Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Ehud Barak

Religion resurrects: It must die first

State Ideologies usurping religions: (June 18, 2009) 

            The 20th century was characteristic in serious attempts of replacing State religion by State Ideology.  This was feasible simply because most religions have developed into structured ideologies in concepts and in organization.  Soviet Russia was successful for over 70 years in that endeavor because it emulated communism into religious replica in all premises and criteria.  Soviet communism stated what happens after death, it described what is go and what is evil, it structured its hierarchy on the basis of church, excommunicated the “refusnik”, and it created a God, a semi abstract God with a personified representative on earth.  The Gang of Four in China, after the death of Mao Tse Tong, carried that religion a step forward: all ancient manuscripts of Chinese civilizations were meant to be burned.  The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia went several notches further: every educated person was to be burned; the new generation was to start with a blank brain.

            The trend of State ideologies usurping religions is going on even stronger with a reversed strategy.  State ideologies are basing their premises on a religion; they claim that the concepts of their ideology are consistent to the fundamentals of the original religion.  Those extremist State ideologies are found in all religions: Christian, Moslem, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddha-based religion.  State ideologies are in Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Burma, and in the USA during the George W. Bush two Administrations.

           

            Religions, monolithic or not (it is primarily a mental distinction and never real), did not mushroom spontaneously in specific regions.  Religion is the same and was translated and interpreted into different languages and cultures. Religions were imported/exported along with the material baggage of trade and commerce; they were built upon and modified to correspond to customs and traditions. Religions developed to extreme abstractions in urban centers or reduced to basic common denominators in remote rural areas; they were the primary cultural communication among people based on trust, confidence, and belief that there is always someone more powerful and more knowledgeable than the lot.  

            It is because people need to create a God that religion was the main communicator among nations; religion transcended peculiar customs and traditions and reached straight to the deep fear and apprehension of man.  Fear of the unknown is shared by everyone and all men are similar in that one characteristic.

            There have always been all kinds of civilizations; that the archeologists failed to uncover relics and artifacts is irrelevant to that fact. Every civilization prospered on slavery; whatever names slaves were given.  Slaves had their own God; at day they shared the God of the usurpers of their freedom and by night they unveiled their “True God” and worshiped him genuinely as only desperate souls know how to pay tribute. A few slave “tribes” revolted and confirmed their nightly God at day break and paid retributions.  Most of these “slave tribes” succumbed to the power to be and its social structure (constructed around a religious hierarchy); a few preferred to be chased out and suffer another kind of life hardship.  No, there was no dignity in the daily life of the forsaken slaves who wandered in the wilderness; even their nights were different: they had to reinvent a God compatible to their wretched new life, an altered the God of the One they used to worship at night before the Diaspora.

            Nomadic tribes didn’t need religious clerics to convince them of a “God”: as they sat around by night they could watch the vault of the sky reaching down and they felt they could touch the stars.  There is overwhelming majesty during the peaceful nights in desert like regions, a sky sparkling with millions of beautiful stars twinkling overhead (a few moving, many fixed) that offered reprieve, courage, and hope for another day of desolation, loneliness, and harsh nature.  Nomads appreciate the varieties of Silence: they can feel the God of Silence before major cataclysms and desert storms.

            It is because nomads needed to believe more in a God than other settled people to ward off the persistent and real fears of the days for survival that their God was more powerful and more compassionate than other Gods; the God of the nomads was personified in the one seeking refuge for the night; the visitor was lavished with the respect due to the wandering God paying visit to the tribe members and he was fed with whatever meager substances the clan had saved.  The God of the nomads knew their traditions and customs and refrained from interfering or crossing the lines; otherwise, the visitor was punished for false representation.

           

            There are various God. There is the God of the nomads, the “Night God” of the enslaved, the God of the urban and settled people, and the God of wandering homeless people, rootless, and abandoned because their God refuses to be set free.  My article concerns the God of the stragglers.  This God was created a brute, ruthless, and blood thirsty; an avenger out of ignorance, an insulated, merciless, and uncompromising hatemongering God.  This is the God of Thunder, War, Lightening, Storm, Sword, and Skull.  This is the God who rebuffs any tender offer to mingle with other civilized Gods, to soften His manner, to come to maturity, to associate, to adjust, and to keep pledges.

            This is the God who obeyed his creators; as He started to appreciate modern and civilized habits He was reminded by his creators, called prophets, that He lost his way and the reason why He was created.  This the God who was resurrected countless time from his compassionate leaning and collaboration with other worthy Gods to lead newer generations, whose hearts and minds were burned alive from birth, to take on a chimerical revenge on real people because chimerical stories and myths are truer than reality.

            The Jewish religion is dead.  It was replaced by a State ideology called Zionism. Jehovah (Yahweh) was again called upon to mete out his benediction to countless genocide against the Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, Jordanians, and Egyptians. The ancient “prophets” were rejuvenated into modern-day prophets, very much as archaic as Ben Gurion, Menahem Begin, Ishak Shamir, Sharon, Ehud Barak, and all the lot who want their “promised land” that they usurped by the sword, lies, and blasphemy. 

              The Jewish religion is dead as Israel was recognized in 1948.  It is not what the Books say; it is how it is practiced.  It is how Zionism behaved in Gaza, Sabra and Chatila Palestinian camps, the camps in Jenine, Jabalya, the massacres in the villages of Dar Yassine, Kfar Kassem, Yafa, the shelling of the town of Qana, of the UN compounds in Qana, Gaza, and the West Bank, the execution of over 6,000 Egyptian soldiers prisoners in the war of 1967; the destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure 8 times, the destruction of the infrastructures in Gaza and the West Bank, the demolition of schools and hospitals, the routine assassinations of leaders, the apartheid Wall of Shame, the refusal of abiding by UN resolution 194 for the return of the Palestinian refugees, the insistence of refusing to share Jerusalem Capital to the Palestine State, the transfer methods of the Christians from Jerusalem, and claiming that Israel should be accepted as State for Jews before any peaceful negotiation.

            The Jewish religion is dead.  It was replaced by a State ideology called Zionism, founded by the Eastern Europe Ashkenazi.

 

Note: The UN described Zionism in mild terms as “a form of racism”.  As the USA pressured the UN to desist of this mild description then Zionist ideology was no longer restricted to Jews; it transformed to an umbrella for the fascist, Nazi, Stalinists, Gang of Four, Khmer Rouge, Neo-Conservative, apartheid, and isolationist ideologies; it had contacts with Taliban, Ben Laden, Qaeda, and a variety of religious extremists of Moslems, Hindus, and the Christians of the Sirilanka Tamul terrorists.

Jewish religion is dead: replaced by Zionist State ideology (June 18, 2009)

 

            Religions, monolithic or not (it is primarily a mental distinction and never real), did not mushroom spontaneously in specific regions.  Religion is the same and was translated and interpreted into different languages and cultures. Religions were imported/exported along with the material baggage of trade and commerce; they were built upon and modified to correspond to customs and traditions. Religions developed to extreme abstractions in urban centers or reduced to basic common denominators in remote rural areas; they were the primary cultural communication among people based on trust, confidence, and belief that there is always someone more powerful and more knowledgeable than the lot.  

            It is because people need to create a God that religion was the main communicator among nations; religion transcended peculiar customs and traditions and reached straight to the deep fear and apprehension of man.  Fear of the unknown is shared by everyone and all men are similar in that one characteristic.

            There have always been all kinds of civilizations; that the archeologists failed to uncover relics and artifacts is irrelevant to that fact. Every civilization prospered on slavery; whatever names slaves were given.  Slaves had their own God; at day they shared the God of the usurpers of their freedom and by night they unveiled their “True God” and worshiped him genuinely as only desperate souls know how to pay tribute. A few slave “tribes” revolted and confirmed their nightly God at day break and paid retributions.  Most of these “slave tribes” succumbed to the power to be and its social structure (constructed around a religious hierarchy); a few preferred to be chased out and suffer another kind of life hardship.  No, there was no dignity in the daily life of the forsaken slaves who wandered in the wilderness; even their nights were different: they had to reinvent a God compatible to their wretched new life, an altered the God of the One they used to worship at night before the Diaspora.

            Nomadic tribes didn’t need religious clerics to convince them of a “God”: as they sat around by night they could watch the vault of the sky reaching down and they felt they could touch the stars.  There is overwhelming majesty during the peaceful nights in desert like regions, a sky sparkling with millions of beautiful stars twinkling overhead (a few moving, many fixed) that offered reprieve, courage, and hope for another day of desolation, loneliness, and harsh nature.  Nomads appreciate the varieties of Silence: they can feel the God of Silence before major cataclysms and desert storms.

            It is because nomads needed to believe more in a God than other settled people to ward off the persistent and real fears of the days for survival that their God was more powerful and more compassionate than other Gods; the God of the nomads was personified in the one seeking refuge for the night; the visitor was lavished with the respect due to the wandering God paying visit to the tribe members and he was fed with whatever meager substances the clan had saved.  The God of the nomads knew their traditions and customs and refrained from interfering or crossing the lines; otherwise, the visitor was punished for false representation.

           

            There are various God. There is the God of the nomads, the “Night God” of the enslaved, the God of the urban and settled people, and the God of wandering homeless people, rootless, and abandoned because their God refuses to be set free.  My article concerns the God of the stragglers.  This God was created a brute, ruthless, and blood thirsty; an avenger out of ignorance, an insulated, merciless, and uncompromising hatemongering God.  This is the God of Thunder, War, Lightening, Storm, Sword, and Skull.  This is the God who rebuffs any tender offer to mingle with other civilized Gods, to soften His manner, to come to maturity, to associate, to adjust, and to keep pledges.

            This is the God who obeyed his creators; as He started to appreciate modern and civilized habits He was reminded by his creators, called prophets, that He lost his way and the reason why He was created.  This the God who was resurrected countless time from his compassionate leaning and collaboration with other worthy Gods to lead newer generations, whose hearts and minds were burned alive from birth, to take on a chimerical revenge on real people because chimerical stories and myths are truer than reality.

            The Jewish religion is dead.  It was replaced by a State ideology called Zionism. Jehovah (Yahweh) was again called upon to mete out his benediction to countless genocide against the Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, Jordanians, and Egyptians. The ancient “prophets” were rejuvenated into modern-day prophets, very much as archaic as Ben Gurion, Menahem Begin, Ishak Shamir, Sharon, Ehud Barak, and all the lot who want their “promised land” that they usurped by the sword, lies, and blasphemy. 

              The Jewish religion is dead as Israel was recognized in 1948.  It is not what the Books say; it is how it is practiced.  It is how Zionism behaved in Gaza, Sabra and Chatila Palestinian camps, the camps in Jenine, Jabalya, the massacres in the villages of Dar Yassine, Kfar Kassem, Yafa, the shelling of the town of Qana, of the UN compounds in Qana, Gaza, and the West Bank, the execution of over 6,000 Egyptian soldiers prisoners in the war of 1967; the destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure 8 times, the destruction of the infrastructures in Gaza and the West Bank, the demolition of schools and hospitals, the routine assassinations of leaders, the apartheid Wall of Shame, the refusal of abiding by UN resolution 194 for the return of the Palestinian refugees, the insistence of refusing to share Jerusalem Capital to the Palestine State, the transfer methods of the Christians from Jerusalem, and claiming that Israel should be accepted as State for Jews before any peaceful negotiation.

            The Jewish religion is dead.  It was replaced by a State ideology called Zionism, founded by the Eastern Europe Ashkenazi.

 

Note: The UN described Zionism in mild terms as “a form of racism”.  As the USA pressured the UN to desist of this mild description then Zionist ideology was no longer restricted to Jews; it transformed to an umbrella for the fascist, Nazi, Stalinists, Gang of Four, Khmer Rouge, Neo-Conservative, apartheid, and isolationist ideologies; it had contacts with Taliban, Ben Laden, Qaeda, and a variety of religious extremists of Moslems, Hindus, and the Christians of the Sirilanka Tamul terrorists.

Uncontested Palestinian Leader: late Yasser Arafat (Abu 3Ammar); June 15, 2009

 

            Known as Yasser Arafat; code-named “Abu Ammar”; full name Muhammad Abdel Raouf Arafat Al Koudwa Al Husseiny was born in Jerusalem in 1929.  He studied civil engineering at Cairo and worked in Kuwait. In the summer of 1965 he started guerilla activities inside Israel with ten feddayins, among them the future leaders Khalil Wazeer (code-named Abu Jihad; assassinated in Tunisia by an Israeli air raid), Salah Khalaf (code-named Abu Ayad), and Abu Ali Ayad (died in battle fighting the onslaught of the Jordanian army in 1970). 

            After the defeat of the Arab armies in June 1967 Arafat decided to take matters into his own hand: the Arab States can no longer be counted on to reclaim the Palestinians right to a homeland and the return of the refugees since 1948 (date of recognition of Israel as a State).  Arafat set out to organizing the Palestinians into a resistance force called “Hurricane” (Al 3asifat) and resumed incursions into Israel at higher rates. An acceptable resolution would be a secular State on the West Bank with East Jerusalem as Capital.  He would repeat: “As I liberate a single square meter then I would raise the Palestinian flag.  One day, a boy or a girl will hoist the flag in Jerusalem” Arafat insisted that “we may differ as Christians and Moslems on many issues but we are unified on liberating Jerusalem and consecrating it our spiritual and political Capital” Jerusalem was the cornerstone in any negotiation of more importance to him than the “right of return” of the UN resolution 194.  In fact, during the Arab Summit in Beirut 2002 Arafat was ready to accept the Saudi proposal of “land for peace” that did not mention the right of return.  Luckily, the Lebanese President Emile Lahoud was adamant on including this cause since the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon question is “a time bomb ready to detonate anytime”.

            The uncontested Arab leader Gamal Abdel Nasser recognized that the nascent Palestinian resistance activities are reactions to the failure of his leadership and he met with Arafat. Gamal Abdel Nasser gave Arafat’s organization political cover to preserve control of Arab politics and introduced Arafat to other Arab State leaders. Thus, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed in 1968 which included many Palestinian factions such as the national and Marxist faction of George Habash and the splintered faction of Nayef Hawatmed.  Syria would later include another faction with a military wing called Al Sa3ikat (Thunderstorm).  Arafat was the leader of the largest faction called Fateh (Conquest) and thus was elected Chairman of the PLO; Arafat was to hold the purse or the treasury of this organization to keep all factions in line.

            King Hussein of Jordan defeated militarily the PLO in 1970 and the resistance fighters fled to Lebanon.  The Egyptian leader forced the hand of the Lebanese government to allocate a strip of land in south Lebanon called “Al 3arkoub” from which the PLO could wage guerilla attacks on Israel.  This was a top-secret deal; Deputy Raymond Eddeh would persist in the parliament to divulge the details of the deal at no avail.  Thus, the mostly Shi3a Lebanese citizens in south Lebanon were caught in between the military retaliations of Israel, the exactions of the PLO and the non-existence of the weak Lebanese government in that region. South Lebanon was de facto controlled and governed by the PLO.  The Lebanese army controlled every resistance movement in the south before 1970 but relinquished its hold after that secret deal.

            The PLO quickly established political and administrative headquarters in the Capital Beirut and was immersed deeply in Lebanon internal politics. The Palestinian resistance fighters occupied all the Palestinian camps and transformed them into bunkers. Israel didn’t mind the transformation and the involvement of the PLO in Lebanon’s politics. Israel goal was to displace the Lebanese citizens from the south and then conquer it. In fact, thousands of citizens in the south moved to the southern outskirts of Beirut in Haret Hrik, Ghobeiry, and Dahieh.  These areas would become the “belt of misery” and shantytowns.

            In April 1973, an Israeli commando (headed by Ehud Barak) assassinated three Palestinian leaders in Beirut Kamal Edwan, Kamal Youssef, and Abu Youssef Al Najjar; it failed to locate Arafat.  In May 1973, the Lebanese army was encircling the Palestinian camps and Arafat took refuge in Embassies.  Arafat had a sixth sense on personal dangers and he did sleep in Embassies when the tough got going.  His best strategy for avoiding detection and maintaining security is to be “unpredictable”; thus he frequently moved from one residence to another and never informed anyone of his displacements, even his driver or bodyguards.

            Arafat highly valued Medias and used it tot the hilt. He also lavished on and befriended the sheikhs of mosques so that their Friday preaches increase his positive exposure. Arafat was not that good in rhetoric but his charisma and large smile compensated greatly on other verbal deficiencies.

            Arafat was super patient, like fish hunters.  He didn’t mind waiting for years until his enemy is caught in his nets.  He fundamentally used persuasion and then extending financial bait and then blackmailing when everything failed.  Arafat could focus under extreme dangerous situations and keep his cool for the sake of his surrounding assistants. He slept a few hours on early morning and then had siesta after lunch.  He extended aid to the needy and took excellent care of the martyrs’ families.  He owned only two military suits.

            Arafat read every piece of mail and replied in details.  He carried a small booklet and noted down information; he once said “if one of my small notebooks is published monarchies would disappear and Presidents fall.”  Arafat was feared by Arab leaders because of his wide connections and the vast intelligence he had on each one of them; thus, the PLO coffer was replenished on demand.

            Arafat visited India PM Indira Gandhi. A guru asked Arafat “How many Palestinians are there?”  Arafat replied 8 millions. The guru retorted “I have 9 million followers who worship me as their God.”  Arafat said with a large smile “The difference is that every one of the 8 million Palestinians thinks that he is indeed God”

            On November 1974, Arafat delivered a speech to the UN assembly and offered two alternatives: the olive tree or the gun.  He also talked to the UN General assembly in Geneva on December 1988 and declared his willingness to end armed struggle and the recognition of Israel; the USA decided then to recognize the PLO.

            Arafat played a central role during the Lebanese civil war that started in April 13, 1975.  He tried to maintain a balanced position in the tag of war between Hafez Assad of Syria and Sadat of Egypt at the expense of the Lebanese civilians.  The leftist Lebanese organizations relied on Arafat for logistics in arms and ammunition and he controlled them completely.  Arafat once declared in Ramallah around 1998 that he was the de facto governor of Lebanon for over 20 years, even before the civil war. Lebanon would have been saved 13 years of mindless civil war if Arafat had decided to relinquish Lebanon to Syria and dealt with Israel in 1977 instead of 1993 for part of Palestine as he was forced to do later.

            After the signing of the Oslo agreement with Rabin, Arafat returned to Gaza on July 1994.  He signed an agreement for the return of the West bank in September 1995.  Rabin was assassinated by one of his body-guard. Netanyahu refused to go along with the agreement but finally submitted to the USA pressures and returned Hebron (Al Khalil) after the negotiation of Wy River in 1998.

            On September 28, 2000, Ariel Sharon entered the Masjed Akssa during the tenure of Ehud Barak PM.  The second intifada started.  Ariel Sharon was elected Prime Minister in February 2001 and he invaded Ramallah (headquarter of the Palestinian Authority, al mukata3a) and encircled Arafat in his quarter. George W. Bush said to Sharon “Leave Arafat to God” and Sharon relied “I will give God a nudge”

            Arafat had food delivered through Israeli check points. He suffered acute ailment and knew that he has been poisoned by small doses.  Before being hospitalized in France Arafat said to his personal physician Ashraf Kerdi “The Zionists got me…”  Mohammad Dahlan (Fateh officer) told Arafat “When you are back your authority and power will remain intact” Arafat replied “In that case you are coming with me to France”

            Mahmoud Abbass replaced Arafat and refused to have an autopsy performed.  Arafat managed to hold together an organization of many factions for 40 years by centralizing the disbursement of the financial import he secured from the Arab States and from investment.  Arafat struggled hard to keep the Palestinian decisions independent of the vagaries of the multiple Arab States leaders’ interests of abusing of the “Palestinian cause.”  Probably, most of Arafat’s “peace deals” with Israel emanate from the disunity of the Arab States toward a strategic plan for checking the Zionist plans.  Arafat had to juggle Arab States priorities concerning their proper interests. Arafat sculpted an image of Palestinian resistance by wearing the special “koufieh” headdress and the military attire. He forged a logo for the Palestinian cause.

Legitimate, Temporary, and Necessary (June 5, 2009)

 

            On June 7, 2009 the Lebanese will vote for a new Parliament. Theo groups of citizens will vote; the group constituted of the patriotic, secular, and reformists and the group of an amalgam of confessionals, feudalists, isolationists, statue quo,  and “colonial minded” mentalities. The “colonial minded” citizens follow leaders who invariably rely on foreign interventions to balance a broken alliance among confessional castes system and perpetrate the conditions for weak central governments.

            A brief current history might elucidate this drastic splitting among the Lebanese citizens. In May 24, 2000 Ehud Barak PM of Israel withdrew from most of south Lebanon with no preconditions, the first ever in Israel 61 years history. The joint strategy of Lebanon President Lahoud and Bashar Assad of Syria enabled Hezbollah a resounding victory.  The Arab League decided to hold its annual meting in Beirut in August 2002 as a god gesture for its acknowledgment of the victory in 2000 of this tiny State.

In 2003, Syria had plans for partial withdrawal to the Bekaa Valley but the vehement rhetoric from the Druze leader Walid Jumblat and the Patriarch of the Maronite Christian sect slowed down the execution process. 

Before the assassination of Rafic Hariri in February 14, 2005 the Bush Jr. Administration and Jacque Chirac of France issued the UN resolution 1559 for the retreat of the Syrian forces from Lebanon and the dismantling of Hezbollah’s military wing and the return of its heavy armament.  The withdrawal of the Syrian troops was not the main objective because the international community and the main Arab States wanted and kept high hopes that Syria will ultimately be pressured to do the dirty work of taming Hezbollah.

            The Syrian government factored in many variables to opposing the frequent lures and pressures of what is expected of her to do in order to remain in Lebanon.  The targeting Rafic Hariri for assassination by the US, France, Saudi Arabia, and Israel was not one of the variables considered and Syria strategy was shaken violently. In fact, Rafic Hariri received so many encouragements and acted in such confidence that the Syrian government forgot to contemplate such an evil and drastic eventuality.

The mass demonstration on February 14 was not a threat to Syria; General Aoun was still in exile in France and was pressured by the French government not to return to Lebanon.  What Syria comprehended the loudest was the mass demonstration by Hezbollah on March 8, 2005.  Hezbollah thanked Syria for its sacrifices, which meant “Now it is time for your complete withdrawal” Hezbollah was always nervous of the Syrian presence in Lebanon because it was the only power capable of restraining its activities.  Hezbollah was sending the message to Bashar Assad “We can take care of ourselves and still continue the resistance against Israel if you definitely put an end to the international pressures by getting out of Lebanon” 

The mass demonstration in March 14, fortified by the supporters of General Aoun (The Tayyar Horr), was not even a threat to Syria.  It was the realization of Syria that its continued presence in Lebanon will ultimately confront its army directly as the Lebanese government lost control over events and cowered under uncertainties.

Syria withdrew quickly to the frustration of the US and France who realized that they wasted Hariri for naught: Hariri could still be of great benefit to their policies in the Middle East region alive rather than dead.  The International Community, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia fel back to plan B: re-kindling the civil war in Lebanon.  They initiated a series of bombing in Christian quarters hoping that the Christian will side en mass with the Sunni/Hariri clan.  Plan B petered.  They came back with more vigorous scare tactics by assassinating Christian personalities.  Samir Kassir, George Hawi, and Jubran Tweiny were marked as potentially not reliable and could shift sides because they were independent minded and honest characters.  This wave of select assassination backfired because General Aoun signed a pact with Hezbollah and de-activated a potential civil war targeting the Christians.

Plan C also failed and civil war did not flare out.  Thus, direct intervention from outside was considered and Israel trained its forces for incursion into Lebanon with the US total aids and support in all phases.  Hezbollah, intentionally or by coincidence, preempted the completion of the plan in June 12, 2006.  Israel launched its offensive for 33 days and failed miserably in all the goals.  The attack backfired and the stature of Hezbollah ballooned and overflowed to all the Arab and Moslem populations.

The International Community, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia did not desist.  Plan D was to re-enforce the Sunnis with a military wing of extremist salafists called “Jound Al Sham” and financed by Bandar Bib Sultan of Saudi Arabia.   In the summer of 2007 a few ignorant and violent Sunni extremists preempted the timing by slaughtering Lebanese soldiers; the army pride and dignity reacted with an all out attack and crushed this insurrection in Nahr Al Bared Palestinian camp after many months and many martyrs. 

The International Community, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia studied for two years to dismantle Hezbollah secured communication lines and to start a mini civil war in Beirut between the Shiaa and Sunnis.  Plan E backfired again on May 8, 2008 and the Lebanese leaders had to meet in Dawha and agree on the election of a President to the Republic, an election law for Parliament, and the constitution of a national government. Lebanon has suffered for 4 years of an incompetent and illegitimate government; the Lebanese lived in a totally insecure political vacuum; the economy was farmed out to the size of the Hariri clan and the financial debt skyrocketed to $60 billions.  This “political” debt is intended to pressure the Lebanese government into accepting the settling of the 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon in return for debt cancellation.

 

            We need to compare four categories of leaders along the two dimensions of principled leaders and pragmatists.  In the dimension of principled leaders we can discriminate the hate monger isolationist leaders versus the principled for the public and State good. In the pragmatic dimension we have the individual interest oriented and the public/State pragmatists.  For example: Walid Jumblat, Merwan Hamadeh, Amine Gemayel, Samir Geaja, and the Patriarch of the Christian Maronite sect can be categorized in the isolationist, confessional, and personal minded leaders.  Ex-President Emile Lahoud, General Michel Aoun, Suleiman Frangieh, and Hassan Nasr Allah could be classified as the principled and public/State object oriented pragmatists.  The classification of the remainder of the semi-leaders I leave it to the readers as exercises. The Mufti of Beirut is a non entity: he is the bugle of Saad Hariri.  Saad Hariri is a non entity: he re-edited the slogan of the chairman of General Motors to say “What is good for the Saudi Monarchs is good for Lebanon”.  General Motors has declared bankruptcy; the Hariri/Seniora clan will declare bankruptcy on June 8, 2009.

 

            With the exception of General Aoun who refused any kind of occupation all leaders welcomed the mandate of Syria for 20 years; they kept repeating the mantra “The presence of Syria in Lebanon is “Legitimate, Temporary, and Necessary”; Merwan Hamadeh and all the actual ministers were the ones repeating this mantra to nauseating public.  The Maronite Patriarch Sfeir was against the Syrian presence but was pretty cool regarding Israel’s occupation.   The members of the Seniora PM government did not voice out their refusal of Israel’s occupation of part of south Lebanon and constantly conspired to weaken the resistance forces against the Israeli occupiers on the basis that only international diplomacy can pressure Israel! 

Only President Lahoud stood steadfast with Hezbollah and refused to deploy the army in areas of the resistance’s operations.  Thanks to Hassan Nasr Allah and President Lahoud Lebanon managed to secure its integrity and unify its army.  Thanks to Hassan Nasr Allah and General Michel Aoun Lebanon buried any likelihood for the resurgence of a civil war.  My spirit went to statesman General Aoun who said once the Syrian troops crossed the borders “Syria is now out of Lebanon.  I have no qualms with Syria anymore. This is the time to open a new page in our relations”.  This position stands in contrast to those who begged Syria for crumbs and privileges for 20 years and once Syria withdrew they refrained from normalizing relations with Syria; the fictitious excuses to antagonize Syria were dictated by Saudi Arabia and Egypt.  What kind of state leadership is that?

The election results of June 7, 2009 should fortify Lebanon as a Nation and project the image of a solid central government with serious reforms and changes to the archaic political system.  That are my wishes but I know the struggle will be long and protracted.  Sweet revolutions need time to mature in this diversified Lebanon.

“Shock and Steadfastness” by Kareem Bakradouny (May 30, 2009)

Note:  This is the second part of my book review.  The first part was excerpts of Lahoud as Army Chief

Lahoud was elected President of the Republic by the majority of 118 out of 128 deputy votes after revising an item in the city of Taif Constitution. Item 49 in the Constitution denied candidacy to any a high ranked employee before resigning his post for a period. General Lahoud was elected President on October 15, 1998 and his first public oath in the Parliament said: “The President of the Republic is the only official to swear allegiance to the nation and to obey the law.  Thus, since I will be under the Law then I expect everyone else to emulate my subordination to the Law of the Land” President Lahoud had a program of fighting corruption and made it clear and loud in his speech that didn’t mention the ex-President Hrawi or the ex Hariri PM in any sections of the speech.

When ex-President Hrawi urged Hafiz Assad to change his choice Assad said: “The Lebanese public polls selected Emile Lahoud for President and I want him there” The Syrian President had complete confidence in the former Army Chief that he will first, resume his policy of strengthening and unifying the Lebanese army and will refrain from drawing the Lebanese army in internal infighting such as with Hezbollah and thus save the Syrian army any uncalled for problems, and second, that Lahoud will never contemplate unilateral negotiation with Israel.

Hafez Assad was not concerned with the Lahoud’s program for drastic reforms and fighting corruption.  Thus Lahoud had to deal with a rotten political system in Lebanon that constituted an insurmountable barrier to change: the Taif Constitution robbed the President of valuable powers that were transferred basically to the Prime Minister and the cabinet combined.

Hariri had proclaimed three months ago that “I will return Prime Minister whoever is elected president to the Republic” Hariri had returned from a long trip visiting important capitals and secured assent to be accepted as Prime Minister but only 83 out of 128 deputies selected him directly and the remaining deputies allowed the President to vote for them.  Cocky Hariri went publicly asking that another round of consultation takes place because he wanted as many representative votes as the President of 118 deputies.  Lahoud reacted by publicly accepting Hariri refusal and appointed Salim Hoss as prime Minister with 95 deputy votes. This tactic of Hariri backfired as he realized that Syria could easily deal with another Prime Minister.  Hariri was positioning himself for a vaster role as co-partner in the coming Middle East peace accord that he sincerely believed was almost agreed on.

It was a tradition since independence for the newly elected President of Lebanon to pay an official visit to France first of all.  Chirac was highly displeased that Lahoud did not mention France contribution to the April 1996 agreement to localize the confrontations in south Lebanon and for not consulting him on the government that excluded Rafic Hariri.  Consequently, Chirac took it personally and canceled the appointment for a formal visit to France.  Later Chirac was pressured to dissociate France interest in Lebanon from his personal animosity with Lahoud and the Francophone convention took place in Beirut in 2000.

In June 1999, assassins of the extremist Sunni movement “3osbat al Ansaar” killed four judges within Saida Court House and fled to the nearby Palestinian camp of Ain Helwi.  Lahoud understood that it was a trap to inciting the Lebanese army to start a war on the Palestinian camps and instead Lahoud focused on encircling the camp to apprehend the assassins.

As this nasty trap failed to divide the government then Israel launched destructive raids on Lebanon’s infrastructure targeting the electrical power plants and water pumps. Lahoud asked the Lebanese to contribute to a bank account in order to support the State treasury to rebuild what was demolished; (I remember that I contributed $100 while in the USA).  The Lebanese overseas contributed 50 millions dollars to that fund.

The president of the Parliament Nabih Berri told Lahoud “You are an excellent soldier but lack political acumen”.  Lahoud replied “If I managed to become Chief of the army and President of the Republic with lack of political acumen then how my path you have unfold if I was much more clever in politics?”.  In another moment Berri told the author “Lahoud plays it dumb but he is aware of all the political details and smarter in politics than most Lebanese politicians.  For example, Lahoud retains General Jamil Al Sayyed, Director of the General Security in Lebanon, in all his discussions with foreign personalities so that Al Sayyed would testify to the Syrian officials.”  Berri had no liking for the strong Shiaa man Al Sayyed.

Lahoud finally met with Rafic Hariri in the summer Palace of Beit El Dine after months of avoiding face to face encounter. Lahoud told Hariri “From the first moment I knew that you wanted as much weight among the deputies as I obtained in my election for the presidency so that you may force on me your conditions. I kept the honest and performing high officials that you appointed and will dismiss anyone that is not up to his responsibilities.  I intended you to be my first Prime Minister but I was in no mood to be subjected to any conditions.  I know that you are spending lots of money on the media to ruin the image of this government but this not the way to behave with me.”  Two days later president basher Assad paid Lahoud a quick visit to Lebanon and publicly supported the president and Hoss PM.

President Lahoud decided to spend part of summer in the Presidential Palace in Beit El Dine and for that purpose had to relocate the bust of Kamal Jumblat off the entrance and waited for Walid to ship it somewhere else at his own responsibility. Walid said “I will never forget what Lahoud did for the duration of my life!”  Walid Jumblat tried scare tactics on Lahoud by assuring him that the Syria President is terminally ill and that his son Bashar will not succeed his father Hafiz and that General Hekmat Shahaby and Abdel Haleem Khaddam will take over the regime.  Lahoud retorted “Bashar will be the next appointed President and I am trying my best to take on the responsibilities of the President and to recapture the dignity of the State under one leader”  Jumbalt said “I don’t like the military”.  Lahoud replied “I don’t like the militias”.  Once, Lahoud saw on the TV Hoss PM meeting Jumblat who was in jeans.  Lahoud sent his assistant to inform Jumblat that he will not be welcomed in the Presidential Palace if he ever arrives not wearing a tie.   President Lahoud comprehended that Walid Jumblatt’s attitude, as his father Kamal, amounted to a historical trend of blaming the Christian Maronite sect for having robbed the Druze out of the leadership of Mount Lebanon.

In November 1999, the French Foreign Affairs Hubert Vedrine had a lengthy discussion with President Lahoud.  Vedrine had toured several capitals and his impression was that a resolution of the Middle East crisis was less ripe as he expected.  Ehud Barak of Israel was sending tactical contradictory messages hoping for starting any kinds of negotiations with either Lebanon or Syria so that he won’t have to withdraw unilaterally from Lebanon and give Hezbollah the impression of defeating Israel by acts of resistance.  Barak would not pronounce on the complete withdrawal from the Golan as requested by Hafiz Assad and President Lahoud would not negotiate without Syria approval. Consequently, Barak was forced to withdraw from Lebanon without any pre-conditions because Israel was in fact paying a high price in Lebanon for insisting on keeping the Golan Heights.

Vedrine and Lahoud discussed the Palestinian problems.  Vedrine was offering the suggestion that Lebanon refrains from adamantly proclaiming that every Palestinian in the refugee camps should leave Lebanon  and just be satisfied maintaining the Constitution requirement of the Palestinian rights to return.  Lahoud stated that the Palestinians procreation is three times faster than the Lebanese and constitute now 10% of the population or 400,000 and this fact is a highly “explosive bomb” that has the potential to destabilize the Lebanese social and political fabrics. Lahoud confirmed that the Palestinians in the camps are suffering a harsh life but arms in the camps are no longer directed toward Israel since the Oslo Agreement.  It appeared that the financial compensation was already settled among the donating powers but the potential Palestinian State would be small and economically fragile to sustain the relocation of all the Palestinian refugees.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

August 2020
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