Sunday, February 20, 2005

Syria Defies American Demands

Hala Jaber, writing for the Times of London from Damascus explains:

Syria rejects US call for Lebanon pullout

SYRIA has defied American demands to withdraw its forces from Lebanon and to disarm Hezbollah militants, insisting that Israel must first pull out of the Golan Heights.
The government in Damascus has been under growing pressure from Washington since last week’s assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister and forthright critic of Syria’s military presence in his country. President George W Bush recalled the US ambassador to Syria and demanded an international investigation of the killing.

Ayman Abdel Nour, a leading Syrian analyst, said yesterday that Damascus had now told senior American officials that a unilateral withdrawal of its 15,000 troops was out of the question until Israel ended its occupation of the Golan Heights, which it seized from Syria in 1967 and annexed 14 years later.

“Syria has national interests which must be fulfilled before it can withdraw from Lebanon and this has been relayed to American members of Congress, the Senate and the State Department,” Nour said. “If the United States uses its leverage and pressures Israel fully to return the Golan Heights, only then can Syria fully withdraw from Lebanon.”

Nour also said Syria was concerned that if its forces were driven out of Lebanon in a humiliating manner, it could lead to a rift between the peoples of the two countries which would “last for generations”... (more)
I don't know how far this is going to get Syria? There is not much the US can do right away, but if the EU joins sanctions, it will be another story. Most European diplomats in Syria believe Syria should get the Golan, which may impede the US's attempt to railroad for sanctions.

Hizbollah cools down anti-Syria rhetoric: Al-Jazeera reports that the leader of Hizbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, issued a stark warning on Saturday saying the popular agitation against Syria following the assassination of former prime minister is not helpful....

Bashar does some house cleaning:

Syria replaces intelligence chief: Shawkat is in charge of intelligence at home and abroad Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has appointed his brother-in-law as head of military intelligence, reports say.

Brig Gen Asef Shawkat replaced Gen Hassan Khalil, who at 65 had surpassed retirement age.

Syrian sources say the appointment could suggest Mr Assad is consolidating his hold over the security services.

As head of military intelligence, Gen Shawkat will oversee Syria's domestic and foreign intelligence operations, including in Lebanon. Gen Shawkat, 54, was previously deputy military intelligence chief and is married to President Assad's sister, Bushra.

General Ghazaleh, Syria's top ranking security officer in Lebanon, has also been sacked. I am not sure who will take his place.


At 2/20/2005 05:36:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

Josh, first reports coming in, it's the Palestinian Wahhabi who apparently blew himself up in the bomb. Last seen several weeks ago, had Saudi citizenship, hardcore fanatic, travelled frequently to Syria and Iraq. They think he went to Syria, hooked up with some Salafist scumbags at a mosque a local Salafist preacher in Damascus is using to recruit jihadis for Ansar Al Islam in Iraq.

The judge in Lebanon is fingering the mosque in Syria, Iraqi guerrillas and apparently the Ansar Al Islam Salafist scumbag idiots. It looks like blowback from the Iraq War once again, we warned them. The Zionist-controlled media is despicably reporting it as SYRIAN CONNECTION cuz of the mosque in Damascus, but it's more Salafist idiots in the Iraqi resistance than anything else. No Syrian involvement so far. Hell with all these Phalangist traitors hanging around here screaming Syria Did It! Worse than the Muslims who said Israel did 9-11. Shame on the Phalangist fascists on this site. Go live in Israel, Phalangist traitors. Message to Phalangists here: Let us know when you want to quit working for the enemy. You've only been doing it since the Crusades, right?

At 2/20/2005 07:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this guy serious? Boy, The Phalangist party is defending Syria and supporting the puppet government! What era are you living in?

At 2/20/2005 03:36:00 PM, Anonymous Emile said...

I hate foreigners who try to mess around in Lebanon. THe Americans will do NOTHING to help Lebanon or Syria. They cannot give any weight to their words. Why do they do this? They try to order Syria around. YOu cannot do that to a lion. Lebanon can defend and fight for herself thank you very much. As Lebanese I want nothing more than Syria out, her embassy burned to the ground and the ISraeli border closed and no more foreign troops in Lebanon, not even for cerimonial reasons, ever again. It is not terrorism to blow up foreign barraks in your country. That is a military target. If any AMerican soldiers come to Lebanon, they should be killed like a Syrian soldier should be. America should stay out of LEbanese business!!

At 2/20/2005 03:38:00 PM, Blogger Anton Efendi said...

Do you actually still listen to or care about what Robert Lindsay says? The guy is a walking talking stereotype. It's Helena Cobban on acid, and twice as annoying. Don't waste time on such types. Just let him ramble on. Yes, mr. Lindsay... it's the phalangist traitors, zionist enemy, neocon likudniks, blah blah blah... yaaawwwwwn. Now go discuss this with your buddies and get all worked up about and validate your existence.

At 2/20/2005 03:49:00 PM, Blogger Anton Efendi said...

First reports!! hahahaha. the lebanese papers were already reporting this right after Hariri's death!! The government leaked it! But you're a sucker for propaganda so you swallowed it.

But let's assume you're right and it was a suicide bomber (although forensic evidence is now practically conclusive against it). I wuoted Nick Blanford on my blog about how it's common practice to recruit a third party to do a hit without knowing what the mission really is. How difficult do you think it is for the Syrians to recruit someone who, as you say was tracked to a Damascus preacher!?

Secondly, you blame this on the IRaq war?! What does this tell you about Salafism in Syria and about Syrian interference in Iraq?! Oh wait, that's neocon propaganda! All you cripto-conspiracy theorist, anti-semites-lite believe that. The acrobatic lengths you go to to remove any SYrian connection is simply hilarious. It's a treat to marvel at your supreme idiocy!

Phalangist traitos takes the cake. Shows how much you know about Lebanon especially in the last 15 years. Get a life.

The funniest thing is to hear a dogmatic third-worldist telling being "more Arab than Arabs" and telling how to live their lives. Shut the hell up and continue living your stupid life. It's simply painful to watch you attempt, with great failure, to look and talk smart. You're a dumb moron and that's all you'll ever be.

At 2/20/2005 03:55:00 PM, Blogger Anton Efendi said...

This quote from Elie Kedourie fit idiots like LIndsay like a glove:

"By Arabs of course we do not mean the lively and interesting denizens of Cairo, Beirut, Damascus or Baghdad. We mean rather the collective entity which writers of books manufacture and in which they manage to smother the charm and variety of this ancient and sophisticated society. This collective entity is a category of European romantic historiography, and judged by its results, it is not a felicitous invention; for as they are described by their inventors the Arabs are a decidedly pitiable and unattractive lot; they erupt from the Arabian desert; they topple two empires, while making grandiloquent speeches in their rich and sonorous language; but all too soon the rot sets in, materialism and greed erode their spirit, and their caliphs change from lean puritans into fat voluptuaries. After that, it is all up with them: they are engulfed and enslaved by the Turks, hoodwinked by the British, colonized by the French, humiliated by the Jews, until at last they rise up again to struggle valiantly against Imperialism and Zionism under the banner of Nationalism and Socialism."

Lindsay, you see, tells you who's a "good Arab" or what's a "real Arab." Thanks Bob!

At 2/20/2005 04:07:00 PM, Anonymous Emile said...

Who is Robert Lindsay? Lindsay does not sound like an Arabic name. How can he say who is Arab and who is not? I hate people like that. Grow up. Tony (who is Lebanese I am guessing??) Lindsay (who is not I am guessing???) does not have wieght because he is not Arab and is talking about how "true Arabs" act. What a racist stereotyper he is! I still stand by my comment that foreigners should keep out of Lebanon. I have not seen anything that they have given us but grief in my life time (1988 to the present day).

On another note, I notice that the auther of this fine blog wrote a paper on Islamic Education in Syria. Is there an article on Christian Education in Syria? anyone have links? Thanks.

At 2/20/2005 07:43:00 PM, Blogger johnplikethepope said...

The Golan Heights were lost because Syria used them to launch a surprise attack on Israel. When one country uses a particular piece of land to attack another then yhey should complain that it is lost in the course of war. This whole U.N. sponsored dream of pre-1967 borders is about as mildewed as the U.N. itself.
And this notion that Golan is a national interest of Syria justifying its rape of Lebanon (Ayman Abdel Nour, a leading Syrian analyst?) is ludicrous.

At 2/20/2005 08:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re johnplikethepope.What has this guy been smoking!!!It's a matter of record that on the morning of 5 June1967,Israel launched a massive air attack on Egypt ,syria&Jordan ,destroying their forces on the ground.Pick up a book once in a while pal!!
As for Harriri's asasination,it's not a question of speculation any more. All you have to do is to read the statements of the severely retarded Suleiman Franjieh,minister of the interior,the equally retarded Adnan Addoum,minister of justice,and Mehdi Daakhlallah,the moronic Syr. minister of information, to realize that the culprit is their lord&master,the dying Syrian regime.For an excellent analysis, see the article by Subhi Hadddidi in Alquds Alarabi of 18 Feb.

At 2/21/2005 12:14:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

Boy, The Phalangist party is defending Syria and supporting the puppet government! What era are you living in?Hmmm, well who the Hell are the Free Lebanon scum the Tony the Traitor fronts for? Who is Aoun? I am sorry, this is all so confusing. The Phalangists are the fascist Christian dogs who allied with the Zionist enemy and started a civil war in Lebanon because like their fascist brethren the Sunni Baathists, they did not want to share power in a democracy, and instead wanted to continue to dominate the majority with the authoritarain BOOTHEEL like they had always done.

Tony the Traitor is representative of this Phalangist type, either that or he works for Mossad (as many Maronites have) the Phalangist type who started the Lebanense civil war in order to keep their bigoted oligarchic domination of the oppressed majority, the Phalange who conspired with the Zionist enemy in the destruction of Lebanon, the Phalange who hate the Palestinian patriots for standing up to Zionism, the Maronites who greeted the Zionist invaders with open arms.

Who cooperated, despicably, with the French colonialists, who sided with the Crusaders centuries ago against all their Middle Eastern brothers and have never apologized, the Maronites who never met an imperialist scum they didn't like, the Maronite enemy who has been waging war on the Arab nation for decades or more, the Phalangist Maronites who named their wicked party after Franco's party, the Phalange, whose biggest heroes kept pictures of Hiter in their closets in high school, who killed 3,500 patriotic civilians at Sabra and Shatila and never apologized.

You mean these Phalangists? They now side with Syria? What a muddle. Well then who the Free Lebanon freaks and enemies of humanity in exile, the ones Tony the T fronts for? Isn't that Phalange-in-exile? I'm confused here. The dog Aoun is not a Phalangist, just some other kind of Maronite fascist? Clue me.

At 2/21/2005 12:48:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

Lindsay, you see, tells you who's a "good Arab" or what's a "real Arab." Thanks Bob!Deride me all you want, Tony. I'm a member of radical Palestinian organizations, I have known quite a few Palestinians, some Iraqi exiles, and a few high-ranking members of the PLO, who all counted me as a friend and an ally of the Arab cause. My discourse comes largely from my contacts with my Arab brothers, not made up on my own. My Arab friends have all counted me as a solid Arab nationalist and anti-Zionist. You call me what you want.

I'll tell you who's a good Arab or a real Arab. It's a simple equation. You either are a patriot who loves his soil, his land, his homeland and his people, or you support the enemies of your people and ally with criminal invaders and colonists. Emile, though he lashes out at me, and though I'm sorry he's so mad at Syria, Emile, is at least a patriot, a real Lebanese patriot. I don't agree with him but at least he's a man.

You, Tony the T, are a traitor, a supporter of the worst enemies of the Arab nation, an advocate of imperial invasions, a lover of Zionism and US imperialism, in short, a lackey, a puppet, a quisling. You want to know what a real Lebanese patriot talks like, Tony? Look at Emile. He loves his homeland and he hates its enemies and he doesn't support the enemy like you.

Hey Tony, what the Hell do you care about Arabs anyway? Even though you are one, you treasonously insist you are not (akin to an American insisting he is not an American). You spend your whole blog bashing Arabs in the most disgusting way, which would be ok if you distributed the punishment around. But no, the Lebanese Christian oligarchic fascists, the Zionist scum invaders, the US imperialist criminals?
Most wonderful folks on Earth! It's only *Arabs* who are evil the core.

Who are not real Arabs or good Arabs? Well, they're all Arabs of course but some are traitors. The leaders of the Gulf states, the horrible Hashemite King with the British accent,
Mubarak who sucks Bush's toes, the Bush-lovers in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Kuwait. The Bush-loving Free Lebanon abomination. The pro-Bush Yemenis and mincing gay Omani sultan, all the rest of the Gulf criminals, the disgusting Vichy crowd in Iraq, the repellent racist Kurds.

Traitors, simple. A real Arab patriot, a real Middle Eastern patriot, stands with the Arab people, the ME people, against Zionism and US imperialism. That's the equation, Tony. See, even this equation is so cool even Emile is a made a patriot. Everyone else is a traitor collaborating with the enemy, simple. It's not a hard equation, Tony. Tony, there's a war on, guy. Careful which side you pick, eh?

At 2/21/2005 01:13:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

This quote from Elie Kedourie fit idiots like LIndsay like a glove:Yeh, I read up on this guy. Eee gads, what a traitor! The worst of the worst of the worst of the worst. Advocate of British colonialism and later imperialism, then later advocate of US imperialism! The Zionist agent Kramer says "he was not a neocon", well, if he lived, he surely would have been one. Furthermore, unlike your post, I have no illusions at all about Arabs. Following the PFLP and the rest of the Arab Left, I consider the Arabs to be terribly backwards people, at the least.

I have no illusions of the "superiority of the East over the evil West" and I harbor no illusions about the grand old days of the Arab empire, since I don't even like Islam. I follow a simple principle, pal. Arab nationalism doesn't have to be the evil you make it out on your blog. There are Arabs and they feel patriotic, hence there is Arab nationalism and there will be for a long time. Arab nationalism, to me, or ME nationalism, I would call it, is simple.

It means defense of your people and your precious homelands and advocating the interests of the Arabs and ME and opposing the interests of their worst enemies. That's all it means in my book Tony. BTW, I've hardly met a single Arab who was not an Arab nationalist.

Tony, if you "heard about it on the first day" how come the report of the Lebanese court's finding just appeared yesterday. How come you never heard of the Syrian mosque connection? Of course it's blowback from this wicked Iraq War you exile traitors promoted. And what about "Syrians and Salafists"!? Except that Bashar and his Dad did a damn good job killing them off, they way they should be killed? Are you trying to weasel some whacked connection here?

Between ultra-secular Alawis and Sunni Salafists who would slit their throats in a New York minute? As far as Syrian "meddling" in Iraq, LOL! You support the US invasion pal. Who are the meddlers, anyway? The US invaders and their PR crowd like you Tony, that's who the meddlers are. If the Syrians are helping the patriotic Iraqi people resist the US imperialist enemy in Iraq, power to em! Anyway, I have some journalistic connections with people close the Iraqi resistance and you do not, Tony.

Shatter your illusions. There are a Hell of a lot more Baathists pouring across the Jordanian border, and jihadis across the Saudi border, than across the Syria border. Every single Sunni pig chauvinist regime in the area supports this Sunni chauvinist resistance and you know it buddy. The Syrian Shia regime much less so. There is no "Syrian regime connection" to this crime, guy. There is a connection to geographical states: Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

There is no connection to any regime at all, but to idiot Salafists called Ansar Al Islam, who are mostly in Iraq, which is "controlled" by US invaders and Iraqi Vichy forces. So, really, Tony, the connection is to the US and Americans' Iraqi whores, right? You're the guy who likes to blame states for crimes hatched and committed on their territory, right? Insult all you want guy, all you can is ad hominem this ad hominem that, insult my intelligence (IQ 147) all the usual Zionist dirty tricks. I won't do that, Tony. I only call you one thing - traitor. That's all the ad hominem necessary in your case.

At 2/21/2005 03:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're right on Ghazaleh being sacked the intra-Syrian and intra-family circle elements start to make some sense

At 2/21/2005 03:20:00 AM, Blogger Nagib said...

I want to comment on what Robert Lindsay wrote. Nobody here in Lebanon believes - except of course the Government of Lebanon led by Syria - that a Palestinian Wahhabi blew himself up in the bomb. Please visit and click on the special document icon showing where the explosion was planted.

At 2/21/2005 04:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this Robert Lindsay guy might be joking.

At 2/21/2005 04:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope, he's real:

At 2/21/2005 07:09:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

Excuse me, allow me to clarify: The trend I identified as "Phalangist" represents those espousing the *radical Christian fascist* movement in Lebanon from 1936-1990. It appears now that the official Phalange is trying to make peace with their brothers. I also note that the Maronites are now heterodox, thank God. There are patriotic Maronites like: Franjiyyeh, Qurdahhi, al-Murr, Ghanem, Nasib Lahoud, Chalil Hrawi and Helou.

"Patriotic Maronites" means those who are willing to work with their Lebanese brothers and not work for the enemy - in this case, Israel, the US and the US' posse. A patriotic Lebanese will oppose the imperialist invasion of Iraq, and not promoting the imperialist invasions of Syria, Lebanon or any other proud Arab state. I don't give a damn what you think about Syria. But no patriotic Lebanese, patriotic Arab, or patriotic Middle Eastern Gentile could support the US antics in Iraq, nor promote similar antics in Lebanon and Syria.

A patriotic Maronite, Arab or Middle Easterner will not support the Zionist enemy next door, or will at least have th decency to remain nuetral.

Now, onto the other tendency, the enemy tendency: you know who you are! To wit: Walid Phares, Ziad Abdelhour, Guardians of the Cedars, Auon the Dog in exile and his Patriotic Movement, Bachir Gemayal the criminal in exile, Fouad Chamail, Danny Chamoun, Etienne Saar, Lebanese Canadian Coordinating Council, SLA dogs, Tanzim criminals, Samir Gaega the Dog in prison, Middle East Information Bulletin crowd buddies with Daniel Pipes the Zionist enemy, Joseph Farah lowest Maronite fascist on Earth, Chamoun and the Liberal Party, Amir Gemayal.

Basically, this is a tendency that continues to identify with the Christian Phalangist type fascism of the UNIFL, the GOC, and Christian fascist parties in the Civil War - the Liberals, the FPM. The Walid Phareses, the Abdelhours.

Ok, now that should be clear.

The Maronites can move forward and dump the fascist "ally with the enemy" treason stuff and embrace their brothers, start to *apologize* for the *s_t* they did like Tel Al-Zataar (which the fascists still gloat over), and work towards a *real* communal Lebanon, not the phony one of UNIFL fascist propaganda. You can hate Syria all you want, but you don't promote invasions of brother countries or your own country. Not if you're a patriot you don't. Traitors do that.

WRT "no one in Syria believes......" FYI, the pro-Syrian movement has a majority in the Lebanese Parliament and may yet have a majority of Lebanese citizens. The link you gave me, sir, is to a blatantly fascist movement of a pig named Aoun, who deserves to be killed. He is in exile because if he sets one foot in Lebanon, he may get shot by a hero. His FPM is precisely the Christian fascism that is the enemy of all progressive humanity. So, I don't believe you. The Lebanese court is releasing this finding, about a Palestinian Wahhabi, which you don't accept because the court is "Syria-controlled". Well, who is the paranoid conspiracy monger here?

To clarify: there are 2 paths for the Maronites, one of patriotism and the other of fascism, bigotry, and treason.

Neither of these paths has the slightest to do with a country called Syria. As further examples, Jumblatt, Sfeir and Hariri are (were) 3 more Lebanese patriots. Jumblatt is a Syria-hater and a patriot.

Clear now?

At 2/21/2005 07:51:00 AM, Anonymous Emile said...

"A real Arab patriot, a real Middle Eastern patriot, stands with the Arab people, the ME people, against Zionism and US imperialism."

First of all an Arab patriot is an Arab, not some wanna be Westerner.

"the Phalange, whose biggest heroes kept pictures of Hiter in their closets in high school, who killed 3,500 patriotic civilians at Sabra and Shatila and never apologized."

What, and Michel Aflaq was not admiring National Socialism as he studied in France? Please. All these Arab, Maronite, Syrian nationalisms were influenced by fascism and I don't always consider that a bad thing. Ba'th is Arab facsim, Phalange (and even worse Gaurdians of the Ceadars) is Maronite Nazism. Oh well. The war is over. We have in Lebanon lots of CAtholics, Catholics historically lean towards Facsists (Italy, Spain, Portugal etc). Deal withit. Fascism isn't all that bad anyways. Nazism isn't really fascist and not many people are trying to do that (except the Syrian Social Nationalist PArty). I could care less, it has been that way for a long time. Maybe it will change, but only because the Lebanese wnat it to. Not because some wannabe does.

"It means defense of your people and your precious homelands and advocating the interests of the Arabs and ME and opposing the interests of their worst enemies. That's all it means in my book Tony. BTW, I've hardly met a single Arab who was not an Arab nationalist. "

It is in the interest of all the Lebanse to be free of Syrian occupation and aggression. We are OCCUPIED BY SYRIA JUST AS WE WERE OCCUPIED BY ISRAEL. We shook off the Israelis and the scum bag condecending Americans and now itis time to send Syria home. They helped us and the mission is over. Now they are just there for no reason is totally unfair and antiArab in all its ways. If you are such an "ARab" you would know this.

"Following the PFLP and the rest of the Arab Left, I consider the Arabs to be terribly backwards people, at the least."

So you need to school us on just how to be civilized and good Arabs? Teach us patriotism? No thanks. I wentto school in Syria, I learned about the Arab nation. I learned about how to hate Jews, Persians and other nonArabs.I know that hateful agenda. Arabs don't need that bullshit anymore. We don't even need democracy, we just need money and weapons and liberal and civil society. We need a military to defend against Zionist, American and any other form of aggression and we need a society condusive to many new ideas and that is not closed. We are "backward" because of the monarchies (including the Syrian one run by Prince Asad; he can never be half the leader his father was) that are running us into the ground. You are sympathizing with these groups that want power so they can do the exact same thing!

Maronites are not Arabs. They never have been and it will take generations for them to become Arabs. You hear their accents from the mountains? That is because they just recently (1800s) started speaking Arabic. Before they spoke the glorious language of Jesus Christ (Amhairic). I am Arab, the other Lebanese are Arab (if they say they are if they don't you cannot force them to be calling themselves Arabs) but Maronites have shown they are not. They are nothing but Lebanese. I don't like the proMaronite apartheid the French put onto Lebanon because it shafted us Orthodox Christians but if they can make a Lebanon that is condusive to all the sects I am for it. I don't want to be smothered out by the Muslims or Maronites. YOu think Lebanon wants to be occupied? When was the last time you went to Lebanon? I was there last month. The people hate occupation no matter whose flag it is. It can be white and blue or red black white and green (the colors of the Nation) but it is still raping and pillaging from Lebanon. It is still not fair. The attitude you are showing is one that I grew up hearing and I don't want to be ennounciated in Lebanon anymore. All this "ARabs are this or that", "Maronites are not patriots" is bullshit. That is like the people who say it is fine to hate Iranians. It is not. They are our brothers, not because we speak the same language, not because we have similar relgions or any of that ultraethnonational bs, but because we are humans and God made us all the same. That line of thinking makes troubels. It did it in LEbanon and look how many Lebanese have had to leave their nation because of the fighting or because there is no jobs under occupation? I did. What is with one man who is advocating Arab nationalist hate groups and then yelling about how evil Maronite ones are? Yell at yourself! Phallange was bad, yes. So is the PLO and the other groups that raped Lebanon until she bled from her most personal orifaces. This is not the spirt of LEbanese Arabs, Maronites or anything else. One of the most famous Lebanese (Gibran Khalil Gibran) he said "you have your LEbanon and I have mine". Why cannot people accept that Lebanon is now a country, its going nowhere and we are all Lebanese so lets get along like we did before?? This will never happen if the stupid Syrian army does not leave Lebanon now! Just because they puppets are a majority in the parliament doesn't mean that the Lebanese want to be occupied by their neighbor. It shows how much they really are involved in Lebanon. It also shows that they should leave!

At 2/21/2005 08:52:00 AM, Anonymous Ibrahim said...


Extremely well said. Kudos.

At 2/21/2005 09:04:00 AM, Anonymous Ibrahim said...

I'll tell you what,

Once Tunisia starts being and acting "Arab", when Morocco does, when Algeria does, When Lybia (what a joke) does, when Egypt (the other joke) does, when the GCC countries (now those are an entirely different joke) do, and when Syria pulls out of Lebanon, then someone might, maybe might ask Lebanon to follow Arabism or whatever that means; before that I would like to tell our Palestinian friends that Lebanon welcomes their civilian presence but not their military presence... Gee... Wasn't that what the Lebanese Republic only asked from the Palestinians in 1970? Please get your dirty guns off our land??? Why should Jordan fight you and kick your ass out of Amman and not a single Arab nation flinch (of course Syria attacked Jordan in the same time in order to tip the balance in favor of the PLO but that didn't work)????

And why didn't Syria shelter those Palestinian commandos in her sweet land and allow them to launch attacks from SouthWestern Syria? (The Golan for those who did not get it)???

The Syrian regimes define hypocrisy in the region along with the Israeli Cancer.

At 2/21/2005 09:37:00 AM, Anonymous Emile said...

Ibrahim, my thoughts exactly.

But, I am so sick of everyone trying to control Lebanon and use Lebanon as if it were empty and shallow. The only reason the Americans want Syria out is because they want to control Lebanon (like they used to) and they are trying to hurt Syria. All the Lebanese should stand up and give the middle finger to the Americans, Israelis and Syrians who want to interfear in our internal affairs. Lebanon should not become like those stupid dictator countries or monarchies. All these Arab states are bankrupt morally and to say otherwise is being intellectually dishonest. Screw Iraq being an "example" for us. Lebanon must be the example. Revolution should come from the Arabs and from the Lebanese not across the sea. That is humiliation and chaos. Lebanon has to show the other Arabs that they can get rid of tryrany and that they don't need foreigners to do it for them. We are not weak. We made it this far and we can move even further if we ignore those idiots who defend the regimes. I feel bad for the refugees in Lebanon, it is horrible how they get treated because of chauvanist conflict that enveloped the humanity in Lebanon. If Lebanon was Christian why didn't we do more to help them? Why not now? Where is the spirt of generosity and Arab brotherhood? Nowhere to be found because people got selfish and greedy. Thats what Dr Bashir wants and its what those stupid Israelis and Americans want. They don't jsut want it in LEbanon either, they want it in all the Arabs states. Lebanon should be an example for all the Arabs to follow after we get rid of Syria. Lebanon has to show that Arabs are not victoms and that we can and will help brothers in need unlike the greedy bastards in the Gulf. We have to shake off the occupation, integrate the refugees, educate all the children, and build a strong military and fair government. If we do this, other Arabs will follow. They say that security in Lebanon is security in Syria. Freedom in Lebanon will be freedom for Syria. If Lebanese get rid of the bad guys, so will Syria.

At 2/21/2005 11:08:00 AM, Anonymous Ibrahim said...

I agree with getting rid of the Syrians but we cannot do it on our own can we? They have military might and I doubt Ghandi's methods could work with those guys.

I don't like the Americans, never did, but we have to use them (they will be using us too) and somehow figure out a way to get rid of them later on...

It's either Syria or the USA, and frankly 30 years of Syrian direct interference and occupation of Lebanese soil is enough.

At 2/21/2005 11:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respectfully dissagree that we need the Americans Ibrahim. The Syrians cannot continue to occupy us if we fight back. As I said before, screw Gandhi. Nonviolence does not work. There must be total revolution in Lebanon. The Shia need to be agitated and then we very well may able to combat the Syrians using Shia groups, Maronite, Druze and all these other groups to fight them. A full scale rebellion will do the trick. We can do this with out destroying Lebanon or Syria. I mean, we can take weapons from the Americans but no troops. They will end up staying like they always do. They will say "you owe us". It is the truth.

At 2/21/2005 11:23:00 AM, Anonymous Emile said...

I respectfully dissagree that we need the Americans Ibrahim. The Syrians cannot continue to occupy us if we fight back. As I said before, screw Gandhi. Nonviolence does not work. There must be total revolution in Lebanon. The Shia need to be agitated and then we very well may able to combat the Syrians using Shia groups, Maronite, Druze and all these other groups to fight them. A full scale rebellion will do the trick. We can do this with out destroying Lebanon or Syria. I mean, we can take weapons from the Americans but no troops. They will end up staying like they always do. They will say "you owe us". It is the truth.

At 2/21/2005 11:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So its "Lebanon Comment" now.
All the best

At 2/21/2005 12:43:00 PM, Anonymous Ibrahim said...

Beat it

At 2/22/2005 02:39:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

Emile, Ibrahim, my esteemed friends. I think you misunderstand me. The Arab nationalism I believe in has no racism. I have same problems with Arabism that you do. The hatred of the Iranians, the Kurds, the Berbers, the Copts and the Shia in particular, is truly despicable. My Arab nationalism is just solidarity with the Arab peoples against the invaders and promotion of their interests against those of their enemies. It is identical to what both of you are saying.

Emile's comments about fascism in Arab nationalism and Catholic Maronite fascism are illuminating. I am sorry that Emile has kind words to say about fascism and apologizes for the Maronites' fascism, but then, as Emile astutely notes, fascism is endemic in the region. Arab nationalism is afflicted with it, the Turks, the Greeks, the Iranians, the Kurds, the Druze, on and on, seem to have a tribalist - racist - fascist - nationalist bug to work on.

I would add that I find the anti-Arab racism of the Iranian nationalists fascist-like and appalling. For the life of me, I cannot understand why progressive Iranians and Arabs cannot put their ancient feud aside and unite against their common enemies.

Of course we need to note that Zionism is just Jewish fascism. Since 99% of all Jews are Zionists, the Jews are heavily infected with a fascist virus too. As a Leftist, I find all this tribalist blood and soil BS just appalling and disgusting. I realize it's a "regional thang" and I have to "get used to it". Ibrahim and Emile are 2 examples of Arab patriots, Lebanese patriots, ME patriots. So no need to take offense.

You both love your homeland, hate its enemies and are ready to defend the homeland. That's all it take to be a patriot; it's not difficult. For Ibrahim, I am going to note that most of the North African and Gulf Arabs I have met were basically Arab nationalists. So all this fussing and huffing and puffing over whether "Arabism" exists or not is just silly. I've hardly met an Arab who was not an Arabist, so what?

Rather than support Syria, I oppose imperialist-Zionist "regime change" in Syria since it is obviously an imperialist-Zionist plot. Not that I have any love for the regime. I will say that Syria is one of the last patriotic Arab holdouts, one of the last ME states to stand up to the US-Zionist World Dictatorship and its rampages and bullying. Bully for them. May noble Lebanon join them in steadfastness! For your complaints about Syria, I understand.

The subject is painful to me, as a lover of Syria, I hate to see them act bad. Syria needs to acknowledge Lebanon's existence as an independent state, quit coveting their lands, and quit exploiting Lebanon. Syria has, disgustingly, exploited Lebanon in an imperialist manner. As an anti-imperialist, that is very offensive. Syria needs to get the Hell out of Lebanon. I propose a slow withdrawl to let the Syrians save some face.

I am puzzled by Syria's behavior; it's a big disappointment. I want them to be good, but they act bad. I hope you understand my pain. Armed attacks on Syrian forces in Lebanon serve the other enemies of the Lebanese peoples, notably "USreal" and her hired goons. Further, it's totally destabilizing and just not needed. I pray Syria comes to her senses and leaves your lands soon. For Ibrahim, allying with the Zionized American enemy is simply not acceptable and amounts to treason.

And yet, I understand your pain and need for help. Let's look forward to a new Lebanese nationalism, where the people are *Lebanese* first, and whatever pissant tribe or religion second. Emile and Ibrahim, no need to fight with me anymore, as I agree with you both for the most part. Emile, I think you are just furious and lashing out.

At 2/22/2005 09:44:00 AM, Blogger Anton Efendi said...

>>Tony, there's a war on, guy. Careful which side you pick, eh?<<

Is that a threat Bob, or is it another of your hilariously delusional psychopathic bullshit that you masturbate about with you "radical Palestinian" friends?!

If you weren't so goddamn silly, I'd actually feel sorry for you. But you're just another dime a dozen idiot. That's one of the prices we have to pay for having great technology: having to hear morons trying to validate their sorry existence.

At 2/22/2005 09:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, Josh Landis is a serious scholar endowed with a Fulbright recognition, and his info from inside Syria right now are invaluable and unique in the language of Shakespeare. Please do not undermine his good work by carrying all your venom and namecalling and capitals and exclamation points to his website.
I simply would like to know if Ghazaleh's sacking has been confirmed, and if so if, after Khalil, this is not starting to look like a purge? Of consipirators? Could they or anyone for that manner have killed Hariri without Bashar's prior knowledge?

At 2/22/2005 11:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joshua -

Once again, please allow me to waste more valuable RAM to counter some of you more "enlightened" posters:

Of course we need to note that Zionism is just Jewish fascism. Since 99% of all Jews are Zionists, the Jews are heavily infected with a fascist virus too.Dear Mr. Linday,

Your rhetoric and ideology is what is wrong with the Arab world today. "Jewish fascism" is doing pretty well these days, just ask any Israeli Arab. The Arab world would do well to emulate the Zionist Project;)

You both love your homeland, hate its enemies and are ready to defend the homeland.Yes Mr. Lindsay, how quaint! And you would the "enemies" of the Arab homeland be besides the "defeated" Zionist Entity?

Rather than support Syria, I oppose imperialist-Zionist "regime change" in Syria since it is obviously an imperialist-Zionist plot.Don't support anything except the destruction of the Zionist Entity. We all know there is no greater problem facing the Arabs today.

Not that I have any love for the regime. I will say that Syria is one of the last patriotic Arab holdouts, one of the last ME states to stand up to the US-Zionist World Dictatorship and its rampages and bullying.Yes, and the last Arab Baathist Utopia. Everyone around the globe is yearning to emulate this wonderous government.

The subject is painful to me, as a lover of Syria, I hate to see them act bad.No Mr. Lindsay, Syria has never acted bad. And neither has Saddam or his children Uday and Kusau (pbuh).

Syria needs to acknowledge Lebanon's existence as an independent state...Mr. Lindsay, don't expect Syria to do what you can not: acknowledge the existence and legitimacy of Israel;)

Syria has, disgustingly, exploited Lebanon in an imperialist manner.

I am puzzled by Syria's behavior; it's a big disappointment. I want them to be good, but they act bad.Your choice of words are amusing. Perhaps Bashar needs a spanking;)

I hope you understand my pain.Yes Mr. Lindsay, Israel still lives and breathes. Very painful indeed...

For Ibrahim, allying with the Zionized American enemy is simply not acceptable and amounts to treason.I guess Jordan and Eygpt have committed treason. Al-Queda is disappointed once again...

At 2/22/2005 12:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good news! A terrorist is caught before he acts! If only Hariri was as fortunate...

At 2/22/2005 05:38:00 PM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

>>Tony, there's a war on, guy. Careful which side you pick, eh?<<

Is that a threat Bob, or is it another of your hilariously delusional psychopathic bullshit that you masturbate about with you "radical Palestinian" friends?!
Right, Tony, I'm gonna kill ya. I don't even own a weapon. Look, let's get real, man. You're in the US, you're safe. Heading back to the ME anytime soon? The Arab World is finally standing up to the traitors like you that have been nestled in its midst for decades. What's happening to your US-loving Vichy lackeys in Iraq Tony? They're being slaughtered like flies, and there is a river of blood. The pro-US Saudis are getting hit all the time, and many have died.

Now there are military operations in Kuwait. And a network was smashed in Oman. And cells are loose in Jordan, aiming for the traitor King and his gang, thank God. They tried to kill Mubarak's son recently. There are guerillas in the Sinai, targeting Israelis and the Egytian military. There is fighting right now in Central Sinai. Iraq is a bloody hellhole, and the Iraqi resistance you created by this evil invasion you cheered on is spreading out through the region.

It's targeting all these wimpy, cowering, sold out, bought off, pro-US, emasculted clowns running the "pro-US Arab regimes". In your crazy column you sing the praises of the New (Neocon Zionist Imperialist) Middle East, shower abuse on the Arabs, and refuse to say one bad word about your heroes - the Americans, the Israelis and the Maronite fascists. You hate Hezbollah, you hate the Palestinians and you hate the Iraqi patriots who fight the puppets and the invaders.

And the joke is, for all your neocon strutting, you're not winning at all. There is no "New (Neocon) Middle East". There is a failing US occupation amidst are horrific insurgency, a situation in Palestine worse than ever, a destabilized Lebanon, a Syria and Iran arming themselves for war your buddies and Russia lining up behind them. And most of the pro-US regimes in the area are starting to develop internal insurgencies.

Way to go, Tony! Is that what your grand Zionist neocon plan to attack Iraq was intended to do? Destabilize all the US allies in the region? Your column, like the whole neocon worldview, is delusional. Your prose soars with the swagger of the victorious and you mock your defeated, pitiful enemies. And it's a lie, too. You are *not* winning. Syria is *not* isolated, surely not by the Arab masses. The war on Israel is *not* over at all.

You just don't get it, do you? You think you're flush with victory and you've got the bad guys on the run, but that's not the case at all, man.

My point: I can't hurt you and I won't. In fact, I'd probably even buy you a cup of coffee.

However, you have allied yourself with the worst of the Arab traitors. You called for the Zionist-imperialist invasion and occupation of Iraq, and now you call for the same on Syria. In your posts on history, you have the *gall* to cheer on the British and French colonization of the Arab World! You dog. How could you? And now you cheer the colonization of Iraq, as your heroes the French and British are gone, and the new imperialist master, the Zionized US, replaced them, to your ecstasy.

You love Israel and you want to see the Palestinians and Hezbollah smashed.

And in the "New Middle East" that you cheer about so much, guys like you are starting to die in hails of bullets and bomb explosions. Ok? Be careful, man.

At 2/22/2005 09:15:00 PM, Anonymous Emile said...

How is the Iraqi "Resistance" pro-Arab? All they do is kill Arabs! They bomb mosques! They kidnap innocent women! Arab women! What is pro-Arab about that? Nothing at all! Why are you cheering for Islamist scum? Islamism is a scorge on the Arabs. It is punishment if it is anything. You see what those Islamists, Salafist scumbags did to Algeria, do you want that for Iraq too? They are dogs and they should be burried. You see what they did to them in Algeria? Erradicated them. That has to be done in Iraq and everywhere else where that cancer is growing. Islamism and Israel are the biggest enemies of the Arabs. You must be smoking rocks if you think that Islamists are good for the Arabs or anyone else. They're nothing but bulwarks to all that is positive.

At 2/23/2005 03:19:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

To Emile: see my post The Catastrophe of the Iraqi Resistance, which says everything you just said. It's recently taken a nasty Islamist turn, yes. Uh-huh, and you think every single Iraqi fighting colonialism in Iraq is a Salafist loon? I don't think so. I share every single one of your concerns about these guerrillas, but note that this resistance is extremely diverse, and I am sure there are units just attacking military targets.

It's pretty clear to me that the Iraqi people need to stand up to this US-Zionist colonial outrage and occupation. And at this point, no, I do not think the Salafists need to be fought. Later on, sure. I despise Salafism just as much as you do. FYI, there are Iraqi Christians, atheists, agnostics and seculars in the resistance - that's been proven. Do the Iraqis or do they not have a damned right to resist this outrage?

It's so disappointing that the resistance has taken on this character, but for Christ's sake, standing up and fighting for the homeland is the right thing to do. Yeh, it's the Arab thing to do, the patriotic thing to do. You go on and on about what Syria did to Lebanon, look what the Hell these US Zionist monsters are doing to Iraq. Come on. You deny the heroic Iraqi people the right to stand up to this criminal dog invader and fight for the precious homeland?

You're just lashing out, lash lash lash lash. What's dumb, Emile, is I agree with you on most everything you say, yet you lash away, lash lash lash. You need a puching bag? Go fight your enemies, not me, your friend. Christ. I am a Cristian just like you brother, and I have no tolerance for any fundamentalism, especially this Islamism. Talk about cancers.

At 2/23/2005 03:42:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

You know Emile, as terrible as these Islamists are, I like them better than these traitors like these Allawis, Chalabis, the rest of the Iraqi puppets, Fouad Ajami, Walid Phares. At least these Islamists, terrible as they are, at least they fight the enemy, they fight Israel and the fight US imperialism. It pisses me off. You look around, so many people ought to be taking these US-Israeli bastards, and these Islamist whackjobs are the only ones to pick up the ball. Wow, what a disappointment.

Have you read any Iraqi blogs? Go read Baghdad Burning, Dahr Jamail, Free Iraq, Raed in the Middle. They all HATE this damned US Zionist colonization of Iraq. They HATE it. It kind of bothers me, brother, that you won't even grant your Iraqi brothers the right to shake off this criminal rape of their land, while you go on and on, which, let's face it, what Syria did to you is not near what USreal is doing to Iraq.

Free Iraq is written by Imad Khadduri, a former Iraqi nuclear scientist, a secularist, an Arab nationalist, a proud Iraqi patriot, and a friend of mine. He's no traitor, no bootlicker, and no puppet. You know what else? He's a Christian, Arab Christian just like you. He supports the resistance all out, man. And you deny him his resistance? Who next will you deny the right to resist? The Palestinians, are they bad too? I don't know, man. What's wrong with fighting Occupation anyway?

At 2/23/2005 10:57:00 AM, Anonymous Emile said...

The Iraqis have an opprotunity now. Why are the Shia not killing innocent women and chilrend and running around doing other criminal things in the name of the Nation? Because they know if they cooperate now, they can get their interests served in the near future. The new Iraqi government, headed by Ibrahim Jaafari will not be an outlet for foreign control. That idea is from the paranoid crackpots that want another Saddam regime or Islamic state. I deney those who in the process of resistence destroy their country. I would not support a militia in Lebanon that was Orthodox Arab and killed innocent people. THat defeats the whole purpose of Lebanon, the ARab Nation and everything that we as people can hope to work for. What good are the resistance in Iraq doing? Are they building schools? Are they helping old people? Are they doing the things that Arabs should do anyway? If they are, please show me because from my Iraqi friends I have heard of none of this. They kidnaped that poor Polish woman who was HELPING Iraq! What good does that do? It is in the interest of IRaq and the wholeof the Arab world to rebuild itself by working together and making Iraq an example. I do not see the new IRaqi government pandering to the US or anybody else, not even IRan. About the Palestinians, I believe the Intifada has done more harm than good and has done little if anything positive for their cause. You know you are becoming part of the problem when you are killing more Arabs than Israelis. It has cost the Palestinians so much. I understand their frustration but self destruction is not the way to go. Iraqis, Palestinians and everyone else has to think and act pragmatically. If you can get something from the enemy by talking, TAKE IT. Don't walk away. Don't attack them for more. It doesn't work. Get moer later when you can bargen. It makes no sense to wage a conflict that destroies you homeland and kills more of your people than the occupier. It counters the cause. Do you support the murderous GIA in Algeria? They did the same that the resistance in IRaq is doing. Do you support the murderous militias in Lebanon? Gaurdians of the Cedars? PLO? SNPP? Sure some of them attack only military, but most of them do not. Most of them are indiscriminately killing innocents. I don't know any Algerians that want to be run by GIA or FIS anymore because of how they tortured the nation. I don't know any Iraqis (I will check out some of the blogs you linked) that want to be run by the "resistance". My Palestinian friends tell me they want the Intifada to end more than they want to defeat Israel. Granted msot of these are not "radicals" but these are people that grew up in the conflict. Violence is not something that is needed. Espeically when it hurts those you want to help more than those you are aiming to hurt. It is pointless. I don't care if there are Christians and secularists in the resistance, if it is not being contructive and helping the Iraqis in the long term, they should stop. It is like Aswan High Dam. That was nice in the short term but it ruined a lot of people's lives and a lot of history in the long term. I pray for the Iraqis to come together, but not in violence. The fighting promote divisure. They are contributing to the problem. I cannot tolorate militancy that is not justified. If the occupation was truely doing nothing good, if it were not building schools, hospitals etc I would say go ahead. Fight like the Battle of Algiers! But, they are helping and Iraq can benefit from it. Why are you so militant?

At 2/24/2005 08:31:00 PM, Anonymous kingcrane said...

Robert Lindsay:

I have to correct some of your info, mostly because facts and data really matter to you, a non-arab (for us from the ME, we use several sets of facts that to argue with each other, otherwise life would be boring for us; after all, we do take pride in our factionalism, except that we should start controling it, because the neo-cons are now taking advantage of it).

So here are a few facts:

a-The Wahhabi Palestinian came into the spotlight through Al-Jazeera, not through the Lebanese authorities (the Lebanese authorities are so afraid of this whole thing that they do not dare perform much, and I hope that the International Team will do something with the actual investigation, not only observe the scene).

b-The fingering of Syria is not new, it happens all the time, and (apparently) the Syrian authorities do not mind this situation as they are now used to it.

Note: Well, 09-11-2001 was planned in France, Germany (etc) but nobody knew much, and nobody ever accused the French or the Germans.

Note: The shake up in the Syrian Istikhbarat is due to the fact that Bashar Assad was furious that this happened under the nose of the Syrian Istakhbarat; these guys were probably too busy with other things to notice anything. But, what about the night security employees in the area (assuming there are some) for the few weeks before the blast? Not much there, I guess. A poor guy (a local employee who was injured) was interviewed on TV, and he was furious that he had been asked questions by some investigators about some large pipe or tunnel under the street at the St-Georges location (he failed to realize that he was being treated as a suspect rather than an eyewitness; the Lebanese Istikhbarat, despite his wounds, looked at him like they looked at everybody: a possible perpetrator).

c-The current coalitions in Lebanon have very little to do with the old pre-1989 era (currently, there are people from all the major denominations on the two annoyingly similar parts of the fence, i.e. the Lahoud loyalists and the Opposition stooges, except for the Shia: one large block with Amal and the Hezbollah being by far the two largest components) and the Armenians (they are smart to stay away from meaningless squabbles). In essence, ideology is a non-factor, and we are back to pro-East (Syria) and pro-West (US / France) like when the Constitution was being written under the French mandate... This is sad, and my biggest fear (if people don't grow up fast) is endless vendettas after all foreign forces get out (I include in this the Israelis in control of the Lebanese Farms of Chebaa).

d-About the crusades, I disagree on the role of the ME christians: Most were arabs who were offended by the barbaric Franks, but the pro-Frank minority of christians did what everybody else was doing: the ME witnessed a bunch of wars of interest next to which today's wars can be considered "less complex" (some moslims sided with the Franks, and there have been battles that opposed coalitions that included Arabs and Franks on both sides). Ultimately, Saladin (a Kurdish warrior whose dad worked for the Seldjuk Turks) unified the ME peoples and defeated the Franks at Hattin. Since some bloggers have said derogatory things about Arabs, let me add that the Mameluks of Egypt (Arabized ex-slave Indo-europeans) are the reason the whole world was spared from the Mongols (the Mongols were defeated at Ain-Jalut by the Mameluks led by Baibar in the 13th century, and their empire never recovered after this huge battle). Without the Mameluks, Europe was next. After this battle, the crusaders retreated to a few strongholds and on to the island of Arouad that they left at the beginning of the 14th century. Some remained (descendants include the Frangie family and many families in the ME).

e-The patriotic Maronites you mention are all Emile Lahoud Loyalists (except for at least one opposition member: Nassib Lahoud). Al-Murr is not a Maronite, but a Greek Orthodox (and a Loyalist). Clearly, today, those who define themselves as Loyalists or Opposition are just protecting their interests. Of the whole government, the only individual who did the right thing is Khazen, as he chose to show that he is really independent by resigning his tourism post (but, as background, he gathered far more votes than any of the other four elected Maronite MPs in Kesrouan at the 2000 election). But there are many more Maronites who are really independent and patriotic, including a great mind: previous Minister Salameh. He gave an interview Wednesday, on Hariri's Future TV, that I bet most people in power in Syria and in Lebanon watched at least once.

f-In your arguments with Tony (Tony: sorry man, you are a tool for somebody and your ideology is so strict that you see everything in black and white and that you will never admit to making a judgement mistake, while Robert Lindsay has admitted making some errors in his previous interventions), you should read what Tony said about the Shiite crescent that the Sunni trio of Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia is afraid of. Tony has a valid point here: Iran has a lot of influence in Syria and Iraq, but both are actually sovereign states, while Jordan and Saudi Arabia have internal problems of their own (though the Saudis did kick some butt internally), and: Jordan is essentially trans-Palestine with economic problems. Here is the problem with this perceived Shiite versus Sunni equation: the king of Jordan can always pretend to some kind of legitimacy among Shia (he is of the descendance of Ali), but the Saudis cannot offer much (they are just another oligarchic monarchic kleptocraty in the ME). My feeling is: the war of religion between the two branches of Islam will NOT happen; it can only happen if and when the whole ME loses very large numbers of non-moslims, through attrition, including the jews of Israel, and the christians in the fertile crescent. Tony: Do not make the mistake of seeing what is happening in Iraq as a Shia versus Sunna war (it is far more complex, as the "insurgency" in Iraq is extremely diverse).

At 2/25/2005 06:13:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

Kingcrane, wow, what a beautiful post. To me, what your POV is the essence of Arabism. Arabism is so maligned; in my thinking, Arabism should only be the natural nationalistic spirit of the Arab peoples, nothing more. Why must it have anything to do with hating other people, racism, the supposed glory days of the Arabs, or any of that. Defend the homeland, pursue the interests of the Arabs, don't sell out and surrender to the enemy.

How's that for a minimalist Arabist agenda? And this evil and fascist and racist exactly how now? Personally, I would like to go beyond Arabism to something called Middle Easternism. Why not include the Kurds, the Assyrians, the Maronites, the Blacks, the patriotic Jews, the Copts, the Berbers? They live in the Middle East too, alongside the Arabs, and many were there before the Arabs. So why can't they all form an identity - Middle Easternism?

There are plenty of enemies out to screw every group I listed above. The Wahhabi Palestinian story has now been updated by the investigation of Lebanese military court, with new info tracing him to the Syrian mosque and Ansar Al Islam. Your comments on the fingering of the Syrians, the investigation and the shakeup of the Iktabarat make the best sense so far. I am aware the Lebanese situation has changed, but he get basically *zero* updated, intense news about Lebanon in our major papers and newsmagazines.

I realize I am ignorant, but I am sure I know more about Lebanon that 99% of white US Euroamericans. Badran's contemptous remarks are petulant and uncalled for. Tony Badran needs to take on my arguments, one by one, piece by piece. He just sits back throws abuse and insults and never answers charges.

So, I go to the GOC site and Free Lebanon sites (expat Maronites) and the rhetoric sounds like the 80's, nothing changed. Pls explain. I understand the Maronite exile is different from the Maronites inside Lebanon? Your notion that idelogy is absent and only naked powerplays exist is superb and the fears of internal Lebanese bloodletting are noted. Is this not a sin? If we really adopt, let's say, "Middle-Easternism".

This is a Saladin-like coaliton of all the *patriotic* peoples of the region - means they fight imperialism and Zionism and don't sell out the homeland - for starters - what is more sinful than kill your brother to please the USreali enemy? I understand the Crusades were complex but the Maronites did not side with the Crusaders? Do you realize that 100% of the Zionist Jewish scum I have met from Israel regard the invasion of the Crusaders as a glorious thing?

And many "normal" Americans feel the same way? Is that disgusting or not? It is. I understand that in Jerusalem the Jews, Christians and Muslims all stood side by side and fought the invader, and many died. Is that not the ultimate Middle Easternism, the ultimate model? Do you agree this current situation resembles the onset of the Crusades? I do. I totally respect your steadfast stand on Shebaa Farms.

I must say, I am disturbed at all the Arab defeatism I see in this forum. It is truly depressing. You are a healthy antidote. This bit about the Mameluks is classic, I never knew it. The West needs to know this. I'm copying that down. Ok, so Khazen is the ultimate patriot, he is not bought by the Syrians or the Zionist-imperialist onslaught. Good. Ok, and what does Tony say about this "Shia Crescent"? You know, honestly, all this Shia Crescent talk is just so foul to me. It seems like raw naked disgusting Nazi racism.

The Sunni have been the overlords of the Shia there for almost a mellenia. They are worried about the "niggers rising up". I can't stand Arabs hating Iranians nor the reverse. It's despicable. Must this Arab-Iranian idiotic hatred go on forever? How bout some Saladin-like unity. Arabs and Iranians together against the Anglo-Zionist juggernaut bearing down on you all? This crescent talk reminds me of the way Nazis talk of Jews or KKK talk about Blacks - it's simply repulsive - it's code for sheer bigotry.

Now that you explain though, I understand. But in Saudi Arabia the Shia are a tiny minority - they will conquer the Kingdom? Huh? The Shia do not exist in Jordan. So the Shia will invade Jordan and conquer it for the Shia? Do you realize this is bizarre conspiracy? There is indeed a partly Shia-Sunni War in Iraq, but I read a recent piece about resistance in Baghdad. Even so-called ultra-Sunni Haifa Street, that said Haifa Street resistance includes some Shia. Another interview with 2 wealthy Shia in north Baghdad had them working with a Shia who was close to Saddam's regime. So, clearly, there are Shia in the resistance. However, there are some scumbag elements that are attacking Shia.

That is a truly incredible post, sir. I say you are a genius. :) WOW.

At 2/25/2005 06:23:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

Emile, I am sorry, this is just defeatism. I realize there is defeatism in the Arab World. In my country, the American Indians surrendered too. This is what you want. I understand ppl are sick of fighting and do not want to die anymore. I've never been in a war zone so I can't really talk. The Palestinians and Iraqis can decide for themselves when to surrender and when to fight - I can't do it for them. I respect their decision.

I say, this is the first Arab defeatism I have ever seen. All the other Arabs I have met were totally militant. About Iraq, we are going round and round here, and we agree anyway. Why am I so militant? Well, I am a Leftist radical and I support the PFLP and DFLP in Palestine. Also I have known some PLO members and PFLP members. They are extremely radical and they influenced me. Odd to say, most radical Arabs think I am a pro-US, pro-Israeli possible agent because I am not radical enough for them. And then, so many others think I am extremist.

I love George Habash. He is the greatest Greek Orthodox (GO) of the Levant now. And I love Anatallah Hannah in Israel, the 2nd greatest GO in the Levant. This is what the GO should aspire to, not abject surrender and defeatism.

I am suspicious of you. Why do you choose to lash at me? We have Zionists coming in here cheering on Israel, cheering on the devastation of Iraq, promoting more Crusader invasions, and you are silent. But me, I get the lashing, because I support Arab and ME hardline patriots? Why? Because it is F-g noble, that is why? And you thrash me. Why don't you hit the Zionists who come in here and taunt the Arabs?

At 2/25/2005 06:25:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

Kingcrane, feel free to come on over to the site if you want. You've got some of the smartest analysis around.

At 2/25/2005 02:14:00 PM, Anonymous kingcrane said...

To: Robert Lindsay.

I am sure I have offended many people with my outburst about the Palestino-PSP plot in 1976 to overtake Lebanon. Those guys were indeed mis-guided and neither Israel (risk of Palestinian Cairo-accord empowered Palestinians at their border) nor Syria (risk of fragmentation of the peace process) were going to let it happen. I do not want to pick facts, but here is something else: in his young years, ex-president Soleiman Frangie had to flee to Syria, and he hid in the Lattakia area courtesy of the Assad family; his relationship with Hafez Assad was key to the Syrian intervention in Lebanon in 1976.

Why do I mention this? Because I am an old man (over 60) and I have a good memory. Yesterday on LBC, Fares Boueiz was invited by Marcel Ghanem; Boueiz said that a secret agreement with Kissinger gave Assad the right to intervene in Lebanon, but this is inexact: Assad was told that, should the Palestino-PSP coalition (or other) spring up and become a threat in Lebanon, it was up to Syria to intervene and keep the status quo in Lebanon. We all know that Hafez Assad tried his best to prevent Lebanon from becoming a liability to Syria. However, this perceived pro-christian, anti-moslim bias fueled the Moslim Brotherhood in Syria, and Assad sent the Saraya-Al-Difah (his own brother Rifaat was in charge and he gave him carte blanche) in Hama to avoid a sectarian civil war in Syria.

Let us go back to my outburst: the Cairo accord gave the Palestinians too many rights in Lebanon, and they mis-used those rights. When Nasser died a few months later, the only individual in the ME who could have modified the accord was gone. In Lebanon, the Frangie presidency consisted of a progressive escalade that would not abate. In the interim, Sadat was busy understanding Kissinger's instructions (eventually, this led to the 1973 war after which Syria and Egypt showed a huge rift). The Syrian administration still tried to keep Lebanon in equilibrium; a peaceful Lebanon was a card in the hands of Assad, but a disorderly Lebanon was just a liability. The anti-Syrian movement in the 1978 to 1982 period was diverse, and led to the creation of the Lebanese Forces, then Israel intervened... and it took another 7 years to get to the Taif agreement (this kind of agreement should warrant a referendum in Lebanon, just to give it popular legitimacy).

Marcel Ghanem made a small mistake: he invited two individuals that are both pro-opposition (the other being a journalist, Khouri). The two, though clearly from the same camp, were quite a show and kept stepping on each other, showing how self-advancement has become the credo in Lebanon: Boueiz kept re-phrasing himself, and Khouri was busy thanking everybody from Walid Joumblatt to Black Jack Chirac. Worse: when the callers phoned in, Boueiz dismissed a couple of sincere Shia in a very patronizing way, and almost blew a fuse when a polite pro-Georges Saadeh Phalangist asked him some disturbing questions. During the whole thing, Marcel Ghanem looked like he was having fun, except for moments where he showed his real self (I think he was incredulous about some of the stuff he was hearing, but he is a veteran, and he knew what to expect).

Boueiz also mentioned that Hariri told him that he was in danger, as previously mentionned by Joumblatt, but on Hariri's Future TV, the elder Hariri son was quoted as saying that his dad was never threatened.

Also, on NBN (a Chiite TV channel), Pakradouni's #2 (Rashad Salameh, not to be confused with Ghassan Salameh) talked about Black Jack, and said he had heard that Black Jack met with opposition leaders. My reaction (the French Ambassador had visited Frangieh Junior and others earlier that day to "explain" why Chirac never met the lebanese officials) is that Chirac came to see the Hariri family, and that it was inevitable for him not to meet (as in casually meet, not have a meeting with them) opposition leaders.

But this is all trivial. it just shows that the leaders chosen by the people, and based substantially on inherited political feudal families, with sectarianism in the background, is a major problem. I dare both the Lahoud Loyalists and the Opposition to conduct real national elections with national lists, because guess what? Neither would obtain the majority of our parliament. If a coalition is formed, it will include independents who will become arbitors of the current struggle for power. And, this would be even possible if the voting is done by lists in the five Mouhafazat.

But enough with this. I would like to offer the following about why people like me are proud to be Arabs: when the Turks were ruling a huge part of Central and Western Asia, it was Arabic Sufi Moslim Clergy who taught them tolerance. So what is the difference between a Mongol and a Turk? The former were barbarian warriors, whereby the latter were taught tolerance by Sufi moslims.

At 2/25/2005 04:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More Kingcrane please. Josh Landis, how about a guest editorial from Kingcrane?

At 2/26/2005 07:11:00 PM, Anonymous Emile said...

"I say, this is the first Arab defeatism I have ever seen. All the other Arabs I have met were totally militant"

Ok. Most of the Arabs I have known are tired of people dying needlessly because of hot headed young men. I grew up around Arabs, I am Arab. Do not tell me how Arabs are. I have thrown stones at soldiers, tanks and I have school mates whose homes have been knocked down because of a stupid desicion made by an older brother. Stupid violence comes with consequences. Sometimes they are not worth it. You should also meet more Arabs.

"Why am I so militant? Well, I am a Leftist radical and I support the PFLP and DFLP in Palestine. Also I have known some PLO members and PFLP members. They are extremely radical and they influenced me. Odd to say, most radical Arabs think I am a pro-US, pro-Israeli possible agent because I am not radical enough for them. And then, so many others think I am extremist. "

I think organizations like this are antiArab. They achieve nothing. What have these radicalists gotten us? Nothing. It is nice for old people to think back about the struggle, it is good to continue for justice and peace but when methods do not work, you ahve to find something else and move on. These groups are out of date and they have brought nothing but burdens and suffering on their children. Do extremists get anything in Palestine? But demolished homes and crying children? THey don't just make us look bad but they make things worse for us. They are the mirror image of the Likud. What is your opinion of Abu Nidal?

"I am suspicious of you. Why do you choose to lash at me? We have Zionists coming in here cheering on Israel, cheering on the devastation of Iraq, promoting more Crusader invasions, and you are silent. But me, I get the lashing, because I support Arab and ME hardline patriots? Why? Because it is F-g noble, that is why? And you thrash me. Why don't you hit the Zionists who come in here and taunt the Arabs? "

Because what did these extremist ideologies get Lebanon? Suffering and fragmentation. Itis doing the same to the Palestinians and Iraqis. We do not need that. It is killing us. We have to have ourselves in order before we can properly fight our enemies. What were the Arabs doing in 48? THey were playing tricks on each other, spying on eachother, not cooperating. What are we doing now and inbetween? THe same thing. Sabatoging oneanother. How can we say "the ISraelis are raping PAelstine!" (they are) while Syria does the same thing to Lebanon? When the military in Algeria and Syria and Mauritania run their states just like the Israelis were/are running WEst Bank and Gaza? We are raping ourselves and amking it easier for others to come in. I will defend Arabs but I will not get hooked on crack and pretend that things are hunkydory and that we are flawless. WE are nowhere near that. When Syria is not raping Lebanon and Arabs are not massacring Arabs in Iraq FOR NO GOOD REASON and the Arab leaders (including the militant factions) actually pretend to give a shit about us and our future for once maybe then I will defend them with the zeal that you do. I lash out at you because you continue to say "100 of Arabs are militant" I am ARab, I am militant only slightly. I am mostly not and I would not and will not identify with the radical organizations that have brought nothig but pain to the ARabs in conjunction wiht the Zionists. We need groups and ideas for this generation, not the last one now.

"I love George Habash. He is the greatest Greek Orthodox (GO) of the Levant now. And I love Anatallah Hannah in Israel, the 2nd greatest GO in the Levant. This is what the GO should aspire to, not abject surrender and defeatism."

Defeatism is moving from your homeland and not returning. Seting up shop abroad permenantly. Defeatism is giving up your citizenship. Defeatism is having a town of Greek Orthodox have so many brothers and sisters emigrate to the Good Lord Knows Where and having to close down the parish. Defeatism is engaging in selfdestructive violence to the point that you are nto able to adjust to a changing climate and use new tactics. Defeatism is loosing sight of reality and thinking that 2005 is 1948. It is maintaining backward and ineffective ideologies in a world in which they no longer serve a purpose. George Habash was good. In his time period. He's old. Times have changed. He ment well, but things have changed and it didn't work. We have to try something new and accept that we may not totally dominate Palestine or anywhere else. WE might get most of what we want, some of it or possibly all of it. But we have to explore all options. We looked to completely demolishing the Zionist enterprise. IT didn't work. We looked to wearing them down some through force, it didn't work. Now we have to try negotiations. It may work or it may not, but we will not know unless we really give it a try. The Intifada has killed so many young people and old people it is disgusting. It just makes more trouble. I understand why they do it. But sometimes reason has to dominate instinct. We Orthodox are Christians. WE have an obligation to not kill. Sometimes you have to but you don't have to be killing killing all the damn time. Orthodox who take part in such insidious murder of their own people by sending them out to fight tanks with nothing but a rock are not meeting their obligation. THey are just as responsible for the condition of the ARabs as are the Zionists. THey play into their hand. What good has PFLP, Hamas (in the military wing), Abu Nidal done for Palestine but more problems? THey are thugs. They are like the MAronite murderers who kill all these innocent people and then say 'we are so hot" What good does this do? At all??! Nothing. If there is to be violence it should be on the meatheads who act like Likud in red, black, white and green. IT should be against the criminal Syrian occupiers in Lebanon, the backward thugs in Egypt, the idiot comedian in Libya and the 2000 "Princes" (says WHO?) in Saudi Arabia. Our truest enemies are on the inside. The dirty old men that run these "Radical" groups and try to make us young people think like them are our enemies. They are traiters. THey make the Western/Zionist invaders stronger. It is not right to be in this state of mind "radical is best" it is not. YOu have to come to the middle of the compass if you will.

At 2/26/2005 10:06:00 PM, Anonymous Robert Lindsey said...

Emile! Just a word of advice. Don't even bother answering me! I'm a drunk bastard who keeps falling off the wagon and balbering nonesense. Half of the time I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. I'm just here to spew my anger and venom around, waiting for a good bitchslap.


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