Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon’

Hezbollah pulls a Texas

July 12, 2011

The NYT editorial page today:

“An international tribunal has called on Lebanon’s government to arrest four suspects indicted in the 2005 car-bomb killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others. All four of the accused are members of Hezbollah…”. Hezbollah refused to the court’s decision.

“… [We are] not bound by a foreign court’s ruling.”

Guess what! The latter quote though was not from Hezbollah. It was from Texas Governor’s Press Secretary commenting on The International Court of Justice a few years back:

“The International Court of Justice ruled that 51 Mexican-born inmates nationwide, including Leal, were entitled to new hearings in American courts to determine if their consular rights were violated. ”

“No matter what Hezbollah says, the men accused of Rafik Hariri’s murder must be arrested….”, declared the editorial page of the NYT (which didn’t say anything about the Texas decision which was upheld by our supreme court last week.)

But why? Hezbollah has just pulled a Texas. 


The American tourist we met in Florence

June 7, 2011

She was a spunky middle age woman we met in Florence, Italy. She’s enjoying her vacation, mingling and actively seeking conversations with other fellow human tourists in that magical  town imbued with arts , history, and beauty.

We looked “different” enough to her and, apparently, she was tired of her own fellow citizens so  she decided to unload all of her  “culture”  and all of   her  knowledge of religion, geography, and history (although one of us turned out to be from her own country)

Over a yummy Italian ice cream cup in a “cafe trottoir et pattisserie”, she said:

-“So where did you come from?”

-“From Lebanon” I said.

-“Ohhhh, you’ve come a long way, then”, she concluded.

Her accent and demeanor gave her away as , perhaps, 10th generation American (if they go back that far!).  Lebanon was only three hours away. Naturally then, her comment aroused my curiosity. She must be living in Rome or somewhere in western Europe, I thought.

-“You’e not American then?”, I said.

-“Of course I am.  I came all the way from New Jersey”, she excitedly declared.

My partner and I looked at each other trying to stifle more than just a smile.  We did not want to embarrass this friendly lady though and left it at that.

I’ll spare you her knowledge of all the details in the muslim religion down to the burial rituals. Suffices to say, they were off by more than the distance from New Jersey to Florence.

We had a great time by the way and that good-hearted lady, with all her geographical  and cultural challenges , made it even  better. It wouldn’t have been as nice without her.


Where is our own outrage?…Really

January 9, 2010

We as a nation, and not some fringe lunatic sect among us, are violating our own laws and ideals, let alone international laws. We are committing crimes at home and abroad.   Why haven’t we heard the outrage of our religious authorities and  elites over our own atrocities?  We commit these gross violations as a matter of public policy and it didn’t cost any public official, to my knowledge,   her/his job.

What we hear instead is  “where is the outrage from the Muslim World over terrorism” no matter how many times their highest religious authorities, let alone intellectuals from all walks of life, condemn these heinous acts.

 The New York Times, the Washington Post, and NPR, are  supposedly a progressive  voice.  All of sudden, they have developed a severe case of  blurred vision.  They can’t even recognize torture when they see it.

Yeah…where is the outrage? Where is the outrage  from the religious authorities and the elites over torture?  over indefinite detention of innocent people?  over keeping innocent people jailed in subhuman conditions when we even admit their innocence? over the use of  drones to indiscriminately bomb the populations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and (now )Yemen, causing the death of innocent women and children on an almost daily basis (over 700 civilian deaths by drones since Obama took office)?  over  war crimes in  Gaza and elsewhere? etc…etc…

But wait, it gets better. The religious authorities in our country are  either the most stalwart supporters of these criminal and immoral violations or at best silent. Corporate media pundits such as   Thomas Friedman repeatedly ask for an outrage from the Muslim World when he supports the mass killings in Gaza and Lebanon as an educational tool. He   boasts “suck on this” as one reason we invaded a nation causing unspeakable carnage and misery.

Have our religious authorities lost their moral compass? Have our elites become desensitized to killings? Has God died in America? 

So yeah..really…where is the outrage?