Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 27th, 2010

Chant for the dead: Tesh Bohto’l Moryo

Has the State of Lebanon to be “officially” re-confirmed every year?

Normal people get scared with rumors of incoming anarchy; people get very apprehensive when society verges on chaos.  The Lebanese people, (since their “formal independence” in 1943 from French colonialist mandated power, and then approved and recognized by the UN in 1946) have been living a continuous series of Hitchcock ‘s kinds of scary and harrowing movies.

The genius of Hitchcock, in keeping audience totally riveted to the screen, is that he understood the psychic of normal people for aversion to situations going out of hand from normal expectations.  After over 74 years of formal recognition by the UN as a State, Lebanon is still not sure of having acquired a real and long-lasting independence and permanent recognition as a State.

For example, almost every year, the States with veto power in the UN such as US, Russia, China, France, and England feel the need to convey the good news to the Lebanese that the decision is to safeguard the independence of Lebanon and its autonomy!

Every now and then, Lebanon has been under formal mandate since its independence in 1943.  From 1943 to 1952 Lebanon was supervised by France (all the main first level positions in public service and the government formal political guidelines were to be pre-approved by French government); from 1952 to 1959 it was the turn of England to controlling Lebanon’s “independence”.  From 1959 to 1970 it was Egypt of Gamal Abdel Nasser that had the annoying duty to guiding and training Lebanon to proper political attitudes.  From 1971 to 1977  this job was leased to Yasser Arafat of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.  From 1977 to 1982 it was the turn of Syria’s Hafiz Assad to shoulder that burden.  From 1982 to 2002 Israel cooperated with Syria to re-direct Lebanon’s fundamental political guidelines.  From 2000 to 2005 it was Syria’s Bashar Assad sole affair to controlling Lebanon with the total support of the USA.  From 2005 to 2008 it was the coalition of the USA and Saudi Arabia to oversee Lebanon’s newer political positions.  From 2008 to 2010 it is the consortium of the US, Saudi Arabia and Syria to calm the anxieties of the Lebanese “citizens” of the possibility of total anarchy.

The Lebanese are getting used to foreign interference in their internal affairs: the Lebanese are very “understanding” of the rationales of foreign interests in Lebanon.  Last week, Lebanon witnessed the visits of at least five international and regional Head of States, Prime Ministers, and Foreign affairs ministers.  All these dignitaries had a single message to convey to our “leading” political figures:  Israel and the US mean business by their threats of waging another pre-emptive war on Lebanon if Hezbollah is not contained (meaning satisfying UN Resolution 1701).  All those delegates are apprehensive of Hezbollah’s acquiring performing missile systems that can hit Tel Aviv.

It is the same threats that the US effectively got under way in 2006 by ordering Israel to contain Hezbollah in launching a pre-emptive war that lasted 33 days.  The US and Israel, and many “moderate” Arab heads failed miserably in their purpose and this embarrassing war strengthened Hezbollah position and hold on Lebanon’s political system.

The Lebanese are very “understanding” of foreign States meddling in their internal affairs:  Our sectarian and “comprador” political and social system didn’t change for 8 decades.  Lebanon has 18 formally recognized religious sects; the hierarchy of each sect is vying for the support of a foreign State in order to maintain their “shares” in the spoil at the expense of the general benefit of the population.

We have a “Constitution” that describes the procedures and dates for elections and the forming of governments and Parliament.  The dates or schedules for elections (municipal and Parliament) are called “Istehkakate”; neither the dates nor the procedures have been applied in the last 30 years.

Lebanon experienced living without a President for the Republic for many years and at many instances; Lebanon survived living without Prime Ministers many times and for long duration; Lebanon lived under two Prime Ministers more than once; Lebanon lived under three formal Lebanese armies, and salaries paid on time by a “central government”.  Lebanon survived situations of not having recognized governments; Lebanon survived the last 5 years without any government budget: Seniora PM hoarded the decisions of half a dozen ministries and allocated funds as he pleased.  These situations were welcomed by Lebanese as excellent good luck: huge burdens were removed off their shoulders having to sustain redundant governments.

Lately, the sectarian political leaders used the “Constitutional” dates for elections as excuses to circumvent needed political and social reforms.  Yes, our leaders lacked the time to study (extra deeper) the required reforms such election laws, proportional election system, eligibility of voters above 18 of age, women enjoying the same rights as men to extending citizenship to their offspring, instituting civil marriages, and so on.

Last day, a marginal leader of a Maronite political party was upset with the President of the Republic.  Why? The President re-iterated his support for Hezbollah as a national resistance, along side the army against the aggressions of Israel as the government has stated when formed last year.  Samir Geagea does not like this “strategic plan” for defending Lebanon and lambasted the President as “emulating the Maronite priests chanting for the dead “Tesh Bohto’l Moryo.”  The Maronites have a very ancient Patriarch; Nasr Allah Sfeir (not Hassan) has been chanting Tesh Bohto’l Moryo for over 30 years now; Sfeir is very upset with the US for attempting normal diplomatic relations with Syria.

At every “Constitutional requirement” Lebanese get into a Hitchcock psychic; waiting in terror that anarchy might soon befall Lebanon.  Every time a syndicate or a movement decide for demonstrations the Lebanese await the horrors of a recurring civil war.  Nothing goes smoothly and constitutionally in Lebanon.  Yes, we have plenty of freedom for lack of any serious government, but Lebanon is democratic by name.  And yet, Lebanon is currently officially the head of the UN Council ready to manage world’s problems.

One thing I know, which all Lebanese share in their hearts and minds, is that without the power and steadfastness of Hezbollah’s resistance to Israel aggression,  no foreign heads or dignitaries would have visited Lebanon:  They could as easily dictate orders by e-mails.

The political system in Lebanon must in a couple of years extend serious reforms and put food on the tables.  Otherwise, guillotine will be installed to absolve years of famine, humiliation, and indignities.  After the 2006 war, the Lebanese have regained confidence in their values as citizens with equal rights as any sovereign State under the sun. Lebanese spies and foreign agents who worked to destabilize Lebanon will be hanged. Spying to “friendly” neighboring States or to powerful “friendly” States must experience the same sentences:  Friendly States can receive all the intelligence they need from official government agencies, but common citizens should not: period.

Note 1: The topic of the analogy of Lebanese as addicted audiences to Hitchcock horror movies was borrowed from the Lebanese journalist Samir Atallah.

Note 2: Currently, the Lebanese are grabbed by rumored fears that any civil war in Syria has got to overlap to Lebanon.  That would be very probable, if not for the strength of the Lebanese army and Hezbollah to checking any full-fledged civil war.  Yet, it does not take that much to ignite the fire of another civil war in Lebanon.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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