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On Other Blogs: From Beirut to the Beltway

On Other Blogs: Jeha"s Nail - مسمار جحا

On Other Blogs: Blacksmiths of Lebanon

On Other Blogs:The Beirut Spring

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


As "spontaneous" and mobile demonstrations protesting electricity shortages escalated into rioting and spontaneous combustion of tires, Syria decided to cement its status as cultural capital of the Arab world by blocking off shipments of food items into Lebanon.

"Interesting" developments, especially in light of the recent Franjieh rant and Nasrallah's repulsive display of barbarism and linguistic prowess, not to mention that January 23rd is approaching - again ...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Omen (and other stuff)

I am not one to believe in omens but this particular crow seems to always be a harbinger of doom (usually of the political assassination type).

On a more grounded note, what is most telling about Franjieh's rant is not necessarily the attack on the "old man of the mountain" (to borrow a reference from Shunkleash), but the vehement attacks on both the Arab League initiative and the supposedly consensual presidential candidate the details whose presidency the AL is negotiating on. Clearly nothing has ever materialized from any Arab League initiative ever, so this one in particular was bound to be blown out of the water (so nothing to see there). On the other hand, it is the (stupid) honesty with which Franjieh states that the opposition does not trust Michel Suleiman that further confirms my previous feeling that the general's candidacy has turned into a dud. Of course, I could be wrong and his presidency could materialize but would itself turn into a dud. Whichever...

Either way, Suleiman should just give this Arab League initiative a chance to fail completely and then declare that he does not want the post of president anymore. His wings have been pre-emptively clipped. The questions is whether he cares.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Damascus, Arab Cultural Capital for 2008: A fitting title

Damascus welcomes 2008 as the cultural capital of the Arab world.

While this may be amazing - considering the Syrian regime's track record, I find that it is a fitting title in an Arab world where the pervasive ruling culture is that of oppression of the masses, repression of dissent, stifling of freedoms, incarceration of liberals, persecution of intellectuals and brutal crack downs on opposition, not to mention political assassinations.

If the "culture" that permeates the Arab ruling classes is to be celebrated, then what better capital than Damascus.