Political

Political blog posts

Why Bashar Assad appears so smug

Bashar Assad’s smugness in a series of recent interviews may be justified. As the Syrian president looks around him, he sees that several regional developments are going his way. Whether this means his regime is saved is another question, but for the first time in four years his barbaric policies appear to be paying off.

Assad’s efforts in 2011 to depict the uprising against his rule as no more than the work of armed terrorist gangs has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Syrian regime helped assure that extremists would gain control of the revolt and turn it into a sectarian conflict. Today, even Arab countries opposed to Assad have made the campaign against ISIS a priority, undermining the primacy of the struggle against a brutal Syrian regime.

Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – Valentines Special

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This week’s round of events features the best valentines plans from Lebtivity. And don’t quickly get disappointed if you’re single, because there are some plans for you too!

Obama must beware of Iranians signing deals

Amid uncertainty as to whether the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany can reach a deal with Iran on its nuclear programme lies a deeper question: would a deal lead to Washington’s acceptance of a dominant role for Tehran in the Middle East?

The evidence that it might is more than anecdotal, even though the US has not made explicit statements about a shift in regional policy.

That the American administration is still unclear about the future with Iran was evident in recent remarks by Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, and president Barack Obama. Both have said that if a nuclear accord were not reached by the end of March, a further extension would be of no benefit.

Yohan Storm Damages Ain El-Mreisseh Cornishe

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This Yohan storm might not be as intense and cold as Zina that Lebanon witnessed a few weeks ago, but it is sure bringing massive high waves and very strong wind.
These photos were all taken this morning by Tarek Hajjar and Bilal Soubra and show the damage caused to the cornishe in Ain El Mreisseh due to the high waves. I also heard on the news that part of Dbayeh maritime road close to Nahr El Kalb collapsed due to the storm.

Beirut Municipality Might Be Removing Yazan Halwani’s Graffitis

Yes, my title has the word might, no I am not jumping into conclusions and no this is not another #CauseDuJour -_-I came across this tweet by @Zaven_k

Belkoom


BLACKSBURG — The owners of a new restaurant in the New River Valley hope to provide people with a taste of Lebanese culture.
The owners call it a “Belkoom.”
“The term belkoom is used in the mountains [of Lebanon]; it really means like when you’re eating tasty food and you want to take like a big chunk of it and fill your mouth,” said restaurant co-owner Nasri Salamoun.

The dilemma of "mainstream clerics"

Hassan Hassan, on the roots of ISIS ideology that very few care to admit:

Islamic traditions are filled with stories of mercy and tolerance. But it is not enough to tell these stories in isolation from other dark chapters in Islamic history that feed groups such as Isis. Isis uses these stories, combined with ideas and concepts accepted by the mainstream, as part of an ideology and a political project in the making. Muslim clerics speak in the realm of theory; Isis practises through stories and action.

The dilemma of "mainstream clerics"

Hassan Hassan, on the roots of ISIS ideology that very few care to admit:

Islamic traditions are filled with stories of mercy and tolerance. But it is not enough to tell these stories in isolation from other dark chapters in Islamic history that feed groups such as Isis. Isis uses these stories, combined with ideas and concepts accepted by the mainstream, as part of an ideology and a political project in the making. Muslim clerics speak in the realm of theory; Isis practises through stories and action.

The US is unwise to imitate British ways so closely

Last week, The Washington Post revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency and Mossad had collaborated in the February 2008 assassination of Imad Mugniyeh, reportedly the head of Hizbollah’s international operations.

The revelation raised questions as to under what authority Mughniyeh was killed. It reminded many people of Israeli assassinations of Palestinian militants. “The operation in Damascus highlighted a philosophical evolution within the American intelligence services that followed the September 11, 2001, attacks,” the Post wrote. “Before then, the US government often took a dim view of Israeli assassination operations.”

Assad’s Western dupes - On ignoring Syria’s role in the rise of ISIS

You knew it was coming the moment a Jordanian pilot was burned alive by the Islamic State (ISIS). Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called on Amman to work with Syria in fighting “against terrorism represented by the organization Daesh and the Nusra Front ... and other terrorist organizations associated with them in Syria and the region.”

ISIS reaches a decisive turning point

The burning alive of a Jordanian pilot reminds us how a few months ago many people, while acknowledging the savagery of ISIS, were also praising the cleverness of its leadership. Today that conclusion appears less persuasive.

The strength of groups such as ISIS is that when they are expanding, they generate momentum that draws in the undecided in countries that the group seeks to affect or take over. This was the message in the rapid ISIS advances in Syria and Iraq last summer. The group’s successes built on, and profited from, the alienation felt by Iraq’s Sunnis toward a state led by a man openly favoring the Shiite community.

Things to Do This Week in Lebanon – February 4th 2015

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Yet another round of things to do from Lebtivity. My favorites this week are Daddy, the new play by Joe Kodeih, and Bob Marley’s birthday celebration at Junkyard Beirut.

تلاطم دامٍ بين نور الفكر وظلام الجهل

المهندس حميد عوّاد*
تطلق صرخة كلّ مولود يطلّ على العالم نبضات “عدّاد ساعته” التي تؤشّر عند إكتمال دورتها السنويّة إلى فجر عام جديد ينمّيه ويفتّح بصيرته على معارف وتجارب جديدة تكسبه كفاءة و خبرة ومهارة تعينه على مَخْر عُباب يَمِّ الأحداث وخوض مغامرات معاركتها.
سرّ نجاح المجتمع يكمن في تأمين بيئة تنشئة راقية ونقيّة من الشوائب ترسّخ القيم السامية والشراكة الإنسانيّة، واجباً وحقوقاً ومسؤوليّة ونشاطاً وإلفةً، وتوفّر الفرص المتكافئة والعدالة الحكيمة وتؤمّن إعداداً غنيّاً بالمعرفة ينميّ الضمير ويرهف الوجدان ويشحذ المنطق ويصقل الذكاء ، ويبلور ويثبت الحقّ ويفضح ويدحض الباطل.

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