Both Arab nationalism and Islam have failed, and failed badly.

Thus Said the Anal-ysist at PP

“I judge movements, leaders and parties by results not rhetoric”

“When I look at what has happened, and is still happening, in the region in general and in Iraq in particular, I see the clear failure, even the death of the two major competing ideologies in the region.,two major competing ideologies in the region.”

Comment: I wonder why the PP anal-ysist failed to see the clear failure, even the death of the third competing ideology in the region. I mean Left-Marxism-communisms, Most likely because he consider himself a leftist dreaming that his left would be the new force after the death of Arab nationalism and Islam .

“On the one hand we see that the one party, the Ba’th, which preached Arab unity and Arab nationalism, could not even unite one country, Iraq, let alone the entire Arab world. First the two branches of the party (the Syrian and Iraqi branches) fought each other, literally to death.”

“each branch of the party could not and would not create the model state that could be an inspiration for the promised Arab unity and something to inspire and give a boost to Arab nationalism. They instead ruled by an iron fist and by using the policies of divide-and-conquer and encouraging tribalism.”

Comment: Neither Iraq, nor Syria were true representatives for Arab nationalism, Saddam was the true respective of Arab racism. The anal-ysist ignored Nasir, the true representative of Arab nationalism. He failed to mention how Arab masses, 52 years before Hugo Chavezago, from the Gulf to the Atlantic ocean reacted when UK -France and Israel attacked Egypt to topple Nasir, how they reacted when he resigned after 1967 defeat, and after his death.

Moreover, the Anal-ysist ignored that while Saddam and his Iraqi Baath was fighting the American war against Iran, Only Sadam’s “Comrade” Hafez Assad and his Syrian Baath stood with Iran, and his son is still standing with Iran.

Hezbollah is the LEGAL SON of the Syrian- Iranian Marriage, the marriage of Islamic Ideology and Syrian Nationalism.

“If indeed most Iraqis felt so strongly that they belonged to and benefited from the Ba’th regime and that they had a strong stake in preserving the Iraqi state, why has the majority not fought the occupation? Why, at the earliest opportune moment, major sections of the Iraqi population opted to side with the occupiers and with Iran instead of fighting for Iraq? That tells us something about the prevailing state up until the invasion.”

Comment: Indeed it tells about the prevailing state and its racist version of Arab Nationalism that fail to unite even Anbar tribes.

“The majority of the Shiites sided with Iran against their own country and the majority of Kurds decided that they are not Iraqis! So, Iraq is no more; hardly the model of Arab unity to be presented to the rest of the Arabs.”

Comment: Iraq was never the Model of Arab unity

“Then we were told that the problem was in Arab nationalism itself, that the Arabs have to transcend this to something higher and that Islam was the answer. The Iranian revolution was to be the vanguard of this new force: the Islamic revolution.”

“Of course it was not an accident that the two countries spearheading these two major ideologies fought a vicious and bloody war for eight years that killed about a million (Muslims I may add) from each side. We know that the US imperialists wanted both sides to destroy each other, and Henry Kissinger used to say — “we want them to kill each other!” But why did the two fools cooperate so well with Kissinger against their own interests?”

“Just as the US wanted both sides to destroy each other, Iran sought to use the US to destroy the Ba’th regime in Iraq…”

“Along these same lines I saw the Syrian regime recently establish full diplomatic relations with the occupied Maliki “government;” something it has not done since the eighties. Some Arab unity and some Syrian “steadfastness”!”

Comment: Here the “Objective” PP anal-ysist, to please the Baathi thugs at PP, he ignored that it Sadam not Iran who launched the 8 years war and Iran was simply defending itself, that Saddam who clamed defending the eastern gate of the Arab world, opened all the gates to Usrael, including the gates of Baghdad.

Consequently, the defeated PP anal-ysist who left Gaza 40 years ago, is waiting for a new force:
“For those who will survive they will have to wait for a new force, a new movement. Both Arab nationalism and Islam have failed, and failed badly.”

I accept facts, mentioned above, and in the comments below mainly written by Lucia, and saker, despite difference about Arab nation, and Muslim Umma..
I said on several occasions, the west used Nationalism against Islam represented by Ottoman empire, then used both reactionary Islam, and Nationalism against communism, Used reactionary Islam to destroy Naser the most prominent representative of true Arab nationalism.

YES, Arab movements, nationalists, Islamists (Muslim brothers) and leftists failed to recognize who is the main enemy, and to put secondary difference aside. Nationalist failed to recognize that Islam was the first nationalist movement the united Arabs, that racism against non-Arab Muslims, paved the way for the failure of Amaweyades and Abasades empires.

On the other hand Leftists failed to recognize that Islam was the first Arab leftist movement.

As far as I m concerned, I don’t feel any conflict, being Palestinian by birth, Arabic by Nationality, Muslim by religion, and leftist by Ideology.

Comment at PP;

I like your comment. I only have minor discrepancies on some details.
I always wondered -perhaps because I am not an arab- about two concepts:

-the “arab nation”, that is panarabism
-the “Muslim unity”

I try to respect them, but honestly, cannot grasp them. If –by making a traspolation– someone spoke to me of “hispanism” in the sense of uniting all spanish speaking countries, or “christian unity” to unite the various different religions and sects under the christian branch, my eyes would roll. Yet more, I’d think it is an eccentric idea. Every country, or more specifically, every state has interests of its own, and in all probability will not coincide with those of any other “brother” country.

So, as I do not completely understand the ideas of panarabism and umma, I can’t help but asking to myself if the different arab peoples should be just more focused on the own country, rather than expecting from others sharing a language or a religion to come and lend a hand, specially when perhaps this “other” has problems similar in size.

Perhaps it is a desiderata, and as such belongs in the realm of utopia por the time being, given the bad shape in which most of arab countries are nowadays.

Lucia 09.28.08 – 10:01 am #


When the US tried to topple Hugo Chavez, and partially succeeded in a coup, millions of poor Venezuelans took to the streets demanding the release of their president. They were ready to fight and die for something they believed in, something they had created, something they had a stake in. That was not the case in Iraq. Tony

And could never be the case in Iraq, because the Venezuelans took to the streets to reclaim their leader, and I mean *their leader*, whom they chose, and had won 9 or 10 (I lost count) consecutive democratic polls, and who did wonders for the people there.

How did Saddam come to power, if not by the CIA’s hand, and causing a bloodbath? Whose iraqis would defend him, after he slaughtered kurds, shias, and “disafected” sunni in the hundreds of thousands? Yet mass-graves are being unearthed to this day.

The charisma of Chavez has nothing to do -thank god- with Saddam’s, even though his worshippers would say he was the “new Salahuddin”

So, the iraqis would not take to the streets to shield him, right on the contrary, millions of them wanted him dead. Only staunch baathists who profited from the regime would say otherwise. But, expect them to blame it on Iran. Driven by the partys cliches. they’re even unable of the mimimun of self-criticism.

Lucia 09.28.08 – 10:39 am #


As America sinks into the sunset no longer a so-called “super-power,” it is time for the people of the Arab nations to rise up as one. What you have had to this point are regimes propped up by Western design, but those forces are no longer viable. As the support fails from Imperialism an opportunity arises, my recommendation is that the oppressed people of these regions take advantage of it.
v Homepage 09.28.08 – 10:51 am #


further to my 10:39, the Palestinians who are the most courageous people in the Middle East, did something similar when Arafat was besieged in the Mukata. They took to the streets, in defiance of curfews and tanks, and went to shield him – I think more out of compassion than due to his own merits as a leader. But they did it, in spite of being under a nazi-like occupation for 60 years.

Lucia 09.28.08 – 11:08 am #



About the Muslim unity , before the skyes picot divisions , there were no borders between Arab countries and Most felt that islam United them , (than these regimes that were the creation of foreign powers ). and You ll be suprised to hear so many people (on Live tv ) almost daily , dreaming about the Khilafa and islam being the unificator of all Arab countries . more and more Arab and Muslim Youth talk and dream about that (something that scares the hell of the Neocons and Bush )and breaking the “false” Borders as they call them.
fatima 09.28.08 – 11:15 am #


Thanks for your explanation Fatima. I’m aware of many people talking about it, and I can read about it too in articles by authors even from the left, Samara to mention one who I respect. But I fail to see it working. I mean, what have the people of Qatar to do with the Egyptians, or the Saudis, or the Algerians, or… any other arabic-speaking or Muslim people?

Other than unelected governments -ruthless for the most part- who rely on the USA to remain in power while they opress their people.

So, it seems to me that religion and language is not a glue strong enough as to show solidarity when most of them (perhaps Qatar fares much better) are undergoing big social problems and “difficult” times.

I second “v”‘s idea as the moment is ripe, but… where is the “arab che”? And when there is one, the shitty little state eliminates him. Scores of popular leaders have been liquidated. The only that wasn’t for the moment is Nasrallah. Let’s wish him a long life. But who is to be counted in other arab countries?

Lucia 09.28.08 – 11:33 am #


Lucia 09.28.08 – 10:39 am

I agree partially, Lucia. However, it goes well beyond Saddam. Why have the Iraqis not stood up for THEIR Iraq? Not for Saddam or for Ba’th.

My point is that the majority, apparently, did not believe that they had a state worth dying for.
Tony Sayegh Homepage 09.28.08 – 11:34 am #


The kurds never felt iraqis, they feel and always felt kurds, and were promised a state at the same time the Palestinians were, and with about the same results… (this led them, but this is another story, to very unwise engagements throughout the years, and being betrayed once and again. They finally bet on the americans, so they will be left aside again. The americans use proxies and then abandon them as used toilet paper)

So the iraqi state was forced upon them. And yet, saddam massacred them. So thwy wouldn’t be expected to take to the streets to defend the Saddam who slaughtered them, or to defend an state which they did not feel their own. Thus the alliance with the invaders under the promise of having their kurdish state and their own oil-wells.

Would the south-shia defend saddam? They’d rather queue, jointly with the kurds, to be allowed to hang him.

Saddam only relied on his tribe, and a few staunch saddamists who lived very well under his rule, and looked the other way -if not applauded- his massacres. These same people is very concerned now by the presumed shia drillings. Were was the outrage when the shia were drilled, and were driven nails through their heads by Saddam’s henchmen?
Lucia 09.28.08 – 11:45 am #



To elaborate a bit on the point Fatima made:

It is true that under the Ottoman Empire, the artificial boundaries between Arab states did not exist; those were drawn up by the colonial powers.

However, Fatima forgets that the Arabs were suckered into rebelling against and fighting the nominally Muslim Ottomans and aligning themselves with their new colonial masters.

Another point is that Islam, unlike the two other monotheist religions, advocates the concept of the Muslim Umma. Islam, at least in theory, is supposed to transcend nationalism.

Arab nationalism and unity is not just a romantic idea; in the fifties and sixties some strides were taken in that direction, especially under Nasser of Egypt. For a few years, Egypt and Syria even formed one nation and the expectation was that Iraq would also join. Nasser also played a significant role helping liberation movements in other Arab countries, in particular in Algeria. The defeat (of Egypt, Syria and Jordan in 1967) marked the end of that rising wave of Arab unity and Arab nationalism. Of course that was the main objective of that war to defeat and humiliate Nasser.

Comment; Here, like the asshole who considered the end of cold war as the end of history, the PP Anal-ysist, consider Nasir’s defeat in 1967 the end of the wave of the arab nationalism.

One last point. You made analogy to Spanish culture and the non-existence of unity among Spanish-speaking countries. Not quite true. The situation of the Arab countries is more analogous to Latin American countries. You have the same language, with the exception of Brazil, very similar culture and definitely a shared history. On top of that you have the same colonial domination for so long. The big difference is that Latin America has finally awakened with popular, leftist leaders forging real political, cultural, military and economic unity among their respective countries. It is the vision and policies of leaders such as Chavez, Lula, Morales, etc which you do not find in the Arab world, not even on the horizon.
Tony Sayegh Homepage 09.28.08 – 12:00 pm #


The big difference is that Latin America has finally awakened with popular, leftist leaders forging real political, cultural, military and economic unity among their respective countries
Tony Sayegh Homepage 09.28.08 – 12:00 pm

This is the KEY!
The response to the questions you pose in your article, and the response to the problems the people in arab and muslim countries are undergoing.

And some leadership is necessary too. There have been leaders, I mean good popular leaders in ME, but have been liquidated by the big powers or by their surrogates. All of them, except Nasrallah. But more Nasrallahs are needed – at least one per country – to lead the uprising. Any moment one may appear, as it did in the Argelian revolution.

As to what you say about umma, catholicism also predicates unity and solidarity and so on. Actually the word catholic derives from latin catholicus and this from greek katolikós which means universal. But this universality is left for the religious/spiritual context, and translates -as does in Islam- in scores or charities and such.

Yes, Hispanidad does exist, as you indicated, (even with Portuguese-speaking Brasil) and translates into cooperation programs, etc. But what I meant is, other than these programs, or commercial/political treaties -as with any other country- the problems we have over here difer 180 degress from those of, let’s say, the Argentinean, or the Cuban. So, yes, there is solidarity, f.i. now with Cuba with the disaster they have suffered, but.. we are two worlds appart, even though we have many things in common, language among others. And we love them.

Lucia 09.28.08 – 12:36 pm #


Very interesting and timely comment Tony. I fully agree on your assessment of the Baath so I will skip this. On Iran I think that you might be conflating two (or more) things:

Iran is not an ideology, it is a country whose government claims to represent, and act in accordance with, an Islamic ideology. You can have a highly critical view of Iran’s behavior and performance, but does that reflect on the Islamic ideology? Do I need to mention here that Hezbollah has EXACTLY the same religious AND political ideology? Do I need to remind anyone here that Nasrallah as a person and Hezbollah as a movement are not followers of the Lebanese Sheikh Fadlallah (who is *erroneously* identified by the corporate media as “Hezbollah’s spiritual leader) but that the are the followers of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei? Even Hezbollah’s structure mirrors the one of the Iranian state! So which is the best example of the Shia Islamic ideology, Iran or Hezbollah?

Then, Iran is far more diverse, pluralistic and decentralized than the Zionist-inspired Western corporate media likes to portray. Ahmadinejad represents only one of the various factions inside the Iranian polity. Should Iran be judged by Ahmadinejad’s actions?

Also, keep in mind that Iran is *literally* surrounded by US forces whose political bosses make no secret of their desire to attack Iran. Does that not explain why they would be very, very cautious in their actions. Would openly throwing all their weight behind the Sadrists really be the smart thing to do? What hurts the American Empire more, a double tag-team of headaches like Sadr and Maliki (whose only powerbase is the Iranian controlled Badr forces) or a clear cut insurgency?

Please get me right – I am very much “less than impressed” by Iran’s current policies in Iraq (which I, frankly, do not understand) and I am equally “less than impressed” with Ahmadinejad. But the man which I respect most in the entire Middle-East, Nasrallah, is firm in his unwavering support for, and alliance with, Iran. Does that not tell us that he might know, or understand, something which we are missing? Every time somebody criticizes Iran I bring the example of Nasrallah and say “explain this!”

What is the “Islamic ideology” which you say has failed? I submit that the Iranian Islamic Revolution is one thing and the Shia ethos is something quite distinct which cannot be reduced to, or conflated with, the former.

For all the ignorant views of the incurable secularists to the contrary, even a cursory acquaintance with Hezbollah and Nasrallah will show any non-prejudiced person that Shia Islam, its spirituality, its ethos and its worldview (in other words its ideology) are not only at the core of everything which Hezbollah is or does, but in fact defines and directs all the aspects of Hezbollah’s existence. Simply put, there is no way to understand anything about Hezbollah outside this “ideological” Islami
vineyardsaker Homepage 09.28.08 – 12:44 pm #


The Hispanoamerican countries fought their anticolonial wars, and won. Spain left the last colonies by the 1800. So, two hundred years have passed since the colonial power was evicted, however popular power is starting to take shape now, at least in some countries (I wouldn’t consider Lula on this lot, he follows free-marketism by the book and the poor and “sem terra” are still neglected).

There have also been popular leaders over there previously, but much the same as it happened in the arab countries- they were liquidated by
USA interventions or USA surrogates. Repression has been absolutely BRUTAL there, in special throughout the XXth century. And as you see, the empire continues at it. Look at the sedition recently sowed in Bolivia, Venezuela…

Hence, the process of education to awakening can never stop, for the greedy don’t stop either. Be eit in Hispano América, be it in the Arab world, be it in East Asia.

Lucia 09.28.08 – 12:54 pm #


Hi Saker,

Re Iran I’m closer to your views than to Tony’s, as I have been commenting in older posts. These are the minor differences I have with Tony’s article, that I mentioned earlier, and call them minor because I think they don’t significatively change the general overview the article presents. But it is good you intervened, since you’ve got a good analysis over the situation in Iraq, and Iran’s role. I agree with you that Iran’s image is very deformed in the western media and is a far more sofisticated and complex country (and so are its policies and diplomacy) than many people are lead to believe.

Lucia 09.28.08 – 1:18 pm #


I believe that it was the 1967 defeat that was the end and death of Arab nationalism. What took place in 1991 when Syria and other Arab countries actually sent troops to Destroy another Arab state was just the official funeral. Arabs never recovered from that defeat and in reality the Fall of Baghdad in 2003 was the last effect of the 1967 cause.
Zarathustra 09.28.08 – 2:55 pm #



As I said in my piece, I am a simple man from the proverbial state of Missouri; I judge by the things I see on the ground. And what do I see on the ground? Let me count the ways:

– I see Muslim Palestinians in Iraq being slaughtered and expelled by Shiite death squads which Iran easily controls.

– I see ethnic cleansing going on where entire sections of Baghdad have been ethnically cleansed.

– I see Iran’s closest surrogate, Hakim, calling for the splitting of Iraq by having a separate Shiite “federal” region in the south.

– I see Iran’s surrogate, Maliki, giving away Iraq’s wealth for generations to come by signing “deals” with American oil robbers.

– I see Iran’s man, again Maliki, concluding a so-called SOF agreement that guarantees the permanent occupation of Iraq.

– I see Hizbullah, with all of my admiration and respect, still refusing to criticize the Maliki puppet or the Shiite death squads, because of sectarian reasons and also in order not to displease Iran. As is repeatedly asked, why is it that the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon was fought, ferociously, and those who cooperated with the occupation were treated as traitors, but the same does not apply to Iraq?

I can go on and on. I do not have your sophistication to analyze the various power centers in Iran or the essence of the motivation of the Shiite theology; as I said I judge by the results I see.

Speaking of Hizbullah, and in spite of my admiration, I can’t forget that it continued to praise the Lebanese “army” while it was systematically destroying the Nahr El-Bared camp over the heads of some 30,000 Palestinian refugees. Most of those refugees have no homes to return to now. What has Hizbullah done about that? For political reasons it looked the other way and praised the Lebanese army’s heroism! Let us be as objective as we can be here.
Tony Sayegh Homepage 09.28.08 – 3:39 pm #

Comment; It is Fath Al-Islam who destoyed Nahr Al-barid


Tony, independently of Saker’s reply to you which I’ll read with interest, let’s see the other side of the coin (my two cents):

-Fact is that the oil wealth of Irak has not fallen yet into US/multinational hands thanks to Iran’s opposition. Muqtada, regardless all criticisms that can be made of him, has aborted the “oil-law” in several occasions. China’s deal had been already signed by Saddam’s cabinet.

-Same happens with the SOFA and with the permanence of foreign troops on Iraqi soil, what Iran opposes.

-Ethnic cleansing has gone in several directions. Mainly foreign death squads vs iraqis. Then shia-sunni, sunni-shia, kurds-iraqis, so called al-Q vs iraqis and you may add some. Proved that Iran helped stop bloodshed.

I can provide with links for all the above.

Now 3 questions to ponder:

-Could Hezbollah at that very difficult moment, and having in mind the higher interests of their own country, have acted other way when Hezbullah proper was under the radar?

-Isn’t it abundantly clear that Hezbollah DOES support the Palestinians?

-Could Iran, being submitted to pressure and threats by a crazied empire that did not hesitate dropping atomic bombs on another country after it *had surrendered*, could Iran act more defiantly that it did, or would it be oughtright suicidal?

Politics has more to do with the body of the iceberg that with its tip. I mean, declarations, photos and saking hands are for the most part for “consumption”; meanwhile real deals are played behind curtains out of the people’s sight.

“News is what someone wants to supppress. Everything else is advertising” – former NBC news prez Rubin Frank

Lucia 09.28.08 – 4:23 pm #


Hi Tony,

Thanks for your reply. Let me, if I may, take your points one by one:

I see Muslim Palestinians in Iraq being slaughtered and expelled by Shiite death squads which Iran easily controls.

As far as I know this kind of stuff has largely stopped. But that is neither here nor there really, the real issue is what control, or lack thereof, Iran has over these militias. Not only that, but its not like Iran has many alternatives to the Badr forces and the Sadrists which, as far as I know, have both been involved in anti-Palestinian and anti-Sunni terror operations. Are we to assume that Iran could have prevented these things from happening or that Iran instigated them? I do not know, but ask yourself: does Iran even care about Palestinians in Iraq? I think that not. It is far more likely that the Iraqi Palestinians have paid the price for their support of Saddam and his terror state. “He who sows the winds reaps the storm as the French say”. I am not justifying anything, only pointing at the obvious causes and asking whether the blame for this can be laid on Iran?

– I see ethnic cleansing going on where entire sections of Baghdad have been ethnically cleansed.

Tony, Iran is not in charge of stopping the Iraqis of butchering each other, that is simply not Iran’s responsibility. I do not think that “Iraqi Shia = Iran”. There is plenty of Iraqi Shia extremism out there without any need for Iran to add fuel to the fire.

– I see Iran’s closest surrogate, Hakim, calling for the splitting of Iraq by having a separate Shiite “federal” region in the south.

And you see Sadr opposing this. So which of the two gets to speak for, or embody, Shia Islam and its ideology?!

– I see Iran’s surrogate, Maliki, giving away Iraq’s wealth for generations to come by signing “deals” with American oil robbers.

Now that is not serious. Iran totally and unequivocally opposes the SOFA and, last time I checked, the oil laws. I think that Maliki, as a typical prostitute, is doing the bidding of whomever promises him more power and money. Right now, this is the USA and not Iran. To simply blame anything and everything Maliki does is simply based on the mistaken assumption that Maliki is “Iran’s puppet”. Maliki happens to be the head of the only Shia government in Iraq and its not like Iran can ignore or, much less so, openly oppose that. But that does not mean that Iran like the guy or his policies. Do you really think that the Iranians don’t realize that Maliki is a prostitute willing to sell himself and his country to the highest bidder? Of course they know that, but they do not have an “Iraqi Nasrallah” out there, the only alternative is Sadr, not exactly a dream come true either…

I see Iran’s man, again Maliki, concluding a so-called SOF agreement that guarantees the permanent occupation of Iraq.

As I said, Iran totally opposes this and that, in turn, begs the question of why you blame everything Maliki does on Iran.

– I see Hizbullah, with all of my admiration and respect, still refusing to criticize the Maliki puppet or the Shiite death squads, because of sectarian reasons and also in order not to displease Iran.

You really think Tony that this sounds like Nasrallah? Being silent over a fundamental issue in order not to antagonize a country whose support he counts on? I really don’t think so, this is not at all in sync with the character of the man.

Tony, Nasrallah fears nothing other than God. I know, nowadays this is hard to believe used as we are to fully unprincipled politicians, but Nasrallah is a totally different creature from the typical modern politician.

As is repeatedly asked, why is it that the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon was fought, ferociously, and those who cooperated with the occupation were treated as traitors, but the same does not apply to Iraq? Because the main threat to Lebanon is external whereas in Iraq the external invader is just one factor in a much more complicated situation.

I agree with you, as far as I am concerned the occupiers of Palestine and the occupiers of Iraq are the soldiers of the same Empire – but the Iraqis have a lot of housecleaning to do before coming to realize that.

The problem here is not some “Islamic ideology” but the Iraqis lack of unity if purpose.
Look at how the former Baathists and Sunni turned into some “concerned citizens” and “sons of Iraq”! Is that not a disgrace? What does the Iranian revolution have to do with this?

Homepage 09.28.08 – 4:48 pm #

Tony, as to the splitting of the shia-south, Iran and Muqtada (who is above all an iraqi nationalist) oppose it.

Let’s wait and see, because my impression -to the luck if iraqis- is It will be Iran’s bid snf not american’s bid, since america is within a trap of its own creation. US troops quitting Iraq safely depends on Iran.

In case the americans play the card of a free kurdistan, and its oil-wells, then it this partition cannot be avoided, maybe the segregation of the shia part could be accepted, as preferable to live again under the conditions they lived formerly. But Iran opposes partition and has said it loud and clear. The last Iran+Turkey+Syria want is a free Kurdistan. There won’t be partition.

Lucia 09.28.08 – 5:01 pm #

@Speaking of Hizbullah, and in spite of my admiration, I can’t forget that it continued to praise the Lebanese “army” while it was systematically destroying the Nahr El-Bared camp over the heads of some 30,000 Palestinian refugees. Most of those refugees have no homes to return to now. What has Hizbullah done about that? For political reasons it looked the other way and praised the Lebanese army’s heroism! Let us be as objective as we can be here.

Look, I am sorry for the innocent victims of this one, but you can hardly house Fatah al-Islam (which seems to be a CIA backed local franchise of the wider Salafist movement) and not expect that bad things will happen. To put it bluntly, I do not think that the Shias can afford to allow CIA backed Salafists to take root anywhere in Lebanon or anywhere else where the Shia live (I would even argue that everybody on the planet should strive at rooting out the sick and evil Salafist ideology wherever it sticks out its ugly head). We all know what future the Salafists envision for those they call “rejectionist idolaters”. That the Lebanese Army botched its operation there should not come as a surprise either as the “Lebanese Army” is more of a bad joke than a real fighting force. Serving tea and actually fighting are different things. What did you want, Hezbollah to go into Nahr El-Bared and kick the Salafists out? Sure they could do that, except that they try to avoid shooting at other Lebanese. So they let the Army do the dirty job and praised them for it. You expected them to denounce the Army?

And what does Iran and its ideology have to do with this mess anyway?
vineyardsaker Homepage 09.28.08 – 5:04 pm #

vineyardsaker Homepage 09.28.08 – 5:04 pm

CIA backed, and Saudi funded.

Saker I enjoyed your whole analysis and agree practically 100 per cent with it. Thanks for sharing your views

Lucia 09.28.08 – 5:10 pm #


As you know, Turkey Iran and Syria have their own kurd population, courtesy of Sykes Picot. Allowing partition of kurdistan in Iraq would imply kurdish separatist problems would be exacerbated in their countries. Those three states don’t want it (regardless what we, as individuals, may think about kurdish people’s right to secede and form their own state)

Lucia 09.28.08 – 5:25 pm #



I don’t have the time to answer all your replies, but on the last one you are totally wrong, my friend.

To start with, the Palestinians do not control the entry or the exit from their camps in Lebanon; the army does. Those Salafis you refer to, were brought into the camp by the Hariri people with the full knowledge of some branches of the Lebanese government security. The Palestinians in the camp did not want these people, but they had no power to get rid of them.

The next point is that the Lebanese army systematically destroyed the entire camp, not just the isolated pockets where the Salafis were.

I posted articles written by Marcy Newman (among others) from inside the camp documenting the atrocities of the army and the outright racism towards the Palestinians. I also posted videos showing how that “heroic” army systematically torched those Palestinian homes that remained standing, after stealing all their contents. The videos even showed the racist, anti-Palestinian slogans scrawled on the walls by the heroic army.

It was none other than Hizbullah who, early on, warned the army that attacking the camp and entering it was “a red line!” Then when the systematic slaughter and destruction proceeded, Hizbullah fell silent.

Don’t forget that the bulk of the rank and file foot soldiers in the Lebanese army are Shiites; they could have refused orders to attack innocent Palestinians if Hizbullah asked them to; just a thought.

At any rate your rationalization of what happened in Nahr El-Bared is simply that and it is wrong.
Tony Sayegh Homepage 09.28.08 – 5:29 pm #


if Hizbullah asked them to

could Hizbullah have issued those orders to the army at that moment?
In my humble opinion they could not.

The attack was ruthless and completely out of proportion. There was no reason to send the army in, with tanks and everything, for a problem that would have to be solved by the police.

Lucia 09.28.08 – 5:38 pm #


@Lucia: thanks for your kind words.

@Tony: you might be correct and I might be wrong. I am not expert at all and I did not closely follow the events in Nahr El-Bared. However, even if the Palestinians should not be blamed for having Fatah al-Islam next door, nor should Hezbollah for the crudeness of the Lebanese Army’s tactics under the pretext that many soldiers are Shia. There are plenty of non-Hezbollah Shia in Lebanon (Amal for one thing) and, as far as I know, Hezbollah soliders do not fight inside the Lebanese Army. You say that Hezbollah should not have praised the Army for its Hun-like tactics and I agree. But I suspect that the praise was more directed at the will to take on the Salafists than for using smart tactics in the process.

Look, there is, in my opinion, no worse ideology out there than Salafism and I do find it essential, crucial, to crush it wherever it shows up, be it Chechnia, Iraq, Afghanistan or Lebanon. I wish the Palestinians (or any other innocent bystanders) would not get slaughtered in the process, but I have to grant some degree of recognition to anyone trying to eradicate the Salafists anywhere.

My 2cts.
vineyardsaker Homepage 09.28.08 – 5:45 pm #


Maybe, Tony, this botched operation by the army urged Hizbollah to push for the issuing of residence cards for the Palestinians, so that they could be somehow protected. They were “invisible”.

Lucia 09.28.08 – 5:46 pm #


@Tony: one small comment about Baathism: you know, it reminds me of Communism in modern Russia. Its not really an ideology any more. It more of a psychopathological syndrome for a butch of have-beens which failed at all they attempted and are now angry and bitter at the entire world for not recognizing what they think of as “great achievements”. Baathists and Stalinists have a lot in common, at least in their mental makeup and bizarre behavior, at least in Russia, nobody takes them too seriously. I would not pay too much attention at their rather childish insults. Remember that first and foremost – they are *losers*; and, second, well, how shall I put it – they ain’t too bright. And third, they are also totally irrelevant and *they know that*. So they do the only thing they know how: spew hatred. Let them – it gives them meaning.

vineyardsaker Homepage 09.28.08 – 5:57 pm #


Lucia and VS,

When we start using terms such as “botched operation” and “lack of discipline” (on the part of the army), are we not using exactly the same propaganda and rationalization the US military used when it destroyed Fallujah?

No, the total destruction of the camp and the expulsion of the Palestinians in it were intentional and it was a decision taken at the highest level. There is a theory that the Salafis were brought in to justify the attack on the camp. Why was the camp destroyed? Many theories were floated including a story (by Franklin Lamb) that the US wanted to build a US air base in the area. At any rate, the US military flew in “emergency” military gear for the Lebanese army to use in destroying the camp. Does that tell us something?
Tony Sayegh Homepage 09.28.08 – 6:04 pm #


Tony, I had read Lamb’s article on the plans for the base. For me it was more than that, it was -like in Irak- “solving the refugees problem the zionist way”, i.e., ethnic cleanse, mass murder. Choose the term you see fits it best.

I used botched operation to put it a name, and certainly the term is not very accurate. Attempt at mass murder gets closer.

This is -again, in my view- a replay of the chasing of Palestinians that was done in Iraq. Detonate a car bombing in a crowded market, blame it on the Palestinians, parade two or three “suspects” on TV to pit the local population against them. And the chasing will be “approved”. Yesterday’s car-bombing in Syria follows the same pattern. Now it is being blamed on the Palestinians, go figure! But it does not benefit the Palestinians, I agree with Muallem on this one, that it only benefits the zios. So I tend to think that, since El-Assad refused the zionist condition to expel Meshaal and I.Jihad, the zios have orchestrated this from behind the curtains to arm-twist him. I don’t think it works. Not now.

The root problem is the Palestinian refugees are being chased. Zion has sent abbas to Lebanon to that they were given nationality and absorbed there, what Lebanon refused, stating they must return to Palestine. Zion does not want, at any rate, to assume this problem; and on the other hand is well aware it is an inalienable and *individual right that noone can sell out, as Abbas is willing to do, lest Israel loses its “jewish” character. But anything he signs, if he does it, is wet paper.

The Palestinian problem, in a special manner the refugees problem makes one’s heart bleed. And to make matters worse, they have been neglected for too long.

All Palestinians, anywhere, must be very careful, unless they have “papers”, residence or naturalization. They are being targeted.

Lucia 09.28.08 – 6:29 pm #


@Tony: the total destruction of the camp and the expulsion of the Palestinians in it were intentional and it was a decision taken at the highest level.

Interesting. First, may I ask you what sources of facts you base this statement on?

Second, if presume that if you are correct in your analysis, then Hezbollah (who has the best intelligence capability in the entire Middle-East) must have known this too. In that case, why would they support what is, in your words, an anti-Palestinian bloodbath concealed under the guise of an anti-Salafist operation? Are you seriously claiming that Hezbollah is anti-Palestinian?! Are you saying that Hezbollah wanted to clear the camp to let a US base replace it?!
vineyardsaker Homepage 09.28.08 – 6:36 pm #


@Tony: “botched operation” can be used to conceal a deliberate attempt to massacre people.

However, there are real botched operations out there. And when I see the kind of “army” the so-called “Lebanese Army” is, I think “incompetence” long before I think “mission”. Actually, and this might shock you, I also mostly think “incompetence” rather than “mission” when I see the US Army’s dismal performance in Iraq. (Now, with the Israelis its mostly a combination of both).
vineyardsaker Homepage 09.28.08 – 6:40 pm #


VS, I think Tony does not mean Hizbulah when he mentions the highest level. Remember had left their seats, and Siniora ruled unconstitutionally, on behalf of the zio-cons. Hizbullah had, then, its tents set up in protest to form an equitable unity gov.
Lucia 09.28.08 – 6:41 pm #


@Lucia:I think Tony does not mean Hizbulah when he mentions the highest level.

Yes, I understand that. But if he, Tony, knows about the real goal of the operation it is safe to say that so does Hezbollah. Hence, they praised what was an anti-Palestinian operation. That makes absolutely no sense to me. Nor does, by the way, the idea that the US would put a base in Lebanon, by the way.
vineyardsaker Homepage 09.28.08 – 6:44 pm #

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