Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘testimonials/civil war’ Category

Can Capitalist systems be reformed? Part 3.

Posted on September 26, 2010

In the previous two articles, I discussed the foundations of Capitalism, the variations in capitalist systems, communist/capitalism systems, the ideology of private property ownership, and the reforms needed.

This part will discuss the practical political and legal reforms needed if change is to be effective.  

First, let me summarize the last two articles.

One:  Capitalism is based on four  foundations:

  1. Private property of means of production;
  2. free internal people movement and exchange (products, services…);
  3. open free market for commerce; and
  4. availability of a vast pool of people willing to work for salary. The main driving force is that the owner of the means of production (the bank, the partners, the shareholder, or the family)  should earn as much as the total salary that all workers receive.  Consequently, an employee is hired when the owner can generate profit, at least as equal to the total salary of the hired worker.

Two:  The foundations of capitalism have proven not to function except within strong richer State institutions, which are almost totally controlled by the capitalist classes.

Three:  The one foundation that all economic systems in developed States share is free global trade, which means the liberty to exploiting the developing countries in natural resources and cheap labor. 

How this work and corollaries to capitalist systems:

First, the developed States are allowed to subsidize their agriculture, but the developing nations are Not to do it and they cannot, even if they realize the need to do it .

Second, the developed States are to flood the markets of developing countries with affordable products with No “legal rights” for the developing nations to increase import taxes in order to safeguarding their own means of productions.

Third, the developed States can find financial resources at low-interest rates with a phone call, but Not the developing nations that have to borrow at at least twice the interest rates.

Fourth, in return for blatant exploitation, the developed States agree “voluntarily” to setting aside a small fraction of their GNP to developing the infrastructures in the poorer States.  Mainly, self-serving their interests to improving infrastructure to facilitating exploitation efficiently.

Fifth:  All “international” institutions such as World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Commerce and Trades are dominated by the US, China, and a few European States. Thus, transparency and access to timely information and intelligence are denied the developing nations.

Sixth:  Financial institutions (banks, insurance companies…) are the real owner of means of production in capitalist systems.  They own 30% of the total wealth of a nation and represent only 1% of the population.  This is NOT acceptable. 

Fact is, financial institutions generate three times more money than the combined tax collected by the government.  This is NOT acceptable. 

Any reforms should first target the level of profit that financial institutions are permitted to generate.  “Effective” interest rates should be lowered accordingly, and tougher regulations imposed of these behemoths.

Community banks with excellent transparency in decision process and lending policies should be the norm.  The current status of financial institutions is generating abnormal profit with No risks whatsoever.  

The aristocratic political family class (representing 10% of the population and hoarding more than 20% of the nation’s wealth or what is called “Old Money”) is the main beneficiary of the current capitalist system dominated by the financial barons.

Seventh:  If capitalism needs salaried people, it must secure the fundamental right to work, a wide range of jobs that satisfy varied opportunity, access to affordable education, safe workplace, universal health coverage, caring for the elderly, and justice for people who worked most of their life for a comfortable retreat.  Has capitalism satisfied the basic needs of its workforce?

Basically seuring Equal starting life to all its kids.

Eight:  States should start taxing according to the number of employees hired and total revenue generated:  These two criteria are the most objective representative of net profit and are easy to investigate.  This gimmick of taxing on “net profit” is an accounting fraud that is not objective or fair.

Companies relocating for cheaper workers must be taxed according to the original “national wages” of the workers.  Companies substituting workers for robots should be taxed according to the number of workers substituted.  States will then be able to subsidize unemployed people, until they find jobs and be imaginative enough to opening up newer job opportunities…

Ninth:  There is a trend for owners with strong ethics and moral standards to including employees as shareholders and participating in management decisions:  These companies are doing very well and not suffering from financial crashes.  Institutions and companies for profit are amoral and do not deal in ethical conducts. 

Ethics and morality are individual characteristics:  The more such individuals gather in groups to reclaiming fairness and justice in actions, the more institutions will be reminded of what is best for society.

Tenth:  Historically, land and private property were the basis for the emergence of the “bourgeois and merchant” classes and which initiated the major leap forward into creating wealth. This system of private ownership lead to the abolition of feudalism and absolute monarchic powers, backed by the clergy.

The structure of private ownership of land and properties materially weakened nobility and clergy and eventually displaced them. Private property of land should be revised…Read part #4.

Eleventh:  Private ownership of land and properties are not currently economically essential for capitalist system to function properly:  Enterprises can lease properties and resume their business as usual.  It is the political ideology behind private properties that is the culprit.

 Private property ownership remains as a reminder that aristocracy image of power must not vanish in order to retaining political power in “democratic” political system.

Twelfth:  Ownership of land and real estates must be legally abolished in order to having a serious chance for political reforms.  Land should be owned by communities and regulated by community councils.

Land and real estates should only be leased for durations, and never owned by individuals and never renewed for any member of the family in order to dissuade political inheritance of images and statuses.  Inheritance of private real estates and money is the main reason for the existence of aristocratic lineage in wealth and politics.

The inheritance mentality encourages sustaining ancient beliefs that the aristocratic class is better fit to rule, guide, and lead simply because this class created the system that perpetuates its interests and egoistic power.

I then offered the required necessary reforms on property ownership.  For example, enterprises may be allowed to renew the lease for specific duration as long as the nature of the business did not change or will not change after the renewal.  For example, transforming from a manufacture to real estates development.

This section of the series will develop on Election processes and laws reforms.

In the current “capitalist democracy”, the judicial system obeys laws decreed by the parliaments (supposed to be representing the common people) that are dominated by the richest and political “aristocracy” classes.. And the executive branch is intrinsically dominated by the highest classes, directly and indirectly.  

This entire political system is called “capitalist democracy” where people have the illusion of electing their representatives for a duration.  After election, people are to behave as spectators:  Any serious disturbances are crushed in the name of Law and Order.

It is imperative that real political power in reformed election laws should  shift the odds for the middle class and lower classes to acceded to legislative and executive positions.

Private enterprises within a free internal movement and exchange of people and merchandise, and supported by a smooth flow of liquid money, as commerce increases and develop, are the basis for creating wealth.  

The State should not be doing business, but regulating laws and order, and securing the well-being of  all its citizen “equal under the law of fairness to work, opportunity, and happiness.”

Thus, the sole reason for the existence for State government is doing politics.  

Mainly, equalizing the odds so that all its citizens live equally in dignity.  So far, the current capitalist system appears to  running smoothly only for the survivors of the holocausts of financial crisis and degradation of normal living conditions.

Election laws and regulations reform targeting all citizens, regardless of gender, ethnic minority, and wealth status must be undertaken relentlessly and closely monitored and supervised by ethical, moral, and just citizens.

First, No fee  charges should be levied for submitting any documents to being candidates to any representative community, council, or State chambers and Houses.  This costly application favors the well-to-do.

Second, contribution to campaigning is strictly done on individual basis and having a fixed limit representing the capacity of lower classes for contribution.  Thus, flow of contribution from rich classes and enterprises are off-limit in election campaign.

Third, stiff penalties should be levied on owners, executives, and managers of enterprises (not the entity) who bribe or press upon employees to get biased toward candidates and extending bonuses at election periods.

Fourth, quota should be imposed on rich and aristocratic classes in number of candidates, commensurate to their representation of the entire population.

Fifth, the campaign should be made easy to comprehend and run, so that many citizens would be encouraged to participate.

Sixth:  All candidates should have equal air time and receive fair contribution from the State to running an equitable campaign and supporting staff.

Seventh:  Prison terms should be attached to officials in any enterprises  or interest lobbying groups who are backing candidates by fraudulent financial means.

These are sample example for fairness in election laws so that many more common people get into the legislative chambers on their own potentials, without feeling indebted to any rich baron or political aristocrat.  

Either power is democratically obtained or anarchy is the end result for the state of injustices in capitalist systems.

Market cannot regulate itself for the interest of the common people.  Rich classes are not just following their interests, but also their overextended egoism to grabbing more power when left at their own volition.

Enterprises have No moral or ethical standards regulating them.  

Only external pressures, for example State politics of fairness to all and justice to all, can make a difference.  

Practicing democracy is hard work and it requires constant vigilance, reflection, and mass actions.

Road map of a civil war: (June 1982-1985)

Posted on October 22, 2008

The third phase (June 1982-1985) started with the invasion of Israel to Lebanon and entering its capital Beirut for two weeks. It ended by the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Sidon and East Sidon to Jezzine in the South.

Israel withdrew its forces in phases from various parts of the lands it occupied. 

The tactics of Israel were to allow the Christian “Lebanese Forcesto infiltrate into mixed regions and let the factions fight it out among themselves when Israel withdraws.

These tactics started a civil war in the Chouf (Druze district) that ended with the evacuation of all Christian villages, and the follow-up civil war in the region of East Sidon that ended with the evacuation of all Christian towns toward Jezzine (under Israel occupation) or East Beirut.

Israel continued its occupation of a major part of South Lebanon until its total defeat in year 2000 (over 20 years of occupation) and the withdrawal of its forces without negotiation or conditions.

This phase witnessed the evacuation of the armed Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) from Beirut to Tunisia, the landing of UN troops constituted from US, France, and Italy into Beirut, the assassination of elected President Bashir Gemayel (before his official inauguration), and the gruesome slaughter of the Palestinian refugees in the camps of Sabra and Shatila in West Beirut , contrary to the guarantees for their safety offered by the USA, France and Israel.  

More than two thousands civilians (Palestinians and Lebanese) were killed within two days and nights, the nights of the camps fully lighted by Israel to resume the slaughter hood.

The multinational forces composed of mainly French and American forces vacated Lebanon after two successful suicide car bomb attacks on their headquarters., leaving hundreds of soldiers from the US and France dead.  

The Shiaa party “Amal” was split, and Hezbollah was created

Battles between these two factions will intensify with Hezbollah taking over the control of Dahieh (South Beirut) and “Amal” (lead by current head of the Parliament Nabih Berri) retaining the administration of what is left of South Lebanon.

Amine Gemmayel was elected President of the Republic with Israel backing. 

The peace treaty with Israel that President Gemayel was negotiating failed miserably in May 17, 1983 and the Lebanese army successfully checked the advances of the Syrian forces in Souk Gharb in the Aley region and which could have left the Presidential Palace exposed at the mercy of direct artillery fires.

The relocation movements within Beirut were the consequences of Syria’s supported militias like “Amal” attacking the Palestinian camps in and around Beirut.

This war against the remaining Palestinian strongholds in West Beirut started in the summer of 1985 and lasted for 5 years, which enfeebled “Amal” (the main Syrian supporter) militias militarily and politically.

Hezbollah was set to broaden its base in the Shia population and become the sole resistance power against Israeli occupation of part of Lebanon, after Syria Hafez Assad prohibited the leftist Lebanese forces to participate in that national and legitimate resistance.

The “Phenomenal Journey” of Oscar- and BAFTA-Nominated Short ‘The Present’

Farah Nabulsi discusses her directorial debut, which follows a father and daughter forced to navigate Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank.

Her film The Present is up for the biggest film awards on both sides of the Atlantic. 

For the first time in years, it seemed that the array of BAFTA nominees isn’t simply a mirror image of those across the Atlantic.

A few films were acknowledged by both sets of voters. NomadlandThe FatherPromising Young Woman and Sound of Metal all landed multiple BAFTA and Oscar nominations.

THE PRESENT and inset of director Farah Nabulsi

Courtesy of Farah Nabulsi

The Present — nominated for the best live-action short Oscar and the British short film BAFTA (and the only short up for both) — is the directorial debut of Farah Nabulsi and a film that has quietly been gathering steam since it first bowed in France’s Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in early 2020, where it won the audience award.

For Nabulsi, a former investment banker who left the corporate world in 2016 to focus on filmmaking, just to screen at the festival would have been enough.

“Even being officially selected, I was like OK, I’m done,” she tells The Hollywood Reporter from London. “Then we won the audience award, and it was like, wow, first festival premiere, won the audience award, done.”

But the film wasn’t nearly done. 

The Present then screened at the Cleveland Film Festival, winning the all-important Oscar-qualifying jury award, and would carry on to around 40 more international festivals, picking up in excess of 20 top prizes.

In what Nabulsi says “ties it all up in a perfect bow,” in January — just two weeks before the Oscar shortlists were announced and almost exactly a year since its first festival premiere — the film won its second Academy-qualifying award, this time at Australia’s Flickerfest festival.

By this time, the film had also been acquired by Netflix (for worldwide excluding France and Japan), although the streamer kept quiet about the deal until the the Oscar nominations were announced.

“So the whole journey has been phenomenal,” says Nabulsi. “Except that I’ve experienced the majority of it — with the exception of Clermont — from my couch.”

At 24 minutes longThe Present has an incredibly simple premise, following a man who sets out with his young daughter to buy his wife an anniversary gift (a not-quite-so-romantic yet highly practical fridge).

But it’s not so straightforward.

The man is Palestinian (played by renowned screen and stage star Saleh Bakri) and lives in the West Bank near Bethlehem.

And his shopping trip soon becomes a series of demoralizing frustrations as he’s forced to navigate Israeli checkpoints, heavily armed IDF soldiers and segregated roads, spending hours waiting behind bars as his ID is checked and rechecked, and renegotiating what would otherwise be a simple route as army roadblocks spring up unannounced.

The powerful impact of the film comes from the simplicity of his task and the hurdles put up in his way (at one point he pleads with an Israeli soldier to let him pass, saying, “I just want to go home, my house is just there,” pointing up a hill).

Nabulsi, a British-born Palestinian, says she’s visited the West Bank numerous times and experienced these checkpoints, big and small, more than 100 of which are scattered across the occupied territories.

However, the ultimate inspiration for her story came from a friend living in Hebron, where an entire section of the ancient city, known as Shuhada Street, is closed off to its Arab population.

“This guy lives on Shuhada Street and has a checkpoint 80 meters from his house,” she says. “So no matter where he wants to go, what he wants to do, who he wants to see or what he wants to get, he has to go through a checkpoint.”

And this checkpoint, Nabulsi notes, is a particular size, restricting what can be brought through.

“If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t go,” she says. So if her friend wanted a new couch or a fridge, it just wouldn’t be possible.

“In theory, you can ask for permission, but these checkpoints aren’t here to make lives easier: they exist to deliberately frustrate and humiliate and to forcefully encourage” the Palestinians to leave.

So Nabulsi wrote her story and co-scripted the film with Palestinian poet and filmmaker Hind Shoufani (who also served as editor).

From day one, she says she’d been picturing Bakri — known for his collaborations with Annemarie Jacir and for playing Elia Suleiman’s father in The Time That Remains — as her lead, needing someone who could “understand at his core” what the role was about and bring the sort of “dignity and intensity” it needed.

Thankfully, Shoufani knew Bakri, so introductions were made, a script was sent and that was that. Says Nabulsi: “The world conspired!”

Production took place in 2019 around Bethlehem, with scenes filmed at the real-life Checkpoint 300 — a notoriously volatile and busy crossing Nabulsi describes as “worse than a battery farm” and where it can sometimes take more than three hours to pass through in rush hour — and at a fake checkpoint built especially for the film.

The team did such a good job on the fake checkpoint that the local Palestinian communities genuinely thought it had been erected by the Israeli army, with Nabulsi forced to send out runners to assure them that it wasn’t real.

“We had cars turning around and people coming out, the rumors were spreading…. I felt terrible, but it did mean that, authentically, we did an awesome job!”

Anyone who has visited the West Bank or followed the ongoing political situation inside the Israeli-occupied territories with any detail will no doubt be very much aware of the checkpoints, which have been widely criticized by human rights groups for many years.

But Nabulsi notes that the vast majority of the audiences across the international festivals where The Present has screened had little or no idea about this “reality on the ground,” with her film helping generate a lot of interest, intrigue, empathy, questions and contemplation.

“It really seems to have resonated with the audience and they’ve rewarded it.”

Having written and produced three well-received earlier shorts about the realities and injustices facing Palestinians — Nightmare of GazaToday They Took My Son and Oceans of Injustice, garnering praise from the likes of John Pilger, Ken Loach, Noam Chomsky and Alice Walker — the filmmaker claims her aim is to create work that raises the global social conscious.

“I want to make films that do what all great films should do, which is to give audiences an emotional experience,” says Nabulsi, who is next prepping her first feature, The Teacher, with Bakri set to star again.

“But I also want to make films that speak to me as a human being, as a filmmaker, as someone with Palestinian origin, speaks to my identity.”

But what of the all-important (and potentially soon-to-be Oscar-winning) fridge, last seen being pushed away from an Israel checkpoint and into the dark?

“It’s just so sweet in Palestine — it was an actual brand-new fridge that a Palestinian from a fridge shop said we could use. He loaned it to us.”

100 hundred years of successive failures in instituting a State?

Bilal Jaber بلال جاب posted this article by Nasri Sayeghر October 15, 2019

Tell me: In which way Lebanon political system was successful in the last 100 years? Even the demonstrations and marches are Not taken seriously by the politicians: People have been taken for chattel by the feudal/sectarian/mafia/civil war “leaders”

كتب نصري الصايغ

اللجوء إلى الشارع خطيئة سياسية. التهديد به حماقة وانتهازية. لا أمل يرجى من صياح الأتباع. فكل يصَّياح.
الشارع في لبنان شوارع.

لسنا نشبه أي دولة اوروبية. السلطات هناك تسمع صوت الشار ونعتبر. نحن لسنا كذلك.

ولسنا نشبه الشارع السوداني الرائع. اطاح بالديكتاتورية ولجم العسكريتارية، وبَّدل وجه الدولة. ولسنا نشبه الشارع الجزائري ابداً. اطاح بالديكتاتور ووقف صامداً امام نفوذ العسكر ولا يزال.

وبالطبع، لا نشبه تونس، بصيغة “البوعزيزي”، ولا بصيغة الانتقال الديمقراطي، بإملاءات صناديق الاقتراع.
فلنتوقف قليلاً امام التهديد بالشارع. في لبنان شوارع. شارع واحد لا قيمة له. هناك شارع ماروني

عارم. وهناك شارع شيعي عرمرم، وهناك شارع سني يراكم، وهناك دروز يعتصمون في جبالهم، وهناك تجارب كاوية، عرفناها عشية الحرب اللبنانية في العام 1975.

تهديد الوزير جبران باسيل بالطوفان، فقاعة سياسية. من الحكمة سحب هذا الكلام من التداول. ثم، قلة قليلة من اللبنانيين، كانت متفائلة بالتسوية. السلطة الحالية بنت شرعية لتسوية بين تيارين وشارعين ومحورين.

لم يكن متوقعاً غير ما كان. لبنان “القوميات الطائفية”، هذه هي صورته المثالية.

السلطة لجميع “المكونات”، و”المكونات” ليست مع هذه السلطة الجامعة. فلكل مكَّون سلطته. ولهذا، بدا العهد ضعيفاً، يقبض على الربح. انه شبيه بملك لا يملك…

وصوت باسيل المرتفع جداً، لا يُعوَّل عليه، الا إذا قُلبت الطاولة، ودخل لبنان في الفراغ، وقرع باب الافلاس السياسي والمالي.
لبنان هذا، عمره مئة عام. اثبت انه نموذج للفشل. الأدلة امامنا. انظروا جيداً. تبينوا احواله.

افحصوه بتفاصيله. قولوا لنا اين نجح؟

كل القطاعات مأزومة. السلطة مصابة بسرطان لا شفاء منه. لا كان معافى قبل الطائف ولا توقف بلاؤه ومرضه بعد الطائف. شيء واحد نجح بتفوق وجدارة: لقد غلبت الطائفية لبنان الدولة، ولبنان النظام، ولبنان الشعب، ولبنان الاقتصاد، ولبنان الأخلاق، حتى قيل أن لبنان دولة منهوبة،

ومعروف جداً من نهبها وينهبها وسينهبها غداً ويحكمنا.
الصيغة التوافقية فاشلة وكاذبة ولا اخلاقية. الديموقراطية حفلة زجل وكاسك يا وطن. الاقتصاد في عهدة الحرامية. القضاء حفلة تنكرية تتم فصولها بحضور امرأة قيصر في تمام عهرها. التربية: ديانات وطوائف ورساميل. الاحوال الشخصية مأساة وجريمة ضد الأمومة والطفولة.
أما حب لبنان، فلا يشبهه حب أي شعب لدولته. كل اللبنانيين، يحبون لبنان أخيراً.

حبهم الأول

والثاني والعاشر، هو لغير لبن

النشيد الحقيقي هو “كلنا ضد الوطن” الولاء اللبناني خرقة، ممسحة، كذبة. دماؤنا ليست لنا، بل لغيرنا من دول المحاور القريبة والبعيدة. أما الحكومة، فهي الممثل الشرعي للدول والمحاور المقيمة في لبنان. في ضيافة الطوائف والمذاهب والمحاور.
لذا، القول المأثور، “ما مت… ما شفت مين مات”،

نلفت نظر الوزير باسيل اليه. إياك والشارع، تعاركوا على طاولة مجلس الوزراء، في الوزارات، في المؤسسات، في النفط. في المواصلات وفي كل ما تختلفون فيه وحوله وماله، ولا تخرجوا إلى الشارع.
نفاذ صبر التيار الوطني الحر، طبيعي. لكن نفاذ صبر اللبنانيين سابق على “التيار”، وتشكيلة السلطة المتوارثة.

لا يحاولن أحد أن يقذفنا، بأنه كان يجهل خصمه وغريمه وعدوه وصديقه. كل هذه التركيبة معروفة، ومجربة ومبهدلة. الفارق الوحيد، أن “التيار” الشريك سابقاً لكل هذه القوى المتغالبة والمتنافسة في تجارة السلطة، قد بات هو “الأقوى”، ورئيسه “قوي” ومع ذلك، فإن الامور ساءت ووصل لبنان إلى الهاوية.

“فحساب الحقل، ليس كحساب البيدر”. فشلت السياسات كلها. والسبب، أن الملح فاسد. إن اعمدة السلطة متداعية. أن الطوائف لا تتوقف عن الارتكاب. لا نعرف احداً من اصحاب الايادي البيض في الطوائف. الاستثناء الآدمي، نادر جداً، وضعيف جداً، وتجوز الحسرة عليه. أما المؤسسات المذهبية، فلا حول ولا قوة ولا… يا الله، هل هذه المؤسسات تخصك او تنتمي اليك؟
يحدث كل هذا “الدبيك” (من دبكة) وسقف السلطة مفخوت، وصندوق المال منهوب، واللبنانيون خائفون على قوتهم وخبزهم وجنى عمرهم. اما الشباب، فقد عرف الامثولة باكراً. سلك طريق الهجرة بعدما أصبح العاطل عن العمل بائساً من ايجاد أي عمل.

عندما يئس المسيح، قال: “هوذا بيتكم يترك لكم خراباً”.
ومن أعماق يأسنا نقول:” هوذا بلدكم يترك لكم خراباً”.
وعليه، فإن اللجوء إلى الشارع يعجل بجعل الخراب مكان اقامة للبؤساء اللبنانيين. أما اصحاب الملايين، فلهم الجنات الضريبية.

لقد أنفقنا كل الآمال في مئة عام. حتى الشارع، الذي هو ملك الناس الغلابى، قد خلا، الا من قلة.
سؤال: متى يحتل الغلابى اللاطائفيون الشارع؟ لهؤلاء وحدهم ضمانة أن يكون الشارع يشبههم. هذا الشارع بانتظاركم أنتم، فمتى تجعلونه مكان اقامتكم؟

Worst battles between the Christian forces: The army and the Lebanese Forces militia

Testimonials of the civil war in Lebanon

Support movement for General Michel Aoun, currently elected as President of the Republic

The issue of the daily Al Balab, May 9, 2005

This is the story of a girl who was 13 years old when the movement of General Aoun started after being appointed Prime Minister in interim, after President Amin Gemayel tenure ended without the election of a President in 1988.

All the Muslim Sunni sect leaders, pressured by Syria, refused to form governments. Aoun had to form his own government with the military.

She used to participate in the demonstrations in support of Aoun liberation stand against the occupation of the Syrian forces, and joined her schoolmates visiting the Presidential Palace in Baabda. She also drove there accompanied by her aunt and grand dad.

The Dekwani area where she lived was under the control of the “Lebanese Forces”, which was at the time still allied with the Lebanese army.

She once wrote a poem to General Michel Aoun and drew the Statue of Liberty replacing the territory of Lebanon where the torch stands.

Later, when the Lebanese army faced the trespasses of the “Lebanese Forces” on Red Lines that separated the  militia forces, and the refusal to evict the port of Beirut, people were forced to take refuge in basements.

The children were separated from adults who needed silence to listen to the radios.  The trapped citizens would go three days without food.  The main ingredient was lemon because it killed the appetite and boxes of Panadol for headaches.

The girl’s grand dad cooked on a blue alcohol flame which took forever for the cooked food to be ready.

General Aoun gave up the fight as the Syrian air force bombed the presidential Palace on October 13, 1990.

The citizens heard the General voice on the radio telling them the situation so that ”we save and keep whatever is left in Lebanon”.  People wept and started burning the General’s cassettes and pictures for fear that the Syrian might indict them.

After October 13, the girl resumed her studies at the all girl school in Fanar where the Syrian troops installed one of their headquarters.  The girls would not go out to play, especially when rumors spread of mass graves in Beit Mery and Deir Kalaa.

The Syrian soldiers used to walk the playgrounds while the students kept to their classes and they celebrated the remembrance of the independence at Independence Day.

The students began throwing leaflets opposing the Syrian occupation from school buses windows when passing Syrian check points; the consequence was shutting all school buses windows during the whole trip home.

The supporters of the General had a code car honking and poster were plastered stating “The General will return” from exile in France.

Note 1: I had returned to the US resume my PhD program. My parents told me peace has come and you decided to leave again? A month later, the worst battles were engaged between the Lebanese Forces and the army under General Aoun. I had to rely on the Red Cross to get any news of the safety of my parents who had to keep to the lower floor for over 4 months and stacking bags of soil on entrances and windows.

Note 2: The Syrian forces remained in Lebanon until 2005, after the assassination of ex-Rafic Hariri PM

Testimonials of a civil war:

The case of Zeinab Shaaban Naanuh . Posted in 2008

Note: civil war in Lebanon (1975-1991)

The issue of the daily Al Balad, April 17, 2005

Zinab Sheaban Naanuh is from the Shia Muslim sect and in her fifty now.  Zinab had to relocate 7 times with her four children, without the assistance of her husband.

When she was living in Ras Dekwani in East Beirut, close to the Palestinian refugees’ camp of Tel Zaatar.

Water was the priciest commodity during the war.

People had to walk far to the only well available because all water lines were destroyed or cut off.

In every sortie for fetching water, 3 out of 10 volunteers died during the trip to the well. 

Then the Christian militias polluted the well by dumping dead bodies.

Zinab new born child almost died of dehydration and she had to leave all her children and tempt death to the well.

Her husband Abu Nasser sold cigarettes, but they lived the good life before the war. Her husband had to travel to Russia for a stomach surgery and Zinab did not see him for the duration of the war.

She remembers the Black Saturday massacre as the Christian militias slaughtered all of Beirut port workers using machetes, daggers, and bullets, while her husband was isolated in West Beirut for two weeks.

One day, a butcher sold her half of a whole mutton for two cigarettes.  Zinab never patronized any shelter for the duration of the war because of the serious diseases contracted in these infected places and opted instead to taking her chances.

Zinab twice gave birth during heavy shelling while having to cater for her children all alone.

Once, a rocket entered her living room but did not explode. After cleaning the house she carried the rocket outside the building where expert people detonated it and the Captain admonished her for this foolishness.

After the fall of Tal Zaatar, Zinab experienced her worst nightmares during her exit from Dekwani to West Beirut.   The Christian militias exterminated the Palestinian males and left only one male to each mother and carried away the rest to their death.

One method the militia used to carry out this mass killing plan was to deliver sleeping pills under the guise of aspirin to the refugees and to retrieve the males sentenced to death while people were sleeping.

A taxi driver charged Zinab $100 to take her out of this mad place.

Zinab was an eyewitness to the impalements of people: two jeeps would attach the limbs of a person then drive away in different directions.


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.

Highway thieving in Lebanon: The militia/mafia “leaders” of an anomie system

The definition of an anomie system is that almost every deputy in the Parliament and politicians who served for many years end up owning at least one major basic business in the country. Every dollar spent by the citizens enrich their election reserves and staying power.

لصوص من بلادي !!!

طرابلس عاصمة لبنان الثانية تتحول الى أفقر مدينة على حوض البحر المتوسط ، لأن المسؤول فيها ، إما رأسمالي ، أو تابع لا قرار له ، أو جبان متخاذل ، أو مخدّر ومنفصل عن الواقع !

قانون إنتخابي يُفصّل على مقاس شخصٍ ، كي يفوز في الإنتخابات التي أنفق فيها السياسيون مئات ملايين الدولارات لشراء ذمم المهمشين والمدجّنين ، بحفنةٍ من الليرات ، والكثير من الأكاذيب !

– جبال لبنان الخضراء هُشّمت ، كي يملأ المسؤولون جيوبهم بالمال من شركائهم في صفقات المرامل والكسارات !3,000of them

– النفايات تملأ شوارع لبنان ، كي تضاعف النفاياتُ السياسية أرصدتها في البنوك ، بالمال النظيف المتأتي من صفقات الزبالة والمحارق والمطامر !

– العتمة أعمت قلوب اللبنانيين ، كي يحصل المسؤولون على حصصهم المالية من مافيات مولدات الكهرباء وشركات إستيراد النفط وسُفن توليد الطاقة الكهربائية !

– منطقة واحدة من لبنان ، تنعم بالكهرباء مجاناً 24 /24 ، بينما يغرق بقية اللبنانيين في الظلمة ، بسبب فساد وجشع قسمٍ من السياسيين ، وخبث ودهاء قسمٍ آخر ، وغباء وجُبن قسمٍ ثالث !

الشواطىء الرملية التي هي مُلك لكل اللبنانيين ، تُمنح هدايا سخيّة لأزلام وزبانية المسؤولين ، كي يستثمروها ويتقاسموا أرباحها !

كازينو لبنان الذي هو منجم ذهب ، يتحول الى “مغارة علي بابا” ، حيث توزع أرباحه حصصاً وغنائم ورواتب خيالية ، على أفراد العصابة وكل الحرامية!

طرقات لبنان محفّرة ومظلمة ومختنقة بزحمة سير أزلية أبدية ، والمشاريع الإنمائية مكدّسة في الأدراج ، لا تخرج منها ، إلا إذا ضمِن أصحاب الكروش من المسؤولين ، نصيبهم من صفقاتها التي يتمّ أغلبها بالتراضي !

البنوك تمارس الضغوط على المصرف المركزي ، كي تتهرب من دفع الضرائب ، وكي تراكم ارباحها التي تصل الى أرقام ضوئية !
— الجامعة اللبنانية تتحول الى دكانٍ طائفي للتوظيف ، يحشو فيه المسؤولون أزلامهم وأتباعهم !

وزارات ومؤسسات وإدارات رسمية تصبح ملكاً لزعماء الطوائف ومرتزقتهم الذين يحولونها الى أوكار وأسواق لإجراء الصفقات والسمسرات وكل انواع ” البيزنيس” !

– مليارات الليرات تذهب سنوياً الى ورثةِ رؤوساء جمهورية ورؤوساء حكومة ونواب سابقين يشكلون العصب الرئيسي للإقطاع العائلي والإقتصادي والسياسي في هذا البلد المنهوب !

– مليارات الليرات تهدرها خزينة الدولة سنوياً ، على إستئجار مبانٍ حكومية وجامعية ، من أجل تنفيع الأقربين والأبعدين من المحظوظين المحسوبين على المسؤولين !

– مليارات الليرات تذهب الى جيوب المسؤولين وزوجاتهم ، تحت مسمّى مقنّع هو “جمعيات خيرية وإنسانية” !

– أراضٍ ومشاعات تتحول بصكوك قانونية ، الى ملكيةٍ خاصة للمسؤولين وأبنائهم !

قضاة يعاقبون ويعفون ، يدينون ويبرّئون ، بناء على رغبةِ ومشيئةِ ومصلحةِ مُعلّميهم السياسيين !
ضباط فاسدون ومرتشون يصبحون من أصحاب الملايين !

الجنسية اللبنانية تُعرض في المزاد العلني لمَن يدفع أكثر من اصحاب السوابق والفاسدين والمجرمين ، وتُمنع عن مستحقينها !

– وزير يشتري فيللا بأسبانيا بملايين الدولارات !

– مسؤول يستفيد من قروض سكنية بملايين الدولارات ، كانت مخصصةً لأصحاب الدخل المحدود من أفراد شعب لبنان العنيد !
– موظفون في الإدارات العامة يتقاضون رواتب شهرية ، دون ان يذهبوا الى اماكن أعمالهم !

– موظف صغير في “أوجيرو” يحصل على مبلغ 31 مليون ليرة في شهر واحد !

– متسلطون يسرقون وينهبون ويشتمون بعضهم على مواقع التواصل الإجتماعي ، ويأججون النعرات الطائفية لنيل غنائمهم من البقرة الحلوب ، ثم يستدعون الى التحقيق مواطناً مخنوقاً ، لأنه كتب من قلبٍ مجروح ، نقداً لهم على صفحته الخاصة !

– شعب جائع وعاطل من العمل ويائس ومحبط ويحلم بالحصول على فيزا من سفارة أجنبية ، فيما المهرجانات الفنية تجتاح الوطن من جنوبه الى شماله !

وكل هذا الفساد والخراب والنهب والهبش والنتش واللطش والهدر والسرقة والبلطجة التي تصادر أموال خزينة الدولة وتقلص مداخيلها .. ليس سوى رأس جبل الجليد ..

لأن ما خفي كان أعظم بكثير ، ولا يكشفه لنا سوى النكايات والمهاترات والحرتقات بين السياسيين اللصوص انفسهم الذين حوّلوا الوطن الى “شركة مساهمة” تقدم لزبائنها خدماتٍ وسِلعاً بأسعارٍ هي الأغلى في المنطقة والعالم : أغلى فاتورة كهرباء ، ماء ، هاتف ، إنترنيت ، بنزين ، إستشفاء ، دواء … !!!!

لبنان هو البلد الذي يسير فيه فسادُ السلطة الحاكمة عارياً ، دون قفازات ، دون أقنعة ، دون حياء .. وهو البلد الذي يُعبد فيه الزعيمُ الطائفي الذي يغفر له قطيعُه المدجّن ، كل جرائمه وخطاياه ، ويتمنون له دوام الصحة وطول العمر ، كي يظل داعساً على رؤوسهم طول العمر!!!!!!!!

How the war broke out in Syria: The day before the city of Deraa upheaval

Steven Sahiounie began writing political analysis and commentary during the Syrian war that began in March 2011. He has published several articles, and has been affiliated with numerous media. He has been interviewed by US, Canadian and German media.

The day before September 11, 2001 was like any normal day in New York City.  September 10, 2001 was unaware of the earthshaking events which would happen the next day.

Similarly, one might think the day before the violence broke out in Deraa, Syria in March 2011 would have been an uneventful day, unaware of the uprising about to begin.

But, that was not the case.  Deraa was teaming with activity and foreign visitors to Syria well before the staged uprising began its opening act.

The Omari Mosque was the scene of backstage preparations, costume changes and rehearsals.

The Libyan terrorists, fresh from the battlefield of the US-NATO  regime change  attack on Libya, were in Deraa well ahead of the March 2011 uprising violence.

The cleric of the Omari Mosque was Sheikh Ahmad al Sayasneh . He was an older man with a severe eye problem, which caused him to wear special dark glasses, and severely hampered his vision.  He was not only visually impaired, but light sensitive as well, which caused him to be indoors as much as possible and often isolated.

He was accustomed to judging the people he talked with by their accent and voice. The Deraa accent is distinctive.  All of the men attending the Omari Mosque were local men, all with the common Deraa accent.

However, the visitors from Libya did not make themselves known to the cleric, as that would blow their cover.  Instead, they worked with local men; a few key players who they worked to make their partners and confidants.

The participation of local Muslim Brotherhood followers, who would assist the foreign Libyan mercenaries/terrorists, was an essential part of the CIA plan, which was well scripted and directed from Jordan. (Thus, these Libyan terrorists were whisked inside through he Jordanian borders?)

Enlisting the aid and cooperation of local followers of Salafism allowed the Libyans to move in Deraa without attracting any suspicion.   The local men were the ‘front’ for the operation.

Ghada El Yafi shared this link. August 17 at 6:18am ·

I did not have any proof, but I was one of those that pretended since 2011 that the Deraa story about children’s torture was a created film in order to create a revolution in Syria, the state that was against the recognition of Israel, in spite of all the american “carrots”: either the one who practiced torture has been very well paid for that, either the whole story was untrue but well prepared to look like truth.

Earlier, the preparation of the cedar revolution in Lebanon was easier because of Hariri’s assassination, ( I still believe, that Hariri’s assassination happened to achieve the “New Middle East” map project).

Every day brings to us more new proves that we are thinking right.
Unfortunately, it is always difficult for people to change their mind, even in front of truth.

The CIA agents running the Deraa operation from their office in Jordan had already provided the weapons and cash needed to fuel the flames of revolution in Syria.   With enough money and weapons, you can start a revolution anywhere in the world.

In reality, the uprising in Deraa in March 2011 was not fueled by graffiti written by teenagers, and there were no disgruntled parents demanding their children to be freed.

This was part of the Hollywood style script written by skilled CIA agents, who had been given a mission: to destroy Syria for the purpose of regime change. (Supporting Hezbollah and providing it with necessary weapons to fight Israel)  Deraa was only Act 1: Scene 1.

The fact that those so-called teenaged graffiti artists and their parents have never been found, never named, and never pictured is the first clue that their identity is cloaked in darkness.

In any uprising there needs to be grassroots support.

Usually, there is a situation which arises, and protesters take to the streets.  The security teams step in to keep the peace and clear the streets and if there is a ‘brutal crackdown’ the otherwise ‘peaceful protesters’ will react with indignation, and feeling oppressed and wronged, the numbers in the streets will swell.

This is the point where the street protests can take two directions: the protesters will back down and go home, or the protesters can react with violence, which then will be met with violence from the security teams, and this sets the stage for a full blown uprising.

The staged uprising in Deraa had some locals in the street who were unaware of their participation in a CIA-Hollywood production.

They were the unpaid extras in the scene about to be shot.  These unaware extras had grievances, perhaps  lasting a generation or more, and perhaps rooted in Wahhabism, which is a political ideology exported globally by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Royal family and their paid officials.

The Libyans stockpiled weapons at the Omari Mosque well before any rumor spread about teenagers arrested for graffiti.  The cleric, visually impaired and elderly, was unaware of the situation inside his Mosque, or of the foreign infiltrators in his midst.

The weapons came into Deraa from the CIA office in Jordan.  The US government has close ties to the King of Jordan (From its inception by the British).

Jordan is 98% Palestinian, and yet has a long lasting peace treaty with Israel, despite the fact that 5 million of the Jordanian citizen’s relatives next door in Occupied Palestine are denied any form of human rights.

The King of Jordan has to do a daily high-wire balancing act between his citizens, the peace and safety in his country and America’s interests and projects in the Middle East.

King Abdullah is not only a tight-rope walker, but a juggler at the same time, and all of this pressure on him must be enormous for him, and Queen Rania, who is herself Palestinian.

These facts must be viewed in the forefront of the background painted scenery of The Syrian Arab Republic, which has for the last 40 years had a cornerstone of domestic and foreign policy carved and set in the principle of Palestinian human rights and Palestinian freedom and justice.

The US policy to attack Syria for the purpose of regime change was not just about the gas lines, the oil wells, the strategic location and the gold: but it was about crushing that cornerstone of Palestinian rights into dust.  To get rid of President Bashar al Assad was to get rid of one of the few Arab leaders who are an unwavering voice of Palestinian rights.

Deraa’s location directly on the Jordanian border is the sole reason it was picked for the location-shoot of the opening act of the Syrian uprising.    If you were to ask most Syrians, if they had ever been to Derra, or ever plan to go, they will answer, “No.”

It is a small and insignificant agricultural town.  It is a very unlikely place to begin a nationwide revolution.  Deraa has a historical importance because of archeological ruins, but that is lost on anyone other than history professors or archaeologists.

(And starting a revolution from the Turkish border would have failed: The Syrians never forgot that Turkey has occupied and, is occupying, 0ne third of its territories during the French mandate over Syria and Lebanon from 1920 to 1940)

The access to the weapons from Jordan made Deraa the perfect place to stage the uprising which has turned into an international war.  Any person with common sense would assume an uprising or revolution in Syria would begin in Damascus or Aleppo, the two biggest cities.

Even after 2 ½ years of violence around the country, Aleppo’s population never participated in the uprising, or call for regime change.

Aleppo: the large industrial powerhouse of Syria wanted nothing to do with the CIA mission, and felt that by staying clear of any participation they could be spared and eventually the violence would die out, a natural death due to lack of participation of the civilians.

However, this was not to play out for Aleppo.  Instead, the US supported Free Syrian Army, who were mainly from Idlib and the surrounding areas, invited in their foreign partners, and they came pouring into Aleppo from Turkey, where they had taken Turkish Airlines flights from Afghanistan, Europe, Australia and North Africa landing in Istanbul, and then transported by buses owned by the Turkish government to the Turkey-Aleppo border.

The airline tickets, buses, paychecks, supplies, food, and medical needs were all supplied in Turkey by an official from Saudi Arabia.

The weapons were all supplied by the United States of America, from their warehouse at the dock of Benghazi, Libya.

The US-NATO regime change mission had ended in success in Libya, with America having taken possession of all the weapons and stockpiles formerly the property of the Libyan government, including tons of gold bullion taken by the US government from the Central Bank of Libya.

Enter the Libyans stage right. Mehdi al Harati, the Libyan with an Irish passport, was put in charge of a Brigade of terrorists working under the pay and direction of the CIA in Libya.  Once his fighting subsided there, he was moved to Northern Syria, in the Idlib area, which was the base of operation for the American backed Free Syrian Army, who Republican Senator John McCain lobbied for in the US Congress, and personally visited, illegally entering Syria without any passport or border controls.

In Arizona, Sen. McCain is in favor of deporting any illegal alien entering USA, but he himself broke international law by entering Syria as an illegal and undocumented alien.  However, he was in the company of trusted friends and associates, the Free Syrian Army: the same men who beheaded Christians and Muslims, raped females and children of both sexes, sold girls as sex slaves in Turkey, and ate the raw liver of a man, which they  proudly videoed and uploaded.

Previously, Syria did not have any Al Qaeda terrorists, and had passed through the war in neighboring Iraq none the worse for wear, except having accepted 2 million Iraqis as refugee guests.

Shortly before the Deraa staged uprising began, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were in Damascus and being driven around by the President and First Lady. Pitt and Jolie had come to visit and support the Iraqi war refugees in Damascus.  Brad Pitt was amazed that the Syrian President would drive him around personally, and without any body guards or security detail.

Pitt and Jolie were used to their own heavy security team in USA.  Pres. Assad explained that he and his wife were comfortable in Damascus, knowing that it was a safe place.  Indeed, the association of French travel agents had deemed Syria as the safest tourist destination in the entire Mediterranean region, meaning even safer than France itself.

However, the US strategy was to create a “New Middle East”, which would do away with safety in Syria; through the ensuing tornado, aka ‘winds of change’.

Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and then Syria were the stepping stones in the garden of the “Arab Spring”.  But, the scenario in the Syrian mission did not stay on script.   It went over deadline and over budget.  The final credits have yet to be rolled, and the curtain has yet to fall on the stage.

We can’t under estimate the role that mainstream media had to play in the destruction of Syria.  (The media are owned by multinationals obeying to the US policies, including those owned by Saudi Kingdom and Gulf Emirates)

For example, Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin was in Deraa and personally interviewed the cleric Sayasneh at the Omari Mosque.   Al Jazeera is the state owned and operated media for the Prince of Qatar.  The Prince of Qatar was one of the key funders of the terrorists attacking Syria.

The USA was sending the weapons, supplies and providing military satellite imagery, however the cash to make payroll, to pay out bribes in Turkey, and all other expenses which needed cold cash in hand was being paid out by the Prince of Qatar and the King of Saudi Arabia, who were playing their roles as closest Middle East allies of the United States of America.  (Actually, the Sovereign Saudi fund is run by the USA)

This was a production team between USA, EU, NATO, Turkey, Jordan, Israel and the Persian Gulf Arab monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar primarily.

The CIA has no problem with covert operations in foreign countries, and even full scale attacks, but the matter of funding needs to come from a foreign country, because the American voters don’t care about killing people in Syria, but they would never agree to pay for it.

As long as the Arabs were paying for the project, that was OK by Mr. John Q. Public, who probably was not able to find Syria on a map anyway.

Rula Amin and others of the Al Jazeera staff, and including the American CNN, the British BBC and the French France24 all began deliberate political propaganda campaign against the Syrian government and the Syrian people who were suffering from the death and destruction brought on by the terrorists who were pretending to be players in a local uprising.

Some days, the scripts were so similar that you would have guessed they were all written in the same hotel room in Beirut.

Onto the stage stepped the online media personalities of Robert Fisk, from his vantage point in Beirut and Joshua Landis from his perch in Oklahoma.  These 2 men, sitting so far removed from the actual events, pretended to know everything going on in Syria.

British and American readers were swayed by their deliberate one-sided explanations, while the actual Syrians living inside Syria, who read in English online, were baffled.

Syrians were wondering how Western writers could take the side of the terrorists who were foreigners, following Radical Islam and attacking any unarmed civilian who tried to defend their home and family. The media was portraying the terrorists as freedom fighters and heroes of democracy, while they were raping, looting, maiming, kidnapping for ransom and murdering unarmed civilians who had not read the script before the shooting began in Deraa.

There was one global movie trailer, and it was a low budget cell phone video which went viral around the world, and it sold the viewers on the idea of Syria being in the beginning of a dramatic fight for freedom, justice and the American way.   From the very beginning, Al Jazeera and all the rest of the media were paying $100.00 to any amateur video shot in Syria.

A whole new cottage industry sprang up in Syria, with directors and actors all hungry for the spotlight and fame.  Authenticity was not questioned; the media just wanted content which supported their propaganda campaign in Syria.

Deraa was the opening act of tragic epic which has yet to conclude.

The cleric who was a key character in the beginning scenes, Sheikh Sayasneh, was first put under house arrest, and then he was smuggled out to Amman, Jordan in January 2012.  He now gives lectures in America near Washington, DC. Just like aspiring actors usually find their way to Hollywood, which is the Mecca of the film industry, Sheikh Sayasneh found his way to the Mecca of all regime change projects.

Revoke the censorship ban of “In this land lay graves of mine”

In June 2015, Lebanese filmmaker Reine Mitri was notified by the General Security Directorate that her documentary film “In this land lay graves of mine” is banned from screening in cinemas, upon the decision of the Minister of Interior based on a recommendation by the Censorship Committee whose head Andre Kassas declared that the film provokes sectarian strife.

The film tackles the subject of forced displacements and massacres that happened during the civil war, through the testimonies of people from different communities who experienced them and through archive photos.

The film shows how fear is still perpetuated between communities through what is called “cadastral war”.

Banning this film represents the State’s intention and ways in continuing to obliterate the memory of the war and its victims by imposing a censorship system based on a loose and subjective law (dated 1947) allowing the individuals and institutions that protect the sectarian system to interpret it according to their own criteria and the necessities of protecting the regime, acting as if people are minor and need someone to decide for them.

These State policies forbid any constructive debate among citizens and prevent openness aimed at true reconciliation that prevents sectarian strife and civil war.

Facing the insistence of the Censorship Committee and the Minister of Interior on the decision to ban the film, Reine Mitri appealed the decision through a lawsuit in front of the Council of State (in 10/26/2015) asking the Council of State to revoke the ban decision.

In defense of freedom of expression and the duty of memory, you may sign this petition addressed to the Lebanese State (a copy of which will be deposited at the various ministries represented in the Censorship Committee and the General Security).

Note: Civil wars that ends with NO victors is a hotbed preparing for another war





February 2023

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