Clarifications around the AIPAC spy affair

It’s in Haaretz:

The U.S. Justice Department is expected to file indictments against two former senior American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) staffers – Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman – and, according to sources familiar with the affair, the charges will be subsumed under the Espionage Act.
A Virginia grand jury is now examining the evidence in the case, which involved receipt of classified defense information from Larry Franklin, a Pentagon official, and its transfer to the representative of a foreign country, Naor Gilon, of the Israeli embassy in Washington.(…)
Franklin called Weissman and asked for a meeting to discuss an important subject. At the meeting, in a mall near the Pentagon, Franklin told Weissman that Iranian agents were trying to capture Israeli civilians working in the Kurdish area in northern Iraq. Around the same time there had been conflicting reports in Washington about an Israeli presence in Kurdish Iraq.

And of course Justin Raimondo links it back to the resignation of Douglas Feith. Raimondo has another interesting comment here.

Now my comment: Why didn’t we see any of this in the Lebanese Press let alone on TV? I think that is why Lebanese will never fully realize what’s going outside their tiny district.
A district they continue to “fragmentalize”.

Bernard Lewis revealed

By myself, In an article that you can for now find at Tribune Libanaise. I try to trace the CORROSIVE influence Lewis had on Academia as well as on Media in the shaping of a simplified and chauvinistic world-view of historical and current Middle East. Please comments are welcome here and at the Tribune website.

For those interested in writing on the Middle East or Lebanon please do send your ideas or articles to me that I will forward to Albert Costanian who’s in charge for Tribune Libanaise. Your opinion is crucial at a time of complete disarray in the lovely region of ours.

An Israeli struck by reason

An excellent article by Zvi Bar’el that makes fun of cultural arguments as espoused by American hawkish circles in a very very interesting way:

t is definitely confusing. Up until three months ago, it was clear to everyone that the Sunnis were the enemies of the United States and the new Iraqi government. Up until a month ago, everyone knew that the U.S. proscribed Hezbollah and that Hamas was an enemy of the Palestinian nation in Washington’s eyes. And another small matter: We knew that the collapse of the Soviet Union gave birth to a number of new states and that the greatest success had actually been achieved in the “Muslim republics.” Freedom and democracy in Muslim states were always a dream that gave America goose bumps.

And now everything is upside down. Stay tuned.

do not trust others when you can do the job yourself

Aoun has finally agreed with the above saying and is running for parliamentary elections:

The fiery retired general said talks on linking up with Druze leader Walid Jumblatt and Saad al-Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, had produced no agreement on a joint ticket for the polls.

Democracy in Lebanon is showing us all the rot that was once tamed in an all be it controversial way. But the rot is now unleashed. Extremists and narrow-minded candidates are mushrooming from all sides:

– Christians (the list is infinite) and their oh so dangerous paranoïa, feeling of superiority, chauvinism, etc.
– Druze (Jumblatt) and their ‘progressivist’ hypocrisy
– Sunnis (Hariri) and their new found power level and popularity

Coincidentally, I was living a similar experience at home trying to expel a nest of cockroaches from my house: the more time passed, waiting to find the right medicine, the more the number of insects grew exponentially. The last regime method (before the Syrian departure) would have been to keep them at bay using force if necessary (i.e. security services abuses). Similarly, I was expelling them out of the house leaving them to go and find their way on the streets. But the more I did this, the more their babies grew resentful and came back in an increasing number swirming in my kitchen.
I had to use the eradicate-all-of-them method! Called a guy to come and put some deadly product. Since then, I saw a couple of them dying.
Morality of the story: Too bad petty politics cannot be managed like one would deal with a nest of cockroaches.

four big American military bases to build Democracy

in Iraq:

the decision to in vest in the bases, which will require the construction of more permanent structures such as blast-proof barracks and offices, is seen by some as a sign that the US expects to keep a permanent presence in Iraq.

When will the people understand that you just cannot preach democracy as if it was some kind of recipy. However, what you can and might do in these specific times of ideological splendors, is use ‘democracy’ as useful tool to keep knowledge consumers at bay.

Expert in mixing neocolonialism and globalization

For globalism to work, (…) America cannot be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is. . . .The hidden hand of the market will never work without the hidden fist—McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonald-Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. (…) The war in Iraq is the most important liberal, revolutionary US democracy-building project since the Marshall Plan. It is one of the noblest things this country has ever attempted abroad.

Now who’s this crazy, another neocon? Christian zionists? another extreme “ist”? nope, it’s Thomas Friedman.