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This myth that mystify: East vs. West?  Even Better, South vs. North

Depending on the context, depending on the outcome, choose your paradigm.

Both paradigms ( only one life or cyclical lives) are human constructions. 

They are cultural creations, not natural phenomena.

To understand the business of mythology and what a Chief Belief Officer is supposed to do, you have to hear a story of Ganesha, the elephant-headed god who is the scribe of storytellers, and his brother, the athletic warlord of the gods, Kartikeya.

The two brothers one day decided to go on a race, three times around the world. Kartikeya leapt on his peacock and flew around the continents and the mountains and the oceans. He went around once, he went around twice, he went around thrice.

But his brother, Ganesha, simply walked around his parents once, twice, thrice, and said, “I won.”

“How come?” said Kartikeya. And Ganesha said, “You went around ‘the world.’ I went around ‘my world.’”

What matters more?

Devdutt Pattanaik looks at business and modern life through the lens of mythology.
When he was Chief Belief Officer, he helped managers harness the power of myth to understand their employees, their companies and their customers.

He’s working to create a Retail Religion, to build deep, lasting ties between customers and brands.
 — the myths that mystify. ted.com|By Devdutt Pattanaik

If you understand the difference between ‘the world’ and ‘my world,’ you understand the difference between logos and mythos.

The world’ is objective, logical, universal, factual, scientific.  ‘The world’ tells us how the world functions, how the sun rises, how we are born.

My world’ is subjective. It’s emotional. It’s personal. It’s perceptions, thoughts, feelings, dreams. It is the belief system that we carry. It’s the myth that we live in. ‘My world’ tells us why the sun rises, why we were born. 

Every culture is trying to understand itself: Why do we exist?” And every culture comes up with its own understanding of life, its own customized version of mythology.

Culture is a reaction to nature, and this understanding of our ancestors is transmitted generation from generation in the form of stories, symbols and rituals, which are always indifferent to rationality.

When you study nature, you realize that different people of the world have a different understanding of the world. Different people see things differently — different viewpoints.

There is my world and there is your world, and my world is always better than your world, because my world, you see, is rational and yours is superstition. Yours is faith. Yours is illogical. This is the root of the clash of civilizations.

It took place in 326 B.C. on the banks of a river called the Indus, now in Pakistan. This river lends itself to India’s name. India. Indus.

Alexander, a young Macedonian, met there what he called a “gymnosophist,” which means “the naked, wise man.” We don’t know who he was. Perhaps he was a Jain monk, like Bahubali over here, the Gomateshwara Bahubali whose image is not far from Mysore. Or perhaps he was just a yogi who was sitting on a rock, staring at the sky and the sun and the moon.

Alexander asked, “What are you doing?” and the gymnosophist answered, “I’m experiencing nothingness.” Then the gymnosophist asked, “What are you doing?” and Alexander said, “I am conquering the world.”

And they both laughed. 

Each one thought that the other was a fool. The gymnosophist said, “Why is he conquering the world? It’s pointless.” And Alexander thought, “Why is he sitting around, doing nothing? What a waste of a life.”

To understand this difference in viewpoints, we have to understand the subjective truth of Alexander his myth, and the mythology that constructed it. 

Alexander’s mother, his parents, his teacher Aristotle told him the story of Homer’s “Iliad.” They told him of a great hero called Achilles, who, when he participated in battle, victory was assured, but when he withdrew from the battle, defeat was inevitable. 

“Achilles was a man who could shape history, a man of destiny, and this is what you should be, Alexander.” That’s what he heard.

 “What should you Not be? You should not be Sisyphus, who rolls a rock up a mountain all day only to find the boulder rolled down at night. Don’t live a life which is monotonous, mediocre, meaningless. Be spectacular! — like the Greek heroes, like Jason, who went across the sea with the Argonauts and fetched the Golden Fleece.

Be spectacular like Theseus, who entered the labyrinth and killed the bull-headed Minotaur. 

When you play in a race, win! — because when you win, the exhilaration of victory is the closest you will come to the ambrosia of the gods.”

The Greeks believed you live only once, and when you die, you have to cross the River Styx. And if you have lived an extraordinary life, you will be welcomed to Elysium, or what the French call “Champs-Élysées”, the heaven of the heroes.

But these are not the stories that the gymnosophist heard. He heard a very different story. 

He heard of a man called Bharat, after whom India is called Bhārata. Bharat also conquered the world. And then he went to the top-most peak of the greatest mountain of the center of the world called Meru. And he wanted to hoist his flag to say, I was here first.”

When he reached the mountain peak, he found the peak covered with countless flags of world-conquerors before him, each one claiming “‘I was here first’ … that’s what I thought until I came here.” And suddenly, in this canvas of infinity, Bharat felt insignificant. This was the mythology of the gymnosophist.

Bharat had heroes, like Ram — Raghupati Ram and Krishna, Govinda Hari. But they were not two characters on two different adventures. They were two lifetimes of the same hero.

When the Ramayana ends the Mahabharata begins. When Ram dies, Krishna is born. When Krishna dies, eventually he will be back as Ram.

The Indians also had a river that separates the land of the living from the land of the dead. But you don’t cross it once. You go to and fro endlessly. It was called the Vaitarani. You go again and again and again.

Nothing lasts forever in India, not even death. 

And so, you have these grand rituals where great images of mother goddesses are built and worshiped for 10 days … And what do you do at the end of 10 days? You dunk it in the river. Because it has to end. And next year, she will come back.

What goes around always comes around, and this rule applies not just to man, but also the gods. (But at a lesser energy and power? Like entropy?)

Even the gods have to come back again and again as Ram, as Krishna. Not only do they live infinite lives, but the same life is lived infinite times till you get to the point of it all. “Groundhog Day.” (Laughter)

Two different mythologies. Which is right? Two different mythologies, two different ways of looking at the world.

One linear, one cyclical. One believes this is the one and only life. The other believes this is one of many lives.

The denominator of Alexander’s life was one. So, the value of his life was the sum total of his achievements. 

The denominator of the gymnosophist life was infinity. So, no matter what he did, it was always zero. 

And I believe it is this mythological paradigm that inspired Indian mathematicians to discover the number zero. Who knows?

That brings us to the mythology of business.

If Alexander’s belief influenced his behavior, if the gymnosophist belief influences his behavior, then it was bound to influence the business they were in. 

What is business but the result of how the market behaves and how the organization behaves?

And if you look at cultures around the world, all you have to do is understand the mythology and you will see how they behave and how they do business.

Take a look. If you live only once, in one-life cultures around the world, you will see an obsession with binary logic, absolute truth, standardization, absoluteness, linear patterns in design.

But if you look at cultures which have cyclical and based on infinite lives, you will see a comfort with fuzzy logic, with opinion, with contextual thinking, with everything is relative, sort of mostly. (And what is the mythology of the Chinese? Are they bound to conquer the world as the US evangelists has been doing?)

You look at art. Look at the ballerina, how linear she is in her performance. And then look at the Indian classical dancer, the Kuchipudi dancer, the Bharatanatyam dancer, curvaceous. (Laughter)

And then look at business. Standard business model: vision, mission, values, processes. Sounds very much like the journey through the wilderness to the promised land, with the commandments held by the leader. And if you comply, you will go to heaven.

In India there is no “the promised land”. There are many promised lands, depending on your station in society, depending on your stage of life. You see, businesses are not run as institutions, by the idiosyncrasies of individuals. It’s always about taste. It’s always about my taste. (Is it still true in capitalist India?) 

Indian music, for example, does not have the concept of harmony. There is no orchestra conductor. There is one performer standing there, and everybody follows. 

And you can never replicate that performance twice. It is not about documentation and contract. It’s about conversation and faith. 

It’s not about compliance. It’s about setting, getting the job done, by bending or breaking the rules — just look at your Indian people around here, you’ll see them smile; they know what it is. (Laughter) And then look at people who have done business in India, you’ll see the exasperation on their faces.

This is what India is today.

The ground reality is based on a cyclical worldview. So, it’s rapidly changing, highly diverse, chaotic, ambiguous, unpredictable. And people are okay with it. 

And then globalization is taking place. The demands of modern institutional thinking is coming in. Which is rooted in one-life culture. And a clash is going to take place, like on the banks of the Indus. It is bound to happen.

I have personally experienced it.

I’m trained as a medical doctor. I did not want to study surgery. Don’t ask me why. I love mythology too much. I wanted to learn mythology. But there is nowhere you can study. So, I had to teach it to myself. And mythology does not pay, well, until now.

I had to take up a job. And I worked in the pharma industry. And I worked in the healthcare industry. And I worked as a marketing guy, and a sales guy, and a knowledge guy, and a content guy, and a training guy. 

I even was a business consultant, doing strategies and tactics. And I would see the exasperation between my American and European colleagues, when they were dealing with India.

Example: Please tell us the process to invoice hospitals. Step A. Step B. Step C. Mostly. (Laughter) How do you parameterize “mostly”? How do you put it in a nice little software? You can’t.

I would give my viewpoints to people. But nobody was interested in listening to it, you see, until I met Kishore Biyani of the Future group. he has established the largest retail chain, called Big Bazaar.

And there are more than 200 formats, across 50 cities and towns of India. 

And he was dealing with diverse and dynamic markets. And he knew very intuitively, that best practices, developed in Japan and China and Europe and America will not work in India.

 He knew that institutional thinking doesn’t work in India. Individual thinking does. He had an intuitive understanding of the mythic structure of India.

So, he had asked me to be the Chief Belief Officer, and said, “All I want to do is align belief.” 

Sounds so simple. But belief is not measurable. You can’t measure it. You can’t manage it. So, how do you construct belief? How do you enhance the sensitivity of people to Indian-ness. Even if you are Indian, it is not very explicit, it is not very obvious.

I tried to work on the standard model of culture, which is, develop stories, symbols and rituals. And I will share one of the rituals with you.  it is based on the Hindu ritual of Darshan.

Hindus don’t have the concept of commandments. 

So, there is nothing right or wrong in what you do in life. (And the judicial system?)

So, you’re not really sure how you stand in front of God. when you go to the temple, all you seek is an audience with God. You want to see God. And you want God to see you, and hence the gods have very large eyes, large unblinking eyes, sometimes made of silver, so they look at you.

Because you don’t know whether you’re right or wrong, and so all you seek is divine empathy. “Just know where I came from, why I did the Jugaad.” (Laughter) “Why did I do the setting, why I don’t care for the processes. Just understand me, please.”

Based on this, we created a ritual for leaders. 

After a leader completes his training and is about to take over the store, we blindfold him, we surround him with the stakeholders, the customer, his family, his team, his boss. You read out his KRA, his KPI, you give him the keys, and then you remove the blindfold.

And invariably, you see a tear, because the penny has dropped. He realizes that to succeed, he does not have to be a “professional,” he does not have to cut out his emotions, he has to include all these people in his world to succeed, to make them happy, to make the boss happy, to make everyone happy.

The customer is happy, because the customer is God.

That sensitivity is what we need. Once this belief enters, behavior will happen, business will happen. And it has. 

So, then we come back to Alexander and to the gymnosophist. And everybody asks me, “Which is the better way, this way or that way?”

And it’s a very dangerous question, because it leads you to the path of fundamentalism and violence. So, I will not answer the question. What I will give you is an Indian answer, the Indian head-shake.

Depending on the context, depending on the outcome, choose your paradigm.

And so the next time you meet someone, a stranger, one request: Understand that you live in the subjective truth, and so does he. Understand it. 

And when you understand it you will discover something spectacular. You will discover that within infinite myths lies the eternal truth. 

Who sees it all? Varuna has but a thousand eyes. Indra, a hundred. You and I, only two. Thank you. Namaste.

Story of the Munich operation by the Palestinian Fedayeen in 1972

Black September Operation. In retaliation of what Jordan Monarch Hussein massacre.

Palestinians living in Jordan had to flee and assemble in South Lebanon, the Arkoub region.

*ر . مروان سلي

*عملية ميونيخ 1972 .*

هذا بوست تاريخي وثائقي توثيقي عن أعظم عملية قامت بها المقاومة ضد الإسرائيليين في أوروبا .
أنها عملية منظمة أيلول الأسود في القرية الأولمبية ميونيخ 1972 .

صادف يوم أمس 6 سبتمبر ذكرى أهم العمليات النوعية بتاريخ المقاومة التي قامت بها منظمة أيلول الأسود وهي منظمة عسكرية ثورية أنشأها وقادها مجموعة من اللبنانيين والفلسطينيين والسوريين في أوائل السبعينيات من القرن الماضي – 1971 لغاية 1976 من وكان هدفها الأساسي ضرب الأهداف والمصالح الإسرائيلية واليهودية في العالم .

ضربت أيلول الأسود في صلب المصالح والأهداف الإسرائيلية في أوروبا من طائرات العال الى عملاء إلى جواسيس إلى ضباط موساد إلى ديبلوماسيين إلى شركات بترول وأنابيب النفط ومنظمة الأوبيك الى سفارات وقنصليات الى ملحقين عسكريين الى خطف رهائن .

تشكلت قيادة أيلول الأسود من أبو محمد العمري ومحمد داوود عودة وأبو حسن سلامة ووديع حداد والسوري كمال خير بك العضو في الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي واللبناني فؤاد الشمالي، أصبح لاحقا زعيم المنظمة ، وهو العضو كذلك في الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي، بالإضافة الى محمد بو ضيا وكارلوس .

( ملاحظة : اقول ومنعا لإتهامي بالإنحياز أن جميع المعلومات عن قيادة المنظمة مأخوذة من موقع الويكيبيديا . راجعوا منظمة أيلول الأسود/ كمال خير بك/ فؤاد الشمالي ) .

العملية التي اشتهرت لاحقاً باسم عملية ميونيخ هي عملية إحتجاز رهائن رياضيين إسرائيليين كانوا يشاركون في الأولمبياد ،

حدثت أثناء دورة الأولبياد الصيفية التي أقيمت في ميونخ في ألمانيا من 5 الى 6 سبتمبر وكان هدفها الأفراج عن 236 معتقلا في السجون الإسرائيلية معظمهم من العرب بالإضافة الى كوزو أوكاموتو العضو في الجيش الأحمر الياباني .

انتهت العملية بإستشهاد 5 من منفذي العملية الذين كانوا 8 بالأضافة الى مقتل جميع الرياضيين الإسرائيليين ال 11 وشرطي وطيار مروحية ألمان .

تفاصيل العملية :
في الرابع من أيلول 1972 وصل الفدائيون الثمانية إلى القرية الأولمبية في ميونيخ الساعة 10:38 مساءً .
الخامس من أيلول 1972 الساعة 4:09 صباحاً هاجم الفدائيون القرية الأولمبية في ميونيخ من الجهة الخلفية لمبنى (كونوليستراسه (Connollystrasse 31). وساعة تنفيذ الهجوم لم يكن يوجد أيّ شرطيّ ألمانيّ في القرية الأولمبية .
أول شخص قُتل في العملية هو جندي الاحتياط في الجيش الصهيوني رومانو، رافع أثقال، حين حاول انتزاع سلاح الفدائي خالد جواد، فأطلق خالد عليه النار وقتله دفاعاً عن النفس .
كان هدف العملية إطلاق سراح 236 سجيناً من سجون الإحتلال. وتمّ اختيار دورة الألعاب الأولمبية العشرين في ميونيخ لجذب أقصى

اهتمام إلى المظالم السياسية على فلسطين .
وعبر اتصال هاتفي علمت الشرطة الألمانية بالعملية، على الفور أرسلت الشرطة الألمانية امرأة للتفاوض مع الفدائيين بزيّ مدنيّ وهي (فرولين غريس)، من دائرة الأمن النسائي الأولمبي .
كان محمد مصالحة وخالد جواد يقفان على شرفة المبنى لحظة وصولها،

وعندما عرّفت عن نفسها ردّ عليها مصالحة متهكماً : لا توجد لدينا نساء هنا .
بدأت فرولين التحدث مع مصالحة .
قال لها : نحن لم نأتِ إلى هنا لقتل أي شخص، بل نحن نطالب بالإفراج عن رفاقنا في السجون الصهيونية، لا يمكن أن يبقى العالم أعمى تجاه مأساة فلسطين .
بعد ذلك حضر للتفاوض مع الفدائيين في ستاد ميونيخ كلٌ من : دكتور (مانفرد شرايبر(Manfred schreiber من شرطة ميونيخ.
وزير الداخلية البافاري (برونو ميرك)، والمصري (محمد خديف) من الجامعة العربية، وعرض على الفدائيين مالاً وخروجاً آمناً من ألمانيا .
فكان جواب (محمد مصالحة) له : هل أتيت أنت، هنا أيضا، لتخدعنا ؟لا نريد مالاً ولا نريد أن نؤذي أحداً، نريد فقط، إخراج رفاقنا من السجون الصهيونية .
أما السفير الصهيونيّ في ألمانيا (إلياشيف بن هورين) فقد كان يفاوض في الظل، وكان يحمل معه جواباً واضحاً : لن يفرجوا عن اي سجين لديهم .
اللواء (زيفي زامير Zvi Zamir) من الخدمات الأمنية الصهيونية، كان يفاوض في الظل أيضاً .
وكانت (غولدا مائير) تشرف على عملية المفاوضات من القدس المحتلة .
الفخ والمذبحة
بعد فشل المفاوضات وعدم الاستجابة للمطالب قرّر الفدائيون مغادرة ستاد ميونيخ مع الرهائن الذين تبيّن أنهم رياضيون خدموا بالجيش الصهويني كضباط احتياط.
في 5 أيلول (سبتمبر) 1972، الساعة الثامنة مساءً، بتوقيت ميونيخ، وصلت طائرتا هليكوبتر إلى مقر القرية الأولمبية، والأتوبيسات لتقلّ الفدائيين والرهائن الصهاينة،

وصل الجميع إلى حيث تقف الطائرتان، توزعوا على الطائرتين وركبوا بالفعل. حلقت الطائرات، إلاّ أنّ الطائرات لم تذهب إلى مطار ميونيخ، بل إلى مطار (شونفيلد) الحربي، الذي كانت أضواؤه غريبة جداً.
كانت السلطات الألمانية قد جهّزت ثمانية أعمدة بعدد المجموعة الفلسطينية..

على سطح كلّ عمود منصة يرابط فيها أربعة قناصة، بمجموع (32) قناصاً على الأعمدة الثمانية، ويؤكد المفاوض المصري أن خطة التعامل مع المجموعة الفلسطينية كانت تقضى بأنّ كلّ أربعة من القناصة متمركزين على سطح كلّ عمود سيصوّبون نيران أسلحتهم على فلسطيني واحد من المستهدفين، وتتم هذه العملية في ثانية واحدة، وبالتالي يتمّ تحرير الرهائن .

وكانت طائرة هليكوبتر ثالثة تحلّق على ارتفاع أعلى من مستوى الطائرتين اللتين تقلان المجموعة الفلسطينية والرهائن، كانت تُقلّ (موشيه ديان) وزير الحرب الصهيوني هبطت الطائرات على مطار (شوين فيلد)،

نزل الجميع للأرض، وفي ثانية واحدة أطلق القناصة نيرانهم على الفلسطينيين . اشتبك الفلسطينيون معهم، لتنتهي عملية الإنقاذ الفاشلة بمقتل تسعة رياضيين صهاينة بنيران القناصة الألمان وخمسة من الفدائيين الفلسطينيين الثمانية، بالإضافة إلى ضابط شرطة ألماني وطيار مروحية ألماني،

كما تمّ تفجير مروحية. وقد نجا من العملية ثلاثة فدائيين .
ارتكب المذبحة رجال الشرطة الألمان في مطار بلدة (فورستنفلد بروك العسكري Furstenfledbruck) الذي يقع بين ميونيخ وأوغسبورغ بمحاذاة نهر (أمبر).
حاولت السلطات الألمانية إلقاء تهمة إطلاق النار على الفدائيين، ولكنها عادت واعترفت رسمياً بمسؤوليتها عن إعداد الكمين وإطلاق النار على الرهائن والفدائيين.
أسفرت العملية عن مقتل جميع الرهائن واستشهاد خمسة فدائيين هم:
1- الشهيد الدكتور (محمد توفيق مصالحة)، 27 عاماً، من قرية دبورية قضاء الناصرة – فلسطين. حاصل على شهادة دكتوراه في الجيولوجيا النفطية من ألمانيا.
2- الشهيد (خالد محمد جواد) (يعرفونه في المخيم: ابن ابو عادل الذي كانت مهنته توزيع البريد على سكان مخيم شاتيلا بواسطة دراجة هوائية)، عمره 18 عاماً، من سكان مخيم شاتيلا، البلد الأصلي: عرّابة قضاء جنين – فلسطين، كان يلعب مهاجماً في صفوف نادي الكرمل الرياضي لكرة القدم.
3- الشهيد (يوسف فرج مناع) (يعرفونه في المخيم: «شوشو» ابن أبو يحيى)، عمره 18 عاماً، من سكان مخيم شاتيلا، البلد الأصلي : مجدالكروم قضاء عكا – فلسطين. كان يلعب رأس حربة في صفوف نادي الكرمل الرياضي لكرة القدم .
4- الشهيد (عفيف أحمد حميد) (ابن ابو لطفي)، عمره 23 عاماً، من سكان مخيم عين الحلوة، البلد الأصلي: عين الزيتون قضاء صفد – فلسطين.
5- الشهيد (محمود فقهي خليل نزال) مواليد قباطية – قضاء جنين – فلسطين , 29 عاماً، درس اللغة الانجليزية وآدابها، وعمل في شركة بريطانية للبترول في الكويت، ثم التحق بالمقاومة وأيلول الأسود.
وقد تمّ اعتقال ثلاثة من الفدائيين وأفرج عنهم إثر عملية اختطاف طائرة تابعة لشركة (لوفتهانزا) الألمانية كانت متوجهة من بيروت إلى ألمانيا الاتحادية يوم 29 تشرين الأول (أكتوبر) 1972.

وهم:
1- (جمال خليل الجشي) (ابن أبو محمد)، عمره 22 عاماً، من سكان مخيم شاتيلا، البلد الأصلي: الكويكات قضاء عكا – فلسطين. كان لاعباً في صفوف نادي الكرمل الرياضي لكرة القدم.
2- (محمد الصفدي) (ابن أبو أحمد)، عمره 22 عاماً، من سكان مخيم شاتيلا، البلد الأصلي: الكابري قضاء عكا – فلسطين. كان لاعباً في صفوف نادي الكرمل الرياضي لكرة القدم.
3- الشهيد (عدنان عبدالغني الجشي) (ابن أبو عصام)، 20 عاماً، من سكان مخيم شاتيلا، البلد الأصلي: الكويكات قضاء عكا – فلسطين. كان لاعب خط وسط وإدارياً في صفوف نادي الكرمل الرياضي لكرة القدم. درس المرحلة الابتدائية في مدرسة الجليل – مخيم شاتيلا، والمرحلة المتوسطة في مدرسة الأونروا بحارة حريك، والبكالوريا الفرع العلمي في المدرسة السعودية – برج البراجنة سنة 1969، وكان متفوقاً في دراسته . ثم درس التمريض في مدرسة هيكل (1970-1971) بمدينة طرابلس شمال لبنان لكنه لم يكمل دراسته، وبعد

عودته من تنفيذ العملية، منحته إدارة المستشفى والمدرسة الشهادة مكافأة له على اشتراكه في تنفيذ عملية ميونيخ. تزوج عام 1976، وفي العام التالي 1977 درس مختبرات طبية في الجامعة الأميركية في بيروت لمدة أربع سنوات . عام 1981 سافر إلى الإمارات العربية المتحدة، إمارة الشارقة وعمل في شركة بترول NDC في الريغ، وهي شركة بترول إنجليزية إماراتية . استشهد مسموماً على يد الموساد الصهيوني في دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة في إمارة الشارقة يوم 4 نيسان (أبريل) 1984. تعرّضت عائلتهّ للتهديد، ورُفض تشريح جثته، دُفن في إمارة الشارقة .

إنها عملية ميونيخ . أقل واجب نحفظه تجاه منفذيها الأبطال أن نحفظ ذكراهم ونعلم الأجيال ببطولاتهم وشجاعتهم .

أنا كان عمري عشر سنوات وكنا نصيف في بحمدون ولا زلت أذكر وكأنها البارحة كيف كنا ننتقل في البيت من غرفة الى غرفة ومن تلفزيون إلى راديو إلى تلفزيون إلى راديو نتابع الأخبار عن العملية كمن يتابع فيلما بوليسيا شيقا .

بعد عدة سنوات شاهدنا الفيلم عن العملية في سينما الستراند في الحمرا وكنا مجموعة تلاميذ في مدرسة الأنترناشونال كولدج في رأس بيروت وفي اليوم التالي مثلنا لعبة الفيلم ،

نحنا التلاميذ كنا الفداءيين من أيلول الأسود والأساتذة كانوا الإسرائيلين . النتيجة ما حدا مات بس إنو شحطونا من المدرسة تلات أيام .

البقاء للأمة والخلود لجميع الشهداء .

When the Devil in the details?

When the occupation forces are comfortable in the situation?

Israelis diverge on details of a Palestinian State

Would Israeli support for a Palestinian state (60%) be dramatically lower when they are presented with specific details rather than being asked to support the basic idea?
Right Wing think-tank jumped at the occasion with a biased poll to confirms the argument that Israelis who support theory of two-state solution recoil from concrete details.
 in Jerusalem in The Guardian, Monday 20 October
 Jerusalem
The Jordan Valley
The Jordan Valley, which Israel considers to be its eastern border. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

poll has found that 75% of Israeli Jews oppose the creation of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders if it means withdrawing Israeli troops from the Jordan Valley.

The survey, conducted by a right wing think tank headed by a political ally of the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, makes for stark reading, contradicting previous polls showing up to 60% of Israelis in favour of a two-state solution.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is making a concerted diplomatic push for a UN security council resolution seeking an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories by November 2016.

Of the 60% of those polled who described themselves as right wing, opposition to a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 lines rose to almost 92%, while 72% of those who identified as left wing would support it.

That opposition rises further still if the issue of dividing Jerusalem is included, with 40% of left wingers opposing the division of Jerusalem.

The poll was commissioned by a think-tank run by a former policy advisor to Netanyahu and initially published in the free newspaper owned by the Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson, one of the Israeli prime minister’s biggest backers.

Left Wing commentators suggested the polling was likely to be an accurate reflection of Israeli public opinion.

“The poll published in Israel Hayom is obviously meant to serve Netanyahu’s agenda,” said Mairav Zonszeinwriting for the +972 website.

“And while it is dangerous to rely solely on a single poll to backup any claim, this specific poll – no matter how flawed or skewed – happens to be an accurate reflection of the Israeli government’s policies, much of its rhetoric, and the reality on the ground.”

Although historical polling has suggested solid Israeli support for a two-state solution, Zonszein argues that the latest poll more truly reflects both how Israelis vote for political parties – and those parties’ agendas – and how they talk about the peace process.

Even though many polls over the years have shown and still show that a majority of Jewish Israelis support a two-state solution based more or less along the 1967 border with land swaps, such sentiment is reflected less and less in the way Israelis vote and talk. This new poll seems to provide a much more honest assessment of the reality on the ground and the reality in the halls of government,” she said.

The latest poll reflects what appears to be an ever-diminishing appetite for a two-state solution on both sides. (Yes, right. And study done by a US think-tank?)

Two sets of polls earlier this year – one of Palestinians for the right-leaning US think tank Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a Pew Research poll in the spring – both identified growing pessimism that a peace deal could be done.

Note: But the details are known if you are interested, though we are under the belief that all the details are secrets because that’s what Israel wants you to believe. The two-State status is a preliminary condition for any sustainable and serious peace negotiation in the Middle-East

All you sectarian Lebanese: You are Not Lebanese citizens

The confirmed secular citizens (Refusing to be cast into one of the 18 officially recognized religious sects) have no political niche in Lebanon system, because this sectarian system forbit, by law, to include the caste of secular citizens.

You are borned to be in one of the officially recognized religious sect.

And you live and vote and get hired in public institutions and die the way you were registered by your religious sect.

أيها الطائفيون لستم لبنانيين

لا تتفاءلوا. إياكم وهذا الوهم.

أنتم محكومون بالفشل والعار. لبنانكم لن يكون وطناً لكم. هو جغرافيا عاصية.

لن يكون أبداً واحداً. ولن يكون أولاً. البلد مكتظ بالطائفيين. وهؤلاء ليسوا لبنانيين أبداً ولن يكونوا.

المواطنة توحد و الطوائفية تُفَرّقْ. البراهين كثيرة: كان من المفترض منطقياً وطبيعياً أن يقف الطائفيون موقفاً موحداً، بعدما أصابتهم الأزمة الإقتصادية والمالية، وتم تذويب مدخراتهم.

عبث. ظلوا يجترون الإتهامات. وكل فريق طائفي/مذهبي يحمِّل الجرم إلى خصومه من الطوائفيين الأعداء…

كان متوقعاً بعد الزلزال العارم في المرفأ أن يتلاقى “اللبنانيون” حول جراحهم وشهدائهم. مأساة كبرى في أقسى وأقصى الآلام. عبث. اسمعوهم. كل خندق طائفي يرمي سهامه في اتجاه “عدوه” الطائفي…

ماذا يُرتجى من هكذا “شعوب” تعيش معاً في حالة كراهية.

لا تتفاءلوا أبداً. حجم الكراهية والحقد بلغ الزُبى. لا حقد يتفوق على حقد الطائفي. الآخر الطائفي عدو.

وكما تكونون يوَّلى عليكم وها هم قادة الطوائفية، يتصرفون قضائياً وحكومياً وسياسياً واقتصادياً،

وكأن كارثة لم تقع…”المهمة المثالية”.. بكل أسف ومستخف، هي في تأليف حكومة وحدة “وطنية”. المقصود، حكومة النفاق الطوائفي. وفي الإنتماءات الطائفية،

“ما في حدا أحسن من حدا”. انهم يتسابقون في الإرتكاب.

الأهم، أن الطائفي لا يمكنه البتة أن يكون لبنانياً. الإنتماء الوطني مباشر، ولا يحتاج إلى وسيط طائفي.

وفي الواقع السياسي، من زمان، كلنا طائفيون، حتى ولو كان البعض ملحداً أو علمانياً. والسبب هو في فلسفة النظام اللبناني “العبقري”.

الدولة لا تعترف أبداً بالعلماني أو اللاطائفي. أنت لبناني، إذا أنت طائفي أولاً. من طائفتك تدخل إلى “وطنك” المهندس طائفياً على قياسات ظالمة.

عبء النظام الطائفي لا يقع على الطائفة كمجموع. إنه يصيب الأفراد ويحاصرهم منذ ولادتهم.

إذا، أنت، أيها “اللبناني”، لست لبنانياً، فأنت منذ لا وعيك، أي منذ طفولتك، موسوم طائفياً.

عبقرية جهنم الطائفية ابتكرت قانوناً يلزم الطفل المولود، بانتمائه إلى طائفته، وعندما يكبر، ينتمي إلى البلد من خلال طائفته

الطريق العلماني أو المدني مقفل قانوناً. والدولة لا تتعرف إلى رعاياها إلا من خلال الرحم الطائف.

أنت أيها اللبناني، ابن الحبل الطائفي. أنت طائفي مذ كنت في أحشاء أمك…

ولنفرض أن الأهل طلبوا أن تسجل كعلماني، فإنك لن تجد خانة تضم العلمانيين.

سجل النفوس يحصي “اللبنانيين” طائفياً. وهذه بدعة عبقرية، لأن الطائفة، وهذا مهم جداً، لم تعد بناء سياسياً من فوق، بل هي بناء منذ البدء على الطائفة.

وعلى هذه القاعدة يمتنع كل بناء سياسي غير طائفي…

والسخرية، أن اللبنانيين يرفعون أنفهم عالياً، عندما يتحدثون عن الفرادة اللبنانية. كذب. عهر. تدجيل. تفشيط.

ليس هناك أنذل وأحط وأحقر من هذا البناء السياسي الطائفي.

ولا يظنن أحد أن احتدام الطائفية الراهن هو مستجد. إنه الأصل، وهذه فروع.

فالطائفي حقير، وأميّ، وتافه، وساقط، ومنحط، وعنصري، وكذاب. (خاصة عندما يتحدث عن التوافقية والمناصفة).

الطائفي، ولو كان أستاذاً جامعياً، أو مديراً عاماً، أو قاضياً ممتازاً أو في أي سوية جامعية، أو اجتماعية… هو كاذب ومنحط.

وما يقال عن عامة الطائفيين، يقال أيضاً عن زعمائهم الذين يسوسون اتباعهم و انذالهم، بعض التخويف من العديد الطائفي المناوئ.

وسادة الطوائف لا يخسرون أبداً. وكلهم سواسية كأسنان المشط. يختلفون على كل شيء، بدءاً مِن منْ هو العدو ومن هو الصديق. “أعدائي أنا الطائفي، هم أصدقاؤك أيها …

لذا…وعليه… لا تتفاءلوا أبداً.

الماضي كان سيئاً ومأساوياً، والآتي كارثي وتراجيدي.

لا تعوَّلوا على مساعدات الغرب. سيأتي منها القليل. وإذا كانوا كرماء كوفئوا بموطئ قدم، من رأس الهرم السلطوي إلى ألفباء التربية.

الغرب قادم ليأخذنا إليه. كثيرون سيشكرون، وكثيرون سيشتكون.

القادمون من وراء البحار والصحاري، كرماء جداً مقابل أن يصيروا شركاء، خفية أو علانية.

أميركا الأخطر، ليست بحاجة إلى إذن من أحد. إنها هنا دائماً ولا مفر منها. وكذلك فرنسا. وهذا يريح جداً أصحاب الكاردينال بشارة الراعي. فحياده منحاز جداً. لا يعَّول عليه. فقاعة بائخة.

يكفي أن تقف طائفة ضده، حتى يصبح الحياد مشكلة المشاكل. ونحن تكفينا مشاكلنا المزمنة.

لذا، ومن البداية. فكروا بالأسوأ.

هذا هو لبنانكم، فتقاسموه إن شئتم. وهذا هو لبنانكم الذي يموت على أيديكم.

يا شعب لبنان العظيم… لم يُبقِ لك الحكام سوى العظم، فتناتشوه.

إنما، لا تحلموا أبداً بوطن.

أما أنتم يا أيتام العلمانية والديمقراطية والعدالة، فالمطلوب منكم أن تجترحوا معجزة البديل. أنتم البديل، ولكنكم غير جاهزين بعد.

إلى متى؟ الساحات بانتظاركم. والمسيرة يجب أن تبدأ منذ الأمس. وإذا لم يكن ذلك كذلك… فوداعاً لبنان.

 

 

Hazards of Revolutions?

You mean a revolution happens by hazard or the consequences are hazardous?

How the “Arab Spring” manifested in 2011 in Tunisia and Egypt, and how the colonial powers diverted the longing of the people?

Patrick Cockburn wrote on Hazards of Revolutions in 2014. 

Soon after the Libyan capital (Tripoli) fell to the rebels in August 2011 I got to know a 32-year-old man called Ahmed Abdullah al-Ghadamsi.

We met when he tried to evict me from my hotel room, which he said was needed for members of the National Transitional Council, in effect the provisional government of Libya.

I wasn’t happy about being moved because the hotel, the Radisson Blu on Tripoli’s seafront, (The capital is Not on the sea shore, but very far off) was full of journalists and there was nowhere else to stay. But Ahmed promised to find me another room, and he was as good as his word.

He was lending a hand to the provisional government because he was strongly opposed to Gaddafi – as was the rest of his family. He came from the Fornaj district of the city, and was contemptuous of the efforts of government spies to penetrate its network of extended families.

He derided Gaddafi’s absurd personality cult and his fear of subversive ideas: ‘Books used to be more difficult to bring into the country than weapons. You had to leave them at the airport for two or three months so they could be checked.’

He had spent 6 years studying in Norway and spoke Norwegian as well as English.

On returning to Libya he got a job on the staff of the Radisson Blu. One of Gaddafi’s sons, Al-Saadi, had a suite in the hotel, and he watched the ruling family and their friends doing business and enjoying themselves.

Ahmed was a self-confident man, not noticeably intimidated by the sporadic shooting which was keeping most people in Tripoli off the streets. I asked him if he would consider working for me as a guide and assistant and he agreed.

Tripoli had run out of petrol but he quickly found some, along with a car and driver willing to risk the rebel checkpoints. He was adept at talking to the militiamen manning the barricades, and helped me get out of the city when the roads were blocked.

After a few weeks I left Libya; I later heard that he was working for other journalists.

Then in October I got a message saying that he was dead, shot through the head by a pro-Gaddafi sniper in the final round of fighting in Sirte on the coast, far to the east of Tripoli. It turned out that there was a lot that Ahmed hadn’t told me.

When the protests started in Benghazi on 15 February he had been among the first to demonstrate in Fornaj, and he was arrested.

His younger brother Mohammed told me that ‘he was jailed for two hours or less before his friends and the protesters broke into the police station and freed him.’

When Gaddafi’s forces regained control of Tripoli, Ahmed drove to the Nafusa Mountains, a hundred miles south-west of the capital to try to join the rebels there, but they didn’t know or trust him so he had to return.

He smuggled weapons and gelignite into Tripoli and became involved in a plot, never put into action, to blow up Al-Saadi Gaddafi’s suite in the Radisson.

Mohammed said Ahmed felt bad that he’d spent much of the revolution making money and, despite his best efforts, had never actually fought.

He went to Sirte, where Gaddafi’s forces were making a last stand, and joined a militia group from Misrata.

He had no military experience, as far as I know, but he didn’t flinch during bombardments and was stoical when he was caught in an ambush and wounded by shrapnel from a mortar bomb, and the militiamen were impressed.

On 8 October his commander told Ahmed to take a squad of 6 men to hunt for snipers who had killed a number of rebel fighters. He was shot dead by one of them a few hours later.

What would Ahmed think of the Libyan revolution now?

An interim government is nominally in control but the streets of Tripoli and Benghazi have been full of militia checkpoints manned by some of the 225,000 registered militiamen whose loyalty is to their commanders rather than the state that pays them.

When demonstrators appeared outside the headquarters of the Misrata militia in Tripoli on 15 November demanding that they go home, the militiamen opened fire with everything from Kalashnikov to anti-aircraft guns, killing 43 protesters and wounding some 400 others.

This led to popular protests in which many militias were forced out of Tripoli, though it’s not clear whether this is permanent.

Earlier the prime minister, Ali Zeidan, was kidnapped by militia gunmen without a shot being fired by his own guards to protect him. (He was released after a few hours.)

Mutinying militias have closed the oil ports to exports and eastern Libya is threatening to secede.

The Libyan state has collapsed, for the simple reason that the rebels were too weak to fill the vacuum left by the fall of the old regime. After all, it was Nato airstrikes, not rebel strength, that overthrew Gaddafi.

It’s a similar story elsewhere in the Middle East.

The uprisings of the Arab Spring have so far produced anarchy in Libya, a civil war in Syria, greater autocracy in Bahrain and resumed dictatorial rule in Egypt.  (All these failures thanks to US/Saudi Kingdom/Israel/France ) who don’t want changes and democracy in the region)

In Syria, the uprising began in March 2011 with demonstrations against the brutality of Assad’s regime. ‘Peace! Peace!’ protesters chanted. But ‘if there was a fair election in Syria today,’ one commentator said, ‘Assad would probably win it.’

It isn’t only the protesters and insurgents of 2011 whose aspirations are being frustrated or crushed.

In March 2003 the majority of Iraqis from all sects and ethnic groups wanted to see the end of Saddam’s disastrous rule even if they didn’t necessarily support the US invasion.

But the government now in power in Baghdad is as sectarian, corrupt and dysfunctional as Saddam’s ever was. (Not true, even then. Obama dispatched ISIS to occupy Mosul because Maliki PM refused to have US military presence in Iraq)

There may be less state violence, but only because the state is weaker. (just witness what is happening by the end of 2017)

Its methods are equally brutal: Iraqi prisons are full of people who have made false confessions under torture or the threat of it. An Iraqi intellectual who had planned to open a museum in Abu Ghraib prison so that Iraqis would never forget the barbarities of Saddam’s regime (you mean USA occupation?) found that there was no space available because the cells were full of new inmates.

Iraq is still an extraordinarily dangerous place. ‘I never imagined that 10 years after the fall of Saddam you would still be able to get a man killed in Baghdad by paying $100, an Iraqi who’d been involved in the abortive museum project told me. (Isis is now defeated in Iraq and US still claim Iraq needs its military presence) 

Why have oppositions in the Arab world and beyond failed so absolutely, and why have they repeated in power, or in pursuit of it, so many of the faults and crimes of the old regimes? (Simple: still confronting the colonial powers who refuse any change)

The contrast between humanitarian principles expressed at the beginning of revolutions and the bloodbath at the end has many precedents, from the French Revolution on.

But over the last twenty years in the Middle East, the Balkans and the Caucasus the rapid degradation of what started as mass uprisings has been particularly striking.

I was in Moscow at the start of the second Russo-Chechen war in October 1999, and flew with a party of journalists to Chechnya to see the Chechen president, Aslan Maskhadov, in his headquarters in Grozny, where he was desperately trying – and failing – to avert the Russian assault by calling for a ceasefire.

We were housed in a former barracks which seemed worryingly vulnerable to Russian air attack. But it soon became evident that the presidential guard’s greatest anxiety was that we would be abducted by Chechen kidnappers and held for ransom.

The first Chechen revolt in 1994-96 was seen as a heroic popular struggle for independence. (An extremist Islamic regime, as the one ISIS was trying to install?)

Three years later it had been succeeded by a movement that was highly sectarian, criminalized and dominated by warlords.

The war became too dangerous to report and disappeared off the media map. ‘In the first Chechen war,’ one reporter told me, ‘I would have been fired by my agency if I had left Grozny. Now the risk of kidnapping is so great I would be fired for going there.’

The pattern set in Chechnya has been repeated elsewhere with depressing frequency.

The extent of the failure of the uprisings of 2011 to establish better forms of governance has surprised opposition movements, their Western backers (the common people, Not the ruling elites) and what was once a highly sympathetic foreign media.

The surprise is due, in part, to a misunderstanding of what the uprisings were about. Revolutions come into being because of an unpredictable coincidence of forces with different motives targeting a common enemy. (Never confuse long-term causes with instant catalysts)

The political, social and economic roots of the upsurges of 2011 go deep. That this wasn’t obvious to everyone at the time is partly a result of the way foreign commentators exaggerated the role of new information technology. Protesters, skilled in propaganda if nothing else, could see the advantage of presenting the uprisings to the West as non-threatening ‘velvet’ revolutions with English-speaking, well-educated bloggers and tweeters prominently in the vanguard.

The purpose was to convey to Western public that the new revolutionaries were comfortingly similar to themselves, that what was happening in the Middle East in 2011 was similar to the anti-communist and pro-Western uprisings in Eastern Europe after 1989.

Opposition demands were all about personal freedom: social and economic inequality were rarely declared to be issues, even when they were driving popular rage against the status quo. (Wrong. Personal freedom was the slogan, Not the real demands)

The centre of Damascus had recently been taken over by smart shops and restaurants, but the mass of Syrians saw their salaries stagnating while prices rose: farmers ruined by four years of drought were moving into shanty towns on the outskirts of the cities.

The UN said that between two and three million Syrians were living in ‘extreme poverty’; small manufacturing companies were put out of business by cheap imports from Turkey and China; economic liberalization, lauded in foreign capitals, concentrated wealth in the hands of a politically well-connected few.

Even members of the Mukhabarat, the secret police, were trying to survive on $200 a month. ‘When it first came to power, the Assad regime embodied the neglected countryside, its peasants and neglected underclass,’ an International Crisis Group report says. ‘Today’s ruling elite has forgotten its roots. It has inherited power rather than fought for it … and mimicked the ways of the urban upper class.’

The same was true of the quasi-monarchical families and their associates operating in parallel fashion in Egypt, Libya and Iraq.

Confident of their police-state powers, they ignored the hardships of the rest of the population, especially the underemployed, over-educated and very numerous youth, few of whom felt that they had any chance of improving their lives.

The inability of new governments across the Middle East to end the violence can be ascribed to a simple-minded delusion that most problems would vanish once democracies had replaced the old police states. (No delusion here. Cannot construct anything in the presence of extremist violent factions created by the US and its allies)

Opposition movements, persecuted at home and often living a hand to mouth existence in exile, half-believed this and it was easy to sell to foreign sponsors. A great disadvantage of this way of seeing things was that Saddam, Assad and Gaddafi were so demonized it became difficult to engineer anything approaching a compromise or a peaceful transition from the old to a new regime.

In 2003  Iraq former members of the Baath Party were sacked, thus impoverishing a large part of the population, which had no alternative but to fight. The Syrian opposition refuses to attend peace talks in Geneva if Assad is allowed to play a role, even though the areas of Syria under his control are home to most of the population.

In Libya the militias insisted on an official ban on employing anyone who had worked for Gaddafi’s regime, even those who had ended their involvement 30 years before. These exclusion policies were partly a way of guaranteeing jobs for the boys. But they deepen sectarian, ethnic and tribal divisions and provide the ingredients for civil war.

What is the glue that is meant to hold these new post-revolutionary states together?

Nationalism isn’t much in favour in the West, where it is seen as a mask for racism or militarism, supposedly outmoded in an era of globalisation and humanitarian intervention. (everything but capitulation is Not favored by the Western colonial powers, even now)

But intervention in Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011 turned out to be very similar to imperial takeover in the 19th century.

There was absurd talk of ‘nation-building’ to be carried out or assisted by foreign powers, who clearly have their own interests in mind just as Britain did when Lloyd George orchestrated the carve-up of the Ottoman Empire.

A justification for the “Arab” leaders who seized power in the late 1960s was that they would create powerful states capable, finally, of giving reality to national independence.

They didn’t wholly fail: Gaddafi played a crucial role in raising the price of oil in 1973 and Hafez al-Assad created a state that could hold its own in a protracted struggle with Israel for predominance in Lebanon.

But to opponents of these regimes nationalism was simply a propaganda ploy on the part of ruthless dictatorships concerned to justify their hold on power. But without nationalism – even where the unity of the nation is something of a historic fiction – states lack an ideology that would enable them to compete as a focus of loyalty with religious sects or ethnic groups.

It’s easy enough to criticise the rebels and reformers in the Arab world for failing to resolve the dilemmas they faced in overturning the status quo. Their actions seem confused and ineffective when compared to the Cuban revolution or the liberation struggle in Vietnam. (Simply because one people  in Syria, one people in the Nile river and one people in north Africa were artificially divided in pseud-States by colonial powers)

But the political terrain in which they have had to operate over the last twenty years has been particularly tricky. The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 meant that the endorsement or tolerance of the US – and the US alone – was crucial for a successful takeover of power.

Nasser was able to turn to Moscow to assert Egyptian independence in the Suez crisis of 1956, but after the Soviet collapse smaller states could no longer find a place for themselves between Moscow and Washington. Saddam said in 1990 that one of the reasons he invaded Kuwait when he did was that in future such a venture would no longer be feasible as Iraq would be faced with unopposed American power.

In the event, he got his diplomatic calculations spectacularly wrong, but his forecast was otherwise realistic – at least until perceptions of American military might were downgraded by Washington’s failure to achieve its aims in Afghanistan as well as Iraq.

So the insurgencies in the Middle East face immense difficulties, and they have faltered, stalled, been thrown on the defensive or apparently defeated. But without the rest of the world noticing, one national revolution in the region is moving from success to success.

In 1990 the Kurds, left without a state after the fall of the Ottomans, were living in their tens of millions as persecuted and divided minorities in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Rebellion in Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88 failed disastrously, with at least 180,000 killed by poison gas or executed in the final days of the conflict. (The Shah of Iran and Saddam resolved this conflict in a single day. And the Kurdish army in Iraq deposed its weapons)

In Turkey, guerrilla action by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who combined Marxism-Leninism with Kurdish nationalism, began in 1974 but by the end of the 1990s it had been crushed by the Turkish army.

Kurds were driven into the cities; and 3,000 of their villages were destroyed. (Western media never covered these atrocities)

In north-east Syria, Arab settlers were moved onto Kurdish land and many Kurds denied citizenship; in Iran, the government kept a tight grip on its Kurdish provinces.

How the Kurdish conditions now changed?

In Iraq the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), though it shares power with the central government in Baghdad, is close to becoming an oil-rich independent state, militarily and diplomatically more powerful than many members of the UN States.

Until recently the Turks would impound any freight sent to the KRG if the word ‘Kurdistan’ appeared in the address, but in November the KRG president, Massoud Barzani, gave a speech in the Turkish Kurd capital of Diyarbakir and talked of ‘the brotherhood of Turks and Kurds’.

Standing with him was the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who spoke of ‘Kurdistan’ as if he’d forgotten that a few years ago the name had been enough to land anyone who uttered it in a Turkish jail. (Currently, Erdogan consider the Kurds everywhere as the existential enemies of Turkey)

In Syria meanwhile, the PKK’s local branch has taken control of much of the north-east corner of the country, where two and a half million Kurds live.

The rebellion in the Kurdish heartlands has been ongoing for nearly half a century.

In Iraq the two main Kurdish parties, Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party and Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, were expert at manipulating foreign intelligence services – Iranian, Syrian, American and Turkish – without becoming their permanent puppets (Crappy pronouncement on these expertise)

They built up a cadre of well-educated and politically sophisticated leaders and established alliances with non-Kurdish opposition groups. They were lucky that their worst defeat was followed by Saddam’s self-destructive invasion of Kuwait, which enabled them to take control of an enclave protected by US airpower in 1991.

At this point, despite having gained more independence than any previous Kurdish movement, the KDP and PUK embarked on a vicious civil war with the Iraqi state. But then they had another stroke of luck when 9/11 provided the US with the excuse to invade and overthrow Saddam. The Kurdish leaders positioned themselves carefully between the US and Iran without becoming dependent on either.

It isn’t yet clear how the bid of 30 million Kurds for some form of national self-determination will play out, but they have become too powerful to be easily suppressed. Their success has lessons for the movements of the Arab Spring, whose failure isn’t as inevitable as it may seem.

The political, social and economic forces that led to the ruptures of 2011 are as powerful as ever. Had the Arab opposition movements played their cards as skilfully as the Kurds, the uprisings might not have foundered as they have done.

None of the religious parties that took power, whether in Iraq in 2005 or Egypt in 2012, has been able to consolidate its authority.

Rebels everywhere look for support to the foreign enemies of the state they are trying to overthrow, but the Kurds are better at this than anyone else, having learned the lesson of 1975, when Iran betrayed them to Saddam by signing the Algiers Agreement, cutting off their supply of arms. The Syrian opposition, by contrast, can only reflect the policies and divisions of its sponsors.

Resistance to the state was too rapidly militarised in order for opposition movements to develop an experienced national leadership and a political programme. (That is the strategy of the colonial powers of Not letting opposition forces to connect with the existing political system and have open discussions.)

The discrediting of nationalism and communism, combined with the need to say what the US wanted to hear, meant that they were at the mercy of events, lacking any vision of a non-authoritarian nation state capable of competing with the religious fanaticism of the Sunni militants of al-Qaeda, and similar movements financed by the oil states of the Gulf.

But the Middle East is entering a long period of ferment in which counter-revolution may prove as difficult to consolidate as revolution.

Note:  Patrick Cockburn London Review of Books Vol. 36 No. 1 · 9 January 2014. Pages 25-27 | 3282 words

The short list of the horrors and assassinations by the Lebanese Front leader Samir Ja3ja3

After all these years of assassinations and horrors during the civil war (1975-90), this militia leader is allowed to be candidate to the Presidency of the Republic, though Not permitted to be a candidate to the Parliament.

تناسى جعجع أن يُكمل سرد تاريخه البطولي للأجيال ليتعرفوا على ال CV الاجرامي الذي يحمله حيث سنذكر البعض النافر منها.

بداية حياته كانت بقيادة الهجوم الى اهدن ومقتل الوزير فرنجية و٣٣ شخص في القصر.

اغتيال رئيس إقليم جبيل الكتائبي غيث خوري عند بداية اجتياح قواته الشمالية لمنطقة جبيل واعتراض خوري على المصادرات والسرقات والتعديات في المنطقة ومن ثم قتل زوجته نورا في المستشفى بعدما نجت من محاولة الاغتيال.

إغتيال المونسنيور البير خريش امين سر البطريركية المارونية ورمي جثته بالقرب من غزير دون محاكمة بعد.

إغتيال قائد اللواء الخامس في الجيش اللبناني العميد خليل كنعان في سريره في منزله مع زوجته التي نجت بعد اصابتها ب أربعين رصاصة..دون محاكمة بعد

تفجير مروحية الجيش اللبناني ومقتل رئيس الحكومة اللبنانية رشيد كرامي وقد نال حكم الإعدام على هذه الجريمة التي خُفضت للسجن مدى الحياة

إغتيال المرحوم داني شمعون وعائلته في منزله في بعبدا وقد نال حكم الإعدام على هذه الجريمة التي خُفضت للسجن مدى الحياة
وعلى هاتين الجريمتين استفاد من عفو مع المجرمين قاتلي الجيش اللبناني في الضنية وبذلك خرج من السجن بعفو وليس ببراءة كما يشيّع أتباعه.

قتل وتقطيع جثة الرائد أنطوان الحداد في جبيل خلال حرب القوات على العماد عون دون محاكمة بعد

قتل ٢٣ مدنيا على جسر نهر الموت خلال تظاهرة الشموع لفك الحصار عن المنطقة الشرعية في حكومة العماد ميشال عون . دون محاكمة بعد

اغتيال الملازم اول في الجيش جوزف نعمة بتنفيذ من المدعو طوني رحمه.دون محاكمة بعد

اغتيال قائد سلاح المشاة في القوات اللبنانية الدكتور الياس الزايك، دون محاكمة بعد

محاولة اغتيال الدكتور فؤاد ابوناضر والنائب نجاح واكيم والنائب ميشال المر ، دون محاكمة بعد

اغتيال القادة القواتيين موريس فاخوري واميل عازار وميشال إسرائيلي وشارل قربان.دون محاكمة بعد

تفجير كنيسة سيدة النجاة في الذوق والحكم على عناصر من القوات دون اثبات ان جعجع كان الأمر بذلك.

إعترافه بتفجير مطرانية سيدة النجاة في زحلة واعترافه للمطران حداد بالامر من اجل قتل ايلي حبيقة

وقد اعترف أيضا للنائب ايلي الفرزلي الذي أصيب في عينه معتذرا منه ولَم يحاكم على هذا التفجير.

إنشاء محكمة ميدانية وتنفيذ حكم الإعدام بالقواتيين سمير زينون ولحود في ضبيه

بالإضافة الى جرائم واغتيالات وانتفاضات داخل القوات اللبنانية وخارجها تطول وتطول لذكرها جميعا ولَم يحاكم عليها أو يُسأل عنها بعد .

لكن الجريمة الوطنية الكبرى هي بإجتياحه المنطقة الشرقية بتاريخ الخامس عشر من كانون الثاني ١٩٨٦ لإسقاط الاتفاق الثلاثي الذي وقعه رئيس الهيئة التنفيذية في القوات ايلي حبيقة بتاريخ ٢٨/ ١٢ / ١٩٨٥ مع شريكي الاتفاق الرئيس نبيه بري ممثلا لحركة أمل
الوزير وليد جنبلاط ممثلا الحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي برعاية سورية ودون تمثيل سني لبناني.

ثم انتفاضته ومشاركته القوات السورية لإسقاط رئيس الحكومة العسكرية ميشال عون والمنطقة المسماة شرقية من أجل تنفيذ اتفاق الطائف الذي أعطى الصلاحيات والامتيازات لرئيس الحكومة السني بعد ضرب صلاحيات الرئيس الماروني. وذلك بالرغم من فداحة إساءة اتفاق الطائف مقارنة مع الاتفاق الثلاثي.

واليوم يأتيك منتحل صفة الحكيم وخاطف القوات اللبنانية ومجرم الحرب اللبنانية والعميل الأول للسعودي ربيب اليهود ليمنع على كاهن من دعوة شبيبة رعيته الى المحبة والتعاون ونبذ الأحقاد والابتعاد عن الضغينة والتزلّم للأحزاب .

انتظرت طويلا الرد من أبناء الكنيسة على هذا المتطاول
حتى طفح الكيل لأكتب هذه الشهادة لأبناء رعيتي وأهلي

Memoirs of a Shia Woman

Tell Mr. Wehbeh: “Bahia has finally landed”

Hameed was seriously considering returning home to Lebanon: He just learned that his mother Zahia had passed away

Actually, the reason Hameed travelled to New York just after WWI was to convince his elder brother Wehbeh to return home because his mother was heart broken: Her favorite eldest son has left her over 10 years ago and never showed sign of coming back for a visit.

News in the early 1920’s reached the toiling people overseas many weeks later.

An employee in Wehbeh restaurant in New York informed Hameed that a lady outside wants to meet with him. The worker said: “She is a lady

On seeing the lady, Hameed felt a confusing impression of having met this woman when he was pretty young.

The lady greeted Hameed in English “Good morning” and resumed in a Lebanese Arabic slang: “Saida, Saida Mr. Hameed. Where is Mr. Wehbeh?

Hameed memory rewinded to over a decade ago, a scene of his father holding a whip, ready for action, and his brother Wehbeh raising a chair. The father spitting and shouting”Adabsis” (A turkish work meaning evil, naughty…)

Hameed recalls crossing the narrow streets in the city of Tyr (in south Lebanon) in the Manara block, and a young girl walking the opposite side of the street. The girl looked briefly at Hameed. And here he is hearing the lady saying: “Tell Mr. Wehbet that Bahia has finally landed”

The story of Wehbeh Ne3meh and Bahia, the daughter of Simon the Copt, took place a few years before WWI. Wehbeh never witnessed the horror of this war or the famine that harvested a quarter of Lebanon’s population, and the onslaught of the locusts…

Wehbeh was a Muslim Shi3a and Bahia was a Christian Orthodox.

They fell in love as Wehbeh was accompanying his Christian fisherman friend Hanna (John) to the church on a Sunday.  Bahia dressed and walked differently from the girls Wehbeh saw in the city.

Since there was no chance for their families to agree on their wedding, this potential couple decided to elope and try to manage later a reconciliation between the families.

Wehbeh was to rent a room in the next city of Saida and wait for Hanna to bring Bahia by sea.

Wehbeh waited for three days and nights by the seashore, at the port, barely sleeping for fear of missing the encounter. He finally gave up and surreptitiously returned to Tyr by night in order Not to meet any person and find out what was the problem.

Bahia was to be engaged to Iskandar, a old 55 year-old Christian man, and Wehbeh was apprehensive that the secret meeting was discovered and Bahia was hurriedly made to marry a man she didn’t care to live with.

Bahia stayed at her aunt. Bahia was to prepare a bag of her belonging, drop it at Hanna’s house, and join Hanna by nightfall to be whisked away on his small fisherman boat.

At the last day, Hanna had a terrible bout of bad conscience, sort of committing an unforgivable sin: He  will be blamed for a mix marriage, considered an enemy to his religious sect, and banned from the city…

Hanna met with the priest and confessed. They both knelt and prayed for hours. The evil Shaitan (demon) was defeated. Only the priest and the aunt knew about the scheme: It was not proper to spread the news…

Wehbeh decided to leave Lebanon and ended up in New York.

These thwarted  love stories based on religious differences were common before, and current even today, and will last for another century.

Note: This story is taken from “Memoirs of a Shia Woman” by Raja2 Ne3meh (Rajaa Nemeh). Hameed will become the father of Rajaa

 

Testimonials of a civil war: A Communist party member

The issue of daily Al Balad, April 26, 2005

Samir Al Ocda was barely 12 years old when the civil war started.  His father was a dedicated Communist party member and hided a Kalashnikov in his house located in Ras Nabaa.

Samir’s father was strict in never allowing any one in the family to touch the Kalashnikov, or missing a school day for demonstrating, or to hanging out in centers where political meetings were taking place.

Once, as Samir was 10 years old, his father and a few of his comrades parked the jeep in the neighborhood.  His father lifted the kid Samir and placed him behind the Doshka machine gun mounted on the jeep. That was the first great impression for power and glory.

Samir political awareness began in 1980 when he was in middle school:  He read the daily newspaper “Al Watan” (the Nation) distributed at the school door.  He badly desired to wear the green vest called “field” that was donned by the communist fighters.

When the bombing intensified, he stood at the school door and harangued the students not to enter and instead to join the demonstrations.  The school  principal remonstrated them and they replied by throwing rocks at him.

In Ras Nabaa stood a house called “Nadi Ruwad” (the patrons club) which hosted Russian delegates and various sports activities. In this house, Samir got indoctrinated and started reading ideological books and participating in discussions.

In 1981, Samir was already 15 years old and joined a training camp for the Communist in Kfar Matta under the direction of a comrade called “Stalin”. He had told his family that he was going out on a scout camp.

The taller the comrade the closer to the front row was the regulation and thus, short Samir was always standing in the back wearing oversized Cuban military garments.

Abu Anis, the war code name for the head of the Communist Party George Hawi, sent immediately these fresh graduating recruits to manning the barricades in St. Theresa, in the Dahia neighborhood in order to face-off the offensives of the “Amal” militias also called the disinherited Shiaas.(Nabih Berri, chief of the Parliament for 25 years, claims that he is the leader of this militia)

Samir was restless from then on and barely visited his family.

In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon and entered Beirut.

Samir helped his comrades recover the military vehicles and hardware buried in the “Sport City” compound and distributed the vehicles to various corners in West Beirut, and mainly around the “Cola” neighborhood.

By dawn, the inhabitants got the fright seeing that amount of military vehicles and chars and started vacating to more peaceful areas in coincidence with the admonishments of the Israeli flyers for the people to empty the surroundings and so Samir’s folks did too.

Samir collected 250 house keys that the tenants left with him for safe keep.

While guarding barricades, Samir used to finger his guitar and a photo was published of him with the legend stating “The break time of a fighter at “Mat7af” (National Museum area)”, followed by the slogans “Down with guns; Long life to guitars!”

His last battle was at “Mat7af” where he faced the Israeli soldiers and managed to earn the scare of his life before successfully retreating.

Samir still believes that he fought for a just cause, but the circumstances and new facts are leaving him to wonder whether this civil war was worth the damage and death.

Since the Taif agreement in 1990, which stopped the war, but left no victors,  and the parliament proclaiming that “All has been forgiven and all involved have been pardoned”, Samir has experienced deep depression periods and witnessed a half-peace and lack of opportunities to earn a living.

(These militia/mafia “leaders’ are still in control of Lebanon in the last 3 decades and bankrupted the State at all levels)

An eye witness confessed to see a bunch of kids playing soccer on a sandy field to discover that the ball was indeed a human skull.

Rami, now 33 years old, used to gather insects in bundles and burn them just to hear the crackling sounds in the fire.

 

“The man with the long curly hair”: Fragments of Abu Nuwas‘ Poems (February 12, 2009)

Note:  I am attempting to convey the style and position of the great Arab poet Abu Nawas during the Abbasid period.  The translation is not literal and I am selecting fragments in specific genres.

Ascetics  (Abu Nawas is witnessing his physical disintegration after his 50)

It is true O God: Great is my villainy.

Your clemency, I know, is infinite.

If the virtuous only dares keep hope.

Then, who the sinner is to appeal to?

Whom the sinner is to believe in?

In humility I implore you my Lord.

Don’t reject me! Only You can have pity.

You are the clement and forgiving.

Finally and besides, I am a Muslim.

My God, you have always been good to me.

My gratitude is little adequate.

Do I have to present my flat excuses?

My excuse is that I have none.

Nullity crawls in me; my members are dying one at a time. Every moment takes its share.

My youth has fled and didn’t deign to listen.

What have I done with my tender youth?

My youth was dedicated to pleasure, every day and every night.

All possible mischief I have committed.  Forgive me God; I hear you and I tremble.

The full moon is just a dim glow compared to your majestic Face.

I carry on my front the indelible mark of prostrations that might pass me a devout.

Oh, how many noble figures are entombed and as many refined beauties.

How many brave are buried and as many great minds.

Let a rational man interrogate Earth. 

We have taken all Earth’s alleys, highways, and passes.

Earth is our enemy disguised as friend.

 

Satires

(The Caliph Al Amine is pederast and wanted to honor Abu Nawas young son Mussa.  The satirized personalities were the poet’s benefactors and he joined their merriments)

The Caliph is losing his way.  It is the Caliph fault.

His ignorant vizier Fadl and his naïve counselor Bakr are to be blamed.

The Caliph Al Amine is a pederast.  He loves young eunuchs.

The Caliph is the active actor: How wonderful!

His vizier is the passive one.

The compromises of these two are splattering all the neighborhood.

Like a pissing camel.

Avatar getting shielded by their Gods?

Puny avatar; why in the name of God?

 

Show me a single religion condemning

As blasphemy, the biggest sin of all,

Speaking in the name of its God.

 

Puny avatar;

Why in the name of God?

Allah, Jehovah, Krishna, Buddha

 

Show me a single religion

Not inaugurating a President

In the name of its God.

 

Not haranguing the troops

In the name of a God.

Not persecuting other religions

In the name of a God.

 

Puny avatar; why are you hiding your weaknesses

In the name of a God?

Are you scaring me with eternal fire?

Is a candle burn not bad enough?

 

Are you frightening me to obedience by eternal pain?

Millions are suffering constant pain in hospitals, tents, in open air;

Of curable diseases, famine, thirst,

 

No pain-killer powerful enough to let go in peace.

Isn’t a single case bad enough to you?

 

Are you enticing me for immortality?

Anything scarier than boring immortality?

 

Puny avatar; why are you heaping your ignorant arrogance on me

In the name of a God?

 

Is there a single religion with enough imagination?

A total silence preceding a major cataclysm as God.

A complete darkness, not a candle flickering.

 

A world devoid of the feeling of touch;

Not a single soft breeze, not a wet loving kiss.

A world odorless and tasteless as God

 

Any one of that kinds of Gods would scare the hell out of me

And you won’t have to preach in his Name.

 

Puny avatar; talk in the name of God

And stay a dwarf: petty, mean, and coward.

 

Mankind! Stand up.  Wake up.

Dare speak in the name of Man.

Take on your responsibilities in the name of mankind.

Embrace your countless limitations;

Develop your limitless potentials.

 

Pray your God in the solitude of your heart;

Give grace to your God in the many ways to enjoying life;

For the opportunity to working with passion and sweating labor.

 

Puny avatar you were and is

In the name of God.

Try speaking in the name of man

With respect and humility to your fellow co-survivors

 

Sharing the same boat, the toil, hardship, and labor.

Sharing the smiles, joy, laughter, and compassion

Sharing what earth has in reserve to us all.

 

Singing with birds, the breeze, the sea wind.

Avatar you are and will be

And puny no more.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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