Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Khomeini

Steven Toh. Saturday, January 2, 2021

An Interview with Oriana

Note: I have posted several book reviews of Oriana Fallaci, as well as her biography. And now this imaginary interview related to History

Photo: Wikipedia

That day Oriana came out of her room wearing a violet pantsuit, greeted me and sat on a chair in front of a window, resting one of her foot over the thigh of the other.

In her right hand she held a Virginia Slims cigarette and smoked continuously. Although she is tiny, perhaps five feet one and around 90 pounds, her posture gave the impression of a confident, self-assured, and assertive woman.

Her interviews with famous leaders of the world confirmed it all. This is the woman who dares to ask political leaders “brutal questions” in her interviews.

⁹This is the woman who dared to remove her veil while interviewing Khomeini, dared to ask Nguyen Van Thieu “How corrupt are you?”, and dared to accuse to Yasir Arafat “You don’t at all want the peace that everyone is hoping for.” 

Her most popular book “Interview with History” compiled interviews with 14 political leaders, with a cover inserting Rolling Stone magazine quotation “the greatest political interviewer of modern times.”

During my student time I read a few of her interviews that made her famous, with Henry Kissinger, Khomeini, Yasir Arafat and I was fascinated.

Only recently I found this book and was even more fascinated by interviews with the less popular Shah Iran, King Hussein, General Giap and even a rather “not well known” Alexandros Panagoulis.

Before reading them, I had no idea how interesting the interviews were, they gave fresh views and opened up windows to the personality of these politicians. 

So, I came to her apartment in Florence through the famous Ponte Vecchio and sat with this vivacious woman to talk about this book. She answered the questions with a husky voice, Italian accented, and with a lot of arm movements. Despite her temperamental reputation she seemed to me  a caring and sweet person.

Then I shot the first question: 

“Generally speaking, journalism emphasizes on objectivity in the writings in order to portray issues and events in a neutral and unbiased manner, regardless of the journalist opinion or personal beliefs.

While you are internationally renowned for your impassioned, confrontational approach. You became a celebrity because of your interrogative interviews, the imposing questions that made Shah Iran shared his religious view, made General Giap to disclose his military game plan for defeating the Americans in Vietnam, and made Nguyen Van Thieu sometimes had tears in his eyes. “

Oriana:

“I do not feel myself to be, nor will I ever succeed in feeling like, a cold recorder of what I see and hear. On every professional experience I leave shreds of my heart and soul: and I participate in what I see or hear as though the matter concerned me personally and were one on in which I ought to take a stand.

So I did not go to these fourteen people with the detachment of the anatomist or the imperturbable reporter.

⁹ū I went with a thousand feelings of rage, a thousand questions that assailing them were assailing me, and with the hope of understanding in what way, by being in power or opposing it, those people determine our destiny.”

I said:

“In your interview with Shah Iran you indeed assailed him, it was like boxing, you threw punches to him, he defended himself and even threw uppercuts to you. “

Oriana:

“He is a character in which most paradoxical conflicts merge to reward you for your pains with an enigma. He believes in prophetic dreams, in visions, in a childish mysticism, and then goes on to discuss oil like an expert, which he is.

He governs like an absolute monarch, and then refers to his people in the tone of one who believes in them and loves them, by leading a White Revolution that would seem to be making effort to combat illiteracy and the feudal system. He considers women as simply graceful ornaments incapable of thinking like a man, and then strives to give them complete equality of rights and duties. Indeed, in a society where women still wear the veil, he even orders girls to perform military service.”

I said:

“Did you ask him whether he is a dictator?”

Oriana:

“He said he wouldn’t deny it, because in a certain sense he is. Then: ‘But look, to carry through reforms, one can’t help but be authoritarian. Especially when the reforms take place in a country like Iran, where only twenty-five percent of the inhabitants know how to read and write. You mustn’t forget the illiteracy is drastic here- it’ll take at least ten years to eliminate it. 

Believe me when three-quarter of a nation doesn’t know how to read or write, you can provide reforms only by the strictest authoritarianism – otherwise you get nowhere.

If I hadn’t be harsh, I wouldn’t even been able to carry out agrarian reform, it would have been stalemated. Once that had happened, the extreme left would have liquidated the extreme right within a few hours, and it’s not only the White Revolution that would have been finished. I had to do what I did. For instance, order my troops to open fire on anyone opposing the distribution of land.”

I said:

“You said in the book that he was cold during the interview, stiff, his lips were as sealed as a locked door, his eyes as icy as a winter wind, stared at you rigidly and remote.  Yet he was so different when he talked about oil. He lighted up, vibrated, focused, he become another man.”

Oriana:

“He thought he knows everything there is to know about oil, everything.  He said: ‘It’s really my speciality. And I tell you as a specialist that the price of oil will have to go up. There’s no other solution. But it’s a solution you Westerners have brought on yourselves. Or, if you like, a solution brought on by your overcivilized industrial society.

You’ve increased the price of wheat by three hundred percent, and the same for sugar and cement. You’ve sent the price of petrochemicals skyrocketing. You buy crude oil from us and then sell it back to us, refined into petrochemicals, at a hundred times what you paid for it.

You make us pay more for everything, scandalously more, and it’s only fair that from now on you should pay more for oil. Let’s say…. ten times more.’ 

I will never forget him curtly raising his forefinger, while his eyes glared with hatred, to impress on me that the price of oil would go up, up, up ten-fold. I felt nauseated before the gaze and that finger….”

I said:

“Many of the political leaders you interviewed in this book had socialism view, Golda Meir, Willy Brandt, Indira Gandhi, Pietro Nenni to Helder Camara. But their socialism has many different colors, from mild to liberal. Are you a socialist Oriana?”

Oriana:

“No, I am not. Socialism as it’s been applied until now hasn’t worked. Capitalism doesn’t work too. I better quote what Indira Gandhi said in the interview:

‘I don’t see the world as something divided between right and left. Even though we use them, even though I use them myself, these expressions have lost all meanings. I’m not interested in one label or the other— I’m only interested in solving certain problems, in getting where I want to go. I have certain objectives. They are the same objectives that my father had: to give people a higher standard of living, to do away with cancer of poverty, to eliminate the consequences of economic backwardness. I want to succeed. And I want to succeed in the best way possible, without caring whether people call my actions leftist or rightist. 

It’s the same story as when we nationalized the banks. I’m not for nationalization because of the rhetoric of nationalization, or because I see in nationalization the cure-all for every injustice.

⁹I’m for nationalization in cases where it’s necessary.  We realized that the banks had not done any good, the money still ended up in the hands of rich industrialists or friends of the bankers. And we did nationalize the banks, without considering it a socialist gesture or an antisocialist gesture, just a necessary one. Anyone who nationalizes only so as to be considered on the left to me is a fool. 

The word socialism now has so many meanings and interpretations. The Russians call themselves socialists, the Swedes call themselves socialists. And let’s not forget that in Germany there was also a national socialism.

Socialism to me means justice. It means trying to work in a more egalitarian society.”

I said:

“One of your remarkable interviews is with General Giap, the North Vietnam General during the Vietnam war. He was famous for his cruelty, the French had fallen into his traps full of poisonous bees, his pits full of snakes, or they were blown-up by booby traps hidden corpses abandoned by the wayside, and in 1954 he defeated French at Dien Bien Phu. He was also feared by the Americans, for his courage Ho Chi Minh used to call him Kui or Devil.  

When you met him, did you find him to be a frightening person?

Oriana:

“I was astonished first of all at how short he was, less than 5 feet, and his body was fat. His face was swollen and covered with little blue veins that made him look purple. No, it was not an extremely likable face. Perhaps of the purple color, perhaps because of those uncertain outlines, it cost you some effort to keep looking at him, where the things you found were scarcely interesting. The huge mouth full of tiny teeth, the flattened nose enlarged by two huge nostrils, the forehead that stopped at the middle of his skull in a mop of black hair…. “

I said:

“Did he boast about his fighting strategy?”

Oriana:

“He said that the Americans underestimated the spirit of the people that knows how to fight for a just cause, to save its homeland from the invader. The war in Vietnam is not a question of numbers and well-equipped soldiers, that all doesn’t solve the problem. When a whole people rebels, there’s nothing you can do, and there’s no wealth in the world that can liquidate it.

8Their enemies aren’t good soldiers, because they don’t believe in what they’re doing and therefore they lack any combat spirit. 

Oh, this isn’t a war that you resolve in a few years. In a war against the United States, you need time, time…..

The Americans will be defeated in time, by getting tired. And in order to tire them, we have to go on, to last…. For a long time: ten, fifteen, twenty, fifty years. Until we achieve total victory, as our president, Ho Chi Minh, said. Yes! Even twenty even fifty years! We’re not in a hurry, we’re not afraid.”

I said:

“Your interview with General Giap caught Henry Kissinger’s attention, thus he invited you for an interview.  Very rarely does he grant personal interviews, he speaks only at press conferences arranged by the administration. What did he say about the Giap’s interview?”

Oriana:

“He didn’t speak about General Giap, instead he asked me about Giap, Thieu and other Vietnamese generals. He even asked me: ‘What do I think will happen in Vietnam with the cease-fire?’ On Vietnam he could not tell me anything much, and I am amazed that he said: that whether the war to end or go on did not depend only on him, and he could not allow himself the luxury of compromising everything by an unnecessary word.

He said: ‘Don’t ask me that. I have to keep to what I said publicly ten days ago… I cannot, I must not consider an hypothesis that I do not think will happen, an hypothesis that should not happen. I can only tell you that we are determined to have this peace, and that in any case we will have it, in the shortest time possible after my next meeting with Le Duc Tho.”

I said:

“Did Henry Kissinger say whether the Vietnam war was a useless war?”

Oriana:

“He said he agreed: ‘But let’s not forget that the reason why we entered this war was to keep the South from being gobbled up by the North, it was to permit the South to remain the South. Of course, by that I don’t mean that this was our only objective…. It was also something more…. But today I am not in the position to judge whether the war in Vietnam has been just or not, whether our getting into it was useful or useless. 

After all, my role, our role, has been to reduce more and more the degree to which America was involved in the war, so as then to the end the war. And it must be ended in accordance with some principle.

In the final analysis, history will say who did more: those who operated by criticizing and nothing else, or we who tried to reduce the war and then ended it. Yes, the verdict is up to history.”

I said:

“Now, the last part of your book is an interview with Alexandros Panagoulis, a Greek politician and poet, who actively participated against the Greek military junta, also known as the Regime of the Colonels. He became famous for his attempt to assassinate dictator Georgios Papadopoulos on 13 August 1968, but also for the torture to which he was subjected during his detention. 

Reading this interview, the readers couldn’t help but to notice that you highly admired him, even an amorous way.”

Oriana:

“That day and night in Athens, just two days after a general political amnesty had resurrected Alexandros Panagoulis from prison, I met him for this interview and fell in love with him. “

I said:

“Panagoulis was the real thing: A hero who had been condemned to death for attempting to assassinate a dictator. He only regretted having failed. Do you see him as a hero?”

Oriana:

“He said:’ I’m not a hero and I don’t feel like a symbol . . . I’m so afraid of disappointing all of you who see so many things in me! Oh, if only you could succeed in seeing in me only a man!’

I said:

“And you asked him: ’Alekos, what does it mean to be a man?”

Oriana:

“He said: ’It means to have courage, to have dignity. It means to love without allowing love to become an anchor. It means to struggle and to win. . . . And for you, what is a man?’

I answered him: ‘I would say that a man is what you are, Alekos.”

And so did the interview end. Arrivederci Oriana….

THE END

Why and how Israel decided to flatten Beirut?

Is it Out of Spite, Israel/US decided to bypass their totally impotent and greedy Lebanese leaders’ allies?

Hezbollah has plenty of serious grievances against these militia/mafia leaders who have totally sided with US/Israel for many decades, and many of them who supported the Zionist movement before the creation of this colonial implanted colony Israel in our midst.

In fact, the Maronite Phalange Party, created by the French colonial mandated power in 1936, and headed by Pierre Gemayel, totally supported the Zionist movement and the creation of Israel as a counter-power against the predominantly Muslim population in lebanon.

The successive pre-emptive wars of Israel on Lebanon were supported by these “agent” leaders since 1948.

1) Actually, those who were elected in the parliament are the ones who sold their properties and lands in Palestine to the Zionist movement in order to run for election

2) In the first 3 decades of the “Independence” of this pseudo-State of Lebanon, the Southern region and its people were totally ignored in the successive budgets for any worthy infrastructure, schools and hospital.

And that indignity included the Akkar region in the north and the Bekaa Valley people.

3) The Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini dispatched his cleric Moussa Sader to Lebanon in the late 1960 in order to rally the Chia sect around a leader that was Not a feudal and landlord conventional “leader” or za3eem.

Moussa Sader did a great job and his “Disinherited Movement” called Amal grabbed the attention of the conventional Lebanese leaders in power for all that period and this movement became a force to negotiate with.

Hezbollah General Secretary, Hassan Nasrallah, in a speech declared that “All we need is to launch a couple of missiles on the Ammonium plant in Haifa. The conflagration is as powerful as an atomic bomb”.

It turned out that Israel actually executed this idea and stored an amount of ammonium nitrate in the port of Beirut and let it be forgotten

Who still believes that this calamity is a simple matter of laziness of every responsible during the last 6 years?

Who is still unable to believe that Israel is Not able to prepare for a long-term catastrophe and hangar #12 was being prepared and targeted for a timely decision to flatten Beirut?

Who still believe this conflagration was Not triggered by an electromagnetic pulse bomb, planted in the hangar?

Iran: Hussein, Karbala, Ashura, Shias, Ayatollah marjaa, Wilayat fakih,

Prophet Muhammad refused to designate a successor:  He was aware of his fragile health condition 8 days before he died and he was mentally conscious and able to make this decision.

When Muhammad died, his close relatives such as his 8 wives, his remaining two daughters and his sons-in-laws got in charge of the burial procedures and ceremony.

The leading companions such as Abu Bakr and Omar negotiated transition with the original leading tribes of Medina, called Ansars. 

The Ansars are those who welcomed the Muslims to settle in their city as the tribes of Mecca started persecuting the Muslims in 632.

Abu Bakr was selected Caliph.

The Sunni sect in Islam is this branch that doesn’t mind caliphs not being direct descendants of Muhammad, as long as they are considered from “noble” tribes of Mecca

The Shia sect insisted that caliphs should be direct descendant of Muhammad.

Abu Bakr, Omar bin Khattab, Uthman bin Affan, and Ali bin Abi Taleb were the four caliphs called Rashidun, meaning adult companions who followed Muhammad from the start and fought all his battles. 

They were all from tribes of Mecca, which upset the ansar tribes who welcomed the Muslims and saved them from persecution and permitted them to establishing their first City-State in Yathreb named Medina later on.

It is to be noted that all male sons of Muhammad died in very young age and he had four married daughters.

Two daughters died before him.  The youngest daughter Fatima married Ali, his nephew and later son-in-law.  Hassan and Hussein were the grandsons of Muhammad from Fatima and Ali who were born while the Prophet was alive. Apparently, Muhamad expected one of his grandchildren to become Caliph later on.

One of his daughters had married third Caliph Uthman bin Affan, and who was assassinated in Medina.

Caliph Muawiya bin Ummaya (from the richest tribe in Mecca) was named governor of Damascus by Uthman and contested the caliphat with Ali.

Ali’s troops had the advantage of vanquishing Muawiya troops, but Ali decided to negotiate.  Thus, those against the negotiation as victory was near were called “khawarij” (the ones who abandoned Ali’s troops); they may as well be the first Shias (those who disagreed).

A few khawarij met in Mecca and decided to assassinate both Ali and Muawiya on the same day.  Muawiya’s assassin barely wounded him, but Ali’s assassin was successful as Ali was leading the prayer in Kufa.

Ali might have been the most promising Imam, but he was no political statesman.  

Actually, Aicha, the youngest wife of Muhammad, can be considered the first Imam since she was the most learned and closest person to the prophet and fought for women rights and corrected faked pronouncement by chauvinist male “scholars”. People flocked to her house to listen to her opinions.

After the assassination of Ali, Muawiya established the first hereditary dynasty in Islam with capital Damascus. 

Muawiya struck a deal with Hassan, the eldest of grandchildren of Muhammad.  The deal was that Hassan will be the next caliph after the death of Muawiya.  In a sense, the deal was sharing power between the Sunnis and the Shias in turn.

Muawiya poisoned Hassan:  He cooperated with Hassan’s wife to convince Hassan to wear a poisoned expensive robe that Muawiya sent as gift for the deal.  Then, Muawiya killed Hassan wife and eliminated direct witnesses.

Hussein continued with the deal and left Muawiya at peace from political upheavals. 

Muawiya died and his son Yazid succeeded him as caliph.  Hussein didn’t appreciate this treachery and reclaimed his right according to the deal and moved from Mecca with his family and 72 followers intending to settle in Kufa (southern Iraq).

Three months of marches in the desert brought Hussain to Karbala.

By dawn, Hussein realized that the troops of Yazid had surrounded his small party and cut off the way to the main water sources at the Euphrates River.

Hussein negotiated for 10 days, hoping that the citizens of Kufa will come to the rescue, at no avail.  Hussein was beheaded and his head sent to Caliph Yazid on a spear in 680.

The uneven battle of Karbala was waged during Ashura, the tenth day of the month of Muharram.

The Shias adopted the account story of the engagement in Karbala as written by Hussein Kashefi in his “Garden of Martyrs” and which was widely circulated in the 15th century.  The story goes as follows:

“Hussein was hit by an arrow in the neck while trying to drink from the river.  Ten cavalry men from Yazid army rushed to achieve Hussein in order to receive huge rewards.  Hussein was lying for dead and every time Hussein opened his eyes and looked at the coming killer and the knights would feel shame and retreat.

Commander Chemr was decided to finish the job and sat at Hussein chest.  Hussein asked Chemr to remove his iron mask and show his face, which he did and Hussein said: “This is the first veritable sign.”  

Chemr face looked porcupine with two incisive shooting out his lips.  Hussein asked Chemr to open his shirt and said: “This is the second veritable sign”:  Chemr chest showed scars of leprosy.  Hussein said: “I had a vision last night by the Prophet and He told me how my assassin would look like.”

Hussein asked Chemr: “What day is it?”  Chmer said: “This is the Friday of Ashura”.  Hussain asked “What time is it?”  Chemr replied: “This is the time of prayer.”  Hussein said: “The believers are praying and you are indulging in killing me.  Get off my chest and do your job while I am praying facing Mecca.”

The surviving family members of Hussain were given a roundabout three-month long trip up north Iraq, then north Syria and through Lebanon before descending to Damascus and suffered hardship and humiliation.

Muawiya had made sure to assassinate all males of direct descendant to Muhammad, including the surviving husbands of his daughters and even Muhammad’s wives.

Aicha, the most learned and beloved of Muhammad’s wives, was spared humiliation and assassination for two reasons:

First, she sided with him against Ali after the assassination of the third caliph Uthman and

Second, Aicha was the prime eminence in Islam jurisprudence.  She had gathered all the verses of the Prophet and confronted the Hadith that were lies and incorrect.  Uthman manipulated many verses and officially published the current Koran.

The Shias believe that the Abbassid caliph Al Maamoun assassinated Imam Rida in 817 in the city of Mashhad by poison.

All the streets in Mashhad converge to Imam Rida’s mausoleum and the city welcome 20 million pilgrims per year. The Abbassid dynasty are descendent of one of Muhammad’s uncle Abbas.

Kufa was not spared persecution, even though it didn’t come to succor Hussain.

The new governor Hajaj bin Youssef made the citizens of Kufa check their necks as his first speech started: “I see heads ripening and ready for the harvest…” 

Kufa was renowned for its bad luck of supporting the losing party:  It supported Aicha, the youngest and most beloved wife of Muhammad, against the troops of Ali in the first civil-war battle of the “Camel” around Kufa.

Iran was Sunni before the 16th century.  An Azeri princeShah Ismail, took power of Iran in 1502.

The successor of Ismail decided to have the Shia sect as the kingdom official religion in order to unite Iran against his nemesis the Caliph of the  Ottoman Empire.  

The Ottoman Empire crushed the Iranian army but didn’t venture in resuming the war inside Iran.  The ottoman Empire just got Iraq as one of the wilayats (province) of the Empire.

The Shia sect has a highly structured hierarchy and the curriculum for religious proficiency is lengthy and passes by degrees of study programs.

There are currently 12 “ayatollah marjaa” among the Shias, two of them died recently: Montazeri and Fadhlallah of Lebanon.  

An ayatollah marjaa is the highest cleric who can institute his school of jurisprudence and proclaim fatwas (interpretation opinion on an Islamic law).

The followers of other Ayatollah marjaa do not have to agree with the fatwas of one ayatollah.

Ayatollah Khomeini didn’t vehemently refuse the title of Imam, a title reserved for the “hidden Mahdi” who was declared hidden at the age of 5 in 874.  

The successor of Khomeini, Khamenei, was not even ayatollah and still, he is considered “Supreme Guide” of the “Wilayat fakih” or the rule of the highest religious cleric in jurisprudence.

Note 1:  I read a few articles of Khomeini’s fatwas and I must say that for his so many years of learning theology and Islamic laws left something to be desired.  I think an ayatollah must have also a PhD in a scientific field in addition to religious knowledge.

Note 2: Aicha never could forgive Ali (He was 19 then) for suspecting her to have cheated on Mohammad during a trip where she lost and then found her necklace

Note 3: The main Ayatollahs who taught the Iranian clerics and most of their leaders before the advent of Khomeini were from South Lebanon. Iraqis have their Sistani for Ayatollah

Note 4: The difference among the Shia sects revert to the number (6 or 12) of Mahdis that ended the succession and how tolerant they are for the inflicted suffering during Ashura ceremonies.

This 21st century started Islamic, supplanted by Covid-19, and maybe China?

Note: Re-edit of “The Century of Islam, (March 11, 2009)”

The 20th century was the communist century, particularly of the Soviet Union and China, as the nemesis for the liberal and capitalist world. 

And the Afghan cataclysm that started in the 1980’s, and which is still going on, changed the geopolitical framework and pressured the Soviet Union to disintegrate.

And the change of power system in Iran in 1979 and the 8-year savaged war between Iraq and Iran. Actually, Khomeini decided before his death to declare cease fire, otherwise, his successors will feel like continuing this senseless war that profit the colonial powers. This war was meant to create a fault ridge between the Sunni and Shia sects and all other religious sects in the Middle-East. A nasty divide that the colonial powers have been foamenting and investing in it to the hilt

The 21st century was predicted to be the century of Liberal Capitalist America after the fall of the Berlin Wall: “Liberal capitalism” was advancing globalization and the free flow of capitals to national markets by international financial companies.

And the new US strategy of dismembering Yugoslavia into several weak States and this lengthy civil war in that Serbian region.

And Iraq invading Kuwait in 2003 once the US ordered Saddam to divide Iraq into 3 States. And the Bush Jr. administration irradiating the Iraqi people with toxic and nuclear munition and open pits for burning plastic materials, for a period of 5 years that contaminated generations of Iraqis.

After the September 9, 2001 Twin Towers attack, supposedly planned by al Qaeda, the Bush Jr. Administration spewed his venom for a decade on Islam, as the major enemy to democracy and for a stable World Order.

And the prediction of the End of History.

The implementation of US-type of “Police of Democracy”quickly ended with the worst financial crisis of all time (2008), and the emergence of many players in world economics and politics.

And the Barak administration encouraging and supporting extremist Islamic organizations like Al Nusra and Daesh to enter Mosul and control northern Syria.

And this created civil war in Syria that started in 2011 and is an ongoing morass to all concerned people with millions of displaced and refugees.

This century was showing the definite characteristics that it is of Islam.

The superpowers have targeted Islam to be the main nemesis for stable world order:

The superpowers need to create a focused enemy for its people.

Before I broach on current events and realities, a little history is in point.

Islam was the world civilization for over 9 centuries.  Three centuries of Eastern Arab Empire that was first located in Damascus and then in Baghdad.  The Arab/Islam Empire shifted its center of gravity in the next two centuries to the west or the Maghreb Empire, and particularly in Spain or Andalusia.  

Two centuries of Islamic domination were marshaled by the Ottoman Muslim Empire in Turkey in the 16th and 17th centuries; and another two centuries of the Muslim Mughal Empire in India, and one century of the Islamic Safavid Empire in Iran in the 18th century.

These civilizations waned after Portugal and Spain circumnavigated the Oceans to bypass Egypt for direct trade with India and Far East Asia.

In fact, the various Crusaders campaigns failed because they could not conquer Egypt, where the major trade routes intersected before reaching Europe, the main target and purpose of the crusaders financial backers.

Christian Europe owes it to the Muslim Empires to be saved from the multitudes of invasions originated in Mongolia and Central Asia by the Mogul and Tatar hordes.

After the Indonesian dictator Suharto died, his successor Bahr el Din Habibi invested over one billion dollars to develop a small civilian airplane.  The “Financial Times” mocked the new President for investing on airplanes that can be purchased with much higher quality and performance.

The West was purposely belittling what they perceived as the new challenges coming from the largest Muslim Nation in matter of knowledge and technology. Habibi meant to build new generations of Muslims that can manufacture instead of being simple consumers.  Habibi said “Money comes and goes. Human brains can be purchased but how can we secure loyalty to a nation and to citizens?”

The Ottoman Empire was later weakened by relying too heavily on its mercenaries the “Inkisharia” (soldiers raised from foreign slaves), as the Arabic Empires were destroyed from the interior by relying on foreign mercenaries.

Pakistan had to build the first Muslim Atomic Bomb in order to challenge India’s bomb.  As Zhu Fikar Ali Bhutto said “we will have to build the atomic bomb even if we end up eating grass”. Actually, Bhutto was overthrown and put to death because he challenged the West for building the bomb.

Iran is facing constant pressure from the West for manufacturing its own arms, munitions, missiles, atomic power generators, and space satellites.

India has more Muslims than Pakistan, Indonesia, and Egypt combined.

The middle classes of Indian Moslems and Chinese Muslims are nearly as large as the total US population.

Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, and Nigeria are almost continents of their own in size and populations and they are acting and behaving as self-sufficient nations.

The West has to start trading knowledge and technologies without any pre-conditions if it seeks peace, security, stability, and prosperity.  War is a losing option for both parties and no one can hope to emerge winner anyway

I have mentioned in several articles that the 5 nations in the UN with veto power are negotiating to partition Sudan for its huge raw materials, oil reserves, and water resources.  This adventure is doomed to fail unless they negotiate a fair deal with the people in Sudan and the most populous Muslim nations in Africa such as Egypt, Nigeria, and Kenya in Africa.

And Covid-19 pandemics spread and changed this “sustained growth” notion, cleared the air from pollutants in urban cities and megapolis, as well as improving the quality of potable water.

And oil prices fell drastically and producing nations having no idea how to stop the gushing of oil (lest the wells are totally degraded) and where to store all these humongous quantities.

Note 1: The “Arabic Spring” revolts against dictators and absolute monarchies have set the tone for democratic systems in the Arabic States.  The major underlying factor for this mass indignity is the realization that western governments encouraged dictator and absolute monarchy regimes for an entire century in order to maintaining the “Muslim” people subjugated and unable to grow and develop.

Note 2: Sudan had a referendum for partition, but it does not seem that problems will vanish any time soon in Sudan:  The exploitation of oil and mineral resources will resume unabated, and turmoil in north and south Sudan will be enhanced even further.

What happened in Iran after 1983 election?

Khomeini lambasted the fraudulent voting report of his minister of interior and what he wanted.

بعد يومين من انتخابات مجلس الخبراء في الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران (1983) استدعى الإمام الخميني وزير داخليته و عنّفه لأنه لم يبلّغه نتائج الانتخابات دون تزييف . .

فدُهش حجّة الإسلام ناطق نوري ، وزير الداخلية ، و قال أنّه ما كذب مرةً على الإمام . لكن الخميني ردّ مؤكداً لوزيره أنه أذكى من الشاه و لا سبيل لاستغفاله في يوم من الأيام من قبل أيٍّ من المسؤولين ، لأن هناك من يخبره بالحقائق كاملةً لكنه يفضّل سماعها من المسؤولين المعنيين و ليس من الجواسيس .

و تابع الخميني أن الشاه لم يكن يطّلع على حقائق الأمور و هذا سبب أساسي لسقوطه ، و “أنا روح الله الخميني و لست بمحمد رضا بهلوي و أريد الحقائق مهما كانت معادية لي و لنظامي” . . اقتنع الوزير ناطق نوري و انسحب ليعود في الصباح التالي حاملاً الملف الحقيقي للانتخابات .

عندما فتح الخميني الملف كانت الصدمة كبيرة ، فهو توقّع أن يكون رجال حاشيته قد أخفوا عنه بعض الأمور لكن لم يصدّق أنهم تجرؤوا على إخفاء الكثير . فخمسة ملايين فقط ، من أصل 18 مليون لهم حق التصويت ، قد اشتركوا في الانتخابات !!

أما الأسماء التي حصلت على أغلبية الأصوات فكان في مقدمها “كوكش” المغنية الإيرانية الشهيرة و التي سُجنت بعد مجيء الخميني للحكم ثم أخلي سبيلها لتستقر مع زوجها في منزلها في طهران ، ، كوكش نالت مليون صوت لوحدها . الإسم الثاني كان “فريدون فرخزاد” المطرب المعروف ، و فاز بما يتجاوز النصف مليون صوت . .

و الثالث كان إسم “مهشتي” و هي مطربة إيرانية تعيش في أميركا ، و نالت ثلاثمئة ألف صوت ، فيما نال “أمير عباس هويدا” و هو كان رئيس وزراء لدى الشاه و أعدم بعد الثورة ، نال المرحوم هويدا أكثر من مئتي ألف صوت . . بينما لم ينل حجة الإسلام خامنئي ، رئيس الجمهورية ، أكثر من 150 ألف صوت فقط .

ناهيك عن عشرات الآلاف من أوراق الإقتراع التي كتب عليها الناخبون شتائم بحق النظام الجديد . كما أن وزير الداخلية أقرّ للإمام أن النظام حجب كوبونات اللحم و السكر و المحروقات عمّن تخلّف عن الإدلاء بصوته في صناديق الإقتراع . .

قرأ الإمام الخميني الملف بإمعان ، و أدرك أن شعبه أذكى من نظامه ، و لأن الخميني كان حاكماً عظيماً قلّ نظيره في التاريخ الحديث ، يسبر غور مكنونات شعبه و يحسن المواجهة و الإعتراف بالخطأ ، لأنه من طينة غير طينة بقية الرؤساء و القادة ، و لأنه شجاعاً في الدفاع عن الحق ، فقد قرر مصارحة الشعب الذي أحبه .

فبعد ثلاثة أيام ، وقف الإمام الخميني يخطب في شعبه و هو يبكي من شدّة الألم ، كان صوته مريراً و هو يعترف بخجله الشديد من شعبه لأنه لم يبنِ لهم الجنة على الأرض كما سبق و وعدهم .

في اليوم التالي لخطابه زاره محمد سيد خاتمي ، وزير الإرشاد و استمع إلي الإمام مخاطباً أعوانه : “لماذا تعذبون شعبي المحروم و لماذا تطاردون من يرتدي ربطة عنق ! إنها ليست ضد الإسلام . . لماذا تطاردون من يحلق ذقنه ؟ و هل اللحية تعني الإسلام ؟ لقد سمعت عن مساعد وزير التجارة الذي فصلوه من منصبه فقط لأنه لم يعرف كم ياردة نحتاج لصناعة الكفن ؟ ! إنني أعلن للشعب براءتي من هذه الذنوب” . .

في مساء ذلك اليوم ازدحمت الشوارع بالرجال الحليقي الذقون ، مرتدين لباساً افرنجياً و ربطات عنق ، و بالنساء السافرات لا سيما في شوارع “مصدق” و “بوخارست” و الجميع يهلل للإمام . تمكن الخميني بقيادته الحكيمة و الشجاعة من القضاء على نقمة الشعب . .

لكن . بعد أيام قليلة عاد النظام إلى القمع دون رجوع للخميني . .

. . أياً يكن القائد ملهماً و شجاعاً و محباً لشعبه و للحق و العدالة ، ما لم يبدأ بحاشيته و أعوانه فعبثاً يتعب .

War criminal posting his candidature to the Presidency of Lebanon: And this is Not the main topic

Samir Ga3gea, the “historically elected” leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces, and who served 11 years in a secluded prison for terrorist activities and assassination of political leaders, has officially submitted his candidacy to the Presidency of Lebanon.

Samir is not the only criminal who submitted his candidacy and was elected.

Late Beshir Gemayel was elected president in 1982 under the Israeli occupation of Beirut. And Beshir is many fold a worse war criminal during the civil war than Samir. And Bashir was a confirmed traitor who blatantly and frequently visited Israel and formally demanded the aid of Israel to occupy Lebanon.

Before Beshir, another criminal was President of Lebanon: the late Suleiman Franjieh (grandad of current Suleiman Franjieh) massacred over 40 people in a church in the 1950’s. He was elected by a single majority vote against a clean and honest candidate.

This post is not meant to delve into details of war crimes in Lebanon, and the list is long for every war lord of each religious sect, such as the current Parliament Chairman Nabih Berry, the Druze leader Walid Jumblat…

The topic of this article is “what could have happened if Beshir Gemayel was not assassinated in September 14, 1982, a single day before the official ceremony inducting him as president of the Republic of Lebanon?”

What if he governed for at least a year before being assassinated?

Probably:

1. Israel would not have entered West Beirut

2. The genocide in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila would have taken place

3. Israel would have retreated to the 40 km “buffer zone” in the south, far quicker than it did, after the fighters of the Palestinian Resistance Movement (PLO) were evacuated from Lebanon.

4. The massacres in the Chouf province between the Christians and the Druze would not have happened (Samir Geaja and his militias (The Lebanese Forces) entered the Chouf at the instigation of Israel)

4. The massacres in East Saida between the Christians and the Sunnis would have been spared (Samir Geaja militias entered the Saida province at the instigation of Israel)

5. The thousands of new Christian refugees to the Christian canton would not have fled their towns and villages

6. The division of Lebanon into sectarian cantons would have been slower in the formation

7. The regular army would have assisted the UN forces in the south and the militias associated with Israel would have been disbanded.

8. A “peace treaty” with Israel would have been ratified with better terms than what was written during Amine Gemayel tenure and which failed to be ratified.

9. The Syrian troops would have stayed in the Bekaa Valley and refrained from approaching Beirut.

10. The sieges and massacres perpetrated against the Palestinian camps by the Amal militias of Nabih Berry (instigated by Syria) would have been delayed, at best.

11. The civil war would have taken another turn and saved Lebanon further deeper chasm among the sectarian forces

12. The Druze militias of Walid Jumblat would not have invested Mazra3a in Beirut with their tanks

13. Amine Gemayel would not have been elected president and the Lebanese currency would not have devalued quickly to 1,500 times less

14. The second largest city of Tripoli would not have turned extremist Islamist, and the secular parties of the Communists and Syrian National Social would have stronger presence in that city

15. Yasser Arafat might not have returned to Tripoli and re-armed the Palestinian camps and cause thousands to be killed during two months of siege.

16. And most likely Samir Geaja would not have ended up leader of the Lebanese Forces militia and left trails of calamities for the Christian population everywhere he got engaged militarily

In hindsight, which governments or political organizations were behind the planning of the assassination of Bashir Gemayel? Israel, Syria, the Palestinian Resistance, any of the Lebanese resistance factions…

Mind you that Islamic Iran was engaged in a protracted war with Iraq of Saddam Hussein that lasted 9 long years of savage fighting.  The cease fire for that war was decided by Ayatolla Khomeini as he learned that he had a few months to live: He decided to extend a survival breathing space for his Islamic regime that was on the verge of collapse.

Question: Would Hezbollah be created?

Yes.

1. Hezbollah would have been instituted simply because the question of Palestine opens the door wide to Islamist Iran to tamper with our internal affairs. The peace treaty would have been an excellent excuse to rally the Shiaa around Iran positions.

2. The frequent tampering of Israel in South Lebanon would have inevitably alienated the Shiaa against the Israeli occupiers.

“It is a truth, universally acknowledged that…”

“It is a truth, universally acknowledged that a Moslem man, regardless of his fortune, must be in want of a 9 year-old virgin wife…”. That’s how Nassrine started the discussion with the opening sentence of Jane Austin book “Pride and Prejudice”, a temptation that a reader is most likely to feel and rearrange…

Azar Nafisi held Thursday’s sessions for 7 of her former students, discussing selected English fiction novels and keeping diaries.

Manna rejoined: “It is a truth, universally acknowledged that a Moslem man will eventually displace his older wife for a fresh naive 16 year-old virgin…”

What is your “truth, universally acknowledged….?”

Azin, who is in the process of divorcing her third husband, said: “Who is thinking about love these days? The islamic Republic of Iran has taken us back to Jane Austen’s blessed arranged marriages. Nowadays, girls marry either because of famiy pressures, or to get a green card, or to secure financial stability… And we are talking about educated girls, discussing English literature, and who have gone to college…”

Mahshed replied: “Many women are independent in Iran, and are business women and who have chosen to live alone…”

Manna retorted: “Most women don’r have a choice now. My mother could chose her husband and wearing the veil was optional…”

Nassrine said: “Temporary marriage contracts are all the rage. President Rafsanjani is encouraging these kinds of short-term marriage contracts… Many conservative clerics call these contracts a sanctified form of prostitution… A few progressive men are for these contracts, and I tell them that they should demand that this law gives women the same rights as men… Talk about hypocrisy!”

At the start of the 20th century, the age of marriage was changed to 13 and increased to 18. In the 1960’s, there was little difference between the rights of both genders, and women were at a par with western democratic States standards in human rights.

As Khomeini grabbed power in 1979, and this totalitarian and theocratic regime came in the name of the Past, and individual freedom was banished… the first law was to repeal the Family-Protection law, which guaranteed women’s rights at home and at work.

The legal marriage age for women was lowered again to 9 year-old, sort of 8.5 lunar years… Adultery and prostitution were punished by stoning to death, and women were considered to have half the worth of men

And why this 9 year-old cut-off standard?

Prophet Muhammad had officially married Aicha at the age of 9. Aicha’s father was Abu Bakr, later to become the first Calif of the Moslems.

Muhammad didn’t have intercourse with Aicha until she was 13, but they didn’t beget any children. Aicha was the most beloved of wives and the most educated.

This terribly jealous wife used to throw tantrums when exposed to injustices. As Muhammad announced his desire to marry another wife (9 in total), Aicha shouted: “This God of yours has the habit of satisfying all your desires in verses…

Aicha was in charge of transcribing the verses during Muhammad’s bouts of epilepsy.

And the Moslem clerics want to emulate their prophets, particularly in life-style that pleases their pleasures and comfort…

Sanaz was to meet with her long-time preferred Iranian young man, accompanied by her family, across the border in Turkey: The beau was settled in England for the last 6 years and decided to give it a shot and get engaged with Sanaz. The discussion among the girls was on how to discover the compatibility attribute, after so many years of absence, before Sanaz agrees to get engaged.

Nassrine suggested that “The first thing you should do to test your compatibility is dance with him

This suggestion was a reminder of the “Dear Jane Society” idea of forming dance sessions: Teacher Azar had gathered the girl students after class following a lecture on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to dance in the style of Austen’s period (the Napoleonic age). But that is another story.

Note 1: The story is taken from “Reading Lolita in Tehran” by Azar Nafisi

Note 2: If interested in a biography of Aicha, check https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/10/11/aicha-la-bien-aime-du-prophet-by-genevieve-chauvel/

Iran: Hussein, Karbala, Ashura, Shias, Ayatollah marjaa, Wilayat fakih,…

Prophet Muhammad refused to designate a successor:  He was aware of his fragile health condition 8 days before he died and he was mentally conscious and able to make this decision.

When Muhammad died, his close relatives such as his 8 wives, his remaining two daughters and his sons-in-laws got in charge of the burial procedures and ceremony.

The leading companions such as Abu Bakr and Omar negotiated transition with the original leading tribes of Medina, called Ansars.  The ansars are those who welcomed the Moslems to settle in their city as the tribes of Mecca started persecuting the Moslems in 632.

Abu Bakr was selected Caliph.

The Sunni sect in Islam is this branch that doesn’t mind caliphs not being direct descendants of Muhammad, as long as they are considered from “noble” tribes of Mecca.  The Shia sect insisted that caliphs should be direct descended of Muhammad.

Abu Bakr, Omar bin Khattab, Uthman bin Affan, and Abi bin Abi Taleb were the four caliphs called Rashidun, meaning adult companions who followed Muhammad from the start and fought all his battles.  They were all from tribes of Mecca, which upset the ansar tribes who welcomed the Moslems and saved them from persecution and permitted them to establishing their first City-State in Yathreb named Medina later on.

It is to be noted that all male sons of Muhammad died in very young age and he had four married daughters.

Two daughters died before him.  The youngest daughter Fatima married Ali, his nephew and later son-in-law.  One of his daughters had married Uthman bin Affan.  Hassan and Hussein were the grandsons of Muhammad from Fatima and Ali who were born while the Prophet was alive.

Caliph Muawiya bin Ummaya (from the richest tribe in Mecca) was named governor of Damascus by Uthman and contested the caliphat with Ali.

Ali’s troops had the advantage of vanquishing Muawiya troops but Ali decided to negotiate.  Thus, those against the negotiation as victory was near were called “khawarej” (the ones who aabandoned Ali’s troops); they may as well be the first Shias (those who disagreed).

Ali might have been the most promising Imam, but he was no political statesman.  A few khawarej met in Mecca and decided to assassinate both Ali and Muawiya on the same day.  Muawiya’s assassin barely wounded him, but Ali’s assassin was successful as Ali was leading the prayer in Kufa.

After the assassination of Ali, Muawiya established the first hereditary dynasty in Islam with capital Damascus.  Muawiya struck a deal with Hassan.  The deal was that Hassan will be the next caliph after the death of Muawiya.  In a sense, the deal was sharing power between the Sunnis and the Shias in turn.

Muawiya poisoned Hassan:  He cooperated with Hassan’s wife to convince Hassan to wearing a poisoned expensive robe that Muawiya sent as gift for the deal.  Then, Muawiya killed Hassan’s wife and eliminated direct witnesses.

Hussein continued with the deal and left Muawiya at peace from political upheavals.  Muawiya died and his son Yazid succeeded him as caliph.  Hussein didn’t appreciate this treachery and reclaimed his right according to the deal and moved from Mecca with his family and 72 followers intending to settle in Kufa (southern Iraq).

Three months of marches in the desert brought Hussein in Karbala.

By dawn, Hussein realized that the troops of Yazid had surrounded his small party and cut off the way to the main water sources at the Euphrates River. Hussein negotiated for 10 days, hoping that the citizens of Kufa will come to the rescue, at no avail.  Hussein was beheaded and his head sent to Caliph Yazid on a spear in 680.

The uneven battle of Karbala was waged during Ashura, the tenth day of the month of Muharram.

The Shias adopted the account story of the engagement in Karbala as written by Hussein Kashefi in his “Garden of Martyrs” and which was widely circulated in the 15th century.  The story goes as follows:

“Hussein was hit by an arrow in the neck while trying to drink from the river.  Ten cavalry men from Yazid army rushed to achieve Hussein so that to receiving huge rewards.  Hussein was lying for dead and every time Hussein opened his eyes and looked at the coming killer then, the knight would feel shame and retreat.

Commander Chemr was decided to finish the job and sat at Hussein chest.  Hussein asked Chemr to remove his iron mask and show his face, which he did and Hussein said: “This is the first veritable sign.”  Chemr’s face looked porcupine with two incisive shooting out his lips.  Hussein asked Chemr to open his shirt and said: “This is the second veritable sign”  Chemr’s chest showed scars of leprosy.  Hussein said: “I had a vision last night by the Prophet and He told me how my assassin would look like.”

Hussein asked Chemr: “What day it is?”  Chmer said: “This is the Friday of Ashura”  Hussein asked “What time is it?”  Chemr replied: “This is the time of prayer.”  Hussein said: “The believers are praying and you are indulging in killing me.  Get off my chest and do your job while I am praying facing Mecca.”

The surviving family members of Hussein were given a roundabout three-month long trip up north Iraq, then north Syria before descending to Damascus and suffered hardship and humiliation.

Muawiya made sure to assassinating all males of direct descendant to Muhammad, including the surviving husbands of his daughters and even Muhammad’s wives.

Aicha, the most learned and beloved of Muhammad’s wives, was spared humiliation and assassination for two reasons:

First, she sided with him against Ali after the assassination of the third caliph Uthman and

Second, Aicha was the prime eminent in Islam jurisprudence.  She had gathered all the verses of the Prophet and confronted the Hadith that were lies and incorrect.  Uthman manipulated many verses and officially published the current Koran.

The Shias believe that the Abbassid caliph Al Maamoun assassinated Imam Rida in 817 in the city of Mashhad by poison.

All the streets in Mashhad converge to Imam Rida’s mausoleum and the city welcome 20 million pilgrims per year. The Abbassid dynasty are descendent of one of Muhammad’s uncle Abbas.

Kufa was not spared persecution, even though it didn’t come to succor Hussein.

The new governor Hajaj bin Youssef made the citizens of Kufa check their necks as his first speech started: “I see heads ripening and ready for the harvest…”  Kufa is renowned for its bad luck of supporting the losing party:  It supported Aicha, the youngest and most beloved wife of Muhammad, against the troops of Ali in the first civil-war battle of the “Camel” around Kufa.

Iran was Sunni before the 16th century.  An Azeri prince, Shah Ismail, took power of Iran in 1502.

The successor of Ismail decided to have the Shia sect as the kingdom official religion in order to unite Iran against his nemesis the Caliph of the  Ottoman Empire.  The ottoman Empire crushed the Iranian army but didn’t venture in resuming the war inside Iran.  The ottoman Empire just got Iraq as one of the wilayyats  of the Empire.

The Shia sect has a highly structured hierarchy and the curriculum for religious proficiency is lengthy and passes by degrees of study programs. There are currently 12 “ayatollah marjaa” among the Shias, two them died recently: Montazari and Fadhlallah of Lebanon.  An ayatollah marjaa is the highest cleric who can institute his school of jurisprudence and proclaim fatwas (interpretation opinion on an Islamic law).

The followers of other Ayatollah marjaa do not have to agree with the fatwas of one ayatollah.

Ayatollah Khomeini didn’t vehemently refuse the title of Imam, a title reserved for the “hidden Mahdi” who was declared hidden at the age of 5 in 874.  The successor of Khomeini, Kamenei, was not even ayatollah and still, he is considered “Supreme Guide” of the “Wilayat fakih” or the rule of the highest religious cleric in jurisprudence.

Note:  I read a few articles of Khomeini’s fatwas and I must say that so many years of learning theology and Islamic laws left something to be desired.  I think an ayatollah must have also a PhD in a scientific field in addition to religious knowledge.

Hezbollah (God’s Party) and Nasr Allah (God’s Victory

Note: I decided to re-edit this article of May 25, 2009

Hassan Nasr Allah is currently the Secretary General of Hezbollah.

He was born in August 31, 1960 in the poorest section of East Beirut called Nabaa.  Hassan was the eldest among 9 offspring and his father supported this vast family selling vegetable.

Hassan refrained from playing soccer with the neighboring kids or joining them for a swim; he was deeply religious and admired greatly Imam Moussa Sadr (dispatched to Lebanon by Khomeini in the early 70’s) and who gave the Moslem Shiaa sect a sense of their pride and potentials in the Lebanese fabrics.

The regions of the Shiaa in south Lebanon and in the Bekaa Valley were neglected by the central government since the independence in 1943.  The Imam of the Mosque that Hassan patronized and where he prayed in Nabaa was late Muhammad Fadlallah who is currently the highest Imam of the Shiaa in Lebanon.

At the age of 14, Hassan moved with his family to their home village Bazourieh in south Lebanon. He aided Sheikh Ali Shams el Deen opening a small library of religious manuscripts, and Hassan started teaching religion in the village and then finished his high school in Tyr.

By the age of 15, Hassan joined the “AMAL” movement of Imam Moussa Sadr and was quickly appointed officer of the Bekaa district and then a member of the politburo.

Sheikh Muhammad Ghrawy facilitated to Nasr Allah higher religious learning in Najaf (Iraq).  Nasr Allah met in Najaf with Abbass Moussawy (later the first Secretary General of Hezbollah).

By 1978, and after two years spent in Najaf, Nasr Allah returned to Lebanon.  A couple of months later Imam Moussa Sadr disappeared after a visit to Libya in August 1978.

In 1979, Khomeini came to power in Iran and the Shah went to exile.

The geopolitical condition in the Middle East changed drastically. Iran was now against the USA interests in the region. Iran then supported the Palestinian cause, and was the first State to officially allow the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to open and embassy in Tehran.

Israel invaded Lebanon in June 1982; the operation was baptized “Peace in Galilee”.  Israel put siege to Beirut for two months and Yasser Arafat and 11,000 Palestinian fighters were forced to leave Lebanon to Tunisia.

The Lebanese President of the Republic Elias Sarkis invited Nabih Berri (leader of AMAL) to join Walid Jumblat (Druze leader) and Basheer Gemayel (leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces) to forming a national rescue team.

Thus, many AMAL cadres quit Nabih Berry such as Abbass Moussawy, Sobhi Tuffaily, Hussein Moussawy, Ibraheem Amin Sayyed, Naeem Qassem, and Nasr Allah.  They created Hezbollah and blew up the US Marines and French barracks in Beirut in 1983.

Nasr Allah had said that Hezbollah was the consequence of Israel entering Beirut in 1982.

Hezbollah postponed declaring its formation until 1985 after Israel assassinated one of Hezbollah’s leaders Sheikh Ragheb Harb. The Iranian leaders Ali Mohtashamy was then the spiritual father of the Party and Muhammad Akhtary the military father.

Hassan Nasr Allah learned from Ragheb Harb the famous dictum “The verb is taking a stand and shaking hands is necessarily acknowledgement of assent” and thus, Harb never shook hands with any Israeli army officers who were trying hard to win Ragheb over to supporting the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon.

In 1987, Nasr Allah was appointed member of the highest legislative institution in Hezbollah and then chairman of the executive branch.

In 1989, Nasr Allah resumed his religious studies in Qom (Iran) and returned in a hurry to Lebanon when military skirmishes with the AMAL movement spread.

The AMAL party was executing the orders of the Syrian regime to entering the Palestinian camps and disarming the Palestinians of any heavy arsenal.

Hezbollah followed the policies of Iran to leave the Palestinian out of harm.  After many months of fighting both parties settled out their differences as Syria and Iran reached a compromise.

Israel assassinated Hezbollah leader Abbass Moussawy in 1992.  Nasr Allah was the closest aid to Moussawy, had extensive contacts with the base, and studied in Qom.

The young Hassan Nasr Allah surprisingly replaced Moussawy as Secretary General; he was only 32 of age.  Nasr Allah said: “A movement that witnesses its leader falling martyr can never be defeated”. Hezbollah evolved into a qualitative phase in organization and political acumen.

Israel invaded Lebanon in July 1993 for 7 days under the code name “Settling Accounts” and then re-invaded in 1996 under Shimon Peres (Nobel Peace prize winner!) and the operation of total destruction lasted for 17 days under the code name “Grapes of Wrath” and shelled a UN compound in Qana where civilians had taken refuge and over 100 died and 300 were gravely injured.

Hadi, the eldest son of Nasr Allah, fell martyr during a resistance operation in September 1997; it was the night before Nasr Allah was to deliver a major speech and he insisted on speaking and said: “In Hezbollah we do not save our children for the future; we honor them when they fight in the front lines against our enemy Israel; we stand tall when they fall martyrs

Israel had to unilaterally retreat from all of Lebanon, with the exception of Shebaa Farms and the hills of Kfarshouba in May 24, 2000 without pre-conditions or negotiations.

The Arab masses recognized Hezbollah as the main resistance movement that vanquished Israel and acclaimed Nasr Allah as the Hero of liberation.

In the large town of Bent Jbeil Nasr Allah delivered the Victory Speech and offered this liberation in the name of all the Lebanese.  Nasr Allah said: “Israel has nuclear arsenals and owns the most lethal air force in the region.  Yet, Israel is much weaker than the spider web” (It was a reference of a spider web on a cave that saved the Prophet Muhammad from being caught by the Kuraich tribe persecutors while fleeing to Yathreb in 630)

In 2003, Israel bombarded the villages in south Lebanon and then raided Beirut in 2005.  Israel re-invaded Lebanon on July 2006 for 33 days and failed to achieve any of its proclaimed political objectives.

Nasr Allah was recognized as the most charismatic and powerful resistance leader in the Arab and Moslem World.  Nasr Allah played the catalyst for the Shiaa in Lebanon to participate in projecting the living messages in the symbolism of the Koran verses and thus be capable of assimilating and accepting changing social and environmental conditions.

According to the famous journalist Seymour Hirsh it seems that Cheney, Eliot Abrahams, and Bandar Ben Sultan conspired to finance and whisk the members of Fatah El Islam (radical, salafist, and extremist Sunni Moslems) into the refugee camp of Nahr Al Bared with the purpose of destabilizing Lebanon and starting civil war between the Moslem Shiaas and Sunnis and thus, immersing Hezbollah into a potential civil war.

It didn’t work because the Lebanese army was hurt in its pride after many soldiers were executed by severing their heads in the summer of 2007.  The army lost over 160 soldiers and many hundreds were severely injured but the Moslem extremism objectives were defeated after 6 months of engagement in the camp.

Deputy Bahiya Hariri (sister of late Rafic Hariri) acknowledged that she contributed substantially in financing extremist Palestinian groups in the refugee camps.

The Israelis take very seriously Nasr Allah’s promises and threats because he can deliver.

The Lebanese Government of Seniora PM failed to understand that “A word is a commitment”.  Nasr Allah had said that Hezbollah will never turn its arms internally, excepting when coerced to relinquish its arms; especially its secured ground communication lines considered the most potent arm it had during the war in 2006.

In May 5, 2008, the “illegitimate”  Seniora PM Government (with no Shiaa minister representatives in its cabinet) executed a plan to dismantle Hezbollah secure communication network.

Hassan Nasr Allah delivered a speech demanding the government to retract its decision.  By May 7, the AMAL militias confronted the security forces of the Moustakbal movement (The Hariri clan) in Beirut and quickly closed down those arm caches intended to start civil disturbances.

The AMAL forces were controlled by cadres of Hezbollah in order for the confrontation not to degenerate into sectarian infighting. For example, the rioters saved the huge pictures of late Rafic Hariri PM and removed the pictures of Saad Hariri and Seniora PM.  Israel admitted that its patient work of infiltrating Hezbollah for two years vanished within a couple of hours.

Hezbollah has joined the Parliament since 1992 and has increased the number of its Deputies; it has cabinet ministers since the year 2000.   Lebanon is getting ready for Parliamentary election in June 7, 2009 and all the indications point to victory of the opposition headed by Hezbollah, AMAL, and the movement (Tayyar) of Change and Reforms of General Michel Aoun.

Over 20 Lebanese agents spying for Israel have been apprehended.   Nasr Allah is demanding that the traitors be hanged.

Note:  The biographical sections were extracted from the recent Arabic/Lebanese book “Shock and Steadfastness” (Sadmah wa Sumoud”) by Kareem Bakradouny.

Cycle of life orf Hostages; (Apr. 14, 2010)

French reporter Philippe Rochot published “Within Islam’s revolts” that describes his reporting jobs in many countries (over 40 States) most of them in conflict and civil wars.  Rochot had visited Lebanon many times for reporting purposes before and during the civil war.

In 1985, against his best judgment, he agreed to revisit Lebanon to report on a new French hostage Michel Seurat.  It was a period when sympathizers of Khomeini were on the ascendance.

France of President Mitterrand had sided squarely with Saddam Hussein of Iraq against Iran and shipped all kinds of fighter jets and sophisticated armaments to Iraq (Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were guarantors for the open credits of war materials).  This war  lasted 8 years leaving a million casualties on both sides and many millions of seriously injured handicapped persons.

Rochot was kidnapped in Lebanon in 1985 for 8 months and a long chapter describes his captivity.

Rochot writes:

“My life cycle revolved around two bottles: one bottle for drinking and the other one to urinate in.

I was chained to a radiator and allowed to piss once every 10 hours. I was not given a razor to shave and the length of my mustaches was a serious handicap for eating the fast food of hamburger kind.  I ended up pulling out the hair one by one; it was a painful act but efficacious.

My long beard reminded me of my reporting assignment in Afghanistan in 1980 when I purposely had to grow a beard to blend nicely with the people. I got into the habit of smoothing down my beard.”

Every 10 days, the abductors would bring a newer set of cloths; mainly sweat pants and T-shirts. (Probably the kidnappers had no washing machines or didn’t feel obligated to washing prisoners’ cloths).

Once, a “designated” photographer took pictures of the captive to dispatch to the French Embassy and the original cloths were dumped in front of Philippe to wear for the occasion. He was permitted to write a single line to his wife and two daughters “I am in good health”.

There was no correspondence or any kinds of messages arriving from the outside.  Occasionally, radio was brought in for specific events.  When Ronald Reagan of the US bombed Libya two British hostages were killed: The US bombers crossed Britain airspace.

It seemed as if the kidnappers in direct contact with the hostages had a day job: they showed up at nightfall for the night task of watching over the prisoners; sort of gaining extra money to make ends meet.

Rochot dreaded most to fall sick. Many captives died out of sickness because the kidnapping faction had no official links with a hospital or any kinds of health practitioner.

One night, the area of captivity was bombed and one of the militia was injured.  Rochot could hear the injured person in the next room and the kidnappers were at a loss what to do with their comrade.  For example, hostage Michel Seurat died of liver cancer in captivity; the kidnappers claimed to have killed him in retaliation for some kind of France political position.  Seurat was moved to another room to cry out his pains and sufferings.

The other French captive could hear Seurat moaning all the time for many weeks before death relieved Michel. (Probably, the kidnapping faction was not addicted to drugs as the Christian militias were, or it had not the means for purchasing drugs to relieve Seurat from his pains).


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2021
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