Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 10th, 2008

The State of Lebanon: A string of exclamation and question marks (November 11, 2008)

 

I need to state my position on the socio-political structure of the State of Lebanon.  Isn’t it enough that the individual is living a lie that I have to swallow a bigger lie concerning my “nationality”?  Lebanon is a State recognized by the UN and it has endured for over 65 years after many civil wars and countless invasions by Israel and a long Syrian mandate for over 20 years.  Is not this fact legitimate enough for us Lebanese to unite and reach an understanding of common denominator that would protect us from further senseless divisions?

Let me recapitulate.  The Lebanese society is structured around 19 self-autonomous castes.  The various religious castes may be grouped around three larger religious tribes: the Christians, the Moslem Sunni and the Moslem Shiaa.  Let us expound on the smaller castes.

The small Druze caste is fundamentally in its inception a Shiaa “fatimide” sect but had found it more advantageous to obey the Sunni Caliphates for several reasons.  First, when the “Fatimide” dynasty in Egypt was replaced by the Sunni Ayyubide and then the Mamelouk dynasties then physical persecution of the Druze and the Shiaa was common place. Thus, to survive, the Druze had to pay allegiance to the Sunni monarchs; actually, the Sunni Ottoman Caliph empowered the Druze families of Maan and then the Chehab to dominate the political life in Mount Lebanon for over three centuries.  Second, in the State of Lebanon it was far lucrative for the Druze to take umbrage under the larger harmless militarily but powerful politically Sunni tribe since the Shiaa constituted a menacing immediate neighbor for their autonomy as a caste.

The Christian tribe encloses at least a dozen castes. The Maronite sect is presently barely more numerous than the Greek Orthodox. It is said that the State of Lebanon would not exist without its Christians; that might be true.  But to state that the State exists because of its Maronites then it is incorrect.  The Greek Orthodox are by far the most numerous Christian sect in the Near East region and spread throughout Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine (Syria has more than 5 millions).  If it was not for the heavy presence of Greek Orthodox (and supported by Imperial Russia) then the State of Lebanon could not be imposed no matter how and the Maronite caste would not have enjoyed the supremacy of its administration for over five decades.

All these civil wars in the State of Lebanon was basically the need of this caste system that viewed the establishing of a strong central government as anathema to survival of its petty interests: their respective free float interests would be jeopardized and those two dozens warlords, small feudal leaders, civilians as well as religious, would lose much of their powers over their subjects.  Sure, the various foreign State interests played a catalytic factor but the civil wars would not have been so frequent or so enduring without our caste system. Thus, Lebanon is meant to experience a civil war every 25 years or so in order to destroy and exhaust any accumulation of energy and good will for instituting a strong government.  All the foreign powers and regional powers know these facts except the Lebanese citizens who prefer to survive on chimerical dreams of a full fledged “nation”; sometime referred to as Phoenicia, or Canaan or Arabia or Nation of Islam, or even Switzerland of the East.

Lebanon is not a “Nation”; it is a State recognized by the UN. Can we live and unite within this definition?  Switzerland is not a nation: it is a State and its sovereignty is protected by an agreement among all its strong neighboring nations.  Among the over 190 recognized States in the UN maybe no more than a dozen could be legitimately considered as full fledged, self-autonomous and independent Nations.

The calls for defining our origins as a “Nation”, (be it Phoenicia, Canaan, Arab, Fertile Crescent, Islam or even Switzerland of the East), benefit only the regional leaders in their respective cantons; simply because they have no viable programs to entice their youthful “subjects” but to offering them chimerical fictitious national sentiments.

 

Tiny Lebanon needs to unite under a State strong central government in matters of defense, finance, foreign policies, national civil register, and general planning and control.  Tiny Lebanon needs decentralized administration and State economic incentives on performance. Tiny Lebanon needs a fair and equitable electoral law; variations on the proportional system should be seriously considered for a feasible and lasting electoral law; with minor reforms every now and then as the central government affirms its responsibilities for providing security and opportunities to all its citizens.  The State of Lebanon needs to vigorously obtain the long lasting support of its regional powers to securing its stability, sovereignty and neutrality.

A State “out of subject matters”: Lebanon, by Dr. Jamil Berry (Part 2, November 10, 2008)

In this section I will expound and even extrapolate on Dr. Jamil Berry understanding and views on the Lebanese social and political structures.

It was an opportunity for me to recall at least a dozen articles, essays and book reviews that I published on wordpress.com.

Dr. Jamil Berry discussed and reported a few of his observations and his friends’ perceptions and concepts on Lebanon’s geo-political and social structure.

Dr. Berry agrees with Israel’s confirmed view on the State of Lebanon as a “Lie” since Lebanon’s independence in 1943, as if the existence of the State of Israel is not the greatest “Lie” in this century.  Israel’s position on the State of Lebanon coincides to some extent with the view of the regional powers as “a dismembered State” that the colonial powers’ objective for Lebanon was to be a corridor or a land aircraft carrier for intelligence gathering and the front to any destabilization schemes to the Middle East region.

The same can be said about the State of Israel: an advanced US land aircraft carrier meant to exploit the Jewish mercenary religious beliefs in order to keeping the Middle East in a state of disorientation and preventing any serious unification process that may jeopardize the flow of inexpensive oil and facilitate inexpensive commerce.

Dr. Berry comprehends the caste system of Lebanon which is represented by 19 closed sect castes and increasing each year.  This caste system views as anathema for the State of Lebanon to establish a strong central government because their respective free float interests would be imperiled.  Thus, Lebanon is meant to experience a civil war every 30 years so that to destroying and exhausting any accumulation of energy and good will for instituting a strong government.

All the foreign powers and regional powers know these facts except the Lebanese citizens who prefer to survive on chimerical dreams of a full fledged “nation”; sometime referred to as Phoenicia, or Canaan or Arab or even French or Switzerland of the East.

Dr. Berri knows the “maternity of this tiny State.  It was at London, on May 1916; at 10 Downing Street exactly.  Mark Sykes (England) and Francois-Georges Picot (France) gave it birth by dividing the Near East region after WWI. Lebanon was part of the Syrian steppes and then became a geo-political corridor” (under the administration of the Christian Maronite sect).

The idea of Israel was created by England around 1907 when England realized that it needed a buffer zone to protect its interests in India through Egypt by eliminating any kind of unification in the foreseeable future.  The Balfour declaration in 1917 was to give it body by naming the owners of this buffer zone; indeed, the “Jews arrived carrying their Bible as an act of ownership” for the Prime Real Estate called Palestine.

Consequently, Lebanon has a concentration of 600,000 Palestinians within 4 millions Lebanese.

The successive governments in Lebanon, in order not to destabilize the sectarian ratios, got hold of the UN resolution 193 for “the right of the Palestinians to return to Palestine” by forbidding the Palestinians citizenship and even the rights to work within Lebanon but solely within their delimited ghetto camps!

Dr. Berry at one point felt that all his paragraphs might all ends in exclamation marks! (That would change the title to “The current history of the State of Lebanon: a string of exclamation marks!”)

Israel had constantly claimed the security of its borders to wage offensive preemptive wars against the Arab States surrounding it. At each war, Israel would nibble a small or a large chunk and after digesting it then it would repeat her “border security tactics claims”.  In fact, Israel is the only state in the UN that refused to define its borders; I wonder if Israel can be considered a legitimate State under the UN requirements.

Dr. Berry wrote an open letter to Israel. The gist of it is that Israel has a heavy density of scientists and we have the water; so why not cooperate and start sharing our strengths?

The answer would be when the US would stop considering oil as a strategic product and permit Israel to mingle as another Near Eastern society, which it is, in matter of fact, by the majority of Jews of Arabic or Islamic extractions who immigrated to Israel.

Note 1: I have stated in part one that the Classical French language is fraught with polysemism (a word that might have several meanings) but its slang is much worse because the root of the word has no relationship with the meaning of the other half a dozen meanings.

In the formal Arabic language almost any word might have several meanings, out and in context, if the consonants are devoid of accents.  The language do have all the vowels in addition to the accents that have the same vocals of a, o, u, e or i, neutral sound, and impression on the consonant that represents repeat of the consonant.  Thus, a word of three consonants can have a combination of a dozen meanings but still firmly related to the root of the word.

Actually, the original Jahilia Arabic, during the period of the Prophet Muhammad, Arabic had no accentuation marks whatsoever.  It is after the conquest of Persia and Syria and Egypt that Arabic had to diversify and then to expand in order to accommodate the most civilized societies in this period of history.

Note 2: Following on note 1, beside remote China and India, were the other advanced civilization along Persia and Syria (represented by the Byzantium hegemony).  The civilizations of Persia and India were intertwined.  The civilization of Syria (present Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine) is fundamentally Mediterranean; it influenced and assimilated the cultures of Egypt, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, Arab and then the Crusaders coming from Medieval Europe.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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