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Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:50 PM

Hezbollah Unmasked

Excerpt:

Over the last decade, Hezbollah has worked assiduously to obscure its terrorist pedigree and convince the world that it is interested only in politics, providing social welfare services, and defending Lebanon. But it is an illusion to speak of Hezbollah as a responsible political actor. Hezbollah remains a terrorist organization and a destabilizing force across the Middle East.

Since 2011, the group has murdered civilians in Bulgaria, seen its activities disrupted in Cyprus and Thailand, and worked to plot attacks elsewhere. It is helping to prop up the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria; and it acts as a proxy for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in the region and beyond. In doing so, Hezbollah is putting the well-being of Lebanon and its people at risk.

Now that Bulgarian authorities have exposed Hezbollah’s global terrorist agenda, European governments must respond swiftly. They must disrupt its operational networks, stop flows of financial assistance to the group, crack down on Hezbollah-linked criminal enterprises and condemn the organization’s leaders for their continued pursuit of terrorism.

The United States applauds those countries that have long recognized Hezbollah’s nefarious nature and that have already condemned the group for the attack in Burgas. Europe must now act collectively and respond resolutely to this attack within its borders by adding Hezbollah to the European Union’s terrorist list. That is the next step toward ensuring that Burgas is the last successful Hezbollah operation on European soil.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/opinion/hezbollah-unmasked.html?_r=0

Thomas E. Donilon is the national security adviser to President Obama.

66 replies, 3798 views

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Arrow 66 replies Author Time Post
Reply Hezbollah Unmasked (Original post)
oberliner Feb 2013 OP
bemildred Feb 2013 #1
oberliner Feb 2013 #2
bemildred Feb 2013 #3
oberliner Feb 2013 #5
Alamuti Lotus Feb 2013 #37
oberliner Feb 2013 #43
holdencaufield Feb 2013 #4
oberliner Feb 2013 #6
delrem Feb 2013 #29
oberliner Feb 2013 #30
delrem Feb 2013 #32
shaayecanaan Feb 2013 #33
delrem Feb 2013 #34
delrem Feb 2013 #35
oberliner Feb 2013 #46
delrem Feb 2013 #49
Alamuti Lotus Feb 2013 #50
oberliner Feb 2013 #51
JoDog Feb 2013 #38
delrem Feb 2013 #39
JoDog Feb 2013 #40
delrem Feb 2013 #41
JoDog Feb 2013 #42
delrem Feb 2013 #48
Jefferson23 Feb 2013 #7
oberliner Feb 2013 #8
Jefferson23 Feb 2013 #9
oberliner Feb 2013 #12
Jefferson23 Feb 2013 #13
delrem Feb 2013 #14
Jefferson23 Feb 2013 #15
oberliner Feb 2013 #21
Jefferson23 Feb 2013 #23
shaayecanaan Feb 2013 #17
Jefferson23 Feb 2013 #19
azurnoir Feb 2013 #20
oberliner Feb 2013 #22
shaayecanaan Feb 2013 #24
oberliner Feb 2013 #25
shaayecanaan Feb 2013 #26
oberliner Feb 2013 #27
shaayecanaan Feb 2013 #31
oberliner Feb 2013 #47
shira Feb 2013 #28
bemildred Feb 2013 #10
bemildred Feb 2013 #11
shaayecanaan Feb 2013 #16
bemildred Feb 2013 #18
oberliner Feb 2013 #44
Alamuti Lotus Feb 2013 #36
oberliner Feb 2013 #45
shira Feb 2013 #52
Alamuti Lotus Feb 2013 #53
shira Feb 2013 #54
Alamuti Lotus Feb 2013 #55
bemildred Mar 2013 #56
Alamuti Lotus Mar 2013 #57
bemildred Mar 2013 #58
Alamuti Lotus Mar 2013 #59
Alamuti Lotus Mar 2013 #60
bemildred Mar 2013 #61
Alamuti Lotus Mar 2013 #62
shira Mar 2013 #63
shira Mar 2013 #64
Alamuti Lotus Mar 2013 #66
shira Mar 2013 #65

Response to oberliner (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:58 PM

1. Oh my. And here we thought they were such nice people.

I do think Hezbollah is not happy with current events, but then who is?

And I wonder whether Europeans will respond well to pressure, they seem to have trouble agreeing among themselves as it is, but I expect we can take this as direct from the source.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:06 PM

2. March 14, PSP slam Hezbollah activities in Syria

BEIRUT: March 14 officials and the Progressive Socialist Party leader denounced Hezbollah’s involvement in clashes in Syria Monday, while the resistance movement said its members had died defending villages inhabited by Lebanese Shiites.

Kataeb Party leader Amin Gemayel slammed Hezbollah’s involvement in the clashes in Qusayr, warning that interfering in Syrian affairs would endanger political stability in Lebanon.

Gemayel said Hezbollah’s practices in other countries were also harming Lebanese interests.

“Especially the meddling in Bahrain, Syria and Bulgaria’s affairs is harming Lebanon’s interests and stability,” Gemayel said after meeting with Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai in Bkirki.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2013/Feb-19/207007-march-14-psp-slam-hezbollah-activities-in-syria.ashx#ixzz2LIpqGlf3

This may help.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:19 PM

3. Sorry, I feel too gloomy to chat about Syria.

Just hard to see it doing anything but getting much worse, ethnic cleansing, refugees, the whole Yugoslavia thing all over again. It's got all the ingredients.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:21 AM

5. Understandable

Maybe that's why the sillier topics get the most back-and-forth around here. The more serious ones are too damn gloomy.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:54 AM

37. it's remarkable to see all these direct supporters of the Syrian armed opposition..

 

condemning alleged (and now, proven to be utterly false provocations on the part of the so-called "Free Syrian Army" terrorist movement) allegations about somebody else's involvement in Syria! All of the M14 parties mentioned in this piece have been running guns, money, and/or fighters into Syria since day six of the fighting (it took them almost a week to fix Hariri the Lesser's hair for the press pictures), but they're fulminating now? I'd call that hypocrisy, but it implies that they have some coherent principle in the first place.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #37)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 11:56 AM

43. How would you like to see this all play out?

What is your hope for the future of Syria?

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:40 PM

4. To be fair ...

 

... Hezbollah didn't put on it's own mask. Hezbollah has always been pretty forthcoming about how they feel about Israel and anyone who might side with Israel. No, that mask of respectability was put there by those who so desperately want to see them as freedom fighters against Zionist oppression that they are willing to overlook anything they do that might take away from that vision.

No matter how honest Hezbollah is about their true intentions -- there are those who will refuse to see anything but the mask.

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Response to holdencaufield (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 06:02 AM

6. Sometimes they do

Occasionally they try to position themselves as something other than what you've described here.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:22 PM

29. Golly, I wonder if there's anything in the history of Hezbollah...

Golly, I wonder if there's anything in the history of Hezbollah that might account for their antagonism toward Israel?

I doubt it! My mind is a blank slate to be written on by the latest feed, then erased and rewritten on by the next! And I figure that Hezbollah has a distaste for Israel because they're antisemitic terrorist subhumans, every one of 'em! And like the USA, that defender of democracy and human rights and the american way the world over, I'm not going to waste my time waiting for trivia like "evidence" before forming my opinion and demanding appropriate punishment - namely, the total extermination of Hezbollah and everything they stand for, and hopefully a return to the status quo that existed before that satanic force of purest evil entered the world.

So count me on the side of the purest truth and good.

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Response to delrem (Reply #29)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:35 PM

30. There's a lot actually

They were founded in response to Israel's war with Lebanon in 1982, and strengthened by subsequent battles between Israel and Lebanon thereafter.

Not sure how killing Israeli tourists in Bulgaria and attempting to do so elsewhere around the world helps the defense of Lebanon, though.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #30)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:32 PM

32. Not sure the conviction of Hez for those crimes is honest. But it is self-serving. n/t

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Response to delrem (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:21 PM

33. Its perfectly plausible that this was Hezbollah...

but obviously, what is publicly known at this time falls considerably short of anything that could described as proof.

Our pro-Israel friends have always struggled to apply a consistent standard of proof to incidents such as these.

In 2008, a group of fourteen people killed a Hamas supplier in a hotel room in Dubai. The Dubai police showed video of the participants to the killing entering the hotel room of the deceased, and later identified that all fourteen people were traveling on fraudulent copies of European, Canadian and Australian passports.

All fourteen passports were originally issued to people who were dual citizens of their respective countries of origin and Israel. High grade copies were produced, and photos substituted of the people that were to carry out the killing.

Both British intelligence and the Australian Federal Police investigated and determined that the Israeli government was responsible. However, pro-Israel groups cried foul, arguing that the evidence did not amount to proof of anything.



On the other hand, according to some financial lobbyist who landed the job of US National Security Advisor, there is no longer even debate on who was responsible for the Burgas attack:-

If not for the accidental death of the bomber, there would very likely still be a debate over who conducted this terrible attack. But the Bulgarian investigation has once again proved to the world what Hezbollah has tried for years to hide: that it remains engaged in international terrorist attacks against civilians.


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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #33)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:18 AM

34. True.

But without at least some solid evidence I'm inclined to be dubious, considering the huge stakes involved in assigning that guilt.

Consider the sentences:
"If not for the accidental death of the bomber, there would very likely still be a debate over who conducted this terrible attack. But the Bulgarian investigation has once again proved to the world what Hezbollah has tried for years to hide: that it remains engaged in international terrorist attacks against civilians."

1a. It's clear that the writer has an agenda - and the writer claims absolutely conclusive (overruling further debate) evidence.
1b. An objective reader might put his\her thinking cap on at this point.
2a. It's also clear that within moments of the bombing Hezbollah was targeted as the perp.
2b. Again, a thinking cap is in order - at any rate to the extent of acknowledging that those parties doing this immediate targeting might not have high standards w.r.t. what constitutes evidence (see 1b).
3. I'd like to see the actual physical proof that this ID was traced to a specific printer in Lebanon, and proof that this printer belonged to Hezbollah. That is, I'd like to see the actual printer presented to a court, the location where it was found certified, and conclusive proof that the document in question was printed on it and not, perhaps, on some other. Quite frankly, I doubt such actual physical proof exists.
4. Politics is *very* heavily involved in assigning guilt - that is, a certain already existing and extremely forceful political agenda benefits from assigning guilt to Hezbollah.
5. Something stinks about the US/Israel program to target enemies as "terrorists" and to talk/bully the world into assenting. Esp. in light of what countries are the undisputed preemptive aggressors and have killed most civilians and created most civil destruction - to the point where "bomb them back to the stone age" has long been a totally thoughtless mainstream slogan.

I also wonder what Hezbollah would have to gain from such crimes? It makes no sense whatsoever in terms of political strategy. I don't think "Hezbollah is a terrorist organization that hates Israelis, therefore they did it for hate" cuts it as sound reasoning - not when considering the strategic thinking that Hezbollah is necessarily engaged in, and the absolute absence of any perceptible strategic motivation for this act.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #30)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:47 AM

35. Hez was "founded in response to Israel's war with Lebanon in 1982"

I think the truth might be more in line with "founded in response to Israel's continuing occupation of Lebanon (total 18 yrs) subsequent to its victory after invading in 1982".

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Response to delrem (Reply #35)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:06 PM

46. It was founded during the war

It continued to exist through the years after the war.

At least I think that is right - there are other posters here who know much more about Hezbollah than I do so I defer to them.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #46)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:40 PM

49. Well, whatever the picky details

Some say it was formed to repel the occupation, tho'.
It took them some time to do it, but they achieved their goal. I guess Israel will never forgive them for that, for taking back that part of Eretz Israel. Good to see one positive result. But I doubt the Palestinians will break free from their chains in the near or medium future.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #46)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:32 AM

50. I don't agree with the suggestion that it was only founded because of the war

 

Many of the influences that eventually came together because of the war had been building for decades, and those really deserve proper attention. I would suggest that the revolution and formation of the Islamic Republic in Iran had nearly as much of an effect on the formation of the party as had the barbarity of the zionist enemy (that is to say, I would hesitate to give the latter altogether too much--or rather, exclusive--credit in the matter). The period that was the build-up to the Revolution had a massive effect particularly on key players and future leaders like the Martyr Abbas Musawi, Sayyid Nasrallah, the Martyr Imad Mughniyah, and Muhammed Husayn Fadlallah(RA). Particularly in the period before the revolution, many key players from different regions had coalesced on the center of Najaf and exchanged powerful ideas and formed organizations that eventually had effects which stretched far beyond any borders -- figures in Lebanon such as the above named, also Khumayni(RA), Muhammed Baqir as-Sadr(RA), Muhammed Sadiq as-Sadr(RA), Allamah Tabatabai, Muhammed Baqir al-Hakim, Murtada Mutaheri, etc etc..

In particular, the formation of the Da'wa party in Iraq (which is the present governing party) was of great importance to the early history of Hizbu'llah. Lebanese & Kuwaiti members of the armed wing of the Da'wa party (Shahid as-Sadr, named and formed after the hanging of Muhammed Baqir as-Sadr by Saddam Husayn) was the first organized Shiite resistance to the zionist invaders in 1982 (in advance of the famous Ashura incident in Nabatiyeh that is usually credited as the end of collaboration and foundation of Shiite resistance--I find that this gives too much credence to the zionist myth that their invasion forces were ever greeted as anything but invaders), which around the same time was also making pro-Iraqi embassies and Iraqi Baathist officials disappear all over the mideast with a cunning use of car bombs. It's hard to believe that the party which destroyed the French, Kuwaiti, Iraqi, and US embassies in various countries is presently the ruling party of Iraq and tacitly collaborated with the occupation forces to achieve this dubious honor.

Besides the Revolution in Iran, the specific period in which the Party was founded also was the period which saw the violent break between the salafi-jihadi tendency and the al-Saud/Wahhabi authority, the killing of the collaborator Sadat and the radicalization of the Egyptian militants, the involvement of the Soviet Union in the western-backed civil war between the hardline Afghan Communist faction and the western-backed jihadists (a faction of which was also backed by revolutionary Iran, incidentally). So, it was a time where a lot of other powerful events were occurring. The disappearance of Musa Sadr (and this is a convoluted story to end all convoluted stories, which I actually don't fully understand) was another key factor, leaving a leadership vacuum in the community that early figures like Tufayli, Fadlallah, and Musawi stepped up and filled during the war. The corruption of Musa Sadr's AMAL movement by the Syrian invasion provided another important pillar in the formation of Hizbu'llah, as large sections of dissatisfied members of the AMAL movement became involved in the new movement.

It is of course true, however, that the zionist invasion greatly accelerated the bringing together of forces that by 1985-1987 formally became Hizbu'llah. The clumsy brutality and complete arrogance of the occupation forces provided a focal point for the otherwise divergent tendencies, and the result was their own defeat and the well-deserved fear that remains to this day for what has developed since that time.

As would be implied by the very incomplete, rather scattershot recitation of ideas above, I could go on like for quite some time. At this time I won't, so this post ends on a note of "eh..." that I tend to end quite a few posts on.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #50)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 12:43 PM

51. That's why I said I would defer to folks like you

Clearly this is an area of expertise.

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Response to delrem (Reply #29)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:50 AM

38. Aaaaaaand away we go!

Posts like this are why I rarely even bother peeking into I/P discussions anymore. So few people interested in a real conversation. Even fewer interested in what groups like HB say about Israel in their own charters. Just lots of sarcasm and low information.

Maybe if Israel burns and falls they will be ready to listen.

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Response to JoDog (Reply #38)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:52 AM

39. I suppose you want cheese with that??

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Response to delrem (Reply #39)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:00 AM

40. Thank you

for proving my point.

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Response to JoDog (Reply #40)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:22 AM

41. You had a point that wasn't a reflection on your own post?

How snide of you.
Thanks for the uplifting conversation, JoDog.

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Response to delrem (Reply #41)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 11:27 AM

42. Exactly

Have a nice day.

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Response to JoDog (Reply #42)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:30 PM

48. Hey, have a nice day as well!

Maybe you could put some contents in your posts from time to time?
But if you're just here to have your wine, that's fine too.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:56 PM

7. Bulgarian Revelations Explode Hezbollah Bombing “Hypothesis”

Analysis by Gareth Porter

WASHINGTON, Feb 18 2013 (IPS) - When European Union foreign ministers discuss a proposal to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation, Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov will present his government’s case for linking two suspects in the Jul. 18, 2012 bombing of an Israeli tourist bus to Hezbollah.

But European ministers who demand hard evidence of Hezbollah involvement are not likely to find it in the Bulgarian report on the investigation, which has produced no more than an “assumption” or “hypothesis” of Hezbollah complicity.

Major revelations about the investigation by the former head of the probe and by a top Bulgarian journalist have further damaged the credibility of the Bulgarian claim to have found links between the suspects and Hezbollah.

The chief prosecutor in charge of the Bulgarian investigation revealed in an interview published in early January that the evidence available was too scarce to name any party as responsible, and that investigators had found a key piece of evidence that appeared to contradict it.


An article in a Bulgarian weekly in mid-January confirmed that the investigation had turned up no information on a Hezbollah role, and further reported that one of the suspects had been linked by a friendly intelligence service to Al-Qaeda.

The statement made Feb. 5 by Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov referred to what he called a “reasonable assumption” or as a “well-founded assumption”, depending on the translation, that two suspects in the case belonged to Hezbollah’s “military formation”.

in full: http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/02/bulgarian-revelations-explode-hezbollah-bombing-hypothesis/

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:30 AM

8. Gareth Porter, IPS News

He is another interesting character.

It's amazing how much certain white people from the UK fight against the notion of Hezbollah being a terrorist group in spite of clear evidence to the contrary.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:51 PM

9. Porter is an American historian, among other specifics about his credentials..quite extenisve,

actually.

Yet what does he know, he is yet another "character" for you to ignore... your white people
commentary is interesting.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:28 PM

12. He is definitely none of those things

And I certainly do not think he is a character to ignore. Quite the opposite - I think it is important to point out which articles are his.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #12)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:47 PM

13. He is none of what things?

Your use of interesting character is inappropriate, to say the least including your white person comment.

He is another interesting character.

It's amazing how much certain white people from the UK fight against the notion of Hezbollah being a terrorist group in spite of clear evidence to the contrary. ( end)

Stories written by Gareth Porter
Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian who specialises in U.S. national security policy. He writes regularly for IPS and has also published investigative articles on Salon.com, the Nation, the American Prospect, Truthout and The Raw Story. His blogs have been published on Huffington Post, Firedoglake, Counterpunch and many other websites. Porter was Saigon bureau chief of Dispatch News Service International in 1971 and later reported on trips to Southeast Asia for The Guardian, Asian Wall Street Journal and Pacific News Service. He is the author of four books on the Vietnam War and the political system of Vietnam. Historian Andrew Bacevich called his latest book, ‘Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War’, published by University of California Press in 2005, "without a doubt, the most important contribution to the history of U.S. national security policy to appear in the past decade." He has taught Southeast Asian politics and international studies at American University, City College of New York and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

http://www.ipsnews.net/author/gareth-porter/

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #13)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 09:09 PM

14. But no work for the Heritage Foundation or the AEI.

So he's clearly a leftist, which means he's the same side as Marxists who support Mao and Stalin
Didn't ya know?

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Response to delrem (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 09:13 PM

15. lol, I guess or at least until oberliner clarifies. n/t

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:30 PM

21. Sorry - I had him mixed up with someone else

Apologies.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:35 PM

23. Thanks, no problem. n/t

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:41 AM

17. re

But Karadzhova also revealed a key piece of evidence that clearly contradicts a Hezbollah hypothesis. She told 24 Hours that investigators had found the SIM card that had apparently belonged to the bomber at the scene of the bombing. That evidence should have yielded valuable information on the bomber's contacts before arriving in Bulgaria. But it had not, she explained, because the telecom firm that sold the card had refused to co-operate with the investigation.

The big news, however, was that the telecom firm Maroc Telecom serves essentially the entire North African region. That would connect the bomber to North Africa and thus contradict the Hezbollah hypothesis: Hezbollah has no known operational bases in North Africa, whereas al-Qaeda has a number of organisations operating in the region.

Karadzhova was sacked a few days after the interview was published, ostensibly because the interview had not been approved, but also perhaps because she had revealed information that was not in line with what the conclusion the US and Israel wanted.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/02/201321810059550903.html

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:38 PM

19. Not in line with the conclusions the US and Israel wanted..what a shock.

I wish I could honestly say I was.

Thanks for the additional OP.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:55 PM

20. Thank you the usual "Western" press seems not to know of such information or doesn't report it

in any event making Hezbollah guilty is politically important at this time as the US/Israel wish pressure the EU into changing it's stance on Hezbollah

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #20)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:31 PM

22. Al Jazeera is the usual Western press

And they do report it.

Good that DU has such a diverse opinion with respect to Hezbollah.

Wonder if that nuance extends to other similar groups.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #22)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:44 PM

24. Its good of you to say so...

it wasnt so long ago that people of certain political persuasions were trying to characterise al-Jazeera as some kind of neo-Nazi fringe outfit.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #24)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:47 PM

25. I've never portrayed Al-Jazeera in that manner

In any case, it's also good to have a poster like you around who appears to have an insider's view of all things Lebanon-related.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #25)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:08 PM

26. Do you see any difference between a group like Hezbollah and al-Qaida?

"When we entered Lebanon…there was no Hezbollah. We were accepted with perfumed rice and flowers by the Shia in the south. It was our presence there that created Hezbollah."

-Ehud Barak

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #26)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:19 PM

27. Indeed I do

The focus of Hezbollah's attacks appears limited primarily to Israeli/Jewish targets and interests. If they were able to achieve their objective of eliminating the Zionist entity from existence then they would probably no longer feel the need to conduct terrorist attacks.

Al-Qaida, on the other hand, appears to have a much broader-based agenda and vision for the world in general, with the existence of Israel only being a tangential issue to the larger ones. I think they would continue to pursue terrorist attacks even if the regime occupying al-quds was to vanish from the pages of history.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:47 PM

31. Do you think thats accurate?

Nasrallah emphasized that he was not seeking a confrontation with the United States. Because of Hezbollah’s ability to disrupt a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, I asked Nasrallah about his view of the renewed talks.

He hesitated a moment and declared, “At the end, this is primarily a Palestinian matter. I, like any other person, may consider what is happening to be right or wrong. . . . I may have a different assessment, but at the end of the road no one can go to war on behalf of the Palestinians, even if that one is not in agreement with what the Palestinians agreed on. Of course, it would bother us that Jerusalem goes to Israel.”

I asked, “But if there was a deal?”

“Let it happen,” he answered. “I would not say O.K. I would say nothing.”

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/07/28/030728fa_fact#ixzz2Ls4aJVwA

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #31)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:11 PM

47. A lot of leaders say a lot of things

I don't trust most of them - especially when speaking in English to the New Yorker.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #26)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:34 PM

28. How has your view of Hezbollah changed due to the current war within Syria?

Do you prefer Al-Qaeda and the resistance vs. Assad and Hezbollah?

I recall you were donating to the resistance (the more secular type and not AQ)?

======

I also believe there's a big difference b/w Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah. Oberliner put it quite well, but it looks more to me that Hezbollah is becoming more and more an arm of Assad and the Ayatollahs.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:18 PM

10. Bulgaria's other crisis

Additional input on Bulgaria.

AS Bulgaria is gripped by a political crisis and mass protests, the country’s religious elite is in the midst of transition too. After the death of Patriarch Maxim in November last year, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church is about to elect a new leader.

Like the secular world, the church is mired in crisis. Alleged ties to dubious businessmen and to the communist-era secret police as well as the luxurious lifestyle of some of its highest-ranking bishops have damaged the church’s reputation. An institution with a 1,100 year-old history, which survived centuries of Turkish domination and decades of communism, the church has recently seen its prestige and influence among the Bulgarian society dwindle. Over 80% of the country’s 7.3m people declare themselves followers of the Orthodox Christianity but only 10% see churchgoing as an important part of their lives. What is more, only 40% state that they trust the church, down from over 60% a couple of years ago.

Most people in the Balkan country are rarely aware of the church unless it issues condemnations of pop-stars like Madonna, the annual gay pride parade or the St. Valentine’s holiday (on that day most Bulgarians observe the day of St. Trifon, also called the day of the vine-grower, by throwing night-long wine powered feasts).

Recently however, Bulgarians showed renewed interest in the church, which was fueled by last year’s revelations that 11 of the country's 15 top bishops were secret police agents during communist times. They were reporting to the notorious Darzhavna Sigurnost, the political police, who spied on people for suspected "anti-communist behaviour". The bishops also passed on information about representatives of the Greek and Macedonian churches. Observers note that 70% of the bishops belonging to the secret police is a higher rate that the number of agents in the foreign ministry of Bulgaria. "We were obliged to be in sync with the state for the good of the people," said metropolitan Kalinik (agent names: Rilski, and Velko) explaining his affiliations with the communist regime.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2013/02/bulgarias-church

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Response to bemildred (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:20 PM

11. Bulgaria's prime minister is out, but austerity remains. What's next?

Sofia, Bulgaria

Bulgaria's national parliament accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov yesterday, but the protests that drove him from office continue.

Today's peaceful demonstration, involving just a couple hundred protesters, is much smaller in scale than the earlier, violent protests that led to Mr. Borisov's removal. But the young activists say they are just now getting organized and plan to push for major social changes in the coming weeks to fight the corruption and financial woes that plague Bulgaria.

The last week of turmoil in the country – initially a response to high electricity bills and an overall declining standard of living, but quickly evolving into calls for an end to government corruption and major reforms – is in many ways reflective of a shift happening throughout Europe.

Across the continent, residents say austerity measures have cut too deep, and European society – particularly post-Communist nations in Eastern Europe like Bulgaria – is struggling to adjust to a new economic reality that can no longer support a wide array of state-sponsored social services. Now Bulgaria and many of its European counterparts must work to find a middle ground that supports economically sustainable social services, but the process will likely not be without its growing pains.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2013/0222/Bulgaria-s-prime-minister-is-out-but-austerity-remains.-What-s-next

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:19 AM

16. National Security Advisor, eh? I'd never heard of the guy...

Apparently his relevant qualifications for the NSA post are:-

He worked as Executive Vice President for Law and Policy at Fannie Mae, the federally-chartered mortgage finance company, as a registered lobbyist from 1999 through 2005


At least he has a good sense of timing.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:40 AM

18. It's propaganda, Hezbollah is not trying to hide it's "nature".

It rather asserts it's own legitimate right to use violence, like any state does, based on the claim of self-defense (which is hard to argue with, they were invaded and occupied, they get bombed, etc.). They will be more than happy to tell you they are going to act out, not unlike Israel or the USA, who also love to assert that "all options are on the table".

Note: no I'm not defending Hezbollah, just pointing out the facts, Hezbollah's goals are not served by suggesting they will not resort to violence, nor would they be, outside the context of a complimetary agreement from their enemies. Hezbollah would deny being "terrorists", but only in the sense that their actions are legitimate and not worse than their enemies (not unlike God and everybody else on the planet), but they will be perfectly happy to let you know that they can and will blow your ass up.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 11:59 AM

44. Did you see Zero Dark Thirty?

They don't make him look too good in that movie.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:43 AM

36. the NYTimes has been running some damn silly pieces lately on the subject..

 

I've been quietly noticing the recent uptick of this trend. This doesn't completely apply to this dribble, but I always love those anonymous/"inside sources" type of stories they've been spitting out lately. The NYT had a brilliant one with "Dany" recently, and some other fellow travelers in nonsense have been churning out similar fiction. It's remarkable how all of these "high level Hizbu'llah militants and commanders" are always making anonymous and absolutely damning revelations about themselves in exclusive pieces to Saudi/Hariri/American Zionist papers, and never to more closely connected outlets like al-Akhbar or as-Safir.

One would get the idea that they're not one of the most highly disciplined movements of their kind!

...or, one would get the idea that the American/Wahhabi/Zionist papers believe that their readers are ignorant idiots who will believe absolutely anything--and that is certainly not justified by experience, of course..

All of the usual suspects are really praying that Hizbu'llah takes the terrorist insurgency's bait and gets involved in Syria, but they have not only kept their discipline but their silence as well in the face of such clumsy and blatent provocations. The disappointment alone from the NYT types is palpable, but I will happily observe the usual suspects choke on the indigestion from their own bad ideas.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #36)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:00 PM

45. What sources do you prefer?

Where should one go to get more reliable info?

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #36)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:39 AM

52. Huh? Hezbollah is already involved in the Syrian war. It's in the news....

Google Syria, Hezbollah and you'll find plenty of articles.

They're fighting for Assad and Iranian interests.

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Response to shira (Reply #52)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 05:55 PM

53. according to who, precisely?

 

key word: "precisely". Some people in the news will claim that the Jews and the Freemasons are in control of all the world's banks and are forcing a communist world government through the UN, but that doesn't make it true. There are indeed people with very particular agendas making clumsy pronouncements to that effect, but if you look at these statements long enough it becomes evident that a train could pass through the holes in their storylines.

I was actually in the area for a few days last week (two days in Limassol in Greek Cyprus and then four days in Nabatiyeh), you might be shocked to find that the world is actually a very different place from how it is described in those conservative blogs you are always getting and posting information from.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #53)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 07:13 PM

54. Here's the March 14 Party and the Progressive Socialist Party of Lebanon....

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Response to shira (Reply #54)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:56 PM

55. It's almost as if I was already aware of those statements..

 

and anticipated that response with this line above:
There are indeed people with very particular agendas making clumsy pronouncements to that effect, but if you look at these statements long enough it becomes evident that a train could pass through the holes in their storylines.


If you knew anything about Walid Jumblatt and Sheikh Subhi Tufayli, you wouldn't be relying on them to make your point (although I suspect this was the result of a few seconds' google combing, and not an expression of any actual understanding or real research that you might have). Jumblatt is the flakiest flip-flopper in the history of that awful phrase. Subhi Tufayli is a firebrand radical, former hardline Khumaynist who rejected Khameini and Nasrallah's leadership, now occasionally a mere brigand and highway robber. He has a long history of rivalry and hatred of Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. Tufayli was an early leader of the early incarnation of Hizbu'llah (just as it was forging itself in fire during the early years of the resistance to all foreign occupation), forced out of the party for his involvement in kidnapping for ransom, among other crimes. In the 1990s and 2000s he occasionally led "armed revolts" against the state and stole guns and goods from people in the Biqaa valley with what limited resources he could muster from his few remaining contacts in Iran and some local businessman they manage to strongarm. He's now the darling of the Saudi/Hariri attempts to forge an alternative to Hizbu'llah, but he has no popular support aside from a few thugs in scattered outposts in the Biqaa and whatever hired guns that Hariri gangs supply him with these days. I met some of his guys a few years ago (or rather, they tried to rob me until they realized who I was traveling with), and didn't care for them but that's neither here nor there. That TV network he was interviewed by--MTV--is essentially the Fox News of the area, run by the most desperate and sectarian elements of the Hariri propaganda network. I watch a bit of it from time to time, they don't even try to hide how trashy the approach is, a perfect imitation of the Saudi papers that share the same funding sources.

And lastly, I'm quite aware that the "Free Syrian Army" (salafi-jihadi gangs backed by the Wahhabi Gulf dictators and the Islamist regime in Turkey) are trying to goad the Party into joining the war. I was there last week and I saw signs of that and lots of commentary from the people who actually live there. Aside from some increasingly frequent border skirmishes, there is no such involvement occuring--much to the chagrin of all involved parties, which explains the frantic attempts to escalate by the FSA, the Nusrah gangs and their fellow travellers in the M14 movement (which is not a party in itself as you suggest, but a coalition of disparate and immensly sectarian parties). Which I also said already. The article you cite doesn't even suggest your point at all: it only repeats the FSA threats and gives a shallow doom-and-gloom commentary and what may happen IF Hizbu'llah takes the bait, which presupposes that it presently has not.

You're not even trying..

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #55)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 08:13 AM

56. Thanks, I have not the patience for it.

Quite a few people are doing what they can to make that war bigger, apparently on the foolish theory that it will work out well for them if that happens.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #56)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 08:30 AM

57. Libya made them arrogant, Iran makes them desperate

 

now all sides are dug in to the point where nobody can blink without having their face melted off ("losing face" writ large), which is the one and only principle guiding the affair at this time.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #57)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 08:45 AM

58. Yes. I keep thinking of WWI, but it's different too.

Arrogance seems to be the norm. Only a few seem to know how to shutup and watch. And with eyes fixed firmly on the past.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #58)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 12:35 AM

59. I was just thinking yesterday..

 

while I was replying to you yesterday, I was going to mention something about "the really interesting part comes when Iraq stops its policy of effective neutrality on this nonsense", but I didn't go back and edit it in. This evening, I read this: "Iraqi forces attack FSA positions inside Syria"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014412527

I really don't appreciate it when real events use my thoughts as a basis for their occurrence. My brain is a dark place and shouldn't be mimicked..

I feel this sort of thing has been due for a long time, Iraq is way too familiar with what is going on next door to have stayed out of it for long. Many commanders in the so-called FSA and the Nusrah front / Sheikh Ar`ar gangs are veterans from the Iraq war. Nusrah's point-man in Lebanon is even a cousin(?--nephew? I forget) of Zarqawi. The current seperatist movement in the western provinces is tied directly to events in Syria, armed and directed by the same GCC monarchs.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #58)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 07:18 AM

60. I think the WWI analogy is pretty adept

 

also thought about this after I replied yesterday. you bring up a very good analogy--the same web of complex alliances are there, though I don't think it's as much of a powerkeg in the sense that in WWI, all involved parties were really, really eager for some spark to set it all off, since few of the established powers felt they had anything real (ie: their empires) to lose in conflict. Which actually turned out to be royally fucked for most of them in the end, but that's neither here nor there. In this case, any involved sides are hoping (and I dare say, expecting? but are any of these gov'ts geniunely that naive and stupid?) the other sides will instantly fall back at the slightest provocation, since any real protracted engagement would ruin anybody. Economies in the wider sense used to be far less reactive to immediate events, now the potential for instant volatility has any serious powers too jittery to take any firm step in any direction. Thus it is always just business as usual from anybody, whatever it takes to keep the status quo, and all (this is true even considering the US-Iran "standoff" to consider one extreme) disparate parties agree at least on that.

I might just be babbling, it's early and I see it's time to leave for work.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #60)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 11:02 AM

61. Yes, that's it.

I make no pretense of prediction, but I see an old, corrupt, decadent, and VERY disfunctional colonial/imperial structure falling apart, and long repressed tribes and cultures re-asserting their autonomy.

And yes they are that naive and stupid. History is full of exactly that. Most of all they are too stupid to be afraid.

Your comments WRT Iran/Iraq/Syria interaction as very apropos.

What is the Arab Spring but the collapse of the old European colonial satrapies in the Arab world? What is the response of "the West"? Babble and guns. And what lies ahead there? Nobody knows.

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Response to shira (Reply #54)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 05:13 AM

62. Jumblatt: “I Am With al-Nusra Front Against Assad”

 

Yeah, that's the guy you were using to try to make your point to me. Do you see why I don't take you seriously on anything whatsoever?

MP Walid Jumblatt believes that the West is not about to change its position on Syria: “The intent is to destroy it,” he says. “The goal behind the small amounts of weapons trickling to the opposition is to prolong the war.”

His conclusion is that the regime will not fall, but Syria will be destroyed in the end.

He is not phased by the fact that his position on what is happening in Syria has undermined his popularity among the Druze there. “My position is meant to protect them,” he insists. “The Alawis will return to their mountains, but the Druze live in a sea of Sunnis.”

But wasn’t Zahreddine fighting armed groups? “No,” Jumblatt fires back, “he was fighting his own people.”

His people or armed elements of the people? “No matter,” he replies. “I am with al-Nusra Front against the Syrian regime – the Syrian people have the right to deal with the devil, with the exception of Israel, to confront the regime.”

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/jumblatt-i-am-al-nusra-front-against-assad

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #62)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 05:49 AM

63. Special report: Hezbollah role grows as Syrian rebels gain

Tensions have risen to the point that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned rival groups not to provoke his movement, which is more powerful than the Lebanese army.

“Don’t make any miscalculations with us,” he declared in televised speech Feb. 27 to those he alleged were seeking to trigger sectarian bloodshed — something he’s frequently accused of.

Some saw his warning as an indication of his concern that Hezbollah is being dragged into a war it doesn’t want but cannot avoid because its mentor Iran can’t afford to allow its only Arab ally, Assad, to be crushed.

A measure of Hezbollah’s growing participation in the Syrian war are the swelling accusations by Syrian rebels that Nasrallah’s battle-hardened and highly disciplined veterans of 20 years of fighting Israel are in action alongside Assad’s troops.

Nasrallah long denied Hezbollah was in Syria but the steady stream of dead fighters returned to their villages for burial after “fulfilling their jihadi duties” suggest a different story.

Now he concedes they’re fighting to protect a Lebanese Shiite enclave of some 30 villages inside Syria along the border. Fighting has been heavy in recent weeks and Hezbollah has shelled rebel positions inside Syria.



http://www.yalibnan.com/2013/03/07/special-report-hezbollah-role-grows-as-syrian-rebels-gain/

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Response to shira (Reply #64)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 06:15 AM

66. You're still not helping your case..

 

and it's no longer entertaining for me to go through the effort of trying to explain why.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #62)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 05:52 AM

65. Hezbollah takes a greater role in Syrian conflict

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