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peacebird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:25 AM
Original message
Lebanon's government is to resign - BBC
"Lebanon's Prime Minister Omar Karimi has announced he and his government are resigning, two weeks after the murder of his predecessor Rafik Hariri."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/4305927.stm
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ECH1969 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. No don't give into Bush
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. What does that mean?
It's amazing how Bush gets credit and blame for everything. This is a public uprising after the Syrians killed a Lebanese leader. This in my view is a positive development for the Lebanese. Hopefully they will be able to succesfully govern themselves.

Tom Friedman is correct about 1 thing. Democrats have to participate in what's going on in the ME. We cannot hope for it all to fail.
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ECH1969 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Your probably right
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #6
15. Wasn't that an eye-opening yet obvious statement he made?
Certainly was an interesting Meet The Press (NY Times on Parade!) :)
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
131. "after the Syrians killed a Lebanese leader." Hope you're never a judge.
Love the "guilty without any shred of proof whatsoever" mindset.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #131
132. Thanks for proving me wrong.
Oh the irony.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #132
133. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #133
134. Where's your proof?
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 03:09 PM by Bleachers7
Your post is thick with irony, but not much else.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #134
135. There have only been speculation and assertions about Syria,...
,...no proof of Syrian involvement.

Please, don't pull the "prove a negative" trick utilized by the right-wing.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #135
137. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #137
140. Well, we've got pro-bush, get on board with PNAC stuff on this thread.
If you'll scroll through it, you can't miss those.
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #140
141. Yes I saw the PNAC posts.
I prefer waiting to see what proof against whomever is finally offered up...if any, ever.

We've got a long way to go when even supposed progressives are so willing to jump on the "guilty without a shred of proof" bandwagon.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #141
148. There is a difference between a being guilty without a shred of proof
and being uninformed. We've got a long way to go when even supposed progressives have chosen the wrong side of that.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #148
183. Why don't you detail the difference between assertions, process,...
,...and the arrival at truth,...'cause, I quit believing in anybody's emotional accusations the day I arrived at reality's doorstep.

Do you seek to bend/break/ignore any "rule of law"?

Are we all subject to anyone's "judgment/accusation" without any proof.

If so, then,...I accuse you of being a closet child-molester!!!!

YOU PROVE ME WRONG!!!! I find you suspect and weak and JUST KNOW YOU MUST BE A CHILD MOLESTER!!!

YOU prove my suspicions are wrong. PROVE IT!!!!

Can you PROVE it? :shrug:

Are you getting a clue as to why we have the "rule of law" pertaining to protections against such bullshit, manipulative accusations?

If not,...believe you me,...I can provide you so many more examples.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #140
147. lol
Right, everyone that disagrees with you is pro-Bush. OK :eyes:
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #137
146. You haven't showed a shred of evidence of your point of view
You said that do "not agreeing with his (my) assertion." You disagree. That's fine. Based on what. Rightwing techniques. Like I said "oh the irony."
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #146
153. NO dear.
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 04:12 PM by LynnTheDem
WHAT is my "point of view" that I need to "prove" to you??? My point of view is that UNTIL THERE IS EVIDENCE I won't make assertions of fact aganist someone.

YOU seem to think my "point of view" is that Syria DIDN'T do it.

Show me please where I said Syria didn't do it.

When you show me where I said Syria didn't do it, then I'll provide proof to back up such an assertion of fact made by me.

Yet again you don't get it; YOU think that by my disagreeing with your assertion that Syria did it must mean I believe Syria DIDN'T do it. That is NOT CORRECT. I am disagreeing with your making a flat-out assertion as fact when there is NO PROOF for OR against Syria.

All I have said is there IS NO PROOF against ANYONE and until there is proof I will not make unproven assertions of fact, like you did.

Got it NOW???

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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #134
136. Where is YOUR proof that Syrians did it?
I don't need proof; I will wait for EVIDENCE before deciding who's guilty or not.

YOU are stating as a FACT the Syrians did it; so where is YOUR proof?
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #136
144. It's weak but it's something
"On any list of suspects in the killing of Hariri, the Syrians would have to rank high. They had means, motive and opportunity-- which does not, however, establish that they murdered Hariri."

http://www.juancole.com/2005/02/hariri-murder-provokes-...

"A shadowy and previously unknown group called "Aid and Jihad in the Lands of Syria" claimed responsibility in a videotape that I saw on al-Jazeerah."

http://www.juancole.com/2005/02/hariri-killed-in-huge-c...

Also Syria is not totally in control of their country. There are groups operating inside of Syria (Islamic Jihad) that Syria claims are not operating. It is very likely that Syrians were involved in this, as Juan Cole states. Then when you add in the fact that that the people of Lebanon and Hariri's family think Syrians were involved
that's pretty credible. I'm still waiting for you to show evidence otherwise. I hope this helps.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:05 PM
Original message
Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
151. You said that you don't agree with my assertion.
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 04:07 PM by Bleachers7
That means you disagree. That's fine. Based on what?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #151
154. Good fucking grief. I DID NOT say Syria didn't do it.
I DISAGREE with your flat assertion that Syria did it BECAUSE THERE IS NO PROOF that Syria did it.

MAYBE they did.

MAYBE they did not.

I don't know, because there is NO PROOF for or against Syria.

I DISAGREE with people who go round stating as FACT something there is NO PROOF OF.

If you asserted as fact that the man in the moon is a bush-supporter and I said I disagreed with that statement because there is NO PROOF, would you take that to mean I believe the man in the moon voted for Kerry???

YOU stated something as a FACT for which there is NO PROOF and THAT ALONE is what I disagree with.

Do you FINALLY get it?

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VirginiaDem Donating Member (574 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #154
175. well, sinc e this isn't a court of law who do you think did it?
I'm guessing Syria was involved. It makes the most sense to me. How about yourself?
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #175
178. The RULE OF LAW still applies. Or,...are you against the RULE OF LAW?
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 06:27 PM by Just Me
Do you believe anyone can make an accusation without proof?

If so, how does such a belief support either democracy or freedom?

Hell, in your "world" I can accuse you of being a mass murderer,...and there's not a damned thing you can do about it.

By the way, are you a co-conspirator in a plot to commit mass murder?

If not,...PROVE IT!!!
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VirginiaDem Donating Member (574 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #178
191. Call me whatever you want but I just read your posts
downthread so I know you've got a soft side :-)

I make no claims to know; the Syrians are big boys--they can survive a little speculation on a message board I suppose. I fully admit that there is little to no hard evidence that the Syrians were involved. But there is little to no evidence for anyone else, either, but someone had to do it. My belief, by the way, that I can express a speculative opinion on a message board about a public matter of international relations says a lot about my feelings toward democracy and freedom.

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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #191
196. You're so sweet. Do you support the "rule of law" or not?
It's kind of you to appreciate my "soft side".

However, do you believe the "rule of law" must apply to everyone, or not?
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VirginiaDem Donating Member (574 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-01-05 06:08 AM
Response to Reply #196
208. What is the "rule of law" and how does it apply to the current
situation? I'm confused.
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #175
181. Without making flat assertions...
in my opinion, I doubt very much Syria had anything to do with it, simply because it would be against their own interests.

But as there's simply no evidence yet (or none made available to the general public) it could have been a private vendetta. Maybe he was having it off with someone's wife or daughter. Maybe it was a drug deal gone bad.

Maybe the man in the moon did it.

I don't make guesses on such things when there's no evidence to even begin to hazard a guess. It doesn't bother me when others do hazard guesses without evidence, but to make flat-out assertions without evidence is something that does bother me and should bother every & any progressive. IMO.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #181
187. Good lawd,...Syria has been walking on eggshells knowing PNAC.
The LAST thing Syria would do is "rock the boat". She's scrambling for her own existence knowing the neoCONs is after her.

The neoCONs have forced a global scramble,...and they did it ON PURPOSE!!!! They don't care to spend our own nation to achieve their radical notions.

Damnit. Why do people resist taking this, our regime,...seriously!!!

They are tying us all to their tracks,...paying the engineer who will tear us apart with our money!!!!

Please, stop them!!!!
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VirginiaDem Donating Member (574 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #181
193. I'll take the Syrians over the man in the moon anyday and I don't
buy your outrage over baseless speculative assertions or you would have high-tailed it off of this forum a very long time ago. You have a problem not with speculative guesses but with the substantive nature of the guess, right? Fair enough. I think Bush is a godawful president and is doing very, very bad things to the world and I long for the day when Dems control all three branches of government (but hold no illusions about the upper limit on the festive utopia that will bring about) but I by no means believe that Bush (or, perish the thought, previous American heads of state or CEOs or PNAC or the Trilateral Commission or the Illuminati or the Thetans in my head) started every fire. The Syrians (as in the government) are pretty foul as well and perfectly capable of misdeeds without our aid.
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Colorado Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #6
157. Absolutely agree. Thank you...
In this case perhaps, the Lebanese people will, by finding their voice, be the long-term winners.

Even if Bush had a hand in it I can't help but feel good that signs of democracy and self-determination are showing in the M.E.
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underthedome Donating Member (267 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. ??? Side with Syria because Bush doens't like them??
That's a really dumb reason. They should leave, they have no right to still be there.
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. The Lebanese government is a puppet
government of Syria

You actually would rather the Lebanese people be under Syrian occupation just to make bush look bad?

This is a good thing as long as the Syrian military doesn't intervene.

The Lebanese people are speaking as the Ukrainians did. Hopefully they aren't crushed for it.

It looks like people power at work.
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Capt_Nemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. Lebanese people: see below
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. You may be right about civil war
Hopefully not.

As for a "constitutional arrangement", since the most current government was under Syrian control, does that hold a lot of water?

Lots of rogue states have a "constitution" most are about as worthless as TP
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Capt_Nemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. yeah rogue states like the Aggressor States of America
they have a constitution, alright...
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #16
58. "Rogue states" is definitely a quote from the Chimp in chief.
They are using this as neocon propaganda, and it appears to be working.
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #58
84. a bit of good luck
that's all. Leb people are doing this on their own. Give 'em a bit of credit.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
54. The Neocons are using this against Syria.
People power is virtually a quote from their campaign.
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #54
81. a bit of good luck
That's all. Lebanese people are doing this on their own. This is grassroots democracy.

Isn't that what we as progressives should be standing for? Grassroots democracy? Oh, right...unless somehow it makes Bush look good. Then that means it's better to have a dictatorship, right? :-/
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #54
130. Not sure if you are implying anything
But "people power" is a term not only neocons use, but it aptly describes when people take power into their own hands.

I guess "revolution" might fit better, if it really was one. But "revolution" in the ME is a term normally associated with religion
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agitpropagent9 Donating Member (169 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #1
24. fucking amazing
yes, don't "give in to bush"...

"please continue to live under the tyranny of a foreign occupying army and a puppet government. i mean, in theory, we'd like for you folks to determine your own future, but we have this agenda... and, well, it's just not to our advantage right now... sorry"
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #24
44. PNAC, PNAC, PNAC, PNAC, PNAC, PNAC, PNAC, PNAC, PNAC.
eom
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agitpropagent9 Donating Member (169 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #44
48. well i can see you've thought this through.
let's just propose a moratorium of any democratic movements anywhere in the world.

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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #48
52. Yep. For several years I have been thinking this through.
Yes, indeed.

The neoCONs and their agenda for world domination/control has NOTHING to do with "freedom" or "democracy".
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agitpropagent9 Donating Member (169 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #52
60. i think we can agree on that. however...
your opposition to PNAC means you'd rather see the people of lebanon living under the rule of a syrian backed government and under the thumb of the syrian army?

how do you reconcile this with (i assume) your opposition to american occupation of iraq and an american-backed government there?
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #60
63. What I see is an assassination by an unknown assailant leading to,...
,...a civil uprising and pulling in a country (Syria) on the PNAC list. That is what I see. The guy who is resigning is the assassinated's (Harriri - sp?) successor. Harriri (sp?) was a popular figure in Lebanon. So, I find it insane that Harriri's side of government is resigning.
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #63
78. Hariri was the opposition
It's the Pro-Syrian element of the Gov't which is currently in charge which is resigning. Hariri was planning on running as leader of the opposition. Wonder why he was assassinated...
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #78
83. Not from what I am reading. What I am reading is that Hariri's,...
,...successor and government is resigning.

Why don't you know whether or not Hariri was popular in Lebanon if you know so much about that country?
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #83
86. popular, and the opposition
Hariri was both very popular, and part of the opposition. He used to be in the Syrian-backed gov't, but when syria told him to vote for the president or else they will kill his children..so he did and then he resigned because he didnt want to be a part of it.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #86
90. Five minutes ago, you said you had no idea whether he was popular.
Would you kindly post the site where you are acquiring your information and share it with the rest of us?

I thank you in advance.
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #63
82. Bear in mind that Karimi is/was pro-Syrian
BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Syria's grip over Lebanon appears to be slipping under international pressure and increasingly bold Lebanese calls for Damascus to pull its army out. With the calls growing increasingly belligerent, Syria gave a pointed reminded that it still wields control, with its 15,000 troops deployed across the country. "The opposition has crossed all the lines," warned Lebanon's pro-Syria prime minister, Omar Karami. "If they think that Syria is now weak, this is not true. ... We will show them," Karimi told reporters, without elaborating. Still, there is an obvious change in the air. The U.N. Security Council has demanded a Syrian troop withdrawal. Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa recently said Syrian troops could be out of Lebanon in two years. Lebanese opponents of Syrian domination - emboldened by international scrutiny of Syria's actions by the United States, France and the U.N. Security Council - have made unprecedented calls for Damascus to extract its army and intelligence agents after nearly three decades of deployment in Lebanon, Syria's much smaller Arab neighbor.

http://www.10452lccc.com/daily%20news%20bulletin/aaaafe...

This seems to me lot more complex than the reports are suggesting so far. Obviously there is a groundswell of anti-Syrian sentiment in parts of Lebanese society, and evidently the assasination has been extremely convinient in heaping prssure on Damascus. It is fair to ask why Syria would bother killing someone who it already ousted from office, when the result was ever-so-predictable. It is also fair to ask what the opposition's agenda is exactly, and to what extent these protests reflect public opinions (and of which segments of the public). I suspect the next few weeks will be instructive in this regard...
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #82
88. Thank you for the additional information.
I remember Hariri being quite popular as Prime Minister in Lebanon. I couldn't understand why his successor & government would be resigning.

His assassination has stirred up civil unrest.

I doubt we'll be exposed to who actually committed that murder and started this chain of events. But, I always ask: who most benefits?
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #88
89. Sometimes people benefit from good luck
PNAC has no control over this. If they benefit from this, then it's just a bit of good luck for them.

Just because PNAC benefits, doesn't mean what's happening is a bad thing.

That my friend is irrational logic.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #89
95. If they are involved in the assassination of Hariri and the country,...
,...falls into a civil war,...that is certainly a bad thing.

You don't seem to comprehend what the neoCONs are willing to do to execute their plan.
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #95
102. From what I hear, the Lebanese feel very united
Sorry man, but every single Lebanese has told me that they feel united in their cause. Maybe you could elaborate on how civil war could break out.

Did civil war break out in Serbia in 2000? How about Ukraine 2004?

Again, I'm not getting this from the mainstream media, I'm getting this from hearsay accounts in Lebanon. No media company is filtering that to me.
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #102
107. Serbia in 2000?
civil war didn't break out, but neither did much democracy (although we were rid of a murderer). Hence why support for far-right parties has actually risen sharply since Milosevic left power. And Kosovo is still unresolved and could spark back into life whenever. Serbia also faces many of the same problems it did in 2000: poor living standards outside Belgrade, a falling population, racism towards minorities, rampant misogeny, homophobia... the middle classes gained, the oligarchy shifted around a bit, and everyone else is around where they were before. And we are about to become a monarchy again, and are introducing faith-based education in all state schools. That's the thing with 'popular uprisings', you never know where they are gonna end up...
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #102
108. 80's
Again, I ask you why you didn't know moments ago whether or not Hariri was popular then suddenly asserted that he was popular?

Why don't you post your source? Maybe it would be informative to us all?
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #102
114. Civil war's possible.
Hizbullah, Syria, and the Lahoud government interlock nicely. The Palestinians, numbering in the many hundreds of thousands and neatly held in the "refugee" camps support Hizbullah's anti-Israel policy, and don't care about anything else.

Of all the armed militias that pulled Lebanon into lint back in the '70s and '80s, only Hizbullah is armed. Better than ever.

If a non-Syria-backed government comes to power, the central Lebanese authority just might not like having a relatively large portion of the south of their country effectively not under Lebanese control.

It could get ugly.
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #89
116. Like the Bob Dylan song "Idiot Wind" says
"I can't help it if I'm lucky".
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #88
100. With any luck, the Lebanese
perverse as that may sound. This could, after all, result in a pluralist democracy (miracles happen). But I am not an optimist when it comes to these things... they could just as easily get a long and bloody fight with Hezbollah (which has 'civil war' written all over it) once Syria leaves for their pains.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #100
104. Sounds like something that happened a couple decades ago.
Deja vu
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #88
118. Not "who most benefits?", but "Who thought they'd benefit?"
I've done things that horribly backfired, and even done things that benefited me--but benefited others more.

Ever hear of "blowback"?
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #44
94. Oh well...in that case I should support puppet dictatorships
For the record, Democrats are in favor of Democracy.

Sweet Jesus.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
93. So Syria should remain in control of Lebanon?
You know what? If our thinking is now that anything good for Bush is bad for Democrats, we might as well shut down the fucking party?

I am not going to support puppet dictatorships for political reasons.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
198. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
chicagojoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
2. So, how will this play out?
Will Lebanon now be controlled by its military?
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Capt_Nemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Two words:
Civil War
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
3. What the hell is happening?
:shrug:
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. The people decided to throw the government out.
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Capt_Nemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. May I put it to you
that the concept of "Lebanese people" is something between the
"Northern Irish" people and the "Bosnian people".

One or more factions decided to opt out of the constitutional arrangement from the early 90's.

Now they'll be back to the good old civil war days.
But hey that's a good pretext for the US and the Israelis to go in...
"It's like whatching re-runs of a bad movie" GWB
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. It appears to me that PNAC is unfolding.
:shrug:

An assasination by an unknown "terrorist" has triggered civil unrest/division in Lebanon and Syria is being targeted. Two nations being torn apart by an event imposed by whom?
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rukkyg Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
4. errrr, yes.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
11. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Capt_Nemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. Yeah but there are some here that still believe all the MSM feeds them
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 11:45 AM by Capt_Nemo
even after the 25,000 litres of Anthrax...

:eyes:
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. I wonder what will happen 5 or 10 years from now when US still occupies,.
,...several M.E. nations? Are we guaranteed a full-scale war every decade for the next century or a continuous one for the next twenty years?

Shit, I say.
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Capt_Nemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Well before that the US will be bankrupt...
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #14
28. And you can't fotget the tinfoil hat wackos running theories.
:tinfoilhat:
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #11
18. Are you implying
this is being orchestrated by bushco or just will be taken advantage of by bushco to further his agenda ?
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Capt_Nemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Yes, it has their footprints all over
I remember the '80s very well...
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #18
25. Who really murdered Rafik Hariri? Who did it most benefit?
:shrug:

Who is really being served by that assasination event?
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #25
74. It Would Seem, Ma'am
That if the result of this is the departure of the Syrian army, then the people of Lebanon would have been best served by it....
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #18
29. I think they will try to take advantage of this to further their agenda.
Of course they will. It's their style.
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #29
41. That's open to speculation...
..but the truth is that the Lebanese people can determine their own future and bring democracy to themselves without any outside interference.
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simcha_6 Donating Member (333 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #11
110. Quit the dumb conspiracy theories
Israel doesn't need a reason to invade, Hizb'Allah launches rockets across the border regularly, and since the former government is made of of Hizb'Allah's political wing, it constitutes Casus Beli, they just don't invade because it's a dumb idea and they know it. They won't do it now either.

Really this statement of yours is pathetic.
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Colorado Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-01-05 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #110
202. I agree, thank you. nt
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #11
199. Bullshit (nt).
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
23. Why are you guys being so negative???
I'm watching this on TV now (BBC News, CNN-I and Al-Jazeera) and I think it's WONDERFUL that the Lebanese people are coming out in full force and showing Syria and the world that they want democracy and independence.

What could be so bad about that? Why are you guys trying to spin this into another reason to attack Republicans? This has NOTHING to do with Democrat/Republican stuff!
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. I have not been attacking but...
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 11:59 AM by Bleachers7
It can be interpreted as Bush meddling and/or taking responsibilty for this. There will be a fight with the pukes if they try to take responsibility for this.
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #26
42. I think you meant to say credit
Republicans don't take responsibility for anything, but fall all over themselves to reach the podium and toot their horns.
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. Look if they want to take credit for this...
...there's not much we can do about that. but the truth is that Iraq had NOTHING to do with democracy in Lebanon. The Lebanese people are fighting for it themselves, without help from PNAC.

Get that straight? Is that hard to understand?
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #45
51. Don't think I said anything about Iraq.
In fact, I'm sure of it.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. Being realistic and knowledgeable is not being negative.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #31
34. Those who didn't believe the truth concerning Iraq were being naive.
Keep your freakin' insults to yourself!!!

The neoCONs are on the path to fullfilling their plan. If you don't believe it, fine. We'll talk in a couple years about all this and then you can render your judgment about who was being the "simpleton"!!!
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Capt_Nemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #31
36. "Now Christians, Muslims, Druze and Armenians are all united
for a common goal, to drive out the Syrians."

I think it is you who is being quite naive here.
Who told you they were united? CNN?
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tinonedown Donating Member (329 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #27
33. True
You have to look past the 'obvious'. If it is one thing this administration has taught us, it is not to blindly trust Bushco. BTW, don't wait on the MSM to tell you anything near resembling the truth.
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Capt_Nemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. Because what you call the lebanese people
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 12:04 PM by Capt_Nemo
is a minority in a country with 3 or 4 big factions.

This has nothing to do with democracy and all to do with settling old scores.

As for the rhetoric of western media about "democracy" and "independence"
it is as genuine as Saddam's WMD's...
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Capt_Nemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #32
37. no, but I know history
and I don't have any allegiance there...
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. The country has changed.
This is different from the civil war days. The Lebanese people are united against the Syrian occupation. Big difference.

I've been talking to all my friends there. They all want the Syrians out. They are taking matters into their own hands.
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Capt_Nemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #39
47. Well, you may excuse me but I'm a bit skeptical of your heresay
sampling of the lebanese.

those factions have very diverse goals.
We'll see how it plays out but I don't see
any possibility of a stable arrangement out of
this destabilization.
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #39
119. My barber is Lebanese
I will check with him (when I need a haircut) and report back. That ought to settle the issue once and for all.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
35. Juan Cole has it too.
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 12:09 PM by seafan
A quote from his blog a little over one hour ago:

Futur television satellite news is reporting that the Lebanese government has resigned. For the last few days, I was watching the crowds assembled at Martyrs' Square in Beirut (a place significant in the anticolonial struggle against the French), and noted the ineffectual attempt of Interior Minister Suleiman Frangieh to forbid the protests.

I just saw a speaker at the protests shout that the people are more powerful than the government, with everyone joyous at the fall of the government.
.....

http://www.juancole.com /


Still trying to get a sense of what's happening there, but that statement just sprang off the page.

Now if America will seize on that sentiment.
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #35
38. Lebanese people changing without "help" from PNAC, good.
If any of you suggest that the Lebanese people are just puppets of Bush's Middle east agenda, you are insulting their ability to self-determine their gov't.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. *LOL* your "talking points" are sounding vewy familiar.
:hi:
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. Yea sure
Yea I'm a democrat, I live about..hmm...50 miles from Beirut? I think I know more than you do, I think I have more faith in Lebanon than you.
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. We have faith in Lebaniese
It's our government that we don't trust.
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #46
50. Nothing wrong with that..
..I completely understand,

but what bothers me is that..this is such a great thing thats happening there. This is the first time in the Middle East that a popular revolt in favor of democracy is happening. Democracy isn't being imposed on them.

And the first responses I hear are: "Dont give into Bush! OMG bush is gonna take advantage of this!"

Gimme a freakin' break :roll:

I've also refuted neocons on conservative message boards saying that this had NOTHING to do with the elections in Iraq.
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #50
53. Where did I say ANYTHING about Iraq on this thread?
Twice, you've attributed a connection with these events connected to Iraq with me.

Enough already!
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #53
56. Sorry, but...
...It's just that I debate neocons a lot online and they keep on attributing this to Iraq, and saying that the people there were inspired by what happened in Iraq, which I refuted many times.

I'm just hung up on that mindset, this is my first time posting on DU, forgive me ;)
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #56
65. No NeoCONS here
except the occasional disruptor.

When I say we don't trust our government, it's for multiple reasons with everyone having his/her favorite. But overall, it's that they lie to us.

As for me, I believe it's the Lebanese people that are putting this force into play, yes. But, I also think it's due to a whole lot of grassroots (and covert) work in developing societal institutions there. It takes time, but it looks like they're beginning to come to fruition. I just hope this plays out without bloodshed.

And, once again, there is a huge difference between this and Iraq. It's not being forced on them, throwing the government out without a plan, and putting the country in turmoil from external forces...all at the point of a gun.
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #50
62. There have been many popular revolts in the Middle East
With various levels of Western involvment. That they weren't all in support of multi-party democracy is a moot point...
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #50
64. xavier86......take heart..
I too live in the middle east (just south of you....) and time and time again I am told, on this board, that I also dont understand whats happening in my own country, but that someone 1,000 of miles away who knows neither the players nor language does.

personally I thinks its fantastic whats happening in lebanon, real people power taking control..and the lebanese govt recognizing it as well before any bloodshed. It receive wide reports over here, combined with the wise actions of both the protestors and leb govt on their actions (no major provocations).

its actually quite exciting.

as far as those who "cant let go" that its somekind of plot by bush and company...well, not much to do about them, except give them a knowing smile....and pat them on the head.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #64
66. Your profile indicates you live in Israel.
Interesting.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. israel...
i do...and were getting constant reports of lebanon...less than the lebanese but more than the states/europe for obvious reasons.

and by all measurements its clear that it no 'conspiracy" etc..but a reaction by the lebanese peope
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #67
70. Is your press as "free" as ours? *smile* eom
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #70
76. our press
is far wilder than the what is found in the US....emotions run high here and the press reflects it...but far more important is that many of our reporters speak arabic as their native tongue, and have far better sources than CNN, or the other alaphabet news sources.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #76
101. We don't have a "press" anymore. Just entertainment, obsession,...
propaganda and marketing/commercials. Curious minds have to work very hard to put together enough facts to make heads or tails of anything these days.
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #66
72. I live in Cyprus.
The profile is wrong.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #43
49. I'm sure you do think you know more and that you do think you are "right".
The unfolding of the PNAC agenda has absolutely nothing to do with "faith" in Lebanon. Living 50 miles from Beirut doesn't convince me that you are either a democrat or that you take the neoCONs and their PNAC agenda seriously.

I don't suppose you actually believed the neoCONs' multiple reasonings for waging a war of aggression on Iraq, did you?

Oh, nevermind.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #49
55. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #55
59. Oh, my,...testy, testy. I'm not an asshole and PNAC is NOT a conspiracy.
Geez, and you called ME a "simpleton".

WOW!!! :wow:
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #59
61. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #61
68. Who assassinated Hariri?
Wasn't he a very popular figure in Lebanon?
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #68
71. Syrian intelligence
Everyone I've spoken to from Lebanon has told me it was obviously the Syrians.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #71
169. Where's the evidence?
Stop the assumptions, accusations, assertions without any demonstrable evidence. After all, if you respect the "rule of law", you too would demand a full investigation and sufficient evidence to make such a conviction.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
57. Who killed Hariri?
(btw, I don't know)

Did they intend to have the events of today as a result? Why?
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
69. Are Democrats not allowed to celebrate this?
It seems to me that unless you think this is the direct work of PNAC and BushCo you are not a true progressive Democrat :rolleyes:

I am a true liberal. I believe in democracy. So what if Bush takes the opportunity to use and say "I told you so." I know people in Lebanon, they've been waiting for this day for years. They are the most progressive people in the Arab world. This has NOTHING to do with PNAC or Bush or anything else. This is grassroots democracy at its finest.

Isn't that what we as progressives should stand for?
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #69
73. Wasn't Hariri a very popular figure in Lebanon?
Do you know who took him out?
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #73
75. don't know for sure
I don't know for sure, but Lebanese think it was the Syrians, they are pretty sure of it.

Syrians haven't been doing a very good job of denying it. All the Arab commentators on BBC say it was probably Syria.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #75
80. Well, geez, you're certain about who's responsible for his death,...
,...based upon no evidence or full investigation to date.

BUT, you DON'T KNOW whether or not Hariri was a popular political figure?

If you don't even know whether or not he was popular (which from everything I've seen via his funeral and read about his role in advancing progress in his country) then you cannot possibily begin to analyze what is really happening.

Why do you suppose it is Hariri's successor and government which is resigning? Are you assuming that Hariri was Syrian-backed?
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #69
77. Are you Greek or Turkish?
My parents are Greek. Just wondering.
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #77
79. American
living on the greek side. Speak a little, just enough to get around. Been living here for a while.
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Colorado Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-01-05 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #69
203. YES. But sometimes I wonder. I wonder if Democrats,
being so mad at Bush and seeing conspiracy theories everywhere, aren't losing sight of what is really important in the world.

It doesn't really matter HOW change for the better happens, just that it does, right? Personally, although I hate to admit it, if Bush has a good idea now & then I will not begrudge him that. And I think democracy is a GOOD IDEA.

I hope the Lebanese people can reclaim their nation, and I truly pray that the armed militias don't get control or wreak havoc.

Beirut used to be called "The Paris of the Middle East". What a joy if this could be so once again.
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Blue to the bone Donating Member (765 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
85. Unfortunately, this is yet another development that favors Bush...
........and the Repukes just as the scenes of the purple-fingered citizens of Iraq gave him and his cabal of commercial criminals a big boost.

He'll take credit for what appears to be a sea-change now occurring in the Middle East.

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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #85
87. So you'd rather there was still dictatorship?
Comeon, get real. How, as a progressive, can you reconcile with this atttitude?

This is grassroots democracy. Isn't that what we as progressives should be standing for? Does your hatred for Bush outweigh your wish to see people in the middle east determine their own future and deliver themselves democracy without outside interference?

Iraq, I understand, we imposed a system of gov't on them.

But in Lebanon, they are doing it themselves. What's wrong with that?
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Blue to the bone Donating Member (765 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #87
92. Where did I say that?
Quite the contrary, if our side continues to do NOTHING but ridicule everything that Bush has done, then we look like we have no vision to offer.

"Imposed system of government" on Iraq. Perhaps, but did you see the recent comments of Jumblat (sp?) about that election in Iraq. He's no friend of the US and especially of the Chimp-in-Chief, but he claimed that seeing Iraqis (fellow Arabs) celebrating in the streets and risking their lives to vote, had a profound effect on him and millions of others in the Middle East.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #87
99. xavier.....
it helps bush....that irritates some far more than having a country free....
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Minstrel Boy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #99
165. "that irritates some far more than having a country free.... "
And you'd be talking about ... Iraq?

15,000 Syrian troops in Lebanon, soon to leave.
150,000 US troops in Iraq, not going anywhere.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #165
172. Shhhhh,...we're not supposed to talk about permanent US military presence.
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 05:38 PM by Just Me
We're not supposed to talk about the PNAC plan for permanent US military presence in several M.E. nations.

Shhhhh. We're supposed to be redirected to Syrian military presence in Lebanon which originally stopped/halted/desisted a horrific civil war and their withdrawal may open the box to yet another bloody civil conflict IF driven to withdraw on a dime with the push with aggression by a couple of other power-mongering nations.

Shhhhhh. We're not supposed to examine who actually murdered the former Prime Minister or who most benefits from his death or whether the division from his murder is driven by a hidden agenda.

Shhhhh. You're suppose to just say "I must confess,...Bush was right",...PNAC is good,...the neoCONs are just damned lucky,...damned lucky!!!!
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #85
91. I think this "sea-change" is quite illusory
or to put it another way, popular, schmopular. Iraq was invaded, and if there is a popular uprising, it is against the occupation; Lebanon is in the middle of political turmoil with a very unclear outcome; The Palestinians, after 3 years of having a leadership under house arrest, have held elections again. :shrug:
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Blue to the bone Donating Member (765 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #91
96. You're entitled to your opinion, but I believe that the average....
...American is beginning to believe that Bush was right when he said that the peoples of the Middle East yearn for freedom from dictatorships and that the elections in Iraq have shown them the way.

He may have been right.....about something.....finally.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #96
112. The M.E. sure as hell didn't tolerate imperialism before,...
,...just because the neoCONs are engaging in a battle to control the M.E. under the superficial blankets of "freedom" and "democracy" doesn't mean we aren't going to see a different outcome. To the contrary, since these folks have been through this shit before, I suspect this time, the neoCONs will bring the bloodiest war since Vietnam to our people and the people in the M.E.
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magellan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-01-05 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #96
204. Profound
Holy cow, you're right. Why, if it weren't for Bush**, we might never have realized that people living under dictatorships yearn for freedom!!

</sarcasm>

As far as elections in Iraq showing people the way, let's see which way that is. I'll reserve judgement until all US troops leave Iraq.

ALL.
OF.
THEM.
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #91
97. change was inevitable
...it's just that the Iraq invasion gave it a little kick start, that's all.

But, I repeat, what is happening in Lebanon right now has nothing to do with what happened in Iraq.
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Blue to the bone Donating Member (765 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #97
103. We can agree to disagree on Lebanon.......
......though I think when the underlying reasons for this current uprising are understood, the elections in Iraq will have had a significant, positive effect on the average Lebanese citizen.

The paradigm in the Middle East may have changed with that election.
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madmom2005 Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #97
129. Change was not inevitable
C'mon do we want to win or do we want to continue to be the anti-Bush party?

Saying that holding elections in Iraq, no matter the fact that Saddam's buds the Sunnis refused in large part to participate, had no effect on the Lebanese is incorrect, in my opinion.

Yes the catalyst was the assassination, but the limited hope coming from Iraq certainly could have been a factor which emboldened these people to take to the streets and force out the Syrian puppets.

Isnt it possible to critique the Bush doctrin in the ME in a way which helps us rather than hurts us?

I think that is possible.
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Blue to the bone Donating Member (765 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #97
155. According to Walid Jumblatt, you're wrong Xavier......
...."It's strange for me to say this, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, eight million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world. The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing." Walid Jumblatt, Druze Leader and Lebanese Parliamentarian...and no friend of the US.

While he certainly doesn't speak for all of them, I bet he speaks for a lot of them.

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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #91
105. some kind of news reporter?
Lebanon under "turmoil"....quite the contrary, given their history this is incredibly peaceful. The palestenians? new cabinet, getting rid of the old corrupted bunch..all without bloodshed, new pm....

guess some just dont like seeing change for the better, kind of makes you have to "think again and question your previous beliefs.
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Blue to the bone Donating Member (765 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #105
106. Question our previous beliefs?.....EXACTLY!!!
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 01:20 PM by Blue to the bone
That's what I've been forced to do on a few select issues, like the elections in Iraq which I believe far too many on our side still dismiss out of hand.
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #105
111. Since when does turmoil imply violence exactly?
and as for the palestinians... they got rid of Yasser when Yasser died. It could well be that this is a change for the better, but time will tell. After all, we were here before...
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #111
115. vladimir
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 01:27 PM by pelsar
no....we werent here before.....I dont know what your looking at, but nothing is as it was, not within the israeli/palestenian conflict, not with lebanon, nor even with Egypt.

but yes, time will tell which way this takes us, and on that respect I wont even guess
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Colorado Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-01-05 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #105
205. I think you are right - some folks don't want to have to
change their minds.

Personally I agree too, with posts that say Democrats have to start thinking more creatively about the M.E. in general; simply booing Bush and PNAC all the time isn't making us look very intelligent OR very balanced. Worse, it makes us look as though we prefer people in the M.E. remain under dictatorships rather than enjoy a better system of government.

No doubt, change is fraught with peril but we MUST go forward and hope for the best. Some optimism couldn't hurt!

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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
98. This is fucking exciting
It's the Middle East so it could all go to shit in a heartbeat.

But, still, kicking out Syria is a wonderful start.
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simcha_6 Donating Member (333 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
109. Debkafile says
That resignation is coordinated with Syria, new government on the way will be
A) Technocrats
B) Military Regime

This'll be sad.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #109
113. Yeah, but, doncha' see: "Freedom is on the march" and all that.
Hmph!!!!
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Blue to the bone Donating Member (765 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #113
117. Actually, yes. Freedom does appear to be on the march....
.....we need to get on board IMHO and stop bashing every bit of good news that comes out of the Middle East.
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #117
120. Democratc/progressives have to stand FOR something
We can't just be against every single thing Bush does and say that is bad.

That's a pathetic platform.

As progressives, we have to be delighted to the good news coming out of the ME concerning democracy.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #117
121. You have made your pro-Bush stance quite clear in an earlier post.
The possibility of Lebanon being ruled by a techno-crat military regime is just another totalitarian regime. The possibility of Lebanon being thrown into another bloody civil war is NOT the kind of "freedom" I advocate spreading. The possibility that the neoCONs and their constituents arranged the murder of Hariri in order to incite this division and violence is NOT the kind of "democracy" I want to take responsbility for spreading.

Get on board?

NO THANKS!!!
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Blue to the bone Donating Member (765 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #121
122. Just Me....how about an actual IDEA instead of gloom and doom?
Really, other than "get the troops out now", or "sit down with France and get them to help", what's the last really ORIGINAL idea on the ME out of our side?

I don't recall it.....and neither do most Americans....which is just one of our problems with the voting public.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #122
174. I'm too fucking busy fighting the neoCON's DARK WORLD VIEW,...
,...and plan of death and destruction to create a new world order while simultaneously profiteering from it all!!!

The reason WHY I am so busy opposing the neoCON pursuit of their PNAC agenda is BECAUSE my youngest brother's life is on the damned line for a few ELITE AND RADICAL power-mongering, political, profit-grabbers!!!! Our military is supposed to be utilized to DEFEND US, not be tool for war-profiteers and power-grabbers to increase their wealth and power at the sacrifice of the people they are supposed to be fucking serving!!!!

If you don't get any part of that,...then, you must be either too disconnected or too partisan or too boxed-in to SEE the impact upon your fellow American, your fellow soldier, your fellow human being!!!

:cry:
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xavier86 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #121
123. You've made your anti-Progressive stance pretty clear too
"The possibility of Lebanon being ruled by a techno-crat military regime is just another totalitarian regime."

Again, you're ignorance of that country is showing. They have a parliament. The people will elect a gov't that represents them. They are the more progressive Arab country. PROGRESSIVE, YES. Isn't that a word you love to call yourself? Try traveling to the country and seeing what the people are like.
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Blue to the bone Donating Member (765 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #123
124. You're wasting your breath Xavier........
.......all some see is doom and gloom with every positive development coming out of that long-neglected part of the world.

Millions voting in Iraq, the people of Lebanon attempting to throw off the yoke of Syria's military domination, Egypt and Saudi Arabia actually talking about election reform......and yet, all some see is NEGATIVE.

Our side pays for such negativity on most issues.
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madmom2005 Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #124
125. Progressives Pay For Negativity
Yep, in the final analysis we actually get to choose which side of these issues we come down on, and when we make the determining factor whether or not Bush is on that side we lose big time.

It is possible to get out in front of the wagon train instead of being rolled over by it.

Shouldn't Democrats celebrate advances in democracy?
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #125
127. There is a lot of skepticism
And I understand that. Bushco have burned many people and deserve no trust. I am cautiously optimistic. Others are less giving.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #125
139. Sorry, we've known Bush too long.
It's hard to truly appreciate the Crusade for Democracy in the Middle East. Some of can still remember when it was a Search for WMD. Before that--Osama who?

Perhaps you could calm our fears by pointing out some of the other Good Things that Bush & Co have done!
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Colorado Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-01-05 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #125
206. Awesome post, thanks. nt
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grumpy old fart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #124
126. Let's just see how it plays out, and hope for the best........
It's very painful to know that this will be spun as a justification for the Chimp's blundering policies that have killed and maimed tens of thousands, but it is good news for the region. We can't just be black/white about everything.
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madmom2005 Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #124
128. Lebanese BG
We also have to understand that Syria is not totally to blame in this situation. They were "invited" in by the Lebanese to quell the civil war, of course they were supposed to leave after that, but obviously that sort of thing seldom happens. Regardless this news is heartening, given the stuff coming out of the Israeli/Palestinina situation over the last few days, maybe there is hope.
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plasticsundance Donating Member (786 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #128
138. What news have you been raeding?
madmom2005,

You wrote:

Regardless this news is heartening, given the stuff coming out of the Israeli/Palestinina situation over the last few days, maybe there is hope."

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/27/international/middlee...

Armed Palestinian factions have traditionally claimed responsibility immediately after suicide bombings. But Islamic Jihad leaders repeatedly denied involvement until Saturday evening, when the group released a video and posted a message on its Web site saying it was behind the bombing at a Tel Aviv night club that killed 4 Israelis and wounded about 50. It was the first such bombing inside Israel in nearly four months.

An Islamic Jihad official, identified only as Abu Tarek, said on the Web site that a one-month pause in attacks was over and would not be extended because Israel had continued to kill and arrest Palestinians.


Will this supposed new found freedom in Lebanon prevent Israeli planes from flying into Lebanon.

http://aljazeera.com/cgi-bin/news_service/middle_east_f...

Israeli jets violated Lebanese airspace on Thursday, drawing retaliatory anti-aircraft fire from the Lebanese army.

Police reported that Israeli planes flew at low altitude over coastal areas around the main southern port cities of Tyre and Sidon, and that Lebanese forces responded with anti-aircraft fire in their direction.


<snip>

Meanwhile, Israel Air Force (IAF) chief said that Israeli jets, helicopters and drones will fly over the Gaza Strip after the implementation of the disengagement plan in the summer.

The General said that the operation is a military "umbrella" for the coastal territory, which is similar to the Israels policies on the Israel-Lebanon border since Israel pulled out from southern Lebanon in 2000.

"In Lebanon, around 95 percent of our operations were from the air," Shakedi said.





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madmom2005 Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #138
145. What news?
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 03:58 PM by madmom2005
Not sure how that is germain to what I said, if you think that a foreign country subjugating another is ok, well I simply disagree, btw I get most of my news from the BBC.
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plasticsundance Donating Member (786 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #145
152. Not sure you comprehended my post
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 04:11 PM by plasticsundance
madmon2005,

I asked you a question about Israel flying into Lebanon air space? Doesn't that constitute impinging upon the soveriegnty of another nation? Israel plans to use the same tactics for Gaza? In addition, the US is an occupying force in Iraq. Where are the good examples?

I quoted what you said, and I asked for you to provide evidence.

I was under the impression that the BBC ran the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.
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Don Claybrook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #124
162. and which side would that be?
Just wondering.
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Blue to the bone Donating Member (765 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #162
163. If your question was directed at me....
...it would be the side that wants to see all people determine their own political futures....THE PROGRESSIVE SIDE!
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #163
185. Aggressive war and murder is progressive or allows self-determination?
No. That's manipulative and funnels human resources and wealth into the pockets of a few arrogant, dark-hearted, inhumane, greedy assholes.

That's not "freedom" or "democracy". It's the most powerful imposing their will upon the weak. It's SICK!!!!
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seriousstan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #185
190. You are right, it is sick and it must be stopped!
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 09:19 PM by seriousstan
The anti-opposition people will soon have their day in the street. The only question is, after all the killing, who wins?

I am reading Lebanese blogs and there seems to be an active armed group of anti-opposition in Tripoli already.

http://www.savelebanon.org/serendipity/archives/35-Trip ...

So your call, just me, who do we support. You present yourself with such assertion on this subject that I really value your view on this moral problem

http://www.savelebanon.org/serendipity/archives/29-Upda...
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #190
192. It's not my call. I know I don't deserve any value as some "expert".
On the other hand, the "experts" don't hold the depth and breadth of human experience I hold

If this situation were in my hands, I'd immediately calm the division. I'd point out that we have been the object of division, before, as victims of others' motivations...and we do not want to go back to that, ever, again.

I'd advocate the rejection of all those who are apparently dividing our nation and strongly appeal to a common purpose,...the expansion of the "democracy" we do have.

I'd warn against those who profit from dividing us,...and I'd warn over and over and over, again.

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seriousstan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #192
194. I was asking for your opinion as a mortal, "CALM" ?? lol
After having magicaly "calmed" you would thn offer the rejection of one idea and the warning against another. That is not an edorsement of either of the 2 sides that are emerging.

I qouted a link that YOU supplied me on another thread. There are 2 factions emerging, opposition and anti-opposition, which would you suggest we look more favorably upon?

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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #194
197. Why do you ask me for answers? I ask that we work together.
I need others to work through this insanity.

What can we do to collect ourselves against a power-mongering, war-profiteering elite?

I never pretended that I could overcome such a power, by myself.

How can we contribute to the concentrated wave of humanity that is defeating another regime abusing its power?

*smile* We're doing it,...alreay.
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seriousstan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #197
201. already?
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rayofreason Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #163
189. Bravo
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Colorado Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #117
160. Agreed.
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BadGimp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
142. did we kill Rafik Hariri?
I can't escape the thought that the US was behind this - with precisely this end in mind.

We have a history of having an hand in the "doing" of this type of thing if my memory serves me correct.

... not surre ...
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madmom2005 Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #142
143. Gimpy Speculation?
I would never make that kind of charge based upon supposition, it's the kind of thing people point to and say....well you know what THEY say.

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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #143
150. I don't know.
What do they say?
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madmom2005 Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #150
158. Pay Attention!
Oh come on, you KNOW what the right says about us, and I am sure as hell not going to slag our side.

Bottom line is, why give them target rich zones?

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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #158
173. BWAHAHAHAHA! OMFG!!! The "right" is giving US "target rich zones"!
They are so consistent that their tactics are EASY, EASY, EASY to catch. They use the same techniques over and over and over, again.

Gee,...haven't you noticed *LOL* :eyes:
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #142
149. It's possible that it came out of the CIA
And some SoA handbook, but there's nothing pointing that way yet.
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #142
156. Some Idiots Were Claiming Mossad Was Behind the Recent Club Bombing
Edited on Mon Feb-28-05 04:29 PM by DoveTurnedHawk
I guess the acceptance of responsibility for the attack by IJ kind of took the wind out of their sails, though.

I am for the Lebanese people getting their own country back, personally.

DTH
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VermonterInExile Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #142
159. My humble take
My humble take on this, as someone who has lived in the Middle East, speaks Arabic, and used to travel to Lebanon frequently as one of the English-language universities in Beirut:

1) Yes, the Syrians are behind the assasination of Hariri. This is also the nearly unanimous conclusion of the Lebanese and the people in the Middle East. It was a (obviously miscalculated effort) following Hariri's earlier advocacy of constitutional reform and protest resignation to a) intimidate politicians willing to stand up to the Syrian occupation and b) make it look like Islamist terrorists were a threat to Lebanon, therefore 'proving' that the Syrians needed to be there in order to provide stability. The jury's still out whether the tape that was released by the Islamist group claiming responsibility for the assasination was by a genuine Wahhabist splinter group cooperating with the Syrians on the assasination, or whether it was a complete fabrication by the Syrians. It is highly unlikely that Bashar Al Assad had any knowledge of this operation beforehand, however--the Syrian government is essentially being run by all of his dad's good ol' boys, who are ruthless and in complete control of the Syrian intelligence forces, but also old school Baathist nationalists who are supremely out of touch with the political culture and aspirations of the younger generation in the Middle East.

2) The situation in Lebanon is indeed fragile. The sectarian groups who waged war against one another for decades are still bitterly divided. Civil war is still possible, and anyone who says that Lebanese are 'united' is making an obviously shallow and unsupportable statement. There are reasons to hope, however: Lebanese are nearly unanimous that they can't bear to shed the sort of blood again that they did during the civil war, and they don't want to fight. Also, two of the major civil war players, the Phalangists and the Palestinians, do not have the arms and/or military and political organization that they had twenty years ago to constitute organized fighting forces. Hezbollah is heavily armed, but however distasteful an Shiite Islamist political party may be to most of us, they have not been particularly repressive in terms of their approach to cultural issues. Beirut is absolutely Westernized, and the advertizing, fashion, etc., that you see is more risque than anyplace else in the Middle East, *including* Israel, where the ultra-orthodox have a charming tendency to burn down advertisements with women's images. The Christian villages are also quite liberal. When Hezbollah reclaimed a number of southern Christian villages from the Israelis when they withdrew several years ago, the retaliatory killings that everyone thought might come didn't. At the end of the day, although I think Lebanese have a lot of sectarian ghosts they have to deal with, I want to give them credit for learning to co-exist as successfully as they have over the past ten years despite having done the most horrendous things to one another.

3) Were the protests inspired by Iraq? Yes and no. On the one hand, it's important to realize that more than many other Arab countries, Lebanon has a not insignificant number of Bush fans among its citizens, particularly right-wing Christians, who feel that Bush is putting Muslims in their place. Many of these people are completely unabashed to say that they have been heartened by what Bush did in Iraq. On the other hand, Lebanon already has the arguably strongest democracy and definitely the strongest culture of civil debate in the Arab world, and fear of reprisal for speaking up politically is much, much lower than elsewhere in the Middle East, especially in Beirut where people enjoy extensive freedom of expression. Aside from the political side of things, many Lebanese are also frustrated by the number of Syrian workers (many desperately poor and living in the old Palestinian refugee camps) who are in the country, taking the low wage jobs that Lebanese wouldn't work themselves anyway. Although there is quite a bit of support for the Syrian presence in some areas of Lebanon (particularly the heavily Shiite areas in the north), there are many areas where frustration with the Syrian presence, both military and otherwise, has been building for years, long before Bush took us for a stroll in Iraq.

4) Should Syria leave Lebanon? I personally feel it would be a good thing, though not unrisky. Syria is a heavy-handed and exploitative presence in Lebanon, and their presence exacerbates the conflict between Israel and Syria. Once they leave, I doubt Lebanon will become the model democracy many would like it to be. But my take is that, crudely stated, independence from occupation is a natural right of nations and not something that has to be earned by behaving nicely or having the right government. The population of Lebanon has a much different demographic profile than it once had, and this will no doubt be reflected in a democratically-elected Lebanese government BTW, this is one of the many reasons America was *not* behind this attack--if Syria leaves and there are free and fair elections in Lebanon, particularly if they change the constitution to get rid of the old sectarian proportion laws set decades ago, Hezbollah will probably have more representation in Lebanese politics than it already does.

Vermonter
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #159
161. Fascinating Read, Thank You (eom)
DTH
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Blue to the bone Donating Member (765 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #159
164. VermonterInExile.....interested in your views about how the elections...
....in Iraq may be influencing today's events among Lebanon's Muslim population.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #164
166. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
VermonterInExile Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #166
176. Islam and democracy
madmom,
It's my opinion that Lebanon has the strongest democracy in the *Arab* world--so Turkey, Iran, central Asian republics, other Muslim states outside the Middle East are not in the running.
I think there is a fundamental conflict between true democracy and *religious* culture--not just Muslim culture. One of the major differences between Western Europe/America and the Islamic world is that our enlightenment challenged the whole idea of putting God in government, laying the path for secularism. There was an enlightenment period in the Middle East, but the character was progressive Islamic (pro-science, etc.); it never seriously questioned the role of religion or God in government. I believe this is what makes the whole concept of secular democracy very problematic in the Middle East. In Lebanon, where social and economic roles and position have been so influenced by sectarian lines, it's even more difficult to talk about the possibility of a truly secular government. But I do believe Lebanon is perhaps the last Arab country where there's no serious Wahhabist presence...
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-01-05 06:22 AM
Response to Reply #166
209. So--must we destroy Islam to foster "democracy"?
Even I know that Lebanon is not exclusively Islamic.

I watched with interest as the Search For Bin Ladin has morphed into the Search for WMD's; now, I see we've been in a Crusade for Democracy all along.

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VermonterInExile Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #164
177. Iraqi elections and their effects...
Hey Blue to the Bone,
A lot of the Muslim Arabs I have spoken to, Lebanese and non-, agree that the elections in Iraq have been at least somewhat inspiring for people in the Arab world. Most of these people also are anti-Bush doctrine and were against the war in Iraq in the first place, and many of them would like to see an American withdrawal immediately.
I really deeply dislike Bush, and I'm disgusted by a lot of what he has done--I was against the war in Iraq. I also do not think the Iraqi elections were model. But if I'm to be honest I have to say that I, myself, think the elections have definitely had an effect in the Middle East. More than Lebanon, I think the recent demonstrations in Egypt are a direct result of the Iraqi elections. It's not entirely surprising or unusual for the Lebanese to be politically outspoken, and they have the relative freedom to be when compared to most other Arabs. In Egypt it's a very different case, and the demonstrations last week really set a precedent and demonstrated the bravery of the people who demonstrated... In short, people in the Middle East don't want Bush knocking on their doors, but they do want the power to choose their own governments, and the elections have definitely had an effect on their willingness to say so...
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #177
179. We ALL want the power to choose governments that serve our interests.
We ALL want the power to choose a government that SERVES our interests. We ALL seem to be fighting against governances that are using us to serve them.

There is a human movement happening that I don't believe the neoCONs could have possibly expected given their complete belief that people are just too damned stupid and weak to be granted the truth about anything. Their intentional manipulation of perception has had consequences I'm pretty sure they didn't expect and that they are still unwilling to acknowledge.

At any rate, again, I want to express my appreciation of your skill in communicating the complexities of world events and the human condition.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #159
170. I suppose we all have something in common: suspicion of government.
I sincerely appreciate your clearly articulated post. I tend to be a person of few words and always admire those who have the skill to detail the process of their analysis.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #159
182. Excellent - thank you! nm
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simcha_6 Donating Member (333 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #142
188. You know...
Hariri ran one of the two largest construction companies in the Middle East; the other one's owned by the Bin Ladens.

But then, Bin Laden would want to help the opposition. Hizb'Allah had a shootout with an Al Qaida branch in the Palestinian refugee camps a few weeks back. Hizb'Allah doesn't like Al Qaida encroaching on its territory.
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Gloria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
167. There may be some trouble if this ATimes article is right....Nasrullah.
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/GB26Ak03.html

Lebanon guided by the Nasrullah factor
By Sami Moubayed

DAMASCUS - Any person who was in Beirut on May 24, 2000, the day Hezbollah liberated South Lebanon, understands how immensely popular the enigmatic Hasan Nasrullah is in the country's Muslim, and particularly Shi'ite, community. Any person watching his speech five years later, this month, after the US started to press for the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, and the disarming of Hezbollah, of which Nasrullah is the head, knows how easy it might be for the United States to get Syria to leave Lebanon, but how difficult, if not impossible, it would be to disarm or weaken the Shi'ites.

snip

Hezbollah described the Ashura march this year as "a massive rally in defense of the resistance". "We gather today to express the people's will to protect the resistance movement against all attempts that aim at eliminating its presence and ending its role," Nasrullah said.

And that is exactly what Nasrullah will do: work for the protection of his interests, those of Syria, and the Shi'ites of Lebanon, against all external meddling by the US.

Dr Sami Moubayed is a Syrian political analyst.

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gulfcoastliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
168. Wow, so there's been a Velvet Revolution, an Orange Revolution, now this
You guys aren't giving the CIA any credit here?
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #168
171. *LOL* Whew, thanks. I needed that ice-breaker!!!
It's drafty in here.
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
180. Excellent news
I favor Syria getting out Lebanon, the US out of Iraq and, after a non-aggression pact is signed, Israel getting out of the Palestinian Territories all for the same reason: the people of those occupied nations have a right to determine their own future.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #180
184. OMG, freeper, neocon, warmonger
:argh:






:evilgrin:
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #180
186. After all, dreams are the only thing left that are FREEEEEEE!!!
Our dreams can lead us, conquer us, kill us or drive us.

We all want to be "free" from tyranny. That is our common dream.
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #180
200. I concur.
This is an excellent development. Today, we are all Lebanese. :)
:yourock:
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lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 10:27 PM
Response to Original message
195. Lebanon Govt. Quits; Pressure Mounts on Syria
By Nadim Ladki
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's Syrian-backed government collapsed Monday, piling more pressure on Damascus, already under fire from the United States and Israel.

Prime Minister Omar Karami, under opposition fire since the Feb. 14 assassination of his predecessor Rafik al-Hariri, told parliament his government was resigning to ensure that it "does not become an obstacle to the good of the country."

The news delighted thousands of flag-waving demonstrators who had defied an official ban to protest at Syrian domination of Lebanon. Banks, schools and businesses had closed after an opposition call for an anti-Syrian general strike.

Druze opposition leader Walid Jumblatt said the "people have won" and called for calm. "Today we are at a new turning point in the history of the country," he said
more...

I have to admit I'm glad Syria is out of there!!!
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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-01-05 05:26 AM
Response to Original message
207. Lebanese government resigns amid protests
White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters the event "represents an opportunity for the Lebanese people to have a government that is truly representative of their country's diversity."
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/...


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plasticsundance Donating Member (786 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-01-05 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
210. Ah ... an American flag
:eyes:

Real Independence (sarcasm).

The Iraqi elections were a sham. The Carter Institute refused to even monitor the elections. Inspiring? Hardly. Only for the deluded and those who have plans to incorporate the geopolitical stage more than before, and the sheep that follow anything anecdotal and provides a short cut to thinking will be the ones that use the Iraqi elections as a model and/or inspiration. Oh, and let us not forget Allwai charming past. I believe he's part of the new government:

But his background is, well, 'mixed' shall we say; a former Baathist who, after serving a prison sentence with Saddam in the mid-1960s, helped the future dictator attain power in a 1968 coup. At the time Saddam was not yet president but in the ensuing years he consolidated his power and took the reigns in 1979. In the early 1970s Allawi left for London. While some say he fled the growing purge Saddam had initiated, others believe he was an Iraqi agent tracking down anti-Saddam activists. What is known for sure is that in 1976 he broke all ties with the Iraq government and created the Iraqi National Accord which had the goal of overthrowing Saddam's regime. Two years later he survived an assassination attempt presumed to have been conducted on the orders of Saddam. For the last dozen years or so Allawi and the INA have been on the CIA payroll.

http://www.thisisrumorcontrol.org/node/1569

Let's not forget that paragon of a democratic leader, :eyes: the incomprable Ibrahim al-Jaafari:

JUAN COLE: Well, Jaafari is an old-time Muslim fundamentalist. He will want as much Islamic law to be implemented in Iraq as possible. The Dawa tends to view civil law in Iraq as a British colonial heritage so they want to get rid of it. And he was part of a group that attempted to implement Islamic law, even when there was an American administration. So, they would like, you know, personal status, marriage, divorce, alimony, inheritance, all those things to be governed by Islamic law.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/02/23/164...

Let us also not forget that the US is building 14 permanent bases in Iraq. We are not leaving, and Iraq isn't getting anything close to a democracy. Already McCain is requesting a permanent presence in Afghanistan.

In news on Afghanistan, Republican Senator John McCain has called for the establishment of permanent U.S. military bases in Afghanistan. McCain said a permanent presence is needed "Not only because of our appreciation of Afghanistan, but also we believe there will be vital national security interests in this region for a long time."

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/02/23/164...

The Ukraine is another place where the US and the West sought to enclose upon Russia's interests. Already, the new Ukrainian government has sealed a deal with Georgia about reversing the flow of oil from a particular pipeline, thereby, neglecting the flow coming from Russia. This is to cut Russia's growing oil industry out and provide an oil feed to Europe. A rather not to subtle quid pro quo. However, Ukraine is rather dependent on Russia, so these quid pro quos will only get the West so far.

This alleged new democracy in Ukraine has an alliance with nations in the likes of Uzbekistan. Check out that countries Human Rights record.

http://www.hrw.org/wr2k1/europe/uzbekistan.html

It is possible that neither Syria or the US had Harri killed. Harri owned a lot of land, and it could have been a reprisal unrelated to politics. However, things on the geopolitical and geostrategical stage are getting quite interesting.

It seems Russia will get ahead with military sales to Syria. And, as mentioned before, Israel has been continuing invading Lebanon air space. Even though Hezbollah is playing a new role as peace maker, it will not sever ties with Syria completely.

Hezbollah officials acknowledge the difficult times they face as the forces line up against Syria. "Both Syria and Hezbollah are on the defensive," said a Hezbollah spokesman, Mohammed Afif. "We can all agree that things are very hard."
.
UN resolution 1559, which calls for Syria to leave Lebanon, also calls for Hezbollah to disarm. A Syrian pullout would be tantamount to death for the group as it stands. But Hezbollah, which means "Party of God," insists it must continue resistance against Israel.


http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/02/27/news/hezbollah.h...







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