Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mehlis, New Years Party Plans & the Campaign to save our beloved Virgin

My last post aroused some heated responses and brought to the surface ugly divisions, even violent impulses. This was not my intention. Perhaps the rule-of-thumb that the victims of violence are somehow sacrosanct and immune to criticism inhibits the honest expression of grotesque sentiments, such as "I wish the Israelis had finished off all the Shia" and "we had a party for every dead inhabitant of the Dahiye". In which case, let's keep it at that-- simmering beneath the surface. I prefer not to take the spate of opinions expressed here as indicative of Lebanese public opinion. And if that comment about "finish off all the Shia" was meant to be funny, then perhaps humor-- subtle or not-- isn't quite your forté.

Furthermore I reiterate what I have said on prior occasion: I don't seek to please everyone. If you are a self-declared Phoenician, a war-on-Christmas paranoiac, a Lebanese (white) supremecist or a March 14th enthusiast, please don't whine if you don't like what I write. You have ninety percent of the Lebanese blogosphere at your disposal.

On to more important business. It hasn't rained for a month now. It should be pouring rain for days on end in late November/early December. Did God abandon his reknowned impartiality and side with the opposition? Did Ayatollah Khameini issue a fatwa against the rain? Is global warming a Persian/Alawite conspiracy?

Every cab driver now defers to God when I ask him about the situation, and points to the sky. The protest in downtown continues unabated. It seems they are planning to hold out at least until New Years Eve for a monumental bash. If you've ever had the misfortune of consuming non-alcoholic champagne at an office party, you know what to expect at that particular venue.

I received a charitable plea from Virgin Megastore via e-mail yesterday. If you read this on time, please drop what you're doing and go spend money at "our beloved Virgin" (I kid you not, that's what it said) on Martyrs' Square, or else Richard Bronson will die of untreated cancer.

I don't understand why the business community wasn't defiant from the very beginning. They should have mobilized their supporters from Day 1 to shop until they drop at the overpriced boutiques and restaurants downtown. The only businesses obstructed by the presence of porta-potties and tents are Buddha-bar, that cigarstore on the corner of Riad el-Solh, and some of the worst elitist silicone-babe nightclubs you can find in this city. Like Taboo. I am however concerned that the barb- and razewire will become a permanent manifestation if this doesn't end soon.

By the way, what did Dr. Fatfat prescribe his favorite patient?


Prime Minister Siniora, who apparently suffers from severe mood swings, is off to Moscow today. I hope they don't slip him some sushi laced with Plutonium-210. We don't need any more martyrs.

The owner of a restaurant I frequent in Gemmayze told me that Detlef Mehlis, the earstwhile UN investigator, will return to finish the job. "It will be our Christmas present," he said crossing himself. In case you haven't been following this, Mehlis has been leaking very serious allegations against Brammertz to the German press. According to an exclusive report in Der Stern, Brammertz has intentionally de-railed the investigation over the past year, instead of following up on Mehlis' claims that al-Assad, Ghazali & co. ordered Hariri's assassination. Now if I was going to choose between believing Mehlis or Brammertz I would bear in mind the following points:

1) Mehlis was on the job for six months, during which he waltzed around in a trench coat, kicking in doors, gave press conferences and made bold accusations, which --admittedly--was fun to watch on TV. I remember my Sunni Beiruti landlord, in a fit of infatuation, saying, "You look like Mehlis when you smile." A misguided compliment, to say the least. Brammertz has been in charge of the investigation for twice that time-- twelve months. During his tenure, he has discreetly pursued various leads, re-examined all the forensic evidence, and for some reason, the Syrians seemed happy to cooperate with him.

2) Mehlis is a well-known friend of American intelligence services. Ask any German. He has botched judicial precedings in the past-- incidentally-- by jumping to hasty conclusions which were later discredited. In the late 1980s he was the presiding prosecutor on the La Belle case-- the bombing of a West Berlin nightclub in which dozens of disco-dancing American GIs perished.

Mehlis, at the time, hastily blamed Libya for the bombing and Reagan went ahead and bombed Gaddafi's presidential palace in Tripoli. A few years later, an investigative report on ZDF Frontal alleged that the actual suspect was a deranged CIA/Mossad agent who had been hiding in Malta, and that Mehlis had in fact questioned him but chose not to indict him, despite the fact that all the evidence pointed towards his involvement. Oops!

3) If Mehlis claims any impartiality and respect for the due process of law, how does he know that Syria assassinated Pierre Gemayel? He is sitting in his office in Berlin, twiddling his thumbs, having returned to his rather unglamorous job as prosecutor of petty thieves and drug dealers. If he merely suspects Syrian involvment, why did he jump the gun and publicize his opinion?

Furthermore, why were Mehlis' investigators flying around in Hariri's private jets? Why has Mehlis' second-in-command, a German intelligence agent who is simultaneously embroiled in the CIA kidnapping and "extraordinary rendition" of one German-Lebanese Khalid Masri, been spotted in Beirut and rumored to be working as an adviser for the Hariri dynasty? Slightly unprofessional, no?

The problem with March 14th is that they are evidently as foolish as the White House, hiring disreputable Ahmed Chalabi-types to make their case. Mehlis has no credibility. None whatsoever. And why not get someone honest and well-respected to do the job? And finally, Mehlis is not cute. As a personal aquaintance of his can testify, Mehlis looks like a little binturong raccoon straight out of the Brazilian rainforest. Add those stylish frameless glasses that most humorless and vain Germans like to wear. (I added that last part for critics who complain that my writing resembles a gossip column.)

The funny thing is that March 14th's media will hype any of the UN investigation's conclusions. If Brammertz reports that Bashar al-Assad was taking a crap when Hariri was killed, well then that's evidence of foul play. If Brammertz suggests that an aerial attack might have caused the former Prime Minister's demise, well then what?

We don't know and I dare say we will never know who killed Rafiq Hariri. It's shameful, I know.

26 comments:

hillz said...

great post EDB.
I agree with "You have ninety percent of the Lebanese blogosphere at your disposal."
:)
keep up the good work.

cananon said...

If Brammertz suggests that an aerial attack might have caused the former Prime Minister's demise, well then what?

You're referring a response to an allegation of aerial attack in the "Other Hypotheses" section of the report? Where it implies they are mostly looking to rule it out for formality's sake? It's mentioned once, in the entire report:

"Other hypotheses

55. The Commission believes its role is to investigate all possible hypotheses that arise from the investigation and analysis of the Hariri assassination. To this end, it is investigating groups and individuals that are situated in Lebanon and beyond, including the group claiming responsibility for the attack in the Abu Adass video.

56. The Commission is examining allegations of the attack on Rafik Hariri being delivered via aerial means. Further collection work is being undertaken, including forensically and through the acquisition of technical data. This is done to clarify the likelihood of such a means being a viable attack option, prior to further investigation steps being taken. It is anticipated that the Commission will have established this understanding during the next reporting period."

Guthman Bey said...

It is Detlev Mehlis, not Detlef Mehlis. Germans cannot spell the name Detlev correctly, I don't know why. They once misspelled it even in my passport and I had to have them redo it. I wish Mehlis was a Detlef rather than a Detlev, though. That way I wouldn't have to share a middle name with this Riesensuperarschloch.

As'ad said...

You are angry these days. As in Angry...whatever nationality.

Anonymous said...

Is Angry Arab hitting on Angry German ?

PS I am pro March 14, but I find it telling that the only witty bloggers are the opposition bloggers like EDB and Angry Arab.
Most right-wing bloggers are pompous asses like Tony Badran.

Achille said...

Uh...don't think it was plutonium 210 (sic), rather polonium-210 that has every Londoner's panties in a bunch. One more thing...I think the UN should put together a tribunal to investigate Hariri, not his assasination.

apokraphyte said...

Has anyone found a reputable look into the aerial possibility? Googling, the preferred method of USG intelligence, has led me to some rather kooky takes on the possibility, so any help is appreciated.

Also, cananon,

Given that the UN investigation still cannot explain the blast with any specificity and only recently attempted to rule out a second explosion, there remains a lot of unanswered questions. The aerial hypothesis may make for good conspiracy theory, but until Brammertz et al. does a better job of explaining what happened, other hypotheses remain relevant and critical to the integrity of the investigation.

Any and all help appreciated. Danka ...

apokraphyte said...

Guthman,

You are hilarious.

Anonymous said...

"Werther" (someone who is in on the US secret service community) just told me:

"FWIW, Syria did not assassinate Gemayel."

TRR

Through Gracepeace said...

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ثم همس الرب في قلوبنا...
الكلمات تصل حيث لا يقدر السلاح

سألنا حكيم قريتنا، كيف ينزل الدفء
على النفوس والشيطان
قد ألقى بسمومه المفضلة
خوفاً ويأساً وكراهية
على القلوب البريئة
كما الرماد من محرقة السعادة

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وعيون الحنث الفاسدة
تنتهك حرمة الكلمات المقدسة
وتسعد باغتيال هدايا السماء

وسألنا :كيف يبتسم الخير
ويصفع الكره الفضيلة من وجه الخجل
و أتباعه يشوهون ويحرفون فى نفوس ضحاياهم
حتى يصل الاعتقاد
بأن الإثم فضيلة والقتل عدالة والكره هو الحب

تحدث الحكيم
بصوته الخفيض وقال
أن للشيطان أتباع
يغتسلون في أنهار النبيذ في حادي*
وبعشق السخرية الفارغ
يحصدون نفوساً مغشوشة جنيت بمنجل الانتحار

مستحيل أن يكون الطريق إلى الفردوس مرصوفاً
بجثث الأبرياء - عبر نهرٍ من الدم
اعتنقوا مد الحق وجزره الرائع في قلوبكم
تقبّلوا الشك والعار أينما كانوا
لكي تدركوا أن النفس تسعد بالعطف وليس بالانتقام

سطع صوته كالضوء وقال:
ابحثوا بشجاعة في أعماق قلوبكم
بلا نفاق ولا خداع ولا إجحاف
وحين تلمسوا الايمان هناك
ستنزل الكلمات الالهيه دواءً للقلوب
مثل مطر أبدي يجذبه البحر دائماً
حتى يرتفع ليملأ حرم النفوس
بودٍ عميق هادىء ويغدو سلاماً
على شواطىء العزم الالهي.


[أرض الموتى في الأساطير الاغريقية*

أبريل 2006

Anonymous said...

If you want only people who clap for you and give you "dix points" on your posts then I suggest you say so at the begining of every post, or rename the post "only those who love me can read me". However if you want people to have a discussion (including critisism)of what you say , then I suggest you dispense with the "whining" insults.

Anonymous said...

Are you from Illinois by any chance?

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