Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Tayyar Party

Right to Return: for the Palestinian refugees (June 15, 2009)


            There are more than 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and their birth rate is three times the average of the Lebanese.  The Palestinian refugees are concentrated in a dozen camps (ghettoes) and they run their communities. The Lebanese government is not extending facilities to the camps or to issuing work permits.  The UN agency UNRUWA is supposed to care for the education and health of the refugees since they were chased out from their homeland in 1948.  In the last decade the UNRUWA budget has been politically reduced to force the Lebanese government into de facto enacting residency status to the refugees.

            Lebanon facilitated the influx of the Palestinian refugees in 1948 under the perception that it was a temporary stay since UN resolution demanded the return of the Palestinians. Israel exacerbated the problem by sending another wave of refuges in 1967 after it occupied the West Bank.  The Palestinian resistance was born but it failed to rely on the Palestinians inside the State of Israel for effective resistance against the occupiers. 

            There were three camps in the Christian districts which were closed down during the civil war such the ones in Dbayeh, Jesr al Basha, and Tell al Zaatar; the Christian militias forced the evacuation of the Christian Palestinians by military activities, genocide, and terror.

            Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 and with the cooperation of the USA and France the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) headed by Arafat was forced to evacuate Beirut to Cyprus and then to Tunisia.  The remaining camps were supposed to be the refuge of civilians and not containing any heavy weapons.

            The entrance/exits of camps are monitored by the Lebanese army and the movement of the refugees strictly controlled.  A salafist Sunni movement “Jund al Sham” challenged the army in Nahr al Bared camp in Tripoli.  This camp is demolished and waiting for financial aid to be re-constructed.

            The ex-President Emile Lahoud fought the good fight to keep the right of return of the UN resolution 194 alive during his tenure. For example, before the Summit of the Arab League in Beirut of April 2002, the Saudi Foreign Affairs Seoud Al Faissal visited President Lahoud on March 22 and handed him the project of the Saudi Monarch of “peace for land” without a specific clause of “the right of return”.  President Lahoud refused it. Lahoud was subjected to al kinds of pressures and diplomatic maneuvering to let the project as is with no modifications but he didn’t relent. The Arab leaders suggested including the “right of return” as a separate clause to no avail. The Saudi Prince Abdallah was forced to include the clause as intrinsic part of the peace for land PROJECT.  The USA vowed to make the tenure of Lahoud a period of hell for foiling their major political goal.

            It is crystal clear that the western nations have a sole political purpose for Lebanon: accepting the Palestinian refugees as Lebanese residents.  The civil war from 1975 to 1991 failed to achieve completely that goal though most of the prosperous Christian families preferred to immigrate.

            Late Rafic Hariri PM believed that an overall peace deal with Israel is highly serious and went along a program of easing the conditions of the Palestinian refugees.  It turned out that there will be no peace with Israel because Israel’s interest is not in any kind of peace.  Pragmatic Hariri realized that the social and political fabric in Lebanon cannot digest 400,000 Palestinians and he changed his strategy; he was assassinated by the detonation of a roadside truck containing 1000 kilos of TNT.

            Though the US Administration comprehends better the predicament of Lebanon it is still hoping that this tragedy could be settled at the expense of the Lebanese people. Hezbollah challenged that strategy and won its war against Israel in 2006. The leader of the Tayyar Party, General Michel Aoun, has picked up the banner of fighting any policies targeted at settling the Palestinians in Lebanon and he won by a landslide in Mount Lebanon.  The coalition of Hezbollah and the Tayyar has put a strong break to the western strategy of reducing Lebanon to a refugee status.

Let us try an honorific Caliphate for the Presidency of the Republic. (written in Dec. 10, 2007)

I described in a previous article the responsibilities of the President to the Republic after the Taif Constitution to be mostly honorific and that the Christian Maronite sectarian caste has devalued to third in rank after the Moslem Sunny and Chi3a castes.

In my article “Who care for the office of President to the Republic” I foresaw that this office is no longer that practically essential, and if it was left vacant for a while then no immediate disaster will befall Lebanon.

Former President Emile Lahoud kept threatening that he will not permit the Seniora PM government to administer the Republic after he leaves the Palace.

Well, Lahoud vacated silently and surreptitiously on November 23rd with no decisions how the State should be managed.  And the office has been vacant since then, and the Palace closed to visitors, even to tourists whom forgot to visit Lebanon this year also. And the government resumed its course…

In Lebanon caste system, the Moslem political leaders were the real leaders of their respective castes, and their appointed clergies were basically the mouthpiece, and usually cover their current political leaders for unity.

The reverse is happening for the Maronite caste: historically and for centuries the Maronite clergy tried to control its political leaders and evinced them in crucial events, even fomenting the peasants to revolt against their feudal Christian lords.  Presently, the Maronite caste is split between two political leaders, Michel Aoun of the Tayyar party and Samir Geaja of the Lebanese Forces.

Although the current Maronite Patriarch, Nasr Allah Sfeir, had been burned more than once before, after nominating candidates to the Republic and being turned down, he slipped again: he could not help but to follow the suggestion of the European emissaries to form a list of eligible candidates, which he did to the outcry of all the potential Maronite candidates.

General Michel Aoun sent the Patriarch and the Council of the Bishops emissary after emissary warning them not to meddle in the political process for the election of a Maronite President to the Republic to no avail.  General Aoun was prompted to clarify who is the de-facto political Patriarch for the Maronite caste.

Within Lebanon caste system General Aoun is the political Patriarch of the Maronite; not only for the number of Maronite deputies in the Parliament that represent his party but also because of his clear and transparent views and because he has proved that he stands undaunted against all odds and pressures from the West and the media dominated by the government allies.

Just tonight, General and deputy Aount has announced to the Lebanese to enjoy the Adha and Christmas Holidays in peace and security because there will be no election for a President until after the vacation.  General Aoun is adamant that no election will take place before a political comprehensive understanding has been agreed upon by the government’s allies and the opposition forces.

Democracies in the developed States might view these preconditions as anathema, but Lebanon is not a democratic States: Lebanon is a caste political system, not constitutionally but according to an ancient National Pact of 1943, and governed by accord among the main castes.

If the ancient and old Maronite Patriarch is overwhelmed by events, and just administering the political situation through Sunday speeches at mass and forming lists of potential candidates, the political Patriarch Aoun is much more aware of the weak position of the Maronites at this phase of the game and wants to re-establish the real responsibilities and duties to the position of the President.

The successive troika or triumvirate rulers (late Rafik Hariri, Nabih Berri, and Elias Hrawi) of Lebanon from 1993 to 2003 are not to the advantage of the people: It is an oligarchic mechanism for splitting the spoils of the treasury among the political leaders of five basic castes.

Practically, in this Lebanon caste system, even a strong President with sufficient backing in the Parliament is bound to get immersed in troika ruling of the State for the economy to move forward and important laws to be passed.

The difference between a weak President with no substantial deputy backing and a strong President is a matter of quantitative advantages but no qualitative jump for long lasting security and stability.

The main qualitative advantage of a strong President is to using the Presidential pulpit to politically educating the citizens with frankness, facts and firm stands for what is right and honorable. General Aoun has proven to have the qualifications of a strong qualitative President.

People justify our recurring political instabilities to the complex trades among the leaders and castes for prime offices.  Our system is not that complicated at all: it is plainly pretty simple and lazy. If we try permutations to the prime offices among the castes then we may applaud our boldness to experiment with fairness and confidence as a people.

Maybe before Lebanon experiment with an alternative political system that is more in affinity with Western democracies let us try a few permutations on our current system. Let the Presidency be the honorific position of Caliphate in permutation among the Koraichi Sunny, the Abbasi Chiite and Wahhabi Khawariji and then let the Christian castes experiment with the functions of Prime Minister in permutation among their castes.

We might be lacking political rationality after recognizing that our caste system is not functional and still persist in our short-shortsightedness for lack of courage to change and experiment for a working alternative.

At least, if we were a vital people we would have applied the trial and error method; whatever errors might results from our endeavors it wouldn’t be as nefarious as the calamities befalling us since our Independence in 1943.

Note:  The army general for operation, Francois Hajj, was assassinated in B3abda.  General Hajj was the strongest candidate to replace Michel Suleiman as head of the army in case general Suleiman was selected for president to the Republic.  Deputy Michel Aoun warned that this assassination might be covered up by the government as the dozen other assassinations.

We have two major vacancies to fill for important offices now and it appears that our political and security situation is exacerbated and our holidays are shot.




June 2023

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