27 September 2007

US Senate votes to divide Iraq

The plan that was voted for by the senate proposes to separate Iraq into Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni entities, with a federal government in Baghdad in charge of border security and oil revenues.

The conspiracy theorists we ridiculed years ago were right after all. Their theories see the light day after day. What was predicted unfolds.

You may still call it a conspiracy theory but I now call it strategic planning.
But we are not the planners ofcourse.

If the US succeeds in dividing Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon and others will be next. It is just a matter of years.

It is Sykes and Picot all over again. This time dividing the already divided.

All this division is simply to justify the Zionists claim that it is not possible to have a secular nation where people of diverse cultures or religions can be equal citizens in this part of the world.

Oh yes, pardon me, and there is always the source of energy (petroleum) and there is the water too, ...

Now prove me wrong...

(image : Sykes-Picot Agreement 1916, click for larger view)

how US mercenaries liberate Iraq


and how blackwater security thugs accomplish excused killings
and why the US exonerates blackwater thugs from their crimes
and why Iraqi PM could not keep his decision to stop their operations for the security of Iraq
and why they and their likes are loved, legal, necessary and temporary
and why it is good that Lebanon is having its own operation freedom and democracy
and I am asking not stating
and this is courtesy of Pierre

24 September 2007

gimme hope johanna



Gimme Hope Johanna - Eddy Grant

23 September 2007

Funny and Pathetic

"Sweetie" and "Prince of Joy" (aliases in an online chat room) spent hours telling each other about their marriage troubles, only to discover that they were wife and husband (Sana and Adnan), when they both turned up for a date. Now they want to divorce because they were cheating on each other with each other.

But this is not as funny and pathetic as a Lebanese minister (of tourism) bragging, after meeting with representatives of the Bush administration: "as you know, Lebanon is the only Arab country that practices democracy..." or when he tells representatives of western governments after they ask him for suggestions to solve the problems in his country: "...you should tell us, you are the 'big' nations, you should know what to do..."

Surreally Freudian!

2al za3za3at el istikrar 2al
btw how do u translate 'za3za3at il istikrar'?

19 September 2007

Terrorism strikes yet again in Beirut!

A large terrorist explosion targeted the Sin el Fil area on the outskirt of Beirut. LBC is reporting that the explosion is near Antoine Library. The reporter is saying that one of the burning cars belong to a member of parliament. The images on LBC are grave. Burning cars, destroyed buildings and casualties. Like a war zone.

Feeling speechless and helpless.

Update:
MP Antoine Ghanem, member of the Phalangist Party, was assassinated by a bomb that targeted his car in Beirut’s Sin el-Fil suburb, Hursh Tabet area.
Reports of seven other people killed and at least 20 wounded in the attack.

Other bloggers reactions here (GVO) and here (MFL)

16 September 2007

Lebanon: Helping abused migrant workers

Following up on the issue of abused maids, it turns out that Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center is trying to help migrant workers, mostly from Africa and East Asia, by providing some refuge and advocating their rights. They seem to have a very tough job on their hand but at least someone is acting. This article by Ethiopian Reporter mentions cases of hardships and abuse that some workers suffered and how Caritas intervened to help them.

According to the report, the organization carried out a survey of Lebanese employers' attitude towards their migrant helpers. The results are grim, to say the least.

Over 90% of employers think it is right to confiscate their worker’s passport;
over 80% actively limit their worker’s movement and contacts;
nearly 50% have their workers on call 24 hours a day;
and 41% of employers think its fine to punish their worker - with over 30% admitting to hitting them, and regulating their food quality and intake.
This is how the article describes the work of the organization:
Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center, established in 1994 in Beirut, is a refuge and advocate for migrant workers who find themselves in a hostile working and living environment. There are drop-in centers and two safe houses for shelter. “Usually we receive trafficked girls who have been abused physically, mentally, sexually – who have been treated badly,” says Rania Hokayem, the center’s program manager.
But what about those who cannot find their way to this organization? What becomes of them?

Apartheid Israel

This is why ‘apartheid’ applies to Israeli policies and practices against Palestinians.

This is how critics of these policies are summarily condemned as ‘anti–semites’.

And why Americans don't know exactly what's going on:

One reason that the US government, politicians and people don’t have a clear idea of the situation in Israel/Palestine is that any criticism or complaint about Israel, no matter how well-researched and moderate, is swiftly attacked by lobbies in the US as being anti-semitic.

14 September 2007

Sabra and Shatila: the perpetrators

"Many of the killers now freely admit that they conducted a three-day orgy of rape and slaughter that left hundreds, as many as 3,500 they claim, possibly more, of innocent civilians dead in what is considered the single bloodiest incident of the Arab-Israeli conflict and a crime for which Israel will be condemned for eternity.
[snip]
I regret to report that all those who perpetrated the massacre at Sabra-Shatila escaped justice. None of the hundreds of Phalange and Haddad militia who carried out the slaughter were ever punished. In fact, they got a blanket amnesty from the Lebanese government.

As for the main organizers and facilitators, their massacre at Sabra-Shatila turned out to be excellent career moves for virtually all of them. Ariel Sharon resigned as Minister of Defense but retained his cabinet position in Menachem Begin's government and over the next 16 years held four more ministerial posts, including that of Foreign Minister, before becoming Prime Minister in February 2001. Following the 2002 Jenin rampage, US President Geroge W. Bush anointed him "a man of peace."

>>> Franklin Lamb

Sabra and Shatila: Um Ahmad and Joseph the lay cleric

"Your friend, Um Ahmad, still lives in the same house where she lost her husband, four sons and a daughter when Joseph, a thick-set militiaman carrying an assault rifle, bundled everyone into one room of their hovel and opened fire. She still explains like it was yesterday, how the condoned slaughter unfolded, recalling each of her four sons by name, Nizar, Shadi, Farid and Nidal. I asked Joseph if he wanted to sit with Um Ahmad and seek forgiveness and possible redemption since he has now become a lay cleric in his parish. He declined but sent his condolences with flowers."

>>> Franklin Lamb

Sabra and Shatila: 25 years and still not healed

"I saw dead women in their houses with their skirts up to their waists and their legs spread apart; dozens of young men shot after being lined up against an alley wall; children with their throats slit, a pregnant woman with her stomach chopped open, her eyes still wide open, her blackened face silently screaming in horror; countless babies and toddlers who had been stabbed or ripped apart and who had been thrown into garbage piles."

- Janet Lee Stevens (1951 - 1983)

13 September 2007

African Maids Abused in Lebanon

"Driven by poverty and conflict in their home countries, women from Africa travel to Lebanon only to find themselves hungry, abused, raped and subjected to conditions akin to slavery."

"Amira is 25 years old. She comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo. "One time, Madame found dust on the furniture. She told me that the house was dirty like my skin."

For four years Amira has been confined to the apartment of her employers -- only leaving to take out the trash. She came to Lebanon as a domestic worker on a six-year contract due to ongoing conflict in her country. Awakened daily at 5.30 am, she is subjected to 18 hours of back-breaking labour without time off."

[snip]

"Sixteen-year old Elisa is from Ethiopia. Her mother died last year, and six months ago she came to Lebanon to work and send money home to her family. For 100 dollars per month she maintains five houses a day.

"When I started work with this family I was sexually abused all the time by the father of my employer. The kids would beat me everyday and I would try to explain to Madame but she wouldn't do anything. Sometimes the father would come to sleep with me and threaten that if I refused he would beat me. So I left the house.""
more >>>

Also at BBC:
Burundian's ordeal in Lebanon
Ethiopian maids 'abused in Middle East'

11 September 2007

Mazen remembers 9/11


Top, right to left: "11 september" - "11 september 2001" - "11 september 2007"

Bottom, Arabic: "today i am celebrating 6 years of friendship with the customs of the civilised world airports"

The rest, English: you can figure them out by yourself (click on the image to enlarge)
The artwork: by Mazen Kerbaj (also published today in Al-Akhbar)

09 September 2007

Why HRW stopped short of accusing Israel of war crimes?

At the question that why HRW stopped short of accusing Israel of war crimes while it accused Hezbollah of war crimes, when both are accused of targeting civilians, Mr. Roth gave this quite silly answer:

"War crimes are attributed to individuals. The Israeli army high commanders were not involved in issuing the orders for the bombings that killed Lebanese civilians, only army personnel and individuals at low command positions were. And the orders for bombing Israeli civilians were issued by the Hezbollah highest military authorities."
Kenneth Roth, Human Right's Watch executive director, was speaking on Radio Canada when he uttered these golden words of wisdom (thanks Sophia).

During July 06 Israeli-Lebanese war, according to HRW's reports, civilian populations on both sides were targetted. More than 1000 Lebanese civilians died, a third of them children. While on the Israeli side there were 43 civilian casualties among 163 deaths.

NO, Hezbollah did NOT embed its fighters among the civilian population. As confirmed by HRW report on the matter .

So now, do you understand why there was an uproar against HRW when they planned to hold their conference in Beirut? Even PM Sanyoura bashed them. Add to this the report that HRW had to be harsh with the Lebanese (Hezbollahis are Lebanese, right?!) in order to justify its harsh statements against Israel. All this in the name of objectivity!

07 September 2007

Facebook profiles are now open to the public

Facebook has added a search function that will allow anyone who is NOT registered with the site to search for a specific person.

That’s not all. What’s more is that in a month’s time, this feature will allow searchers to track down Facebook members through search engines such as GOOGLE.

Facebook does notify its users about this new feature once they sign in. A typical home page looks like this:Although Facebook says that the revealed information will be minimal, this move is likely to anger privacy advocates according to this report from the BBC.

The search engine will return the thumbnail picture from the profile page of the member as well as links allowing the searcher to interact with the member.

But the searcher will have to be registered with Facebook in order to add someone as a friend or send them a message.

Users have a grace period of up to a month to opt out of the feature altogether or restrict the information they want to be available to the public.

Facebook, which was started by Mark Zuckerberg to keep US college students in contact, is now the sixth most visited site in the US and it accounts for 1% of all internet traffic.

06 September 2007

Attention Span Granted to Naher el Bared

The attention given to Nahr al-Bared will rapidly wane, and as always none of the humanitarian or political issues associated with the Palestinian camps will be addressed. Meanwhile, a new generation of Palestinians can now claim their own painful memories of the ongoing struggle for existence. The refugees from Nahr al-Bared and elsewhere are left, until further notice, with only hopes and prayers that the next incident involving one of their camps will not be as bloody and devastating as previous episodes.
--- Jamal Ghosn at Electronic Lebanon

05 September 2007

U.S. and Lebanon: Strategic Partners

"The United States, as one of Lebanon's strategic international partners, is proud to have provided supplies and training for the army at the request of the democratically elected Lebanese Government to help in combating this terrorist threat."

These are the words of U.S. Ambassador J. Feltman as he praised the Lebanese government and its army for achieving a "decisive victory" on Fatah al-Islam terrorists.

Six questions (for now):

1– Since we are “strategic partners” with the U.S., should we be expecting military aid of the same magnitude that the U.S. gave and will give to her other strategic partner in the neighborhood?

2– How come the Lebanese Government official said on TV that the army was ill–equipped and that all the “supplies” received were fully paid for by Lebanese Government?

3– What will happen to the arms embargo enforced on the Lebanese army with the purpose of ensuring the military superiority of the other strategic partner?

4– How come the Lebanese Army officers disclosed that they had to improvise and come up with “hand made” bombs that were later dropped from helicopters in the battles. Something, they insisted, was never ever done in the history of war.

5– Why do U.S. officials keep referring to the government in Lebanon as “democratically elected” when they know we only democratically (?) elect the representatives who in turn elect the president who in turn, after consultations, appoint the government?

6– Did the super-duper-rocket-fuel-powered-humvees provided by the U.S. have anything to do with the decisive victory achieved by the army? Or was it some top secret smart bomb left over from last summer?

Now I’m digressing. Forgive me.

But just to be fair I have to mention that the ambassador also said that Washington looks forward to joining reconstruction efforts to help Lebanese citizens and Palestinian refugees who had been displaced by the violence at Nahr al-Bared and its environs.

That I will have to see!

photo

Pencil Drawings from Zareh

Two pencil drawings by Zareh. They are described as portraits of friends from Los Angeles.
Notice the hair.

04 September 2007

Syria Also Helped Uproot Fateh el Islam

While some political parties in Lebanon still insist that Syria is behind Fateh el Islam, top Lebanese Army officers repeated in the press conference, held by Minister of Defense today, that the militant group is part of Al Qaeda network. And that their investigations, so far, does not incriminate Syria.

Not only that, but that Syria actually provided the Lebanese Army with logistical assistance during its battle with the militant group. They explained that the Minister of Defense did not mention Syria in his speech, as he did with the other countries that provided help to the army, because the Syrian help was part of an ongoing agreement between the Syrian Army and the Lebanese Army dating to the era before Syrian troops left Lebanon in 2005.

Of course Syria does not need to be thanked, after all, what are brothers for.

Defense Minister Sets the Shape of Things to Come

Lebanese defense minister, Elias el Murr, declared the following NO’s in his press conference today. It is a directive of what is and is not accepted from the politicians during the coming months. It is also the setting of the stage for the upcoming presidential election. This is in line with what the Army Chief Gen. Suleiman declared earlier. Minister Murr said:

Now that the Lebanese Army, under the leadership of Gen Suleiman, has successfully ended the Nahr el Bared conflict and has destroyed Fath al Islam, we assert that there will be NO two governments in Lebanon. There will be NO two presidents in Lebanon. There will be NO two Lebanons. And the presidential elections will be held on time.

Now guess who will be the next president.

Mother Teresa's Faith Crisis

Although she publicly proclaimed that her heart belonged "entirely to the Heart of Jesus", she wrote to the Rev Michael Van Der Peet, a spiritual confidant, in September 1979 that

"Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear. The tongue moves [in prayer] but does not speak."

She added: “I am told God loves me, and yet the reality of the darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. Did I make a mistake in surrendering blindly to the Call of the Sacred Heart?

Bush has God's Shoulder to Cry On

In response to Mr. Draper’s observance that Mr. Bush had nobody’s “shoulder to cry on,” the president said:Of course I do, I’ve got God’s shoulder to cry on, and I cry a lot.


Lebanon: Army Ends “Fateh el Islam”

The siege of Nahr el Bared refugee camp is finally over. The Lebanese Army ended the warfare with the so called “Fateh el Islam” militants after 105 days by killing and capturing its remaining members. It is reported that among the dead is their leader Shaker el Absi. Thousands of Lebanese took to the streets, around the country and especially in the North, to celebrate the army’s victory. It should be noted that the original inhabitants of this refugee camp, around 30,000 Palestinian, were mostly evacuated during the early days of the siege. The militants/terrorists had taken refuge and built bases in the refugee camp before ambushing and killing a number of Lebanese soldiers. Details were mentioned in previous posts at Global Voices. The end of the clashes was the subject for many blog posts. Here are a few of them:

Harryzzz went to the North of Lebanon to check out the celebrations that were taking place in the streets near the camps. He posted many photos and mentioned the shootings taking place because of the jubilation:

And Lebanon wouldn’t be Lebanon if many civilians didn’t run around with their private Kalashnikovs. Sooooo much shooting going on. This time not because of war, but because of celebrations. Man, my ears still hurt from all this firing in the air. That, by the way, doesn’t only proof that the mainly Sunni population in Tripoli knows how to throw a party, it also shows that Shi’a Lebanese aren’t the only ones owning guns in this country.

Jamal’s Propaganda looks (sarcastically) at how opposing political parties will be using the army’s successful campaign to continue their “childish” bickering:

Finally, the military operations stage of the Naher El Bared ordeal is finally over. The politicians are all calling for uncovering the truth behind Fatah El Islam as they all think it will provide them with ammo against their foes. Of course, nothing will come out of these calls as we are in Lebanon where investigations are avoided because they endanger national unity. The only way we can find out who really was behind the funding and nurturing of Fatah El Islam is to resort to Maury Povich. Here I’m picturing Saad, 34, high-fiving the audience and being held back from Wiam, 40 some: “Told you @#$%^ I ain’t their @#$%^ sugar daddy, HO, HO, you @#%%# @$%#^ HO!!”

The army’s victory came at a heavy price according to Ibn Bint Jbeil, namely the death and destruction of the homes of thousands among other things. He also raises the question about who was behind this group which he calls “Fath el Shaytan” which is Arabic for “Fath of the devil”:

>>>> read the rest here, at Global Voices

03 September 2007

Gen Suleiman's Directive to Politicians

Speaking to Assafir, Army Commander Gen Michel Suleiman said:

This is no time for jubilation and joy. It is time to admit that this bouquet of martyrs from the Lebanese Army form actual medals on the chests of all Lebanese of all sects, regions and political spectrum.

He added that the martyrs form the greatest sacrifice of the Lebanese military in the history of Lebanon. For, had the plans of the terrorists not been aborted, we would have witnessed, in Lebanon, a copy of what is taking place in Iraq.

This, he said, is a sacrifice and “a model of national unity that is as of this moment in the safe–keeping of all politicians. They should invest in this victory through mutual concessions that will lead to safeguarding the national unity. Thousands of soldiers sacrificed and still do for this goal.

He also considered this success as a victory for the Palestinian cause and their right to return.

Blog Action Day - Oct 15



On October 15th, I will be joining these bloggers and writing something about our environment.

3alla wa 3assa!

02 September 2007

Accidents Happen, Children Die

Israeli army aerial surveillance videos show that 10yr old Mahmoud Ghazal, his 12yr old cousin Yehiya Ghazal, and their 10yr old cousin Sarah Ghazal were children simply playing tag last Tuesday in a Beit Hanun.

An Israeli military tank fired at the three Palestinian children killing them. The troops claimed that they mistook them for militants.

"At the very last second, it was apparent that they were children, but it was impossible to stop the explosion," stated the report.

Maybe their mistake was to be playing near some cheap rocket launcher. Israeli soldiers are ordered to fire at rocket launchers only when militants approach them. Their rationale: launchers alone are cheap and easily replaceable.

Two other children were killed in a similar incident last week. This will also turn out to be an accident and the Palestinians will be blamed once more.

01 September 2007

Prefabricated State of Lebanon

Talal Salman, on Pres Berri’s speech yesterday during the commemoration of the 29th year since the kidnap/dissapearance of the Imam Moussa el Sadr:

“…from here and despite all the concessions that [the speech] contained, it is more or less, a last warning, which one fears that it will not be heeded by those who the “great ally” convinces that they have legendary strength .

And that they, despite their errors, are above right and its holders, as long as the outside is stronger than the inside…

as if the “state” that the Lebanese want can be imported by the majority, ready–made and furnished with residents other than its people…”

 

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