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HizbAllah to sue Israel

Filed under:

Ibrahim Awada head of HizbAllah's legal department, revealed the plan last week on a Syrian television program devoted to "Zionist crimes against Lebanon." He said that each plaintiff will hire a lawyer in the country where he files suit, and HizbAllah will pay the lawyers fees.

So, let me get this straight, HizbAllah kidnaps Israeli soldiers yet HizbAllah is the victim. Instead of playing silly games the party should apologize to its fellow citizens that it brought war upon Lebanon. Shame on them!

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Abd al Bari Atwan: I will dance if Iran hits Israel

Filed under: Middle East

Abd Al-Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper told a Lebanese TV station that "If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight." Finally an honest Arab Muslim! It should not be a secret anymore that (some) Muslims use religion as a shield to justify murder especially when those targeted are Jews. Their real oppressor is not Israel. Palestinians should look at their own government (s) and the 'elite' that keeps them in misery and hide behind religion to achieve power&money.

"If Iran is able to retaliate, it will burn the oil wells, block the Strait of Hormuz, attack the American bases in the Gulf and, Allah willing, it will attack Israel, as well."

Bari Atwan founded the pan-Arab daily in London in 1989, and today the paper has a circulation of around 50,000. He is also a regular commentator on Sky News and BBC News 24.

As soon as we accept that terrorism is nihilistic rage unconnected with, and not a reaction to, any actions or policies on Jews/American part the better.

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EU way: Talk to Hamas

Filed under: Middle East

Representatives of three EU intelligence services have met with top Hamas leaders JPost reports. Why try to defeat Hamas (which is Muslim Brotherhood armed wing in Palestine) when you can talk to them?! EU is more and more like UN. And that's not a compliment. EU failed to convince Iran in three years to give up the nuclear project so how is this any different? It isn't. The fact that EU is willing to talk&negotiate with Hamas can only reinforce Islamists belief that all they have to do is scare us shitless and we'll beg (read: bribe) them to be nice again with us. The problem with EU strategy is that terrorists never abandon their goals. They might slow down for a while but not relinquish.

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Gul is Turkey's new President

Filed under: Europe

Abdullah Gul is elected as Turkey's 11th President amid warnings from the military over undermining country's secular constitution. In the third round of the election Gul received his own party AKP's 339 votes out of the 448 MPs present. The main opposition party CHP did not participate. Gul will take over the presidency tonight in Cankaya (the presidential palace) from Ahmet Necdet Sezer with a modest ceremony.

While massive celebrations are planned in Abdullah Gul's hometown Kayseri and other places, not all Turks are happy.

Read more about it here and here

update: Chief of Staff Yasar Buyukanit said that "our nation has been watching the behavior of centers of evil who systematically try to corrode the secular nature of the Turkish Republic". That means the army is not happy at all with Gul as President. We did not expect any less from the guardians of secular Turkey. "The military will, just as it has so far, keep its determination to guard social, democratic and secular Turkey." Glad to see the army is not about to surrender.

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Life in UK is unbearable for some

Filed under: Europe

England is Vanishing says Cal Thomas.

"Between June 2005 and June 2006 nearly 200,000 British citizens chose to leave the country for a new life elsewhere. During the same period, at least 574,000 immigrants came to Britain. This number does not include the people who broke the law to get there, or the thousands unknown to the government."

Why the exodus?

"They fear lawlessness and the threat of more terrorism from a growing Muslim population and the loss of a sense of Britishness, exacerbated by the growing refusal of public schools to teach the history and culture of the nation to the next generation. What it means to be British has been watered down in a plague of political correctness that has swept the country faster than hoof-and-mouth disease. Officials say they do not wish to "offend" others."

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Iran shuts "Western" barber shops

Filed under: Iran

Iranian police closed more than 20 barbers shops in the capital Tehran. At least 700 barber shops were inspected during the two-week crackdown, according to BBC. I'll be damned! The mullahs now see men coiffure as anti-Islamic and pro-West!! Mullahs acts are getting stranger, repressive (demented actually) by the day.

If you want to read&see how women are treated by the mad Mullahs check here. And here you can see how a woman is dragged into the police car by men of Allah.

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Dr Rice to visit Libya in October

Filed under: Africa

For the first time since 1953, the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit Libya. Dr Rice is to visit the country in October. The last US Secretary of State to visit Libya was John Foster Dulles.

US State Department sources explained that the visit, which had been planned for an earlier date, had been postponed for reasons connected to the progress of political reform in Libya.

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The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) the Asian NATO?

Filed under: Asia

"The Iranian weekly Sobh-e Sadeq, the mouthpiece of Iranian Supreme leader Ali Khamenei circulated among the Revolutionary Guards, called on Shanghai Alliance member countries to accept Iran as a member. Iran's membership, the paper said, would create a new regional strategic axis, to include Iran, Russia, and China - and this could reduce the West's political, security, and economic maneuvering ability in the region as well as in Asia." Trapped in the Middle East (basically America had a poor understanding of the tribal/feudal/religious type of conducting business of the Arab Muslims) the United States lost its stamina and to a certain extent lost direction. The result is that the Russian bear roars, Iran and Syria adopts the well known expression: "We must, indeed, all hang together or most assuredly we shall all hang separately" (Benjamin Franklin ); Venezuela and China will most likely take any opportunity to prove the United States that they too have the capacity of leading and changing the world. Which side will India and Pakistan eventually choose?

If you have the time I recommend an exceptional piece by Tony Corn, The Revolution in Transatlantic Affairs

More on SCO

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Suffering from thirst in Egypt

Filed under: Egypt

Life in Egypt is hard for most people. Lower middle class families have to live on $50, $70 per month. They cannot afford Evian! Egypt's economy seems to be on the right track (rising exports, real estate investors) but the beneficiary of this boom is the elite. The rich get richer and the poor poorer. There are few things that best describe Mubarak's government: martial law since 1967, institutionalized corruption, repressive security forces, poverty, unemployment and the restless run to jail the MB (Muslim Brotherhood) members&supporters. Accountability, social responsibility, political openness are not of interest for the current leadership.

Add to thirst hunger. People that get out of prison ask to be jailed again; not because they love to be tortured and imprisoned but because they cannot provide for themselves and their families.

In an interview with Al Arabiya.net Dr Najeh Ibrahim, a member of the Islamic Group Shura Council explained the situation as:"Some came out of detention forty or fifty years old. They hold high degrees but found life to be very difficult and discovered they had no job opportunities. None in the private sector agreed to higher them and some jobs require bribes. This has reached a point where it would cost 10, 000 Egyptian pounds (approx $1, 800) to get a job as a janitor in a mosque." Excuse me?? One needs to bribe to be a janitor?! What a great country Egypt is!

Five out of 26 governorates are currently suffering from thirst. For the first time in the history of Egypt people have taken to the streets to ask for water and have protested in front of the state's main directorates.

Read more about the water problems here, here and here.

Update: Mahdi Akef, General Guide of the MB told the Lebanese As Safir this week that the number of the MB detainees reached 550 people

P.S. I stand corrected (thanks Cynic) - Mubarak come to power in 1981. But since 1967 the emergency laws have been in effect almost continuously. After Saddat was assassinated (October 1981) the martial law took again effect in Egypt.

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Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me

Filed under: Palestine

EU decided to cease payment ($8.5 million/month) for fuel for Gaza's electricity supply, until Hamas confirms that funds will not be diverted to its administration in Gaza. There has been no electricity generated by the Gaza power station since Sunday. Of course we can trust Hamas because thus far it has been completely honest with the EU. The European Union realized that while Hamas did collect the money for the electricity instead of paying it, Hamas used the money for other purposes. After all why providing the community with electricity and not weapons?! Where is the outrage of the Gazans? They rejected Fatah because of its institutionalized corruption, then why not reject Hamas because of its ineptitude to deliver?

Hurrying to get to the maximum level of EU stupidity, the United States "will begin training Palestinian guards to protect officials visiting the Palestinian territories. As part of an $80 million American effort to improve security services in the Palestinian Authority, the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security will train members of Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian Presidential Guard, the primary aim of which is to improve VIP protection. " (The Media Line)

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Ahmadinejad: Israel Is Bearer of Satan

Filed under: Iran

From AP TEHRAN "Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday that Israel was the standard bearer of Satan and the Jewish state would soon fall apart"

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IRGC under close scrutiny

Filed under: Iran

In Iran as elsewhere the struggle between überradicals and radicals is for money and power. The religious discourse is mainly used for the masses. That is not to say that some of the mullahs do not believe themselves in Mahdi, apocalypse etc IRGC is involved in oil business in Iran, banking business in North Iraq and it helps HizbAllah in the South. They sure are busy. If the US will manage to designate IRGC as a terrorist entity all the foreign companies that may want to do business with it will think twice. It might look as a small step but its better than nothing. The civil unrest in Tehran (due to petrol rationing, poor economic development, lack of jobs etc) and in the provinces are a proof that people are far from being content with the present political leadership. The martyrdom speech still works for the most ignorant but not all are like that. If a military strike against Iran is unlikely (though not impossible) then the policy of small steps is the only available alternative. Read more about it here.

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France calls for the UNIFIL mandate extension

Filed under: Middle East

France has circulated a draft at the UN Security Council calling for the extension of the UNIFIL mandate in Lebanon and call for a permanent cease-fire and long-term solution to last summer's Israel-Hezbollah war. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the council to extend the UNIFIL mandate after Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora had sent a letter demanding for the renewal of the UN forces’ mandate for a year. "The swift and effective deployment of UNIFIL has helped establish a new strategic military and security environment in South Lebanon," Ban said.

The current mandate of the force comprising 11,428 ground troops, 2,000 maritime personnel, 185 staff officers and 20 local staffers expires on 31 August. UNIFIL troops along with 15,000 Lebanese troops were deployed along Lebanon's border with Israel in order to enforce the UN 1701 resolution.

Read more on UNIFIL here.

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Skill to create solutions needed badly in Lebanon

Filed under: Middle East

Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Sfeir announced yesterday that he is not against amending the constitution if the purpose was to rescue Lebanon. He told As Safir, "We are living in the heart of the danger, and when we talk about two governments, two presidents and two Lebanons, then we are in danger." He also said that if General Suleiman is the only available solution then he is all for it.

Meanwhile, the member of the Future coalition minister Ahmad Fatfat expects that a new president will be elected in November before the end of the term of president Emile Lahoud which ends on 24 November. Fatfat said "I believe we will have a new president in November. Maybe the elections will not take place on the 25 September but it will be a great achievement if the elections take place then."

The Lebanese parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri told Asharq Al Awsat that dialog and consensus are a must if a solution is to be found for the current stalemate situation. He said "the two thirds quorum is a reality now. All those who think of electing a president without the participation of the other faction, whether in the opposition or the majority team, are mistaken. This issue has been bypassed by history". He added, "in any case, no one knows who possesses the majority of 65 seats in the parliament any more". In what seemed to be a response to MP Walid Jumblatt statements, Berri replied without naming him that "those who went back to the quorum of a normal majority are weakening their own positions and trying to get reborn again"

Whether it will be the normal quorum of half plus one to elect a President as Jumblatt suggests or the two thirds quorum as Berri, Sheikh Nasrallah et comp want as long as the leaders are still meeting and speaking to each other there is hope. If and when that door closes we should expect to see worst coming to life in Lebanon.

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Truth or propaganda?

Filed under: Iran

Yahya Rahim Safavi, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday that Iran has "surface to sea missile systems that can cover the length and breadth of the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman."

Safavi also said Iran's missiles with a range of 2,000 km (1,250 miles) were fitted with equipment that enabled them to be remote controlled, an apparent reference to the Shahab-3 missile, although he did not name it. That missile could hit Israel. Apparently the Revolutionary Guards ground forces had missiles in its arsenal that could penetrate the armor plating which he said was fitted to Israeli Merkava tanks and the US Abrams tanks. (YNet news&Defensenews.com)

The mullahs regime said that the US publicly declared intention to designate the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist entity is merely a PR stupid stunt. Perhaps not.

Update:In an interview with the international Jam-e Jam network on 16 August, referring to the power and capabilities of the Guards Corps in different fields, Gen Safavi said that "the Basij Resistance Force has mobilized and trained 12 million Basij forces, which are active within 2,500 Ashura battalions. In Iran, we have also organized flat or mosaic defense. In other words, every village, every city and every place that has a number of people living in it, members of the Basij of that city or that location can defend their own territory."

"(...) we are in contact with all the Basij forces through five layers of electrical and electronic communications."

"At the moment, both in the field of ground-to-ground ballistic missiles with 2,000 km range, they have been equipped with the most advanced long-range guided weapons with multiple firing platforms. Safavi continued: "In the field of air defense weapons too, we have one of the most advanced defensive ground-to-air missile systems, known as Taur M1 missiles"

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Syria announced its choice for the Presidential chair in Lebanon

Filed under: Middle East

Surprised? Hardly!

Army Commander General Michel Suleiman expressed his willingness to head a transitional government if parliament failed to elect a new head of state before President Emile Lahoud term in office runs out in November, provided all sides accept his nomination.

A general who for years was a close ally and friend of the Syrian elite that ruled Lebanon groomed for Presidency? That is far from being a solution to the Lebanese political deadlock.

What good could he bring to the country? A military regime? He is not a compromise candidate; he is simply put a bad idea candidate. HizbAllah may very well accept him since he continues to be a distant (due to new circumstances) friend of Syria. He will not try or even bring the question of HizbAllah's weapons so whats not to like about him? Aoun and FPM cornered by its proSyrian (HizbAllah, Marada etc) allies will have little if anything to say about it.

March 14 will not happy at all but under a certain context might be persuaded to go ahead with this alternative because: 1) they would accept almost anyone expect Aoun, 2) HizbAllah proved to be a tough cookie and Sheikh Nasrallah will wittingly say, 'lets face it a military man looks better than two parallel governments' 3) going in circle - if they refuse this alternative and others that HizbAllah and Amal will come up with then it will be an open shooting season on all sides

The truth is that no one wants to go after HizbAllah the hard way as they should. For decades the mantra was - The hell with the laws and constitution! We don't want to upset HizbAllah. Fear of HizbAllah's weapons seem to have paralyzed the minds of March 14

Just to make it clear. If Suleiman will be President that means ALL Lebanese parties pro-Syrian, anti-Syrian or otherwise will trespass the Constitution which stipulates that "should the Presidency become vacant for any reason whatsoever, the Council of Ministers exercises the powers of the President by delegation". (hat tip Beirut Beltway)

And to top it all- Suleiman visited the Maronite Patriarch last week. Of course the visit took hyperbolic significance now that the General said he is the man for a coup d'etat.

Suleiman said that Fatah al Islam is linked only to al Qaeda not with Syria. Of course he failed to back up his comments with profs. Further more he ignored the fact that this terrorist group had a huge amount of heavy weaponry in the camp. Where did the arms come from? I think it is safe for now to rule out: 1) Hizb Allah 2) the army

The only logical conclusion is that the weapons come from Syria. But a good soldier is a loyal soldier. Taken in consideration that he made a career under Syrian occupation guess to whom is he loyal to? In the end, why not let the people choose the President they want? The Constitution has been amended before to suit Syrian interest so why not modify it to suit Lebanese interest for a change?

For more read Michael Young's brilliant piece here

Update: An interesting connection between Suleiman and HizbAllah here.

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HizbAllah celebrates (again) its "divine" victory

Filed under: Middle East

The July 2006 war HizbAllah started with Israel has only emphasized the fact that most of the rural, less educated, religious and largely ignored by the state Southern Shiias believe that their only objective in life is to fight till death Israel. HizbAllah is setting a dangerous precedent.The party ideologues (the most senior is Ayatollah Khomeini and in Lebanon Ayatollah Fadlallah) admitted long ago that the fight against Israel - the "enemy" will never be over. First the struggle was to protect those whom the state has forgotten; then it was about strengthening the Shiia sect position in Lebanon, later on it was the Shebaa farms argument and it did not stop here. The party claimed it cannot rest till there will be Palestine which implies that Israel will stop to exist. Perhaps no Jews either, but that the party did not openly admit, yet.

This mandate Sheikh Nasrallah is giving the Shiias to fight till the last breath the Israelis, the Americans, the Israeli-Americans allies in the region will bring to destruction the sect. It is true that Shiism is on the rise and taken in consideration the stupid policies employed by the West it has good chances to rise and shine for a while. But not for long. Sheikh Nasrallah should ask himself what comes after the "divine" victory?

Update: Read about HizbAllah's new video game.

HizbAllah is buying land from Christians surely for a good reason - can you guess it?

Ayatollah Fadllalah's wise thoughts on the Islamic Revolution. "Politically my primary objective is to see the Islamic revolution in Lebanon brought to fruition."

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Netanyahu won

Filed under: Middle East

Former prime minister and current Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected to the leadership of the party on 14 August 2007. Two other candidates stood in the election, Moshe Feiglin, of the far right Jewish Leadership group, and Danny Danon, who heads the World Likud movement. As expected, Netanyahu's victory was decisive. The former prime minister received 73.5% of the vote, compared to 23.4% for Feiglin and 3.4% for Danon. Voter turnout was relatively low, with only 39.4% of Likud members choosing to cast ballots.

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