The Lebanese Political Economy is in shambles it's lead by the what happens in the Cabinet or the Top. The people should inquire why is taking along time to elect a Lebanese President and hurting the nation this country needs the vote for President not the Parliament and the Cabinet. Cause he can't be a puppet of the Parliament. The Lebanese people need a leader that can lead. Not let Hezbollah and other divisive elements in the country take over like it was when President Emile Lahoud, Hezbollah and other terrorists was battling Israel. The nation of Israel might lost some of it's military prestige but it didn't lose the war. I need to rescind my mental condemnations against the Israeli Parliament cause In my mental feelings against the Israeli Cabinet and even in the United States Cabinet of President. I had condemned Condeleeza Rice for interjecting herself into this fight with Israel and Hezbollah which I know the reason why is that that was the wrong thing to do on my part. We needed to end that battle back then it's ending would to cause to help the Israeli and the people of Lebanon. There is a newer battle brewing and we are going to need to stop that battle ? Will Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice be there probably not ? Will the person who takes her job be there be as experienced as her to do the diplomacy. Will the people get the economy of Lebanon booming and the Parliament get a President that can work with the world and make Lebanon a tourism attraction like it should be.
The People and the Parliament of Lebanon needs a leader that can do diplomacy and make the Economy of Lebanon and make making relations with Israel and Iraq and other nations and help other nations with making promises it can fulfill and don't lead itself down the the faltering slope that Syria and Iran would lead them down. That can talk with Saudia Arabia. And do successful business with Northern Africa and other African nations.
Note : http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=3&article_id=89262
Beirut Stock Exchange rises, then falls, on political news
Monday, February 25, 2008
BEIRUT: In contrast to the preceding three weeks, activity on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) witnessed an improvement driven by the relative calmness on the political scene, as the BLOM Stock Index remained above 1,470 points throughout the week. However, the adverse political development by end of the week drove the index to 1,456, down 0.11 percent from last week's 1,458 and down 3 percent year-to-date.
The bourse saw a relatively high volume of trading last week, with total volume and value increasing 66.36 percent and 64.13 percent, respectively, to 768,837 shares and $13.4 million. Out of 18 traded titles, the prices of six rose, seven were unchanged and five declined. Solidere shares made up 62 percent of total value traded, while the remaining 38 percent was divided between banking and industrial-sector stocks.
The banking sector witnessed considerable activity this week, as 10 out of the 18 stock titles traded were in the banking sector. BLOM Bank's global depositary receipt (GDR) and BLOM's listed shares moved in the same direction - the former rose 0.51 percent to $88.50 on a total of 18,100 shares, and the latter increased 0.061 percent to $81.55 on 9,530 stocks traded.
Bank Audi's GDR was steady last week at $73.50, with 6,754 shares traded. In addition, the bank's preferred C shares rose 3.6 percent to end the week at $27.25 on a single trade of 2,187 shares.
The prices of Byblos Bank's common and preferred shares were unchanged at $2.25 and $104.10 respectively, with a total of 217,720 common shares traded and a single trade of 100 preferred shares. On the other hand, Byblos priority shares declined 0.87 percent to $2.27 on a total of 84,099 stocks.
Three of Bank of Beirut's stocks underwent trading this week. The bank's common shares increased 2.24 percent to $11.83 with 33,269 stocks traded. Both of the bank's C and D shares' prices remained unchanged at $24.85 and $25 respectively, with a total of 400 C shares and 8,800 D shares.
As a result, the Banks' Preferred Shares Index closed at 103.41, an increase of 0.16 percent from last week.
Internationally, BLOM's GDR increased 2.82 percent to $91, while Audi's GDR rose 1.50 percent to $74.60.
Both the A and B shares of real estate titan Solidere ended the week in the red, as the former declined 0.32 percent to $21.51 and the latter dropped 0.74 percent to $21.32. A total of 291,392 A shares were traded, whereas 80,201 B shares changed hands. Internationally, Solidere shares gained 2.48 percent and closed at $21.47.
The industrial sector saw activity with two of its stocks, Holcim and Ciment Blanc Bearer. Holcim shares dropped 0.15 percent to $19.60 on a volume of 1,804 shares. Ciment Blanc, on the other hand, gained 5.5 percent to $1.90 on a single trade of 3,000 stocks.
All four of the listed funds underwent trading this week. Dollar-denominated Beirut Global Income rose 0.99 percent to $102 on 1,184 traded stocks, whereas the Beirut Preferred Fund stabilized at $100.50 on a total of 4,410 shares traded. Lebanese-pound denominated Beirut Lira Fund declined 2.2 percent to LL101,700 on 487 traded shares. Beirut Golden Income was steady at LL102,000 with 5,400 shares traded.
In conclusion, last week's relatively heightened activity - driven by the absence of negative - was overshadowed by the end of the week's adverse political development, reflecting once again the fragile state of the country's economic fundamentals. Not surprisingly, the BSE has revealed a high level of sensitivity to political events which are taken as indicators of things to come. - BLOMInvest Bank's The Lebanon Brief
Note : http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iB_UhX38zAL1wb8PzR2cwilSenBw
Lebanon presidential vote delayed to March: house speaker
1 day ago
BEIRUT (AFP) — A parliamentary session to elect Lebanon's president due on Tuesday was postponed until March 11 due to continued deadlock between rival political leaders, the speaker's office said on Monday.
"Parliament speaker Nabih Berri decided to postpone Tuesday's electoral session to Monday, March 11 at noon," it said in a statement. "The speaker wants to give a chance to (Arab League) efforts" to resolve the crisis.
The decision to postpone the vote for the 15th time since September came following a failed new mediation by Arab League chief Amr Mussa to break the deadlock between the Western-backed majority and the Hezbollah-led opposition.
Lebanon has been without a president since November, when pro-Syrian Emile Lahoud stepped down at the end of his mandate with no elected successor because of the deadlock between the pro- and anti-Syrian camps.
Mussa held two meetings between rival leaders and told reporters that while some headway was made in breaking the standoff, more talks were needed.
"We have succeeded in dealing with some points on the agenda, and the agenda is long, but there are still some points that need further discussion," he told a news conference.
The two meetings late on Sunday and Monday brought together parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri and former president Amin Gemayel with Michel Aoun, who is allied with the Hezbollah-led opposition.
Mussa said the two sides agree on electing army chief General Michel Sleiman as president and the need for a new electoral law, but they disagree on the make-up of the new government.
"It is a given that the opposition will have 10 ministers in the new government but the question is how to split the remaining 20 portfolios," Mussa said.
The opposition is seeking enough seats in the new government to give it veto power, a scenario rejected by the ruling majority.
The standoff has paralysed the government and led to mounting communal tensions.
In addition to Tuesday's postponed session, 14 previous parliamentary attempts to elect a successor to pro-Syrian Emile Lahoud, who stepped down in November, have been cancelled, triggering Lebanon's worst internal crisis since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.
The international community has made several attempts to try to resolve the feud and the political tensions have on occasion boiled over into street clashes in Beirut, prompting warnings of renewed civil strife.
The standoff is widely viewed as an extension of the regional conflict pitting the United States and its Arab allies against Syria and Iran.
Egypt and Gulf states fear an upcoming Arab summit could be scuppered if Lebanon fails to begin resolving its political crisis by naming a new president, a senior Bahraini official told AFP on Monday.
"Egypt and the Gulf states see it necessary to resolve the question of the empty presidential post in Lebanon before the summit," the official, who declined to be named, said after talks in Manama between Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Bahrain's King Hamad.
Egypt and Gulf states believe "failure to resolve this question could contribute to the failure of the summit", which is due to take place in Damascus on March 29-30, the official added.
Note That is Critical half and half of my views : http://globalpolitician.com/24177-lebanon-israel
Lebanon's Saniora Government & and the Israeli Complex
Elias Bejjani - 2/26/2008
During his two years in office, Lebanon's PM, Mr. Fouad Saniora has proved time after time, and without any shed of doubt that psychologically he is like many other "day dreaming Arabs", still possessed by the obsolete rhetoric of the "Nasser phenomenon", that was founded by the late Egyptian President Jamal Abdel Nasser. In the fifties and sixties Nasser promised his fellow Arabs a strong, unified Arab nation, and advocated for throwing the State of Israel into the sea. In the end, he caused the Arabs more and more divisions and led them in the six days war with Israel in 1967, to the worst humiliating defeat in their history.
Mr. Saniora, despite all of the serious difficulties, obstacles, hardships, and setbacks that the Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah Axis of Evil and their puppet Lebanese machineries continue to inflict on his government, including tagging its members with treason, often falls prey to the rhetoric of this axis and issues impulsive statements or declares stances that are not in the interest of the Lebanese people, and merely motivated by the "Nasser phenomenon." Such statements and stances are usually void of any logic, common sense or gratitude for the Western countries that strongly support his government against the Axis of Evil's overt scheme to overthrow the whole Lebanese regime and erect on its ruins a Shiite (Welaet Al Fakeh) Islamic state, a replicate of the Iranian Mullahs Islamic Khomaini Republic.
One of the most devastating symptoms of the "Nasser phenomena" is an unconscious inclination to overlook all logic, reason, fairness, laws, international agreements, UN resolutions, national interests, etc. whenever Israel is the issue. This phenomenon comes to the surface with anything and everything that has to do with Israel, with no thought of what is right or wrong.
It might be very helpful to inject Mr. Saniora and all those Arabs who are hit by the "Nasser Phenomenon" with a big dose of reality, and remind them that Egypt, Jordan and all the Arab countries, including Syria and the Palestinians themselves have already and for many years officially recognized the State of Israel, either covertly or overtly. Many of these countries exchange full diplomatic relations with Israel and receive the Israeli officials openly and publically. Yet, all these countries with no exception forbid to Lebanon and the Lebanese what they legalize and okay for themselves.
These Arab countries want to fight Israel from Lebanon and through the Lebanese people, while they enjoy peace and stability in their own countries and forge peaceful agreements with Israel, directly or indirectly. They, the Arabs and the Iranian Mullahs have been and are still using Lebanon as an arena for their wars. Hezbollah, the Iranian armed Shiite fundamentalist militia has been since 1982 the spearhead for this heresy rhetoric.
We have surprisingly heard, Mr. Saniora several times fiercely criticize and reprimanded the United States for providing Israel with weapons and other aid, although Washington is his government's strongest ally, and its staunch supporter in the face of the of Axis of Evil's bloody scheme against Lebanon. That scheme aims to erect through Hezbollah, the terrorist militia, an Islamic Shiite republic in Lebanon, a replica of that which the Mullahs run in Iran.
We have witnessed a trend of repeated frenetic Saniora reactions to extremely minor incidents on the Lebanese-Israeli border. He called many times for filing official Lebanese complaints against Israel at the Security Council for trivial reasons, e.g. Lebanese shepherds being arrested by the Israeli troops when they get lost and cross the border between the two countries. He often overlooks the obliging requirements of the Armistice agreement with Israel, the UN resolutions 425, 426, 242, 383, 1559 and 1701 as well as the "Taef Accord". All these call among many other things, for controlling the borders with Israel, disarmament of all militias, especially Hezbollah, and the enforcement of security, law and order all over the Lebanese territories through the legitimate Lebanese armed forces. Unfortunately, Saniora loses both track and vision whenever Israeli is the issue. Here he falls into the Axis of Evil rhetoric trap, and the "Nasser Phenomena" surfaces.
Sadly, Saniora's government reaction and official stance in addressing the cold blood killing of a Lebanese child on February 19/08 by the Syrian border guards was so shy, extremely pathetic, shameful, inappropriate and disproportional. This blatant double standard that the Saniora government exercises regarding Syria is not acceptable and lacks credibility.
We call on the Lebanese government to file immediately an official complaint against Syria at the UN Security Council and demand that the Syrian regime be fully accountable on all levels for this savage, heinous and cowardly crime.
We also demand that the Saniora government, as well as many members in the Lebanese majority coalition of 4th March, put an end once and for all to their camouflaging and dhimmitude rhetoric regarding the false and fabricated role that Hezbollah alleges to have played in 2000 in forcing Israel to withdraw its troops from South Lebanon.
The blunt reality is that Israel withdrew its troops in accordance with the UN resolution 425, and the whole matter had nothing to do with Hezbollah. The Israeli decision for withdrawal that was regretted later was based completely on domestic strategies. Hezbollah did not liberate South Lebanon in 2000; in fact Syria and Iran, through Hezbollah, were the reason the Israelis delayed their troops' withdrawal for 14 years.
Meanwhile PM Saniora and many other Lebanese politicians and officials ought to stop their monotonous, dull and empty statement and say: Lebanon will be the last Arabic country to sign a peace treaty with Israel. In fact, all these Lebanese dignitaries should wake up and admit the fact that all the Arab countries including Syria and the Palestinians themselves have already recognized the State of Israel covertly or overtly. Only Lebanon is left as an open arena for Arab-Iranian, Israeli fights and an outlet for inter-Arab fights and conflicts.
Enough is enough. Lebanon and the Lebanese people deserve to enjoy peace with their neighbors, Syria and Israel alike.
The Lebanese leaders and politicians have an obligation to our people, to give priority to Lebanon's interests and only to Lebanon.
Elias Bejjani is a human rights activist, journalist & political commentator who writes for the Global Politician about issues concerning Lebanon. He is the Spokesman for the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF) and the Media Chairman for the Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC)
E-Mail: email@example.com LCCC Web Site: http://www.10452lccc.com
Note : http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080226/ap_on_re_mi_ea/hezbollah_commander;_ylt=Ar08TESyV265D97sWqf46X9bbBAF
Slain militant was organizer in 2006 war
By SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI, Associated Press Writer Tue Feb 26, 3:27 PM ET
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The last time the world heard from Imad Mughniyeh, he was masterminding terror spectaculars in the 1980s and 1990s — bomb attacks on U.S. and Israeli targets, kidnappings and hijackings.
But for nearly 15 years, no one has known exactly what the Hezbollah commander was doing. The only confirmation of his whereabouts came when he was killed Feb. 12 in a car bombing in Syria.
Now Hezbollah officials and associates are describing a previously unknown role for Mughniyeh: Far from being too busy fleeing enemies, he was a key commander for Hezbollah in its 2006 war with Israel.
He was among the leading military and security strategists — if not the very top himself — of the group and a member of its decision-making committee, according to those who had knowledge of Mughniyeh before he was killed Feb. 12 in Damascus.
"Hezbollah's top architect of that war was Imad Mughniyeh," Anis Naccache, a 57-year-old longtime associate, told The Associated Press. "You can say he was like a staff general (chief of staff)."
In a speech Friday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah credited Mughniyeh with leading the group to two victories — the 2006 war and a Hezbollah guerrilla war in 2000 that led to the withdrawal of Israeli troops from its last positions in southern Lebanon.
In the 1980s, Mughniyeh was notorious in the West. He was accused of plotting suicide bombings of the U.S. Embassy and bases of U.S. and French troops that killed hundreds, as well as the kidnappings of dozens of Westerners in Beirut.
The last attacks he is believed to have directed were suicide bombings in the 1990s against the Israeli Embassy and a Jewish center in Argentina that killed more than 100 people and a bombing in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, that killed 19 Americans.
For years, Hezbollah said almost nothing about him. But after his death, the group has embraced him as a hero — to a degree that surprised some Lebanese who believed Hezbollah would not want to revive memories of its past association with terrorism.
The 2006 war came after Hezbollah fighters captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid. Israel retaliated with a massive bombardment, then ground incursions, in a 34-day war that devastated south Lebanon.
More than 1,000 Lebanese were killed, along with 119 Israeli soldiers and 43 Israeli civilians who died from Hezbollah rocket attacks across the border.
The war ended without Israel winning any of its main objectives — regaining the two soldiers and crushing Hezbollah — and its army chief and other top commanders were forced to resign.
The fighting also held numerous surprises for the Israeli military — particularly the guerrillas' sophisticated rockets and anti-tank weapons and their extensive preparations for battle.
Command and weapons-arsenal bunkers were dug deep into rocky hills around south Lebanon with a network of tunnels linking large storage rooms. Some exits were equipped with cameras and linked to a monitor below to help fighters ambush enemy soldiers.
Mughniyeh was apparently behind those tactics.
Naccache said the general strategy of fighting "a war of shadows" was Mughniyeh's decision. "We were fighting Israel but Israel cannot see any fighter," he said, speaking in English.
A Hezbollah guerrilla who was on the front lines in southern Lebanon during the 2006 fighting told AP that Mughniyeh was his commander. The guerrilla, who would identify himself only by his first name, Hassan, for fear of reprisals, would not elaborate.
Naccache, a Lebanese who once was a fighter for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction and has known Mughniyeh since Mughniyeh was 13, said the two met dozens of times over recent years.
The last time was in Lebanon two months before the 2006 war. During that meeting, Naccache said, Mughniyeh showed him photographs of anti-tank rockets that Hezbollah had recently obtained, the Russian-made Kornet and the RPG-29.
He said Mughniyeh explained to him how the rockets could be used against Merkavas, the massively armored tanks that are vaunted as symbols of Israeli military might.
Naccache said Mughniyeh "had studied the exact millimeters of the thickness of a Merkava and what was the best point from which to hit the Merkava."
"I understood how serious he was in his preparation for the war," Naccache said. Mughniyeh did not tell him where Hezbollah obtained the weapons, he said. Iran is believed to be Hezbollah's main arms supplier, with some coming from Syria.
Naccache, as a Sunni Muslim, is not a member of the Shiite group Hezbollah but is a close supporter of the organization and a longtime associate of Mughniyeh. He taught Mughniyeh when Mughniyeh showed up at age 13 at a Fatah camp south of Beirut and asked to be given guerrilla training.
Naccache served 10 years in prison after trying assassinate Iran's last prime minister under the monarchy, Shapour Bakhtiar, on Iran's behalf in Paris in 1980. A policeman and bystander were killed.
Israeli defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said Mughniyeh was in charge of Hezbollah's overall military effort, serving as something like a defense minister, and influenced war strategy.
Officially, Israel has denied involvement in Mughniyeh's killing. Privately, Israeli defense officials will neither confirm nor deny foreign reports attributing the assassination to Israel.
Israeli officials have made little secret of their satisfaction he is dead. Israeli officials also said Mughniyeh had long been wanted and denied reports that there was ever any tacit agreement with Hezbollah not to go after him.
But the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, acknowledged Mughniyeh's profile was raised by the 2006 war. Israel also believed Mughniyeh was planning a large attack to avenge Israel's airstrike in Syria in September. Israel has said little about that airstrike, which foreign reports have said might have targeted a nuclear installation in Syria.
Hezbollah and Iran have accused Israel in the car-bomb death, and Nasrallah has vowed retaliation.
The question now is how seriously Mughniyeh's loss will affect Hezbollah. The organization is known for absorbing blows such as the loss of major figures.
Naccache said Hezbollah is "very structured and (has) many people with experience. They have the same experience as Hajj Imad, not less."