This is your Lebanon – Episode III

The authorities at Beirut International Airport (now known as Rafik el-Hariri Airport, but I refuse to call it that, because Hariri is one of the worst things that has happened to the people in Lebanon) have blocked internet access to the forum (discussion board) of Michel Aoun’s LFPM (Lebanese Free Patriotic Movement), currently in the opposition to the Hariri-controlled Junblatt-infested warlord-glorifying allegedly democratic and supposedly freedom-loving spineless government that kills its own citizens and serves tea to its avowed enemies. Word has it that LFPM has issued a warning to the airport administration to remove the block on its website, and if it fails to do so within the next 7 days, it will sue airport authorities.

This is your Lebanon of web filters and thought control… of Saudi condemnation for HezbAllah’s “adventurism” and American shipping of “smart bombs” to strengthen democracy and freedom-loving forces led by Mr. Fuad Crocodile Tears Siniora and Ahmad Tea Serving Fatfat (interim interior minister). By the way, Ahmad Fatfat has a personal website, and has a section dedicated to “accomplishments”, and another to “political projects and principles“. Principles and accomplishments: Such as the killing of 11-year-old kids and serving tea to the Israeli occupiers.

Sounds like we will soon have an official Egypt-Israel-Turkey-Jordan-KSA-Hariri, Inc. axis to counter the Iran-Syria-HezbAllah axis. With imperial America as a friend, who needs enemies? On second thoughts, I am sure Afghans are loving every inch of their newly-awarded freedom, as are the Iraqis. Never mind how many have been killed in the past 24 hours. And did you think that democracy and freedom were free??? No, sorry, they are god’s gifts and America is the medium through which god is working his (sic) “miracles”.

Also see: Episode I, Episode II

40 responses to “This is your Lebanon – Episode III

  1. Anarchorev,
    I agree with you about the graveness and inappropriateness of the government’s censure of the LFPM website. There should be measures taken immediately to force a reversal of this infringement on the people’s right to access information.

    I don’t, however, agree with much else in the post. Don’t get me wrong, I hate Hariri and Jumblatt, but I think that for the moment we need to tolerate them and support them in their pursuit of an International Tribunal in the case of the Hariri assassination.

    As far as an Egypt-Jordan-Lebanon-Turkey-KSA axis, I think you’re right about that and I have in fact been forecasting the creating of such an ‘axis’ since the start of the war (link). I don’t personally think that would be such a terribly bad thing but I think it should be emphasized that no regional position taken by Lebanon could satisfy all of its constituents – or groups thereof – and so perhaps the best option would be a neutral stance. In order to truly be able to enforce a neutral stance we need to have a strong army and a stable institutional democracy.

  2. Ah, my comment was cut short – my bad. Anyway I just wanted to add that I think this government is moving to strengthen the army, which is a good thing, and to vet it of Syrian collaborators, which is also a good thing. I wouldn’t, however, put my money on it strengthening our democratic institutions, not yet at least, as the Mustaqbal group has been moving to secure more and more political and administrative positions for its cronies since the beginning. But thats politics I suppose, its the same all over the world. All I can say is that at least they’re not Syria’s men.

  3. Ah, my comment was cut short – my bad. Anyway I just wanted to add that I think this government is moving to strengthen the army, which is a good thing, and to vet it of Syrian collaborators, which is also a good thing. I wouldn’t, however, put my money on it strengthening our democratic institutions, not yet at least, as the Mustaqbal group has been moving to secure more and more political and administrative positions for its cronies since the beginning. But thats politics I suppose, its the same all over the world. All I can say is that at least they’re not Syria’s men.

  4. Censorship – Iran does it, North Korea does it, China does it. If the religious right had its way in America they would impose censorship. I guess the whole world is afraid of empowered people.

  5. Perhaps tea would have been preferable to kidnapping soldiers and and the “regretable” war. Perhaps Lebanon’s schools would be open. Perhaps hundreds and hudreds of small businesses like Abduls would not be collapsing (although he said he has been given a tax vacation – I guess he doesn’t have to remit vat or something for the time being.)

    Orange Pekoe might have been nicer than 1200 dead, oil spills and the destruction that Israel rained on the country. But then Hezbullah wouldn’t be able to chest pound about their historic victory. Yipee.

  6. Tired you have missed the point yet again. I must say, you do have a way of turning anything and everything against HezbAllah. So you find nothing wrong in serving tea to an army that has killed 1200 civilians (even if the provocation was by HezbAllah)? But you do find it very disgusting that a man has bashed the skull of one 4-year-old. Some moral equivalence, eh?

    Ah, so your friend Abdul wants to live a prosperous life while his fellow-citizens, citizens of the country he claims to love so much to the extent that he would die to defend (or maybe serve tea in defense of.. hmm, certainly more preferable… I am sure that when Lebanon turns into another Gaza or West Bank Abdul would still love serving tea to his new masters – or maybe he would prefer to serve tea to his masters in KSA) are poor, have no means of supporting themselves and their families, while the gangs of Hariri and Najib “I saved my private jets lest they get scratched by Israeli bombardment” Miqati and Siniora and warlord Geagea and feudal chieftain Junblatt (who stole millions of dollars from the treasury for the resettlement/return of the refugees of the mountain, some of whose family members he and his gangs personally massacred and skinnned alive) steal and plunder, open their houses to Saudi nationals during the conflict (but not entire Solidere uninhabited housing blocs to refugees, who have to sleep in parks and gardens for 2 months), who talk about the Ba’ath regime in Syria as if they never had anything to do with it (whereas until the second of Hariri’s assassination they did indeed have everything to do with it – they still do, but with Khaddam and his gangs, who are trying to bring about a regime change in Syria to install a Sunni regime there; I guess a Sunni regime with a nasty human rights record is acceptable. I mean, look at KSA, surely there ought to be no regime change here, eh?). Unlike the media hysteria over Lebanon’s schools opening “a month late”, actually in Lebanon schools ALWAYS open in October (except for baccalaureate level, grade 12, which start around Sept. 20s). Moreover, why are you even blaming everything on HezbAllah? Sure, HA captured those soldiers (and by the way, this wasn’t any more a provocation than the killing of a teenage shepherd on Lebanese territory some years back, or the remaining hostages in Israeli prisons, or the continuing occupation of Sheb’aa farms, or the refusal to hand maps of mines to the UNIFIL, or the refusal to stop daily violations of Lebanese airspace), but Israel had a clear choice to make, and it chose to bomb anything and everything, civilian housing, hospitals, SCHOOLS (wonder why schools are starting late, eh?), VEHICLES with women and children in them, and then you come and whine about how HA is responsible for this or that or this or that? What are you on? And what exactly is your friend “Abdul” on? If he wants he is more than free to go and live in KSA. I mean, if he loves their human rights record so much that he supports KSA’s very own poodle Hariri.

  7. Roxie, why not add Israel, KSA (Saudi Arabia), UAE , to name just a few, to the list? These are USA’s and the “civilized West’s” “liberal” heroes.

  8. I think that for the moment we need to tolerate them and support them in their pursuit of an International Tribunal in the case of the Hariri assassination.
    Why is that a priority over the pursuit of economic and political reforms? I get it, Hariri in death is far more valuable than some 2 million poor Lebanese who are desperately waiting for some reform, but who are getting nothing but bullets in their children’s backs by Fatfat’s tea-serving internal “security” forces (Hariri’s militia). Or are you also one of those who advocate regime change in Syria as a top priority? And what about the death of some 19 others in the assassination of that thieving dog Hariri, who brought the Lebanese $40 billion debt, while increasing his own fortunes)? I’m supposed to love this guy why? Or to support an international tribunal for his assassination why? Why not support such a tribunal to try all the war criminals of the Lebanese war, Lebanese AND Israeli alike? Or are the victims of Junblatt’s gangs and Geagea’s “Christian resistance” hooligans, among others, not worthy of such a thing? I get it, when it comes to the war criminals running this state (war criminals wanting to try others for the assassination of Hariri AS IF they have no blood on their hands) we should “let bygones be bygones”.

    I don’t personally think that would be such a terribly bad thing
    Not a terribly bad thing for WHOM? For Israel and USA, and their satellite dictatorships KSA, Jordan, and Mubarak’s Egypt? Or do you mean for Lebanon, which is increasingly seeing the features of a Sunni vs Shi’ite divide being imposed by the very architects of these axes??

    Anyway I just wanted to add that I think this government is moving to strengthen the army, which is a good thing, and to vet it of Syrian collaborators, which is also a good thing.
    I see you are still obsessed with “Syrian collaborators”, but there is no mention of Israeli collaborators. Maybe you do have a point, though. I mean, this whole government has become an Israeli collaborator, so ridding the army of them has become a moot point. I mean, with under the table deals and meetings, and calling Uri Lubrani a personal friend, and on and on, and backstabbing HezbAllah DURING the war while leaving Nayla Muawwad to provide the wrong people with the medication that was supposed to go to the refugees who needed them, or food that was supposed to be provided by the government but which went to benefit Hariri’s and Siniora’s “people”, I mean, ordering food for refugees from restaurants?? Yeah, I trust this government with “strengthening” the army. My dear, strengthening the army? You really think this army is able to fight Israel for more than 5 minutes, until the Israelis reach the northernmost tip of Lebanon? I feel sorry for you. You obviously have no idea, and are therefore a victim of the government’s propaganda. Please do read history, and also read FACTS, not propaganda issued by the Hariri clan by orders from the Saudi embassy (or the Qoreitem). Why don’t your American “friends” provide Lebanon with a remotely serious air defense system? You think some M-16s and some helmets and flak jackets are all that you need?? Like I told someone else, take your Lebanese “army” to Paris and open a museum there, remnants of the French mandate. As for your newly American-provided equipment, I am sure the Wahabis up in the north, about whom Hariri does not bark (ditto for Palestinian weapons inside and outside camps) as he barks about the HezbAllah “militia” weapons (more indications of Hariri’s pan-Sunnite/Wahabist/Saudi – rather than Lebanese – agenda), would be more than willing to accept this token gift from their newly-found friends (as awkward as the support of the “Mujahideen” by USA against the Soviets in Afghanistan was).

  9. Sad, sad state of affairs.
    @#$%# $@## @$$ #$#@#$
    (my angery words censored…)

  10. “So you find nothing wrong in serving tea to an army that has killed 1200 civilians (even if the provocation was by HezbAllah)? But you do find it very disgusting that a man has bashed the skull of one 4-year-old. Some moral equivalence, eh?”

    Moral equvalence my arse. You defend infantacide. Fine. At least Nasrallah has the spine to regret the kidnapping. Hezbullah, plain and simply, as they admit, did not expect to provoke the disproportionate, murderous Israeli response. They, acting as a state within a state, misjudged their enemy and drew the rest of Lebanon in an adventure that polls show the majority of Lebanese did not want. They also got numerous Lebanese Army regulars killed. Now, Isreal did the killing – and that was a criminal act. As was Hezbullah’s attack. And yet YOU have the audacity to compare offering tea to someone to bashing a 4 year old girls head in on a the rocks IN ISRAEL in front of her father.

    I think you miss the point, at least the point to the Lebanese that I know. The point to them is that here they are, four months later, on the verge of losing (one of them, at least) their business. Looking at huge bills from having to keep their girls in France longer than planned. Looking at friends and business associates who have lost their homes, are losing their businesses and some who have lost relatives and friends – and all for what? They are looking around asking what exactly they gained?

    Deena feels that getting the army into the south is a positive step. Some others seem to think it is only a matter of time before it erupts gain. And then the businesses will go under for sure and perhaps the Sinoria, who some think saved Nasrallah on the diplomatic front on this, will fall. And perhaps the Syrians will come back and perhaps you will be happy.

  11. Moral equvalence my arse.
    Moral equivalence your arse? So you’re saying that the killing of a 4-year-old is worse than the killing of more than 1200 civilians, a third of whom happen to be children?

    You are, as predicted, manipulating and twisting and turning, in order to avoid the core POINT.

    Moreover, what “polls” are you exactly referring to?

    Oh, so the killing of an Israeli “IN ISRAEL” by a Lebanese is wrong (killing is wrong, period) and should be condemned in the strictest of terms (funny, but I don’t see you condemning the continuous killing of Palestinians even as we speak), but the killing of Lebanese IN LEBANON and Palestinians IN PALESTINE (1967 version) is “ok, a crime”. I see where you are going with your “moral equivalence my arse”.

    The Lebanese that you know? Oh you mean Abdul and what was her name? I keep forgetting. So what, you know 2 Lebanese, wake up call, I live in LEBANON, I talk to these people on a daily basis, I know their concerns and their political views. So what, you know an “Abdul” and a whatever-her-name-is, great, now I hope you’re not saying they are representative of Lebanese public opinion. Oh, sorry, they are keeping their girls in France.. Oh, did you know my mom was stuck in USA for 2 months??! And what am I doing, whining? 1200 civilians were killed, and all that your friend “Abdul” cares about is keeping his girls in France? Oh, my bad. I guess I had the wrong definition of patriotism. Guess the definitions here have changed ever since the Saudi royal family’s takeover of Lebanese politics.

    Your friend Deena might want to explain to me how she views the tea-serving episode, and whether or not she thinks it will be repeated. I also want to know her views on whether or not she thinks having the army as the only armed force in Lebanon to “defend” us against Israeli incursions and intentions of occupation (up to the Litani at least) is a really good idea given that there is no agreement as yet on the form of government (not even on Ta’ef, which BY THE WAY – you might also want to alert your friends “Abdul” and “Deena” about this – calls for the deconfessionalization of the system) that Lebanese want, or the vision of the future of Lebanon that they want, and there won’t be any agreement on these issues any time soon. The army? We all saw what happened to the army when the war broke out. Or should we forget about that too, as part of the “let bygones be bygones” cocktail party?

    Siniora saved Nasrallah diplomatically? Oh, ok. I bet those tears did it. Yup. And Condie was praying for the Lebanese. Yup. What a beautiful world. As for your last sentence, a typical diversionary fallacy (slippery slope, to be exact). How does all this imply (or logically lead to the conclusion) that the Syrians will come back? And I don’t see you as concerned about the Israelis coming back. Right. I can imagine you yelling foul play had the Syrians been violating Lebanese airspace daily after their withdrawal. I see. So your equation is: Israel (KSA, USA, etc.) good, Syria (Iran, etc.) bad. And Hariri is the saviour of Lebanon. And Siniora still thinks his tears stopped the war. At the rate things are going, we might as well call Lebanon a Saudi royal family THEME PARK.

    Cedar revolution MY ARSE.
    Freedom MY ARSE.
    Independence MY ARSE.
    Lebanese Army MY ARSE.

  12. Hey Anarchorev,

    Haha, well thanks for your lenghty reply. I mean it made me laugh, which is good, but you should be weary of attempting to sum up a person’s (or a commentator’s if u like) entire political outlok based on a few lines of commentary.

    Um, I’m not sure I know exactly how to answer you, I mean should I proceed on a point-by-point basis even though you managed to completely misrepresent every point I tried to highlight?

    Or should we tackle the bigger picture which seems to you to be the corruption (both past and present) of those officials currently in government?

    Let me know, a little disagreement is always a good thing😉

  13. Blacksmith Jade,

    I merely responded to your arguments point by point. If you consider this a summing-up of your political outlook, that’s not my problem, and it certainly does not mean that it was my intention. However, I must add that your argument re: int’l tribunal is pretty indicative of your priorities.

  14. Wow. I guess I struck a nerve. The moral equivilance, as you well know, was the tea drinking versus Samir Kuntar. You keep yelling, as you rightly should, about the 1200 Lebanese dead, yet you are unwilling to d what at least Nasrallah had the spine to do – admit that those murders occured on the heels of Hezbullah’s ill advised “regretable” adventure.

    As to your mother being stuck in the evil empire of the US, am sorry to hear that, but here’s news – Sinora and his March tears did not trap your mother, Hezbullah fighters crossing the border, firing rockets and ambusihing, kidnapping and killing Israeli soldiers – and the disproportionate, illegal and immoral Israeli response did. And Hezbullah’s own stated aim of that attack was to free a man who has confessed to infanticide.

    Those are simply facts. They make you unfortable, clearly. But they are facts. Question, do you think Lebanon is better of now than it was on June 1?

  15. This is what, the 100th time you miss the point? Let me put it in bullet form for you.

    -Where did Nasrallah even remotely regret the operation that you, like the Saudi royal family, call an “adventure”?
    -I suppose you will also tell the Israelis that the suicide bombings occured at the “heels of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands, and brutalization of the Palestinian people”. Right. I can see you going around repeating it day and night.
    -When I referred to the tea-servers, I was merely comparing your disgust at the murder of a 4-year-old, and MY disgust at the killing of 1200 civilians WITH impunity, while the army that you defend as the legitimate authority that should have the monopoly over violence was SERVING tea to the SAME PEOPLE. Imagine the Israeli army serving TEA to Samir Kuntar minutes after he bashed the skull of that 4-year-old. Now after that fact, imagine how many Israelis would still entrust their lives and safety to that army.
    -Actually, I never whined about my mother being stuck in USA. I still have the mind to realize that there are far worse cases than mine, real tragedies. Something your “patriotic” LEBANONESE friend “Abdul” does not seem to care about. You seem to be desperate to convince me to despise HezbAllah, but I’m afraid that Israel’s actions really messed up any chance for such a thing.
    -HezbAllah had warned of the operation, hinted at it on more than one occasion, it couldn’t have been any clearer, and the operation was the result of the unfulfilled promises for a 2nd (and final) round of negotiations to complete the swap between Israel and HezbAllah. Israel did not respect this. Israel continued to occupy Sheba’a farms, Israel continued to refuse to give the UN the minefield maps (breaking news: now it HAS been forced to give it), Israel continued to violate Lebanese airspace, Israel continued to shoot and kill teenage shepherds on Lebanese territory. And out of all this, you go and stick to the only criticism you can launch at HezbAllah vis-a-vis Israel (ignoring, at the same time, the daily massacres of Palestinians, and the 34-day long bombardment campaign against Lebanon). It is always easy to put half the blame on HezbAllah. But guess what – the people who declared open war had the choice. They could’ve swallowed the bitter pill and sat down for negotiations from day 1.

    Your “facts” make me uncomfortable? Not at all. I am simply fed up with your bullshit.

    Yes, I think Lebanon is BETTER now. Better because SOON, VERY SOON, within the coming month or two, all those corrupt warlords (Junblatt, Geagea) and thieving dogs (Hariri, Siniora, Miqati, Berri) will be sacked.

  16. I’m glad your mother was safe in the US. I guess you think that sacking of “the thieving dogs” is worth 1200 lives. Hezbullah had kidnapped or attempted to kidnap Israeli soldiers again and again since 2000 (at least 4 times) had turned down 400 (I think it was) Palestinian prisoners in order to insist on Kuntar the kid killer (who doesn’t care about Palestinians?)

    I don’t really care if you despise Hezbullah or not. In fact, it’s pretty clear you are a Hezbullah shill disguised as an anarchist. But as long as you are going to write on a semi-public forum, and until you get pissy enough to censor, I think it is worthwhile to counter what it appears to me is your bullshit.

    You think Lebanon is better now, my Lebanese friends don’t. You don’t think their or my pov has merit. Got it. But you are simply not being truthful when you say that ignore the Israeli attack. I mention it in every post, in fact. You, on the other hand, want to ignore the fact aht Hezbullah adventures (and that is exactly the word – like playing at war “oh gosh, they hit me back!”) provoked this sort of response.

    I deplore the Isreali killing of Palestinians. I am very sorry that the Hezbullah operation has stopped the West Bank withdrawl. That really helped the Palestinians.

    And if Sinora et al doesn’t fall? Was it then still worth it?

  17. As to “regret” – Nasrallah’s TV interview of August 27 was widley reported to have him saying that if he had known the kidnapping would lead ot the Israeli assault he would not have done it. A position widley understood as regret. Nasrallah later stated in a newspaper interview he did not regret it, but there are others in and associated with Hizbollah who seem to support Nasrallah’s original statements. Maybe he’s just not sure what he thinks:

    Hizbullah leader: we regret the two kidnappings that led to war with Israel
    Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem
    Monday August 28, 2006
    The Guardian
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/syria/story/0,,1859755,00.html

    HEZBOLLAH LEADER HINTS AT REGRET
    Nasrallah Saves Olmert
    By Christoph Schult in Jerusalem
    “If we had known that capturing the soldiers would have led to all of this, we wouldn’t have done it,” the sheikh said.
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,434118,00.html

    Nasrallah Regrets Soldiers’ Capture
    Agencies

    BEIRUT, 28 August 2006 — Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said yesterday that UN troops set to deploy in southern Lebanon would not encounter any resistance from his fighters and expressed regret for the month-long war between Israel and his militia.
    http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=77057&d=28&m=8&y=2006

    (this is analysis and further quotes from Bloomberg.) http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=aeZvdJSbPLdE&refer=europe

    Nasrallah’s Interview

    Lebanese analysts say that Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah indirectly acknowledged evolving opinions of the war within the country in a Lebanese television interview Aug. 27. Referring to the abduction of the two Israeli soldiers, he said, “Had I known that capturing the soldiers would lead to this result, I never would have done it.”
    His comments unleashed criticism from rival Lebanese politicians, and he modified them in an interview with the as- Safir newspaper published Sept. 5. “I say we did not make a mistake in judgment,” Nasrallah said. “Our calculations were correct, and we do not regret it.”
    Nasrallah warned against efforts “to tarnish the image of victory gradually by means of provocation until it is permanently destroyed.”
    That left supporters in the unaccustomed position of offering up spin: Was Nasrallah repentant or not? “He was just reminding that Israel was responsible for the damage,” said Naim Bilal, a member of Hezbollah’s Islamic Institution for Education and Teaching.
    `Didn’t Want All This’
    “No, Nasrallah’s first comment was an admission,” said Gebran Bassil, a member of the Free Patriotic Movement, a Christian party that is allied politically with Hezbollah. “He didn’t want all this to happen.”

  18. I guess you think that sacking of “the thieving dogs” is worth 1200 lives.
    Another fallacy. I think you are material for an Introduction to Logical Fallacies coursebook.

    Get your facts straight about the swap of the soldiers CAPTURED in 2000 (not kidnapped, because soldiers are not kidnapped, they are captured, civilians are kidnapped and kept hostage, and that is what Israel does on a daily basis).

    I am a HezbAllah shill disguised as an anarchist !!! Haha.. if this isn’t the best accusation so far! You have a grand imagination, my friend. Ah, but no, I do not censor, unless you start to utter obscenities (among other things, such as racism, which some of you seem to naturally be).

    Yes, I am sure your (two) Lebanese friends don’t. They are more than welcome to go and live in KSA for a year or two, just a sneak preview of what the Hariri militias, sorry, internal tea-serving forces, sorry, internal security forces, intend to turn Lebanon into.

    You see, this is what I mean. You deny that there is a moral equivalence in the killing of a 4-year-old Israeli and the killing of 1200 civilians and countless number of Palestinians (I am not taking into account the numbers here). You focus on the sole act that happened back in 78 or 79, and when I say “what about the 1200 killed a few months ago?”, you turn to me and point to HezbAllah’s “adventure”. What about Israel’s adventures that LED to such “terrorist” acts (sorry, I guess we aren’t allowed to refer to Israel’s actions as terroristic)? What about Israel’s occupation and brutalization that led to the intifada and the despicable death tolls on both sides? Or are we to cut the thread of logical conclusions when it comes to the causes of Palestinian “terrorism”? By your logic we ought to close the file of Palestinian suicide bombings and even Samir Kuntar’s “operation” by referring to Israel’s “adventures” in the 1967 territories and Lebanon. You are calling for double standards. In fact, the whole Israeli-Arab conflict is about double standards. Double standards in everything. The Palestinians getting weapons from Syria and Iran is bad, an encouragement of terrorism (they should not even be allowed to fight with sticks and stones, these Palestinians), the Israelis getting weapons from USA and blowing kids into pieces and wiping out entire families picnicking on the beach is “OK”. An investigation is conducted, the conclusion? It was done by Palestinians. I see. So there really is no blood on Israeli hands. Really, this is all a massive photo-op. I mean, Gaza is not some big prison inhabited by 1.5 million people, it’s a studio where the killing of some 1000 Muhammad al-Durra s are enacted, or or the shooting of Tom Hurndall… or Brian Avery or the running-over of Rachel Corrie… purity of arms!!! USA/Israel good, HezbAllah/Syria/Iran bad.

  19. So you quote translated bits and pieces, as proof? Ah yes. Typical Western ignorance, by which you and your ilk expect/ed USA to secure Iraq and Afghanistan, Israel to maintain its occupation of 1967 territories, the Russians to brutally massacre Chechens and not be retaliated against, the Serbs to ethnically cleanse the Bosnians and come out victorious, and on and on it goes.

    By the way, I am curious as to why you chose to accept the first opinion (“regret”) as the more reliable of the two (the other one being, the denial of regret)? Assuming that what you say is true, that his words are to be understood as an expression of regret, isn’t it just as probable that he really did not “regret” it? I mean, it’s 50-50, is it not? But for your own agendas and arguments you ignore the other 50%. You also ignore the fact that he could be merely doing what politicians do. Instead, you insist that either he did regret it, or if he did not mean the first, then he is just undecided.

    For those who are tired of Mideast violence from all sides, and I assume you are (or maybe you are just tired of seeing Israel’s enemies get up on their feet one by one), I do recommend an entertaining watch, Kingdom of Heaven (although there are some historical inaccuracies and hollywood oversimplification). By the way, the SYRIAN actor Ghassan Massoud is ever brilliant in his role as Salahuddin (called “Saladin”). An entertaining film. I recommend it to the tired amongst us.

  20. I’m curious why you don’t deny that he said what was quoted. You’ve translated his speeches before, so tell us what he said. Or if you have a link to an arabic transcript and I can get some friends who read Arabic to do it.

    Or maybe he just actually said it.

    “He’s just merely doing what politicians do” — so he said it but didn’t mean it, (could this be Nasrallah’s tears?) and because he said it and didn’t mean it that means he never said anything “remotely like regret.”

    So, did he say what was quoted or not? Or did he say it and not mean it (it was on Lebanese TV, so if he said it and didn’t mean it, he was lying to the Lebanese people?) Or maybe he just said it and that’s that. Hm. Now I’m confused as well as tired.

  21. Where did I not deny it?

    I said: “Where did Nasrallah even remotely regret the operation that you, like the Saudi royal family, call an “adventure”?”

    Or if you have a link to an arabic transcript and I can get some friends who read Arabic to do it.
    Here you go: An audio version of the speech. Let us see “Abdul”‘s translation.

    “He’s just merely doing what politicians do” — so he said it but didn’t mean it, (could this be Nasrallah’s tears?) and because he said it and didn’t mean it that means he never said anything “remotely like regret.”
    Again, where did I say he said it??!??! Quit putting words into my mouth. Moreover, that wasn’t your implication. Your implication was that he was clearly expressing regret. How can he express “regret” (allegedly) when he goes around and says he does not regret the operation? … Please enlighten me. The problem is that people in the West, with their ignorant worldview, think that a logistical/field analysis of the war (from a post-war perspective – something that Nasrallah was doing in this interview and in all his interviews throughout the war) is equivalent to “regret”. This is the reason USA will never be able to “pacify” Afghanistan or Iraq. This is the reason Israel will never be able to continue its oppression of Palestinians without receiving bloody teeth. By the way, you might also be interested to know that in the same interview (I trust “Abdul” will translate that too) Nasrallah points out that HezbAllah had sent poll conductors to check on the general mood of the refugees, to assess how long they could carry on without the refugee card being used/turned by the government against them. The poll conductors were amazed that public opinion among those who had lost homes our relatives, was calling for more strikes against Israel and the continuation of the resistance. Smells of regret, eh?

    So, did he say what was quoted or not?
    Since you trust your friend “Abdul”‘s opinion so much, I leave it to him to answer that question. I would like to know what his reply is, though. And looking forward to debunking it.

    Oh, by the way, you mentioned the West Bank withdrawal. Actually, your argument is misleading. Had there been real willingness for a withdrawal from West Bank, this war would not have taken place. During the war, outposts and construction of houses in the West Bank was increased. In other words, Israel’s war in Lebanon (and the outrage over the bombardment of the north) were used as a cover for the ongoing annexation of the West Bank and the war crimes in Gaza. Now you can go on naively (or desperately) arguing that it was HezbAllah’s fault, but in the end the choice was with Olmert & Peretz & co., and they made a clear choice. That choice is not really indicative of a West Bank withdrawal being in the “works”. And if you were really thinking that a withdrawal from the WB could take place in the span of a year or 10 years, then you are either naive or, I hate to say this, STUPID. The hysteria over the Gaza “disengagement” was meant to exactly make a withdrawal from the WB so difficult and unwanted for a leader that he would do anything – even go on a killing spree in Lebanon – to prevent it. This is not to rid the leadership of any guilt, or of its desire to continue its occupation, and even EXPAND it.

  22. Here, I will translate it for you:

    “I say this was God’s will, because if there were a 1% chance [that the operation would lead to such a widescale war] we would not have gone and captured those soldiers, and if we had not done so, the war would not have taken place in July but in October.” (43 minutes into the audio file)

    I will leave the previous section for “Abdul” to translate, to put this paragraph into context. Decontextualization is of course the great Western produce by which the Americans think they can build their empire in the Middle East and Asia.

    I say, let Abdul translate from the 37th minute to the 43rd minute of that audio file.

    Remind me again what the definition of regret was?

  23. Your answers above tell me all I need to know. It is very clear what was said and what was meant. Thank you.

  24. I think it was pretty well established that the only thing Olmert really offered was a unilateral West Bank withdrawl. God knows he offers very little else as a leader.

    I am no expert on Isreali politics, but unilateral withdrawl was certainly mentioned repeatedly in the press both before and after the war. I’ll leave it up to those more familiar with Israeli politics to respond more – all I can do is link decontextualized western press. And you know how they are …

  25. I think it was pretty well established that the only thing Olmert really offered was a unilateral West Bank withdrawl.
    Yes yes, of course, offers in the air are really nice things. And supposing that the Gaza “disengagement” means that Gaza is not the world’s largest prison where crimes continue to be committed with impunity, where there is no real control of the borders or the territorial waters, where extrajudicial assassinations continue, where the IAF is practicing a new policy of bombing residential buildings, Lebanon war style, and the latest news? They have been experimenting with a new bomb that causes much bigger damage in a smaller radius. Guess we should be also grateful for that “offer”. Ooops.

    Before you go on a rant about the “convergence” plan (WB withdrawal), please DO read the nearly unanimous analyses by scholars and analysts alike on some of the reasons that the capture of the 2 soldiers in Lebanon was met with such a reaction. Other than the arguments of “deterrance” and “self-defense”, of course. Moreover, the “convergence” plan is not a WB withdrawal as per the 1967 borders, so let us not pass it off as such. And as I mentioned, these were just words. There was no proof whatsoever that there was a real inclination to actually carry out such a withdrawal (isn’t the Lebanon reaction is any indication of the extent of willingness of Olmert and his cronies to apply the “convergence” plan? Oh but I see you are still busy blaming H.A for the Palestinians’ plight. Like H.A was also responsible for the apartheid and annexation wall. I bet you will also argue that poverty in Israel is the result of H.A’s existence… such is obsession, I suppose).

    These are 2 pretty accurate summaries (w/ maps) of the “convergence” plan (“unilateral withdrawal” as you call it) the “annulment” of which (as if it was actually seriously discussed, let alone actively planned for) you lament and blame HezbAllah for:

    http://stopthewall.org/analysisandfeatures/1157.shtml

    http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article4750.shtmlEnjoy.

  26. Whether there was going to be a withdrawl or not we can be fairly certain there won’t be one now. Whether Hezbullah is to “blame” I leave up to the Lebanese, but it is a consequence. Perhaps it is only talk that was derailed. I’m no Cassandra. But withdawl isn’t likely to happen in the near future now. And I think that is a shame. (And also seems stupid on Israel’s part.)

  27. I was interested in the Bassil quote –

    “No, Nasrallah’s first comment was an admission,’’ said Gebran Bassil, a member of the Free Patriotic Movement, a Christian party that is allied politically with Hezbollah. “He didn’t want all this to happen.’’

    Did he say that or no? Did he mean it or no?

  28. Whether there was going to be a withdrawl or not we can be fairly certain there won’t be one now.
    Why is the reality TODAY more important than what WOULD’VE happened if the war hadn’t taken place, in terms of analysis? It is not. There is every indication that the “convergence” was 1) not a withdrawal as it was portrayed; 2) a withdrawal was not going to happen. Moreover, the implications of the “convergence” being carried out would’ve been far more far-reaching than the maintenance of the status quo would/will. If it was never going to happen to begin with, how can the non-happening of the convergence be a “consequence”? Again, you are using the term “withdrawal” for the convergence plan. Withdrawal, as a political/legal term, is different from what was meant by convergence. But I see that you choose to focus on the more obvious issue, that it did not happen, as if the fact that it did not happen is related to the Lebanon war. Do you realize that if you insist on such an argument, you need to prove that there is a direct correlation? I don’t see you providing any such correlation.

    Oh, now you are relying on others’ quotes as to whether or not Nasrallah did mean to convey regret. What happened? I thought you were so sure that Nasrallah had actually SAID it…😀

  29. I don’t really know your game. You confirm the quotes I linked and now somehow the quotes your confirm aren’t accurate? I’m really confused.

    You asked where he “even remotely regreted” the “adventure.” I provided some translated quotes from the decontextualized western media. You provided your own translation which is essentially the same as the direct quotes. I think that indicated something remotely like regret. You don’t. Ok. But I don’t see there is any argument about the quotes, is there? Or is there some big difference in your translation from what was published in those links or did you just have an urge to use a new emoticom?

    And what about Bassil quote? Maybe he was reading decontextualized Western media?

    Or was it just political speak, like you suggested?

    Or, maybe he just actually said it.

    And I can’t wait to hear what Abdul has to say about him getting “prosperous” off the poor southerners. I don’t doubt that will get a pretty good laugh.

  30. You confirm the quotes I linked
    Where did I do that?!??!

    You provided your own translation which is essentially the same as the direct quotes.
    It is not the same. Saying that had the war not taken place in July it would’ve occured in October. Preceding that statement was a discussion of the possibility of a war in October, and Nasrallah insisted that an October war at Israel’s initiative could’ve dealt a serious blow to HezbAllah, from which it might not have recovered. How exactly is this “regret”?

    Maybe he was reading decontextualized Western media?
    Or maybe trying to present his party’s unofficial (and soon to be official?) alliance with HezbAllah to his constituents.

    Or, maybe he just actually said it.
    I gave you the audio file for the speech, better than a text transcript in Arabic.

    You will not give your arguments any more legitimacy by your reference to the southerners who defeated Israel, which has one of the world’s most powerful armies, as “poor”.

    You seem so eager to make a point – whatever it is – by trying to “prove” that Nasrallah expressed “regret”. What is your point? And why are you so stuck on his words now? I thought you claimed he was a deceiver, who had held his people hostage? I thought you said the people of Lebanon do not support H.A. Who are the people of Lebanon? At least 50% of them are Shi’ites (unless you go by the 1932 census.. haha!), add to that a great many Sunnis who DO NOT support Hariri’s Saudi royal family “future movement”, add to that a great many Christians who do not subscribe to Geagea’s Israeli-Lebanese alliance against the “Arab world” (who are out to suck Jewish and Christian blood, and remember, Lebanon is not an Arab country. Oh, except that the Lebanese speak Arabic, have an Arab culture and traditions, eat Arab food, and on and on it goes. Or maybe they are French. Or some sort of a superior race, a la God’s chosen people, who are not bound by the morality that applies to everyone else. My apologies. I am straying a bit too far from the issue at hand). Anyway, whatever your point is, or whatever point you are trying to construct, the bottom line is that the people supported H.A before he uttered this so-called “regretful” statement that is your new-found obsession (I think you are better off sticking to Samir Kuntar), and they will continue to support it. Now if you were desperately looking for ways to show that H.A lost the war, you’re better off sticking to and glorifying Olmert’s ACTUAL statements, like, H.A lost the war ‘cos Nasrallah is hiding in a bunker and I’m going around! Ha ha! What a pathetic bunch!

  31. You used the word “poor” to refer to the other citizens of Lebanon (not just southerns, it is true) and now you blame for it? Do you read, or remember what you write?

    I am not stuck on what Nasrallah said (that’s a kind of a rhetorical tic of yours – bring something up, argue it ad naseum and then when you are shown to be incorrect accuse the other of “obsession” or the like. You might be able to take something for that.) You wrote that Nasrallah never expressed anything remotely like regret, then lectured me on western decontexualization (I’m waiting for philosophical hermenutics and simotics of yellow.) I simply posted some things indicating why it appeared to me you were wrong. An apology or a least a remote expression of regret would suffice.

  32. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Lebanon: Politics and the Finer Arts

  33. Forget it Anarchistian,

    They are still not over the fact that a Western Power got pwned in Lebanon, even though Lebanon paid a dear price for such a victory which threatens the essence of Israel itself and the regimes around it (US satellites)

    Regret? What Regret? Regret that Israel killed over 1200 civilians and got away with it? Yes this is a regret… regret is to see Israel not going to diplomacy but mass bombardment with the blessing of US tax payers to bomb the crap out of Lebanon while Rice was parading that this is the New Middle East? We do not want their democracy, Lebanon is more democractic than they are… even though it got a sectarian basis, but still democractic.

    They are victims of the Media black out.

    Going back to your post, they all suck in Lebanon those capitalists….8th of March = 14th of march = bullshit. On the other hand, the war of Lebanon reflected a Lebenese Front versus the IDF. Civilian resistence played the greater part of winning against those racists. (I hate all those politicians… Aoun celebrated that he engineered the Tel el Za3tar massacre on al-Jazeera’s War of Lebanon. Jaajaa still dreams of a Christian Lebanon, they all should be locked up in prison as war lords for the innocent lives taken out… but of course after the Israeli officials for their daily war crimes since 1948. Heck, come to think of it, the Palestinians have been fighting terrorism since 1923. (Unless we include the Ottomon Empire, we have been fighting terrorism since the 17th Century in the Middle East.) .

    No War But Class War… and to the Western superiors in UK and USA, thank you for sending your tax moneys to Israel to bomb the hell out of us… remember diplomacy is an option, Israel declined. Welcome to corrupted Lebanon and Racist Israel===) I do believe racism pawns corruptopm.

    Hasta La Victoria Siempre
    MFL

  34. Rice was parading that this is the New Middle East
    Heh, but you gotta give her that, she was praying for the Lebanese.🙂

    I am not a big fan of Aoun’s, for all we know when he and his cronies come to power it might/will be just as bad and they would practice as much censorship as the current Saudi royal family satellite “majority” ruling the country, but that by no means implies that this act of censorship is justifiable.

    Aoun’s position on the Palestinians in Lebanon independent of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and its implications, is pretty despicable, but there are a number of reasons for it, equally disgusting. First of all, he is an ultra-nationalist, and all ultra-nationalists are by definition racist and excluding of “the other”. Second, he has, despite his claims of being principled, allowed his aspirations and ambitions to cloud whatever he claims to represent. Actually, maybe this point doesn’t apply to his views on the Palestinians, since he has always had a quite racist view of them.

  35. Actually if you watch al-Jazeera’s War on Lebanon, when they are talking about the National Movement (the 2 year war), you would see Aoun (in 2001) taking pride about the Tel-el Zaatar massacre , and with the biggest smile you would see him saying: “I engineered it”… he was happy that a massacre of 3000 women, eldars, and children were slaughtered in cold-blooded.

    I hate them all!

  36. I assume that since you repeated what you said, you thought I was arguing against it. (I was not).

    What a weather, eh?!

  37. Pingback: This is your Lebanon - Episode VI « Blogging the Middle East

  38. Episode III is great!

  39. quite a discussion going on here, i have no further insights, but great read

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