Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rogue's Gallery #2

Rogue’s Gallery pictorially showed the various sides in Lebanon, mainly March 8th (aka “the bad guys”) and March 14th (“the good guys”) , the simplified description in quotes being what appears to be the 5th-grade understanding/characterization of the current US administration, apparently incapable of a more nuanced understanding of the complex situation in Lebanon…. It is true that the Lebanese have confounded each other and everyone else over the years, and continue to do so…. Looking at the leaders of “the good guys” you see men who have fought each other, switched sides (sometimes more than once), said many intemperate things, etc., and who don’t have the cleanest of hands. However, since they are (now) anti-Syrian they now smell like the sweetest of roses…

Walid Jumblatt:

  • After Israel withdrew from the Chouf Mountains 1982 Jumblatt's militia attacked the Christian Phalange, overran an estimated 60 Maronite villages causing many casualties, and consolidating his control of the Chouf.
  • For over a decade was a supporter of the Syrian military presence in Lebanon, from after the civil war to the death of former Syrian President Hafez al-Assad in 2000
  • Often makes extravagant/outlandish statements, including, in the past, numerous anti-American diatribes. Some examples include:
    • “We have come to Freedom Square to tell you, oh tyrant of Damascus, you ape unknown to nature, you snake from which even the snakes have fled, you whale vomited by the ocean, you wild desert beast, you creature that is only half-man, you Israeli product at the expense of the corpses of the South Lebanese, you liar and arch-killer in Iraq, you criminal blood-shedder in Syria and Lebanon” speaking of Syrian leader Bashir al-Assad, on Al-Jazeera TV, Feb 14th, 2007
    • We are all happy when U.S. soldiers are killed week in and week out. The killing of U.S. soldiers in Iraq is legitimate and obligatory.” - Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, February 12, 2004
    • “Who invented Osama bin Laden?! The Americans, the CIA invented him so they could fight the Soviets in Afghanistan together with some of the Arab regimes. Osama bin Laden is like a ghost, popping up when needed. This is my opinion.” & when asked re 9-11 answered: “Even 9/11…Why didn’t the sirens go off when the four hijacked planes took off?…The U.S. always needs an enemy…According to this plan or ideology of the born-again Christians who formed an alliance with Zionism – Islam is the monster, Islam is the target.” - interview with UAE-based Al Arabiyya TV, April 28, 2004. In this case he apparently is in agreement with Lebanese Shiite leader Muhammad Hussein Fadhlallah, whom expressed similar sentiments in 2006.
    • Jumblatt described U.S. President Bush as someone who “considers himself God's deputy on Earth, threatening and classifying the world into different camps, and relying on his imperial power…How dangerous emperors are when they go mad… In the same axis we have the trustworthy servant, the imperial servant…pleased with himself and his idiotic laugh, his peacock appearance, none other than Tony Blair…Also joining this axis is the comprador Mussolini of the 21st century, the prime minister of Italy today, Silvio Berlusconi, who seems to want to renew the empire of the Caesars… To complete the picture, we have Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, the Spanish neo-rightist…Aznar and Blair spend a lot of time in front of the mirror every morning, it seems, so that their hair is parted perfectly…People who pay that much attention to their appearance are fascists by nature. Or they have psychological or sexual complexes.” – from Lebanese Daily Star article, February 3, 2003
    • “The oil axis is present in most of the U.S. administration, beginning with its president, vice-president, and top advisers, including Rice, who is oil-colored, while the axis of Jews is present with Paul Wolfowitz.” – also from Lebanese Daily Star article, February 3, 2003

Samir Geagea:

  • In 1982/83 while leading the Lebanese Forces, fought with Walid Jumblat's PSP (Progressive Socialist Party) militia, the Palestinians, and the Syrians, before being expelled from the Chouf mountains…
  • Fought and killed other Maronite Christian factions while consolidating power.
  • Was convicted of the assassination of Rachid Karami (a former eight-time Lebanese Prime Minister, killed by a bomb); assassination of a fellow member of the Lebanese Forces Elias Zayek; the assassination of another anti-Syrian, Christian leader Dany Chamoun (murdered along with his wife and two of his children, aged 5 and 7) ; and the attempted assassination attempt of Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of the Interior Michel Murr. (Note: since Geagea was the only Lebanese leader ever held to account his supporters have always cried foul, and his trial also was deemed deficient by many, including international observers)
Saad Harari: took over leadership of the Sunni after the assassination of his father, Rafiq Hariri. Hasn't been around enough to rack up the same level of “achievements” as his comrades-in-arms.

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