Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 2009

Ye, Stiff-Necked Levantine (April 2, 2009)

 Note:  I decided to re-post because the opposition is to win the next election

There are millions upon millions of Lebanese in the Diaspora.  Since the civil war in 1975, anyone who could borrow for a plane ticket immigrated.  In the city of Sao Paolo in Brazil there are more Lebanese descendents than all Lebanese citizens.  Many boldly declared that they have cut the bridges and burned the ships, never to return to their homeland, as if infamy was a badge of honor.

This tiny land that was coveted by hundreds of Empires for its milk and honey; this land that exported to the world olive oil, wine, and dried fruit; this land that built cities and created the alphabet; this land that manufactured and roamed the seas and oceans and transacted with every people is reaching bottom.  This land of water and cool sources has no potable water.

International Zionism never relinquished its zeal to bust our doors and sap our energy and determination, even after being defeated twice in less than a decade.

This land that exported highly cultured and educated people is reduced to graduating sectarian, uncouth and poorly cultured new generations that barely can read or write.

We don’t want you to come and talk the talk of the sectarian. We don’t want you to behave the pessimist and defeatist.  We need you to come and walk the walk of the free; to experience the harsh life of the brave, to participate in our miseries, to revolt and to change and reform a tiny Nation that led the world for millennia.  

You in the Diaspora, you might have earned individual successes, medals, honors, or riches but you can never erase a tiny dot of the huge and ugly blotch that scars your forehead.  As long as your homeland is humiliated, shriveled, and under-developed among the nations then this scar will be prominent on your forehead and on your descendents’ because you bare a large part of the responsibility for our degradation and instability.

We need you to bolster the fainthearted who dream ever harder to inflating the rank of the Diaspora.  We need you to come and prevent those hot air arrogant bourgeois from taking away the arms of the steadfast, brave, and resisting patriots.

 

“Ye, stiff-necked Levantine; ye the uncircumcised in heart, ears, and tongue.  My curses are on you and your descendents in the Diaspora to the end of time. Ye, blasphemous Levantine, wizen up; never dare take my curse lightly!”

Nelson Chip: Tagger (February 5, 2009)

 

            I got the idea of this article out of a chapter in the French book “Like a drifting eagled” by the Lebanese author Alexandre Najjar. 

Nelson Chip is a tagger; that is how he describes his profession.  Nelson cannot help it; he always carries a painting “bomb” to tag his graffiti on anything drab, ugly, plain boring; he tags on crumbling walls, graying train carriages, dirty metro subways but never on private properties, telephone booths, private cars, or window shops. Nelson is not a drug addict or a drunkard; he works alone and by night fall; he likes his privacy and solitude. Nelson tags works of art, messages of peace, of hope, expressive words in order to cheer up what he judges to be drab and uninspiring; many gangs try to emulate his artistic calligraphy design by tagging their war names for narcissistic exhibition. 

            Larry Chip is his brother; he also paints.  The ID plaque on his combat uniform states “CDR-Larry Chip-Combat Artist”.  The Navy Art Gallery dispatched Larry to Kuwait during Desert Storm war against Iraq in 1992.  Larry’s job was to draw soldiers and immortalize the G.I.  He then painted over 30 of these portraits for the exhibit in his honor.  During the war, Larry was distinguished and received recognition by painting graffiti on missiles and bomb shells destined for the Iraqi civilians.

            Two brothers, two artists; Nelson is serving jail terms for carrying a painting bomb in his bag; he is charged of “voluntary defacing, degrading, deterioration of public properties and monuments”.  Nelson is no longer permitted shaving foam; he said: “My hands itch when I carry a painting bomb; I have to relieve my idea, to express my revolt; I have then this irrepressible desire to paint”   Larry returned home a War Hero; the famous and glamorous are flocking to watch his artistic “chef d’oeuvre” in Washington, DC.

            Two brothers, two artists “painters”; Nelson’s art are still emulated by the little people to express their frustrated emotions and miserable living.  Larry’s graffiti disintegrated; only the hate mongers are emulating his art: the Zionists painted blasphemous graffiti on missiles and shells targeted to Palestinian babies in Gaza.

San Francisco: Soothing recollections May 31, 2009

The trip to San Francisco from Oklahoma to attend the Human Factors convention lasted almost 3 days and I spent my money on junk food. This is a period I’m still not ready to face much less to write about but I finally came around to tell it. Suffice to admit that I roomed with my adviser in the hotel and that he woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me that my snoring was loud.

After the convention was over, I was on the verge of joining the file of the homeless. I stayed at the studio of a referral that I got in Norman for one night in Ashbury Heights. I had later many occasions to walk this famous street during the period when the hippies selected it as headquarter for their movement.

The next morning I was feeling sick because of too much nervous tension. I called my cousin Nassif in Vancouver and all that I got was a reprimand “Adonis, you are always in trouble”. I called Ali who was working in Canada but he had no referrals in San Francisco to stay over. I used an old number of Ali’s in Houston and it seems that this number connect him everywhere he relocates.

I know that I slept one night at an Algerian student who was the manager of the restaurant “Marrakech” that served Moroccan dishes; it was one of the longest nights and the most nerve wracking wait for this Algerian student to show up and pick me up.

It was a cold night and I waited for over three hours sitting on my suitcase wondering if he is ever going to show up. I had nowhere to go and no money for any decent lodging facility.  The next day I slept at a hostel for foreign student visitors for two nights in Downtown San Francisco.

The Algerian student referred me to two Spanish students living in a foggy neighborhood; the fog enveloped this quarter 20 hours a day. I had shelter for a week at the foreign students from Spain and they were very nice.

I managed to be hired in a full-service retirement hotel, for room and board in exchange of 4 hours work a day. The Spanish students could not believe that I landed a job that quickly. I accepted all the overtime I could get in all the departments, until I was offered the job of assistant to the manager three weeks later.  I was fooled by the offer of $1,200 a month which turned out to be less than $900 after all kinds of deductions but I fulfilled my “word” to stay a whole year in that position.

My cousin Patrick visited me once when he was attending a conference in San Francisco for the anesthesiologists. I enjoyed my stay in this lovely city of San Francisco and visited frequently all its parks and waterfronts and beaches, carrying a book with me.

I had also located a nearby covered swimming pool that I patronized three times a week.  I had the opportunity to tour the neighboring towns around San Francisco with co-workers and a French older woman called Michelle that I helped secure a part-time position at the Hotel.  The red headed Michelle carried all her belonging in the trunk of her small beat up car and she invited me on her many excursions out of town.

I saw many famous locations because I was responsible for arranging tours to the elder residents and I was to be part of the trip for supervision purposes.  The City offered a van with a driver and we toured San Francisco once a week and I took pictures and described the tour in the monthly promotional brochure along with the monthly events in the Hotel.

I was caring for elder persons, mostly ladies, but in my state of confusion for my future and frustration in not finding within my spirit of what I loved to do for a job didn’t leave much space in my soul for sincere compassion.  Practically, I cared better than most of the managerial staff because I was new to this environment of human spiritual misery and I was highly respected by the “clients”.

The retirees knew of my higher education but never asked me “why are you working in such an institution with your degree?”; it is as people in the US are accustomed to seeing all kinds of individuals working temporary jobs that turned out to be more permanent than proclaimed.

One elder man of over 80 of age, tall and of powerful constitution, committed suicide a week after his “incarceration” by falling in a stairwell from the eighth floor.  Many of the elder ladies whom I cared for passed away during my job but I was not shaken emotionally, or that what I thought at the time.

I think that I read most of the famous authors who lived in and around San Francisco. I had a Mexican girlfriend. (You may read my post in the addendum to my introspection “Chica Lupita”)

I have toured Marin County, the forest of the highest Red trees, ventured to Monterrey, Big Sur, Little Sur, Carmel, and all the environs.  There was old Jake who was a gambling addict; he used to receive invitations from the casinos for free rooms in Reno.  I joined him twice because he needed company.

I played little and ate a lot; food and drinks were cheap and in abundance, and enjoyed looking at pretty servers too.  We traveled on two occasions as a group in a van belonging to an employee and spent glorious days up north and tasted wine in wine counties and farmhouses.

I recall that I had an interview for a job in statistical analysis and had to board several ferries to reach destination; luckily, I didn’t get the job but it was a good exposure for various transport facilities. All in all, my stay in San Francisco was the loveliest and most enriching experience in the US.

During my stay in San Francisco I took the bus Greyhound to Boulder because my adviser sent me a letter that he was to deliver part of my dissertation to the convention of Human Factors Society and I wanted to attend it. It was a long trip of two days and we passed through Salt Lake City and I visited the temple of the Mormons.

There was snow and the University of Boulder was lovely. During the second day of the convention my advisor failed to show up and I had no copy of my dissertation and I felt frustrated for not being prepared to deliver anything even though I was invited by the chairperson of the session to do it.  I had the opportunity to tour Denver by night and boarded the spacious and large bus that crosses Main Street.

The return trip was long. A week later I was to battle a discrimination case.  There was this girl who claimed that I harassed her sexually and the case was dropped after weeks of hassles; she had no one to testify on her behalf.  The girl was pissed off that I got the position of assistant to the manager. I had no hints of the power struggle that went on before I arrived to this hotel.  I wanted to resign but the manager convinced me that when I finish the whole year then I would be eligible for unemployment benefits of around $450 a month.

I finished the year and started to look for a steady job commensurate to my education.  I thus patronized an office on Van Ness Road that was funded by the City and aided with unemployment cases, such as writing CVs and how to tailor make your resume, and checking on the latest openings for work.  In one of my posts titled “Are you searching for a job?” I wrote:

“I recall that in 1991 the US was in serious recession during the Bush Sr. Administration and jobs were frighteningly scarce.  I had graduated with a PhD degree in Industrial/Human Factors engineering and missed better periods for hiring academicians.

I was working as assistant to manager at a retirement community in Downtown San Francisco and visited an employment center on Van ness Road. It was a center meant to help you out rewrite your CV for the nth time anytime you wanted to apply for the scarce job announcements posted in the center.

People swarmed this center just to feel busy and serious about searching for a job but not that hot for finding one.  I guess the center was one of the hundreds of facilities with the sole purpose to blaming the citizens for failure to doing their due diligence and compete since no one is about to beg you to work for them.  If you failed to re-write your CV and spent more money on useless stamps per day then you are not making good use of this “valuable” help facility.

This was the period when ridiculous denials were the custom of the land. For example, this custodian at NASA who claims that he is contributing to sending astronauts to the moon; or redefining their jobs as sanitation “engineering”.  I recall that I was forced to accept a job cleaning and vacuuming the main library while working on my dissertation.

I fooled my spirit into believing that as long as I am doing my job perfectly and with excitement then I am learning the value of a job well done, sort as a training period for toughening my character.  A state of denial is not a bad reaction; it is successive states of denials that can be deleterious to your development”.

I was very curious and enjoyed being among crowds; I attended the public events such as Shakespeare in the park, the free open concerts, joined the homosexual yearly celebrations, and the Latinos Days of Independence.  Unfortunately, I was mugged on a wonderful evening 50 feet from my hotel and I was hospitalized.  I never believed that I might be a statistics. Nobody in the hotel heard anything or even noticed what happened when I returned from the hospital.

I refrained from going out for three weeks.  Walking in San Francisco even during the day was no pleasure anymore: there were too many beggars along the streets and they were not a peaceful lot.  I was glad to move to Washington DC for a change but no city compares to San Fran in variety, beauty, and recreational facilities.

I never walked as much as my two years stay in San Fran.  This was a wonderful period when I devoured all kinds of books on a daily basis; I had the pleasure to be acquainted with most of the famous Bay Areas authors from Henry Miller, to John Steinbeck, to Jack London, and the Beatnik movement.

Bi-Weekly Report (#24) on the Middle East and Lebanon (May 28, 2009)

 

            The weekly “Courrier International” failed to do its job on analyzing Syria’s policies.  Instead of investigating and doing leg works it opted to rely on the Washington Post and Now Lebanon, totally biased against anything related to Syria, for spreading its nonsense.  This weekly publishing is repeating the old story of what the successive US Administrations want from Syria with respect to facilitating the job of US military presence in Iraq. As usual, the catchy “Damascus does not get it” and “Could we have confidence in Bashar Assad ” summarizes the topic. As if the job and responsibilities of President Assad is to cajole and obey the US dicta for nothing in return, such as the Golan Heights that was captured by Israel since 1973.

The Washington Post and supposed “reporter” Karen De Young would like us to believe that the increase of “terrorist activities” in Iraq and in Mossoul last month can be linked to the laxity of Syria’s border patrols.  It seems that Al Qaeda has been active shipping “martyr terrorists” from northern African Arab States to blow up Iraqi Shiaa. What about the other sects, such as the minority Christian sects? The report stated that the Iraqi border patrols cannot do effectively their jobs because of lack of carburant. The Iraqi government has a depleted budget because of low oil prices on the international market and thus the border patrols drive along the vast borders with Syria 15 days out of 30; thus, Syria is to be blamed for the US insufficient funding for borders control.

 

The monthly “Le Monde Diplomatique” did its job concerning Albania and Kosovo. The US Administration is pushing to finish quickly the fast highway linking Pristina (the Capital of Kosovo) to the Adriatic Sea at the Albanian seaport of Durres. Apparently, the OTAN needs this strategic highway so that the 5th fleet could discharge military hardware and soldiers.  Close to the highway in Kosovo there is the largest US Camp Bondsteel military base by the town of Urosevac.  Close to the highway in the town of Kukes in Albania the US has finished a functional airport used by military cargo and denied access to civilian use and at the expense of the Albanian tax payers.  The story boils down to a Greek bank Alpha lent the Albanian government 300 millions Euros (guaranteed by the US) to build the super highway; the trick is that 65% of the Albanian budget is reserved for the infrastructure ministry and 75% of the budget of this ministry is allocated to this super highway.  The bombshell is that the US  Bechtel multinational will reap 44% profit on the cost of this super highway. The newly “independent” States of Kosovo, Montenegro, and Macedonia are quickly becoming the dumping ground for the NATO and the European Union economic, military, and environmental policies.

 

I watched the highly informative interview of retired General Jameel Al Sayyed with Maggie Farah on the OTV channel.  Jameel Al Sayyed was released recently from 4 years of detention with no formal court cases after the International Tribunal judged his imprisonment illegal and ordered him out along with 3 other officers. General Al Sayyed returned two day ago from France after resuming his depositions on Millis (former investigator to the assassination of Rafic Hariri) and Johnny Abdou (former retired Lebanon military intelligence chief) who fabricated the climate for Al Sayyed unjustified detention.   Al Sayyed will also work out the courts in Germany with respect to Millis.  Al Sayyed is a highly interesting character and a well spoken intelligent and honest personality. Al Sayyed said that it was the Lebanese officials who drew the Syrian counterparts into suspect transactions and corruptions.  Although every political leader in Lebanon has dealing with foreign States, Al Sayyed lambasted Saad Hariri and Samir Geaja for their incapacity in using proper “valves” that can shut down foreign interests to destabilizing Lebanon.

 

 The German daily Der Spiegel reported excerpts from internet blogs posted by Syrian dissidents six months ago claiming that a special team of Hezbollah masterminded the assassination of late Lebanon Rafic Hariri PM.  The timing of that report, which the International Tribunal denied any knowledge, was evidence that the real perpetrators were scared shit of the victory of the opposition in Lebanon at the next Parliamentary election on June 7.  It meant that the opposition is not about to let the assassination case linger any longer and will pursue its own investigation or force the International Tribunal to move swiftly and close the doors to further political manipulations of that case. What exacerbated the political climate is that Lebanon has started dismantling systematically Israel’s spy webs and dangerous intelligence are accumulating relative to Israel involvement in many of the string of assassination cases in Lebanon since the murder of Rafic Hariri.in 2005. 

The US Vice President Biden visited Lebanon for 6 hours before the publishing of the report and met with the leaders of the government alliances.  Lebanon has to expect the worst every time a US official pay us visit to give orders that Lebanon cannot satisfy.

Thanks to Walid Jumblat, one of the principal allies to the government, he quickly and adamantly lambasted this chimerical and fabricated report and proclaimed that the report was intended to draw Lebanon into another civil war between the Shiaa and the Sunni Moslem sects.  Saad Hariri (leader of the Future movement) and Seniora PM were forced into suspect silence; proof that they were aware of the plan that backfired on them, a plan that is backed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, and the USA.

“Shock and Steadfastness” by Kareem Bakradouny (Book Review, May 25, 2009)

 

This Arabic/Lebanese manuscript “Sadmat wa Soumoud” is of 518 pages and a report of the period of former Lebanese President Emile Lahoud.  The author and politician Kareem Bakradouny is the biographer of Lahoud since he acceded to chief of the army in 1992. Bakradouny met with Lahoud every Friday from 1992 to 2007. The meetings were held first in the Kaslik swimming club till the assassination of late Rafic Hariri PM, and then at the Presidential Palace. Before heading to a meeting, Bakradouny would wait for the call and then they would talk in a small room facing the sea.  The author hand wrote the discussions and sometimes he would record them.

Bakradouny decided to postpone the military period of Lahoud for another volume. The book is divided into three parts each of three chapters.  The first part is “The Road to the Presidency”, the second part “Period of Cohabitation (with Rafic Hariri PM)”, and the third part “Period of Calamities”.

 

“Shock and Steadfastness” takes you from unifying the army, internal political struggle, the liberation of south Lebanon in May 24, 2000 and the negotiations for confirming the “Blue Line” on the border with Israel, the confrontation with the Moslem extremists in the district of Donnieh, the logic of statehood versus market requirements, the beginning of a string of assassinations, the pressures of the US Bush Jr. Administration, the roadblocks for extending the Presidency tenure three more years, the assassination of Rafic Hariri, the July War of  2006, the withdrawal of the Syrian troops from Lebanon, the string of assassinations, and the ceremony for leaving the Presidential Palace.

            Emile Lahoud used to never wear any coat or jacket during the coldest seasons until a friend was once shocked to see him swimming and asked him “Have you got hit on your head as a kid?”  Since then Lahoud wears a simple black leather jacket in winter time. Lahoud’s breakfast is a piece of banana and a cone of ice cream for lunch.  The main eating session is dinner.  Lahoud records on a tape the topics that he wants to approach in a discussion or matters to follow up on.

            President Lahoud ascended the military ranks normally and was the first Chief of the army who ran the tiny navy. He was appointed Chief in November 1989 after General Aoun was forced into exile to France.  General Lahoud had the task to re-unite the dismantled army after over 15 years of civil war; he combined the regiments so that they represent all the Lebanese sects and ordered the regiments to relocate every 9 months to different parts of Lebanon so that every soldier knows his country.  He negotiated the best deals for arms, medicine, and insurance.

            General Lahoud refused political deals with President Hrawy and Rafic Hariri PM for transferring officers and followed the strict military procedures.  Any high officer who refused to obey orders for the re-organization of the army was dismissed and Syria never tried to pressure Lahoud to rescinding his orders.  The billionaire Rafic Hariri used to offer the army cash money every month but General Lahoud refused saying “The State is responsible for the budget of the army” so that he can exercise his functions without undue political pressures.

            There was an international decision to contain the Islamic resistance in south Lebanon and General Lahoud refused to confront the army with the resistance fighting the Israeli occupiers.  President Hafez Assad of Syria decided to meet Lahoud for the first time; General Lahoud told Hafez Assad “I am re-building the army to resist Israel and my conscience refuses to fight those who are fighting Israeli occupation” Since that meeting the political pressures on Lahoud faded away and he could focus on the re-organization of the army and freeing the resistance from political pressures and its freedom of movement in areas not in the army control.  When Israel bombed Lebanon for 7 days in 1993, General Lahoud ordered to return fire and Israel stopped its shelling.

            Lahoud was elected President of the Republic by unanimity after revising item 49 in the Constitution that denied a high ranked employee candidacy before resigning his post for a period.  Lahoud asked the Lebanese to contribute to a bank account in order to support the State treasury; (I remember that I contributed $100 while in the USA).  He had a program of fighting corruption but the political system in Lebanon was a insurmountable barrier given that the Taef Constitution robbed the President of valuable powers and the power was transferred basically to the Prime Minister and the cabinet.  Rafic Hariri controlled the new powers were bequeathed on the cabinet combined. (to be continued)

Are you searching for a Job? (May 29, 2009)

 

            I recall that in 1991 the US was in serious recession during the Bush Sr. Administration and jobs were frighteningly scarce.  I had graduated with a PhD degree in Industrial/Human Factors engineering and missed better periods for hiring academicians. I was working as assistant to manager at a retirement community in Downtown San Francisco and visited an employment center on Van ness Street. It was a center meant to help you out re-write your CV for the nth time anytime you wanted to apply for the scarce job announcements posted in the center.  People swarmed this center just to feel busy and serious about searching for a job but not that hot for finding one.  I guess the center was one of the hundreds of facilities with the sole purpose to blaming the citizens for failure to doing their due diligence and compete since no one is about to beg you to work for them.  If you failed to re-write your CV and spent more money on useless stamps then you are not making good use of this “valuable” help facility. 

This was the period when ridiculous denials were the custom of the land. For example, this custodian at NASA who claims that he is contributing to sending astronauts to the moon; or redefining their jobs as sanitation “engineering”.  I recall that I was forced to accept a job cleaning and vacuuming the main library while working on my dissertation. I fooled my spirit into believing that as long as I am doing my job perfectly and with excitement then I am learning the value of a job well done, sort as a training period for toughening my character.  A state of denial is not a bad reaction; it is the string of successive states of denials that can be deleterious to your development.

This is no time for denial; get on it and find your own line of business.

 

If you loved your fields of “expertise” before you were fired then it is a matter of dignity to continue your education, update your knowledge, and “re-cycle” your skills in what you do best.  Otherwise, consider this liberty from an unsatisfactory job to revisit what you love to do next that would transform your wretched life into something of value to your pocket, nerves, and your soul.  Mindlessly resuming wasting your time and energy on “procedures” that millions are following without true hunger for what you like to work in and the conditions that suit your character is the road to hell.

 

Unemployment is increasing at a faster pace and the out of jobs in developed nations are anxious, except in the USA.  Not that the US has the potential to creating new jobs quickly but because the US citizens learned that unemployment is a period for working harder to locating a new job; they were indoctrinated that unemployed should invest 14 hours searching simply because the misery unemployment benefit is targeted for searching full time for a non-existing job.  For example, people still listen to the “guru” Harvey Mackay who said “Once you are fired then you have a new job; a harder job than your previous remunerating one because you should realize that you are required to invest 16 hours searching for a job” It is way of enslaving the mind of citizens and diverting them from getting on the march requesting answers to the state of affairs they are paying so dearly for.

 

Sir, there are no jobs for hire.  People who managed to retain their jobs are frantic about ways and for how long they could keep it.  Owners of enterprises are re-organizing and “re-structuring” their line of business until they figure out and absorb the new legal loopholes to cheat out the government for fresh money.

Sir, it is time you figure out your special skills that you have forgotten or never believed that people appreciated. The time for mass consumerism for redundant and similar items is coming to an end.  People are searching for value added products that express individuality, personal skills, and talent.

 

Sir, this is the time to militate for State health coverage, to joining organization helping the unemployed to re-cycling their skills, re-connecting to your professional associations and working for bureaucratic changes, newer opening, training, and facilities. This is an excellent time to joining the activists who are re-thinking alternative economic and financial systems.  The last think you need to believe and erase it from your mind with utmost prejudice is that searching for a job is indeed a full time job! Re-cycling skills that you hate and abhor is not a panacea either. 

            One thing is true: you are free at last to think straight, reflect about your life, your strengths and weaknesses, your set of values and what a world you want to live in.  You have vast potentials if you focus on your capabilities and concentrate on your forgotten skills.

 

Note: The theme was partly inspired from a short article by Barbara Ehrenreich.

Imaginary Certitudes (May 6, 2009)

  

The US republican notion of capitalism is plainly discredited; communism was discredited since 1989; the doctrine of the Christian religion was discredited since the French Revolution in 1787 and a century before that but religion cannot be eradicated from the spirit of the masses.  The power of religion is that you don’t need to apply or fear to be ex-communicated whether you are a believer or not or whether your opinions are not compatible with the predominant ideology.  Religion exercises its legitimacy once it combines the doctrines of “communism” for equal opportunities and the aspiration for independence against a usurper.  That is what extremist Islam has managed to package its ideology; an ideology targeting the poor and disinherited who were deprived of dignity and were humiliated by the western powers.

Let me resume my previous article on “Misleading Legitimacies“.  Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt managed to capture legitimacy in the emotions and spirit of the Arab populations as the leader of the Arab World by politically defeating the joint military attack by Britain, France, and Israel in 1956 to recapture the Suez Canal.  The Arab populations were satisfied that their crushed dignity for over 5 centuries was re-emerging among the nations (the western nations).  Even the crushing military defeat by tiny Zionist Israel in 1967 maintained Gamal Abdel Nasser as the legitimate leader and most of the Arab State leaders converged to him to resolving their conflicts with their neighbors or within their State.

After the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser (The Raiyess) in 1970 the goal of Arab leaders was to re-capture Arab legitimacy.  The successor of the (Raiyess) in Egypt was Sadate who needed to rely on the legitimacy of the “Moslem Brotherhood” to strengthen his power and thus proclaimed to be “The First of the Believers (among Moslems)”.  All the Arab leaders realized that legitimacy reside in convincing victories against common enemies to the “Arabs”, or mainly any western nation and Israel the closest geographically.  The initial victory in 1973 on the Sinai front against Israel was cancelled out by bedding with the USA and “My Dear Friend Henry (Kissinger)” Sadate was hated by most Arabs and no one shed a tear when he was assassinated.

Dictator Saddam Hussein enjoyed potentials in literate population, large army, and natural resources; he jumped at the occasion when the USA encouraged him to invade Iran of Khomeini.  This time, the enemy was the Persians who had re-captured lands that the Arab and Ottoman Empires had secured centuries ago and called “Arabstan” or Khuzestan. After 8 years of mutual slaughtering in the battle field Saddam Hussein reverted to its neighboring “Arab” State of Kuwait and was vanquished by the USA, the arch enemy of the Arabs.  Saddam lost his legitimacy. 

Saudi Arabia’s successive monarchs endeavored to gain legitimacy in the Arab World through building thousands of mosques, appointing clerics who favored the Wahhabit sect, and lavishing petro-dollars for settling conflicts among the Arab States.  Saudi Arabia has been working for the long term by proselytizing their conservative extremist Wahhabit sect among the Sunni Moslems and gaining legitimacy by proclaiming that they are the “Servitors or Guardians of the Holy Kaaba and Medina (al Haramine)”

 

The progress in Europe was established indirectly by a centralized Papal spiritual authority.   Ironically, this spiritual centralization was acquired when the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine supposedly converted to Christianity.  Christianity could have evolved without any serious centralization if it was not ordered by the Roman ideological system of centralized power.  Hundreds of Christian sects existed in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Greece, and throughout the Roman Empire before the year 325; they were persecuted as “heretics” after the conclave of Nicee in 325.  Papal Rome hindered progress and change vigorously for long period but once society expressed its willingness for change then it followed suit and even staunchly maintained the changes and supported them against any refracting bishop or religious Christian sects.  Centralized Papal Rome was a counterbalance to the tyranny of temporary authorities who had to compromise and rectify policies that challenged the dignity and well being of the poor citizens.  

Islam had no such centralized spiritual authority; it viewed with suspicion any kinds of religious centralization; it didn’t appreciate mediators between the believer and his God.  Thus, the political sultans and sovereigns dominated the religious spiritual power; in most instances the monarch grabbed the legitimacy of caliph. Thus, the counterbalance to tyranny lacked in the Moslem world and any recognized cleric, ordered by a sultan, could proclaim a “fatwa” or an injunction for the people to obey as a religious obligation.  You could have several “fatwas” concurrently injuncting opposing orders.

The problem in Islam is not in the source or the Koran but the free interpretations of any monarch or leader at any period.  There are no stable and steady spiritual legitimacy in any interpretations that can be changed or neglected at other periods.

 

The author Amine Maaluf recounts this story” A Moslem woman applies in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) for a private club that would allow Moslem women to meet and maybe share common hot baths with sauna and Jacuzzi (hammam). A week later the municipality rejected the application on ground that the local Moslem cleric (Imam) had an objection to the club” If the woman was European would the municipality ask the opinion of a Christian cleric? It would certainly not. 

What this story proves is that, under the good intentions of respecting ethnic minorities, the European are exercising covert apartheid; they are sending the message that minority rights are not covered by the UN declarations which are supposed to be valid for all human kinds.  The human rights approved by all States within the UN convention are applicable to all regardless of color, religion, sex, or origin.  What is fundamentally needed is that all States feel that the United Nation is a credible institution that is not dominated by veto power super nations and that it has effective executive power to enforce its human rights proclamations to all world citizens and political concepts.

 

Note: The theme was extracted from Amine Maalouf’s book “Le Dereglement du Monde”


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adonis49

adonis49

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