Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘beirut

What of those Lebanese children that their parents prefer them to immigrate?

My parents sent 3 of their children to Lebanon boarding schools in order to save them from the multitude of incurable diseases in Africa (or lack of medicines), in the mid 1950’s

With a few editing

Mon fils, ne t’en va pas. Pas maintenant. Pas quand nous sommes fâchés.
Fais comme si rien ne s’était passé.
Attends que la poussière retombe.

La veille, quand tu es rentré après cette longue absence,

Dans ma poitrine, j’avais le cœur qui dansait. Au fond de moi, c’était, comme qui dirait, une explosion.

Quand tu n’es pas là, je perds mes mots, je me fourvoie et,

Pour que j’avance, il me faut désormais marcher dans tes pas.

Certaines nuits, quand le vent siffle trop fort, j’oubliais jusqu’à ton prénom.
Et puis ce souffle qui s’est levé, venant du port. (Reminiscing of the conflagration of the Port of Beirut?)

Ce souffle de verre, cette hécatombe de vies brisées en étoile.

Le sang coulait à flots et on ne savait où donner du regard.

Dans les rues, jusqu’à l’aube, tu as erré haggard.
Oublie ce que tu as vu.
Notre ville, souvent assassinée, demolie, devastee’.

Notre ville comme un millefeuille où passe en accéléré le temps qui, ailleurs, met des plombes.

C’est de mourir cent fois que nous sommes si vivants et chaque instant volé a le goût de l’éternité.

Mon fils, pourquoi t’es-tu figé ?
D’où vient cette pesanteur ?
Cette mort avant l’heure, est-elle la fois de trop ?

Qu’il est dur ce moment où, suspendu dans le vide, l’homme s’arrête de marcher.
Cette ville dévastée en un battement de cil, c’est le mauvais œil, les dieux qui sont jaloux.

Il est des fêlures qu’on ne peut ressouder, des plaies qui suintent comme des stigmates.
Avec le temps, nous avons appris à sceller un pacte.

La destinée n’a pas prise sur notre survie
Hier, en fermant les volets, le souffle de la montagne est monté jusqu’à moi.

Egrenés en lacets, les villages alentour palpitent comme des flammes.

Dans le ciel, l’étoile du berger s’est levée comme avant.
Ce soir, la lune est pleine et fait du bruit en marchant.

Chaque vie est une victoire, chaque jour une bénédiction et la mort d’Adonis, une affaire de saison.

Au jardin de ton père, les amandes sont ouvertes et la figue que tu cueilles est perlée de lait.
Qu’importe que l’on rase l’herbe que tu as foulée, que l’on fauche ta ville et déterre tes morts.

Nous sommes la chandelle qu’on ne peut pas moucher, la moule accrochée à son rocher.

Nous sommes le peuple qui danse sur la bouche du volcan. (Si on avait un volcan au Liban, ce serait chouette)
Même si, depuis toujours, tu es tourné vers la mer…

Condamné à porter le Liban en bandoulière, en escarbille au cœur.

Condamné à bâtir le pays des autres.
Ici, il nous faut construire sur le sable. (Même si notre terre est plutôt un vaste rocher)
Mais tant que la lumière se lève de notre côté, rien ne pourra nous arriver. (Esperont toujours)

Note: Only the governments in Syria and Israel follow the events and a few details in Lebanon. All the others never cross their mind that lebanon is a worthy subject matter.

Only Lebanon local news media try hard to inflate this croaking grenouille “nafekh hal Dafda3at

Clown me in. Clown without border. In devastated Mar Mkhayel in Beirut

This is Mar Mkhayel area where most of the bars, restaurants and beautiful old houses/ buildings got completely destroyed.

After a parade that was positively welcomed by the many workers fixing houses, NGO people sitting on the side of the roads assisting people and by the few locals who didn’t leave their homes ( with the exception of one guy who was fixing his shop and who looked at us with a terrible facial expression and said: “are you really seriously happy and festive? “

We ended up performing here ( pic below)

To my left there’s one of the few still standing pubs on the side of the road.

To my right there’s the Main Street with a lot of destruction everywhere and a “listening station” where an NGO has its psychologists waiting to listen to people who want to talk.

Behind me there was this 45 year old big tall man, who was watching quietly and crying.

At the end he approached us, asked us how long we have been rehearsing and preparing this. He said it was the most beautiful thing he’d seen since the explosion And a much needed thing.

He decided to follow us the following day and watch the show again in a different area

In front of me, hidden behind the audience was this woman in her 40s who was sitting with a psychologist and talking.

When we went into the bus to leave, the psy ran and asked me to come down and take a pic with the woman. “You made her day” she said, and she “wanted to take a picture to keep remembering this precious moment”.

I wouldn’t give the artistic side of our show a 5 star review but what we offer is silly, is fun and most importantly it’s real, it’s all about connection, love and laughter.

We, adults, need it more than anyone else.

We forgot how to play, how to be joyful.

We have gone through a lot and we need to learn how to connect with each other again and mostly we need to rebuild better memories.

Hurray to this man and to this lady who were open enough to connect, to appreciate the moment and to rebuild memories
#diariesofaclown Clown Me In Payasos Sin Fronteras / Pallassos Sense Fronteres / Clowns Without Borders Hisham A. Assaad Ghalya Saab Stephanie Sotiry Sally Souraya Samer Sarkis Feras Hatem

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor

Reminiscing when Beirut was actually a super Movable fairs 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note 3:  You may read more details on my next post https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/movable-fairs-beirut-1970-74/

 

Beirut was a Movable Fair before the onset of the civil war in 1975

With a strong currency (1$ worth 2 Lebanese pound) and a low cost of living before the onset of civil war in 1975, Beirut was a movable fair for the common people, those living and commuting to Beirut.

Actually, during most of the civil war period, the  LP remained strong due to the massive reserves of hard currencies of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), from the massive infusion of Gulf Arab States, Saudi Kingdom and Libya…

I recall, while at the university, (1970-75) that I could live for an entire day on barely 2 LP for the cost of Taxis, buses, watching movies, going to theaters, eating and drinking fresh juices and joining daily student demonstrations, marches and sit-in demanding reforms in Lebanon political system.

You may read my memoirs on these wonderful period on https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/movable-fairs-in-beirut-1971-74/

What follows is an article posted by a French woman, a foreigner in 2016, who was overwhelmed by a faked sense of sustainable fair in Beirut. She was taken care of by those 1% “rich” people who kept looting the budget and lived on inherited wealth. Though she was aware of the precarious conditions of this political system and resurgence of violence at any moment.

Beyrouth est une fête

Katherine Pancol. Écrivain

Jean C. El Dahdah shared this link. February 19, 2016

Ça y est! Je reprends goût à la vie! Alors, que vous raconter?

Que le Liban est une bouteille de champagne posée sur un volcan et qu’à Beyrouth, la fête est perpétuelle, frénétique comme une avance que les habitants prennent sur la vie et le prochain conflit…

Les Libanais sont les gens les plus accueillants, les plus affectueux, les plus gais, les plus entreprenants, les plus insouciants, les plus généreux du monde.

La vie, ils l’inventent à chaque minute de peur qu’on ne la leur confisque.

Ils ont cette intuition terrible: la guerre peut surgir n’importe quand, alors vivons pleinement, aimons, dansons, buvons du café noir, du café blanc, fumons de longs narguilés, ouvrons des boutiques, des restaurants, construisons, traînons dans les rues, faisons des carnavals, inventions, célébrons, oublions les feux rouges, l’interdiction de fumer, vivons, vivons, vivons…

Beyrouth est une fête.

Ils ne savent pas d’où le danger va surgir pour leur tomber sur la tête.

Le Liban est une immense boîte à lettres où chaque pays voisin fait passer un message en posant des bombes, en assassinant, en écharpant…

Ce ne sont pas les Libanais qui font la guerre, ce sont les pays autour qui se font la guerre via le Liban. (Le plus souvent Executer par des Libanais)

J’étais allée au Liban une première fois, il y a douze ans. Le pays était alors en pleine reconstruction… après une guerre.

Des gratte-ciel surgissaient au milieu des décombres, des camions déblayaient des tonnes de gravats, les façades étaient criblées de balles, on apercevait, béants au soleil, des bouts de cuisine, de salle de bains, de chambre à coucher, la poussière s’élevait en gros nuages gris qui montaient vers un ciel toujours bleu… et les voitures klaxonnaient, klaxonnaient!

( I returned to Lebanon on Christmas of 2000, and the reconstruction was already over and many people lost their jobs, and the vital Beirut Center was monopolized and changed to accommodate the rich visitors and tourists of the rich “Arabs”. Old Beirut was totally erased, even its memorable specialized and Not expensive Souks)

J’avais déjà été frappée par l’énergie qui vibrait dans l’air. On pouvait la saisir à pleines mains et en faire des éclairs.

Douze ans après (et après bien d’autres guerres!), Beyrouth est toujours debout, les buildings en verre lèchent le ciel, des rues montent et descendent comme à San Francisco délimitant un vieux quartier et des quartiers de luxe, des quartiers d’affaires, des rues du soir, des rues de la nuit, des rues qui grouillent, grouillent.

Tout le monde se mélange à Beyrouth et, semble t-il, dans la bonne humeur…

C’est une impression, je ne suis pas restée assez longtemps, mais je n’ai ressenti aucune tension entre les différentes communautés.

Il y a des femmes en mini-jupes et des femmes voilées, des hommes en djellaba et d’autres en costume cravate et tout le monde vit ensemble.

J’ai couru au Musée de Beyrouth voir les statuettes des guerriers phéniciens…

De longues et minces silhouettes semblables à des Giacometti.

J’ai appris à traverser les rues en étendant le bras, en joignant les mains, en cambrant les reins tel le torero face au noir taureau dans l’arène, en suppliant qu’on ne m’écrase pas!

Il faut ployer, sautiller, frôler la tôle, feinter et passer… pour rejoindre des trottoirs qui font office de garde-meubles, garages, dernier salon où l’on cause.

J’ai compris que les feux rouges sont faits pour être brûlés (Not to abide by the color), sauf les “importants” où l’on consent à s’arrêter, les cigarettes à griller dans tous les restaurants et la vitesse à être constamment dépassée…

J’ai bu du café turc sur la Corniche au bord de la mer. On était en novembre, il faisait 28′  et la mer me chatouillait les pieds.

J’ai marché dans les rues avec Rachid El Daïf, un auteur libanais qui a écrit un très bon roman paru chez Actes Sud, “Qu’elle aille au diable, Meryl Streep!”, et nous sommes allés nous poser dans les jardins du café Al Rawda…

J’ai parlé avec Tania, éditrice, qui se bat pour sauver les vieilles maisons de Beyrouth de la convoitise des spéculateurs immobiliers, avec Katya qui peint, j’ai déjeuné au People avec Dédy, un ami tombé dans les livres quand il était petit, dîné avec Émile, librairie chez Virgin, j’ai été invitée partout, partout et chaque fois, reçue les bras grands ouverts et la gourmandise aux lèvres.

Les Libanais sont curieux, raffinés, cosmopolites.

Ils commencent une phrase en arabe, la truffent de mots anglais et français, parlent avec les cheveux, les mains, les yeux

Le soir de mon arrivée, j’ai dîné à la même table avec des Libanais de toutes familles: des chrétiens, des musulmans, des chiites, des sunnites, des maronites, des druzes, des catholiques, des orthodoxes, des riches, des pauvres, des bons vivants, des austères, des grands, des petits, et ils parlaient tous sans s’écharper.

De la Palestine et d’Israël, des USA et de l’Arabie Saoudite et pas une minute, ils n’en sont venus aux mains! J’imaginais le même dîner en France…

Je suis allée avec Dédy à Saïda visiter un vieux palais, le palais Debbané, niché en plein souk, une ancienne maison familiale où une pièce entière est dévolue à de gigantesques volières disposées de chaque coté et j’ai imaginé des concerts d’oiseaux en stéréo!

Nous avons visité le musée du savon Audi, toujours dans le souk, une résidence magnifique où l’on déroule pour vous toute l’histoire de la fabrication du savon… et un caravansérail, construit par des Français au moment des Croisades.

Sur la terrasse d’un restaurant face au Château des Croisés qui s’avance dans la mer, j’ai pensé à Joséphine et au XII ème siècle! Elle me racontait des histoires de Croisés qui ont fait souche, de Croisés qui ont péri, de Croisés qui ont pillé, de Croisés qui ont construit et je l’écoutais, ébahie.

Toutes les notes que j’avais prises pour les recherches de Joséphine revenaient et se mélangeaient aux images de Saïda et de la forteresse…

Au retour, nous nous sommes arrêtés dans une orangeraie et une femme a pressé des oranges, des pamplemousses, des mandarines et des citrons rien que pour nous. Il y avait des jouets d’enfants répandus sous une tonnelle, du linge qui séchait, des figues ventrues, un vieux jardinier, des arbres ployaient sous les fruits, des rigoles irriguaient le pied des arbres… Le temps s’est arrêté.

On se parlait avec les mains, avec les yeux et c’était délicieux…

Vous avez compris, j’ai aimé le Liban. Beaucoup, beaucoup.

C’est un pays de lumière où la vie pétille et chante… une belle leçon de courage et de bonne humeur!

Note: You were a visitor Katheirne and from a western country to boot it. Don’t be fooled by the sincerity and welcoming attitudes. In any case, you didn’t stay long enough to discover the precarity of most Lebanese. The Lebanese have changed for the worst in all aspects, but Not in their sectarian identity and zeal for their feudal/sectarian leaders.

Hiroshima was my City-like, until Beirut and its Port displaced it

Hiroshima is my City-like

You don’t want to approach Hiroshima.

You don’t need to visit my city like:

You touch a wall

You turn a rock.

 

What do you care of my city?

You will see but flies and road holes.

The only living friend

Is my gigantic boredom.

 

What should you care of my city like?

It was captured many times by hordes of Moguls and Tatars.

Every adventurer who set eyes on my city

Ended up suicidal.

 

Be careful my ignorant tourist.

Keep a distance of its broken columns,

Its hundred stone idols.

 

My heart is same as my closed in city like

Moonlight apprehends visiting it.

My heart is wet, a wet traveling kerchief,

 

A bird, for centuries lost in down pouring rain,

An empty bottle harassed on ocean waves.

Keep away from Hiroshima.

 

Tis no time turning a block of salt.

Note 1: A poem in Arabic that I extracted with abridged liberty from the late Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani.

Note 2: this atomic conflagration on the port of Beirut left over 200 dead and over 6,500 injured from the blast. More than 7,000 residence were demolished.

 

Blood Begins to Dry

As War Criminals In Our Midst are put on trial…

Especially, including the leaders of the colonial powers who are exclusively out of trial blame

In transmitting President Richard Nixon’s orders for a “massive” bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, “Anything that flies on everything that moves“.

As Barack Obama ignites his 7th war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger’s murderous honesty.

By John Pilger johnpilger.com

As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery – including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields – I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again.

A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect.

They, too, were the product of an American-made apocalypse, this time in Asia.

According to Pol Pot, his movement had consisted of “fewer than 5,000 poorly armed guerrillas uncertain about their strategy, tactics, loyalty and leaders“.

Once Nixon’s and Kissinger’s B 52 bombers had gone to work as part of “Operation Menu“, the west’s ultimate demon could not believe his luck.

The Americans dropped the equivalent of 5 Hiroshimas on rural Cambodia during 1969-73. They levelled village after village, returning to bomb the rubble and corpses. The craters left monstrous necklaces of carnage, still visible from the air.

The terror was unimaginable.

A former Khmer Rouge official described how the survivors “froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. Terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told… That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over.”

A Finnish Government Commission of Enquiry estimated that 600,000 Cambodians died in the ensuing civil war and described the bombing as the “first stage in a decade of genocide”.

What Nixon and Kissinger began, Pol Pot, their beneficiary, completed.

Under the US bombs, the Khmer Rouge grew to a formidable army of 200,000.

ISIS has a similar past and present.

By most scholarly measure, Bush and Blair’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to the deaths of some 700,000 people – in a country that had No history of jihadism.

The Kurds had done territorial and political deals; Sunni and Shia had class and sectarian differences, but they were at peace; intermarriage was common.

Three years before the invasion, I drove the length of Iraq without fear.

On the way I met people proud, above all, to be Iraqis, the heirs of a civilization that seemed, for them, a presence.

Bush and Blair blew all this to bits.

Iraq is now a nest of jihadism. Al-Qaeda – like Pol Pot’s “jihadists” – seized the opportunity provided by the onslaught of Shock and Awe and the civil war that followed.

“Rebel” Syria offered even greater rewards, with CIA and Gulf state ratlines of weapons, logistics and money running through Turkey. The arrival of foreign recruits was inevitable.

A former British ambassador, Oliver Miles, wrote recently, 

“The [Cameron] government seems to be following the example of Tony Blair, who ignored consistent advice from the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6 that our Middle East policy – and in particular our Middle East wars – had been a principal driver in the recruitment of Muslims in Britain for terrorism here.”

ISIS is the progeny of those in Washington and London who, in destroying Iraq as both a state and a society, conspired to commit an epic crime against humanity.

Like Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, ISIS are the mutations of a western state terror dispensed by a venal imperial elite undeterred by the consequences of actions taken at great remove in distance and culture. Their culpability is unmentionable in “our” societies.

It is 23 years since this holocaust enveloped Iraq, immediately after the first Gulf War, when the US and Britain hijacked the United Nations Security Council and imposed punitive “sanctions” on the Iraqi population – ironically, reinforcing the domestic authority of Saddam Hussein.

It was like a medieval siege.

Almost everything that sustained a modern state was, in the jargon, “blocked” – from chlorine for making the water supply safe to school pencils, parts for X-ray machines, common painkillers and drugs to combat previously unknown cancers carried in the dust from the southern battlefields contaminated with Depleted Uranium.

Just before Christmas 1999, the Department of Trade and Industry in London restricted the export of vaccines meant to protect Iraqi children against diphtheria and yellow fever.

Kim Howells, parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Blair government, explained why. “The children’s vaccines”, he said, “were capable of being used in weapons of mass destruction“.

The British Government could get away with such an outrage because media reporting of Iraq – much of it manipulated by the Foreign Office – blamed Saddam Hussein for everything.

Under a bogus “humanitarian” Oil for Food Programme, $100 was allotted for each Iraqi to live on for a year. This figure had to pay for the entire society’s infrastructure and essential services, such as power and water.

“Imagine,” the UN Assistant Secretary General, Hans Von Sponeck, told me, “setting that pittance against the lack of clean water, and the fact that the majority of sick people cannot afford treatment, and the sheer trauma of getting from day to day, and you have a glimpse of the nightmare. And make no mistake, this is deliberate. I have not in the past wanted to use the word genocide, but now it is unavoidable.”

Disgusted, Von Sponeck resigned as UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq. His predecessor, Denis Halliday, an equally distinguished senior UN official, had also resigned. “I was instructed,” Halliday said, “to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide: a deliberate policy that has effectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults.”

A study by the United Nations Children’s Fund, Unicef, found that between 1991 and 1998, the height of the blockade, there were 500,000 “excess” deaths of Iraqi infants under the age of 5.

An American TV reporter put this to Madeleine Albright, US Ambassador to the United Nations, asking her, “Is the price worth it?” Albright replied, “We think the price is worth it.”

In 2007, the senior British official responsible for the sanctions, Carne Ross, known as “Mr. Iraq”, told a parliamentary selection committee, “[The US and UK governments] effectively denied the entire population a means to live.”

When I interviewed Carne Ross three years later, he was consumed by regret and contrition.

“I feel ashamed,” he said. He is today a rare truth-teller of how governments deceive and how a compliant media plays a critical role in disseminating and maintaining the deception. “We would feed [journalists] factoids of sanitised intelligence,” he said, “or we’d freeze them out.”

On 25 September, a headline in the Guardian read: “Faced with the horror of Isis we must act.” The “we must act” is a ghost risen, a warning of the suppression of informed memory, facts, lessons learned and regrets or shame.

The author of the article was Peter Hain, the former Foreign Office minister responsible for Iraq under Blair.

In 1998, when Denis Halliday revealed the extent of the suffering in Iraq for which the Blair Government shared primary responsibility, Hain abused him on the BBC’s Newsnight as an “apologist for Saddam”.

In 2003, Hain backed Blair’s invasion of stricken Iraq on the basis of transparent lies. At a subsequent Labour Party conference, he dismissed the invasion as a “fringe issue”.

Now Hain is demanding “air strikes, drones, military equipment and other support” for those “facing genocide” in Iraq and Syria. This will further “the imperative of a political solution”.

Obama has the same in mind as he lifts what he calls the “restrictions” on US bombing and drone attacks. This means that missiles and 500-pound bombs can smash the homes of peasant people, as they are doing without restriction in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia – as they did in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.

On 23 September, a Tomahawk cruise missile hit a village in Idlib Province in Syria, killing as many as a dozen civilians, including women and children. None waved a black flag.

The day Hain’s article appeared, Denis Halliday and Hans Von Sponeck happened to be in London and came to visit me. They were not shocked by the lethal hypocrisy of a politician, but lamented the enduring, almost inexplicable absence of intelligent diplomacy in negotiating a semblance of truce.

Across the world, from Northern Ireland to Nepal, those regarding each other as terrorists and heretics have faced each other across a table. Why not now in Iraq and Syria.

Like Ebola from West Africa, a bacteria called “perpetual war” has crossed the Atlantic. Lord Richards, until recently head of the British military, wants “boots on the ground” now.

There is a vapid, almost sociopathic verboseness from Cameron, Obama and their “coalition of the willing” – notably Australia’s aggressively weird Tony Abbott – as they prescribe more violence delivered from 30,000 feet on places where the blood of previous adventures never dried.

They have never seen bombing and they apparently love it so much they want it to overthrow their one potentially valuable ally,  Syria. This is nothing new, as the following leaked UK-US intelligence file illustrates,  and written in 1957:

In order to facilitate the action of liberative [sic] forces… a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals [and] to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria. CIA is prepared, and SIS (MI6) will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main [sic] incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals… a necessary degree of fear… frontier and [staged] border clashes [will] provide a pretext for intervention… the CIA and SIS should use… capabilities in both psychological and action fields to augment tension.”

In the imperial world, nothing essentially changes.

Last year, the former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas revealed that “two years before the Arab spring”, he was told in London that a war on Syria was planned.

“I am going to tell you something,” he said in an interview with the French TV channel LPC, “I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria… Britain was organising an invasion of rebels into Syria.

They even asked me, although I was no longer Minister for Foreign Affairs, if I would like to participate… This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned.”

The only effective opponents of ISIS are accredited demons of the west – Syria, Iran, Hezbollah. The obstacle is Turkey, an “ally” and a member of Nato, which has conspired with the CIA, MI6 and the Gulf medievalists to channel support to the Syrian “rebels”, including those now calling themselves ISIS.

Supporting Turkey in its long-held ambition for regional dominance by overthrowing the Assad government beckons a major conventional war and the horrific dismemberment of the most ethnically diverse state in the Middle East.

A truce – however difficult to achieve – is the only way out of this imperial maze; otherwise, the beheadings will continue. That genuine negotiations with Syria should be seen as “morally questionable” (the Guardian) suggests that the assumptions of moral superiority among those who supported the war criminal Blair remain not only absurd, but dangerous.

Together with a truce, there should be an immediate cessation of all shipments of war materials to Israel and recognition of the State of Palestine. The issue of Palestine is the region’s most festering open wound, and the oft-stated justification for the rise of Islamic extremism. Osama bin Laden made that clear. Palestine also offers hope. Give justice to the Palestinians and you begin to change the world around them.

More than 40 years ago, the Nixon-Kissinger bombing of Cambodia unleashed a torrent of suffering from which that country has never recovered. The same is true of the Blair-Bush crime in Iraq.

With impeccable timing, Henry Kissinger’s latest self-serving book has just been released with its satirical title, “World Order“.

In one fawning review, Kissinger is described as a “key shaper of a world order that remained stable for a quarter of a century”.

Tell that to the people of Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Chile, East Timor and all the other victims of his “statecraft”.

Only when “we” recognise the war criminals in our midst will the blood begin to dry.

When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren’t Called ‘Hitler’

Note: Lebanon suffered 15 years of civil war and all the militia leaders were pardoned by the parliament and they ruled and controlled Lebanon for another 30 years. Lebanon total bankruptcy is due to these militia/mafia sectarian “leaders’

Currently, Beirut witnessed an atomic conflagration that killed 200 and injured more than 6,000 and devastated residential quarters on a radius of 3 miles. Apparently, no ministers or deputies or any militia leader will face trial

Farewell Beirut (di3anek ya Beirut): Omar Z3enni poem

 الكاتب الشاعر المغني عمر الزعني المولود سنة 1898 والمتوفى سنة 1961 وهو الملقّب بموليير الشرق حيناً وبفولتير العرب حيناً آخر،
على مدى نصف قرن عاش في بيروت، ولبيروت .. غناها كما راها في ذلك الوقت. عرف «بإبن الشعب» و«بإبن البلد».
مما غنى لبيروت قصيدة تحكي واقع الحال … والشاعر عادة هو مرآة عصره …

يقول -..وهو كتب ما كتب وغنى منذ اكثر من سبعين سنة وكأنها القصيدة المغناة كتبت صباح اليوم .
يقول الزعني..

يا ضيعانك يا بيروت

يا مناظر عالشاشة
يا خداعة وغشاشة
يا عروس بخشخاشة
يا مصمودي بالتابوت

يا ضيعانك يا بيروت

الخواطر مكسورة
والنفوس مقهورة
والحرية مقبورة
والكلام للنبوت
الجهال حاكمين
والارذال عايمين
والانذال عايشين
والاوادم عما تموت

يا ضيعانك يا بيروت

الخاين حامل نيشان
والسافل الو قدر وشان
والجاهل شبعان رويان
والعالم لايب عالقوت

يا ضيعانك يا بيروت

ما في هيبة ولا وقار
بالاحكام استهتار
وين ما مشيت لعب قمار
في النوادي والبيوت

يا ضيعانك يا بيروت

الغريب بيتمخطر
والقريب بيتمرمر
واللي بيفوت ما بيضهر
واللي بيضهر ما بيفوت

يا ضيعانك يا بيروت

American professor proposes that Israel “flatten Beirut”? Why?

And how Israel is planning to “flatten Beirut”?

This current one million-person city has been previously decimated and flattened through several earthquakes and pandemics

Note: Re-edit “Amitai Etzioni, who teaches at renowned universities, says Israel may have no choice but to destroy Lebanon — again February 22, 2016″

A prominent American scholar who teaches international relations at George Washington University, and who has taught at a variety of prestigious U.S. universities, including Columbia, Harvard and Berkeley, has publicly proposed that Israel “flatten Beirut” — a city with around 1 million people — in order to destroy the missiles of Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah.

Professor Amitai Etzioni served as a senior advisor in President Jimmy Carter’s administration — made this proposal in an op-ed in Haaretz, the leading English-language Israeli newspaper, known as “The New York Times of Israel.” Haaretz represents the liberal wing of Israel’s increasingly far-right politics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the piece, Etzioni cites an anonymous Israeli official who estimates that Hezbollah has 100,000 missiles in Lebanon. In January, the U.S. government put that figure at 80,000 rockets.

The anonymous official also says the Israeli government considers these weapons to be its second greatest security threat — after Iran. (Actually, Israel repeatedly claimed that Hezbollah is the first and foremost threat to Israel existence)

Etzioni cites Israel’s chief of staff, who claims that most of Hezbollah’s missiles are in private homes.

Whether this allegation is true is questionable. Israel frequently accuses militant groups of hiding weapons in civilian areas in order to justify its attacks.

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

Assuming it is true, Etzioni argues, if Israeli soldiers were to try to take the missiles out of these homes one at a time, it “would very likely result in many Israeli casualties.” (Why am I still reading this stupid article?)

In order to avoid Israeli casualties, Etzioni writes: “I asked two American military officers what other options Israel has. They both pointed to Fuel-Air Explosives (FAE). These are bombs that disperse an aerosol cloud of fuel which is ignited by a detonator, producing massive explosions. (What? They want to destroy Beirut or burn 1 million Lebanese citizens?)

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

“Such weapons obviously would be used only after the population was given a chance to evacuate the area. (Really? Like in Gaza, where people were supposed to flee to?)

Still, as we saw in Gaza, there are going to be civilian casualties,” Etzioni adds. “The time to raise this issue is long before Israel may be forced to use FAEs.” (As people in Gaza were given 5 minutes to vacate an area and succumb to the shrapnel?)

Etzioni concludes his piece implies Israel has no other option but to bomb the city of Beirut.

“In this way, one hopes, that there will be a greater understanding, if not outright acceptance, of the use of these powerful weapons, given that nothing else will do,” he resumes his foolish racist idiosyncrasy. (How about desist from the preemptive wars strategies and abide by UN resolutions?)

Belén Fernández, an author and contributing editor at Jacobin magazine, published a piece in TeleSur responding to Etzioini’s op-ed, titled “No, Israel Should Not Flatten Beirut.” Fernández points out “that Israel has already flattened large sections of Lebanon, in Beirut and beyond.”

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

A day before the agreed upon cease fire, upon the urging of Israel to US to work on it, Israel flattened 5-block radius in Beirut.

And Blair PM of England dispatched 1.5 million cluster bombs to spread in South Lebanon. Thousands of Lebanese have died or injured due to these illegal bombs.

Note 1: Beirut was destroyed by 2 major earthquakes in 550 and 560. The first earthquake destroyed Beirut and the second set fire on the city. Between 150 and 250, Beirut was the Central Jurisprudence  of Rome and 5 eminent jurists set the laws for the Roman Empire.

Beirut and Lebanon was shaken with an earthquake in 1958. I was in boarding school and the adults carried out the sleeping children to the outside yard. For an entire decade, Lebanese had to pay the additional “Earthquake Tax”

Note 2: Lebanese journalists and activists have expressed outrage at the article.

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

Chehayeb told Salon Etzioni’s argument is “absolutely absurd” and reeks of hypocrisy.

“If some writer said the only way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is just to bomb Israel,” he said, “people would go up in arms about it.”

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

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

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

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

Salon also reached out to the university.

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

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

Note: Hezbollah General Secretary, Hassan Nasr Allah, replied: All we need is launch a couple of small-range missiles on the Ammonium plant in Haifa. The conflagration is as powerful as an atomic bomb.

What after all that noise in Lebanon mass upheaval?

To the rest of the World from Beirut upheaval

De Beyrouth au reste du monde

Beyrouth : La ville bruit de micros et de caméras venus de loin. Mais ils ne sont pas là pour la révolution.

Pourtant on a fait beaucoup de bruit. On a beaucoup crié aussi. Chanté et martelé.

Mais le vent n’a pas porté nos demandes. Le vent n’a pas soufflé nos appels.

Les reporters du monde, savez-vous vraiment ce qui se passe ici ? Savez-vous que tout un peuple défie une hydre aux mille têtes ?

Savez-vous que ce combat ressemble à une résurrection ? Sentez-vous la colère des Libanais ? Allez-vous descendre à la place des Martyrs ?

On a mis des tentes parce qu’on a très vite compris que la bataille va être longue. On a mis des tentes et on défie la pluie, la peur et la fatigue.

(Cette grande tente blanche pour nous abriter du froid et reunire les 7iraak en dialogue et pour que les etudiants puissent reviser…Et puis les baltajiyya de Nabih Berry ont detruit la grande tente 

Allez-vous respirer la ville ? Beyrouth a des rues pleines de fureur et de détermination. Beyrouth a des rues sombres parce qu’on nous a volé la lumière.

Beyrouth a des rues pleines de rumeurs parce que les mots ici ne valent plus rien. On les prend, on les retourne, on les viole, on les abuse et certains politiciens se croient les rois des formules.

Alors que la vraie formule aujourd’hui, celle qui a unit le peuple est faite de deux mots simples qui ont juste envie d’envoyer les abuseurs de mots dans l’oubli.

Ne rangez pas vos caméras, Beyrouth a des choses à vous dire.

Le reste du monde : Comment peut-on se précipiter ainsi dans le chaos ? Le monde a perdu ses hommes de paix.

Et dans l’odeur de poudre et le bruit des missiles, aucun homme de religion pour dire que la guerre n’est pas une bonne idée.

Pour prôner l’amour, la solidarité et la tolérance où iront-nous chercher ces voix ?


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Blog Stats

  • 1,427,014 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 774 other followers

%d bloggers like this: