Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘town of Ersal

News from Lebanon this week:

No different from boring California weather.

Actually, Lebanon “enjoys” 7 months of completely dry weather from May to October.

Politically,this week was pretty awful

This week in Lebanon:

1. We engaged in a small war on terrorism in the town of Ersal, which was occupied by ISIS advancing from the Syrian mountains (and the Lebanese army won),

Actually, the “Syrian insurgents” were allowed to vacate the town after killing dozens of citizens and soldiers and taking hostage over 40 soldiers with them.

What kind of negotiations are being undertaken and by whom to release the soldiers is a taboo story and we are in total darkness for how long the kidnapped soldiers will be held.

2. Still “No selection by Parliament for a President to the republic” and this immature and futile process has been dragging on for 2 months

3. No new election law that this Parliament promised in exchange for extending its tenure 2 more years against citizens refusal.

4. No resolution for the Syrian refugee crisis increasing steadily and representing 40% of Lebanon “approximate” population

 

Continue reading the remaing most boring though important stuff

1. Armed “Vigilantes” Break into Syrian Homes

(Image via Lebanese Forces)

Gunmen belonging to the Amal party were spotted breaking into Syrian homes in Msaytbeh and Mar Elias in broad daylight this week.

The gunmen, acting as self-dubbed vigilantes, are allegedly aiming to “help” the Lebanese Armed Forces by seeking out “terrorists”… their own way.

2. Saad Hariri Returns to Lebanon in Surprise Visit

After being in self-imposed exile for 3 years, Saad Hariri returned to Lebanon on Friday. The former prime minister told the press that he’ll be looking over the $1 billion in Saudi aid to the Lebanese army, and as for his personal safety, Hariri said: “May Allah protect everyone”.

Actually, Saad came to make sure if any Parliamentary election will be due this November, and if the answer was positive to spend the billion on his election campaign.

(Saad stayed less than 3 days in Beirut and returned to Jedda, and we never heard of him again, or his new location).

Apparently, the deputies have decided to extend their tenure another 2 more years, doubling the constitutional 4-year term.

As for the other $3 billion Saudi aid that the French were supposed to arm the army with, it totally evaporated into thin air and in many deep pockets: The army was horribly short on basic ammunition during the siege of Ersal.

3. Education Minister: Everyone To Pass Final Exams

(Image via Annahar)

The Lebanese education system has finally hit rock bottom. The last time the government let everyone pass their final exams was during the civil war that started in April 1975 and ravaged Lebanon till 1991.

But Education Minister Elias Bou Saab says he will let all students who took the exam receive a certificate.

The minister said his decision came after the UCC’s continued boycott to grade the exams until Parliament passes a new salary scale for teachers.

Bou Saab said he would suspend his decision for 48 hours upon the request of UCC representatives.

This massive 100% success rate of “Graduating” students from high schools will still sit for entrance exams in most public and private universities.

Note that the minister is one of the promotions who “passed” without exam correction in 1985?

4. ISIS Expelled From Arsal

(Image via Annahar)

After five worrisome days of joint military actions that involved the LAF and Hezbollah, Arsal is free of ISIS terror.

The damages left however are remarkable, and need immediate attention by the government.

Many Syrian refugees have been ordered to leave Lebanon putting in question what actually happened in Arsal, and why.

5. Syria Rejects Return of 1,700 Refugees from Lebanon

(Image via Annahar)

In a somewhat ironic development, after the Lebanese government decided to ship back 1,700 refugees to Syria, Syria rejected their passage through the border due to suspected ties between the refugees and the Resistance.

A billionaire refugee in France: Saad Hariri lands in Beirut with one $billion in his suitcase

Officially, the one $billion that the Saudi monarch gave to Lebanon is 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 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”.

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

A few months ago, Saudi Arabia 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 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.

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 d israel .

Le Liban entre désormais dans le club des pays frappés par la malédiction du sous-sol. (Huge reserves of gas known and confirmed since 2000)

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 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…
 
‎بهاء الحريري يخرج عن صمته ويفضح أخوه سعد الحريري و آل سعود<br />
ماذا يقول بهاء الدين الحريري عن شقيقه سعد : سرق الزعامة بعد أن هدّدنا بندر بن سلطان وليد جنبلاط وعد أخي بامداده بالمقاتلين ….فجعت أنا وكل من كان قريبا مثل مهيب عيتاني والصديق الصدوق للعائلة الفضل شلق بتصرفات أخي …أخي صار مجرد صورة لابن رفيق الحريري اما القرارات فيتخذها ثلاثة بندر وتركي الفيصل وشقيقه الخبيث… لن أعود الى بيروت لأنّ أخي سيحرق بيروت لانه يستمع للعملاء لاللعقلاء … السنيورة يضحك عليه بكلماته المعسولة .<br />
أخي طيب القلب لكنه طمّاع وغبي غبي في السياسة كما كان غبياً في الرياضات …لقد طرد نازك أرملة المرحوم أبي بعد أن فهمت الرسالة التي أرسلها لها ولبناتها من خلال ال…حسن صبرا وبشكل مهين عبر صفحات المجلة الصفراء ” الشراع ” التي تهجّمت عليها وعلى بناتها ونسب اليها ما لا يعتبر الا خيانة للمرحوم رفيق الحريري واهانة لذكراه.لقد تركناه يسرق الزعامة بعد أن هدّدنا بندر بن سلطان بأنه وحلفائه الاسرائيليين والأميركيين لن يؤمنّوا للعائلة ولأموالها الحماية ان لم نوافق على اعطاء الزعامة لأخي سعد.كانت تلك المّرة الأولى التي أسمع فيها شيئاً ايجابياً عن اسرائيل في بيتنا.‎

بهاء الحريري يخرج عن صمته ويفضح أخوه سعد الحريري و آل سعود
ماذا يقول بهاء الدين الحريري عن شقيقه سعد : سرق الزعامة بعد أن هدّدنا بندر بن سلطان وليد جنبلاط وعد أخي بامداده بالمقاتلين ….فجعت أنا وكل من كان قريبا مثل مهيب عيتاني والصديق الصدوق للعائلة الفضل شلق بتصرفات أخي …أخي صار مجرد صورة لابن رفيق الحريري اما القرارات فيتخذها ثلاثة بندر وتركي الفيصل وشقيقه الخبيث… لن أعود الى بيروت لأنّ أخي سيحرق بيروت لانه يستمع للعملاء لاللعقلاء … السنيورة يضحك عليه بكلماته المعسولة .
أخي طيب القلب لكنه طمّاع وغبي غبي في السياسة كما كان غبياً في الرياضات …لقد طرد نازك أرملة المرحوم أبي بعد أن فهمت الرسالة التي أرسلها لها ولبناتها من خلال ال…حسن صبرا وبشكل مهين عبر صفحات المجلة الصفراء ” الشراع ” التي تهجّمت عليها وعلى بناتها ونسب اليها ما لا يعتبر الا خيانة للمرحوم رفيق الحريري واهانة لذكراه.لقد تركناه يسرق الزعامة بعد أن هدّدنا بندر بن سلطان بأنه وحلفائه الاسرائيليين والأميركيين لن يؤمنّوا للعائلة ولأموالها الحماية ان لم نوافق على اعطاء الزعامة لأخي سعد.كانت تلك المّرة الأولى التي أسمع فيها شيئاً ايجابياً عن اسرائيل في بيتنا.

Complicating the Class-Divide: New Contractor Bourgeoisie in Lebanon Politics: Rafik Hariri clan, Najib Mikati, Muhammad Safadi, and Issam Fares…

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 moslem Sunnis preferred to migrate to the new Arab Gulf Emirates and Saudi Arabia. A third of Lebanon work force migrated there within a decade: from 50,000 in 1970 to over 210,000 in 1980. Those 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 Moslem 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 Moslems, 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 clientelists 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 Moslems like Lebanese Moslem Brotherhood, the extremist jihaddist wahhabi, the A7bash, 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, confronting the army.

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.


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