Saturday, December 29, 2018

In memoriam

A link to an article published in L'Orient Le Jour in February 2015, shortly after the Wizard of Beirut's passing away. Probably one of the oldest bloggers ever.

And another link to a website dedicated to the Wizard of Beirut (in French).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Peace and not War

There can be no doubt that from a military point of view, Israel is the strongest nation in the Middle East, apart from the fact that if there is ever a real threat to the supremacy of Israel, the United States will come to its rescue.

Such an event occurred when Sadate's forces pushed the Israelis forces beyond Suez. The United States came to its rescue in airlifting its entire military arsenal in Europe to Sinai to allow Israel to push back the advancing Egyptian forces. If we accept the fact that conquest by force of arms of Israel is not possible within the foreseeable future, a policy of peace can well destroy Israel. If peace were to be rigorously applied by the Arab nations and the Palestinians, the dissentions within Israel itself will come to the fore and in due course destroy Israel.

Israel is a mixture of several people from the four corners of the Earth. For example the Germanic Jewish population looks upon itself as the elite of Israeli society and looks down upon the Yemenite and Arab Jews as second grade citizens.

It behooves the Arab nations therefore to enforce complete peace along the frontiers of Israel, such as to give no pretext to Israel to attack any of the Arab nations. We confess that to secure Arab unity or action, a great deal has still to be done.

Today, the Arab word is going through a process of revolts against long established regimes, dictatorial for the most part. In Egypt a military junta rules. Syria has become a hot bed of rebellion. Jordan appears to be stable under Hashemite rule. Jordan itself as well as Egypt who have signed peace treaties with Israel are in a sense out of the equation. Iraq is being methodically destroyed as a nation by the United States and its minor allies. In fact, Iraq under Sadam Hussein if it had then united with Syria would have presented a potential threat to Israel, which explains why as early as 1988 the Jewish lobby in Washington decided to wage war on Iraq and destroy its military potential, not to mention a few barrels of oil usurped by the United States army.

Israel was born and has survived in a context of war. It is time therefore for the Arab world to adopt a non-belligerent policy thereby allowing dissensions within Israeli society to make themselves evident. We very much doubt that such an event will take place and hence Israeli expansion will continue within the next fifty years, notwithstanding United Nations sanctions.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Man and the Ape

Hitler is a thing of the past. President Bush is unfortunately of the present, with his schizophrenic vision of the world and of the Middle East in particular. History will record that Bush's attack and invasion of Iraq was unjustified and disastrous as much for the United States as for Iraq, which has ceased to be a country, and which has been reduced to ethnic and religious communities, living in a state of war and terror. Once a rich and prosperous country with possibly the highest rate of academic and scientific achievement in the Middle East (despite the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein), today, thanks to President Bush, one million Iraqis have lost their lives, four million have been displaced and four other million are starving. We have to thank Bush and his Zionist cronies like the Pearls, the Wyeth's etc. for this achievement, all for the security of Israel, we have been told. Words fail to describe the megalomaniac idiocy of that man, who now proposes to provide Israel with 30 billion dollars worth of military aid 15 billion to Egypt. Military aid on that scale is the last thing that the region needs. Food, education and water is what the region needs.

It is the height of irony that a schizophrenic member of what is supposed to be a distinguished family should be in a position to rule the world, while Russia and Europe hold conferences to determine whether Lebanon should be allowed to survive as a democratic independent country. To be fair to Bush, he has consistently supported the existence of a Lebanon as an independent and sovereign country, and has condemned Syrian interference in the affairs of that country. The question remains, what has the United States done to give effect to its proclaimed policy. Not much other than threats of sanctions.

Looking back, the Israeli air strike on some installations in Syria (certainly not atomic, because Syria is still far off from that possibility), would seem gratuitous and to no purpose other than to invite some sort of response. Nevertheless, Syria has not responded, neither directly nor through its allies in Lebanon.

Rumour has it that the two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah have since died. No news to that effect have come out of Israel or out of Hezbollah. As far as Hezbollah is concerned, we doubt whether they would deliberately destroy two trump cards in their hands instead of looking after them for an eventual exchange of prisoners.

Back to Lebanon, we have an ex-convict offering his penal experiences as a C.V. for the Presidency of Lebanon, while an ex-General asserts that he is the only possible candidate for the Presidency. It is the view of the Wizard of Beirut that if ever Presidential elections take place, some second Lahoud, with Syria's blessings will be elected. On this happy note the Wizard of Beirut bids you au revoir.l

Friday, December 15, 2006

National Union

“Government of National Union” is the fashionable slogan today which the opposition, for the most part Shia followers of the charismatic leader of Hizbullah, Hassan Nasrallah, brandishes at every opportunity to block any effort of the part of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to govern the country or to take measures to alleviate the catastrophic economic situation in which every Lebanese finds himself in today.

National Union is a heady term which means nothing when the objectives and allegiances of the respective political formations are at odds and where every such formation seeks power. The Opposition which includes such pathetic characters as General Aoun, demand one third of the Council of Ministers plus one to be in a position to veto any important decision which requires a two thirds majority, thereby reducing Government to a debating society. No wonder, therefore, that Prime Minister Siniora and his allies have rejected the proposal put forward by Hizbullah, for valid intrinsic reasons, apart from the fact that it has received the open or tacit support of Iran and Syria; Iran to foment opposition to the United States for the purpose of pursuing its atomic programme; Syria to avenge its ignominious withdrawal from Lebanon after thirty years of rule, and in the hope of returning at some future date.

And so the merry go round continues with Amr Moussa, the Secretary General of the Arab League, accompanied by a representative from Sudan (why Sudan, we wonder), engaging in lengthy meetings with all the powers that be in Lebanon, in the hope of finding an acceptable solution to the various problems which bedevil Lebanon. It is sad to note that his efforts have so far not produced any positive and concrete results. He promises to return next Monday to resume his meetings

In the meantime the strikers continue to occupy the centre of Beirut and to paralyse life in general. President Lahoud continues to occupy Baabda and to make asinine statements every now and then. He refuses categorically to step down before the last minute of his term of office. The International Court of Justice remains a subject of contention. The latest is that a Committee of six jurists has been appointed to consider its terms of reference; another method for pushing the subject into limbo.

In other words, we are back to square one, with no possible solution in view.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


We did not need the victory of the Democratic Party in both Houses to establish the fact that George W. Bush is probably the worst President that the United States has been blessed with. His whole tenure of office has been a cynical tissue of lies and a record of failure from Afghanistan to Lebanon, and primarily because his foreign policy for the Middle East has been centred on one issue, the security of Israel. He plunged the United States into a catastrophic war in Iraq on the pretext of weapons of mass destruction, which never existed, and in the knowledge that his Zionist cronies as far back as 1998 had planned that war to eliminate a potential threat to Israel, and hence he should have been elected as President of Israel and not of the United States, which explains his cryptic expression of sorrow over the latest Israeli massacre in Beit Hanoun, north of Gaza, which took the lives of eighteen members of the same family, which included eight babies and five women. From Deir Yassin in Palestine in 1947, to Qana in Lebanon, to Beit Hanoun in Gaza, not to mention a dozen others, Israel came into being on the basis of massacres, aided and abetted by none other than George W, Bush, who spared no effort to ensure victory for Israel in its war on Lebanon. But he failed, and he will fail again because in the last analysis might is not right.
        What is baffling is that the American public has not risen to storm the White House and force Bush out of it. A Congressional victory is not sufficient to chastise a man who should stand trial for crimes against humanity, preferably by an Iraqi Tribunal for the destruction of that country and the loss of thousands upon thousands of Iraqi lives, not to mention Lebanese and Palestinian lives at the hands of his Israeli allies.
        A voice in the wilderness, perhaps, but we cannot accept, let alone condone the so-called new vision of President Bush for the Middle East. A nightmare is a more adequate word. And God only knows what further destruction he will heap upon the world before his tenure of office is over.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pax Americana

The proverb goes, "When you have friends like the United States, who needs enemies?" particularly in so far as Lebanon's Prime  Minister, Fouad Siniora, is concerned. The repeated declarations emanating from the White House and echoed by the American Ambassador Feltman in support of Siniora and his government can only lend credence to the scurrilous accusations levelled at Siniora that he is an agent of the United States and by association Israel. Such in effect was the burden of Nasrallah's televised address the other night. We may be permitted to ask whether those declarations in support are in fact intended to destroy Siniora and his Government. Too much is too much. One quick look across the Middle East from Afghanistan through Iraq to Palestine and Lebanon shows glaringly that where the United States, directly so or through its proxy Israel, has put its finger in the pie, ruin and destruction have followed. In the good old days of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, Iraq was perhaps the most advanced of the Arab States in terms of science, technology and education. Today it is in the midst of deadly civil war that will sever it into three separate mini states, Shiaa Moslem, Sunni Moslem and Kurdish, all because of America's invasion of that country upon the orders of President Bush and his Zionist cronies, as part of the new vision for the Middle East decreed by an idiot named George W. Bush. From America with love  has been the most pernicious of poisons to be injected into the Middle East.
The same holds true of the Jews as a race and of Israel as a nation. The Jews are and have been a blood thirsty race, notwithstanding the holocaust, which continues to be thrust down our throats by the Jewish media. The Torah is gory with blood. Israel's war on Lebanon has been as savage as Hitler's blitzkrieg of London. Israel is doing very much the same thing in the Gaza strip. Practically every hospital, school and electrical installations have been destroyed (Bush calls it self defense). The toll of dead and wounded rises dramatically from day to day. The village of Beir Hanina, for example has virtually ceased to exist. Bush applauds and sends more tons of the latest and most lethal bombs that America produces; the same bombs that Israel used to destroy south Lebanon, including the oil reservoirs and installation. The oil spill has polluted the entire Lebanese coast, such that no marine life can survive. Thousands of unexploded Israeli cluster bombs litter south Lebanon, and for years, they will remain as a permanent danger to the civilian population.
To sum it all up, Is there anything to distinguish Bush and Olmert from Hitler?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mass rallies II

Mass rallies, or demonstrations, if you prefer the term, have become the latest fashion in Lebanon. We had two over the last ten days. We were treated to a third last night convened by General Aoun and his party referred to as the "Courant Aouniste". We are promised a fourth rally next week convened by Hezbollah and its charismatic leader.

The General who returned from France last year where he had exiled himself over the past eleven or twelve years, has been making a great deal of noise of late. According to him, the current Government of Fouad Siniora is ineffective and that a Government of national union is required to save and govern Lebanon. He has presented himself as the future President and saviour of Lebanon, and to this end, he has entered into a pact with Hezbollah, in the hope that the Shia'a Moslems of Lebanon, who represent a third of the total population would propel him to the Presidency. False hopes, we regret to say and just as well. Aoun as President would be more catastrophic that the current incumbent.

And so the merry go round continues, while Lebanon sinks further into poverty and destitution. And against that dark back drop, Prime Minister Siniora hosted yesterday at the Grand Serail (the seat of Government), an Iftar (a Ramadan dinner) which assembled all the have been who were still capable of handling a fork and knife. Even General Aoun, as former Head of State, was there. Siniora, as Prime Minister and host, delivered the speech of the evening in which he repeated the same ringing phrases regarding democratic rule and the legitimacy of Government. Brave words from a brave man, but they still need to be translated into a coherent and continuous plan of positive action.

Elsewhere, Condoleezza Rice will meet with a number of Arab Foreign Ministers in the hope of bringing enough pressure on Hamas, the Palestinian radical party which had emerged with an overwhelming majority in the last Palestinian elections, to enter into negotiations with Israel, Hamas does not recognise Israel and will not enter into negotiations with it, in the knowledge that Israel is not prepared to concede anything worthwhile. Hamas may not be far wrong in reaching that conclusion, judging from the results of past negotiations, including the much touted Wye Plantation agreement, the end result of which was no more than a road map, which has still to see effective application.

But then, despite the logic of the position of Hamas, what other alternative is there for Hamas or the Palestinians in general? War and violence will not lead to a solution. The one and only possible solution which could lead to positive negotiations is that of "civil disobedience". The back lash to the Israeli economy, which relies heavily on Palestinian labour, would be intolerable for Israel. Such a form of civil disobedience, on the Ghandi pattern, would only be possible if the Arab world is prepared to feed the Palestinians, through the creation of a multi billion dollar fund to the purpose. The Arab world is rich enough to assume that burden, instead of wasting billions of dollars on arms that will never be used.

It is the opinion of the Wizard that the Arab world will do nothing, except to wallow in its futile rhetoric.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mass rallies

Lebanon has been the scene of two gigantic mass rallies, the first on 22nd September 2006, organised by Hezbollah and its charismatic leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, and attended by some half a million people, mostly Shia'a Moslems, and the second, organised by the leader of the "Forces Libanaises", a Christian formation attended by the same number of people, mainly Christians. Sadly, the Sunni Moslems of Lebanon have been marginalised, for lack of dynamic leadership.

The speech of Sheikh Hassan addressed itself to several issues; the first is that Hezbollah is here to stay as a strong political force without which Lebanon cannot be governed; the second is that the weapons arsenal of Hezbollah, which includes, according to Sheikh Hassan. some twenty thousand long range missiles, will not be surrendered and that Hezbollah cannot be disarmed or disbanded by force, and the third that the Lebanese army is not strong enough nor sufficiently well equipped to defend Lebanon; hence Hezbollah.

On the other side, the Christian rally which represented a reply to the Shia'a Moslem challenge, is intended to emphasize that the Christians of Lebanon are the "raison d'ĂȘtre" of that country and that without them, Lebanon would not have existed but would have been absorbed by Syria and that Hezbollah is no more than an instrument of Iranian-cum- Syrian politics in the Middle East.

It would seem quite evident that there is a deep rift in the Lebanese politic body, which sooner or later will turn into confrontation and probably civil war which, should it ever come to pass, will destroy Lebanon as a country within its present frontiers.

The Lebanese Government, on the other hand, finds itself between the devil and the blue sea. The Prime Minister, totally supported by the leader of the Parliamentary majority, Saad Hariri, is doing his best to govern the country and to proceed with the reconstruction of the total havoc created by Israel in South Lebanon and the southern outskirts of Beirut in its savage war on that country with United States encouragement and military assistance.

All this leads the Wizard to conclude that Lebanon, in its present frontiers, is doomed, and that its only hope is to reactivate the plan, presented in 1920 by the first High Commissioner over Lebanon, the General Gouraud, to create Lebanon on the basis of the historic "entente" between Druze and Maronites, namely the area between the Litani river in the south and the Nahr el Bared in the north. The Shia'a Moslems of the south and the Sunni Moslems of the north would return to Syria, with love from Lebanon.

Water under the bridge, you might say, but then all history is so much water under the bridge.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Israel and the Palestinians

Israel removed the Gaza thorn from its side, but the Palestinian problem has not changed in character. The United States refuses to recognise the democratically elected Palestinian Government because Hamas, the dominating factor in this new Government refuses to recognise Israel. We believe that this policy is dictated by the fact that Israel refuses to recognise the Palestinians as a nation. The United States, or rather, President Bush and his sex symbol Condoleezza Rice have never condemned Israel, in word or deed, for its crimes against humanity or for its policy of confiscation and theft of Palestinian territory for the benefit of Polish, Russian or Ethiopian settlers herded as immigrants to Israel, a good many of them, such as the Russians, are not even Jewish. The object of this policy is to pre-empt any improbable future claim by the Palestinians to reclaim their lands and homes. Improbable because neither the Palestinians or for that matter, the Arab world, are likely within the forgeable future to become strong enough to defeat Israel militarily, and even if they were to become strong enough, the United States will rush to the rescue of Israel as it did in 1973, when Sadat's army dislodged the Israeli forces from the Suez Canal area and pushed them back towards Israel. The United States emptied its entire arsenal in Europe of tanks, heavy armour and equipment and air lifted this massive supply of weapons to Israeli forces in Sinai which enable Israel to mount a counter attack and to circumvent the Egyptian forces, ultimately leading to peace between Egypt and Israel.

All this is water under the bridges. In the words of Arthur Koestler to the Wizard over dinner one evening: "let us stop arguing about the rights and wrongs of the case. They are coming and there is nothing you can do to stop them." Koestler was right in his prophetic words.

Right or wrong, the Palestinian problem remains as a festering sore in the body politic of the Near East, and unless a just and equitable solution is found or imposed, the festering sore will continue to poison peace and stability in that part of the world.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Modus Vivendi

A "modus vivendi" appears to have come into being between Lebanon's Hezbollah and the rest of the country, such that the government of Fouad Siniora can devote its full attention to reconstruction, a prodigious feat by any standards.

Elsewhere in Palestine agreement has been reached between Hamas and the PLO for the formation of government of national union, which changes little as far as the rest of the world is concerned for the simple reason that Hamas does not recognise Israel. We may be permitted to ask, why should Hamas recognise a State guilty of crimes against humanity, not to mention the fact that that State has violated every rule of international law and every U.N.Resolution affecting that region of the world, a State which consistently pursues a policy which aims at the annihilation of the Palestinians, both as a people and as a nation.

It is much too late in the day to state that the Palestinians and the Arab world should have recognised Israel as a fact of life as of the date of the U.N Resolution of 1947 to partition Palestine into two states, Jewish and Palestinian, with Jerusalem as an International City. We recall having expressed the view at that time that the United Nations should be transferred from New York to the Holy City. Apart from the moral and religious authority of that City, such a move would have stabilised the whole region and prevented the successive wars hat have taken place. A voice in the wilderness, you might say.

The Arabs, it would seem, never learn. Abdul Nasser in 1967 demanded that the United Nations withdraw its forces stationed in Sinai between Israel and Egypt. No sooner done that the Israeli air force in a preemptive attack, destroyed the entire Egyptian air force on the ground in a matter of four hours. The so called six day war of 1967 should have been labelled that four hours war.

In the same way, Lebanon's national hero Shaeikh Hassan Nasrallah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers, and in so doing exposed Lebanon to the most destructive air attacks in history. That Hezbollah did not, and in fairness could not have anticipated such a response does not change the fact that matters of life and death should be left to the constitutional Government.

The latest in what he described as "the comedy of errors" is the statement emanating from the German government that "the function of its troops" forming part of UNIFIL is to protect the security of Israel and its right to exist, a statement all the more ludicrous, when Israel can take, as it did in the past, all the Arab armies and beat the hell out of them. It could be that that statement was intended to atone for the atrocities of the Hitler Regime, atrocities which contributed significantly to the creation of the State of Israel, if we compare the trickle of Jewish immigrants to Palestine during the twenties with the massive waves of immigrants during the thirties.