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  1. #1
    Cycleon is offline AR-Hall of Famer / Retired
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    Opposition Launches Massive Protest in Beirut

    WHAT DO YOU SYRIA LOVERS HAVE TO SAY NOW???

    1 hour, 58 minutes ago

    By SAM F. GHATTAS, Associated Press Writer

    BEIRUT, Lebanon - Hundreds of thousands of opposition demonstrators chanted "Freedom, sovereignty, independence" and unfurled a huge Lebanese flag in Beirut on Monday, the biggest protest yet in the opposition's duel of street rallies with supporters of the Damascus-backed government.

    Crowds of men, women and children flooded Martyrs Square, spilling over into nearby streets, while more from across the country packed the roads into Beirut — responding to an opposition call to demonstrate for the removal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.

    "We are coming to liberate our country. We are coming to demand the truth," said Fatma Trad, a veiled Sunni Muslim woman who traveled from the remote region of Dinniyeh in northern Lebanon to take part.

    The assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri exactly one month ago sparked the series of protests against Syria, the dominant power in Lebanon.

    The throngs fell silent at 12:55 p.m. — the exact time Hariri was killed four weeks ago by a huge bomb in Beirut. The silence was broken only by church bells tolling and the flutter of flags.

    Monday's protest easily topped a pro-government rally of hundreds of thousands of people last week by the Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah. That show of strength forced the opposition to try to regain its momentum.

    Syria's military withdrawal continued Monday, with intelligence agents closing two offices in the northern towns of Amyoun and Deir Ammar, on the coastal road between the port of Tripoli and the Syrian border. Intelligence agents also dismantled two checkpoints in the Akkar area. About 50 intelligence agents in all departed for unknown destinations, although it was believed to be northern Syria.

    Most intelligence offices, the widely resented arm through which Syria has controlled many aspects of Lebanese life, remained in northern and central Lebanon after Syrian troops moved east, closer to the Syrian border. Last week, intelligence officers left the central towns of Aley and Bhamdoun and headed to Syrian-controlled areas of eastern Lebanon. The redeployment is the first stage of what Damascus says will be a full withdrawal, although it has not given a timetable.

    The opposition is demanding a full Syrian withdrawal, the resignations of Lebanese security chiefs and an international investigation into Hariri's Feb. 14 assassination.

    Many were also particularly offended by pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud's reinstatement last week of Prime Minister Omar Karami, who was forced to resign on Feb. 28 by a giant opposition protest.

    "They are challenging us, and we are here to show them that we will not accept," said banker Farid Samaha as he joined the demonstration. "We are determined to liberate our country and we will not stop."

    A line of people in the square carried a 100-yard-long white-and-red Lebanese flag with the distinct green cedar tree in the middle, shaking it up and down and shouting, "Syria out."

    Protesters sang the national anthem. Others chanted "Truth, freedom, national unity," or "We want only the Lebanese army in Lebanon."

    "Syria out, no half measures," read a banner, borrowing from President Bush (news - web sites)'s description of Damascus' gradual withdrawal from this country of 3.5 million.

    In addition to packing Martyrs Square, thousands of other protesters spilled into the nearby Riad Solh Square and outlying streets. There was no official count of Monday's crowd, but it appeared to reporters on the scene to be easily bigger than last week's pro-government, anti-U.S. rally called by Hezbollah, which was estimated by The Associated Press at 500,000 people.

    It came in the wake of U.N. envoy Terje Roed-Larsen's string of meetings with Syrian President Bashar Assad and top Lebanese government and opposition officials to ensure the implementation of a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding Syria's withdrawal.

    Roed-Larsen indicated he had extracted further details of a pullout timetable from Assad during their meeting Saturday and would take those details back to U.N. headquarters this week.

    Syrian Cabinet minister Bouthaina Shaaban told CNN a "very fast timetable for withdrawal" was expected, with completion probable ahead of Lebanese parliamentary elections — as Bush has demanded. Election dates have not yet been set, but the current parliament's mandate expires May 31.

    A senior Lebanese army officer said Sunday that 4,000 Syrian soldiers — more than a quarter of those serving in Lebanon just a week ago — have been brought back to Syria, but he said a date for a complete withdrawal won't be set until an April 7 meeting of Syrian and Lebanese officers.

    It also requires a Lebanese government to be in place to negotiate with Syria on a full troop withdrawal, since Karami is leading a caretaker government and cannot negotiate foreign agreements. A final agreement on a Syrian withdrawal will have to wait for a Cabinet to be formed and approved by Parliament.

    The political process is deadlocked, with the opposition refusing to join any government before their demands are met, and Karami insisting on a "national unity" government. Some opposition members accuse Karami of stalling to kill the chances of holding an election they believe the pro-Syrian camp, which has a majority in the legislature, will lose.

    Karami is expected to begin consultations Tuesday on forming a Cabinet.

    In Paris, meanwhile, former Lebanese Prime Minister Gen. Michel Aoun said Monday he will return from exile in coming weeks, with plans to help foster national reconciliation as Lebanon awaits parliamentary elections.

    "My return ... will take place in the next weeks," said the former commander of the Lebanese army who fled the country in 1990.

    He said he would be going back to Lebanon with Maj. Gen. Edgar Maalouf and Brig. Gen. Issam Abu Jamra, who were part of a government headed by Aoun that took over in 1988 at the end of President Amin Gemayel's term.

    About 100,000 pro-Syrian demonstrators turned out Sunday in another Hezbollah-organized protest in the southern town of Nabatiyeh.

    Syria has been Lebanon's main power broker for nearly three decades since sending troops to its smaller neighbor in 1976 to help quell what was then a year-old civil war. The troops, at times numbering more than 35,000, stayed after the war ended in 1990.

  2. #2
    singern's Avatar
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    If democracy is to take hold in Lebanon and indeed the region this type of non-violent demonstration is critical.

    This is a very interesting time in history, The outcome of which is going to reshape the entire world, and change the reality of people and nations who dream of freedom.
    Last edited by singern; 03-14-2005 at 12:14 PM.

  3. #3
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    Your assuming those are anti-Syrian protests. Its not. Lebanese people and Syrians are brothers forever.

    I always supported a total Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, total. But not when there is pressure from Israel and America.

    Its sad America is again meddling in others affairs, and is fueling a civil war. They always do this, even Ukraine, not only the Middle East.

    Right now as it looks in Lebanon its Shias versus Sunnis, Druze, and Christians.

    Although I am Sunni, I support the Shias, because they are resisting US and Israeli pressure.

  4. #4
    Cycleon is offline AR-Hall of Famer / Retired
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    somehow I dont think Israel and America could bring 1 million people into the streets of Lebanon

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
    Your assuming those are anti-Syrian protests. Its not. Lebanese people and Syrians are brothers forever.

    I always supported a total Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, total. But not when there is pressure from Israel and America.

    Its sad America is again meddling in others affairs, and is fueling a civil war. They always do this, even Ukraine, not only the Middle East.

    Right now as it looks in Lebanon its Shias versus Sunnis, Druze, and Christians.

    Although I am Sunni, I support the Shias, because they are resisting US and Israeli pressure.





    You mean to tell me that the people o Lebanon want the Syrian troops to stay. Come on say it...........

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CYCLEON
    somehow I dont think Israel and America could bring 1 million people into the streets of Lebanon
    No they were tricked. They were tricked into thinking Al-Hariri was killed by Syria. When infact he was killed by Israel or its agents.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by talltanman
    You mean to tell me that the people o Lebanon want the Syrian troops to stay. Come on say it...........
    No, no one wants to be occupied by foreign troops. Not the Iraqis, not the Palestianians, not the Chechans, not the Afghans, not the Kashmiris, not the Lebanese etc etc.

    But why doesnt the US pressure Israel to get out of Palestine as hard as they are pressuring Syria?

    Double Standards, yet again.

  8. #8
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    Exclamation Read carefully

    Quote Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
    No, no one wants to be occupied by foreign troops. Not the Iraqis, not the Palestianians, not the Chechans, not the Afghans, not the Kashmiris, not the Lebanese etc etc.

    But why doesnt the US pressure Israel to get out of Palestine as hard as they are pressuring Syria?

    Double Standards, yet again.
    Bro I can assure you that as soon as the Iraqi's can stand on their own feet we will be gone. As far as Israel, I think that we are closer now to seeing peace between Israel & Palestine than we have been in my lifetime anyway. If Hamas would stop trying to provoke Israel we would be even farther. I feel strongly in the fact that the people of Palestine deserve theri own homeland. However if I were in control (which I'm obviouslty not) I would not give them **** until they pulled the reigns in on Hamas. I am surprised that Israel has showed as much restraint as they have in this matter. Keep in mind I have " no dog in this hunt" ultimatly i could care less who controls that wasteland. My concern is for world stability & freedom for all humans. I could give a rats ass less what any book written 2000 years ago promises anyone. Because guess what . If ten people read the same thing, they will have ten different interpertations based on their own bias needs.
    WHEW my brain is smoking.
    Last edited by talltanman; 03-14-2005 at 11:45 PM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by talltanman
    My concern is for world stability & freedom for all humans.
    How would you like it, if a China invaded America and wanted to put their form of government on you?

    That is what the US is doing, its trying to force their beliefs on others.

    Almost in the same manner as Communist Soviet Union placed their beliefs on others.
    Last edited by CAUSASIAN; 03-14-2005 at 11:52 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
    How would you like it, if a China invaded America and wanted to put their form of government on you?

    That is what the US is doing, its trying to force their beliefs on others.

    Almost in the same manner as Communist Soviet Union placed their beliefs on others.

    This is where you & I disagree completly on a whole different level. I feel that every human has the right to elect ALL PUBLIC OFFICIALS . Not just a puppet parliment with no real power. In addition to this no religion should be forced on anyone. If someone wants to believe that the rock in their back yard is the ALLMIGHTY so be it. Without true democracy, theocracies, monarchs, & dictarorships will force their will upon their people.


    To answer your question, I would fight any invading force. The reason being, we have a democracy. Individual rights are represented in our country. Obviously the Chinese form of communism is not the way to go. That country has one of the largest reserves of manpower & natural resouces yet its people are among the poorest & suffer greatly.

  11. #11
    CAUSASIAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by talltanman
    This is where you & I disagree completly on a whole different level. I feel that every human has the right to elect ALL PUBLIC OFFICIALS . Not just a puppet parliment with no real power. In addition to this no religion should be forced on anyone. If someone wants to believe that the rock in their back yard is the ALLMIGHTY so be it. Without true democracy, theocracies, monarchs, & dictarorships will force their will upon their people.
    I am not against Democracy, I am against forcing democracy on other nations. But what makes me mad is the US telling people in Iraq, that they cannot have an Islamic government, even if they wanted to. Who are they to say so. If the Iraqi majority want an Islamic government, shouldnt they have it? Isnt that democracy?

    Why does the US say there cannot be an Islamic government?

    Let nations evolve and grow, and learn from their mistakes. And eventually they will go towards a government that is suitable for them.

    I dont belive religion should be forced on anyone either, belive if you want, and dont belive if you dont want. In the same regard principles like democracy should not be forced.

    So you are ok with forcing democracy on other nations? Through war?

  12. #12
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    Exclamation Let Freedom Ring!!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
    I am not against Democracy, I am against forcing democracy on other nations. But what makes me mad is the US telling people in Iraq, that they cannot have an Islamic government, even if they wanted to. Who are they to say so. If the Iraqi majority want an Islamic government, shouldnt they have it? Isnt that democracy?

    Why does the US say there cannot be an Islamic government?

    Let nations evolve and grow, and learn from their mistakes. And eventually they will go towards a government that is suitable for them.

    I dont belive religion should be forced on anyone either, belive if you want, and dont belive if you dont want. In the same regard principles like democracy should not be forced.

    So you are ok with forcing democracy on other nations? Through war?

    I may be wrong, but I have not seen where th US has said Iraq can not have an Islamic government. If I am I will stand corrected. If by haveing an Islamic government means anything like it did in Afganistan I do not think they should have one. Example: No right to vote. Opression of women. Religous schools only, No math or science. Public beatings & killings to place fear in the general population.

    To answere your question, If war is what it takes to free people from oppression, yes I am. I do believe their are many other options to be explored prior to war. Let me also say that I DO NOT BELIEVE WE WENT TO WAR IN IRAQ TO FREE THE PEOPLE. We went their to get chemical and biological weapons. If Saddam did not have them then it is his own dumb ass fault for not opening up for the weaprns inspectors. If he had let the inspectors in & their truly were no weopons. He would probably still be in power.I personally believe their are still WMD's either in Iraq, or they have been smuggled out to places like Syria. But who really Knows?

    This being said. As a result of theis war. Many opressed people in the region are wanting the same freedoms that the Iraqi's are BEGINNING TO DISCOVER. This will obviously take time. The US is less than 200 years old. It is a continuous work in progress. Along way from perfect, but as close as I have seen. I have traveled to many parts of the world for my job. I have seen Russia, Irag, Saudia Arabia, China, England,France, Italy,& many countries in South America. Nowhere I have seen, can you live with as many freedoms and ease of travel as in those countries with democracies.

    My question to you is. Would you not like to have that kind of freedom in your country ?

    To say that all countries can not have a democracy is a poor arguement. That is saying that the people of that country have not the mental capacity to make informed decisions. It does not take a rocket scientist to determine that every human deserves as much oppurtunity as the next, regardless of race,sex, creed, color, or religion.


    P.S If you knew the wherabouts of UBL, would you turn him in.
    You don't have to answer if you don't like. I just had to ask.

  13. #13
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    CAUSASIAN

    I saw you reading......What no post????

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by talltanman
    I may be wrong, but I have not seen where th US has said Iraq can not have an Islamic government. If I am I will stand corrected. If by haveing an Islamic government means anything like it did in Afganistan I do not think they should have one. Example: No right to vote. Opression of women. Religous schools only, No math or science. Public beatings & killings to place fear in the general population.
    I have heard people in the US government say they wouldnt allow an Islamic government.

    To answere your question, If war is what it takes to free people from oppression, yes I am. I do believe their are many other options to be explored prior to war. Let me also say that I DO NOT BELIEVE WE WENT TO WAR IN IRAQ TO FREE THE PEOPLE. We went their to get chemical and biological weapons. If Saddam did not have them then it is his own dumb ass fault for not opening up for the weaprns inspectors. If he had let the inspectors in & their truly were no weopons. He would probably still be in power.I personally believe their are still WMD's either in Iraq, or they have been smuggled out to places like Syria. But who really Knows?
    If you want to free people so much, why not go into Cuba and free those people? Its close, and it wouldnt be hard. Why hasnt that happened?

    This being said. As a result of theis war. Many opressed people in the region are wanting the same freedoms that the Iraqi's are BEGINNING TO DISCOVER. This will obviously take time. The US is less than 200 years old. It is a continuous work in progress. Along way from perfect, but as close as I have seen. I have traveled to many parts of the world for my job. I have seen Russia, Irag, Saudia Arabia, China, England,France, Italy,& many countries in South America. Nowhere I have seen, can you live with as many freedoms and ease of travel as in those countries with democracies.
    Still it doesnt give any country the right to attack another country to place their form of government in other countries, that is wrong. But as I said, these moves have backfired in the face of the US. And will do so again, time will tell.

    My question to you is. Would you not like to have that kind of freedom in your country ?
    Freedom is not occupation. My country is occupied by Russia. Iraq is occupied by America. Palestine is occupied by Israel.

    There can be no freedom with occupation. True freedom will only happen in Iraq if all foreign troops leave.

    To say that all countries can not have a democracy is a poor arguement. That is saying that the people of that country have not the mental capacity to make informed decisions. It does not take a rocket scientist to determine that every human deserves as much oppurtunity as the next, regardless of race,sex, creed, color, or religion.
    Yes, so is the US going to go after all nations that are undemocratic, and declare war on them?

    P.S If you knew the wherabouts of UBL, would you turn him in.
    You don't have to answer if you don't like. I just had to ask.
    Ask George W. Bush, Osama Bin Laden is probably hiding in the basement of the White House.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by talltanman
    P.S If you knew the wherabouts of UBL, would you turn him in.
    You don't have to answer if you don't like. I just had to ask.
    If I did know where he was, I would turn him in for free, without any reward.

  16. #16
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    You need to pay closer attention to what I write.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
    I have heard people in the US government say they wouldnt allow an Islamic government.

    As I said, I may be wrong. If I am show me I will conceede this point. If you can't show me YOU ARE WRONG!!!



    If you want to free people so much, why not go into Cuba and free those people? Its close, and it wouldnt be hard. Why hasnt that happened?

    To enlighten you, in order to avoid a total nuclear wipeout of this planet in the 1960's we made a deal wtih the USSR not to invade Cuba.
    AKA= Cuban Missle Crisis

    In adition to this I also stated their are many other options prior to war to give freedom to those without it..



    Still it doesnt give any country the right to attack another country to place their form of government in other countries, that is wrong. But as I said, these moves have backfired in the face of the US. And will do so again, time will tell.

    [B]I DO NOT KNOW A MORE SIMPLE WAY TO SAY THIS " IT WILL NOT BE OUR FORM OF GOVERNMENT. IT WILL BE THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT THAT THE IRAQI PEOPLE CHOOSE!!!!!" [/B]



    Freedom is not occupation. My country is occupied by Russia. Iraq is occupied by America. Palestine is occupied by Israel.

    [I]Once again, as soon as we are able we will leave Iraq. We will have left the people better off than when we got there. We don't want free oil. We don't want their land. We don't want anything other than peace in the middle east.[/I]



    There can be no freedom with occupation. True freedom will only happen in Iraq if all foreign troops leave.

    [I]This is absolutly correct & it will occur. As I have already stated, it is not something that happens overnight. However it will happen.[/I]




    Yes, so is the US going to go after all nations that are undemocratic, and declare war on them?

    [U]No, we will explore all options. Financial,being the most powerful resource we have.
    [/U]




    Ask George W. Bush, Osama Bin Laden is probably hiding in the basement of the White House.
    [I]If he is in the basement of the White House I bet he is hating life right about now. I would keep him alive just so I could tourture him. But I'm just a vindictive SOB. [/I]






    BRO, I AM SO GLAD WE ARE ABLE TO DEBATE THESE ISSUES. WHILE WE OBVIOUSLY DISAGREE ON MANY THINGS. YOU WILL FIND WE ARE NOT THAT FAR OFF ON OTHER TOPICS. GLAD TO SEE THAT WE CAN DISCUSS THESE SERIOUS ISSUES & STILL POKE FUN AT EACH OTHER WITHOUT OFFENDING EACH OTHER. IF I OFFEND YOU PLEASE LET ME KNOW
    Last edited by talltanman; 03-15-2005 at 02:24 AM. Reason: HARD TO FOLLOW

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    BOUNCER is offline Retired Vet
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
    No, no one wants to be occupied by foreign troops. Not the Iraqis, not the Palestianians, not the Chechans, not the Afghans, not the Kashmiris, not the Lebanese etc etc.

    But why doesnt the US pressure Israel to get out of Palestine as hard as they are pressuring Syria?

    Double Standards, yet again.
    I'm starting to agree more and more with you lately. Double standards for sure, why not turn their energies to ending British rule in Northern Ireland.

    GIVE IRELAND BACK TO THE IRISH.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
    No they were tricked. They were tricked into thinking Al-Hariri was killed by Syria. When infact he was killed by Israel or its agents.
    Here we go again. The same old Ignorant rant of how the Jews are responsible for all the crimes committed by radical Islamic idiots, and how Islamic terrorists have nothing to do with any of it, Blah, Blah, Blah.

    Cant you Jihadists come up with anything else, its pathetic how cover up your own criminal actions. Its time for your culture to stand up and take responsibility for your actions and pay the price for your allegiance to criminals.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Opposition Launches Massive Protest in Beirut-danzigerjk.gif  
    Last edited by Will Power; 03-15-2005 at 01:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BOUNCER
    I'm starting to agree more and more with you lately. Double standards for sure, why not turn their energies to ending British rule in Northern Ireland.

    GIVE IRELAND BACK TO THE IRISH.
    Not double standards at all. The vast majority of Israelis support a complete separation from the Palestinians. And have been trying to do so for the last 15 years. If not for terrorists, there would have ,and should have been a state called Palestine long ago.

    Would you make concessions to a "peace partner" who's goal is to exterminate your race, and culture". Could you allow the creation of a state where terrorist organizations control the government, and make national policy.
    Sorry but other than the fact that one nation is occupying another, there is no correlations or resemblance between these, Not politically, socially, Ethically, or Geographically
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Opposition Launches Massive Protest in Beirut-%7B3f2cbef5-c7df-4206-907f-e2f39c002e88%7D.gif  
    Last edited by Will Power; 03-15-2005 at 01:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
    Your assuming those are anti-Syrian protests. Its not. Lebanese people and Syrians are brothers forever.

    I always supported a total Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, total. But not when there is pressure from Israel and America.

    Its sad America is again meddling in others affairs, and is fueling a civil war. They always do this, even Ukraine, not only the Middle East.

    Right now as it looks in Lebanon its Shias versus Sunnis, Druze, and Christians.

    Although I am Sunni, I support the Shias, because they are resisting US and Israeli pressure.
    We have to because others can't handle the bullies

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    Quote Originally Posted by MILPOLDAN1
    We have to because others can't handle the bullies

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BOUNCER
    He ment everyone but you BOUNCER.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BOUNCER
    I'm starting to agree more and more with you lately. Double standards for sure, why not turn their energies to ending British rule in Northern Ireland.

    GIVE IRELAND BACK TO THE IRISH.
    What does Fenian mean?

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    And minutes ago there was a bombing in Beirut.

    Dividing and conquering is the strategy used by many empires in the past.

    Hopefully the Lebanese see throught it and be as brothers, and maitain peace, and not civil war.

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