Monday, October 22, 2007

Hizballah's Run Around

Not to take away from the issues that Lebanese people should be discussing (i.e. the presidency), but I just had to highlight this propaganda maneuver, given all the zombie-like coverage it has received.

On Thursday, the pro-Hizballah pro-Syrian Lebanese daily As-Safir (which likes to describe itself as left-leaning despite its support for an autocratic dictatorship in Syria and a theocracy-inspired fascist-fundamentalist paramilitary group in Lebanon) reported, based on unidentified sources - of course, that the agents of Satan in the US had plans to build a military base (and Air Force base to be exact) in northern Lebanon.

Now despite the absolute absurdity of the idea (check this comments section), the story made its rounds on the blogosphere and the mainstream media. By Friday morning, however, the U.S. Embassy; the Lebanese Government; and the head of the Lebanese Army had all catagorically denied the claim. By Sunday, the Hizballah media machine had kicked into motion and the finger-waving proclamations and unabashed threats had begun.

Of course, despite all the claims (and the finger waving) we soon find that it wasn't, in fact, the alleged U.S. base that was the real target of the attacks, but the negotiation of an Army re-training and re-armament program between the US and Lebanon. A re-armament which is rumoured to be receiving significant regional and international support; and a re-armament that would do away with Hizballah's pretext for its own bases of foreign (read Iranian) influence in the country.

The finger-waving continues to today - of course, and all the meantime negotiations of another kind are ongoing. Who do these guys think they're fooling?


  1. Anonymous9:07 PM


    Good post as usual.

    I have one comment. After all the media hype and frenzy that hizbteezee is able to generate dies down, exactly when will the government (IN THE THE FORM OF THE PM not retards like Suleimen et al) actually come out and make a statement that essentially sets the real FACTS on the table.

    As a pure observation, this nonsense gets out of hand because the usual checks and balances that exist in other countries don't exist in lebanon. For instnace, the media in lebanon play a sort of unobtrusive role...they don't want to "bother" anyone you know? They are like the pesky mother in law who stays quiet because she is staying in your house. So they write these inane articles that are really akin to morning traffic reports and which lack substance or analysis. Most times it is left to the the bloggers to disseminate information and get the real NEWS out. Unfortunately, they are doing more damage to the country and the people than anything hizbteezee can create.

    In any event I have a few points I would like our PM to make in his statement on this alleged US base.

    1. To whom would the base belong
    2. Confirm that no american military operations will be allowed out of the base
    3. The only US personnel present would be advisors and trainers not active combat soldiers
    4. Personnel from other friendly coutnries ie france germany canada england etc will be joining their yanqui buddies at the lebanese base to assist in training etc
    5. will those other friendly countries also be sending us arms and equipment
    6. why is there a need for such a base in the first place
    7. how long will the process of training etc last
    8. what type of equipment would the army expect to receive
    9. The base is sovereign lebanese territory and in addition represents the national security interests of lebanon and its people. As such any attempt by any party ie Hizbteezee to attempt to jeopardise the base and/or its personnel will be met with deadly force.

    We stupid people on the streets would like to hear from our government...once in a while.

    ayesh lubnan


  2. Thanks Shunkleash...

    ...but there is no base...whatsoever...that was all As Safir.

    As for the gov't...yeah Siniora has been off the radar for at least a couple of months now. I think he's pretty much had it!

    In any case, Fatfat (and I think some other ministers - Aridi maybe?) issued denials on behalf of the gov't.

  3. Blacksmith Jade,

    Glad you liked my blog but a little surprised. I have read your blog off and on over the past year and I don't think our political opinions overlap very much. Having said that, not being an ideologue, I like to read and learn from opinions I disagree with as much as those I agree with. I will ladly gadd your blog to my list of Lebanese blogs.

    Like the redesign by the way, especially the banner photograph.

  4. Thanks Abu Kareem, I got the pic from Lebanese Lobby which has a huge photos archive thats been there far longer than any other features now on the site (as far as I know).

    Don't worry, I get that reaction a lot. The truth of the matter is that I like to seek out blogs with opposing opinions because it allows for a dialogue to be created and provides us and our readers with alternative views from what we ourselves put up.

    In any case, thanks for the link, I'll put a reciprocal one up now!


  5. caught in the web of their own lies, now they have to create windmills for them to tilt at.

    Still, that does not mean they cannot "bite"; they need to do little to convince a captive audience who will believe anything Nasrallah spews, and the next two weeks will be tricky. Very tricky.

    Expect them to pre-empt us, if it looks the election is going to result in anything but a Syrian poodle.

  6. True Blue1:39 PM

    This reconciliation between Amine Gemayel and Aoun is worrying because now the Syrians will have to kill someone to stop the elections.

  7. Arabic Coffee Pot2:19 PM

    It looks like Sulieman Franjieh is doing some pre-empting of his own...

    ..."fearing" more assassinations that will undermine the rapprochement between Syria and Turkey and Syria and France...

    ...Translation: Franjieh is trying to preempt the blame thats going to go against Syria when they kill next!!

  8. Anonymous8:24 PM

    and Hezbollah will help kill the next like they helped before!

  9. Sometimes, I find, things need to be repeated in a different tone, just in case the point wasn't accurately made the first time around:

    Its a propaganda game. Hizballah can't come out and reject the US offer of military aide (in the form of training and weapons-upgrades) to the Lebanese Army - that offer, by the way, is the only real offer, no mention of "bases" is made anywere - so what do they do? They create this whole "base" game (oh and add to it a dash of Seymouresque mystery by choosing a base close to where the Army fought down Syrian-linked Sunni radicals), they leak it in a paper with which it has close ties, they then attack that story and any appendages to it, such as the US helping the Lebanese Army.

    Why would Hizballah do that? Because the weakness of the Lebanese Army is the only domestically-accepted pretext under which it keeps its weapons. If the Army were to obtain a weapons-upgrade and training, if it were transformed into an effective fighting force, then Hizballah would lose much of its domestic support for its weapons - which, by the way, it uses based on an Iranian-inspired foreign agenda.

  10. If you're still not convinced, hear it in Abu Kais' words:

    Click Me!


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