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Author Topic: Lebabese ex-PM assassinated in bomb attack
robbie_dee
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posted 14 February 2005 11:32 AM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Rafik Hariri, a billionaire who helped rebuild his country after decades of war but resigned as prime minister last fall after a sharp dispute with Syria, was killed Monday in a massive bomb explosion that tore through his motorcade.

At least nine other people were killed and 100 wounded in the blast. It raised immediate fears that Lebanon — largely peaceful since the 1990 end of its civil war — was headed toward a new and bloody chapter in its differences with Syria, which maintains about 15,000 troops in the country.

At least 20 cars were set on fire in a blast that devastated the front of the famous St. George Hotel, blowing off balconies, and damaged a British bank and the Phoenicia Hotel along the Mediterranean waterfront.

The 12:55 p.m. (5:55 a.m. EST) explosion was so powerful that Hariri's motorcade of bulletproof vehicles was left a burning wreck and a 30-foot crater was gouged in the street. It was not immediately known whether the explosives had been planted in a car or a building.

Former Economy Minister Bassel Fleihan, a member of parliament in Hariri's bloc, was severely wounded and admitted to the intensive care unit of the American University Hospital, said another pro-Hariri legislator, Atef Majdalani. Hariri's own Future TV reported that Fleihan was in critical condition and the hospital was preparing to transfer him abroad.

Hariri had moved toward the opposition camp after leaving office in October — in large part because of a dispute concerning Syria's controversial role in Lebanon. Hariri had rejected a Syrian-backed insistence that a rival politician, President Emile Lahoud, remain in office as president for a longer period.

The United States has strongly criticized Syria's interference in the country.

Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, served 10 of 14 years in the postwar period starting in 1992 __ winning three separate elections.

An emergency Cabinet meeting was called and Lebanon's supreme defense council — security Cabinet ministers, top leaders and military officials — were in session at the presidential palace, a spokesman said.


Full Story


From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
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posted 14 February 2005 10:18 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Am I the only one following this story or is it just that no-one is familiar enough with the situation to comment beyond what's in the news stories?

Mideast Leaders Fear for Lebanon's Stability

quote:
DAMASCUS (AFP) - Middle East leaders expressed concern for Lebanon's stability after five-time premier Rafiq Hariri was killed, as arch-foes Israel, and Iran and Syria blamed each other for the massive bombing in Beirut.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad led condemnation of the killing, which brought back scenes reminiscent of the 1975-1990 civil war, and voiced concern about the repercussions for a country where Damascus retains 14,000 troops.


US Warns of UN penalties for killing

quote:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday it would consult with U.N. Security Council members about taking punitive measures against those responsible for the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, and to push for an end to Syrian occupation.


White House spokesman Scott McClellan stopped short of linking Syria with the car bomb that killed Hariri and at least a dozen other people in Beirut. He said Washington did not know who was responsible.


But in a thinly veiled warning to Damascus, McClellan said: "The United States will consult with other governments in the region and on the Security Council today about measures that can be taken to punish those responsible for this terrorist attack, to end the use of violence and intimidation against the Lebanese people and to restore Lebanon's independence, sovereignty and democracy by freeing it from foreign occupation."


Yahoo News full coverage

[ 14 February 2005: Message edited by: robbie_dee ]


From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 14 February 2005 10:33 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But in a thinly veiled warning to Damascus, McClellan said: "The United States will consult with other governments in the region and on the Security Council today about measures that can be taken to punish those responsible for this terrorist attack, to end the use of violence and intimidation against the Lebanese people and to restore Lebanon's independence, sovereignty and democracy by freeing it from foreign occupation."

These people really have no sense of irony, have they?

quote:
Am I the only one following this story or is it just that no-one is familiar enough with the situation to comment beyond what's in the news stories?

I'm guessing the latter. I used to read The Beirut Daily Star fairly regularly, but haven't done so in months, and have no understanding of why this has happened.

Who stands to gain from this assassination? Why is a former PM a target?

I thought Lebanon was moving forward for the last 15 years. I fear things may fall apart now.

[ 14 February 2005: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 15 February 2005 12:33 AM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wasn't lebanon on bush's hit list?
From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 15 February 2005 12:52 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't know, was it?

What are you talking about?


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Briguy
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posted 15 February 2005 08:38 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Lebanon was on Reagan's hit list, CMOT. Bush's hitlist does include Syria, the current occupier of Lebanon, but I don't think he's ever mentioned Lebanon. He'd have to know it exists before putting it on a list.
From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 15 February 2005 09:16 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This is terrible -- the memory of that long, awful civil war in that beautiful place comes back at once.

All commentators quoted in the G&M this morning seem agreed that Syria, directly or indirectly, saw Hariri as a threat against their plan to have their man, the president, remain indefinitely in power (his term is almost up, but there is a Syrian-backed move to amend the constitution to allow him to stay in office).

Apparently both Chirac and Rice only last week were warning Syria to keep hands off Hariri. That's as much as I could sift out so far.


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praenomen3
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posted 15 February 2005 09:25 AM      Profile for praenomen3        Edit/Delete Post
…and there’ll be murmurings of the Zionist Entity’s complicity very soon, no doubt.
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skdadl
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posted 15 February 2005 09:32 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Until your post, I'd seen nothing of that, praenomen.
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Critical Mass
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posted 15 February 2005 12:09 PM      Profile for Critical Mass        Edit/Delete Post
Whenever a senior Lebanese politician speaks out against Syria, bad things seem to happen. How long does anyone think Druze leader Walid Jumblatt now has to live? Or Maronite leader Amin Gemayel? Or most leaders of the Sunni community?
From: King & Bay (downtown Toronto) - I am King of the World!!! | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 15 February 2005 10:36 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Or Maronite leader Amin Gemayel?

I thought he was already dead.

quote:
I don't know, was it?
What are you talking about?


A while back, someone posted a link to an article which listed the countries that the US was going to invade after Iraq. On that list, along with Syria, Iran and Sudan was Lebanon. This strikes me as a little odd, because Lebanon has no oil. Maybe the article was fake?


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 15 February 2005 11:12 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I dunno. It could be real. Bush is, after all, batshit insane.
From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 15 February 2005 11:13 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The yanquis may still be mad at the Lebanese for kicking their butts in 1983.

Two days later they tried "walkin' tall" by invading the military superpower of Grenada.

They found their butts were nevertheless still sore.


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Erik Redburn
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posted 16 February 2005 01:52 AM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It could be a US power play against Syria, with Lebanon being the conduit, they're Arabs, good enough. I don't Know this, no, but it certainly Feels like it. Deja Vu all over again. The immediate assumption by everyone that it was Syria rather than Al-Qaeda or some other group makes me naturally suspicious as do the accelerating train of events. Could be Syria but they'd be stupid to instigate anything in their present situation. Is the Syrian president as nutty as Bush?
From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Macabee
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posted 16 February 2005 07:59 AM      Profile for Macabee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Quite possibly. Either way surely it is time for Syria to end the Lebanese occupation.
From: Vaughan | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 16 February 2005 09:07 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This thread and the other started by EA should be amalgamated -- we're missing here, eg, josh's excellent link to the excellent Juan Cole, and the interesting information he provides about Hariri's Saudi connections.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 17 February 2005 08:18 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, the other thread has been beheaded, so we'll have to move its discussion over here.

Who killed Rafiq al-Hariri?

quote:
"What exactly would the Syrians gain from this? Precisely because most people would say that this is the Syrians who have done this. It doesn't make any sense," Rime Allaf, Middle East analyst at the Royal Institute for International Affairs in London, UK, said.

"The first people who will be hurt by this is Syria. Given the chaos in Lebanon and the rising anger between the factions, analytically Syria loses a lot by this," Allaf told Aljazeera.net.


Since it makes no sense for the Syrians to have done this, who then did it?


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miles
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posted 17 February 2005 09:16 PM      Profile for miles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:
Since it makes no sense for the Syrians to have done this, who then did it?

I agree Al-Q. Why would the Syrians want to do this. After all they are in Lebanon as peace keepers. Nothing more. Prime Minister Martin said as much today

quote:
February 17, 2005 OTTAWA (CP) -- A confusing comment by Prime Minister Paul Martin about Syria's occupation of Lebanon sparked a political firestorm Thursday.

Martin, answering a reporter's question, appeared to say that Syria was in Lebanon to keep the peace:

"It's clear that if the Syrians are in Lebanon, it's because peace has to be maintained and there has certainly been a failure,'' he said in French after a cabinet meeting.



Why would the peacekeepers want Him dead?


From: vaughan | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 17 February 2005 09:23 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Other than trolling, do you have any suggestions?
From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 17 February 2005 09:30 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Macabee:
Quite possibly. Either way surely it is time for Syria to end the Lebanese occupation.
The irony is so thick you could cut it with a wet cloth.

From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
miles
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posted 17 February 2005 09:50 PM      Profile for miles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Actually Al-Q i was not trolling but thanks for thinking so highly of my post. Sarcastic yes. Shocked at what the PM said yes. But intentional trolling. No.

I do not know who was behind it. Stories will come out as they always do.

If it is a simply who will gain it was reported on one of the radio stations today that one of the groups with the most to gain by weakening Syria in Lebanon is Iran. But Iran announced a "partnership" with Syria so that might be highly unlikely.

Other than that it could also just be a continuation of a decades old struggle that has torn apart what once was a Paris of the middle east.

I did find the fact that Syria was in violation of a UN Resolution calling for them to leave Lebanon a bit of a shock. I had not heard of that resolution before.

[ 17 February 2005: Message edited by: miles ]


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WingNut
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posted 17 February 2005 09:57 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just so I remember, how many masaacres did the Syrians engage in during their time in Lebanon?
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miles
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posted 17 February 2005 10:05 PM      Profile for miles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In doing a google search I came across a website run by an organization called The Lebanese Global Information Center which they say is Non-Profit organization.

I do not know if they are a good, bad or indifferent organization.

But they have a section that talks about Syrian Massacres of Lebanese people they write in the site that:

quote:
Syria's brutal conquering of Lebanon and the continuous persecution of the people caused more than one hundred thousand casualties, led to the destruction of entire cities and imposed the displacement of hundreds of thousands.

----
the Lebanese do not hold the Syrian people, rather Syrian regime responsible and accountable for all the crimes that regime has been committing against the Lebanese community and the human race in general. The Syrian people, as well as every individual and institute in the free world, are responsible for refraining from acting to cease the crime against the Lebanese nation


Now I do not know if that answers the question about massacres or not. But I did find it interesting none the less.

It appears that many may have blood on their hands


From: vaughan | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 17 February 2005 11:16 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Syria conquered Lebanon? That is laughable.
From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 17 February 2005 11:19 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Let's see, the "Lebanese" Global Information Center, based in Florida?

Their link to the CNN story of the blast is entitled "Syrian terrorism Kills Ex-prime minister Hariri."

Gee, ya suppose they have an agenda?

[ed.] I can't let this go unchallenged:

quote:
Lebanese American stars include the comedian Danny Thomas, actress Kathy Najimy, and Tony Shalhoub, singer Paul Anka and Casey Kasem of ‘America's Top 40’.

Paul Anka's a Canuck.

[ 17 February 2005: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 17 February 2005 11:42 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What's that smell?

quote:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush demanded Syria pull troops from Lebanon on Thursday in the wake of the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri and said he would seek support from European leaders next week to put more pressure on Damascus.

"Syria is out of step with the progress being made in the greater Middle East," Bush told a news


He must mean this

And isn't this interesting?

quote:
Sources: Israel satisfied by U.S. decision to recall Syria envoy...
... The assassination of Hariri, 60, in a car bomb blast on Monday has spotlighted Lebanon's troubled ties with its powerful neighbor and revived memories of the 1975-90 civil war.

[ 17 February 2005: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Macabee
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posted 18 February 2005 08:31 AM      Profile for Macabee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:
[ed.] I can't let this go unchallenged:

Paul Anka's a Canuck.

[ 17 February 2005: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]



He is a Canuck of Lebanese decent.

From: Vaughan | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 18 February 2005 08:48 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iran and Syria re-affirm and deepen strategic alliance in response to sabre-rattling.

quote:
``The Iranian-Syrian common front is not a new phenomenon. Iran and Syria have been strategic allies for the past 2 decades. What was declared Wednesday was insistence on more coordination and cooperation between the two in the face of growing U.S. hostility,'' said Mohammad Sadeq al-Hosseini, an Iranian expert on Arab affairs.



From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 18 February 2005 09:53 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Macabee:

He is a Canuck of Lebanese decent.

I think you're missing al-Q's point, Mac. The source said that Anka was a Lebanese-American.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
johnpauljones
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posted 18 February 2005 10:06 AM      Profile for johnpauljones     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:

I think you're missing al-Q's point, Mac. The source said that Anka was a Lebanese-American.


Skdadl, Mac, Al-Q Anka holds dual US and Canadian Citizenship.

According to classicbands.com


quote:
Paul Anka became a United States citizen in August, 1990

From: City of Toronto | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 18 February 2005 10:09 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
jpj, yes, I know that -- I was just explaining to Mac what al-Q would have been emphasizing in his post last night.

I also am underwhelmed by Anka's commitment to Canada, but al-Q feels differently, I know, and I believe we must respect that.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mjollnir
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posted 18 February 2005 10:41 AM      Profile for mjollnir        Edit/Delete Post
Hello all,

The LIC, the lebanese information center, is run by people from the Guardians of the Cedars, a nationalist-racist party, and from the Lebanese Forces, a fundamentalist-christian militia. Don't count on their credibility.

anyways, the people in Lebanon are shocked, because this was an attack against the country, meant to destabilize it and bring back memories of times when this sort of thing was a common occurrence. We are tired and weary, and can't handle violence anymore, we know the country can't survive something on the scale of the 75-90 war.

Ever since resolution 1559 had been passed, the country was divided, between the supporters of international (France, USA) sides, and the supporters of the Syrian presence. Nowadays, most of the people are shifting towards the opposition camp, the camp that is calling for immediate syrian withdrawal.

So what's gonna happen? This so called opposition will win the elections. What's their program? Syria out. Fine, Syria will eventually leave the country, since the people don't want it there anymore. But, is "Syria Out" a real program to run the elections under? These people, who were in power a few years back, aren't the carriers of salvation. they're a bunch of Warlords, Criminals, and Thieves. They all are sectarian bastards who are only united temporarily, under false banners of Sovereignty. they don't know what sovereignty is even if it hits them in the face.
I didn't like the bastard, for he's no hero. He drove the country to the ground by running it just like he'd run one of his companies. However, this assassination leaves a nagging feeling that the country will once again be used to settle regional and international scores. And, at best, the outcome will be one of two: More violence, or a peaceful transition in which the opposition (TM) will regain power, and I'm confident that the bunch of thugs and criminals there will lead us to more violence, eventually.

This Sucks, big time.

[ 18 February 2005: Message edited by: mjollnir ]


From: NY | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 18 February 2005 11:28 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
mjollnir, thank you for that report.

It's hard for most of us to read through the oversimplified surfaces of the msm here, although what you say rings true to me as I know the not dissimilar situation in Afghanistan.

It's easy to know whom to suspect. It is so hard to know who is to be trusted.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
idahopotato
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posted 18 February 2005 01:17 PM      Profile for idahopotato        Edit/Delete Post
At a time that the U.S. accuses al-Qaeda of being responible for every terrorist act we find Syria condemned. The Hariri assassination may have had many possible reasons, but Syria is the best choice when the U.S. looks for the next target. Syria has few friends in the Middle East, but Turkey likes the iron fist that keeps the Kurds at bay. I see no end in sight for this story. Negotiation is the last thing the U.S. wants.
From: idaho u.s.a. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 18 February 2005 07:16 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So what's gonna happen? This so called opposition will win the elections. What's their program? Syria out. Fine, Syria will eventually leave the country, since the people don't want it there anymore. But, is "Syria Out" a real program to run the elections under? These people, who were in power a few years back, aren't the carriers of salvation. they're a bunch of Warlords, Criminals, and Thieves.

So, the Lebanese should continue to allow authoritarian Syrian scumbags to retain effective control of their country in order to prevent a collection of authoritarian Lebanese scumbags from plunging the country back into Civil War?
Come on, mj those can't be the only option. I refuse to believe that there isn't some kind of middle ground. Are the Lebanese really so shortsighted and reactionary that they can't weather this crisis without spilling each others blood?


On second thought, forget everything I just said.
It is the only option.
The covenant prevents Lebanon from ever being truly independent, of either the syrians or the warlords.
have Lebanese political scientists tryed to create an alternative to that imperialist relic? One that insures real stability? As it stands right now Lebanon always seems to be on the brink of collapse, regardless of how stable and prosperous it may appear to outsiders.


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 18 February 2005 07:24 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
...or a peaceful transition in which the opposition (TM) will regain power, and I'm confident that the bunch of thugs and criminals there will lead us to more violence, eventually

Why did you put a TM after opposition?


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 19 February 2005 01:53 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Ethics. A mere irrelevant inconvenience in Lebanese politics. There are no heroes in Lebanon. No side to support, or champion. Sectarian and opportunist parties and personalities on all sides. But I reserve a special contempt for the gang of right-wing elements in the so-called opposition. These are the ones who started the war, and who invited the Syrian army in 1976, and the Israeli army and the US in 1982. These are the ones that are most responsible for the agony of Lebanon. I was in favor in their decisive defeat back in 1976. Syria saved them.

The Angry Arab

quote:
The US media, as usual, miss the point. They talk about Hariri as if he was some outspoken critic of Syria. He never was. He was one of many uncritical voices toward Syria, and talked insincerely about Hafidh Al-Asad and his son Bashshar al-Asad as his "close personal friends." Even in his last few weeks of friction with Syria, he never uttered a word against the Syrian government.

And Hasan Nasrallah (the leader of Hizbullah revealed in a speech two days ago that he was very close to Hariri and that they were meeting once a week or more, and that he was not close to the "opposition.") In fact, the last interview Hariri gave in As-Safir the day before he was assassinated was also pro-Syrian, and distanced himself from the right-wing opposition that is now trying to claim him.

And please, do not buy Jacque Chirac's words to the effect that he was a great fighter for "democracy." Hariri was a great champion of Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi regime and Syria, and during his long rule in Lebanon, he muzzled critical voices: in the labor unions, and in the media. He was instrumental in establishing the juridical basis for Syrian political domination in Lebanon.


I'm quoting at length from As'ad AbuKhalil's blog because the text is temporary.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
RookieActivist
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posted 19 February 2005 04:50 AM      Profile for RookieActivist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here's what I don't understand.

If the US says Al-Qaeda did it, you think not. If they say someone else did it, then... Al-Qaeda did it?


From: me to you | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 19 February 2005 11:04 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
If the US says Al-Qaeda did it, you think not. If they say someone else did it, then... Al-Qaeda did it?

What makes you say that? Al Queda is one of many possible culprits, regardless of what the US says. Remember Madrid?


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 19 February 2005 11:26 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Last week as British officals voiced doubts over US and Israeli-backed allegations that Syrian intelligence agents were behind the bombing of Hariri's motorcade on Beirut's Corniche, a picture began to emerge of a deeply flawed billionaire with as many foes as friends.

The Guardian

[ed.] And as for Mac's brilliant contribution to the discussion:

quote:
He is a Canuck of Lebanese decent.

[ 19 February 2005: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 20 February 2005 04:05 AM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Anyone but me wonder if the US did it? It seems an awfully convenient stick to beat Syria with.
From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 24 February 2005 01:21 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The propaganda offensive is in the midst of a full frontal assault

quote:
Iraqi state television has aired a video showing what it said was a captured Syrian soldier confessing that he trained Iraqi militants to behead people and build car bombs to attack U.S. and Iraqi troops.

Now the Syrians take their turn as Semite bogeyman, in the steps of The Saracen, Shylock, the Eternal Jew, Nasser, Gaddafi, Arafat, Saddam and bin Laden (does anyone remember bin Laden?).

Cue the Crusaders.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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posted 24 February 2005 01:51 AM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
But who will torture Canadian citizens for Dubya if not Syria?
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skdadl
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posted 24 February 2005 11:18 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yeah -- that show interrogation on al-Iraqiya was just a touch transparent, wasn't it. State television? American-funded state television? The network the Americans set up while they were managing to bomb a few reporters from al-Jazeera?

And you thought those Ivy League boys and girls at the CIA were subtle.

Still, ronb has a point. Syria has been so useful for Dubya so far.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 28 February 2005 05:16 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

In politics there are only interests…

It is this basic alignment of interests that informs the behavior of the powers in the region. Israel talks the language of peace and democracy but cannot afford either because of the most basic issue of identity. The Arab states cannot win a war against a nuclear Israel with American resupply privileges, but they can win a peace. It is for this reason that Syria’s protestations of innocence in the Hariri affair are believable; applying the useful yardstick of the “cui bono?” principle it is difficult to see what the Syrians, whose behavior over the years has been nothing if not pragmatic, would gain.



Sanders Research

[ 28 February 2005: Message edited by: WingNut ]


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
johnpauljones
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posted 28 February 2005 05:25 PM      Profile for johnpauljones     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Interesting link and article WingNut. It is something to make us all think about what is going on in Lebanon right now both with regards to who "pulled the trigger" and who is to blame for it.

After I read the article I saw this on the USAToday website.

It seems that while the world debates the involvement of Syria in the murder there are a lot of Lebanese who have tried and convicted the Syrians.

quote:
BEIRUT (AP) — With shouts of "Syria out!," more than 25,000 flag-waving protesters massed outside Parliament on Monday in a dramatic display of defiance that forced the resignation of Lebanon's prime minister and Cabinet two weeks after the assassination of an opposition leader.

Cheering broke out among the demonstrators in Martyrs' Square when they heard Prime Minister Omar Karami's announcement on loudspeakers that the government was stepping down. Throughout the day, protesters handed out red roses to soldiers and police. (Video: Prime minister resigns)

"It is the first victory, but it will not be the last," opposition leader and former information minister Ghazi al-Areedh told the crowd in a scene broadcast live around the Arab world.


usa today government resigns

both articles lead me to question what did happen. Is it a conspiracy or did the Syrians kill him?


From: City of Toronto | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 28 February 2005 06:11 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Israel talks the language of peace and democracy but cannot afford either because of the most basic issue of identity.

How could a need for identity be an obstacle to peace? I could definitely see it as an obstacle to democracy, but to say that it's a roadblock on the way to a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians seems rather silly. If Israel can make peace with Jordan, why should Israel's Jewish identity be an impediment to peace with its other neighbors. It's really a nonissue as far as I'm concerned.


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 28 February 2005 06:35 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You might try reading the article for context:
quote:
With the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the assumption of power by Binyamin Netanyahu in the mid-90s, equivocation became open hostility. The Israeli, or rather Zionist, dilemma was and is really quite simple. A settlement with the Palestinians and regional peace means openness, openness means Palestinian access to Saudi funding, and Saudi funding plus the Palestinian birthrate spell the end, ultimately, of an Israeli state defined by a Jewish as opposed to a national identity.

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 28 February 2005 06:41 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It seems that while the world debates the involvement of Syria in the murder there are a lot of Lebanese who have tried and convicted the Syrians.

And you don't think the Empire has anything to do with that? You don't find it unusual that with no evidence and no good reason the Syrians have been fingered by the very parties seeking open hostility and war with the Syrians? And one of those parties has a 100 years of experience in staging pretexts for war? Remember The Maine?

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johnpauljones
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posted 28 February 2005 07:18 PM      Profile for johnpauljones     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by WingNut:

And you don't think the Empire has anything to do with that? You don't find it unusual that with no evidence and no good reason the Syrians have been fingered by the very parties seeking open hostility and war with the Syrians? And one of those parties has a 100 years of experience in staging pretexts for war? Remember The Maine?


WingNut just so I am not putting words in your mouth. Are you saying that the USA was behind the assination in order that they invade Syria?

Right now that is a stretch for me. Here is why. When I saw the reports of the protests first on the USAtoday website and then on the BBC and a English language network from Holland I saw a group of lebanese who were protesting the occupation of their country by foreign invaders. AN occupation that has been going on for over 30 years. I saw a people rising up against the Syrian occupiers and basically calling for their country to be run by the Lebanese.

To me this is what we need in Lebanon. We need all of the foreign occupiers out.

edited to add: the only reason I can think of for Syrian involvement is that if the opposition were to grow and a kick Syria out movement caught on then the current pro-Syrian President and pro-Syrian Pm (the one who jsut resigned) would see their power diminished and Syrian influence with it.

[ 28 February 2005: Message edited by: johnpauljones ]


From: City of Toronto | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 28 February 2005 10:49 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Since Hariri wasn't an enemy of Syria, nor was he doing them harm, why would the Syrians want him killed? As Bashar Assad said on the CBC TV news tonight, killing Hariri would be political suicide for the Syrians.

It seems that at least four other groups though, might have an interest in seeing Hariri killed:

quote:
There may be no way out for Syria however they respond to the exile Insurgency and the Hariri assassination. The difficulty for them may be that in this case the interests of the U.S., Israel, al Qaeda and the Iraqi Sunni Insurgency all coincide.

Who Killed Rafik Hariri?


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 28 February 2005 11:57 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by johnpauljones:

WingNut just so I am not putting words in your mouth. Are you saying that the USA was behind the assination in order that they invade Syria?

[ 28 February 2005: Message edited by: johnpauljones ]



First of all the "USA" is not "behind" anything. The thing that must be remembered is that conspiracies are usually generated within a single clique or interest group within a government or political group. The USA is not monolithic in any sense.

So in this instance, it is more likely that some persons representing one political tendencie, allied across national borders with persons with similar ideas in, say, Israel may have committed this action in order to force the hand and add justification to the foreign policy goals of that group.

I am not syaing this is what happened, just expressing how consporaies work. In this case certain Neo-cons have everything to gain and nothing to lose by this killing. So do a lot of people. The list of potential suspects (including Syria -- in my view one of the least likely) are endless in this case.

I have always found it interesting that people seem to be unable to concieve of conpsiracies hatched in Washington, dismissing them as "conspiracy theories," and wild fantasies. On the other hand they readily accept a version of events wherein the Syrian government would be involved in a conspiracy.

Isn't it true that the entire Washington line on this killing is also not much more than an officially authorized conspiracy theory, with nothing but conjectural arguements backing it up?

In my view the Baath party of Syria is the least likely suspect, given what they stand to lose -- the entire country.

On the other hand there are interests in Israel (Katch/Netantyahu), the US (Pearl, Wolfowitz), and among the Islamic fundemantalist movement (bin Laden, factions in IJ, Hizbollah), and the Iraqi Sunni (former Iraqi Baathist) indurgency who have an stated interest in widening the war, something that Syrian Ba'athist neutrality stabds in the way of.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 01 March 2005 03:44 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
"We are essential to the peace process, for Iraq. You will see, maybe one day the Americans will knock on our door," Assad told the Italian daily La Repubblica, rejecting Washington's "rhetoric" against his country.
Again rejecting accusations that Damascus had a hand in the killing two weeks ago of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

"If we really killed Hariri, that would be political suicide for us. Beyond ethical and human principles, the question is, who benefits from the crime? Certainly not Syria."



yahoo news

[ 01 March 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 01 March 2005 08:05 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Further, the Empire has both a policy and history of targetting killing world leaders for national interest.

Funny, they also spoke of the need for a second Pearl Harbour to justify the New American Century. And then, voila, 9/11. What terrible luck, eh?

quote:
According to their own document, Rebuilding America?s Defenses ( .pdf format ) their stated goals would never be realized ?absent some catastrophic catalyzing event ?like a new Pearl Harbor?. (page 52).

Project for the Old American Century

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 01 March 2005 09:37 AM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In my view the Baath party of Syria is the least likely suspect, given what they stand to lose -- the entire country.


History is filled with stories of countries doing things that proved not to be in their own best interest.

But the good news is that now Lebanon may finally be freed from brutal Syrian occupation. Syria never had any right to0 have a single soliutary soldier in that country and the faster they get out the better because no one in Lebanon weants these Syrian hooligans bossing them around anymore.


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Critical Mass
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posted 01 March 2005 10:21 AM      Profile for Critical Mass        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
History is filled with stories of countries doing things that proved not to be in their own best interest.

Killing Hariri may very well be in Syria's interest. Syria has known since the UN resolution against its occupation that it would have to withdraw eventually. Syria without the occupation of Lebanon is nothing. If you kill the one man who is strong enough internally and strong enough as an international symbol, the Syrians hope they can withdraw and have a politically weak and fractured Lebanon that can't threaten it. Syria has a history of assassinating Lebanese leaders who grow too independent.

By the way, the Lebanese, like the Serbs, the Georgians, the Ukrainians, South Africans, Ecuadorians, have just achieved a successful non-violent revolution.

Congratulations to the Lebanese "revolutionaries"... It's their country.

Supposedly the group of demonstrators who have succeeded in overthrowing the Syrian puppet government is composed of housewives, doctors in white coats, a bunch of lawyers in their black robes, students, shopowners, taxi drivers, and other regular folk who did not need to fire a single bullet or lynch anyone. Nice for a change when ordinary folks win without murdering people.

[ 01 March 2005: Message edited by: Critical Mass ]


From: King & Bay (downtown Toronto) - I am King of the World!!! | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 01 March 2005 12:07 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But the good news is that now Lebanon may finally be freed from brutal Syrian occupation.

You mean brutal in relatioin to the Israeli occupation of that country? Or the American occupation of Iraq? Funny the things people find 'brutal' compared to what they find justifiable.

I wouldn't be prematurely optimistic. The Empire's press is already reporting the fall of the Lebanese government (elected wasn't it?) and the further isolation of Syria represents an additional "asset", Lebanon, in the Empire's column.

This whole sordid enterprise only serves the interests of the Empire and its pitbull. I think what is going on is but the first shots in a wider war. Who benefits from that and who persues it? Certainly not Syria or the people of the region or the people of the world.

I saw images of Syria yesterday. The capital appears as a beautfiul, modern city with women walking the streets alone and free of the veil. Compare that to the Empire's Arab allies in the region.

Syria might not be a model of democractic government and may even be as repressive as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Egypt to its political enemies. But it is no worse than any of the Empire's allys and certainly the people of Syria, no matter what, do not deserve the fate of their neighbours in Iraq.

But the pretexts for suffering just a fate on them are already being invented in the Halls of the Empire.

[ 01 March 2005: Message edited by: WingNut ]


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 March 2005 12:18 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I hope that some of the commentators I'm reading are wrong, that the opposition in Lebanon cannot hold together much beyond the demonstrations of the last few days.

I remember the civil war, and I pray that we're not working up to a repeat.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 01 March 2005 12:45 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Syria might not be a model of democractic government and may even be as repressive as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Egypt to its political enemies. But it is no worse than any of the Empire's allys and certainly the people of Syria, no matter what, do not deserve the fate of their neighbours in Iraq.


Reminicent of the Russian revolution. Casulaties less than 100... or perhaps that is bad allegory for CM's purposes. Lets see what "winning" amounts too.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 01 March 2005 01:00 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The great double-standard:
quote:
With the pressure mounting on Syria to immediately implement Security Council resolution 1559, Damascus should accept that now is the time to put aside pride and demand a concurrent implementation of UN resolution 242, which obliges Israel to return the Golan. It is understandable that the Syrians do not want any comparisons made between the two resolutions. The Syrians entered Lebanon at the invitation of an internationally recognized Lebanese government and no Syrian settlements have ever been planted on Lebanese soil. On the other hand, 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.

The rest

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 01 March 2005 01:03 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Juan Cole has a long and informative post that provides some context.

Edited cos I linked to the wrong post.

[ 01 March 2005: Message edited by: pogge ]


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 01 March 2005 01:50 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The prospect of a PLO-dominated Lebanon scared the Syrians. Yasser Arafat would have been able to provoke battles with Israel at will, into which Syria might be drawn. Hafez al-Asad determined to intervene to stop it. First he sought a green light from the Israelis through Kissinger. He got it.

In spring of 1976 the Syrians sent 40,000 troops into Lebanon and massacred the Palestinian fighters, saving the Maronites, with Israeli and US approval.



Figures, don't it?

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 01 March 2005 02:56 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
You mean brutal in relation to the Israeli occupation of that country? Or the American occupation of Iraq? Funny the things people find 'brutal' compared to what they find justifiable.

Who said the American occupation of Iraq was justifiable? I opposed it every step of the way!


quote:
This whole sordid enterprise only serves the interests of the Empire and its pitbull. I think what is going on is but the first shots in a wider war. Who benefits from that and who persues it? Certainly not Syria or the people of the region or the people of the world.

You think Syria was essentially colonizing Lebanon out of the goodness of its heart? Syrian has been one of the most imperialist countries in the Arab world from the get-go. The only reason Syria keeps going to war with Israel is because they think that since "Palestine" was part of the old Ottoman province of Syria - all of present day Israel ought to annexed by Syria.

quote:
I saw images of Syria yesterday. The capital appears as a beautfiul, modern city with women walking the streets alone and free of the veil. Compare that to the Empire's Arab allies in the region.

Who cares how beautiful and modern Damascus looks to the naked eye. it is the capital of a brutal police state. People who visited Berlin in 1938 would wax about how beautiful and modern it looked. I'll bet that if we went back in time to Tehran in 1977 before the fall of the Shah we would also have seen many liberated women without veils. Meanwhile in Algeria, the "Empire" is propping up a secular government and the opposition is made up of fundamentalists. So what's your point?

quote:
Syria might not be a model of democractic government and may even be as repressive as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Egypt to its political enemies.

Why don't you ask Maher Arar what he thinks of your idyllaic portrait of the Syrian regime?


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 01 March 2005 03:23 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

Who said the American occupation of Iraq was justifiable? I opposed it every step of the way!


And then you excuse, apologize for and justify the worst excesses of the occupation and the occupation itself. You fool no one.
quote:

You think Syria was essentially colonizing Lebanon out of the goodness of its heart? Syrian has been one of the most imperialist countries in the Arab world from the get-go. The only reason Syria keeps going to war with Israel is because they think that since "Palestine" was part of the old Ottoman province of Syria - all of present day Israel ought to annexed by Syria.


With 15,000 troops Syria colonized Lebanon? They have done a piss poor job of it with anti-Syria demonstrations and the retreat of their forces. Perhaps they need lessons from the Empire and its pitpull on how a real occupation is carried out.

You think someone your age would finally outgrow your self-delusions. The history and evidence clearly shows the pitbull instigated war with Syria. But of course, why should you care about facts and history when you have the comfort of lies.

quote:

Who cares how beautiful and modern Damascus looks to the naked eye. it is the capital of a brutal police state.

Syrians. Perhaps Palestinians could be so lucky as to have beautiful cities rather than ruins to live in under the brutal repression of military rule.

quote:

People who visited Berlin in 1938 would wax about how beautiful and modern it looked. I'll bet that if we went back in time to Tehran in 1977 before the fall of the Shah we would also have seen many liberated women without veils. Meanwhile in Algeria, the "Empire" is propping up a secular government and the opposition is made up of fundamentalists. So what's your point?


Are you trivializing the holocaust by raising the spectre of Nazi Germany?

quote:

Why don't you ask Maher Arar what he thinks of your idyllaic portrait of the Syrian regime?


I am sure he would say that Syrians should not pay for the sins of the government. Although, you have demonstrated time and again you have no problem making ordianry Arabs pay with their lives in the advancement of some race based ideology.

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 01 March 2005 03:25 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
You think Syria was essentially colonizing Lebanon out of the goodness of its heart? Syrian has been one of the most imperialist countries in the Arab world from the get-go. The only reason Syria keeps going to war with Israel is because they think that since "Palestine" was part of the old Ottoman province of Syria - all of present day Israel ought to annexed by Syria.


Thats one way to look at it. But historically Syria was the original capital of the caliphate, which included everything. The Ottoman rule was always contested by the Syrians themselves, and the Ottomans needed a standing army in the region to quell unrest. Point of fact: the Arabs are not Turkish.

You seem to delight in trying to prove that European occupations of Arab land is justifiable on the basis that the Turks did it. Commendable even.

Nothing changes the fact that the majority of Israel's population are new immigrants (Need it be pointed out that in 1889 jews made up less than 5% of the population of Palestine and Syrian Arabs made up the majority of the rest), who immigrated not with the permission of the local people, but by fiat through the British. You might as well say that England is greedy because it recognizes that Yorkshire is, and for the greatest part of its history been, part of England and that the English would be tendentious if they asked to be consulted about immigration or resisted an invasion by Germans.

But of course any slippery piece of historical preverication will be used to justify European imperialism. In fact the reason that there are any Christians there at all (aside from the Nestorians) is because of European invasion, most others having converted to Islam long ago.

For a self-proclaimed secualrist, you seem spend about zero time defending a secular Arab republic, while defending Israel tooth and nail. It has always been the Europeans that have foestered religious devides in the region, not the Arab Muslims and while not perfect the Islamic caliphate and Ottomans both went to considerable efforts to ensure repsect for minority rights -- the pogroms were a European, not an Islamic, phenomena.

But, oh yes, the Christians make a grab for power in Lebanon and you and your kind are all trying to outdo each other with praise for the liberation... yet another crusader.

Stockholm: How do you sleep at night?

[ 01 March 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 01 March 2005 03:59 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Who said the American occupation of Iraq was justifiable? I opposed it every step of the way!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


And then you excuse, apologize for and justify the worst excesses of the occupation and the occupation itself. You fool no one.


That's news to me. I don't recall EVER excusing, apologizing for or justifying the invasion of Iraq.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 01 March 2005 04:01 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bull shit.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 01 March 2005 04:03 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Syrians. Perhaps Palestinians could be so lucky as to have beautiful cities rather than ruins to live in under the brutal repression of military rule.


My point is how does the physical beauty of Damascus excuse Syria's invasion and colonization of Lebanon? If Damascus was an ugly city, would that make it OK to criticize Syrian foreign policy?

No one is talking about attacking Syria. But its about time Syria stopped interfering in Lebanon and concentrated on improving its own dismal economy and maybe tried having a real live election for the first time in its history.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 01 March 2005 04:07 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I am sure he would say that Syrians should not pay for the sins of the government.

A very noble sentiment. Do you also agree that Americans should not pay for the sins of the American government and that Israelis should not pay for the sins of the Israeli government - or is it only citizens of countries that you don't like who can justifiably be terrorized?

In any case, who is talking about making Syrians pay anything?? We want Syria out of Lebanon pure and simple. I suppose that MAYBE the annual income of the average Syrian by decline by a tenth of a % because they will lose whatever they now gain by colonizing Lebanon. Otherwise, how do the Syrian people lose anything by kicking them out of Lebanon?


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 01 March 2005 04:09 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
No one is talking about attacking Syria.

The United States has been talking about invading Syria for about 5 years now. Your flagrant quasi-humanitarian foppisms only contribute to their propganda. And your hypocrisy is manifest; applause for stern measure against Syria, equivocation when discussion truns to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and gaza.

[ 01 March 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 01 March 2005 04:22 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Stockholm: How do you sleep at night?


Very, very soundly. I'm confident in the righteous of my views and happily living a grand life of luxury.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 01 March 2005 04:22 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You mean drinking.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
nister
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posted 01 March 2005 04:23 PM      Profile for nister     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Stockholm, Syria has in the last few days withdrawn $3,500,000,000US from Lebanese banks. This is a serious blow. Syria is simply removing their assets from where the US can get at them.

Where do all those identical flags and poles suddenly spring from? Watch the street scenes.. does it look like 25,000 rapturous protesters? Shades of Georgia/Ukraine.


From: Barrie, On | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Critical Mass
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posted 01 March 2005 04:27 PM      Profile for Critical Mass        Edit/Delete Post
Stockholm, you silly silly boy. You dared to violate prime directive number 1 by actually thinking not only the US and the Israelis can be bad bad people.

Ergo: you must be a dirty evil racist putz.

Now remember, Stockie: the Syrian torturers are our friends.

And I've had enough fun for the day. Time to return to the adult world. L'chaim.

IMPORTANT NOTE TO FLAMERS: I put the smiley face symbol indicating irony, OK? Not to be taken seriously.

[ 01 March 2005: Message edited by: Critical Mass ]


From: King & Bay (downtown Toronto) - I am King of the World!!! | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 01 March 2005 04:29 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes do remember that they are our friends. Ask Maher Arar after all we sent him to them.

God your an idiot.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 01 March 2005 04:31 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Why is everyone so crestfallen over the fact that a fascist dictatorship like Syria is being driven out of a country that it is illegally occupying?

If anything you should be glad that fascist Syria is being pushed out since the end of a Syrian occupation of Lebanon would remove a justification for Israel's occupation of the West Bank. In fact if you read Juan Cole's article, it is clear that Syria actually had Israeli covert approval to interfere in Lebanon because Syria and Israel were united in their hatred of the PLO - which in turn had already been partially slaughtered by the Jordanians during Black September (ah, its so heartwarming to see how these Arab countries are so steadfast in their solidarity with their Palestinian brothers).


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Critical Mass
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posted 01 March 2005 04:36 PM      Profile for Critical Mass        Edit/Delete Post
I have lots of Lebanses friends. I am very happy that little stinking torture state of Syria is finally getting some attention from the UN.

And remember: the peaceful demos that toppled the Lebanese puppet government of the Syrian secret police were broadcast live over Al-Jazeera to all the Arab countries.

Heehee, I can't wait to see how the ideologues try to figure out a way to blame all this on some "Zionist conspiracy".

This is kind of fun.

Plus ça change...

[ 01 March 2005: Message edited by: Critical Mass ]


From: King & Bay (downtown Toronto) - I am King of the World!!! | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 March 2005 04:41 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Stockholm, as always, people posting to this board on any topic where the machinations of the current U.S. admin come into play are worried about two things:

1. Dead bodies; and
2. Lies that may lead to more dead bodies.


You seem to be arguing that ends justify means, that even if American or other players have engineered a dubious scenario here, it's still ok that we don't know the truth because the Syrians were bad guys anyway.

Anyone with half a brain or half a memory of previous American adventures in the region or in southeast Asia or, increasingly, in Central Asia knows that you are dead wrong.

Read your Graham Greene, Stockholm.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 01 March 2005 04:43 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
[QB]Why is everyone so crestfallen over the fact that a fascist dictatorship like Syria is being driven out of a country that it is illegally occupying?

First of all they are not occupying the whole thing. Primarily they are occupying (defending) the rural mountain areas inhabited by Arab Muslims, who have every reason to expect sudden and swift retribution against them should the Christians cease full control in Beriut.

Or have you forgotten Sabra and Shatila?

Secondly, this is not just about removing Syrain presence in Lebanon, this is about establishing a Causes Beli for a removal of the Baath Party in Syria by invasion if necessary, so that the Syrian might stop winging about the theft of the Golan heights by Israel.

Thirdly, this second objective is not likely to presipitate anything short of ongoing regioinal war for the next 20 years.

If one thing ditinguishes the Syrain occupation from the US occupation of Iraq, and the Israeli one of the WB and Gaza it is that the "facist dictorship" seems to have increased stability not undermined it. After all the war is over.

Something that neither the US or Israel seems to be able to do.

Good one.

quote:
If anything you should be glad that fascist Syria is being pushed out since the end of a Syrian occupation of Lebanon would remove a justification for Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

Huh? You are completely mad. There were no Syrian troops in Lebanon before 1976, and Israel did not leave the West Bank.

You seem to argue by taking completely unrelated facts and then forcing them into allegorial form. The allegory then takes on a life of its on in your head quiote seperate from reality.

If anything the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza was the justification for the Syrian armies move into Lebanon, not the other way round. However you cook your facts it is always the Israeli whom are reacting and the Arabs who ara agressing, even if the presumed Arab agression (1976) happened years after the Israel "defence" (1967.)

[ 01 March 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 March 2005 04:43 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh, dear. MeMe is getting precious again.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 01 March 2005 04:45 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I have lots of Lebanses friends. I am very happy that little stinking torture state of Syria is finally getting some attention from the UN.

Typical of you to try an establish that you know what you are talking about because you have Lebanese friends. How many prey tell are Muslim?


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 01 March 2005 04:57 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
You seem to be arguing that ends justify means, that even if American or other players have engineered a dubious scenario here, it's still ok that we don't know the truth because the Syrians were bad guys anyway.

Anyone with half a brain or half a memory of previous American adventures in the region or in southeast Asia or, increasingly, in Central Asia knows that you are dead wrong.


So does this mean that we all should have been horrified when the Berlin Wall fell and when the Velvet Revolution happened in Prague and when the Ceaucescu's suffered the fate they so richly deserved? After all MAYBE it was all an American conspiracy to subdue the Soviet empire. Maybe so, but I wonder how many people in the Czech Republic are wishing that they had the pre-1990 Stalinist regime back in power.

But why shed a tear for the Syrian government. This is the country whose government slaughtered 10,000 people at Hama in 1982 and no one cared! This is a government that used the Golan Heights as a base to lob shells at Israel and then they have the nerve to complain when the heights are taken away from them so they can't shell anymore. If Syria hadn't contin ually shelled Israel from the Golan Heights - there would have been no reason for Israel to go to the trouble of capturing the Golan Heights in the first palce.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 01 March 2005 05:00 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here we go again. Britain sponsors a Zionist invasion of Arab territory and it is the Arabs who are to blame for attacking the invading army.

Yes and the black of south Africa should just have let the dutch and british walk over them.

As above, you have the 1976 Syrian invasion of Lebanon as a justification for the Israeli occupation of the west bank in 1967. Even given that the Syrian move took place 10 years after Israel occupied the west bank you seem to be able to construe the 1967 war as somehow justified by the 1976 Syrian move into Lebanon.

Always the Arab agressor, even if the agression happened 10 years later.

[ 01 March 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 March 2005 05:03 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So does this mean that we all should have been horrified when the Berlin Wall fell and when the Velvet Revolution happened in Prague and when the Ceaucescu's suffered the fate they so richly deserved? After all MAYBE it was all an American conspiracy to subdue the Soviet empire. Maybe so, but I wonder how many people in the Czech Republic are wishing that they had the pre-1990 Stalinist regime back in power.

Huh?

Stockholm, I was pretty obviously thinking of, eg, Afghanistan in the 1980s. Or Saudi Arabia since WWII. Or Syria, for that matter.

Are you truly thick, Stockholm? Or just bored?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 01 March 2005 05:03 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
A very noble sentiment. Do you also agree that Americans should not pay for the sins of the American government and that Israelis should not pay for the sins of the Israeli government - or is it only citizens of countries that you don't like who can justifiably be terrorized?

Yes, I agree. Wholeheartedly that neither Americans nor Israelis should pay for the sins of their government. See, unlike you, I am not a hypocrite.

Imagine the depths of hypocrisy to call Syrias forces in Lebanon and call, for thier withdrawal while remaining silent, or worse supporting, the brytal occupations of the pitbull of Palestinians and the murderous occupation of the Empire of Iraq.

I mentioned the city is beautiful because it is and so are the people. It is beautiful compared to what the Israelis have done to Jenin and Bethlehem and Ramallah and too many cities to mention. It is beautiful compared to what the Empire has done to Baghdad and Falujah.

You and CM are hypocrites in attacking Syria while remaining silent on the pitbulls brutal occupation of 30 years. And if race is not behind the hypocrisy, what is?


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 01 March 2005 05:27 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

Interesting how some of these patriotic Lebanese protestors seem to have an English speaking audience in mind for their protest. Ready made for the Washington Press Corp., and CM when he picks up the Toronto Star.

All is well in the empire CM, have no fear, Nero is on guard. The people love Nero, and Nero loves his people.

[ 01 March 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 01 March 2005 05:59 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Stockholm, I was pretty obviously thinking of, eg, Afghanistan in the 1980s. Or Saudi Arabia since WWII. Or Syria, for that matter.


Sorry to have brought some inconvenient examples that don't support your point. I'm just saying that sometimes there might be intervention in countries and it has a positive longterm outcome (and sometimes it doesn't). If I was Czech and evidence came to light that the CIA played some role in the downfall of the Stalinist regime - that wouldn't make me any less happy that such a horrible regime bit the dust. Sometimes there can be good outcomes no matter how bad the motives.

There is nothing unusual about people in non-English speaking countries waving banners in English. I have noticed this zillions of times and in many cases those signs say "US out!".


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 01 March 2005 06:11 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Nice ideas. Fact is that outside intervention is usually wrong and done by people who have no interest in the welfare of the people.

They are at best naive and at worst incompetently harmful. A case in point is that there will be no evidence coming to light showing that the CIA was involved in the downfall of Czech Communism. The people whom you are putting your faith in the CIA etc, firmly believed along with Erich Honeker that the Berlin wall would last another hundred years.

The problem is that the outcome of this kind of interferance is extremely unpridictable. There is every reason to believe, for instance, that US covert actions helped bring Pol Pot to power, even if that was not the intent. Also the taliban is another example.

I also doubt that oppostioin to the Syrains, in this case, is universal in the way that opposition to the USSR was in the Czech Republic. Even most communists opposed Soviet influence.

But why bother with logic, Stockholm believes the 1967 invasion of the West Bank was caused by 1976 Syrian intervention in Lebanon.

[ 01 March 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 01 March 2005 06:22 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And do notice how he can tolerate some "interventions" (a nicer word than occupation, no?) when conducted by nice, white, northern nations.
From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 01 March 2005 06:32 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It was also good when Tanzania "intervened" to depose Idi Amin of Uganda and that was a hardly a case of white capitalist country intervening. Most people criticize the US and France for NOT intervening to stop the genocide in Rwanda.

BTW: I don't blame the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967 on the Syrian occupation of Lebanon in 1976 (I was only pointing out that the continuing Syrian occupation of Lebanon is a convenient propaganda tool for Israel to use to justify staying in the WB). But I do blame Jordan for illegally occupying the West Bank in 1948. That certainly set a precedent for replacing one occupation with another. Just think, if those greedy Jordanians and Egyptians could have kept their grubby paws off Gaza and the West Bank in 1948-49, and instead allowed the Palestinian state proposed in the 1947 UN partition to be created - this whole sad story could have had a very different outcome.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 01 March 2005 06:32 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
With the Lebanese Falangists now feeling confident in both their own power and worse, their influence with Uncle Sam, the question now turns to how peace will be maintained within Lebanon.

This isn't anything like the fall of the Soviet regimes in Eastern Europe. It's more like what started the 1975 Lebanese Civil War.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
liminal
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posted 01 March 2005 09:49 PM      Profile for liminal        Edit/Delete Post
Oh My!

I hate to barge in like this, but so many misconceptions (both out of good and bad intentions), truth distortions (also out of good and bad intentions, and crocodile tears (well, you can’t have good intentions behind that, but I think it is bleedingly obvious which posters are engaging in it) have risen and need to be addressed.

To contextualize Syria’s hegemony in Lebanon, one must have a primer of Lebanese society and politics. Lebanon doesn’t have a clear cut national identity, but is rather an assortment of sect-tribes, each broadly with specific aspirations and specific visions of what Lebanon should be. Sometimes these visions overlap between the different sects, and most of the time they diverge. Lebanon emerged as a social contract between these different groups to share the homeland, renounce foreign patronage (and I generalize: Muslims would not lobby for pan Arabism, and would accept Lebanon as a final homeland, Christians (not all) would not lobby for Western alliance (mainly French at the time of independence in 1943), and to distribute the power among them. This system of sect-tribe cemented the influence and power of sectarian feudal lords (from time immemorial), who treat their respective sects as a lump of sheep, not a group of individual citizens, thus representing them. You could have several leaders within the sect, depending on kin ties and geography. Suffice to say, the political stance these leaders take implies the political stance of the different factions within the different sects, so if the most powerful Druze leader Walid Jumblatt supports Syria, it is assumed that the Druze support Syria, for example. However, one should keep in mind that the ascendancy these leaders exert is not forced on the factions within the sect-tribe, but has been internalized by years of ruling lineage that people are raised to support certain leaders, who usually stay in power by the overwhelming votes they get from their constituency in municipal and parliamentary elections (and by extension government). This political setup has spared Lebanon the tide of dictatorship that has taken the Middle East since the 1950s (not before), and has insured a sense of democracy since the society is made up of different forces at equilibrium, instead of being relatively uniform and thus being fertile ground to autocratic rule (what kind of dictator can Lebanon have? If it is a Maronite Christian for example, the other sects would combine and topple him). I am in no way defending this system, because I believe it denies people of their individuality and their worth as independent human beings, treating them as statistics blending in their respective sect-tribe, into which they were born, not which they chose.

Given the power dynamics that govern Lebanon, we can’t talk of a Syrian occupation of Lebanon, because there isn’t an occupation in the classical sense of the term, but rather a Syrian hegemony. There are merely 15,000 soldiers (versus a 50,000 strong Lebanese army), who are stationed very close to the Syrian border, and who are insignificant in the control Damascus exerts over Lebanese politics, which would be undaunted even with the withdrawal of the last Syrian soldier to Syria. Instead, Syria influences Lebanon through alliances and consensus: an international consensus between the US, Saudi Arabia, and Syria through the 1989 Taef agreement, in which Syria has a say in Lebanon’s foreign policy and security, while Saudi Arabia handles the economy (since 1992, through its front man and its proxy, the late Rafic Hariri, whose assassination initiated this thread); and an alliance to the local Lebanese movers and shakers, the feudal heads of the sect-tribes, whose support constitutes the main foothold of Syrian involvement (but unlike Iraq for example, they were not set up by Syria, but rather were always there, and forged partnership with Syria), and without whose endorsement, Syria loses its grip on Lebanon. The whole set-up is dictated by the situation in the middle East, and the consensus is set to expire when peace between the different Arab factions and Israel is reached.

Some posters on this thread need to understand that the presence of Syrian workers in Lebanon doesn’t insinuate colonialism. Lebanon has depended on Syrian cheap labor since the 1950s (many Lebanese are so haughty they believe some jobs are beneath them), and will depend of Syrian work force even if the Syrian hegemony collapses. Moreover, not revealed by propaganda is that Lebanon is a hotbed of Syrian capital and investments. With the military coups taking place since the 1950s, most of the Syrian bourgeoisie and the Syrian capital have migrated to Lebanon (as have most Syrian intellectuals, and has have other Arabs-intellectuals and capital-, particularly Palestinians post 1948, Egyptians post 1952, Iraqis post 1958,… . In the 1960s, you had millions of dollars flowing from Syria to Lebanon each WEEK. Even now, with the controlled economy in Syria, most Syrian funds are hoarded in Lebanese banks and invested in projects in Lebanon.

So you can’t speak of Syrian occupation, let alone colonial. This doesn’t exonerate the Syrian regime from being an autocratic, repressive, and bloody ruthless. It is atrocious, but for some here to compare Lebanon to Palestine is telling! Syrians didn’t flock Lebanon from all over the globe, ethnically cleansing the indigenous Lebanese population, razing their towns to the ground, and establishing settlements. Israel did and does. The Syrian army doesn’t shell Lebanese civilians at will, propping checkpoints, and parading around on shooting sprees. Israel does. The Syrians didn’t wipe Lebanon off the global map, claiming that the Lebanese didn’t exist. Israel did. Syria doesn’t build Syrians-only settlement on Lebanese soil, cutting off natural resources to the Lebanese. Israel does. For God’s sake, just compare down Gaza to downtown Beirut.
www.downtownbeirut.com

With Syrian hegemony, you have a vibrant Lebanese media with over 7 TV stations (only 1 government owned), and over 30 newspapers, literally hundreds of political periodicals (of which the state owns 1) etc, etc, most of which lambaste the Lebanese government, and more frequently Syria, its regime and its domination in Lebanon. You have operating and fully legal offices for human rights organizations (local and international, like Amnesty). At least, peace activists are not shot at! Syrian control couldn’t shut anyone up.

And please, for those Babblers that have discovered deep inside them that they champion human rights and political freedom for the oppressed Lebanese, while disregarding, endorsing, and justifying some of the most horrendous acts of occupation and ethnic cleansing when it is perpetuated by their favorite fetish-state to Palestinians, don’t preach about hypocrisy and double standards when they are oozing out of you.

Now, where was I? The recent events in Lebanon show time and time again how Lebanon can be used a stage to settle accounts between bigger players in the region and beyond. Once again, in the conflict going on between the US and Syria over Iraq and Israel, the Lebanese are used as fuel. France, on its behalf, smells a recipe to reshuffle and reorganize the Middle East, and thus wants to be part. So, the ongoing feud is not between Lebanese civilians and Syrian occupation, but between outside powers with Lebanese proxies. This is not to claim that the average Lebanese demonstrating in the centre of the city is not longing for sovereignty and independece, but rather the leaders of both the pro-Syria and anti-Syria crowds are the same sectarian warlords who have screwed the country time and time again for their own personal benefits by relying and shifting alliance on outside forces (Syria, PLO, Israel, Iraq, US, France, Egypt). For example, the star of the recent independence uprising, Walid Jumblatt, was Syria’s most intimate ally up till 3 MONTHS AGO, an alliance that goes back to 1977,.
I urge people interested in the dynamics of Lebanese politics and political fabric, especially in light of the latest events to check out:
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/

Sorry for the incoherent post.


From: the hole I just crawled out of | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 01 March 2005 10:48 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Critical Mass:

IMPORTANT NOTE TO FLAMERS: I put the smiley face symbol indicating irony, OK? Not to be taken seriously.


Never worry, MeMe. Nobody here takes you seriously.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 02 March 2005 03:47 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Liminal your post was not chaotic at all, but well thought out and informative. Thankfully, it was also free of the histrionic rhetorical flourishes that predominate the posts of CM and stokholm. Free (again thankfully) of the fetish phrases of those who presume the right to ponitifcate about 'human rights and democracy,' in the case of Syria, while nodding ane winking at the Israeli occupation -- phrases used to hype emotion but do little to enhance the real issues that confront the Lebanese today.

Your post was quite the opposite, and useful in a discussion about politics that goes beyond knee-jerk anti-Arab and anti-muslim rhetoric, couched in the florid phraseology of human rights.

God forbid that any Arab nation should make a decision without the explicit permission of the European powers.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 02 March 2005 09:35 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So, the ongoing feud is not between Lebanese civilians and Syrian occupation, but between outside powers with Lebanese proxies.

Exceptionally well done, liminal. Thank you.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Critical Mass
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posted 02 March 2005 01:36 PM      Profile for Critical Mass        Edit/Delete Post
As I said, this is fun.

Not as if we little people in Canada have any impact on the Middle East.

So the Middle East forum is an interesting place to watch how discussion unfolds in a vacuum of rhetorical overkill and how the absurd logic of politics leads to fantastic accusations. If you're not totally 100% anti-whatever, you must be a stooge of the Americans or something like that. I admit, as flames go, that is quite good.

But hey. I just got my cheque from Empire Central HQ so I'm uncorking the champagne. Never knew it was so easy to join the international conspiracy.

I'm just not very sure which conspiracy I joined. It can't be the Zionist conspiracy - I wouldn't know a Zionist conspiracy if it bopped me in the nose. Can't be the Communist conspiracy - they went bankrupt I have read. Certainly can't be the federalist conspiracy against Quebec since I don't work for an ad agency.

I was made a honorary Freemason once so maybe it's the Freemason conspiracy, though they're a bit passé. And I was made an honorary Newfoundlander so maybe they signed me up for the international baby seal killing conspiracy.

But I'll settle for membership in the international sceptics conspiracy.

Of course, I did join the NDP following Jack Layton (once accused on Babble quite seriously for being a dupe of the US or a dupe of powerful pro-Israeli lobbies or something or other) because, along with other fellow conspirators like Mr. Magoo and Stockholm and many others also accused of being Empire dupes, I wanted to infiltrate and turn the Canadian Left into an organizational beachhead for international imperialist Zionist aggression.

I have been exposed!

I knew this was fun.


From: King & Bay (downtown Toronto) - I am King of the World!!! | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 02 March 2005 01:53 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
sceptic
system seems about right.

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
liminal
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posted 02 March 2005 01:54 PM      Profile for liminal        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
First of all they are not occupying the whole thing. Primarily they are occupying (defending) the rural mountain areas inhabited by Arab Muslims, who have every reason to expect sudden and swift retribution against them should the Christians cease full control in Beriut.

Or have you forgotten Sabra and Shatila?


Cueball. Thank you for your last post, but this one is a definite no-no. So now, the Christian Lebanese are a bunch of Fascist bloodthirsty hounds innate to massacre defenseless docile Muslims? All the warring militias (death squads) in Lebanon were bloodthirsty, the Muslim as much as the Christian, the Leftist as much as the Rightist. To paint a picture of evil Christians in Lebanon is unfounded, unfair, harsh and derogatory.

You mention the massacre of Sabra and Shatila in 1982, conducted by the Phalangists death-squads with the orchestration of Ariel Sharon, against mostly innocent Muslim Palestinians and Lebanese. I add to the Phalangists’ massacre resume the massacres and ethnic cleansing of the informal settlements of the Quarantina camp in 1975, the Tell-az-Za’atar camp in 1976 , the village of Hirri in 1975, the Muslim neighborhoods of “Christian” east Beirut (almost 40% Muslim) in 1976 (all cases, Phalangists against Palestinians and Muslim Lebanese).

BUT, on the other hand, you have the massacre of innocent Christians in the village of Damour in 1976, al-Qua in 1976 (not to mention dozens of villages in rural Lebanon that were brutally attacked for being Christian, on the other side of the border of the areas under the Rightist and the Christian dominion). Have you heard about the Chouf and the Mountain war in 1983? You had Druze militias (headed by Walid Jumblatt himself) ethnically cleansing 14 Christian villages (and Christian neighborhood of some 25 mixed villages), displacing 200,000 , and killing dozens, razing the villages to the ground (of course, the Phalangists invited themselves to the Shouf with the Israeli invasion and committed quite some massacres against innocent Druze, but they were from outside the region, and the victims of retaliation were innocent local villagers). You also have a belt of Christian villages ethnically cleansed and raised to the ground around Sidon in South Lebanon in 1985 (same scenario. Israeli invasion, Phalangists inviting themselves, terrorizing the local population, fleeing leaving innocent Christian to bear the grunt) of retaliation. What about Beirut? Do you know that the “Muslim” west Beirut was almost 40-50% Christian in 1975? Now, it is less than 5%. Do you know that innocent Christian families there were harassed since 1975, and sometimes bluntly forced to evacuate whole neighborhoods (like in 1984)? Do you know that almost 60% of the one million people displaced are Christians?

All this without mentioning the 20,000 casualties of the Israeli army in the 1982 invasion alone (not to mention burning entire villages to the ground in occupied South Lebanon, and killing sprees of innocent villagers), the MUCH MUCH less casualties of the Syrian army, and the US army (yes US army). You had innocent defenseless Lebanese victims of all sects (Muslim, Christian, Druze, Jewish). You had scores of innocent Palestinian victims. You also had a score of savage militias from all sects and all ideologies looting and massacring, not to mention ruthless invading armies.

Al-Q, The Phalangists are not the only forces of evil ready to feed on Lebanese preys, they are just one Fascist death squad among a myriad others.

Ironically enough, the Syrian army was invited in 1976 at the behest of the Lebanese president, with the urging of the rightist militias (Phalangists and co.) supposedly to “spare a Christian genocide at the hands of the PLO, the Leftist militias, and the Islamic militias” (according to their account). They are the same politicians who complain today about the Syrian hegemony.


From: the hole I just crawled out of | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1292

posted 02 March 2005 02:41 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
To understand the why of the assassination—although the material perpetrator, the who, remains unclear—one must look back at the 1996 policy paper prepared under the supervision of now-Vice President Dick Cheney, and his neo-con task force of Richard Perle, Doug Feith, David and Meyrav Wurmser, et al. Entitled "A Clean Break, A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" this paper outlined a scenario whereby the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinian Authority would be torn to shreds, and, first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Hezbollah, and Iran, would be targetted for military assault and political destabilization.

The document flatly stated that Israel should engage "Hisbollah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon, including by ... establishing the precedent that Syrian territory is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces [and] striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and should that prove insufficient, striking at select targets in Syria proper." Furthermore, it said, Israel should divert "Syria's attention by using Lebanese opposition elements to destabilize Syrian control of Lebanon." The paper also called for focussing on "removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq...."


Remembder the Maine


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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Babbler # 478

posted 02 March 2005 03:08 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That is extremely depressing -- because extremely convincing -- to read, Wingy.

I think I am going to start keeping a peace vigil. What else can we do?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
johnpauljones
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Babbler # 7554

posted 02 March 2005 03:18 PM      Profile for johnpauljones     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Liminal thank you for your posts. You have provided me with an education on what really happens and happened and by whom. And at the same time dispelled some myths.

After reading your last post about all of the different purpetrators of murders -from the left and the right, from different religions I can only wonder if what will happen to the people.

I admit that I bought into the propaganda (put out by countries and also media outlets from around the world) that if Syria leaves all will be well.

Liminal you seem to have more knowledge than most on the affairs of Lebanon -- What do you see as the answer to the question of what next for Lebanon?

It appears to me too easy to blame just Syria, Israel, USA etc. Many have blame. But what do you think will happen? or maybe better put what needs to happen?


From: City of Toronto | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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Babbler # 2116

posted 02 March 2005 04:13 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wasn't Lebanon was specifically carved out of what logically should have been part of Syria - much the way Kuwait was carved out of what logically should've been part of Iraq?
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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Babbler # 3807

posted 02 March 2005 10:39 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, ronb; I believe it's called international imperial gerrymandering.

quote:
George W. Bush's journalistic sock-puppets are hailing their own hallucinations: what's sweeping the Middle East is not a wave of capital-"D" Democracy, but a tsunami of nationalistic and religious fervor that can only redound against us.

Lebanon's "Cedar Revolution" is a case in point, one that illustrates the entirely illusory nature of the media hype – which is, unsurprisingly, identical to the U.S. government's official line. The official story is that the long-suffering peoples of Lebanon have had enough, and – drunk with the mere promise of the magical elixir of Democracy – are at last rising up, seizing their liberty, and throwing off their Syrian oppressors. It's a pretty story, albeit a bit simple-minded and hackneyed, but there's just one problem: it isn't true.


http://antiwar.com/justin/

[ 02 March 2005: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3138

posted 03 March 2005 12:33 AM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If everyone would just forget all this religious nonsense and discover the virtues of atheism - most of these conflicts would wither away.
From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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Babbler # 3807

posted 03 March 2005 01:13 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No kidding.

I knew it Stock. You're a Stalinist from a way back!


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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Babbler # 3138

posted 03 March 2005 01:27 AM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've said time and again that the one and only thing about Stalinism and Maoism etc... was their attempts to crush religious practice. I get physically ill at the sight of displays of religious piety and I enjoy committing sacreligious acts at any opportunity. I only wish I could get a hold of some consecrated communion wafers and flush them down a toilet in front of the Pope! The I'd immerse some Muslim and Jewish religious icons in rendered bacon fat (htough it would be s shame to waste that yummy lard on such a thing). I find it so mind-boggling that anyone over the age of 6 could believe in a deity.
From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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Babbler # 4790

posted 03 March 2005 03:38 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Cueball. Thank you for your last post, but this one is a definite no-no. So now, the Christian Lebanese are a bunch of Fascist bloodthirsty hounds innate to massacre defenseless docile Muslims? All the warring militias (death squads) in Lebanon were bloodthirsty, the Muslim as much as the Christian, the Leftist as much as the Rightist. To paint a picture of evil Christians in Lebanon is unfounded, unfair, harsh and derogatory.


Im not saying that. I'm saying that past experience shows the great potential for socital dissolultion, and the consequences of that are historically evident. Syrian involement, in some senses, has served to balance power, against the Christian minority and their very pwoerful western supporters, France, Israel and the USA.

Should there be a change in that power balance, it is very possible that there will be a swift deterioration of security.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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Babbler # 4790

posted 03 March 2005 06:07 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
I've said time and again that the one and only thing about Stalinism and Maoism etc... was their attempts to crush religious practice.

Yes I have noticed your secular vision. Of course the only time you oppose repression of religion is when the repressors are Arab, and the only time you support non-secular politics is when it involes Israel.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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Babbler # 3138

posted 03 March 2005 09:25 AM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
On the contrary, I loathe religious parties in Israel. If I were Israeli I would happily vote for the anti-religious parties that are pledghed to ridding Israeli society of any religious influence.
From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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Babbler # 1885

posted 03 March 2005 10:54 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I only wish I could get a hold of some consecrated communion wafers and flush them down a toilet in front of the Pope! The I'd immerse some Muslim and Jewish religious icons in rendered bacon fat (htough it would be s shame to waste that yummy lard on such a thing). I find it so mind-boggling that anyone over the age of 6 could believe in a deity.

I'm an atheist, and proudly defiant when people evangelize in my general direction. But I'm glad I'm not an asshole.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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Babbler # 1292

posted 03 March 2005 11:00 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Amen, brother.
From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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Babbler # 4881

posted 03 March 2005 01:15 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You're a hateful, little, little, little man, Stockholm.
From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 03 March 2005 01:21 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Stockholm, I think perhaps you need to stay out of the Middle East forum. I can't remember how many times I've warned you after saying something offensive like that, and to your credit, you usually back down. But enough is enough.

Take a break from this forum for a while, please.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Vigilante
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8104

posted 04 March 2005 03:00 AM      Profile for Vigilante        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Stockholm said:
I've said time and again that the one and only thing about Stalinism and Maoism etc... was their attempts to crush religious practice. I get physically ill at the sight of displays of religious piety and I enjoy committing sacreligious acts at any opportunity. I only wish I could get a hold of some consecrated communion wafers and flush them down a toilet in front of the Pope! The I'd immerse some Muslim and Jewish religious icons in rendered bacon fat (htough it would be s shame to waste that yummy lard on such a thing). I find it so mind-boggling that anyone over the age of 6 could believe in a deity.

My goodness what a fascist you are! Are you even aware that more living things have died in the name of fundamentalist RATIONALISM(curtesy of the UNlightenment that you probably loud)then any other deity type belief?

You beleive in a bloody orthodoxy just like those you hate. Orthadoxies and grand naratives kill people.


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Vigilante
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8104

posted 04 March 2005 03:29 AM      Profile for Vigilante        Edit/Delete Post
Here's news bit from indymediaBeirut


Is the Lebanese Opposition an Alternative?

from ghassan - 23.02.2005 13:21

There is absolutely no question that Syrian presence in the country and their sponsorship of this ruling class should end. But there should also be no question that we cannot allow the genuine calls for peace and freedom to be hijacked by fascists and war criminals.

En Francais: L'oppostion libanaise est-elle une alternative?

The road Rafic Hariri’s motorcade prefers when coming back from Downtown Beirut is the stretch of corniche linking it with the western part of the city. The exit, or entrance, is flanked on two sides by 4 and 5-star hotels catering for rich tourists. On Monday, February 14, 2005, it decided to take this road again on his way back from a meeting at the Parliament which lies among a cluster of expensive restaurants in the heart of the city.

Downtown Beirut is better known as SOLIDERE, the multibillion dollar company partially owned by Hariri. The company owns the whole of Downtown: its buildings, roads, services, security, cafes, hotels, office blocks, pavements, parks, and even Beirut’s municipality, with one exception: the St. Georges Hotel west of the corniche. Its owner refuses to give in and even supports a campaign to stop SOLIDERE. Last month, a meeting called by the Committee for Rightful Owners in Downtown Beirut (representing around 400 former owners, lease-holders, and businesses) was harassed by the regime in support of SOLIDERE. St. Georges Hotel was probably the last building Hariri saw.

http://beirut.indymedia.org/ar/2005/02/2223.shtml


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 04 March 2005 07:53 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thats pretty good... I like:

quote:
...an economic plan that created an unbridgeable gap between the 5% who have everything and those who have nothing but an elusive promise of a visa anywhere but here.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3308

posted 04 March 2005 04:28 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Vigilante:

Are you even aware that more living things have died in the name of fundamentalist RATIONALISM(curtesy of the UNlightenment that you probably loud)then any other deity type belief?

Speaking as an atheist,
1. Stockholm's a dork about religion. But,
2. This is nonsense.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3807

posted 05 March 2005 01:18 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Forget Goebbels' "Big Lie", the Buscists have developed the use of the Noble Lie.

quote:
After 9/11, Administration neo-cons offered a "noble lie" to sell the public on the need to invade and occupy Iraq (The Iraqis will shower our troops with flowers and kisses). The same group has invented a new "virtuous prevarication" to build support for an attack on Syria. Ignoring recent testimony by CIA Director Porter J. Goss that "Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti-U.S. jihadists" (Washington Post, February 17, 2005), this group of high US officials in Defense, State and the Vice President's office have organized a "get Syria" movement.

[ 05 March 2005: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 05 March 2005 02:33 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Long thread. Feel free to continue in a new one.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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