The Whirling Dervish of the Apocalypse!

There are many young people starving for hope in Lebanon, Syria and across the region, and Hassan Nasrallah’s latest speech was aimed squarely at them. No. it did not offer them hope in the real sense for which they are aspiring, jobs and such, but it did promise them victory, and in their desperate and empty lives, the promise of victory and the call of battle can indeed excite, especially when the leader involved seems to have a certain hard-won credibility in this regard.

For people do indeed believe that it was Hezbollah that was mainly responsible for driving Israelis forces out of South Lebanon, the role that the geopolitical context played at the time is entirely forgotten. Hell, people are willing to forget the current geopolitical context in which Hezbollah’s current adventurism is taking place. Or, to be more specific, they subscribe to a reading of it that is more based on fantasies and conspiracy theories, rather than the obvious hard facts. The curse of defeated messianic peoples is that they always want to believe, no matter how blindly.

But blind belief seldom leads to salvation, if ever. So here it is, our war hero, our romantic dervish, whirling his way and ours, believes and heretics alike, to a fiery damnation.

Not everyone is happy of course, or oblivious to the cost of it all.
_________

A call from the Tharwa Team in Lebanon

Dear Friends,

I am sure you all well aware of the tragic situation Lebanon and its people are in. Some of you are in the country, others are abroad while their families are still here, and some of you spent some time here, and I am sure you have come to love Lebanon and consider it a second home.

I write this message to ask for your help… for all of us to try and do something to stop this atrocity against Lebanon and its people, regardless of who is to blame and who started it all. Let us put the politics aside for now.

I urge you all to do whatever you can to lobby, demonstrate, petition, contact your MP or congressman, run stories, whatever thing to try and push for some sort of action against this violence.

There are no guarantees, we are aware of this, and this is not going to pose a solution to the problem. But we need to stop the violence now. So please do your part. For the sake of this innocent country and its people that have already been through hell.

It is truly heartbreaking what is happening. To see your country rise from the rubble after a long bloody war, to see it overcome its infamous violent reputation, to see a buzzing social and nightlife reemerging, its wonderful people and tourists returning, democracy slowly but surely taking its course… to see all of this and more, destroyed.

It is not fair.

Please do what you can. Lebanon and its people need your help. So do what you can and pass the message on.

Thank you.

11 thoughts on “The Whirling Dervish of the Apocalypse!

  1. I think that if the Lebanese make use of classic arab military strategy, they are guaranteed victory.Step 1. Do something stupid to a powerful country.Step 2. Get your country pounded into oblivion.Step 3. Give out Baklavah to passerby and shout “ALLAHU AKBAR! ALLAHU AKBAR!” while the blood of your brothers is still warm on your hands.It really is a shame that you feel that it’s your right to harbour terrorists, but at the same time you protest when you have to face the consequences of your actions.

  2. The curse of defeated messianic peoples is that they always want to believe, no matter how blindly.That would make a great dissertation topic in comparitive religion. Seems to be specific to Semitic peoples, doesn’t it?To see your country rise from the rubble after a long bloody war, to see it overcome its infamous violent reputation, to see a buzzing social and nightlife reemerging, its wonderful people and tourists returning, democracy slowly but surely taking its course… to see all of this and more, destroyed.It is not fair. No, it is not fair at all!

  3. Dear Friends,I am sure you all well aware of the tragic situation DARFAR and its people are in. Some of you are in the country, others are abroad while their families are still here, and some of you spent some time here, and I am sure you have come to love SUDAN and consider it a second home.I write this message to ask for your help… for all of us to try and do something to stop this REAL atrocity against old men, women and children who are citizens of Sudan and its people, regardless of who is to blame and who started it all. Let us put the politics aside for now.I urge you all to do whatever you can to lobby, demonstrate, petition, contact your MP or congressman, run stories, whatever thing to try and push for some sort of action against this violence.There are no guarantees, we are aware of this, and this is not going to pose a solution to the problem. But we need to stop the violence now. So please do your part. For the sake of this innocent country and its people that have already been through hell.It is truly heartbreaking what is happening. To see your country rise from the rubble after a long bloody war, to see it overcome its infamous violent reputation, to see a buzzing social and nightlife reemerging, its wonderful people and tourists returning, democracy slowly but surely taking its course… to see all of this and more, destroyed.It is not fair.Please do what you can. Sudan and its people need your help. So do what you can and pass the message on.Thank you.

  4. I am sure our Tharwa Team in Darfur would appreciate your borrowed sentiments. But, it is only natural that at this particular point in time for our team in Lebanon to be slightly more concerned about the going-ons in their country. For after all is said and done, I think people still have the right to worry about their country. Just because we think that the current situation is primarily Nasrallah’s fault here, and that the Assads regime and the Iranian Mullahs are behind all this, does not mean that people can just watch their country getting destroyed and say: “hey, we had it coming.” I think the above statement was very reasonable and needed to be made. Moreover, our team does not have any lackeys of Nasrallah in its ranks. The statemetn was not meant to exonerate anyone from his/her culpability in this situation, we just want to stop the violence in our midst, because we are destined to be its primary victims.

  5. UN Resolution 1559 By Marc SchulmanThese are the pertinent portions of UN Security Council Resolution 1559 of September 2, 2004, reference to which has been made by numerous news stories, op-eds, and editorials on the war in the Middle East:The Security Council . . . 1. Reaffirms its call for the strict respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and political independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive authority of the Government of Lebanon throughout Lebanon;2. Calls upon all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon;3. Calls for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias;4. Supports the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory . . .It goes without saying that the terms of the Resolution have not been obeyed or enforced.Posted in United Nations, Lebanon | 1 Comment July 16th, 2006Middle East War News and Views By Marc SchulmanExcerpts from a New York Times article on Hezbollah by Neil MacFarquhar and Hassan Fattah:Hezbollah needs to reassert its right to maintain its own heavily armed militia against ever louder domestic calls for its disarmament.There are believed to be up to 3,500 active Hezbollah supporters, including some 300 hard-core guerrillas trained under the auspices of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards who have maintained a presence in Lebanon almost since the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.In town after town in southern Lebanon, the streets are hung with banners showing the pantheon of Iran’s ruling ayatollahs.Intelligence estimates drawn from recent Congressional testimony suggest that Iran subsidizes Hezbollah with $100 million to $200 million annually. But Hezbollah has also come to rely on financial support from Shiite expatriates in the West. Those funds far outweigh what comes from Iran, said Timur Goksel, a lecturer at the American University in Beirut who spent 20 years working in southern Lebanon as a United Nations official.Hezbollah’s use of the longer-range rockets has led many regional experts to conclude that Iran gave at least tacit approval for the current clash — and it was not just a few rogue Revolutionary Guard advisers in southern Lebanon who decided to let rip with more powerful weapons.Excerpts from a New York Times article by Katherine Zoepf on the mood in Syria:The mood here in Syria’s capital was defiant, even gleeful. Pop radio stations played jingoistic military marches, and the state-run daily newspaper, Tishreen, reported on a meeting of the ruling Syrian Baath Party by saying, “participants expressed Syria’s firm stance in support of the Lebanese national resistance.””Yesterday the Syrian Baath party expressed its full support and sympathy for Hezbollah,” said Marwan Kabalan, a political science professor at Damascus University. “It is overt now, because this is no longer something the government wants to hide. People here are very emotional about the whole situation, and many of them wish that Syria would get up and join Hamas and Hezbollah in their battle against Israel . . . [Hezbollah’s] Nasrallah has caused a great deal of embarrassment among the Arab leaders. He is seen as the only Arab leader who can stand by his words and resist Israel . . . Syria has demonstrated once again that it can’t be marginalized. It has succeeded in turning the tables on the Americans. Syria has demonstrated successfully that it is still here and still in control.”Imad Fauzi Shueibi, a political analyst who often works as a consultant to the Syrian government, said “No one can believe that this will stop without a huge victory for Hezbollah and for Syria. I haven’t felt so optimistic since 1973. I think we are closing the noose on Israel. This may be the last battle, and we may be able to redraw the map of the Middle East, but not on the schedule of America’s plan for the greater Middle East.”The Times on Hezbollah’s missile capabilities:Sources in Beirut said that Hezbollah had been holding back in its initial response to the Israeli action, merely firing salvos of Katyusha rockets. They claimed Nasrallah could now deploy longer-range missiles. According to Jane’s Defence Weekly he has about 100 missiles, some with a range of up to 90 miles, enabling him to hit Tel Aviv.The Times on a British aircraft carrier being sent to Beirut:The aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious was being prepared last night to sail to the coast of Lebanon to rescue British people stranded by Israeli airstrikes. It will be joined by HMS Bulwark, an amphibious assault warship.Excerpts from Con Coughlin’s op-ed in The Telegraph:. . . while – for the moment, at least – the Israelis seem content to rely on their overwhelming air supremacy to exact revenge for Hezbollah’s audacious attack, there remains every possibility that the current crisis could result in Israeli troops launching yet another invasion of its Arab neighbours. The only obstacle to such an alarming development is the American President, and he is resolutely against any suggestion that Washington should rein in its key Middle Eastern ally.There is also a genuine fear that Mr Olmert’s inexperience as a military strategist could lead to Israel escalating its current onslaught to truly apocalyptic proportions. The Israeli government has already blamed Syria and Iran for the unrest on its northern border. If the Israelis attempted to punish Damascus for its tacit support of Hezbollah, this would open up a new front not just in the Near East but in the Gulf, where the hardline regime of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has already declared its readiness to come to Syria’s defence.Mr Olmert needs to think long and hard whether the abduction of two Israeli soldiers merits a military escalation that could have truly catastrophic consequences not just for Israel, but the entire world.Excerpts from Jason Burke’s op-ed in The Guardian:The militia’s leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, has repeatedly said that it would seek to capture Israeli soldiers on or near the border, and has been trying to do so since moving back into the frontier zone following the Israeli withdrawal six years ago.The Jewish state’s strategic doctrine has always relied, along with massive foreign aid, on a powerful, ruthless and immediate response to any threat. As a final bonus, the Hizbollah attack offered an opportunity to restore the ‘deterrence factor’ – a key aim of the hawkish chief of staff who has a significant influence on a government that contains fewer former soldiers than almost any other previous Israeli administration. ‘There has been a progressive decline in deterrence over the past six years and the defence establishment want to re-establish it,’ said Jonathan Spyer, a former adviser on international relations to the Israeli government and a research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Centre in Hertzeliya. ‘They see it as a very serious big boy’s game.’Few Lebanese accept Hizbollah’s claim that its aim was to barter the release of the handful of Lebanese still held in Israeli jails: they blame Hizbollah for plunging Lebanon back into war. Everywhere there is widespread recognition that, even if the Lebanese government, with its pro-Syrian President and predominantly anti-Syrian administration and parliament, wanted to rein in Hizbollah, it could not.Posted in Iran, Great Britain, Israel, Syria, Lebanon | 1 Comment July 16th, 2006

  6. David Brooks Nails It By Marc SchulmanHere’s his op-ed from the Sunday New York Times:Why is this Middle East crisis different from all other Middle East crises? Because in all other Middle East crises, Israel’s main rivals were the P.L.O., Egypt, Iraq and Syria, but in this crisis the main rivals are the jihadists in Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and, most important, Iran. In all other crises the nutjobs were on the fringes, but now the nutjobs in Hamas and Hezbollah are in governments and lead factions of major parties.In all other crises, the Palestinians, thanks to Yasir Arafat’s strenuous efforts, owned their own cause, but now the clerics in Iran are taking control of the Palestinian cause and turning it into a weapon in a much larger struggle.In all other crises there was a negotiation process, a set of plans and some hope of reconciliation. But this crisis is different. Iran doesn’t do road maps. The jihadists who are driving this crisis don’t do reconciliation.In other words, this crisis is a return to the elemental conflict between Israel and those who seek to destroy it. And you can kiss goodbye, at least for the time being, to some of the features of the recent crises.You can kiss goodbye to the fascinating chess match known as the Middle East peace process. That chess match was dependent on a series of smart and reasonable Arab players with whom Israel could negotiate. Those smart and reasonable interlocutors still exist. They still invite visiting Westerners to dinner and may still represent the majority of their countrymen. But they are not running the show now.Iran has conducted a semi-hostile takeover of what used to be known as the Arab-Israeli dispute. Iran has deepened and widened its support for its terrorist partners. Iran and the Islamists are fueled by the sense that the winds of history are blowing at their back. They pushed the Soviets out of Afghanistan, the U.S. out of Lebanon, Israel out of Lebanon and Gaza and they seem on the verge of pushing the U.S. out of Iraq. After centuries of Muslim humiliation, these people know how to win.So Hamas and Hezbollah audaciously set the pace of confrontation. Maybe the moderates will eventually crack down on the radicals (there’s a first time for everything), but in the meantime there will be no peace process. There will be no shuttle diplomacy. Instead, the main mode of communication will be death: the minuet of missile launches and retaliations, escalations and de-escalations that irreconcilable enemies use to talk with one another.You can also kiss goodbye to the land-for-peace mentality. In all other crises there was the hope that if Israel ceded land and gave the Palestinians a chance to lead normal lives, then tensions would ease. But this crisis follows withdrawals in Lebanon and Gaza, and interrupts the withdrawals from the West Bank that were at the core of Ehud Olmert’s victory platform.Israel’s main enemies in this crisis are not normal parties and governments that act on behalf of their people. They are jihadist organizations that happen to have gained control of territory for bases of operations. Hamas and Hezbollah knew their kidnappings and missile launches would set off retaliation that would hurt Gazans and Lebanese, but they attacked anyway — for the sake of jihad. They answer to a higher authority and dream of genocide in his name.What’s happened over the past few years, in short, is that public opinion in Israel has moved to the center at the same time that decision-making power on the other side has moved to the extreme.Now there is a debate over how Israel should respond to this situation. Some say Israel should temper its response so Arab moderates can corral the extremists, which would be great advice if the moderates had any record of ever doing that or any capacity to do so in the near future. Others say Israel simply must degrade the capabilities of its fanatical opponents.But this is a secondary issue. The core issue is that just as Israel has been trying to pull back to more sensible borders, its enemies have gone completely berserk. Through some combination of fecklessness and passivity, the Arab world has ceded control of this vital flashpoint to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Bashar al-Assad. It has ceded its own destiny to people who do not believe in freedom, democracy, tolerance or any of the values civilized people hold dear.And what’s the world’s response? Israel is overreacting.Posted in Iran, Israel, Islam/Arabs, Syria, Lebanon | 3 Comments July 15th, 2006

  7. ammar states: said… I am sure our Tharwa Team in Darfur would appreciate your borrowed sentiments.You are so correct, i am busted, this letter was from Lebanon, but I rewrote it seeing how 450,000 men, women and children have been raped, starved and murdered in Darfur and when you compare that to Israel response to an ATTACK across it’s border, the 100 dead lebanon just aint worth the attention.ammar: For after all is said and done, I think people still have the right to worry about their country. and yet israel has been singled out in the UN for 43% of all resolutions, thanks to the attention of the arab world, no attention to saddam and his 400,000 iraqis murders, no mention of darfur, no mention of hama, no mention of ethnic cleansing BY PALESTINAINS of christians, to name a few areas that since the arab world was doing it, should not be discussed…ammar: Just because we think that the current situation is primarily Nasrallah’s fault here, and that the Assads regime and the Iranian Mullahs are behind all this, does not mean that people can just watch their country getting destroyed and say: “hey, we had it coming.”when you support and allow these out of control murderers to be a part of your country in the end your country is poisoned. If israel was shooting rockets LIKE HEZBOLLAH OR HAMAS and just not aiming, then I’d say you might have a point. Bridges, roads and other infrastructure is easy to rebuild, whereas targeting civilians INTENTIONALLY is a war crime. ammar; we just want to stop the violence in our midst, because we are destined to be its primary victims.again, innocent civilians are not the target, if they were, you’d see after 2000 sorties, 50,000 dead, not 62.Believe it or not, i see this situation a possible chance to upset the islamist/baathist axis and be replaced with human rights loving arabs, this in the end COULD be the real break palestinians, lebanese syrians & iranians have for REAL freedom and civil rights..

  8. What is occupation, you sound like my parents telling me that I should eat my vegetables because many poeple are starving in the world.The answer is so what?If you really cared about Darfour, you would not be wasting your time commenting on blogs about Syria and the ME.If you are interested in the ME which you obviously are, why not just say so and explain to us how eating these wonderful exploding vegetables will help us grow up, instead of hiding behind starving children in Darfur.

  9. Nafdik said…you sound like my parents telling me that I should eat my vegetables because many poeple are starving in the world.The answer is so what?the real answer is your parents were right… maybe in time you will come to learn that wasting food when people starve is a sin and to raise the awareness MOST IMPORTANTLY to children teaches them important life lessons…Nafdik said…If you really cared about Darfour, you would not be wasting your time commenting on blogs about Syria and the ME.really? is not darfur the same issue? islamic hoardes raping and murdering the dhimmi… same issue… same thought process as the hezbollah & hamasNafdik said… If you are interested in the ME which you obviously are, why not just say so and explain to us how eating these wonderful exploding vegetables will help us grow up, instead of hiding behind starving children in Darfur. not hiding pointing out the hypocrisy of the screaming coming out of lebanon

  10. anna: What would Father Abraham say to his sons and daughters of the world?Coexist!Father Abraham sent ishmael and his mother away from his wife sarah and his son isaac, because ishmael tormented and abused his younger step brother..

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