Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Rafic Hariri

Complicating the Class-Divide: New Contractor Bourgeoisie in Lebanon Politics:

Rafik Hariri clan, Najib Mikati, Muhammad Safadi, and Issam Fares…

Note: this article was posted in 2013 and you could comprehend why and how Lebanon was driven to total bankruptcy in 2020.

Before the civil war (1975-1989), Lebanon was ruled and controlled by the “comprador” bourgeoisie class (importing from developed nations and selling to the regional States) and their attached commercial/financial banks who manipulated the feudal/tribal/sectarian structure of Lebanon political.social landscape.

During the civil war, Lebanese immigrated in trove to greener pastures and left the space to the sectarian warlords militias leaders.

The warlord leaders split the country into sectarian cantons, displacing, transferring and remodeling the mixed communities into “cleansing” de facto closed societies.

The muslim Sunnis preferred to migrate to the emerging Arab Gulf Emirates and Saudi Arabia. 

A third of Lebanon workforce migrated there within a decade: from 50,000 in 1970 to over 210,000 in 1980.

Those who struck wealth were in contracting civil work; basically working as subcontractors to Emirs and princes who had the proper connections.

Late Rafik Hariri PM, Najib Mikati PM, finance minister Muhammad Safadi, and vice PM Issam Fares were among these new contractor bourgeois…

The Muslim Shia migrated mostly to west Africa where they joined relatives and struck wealth through adventurous trade deals.

The Christians immigrated to the US and Europe for higher education, and most of them never contemplated to return home to settle. Why?

Most opportunities after the war were allocated to the Muslims, particularly the educated Sunnis who filled the vacant institutions, managed and administered foundations of the new breed of contractors, public civil work, and controlled side institutions attached to the Sunni prime minister

For example, the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR), communication ministry, internal police force in Beirut, internal intelligence gathering section, Solidere, Sukleen, appointing the governor of the Central Bank and the minister of finance…

This new landscape was an immediate result of the Taif Constitution that expanded the political strength of the Prime Minister at the expense of the President of the Republic.

The business-politicians and neoliberal technocrats in the Future movement network of Rafik Hariri constituted a force for neoliberal “reforms” that appeased the US administration as to the financial policy direction of  the State of Lebanon.

The Hariri clan network had three main purposes:

1. Privatizing State-controlled entities by acquiring them for cheap since they had the liquidity and were backed by Saudi Arabia, and

2. Pegging the Lebanese currency to the US dollar in order to incur far more debt than necessary on the government and insuring total control of the financial condition, mainly to blackmail their rival political leaders into  difficult situation that only the Future movement of Hariri can untangle this volatile condition…

(More details in a follow-up article “Applying neoliberal mechanism on Lebanon”)

3. Controlling the city center of Beirut through the chartered company Solidere

For over 2 decades, the Hariri clan were given the financial responsibilities through appointing the governor of the Central Bank, the minister of finance, and controlling the municipality of the Capital Beirut.

After the civil war, Rafik Hariri filled the vacuum of the Sunni leadership, thanks to the total backing of Saudi Arabia, which was the main loan guarantor for the infusion of international lending multinationals.

The Hariri network of clientelism and media empires (TV and dailies) strengthened their electoral votes in the Sunni communities.

The Hariri clan was successful in 3 dimensions:

1. Reaching political offices like Prime minister, ministers, deputies, governors of public institutions…

2. Gaining control of public institutions to further their economic agenda, especially creating and controlling side institutions directly linked and attached to the PM

3. Gathering popular following, particularly among the Sunni community, the Druze and a few Christian parties

Saad Hariri, son of Rafik, monopolized the Sunni political leadership and contributed to the widening rift between Sunnis and Shiaas.

Najib Mikati PM and Muhammad Safadi had to climb a stiff road for claiming a political representation of the Sunni communities.

Particularly, that the Future movement allied with the Sunni conservative and extremist Muslims like Lebanese Muslim Brotherhood, the extremist jihadist wahhabi, the Ahbash, the Jund al Sham, the Jamaa al Islamiyya

In fact, it was the Future party that financed and covered the many “terrorist” activities of these fringe Sunni organizations, such as in the Sirat Donnieh, the Palestinian camp of Ain Bared, the massacre committed in Halba, and lately what is happening in the large town of Ersal, which confronted the army. to spread its security ambrella.

The new neoliberal Contractor class is a level added in class interpretation of Lebanon political structure.

How this new Contractor class acquired its wealth in the billion? (To be followed)

Note: From a chapter by Hannes Baumann in “Lebanon after the Cedar Revolution” by Are Knudsen and Michael Kerr.

How Lebanon political system after Taif functioned with the militia/mafia civil war “leaders”?

  • الرئيس عون استدعى وزني وألزمه بالتراجع عن تهريبة التدقيق المالي بحسابات مصرف لبنان***

لا نتجنى على أحد حين نفتح ملفات بعض الملفات الحساسة، ولكن الحيوية للشعب اللبناني، وبخاصة بعدما انكشف ان فريق وزير المال السياسي يسعى الى القيام بتهريبة في موضوع التدقيق الجنائي بحسابات مصرف لبنان،

الى ان ضبط التهريبة مستشار رئيس الجمهورية سليم جريصاتي، فاستدعى حينئذ رئيس الجمهورية العماد ميشال عون، وزير المال غازي وزني الى قصر بعبدا بحضور جريصاتي الذي ضبط وزني بالجرم المشهود؛ فألزمه الرئيس عون على التراجع عن التزوير الذي حاول تمريره،

وتتقاطع المعلومات هذه مع تقرير رفعته المخابرات الفرنيَسيه للاليزه بعنوان: “هكذا نهبوا لبنان”؛

تقرير للمخابرات الفرنسية وفق مصادر من داخل وزارة المالية ومصرف لبنان، يكشف جردة دقيقة بالأرقام،

تؤكد كيف تآمر رياض سلامة مع الراحل رفيق الحريري ونبيه بري ووليد جنبلاط وميشال المر والرئيس ألياس الهراوي ونجيب ميقاتي وفؤاد السنيورة وجمعية المصارف على نهب لبنان ووضعه تحت دين لامَسَ المئة مليار دولار ونهب إيداعات المواطنين اللبنانيين التي تبلغ 186 مليار دولار؛ والنتيجة أن الأموال أختفت دون حسيب او رقيب.

القصه بدأت منذ العام 1992 عندما تَوَلَّى رفيق الحريري رئاسة اول حكومة في عهد الرئيس الهراوي، بتسوية سورية سعودية اميركية،

أتى الحريري بمشروع خطير نَبَّه منه الرئيس حسين الحسيني آنذاك، وشدَّدَ على خطورته، رغم أن الحريري أحد عرَّابي الطائف مع الحسيني.

ما لبث ان غادر الحسيني مجلس النواب واستلم الرئاسة بعده نبيه بري ولا زال.

بأوامر أميركية وبتعليمات البنك الدولي وبحسب خطة مرسومة سلفاً ومُحكَمَة ارتفع الدولار

من 2.4 ليرة

الى 3000 ليرة

ثم هبط سعر التداول فيه الى ١٥٠٠ ليرة وتم تثبيته هنا ضمن سياسة مشروع الافقار الذي جاءَ بهِ الحريري ألأب للسيطرة على لبنان ومقدراته ومنع قيامته ليبقى ضعيفاً في ظل اقتصاد وقوة عسكرية اسرائيلية قوية بجواره.

اشترى حيتان المال اللبنانيون كل العملات الاجنبية الموجودة في المصرف المركزي بعد تعيين رياض سلامة حاكماً له على سعر 2.4 وعندما ارتفع سعر الدولار الى 3000.L.L عاودوا بيع الدولار و شراء الليرة اللبنانية بنفس قيمة العملة التي استبدلوها سابقاً فوصل حد ارباحهم بمعدل 1200٪ ثم أصدَرَ سلامة سندات خزينة بالليرة اللبنانية بفائدة وصلت الى حد ال 45٪ وهي تعتبر جنونية لم يسبق لنظام مصرفي عالمي دفعها من قبل!

وبعد تثبيت السندات ثبت سعر صرف الدولار على 1500 ليرة ايصاً تضاعفت ارباحهم بنسبة 100٪

خلال عشر سنوات وحتى انتهاء تاريخ السندات كانت الخزينة اللبنانية قد تم استنزاف 90٪ من موجوداتها ومنذ اول خمس سنوات بدأت حكومة الحريري بالإستدانة من المصارف لتسديد متوجبات الدين العام الداخلي الذي فاقت مداخيل الدولة عشرات المرات.

هذه كانت الخطوة الاولى لرفيق الحريري ورياض سلامة والمصارف وكبار المودعين وواحدة من الاسباب التي افلسوا فيها خزينة الدولة واوقعوها تحت دين عام داخلي وصل الى الاف المليارات، بدأوا بعدها الاستدانه من المصارف ومن الخارج.

أما السبب الثاني هو الهدر من خلال ابرام الصفقات بالتراضي وتضخيم المصاريف والمدفوعات وعجز الكهرباء المقصود والمنظم.

تقاسمت الترويكا وحلفائهم كل شيء النفايات النفط الغاز البُنَىَ التحتية واحد إلك واحد إلي لغاية الآن وما وصلنا اليه.

أما في جردة الحسابات الدقيقة لكل ما جرى سأكشف لكم واحد من اهم اسرار لعبتهم الخطيرة والدنيئة التي استمر بها رياض سلامة مع شركائه حتى بعد رحيل الحريري ألأب وهي على الشكل التالي…

جمعت الدولة اللبنانية ضرائب من جيوب الناس بدايةً من العام 1993 ولغاية 2018 رقماً مهولاً بلغ بالضبط 149 مليار دولار أميركي، وأيضاً أستدانوا خلال نفس الفترة السالفة الذكر من الخارج ومن المصارف مبلغ 86 مليار دولار   بالارقام الموثقة الصادقة.

كما يترتب على الخزينة ديون للضمان الأجتماعي. والمدارس. والمستشفيات. والمتعهدين. والمهجرين. مبلغ 15 مليار دولار

أي ما مجموعه : 149+86+15=250 مليار  دولار.

للعلم أن كل هذه المدفوعات كانت جميعها بلا حسابات منذ العام 1993.

انفقت الدولة اللبنانية من العام  1993لغاية العام 2018 مبلغ 24 مليار دولار على الكهرباء أضف اليهم الجباية التي بلغت حوالي 12 مليار دولار. ولا زالت الكهرباء 12 ساعه او اقل من ذلك.مع العلم ان لبنان يحتاج الى مليار دولار لتصبح الكهرباء 24/24 وتصبح ذات مدخول ومُنتِجَة لكنهم لا يريدو ذلك.

كما انفقت الدولة اللبنانية بدل فوائد للمصارف خلال 26 عام على مبلغ 84 مليار دولار دين للمصارف بذمتها.

دفعت فوائد بلغت 86 مليار دولار.!

وكل ذلك بالاتفاق بين رياض سلامة والمصارف ضمن سياسة ممنهجة لنهب الدولة و افقارها وتدمير اقتصادها؟

بالتفاصيل كيف كانوا يفعلون ذلك؟

يقوم المصرف المركزي بالموافقة على قروض مالية ضخمة للمصارف بالدولار الاميركي بفائدة 2٪ طويلة الامد.

تعود المصارف وتودع نفس المبالغ في المصرف المركزي بفائدة 8٪ أي بفارق 6٪ ارباح من خزينة الدولة تذهب هدراً وسرقة مقوننه على طريقة هندسة رياض سلامة المالية كانَ قد استفاد منها كثيرون مثل نجيب وطه ومازن ميقاتي وبعض القضاة والنافذين وابنائهم بينما يئرزح غالبية الشعب اللبناني تحت خط الفقر!

وصلَت مجموع المبالغ التي اقرضها المصرف المركزي للبنوك والافراد الى 32 مليار دولار بفائدة 2٪ اعادوا ايداعها في المصرف نفسه بفائدة 8٪ الامر الذي خَسَّرَ الخزينة 6٪ بلغت قيمتها على مدى 27 عام 70مليار دولار و200 مليون ما يقارب 60٪ من مجموع الإنفاق الحكومي الاجمالي. تقاسموها فيما بينهم ناهيك عن القروض المعفاة من الفوائد والتي اودعوها بفوائد عاليه تدر عليهم الارباح من جيوب المواطنين.

استمر المجرمون حيتان البلد باللعبة والشعب يزيد افقاراً ولم يرف لهم جفن هؤلاء القُساة القلوب المجرمون.

أن 16 مصرفٍ من أصل 76 مصرف يمتلكهم 11 شخص فقط يمتلكون ما يقارب 80٪ من مجموع ايداعات البنوك اللبنانية وذلك بفضل هندسات رياض سلامة المالية المرسومة سلفاً من البنك الدولي بهدف تجويع وتركيع لبنان.

أضف أن شخص واحد من بين المالكين للمصارف الكبرى ال 11 يمتلك 51٪ من كل ايداعات البنوك اللبنانية بمفرده وتبلغ عدد افراد الأُسر المالكة ال11 حوالي 200 شخص يعمل 5 ملايين لبناني واقتصاد دولة بكاملهِ لخدمتهم كعمال وعبيد.

غالبية الشعب اللبناني يرزح تحت خط الفقر ونسبة البطاله تجاوزت ال 33٪

وفي كل عام يزيد العجز بالموازنة حتى وصل الآن الى 15٪.

وعندما كنا نسأل عن الوضع النقدي كان يتحفنا رياض سلامة بأن وضع الاقتصاد اللبناني جيد والليرة بأمان. في كل مرة كان يخدرنا ونحن لا نستفيق وكل ذلك بفضل حكامنا واحزابنا.

How late Rafic Hariri PM destroyed Lebanon small and medium industries?

In 1994, Lebanon industries generated $416 million worth in products. Industries in iron, clothes, shoes… and prosperous agricultural product.

Why? Late Rafic wanted to import cheaper products from Europe worth $ 100 bn.

كيف انهار الإقتصاد اللبناني 👇
‏‎#قصة_حزينة

29 تشرين ثاني 2000، الحكومة قررت خفض الرسوم الجمركية على غالبية السلع المستوردة بمعدل وسطي من 40% إلى

وذلك بهدف “تحريك العجلة الإقتصادية” وزيادة النمو.
النتيجة : الألاف المصانع أغلقت أبوابها
زاد الإستيراد البخس
‏‎#قصة_حزينة_٢


سنة 1995 كان في حوالي 1200 مصنع أحذية وكان الإنتاج 10 مليون حذاء/السنة وكان 70% منها للتصدير اليوم منستورد ب 145 مليون $ أحذية وعدد المصانع 20.
‏‎#قصة_حزينة_٣


خفض الرسوم الجمركية في 2000 كان تمهيد لتنفيذ إتفاقية التبادل التجاري اللبناني الأوروبي في 2002.
مجموع الإستيرادات من الإتحاد الأوروبي : 103$ مليا
الصادرات إلى الإتحاد الأوروبي : 5.5 مليار $

المفروض كانت منتوجاتنا الزراعية تغرق أوروبا
غرقناه شباب ويد عاملة
‏‎#قصة_حزينة_٤

في23/10/1997, ذهب مطران جبيل بشارة الراعي إلى رفيق الحريري شاكيا السنيورة وشريكه رافي دمرجيان ألذين يغرقون السوق بالحديد المستورد مما أدى إلى إغلاق مصنع الحديد في عمشيت (١٥٠٠ عامل)
فأجابه الحريري :”الإستيراد من أوكرانيا أرخص….وبدنا نطول بالنا على هؤلاء الأولاد”
‏‎#قصة_حزينة_٥

سنة 1994 كان في حوالي 3004 مصانع ألبسة و 604 مصنع منسوجات، يد عاملة حوالي 22 الف عامل مع ناتج صناعي 417 مليون $.
اليوم في 273 مصنع ألبسة ومنسوجات ومنستورد ألبسة ومنسوجات بأكثر من 500 مليون $
#بس_هيك

Another take how the Lebanese got bankrupted

Since 1992, the pseudo-State of Lebanon collected in taxes $200 bn, the overseas Lebanese transferred $186 bn to the 2 dozen private banks and borrowed $100 bn at high interest rates…

And the Lebanese ended up with no infrastructure, no public electricity, no potable water, no decent public hospital, degraded public schools and under budgeted public university.

Where all that money disappeared?

Lebanon is bankrupt at all levels: government, central bank and private bank…

Where all that money disappeared?

We have got 5 militia/mafia “leaders” from the civil war and Saudi Kingdom “Lebanese contractors” (hiding behind their respective sectarian parties) and who controlled the Parliament, the government, the justice system, the central bank, the private banks (have sizable shares in all of them), all the public institutions…

How would you label such a “political system“?

هكذا نهبوا لبنان.

جردة دقيقة من داخل وزارة المالية ومصرف لبنان بالأرقام الصحيحة والدقيقة تؤكد كيف تآمر رياض سلامة مع رفيق الحريري ونبيه بري وليد جنبلاط وميشال المر والرئيس ألياس الهراوي ونجيب ميقاتي وفؤاد السنيورة وجمعية المصارف على نهب لبنان ووضعه تحت دين لامَسَ المئة مليار دولار .$100 bn

ونهب إيداعات المواطنين اللبنانيين التي تبلغ 186 مليار دولار، وأختفت الاموال دون حسيب او رقيب.

القصه بدأت منذ العام 1992 عندما تَوَلَّى رفيق الحريري رئاسة اول حكومة في عهد الرئيس الهراوي، بتسوية سورية سعودية اميركية،

أتى الحريري بمشروع خطير نَبَّه منه الرئيس حسين الحسيني آنذاك، وشدَّدَ على خطورته، رغم أن الحريري أحد عرَّابي الطائف مع الحسيني.

ما لبث ان غادر الحسيني مجلس النواب and he even resigned his seat in the Parliament واستلم الرئاسة بعده نبيه بري ولا زال.

بأوامر أميركية وبتعليمات البنك الدولي وبحسب خطة مرسومة سلفاً ومُحكَمَة ارتفع الدولارمن 2.4 ليرة الى 3000 ليرة
ثم هبط سعر التداول فيه الى ١٥٠٠ ليرة.

وتم تثبيته هنا ضمن سياسة مشروع الافقار الذي جاءَ بهِ الحريري ألأب للسيطرة على لبنان ومقدراته ومنع قيامته ليبقى ضعيفاً في ظل اقتصاد وقوة عسكرية اسرائيلية قوية بجواره.

اشترى حيتان المال اللبنانيون كل العملات الاجنبية الموجودة في المصرف المركزي بعد تعيين رياض سلامة حاكماً له على سعر 2.4 وعندما ارتفع سعر الدولار الى 3000.L.L عاودوا بيع الدولار و شراء الليرة اللبنانية بنفس قيمة العملة التي استبدلوها سابقاً فوصل حد ارباحهم بمعدل 1200٪

ثم أصدَرَ سلامة سندات خزينة بالليرة اللبنانية بفائدة وصلت الى حد ال 45٪ وهي تعتبر جنونية لم يسبق لنظام مصرفي عالمي دفعها من قبل!
وبعد تثبيت السندات ثبت سعر صرف الدولار على 1500 ليرة ايصاً تضاعفت ارباحهم بنسبة 100٪

خلال عشر سنوات وحتى انتهاء تاريخ السندات كانت الخزينة اللبنانية قد تم استنزاف 90٪ من موجوداتها

ومنذ اول خمس سنوات بدأت حكومة الحريري بالإستدانة من المصارف لتسديد متوجبات الدين العام الداخلي الذي فاقت مداخيل الدولة عشرات المرات.

هذه كانت الخطوة الاولى لرفيق الحريري ورياض سلامة والمصارف وكبار المودعين وواحدة من الاسباب التي افلسوا فيها خزينة الدولة واوقعوها تحت دين عام داخلي وصل الى الاف المليارات، بدأوا بعدها الاستدانه من المصارف ومن الخارج.

أما السبب الثاني هو الهدر من خلال ابرام الصفقات بالتراضي وتضخيم المصاريف والمدفوعات وعجز الكهرباء المقصود والمنظم.

تقاسمت الترويكا وحلفائهم كل شيء النفايات النفط الغاز البُنَىَ التحتية واحد إلك واحد إلي لغاية الآن وما وصلنا اليه.
أما في جردة الحسابات الدقيقة لكل ما جرى سأكشف لكم واحد من اهم اسرار لعبتهم الخطيرة والدنيئة التي استمر بها رياض سلامة مع شركائه حتى بعد رحيل الحريري ألأب وهي على الشكل التالي…

جمعت الدولة اللبنانية ضرائب من جيوب الناس بدايةً من العام 1993 ولغاية 2018 رقماً مهولاً بلغ بالضبط 149 مليار دولار أميركي،

وأيضاً أستدانوا خلال نفس الفترة السالفة الذكر من الخارج ومن المصارف مبلغ 86 مليار دولار بالارقام الموثقة الصادقة.

كما يترتب على الخزينة ديون للضمان الأجتماعي. والمدارس. والمستشفيات. والمتعهدين. والمهجرين. مبلغ 15 مليار دولار
أي ما مجموعه : 149+86+15=250 مليار دولار.

للعلم أن كل هذه المدفوعات كانت جميعها بلا حسابات منذ العام 1993.

انفقت الدولة اللبنانية من العام 93لغاية العام 2018 مبلغ 24 مليار دولار على الكهرباء أضف اليهم الجباية التي بلغت حوالي 12 مليار دولار. ولا زالت الكهرباء 12 ساعه او اقل من ذلك.مع العلم ان لبنان يحتاج الى مليار دولار لتصبح الكهرباء 24/24 وتصبح ذات مدخول ومُنتِجَة لكنهم لا يريدو ذلك.

كما انفقت الدولة اللبنانية بدل فوائد للمصارف خلال 26 عام على مبلغ 84 مليار دولار دين للمصارف بذمتها.
دفعت فوائد بلغت 86 مليار دولار.!

وكل ذلك بالاتفاق بين رياض سلامة والمصارف ضمن سياسة ممنهجة لنهب الدولة وافقارها وتدمير اقتصادها؟

بالتفاصيل كيف كانوا يفعلون ذلك؟

يقوم المصرف المركزي بالموافقة على قروض مالية ضخمة للمصارف بالدولار الاميركي بفائدة 2٪ طويلة الامد.
تعود المصارف وتودع نفس المبالغ في المصرف المركزي بفائدة 8٪ أي بفارق 6٪ ارباح من خزينة الدولة تذهب هدراً وسرقة مقوننه على طريقة هندسة رياض سلامة المالية كانَ قد استفاد منها كثيرون مثل نجيب وطه ومازن ميقاتي وبعض القضاة والنافذين وابنائهم بينمايرزح غالبية الشعب اللبناني تحت خط الفقر!

وصلَت مجموع المبالغ التي اقرضها المصرف المركزي للبنوك والافراد الى 32 مليار دولار بفائدة 2٪ اعادوا ايداعها في المصرف نفسه بفائدة 8٪ الامر الذي خَسَّرَ الخزينة 6٪ بلغت قيمتها على مدى 27 عام 70مليار دولار و200 مليون ما يقارب 60٪ من مجموع الإنفاق الحكومي الاجمالي.

تقاسموها فيما بينهم ناهيك عن القروض المعفاة من الفوائد والتي اودعوها بفوائد عاليه تدر عليهم الارباح من جيوب المواطنين.

استمر المجرمون حيتان البلد باللعبة والشعب يزيد افقاراً ولم يرف لهم جفن هؤلاء القُساة القلوب المجرمون.

Note: هناك ٢ مليار دولار ضرائب على المصارف لم تُحَصل.
وايضاً هناك ٦ مليار دولار مستحقة على الدولة جبايتها ايضاً لم يتم تحصيلها وهي من مسؤولية وزراء المال تكفي لتأمين سيولة وسد العجز.

أيضاً هناك مبلغ ٣٢٠٠ مليار ليرة تدفع كفائدة بدل سندات الخزينة التي لا لزوم لها للمصارف باللعبه ذاتها التي ذكرتها لو تم ايقاف الدفع سيتم توفير مبلغ ٧ مليار دولار كل سنه تغنينا عن الاستدانة وعن سيدر.

Lebanon militia/mafia Big Rodents:

Leading the Assault for Mother Freedom, Liberty and Independence?

Note 1: Re-edit of “Big Rodents Leading the Assault for Mother Freedom (March 1, 2005)”

15 years later, these Rodents have bankrupted Lebanon at all levels: Economy, finance, public institutions, Central Bank, private banks, government, justice system…

Note 2: I had to re-edit this article to put current Lebanon in context. The role of opposition and allied political parties to the government have been reversed shortly after this article.

In the last two weeks, since the assassination of former Lebanon Prime Minister Rafic Hariri on February 14, a milestone achievement was supposed to be won in Lebanon.

Every night, thousands were converging to Downtown Beirut to mourn at the tomb of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri in the Place of Martyrs.

Every Monday, thousands were gathering there to demonstrate and protest.

The Lebanese people want to know who assassinated Hariri, 9 of his bodyguards and counselors, ten bystanders and about a hundred civilian injured in a road blast.

The people want effective, impartial and speedy investigation in the matter.

The political leaders of the opposition to the Syrian mandated power  in the last 2 decades refuse to do political business as usual until the perpetrators are divulged.

The people refuse to do business or are forced to shut down their stores.

In fact, Lebanon is becoming a poor country and much so lately and no refreshing indications are pointing to any economical recovery. The people are duplicating the Ukrainian example by constant presence and persistent political pressures.

This Monday, February 30th, the students from various universities slept overnight in Downtown Beirut in order to circumvent the order of the Minister of the Interior, Suleiman Frangieh, to ban any demonstrations and gathering the next morning.

By day break, they peacefully forced the lines of the Army units barring entrances to Beirut and flocked by the thousands to encircle the Chamber of Deputies.  The Chamber was summoned to ask the Cabinet one question: “Who assassinated Hariri?”

After the interrogation in the Chamber of Deputies, the current Prime Minister, Omar Karame, was to submit to a vote of confidence. The main slogan was: “We want our freedom, self determination and independence from the Syrian tutelage”.

A few of the corollary slogans were: “Syrian troops out of Lebanon”, “Syrian intelligence services out of Lebanon”, “Down with the Lebanese heads of intelligence services and all security agencies”, “The resignation of the shadow government” and “Bachar Assad is nominee” which means that the Syrian President should be next to go.

The only flag raised was the Lebanese flag which helped mollify the orders of the Lebanese army and internal security units to disperse demonstrators and provided a common denominator to all political factions.

The morning session of the House of Representatives saw many deputies taking full advantage of this climate of freedom and popular support.  They delivered speeches that crossed all the red lines in political discourse, euphemisms in coded words and taboos statements since 1991.

They were about to divulge details about the perfidies, machinations, threats and mafia dealings among the Syrian and Lebanese biggest rodents of the public funds.

The evening session climaxed by the resignation speech of the prime minister along with his whole Cabinet members.  It was rumored that he was the last one among the powerful ministers to be conveyed the order for the resignation of the government.

The main question now is: “What next?

The opposition is demanding a neutral government to prepare for a free election for the House of Representative in mid April.

Who ever heard of any neutral government?

How any neutral government can function if indeed the real and de facto government is in the hands of the security and intelligence forces?

The only option for the opposition forces in order to secure its credibility is the pressuring of the President of the Republic, General Emile Lahoud, to step down.

It is clear to all Lebanese that the security and stability of Lebanon is based on a free, democratic and stable Syria.

Until that development happens, Lebanon is in for a dangerous and very uncertain phase in its political life regardless of the vocal supports from the United States, France, the United Nations, Egypt or even Saudi Arabia.

This is a very exciting moment that we are experiencing but the nagging question remains:

Lebanon was suffering many infamies and the same humiliations for many years under the same and current deputies, political leaders and ministers who are now in the opposition, but used to be part and parcel of the same régime for many years before they were removed from the current government.

In fact, our House of Representatives itself, elected by the Lebanese, was indeed assassinated several times in grotesque circumstances.

Under the two Hariri governments, which included many of the current opposition leaders, several human rights laws were enacted and rescinded the next day by the same deputies by orders from Syria.

For example, the procedures for legally arresting citizens are a case in point.  Not only freedom was banished but self determination was blatantly and ignominiously trampled without major protests.

Isn’t a tangible act for freedom more important than a general notion of freedom?

Isn’t a heroic stand for self determination of the highest power in the land more important than a general concept of self determination?

Since when did political leaders attempt to rationally explain complicated matters to their supporters in order to show their strengths?

All they had to do was to galvanize their supporters under the banners of freedom, self determination and independence from Syria in order to gather as many demonstrators as today.

So, what gives that the same leaders are so much more conscious about freedom and self determination after the assassination of a former prime minister?

In fact, several months earlier, a failed attempt at the life of an opposition deputy was perpetrated; His bodyguard died and the deputy was in serious health conditions. Why no major demonstrations for investigating the attempted assassination were called for and political pressures not activated?

It seems that a dozen of big rodents who were devouring large holes in the cheese of our public funds and who were left out in the cold were relying on Hariri’s funding of the opposition to refill the shortages in their resources.

Now that the alternative funding was assassinated the options were limited and drastic.

If a political leader (zaim) is faced with the two alternatives of choosing between physical threats on his life or the cutting of funding, I have no doubts that the latter option is by far the less dangerous and less damaging to his life.

I agree with Deputy Walid Jumblatt, a leader of the minority Druze sect and speaking for the opposition, that the new generation of Lebanese youth who did not experience the long and protracted civil war has dreams that do not match the views of the traditional political parties and their leaders. (But Walid always acted opposite to the interest of the citizens and his main objective is to remain the uncontested leaders of the Druse sect))

The new generation does not want to be associated with the infamies and atrocities committed by their predecessors.  They care less for the sectarian rationales and little minded behaviors that drove their predecessors to eliminate one another and crawl safely into their own stuffy and narrow cantons.

The social and political climates are different and the instinct of survival of the new generation is forcing issues that the traditional local and regional powers prefer to be dormant as long as possible.

The new generation is ready to accept any foreign support and aid in order to bypass this stagnant environment that is killing any opportunities for progress and self development.

The perception of the new generation is that if the old guards of Lebanon political system, including the opposition, are left to decide for its status then priorities will not change that much.

For now, freedom, self determination and independence, why not?

Next, what are the dreams and objectives of the new generation?  Would they like to have civil marriage enacted as the law of the land?

Would they like to have greater job openings and affordable lodging in order to gain the first step toward independence?

Are they claiming decentralization of the administration?

Are they seeking to abolish all kinds of discrimination on the basis of origins, sects, sex, race and physical handicaps in jobs, education, and government functions?

The old guard would like to have quickly an inefficient neutral government to perpetrate the status quo.  They would like to have, pronto, a huge piece of the pie now and fast.

They are used to always have a piece of the pie regardless of the shape, form and content of the government. 

Would the new generation fall in the trap again, like the previous generations, for quick relief in the political system with no pain and hard sacrifices or a new spirit is born that is not ready to take dictates from the conventional political leaders?

The new generation has to organize itself and decide for themselves what they want and what should be the next steps from this critical impasse that can decide the future of Lebanon in the coming two decades.

Another story on Late Rafic Hariri and his son Saad (both ex-PM)

*الممثل يوسف حداد يرد على سعد الحريري*

وبيحكي عن الفساد

الحريري الأب وسياسته المالية وإستباحة الدولة وتقسيم النقابات وضرب وشل الإتحادات النقابية وأولها الإتحاد العمالي العام وتحطيم أسس الدولة وبنيانها وتقاسم الحصص والإستيلاء على بيروت وإخراج الناس من منازلهم بالقوة عبر قضاة متزلمين وخانعين ومرتشين وإعطائهم بالمقابل أثمان بخسة لا تصرف،

وسرقة النورماندي وواجهة بيروت وضرب الإعلان والإعلام ورشوة الإعلاميين والمحطات،

والإستدانة بالدولار ورفع الفوائد للأربعين (40%) بالمية،

وإنشاء الجمعيات واللجان، ومليارات رئاسة الوزراء، ومحاربة خطة افرام للكهرباء وإقالته،

وسرقة أموال إعمار المدارس الرسمية والجامعات والمطار وملعب كميل شمعون،

وإستقالة الوزير عز الدين لإمتناعه على إمضاء الفواتير بعشرات الملايين الملغومة ومليارات الخليوي وسوكلين وسوليدير،

ورشوة غازي كتعان وعبد الحليم خدام،

وإعفاءات سوليدير من تلاتين سنة ومنع محاكمة سوكلين، والسنيورة وملياراته،

ومئات ملايين الدولارات أجارات لمباني يمتلكها ، والأملاك البحرية وتلزيمات ب مئات ملايين الدولارات بالتراضي ،

وتطول السرقات والنهب ،

وما أدراكم ماذا يعني مجلس الإنماء والإعمار ومجلس الجنوب والهيئة العليا للإغاثة التي تصرف مباشرة من رئيس الوزراء ومن دون رقيب ،

ولا يمكن إلا أن نقول مبروك لك رياض سلامة الذي نفذ بحنكة ودهاء وإلتزام مطلق وكان الولد المخلص وأهداكم مليارات الدولارات بدون فوائد وعومكم عند إنهيار سعودي اوجيه بملياري دولار ،

والأهم تستره على تهريبكم للأموال ورعايته بمئات الملايين لمشاريع مزيفة ،

والأهم محمد الحوت وحمايته ومزراب الميدل ايست لا تعد ولا تحصى الإرتكابات والتعديات والحمايات ،

وسلب البلد لركائزه وتقاسم الحصص في الإستيراد والنفط والترويكا والدويكا ،

ويلي إستحوا ماتوا ، ويلي مفكر الناس عميان وهبل يراجع ثروة من مليار ونص إلى تمانية عشرة مليار،

والأهم بعد موته التهرب من دفع ملياري دولار بدل إنتقال هذه الثروة المسروقة ب قانون ليوم واحد مفصل على قياس أولاد المرحوم الشهيد المغدور؟

والذي حتى بموته يكلف لبنان حوالي ستين مليون دولار سنويا للمحكمة الدولية المهزلة من ما يقارب 15 سنة أي ما مجموعه 750 مليون دولار لإتهام حزب الله وسوريا وإيران ،

وللإستمرار في إستغلال الدم والتحريض ونهب السلطة وللإستعمال الإنتخابي والتجييش المذهبي وغيرة الدين .

عذرأ طويلة بس تاريخن مليان .منقول .

لكم التعليق

My story and experience with late Rafic Hariri PM: Lebanon ex-President Emile Lahoud

The son of Rafic Hariri, ex-PM Saad, has delivered a speech plagued with faked information during the 15th anniversary of the assassination of Rafic by Israel/USA on the Valentine Day Feb.14 2005 in Beirut.

صدر عن الرئيس السابق العماد اميل لحود البيان الآتي:

كنّا نتمنّى ألا نضطر، في ذكرى استشهاد الرئيس رفيق الحريري، الى إصدار بيانٍ نردّ فيه على نجله، إلا أنّ تزوير الحقائق أرغمنا على هذا الردّ.

لذا، من واجبنا تذكير سعد رفيق الحريري أنّ والده، حين تولّى رئاسة الحكومة للمرّة الأولى، لم يكن رئيساً لحزب أو لكتلة نيابيّة، بل رجل أعمال دعمت سوريا، وتحديداً عبد الحليم خدام، وصوله.

واستمرّ هذا الدعم بأشكالٍ مختلفة، من بينها قانون الانتخاب في العام 2000، وصولاً الى منح الحريري مفتاح بيروت الى اللواء غازي كنعان، حزناً على مغادرته لبنان وردّاً لجميل الرجل عليه.

أما في ما يخصّ الكهرباء والمياه، وقد أغفل الفيلم الوثائقي المزوّر الذي عُرض في احتفال أمس ذكر المياه،

فقد كان رفيق الحريري ينوي بيع القطاعين الى شركتين فرنسيّتين، بسبب علاقته بجاك شيراك الذي لاحقته تهم الفساد لاحقاً، وحين أعدّ الراحل “الآدمي” جورج افرام خطّة لتأمين الكهرباء، عمل مع صديقه خدام على إقالته من الحكومة.

ونذكّر، أيضاً، أنّه حين ضرب الجيش الإسرائيلي محطّة الجمهور أصدرنا قراراً بالردّ بالمثل، وقمنا بجمع تبرّعات لبناء المحطة من جديد من أموال اللبنانيّين وأصدرنا قراراً بأن تأتي التبرّعات الى مجلس الوزراء مجتمعاً، بحسابات وأرقامٍ معلنة وشفافة،

على عكس ما حصل بعد عدوان العام 2006 حين حُوّلت المساعدات من الخارج الى المجالس والصناديق، ومنها الى بعض الجيوب.

أمّا عن الاتهام بعرقلة مسيرة رفيق الحريري، فنسأل عن سبب إصراره على غسل القلوب بعد أن عاكسناه برفض بيع قطاع الخلوي وشدّدنا على استعادة الدولة للقطاع ما حقّق أرباحاً كبيرة تقدّر بملياري دولار سنويّاً،

وما تقلُّص هذه الأرباح لاحقاً إلا بسبب سياسات التوظيف السياسي والهدر الذي يقف وراءه سياسيّون، من بينهم من ينتمي الى فريق الحريري السياسي، ما يثبت أنّنا كنّا حينها على حقّ.

ولا يفوتنا، في موضوع حقّ عودة اللاجئين الفلسطينيّين، إلا أن نستعيد مبادرة الملك عبدالله في القمّة العربيّة في العام 2002، والتي لم تكن تتضمّن حقّ العودة، وكان رفيق الحريري موافقاً عليها، أما نحن فواجهناها وأسقطناها وأصرّينا على أن يتضمّن البيان الصادر عن القمّة حقّ العودة.

وبما أنّ سعد الحريري تحدّث عن الظلم، فعليه ألا ينسى الظلم الذي لحق بالضبّاط الأربعة وغيرهم بسبب اتّهامهم الباطل بقتل والده، من دون أن ننسى استخدام المحكمة الدوليّة ومحقّقيها لتفتيش منازلنا وحساباتنا، من دون أن يعثروا على دليلٍ يتيمٍ يديننا. ولعلّ الظلم الأكبر أن تتمّ مهاجمة رجل النزاهة سليم الحصّ في وثائقي التضليل.

لقد اختلفنا كثيراً مع رفيق الحريري، في الأسلوب والانتماء الوطني، وكانت بداية الاختلاف حين رفضنا قبول راتب شهري منه بقيمة 500 ألف دولار شهريّاً، منذ كنّا في قيادة الجيش،

ولكنّنا خاصمناه بنزاهة ولم نتجنّ عليه يوماً كما فعل نجله في الأمس. وإذا كان سعد الحريري اتّهمنا، مع آخرين، بالعرقلة فإنّنا نسأل عن هويّة من عرقله في إدارة شركاته الخاصّة التي انهارت أو أفلست أو أقفلت، وضاعت حقوق العاملين الذين ادّعوا عليه في السعوديّة ويتظاهرون ضدّه في لبنان، وربما وصلت أصوات هؤلاء المرتفعة الى جنوب إفريقيا.

وعلى الرغم من كلّ ما أوردناه في هذه السطور، وهو غيضٌ من فيض، لعلّنا لم نترحّم يوماً على رفيق الحريري بقدر ما فعلنا في الأمس. كان خصماً ذكيّاً على الأقلّ.

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Ex-President Emile Lahoud

Lebanon uprising (Intifada): Are we just slaves to our caste system?

Since October 17, the Lebanese took to the streets in every city demanding a change in our political/financial system. This sectarian system has degraded since Lebanon “fictitious” independence in 1943: we ended up with 19 officially recognized religious sects. each sect having the monopoly to its co-coreligionist civil registry from birth to death.

Since 1994, the civil war militia leaders of (1975-91) took power and control of Lebanon political system. Nabih Berry, chairman of the Parliament for 22 successive years, became the Godfather of these militia/mafia leaders. Every deputy in the parliament was attributed a monopoly in consumer goods, energy, financial transactions, services… and the head of the parliamentary block receive a substantial part of the profit and they appoint the civil servants in the State institutions. (This is the definition of Anomy political/economic system)

In 1994, Rafic Hariri was dispatched by Saudi Kingdom to become Lebanon PM and he set up the financial Ponzi scheme. Rafic would borrow loans and accumulated Lebanon sovereign debt from just $3bn to over $100 bn. The assumption was that the USA would wipe out all our debt as soon as Lebanon sign a peace treaty with Israel.

Actually, in order to force his being appointed PM, through his financial partners and the chief of the Central Bank Riad Salami, he devalued the Lebanese pound (LP) to 3,000 for the dollar and then re-instated the change to 1,500 to the $ and pigged it to the the dollar ever since.

Note: A re-edit of “Democracy or servitude in Lebanon’s caste system? (October 17, 2007)”

I recently read a 125-pages study by Safia Antoun Saadeh that was researched through a Fulbright grant.

Safia visited Harvard University as a scholar for the academic year 1992-93.  This study is so far the most condensed and comprehensive study of Lebanon social and political structure.

The study was most instructive and it clearly defined our social and political system that explains our problems and recurring civil wars and may forecast our difficulties in the coming months.

In a nut shell, our society has been gradually and consistently developing a political structure, based on a caste system (a closed religious sect) through the Ottoman legacy and has been strengthened since our independence in 1943.

The definition of a Caste is that it is a closed system restricted in five elements;

First, communities are ranked from high to low

Second, it is formed of endogamous groups where marriages is restricted within the caste and intermarriage among caste is socially sanctioned,

Third, membership is determined by birth and is inherited and ascribed,

Fourth, the group at the top may be the largest numerically, and

Fifth, mobility is restricted and an individual can move up within the caste and the caste, as a whole, attempts to move up; thus, the frequent rivalry among castes competing to take precedence in the hierarchical ranking.

All these elements actually coincide mostly with the Lebanese social and political structure and, however we understand the concepts of tribalism, feudalism, sectarianism, clan or classes, we end up realizing that they are incomplete models for our structure and are not satisfactory to explaining and forecasting our predicaments.

The contents of “The social structure of Lebanon” by Safia Sadeh starts with the definitions of tribal, sectarian, feudal, and communities, then on the Ottoman legacy in matters of occupation stratification and religious affiliation, then the period of transition in the 19th century, then the social stratification in Greater Lebanon, then society and social structure, then the fate of the State up to the Taef accord in 1991 and finally the conclusion.

(Greater Lebanon of just over 10,000 sq.km is an assemblage or attachment to Mount Lebanon by the French colonial power of the southern region, the Bekaa Valley and the Northern regions of Tripoli and Akkar)

As the sociology scholar Tonnies stated: “When many use the same language, they must be agreed about the use of names.  This is necessary in science, for science consists in exactly true statements. Every science must therefore start with definitions

I will define the terms of tribe, sectarian, clan, feudal, community, or class as an appendix; and although they are fundamental in elucidating our social structure, this article will overrun the requirements for publishing and I need to go to the point directly. I did though go into the details in my review for this study

The majority of the Lebanese are unable to trace their lineage as tribes and the exogamy rule has not been applied and clans have been integrated within the caste system.

The term sect, taken literally, no longer applies to the current Lebanese situation since we don’t have a theocratic state.  Translating sectarianism by “al ta2ifiyyah” is misleading.  There used to be sects in our ancient history when the Nestorians opposed the Byzantine institutional church or when the Shiis, Ismailis, and Druze opposed the Sunni institutional theocratic state.

The “Arab East” (Arabic Peninsula, the Gulf States and southern Iraq) did not develop a feudal system in any of its historical periods; the lords could not acquire big stretches of land that were passed to the first-born following the law of primogeniture by which the whole real estate of intestate passes solely to the eldest son.

First, the Koranic law stipulates the division of inheritance and second, during the Ottoman hegemony lands (Iqta3) were retrieved from the favorite officers at death.

Syria and Lebanon witnessed the beginnings of private ownership on a large scale after the middle of the 19th century, due to the Ottoman reforms.  The only group which was allowed to inherit land under Islamic rule was the religious order and later named (waqf) when citizens gave their lands to the Religious Order to avoid taxes or trouble.

When the Ottoman theocratic Empire undertook a few reforms that permitted the ownership of private properties and allowed that stratification might move along class lines then a class of feudal lords emerged and new secular schools were established and a Constitution was proclaimed in the Ottoman Empire that enabled landlords and notables to be deputies.

Usually, the Maronite Christian Order supported the peasant rebellions against the feudal lords to maintain its caste supremacy in Lebanon.

For a time, the lords of different religions would unite to oppose peasant revolts but eventually the caste system vanquished that trend and the lords rallied to their respective castes. Feudal lords would become the upper class within each caste.  Each caste had now its own religious courts, its own members in the representative Council and within the government offices.

In present Lebanon, I believe that a few families acquired huge pieces of land and sold whole villages to head the list of candidates to the Parliament within a caste system; for example, the Solh, Salam, Jumblat, Skaf, Eddeh and so forth.  A few of these landlords sold whole villages to the Zionist Organization.

It is unavoidable to defining a class because of the socialist and Marxist theories.

Class is an open system where individuals are ranked instead of communities and intermarriage is not restricted, and membership is based mostly on economic status and the hierarchy takes the shape of a pyramid, with only an elite or small group at the top but mobility is feasible to moving up through finance and professionalism.  Thus, a class is not just the opposite of caste as a closed system; for example, middle classes in countries are formed of individuals from all castes and have received education and intermingled, and intermarried and feel reasonably acquainted with their status and prospects.

Whenever a middle class is weakened then theocracy and undemocratic political systems take over the ruling of society.  The lower class of the poor and disinherited has never been a leader in any political change.

How did Lebanon end up with a caste system?

Stratification in the Ottoman Empire from the middle of the 16th century and up till the beginning of the 20th was set along occupation in its minutest details and then assigned ranks to the different religious community.

The hierarchical ranking of occupations started with men of the sword (Emirs), men of the pen (Ulama or Mollas), merchants and food producers, then artisans, then peasants, and others. The Ottoman theocracy prohibited mobility and ascribed occupations; for example, the son of a peasant was forced to become a peasant and artisans could not move from one guild to another even within the same occupation.

The cities were divided into quarters (haara) representing specific guild corporations (taa2efah) and each quarter was self-contained having its mosque, bath, market and gate to be closed at sunset.

These independent “tawa2ef” had no communication with each other and were directly linked to the central government through an appointed spokesman or “shaykh”; the hara had the right to arm itself and consequently, this historical custom to find arms in each house.

Each guild was imposed a limited number of shops and competition was not existent and even changes in design or fashion or shape were prohibited.  Each guild was linked to a Sufi order spreading fatalism or nasib or kismet (fate).

The Ulama restricted religious appointments solely to their children and thus became the wealthiest and most powerful caste because they were allowed to own lands and they didn’t pay taxes. The Ulama interpreted and set up the laws for the Empire.

The Moslem or (jama3a) relegated the Christians and Jews to a lower status (zhemmah) and were to pay the poll-tax (jizyah) and the land-tax (kharaj) and other restrictions.  The other non-Moslem sects were severely and relentlessly persecuted such as the Shiites, Ismaelite, and Druses.

The weakening of the central authority and the aggressive tensions within the guilds between Muslem and Christians and the increased Indian influence (in religion and caste system structure) led to the merging of the two stratification of occupation and religious orders (millet) and thus the present caste system in Lebanon along religious orders.

The Muslims from India were very influential and overwhelming because the Ottoman Empire cut off trade relations with Europe for a long period and because the Ottoman rulers were originated from Central Asia and the various Sufi movements were Indians by source and indoctrination.

The Christian millet demanded that each Christian sect acquires a separate and independent status and the Porte in Istanbul granted that request which led to the recognition of 17 millets; currently we recognize 18 millets in our political structure to include the alawit caste.

Thus, the identity of the individual is based on his religious community in Lebanon; furthermore, citizens vote in districts (kada2) of their base community and not where they actual reside or work and expatriates have not acquired the right to vote overseas.

Consequently, when the European colonialists were given mandate in the Near East the antagonism was not directed at their economic and financial hegemony but primarily directed on the religious dimension; thus, the Christians of the East paid the heaviest toll as the result of such a perception.

The National Pact of 1943, after the independence of Lebanon, divided the spoil among the two main castes, the Christian Maronite and the Muslim Sunni, which were dominant in the cities and controlled the economy of the country; thus, practically ignoring the rights of the other 15 or so castes until civil wars erupted every 20 years to remind the central government that the State is built on caste structure.

The fact is, just after our independence, and in order to keep the demography of the castes in balance the Christians granted citizenship to Armenians and Christian Palestinians but denied it to the Muslim Kurds and Palestinians. Even a plea by Hoss PM to President Sarkis for a single seat in the Parliament representing a secular candidate was rejected.

Essentially, our civil wars were the result of castes, as a whole, trying to move upward to become at a par with the dominant castes in numbers; for example, the Sunny caste in 1958 demanding equal power along the Maronite and seeking the help of the Egyptian Abdul-Nasser; then in 1975 the Sunny caste siding with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the hope of dominating the Maronite.  In the second half of the civil war, between 1984 and 1989, the Shiites attempted to move upward as a caste.

The internal mobility within caste led to serious changes; for example the political parties of Hezbolla and Amal unseated the traditional Shiite feudal families such as the As3ad, the Hamadeh, the Khalil, and the Osseiran; the Lebanese Forces unseated the like traditional families of Eddeh, Chamoun, and tried to eliminate the Frangieh in the north.

It appears that the Gemayyel family is on the way out after President Amine lost recently the election against a practically unknown candidate; the Armenian caste, which traditionally allied with the Phalanges party, parted company.  The Hariri party (or clan) of Al Mustakbal unseated most of the Sunny traditional leaders in Beirut, and with debatable successes in Tripoli, and Sidon.

The current dilemma is that the Sunny caste is trying to hold to its supremacy against the strongly rising Shii3a caste which is more organized, with self-independent institutions and a military wing that checked the Israeli invasion in June 2006 for 31 days.

The Shi3a caste is homogeneous and managed to unseat feudalism and regroup in just two parties that coordinate their activities and projects.

The Sunny caste would like very much to initiate a third civil war but was turned down by the Maronite caste because it would be the major loser at the end.

Michel Aoun averted the inevitable civil war, sought after by the Sunny caste and headed by the Hariri clan, by ratifying an agreement with Hezbollah; thus, the Maronite caste being divided then no civil war is feasible.

The second card that the Sunny caste is ready to play is to settle the Sunny Palestinian refugees and eventually to surreptitiously granting them the Lebanese citizenship.

Consequently, the Sunny caste is hoping to recapture the numerical imbalance with the Shi3a caste if they succeed in this plan with the support of the USA and the European nations.

The most striking development taking place is that the Maronite caste is in the process of getting freer from a caste structure because the Patriarch and his council of Bishops are no longer implicitly the main political power within the caste; this whole hoopla of referring to Bkerki as the source of their union is just within the explicit caste structure game, but the Maronite Order is losing its hold on the caste at this junction.

Ironically, the Christian Greek Orthodox caste is taking advantage of this situation and doing its best to move upward. The Greek orthodox caste has been basically urban and city dwellers for centuries but never formed a militia, nor did they have powerful feudal lords; their professional elites mostly joined secular political parties.

However, they established a University and the Majlis al-Millah decided to discuss and take concerted action on the current political issues and ordered their three ministers in the government not to abdicate.

I think that the Armenian caste is on the move up after defeating the government’s candidate, President Amine Gemayel, in the Metn election. I believe that the Armenian caste wanted revenge because the Hariri clan sidelines it during the last two elections in Beirut.

The assassinated Rafic Hariri PM game was to divide and weaken the adjoining castes in Beirut in order to have absolute hegemony of the Sunny caste in the Capital which he considered himself the sole leader; and thus he didn’t include the Armenian caste candidates on his electoral lists and preferred to select individual Armenians with no support from their caste.

This system of caste translates integrally into State bureaucracy.  In 1955, competitive examinations for civil service positions was replaced by a pass or fail qualification so that the best applicants would not know that the position was taken by a lesser qualified candidate just to fill the castes quotas.

The most damaging consequences is that the hired civil servant considers that he owns his position to the head of the caste and is not subjected to his superiors in the bureaucratic hierarchy. Thus, every firing of incompetent civil servant is viewed as directed at the caste as a whole!

Once a position is filed then the functionary has to fulfill all the requirements and demands of his caste before catering to the other tasks.  In 1992, after the Taef constitution, a bizarre Maronite Minister of Education hired 300 Maronite employees from his home town and in one sweep; the caste system resolved the problem by allowing each ministry to appoint a similar number of his own caste!

It is known that the Defense Minister Michel Al Murr was not bashful when he refused to enlist Shiites who reached the age of 18 in the compulsory training simply because they would tilt the balance of 50/50 between Christians and Moslems!

The most damaging institution that has prevented any modernization and led to the strengthening of the caste system is the judiciary of the personal status laws.

Each millet or in our case caste follows its own laws concerning birth, death, marriage, divorce, adoption, and inheritance.  Each religious caste has developed its own courts whose verdict the state is obliged to execute.  The castes have become independent legal entities.

The Lebanese state cannot implement reforms in these laws to place them in tune with a modernized society, nor do the religious institutions change the law as the later is considered sacred.  Two failed attempts were made, one in 1936 and the other in 1951, to force the different religious organizations to submit their status laws so that the government can examine them.  In 1952, the Lawyers’ syndicate announced an open strike for civil marriage to be initiated and a civil secular code to replace the various personal status laws.  The strike had to be ended after three months.

The various religious agencies holding both economic and legal power became formidable political institutions that oversee the interest of its members.  Remnants of the Ottoman system the Sunni “mufti” gets his salary from the Lebanese government and all judicial decisions by the Sunnis are published in the “Official Newsletter” issued by the government.

Moreover, this caste system reach an agreement whereby no Christian can inherit from a Muslim, and vice-versa, and thus a non-converted mother cannot bequeath her inheritance to her own children!  Our caste system allows our women to marry foreigners of the same religion but forbid marrying a Lebanese of a different religion.  Historically, a Muslim woman was prohibited from marrying into another religious group but the Christian caste could permit it until the unbalance in the demography restricted it and made it very difficult.

Both internal and external social controls are used in deterring the individual from breaking a specific prescribed behavior. One major factor in the establishment of a caste is the rule of non-exchange of women.

Consequently, the religious orders in Lebanon have acquired the status of caste because the jurisprudence in matter of personal status laws has been relinquished to them by the central government.  Conversion is made extremely difficult among orders by mutual agreement, except for political reasons and within the Christians castes to fill the quota in government offices.

Intermarriages among castes are not common and civil marriages had to be done in Cyprus or elsewhere for the government to accept the marriage according to an existing civil status law enacted during the mandate period.  Generally, males have a much easier allowance to inter marry outside the religious caste.

We, the Lebanese, are denied equality under the law of the land because it does not exists; we are like turtles carrying our baggage over our back and have to be subjected to the traditions of our respective religious castes, a system that is far reaching and follows us wherever we reside.

We are denied freedom to change religion, to change electoral district, to change our names, to work anywhere we chose to and to associate with whatever groups that matches our modern values. We are denied a democratic process based on peaceful transitions from allegiance to caste to allegiance to a rational State that abhors theocracy in any form or shape and release the citizen from his bondage to work toward a modern way of life over all the Lebanese territory.

The way I forecast the next political steps stems from my understanding that:

First, the Sunny caste is the most conservative among the caste and will be the last one to forego its privileges and this system;

Second, the Shiaa caste is the most homogeneous, most numerical, and self sufficient but wary of the combined efforts of the western nations and Israel to destabilize its supremacy and needs reassurances from the Christian castes not subject it to further harassment and displacement; and

Third there might be a tendency for the Christian castes to unite within a process of modernizing the system as the only viable alternative for survival in the future; and

Fourth the realization that, except for the Sunny caste, it would be beneficial for all the concerned parties to unseat Walid Jumblat as the sole feudal lord within the Druze caste.

The Christian Maronite sect in Lebanon has reverted to a closed religion and adopted the caste system since the independence of Lebanon in 1943.  The Maronite sect has agreed on a tacit pact with the non-Christian castes not to allow non-Christian members from the other castes in Lebanon to become Maronite.

I can testify that even Lebanese living overseas were not permitted to change religion: the Maronite Order made it clear that the process of changing religion is not feasible.  This Christian sect has sold its soul to preserve its supremacy as a caste in local politics and ended up losing its supremacy in 1989 at the Taef Conference in Saudi Arabia. (It has been allied to the Zionist movement as it landed in Palestine)

Although the office of President of the Republic, conferred to the Maronite, is no longer that powerful after the Taef Constitution; the current maneuvering is intended to come to an agreement as to the next stages of transforming this caste system and giving the Lebanese citizens a new doze of anesthesia until the plans and logistics for a new round of civil war are completed.

Unfortunately, the secular forces are not coordinating their activities commensurate to the dangerous climate that is being fomented.  The dynamic middle class in Lebanon has fled, for no return, and the existing one is too dispersed, weak and almost totally swallowed by the caste system.

The changes might seem insurmountable, but nothing is impossible with the will for survival.  A grass root movement of all the religious groups and led by the current middle class and syndicates, supported by the dual citizens of Lebanese origin, has to educate the disinherited citizens and to rally the secular forces and parties and to promote a program for a change in our archaic system into modernism.

This movement needs to destroy the barriers against interrelationship to implement the following program:

First, removing the power from the religious hierarchical orders by the following successive steps:

starting by forcing the different religious organizations to submit their status laws so that the government can examine them; then initiating a program to institute civil marriage law and a civil secular code to replace the various personal status laws; and then taxing heavily the religious “waqf” as lucrative financial and economic entities.

Second, a voting system that institutes for two parliaments: the Popular Parliament where a single deputy is selected by the majority of votes for each restricted district (no lists of candidates, please) and the National Parliament by the proportional method and the candidates are selected by the political parties and where women are to acquire a quota of half the numbers in the National Parliament after the second election.  The total of the two parliaments should not exceed 122 deputies.

Third, a decentralization of the government where the re-drawn Mouhafazaat, with access to the sea, might enjoy much wider responsibilities with the appropriate budget to cater for the social and economic well being of their citizens.  Encouraging competition among the Mouhafazats is a must and their corresponding budgets to be commensurate to their profitable investments and efficiency in saving money.

I decided to include the definitions of clan, tribe, sect, feudalism, and community so that the reader might judge on the correct description of Lebanon’s social and political structure.

A Clan or settled Tribe must first be based explicitly on a non linear rule of descent, it then must have a residential unity, and third, it must exhibit actual social integration.  The clan is independent and has a homogeneous system; it is a self-sufficient unit and is not ranked into higher and lower.

The majority of the Lebanese are unable to trace their lineage and the exogamy rule has not been applied and clans have been integrated within the caste system. Thus the tribal theory is inadequate in explaining the complex political, social, and economic picture of Lebanon.

Sects, by definition, welcome a voluntary membership by conversion, as individuals are free to adhere to a specific religious sect once they believe in its tenets. A sect has come to denote a religious conflict society which arises in opposition to an institutional church. The term sect, taken literally, no longer applies to the current Lebanese situation since we don’t have a theocratic state.  Translating sectarianism by “al taa2ifiyah” is misleading.  There used to be sects in our ancient history when the Nestorian opposed the Byzantine institutional church or when the Shiis, Ismailis, and Druze opposed the Sunni institutional state.

Feudalism means that lords have acquired big stretches of land that were passed to the first-born following the law of primogeniture by which the whole real estate of intestate passes solely to the eldest son.  The lords were opposed to the peasants who owned no land.

The Arab East did not develop such a system in any of its historical periods. First, the Koranic law stipulates the division of inheritance and second, during the Ottoman hegemony lands (Iqta3) were retrieved from the favorite officers at death.  Syria and Lebanon witnessed the beginnings of private ownership on a large scale after the middle of the 19th century, due to the Ottoman reforms.

The only group which was allowed to inherit land under Islamic rule was the religious order and later named (waqf) when citizens gave their lands to the order to avoid taxes or trouble.

Thus, historically at least, the feudal theory cannot hold in Lebanon structure. Though, in present Lebanon, I believe that a few families acquired huge pieces of land and sold whole villages to head the list of candidates to the Parliament within a caste system; for example, the Solh, Salam, Jumblat, Skaf, Eddeh and so forth.

Community revolve around three elements that are intimately interconnected: the element of descent which focuses on blood and kinship ties and where “family” life is the general basis or life; then the element of soil exemplified by the village community, and finally the element of occupation centered into guilds, corporations and offices.

Strangers may be accepted and protected as serving members but not easily as agents and representatives of the community. Usually, village communities have not been ranked historically on a scale of higher to lower.  Lebanon did not enter fully the era of communities and furthermore in our villages, communities are ranked leading to a quasi-caste situation.

Class is an open system where individuals are ranked instead of communities and intermarriage is not restricted, and membership is based mostly on economic status and the hierarchy takes the shape of a pyramid, with only an elite or small group at the top but mobility is feasible to moving up through finance and professionalism.

A Saudi Kingdom refugee in France (Saad Hariri) re-landed in Lebanon after being ousted in 2011 as PM

Actually Saad was handed the post of political inheritor (Haririyyeh) of his father Rafic Hariri who was assassinated by USA/Israel in 2004, by Bandar bin Sultan.

Note: re-edited of the post of 2014. “A billionaire refugee in France…”

Officially, the one $billion that the Saudi monarch Abdullah extended to Lebanon was meant to be spent on aiding the Lebanese army to confront all the “terrorists activities” spreading in Lebanon.

Tacitly, ex PM Saad Hariri is to be the money distributor of this huge sum and he returned to Lebanon after 3 years of vacations (as he was ousted) in order to personally supervise the spending of the money.

All this money is basically meant to be spend on the election campaign since the Parliament feels too ashamed to extend its tenure again and again on flimsy excuses of “insecurity conditions”. (Yes, Nabih Berry, head of the Parliament for 22 successive years,  and the Godfather of the militia/mafia “leaders“, refused to hold Parliamentary elections)

He had no political experience and knew nothing of Lebanon social structure: He needed 6 months to learn how to form a government and he spent most of his tenure abroad on multiple vacations, doing personal business deals.

A few months ago, Saudi Kingdom extended 3 $billion to France on the ground of providing the Lebanese army the necessary weapons to confront terrorist factions and the capability to maintain security and the shaky status quo of Lebanon political outdated system.

So far, the 3 $billion have evaporated into deep pockets in both Lebanon and France: financial transparency is not a cornerstone in our system.

Probably, France extended part of that that money to the extremist jihadist factions on our border with Syria.

The Nusra and ISIS have occupied our sprawling town of Ersal for 5 days and committed atrocities and killed scores of our soldiers and kidnapped about 40 soldiers.

Rafic Hariri set up the Ponzi scheme for Lebanon since 1994 by continually borrowing money, accumulating Lebanon sovereign debt from $3 bn to $100 bn and doing his best of destroying any productive activities in industries and agriculture. The basis of Rafic reasoning is that USA will erase Lebanon debt as soon as Lebanon sign a “peace treaty” with Israel.

Jamil Berry posted on FB: 

Mon Opinion

La période que traverse actuellement le Liban est extrêmement brumeuse, et de plus en plus illisible. Laissons nos religions aux vestiaires et réfléchissons.

Qu’avons nous comme données récentes ? Trois milliards Saoudiens évaporés? (Aide à l’armée?)

Hariri qui est rentré sous les caméras au Liban. Avec dans ses valises un milliard … Pour ? Tripoli qui s’agite à nouveau?
Ersaal avec ses vrais martyrs de notre armée Libanaise?

Et ses assaillants salafistes qui trouvent malgré tout des Janus parmi la classe politique libanaise pour minimiser, diluer, et démentir s’ils pouvaient ; nos martyrs.

Il se prépare quelque chose d’extrêmement grave je pense taillé à la seule mesure de la survie de l’état d’Israël.

Israel est plus que jamais conscient du droit du peuple Palestinien à son Etat, appuyé en cela par les rues arabes.

Israel est conscient de l’hostilité croissante des peuples des pays limitrophes face à l’injustice dont il fait preuve surtout avec un Embargo sévère et mortifère contre Gaza, et le morcellement incessant de la Palestine par les implantations juives victimes d’une Shoa économique générée par la crise dans laquelle se débattent leurs pays d’origine ( crise qui ne touche pas que les juifs , sauf que israel se propose comme issue en agitant l’étendard de l’anti sémitisme ambiant)

Rajouter à cela que de gisements immenses de gaz et de pétrole son découverts aux larges du Liban et de Palestine

Le Liban entre désormais dans le club des pays frappés par la malédiction du sous-sol. (Huge reserves of gas and oil known and confirmed even during the French mandated colonial power in 1935) 

Un exemple : l’Algérie a un sous sol infiniment riche , la Tunisie pas . Cette dernière connaitra rapidement accalmie et prospérité, la première se débattra toujours.

D’un point de vue purement sécuritaire, Israel a été contraint de rendre le Liban sud a ses Libanais (et sans condition en May 25, 2000) malgré son eau dont il a besoin. ( le prix devenait prohibitif pour israel. Trop de morts , vu le virus Ezbolla (Hezbollah) qui y sévissait)

L’Irak, La Lybie, La Syrie , étaient des menaces sécuritaires pour israel. Ces pays ont été scientifiquement et méthodiquement mis à terre en 3 temps chacun ( observez les 3 temps d’un dromadaire quand il veut se mettre à terre ) sans pour autant cesser de tambouriner qu’il faut que la résistance libanaise dépose ses armes.

Entretenir la faiblesse des pays arabes et les anémier pour les cent ans à venir, passera désormais d’après les stratèges du pentagone et d israel réunis par la semence d’une guerre Suchi ( Sunnites / Chiites) et elle commence à donner ses fruits mortifères. Les printemps se suivent mais ne se ressemblent pas.

Le Liban ”is different ” . Devenu très anglophone, très peu francophone, la France (sa mère adoptive ) en grande difficulté économique ne viendra plus vraiment à son secours car :

1/ Il s’est tourné vers les USA
2/ la France est un pays matérialiste, Laïc. Défendre la chrétienté, lui est vraiment passé de mode.

La guerre sunnite / chiite a déjà commencé dans la région, et je suis intimement convaincu que ces stratèges de l’apocalypse nous diront bientôt qu’il ne faut pas mettre tous les salafistes dans le même sac

Il y aura les bons salafistes: ceux qui se battront contre le Ezbollah , et les mauvais salafistes ceux qui se battront contre l’armée libanaise (sic!)

Plus que jamais au Liban, les politiciens Libanais ne commandent plus sur rien et n’ont de l’autorité que dans la mesure où ils ne l’exercent pas.

Bientôt , même une chatte au Liban, ne reconnaîtra plus ses chatons.

Ah les Chrétiens … J’allais vous oublier : je ne vous pense pas les vrais visés dans l’apocalypse annoncée, vous serez soit des victiles collatérales, soit des victiles de diversion. Dans les deux cas, vous aurez vos ” couloirs humanitaires ”

Déjà que le Liban est couloir en soi . Couloirs dans un couloir : rien de mieux pour couler notre pays.

( Jamil BERRY )

What Baha2 Hariri, Saad Hariri’s eldest brother, confessed of the tight connections among Saudi secret services, Bandar bin Sultan and Walid Jumblat…
Lebanon National Debt: A rough computation?

Note: this article was published in 2013 and nothing changed but the amount of debt that ballooned from barely $9 bn in 1993 to $90 bn (or 130% of Lebanon GDP. Same as in Greece). A third of the budget goes to repaying the interset on the debt

As clear as water….thank you George Sabat !
The story of the Lebanese National debt is simple to tell to the uninitiated citizen who cannot understand how a small country like Lebanon could have built a $60 billion (reached 90 this year of 2018) debt in the short space of 20 years.
It starts with an initial budget deficit of some $2 billion of Lebanese Budget in 1993 to which one ought to add the entire civil war reconstruction cost that amounted to some $7 billion as declared officially and detailed by the Authorities in their famous book: “Rebuilding Lebanon”.
From this initial debt of some $9 billion that has never been repaid, one ought to add the accumulated compound interest at the end of every year.
Of course the table shown below is not the authentic one that appears in the Government Accounts but, for the uninitiated, it explains clearly enough how this Debt has grown from an initial amount of nine billion US dollars in 1993 to reach today over sixty billion US dollars.
The Authorities will never explain to you such matters so simply.
They will use a lot of complicated and obscure terms and definitions to keep you in the dark over a matter which is, after all, frighteningly simple.
The people of Lebanon, represented by their government (that is you and me and four and a half million other Lebanese citizens) borrowed in 1993 some two billion US dollars, then another seven billion US dollars to pay for the reconstruction.
The rest, or some $53.5 billion is the amount of interest paid to bankers and foreign depositors over the past twenty years. That’s all folks.
Note 1: The late Rafic Hariri PM clan (known as the Future movement, Al Moustakbal) pread the word to its close friends to deposit their wealth at 18% interest rate and each one of them reaped millions in 3 years.
Most of the borrowed money were distributed to the militia/mafia leaders who kept running the country after the war. No political party won the war, but the militia leaders stayed in power and were absolved of all the killing and mischief against humanity they committed during the war
Note 2: After the assassination of Rafic Hariri in 2004, his wealth amounted to $14 bn  (from barely $2 bn when he first became Prime Minister with the total support of the Syrian regime of Hafez and then his son Bashar Assad) and his family members paid just a single million as taxes to the government run by his protegee’ Fouad Seniora PM
Note 3: It is common knowledge that Rafic gave his first wife to the Saudi Monarch Fahd to marry.
Note 4: Lebanon has since been begging borrowed money for no economic reasons, and the loaners didn’t mind to raise Lebanon national debt to $90 bn (130% of its GDP). Obviously, those loans are meant to take Lebanon hostage for later deals related to regional situation and giving the Palestinian refugees the nationality.
Note 5: More than a third of the population are in the public sector and most of them don’t even show up to work and receive another third of the budget.

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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