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On Other Blogs: From Beirut to the Beltway

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On Other Blogs: Blacksmiths of Lebanon

On Other Blogs:The Beirut Spring

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Brace yourselves... Its gonna be a long long long ride

I have been relatively quiet throughout the events unfolding in Lebanon and the region in early 2007... mostly because there is nothing much to say in the way of analysis.

While there have been many developments, from Hezbollah's riots on a certain Tuesday that now seems so long ago, to the blow-back across universities two days later... all the way to the Ayn Aar bus bombings -shocking the country and yet shocking no one- and then the large, yet inane regurgitation plagued gathering on the anniversary of Hariri's assassination.

In the meantime, rumors of breakthroughs in "indirect" talks conducted through Iran and Saudi Arabia (woopdidoo) were circulating and proving to be vacuous. No compromises have yet materialized and I doubt any to materialize in the near future... I don't even know if I want to be wrong or not anymore - what difference does it make?

After all this is no longer primarily about Lebanon or its internal politics, March 8 succeeded at internationalizing Lebanese politics, and consequently our problems are becoming even less about Lebanon by the day. Amidst Saudi-Iranian talks and the Syro-Iranian coordination, as well as all that recent Iranian belligerency and their never-ending war games and display of divine weapons (probably imported from either russia or china and upgraded in Iran) countered by the leakage (or announcement, I forget) of American (contingency) plans to bomb the living crap out of all Iran's nuclear and military facilities... amidst all that, Lebanon's factions are becoming just cards to be played out in a much bigger regional game.

Bottom line, as Syria and Iran play for time waiting for a Godot that even they might not recognize, Lebanon simmers and starts showing signs of boiling. In the meantime the economy is tanking, state instutions are shackled and we are left at the mercy of... well I am not sure whose mercy we are at.

I am just asking myself what should we expect the near future to bring, knowing and fearing that its going to be more of the same - at best.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Breaking News: Explosion in the North Metn region, casualties reported

Naharnet reports:

At least three people were killed and seven others wounded when a bomb ripped through two mini-buses Tuesday in Ein Alak in the northern Metn province, Lebanese Red Cross officials said.
LRC Operations’ officer George Kittani told LBC television that evacuation was still underway.

Footage from the ANB news channel showed one of the buses torn apart, while the other heavily damaged.

Meanwhile Aljazeera reports 9 dead , quoting a Lebanese security source, in two explosions on buses the Bekfayya road:

مصدر أمني لبناني: 9 قتلى في انفجارين بحافلتين في طريق بكفيا بجبل لبنان

Brief Analysis: It seems that this blatant attack on innocent civilians aims at spreading fear one day before a March 14 planned demonstration, expected to mobilize hundreds of thousands to commemorate the 2 year anniversary of Hariri's assassination. The fact that the explosions targeted buses seems to at least point in the direction of perpetrators who want to deter people from attending... Terror at its worst...

Update: Al-Arabiya quoting the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation reported 9 dead as well, noting that Bekfayya is Jmayyel's hometown.

اعلن تلفزيون المؤسسة اللبنانية للارسال (ال بي سي) مقتل تسعة اشخاص الثلاثاء 13-2-2007 في انفجار لم تحدد طبيعته استهدف حافلتين قرب بلدة بكفيا الجبلية المسيحية في منطقة المتن الشمالي شمال بيروت.

وقال متحدث باسم الجيش ان أحد الانفجارين أصاب حافلة تقل ركابا قرب البلدة وتسبب في سقوط ضحايا. وأضاف أنه بدا من المعلومات الاولية أن الانفجار الثاني أصاب حافلة أخرى في نفس المنطقة.

ولم يتضح على الفور ما الذي سبب الانفجارين اللذين وقعا قبل يوم واحد من الذكرى السنوية الثانية لاغتيال رئيس الوزراء اللبناني الاسبق رفيق الحريري.

وبلدة بكفيا هي مسقط رأس الرئيس الاسبق أمين الجميل الذي اغتيل ابنه بيير في نوفمبر تشرين الثاني الماضي.

Update 2: It appears there is some confusion with regards to the fatalities, with some sources reporting 3 dead and others 12. It appears the bombs ripped through the buses 7 minutes apart with the first one causing most, if not all of the casualties.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hizbulla Arms Truck Intercepted and Seized

Naharnet reported that Lebanese authorities seized a truck which Hizbulla later blatently admitted was carrying munitions for the "resistance". They even asked for the return of the truck - after all Siniora's government did "admit" a long time ago that HA was a resistance. Oh ya, Siniora did make that admission after the HA and amal ministers boycotted government the first time, before the July war when Hizbulla started actively resisting the forward flow of time...
In any case according to sources quoted in the Naharnet story, there were guns, munitions and clips in the truck, which is quite worrisome on so many levels. First of all, there is no guarantee whatsoever that the truck was actually a HA truck. It could have belonged to any of Syria's cronies. Second, the fact that the Lebanese authorities managed to intercept one truck, seems to indicate to me that there possibly dozens of such trucks - given their efficiency and competence that is. I could go on and on about why this whole incident is worrisome, and I might do that - later.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Somethin's cookin

Seems like somethin's cookin... the rags have tuned it down a bit and the politicians have been tradin not so negative signals...