Friday, August 18, 2006

And The Beat Goes On

Walid Jumblatt came across as quite erudite and logical in his speech earlier today, two qualities I have been unable to credit him with in the past. He pointed out most of the things that many Lebanese bloggers have been saying for a while, namely that Syria and Iran have been behind all the troubles, waging proxy wars against Israel and the US - Iran for its nuclear ambitions and Syria because Assad wants to deflect attention away from his involvement of the Hariri assassination.
He also called for the integration into the army of Hezbollah fighters and for the respect of the 1949 armistice agreement with Israel. I had to look that one up.

President Emile Lahoud, who has Assad's arm so far up his backside that it's difficult to tell where he begins and Syria ends, stated unequivocally that Hezbollah should not disarm, thereby rendering the highest post in the land about as relevant as lips on a chicken. Way to gauge public opinion, dude.

The army has started its deployment to the south, taking over key positions handed over to the UNIFIL by Israel. The deployment itself is a great move, although the army's mission there is still hazy as they have no clear mandate as of yet. Even the French are getting a little jittery about sending troops in with no clearly defined mission, which, considering their history with Hezbollah, is not surprising.

The government is still messing around with words as Saniora has changed his tack towards Hezbollah's weapons.
In earlier speeches he stated: "There shall be no other weapons in the south of Lebanon except those of the Lebanese Army."
That has now been amended to "no other apparent weapons." Apparently, Hezbollah get to keep theirs albeit under their jackets.

Saad Hariri, for his part, lashed out at Assad saying that Syria is trying to "steal Lebanon's victory." Mr. Hariri, I don't know if you were here for the fireworks but if that is your idea of a victory, then I would suggest that next time you let Syria have it.

MEA, the Lebanese flag carrier, along with Royal Jordanian landed their first commercial flights today at Beirut International Airport since the war began. It was apparently negotiated through Prime Minister Saniora's contacts but for the time being only flights to and from Amman are allowed. No word as to why this is but Jordan, along with Egypt, has a peace treaty with Israel and enjoys full diplomatic relations.
MEA chairman, Mohammad Hout said that any passengers turning up for the flight would travel to Beirut for free as well as not pay for the return leg.
No word on how many people turned up.

So far, so good.


ghassan said...

Another great poat Desmond.

Do you know of a way through which we can (some of us) let Walid Jumblat know that many support fully his efforts on behalf of a democratic Lebanese project?

IMBch said...

Just too scary to shut up!

If you read the news randomly, you read that:

1. Iran has just started Military maneuvers due to last “indefinitely” to test its military skills because of the situation in the Middle East
2. Syria has apparently started to remove mines from their side of the border on the Golan, and has massed some tanks
3. Syria has started since last June to enroll volunteer to form a Jihadist brigade to “liberate the Golan”
4. Hezbollah may be bringing into South Lebanon, under the guise of refugees returning home, a few thousands of fighters (Iranian – Syrian or Palestinian)
5. The 22nd of August is the date that Ahmadinejad said he would give his reply to the UN resolution on his Nuclear Program
6. The 22nd of August corresponds in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to "the farthest mosque," usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1).

What do you make of all this?

Would Iran strike Israel on that day with an Atomic weapon to:

• Show the world that they are member of the Nuclear Club
• That they have indeed annihilated Israel as they have promised
• Take the leadership of the Muslim world and embark on a Djihad against the west?

Guys, let me know your views / comments

desmond said...

Jumblatt's only consistency has been in opposing Hezbollah and I guess that is a good sign. I have no idea how to let him know though!

I don't believe Iran would ever risk extinction by directly firing a nuclear missile into Israel. They insist on deniability.
My worry is that it will make portable suitcase nukes and distribute them to every nut job with a grievance, perceived or real.

JoseyWales said...

if that is your idea of a victory, then I would suggest that next time you let Syria have it.

Great line Des, Syria can have the victory and the dead and the destruction any time, in my book.

ghassan said...

Desmond, I have already used three different times your take on this victory; if this is victory then please give it to somebody else. For the record though, each instance was accompanied by an attribution, no plagarism here:-)

desmond said...

If only it had happened to them...

I know you're no plagiarist!

Sean Piggott said...

Sorry I haven't been reading your blog for the last couple of weeks or so. I don't think we had realised you had taken it up again. Will let Graeme know.

Hope to see you, and ALL the crowd again soon for a BIG drink!

Take care, love to all.

graeme said...

great to see you posting again... enjoying the sarcasm..have watched far too much CNN for my own good recently.