Some thoughts, several years before the start of the Tenth Crusade.

“History does not always repeat itself: sometimes it screams ‘Why won’t you ever listen to what I’m SAYING?’ and then hits you with a club.”

Michael Totten, on the looming danger of ISIS to Lebanon:

A serious invasion of Lebanon by ISIS could unleash a bloodbath that makes the civil war in Syria look like a bar fight with pool sticks and beer mugs. It would be tantamount to a Nazi invasion. Every family in Lebanon is armed to the gills thanks to the state being too weak and divided to provide basic security, but people anywhere in the world facing psychopathic mass-murderers will fight with kitchen knives and even their fingernails and teeth if they have to.

The only good thing that might emerge from an attempted ISIS invasion is that the eternally fractious Lebanese might finally realize they have enough in common with each other to band together for survival and kindle something that resembles a national identity for the first time in their history.

Continue reading Some thoughts, several years before the start of the Tenth Crusade.

Report: Syrian chemical weapons appearing in Hezbollah caches.

(H/T: Instapundit) I am back-and-forth on how seriously to take this particular story:

Two days after a mysterious explosion at a Hezbollah weapons depot in southern Lebanon, the Kuwaiti website Al Jarida is reporting that Israel bombed the site because Syria had transferred missiles there that were capable of being equipped with chemical warheads. The missiles had been moved into Lebanon from Syria in the last several months and were being held inside warehouses owned by farmers in the area.

The report also claimed that Hezbollah has many additional warehouses across Lebanon that are used for the same purpose. In October another weapons storage facility in the town of Baalbek was destroyed after an explosion. The AFP said that four Syrians were killed in the blast.

…given that I’m not familiar with either the website in question, or the site that it’s drawing its story from.  On the other hand, reports that Syria is using Hezbollah as a storage facility for its weapons of mass destruction have been circulating for years. Haaretz reported something similar happening in 2009; the Washington Post, of course, had a column on the subject a couple of days ago.  On the gripping hand, if I was running the Syrian regime right now I’d want to have my WMD stockpiles under the control of somebody reliable… and when you’re dealing with a civil war, ‘somebody reliable’ often means ‘somebody you’re paying.’  So it’s not really surprising that the Assad regime would move its nasty stuff to someone who’d hold onto until it was needed – and maybe supply a little WMD blackmail against the West on the side, if that was needed.

Continue reading Report: Syrian chemical weapons appearing in Hezbollah caches.

#rsrh State Department prepares for the Lebanese Embassy being overrun.

That’s the semantic translation of this sentence: “Diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut have started to destroy classified material as a security precaution amid anti-American protests in Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa.”  You always want to destroy the paperwork ahead of time; when the mob actually shows up at your door with torches and various hand weapons it’s usually too late.  And while sensible regimes always send along agents to make sure that embassy staff (well, the foreigners, at least) make it out alive*, they’re also there to make sure that as little paperwork as possible gets destroyed.  But you also don’t want to do it too early, either.  Or at all, if you can help it.

Apparently, they decided not to take the chance**.

But don’t worry! The President is on the case!

…sort of. Look, at least he didn’t move too far from where the White House staff parked him, OK? That’s… progress, if you squint and look at it right.

Moe Lane

*Don’t let this administration’s apparent disinterest in the murder of our Ambassador to Libya fool you; that was a legitimately big deal, and there eventually will be a proportionate response to it.

**By the way: just because something is ‘routine’ doesn’t mean that it’s not significant.  It’s actually routine to destroy the documents when you think that you’re about to lose control of your diplomatic station.

#rsrh Weak Horse Watch: Syria/Lebanon.


Missiles fired by Syrian warplanes hit Lebanese territory Monday in one of the most serious cross-border violations since Syria’s crisis began 18 months ago, security officials in Beirut and Lebanese state media said.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said four missiles fired by two Syrian jets hit a rugged and remote area on the edge of the Lebanese border town of Arsal. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Hey, remember that Cedar Revolution thing that happened, back during the Bush administration? Yeah, well, the Syrian regime would like the Lebanese government to forget that it ever happened, too.


Moe Lane

Joe Biden, International Gun-Runner.

(I turned this into a caption contest, over at RedState.)

Yes, I know: as Lord of War kept pointing out, the top five arms dealers in the world all have permanent seats on the UN Security Council. And I don’t mind selling arms to the Lebanese government, assuming that they don’t end up firing them off at Israel and/or Turkey. I don’t even mind doing so as part of, as Andrew Malcolm rather sardonically notes, a rather heavy-handed hint that it might be best if the freely-expressed electoral will of the Lebanese people freely expresses itself as not liking Hezbollah quite so much this time around. But…

Did you have to send Biden, Mr. President? I mean, there were high explosives around; don’t you think that was a little, you know, unsafe?

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

Ace is back from Lebanon.

His preliminary thoughts <a href=””>here</a>.  Very short version: having a functioning democracy kind of helps moderate things for a country.  Which (most of) you and I already knew, but Ace also has “progressive” lurkers, some of whom who haven’t had an original thought since 2001.

Strike that.  They haven’t had a <strong>new </strong>thought since 2001.  Even then, the animating principle that they acquired back then was so old that it had mildew on it…

Crossposted to RedState.