Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Pope Jean-Paul II

Dysfunctional “Global Villages” or visual politics platforms; (July 26, 2009)

 

Hands off.

Lebanon is not a Nation: it is a message (Pope Jean-Paul II).  Nice try. What message again? We never believed in any message in the first place for us to transfer and disseminate our messengers.

 

Lebanon is not a Nation: it is a Carrefour of civilizations (Maurice Gemayel).  Nice try. What Carrefour again?  I see; a state of the art infrastructure with a Space Center; a human potential incubator for foreign investors to select from, use, abuse, and milk dry.

 

Lebanon is not a Nation: it is a project of communication facilitator, an audio-visual plateform (Joanna Choukeir). More likely a project that could fly. Sort of a guinea pig laboratory of dysfunctional people living in a dysfunctional barely “recognized” state to study the feasibility of a futuristic dysfunctional “Global Village”.

 

Lebanon is not a Nation: its leaders never believed it as such; they tailored made their concept of a State recognized by the UN.  Lebanon’s sectarian leaders lived the good life of organized chaos within their castes; they forced Lebanon’s citizens out in disgust; seeking the bare minimum of dignity and potentials for survival among stable societies with sustainable institutions. 

 

Lebanon is a comprador Carrefour; governments systematically taxing the poor with modern high tech taxing facilities to aid the comprador noble caste to fructify their businesses out of Lebanon. We are fleeing for individual professional recognition; we may receive recognition for anything but the dignity of a worthy society that could generate worthy citizens.

 

The cup of dignity always overflows of the spirit within. We have proven to be meant plain catalysts for potentials of change that could never materialize in a sustainable spiritual survival of any kind. Our thin and porous shell never protected; what was inside never germinated to full bloom; it disintegrated prematurely.

 

The only spiritual dignity left is growing in south Lebanon; the least attended to part by our successive governments because they gave up on that land since independence in 1943.  The disinherited neglected “citizens” of the frequently bombed and displaced land are returning, holding on in observation posts, monitoring the pre-emptive war plans of the enemy of occupation, resisting for a whole State in their trenches; never relinquishing their faith in a sovereign Nation commensurate to their worthy dignity.

 

Lebanon’s national resistance is setting the right tone and basis to satisfying a meaning of why Lebanon should exist among nations.  Lebanon the message, the Carrefour of civilization, of communication among cultures, and of human potentials could still be feasible if our internal enemies plainly desist of continuously maligning our resistance of liberation, land, and spirit. 

 

Hands off Lebanon; you foreign interests never had good intentions for Lebanon; save us your traveling officials.  We are to suffer another injury: the head of our Parliament want to save the Lebanese of the ignominies and the intricacies of forming a national unity government claiming that total blackout on news is the solution; as if our leaders are the ones suffering from insomnia, misery, and a bleak future.

A common sense project taking a life of its own, (July 26, 2009)

 Hands off Lebanon.

“Lebanon is not a Nation: it is a message” (Pope Jean-Paul II).  Nice try Pope for your optimism! What message again? We never believed in any message in the first place, for us to transfer and disseminate our messengers.

“Lebanon is not a Nation: it is a Carrefour (cross-road) of civilizations” (Maurice Gemayel).  Nice try Maurice. What Carrefour again?  I see; a state of art infrastructure with a Space Center; a human potential incubator for foreign investors to select from, use, abuse, and milk dry.

 “Lebanon is not a Nation: it is a project of communication facilitator, an audio-visual platform” (Joanna Choukeir). More likely a project that could fly. Sort of a guinea pig laboratory of dysfunctional people, living in a dysfunctional barely “recognized” State to study the feasibility of a futuristic dysfunctional “Global Village”.

Lebanon is not a Nation, period.   The  “leaders” of Lebanon never believed this State as such; they tailored made their concept of a State recognized by the UN.  Lebanon’s sectarian leaders lived the good life of organized chaos within their castes; they forced Lebanon’s citizens out of its borders, in disgust; “citizens” with barely a passport seeking the bare minimum of dignity and potentials for survival among stable societies with sustainable institutions. 

Lebanon is a comprador Carrefour; governments systematically taxing the poor with modern high-tech taxing facilities, to aid the comparator noble caste to fructify their businesses out of Lebanon. We are fleeing for individual professional recognition; we may receive recognition for anything but the dignity of a worthy society that could generate worthy citizens.

 The cup of dignity always overflows of the spirit within. We have proven to be meant as plain catalysts for potentials of change, which could never materialize in a sustainable spiritual survival of any kind. Our thin and porous shell never protected; what was inside never germinated to full bloom; it disintegrated prematurely.

The only spiritual dignity left is growing in south Lebanon; the region least attended to by our successive governments, because they gave up on that land since independence in 1943.  The disinherited neglected “citizens” of the frequently bombed and displaced land are returning, holding on in observation posts, monitoring the pre-emptive war plans of the enemy of occupation (Israel), resisting in the name of the entire State in their trenches; never relinquishing their faith in a sovereign Nation, commensurate to their worthy dignity.

Lebanon’s national resistance is setting the right tone and basis to satisfying a meaning of “why Lebanon should exist among nations”.  Lebanon the message, the Carrefour of civilization, of communication among cultures, and of human potentials could still be feasible if our internal enemies plainly desist of continuously maligning our resistance of liberation, land, and spirit. 

Hands off Lebanon: comprador, religious caste clerics, feudal lords… Your foreign interests parties never had good intentions for Lebanon; save us your traveling officials. 

We are to suffer another injury: the head of our Parliament wants to save the Lebanese of the ignominy and the intricacies of forming a national unity government claiming that “total blackout on news” is the solution; as if our leaders are the one’s suffering from insomnia, misery, and a bleak future.

 

Rage and Pride in the Greater Middle East

November 26, 2007

After the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in September 11, 2001 by the followers of Ben Laden, the late Oriana Fallaci broke her long silence and fulminated in her manuscript “Rage and Pride” and that Hillary Clinton loved so much.  Fallaci raged against the Moslem “sons of Allah”, the “cicadas” of the Italian left that tends to find all kinds of excuses for the assaults committed on the USA, and the western women who refuse to wage demonstrations in front of the Moslem State Embassies and Saudi Arabia in particular for treating their women as inferior to men.

Fallaci raged against the late Pope Jean-Paul II for presenting his apology to the Moslems for the Crusades’ campaigns that started in the eleventh century that ransacked Jerusalem and occupied the coastal territories from Turkey to Palestine; she raged against the western organizations making a parallel of cultural differences between the West and the Moslem World and stating that the Moslems have no culture whatsoever to compare it with the West.  How can a dark culture that forbid painting, sculpting, and music and is far behind in technology and knowledge and human rights be compared to the western culture?

Fallaci enumerated bestial events and described graphically her own experiences in the Moslem World.  She went on how the Taliban in Afghanistan executed three young girls in a parking lot, simply because they entered a hair dressing saloon; the minister of the interior Wakil Mutawakil declared that Kabul is a cleaner place after the execution of the girls.  The Taliban deliberately and through an Islamic court announced that all pre-Islamic statutes should be destroyed and the two gigantic Buddha statues engraved on a mountain in the valley of Bamyan from the 3rd and 4th century were detonated and watched on International TV.  Fallaci recounted how the Palestinian guerillas in Jordan locked her up in a storage containing explosives while the guerrillas hide in an underground bunker during an Israeli air raid, for the simple reason that women are inferior to men.  In Bangladesh, they executed 12 young “impure” citizens in a stadium attended by 20,000; after the execution the masses filed in a disciplined manner on top of the cadavers.  When Fallaci was in Iran to interview Khomeini she could not locate a single hotel to accept her; she could not find a space to change in Khomeini palace and she was forced to marry the photographer because he was protecting her while she changed.  Bashir, Oriana’s hair dresser in Iran, was imprisoned for eight years. In the Iranian Embassy in Italy they were obfuscated by Oriana’s red nails and she had to rage and threaten to cut their balls before they let her loose.

Fallaci mentioned that when the western people visit the Moslem World they behave and respect the customs of Islam but the Moslem immigrants don’t mind pissing on the walls of churches and cathedrals and selling drugs and defaming the western holy places.  She claims that this massive immigration of Moslems to Europe and the USA is planned and well-organized; if the immigrants were so poor how then could they afford to pay exorbitant amount of money to get their tickets in by all ways available?

Fallaci might have legitimate claims to rage on many counts; she has legitimate ground to feel pride on many counts. What the western civilization proved was that institutions that are organized according to processes that allow changes as society develop can make a qualitative difference for survival.  This does not mean that western civilization has lost any of its carnivorous animal instincts for survival; on the contrary, this instinct has been developed far than is necessary and the western civilization is very much proud of its animal instincts.  The proofs can be found in the World Wars where millions, military and civilians, lost their lives the last centuries in Europe for domination and market outlets in the colonies and for natural resources.  Invading Iraq is the most recent and striking example.

However, any tendency of pride on individual attributes is sheer ignorance: we have to remember that modern man is relatively young specie and there are more differences among 55 chimpanzees than the whole human race.  Any serious studies on samples among the remote aborigines and the citizens of the most advanced States would not show any significant differences in attributes and aptitudes in social and political intelligence.  Probably, ignorance and stupidity will be discovered to be more predominant in advanced States.

I admit with Fallaci that it is not appropriate to compare the current western and Moslem cultures on the basis of technology, culture, arts, and institutions. The qualitative differences are too vast to compare these two civilizations, for the simple reason that Moslem civilization has been immutable since the tenth century because of caste structure founded on religious dogmas that would not alter the civil laws to change as they claim was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad; even worse, civil dogmas were founded on selective verses that were emphasized out of context and without the recommendations of how better men should behave and act accordingly.  We have firm ground to rage against the activities and deeds of the West for bringing forth the worst among the worst of Arabic leaders to command our political landscape.  Indeed, we have been raging for decades against the Western machinations for installing dictators, monarchs, and oligarchic structures in order to rob us out of our natural resources and killing in the bud any progressive movements revolting for changes

I admit with Fallaci that the West has progressed incrementally and continuously for centuries starting at the time of the Crusades while the “Greater Middle East” was robbed of any chance for changes by the antiquated Sunni Central Asian Empires that dominated our region. Instead of the West encouraging a change in our social structures and investing in any social and political institutions it has been creating a bogus abstract enemy Islam to eradicate the people in our region and keeping them in the Middle Ages status.

We, citizens of States in the Greater Middle East, that Bush and company feel that only pre-emptive wars can spread the seeds of democracy and human rights values, have also reasons to rage about and maybe a few qualities to be proud of. The USA has already spent over two trillion dollars since its invasion of Iraq, a budget that is many times larger than the combined GNP of over one hundred underdeveloped States.  All that fortune was wasted and nothing to show for but over 200,000 civilian casualties in Iraq alone since Bush entered Baghdad.  Worst, civil war was rekindled in Iraq after it was in check for decades and the coalition forces retreated on ground of not willing to be caught in a civil war and let all hell burn these backward people. Taliban is back and spreading its wings all over Afghanistan and we do have ground to rage against the West for not comprehending that “changing the minds” in our region cannot be done by unilateral military force alone.

We have been raging for decades against the US cohabitation with the theocratic, monarchic and dictatorial regimes in this region for the lame excuse that the US is at war with communist and atheist Russia.  We have been crushed, humiliated, and our liberty and freedom robbed for decades by these totalitarian regimes because oil was far more precious than the rights guaranteed by the UN charter.

We do have big reasons to rage against and hate the western nations for dismantling any democratic processes that we initiated with our blood and determination on the ground that the time was not ripe for their greed to be quenched so that we establish institutions that guarantee freedom and liberty in the Greater Middle East.

I would never relinquish my firm proclamation that it is our caste structure, in this whole region, that is the main culprit to our misery and underdevelopment and extremist tendencies. The Koran, as a spiritual and earthly dogma for regulating the lives of the believers, is a formidable barrier for change but it remains nevertheless only a catalytic factor in the hand of the wrong leaders for our lack of freedom to speech and opinion.  The regulated barriers to communicating among castes and the weak social and economic interactions among these closed religious sects are the Monsters for our backward status.

Only family atmosphere and peer influences in the immediate surroundings that encourage freedom of opinion and selecting among choices can generate free minds and independent behavior among the sons and daughters.  If this liberal climate is lacking within a family then by the time the children enroll in schools and universities it is already too late to change behavior toward listening and conversing with our colleagues as free people with potentials to change society.  Whatever liberal education we receive in universities is tantamount to inflaming our anger with no material outlets, since true democracy is a mockery within our closed religious sect structure:  Our caste systems regulate our lives through autonomous Personal Status Laws and religious courts that central governments have no say in their decrees.

We are proud that we are immigrating in drove to better pastures to experience freedom and liberty and economic independence if the West institutes programs that penalize conglomeration in ghettos and encourage the immigrants to breathe the spirit of their new homelands.  The West is best in instituting programs that last and survive upheavals and the hope is on these immigrants to take advantage of opportunities that immerse them in the social and political dialogue and way of life that is hopefully rooted in freedom of speech and availability of choices and opportunities.

We are proud that we are fighting by any means available to claim our rights for International balanced policies and rational behavior that view us as human with inalienable rights to life, happiness, liberty in religious beliefs, and freedom from our internal oppressors through fair election laws.  We have ground to rage against the West who denies our democratic results that do not suit its expectations like in Palestine, Algeria, and Egypt.

We are proud that with all the obstacles, internally and externally, the spirit of resistance to external oppressions is alive and growing and reaping its fruits as nations demanding equal treatments and fair shares in the resources and just applications of the UN resolutions and fair responsibilities in the upheavals hurtling on Earth.  We are raging for the unfair representation that citizens in the Greater Middle East are born criminals, are evils, and are incapable of governance.

There are many theocratic and monarchic regimes in our region that are the hotbed of obscurantism and extremist sectarianism.  We are damned raging against the West for considering these loathsome regimes as moderate and as their best allies for fighting against terrorism. Yes, we are proud that we are far ahead of the West in recognizing our internal enemies and fighting the right war on the West behalf.

We are proud that we discriminate what is Liberty with responsibilities and duties and what is License to do any thing because of abundance and laxity in applying free-falling laws among the Western adolescents.

We are proud that we don’t need heavily armed police forces to secure our neighborhoods, simply because we managed to hang on to our basic traditions and customs of peaceful coexistence and respect for life and properties. It is a miracle of high spiritual endurance that our societies are surviving without central governments whose only purpose is to levy taxes for its own survival, and through the calamities brought on us by the support of the West to our outdated and backward regimes.

All that we have been asking from the West was to offer us minimal moral and diplomatic guarantees that our fights against our retrograded systems and regimes receive an adequate support so that the grain of hope for change can take root.

Finally, I need to rage against the late Fallaci and her supporters like Bush, Cheney, the Christian Conservatives in the USA for lashing out against billions of people, simply because it felt right and good, without offering a sensible alternative but to waging pre-emptive wars and crushing the immigrants by sheer force.  Fallaci’s fulminating emotion is the ultimate in terrorism because it rekindled the mean-spirited “race superiority” ideology that is bringing the World closer to a Third World War and failing to bring some rationality in the causes of current terrorism.

Public Relations: Hariri versus the Moustakbal (Future team) (April 5, 2005)

This week was heavy with serious mourning: Pope Jean-Paul II passed away, as well as Deputy Ali Khalil and former deputy and Minister Nasri Maaluf.  I am not used to read the obituary pages and will not make it a futile exercise to select samples from the four corners of the world.

This piece of article is about the values and styles of public relations. When martyr Rafic Hariri was among us I cannot remember that he did any serious public relations targeted toward the common people outside of Beirut. I am assuming that he public related to his constituency since he won the latest election hands down.

I do follow politics and read newspapers on a daily basis but my facts about Hariri and his achievements were countable. I think that I heard he is the planner, architect and executer of the renovation of Downtown Beirut through his Solidair Company that he is the one who rebuilt our International airport, the Camille Chamoun Stadium and the highways that lead to the airport.  I knew that he has at least two palaces in Lebanon: one in Koritem/Beirut and the other in the resort area of Faqra.

I also knew, from long time ago, that Hariri has been sponsoring the higher education of thousands of Lebanese during the civil war. Actually, when I was in Oklahoma at Norman I met a dozen of these students learning English. These students were somehow unsatisfied with the University allocated to them and sent a petition to that effect. A week later, former US State Senator Percy visited the Norman campus and I heard that the students were shipped back to Lebanon. I read lately that the 2 billion funds assigned to educating the Lebanese was actually from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and that Hariri was managing the funds. If every politician in Lebanon used his good relations to bring funds home so that thousands could reap the benefits we would have been in much better shape.

I knew that there is a Hariri Foundations in Washington DC with no clear ideas of its functions or purpose.  I still receive brochures, once a year, from the Foundation. I finally learned that it has good connections with several UN branches and has developed several projects that can help Lebanon but I am still in the dark of what these projects might be and how they could be of any help in Lebanon.  If every Lebanese politician endows a Foundation in different capitals of Europe, China, India, Brazil and Canada so that these foundations market efficiently Lebanon we would become an important hub for the tourism agencies.

Hariri proved to me that he is the leader of the Sunni Moslems and of our Capital Beirut from his sweeping election victory. He must have done an excellent public relation job among his constituents but since I don’t read the Al Mustakbal daily newspaper and barely watch the Al Mustakbal TV channel I can frankly say that his public relations barely made a dent on me. Actually, those who opposed his policies had strong impact on me and I rarely believed Hariri’s speeches.

One important item that lacked in the reconstruction of Downtown Beirut was the old souks.  Before the civil war, if you wanted furniture you traveled to Tripoli.  Any thing else you went to the old souks of Beirut to purchase anything you might need or wish. The old souks made Beirut an extremely crowded and vibrant city.  Can any Lebanese feel any vibrations when he visits Beirut now?  Can any Lebanese purchase anything from Downtown Beirut or even rent a tiny room?  Well, there is so much anyone can do but keep strolling the gorgeous streets there and I guess one visit should be enough to get the message clear and loud.

After the assassination of Hariri, the Al Mustakbal team did a much better public relation job, I think.  I learned that Hariri did an excellent job recruiting personnel, consultants and ministers.  When the minister of Culture Salame needed some funds to make the francophone convention or the Arab Summit successes he relied on Prime Minister to supply his ministry from his own finances. Obviously, every dollars spent on these conventions were actually excellent investment because most of the money spent by the invitees were recycled into Hariri real estate empire.  This circulation of huge foreign money had good turnover too because the attendants liked Lebanon and visited Beirut more than once a year. If every politician in Lebanon invested judiciously in bringing conventions to Lebanon we would have been in much better situation.

I learned that 50,000 persons ate at Koreitem during the last Fetr season. I am wondering how many of the visitors were wretched people who managed to get hold of their courage and pay a visit to the Palace.  Supposing that a few of these hungry people ate one night there, what about the rest of the 365 nights a year?  If every politician had one open dinner a year I guess many hungry people would stop complaining about this hard and unfair life.

I heard that Hariri was not only Prime Minister but he did excellent jobs with the ministries of Finance, Tourism and Foreign Affairs. He did more than the whole government members combined.  Why the rest of Lebanon, with the exception of Beirut and may be Sidon, were left swinging in the wind and waiting helplessly for the economy to trickle down to them? If every politician actively worked for the resurrection of Lebanon by achieving a small fraction of what Hariri has done I am sure Lebanon would have been in a much better position to attract investments. Most importantly, I learned that Hariri checked many Israeli plans in Lebanon and elsewhere and won all his diplomatic counter attacks hands down.  I conjectured that Hariri was the number one on the Israeli black hit list.

One Saturday afternoon, my niece and I brought along my mom to visit the sites of the assassination and Hariri tomb.  The Al Mustakbal team was organizing a gathering in Downtown Beirut to take a picture of Hariri made out of hundreds of square cardboards carried by people over their heads. The team threw hundreds of little parachutes from a high crane carrying the red and white scarves; I ran hard to catch one of these parachutes but was out numbered and out maneuvered by the throng of people.

This is not the first time that the Mustakbal team has pulled rabbits from its sleeves.  The team has been very creative in keeping the memory of martyr Hariri alive.  Once it used thousands to hold cardboards to form the Lebanese flag.  Another time it lighted candles that transcribed the word “truth” in Arabic and English in the Martyrs’ Square. Lately it invaded the beach of St. George with hundreds of yachts and boats carrying demonstrators with the Lebanese flag. I am confident that the military genius organizing these gathering will soon attack from the air. I can already see hundreds of hot air balloons in red, white, green and light blue colors ambling toward the Downtown.

Now I am pondering about the formation of these balloons. I think that I can outguess the military genius:  The red, green and white balloons will take the shape of the flag while the blue balloons will take the form of the Al Mustakbal ribbon attached to the far end right side of the flag.

Any way, while walking near the Martyrs’ Square I was surprised to see a set of tennis courts in the most expensive real estate in Lebanon.  These immaculate and totally empty sport facilities were facing one of the most expensive apartment complexes in Lebanon. I kept wondering how many of these ministers or deputies or millionaires living in these apartments are going to wear shorts and making a public display by shaking their fat butts!  I reached the conclusion that none will ever be seen on these famous tennis courts.  I then assumed, and wish Solidair will prove me wrong, that this space was designed to keep the little people at bay from these luxury dwellings.  The Al Mustakbal supporters insist on finding the truth; I am not asking them for the truth but just a satisfactory rational for these tennis courts.

Without any doubt, the Al Mustakbal team made a much better public relation job than Hariri was willing to do.  This team shamed the public relation efforts of George W. Bush to improve his image.  I am not suggesting that the US public relation funds were less than the Al Mustakbal but that you cannot do much improvement on an image if the evidence and facts do not substantiate your marketing gimmicks.  Even the Al Mustakbal team can do much to overcome the shortcoming of Bush’s public relation team.

The image of George Bush will remain tarnished with his bullying behavior, mass killings of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, the assassination of the UN charters and the humiliation of millions in Europe and elsewhere. Whatever public relation Bush will endeavor to do will not convince anyone that the heavy participation of the Iraqis in their latest election was a vote for support of the invasion:  The Iraqis were sending the clear message that the US invaders have to leave immediately now that the democratic process has taken place. Bush is not about to believe this fact until all the coalition troops vacate the Iraqi soil and more green bags shipped back home to the USA.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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