December 10, 2006

When will law rule in the land-of-do-as-you-please?

By Abu Kais

Action speaks louder than words. Action against outlaws Hizbullah and Aoun should be taken. The Lebanese government waited until they were comfortable enough to mobilize people and capitalize on the state's weak/weakened resolve.

PM Siniora saw today’s mass protests (plural because March 14 staged another in Tripoli) as "freedom of expression", and proof that "freedom should be protected in Lebanon". On Friday, he accused Hizbullah of staging a coup d’etat. I am sorry, but if you're going to accuse someone of staging a coup, you have to keep at it and not spin it into "freedom of expression". There are other things you need to do, like mobilize your army and security forces against the organizers of this coup. Let it be war between the legitimate authority and the illegal militia before it becomes a war between sects.

Siniora, trying to enter history as the statesman who never ruled, also endorsed a large number of checks and payments to Shias in the south who lost homes, as some of these people asked for his head on a stick and called him a traitor, among other things.

What else transpired at this alleged manifestation of freedom of expression?

Nasrallah’s deputy Naim Qassem laid out two demands:

1- Siniora has to order the Lebanese army to return confiscated weapons back to Hizbullah
2- Siniora has to resign

Michel Aoun threatened to take over the Serail by force.

“We look for peaceful methods, but other methods are also legitimate,” he said, referring to steps to force the cabinet to resign. He added that the barbwire around the Grand Serail will not protect the ministers from the “natural expansion” of the protestors next time they take to the streets in large numbers.

And then this Aounist conundrum: “In a few days, we will announce a transitional government… we will demand a transitional government… to hold early elections.”

While Aoun seemed impatient, Qassem said they were prepared to stay on the streets for 10 months if necessary until their demands are met. With Iran and the Lebanese government funding his people, the livelihood of other Lebanese doesn't really matter. What matters is Hizbullah's weapons, Aoun's presidential aspirations and Syria's obsession with the Hariri tribunal.

In other news, Hibzullah continues to build illegally in the Raml El Aleh area. And this isn't their only illegal activity (apart from asking for their illegal weapons back). The militia is now in charge of issuing permits to journalists wishing to cover the protests in downtown Beirut. Naharnet also reported that they are importing army and police uniforms.

Meanwhile, the leading newspaper An Nahar reported that Hizbullah purchased thousands of army and police uniforms from a local company trading with such items in south Lebanon.

The respected newspaper did not elaborate on its short report, which sparked concern in security circles that Hizbullah's trained and tested fighters might use the uniforms as disguise to attack the heavily-guarded government offices, which Saniora and his ministers have been using as residence, across the street from the angry protestors taking part in the city center sit-in.

A ranking security official told Naharnet, that a shipment of uniforms similar to what is used by the Lebanese army and police force has been "imported by a local merchant from India and was recently sold to a local faction."

The security official warned that if the army and police uniforms were used by "irregular factions, this would further escalate the ongoing confrontation and would lead us to facing a real threat of terrorism."

It also emerged today that Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir had asked Syrian-installed President Emile Lahoud to resign three weeks ago (too late buddy). I will not comment on March 14's counter rally in Tripoli. It makes no sense to me when government spokespeople keep telling us what we already know, and never suggest ways to stop this invasion.

Oh why bother…

Posted by Abu Kais at December 10, 2006 11:21 AM
Comments

HEY,CHEER UP!
So far, I think Lebanon is doing VERY WELL in this crisis. As of today, no civil war yet. Nasrallah seems to have hidden his weapons, expecting to provoke the Sunni to violence, after which Hiz weapons could "appear" for self-defense. The pro-democrats are HOLDING THE LINE very well. If he can't incite violence, Nasrallah's goose is cooked. His "protesters" are given free food and shelter, but eventually they will drift away. Sometimes the best way to deal with a mess is to go right through it. If Lebanon democracy can stay in control, it will be richer and stronger because of it.

Posted by: DemocracyRules at December 10, 2006 01:21 PM

Dhimmiorata

Lebanon you are a fluke
Of the universe.
You have no right to be here.....

Go correctly above all else
Placidly amid the noise and waste.
And remember what comfort there may be
In renting a piece thereof.

Avoid strong and assertive persons
Go to sleep.

Ro-tate your tires.

Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself
And heed well their humour
Even though they be Big Fat Black Turkeys.

Know how to kiss ass.....and when!

Consider that two wrongs never make a right
But that THREE.........do.

Wherever possible, put people on hold
and never hold a warrior's coat.

Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment
And despite the changing fortunes of time,
There is always a big future in computer main-te-nance.

Chorus

Lebanon You are a fluke
Of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not
The rest of us are laughing behind your back.

Remember the Crusaders.

Strive at all times to bend, fold, and scold the West.

Know yourself.
If you need help, call the 911.

Exercise caution in your daily affairs,
Especially with those persons closest to you.
That lemon in the comment section on your left, for instance.

Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls
Would scarcely get your feet wet.

Fall not in love therefore;
It will stick to your face.

Gracefully surrender the things of youth:
The birds, clean air, tuna, and conspiracies
And let not the sands of time
Get in your falafel.

Hire people with hooks and salad forks.

For a good time call the United Nations
Ask for "Kofi"

Take heart amid the deepening gloom
That your dawg is finally getting enough cheese.

And reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot
It could only be worse in New Jersey.

Chorus

Lebanon you are a fluke
Of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not
The rest of us are laughing behind your back.

Therefore, make peace with your god
Whatever you conceive him to be---
Hairy thunderer, cosmic muffin or Hizb'Allah

With all its hopes, dreams, promises and Israeli urban renewal
Lebanon continues to deteriorate.

GIVE UP!

Lebanon you are a fluke
Of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not
The rest of us are laughing behind your back.

/ripped from Deteriorata

Posted by: Rubin at December 10, 2006 03:00 PM

No need to dispare Abu Kais. It seems a deal is almost near. The best outcome would be one where a new electoral law is enacted and new, fair Parliamentary elections are held in Summer of '07.

According to the Lebanese Army, the number of protestors today was "unprecedented in Lebanese history". So do you think all these people are Hezbollah terrorist zombies? The majority of the Lebanese people have spoken. They have said, no to a corrupt government, no to foreign influence in Lebanese affairs, no matter where that may come from, and no to cancelling out everyone else in Lebanon, which is what March 14 has been trying to do.

Lebanon is going to end up being a better place because of what has occured in the last 10 days. It was enjoyable seeing you trumpet the official March 14 line that this was a Hezbollah/Shia coup, you obviously haven't been looking at the pictures from the demonstrations.

It was also enjoyable seeing you proved wrong.

Long Live Lebanese and the Lebanese

Posted by: Omega80 at December 10, 2006 05:40 PM

I can imagine that you're feeling a lot of pressure, Abu Kais, but this would be a bad idea. Democracy Rules has the right idea. Not that standing pat and calling the bluff doesn't have its own risks. It does. But frankly, it doesn't really seem like the Lebanese street has gone away from Nasrallah much, so bringing out the Lebanese army and... forcibly dispersing the protests? ...would lead to Beirut's explosion into violence. Which you could then blame on Hizballah, even as they captured the government from the March 14 permanently.

This column seems to have blown the lid off of your recent trend towards pragmatism.

Siniora, trying to enter history as the statesman who never ruled, also endorsed a large number of checks and payments to Shias in the south who lost homes, as some of these people asked for his head on a stick and called him a traitor, among other things.

If he'd had something like that ready after tens or hundreds of thousands of Lebanese were unhomed by Israel, immediately afterwards, this crisis wouldn't exist, and he might not be getting called those names.

Posted by: glasnost at December 10, 2006 06:00 PM

I mean, it's pretty weak, isn't it? The first March-14 reconstruction program for the south is announced only after Hizb pushes the government to the brink? What does that say about March 14's interest in running the whole country, and not just their own sects?

Maybe I'm wrong, and the government had something in place before this. Would be nice to know.

Posted by: glasnost at December 10, 2006 06:02 PM

Omega,

I find it funny that you say "no to foreign influence". Hizbullah is leading these protests--and even though they are not the only party there, they ARE the biggest force behind these demonstrations. And who exactly gives HA money?! Please tell me who supports them financially. Who pays for their weapons? And then tell me, honestly, how does this financial support not count as foreign influence? You're a very delusional individual if you claim there is "no foreign influence".

By the way, LOVED your pumpkin man today...the orange was fabulous! Long live orange Lebanon!

Posted by: No name at December 10, 2006 06:16 PM

Omega: Lebanon is going to end up being a better place because of what has occured in the last 10 days. It was enjoyable seeing you trumpet the official March 14 line that this was a Hezbollah/Shia coup, you obviously haven't been looking at the pictures from the demonstrations.

You obviously were too busy looking at the pictures and not listening to speeches or the calls by your fellow Islamists. I heard "yes to illegal weapons", I heard "yes to Syrian tutellage", I heard "no to rule of law".

How, exactly, do you define a "corrupt government"? is it a government that turns a blind eye to militias? Is it a government that allows illegal buildings near the airport? Is it a government that has no say in war decisions? Is it a government that challenges United Nations resolutions and goes soft on terrorists? Is it a government that wants to keep the country in a state of war? Is it a government with elements who drag the country into economic paralysis every time they have a political demand they can't get because they don't have majority in parliament? What you want is a government that suits your orange leader, and does not upset terrorist regimes. What you want is a president that follows orders by another regime. What you want,a nd perhaps deserve, are temporary allies who would abandon you as soon as they get the order from the supreme leader of another country.

Wake up, Omega. It's quite sad that you come here to declare victory on me. There is nothing to celebrate. Nothing has happened, and the people who took the country to war will take it to war again. And you will live to regret the day you let others do the thinking for you.

Posted by: Abu Kais at December 10, 2006 06:32 PM

glasnost, the programme was announced a long time ago. He just signed a few checks today. It was controversial because non-Shias whose homes were destroyed during the civil thought it was unfair to them. Of course, Hizbullah thought it wasn't enough. They cause destruction and then lay the blame on the government.

It is not "March 14" that's neglecting the Shia, it's Hizbullah that has prescribed a future of death and "martyrdom" for them. And fyi, Hizbullah was still in the government when the compensation programme was put together. Siniora toured the world begging for reconstruction money. And he got a lot. Not because people like Hizbullah, but because some countries had faith that by doing this, it will help the Shia see that Hizbullah is not mother charity, and that their state is capable of taking care of them. Hizbullah responded by accusing Siniora of conspiring against the people and working with Israel. They declared that the money Siniora got was "tainted". It was not in their interest to see the state move into their "territory" and provide an alternative.

Finally, I expect that when the prime minister announces that a coup is in progress, to send the troops to stop it. It's elementary.

Posted by: Abu Kais at December 10, 2006 06:50 PM

"Oh why bother"

That's how I feel.....

Posted by: The Perpetual Refugee at December 10, 2006 08:09 PM

"How, exactly, do you define a "corrupt government"? is it a government that turns a blind eye to militias? Is it a government that allows illegal buildings near the airport? Is it a government that has no say in war decisions? Is it a government that challenges United Nations resolutions and goes soft on terrorists? Is it a government that wants to keep the country in a state of war?"

Yes indeed! This is because your beloved government, the current Cabinet in power is the one, a little less than a year ago, that declared Hezbollah to be a legitimate resistance. Perhaps if they had not done so, the July War may not have occured.

This leaves me with the question. So as long as you know Hezbollah is going to vote for you in the next elections, they are a legitimate resistance (Saad Hariri said the same thing right before the 2005 Parliamentary elections), however, when you realize that they have new allies and that they might not vote for you next time, the propaganda campaign against them is released?

Stop the flip-flopping please. These things didn't occur that long ago that we have forgotten about them. We are in the situation we find ourselves in today because of the current ruling junta and their Made in Anjar electoral law. Wait a minute, weren't they the same ones that chose Nabih Berri to be speaker of Parliament again? Let me not remind you that the FPM was against this.

Come on ya Abu Kais, you seem to be a smart person, but I can't understand why you forget things very easily and why you pick and choose what to talk about and what to forget.

Posted by: Omega80 at December 10, 2006 10:18 PM

Abu Kais, so you do favor getting rid of this Hez mob. Good for you! However, one of these will happen:

1) Irrespective of the size of the gov't force the Hez mob will see reason and clear out peacefully.

2) The overwhelming gov't force will cream the Hez mob. Probably with nasty moments to be captured by the media unless you censor successfully.

3) The mid-sized gov't force will achieve stalemate with the Hez mob; many deaths on all sides; bad media moments; gov't looks weak.

4) The small gov't force will be creamed by the Hez mob. Gov't looks very weak; possibly some bad media moments.

5) Do nothing; give Hez what they want (Lebanon).

1) would be nice but seems rather dreamlike and unrealistic; 2) might work if you follow through, but then someone will accuse you of being a concern troll, whatever that is. 3) leads to 2) or 5) after a long painful struggle; 4) leads pretty quickly to 5). 5) at least avoids some violence.

Now, pick one. Or have I left anything out?

PS If you do 2) but let them get away, they will just do it all over again in a week, or a month, or whenever you disband that large gov't force. Then you have the same choices all over again.

Posted by: nichevo at December 11, 2006 12:43 AM

Omega: This leaves me with the question. So as long as you know Hezbollah is going to vote for you in the next elections, they are a legitimate resistance (Saad Hariri said the same thing right before the 2005 Parliamentary elections), however, when you realize that they have new allies and that they might not vote for you next time, the propaganda campaign against them is released?

Huh? When did I ever call them "legitimate resistance". You obviously don't read what I post. I've been saying Hizbullah's participation in elections was a bad idea from the start, and have criticized March 14 for pandering to them. This, of course, does not justify why YOU regurgitate FPM propaganda. It's lame to justify Aoun's alliance with them as "well, March 14 did it first".

And please quit calling it "your beloved government". Is everyone who criticises your leader a blind follower of his opponents?

Posted by: Abu Kais at December 11, 2006 05:06 AM

The government missed their chance over the summer if you ask me. the Lebonese army could have made a nice anvil for the IDF hammer...then they would have been rid of this HA albatross. Without Hizbolah stirring the pot, both Lebanon and Israel stood a reasonable chance of coming to agreement on a mutually beneficial relationship. The Lebanese people have learned to like a peaceful existance, and the Israelis long for one.

Posted by: Scott at December 11, 2006 06:10 AM

glasnost, the programme was announced a long time ago.

wellllllllll then... all right. I'll take your word for it.

The behavior you describe by Hizb. in this paragraph is, of course, petty and self-serving.

Posted by: glasnost at December 11, 2006 02:27 PM

业内口碑最好的翻译公司在上海,提供英语翻译、日语翻译、韩语翻译、法语翻译及其他小语种的翻译服务。这家上海翻译公司以专业的翻译队伍为后盾;以严谨有序的流程为依托;以诚信、优质、高效的翻译服务为回报,让您满意是我们一直努力的目标。

Posted by: translation at October 18, 2007 06:42 PM

runescape money <a href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/runescape-

c-599.html">runescape gold runescape money <a

href="http://www.runescape2store.com">runescape gold wow power leveling <a

href="http://www.vgoldsupply.com">wow powerleveling Warcraft Power Leveling <a

href="http://www.vgoldsupply.com">Warcraft PowerLeveling buy

runescape gold buy runescape money <a

href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/runescape-c-599.html">runescape items <a href="http://www.runescapemoney-

runescapegold.cn">runescape gold runescape money <a

href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/runescape-runescape-accounts-c-599_988.html">runescape accounts <a

href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/runescape-c-599.html">runescape gp <a href="http://www.vgoldsupply.com/dofus-c-

1054.html">dofus kamas buy dofus kamas <a

href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/guild-wars-c-389.html">Guild Wars Gold <a href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/guild-wars-c

-389.html">buy Guild Wars Gold lotro gold <a

href="http://www.buylotrogold.org">buy lotro gold lotro gold <a

href="http://www.buy-lotro-gold.cn">buy lotro gold <a href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/lord-rings-onlineus-c-

975.html">lotro gold buy lotro gold <a

href="http://www.800millions.com">runescape money runescape power leveling <a

href="http://www.runescape2vip.cn">runescape money runescape gold <a

href="http://www.buydofuskamas.com">dofus kamas cheap runescape money <a

href="http://www.runescape4money.net">cheap runescape gold <a href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/hellgate-london-c-

1102.html">Hellgate Palladium Hellgate London

Palladium Hellgate money <a

href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/tabula-rasa-c-1107.html">Tabula Rasa gold <a href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/tabula-

rasa-c-1107.html">tabula rasa money lotro gold

buy lotro gold <a

href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/tabula-rasa-c-1107.html">Tabula Rasa Credit <a href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/tabula-

rasa-c-1107.html">Tabula Rasa Credits Hellgate gold

Hellgate London gold <a

href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/dofus-c-891.html">dofus kamas buy

dofus kamas 血管瘤 肝血管瘤 <a

href=http://www.nncbroadway.com>音乐剧 北京富码电视 富码

电视 富码电视台 7天酒店 <a

href=http://www.innhot.com/7daysinn>7天连锁酒店 7天连锁 <a

href=http://www.filt.cn>自清洗过滤器 过滤器 压力开关 <a

href=http://www.bf-rae.cn>压力传感器 流量开关 流量计 <a

href=http://www.bf-rae.cn>液位计 液位开关 温湿度记录仪

风速仪 可燃气体检测仪 <a href="http://www.wow-power-

leveling.net">wow power leveling wow powerleveling <a

href=http://"www.wow-power-leveling.net">Warcraft PowerLeveling Warcraft

Power Leveling World of Warcraft PowerLeveling <a href=http://"www.wow-

power-leveling.net">World of Warcraft Power Leveling runescape

power leveling runescape powerleveling
runescape money <a href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/runescape-

c-599.html">runescape gold wow power leveling 棕榈树


eve isk
eve online isk
eve isk
eve online isk

Posted by: runescape money at November 30, 2007 07:05 PM
Post a comment













Remember personal info?






Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member



Testimonials

"I'm flattered such an excellent writer links to my stuff"
Johann Hari
Author of God Save the Queen?

"Terrific"
Andrew Sullivan
Author of Virtually Normal

"Brisk, bracing, sharp and thoughtful"
James Lileks
Author of The Gallery of Regrettable Food

"A hard-headed liberal who thinks and writes superbly"
Roger L. Simon
Author of Director's Cut

"Lively, vivid, and smart"
James Howard Kunstler
Author of The Geography of Nowhere


Contact Me

Send email to michaeltotten001 at gmail dot com


News Feeds




toysforiraq.gif



Link to Michael J. Totten with the logo button

totten_button.jpg


Tip Jar





Essays

Terror and Liberalism
Paul Berman, The American Prospect

The Men Who Would Be Orwell
Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer

Looking the World in the Eye
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

In the Eigth Circle of Thieves
E.L. Doctorow, The Nation

Against Rationalization
Christopher Hitchens, The Nation

The Wall
Yossi Klein Halevi, The New Republic

Jihad Versus McWorld
Benjamin Barber, The Atlantic Monthly

The Sunshine Warrior
Bill Keller, The New York Times Magazine

Power and Weakness
Robert Kagan, Policy Review

The Coming Anarchy
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

England Your England
George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn