An important battle is largely passing unnoticed or just briefly mentioned in the Lebanese press, were it not for Nicolas Nassif’s reporting for Al-Akbar, a front page article today on the brutal war unfolding between security service elites. The struggle to monopolize the different (and often contradictory) moukhabarat cells is just another stigma of the […]Read More Capturing the security sphere
Many heard about Jürgen Cain Külbel’s book on Hariri’s assassination, but few read it including me (when I was in Lebanon it was only found in Syria who was understandbly very quick to translate it to Arabic). So here, he is interviewed on reseau voltaire (french version or English version). He has some interesting ideas […]Read More Hariri’s assassination: The Israeli track
Now the Saudis are lobbying the rich Jews to lobby the Americans for possible endorsement of their peace proposal. Think of it this way: what shapes American foreign policy? Economic incentives and ideology. Assure that there will be deals (economic), and that Israel is left untouched (because it is a beacon of “western values”, the […]Read More An optimistic lightning that quickly fades away
“The match for the world chess championship taking place in Elista, the capital of the Russian republic of Kalmykia, took a bizarre turn yesterday as one side — unsurprisingly, the player who is trailing — accused the other of suspicious behavior during the games and threatened to quit.On a day in which no game was […]Read More To Countenance Incontinence?
Mideastwire translated this sensationalist article from yesterday’s Kuwaiti nest of (mis)intelligence leaks Al Seyassah: Well-informed sources revealed to Al Seyassah the identity of the non-Syrian figures who were with the head of the Syrian National Security General Hisham Bekhtyar in front of the Saint Georges Hotel (the scene of the assassination of Premier Rafik Al-Hariri), […]Read More Polishing the enemy: the Revolutionary Guard
She looked down at the floor, he up at the ceiling. I stared straight ahead, eyeing the both of them as the city raced past us. After a few tugs of her skirt, she lifted her head. She had made a decision. “You know,” she said, “I actually don’t feel that threatened by patriarchy.”“That’s cool,” […]Read More Overheard on the Green Line: The Pitch and Catch of Grad School Love …
That’s how beneficial Israel can be to Lebanon. The story was courageously broken by Rym Ghazal from the Daily Star who had to go through hearing Israeli soldiers shoot next to her in order to scare her away. One more piece of land to Israel. Slowly but surely.Read More Israelis settle in for long stay in village of Ghajar
Can somebody explain why does Israeli Defense minister Peretz makes sign of ouverture to Syria in Haaretz and makes a show of force in Yediot Ahronot? Very Strange. And reports that Syrian and Israeli officials met in july is even stranger. It’s meeting period it seems. And its always like this when all hell is […]Read More The Israeli-Syrian front
Now that’s odd, apparently while Israel was trying to assassinate Nasrallah, French planes circled the sky on Monday in order to protect him. Now this is quoted in Annahar and comes from Debka (What? Annahar gets its info from Debka? nevermind…). I could not find the original link on Debka and I don’t really know […]Read More France protecting Nasrallah?
People often ask me if I ever intend to write about Lebanon. I usually jokingly reply that I want to do a screenplay about Jumblatt and the war — a sort of graft on the Godfather (“every time I try to get out, they keep pulling me back in”) — and I even have my […]Read More Straight Chillin’: Mukhtara Style …
I like how even Yediot Ahronot agrees on the fact that there was a need for some begging: Following five years of diplomatic persuasion on the part of the Foreign Ministry and the Israel Police, Israel has convinced Interpol to accept it as a full member of its European branch. But this is an important […]Read More Israeli police accepted in Interpol European branch
In this case these are not mere rumors: Exports to kingdom rise by 10 percent to USD 470,000 in first half of 2006. Israeli companies export to Saudi Arabia medical equipment, fertilizers, minerals, metals, machines and mechanical appliances. But what I really like in this news is how it is strategically pointed (in time) by […]Read More While the Arabs are busy trading
I don’t know what Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf is thinking but something must have broken down between him and the Americans: The US Central Intelligence Agency paid Pakistan millions of dollars for handing over more than 350 suspected al-Qaeda terrorists to the United States, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has reportedly said. Even before that he […]Read More Musharraf’s bet
I don’t understand why people are making such fuss about Olmert meeting with the Saudi king. Even if they did not meet in person Israeli and Saudis have been aligned for years in terms of Israeli-Palestinian issues. In any case this is not another post that is shocked by these possible discussions but by something […]Read More On the Saudi Israeli meeting
or like Druze warlord Walide Jumblat calls them, totalitarians. These pictures are courtesy of Sana (our correspondant in Iranian and Syrian lands of Lebanon).Read More More Iranian and Syrian agents
So for those Lebanese who still live in denial (a substantial part of them it seems), for those who still doubt that Israel has strategic goals in Lebanon and does not just “re-act” to Hezbollah’s presence please read this: an Israeli bulldozer carried out digging work on Tuesday before laying water pipes in the Wazzani […]Read More Somebody said water?
So all the others need to do is lift the Iranian flag? But you know why they won’t do it? Because they now are the “real” nationalists (according to the latest rally facts). Nationalistic standards shift like moving sands, just like any other ideology. Keep watching the Lebanese and expect more casualties.Read More frustration, greed, or ignorance?
I left Lebanon on the 25th of August (or so) right after the end of the war. Since then, I have been to Paris, then to Sweden (and Norway at some point) for a musical tour with the Moukhtabar Ensemble. Then I went to London where I am about to start a PhD program in […]Read More a long trip but not much has changed
This picture reminds me of another celebrity (here Ziad Rahbani, the other one being Samir Kassir) who was at the chauvinistic demontration (14th of March) with a similar red hat only written on it “independence 05”. They did not even bother to change the color it seems.Use the same weapons so that people can relate […]Read More reflecting on symbols and image-persons
Maybe this guy is an Iranian or Syrian agent what do you think?Read More only the face speak
For those who always compare Lebanon to Switzerland, an excellent article in Assafir by Fawaz Trabulsi arguing that basically you just need look at the institution of the army in Switzerland to understand why both countries have nothing in common. The difference in State’s strength, and how Switzerland can stay neutral are at the heart […]Read More Lebanon and Switzerland
From wherever you look at it, political despair is surely not a good thing. I wonder exactly why Samir Geagea and Walid Jumblat (two ex ‘civil’ warlord) are not turning their tongue seven times in their mouth before they utter their non-sense. How can they keep a straight face when they think they should give […]Read More political desperation is never a good thing
In his speech, Mr. Bush pointed to progress in the Middle East toward democracy, saying, “We’re seeing a bright future begin to take root in the broader Middle East,” and cited the relatively new governments in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon as examples.Read More What would darkness look like …?
“We know that the hopes of the civilized world ride with us.” So said US Vice President Dick Cheney yesterday. Did you know … ?Read More Did You Know … ?
How can I be afraid when they look like goofy kids on a class trip to the state oil company … On the bright side, I cannot wait for Samuel Huntington to explain this “civilizational” axis … Photo: Jorge Silva/Reuters …Read More The 21st Century Red Scare …
I don’t really understand the Haaretz newspaper. It often has interesting analyses and opinions that distance it from more ideological and extremist newspapers like the Jerusalem Post and others. But sometimes I receive these rather strange emails inviting me to sign a petition to the United Nations to “stop Iran from getting the bomb.” And […]Read More Haaretz: A Newspaper or a Cause …?
Okay, so everybody heard about the speech the Pope gave where he literally outdid President Bush, the difference being that the latter uses quotes more than the former (more academic…). But few may have seen what “Father” SAMIR Khalil SAMIR, director of some “research” center (CEDRAC) at the Saint-Joseph University of Beirut wrote in order […]Read More A pope and a father
Here is an interesting news bit I wish to share and I’ll tell you why: Recent weapons purchases by Venezuela seem excessive and have raised concerns that it may be funneling arms to leftist rebels elsewhere in Latin America, the U.S. military chief for the region said on Thursday.Asked whether Colombia’s Marxist guerrillas could have […]Read More Meanwhile in Latin America
Found somewhere in the south of Lebanon (courtesy of Sana)Read More when it’s love