Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Hezbollah

The assassination of Luqman Slim underlines that the scope for dissent in Lebanon is rapidly narrowing.(More like widening with the increase of calamities that are Not resolved by any institution)

The killing of Luqman Slim is another bad omen for Lebanon. Luqman was not just any activist. (Very few Lebanese have heard of him, mostly the embassies were dealing with him and funding his institution Umam)

He was a vocal critic of Hezbollah (for over 25 years and he visited Israel too), who chose to continue living in his family’s home in Haret Hreik in the southern suburbs of Beirut, an area controlled by those whom he criticized harshly. (And lived in security and safety)

I met Luqman in 2004 with the late journalist Samir Kassir and Samir’s wife Giselle Khoury. (Late Kassir was assassinated by the Druse civil war leader Walid Jumblatt, as a matter of female jealousy )

Luqman, with his wife Monika Borgmann, had invited us to watch a private screening of a movie they had produced on the Sabra and Shatila massacres of 1982.

The debate that ensued was as harrowing as it was enlightening. It was the first of many interactions over the subsequent two years around the memory of the civil war, questions of accountability, and commemoration of the victims, and their importance for Lebanon’s future. These debates dissipated after Samir’s assassination on June 2, 2005.

Luqman was also a harsh critic of Lebanon’s political class, of the repression of the uprising in Syria, of Iran’s regional involvement, and of much else. (What about US invasion of Iraq? Of Israel successive pre-emptive wars on Lebanon…)

But he was also more than that. With Monika, Luqman went on to establish the UMAM documentation and research center in his family home. UMAM aims to inform the future (generation?) by addressing past atrocities.

Since 2005, the center has been collecting information and establishing a database for all those killed, or who disappeared, during the fifteen-year Lebanese civil war. It has also made documentaries and organized discussions on some of the most painful episodes of that conflict.

Their work is critical if Lebanon is to come to terms with the war’s legacy and is essential in determining accountability for the crimes committed during that time. (The Lebanese parliament decided to absolve all the civil war leaders and those who committed crimes against humanity. And these “leaders” are still controlling and ruling Lebanon since 1992)

This work carried out by Luqman and Monika was vital in a country where the political leadership is largely made up of those who fought during the war. Lebanon’s conflict ended with the mantra of “no victor and no vanquished.”

In 1991, parliament passed an amnesty law covering most of the crimes committed during the conflict. Militia leaders moved from the streets into government to occupy the state and its institutions. The history of the civil war was never integrated into school curriculums. Knowledge of the war has largely been defined by individual points of view, not by a collective Lebanese effort to remember the war to better transcend it.

To understand the killing of Luqman one must also look at Lebanon’s broader context.

Since October 2019, when the Lebanese took to the streets to protest against the corruption of their political parties and leaders, the country has been facing an economic collapse that has impoverished more than half the population and decimated the middle class. (Bankrupt State at all levels, politically, economically and financially)

Rather than addressing the sources of discontent, the leadership has remained unwilling to implement the reforms needed to unlock international financial aid, for fear that this would undermine their influence over their constituencies.

Lockdown measures associated with Covid-19 have only hastened this economic breakdown. Without outside financial support Lebanon will continue to sink into the abyss.

Ironically, by protecting their system and continuing with a business-as-usual approach the political parties have also signed its death warrant. That may not be a bad thing, but in the meantime millions of Lebanese will suffer terribly.

The catastrophic (electromagnetic pulse bomb) explosion in the port of Beirut last August 4 further increased the anger of the Lebanese and their vocal criticism of the political leadership.

Six months later, no one has been held accountable for what happened and the official investigation is going nowhere. For many Lebanese there was no question as to who was responsible, when protestors hanged effigies of their political leaders on gallows set up at a demonstration in Martyrs’ Square last year.

Luqman’s killing underlines that the space for dissent is closing fast in Lebanon. Over the past year or so, the political leadership’s tolerance for criticism has been decreasing as more and more journalists and critics have been taken into custody by the authorities.

Yet Luqman’s killing went much further. It heralded a return to political assassinations as a means of silencing those in opposition.

The crime has sent shock waves across Lebanon and beyond, especially among opposition groups and, more so, among most of the 19 officially recognized religious sects.

For many this brought back memories of 2005 and the years that followed, when Samir Kassir, Gebran Tueni, (Communist secretary general Georges Hawi, Mohamad Chatah, Pierre Jr. Gemayel, and many security officials… Pierre Jr. Gemayel was assassinated by agents who were dispatched from the US embassy and returned to the embassy. And why was Pierre Jr. assassinated? Because he expressed his opinion during the government meeting of valuing Hezbollah resistance during the 33 days pre-emptive Israel/US in 2006)

One wonders whether Luqman Slim would have been killed had Kassir and Tueni killers been brought to justice. (Lebanon never brought to trial Israel, US, France, England… perpetrator of assassinations, Not even lesser States such as Jordan, Saudi Kingdom or the Emirate..)

That is why we should have serious doubts as to whether those who assassinated Luqman will themselves be brought to justice.

Titbits #99

Posted on November 22, 2018

Note: My previous large file titled “Tidbits and notes” has vanished after I pressed Leave instead of Cancel. WordPress,com support system was of No help. If you know how I can retrieve the file, I’ll be very appreciative.

Dans ma jeunesse, j’etais trop timide et plutot passif: peut-être que les conversations autour de moi, dans la famille, etaient inexistentes ou plutot sans interet? Je ne savais pas comment jouer le jeu des petites conversations (small chatting) , un calin ou compliment. Plus tard, les gens crurent que j’étais un snob: J’’hibernais dans ma peau d’enfance.

An invariant in Israel politics: When Israel claims it is negotiating a peace treaty or a cease fire, it means that it is ready to launch a pre-emptive war. Israel establishment and weapon industrial complex believes that it cannot sustain a long period of peace, and actually never tried it. Pre-emptive wars on Lebanon is No longer feasible as Hezbollah managed to counter with a deterrence force

Le Chevalier? This representative of French President Macron visited Israel and relayed to Lebanon that Israel is preparing a pre-emptive war on Lebanon? The test in Gaza is Not encouraging Israel for another try on Lebanon. However, the plan of USA/Israel is to start another round of civil war in Lebanon. And Lebanon is fooling itself that it learned the lesson, but it learned nothing much but sinking its head deeper in the sand. And without funding, the army will be unable to maintain its cohesion. But with Hezbollah ready and able, there is no fear for another war with this implanted apartheid colonial State.

Stupid France still think that it can foment civil war in Syria and keep Lebanon intact from the flame roaring around it: The Trump administration is so out of touch and is planning for another round of civil war in Lebanon.

The idea of creating Israel by England around 1907, with the instigation of the US Evangelical sects, was when England realized that it needed a buffer zone to protect its interests in India through Egypt by eliminating any kind of unification of the One Near-Eastern people in the foreseeable future ( Current Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan…)

An old man in the psych group said: “The assassin is serving a life sentenceAnd it is still Not a comfort for me” And what if this prisoner would be let free within 20 years? Instead of sorrow and anger, most probably fear will set in?

The world’s billionaires made more money in 2017 than in any year in recorded history. (2020 was even more mind boggling. A UBS report says billionaires become 20% richer last year. (Mind you that their number is increasing crazily since China and India billionaires are closing the gap with the colonial powers of USA and Europe combined)

It is a Universal truth that mothers will Not “betray” their children to the police under any basis of ethics, moral or “this is the law”: They have enough loads in issues and activities to control and administer in the household that they don’t care to add a bigger problem.

If you want to learn how to express your opinions, read, take notes, reflect and write. If you want to learn the wide range of boasting and cursing (“shata2em” and “bahwaraat”), plug-in to “Arabic” and Trump-like social medias.

The EU turns its clocks back by one hour on Sunday. It may be the last time the bloc uses Daylight Saving Time, after citizens voted to abolish it earlier this year.

A lack of frequent, helpful feedback is among the top reasons people quit their jobs. Studies show that more communicative, honest cultures drive increased productivity, innovation, and employee satisfaction.

Is Feedback a social threat”? And like any threat, it’s accompanied by physiological and cognitive responses, including an increase in heart rate and blood pressure and feelings of anger, anxiety, and fear.

Making matters worse, humans are biased towards negativity—a tendency to over-index negative interactions relative to neutral or positive ones. These physiological responses can inhibit us from effectively processing any feedback that we perceive as threatening to our identities, happiness, and jobs. (Ed Batista)

Swapping Punishment and counter Revenge at the expense of people in Lebanon, including the refugees, Palestinians and Syrians)

Note: This idea came to me in a flash and made plenty of sense given the many concording evidences, months and years after the events that happened in Lebanon. This conjecture is Never approached in articles and news, on the ground that the “active” feuds between Israel and US administration should be taboos.

The US embassy in Lebanon does Not need many secret agents: It receive intelligence pieces directly from the sources: ministers, deputies, Central Bank, private banks, and all its institutions.

The employees “agents” in every Lebanese institution are trained to recognize the kinds of fresh information that the US desire to obtain for the control of Lebanon “politics”

Most of the other embassies, with a few exceptions, receive the intelligence that the US wants to share with them, and in return they also share their intelligence with the US embassy.

Lebanon is ideal carrefour for collecting and swapping intelligence pieces in Lebanon and mostly of the “Arabic’ and Islamic States. That is why this pseudo-State is Not to erased from among the UN States.

Actually, most Lebanese “politicians” and in high level positions prefer to play double and triple agents, which is fine if they “register” as such with the US embassy, as long as they have “no direct contact” with the other agents without the approval for certain events and for a period.

Occasionally, and for local politics in Israel, Israel likes to forget that it is a tiny State and totally dependent on the US and has to plan a priori with the US in Lebanon politics.

In these circumstances, when Israel decide to play the strong partner in Lebanon or the adjacent States without the approval of the US, Israel is punished for tarnishing the “standing” of the US in this strategic turntable of intelligence swapping for the entire Middle-East, once Israel activities turn sour and it is the US that has to pay the dear price in the region.

Israel had deliberately targeted the US Liberty intelligence ship during the 1967 war, for 3 hours and killed 33 navy men. The US buried this bloody “accident” to the public, but I conjecture that is why the US didn’t build or sold any warships to Israel. It is the job of Germany to fund Israel war ships and submarine and built in France.

The US never forgot the heavy casualties it suffered in 1983 to its marines for the blowing of their headquarter close to Lebanon airport. Israel reneged on the deal to vacate Beirut and most of the occupied territories, and to quickly withdraw to the stretch of land in the south, a land that it occupied for 23 years.

The US responded by allowing Syria to get a mandated power over Lebanon politics in order to clip Israel control over many politicians.

And the resistance against Israel forces was launched that ended in Israel withdrawal in 2000 without any explicit pre-conditions.

The pre-emptive war in 2006 that lasted for 33 days is another tragic events.

I conjecture that the US was Not ready to launch this war on Hezbollah and Lebanon at this time, but Israel, for local politics, lied that it can destroy Hezbollah military forces.

A week into the war, Israel discovered that the morale of its army was Not at par with the goal of the war. Israel wanted to stop the war, but the US was outraged for being lead/dragged to this war and pressured Israel to resume the war, against all odds.

Israel ended up begging the US to quickly demand a cease fire.

In retaliation for this fiasco, the US got its revenge in 2008 by leaking the “safe havens” of Israel Mossad locations in Beirut to Hezbollah.

Within 3 days, Hezbollah had “closed” all of Israel spy networks in Lebanon and pressured the dual Lebanese political agents to desist from direct contact with Israel. And the US regained some of its standing with easy direct intelligence from Lebanon institutions.

Feeling safe, the nonchalance of the US control of Lebanon lead to the total bankruptcy of the State of Lebanon at all levels: US policies encouraged Lebanon civil war “leaders” to loot the wealth of Lebanon and its budgets since 2008.

Note: Israel is at odd with US policies in Lebanon. Israel has decided that “No more military pre-emptive wars on Lebanon, Not even on a smaller scale”. Israel desires a “stable” Hezbollah. Otherwise, Israel will be sucked into successive nightwares.

A reminder of the period after the assassination of Rafic Hariri and the withdrawal of the Syrian troops in 2005

La mémoire libanaise de Lokman Slim: Umam? Like Nations?

Après l’assassinat de l’intellectuel chiite, sa femme, Monika Borgmann, souhaite continuer la mission que le couple s’était fixée.

OLJ / Par Lyana ALAMEDDINE, le 11 février 2021 

Note 1: Monika Borgmann, wife of Slim, wrote that The “Hangar” was a political decision in order to counter Hezbollah “monopoly” on the kinds of arts and culture prevalent in Al Dahiyat.

Chloé Kattar added: By opening up the quarter of Haret Hreik (dominated by Hezbollah culture), we responded to the wishes of the local people to varieties of artistic offering, an alternative to these marginalized people with limited access to different cultural orientations…

My question is: What Offering alternative “debouche” for culture and arts should translate into supporting our existential enemy of Israel? And making it a purpose to antagonize every achievement of Hezbollah in securing Lebanon autonomy and becoming a counter-balance military force to Israel successive pre-emptive wars on Lebanon?

Note 2: Lokman was born and lived in Haret Hreik and lambasted against Hezbollah for 25 years, and he was mainly protected by Hezbollah. Thus, which political parties and States decided to get rid of Lokman and why? Has he been a liability to a few embassies with no worthy return for his meager intelligence pieces?

« Vous devriez discuter, vous êtes tous les deux intéressés par les choses morbides. »

C’est cette petite phrase, lancée par l’un de leurs amis en commun, qui est à l’origine de la première rencontre entre Monika Borgmann et Lokman Slim en 2001, au Zico House à Hamra.

Entre la journaliste allemande arabophone et l’intellectuel libanais, « cela a tout de suite été le coup de foudre », confie Monika dans le bureau de son époux, en plein cœur de la banlieue sud, dans la maison patricienne des Slim.

C’est là, dans la villa blanche aux fenêtres et portes vert pastel, « qui a vu passer cinq générations », que le couple a donné naissance à Umam en 2004, une association de documentation et de recherches visant à reconstituer et réconcilier les mémoires libanaises.

Dans les locaux d’Umam, une affiche montrant Lokman Slim. A l’arrière-plan, sa soeur Rasha el-Amir. Photo João Sousa

Umam, c’est avant tout l’histoire de leur rencontre. Celle de deux individus passionnés par la nature humaine, dans ce qu’elle a de meilleur et (surtout) de pire, et par les blessures et les traumas du passé.

« Tout a été très vite entre nous. Nous avons commencé à travailler ensemble, puis nous nous sommes installés ensemble », raconte la cofondatrice de l’association, entourée des livres, objets et cartons qui remplissent la pièce, laissant à peine transparaître les murs.

Dès 2001, le couple se lance dans son premier grand projet, un documentaire sur les massacres de Sabra et Chatila en 1982, racontés par 6 des bourreaux de l’époque. (I published several articles on this camp genocide of civil Palestinians/Lebanese without weapons and by Israeli investigators and foreign journalists)

Massacre“, coproduction libanaise, suisse et allemande, sort en 2005 et remporte plusieurs prix internationaux dont le Fipresci Award Berlin 2005.

« Cette expérience (commencée en 2001) a été le déclic pour créer Umam », explique la journaliste. « Comme le massacre est extrêmement politique, il fallait vérifier toutes les informations venant des tueurs. Dans un pays normal, nous les aurions puisées dans les archives nationales, mais au Liban, nous ne pouvons pas y accéder », poursuit-elle.

C’est là qu’ Umam entre en scène, pour combler un manque lié à l’absence d’institutions publiques dignes de ce nom. L’association est à la fois un outil et un espace de réflexion sur la guerre et la « banalité du mal » qui lui est intrinsèque.

« Nous voulions comprendre cette violence collective : comment en sont-ils arrivés à commettre des actes si inhumains ? » Confronter le passé pour ne plus répéter les mêmes erreurs. « Je fais partie d’une génération qui a grandi avec la mémoire de la Shoah », dit Monika Borgmann.

L’un des objectifs d’Umam : créer des archives accessibles à tous. Photo João Sousa

« Plus nous creusons, moins nous comprenons »

Au départ, deux objectifs : créer des archives accessibles à tous et sensibiliser le public au Liban via des événements culturels pour provoquer des discussions difficiles mais nécessaires.

Au fil des événements (guerre de 2006, affrontements de mai 2008, soulèvement du 17 octobre 2019), Umam endosse un rôle politique et se donne la mission de traiter de sujets d’actualité tout en les liant au passé. « Ce travail de mémoire a montré la complexité de ce pays. Plus nous creusons, moins nous comprenons », analyse Monika Borgmann.

En 2005, le couple fonde le Hangar, un lieu de discussion et de rencontre poussant des gens de tous les milieux à venir dans la banlieue sud pour assister à des tables rondes, expositions, ateliers ou projections.

« Une fois, lors d’un événement, il y avait un cheikh qui faisait sa prière dans une cabine en vitre près de personnes qui buvaient du vin », se souvient Nathalie, assistante chercheuse depuis trois ans à Umam.

« Le Hangar, c’était une décision politique, une façon de dire “Ne donnons pas Dahyé uniquement au Hezbollah” », raconte Monika.

« En ouvrant à Haret Hreik cet espace culturel qui parle d’arts, qui fait des nuits cinéma et des mini expositions, ils ont répondu à un besoin dans ces régions marginalisées où l’accès à la culture est limité ou monolithique à cause du parti politique dominant. Ils ont offert une alternative », commente Chloé Kattar, qui effectue un doctorat à l’université de Cambridge sur la guerre civile libanaise.

Rasha el-Amir, la sœur de Lokman Slim. Photo João Sousa

« Le travail d’archives force à se poser des questions, enclencher des échanges et des réflexions », explique Nathalie, qui travaille sur les archives en lien avec le Studio Baalbeck, ancien cinéma fondé par un Palestinien et ayant fait l’objet d’une exposition dans le Hangar.

En 2010, alors que le bâtiment du cinéma est sur le point d’être démoli, le matériel cinématographique est donné à Umam. Les dizaines de milliers de documents d’archives sont rangés par thématique et ordre chronologique, organisés par l’équipe qui vérifie les pages manquantes, les rangent mais aussi les numérisent partiellement pour les ajouter à la base de données.

Un véritable travail de fourmi qui témoigne de l’exigence dont faisait preuve Lokman Slim. « Je lui demandais “qu’est-ce que tu veux ?” il me répondait “tout” », se remémore une collègue ayant requis l’anonymat.

Cet amour des archives lui vient de sa famille qui collectait depuis toujours des journaux, des brochures, des tracts ou encore des posters.

Monika Borgmann, la femme de Lokman Slim. Photo João Sousa

« Umam était sa défense »

Dans un pays encore marqué par les blessures de la guerre et qui n’est pas allé au bout du processus de réconciliation des mémoires entre les différentes communautés, la tâche du couple était herculéenne. « Ils ont effectué un travail artisanal pour collecter les archives », estime la collègue précité.

Ces archives ne sont pas que des livres, mais aussi des brochures, des interviews, des journaux, des objets tous rangés dans les locaux et ouverts au grand public.

« À la fin de la guerre, il y avait une amnésie collective, conséquence directe de la loi d’amnistie : pas de justice, de tribunaux, de dialogue ou d’initiative publique ou privée, et surtout pas de travail institutionnel de la part de l’État, ce qui a empêché une sorte de catharsis. Aujourd’hui, le travail se fait de façon dispersée et éclatée entre différents acteurs », explique Chloé Kattar.

« Le travail de Lokman est fondateur pour reconstruire une histoire orale. Construire une mémoire, c’est se mettre à la place de l’autre pour mieux se pardonner et avancer », résume l’essayiste Mona Fayad. Lire aussi L’assassinat de Lokman Slim réveille le spectre des liquidations politiques

À partir de 2008, l’association prend une nouvelle envergure. « Nous avons lancé une série d’ateliers sur la justice transitionnelle sur une durée de deux ans, accompagnés d’expositions ouvertes au public sur les disparus de la guerre civile. Nous avions commencé avec 25/30 personnes, puis fini avec 80. C’est là que nous avons commencé à gagner en visibilité », raconte Monika Borgmann.

Esprit libre et téméraire, personnage parfois provocateur, Lokman Slim incarnait une sorte de contre-miroir du Hezbollah, qu’il n’hésitait pas à critiquer sur la scène publique et depuis la banlieue sud.

Présenté comme un « chiite des ambassades » par les organes de propagande du parti, qui l’accuse d’être un agent à la solde de « l’ennemi américano-israélien », l’écrivain est menacé de mort à plusieurs reprises, avant d’être assassiné le jeudi 4 février dans le caza de Zahrani.

« Umam était sa défense », explique sa sœur, l’écrivaine Rasha el-Amir. « Sa seule arme était la mémoire. Les archives sont une manière de résister contre l’amnésie. On étudie, on réfléchit, on se remémore puis on continue. » Et maintenant ? Comment l’association peut-elle survivre sans celui qui en était incontestablement le cœur ?

« Personne n’est comme Lokman, il comprenait la valeur de toutes ces archives, même d’une simple note, grâce à ses connaissances », estime Monika Borgmann. Elle refuse toutefois de renoncer à la mission qu’ils s’étaient fixée.

« Partir ? Jamais. Encore moins après son exécution… Nous croyons en Umam, nous avons un impact… C’est ma vie, c’est vingt ans de travail. Je me le dois. Je le dois à Lokman. Ma place est ici. »

Un rassemblement aura lieu aujourd’hui dans la demeure familiale en mémoire de Lokman Slim. Il sera à son image, cosmopolite : « Des prêtres de toutes les confessions feront une prière pendant trente minutes, il y aura également une sorte de micro ouvert pour permettre aux gens de dire quelques mots sur Lokman, et une séance Zoom pour se connecter à l’étranger, notamment à la Sorbonne, établissement où a étudié Lokman… » explique son épouse.

Sur France Culture en 2019, l’écrivain ne doutait pas du fait que son travail lui survivrait.

« C’est un travail infini. Nous sommes tout à fait conscients que, finalement, peut-être qu’il va nous survivre, mais, sûrement, nous n’allons pas lui survivre. »

Note 3: Monika Borgmann stated « Je fais partie d’une génération qui a grandi avec la mémoire de la Shoah ». And I am wondering what the memory of the Shoah has to do with supporting this implanted colonial apartheid State of Israel? I would be interested in reading a few of Borgmann articles on how she views Israel policies and what are her opinions and positions on the Return of the Palestinians to their Homeland.

Note 4: US ambassador Shea started to whine and complaints and participated in the burial ceremony. And I wonder: Why No US ambassador participated in the burial of the civilians blown by Daesh and the Lebanese soldiers shot in cold blood by the Muslim extremists more many years?

This hapless Buffer Zone of the pseudo-State of Lebanon.

Pseudo-citizens of Lebanon had to submit to all kinds of ignominious and murders for an entire century.

Mind you that Lebanon and Jordan Monarchy States were created before the State of Israel in order to become “buffer zones” for the “security” of the programmed creation of the colonial powers implanted colony of Israel in 1948. And both States delivered according to program.

At least Jordan is still in this program, but Hezbollah in Lebanon reshuffled the cards and became a mighty counter fighting power to Israel repeated aggressions on Lebanon.

Safia Saadi published her article in the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar and she is a university professor and one of daughters of Leader Antoun Saadi who founded the Syria National Social Party in 1936 and was executed in 1948 without even a trial.

لبنان المنطقة العازلة

دور «لبنان الكبير»: بداياته ونهاياته

لو لم تقرّر بريطانيا العظمى إقامة مستعمرة استيطانية صهيونية على أرض فلسطين، إبان الحرب العالمية الأولى، لما وُجد «لبنان الكبير» عام 1920.

دور «لبنان الكبير» الأساسي تمحور، آنذاك، حول كيان مسيحي يُفترض به أن يلعب دور «منطقة عازلة» بين دولة «يهودية»، ودول إسلامية مجاورة.

وأكثر ما صبا إليه المستعمران الغربيان إلغاء أيّ فكرة لبناء دول وطنية / قومية من رؤوس سكّان المنطقة، والحفاظ على المبدأ الديني / الطائفي كهوية لها الأولوية المطلقة على كلّ ما عداها.

ساعد تاريخ السلطنة العثمانية الملي في تعبيد الطريق أمام الاستعمار البريطاني الذي لجأ إلى استقدام عائلة آل شريف الحسيني من الجزيرة العربية، وتنصيب أبنائها على دول الهلال الخصيب باسم الهوية الدينية ومركز العائلة الديني، شرط تنازلها عن فلسطين، أي أنّه لم يتم تعيين رؤساء عراقيين، أو سوريين، أو أردنيين، لقيادة بلادهم، بل استُقدمت عائلة من خارج المحيط «السوراقي» وهي مدجّنة بالكامل، ومنصاعة للإرادة البريطانية كونها لا تمثل شعباً، بل مجرّد رمز ديني.

أمام قصر الصنوبر في أول أيلول/ سبتمبر1920: اللقطة الشهيرة التي وثقت إعلان «دولة لبنان الكبير»، وبدا المندوب السامي الفرنسي هنري غورو متوسطاً البطريرك الياس الحويك والمفتي الأكبر الشيخ مصطفى نجا
في موازاة ذلك،

ومنذ منتصف القرن التاسع عشر، تعلّق العرب المسيحيون بالهوية العربية وأعادوا إحياء اللغة العربية، بعدما كانت العثمانية اللغة الرسمية، وباشروا في ما بعد بتحديد معالم القومية العربية، وكانوا على رأس الأحزاب القومية التي تتبنّى التراث العربي،

فوجد الغرب أنّ هذه التيارات القومية / الوطنية تمثّل تهديداً لوجوده الاستعماري، وبدأ بمحاربتها عبر تقسيم السكان في لبنان إلى مسلم ومسيحي.
منذ إنشاء لبنان – المنطقة العازلة – بدأ تركيب أيديولوجيا خاصّة بهذا الكيان المسيحي لفصله عن محيطه، فإذا به فينيقي الأصل، غربي الهوى، يتكلّم أبناؤه المسيحيون اللغة الفرنسية في منازلهم ومع أبنائهم، ويفاخرون في عدم تمكّنهم من اللغة العربية التي يأنفونها ويعتبرونها أدنى مستوى،

كما تُظهر أسماؤهم تعلّقهم بالحضارة الغربية، فهُم بيار وريمون وبول وجانيت وكوليت… وساهمت مدارس الإرساليات في ترسيخ هذا المفهوم ومعاقبة كل من يلفظ كلمة باللغة العربية، فتلاشى التيار العربي الذي كان سائداً بين المسيحيين حتى نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية وعمل الغرب على وأد هذه الفكرة،

ودعم التيار الذي يؤدلج إلى أنّ العربي هو مسلم بالضرورة، وبُتر تاريخ الحضارة العربية من جذوره الوثنية والمسيحية، وحتى الإلحادية، فلا هوية للعربي إلّا الإسلام،

ووقعت الدول العربية في فخ إلغاء نفسها وأصولها تماماً كما خطّط لها المستعمر الغربي. وها هي أعداد كبيرة من رجال الدين والحركات الإسلامية تنفي صفة العربي عن ما هو خارج دينها، وتحرّض على قتله، أي قتل الهوية الوطنية / القومية. وهذا تماماً ما حصل في خضم الحرب الأهلية عام 1975.
عمل الغرب الاستعماري، خلال الفترة الممتدة بين عامَي 1920 و1975، على دعم لبنان الكبير المسيحي والمنطقة العازلة التي هي بمثابة مساحة جغرافية تمتص ارتدادات المواجهة الإسلامية – اليهودية. ليس هذا فقط، بل أيضاً تحويل لبنان إلى منطقة ترانزيت وسوق عكاظ يتم عبر مصارفه الأجنبية تسييل النفط إلى دولارات، وتدجين أبناء النخب العربية عبر جامعاته الغربية، فيصبح المسلم متقبّلاً للغرب ومنقاداً له.

دور المدارس والجامعات الأجنبية
واكبت الإرساليات الأجنبية الهجمة الاستعمارية الغربية على المنطقة، وعملت على إثارة النزاعات الدينية المتطرّفة عبر التبشير الديني في المدارس، والتفرقة بين الطلاب المسيحيين والطلاب المسلمين كي لا تتبلور الأفكار والطروحات القومية التي تقود إلى اندماج المجتمع، وتهدّد الوجود الاستعماري،

فالوعي الوطني / القومي سيخلق وحدة بين جميع المكوّنات والفئات في ما يختص بالتمسك بالأرض واعتبارها مُلكاً لجميع المواطنين بمعزل عن دينهم.
كانت النتيجة أنّ الفئة الأكثر تعلّماً وتمرّساً في اللغات هي الفئة المسيحية التي انخرطت بكثافة في هذه الإرساليات، خصوصاً أنّ بعض هذه الإرساليات عمدت إلى التعليم المجاني لاستقطاب الطلّاب، كما أُنشئت جامعتان تبشيريتان أجنبيتان: الكلية السورية البروتستانية (الجامعة الأميركية في بيروت)، والجامعة اليسوعية التي أمّها الموارنة.

لن يؤدّي تمسّك السلطة التقليدية بالدور الذي لعبه «لبنان الكبير» في العقود الماضية إلّا إلى مزيد من الانهيار

بالرغم من أنّ غاية هذه المدارس هي التبشير، إلّا أنّ نوعية المواد والبرامج التعليمية كانت متفوّقة، ولا تزال، على كل المدارس العامة في دول المشرق العربي، ولهذا السبب تقاطر إليها المسلمون في ما بعد، كما المسيحيون.

هنا يبرز التناقض الأكبر: هذه مدارس وجامعات غرضها استمالة الطلاب لدولها الغربية، لكنّها في الوقت ذاته توفّر مستوى علمياً متفوّقاً، وفكراً يرتكز على المنطق والنقاش وهو ما ليس متوفّراً في المدارس العامّة، وبدلاً من أخذ الفكر العلمي وتبنّيه للتطوّر والتقدّم، نشأ تيار يرفض هذه المدارس الأجنبية، لكنّه في الوقت ذاته يشمل برفضه المنطق والعلم والعقل على أساس أنّه نتاج غربي!

الدور الاقتصادي
إنّ تركيبة الوفاق الوطني ما بين السنّة والموارنة، عام 1943، هي أيضاً صنيعة الغرب، وخصوصاً البريطانيين الذين كانوا يهدفون ليس فقط إلى إقامة منطقة عازلة تفصل بين المسلمين واليهود، بل أن يلعب لبنان دوراً اقتصادياً كمنطقة ترانزيت بين دول الخليج التي لا تزال في بداية تطوّرها العمراني،

فكان المرفأ والمطار والمصرف والجامعة، وكلّها في خدمة دول الخليج الثرية نفطاً، والمتخلّفة تنموياً.
وجد الغرب الاستعماري في لبنان واحة لتواجد استخباراته ولتدريب جواسيسه وتعليمهم اللغة العربية (مركز شملان مثلاً)، من دون أية عوائق أيديولوجية كون المارونية السياسية قد شدّدت في تعاملاتها الدولية على ترسيخ الهدنة بينها وبين إسرائيل،

كما عملت بعض النخب على الادّعاء بأنّ هذه الأخيرة ستأتي إلى نجدة لبنان في حال تعرّض لمضايقات سورية، وتأكيداً على حياده، رفض لبنان إلصاق أي هوية عربية به.
إنّ دور «لبنان الكبير»، المنطقة العازلة، والمهادِن لإسرائيل كما أراده سايكس وبيكو، عام 1920، انتهى مع بداية الحرب الأهلية عام 1975. حتى ذلك الوقت، كان الاعتقاد السائد بأنّ الأمور ستبقى على حالها في لبنان، وأنّ مآل القضية الفلسطينية هي التصفية، وأنّ الأردن سيكون الوطن البديل لهم.

لكنّ دحر الكفاح الفلسطيني المسلّح في الأردن عام 1970 في ما عرف بـ»أيلول الأسود»، وانتقال «منظمة التحرير» الفلسطينية مع مقاتليها إلى لبنان غيّرا دور هذا البلد، فلم يعد منطقة عازلة ومحايدة ومهادنة، بل أرض مواجهة وتحدٍّ، ما أدّى إلى انهيار دور لبنان المصرف – المرفأ – المطار – الجامعة، واختفاء أبناء وبنات النخب العربية الذين كانوا يؤمّون الجامعات والمدارس، واضمحلال الطبقة الوسطى المسيحية بعدما سارع شبّانها وشابّاتها إلى مغادرة لبنان بشكل نهائي.
قضت الحرب الأهلية على الدور الذي لعبه الكيان المسيحي كمنطقة عازلة، وتدخّلت الولايات المتحدة الأميركية من أجل مواصلة الهيمنة عليه، لكن هذه المرة عبر السُّنّة فكان الاتفاق الأميركي – السعودي – السوري، وإنتاج دستور جديد (اتفاق الطائف) ينزع الكثير من صلاحيات المسيحيين ويعادلهم بالمسلمين.

ومنذ عام 1990 وحتى عام 2005، أصبحت السعودية، عبر رئيس الوزراء رفيق الحريري، هي التي تقود البلاد بدعم أميركي واضح، لكنّ دور لبنان المسهّل للاندماج مع الغرب انتقل إلى الإمارات وعلى رأسها دبي، وافتتحت أهم الجامعات الأميركية فروعاً لها في دول الخليج لتأمين الكادرات التي ستعمل لاحقاً في بلدها.
ركّز رفيق الحريري سياساته على الدور السياحي للبنان، وعمل على تأمين كلّ المقوّمات المطلوبة من أجل هذه الغاية، وكان مؤمناً بأنّ الصراع العربي – الإسرائيلي قاب قوسين أن ينتهي بفضل السيطرة الأميركية على العالم إثر سقوط الاتحاد السوفياتي، وقبول الدول العربية المعنية بالمشاركة في مؤتمر مدريد، كما واعتراف «منظمة التحرير» الفلسطينية بإسرائيل في أوسلو.

اعتقد الحريري بأنّ الهيمنة الأميركية نهائية، وبنى سياساته على هذا الأساس، خصوصاً أنّ أهم مفكري العصر أدلَجوا للانتصار المطلق للولايات المتحدة الأميركية و»نهاية التاريخ».
لم يدم استقرار الوضع في لبنان أكثر من عقد من الزمن، ففي عام 2006، حاولت الولايات المتحدة الأميركية قلب الطاولة لمصلحة إسرائيل، لكنّها فشلت في كسر محور المقاومة، كما فشلت من قبل في العراق (2003)، ومن بعد في سوريا (2011)،

ومع تبوّؤ ترامب للرئاسة تغيّر التكتيك الأميركي باتجاه إقامة جبهة مكوّنة من دول الخليج العربي وإسرائيل في مواجهة محور المقاومة الممتد من إيران إلى لبنان، ما قضى على دور لبنان السياحي والمالي الذي كان ينشده الحريري. إنّ إقامة بعض الدول الخليجية علاقات طبيعية مع إسرائيل، أدى إلى النتائج التالية:
أولاً، نهاية دور «لبنان الكبير» كما خُطّط له عام 1920، فلم تعد الولايات المتحدة الأميركية بحاجة إليه، فحتى لو عاد لبنان واصطف مع دول الخليج كالبحرين والإمارات، كما يأمل العديد من المتمسّكين بدوره القديم، فإنّه لن يعود إلى وضعه السابق المميّز والفاصل بين «مسلمين» و»يهود».
ثانياً، إنّ الضغوطات والعقوبات التي مارسها ترامب على لبنان تهدف إلى تركيعه وانصياعه لإسرائيل، أسوة ببعض الدول الخليجية، إلّا أنّ الثمن الذي سيدفعه لبنان، بعكس تلك الدول، يمسّ سيادته، وأرضه، وماءه، ونفطه. فلإسرائيل أطماع في الأرض اللبنانية صرّحت بها علناً منذ إنشائها عام 1948؛ فهي تريد ضم الأراضي اللبنانية للاستيلاء على الماء،

ومع الانحباس الحراري أصبح هذا المطلب قضية حياة أو موت لها. كذلك الأمر بالنسبة إلى النفط والغاز والحدود البرية والمائية، المتداخلة مع فلسطين المحتلّة، ولولا وجود مقاومة شعبية لاستولت إسرائيل على الغاز وبدأت بإرساله إلى أوروبا.
ثالثاً، بما أنّ بعض دول الخليج أخذت دور لبنان الكبير وفاقته ترحيباً بالمستوطنين الإسرائيليين، لم تعد ثمة حاجة لمرفأ بيروت، ومن الأرجح الاستعاضة عنه بمرفأ حيفا السليب. كذلك، لم يعد من حاجة إلى تطبيع العلاقات بين الغرب والجزيرة العربية،

فالجامعات الغربية افتُتحت فيها، وأصبح أهل الجزيرة متعلّمين وملمّين باللغات الأجنبية، أما أولاد الأثرياء فما عادوا يأنفون من متابعة دراساتهم في الدول الغربية، كما انتفت الحاجة إلى توظيف أموالهم في لبنان.
رابعاً، حتى المهارات اللبنانية والمتخصّصة في الحقول شتّى أصبحت متواجدة في دول الخليج لثرائها، وإمكانية العيش برفاهية في أرجائها، ولا رغبة لها بالعودة إلى لبنان، بل أصبحت تنتقل من الخليج إلى الغرب للإقامة الدائمة،

وقد ترى في القريب العاجل منافسة شديدة لطردها من قبل الكفاءات «الإسرائيلية».
يقودنا ذلك إلى الاستنتاج بأنّ تمسّك السلطة التقليدية بالدور الذي لعبه «لبنان الكبير» في العقود الماضية، لن يقود إلّا إلى مزيد من الانهيار، لأنّ هذا الدور انتهى، ودوره اليوم بالنسبة إلى الغرب هو منع وصول أيّ دولة من الجبهة الشرقية إلى شواطئ البحر المتوسط، لأنّ ذلك يهدّد مصالحها. هو،

إذن، ساحة صراع قد يمتدّ لسنوات طويلة بين قوى متعدّدة الأقطاب، وفي خضمّ هذه المواجهة الشرسة سيقع على كاهل لبنان استنباط قيادات جديدة، واعية، تستطيع استشراف المستقبل لتبنّي خططها على هذا الأساس.

* أستاذة جامعية

The pseudo-citizen motto: ” I don’t give a damn of politics anymore, just leave me alone

Lebanon has over a 70,000 “strong” army that is mainly playing the role of internal security tasks. If we measure this army by its density on a square mile, the army of Lebanon is the largest army in the world, of current and ancient empires.

And its weapon is to be desired: this courageous army barely managed to quell an Islamic extremist faction revolt in a Palestinian camp of Nahr Bared, after 6 months of siege.

And the Internal security institution, which is as large as the army in “human” effectifs? What is its function?

This institution has been transformed into a “security guard” for the totally useless people in this pseudo-state.

This institution is meant to extend “guards” to the deputy and extended family members of the deputies and the extended families of the ex, ex-deputies since the independence of Lebanon, even those that “passed away” long, long time ago.

Not just guarding the safety of these useless people, but also accompanying the household members to carry their shopping bags…

And these ex-deputies and their family members receive monthly checks for “services rendered”, even after they had died, long, long time ago

This institution provide guards to the ministers and their extended family members, and the ex, ex-ministers families since independence

This institution is to offer guards to the clergies of the 19 officially recognized religious sects, and secure their travels and trips with motor cars, to clear the Path, in the ever congested traffics.

Religious institutions that don’t pay taxes on anything, and even on important products. Religious institutions that own 50% of Lebanon lands and manage the individual personal status of its members, from birth to death

The internal security institution is asked to guard the members of all the embassies in the pseudo-state of Lebanon, whose main job is to “collect intelligence pieces” for everyone ready to pay for their services.

And what is this pseudo-State in reality?

Lebanon is divided into two “autonomous” States. The State of Hezbollah that stretches to half the territory of tiny Lebanon (the southern districts, the Bekaa and half of Beirut…) Lebanon is about 10,000 square km in total.

And the other Lebanon, recognized by the UN, to be an independent State since 1943, but has never been that independent by any stretch of the imagination, and Not even enjoying any sort of valuable autonomy.

Not only Hezbollah has its territory that it controls much better than this pseudo-state, but it also is represented in the “legislative, executive and justice” branches of the official State of Lebanon.

The pseudo-citizen enjoy being issued an identity card to vote and a puny passport that only half a dozen countries do Not require an expensive visa to visit.

This “je m’en fou” pseudo citizen is very flexible and doesn’t care an iota if there is a budget and how the government wasted the people wealth with no infrastructure to show, or public education or public health. facilities

“You don’t want to provide us with 24/24 public electricity?” No sweat. We will manage to get power from private providers and steal from government electrified lignes, even if we are to pay 3 times the expenses. “Just stay clear from governing us, administer and try to control us

“You don’t want to provide us with quality potable water at home?” No sweat, we’ll manage to acquire “potable water” from third private company parties at 4 times the standard cost. “Just stay clear from governing us and try to control us”

And the list of infamies grow, at nauseam. And the civil war mafia leaders are still in control of the people, chattel succumbing to these sectarian/feudal looters and legally owning all the economic monopolies

And finally, the State is totally bankrupt at all levels: State, Central Bank and private banks.

And it does Not stop there: Trump/Israel disintegrated Beirut maritime port with an electrictro magnetic pulse bomb. Heavily dense districts were blown away in 2 miles radius.

Over 6,000 serious injuries, 200 dead and 50,000 people taking refuge outside their homes, waiting for some repairs to be done.

And it does Not stop there: 60% of the population are already under poverty line and the year 2021 is going to be worse, with Covid contamination surpassing 10,000 per day, the highest density in the entire world.

State of Lebanon: (Part 2)

Posted on December 24, 2008

Mind you this essay was posted in 2008. Read the footnotes for current development   

Under the leadership of Hezbollah, the Shias in the south and the Bekaa Valley are basically the main religious caste shouldering the heavy burden of defending Lebanon from the frequent aggressions of Israel. 

Without the Shiaa, south Lebanon would have long been swallowed by Israel and Lebanon divided and scraped from the number of independent States. 

It is the Shiaa who forced Israel to withdraw unconditionally from the south in May 24, 2000.  It is the Shiaa who foiled the strategy of Israel of reconquering the south of Lebanon in July 2006 and installing a Pax Americana in the Greater Middle East.  

Hezbollah split from the main “Amal” Shia movement around 1983 and adopted an ideology tightly linked to the Khomeini hardliners in Iran and is made responsible for the suicide attacks against the US and French headquarters in Beirut. 

Hezbollah was the only resistance movement allowed by Syria to operate against Israel’s occupation in the south of Lebanon since 1991, when the US Administration permitted Syria mandate over Lebanon for over 15 years. 

Syria had prohibited all the other Lebanese nationalistic and progressive parties to resume their liberation resistance during its occupation of Lebanon. 

After the assassination of Rafic Hariri PM in 2005 and the withdrawal of the Syrian troops from Lebanon we have been experiencing a serious void in the legitimacy of the current government

The entente between the Tayyar political party of Michel Aoun (Free Patriotic Movement for Reform and Change) and Hezbollah has allayed the perception that schemes for a recurring civil war in under planning. 

The patient non-violence strategy of Hezbollah in internal affair,s in the conduct of non-cooperation activities of the civil war militia/mafia “leaders” against an unjust and usurping government, has permitted the Lebanese population to gain the assurance and relief that another civil war is not feasible.  

This Seniora PM government and its allies have been plundering the public treasury for the past three years (and Not registering the $11 billions in financial aid and grants from the Gulf Emirates in the ministry of finance) and for the last 15 years under Rafic Hariri.

This continuous regime has been spreading poverty and deepening the indebtedness and ineptness of Lebanon, with the explicit support of the Bush administration, under the guise of empty rhetoric of democracy, security and independence from Syria’s indirect involvement in Lebanon.

Consequently, the Shiaa have proven to be the legitimate sons of an independent Lebanon and have paid the prices of martyrdom, suffering, sacrifice and pain in order to be the guarantor for the emergence of a Nation against all odds. 

It is the sacrifices of the Shia sect and their patience to suffer for the benefit of all Lebanese that is providing them with the leverage of flexibility, intent to change, learn from experience and improve.  The successive unilateral withdrawals of Israel from Lebanon since 1982 without any preconditions have given the Lebanese citizen grounds to standing tall

Our main problem is that the International requirements of Lebanon and our local politics are at odds.  The USA, Europe and Saudi Arabia would like to settle the Palestinian refugees as Lebanese citizens with full rights and thus avoiding the corny problem of their legitimate rights to be repatriated to Israel as stated in the UN resolution of 194. 

The Monarchy in Saudi Kingdom has been viewing the Palestinian question as a major liability since the extremist party of Hamas has taken power in Gaza: supposedly, Saudi kingdom is exhausted of paying the bills every time Israel destroys the infra-structure of Lebanon and covering some of the expenses of the Palestinian refugees and would like an end to this conflict that is hampering the internal stability of the Wahhabi Saudi regime.

Israel pre-emptive six invasions of Lebanon and its genocide tactics against the Palestinians are done at the urging of the USA 

The two main local movements of the Future Party and Hezbollah are more than content for this unconstitutional political dilemma which suits their short-term interests. 

The Future is satisfied with its dominance among the Sunni sect in Beirut and the North and thus, giving the Palestinian refugees citizenship might create an unknown variable that could disrupt the majority of the Sunni allegiance to the Al Moustakbal. 

Consequently, the Hariri clan cannot disobey the Saudi orders but it cannot shoot itself in the foot. 

Externally, the Hariri clan is pro Saudi but in reality it is very cozy with the Syrian position on the Palestinian refugee status as its strongest card during the negotiations with the USA and afterward. 

The unstable constitutional political system in Lebanon may delay indefinitely any serious pressures from Saudi Arabia and the USA to resolving the Palestinian refugees’ question. 

Hezbollah is weary of having to deal with a constitutional government and negotiate returning its arms to the Lebanese army.  Thus, the two main parties in Lebanon are supporting each other pragmatically and just playing the game of opposing forces.

The US of Bush Jr. has decided after the fiasco of the July war in 2006 that no more investment in time on Lebanon is appropriate at this junction.  We have to wait for a new US administration to decide whether it is willing to re-open the file of the Near East problems.

The allies to the two main parties are side shows: they know it and they cannot change camps with the deep mistrust for the other side pledges and dependent policies to foreign powers. 

Thanks to the vehement rhetoric against Syria or its allies in Lebanon by Walid Jumblatt and Samir Geagea, the Future party has been able to give the impression that it is against the Syrian regime while practically it agrees with the Syrian positions and would like to keep the present status quo in Lebanon’s political system of the Taef Constitutional amendments.  

General Michel Aoun has realized that he has been taken by the sweet tender offers of Hezbollah but he cannot shift allegiance or form a third alliance since non resolution of the situation is the name of the game until further agreement among the main Arab states and the main superpowers.

Recently, General Aoun has demonstrated his independence by visiting Syria for 5 days amid a popular welcome to re-establish entente between the two people, if not the regimes.

So far, the polemics among the government’s allies and the opposition political parties are not shy of harboring sectarian allegiances in their charged speeches but somehow they failed to discuss the actual caste, or closed religious system in our social structure, which is the fundamental problem toward a modern state of governance.

I do not believe that any fair and representative electoral law is of utility unless the basic caste system is recognized as a sin and altered accordingly to represent an alternative for the citizen joining a united and free status under one State. 

The first step is to institute a voluntary State marriage law and letting the situation unfold into a more liberal understanding of the need of the people. 

The road is very long and arduous before the beginning of a semblance of trust among the Lebanese is established.  However, I feel that the Shia under the leadership of a wise and disciplined Hezbollah and their corresponding Christian Free Patriotic movement are leading the way for a semi-autonomous Lebanon, at least in its internal restructuring. 

I believe that the necessities of survival would loosen up many stiff ideological and caste roadblocks toward a reformed political system and the institution of a governing body that abide in integrity, accountability and justice for all.

It is a fact that extremist Sunni “salafist” ideology is gaining quickly in all the Arab and Muslim World, out of desperation and the widespread illiteracy and lack of job openings. (See note 3).  Maybe our mix of all kinds of sects might be a rampart to our moderate liberal tendencies.

The spirit of Statehood is coming from an unforeseen quarter; mainly the Shia caste freshly arriving in the social and political scene around 1970. 

This disinherited caste was already a majority when the civil war of 1975 broke out and it suffered from the total ignorance of the central government for infrastructure and social services and had also to suffer the humiliation and atrocities of frequent Israeli air raids and land attacks and bombing of their villages under the disguise of dislodging the Palestinian guerillas.  

The Shia caste is opening up to almost all sects and managed to ally with large sections of many other castes.  This extending arm might be considered as necessary out of the realization that they are a majority in Lebanon and a real minority in the neighboring States of Syria, Jordan, and Egypt.

This necessity is a blessing to Lebanon because the main major caste is encouraging unity against foreign invaders. 

In the event that Hezbollah maintains its strength then it can be forecasted that the economic strategy of Lebanon will shift from tourism and third sector (the Hariri’s clan strategy) into more emphasis on agriculture and small and medium industries, many of it geared toward guerilla warfare. 

This is how the future looks like to me if no overall peace treaty with Israel is realized any time soon.

I used the term “Statehood” for Lebanon in a general sense to convey that a form of unity is developing in the conscious of the Lebanese but this notion of Nation is far from appropriate to Lebanon, simply because experiences since independence could not provide any evidence to a unified people under legitimate and responsible central governments. 

Lebanon is fundamentally an amalgamation of castes that enjoy self-autonomy.  I still believe that the Syrians, Lebanese, Palestinians, and Jordanians naturally form a One Nation and One people and they should generate a common market with separate recognized States.

I am convinced the Taef Constitution was meant to have total entente among the various main three religious castes in Lebanon before starting to elect a new president to the Republic.

The entente should involve everything from election law, to the constitution of the government and other priorities.  This fact translates into agreement among the main “Arab” States and the main superpowers on how Lebanon should be governed during six years. 

Unless the Lebanese leaders and political parties get together to review the Taef Constitution and be willing to pay the price of deciding to have a mind of their own, then Lebanon is de facto under the UN protectorate.

Note 1: the current Dawha agreement translated the spirit of Taef in its temporary execution until the Parliamentary election takes place.

Note 2:  The Future movement of the Hariri clan (Saad Hariri is a Saudi citizen) is practically pro-Syrian but it cannot overtly open up to the Syrian regime as long as Saudi Kingdom is not currently in good term with President Bashar Assad.

Note 3:  The Sunni “salafist” movement expressed its strong arm tendencies in the Palestinian camp of Nahr Al Bared.The Lebanese army managed to destroyed the camp after 6 months of arduous battles, along with the extremist Sunni group and the ramifications are not over in our internal strife.

Note 4:  The social/political structure is held by 19 recognized religious castes or columns that grow at different paces in demography.  Thus, the top of our Temple must be very flexible and changeable when foreign powers decide to destabilize the tacit agreement among the caste political feudal leaders.

Notes 5: In 2020, the State of Lebanon is totally bankrupt, politically, financially and economically. There is no light at the end of the tunnel in 2021.

Testimonials: 30 years after 13 years of civil war

The issue of April 9, 2005 of daily Al Balad. Posted on Oct. 22, 2008 

In context: Late Rafic Hariri PM was assassinated on February 2004 and Lebanon suffered along period of disturbances. Although it was clear the colonial powers, Israel and Saudi Kingdom were behind this assassination, an International court was set up to cover up the real perpetrators.

Four of the Head of security institutions were locked up in prison with no evidence. Fouad Siniora was appointed PM and he stayed in “power”, even if half the ministers (less one) had resigned.

All the loans received from the Gulf States were Not registered in the ministry of finance and $11 billions were diverted into the pockets of the militia leaders and their secret Fund Boxes.

All the sit-ins for about 5 months, and sleeping in tents and surrounding the government Serai, would Not dislodge Seniora, since he was backed by the US and the colonial powers. President Emile Lahoud was ignored in all government decisions to the end of his extended tenure of 3 more years.

A grave incident in 2008 changed the donne: Seniora and the Druze Walid Jumblatt initiated a decree that angered Hezbollah, on account of dismantling their secured land communication lines.

Hezbollah reacted and closed all the Israeli bunks and the security branches in Beirut and checked militarily Jumblatt. Qatar had to invite all these sectarian/mafia leaders to resolve a political consensus. The army chief Michel Suleiman was agreed on to become President.

And 6 years of more looting of the budgets and highway robberies got underway, a period that aggravated the economic and financial conditions that led to the State total bankruptcy at all levels.

“Thirty years after the civil war, the youth of Lebanon are gathered under the Freedom tents in the Martyrs’ Square.  Supporters of many Lebanese political parties are discussing and getting to know one another. 

Catch phrases like “our speaker did not represent our real position” or “did you really like his speech?” are common. 

On one of the tents a placard states “Just a Lebanese citizen”. 

In the middle of a discussion George asks Dima of her name and political affiliation.  Dima explains to George the principles of the “Left Democratic Movement”, a splinter of the Communist Party and other leftist factions. “What! Are you really a leftist? You don’t look like a leftist”. says George.

George tells Dima a common joke during the war which says “Immune your children against leftist ideology”.

George resumes asking Dima questions on her education and the ideology of her movement.

He is very impressed of her graduate studies and the social reform programs of the movement and then asks her: “So, why are you here?”

Dima explains that the members of this movement combine political positions with on the ground actions and application.

“You guys are cool. Who is your leader?” asks George. 

We have no leader. We organize ourselves in committees and vote on everything.  We make sure that guys and girls are equally represented in the elected committees.” replies Dima.  George invites Dima to take a cup of coffee in his tent.

A discussion is going on in the Left Democratic Movement and someone says: “I wish Samir Geaja is released from prison and General Aoun returns from exile so that our commemoration in April 13 is complete and representative of the unity of Lebanon”.

Another guy liked the name of the movement and stated that his faction will consider changing the name to “Right Democratic Movement”

Note: Many secular and historic parties have joined the sit-ins, and even Hezbollah joined in.

Understanding the Middle East with better clichés

Some people feel that western media coverage of the Middle East is dominated by too many clichés and stereotypes.

An emerging view now believes that there are actually too few rather than too many clichés, thereby making reporting less accurate.

This radical critique of what is really wrong with Western media coverage has already produced enlightening pieces that allow us to understand what exactly is happening in the Middle East, far better than we have managed in the past.

Below is a sample of this revolutionary trend.

Karl reMarks: Understanding the Middle East with better clichés. Feb. 27, 2015

In order to understand the Middle East and North Africa/the Arab World/The Near East Muslim, one must begin with its centre of gravity and most populous nation, Egypt.

Following the general tumult that ensued from the Arab Spring/Arab Uprisings, Egypt is now ruled by the military strongman and former army leader Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

Sisi is presumed to be a bald Sunni Muslim secular leader who came to power after overthrowing democratically-elected moderate Islamist Sunni (not-bald) Mohammed Morsi .

Sisi’s secular takeover was supported by hardcore Wahhabi Sunni Saudi Kingdom and other moderate conservative Sunni Arab States.

However it was opposed by the only other Wahhabi state, Qatar, a “moderate” conservative small country that employs conservative Islamist journalists in Arabic and left-wing, socially-aware journalists in English. (The western media insist all these dictator Emirs/Sultans/Kings are moderates…)

This is not a surprise because the charm of the Middle East stems from its contradictions.

Now both Qatar and Saudi Arabia oppose the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, a secular Alawi leader from the minority offshoot Shia sect, but they disagree on which of the moderate Sunni Muslim rebels against him they should support in public and which of the extreme Sunni factions they should support in secret.

Assad is in turn supported by conservative Shia Iran and the Lebanese Shia (not offshoot) militant group Hezbollah.

Conservative Shia Iran and uber-Conservative Sunni Saudi Arabia are locked in a fierce geopolitical struggle that some argue is the continuation of ancient sectarian divisions, while others believe is more of a struggle over influence embellished with sectarian rivalries.

Despite their many disagreements, Saudi Arabia and Iran agree on conducting their rivalry through proxy regional wars instead of an all-out war, probably because it’s more fun this way.

Besides Syria, there are several other mutually-acceptable venues in which Saudi Arabia and Iran conduct their proxy wars, such as Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

Recently in Yemen, the Houthis who are members of yet another Shia offshoot group, took over the country, once again as a consequence of the general tumult that ensued from the Arab Spring.

Some say Iran was behind the Houthis’ move, partially to punish Saudi Arabia for allowing oil prices to drop.

In traditional Persian culture it’s considered an insult to allow the prices of commodities to drop below production cost, which explains Iran’s anger.

But it’s in Iraq where the struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia gets really complicated.

The sudden rise of the Islamic State under the leadership of self-declared Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has taken everyone who wasn’t paying attention by surprise. (It was No surprise, just impotence from Iraq government)

Baghdadi, a very Sunni Muslim extremist, although I wouldn’t say it to his face, has led his forces to occupy large parts of Iraq including the second-largest city, Mosul.

The rise of the Islamic State threatened Iran’s influence in Iraq, which should have pleased Saudi Arabia, save for the fact that the new Caliphate is ideologically indisposed towards Saudi Arabia, which it sees as the epitome of liberal values.

Everything is relative, as they say.

So Saudi Arabia is in the tricky position of having to balance its competing aims of weakening Iran but containing the existential threat posed by the Islamic State. There are No non-existential threats in the Middle East.

For its part, Iran has thrown its weight behind the Shia forces fighting the Islamic State in Iraq, although this has aligned it momentarily with its old foe, the United States.

But Iran is also full of contradictions as, despite being a theologically-governed Islamic State, it seems to be capable of taking pragmatic decisions in its regional policies.

Recent photographic evidence obtained by Western media outlets even suggests that Iranian women, who must wear Islamic clothes in public, actually wear bras under their clothes.

They also watch television and laugh with their friends, much like people in the West sometimes do.

Western media clearly thought this was important to point out, so it must be so.

Another major Sunni player is Turkey, which is allied with Qatar against the Saudi-Egyptian axis.

Turkey is led by relatively moderate Sunni Muslim Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a suited non-bearded Islamist with latent Ottoman impulses.

Turkey opposed the removal of president Morsi in Egypt, not least because he was also a suited Islamist.

Turkey’s position has been close to that of Qatar in Syria and Libya, where everyone has been competing for influence since Gaddafi’s fall.

(Regional Middle Eastern powers are like the nightclub circle, they all want to be seen in the new place. Lately, Qatar revealed that their activities in Syria in funding the extremist organizations was dictated by USA)

The situation in Libya was complicated by the fact that there are no sectarian divisions in the country, which made things difficult for a while until Libyans decided to create random divisions.

(You can get a sense of this by reading any article on Libya and trying to understand who is against whom and why).

This greatly facilitated the involvement of external powers and made proxy wars much easier to wage.

Although it is a bit unfair to Iran, which being Shia can’t find any allies in an exclusively Sunni Muslim country.

Oh look, this is almost one thousand words already and we don’t have time to wrap up all the loose strands neatly, so it’s best to end on a timeless-sounding platitude about the Middle East and how it will always be the same.

Perhaps even a quote from Khalil Gibran or Omar Khayyam, hinting at our sorrow about lost potential and showing how learned we are.

Was Lebanon uprising in October 17, 2019 instantaneous?

The next days proved it was planned, though Not obvious, and robbed from the people by the militia/mafia sectarian “leaders”

Jihad Alasmar posted on Fb. October 19, 2019

In the early 2019, Hezbollah uncovered a US/Israel/Saudi plan to destabilize Lebanon.

فصول المؤامرة

ولكن اللاعب الرئيسي فيها هو الأمريكي، وأدوات المؤامرة داخلية متمثلة بوليد جنبلاط وسمير جعجع،

هدف المؤامرة دخول البلاد في الفراغ السياسي والشغب بالشارع تمهيدا” لحصار لبنان وتطويقه وتجويع شعبه وصولاً إلى تقليب الشعب على حزب الل. لإظهاره سبب ما يحصل لهم من تجويع

ويقوم الشعب بالانتفاض على حزب الل. ومطالبته بتسليم سلاحه وحل جناحه العسكري خدمة” للمشروع الأمريكي الإسرائيلي السعودي لتصفية حزب الل. والقضاء عليه لكن التوقيت للمؤامرة كان غير معلوم لتنفيذ الخطة.
بدأ أفيخاي آدرعي التمهيد للمؤامرة عبر التويتر وجيش إلكتروني ضخم وتم التواصل مع عدد كبير من الشباب من لبنان وخارجه لخلق رأي عام ضد حزب الل.
أول فصول المؤامرة خلال جلسة لمجلس الأمن عندما قام نتنياهو وعرض صور جوية لمناطق

إدعى أن فيها مصانع وصواريخ باليستية لحزب الل. في الأوزاعي في ضاحية بيروت الجنوبية والنبي شيت في البقاع، لتحصيل رأي عام عالمي ضد حزب الل.،

تمكن جبران باسيل بحنكته السياسية من إفشال خطط نتنياهو فدعى السفراء في لبنان إلى زيارة الأماكن التي أشار إليها نتنياهو،

دعى سفراء الاتحاد الأوروبي والدول العربية والغربية وزار تلك الأماكن وتبين لهم ميدانيا” وبالعين المجردة كذب نتنياهو وبالتالي فشل التأييد العالمي لنتنياهو وتُسجل لباسيل موقف كبير وشجاع خدم حزب الل.،

عندها لجأ نتنياهو للخطة ب وإدعى قصة الأنفاق وأطلق عملية درع الشمال التي باءت بالفشل ومجددا” ظهر نتنياهو بموقف الكذاب، عندها تم التخلي عن الدعم الخارجي واللجوء إلى التحرك الداخلي،

في كلمة متلفزة لسماحة السيد قال لجنبلاط علنا” ظبط أنتانيتك” محاولة منه لإيصال رسالة لجنبلاط ان المخطط تم كشفه،

في ليلة التاسع من محرم عام ٢٠١٩ تحدث سماحة السيد عن الحصار والتجويع وأخذ المبايعة من جمهور المقاومة وهتفوا لبيك يا حسين لبيك يا خامنئي،

وفي يوم العاشر من محرم أطلع سماحة السيد جمهور المقاومة أن المرحلة المقبلة هناك حصار على لبنان وتجويع ومطلوب الصبر والمواجهة بكل قوتنا وأيضاً تم مبايعة السيد والتأييد من قبل جمهور المقاومة وهتفوا لبيك يا حسين، لبيك يا حفيد الحُسين بخطوة كانت أول مرة تحصل في مراسم إحياء عاشوراء،

شارك الرئيس ميشال عون بجلسة للأمم المتحدة بمجلس الأمن وأطلق موقفا” مشرفاً ودافع عن حزب الل.. ورفض نعته بالارهاب،

بعد كلام عون بساعة حصلت مشكلة الدولار في لبنان وبدأت الأزمة،

بطل الأزمة العميل الأمريكي حاكم مصرف لبنان إستمرت الأزمة ٣ أيام لحين عودة عون من نيويورك ولقائه سلامة والتلويح بإقالته إذا لم المُحصن من تنتهي أزمة الدولار

وتحت الضغط إنصاع سلامة وتم حل أزمة الدولار، لينتقل سلامة ايضا” إلى الخطة ب ويبتدع أزمة بنزين لتسقط مجدداً بالشارع،

شارك جبران باسيل بجلسة لوزراء الخارجية العرب وأطلق موقفا” قويا” وقال أنه ذاهب إلى سوريا لفتح علاقات جديدة وفتح معابر حدودية لتصريف البضائع اللبنانية إلى أسواق سوريا والعراق والأردن والخليج، و لإعادة النازحين السوريين إلى سوريا،

هنا جن جنون وليد جنبلاط وسمير جعجع وبعد يوم واحد من كلام باسيل إشتعلت حرائق الجبل التي إفتعلها وليد جنبلاط لأنه لا يريد للنازحيين أن يعودوا لاستمرار الضغط على عون وحزب الل. وإفشال عهد عون،

والسبب الثاني لأن وليد جنبلاط يريد المشاركة بإعادة إعمار سوريا عبر معمل سبلين للترابة وعبر كسارات جديدة سيفتتحها بالجبل مكان المساحات التي تم حرقها،

ولكن فيتو حزب الل. على جنبلاط سيمنعه من المشاركة بإعادة الإعمار ومن التواصل مع سوريا، أشعل جنبلاط الحرائق بالجبل ليستفيد من المساحات المحروقة بالكسارات والمرامل والمطامر وللضغط بالسياسة حتى يسمح له بإعادة العلاقات مع سوريا،

أشعل النيران لكنه لم يتوقع تمددها وخرجت عن سيطرته وأكلت الأخضر واليابس ونجا لبنان من كارثة ومجزرة، شاركت طائرات الدورون المسيرة الإسرائيلية في الحرائق وتم افتعال عدة حرائق في مختلف المناطق لحرف النظر عن جريمة جنبلاط،

أمر الرئيس عون بفتح تحقيق تم جمع الأدلة المتهم وليد جنبلاط للهروب من التهمة ولإلهاء الناس عن الجريمة والكارثة

تم تنفيذ أخر عنوان من المؤامرة عبر تحريك الشارع تم تجيش جيش إلكتروني مقره الرياض وتل أبيب وبدأ التحريض للنزول إلى الشارع نزلت الناس عفويا” بداية الأمر بمطالب معيشية محقة تلقفها جنبلاط لاستغلالها والظهور كبطل التحركات وإيهام الناس أنه المُخلص وبدأت أحداث الشغب من زعران جنبلاط وجعجع وتم تصويب الاتهامات على رموز حزب الل.

وتم شتمهم وشتم السيد حسن وبدأت ال هتافات لتسليم حزب الل. سلاحه والترحيل إلى إيران، وعي الناس وقيادة المقاومة وحلفاء المقاومة تجاه المطالب الملغومة أنقذ الموقف واليوم ستنتهي فصول المؤامرة،

سقط جنبلاط وجعجع سياسيا” والمطلوب خروجهم من الحكومة تمهيدا” للبدء بالإصلاحات الجدية التي كان دائما” يعرقلها جنبلاط وجعجع.




September 2022

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