Wednesday, July 25, 2012


The National Dialogue and the Defense Strategy: True or False?
1. The National dialogue is meant to bridge the gap between two points of view on how to defend Lebanon.

False. The gap is not between two "views". The gap is between the Lebanese constitution, which gives the state exclusive authority over all armed forces in the country, and the presence of a military organization (associated with one party) and operating outside the constitution and authority of the state (which represents all the Lebanese people).

Monday, July 23, 2012


Tet Offensive all over again?

Analogies are admittedly risky. You can easily take them too far and reach the wrong conclusion. But you can’t stop your mind invoking them in an attempt to place new events into a coherent perspective constructed from past events.

Watching the war developments in Syria in the last few days I found my mind (and I am sure the minds of many others) traveling to a distant time and place; to an almost forgotten war.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


  From Troy to Latakia

Michael loved his family but wanted nothing to do with the “family business", as he kept telling himself and his pretty fiancĂ©e. He was different. At least he thought he was. She did too. But fate had other plans for them. In retrospect, he was probably doomed from the outset.

Monday, July 16, 2012



The National Dialogue, Once Again….

Round 3 of Set 4 of the national dialogue is scheduled to take place in Baabda on July 24th. The declared objective is still the same. It is to reach an agreement on the issue of Hizbollah’s weapons in the context of an overall national defense strategy. Most people believe that the chances of reaching such an agreement are nil. They are probably right.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

….A Stairway to Hell

Today Tremseh, tomorrow ........?

In Lewis Carroll’s fantasy novel “Through the Looking Glass” the Red Queen explains to Alice that in her wonderland she has to run faster and faster just to stand still.

What is happening in Syria is no fantasy but that’s exactly what the regime seems to be doing. Using increasing force to kill more people. And if using force doesn’t seem to be working, well, it uses more force to kill yet more people. What does the regime achieve? More borrowed time for the regime, at best. But in the process many more bereaved but angry Syrians bent on revenge.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Lebanese Banking System under Attack: a Credible Defense Strategy is Needed

These are dangerous times for Lebanon. As if the desperate attempt of the Assad regime to quell a determined and increasingly capable revolt isn’t bad enough, Hizbollah’s promise (or threat, depending on where you stand) to enter the conflict on the side of the regime in case of outside military intervention in Syria (as recently intimated by Hizbollah’s leadership to Damascus-based PFLP General Command) has compounded the danger. This is on top of the strategic risk of Lebanon becoming the theater of a violent conflict between Iran and its adversaries over the still-unresolved nuclear issue. Now we have to face a new and more insidious threat. Its target is Lebanon’s banking system.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Ain’t no Soviet Union

Common Fallacies are terrible creatures. They infect minds and spread rather easily, helped by wishful thinking and receptive emotional triggers. One fallacy making the rounds in this neck of the woods these days has to do with Russia’s position on Syria.
It is not a fallacy that Russia is shoring up the faltering regime in Damascus, providing it with moral, political and material support. China, Iran and Hizbollah are doing the same, more or less. Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea can probably be added to the bunch.
This has led some to the fallacious conclusion that what we are witnessing is the beginning of a new bipolar world, with Russia leading one side and America leading the other. This is hardly the case.