Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Today's news confirmed my worst fears, as blogged in yesterday's entry. I can't help be a bit incoherent today, and annoyed beyond belief at the shortsightedness of the Lebanese people who are busy celebrating and congratulating each other on what is, after all, a very minor reprieve and no gain whatsoever for the nation.

Lebanese people are given such low standards that nowadays "I'm not going to use my weapons for the next week" is suddenly considered an accomplishment.

Such low standards that "Anyone, even the most incompetent idiot, is better than no president."

Such low standards that going back to an antiquated election law, with special exceptions for Hariri in Beirut is now a good thing?

I'm disgusted. Not just with the leaders, but with the people who are patting each other on the back and chanting "Koulouna Lil Watan" this morning. Oh what a glorious day for you! A few dozen terrorists and sleazeballs got together in Doha and pressured each other at gunpoint into raping you folks yet again, but promised they'd send flowers the morning after, and you guys are busy congratulating yourselves: "Yay! He's gonna send me flowers!"

Disgusted! Completely and utterly disgusted.

All the people who died between 2005 and today, all the people who died last week are probably spitting on Lebanon from whatever Heaven or Hell they're in, for they have died in vain. March 14 should've just stayed home on March 14 2005 and let the Syrians remain. It might have spared all these lives. Why bother getting all these people killed and maimed, if you were going to agree to all of HA's demands and get absolutely ZERO in return?

So you guys keep on patting each other on the back and singing your "Koulouna Lil Watan" and cheering on an Army general who's shown to be a complete failure at his previous job, while he unconstitutionally presides over a cabinet in which you have no say.

Oh yeah, and don't hold your breath for the 2009 parliamentary elections. With all the gerrymandering and the 1960 law, and HA's weapons pointed at the voters. Free elections my ass.

And remember, this is only a short reprieve until the next time HA decides to start a war with Israel or point its weapons at the Lebanese because it didn't get what it wanted.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

They died for nothing...

According to the latest news from Doha (Naharnet), it seems the opposition and/or the Arabs have managed to bog M14 down into discussions about electoral laws and cabinet allotments, to the point where M14 has clearly lost sight of the main issues at hand and is not negotiating such  issues as state sovereignty (which was supposed to be on the agenda, based on the Arab 6 point plan) and HA's weapons (which yours truly believes should be the prerequisite to making any other decisions entirely moot). 

Instead, these incompetent and failed leaders have reverted to the old tit for tat sectarian allotment of seats, trying to gerrymander the electoral law to suit them in the next parliamentary elections, scheduled for 2009. 

The latest proposal I'm hearing has M14 agreeing to give Hizballah the blocking veto power in the cabinet on the condition that Suleiman gets elected president right away and - drumroll please - BEIRUT IS LEFT OUT OF THE ELECTORAL LAW AMENDEMENT.

Is this what they've devolved to again? Back to the old tricks, selling the nation for a few seats here and there? All HA had to do, apparently, is dangle a few guarantees for the Hariri Sunnis in Beirut, and voila, they get their blocking veto in cabinet.

No one is talking about mechanism for strengthening state institution and spreading sovereignty over all Lebanese territory (which was one of the crucial points in the Arab 6 point plan, if I recall).

Considering when all is said and done, HA will have gotten exactly everything they've been asking for in the past 18 months, and given NOTHING in return with regard to their state-within-state status, and their weapons, I can't help but feel pessimistic.

Let's review, shall we?

1. HA gets a sympathetic president in Michel Suleiman. Who utterly failed as army commander in the country's hour of need.

2. HA gets a blocking third with veto power over cabinet decisions. Which means any future decisions about HA weapons will obviously be vetoed right away. Which means we can forget about any progress on that front.

3. HA and Aoun get the 1960 electoral law they've been asking for, and give Hariri some gerrymandering in Beirut, so he can insure victory for himself in the 2009 parliamentary elections (i do NOT consider this to be a concession for the benefit of Lebanon).

4. The state's institutions remain exactly as they are today, ineffective and useless.

5. HA gets to keep their weapons and their phone networks and security infiltrators. And they get to postpone talking about their weapons to a later date (see point #2).

In return, March 14 gets some gerrymandering of seats in Beirut, and a guarantee that HA won't turn its weapons against Lebanese again (and we all know Hassan Nassrallah's word is worth less than the lint in my pocket).

Conclusion: March 14 has sold us Lebanese for a few seats in Beirut and nothing more. Such complete and utter failure. And to think 65+ people died for absolutely nothing last week (not to count all those who died since 2005).

RIP Free Lebanon. RIP Cedar revolution. RIP any hope of building a modern state before the 25th century.


Samir Geagea seems to be the only one who gets it, or at least who's willing to talk about the real issues here. Some quotes:

Geagea said "situation is difficult during the Doha talks because the problems we have are fundamental and unfortunately some people are trying to link these problems to a parliamentary seat here and another there." This was in reference to the discussions of the electoral law and Aoun's objection to the Arab proposal on the electoral distribution of Beirut region"

Geagea added : We did not come to Qatar to make concessions but because of the security situation in Lebanon which must be solved

Geagea went on to say: : The basic problem is the subject of disarmament and the Arab Committee saw the problem but the other team is trying to evade it. What happened in the seventh and eighth of May is unacceptable , we were in a state and awakened to find ourselves in a jungle.

Geagea said he is hopeful of an agreement in Doha , before he returns tomorrow to Lebanon. But he added " We are going to insist on resolving the issue of the Hezbollah weapons . We will no longer accept verbal assurance"

Geagea also expressed his dissatisfaction with the role the army played during the Hezbollah coup

" The Army Command's attitude during recent clashes is unacceptable " Geagea said.
Geagea said "the Army Should prevent any side from using weapons to attack another side"

Monday, May 12, 2008


Says Hussein Khalil (HA guy):

- The government's decisions formed a declaration of war on Hezbollah.
- The natural response to this was the movement of the Lebanese to defend themselves against this group, which occupies power and violates the consitution.
- We decided to give the government 48 hours to revoke their decision ... or else the position is clear, and it was civil protest until the government returns to dialogue, rather than exercize illegitimate power.

No. You don't get to decide what constitutes a declaration of war. That's not how it works, you asshat! I'll tell you what a declaration of war is: When you fire mortars and RPGs on Beirut or Aley. THAT is a declaration of war.

Nice definition for "civil protest" you got there, buddy. Firing rockets at civilian populations is now called "civil protest"?

I think these HA guys need to spend a couple of years studying the dictionary, because apparently, they have different definitions for every single word in there than the rest of us.

Then again, I shouldn't expect much from a bunch of barbaric savages.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Government removes airport security chief

Finally, the government actually takes action. Now let's hope this is the first of many decisive steps in enhancing the role of state institutions, and purging them of people who aren't loyal to the state or who ignore the rule of law. I'm not holding my breath though.

The Lebanese government approved after a marathon meeting on Tuesday to raise the minimum wage to 500,000. It also decided to remove airport security chief Gen. Wafik Shqeir over his alleged links to Hizbullah. The cabinet also labeled "illegal and unconstitutional" a private communication network set up by Hizbullah. (Naharnet)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Lebanon going dark

Naharnet claims today that Lebanon's power plants will be running out of fuel sometime this week, prompting more electricity rationing to all of Lebanon.

Two tankers loaded with fuel oil for the power stations have been waiting in Lebanese territorial waters for almost two weeks pending settlement of cost by the finance ministry, the source said.

The finance ministry refuses to settle the account before receiving a transaction from the power authority covering production costs for the past three months, the source added.

The power authority, however, has not managed to collect fees for its services from areas that are not under state authority, mainly regions controlled by Hizbullah "that is why it does not have enough revenue to cover fuel oil purchases for its stations," the source explained.

A statement released by Interior Minister Hassan Sabaa said police has not been able to prevent 160 illegal construction sites in Hizbullah-controlled south Beirut.

"If police cannot prevent illegal construction, and power authority fee collectors get beaten up while trying to carry out their duties in areas where they cannot have police protection, how would the power authority be able to cover its expenses?" the source asked.

I have a suggestion for you, mister Sabaa: How about you cut the power to those who don't pay up? Kinda like how the rest of the world does it? I'm pretty sure if I didn't pay my utility bills here in the US, the gas company, the power company and the water company would simply shut my utilities off. Why can't Electricite du Liban do that?
And please, don't give me the excuse of it "being politicized" or how such a measure would target the shia community, or any of those lame excuses. Apply the rule to everyone, shia or not. It's not my fault if it so happens those who refuse to pay are mostly from one sect. And if they do pay, no problem with them whatsoever.

It's a simple economical measure that has nothing to do with politics.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Best quote of the day...

The best quote today belongs to Patriarch Nassrallah Sfeir:

"If the Lebanese cannot run their own country, then we ought to seek U.N. help."

I got one better for you: If the Lebanese cannot run their own country, they don't deserve to have one.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Lebanon is the only country in the world...

Today, majority leader Saad Hariri said, among other useless claptrap, that Lebanon is "the only country in the world that does not have a president. This is a major crime committed against us and against the country."

Let me tell you what else Lebanon is the "only country in the world" for:

- Lebanon is the only country in the world where "one-time only" constitutional amendments happen more than "one-time".
- Lebanon is the only country in the world where the speaker of parliament gets to treat that institution as his own supermarket, to open and close at will.
- Lebanon is the only country in the world where citizens elect MPs to parliament, only to have "dialogue" occur outside of parliament between non-elected people.
- Lebanon is the only country in the world that i know of where government jobs, starting with the President, PM and House Speaker, and all the way down to DMV clerk are assigned based on a sectarian affiliations.
- Lebanon is the only country that i know of where the national ID card includes a field for "Sect".
- Lebanon is the only country in the world where security personnel is routinely detained by private militias, with no shame whatsoever.
- Lebanon is the only country in the world where a private militia can install a parallel telecommunications infrastructure, in the middle of the capital.
- Lebanon is the only country in the world where the people complain about their inability to affect the situation, but keep re-electing and backing the same idiots year after year, while blaming "foreign powers" for all their problems.

Ok. So maybe some of these are slight exaggerations...Lebanon might have a couple of other countries to keep it company in some of those categories (all failed states, mind you).

Most states are made up of disparate groups that don't necessarily agree on everything. But generally, there are a few basic principles that everyone agrees on:

- Allegiance to the state.
- The understanding on a basic set of rules for the political game. No matter what.

In other words, we can disagree on a lot of things, including our vision of what the state should look like, but we all agree to work within the confines of a set of rules. Because we understand that without those basic rules, it's the law of the jungle. And without those basic rules, EVERYONE loses. There IS NO state.

Let me add that to the list:
- Lebanon is the only country in the world where people have absolutely no understanding of what it means to be a state (as opposed to a loose confederation of disparate groups who refuse to abide by the same rules).

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Legendary hospitality or Pulling the plug?

So much for the vaunted Lebanese hospitality. And so much for sovereignty (not that I had any illusions about that). And so much for Michel Suleiman's constant claims of the army having the entire country under control.
Apparently, a French delegate to an international socialist gathering was apprehended (kidnapped) in South Beirut, for making the mistake of driving around with a camera, looking to take in the sights.

Naharnet reports:

A French delegate to a Socialist International meeting in Beirut said on Sunday that he had been briefly detained the previous day by armed men linked to Hizbullah.
Delegate Karim Pakzad told a Beirut news conference that he was stopped on Saturday by armed men who "spoke on behalf of Hizbullah."

He said they questioned him for five hours before freeing him.
Pakzad said it happened as he was touring the capital in an open-top car with a Lebanese friend and taking pictures of a mosque along the airport road, near Hizbullah's stronghold in Beirut's southern suburbs.

"Armed men asked us 'why do you have a camera' and 'what are you doing here,'" before viewing the pictures he had taken with his digital camera, Pakzad said.

He was taken blindfolded to an unidentified location where he was kept isolated for five hours, adding that his captors took away his cell phone, wallet and medicine.

Forgive me for my cynicism, but weren't these the same asshats who demanded accountability from the army for firing on demonstrators (who happened to be firing at said army personnel at the time)? It must be nice to act holier than thou and demand the rules apply to others when you flaunt them with impunity.

And someone please inform General Michel Suleiman that his armed forces are NOT in control of security in the capital (or anywhere else for that matter), contrary to his constant claims.
Here's a little tip, General. You REALLY want to enforce security? Start by arresting these guys who kidnap tourists and hold them on no authority whatsoever. And while you're at it, arrest those guys who fire in the air everytime their zaim makes a speech. Or those folks loitering on private property downtown. And don't even get me started on the south. Let's just secure the capital first. Baby steps.

Or, maybe it's time we all get our heads out of our collective asses and stop living in denial about Lebanon. This patient has been on life support for over 50 years. This patient is brain dead. And perhaps it is time we start discussing pulling the proverbial plug. To quote my friend GK: "Even horses get put out of their misery."

The sooner we so-called "Lebanese" accept that our patient isn't going to wake up any minute now, the better we will be. It's time to move on.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

FPM still represents majority of Christians...HAH!

According to Naharnet:

MP Ibrahim Kanaan said that the Free Patriotic Movement of Gen. Michel Aoun still represents the majority of the Christians. Kanaan, in an interview with LBC television, said that according to a new poll, the FPM still enjoys the support of 37% of voters in the Metn region.

"This reflects a climb in our popularity since 2005," Kanaan said.

He said Aoun has the right to run for the presidency.

"Every democratic regime with a head of a (parliamentary) bloc as big as Aoun's has the right to run in the presidential elections," Kanaan added.

Pretty hilarious, these guys, aren't they? We have "polls" in Lebanon now? Reliable ones? Those are numbers I'd like to see.

Dubious claims aside, the funnier bit comes in the second portion of idiot Kanaan's comments: "Every democratic regime with a head of a bloc this big has the right to run in the presidential elections."

Right? On paper, I agree with this statement 100%. But come on...Double standards much, guys? Shouldn't this same logic entitle March 14 (which qualifies as a head of block this big!) to run their own candidate as well? How come you bozos from the opposition insist March 14 accept all your preconditions before electing a president? And why does this president have to be a "consensus" president? I mean...according to MP Kanaan's logic, that wouldn't be very democratic, would it?

Then again, why do I bother pointing out the hypocrisy and double standards that come out of these imbeciles' mouths every day? It's not like it's anything new. Par for the course.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Flawless Logic

Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun on Friday said the March 14 majority alliance “declared war on Syria when it left Lebanon. Had they been brave they would have confronted Syria on Lebanese terrain.” (Source: Naharnet)Sort of like how you were brave and confronted Syria from Paris, right, General?(Why doesn’t anyone call these people on this kind of shit?)Aoun said Premier Fouad Saniora’s Government “rejects calls to look for those missing in their land (buried in mass graves), that is why we cannot hold Syria responsible first” for the Lebanese missing in its jails. (Source naharnet)Flawless logic there, as usual. I suppose Aoun also suggest Hizbullah shouldn’t hold Israel responsible for holding Lebanese prisoners (a longstanding issue for Hizb, if I recall) either??? Maybe we can hold Saniora responsible for Samir Kuntar too, while we’re at it.I wonder if Saniora is also responsible for the crackdown in Tibet and the hunger in Zimbabwe. According to Aoun, he probably is.