Thursday, November 30, 2006
Seems that the bourgeoisie from outside Lebanon (as in the bourgeoisie of USA, Syria, Iran, Great Britain, and others) are determined to do a showdown against each other in Lebanon. One side in Lebanon wants to achieve the International Tribunal to investigate the murders of the political figures between 2005 - 2006 while the other set wants to overthrow the government because they think it does not represent the people.
Tomorrow's demonstration is approved by Aoun, Nasrallah, and AMAL and called it as the opening of Round One. Aoun is willing to do anything to get the Presidential Chair, Nasrallah wants a government that loosens up on his weaponry, and Berri is simply bandwagonning with Nasrallah since he dominates the majority of the Shiite Sect.
From the other side, Harriri wants the International Tribunal because he seems certain that the Tribunal will "prove" that Syria is behind the assassination and slap it in the face. Junblatt believes he can overthrow the dictatorial Baathi regime in Syria from Lebanon, and Jaajaa celebrated couple of days ago that the International Tribunal will take place whether through the Lebanese constitutional institutions or through Chapter 7 of the UN.
The funniest clown, whom personally I am over fedup from him, is President Lahoud. Lahoud, who through the Syrians, pushed through to renew his mandate, specially several MPs then "changed" opinions just couple of days of the declaration of UN resolution 1559. Damascus insisted it was "pure coincedence." I clearly remember how the army beat the crap out of us when we went down to demonstrate against Tyrannical renewal and we were accused by Lebanese officers (and few dressed in civilians with a Syrian Accent) that we were Zionist agents (interesting?). The closest rival to Lahoud then was by the way Suleiman Frangieh (interesting?). That president anyways issued an order that the public servants should boycott the governmental commands and decrees. By the way, not that I really recognize the validity of the UN resolutions, practically the only resolution I used to demand (and when I was a kid) was resolution 425. Later, he denies that he told the employees of the public sectors to do so.
It is interesting that the Public Sector is one of the most corrupt sector in Lebanon. The term 6 and 6 repeated was applied and still does in Lebanon rather by the merit system. Each sect leader has his own "followers" to give them wages. Perhaps, the only two sections, that got away from it are the recruitment of the lower rank non-civilians in the Army and Security Forces whereby exams take place. Even privatizations do not solve much if the investors are also Lebanese politicians.
Stalemate on the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial levels between both reactionary camps
Here is the interesting part. We have a stalemate between both reactionary hard-core capitalist camps.
The President is openly a Pro-Syrian representative. Those who would like to debate about it have to keep in mind it was Syria that imposed his renewal after pushing his competitors away one by one, then imposed on a nice of number of groups of MPs to vote for Lahoud and the amendment of the Constitution. (Actually this what pushed Junblatt's feudal "Progressive Socialist Party" which rotates around one Sect and Harriri's Free Market block to vote for Lahoud and afterwards Resigned as Ministers which led to the formation of another Sunni feudal leader: Omar Karami). The president of course, sadly to Sectarianism, has to be Maronite, while the Prime Minister and Chairman of the Parliament have to be Sunni and Shiite respectively.
The Executive dimension currently is dominated by the 14th of March. It was founded when 14th of March in Alliance with Hezbollah and AMAL (tells you something when I say no one is better than the other), and afterwards Hezbollah and AMAL re-activated the 8th of March block, and had Aoun integrated in it). Now, there is one dead minister and six resigned:
2 for Hezbollah
2 for AMAL
1 in between both parties
1 Pro Lahoud
(Cumulative: 5 Shiite and 1 Greek Orthodox)
The government even though lacks a whole seven ministers is still going on because they are convinced that the only salvation to this tiny country is the International Tribunal, and that is the only reason they will remain on the chair. The other excuse is not giving Bashar el-Assad the pleasure to celebrate that it was he who crushed the Seniora government through his allies. Harriri already labeled Tomorrow's demonstration as "Syrian Cooked". Yet Harriri can't do anything about it and even as far as Bush since two massive parties reflect grassroot number of supporters, who are Hezbollah and Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement, and that gives them the legitimacy to go down in a democratic form that would slap the United States. The overthrow of the government is what 8th of March is aiming. Yet, spectators are uncertain if the Aoun - Nasrallah alliance would continue afterwards since Aoun did this remarkable switch from calling Nasrallah in the US congress as Terrorist to National hero.
Legislative Level: Here things also pour currently towards the 14th of March and it is the last frontier against 8th of March. Even though the difference, with the assassination of Pierre Gemayel, between both Groups shrank to 9, 14th of March will use their number of MPs to support the Seniora government and give it all constitutional legitimacy. It has to be mentioned that the 14th of March got this difference with the support of Hezbollah and AMAL to 14th of March in Ba'abda - Alley district and two Northern Districts during elections in 2005. If, tomorrow's call of the "opposition" was a first step to demolish the Seniora Government (PM was called: Mr. Taxation during the Syrian Mandate) and eventually it is successful, then the legislative level would be used to withdraw confidence from any 8th of March block. This is why Aoun - Nasrallah alliance demand that there should be a "National Unity Government" because the end result, the MPs will withdraw confidence from the 8th of March government at the first chance they got. It is also interesting to mention that when the government first was formed, Aoun refuted to share in it and now he demands for one.
Last but not least, the Chairman of the Parliament, Nabih Berri is the head of AMAL movement, who previously in the past stopped the progress of the Parliament whenever Anti-Syrian factions attacked him and his allies. He simply left the meeting. He was elected by the coalition of his Party and his ally Hezbollah and 14th of March, who claimed they wanted to abolish bureaucratic corruption, so they elected him and hence he is a Chair for almost two decades.
He can be an effective tool against the legislative level to hinder meetings.
The Declaration For Tomorrow's Demonstration
The invitation to tomorrow's demonstration was announced on TVs on 10:45. It demanded people from all sects to go down to the streets and to raise only the Lebanese Flag. Nasrallah in two hours is expected to speak on TV about it. They informed the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defence (as any protocol of demonstration requires to be done), only difference our demonstrations used to be welcomed by 2nd Bureau during Syrian Mandate, and the ones bashing us were speaking either with a Lebanese of Syrian Accent).
Meanwhile 14th of March Accuses this Demonstration as Syrian Revolution
Specially with the Arrival of 200 Fatah Intifada militants to camps claiming that they are Fatah and attempted to take over. The refugee camps, ever since the Cairo Agreement in 1969, have been base supporters to Fatah. Fatah command in S. Lebanon said that the leader of Fatah Intifada in Lebanon Shakir el Issa has frozen his membership . This ironically does not take the priority of Aoun's platform like he used to yell from his five star balcony in Paris. Now, Harriri Jr. is doing it from his five star palace in Qraytim.
Moving on, such an incident and the timing of the demonstration has led 14th of March to accuse 8th of March that they are being Syrian puppies. Bush has been warning his buddies 14th of March that there is a coup. 8th of March has been insisting it will be a peaceful demonstration, and whatever follows would be also peaceful and within the law.
No Capitalist reactionaries and Sect Leaders!
Both Camps (not to forget the reactionaries outside the two camps) are power-greedy politicians.
None are better than the other as their history would reflect their corrupted practices (Aoun included).
A chapter of Chaos and Turmoil are about to open unless both camps agree on dividing the Juicy cake in a more suitable and "satisfactory matter".
No Bourgeoisie outside the borders called Lebanon who are doing a show down in Lebanon to also get a better deal on the international level.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
"We want to avoid discord. My presence here [in the government], and that of many others will prevent discord and civil war because even if there is war ... in the end, we will have to sit back together" to settle disputes with dialogue, he said.
"I still have hope, and continue to seek that there will be no street protests," he said. "We are constantly working to prevent the outbreak of any clashes. My presence in office is to prevent strife and to prevent civil war," Siniora said.
For the first statement, these are the following conclusions
1) Seniora wants to remain as a Prime Minister no matter what happens.
2) Seniora wants to prevent a civil, and best way is to remain as Prime Minister
3) Seniora is optimistic that where will be no civil war, but hinted that there is a civil war coming towards Lebanon (?), and even if that happens, he is remaining as PM because it is his "job" to prevent a civil war"
4) He wants to save the country from Regional War (ie the US-Saudi Axis Versus the Syrian - Iranian Axis), but he has been mentioned to have support from Bush Jr. and Bolton, as well as the whole EU.
5) He seriously thinks that his presence in the office will prevent a civil war
6) He seems certain that none of the capitalist blocks are going to back out but is certain that the Shiite ministers are coming back.
7) Seniora is optimistic that a dialogue would solve everything, even if a civil war breaks, even though none of the opposing factions would step down (!?)
8) Seniora opposes foreign intervention but he asked the King of Jordan to bring forth the topic of Lebanon and discuss "issues that interest Lebanon."
9) Seniora's boss, Sa'ad el Harriri, is willing to give the allies of Hezbollah more representative power but below the 1/3 plus in order to demolish the veto power but expects everything will be fine.
10) Seniora's ally, Samir Jaajaa, stated two day ago that if the International Tribunal does not pass via the Lebanese Side, worst case it will pass through the UN Section 7, but again Seniora does not want regional power.
Theme: I just found those points controversial, not that I oppose Seniora alone, I oppose both reactionary camps, 8th and 14th of March, but all these businessmen will not pull backwards on their pressure on each other unless a nice piece-cake sharing formula is fully proposed. Even when Seniora goes out of power, the ones to follow will also demand on the revolutionaries to go and demonstrate against them. Bottom line is: The Proletariat got no one but themselves to unify.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
The four debating topics are as follows:
1-The International Tribunal
2- The Presidential Chair
3- The Arms of Hezbollah
4- The Assassinations
The International Tribunal after one year of clashes between the 8th of March (FPM included) and 14th of March blocks have reached critical stages. After different clashes between the 6 Pro-Syrian factions and the rest of the Anti-Syrian Faction, with a lot of "National Dialogues" that are usually compared to a Poker round table with greedy business men dissecting the profits of the nations (with no results) and threats/departures of the Pro-Syrian ministers, the Seniora Government without seven ministers (taking into consideration the assassination of Pierre Gemayel) decided to go through with the vote of accepting the International Tribunal (with the case of Pierre Gemayel in it).
The 14th of March block have regarded the International Tribunal as the key to their problems because they think once Syria is proved as guilty, the 8th of March Block will lose its support among its masses. Sabaa returned as Minister of Interior (after resigning for failure to avoid the assassination of MP Jubran Tuieni) to vote on this controversial decision.
Seniora today asked the six resigned ministers (5 Shiites and 1 Greek Orthodox) to return to the government on the condition that they will postpone the session regarding the International Tribunal. This deal was rejected by Hezbollah and AMAL (close allies to the power-greedy Presidential Chair Aoun) and prefered democratic demonstrations to reveal the true representation of their factions' support within the nation. Capitalists and Business men hoped that this would bring the two factions closer to a national unity. Those are the business men outside the two camps of course.
Meanwhile, the most controversial pull-out from the International Tribunal are the Syrians who parked inside Lebanon for 30 years, while the assassination of Rafiq el Harriri took place during their "mandate" over Lebanon. For now, it is the only country to refute even tackling that issue.
Round Two of Clashes
Despite the Syrian puppy, President Lahoud, objecting to the fact that this urgent session and the whole government is unconstitutional, the only person quoted him was the clown We'am Wahhab. The Governmental Decree if passed voted Parliament does not need the signature of Lahoud. Best thing the President can do, if he refutes the Decree, is delay the application of the decision for 15 days, then the Decree would become legitimate without his signature.
Now where Round 2 stands? The Chairman of the Parliament is no one else but the famous Nabih Berri of AMAL movement (ironically voted by 14th of March last year). Berri may need to support his block by omitting the vote on the agenda or not calling for a Parliamentary meeting to vote on the International Tribunal.
The 14th of March say they are legitimate because they got the support of the majority inside the Parliament. Truth of the matter is that the alliance with Hezbollah and AMAL last year got them the majority of the Parliament in face of Aoun’s faction.
The threatening part of the whole scenario is the case of Berri declining to call upon the Parliament, and the whole situation would explode if the International Tribunal is adopted in the United Nations through Section 7. Bolton already expressed infinite support to the Seniora Government, while Tony Blair, Merkel, and Rice expressed similar opinions. Bush already called Seniora to express “his condolences” while the cowboy President also called Amin Gemayel twice, two days go, to express again his “condolences”.
If the International Tribunal is passed through Section 7, then we might seriously heading for fist to fist fighting among the different factions. Meanwhile, the unholy alliance between Nasrallah and Aoun declared that despite the sad assassination of Pierre Gemayel, they are still willing to go down to the streets to democratically pull away the government. 8th of March faction has accused Seniora government to make use of the assassination and to link it to other issues. 14th of March argue that Pierre Gemayel was assassinated because of the International Tribunal. Both factions are puppies to outside bourgeoisie.
MFL notes: While thinking of where to start with chaotic mess Lebanon currently is. I found this remarkable article and chose it because it gave a Marxist analysis of the situation of Lebanon, specially after the assassination of Pierre Gemayel. As always, the veteran ever-struggling Marxist, Dr. Fawwaz Traboulsi, is always providing a detailed analysis of the situation regarding the Proletariat inside Lebanon. This article tends to tackle the problem of Lebanon's bourgeoisie in relations to greed and external relations. It took me 3 hours to translate it, but I felt I have to translate this article and place it on my blog. I am sure the readers will enjoy this analysis. It is taken from here.
“The Tribes whose members shed the blood of each other due to sectarian differences deserve to submit to rule of a foreign nation on order to protect a faction from the bloodshed of the others.” (Youssif Baik Karam to Prince Abdul Qaddir, the Algerian, 1867).
Whoever watches the leaders of the sects giving speeches on the topic independence cannot help but smile even though such a smile is self-pity, on the “selves” who believe those leaders and elect them.
It is as if there is no connection to be mentioned between Independence - or in other words its independence – and the sectarian system which generates the most prominent elements for follow-ship in Lebanese life.
Ever since Yousif Baik Karam discovered the golden rule on the relationship of sects and external following, we have been exercising this disgusting sport, whereby each sect requests aid from the outside when aware of a potential danger, to block a marginalizing attempt, or simply to preserve its victorious location in power/wealth. It Is always the phenomenon of requesting help from the outside on the expense of internal dialogues or providing concessions to the internal opponents. This tends to ignite civil clashes/wars which in their own way become occasions for opportunities of more foreign interventions.
We have to admit also that the Lebanese have sought for the request of aid, or weaponry, and occasionally both together in order to impose themselves on the political (and economic as well as social) system which is isolated and alienating. This system refutes to distinguish the essence of belonging, rights, and what ought to be. We can even say that the Political and Social promotion of the larger sections of the Lebanese groups is accomplished when this promotion imposes itself through violence and the quest of help from the outside on the monopolists of power and money. Hence, we can look at the bloody crisis of 1958 as it was means whereby the Sunni (and Durzi to some extent) elites expressed themselves in terms of participation in political life. This perspective can be used also on the latest civil war (1975-1990) which was the means which the Shiite elites arrived into participating and accomplished change of balance between the Muslims and Christians in positions of political authority.
From the other hand, not once the Lebanese independence was isolated from a trio network which Lebanon lives through since the colonial partition of the year 1920. On the historical corners, two concerned regional parties reach a certain understanding, usually through mediating from an international third party. This reflects as compromise on the Lebanese, or vice versa, completes the elements of compromise internally. This brings a regional agreement and an international arrangement to complete and implement it. In 1943, there was an agreement between Nahhas Basha’s Egypt and Britain which sought to kick out France from the colonial equation in the region, and the Syrian National Movement which gave priority for the independence of the two countries (MFL: Syria – Lebanon) rather the unity between them. In this context, there was a settlement between Independent Lebanon and Independent Syria as well as between Bishara al-Khoury and Riyad el –Solh (MFL note: el-Khoury represented the Maronites in Specific & Christians in General, el-Solh represented the Muslims in General & the Sunnis in Specific) which such an agreement became known as the “National Pact”. Likewise in 1958, the compromise was between the United States and the United Arab Republic (Egypt & Syria) which ended the civil war and chose the head of the army Fouad Chehab president of Lebanon. This compromise also renewed the Lebanese identity and the National Pact at the same time. It is only when the means of compromise are disabled between the regional and international parties, just as was the case in 1973 war, the internal parties fail to reach a compromise among each other. This is case because the internal leaders remained on relying on the outside to serve their affairs and problems or for speculating that this team or that’s external sponsor is heading towards victory in the present forces on an regional or international scale. Hence, this scenario creates an explosion.
I will not stop a lot on the comparisons of the Lebanese independences which all can be described as “absolute.” In a world where the Russian Union lived, with all its nuclear shields, economic wealth, and its industrial – scientific - labor energies, has been struggling to achieve independence in the face of Imperialist America, there were in Lebanon who did not want absolute independence as an alternative. This leads to an economy (MFL notes: in Lebanon), which relies on exported labor and the reliance on all sorts of imports, a nation buried with debts, and sects that remain mortgaging themselves to the outside forces. This of course does not mean to forget about the size of the country or the number of its population (these two points are not limited to capability or value).
But, let us return to the question of independence by looking on the regional and international status.
Washington is receiving blows in a stormy sea manner through its bloody invasion of Iraq, and is passing through a stage of changing its foreign policies towards the region, specially after the latest electoral defeat of the Republicans. Washington is standing on alternatives that are open to dead ends and are ranging from the drums of war against the Iranian nuclear facilities and play a special role in Iraq (that will facilitate the withdrawal of the US forces from trouble). From the other side, there is a complex American – Syrian dance which fluctuates between encouraging Syria to play a “positive” role in Iraq and accusing Syria with Terrorism and waving in its face the International Tribunal.
Doesn’t this call for the declaration of truce between the various Lebanese teams as an alternative to escalations and illusions of victories?
In a situation that has all these mixtures, which were unseen by the region for some years, and it is expected to last (even for some time), shouldn’t this small dear wounded nation to sail carefully between these colliding waves? Isn’t it the gravest error of the Lebanese players to imagine that there are two camps (in Lebanon), which are: American – Israeli and Syrian – Iranian, and it is obligatory to join this camp or that while all they can control are their internal situation? Unless we are prone to believe that alienating problems, at the 14th block, is the declaration of bankruptcy from imagining any solution to solve this country’s problems.
Till now, we lost twice the battle for independence, or to be exact, we lost two battles for independence in the same year (and still going). The leaders of the 2005 independence against “Syrian Presence” have forgotten there is an Israeli enemy and didn’t notice that it reflects the strength of the United States empire after 9/11. As for the leaders of the May 2000 independence and July 2006 from resisting the Israeli aggression and liberation, did not succeed in convincing the rest of the Lebanese about their independence from Syria in their context of “friendship”. The invitation towards a national unity government has been deactivated by both teams because there are dictations of the by the external sponsor towards the other team. It is as if confirming that the external dictations are a destined fate on Lebanese politics while the Lebanese politicians “have their bodies made of diamonds” can’t accept the dictations of this team or that.
Failure in both cases is the discovery that the independence is “assembled”, nothing more.
I would love to see the martyrdom of Pierre Gemayel due to this dual inability to discover the need for such assembled independence.
“When nations change, preserve your head.”
This is not a wise proverb reflecting a small harsh wounded country; it is the peak of wisdom.
Lebanon couldn’t preserve the head of Pierre Gemayel, will the martyrdom of Pierre Gemayel assist in preserveing Lebanon’s head?
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Even though the prayer is scheduled at 1:00. 14th of March forces and supporters gathered up. There is a huge line up at Martyr's Square (known also as called by 14th of March os Independence Square.
Yesterday, the invitation on TV towards Pierre Gemayel's funeral was called: "Invitation to Pierre Gemayel's Wedding". All yesterday and today, the coffin had rice thrown to it just as a wedding couple is passing. Wherever the coffin passes, people would clap and whistle (even though with tears) as if people celebrating the assassinated one rather mourning (well mentally they are mourning). Such a Funeral celebration has started with the assassination of Samir Qassir last year to celebrate that the assassinated one's ideas are alive (or the assassinated one is still alive). I was at Samir Qassir and George Hawwi's funerals, personally the only thing that touched me was the clapping and whistling towards the coffin. Another part of the celebration is that the carriers of the coffin would shake the coffin up and down to make it dance, again a symbol to make even the dead dance and celebrate at their own event to which over a million gathered. This is an attempted move to deny the pleasure of the assassins to celebrate their Joy on the tears of the others.
The Oath of Jubran Tueini has been repeated, which says:
"We swear by God the Almighty
To Stand United
Christians and Muslims
In Defence of Great Lebanon"
There is traffic jam in the Dora area, while the coffin of Pierre Gemayel is moving from Bekfaya to Down Town Maronite Christian Church St. Georges (There is also a Greek Orthodox Church over there called St. George).
One of the demonstrators raises a picture of Aoun and under it written: "Who split the lines?"
The Ba'abda Presidential Palace has tripled its security. Lahoud seems worried today (I wonder why?)
Expected participation today is 1.5 million and more than 14th of March itself just as transportations from all over Lebanon have been secured through buses.
The flags raised in today's funeral march/demonstration are the Lebanese and the Phalange Cedar, Future Youth flag, PSP flags, Lebanese Flags, Ahhrar Flags (Shamoun's Party).
Other supporters are raising banners called "The Truth" (that were used extensively in 14th of March demonstration). Others are wearing the ribbons of the color of their Party, such as Blue for Future Movement of Al-Harriri.
Again, it is remarkable how in these demonstrations, interesting logos rise such as:
"We are hostages to Iran, Syria, and Israel"
"Enough To the Assassinations of Syrian Regime"
"Weaponry to one legitimate Army"
Pics. of al-Harriri, Pierre and Bashir Gemayel (whether alone or with their families).
The coverage of the Demonstration has been well prepared for on TV with as always perfect sound system.
Politicians are expected to deliver their speeches.
Israeli airplanes crossed borders again (for the Zillionth time) and flew over Tyre (Sour): Wonder why? Self-Protection again?
Omro Moussa is in St. George Church. Omro Moussa is the Chairman of the Arab League.
Ambassadors of Egypt, France, Saudi Arabia and others are in St. George as well.
Other than 14th of March figures participating in the funeral, the wife of Nabih Berri, Randa Berri, is in Church as well.
Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement are also participating in the funeral/wedding. The Media Section of FPM declared they are participating but they are not wearing anything of their party's symbols because they want to avoid any clashes with other parties. Actually Aoun is in a sticky situation and it showed yesterday on NBN interview how calm he was rather going Bezerk as always.Pederson (forgot how spelled: Kofi Annan's Delegate) is in St. George's Church as well.
Pierre Gemayel's family arrives and is welcomed by rice and roses.
Chairmain of the MP and head of AMAL Movement, Nabih Berri arrived and was shoved by demonstrators. Actually the security forces had their hands busy as people shoved Nabih Berrim, attempts to hit him, and kept booing him as traitor.
Update:The Two coffins of Pierre Gemayel and his escort Samir Shartouni arrive to Church amidst huge clapping.
All the figures of 14th of March are down and religious representatives whether Muslim/Christian (including Greek Orthodox's Archbishop Aowdi)
Seniora (Prime Minister) and Berri are standing in Front.
Behind them are Jaajaa (Lebanese Forces) Saad Harriri (Future) and Walid Junblatt and their wives are behind them as well as Boutros Harb (14th of March MP).
Controversy: Amin Gemyal arrives to the Church (1:17) and hugs Mousa, Seniora, but by-passes Nabih Berri (who is standing between them) as if he is not present. Then he hugs Jaajaa, Harb, Junblatt, and Harriri but still by-passes Berri as if not present. (Not sure if he did again, but this is what I have seen on TV for now). (My analysis, Berri in the past has been one a heck of a fluctuating figure during the Civil War. His movement and Hezbollah clashed several times in the war and it was the Syrians who saved him even though he flirted with US diplomats. Moreover, Berri lost most of his movement's grass roots to Hezbollah, specially after Nasrallah pioneered. Actually in the latest Municipality where AMAL and Hezbollah are present, Hezbollah sweeped through Berri since they competed for the Shiite power. Yet Nasrallah overwhelmed Berri as Nasrallah's party got cleaner reputation than Bureaucratic AMAL..Berri remained a Syrian Loyalist and was "attempting" to do a national dialogue which was doomed from the beginning as both camps refuted to accept the other).
TVs say that Amin Gemayel, Harriri, Junblatt, and Jaajaa are expected to speak after the Funeral/Wedding is over.
The Funeral Ceremonies are headed by Archbishop of the Maronites Nasrallah Sfeir and Archbishop Aowdi is participating in the prayers.
Philippe Douste-Blazy is representing Chirac in the funeral.
Bishop Boulos (Peter in English) Mattar interrupts to announce that Prime Minister Seniora told him that the Security Council met and agreed to include the assassination of Pierre Gemayel with the other assassinations as a case in the International Tribunal.
Prior to the assassination, a propaganda directed by 14th of March raised all the pictures of the assassinated ones and the survivors of the assassinations.
Media news ranged presence between 350,000 to 800,000
Amin Gemayel's media office said that Amin Gemayel and Nabih Berri said hello to each other just prior entering the Church.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
"Imagine Wi'am Wahab, Assem Kanso, Nasser Kandil, Sleiman Franjieh, Talal Arslan, Mohamad Fnesh as your new ministers, Salim Hos as your prime minister and Michel Aoun as your President!
Participate Tomorrow and they will stay home!"
Well my comments would be brief... for straters, Mohamad Fnesh is part of the Hezbollah Faction... and 14th of March want him back as a minister actually all yesterday the Shiite ministers were called upon to return for the sake of "national unity".
Assem Kanso is currently President of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party. His Party dominated for over a decade the Ministry of Labor. The scarier than Kanso is the return of Assad Herdan as Minister of Labor as corruption peaked and his party got almost zero control on him due to his connection with the Syrian Baath.
Talal Irslain is actually a prince who barely controls druze as Junblatt does. Their competition dates back over a century and they are bot feudal lords. Oh yeah, Irslain used to be a Syrian Loyalist and a minister of state (Syrian Blessing) just as Junblatt was... but Irslan iritates me more. He is currently in Aoun's faction.
Nasser Andil and We'am Wahhab are the ultimate two irritators (along with the 3rd Elias Attallah). These two nagged about Syrian purity of relationships regarding the Baath and used to debate that lebanon was 100% free. Nasser Andil was an MP who made it via Harriri's list. None of them really have a party. We'am Wahhab is promoted by Syrian TV as a national hero. Our fellow Syrian Proletariat are being bluffed by him. He is a mere nobody. Actually he was a minister for a short while during Karami's short lived government. His role actually to speak vulgarly whereby none of the traditional parties would speak (except for Sulieman Frangieh).
Sulieman Frangieh is a vegamond and an ally of Aoun as well. Frangieh also pushed by the Syrians against the other reactionary, Elias Murr, to become Minister of Interior, in his hometown Zgharta, they were celebrating with AK47s and Mag. He tends to be vulgar and yesterday was the first to say what the Baathi newspapers are saying in Syria: It was 14th of March that assassinated Pierre Gemayel to restore their grass roots or push the Christians away from Aoun. In any case, this guy is a disastor. In response to this comment, Sectarian build-up is already present and no March 14th still there. But yes Aoun did lose a lot of his grass root popularity as Ashrafieh residents smashed his pics on the ground or burnt them but not to the extent worth of assassinating Pierre. I am sure Amin Gemayel wouldn't approve of it.
My choice of all those names, it has to be Fnaish and Kanso Since Kanso would be in place of Herdain (as long as Hardain doesn't approach the ministry).
Salim el Hoss is an economist with a PHD. Problem is he was used by Syrians to oppose harriri Sr. Ironically during the Civil War in the 1980s, he and Aoun did seperate governments each claiming to be legitimate. Now the SMS puts them togather.
Anyways, my message is: no matter how many would go down, nothing is solved since the Sectarian build-up is there. One Assassination would remain to trigger this build up. So from me, the first step to solve this crisis is by making Civil Marriage Legitimate in Lebanon to bridge the different sects and weaken the intervention of religious institutions on the Proletariat who come from different sects.
"Pope Benedict called the assassination a brutal attack and urged the country's people to beware "the dark forces who are trying to destroy the country."
Very Interesting, are they with Bush's democracy campaign?! This is the link
The funnier part is Shimon Perez. He said that he is watching with interest what is happening in Lebanon. His arguement that it is Hezbollah doing all these assassinations in order to establish an Iranian regime in Lebanon. Well, if that happened. there is no difference between both regimes since one is for the Jews and the other for Shiites (not that his happening anyways).
Moreover, stupid Shimon forgets that even the democratic forces (at least publicly) reject Israel while the PM rejected all their false peace offerings as the Israelis offered them directly after the war while they maintain to breach UN 1701 resulotion.
Actually wasn't it stupid Olmert who accused France it is protecting Terrorism for insisting on the implementation of UN 1701?!
What really bugs me is that Bush dedicates a whole session on Lebanon and how the United States wants to dedicate "support" for democratic forces. I discussed it a zillion times that the more Bush and his coffee carrier Rice intervene, the more the situation worsens in Lebanon.
The aim of this post is actually to compare Bush, in the most simple manner, during the July war and now. Bush states how people are hurt due to terrorist acts in Lebanon? Well I will not list his terrorist acts through out the world. But it should be interesting how Bush did a media black out on Lebanon when 1300 civilians were killed and a million displaced during the July war while his puppy Rice was celebrating: This is for a new democratic Middle East. It is funny how they insisted that the civilians being killed by Israeli ruthless Nazi-Like manner while Bush insisted that Israel is "defending itself" and were killing only "Hezbollah". It is funny how Bush never commentated on the fact that Kofi Anan said that this war witnessed Children dying more than the militants. And now he has another chance to intervene again. I just hate that President and what is worse I hate those who are suckers for this hollywood propaganda of preaching Democracy and Human Rights and give green line for terrorism. Weren't Taliban the most democratic according to the US during the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan?
We, the Proletariat living in the borders called Lebanon, do not want the US Administration. If only the US citizens in a collective manner wake up against their governments. Indirectly, they are responsible for all of this fiasco taking place on a global level.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Who Was Pierre Gemayel
Two days from today, the showdown between 14th of March and 8th of March was supposed to take place. Today, a whole day of exchange of words between 14th of March and 8th of March(Aoun's block included) each being more "patriotic" and "lovable" to their country.
The late 34 year old Pierre Gemayel, Minister of Industry, was assassinated and hell has opened its gates in this political chaos of bi-polar camps. This has impacted Lebanon to kingdom come.
Pierre Gemayel is a "Christian" Maronite Leader, who was a third generation of controversial family. Pierre Gemayel is the grandson of the founder of the Phalange Party, whose name is Pierre Gemayel. Pierre's uncle and father were Presidents of Lebanon. Bashir Gemayel was assassinated in the middle of the Israeli Invasion once made it to President, while his father became President after the assassination of his brother. Both were labeled as Pro-US allies. To say the truth, even though I never liked the Phalange, but I am over shocked about the name of the assassinated, and moreover that pushes me to worry about the future of the nation.
Pierre Gemayel was last of the line to be assassinated among the Gemayels. He is the 6th of the Gemayel Family to be assassinated, not to forget that his grandfather was almost assassinated.
Pierre Gemayel also represented the tradition of the Maronite leaders, and he is represented the Phalange Party while mass support was directly from the Lebanese Forces. Already on Lebanese TVs reflected in the hospital how his supporters were accusing Syria and the 14th of March's arch-enemy: Aoun. Pierre Gemayel comes from a powerful ex-military organization. If the supporters tonight decide to retaliate, then tomorrow we shall witness the return of the Civil war.
The Timing of the Assassination
The late Pierre Gemayel also was assassinated in the middle of his "supporters'" area. This is also a clear message to the 14th of March that whoever is behind these assassinations, they can reach them in their Strongholds. The timing was even more dramatic. Pierre Gemayel was murdered in the middle of Press Conference by his close ally Sa'ad el Harriri (Son of Rafiq el Harriri). The timing couldn't have been better for whoever did this assassination: Harriri was accusing Syria of his father, and now he re-inforced the accusations public to aggravate worse.
Meanwhile, the assassinations have restored the grassroot support for 14th of March. Hence, now Lebanon has two over-charged camps lining up against each other, just as Hezbollah's schedule to hit demonstrations were two days from now. Everytime a 14th of March figure was assassinated, their grassroots were lined-up and charged with anger (Personally I can't blame them) and Sectarianistic line-ups would become worse. From the other side, the 8th of March (Free Patriotic Movement included) were already ready to hit the streets, so technically both camps are charged and let us hope no confrontation would take place.
To send the country in a chaotic hell, now one minister is less in the Government and this threatens the Seniora government. Clearly attempts to send this nation to turmoil has worked by assassinating the young Pierre Gemayel. Sadly people do not notice where we are heading to. In Lebanon, just as his uncle was assassinated, there were two camps: one celebrating and one crying. The nation is charged, and the masses now are more charged than ever. This assassination attempts to hinder the International Court which was a major controversial topic that increased the split.
Worse, Pierre Gemayel is another name, except for Rafiq el Harriri and attempt on Marwan Hmaidi, that were a symbolic Christian Figure. The rest were all Christians: Samir Qassir, George Hawwi, May Chidiac, Jubran Tuieni, Elias el-Murr, Bassil Fliehan... even though by-standers were standing and got killed (today reportedly by LBC two were killed). This has over-charged the Christian Street more than ever, specially with the assassination of a third generation of the Gemayels, whose histories reflect massive support by the Christian side, we will be standing at a dawn of a civil war (second threat) if 8th of March proceeds with this demonstration.
Now, the question is who stands behind those assassinations?
I am sure I will reject the stupid allegations that Sulieman Frangieh did: "14th of March were behind this assassination".
Whoever did this assassination gambled on sending nation to another turmoil Already these two days represent the mourning of the late Rene Mou'awad who paid with his life in opposing all foreign intervention inside Lebanon.
When CNN correspondent Brat Saddler was asked who was behind this assassination? He answered it can be blamed on anyone... Syrian, and Israel.
Syria would be avoiding the International Court from forming inside Lebanon with UN intervention. Israel would succeed in sending the country into a civil war in order to wound Hezbollah. The altenatives are not ending. For example, if Syria is blamed while Israel committed this assassination, then Israel played a game of the life-time. Vice-Versa, if Syria did this murder, then it would have secured its interests in keeping Lebanon in a weakened position for future interests.
As we move on:
All 14th of March pointed fingers to Syria. Different blocks agreed on accusing Syria. PSP figure Bou Fa'our, along with Neyla Mou'awad have accused Syria. Only difference he asked for all the Lebanese to be patient and calm rather draw Lebanon to a civil war.
The first to denounce this assassination were the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (Syrian not for current Syria even though Loyalty to them, but Syrian for Greater Syria). The Syrian Social Nationalist Party were the first to denounce the Crime and called it an attoricity. They were involved in Assassination of Bashir Gemayel in beating the Lebanese Communist Party during the Civil War to assasinate them. At least they demanded both sides to remain calm and warned that this assassination is attempted to split the nation to a civil war.
Now on TV Bou Fa'our and a minor 14th of March figure were interrupted as people were screaming "14th of March! Hit the Street! Walid Beik join us to the street). This is exactly the fear where tonight's escalations might trigger a civil war.
Amin Gemayel entered the hospital, father of Pierre Gemayel, the supporters yelled Pierre Gemayel is Alive within us. Amin Gemayel asked that this night is a night of prayer and people should not behave out of instinct. This saying used to be said in reference to Bashir Gemayel by the Lebanese Forces and Phalange party. Ex-President Amin Gemayel is asking everyone not to seek revenge and everyone to remain calm. Walid Junblatt is hugging Amin Gemayel. Junblatt demanded all Lebanese to be calm, but insisted that the International Court is coming to Lebanon to get all the assassins to Justice.
Walid Junblatt and AMAL movement asked all Lebanese to mourn. Now at least all factions are calming things down... Aoun is probably terrified because this would cost him his "masses". His group did not say anything yet. We heard he is doing a meeting at his "People's" house in Rabbieh.
Jaajaa demanded that President Lahoud should resign and asked the Shiite ministers to return to the Cabinet (Hezbollah and AMAL), Lahoud said that he understands how he feels with Amin Gemayel because "Pierre Gemayel is like his son" (Go figure that out since it was Pierre Gemayel asking him to resign. President Lahoud canceled his "Independence" welcoming festival of Independence.
6:43, Bolton denounces the assassination on Pierre Gemayel, he argues that democratic forces need to be protected. He considers the International Tribune is the solution. Burns labels the assassination as a terrorist act and says that the US administration would give unlimited support to the Seniora Government
6:45, ex-President Amin Gemayel is accepting condolences in St. Joseph's Hospital
7:05, Gemayel's escort, Samir Shartouni, died from wounds.
7:10 The Phalangists burnt tires and closed a bridge on Byblos protesting on the assassination, security officials scattered the demonstrators and put the fire out as well as re-opening the route to Tripoli.
7:15, Moscow Denounces Political Assasinations (which is ironic since they already got a case on it).
7:25, Seniora Government declares that there will be three days mourning (friday included).
7:25, Minister Phar'oun's Media Office in Ashrafieh declares that the ones who shot on their office ran in a white Suzuki Car.
7:25, General Aoun finally speaks: denounces the assassination on Pierre Gemayel and asks that internal conflict takes place and considers this an attempt to divide the Christians(less than 5 minutes speech)
7:32, European union, France, and Egypt denounce the assassination (most probably half of them are safe-guarding interests).
7:32, Moubarak streses that all Lebanese should go to Dialogue (which is ironic since he is an oppressor of his own people and refuted to kick out the Israeli Ambassador during the July War).
7:38, LBC reporter says that there was a car standing next to Pierre Gemayel's car, and shot at a point blank distance on Pierre while the driver of Pierre went directly to the hospital.
7:40, Seems Burial Ceremony will take place in St. George in Down Town one O'Clock
7:45, clashes between Syrian Social Nationalist Party and the Phalange in Bikfaya (historic Phalanges Stronghold). In Bikfaya, the branch of the SSNP is on Bikfaya Square (Matn). Rumours say that the SSNP and Phalange exhanged words and an SSNP shot a bullet, while the Phalange started breaking cars. The Army interverned and formulated a siege. In all cases, it is fortunate that the Lebanese Army controlled the situation because there are neighboring villages up there that are either Lebanese Forces or SSNP.
8:03, European Union, Egypt, and France denounce the assassination.
8:03, France is sending its Foreign Minister to participate in the funeral tomorrow
8:03, Moubarak advices the Lebanese to resort to dialogue rather enter an internal conflict (no need to remind Moubarak about his totalitarian regime!)
8:04, LBC reporter, Bush Administration denounces the assassination of Pierre Gemayel and considers it a terrorist act (my personal opinion that Bush is the last to speak since his record of terrorism is dozens of pages long).
8:04, European Union expresses unlimited support to Seniora as they denounce the assassination.
8:04, LBC reports Hezbollah's block send condolences to Amin Gemayel and considered that this is an attempt to trigger a civil war.
8:15, Tony Blair denounced this assassination and argues that Democracy should be protected (I think he is still celebrating "democracy" in Iraq). He also considered there was no reason for it (you don't say Mr. Blair? how about a Civil War or total Chaos?)
8:30, UN representative in Lebanon was shocked from this terrorist act and will make sure that this case is part of the International Tribunal.
8:40, LBC gives full report about all parties and ex-MPs denouncing the crime and agreed at least it was aiming to trigger a civil war
Between 9:30 - 12:00 updates
Bush has showed special interest in it as he has hopes it is Hezbollah to pitch in marginalizing them.
Kofi Annan denounced the assassination and confirmed the importance of the International Tribunal.
Syria: Considered that Lebanon's weakness is a weakness to Syria. (We can thank them for that part at least).
UN Security Council: Stressed on the importance of the International Tribunal, and confirmed that the International Tribunal has been voted on to investigate the assassination of Harriri, Pierre Gemayel is to be included within the line-up. They denounced the assassination on Pierre Gemayel and considered it that the assassination on the minister was due to the fact he was a symbolic figure in the "Cedar Revolution" (well I still call it 14th of March demonstration). Actually this was an offensive on what "Pierre Gemayel signified as political freedom".
Jordan: National Unity should be a priority
Arab League: denounced the Assassination of Pierre Gemayel
14th of March: Meantime, a whole set of meetings took place in the Phalange Branch in in Beirut, where all figures appeared. They decided to make the funeral on Thursday on 1:00.
Merkel: Expressed worries on this assassination because it is a threat to block the Lebanese to reach national unity
Personal Analysis: The Assassination of Pierre Gemayel has restored the Gemayels in the power play competition on the Christian Street between Aoun and 14th of March.
8th of March common points: The Government and officials should work as soon as possible on the investigation of Pierre Gemayel. It is important to report that the supporters of 14th of March accuse on diversified manner: Syria, Lahoud, and a small minority Aoun.
Marwan Hmaidi (first in line of these series of assassinations, but survived it): Accuses Syria directly to kill Lebanon.
AFP: Lebanon salute the confirmation of the International Tribunal
Rice: Calls PM Seniora to confirm unlimited support to 14th of March (someone tells that imperialist it is none of her business and it is her intervention causing all that chain reaction).
Amin Gemayel: Urges his supporters to remain calm again...
Let us hope Lebanon won't enter to civil war...
Dr. Sayegh's Writings:
These attacks on Arab Cities and the occupation of large numbers of Arab localities were not the work of irresponsible "terrorists" or uncontrollable "extremists". On the contrary, they were perpetual upon the instructions, and in accordance with the plans, of the official leadership of the would-be State of Israel.
a) Most of these attacks were launched by the Haganah, which was the official military arm of the Jewish Agency and the precursor of the Israeli Army.
b) Throughout the history of the Palestine Problem, there was collaboration between the terrorist organizations, such as the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern Group, and the official armed forces of the Jewish Agency, the Haganah and the Palmach, whenever the Zionist community faced a crisis or a grave challenge. The best illustration of this pattern may be found in the Zionist revolt of 1945 – 1946, waged by the "Jewish Resistance Group", which compromised the four aforementioned groups and was inspired and directed by the Jewish Agency. In an authorative document published by the British Government on the subject, its findings were summarized in the following words:
" The information which was in possession of His Majesty's Government when they undertook their recent action in Palestine led them to draw the following conclusions:
1) That the Haganah and its associated force the Palmach (working under the political control of prominent members of the Jewish Agency) have been engaging in carefully planned
movements of saborage and violence under the guise of 'the Jewish resistance Movement';
2) That the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern Group have worked since last Autumn in cooperation with the Haganah High Command on certain of these operations; and
3) That the broadcasting station 'Kol Israel', which was working under the general direction of the Jewish Agency has been supporting these organizations.
"The evidence on which these conclusions are based is derived in the main from three sources –
i) Information which has been obtained showing that between 23rd September 1945, and the 3rd November 1945, seven telegrams passed between London and Jerusalem, and a further telegram on 12th May 1946. Copies of these have been intercepted and are here set out;
ii) Various broadcast by 'Kol Israel' between 31st October, 1945, and the 23rd June, 1946, referring to specific acts of violence and sabortage; and
iii) Information on various dates derived from the pamphlet Hamaas (the publication of the Irgun Zvai Leumi) and from Eshnav (the publication of the 'Jewish Resistance Movement'). Examples from these pamphlets are set out in this Paper.
"This evidence related to the three widespread sabotage operations of the 31st October / 1st November, 1945; 20th – 25th February, 1946, and 16th – 18th June 1946. All three para-military organizations participated in these actions which not only caused very serious destruction but also loss of life."
"Of this White Paper, Menachem Begin – who, on this subject can speak with authority – says: "I must record that this particular White Paper on 'Violence in Palestine' was one of the few British documents on Palestine that I have read in which there were scarcely any distortions."
This pattern of behind-the scenes collaboration was followed again in 1948. Thus, as early as 3 February 1948, there was talk of coordination of operations betweenthe Haganah and the Irgun." By 7 May 1948 the agreement seems to have been concluded between the Haganah and the Irgun.
There are categorical assertions by the leader of the Irgun to the effect that the raid on Deir Yassin was made by the Irgun and the Stern Group "with the knowledge of the Haganah and the approval of its Commander." In a letter from the Haganah Regional Commander to the Irgun Commander in Jerusalem prior to the raid, the Haganah leader asserted that, "The capture of Deir Yasin and its holding… is one stage in our general plan. I have no objection to your carrying out the operation providing you are able to hold th village." In fact, Deir Yasin was handed over to the Haganah forces three days after its capture by the Irgun."
c) Israeli legislation, promulgated after the establishment of the State, proclaims that the military and para-military forces operations between 29 November 1947 and 15 May 1948 were acting on behalf of the then non-existing Sate, and affirms that their actions were retroactively "adopted" by the State authorities. Section I, Paragraph B, of Law No. 49 – "Fallen Soldiers' Family (Pension and Rehabilitation) Law of 1950" – states:
"In this law – 'military service' and 'service mean –
"(a) services in the Defence Army of Israel;
"(b) in respect of the period between 17th Kislev, 5708 (30th November, 1947) and 29th Kislev, 5709 (31st December 1948) – any other service declared by the Minister of Defence, by proclamation published in State Records, to be military service for the purposes of this Law,"
In fact, four Irgunists who had been wounded in the attack on Deir Yasin and had subsequently demanded "war veterans' pensions" for their "service" were granted heir demand by an Israeli court, in June 1953, on the basis of this law, according to a report which appeared in TIME Magazine of 15 June 1953.
(MFL notes more scandals exist in this pamphlet with full references whenever the author used such heavy information.)
This is not a new phenomenon. Just prior to Israel was founded in 1948, Ben-Gurion followed a similar system. Prior to the IDF, the Haganah existed. The Yishuv has authorized the exodus of all the Palestinians, as Benny Morris displayed in "Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem." In order to kick out the Palestinians who refuted to leave their houses, the Haganah/IDF never participated in slaughters (but did play the bulk in driving people out of the houses). The Haganah / IDF sent the terrorist group the Irgun to do the dirty work of mass killings while Ben-Gurion was quoted to say that the Haganah would never do slaughters. Ben-Gurion used to denounce the "terrorist activities" of the Irgun, while ironically when the armored IDF trucks entered Palestinian villages, used to threaten the inhabitants with results of villages that the Irgun did in order to scare villagers away.
It is illogical to speculate that the Irgun never played a role in coordination with the Haganah/IDF command. According to Benny Morris, the Irgun participated 13% in the Israeli military operations in 1948.
This brings us to the present. Again, it is illogical to launch such a massive number of Cluster Bombs without IDF command aware of it, specially the IDF remained for three days pounding South of Lebanon. If it is true that Dan Halutz was unaware of the situation, he had three days to cancel the order.
The case of Dan Halutz and using an IDF general as a scapegoat in order to justify why Israel was defending itself, the same was applied between the Israeli Defense Forces and the Irgun back in 1948.
Next Post to this one I will shed light on the Irgun and Stern groups in relations to Haganah terrorism.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has given the green light for the Jewish State to set up a special office to develop a nanotechnology arsenal, the leading Hebrew daily reported on Friday.Yediot Aharonot said that Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres had been told to choose 15 top thinkers to focus on developing futuristic weaponry. The 15 would be selected from within the security establishment, the world of hi-tech and academia.
If their projects succeed, they will provide Israel with a response to the various threats from Palestinian rockets, suicide bombers, to long-range missiles and non-conventional weapons, the daily said. Peres has recently hinted in public lectures at a small number of secret developments, Yediot added, such as "pearls of wisdom" -- tiny sensors that can be scattered on enemy territory.A so-called "intelligence wasp" or mini drone that can squeeze into narrow alleys, jam communications, photograph intelligence targets and even kill militants, was another, the daily reported.A third project would be anti-suicide bomber sensors that can be installed in public places and apparently able to spot a bomber, based on scent, heat and weight.
Israel, along with Britain and the United States, are considered leading countries in the field of nanotechnology research.Following Israel's war in Lebanon this summer, Peres, in Britain's The Guardian newspaper, advocated a new focus on technologies, including "miniaturized arms or ... remote-control robots operating on the battlefield."Israel lost around 120 soldiers in its offensive on Lebanon and war with Hizbullah, drawing heavy domestic criticism against both its military and political leaders.At least 1,140 Lebanese civilians -- 30 percent of them children under 12 -- were killed along with 43 army and police troops in the month-long offensive that ended on August 14, Lebanon's High Relief Committee said.(AFP)
Beirut, 17 Nov 06, 16:05
Israeli protestors threw stones at the convoy of the U.N. high commissioner for human rights Tuesday as she visited the town of Sderot, which has borne the brunt of Palestinian rocket attacks.As commissioner Louise Arbour arrived in the town, a rocket fired from Gaza exploded in an adjacent industrial zone, seriously wounding a man and causing a fire that sent plumes of black smoke into the sky, a police source said.Protestors later stoned Arbour's convoy as it made its way through the depressed town, although no one was hurt, said an AFP correspondent.
Arbour, who on Monday visited the site of a deadly botched Israeli shelling in the Gaza town of Beit Hanun, heavily damaged by an incursion this month, said protecting civilians the entire region was "an absolutely critical issue.""I saw people in Beit Hanun, civilians, mothers who lost their children, who feel... terribly exposed, terribly vulnerable, extremely afraid, very abandoned and I have a sense there is the same thing here," she said in Sderot.
She called on Israel to look for "partnership" to build a sustainable atmosphere for peace, even as troops staged an incursion into a neighborhood of Gaza City, leaving two Palestinians dead -- a militant and an elderly woman."Israel has responsibility for its citizens by legal means, in respect of international law, including international humanitarian law,"
Arbour told reporters after visiting the site of the latest rocket attack in Sderot."It has to look for support and partnership to build an atmosphere where peace would be sustainable. I think other measures are very short term."Sderot has borne the brunt of Palestinian rocket attacks, particularly since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 following a 38-year occupation.A total of six people have been killed from rocket attacks on Sderot since the second Palestinian uprising broke out in September 2000.Arbour's visit to the region comes after the U.N. Human Rights Council voted last Wednesday to send an urgent fact-finding mission to Beit Hanun to examine the impact of Israel's attack on Palestinian homes.
Thirty-two countries, mainly from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, voted for the resolution introduced by Arab and Islamic nations, which was subsequently denounced by Washington as "imbalanced."Israel also criticized the vote and has since lashed out at a U.N. General Assembly resolution calling for a probe into the botched shelling.More than 300 Palestinians and three Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched operations in the territory in late June in a bid to recover a soldier seized by militants and to halt persistent rocket attacks.(AFP)
Beirut, 21 Nov 06, 11:04
Monday, November 20, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
"In fact, the main reason why Communism continues to be a mortal danger is because most people are unable to fight it, unable to kill it."
And the poor "Einstein" thought couple of monthes ago that the Palestinians were lucky not to live in N. Korea even though their houses were being demolished. Enjoy Neo-Cons who fall for CNNish crap... those who are below 18 don't enter this room. To me, these are the exact people who bring misery to 3rd World Countries (oh yeah they think Iraq is under liberation as well).
Now there are worse Neo-Cons, even though the prior author expressed that the Israelis kicked out the Palestinians with legitimate right because the Palestinians were "not democratic" (forgetting about the British Mandate).
This cartoon character for example is what Bush would want to marry even though the whole Fiasco does not reflect at all the Lebanese society, and funnier out of over 1 million Lebanese (the ones in specific left Lebanon due to the civil war) and current 4 million Lebanese do not share her opinion. Check this cartoon character, I am sure these two would make a nice couple since the former would only sleep with girls. You think Brigitte would beat Elie Hobieka's score sheet? (if given an army?)
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Enjoy it. Link over here
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I chose this picture because Israel claimed they wanted to bomb Hezbollah, but ended up bombing Lebanon with tiny "scratches" on Hezbollah
This picture I chose because it reflects how Israel shoved its hand into bombing Lebanon without considering diplomacy to negotiate with Hezbollah (as they have been doing it since 1996).
'Translation: Top Right: Israel is searching for its prisoner. Written on the bomb shell: "Shalit, can you hear us clearly? Answer us!"
Self-Explanatory - what to add?
This is what Israel created during the July War even though they were bargaining on the US tactic of "hand us Bin Laden or we will bomb you" in Afghanistan, they applied it in Lebanon... take a look at the resuls
This a reply which was confirmed later by Armitage, Levni, and Peretz: which meant that no army can disarm Hezbollah except peacefully...
Ehud Olmert: Did you find Gilad Shalit (the kidnapped Israeli soldier)?Amir Peretz: No, they kidnapped two more.”
Monday, November 13, 2006
With the occupation of Iraq spiraling out of control and growing increasingly unpopular among the majority of Americans, military recruiting would seem to be as winning an endeavor as selling tickets to get on board a sinking ship. It therefore comes as no surprise that military recruiters have been falling well short of fulfilling their quotas. For instance, the Army, which had met its recruitment goal every year since 1990, fell behind in 2005.
This shortfall, combined with increasing military demands in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the possibility of other military adventures in the future, has resulted in an impossible predicament for the architects of U.S. foreign policy. According to their outlook, a much larger military will ultimately be needed to secure imperialism’s goals. Yet the most obvious way of overcoming this problem, by re-introducing the draft, would be political suicide.
The elimination of the draft was the result of a mass movement against the Vietnam War which eventually contributed to a political crisis that brought down the Nixon presidency. Watergate would have likely been yet another passing scandal if it wasn’t for the crisis of confidence that already existed as a result of the war. The anti-Vietnam War movement also shook the confidence of the capitalist politicians in their ability to maintain stability as long as Nixon remained in power.
To reintroduce the draft today, when the level of opposition to the Iraq occupation is nearly as great as it was when the U.S. was forced to leave Vietnam would be like playing with matches in a shed of dynamite. It could spark an explosion among the ruled that the rulers could not contain.
With the reintroduction of the draft off the agenda – at least for the moment – policy makers have been trying to strengthen the ability of military recruiters to go after youth. In 1998 the military recruiting budget was $300 million. Last year that budget approached an astonishing $4 billion, providing an enormous pool of resources for recruiters to prey on the poor and impressionable.
Additionally, new federal laws have greatly increased military recruiters’ access to youth. Part of “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) mandates that if schools wish to receive federal funding, they must allow recruiters into the high schools, although some school districts, such as Portland Oregon, had previously barred them entrance. Furthermore, under NCLB, these schools must turn over students’ home addresses, phone numbers, and other private information to military recruiters, unless students or parents fill out an “Opt-Out” form. The threat of withholding federal funds when so many school districts are strapped for cash amounts to a form of blackmail on the part of the federal government in favor of the military.
Military recruiters are not satisfied with these advantages, however. In their efforts to meet their quotas, recruiters have been resorting to tactics that would make a seedy used car salesman blush. For instance, military recruiters have been telling potential recruits that they don’t have to see combat and can leave the military at any time. Yet buried in the contract recruits sign are clauses that negate all such promises in the event of war, such as the indefinite “war on terror”. Untold numbers of youth have found out about this the hard way.
Recruiters have also been telling potential recruits that the military will give them up to $68,000 to pay for college. What they don’t say is that two-thirds of recruits never receive any college funding and that only 15 per cent graduate with a four year degree. As of late, military recruiters have been making a special pitch to non-citizens, saying that they can apply for citizenship the day they join rather then wait five years after getting a green card. What recruiters don’t tell immigrants is that in proportion to their actual numbers, they will be given the most dangerous jobs. For instance, while Latinos represented 9.4 per cent of enlistees in 2001, they make up 17.7 per cent of the jobs that involve handling weapons
Young people get sucked into these lies because the reality of America’s volunteer military is that it largely recruits from youth whose families can’t afford college and who do not see career prospects for themselves other then an endless series of low-wage, no-future jobs. To grow the volunteer military depends on the bleak future many working class youth face, especially people of color. That is why the volunteer military is really a poverty draft. A good education and good job rarely comes knocking on the doors of the poor, but military recruiters do.
In response to the poverty draft and Iraq occupation, numerous counter recruitment groups have formed across the U.S. “Opt-Out” forums have been passed out, protests held at recruiter stations, school community forums organized, counter recruiter networks set up in the high schools, and school board resolutions have been passed that challenge the NCLB provisions regarding the military’s access to high school students.
Many counter-recruitment organizations have taken on career and college counseling while trying to get out their anti-war message. While no amount of college and career counseling will solve inequality, the predatory relationship of the military to working class youth and the conditions these youth face becomes an immediate issue in the course of these discussions. This work can serve as a stepping stone not only to build a mass movement to “bring the troops home now”, but also to build a mass working class-led movement that sees good union jobs and quality education as fundamental rights for all. It took a mass movement that contributed to bringing down a president to end the war in Vietnam and stop the draft. It will take a mass working class-led movement that takes on the foundations of capitalism to overcome the inequality that the volunteer military feeds off of. By working from this perspective we will also be better prepared to resist any attempts to re-instate the draft.
How can someone who slaughters children and civilians on daily basis not held accountable? The IDF tanks simply bombarded those houses without a reason, and now the USA encourages Israel to be more terrorist and gives the Zionists to continue with their mass genocide.
Oh yeah, stupid 14th of March are still relying on the US administration for the international court... have they no shame visiting the US administration and licking their hands while they veto such a decision (as well as held accountable for the July war to last one month).
Some new Middle East... it should be US satellite just as Eastern Europe was USSR satellite.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Hezbollah Ministers: Two
AMAL Ministers: Two
In Between the two parties: One
Now the government barely represents 50% of the Lebanese as the largest Sect have resigned from the government as threatened in case their demand for a united national government. 14th of March block refuted to submit to any demands of the 8th of March.
We all know the demands are groundless from 8th of March as they are aware that Seniora's block will not step down. 14th of March in return have been phoney dialogue meetings while refuting to listen to the other. This takes things to the next level: Demonstrations in case real negotiations between both camps fail. Yet, neither camp is willing to the other.
Hezbollah, for the first time participated in the government ever since the Syrians withdrew. They were part of 14th of March alliance during elections (ie seeing the Lebanese Forces and Hezbollah shaking hands, and even Nasrallah did a semi-fatwa to vote for el-Harriri in the face of Aoun's block). Hezbollah started as a 100% Islamic party and ended up as a grassroot political party with an armed wing.
14th of March elected Hezbollah and AMAL to government as they gladly accepted. The government during the July war became a legitimate target but due to US pressure Israel stepped down to bombard the houses of the ministers and most of Beirut since the government was Anti-Syrian. 14th of March refutes peace with Israel due to the racist government of ZIONIST Israel + the ongoing massacres for the Palestinians. Another reason for refuting peace is also the trigger of another Lebanese Civil War in Lebanon. Olmert is aware of that fact and that is why he tries to appear the peacemaker who is always wronged by those "vicious peace hating" arabs.
Nevertheless what is happening now? Hezbollah with their alliance with the Christian dominant force Free Patriotic Movement are gambling to either kick away Seniora or gain a larger share of the government.
Nasrallah's political alliance is also with Syria and Iran. When it comes to Lebanese politics, it is Syria who is involved more than Iran. So if the anti-government is blown away, Syria can achieve another political victory over the US-UK-Israel block (since Syria claimed Lebanon's truimph over the Israelis as its own while watching the Lebanese being displaced or massacred instead opening the Golan Heights).
YET!! 14th of March are not idiots, and the issue is not only related to the international court (to be established due to the assassination of ex-PM Rafiq el Harriri), on the contrary, they are sure that it is Syria behind the assassination and their arch-enemies' names involved in the murder would pop up one after the other (this is first scenario)
Second, to push Hezbollah out of the government while recieving weaponry from the United States (even though Iran proposed to give the Lebanese Army anti-air missiles against Israel's greatest military advantage: Airplanes). This would leave the government out of the targeted area as Hezbollah threatened today that any aggression against Lebanon (which includes the on-going Israeli breaches to UN 1701) allows the resistance to retaliate.
Third, the 14th of March are openly challenging 8th of March which means that they are gambling that street riots would kill the image of Hezbollah. This is not the case as simple as that, Hezbollah have the most disciplined organizations, but the worry to open such ways is from the supporters of AMAL since they got the trouble-makers (on street level); but again Hezbollah managed to force on all its Muslim or Christian allies to behave while demonstrating.
The problem is Trad Hmaidi took a decision that only a Hezbollah member can take such a decision, which is regarded with the universities (check 2 posts down) since 14th of March would be denounced as Zionist agents. With Hezbollah stepping down, a 14th of March would make sure that such a decision regarding foreign students and Financial aids is shut down (a slap to the Palestinian).
It is important to note that 14th of March are seriously aggrevating the situation by encouraging their foes to hit the street while 8th of March are well-prepared for demonstrations (as seen with Nasrallah's last public speech).
It is important to note that Hezbollah have been the first time participating on the inner details of Lebanese politics since their goal is to fight Israel. Problem is if they disarm, they will end up as a regular party, and Syria would be disappointed since they are their allies (unlike what is said as zombies) and balancers of power against 14th of March.
Tomorrow more details would rise... to see what is going on, this surely needs a round 2 post.
PS: The Proletariat are more divided than ever over here
Saturday, November 11, 2006
You take a look and get disgusted with the re-writement of history. For example, Annahar depicts that Kamal Junblatt and Bashir Gemayel fought to establish a 14th of March (which is not true because they slaughtered each other). 14th of March wants to bury Lebanon in the laps of the United States (with Walid Junblatt flying like a pendalum from Beirut to Washington) and Seniora got the WTO agenda as a reform policy for Lebanon's public sector.
Moreover, you have the Democratic Leftist knuckleheads defending the Lebanese Forces as secular and progressive while pitching in the re-writement of history of the war that the LF were freedom seekers. They seem to forget that Elias Attallah's boss, Walid Junblatt, was a Syrian puppy that day and now he is a US puppy. Actually, the DLMers do not believe in class struggle, they justify their leftism as Secular & Nationalistic (still wondering where the left is in this matter).
If you are a leftist and not affiliated with 14th of March, who are made of thieves compiled togather as anti-Syrian, then you are not a leftist but a Syrian agent. They do not accept the fact that both factions of Lebanon are reactionary and elitest because they are aware that their puny movement would drop dead the moment 14th of March crumbles. Hence, they would call you a traitor to Lebanon.
Meanwhile 8th of March is not better. Like 14th of March, they got the reputation of being thieves as well, and like 14th of March, they were Syrian loyalists at a one point of time, only difference they remained loyalists with the logic to oppose Israel. They also were corrupt and like 14th of March, they follow favoritism when it comes to the private/public sector. Different parties still argue they are Syrian loyalists, while the 14th of March argue they are independent but continue to travel to DC for instructions and confirmations.
This is your nation! Two blocks: One that wants to bury Lebanon inside the laps of the United States through the WTO (if not directly) while the other wants to be bury Lebanon into the arms of Damascus. Personally, they are both reactionary and elitest (well the leadership that is), and both should be denounced by the leftists. Most of those "traditional" leaders who act they are against both end up adopting Syrian slogans, like Khaled Hdaidi sitting front raw at Aoun's conference.
So, I guess now I am labeled as a traitor for demanding the rights of the workers but that is ok. No reactionary movement lives for ever, the only way is emancipation from below (no matter how much time it takes) to achieve the goals. Elites are elites whatever their nationalities are.
Marxism knows no borders of nationalism. It is beyond 14th and 8th of March movements that want to lie to the people in order to attain power and maximize their profits.
A new law was issued by the Ministry of Labor that forbids private universities to give Financial Aid / (potentially Graduate Assistentships) to foreign students. This covers up the Palestinians.
I know from Jordan there are the rich Palestinian Jordanians (or Gulf) that come to the top Universities in Lebanon such as American University of Beirut or Lebanese American University but plenty of Palestinians need the Financial aid to continue with their studies. Now I said private universities because public universities (actually the Lebanese University) do not have any financial aids of that sort.
The Palestinians were not allowed (well the blue collar ones) were not allowed to work at all, till a law opened way to lower jobs. Actually that has been going on, so technically the minister's decision on that matter didn't change anything. This discouraged the Palestinians from focusing on higher education in Lebanon (specially the ones living in camps since 1948). Now that decision made things much harder since it is the Private Universities that pave way for a Masters/PHD certificate outside Lebanon.
The Palestinians were not given the chance like in Jordan for nationalistic issues of course. For starters, Lebanon got over 500,000 Palestinian inside the refugee camps (since 1948) excluding the (mainly) Christian Palestinians and Upper Class Muslim Palestinians to integrate them into Lebanese community (and form a new Sect. Balance of Power). Second, Lebanon is a small nation (specially economical) to withold all the Labor of both Lebanese and Palestinian (which is ironic because Michel el Murr when he was Minister he gave nationalities everywhere in Matn-Mt. Lebanon to preserve his MP location except the Palestinians). Third, the fear was that the Palestinians would be integrated inside Lebanon to the extent they would forget about their right of return to their homeland Palestine and hence the Zionists would have won (which is crap under this circumstances of Politics--- No Palestinian in Lebanon has ever given the right of return but that does not mean the majority of the Palestinians should live in a terrible situation). Fourth, Lebanese Law forbids women to give their husbands and children the Lebanese citizenship which even makes it for the Lebanese women to marry Palestinians much harder.
Now, the few Palestinians living in Camps and seeking higher education (or poor Palestinians outside the camps) would find it much more discouraging as it is to continue their education.
The problem is the person who took the decision = A member of Hezbollah. This can reflect three situations:
1) Hezbollah was being pressured by 14th of March and did that decision in order to please them in return for other issues.
2) Hezbollah's Trad Hmaidi was not aware of the gravity of the situation
3) Hezbollah were using the logo resistance for political reasons towards the cause of Palestine (which I doubt)...
By process of Elmination I think I will vote to the first option, in any case direct action should take place because higher education is one of the several way of Palestinians' methods of civilian resistence and attain syndicate advanced organization (and I do not mean like the ones we have in Lebanon from the Lebanese side).
Time will tell what the heck is going on...
Friday, November 10, 2006
In Lebanon last year, when we heard Ghazi Kena'an committed suicide, a joke spread that "General Ghazi committed suicide by shooting himself three bullets in the back."
Thursday, November 09, 2006
(Chapter 1: Background of the Bourgoisie) link
(Chapter 2: Dwelling on the evolution of Societies) link
(Chapter 3, Post Lebanese War Class Struggle and Pre- 9/11) link
(Chapter 4, Class Struggle in Lebanon post 9/11) link
A small Side Note
I decided to write the details about the July War that happened most recently, but decided to start to give a minor introduction on both societies then proceed with the war. The problem is the immense information I attempted to summarize, and didn't anticipate to expect such a huge load to write as well as the time required to do so. This is the final chapter in the Lebanon, Israel, and Class Struggle series before proceeding with the Israeli side. In this chapter, I will tackle the bi-polarity that rose in Lebanon and divided the nation into two camps, as well as reflect the facts and factors which played a major role during the July war. It is highly recommendable to read the previous chapters before proceeding with this one. Again, I repeat, these series are not information by itself on the history, rather a summary of a summary to give a small idea about the background of both nations: Lebanon & Israel.
The Reign of Terror Within Bi-Polar Lebanon
Impacts of 14th of March
The day 14th of March was a huge success. Number of participants fluctuated between 2 million and 2.5 million (there is no agreed number of demonstrators). The Pro-Syrians wanted to show the world that the Majority of the Lebanese are with the Syrian Regime, only to be countered by the Anti-Syrian demonstration. Actually, that day in specific witnessed the emergence of ordinary civilians who had been quiet for a long while due to Syrian presence.
The people weren’t Pro-USA as well. Both camps blame USA for supporting Israel against the Lebanese and Palestinians (yet intensity varies between one camp and another). The world was surprised on all scales. The lovely lady demonstrators appeared on fashion magazines (which sort of broke the image of Lebanon being ‘Camel Jockeys’) and the world was surprised to see two demonstrations in less than a week each containing above one million demonstrators. Lebanon as a whole proved itself to be a democratic nation again with the decline of Syrian influence. Both camps expressed themselves peacefully, and from these two days two movements would emerge.
The Bristol Coalition would become known as the 14th of March, which will include the basic parties: The Future Movement, The Lebanese Forces, Free Patriotic Movement and the Progressive Socialist Party, as well as tiny parties such as the Phalanges, Democratic Leftist Movement, and Tajadod Democrati, Ahhrar, and solo figures. The name of the movement aims to capitalize on that historic day where half the demonstrators didn’t really care about the parties but hit the streets to tell the Syrians: Leave us alone. The Parties, to be exact, relied on the International Community to push for the withdrawal of Syria out of Lebanon. The United States and France were the first two to happily answer this invitation.
The Ain el Teeni Coalition (named after Nabih Berri’s meeting locations) would become the 8th of March. They are Pro- Syria. Their logo is any type of alliance to face a Zionist aggressor. The Coalition included the balancer of power: Hezbollah, and afterwards AMAL, Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Marada, Lebanese Communist Party (only when it came to the topic of resistance), and major powerful figures such as Michel el Murr, indirectly the Lebanese President Emil Lahoud, and others.
France has more knowledge on Lebanon than other external countries since Lebanon is part of the Franco-phonic zone. France always maintained relations with Lebanon and Chirac was great friends with the late Rafiq el-Harriri. They knew which figure was with whom and understood the details of Lebanese politics.
On the other hand, the Bush administration proved how stupid they are whenever it came to Foreign Policy. The United States tried to capitalize on 14th of March as a response to Bush’s campaign for ‘Democracy’. They named it as the Cedar Revolution, while it was simply a demonstration to express “No To Syrian Presence!” Actually one US journalists mocks the US media on how they attempted to link the “Cedar Revolution” to the elections of Iraq in a relation that the Lebanese got inspired to hit the streets when they saw the Iraqis risking their necks to go and vote for their rulers. Afterwards it was dismissed, but Bush remained to capitalize on 14th of March demonstration as his achievement.
Israel were celebrating that this day took place. For starters, they knew that if the Syrians withdrew, Hezbollah would be crippled against their brutality. Moreover, Hezbollah would become a normal political party with no military power as UN resolution 1559 specified that no arms in Lebanon except the weakened crippled Lebanese army (even though all major political parties that remained after the war still maintain up to certain level weaponry). Sharon was happy till he heard both camps agreeing that Israel is still the enemy.
President Emil Lahoud asked Omar Karami to do another government which will be transitory in nature but nobody replied back just as Lebanon was becoming more than ever divided into two camps. Eventually a moderate politician and business man Najib Miqati formulated a transition government till the elections decide what the next government is. Meanwhile, 14th of March supporters aimed their campaigns at the suspected Pro-Syrian army and intelligence officials, and the logo: “Kicking illegal President Emil Lahoud outside Lebanon is our next step.” It is ironic that the man who spent most of his mandate under Syrian mandate has triggered the Anti-Syrian unification front; Rafiq el Harriri probably never expected that. Eventually, the return of General Aoun and the release of Jaajaa also were seen coming soon.
Reign of Terror Begins in Parallel to Elections
When I say terror, I surely do not mean US style of defining terrorism as I already agree with Chomsky's statement that the United States administration is the number 1 terrorist nation in the world.
While the 14th of March kept focusing on Syrian withdrawal and blaming Syria for the assassination of Harriri, along who the Economist MP Bassil Fleihan was severely wounded, 8th of March kept replying that it was Israel who killed ex-PM and is aiming towards a weaker Lebanon.
This bi-Polarity led to a massive sectarian line-up. The major Sunni leader Harriri Jr Sa’ad, Walid Junblatt leader of the Druze, and Maronites embodied by the leaders George Adwan and Strida Jaajaa. On the other hand, the Shiites were the core of the other. The Durzi feudal lord, Prince Talal Irslan, was still too weak to face Junblatt, while Omar Karami’s popularism was limited in Tripoli.
Series of accusations occurred. The 14th of March mainly demonstrated either in front the Harriri Mansion in Qraytem – Beirut, or Martyr’s Square (which known also Independence Square) while Nasrallah made major appearances to push the 8th of March where they took place mainly in Southern Lebanon or Hezbollah based/Christian Marada based locations. A cartoonish figure called, We’am Wahhab, became a national hero in Syria while he didn’t have much followers over here in Lebanon. Wahhab was actually a minister for the short-lived government of Omar Karami. According to a member in the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Wahhab was speaking such a vulgar way because being party based, none of the leaders can behave that manner.
With the Syrians withdrawing from different sections from Lebanon, the color Orange (reflecting the Free Patriotic Movement) appeared in Christian Areas. Actually, several neutrals had huge expectations from Aoun as the factor that would do change in Lebanon.
During the Evenings, serious of terrorist explosions that targeted Christian concentrated areas in an attempt to stir Sectarian strife between the Christians and the Muslims. The first to appear were the 14th of March with their anti-Syrian accusations, followed by the 8th of March representatives denouncing Israel. These operations (burning factories or explosive cars) kept going for a while which indicated that a central unified government is out of limits to control the securities. The 14th of March speculated it was the same people who were behind the murder of al-Harriri = the Syrians.
By end of April, Bashar al-Assad declares that the Syrians have fully withdrawn. In the Christian areas, they celebrated while the head of the Syrian Baath Party in Lebanon and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (Jubran A’orayji) bid the Syrian officials farewell. The withdrawing Syrians coordinated extensively with the Lebanese army, whereby they withdrew the Beka’a Valley first, then to back to Syria. 14th of March supporters became rather racists in their talks against the Syrians, and tensions between the two people increased. Four military officials were arrested in relation to Harriri’s assassination, while nightfall became reign of terror in the Christian areas in terms where the next bomb would explode.
14th of March supporters travel afterwards to Aoun’s 5 stars palace to give him the opposition scarf (which was white and red) and awaited his return. The 14th of March refuted to delay elections to benefit from the Euphoria generated by the day 14th of March. Aoun returns to Lebanon in maximum security and was welcomed by the 14th of March.
The elections of approach and serious calculations are needed. For starters, the reactionary Elias Attallah (Democratic Leftist Movement) was expecting a place in the Durzi concentrated area, and to attain it was through the shoulders of Walid Junblatt who never lost a chair in elections. Actually escalations rose till in the end they decided to put him in the Tripoli elections on the shoulders of al-Harriri, Neyla Mo’awad, and others.
Aoun entered a major clash with the 14th of March which surprised everyone. For starters, he wanted to be the heir to Emil Lahoud. The 14th of March refuted but Aoun insisted that his size allowed him to have more places than the ration of dividing power was agreed on. Hence, in Matn, he allied with his Pro-Syrian nemesis Michel el Murr and the Armenian fanatic nationalist party, the Tashnaks. Indirectly, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party started supporting Aoun after the supporters demanded Aoun’s executions for calling Hezbollah terrorists and traveling to the US Congress to get the Syrian Accountability Act cooked.
Actually this era would be known, enemies of the past best friends in the present. Arch-Enemies during the war ended up in alliance. The most illogical was having Aoun announcing his alliance to Pro-Syria Talal Irslan in Walid Junblatt’s areas.
Meanwhile Junblatt has been attending Hezbollah and AMAL’s festivals in ‘support’ of resistance. This also was a major blow to the 14th of March line-up. Junblatt preferred alliance to those two parties rather the others if he had to have the choice. Actually, the unholy alliance is wonderful for both factions as Junblatt had extensive Durzi votes in the South while Hezbollah and AMAL had Shiite votes in Ba’abda Alley area. The major benefit would go of course to Junblatt as he needs the Shiite votes more than Hezbollah needed him. Hezbollah tend to sweep easily the South, while their only opponents (who can provide severe competition) were AMAL, and they were in the same political line).
As the first elections occurred, Hezbollah sweeped through the South easily in June while the biggest surprise in the new patterns were Strida Jaajaa and George Adwan hailing the resistance of Hezbollah and recognizing it as a Lebanese Resistance, while Aoun elsewhere was allying himself with the rest of Hezbollah’s allies (pro-Syrian) whether in Mt. Lebanon, Baabda-Alley, the North, or Beqaa area. The 14th of March opened a way to Hezbollah through the Lebanese Forces recognition, while in the meantime General Aoun was attacking the whole set of 14th of March. The 14th of March block promised Hezbollah to review their considerations regarding the arms within Hezbollah, and the shock of Lebanese politics was to see the line-up: Lebanese Forces – Progressive Socialist Party – Future Movement – AMAL movement – Hezbollah. The specific shock was to see Shiite voters going to vote for George Adwan of the Lebanese Forces while seeing Syrian Social Nationalist Party members going to vote for Aoun’s list was a shock on its own as well. To say the truth, at this moment, there were no longer any known patterns as all political border lines collapsed to seek maximum number of chairs.
After the elections of the South and Beirut, the Democratic Left Movement was in clash with the Progressive Socialist Party because they chose Hezbollah rather to go against their hegemony of the South. The only person who went against Hezbollah was the Lebanese Communist Party, ex-prisoner in Israeli camps, Annwar Yassin under the logo of not manipulating Resistance to a single group since the LCP had a hand in the resistance.
Eventually, new wave of terrorism rises. The assassination of 14th of March cadres and the shock was the assassination of the Anti-Syrian journalist and member of the Democratic Leftist Movement: Samir Qassir. I remembered it clearly because it was Aoun about to give his electoral speech when the news entered his conference, while simply said to stand one minute silence to honor him and simply continued with Business. Samir Qassir had close relations with certain factions with Syrian opposition and his assassination in specific pointed fingers on Syria. No one knew that this was the beginning of a new wave of terror in Lebanon. His death triggered mass denouncements of the assassination, while his energetic youth image broke-hearted the youth (specifically in 14th of March). This opened way for Elias Attallah to be fully integrated in the election list of Tripoly of 14th of March just as Harriri wanted to ensure that his block had all the parties who had martyrs.
As results appeared, Hezbollah and AMAL dominated the areas they were concentrated in. Saad el Harriri sweeped through Beirut while Aoun announced his alliance with another Pro-Syrian who was Slumeiman Frangieh. Aoun’s block afterwards retaliated, Aoun sweeped through the whole areas of Zahli, Jounieh and Keserwan, al-Matn, except for Baabda-Alley where Junblatt’s List won. Actually Nassib Lahoud in Matn was crushed to pieces in elections while Junblatt had the Shiite votes in order to win elections. Aoun sweeped unanimously in all the rest of the areas except in Matn where the son of Amin Gemayel won elections with a hard struggle with a feudal rich figure called Sarkis Sarkis. I remember one of the SSNP saying during elections when he saw a car had the OMEGA sign (which represented FPM), next to it the Zawba’a (SSNP sign), and Michel el Murr’s picture combined , and he turns around asking his wife: “Is it really all those symbols combined on a car or this is the whiskey that hit me?”
Hence, the two regions of Tripoli seemed to be the decisive factor on who will dominate the Parliament was it Aoun or the 14th of March + Hezbollah and AMAL. Harriri Jr. and his Aunt paid extensive visits to Tripoli which bothered Omar Karami to see his Sunni region being switching to al-Harriri. Nasrallah declared that all Shiites should vote for el-Harriri, and the Lebanese Forces were scared because Aoun already dominated the Christian concentrated areas. Aoun has called his campaign as “Tsunami over Lebanon” and announced that he is fighting “Petro-Dollars”. It was unclear where his voters stood as he also justified the SSNP to support him, and the FPM members hated them since it was his boys who were bashed by Syrian supporters. Nevertheless, it was a fierce battle and in the end, the 14th of March won the whole seats. The surprise was the strength of Neyla Mo’awad on the Christian street (as well as Boutros Harb) while Harriri did secure enough Sunni votes for the list. The laughter was on Elias Attallah, who labeled himself as the first leftist MP to secure a chair in the parliament (and elsewhere from his region). I remember people putting on their MSN: “Bye Bye Tsunami!”
As this round was over, a new terrorist attack occurred which (for the first time) stunned both 14th and 8th of March together. The assassination this time targeted the co-founder of the Resistance Front and Member of the Lebanese Communist Party (although relations were dry since he supported 14th of March) and this left all people from all camps shocked. George Hawwi, unlike the others, fought the Israelis when he was General Secretary of the Lebanese Communist Party. Palestinians adored him due to his war records against the Israelis. The story goes that George Hawwi was going to congratulate his friend Elias Attallah when he was assassinated. The battle emerged on who to claim martyrdom over George Hawwi. The Lebanese Communist Party insisted that he was the Party’s martyr while the DLM argued that he was leaving the Party. Nevertheless, fear sprung among the leftist figures because George Hawwi was the 2nd leftist figure to be assassinated after Qassir in less than three weeks. During his funeral, the Down Town Square became a Red Square while over 50,000 communists (mostly Stalinists) rose the Red Flag as his coffin entered the Church (while another 50,000 awaited the arrival of the coffin in his home village Tighreen). The Democratic Leftists were relatively few, but had minor support in terms of presence from the PSP since George Hawwi had strong relationships with Kamal and Walid Junblatt. When Walid Junblatt was entering the Church, the Communists yelled: “George Hawwi is a Communist!” while the DLMers sat and felt inferior in face of this angry wave. What really made the 14th of March hated by all factions of the Lebanese Communist Party was the fact Strida Jaajaa and the Gemayils were present in his funeral (two belonging to the Phalange Party and Lebanese Forces who were his arch-enemy). This indicates the left is split beyond reconciliation to three factions: Those pro 14th of March (DLM with their Neo-Con ideology), 8th of March (LCP with its Arab Nationalist ideology), and the free lancers who are against both.
The elections were illogical and I remember a Comrade abroad asking me: "What the hell is going on?", I replied: "It is a long long story with no logical patterns whatsoever."
Elections Aftermath and Terror Continues
As Elections were over, a new dilemma is to take place. What ought to be done with the Arms of Hezbollah. Legally, they have the right to resist since Sheba’a farms are still occupied. Actually, Sheba’a Farms became an excuse by Hezbollah and their pro-Syrian allies to preserve the weaponry.
Ex-MP Emil Lahoud argued that Hezbollah would be a Special Forces unit within the army, while other proposals suggested that they would become an urgent Army Unit only when Israel attacks Lebanon. In neither case, there was no agreement. Finally Seniora got elected as a Prime Minister and representatives of 14th of March. The Government included 2 Hezbollah ministers, 2 AMAL ministers, and One in between AMAL and Hezbollah. The Gemayils returned to power through Pierre Gemayel, and the release of Jaajaa was focused on by all groups. There was an attempt to assassinate Michel el Murr’s son Elias Murr (the ex-Minister of Interior) who supported 14th of March. He got away with it with severe browses. Bassil Fliehan (who got wounds from the Harriri explosion) dies and the wave of terror continued.
Jaajaa gets out of prison and will disappear for a whole month from the scene, while LBC covers in details every move he did in order to recover from prison.
What what would complicate things for 8th of March and their arguements about Israeli activity is the suicide of Ghazi Kena'an during the Mehlis investigative committee. This encouraged 14th of March to direct further fingers towards Syria as the murderer behind all the assassinations of political figures in Lebanon, for his suicide (murder?) means that there was information that was needed to be hidden by all costs.
Hezbollah withdraws from the block as the 14th of March didn’t offer a solution to the weapons of Hezbollah. Actually, Seniora was started tackling the Palestinian weaponry on Lebanese soil since he did not want to confront Hezbollah. What helped Seniora were the encounters of shootings from Palestinian militants on few civilian cars. This triggered loud noises that Seniora was a Syrian Agent. Aoun demanded that Seniora resigns and he announced himself as the only real candidate for presidency. Actually, the current President Lahoud voted for Aoun, during elections, which is also ironic since Aoun in exile attacked him as a Syrian Dummy. An assassination attempt takes place on the Journalist and LBC (Pro – Lebanese Forces) May Chidiaq, who survives but lost her arm and leg. This was a direct message towards the Lebanese Forces.
Later, MP Jubran Tweini gets assassinated in December as the country reached a stale mate between 8th of March (rejoined by the balancer of power Hezbollah and AMAL) and 14th of March. This time, unlike the George Hawwi assassination, some pro-8th of March supporters danced on the street since Jubran Tweini called the Shiites masses as sheep. This was a blow to Annahar since they lost Samir Qassir and now lost its editor in chief and co-owner Jubran. Jubran Tweini is known to be Pro-Lebanese Forces. Tension rose between 8th and 14th of March again. Actually in an indirect manner, the assassinations restored the popularity of March 14th and gave them an excuse to hit “Independence 05” Square (Martyr’s Square). I remember that I went to demonstrate for the sake of freedom of expression, the whole PSP – LF – Future were down there. The FPMers were sitting on a separate side. The FPM officials were booed everytime they went outside the Annahar building and were accused of “Syrian Agents selling Lebanon to Syria and Iran.” In the evening, when I went town with few comrades, the Annahar building was different with all the light systems, and sound systems (while recordings from Jubran’s famous Oath were repeated, the oath stressed that Christians and Muslims should defend forever the eternal Lebanon).
Later, Aoun becomes the official candidate of 8th of March for Presidency. In a bombshell meeting, Aoun and Nasrallah announce their unholy alliance on minimum agreement points and this puts the 14th of March in critical situation. Already the 8th of March was a strong block, but to be in alliance with Aoun’s block, that made them stronger. Aoun, unlike when in exile, defended Hezbollah as he said that till a valid alternative is proposed, Hezbollah has the right to keep their weaponry. Both factions attacked Seniora and 14th of March.
The retaliation was on February 14th, 2006, when that day marked the one year anniversary for Harriri’s assassination. It is expected around one million demonstrators went down, while Junblatt raised the ceiling on the Syrians and their Lebanese supporters. A famous picture was taken where Jaajaa – Junblatt (those two generated civilian martyrs during the battle for Mt. Lebanon between Lebanese Forces and PSP) with Ghassan Tweini (father of Jubran and a current MP after his son was assassinated) and Saad el Harriri. That day I told my aunt: “I saw it all”. It was funny how though Elias Attallah tried to squeeze himself in the historic picture but failed to do so. The Speech that Junblatt gave reflected the extremities that 8th and 14th of March have located themselves. No one is willing to reconcile. All forms of National Dialogues and mediations are a waste of time as no one is willing to decline on their goals.
I would like to focus a bit on Ghassan Tweini. Ghassan is not an anybody MP. The person is known to have had Pro-SSNP affiliations, while his academic skills almost toppled anyone. During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, he was Lebanon’s Ambassador to the UN who performed magnificently. Some people argue that Ghassan should have been Lebanon’s president, but sadly being a Greek Orthodox (in this sectarian electoral system) he can’t be a President. Currently, he is with the 14th of March block and returned as Annahar’s Editor in Chief while preparing his granddaughter to inherit the Annahar Empire.
I will do more analysis on the 14th and 8th of March demands and activism as it will shed light on Lebanese politics during the July War.