Today, Samir Geagea (Lebanese Forces) put his five cents into the shouting match, saying ‘Our battle will be long … we are determined to take all measures to attain a new Lebanon’ and calling on his supporters to join the demonstration in Martyr’s Square on Thursday 14th February. Meanwhile, Hezbollah officials have called Jumblatt’s challenges (he actually promised to come and take Hezbollah’s rockets away) ‘madness’ and compared M14 to ‘an ant challenging an elephant’. Jumblatt has already been busy taking some of his enthusiastic words back… The shootings in response to the various speeches have meanwhile resulted in three wounded. On Saturday night, a police officer guarding the parliament building was hit by a bullet falling out of the sky – which is of course what happens when you shoot off your gun into the air in celebration: the bullets eventually come back down… In Beirut, a convoy of Future party cars (Saad Hariri’s militia boys) shot at security agents outside Nabih Berri’s (heavily fortified) home in Ain al-Tine. Nobody was wounded there, and the army quickly intervened. In Alay, a PSP (Jumblatt) convoy passed by the offices of the LDP (Lebanese Democratic Party, which is the Arslan militia – sorry: party) and shooting resulted too, wounding one little girl in a car of the convoy and heavily wounding… a passer-by. These first cases are interesting, as they show straight away what the civil war cries will inevitably result in, though the warmongerers conveniently omit to mention it. First: infighting among the various sects, who are in reality all divided between opposition and pro-government parties, even though to listen to their leaders you’d think it was ‘simply’ druze, sunni and christian against shia and christian – in this case it was a conflict between 2 druze parties. And secondly, as in all wars, uninvolved bystanders and passers-by will take the brunt of the deaths and the suffering. Look at these three: a policeman who gets hit inadvertently by ‘fire of joy’, a passer-by who takes a stray bullet from a nearby firefight, and a little girl dragged along in some political convoy she’s too young to know anything about. Meanwhile, the various warlords will be comfortably protected in their fortified palaces, having sent their families safely abroad. Al harb al-ahliyya, bring it on… Helena Cobham, meanwhile, writes an interesting piece (on justworldnews) about the forces which have prevented civil war breaking out in Lebanon over the past years.