent city for a few weeks, and then bring down the government by force in a well-intentioned military coup.

So much simpler, really.


I can’t see the Saudis doing something wise and reasonable like appeasing HA for the time being. As you said, that scenario is unlikely.

If the outside sponsors could not see that compromise was the ONLY solution while the conditions were peaceful, then they sure as hell will not realize it when the conditions are chaotic.

March 14, the US, Europe, and the Arabs will try to squeeze every last drop of political capital out of this development, which means more chaos for Lebanon.

May 9th, 2008, 6:16 pm


Naji said:


Why don’t YOU try “quoting the men and women in inner cities, northern Syria, and hundred of thousands of expatriate in the gulf and their families inside Syria”, but without indulging yourself in “This sentiment of hegemony” that you accuse your fellow Syrians of, after having labeled them “all, Radical SSNPers, Baathists, and Pro-Assads, only represent some beneficiaries, psychopaths, and paranoid extremists”…??!!

Also, should you find your way to power in Syria someday, I hope you will find it in your heart to accomodate even those ” Radical SSNPers, Baathists, and Pro-Assads, …beneficiaries, psychopaths, and paranoid extremists”, for they will be your fellow Syrians…! That is what democracy entails… are you ready for it…?!

Shame on you…! 🙁

May 9th, 2008, 6:18 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


I know of 3-4 similar cases as well. No problems at the border with Syria. (Just like in 2006).

May 9th, 2008, 6:19 pm


Honest Patriot said:

Naji said: HP, And amongst the Arabs, who takes the first prize for fratricide, consistently… chronically…??!


They / We / are all guilty. Maybe it’s in the water we drink or in our genes or who knows ? I personally fault a certain tribal mentality — where folks value so much allegiance to a lineage / family / sect / etc. — maybe stemming simply from the history of the region. I also believe that open mindedness, education, equal rights to all (including women), departure from any religious fanaticism (retaining religion only as a personal devotion and not as a political force) are all indispensable ingredients to emergence for the Arab world from what continue to be the Dark Ages of internecine political conflict.

Well, on second thought, one thing might unite us all, a well made falafel sandwich (for example with falafels from “Frey7a”). Spiced up with hot peppers and/or (for those allowed to drink alcohol) with a refreshing glass or ice-cold Arak.


May 9th, 2008, 6:31 pm


norman said:

I hope it will end soon , I think a win by one side is better than a stagnation, look at the Arab/ Israeli conflict , without a decisive Winn by either side , the conflict continue and become chronic without a solution , so now if Hezbollah who looked at by some Lebanese as a wimp for not responding forcfully to the government forces to the point that the US felt free to push Jumblt to escalate ,acts reasonably as he acted after the 2006 war and moves to stabilize Lebanon and provide security and economic development for all the people without corruption then Lebanon and Hezbollah will come out better.

May 9th, 2008, 6:34 pm


Majhool said:


You can use any terms you like. It’s all yours. After all the sentiment I represent don’t posses the guns and the Mukhabarat that your’s have.The sentiment that I represent used to run true elections and accommodated everyone.

May 9th, 2008, 6:39 pm


Naji said:


Yes, it is this infernal anachronistic tribalism that I have been decrying… and that I hold as the most damning trait of Zionism…!!

Now, I have to go find me a falafel sandwich and an icy Arak like you prescribed… damn you… 😉

Bsi7tak! 🙂

May 9th, 2008, 6:40 pm


Naji said:


I am sorry you feel that way… and that you are so confident you know what “my side” is and has…!! I do get bored sometimes with the monochrome Syrian sentiment I read on SC, and would have hoped to occasionaly read an intelligent representation of the “Syrian Opposition”, but… alas…

May 9th, 2008, 6:48 pm


Shai said:


I’m sorry about everything that’s happening in Lebanon. Like the Balkans used to be Europe’s fighting grounds, Lebanon seems to be the Middle East’s. I know that Syria, Israel, Iran, the U.S., Saudi, Egypt, etc. aren’t actually fighting there on the ground, but their interests sure seem to be… unfortunately.

On a different note, is falafel in Beirut eaten the same way as it is in Israel (with hummus, tahina, salad, spicy stuff, sometimes fries, etc.? 🙂

May 9th, 2008, 6:53 pm


Majhool said:


I am sorry to hear that, I guess your military boots have more brains. Indeed The incredible prosperity in Syria testifies to your notion.

Again, it’s all yours…Tet’hanna

yallah go shout some slogans . I am out of here.

May 9th, 2008, 6:54 pm


Naji said:

I cann’t believe it…!! At the first mention of Zionism… Shebbeik Lebbeik…!!!
… 🙂

May 9th, 2008, 6:55 pm


Shai said:


If you’re referring to me (are you?), I have this “Anti-Zionist Alarm 2.0” software installed, which rings on my laptop each time someone mentions the word “zionist” anywhere online. I usually get about 350,000 rings a day, but can only get to 3,000 of those. Yours just happened to fall into that pool this evening… 😉

May 9th, 2008, 7:11 pm


Naji said:

Marcel is interviewing Frenjieh on LBC right now… w/Nuhad Mashnooq…!! This should cover the whole spectrum of views in Lebanon… and quite forcefully…!!

May 9th, 2008, 7:12 pm


Naji said:

… 😀 “Anti-Zionist Alarm 2.0″… 😀 must get these guys on our side… somehow… someday…

May 9th, 2008, 7:15 pm


Saroukh said:

I was hoping for this moment to happen. I even felt relief when it first happened. Then I thought it could only get worse if the US offered to help us, and they just did. The irony of it all is that Hizb/Amal boys are putting pictures of Bashar up in places they deem safe enough to return to the national army.

First it starts with Future TV/news being burned down. Which news will be the next to be burned down because they don’t tow the party line? I agree that Future is not the greatest news organization, but Manar is not any more balanced. And that is besides the point. What do you call someone that silences those who oppose him by force? Dictator?

As my Mom told my Dad (who came home with a huge smile on his face)today… I just hope you can still buy beer to go with the fool akhdar in a few months time. Let’s all hope so.

May 9th, 2008, 7:20 pm


Honest Patriot said:

Hi Shai, well of course you do expect me to extol the virtures of Lebanese Falafel as being the genuine one, unmatched and superior in every way… 😉
Start with a thick, small, pita opened so the good (pinkish) side is facing down. Put in 2 freshly deep-fried falafels and crush them. Add parseley by sprinkling it liberally. Add finely chopped tomatoes. Depending on taste, add (optional) pickled turnips (pickled with only red vinegar, water, salt, and further red-colored by adding beets in the mix). Then drench with Tahini (made of of Tahini sauce, lemon, salt, garlic, mixed carefully to preserve the blending of the ingredients and creaminess of the mix). Add hot peppers to taste or crunch them while you bite into the sandwich. None of that hummus stuff — that’s a hybrid add-on from the fast followers (i.e., all non-Lebanese ;-)).
Sa7tein (which means Enjoy).

May 9th, 2008, 7:24 pm


Naji said:

I agree about burning down stuff, but watch LBC and OTV for now, think positively, and… chill…

May 9th, 2008, 7:26 pm


Shai said:

HP, shukran. Ah, having an Arab and an Israeli discussing the virtues of Falafel, instead of fighting, seems so much more logical. I don’t know… call me crazy.

Naji, I (and we) are a lot closer to “your side” than you think. We are so much more alike, than not. Anyone calling Israel or Israelis “Western” is either a fool, or hasn’t been in the same room with Israelis and Arabs, ever.

May 9th, 2008, 7:31 pm


Naji said:

I have long maintained that Israel is nothing but a Super Lebanon…, may we bring them both back into the fold…! 😉

May 9th, 2008, 7:40 pm


Shai said:

There you go… But can we still have our Falafel with hummus?

May 9th, 2008, 7:48 pm


Mazen said:


Wait and see Nasrallah’s next speech, and you will see a leader who is balanced, restrained, and humble toward all fellow Lebanese. I don’t think the joyful crowd on SC are irresponsible, but at least the bloodshed has been very limited, and HA has handed everything to the Lebanese army. There was no looting, no street executions, no blind violence. Can you imagine the situation had Geagea, Jumblat, or Qabbani’s guys had the upper hand? These are good signs. Now the roads are expected to be opened and the public will receive a breath of economic fresh air. Next, there will be elections to be made under the supervision of the army, and may the best man win.

You should be proud to be Lebanese, QN. It doesn’t get more civilized than this, given the circumstances.

May 9th, 2008, 7:58 pm


Naji said:

Lebanon may not allow Falafel with hummus, but Syria is much more tolerant… we even have falafel with mayonnaise around here…!! I would recommend a cool Arack or Airan, regardless of the topping, though… 😉

May 9th, 2008, 7:58 pm


Naji said:


You don’t know how many times I told QN he should have faith in his fellow Lebanese and be proud of them…! All the proceedings, so far, could not have been any more civilized had they been carried out in France, USA, or even Sweden…! What is the matter with you QN…?!

May 9th, 2008, 8:02 pm


kingcrane jr said:

A few inescapable facts:

-Hasan Nasrallah had, until last Friday, acted as a moderate leader open to compromise rather than the head of a (slim or large, it is in the eye of the beholder) popular majority in Lebanon. He had done so despite the fact that many of the rank and file demanded to open the hostilities against the March 14 faction. Many believe that there was a window of opportunity (at the highest peak of popularity for the “opposition” that includes March 8 and a good proportion of the people marching on March 14, ie the ‘Awnis) that was missed after the Zionist defeat in 2006. At that time, Lebanon had a President. Now, FINALLY, it has hit HN and the HA that the “Arab” allies of the artificial Zionist entity could not be trusted. It was about time, IMHO.

-When talking about Michel Sleimane, the various M14 characters always emphasize that they want him elected ASAP and that there should be little or no preset conditions from the opposition about the makeup of the government (…) while the opposition is asking for a true agreement on the future of Lebanon, beyond two or three “strapontins” on the cabinet. The truth is that M14 wants a completely neutralized/neutered President that will lick the boots of the Prime Minister, a bit like they tried to do with Hrawi during the Hariri era, before those two agreed on a compromise. So, no, M14 does not really want Michel Sleimane elected ASAP, they want anybody elected ASAP, and they will just emasculate whoever that is. The only individual that they will never allow to be president is ‘Awn, because he has a popular mandate and because he will demand and get far more than is being offered, ie to be a figurehead.

-For the many secular Levantine Syro-Lebanese Christian Arab independants, like me, who have never agreed with the KSA (and beyond) tutelage of Lebanon of which Syria was the blamable “bouc emissaire” our hopes were that Hariri, despite his past track record of dishonorable businessman-politician (which he hid well because of his skills at arriving to consensus with various factions in Lebanon) would become a true martyr for Lebanon. After his death, Syria could only bow out graciously, the Western powers could order the Zionist entity to cease its constant harrassment of the Southern Lebanese, some social and political justice will emerge, and elections will be in the spirit of Taif (instead of the current KSA-demanded single aspect of Taif: a weakening of the position of President and the concentration of too many powers in the hands of the Prime Minister), and also a true democratization, allowed by the Western powers, in order to send a “positive” message to the neighbouring states. Instead we got: DEMO without cratization courtesy of the Zionist Occupation Forces, elections that were rigged, lies and double standards. So: these independents have moved to support the opposition.

-The Army-HA interactions were exactly as expected. For those who do not know these facts: the majority of the soldiers are Shi’a who have a poor opinion of Sanyura and mini-Hariri and the majority of the top generals are close to ‘Awn, or at least anti-Lebanese Forces, because of the Doctor’s very well known past track record.

-The ball now is in the hands of the M14 camp. They can either truly learn from these events which they stupidly started (and compromise a lot and very fast)or they can rely on their puppetmasters in the foolish hope that there will be a large confrontation in the area, involving at least the Zionist army versus HA, possibly with the risk of Syrian involvement, and, in the worse scenario, an attack on Iran’s non-existent military nuclear power arsenal, with all the implications in Iraq and beyond, South of Iraq more specifically.

On behalf of kingcrane sr.

May 9th, 2008, 8:07 pm


abraham said:

They are already posting videos with alleged Hizballah atrocities.

Is this a “fact”? Why not post some links and let us decide if what we’re seeing is a “Hizballah” “atrocities”.

May 9th, 2008, 8:15 pm


Shai said:


I’m raising a virtual-toast to you right now (wait, turning off the “Anti-Zionist Alarm 2.0” software… it’s going off again…) 🙂 In’shalla, let great men (and women) eat Falafel and drink Arak, instead of fight. Life should be more about living, than about dying.

May 9th, 2008, 8:18 pm


Naji said:

…sans Zionism, cheers… 🙂

May 9th, 2008, 8:21 pm


Shai said:

Didn’t beep this time… (I turned it off). Cheers!

May 9th, 2008, 8:23 pm


Observer said:

I just watched the faces and heard the declarations of the March 14 group. It so happens that Richard Lamb on has just posted an account of the events. Not only is Beirut in the hands of HA, but the Chouf mountains and the Jumbaltt strongholds as well.

The look of fear and total bewilderment on the faces of the March 14 group is quite shocking.

Either they have accumulated the largest case of stupidity or they were being sacrificed for a scenario that did not mature fully yet and they were caught flat footed.

This group is going to be left to fend for itself alone, neither France nor the US is coming to their help. The only salvation is Saudi and even that is doubtful now.

May 9th, 2008, 8:24 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

I wrote alleged because that is what they are saying and not me.

How about the burning of Future TV? Did the Zionist Entity do that too? I’ll let you find by yourself on the future forum the testimony of the journalists on what happened there.

May 9th, 2008, 8:25 pm


abraham said:

QN said:

Why didn’t they stage their coup earlier?! It would have saved us so much trouble. In fact, maybe the government should amend the constitution to make room for such a useful and helpful strategem. Whenever we reach some kind of political deadlock or stalemate, we’ll just ask Hizbullah to label the government an illegitimate Zionist tool, withdraw its ministers, set up a tent city for a few weeks, and then bring down the government by force in a well-intentioned military coup.

Qifa, the government of Lebanon is an illegitimate zionist tool. They answer more to American interests than to those of the Lebanese people and have basically demonstrated that they are puppets.

I will assume the problem you have with this is because you don’t condone the tactics employed, as opposed to your just not liking HA. But it should be asked: if March 14 took over in this manner, would you have voiced the same level of criticism?

May 9th, 2008, 8:30 pm


Naji said:

Who IS this Observer…, always very good… ?!

And a good question by abraham: “if March 14 took over in this manner, would you have voiced the same level of criticism?”


May 9th, 2008, 8:37 pm


EHSANI2 said:

I don’t have the exact wording but supposedly the March 14th leadership has admitted that they made a “mistake” but that there was no reason for HA to act the way it did.

If the above is true, this was not just just a “mistake”. This was a massive “F…… UP”. And, When you sit that high and commit such a “F… UP”, you gotta bear the consequences.

In the end, this idiocy presented HA with a silver platter which they gladly and very efficiently put to maximum use.

May 9th, 2008, 9:03 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


Your Zionism rant gets old. Seriously.

By this simple-minded logic, Hizbullah is nothing but a puppet of the Syrian and Iranian dictatorships, and Bashar al-Asad will become a Zionist tool when he signs peace with Israel.

Don’t you ever get just the slightest bit bored with such explanations of the world?

As for your question, I would unequivocally reject any such move by March 14. In case you haven’t been reading, I’ve repeatedly argued that March 14 has acted stupidly and should have given the opposition a veto a long time ago.

All this talk of Zionist puppetry is so useless; please have these discussions with AIG and AP, not with me.

May 9th, 2008, 9:08 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

Naji and Mazen

I am very proud of my country. Very proud.

But not for the same reasons that you are proud of it.

May 9th, 2008, 9:10 pm


Piotr Chmielarz said:

Knowing who constitute USA goverment it can be possible that they do the same thing as In Palestina, they try to make next coup against Hezbollah I think that this explain sending by Bush USS COle ane amphibious ship to Lebanon shores probably there was a contingent of marines and military police who after capturing airport has to establish there next small Guantanamo in order to send there hezbollah soldiers and liquidate theme there.

May 9th, 2008, 9:20 pm






Dear Anti:

The first time you try to post a comment it will need to be approved by a moderator. It takes few hours until someone has the time to check the moderation page.

Another thing. Please make sure you read the rules and regulations of this blog if you plan to express your anger.

May 9th, 2008, 9:22 pm


norman said:


Don’t you think that something was coming , things were moving nowhere and sooner or something had to give , we just have to hope that Lebanon will come out of this as i think , stronger and more independent with good relations with Syria and able to negotiate a peace deal with Israel from a position of strength .

May 9th, 2008, 9:27 pm


abraham said:

Don’t you ever get just the slightest bit bored with such explanations of the world?

No. I believe you are naive.

May 9th, 2008, 9:29 pm


Jeanne said:

I just can’t understand all those comments saying the Lebanese govt is an American or Israeli puppet. By doing what? After all, they have allowed HA to do pretty much all what it wanted, including telecoms and cameras etc, and really, they did not put up a fight not having the means to do so. So, please, please, explain, in what and where and how is that government a puppet ?

May 9th, 2008, 9:42 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


Something was definitely coming. I don’t know if Lebanon will coming out of this stronger. I don’t think that Hizbullah is any more independent than M14. They have different masters, that’s all, and bigger guns.

And a brilliant leader.

But one who, it seems, must still answer directives from abroad.

Let us see what the next few days bring. If the opposition truly holds out a hand in partnership and puts everything on the line with a concrete solution that is inclusive and fair-minded, then I will be satisfied.

Actually, let the Daily Star do the talking. I think this is a superb editorial:

Nasrallah has a chance to write his own legacy
By The Daily Star

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Some are condemning what Hizbullah did this week as a coup d’etat, while others are defending it as a counter-putsch. That debate will not end soon, but there is no doubting that Lebanon’s political status quo has been radically altered in a very few days. It is too early to predict where this will lead the country, but whereas the seat of actual Lebanese power has long been in doubt, for now at least it has a clear address: that of Hizbullah’s secretary general, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. He may continue to shun any official position, but barring an unforeseen turn of events, the leader of the Lebanese resistance has just acquired a hitherto unprecedented amount of national political responsibility.

Hizbullah’s track record on previous occasions of ascendancy bodes well for this instance: After the resistance movement forced Israel to pull its occupation forces from most of the South in 2000, it granted far more lenient treatment to Lebanese who had collaborated with the enemy than most established armies ordinarily do. This time, though, Nasrallah has made himself responsible for agendas of incalculably greater breadth.

Due largely to the political squabbles that have paralyzed Lebanon since 2005, urgent matters have been left waiting. If Nasrallah’s gambit this week was aimed at ending those squabbles rather than responding with just another tit-for-tat escalation, it is now his job to make possible the resolution of several quandaries. The economy is adrift, the vagueness of the national defense strategy that worked so well in the 1990s has become a liability, the existing electoral law is fatally flawed, and deep mistrust marks both political and sectarian boundaries. In addition, depending on how the consequences of this week’s events play out, the Lebanese could find themselves besieged like the Palestinians after they elected Hamas in January 2006. Above all else, there is a need to engage in real dialogue, not the profitless trade of empty slogans.

Nasrallah’s task now is to create an inclusive environment conducive to the answering of these and other challenges. He and his party cannot be expected to come up with all of the solutions, and nor should they want to: If they cannot draw other players – and not just their closest allies – into the process, Nasrallah runs the risk of being cast as a dictator by default.

Hizbullah and its partners have frequently argued that their counterparts in the March 14 Forces coalition were not interested in true partnership, only in dictating terms. Now Nasrallah has to prove that his side is ready, willing and able to live up to its own expectations, and speed is of the essence: After 15 years of civil war, 15 of diluted sovereignty, and three of limbo, the Lebanese deserve at last to have a level of politics commensurate with their talents and energies. If Nasrallah is the man who makes this happen, history will judge his actions to have been a revolution, not a coup, and a long-overdue one at that.

May 9th, 2008, 9:45 pm


Nur al-Cubicle said:

Oh, the irony (via L’Orient-Le Jour)

Hundreds of Lebanese flee to Syria….

The the boots in the Lebanese Army, I believe, are Shi’ite, and the brass in Sunni. Like ‘ell the boots will take on their Shi’a brothers. Also reading that Aoun, the Armenian community, Soleiman Frangié and the Maradas are backing Hezbollah.

May 9th, 2008, 9:56 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


Where do you want people to flee to? Israel? The Mediterranean?

May 9th, 2008, 10:01 pm


Nur al-Cubicle said:

Qifa Nabki, the last time they fled to Cyprus. Big, bad Bashar sure has a lot of friends now.

May 9th, 2008, 10:06 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


Hizbullah has shut down the airport and the seaport.

Are they supposed to swim or fly on their own?

And by the way, you live in Florida right? Does that make you a friend of the Bush family?



May 9th, 2008, 10:10 pm


norman said:


I think Nasrallah will gain your respect and admiration , you will see .

May 9th, 2008, 10:13 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

Ammo Norman,

You say a prayer, and I’ll say one, wu min shuuf.

May 9th, 2008, 10:15 pm


Alex said:


In case you want to read my response to you in our boring and pointless discussion on the old post:

It is relevant to what you are saying above.

May 9th, 2008, 10:17 pm


why-discuss said:


You sound depressed… What were you hoping?

May 9th, 2008, 10:18 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


I read that response already. 🙂

I didn’t respond because we reached a dead end.


I was hoping that there would be a diplomatic breakthrough, through one of two possible solutions:

a) March 14 would wake up and give the opposition a veto, enabling the creation of a transitional government until the next parliamentary elections;

b) March 14 and March 8 would agree on amendments to the 1960 law, and then elect Suleiman.

The first option was apparently off the table. The second option was slowly becoming a reality when Jumblatt decided to play Rambo and provoke Hizbullah. But Nasrallah went too far, in my opinion.

May 9th, 2008, 10:25 pm


norman said:


I am glad to hear you call me Ammo Norman , I was worry that you are becoming cold , If you know what kind of medicine I practice you know why I try to be optimistic and how to find good out of bad ( Do not hate something , It might be good for you )


May 9th, 2008, 10:25 pm


norman said:



May 9th, 2008, 10:27 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

Ammo Norman

What kind of doctor are you?

(By the way, the exact quote is: wa 3asaa an takrahu shay-an wa huwa khayrun lakum wa 3asa an tu7ibbu shay-an wa huwa sharrun lakum wa Allahu ya3lamu wa antum la ta3lamuna) [Surat al-Baqra, 216]

Is that what you were quoting? Or something else?

May 9th, 2008, 10:39 pm


Alex said:

Ya Qifa Nabki,

Not so fast.

You still believe that Nasrallah and Aoun are similar to Junblatt and Fatfat and Seniora in the way they are all taking orders from outside.

I suggested that while it is true that they all (except Aoun?) have limited freedom since they have to keep in mind the interests of their regional, and not very regional, allies … still, there is a huge difference in the degree to which Nasrallah and Aoun answer to outsiders’ wishes compared to M14 leaders.

For example … a majority of Syrians a poster or a photo of Nasrallah … his photos are often next to Bashar’s photos

Can you say that a majority of Saudis have a poster of Seniora or mini Hariri?

And if we believe neocon Think Tankers in Washington and Saudi media, there were quite a few stories of how Bashar’s relationship with Nasrallah is very different from his father’s relationship with Nasrallah … did you forget when they used to say that while Hafez used Nasrallah, Bashar follows Nasrallah’s strategies

May 9th, 2008, 10:40 pm


why-discuss said:


Were you really hoping that 14 March would bow to the demands of the opposition when it is boosted on a daily basis by the US and EU repeating at nausea that they support Siniora’s goverment. Locally there are the jealous and revengeful crows, Jumblatt and Geagea who have been trying for the last year to provoke Hezbollah by ironical insults and humiliating comparisons. Is that an atmosphere for dialogs? What happened proves that there is no one in the present government who is able to keep a cool head, forget ancien rivalries and bring these zaims to talk for the sake of the Lebanese.
This is a failing governeent. In any other countries in the world, it would have the decency to resign. But not this one.

May 9th, 2008, 10:43 pm


norman said:


I am an oncologist , and yes that was what i meant to say but i am christian so i do not know the whole quot , you can forgive for that , yes ,

and as Alex said or implied i think Bashar admires Nasrallah and listen to him more than the other way, what you feel as a following of Hezbollah is basically because of their need for support as president Bush left nowhere to go except in the not with us Camp , you remember 2006 war and that it was the beginning of the new Mideast and how Israel bombed only Shaia areas to create conflict between Sunni and Shaia , Hezbollah did not get trapped and did nothing until it was clear recently that the plan is to destroy his communication so Israel can destroy it , actually i do not see the respose that is expected from a group defending their survival.

Jumblat is still a live and talking ruff ,I do not know that ordinary people should die while the leaders are protected like it is a sport.

May 9th, 2008, 10:55 pm


Mark McHenry said:

Does anyone really believe that President Bush cares about Lebanon? His only desire is to back Syria and Iran into a corner to serve the interests of Israel. It was obviously the U.S. who came up with this foolish scheme of removing Hezbollah’s communication network at the Beirut airport. By all indications the U.S. wants to turn the Beirut airport into a CIA base to land U.S. agents and sneak them into nearby South Beirut to search for Hezbollah’s long ranged rockets to destroy them for the benefit of Israel.

May 9th, 2008, 11:00 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


What did you do before I came along? Who was the poor helpless Lebanese boy that you used to gang up on? 😉

I have to put my daughter to sleep. I will respond to you all in a bit.

May 9th, 2008, 11:01 pm


norman said:

Gaga and Jumblat are calling Hezbollah weapons Illegal , I think it is time to round these leaders and bring them to justice for treason , especially gaga.

May 9th, 2008, 11:09 pm


offended said:

Majhool beik;
How’s your money making going ?

I can speak, with comfortable conscience, for the men and women of the inner and northern cities of Syria. And I can assure you that 90% of them have the ultimate respect for Nasserallah, and for a good solid reason; throughout the last three years, poor Syrian workers (who were forced to take up employment in Lebanon despite the anti-Syrian sentiments and the continuous harassment) could only find refuge in the areas controlled by Hezbollah. That was where they felt welcome, safe and protected. While on the other hand we kept hearing about laborers getting killed in other areas controlled by the opposing faction. In fact, there was a post on SC a while back about the same subject. I take this as a testament by the Syrian people whom you are not eligible to speak for. As Naji said: SHAME ON YOU.

Now why don’t you back to making money and spare us the false indignation?

May 9th, 2008, 11:21 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

Alex said:

there is a huge difference in the degree to which Nasrallah and Aoun answer to outsiders’ wishes compared to M14 leaders.

Alex, maybe we see things in different ways, but in my opinion Hizbullah’s entire existence — as it is currently expressed, in the form of a super-militia — is a direct example of answering outsiders’ wishes.

Hizbullah’s maintenance of its arms has much more to do with the geopolitical strategies of Syria and Iran, than it does with Lebanon’s own defense. Let’s be honest about this. And so it is misleading to say that they do not “take orders” from their sponsors in the same degree that their opponents do. Hizbullah has absolutely no choice but to remain a militia in the service of Syria and Iran… until such a point when they deem it acceptable (for their OWN interests) to allow things to change. This is the reality.

I don’t see what Nasrallah’s popularity among ordinary Syrians has to do with the degree that his organization is indirectly or directly controlled by outside powers. Do you imagine that Iran or Syria would tolerate any change within Hizbullah’s tactics or policies that impinged on their own (i.e. Syria and Iran’s) interests in any way, regardless of what ordinary Syrians thought?

You know what I think of Fatfat, Geagea, Jumblatt, and Saad al-Hariri, and you know what I think of Nasrallah.

But this does not mean that we should be blind to the very significant Syrian and Iranian role. It is just as pervasive as the American one, in my opinion. But maybe we’ll have to agree to disagree.

Look at this poor little boy. Allah ysaa3id al-3alam

May 9th, 2008, 11:26 pm


offended said:

3azizi QN, putting your daughter to bed? I thought you were high school or something?

: )

May 9th, 2008, 11:30 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Jeanne said:

I just can’t understand all those comments saying the Lebanese govt is an American or Israeli puppet.

Think of it as food. You need it to survive. Just ask Hassan and his friends in Gaza, Damascus and Tehran.

May 9th, 2008, 11:37 pm


Mark McHenry said:

How many Palestinian Sunnis has Israel killed with American weapons in the last 40 years? But Lebanese Sunnis want to support an American backed puppet government? Why?

May 9th, 2008, 11:54 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

The foreign mininsters of the Arab states will meet sunday, they will definitly fail to reach an effective solution for Lebanon, this will open the way for europeans to interfere. A solution will be found before President Bush arrive there.Arabic blood will be cheap again.

May 10th, 2008, 12:05 am


Qifa Nabki said:

This is Obama:

“Hezbollah’s power grab in Beirut has once more plunged that city into violence and chaos. This effort to undermine Lebanon’s elected government needs to stop, and all those who have influence with Hezbollah must press them to stand down immediately. It’s time to engage in diplomatic efforts to help build a new Lebanese consensus that focuses on electoral reform, an end to the current corrupt patronage system, and the development of the economy that provides for a fair distribution of services, opportunities and employment. We must support the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions that reinforce Lebanon’s sovereignty, especially resolution 1701 banning the provision of arms to Hezbollah, which is violated by Iran and Syria. As we push for this national consensus, we should continue to support the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Siniora, strengthen the Lebanese army, and insist on the disarming of Hezbollah before it drags Lebanon into another unnecessary war. As we do this, it is vital that the United States continues to work with the international community and the private sector to rebuild Lebanon and get its economy back on its feet.”


And here’s a different perspective (from Lebanese Political Journal):

March 14 Didn’t Fight, So What Did Hezbollah Win?

1) The Army and the Internal Security Forces did not fight Hezbollah.

2) The March 14 leadership, as stated specifically by Walid Jumblatt, did take arms against Hezbollah. They did not barricade the streets of Beirut. They took no military measures to prevent Hezbollah/Amal/the Syrian Social Nationalist Party from doing what they chose to do.

There were gun clashes with local residents angry at Hezbollah’s armed and intimidating approach, but unlike Hezbollah’s coordinated drive, March 14 leaders did not combat Hezbollah.

3) Hezbollah controls territory in West Beirut, but is completely in violation of Lebanese law and the Constitution. There is no justification for their actions, and it is hard to understand why they did it in the first place. Some March 14 leaders believe that Hezbollah wanted them to fight back, but they refused.

Hezbollah has now, undeniably, used its weapons against the Lebanese state and its people. It has undeniably subverted democracy and the government institutions sworn to protect it.

4) The Army and other government institutions proved that they are not biased in favor or against any particular group in Lebanon. Obviously, a few Army biases became apparent, but this is more of a concern to faction leaders than to citizens.

5) Hezbollah and its allies cost Lebanon approximately $1 billion of damages: shutting down the airport for three days, shutting down the port, halting the transit of goods across the border to Syria, destroying roads and highways, destroying public parks and monuments, destroying the residences of parliamentary members and their vehicles, burning down newspaper offices and television stations, damaging apartment buildings, closing schools, halting exams, shutting down all commerce in Beirut. And that is not even mentioning the lives lost and the mental damage done to the entire population

6) Hezbollah now appears more similar to a foreign aggressor than a local party with which to negotiate. Like Israel did during the 2006 war, Hezbollah first stopped traffic at the airport, then immobilized movement throughout the country, halted commerce, emasculated government institutions and political leaders, and denied the Lebanese government sovereignty over its own territory.

7) Which Beirut citizen ever voted for Hezbollah to administer the city? Do you think they are happy to have their votes and opinions torn up by foreign funded militia? Did Beirut residents ask for what Hezbollah did? Hezbollah claims it defends Lebanon against Israel, but they are going to have a difficult time explaining to the residents of Beirut how exactly it is that Hezbollah is accomplishing its goals by wasting resources in Beirut?

7) How will Hezbollah begin its negotiations with March 14? With blackmail? Don’t fire Walid Shouqeir from his job at the airport, and we’ll give you a bunch of property we don’t own and have no to administrate?

8) How can Hezbollah claim that the government is unconstitutional when Hezbollah blatantly flaunts the government on issues from government appointments, to telecommunications, to defense, to sharing of powers, and so on?

9) How long will the people of Beirut put up with this farce?

10) How is this even slightly to Hezbollah’s benefit?

May 10th, 2008, 12:07 am


Mark McHenry said:

If Obama or anyone else insists upon this ridiculously high demand of disarming Hezbollah and if Lebanese politicians continue to pursue that goal themselves then a civil war is guaranteed. The only thing that can save Lebanon right now is to remove this Siniora government as soon as possible.

May 10th, 2008, 12:17 am


why-discuss said:


Your attitude is more than ambiguous. You say you want to be fair and you claim your low opinion of the 14 march leaders, yet you only post anything, articles or cyber elucubrations that are critical of HA and the opposition.
If you have an opinion, express it, dont play smart and try to fool me in making me believe that you are neutral and only interested in your countrymen.

May 10th, 2008, 12:27 am


Mark McHenry said:

>7) How will Hezbollah begin its negotiations with March 14? With blackmail? Don’t fire Walid Shouqeir from his job at the airport, and we’ll give you a bunch of property we don’t own and have no to >administrate?

Siniora is trying to turn the Beirut airport into a U.S. CIA headquarters so by firing someone loyal to Hezbollah the Lebanese government brought this crisis on themselves and have no one to blame but themselves. Since when did the Lebanese Sunnis become so Pro U.S.?

May 10th, 2008, 12:30 am


Qifa Nabki said:


Have you ever stopped to consider the possibility that someone could be critical of BOTH the government AND the opposition?

It’s possible, trust me.

And necessary.

PS: By the way, Why-Discuss, I’m not nearly as bad as some Lebanese. Some people spread the hate around much more evenly.

May 10th, 2008, 12:39 am


Enlightened said:

Qifa Nabki said:


What did you do before I came along? Who was the poor helpless Lebanese boy that you used to gang up on? 😉


That was simple that would have been me and HP! (LOL), But I along with HP “feel” your pain QN, remember here at SC you will not walk or write alone. (if need be me and HP will provide a shoulder too), those pesky gloaters are not civil and especially Ausamma has been waiting for this moment to rub our noses in it (LOL)

Lets see:

1. As I read the posts I am a slightly bit happier, that some of the gleeful posts that I encountered on the last page have tempered a bit.

2. HP the thing about Arab Fatricide never ceases to amaze me that one trait of US Arabs, always has some snide demeanour to gloat or snigger at others misfortune. Things will never change.

My take on the last few Days:

Start With The Government:

* Who is running the government and setting the agenda (Jumblatt?), this escalation has me puzzled, and the miscalculation by the wily old fox appear very amateurish at best.
* There was NO M14 Militia ( all those that had argued there was one and being trained proved to be false) we would have seen far more resistance and a very high death toll)
* The obstinacy shown I feel by the ruling coalition in attempting to solve the deadlock has been ham fisted, when you have a coalition one party always tries to scupper an agreement because its narrow interests are not covered.

* Given the freedom from Syrian Tutelage, this “elected” government was politically immature


* More adept at political maneveuring ( Berri, Nasrallah), no peers that can counter their political savvy
* Heavy infiltration of the Police and Army ( a lot of the gunmen wore police uniforms)
* The tactical ability to take half the city in two days suggests they were “prepared” and they had a contingency plan.


I like the the take of the Daily Star Editorial. Lebanon is a cross roads today. Nasrallah can write his own legacy, whether he believes in the State or his own “Divine Resistence” we will know in the last week, I watched with alarm last night on BBC that some hezbollah gunmen were writing some sectarian messages next to Harrirri (snr and Jr ) posters, but I passed this off as a isolated incidence. Time will tell what Nasrallah and Berri can conjure up.


While watching the BBC last night there was this scene with a very old man standing around in a building with Kalashnikov in hand and dressed in Tattered clothes standing next to a picture of Bashar feeling triumphant, I thought that old dogs cant be taught new tricks ( and being a remnant of the civil war) the old man has some fight left in him while posing for the camera.

The last word goes to my wifes Aunt who is 82 and rang us from Melbourne last night who rang me to congratulate me on the prediction of the eruption in Lebanon ( I had pinpointed the date after her nephew would arrive here in Aus). She had survived the horrors of the civil war in Beirut and is one tough woman ( and a Hezb supporter). My wife yelled over the loud speaker to her ” Shall we start calling our selves Syrian Colto?”

She replied not yet, not yet!

OOOOH my heart is heavy today!

May 10th, 2008, 12:41 am


Qifa Nabki said:

Enlightened, I always enjoy your sign-on posts!

Thank God, reinforcements have arrived.

What’s the time difference, by the way, between AUS and GMT?

May 10th, 2008, 12:47 am


Honest Patriot said:

If you are not Lebanese and are not of Lebanese origin your interests, positions, and perceptions are all colored by your own country’s interest, be it Syria or Palestine or Israel or Iran. You clearly have no understanding of how HA is usurping the power of a needed central government in Lebanon. Why is it that I don’t read a single Lebanese voice here which is in favor of this destructive HA take-over?

More importantly, please spare us any lectures about the necessity to protect the “resistance” and give it independence when everyone of your countries is ruled by dictatorship where citizens have to constantly look over their shoulder should they dare to have thoughts critical of their regime.

HA’s “resistance” and “Divine victory” are exercises in futility. Were it not for the international pressure moved by Siniora, all of Lebanon would have been destroyed in 2006 and with it all of HA’s capabilities. Corruption of clan leaders, necessity for reform, clear need for full representation of all Lebanese citizen including, importantly, the Shi3a, are all important issues that need attention as Lebanon attempts to emerge into a true nation. However, none of that has anything to do with HA keeping its weapons, and much less of HA using those weapons to force political advantages and threaten fellow citizens and paralyze the economy. These weapons have everything to do with doing Syria’s and Iran’s bidding. That’s it. This is at a time when neither Syria nor Iran have the guts to engage in military conflict of their own. The dictionary calls that cowardice and manipulation.

Two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because some of the M14 leaders are corrupt doesn’t make HA right. Forgive the analogy but here again, just like in the conflict with Israel, instead of employing effective means of establishing influence through the democratic system, they resort to intimidation tactics and bullying. Instead of fighting Israel by effective persuasion and influence in the court of public opinion, they resort to attacking innocent civilians.

I am fully aware of the dominance on this forum of the opposing opinions: HA is sacred, HA is made of heroes, Nasrallah is the true savior of the Arab nation and the Divinely appointed leader of the resistance, Siniora and M14 are US and Israeli puppets, etc., etc.
I disagree. We’re all expressing opinions here. Just note that there isn’t a single Lebanese on this blog who agrees with you.

May 10th, 2008, 12:57 am


Qifa Nabki said:


Actually, Why-Discuss and Nour are Lebanese (I believe).


Here is Robert Fisk’s take:

Hizbollah rules west Beirut in Iran’s proxy war with US

By Robert Fisk in Beirut
Saturday, 10 May 2008

Another American humiliation. The Shia gunmen who drove past my apartment in west Beirut yesterday afternoon were hooting their horns, making V-signs, leaning out of the windows of SUVs with their rifles in the air, proving to the Muslims of the capital that the elected government of Lebanon has lost.

And it has. The national army still patrols the streets, but solely to prevent sectarian killings or massacres. Far from dismantling the pro-Iranian Hizbollah’s secret telecommunications system – and disarming the Hizbollah itself – the cabinet of Fouad Siniora sits in the old Turkish serail in Beirut, denouncing violence with the same authority as the Iraqi government in Baghdad’s green zone.

The Lebanese army watches the Hizbollah road-blocks. And does nothing. As a Tehran versus Washington conflict, Iran has won, at least for now. Walid Jumblatt, the Druze leader and MP and a pro-American supporter of Mr Siniora’s government, is isolated in his home in west Beirut, but has not been harmed. The same applies to Saad Hariri, one of the most prominent government MPs and the son of the murdered former prime minister Rafik Hariri. He remains in his west Beirut palace in Koreitem, guarded by police and soldiers but unable to move without Hizbollah’s approval. The symbolism is everything.

When Hamas became part of the Palestinian government, the West rejected it. So Hamas took over Gaza. When the Hizbollah became part of the Lebanese government, the Americans rejected it. Now Hizbollah has taken over west Beirut. The parallels are not exact, of course. Hamas won a convincing electoral victory. Hizbollah was a minority in the Lebanese government; its withdrawal from cabinet seats with other Shias was occasioned by Mr Siniora’s American-defined policies and by their own electoral inability to change these. The Lebanese don’t want an Islamic republic any more than the Palestinians. But when Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, the Hizbollah chairman, told a press conference that this was a “new era” for Lebanon, he meant what he said.

Mr Hariri’s Future Television offices were invested by the army after Hizbollah surrounded it on Thursday night, its staff evacuated and the station switched off. When I turned up there yesterday morning, I joined a queue for manouche – Lebanon’s hot cheese breakfast sandwiches – at Eyman’s bakery in Watwat Street. I patiently waited behind four black-hooded gunmen from Hizbollah’s allied (but highly venal) Amal movement only to find uniformed Lebanese soldiers representing the government patiently queuing at the next window. Law and disorder, it seems, both have to eat.

But I found far more powerful symbolism in Hamra Street, one of west Beirut’s two main commercial thoroughfares. More than 100 Hizbollah men were standing or patrolling the highway, clad in new camouflage fatigues, wearing new black flak jackets and new black, peaked, American-style baseball caps and – more to the point – what appeared to be equally new American sniper rifles..

No, this is not a revolution. No, this is not a “hijacking” of west Beirut or the airport, which remains cut off by burning tyres on roads guarded by Hizbollah militiamen. But the government’s supporters deserve some space. Several pointed out that the Israelis closed Beirut airport in 2006. So what right did Hizbollah have to do the same to the Lebanese now? And, according to Saad Hariri, Mr Nasrallah – when he called Mr Jumblatt “a thief and a killer” – was “authorising his murder and clearly stating that, ‘I am the state and the state is me’.” No wonder, then, that Mr Jumblatt fears for his life and that Mr Hariri claims the Hizbollah’s coup de folie is a form of fitna, the Arabic for chaos. “I invite you, Sayed Nasrallah, to take back your fighters from the streets and to lift the siege of Beirut to protect the unity of Muslims,” he said. “Israel will be rejoicing at the blockade of the country and the collapse of its economy.”

Marwan Hamade, Mr Siniora’s Telecommunications Minister – and victim of an attempted assassination in 2004 – admitted he had turned a blind eye to Hizbollah’s underground phone system but could no longer when he realised that Hizbollah now maintains 99,000 numbered lines.

Mr Nasrallah also insisted on the reinstallation of Brigadier General Wafiq Chucair as head of security at Beirut airport, since he was not a member of Hizbollah. General Chucair was suspended after Mr Jumblatt claimed he worked for Mr Nasrallah’s outfit, a demand which prompted Mr Jumblatt to say he did not know General Chucair was so important to Mr Nasrallah that it was worth closing the international airport.

And so it goes on. There was an unusually good editorial in the French-language daily L’Orient Le Jour, which asked how the Hizbollah – literally “the party of God” in Arabic – could have war as its raison d’etre yet be a factor of stability and security in Lebanese domestic affairs. “And this party, can it really call itself the ‘Party of God’ without creating, in the long term, the distrust of all those other children who count themselves to be from the same unique and one God?”

No, this is not a civil war. Nor is it a coup d’etat, though it meets some of the criteria. It is part of the war against America in the Middle East. The Hizbollah “must stop sowing trouble,” the White House said rather meekly. Yes, like the Taliban. And al-Qa’ida. And the Iraqi insurgents. And Hamas. And who else?

May 10th, 2008, 1:02 am


Honest Patriot said:

More than reinforcements, QN, I hear the trumpets of the cavalry 😉

May 10th, 2008, 1:05 am


Honest Patriot said:

Why-Discuss, ya Habibi, if you are Lebanese you’ve got to meet me around the corner so we settle this… over a falafel sandwich.

Nour, ditto.

Apologies if you folks are Lebanese. I couldn’t have guessed from your posts.

If not, then, well, GOTO my earlier post.

May 10th, 2008, 1:08 am


Enlightened said:

Qn: Its 11.10 in the morning!

May 10th, 2008, 1:08 am


Qifa Nabki said:


I didn’t respond to your earlier question/comment.

I think you are probably right in some ways. Certain members of the current government may have been pressured by the Americans to be more intransigent than they would have liked. In particular, I feel that Hariri probably would have been ok with the veto (definitely not Jumblatt or Geagea). But that option was probably nixed by the Americans.

As for the other option (1960 law), it would have been possible to achieve.

Don’t forget, the Americans had given their public support for the Arab League proposal, which didn’t give a veto to anybody, and split the cabinet among M14, M8, and the president. But the opposition wanted more.

Ya Why-Discuss, both sides have been guilty of moving the goal posts and changing their demands.

May 10th, 2008, 1:10 am


Qifa Nabki said:

If you look at the “Recent Comments” bar at this very instant, you will see that it is populated ONLY by Lebanese participants. 🙂

We have taken over the blog!

Quick, someone change the name to Lebanon Comment before Alex comes back!

May 10th, 2008, 1:13 am


Naji said:

Ha… QN, the Syrians are always awake and watching… 😉

May 10th, 2008, 1:19 am


Enlightened said:


You dont need the cavalry. I am the lone horsemen of the apocolypse, and the Tyranny of all evil men.

Here I come (lol)

May 10th, 2008, 1:22 am


Qifa Nabki said:


You’re such a spoiler. 😉

Where are you at the moment? Damascus?

May 10th, 2008, 1:31 am


Enlightened said:

Gegea Speech:

Saturday, May 10, 2008 | 04:35 Beirut | 19° Partly Cloudy

Breaking news
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea announces Maarab meeting decisions.
May 9, 2008
Print Save as PDF Email

-It is an armed coup on the nation, national unity, the constitution, the democratic system and pluralism.
-It is an attempted end on coexistence. Beirut did not fall under Israeli invasion, and it will not fall today.
-The innocent civilians of Beirut have no weapons but their honor and love for their nation.
-Beirut was attacked by weapons sent by Tehran.
-We salute Saad Hariri, son of Rafik Hariri, who they killed thinking they would kill the nation. We salute Walid Jumblatt… son of the martyr Kamal Jumblatt.
-This bloody coup… aims at the entire country, which we will not allow to be taken hostage.
-March 14 confirms the following:
-First, what happened in Beirut and its airport is an armed coup staged by Hezbollah, a coup against… coexistence and international resolutions… to undermine freedom in Lebanon. This coup has stripped Hezbollah’s arms of its label as “resistance,” … for the use of the arms has led to the fall of the arms.
-Secondly, March 14 expresses its categorical rejection of this logic… for using arms against the Lebanese have never led to any victory in Lebanon …
-Thirdly, in light of this coup on constitutional legitimacy… the Lebanese army is strongly invited to fulfill the military establishment’s primary responsibility in protecting civilians and private and public property to set an end to … violence.
-Fourthly, we condemn the targeting of the media and journalists, and the burning of press offices in Beirut as a means to complete this coup.
-Fifth, we call on the Arab countries to exercise their responsibilities toward Lebanon, for what is happening aims at returning Syria to Lebanon…
-Sixth, the international community cannot stand by and watch… and must pressure neighboring countries, who pass arms to Lebanon…
-Seventh, and last of all, the March 14 forces address all Lebanese and confirm their commitment to the principles of the Cedar Revolution, from sovereignty to independence… and promise the Lebanese to continue the path. The use of violence will not save Lebanon… March 14 stands behind the constitutional Lebanese government, headed by PM Fouad Siniora

May 10th, 2008, 1:37 am


Naji said:

Yep, I am in Damascus at the moment…, and let me tell you something that will make you feel better: Even on its worst days, Beirut airport has more flights and a better flight schedule than Damascus airport on its best day…!

Honestly, QN, why don’t you just try to think of this thing as a relatively bloodless takeover by the legitimate Lebanese army, commanded by the legitimate consensus president, in preparation for fair and democratic elections…?!! …kinda like Mauritania (and don’t snicker!)…!! It will just make you feel better, and if enough people see it that way, it will self-actualize that way…! The power of positive thinking, you know…!

I mean, the Lebanese had already reached wide (almost universal) consensus on a president (Suleiman) and on an election law (Boutrous), and all that was missing was the political will and leadership, or some other enablement of the popular will and aspirations, to implement these two keys to the future stability and prosperity of Lebanon… and a Lebanese solution was devised to deal with this… let’s hope it works…!

May 10th, 2008, 1:50 am


Qifa Nabki said:

Bravo, al-Akhbar.

ليس أقسى من العنف المدوّي في المدينة سوى العنف الذي يرمي بثقله في المكان الخطأ. وكلّ احتجاج سابق أو لاحق على أداء وسيلة إعلاميّة، لا يمكن أن يتحوّل حجّة للإقدام على عمل كالذي تعرّضت له مجموعة «المستقبل» الإعلامية أمس. والصمت الذي أطبق على وسيلة مرئيّة ومسموعة ومطبوعة لمجرّد أنّها تمثّل رأياً مختلفاً، ليس هو الصمت الذي يمنع وصول الصوت. هو نفسه الصوت الذي حاول كثيرون من مواقع مختلفة ولأسباب مختلفة كتمه، لمجرّد أنّه لا يروق لمن بيده الأمر.
خطأ المعارضة في التعرّض لوسائل إعلام «المستقبل» جسيم، لا يبرّره أيّ جموح أو مبالغة، هو خطأ لا تعالجه لعبة رمي المسؤولية على هذا أو ذاك.
كلّ التضامن مع مجموعة «المستقبل» الإعلاميّة.

May 10th, 2008, 1:54 am


Qifa Nabki said:


I’ll have to invite you over to Beirut sometime in the fall, when I’m back. We can discuss the flight schedules of Beirut and Damascus airport, over a glass of araq and an argileh, in my favorite cafe overlooking the Corniche.

Inshallah by then things will have returned to normalcy.

Who knows, maybe we can convince Alex to fly over and join us. 😉

May 10th, 2008, 1:58 am


Qifa Nabki said:

Bravo, al-Safir.

لا بد من رفع الصوت احتجاجاً واستنكاراً وتنديداً بالاعتداءات غير المبررة وغير المقبولة على بعض المؤسسات الإعلامية (والثقافية) في بيروت، وبالذات على الزميلة «المستقبل» وعلى تلفزيون المستقبل.
قبل التضامن المهني وبعده، فإننا نرفع الصوت احتجاجاً من باب الحرص على شرف السلاح المقاوم، وقد ثبت أن مختلف وسائل التعبير الديموقراطي، ثقافة وصحافة، أدباً ومسرحاً وسينما، قد لعبت دوراً مؤثراً ومميزاً في الدفاع عن قضية المقاومة وعن شرف سلاحها.
وقبل التضامن المهني وبعده، فلا بد من التنويه بالدور الممتاز الذي لعبه الإعلام، برجاله ونسائه، بالمحترفين والهواة، في لبنان خصوصاً، وفي الوطن العربي عموماً، في بلورة أهداف المقاومة، وفي الدفاع عن سلاحها الذي ما حمله المجاهدون إلا لمواجهة العدو الإسرائيلي (ومن معه) وصد اعتداءاته التي ظلت مفتوحة حتى انتصر به الشعب اللبناني (والأمة العربية) في التحرير في 24 أيار 2000 ثم في مواجهة الحرب الإسرائيلية في تموز ـ آب .2006
وليس سراً أنه كان بين عوامل انتصار المقاومة ذلك الهامش الديموقراطي في النظام السياسي في لبنان الذي حرص عليه الأطراف جميعاً باعتباره شرط حياة لهذا النظام، وأفادوا منه، في معاركهم على اختلاف أهدافهم… وبطبيعة الحال فإن المقاومة كانت أعظم المستفيدين منه ليس فقط بوصف أهلها أصحاب قضية، بل لأن اللبنانيين كانوا يرون في المقاومة قضيتهم وفي انتصارها تقدماً على طريق غدهم الأفضل، وذلك بتعزيز الديموقراطية في نظامهم.
إن هذه الاعتداءات التي وقعت على المؤسسات الإعلامية (والثقافية كمؤسسة الحريري) تسيء إلى عدالة القضية السياسية التي من أجلها رفع أهل المقاومة سلاحهم في الداخل مرغمين، صداً لاعتداء مقصود ومدبر ضد حقوق المقاومة التي كانت بين المسلمات الوطنية.
لقد وفرت هذه الاعتداءات التي وجدت من يجعلها عنواناً «للانقلاب المسلح» سلاحاً فعالاً لأعداء المقاومة، إذ صوروها وكأنها معادية لحق الإنسان في أن يعرف حقيقة ما يجري، بل للحريات عموماً، وحريات الإعلام خصوصاً.. ومن الطريف أن أكثر من اتخذها
وسيلة للتشهير أجهزة إعلامية تابعة لأنظمة ليس لها من عنوان غير القمع وكبت الحريات واحتقار الديموقراطية.
كذلك فإن هذه الاعتداءات الصاخبة على بعض وسائل الاعلام قد ألحقت قدرا من التشويه المؤذي بهذا التحرك الاضطراري الذي لجأ اليه حزب المقاومة رداً على الاعتداء المباشر الذي شنته ضدها السلطة البتراء والمطعون في شرعيتها القائمة في بيروت، والذي ربما كان الهدف الاصلي له إحراج المقاومة لإخراجها ودفعها الى «الشارع» حيث يصير ارتكاب التجاوزات أمراً شبه حتمي… فليست وظيفة المقاومة ان تحكم فكيف بأن تتحكم؟!
لقد أكدت قيادة المقاومة، عبر تاريخها، احترامها لدور الإعلام وتقديرها لأهله ـ بغض النظر عن مواقف المعارضين لسلاحها ـ كما لسائر المثقفين والمفكرين والكتاب والشعراء الذين محضوها، بأغلبيتهم الساحقة، تأييدهم المفتوح انطلاقاً من تقديرهم لدورها في تحرير الإرادة والأرض.. وأيضا لوعيها أهمية الديموقراطية وضرورة الحفاظ عليها ولو في نظام معتل كالنظام القائم في لبنان.
وبالتأكيد، وبغض النظر عن أي خلاف سياسي، فإن الزملاء في جريدة «المستقبل» وفي تلفزيون المستقبل، قد قدموا الكثير من جهدهم لقضية المقاومة، وحتى عندما انتقدوا، كما غيرهم بعض تكتيكاتها السياسية في الداخل، فإنهم إنما كانوا يقدمون اجتهادات وقراءات خاصة تؤكد وتعزز أهمية الديموقراطية كشرط للمعرفة بالذات وتحديد الأهداف والمطالب:
و«السفـير»، ومن موقع التضامن مع زملائها، تأمل ان تبادر المقاومة الى تبرئة سلاحها من شبهة الارتكابات التي وقعت ليس فقط بوقف الاعتداءات، بل أساسا بتأكيد احترامها ـ مجدداً ـ لدور الإعلام بمؤسساته جميعا، المؤيدة منها والمعترضة.. وأساساً المعترضة!
ودائماً من اجل ان يبقى للسلاح شرفه.

May 10th, 2008, 2:05 am


Naji said:

Thanks, QN, …nothing I’d like better …I understand that HA grows the best “tobacco”…for the argileh…! 😉

May 10th, 2008, 2:10 am


Qifa Nabki said:

Ahh, yes, the famous Lebanese blonde.

Yes, but it’s all for export. 😉

From the inimitable As`ad Abu Khalil:

“My task is to go after those who are in power. These are my anarchist instincts. If the Hariri-Jumblat rule is replaced by a Hizbullah-Amal rule, Angry Arab would go after them. And I don’t believe in grace periods. I am watching and listening.”

May 10th, 2008, 2:13 am


Enlightened said:

Bloody hell QN:

I just read that and was going to paste and comment on it, looks like the crazy professor calls it as he sees it!

May 10th, 2008, 2:16 am


Naji said:

You should also invite inimitable As`ad Abu Khalil along…, it’ll help him to chill a bit… 🙂

That quote is the best I read in the past couple of days…! This is where I will leave the Lebanon story for now…

May 10th, 2008, 2:21 am


majedkhaldoun said:

There is saying in Syria , it says ma qider la Hamato ,Qam la mrato.
Un able to do anything to hurt Israel,so he took over the sunni area, the sunni are refusing to fight fellows muslems, they surrender peacefuly,to say the war is over is not correct, the current situation,can not last for long, the future Television will resume within a week,Siniora,and Hariri will not be arrested. after the shock,there will be adjustment period, then complaint, then resistance.
If the whole thing is a cover for Syria to make peace with Israel, or to make a deal,where Nasrallah may end up getting in trouble, things will be known within short time.
HA, must get results quickly,and pull back,so he will be able to foil any conspiracy against him.

May 10th, 2008, 3:30 am


norman said:

Majed, said,

the sunni are refusing to fight fellows muslems, they surrender peacefuly,

Majed, Who started killing muslims in Iraq , Shai or Sunni ? .

May 10th, 2008, 3:34 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

HP and QN,
As an Israeli I should be happy now. Hizballah has lost most internal support and is in no position to attack Israel. This thread says it all:

The Sunnis are so pissed off at Hizballah that they would welcome an Israeli invasion to get rid of them!

But I am not happy, I am sad. Because I really wanted to see a democratic and thriving Lebanon that lives beside Israel and this dream is now diminishing. It is so much easier to break democracies than to build them. That is a sad truth. The job of the spoilers is so much easier than that of the builders. The only thing you can do is to keep at it.

May 10th, 2008, 3:47 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Iraq is different from Lebanon

May 10th, 2008, 3:59 am


Enlightened said:


“The Sunnis are so pissed off at Hizballah that they would welcome an Israeli invasion to get rid of them!”

AIG, lets be clear on one thing this is a very very sad day for the rule of democracy and institutions, that HA would take to the streets and use arms against their fellow citizens, in what was a political dispute, has in many Lebanese eyes taken the mask of the HEZB.

Let me reiterate, not many of us Lebanese are happy about the Hezb carrying arms, whether they are used against Israel or internally against their fellow citizens.

PS> I commend you on the restraint that you have shown not to gloat about the situation.

I am still waiting for you to ask me about the two state solution ( dont be a coward and ask)

May 10th, 2008, 4:10 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

There is nothing to gloat about. Hizballah is my enemy not Lebanon. I take no joy in seeing Lebanese dreams put on hold or postponed. In fact I am quite sad. The only solution for a stable middle east is democracy and it is farther away in Lebanon today.

PS We can leave the two state discussion to a more apropo time.

May 10th, 2008, 4:23 am


Enlightened said:


Today, you showed me that you do have sense, maybe the bridge is not that far apart from us after all.

I take off my tarboosh to you!

Taken we can discuss it another time.

Anyway question ( not at post) I was watching BBc coverage on Israel 60th Birthday and they had this show on TV a comedy that is quite popular In Israel ( A Arab-Isreali show) I forget what it is called but the skits were quite funny have you seen it I was going to ask Shai, but you were here first!

May 10th, 2008, 4:30 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Its called Arab Work. Its not bad. I saw a show or two.

May 10th, 2008, 4:51 am


Enlightened said:

Sounded very funny, I might see if I can get a hold of it, there was one scene were the Jewish guy was trying to get his Arab girlfriend to give him a kiss, she kissed him on the cheek, then he said to her if I give you the wailing wall will I get one on the lips and it went on and on.

Just about the funniest thing I heard in the last three days!

There was another scene in the Taxi where the Jewish guy was singing in the back “lets give peace a chance”, when he thought he was being kidnapped.

May 10th, 2008, 5:03 am


Honest Patriot said:

AIG, you said The job of the spoilers is so much easier than that of the builders. The only thing you can do is to keep at it.

– Words of Wisdom –

HA’s arms have now proven their loss for any and all legitimacy. M14 may have stupidly precipitated the events but HA is the one raising portraits of Bashar El-Assad, silencing free press voices, and destroying the economy. Take away his charisma and oratory skills and all you have left in Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is an evil Iranian agent. He is not a modest man, but a fanatical zealot, made more dangerous by his hypocritical charm. Might is not right, not within a country. Victory at the polls is right. On that front, Berri is scandalously and hypocritically preventing the democratic process in evil collusion with HA and stupid participation by Aoun. If they don’t like the rules, play and win by them, then change them. That’s what M14 did.

Between countries, the sad reality is that “might is right” comes to play, at least partially. Might is the only right that created Israel. Might is what defeated Nazi Germany. Might is what acted in concert to bring about the dismantling of the Soviet Union. Might is what keeps Israel in place.

The day HA turned its weapons on its fellow citizens is the day marked in history when their claim to the title of “resistance” is erased.

The opposition fears democracy, fears a strong central government, and is pulling Lebanon backward to Arabic fratricide. Sad.

May 10th, 2008, 5:10 am


Honest Patriot said:

Congratulations to HA and Amal:
مسلحون من حزب الله وأمل يعمدون على رفع صور الرئيس بشار الأسد بدل صور النائب سعد الحريري في الاماكن التي سيطروا عليها
Shame on Aoun

May 10th, 2008, 5:21 am


Honest Patriot said:

Anyone care to explain why, with their second “divine” victory against the legitimate and democratically elected Lebanese government, HA continues to paralyze the economy by keeping the airport closed ?

May 10th, 2008, 5:59 am


offended said:

HP, it’s obvious, isn’t it? The political benefits have not been harvested yet, why ease the pressure?

May 10th, 2008, 6:17 am


Honest Patriot said:

Well, OK, but the problem is that the pressure is really on the majority of non-aligned Lebanese civilians. The political elite have always their ways around restrictions like this: helicopters, private routes, etc.
Despite all my venting I’m really only on one side: that of the poor Lebanese civilians seeking nothing more than a normal life and an opportunity to work, propser, and feed their families.

May 10th, 2008, 6:22 am


offended said:

To that I can say nothing. I totally empathize.

May 10th, 2008, 6:33 am


SHAMI said:

Norman i know you are a syrian christian and an arab nationalist ,you can not be Syrian and anti sunni because 85% of the syrians are sunnis and you can not be an arab if you are anti sunni because more than of 90% of the arab world is sunni ,the same for the islamic world.Asad ,Bashar or Hakim and Sadr militias belong to minorities and they will not be able to rule the region between the mediterranean sea and bandar abas …sooner or later the sunni arabs will be back with representative forces and there is no other alternative for post asad regime than liberal governments.
What did hezbollah in Beirut is not less of what did Sharon to beirut 26 years ago when the so called moqawama of today welcomed with rice bags the israeli army in nabatiya.
All our respect to our beiruti brothers and also to the jaafari mufti of Tyr Sheikh Ali Al Amine.

May 10th, 2008, 6:51 am


Honest Patriot said:

Ya 3ayni ya Shami! I’m already singing kudud 7alabiya with Sabah Fakhri.
Ya mal-el-sham yalla ya mali…

May 10th, 2008, 7:12 am


SHAMI said:

Honest Patriot

Sabah Fakhri is great but what i dislike is the insertion of the orchestra with so many violons in the egyptian and syrian music.(this is since Sayed Darwish).
Listen to this morceau:

May 10th, 2008, 10:25 am


abraham said:

Honest Patriot said:

AIG, you said The job of the spoilers is so much easier than that of the builders. The only thing you can do is to keep at it.

– Words of Wisdom –

Really, HP? “Words of Wisdom”…from AIG? Really?

May 10th, 2008, 11:34 am


ausamaa said:


A new Star Actor had just established his theatrical abilities and credentials. Fame and Fortune await him somewhere sometime… an ACTOR and an Accoutant at the same time. Imagin???

We are five minutes into the Siniora Live speach and he qualifies for the term: Musaylema Al Kazab..

He might make up for his stupid language now by offering a devious and sly compromise formula later in the speech. But for me, if I was the Opposition, I would add a new condition based on his current act: Any Future solution will have to execlude Siniora from any further political role in Lebanon. You just can not trust this man. This actor! We dont know if he will start crying again soon.

Mabrook ya Libnan 3la hayk syaseen.

Incidently, NBN is not even bothering to carry out the speach.

May 10th, 2008, 11:57 am


norman said:


I am not anti Sunni, shia , Christian , Druze and Jews , i am for people for they do not what they believe in ,

If we look at what Hezbollah did in 2006 and what the other Arabs did for the last 40 years we can see who is for the Arab and Islamic rise and who is for enslaving the Arabs to the West and Israel , look at what your friendly KSA and Egypt are doing to the Sunni Palestinians in Gaza ,

Now think who is for the Arab rise and who is for the Arab demise ?.

May 10th, 2008, 12:03 pm


norman said:


The government with the Siniora speech is declaring war on Hezbollah , I think it is time to round them up and put them to trial for the war crimes during the civil war and for coruption in the last twenty years.

There is no time for compromise any more.

May 10th, 2008, 12:08 pm


SHAMI said:

Norman i believe you that you are not anti sunni and i ask Who killed more palestinians than hafez asad and their lebanese sectarian allies?from Amal to Abu Ali Hobeika…..the dictator hafez asad killed even more palestinians than Sharon and co.
Should we speak about the 100 000’s syrians hurt,jailed,raped and slaughtered by asad sectarian gangs?
For sure the asads will be associated in the syrian history books with Timurlank,Gazan and Holaku.

Norman plz avoid us your disk à la Wafa Sultan that the brotherhood killed baath professors because here is an accurate report that show that syria al asad is the number one enemy of scientists and academecians,with names and statistics.

May 10th, 2008, 12:19 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

My personal feeling is that Saniora should resign.

Actually, he should have resigned one year ago.

He should resign now because it has become clear that certain outside powers (above all, Syria and the United States) are willing to let Lebanese die and Lebanon burn before their interests are compromised.

Let Lebanon start afresh. I have faith in the fact that even if Hizbullah wins a majority, there are enough As`ad Abu Khalil’s in Beirut to hold them to account, and to begin dismantling the myth of the divine resistance, until they are forced to become an ordinary political party like the rest of them.

May 10th, 2008, 12:21 pm


SHAMI said:

QIFA NABKI ;there will be no civil war even if the syrian regime and the israelis wanted this to happen ,the lebanese people must not answer to hezbollah provocative acts.And because it’s not the job of the lebanese to fight hezbollah militia because it was strengthened by those who were allowed to play with lebanese affairs for decades by the US governments.So this is the duty of Syria(this regime or other)and the USA to end Hezbollah as armed militia.

May 10th, 2008, 12:26 pm


abraham said:

I am watching the Bush Doctrine running for its life on the streets of Beirut.As’ad Abukhalil

May 10th, 2008, 12:51 pm


ausamaa said:


I suppose that we have to take your word that Syria is still behind what is happening in Lebanon. Incidently, both you and QN forget to award the same honore to Iran in partnership with Syria. And do you want Syria, and the US, to take care of Aoun, Frenjieah, Karami, Berri, and Arslan, or suffice it that they finish off Hizbullah only?


It is frustrating I Know, but let us not go back to square one and accuse Syria of all. What we have seen from Hizbullah especially during the last few days proves that Hizbullah are mature individuals who are no one’s puppets.

May 10th, 2008, 12:52 pm


offended said:

Have no fear. Rest assured and put a summery watermelon in your tummy. Syria will take care of Hezbollah’s arm in the next khutah khamsieh (five year plan), insha’allah.

May 10th, 2008, 1:02 pm


kamali said:

hopefully, this is the end of HA. i mean not in militery terms but in the eyes of the people. I do not like the tone of SC and the commmentators here. would any syrians be happy to have such a religious and criminal gang inside syria. if yes, where it is. AS i said earlier, HA will be the best threat for syria very soon.

May 10th, 2008, 1:09 pm


Innocent_Criminal said:

Shami, you don’t know what your talking about. Many lebanese can easily fall into civil war if their leaders ask them to, your dreaming if you think they have self restraint.

Josh, i think the title of your post was premature. Many more people killed today.

May 10th, 2008, 1:24 pm


why-discuss said:


Siniora resigning?
In the 14th march mentality (and their US allies), the resignation of Siniora would be an admittance of defeat and they certainly don’t want to give the opposition any victory. The Lebanese people’s interests are their lowest priority. They are clinging desperately to power as this group knows very well that with new elections they will be kicked out.
Their ambiguous attitude towards the resistance is also at the root of the problems. Either they support the resistance or they don’t. They kept giving mixed messages to please both the US and the Arab mass: “We support the resistance but…. it should be confined to the south, let the south villages bear that burden as they have for years. In Beirut we want rich tourists, not resistants!” If they had worked on a defense strategy, as proposed by Hezbollah, things will be clearer and safer for all lebanese.
Siniora promised he would liberate Shebaa farms ‘diplomatically’ with the help of our “friends” What happened? nothing. The issue is totally forgotten. In any country in the world, they would have called new elections a year ago. But by playing in delaying the election law, this group managed to hang on power and thwart any possible dialog. Ultimately they’ll leave and then Lebanese can start to put an order in the mess they have created by real dialog for the interest of all lebaneses. The sooner the better.

May 10th, 2008, 1:26 pm


why-discuss said:


Very hopeful thinking.. Hezbollah is far from finished. I think they have enough political savvyness to recover from the PR damages the present governement is trying to inflict on them.
On the other hand, the world community has reacted very mildly to what happened in Lebanon. No condemnations.. just dissaproval. It must have been very dissapointing to mini Hariri and his allies.
The battle is now political and the weight of Hezbollah in the negotiations is much heavier.

May 10th, 2008, 1:36 pm


M.M. said:

Legal definition of Treason

Treason. A breach of allegiance to one’s government, usually committed through levying war against such government or by giving aid or comfort to the enemy. The offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance; or of betraying the state into the hands of a foreign power

This applies to Sayyed Nasrallah.

He is the head of a party, getting billions from a foreign country, in order to weaken the lebanese government and facilitate the return of another foreign power as an occupying force.

In any other area of the world, he would have been declared a TRAITOR and hang.

May 10th, 2008, 1:41 pm


ausamaa said:

No, it is not pre-mature at all. Nobody expected the Feb 14 will role over and play dead. But, psychologically and militarily and operationally, the act was so swift and stunning to the Feb 14 crowd and their outside supporters.

After what is happening in Al Souf and Tripoli today, I am afraid that ACT 2 will be delivered to Feb 14 soon. They are still asking for it!

Someone is promissing them something i return for holding on little longer -which will unfortunately for them, will not be delivered as usual-.

As to Hizbullah’s standing among the Arabs in the street. I beleive his support will continue to climb for taking a long overdue action. The overwhelming majority of Arabs on the street know which side he is on, they have made up their mind since the year 2000 and can not be fooled by presentations on Al Arabia, Al Hurra or Al Sharq Al Awsat.

May 10th, 2008, 1:53 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


Their ambiguous attitude towards the resistance is also at the root of the problems. Either they support the resistance or they don’t.

You sound like George Bush. “Either you’re with us or against us.”

Let’s have elections, and then we’ll see. Unfortunately, Hizbullah has given March 14 plenty of lovely publicity materials for the election campaign.

May 10th, 2008, 1:56 pm


Nour said:

I think anyone who believes that the Resistance is a proxy of outside powers is falling for the propaganda of the US and Israel, which is aimed at stripping us of any real cause. The Resistance is and has always been about defending Lebanon, and I personally believe it is an act of treason to say otherwise. And the Resistance should be protected and defended at all costs because anyone with clear vision should see that targeting the Resistance is aimed at nothing more than providing security for “Israel” and ensuring its continued dominance and free hand in the region.

What happened in Lebanon is simple, and all those who claim otherwise are merely finding justifications for acts of treason. The government is clearly as day light obeying orders and commands from the US/Israel to disarm and dismantle the resistance, plain and simple. Someone had to put a stop to it. And what really happened is that the opposition went into the streets to protest and block roads, and as usual, loyalist militias started shooting at them. The difference this time is that the opposition did not stay quiet and merely choose to break up the protest and go home. It is obvious that the loyalists have always been depending on the opposition’s fear of being dragged into a civil war, which they see as a weakness. They were surprised to see the opposition react with such force to their acts of terror, and after they were routed and disarmed in Beirut, they began crying and claiming that they had no militia and chose not to fight. Absolute and utter nonsense and lies. They were shooting RPGs and heavy machine guns and were met with a more disciplined, better-trained fighting force who successfully defeated and dismantled those loyalist militias.

And if we examine the actions of the opposition fighters, we find that no “attrocities” were committed, contrary to what some of the hate-filled propaganda machines have been reporting. There were no targetting of civilians, unlike what loyalist fighters normally do. The aim was merely to put an end to those militias terrorizing people and continue the protests to put pressure on the government to reverse its decisions. In reality, the only people terrorizing and targeting civilians are the loyalist militias. They are the ones setting check points and checking ID’s.

The bottom line is that what people fail to mention is that the loyalist militias were the ones who initiated the attacks. They were the ones who shot at opposition protestors as they always do. The fact that they were not prepared to handle the response is of no concern to me. They want to engage in this type of behavior, they have to pay the price for it. And I believe it’s time for all those March 14 leaders to be removed. Sanioura, Hariri, Jumblatt, and Geagea have to be eliminated politically once and for all. They have shown utter contempt for the well-being of Lebanon and have gone way too far in their collaboration with the US/Israel. Time for change. We need to remove this government, install a new government, and organize early elections under a fair electoral law. That’s the only solution to Lebanon’s current problems.

May 10th, 2008, 1:58 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


Nobody expected the US victory over Saddam Hussein to be so quick either. Is that a proof that we should have all stood up and clapped for George W. Bush?

May 10th, 2008, 1:59 pm


EHSANI2 said:

Siniora’s speech highlighted the government’s displeasure with the army when he ordered it to clear the streets of gunmen and that such a step “is yet to be taken”.

Without a President in place and a PM that seems to have no say over the army, chaos rules. You cannot have a country when an army has clear and ultimate commander in chief.

Indeed, the Lebanese army has just decided to revoke measures taken by the government against HA and called for all armed militants to withdraw from the streets. It also called for the head of security at Beirut airport to remain in his post.

The army has in effect moved to take charge. The government is clearly not in command as its initial measures have all been revoked by the army’s command.

May 10th, 2008, 2:00 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


It is nice to see that you think that at least half of the Lebanese are guilty of treason against their country.

This is pure propoganda, not commentary befitting debate by rational people.

I suppose the loyalists were the ones who were responsible for Hizbullah’s withdrawl from the government, and the provocation of an 18-month long sit-in?

Oh, I forgot, of course they were responsible, because they threatened the holy weapons of the resistance, the weapons which — if questioned — have the magical ability to turn patriots into traitors.

I’m sorry, but I find your post highly insulting.

The cynicism which you wield with such abandon — if properly and systematically and responsibly used — would render Hizbullah a cynical tool in the hands of cynical powers.

If a significant portion of the Lebanese population (and we can disagree about the exact proportion, somewhere between 40%-60%) wants to see Hizbullah disarmed and integrated into the state, then where do you get your presumptuous authority to call these people traitors?

May 10th, 2008, 2:01 pm


EHSANI2 said:

To follow up:

When the army revokes the Government’s decisions, it takes over the decision making process. In simple English, it takes over.

May 10th, 2008, 2:37 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

Nour, is this woman a traitor? Is she guilty of treason?

May 10th, 2008, 2:38 pm


why-discuss said:


Where did you get the 40%-60% who wants Hezbollah to disarm unconditionally and release “the holy weapons of the resistance”??
You seem to continue having a problem with “holy” and “divine” attributes that you keep ridiculing (you sound like a L’Orient-Le jour journalist or Jumblatt’s adepts). If you are an agnostic or a atheist, please respect the right of people to believe in such power.

Do you believe Siniora’s governememt is actively supporting the Resistance whether it is ‘holy’ or not? Or they are just claiming that high and loud while hitting it in the back with the help of Jumblatt and Hamade?

May 10th, 2008, 2:41 pm


Honest Patriot said:

Abraham, your handle is dear to my heart as my uncle’s name (God rest his soul) was Ibrahim and he was a wise man. (My father’s – God rest his soul too – was Khalil — a traditional combination by the grandparents of “Ibrahim-El-Kahlil.”)
You said:
Honest Patriot said: AIG, you said The job of the spoilers is so much easier than that of the builders. The only thing you can do is to keep at it. – Words of Wisdom –
Really, HP? “Words of Wisdom”…from AIG? Really?

Well, yeah. Does a wise utterance all of a sudden become invalid just because of the person voicing it? What do you call blocking roads, paralysing the economy, and burning a free press? “Building a future” ?

Why-Discuss: You said Siniora promised he would liberate Shebaa farms ‘diplomatically’ with the help of our “friends” What happened? nothing.
And who sabotaged the deal of returning the Shebaa farms to Lebanon? The Syrian regime, by refusing to make the formal acknowledgment that they belong to Lebanon. Without this, on the UN books, they are part of Syria and therefore part of Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights. So, either you believe Lebanon should be in charge of liberating part of the Golan Heights, or you have to admit that Assad is preventing Siniora from returning the Shebaa farms to Lebanon. Simple.

May 10th, 2008, 2:47 pm


why-discuss said:


“Assad is preventing Siniora from returning the Shebaa farms to Lebanon.”
Come on! what an excuse… the UN has been working on this issue but with the lack of serious follow up from Siniora and the boycott of Israel, the story has been forgotten.
You mean that Syria alone is able to disrupt the power of the whole UN and the US?
If Siniora has such inefficient friends to help his country, maybe he should look somewhere else.

May 10th, 2008, 2:55 pm


Honest Patriot said:

Nour, if you are Lebanese, YOU are the traitor for siding with a foreign-financed subjugation of free expression in Lebanon.

The notion that Siniora, Junblat, and others are puppets of the US is the result of a psychological propaganda war that – amazingly – so easily is accepted by so many. This gullibility is at the heart of the continued failures of the Arab countries in their conflict with Israel. I’m beginning to (re-) think i’ts hopeless to see any real change in my lifetime.

May 10th, 2008, 2:59 pm


Honest Patriot said:

Why-Discuss, did you follow are elements of the Shebaa Farms dossier? It failed when Syria refused to make any official declaration to the UN until AFTER the Shebaa farms was free. This is a tactic to prevent it from going back to Lebanon.
The hold-up from Israel is that they don’t want to give any concessions to Syria except as part of a comprehensive peace. Israel is prepared to return any piece of land that is Lebanese to Lebanon. For now, on the UN books, the Shebaa farms is Syrian. Syria refuses to correct the record. And of course this is deliberately done to prevent Siniora from succeeding in this effort. Check the record, Why-Discuss. Think about it. If you have facts and evidence that refute what I say above, I’d love to see and read them. Otherwise, welcome to the revelation of the game being played by Syria, one of many such maneuvers.

May 10th, 2008, 3:03 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

Why-Discuss (and Nour, et al)

I’ll let you decide what my views are. In other words, you can have the last word.

I’m going to take a vacation from SC, for a while.

Here’s hoping that things will be better soon.

May 10th, 2008, 3:04 pm


Naji said:

I have not had the chance to follow up on the Lebanon story today, but Ehsani’s report above confirms my earlier reading of the events:

Naji said:
This appears to have been a combined/coordinated Lebanese Army/Opposition “coup” that was met by a complete and sudden collapse of the M14 forces…!
May 9th, 2008, 9:48 am

Naji said:
It is interesting to note that there was a much publicized call from General Suleiman to Pres Asad only a couple of days ago…!

Pres Asad just declared that what is happening in Lebanon is an internal matter and wished everybody luck…!! So great for Syria to be “out” of Lebanon…!
May 9th, 2008, 10:22 am

Naji said:
As General Aoun said today, this is a victory for all of Lebanon, and not for one side over the other. It was basically a legitimate/justified military takeover by the president-in-waiting, General Suleiman, assisted by HA and the opposition, but made to look the other way around for political expedience and future reconcilliation. Similar to the requests that have been voiced for the declaration of martial law, but done in that wonderful Lebanese way…!

[…]Things could have been, and still can get, much worse…!
May 9th, 2008, 1:53 pm


Naji said:
Honestly, QN, why don’t you just try to think of this thing as a relatively bloodless takeover by the legitimate Lebanese army, commanded by the legitimate consensus president, in preparation for fair and democratic elections…?!! …kinda like Mauritania (and don’t snicker!)…!! It will just make you feel better, and if enough people see it that way, it will self-actualize that way…! The power of positive thinking, you know…!

I mean, the Lebanese had already reached wide (almost universal) consensus on a president (Suleiman) and on an election law (Boutrous), and all that was missing was the political will and leadership, or some other enablement of the popular will and aspirations, to implement these two keys to the future stability and prosperity of Lebanon… and a Lebanese solution was devised to deal with this… let’s hope it works…!
May 10th, 2008, 1:50 am

May 10th, 2008, 3:04 pm


why-discuss said:

According to L’Orient-lejour, Hariri and Jumblatt have just accepted the decision of the Army to keep Shoucair at the airport.
It looks more and more that Sleiman and the army will become the de facto rulers of the country before Sleiman becoming president. The strategy of the opposition seems to work.

May 10th, 2008, 3:07 pm


why-discuss said:


So what do we do about Shebaa farms? Cry and hit our faces? If Siniora can’t get results he pronmised, he should have the decency to leave his place to someome more efficient and more polically savvy.

May 10th, 2008, 3:13 pm


Naji said:

Yes, you could use a break… go get yourself a falafel sandwich and a glass of Araq on me…, and I am going to call you on that Fall invitation… Beirut is always lovely in the Fall, and I am sure it will be so again this coming Fall…
… 🙂

May 10th, 2008, 3:20 pm


Naji said:


As the only known fan of the Siniora, if you still have any respect for him, you should watch the Jazeera (and other TV stations) RIGHT NOW… I think this will dispel any remaining illusions about any pretences to integrity this petty crook has…!

May 10th, 2008, 3:37 pm


Naji said:

I had my doubts for a while, but yes, Joshua was right in his title to this post…: THE WAR IS OVER…! Alhamdillah 3ala alsalamah…!!

And yes, what were they thinking…?!

By tomorrow, everyone can start celebrating… and it is Sunday…!

Lebanon now has a new president, “loved and respected by all”, just like Syria… so NOBODY can push it around anymore…!

By the beginning of the Summer Season, Lebanon will also have a National Unity government, and all the sun and fun that a few million tourists can handle…!

So, where is that grumpy QN now…?! 🙂

By Fall, as you chat over a glass of araq and an argileh, in your favorite cafe overlooking the Corniche, a new democratic election law reform would have been enacted and the Lebanese Political Season will have started… completely ovetaking the historic Obama/McCain US presidential race in the noise and wonder it will generate… 😉

May 10th, 2008, 3:50 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Come on. A little adversity and you quit? I won’t accept that. Remember what Mao said. Even the longest journey starts with a little step. So what if it will take decades? That is how long it takes historical processes to unfold.

May 10th, 2008, 4:08 pm


Nour said:


Please keep the debate rational and don’t twist my words. Not all people who support the government are traitors. But those in this government are indeed traitors. Just like not all who supported Bashir Gemayel were guilty of treason, but to pretend that Bashir Gemayel did not commit any acts of treason is nonsense to say the least.

This government has been trying to wage a war against the resistance since its inception in line with orders from the US. I don’t see how it can be any clearer, absent a confession or a declaration from one of the involved sides clearly admitting to this reality. The government took another step in its war against the resistance on May 7, which led to the current situation. When protestors took to the streets, they were shot at by loyalist militias. Why is it that you don’t condemn Hariri for his militias that shot at protestors? Why do you only condemn HA and Amal for responding? You displayed outrage over the burning of the Future office in Beirut, but never showed such disgust when SSNP, FPM, and other opposition offices were burned by loyalist thugs in previous incidents.

In addition, sectarian hatred and discord was repeatedly being sowed by the loyalists and the Hariri media. The likes of Mufti Qabbani and Mufti Jouzou were repeatedly given a podium to spew poisonous sectarian hatred and incite people to sectarian strife. These are also acts of treason and crimes of the highest degree. And while I know that HA is also a sectarian party, it was not engaged in such sectarian propaganda and continually attempted to minimize the damage of such hatemongering.

The bottom line is I don’t care who resigned from the government and for what reason. What I care about is that this government has proven to be collaborative and guilty of treason and it must go. I will declare now that if the opposition does not go all the way and take down the government they will lose much of my respect. I don’t believe that this government can be tolerated anymore. I don’t believe that you can be a resistance and at the same time work with such criminals. These are my positions, they are clear, and I have no problem expressing them. Sanioura, Hariri, Jumblatt, and Geagea must all go.

May 10th, 2008, 4:13 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Let me give you a constructive option. Go talk to the AIPAC representative in Boston. That is how SALSRA was born. What have you got to lose?

May 10th, 2008, 4:15 pm


Honest Patriot said:


When protestors took to the streets, they were shot at by loyalist militias.
Really? What evidence do you have of that?
What you call protestors are thugs who are illegally closing roads and ecroaching on others’ freedom. Freedom of expression ends when the fellow citizen’s rights of freedom of movement begins.
The romantic notion of “resistance” you have appears to be a blind article of faith. Whom are they resisting at this point?

My grandma’s name was Nour. She was a native Damascene. She must be turning in her grave at this time.

May 10th, 2008, 4:28 pm


Naji said:

Nour has drawn quite an accurate picture, I can say from all my observations. However the final conclusion is, unfortunately, just not achievable in Lebanon, yet…!! Sanioura, Hariri, Jumblatt, and Geagea will each get a “share of the cake”, albeit a smaller share than they were holding, for now at least… The only way to get rid of these thugs will be through fair elections next year… and that is what will mark Lebanon ahead of ALL its neighbors on its path to democracy and modernity…!

May 10th, 2008, 4:35 pm


Honest Patriot said:

Junblat may have just been condemned to death by HA through its news outlet Al-Manar:
ميليشيا جنبلاط تعدم2 من عناصر حزب الله بالرصاص
قناة المنار عدد القراء : 20596

10/05/2008 اصدر حزب الله بيانا جاء فيه” قامت عناصر تابعة لميليشا وليد جنبلاط في منطقة عاليه بخطف ثلاثة أفراد من حزب الله حيث أقدمت على إعدام اثنين منهم رميا بالرصاص وطعنا بالسكاكين وإلقاء جثتيهما أمام مستشفى الإيمان في مدينة عاليه وتمّ لاحقاً نقلهما إلى مستشفى الرسول الأعظم (ص)، بينما لا يزال مصير الثالث مجهولاً . إنّ حزب الله يعتبر هذه الجريمة الوحشية أمرا خطيراً جداً في مضمونها ودلالاتها وتداعياتها ويحمل وليد جنبلاط شخصيا مسؤولية مصير الأخ الذي ما زال مخطوفا.

May 10th, 2008, 4:45 pm


Honest Patriot said:

Just for the record, my view is that there is a not insignificant number of thugs and instigators in EVERY group in Lebanon, whether any of the M14 groups or the opposition. This calls for an even higher standard of responsibility and accountability from the leaders and politicians. Given that they are already subpar (to be generous), the prospects are not hopeful.

To some extent what someone said earlier on this thread is true. For the ordinary citizen or expatriate or true friend of Lebanon, it really doesn’t matter that much who triumphs in the end as long as peace and civil life is restored.

I think I’ll join QN in his vacation from SC. Wishing you all stimulating discussions and otherwise success in your personal endeavors.


May 10th, 2008, 5:00 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

when you say meight is not right, ,in theory you are correct, but in real life this is not correct, meight defines right, and balance of power is the most important factor n life within a society. even in democracy, whoever has more money(a form of power) has more chance of wining( money is the milk of politics).

Siniora to resign,means distruption of balance of power, even Hasan Nasrallah did not demand his resignation, the consequences of this has far more troubles, what we need is wisdom.
in Quraan(the manifest book,book from God), it says whoever got the wisdom,he has great fortune.

May 10th, 2008, 5:01 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


Allow me to quote your words:

“The Resistance is and has always been about defending Lebanon, and I personally believe it is an act of treason to say otherwise.

Guess what? I say otherwise. And so do many, many other Lebanese.

It seems that I have just committed an act of treason, in your eyes.

I have been accused of many things in my life, but never of treason.

What you don’t realize is that it is specifically this mindset of takhwiin that you espouse, which lies at the root of the problems in Lebanon today, and at the basic incompatibility of the phenomenon of Hizbullah (as it is current expressed), and a modern democratic state.

As long as Hizbullah’s weapons cannot be criticized (whether it is on Basmat Watan, or on Syria Comment) without accusations of treason emerging immediately, Lebanon will not be able to move forward.

PS: Bravo Joshua for creating such an addictive website. QN could not resist. Yahoo or Rupert Murdoch should get their hands on you.

May 10th, 2008, 5:01 pm


Naji said:


I am glad to see that you are holding Lebanon to a higher standard than the US, where you will be accused of treason and unpatriotism for many a triviality, has achieved yet…!! Bravo… That’s how it should be… even if we don’t have the luxury right now, we should always aim for the ultimate and the sublime in civility … 😉

May 10th, 2008, 5:12 pm


offended said:

Junblatt is on TV now. He looks frail and pale.

May 10th, 2008, 5:19 pm


abraham said:

M.M. said:

Legal definition of Treason

Yeah, whatever. This can apply to any faction within Lebanon.

All this Hizballah bashing makes me wonder what some of these commentors really prefer.

How about Hizballah just give all their arms to Israel and let them roll on through to Beirut and take over again. Would you HA haters prefer that? Do you think Siniora is going to save you?

If it wasn’t for HA, everyone in Beirut would be speaking Hebrew.

Get real. I mean really, get real.

May 10th, 2008, 5:30 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


What do you mean? I criticize the United States on a regular basis in my everyday life. I have never been accused of treason.

Neither has Maureen Dowd, whom you often quote.

Or plenty of other journalists, academics, analysts, and ordinary people.

And if they ARE accused of treason, it is usually by rednecks, not intelligent people like Nour.

May 10th, 2008, 5:38 pm


Seeking the Truth said:


Why doesn’t Israel call HA’s bluff, and agree to hand over Shebaa Farms to the UN, in exchange for disolving the militia/integrating them into the Lebanese army?

May 10th, 2008, 5:38 pm


Naji said:

No international or regional reaction of note so far…!!?? It seems that the world has finally forsaken these flunkies…!! Now, the Lebanese have a chance to resolve their differences amongst themselves…!

Congratulations…! May the rest be so lucky one day…

May 10th, 2008, 5:41 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


Sorry, but I just disagree.

May 10th, 2008, 5:43 pm


Naji said:


What are you wearing on your lapel right now…? 😉

May 10th, 2008, 5:50 pm


SHAMI said:

Nour ,i agree with bro QIFA NABKI ,you should try to go out of this bad habit of takhwin mindset which is very deeply rooted amognsts the SSNPers and Baathists and now in a more hypocrit way by Hezbollah.

May 10th, 2008, 6:01 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

Obama, baby, Obama.

May 10th, 2008, 6:08 pm


Naji said:

Cheers… 😀

May 10th, 2008, 6:13 pm


M.M. said:

Abraham said:


All this Hizballah bashing makes me wonder what some of these commentors really prefer.

How about Hizballah just give all their arms to Israel and let them roll on through to Beirut and take over again. Would you HA haters prefer that? Do you think Siniora is going to save you?

If it wasn’t for HA, everyone in Beirut would be speaking Hebrew.


Hezbollah did a good job until 2000. After the israeli withdrawal, Hezbollah has been undermining the Lebanese state and government for the sole purpose to KEEP EXISTING.
Hezbollah CANNOT Exist with a strong state.

Again, I repeat it, Sayyed Nasrallah, answers to a complete and rational and real definition of a traitor.

May 10th, 2008, 6:19 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

For the record, I agree with M.M. on the point that Hizbullah cannot exist as a super-militia alongside a strong Lebanese state.

However, I reject the language of takhwin. As Nabih Berri said recently, we have no traitors in Lebanon. We have moderates and extremists, not traitors. Nasrallah has sacrificed a great deal for his country, much more than most. I believe that he is a patriot, and not a traitor. However, ALL patriots can be criticized.

May 10th, 2008, 6:27 pm


Alex said:


Guess who is passionately “sticking by the flunkies” … The Saudis!

You don’t have to waste your time analyzing where the kingdom wants to take it … their AlArabiya Satellite TV is trying its best to portray everything as a sectarian war … Iran’s Shia being the aggressors of course. They are covering Lebanon non stop … very dramatic coverage .. very loud … interviews with sunnies crying because Shias destroyed their houses, showing Shia gunmen and clearly calling each one by his sect …

For comparison, Qatar’s Aljazeera reported “gunfighting near Tripoli” … AlArabiya covers the same piece of news this way “Alawites and Sunnis fight near Tripoli”


Then … the meeting of Arab foreign ministers is supposed to be followed by a video conference between Americans and Europeans to decide what to do about Lebanon “following the meeting of Arab foreign ministers”

I am expecting the Bush administration to do something … nothing constructive of course, but they will do something. They are simply waiting for “good guys” to declare something that sounds like “protecting democracy in Lebanon” before Washington takes a position that can be justified this way: “to support the decisions by Lebanon’s democratically elected Prime minister and the recommendations of the Arab league expressed at the recent meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo …”

May 10th, 2008, 6:33 pm


Naji said:

Oh, Alex…, you came out of your contemplative mood, only to break my positive-thinking mood…! 😉

You have been conspicuous by your absence during the past couple of days…!

It sounds right now that they are “taking no prisoners” as far as the Jumblatt gang goes…!!?

May 10th, 2008, 6:44 pm


Shai said:


Unfortunately, many in our region (Israelis included) are so sure of their ways, that labels like “treason”, “collaborator”, “hater”, etc. are instinctively used by those who view the world through the us-versus-them spectacles. It’s either their way, or no way. There are no compromises, multiplicity of ideas is a dangerous thing, a sure path to stagnation or, worse, a sign of weakness. In war there are only two sides, and you’re either on “our side”, or you’re a “traitor” (and should hang).

It takes living in the West for a while, to adopt a slightly more “open” and liberal way of thinking. That’s been my experience, at least. Unfortunately, though, most here have not done their tour-of-duty abroad…

Please don’t give up. If you do, who else will lead us to better days? Don’t leave that responsibility to others – keep doing your share, even if it means blogging twice a day. I’m sorry for sounding patronizing, I don’t mean to. But there aren’t many out there that are willing to stay active in a minority, and to fight their way through.

May 10th, 2008, 6:45 pm


Alex said:


One should always take a couple of days to observe before jumping to conclusions : )

May 10th, 2008, 6:46 pm


Naji said:


There are some still fighting “bravely on”, but I really feel that the scales have been tipped irreversibly at this point…and the Saudies, without their American and Israeli merceneries, can do no more that have Raghida Dargham screem her lungs out on Arabia and LBC for a few more days. The Americans and the Israelies have a lot bigger crises to manage and fish to fry on their plates right now…!

And, Alex, even at the hight of my positive-thinking mood, I didn’t say anywhere that the current developments in Lebanon are necessarily the best for Syria in the short-term… These vengeful bastards are going to try to make our lives hell for a while… ! I hope our Lebanese brethren will appreciate our sacrifices on their behalf…?!

May 10th, 2008, 6:50 pm


Alex said:

You might be right Naji … after three years of trying hard to do the same, recent polls in “moderate Arab states” showed that Nasrallah and Bashar were the most popular Arab leaders … so it might be true that Raghida nd Randa tekkeidine and AbdelRahman Rachid are not really that influential.

But many are influenced … check out readers’ comments after these:

Here is the lovely editor of A-sharr Alawsat:

And Abdel Rahman Rachid (also director of Al-Arabiya):

May 10th, 2008, 7:24 pm


Naji said:

And, Alex, Al Arabia is only discrediting itself at this point… as has been proven several times lately…! They forget that in this age of satellite TV and of “reference” outlets like Al Jazeera and CNN, even the most ignorant partisan quickly flips over to a couple of other channels before deciding what he believes… And then he believes what he wants to believe…!

May 10th, 2008, 7:26 pm


Alex said:


For most, not for all.

But true, I think most Arabs by now see their “moderate” leaders this way:

May 10th, 2008, 7:38 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


A menorah has seven candles. Plenty of room for Bashar to join them, when Syria makes peace.


May 10th, 2008, 7:42 pm


norman said:

The US took a decision after 9/11/2001 to stir violence in the Arab and Islamic world to so called ( KEEPING THEM BUISY WITH EACH OTHER SO THEY WILL NOT ATTACK THE US AND THE WEST ) they started with Afghanistan where they started and kept Afghanistan in a state of war that will keep Muslims fight Muslims , they did the same thing in Iraq and started an Arab sectarian violence and hatred , they were helped by King Abdullah of Jordon with his famous ( Shia crescent plan ) , KSA is conspiring with US to divide the Arabs and Muslims in return for the US not attacking them after 17 of the 19 hijackers involved in 9/11 attack.

Everybody should wake up to the push to start a sectarian war in Lebanon so the Saudis can spend their oil money on weapons from the West and to break the resistance to Israel.

May 10th, 2008, 7:43 pm


abraham said:

Nour at 1:58pm:

Nicely said.

May 10th, 2008, 7:43 pm


norman said:


I loved that video , how sad.

May 10th, 2008, 7:47 pm


abraham said:

Qifa Nabki said:


It is nice to see that you think that at least half of the Lebanese are guilty of treason against their country.

This is pure propoganda, not commentary befitting debate by rational people.

I suppose the loyalists were the ones who were responsible for Hizbullah’s withdrawl from the government, and the provocation of an 18-month long sit-in?

Oh, I forgot, of course they were responsible, because they threatened the holy weapons of the resistance, the weapons which — if questioned — have the magical ability to turn patriots into traitors.

QN, this is just ridiculous.

So say Hezballah totally disarms. Then what?

Your indignation is entirely misdirected. The problem is still Israel!

I do not keep bringing up Israel because it’s my favorite whipping boy. I bring it up because IT IS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.


May 10th, 2008, 7:47 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


I advise you to not speak to “stupid” people with their “heads up their asses.”

Just ignore everything they say.

You’ll feel better.

May 10th, 2008, 7:52 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

Alex sent me this, but never posted it. I think it is worth reading. This is, more or less, what Alex and Naji have been calling for.

It’s probably the best we could hope for at this point, given the circumstances. (I’ll try to quickly throw together a translation of the relevant bits.)

هل المخرج “انقلاب دستوري” ؟

غسان تويني

ربما صار من المبتذل ان نكرر مقولة ميشال شيحا إن الحوار السياسي، كلما غاب عن مجلس النواب، نزل الى الشارع وحل العنف محل الكلمة! ومع ذلك نرى ضرورة للتذكير بذلك، ولو بقليل – بقليل فقط! – من الامل في ان تكرار المقولة سيقنع متوسّلي العنف بالخروج من الشارع، و”المخيمات”، ونقل “حوارهم” الى مجلس النواب. نقولها ونكررها فقط للاثبات… ولشيء من الشماتة، بالذين لم يستجيبوا الدعوات الى الحوار، من الرئيس بري وسواه (ونحن سنكرر ولا خجل، اننا كنا من اوائل المستجيبين… ولا نزال). لا نزال، على قلة أملنا في ان الدعوات قد تستجاب الآن، ايا يكن المنادي. إنما لا نرى بديلاً من المناداة من جديد، ومن دعوة الرئيس البري الى عدم الوقوع في فخ حنينه الى قيادة المعارضة والاقلاع بدوره عن الحوار.

سذاجة؟ ربما، ولكن ليس من بديل!التهديد بأبواب الجحيم ليس حتما بديلاً.
ولا هو البديل أن نتوقف الى أن تستقيل الحكومة… وإذذاك ندخل معها في مسألة دستورية قد تكون مضحكة إلى حد المهزلة. المسألة: الى من تقدّم الحكومة استقالتها؟ ومن يقبلها، ومن يرفضها؟ ثم من يجري الاستشارات الدستورية، وأين، والمجلس مقفل أو “نصف مقفل”؟

هل تقدّم استقالتها إلى نفسها، باعتبارها تمارس صلاحيات رئاسة الجمهورية الشاغرة، أو بالاحرى “المشغّرة” ربما عمداً كي تقع في هذا المأزق الدستوري بالذات: تعميم الفراغ، فلا رئيس ولا مجلس يجتمع ولا حكومة، ولا من يقبل استقالتها ويفتي بمشروعية الاستقالة أو “شرعية” البقاء!!!

ثم، ثم… يبقى السؤال الأهم والتحرّك الثوري الذي حذّرنا منه لا “تنجيماً مغربياً” بل فقط بفعل قراءة منطق تزحلق الأحداث وتطوّرها… هذا التحرّك الثوري الذي كان محتواه والهدف هو الحلول الاقتصادية – الاجتماعية – المالية… فهل السلاح والعنف، والعنف الأمني – المضاد الذي سيأتي ولا بدّ… هل السلاح والعنف أو “العصيان المدني” ولو سلمياً و”مخيّماً” هو الطريق بل الوسيلة لحلّ الأزمة الاقتصادية – الاجتماعية – المالية التي ستتفاقم ولا بد؟

ربما كان المطلوب خطوات قد تعتبر غير ديمقراطية، إنما تبرّرها الحاجة إلى إنقاذ الديمقراطية ولو بشيء من الخروج عليها:
مثلاً ان يستمع أخيراً قائد الجيش – بصفته المرشح الوفاقي الذي جرى “تتويجه” بإجماع عربي ودولي لا سابق له – أن يستمع إلى ندائنا من أسابيع ويتوجّه، من دون جيشه وباللباس المدني، إلى قصر بعبدا ويعلن من هناك انه قبل الترشيح الاجماعي الوفاقي وهو يدعو رئيس المجلس إلى جمع النواب، من كل الأحزاب، وانتخابه والاستماع الى خطبته الرئاسية والشهادة على القسم الذي سيؤديه باحترام الدستور والقوانين و”حفظ الاستقلال” (المادة 50).

نعم، “حفظ الاستقلال”… حمايته من المستطيبين استشهاده، فقد كفانا شهداء وشرب دماء وتنشّق عبير البارود… وللذين سيقولون غداً ان هذا انقلاب، نقول ان الانقلاب هو “أن تقلب شيئاً موجوداً قائماً!”…اما وان رئاسة الجمهورية غير موجودة الآن، وغير معترف بشرعية ممارسة الحكومة لها، فالانقلاب السلمي الذي ندعو العماد سليمان الى القيام به هو نقيض الانقلاب… إنه البناء بالذات، بل المحاولة “الشرعية” الدستورية الأخيرة للمحافظة على الجمهورية ورئاستها في وجه الذين يسيرون بنا، ومن أكثر من منطلق، سريعاً وتسرّعاً الى الفوضى، فالتقسيم، فحرب مذهبية به وأهلية يهددوننا بها، تتقاسم الأرض والسلطات!!

ذلك هو المخرج الوحيد، ولا نرى سواه. وفي وسع الجيش الذي يحرس الآن الأمن، لا أكثر، أن يحرس (لا أكثر) الدستور الذي يجري إنقاذه بالرغم منه!

May 10th, 2008, 7:56 pm


norman said:

تيار “المستقبل” يقتل 3 عمال سوريين ويجرح 9 في لبنان الاخبار السياسية

May 10th, 2008, 7:59 pm


abraham said:

HP said:

Well, yeah. Does a wise utterance all of a sudden become invalid just because of the person voicing it? What do you call blocking roads, paralysing the economy, and burning a free press? “Building a future”?

HP, I have read many wise words said or written by many unwise people. But in this case, we have unwise words from an unwise person.

Aside from the fact that the words AIG uttered weren’t really all that “wise”–perhaps true, but not wise, and certainly nowhere near eloquent–he also makes an assumption by labeling Hizballah as “spoilers”. What the hell does that mean? How is Hizballah a spoiler?

Plain and simple, I see this as basically sour grapes and envy. Hizballah is the guy to beat, so of course everyone who isn’t aligned with their movement is going to be against them. It’s natural. It isn’t wisdom level criticism against them. It’s plain human jealousy.

For a so-called “terrorist organization”, Hizballah sure doesn’t act like one. If they were, say, Al Qaeda, all you Lebanese men would be wearing long beards and all your women would be wearing burkas by now.

You guys should be embracing Hizballah, but your destructive religio-political ideologies prevent you from doing so.

Now I’m beginning to understand why As’ad Abukhalil is so critical of Lebanese.

May 10th, 2008, 8:00 pm


Alex said:

Qifa Nabki,

You traitor!

that 7th place is reserved for Seniora the biggest traitor!

: )


So far it seems that the Arab saying “me and my brother against our cousin, me and my cousin against the enemy” is valid in most Arab countries … As long as Mr. Bush and his “crusade” are there, Iran will not be the enemy. If the United States comes up with a President (Obama?) who is not “an enemy” in the eyes of Arabs, then maybe Arabs will turn against their cousin (Iran).

But for now … most prefer to be with, and not against Iran and Hizbollah.

Exception …. in Iraq .. where there is fighting and killing, Sunnis and Hsia are often each other’s enemies

As long as Lebanon does not fall into a serious civil war, I hope there won’t be too much hate between Sunnis and Shia.

May 10th, 2008, 8:01 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


As`ad Abu Khalil is critical of Hizbullah as well. Does he have his head up his ass?

What’s your opinion of the articles I posted above (from al-Akhbar and al-Safir)?

May 10th, 2008, 8:03 pm


abraham said:

HP said:

And who sabotaged the deal of returning the Shebaa farms to Lebanon? The Syrian regime, by refusing to make the formal acknowledgment that they belong to Lebanon.

From Wikipedia:

On May 16, 2000, the Syrian Foreign Minister, Farouq al-Shara, indicated to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a telephone conversation that Syria supported Lebanon’s claim. This was made public in the UN Press Release SC/6878 of 18 June 2000 which stated “Concerning the Shab’a farmlands, both Lebanon and Syria state that this land belongs to Lebanon.”

Support for the Lebanese claim was reiterated in January 21, 2006, by the President of Syria in a speech before the convention of the Arab Lawyers Union in Damascus and translated into English by SANA, the official state news agency of Syria. President Bashar al-Assad stated that there are two legal requirements for demarcating the border: first, the complaint must be registered with the UN; and second, engineers must precisely define the border. As neither Syria nor Lebanon have access to the area, Assad argues that resolution is waiting on Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territory.

May 10th, 2008, 8:04 pm


norman said:

The solution is for the Army to take over , dissolve the government and put a national unity government to arrange a free and fair parliamentary election without personal financing then have a new election law and new constitution with one man one vote principal , the time for set a side and quotas are over , after electing a new parliament and government , Hezbollah should integrate in the Lebanese army like the Golani Brigade that Israel has to stay cohesive and able to resist Israeli intervention in Lebanon.

May 10th, 2008, 8:19 pm


abraham said:

Qifa Nabki said:

Sorry, but I just disagree.

That’s fine.

Obama, baby, Obama.

That’s not fine. Have you actually heard what he has to say about the situation in the ME?

May 10th, 2008, 8:21 pm


Naji said:

Well…, I am honoured to find myself in the company of Ghassan Tueini, in one of his more lucid moments of late…! And I arrived at my call independently, I swear…!!

May 10th, 2008, 8:21 pm


abraham said:

M.M. said:

Hezbollah CANNOT Exist with a strong state.

Perhaps. But since when has Lebanon been a “strong” state?

May 10th, 2008, 8:23 pm


Nour said:

Well pro-government militias are ones the US can be proud of. FM militiamen in Halba executed members of the SSNP in their office as they were about to turn the office over to the Army. They then cut up the corpses and mutilated them and threw them in front of the office building. Afterwards they pursued one of the wounded SSNP members who was being treated in the hospital and killed him there in front of the nurses and the internal security officers. This is the type of behavior that is worthy of a “democratically-elected” government. What government in the world employs its own militias that go around killing and massacring people? And then they claim they are opposing HA because they want to preserve the “state”. What a joke. May those martyrs rest in peace and may this government fall once and for all.

May 10th, 2008, 8:23 pm


abraham said:

QN said:

Nasrallah has sacrificed a great deal for his country, much more than most. I believe that he is a patriot, and not a traitor. However, ALL patriots can be criticized.

I can agree with that. I don’t think any leader is perfect, and Nasrallah has made some mistakes along the way. But considering how dastardly and complex ME politics is, I think he’s done a better job than any other current day Arab leader.

May 10th, 2008, 8:26 pm


Naji said:

If this thing works out like I’ve been promising, I am going to call you on that falafel, araq, and argieleh on the corniche…! The power of all that positive thinking…!!! You’ll owe me man…!

May 10th, 2008, 8:34 pm


norman said:


It is sad the ones who are dieing are not the right ones , The right ones are Gaga, Jumblat Hariri .

May 10th, 2008, 8:35 pm


abraham said:

QN said:

As`ad Abu Khalil is critical of Hizbullah as well. Does he have his head up his ass?

No, and I respect him because as he said in a recent posting, he’ll criticize whoever is on top. I respect that. As’ad is a national treasure. And he and I share at least one trait: we both consider ourselves anarchists.

Look, I never said Hizballah is perfect. They have made some (few) moves which I would consider mistakes. But so far I think they’ve played their hand quite well. And I don’t think we’ve seen the best that they have to offer yet either.

I shamelessly admit I am completely pro-Hizballah, so take that into consideration when you read what I write. But as far as I’m concerned, Hizballah is blazing the path to Arab victory. And I don’t mean “victory” in the sense that they will vanquish every foe and liberate the ME, but victory in the sense that they have once again given Arabs something to be proud about, and have shown others the way, and if the most they accomplish is keeping greedy Western powers out of the parts of the ME that haven’t already thrown in their lot with the US and other Western hegemons then that, to me, is victory.

The moment Hizballah starts to act with demagoguery and arrogance, I will be prepared to criticize them as well, but so far I haven’t seen a hint of this. Nasrallah has been acting with dignity, respect, magnanimity and above all, wisdom. That is why I respect him.

May 10th, 2008, 8:43 pm


abraham said:

Nour, can you provide a link to what you wrote about at 8:23pm?

May 10th, 2008, 8:46 pm


Abu Kareem said:


I admire your stamina trying to maintain you political stance on this forum. You will be happy that you have a Syrian (me) fully on your side. It annoys me to no end that what happened should be considered by some as cause for celebration. People are dying and a country is torn apart. That “relatively little bloodshed” should be considered an acceptable way of enforcing one’s political will is shameful. Until those who are celebrating find it acceptable to have, in their own country, a militia accountable to no one calling the shots, I suggest that they remain quiet.

May 10th, 2008, 8:52 pm


Naji said:

Abu Kareem,

OK…, I “find it acceptable to have, in [my] own country, a militia accountable to no one calling the shots”…!

Now am I allowed to speak…??!

May 10th, 2008, 8:57 pm


abraham said:

Abu Kareem,

The problem with your particular point of view is that I don’t feel it is fully informed, and in fact I would say it is misinformed.

I agree that this episode in Lebanese history is no cause for celebration. I am not celebrating. I think it sucks that it’s come to this. But the difference is I won’t place the blame on Hizballah because I think they did what they had to do and are fully within their rights to have done so. And if you think Siniora and Mini Hariri and their crew are calling the shots you are gravely mistaken.

This is not a fight between Hizballah and M14. M14 is just the facade of the real adversary.

May 10th, 2008, 9:01 pm


Honest Patriot said:

Ya 3ammi ‘brahim, the quote you gave from Wikipedia above explains precisely what I was saying.
The narrative you quoted (excerpt below) states exactly the kind of condition that gets in the way. President Assad is saying: “let Israel withdraw first from “the occupied territory” and then we’ll carve out what belongs to Lebanon.” What is not explained is what is meant by “the occupied territory.” If you had access to the worker-bee diplomats who worked on this you’d understand that Assad was asking for a signficant Israeli withdrawal covering a good fraction if not all the Golan Heights. Brilliant maneuvre, but a maneuver nonetheless. Virtually all other positions, statements, and maneuvers from Syria have been equally brilliant. To the detriment of a truly independent and prosperous Lebanon and to the successful persuasion of folks like you.
President Bashar al-Assad stated that there are two legal requirements for demarcating the border: first, the complaint must be registered with the UN; and second, engineers must precisely define the border. As neither Syria nor Lebanon have access to the area, Assad argues that resolution is waiting on Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territory.
Mind you, Israel is no angel either. They jumped at the excuse so nicely offered to them by Assad. They say basically: tell us exactly which part is Lebanese, make it official at the UN, and we’ll gladly withdraw. Assad said, no no no, you guys withdraw first and then I’ll tell you what’s Lebanon’s and what’s mine (,i>notice the implication that then the withdrawal will be effective on everything).

‘brahim, do you know when the Shebaa farms were occupied? Was in 1967 or 1982?

May 10th, 2008, 9:11 pm


Honest Patriot said:

Abraham said This is not a fight between Hizballah and M14. M14 is just the facade of the real adversary.
This statement is a fallacy and an excuse effectively propagandized by HA and by Syria – brainwashing a hefty number of folks, some of them intellectuals – in order to perpetuate the now unnecessary and illegal maintaining of weapons by HA, weapons that serve only Syria and Iran, not Lebanon.
Lebanon is not under threat of attack from Israel. The UN forces are there and if Lebanon does not launch aggression against Israel it will not be attacked.

May 10th, 2008, 9:20 pm


Honest Patriot said:

Ya Habibi ya Abu Kareem, you words are music to my ear, but more importantly, you restore my confidence in the true existence of an illumniated silent majority in Syria.
Syria is a most beautiful country and most beautiful people, inside and out. Damn politics and conflict and strife. We should all be gathering around a big tray of hot falafel sandwiches.

May 10th, 2008, 9:24 pm


Honest Patriot said:


Crime is crime no matter who perpetuates it. Anyone guilty of murder, particularly in unfair fights and if as alleged accompanied by atrocities to the corpses should be persecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. It is disheartening to learn of the return by some to the savagery of the civil war.

The question is: what constitutes a solution? I join the many who say that only a strong central government and the rule of law applied to everyone in Lebanon with no exception is the solution.

Demonization of each other, accusation of treason, are all wrong and definitely untrue. The people of HA are definitely Lebanese. They belong in Lebanon and deserve full rights of representation and influence proportional to their numbers in the country. HA leaders are — as we can determine — honest and free of the corruption that many on the other side have been guilty of for many years. But, none of this justifies maintenance of the weapons, allegiance to Syria and Iran before allegiance to Lebanon. They are choosing the wrong path to fight along. In so doing, they are losing support and wasting the otherwise excellent reputation they have for the social work they do.

May 10th, 2008, 9:38 pm


ausamaa said:

“you should try to go out of this bad habit of takhwin”

So what should one call the Khawana and Umala’a? Patriots who hold unpatriotic opinions.

Ya habibi,haj ba’aa. Lebanon is not what we see on the LBC, Lebanon is not Mono street, nor it is Casino Lebnan, nor is it those suckers to, and imitators of, the “outer crust” of western socities, nor is it the speakers of broken French and the wearers of short skirts and half-men sticking rings in their ears and God knows where else. If this what you believe in, wake up and smell the roses. Three quarters of the population are stunch supporters of Arabism. Three quaters are poor or indebted to their neck. The democracy you claim to be is a division of spoiles between your opportuintic Zua’ma. Lebanon is in the middle of the middle east. It is not Phonecian, it is not the beacon of democracy and free expression and freedom you portray it as. It has never been, not in 1958 and not in 1860 and not in 1982 and not today. Look yourself in the mirror and tell me what other Arab people have slaughtered its own as we have seen in Lebanon. Civility is not inserting a French word here and there in our speach. Nor is it selling one’s self to the highest bidder in the false name of the Lebanese cretivity and instinctive entrapernuership. A hundred years ago lebanon was way behind Syria, Egypt and Palestine in all areas. And if it was not for the influx of Palestinian capital and human influx into Lebanon in 1948 due to the Nakba, coupled with the West selecting Lebanon as base of operation in the Levant against the Levant’s people, a lot of what you see now will not be there. Lebanon is not the Miracle Child you think it to be, nor is the western whore some Lebanese want it to be. Lebanon is a country in the Middle East, but unfortunate enough to have allowed itself through its own self deception to cling to the robs of the myth that it is unique and different.

Lebanese should thank God that they have some one like Nassrallah, Aoun, Karami, Frenjieh and Wakeem and Arslan. Someone like the heros who spilled thier blood so unselfishely to defend their country’s dignity, not only their land and villages in the south. Those at least have managed to wash some of the dust, dirt and ash that the historical Lebanese Zu’ama have managed to accumulate on Lebanon’s face. You should thank God that the sacrifices of those people, despite the unprecedented suffering they had to live through while you traveled around, ran away from your country, drank your Arak, wore your imitation Christian Diors, and smoked your duty-free Cigars, and talked about politics and lectured all about your love for freedom while leaving them, your own, to their own fate. And now you attack them, demonise them and lecture them, and ask them to play with your established rules.

Lebanon is just another Arab country, actually a little bit less than the rest if one compares how its population has behavged due to being cajuled and misled like a hord of sheep by by its Elitest ugly suckers of both its blood and fortune.

Yes, wake up and smell the roses for God’s sake. Watch Lebanese TV and tell me if I am wrong. And please, do not blame it on others, for then you will have a new ugly national trait; a people without a will to stand up and to resist whoever you acuse of bringing all this misery upon it.

Haj ba’aa Tafnees. Shoo? kazabtu el kizbe w sada’ato halken?

I hate to have to say this, but an overdose of watching Siniora and Al Ahdab and Junblat and Ja’ja and Fatfat do what they do and say what they say on TV is more than a sane person can tolerate. Look inside yourself and then tell me how pretty a picture you see.

May 10th, 2008, 9:40 pm


Honest Patriot said:

Ausamaa, are you Lebanese?

May 10th, 2008, 9:49 pm


ausamaa said:

In my Heart yes! And see, you missed the whole point. What is a Lebanese? A different creature than those living around Lebanon?

I am an Arab Habeebi. Same like all Lebanese who live and have lived for centuries in what the world calls ARABIA.

My God. Such egoists!!

May 10th, 2008, 10:06 pm


Honest Patriot said:

You read too much into my questions ya Ausamaa. Hmm, must be your conscience 😉
Actually, you’re right, and there indeed are two Lebanons as far as economic classes. But perhaps you know that the elite class is truly a minority and many Christians and non-Shi3a muslims are also among the disenfranchised. To some extent. Having very large families with 10+ children certainly doesn’t help the economics of a household. In the end there has to be a question of personal responsibility.
Now, as far as the politics of it all, please spare us the lecture that the influx of Palestinian refugees was actually a good thing for Lebanon. It was not. Not because the Lebanese are not charitable and graceful hosts, but because the Palestinians insisted on retaining their arms, acting as a state-within-the-state, and launching “liberation” actions through the Lebanese border. The ultimate was when they declared that the road to Jerusalem goes through Beirut.
The Palestinians are directly responsible for the violent civil war in Lebanon. Yes there were other conflicts and issues, but they are the ones who brought the violent weaponry into the picture.

As far as today’s situation, I’ll just refer you to “Shami” and “Abu Kareem.” If you’re not Lebanese, please look at your own countries ills and criticize them honestly before pontificating and lecturing us on who we are or who we should be. We know who we are, and that includes being your friendly cousins, longing for sharing a Falafel sandwich and listening to Sabah Fakhri with you.


May 10th, 2008, 10:18 pm


SOL said:


“Your indignation is entirely misdirected. The problem is still Israel!

I do not keep bringing up Israel because it’s my favorite whipping boy. I bring it up because IT IS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.


I’ll have to agree with ABRAHAM but I would like to add that Israel is REAL PROBLEM not only in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and Egypt but let’s not forget that Israel is the REAL PROBLEM in Algeria, who according to Amnesty International-

“Algeria continued to be affected by the legacy of the long and bloody internal conflict of the 1990s in which as many as 200,000 people are believed to have been killed as a result of attacks and abuses by both armed groups and government security forces.”

And let’s not forget that Israel is the REAL PROBLEM in Sudan also, who according to Amnesty International;

“War crimes and crimes against humanity continued to be committed by the government and government-aligned nomadic militias known as the Janjawid. War crimes were also committed by armed political groups opposed to the government. In all, about 2.3 million Darfuris have fled their homes and communities and now reside in a network of internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Darfur, with over 200,000 more living in refugee camps in Chad”

And let’s not forget that Israel is the REAL PROBLEM in Libya also, who according to Amnesty International;

“Libyan authorities arrested Fathi el-Jahmi in 2002 after he called for free speech and political reforms during a conference in Tripoli. For that “crime,” he was sentenced to five years in prison. He was released in March 2004 following international pressure but authorities detained him again just weeks later after he repeated his call for democracy during a television interview. A climate of fear continued to prevail where victims of human rights violations or their relatives, in or outside the country, risk measures of retaliation when they communicate information to human rights organizations.”

And let’s not forget that Israel is the REAL PROBLEM in Saudi Arabia also, who according to Amnesty International;

“There are still scores of political prisoners and possible prisoners of conscience. Saudi Arabia continues to use flogging and amputations as punishments. Executions, beheadings with a sword, occur regularly and are disproportionately carried out against foreign nationals. Foreign workers are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, particularly female domestic workers, who have virtually no protection at all. About 600 Iraqis remain stranded in Rafha refugee camp since the 1991 Gulf War, denied the opportunity to seek asylum in Saudi Arabia.”

And let’s not forget that Israel is the REAL PROBLEM in Yemen also, who according to Amnesty International;

“Hundreds of people were killed, including many who may have been killed unlawfully, during armed clashes between security forces and political opponents in Sa’da Province. Hundreds of people were arrested and most of those detained from previous years remained held without charge or trial. There were increased punitive measures against journalists and restrictions on press freedom. The government continued to forcibly return people to countries where they were at risk of human rights violations. There were reports of torture or ill-treatment. The punishment of flogging continued to be imposed by courts and carried out. Women’s organizations continued to campaign against discrimination and violence against women.

But let’s not limit Israel’s complicity to human rights abuse to the Middle East, let’s not forget that Israel is the REAL PROBLEM in Chechnya also, who according to Amnesty International

“Russian security forces continued to enjoy almost total impunity for serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed in the ongoing conflict in the Chechen Republic (Chechnya). Chechen forces loyal to the pro-Moscow administration of Akhmad Kadyrov also committed serious human rights abuses as did Chechen fighters opposed to Russian rule. Eighty thousand civilians, including rebels, have been killed in Chechnya since 1999. Thirty five thousand are reported to be missing as the result of the infamous “zachistki” conducted by the Russian federal troops in the region.”

ABRAHAM why would any rational person think Israel is your “favorite whipping boy”? Those “stupid Arabs and stupid Jews” can be so judgmental.

May 10th, 2008, 10:22 pm


ausamaa said:


“…longing for sharing a Falafel sandwich and listening to Sabah Fakhri with you.”

الناس بالناس و القطط بالنفاس

عندك نفس تاكل فلافل و تسمع صباح فخري و تتفرج على اللي صاير بلبنان!!!!

يلا يا خيي تصبح على خير و مش ناقصنا نفش خلقنا ببعض

May 10th, 2008, 10:37 pm


Qifa Nabki said:


Great post. 🙂 Most amusing.

May 10th, 2008, 11:39 pm


JH said:


“The Palestinians are directly responsible for the violent civil war in Lebanon.”

This gives the lie to your careful and calm criticism of HA above: I don’t see any qualitative difference between your position towards the Palestinians, and Ausamma’s unpleasant position towards those Lebanese he singled out.

“Directly responsible” is a strong phrase – so strong in fact, that when it is used to describe history, and a civil war like Lebanon’s, it is inherently incorrect.

Balash the fact that Palestinians are Arabs, they are human beings as well, and when you describe them as uniquely violent, and bringing their weapons to a charitable and generous Lebanon, you deny them the equal agency and rights you have so pleasantly been sharing out amongst Syrians, Lebanese fations, etc…

It is not long since a refugee camp of 30,000 people was levelled and looted in North Lebanon after its infiltration by well-funded extremists – who were not even Palestinian. It is, however, 60 long years since the Palestinians arrived fleeing the violent creation of Israel, during which time they neither been freely able to leave, nor freely able to integrate into the society they fled to. I am not confident that the current crisis will do anything to make their situation less grim.

May 10th, 2008, 11:59 pm


Qifa Nabki said:

Abu Kareem

So glad that you are here. Thanks for the post.


While you may find it acceptable, obviously the Baath regime does not! Why don’t you start that militia that answers to no one? I will support you, I promise.

But we can’t have any falafel. Ausamaa will not accept it.


First of all, whoever is responsible for this crime should be hanged. This is savagery of the worst kind.

Second of all, as you know, killing SSNP members is not the policy of the FM, just like killing Kataeb members is not a policy of the opposition.

I, for one, condemn this crime, and may they rest in peace.


I think I’ve finally figured out what your problem is.

You don’t … think. At least, you don’t think long enough before posting comments. On the one hand you, you agree with Nour that anyone who criticizes the resistance is guilty of treason. Then you say that you are critical of some aspects of Hizbullah’s actions. Then you say you are an anarchist.


Do you know how much time Sayyed Hasan would have for an anarchist? I don’t ordinarily presume to speak for the Sayyed, but in this case I’m confident that it would be zero.

Life is so much easier when there is one big bad wolf to direct your aggressions against. Look at takfiri jihadists… they are happy: they have no need to really engage in any contemplation of any complexity whatsoever. Same goes for Israeli settlers. It’s so simple for them.

I choose to believe that things are more complicated. Maybe that makes me a treasonous traitor.


Thank you, once again, for reminding us of what Syrians think of Lebanon. That explains a lot.

ps: If no one else objects to his portrayal, then I will just assume that this is the mainstream opinion. Ahhh, Arabism. So brotherly… 🙂

May 11th, 2008, 12:07 am


ausamaa said:

Qifa Nabki

“ps: If no one else objects to his portrayal, then I will just assume that this is the mainstream opinion.”

How cute! Reminds me of Junblate who wants other to fight his battles!

No Qifa Nabki ya habib alby, I was posting my own opinion, I do not speake for anyone, nor does anyone need to support or refute what I said in order to clarify their positions to you or to any one else. Ya’ani, Bala shatara zyade…

If you find what I said harsh, you are right it was, but read what Assad Abu Khalil writes in the Angry Arab Blogspot about what he calls the Hummus “…!!!”, and you will find that his words much harsher. And he is not a Hizbullah guy, nor a Bathiest lover, but he seems to know your beloved land and people more than anyone I know. And he is brave enough to say it, and to expose the truth; harsh as it is to many.

May 11th, 2008, 12:34 am


Qifa Nabki said:


I don’t need anyone to fight my battles with you. There is no need for a battle, because there can be no winner or loser. I think you are a sad and deeply envious person. I don’t mind if you take out your hidden frustrations with the very sad state of Syria, on us Lebanese. We can take it.

You know why we can take it? Because no one is a deeper critic of Lebanon than the Lebanese themselves. The difference between As`ad and you, is that As`ad actually … likes Lebanon, with all of its contradictions and extremes. Whereas you hate it.

My reason for asking others to pipe in was merely to see how representative your opinion is. Judging from my own experiences with wonderful and thoughtful Syrian people like Alex, Norman, Naji, and many others, you are in a very small minority… ya habib alby.

ps: I think As`ad has an earring. I’ll be sure to tell him that you think he is a half-man.

May 11th, 2008, 12:43 am


Alex said:

Qifa Nabki,

Ausamaa is right … even Junblatt called some of the Lebanese ansaf alrijal (half men)

And if you listen to the way he described those half men .. they fit his M14 allies of today perfectly.

May 11th, 2008, 1:59 am


Qifa Nabki said:


If I’m not mistaken, Ausamaa was not referring to M14 politicians in that post, but rather to any Lebanese person who doesn’t live up to his idea of a shirwal wearing Arabist.

And if we’re playing the “even Jumblatt said” game, trust me, Michael Aoun, Suleiman Frangieh, and all of the other opposition “nobility” that you guys like to cite, are a veritable GOLDMINE of hypocrisy.

As you know. 🙂

May 11th, 2008, 2:19 am


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

That is low. The Syrians murdered Kamal Jumbalatt and terrorized Walid. He is making these statements because a Syrian sword is at his throat. Yes, it took him time to grow balls. Age does that to you and also the fact that the Syrian army had to leave Lebanon.

You know the argument you always make that AIPAC is too successful and therefore it fosters hate? Why don’t you apply it to this case also? Don’t you think Hizballah is too successful? Just read the FM blog to see what hatred Hizballah has unleashed. AIPAC are puppies next to it. Try having fun with this thread:

May 11th, 2008, 2:24 am


why-discuss said:


“Because no one is a deeper critic of Lebanon than the Lebanese themselves.

Are you joking? Ask any Lebanese in Lebanon about making his self criticism and what answer you will get?
As Prince Salina in The Guepard was saying about the Sicilians: “How can they accept to change, they think they are perfect!”
The blame will fall on the Syrians, the Saudis, the Iranians, the Palestinians, the Israelis etc.. , why? simply because they are all jealous of your perfection!!

May 11th, 2008, 2:32 am


abraham said:

Sol, have you ever heard of a “specious argument”? Please, look up the word specious. Now, replace that with “ineptly fraudulent”, because that is what every counter-argument you made is.

Let me spell this out for you clearly so even you can understand:

+ Occupation
+ Palestine
The Problem

This has nothing to do with Algeria, Sudan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, or Chechnya, all of which are not either Palestine, Lebanon, or Syria. Now, there’s a common theme amongst these last three countries. I’ll leave it up to you as an exercise to figure out what it is.


May 11th, 2008, 2:36 am


Alex said:


This is not low… I am joking with QN.

I do understand that part of the reason Jumblatt said what he said in that clip was that he wanted the Syrians to be OK with him.

I am not motivated to vilify Junblatt, but given the fact Junblatt was making tons of money when he befriended the Syrians for decades, I won’t feel too guilty for using his video clip to teast Qifa Nabki.

As for Hizbollah … I agree that the use of their military superiority this week made many people worried about Hizbollah’s excessive power.

But Nasralaah is not constrained to AIPAC’s robotic maximization mode of operation … he knows when he needs to take a couple of steps backward.

For example, his fighters immediately disappeared .. they gave up all their newly acquired positions to the Lebanese army.

He will probably do more, in the near future, to make it up to those who do not hate him, like Qifa Nabki, but they were disappointed because he chose to use some of his force inside Beirut against other Lebanese.

May 11th, 2008, 3:31 am


Honest Patriot said:


You misunderstand me. I have nothing but the greatest sympathy and the utmost support for Palestinians and for the Palestinian cause. I believe, and have always believed, that if the right “weapons” of effective lobbying, peaceful protests, strength through effective voicing of the rights, had been pursued, and with participation from all Lebanese among others, a very different outcome would have occurred in the Middle East vis a vis Israel, if not its creation, at least its expansion.

What I have decried and continue to decry with certainty, is that the methods chosen by both the Arab leadership (e.g., in 1967) and by many Palestinians, methods based on (a) complete ineptitude in estimating their military strength and (b) utilizing wanton violence against innocent civilians. These have resulted in nothing but failure and loss.

All that the Palestinians did in Lebanon by way of armed struggle yielded zero results for them, brought destruction onto Lebanon, and yes, caused the differences in Lebanese society to degenerate into the armed conflict of the civil war. Roll back time, re-introduce the Palestinians without weapons and let the struggle include all Lebanese who would have been more than willing to spearhead the non-violent struggle, you would not have had the arming of militias and the ensuing 15-years of civil war. I do believe this, as I’m sure a majority of my compatriots do.

The armed Palestinian struggle in Lebanon culminated in their military defeat at the hands of the 1982 Israeli invasion with all its horrors. The true progress made in Palestine was thanks to the local Palestinians of the first Intifada. That is how a struggle is effective. That is the struggle that all Lebanese will rally behind. You may not know it or not be willing to admit it but with the right strategy the Lebanese — all Lebanese in and outside Lebanon — can and will be the most effective advocates for the Palestinian cause. We simply reject those methods used in targeting innocent civilians. So does Abu Mazen.


Being cordial and brotherly to you by suggesting we join in a meal of local fare does not mean the heart is not aching at the suffering of my native land. I don’t need any lectures from you. The methods you advocate have been a recipe for losing for 60 years: just watch the Israeli celebrations. Your conclusion? Do more of the same. Let me help you with a revelation: continuing to beat your head against the wall will not make your headache go away. And making me beat my head against the same wall will yield nothing either.

May 11th, 2008, 3:31 am


Alex said:

And Ausamma 7abibi … please remember the rules of Syria Comment

I know you are only semi-serious, but many others here are not familiar with your writing style. You sounded as if you hate Lebanon or the Lebanese people, and I know you don’t.

And Qifa Nabki is a very balanced Lebanese. I think you had an initial impression of him which is not entirely accurate.

AND (if I did not get on your nerves yet) … I have a question:

If we can not joke and talk about falafel sandwiches because some people lost their lives in Lebanon today … then why don’t we follow the same restrictions everyday when Iraqis and Sudanese are dying in larger numbers?

Are you implying that a Lebanese life is more valuable to you than an Iraqi life?

May 11th, 2008, 4:42 am


Shai said:

QN, Abraham, HP, Sol,

I won’t pretend to want to “bridge” anything between you guys (certainly not as the token Israeli “on shift” now…), but I will say that often the content of our words, or the ideas behind them, are ignored completely because of HOW we say things. I’ve turned a deaf ear on numerous occasions here on SC to people who may have had much sense to speak, simply due to their harsh language, often bordering on personal insults and accusations.

Though I should be the last person to agree with Abraham here, I actually tend to agree with him quite a bit. I am not an innate anti-Israeli, anti-Zionist, or anti-semite. I live and work in Israel, raise my family here, and plan to stick around until someone or something forces me out. But unlike most Israelis (unfortunately), I have found the way to continue to feel proud of my country, and ashamed of it at the same time. I am proud of the fact that after 2000 years, my people have a place they can call home. That Jews that were persecuted for two millennia can finally feel protected in their own nation. That in merely 60 years, Israel has indeed become a modern, high-developed state. But, at the same time, I am also ashamed of the price others had to pay (and are still having to pay) for that achievement. We cannot, indeed must not, ignore the millions of Palestinians who are paying this price until this very moment. While I sit here and “calmly” type on my fancy laptop, sipping a cappuccino in a local cafe, 1.5 million people are being suffocated in Gaza. Another 800,000 have refugee status in Syria and Lebanon. And another 2 million are living without freedom in the West Bank.

Of course not ALL of their lacks of freedom are caused by Israel. But most are. Of course Syria and Lebanon have used these poor Palestinian refugees in their political battles with Israel, instead of granting them citizenship, and treating them equally. But that cannot reduce Israel’s responsibility for those refugees one iota. The way to deal with an accusation is not by making a counter-accusation. We each must deal with our own responsibility, and clear our conscience once and for all. We can pretend the problem is not there, or is not ours to solve, but if we won’t deal with it, our children, or their children, will. And until then, the price we’ll all have to pay is increasing exponentially. And, as always, the poor pay far more than the rich.

As much as I don’t like Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa, and many other resistance movements, there is no doubt that without them, Israel would still be in Lebanon, in Gaza, and would not be considering talking to Syria, or Abu Mazen, or whoever. The only way, unfortunately, to convince Israel over the past 30 years, has been through force. That is also something I am ashamed of. When Sadat reached out to Israel (a mere few years after the 1973 war), there were brave Israelis there ready to receive him. We didn’t make ridiculous preconditions. We ran to the negotiation table. Sadat paid for this with his life. So did Rabin. Hafez Assad, King Hussein, Yasser Arafat are also all gone. All those that have been courageous enough to fight when necessary, but also make peace when the time came, are long gone. It is now time to find, and nurture, the future leaders of this region.

Bashar seems to be such a leader, even if he won’t last another 15-20 years. I agree with Alex, chances are that this young, wise, and patient leader (who happens to listen to Country music on his iPod), is probably looking for the best ways to get Syria onto a path to eventual democracy. He knows that by holding free elections tomorrow morning, he won’t be serving that purpose. He’ll be overthrown in an instant, and replaced by hardline politicians and zealots that will destroy Syria for decades. But this leader is reaching out to Israel to make peace. And funny enough, not only Israelis are turning him away, but also Arabs! So many here on SC are coming up with every reason in the book to suggest Syria should not make peace with a treacherous and conniving Israel. I guess they see things Bashar doesn’t… At the same time, instead of realizing that Israel NEEDS Hamas and Hezbollah in power (yes, what an outrageous statement to make, eh?) we wish to “destroy” them. And then who will be left – our friends? And with our puppet friends like Abu Mazen, or a Siniora, we’ll make peace? If I had a choice of whom to make peace with, Khatami or Ahmedinejad (assuming both were possible), of course I’d rather choose the latter over the first. Destroy your enemy, or opt to do so, and you’ve destroyed the hope for peace. Strange as that may sound, but fact.

QN, as much as I’d like to have a Lebanon free of armed factions, free of anti-Israel excuses that obstruct progress, and freedom, I’m afraid that in the end, having them serves Israel’s best interests. But not for the reason many here will think. It is precisely this instability and anti-Israeli sentiments (and occasional action on the ground) that may still apply pressure on Israeli leaders to consider changing their policy. If Hezbollah gave up its arms, and became a purely political organization, many Israeli politicians would say “Ok, now there’s really no need to rush… with respect to the Golan or Shebaa farms”. I know many Israelis would disagree with me, suggesting that if only HA and Hamas stopped their resistance by force, we’d all be willing to consider making peace with them (or their people). I think that 20 years before any real resistance began is enough proof to the contrary. Before the first Intifada, we had two decades to stop settlement building, to seek peace with the Palestinians, and we didn’t. Before HA was formed, and started bruising the IDF in Lebanon, our governments were ready to occupy Lebanese territory for twenty years.

I wish it wasn’t so, but only resistance forced Israel to act. True, often it was counter-productive (Summer 2006). But the two advantages the Arab world has always had over Israel, are time and people. They can sacrifice much more than Israel can, and they do. Until we understand that we cannot choose our enemies, nor their chosen methods of war, we will continue to fight one another endlessly. Show me one case in history (modern or ancient), where one side first demanded a change of methodology of war, before willing to talk peace with the other. Must we all continue to bleed another decade or two, before we realize our foolishness? When will we realize that by continuing to focus on changing the other side, instead of ourselves, we are merely moving away from the end, rather than towards it?

May 11th, 2008, 6:45 am


ausamaa said:


Good that you caught what escaped Qifa Nabki in a way. I guess HP also cought up on that as his “reply” to me was sort of mild.

And about the FALAFEL, no sir, I have actually stopped eating them since the first Rawandan . All lives are dear to me. Of course Lebanese lives have a special spot as more than half of my – and our family’s- friends are Lebanese. Not the HA bearded scary and serious ones, but Siniora and even Ja’ja cuti ones. Actually they keep wondering why I bother with Lebanese affairs, as they have given up on it themselves as they keep saying in frustration.

And QN style of writing is certainly balanced gramatically and
linguisticaly. Politically, I know he is no Junblat or Ja’ja, but sometimes he over does himeself. Trying to appeare balanced, I mean. Especially when he says that Syria and the US are intent on sacrificing Lebanon for their own ends. To me that statement from an “informed” person tells me that something in him refuses to be totally balanced. But as you say, he is ok.

Let us hope today will bring good news.

May 11th, 2008, 7:09 am


abraham said:

QN said:

I choose to believe that things are more complicated. Maybe that makes me a treasonous traitor.

Oh? I’m sorry if you can’t pick up the nuance of my discourse. If I have to spell everything out for you then let me know. I think I was being simple enough for most minds in my ideology but if it’s over your head then you just let me know and I’ll dumb it down even more.

I never said I agreed with everything Nour said. I simply stated that I thought this statement was “nicely said”. I don’t agree that anyone who criticizes Hizballah is a traitor and I don’t how you could have come to that conclusion based on anything I wrote.

Anyway, I don’t think you think you know what the problem is. It’s not that I don’t think, it’s that I don’t think the way you would like me to think. Your conclusions are not exactly based on the apex of rational thought either.

May 11th, 2008, 7:59 am


abraham said:

Shai, nicely stated.

For QN’s benefit, I will explain that I don’t necessarily agree with everything you said, but I think you stated it well, i.e. rationally.

Although I applaud you for expressing some of the things upon which we agree (Israel will not come around without resistance, Israel understands force) I do have some points of disagreement. Namely, the reason I don’t think Bashar’s peace overtures are useful (though I believe they are truly sincere) is because I simply don’t trust Israel, period. And I don’t trust Olmert specifically (and I suspect many Israelis are finding they are starting to feel the same) nor most current Israeli leaders. They have all acted in bad faith in various roles, and my trust is quite frankly depleted 100% with regards to Israel. So in the end, due to this cynicism I think there is something other than peace on the minds of Israeli leaders currently. If something actually comes of this then so be it and hallejujah but I’m not holding my breath. Israel will have to make peace eventually, but I don’t think we’re there just yet. I think Israel needs to suffer a bit more before you’ll be ready.

The way I see it, there are four ways the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be settled:

a) The Palestinians are ethnically cleansed from the West Bank and Gaza, and the complainers within Israel as well.

b) The Jews are pushed into the sea.

c) The status quo remains.

d) A one-state solution with no preference based on religion or race.

a) is not going to happen. b) is unacceptable. c) is untenable, choose again. And so we are left with d).

I really see no other solution. If Israel did this, there would be peace agreements with every remaining Arab country before Hannukah.

May 11th, 2008, 8:25 am


Shai said:


I wish that was possible, but it’s not. Israelis do not trust the Arabs enough to allow for a one-state solution. We must separate physically our two peoples, and live apart, before we can begin to trust one another and consider a future together. If we wait for option d (one-state), we’ll all suffer miserably, and chances are, we’ll head straight into a very painful and catastrophic regional war. The “pressure cooker” that is our region, can only take it so much. Eventually, something will snap. Too many parties here want to not only release this endless tension, but indeed punish others in the process. We cannot allow that to happen. And if a superficial peace with Syria is the first step, so be it. But at least it’ll calm down things a bit, create (hopefully) a much-needed optimistic spirit in our region, and bring about the possibility for Syrian involvement in helping Israel and the Palestinians end their conflict. This is an opportunity that hasn’t existed before and, in my mind, is quite viable.

As for trusting Israel, you must understand that there is no “Israel”, but Israeli leaders, and public opinion, when it comes to our motivation, plans, and policy. At the moment, indeed, you cannot trust our “peaceful overtures”, quite simply because there are none (barring Olmert and very few around him). But much of these “games” are intended to begin changing public opinion in Israel. It’s a silly dance that, unfortunately, must be danced… No Israeli leader can change our path, without the support of at least 50.1% of our people.

May 11th, 2008, 9:06 am


why-discuss said:


It seems we are in a dead end again. If Egypt was a democracy at the time of Sadat, they would be no peace agreement. Same applies to Jordan. I guess my conclusion is that democracy in Israel is the principal impediment to any peace deal within a reasonable time. If Arab countries are been pushed to democratize, it will increasingly difficult for them too make peace with Israel, because the leader would have to convince 50% of the population before making any move. Lebanon that has a less authoritarian regime than other arab countres is a good example of failure in making peace with Israel.
Before Syria becomes a democracy as AIG is hoping, Israel should make a peace deal.
Democracy has good sides but it obliges the mentality of the citizens to be changed and that maybe take more generations.

The only solution I see is a massive and targetted Israeli economical package ( with US and EU help) to boost occupied Palestian lands as well as south of Lebanon and indirectly Syria.
Instead of destroying houses, hospitals and factories, they should build them.
When Israel’s arab neighbours will see their life style improving thanks to Israel then they will likely to push for peace.
Otherwise it will be the statu quo and the ultimate demographic disapearance of Israel.

May 11th, 2008, 7:10 pm


Shai said:


From your mouth to Allah! I completely agree with you.

May 11th, 2008, 7:50 pm


Mark McHenry said:

Israeli Jews do not want a one-state solution. The Jewish Talmud says that Jews are superior to other races and therefore the Muslim response of “Zionism is racism” is quite accurate and Jews are not likely to abandon their religious teachings for the sake of peace. Israel wants a Jewish State which they will claim is for “safety” but this is merely a propaganda front to mask the Jewish desire for superiority over others.

May 11th, 2008, 11:05 pm


Shai said:

Mark McHenry,

There are at least 3-4 “Jews” that frequent Syria Comment. We are very much divided on issues pertaining to the Palestinians, the Syrians, and the rest of the Arab world. We all want peace, but have very different ways of approaching it. Some of us may see it as a possibility in the very near future (1-2 years), while others may require much greater change to occur first (Democracy, etc.)

But absolutely NONE OF US are trying to “mask (our) Jewish desire for superiority over others”. Your words are sheer nonsense. 90% of Israelis don’t know the difference between the Talmud and the Bible, yet you claim as fact that “Jews are not likely to abandon their religious teachings for the sake of peace…”! Who are YOU, to tell US, what is taught and isn’t taught in Israel? Have you ever been to Israel? Do you have the slightest understanding or knowledge of what goes on inside Israel? Or do you simply copy/paste words of hatred over and over again from some “respectable source” you found early on in your frustrated life?

May 12th, 2008, 4:23 am


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