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The Daily Journal
Candide’s Latest: November 22, 2006

Fear and Loathing
Civil War in Lebanon?

Robert Fisk in the UK Independent: “Civil war - the words on all our lips yesterday. Pierre Gemayel's murder - in broad daylight, in a Christian suburb of Beirut, his car blocked mafia-style by another vehicle while his killer fired through the driver's window into the head of Lebanon's minister of industry - was a message for all of us who live in this tragic land. For days, we had been debating whether it was time for another political murder to ratchet up the sectarian tensions now that the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora was about to fall. For days now, the political language of Lebanon had been incendiary, the threats and bullying of the political leaders ever more fearsome. Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, the Shia Hizbollah leader, had been calling Siniora's cabinet illegitimate. "The government of Feltman," he was calling it - Jeffrey Feltman is the US ambassador to Lebanon - while the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt was claiming Iran was trying to take over. Yesterday's assassination of Pierre Gemayel was a warning. It might have been Jumblatt, who has told me many times that he constantly awaits his own death, or it might have been Siniora himself, the little economist and friend of the also murdered former prime minister Rafik Hariri. But no. Gemayel, son of ex-president Amin Gemayel and nephew of the murdered president-elect, Bashir Gemayel - murder tends to run in the family in Lebanon - was no charismatic figure, just a hard-working unmarried Christian Maronite minister whose unrewarding task had been to call émigré Lebanese home to rebuild their country after Israel's bloody bombardment.” See the full article…

From the Post’s Anthony Shadid: “The assassination of Pierre Gemayel, a divisive figure in a country riven by sectarian tension, underlined the lack of red lines in the escalating struggle over Lebanon's political future that has followed this summer's war between Hezbollah and Israel. The struggle is crucial not only to the often zero-sum calculations of Lebanese politics but also to the regional ambitions of the United States, Iran, Syria and Israel.”

The fear in every Lebanese soul. It was the bus, remember, that triggered it all in 1975. Thanks to Lebanese Blogger Forum.



“Please, I beg of you, I plead with you, please do not stir up trouble. Control your emotions for now. I pray we will pass through this phase. If someone is asking for trouble, ignore it.”


Hezbollah Ally Michel Aoun , Burned in Effigy
Courtesy, Beirut Spring


The FBI’s Arab Problem

From McClatchy Newspapers: “For many Muslim and Arab-Americans these days, meeting a FBI agent can be an unsettling, even terrifying experience. Beginning almost immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the FBI began to root out suspected terrorists, and Arab and Muslim communities became the bureau's top targets. Agents rounded up hundreds of people for questioning. They raided Muslim charities, monitored mosques for radiation and held refugees for months because of security checks. To regain the trust of Muslim and Arab-Americans, the FBI has embarked on an aggressive national outreach program. The bureau's efforts, which include mosque visits and one-on-one meetings, have become so pervasive in certain cities that some young Muslim-Americans refer to the agency as the "Friendly Brotherhood of Islam." Yet across the country, many participants wonder what the interactions achieve when mistrust remains the biggest obstacle. Some community activists compare the tone of the current encounters to those during the Red Scare of the 1950s, when U.S. citizens were singled out as suspected communists and expected to prove their loyalty to the United States.” The full story…

Lebanon’s Cluster Bombs
Ethically Challenged or Incompetent

From Jewlicious’s The Middle: “I hope it’s incompetence. One of the mysteries of the recent war in Lebanon was the use of cluster bombs by Israel. The topic is very much alive because the UN continues to claim that over a million unexploded cluster bombs remain strewn throughout S. Lebanon and because there are many special teams in place to attempt to remove these bomblets which have injured or killed about a dozen people since the war ended. The UN also claims that Israel has not provided detailed maps of where these bombs may have landed. I suggest that this is because the IDF has no clue. First, let’s deal with the absurdity of this story. Cluster bombs can be very nasty weapons because they are essentially large containers carrying hundreds of mini bombs that spread out over an area. Use of these bombs is permitted by international law when attacking military targets. However, their impact can be quite harsh and they are therefore considered to be a harmful weapon the use of which is highly questionable. Israel had committed to the US, its supplier of these bombs, only to use them in particular circumstances, and it is possible that they violated these terms in the recent war.” See the full post at Jewlicious…

November 22, 1963
The Day TV News Was Born

From the Miami Herald: ''Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, you'll excuse the fact that I'm out of breath,'' the rumpled reporter gasped as he interrupted a fashion model's televised chat about the appropriateness of zippered sleeves. ''But 10 or 15 minutes ago, a tragic thing, from all indications at this point, has happened in the city of Dallas . . .'' Though he didn't know it, the reporter was bringing news not just of President Kennedy's assassination, but of a revolution in American journalism: Television, right then and there, was taking over. Within moments of that first announcement on Dallas' ABC affiliate WFAA -- the reporter, Jay Watson, had dashed to the studio from the scene of the assassination a few blocks away, dragging witnesses along with him -- America's three broadcast television networks were, for the first time, dumping their regular programming for a breaking news story. The soap operas, Westerns and quiz shows would not return until after Kennedy's funeral, four days and $40 million in lost commercials later. By then, 175 million Americans had tuned in to the networks' coverage for an average of 32 hours apiece. Along with TV cameras, they had toured the sniper's nest from which the shots were fired, seen the accused assassin arrested and then murdered, visited the rotunda where the president's body lay in state, and burst into tears as his little boy saluted the flag-draped coffin. Newspapers churned out extra editions all weekend, but they were keepsakes, not news: We'd already seen it on television. ''That was the weekend that everything changed in American journalism,'' says CBS Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer, recalling Kennedy's assassination 43 years ago Wednesday. ``Up until that weekend, most people got their news from print media -- newspapers and magazines. From that weekend on, people turned to television.'' Network newscasts had been around for nearly two decades before the Kennedy assassination, but they were little more than a headline service. It was only two months earlier that CBS and NBC had expanded their evening news from 15 minutes to 30. Television reporters were barely regarded as journalists by their newspaper counterparts.” See the rest of the story…



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