Walid's Wanderings

Reflections on life, good-and-evil, family, humanity, and anything else that occurs to me, usually when I travel. Right now I am on a 6-year trip through Lebanon, the homeland I had never really lived in before.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I don't get it

I was busy when Hasan Nasrallah gave his speech, but I listened to a re-run later. I do not understand the bloggers who are angered by it - except if they only heard the snippets on CNN. The way I heard it, the guy was saying "I have proof that XYZ tried to kill me personally, and nevertheless in the intertest of preserving our nation for our chilrdern, I forgive them all and ask for a partnership that can best represnt the will of the Lebanese people." Of course he sounded angry when he described some of what his opponents did. The real message of the speech was how far this party has come since 1982. Their deep will to be an accepted part of the Lebanese body politic has wrought this change. This was helped enormously by the lucky coincidence that the first other Lebanese party to deal with them in a spirit of mutual trust and cooperation was the dyed-in-the-wool proponents of Eurpoean enlightenment though, the Free Patriotic Movement.

What I see on the other side is an unholy alliance of House of Bush and House of Saud, parroting the rhetoric of democracy and practicing paint-by-numbers hegemonic ideals. And of course an audience that remains confused by all the arm waving.


  • At 9/12/06 7:59 AM, Blogger La Lebanessa said…


    You kind of simplified things a bit didn't you? What he actually said was that March 14 were traitors who collaborated with Israel and that the war was their fault (ofcourse the war is everybody's fault except for his). For a man who doen't take insults well, he sure seems to dish them out easily. If he has proof , let's hear it. We don't need to be protected from the truth.

    Also you didn't comment on the fact that he indicated he knows he has already won the next elections and has already decided for us who the next PM is going to be. Ah... democracy the Hizballah way.

    In any case, I would be interested in what you thought of
    A) the army denying his accusations re Sanioura ordering them to stop weapons deliveries during the summer war (are they lying?)
    B) the Iranian foreign minister opposing the handing over of the Shebaa farms to UNFIL and prefering them stay in Israeli hands for the time bieng.


  • At 9/12/06 11:01 AM, Blogger Walid said…

    Hi Lebanessa
    I've been to your lovely blog and I appreciate your taking time to leave a comment.

    I was not there when the arms were taken, and I have read the rebuttal (on tayyar, ( here to be exact)but who said what when is not really the issue at the heart of the matter. I distinctly remember how most Lebanese including myself agreed with the classification of Hezb as a mitila that had to be disarmed under Taef, under 1559 an under 16whatever. The accusation that Siniora and Hariri, under the sway of the Bush administration, did not change their minds like many of us during Israel's bombing is not a hard one to believe. It's not as if there were accused of soemthing they did not say they wanted to do. That's my perspective. I have now marked the Saad Hariri coalition as completely lacking in credibility, and I do not feel I have to answer every one of their propaganda items.

    Meanwhile, you also mention Nasrallah's low tolerance for insults, fogetting that his loyal lieutenants were the ones who broke up the protest demonstrations against the comedy sketch. He knows full well how angry people gets, and he has spent his entire adult life urging the community that respects him to not channel their anger through violence. For that I respect him, and if he predicts that he will win the next elections, I add my voice to his: the coalition of honest politicians (Hezballah and Aoun, never mind the others) can win any fair elections in Lebanon today. Opinion polls give them 90% of Shia votes, 70% of Christian votes, and 10% or less of Druze and Sunni votes. Only massive pro-Hariri gerrymandering (or fraud) can give any other result. And if these fair elections are ever held, why would the leaders not be prepared to name a premier?


  • At 9/12/06 12:24 PM, Blogger La Lebanessa said…

    Dear Walid,

    The tayyar article is indicating that the army is lying to cover up for sanioura. I guess in the end it's who you believe, you believe Aoun, and I believe Sanioura and our country's Army.

    I wish you could explain to me how calling people traitors and Israeli collaborators is not escalating the situation. I think that's one of the worse insults you can give to a Lebanse. Tell me the truth do you really think deep down in your heart that Sanioura is an Israeli collaborator?

    You mention that when the LBC comedy sketch, and you are right, he did call for calm, but dare I say this isn't enough? Those who did the damage should have been arrested, maybe then they would think twice about repeating it.

    The probelm is that Nasrallah will not be crisized or insulted because he is a religous/political leader. This is a very difficult situation now where you can insult the other team (collaborators) but cannot be insulted (religous leader).

    About the elections, to tell you the truth walid, it's a little scary that you "know" you are going to win. Again I ask, what kind of democracy is this? You could at least say you "think" you will win the elections. You are making us all into liars and frauds if your side doesn't win, does that mean you will not accept the results of the elections unless you win?????

    PS you didn't tell me what you thought re the Iranian Foreign

  • At 9/12/06 1:02 PM, Blogger karlos said…

    Any comment on the Iranian foreign minister opposing the handing over of the Shebaa farms to UNFIL?

    la lebanessa,
    i have not heard this news. Can you cite a reference?

  • At 9/12/06 1:08 PM, Blogger karlos said…


    I suggest you allow all posts to appear as soon as they are posted, rather than filter them.

    1. dialogue becomes delayed and difficult.
    2. it makes your blog look censored, which is uncool and less trustworthy.

    Given the nature of the discussions, this is very important.
    If you're concerned about spam, use the word verification.

    Just an opinion.


  • At 9/12/06 6:43 PM, Blogger Walid said…

    Karlos - I followed your advice. I had initially set the comment moderation on becasue for a while over the summer war I was using the blog to get in touch with long-lost friends and some wanted email responses rather than leaving a comment.

    Iranians - Like Karlos, I did not hear the comment, but I did deal with it by saying "I do not feel obliged to debunk every piece of propaganda from parties that have proven themselves untrustworthy."

    Lebanessa - I do not see what you are worrid about: every sports team captain "knows" his team is going to win; it's what you tell your team before playing. Factually, it means "we have a 50-50 chance of winning, but we are going to try our hardest to beat them." For elections, polls predict winners much more accurately, and again no one complains if polls are used by anyone to predict election outcomes to 95% confidence. I say that Nasrallah's dismissing the 5% inaccuracy is simply in the spirit of a team leader, not evidence of autocratic leanings.

    About the article (now more than one) reprinted on Tayyar, my impression is that the Army the responsded that there were no orders given from Siniora to confiscate, which glossed over the point that weapons were indeed confiscated and that the decision to release them is not in the hands of the army but of the political leadership. So the basic fact is not in question.

    As for the treason thing, this would take a whole new post. Preview: I argue that the idea of "treason" as an unpardonable capital offense comes from ideologies like Nasserism, Bathism, and National Socialism. These ideologies are psycho-politcally Sunni and Nasrallah was using the terminology to address a Sunni audience. The actual policies of the opposition as at odds with the ideologies of all the bankrupt Arab regimes, and part of this ideology is forgiveness for the sake of pluralistic national survival. Hence the insistence that the other side will be given a one-third vote in any cabinet formed when the current opposition gets a parlimantary majority.

  • At 10/12/06 8:04 AM, Blogger La Lebanessa said…

    Hi Karlos,

    The comment on the Iranian Foreign Minister was in Sanioura's speech. The Iranians are denying it ofcourse, so again it comes down to who you choose to believe. I believe Sanioura, I would guess that Walid would chose to believe the Iranian Foreign Minister.

    Walid, I think if you want us to have converstaion, I would respectfully ask you to stop the "Sunni" references.You live in the middle East that happens to be predminantly sunni, which is why those movements were predominantly sunni though you fail to note that they also had a huge amount of non-sunni supporters (and rulers).
    Also it is very difficult to discuss anything with someone who dismisses any difficult point you put forward as propaganda. I could say the same about everything eminating from the M8's and then all discussion would stop because we all refuse to discuss each other's "propaganda".

    I'll say something though, you find Nasrallh "forgiving" I find him "condesending". We don't seek or need his forgiveness, we got along without it before and will continue to rest easy at night without it.

  • At 10/12/06 1:13 PM, Blogger karlos said…

    hi La Lebanessa,

    To be honest. In the absence of a good source, there is no base for discussing the allegation against the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

    I have lots of respect for Saniora, but just because he said it doesn't make it true. Same goes for Nasrallah. I have searched several news sites and have found no reference to this allegation. I am certain if the iranians did make such a statement, it would be newsworthy.

    It is not a choice of belieiving Saniora or the Iranian minister. It is about considering facts, truths.

    Instead of focusing on who is right, who is wrong, who lied the most and who is most trustworthy... i think people should be discussing how to reconcile the two sides, because both sides are valid. Both have merit, both have flaws.

    When this is over, they will have to work together.

    Thanks for considering my suggestion.

  • At 10/12/06 4:24 PM, Blogger Walid said…

    I respect and admire Siniora too -I f I had 16,000,000,000 US dollars I'd hire him too. I changed my telephone ring tone to the "Superman" movie theme for a whole year after Rafiq Hariri was killed because it felt like the death of Superman - a turn of phrase I used to explain things to my 4-year-old. Today, Saad Hariri and Walid Jumblat are leading the country into dictatorship and I vehemently oppose this. That's about as simple as it gets. As for the Iranian allegation, the Lebanese cabinet seems to have dropped the issue today. However, the reason I called it "propaganda" is not that I believed it to be a false statement (which is besides the point). If I said "I saw your neighbor going into a building where a well-known drug dealer lives, and I know that you and your neighbor are secretly lovers, so you must be a coke addict", it does not matter whether I did in fact see that person go anywhere. The insinuation that you are lovers and the jumping to a conclusion that the only place she could have been going was the one floor of the building where the opium den is located is what makes the statement propaganda as opposed to mere slander.

  • At 12/1/07 5:55 PM, Blogger Leafless Eve said…

    The proof of what La Lebanessa is saying about the Iranian foreign minister is actually pretty ironic.
    Remember when one of the Hizballa leaders went on TV and showed a paper from Saad Hariri? telling Hizballa to promise to disarm so the war could stop? (Which Hizballa viewed as something out of this world) Well, at the end of this paper there was something mentioned about Shib3a farms, and it said that the Iranian prime minister doesn't want to "deal" with this issue right now. It said something in Arabic, i forget the actual wording, but i remeber laughing cause it was on the same exact paper.
    what a joke...


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