Adonis Diaries

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Highest positions in Lebanon were Not monopoly to any religious sect, during mandated France from 1919 to 1943. Though it is France that instituted sectarian division in Lebanon.

Anwar Aboulhosn posted on Fb 
الاستعمار الداخلي
ليس لائقا أن يمر هذا اليوم مرور الكرام ففي مثله من عام ١٩٩٢ أنعم الله على الوطن والأمة بشارلمان لبنان الأستاذ نبيه بري كما تكّرم علينا بمنظومة سياسية كجبل لا تهزه ريح .
اللافت انه منذ نهاية الإستعمار الفرنسي وبدل أن نتحرر ونبني دولة نموذجية لجأنا لإستعمار أنفسنا طائفيا ومذهبيا في عهد الاستعمار كان الرئيس الأول لمجلس النواب اللبناني المرحوم داوود عمون عام ١٩٢٢ وتلاه نعوم لبكي وشارل دباس وخالد شهاب ومحمد الجسر من مختلف الطوائف الكريمة حتى بعد الاستقلال كان اول رئيس مجلس نواب حبيب ابو شهلا حتى ١٩٤٧ وبعد الاستقلال عادت حليمة وتكرست المذهبية أكثر وخاصة مع السيطرة السورية وعام ٩٢ مع
انتخاب رجل الدولة المحترم حسين الحسيني رئيسا للمجلس استقال من رئاسة حركة أمل وقال ( لا يجوز أن يكون رئيس مجلس نواب يمثل كل الشعب رئيسا لفئة من الشعب) وخلفه بالحركة الأستاذ عاكف حيدر وإثر تباين مع السوريين تم اختيار نبيه بري بعد خدمات للأشقاء ولم يزل الأفضل
.ان ما كتبته عن مجلس النواب ينطبق على رئاسة الجمهورية والحكومات حيث تناوب من عام ١٩٢٦ شارل دباس وغيره كبترو طراد والفرد نقاش وايوب ثابت وصولا لإميل اده وليسوا جميعا من الطائفة المارونية الكريمة، والكلام عينه ينطبق على الحكومات بدءا ببشارة الخوري مرورا بالفرد نقاش و الأحدب ولم تصبح حكرا على الطائفة السنية الكريمة إلا بعد أن تحررنا من الاستعمار مع رياض الصلح
ولعشرات السنين ما زلنا نرزخ تحت حكم مستعمري الداخل من أعلى السلّم لأسفله حتى وزراء ونواب سئمنا و( زهقنا ) منهم صوت وصورة منذ ٤٠ عام.
أيها الأصدقاء أن النضال من الداخل ضمن هذه المنظومة السياسية هي نكتة لأن هذا النوع من النضال هو ديمقراطي ونتيجته الخائبة محسومة أي نضال واذا اتفق ٤ رؤوس فقط ينهون النضال
.فخامة الرئيس ٢٧ و الثنائي مع توابعهم حوالي ٤٠ والشيخ سعد ٢٠ومجموع ٨٧ من ١٢٠ فمرحبا بهيك معارضة .والاجدى بهم أن يعودوا للشعب وإيقاف معزوفة كلهن ونصهن وربعهن حيث لم يشهد التاريخ انتفاضة أو ثورة ضد نص السلطة أو ربعها وبعدها يعيد الشعب الشرفاء منهم ونحن لا ننكر وجود العديد من الشرفاء ونظيفي الكف والأوادم في هذه المنظومة ولكن مكانهم
مع الشعب وليس مع هذه الطبقة السياسية الفاسدة والفاشلة .واخيرا لقد أثبت معظم شعب لبنان رغم التضييق والكورونا في ذكرى ١٧ تشرين انه ما زال توّاقا للتغيير وعلى الثورة وكوادرها أن تكون على مستوى آمال الشعب لأن منظومة اليوم تحمل بذور نهايتها الحتمية .

A few sayings of Malcolm X

You grab freedom, equality and justice. Do Not wait to be given your basic rights.

The Black Panthers tried to apply a few of Malcolm X teaching with various successes, especially communicating the Black rights abroad, as a few of their leaders exiled themselves to flee persecution and oppression in the US.

Black Panthers were making serious inroads in US politics until a devious tactics of counter-intelligence managed to split this party.

Running for municipal election in Oakland (California) in 1970 was the most serious decision to try to get involved in US political process and challenge the system from the inside.

Malcolm X in my view is the most honest enlightened and steadfast revolutionary in US history and was ready to change his opinions and positions as activities and facts revealed a different stories to what he previously believed in.

He separated from the Muslim Farrakhan movement and connected with Martin Luther King to adapt to ways of winning further rights to the Black communities.

readwiththegringa.com

Autobiography of Malcolm X, Chpt 3, Pt 7

Malcolm’s perspective of US race history.

Malcolm’s perspective of US race history.
@gringaofbarrio #books #education #gringa #history #malcolm #racism #reading #schoolreadwiththegringa.com

Autobiography of Malcolm X, Chpt 4, Pt 3

Malcolm had an interesting life.

Malcolm had an interesting life.

readwiththegringa.com

Autobiography of Malcolm X, Chpt 3, Pt 8

readwiththegringa.com

Autobiography of Malcolm X, Chpt 3, Pt 6

Learn the truth about America’s complex race history.

readwiththegringa.com

Autobiography of Malcolm X, Chpt 3, Pt 3

History thru Malcolm’s eyes.

readwiththegringa.com

Autobiography of Malcolm X, Chpt 2, Pt 2

The life of Malcolm X in his own words.

readwiththegringa.com

Autobiography of Malcolm X, Chpt 4, Pt 2

American history direct from Malcolm.

readwiththegringa.com

Autobiography of Malcolm X, Chpt 2, Pt 5

America’s race history is complex.

America’s race history is complex. @gringaofbarrio #books #education #school #history #malcolmx #civilrights #racism #equality #gringabookseducationschoolhistorymalcolm xcivil rightsracismequalitygringa

Water is everywhere. A potato is 80% water, a cow 74%, a bacterium 75%, a tomato at 95%, and human 65%.

Most liquid when chilled contract 10% but water only 1%, and just before freezing it expands.

Solid water is 10% more voluminous, a property which allow ice to float. Otherwise, ice would sink and oceans would freeze from the bottom.

Without surface ice to hold heat in, the water warmth would radiate away and thus creating more ice and soon oceans would freeze.

Water is defying the rules of chemistry and law of physics.

The hydrogen atoms cling fiercely to their oxygen host, but also make casual bonds with other water molecules, thus changing partners billions of times in a second.

Thus, water molecules stick together and can be siphoned without breaking, but not so tightly so that you may dive into a pool.

Surface water molecules are attracted more powerfully to the like molecule beneath and beside them than to the air molecule above, so that it creates a sort of membrane that supports insects.

All but the smallest fraction of the water on Earth is poisonous to us because of the salts within it.

Uncannily, the proportions of the various salts in our body are similar to those in sea water. We do cry sea water, and we sweat sea water but we cannot tolerate sea water as an input!

Salt in the body provoke a crisis because from every cell, water molecules rush off to dilute and carry off the sudden intake of salt.

The oceans have achieved their present volume of 1.3 billion cubic kilometer of water and it is a closed system.

The Pacific holds 52% of the 97% of all the water on Earth.  The remaining 3% of fresh water exist as ice sheet; Antarctica holds 90% of the planet’s ice, standing on over 2 miles of ice.

If Antarctica is to completely melt, the ocean would rise about 70 meters.

Note: Most of current preemptive wars are caused by lack of fresh water, or denying States from fresh water by building gigantic dams, and drilling of oil/gas reserves.

Many people in the third world die from Not finding quality fresh water that are Not polluted.

Tidbits #75

Most experts agree that temperature checks are a form of theater, a performance intended to put our minds at ease. But the theater is partially the point. When someone steps into a restaurant or hotel, they’re still taking a risk. These thermometers help to remind all of us to continue taking the pandemic seriously.

Never dig deeper in to your origine: Every community that survived had participated in a massacre. La takol asli wa fasli abadan, ennama aslou al fata ma yassalahou.

Des aéroports commencent à tester le « passeport COVID » qui indiquera si une personne a été vaccinée avant le voyage — Les Maîtres du Monde — Sott.net. So travel for me is out of the question: I refuse to be vaccinated for Covid. Though I get the flu vaccine every year

The conventional-minded say that they don’t want to shut down the discussion of all ideas, just the bad ones. There are two reasons why we need to be able to discuss even “bad” ideas.

  1. The first is that any process for deciding which ideas to ban is bound to make mistakes. ...
  2. The second reason it’s dangerous to ban the discussion of ideas is that ideas are more closely related than they look.

More novels were written about the cheating business among couples. The novel is made big by using the moral and ethical standard of a general society as a Filler. The crux of the matter is a local state of mind of the individual. Should he abide by the idiosyncrasies of the community or should he grab the opportunity to experience an all encompassing passion?

La mécanique tranquille des abattoires, tout est blanc et propre, sauf les cris des cochons suspendus par une chaîne: c’ est l’ enfer déguisé’ qui fait peur. Nazi Germany inherited US mechanics.

Natural product Is Not even every citizen’ asset. National debt is every person’s liability, excluding the elite classes.

The 10 biggest Lebanese banks had amassed $180 bn in accounts and they could afford to face any temporary rush on October 17.

By Closing their doors these Lebanese banks on October 18, 2019, it was Not a flawed in judgement: the board members of the banks were following orders from US/Israel to destabilize Lebanon, and they should be investigated and tried in criminal justice.

One day, an astronomer will discover a new star where a Black Hole was supposed to be. And the scientists will find a new job: explaining the process of Black Holes exploding into many stars.

The spirit of humanism of Charles Dickens failed to reach the USA, even today.

Nothing is resolved in the USA about owning sub-machine gun. Why? Because the Constitution allowed the White colonials to own and shout at colored people (Black, Red, and Yellow) who trespass their plantations

Many nations had a civilization of high level of tolerance, until warrior nations, and lately colonial powers, inflicted on them their close-minded and racist Law and Order systems

Avant le péché on était un diamant, et après on est devenu un charbon? Alons, le temps qu’on apprenne ce qu’est le vrai péché qui nous ronge la vie. Il faut apprendre a conqueror les petits péchés pour faire face et confronter le plus vilain des peches. On joue a l’alchimiste: traiter le charbon tout au long de notre vie pour obtenir un petit diamant: Ca vaut-il la peine?

If you are lucky to start the third phase of your life, you better transfer what was a shamble in your head to your body and be proud of it.

Only the governments in Syria and Israel follow the events and a few details in Lebanon. All the other States never cross their mind that Lebanon is a worthy subject matter. Only Lebanon local news media try hard to inflate this croaking animal “nafekh hal Dafda3at”

Hazards of Revolution?

What about planned destabilizing goal by colonial powers?

Note: recall that this article was written 8 years ago. Wish that Cockburn has assimilated the new changes in the region.

Patrick Cockburn London Review of Books Vol. 36 No. 1 · 9 January 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. (Still in effect and recognized by the UN?)

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 Qaddafi – 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.

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 five or six 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 ten 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 it is Not in order to remain militarily in the region)

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 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 nonthreatening ‘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 4 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)

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 three thousand 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.

All this has 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.

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. 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 thirty 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 for opposition movements to develop an experienced national leadership and a political programme.

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.

How a great conversation is like a game of catch

A TED talk. Jul 19, 2016

How a great conversation is like a game of catchideas.ted.com

As a radio host, Celeste Headlee has engaged in her fair share of discussions, and she’s thought a lot about how to bring out the best in a conversational counterpart.

When you play catch, you have to do an equal number of catches and throws, right? It’s not possible to play catch with somebody and throw more than you catch, for the most part.

Because then you’d just be throwing baseballs at them, which is not nice. This is the exact same ratio as a healthy conversation — you’re going to catch as much as you throw.

you’re going to talk 50% and listen 50%, and we don’t generally have that balance in our conversations.

Here’s the best way to start a conversation that you’re worried might end in an argument.

There’s a great study out of Harvard in which researchers discovered that talking about yourself actually activates the same pleasure centers in your brain as sex and cocaine.

That means it’s very pleasurable to us to talk about ourselves and what we like. You could walk away from a conversation like that and feel fantastic about it.

But remember — talking about yourself makes you feel fantastic. So you may have just walked away from a conversation in which you talked about yourself — that was awesome! — and the other person is walking away going, “Good god, that person would not stop talking about themselves.”

It’s a totally different perception, so you’ve got to remember you’re playing catch — find the balance.

How do you go beyond small talk to have a meaningful conversation with somebody?

Not every single conversation that you have is going to be in-depth and serious. And that’s okay! You should relax.

Eventually, while you’re sitting there talking small talk, something’s going to pique your interest, or something’s going to catch their interest, or they’re going to say, “Wait, what did you just say?” Or, “Why is it that way?”

And someone’s going to ask a question, and it’s going to lead you further into deeper subject matter. So it will happen, if there’s something there to talk about. Otherwise, be on your way — let it go.

What about that awkward silence when you don’t know what to say next?

By the time that you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. So by the time you’ve reached an awkward silence, something’s already gone wrong. But it’s not too late!

Very often, an awkward silence comes because either you weren’t listening or they weren’t listening, and therefore, you guys have kind of meandered off-topic to where you’re at the opposite ends of a football field.

The way to fix that is to say, “You know what, I’m sorry, I got totally distracted. Where did we start? Can you help me out here? I was just following a train of thought about Cheetos, and I got totally lost.”

What should you do when it is very clear from body language that the other person is not listening?

End it. Again with the game of catch.

That’s the equivalent of me taking a ball and throwing it over my shoulder instead of to you. Why would you want to keep playing? You have to have an equal partner in a conversation. Otherwise, walk away.

You make the case that all experiences are not equal. Are you saying that empathy is not useful in a conversation?

What should people do instead?

People always push back on this topic. I’m not a psychiatrist or a psychologist, but I believe that most of us are motivated by empathy. You’re with your friend, and you want to say, “Oh, I do understand you, because I’ve been through something similar.”

But the truth is, you haven’t — you haven’t been through something the same.

You maybe have gone through something kind of similar, but the fact of the matter is that you’re a different person from your friend.

So even if it was the exact same experience, even if you both almost went down on the Titanic, the way you experienced that is completely different. And these situations are most likely totally different.

Although it feels to you like you’re reaching out and giving empathy, what’s happening is that you’re talking about yourself again.

So you shouldn’t say, “I know how you feel”?

That’s the worst. You don’t know how they feel. They’re confiding in you, and all they want you to do is listen to them and say, “Wow, that sounds awful. There’s no way for me to understand what you’re going through, but you tell me what you need.”

What do you think is stopping people from having better, more meaningful conversations?

The elephant in the room is obviously polarization, and this is true not just in the United States, but I think Brexit and the migrant crisis in Europe tell us that it’s happening all over the world.

Oftentimes we’ll enter into a conversation, and somebody will say, “I’m voting for Trump in the fall.” Conversation over. You immediately say, “Nothing this person says is something I want to listen to, they have nothing to teach me,” and you end the conversation.

And if the conversation does continue, you’re not actually listening to them.

That’s what is often ending conversations now.

We have stopped talking to people that we disagree with. We basically want to be able to curate and edit our conversations the same way that we curate and edit our social media. If we’re talking to somebody that we don’t want to hear from, we want to unfollow them like we do on Twitter.

The problem with that is that everybody knows something that you don’t. And so if you are stopping all of those conversations and only speaking with people who have similar experiences and opinions, you’re not going to grow, ever, and you won’t change your mind or your opinion.

They used to tell us, don’t talk about religion and politics. The problem today is that everything is religion and politics.

So what’s the best approach to start a conversation that you know might end up in an argument?

First of all, a lot of conversations end in arguments these days. But when I’m sitting down with somebody, especially somebody with whom I absolutely don’t agree, I sit down and I think through, “Okay, what if they’re right?”

Let’s think about what would change, and how my mind would change, if they are right and I am wrong. And as they start to tell me things, as long as they’re not completely made-up facts, I ask myself what it would mean if they’re right. And then I ask them too. I say, “Okay, let’s say you’re right. What does that mean?” And try to get inside what they’re thinking.

For instance, a lot of people ask me how to talk to Donald Trump supporters. It is a great question.

But here’s the thing: there’s an anger there among people — not just people who support Trump, but people who support Bernie Sanders, or the people who voted for Britain to leave the EU.

There is an anger there, and it could be fascinating and engaging and compelling to figure out where that is coming from. That’s not always going to be the case, and there are going to be conversations you have to walk away from.

But if you’re going to have an argument with someone, the best way to do it is with an open mind, assuming that that person can teach you something, and that you’re not there to teach them.

What should you say if you unintentionally offend someone during a conversation?

You say, “I’m really sorry, I did not in any way, shape, or form intend to offend you. I may be inarticulate, but let me try to explain what I thought I was saying, and then you tell me what you think I’m saying, and maybe we can understand one another.” That’s it, that’s all that you say. Be honest.

Is there a quick way to help a friend to stop obsessing about a negative topic?

It’s difficult to address specific situations, since context is so important. In broad strokes, though, people often repeat themselves when they feel as though they haven’t been heard. For example, when we tell our kids something important and they don’t acknowledge that they’ve heard, we’ll keep repeating it until they say, “Okay! I got it, Mom!”

The same things happen often in the workplace.

So, try telling your friend that you think you understand what he or she is saying: “Let me tell you what I’m hearing and you tell me if I’m getting it wrong.”

Then you can offer to brainstorm to find solutions. If he or she’s not open to that, then be honest. Say, “You’re telling me the same things over and over. I can tell you’re very upset, but we can also move forward from here.”

How can you turn a one-way conversation into a dialogue?

You can’t, really. There’s a couple of reasons for a one-way conversation. Sometimes it’s that the person is shy, and in that case, that’s totally fixable, you can draw somebody out, usually by finding out what they like, or self-deprecation is good.

I usually tell a joke or a story about something I’ve done that was really stupid — and I have a wealth of those examples. But if somebody isn’t in the mood to talk, you can’t fix that.

And here’s the thing that people are always surprised that I say: it is totally okay to not have a conversation. Having a real conversation takes energy, and it takes focus, and sometimes you just don’t have that kind of energy to give. That’s totally fine — don’t have the conversation, enjoy the silence.

So if you’re feeling like you really want to have a conversation and the other person isn’t matching that energy, you just need to let them have their time, and find somebody else who is ready.

What about when people really don’t seem to want to listen, but just want to talk about themselves and their experiences?

I’ve found that it’s good to very kindly address this head-on. Say, “It’s so great to hear all that. Can I tell you a little about what I’ve been doing?” Or any version of that.

Don’t assume that person is just trying to dominate the conversation. Give them the benefit of the doubt, because we all talk about ourselves too much. If you try to improve the conversation and they are resistant, then just accept that your conversations with that person will be brief and unsatisfying.

Just like a game of catch, you need two participants who are willing to take turns.

How do you get others to open up as much as you are opening up?

You can’t, really. For instance, when you’re opening up, is it mostly because you’re telling them about your experiences? Are you talking a lot about yourself, and not giving them an opening to talk about themselves?

Are you in any way, shape or form shutting down the conversation? In other words, does that person say, “Oh, you know, I had something similar happen to me the other day, it was really, really interesting,” and you say, “Oh, no, no, no, it wasn’t like that,” and then you go back to what it was you were talking about.

There are a million reasons why the person that you’re talking to may not be opening up. But often, it’s because you’ve shut the door in one way or another. The fact of the matter is it’s probably not them, it’s probably you.

So what if a conversation has run its course? How do you gracefully exit a conversation?

You gracefully exit by saying, “I need to go; it’s been so great to talk to you, and I’ll see you in a couple days.” Or you say, “You know what? I have too much on my mind, I’m really sorry, it’s been great to talk to you, and I’ll see you again in a couple weeks, but I’m going to head back.”

Or — what happens to me, because I have adult ADD all the time — “I can’t keep my mind on this conversation, I am so sorry, it has nothing to do with you, but I’m going to go sit in my office and try to gather my thoughts.” Don’t lie. No white lies! Just be honest, and gracious and nice, not condescending, and just end the conversation.

This is an edited version of a conversation took place at TEDSummit 2017 (see below). Moderated by TED’s Janet Lee, it includes questions from Facebook and from commenters on Celeste’s TED Talk, 10 ways to have a better conversation.

Note: A graduating girl could Not suffer talking to me for a good reason. Once, I started asking her pertinent questions about her thesis and the conversation lasted for hours and we were both very pleased of this quality time.

Is it the less information the better in critical split-second decision cases?

ER of Cook County Hospital (Chicago) on West Harriston Street, close to downtown, was built at the turn of last century.

I was home of the world’s first blood bank, cobalt-beam therapy, surgeons attaching severed fingers, famous trauma center for gangs’ gunshot wounds and injuries…and most famous for the TV series ER, and George Clooney

In the mid 90’s. the ER welcomed 250,000 patients a year, mostly homeless and health non-insured patients…

Smart patients would come the first thing in the morning to the ER and pack a lunch and a dinner.  Long lines crowded the walls of the cavernous corridors…

There were no air-conditioners: During the summer heat waves, the heat index inside the hospital reached 120 degrees. 

An administrator didn’t last 8 seconds in the middle of one of the wards.

There were no private rooms and patients were separated by plywood dividers.

There were no cafeteria or private phones: The single public phone was at the end of the hall.

One bathroom served all that crowd of patients.

There was a single light switch: You wanted to light a room and the entire hospital had to light up…

The big air fans, the radios and TV that patients brought with them (to keep company), the nurses’ bell buzzing non-stop and no free nurses around… rendered the ER a crazy place to treat emergency cases

Asthma cases were numerous: Chicago was the world worst in patients suffering from asthma…

Protocols had to be created to efficiently treat asthma cases, chest pain cases, homeless patients…

About 30 patients a day converged to the ER complaining of chest pains (potential heart attack worries) and there were only 20 beds in two wards for these cases.

It cost $2,000 a night per bed for serious intensive care, and about $1,000 for the lesser care (nurses instead of cardiologists tending to the chest pain patient…)

A third ward was created as observation unit for half a day patients.  

Was there any rational protocol to decide in which ward the chest-pain patient should be allocated to?

It was the attending physician call, and most of the decisions were wrong, except for the most obvious heart attack cases…

In the 70’s, cardiologist Lee Goldman borrowed the statistical rules of a group of mathematicians for telling apart subatomic particles. Goldman fed a computer data of hundreds of files of heart attack cases and crunched the numbers into a “predictive equation” or model.

Four key risk factors emerged as the most critical telltale of a real heart attack case:

1. ECG (the ancient electrocardiogram graph) showing acute ischemia

2. unstable angina pain

3, fluid in the lungs

4. systolic blood pressure under 100…

decision tree was fine-tuned to decide on serious cases. For example:

1. ECG is normal but at least two key risk factors are positive

2. ECG is abnormal with at leat one risk factor positive…

These kinds of decision trees… (The early artificial programs)

The trouble was that physicians insisted on letting discriminating factors muddle their decisions. For example, statistics had shown that “normally” females do not suffer heart attack until old age, and thus a young female might be sent home (and die the same night) more often than middle-aged black or older white males patients…

Brendan Reilly, chairman of the hospital department of Medicine, decided to try Goldman decision tree.  Physicians were to try the tree and their own instincts for a period.  The results were overwhelmingly in favor of the Goldman algorithm…

It turned out that, if the physician was not bombarded with dozens of pieces of intelligence and just followed the decision tree, he was better off in the allocation to ward process…

For example, a nurse should record all the necessary information of the patients (smoker, age, gender, overweight, job stress, physical activities, high blood pressure, blood sugar content, family history for heart attacks, sweating tendencies, prior heart surgeries,…), but the attending physician must receive quickly the results of the 4 key risk factors to decide on…

Basically, the physician could allocate the patient to the proper ward without even seeing the individual and be influenced by extraneous pieces of intelligence that are not serious today, but could be potential hazards later on or even tomorrow…

Mind you that in order to save on medical malpractice suits, physicians and nurses treating a patient must Not send the patient any signals that can be captured as “contempt”, like feeling invisible and insignificant  https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/what-type-of-hated-surgeons-gets-harassed-with-legal-malpractice-suits/

Many factors are potential predictors for heart attack cases, but they are minor today, for quick decisions…

No need to overwhelm with irrelevant information at critical time.  Analytic reasoning and snap judgment are neither good or bad: Either method is bad at the inappropriate circumstances.

In the “battle field” the less the information coming in, the less the communication streams and the better the rapid cognition decisions of field commanders…

All you need to know is the “forecast” and not the numbers of temperature, wind speed, barometric pressure…

Note: post inspired from a chapter in “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell

Complicating the Class-Divide: New Contractor Bourgeoisie in Lebanon Politics:

Rafik Hariri clan, Najib Mikati, Muhammad Safadi, and Issam Fares…

Note: this article was posted in 2013 and you could comprehend why and how Lebanon was driven to total bankruptcy in 2020.

Before the civil war (1975-1989), Lebanon was ruled and controlled by the “comprador” bourgeoisie class (importing from developed nations and selling to the regional States) and their attached commercial/financial banks who manipulated the feudal/tribal/sectarian structure of Lebanon political.social landscape.

During the civil war, Lebanese immigrated in trove to greener pastures and left the space to the sectarian warlords militias leaders.

The warlord leaders split the country into sectarian cantons, displacing, transferring and remodeling the mixed communities into “cleansing” de facto closed societies.

The muslim Sunnis preferred to migrate to the emerging Arab Gulf Emirates and Saudi Arabia. 

A third of Lebanon workforce migrated there within a decade: from 50,000 in 1970 to over 210,000 in 1980.

Those who struck wealth were in contracting civil work; basically working as subcontractors to Emirs and princes who had the proper connections.

Late Rafik Hariri PM, Najib Mikati PM, finance minister Muhammad Safadi, and vice PM Issam Fares were among these new contractor bourgeois…

The Muslim Shia migrated mostly to west Africa where they joined relatives and struck wealth through adventurous trade deals.

The Christians immigrated to the US and Europe for higher education, and most of them never contemplated to return home to settle. Why?

Most opportunities after the war were allocated to the Muslims, particularly the educated Sunnis who filled the vacant institutions, managed and administered foundations of the new breed of contractors, public civil work, and controlled side institutions attached to the Sunni prime minister

For example, the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR), communication ministry, internal police force in Beirut, internal intelligence gathering section, Solidere, Sukleen, appointing the governor of the Central Bank and the minister of finance…

This new landscape was an immediate result of the Taif Constitution that expanded the political strength of the Prime Minister at the expense of the President of the Republic.

The business-politicians and neoliberal technocrats in the Future movement network of Rafik Hariri constituted a force for neoliberal “reforms” that appeased the US administration as to the financial policy direction of  the State of Lebanon.

The Hariri clan network had three main purposes:

1. Privatizing State-controlled entities by acquiring them for cheap since they had the liquidity and were backed by Saudi Arabia, and

2. Pegging the Lebanese currency to the US dollar in order to incur far more debt than necessary on the government and insuring total control of the financial condition, mainly to blackmail their rival political leaders into  difficult situation that only the Future movement of Hariri can untangle this volatile condition…

(More details in a follow-up article “Applying neoliberal mechanism on Lebanon”)

3. Controlling the city center of Beirut through the chartered company Solidere

For over 2 decades, the Hariri clan were given the financial responsibilities through appointing the governor of the Central Bank, the minister of finance, and controlling the municipality of the Capital Beirut.

After the civil war, Rafik Hariri filled the vacuum of the Sunni leadership, thanks to the total backing of Saudi Arabia, which was the main loan guarantor for the infusion of international lending multinationals.

The Hariri network of clientelism and media empires (TV and dailies) strengthened their electoral votes in the Sunni communities.

The Hariri clan was successful in 3 dimensions:

1. Reaching political offices like Prime minister, ministers, deputies, governors of public institutions…

2. Gaining control of public institutions to further their economic agenda, especially creating and controlling side institutions directly linked and attached to the PM

3. Gathering popular following, particularly among the Sunni community, the Druze and a few Christian parties

Saad Hariri, son of Rafik, monopolized the Sunni political leadership and contributed to the widening rift between Sunnis and Shiaas.

Najib Mikati PM and Muhammad Safadi had to climb a stiff road for claiming a political representation of the Sunni communities.

Particularly, that the Future movement allied with the Sunni conservative and extremist Muslims like Lebanese Muslim Brotherhood, the extremist jihadist wahhabi, the Ahbash, the Jund al Sham, the Jamaa al Islamiyya

In fact, it was the Future party that financed and covered the many “terrorist” activities of these fringe Sunni organizations, such as in the Sirat Donnieh, the Palestinian camp of Ain Bared, the massacre committed in Halba, and lately what is happening in the large town of Ersal, which confronted the army. to spread its security ambrella.

The new neoliberal Contractor class is a level added in class interpretation of Lebanon political structure.

How this new Contractor class acquired its wealth in the billion? (To be followed)

Note: From a chapter by Hannes Baumann in “Lebanon after the Cedar Revolution” by Are Knudsen and Michael Kerr.

Global Crime Syndicate started with the 19th-Century Opium Trade

Precursor To The Global Crime Syndicate: The 19th-Century Opium Trade

By 1839, this criminal operation in drugs had addicted and zombified an estimated 10 million Chinese and set back social and economic conditions in that country by centuries. I

t was one of the better divide-and-conquer strategies ever devised by the global Crime Syndicate.

Opium was prohibited in China, and the Manchu Emperor of China didn’t take the opium infestation laying down. Rather, he moved aggressively by dumping a fortune’s worth of the merchant’s opium into Canton Bay and destroying production facilities.

Sassoon and his posse then successfully lobbied for military intervention.

England sent an expeditionary force from India to intervene, and they ravaged China’s coastline in a series of battles. Eventually, they dictated the terms of a settlement.

The 1842 Treaty of Nanking opened the way for a further explosion in the opium trade, which went on until the Maoist Communists finally eradicated it a century later.

At one point,  it was estimated that at least 30 million Chinese were addicted to opium.

In addition, Britain took the territory of Hong Kong, unilaterally fixed China’s tariffs at a low rate (aka “free trade”) and arranged for the “merchants” in Canton to pocket $3 million as compensation for the loss of their ill-gotten property.

The Sassoon family’s enterprise relocated to Hong Kong, where it expanded into “merchant” banking.

Various opium dealers formed the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. Over time, the bank — today known as HSBC — would extend its reach into the drug fields of the Middle East and Ibero-America.

Throughout the 19th century, British families Matheson, Keswick, Swire, Dent, Inchcape and Baring, and the Jewish families of the Sassoons and Rothschilds controlled China’s drug traffic.

In 1887, the big Sassoon and Rothschild clans merged by marriage. They were by that time operating out of London, where they intermarried with British aristocracy (City of London), were knighted and went on to finance and promote the Bolshevik and Zionist movements and God knows what else.

To the victors go the spoils, and over time the true history of the opium business was whitewashed and obfuscated by these powerful interests.

They have branched off into media control, which today explains the criminal do-not-trust nature of that influence that I document constantly.

Time and time again, you will see these Crime Syndicate scions landing top positions in intelligence and finance. Since the establishment of Zionist Israel, it has morphed into new manifestations.

Facing continual blow back, the British fought a second opium war in China from 1856 to 1860.

In due course, the crop was grown in China proper, especially in Sichuan province, allowing a new generation of criminal enterprises to develop.

This second war opened up the market to additional players.

In typical modern style, a Crime Syndicate “marketing campaign” emerged that promoted opium smoking as a fashionable, even refined pastime. Opiates were instrumental to the launch of a number of international pharma companies.

Enter the Americans: 

The destabilization of China and the building of the western U.S. railroads opened the floodgates for human trafficking (Shanghaying, as they called it) and expanding of the Chinese opium trade by Americans.

The American families of Perkins, Astor and Forbes made tens of millions off of the opium trade. The Perkins founded Bank of Boston, which is today known as Credit Suisse.

William Hathaway Forbes was a director at Hong Kong Shanghai Bank shortly after it was founded in 1866.

John Murray Forbes was the U.S. agent for the Barings banking family, which financed most of the early drug trade. The Forbes family heirs later launched Forbes magazine. And I covered Secretary of State’s John Forbes Kerry family lineage.

U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s grandfather Warren Delano created his wealth from the China opium crime racket.

Like U.S. Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry, FDR claimed not to know anything about it.

Note that as a general rule of thumb, when the words “Boston Brahmin” and “merchant” appear in historic contexts, it’s whitewash code for drugs or other criminal activity.

The cesspool of “connected people” stemming from this opium cartel of British elite, American Brahmin and Jewish Sassoon-Rothschilds runs deep and wide well up to present day.

I used to dismiss the talk about secret societies, such as Skull & Bones, but no more. Incidentally, the primary outfit in the opium trade was Russell & Company, the trustee of Skull & Bones.

Is it simply a coincidence that so many worldwide movers and shakers today spewed forth from this old line of criminal activity?

Nothing to see here, move along?

A comprehensive story of the plight of Lebanon health and social security agency

سياسة تقرير راجانا حمية الجمعة 21 شباط 2020

«تشكّل مأخوذات فرع ضمان المرض والأمومة 24% من صندوق تعويض نهاية الخدمة».

هذا هو الجزء الأهم من خلاصة تقرير لجنة الشؤون المالية، المسجّل في الإدارة منتصف كانون الثاني الماضي. ثمة من أوصل الى هذه الخلاصة التي يُقضم بسببها تعب فقراء يدفعون اشتراكاتهم بدمهم:

الأول هو الدولة التي تمتنع عن دفع ديون الاشتراكات ومتوجّباتها تجاه فروع الصندوق، والتي لامست 3400 مليار ليرة. (About $25bn) أما المسؤول الثاني فهو الصندوق بسوء إدارته الذي جعل من المؤسسة وكراً للفساد

كلما اعتقد «أهل» الصندوق الوطني للضمان الاجتماعي أنهم لامسوا القعر، يتبيّن بأن القعر لا حدود له. فالأزمات لا تنتهي،

ولا تنفكّ تتوالى واحدة تلو الأخرى. فمن فضيحة المستخدم الذي قبض تعويضه مرتين، إلى فضيحة «سوبرمان» برامج الضمان الذي يتحكّم وحده ببرامج المكننة في الصندوق، إلى فضيحة «خسارة» تعويضات الناس.

اليوم، يعاني الضمان من أزمة «أقل ما يمكن وصفها بأنها خطرة»، على ما يقول أحد المتابعين للملف، وهي تلك التي تتعلق بـ«الوضع المالي والعجز الحقيقي في الصندوق»،

انطلاقاً من دراسة حالتَي صندوق المرض والأمومة وانعكاساته على صندوق تعويضات نهاية الخدمة، والتي ترد نتائجها في التقرير الأخير للجنة الشؤون المالية، سنداً لقطع الحساب لعام 2018. وهو آخر تقرير لا يشمل ضمناً عام 2019 و«الارتكابات الحاصلة».

يأتي هذا التقرير ليناقض ما دأبت الإدارة على قوله في تقريرها «الرسمي»، والذي تحتسب فيه عجوزات صندوق المرض والأمومة المتراكمة حتى أواخر عام 2018 بحدود ألفين و68 مليار ليرة لبنانية،

فيما تورد بأن قيمة الأموال الفعلية الموجودة في حسابات صندوق نهاية الخدمة تبلغ 12 ألفاً و211 مليار ليرة.

لكن، على ما يبدو، فإن هذه «الخلاصة» التي تعتمدها إدارة الصندوق، دونها خلاصة أخرى خرج بها تقرير لجنة الشؤون المالية. فلهذا الأخير حسابات أخرى،

بلغت نسبة التمايز فيها عن تقرير الإدارة في ما يخصّ العجز المتراكم في صندوق المرض والأمومة وحده… 1475 مليار ليرة لبنانية، موزعة ما بين سلف استثنائية مدفوعة للمستشفيات وغير مصفّاة بمعاملات منذ عام 2011 بقيمة 1120 مليار ليرة وفوائدها غير المصفّاة بقيمة 169 مليار ليرة (هي في تقرير الإدارة صفر).

وهذه تشكل قيمة المأخوذات الحقيقية من أموال نهاية الخدمة غير المقيدة تحت باب إنفاق صندوق المرض والأمومة. ويضاف إليها الاحتياطي الإلزامي في الصندوق والبالغ 186 مليار ليرة.

في الخلاصة، يقول تقرير لجنة الشؤون المالية إن العجز «الحقيقي» المتراكم في «المرض والأمومة» هو بقيمة 3 آلاف و543 مليار ليرة، وليس 2068 مليار ليرة، منها 3357 مليار ليرة «سحوبات» من صندوق تعويض نهاية الخدمة وحده، أي ما نسبته 24% من تعويض نهاية خدمة مواطنين يدفعون اشتراكاتهم بدمهم. فيما البقية مال «الاحتياطي» الذي يفترض قانوناً ألّا يمسّ.

من تلك الحسبة، يمكن الخروج بخلاصة أخرى، أشدّ قتلاً، وهي أن «الأموال الجاهزة» الموجودة فعلياً في حسابات صندوق نهاية الخدمة تبلغ 11 ألفاً و28 مليار ليرة لبنانية، وليس 12 ألفاً و211 مليار ليرة (وهنا، ثمة فارق بين الرقمين يقدّر بـ 1183 مليار ليرة). وهي في معظمها أموال «موجودة في المصارف وفي سندات الخزينة وجميعها بالليرة اللبنانية».

مع ما يعني ذلك من مخاطر تقع مسؤوليتها على إدارة الضمان التي لم تنوّع «محفظة الاستثمار» لديها، وذلك عن طريق تحويل لغاية 20% من أموال التعويضات إلى العملة الأجنبية.

ماذا يعني ذلك؟ زيادة مخاطر فقدان قيمة التعويضات مع تدنّي سعر الليرة. وهو ما يحصل اليوم. أما المسؤولية الأخرى التي تقع على الإدارة أيضاً، فهي أنها «لم تقم حتى الآن باقتراح تشريع بشكل فوري يستثني أموال المضمونين المودعة في المصارف وعلى شكل سندات خزينة من أي اقتطاع محتمل haircut».

على أن الخلاصة لم تنته بعد، فالتتمة الباقية ستقود إلى عجوزات أخرى غير محسوبة في المرض والأمومة، تلك التي يدفع ثمنها صندوق تعويض نهاية الخدمة.

فتقاعس الدولة عن دفع ما يتوجب عليها من اشتراكات وتعهدات للضمان، معطوف عليه سوء الإدارة، دفع إلى الخيار المرّ: الاقتراض الداخلي. وهو خيار خاطئ بطبيعة الحال، وخصوصاً أن التسديد لن يكون بسهولة السحب.

فما سُحب قد سحب، لكن كيف التعويض؟
ما هو معروف اليوم أن العجز المتراكم في المرض والأمومة، بحسب تقرير اللجنة، هو 3 آلاف ونصف مليار مليار، من دون إضافة التتمة التي تساوي 1182 مليار ليرة موزعة ما بين 221 مليار ليرة قيمة معاملات استشفاء غير مدفوعة و961 مليار ليرة قيمة معاملات مضمونين مقدّرة وغير مدفوعة،

ما «يجعل العجز المتراكم الحقيقي نهاية عام 2018 ما قيمته 4 آلاف و725 مليار ليرة»، أي ما يوازى 33% من احتياطي تعويض نهاية الخدمة!

وانطلاقاً من هنا، يمكن تفصيل حال صندوق المرض والأمومة وما له وما عليه. فهذا الأخير، بحسب تقرير اللجنة، يعاني عجزاً بقيمة 149 مليار ليرة، وهي قيمة الفارق بين إيراداته وتقديماته والفوائد التي يدفعها نتيجة الاقتراض.

ففي وقت بلغت فيه ايراداته (عام 2018) نحو 967 مليار ليرة، بلغت قيمة التقديمات الصحية والإدارية المدفوعة 949 مليار ليرة، و167 مليار ليرة قيمة الفوائد المدفوعة نتيجة الاقتراض من صندوق تعويض نهاية الخدمة.

إلى تلك القائمة من العجز، يصبح من المفيد العودة إلى السلف الاستثنائية التي تُمنح للمستشفيات. فهذه الأخيرة تعرّي حال «الشغل» في الضمان. في القانون، بحسب الأنظمة المالية، يفترض أن يكون التعاطي بشكلٍ آخر. إذ إنه يفترض بمعاملات الاستشفاء أن تتبع مساراً واضحاً من التصفية، إلى التدقيق، إلى صرف الأموال.

ما يجري اليوم أن النقص الفادح في أعداد الموظفين في الضمان يجعل من الصعب اتباع المسار القانوني، فيصبح اللجوء إلى السلف الأمر السهل. وعلى هذا الأساس، يجري العمل في الضمان على أساس «بعطيك سلفة وبس صفيلك معاملاتك بعطيك».

أما الأخطر من كل ذلك، فهو أن هذه السلف المتراكمة عاماً بعد آخر «باقية خارج التقرير المالي»، بحسب المتابعين للملف.

لماذا يحصل كل هذا؟ ثمة أسباب كثيرة، لكن رأس حربتها هو الدولة ممثلة بوزارتَي المال والعمل. فهذه الأخيرة وبدلاً من أن تحفظ مؤسساتها، وتحفظ حقوق «موظفيها» كأكبر صاحب عمل، تذهب في اتجاه حرمانهم من تعويضاتهم، نتيجة تلكؤها في دفع ما في ذمتها.

في السنوات الأخيرة، صارت الدولة في تعاطيها مع الضمان «تنقّط تنقيط»، وما يعني ذلك من «تسكير إيرادات أساسية» عمادها رب العمل الأكبر.
ولئن كان يمكن تطبيق المادة 81 من قانون الضمان الاجتماعي على المؤسسات، من خلال رفع شكوى ضدها وفرض غرامات والحجز على ما تملكه،

لا يمكن تطبيق تلك الحالة على الدولة. فلا بالقانون ولا بغيره، ثمة «ممسك» على الدولة، التي تدين لفرع المرض والأمومة وحده بـ 2370 مليار ليرة و675 مليار ليرة غير مؤكدة التحصيل، كصافٍ من ديون المشتركين.

_________________________________________________
العجز «الحقيقي» المتراكم في «المرض والأمومة» هو بقيمة 3 آلاف و543 مليار ليرة وليس 2068 ملياراً
_________________________________________________

لا يعني ذلك إعفاء الصندوق من مسؤولياته، فسوء الإدارة في هذا المرفق أوصل الحال إلى ما هي عليه.

وللتدليل على هذا الأمر، يمكن إيراد البند المتعلق بالإنفاق الصحي في الضمان والذي تشكل نسبة الزيادة فيه سنوياً 7%، فضلاً عن الإنفاق «غير الرشيد والهدر الناجم عن الفاتورة الدوائية وضعف الرقابة الطبية وغياب المعايير العلمية في تسعير الخدمات الصحية وضعف الشفافية والمحاسبة». وهذا جزء من الأسباب المزمنة التي يعانيها الصندوق، والذي يورده تقرير اللجنة أخيراً.

هذا ما يؤكد بأن المشكلة في الصندوق ليست نقدية بقدر ما هي بنيوية، وهو ما يؤكده رئيس لجنة الشؤون المالية الدكتور عادل عليق، معتبراً أنه «حتى لو دفعت الدولة ما عليها، سيبقى هناك عجز في الصندوق». وهو حذّر من مغبة الاستمرار بهذا النهج وعدم ضبط الإنفاق،

مؤكداً أن الأولى اليوم هو «التحرك من أعلى المستويات لمعالجة وضع الضمان الاجتماعي، وإلا فالسنوات المقبلة تهدد وجوده».
يُذكر أن تقرير لجنة الشؤون المالية، المسجّل في كانون الثاني من العام الجاري، استند في تحقيقاته إلى كتاب الإدارة (تشرين الثاني 2019) حول الوضع المالي للصندوق ومحضر لجنة الشؤون المالية (تشرين الثاني الماضي) ومحضر آخر (كانون الثاني الماضي) ومستند الأسئلة الموجّهة إلى الإدارة، إضافة إلى مستندات ماليّة واردة من الإدارة تعود للعامين 2017 و2018.

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adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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