Tuesday, February 14, 2006

March 14 is back!

At first I was skeptical... The numbers were there, but the spirit seemed absent. I thought to myself: "yeah, all these guys are standing around because they followed orders and got on those busses... they're probably uncomfortable around each other, and desperately want to go home..."

But then some things started to happen that sparked the March 14 spirit...

  • the first was Jaejae's speech. As I saw him climb up to the stage, the camera focused on the crowd and I thought to myself: "wow, who would have thought back in the 80's that Jaejae would be giving a speech to a crowd in which the majority were Sunnis and Druze.

  • the second event that helped spark the March 14 spirit was when the Shi'a MP Bassem el Saba' gave a heart-felt speech that among other things told the crowd that the "absent sect" was really present, and that it was among the crowds. His speech was among the most well-received by the gathered masses.

  • the third event that helped spark the March 14 spirit was when Jaejae saw Sa'ad el Hariri approaching the stage, then stopped his speech and said "common sheikh Sa'ad, I'm waiting for you," then Jumblatt, Jaejae and Sa'ad held their hands triumphantly in the air to the rapturous applause of the crowd. Again, when did you ever think something like that could ever happen in Lebanon? I immediately hoped that people were saying: "hey if they can do it, why can't we?"

  • the fourth event was Jumblatt's speech, in which he was able to reach out to the crowd and lift their spirits like none of the other speakers. This was the first time I've seen Jumblatt speak to a mass audience, and I was amazed at the reception they gave him.

I know that underneath the surface the absolute majority of Lebanese gathered today in Martyr's Square identify themselves with their sects first, and are therefore sectarian. I know that after they go home, they revert to sectarian discourse and patterns of behavior. But sometimes I ask myself: "what if we had more of these events that brought all Lebanese together, from all of their sects rather than two-thirds or three-fourths? what if these events were more frequently held?"

That is the promise of March 14... the real reason that I cling on to it so viciously and stubbornly. Because no matter how Secular Aoun claims himself to be, I simply cannot imagine him managing to pull such an event off all by himself. No matter how many Lebanese flags Hizballah provides the crowds that it gathers, I cannot imagine Druze, Maronites and Sunnis attending a Hizballah rally.

Only March 14 has been able to bring Lebanese together in such a scale. And ironically, the two parties to thank for this development are Syria and Hizballah. For had Syria not killed Hariri, and Hizballah not been such a powerful barrier in the face of the political leaders of March 14, they would not have resorted to such measures, which in the long run may threaten their own sectarian power-bases.

Hassan Mneimneh, a prominent journalist, once said that March 14 released a genie that the political elite may not totally be in control of. One of the potentials of this genie is that it may help the Lebanese youth who are truly non-sectarian in their outlook to create a "Lebanese Space" that is autonomous from the sects... a space in which Lebanese forgo the comforts of sectarian affiliation and push the secular and modern project in Lebanon forward.

That is what I want from March 14. The promise of a free, modern, non-religious, non-sectarian and prosperous Lebanon!

picture: courtesy of al Jazeera http://english.aljazeera.net


frencheagle said...

there was not 1 millions of persons
look to the foreign news
financial time
romandie (suisse)
television suisse romande
le nouvel obs
le figaro (france)
al jazeerah

as was noticing france 2 journalist it was a failure as well
500 000 persons were missing by the way compared to the million of the 14 march, to the million of hariri's funerals, so it s showing the deep erosion of the future movement

they just needed to say they were 1 million as the hezbollah was claiming they were 700 000 persons for their ashoura, they needed to get back a dynamic they lost, they needed to show they were having control on their mob, this is the only success they have got today

they didnt have many christians by the way, just some FL and few kornet shewan that are not representing the biggest part of christians that were striking last year and last year i was among them, this year i m not.

this strike today was mainly sunnit, and druze, therefore secterian, few brainwashed LF nothing important that just came for their leader

ps: u should rename your blog to
future-propaganda-in-lebanon.blogspot.com for raja
we re not having any impartial point of view here , this is why i stoped to comment lately.
it s jut one sided and more u re doing that and more people and i m one of them are going to the other side

if u re saying:
u re not with us therefore u re my ennemy, of course u re turning everyone to the other side bcz u re just trying to impose your own point of view, it doesnt mean everyone is sharing it.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Well even if it was half a million , at least it was 500 000 (real) LEBANESE.

frencheagle said...

il manque quand meme vox 500 000 VRAIS libanais par rapport au million des funerails de hariri et au 14 mars soit la moitié , soit une erosion enorme de ce mouvement devenu principalement sunnito-druze avec une pointe FL et le peu de militants de kornet shewan

j suis bien placé pour le savoir, j y etais l année derniere ;)

Raja said...

French Eagle,

I waited for your reaction.

I explained to you why I cling on to March 14, and instead of trying to debunk those particular assertions, you went on a furious rant.

first of all, I never claimed there were a million people.

second of all, you claimed that "there were very few christians by the way." Why? Because "the real christians" support Aoun nomatter what? If you have a source, please provide me with the source of that enlightening bit of information. All I know is that I heard a hell of a lot of "brainwashed Christians" chanting "Hakim". Please don't say that they were Druze or Muslim, because I don't think that they would go that far.

FRENCH EAGLE: Please ask yourself what March 14 REPRESENTS. Forget the politicians... forget the people... what does March 14 represent? Then ask yourself what Hizballah represents. And what Aoun represents.

Once you are done, compare!

My affiliation lies with what March 14 represents first, and then what Aoun represents (i.e. sovereignty and then reform of the Lebanese state). I will even take it a step further: My third affiliation is with overhauling Lebanese society. That, in my humble opinion, is the priority list you should adopt. All other Lebanese who believe in a modern and secular society should adopt the same list. My personal warning is that the liklihood that they die with a taste of bitter disapointment is extremely high. I already predict that for myself.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

I disagree with FE. I think that the drop in numbers is only partially explained by Aoun's about-turn in favour of Syria.

Today the stakes are really less important than they were last year. Lebanon is independent and Syria is out, so people have less incentive todemonstrate. The outrage that sparked in the aftermath of Hariri's assassination is not as acute anymore.

I know that the Aounists will try to explain the drop in the demonstrator's number by saying that the missing 500 000 were their share, but the truth is that most of the 500 000 who didn't show up did so because there is no feeling of urgency. People have lives to manage and, unlike last year, there is no practical claims like a Syrian withdrawal and an inquiry.

This year's demonstration was firstly a symbol ; a symbol of unity. This is why 500 000 demonstrators in is very, very, impressive (especially given Lebanon's population) : getting so much people on a symbolic issue is very hard. And you can't compare this to Ashura: the Ashura is a religious gathering and not a political one. Ashura is 'easier', it's like having a million Christian in the churches at christmas.

frencheagle said...

@ raja

i know there were not 1 million, but i was just making noticing that we re having a huge gapp today btw what the media pro government are claiming and the reality.
i m noticing it since we dont see in the nahar for exemple the army communication denying what fatfat was saying and also the denial of fatfat about the article in liberation and i dont think that the interest of liberation is just to lie on it

my 14 of march was for liberating lebanon, but still we didnt know a revolution of cedars
we having the sames faces that collaborated during the 30 years of syrian occupation, among which 15 year of direct collaboration and among which 12 years of hariri's government.

i m still waiting that theses people get sacked by the population

when someone fight for lebanon we can have a convergency of interest, but if my general interest then differs from his personal interest, i m switching my choices to someone else, this is democracy
this is why i m fighted for one year ago.
today i m not having any convergency of view with the politicians that are calling themselves 14 of march, i m believing that lebanon faces another threat then the agonising syrian regime and this threat is the fanatism not only the one we saw the 5 of february but the one that leaded the muslim brotherhood getting 1/3 of deputies in egypt, hamas in palestine, iraq and the violence etc... and the risk that if the current syrian regime collaps quickly that we re having an islamic regime in syria, this is why i m for a timed evolution and transition of the syrian regime toward democracy.
my dad was wounded during the war by a syrian bomb, 17 people died around him, i hate as well this regime but i m considering that we need to put aside our emotional attraction which can lead to blindness and consider even the point of view of our ennemy to understand him, his reaction and being able to forecast his behaviour or to forecast the future.

i m not only thinking like you with my heart,i m not saying this is wrong but also with my brain and my heart and making assumptions and forecast, building scenarios as all business people that knows a little but country risk calculation do.

i m therefore basing myself on program, and also on strategy.

i think for the remaining i replied to you in another post bellow i guess

if it was going into personal interest, i would love to see harb as the next president of lebanon, he s a close friend to my dad, i would love to see nayla moawad as well , whatever but i dont think that this interest is personal and not general, and as far i m very honnest i m not going to take in consideration my own personal interest

frencheagle said...

@ vox
france 2 as as well saying that today they envoy was not having the feeling it was a manifestation but a commemoration

look to the video of france 2 on their site ;)

frencheagle said...

i dont think that this interest is good for lebanon as personal and not general, and as far i m very honnest i m not going to take in consideration my own personal interest

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"i know there were not 1 million, but i was just making noticing that we re having a huge gapp today btw what the media pro government are claiming and the reality."

What's unusual? There's always a difference between the police numbers and the organizer numbers. That was to be expected.The truth lies somewhere in between as usual.

"france 2 as as well saying that today they envoy was not having the feeling it was a manifestation but a commemoration"

That's what I said, a demonstration held for symbolical reasons and not for making practical claims. This makes the 500 000 number even more admirable because it's a lot harder to mobilize people when there's nothing at stake.

frencheagle said...

@ vox
"That's what I said, a demonstration held for symbolical reasons and not for making practical claims. This makes the 500 000 number even more admirable because it's a lot harder to mobilize people when there's nothing at stake. "
having another opinion with saad interview yesterday that tried to make it political, it means he failed to make it political as it still showed to be a commemoration.

in other term, he got
1- few people coming there for political reasons, belonging to the future movement, LF etc...
2-many coming for the commemoration
3- and many not comming as the convergency of interest btw them and the future is over.
the 2 and 3 is showing the clear erosion of the future movement. and the 2 is the majority of the people that were there i guess (this is a personal interpretation)
i was tempted to go but i didnt on my side, i m belonging to the third category as far i m not feeling myself to be next to the people that were pro syrians for so long and just turning to be against syrians since the equilibrium of the forces changed in 2003

i m making that dicotomy

Anonymous said...

No need to be bitter because Aoun wasn't there, it was his decision. We are for uniting NOT for dividing Lebanon. "LEBANON FIRST"!!

Anonymous said...

ya french eagle
my sister and brother were there....christian with no freakin affiliation whatsoever.
Do you have a census about how many christians are FPM vs LF vs Qornet Shohwain? Do you have a census of how many Christians were there today??
If not... then do us a favor et s'il vous plait stop insulting all the rest of the christians who are not FPM. You make it sound like we do not matter.

Anonymous said...

No need to be bitter because Aoun wasn't there, it was his decision. We are for united and NOT for divided Lebanon. "LEBANON FIRST"!! Peace.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"having another opinion with saad interview yesterday that tried to make it political, it means he failed to make it political as it still showed to be a commemoration."

Of course it is political. When political movements commemorate the assassination of a politician, then it's political. My point is that the demonstration is symbolic because people are asking for immaterial things like freedom or justice, not cheaper oil or better wages.

frencheagle said...

@ anonymous

i m sorry but who said: if u re not with us u re against us?
i m not a FPM, but i m against that kind of dictature of the free minds.
just talk around to the people of tabaris, how much were disappointed, talk to the people of gemmayze how many were ready to defend themselves.

@ vox
remove the people that were there for non political reason but for commemoration, make an estimate and u ll see how this demonstration wasnt a demonstration

about freedom? about justice?
we still dont ve any freedom since we do not have free media, since theses politicians declare that those who are not with them are against them
i m no more a believer in bullshiting vehiculated for lebanese people living abroad like you

Raja said...

french eagle, I have to give it to you! You've been doing the rounds!!!

I've been to almost every Lebanese blog, and you're the most frequent commenter by far!


Hey... I at least have to give you credit for your tenacity!

Anonymous said...

Typical Aounist if you ask me.

He can't admit that he's wrong.

But as Lenin used to say: facts are stubborn. You can't reason them.

Anonymous said...

"I've been to almost every Lebanese blog, and you're the most frequent commenter by far!


Yeah, it's typical for a newbie. I was like this when I first joined the blogosphere.

Take it easy kid, it's just a discussion.

frencheagle said...

@ anonymous

my first blog was created in 2003
see u dont know me ;)

i m online since 93 (long time before leb was connected)

whatever u can see is that i m net addicted.

@ raja
i love debating that s all
everytimes there is a something i m having an alert
(thx for google alert emails :s)

frencheagle said...

it s from debating that we re learning
but to learn we need also to think with our brain and not with our heart

this is what i learned from long time

Raja said...


attimes the heart deserves a little uplifting. If that means that the mind take a break, then so be it...


frencheagle said...

euhh u know i m half french; i would tell u one of that nice saying i enjoy:

"le coeur a des raisons que la raison ignore"

i m always putting my heart aside and i m thinking with my reason when i m thinkng about lebanon, we suffered too much for that country during all the past years and we are emotionaly too much involved to think clearly with our heart.

this is why usualy people are unfortunatly fighting and talking after, maybe it s also one of the mediterranean character

but let me tell u that i believe about this country that there is a plan and i m really curious to see the objectives of that plan as long i remember in november 04 someone telling in april 05 everything would be over, and at that time the 28 of april le last syrian soldier left officially lebanon so everything happening right now was forecastable at some extends.

dunno if i told u , i m preparing a synthesis and a political audit of all the situation of the middle east, including the links that can be made of different situations
it s damn interesting but really too long to be blogged :s

by the way the future is not to the blog but to vlog or video blog

@ anonymous
isnt aoun more frenchglist then frencheagle more aounist?
if i m coming to the conclusion about the future threats lebanon ll pass through then aoun, does it mean i m aounist or that i m having another understanding of the situation then yours?
u re therefore encouraging to support aoun, thx you for showing me that maybe he s damn right

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"@ raja
i love debating that s all
everytimes there is a something i m having an alert
(thx for google alert emails :s)"

I must ask something to FE: how can you blog so much from Lebanon?

When I was in Lebanon, I used the internet once during a whole month. I just can't stand the dial-up connection. It's so irritating.

I won't return to Lebanon until they fix this thing.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"euhh u know i m half french"

That explains everything! You're excused then :)

AbdulKarim said...

People, we don't need numbers from police, organizers, or media to estimate the number of demonstrations. You can make an educated scientific estimate in a very simple way, and i think this way is used by news agencies. You calculate the whole area occupied by demonstraters and multiply it by persons/m2.

ex: Area(A)=1,000,000m2 ;
density (D)= 1person/m2;
=> demonstraters= A*D =1,000,000.

I hope this clarifies things for you french eagle.

Anonymous said...

whatever you want to say, you can say it. But little general knows how little he is after today. As well as little Che Gevara of the south who thinks war should continue forever because of his little bosses in Syria and Tehran. The Future is bright, Lebanon united and Tehran badaboom and Syria Kaboom. Lahoud should go down and he should be placed in the back of the army truck along with his loyal successor aspirant General" I hate everyone and lets fight" Aoun. Hassan the "Revolution" (with a french accent) should count again how many Lebanese see any future for him and his mini army.


why-discuss said...

Raja, you are an idealistic and I follow about the united lebanese we have seen on 14 March. But I don't follow you when you try to interpret any sign as a confirmation that this dream is coming to reality. Politics is a dirty business and in lebanon more than any other place since most of the 'leaders' kissing each other (Jumblatt, Geaga) have their hands full of lebanese blood and in a normal country should have been tried as war criminals. I agree with frencheagle, these ghosts must go, then Lebanon can be rebuilt. Hariri was one of the new faces, white hands, and he was killed and now we are again with the old guard using Hariri's death to create the illusion that there is unity in their ranks. Poor Hariri Junior, meshed with these negatives figures of the past!
Why do I trust more Hezb? They may have made mistakes, they may carry an religious ideology, but they have never killed a lebanese, in the contrary they have saved lives and freed part of the country. It is a matter of choice: Opportunistically hiding behind Hariri, the old rotten guard, verbose, lying and too old to change or the Hezb who, by joining with Aoun, an ex-foe, have shown that they are flexible and can be trusted.
My choice is made..

frencheagle said...

@ abdulkarim
i was present the 14 of march, we were not able even to breath and we were one million, here if u re looking they were having more spaces bcz the people, the streets next were not full like the other time.
TF1 said yesterday 1 millions but they were saying "according to the organisators"

on my side, all the people i know didnt go this time, nor my large family, nor my neighbours, nor my friends.
for me they needed to have 1 million as the hezbollah claimed last time to be 700 000 , they needed to show they had control of their mob as last 5 of feb they didnt. etc....
i think it was the main objectives of this meeting if we are pragmatic and realistic

anyway the political game is more and more interesting as far as we are having action and we can see how things evolves

@ fady now
we need to think smart and not act stupidly.
the future movement and the 14 of march acted stupidly when they didnt remove lahoud when it was possible, they acted stupidly when they let berry being back as chief of the parlement, they acted stupidly by getting allied with the hezbollah and letting him entering the governement

alfred naccache said: le liban n est ni occidental, ni arabe. this is what i m believing in, the rupture of that equilibrium is bringing us instability.
the arabic nationalism brough us to instability from the cairo deal.
today we are facing another threat that is having the same logic of the arabic nationlism of the 60 and 70's
let s simply to explain:
nasser , then syria , arabic defeats, creation of the PLO , and exportation of the PLO to lebanon which brough lebanon destroying the lebanese equilibrium and leading us to the war we know through the fight with the second axes present in this region that was the pro american axis
today: egypt: muslims brotherhoods, iraq we know, bombing in jordan, and first official operations of al qaida in lebanon in january linked to zarkawi speech showing his will to enlarge the fight to syria and to lebanon, so against a risk of rupture of the current equilibrium if we consider the existence of the pro american axis as well today.
i dont want lebanon to pay the price of fights that do not concern lebanon. lebanon paid enough blood during the war for it.

who can be the targets of that rupture? if we re looking to iraq it s clear, moderated sunnits, shiits and christians. it s the key to understand now how to save the equilibrium.
one actor disappeared: the arabic nationalism, replaced by the fundamentalism because of the frustration of the arabic populations of the middle east because of the corruption, and mainly because of the arabic defeats and the non ability to conclude a real peace with israel.

this is why i believe that we need to put aside some politicians such as joumblatt or the LF as far as i cannot trust people that sold lebanon during the war.
i m beleaving that a coalition btw aoun and hariri is possible
and i m believing that we should libanese the organisations that are still under foreign influences in order to avoid frictions btw foreign interests on the lebanese soil.

how to disarm the hezbollah? lebanon doesnt have the army for it, and the american wont come,
we need to remove the reasons:
disarming the palestinians, let the lebanese laws being applied inside even the palestinian camps, it would be easy, a blocus by the army and leaving the civilians leaving theses camps.
negociation with israel, for peace
let me to here a small note. at least with the israelien we know what they want, the syrians manipulated the lebanese for 30 years without saying what they wanted. therefore i m trusting more the israelien ennemy that the syrian ennemy.
3 a strong state acccomplishing its duty to the civil population, competing with the hezbollah social services for its.
but also a state defending its citizen and here a small note again. it is because of the failure of the state to defend its population that in the beginning of the war the army of lahd was mainly shiit, but then it is because of the weakeness of the state to defend it civilians that the shiits created the hezbollah with the help of teheran even if they were usually closer of the iraq shiits.
it lead me to another point here.
we are having today the establisment of an iraq that is a counter balance on several points and i m enlarging the picture.
an arabic shiit iraq would be a threat to the gulf states as far as most of the population of the gulf states are shiits and arabs.
the oil fields in saudia has a shiit population
a iraq that is pro american and shiit is a threat to iran as it would decrease their influence on the shiits.
we can play that game but we cannot turn to belong to one axe or another as these tensions would be paid by lebanese blood if we are not aware of it .

taking in consideration all theses parameters would show u how unclear is the situation, would make u discovering as we say in france " de nouveaux rapports de force" and would lead u to reconsider many things

think global then focus on lebanon

(small note by the way, the 5 of feb, that sunday in iraq i heard about a fatwa from the ulema counsil and another one from sadr forbidding the attacks against churches in iraq, contraly to what happened in lebanon)

frencheagle said...

i ll just add here , yes lahoud must go , but we need a new electoral law reflecting better teh population

yes the syrian regime must be overthrow but we need a clear democratic transition as far as huddington says , democraties cannot do war when they are not threatened.
however if the syrian regime is overthrowed fast we would face the problem of an islamic sunnit regime in syria.
as far as most of the syrian governement were unstable and the instability was over when assad controled lebanon they would be pushed again to control lebanon.
we need to have a transition in syria that through a democratic process that avoids that threat.

Raja said...

Why Discuss,

Do not selectively hold the political elite accountable for their pasts. How can you claim that HA does not have Lebanese blood on its hands?

Do you know from where I heard the term "Hizb el Shaitan" for the first time in my life? It was an Amal fighter who was speaking to the camera while under bombardment from Hizballah guns.

What about the liberation of the South? It is true that there was a national consensus that supported Hizballah, but underneath that surface of consensus certain people were saying that "the war of liberation" was also the extension of the Lebanese civil war for another 10 years?

C'mon man!

Let me tell you this: I don't need Hizballah to have "clean hands," it has my admiration because it is not as corrupt as the rest of the political class and it is a modern political party with an ideology.

However, I will never allow those attributes to overshadow two very disturbing facts about Hizballah:

1. Existential: IT IS A RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALIST PARTY. That is a big NO NO for me.

2. Strategic: It has taken the strategic decision to defend Syria and Iran at whatever cost to Lebanon.

Hence my wrath

why-discuss said...

Raja.. Iran has a huge army with 8 years of experience of war against Saddam Hussein. Remember Saddam was then the hero and the good friends of all western countries and of all arab countries,(except Syria and Lebanon) and they supported him in all ways, despite his use of poisonous gaz on the iranians etc... Are you saying that Iran needs that tiny group of Hezbollah with some khalasnikovs to defend them? Defend from what????
Syria has an army and Iran as its ally, why would the Hezb defends them?
Yes, I agree that a religious ideology is not the best we can hope for Lebanon, but as long as this ideology can open up and evolve into more secularism, I prefer that to the failed arab nationalism and the new threatening sunni islamic fundamentalism creeping in. Lebanon cannot become a full secular state! Its geography make it impossible. Israel is a religious state and if the Baathism fall, Syria will become a sunni state, Saudi arabia is a theocracy etc.. We can only choose the least dangerous and my opinion is that Shiisme is the most progressive form of Islam and it may adapt to the lebanese reality. For me the proof of this is the Aoun-Nasrallah alliance. I really hope that Hariri joins them soon, and then we will have a triumvirat of three religions that may lead Lebanon to stability.
Unfortunately I still think Jumblatt (fearing to be left in the cold with his druze community) and the old sunni and maronite guard will try to sabotage in any ways possible this possible alliance. My big worry is that Hariri junior is still naive and Jumblatt a very savy demagogue and manipulator.
Time will tell...

frencheagle said...

@ why

mostly agreeing

anyway the pb since we re inside a parlementary system, the real person to oust out from the system is berry and not lahoud as far whose is in control of the parlement is the real power in lebanon. lahoud was and is still a puppet but the real 5th syrian column in lebanon which is hidded is berry.
i m really wondering why the future movement is not politically targeting that guy.
"always more easier to target the weak then the strong"
we saw how he made the vote for a new electoral law failing last year which leaded to the situation we re having now.

i would add one thing, maybe with a pro american shiit iraq there are possibilities to swith the hezbollah from an alliance with iran with an alliance with iraq

if we re having a global view for the current situation in the middle east we see how the american are playing the game of iraq as a new equilibrium state btw iran shiit and the gulf states that are sunnits.
it might be a way to get ride of the threat of the islamic fundamentalism mainly represented by al qaida but also by the forms of the muslims brotherhoods that might tk power in syria when the current regime will collaps.

as was noticing the magazine jeune afrique in french
"Ils souhaitent que le pouvoir en Syrie revienne le plus vite possible aux sunnites, qui représentent la majorité de la population, afin de contrecarrer la montée en puissance des chiites en Irak. C’est pourquoi ils ont soutenu, il y a quelques semaines, un autre transfuge du Baas : le sunnite Abdelhalim Khaddam. "


i m disappointed by the future as i m feeling they are missing
1- the changes that the middle east is passing through right now
2- the real target they need to target to get that country on the right trail.

maybe the use of the hezbollah might bring down berry.

Raja said...

why discuss,

The strategic value of Hizballah to Iran is its proximity to Israel. Do you remember the Cuban missile crisis?

Why do you think the Americans and the Russians almost destroyed the entire Earth back then? Was it because Castro had this awesome army that could invade America??? No!

It was because Cuba allowed the Russians to use it as a launching pad for medium-range nuclear missles! Had the United States allowed the Russians to use Cuba, the whole balance of power between the US and Russia would have tilted significantly to Russia's favor. Reason: At the time, the US had many more ICBMs than the Russians. Cuba would have eliminated that advantage.

Don't you see the same senario with Iran today? Iran does have medium-range missiles that can hit Israel. But how many? Furthermore, what if Iran does not want to use missiles, but rather, a less aggressive form of violence, like maybe border skirmishes (just to send a political message). Does Iran border Israel? No!

So you see, Why Discuss... this is where Hizballah's value comes in to play. It really doesn't matter how large your army is... if you can't use it, why keep it?

frencheagle said...

/mdr sorry to interrup u guys but i have again something to say ;)

first of all, during the time of the cuban crisis, Russia had about only 80 rockets , R7 types but the US one where not sooooo reliable as well.
the US were counting more on their bombers but this is another story, but it was just to show that it wasnt a problem of rocket. it wasnt really a problem of balance of power as there was a compensation.
it was more the problem of the soviet union (and not the russian) to play in the backyard of the US and therefore a psychological war, "the communists are on your door"

second thing, today it s not about rocket anymore but abilities to protect yourself from rockets.
if iran fires, u have a laps of time to react, and israel has i think today the abilities to destroy theses rockets as far as they are balistic.

i really dont care about iran rockets: they are lacking of accurancy, since they are not nuclear, since they do not use GPS etc... therefore there is a huge percentage of error to reach targets etc... they dont ve any military impact as the hezbollah has as they are closer.
and anyway even the hezbollah doesnt has rockets with a high accuracy.
we are coming back to the problem of:
"hey guys, the hezbollah is knocking on your door" which has huge psychological effect on the israeliens.
and anyway the israelian "need to feel threatened" , i m refering here to that book : "les mythes fondateurs d israel" dunno if u have read it

besides that and a remark here:
the hezbollah is not an army, they dont have armored vehicules, they are a guerrila type good to defend a territory that s all
by the way the hezbollah is estimated to have btw 70 000 and 90 000 people that followed a training, among them 15 000 regularly trained, more then the lebanese army anyway.
which goes into the psychological part of that war

frencheagle said...

forgot to add
where iran military's power is important is on the leverage they can have through the gulf states by influencing the shiit population is are majoritarian in theses countries, by blockng the ormuz detroit, by attacking the US
by therefore taking a serie of measures that would threaten the american and occidental interests and indirectly therefore threaten israel

EmirBachir said...


I would be happy to hear some of your ideas as to why you are against FM.. I think there are a lot of people in Lebanon who jump to a position and they defend it tooth and nail without even giving others a good explaination of their position..

so, frencheagle.. did you leave FM to join Aoun? Or what? I am curious and would love to hear more about your reasons.. i am very serious.. this is why we are here on the blog..


Cherif Zein

frencheagle said...

@ cherifzein
i dont like living on illusions
i think i already posted somewhere on this site why so let me copy paste it again
about the future mouvement and rafic hariri:
Hariri wanted Syria out from the beginning"
he lead 5 government during 12 years of the 15 years after the war, he could have been declaring that the syrian have to go while he was the prime.
he didnt

"he was rebuilding the war torn country, in everyway,to put it back on the world map"
i think he commited several HUGE mistakes.
i dont mind having 100 billion dollars of debt if the return on investment is higher then the service of the debt.
first mistake and this is why by the way lahoud mandate was extended till 07, since in 07, lebanon would have to reembourse 5 billions of dollars they dont have.
Paris 2 saved lebanon the fisrt time but in france chirac was in power, in 2007 he would leave the office and sarkozy that was opposed to this deal might be in the office.
look to the central bank reserves, remove the foreign countries reserves, remove the foreign note required reserve from the central bank, they net reserv can be estimate to be around 1 to 1.5 billions, let say 2 max. lebanon is in bankrupcy from long time but they are not saying it. they can still swap but due to the country risk and the risk of failure we ll have more interest to pay.
per capita, if we re including the debt the governement has and the amount of money du to the hospital, due to the entrepreneu, the amount of money that for exemple the MEA is having toward the hospital etc.... we are not having 38 billions of dollars but maybe 45- 50 billions , which make us the highest debt/ per capita of the world.
however, the second mistake saved us to face the consequences of the first mistake. he pegged the lebanese pound (LP) to the dollars and not to a basket of foreign currencies that reflect the lebanese balance. he also and this is worldwide illegal forced the lebanese banks to deposit a required reserve on their foreign currencies. why illegal? because the central bank of a country cannot legaly oblige the bank to deposit the currency of another country, by doing so he removed the pressure of the lebanese point... for the moment , but due to the gap btw real exchange rate and nominal exchange rate we ll face a problem at one time of another (this is what happened in argentina by the way when the governement forced the dollars to have a certain value we saw the effect of the argentina crisis in 2001)
i dont know if u re hearing about the basel ratio etc.. and hearing how great they are in lebanon.
for me it s a bad news as long as if they are so high it is not a symbol of quality but a symbol of risk, showing that if the LP collapses, the financial sector would this time be severely damaged, nearly destroyed.
why groups like BNP, like citybank, like goldman and sach etc... do not buy lebanese bank if they were so efficient?

third mistake: he bet lebanon as a touristic country, but our situation on the map is clearly showing we are a risky country where any kind of threat would lead to a touristc season failure

he didnt rebuild the basement of the country, he just build a illusion as far if we re going to deeply analyse what is going on, how the things can turn to be etc...
we are not paying yet the price of the mistakes he commited on that point of view, but when it ll be time, it will be very bad for the country.

at the time of hariri we should have been privitising the telecom, we should have been a real exchange rate reflecting the real value of the LP.

the only advantage he got was to introduce the cell tech which was representing about 10% of the GDP, to rebuild downtown, and the global infrastructure, telecom even if he failed in the electrical sector.
but today this is more then 10 years ago, we need to build lebanon with today's instruments and not yesterday instruments. we need high speed internet, i m sorry but the DSL is a joke when u re considering only 3000 people would enjoy it in beirut in the first phases, that lebanon has only 3*45 mega/s of link to be connected worldwide. we are lacking of today's infrastructure because he missed to see what are today's need yesterday.

i was about to open a company that would have been employing around 50 persons, i was in contact with foreign companies to outsource their stuff here. Gosh DSL exists in philipine for about 5 years, madagascar has it. the deal wasnt done because we missed to offer such service.
we are not on the world map, we are aside of the world map otherwise dont you think that most of us would stay in this country instead of leaving?

i m not for anyone but i m judging the actions of the people from another point of view, i like to critize everything till i m clearly seeing what was hidden to most of us.
if u re saying to be it something is white, i would tell u it s blue for ex, till u re prooving me it s white or til u re discovering by yourself it s gray.

let me tell u one last thing, 6 years ago i was working for the weekly of a well know organisation, dealing with confidendial datas etc.. and aside writing articles for that weekly, many of the articles were refused:
they were true, they were exposing forecasts but due to the structure of shareholders they were not published.
since that day i m doubting of all the informations we read in lebanon, and today i m truefully do not believe in anything i m hearing as far as my sources are telling me things very different that what we re hearing in the lebanse media and theses sources are convergent.
i m just feeling there is something wrong

i m feeling they are not adopting the right strategy to deal also as well with the current issues
it s not a puppet we need to oust it s the real center of the pro syrian regime in lebanon if we re having a problem with the pro syrian regime, since we are in a parlementary system, therefore it s berry
in lebop blog i ve put that :
"by the way, i heard few days after that hariri was killed in a jewish media when i was in france that hariri proposed to the hezbollah to switch the sunnits from Prime minister place to chief of parlement and vice versa. i dont know if it s true or not, usually jews are very well informed but no confirmation was done
it made me remembering that usually people see the disadvanges of what they have and advantages of what they dont have.
i believe now we are just in another type of dicture where the center of power is not in the hand of the prime minister, not in the hand of the president but in the hand of the chief of parlement.

when they want to oust lahoud from office, i agree but i m saying that it s better to have first a new electoral law, a new governement really representative of the people and then a new president etc...
but i m afraid also that the people, this mob asking for lahoud to resign are just missing the real target which is berry , whose is the main pro syrian power for the moment inside the lebanese administration for the reasons i exposed before"

i guess we are going to know many changes in Lebanon reflecting the changes in the equation of the equilibrium in the middle east,
if lebanon was free it wasnt because of rafic hariri's assassination, his death was the catalysator of events that were anyhow going to happen, his death just accelerated the changes concerning lebanon. But the events were already planned from the american invasion of iraq and here i have to say i didnt see them and i was against the war, but now i m turning to be with that war.
i had a convergency of interest with the FM but right now i m having another analysis of the situation that Lebanon is passing through when i m enlarging my vision to all the middle east

i m feeling they are attacking the weak lahoud simply
and by who to replace him ?
i ve putted on lebop blog this answer
" boutros harb? i m against. i didnt like him to call my dad begging him to
vote for him or not to vote at least against him. it s not a presidential
i would love him as a personal interest to be president but i wouldnt love
him to be president as a general interest of lebanon, i want someone with a
stature of president.
nassib lahoud: he explained to the world by being the ambassador of lebanon
in the UN why the syrians had to intervene and this is a major black point
in his carrier.
nayla moawad, i would say yes but since bahia hariri wasnt appointed as a
prime i dont think they would accept a woman to be present.
aoun, bad politician he doesnt explain the current geo political game were
lebanon stands currently but a good strategist.
samir franjieh , same then aoun bad politician, good analysis of the
situation but there s a minus: he is like to polemic and as a president i
dont see him to be impartial.
ghattas ... well 5 millions for the house of the doctors , that costed in
the end 20 millions .
samir geagea, unacceptable for the majority of the arabic countries"

i choosed to be pragmatic in my choice from the program the person want to apply and the kind of guy he is
i m voting for program and not for a person but i m looking to the person to see if he is able to handle the program he s proposing

so 1th parameter: program
2nd person

seems u re not having that kind of logic in mind, it s called MATURE democratic choices"

and besides all that i believe that i got a convergency of interest to oust the syrian out but today the pb is not an agonising syrian regime but by what to replace it. and i see the fanatism increasing in the region
i see according to many foreign media that the saoudian would like to have a sunnit in the head of syria and this is why they pushed khaddam, i saw yesterday or i read that khaddam contacted the muslim brotherhood.
i know the future's link with saoudia
i know from historical fact that that guy was the one who lead the syrian policy in lebanon and manipulated everyone including hariri and we know the link with hariri family
i would be extremly preoccupied if we re having an islamic regime in syria which would always have the objective to control lebanon as a matter of survival (as far hafez al assaed stayed so long in place as he was controling lebanon)
and i would extremily bothered if we have an alliance btw khaddam and the muslim brotherhood

enlarging now the picture: a pro american shiit iraq as a balance btw Iran chiite but persian and the arabs states which are sunnits.
Lebanon already paid the price of such tensions by a war and the irruption of the arabic nationalism.
lebanon doesnt have to belong to any axis nor saudian,nor american, nor iranian , nor syrian , lebanon doesnt have to be arabic and to be occidental , lebanon needs to be lebanon and when i see the future people links with saudia, when i see joumblatt talking about the arabism
i m having a problem with it

we dont have as well the army to disarm the hezbollah, if we are using the pressure we are extremising it, it s better therefore to dialogu and since the shiits in lebanon were closer to the shiits in irak before the islamic revolution in iran,

frencheagle said...

(very long comment :s)

why-discuss said...

Lebanon is an immature and weak country in all regards, a weak army, a sectarian divided society, petty politicians, weak technological development, unexisting long term plans etc...
What Lebanon is strong at: short term opportunism to make money and show it, loud voice to criticize the others and to call for help, strong capacity of hating and taking revenge, amazing gossiping skills..
Surrounded by 'friendly' countries that only want to help, like Israel or Syria, I do not see it having a chance to get straight soon. It will go on as it is now with ups and downs and thousands of educated lebanese emigrating as it has always been...
Pessimistic view.. I am not sure

frencheagle said...

what s make me very pessimistic is not about lebanon itself, it s about the whole region and i dont believe that the current politicians in power are dealing well with the actual challenges the region will pass through