Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘warlords

And then Thirty and Forty-somethings got politically aware of Lebanon endemic highway robberies

And utterly infuriated with the lavish events (marriage of the militia/mafia politicians‘ family members) that broke all record in wealth dilapidation.

And many were even civil servants and ministers who were totally broke before they were appointed a year before.

This anomie political structure where every deputy for the last 30 years got his hand on a monopoly on every consumer goods, energy, financial transactions, services in communication facilities, privileges of all kinds in tax-free imports…

Hanane Kai posted on Fb. November 5 at 10:22 PM

I grew up not having any political opinion, not even having any political literacy.

Talking about politics was almost a taboo in my family, and the level of corruption in the political class disgusted me that I wasn’t even curious to learn anything about politics, forget about asking for my right.

I guess that worked quite well for the politicians… a lot of us are alienated, uninterested and disconnected –that is if we’re still in the country– and a big chunk of those remaining can be bought with a couple of hundred bucks and brainwashed in seconds.


Today, at week 3 of the revolution, I have learned about Lebanese politics more than I learned my whole life!

I have felt love for the country that I never felt!

I identified with Lebanon for the first time in my life. I have seen a level of awareness, creativity, togetherness, pro-activity, and wit that I never imagined seeing in this country.

Politicians’ games haven’t changed.

Fear-mongering, threats, accusations, stalling, stalling, and some more stalling. Nothing news… BUT we have changed, and there’s no going back! 

We are coming together in beautiful ways. It’s so threatening to them, and they are trying so hard to divide us…

They are masterminds in turning us against each other, after all, they are the same warlords that lead the civil war, so let’s not forget that.

Let’s not forget the beauty of our together, let’s not fall into their accusations.

Let’s not forget that we share the same pain.

Let’s remember how many chances we gave them, and how many times they disappointed us, and let’s not forget what we are capable of doing without them, without their support, nor their money. 

Let’s stay together! Let’s hang on a little bit more, please!

(Video taken in Martyr Square, Sunday, November 3).

Note: a few comments on that piece

  • Christine Safi Well said ! I agree with the first paragraph, growing up uninterested in politics… and hurt so many times by this country, I’ve learned to move on or I’m learning to… for some reason, i don’t feel concerned with whatever is happening… I’m choking every time i had to mention where I’m from And what’s happening … sad but true…
  • Adonis Bouhatab Wonderful. It is great that this awareness is late than never. Though i did try hard to initiate you and William to mind politics, otherwise the politicians will decide for you. As this fresh new participation is flocking to the mass upheaval, I can see changes bright at the end of the tunnel.

Participating In a Protest, sit -in, marches…?   A few Ways to Protect Yourself

Comparing Beirut’s You Stink protest to Kiev’s Orange Protests is quite alarming.

If history has taught us anything is that peaceful protests soon turn violent on both ends.

The Security Forces will not back down, and will be escalating into fatal assaults on the demonstration since the usual Arab strategy of divide and conquer has not worked yet.

Egypt’s spring has proved that warlords that have ruled for decades sometimes lose their grip on reality, and tend to muscle their way using old techniques.

Ferguson’s protest also turned violent overnight and gained international media attention, although to this day it has lacked any significant changes in the way minorities are policed.

Occupy Wall street are still without a clear victory.

There will be more bloodshed before the end.

While the ISF (Lebanon internal security forces) has been the source of much corruption, the army has been the only thing to hold this country together.

The bloody conflicts in Nahr El Bared, Arsal, and other instances have shown that the Army is the least sectarian entity. Not without their vices, I remember distinctly being beaten senselessly by the army on more than one occasion during the 2008 university “incidents”.

I came through those times solely on instinct and pure luck. A lot of my friends had the misfortune of being arrested and getting the ass-whooping of their lives.

Our only target back then was surviving the snipers from the rooftops and protecting our own, as the ISF and army were powerless to protect any civilian at the time, and took their frustration and anger out on the helpless and unarmed.

To this day I have never held a weapon in the face of any military man in uniform, Lebanese or otherwise, and I do not ever intend to.

Despite my martial arts lifestyle, I am a pacifist at heart and dedicate most of my free time to making sure people can negotiate confrontations in a non-violent manner.

In all further demonstrations, civilians are urged to bring gas masks, home made shields, wet cloths, milk, and water proof phones to document everything live.

Do NOT depend solely on Touch and Alfa communications as they have been known before to shut off 3G and 4G networks to provide cover to the corrupt governing entities. Bring alternate internet devices with you.

I believe that it is not yet time for civil disobedience, as the Lebanese people are not yet united. They do not have a cause yet. There are no martyrs yet.

This, unfortunately, will soon change. Give it a few days, and if the political parties do not tear the You Stink campaign to shreds, the ISF will. I can’t say how many martyrs will be necessary for Machnouk to give more than a statement from his vacation abroad, or how deep the rivers of blood will run for the international media to understand that this is more than a fight for garbage collection but rather a fight for control of the country.

With several political countries backed by international powers, I would not expect any change to come easily.

The last internal victory Lebanon had as a country was in 2005, but that was backed by certain political powers uniting against their common enemy at the time.

Since then, a long list of arrests, beatings, assassinations, and targeted political bankruptcy have been methodically used to target enemies of these governing entities.

I do not condone violence, neither through street protests nor open revolutions.

Nonviolent confrontations have succeeded in the past and will do so  in the future. MLK’s I Have A Dream VS the Black Panthers has proved this ideology.

You have the power of Google (if you have internet and electricity lol), use it to research self protection in these times. Gas masks are expensive, but there are home made products and methods that can me used safely and legally. Remember, safety first, both digitally and on the field.

  1. To the protest organizers: DO NOT USE THE FACEBOOK PAGE as a single point of communication with the masses. Facebook is not your friend, and a page can easily be taken down blocked or seized through legal and illegal methods.
  2. Have a united list of demands. It’s ridiculous how a garbage cleanup and demands for a minister resigning can quickly turn into an unplanned demand for cabinet resignation into a void, or even complete revolution. Stay focused. Baby steps. Bad media will jump on the chance to show divided lines.
  3. Using a website hosted in a non friendly country will retain it’s uptime to 99%.
  4. Using a domain name should have a hidden credit card, with a private domain name registration in order to avoid hacking and legal seizure of digital assets.
  5. Using emails should not be through Gmail or Hotmail. They are the easiest to track back to their source.
  6. Do not use home internet connections to upload sensitive data. Non government entities can also track them back to the source. Saving phone contacts under “Ryan Hamze – YouReek” makes it easier for ISF to track down others in case of arrest (and illegal phone searches).
  7. If you cannot physically take part of a movement, support them online. Do NOT criticize anyone during major incidents as tensions are high. Leave the constructive  criticism for later and talk with community leaders.
  8. Always give credit to photo or video takers. During the chaos people tend to forget the ethics that govern social media. It is a weed that I’ve been trying to get rid of for 5 years, and others have joined this fight too like “السلطة الخامسة “, Blog Baladi, and Lebanese Blogs. The rest think it’s just a side issue, but at this point, I digress. I’ve been trying to track down the original taker of this epic shot, but come up short. This may well represent the image of the movement/revolution/ideology in the future, so it would be nice (and ethical) not to piggy pack on an anonymous tweep.Update: photographer wishes to remain anonymous
    1. If you are a protest organizer, do not be a media hog. They will target you and arrest you while you sleep a week later. Be anonymous.
    2. If you are a protest organizer, do not use your personal email or home internet connection. You are already being monitored and documented, so your plans will be used against you when you set them inn action.
    3. Steel trays will not be of much use against bullets, but a properly modified Sobia Tray would be of use against the riot police. Straps should be tested before hand.
    4. Do not park near the main event. Assume things will turn nasty and roads will be blocked and people pursued en masse.
    5. Have an emergency point of assembly every hour on the hour. Once cell coverage is blocked (or the infrastructure breaks thank you Botrous Harb)  you will be acting blind and people who are afraid and lost tend to do stupid things.
    6. For those who have gas masks, I suggest they train on how to sling small objects (like gas grenades) back at the source since they will be in the front line of fire.
    7. Do not bring knives or guns to the protest, it will deem the protest violent instead of a peaceful one. Hell will be unleashed. This is a method used methodically by Shabiha and secret police, who run with the crowd and trick the mass psychi into violence or entrapment.
    8. If you see secret police or Shabiha or overzealous demonstrators doing something against the common good, do not be afraid to call them out. Others will still see sense through the red haze of anger and help control the situation.
    9. Containers of milk should be on standby with makeshift bases for the Lebanese Red Cross.
    10. Bring Spray paint with different colors. Marking the ground for crowd control, marking a shabiha among you, and a bunch of other legal and safe uses. Do NOT spray the police riot shields, this will hinder their vision and render you a threat.
    11. Everyone should have Superglue (Altico) with them. It might save a life once the bullets start flying.
    12. Make sure the flags do NOT have strong wooden sticks that can be used for violence in case of trouble. Also, nobody wants to see that flag on the ground so be smart.
    13. Waterproof your phones and provide shock proof casings.
    14. Don’t forget to clean up after the demonstration. Bad media can rip a cause to shreds.
    15. Try not to get arrested. It’s not a smart thing to play martyr, especially since you may get beaten up and raped by parliament security and ISF.
    16. Never take the offensive when ISF and Army are involved. They are trained men and have Shabiha among them, they will not hesitate to kill you. Defensive tactics are your only friend.
    17. Children, and the elderly should be made aware to step back in case of violence. Let the stronger individuals cover a retreat. Obviously in this case I cannot say “Women” should stay back, because honestly I’ve seen a more than a few hard headed Lebanese women take on the ISF before. Do you remember “The Tomato Revolution”?
    18. For front runners, always wear a mask or kuffyye. Even if you escape the events taking place, your family may not be so safe.
    19. Safety in numbers. Stay close to large groups, ISF will more likely pick off anyone claiming they’re Press or injured.
    20. Always run to the edge of any mass confrontation.
    21. If you are cornered, DO NOT FIGHT BACK. These men are trained their entire lives to subdue people like you. Put your arms over your head and curl into the fetal position. If you raise your arms above your heads like in Hollywood movies, you will get your head bashed in as per the Lebanese code of ethics.
    1. Self Defense only in case you are being beaten senselessly and fear for your life:
    2. Assess your assailant. Look at their hands. If they were about to attack with their hands, they would have their hands out. However, if they are concealing a weapon, they will have them hidden or at their side. If Batons are shaking then they are revving up for a coordinated assault, do NOT take head on, use defensive tactics and trays. In case of gunfire in the air, stay united in a single line. In case of gunfire directly into your ranks, do NOT run, you will only trample the people behind you, go to the sides and lay down on the floor until you are able to run freely to safety and escape arrest.
    • Go for the eyes and nose. If you have to end the fight as quickly as possible by striking first, strike hard, and strike as many times as you can, then run for help
    • Kick or grab the groin of a male attacker. Bringing a knee sharply into the groin of an attacker or grabbing the groin with your hand and twisting is an instantly effective move that will take your attacker down.
    • Go for the kneecaps. If, for example, you are being choked, or your assailant has their hands up in your face, attacking their legs will give you the opportunity to open him up to more attacks, or allow you to escape. This is especially effective on larger attackers and easy to do from your guarded position.
  9. Comparing Beirut’s You Stink protest to Kiev’s Orange Protests is quite alarming. If history has taught us anything, is that peaceful protests soon turn violent on both ends.
    The Security Forces will not back down, and will be escalating into fatal…
    ryanhamze.com

How warlords in Lebanon got filthy rich from civil war?

Let me name a few of the warlords during the civil war, and many of them are still running the country and abusing the citizens as their own chattel.

The living warlords still  controlling the State of Lebanon are:

Nabih Berry, AMAL movement of the Shiaa sect, and the Head of Parliament for 3 decades

Walid Jumblat, political leader of the Druze sect, and deputy for ever. He admitted assassination, mutilating the victims and throwing the corps in deep wells

Samir Geaja, leader of the Lebanese Forces and candidate to the Presidency. Where ever he lead his forces, the Christians ended up relocating to other districts. He served 11 years in a military prison for series of assassinations and was released on political ground.

Joanna Choukeir Hojeily shared this link showing the amount of money generated by the warring factions:

This is shocking, no wonder it was in no one’s interest to end the war.

Who would want to close down their own thriving business?

This is shocking, no wonder it was in no one's interest to end the war. Who would want to close down their own thriving business?

 

 

Civil war didn’t end yet? This time around…

This time around there will be a Victor in Lebanon civil war.  And it will be far shorter. And the warlords (still running the pseudo-State) will be exposed to trials for crimes against humanity, genocide, and transfer of citizens…and the trials will be public, documented, with eye-witnesses, equitable…and  punishment will be severe…

And we will snatch a central State, and a citizenship, and civil laws…and the 18 officially religious sects will have to relinquish their control over the citizen civil status…

Foreign powers: superpowers (mainly the US), regional powers (Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan…), and even the new comers to the scene of meddling with Lebanon internal affairs, such as the absolute Gulf Emirates…have decided to rekindle the hot embers with powerful blowers.

For a couple of months now, “placiers”, (those distributing goods to small shops and hired by monopoly merchants), have been disseminating rumors that Lebanon is going to witness a Hot Summer.

The US has already dispatched warning to its citizens to refrain from visiting Lebanon.

The Gulf “Arab” Emirates have prohibited its citizens from spending summer in Lebanon (plenty of useless and expensive villas will be empty)

Saudi Arabia is putting all its citizens in Lebanon on yellow alert to vacate in short notice…

The hot summer has started in Tripoli up north, close to the Syrian borders, and spread to the Akkar district, and the “Future Movement” of the Hariri clan used RPG and heavy weapons to secure a main artery in Beirut (Tarik Jadideh) as their exclusive fiefdom…

Most alarmingly, many sectarian parties are attacking the credibility of the army, the only institution still functioning in Lebanon and uniting all the disparate “citizens”…

It is easy to exploit and manoeuvre sectarian streets and cities in this multi-theocratic State of Lebanon…

It is equally easy for the sectarian leaders and warlords to appease these successive “guided” one day-long upheavals of burning tires, closing streets, and raising all kinds of flags, but the Lebanese flag…

Most probably, tiny Lebanon will be unable to sustain a stable central power for a significant duration…

And it is very probable that the new generation is willing to fight the good fight, just to capture the feeling of belonging to a State, of being considered citizens with equal rights and obligations, obeying to civil laws that do not discriminate on the basis of  genders, religious belief, districts, or class status…

The new generation, this time around wants:

1. To finish up the 17-year civil war that started in 1975 and didn’t end properly. They want to emerge as Victor, for a democratic and civil society

2. To establish a central State that is willing to adopt the many reforms on the table for equality under civil laws and availability of opportunities

3. To put the half-dozen main warlords to trials, the same one who recaptured the power after the first phase of the civil war in 1992, as if they were the real winners, in order to resume the archaic political/social structure that is unique to Lebanon…

You read on social platforms this slogan:

 
I will develop on the implicit and explicit meaning of this slogan and other banners in part 2.
 
For today, Lebanon needs urgently to prosecute the last phase of the unfinished civil war: Lebanon wants a Victor in order to establish a modern State.
 
For today, Lebanon needs urgently to prosecute the last phase of the unfinished civil war: After 65 years of a pseudo independence and the impossibility of regular and gradual reforms for our political/social system, there will be a definite victor, this time around, to securing a central State, engaged on the side of the people, the citizens.
 
 

Rainbow over the Levant, Chapter 10
Part 3. An army from the people and for the people

The other part of the plan to eliminate or reduce the masses of unfounded myths among religious sects was the use of the army as an educational forum to allow the population to mingle and befriend with one another.  In these times, there were no centrally organized armies.

In war-time, the warlords and prince of the provinces joined the army with their quota of men, arms and supplies. Since all drafting policies had proven to fail miserably, the government of the First Emir started instituting voluntary contracts for two years. The terms of the contract were to pay directly the family  two-thirds of the soldier’s wages, and a guarantee to train the soldier in technical skills for some job and teach him reading and writing in his mother language. Strict adherence to the contract by the army encouraged many families to enlist many of their boys in the army.

There was one hitch to that plan:  Many well to do families and religious sects with specific doctrines, which prohibited armed confrontations, refrained to participate in this national army.  After five years of the voluntary enlistment policy, a systematic national draft program was instituted with minor revolts or resentment.

A voluntary contract for enlistment of girls and women was promoted with good success, since many single women and widows had no viable alternatives for livelihood.  The regiments for women, after their basic army training, had specific and very specialized tasks in the war efforts:  mainly for espionage assignments in and outside the kingdom, administering the supply, tending to the military camp hospitals and the rehabilitation of the injured.

Noura’s Exile

By this time, Noura was three months pregnant from Antoun out-of-wedlock and the political maneuvering to displace Noura from the center of power increased.  The main argument of the detractors was that the First Emir should now seek a politically beneficial marriage to a powerful Emir that would offer higher recognition to the new kingdom and stronger legitimacy.

At first, the First Emir barely paid any attention to these innuendos, but with converging circumstances and regained zest to holding on to power the repeated suggestions for remarrying reached a critical appeal to the First Emir.

Gergis agreed to handle this diplomatic mission on condition that the First Emir, his longtime friend, would acknowledge publicly Noura’s child as his own. A diplomatic search for a wife was in full activity and trying to circumventing Noura’s intelligence sources as much as possible.  Eventually, no secret could be kept for long in this intricate and small community.

Noura loved Antoun since she knew him in his youth in Beirut but discovered that this love was not returned in the same strength and dedication. She was a fighter and would have done what ever was necessary but realized that her lover would never be content with what his power had already brought him.

Salvaging the remaining of her pride Noura faced Antoun with an ultimatum: either he wed her legitimately or she would rather go into exile away from the Levant.  Gergis realized that his endeavor would be much facilitated if he could receive Noura’s backing in his searching task.  For the benefit of the stability of the Nation they struck an agreement that all dealings would be shared with her in secrecy, a condition that at least satisfied her pride for virtually sharing in the search selection.  In the meantime, she staunchly canvassed to have her initiated programs funded for the next yearly budget.

Three criteria for the search of a wife were set by Antoun:

1. that the Emir’s province be rich,

2. that his military preparedness be inferior to his kingdom and

3. that the two States share no common borders.

Basmat, the daughter of the Emir of Aleppo from one of his Christian concubines, was at the top of the contenders. The province of the Emir Aziz of Aleppo stretched from the port of Lattakieh to the region of Jazyra eastward and the area of Diar Bakr in the North.  It shared a long border South with the Viceroy of Damascus who got very perturbed and immediately arranged for his son to marry one of Aziz’s other daughters.

Noura ended up in Florence, Italy, and never married for the duration of her exile.  Noura gave birth to a son named Jacob after her father’s and toured all the States of Italy for four years, from Naples to Milan to Venice. Gergis was frequently in contact with her and used to assign her to difficult trade missions.

There came a time when Noura needed the action and motivation that she was used to having and requested a formal diplomatic appointment from Gergis who secured the duties of Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Levant to the European courts.

Noura opened a linguistic center in Florence to train the immigrant Levantines and enjoyed her job greatly and kept traveling to France, Spain and Holland, supporting the consuls and Lebanese merchants in their trades and commerce.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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