Syrian civil war spills into Lebanon, fighting on streets of Tripoli

The various sects of the “religion of peace” hate one another’s guts.

May 14, 2012 by – The fighting in Syria has spread to Tripoli in neighbouring Lebanon.

Tension has been rising between Tripoli’s Sunnis, who support the Syrian opposition against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, and supporters of the Syrian government including Tripoli’s Alawite community.

The arrest of Shadi Almawlawi, a young Sunni sheikh, triggered the armed clashes.

His supporters burnt tires, blocked the city’s main roads and deployed armed men on the streets.

Fighting that started on Sunday continued into Monday, with pressure mounting on the Lebanese army to stop the violence.

Hezbollah threatens Israel over maritime borders and gas fields

Who didn’t see this coming?

Lebanon, which is really Hezbollahland now, is threatening Israel over maritime borders now that massive amounts of natural gas have been discovered off the coast of Israel.

The big babies says it’s theirs, and that Israel is “playing with fire” if Israel insists otherwise.

The Israeli Cabinet on Sunday ratified an agreement with Cyprus which sets Israel’s maritime borders. Lebanon has rejected the borders set by the two countries, claiming the state is impinging on its naval territory, but Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel would not cede “one centimeter.”

We have already concluded an agreement on this issue with Cyprus… Lebanon, under pressure from Hezbollah, is looking for friction, but we will not give up any part of what is rightfully ours,” he said in a radio interview.

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Arutz Sheva - Lebanon has warned Israel it is “playing with fire” by staking out energy claims in the Mediterranean Sea, where Beirut says Israel’s discoveries are in its territory.

The Israeli Cabinet, heading off another dispute similar to the Sheba Farms land dispute at the northern border, approved a “marine economic zone proposal” Sunday after Lebanon presented maps to the United Nations, marking maritime borders that would include part of the giant Leviathan and Tamar fields. The United Nations previously has refused to take repsonsiblity for marking the maritime borders.

"I kill you Jooz!"

The Lebanese daily As-Safir, in an article under the headline “War of Oil: Another Phase of Israeli Offense,” reported that Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water Joubran Bassil said Israel “is playing with fire “by violating Lebanon’s maritime border and oil rights.”

He added, “Obviously we will prevent any violation. However, in case of violation, Israel will not be the only damaged part, but also large companies that cooperate with it. We, in Lebanon, respect the rights of others, and we don’t want to violate the rights of others, but at the same time, we do not want someone to attack us. Lebanon will not give up its rights or its borders”

Israeli firms discovered the gas fields, which also are believed to hold large commercially viable oil deposits, two years ago. Afterwards, Lebanon said the discoveries are in its territory, and it recently has announced that a Norwegian company will start a seismic research offshore.

"Yo, Hezbollah scum..."

Hizbullah, with its eyes on the rich reserves, previously has threatened that Israel is risking war by planning to “steal” its offshore energy reserves.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon Sunday morning denied a report in the Haaretz newspaper that the United States already has backed the Lebanese position.

“The dispute over the border with Lebanon was created by the Lebanese,” he said on Army Radio. “It is incorrect that the Americans sided with Lebanon in this dispute. There are very objective and organized rules, and I think that Israel will have no problem proving its ownership of the maritime areas that are ostensibly in dispute.”

He also said that Israel has unsuccessfully tried to talk with Lebanese officials about maritime borders, despite the countries’ officially being enemy states. “We’ve been in contact with Lebanon for a very long time,” he explained. “We have an interest in demarcating and setting all the borders, but they refuse.”

“Even the current land border, which is recognized by the United Nations, [was demarcated] without Lebanese involvement or recognition,” Ayalon said. “After the huge gas reserves were discovered, they suddenly woke up. Now that they’ve suddenly sent maps, we have no choice but to set the borders ourselves.”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman charged that Lebanon is “under pressure from Hizbullah” and “is looking for friction.” He added that there are “very strong arguments under international law” that back Israel’s claims.


Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ros-Lehtinen calls for cutting of aid to Lebanon’s new Hezbollah-infested government

I posted the other day about Lebanon’s PM Najib Mikati having formed a new government with a majority of Hezbollah terrorists. It was something that the mainstream media couldn’t be bothered to report on. They must be excused, however, as they were too busy defending Anthony Weiner and going through Sarah Palin’s email.

But, lucky for America that at least one person in congress can be counted on not to let such news just slip by. The ever-alert House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen isn’t taking the news sitting down. She calling for what should have been done a while ago - cutting all US aid to Lebanon’s new government. And for good measure, she wants to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as it is allied with Hamas.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, congresswoman from Florida, is also going to introduce legislation that would withhold US contributions to any UN entity that recognizes a Palestinian state or upgrades the status of the PLO observer mission. We recently met Ros-Lehtinen here and here.

Cuban-born Ros-Lehtinen is the most senior Republican woman in the U.S. House, and was the first Republican woman elected to the House of Representatives from Florida. She is currently the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

AFP-  A key US lawmaker called Monday for cutting all US aid to Lebanon’s new government, in which Hezbollah and its allies hold the majority, and to any Palestinian government in which Hamas is a partner.

“The US should immediately cut off assistance to the Lebanese government as long as any violent extremist group designated by the US as foreign terrorist organizations participates in it,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican and frequent White House critic.

Ros-Lehtinen warned in a statement that “Hezbollah and its cohorts will control the Lebanese government and likely benefit from the years of US assistance, including to the Lebanese military.”

“We cannot undo past mistakes, but we can learn from them and safeguard taxpayer dollars going forward,” she said.

It is the first time a coalition led by Hezbollah, which fought a deadly summer war with Israel in 2006 and is blacklisted in Washington as a terrorist organization, has dominated a government in Lebanon.

“The US should likewise stop funding the Palestinian Authority, where Hamas appears to be following in Hezbollah’s footsteps,” said Ros-Lehtinen.

“It is time for US assistance to truly advance our interests, rather than benefit the likes of Hezbollah, Hamas, and their partners,” she said.

Lebanon PM forms new cabinet with Hezbollah majority

Lebanon’s PM Najib Mikati formed a new government dominated by allies of Iranian-backed Hezbollah.

Lebanon’s leader says that the new government is committed to “liberating lands under Israeli occupation.”

Terrific.

No doubt Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were the first to congratulate the PM for its capitulation to the terrorists. It means one less country that Obama will have to attack.

Jerusalem Post - Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced on Monday a long-delayed new government dominated by allies of Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which is likely to cause alarm among Western powers.

Iranian hostage, Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati

Mikati was appointed to form a government after Hezbollah and its allies toppled Western-backed former premier Saad Hariri’s coalition in January over a dispute involving the UN-backed tribunal investigating the assassination of statesman Rafik al-Hariri, Saad’s father.

The Cabinet’s majority is made up of the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition, and Mitaki was quoted as saying by the Lebanese Daily Star that the “government will be a government for all Lebanon and will work for all the Lebanese people without discrimination.”

“Let us go to work immediately according to the principles and basis that we have affirmed our commitment to several times, namely . . . defending Lebanon’s sovereignty and its independence and liberating land that remains under the occupation of the Israeli enemy,” Mikati said at the Baabda Presidential Palace.

Hezbollah’s 1000 bunkers

They're not called Islamonazis for nothing.

Under the very protective eye of the United Nations, Lebanon, and Syria, and beyond the deliberately turned eye of the United States, Hezbollah, one of the world’s worst terrorist groups has managed to build, fortify, and stock nearly 1000 underground bunkers with the sole intention of using them to destroy Israel.

The Israeli IDF has released a map detailing the location of these sites.

Worse yet, these bunkers were purposely located near hospitals, private homes and schools in order to ensure worldwide outrage when the day comes that Israel will be forced to try and destroy them.

According to the IDF:

Hezbollah is estimated to have an arsenal of more than 40,000 rockets. This being the case, if war breaks out, Hezbollah will be able to launch between 500 and 600 rockets at Israel every day. One of the organization’s main civilian centers for storing munitions is the village of Al Khiyam in southern Lebanon, where hundreds of rockets and mortar shells with varying ranges are stored. More than 100 Hezbollah militants operate in the village, including special forces ready for combat with IDF soldiers.

Hezbollah militant activities are based in southern Lebanon, funded and maintained by Syria and Iran. All of these are in direct violation to the UN Security Council’s 1701 decision, carried out on August 12th, 2006, at the end of the Second Lebanon War.

Of course, when Israel was pressured by the U.S. and others to let up on Hezbollah and agree to the Security Council decision, everyone in Israel knew that nobody would lift a finger to enforce it, including the U.S.. The sole purpose of the decision was to save Hezbollah’s ass and buy the Islamonazis time to try again, only next time with much greater firepower.

Washington Post — The Israeli military on Thursday released a map detailing what it says are nearly 1,000 underground bunkers, weapons storage facilities and monitoring sites built by the militant Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon.

Many of the sites on the map are located south of the Litani River in Lebanon, the zone where Hezbollah is banned from keeping weapons under the U.N.-sponsored truce that ended Israel’s summer 2006 war with the guerrilla group.

An article on the military spokesman’s website says Hezbollah has set up some 550 bunkers, 300 monitoring sites and 100 weapons storage facilities. The facilities are located in 270 villages, and many are located near hospitals, private homes and schools, the military said in a statement published on its website. (keep reading >>)

Beirut ‘flash mob’ hopes to keep airport free from Hezbollah

Over at the Weekly Standard, Middle East expert Lee Smith writes of a different kind of Arab uprising in Lebanon. In the piece he speaks about a popular and seemingly innocuous ‘flash mob’ video that takes place in Beirut’s Rafiq Hariri International Airport. He seems to think the video and ad agency behind it have another message besides the promotion of Beirut Duty Free.

The dancers and faces are young and handsome, and put on a fun, lively show. We don’t know if they are Muslim or Christian Arabs, but if I had to guess, I’d bet mostly the latter.

Weekly Standard (Lee Smith) After two months of Arabs spontaneously taking to the streets to protest against their regimes, there’s another kind of uprising going on here in Lebanon. The setting isn’t even an Arab street, but rather Beirut’s Rafiq Hariri International Airport; and the occasion isn’t a protest, but rather a “flash mob” executing a traditional Lebanese song and dance routine, “Dabke.”

Most of the dancers are professionals, hired by M&C Saatchi MENA, to promote their client, Beirut Duty Free, while others swept up by the emotion just joined in. The aim of the spot, some Saatchi employees explain, was to leave passengers with a memory of Lebanon they could take with them on their journey. Hence, Saatchi says there’s nothing political about an ad that’s become something of an international YouTube sensation.

That’s true, but given the nature of the airport there are bound to be political resonances. Or, compare the “Dabke” video to footage of this recent Hezbollah show of force at the same airport, where numerous Hezbollah security vehicles are rushing the entrance to meet one of their allies, Jamil al-Sayyid. This was one of the four Lebanese generals once detained for his suspected involvement in the February 2005 assassination of the man the airport is named after.

Claire Berlinsky at Ricochet adds:

Now, as Smith notes, the airport is effectively controlled by Hezbollah. Retaining control over that airport is essential to Iran. For obvious reasons.

The only thing I’d add is that Saatchi is the ad firm that brought Margaret Thatcher to power and kept her there. They’re not stupid.

So you bet they understood what they were doing with this ad.

Revolution? Rhymes with destitution, retribution, dissolution, persecution, and execution

I wrote yesterday of the unrest in Tunisia, Lebanon, and Egypt. Now, Yemen is grumbling. And Jordan. And Algeria.

Who else will jump on the Al Jazeera Revolt-o-rama? Morocco? Oman? The Fakestinian Arabs rebelling against Abbas and the corrupt-to-the-core PLO leadership?

So many tyrants, so little time.

A lot of people are praising all this rabble in the streets as a sign that the Arab/Muslim world is showing that they are fed up with despots and dictators and want Western-style democracy.

Well that might be true for a tiny percentage of the protestors, but most are out in the streets only because they want something other than what they have been stuck with for the past-forever. It’s emotional. This is, after all, the religion of perpetual outrage that we’re talking about here.

Look at the pictures and video of the mobs of people. Most are young – teens and twenties. They know nothing about democracy, economics, or state craft.

All they know about democracy is that they hate it’s #1 symbol, America. All they know about economics is that their food prices are soaring (thanks to America, and of course, the Jews). And all they know about state craft is that Israel is the source of all their problems.

This is what has been taught to them in their schools, and preached to them in their mosques, and has been for the past sixty plus years.

The people of these countries want change, that’s for sure. Change for the sake the change. (Sound familiar?) But unlike the West, these countries have zero history of freedom or liberty. They have no remarkable constitutions, Declarations of Independence, or Magna Cartas; no Locke, no Burke, no Franklin or Jefferson or Madison. They have Nassers, Assads, and Husseins.

All they have to fall back on is the Koran, which has as much to do with liberty and democracy as Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, perennial best sellers in the Arab world.

Both commentators and interviews with people on the street yabber on about Arab or Muslim “pride”. As if ‘pride’ alone is excuse enough to warrant unbridled Western support for the mobs in the streets.

None of these people, whether the youth in the streets or journalists, have ever read, or even heard of the great American philosopher, Eric Hoffer, who made a name for himself thinking and writing about mass movements and their causes. In modern classics like The True Believer, The Ordeal of Change, and The Passionate State of Mind, Hoffer predicted decades ago the continual mayhem the Middle East was doomed to endure, and the future revolutions that that the world suddenly finds so “shocking”. Moreover, he understood like no one else, the motivation for the chaos, and the meaning of ‘pride’ in the Arab world.

Eric Hoffer

•  When, for whatever reason, self-esteem is unattainable, the autonomous individual becomes a highly explosive entity. He turns away from an unpromising self and plunges into the pursuit of pride – the explosive substitute for self-esteem. All social disturbances and upheavals have their roots in crises of individual self-esteem, and the great endeavor in which the masses most readily unite is basically a search for pride.  - Eric Hoffer, “The Passionate State of Mind” (1955)

•  Pride is a sense of worth derived from something that is not organically part of us, while self-esteem derives from the potentialities and achievements of the self. We are proud when we identify ourselves with an imaginary self, a leader, a holy cause, a collective body or possessions. There is fear and intolerance in pride; it is sensitive and uncompromising. The less promise and potency in the self, the more imperative is the need for pride. The core of pride is self-rejection. - Eric Hoffer, “The Passionate State of Mind” (1955)

I’m not arguing for or against the budding ‘revolutions’. I’m saying, be careful what you wish for because when it comes to the Arab world and the Muslim mind, Westerners see things through their own liberty-tinted glasses, and haven’t a clue what it is like to have lived for generations in a milieu of blind hatred.

If one or more of these countries should flip, it won’t change a thing for the people living there in terms of wealth, productivity, or a better life. But for the countries around them, and for the West in general, the reverberations will be felt for decades.

As for the Obama Administration’s response, it is typically  slow, confused, and impotent. They should have seen all this coming, but they have been too busy pushing Obamacare, ‘climate change’, gays in the military, Michelle’s vegetable crusade, and suing Arizona.

Now they are stuck between a kaaba stone and a hard place. What can they do, really? Neither America, Obama, or Hillary Clinton have any credibility in the minds of the average person on those filthy streets.

So, as usual, the Obama Administration’s number one priority will be how to spin the whole messy thing in a way to make Obama look good, i.e., ‘Presidential’.

But to do that, they have to play wait and see. And so, don’t expect anything concrete out either Hillary or Obama. Their policy will change along with the facts on the ground, which is what happens when you have no real policy to begin with.

There are ongoing Egypt updates at Michellemalkin.com, including remarks from John Bolton.