Thursday, February 24, 2005

For a tough but smart analysis of the Lebanon situation see Tony Badran's latest posts at Across the Bay. He quotes an article on Jumblatt's latest revelations about Hariri's last meeting with President Asad.

Jumblat recited in the interview what President Assad told Hariri in their last meeting in Damascus in august last year shortly before Syria dictated the 3-year extension of President Lahoud in power.

"Lahoud is me," Hariri quoted Assad as telling him in the meeting that was held when Hariri was still the prime minister of Lebanon, Jumblat said. "That was the intro of Syria's dictation of Lahoud's extension in September, which led Hariri to resign and which touched of the current crisis," Jumblat explained.

He further quoted Hariri as having told him that Bashar said: "If Chirac wants to get me out of Lebanon I will destroy Lebanon. Jumblat has Druze in Mount Lebanon, but I also have Druze and I shall hit and destroy Mt. Lebanon."

Jumblat said the opposition in Lebanon "does not want to fight the Syrians. They are our neighbors. But we don't want to be annexed in a new Anschluss as Hitler did to Austria in 1938."


Tony argues that Syria will burn its way out of Lebanon much as Saddam did on departing Kuwait. I don't think he will. The Germans and Europeans seem to have persuaded Bush to wait on sanctions until after the May elections in Lebanon.

A number of people here in Damascus have suggested that Syria may try to hold off the withdrawal until the Lebanese elections in order to save face by leaving with a new government and in an orderly fashion. That would seem to be Europe's hope and advice to Bashar. For the time being, President Bush is going along. He cannot use force in Syria or act unilaterally. There are no more troops to spare. He needs Europe this time.

38 Comments:

At 2/24/2005 06:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bashar told Hariri that he will burn Lebanon??!! Jumblat wants to benefit from Hariri's death to the maximum.

 
At 2/24/2005 06:45:00 AM, Blogger afidhsgf said...

Excellent blog. I found it about a week ago and now get it syndicated. Blogrolled you too. I'm headed to Syria at the end of summer for a month to better my Arabic so I'm ver y interested in what you have to say.

 
At 2/24/2005 07:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Joshua,
Lebanese & Syrian affairs are much more complicated to be realized through Mr. Jumblat's so many contradictory and bizarre speeches.
We would expect you to choose better approaches to the current situation to maintain credibility of your blog.

 
At 2/24/2005 10:09:00 AM, Anonymous kingcrane said...

Joumblatt is the one who also says that Annan warned Hariri that either Hariri or Joumblatt may be killed. Puh-leaze: stop being pretentious. Hariri is in a completely different league than Joumblatt! Also, if an International inquiry on the Hariri blast is to take place, we should get both Annan and Joumblatt as witnesses. Perhaps Annan can also talk about the money for oil program and enlight us about all of those who made money on it.

 
At 2/24/2005 12:08:00 PM, Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

Excellent, professional blog! So happy we have another academic willing to "go public." Was introduced to you through Bedouina.

Thank you in advance for all your effort!

 
At 2/24/2005 12:26:00 PM, Blogger Anton Efendi said...

Hi Josh, thanks for the plug!

I didn't quite say that Bashar will burn Lebanon, only that he might if pushed too far. In essence, this is what lies behind all the fear in certain anachronistic and fossilized quarters (martin indyk and some euros) that you give too much credit too by making them seem like some wise men who know about "old societies!" Well, "old Lebanon" wants its democracy and freedom back, no matter what "old Europe" or good ol' martin indyk says!

Besides, there seems to be a fundamental contradiction in your position on Europe when you present Chirac as not being in the mood to cut deals, and as being repeatedly embarrassed by Bashar who turned out to be the furthest thing from a reformer and just another thug. Add to that the statement about Lebanon being France's Iraq. Not the the greatest message if you're bashar. So I think that the reluctance theory doesn't fit well with this presentation of Chirac. Which is why the Lebanese pro-Syrian government has called Chirac the most extreme of the lot! Can you believe that?! Well, it's a lot at stake for Chirac on this one. He can't be embarrassed by a bumbling novice like Bashar. It will kill any credibility Europe wishes to have in its dealings with the ME, as if that's not dead already. Regardless of their differences, I think the US and France are determined to use Lebanon as common ground. It's not only convenient in terms of policy, but it's also a matter of personal prestige for Chirac. He will try to counter the US policy by taking hold of the Lebanon file himself. Hence, Lebanon is France's Iraq. So far, they've managed to compromise well, to the detriment of Bashar. Also, on the US demands, I think that the most important one for them is the insurgency in Iraq. The Palestinian issue can be taken care of by the Palestinians themselves just as they have been trying to curb Hizbullah's interference in the OT. As for the Hizbullah issue, the US will likely compromise with France on the "terrorist" label, because it sees that the opposition in Lebanon is demanding the cessation of operations against israel and a return to the armistice. Therefore, the Lebanese themselves will take care of Hizbullah's military wing. Right now, by pushing the issue, the US risks to alieante France, and to push Hizbullah further away from the opposition. I think they'll see that and focus more exclusively on the comprehensive Syrian pull-out and the free elections as that seems to be the common ground they have with Europe, as reflected in their statements. As for the insurgency, other options will develop. For one, the US is already holding back-channel talks with them and they will continue to join the process in Iraq. That will be a set back for Syria because the Syrian Sunnis might put two and two together, as Lee Smith said. Add to that Jordanian and Saudi support for a stronger Sunni role in Syria (to counter the Shiite ascendency in Iraq) and Bashar will face a serious internal and regional problem, especially if he keeps alienating the Sunni neighbors, as he did with Mubarak. So the cards are quickly flying from Bashar's hands. Yet he remains dangerous, and that's why people are afraid of reprisals in Lebanon, as made clear by Walid Muallem's recent remarks on how "lebanon always pays the price."

At this stage, any move by Bashar that doesn't essentially conform to US-EU demands is likely to piss people off more and more, most notably Chirac, but also the neighboring Sunni Arab states, let alone the Lebanese and the US.

On another note, you seem to confirm my suspicions that the entire "Old Guard" theory is utter bogus. They are out of the loop, not Bashar. But if they get pissy, and there is Sunni pressure from the neighbors, and the Syrian Sunnis wake up to the possibility of being able to remove the Asads, things might turn ugly for Bashar. I know usually the Syrians are either too afraid to speak up (although that seems to be cracking as you mention) or somehow side with the regime in some misguided notion that they're being nationalistic. The problem here is that perhaps they could have justified that in the past. But how can they rationalize what Bashar is doing as for the good of the Syrian nation, as opposed to his kleptocratic extended family? Will he then crack down on his own people? Will he want to manage two revolutions!?

A dead end indeed, but when cornered, desperate people do desperate things. That's our fear.

 
At 2/24/2005 02:39:00 PM, Blogger johnplikethepope said...

reply to Tony, 12:26PM:

Thank you for a most information entry in this very educational thread. I have little to offer in the way of detailed info on Syria. My analysis leads me to agree that Syria's ruling family is cornered, and this is a dangerous situation.

A question for those better informed than I: Could the end of the Syrian regime include abdication? Why would a man who studied to be an opthamologist risk his life for a job he seems unfit to hold?

 
At 2/24/2005 03:39:00 PM, Anonymous Kafka said...

I think that that kind of language is not unusual in the Middle East especially from people in high office. The late Lebanese president Kamil Chamoun, was reputed to use this language constantly against his political opponents.
Hurting Lebanon on the way out is always a possibility for the Syrian regime. Even Americans are known to be capable of doing this. Remember what Henry Kissinger did to Vietnam with his B52s after the decision to pull out was already made.
If it happens in Lebanon (and I hope that it will not), we will just have to accept this as a supplement to the overall bill. Personally I do not think that the Lebanese Shiites will do anything violent to aid the Syrians, against the clear majority of Lebanese who clamour for a Syrian pullout. The Lebanese Shiites, as Lebanese, are obliged to consider their relations with the rest of the Lebanese in the "after".
The Syrian ruling regime(difficult to define its form at the moment), is rapidly losing ground on the international scene and the latest news of a pullout presented by M. Mouallem, the Syrian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, is an index.
One thing which everyone seems to be forgetting, however, is the pressure which is going to build up inside Syria owing to the social reality of some 300 000 Syrian workers suddenly out of a job and too scared to return to work in Lebanon. This seems to me a far greater threat to the Syrian regime than international pressure.

 
At 2/24/2005 05:00:00 PM, Anonymous kingcrane said...

The Syrian pullout has already started; I guess somebody with enough common sense did exactly what Ghassan Salameh urged Syria to do in his interview yesterday, which is to take the initiative and deploy out of the scene before the elections. Apparently, the Syrians wanted to hear somebody from outside the Lahoud or the opposition camps, and Salameh is one such voice. Also, the rhetoric has been tuned down by both camps; this surprises me, as the elections are coming soon. This may (possibly but not necessarily) mean that the authorities in both capitals now know a little bit more about the Hariri under-the-asphalt blast perpetrators; they should welcome with open arms the UN team members which, along with the Swiss scientists, are neutral

Some are talking about a bill to pay for the Syrian authorities; well, after 1976, and foiling the Palestino-PSP regime change, I had to accept the Syrian presence, knowing that one day (even a distant day, after a final settlement of the Syrian-Israeli problem), Syria will leave Lebanon. So, a "bill to pay" is incongruous; but, we need to achieve real democracy in Lebanon, and export it to Syria. As to the 300,000 Syrian workers who will inevitably have to leave, they may talk about the great things in Lebanon to others in Syria. If Syria leaves honorably, I think Syria is ripe for democracy. Bashar Assad, once uninvolved in Lebanon (disinvolved from Lebanon) may finally get the opportunity to clean up shop in Syria and do good things for his people

 
At 2/24/2005 07:35:00 PM, Anonymous Kafka said...

To kingcrane at 5:OO pm:
You should take it easy and read carefully what is said. What is happening is upsetting to everyone in the ME. Half a century lies in waste, with a terrible record of mismanagement of human and financial resources.
Nevetheless remember that Syrians are your neighbours not for one year or a hundred years but for eternity.
The objective is not to hate them but to help them leave Lebanon and realise the errors of their politics. Even after they leave we must not turn our backs to them. Yours is to build a decent and free society in Lebanon, and yours is certainly to help Syria to do the same. Otherwise Lebanon shall not be at peace.

 
At 2/24/2005 09:06:00 PM, Anonymous kingcrane said...

To: Kafka,
My apologies about not intrepreting "add to the bill" correctly. I am not against Syria, and I want to emphasize that Hariri's efforts in Beirut in the last decade were only possible because of the Syrian military. Further, as indicated by my "name", I am one of those people that have always contested the Versailles divide-so-to-reign-forever map of the ME concocted by the French and the Brits. Woodrow Wilson, out of scientific curiosity or for some other reason, sent King and Crane(two congressmen) to the ME. These guys came back with the following conclusions:
a-The Euro-map of the ME was a farce
b-The whole area should be one Nation (I am not sure if they said one Country)
c-If a mess is created, then Europeans will deal with it (the US was still relatively an isolationist country, and it had taken a lot for the Americans to join into WW I).

I am not a member of the SSNP (or PSNS) and not a member of the Baath Party, but it is obvious to me that all that is happening today is a consequence of this "Peace to end all peace" (a book that all those interested in the ME should read) scheme.

My ideas are anti-sectarian and pro-democratic. Here is the ideal scenario: Lebanon, then Syria, then Jordan (and Iraq), achieve real democracy. Then, we can take the original EU model (the six: Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) and try to get somewhere, step by step. United we stand, but a single big country (pan-something style) is just an illusion, or worse: a dangerous delusion.

PS: I am a great admirer of Franz Kafka.

 
At 2/24/2005 11:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

King, your are saying a number of things here, and ultimately contradicting yourself.

"I am one of those people that have always contested the Versailles divide-so-to-reign-forever map of the ME concocted by the French and the Brits. Woodrow Wilson, out of scientific curiosity or for some other reason, sent King and Crane(two congressmen) to the ME. These guys came back with the following conclusions:
a-The Euro-map of the ME was a farce"

Why is that? and please don't tell me "because it carved out Syria" as some delusional Arabs and Syrian nationalists like to spout. You have to be a coherent unified well-delineated entity before anyone can carve you out! Syria was NEVER a coherent geographic or administrative (let alone a political) unit to be carved out. and if memory serves me right, what is today the Arab Republic of Syria (a contrived point on a map, as Fouad Ajami called it) was four states under the French mandate (the States of Aleppo, Ansariyeh, Druze, and Damascus), closely reflecting the Ottoman administrative division.

"b-The whole area should be one Nation (I am not sure if they said one Country)"

ahem! First, you have to BE a nation to deserve and earn a unified geographic unit. How can you make the imbrication of cultures, civilizations, ethnicities, languages, nationalities, myths, historical narratives, and national aspirations that constitute todays Levant into a "one nation"??? Let's be realistic about this, King! Now granted, you made recommendations to your president after your tour of the Levant (in the early part of last century), but did these recommendations honestly reflect the will of the peoples (not the oligarchs and the Hejazi tribal chiefs) with whom you met???


"I am not a member of the SSNP (or PSNS) and not a member of the Baath Party,"

Good for you, King!

"but it is obvious to me that all that is happening today is a consequence of this "Peace to end all peace" (a book that all those interested in the ME should read) scheme."

How so? Can you explain?
If I remember correctly, Fromkin's thesis was critical of the specious drawing of the modern Middle East map (a result of Anglo-French imperial hubris, mimicking to a large extent their Ottoman predecessor), but nowhere did Fromkin imply that a "one-state" or "one-nation" solution (as you seem to suggest) might have been the answer. In fact, his thesis points to the opposite; a multiplicity of atomized smaller states, ethnically and culturally more coherent than the current mess, was indeed prof. fromkin's proposal.


"My ideas are anti-sectarian and pro-democratic."

I don't understand why you consider sectarianism such a dirty word! If this is how people choose to identify themselves, so be it! Isn't it better than forcefully bunching culturally alien and antagonistic peoples together, and setting them up for future conflicts and butcheries? The EU that you seem so fond of evoking is the result of psychological, sociological, cultural, and political maturity, NOT forceful amalgamation; the French, the Germans, the Italians etc... have not been made to relinquish their national and cultural specificity by joining the EU. A super-Arab state, like you one you seem to be alluding to, King, would have to deny tens of millions of Middle Easterners their cultural identities. I don't think that today's Arabs have the Europeans' level of sophistication to accept minority narratives and enter a regional Union where they would not be the hegemon! You can't apply European logic and european models to Arabs who are still incapable of admitting the diversity of the Middle East!

"Here is the ideal scenario: Lebanon, then Syria, then Jordan (and Iraq), achieve real democracy."

OK?

"Then, we can take the original EU model (the six: Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) and try to get somewhere, step by step."

OK!, but, ahem, it is not democracy that you need, it is political and cultural maturity! It's the ability to accept the specificity and cultural personality of the "other", the non-Arab in your midst! Europe is ultimately a geographical concept. Arabism is an exclusivist ethno-religious concept! It might be acceptable to me, a Damascene Sunni! But how would this exclusivist Arabness appeal to a Maronite from Jounia? or a Kurd from Halapsha? Or an Armenian from Aman?
don't you think it's a bit pretentious on your part to force on us such folly?

"United we stand,"

Fine?

"but a single big country (pan-something style) is just an illusion, or worse: a dangerous delusion."

What the hell? Are you contradicting yourself, or did I just misread you?
What do you want, King?
You rambled for an hour, showing predilections for a "single big country", stultifying Sykes-Picot, then you knocked down your "single big" pan country solution. What is it that you want, your highness?

PS: I am a great admirer of Franz Kafka.

 
At 2/25/2005 11:59:00 AM, Anonymous kingcrane said...

To: Anonymous at 11:38 (pseudo, please, I really appreciate the depth of your knowledge):

I have no contradictions whatsoever:

a-I am anti-sectarian

b-I am not, I have never been, and will never be, a member of any political party

c-I want real democracy (not a bunch of freedoms) to really spread to the whole area (I happen to believe that Lebanon will be the starting point for real democracy in the ME)

d-I happen to believe that the French and the Brits really created states that fit their interests.

The Fromkin thesis does point to a possible solution for the area: a mosaic of factions (yes, I know factionalism is a big liability for us in the ME) can best be brought together by a large federation of states; so be it... If it means many small autonomous states (you mentionned the word "atomized" and I do not believe that anybody means atomic-bomb by that), I would buy that. It would mean that these small autonomous states would be loosely bound except on two issues on which they have to be in unison (Foreign affairs and Defense; and a common economic market model later).

Also:

a-I certainly disagree with Fuad Ajami's analysis, and his disdain for Syria, a "contrived point on a map" (I just shutter at the following idea: what could this pretentious anti-arab zealot say of my country, Lebanon, if Syria is treated as a "contrived point on a map")? Ajami's anti-Syrian views (they are well known, even in small distant Lebanon, believe me; I was even told that he taught in Beirut, and was a farce of an educator, but my source is biased) blind him to the point that he is now considered by many to be an anti-arab zealot / neo-con apologist.

b-I agree with you that we need maturity; the current Lebanese opposition and the Lahoud loyalists show (alas, in the last 24 hours, the rhethoric has re-escalated after a one day hiatus) that we are not mature, but believe me, Lebanon will re-emerge and re-lead the area culturally (I have mentioned previously that outdated ideas will die of natural or un-natural causes), as the people are hungry for new ideas and new ideals that will take into account:

a-the many mistakes of the civil war {they have been there done that, and they will not serve as stooges for yet another regional confrontation).

b-the stability of the region as a whole.

On the issue of Syria being carved out: the only permanent damage to the ME can be summarized as follows:

a-France gave to Turkey a small (about 5,000 to 7,000 square kilometers) piece of North-West Syria

b-The deserving Kurds, as culturally and geographically "homogeneous"as they are, were not given a homeland, even though they are a real Nation with a real culture; Kurdish is spoken by Sunni Kurds, Alevi Kurds, Christian Kurds and even a tiny minority of Jews. If I concede to you that they are mature to become an independent Nation, would you concede to me that they could become an example for Arabic-speaking people who are not interested in sectarianism? Or could this be too dangerous... I was told yesterday that neo-cons are the new era Trotskysts, that they want to move and shake everything (probably an exageration). But: they are pretty selective... They certainly would not touch the most excellent (for all the anti-arabs) work done by Mark Sykes and Francois Georges-Picot.

c-I thank you for the word "imperial hubris" (it also happens to be the title of an excellent book recently written by a previous CIA analyst) when you talk about the French and the Brits dividing the ME, but I would still maintain that the Ottomans knew the area better, and used "administrative units" carved so to be palatable in size to their system; this kept changing, for example, at one point, Mosul and Aleppo, and everything in between were one such unit.

I thank you again for your words, unless you are a krypto-neo-con (in which case: just say so). I will be very frank with you: Arsouzi is a historical figure (but he achieved nothing and many think that his followers corrupted his message), Antoun Saadeh is a historical figure (but he was killed by traitors, and his SSNP or PSNS became a tower of Babel) but I only consider them as cultural Levantine examples, not political-party founders.

It is time to ask the neo-cons to do what they have preached: bring democracy to the ME, and peace. The only foudation to peace is justice, and if this means (to go back to my previous example) a Kurdish State that would take a small piece of Iraq away along with a tiny piece of Syria, who can argue with that in earnest?

Please feel free to reply, and I would love some others to participate. I do not pretend to be accurate and right on all points, but I am a true Lebanese patriot who is really sick of the violence in the whole area, not only in Lebanon.

Kingcrane (not King, I am against monarchies).

PS: While surfing the net, I found a COLOR (or was it colorized?) map of the original Sykes-Picot map; if this is not "imperial hubris" at its best (thank you for the term), I do not know what is!

 
At 2/25/2005 03:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.arabamerican.net/?q=node/88

Excellent article on what Syria should do.

 
At 2/25/2005 03:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.arabamerican.net/?q=node/88Excellent article on what Syria should do.

 
At 2/25/2005 04:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really Anonymous at 3:34?? What is it exactly that you find excellent about that article??
The fact that (OK, sorry, typical Arabist linkage) it banalizes the brutal unprovoked Syrian occupation of Lebanon and equates it to Israel’s occupation of the Golan (a result of an aggression that Syria launched and lost!!)
NO my friend! I want my army out of Lebanon regardless of what Assad decides to do with the Golan or how he resolves to get it back from the Israelis. I don’t want to mix apples and oranges here! These are two entirely different issues and the results of two separate and unrelated dynamics. Don’t get into that jaded Arabist exercise of meshing everything together and tying my bowing out of Lebanon to returning Seville to the Omayyads! Syria’s rape of Lebanon has nothing to do with the Israeli occupation of the Golan (hence two separate and entirely distinct UNSCR’s calling for withdrawal)… The problems that our shoddy leaders in Syria have rained on us in the Golan and in Lebanon are two entirely different animals! When are you people going to get this through your thick skulls????

Do you seriously buy the following??… “The Syrians entered Lebanon at the invitation of an internationally recognized Lebanese government and no Syrian settlements have ever been planted on Lebanese soil.” Notwithstanding the fact that your “internationally recognized Lebanese government” was not recognized by Syria, and that Syria had already invaded Lebanon (by way of al-Sa’iqa, the PLA, and other not so subtle devices prior to 1976), do you still believe this crock? Is this why you believe this hoax was such a great article (and you proudly provided the link to it)?? “No Syrian settlements have ever been planted on Lebanese soil”, really?? Does Anschluss mean anything to you? Does the political, social, sociological, and cultural emasculation of Lebanon amount to anything in your book? No, you’re right, “there are no Syrian settlements in Lebanon”, at least none in the Israeli sense of the word (that is if you discount the more than one million unskilled and semi-skilled Syrian migrant workers squatting in Lebanese urban centers and encrusting themselves on its economy.) But, Einstein, wouldn’t you say there is a form of Syrian colonialism IN THE CLASSIC SENSE in Lebanon today? Wouldn’t you say that Lebanon has been de facto annexed to Syria? Wouldn’t dumping our substandard products on the Lebanese market, and siphoning economic profits and benefits out of Lebanon and into Syria amount to colonialism? The sort of extortion, tax-farming, and political intrusion that we’ve been practicing with impunity in Lebanon for the past 30 years isn’t “settlements”, you’re right! It’s colonialism! It’s occupation! But at least, the Lebanese should be thankful (you’re saying) because we haven’t “planted settlements on Lebanese soil.”!!! Those Lebanese ingrates! They don’t know how easy they’ve got it! The noble selfless Syrian guest (remember, they invited us) has not “planted settlements on Lebanese soil.” That much can’t be said, I guess, of those rapacious Israelis, who were not invited into the Golan mind you; they were merely attacked, and they dared defend themselves! How deceitful and devious those ugly Zionists! Hey, Einstein, isn’t Lebanon our tax farm and the largest employer of our rejects, unemployeds and unemployables?

You seem to agree with the following assessment; “Israel’s belligerent occupation and subsequent annexation of the Syrian Golan has been exposed as a vulgar expansionist project – as evidenced by the dozens of Jewish settlements that have been built on expropriated native land.” Wouldn’t you say that the same would apply to Syria vis-à-vis Lebanon? Wouldn’t you say that “Syria’s belligerent occupation and subsequent annexation of Lebanon, its usurpation of free Lebanese decision making, its encroachment on Lebanese national life with over 35,000 Syrian troops and an equal number of “intelligence” operatives, the settlement of some 1.5 million Syrian workers and the naturalization of over 500,000 of them, and the installment of a Vichy-style collaborator government, etc… are part of a vulgar expansionist project aimed at expropriating native land.”??? GROW UP, kid!
You people make me puke! No wonder the Lebanese loath us, goof on us, and raise their kids to despise us and treat us with contempt. Like I said many times before on this blog, we are a culture of credulous superstitious primeval followers. It behooves us to stop finding excuses for our illegal presence in Lebanon, and pull out with no preconditions and no strings attached. We don’t belong there! We never did! We never will! Lebanon IS NOT going to resolve our problems with Israel! And swallowing up Lebanon will not compensate for the Golan. Wake up and smell our festering culture!

This is the pièce de résistance of your idiotic article: “The best course for Bashar is to make a large bet before the casino closes down and George Bush finds other distractions. He can begin by demanding a four-digit UN resolution linking 1559 to 338 and 242. This will certainly hurt Syrian pride, but it might do wonders for his country and the region.”

Little do you know that Bashar is in no position to cut deals and make bets! Les jeux sont fait as it were! Rien ne va plus! He can no longer have his cake and eat it too! It is time he tucked his tail between his hind-legs and made his way back home. Momma’s waiting for him!

Ahmad Sa'id

 
At 2/25/2005 07:43:00 PM, Anonymous kingcrane said...

Ahmad is correct, and Fares Boueiz, in a moment of lucidity said so yesterday during his interview by Maurice Ghanem on LBC. He said that Syria cannot stay forever. Well, Bashar is pulling out... It is time for what was a good deed once (stop the misguided PSP-Nasserian-Palestinians in 1976) to be over. The fact is, with the upcoming negotiations with Israel, Syria does not hold a "winning" card in Lebanon... In fact, it is the opposite. I dare say more: after the pull out, I predict that the Lebanese army will hold because people are sick of fighting. Only completely irresponsible leaders on both sides of the political spectrum (not somebody out to provoke trouble) may cause enough problems so to potentially fragment the army.
Peace to all (I hope).

 
At 2/25/2005 08:26:00 PM, Blogger Anton Efendi said...

A propos "Old Europe" and "Old Societies," check this out:

"When George W. Bush requests that Chancellor Schroeder -- who, by the way, was also not entirely complimentary of Reagan's 1987 speech -- and Germany become more engaged in the Middle East, everybody on the German side will nod affably. But despite all of the sugar coating the trans-Atlantic relationship has received in recent days, Germany's foreign policy depends on differentiating itself from the United States. And when Bush leaves Europe, the differences will remain. Indeed, Bush's idea of a Middle Eastern democracy imported at the tip of a bayonet is, for Schroeder's Social Democratic Party and his coalition partner the Green Party, the hysterical offspring off the American neo-cons. Even German conservatives find the idea that Arabic countries could transform themselves into enlightened democracies somewhat absurd.
...
Europeans today -- just like the Europeans of 1987 -- cannot imagine that the world might change. Maybe we don't want the world to change, because change can, of course, be dangerous. But in a country of immigrants like the United States, one actually pushes for change. In Mainz today, the stagnant Europeans came face to face with the dynamic Americans. We Europeans always want to have the world from yesterday, whereas the Americans strive for the world of tomorrow."

 
At 2/26/2005 06:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kingcrane,
Away from the traditional (blame everything on Israel) concept, and given the fact that Lebanon eventually will regain its regional place economically and hopefully politically. Would Israel allow this close neighbor to have this place?
It didn't allow the Shah of Iran (even though he was a close ally)

 
At 2/26/2005 10:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

skyuuz mé pléz anonymous@6:24! could we puhlleeease try (at least try, or pretend to be trying) to break free of these convoluted and vulgar conspiracy theories?

Please, let’s stop insulting our own people's intelligence!! Let’s stop meshing these offensive plots and let’s stop polluting our collective minds and the minds of our children with fantasies that do nothing but breed collective indolence, resentment, hatred, and stagnation!!!

When will we start looking at ourselves for answers or for ways of ridding our culture and our moribund civilization of its ills?? Why does it have to always be an outside conspiracy?? Why can it not be a homegrown indigenous ailment?
When did Israel interfere with Lebanon's well-being? When did Israel try to spoil or wreck or undermine or erode Lebanon’s banking industry, or tourist industry, or hotel/entertainment/services industry, or its temperate weather, or its snowy winters, or its sweltering summers, or its Phoenician heritage, or its Crusader castles, or its millennial churches, or its celebrated mosques, or its Baalbeks and Byblosses and Saida w Suur, or the innate industriousness or creativity or ingenuity or acumen of its children?? Is it Israel that's defacing the Lebanese mountain with ubiquitous quarries? Is it Israel that is turning Lebanon into a dumpster of unregulated septic tanks and open sewages alongside natural brooks and streams? Is it Israel that’s actuating the rapid deforestation and desertification of Lebanon?? Is it Israel that has effectively turned Lebanon into the classic textbook example of the subservient Syrian colony, to be raped and rapaciously despoiled and plundered of its natural resources and goods?

When will you people get it through your thick uncouth superstitious minds that it is Arabism, Nasserism, Baathism, Syrianism, Palestinianism, Islamism, and all of your bankrupt Arab-generated fiendish abstract ideologies that caused Lebanon’s fragile balance of cultures and civilizations to crack and pay the price for your silly and hollow ideologies! NOT ISRAEL, you fools! When will you face up to your own inadequacies like real men (aren't you afterall a culture of super-virile Abu-Maraajel?) and try to correct them, instead of laying responsibility on others like petrified infants?? Grow the F*&# up, for god's sake!

Stop wallowing in mediocrity and stop blaming others for your inadequacies!! It is offensively patronizing and patently racist to even hint to the possibility that Arabs aren't capable of self-inflicting their wounds! When we spend all our intellectual energy trying to convince our culture and our civilization and our children that it is an EVIL OTHER that has done this unto us, we're actually conscenting to the fact that we are indeed an indolent and dilapidated culture, incapable of critical and creative thinking.
I have to stop and go puke now! but chew on this for a while! a hundred years ago, there was no Israel to speak of! How come we were worse off then than we are now?

Ahmad Sa'id

 
At 2/26/2005 11:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahmad Said,
I really appreciate your time in replying to my question and obviously you have skills in English and a good thesaurus user but underneath that its (sorry) just rubbish. Your narrow minded prospective of history and current events, which excludes the dynamics of international interests, is too stupid to comment on. Do you not know that Syria was a democratic country only 50 years ago? Do you not know that the British & French embassies in Damascus were devoted to the destruction of the democratic institution in Syria by supporting Army plots to overthrow elected presidents. This is no conspiracy theory, this is history and so is the unlimited support to Sadaams Baath regime throughout the last 30 years and so is Chile's bloody revolution (supported by the UK and US) that slaughtered thousands including the elected president.
Shah Iran became too powerful and significant for Israel to take anymore and so is Turkey now (who finally realized this fact). Israel has to be the ultimate military, economical, political power in the region and will never accept Lebanon or even Dubai to have this role. Whoever, said earlier that Israel was not interested in Lebanese land (for settlements) could be right but Israel will not spare a chance to devastate stability or growth.

 
At 2/26/2005 12:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous@11:42. Had it not been for your ad hominem scatology, which is obviously the weapon of choice of the intellectually bankrupt on this blog, I might (and I stress might) have consented to giving you the benefit of the doubt, and accepted for argument’s sake the premise of your outrageous fairy tales. Unfortunately, you and the Robert Lindseys of this world, have nothing going for you except abuse, mendacity, and vulgar ill-treatment of those with whom you disagree! The Baath, Michel Aflaq, and Sati’ al-Husri, would have been proud of you as specimen of the brutality and vindictiveness that it propagates.
As for your myth about Syrian “democracy” 50 years ago, thank you! I needed a good joke at the end of another oppressive Saturday in my “democratic” Syrian nation-jail.
E ruu7 t3amcha2 bi 7baal el-hawa ya maskiin.

Ahmad Sa’id

 
At 2/26/2005 01:45:00 PM, Anonymous Kafka said...

In response to Anonymous at 11h42 am and to Ahmad Said:
It is true to say in general, that the European powers in the nineteenth and twenties centuries and more recently the United States, did and continue to work towards their national interests. If and when they can, they will do this at the expense of others. It would be naive to think otherwise. Nobody gives anything for free not even in a family of brothers and sisters.
The oil in the ME is a strategic commodity for both Europe and the USA. Hence the intense interest of the USA and Europe in the region. The creation of the state of Israel and the continuous endeavour of the West to undo an ill defined Arab nationalism has been indeed their basic strategy. Having said this, they do represent a brilliant civilisation in many respects at present.
So what do the Arab countries offer in comparison? The spectrum ideologies, hidden or explicit under the umbrella of Arab nationalism, seem on paper to set blazing paths to glory using rhetoric, rhetoric and rhetoric again. In real life the Arab administrations in the last half century, have been no more than group dictatorships (military juntas, hereditary royal families,...), abusing their people. I am afraid that the ordinary people will still suffer this for a while still. In Syria, one person once told me, Hafez Al-Assad treated people as he did mosquitoes in summer. In the Arabian Peninsula the Saudi family financed and continues to finance the most backward forms of Islamic obscurantisms in Egypt and elsewhere, to pop up its political power and continuity; remember that Hariri was the Saudi man in Lebanon. In a recent visit to Sudan, the only Nobel prize winner of Arab origin, a chemist in California, told his audience that there are far more Arab TV and radio stations blubbering on than the handful of research laboratories in the region, he also resumed the present state of scientific knowledge pointing for example to the advances in biochemistry and medicine, and adding that the Universe was created by a Big Bang according to present scientific models; I am told that at the end of his lecture, a senior minister in the Sudanese government rose up to say that all they needed to know is in the Koran.
This is not to absolve the western powers; it is simply to say that you cannot expect others to build up your history. Building up your civilisation is your heritage your job your responsibility. Arab intellectuals in general and religious minorities like the Lebanese Christians in the ME, in particular, cannot turn their back, they have a historical responsibility to inform to discuss to debate to interact in the most sincere manner, to help move this moribund civilisation step by step to something better. It is the destiny of people in the ME to do this. Once you achieve the respect of western powers, things will move faster, I hope.

 
At 2/26/2005 01:45:00 PM, Anonymous Kafka said...

In response to Anonymous at 11h42 am and to Ahmad Said:
It is true to say in general, that the European powers in the nineteenth and twenties centuries and more recently the United States, did and continue to work towards their national interests. If and when they can, they will do this at the expense of others. It would be naive to think otherwise. Nobody gives anything for free not even in a family of brothers and sisters.
The oil in the ME is a strategic commodity for both Europe and the USA. Hence the intense interest of the USA and Europe in the region. The creation of the state of Israel and the continuous endeavour of the West to undo an ill defined Arab nationalism has been indeed their basic strategy. Having said this, they do represent a brilliant civilisation in many respects at present.
So what do the Arab countries offer in comparison? The spectrum ideologies, hidden or explicit under the umbrella of Arab nationalism, seem on paper to set blazing paths to glory using rhetoric, rhetoric and rhetoric again. In real life the Arab administrations in the last half century, have been no more than group dictatorships (military juntas, hereditary royal families,...), abusing their people. I am afraid that the ordinary people will still suffer this for a while still. In Syria, one person once told me, Hafez Al-Assad treated people as he did mosquitoes in summer. In the Arabian Peninsula the Saudi family financed and continues to finance the most backward forms of Islamic obscurantisms in Egypt and elsewhere, to pop up its political power and continuity; remember that Hariri was the Saudi man in Lebanon. In a recent visit to Sudan, the only Nobel prize winner of Arab origin, a chemist in California, told his audience that there are far more Arab TV and radio stations blubbering on than the handful of research laboratories in the region, he also resumed the present state of scientific knowledge pointing for example to the advances in biochemistry and medicine, and adding that the Universe was created by a Big Bang according to present scientific models; I am told that at the end of his lecture, a senior minister in the Sudanese government rose up to say that all they needed to know is in the Koran.
This is not to absolve the western powers; it is simply to say that you cannot expect others to build up your history. Building up your civilisation is your heritage your job your responsibility. Arab intellectuals in general and religious minorities like the Lebanese Christians in the ME, in particular, cannot turn their back, they have a historical responsibility to inform to discuss to debate to interact in the most sincere manner, to help move this moribund civilisation step by step to something better. It is the destiny of people in the ME to do this. Once you achieve the respect of western powers, things will move faster, I hope.

 
At 2/26/2005 01:46:00 PM, Blogger Kingcrane said...

Ahmad Said, I cannot agree with you more. Some of us just can't see the forest for the trees, and Israel seems like such a convenient pretext to keep us from thinking on our own and looking at the situation as a whole.

 
At 2/26/2005 01:55:00 PM, Blogger Kingcrane said...

Kafka too! Thank you so much for a well reasoned and lucid commentary.

 
At 2/26/2005 03:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear all,

So Israel doesn't exist? Is this some kind of psychological denial?

Anyway, I agree with Kafka on most of his points: Indeed the responsibility lies upon the people to build, develop and excel but folks we are no kids here in a school. This is all well known, and lecturing people, as if they are inferior to your wide knowledge that belongs to some kind of 3rd dimension (only visible to Ahmad, sorry again), this doesn't benefit anyone especially that until now you have not proposed a tangible substitute(selling us dreams like the Baathists did 40 years ago).

 
At 2/26/2005 04:34:00 PM, Anonymous expat said...

Re anonymous,I never thought anyone would ever stoop so low as to quote the house nigger, Fouad Ajami. For your information, and his, even Phoenician texts refer to Syria and the Syrians. The fact that Syria was broken up into 'sanjaks' by the Ottomans does not negate its existence throughout history.

Re Lebanon, while some of the articles on the blog have made some very salient points, no one has brought up the role that should be played by the Syrian opposition. And, yes Virginia, there is a Syrian opposition. I do not mean by that the Syrian Chalabis fawning at the feet of the Bush administartion in Washington, DC. There is a genuine, pluralistic, pro- democratic homegrown Syrian opposition, most of whose members are graduates of Syrian prisons. While some leading members of that opposition have already taken an honorable position on Lebanon and urged their governemnt to withdraw, the Syrian opposition has yet to elaborate a fully nuanced position on Lebanon. This way, it will not only spare Lebanon, but also speed along the inevitable change in Syria. Such a position will serve the dual purpose of reassuring the Lebanese of the intentions of the opposition, which represents the majority of the country, and also show the international community, especially the US and the EU , that there is another Syrian voice other than that of the totally corrupt ruling kleptocracy. Broadly, such a position should comprise the following elements:

1) Full, complete and immediate withdrawl from Lebanon

2)Establishment of full diplomatic relations with Lebanon

3)Making a solemn commitment to refrain from interfering in Lebanon's internal affairs, while at the same time, seeking a reciprocal commitment from the Lebanese government, not to allow its territory to be used as a launching pad for plots against Syria as was often the case, regrettably, in the past.

4)Concluding cultural, educational, economic and tarrif agreements with Lebanon on an equal footing.

 
At 2/26/2005 07:35:00 PM, Blogger Kingcrane said...

Expat, how 'bout those two for house nigger candidtates?

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_ID=10&article_ID=7391&categ_id=5

and

http://www.annaqed.com/writers/fayyad/syria_is_not_arabic.html

Listen Bobby (or should I call you Boob?), you just can't go around like that attacking ad hominem every single person you disagree with. You sound like a very unhappy frustrated middle-aged man. Try sex, boy! It might help.

As for Fouad Ajami, with a mouth (and a blinkered mind) like yours, I doubt you can even hold a candle to the guy. I respect the fact that you disagree with him. He's a devastating and unforgiving interpreter of the Middle East. He often makes me wince with discomfort (as do the other 2 "house niggers" I linked above for you.) But that's usually a prod for introspection, not insult! Don't kill the messenger, Robert! And try some self-reflection and humble pie, son! Oh, and some sex too, if you can.

Now with regards to "Phoenician texts" mentionning "Syria" and "Syrians", I'm sure those unprincipled Phoenicians --they're traitors to your noble Arab cause after all, and should deserve your verbal abuse-- referred to the speakers of Syrian (i.e. Chaldaeo-Ashuuri) who inhabitted the amorphous geographic non-Arab "Syria" where all "Syrians" spoke "assyrian" (er, NOT ARABIC!!.) So what's the connection with the "modern" Arab Republic of Syria, Bob? And what's the connection with the Ottoman Sanjaks (which incidently were a more sound and practical division.)

Your argument, Boob, is cognitive dissonance, anachronism, and silliness all in one! So, I doubt you can even begin to read "Phoenician texts", let alone interpret it.
Take a hike, Robert!

 
At 2/27/2005 03:05:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

King Crane, I thought you were talking to me. Is expat named Robert? Your comments appear to be addressed to expat.

Re: Fouad Ajami, Sunni Muslim Lebanese expat who hobnobs with the Likudniks, international Zionism and the Israeli Lobby, and sits on planning committees to help Bush plan how to attack Iraq, who never has damn good word to say for the Palestinians and Arabs in general, who has a great big hardon for Israel, I have nothing much to say. Some ppl just like to sell out their own kind.

I note that you are a principled pan-Arabist of the best kind. I am also an Arab nationalist, but so much Arabist discourse seems so bigoted and fanatical to me that they remind of the Zionists. Pox on both. A principled Arabism or none! I did some research on your Syrian nationalist party and it seems a principled patriotic party. However, as a progressive I support the right to self determination of all peoples.

Of course the European bastards at Sykes Picot chopped up the Arab World to divide, conquer, control, weaken, dominate and neuter the Arabs. Duh. This is controversial? And of course Zionism is best understood as an imperialist plot to divide the east and west parts of the Arab World, and divide the African and Asian peoples together, by inserting an alien culture in their midst, an outpost of European imperialism from the start.

We can see this line from Napolean, who advocated this strategy in 1805 or so. The British who sat around with the Zionists pre-Balfour around 1911 openly admitted that the Zionist colonization was an imperialist plot for British imperialism to screw the Arabs. In this way, we can sympathize with the Zionist Jews, who were just pawns, used by British, later European, now US, imperialism, to screw over the Arabs. The Jews were used too.

Israel did not solve the Jewish question, as there have been 4 wars and endless insurgency. Herzl would roll in his grave and wash his hands. This is a Hellish opposite of what Herzl wanted. Zionism has failed. The Jews have been screwed too. This analysis (which I get from the great George Habash) is good because it sees Jews and Arabs and pawns in the same boat, being played and screwed by imperialism while they fancy they master their destinies.

Plus, this analysis reduces racist rage. Pan-Arabism won't work right now and maybe never will. But in its place can be a kind of solidarity, seen in the Arabists who say "brothers" and "sisters", "brotherly Syria", etc. The Arabist-haters spit on and laugh at this discourse, but is speaks to a unifying spirit. Is it better to have the Arabs at each others' throats?! You Arabist-haters like that?! For all Arabism's faults, it had a beautiful vision.

The notion of an Arab people as more united and less conflictual and competitive must be seen as productive. The Tony Badrans champion some Lebanese Christian nationalism and US nationalism but spit on Arabism. Nationalism is nationalism and what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Same goes for the Zionists who have worked for decades to smash Arabism, for the simple reason that *there is nothing the Zionist loves more than Arabs killing Arabs.

Enough for now and off to bed. :)

A good nite to all and to kingcrane, some middle-aged guys do get tons of sex. You notice you hit 40 and all a sudden all these young girls chase you? Just at the time we can barely keep up with them. :)

 
At 2/27/2005 07:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so Fouad Ajami is Sunni? Huh... I mean his last name is A J A M I afterall. Let's say it together AJAMI.

Might as well call him Fouad the Shiite.

 
At 2/27/2005 07:17:00 AM, Blogger Kingcrane said...

"Re: Fouad Ajami, Sunni Muslim Lebanese expat who hobnobs with the Likudniks,"

Boob Lindsay, you seriously need to lay off the sauce, boy!

"I note that you are a principled pan-Arabist of the best kind."

Really? Whatever gave you that idea, Boob!

"I am also an Arab nationalist,"

Good for you, Boob! Now, try some Arabic language, and Arabic philology, and Arabic etymology, and try to tell the difference between Sunnis, Shiites, and the rest of the bunch in your "Arab" nation. A nation that didn't exist before T.E.Lawrence invented you!

"but so much Arabist discourse seems so bigoted and fanatical to me"

Really? Sounds just like you, dudn't it, Boob?

"A principled Arabism or none!"

Really? "principled" as in Michel Aflaq? Or Sati' al-Husri? Both of whom advocated cruelty and brutality against those who did not buy into their idiotic Arabism? Try picking up a book by either one of these morons, and tell me what you can come up with! (otherwise, stick to your Phoenician texts!)

"I did some research on your Syrian nationalist party and it seems a principled patriotic party."

How so, Boob? Didn't you read that it was an anti-Arab party?
Since you have the attention span of a hamster, and it is doubtful you can read any of Saadeh's writing, try Bassab Tibi's "Arab Nationalism", and see what he tells you about the Syrian National Party and the spat its leader had with the senile Turk (Arab wannabe) Sati' al-Husri.

"However, as a progressive I support the right to self determination of all peoples."

You're contradicting your sorry self, Boob! Aren't you? You support self-determination, yet you lash out with your venom on those who dispute their imputed Arabness and indict the Arabs for their inadequacies etc.. (eg: Fouad Ajami et al.)

like I said before, Boob! Take a hike!

 
At 2/27/2005 07:50:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsey said...

Fouad Ajami, Sunni Muslim Lebanese expat hobnobs with the Likudniks, international Zionism and the Israeli Lobby, planning committees to help Bush plan how to attack Iraq, never has damn good word for the Palestinians and Arabs, has a great big hardon for Israel. principled pan-Arabist of the best kind. I am also an Arab nationalist
the European bastards at Sykes Picot chopped up the Arab World to divide, conquer, control, weaken, dominate and neuter the Arabs. Duh. Zionism is an imperialist plot to divide the east and west parts of the Arab World, divide the African and Asian peoples together, by inserting an alien culture in their midst, I read the Protocols, I know what I’m talking about! Zionists pre-Balfour around 1911 admitted that the Zionist colonization was an imperialist plot to screw the Arabs. Hell with all these Phalangist traitors hanging around here screaming Syria out! Shame on the Phalangist fascists. 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?
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. I'm a member of radical Palestinian fascist organizations, I have known quite a few Palestinians Nazis, 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 Nazi Arab brothers, not made up on my own. My Fascist Arab friends have all counted me as a solid Arab neo-Nazi skinhead nationalist and anti-Zionist. You call me what you want.
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, just as I am a lackey, a puppet, a quisling to the good Nazi Arab cause. You want to know what a real Lebanese patriot talks like, Tony?
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.
The Bush-loving Free Lebanon abomination
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
"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.
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.

 
At 2/27/2005 02:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Robert Lindasy,

Just for your info, Fouad Ajami is a muslim Shiite from a village in southern Lebanon called Arnoun.
Fouad Ajami was fond of Nasser. he went to Damascus when Nasser was over there to greet him during the failed unification of Syria and Egypt.
Hopefully you will read this small contribution of mine while you are relaxed and cool.
You have this habit to use bad words in your writings as if these words will give you strentgh and validate your comments.
I am sorry to say it but the only conclusion that can be drawn from such postings is that its writer lacks the basic of human behaviour and therefore doesn't deserve any respect.
With no offense, take it as an advice.
Regards

 
At 2/27/2005 11:39:00 PM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

Hello there anon. Fouad Ajami is the worst of the worst. I don't know what is wrong with these Arabs I meet here in this fora (I assume you are an Arab?) I have never met so many pro-US, pro-Israeli, pro-sellout, pro-surrender, pro-USreal stooge Arabs in my entire life. Is there something different about the Arabs that come here. Is a wave of abject surrender sweeping the Arab World. If so, it is combined with a wave of armed rebellion.

Fouad Ajami was an Arab natioanlist supporter of Nasser's. Fine. That was then. Ajami is a Muslim Shia from South Lebanon, most of whom support either Hezbollah, or the longtime Amal leader (name?) or Left - progressive parties. They are strongly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel. Many went to fight the US in Iraq. Many others are fighting the enemy in Palestine. Ok, so Ajami represents about *what* percentage of Shia is S. Lebanon? 1%? You say he loved Nasser.

There are Nasserite parties today and I am familiar with their policies. The Nasserites in Iraq have gone to arms since May 2003 and fight to this very day. There are ppl who call themselves Nasserites in Palestine, Jordan, Egypt. I have known some of these ppl. Their views are much more militant than mine to a man. So, Ajami has nothing to do with Nasserism today and if Nasser were alive today he would be ashamed to be in the same room with Ajami. Ajami is not Nasserite.

I don't like to name call but a traitor is a traitor. There's a war on and there are Arabs working for the enemy against the Arabs and the patriotic ME. Let's call them out and put names on them. Ajami helped plot the Iraq War, hates the Palestinians, promotes war on Syria and Iran and probably Lebanon too. Ajami is a shill for George Bush and a cover for Ariel Sharon. And, you say, I should be nice to this man for *what* reason?

 
At 2/28/2005 01:05:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

11:54 Anon, excellent pts, expat too makes some fine and *essential* pts. He alone here seems to distinguish between a *patriotic* Syrian opposition and the lackey traitors lurking around George Bush and Daniel Pipes plotting their treason and crimes. Being in Syrian opposition, even opposing the regime, is not treason, if one has patriotic instincts. The Chalabis, the Ghadrys, the Ziad Abdelnour's, the Allawis, the Pachachis, the Barzanis and the rest - who are they?

These are called puppets, quislings, Vichys, lackeys, traitors. The have gone over to the side of the enemy in wartime. Many of them have paid the price. The streets of Iraq run red with the blood of the puppets and traitors and many got what they deserve. Hating the Arab regimes, even wishing for their downfall, is not treason, but going over the enemy is for sure. Patriotic opposition yes, traitor opposition no.

kingcrane, the Egyptian poet is superb, a member of the patriotic opposition. The Annaqed site is Treason Ground Zero, sorry. Nabil Fayyad may be a fine man, but he's the only one on there. One recoils to look at the names that pollute the site - Cuban-American *fascist* extreme rightist Alan Caruba; ultraZionist Jewish *fascist* bigots Daniel Pipes and Jonathan Schanzer, both Israeli agents.

And more and nauseating more: Ziad Abdelnour, Lebanese *fascist* and collaborator with the Mossad and the CIA; Tony Nassif, another Lebanese GOC *fascist* slimeball; Farid Ghadry, Syria ultratraitor and collaborator with Mossad and the CIA; Barbara J. Stack, extreme rightwing Bushite Republican, fundamentalist Christian and Islam-basher; Ali Sina, the repulsive Christian hater of Islam.

Kingcrane, do you honestly feel that that extreme rightwing fascist cesspool of a website is an acceptable vision. It's Enemy Headquarters.

 
At 2/28/2005 05:29:00 AM, Anonymous Emile said...

I have heard that Fouad Ajami has annomosity towards Sunnis because they picked on him as a child for being "AJAMI" hahhaha.

 
At 2/28/2005 07:40:00 AM, Anonymous kingcrane said...

Emile,
You are correct. Robert Lindsay: The name "Ajami" is derogative for Persian. The only context where "Ajami" is a compliment is when talking about Persian rugs (sijjad ajami).
Anyway, I am puzzled: the "left" in Lebanon is now divided; some are with Joumblatt, some are with the Loyalists, but a few pragmatic ones are hesitating. I asked around to see why.
The reason is: some decided that Lebanon needed to be freed of the presence of the Syrian army; others are Loyalists by definition. A few had this dilemma, which was at the core of some of the Lahoud versus Hariri crisis in 2004: If privatizations (opposed by Lahoud) were to take place to help the deficit, who would bail out failed privatized companies but the Lebanese government? The other argument is less important, but it has a relation to the Syrian military presence: If Syrian workers leave, who would take up the jobs that they are willing to accept? One devious thought at one time was that Palestinians can give their weapons up and get trained for these jobs, with the risk of making their presence permanent, even to the point of getting Lebanese citizenship (that solution would be an abomination), but Hariri denied categorically to the head of the Hezbollah that he would accept that. I am not in favor of privatization, but Hariri (the great businessman and the father-of-all-good -coalition in the last 14 years) was a key to anything in Lebanon that could achieve success. More than ever, the opposition is orphaned in his absence; for people like me, he was the person who could help them mature.

 

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