This is your Lebanon – Episode VI

Our government is unconstitutional.

Our constitution is a joke to begin with. Don’t forget our disgusting confessional system, to which they give a fancy name: consociational “democracy”. OK.

Our prime minister has a brilliant idea: he will not accept the resignation of the HezbAllah ministers and will ask Fatfat to send his tea-serving forces to drag them from their beds to attend the cabinet meetings. At least they will be busy with that, so 11-year-old and 14-year-old kids’ lives will be spared for some time.

Our dear Fatfat’s position is unconstitutional. Bassem El-Saba’a’s resignation as minister of interior was a while back (way before the summer war), but it was not accepted; Fatfat was assigned as interim minister of interior, but el-Saba’a is still in the country, which means we have two ministers of interior, the mandate of one of them, that of the child-killer Fatfat, being illegal. Oh joy!

Our country has no foreign minister. He resigned. But anyway, what foreign policy does Lebanon have? That of Riyadh and Washington. And before that, that of Damascus. OK.

Our prime minister talks about preserving democracy. I wouldn’t mind holding a referendum about sending him to Riyadh to preach his democratic values to his masters.

Our unconstitutional government reminds us again about our duty never to forget the thief who stole $40 billion from the people. Like we ever will.

Our government is still not over the shock of HezbAllah having disrupted the Saudi royal family’s summer vacation plans. We remind the Saudi royal family that the beaches at Tel Aviv have as many, if not more half-naked women as Beirut’s beaches. Oil-free too. But might not be Zilzal-free next summer. Nevertheless, a suggestion. We can’t help but be nice. We are Phoenicians after all. One of our achievements has been the acquisition of 10 fishing boats, which now make up our navy fleet. The pride of our nation. Or something like that.

This is your Lebanon.

In other news, the Arab league has decided to end the boycott of the Palestinian people, which was imposed by it because of their democratic choice to give Hamas the mandate. I did not know the Arab league had imposed such a boycott. But I was not surprised when I found out.

And that is your Arab world.

Also see: Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V

18 responses to “This is your Lebanon – Episode VI

  1. Careful,

    An attachment to an ethnic identity is not something favourable or compatible with a leftist! Even if the Phoenicians beat the Arabs 3-0 this year. :p

  2. It was sarcasm.
    I was however almost careful in putting “our” [government, yada yada] in between quotations.., but I felt I was being too technical so I dropped it.

  3. how do you feel about Tibet and tibetans? (in the context of sociopolitical conditions?)

  4. Tibet? Afraid I don’t know much about it, except for the fact that China occupies Tibet (correct?)

  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibet,

    This is the basics. And this is a fairly good documentary on the subject http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0373389/. I ask you because its good to expand ones repertoire on human issues and in this case the context of resistence and survival. Although similar to the Palestinian plight in many aspects, the resistence takes a radically different appraoch.

    Let me know how your curiosity takes you🙂

    be happy

  6. Thanks Allo Bodhi for the links. I will check the documentary when I have the time which is sadly lacking these days.😀

    The Tibetan resistance that you refer to though is peaceful no?? I think there is debate on whether or not this method works in all cases, especially so when the occupying power is not just a colonial guest thousands of miles away but a country in the neighbourhood, like China and kind of like Israel. But given the failure of armed resistance in the Palestinian case , which must be set apart from the Lebanese case because the Palestinians are attempting to organize a resistance while living in the occupied territories, which is slightly though not fully different from the way in which the resistance in Lebanon conducted its operations especially after 1985. So it is doubly more difficult for the Palestinians to achieve liberation in this way. I have to say though that the Palestinians have also attempted to conduct unarmed struggle more on grassroots level, often simultaneously as the armed struggle, and it has, so far, been a failure… hopefully more preference would be given to unarmed struggle in the future but I don’t see how that will come about, at least in the near future??

    Thanks again.

  7. Dear Anarchorev

    You have to keep in mind that the other faction had its share of the 40 billion as well. Like I said earlier, they are both rotten with rotten history. AMAL had their share with clientalism, while Michel el Murr’s rip off via Ministry of Interior was part of that rip-off. Not to Forget Talal Irslan’s short term favoritism or Mr. Herdan’s reign over the Ministery of Labor. Hezbollah in the meantime were the balancers of power to sustain such people in power from a grassroot perspective. I am not saying 14th of March are better… but I felt to share this dimension of the story. As going a bit further, Aoun in Harb Lubnan, expressed happiness on how he engineered the Tel Zaatar operation (thereby committing himself to the slaughter of 3000 women, children, and eldars & not to forget hitting my house with 3 shells on two seperate night interval + the massacre of February… More to come…

    MFL

  8. Well Amal is irrelevant to the issue at hand, I already pointed this out in my comment on your blog. HizbAllah has been critical of Amal clientilism and they have been using Amal for their political purposes, nothing more nothing less, ditto for Amal using HezbAllah to survive, because alone it cannot survive if it moves towards the “march 14” gang.
    I find it ironic that every time someone brings up the crimes and corruption of March 14, everyone feels the need to bring up Aoun’s “past”. Not that I am saying Aoun does not have a past, but indeed let us discuss Tal el Za’atar if you will, and also why the Palestinians in Tal el Za’atar were throwing tomatoes at Arafat. Fact of the matter is, since you are taking things from a national/nationalist perspective – and you referred to HezbAllah’s “national” resistance – then Aoun’s actions would be and can be justified from a nationalist perspective, despite his alliance with the right-wing militias.
    As for the 3 shells that you are talking about, I presume you checked the source of those shells? It has been shown on more than one occasion that the Syrians were the ones actually firing those shells to turn the population against Aoun. At any rate, what are you recommending? That Aoun would not have fought the Syrians? OK, that means you approve of what Jumblatt and others did. I can see what point that got us to. I cannot believe how people make a point to bring up those “3 shells” to justify their attack on Aoun, when Aoun was trying to prevent that which happened because of collaborators, and for which more people suffered than the “victims” of those 3 shells.
    Being a “leftist” or “Marxist” does not mean you should bash all sides at all times, or interpret everything in terms of class struggle. This is something I will criticize you about for as long as you do not change your position, because your position does not take into account the realities on the ground, and shows no interest in adopting an objective view of things.The ideology you adopt is one thing, and it should not impact your perception of how things took place and why. That’s an entirely different matter.
    You should realize this and stop giving a class struggle edition to everything that happens on earth from A to Z.

  9. Ana,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Independence_Movement, highlight the Gandhian era. It offers us a model of success as compared to the Palestinian and Tibetan model of so far failure. Keep in mind that the notion of failure or success is a practical construct to assess a situation at any givent moment. So it doesnt encapsulate a progressive direction all the time, for instance, Before the English exit form india it was Failure, however, there was momentum in the direction to change that and it did.

    Likewise if we approach the tibetan or palestinian model we can try to assess it from the standpoint of “momentum towards independence”. And we can see wether our actions are contributing TO or against this notion. Does armed struggle in Palestine help this notion? Some might argue Yes, israel only understands force, look what happened with HA; some, others might argue NO, the leverage isnt in the violent response to aggression, rather, the Violence is depriving the Biased and Polarized support Israel gets AGAINST Palestine from the world.

    How do we find leverage to CHANGE this status quo? india and indeed tibet might give us a few examples

    p.S tx for the time out from lebanese POLITICS😀, my god im addicted😦

    be happy,

  10. I am sorry to inform you that you are wrong. For starters, Tel el Zaater resulted the death of 3000 civilians, and Aoun in 2001 proudly stood up and expressed happiness how he engineered it. Second, Aoun’s allies (as I mentioned earlier) are 8th of March material with dirty history that cannot be neglected, and in specific Michel el Murr. So yes, they are all business men.. . Moving on, I really find it fascinating that you keep attacking me as thinking “Nationalist” every time I attack both capitalist sides of the camp while you are encouraging two figures. For real, I bash both sides of the camps, including your beloved Aoun and Hezbollah (actually if you checked my blog, Trad Hmaidi took a radical decision at the ministry of Labor that messed up the Palestinians living in Lebanon, and we both know that Trad does not take decisions unless Majless el Shura tells him to do so. So yes, they are all business men.

    Now, you tell me not to denounce everyone, well that is funny, because the 14th March Coffee Carriers Elias Attallah’s zombie walkers did the same. This is what we call as “Real olitique”. I am a Marxist before a Leftist, and all of those blocks would take you to a vicious cycle. I remember seeing that you fluctuated in terms of support to Aoun, and personally I do not trust a person who was at one time calling Hezbollah terrorists (debate with Ziad Majed a year and a half ago) then switching sides and only focusing on his own interest. Now you tell me he has a different nice platform independent from all, take a deeper look, they all do, but that platform is their propaganda. Again, my process is emancipation from below since I see that we will remain fluctuating in circles and sectarian-feudal alliances ala interest parties. If we do not start emancipating from below then enjoy seeing the proletariat fluctuating with sect leaders or so on.

    Now the funniest part of your reply, the three shells that hit my house. You even want to defend Aoun in that aspect due to his current alliance with Hezbollah (who is thinking in Nationalistic perspective?) Yes it was Aoun who hit my building, because it was during Harb al Tahreer where Aoun and the Syrians bombed the crap out of each other. (+ in the morning Aoun came out of Baabda palace speaking that he bombed Ras Beirut and inflicting heavy casualties on the Syrian enemy… which were our houses that night with no water actually since the Water Storage of the building got bombed by your precious Aoun). BTW, Emil Lahoud voted for Aoun, doesn’t that alarm you? Doesn’t it interest you that how come Aoun and Lahoud for a whole year did not conflict with each other? I will not bash 14th of March since I already do on my blog, but the other side equally should be reflected.

    Since this is about interest and money power, so hell yes this is class struggle with the masses doped by their sectarian leaders to clash against each other while both camps do not mind seeing Lebanon buried inside the WTO, including Hezbollah if given the proper share.

    MFL

  11. I am not wrong. I am correct. Check your facts to see Mr. Arafat’s responsibility for the great majority of these deaths. In fact, at the last minute Mr. Arafat pressed an offensive against those who were surrounding the camps, and this is what resulted in the deaths; no wonder the Palestinians were swearing at Arafat. But I realise this does not fall into your revisionist history.😉

    Why are you even talking to me about Aoun’s allies? Who cares?? I am not defending Aoun. Why is it that every time someone attacks March 14 you feel the need to bash Aoun and his “dirty” alliances? Where did I claim that Aoun was taking a clean path, or that his past is clean? But that does not mean that we should accept everything in “history” that the winning side has written for us. Are you kidding me? My beloved Aoun? lol!!! That’s the most absurd thing I’ve heard in a while!!! Someone who challenges your rumour-spreading which is unsubstantiated as far as the so-called threats at AUB go (!!) is necessarily pro-Aoun? Keep it up, dude. You are actually falling down the slippery slope. No wonder you espouse the Stalinist mode of no-one-doubts-Marxism-or-he-is-a-heretic (not that Stalin was a Marxist to begin with). Anyway, before you make such accusations, I suggest that you calm the hell down and actually THINK.

    I did not ask you not to denounce everyone. Sheesh. Why do you keep putting things into my mouth? However, given that YOU are NECESSARILY FOR working WITHIN the system (the system being the state/national borders), you should realize (and this is only an advice) that you will never get anything achieved if you keep things on the rhetorical level, which you seem comfortable in continuing to do, INDEFINITELY. This is laughable. You think by arguing about Marx’s alleged debunking of anarchism you would be making a change? Get real. Go down to the streets and demand your right. Bashing Trad Hmade left right center ON PAPER changes WHAT exactly? If you’re thinking of changing the world from the comfort of your chair & the anonimity of your blog, think twice, thrice, and wake up and smell the coffee or hummus or fool.

    Haha, I did fluctuate in my views, yes. That is only normal, and that shows that I am capable of seeing the truth rather than making blanket statements for the sake of “bashing everyone” because not doing so would allegedly mean going in a viscious circle. I find it funny that you put words into my mouth; where did I say that you should support either March 8 or March 14? In fact recall that I was the one criticizing the taking of sides. However, this does not mean that one should not accept that Aoun is right in some instances, and that he is wrong in others. What you are doing is demonizing people. It’s one thing to criticize and not approve of one’s actions, it’s another to demonize them. You are doing the latter. Especially with your blanket statements that Aoun is now “March 8”. What a joke!! Your attempts at allegedly bashing both sides has made you use March 14 rhetoric with all its emphasis on the dates that you seem unable to transcend!!! It is YOU, not *I* who is into this whole dates thing. Get over it already. Sheesh. This is what I mean when I say that even Marxists in this country are parrots.

    You accuse me of adopting the nationalist perspective in defending HezbAllah, I already clarified WHY I support HezbAllah, and it has got NOTHING to do with nationalism. Don’t make me repeat myself, I’m not teaching kindergarten kids dude. Um and I did not know defending Aoun was a sin. Anyway I was not defending him to begin with. In fact, I have been and continue to be critical of Aoun’s racism against Syrians. However, I do commend him for not taking the position of March 14, who seem intent on institutionalizing their anti-Syrian racism and bigotry. Something you do not seem aware of, especially that you are drowning in a drop of water called the March 8-March 14 division. What more can I say to someone who is intent on interpreting everything as alleged class struggle, and in terms of Lebanese politics, into a March 8 vs March 14, so if Aoun is part of neither gang at the moment (since the redefinition of “March 14”) you’d still have to fit him in somewhere. Right? Yeah.

  12. Eh, to elaborate on the heroism of Arafat & gang, that you seem intent on glorifying:

    “A few days later, Damour was graced with a visit from Arafat himself. He had come to see the relatives of his martyrs. On this occasion, the press was not invited. And with good reason. For the refugees of Tel al-Za’atar had clearly not all adopted the revolutionary approach to reality embraced by the 11-year-old boy artist. They remembered that Arafat had called on their menfolk in Tel al-Za’atar to go on fighting when they were hopelessly surrounded. They recalled how Arafat had appealed to them to turn Tel al-Za’atar into ‘a Stalingrad’. And some of them had realised that their families had died because Arafat needed martyrs. So when the PLO chairman arrived, kitted out as usual in his familiar kuffihah headscarf and pistol at his hip, several women – according to Palestinian witnesses – stood by their hovels and shouted ‘traitor’ at him. Some reports said that rotten vegetables were thrown at Arafat. Mustapha had not been on hand to witness this perverse tribute to the courage of Tel al-Za’atar.”

    Fisk, Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon, p. 101-102

    “Arafat had ordered the inhabitants of Tel el-Za’atar not to surrender, knowing full well that they would be defeated. The survivors themselves later said that Arafat only wanted more martyrs to capture the attention of the world.”

    Ibid., 86

    Or need we mention the state-within-a-state that the PLO had established in Lebanon especially the south? Is that fine for the PLO to have done it because you happen to have pro-Palestinian inclinations (though the PLO one can argue was anything BUT pro-Palestinian), but not fine for HezbAllah to set up such a “state-within-a-state” that everyone, including you, seems so critical of?

    Oh yeah, another Marxist with a convenient memory.😉

  13. Ooops almost forgot, remind me why Mufti Hassan Khaled was assassinated? Not because he said “beirut al gharbiyya tuqsaf min beirut al gharbiyya” by any chance?

    Remind me why Hoss rejected the calls for investigating the whole affair and the UNESCO massacre? Oh yeah, I was saying, convenient memory.🙂

  14. Ana,

    why bother. Get involved in constructive discussion and dialogue, theres too much negativity around and dialogue is too scarce an opportunity.

    goodluck,

    bh

  15. Bodhi, you are right, but it seems that the more people turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to destructive / demonizing arguments (that are mostly non-factual at the core), the more are the people who advance them encouraged to intensify their efforts. I have been the chief advocate of distancing oneself from the petty back-and-forth debates, especially in terms of the “March 8 – March 14” debacle, but there comes a time when people simply cross all boundaries and I have no patience for such people. I am not interested in having a debate with people who advance such arguments, especially ones who do it in the name of Marxism, but at the same time I cannot let them have a field day spewing their lies, which they have heard from their parents and are passing on to their “comrades” and will pass them on to their children and on and on. My interest in debating the March 8 – March 14 issue is close to (if not beyond) nil. I am growing quite sick of this whole trend of categorization of people and even sects based on dates. Geez, some people need to do something better with their time than ponder which date each person is now part of. Pathetic, really.

  16. you know its novermber 18th,

    i made pajeja today (prounoucned payeya), it was nice (not for the shrimps😦, too bad its not the vegetarian season for me)

    Ana, from 100s if not 1000’s of hours of debating experience/torture, i can conclude that its more effective to find the fallacies on ones arguments and point them out (sometimes in creative ways) and just moving on without commiting emotionally to the debate. Hopefully theyll pick up on it and do a meaculpa assessing of their “facts” or logic or arguments and come for dialogue,

    i cant push dialogue on them, they need to be ready

    so about the pajeja, it was very good, and my roomate and his friend really liked it too. but we were missing some yoghurt, ow well, nov 18th 2007 (see dates dont have to have a negative connotation these days, even for lebanon)

    bh : )

  17. Leftist forever

    to Marxist From Lebanon
    I like many of your ideas, but i think one of the rare leftists who are still independent in this country is Ziad Majed. He is part of the so-called democratic left, that is true, but he still have the courage to defend his convictions when he is not approving official positions.
    I think we should distinguish between people who are not in line with us 100%. I respect Elias Khoury as well and I think they both keep Samir Kassir alive.
    Comradely yours
    Hana

  18. Allahma3ak ya lebnen

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