Adonis Diaries

Archive for July 28th, 2011

Single precondition for friendship

Can you imagine befriending anyone (regardless of genders or domestic animal) if you feel disgusted physically or behaviorally by the other partner?

We have 5 senses that need to be satisfied with close bodily contacts.

If the smell of smoking generates vomiting instincts, can you befriend an addicted smoking person?

If your partner suffocate your nose with body smell, or exhaling noxious mouth breath, or you feel disoriented with which eye is the valid one, or…

If one of your senses feels revolted by the close contact of someone, how could you “sustain” and maintain the friendship?

Unless you are of the type of “re-educating” the partner, for some mysterious reasons.

Suppose that you had “remote agreeable communication” with someone, and you physically met with the remote individual.  You are turned off physically or behaviorally from this person.  Don’t you think that your further remote communication would be laced with “aggressive undertone“?

The next time you engage a remote communication with the “previous remote friend” will be biased negatively, you will find the logic asynchronous, ideas outdated, opinion not frank and honest…

You don’t have to bemoan that you never graduated from diplomatic foreign affairs schools:  Just be upfront and say: “Sir, it is a sort of physical or behavioral repulsion.  I think it is best that we never mention our names in further remote communication… Since I know your writing style, don’t expect me to comments on your pieces or to dwell on extensive analyses…”

I don’t think you have to rub it deeper with the second sentence:  The first blunt sentence will do the job wonderfully. Anyway, there are plenty of social platforms and plenty of bloggers…

It is funny these repeat scenes in movies where someone is drawing a list of pro and con qualities on the partner, and they are wondering how come the friendship lasted that long…

Let us be frank, the precondition for friendship was solid and stable for the duration:  the check list is a benign exercise,  lest the check list is a precursor for a drastic decision of change in venue

Have you been friend with someone for a long time, and you feel the friendship is now irrelevant, pretty much redundant..?

You make a long laundry list of all the valid differences to convince yourself that there must be a good reason for the break-down in relationship.  You realize that these difference existed and you knew all about them all along, but why you’re feeling that way just right now?

You know that the list of variations in physical or behavioral differences is a crappy excuse:  You know deep down that one of your senses was hugely attracted to your friend, assuming that all the remaining characteristics in your friend were just normal and acceptable.

What changed is that your particular sense has been blunted by age and the valuing scale has be transformed. Or most probably, you want to believe that the attractive part in your friend has changed to the worse.

For example, your friend is involuntarily farting, the smell of his hair has turned vinegar, the skin is showing signs of lost hope in perpetual youth and vigor…These kinds of deficiencies produced by aging…but you refuse to admit that it was these insignificant bestial senses that were the cause for starting the friendship adventure, and the catalyst for the demise of the friendship, vanishing into thin air…

The aging process requires some kind of solitude, of larger needs for more privacy, and of hiding growing deficiencies…

Am I brutal? Isn’t it the power and beauty of having a blog?

Any knowledge of “History of Geography” or world maps?

Do you know that the Chinese cartographers oriented the southern hemisphere to be on the top of maps? Why?

The northern hemisphere (close to where they lived), was very cold and foggy, and the Moguls invaded China from there, thus, devaluing this northern hemisphere and relegating it to the bottom part of a map.

The Arab cartographers adopted the Chinese orientation.

For example, in 1157, Al Idrisi sent a most complete map of 70 double pages to King Roger II of Sicily.  The map detailed the Mediterranean Sea basin.

Obviously, you have to turn the map upside down to visualize it as we currently see it.  For example, if the concept of civilized and barbaric countries were prevalent in these ancient times, as it is now, the southern countries will boast to belong to the southern civilized hemisphere!

In Medieval Europe, top of maps represented the eastern side of the world. Why?

According to the Bible, East was the Eden because Cain was chased eastward toward the void.  Additionally, a belt of fire cordoned off the East portion, not to be accessible to entrance.  Christopher Columbus described the Antilles Islands (East of Asia in his mind) as Eden where people roamed completely naked and rich in exotic fruits.

Mercator, a Dutch cartographer (1512-1594), re-oriented the maps, on the ground that the southern hemisphere is “heavier” than the northern counterpart according to the Greek tradition. Europe was to be located in the center of the world.

Do you know that continents were categorized in two major groups and intermediate regions?

For example, you had the “solid regions” (Sub-Sahara Africa, Northern America, Southern America, Asia, Europe, and Antarctica) and the malleable autonomous regions such as (India, Australia, Russia, and the island of Madagascar).  The other regions were shared portions such as (North Africa, Turkey, Mongolia, Middle East, Central Asia, Central Europe…).  You can guess the geopolitical theme for this division of the world.

Do you know that, even recently in the 60’s, the world was divided as solid geography, liquid geography, and gaseous geography?

For example solid geography (founded by Paul Vidal de la Blanche, 1923) relied on the material objects such as mountain chains, raw materials, types of rocks…in order to describe a country?

The Anglo-Saxon description of geography was of the “liquid kind”, emphasizing space and modeling…a flux representation.

In the 80’s, description of geography included the time-line or history of a region, and thus, gaseous geography!

Fernand Braudel demonstrated the interconnections between Time (history of a region) and the Space (land facts) in describing a region…

In this globalization period, the world is divided among the developed countries (West Europe, USA, Japan, China, Russia), the fast developing countries (Brasil, India, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia…supplying the cheap work force), and the third world supplying the raw materials and minerals.

For example, I tend to believe that major rivers, much more than mountain chains, are the determining dividing lines among autonomous countries and representing the character of people.

It is toward major water sources that mankind agglomerated and settled and founded urban centers.  Within two decades, water resources will be scarce and the most important element for survival.  Countries controlling the origin or sources of major rivers will enjoy huge leverage in the geopolitical tag of war. (Read link in note)

For example, China will never relinquish Tibet:  The Himalaya mountain chains are the sources of most of the major rivers flowing in China, South-East Asia, and even in the Ganges (India).

Turkey control the sources of the Euphrates and Tiger rivers flowing into Syria and Iraq.

Ethiopia control the Nile water source…

Note 1:  Article was inspired from an article in the French monthly Sciences Humaines, and written by Christian Grataloup

Note 2:  https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/lions-and-lionesses-along-the-fertile-crescent-ancient-empires/

Battle of Zahleh (Lebanon, 1982): Revisiting this “melancholic civil war”

The importance of “The Battle of Zahleh” in 1982 is that it will turn out to be a catalyst for Israel to decide invading Lebanon in June 1982, and enter the Capital Beirut.  The battle of Zahleh extended fantastic dilusion dreams to Ariel Sharon:  “We kick out of Lebanon the armed faction of the Palestinian Resistance Movement (PLO), they move to Syria, Syria sent them packing to Jordan, and the PLO establish a State in Jordan.  In the meanwhile, Israel create a stooge State in Lebanon government by Christian militia allies…”  That is how Robert Fisk reported the strategy from an Israeli military reporter, who heard it from Sharon as the battle of Zahleh was in progress.

Zahleh, a medium-size city of 150,000 citizens, the first city you reach as you descends the eastern side of Mount Sannine.  Zahleh is at 945 m in altitude and smack in the middle of the rich Bekaa Valley (representing about 42% of the size of Lebanon).  The main center is divided by the Berdawni River. On the north of Berdawni, an area called Wadi al Arayesh, crowded with countless restaurants, side by side, boarded with tall trees and the sound of flowing fresh water, serving typical Lebanese meals and mezzeh (composed of two dozen small dishes).

Zahleh was founded 300 years ago with the influx of mountain people, from Mount Lebanon and Huran plateau (Syria) and settled by the Berdawni River. Zahleh was burned down in 1771, 1791, and again in 1860 during the internal clashes between the Christian Maronite and the Druze sects.

Train rails were constructed in 1885 to serve the agricultural trade exigencies among the neighboring regions.  There is no more trains, and barely any rails are standing. Zahleh is surrounded with famous vineyards located in Wadi Hadi, Harqat, Bir Ghazour, and Tell Zeina.  The vineyard Ksara in a few miles south.

The very credible accounts of investigative reporter Robert Fisk (see notes) described the battle of Zahleh in his book “Afflictions of a Nation”.  I am reading the Arabic version of the book (the private reading library that I patronize does not enjoy English reading customers) and this diary of an episode of Lebanon civil war is an abridged version, written my own style and my comprehension of this particular history and context.

Until the end of 1980, Zahleh was like an oasis in the midst of this barbaric and incomprehensible civil war that has been dragging since April 1975.  The Syrian troops guaranteed peace and tranquility in Zahleh with a majority of Christian Catholic orthodox.  Young Bashir Gemayel, head of the Christian militia “The Lebanese Forces”, a militia built around the Phalanges Party after annexing by force the other weaker Christian militias, started to plan becoming the next president of the republic. Consequently, he needed to exhibit the image of the leader of all the Christians, everywhere they existed as majority in the country.

Beshir encouraged the Christians in Zahleh to attack and harass the Syrian troops. The Syrian troops responded by shelling Zahleh with tank guns.  The propaganda of the Christian militia that they were confronting Islamic invasion to disperse all Christians from Lebanon failed to generate any reactions from the USA and Europe.  Israel’s major-general Yahoshoa Sagoy, head of Israel intelligence agency, guessed that Bashir is trying hard to draw Israel directly into the civil war.  However, General Rafael Etan decided to down two Syrian helicopters supplying the unit on Sannine.

There was a deal: The Syrian troops were to vacate Mount Sannine on condition that no other force try to retain this strategic location.  The people in Zahleh were not concerned with Beshir Gemayel and very few were members of the Phalanges party.  Beshir decided to build a side dangerous road leading to Zahleh with the intention of dispatching military supplies.

In the winter season of 1981, the Lebanese Forces installed mortar guns on Mount Sannine. Robert Fisk was among the “Christian” forces and he could barely breath from the high altitude and the freezing weather.  The Syrian army got suspicious of Beshir’s purpose, particularly that Bashir boasted publicly of his friendship with Israel. Actually, Israel has been unloading military equipment and ammunition in the port of Jounieh for quite a time. What if this side road is being prepared for Israel to use in a preemptive war against Syria?

Syrian tanks fired over these mortar installations.  The militia behaved as frightened adolescent every time a tank fired over them.  The Syrian troops managed to stop finishing constructing this military road.  The Christian militia prevented the Syrians from reaching Faraya snow skiing resort.  The Syrian troops acquired the top of Sannine, while the Christian militia were contented of remaining 50 meters below. Fisk looked over the sand bags and could see the entire Bekaa Valley down below.

This was a totally bungled battle, meant principally for propaganda purpose.  The university graduates in the Christian militia were hardly capable of firing properly the mortar guns.  Fisk wrote: “As we were withdrawing in a hurry, using a German truck (the same kinds imported by the Palestinians in West Beirut), a tire blew up.  We had to scramble on slippery snowy ways for 9 miles toward the hotel Mazar Faraya.  This hotel was transformed into a military garrison.  All the utensils were imported from Israel, as well as the military clothes”. The militias were into the new trend of shalom here, shalom there.

After Israel downed the two Syrian helicopters, Syria moved in sort of obsolete anti air missile, freshly painted white, and explicitly exposed to be photographed by the foreign press. and the pictures displayed in foreign dailies.  Israel Begin PM refused to acknowledge the presence of these missiles:  They were of no military threat, and Israel was preparing a “preemptive incursion” into Lebanon.

By the end of July, the case of Zahleh was closed.  Fisk wrote: “The battle of Zahleh was an international tag of war, and not a battle between Phalanges and Syrian troops. About two hundred civilians were killed or injured.  95 members of Phalanges who had residences in Beirut quit Zahleh.  The remaining Christian militia members stayed in peace in Zahleh.”

I was living in Lebanon in that period: No same Lebanese had any illusion of the military outcome of this rediculous battle.  In fact, as Israel invaded Lebanon in June 1982, the Israel military power could not reach Zahleh and was stopped by the remaining Syrian troops in its progress in the higher region of the Chouf district by the town of Ain Dara.  The battle of Zahleh will turn out to be a catalyst for Israel to decide invading Lebanon in 1982, and enter the Capital Beirut.

Note 1: Robert Fisk is one of the famous journalist reporters who covered Lebanon civil war.  He was the correspondent of the British “Times” in the Middle-East till 1987.  He is currently the correspondent of the British daily “The Independent”.  Fisk wrote two books on the Irish civil war and conflicts, and a book on Lebanon’s civil war “Afflictions of a Nation”.

Note 2:  The Zionist lobby in England took to the street denouncing the accurate accounts of Fisk in the Times: “The Times is the new Arabic secret weapon”

Note 3: Fisk reported that Israel invasion of Lebanon in 1982 was the beginning of the shattering of Israel’s image in the eyes of world community:  Foreign reporters and press declined accepting Israel accounts as accurate or credible.  The foreign press has witnessed the atrocities and countless violations of human rights of the Israeli soldiers and officers against civilians in Lebanon.

Note 4: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/israel-is-announcing-to-world-community-i-am-ready-for-another-preemptive-war-back-me-up/


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