Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 21st, 2009

Qualitative shift from statehood to a nation: Lebanon; (September 21, 2009)

The political mentality of the majority of Lebanese before May 24, 2000 (Israel was forced to withdraw from most of south Lebanon) was defined and limited to the concept of a recognized statehood by the United Nations.

Lebanon has gained a semi-formal independence from colonial France in 1943; the French troops vacated Lebanon in 1946. Fundamentally, the weak political structure of Lebanon since 1946 was based on the guarantee of the UN as one of the recognized states, since Lebanon was one of the early founders of the UN. Lebanon, as most states in the Middle East, has artificial borders, geographically and historically, delimited by the colonial powers of France and Britain.

Almost all political parties are sectarian parties; the leaders of these parties have “niche” districts or regions as their main base for legitimacy. The primarily objective of these sectarian parties is to acquire membership in the Parliament and then a few ministers in governments to cater for their district and harass their political or social opponents.

The purpose of working toward a strong central government and considering all citizens equal before State laws was anathema to the sectarian (mostly feudal) leaders’ interests.  The State of Lebanon preferred thus to relinquish civil status responsibilities to the religious sects or (castes to be more precise). Currently, 18 sects are “officially” recognized to govern their coreligionists from birth to death.

Consequently, with the exception of the oldest secular parties such as the communist and the Syria National Social Party, Lebanon’s political parties were staunchly determined to stay within the statehood premises: they knew that they will quickly disintegrate if foreign supports and finances are denied them.

Lebanon weak central government was guaranteed by the western powers and the regional states: weak governments are ideal solutions for easy and ready access to intelligence gathering on the regional scale with Lebanon as the free wheeling base. Thus, the regimes of every regional state had their own daily and magazine and TV stations and going strong even recently.

In May 24, 2000, Israel occupation of Lebanon for 18 years was at an end; Israeli troops were forced to withdraw from most of Lebanon because of the increased efficiency of the Lebanese resistance. Hezbollah had acquired a solid popular base in south Lebanon and in the Bekaa Valey; its military and social organizations were rooted within a popular environment “a fish in the sea”.

The savage 33 days war of July 2006 sealed the nationhood of Lebanon.

The USA Administration of Bush Junior declined a cease fire even though Israel recognized that its war was lost and there were no further benefits for extending the war beyond the initial three days.  I can say confidently that Lebanon is on its way to nationhood and the re-structuring of the political system to correspond to the new mentality and de-facto status. It will take more time, but the process cannot be reversed.

For years, the sectarian parties were hammering out the scare tactics of the Palestinian refugees constituting a future demographic problem because the western nations were intent on bypassing UN Resolution 194 for the Palestinians’ right to return to Palestine.

We are no longer afraid of such a reality taking place, simply because Lebanon is strong enough in its new nationhood to prevent foreign decisions on that matter.  Israel is no longer a serious factor in disrupting our nationhood; it might try one more time to wage another preemptive war, but it would be very limited in duration and scope. Israel will constantly activate plans to incite civil wars, but so far it failed in the last 9 years.

We are yet to form a strong central government; the next step is enacting an election law based on proportionality and away from sectarian quotas; the sects will be represented in a separate Senate.

The rampant oligarchic of embezzling, frauds… of State budget tailored to sectarian leaders will be checked once the citizens secure this feeling of belonging to a nation under the law.

The strange fact that 40 public institutions are directly attached to the prime minister instead of their respective ministries is an aberration that has been practiced since 1992 and against the law.  Thus, the prime minister could single handedly govern the country without requiring any decisions from the combined group of ministers.

A qualitative shift from statehood to a nation is palpable and the constitution of a strong central government is inevitable within the next 5 years no matter how regional States refuse this new perspective.

The nerve center for world economic recovery: Middle East; (September 21, 2009)

All indicates that the major superpowers of USA, China, Russia, and Europe have agreed that the Middle East is the most volatile region that might disrupt the financial and economic recovery plan after the financial crash of 2008.  The USA and China have ironed out the short and medium term plans for economic recovery and financial stability. The USA and Russia have scraped plans for the mutual installation of ballistic missiles on the borders with Russia. The remaining recalcitrant European States such as Britain and the Scandinavian States are inclined and ready to join the Euro currency.

The immediate changes were the election of Barak Obama, the weakening of Russia Poutine power, the opening up of the markets among China, Japan, and South Korea, and a drastic increase in the funding of the Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The USA and China agreed on the short term plan of keeping the same financial mechanism to proceed for another three years, the necessary time for both nations to clean houses.  China will resume its purchase of US Treasury Bills and its massive export policy to keeping the USA dollars strong; the Chinese currency will be permitted to be under valuated, and consequently to encourage the devaluation of the strong Euro. By the end of this interim period, a basket of currencies will replace the dollars for monetary exchange.

The medium term, after the initial three years of behaving as nothing changed, China will focus on its internal market and pump its huge savings into promoting internal consumption and increasing its budgets for health, education, and habitat.  The Chinese currency will valuate accordingly and world external commerce will have a better ground for competition on quality. The USA will refocus in these initial years on strengthening its industrial productive base so that taxes could be increased to slow down its national huge debt.

There are serious glitches that might retard or hamper the short term plan for world economic recovery.  First, China has to face accelerated problems that cannot wait three years before serious resolutions are undertaken. China is confronting the worst draught in years; the water from the gigantic dams are diverted toward the urban centers instead of alleviating the peasants; there are over 30 millions urban workers who were forced to return to their provinces and the number is increasing steadily; the latest ethnic clashes in the south-western province with Capital Urumqi is not yet contained and might spread to the borders with India.  There is a border conflict between China and India which is encouraging India to focus on its military budget.

Second, Germany is going solo from Europe on its policy of encouraging export at lower prices and focusing on reducing its national debt in order to be able to rescue Russia and Eastern Europe for a forecasted economic deterioration.  They all agreed that the Middle East region is the pivotal nerve center that could break the back of all these rational plans for world financial stability.

Third, the reality of the potential destabilization factor of the so-called terrorist activities with potential of using various means of mass destruction or biological arms are taken seriously.  The Middle East is reverting at this crucial period as the world nerve center for the proper realization of the short and medium term plans for economic recovery.

For over 60 years the US and the Soviet Union regarded the Middle East with indifference. They could always reach an understanding in due time. Lebanon could burn for 17 years and they didn’t bat an eye. The Palestinians were transferred three times and the world community didn’t bat an eye; a couple of millions to the UNESCO was sufficient to relieve the over one million Palestinian refugees in chantey camps. The Polisario independence movement from Morocco in Western Sahara (barely 200,000 inhabitants) was let to drag indefinitely.

Anwar Sadate of Egypt kicked out the Soviet in 1973 and the Soviet Union didn’t care that much: Egypt was a sunken barrel for constant support financially and militarily. Khomeini wants power in Iran? No problem; the Soviet will be traumatized and then we will order Saddam of Iraq to invade and destabilize Iran; eight long years of savage war dragged on until both country came to reason without the help of the superpower for ending this nonsense war; over one million died and more millions suffered life long injuries.

The Soviet Union was sucked in Afghanistan with no strategic interest or raw materials to count on, at a period when all the Middle East states were at peace with the Soviet Union. The Soviet troops were permitted to wage a losing war for 8 years while extremist Islam was financed, armed, and encouraged to prosper its extremist religious ideology.

There is this fundamental fact that the economic and military superpowers have to register.  In the Middle East there are two centers: Syria is the cradle of Arab culture and civilization and Iran is the cradle of Persia culture and civilization.  The naïve intellectuals are made to believe that the rivalries are among Moslem religious schism of Sunnis and Chiaas; it is basically a cover up of historical nationalist cultural differences. That these two nations have allied for the last 30 years is the best outcome that this region experienced for centuries. The US involvement in Iraq has retarded a genuine emergence of a peaceful Middle East capable of facing effectively extremist Islam.  It would be totally irrational that this union between Iran and Syria is not strengthened.  A democratic Iraq with a political system balancing the aspirations of both Arabs and Persians is the crucial center for developing a peaceful environment in the Middle East; the current nerve center for any world economic destabilization.

This rekindled zeal for an exclusive Jewish State is the last illusion that Israel is hanging on to: the Israelites are realizing that their existence as a State is already redundant. Israel had done its function in the last 60 years as a mercenary army for the colonial and imperialist west and is no longer of any value.




September 2009

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