Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Reality Bites

Lies, Damn lies and …

Main Stream Media.

I wuz wrong, truth is not the first casualty of war; it is the first casualty of the bias in the Media. As we were “discussing” the latest events, J-U pointed out to me how the news headlines differ among the media;

Mostaqbal Newspaper, aka Hariri: "The [Hezb] government is besieging Lebanon"

Future TV, aka Hariri: "5 dead from Mostaqbal"

Euronews: "5 dead from [Hezb] riot"

LBC, aka “LF-ish”: "5 dead from Lebanese Forces"

New TV, aka “I Still Hate Hariri”: "5 dead: 1 from LF, and 4 from Tayyar"

Which leaves us with a total of 15 dead; 6 from LF, 5 from Mostaqbal, 4 from Tayyar, and no Lebanese killed…. Actually, it appears that newTV happens to be closer to the truth this time; there were more than 8 killed and at least 150 wounded. Some of the wounded were not better off than the dead, and a few may rejoin their ranks as time goes on…

And the (deeper) truth behind all this? Well, it is a bit more convoluted, with many facets;

The Limits of Freedom

First, the facts, in my humble, yet accurate, opinion:

1- A Person’s freedom stops at the gate of another One’s Freedom. Simple. Which means that you have the right to demonstrate, but you do not have the right to obstruct me. So no burning tires, even if the big chief decides that it is “legal”. And get out of the private property you’re occupying, or start paying rent.

2- La continuité de l’Etat. The state must go on, and its actions should not be impeded; in that sense, the army and/or the police where under the obligation to remove the barriers and make sure the state of law was upheld. What with those water cannons anyway? Those that were not there… It is in the vacuum left by the security services that the militias poured in.

3- Whether you think Siniora is a crook (who isn’t?) and Hezb are saints (righ), the timing is suspicious, to say the least. Whatever the merits of HassAoun’s proletarian message, those actions only turn Lebanon into a message. No, not the one meant by the late Pope Jean-Paul II.

Message to the Saudi; Behold my Flaming Tires

We are the second part of extortion message from Iranians to Saudis;

Part 1; Mary at ExitZero had pointed out an “interesting” piece on AsiaTimes, where Kaveh L Afrasiabi, simply proposes that “the Lebanese crisis be resolved amicably with the reapportionment of cabinet posts more proportional to the balance of political forces in the country, as favoured by not just Hezbollah but also by certain Christian leaders”. The message was noted earlier, and came on the heels of earlier hints by Ali Larijani, but it had little “positive” reaction.

Part 2; The little barbeque of tires. So You think Iraq was bad? Wait till you see Lebanon. And we ask for so little in return, only want a bigger share of the pie. And now, Prince Bandar bin Sultan is talking to Ali Larijani in Tehran, maybe cooking some sort of deal that excludes Aoun, of course… Even if they do, events will catch up with the deal; the dead can’t reproduce, but they sure do multiply

Message to the West: Si Paris m’Etais contée

The events were only the second part of extortion message from Iranians to the West. Here we should note that Hezb likes the money, but not the strings attached to it;

Part 1; UNIFIL is often reminded to “mind its own business” and to stay out of Hezb’s way. I am sure those villagers were only concerned about Spanish spies; those devious Spaniards invaded us before… No wait, in spain, weren't we the invaders?

Part 2: We can screw up your planned “recovery”. Not that the reform package was great, but the timing there is “blatant”… The Paris conference started on Wednesday; the airport road was opened just in time for PM Siniora’s trip. Was Hezb playing close to the edge, or did he relent in the face of more muscled arguments?

We’ll see this weekend, on the PM’s return from ParisIf he can.

Facts are stubborn things…

Kinda like electrons, facts speak for themselves. Kinda like electrons;

I cannot prove that electrons exist, but I believe fervently in their existence. And if you don't believe in them, I have a high voltage cattle prod I'm willing to apply as an argument on their behalf. Electrons speak for themselves.”

Facts, also shock; They Bite...

Follow-Up (Jan. 25th, 2007);

Thanks to Fubar for pointing this out; it seems that “Oil traders and others believe that the Saudi decision to let the price of oil tumble has more to do with Iran than economics”, and that “the Saudis are not doing this alone, that the other Sunni-dominated oil producing countries and the U.S. are working together”. With that in mind, then Prince Bandar may rather be in Tehran to read them the riot act, rather than make a deal.

To be sure, pressure seems to be mounting on Iran, in another development (H/T Fubar, via AbuKais), “The government of Bahrain has decided to close its borders to Iranians, starting from midnight Tuesday”. Either Bahraini Rulers maybe concerned that their majority Shiite population, or they are acting in conjunction with their Wahhabi brethren in Saudi Arabia. It should be noted that the Khalifa Dynasty that rules Bahrain since 1783 are essentially “interlopers”, who took over the area after being kicked out of Kuwait

So it appears that I may be wrong to assume a “deal” is the works. Either way, whether the Saudis read them the riot act or not, and whether the Iranians may truly be weakening in the midst of all the bluster in front of the gathering storm, those who expect Hezb to fade quietly into the night are in for some disappointment. The Iranians will not so cheaply give up the Crown Jewel of their terror network.

Follow-Up (Jan. 25th, 2007 - Part Deux);

Putaing, Ca recommence; them fan de peute is back at it again, creating more distruption with a littel help from their friends... They must really hate Paris.

Now where is that home made Arak?

Follow-up (Jan. 26th, 2007 - Part X);

The Final words in this farce belong to the Economist, a better Journal than most;

They see the events are linked to the "the peculiar make-up and intractability of the opposing forces";

"Mr Siniora’s coalition includes Druze and Christian warlords, much of the business elite and the bulk of Sunni Muslims, including extreme fundamentalist groups that see more menace in Shias than in an alliance with America.

Hizbullah, aligned with and armed by Syria and Iran, and doctrinally loyal to the latter, has found allies in old-time leftists, Arab nationalists, Syrian-backed feudal lords and the Peronist-style Christian populists of Michel Aoun, a former general who led a bloody and quixotic revolt against Syrian forces during the civil war.

What is missing is a leader who might rise above the mudslinging."

End Quote. Anyone interested, please send resume.
Evita's need not apply.


fubar said...

I wouldn't count on any Saudi-Persian deal. It's Bandar representing the House of Saud. Bandar is there to explain the "facts" of life. The only way any deal would be reached is if Ahmadinejad sells Nas out. How likely is that?

BTW, how wonderfully smart of MSNBC to figure this out. Not like it wasn't laid out in the freakin' newspaper by the Saudis last month.

ghassan karam said...

Two observations Jeha,
(1)Are all the Lebanese TV stations simply mouthpieces for one political group or another? If I am right then I don't understand why would anyone want to get the news from organization that ware designed to be biased and that do not have any interest in the truth? No semblance of objectivity is to be found in Lebanese TV news coverage, not even in print.

(2)The current crisis cannot have a domestic solution since there are no Lebanese citizens in the state. It looks like the inhabitants of Lebanon have loyalties to a diverse set of ideas and beliefs but not to Lebanon.

(2a) Since most are agents then the timing for all of these major events; border skirmishes, war, demonstration ... are planned in advance and probably in cooperation with foreign intel services.

Jeha, I forgot to tell you a few days ago that the transformation of the sign for Hazardous nuclear waste int a Mullah was excellently done? What is the source of that ?

Jeha said...


I agree with your comments. The Cartoon of Mullah into waste, I have no idea... As I crawl the net, I pile things up in my "database", but not all (usually cartoons) is well documented as to provenance.

Thanks for the link. That was a very interesting read indeed. I usually do not read MSNBC all that frequently; I find them too CNN-ish for my taste. Some days, you can feel neurons failing when exposed to those channels.

ghassan karam said...

The recent decrease in the price of oil can be explained in terms of a number of fundamental factors but definitely the explanation will not be complete without the Saudi actions geared to decrease the ability of Iran to export its ideology through financing its agents throughout the region.Another Saudi target is Chavez who has become also a thorn that they would like to teach a lesson. Keep in mind that Venzuelan oil is essentially sour and thus needs a price of around $30 per barrel to be profitable.

There is no doubt that an oil price in the mid forties will crimp Chavez an Irans ability for mischief but the Iranian government has been using a $35 oil for its official budget.

Inspite of all of this I will have to disagree with you r, and Fubars', assessment regarding the Saudi-Iranian negotiations over Lebanon. I do not think that they are simply a reading of the riot act by the Saudis. Actually the Saudis had to resort to this policy of low pressure on oil because they have no other leverage over Iran. Tehran on the other hand can stooke trouble at will in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Bahrain and to some extent in Saudi Arabia. The question in my mind is whether the Saudi oil leverage is enough to make their positions credible vis a vis Tehran.
Unfortunately the Lebanese crisis will be resolved temporarily through an Iranian-Saudi accord under the old bankrupt formula of "La Ghaleb wa la Maghloob" (no winners and no loosers). HA will rejoin the cabinet, the militia will not be disarmed and Lebanon will have to postpone again finding out what it means to be a sovereign state. The Lebanese dream of sovereignty is just that. All outside parties will win and we will again be the loosers.

Pain said...

Despite all the lunatic bluster on the part of george W Bush the average America is quite concerned about an israeli attack on Iran as it relates to their gasoline prices.

Maybe Prince bandar is in tehran to give them the USA's ultimatum on their nuclear program among other things.

Love your site.

Stay safe friend!

fubar said...

PARIS, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is not negotiating with Iran to try to broker an end to the political crisis in Lebanon, but the two countries have exchanged messages about Muslim cooperation, the Saudi foreign minister said on Thursday.

Lebanese political sources said earlier this week that Saudi Arabia and Iran, backers of the main rivals in Lebanon's crisis, had been holding talks to try to reach an agreement that both sides in Lebanon could sign up to.

Asked about the reports, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said: "There is no initiative really."

Amir in Tel Aviv said...

"...Which leaves us with a total of 15 dead; 6 from LF, 5 from Mostaqbal, 4 from Tayyar, and no Lebanese killed".

I call this Jeha'ism at it's best.!

Blacksmith Jade said...

Jeha, its high time we exchanged blog links!

I've put a link up to your blog already. Keep up the good work!