December 02, 2006

Coup attempt in progress in Lebanon

By Abu Kais

Hizbdemo1 The (now partial) blockade of the government Serail remains in effect, with Hizbullah security agents refusing to remove their tents because “they only follow orders from Hizbullah”.  Bearded Hizbullah singers are keeping teenagers and children entertained by performing songs about “Feltman’s government”, the “heroic resistance” and the “evil Zionists”.  Hizbullah TV keeps the adults informed by playing news bulletins on loud speakers and on large screens. On the second day, yellow flags and balloon tubes are complementing the show of Lebanese flags.

Hizbullah is now referring to itself as “the Lebanese national opposition”.

The Sunni Arab regimes are up in arms-- at least verbally and behind the scenes-- over what appears to be a Shia uprising and blatant Syrian-Iranian attempt to take over power. Hizbullah leaders think that they can get away with a protest that outwardly looks peaceful, but is really a coup d’etat attempt by an armed Shia militia against the country’s legitimate government and Sunni leadership. Using the Shia community has succeeded. But using Michel Aoun as a Christian cover for this Shia intifada has failed. Many Christians stayed home, and Aoun had to justify his constituents’ lack of interest in this anti-government rebellion by playing it secular.

HizbaounThere is nothing secular about what transpires in downtown Beirut, precisely because this is Lebanon, the home of 18 sects that share power according to intricate coexistence formulas. Shia Nabih Berri and Hizbullah arrived to power through the same elections that Aoun and March 14 won.  Regardless of what we think of the 2005 electoral law, they were elected according to a sectarian formula, and though they are supposed to represent the entire country upon their election, all deputies are viewed as their sects’ representatives. For that, it is unorthodox and quite dangerous for Hizbullah and Aoun to circumvent this confessional democracy by imposing their own kind of government on the Sunnis of Lebanon.

The ironic part is that Hizbullah claims the cabinet does not have legitimacy because it no longer represents the Shia sect. Even if we submit that this is true, and that the imbalance did not result from Hizbullah and Amal refusing to participate in a government they don’t dominate, Hizbullah and Amal cannot constitutionally claim that the Sunni leadership needs to change while still claiming to represent all the Shia of Lebanon. Not without new elections. The only way for them to find out if they deserve to stay is through elections, and the time for that has not come yet. The legitimacy that Hizbullah feel they have from their own constituents is the same that the opposing camp enjoys and that was given to them by their own constituents. Aoun and Hizbullah cannot demand “another Sunni” to replace a popular Sunni prime minister. They do not have that right in sectarian Lebanon. And nobody is stopping them from using the institutions to express and act on their grievances, if they indeed they're national ones.

But then, Hizbullah never felt that they drew their legitimacy from elections-- they are a religious party with followers who vote them into public office out of religious duty and/or intimidation. There are 150,000 Hibzullah "supporters" on the militia's payroll (according to Walid Jumblatt). Their MPs, just like those tent dwellers who refuse to follow the orders of the Lebanese army, only answer to their clerical leadership, which answers only to the Wali al-Faqih (the supreme leader) in Iran. That is why Hizbullah can never be a fair player in Lebanese politics. Its political structure as well as its raison d’etre – a jihadist militia with a political agenda— prevents it from playing by the rules of democracy, let alone Lebanese democracy. Do not be fooled by Hizbullah members’ sudden love for the Lebanese flag. They were following orders. And that flag is interestingly never used on the coffins of their fighters. Nasrallah likes to use it to make his protest seem patriotic, or as patriotic as a March 14 demonstration.

Muftiserail In reality, there is little difference between what Hizbullah is trying to do and what Syrian intelligence did when they had direct control of all Lebanese institutions. The Syrian regime kept the Sunnis of Lebanon in check by occasionally obstructing Rafik Hariri’s projects and sponsoring Sunni fundamentalists to weaken the Sunni Mufti. Hariri was killed precisely because he was going to openly join the anti-Syrian opposition in the country, bringing with him many in his community. Defeating him through elections did not work in 2000 because he ended up sweeping the vote. Killing him was the only option for Bashar, who wanted to “break the country over the heads of those who opposed his orders.”

And speaking of Syrian intelligence, Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh said yesterday that “armed Syrian elements” were stationed along one of the roads leading to the government building. Hizbullah reportedly had plans to storm the building accompanied by those elements, prompting Siniora to call the Saudi King to intervene. Other reports (LBC) said that pro-government groups were getting ready to move to the area to remove the blockade by force if necessary.

So what now? What is the next step for March 14?

This blogger recommended a march to Baabda. I think March 14 wants to discourage any form of street protests, so they will probably not resort to more street action. Hamadeh said that March 14 are considering going to parliament for another vote of confidence in the cabinet. They will probably get it, although Hizbullah yesterday threatened they would resign from parliament as well if their demands are not met (Aoun today denied it). Hamadeh also said that the parliament majority would try to form a committee to recommend Lahoud be put on trial. 

Journalist Fares Khashan from the pro-Hariri al-Mustaqbal has a new plan for March 14 (nothing new here, we’ve been screaming some of these things for over a year):

1-    Alliance with independent Shias.
2-    Respond to Hizbullah allegations about the government’s role during the war.
3-    Insist on a “basket of solutions” that takes into consideration the demands of the entire Lebanese population, and not just a quarter of it.
4-    Work on trying Lahoud before the higher council through a petition signed by the parliament majority.
5-    Resolve the issue of Hizbullah’s weapons. “Hizbullah is an army, and armies don’t demonstrate. By taking to the street to topple the government, they are staging a coup d’etat.”
6-    Start thinking about the upcoming elections, heed the demands of the Shia independents in the South and the Bekaa and provide favorable conditions for their voters so that they’re not intimidated by Hizbullah’s weapons.

Finally, Khashan thanked the “besiegers” of the Grand Serail for “liberating Christians from the illusion of Aoun’s power, for freeing Lebanese from the prison of Hizbullah’s taboos, and for freeing Lebanese politicians from the prison of authoritativeness that almost made them forget that Nabih Berri is but the head of the Amal movement, with whom Rafik Hariri was upset before he was martyred.”

Update. Anton Efendi has an excellent post on Aoun's "super genius".

One thing Aoun shares with Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah is complete contempt for the complex Lebanese system. With that comes a fundamental lack of understanding of and disregard for its deeply enshrined rules. That leads to devastating consequences not just on Aoun, or the Maronites, or the Christians, but the entire country...

With Sunni-Shiite tension running high, with Iraq and Iranian interference in the background, Hezbollah wanted to make sure to give its own attempt at a coup a non-Shiite face. Enter Michel Aoun, who was the only major speaker at the rally (his speech by the way was incredibly unimpressive and barely coherent)! An abomination in the context of Lebanese politics if there ever was one. Hassan Nasrallah had another engagement in his bunker, and was more than satisfied to see Aoun in that spot. Nabih Berri wanted no part of this. Not even Salim Hoss, the pro-Syrian former PM wanted anything to do with this. He didn't show up. Nor did a Christian leader from Zahle, who belonged to the Aounist bloc in parliament, come to the rally. I wonder why!?.

Posted by Abu Kais at December 2, 2006 11:34 AM
Comments

Plan is good. Unfortunately, in typical Lebanese and Arab fashion, too little too late.

This was good a year ago, 3 months ago, even 2 weeks ago. It now will be seen as weakness and reactive and defensive.

Posted by: JoseyWales at December 2, 2006 12:17 PM

Excellent analysis.

This is exactly what many of us have been warning against: Hezbollah has zero respect for actual democracy, even when they claim to organize a "democratic peaceful protest".
Their allegiance is not to Lebanon, the state. There is no respect for the state's institutions whatsoever.

You also very astutely point out the double standard and hypocrisy in their claims to want to replace the sunni PM, when they refuse to accept anyone else "replace the shia ministers".

Finally, i hope all of those who argued that there was nothing wrong with freedom of expression and a peaceful demonstration are finally starting to see what you and others have been saying all along: This is a coup. Laying siege to the government building is illegal, borderline seditious.

Furthermore, this is yet another perfect example of why I keep calling HA thugs, blackmailers and bullies. They have refused time and again to negotiate anything. It's always their way or the highway. And they are willing to get their way at any cost, including threats of civil war.

I almost wish someone called their bluff. Instead of having Siniora cower in his office and make calls to the Saudi king, he should enforce the rule of law. Send the army to break the siege. Arrest anyone who is doing anything seditious. They want a civil war? Let em have it. Other groups were reportedly willing to march down to Beirut and break the siege by force yesterday. Yet others were willing to march to Baabda and lay siege there, demanding the resignation or ouster of Lahoud. Two can play at this game and I for one, am sick and tired of the government bending over backwards and giving in to these thugs and bullies.

Posted by: Bad Vilbel at December 2, 2006 12:22 PM

Until there is violence, and there has been none so far, Hezbollah is actually sponsoring a peaceful protest.

The Parliament has the right, under the constitution to declare no confidence in the government spurring new elections.

Hezbollah's protests are aimed at pressuring parliament to call the elections parliament is fully empowered to call.

Hezbollah, a group that 48% of Lebanese support more than they did before the war (28% support them less) expects to win the elections and replace the pro-US/pro-Israel government with a pro-Syria/pro-Iran government. That is fully constitutional.

82% of Lebanese named Israel as one of the two biggest threats to them. 60% named the United States. Iran and Syria are both considered the biggest threat by fewer than 30% of Lebanese.

After new elections, which can constitutionally be called at any time, Hezbollah is likely to introduce direct one-person one-vote voting, so that Shiites have the exact amount of political power they deserve in a democracy.

The Christians along with their new champion Saudi Arabia (!) are the enemies of democracy here.

Posted by: Arnold Evans at December 2, 2006 12:58 PM

I have to agree with Arnold here, it's really weird seeing sunni government support as evidence for legitimacy.

Posted by: NM at December 2, 2006 01:10 PM

What struck me as most odd was that Malik Abdallah was called in to quell the tension.

I only hope this is a wake up call to the Khalij to take a more pro-active effort at making positive changes in the region using something other than money. It's obvious the US can't completely protect them any more.

Not only do they have to deal with a weakened US (which is partially of their making), but they must also deal with a rising Iran, Syria, and fundamentalist movement.

The uprising in Beirut coupled with the Shia electoral victories in Bahrain must be having the GCC incredibly worried.

I only wonder what Cheney had to say on his recent trip.

Posted by: Charles Malik at December 2, 2006 01:18 PM

I honestly do not understand how Arnold Evans and NM can say that the government is opposed to democracy. These people came to power through parliamentary elections, fair and square. They have done nothing but compromise with HA and Aoun. They command a majority in parliament, even today.
Let's take it to a no confidence vote. I am pretty sure the government would survive. Then what? Hezbollah will shut up about this? Will that make them happy? Not likely.
Nasrallah has said time and again that he will stop at NOTHING to topple down what he terms "Feltman's government". You hear that? NOTHING. Today, it's pseudo-peaceful. I can guarantee you it ain't staying that way for long.

And don't even get me started on the whole "Feltman's government". The hypocrisy of that, coming from people who make no attempt to hide their relationship with Tehran is beyond belief.

Posted by: Bad Vilbel at December 2, 2006 01:51 PM

When the Christians voted for Aoun, they did not know he was going to turn in this pro-Syrian, Hezbollah ass-licker demagogue. Had they know better, they would have voted otherwise.

The Christians have always and will always be the most nationalists among the Lebanese. The bottom line is that if there was elections today, Aoun would lose the Christian vote. The poor Christian participation to these demonstration show that Aoun's popularity is all but indemn in his community.

Posted by: ENoug BS at December 2, 2006 01:51 PM

Ceterum censeo, Hizbollah delenda est.

Posted by: TallDave at December 2, 2006 02:36 PM

Poor Christian representation in the demo? Who told you this? Future TV?

The currently junta that is in power may ally themselves with Syria again a few years down the line, just like they did in the past, when it suits them. It is because of their collaboration with the Syrian occupation that the Syrians were able to stay in Lebanon for so long. It was under their watch that $40 billion debt was created, and it was them that voted in the Cabinet that Hezbollah was a legitimate resistance.

It is also them that wish to rule Lebanon like the Saudi Royal family rules Saudi Arabia. With their Made in Syria electoral law they disenfranchise Christians in Lebanon, and don't seem really concerned with it. They pushed the Shias into a corner, as they did with anyone else that dares oppose their corrupt rule.

They are allowed to demonstrate, but when anybody else does, they are un-patriotic. But remember, them, the ones kissing Ghazi Kanaan's boots for decades, are the real patriotic Lebanese.

This junta's problems were never Syria, but rather Lahoud. They didn't want to have to share power with anyone else in Lebanon. Once they realized that the Syrians couldn't guarantee them a monopoly of power in Lebanon anymore, they jumped ship and headed to France.

They are going to learn the hard way that no group in Lebanon can dominate the others. Too bad they are making Lebanon suffer in the process, but it is something that must be done if we want to remain free men. We didn't get rid of the Syrians and their intelligence headquarters in Anjar to get that replaced by Qoraytem.

You can keep yapping about Syria and Iran all you want, but we know this is your tactic just to ensure Western support. For those that love freedom in Lebanon, the fight will continue until we break free from our chains.

Posted by: Omega80 at December 2, 2006 02:59 PM

You know, somewhere behind the scenes, there a Mossad handlers and a Jewish influence.

Yes.

Posted by: andygarcia at December 2, 2006 03:06 PM

I don't know if you're serious andygarcia or not - but why is it in Israel's interest to have a government in Lebanon LED BY Hizbollah? The same Hizbollah that attacked Israel this summer, which led to a disastrous war? Come on, do some thinking about the current political situation, instead of resorting to fantasies derived from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (a forgery perpetrated by the Tsarist secret police!)

Posted by: Rebecca at December 2, 2006 03:12 PM

It's not a forgery if it's true: Dan Rather.

Bad news is always in the interest of the Jewish leadership. Confusion and terror leads to power. It is all part and parcel to the plan to take over the Middle East from the Nile to the Euphrates.

7 million Israelis will take over an area about the size of the old Soviet Union and subjugate millions under their thumb with the help of their Jewish mind tricks.

Posted by: andygarcia at December 2, 2006 03:37 PM

I'm too disgusted by some of the comments in here to reply.

Posted by: Bad Vilbel at December 2, 2006 03:49 PM

Oh man, for outsiders this is sooooo confusing :S

I read Abu Kais posting and I think he's completely right and in comes Omega-80 and that sounds like sense as well.

I, obviously, hope the hizb won't get his hands on more power in lebanon (as my neighbor) - that would truely put this region into far more tension than it is already with most probably worse results as last summer.

For my lebanese friends I hope you'll all be spared from a theocracy supporting fundamentalist group - (i've followed the "lebanon - islamic state" thread on the lfpm forum) - because I wouldn't wish a second Iran upon anybody.

Posted by: tsedek at December 2, 2006 03:57 PM

Omega,

For those that love freedom in Lebanon

Surely that's incompatible with support for Hizbollah; they are quite illiberal. Perhaps you merely mistyped and meant to write "for those who love terrorism in Lebanon."

This smacks of the letter from Ahmadinejad to Bush, decrying the loss of civil liberties in... yes, America, not the country that executes 14-year-old girls for being "unchaste."

When a country that executes homosexuals is criticizing the country where the debate is whether homosexual marriages should be recognized by the state for being insufficiently libertine, "Orwellian" seems not merely apt but perhaps even inspiration to the speechwriters.

Posted by: TallDave at December 2, 2006 04:05 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_of_Lebanon#Allocation_of_seats

That's a breakdown of seats allocated in the parliament

Shittes are alocated 27/128 seats, or roughly 21%

They make up at least 40-50% of the pop.

Posted by: NM at December 2, 2006 04:21 PM

Those who love freedom do not demonstrate with the Baath, Hezbollah and the SSNP.

As for Aoun, he can kiss his presidential dreams goodbye. He's finished, over, kaputt, nada. No Christian went to his failed putsch. He can pontificate on secularism in front of a horde of fanatical Shias as much as he want, he's history.

Hasta la vista darling.

Posted by: Enough BS at December 2, 2006 05:03 PM

tsedek,

Don't let Omega80's rhetoric fool you. Most of his comments although logical, are built on faulty assumptions and fallacies.

NM,

Shiite population in Lebanon does not make up 50% of the population. Just because you says it does doesn't make it so.

I have no problem with abolishing the sectarian system altogether. In which case, when it comes time to vote, if the Shia were really 50% of the population, I imagine they'd dominate the country and we'd have a Shia parliament and a Shia president. But those aren't the current rules or the current constitution. You can't claim to be supportive of the constitution and the state, and then decide to ignore whatever rules you choose to ignore.

Posted by: Bad Vilbel at December 2, 2006 05:05 PM

Hezbollah, a group that 48% of Lebanese support more than they did before the war (28% support them less) expects to win the elections and replace the pro-US/pro-Israel government with a pro-Syria/pro-Iran government. That is fully constitutional.

AE,

The current Lebanese government is “pro-Israel”?! What are you smoking, PCP? Just because the Seniora government doesn’t rabidly spew Israel-hate the likes of Hezbollah doesn’t make them pro-Israel? If they were pro-Israel wouldn’t they have diplomatic relations with Israel.

Posted by: Zak at December 2, 2006 05:17 PM

How are my arguments based on faulty assumptoins? I hate to talk to sectarian terms, but since Abu Kais's post is filled with sectarianism, im going to anyways.

Michel Aoun won 70% of the Christian vote in 2005. The Christians of Lebanon were the most to suffer under the Syrians, while Abu Kais likes to show that poor Hariri did, although he was the one man ruler of Lebanon for most of the 90's and $40 billion is missing. Either way, the Christians no longer want to be under anyone's boot, which is why they want a stronger leader in their name (Michel Aoun). The Christians in the "March 14" camp are in Parliament because of an un-fair electoral law that makes 2/3 of the Christian members of Parliament come to power as a result of Muslim votes.

Thus, those 2/3 would not see the light of day if the Future Movement doesn't instruct its voters to voter for them. Thus, they are basically employees of the Future Movement, and under a fair electoral law, none of them would make it to Parliament, because they don't represent the Christians of Lebanon. Of course the Future Movement loves this arrangment because it has 10's of Christian MP's as its employees, and is happy to see the Christians remain weak because they biggest competitor to the Sunnis of Lebanon since before independance has been the Maronites of Lebanon.

Do you think the Christians of Lebanon want to replace the Syrian boot on their necks with the Sunni boot? That is why all of your arguments are flawed. To the average Christian Lebanese, this is not about the U.S.A, not about France, not about Iran, not about Syria, not about Saudi Arabia. It is about the fact that they no longer want to be living under anyone's boot. They want their normal share of power just like everyone else in Lebanon has. The Shias of Lebanon have shown no inclination to want to put the Christians under their boot, but the Sunnis make it loud and clear this is what they want.

All their actions show that they want weak Christian political power. The actions of the Shias are total opposite. So who are the Christians of Lebanon going to support? Fellow Christian employees of the Future Movement and Sunnis that which to keep them weak and under the boot, or Shias who do not want to keep them oppressed and under the boot?

Once you get this point down cold, you will understand what is really going on. Those that are still yapping about Hezbollah, terrorism, war, Iran, Syria, and all in between, either do not know a hoot about what is going on in Lebanon, or know it but don't want to admit to it.

Regards

Posted by: Omega80 at December 2, 2006 05:26 PM

On a side note, I would like to remind everyone about how the "anti-Syrian" Walid Jumblat during the Souk el-Gharb offensive supported the Syrian Army and attacked Lebanese Army positions along with Palestinian militamen. Attacking his own National Army on orders from the Syrians, and he is a patriotic anti-Syrian now?! Let's not forget Samir Geagea, who's Lebanese Force's artillery was helping to bomb the Presidential Palace in Babdaa in support of a Syrian ground offensive to oust the last remaining free voice in Lebanon in 1990.

Let us not forget Hariri, who was dubbed "Syria's Foreign Minister" in the 1990's because he would tour world capitals on the behalf of Hafez al-Assad of Syria.

These are the Patriotic anti-Syrian Lebanese? No, these are the anti-Lahoud bunch who got mad at Syria when they realized that they would have to share power in Lebanon with Lahoud, which of course, since they don't want to share power with anybody, is something they could not accept. So they ran to Paris crying fowl, 30 years after Syria entered Lebanon. It took them 30 years, how amusing!

They are a bunch of corrupt traitors, and just watching Future TV makes you realize what a bunch of power-hungry, fuedal, sectarian bunch they really are!

As I said, look at Lebanon historially, no one sect has been able to dominate the others for long, EVER with foriegn power. The Americans even landed Marines in Beirut in 1958 in support of Camille Chamoun (Maronite). Therefore, no outside support, including American, will allow any Lebanese group to dominate the other. SO what you are seeing in Lebanon today is a little re-balancing act that has been going on for hundreds of years in Lebanon.

Anybody set on confronting historical forces out of their control is set to loose.

Posted by: Omega80 at December 2, 2006 05:35 PM

Omega and others,

It does not matter if 90% of the demonstrators are Christian, or if 90% of the population is Shia.

These are false arguments. We are talking about groups, AOUN and Hezbo, who both accepted Taef, the constitution, and the electoral law of 2000 (at least enough to participate in the process).

End of story. They're not happy, nobody's happy, I am not happy. Change has to come via the institutions and elections, otherwise it's chaos.

They don't like the rules or the constitution, propose constitutional change and/or a convention right now. At least explain and campaign on SOME CLEAR NOTION before you go to the streets with a baloney 1/3 + 1 crap. The average guy does not even know what that is all about.

You don't want to play by the rules don't, declare a revolution, don't give me this bullshit of playing by the rules. The only reason this protest is "legal" is because Hezbo is armed and the gvmnt gutless. Whatever frigging demo permit Hezbo has, nowhere in the world are demo guys allowed to jeopardize the security of govmnt offices and people.

PS BTW, there are many "acceptable" exceptions to one-man-one-vote, and Taef implicitly accepts that concept, that is not the issue here.

Posted by: JoseyWales at December 2, 2006 05:53 PM

Aoun represents 70% of the Christians? That was before he became a Hezbollah tool. And even then, he didn't represent 70% of the community.

People change.

Take Jumblat: he's not pro-Syrian anymore. Take Aoun: a guy who claimed to be anti-Syrian (although he brought nothing but trouble to his community) is now being praised by Bashar el Assad while officiers in the army who fought for him are still languishing in Syrian jails.

How low can you get?

Posted by: Enough BS at December 2, 2006 05:57 PM

Actually NM, they make up 29% according to a recent demographic study, and 31% according to other records (electoral rolls). 21% does not factor in what's called "real" representation, which also factors allies from other sects who support the platform. So, as a matter of fact, their representation is not too far from their actual demographic weight.

Posted by: G at December 2, 2006 07:48 PM

G, Can I have a link to the source that claims 29%?

Generally speaking the shia are very poor, which tends to cause high birth rates.
http://www.gl.iit.edu/govdocs/maps/Lebanon's%20main%20Religious%20Groups.gif

There's one source putting the shia pop at 41% at 1985.

Posted by: NM at December 2, 2006 09:45 PM

Omega80,
Lebanon will be under Western influence or Iran/Syrian influence. You may not like it, but small countries that are also weak are not very independent and don't have many options.

You just ignore this and focus on the Christian/ Sunni issue. That may be of interest to you, but you are playing tennis while the rest of the world is playing football. You are in the wrong game and don't understand the rules.

The fact is, you can't win even if you win. If tomorrow a HA/FPM government comes into power in Lebanon, international sanctions will soon follow and Lebanon will become a third world country. Also, you will have to deal with another war with Israel which will be against all of Lebanon since HA will be in power. This is a double whammy that Lebanon will have a hard time recovering from.

I hope you know what you are doing, but to me it sure seems that you are trashing Lebanon because of tour shortsightedness.

e

Posted by: e at December 2, 2006 10:03 PM

One thing Aoun shares with Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah is complete contempt for the complex Lebanese system.

Something's wrong here. Both Aoun and Nasrallah stand at the peak of Lebanon's political system. Thus it seems illogical to believe that they are in contempt of it. Rather, it is more logical to believe that they are in contempt of those who craft and follow such a system - the Lebanese themselves. "Deeply enshrined rules" are for the little people - politics is for big guys like Nasty Nasrallah and fight-for-me-not-you Aoun.

Posted by: Solomon2 at December 2, 2006 10:19 PM

E, no offense, but you don't know anything about what is going on in Lebanon, and you are not the only one in the comments section in that situation by the way.

Who is saying that we want an Hezbollah-FPM government? Did you get this information from somewhere, or are you just making it up, because it is not true.

JoseyWales, the irony in your argument is that the other side is allowed to demonstrate, but we are not. Why is that? Are their two classes of citizens in Lebanon and I didn't know, and you have to be in the first class in order to demonstrate? Who is besieging the government offices? Those are all rumors and false stories. You actually believe Hezbollah supporters were going to storm the government building with Syrian mukhabarat agents? I am sure you are wiser than to believe this kind of propaganda. Then again, propaganada is all that is coming out of the February 14 camp, because if the truth were to come out, they would not look that good.

Hezbollah will never be able to control the Lebanese government no matter how hard they tried, so stop spewing this non-sense. This demonstration is a way of showing February 14 that they can't cancel all the others out of the Lebanese equation. This is to show them that we are here, and that we are here to stay. That Lebanon will NEVER be ruled by one family, like they want it to be. In order for them to realize that their zero-sum games are what is killing the country, and unless they come together for a real dialogue with the rest of Lebanon on an equal level, nothing is going to change.

Israel has nothing to do with this whole thing, and no one even has it in mind one bit when we are forumlating what we do. This is an internal Lebanese affair, period. Israel is a seperate country and their concerns are not our concerns.

Posted by: Omega80 at December 2, 2006 11:02 PM

Hizballah operates like a Mafia with a political bent. For Lebanon i think the only solution is a partition of the country. Sooner or later the thugs will get the power and then Lebanon will be only a dream.

Posted by: lucklucky at December 3, 2006 01:25 AM

Omega-80,

~~~This demonstration is a way of showing February 14 that they can't cancel all the others out of the Lebanese equation.~~~

Why now? (I mean, in time of the tribunal-thing) and also: there was no way you could have brought about the change you have in mind (of which I still don't understand a thing) using the system? (like by not obstructing and/or stepping outta this system you seem to have agreed upon in 2000? but using it -motions of mistrust don't exist in lebanon? )

Posted by: tsedek at December 3, 2006 01:32 AM

Nasralla is a tool; furthermore, he is Ahmedinejad's tool. He has demontrated this at least twice. He kidnapped Israeli soldiers across Lebanse borders right after Hamas in Gaza did the same, both on orders from Ahmedinejad, who wanted to on a surface level, deflect public attention from his brazen flaunting of International Atomic Energy Commission decisions, and on a deeper level, to let disapproving governments know what kind of trouble he could stir up should they choose to press the issue.

Then, right after Al Sadr, Iran's Nasrallah clone in Iraq, had his ministers withdraw from the Maliki government, Nasrallah does the same. Hmmm...quite a coincidence, wouldn't you say? Or could it be so that Iran can work to leverage Iraq (or a large chunk of it, the chunk where the oil wells are) into a puppet client state at the same time that their little brother Syria is attempting to re-establish the same thing in Lebanon, and doing both at the same time keeps people from focusing too strongly on either one? There ARE differences, though; while Hezbollah lays a de facto siege to the freely elected Lebanese government, its also-Iranian-weapons-supplied clone, the Mahdi Army, goes on ethnic cleansing killing sprees, not just against Al Qaeda jihadis, Baathist remnants, and their supporters, but against all Sunnis that they can reach between US patrols, and in areas within which the US is not currently operating (just as Baathist remnants and Al Qaedan jihadis are attacking all Shiites) - the US military cannot be everywhere all the time with the number of forces it has at its disposal. The Mahdi Army dare not lay siege to the Maliki government esconsed in the Green Zone while the US is there, for it would end badly for them. Such an obstacle does not bar Hezbollah in Lebanon, so I'm just waiting to see how long it will be before their indiscriminate killings of non-Shiites and all those who are not Syrian boot-lickers starts.

Posted by: Salamantis at December 3, 2006 02:11 AM

Omega,

You want to debate or you want to play games? Who said the opposition has no right to demos? Re-read my post please, it's about arm-twisting by an armed group represented in parliament.

HA cannot control the gvmnt?? Are you serious? Even with 2 guys in the gvmnt they managed to take us to war, delay the tribunal and block changes in the security apparatus, with support from piece-of-shit-in-chief Lahoud.

Furthermore this is also about further bad precedents of settling scores in the street as a FIRST resort by a group who won't say CLEARLY what they want (other than more BLOCKING power).

(Nasrallah has ZERO credibility on gvmnt matters. E.g. It's not about the tribunal? Vote the tribunal then resign.)

Posted by: JoseyWales at December 3, 2006 05:28 AM

"Bad news is always in the interest of the Jewish leadership. Confusion and terror leads to power. It is all part and parcel to the plan to take over the Middle East from the Nile to the Euphrates.

7 million Israelis will take over an area about the size of the old Soviet Union and subjugate millions under their thumb with the help of their Jewish mind tricks.
Posted by andygarcia at December 2, 2006 03:37 PM"

I see you guys all ignored this post by "andygarcia", probably thinking it's too stupid to take seriously.

Stupid it is, of course, and as such, not deserving of a reply, but take it seriously, anyway. There seem to be untold millions of muslims around the world who are brainwashed into unthinking, animal hatred of the Jews and are only too happy to blame all their problems on them.

Hey, "andygarcia": do you, like that other rocket scientist Mel Gibson, also think that the "JEws are responsible for all the wars in the world?" How about the natural disasters: are they to blame, too?

I'm not just being flippant here. My point is that with the muslim judophobia being what it is (visceral, unreachable to reason), the wars in the ME will continue ad infinitum. And, since the Christians seem to be abandoning Lebanon in droves (and who can blame them?), another - bigger, more vicious - war in on the horizon. And of course Lebanon will loose. This beautiful, vibrant country will be ruined, yet again, then turned into another islamist-fundamentalist version of the Orwellian nightmare.

How can human beings be so stupid and so vile? (that's a rhetorical question, of course)

Posted by: pc at December 3, 2006 05:37 AM

I thought the soviet union was slightly bigger than the land between the Nile and Euphrates :)

"Who is saying that we want an Hezbollah-FPM government? "

God-Aoun himself said that he doesn't want Siniora. This is amusing. After deciding that he represents the Christian community, he thinks that he can decide who represents the Sunnni community.

Posted by: Enough BS at December 3, 2006 07:35 AM

Anyone who says Hezbollah is trying to participate peacefully and in good faith in the Lebanese government is either lying or stupid.

Remember the scorpion in the old proverb. They are what they are, you know what they are, and if you try to work with them it's your own fault when they turn on you.

Posted by: Stacy at December 3, 2006 08:15 AM

Omega80,
What does Aoun want then if not to replace the government? When you call for replacing the PM you are calling for replacing the government.
HA being in power is not going to be an Israeli problem or a problem for the West?

Maybe I don't understand much about Lebanon, but Abu Kais doesn't also? Enough of your shallow explanations. I understand at least Israel much better than you and let me tell you quite bluntly that what Aoun is doing is making the next war closer and very likely. Don't deceive yourself that this is not the case. Did you anticipate the July war? No you didn't, and you are also not anticipating the next one. Maybe you think Lebanon is better prepared this time around and that Aoun's magic and pixie dust will make everything ok.

You seem to live in a dream world in which Lebanon is isolated and independent and can go about its own business without worrying about regional and global issues. Dream on.

e

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