Archive for August 2006
Son of assasinated PM and head of Lebanon’s largest parliamentary bloc hits back at Assad, while keeping an angry eye on Isreal. “The Syrian regime is exploiting the blood of Qana and Gaza and Baghdad to bring sedition to Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq. the Muhajereen Palace now deserves to be called the ‘Mutajereen’ palace.”
‘Muhajereen’ is the presidential palace in Damascus, while ‘Mutajereen’ means exploiters.
Hariri ralied Lebanese to stand behind their goverment, and resist all foreign attempts to destabalize the country. Hariri seems to be expressing widespread anger following Bashar Assad’s bizzare speach, durring which the latter called Lebanese pro-democrats ‘traitors’, and was acompanied with a ‘spontenous’ response from a Lebanese lady which was transmitted at studio quality.
Just had a quick tour of Lebanese blogs to get their impressions of Assad’s speech. Interesting:
Looks like his recent performance was not exactly a blockbuster in Beirut. And while we’re at it, not everyone’s as happy with Sayed Hassan as the media claims.
I’ve once heard it said that in ’73, when Sa’adat felt his popularity dimming, he tried to boost it by illiminating Israel. When that failed, in ’77 he did the peace thing for the same reasons. Is Assad trying to play the same game? Problem is, he’s not really in the same league, is he? He doesn’t even measure up to his dad. I mean, Hafez was a nasty sonofabitch, but at least he had some style..
This came in the mail:
As I said, the truth is bad enough.
Sorry, no details. Elighten me if you will..
Veels geluk met jou verjaarsdag! Urime ditelindjen! Gueter geburtsdaa! Melkam lidet! Eid milaad saeed! or Kul sana wa inti tayeba! Taredartzet shnorhavor! or Tsenund shnorhavor! Eida D’moladukh Hawee Brikha! Ois guade winsch i dia zum Gbuadsdog! Suma Urupnaya Cchuru Uromankja! Ad gunun mubarek! Zorionak! Ungil el cherellem! Shuvo Jonmodin! Maogmang Pagkamundag! Hapi betde! or Yumi selebretem de blong bon blong yu! Parabéns a você! Parabéns a você, nesta data querida muitas felicidades e muitos anos de vida. Deiz-ha-bloaz laouen deoc’h! Chestit Rojden Den! Som owie nek mein aryouk yrinyu! Per molts anys! or Bon aniversari! or Moltes Felicitats! Biba Kumplianos! Sun Yat Fai Lok! San Ni Kuai Lo! Sang Ngit Fai Lok! qu ni sheng er kuai le San ruit kua lok! Se Jit khuai lak! NA ZHSHS Sretan Rodendan! Vsechno nejlepsi k Tvym narozeninam!! Tillykke med fodselsdagen! Ne gelukkege verjoardach! Ne geleukkege verjoardoag! Fellisiteert! Gelukkige verjaardag! or Prettige verjaardag! Fan herte lokwinske! Proficiat! Ne geleukkege verjeurdoag! Gefeliciteard met oen’n verjoardag! Hartelijk gefeliciteerd! or Van harte gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag! Happy Birthday CJ! Felichan Naskightagon! Palju onne sunnipaevaks! Zorionak zure urtebetetze egunean! Tillukku vid fodingardegnum! Tavalodet Mobarak! Hyvaa syntymapaivaa! Bonne Fete! Joyeux Anniversaire! Lokkiche jierdei! Lá breithe mhaith agat! Co` latha breith sona dhuibh! Ledicia no teu cumpreanos! Gilotcav dabadebis dges! Allis Guedi zu dim Fescht! Ois Guade zu Deim Geburdstog! Allet Jute ooch zum Jeburtstach! or Ick wuensch da allet Jute zum Jeburtstach! Es Muentschi zum Geburri! Ewllews Gewtew zewm Gewbewrtstewg. Mew! Allmecht! Iich wuensch Dir aan guuad Gebuardsdooch! Haerzliche Glueckwuensche zum Geburtstag! Haezzlische Glickwunsch zem Gebordsdach! Ick wuensch Di allns Gode ton Geburtsdach! Ich gratelier Dir aach zum Geburtstag! Allet Gute zum Gebuatstach! Alles Gudde for dei Gebordsdaach! Herzlischen Gliggwunsch zum Geburdsdaach! Aelles Guade zom Gebordzdag! Ois Guade zum Geburdsdog! Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Eytyxismena Genethlia! or Chronia Pola! Inuuinni pilluarit! Fielsteerd mit joen verjoardag! Janma Divas Mubarak! Saal Mubarak! Vy-Apave Nde Arambotyre! Hau`oli la hanau! Yom Huledet Same’ach! Masadya gid nga adlaw sa imo pagkatawo! Janam Din ki badhai! or Janam Din ki shubkamnaayein! Boldog szuletesnapot! or Isten eltessen! Til hamingju med afmaelisdaginn! Selamat Ulang Tahun! La-breithe mhaith agat! or Co` latha breith sona dhut! Or Breithla Shona Dhuit! Buon Compleanno! Bun Cumpleani! At faz tent avguri ad bon cumplean! Otanjou-bi Omedetou Gozaimasu! Slamet Ulang Taunmoe! Bouon Anniversaithe! Huttida Habba Subashayagalu! Mayap a Kebaitan Voharvod Mubarak Chuy! Tughan kuninmen! Quchjaj qoSlIj! Saeng il chuk ha ham ni da! Rojbun a te piroz be! Tulgan kunum menen! Fortuna dies natalis! Daudz laimes dzimsanas diena! Sveikinu su gimtadieniu! or Geriausi linkejimaigimtadienio progal Nkwagaliza amazalibwa go amalungi! Vill Gleck fir daei Geburtsdaag! Sreken roden den! Pirannal Aasamsakal! or Janmadinasamsakal! Selamat Hari Jadi! Nifrahlek ghal gheluq sninek! Kia huritau ki a koe! Wadhdiwasachya Shubhechha! mo swet u en bonlaniverser! Leleng ambai pa mbeng ku taipet i! Torson odriin mend hurgee! bil hoozho bi’dizhchi-neeji’ ‘aneilkaah! Ick gratuleer di scheun! Janma dhin ko Subha kamana! Gratulerer med dagen! Janmadina Abhinandan! Masha Pabien I hopi aña mas! Padayish rawaz day unbaraksha! Tavalodet Mobarak! Maligayang kaarawan sa iyo! Wszystkiego Najlepszego! or Wszystkiego najlepszego zokazji urodzin! wszystkiego najlepszego z okazji urodzin Parabens pelo seu aniversario! or Parabenspara voce! or Parabens e muitas felicidades! Feliz Aniversario! or Parabens! Janam din diyan wadhayian! Janam ghaanth ri badhai, khoob jeeyo! La Multi Ani! Feneligiz Cunumplegeanagonos! S dniom razhdjenia! or Pazdravliayu s dniom razhdjenia! Lihkos Riegadanbeaivvis! Manuia lou aso fanau! Ravihi janmadinam aacharati! Achent’annos! Achent’annos! Vill Glück zum Geburri! Srecan Rodjendan! Vsetko najlepsie k narodeninam! Vse najboljse za rojstni dan! Masego motsatsing la psalo! Feliz Cumpleaños! Suba Upan dinayak vewa! Wilujeng Tepang Taun! Mi fresteri ju! Hongera! or Heri ya Siku kuu! Grattis på födelsedagen Tahnyotho or brigo! Maligayang Bati Sa Iyong Kaarawan! San leaz quiet lo! Piranda naal vaazhthukkal! Janmadina subha kankshalu! Puttina Roju Shubakanksalu! Suk San Wan Keut! Droonkher Tashi Delek! Putudina dina saukhya! Dogum gunun kutlu olsun! Mnohiya lita! or Z dnem narodjennia! Janam Din Mubarak Saalgirah Mubarak! Chuc Mung Sinh Nhat! Malipayong adlaw nga natawhan! Penblwydd Hapus i Chi! Imini emandi kuwe! A Freilekhn Gebortstog! Eku Ojobi! Ilanga elimndandi kuwe! (thanks Shabbir)
I’ve been hearing this line for some time now. The basic argument is that Israel had a drawer full of war plans, approved by the Bush administration, waiting for an excuse.
One caveat: its always the military’s job to plan for any scenario, particularly the worst case ones. It’s the diplomats job to avoid these scenarios. In the case at hand, both have failed miserably. Everyone knew that Hezbollah was a rising threat. The diplomats did not do enough to dismantle it peacefully, the military did not plan well enough to handle it by force – if and when that becomes inevitable. Most of all, the government failed in weighing the available options.
Cut to Syria and Iran. I’m sure both Israel and the US have rooms full of plans for the case of a war with either or both. I hope these plans are more intelligent than those they had for the Hezbollah, and I hope they have the intelligence to keep them in the vault.
These three articles appeared in Ha’aretz today, Israel’s equivalent of the Guardian. Nadim Shehadi repeats some of the arguments I’ve heard from him, though thankfully without most of the unnecessary provocations. He does repeat ‘If this is what it takes to sustain Israel, then better do without it’, but in this context it sounds more like a call for rethinking about the premise rather than a conclusion. If Israel does not want to make itself scarce, it should re-conceptualise its relationship with its neighbors.
Just as Nadim turns a harsh mirror in Israel’s face, so does Riad Ali turns the same mirror towards the Arab world. Aren’t we bored from always blaming Israel? Having Israel as the perpetual rag doll to kick around is a recipe for stagnation. It precludes critical debate about the direction the middle east should take. Poverty? get rid of Israel, then we’ll talk. Intolerance? ditto. Abuse of civil rights? you got it.
In fact, these two views complement more than they collide. If there’s any hope of a positive outcome from this war, it’s the realization that the old ways don’t work. No one wins a war. Any war. There’s only those that loose and those that loose more. I can’t recall a better demonstration of this principle. However, those who see themselves as winners rarely reflect. Japan and Germany rebuilt their national identity and values from the ground up after loosing WW-II, the USA is still stuck in the cowboy era. The Palestinians (and I’m quoting Nadim here) modelled their national institutes after the Zionist pre-state. Why? Because they lost, so they imitated the winners. Unfortunately for all, they missed a few critical details, but they’re catching up. Have you noticed that the Palestinian authority is the only Arab state but Israel where the ruling party LOST an election?
In this war, both sides will claim victory – but both know deep inside they lost. Israel was unable to disarm the Hezbollah by force, or to stop its rockets. Hezbollah was unable to force Israel to negotiate on its terms, or to legitimise its military presence in the south.
Insha’alla, both sides will now ask the hard questions and find the right answers. The third article, by Yoel Marcus, looks like the first drop of rain on the Israeli side. Inter alia, Amir Peretz said today that its time to talk to Syria.
|Israel should pack up and go|
|By Nadim Shehadi|
What is the logic that will emerge from this war? If Israel can exist only by destroying the neighborhood, then it’s time to declare it a failed state. The Zionist dream has turned into a nightmare and is not viable. If the future holds more of the same, then the time has come to reconsider the whole project. Every state has a duty to defend its citizens, but also it has a duty to provide them with security and the two are different. The prospects are for more destruction, fanaticism, violence and hatred. No unilateral separation can isolate Israel from this, nor can the region or the world live with the consequences. This seems to be the only choice, and Israel must do itself and others a favor and go away.
|It’s time to open your eyes|
|By Riad Ali|
I know that many people in the Arab and Muslim world, including Arab citizens of Israel, believe with every fiber of their being in the conspiracy theory. According to them, the hand of Israel and the West is everywhere. Israel is the mother of all evil and the root of all the problems in our region. I am not among those who say that Israel and the West are as pure as the driven snow, but I ask “the blind by choice” in the Muslim world: Who had an interest in destroying Hariri’s vision? Who was threatened by the rays of light that came from Lebanon? Who did not want Lebanon to be an oasis in the heart of the dictatorships, most of which had begun to be moldy and malodorous? Israel, the United States, France, Britain? Or rather Syria, Iran and Hezbollah?
|We simply blew it|
|By Yoel Marcus|
The cease-fire has caught us in the worst possible position: We didn’t win and we didn’t lose. We simply blew it. It was a war with too many people being led and no one leading; a war with too much bluff and bluster at the top; a war with too many Churchillian speeches and not enough thinking about what we were trying to achieve and where we were heading.
What makes an army – or its chief of staff, to be exact – get up one fine morning and persuade a semi-rookie government to launch an all-out war at the drop of a hat because two of our soldiers were kidnapped? How did a whole country get sucked into this thing, without an organized plan, without a defined objective, without calculating how it would end, without giving thought to the costs and the damage that would be inflicted, without knowing how long it would last and what constituted a victory?