Gebran Tueni's last writings......
May your soul rest in peace.....
Picture taken from: www.naharashabab.com
We decided to go out and have dinner outside for a change. And after the usual debate, we settled on Nando's at City Mall, Dora.
I have to admit it was an excellent choice. We started the evening with the waiter Elie, who spent almost 15 min. explaining the "unique" taste of Nando's, and why it is different. But what got my full attention was the fact that they are proud of their different "peri-peri sauces" that have one thing in common, they are HOT, but in different degrees.
Carlos after the "sauce"
As for me, I was able to survive the "extra hot" sauce. I admit it was the hottest sauce I tried in Liban, but it wasn't to the level that I would go madly asking for Pepsi to wash it down :)
Unfortunately, between the "extra hot" and taking pictures, I forgot to get a picture of me with the gang, But all in all, it was a lovely night, and we ALL encourage you all to try Nando's out :)
Since I wrote my post "Cold Civil War", I met a guy (not in person, only via the blog) named Antoine, who had a strong feelings against Sunnies, and insisted that in Liban, Christians and Muslims simply can't co-exist. I am totally against such concept, and I insisted that Liban is for people, and so many share this point of view with me.
Normally, I tried to prove him him wrong, and he tried to prove me wrong as well. Which is why I allowed "crossing" some red lines that I usually try NOT to in my blog. I wanted to reply to his last comment, but i couldn't find better than kahwwta's amazing post. So dear Antoine, check out that post, and you'll see that all Lebanese can co-exist, regardless of their sect :)
Waiting for your comment Antoine....
New youth bands played their music, and sent a message to the soul of Kassir, and his wife Mrs. J. Khory was smiling with everyone, only to prove that March 14th is a celebration of the spirit of Liban, the spirit of Samir Kassir, in its best forms.
I was lucky to meet Kassir when he came to UOB two years ago. In that famous seminar, the smile never left his face, even when some students were attacking his political views, and even tried to nail from his integrity. But in his unique style, he was able to capture the hearts of everyone who attended back then, and was able to prove that our rich is in our diversity.
Taken at UOB April 19th,2005
May your soul rest in peace, we miss all the time, and specially when we start hesitating, and wondering if we should stop and give up. That's when we realize that we can't stop, and we can't give up.....
Pictures taken from: www.albaladonline.com
According to Naharnet, Reuters and Tayyar.org (tried my best to check different sources), 6 men of Fat7-l-Islam organization were arrested and confessed that they were responsible for Ain Alak bombing, as well as planning for the assassination of many Lebanese politicians.
News still vague as we speak, more to come later (I learned NOT to believe news till it is proven right later on).
Future TV and LBC announced the news 30 min. ago. New TV, Manar TV and NBN haven't said a word.
For the last couple of days, the Lebanese opposition have been using Olmert's testimony to assure the Lebanese that the July war was planned on Liban months before, and it wasn't just a reaction to HA kidnapping the two Israeli soldiers.
Being a HUGE issue, I decided to read the real source of the information (Haaretz) myself, and as I expected, the war was nothing but a reaction to HA's act:
"The day before he appeared before the commission, Major General Gadi Shamni, Olmert's military secretary, presented its members with the schedule of the meetings on Lebanon.
The scenario presented in the various assessments reflected prior incidents: the abduction of soldiers from Israeli territory accompanied by heavy cross-border shelling. Then-chief of staff Dan Halutz said such an incident would have far-reaching consequences for Israel's deterrent capability. Halutz said Israel could not show restraint in the face of a kidnapping in the north, and it had to respond. Olmert testified that he accepted this stance.
In a meeting in March, Olmert asked the army commanders whether operational plans existed for such a possibility, and they said yes. He asked to see the plans, and they asked why. He responded that he did not want to make a snap decision in the case of an abduction, and preferred to decide at that moment. Presented with the options, he selected a moderate plan that included air attacks accompanied by a limited ground operation. At the time, Shaul Mofaz was defense minister.
The Winograd Commission asked Olmert what he thought his predecessor would have done. Olmert said that following Hezbollah's failed November 2005 attempt to abduct Israel Defense Forces troops in the border village of Ghajar, Sharon ordered the army to prepare a "list of targets" for a military response in Lebanon. The list included an air attack on the long-range Fajr and Zilzal rockets, which were destroyed in an air raid the first night of the war. Sharon said at the time that the status quo, of ongoing Hezbollah raids, could not continue. Olmert told the commission that he behaved as Sharon would have."
As you can see, Israel did plan for a response to an abduction attempt by HA. So in practical terms, had HA NOT kidnapped the two Israeli soldiers, this whole war would have never happened. I'm really sick and tired of how we always abuse sources of information, and insist on twisting facts so it would suit us better. But thank God we live in a world where we can check the sources themselves instead of just believing what they want us to believe.
One more interesting thing I read in the same article was what Olmert set as a goal for the war on Liban:
"Olmert stated that he had decided in earlier meetings that Israel's goal in an operation would be the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for the deployment of the Lebanese army along the Israeli border and the disarmament of Hezbollah."
It seems all what Israel wanted was to make sure the Lebanese Army's deployment in Southern Lebanon. Was that goal met? Yeah it was, so next time you come on stage and shout "Israel was defeated", think again. When will we start realizing that there's a bigger picture to everything?
And as if this is NOT enough, here is yet another thing:
In May 2006, Olmert was informed by then-National Security Council head Giora Eiland and former prime minister Ehud Barak that the Lebanese government would agree to implement Resolution 1559 in return for an Israeli withdrawal from Shaba Farms. Olmert thought that it was best to implement the decision through diplomacy, and raised the issue with U.S. President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems Lebanese diplomacy was in fact ABLE TO RETURN SHABA FARMS to Liban without the need to go into a meaningless war that brought the country 20 years back. But thanks to HA's move, we were forced to (we didn't even have the right to discuss such step) go into such war, and now we are stuck at this painful present.
If what Haaretz said is proven to be the truth, then I'm asking all of you who are supporting HA, can you please tell me why HA kidnapped the two soldiers? HA officials admits that they knew Israel was planning the war ahead of time, then they must knew that it would be a response to a kidnapping attempt, and they must have knew that Israel was ready to return Shaba Farms through diplomatic channels. Here is the ugly truth that we refuse to believe, HA knew that Israel returning Shaba Farms to the Lebanese government through diplomacy would mean the end of the need to its arsenal, and Iran knew that such a step would mean disarming HA would be the next logical thing, and so they decided to kidnap Israeli soldiers, so that Israel starts a war on Liban, and they can then defend themselves saying "SEE, we told you Israel wants to invade us, and if it wasn't for HA, they would have brought Liban to its knees."
And yet, they have the nerve to go on public and accuse us of being traitors, irony of life, irony of life.....
The question remains though, what's wrong with March 14th officials? Why ain't they showing the Lebanese public opinion the other side of the story? Why are they allowing the opposition to abuse the current events? Start acting for God's sake, don't just sit on your butts. We need to know where you stand from all this shit, we didn't march and supported you endlessly so that you refrain from declaring the truth. By doing so, you are no better than HA.
In his speech yesterday, Nasrallah didn't jump over the "usual" tone of his last speeches. But since we are in the atmosphere of trying to find a way out, it is always better to look at the positives than the negatives, and this is what I'm trying to do now.
One can't but to admit that both sides of the crisis have realized that escalation can lead no where but to a dead end. And so, it is better to sit and talk politics, than to march in streets and just shout endlessly. This is was clear in Nasrallah's speech, though he was insisting that the sit-in is effective and a must (well after all, you can't just come out and say our move wasn't effective).
I really hope that politicians start sitting and discussion the conflict over closed doors, and try to reach anything, and even if they didn't, but at least the tension will be taken away from the streets.
Once again, I won't focus on the negatives of Nasrallah's speech, for we have suffered enough, and the country does need a break.
Hopefully, we are going to reach something at the end of the tunnel, and I can see some rays of light at the end of the tunnel, though I really hope that we won;t settle for just a temporarily compromise, for we are about to reach yet another conflict (Presidential Elections).....