Adonis Diaries

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Reminiscing when Beirut was actually a super Movable fairs 

Personal experience when I were a university student: Movable fairs in Beirut: 1971-74

I decided to re-edit my old article “Wonderful early 1970’s:  Movable fairs in Beirut” in order to demonstrate to the current generation in Lebanon that it is highly feasible to generate a Mass Upheaval as was done in Tunisia and Egypt.

It is a scream against the total impunity that our politicians, in this semi-State of Lebanon, are enjoying, those militia/mafia “leaders” of our civil war, a war that no one was a victor.

Currently, the State of Lebanon is totally bankrupt at all levels and barely may survive remaining in the UN as a State

Our movable fair lasted 4 years, 3 years behind Paris and Woodstock mass upheaval fairs.

If it were Not for the de facto control of the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) over our political system, which diffused the purpose of the true upheaval of the Lebanese movement, Lebanon would have reformed against all odds.

Woodstock musical fiesta was organized in 1968 and disbanded three days later.

The French students revolt in Paris of 1968, then joined by the working organizations,  ended 2 weeks later.

The French students revolt of 1968 was a big party with deep lucidity:  banners read “Run, comrade, run.  The old world is chasing after you.” Youth was taking a reprieve by running joyously, a week of total freedom, running as fast as he could, knowing that the old world will invariably catch up with him.

These students and youth movements crossed to Lebanon in 1970 and lingered for 5 years as movable fairs in Beirut, before the civil war set in, at the instigation of US/Israel.

I witnessed that wonderful and crazy period as a university student, witnessing far more than studying.

By 1970 I was attending university, mainly math, physics, and chemistry courses.   Once the morning courses were taken care of, I roamed Beirut freely and all alone. (Would have been more pleasurable and instructive if I had friends to join me then)

For less than 5 Lebanese pounds ($2 at the time) I could see movies, watch theater pieces, or go to the empty beaches in mid September and October, eat local sandwiches of falafel, shawarma, and freshly pressed fruits.

Most of the days I ended up attending conferences, political party meetings, joining regular demonstrations and marches by university students, sit-ins, hunger strikes on the street in front of the education ministry (I tried once for half a day).

Fleeing police tanks and water hoses, or just walking all around Beirut circulating where the “movable fairs” crossed my path, gathering of people chanting slogans against the sectarian and mercantile political system, the defeatist government, not responding to the frequent bombardment of Israel in south Lebanon...

The citizens (mostly Muslim Chia) in the south flocked to the suburbs of Beirut, mainly in Dahieh, and labelled the “Red belt of poverty” in order to flee the successive incursions of Israel, under all lame excuses.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization, led by Yasser Arafat, and its institutions were firmly established in Beirut and in a dozen Palestinian camps.  Cash in hard currency spent by the PLO and the various resistance movements maintained the Lebanese currency very strong.

In May 1972, Beirut Cinema Club in cooperation with the US Cultural Center projected a series of Orson Welles movies such as “Citizen Kane”, “The lady from Shanghai”, “Secret report”, “Satan’s touch”, and “Falstaff”.  Wells mostly recalls the negative critics: for example, a critic said that Orson shouts like a rhinoceros” when Orson played “Candid” of Bernard Show.

Wells and Charlie Chaplin might be the greatest American directors.  Wells prefers that producers invest massively on many movies, even if one of his films are not marketed.  He said: “Without men there is no art.  Without women, men never become artists”

In May 1973, the film “Red Weddings” by French director Claude Chabrol was projected in El Dorado movie theater. There was a curfew in the previous week:  The Lebanese army tried to enter the Palestinian camp of Dbayeh (mostly Christians).

A few feddayins escaped and fled through the valley of river Nahr Kalb (Dog River); and we provided them shelter for three days in Beit-Chabab and they were to resume the trip to Dhour Shweir.  An ambush by the Phalanges (Kataeb) Party killed several of them on the way.

Chabrol has a particular style and a deterministic view on how events should unfold:  His movies are about illicit love affairs, murder, then punishment by the “bourgeois” legal system:  that genuinely falling in-love is irrelevant and thus must be punished, one way or another.

In June 1974, “The hour of liberation has chimed.. Out colonialists” by the young woman director Heine Srour won a special acclaim in Cannes.  This movie is about the popular revolutionary struggle of the people in Zofar (Oman, Hadramout, and south Yemen) from the British colonial power and archaic monarchic structures.

Heine invested two years in preparation and shot the one-hour movie with the rudiment of equipment and finances.  Heine and three technicians walked hundreds of kilometers with the fighters under scorching sun and the bombing of British jets.

Heine conducted interviews in the local Arabic slang the “Himyari” and projected the essential roles that women shared in that revolution along the fighters.

This movie was one of the first to broach situation in other Arabic States outside of Syria, Egypt, Iraq, or Palestine.  Movies on the Algerian revolution were to be produced shortly after.

In February 1975, director Borhan Awalweyeh showed his movie “Kfar Kassem“.  Hundreds of spectators remained in the theater way after midnight discussing the movie.

The film is a retrospective documentary of the genocidal massacre that Israel committed against the Palestinians in the village of Kfar Kassem in 1956 before it invaded Sinai.  Peasants returning from the fields were killed because they could not know about the curfew that the Israeli troops declared in their absence.

This movie was based on the novel of the same name by Assem Jundi.  Issam Mahfouz wrote the dialogue in the Palestinian Arabic slang.

Lebanon of 1974, and particularly the Capital Beirut, experienced extraordinarily cultural, social, and political activities, quantitatively and qualitatively.

First, the number of women writers increased dramatically.  As Georges Rassi wrote: “In the Arab World, every woman writer is worth 100 free minded men“.

Second, many famous authors and poets opted to write columns in dailies; a move that brought them in close touch with the people and the daily difficulties.

Third, artists and thinkers from all over the Arab World settled in Beirut.  Most of these intellectuals were fleeing oppression and persecution for free expressions.  The Egyptian intellectuals flocked in great number as President Sadat had decided to connect with Israel and leave the Arab problems and the Palestinian cause way behind.

Fourth, the Lebanese TV witnessed a big jump in quality of local productions thanks to the director Paul Tannous.

Fifth, many cultural clubs were instituted and Arab States organized exhibitions and cultural events.

Most importantly, women became very vocal and active for women rights and drastic reforms in the laws and social awareness.

Late author Mai Ghoussoub was very young then, but she was one of the leaders of “Committees for Free women.”

Initially, men were permitted to join in the discussions until they proved to be elements of heckling and disturbances.  The committees of free women decided to meet among women because their cause must be priority in urgent reforms and not a usual side-show tackled by reformist political parties.

Arab movies of quality were being shown such as “Events of red years” by Akhdar Hamina;  “Beirut…O Beirut” by Maroun Baghdadi; “May… The Palestinians” by Rafic Hajjar; “The bird” by Youssef Chaheen; “Al Haram” by Henry Barakat; “Hold on… O Sea” by Khaled Seddik.

Karl Marx said:  ”When history repeats its cycles, the next time around is a farce.”  Spring of 68 was a sympathetic and spontaneous farce; it was an innovating and creative revolt with no arms.

Spring in Paris was a movable fair, an all free-invited party.  It was a movable feast for sharing ideas and desires for justice, peace, liberty, and pleasure. There were plenty of generosity and compassion:  Youth was feeling bored of the old world system of unjust order, capitalism, petrified ideologies and dogmas.

It was a humongous fair where affluent lifestyle in the western States of plenty hide the miseries of the lowest classes living in shantytowns.

It was in a period for the third world struggling to emerge from the slavery stage of colonialism.

Spring fairs in the western world spread to most nations where the partying lasted and lasted.

The virus of the movable feast reached countries with old systems destroyed by the colonial powers:  The newer power systems were unstable and mostly haphazard to come chasing after mass movable fairs.

Spring of 68 crossed to Lebanon and lasted 5 years and emerged on a civil war that lasted 13 years and produced 300 thousand casualties (10% of the population!)

Note 1:  Details of this introspection were supplied by Georges Al Rassi in “Stations along the trail of Lebanese and Arab movies

Note 2: This student movement in Lebanon was mostly let by the students of our public university. The public university, in Choweifat, was mostly controlled by leftist-leaning organizations, including the teaching staff. Most probably, the colonial powers got weary of the growing influence of this university that was spreading to the private universities. The right-wing parties , the president and the army were ready to confront this movement by strong arm tactics.

Note 3:  You may read more details on my next post


Never the successive pseudo State of Lebanon resolved any problem

Even the waste disposal is a recurring problem every 6 months

Public utility is still lacking for the last 30 years…

Lebanon ended up totally bankrupt, as a State, Central Bank, private banks… and kept engaging in this Ponzi scheme, borrowing to cover the yearly deficit at high interest rates.. And the donators knew the exact consequences of their “largesses”

The looming famine was preempted with an atonic conflagration that wiped up the port of Beirut and all building on the seafront.

It is no longer the priority of returning the looted wealth back to Lebanon: the discussion is how to relocate the place of Lebanon among the pseudo-states in the Middle-East.

كتب نصري الصايغ:

غبي من يبحث عن حل. لا حل، بل انحلال وتحلُّل.

ولا مرة وجد اللبنانيون حلولاً لأزماتهم.

تذكروا العام 1958. الحل كان اميركيا مع عبد الناصر. بعده انتهت “الثورة”.

تذكروا الحروب اللبنانية. خمسة عشر عاماً والقتل مشهد يومي، والتهجير مواسم لكل المناطق، خطف على كل الطرقات، تصفيات وقصف على مدار خمسة عشر عاماً.

تذكروا أن “الخارج” كان في الداخل.

اسرائيل كانت هنا. انظمة عربية كانت هنا. اميركا وسوريا كانا هنا. كنا مشاعاً قتالياً برعايات محلية وطائفية وخارجية.

أخيراً، وبعد محاولات فاشلة لإيجاد حل مستحيل، سيقت القيادات كلها إلى الطائف. وهناك وقع النواب اللبنانيون، على اتفاق اوقف إطلاق النار وأنهى الحرب ولم ينه الازمة.

اللبنانيون أعجز من أن يكتبوا نصاً سياسياً او وطنياً واحداً.

هم أهل الشقاق والنفاق. يتبارون بالتبعية، يتنافسون في السرقة وارقام الفساد والقنص…

وعندما اختلفوا مرة أخرى، سيقوا إلى قطر. في الدوحة هناك، أملى “الحلفاء” عليهم حلولاً، افضلها كان فاشلاً.

المهم في الحلول التي تُحاك، أن يحافظ الكل على “ممتلكاتهم” ومواقعهم وحصصهم، مع مكافأة مجزية لطاعتهم.

غبي من يبحث عن حل. لا حل. سيجوع اللبنانيون كثيراً.

سينهار الاجتماع اللبناني. سيصبح لبنان جمهورية الجياع، بقيادة صلافة الزعماء وطاعة الاتباع الجياع ايضاً.

الطائفية تطعم الطائفيين أوهاما ويلوكها الاتباع.

لن تخسر الطوائف جائعيها. هؤلاء، غرائزهم اقوى من بطونهم الفارغة.

الجوع كرمال الزعيم والطائفة، فعل مشكور ومحمود. فهذا هو لبنان.

غبي جداً من يبحث عن حل، بهذه الحكومة المحكومة ام بسواها من جماعة “لم الشمل”: للصوص ومنتهكي البلد منذ 30 عاماً، أو أكثر كثيراً.

بانتظار الحل الخارجي البعيد والمستبعد، سيسقط اللبنانيون في العجز التام.

ستأخذهم الفاقة إلى اليأس القاتل.

ليت اليأس هذا، يصير قاتلاً ومقاتلاً لأسوأ طغمة في تاريخ لبنان القديم والحديث.

هؤلاء مدرسة وأهل اختصاص في امتصاص شرايين الدولة ودماء وعرق وتعب اللبنانيين… والى أن يحين الموعد المتأخر،

سيناضل اهل السلطة، بين حكومة البدائل الهشة، وحكومة الاصلاء الفظة.

رجاء. لا تميزوا بين موالاة ومعارضة، بين 8 و14 آذار. كلهم في الجرم سواء. كلهم في النهب اهل اختصاص…

حرب ارقام الخسائر، هي احدى حروب النهب الاعظم.

محاولات جهنمية لعدم الاعتراف بالأرقام الحكومية، وتفضيل ارقام المصارف الكاذبة والملفقة، وارقام لجنة التدقيق البرلمانية، حليفة المصارف واشقائها في الرضاعة من ثدي الملكيات الخاصة.

إياكم والمفاضلة بين حاكم مصرف لبنان، المتحكم المطلق في توزيع الارباح على سماسرة السياسة والمال، والمتبرع بتوزيع الخسائر على “معتري” الودائع المتواضعة. ودائع الشعب اللبناني، واستثناء ناهبي الشعب اللبناني.

لا حل الا بفوز الاقوياء في هذا الميدان. لا تراهنوا على أحد ابداً.

لم نكتشف بعد قديساً واحداً، لا من رجال السلطة والسياسة، ولا من رجال الدين،

الملقبين بالمرجعيات الروحية. إخس. تباً. وأكثر من ذلك شتماً. عيب التلفظ بها، وليس عيباً أن نقولها “عالسكت”.

غبي من يبحث عن حل. زعران السياسة اقوياء، ومتمكنون من المؤسسات،

ومسامحون جداً من وسائـل الاعلام البائسة، فاقدة الصدقية، والمصطفة، اما مع هذا الفريق الفاسد، او مع ذاك الفريق الأفسد. عيب جداً. لم يعد الاعلام للناس ابداً.

من هم المتصارعون اليوم عن جد. أهل السلطة متفقون كثيراً، ومختلفون قليلاً.

غير أن الخلاف الجدي والعميق وغير المستجد، فهو حول موقع لبنان في المنطقة، وليس حول اعادة المنهوب إلى اصحابه. هكذا يتم تضييع قضايا الناس، بالاستراتيجيات الكبرى.

..وعليه، فلا حل الا بعد حل الصراع المحتدم جداً، بين الولايات المتحدة، واممية الحلف السني المساوم على “السلام” مع “اسرائيل”، وبين الحلف الشيعي، بأكثريته، المقاوم “لإسرائيل” سلماً وحرباً.

اميركا، بالفم الملآن، وعلى الملأ، قررت تصفية فلسطين، وإلحاق الفلسطينيين بالكيان الغاصب. لا أوسلوا ولا أي اتفاق سابق. نفذ ولا تعترض. لا حل الدولتين مسموح ولا حل الحقوق الفلسطينيين الدنيا متاح. حلف الممانعة، لا يعرف مسالمة او استسلاماً.

وعليه، فلا حل لبنانيا- لبنانيا. لا تظهر ملامح الحل الا بعد حسم الخلاف العميق، بين اميركا وإيران، وهذا الحل يحتاج إلى حرب لا يجرؤ عليها أحد حتى الآن. لأن هذه الحرب، ستكون حربا شبه عالمية..

بانتظار هذا المستحيل راهنا، مع إيران وفي العراق، وفي اليمن، وفي سوريا وفي لبنان، يعيش اللبنانيون على ايقاع الجوع المتمادي والعجز المضني.

لن تجدوا ابتسامة حقيقية بعد اليوم، تعلو شفاه اللبنانيين، فيما يستمر عجزة الاموال والسرقات، على التمتع بمباريات المعارضة والموالاة، ولعبة الارقام المختلفة، وحظوظ الطوائف فيها.

غبي من ينتظر حلاً. المتاح هو الانحلال.

بانتظار أن تبدأ الموجة الثانية والعاتية لثورة 17 تشرين سيبقى لبنان على مسافة ضئيلة من موته وموتنا.

الأمل الوحيد، أن تتحد قوى الثورة، وان تأتلف على حد أدنى وحيد، هو تبديل وتغيير هذه السلطة برمتها، إذا لم يحدث ذلك، فلا حول ولا قوة… والرحمة علينا جميعاً، بلا صلاة او دعاء.

مصير لبنان هو بيد الثوار. فليتحدوا. وخذوا ما يدهش العالم. ربيع لبنان الجديد يولد من روحية 17 تشرين.

فإلى اللقاء… في المعركة او المعارك الف

From the start of the fire and the second atomic conflagration:

50 min that could have saved thousands of injured people if proper warning were actively underway.

Is true that Lebanon has no emergency warning sound, like during any enemy military jet crossing our airspace?

Is it true the State of Lebanon has No emergency institution to vacate citizens to already planned location?

An emergency institution that can control and administer all the emergency processes?

Like to whom all the aid supply and medical teams had to report to, team who know where to transfer the necessary aid?

Why the road/highway to the port was Not blocked for traffic?

كتب Obada Alladan

أفظع جريمة صارت هيي إنو الناس ماتوا هني وواقفين عم يتفرجوا، مش عارفين حتى إنو حياتن بخطر.

50 دقيقة بين اكتشاف أول حريق والانفجار الكبير.

على الأقل إدارة المرفأ والجمارك ومخابرات الجيش وأمن الدولة كانوا بيعرفوا موقع الحريق، وخطر امتداده لنيترات الأمونيوم.

شو كان بدّا بدولة التماسيح حدا يبلغ إدارة الإهراءات لإخلائها،

حدا يبلغ كهرباء لبنان، حدا يطلق نداء عبر التلفزيونات والإذاعات لسكان الأبنية المواجهة للابتعاد وعدم سلوك الشوارع المجاورة؟

أديش كان بدا وقت للدرك يسكروا الطرقات المؤدية للمرفأ؟
بدا إنشتاين؟

هيدا الواتس أب الزفت وغروبات الزفت وفايسبوك الزفت وتويتر الزفت و5000 موقع إخباري ما كانوا كافيين يبلغوا أهل بيروت بالخطر؟

وزير الداخلية ورئيس الوزراء ورئيس الجمهورية ما كان عندن فضول يسألوا شو اللي عم يحترق؟

ما حدا خطرلو يحذر الناس، يطلق صفارة إنذار؟ يعمل إجراءات طوارئ؟ إخلاء، أي شي؟

هيدي دولة فيها 350 ألف موظف؟ بربكم، هيدي شو؟

ما كان ممكن عدد الشهدا يكون أقل بـ 70% بس لو حدا من الجبنا حكي؟ لو حدا من السفلة، القتلة، المافيوز عمل أي شي؟

في 100 شهيد على الأقل قتلوهن الجبناء اللي سكتوا وكتموا الخطر، إذا ما بدنا نحكي عن أي مسؤولية أخرى.

#جو_عقيقي كان واقف عم يصوّر الجريمة وقت قتلوه، أبطال فوج الإطفاء بعتوهن ع قلب المحرقة، كمال حايك كان بمكتبو. عشرات الموظفين بالعنابر.

بس حسن قريطم وبدري ضاهر وكم جنرال كانوا عرفانين بالخطر ومتخبيين من الموت هني وساكتين، لأنو مش رجال.

أمك يا جو من حقها تدعي عليهن كلن، من ميشال عون ونزول،

لأنو المدينة ما فيها صافرة إنذار، ما فيها خطة طوارئ، ما فيها خطة إخلاء،

لإنو 50 دقيقة ما بتكفي الإنسان عنا يتخبى من الخطر،

لأنو الكلاب ما بيطلعوا يصرحوا إلا وقت يكونوا عم يتقاتلوا على التعيينات والمكاسب والمناهب.

Israeli proposal to flatten Beirut in 2016: Done this August 4, 2020

At 6 pm, two conflagrations shook Beirut and demolished all of the port installations, neighboring streets 2 miles away, all buildings…

Half of public institutions located in the area, the central Electricity building, the Foreign minister., the hospitals around, about 5 of them., the sturdy wheat silos crumbled., newspaper dailies (Al Nahar), all the newly expensive and luxury high rises on this sea front..

So far, over 170 deaths and increasing and more than 6,000 injured and patients dispatched outside of Beirut for overflowing and for the poisonous environment due to the burning of 2, 750 tons of nitrate ammonium and other kinds of chemicals stored in the port hangard #12.

The latest news are that these highly flammable and detonating chemicals were stacked in the port since 2014 after requisitioning a Turkish ship that was transferring these chemicals from Georgia and was meant to stop in Beirut port and be discharged.

Why Beirut instead of Mozambique as the manifest declared?

Mind you that it was the US that built this nitrate of ammonium plant in Georgia.

Mind you that Hillary Clinton admitted that the US was highly involved in creating ISIS (Daesh) to occupy Mosul in Iraq. And all these Syrian insurgent factions since 2011 needed plenty of explosives.

A tsunami-kind of conflagration, red colored (color of depleted uranium/miniature atomic bomb detonation), that mushroomed in the sky like a small atomic bomb and advanced instantaneously inland and toward the sea at the speed of 750 m a second.

The hole that this conflagration left was 65 m deep. And generated a 4.3 earthquake scale.

A wide area of total devastation that remind people of picture of Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki…

People vacating Beirut to higher and far regions in order Not to be affected by the dangerous chemical inhalation.

How Israel would have reacted if the port of Haifa experienced the same devastation? I bet more than half the injured Israelis would have died for lack of individual zeal to come to the rescue.

In Lebanon, minutes after the conflagration people were busy transferring the injured to the hospitals. 5 of the hospitals close to the seafront were totally devastated and the injured had to be transferred and hundreds were welcomed in Damascus.

Israel refuse to admit that it attacked the port with depleted uranium missiles, though Israel knew very well of these stored chemicals: Netanyahu mentioned two years ago that hangard #12 contained Hezbollah missiles, in preparation for this attack

Trump declared that Beirut was attacked, but was not precise. (Just the message that he doesn’t give a damn of Beirut and the Lebanese pseudo-citizens)

So far, most countries are proposing “humanitarian” and clinical aids to Lebanon and movable hospitals.

The question is: And what afterward?

The government resigned because more than 7 ministers sided with their sectarian militia leaders.

As usual, Lebanon is bound Not to have a working government.

What kinds of help and aid to this totally bankrupt pseudo State that treated the Lebanese as pseudo-citizens since “independence” in 1943?

Currently, the Lebanese high security command ordered the army to take full control of Beirut for 2 weeks.

I have seen a video of 10 bodies flying in the air after the second conflagration: they were the first fire fighters who arrived to the scene.

And this clean-handed government could Not confront the militia/mafia clan and had to resign.

Amitai Etzioni, supposedly a prominent American professor, and who teaches at renowned universities, says Israel may have no choice but to destroy Lebanon — again and flatten Beirut

A prominent American scholar who teaches international relations at George Washington University has publicly proposed that Israel “flatten Beirut” — a city with around 1 million people — in order to destroy the missiles of Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah.

Professor Amitai Etzioni — who has taught at a variety of prestigious U.S. universities, including Columbia, Harvard and Berkeley, and who served as a senior advisor in President Jimmy Carter’s administration — made this proposal in an op-ed in Haaretz, the leading English-language Israeli newspaper, known as “The New York Times of Israel.” Haaretz represents the liberal wing of Israel’s increasingly far-right politics.

Etzioni’s op-ed was first published on Feb. 15 with the headline “Can Israel Obliterate Hezbollah’s Growing Missile Threat Without Massive Civilian Casualties?” (the answer he suggests in response to this question is “likely no”).


The rubble of Beirut’s southern suburbs in August 2006, after Israel’s war in Lebanon, which destroyed tens of thousands of homes(Credit: Reuters/Jamal Saidi). It also look as Gaza under the ruin.

“Should Israel Flatten Beirut to Destroy Hezbollah’s Missiles?” was the next, much more blunt title, chosen sometime on or before Feb. 16.

As of Feb. 18, the headline is “Should Israel Consider Using Devastating Weapons Against Hezbollah Missiles?”

Etzioni served in the Haganah — the terrorist army that formed Israel after violently expelling three-quarters of the indigenous Palestinian population — from 1946 to 1948, and then served in the Israeli military from 1948 to 1950. He mentions his military service in both the article and his bio.

(If a Palestinian or any “Arab” was discovered to have joined any military group, would he be teaching in the USA?)

In the piece, Etzioni cites an anonymous Israeli official who estimates that Hezbollah has 100,000 missiles in Lebanon.

In January, the U.S. government put that figure at 80,000 rockets. The anonymous official also says the Israeli government considers these weapons to be its second greatest security threat — after Iran.

Etzioni furthermore cites Israel’s chief of staff, who claims that most of Hezbollah’s missiles are in private homes. Whether this allegation is true is questionable. Israel frequently accuses militant groups of hiding weapons in civilian areas in order to justify its attacks.

On numerous occasions, it has been proven that there were no weapons in the civilian areas Israel bombed in Gaza. But that was beside the point for Israel.

Assuming it is true, the American scholar argues, if Israeli soldiers were to try to take the missiles out of these homes one at a time, it “would very likely result in many Israeli casualties.”

In order to avoid Israeli casualties, Etzioni writes: “I asked two American military officers what other options Israel has. They both pointed to Fuel-Air Explosives (FAE).

These are bombs that disperse an aerosol cloud of fuel which is ignited by a detonator, producing massive explosions.

The resulting rapidly expanding wave flattens all buildings within a considerable range.”

“Such weapons obviously would be used only after the population was given a chance to evacuate the area. Still, as we saw in Gaza, there are going to be civilian casualties,” Etzioni adds.

“The time to raise this issue is long before Israel may be forced to use FAEs.” (As people in Gaza were given 5 minutes to vacate an area and succumb to the shrapnel?)

Etzioni concludes his piece implying Israel has no other option but to bomb the city of Beirut. “In this way, one hopes, that there be a greater understanding, if not outright acceptance, of the use of these powerful weapons, given that nothing else will do,” he writes. (How about desist from the preemptive wars strategies and abide by UN resolutions?)

Lebanese journalists and activists have expressed outrage at the article.

Kareem Chehayeb, a Lebanese journalist and founder and editor of the website Beirut Syndrome, said in response to the piece “Should Israel kill me, my family, and over a million other people to destroy Hezbollah’s missiles? How about that for a headline?”

Chehayeb told Salon Etzioni’s argument is “absolutely absurd” and reeks of hypocrisy. “If some writer said the only way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is just to bomb Israel,” he said, “people would go up in arms about it.”

He called it “ludicrous” that a prominent American professor “can just calmly say the solution is to flatten this entire city of 1 million people.”

“I’m just speechless. It sounds ISIS-like, just eradicating an entire community of people,” Chehayeb added.

Salon called Etzioni’s office at George Washington University’s Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies several times with a request for comment, but no one answered.

After this article was published, Etzioni emailed Salon a statement. “I agree with you that any suggestion to bomb or ‘flatten’ Beirut (or any other city) would be beyond horrible and outrageous,” he said. He said Haaretz had changed and then later corrected his headline.

“Ethics aside — Beirut is not where the missiles are housed,” Etzioni added. “The issue though stands how is a nation to respond if another nation or non-state actor rains thousands of missiles on its civilian population?”

Salon also reached out to the university. Jason Shevrin, a spokesperson, told Salon “the George Washington University is committed to academic freedom and encourages efforts to foster an environment welcoming to many different viewpoints. Dr. Etzioni is a faculty member who is expressing his personal views.” The spokesperson did not comment any further.

Etzioni is by no means an unknown scholar. He notes on his George Washington University faculty page that, in 2001, he was among the 100 most-cited American intellectuals. He has also served as the president of the American Sociological Association.

Israel has already flattened Beirut before

Writer Belén Fernández, an author and contributing editor at Jacobin magazine, published a piece in TeleSur responding to Etzioni op-ed, titled “No, Israel Should Not Flatten Beirut.”

Fernández points out “that Israel has already flattened large sections of Lebanon, in Beirut and beyond.”

She recalls visiting a young man in a south Lebanon village near the Israeli border who “described the pain in 2006 of encountering detached heads and other body parts belonging to former neighbors, blasted apart by bombs or crushed in collapsed homes.”

Note 1: Hezbollah General Secretary, Hassan Nasrallah, replied: All we need is to launch a couple of missiles on the Ammonium plant in Haifa. The conflagration is as powerful as an atomic bomb.

Israel executed this idea and stored an amount of ammonium nitrate in the port of Beirut and let it be forgotten.

Apparently most of these tons of nitrate of ammonium were sold, transferred and whisked away to Syrian insurgent factions. Possibly, from the extent of the conflagration, only about 300 tons remained in the port

Note 2: Who still believes that this calamity is a simple matter of laziness of every responsible during the last 6 years?

Who is still unable to believe that Israel is Not able to prepare for a long-term catastrophe and that hangar #12 was being prepared and targeted for a timely decision to flatten Beirut?

The next article will try to answer the why and how Israel/US wanted Beirut flattened.

Ahhhh, my country

Aaakh ya watani

How do you feel that you live in a nation?

How far are you willing to sacrifice in order that all the people in a Nation prosper within a system fair and equitable to all?

Can you support any political system tailor-made for a few elite classes?

Can you support any political system where the laws are tailor-made for the few and applied to harass and discriminate against all the remaining “citizens”?

الرفيق أبو لورانس كنت تقرأ زمننا الحالي ….. قائلاً :

الوطن : آه يا الوطن..
مو صيدة .. ولا صياد
لا أرمن ولا أكراد
مو ديري و ميداني
و لا آشوري أو حمصي
ولا بغدادي أو حموي
و تركماني

الوطن : كل ذول متحدين
الوطن : كل ذول ..
الوطن لو لان الصخر ما يلين.

الوطن : ساعد مشرّع ولمعاملنا
الوطن : نخوة و كرامة , مو رغيف العيش
الوطن: وحدة عقيدة للشعب و الجيش

الوطن: مو هذا.. أو ذاك
الوطن : مو جومة حياكة
الوطن : سدوة .. الوطن لــُحمة

الوطن : أرض وحبيبة, مسيجة بالنار
لا قصة , و لا اشعار
لا مشعوذ , و لا غدّار
لا مظلوم , ولا جزار

الوطن : إحنا , ونظل إحنا , الزوابع
للوطن زنـــــــــار

الوطن : سيف العدل هالقاطع و بتار
الوطن : سهل و جبل و شلال الماء انهار
الوطن رمل الجناح و وقفة الأبرار

الوطن : كل الوطن ,
هاليعرفون الشرف واليرفضون العار

الوطن : الجنوب , مو الجيوب
ولا هو القصيدة
على الورق مكتوب

الوطن : ونـــــــــّة
الوطن : جنــــــــة
الوطــــــــــــــــــن :

هالصّــــــــــــــاحوا بعالي الصّوت كل خاين
مهو منـــــــــــّا

“If you break it, you own it. You’ll be the proud owner of 25 million Iraqis in 18 fractious provinces?”

Why you failed to resign General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State?

“What choices had I? After all it was the wish of My President”? 

Do you recall General Colin Powell? Former Secretary of State to Bush Jr. who invaded and destroyed Iraq and its people in 2003?

Well, he is still waiting for answers on Iraq invasion?

And refusing to admit his cowardness?

An educated cowardness that fail to confront genocide is the worst kind of sins.

Powell had lamely said to Bush Jr.: ““If you break it, you own it. You’ll be the proud owner of 25 million Iraqis in 18 fractious provinces.”

As if this brainless, alcoholic President had any notion of owning the safety, security and health of 18 million Iraqis. Bush Jr. almost choked to death voraciously swallowing a hamburger, Not trained to chew as decent people should

Illegal Depleted uranium bombs and missiles used extensively, most ancient archeological sites devastated and used are military depot for ammunition, oil pouring in valleys and water streams

More than one million civilian Iraqis dead, three times that number handicapped and with chronic illnesses and suffering until now, babies still being born with 2 heads and no members, as many refugees in bordering countries and inside Iraq, in Infamous camps and prisons (Abu Ghraib prison..)

By Published in NYT July 16, 2020

Early one morning in August 2002, Jack Straw, the British foreign minister at the time, drove with a small entourage to a beach house in East Hampton on Long Island.

The house belonged to the billionaire Ronald Lauder, who for most of August was hosting his good friend and Straw’s American counterpart, Colin Powell.

The foreign minister and the secretary of state had become extraordinarily close over the previous year.

Powell’s customary 11 p.m. calls to the Straw household had prompted Straw’s wife to refer to him as “the other man in my life.” The August meeting at the Lauder residence, Powell would later say, was an attempt to answer a question: “Could we both stop a war?”

For nearly a year — since just a few days after the Sept. 11 attacks — Powell had watched as the idea of invading Iraq, once the preoccupation of a handful of die-hards in other corners of the Bush administration, took on increasingly undeniable momentum. (Two years before attacking and occupying Iraq, the plan was already drawn)

Powell thought this invasion would be disastrous — and yet the prospect had for months seemed so preposterous to Powell and his deputies at the State Department that he assumed it would burn out of its own accord.

But by that August, it had become evident to Powell that he was Not winning the argument.

On Monday, Aug. 5, a couple of weeks before the meeting in East Hampton, he and Condoleezza Rice, President George W. Bush’s national security adviser, joined Bush for dinner at the White House residence.

For two hours, Rice said little while Powell proceeded to do what no one else in the Bush administration had done or would do: tell the president to his face that things in Iraq could go horribly wrong. “If you break it, you own it,” he famously told Bush. “This will become your first term.”

As they sat on the veranda of the beach house, Powell recounted the dinner meeting to Straw. “I told him, ‘Removing Saddam is the easy part,’” he said.

“ ‘You’ll be the proud owner of 25 million Iraqis in 18 fractious provinces.’” They talked for three hours. Powell spoke ruefully of Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — men he had known for years, both of whom had changed, he told Straw, and not for the better.

Straw listened sympathetically. He shared Powell’s views on the folly of invasion. His own boss, Prime Minister Tony Blair, professed a commitment to regime change in Iraq, but one that was orderly and supported by other countries in the West as well as in the Arab world.

Such a coalition, achieved through the passage of a United Nations resolution, might persuade Saddam Hussein to comply with weapons inspectors and avoid military confrontation.

But Blair’s attempts to deliver this message to Bush were not getting through, in part because the prime minister was not terribly forceful in delivering it. Straw was plainly frustrated with Blair, who he feared was becoming Bush’s enabler. Powell pressed him to keep trying. “You’ve got to get Tony to convince the president to go to the U.N.,” he said.

The day after he returned to London, Straw warned Blair that he should not dismiss the prospect of Bush’s unilaterally taking his country to war. “You have to take this seriously,” the foreign minister said, “because there are contrary voices. Cheney and Rumsfeld are in a different place. We haven’t landed this yet.”

Powell was Blair’s ally in this cause, but Straw could see that the secretary of state was only a single voice in Bush’s ear, and not necessarily the one that counted.

As it turned out, the secretary’s voice was the most prescient in the Bush administration.

And yet Powell’s “you break it, you own it” warning to the president would be overshadowed by the fact that he was also the war’s most effective salesman. The sale had been made in a speech before the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003: a methodical recitation of the American intelligence agencies’ findings on Iraq’s weapons program demonstrating the urgency of putting an end to it, by invasion if necessary.

It was precisely the secretary of state’s skepticism about the wisdom of war that made him the Bush White House’s indispensable pitchman for it.

Alone among the president’s war council, the four-star general was seen by Republicans and Democrats, the news media and the public as a figure of unassailable credibility. If Powell said Hussein presented an immediate danger to the United States, then surely it was so.

The speech remains one of the most indelible public moments of the Bush presidency.

By the time Powell resigned from his post, his performance that morning before the U.N. Security Council had come to symbolize the tragic recklessness of Bush’s decision to go to war.

Iraq, it was by then widely understood, had played No role in the Sept. 11 attacks, nor did it possess weapons of mass destruction. Nearly all the intelligence Powell presented to the world in his speech turned out to be false.

Credit…Photo illustration by Joan Wong

With the benefit of 15 years of hindsight, it’s possible to see Powell’s U.N. speech as a signal event in the broader story of American governance.

It is Exhibit A for the argument that would help propel Donald Trump to the White House in 2016 — that the U.S. government was not on the level, that the “establishment” figures of both parties were at once fools and manipulators.

In June, when Powell told CNN that he would be voting for Joe Biden in November, Trump shot back on Twitter: “Didn’t Powell say that Iraq had ‘weapons of mass destruction?’ They didn’t, but off we went to WAR!”

Because of its long shadow, the U.N. speech invites one of the Bush presidency’s most poignant what-ifs.

What if that same voice that publicly proclaimed the necessity of invading Iraq had instead told Bush privately that it was not merely an invitation to unintended consequences but a mistake, as he personally believed it to be?

What if he had said No to Bush when he asked him to speak before the U.N.?

Powell would almost certainly have been obligated to resign, and many if not all of his top staff members involved in the Iraq issue would also have quit; several had already considered doing so the previous summer.

If the State Department’s top team had emptied out their desks, what would Powell’s close friend Straw have done? “If Powell had decided to resign in advance of the Iraq war,” Straw told me, “I would almost certainly have done so, too.”

Blair’s support in the Labour Party would have cratered — and had Blair withdrawn his support for war under pressure from Parliament or simply failed to win an authorization vote, the narrative of collapsed momentum would have dominated the news coverage for weeks.

Doubters in the upper ranks of the American military — there were several — would have been empowered to speak out; intelligence would have been re-examined; Democrats, now liberated from the political pressures of the midterm elections, would most likely have joined the chorus.

This domino effect required a first move by Bush’s secretary of state. “But I knew I didn’t have any choice,” Powell told me. “What choice did I have? He’s the president.” (That’s a lot of crap)

I’m sort of not the resigning type,” Straw said. “Nor is Powell. And that’s the problem.” (Two people holding on faked power)

In August 2018, in the course of researching a book on the lead-up to the Iraq war, I went to see Powell at the office in Alexandria, Va., that he has maintained since leaving the Bush administration in early 2005.

Powell, who is now 83, is as proud and blunt-speaking as he was during his career in public service.

Over the course of our two hour long conversations, he made clear that he was all too aware of the lonely turf he was destined to occupy in history.

It was not the turf that anyone, least of all Powell himself, would have imagined for him in 2001.

He entered the Bush administration as a four-star general of immense popularity and political influence. He left it four years later, discarded by Bush in favor of a more like-minded chief diplomat, Condoleezza Rice.

He mournfully predicted to others that his obituaries first paragraph would include his authorship of the U.N. speech.

In the decade and a half since then, Powell’s world and Bush’s have intersected only at the margins.

The secretary takes pains not to speak ill of the president he once served, even when he announced in 2008 that he would be supporting Barack Obama as Bush’s successor.

He was on hand for the opening of Bush’s presidential library in 2013. But he has not attended the administration’s annual alumni gatherings, and since leaving office he has refused to defend Bush’s legacy-defining decision to invade Iraq.

On the one other occasion I interviewed Powell, while gathering material for a book about Bush’s presidency in 2006, he was wary and did not wish to speak on the record.

It was a time of chaos in Iraq, and of score-settling memoirs in Washington.

A dozen years later, however, that caginess had mostly fallen away. Some of the core mysteries that still hung over the most consequential American foreign-policy decision in a half-century, I found, remained mysteries even to Powell.

At one point during our first conversation in 2018, he paraphrased a line about Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction from the intelligence assessment that had informed his U.N. speech, which intelligence officials had assured him was rock solid: “ ‘We judge that they have 100 to 500 metric tons of chemical weapons, all produced within the last year.’ How could they have known that?” he said with caustic disbelief.

I told Powell I intended to track down the authors of that assessment. Smirking, he replied, “You might tell them I’m curious about it.”

Not long after meeting Powell, I did manage to speak to several analysts who helped produce the classified assessment of Iraq’s supposed weapons program and who had not previously talked with reporters.

In fact, I learned, there was exactly zero proof that Hussein had a chemical-weapons stockpile.

The C.I.A. analysts knew only that he once had such a stockpile, before the 1991 Persian Gulf war, and that it was thought to be as much as 500 metric tons before the weapons were destroyed.

The analysts had noted what seemed to be recent suspicious movement of vehicles around suspected chemical-weapons plants. There also seemed to be signs — though again, no hard proof — that Iraq had an active biological-weapons program, so, they reasoned, the country was probably manufacturing chemical weapons as well.

This was, I learned, typical of the prewar intelligence estimates: They amounted to semi-educated guesses built on previous and seldom-challenged guesses that always assumed the worst and imagined deceptiveness in everything the Iraqi regime did. The analysts knew not to present these judgments as facts. But that distinction had become lost by the time Powell spoke before the U.N.

Moreover, a circular reasoning guided the intelligence community’s prewar estimates.

As an intelligence official — one of many who spoke to me on the condition of anonymity — said: “We knew where we were headed, and that was war. Which ironically made it that much more difficult to change the analytic line that we’d stuck with for 10 years. For 10 years, it was our pretty strong judgment that Saddam had chemical capability.” Whether or not this was still true, “with American soldiers about to go in, we weren’t going to change our mind and say, ‘Never mind.’”

“I am capable of self-pity,” Powell wrote in “My American Journey,” his 1995 memoir. “But not for long.”

In his ascent to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush, the Harlem-born son of Jamaican immigrants had prevailed over racism, hard-ass generals in the Army and right-wingers who found him insufficiently hawkish.

His appointment by Bush and Cheney, then the secretary of defense, also turned out to be a stroke of political genius.

During the gulf war, his poise and resolve on television rallied Americans leery of foreign entanglements after the horror of Vietnam. It was thoroughly unsurprising when Bush’s son appointed Powell his secretary of state.

But their relationship was fraught from the start. Bush was not at all like his father, whom Powell had greatly admired.

The new president was far more conservative, far less reverential of international alliances.

Bush also understood the power that Powell’s popularity conferred on him, and he knew that Powell, who had once considered and decided against running for president, could change his mind anytime he wished.

And when it came to policy in the Middle East, Powell was not where the rest of Bush’s team was. He was, as a top National Security Council staff member who respected Powell would recall, “more of a dissident, who,” as the administration drifted steadily toward confrontation with Hussein, “would say, ‘I’m fighting a rearguard action against these [expletive] crazies.’”

Recalling the chaotic days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Powell told me, “The American people wanted somebody killed.”

Bush Jr. himself confessed to a gathering of religious leaders in the Oval Office on the afternoon of Sept. 20, “I’m having difficulty controlling my blood lust.”

For Powell, it was plain at the time that the “somebody” deserving to be killed was Osama bin Laden, along with his network and the Taliban government in Afghanistan that had given him haven.

When Bush and the rest of his senior foreign-policy team gathered at Camp David four days after the attacks, Powell argued that the world would support such a mission — but that a global coalition would fall apart if the U.S. began attacking other countries.

Rumsfeld (Defense minister) archly replied: “Then maybe it’s not a coalition worth having.

Rumsfeld argued that a “global war on terror” should in fact be global. This was not an academic argument.

A number of voices inside the administration had for years before the Sept. 11 attacks viewed Hussein as a principal sponsor of radical Palestinian groups and now maintained that any counterterrorism effort worth its salt necessarily encompassed Iraq.

These figures were concentrated in Rumsfeld’s Pentagon and in Cheney’s office. They included Rumsfeld’s deputy, Paul Wolfowitz; the under secretary of defense for policy, Douglas Feith; Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff; and Cheney himself. (They are members or supporters of the extremist Evangelical sect that believe a Second Coming is soon when Israel occupies Jerusalem entirely)

At Camp David, Wolfowitz went so far as to argue that Hussein was most likely behind the Sept. 11 attacks. Iraq was “the head of the snake,” he contended, and should be America’s primary target. Powell thought the deputy secretary of defense’s logic was absurd. But, he noted, Bush did not dismiss it outright, saying instead, “OK, we’ll leave Iraq for later.”

Bush was true to his word. On Oct. 7, the president announced the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, a military attack on Al Qaeda and the Taliban. His administration’s policy focused on Afghanistan throughout the final months of 2001. But while spending Thanksgiving with Army troops at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, the president proclaimed, “Afghanistan is just the beginning of the war on terror.”

A month later, Bush was briefed by Gen. Tommy Franks of U.S. Central Command on a possible plan for invading Iraq. And a month after that, on Jan. 29, 2002, the president delivered his State of the Union address branding Iraq, Iran and North Korea the Axis of Evil.

“Iraq,” Bush Jr. told Congress, “continues to flaunt its hostility towards America and to support terror.”

Throughout early 2002, the Iraq debate played out largely in the National Security Council cabinet-level meetings known as the Principals Committee.

Powell advocated the approach championed by Blair and Straw: have Bush go to the U.N. and press for a resolution condemning Hussein.

Rumsfeld was adamant that the United States should not be slowed down by coalition-building.

The interagency gatherings often descended into face-to-face bickering between the two sides, quarrels that spilled over into bureaucratic back alleys. Skilled infighter though he was, Powell was plainly frustrated by what one Principals Committee attendee described as “Don’s style, this Socratic asking of questions rather than tell you where he stood.”

Rumsfeld was not Powell’s only rival in the room. Cheney had a history with both men. He owed his career to Rumsfeld, whose coattails had carried him from the Office of Economic Opportunity to the Ford White House in 1974.

And as the elder Bush’s defense secretary, Cheney watched attentively as his Joint Chiefs chairman hoovered up publicity. That had been useful during the gulf war, up to a point. But Powell had also offered unsolicited policymaking advice to the White House and off-the-cuff troop-downsizing estimates to the press.

Cheney — a figure of legendary discretion whose Secret Service code name at one time was Back Seat — had come to believe that Colin Powell was playing for Colin Powell.

In the Principals Committee meetings, men who had known one another for decades could no longer disguise their ill feelings. At the beginning of one meeting, Richard Armitage, Powell’s deputy secretary, genially offered the vice president some coffee. Cheney smiled. “Rich,” Armitage recalled him replying, “if you gave it to me, I’d have to have a taster.”

As one of Powell’s subordinates put it: “The secretary and Armitage thought we could get by with a rope-a-dope approach: Let’s play along. Let them hang themselves. Because this idea is so cockamamie, it’ll never happen.”

Of Hussein, “Powell kept saying, ‘He’s a bad guy in a box, so let’s keep building the box,’” another one of his deputies recalled. “And he hoped that over time, the president might say: ‘Ah, OK, I get it. The box is good.’”

But by the summer of 2002, this argument was clearly losing ground.

One morning that summer, Powell’s under secretary of state for political affairs, Marc Grossman, called Libby’s deputy, Eric Edelman. The two had traveled in the same foreign-policy circles for decades, but their collegiality had begun to fray over Iraq. So Edelman was surprised when Grossman said, “I’d like to meet with you on some kind of neutral territory.” They chose the coffee shop in the basement of the Corcoran Gallery.

Once they were seated, Grossman got right to the point. “Eric,” Edelman recalled him asking, “has the president already decided to go to war, and we’re just in this interagency circle jerk?

“I don’t think the president has decided to go to war,” Edelman replied. “But I do think the president has decided the problem Saddam presents can’t just drag on forever.”

Just hours before Powell joined Bush for dinner on Aug. 5, General Franks briefed Bush on what would become the final war plan for invading Iraq.

Still, Powell could see that his grim prophecy to the president — “this will become your first term” — registered. “What should I do?” Bush asked.

Go to the United Nations, Powell advised him. After all, Hussein had violated numerous U.N. resolutions regarding his weapons program, aggression toward Kuwait and treatment of his own people. The U.N. was the aggrieved party. But if he were to do so, Powell added, there was a chance that Hussein would surrender his weapons. Bush would have to accept a changed regime as a substitute for regime change.

It was arguably the most important message that Bush would hear from any of his subordinates in his entire presidency — and, in what Powell left out of the message, the most important missed opportunity.

When Bush asked, “What should I do?” his secretary of state could have spoken his mind and said, “Don’t invade Iraq.” But he didn’t. (What? Didn’t Powell believe this infantile Bush Jr. needed a clear cut answer?)

Perhaps the most tireless lobbyist for invasion in 2002 was a smooth-talking Iraqi expatriate named Ahmad Chalabi.

The leader of the Iraqi National Congress, an aspiring government in exile, Chalabi had for years been feeding sympathetic policymakers and journalists a utopian vision of what a post-Hussein democratic Iraq might look like. On the veranda in East Hampton, Powell complained to Straw that Wolfowitz, Feith, Cheney and Libby were hopelessly smitten with Chalabi. “You wouldn’t believe how much this guy is shaping our policy,” he told Straw.

Chalabi had also been vigorously disseminating intelligence seeking to tie Hussein to Al Qaeda.

Cheney, Libby, Wolfowitz and Feith found his evidence on this subject to be persuasive. By contrast, Powell’s team found it highly unlikely that Hussein would consort with Islamic terrorists who despised the secular Iraqi regime.

George Tenet, the director of the C.I.A., broadly agreed with Powell on the administration hawks’ intelligence — so it was at first glance mystifying that the U.S. intelligence community, by the summer of 2002, was providing the most convincing arguments for going to war.

Tenet had by then come to believe that Bush’s mind was made up about overthrowing Hussein, even as the president continued to maintain otherwise.

Some who worked with Tenet — a Clinton holdover whose agency’s work was repeatedly criticized by Rumsfeld and others — thought he fretted that the White House would come to see him as unhelpful and proceed to disregard the C.I.A.’s assessments altogether. “Here we had this precious access,” recalled one of Tenet’s senior analysts, “and he didn’t want to blow it.”

Sometime in May 2002, Bush received a Presidential Daily Briefing from the C.I.A. that included perhaps the most alarming intelligence about Iraq that he had yet heard.

National Security Agency intercepts had picked up communications between an Iraqi general and an Iraqi procurement agent who was based in Australia. The general had directed the procurement agent to buy equipment for Iraq’s unmanned aerial vehicles program. In the spring of 2002, the agent had given an Australian equipment distributor his shopping list. Among the items was Garmin GPS software that included maps of major American cities.

Alarmed, the distributor contacted the authorities. This P.D.B. presented Bush with the first intelligence appearing to confirm his nightmare scenario: Hussein intended to attack the United States.

This marked a turning point for Bush, according to one of his senior advisers. “We get this report about, They’ve bought this software that’s supposed to be mapping the United States. He’s hearing this intel, and the diplomacy is going nowhere. And so I think that’s when he really starts thinking, I’ve got to get something done in Iraq.”

As it happened, there was a more innocent explanation for the mapping software. Two C.I.A. analysts and an Australian intelligence officer eventually brought the Iraqi procurement agent in for questioning and confronted him about the American maps. The Iraqi was stunned.

He said it was the Garmin hardware he had been interested in. The only reason he bought the mapping software, he said, was because he thought the hardware wouldn’t work without it. The presentation on the vendor’s web page seemed to confirm this account.

But this revelation, like others tempering the most dire view of Iraq’s capabilities, was swept aside by the self-compounding momentum toward war. In a speech in Cincinnati in October 2002, Bush likened America’s confrontation with Hussein to World War II — an indicator that the president could not foresee a diplomatic outcome.

In early December, word reached the C.I.A. that the White House wanted it to prepare an oral presentation on Iraq’s weapons program that would feature an “Adlai Stevenson moment” — referring to the 1962 episode in which the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. presented open-and-shut photographic evidence of Soviet ballistic-missile installations in Cuba.

The timing of the request seemed odd, given that Hans Blix, the U.N.’s chief weapons inspector, and his team were already in Iraq and would presumably be furnishing on-the-ground visual proof of Hussein’s arsenal, if it existed, any day now. The fact that such a presentation was being ordered up was tantamount to a White House vote of no confidence in Blix.

The presentation was referred to internally at the C.I.A. as the Case. That Tenet did not resist the request suggested that the agency had crossed a red line. “The first thing they teach you in C.I.A. 101 is you don’t help them make the case,” said an agency official who was involved in the project. “But we were all infected in the case for war.”


Credit…Photo illustration by Joan Wong

The task of supervising the intelligence on Iraq’s weapons program fell largely to Tenet’s deputy director, John McLaughlin. McLaughlin was a beloved figure among the agency’s analysts. As measured and even-tempered as Tenet was mercurial, he wore natty suspenders but was otherwise a by-the-book professional who pored over classified documents with a ruler, sliding it slowly downward line by line. He enjoyed performing sleight-of-hand coin tricks, which earned him the code name Merlin from the C.I.A. security detail.

McLaughlin met with the agency’s analytical team headed by Bob Walpole, the national intelligence officer for strategic programs. The deputy director told the analysts that the White House had asked for their best story on Iraq. The analysts sent up what visuals they had.

McLaughlin reviewed them with astonishment. “This is all there is?” he asked when they convened again. He also asked them, “Do we have any slam-dunk evidence of W.M.D.?

Larry Fox, a senior chemical-weapons analyst, did not watch basketball. He asked McLaughlin what “slam dunk” meant.

“Like a smoking gun,” the deputy director explained. “Undeniable. Caught red-handed.”

“Ah,” Fox said. “Well, no. We don’t have any.”

For the next two weeks, several analysts fine-tuned the presentation.

On Friday afternoon, Dec. 20, McLaughlin stood in Rumsfeld’s conference room at the Pentagon before a group that included Wolfowitz, Feith and Franks and recited the Case. Rumsfeld and his team were polite but visibly unimpressed. They asked few questions.

The following morning, McLaughlin and his colleagues were sent to the Oval Office for a repeat performance, accompanied by Tenet, for a gathering that included Bush, Cheney, Rice and Libby.

“This is a rough draft — it’s still in development,” McLaughlin began. For the next 20 or so minutes, McLaughlin spoke almost entirely uninterrupted. It was a smoother performance than his briefing the day before at the Pentagon. Bush and the others listened intently. But a thick silence settled in after he finished. “Again, this is a first draft,” Tenet assured the president.

“Nice try,” the president said to McLaughlin.

Bush did not appear to mean it sarcastically. Bush expressed his concern clearly, according to notes taken by an attendee: “Look, in about five weeks I may have to ask the fathers and mothers of America to send their sons and daughters off to war. This has to be well developed.”

Bush Jr. emphasized the need to make the case to “the average citizen. So it needs to be more convincing. Probably needs some better examples.” (The decision to go to war was already made?)

It was clear to everyone in the room that Bush had already made up his mind about the Iraqi threat. The only question to him was whether the C.I.A. had what it took to convince the public that the threat justified war. “Maybe have a lawyer look at how to lay out the structure of the argument,” Bush continued. “Maybe someone with Madison Avenue experience should look at the presentation.” He added, “And it needs to tie all this into terrorism, for the domestic audience.”

The president asked Tenet whether his agency could build a more convincing case. It was to that question — not, as often reported, a question relating to whether Hussein posed a threat — that the C.I.A. director infamously replied: “Slam dunk.”

McLaughlin tried again. He instructed Bob Walpole to make the Case more persuasive. “Give me everything you’ve got,” Walpole in turn told his weapons team, according to one of the analysts. “Never mind sourcing or other problems.” He wanted the kitchen sink.

On Dec. 28, Walpole and McLaughlin went to the White House to discuss the Case with Rice. Just a couple of minutes into his summary, Rice stopped him. “Bob?” she said with evident concern. “If these are just assertions, we need to know this now.”

“They’re analytical assessments,” Walpole replied. “The agencies have attached confidence levels to them.”

Rice studied her copy, frowning. “What’s ‘high confidence’?” she asked. “About 90 percent?”

“About that,” he said.

The national security adviser gaped at Walpole and McLaughlin. “Well,” she finally said, “that’s a heck of a lot lower than what the P.D.B.s are saying!”

The chemical and biological weapons cases were based on inference, Walpole conceded. The nuclear case, he said, was “the weakest.”

Rice turned to McLaughlin. “You have gotten the president way out on a limb on this,” she said. Walpole — who personally thought that invading Iraq made absolutely no sense — nonetheless could see that the administration wouldn’t be satisfied with a case that was built only on deceptions and shady activity. He wrote to his analysts, “We must make a public case that ‘Iraq HAS WMDs.’”

Unknown to Walpole’s team, a parallel process was underway in the Office of the Vice President.

Immediately after the Dec. 21 meeting in the Oval Office, Cheney had said privately to Bush, “You know, Scooter’s already been working on something we could use.” Two days later, Libby called Edelman, his deputy, and told him about McLaughlin’s weak presentation. “The president doesn’t think it’s nearly persuasive enough,” Cheney’s chief of staff said. “And so they’ve given O.V.P. the assignment of redoing that.”

The next morning, Cheney’s staff got to work on their alternative presentation. John Hannah, Cheney’s assistant for national security affairs, was tasked with the section on biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. Libby had instructed his Middle East specialist to put every damning bit of raw intelligence he could find into his brief. The burden would then be on the C.I.A. analysts to argue why any of it should be thrown out.

On Saturday, Jan. 25, Libby gave a preview of the new presentation in the Situation Room. The audience included Rice, Wolfowitz, Armitage and Stephen Hadley, the deputy national security adviser.

More notable, the political side of the White House — including Karl Rove, Bush’s longtime adviser, and Dan Bartlett, his communications director — was now hearing the intelligence case against Hussein for the very first time.

Wolfowitz thought Cheney’s chief of staff had done a great job. Rove found much to admire about it as well. Because many in the group were communications specialists, the conversation quickly moved on from the intelligence to the matter of its delivery. “I recall the general sense was, Who would be the best person to make this case at the U.N.?” Rove told me. “And the obvious answer was Colin Powell, chief diplomat.”

“Are you with me on this?” Bush asked Powell. The two were alone in the Oval Office on Jan. 13, 2003. “I think I have to do this. I want you with me.”

Powell had cautioned Bush a few months earlier about the consequences of invading Iraq, and he had gone further in private conversations with others, saying he thought the idea of going to war was foolish on its face. But the secretary of state had never expressed this outright opposition to the president.

And although Powell would not admit it, Bush’s request that he be the one to make the case against Hussein to the U.N. was enormously flattering.

Even Cheney had explicitly acknowledged that Powell was the right man for the job. As the secretary told one of his top aides: “The vice president said to me: ‘You’re the most popular man in America. Do something with that popularity.’” But, Powell added to his aide, he wasn’t sure he could say no to Bush anyway.

“There’s only so many times I can go toe to toe with the V.P.,” he said. “The more I think about it, the more I realize it’s important to keep the job.”

Once the decision was made that Powell would deliver the U.N. speech, he was handed the text that Libby’s team had prepared. Powell viewed the document suspiciously. Among the first things he noticed about Libby’s text were the lurid intimations about Hussein’s supposed ties with bin Laden’s organization. “You guys really believe all this [expletive]?” he scoffed to one of Cheney’s deputies.

After first scrapping the entire section dealing with Iraq’s alleged ties to Al Qaeda, the secretary tasked Carl Ford, the director of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (I.N.R.), with reviewing the speech’s claims on biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.

Ford’s staff worked overnight. Their memo of objections to Hannah’s weapons section on Jan. 31 came to six single-spaced pages and cited at least 38 items that were deemed either “weak” or “unsubstantiated.”

The I.N.R. analysts warned that Iraq’s alleged chemical-weapon decontamination trucks could simply be water trucks. Libby’s team had claimed that a shipment of aluminum tubes that the C.I.A. had intercepted on its way to Iraq in 2001 was intended for use in uranium-enrichment centrifuges (a claim that was leaked to The New York Times). The I.N.R. analysts maintained that the tubes were for rocket launchers. Three of the critique’s most common phrases were “plausibility open to question,” “highly questionable” and “draft states it as fact.”

Meanwhile, Powell’s chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, was also hashing out the text on weapons with Hannah. The sources in the text weren’t footnoted, and Wilkerson grimaced as he watched Hannah fumble through his binders. After one query, Hannah produced a New York Times article as his source. Between I.N.R.’s factual objections and Hannah’s halting command of the material, Powell was fast losing faith in the work by Libby’s team. He instructed Wilkerson to start from scratch.

It was George Tenet who came to the rescue, Powell later said. Tenet suggested that he base the new speech on the National Intelligence Estimate relating to Iraq’s weapons capability that had been thrown together in less than three weeks the previous September. It was, after all, the consensus product of the American intelligence community. What could go wrong?

For the next three days, Powell, dressed in jeans, sat in Tenet’s conference room on the seventh floor in C.I.A. headquarters with his speechwriting team. Line by line, data point by data point, the secretary read out the text and then asked: “Does that sound right? What’s the source on this? Opposition? Kurdish? Asylum seeker? Can we trust him?” If the answer did not suit him, Powell’s reply would be: “I’m not comfortable with that. Throw it on the floor.”

To the outside observer, the process seemed methodical and professional. Dan Bartlett dropped by the C.I.A. over the weekend. “Everybody’s in the room,” Bartlett recalled. “He’s got their undivided attention. This is going to be done right. I left thinking, OK, I feel good about this.

Powell had reason to feel sanguine about the process as well. Tenet was there, along with McLaughlin and the aluminum tube he had taken to carrying as a prop, which at one point he rolled across the conference-room table. Whenever Powell seemed concerned about a particular claim, Tenet’s staff would usher in what seemed to be the proper analyst to affirm the source’s validity.

What Powell did not know was that there were other C.I.A. officials not present in the conference room who seriously doubted much of the National Intelligence Estimate’s contents. This was particularly evident on the subject of Hussein’s biological-weapons capabilities. Some of the most arresting visuals in the Case — the only ones that seemed to catch the attention of the Pentagon officials during McLaughlin’s early rehearsal of the C.I.A.’s presentation — were photographs of a vehicle believed to be an Iraqi mobile biological-weapons lab.

Its description had been supplied by a former Iraqi chemical engineer code-named Curveball, who had made his way to Germany in 1999, seeking asylum and in exchange offering spectacular details about Iraq’s weapons program. “The really strong stuff was Curveball,” remembered Bill McLaughlin, a C.I.A. military analyst (and no relation to John McLaughlin) who was in the conference room on Saturday, Feb. 3. “It was the kind of specificity we needed to show. It was the centerpiece of the discussion.”

But Curveball claims to have been part of a mobile biological-weapons program had also polarized the agency. The American intelligence community still did not have access to the source himself. “We don’t have a case officer in touch with this guy,” Tenet had once muttered to his staff.

Though many analysts at the C.I.A. considered the Iraqi engineer credible, the agency’s Directorate of Operations officers, who dealt firsthand with informants, believed they knew a liar when they saw one. In Curveball, they saw a liar.

In December, John McLaughlin asked his executive assistant, Stephen Slick, to (as Slick would put it) “get to the bottom of a disagreement within the building about the veracity of one human source.” Tyler Drumheller, the chief of the directorate’s European division, instructed Margaret Henoch, the division’s chief of the group of countries that included Germany, to “look into Curveball.” Referring to the directorate deputy director, Jim Pavitt, he added, “Pavitt wants him to be vetted, because apparently we’re going to use him to justify going into Iraq.”

Henoch’s staff’s discussions with German intelligence agents led them to conclude that Curveball was not on the level. On Dec. 19, Henoch argued this point to Slick. To a chief biological-weapons analyst in the room who had fervently believed Curveball’s claims, Henoch said: “You guys are trained to write papers. You write to prove a thesis, rather than evaluating the information. And I think that’s what you’ve done here.”

Henoch was overruled; a day later, Slick issued his opinion that the intelligence community had conducted an “exhaustive review” of Curveball and “judged him credible.” But Slick later acknowledged that there was “not much more” to the biological-weapons case than Curveball.

When another C.I.A. analyst expressed concern about Curveball to a deputy on the weapons of mass destruction task force, the deputy’s email response began, “Let’s keep in mind the fact that this war’s going to happen regardless of what Curveball said or didn’t say, and that the Powers That Be probably aren’t terribly interested in whether Curveball knows what he’s talking about.” Pavitt, too, conveyed to a colleague that war was inevitable and that those against it could “tap dance nude on Pennsylvania Avenue and it would make no difference.”

McLaughlin would later insist that he was unaware that doubts had been expressed about Curveball’s veracity. Still, before Powell was to deliver his U.N. speech, the deputy director instructed Slick to check on Curveball’s “current status/whereabouts.” Slick’s memo to Drumheller on Feb. 3 said, “A great deal of effort is being expended to vet the intelligence that underlies SecState’s upcoming U.N. presentation.”

But the memo made no mention of a cable that had been sent to the agency’s headquarters a week before by the C.I.A.’s chief of station in Berlin, Joe Wippl. The German intelligence agency handling Curveball “has not been able to verify his reporting,” Wippl warned. He added: “The source himself is problematical. Defer to headquarters, but to use information from another liaison service’s source whose information cannot be verified on such an important, key topic should take the most serious consideration.”

Powell knew nothing about these serious concerns. The C.I.A.’s dissenters were not in the room during the secretary’s U.N. speech preparation — and Curveball’s intelligence was the room’s star attraction. “George was on the team, and that itself is an issue,” Wippl would later reflect. “It was, ‘Hey, guys, we’re going to war — and we’ll find this stuff anyway once we’re there.’ It’s something that, in retrospect, kind of makes you sick.”

On the evening of Feb. 4 at U.N. headquarters, Powell went over his speech one final time. He asked Tenet if he felt comfortable with the facts marshaled in the speech. The C.I.A. director said that he did. “Good,” Powell said. “Because I want you sitting right behind me when I give it tomorrow morning.” Tenet was reluctant — he was aware that his appearing with the secretary would give the appearance that the C.I.A. was putting its seal of approval on administration policy — but he was way past the point of protesting.

At 10:30 the following morning, Powell addressed the international body. For the next 76 minutes, he laid out the U.S. government’s case against Hussein.

“My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources,” Powell said in his calm, sonorous baritone. “These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.” (Deep down, Powell knew he was lying through his teeth. What a shame)

The story Powell told marked a departure from the Bush administration’s evocations of madness, evil and mushroom clouds. It was an investigator’s meticulous brief of institutionalized deception and murderous intent. Powell spoke of a key source, “an eyewitness, an Iraqi chemical engineer,” who happened to be watching the speech at home with his wife in Erlangen, Germany. He spoke of one of Curveball’s confirming sources, “an Iraqi major” — surprising a Defense Intelligence Agency staff member watching the speech who, months earlier, had interviewed the major and determined him to be a fabricator.

He spoke of decontamination trucks at chemical-weapons factories, to the consternation of the chemical-weapons analyst Larry Fox, who had repeatedly warned that the speech was making too much out of what might well be innocuous vehicles but had been repeatedly overruled by his superiors. And he spoke of aluminum tubes that “most experts think” were to be used for uranium enrichment — ignoring his department’s own experts, including the I.N.R.’s director, Carl Ford, who became heartsick watching Powell on TV and informed the secretary three months later that he was resigning.

In the audience in the Security Council chamber was a young U.N. weapons inspector named Dawson Cagle, who had recently returned from Baghdad.

Sitting next to Cagle was one of Hans Blix’s senior munitions experts, who had also just returned from Iraq’s capital. The expert’s mouth opened when Powell displayed photographs of trucks moving into a suspected weapons of mass destruction bunker, hours before an inspection team was due to visit, followed by a photo of the inspectors filing through a now-empty bunker.

“I’m in that photo,” the munitions expert whispered to Cagle. “I went into that bunker that those trucks pulled up to. There was a three-inch layer of pigeon dung covering everything. And a layer of dust on top of that. There’s no way someone came in and cleaned that place out. No way they could’ve faked that.”

But back at the White House, Bush watched Powell’s speech in the small dining room connected to the Oval Office, visibly pleased. On Capitol Hill, at a Democratic Senate caucus meeting after the U.N. speech, Tom Daschle, the majority leader, told his colleagues that he was now “really convinced” that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. To the caucus, he said: “You may not trust Dick Cheney. But do you not trust Colin Powell?”


An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to the United Nations chamber where Colin Powell delivered a speech in February 2003. It was the Security Council, not the General Assembly.

Robert Draper is a writer at large for the magazine. He last wrote about Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale.

Note 1: If Powell had the guts to resign instead of participating in the genocide of the Iraqi people, and later the Syria people, He could have been President instead of Barack Obama. Powell never felt he is legitimate and entitled to run for the Presidency. He was contented with his hobby of repairing vintage Volvo cars

Note 2: Powell must have had hints of Hillary Clinton plans and decision to “create” and launch Da3esh (ISIS) during her tenure of Obama State chief. Has anyone heard Powell taking a stand on that horror and machiavelic decision?



What’s your concept for a Nation?

The Nation is relatively a new concept that developed after the French revolution when every “citizen” was forced to join the war activities, especially during Napoleon expansion in Europe..

For long time, frequent wars were launched to acquire “rights” of a monarch to other parts of countries as a result of marriages and other excuses to expand territories.

Countries that experienced frequent wars managed to give the illusions to soldiers that they belong to a Nation and must expect to be asked to join the war activities when required, him and his family members.

Apparently, this notion of Nation has withstood the turmoil in the last 2 centuries: 2 World Wars, Communism, multinationals, The European Union, the End of History… and kicking madly to conserve their “identities”

This article is comparing Antoun Saadi and Michel Aflak (Baath) notions of what constitute a Nation

مفهوم شخصية الأمة ما بين عفلق وسعادة
بقلم: نضال القادري

إن النظرة الإيديولوجية لمفهوم الوحدة والأمة هي أساس التباين بين الحزب السوري القومي الإجتماعي من وجهة نظر مؤسس حركته أنطون سعادة، وبين حزب البعث العربي الإشتراكي من خلال أفكار الأستاذ ميشيل عفلق الذي تأثر بالشيوعية وانخرط فيها وسرعان ما تركها لينهي حياته مسلما.

إن أهمية الطريقة العفلقية في الطرح الأديولوجي أنها خاطبت العقل العربي بمقولة جمعت بين المنطق والعاطفة حتى ليصح فيه قولا أن المهادنة المنطقية العاطفية كانت حاضرة وبقوة في أفكاره،

ورغم التناقض الحيوي بين اللفظين فهما تحملان خصوصية العقل العربي الذي عمل له إغراقا لنتائج رعت تطلعاته الفكرية والعاطفية، فإن توقه نحو التحرر من الأجنبي كان حلمه الأول،

ولكي تتم عملية التحرر، وجب أن يتوحّد ومن أجل أن يتوحدّ بسرعة، حتما وجب إزالة الرموز العميقة التي تعيق هذا التوحد،

ولكن كل هذه العملية لم تكن سوى بإسقاط حتمية الأمة العربية في فكره، فهو الذي نادى بالعروبة، وبالعلمنة.

ميشيل عفلق الذي اضطر تحت التعذيب إلى كتابة رسالة يعتذر فيها لحسني الزعيم ويتعهد له بعدم ممارسة العمل السياسي تعتبر إهانة لديمقراطية الإنقلابات والجنرالات في الشام.

ميشيل عفلق الذي مات مسلما دون أن يترك أثرا ثابتا في كيفية الجمع فيما بين اللفظين (المنطق والعاطفة)، وزاد من جرحه أن أخرجته أجنحة البعث السياسية إلى النفي والعزلة والموت فيما بعد، مشوها بالعسكرة والإنقلابات والتصحيحات التقدمية تحت ذريعة الأنسنة والوحدة بشعارات القومية المبتكرة،

ويجدر أن عفلق كان قد ترشح في 17/7/ 1947 حين حصلت أول انتخابات نيابية بعد الاستقلال، فسقط فيها مع رفيقه صلاح البيطار كممثلين عن البعث.

لقد برزت المسألة القومية المرتبطة بمفاهيم البعث في كتابات عفلق، وهو الذي علل في البدء تقديمه للقومية في مضمونها الإنساني الإيجابي قائلا:”لم نر أن من واجبنا البدء في تقديم البراهين على قوميتنا ومبررات وجودها، لأننا لم نتصور هذه القومية تصورا سلبيا، لم نتصور أنها وجدت لتخاصم غيرها، ولكي تثبت وجودها وحقها إزاء قوميات أخرى، أو لكي تدعي التفوق وحق السيطرة على غيرها أو لتدفع التهمة عن نفسها”. ثم أضاف لاحقا: “إن مشكلة القومية ليست في البرهان على وجودها، وإنما في تحقيق مضمون إيجابي حي لها”(1).

ثم أضاف في محاضرة تحت عنوان (القومية حقيقة حية ذات مضمون إيجابي إنساني) قائلا:” لم يظهر لنا التاريخ الإنساني بعد أن القومية شيء طاريء عابر سطحي يمكن أن يتلاشى تبعا لتبدل الظروف السياسية أو الإجتماعية أو الإقتصادية، بل إن ما يرينا إياه التاريخ هو أن القومية تتغلب على شتى التبدلات الساسية والإجتماعية وغيرها، وتظل حية حتى في حالة ضعفها وتراخي روابطها. والنظرة المتعمقة ترينا أن القومية،

وإن كانت تتأثر وتتغذى بكثير من العوامل الإقتصادية والإجتماعية إلا أنها تظل أعمق من هذه العوامل وأرسخ قدما وأبعد غورا في التاريخ، فهي من صنع أجيال وقرون وهي نتيجة تراكم طويل وتفاعل عميق أوصل إلى خلق صفات مشتركة وروابط روحية ومادية بين مجموعة من البشر أصبحت هي الشخصية المعبرة عن هذه المجموعة وهي المجال الطبيعي والحياتي الذي تنطلق فيه هذه المجموعة في تحقيق إنسانيتها”(2).

لقد رأى الأستاذ ميشل عفلق شخصية الأمة دفعة واحدة، لكنه لم يناقش أو يبدي البرهان على وجودها، ورأى أنها تتغذى بكثير من العوامل وبخاصة الإقتصادرية والإجتماعية.

أما المفكر أنطون سعادة، فهو لم ينظر إلى الأمة التي تكلم عنها غيره من ناحية اللغة أو الدين أو السلالة، ولم يطرح فكرة أسلمة الشرق كحل شامل لقضايا هذا المجتمع ليمكنه من الذوبان أو التفاعل مع غيره من بقاع “الأمة”

بخاصة عندما قال الأستاذ عفلق في نقده للواقع العربي:” ثمة ثلاثة تحديات تواجه الواقع العربي هي: التجزئة، والتخلف وفقدان الإتجاه الحضاري الواحد. فعندما تحسم مسألة القومية بإقرار وحدة الأمة، وعندما تحسم مشكلة التخلف بالخيار التقدمي الواضح الحاسم، يبقى موضوع روح الحضارة، وعندئذ نقرر الحقيقة التالية: أن الإسلام يشكل النسيج الروحي والحضاري للأمة العربية. فحركة الوحدة العربية، وهي حركة تاريخية، لم تتعثر حتى الأن، إلا لأنها لم تطرح بمضمونها الكامل على الجماهير العربية. أي بخياراتها الثلاثة: القومية العربية، والتقدم، والإسلام الحضاري”(3).

وهنا أسقط سعادة رهان الأستاذ عفلق، وذهب إلى العكس من ذلك تماما،

فأصر قولا أن حيث تخيب الرابطة القومية، لا يمكن أن تصيب الرابطة الدينية، لأن الرابطة الدينية تهمل الجغرافية والتاريخ والسلالة والاجتماع والاقتصاد والنفسية الاجتماعية، أي جميع العوامل التي توجد الواقع الاجتماعي وتتكفل بحفظه وسيرورته الواحدة في جغرافية الزمان والمكان،

ثم ربط فكرة الأمة بقيام وحدات على أسس علمية واضحة تتشكل فيها دورة التواصل المجتمعي على أسس إقصادية وسياسية لها مدلولها وشخصيتها المستقلة. أيضا،

لم يسقط سعادة مفهوم الأمة بطريقة عاطفية دون أن يناقش محتواها أو يهادن في مقدمات أو أسباب تخلفها، فلقد أقر بواقع المجتمعات العربية وشخصياتها المنفصلة عن بعضها، ووضع السيل الأيلة للتعاون فيما بينها على أسس السيادة الوطنية مقرا بشخصية الأمة السورية التامة كواقع علمي وإقتصادي وسياسي المكتسبة لشخصيتها عبر التاريخ.

ولأنه أعتبر أن لهذه الأمة رسالة عظيمة وضعها في غاية الحزب وخطته من حيث المبدأ قائلا:”إننا لن نتنازل عن مركزنا في العالم العربي ولا عن رسالتنا إلى العالم العربي. ولكننا نريد، أن نكون أقوياء في أنفسنا لنتمكن من تأدية رسالتنا. يجب على سورية أن تكون قوية بنهضتها القومية الإجتماعية لتستطيع القيام بمهمتها الكبرى”(4).

إن هذا لم يكن تنظيرا أو سهوا أو محاباة لأحد،

لقد فسرها سعادة على الشكل التالي:”النظرية السورية القومية الاجتماعية في هذه المسألة هي: النهوض القومي الاجتماعي بسورية أولاً، ثم سلك سياسة تعاونية لخير العالم العربي. ونهضة الأمة السورية تُحرّرُ القوة السورية من سلطة الأجانب وتحوِّلها إلى حركة فعالة لإنهاض بقية الأمم العربية ومساعدتها على الرقيّ.

وهذه العروبة السورية القومية الاجتماعية هي العروبة الصحيحة الصريحة غير الملتوية. هي العروبة العملية التي توجد أكبر مساعدة للعالم العربي وأفعل طريقة لنهوضه.

إنها ليست عروبة دينية، ولا عروبة رسمالية نفعية، ولا عروبة سياسية مرائية: إنها عروبةٌ مثليّةٌ لخير العالم العربي كله”(5).

إنها عروبة سعادة التي تجمع ذوي الأصول السريانية والكردية والأشورية والفينيقية والداغستانية والكلدانية واليزيدية والتركمانية والكنعانية والشركسية،

وتمنحهم الشعور بالإنتماء إلى وحدات قومية يستميتون من أجلها في عالم عربي تكون فيه الأمة السورية التامة صاحبة دور ريادي في التكامل والرقي والتقدم. أيضا،

إنه سعادة الذي جمع الماروني والسني والشيعي والرومي والدرزي والبروتستنطي والنصيري،

وهو القادر على جمع ابن رام الله، والحسكة، وانطلياس والبصرة، وأربد ودمشق..

وهم الفلسطينيون والشاميون واللبنانيون والعراقيون والأردنيون، الذين مزقتهم مقدمات التخلف والنكبات الكيانية في عالم عربي،

لا خلاص له إلا بالعلمنة المؤمنة بالقومية شعارا وممارسة للحياة، كما أرادها سعادة من دون خوف في الولوج بأسباب السبات والتخلف.

إذا، لا يمكن أن نسقط التاريخ لصالح أهدافنا دون النظر إلى إرهاصاته الأولى ومكسباته عمليا،

من هنا أقول أنه لا يمكننا أن نجعل حدود اللغة والدين “حدوداً جغرافية”،

وكذلك الشعوب التي لم تكتسب وعيها القومي أو التي لا قدرة لها على اكتساب الوعي القومي، فهي ليست أمماً ولا أجزاء من أمة، بل جماهير لا شخصية لها، تنخر تاريخها وتتقدم نحو مستقبل الفشل الحتمي، وهي كارثة على مجتمعها من كل النواحي.

من هنا، إن نعتها بالجماهير ليس شانا إنشائيا بحتا، إنه الأساس في المبنى الذي قامت عليه مدرحية سعادة التي قالت بالإنسان ـ المجتمع، وربطتها بالعقل الوالج نحو التطور والإرتقاء، وبعملية المعرفة التي أناط الشرع الأعلى (العقل) عند سعادة مصدر القوة بها

فقال:”إن المجتمع معرفة والمعرفة قوة”.

وإن الإشتراك في بعض مناحي الحياة، قد يخلق إجتماعا بسيطا لا يرقى بمفهوم سعادة إلى مستوى الأمة التي لها وعيا لشخصيتها المكتسبة والموروثة (الأنسنة الملازمة للأمة والعقل الذي هو الشرع الأعلى)،

وأبرز موضع يدلك على ذلك في رسالته إلى السيدين أنيس ومحي الدين النصولي عندما يقول:”إن الأمة ليست الشعب وأن الشعب جزء من الأمة، وأن هذا أصل وذاك فرع”. أما نحن فنقول للسيدين النصولي أن اعترافهما بوجود شعوب في العالم العربي لا شعب واحد، يوازي الإعتراف بوجود أمم في العالم العربي لا أمة واحدة. ذلك لأن كل أمة شعب..

فإذا كان العالم العربي شعوباً لا شعباً واحداً فهو ليس أمة واحدة لأن الأمة هي الشعب الواحد المستفيق لنفسه والمكتسب شخصية سياسية.

وقد اكتسب الشعب السوري وعيه القومي فهو أمة. واكتسب الشعب المصري وعيه القومي فهو أمة أيضاً. أما الشعوب التي لم تكتسب وعيها القومي أو التي لا قدرة لها على اكتساب الوعي القومي فهي ليست أمماً ولا أجزاء من أمة، بل جماهير لا شخصية لها”

First out (transferred hard currencies), first in (with privileges): Lebanon

First out first in

Inducing Lebanese expats and wealthy “Arabs” to transfer real money to the Lebanese banks

Out of the real money, they multiplied virtual money and created the illusion of a model that can generate wealth out of scratch

When real money inflows started to slow down they started to transfer real money out of the system and to replace it by virtual money (mass printing of Lebanese currency)

In 2019, $18 billion were transferred abroad, and $6 billion in 2020 even after the mass protests

Virtual money will in turn evaporate because it has never existed, except out of a scam they called “lollard” (lol-dollars?)

With the disappearance of virtual money and the widespread of inequality, poverty and destitution, real money transferred abroad can buy everything

It will buy private property as well as public assets which will be lodged in a fund (Sort of a wish Sovereign Fund)

Plans are being debated:

Haircut, capital control, lollards for the people, free capital, real dollars, public resources for the privileged few

Foreign aid won’t be granted without reforms, impoverished population will be taken Eastward

No plan, no fund, no aid without equality and solidarity

Inequality is not only about arms, it is also about money

Those who exploited the system must pay first

Those who corrupted the system and made-up the $80 billion loss must pay first

Because the $80 billion loss is only a portion of their profits

Confiscation of accounts and haircut for all,

Contribution by the corrupted politicians and their cronies is the condition precedent for any plan, any recovery

No neutrality of the state on this issue, the US sanctions and settlement way can serve as a soft model, the MBS way as a hard one

People are now paying 70% penalty to free-up their wealth,.

It is only fair that those who stole public assets and private deposits contribute 30% of theirs as solidarity with their fellow citizens

Contributions by all who made up this mess should be a condition precedent to any plan for sustained pain and famine.

This is the only pragmatic solution to move forward

Note 1: Private Lebanese banks (there are No publicly owned banks), are the hunting dogs for our militia/mafia “leaders” Club. The banks “shareholders” have figured out that it cannot lose by lending the government at 18% interest rate (knowing well it is a Ponzi scheme), on the assumption that a State cannot go bankrupt.

The concept was that No government can go bankrupt: the State has always enough assets and “properties” to redeem its debt to the banks.

The banks are working also on the assumption that it is their “shareholders” (mostly the successive deputies) who want their money back, and Not the 80% of the small depositors who lost everything and are hungry and in despair.

Note 2: The Central Bank (Riad salami) and the successive ministers of Finance (Nabih Berry) main function was to “financially engineer” the State budget for the benefits of the Club of militia leaders. and the 18 officially recognized religious clergies

Can we define most Lebanese as chatel “pseudo-citizens”?

Note: Re-edit of “A shitty people. Un peuple de mer(de)?June 28, 2017

Finally, an ired Lebanese woman blowing her top and describing our status “Nous sommes un peuple de mer(de)”

Mind you that what this article was written 3 years ago, before Corona pandemics and before our pseudo-State declared total bankruptcy at all levels: government, Central Bank and private banks...


Un peuple minable. Un peuple composé de criminels, de voyous, de lâches, d’inconscients, des anarchistes, de fourbes.

Un peuple qui ne mérite pas son appartenance Libanaise (ou aucune autre appurtenance?).

Nous sommes un peuple indigne (de quoi? d’être citoyen?). Un peuple honteux.

Que nous sommes honteux. Nous, les complices de la République.

Complices de l’immense crime écologique qui a détruit à jamais nos côtes et notre mer.

Complices des crimes commis dans la rue par des ordures aux veines shootées, au cerveau atrophié, appuyés par des hommes véreux.

Nous sommes complices des bûcherons-bouchers qui abattent les arbres de nos forêts pour en faire des carrières.

Complices des hommes qui bafouent inlassablement les droits des femmes. Complices de tous ceux qui augmentent leurs prix allègrement C’est-à-dire tout le monde.

Complices des politiciens qui nous volent. Des députés qui s’auto prorogent un nouveau mandat. (Our parliament actually extended its tenure for another mandate on false excuses of security reasons)

Complices de ces meurtres insensés de notre pays, que nous commettons jour après jour.

Nous sommes nuls et abjects.

3 200 tonnes de déchets se déversent chaque jour dans la mer à Bourj Hammoud, Jdeidé et Dbayé, à la demande de notre ministre de l’Environnement.

Chaque p*** de jour. « Ah bon ? Yay quelle horreur, c’est inadmissible. Il faut faire quelque chose… Mais dis-moi, tu vas à Anfeh demain ? Il paraît que c’est propre là-bas. »

L’aveuglement à son paroxysme.

Nouvelle loi électorale, prorogation d’une année, cartes magnétiques à 35 millions de dollars. « Ma32oul ! Ce n’est pas permis. On n’a pas besoin de ces cartes, ce sont les mêmes qui vont revenir. Ils ne savent plus quoi faire pour continuer à piller le pays… Dakhlak, tu vas voter pour qui ? » La connerie à l’état pur.

Augmentation des prix.

Des prix hallucinants pour tout. Les restaurants, la bouffe, les bars, les plages, les fringues, les cafés, les billets d’avion, internet, les forfaits de mobile. « Tu te rends compte que ma journée à la plage en Grèce – aller-retour en bateau, location des transats, espressos, cafés frappés, petites bouteilles d’eau, Caïpirinha sous le parasol, déjeuner – m’a coûté le prix de l’entrée de n’importe quelle plage au Liban. Si ce n’est moins… L’été prochain, je vais deux mois à Mykonos, Skiathos, Sifnos, Poros… » Bref, partout où ça finit en os.

Le mépris dans toute sa splendeur. (Someone told me that renting a condo in Tyr cost $250 per day, just to enjoy the beach)

L’électricité sera enfin donnée 24h/24 et les prix vont probablement augmenter. « Yi, c’est génial. » C’est vrai que c’est extraordinaire que l’un des services fondamentaux auxquels un citoyen (qui paye ses impôts, aussi minimes soient-ils) puisse accéder soit enfin disponible 24 heures sur 24.

C’est donc normal que ça soit plus cher. La bêtise comme on n’en fait plus. Roy Hamouche meurt assassiné, d’une balle dans la tête, logée par un monstre, après une altercation routière.

Le parquet requiert des poursuites contre les meurtriers présumés, et le crime ne restera pas impuni. « Walla, c’est bien. » Bien ? Bien de condamner un meurtrier ? C’est normal, bordel, de condamner un meurtrier. D’ailleurs, a-t-on appris quelque chose de nouveau sur l’affaire depuis le 15 juin ? La naïveté à son summum.

Un mec nous insulte alors qu’il est en sens interdit, on klaxonne, rouspète et on cède le chemin. On ne sait jamais, peut-être qu’il a une arme.

On paye 300 dollars une salade, une viande et un verre de vin. Légitime, c’est un Black Angus Premium élevé dans les pâturages d’Aberdeen, croisé avec un Wagyu de Fujiyoshi et ramené à Beyrouth par DHL… « Je te jure, c’est le meilleur resto du Liban. »

Mais bien sûr. À New York, c’est combien ? Et à Tokyo ? Tokyo, où si l’on y passe ses vacances, coûterait moins cher qu’un week-end dans le Chouf.

Et la plage à 125$ la journée, pour nager dans une piscine chaude (la mer étant impraticable, à moins qu’on ait des pulsions suicidaires), s’éclater les tympans sur de la très mauvaise musique, manger une glace fondue et re-glacée, coincé sur un bed (à 50$) entre deux mecs bedonnants à cigare… C’est normal ?

Normal qu’on soit le pays le plus cher de la région ?

Celui qui a le taux de cancer le plus élevé de la MENA ? Normal que l’on croule sous une dette indécente au profit de quelques hommes et de leurs pay-rollers ?

Normal qu’on fonce droit dans le mur et qu’on le fasse le sourire aux lèvres en clamant à n’importe quel sourd qui voudrait l’entendre : « Mais noooon, la qualité de vie est top au Liban. Et la nightlife aussi. Et les services (pas ceux avec la plaque rouge évidemment). »

Et c’est normal que nous ne fassions rien ?
Effectivement, c’est tout à fait normal.

Parce que, même si nous applaudissons quelques (très) belles initiatives par-ci, par-là, ce que nous savons faire de mieux tient en un mot : rien.

Note 1: I demand that we get daily boats to take us to Cyprus. Why this is Not feasible in Lebanon? Why Lebanon is prohibited to have maritime transport?

Note 2: I posted a harsh article on the entrepreneur mentality of Lebanese in general.

Total bankruptcy at all levels, government, banks and Central Bank: Even the finance director is forced to resign.

Alain Bifani, le directeur général démissionnaire du ministère des Finances.

“Certains politiciens veulent accaparer l’or, les actifs et propriétés de l’Etat”

Par Newsdesk Libnanews -30 juin 2020

Alain Bifani était l’invité de l’émission “Vision 2030” sur LBCI présentée par Albert Kostanian.

Ce projet de tout accaparer est celui de l’Association des Banques du Liban (ABL) dont l’auteur serait Riad Salamé, le gouverneur de la Banque du Liban (BDL) et qui est, semble-t-il, soutenu par la Commission des Finances et du Budget au Parlement.

Bifani a appelé à la fin du secret bancaire et à une enquête sur les propriétés immobilières au Liban et à l’étranger.

Le directeur général démissionnaire du ministère des Finances a confirmé que sa démission est définitive même si le gouvernement a aujourd’hui reporté d’une semaine son acceptation.

Alain Bifani a rejeté les critiques sur ses calculs de l’impact de la hausse des salaires que certains lui reprochent.

Le haut-fonctionnaire a conclu en disant qu’il est possible de combler le gouffre financier en poussant ceux qui ont profité de la politique financière désastreuse en place depuis 1993 à contribuer.

Il a estimé que les prix augmentent du fait de l’utilisation par la BDL de la planche à billet (impression de livres libanaises).

Selon lui, l’échec actuel du mandat du Président Michel Aoun est dû aux résistances des milieux politico-financiers contre les réformes.

Note: Greek former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said:  Lebanese must have the courage to nationalize the banks and restructure the Central Bank, issue a new currency and desist from seeking IMF money…”

What courage should we be expecting? In a pseudo-State since independence and a chatel “pseudo-citizens” stooges to the sectarian militia/mafia/feudal leaders?

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September 2020

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