Obama’s a toothless tiger

According to this report Congress will withhold funds. But Obama controls the army. Is he going to abandon Lebanon as Bush abandonned Gaza? T Belman

Report: U.S. to end Lebanon aid if Hezbollah takes control
The United States will stop aiding Lebanon if Hezbollah seizes power in the country, the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat quoted a U.S. official as saying Sunday.

Lebanon’s national unity government collapsed in recent weeks after Hezbollah and its allies withdrew from the cabinet to protest against caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s reluctance to cut ties with the United Nations-sponsored tribunal that is probing the 2005 assassination of his father, former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah fears being implicated by the court’s prosecutor, Daniel Bellemare, who has filed confidential draft indictments to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s pre-trial judge, Daniel Fransen.

Hezbollah has warned in the past few months that it will “cut off the hands” of whoever tries to accuse “one single member” of the group in the Hariri murder.

In the first reported U.S. comment on the possibility that a Hezbollah-controlled government could rise from the ashes of the current crisis, a U.S. official told Asharq al-Awsat on Sunday that such a power shift could mark the end of U.S. aid to Israel’s neighbor to the north.

According to the top U.S. official quoted in the report, congress would refuse to provide additional aid to anyone “taking orders from Hezbollah.”

Late last year, two top U.S. lawmakers attempted to hold up $100 million that was approved for Lebanon’s army but not yet spent, saying they wanted to make sure neither funds nor arms meant for the Lebanese army would reach Hezbollah.

The U.S. did not, however, withold the aid, with the U.S. State Department voicing strong support for the continuation of the military aid, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledging strong support for the country ahead of the future findings of the UN-backed tribunal probing Hariri’s assassination.

Chances for the formation of a Hezbollah-led coalition rose dramatically after Lebanon’s Druze leader Walid Jumblatt said Friday his group would support Hezbollah ahead of parliamentary talks on Monday to pick a new prime minister.

With Jumblatt’s support it is almost certain Hezbollah and its allies, with 57 seats in parliament, will win a majority to endorse Sunni politician Omar Karami to lead a new government.

“I am announcing the right political stand … by assuring the steadfastness of the group [Progressive Socialist Party] alongside Syria and the resistance,” he told a news conference. Resistance is a term used to describe Hezbollah.

Speaking to Army Radio on Sunday, MK and Deputy Knesset Speaker Majali Wahabi said the Druze leader voiced his support for Hezbollah after the militant organization threatened to conduct a violent take over of his district unless he did so.

Jumblatt leads a bloc of 11 parliamentarians and his support is crucial to decide who forms the government, Hezbollah or Hariri, who said Thursday he will seek to continue his premiership.

Once Syria’s ally, Jumblatt moved into the anti-Syrian camp after Hariri’s killing, but he has re-positioned himself once again and last year sealed his reconciliation with Syria.

Jumblatt urged all sides to continue dialogue and warned against excluding any party, saying “it will only lead to more division.”

In Lebanon’s power-sharing political system, the prime minister should be a Sunni, the president a Christian Maronite and the parliament speaker a Shi’ite. Lebanese President Michel Suleiman has called parliamentarians for consultations Monday.
ounting to contempt.”

January 23, 2011 | 4 Comments »

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  1. Hi, Arnold

    I read some of my past comments to you to my wife; and as I read them, I realized I had been too hard and quick with my tongue towards both you and Yamit. That did provoke some good discussion, though, and get to the heart of a matter or two.

    In your recent comment here (#2, in case you post more as I type), you speculate quite a bit about the 2012 Presidential election. You are saying the Dems will have to nominate Obama, and he will get beaten; whereas Yamit feels Obama will win. Since you are both good observers and analysts, I am left with the impression that neither scenario is very certain; and having lived through the elections in 1960, 2000 and especially 1968, I think it’s far too early to prognosticate. In other matters, you said,

    the unemployed numbers running about 9-10 percent and the semi-employed numbers probably another 7-8 percent; for-sale and foreclosure signs becoming ubiquitous around what used to be comfortable suburbs all around the country; rapidly increasing food and energy costs, which will get worse as world oil production edges closer to terminal world peak oil.

    I suspect a typo on that last clause, as I can’t make out what it means — something like, “Oil prices are rising”, I imagine. Concerning those other figures, I’ve lived with paper unemployment numbers well over 10% and real numbers over 20% for some time here behind the Redwood and Douglas Fir Curtains. For a while, we had two foreign companies here, namely Sony and Hyundai, employing most of the real workers. They’re gone now. It was like a dream here in the Willamette Valley, coming here from the Redwood Coast with its smokeless former lumber mills and fishing harbors with bogging FOR SALE signs on its boats. There actually was work here then, though not for me. We moved here anyway, because at least there was hope for employment. THEN Sony closed; THEN I went back to school, because I could earn more as a Grad Student than as a worker; THEN Hyundai closed, THEN Country Coach went bankrupt, and THEN the recession hit.

    Those numbers you quote, then, have been up-front and personal with me for several years. That’s why I’m more interested in hearing real proposals for solutions from people than I am for useless politics and blameshifting/ scapegoating. You took a stab at what the cause of the problem is:

    The real problem here is that this country gradually de-industrialized in the face of competition from new and modern factories all across China.

    Aah! You must have driven past where Allis-Chalmers used to be in West Allis! I got my first job there after high school, the most I’ve ever earned, in inflation-adjusted dollars. That was in the 60s, when my parents both had blue collar/ pink collar jobs drawing some $90/week, and our house payment was $56/month. They were union workers, and ended their days on pensions that took care of them, even though both their employing companies had gone belly-up. As for Allis-Chalmers, it employed thousands of workers in WWII. Then it became vacant land and rusting equipment, then a shopping center. I haven’t seen it for nearly 20 years now, but I don’t imagine it’s turned into anything spectacular since then. Maybe they’ve put condos on it for rich people. Who knows?

    You say US jobs have gone to China. I can’t argue with you there, since my daughter has moved there, found work and settled in. It seems we ARE the America all the numbers are talking about. Maybe folks have noticed that: During the past year or two, it seems lots of political parties and action committees have been calling me and asking for my opinion. Of course, I just tell them to take a hike.

    Solution? How do you solve the problem of capitalism, marching to its final conclusion? Who’s to blame? Is it the Interstate Highway System, that allowed overseas goods to be transported cheaply to destinations all over the US? Is it the railroads, that came before them? Is it the Limited Liability Corporation, that made such concentration into the hands of a few possible? Shall we blame the Dutch West India Company? The Reformation? The Printing Press? Blame doesn’t get us anywhere. We just have a big mess, and nobody seems to be able to solve it. Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall, the king’s horses and the king’s men all left town, and we’re left with a big mess.

    Bush couldn’t fix it, and neither could his CFR mentor Dick Cheney. Obama can’t fix it, despite bankrolling from CFA’s own George Soros, the watchful eye of CFA’s Joe Biden and pinch-hitting by CFA’s Bill Clinton. Even Soros has deserted Obama now. He didn’t pull out his tiger teeth, but I’m sure he got all the gold fillings before he left. You might say I’m not optimistic.

    I do have food on the table, though, for which I thank God. I need to go eat it now, while it’s hot. God bless and keep you, good buddy.

  2. Susan, the way national politics are shaping up in the USA, I see the Democrats in the US Senate running away from Barack Hussein Obama in the November elections next year, but the Democrats will have no choice but to nominate him for a second term the same way they were stuck with James Earl Carter in 1980 when they faced Ronald Reagan.

    As I read it, the biggest issues in this country right now are Obama’s national health care plan, which is opposed by some 70 per cent of the electorate; the $14 trillion national debt, which, as more worthless paper currency is printed, causes more inflation; the unemployed numbers running about 9-10 percent and the semi-employed numbers probably another 7-8 percent; for-sale and foreclosure signs becoming ubiquitous around what used to be comfortable suburbs all around the country; rapidly increasing food and energy costs, which will get worse as world oil production edges closer to terminal world peak oil.

    The US House of Representatives, now controlled by the Republican Party and spurred on by its Tea Party activists, will in fact fight Obama on all funding bills, including health care. The president can veto budgets, but he is not empoowered to write his own, and the Constitution of the United States requires all revenue actions to first be approved by the House of Representatives. Neither Obama nor Harry Reid’s just barely Democrat-controlled US Senate cannot override that.

    So Obama is a world-class tiger with an army, navy and air force. But this tiger has to meow for his cat food, and the zookeepers will have him on as slim a diet as they can get away with per the prevailing political wind.

    I think next year Obama probably will be facing Mitt Romney, Tim Paulenty or Newt Gingrich. I’m not sure Sarah Palin will be a top-rung candidate. But even if not, her’s will be the voice the American public will be listening to. The strength of the conservatives is still growing, and the problems America faces after a couple of years of Obama will get worse, not better.

    The real problem here is that this country gradually de-industrialized in the face of competition from new and modern factories all across China. Obama has neither the guts nor the muscle to turn this situation around, so we get deeper in the hole each passing month. It’s hard to say if our armed forces could even fight a war today without some of the stuff built overseas. And right behind the China competition are India and Mexico.

    But if Israel can stiff-arm the US State Department, Obama, the Council of Foreign Relations, the UNO, and the rest of the usual suspects, we should have a much better US president inaugurated just 24 months from now.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI

  3. Hezbollah has warned in the past few months that it will “cut off the hands” of whoever tries to accuse “one single member” of the group in the Hariri murder.

    That is because Hezbollah struck fear way back 2005 and it worked. Hezbollah and all the rest strike fear, why?

    Because they can.

    However we should not forget Hezbollah for the most part is Syria and Syria for the most part is IRAN. Nothing but inane toothless condemnations and the weakest of threats have ever been lodged toward Syria, Iran and one of many of their children, Hezbollah, Hamas and even the beautifully varnished, thoroughly cleansed PA who only wish to live “side by side in peace with Israel.” It is exactly that complete whitewashing of truth which has enabled the muddling of facts so that we see two separate entities not one united by the head of terror which is Syria which is Iran. Hezbollah would not be Hezbollah without Syria/Iran and ditto all the rest. What a pity we see some worse than others and almost forget ourselves they are all one in the same.

    Obama’s a toothless tiger is no different than the toothless tiger of George Bush who appeared to cut off Gaza while propping up one of the arms of Gaza led by a denier of the Shoah magically (by the hand of George Bush) turned into an esteemed Man of Peace. Post 9-11 war on terror was squandered by a toothless tiger!

    This was a PR victory from the West costing billions in white paint for both Lebanon and the PA as to who they really are. Face it, Lebanon only appeared to look as though it wished to advance toward democracy and ditto the PA. Hariri was assassinated quite easily because he himself allowed terror to foment in his own country. He had one foot in terror and his body in a dark business suit. In the end, it killed him. And his son, look who he has become. Now we will be dragged into yet another war because in the end the war on terror was more a ballet than a war and surely never included Israel except to push her further into pariah status by propping up a terrorist entity which wished (and still wishes) her harm.

    We forget the only way to have cleansed the PA was not to appease her (at all costs to Israel) with billions upon billions in aid built upon outright lies, but to walk from her by honest heads of state. Same for all the rest. Now we have Obama the ‘enlightened’. G-d help us all.