Showing posts from February, 2013

Shaykh Al Aseer and the transition from the sectarian cold war to the hot war

There is a threat of a sectarian hot war in Lebanon that puts an end to the long simmering sectarian cold war that started with the assassination of PM Rafiq Hariri..

As of today-the sectarian war, if it were to break out, it would be the result of using force against the al- Aseer and his supporters.

If the Hezbollah attacks al Aseer- there is no doubt that the Hezbollah will win-easily. However, it will not be another May 17 operation. Far from it. Lebanon will be firmly on the path of being another post 2003 Iraq.

There will be sectarian attacks, suicide bombings etc.- Iraq style.

Let's hope not. Not because there are many "mixed marriages" but because sectarian wars, civil wars, are medieval in their brutality and viciousness.

There is also the real threat that the Lebanese armed forces and the Lebanese police face significant desertions from Sunni Lebanese who will again see Hezbollah using its military power against their co-religionists while the army and the poli…

On Dearborn- notable and quotable

'"We've been observing Muslim communities in the United States for thirty, forty years," Fuller told me when I talked to him a few months before the tenth anniversary of 9/11. "Until the '90s nothing developed from those operations that caused people to say we've got a threat here." Then came the first World Trade Center bombing of 1993. "Thereafter, we were taking a little bit stronger look at Muslim communities. Yet no one came out of that harder look. No match or link or whatsoever from observing the people who lived in Dearborn, Michigan. Nothing ever came out of Dearborn, Michigan, or anywhere else that was remotely connected to the people who did what they did in 1993, or any of the other attacks up to and including 9/11." Fuller added: "It's always been my argument that Muslim communities in the United States haven't been supporting terror or  sheltering terrorists in any significant way. The response to 9/11 was to us…

Hizbullah: On Lebanese sheep- and a “rebuffed” United States

Nabil Haitham of the Lebanese pro-Hizbullah Lebanese newspaper Assafir wrote a short article that has valuable insights on Hizbullah.
In the article he attributes some comments to “Hizbullah members.”
The other comments he attributed to the # 2 public face of Hizbullah, Shaykh Naim Qassim.
Shaykh Naim Qassim is known in the West as the author of Hizbullah: the Story from Within. He is Sayed Hassan Nasrallah’s deputy and is known as one of the more hawkish leaders of the group.
The comment attributed by Haitham to Hizbullah members is that some in the group see the group confronting internal and external challenges. The external enemies are referred to as “wolves”, and the internal enemies, that is Lebanese who oppose the group, are described as “sheep who have grown claws.” This is a very interesting use of language. Thinking of the group’s internal adversaries as “sheep” is interesting characterization of fellow Lebanese, individuals or groups.
Are they “lambs” because the group is …

Hizbullah and Europe: The Future holds a smaller world?

Bulgaria has charged two alleged members of Hizbullah with the terrorist attack on its soil against Israelis. It is possible that this accusation will result in the EU’s classifying Hizbullah as a terrorist organization. Currently the EU differentiates between the military wing and the political/social wing of Hizbullah. As a result of this distinction members and supporters of Hizbullah operate in Western Europe raising funds and holding events.

This EU policy has been criticized by the U.S. which does not distinguish between a social or political wing and a military/”terrorist wing” of Hizbullah. As far as the U.S. government is concerned, and this message has been consistent U.S. policy for the past decades, is that Hizbullah is a terrorist organization. The fact that the "terrorist organization," the US government logic goes, has acquired a social wing and a political wing and got involved in the  "respectable politics" of Lebanon as a "responsible playe…

The 2006 Lebanon War and the 14th of March Movement

In the aftermath of the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, Hezbollah and its supporters accused the 14th of March Movement of colluding with Israel in its effort to destroy Hezbollah and bring war and destruction to the Shia-majority areas of South Lebanon and the Beirut Southern suburbs (Dahiyeh). This accusation is a serious accusation- an accusation that is one of the main reasons behind worsened tensions between Sunnis and the Shias in Lebanon. This accusation meant that the Sunni Prime Minister of the time, Fouad Saniora, was colluding to have Israel destroy the homes and the liveliood of the Shias.  This accusation helped kick Sunni-Shia tensions to a  level unprecedented in Lebanon's history. MP Fouad Saniora represents the biggest constituency among the Sunni Lebanese and holds the top Sunni position in government. Hezbollah is a Shia group. The increased sectarian tensions should have been surprising to no one.

As evidence of this serious accusation, in addition to a selective…