Sunni politics in Lebanon

There are three main (intersecting) orientations “mainstream” Sunni politics perceives (or deal with) more radical militant movements such the brief hollywoodean movement of Sheikh Asir, Jubhat al Nusra or Da’esh (ISIS). 1- To secretly feel that they are scoring points against their more traditional political enemy that is Hizbullah 2- To despise them but have […]

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ISIS and the West

ISIS is the expression of different social and political phenomena that must be understood separately. One of them is undoubtedly the significant amount of “Western” fighters of which some elements are also at the forefront of their media campaign. By Western I mean people who have lived and were educated in Western countries (mostly Western […]

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العقل والحياء والدين

وفي الحديث أن جبريل عليه السلام أتى آدم عليه السلام فقال له إني أتيتك بثلاثٍ فاختر واحدةً، قال: وما هي يا جبريل? قال: العقل والحياء والدين فقال: قد اخترت العقل فخرج جبريل إلى الحياء والدين فقال ارجعوا فقد اختار العقل عليكما فقالا: أمرنا أن نكون مع العقل حيث كان من كتاب السؤدد – ابن قتيبة

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Raï in Jerusalem

The new Christian maronite patriarch Cardinal Bechara Boutros el Rai, has been making some bold moves since the beginning of his mandate. First his visit to Syria in the midst of the conflict degenerating, and now his decision to visit Jerusalem as the Catholic pope has schedule a Middle East tour, all show that Rai […]

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Isolationism or Regionalization?

Recently the Phalangist MP Sami Gemayel has proposed to “amend the preamble of the constitution to stipulate Lebanon’s neutrality towards regional conflicts”. “We request amending the constitution to clearly state that Lebanon must stay neutral towards regional events,” Gemayel said after the weekly meeting of the party’s political bureau. He elaborated: “We are very concerned […]

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Thoughts from India II

Starting probably with Gandhi, but all throughout the twentieth century, it is my belief that Indian societies (not that I think India does not preserve some blatant forms of injustice) have been both judicious and clever in protecting the importance of ethics to maintain forms of social stability and power. By ethics, I mean social […]

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"Welcome to the Middle East"

And so today, we are supposed to talk to our faithful policeman, Mr Abbas, the “moderate” (as the BBC, CNN and Fox News refer to him) Palestinian leader, a man who wrote a 600-page book about Oslo without once mentioning the word “occupation”, who always referred to Israeli “redeployment” rather than “withdrawal”, a “leader” we […]

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Hamas doomed dreams

So Fatah asks for permission to Israel to get arms from other Arab states to neutralize Hamas, and the latter’s leader Ismael Haniyeh wants to integrate its militia to the Palestinian security forces. Do you get it? Hamas lives in Alice’s wonderland… Can somebody tell Haniyeh despite all the efforts deployed, purely ‘Palestinian’ decisions will […]

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Ask a "Shiite"?

I don’t know if I should laugh or cry, but this blog or whatever you want to call it, has thought it would be useful for an alleged ‘dialogue of civilization’ to “Ask a Shiite” in such an ingenious fashion: Our resident expert will be fielding questions of a philosophical, physical, and political nature in […]

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Welcome to Kurdistan …

It was, in other words, a story about influence-building, buying, and profit, albeit with subplots that were equal parts John le Carre and Keystone Kops, and a cast of characters ranging from ex-Mossad head Yatom to a former German superspy, with Israeli counterterrorism commandos, Kurdish political dynasties, powerful American lobbyists, Turkish business tycoons thrown in—not […]

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Wobble On …

In a special statement of clarification, the bureau stressed that Olmert had told Pelosi that Israel continued to regard Syria as “part of the axis of evil and a party encouraging terrorism in the entire Middle East.” It’s hard to believe how shaky Ehud Olmert’s standing must be that he must declare immediate and total […]

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Alternative Measures …

Well, it seems the Lebanon First crowd is not so hung up on that whole national sovereignty thing. Big surprise, I know. What’s puzzling is that I had thought that many of their leaders were intimately familiar with the pratfalls of relying on American and French support to secure their respective suzerainties. I guess they […]

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Game, Set, Match …

Friends, the Iranians have just done what 1,000,000 speeches at the Arab League Summit never could. And if I may be expansive and hyperbolic for a moment, let me say that American era in the Middle East just saw its first curtain fall. The grotesque spectacle that is Iraq will be next. Let’s see if […]

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Portentous …?

Am I the only one who feels a chill down his spine when King Abdullah calls the U.S. presence in Iraq an “illegitimate foreign occupation” ?I have been around the block enough times to appreciate the pathetic pageantry of Arab League summits, but a head-on verbal fusillade against the U.S. by its closest ally?Perhaps, I […]

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Christmas Come Early …

Hopefully it won’t be long until I am home to get ready for Molly’s birthday party with a present from the Iranian people. I wanna get taken hostage by Iran …! More seriously, Iranian propaganda has me impressed. Yes, it is ham-fisted (when is propaganda not?), but it really does the trick. Expect the Iranians […]

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Rice Pudding …

Tis a testament to the rottenness of the current US regime that I find myself with sympathies for a sycophant like Mme. Rice. No comment here, I just like the pic. I would add that all of this plays perfectly into Iran’s hands, just as the “Holocaust conference” did. Sometimes I wonder if power makes […]

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Brammertz’ surprises

Gee.. I wonder why is it that the countries not cooperating with Brammertz investigation on the Hariri assassination are mostly those who back the ‘we want the truth’ camp or are in one way or another under the same sphere of influence? According to the latest Brammertz report countries not cooperating are: USA, UK, France, […]

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Fun Facts About Arabs …

The Arabs are a proud and sensitive people … Arab behavior has a propensity for conflict … Reasons for Arab conflict may lie again with the family where competitiveness is instilled at an early age, and life generally exists under various forms of intense pressure … In the Arab world there is little stigma placed […]

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Lessons Unlearned …

The French and the Russians, for example, won asymmetrical wars in Algeria and Chechnya in the 19th century, but lost asymmetrical wars in those same places in the 20th century. “In the 19th century, there was not a literacy for nationalism. You look at a lot of these colonial wars. The great powers could play […]

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Hersh, (Sigh) …

Well, just read Sy Hersh’s new piece and must admit I was disappointed. I found almost nothing original in either content or analysis and believe the piece could have been written by piecing together already very public information. I was not going to post on it, until I heard Wolff Blitzer call the piece “explosive” […]

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