Category Archives: Organizations

A Letter to UNIFIL

Dear UNIFIL,

We are one of the peoples that some of you have previously colonized, once or more than once. Then circumstances were such that they left before it was too late. Please set your watches correctly this time.

You know that some want to limit your role to being “international policemen”. Honestly, this is a mission that does not suit you. You have crossed seas; it is not reasonable to be satisfied with such a secondary role.

Today the land and sea are in your custody. And you did well to pose the issue of what you called the regulation of the airspace. Our air cannot remain unregulated, especially that the Lebanese are spendthrifty. We hear you have extremely accurate measurement tools, so please control our breathing well.

We are actually embarrassed, but … we have some financial problems. And since your numbers will reach 15,000, we suggest that you extend your activities and administer the treasury. We have, for years, been unable to limit the expenditure or increase the income. We know that in your countries there are experts who specialize in “finance”, so if you want, we can add this clause to the “rules of engagement”. And as you will discover, we also need experts in prison administration, judiciary, education, diet, elections, etiquette, municipalities, silicon (plastic surgery), restaurants, and traffic signs. Honestly… everything. And we are ready, in return, to honour resolutions of international law, and willingly abandon sovereignty, freedom, and independence.

-Khaled Saghieh, Al-Akhbar, Monday, October 16, 2006

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WTO ATTACs

Some leftist pseudo-leftist activists have been unable to conceal their excitement about a new campaign on (well, supposedly against) WTO initiated by ATTAC. The latest development on this topic is a release/statement that outlines the goals of a campaign titled "Lebanon is not for sale". First of all, there is something unsettling in the title; the statement basically insists on the national/istic character of the campaign as opposed to its broader class nature. Second, the actual contents of the statement – I will go through this point by point to show that this campaign, and ATTAC in general, is really irrelevant when it comes to the struggle against WTO.

ATTACKING the ATTAC

Long-term goal #1: "If there’s credible evidence that Lebanon is going to suffer from joining the WTO we will work on opposing the accession."

Again this is put in vague terms; which communities and classes in Lebanon does it refer to? Is Lebanon one economic entity? And even if yes (which is not true, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt), is there any doubt that joining the WTO will result in economic imperialism? Why is there even talk about "credible evidence"?

Long-term goal #2: "If Lebanon is going to join anyway, we will try to define and act on the best terms of accession to the WTO."

Yes, that is some campaign against WTO (note that they do define their campaign in terms of opposing the WTO, i.e. "contre l'OMC"). First you doubt that the WTO will harm "Lebanon" (??) and wonder if there is any "credible evidence" on that, then you say that if it's going to happen anyway you will work on the best terms of accession (defeatism extraordinaire). Best terms? Some anti-WTO campaign indeed. Why don't you admit it, your primary aim in launching this campaign was – at best – this point (actually, you are not even passively anti-WTO. I will accuse you [yes, I will] of being actively pro-WTO), and you included the first one with the purpose of attracting activists and media attention.

Concrete (??) demand #1: "Ask for an Impact assessment before joining (Calling for a proof that we have nothing to worry about + See other countries suffering from WTO)"

Idiots. Proof that "we" (assuming again there is one economic entity in Lebanon called "we") have nothing to worry about????

Concrete (??) demands #2 to #8: (see original text)

You have all these demands and you're still waiting for "credible evidence" that joining the WTO is a bad idea? Again, IDIOTS.

Goal-attainment method #1: "Networking locally & Internationally (Link up with International movements)"

You will probably find other anti-WTO WTO groups and campaigners. Your best source of contacts will be: http://www.wto.org/

Goal-attainment methods #2 to #4: (see original text)

Blah blah blah blah blah. Are we there (in the WTO) yet?

Amnesty International: A Syrian agent

Professor As’ad Abu Khalil refers to a public statement release by Amnesty International – Lebanon about those arrested “during” the cartoon protest on February 5, which ended up in the torching of the Danish embassy. Amnesty International claims that 42 of the Syrians arrested were not at the rally! Here’s what they have to say (read the whole statement, it also talks about beatings):

Those detained included some 42 Syrian nationals who, according to information received by Amnesty International, were arrested by Lebanese police at an apartment building in Tariq Jdeide, four kilometres away from the Danish Embassy, some of them while the protests were still in progress. They were arrested, apparently, after another Syrian who resides at the same building, was arrested at the demonstration.

Walid Jumblatt and Hariri Corp. will accuse Amnesty International of being a Syrian agent.