Archive for War/Terrorism/Middle East

More protests in Lebanon

There are reports of upwards of 1.5 million people protesting in Beirut today against Syria’s presence and influence in Lebanon.
Pictures here.
Much more here.

Changing the Middle East

The leader of the “Lebanese intifada”, Walid Jumblatt, on what the events in Iraq mean to Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East:

“It’s strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq,” explains Jumblatt. “I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world.” Jumblatt says this spark of democratic revolt is spreading. “The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it.”
Washington Post

And while I’m giving credit…

I defy you not to admire these men who are choosing to go back into combat even after having lost a leg.

Have to give Spanish Muslims some credit

They’ve issued a fatwa against bin Laden.

Spain’s Islamic Commission, which groups the nation’s Muslim community, said it was issuing a fatwa against Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden,
‘We are going to issue a fatwa (religious decree) against Bin Laden this afternoon,’ Mansour Escudero, who leads the Federation of Islamic religious entities (Feeri) and co-secretary general of the Spanish governmenmt-created Commission told AFP.
The Commission invited Spanish-based imams to condemn terrorism at Friday prayers, when the whole country will be remembering the 191 people who were killed in the train blasts and the 1,900 injured a year ago.
The attacks have been blamed on mainly Moroccan Islamic extremists loyal to Bin Laden.
‘We have called on imams to make a formal declaration condemning terrorism and for a special prayer for all the victims of terrorism,’ Escudero said.

Finally someone’s heeding the call for Western Muslims clerics to make it clear that they reject terrorism.

3 weeks in…

…and there are still between 150,000 and 250,000 protestors on the streets of Lebanon after Syria said they would pull their troops back, but not all the way out of Lebanon.


How am I supposed to come up with stuff to blog about when Reynolds is already saying everything that needs to be said about the Giuliana Sgrena situation?
The car carrying the recently freed hostage/reporter for an Italian communist paper was shot at by US troops as it approached the Baghdad Airport. US troops say the car was travelling towards the checkpoint at speed and ignored their warnings so they had to open fire. Sgrena claims… a lot of things. They were driving haphazardly enough that just before they had almost lost control of the car… they weren’t speeding towards a checkpoint… there was no checkpoint… all she remembers is fire… they were shot at by a tank… they were specifically targeted because the US didn’t like that Italy had paid the ransom…
Her claims that they weren’t speeding towards a checkpoint and that they were purposefully targeted are… quite worthy of doubt to say the least. Not that that will stop the anti-Americans from using the incident to get people worked up.

Saudis tell Syria to get out of Lebanon

Saudi Arabia has taken a firm stance with Syria, telling its president to begin fully removing his troops from Lebanon in accordance with a United Nations resolution, or Saudi-Syrian relations will suffer.
A Saudi official said Crown Prince Abdullah delivered the warning Thursday during a meeting in Riyadh with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


I don’t see how you can look at what’s going on in Lebanon and not feel happy for these people and good about what they’re doing. They are throwing off their yokes and making a stand for their right to self-determination and self-governance.

Pro-Syrian Lebanese government resigns

The Lebanese government abruptly resigned Monday during a stormy parliamentary debate, prompting a tremendous roar from tens of thousands of anti-government protesters in Beirut’s Martyrs Square.
The demonstrators, awash in a sea of red, white and green Lebanese flags, had demanded the pro-Syrian government’s resignation — and the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon — since the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, a Lebanese opposition figure called for popular protests in Beirut to continue until Syria leaves.
“The battle is long, and this is the first step, this is the battle for freedom, sovereignty and independence,” Ghattas Khouri told a cheering protest in central Beirut, according to Reuters.

I think you’d have to call this good news.

I’d like to thank Syria and Iran

It really makes it easier to take on the axis of evil when they go ahead and actually team up and form an axis.