November 22, 2006


Hezbollah's tactical Christian ally Michel Aoun has asked members of his party to attend Pierre Gemayel's funeral in Beirut tomorrow, the same day that Hezbollah is threatening to take to the streets.

The "alliance" between Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement and Hezbollah is not a sincere one. It may or may not be able to withstand coming events. I seriously doubt it has any long-term viability. I met two members of Aoun's movement who wanted to kill Hezbollah members even before Nasrallah strapped a suicide-bomb belt on Lebanon this summer.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at November 22, 2006 02:25 PM

Aoun cut a deal with Syria before he returned to Lebanon.

What did Aoun get in the deal? He got to return to Lebanon without being killed by Syria, which is a lot nowadays. He also got a promise to become President after Lahoud if he plays by Syrian rules. And it seems Aoun would have sold his own mother to become President, so he signed on the dotted line.

What did Syria get in the deal? It got Aoun to split the Christian community and to bulk up the size of the opposition. It got the opposition to look like more than just a bunch of bearded Neanderthals from Hezbollah.

How do we know this? It makes so much sense. Why did the Syrians so far spare a guy who went to war against them 15 years ago? It isn't out of an inclination for forgiveness, believe me.

But now the little General has the same problem that Lahoud and Nasrallah have. They can't distance themselves from Syria, they can't wake up and do the right thing. If they do, they will also end up dead in their cars. It's like the mob, they say you don't leave the mob and survive. If Aoun gives up on Hezbollah and backs Siniora, he better get himself a nice pair of walking shoes, some Nike's with good support, because the day he gets in a car after showing Syria the bird, BABOOM!

Posted by: NoSleep at November 22, 2006 03:13 PM

Debbie Livni, Israel’s flamboyant foreign minister, just gave an interview to reporters in Jerusalem: interestingly, she said Israel supports the “moderate” coalition government of Lebanon led by Prime Minister Fuad Saniura.

This is what she had to say:

"The news from Lebanon is another example of the kind of region, the kind of
neighborhood we are living in," Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said. "This
is between moderates and extremists."

Notice the use of the “tough neighborhood” metaphor used by Donald Rumsfeld back in March 2003 to justify the inaction of US troops standing idly while looters pillaged museums at will and burned Catholic churches and Sunni mosques across Baghdad.

This expression is actually a staple of American rightwing discourse: the south side of Chicago and the suburbs of Detroit are “tough neighborhoods” infested by Niggers and Ayrabz living lazily off welfare subsidies while honest (read: White) blue collars are working overtime!

Interestingly, Debbie Livni happens to be the daughter of Eitan Livni, a Polish-born member of the Irgun terrorist group, and one of the cofounders of the rightwing Likud party.

You may recall that Irgun was an openly Fascist Jewish organization, armed and funded by the Duce Benito Mussolini during World War II...

2nd Generation Fascists of the world unite!

Posted by: Dr Vic Vega at November 22, 2006 03:19 PM

Nice try, Vic, lumping Fouad Seniora in with Jewish terrorists and the long-dead dictator of Italy. Your jackassery is limitless.

I've told you this before, but what the hell, I'll say it again for the benefit of everyone else:

Last year 20 or so Lebanese bloggers plus myself met at a cafe in Achrafieh. We discussed all sorts of topics, and one of them was you. All 20 of us from different backgrounds and sects agreed that you are an asshat and a buffoon. Enjoy your notoriety.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 22, 2006 04:10 PM

How do we know this? It makes so much sense.

That kind of thinking, when combined with a willingness to ignore inconvenient facts and coupled to a merciless will to destroy, is at the root of many evils in the Middle East.

Posted by: Solomon2 at November 22, 2006 04:12 PM

Actually, Solomon, that theory does make a great deal of sense. Which "inconvenient facts on the ground" does it deny?

I agree with what you're saying in general about conspiracy theories, but I don't think it applies in this particular case.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 22, 2006 04:17 PM

This is what I'm talking about: Lebanese make fun of Dr. Vic Vega in the comments here.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 22, 2006 04:19 PM

Dr Vic Vega,

Here, here! And let's not forget all those secret fascist jewish organizations, armed and funded with nazi bayer aspirins trying to poison ayrabz living lazily off welfare and US subsidies provided through UNRWA.

Posted by: redaktør at November 22, 2006 04:19 PM

Your pardon, NoSleep. I made a general statement. I don't think it applies to the line of thinking you presented to us.

Posted by: Solomon2 at November 22, 2006 04:35 PM

Notice the use of the “tough neighborhood” metaphor used by Donald Rumsfeld back in March 2003 to justify the inaction of US troops standing idly while looters pillaged museums at will and burned Catholic churches and Sunni mosques across Baghdad.

The Israelis have been saying the “tough neighborhood” line for decades. And they are right. It calls to mind the quote… was it Bashir Gemayal?—who said, “This is not Denmark here, and it is not Switzerland,” or something to that effect.

I’m not even going to comment on the ignorant Irgun statement.

Posted by: Zak at November 22, 2006 06:01 PM

Zak: “This is not Denmark here, and it is not Switzerland,” or something to that effect.

"This is not Norway here, and it is not Denmark." Bashir Gemayel, uncle of the late Pierre Gemayel, both assassinated by political enemies.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 22, 2006 06:09 PM

Thanks, Michael. I was close. And yes, both assassinated by political enemies that were most likely Syrian or backed by the Syrians.

Posted by: Zak at November 22, 2006 06:16 PM

Vic is tragic. You can't even get the name of Israel's foreign minister correct, before you try pathetically to link her to some political group that fought during Israel's early independece, and that hasn't been in existence for decades.

Israel's foreign minister is Tzipi Livni, not Debbie Livni. Now why don't you run off now and go post somewhere more sympathetic to your views, like Al-Qaeda chatrooms.

Posted by: Jono at November 22, 2006 06:33 PM

Best to ignore the Quack and the filth he peddles. He's a troll of the lowest ordure.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at November 23, 2006 12:21 AM

dear Mr. totten,
Do you think it is logical that if 2 persons claim that they are with aoun and hate hezbollah, apply to all people who support aoun?
at least be objective.
some people are blind to death, which make the earth so unpeacful, the only solution is read and read and read history.

Posted by: cynthia at November 23, 2006 03:36 AM

I believe Aoun is sincere in whatever he has with Hizballah.

That's just my opinion but I think Aoun wants the same as everyone in March 14th wants but is trying to achieve it in a different way.

I may be completely off the mark, but when many people wonder what does Aoun benefit from Hizballah's alliance that March14th cannot give him, I believe it is the signature of hizballah that they will limit their military operation to the three points mentioned in the agreement.
And their signature,not word, (knowing that both might not mean much) that they will not invent new reasons to sustain a war if Israel returns the prisoners, Shbaa crappy land and stops flying over Lebanon ...

As I said maybe (as all of you Americans believe) Hizballah cannot be held to their word but I believe Aoun (wanting to replicate Hariri's moderate success in the 1996 April agreement) thinks that by offering Hizballah Christian alliance and a possibility to lay down their weapons because they "won" and "accomplished their goals" instead of "because their enemy made them so" will make that inevitable process much smoother and less risky.

I believe it would have been worth it for someone to try and help accomplish that, and if Hizballah would turn out to be liars, Israel and the US can still have attacked them as easily and taken more prisonners and more lands like sheb3a ...

It's not like sheb3a has some strategic value that would turn the tides of war or that the four prisoners released will form an army that will help defeating Israel.

Unfortunately not a single other party in or outside Lebanon took it that way regardless of how much the FPM tried to repeat it.

It is also possible that Aoun is stupid enough to have done all this just for the presidency, without noticing that siding with Syria after it had fallen out of grace and with Lebanese pro Syrians after they became a minority cannot get him the presidency because its the majority and not the minority that decides it :-)

I don't believe he is that stupid, but he could be.

Posted by: Anonymous Leb at November 23, 2006 03:49 AM
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