Monday, January 29, 2007
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Suddenly he is speaking of the Muslims of Lebanon and the whole Lebanese. For those who do not know who is el-Tfayli. Tfayli was one who built the infrastructure of Hezbollah in the 1980s and eventually became the head of the Shora Council.
Tfayli was extremist in his views: establishing a Muslim State. He managed the Drugs trade and is rumoured to have issued a Fatwa (when Lebanon was divided into Cantons during the Civil War) that as long as it is going to the Zionists, it is justified to be sold to them via the South Lebanese Army.
Tfayli's reign during the war was accompanied with murders to accomodate vacancies in the Public Sector.
When Shiekh el Mussawi (Nasrallah's Mentor), then head of the Shora Council, Tfayli was optimistic to resume power in the post war. Ironically, by the influences of the Wali el Faqih Imam Ali Khamenei, Nasrallah became the head of the Shora Council. Tfayli was enraged and considered that the Wali didn't appreciate his services.
He started to formulate loud public critiques of Nasrallah's policy which was to engage in the Parliament, the decision took place in 1992. To Tfayli's extremism, he thought that the role of an Islamic Party is to achieve an Islamic state and was enraged. Eventually, he remained complaining about it till he was given the boot in 1997, since Hezbollah also were allied with non-Muslim parties whose allegiance was/is to Syria. He founded a stronghold in the Beqa'a, under Syrian patronage assumed, and people speculated it as a check point on Nasrallah, and remained attacking Nasrallah's policies.
Eventually he did the Hunger's Revolution, which caused the army (1999-2000) to exchange fire, but eventually the army failed to enter his stronghold. Come to think of it, the Lebanese Army alway failed to win any battle fronts up there.
Now, he is being involved in details of Lebanese Politics and trying to enter the game. The question is, will any camp accept him? I think they would, 14th of March (since Future TV were present) would be interested to bring a faction of the Shiites towards him. I also have to mention, that Tfayli still got a lot of sympathizers within Hezbollah.
I can surely say that Lebanon was lucky to have Nasrallah rather Tfayli (then) as the head of the Shora Council. If the bi-polarity is getting Tfayli to be involved and use logos practiced by both camps, then what is next? I mean we already got the Pope himself looking at Lebanon.
Give me a break!
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Now, the stupid politicians after encouraging the people to sectarian hatred have gone beyond frenzy. Now the SSNP HQ on Tareeq el Jadeedi were attacked, and currently burnt down. Harriri, Nasrallah, Jaajaa, Aoun, Berri, Frangieh, and Junblatt should be placed on a court as well for arming their supporters. Oh yeah Sa'ad Harriri, Beirut is not a copy right for you.
The Tareeq Jadeedi incident was clearly using the SSNP as a scapegoat, specially that they are the secular group (despite my deep disagreement and hatred to some of their leaders) are being placed. Well done Harriri if that is your act of tolerance. I recommend that the army be present in Bikfaya since it has a massive mix of LF and a minority of SSNP (with support from neighboring villages).
Now Nasrallah and Harriri are telling everyone to calm down, what made them go frenzy in the first place.
The Army declared that Beirut will be a "No-Walking" Zone starting at 8:30, five cousins and friends are sleeping over at my place.
Currently Future Militia (or armed Future Supporter freaks) are shooting in the air in celebration for taking off the SSNP flag in Tareeq el Jadidi. I do believe more retaliation will take place. Lebanon should be called the Land of the Zombies...
At least the TV is taking pics, which will get people arrested (and hopefully they would even though they are Harriri's brainwashed army)
Universities and Schools have just closed, and there is a new fight at Bankers' Street in Down Town
Walid Junblatt is as provocative as ever as well, calling it a victory... what a hypocrite, and what were the Future supporters shooting in the air?
Two of my friends, each had to pass by an AMAL checkpoint and another through a PSP checkpounts with arms.
A fight that started inside the Arab University between the Opposition and Government zombies ended up with explosive results. Hezbollah accuses Future of sending armed men, Future accuse the other. Personally, to hell with both leaderships.
Harriri around 2:00 declared that "friends and good residents of Beirut" to calm down, Berri did the same, and all the leaders of both reactionary camps are doing the same. Students are paying the price of their greedy leaders (and to hell with them as well). They say that this is a political clash, I say bullshit. When Tahran and Riyadh intervene to calm things down two days ago, then it is Sectarian (oh yeah, before I forget, to hell with them as well).
Then it spreads with flying stones, flying sticks, while the army this time is crippled and only smuggled out the spectators. Students already have been killed, finally the army, 5:20, escalated. Unknown army sources now are spreading, everyone is hiding behind their jeeps and the walls. Citizens are pinned down. Even al-Jazeera are telling their camera man he is not obliged to take such dangerous shoot outs. (I keep wondering how the hell they are always there on site). Future got their own armed supporters, and so do the rest (ie: all are militias again). The need to disarm all parties should start (including Mr. Junblatt who advocates this).
Again al-Manar and Future give two versions of the story board. Al-Manar freaks are funny, they report as if they are in a state of war.
This is the price of Sectarianism where we have people throwing stones at each other.
(Anyone watched Good Bye Lenin, sort of this is what these two channels are forcing their people to live through).
The only person I focused seriously on is the World Bank. The World Bank is usually the watch dog of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which places the "restructurement" of a nation and the World Bank does follow up.
Paris III is par excellence is a political support since support of Lebanon in defecto means the support for the Seniora government. And why not? The Future Cadres are the top class business men. which would fit the World Trade Organization. The late Harriri and Chirac had a nice business relationship, and the Chairman of the session is Paris III. Chirac is definitely behaving as the Godfather of Lebanon. He stressed more than once that the Lebanese always paid their debts. The problem is under the ruthless system of the World Trade Organization, no third world nation succeeded to repay its debts.
The World Bank decided to support Lebanon as follows:
70,000,000 Million Dollars on the Energy
1,000,000 Million Dollars For Public Sector Transparency
700,000,000 Million Dollars For Seniora's Reform Plan (200 - 300,000,000 Million Dollars are dedicated to the Finance of Small Businesses)
Total: One Billion Dollars
The surprising factor is the dedication of the sum of money to the small businesses. Yet, Lebanon is not yet a host of the Transnational Corporations like in India or Latin America, so best means is to support the Economic oriented government which is of course business. Since the record of the World Bank or the IMF had been dark, I believe that this donation is to prepare Lebanon to enter the next level.
Other donations/grants/loans so far:
United States: Will give and not loans 770,000,000 US dollars (missed her speech, was it to fight terrorism in Lebanon? They donate annually weaponry alone a value of 4.5 billion dollars excluding loans and other grants to Israel)
Saudi Arabia: 1 Billion dollars (dedicated for reconstruction, my belief is to attempt and win the audience of Hezbollah through that process)
European Bank 900 Mllion Euro (divided as follows)
560 Million Euro gone to the private sector in forms of investments & contracts, plus support to the Central Bank.
50 Million Euro: Gone to Finance research on the monopoly on Energy and Transportation.
Islamic Bank: 250 Million for reconstruction
France : 550 Million Euro
Head of the EU (German): 400,000,000 Million Euro
Belgium: 20,000,000 Million (Projects of Cooperation between Belgium and rehab for cooperation, and the other 10,000,000 Euro to work on diplomacy, + its on-going project of taking away the remaining cluster bombs that remain from the Israeli aggression: so far 100,000 Hectars).
Germany: Stressed on the Cluster bombs and children, and worked on the Water program, 130,000,000 Million Euro to training on technical field and demining.
UAE: Focusing on reconstruction, denouncing Israel and its attrocities, Abu Dabi's bank for development, 300 million US dollars as immediate transfer plus of course support for Seniora and away from wars.
Turkey: Talked about its participation in the UNIFIL, stressed on national dialogue, opening Lebanon to its neighbors market wise, the Turks will participate as mediators as well, and already given 20,000,000 Million, and Stockholm 10,000,000 in form Loan. Now they will give in a loan of 20,000,000 Million Dollar.
Bahrain: Didn't mention any donations, and Chirac asked him where are the donations? He said that they will work in common programs
Kuwait: Willing to Finance any projects as reminded Kuwait has already been the first to assist Lebanon in its crisis and already had half a billion in Lebanese deposits as support and its support to reconstruction
Qatar: Already placed deposit of 1 billion in Lebanon, + 300 Million Loans to fully reconstruct 3 villages, and all religious worships and a lot of projects.
Oman: 10,000,000 Dollars
Italy: worked efficiently in the UNIFIL, Italy already given Lebanon, 30,000,000 couple of weeks ago + now they are contributing 120,000,000 Euro + suspended all their loan demands in the past, and of course they support the legitimate government and Seniora.
Spain: Support PM Seniora, stressed on applying UN resolutions 1701 & 1559. Spain also gave 5,000,000 Euro. Spain will contribute 35,000,000 Euro as gifts and not loans to reconstruct Lebanon, and will continue with its UNIFIL participation.
Brazil: Largest Communities in the world are present in Lebanon. Brazil was the second nation to visit Lebanon directly with 12,000 Ton of assistantships. Brazil will give one million dollars on dual partnerships, as it has given before 5,000,000$. He apologized for such a minor contribution. He stressed that no solution will take place in Lebanon as long as the Palestinian/Israeli issue is not solved. Chirac says that the number of Lebanese who work in Brazl are more than the Lebanese in Lebanon (my estimates 5,500,000 Lebanese).
UK: Already participated up to 150,000,000 Million. They will donate 40,000,000 Euro who are hurt, and a chunk will go to the Palestinian refugees who are most hurt in Lebanon + 130,000,000 Euro (MFL notes: strangely so, probably because the Palestinians are Pro-Fatah in Lebanon, but in any case prime time that topic is tackled).
Malasyia: Chirac stresses that currently this nation is severely damanged by floods currently. Currently Malasyia participates in the UNIFIL and already participated 550,000,000 Million US dollar and first time they donate to such a contrary. They will contribute with 3,000,000 US dollars in support to reconstructing Lebanon, and the minister of Finance is re-considering to restructure the bonds in Lebanon.
Sweden: Already hosted the Stockholm conference and contributed 20 million US dollars. Now they will donate 4.5 million Euro via the UN projects. It is important to solve the Israeli - Palestinian issue to have stability in Lebanon.
Finland: Already contributed 500,000 Euro in terms of Aid and Pollution, and Finland will donate 800,000 Euro via the UN to the sectors in need. Added his voice on the Middle East stability.
Holland: Support to Lebanon should come from its supporters and in Stockhom already donated 6 million Euro in disarming mines. They are committed in reforming the Security Forces. They will do a donation in the future when
Austria: 900,000 Euro in the past + 1 million Euro in support reform plan. Plus there is a need to ban Cluster Bombs.
Slovenia: Already worked on Humanitarian Aid and disarming Mines. Slovenia will give Lebanon this year 700,000 Euro.
(Chirac is starving, hence gives them the option of either speak quickly or grab a bite) Vote goes to continue.
Greece: They will donate 5,000,000 Million and already contributed in the Past 1.5 Million Euro
Cyprus: Played a major role (for free) in giving their ports during the Evacuation. Every year they will give (up to 2009) 340,000 Euro. They will give now 240,000 Euro.
Norway: 15,000,000 Euro (Chirac goes Bravo). and already have given in the past, partly also stressed on fighting the pollution on Lebanese shore, protecting the Palestinian Refugee, and plus Banning Cluster Bombs (I would say please do!)
Jordan: Were the first to assist Lebanon and provided the aerial bridge. They will donate 8,000,000 Million US dollars.
Egypt: Already have given 6 million US dollars, and will give 50,000,000 Dollars (I wonder why? Specially poverty is on the rise in Lebanon).
Canada: They have given 500,000,000 Canadian Dollars in the Past (Chirac checks if that is good or bad)
Ireland: They will contribute 5,000,000 Euro to Lebanon
Denmark: Supports 1701 and participated 6 m dollars in the past. They will give 3.5 Million US dollars which will be dedicated to the refugee camps, demining, and reconstruction.
Russian Federation:Will donate 30,000,000 US dollars and already constructed 9 bridges and
South Korea: Already donated 5 million dollars in the past + participated in 350 UNIFIL. They will give One Million US Dollars (although they could have donated more)
China: Already donated 40,000,000 dollars and worked on disarming. They will be sending more UNIFIL, and China will donate 30,000,000 Dollars.
Australia: Five Million dollars to go for Health, Hospitals, UNIFICEF, and Children. Two million dollars will go to Social reform. The cumulative will be 7,000,000 Australian Dollars.
Chirac Proposes, since the Portugese disappeared and hopefully will be found. The cumulative amounts provided to Lebanon: 7.6 Billion US dollars. He expresses his delight in it. First they need to eat, then go back to the session. Then the hearing will proceed for another One Hour and a Half.
So far these donations reflect a 100% victory for the Seniora plan in the face of the opposition. For starters, the funding came to support the projects. Second, no opposition faction in hell has the skills to manage such large amount of fundings. Third, the plan has been on-going ever since Rafiq Harriri became the Prime Minister. When Salim el-Huss took over, all fundings to Lebanon froze, which shoved Lebanon in a situation currently faced by Hamas (whereby the Palestinians are currently starving due to the International Community pressure on them to resign).
Some of the participants placed South Lebanon and agriculture on the top, this again is an indirect slap to the opposition, which means that the government will stretch its influence to the South. The South has been neglected whether from agriculture or economically which gave the primary reason why Hezbollah became popular.
Again, none of the participants never discussed how these money would be spent, as well as how the monopoly will be broken on the energy. The WTO is known to encourage monopolies between the ruling elites and the transnational corporation.
Aoun on the other hand recieved the biggest slap in the face. Aoun spent all these years in France, and mainly under Chirac's reign. Now Aoun thought he can go head to head with Paris, and now Aoun got the biggest slap with Chirac endorsing Lebanon as if it is his little child.
Now, we dance. The opposition two days ago struck, Seniora's tools and allies struck back.
Already al-Manar is broadcasting a replay an interview with Nasser Qandil rather what is going on from the other side (Future TV would probably do the same).
President Lahoud recieved the biggest slap in the matter. Such conferences do not require his signatures to settle a business deal. His clash with Chirac also ended up with a major defeat. He lost as he proved to be a meaningless president (and illegitimate in the eyes of the International Community).
Chirac and Seniora are winng. For starters, US hegemony on Lebanon will not take place, and their hegemony like they did with Egypt and Jordan has failed. Seniora secured cash-flows and Aoun has nothing to yell about except that they are "thieves". Also, this massive political and economical support has given Seniora the green light to remain in power no matter what the opposition do.
The surprise however the immediate donations from the gulf, excluding Saudi Arabia, because they already donated/loaned in the during and post war.
PS: I will analyze the impact of the International Community on Lebanon on a later post, got studies to do :)
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The Second introductory source would be the Boleshevic revolutionary Anatoly Lunacharsky's book Revolutionary Silhouettes, published in 1923. This book displays the important and influential characters of the Russian Revolutions, and introduces some characters who were active. I have to note though that not all of the notes of both authors I tend to agree with, nor their sources were as complete as currently are.
However, the interesting archive for those who want to dwell on the details would be the Boleshevics section at the Marxist Internet Archive . I have to note that not all the Boleshevics were Russian, as they believed in Internationalism and several played a role in the Russian Revolution and never had the Russian Passport. This section contains journals and memoirs of the active revolutionaries within the revolution, such as John Reed's 10 Days that shook the world.
Trotsky's masterpiece, History of the Russian Revolution is a very important source on the Russian Revolution and tackles its major lessons for future generations to learn from. As for learning the main setpoints, I can recommend Alan Woods' Bolshevism - The Road to Revolution .
I will provide more links to the matter when I have more time... enjoy your readings and remain revolutionary red in nature. This is the road one day the Proletariat in Lebanon will follow as the only salvation to Lebanon's crisis.
The first disgraceful notion to realize are Future TV and Manar TV. The two are exactly the anti-thesis of each other. If you look at either camp, you would see two different worlds of the current reality, and sadly neither of them even came close to reflect what is happening of the situation.
The Media was biased, provocative, distorted, and provocative. For example, the fight that occured in Rawshi with the Syrian Social Natinalist Party started was not mentioned by Future TV (even though couple of minutes away from them) that it was the supporters of Harriri on three occassions attacking the SSNP. On three seperate occassions, the Future (Harriri's Sunni fanatics) attempted to break into the SSNP HQ and on three occassions they were kicked out. Those fanatics came from Arab Maslakh region. By the third time after the bashing, the army FINALLY made it. While throwing stones at each other, Future captured only the part of the SSNP throwing stones back, not Future attacking SSNP HQ for the sake of riots.
Another example is al-Manar. All day the Manar was broadcasting that the demonstration was peaceful and the demonstrators were innocent civilians expressing their opinion, while al-Manar didn't mention how the Free Patriotic Movement (Aoun's goons) were bashing cars randomly. Three of my friends got their cars smashed to pieces by FPM riots for no excuse. Another example is showing the pic of Free Patriotic Movement demonstrators and Manar accuses the Government returning to the Militia era (while officially only Hezbollah got weaponry that go frenzy every time Nasrallah speaks on TV). The funny part it showed one Lebanese Forces guy, rather kid, wearing the chipped cross, being held by five of his friends while facing him was 200 FPM. This didn't reflect the size of the matter, nor the fact that the Marada did do actual shooting on the pro-government goons.
The media remained provocative and enriching the audiences with more of fuel of anger rather simply report what is going on. My recommendations as a first step for better Lebanon: Close Down Manar and Future TV.
The biggest bullshit I heard today is the fact the ex-MP Faris Sa'aid and Lebanese Forces claiming to go down to the street to give the army "moral support".
Another reason is the Opposition. They went down to demonstrate, five or six people got killed without getting anything done. The ones who got hurt were the none affiliates of 14th and 8th of March.
Moreover, Azur was correct (for once) to point out that Aoun agreed with most of the points on the economical plan of Seniora. I mentioned that in several posts before. None of the camps (for the Zillionth time) are objecting to the entry of Lebanon to the World Trade Organization.
After all this fiasco, 6 Lebanese died for nothing.
The Lebanese Forces and Marada/FPM did a Christian dance to prove who is the real Christian. Their leaders would recommend them to remember their Lebanese side and Christianity.
The Mufti Qabbani gave a speech which reflects the involvement of religion, and this whole nation is damned to be divided for the welfare of their leaders. FPM's Alain Aoun was arguing that this civil disobediance is 100% political, and the CHRISTIANS wanted a proper representation.
Demonstration got canceled. Hezbollah's Hussein Hajj Hassan and AMAL's Naim Qassem were arguing that this civil disobediance would last a week. Then he appears on New TV inventing a zillion excuse why it stopped.
Shame on anyone that supports the political parties which belong to the government or the opposition. Its leaders are sectarian and wouldn't mind switching their political lines (already did it in the past) while their followers blindly would go and cheer their leaders.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Pics can be found at BBC's first round upload and CNN's first round
For starters, as I post the Route to Kisirwan has opened after attempted clashes, the LF are whistling in victory.
8th of March, according to couple of sources, started their assemblies at 3:00 in the morning to pass the sensitive area.
This is the latest fiasco that the bi-polarity in Lebanon got us to. The total closure of areas are Jal el Deeb, Borj Hammoud, Zalkra, A'amarah Shalhoub, Dikwani, and Sad-el Boshrieh (according to Manar).
So far, two people got killed, and a lot are wounded which is tragic how the Capitalist Pigs of our nation are driving the Proletariat against each other.
Both Pro-Government and Opposition Militias have arms in certain locations.
As time progresses during the day, clashes are intensifying. The clowns of the day are the Free Patriotic Movement, Lebanese Forces, and the Marada.
Vandalism took place, specially when angry mobs (of FPM in specific at Hazmieh) broke cars or passing cars.
The army have been scattered where there are two opposing party supporters. So far the army didn't break up and remained neutral away from Politics, they are avoiding to beat up the demonstrators in order not to be tagged for any camp.
Shtoura Route Opens
2:25: Shtoura route opened, again with FPMers and LF screaming on each other.Nahr el Mawt
2:10, After seperating the FMP and Lebanese Forces, the army stood between both, while a bulldozer, amidst flying stones and empty glasses on the army from the FPM. The army finally opened the route, but still checking if it is safe to pass via cars.
FPM are active, the army increases and then decreases (vice versa) are opening. The situation down there seems being contained and the bulldozers are soon to open it. FPMers are demonstrating still... The Lebanese Forces are still standing between the FPM and LF as well. The army failed to open it, while LF and FPM still waiting for a show-down.
Heavy clashes between Lebanese Forces and Marada & Co., it drove Sleiman Frangieh (Marada Leader) and Strida Jaajaa (LF figurehead) to go to TV and attempt to calm things down. Moreover, 8 are wounded in Byblos.
Ex-MP Faris Sa'aid Got Attacked
What the heck that guy doing? Taking a Picnic during this day or attempting to play a martyr?What is he doing with the military talking with the demonstrators...
Threesome in Nahr el Kalb
First, on the route of Kisirwan (Nahr el Kalb), clashes between the Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese Forces occurred. The FPM closed the route, and were greeted by the LF. The army intervened to do a human barrier, but another set of LF supporters took the FPM by surprise from behind, but the army again controlled the situation after few got wounded by flying stones. The army shot in the air, shoved both demonstrators to different sides, and opened the routes. The Lebanese Forces were whistling in victory which made the army appear prejudiced to the government (not the fact the Army was doing its job). As some cars were passing, some FPM tried to kick the passing cars, the army stopped them. Cars passing and raising the Phalange flag in Zouk are raising them in face of the FPM.
All Yesterday the only leaders yelling at each other were the Christian leaders. The Future and AMAL/Hezbollah didn't attack each other like the Christian leaders, because the attempt of not transforming the clash Sunni - Shiite is taking place.
Nevertheless, the clashes in the Sunni side occurred between the Naserite Popular Order and the Future movement in Saida. In Saida, the situation is complex, there are a minority of AMAL in it, but the Tanzeem spoke in order to reflect a Sunni complaining on a Sunni. According to some residents I know in Saida, a lot of its residents favor Harriri, but the Palestinian camps favor Sa'ads, head family of the Order. Currently, the Order is accusing the Future for destributing weaponry.
Jaajaa, acording to LBC, said that the security forces are not doing their job. This is not true, the army perfectly blocked the fights which at this moment can outbreak into massive riots hitting each other. Aoun gave his traditional speech on sovereignity rather than saying: Please make me a President.
Clashes Mostly taking Place in Christian Areas
The fist to fist has been mostly in the Christian Areas due to diverse leaderships. Marada and FPM are on one side mainly, Lebanese Forces and Phalange on the other (primarily Phalange and Lebanese Forces got a common audience).
Matn & Tripoli& Others
Several routes are closed by the FPM (in Matn) and FPM and Marada in Tripoli. The army didn't open any routes of the already closed. Tripoli had a sniper shooting on the people. Tripoli has a Future current, there are two neighboring opposing each other; four are wounded in Tripoli. First by flying stones then a shoot out. Riots broke between Lebanese Forces and Future versus Manar and Future.
In Matn, Dhor Shweir, Do'war routes are closed (neighboring villages). Sowfar has experienced shooting.
Announced closed Routes on NBN
Safra route, Bowar, 3aqawbi, Rashaa, Kisirwan, Shtoora, Zahli, A'akar, other locations
Total Closure: Tripoli, Saida, South, Zahli, A'krar are closed.
5:20, two more barriers are increased. One in Jnahh (latest), and another among the 12 barriers. The barriers are taking place with lrge trucks pouring walls of sand on the routes and the trucks are coming.
The airport, yesterday openly declared to work as a regular day. The primary route is still closed. The ones who suffered most are the passengers who are traveling. They had to go walking to the airport. Airflights by 10:00 are canceled to Lebanon. There are according to LBC, there are 12 check-point demonstrators, kids are massively demonstrating for the opposition. Trucks are still loading sand piles and placing it on the routes. "Allah, Nasrallah, wil Dahhieh Killa" are the chants. Again, human shields and burning tires. The arriving passengers are trapped there. The kids are having fun in the demonstrations and simply are repeating their parents logos. The airport is supposed to recieve five airplanes at the evening.
The Route of Ashrafieh to Hazmieh
The FPM closed the route with again burning tires, what happened was a massive show off between the Army and the FPM which in the end the FPM were also shoved from the route, while demonstrators kept throwing flaming tires on the road.
El Solh Square:
The Governmental Palace: Major armoured trucks are presnt there.
The routes were blocked with Sukleen trash bins and rocks. Till the army entered, Future started finally displaying the picture. Seems the demonstrators are trying to block Future employees from arriving to their work. The army is extensive over there.
Human Shields in Mazra'a and Orgy at Noon
Where there is no clashes and Primary routes, the army is trying to scatter the sitting demonstrators peacefully with Dialogues. Riotes broke eventually between both sides. Army is kicking the people out and told the Camera crews to leave because they encourage the demonstrators to go frenzy. The army is facing a huge battle scattering the crowds as stones are flying on buildings and on each other.
Flying Stones in Beqa'a
Stones are flying between opposing groups. At 11:25 there are four wounded already, stones are flying and the army is kicking the opposing groups to scatter.
In the morning, the army took the fire down there (wondering about the Hezbollah dominated areas though).
Clahes between Future and Government. Two demonstrations opposing each other. Future supporters are hailing: Allah, Harriri, Tareeq el Jadeedi while invading opposition are cheering opposing chants.
Universities were open, class attendences are few either due to people demonstrating or university students not making it. In any case, certain Pro-Government (not a lot of cases) finished classes and went to support their government. Fakhredean State school was by force closed.
The demonstrations (informally from a friend) contain demonstrator carrying arms.
According to NBN, the entrance to Batroun and departure routes are totally closed. The army didn't intervene massively Marada and FPM. The Security Forces had a bulldozer coming t open the routes, but the opposition did human shield. The bulldozer retreated and the army is talking peacefully, but warned the demonstrators to open the routes.
Politicians from Both Sides
Parrots repeating logos on TV.
Hamra most of the places are closed (Roadster is packed though) . A store facing my house never closed during the entire civil war, and that includes Ariel Sharon's 11 hours of bombing West Beirut, today it closed. Early in the morning, the Opposition placed a barrier on the entrance but was quickly uprooted.
Israeli Illusional Raids
Israeli planes flew over Nabatieh.
Army intervened, after riots breaking. Opposing routes are throwing stones at each other. An army soldier got wacked by a stone.
Weird Job Employers
In this crazy situation, several companies by force dragged their employees to work for political reasons.
Broken Cars and Palestinian Wanna Be Warriors
Cars are broken, and some opposition are throwing stones in a Palestinian way. Personally, the ever respected "Children of the Stones" have difference when defending their homes against an Israeli bulldozer, and these cowards rioting against each other.
Demonstrators entered there and forced places to close and currently demonstrators.
He announced that Azur and Lebanon's representatives travelled yesterday evening to avoid the blockage on the Airport. Seniora himself remained in Beirut. Actually, Seniora is currently pleased of the situation since Lebanon is on its route to enter World Trade Organization while both reactionary camps clash with each other.
All the Week Orgy
The Opposition are differing whether this is going to be 48 hours or all the week. Nevertheless, both camps proved how they are reactionary and the workers are facing each other. Today also proves that the demand on Hezbollah to disarm is not logical, rather, all parties should disarm.
All the Week Orgy
The Opposition are differing whether this is going to be 48 hours or all the week. Nevertheless, both camps proved how they are reactionary and the workers are facing each other. Today also proves that the demand on Hezbollah to disarm is not logical, rather, all parties should disarm.
Several clashes everywhere are taking place, but I need to recharge the battery.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Damn, an MP is more important than the whole government.... well done Future TV
Sunday, January 21, 2007
The "Opposition" has finally decided to escalated their "movement". Fine, this was tagged as Civil Disobediance, and again, it is fine. The Seniora government have been recieving financial support from all the Pro-US nations (specially those who Arab regimes that didn't mind kicking out the Israeli ambassadors) but again this is fine. Is it?
Well, of course not. The mere fact that each wants to dictate on the other demands is not fine. Some 14th of Marchers would say "Once Lahoud is out, Lebanon would be fine", others would say "Once the International Tribunal is over, we will be fine"... err... are they nuts?! The core problem is sectarianism whereby each sect gathers, like a stampede, around their sect leader because they are worried that the others would eat them alive. Let us face it, this is not about the assassinations, this is not about fighting US imperialism, this not fighting Syria or Israel, this is about each elite using in an instrumental manner Sectarianism to safe-guard their own interests. None of the Political Parties would give you the exact definition of Lebanon, and definitely none really care about their people. The proof of the matter is the ever-increasing immigrations towards outside Lebanon while class differences are always on the increase.
Eventually, if it rains too much, the arguement would go: "The Syrians did it" or "The Israelis did it". Now of course, notice who would support what slogan. The Sect leaders of 14th of March would say the Syrians (ie Harriri's Sunni, Junblatt's Druz, and Jaajaa's Christians) while from the other side you got 8th of March (Hezbollah and AMAL's Shiites, and Aoun's Christians) from the other. The opposing Sunni to Harriri are too weak to face him or limited to their areas. Again, if you sneeze, your allies would say bless you, and your enemies would say go to hell. This scenario applies to both 14th and 8th of March.
So escalations are coming to place. Funny that the 14th of March blame 8th of March for it, as a person who hates both, they both are to be both blamed perfectly well. None is listening to the other, and none intends to listen in any case. All those calls for dialogues are fakes, and all wait for the proper mediator to pressure the other to submit. Now, since both can't back-out, they are reaching the next level of escalations, which means there can never ever be a face save deal to satisfy both sides. This is no longer about Syria or the United States, this became about two sectarian camps proving their presence. The more blunders one camp does, the other's camp sees it as a matter of survival.
For starters, Nasrallah can gather 1.5 million, but Junblatt would call the 1.5 million as Syrian agents. If that is the case, then Syria really has one a hell of a budget to pay all those agents. Mr. Junblatt disregards (or aware of the matter) that this sect has been previously oppressed and tagged as non-present in governmental budgets in the past. The Christian duet singers (Aoun and Jaajaa) gamble on the fact that none was represented in the government during the Syrian mandate, and henceforth, they are the "real Christians" and each want to restore Christian representation to the matter. Now of course, Aoun's solution is a promise of a strong Christian President, Jaajaa's way is having a closed Christian Community with nice number of ministers.
Harriri's movement is the most of organized, it is a two-fold movement. There are the Sunnis who are worried of the "terrible" Shiites, but he also got the business men on his side. Last month, several business delegations visited Harriri telling him to end the crisis or at least diffuse it. Harriri can't do that because if he does, he will lose the only shot of integrating Lebanon to the grid of the World Trade Organization, and definitely his money will triple while the rest of the Lebanese can go burn in hell. Let the Transnational Corporations take over the Ministries via Privatization, and let the public sector employees be dumped into "Kingdom Come". Worse, let them dump their commodities and put the remaining middle and lower business out of the market. Or even worse...
The escalations are coming, as expected. None is listening to the other, and civil disobediance is on the road. Jaajaa would tell them to go home, of course, he would, since he is a Sect Leader himself and safeguarding his interests. To him, Syria is driving those 1.5 million. He is part of the Sectarian game. Some may complain that this escalation would put people out of business, to be exact the System we are living (100% free market system) has already put thousands of people out of business, and will continue to do so (currently with political help).
Nasrallah two days ago did mention an interesting idea, his massive numbers of participants, specially at night (in comparing his to 14th of March). But his intention is to preserve his arms, the government is not giving him a juicy piece-meal to decline his arms, and probably never will be able to with all the funding coming from Iran as well as the donations since Hezbollah won the sympathies of the Arab nation masses and muslims on international scales.
Now what to expect from this escalation? OF course, Future and al-Manar stations would display two different worlds. The politicians repeating the same words, and if this crisis continues hopefully a defeatist reality would come. Now of course, a Marxist defeatist reality is way far than to become a reality, the Lebanese Communist Party is not a communist party these days, and those who are being disgusted by 14th and 8th of March are just sitting in their homes. There is no alternative, and the majority of the Lebanese I am hoping will end up against both camps, but not from a marxist defeatist manner since their is no vanguard party to direct the Proletariat disgusted from both camps.
Check Sectarianism all the Way 1 & 2
Saturday, January 20, 2007
For starters, Lebanon failed to build a case against Israel in the United Nations for all those attrocities occuring during the July War. Over 1200 victims, and that was not a case that our government successfully accomplished. Come to think of it, Halutz himself and others said that they used UN banned weaponry (Phosphoric Bombs) loud and clear, and again the Lebanese government (with Hezbollah and AMAL in it) failed to build a case. Worse, Israel remains flying over Lebanese land while the UN just sit and eat popcorn (despite the "confrontations" taking place). Moreover, the South is still littered with millions of cluster bomb, worse, civilians are still dying and also UNIFIL soldiers from those "self-defence" bombs.
Second, both 8th and 14th of March claim they want the welfare of the Lebanese, and specially the Lebanese in the Southern Lebanon (while of coure the Lebanese Forces are still day-dreaming about "Christian Power" and "Christian Superiority") while neither of the camps actually bothered to build shelters for the front line villages at the borders with Israel to safeguard the citizens.
Third, the question of the Lebanese Army. Lebanon has been driven by sectarianism, and that means so are the different components of the army. Even though the army command might be secular and followed Fouad Shehab's policy in 1958 in keeping the army neutral) but its components are definitely sectarian and in case we will have severe confrontations. In 1989, when Berri told the Shiites to withdraw from the army as a result of Amin Gemayel commanding the army to bomb Hezbollah, the army almost collapsed (60% withdraw). The army components still need to be integrated within a secular ideology, even though the army has such a philosophy, but again its components are Lebanese afterall. The real test of the army is when we have a severe internal crisis (hopefully that does not happen). The second dimensions in relations to the Lebanese army is the defence of the nation; and sadly Hezbollah proved themselves against Israel when Israel entered Lebanon to be a better efficient defence force than the Lebanese Army. Hezbollah's arms probably should go to the Lebanese Army (which in turn would be disarmed of the 20,000 missiles), but till the Lebanese Army proves itself in facing aggressive foreign forces entering Lebanon, 14th of March can't impose on Hezbollah to disarm without giving them a good deal in return. Meanwhile, the Lebanese Army is required to have Anti-Aircraft missiles to shoot down Israeli airplanes just as the fact Lebanon has the right to defend itself against the country which has the latest state of the art weaponry coming from the US: Israel.
Fourth, both camps proved to be cowards when it comes to internal politics, both camps are relying on foreign interventions err.... mediations as a solution rather to sort it out. Actually, both camps publicaly brag about their foreign patronages.
Fifth, the issue of the World Trade Organization has not been tackled by both camps. Rather it was percieved as a 14th of March gag and any opposition would be tagged automatically 8th of March.
Sixth, the gay movement and the "Rainbow" warriors have been heavily active. They performed well during the July war in relief networks in Samidoun (3rd largest grassroot relief network in Lebanon during the war. Respect to their abilities, and also respect from the parties that proved tolerence (at least at that moment), still, the Rainbow warriors should not go towards revers racism against the "straights". Socialism in this perspective is the only answer. They still face a lot racism themselves, so solidarity to this oppressed class to our comrades active within that movement. (unlike what some Lebanese bloggers mock them)
Seventh, the issue of women has not been tackled. Lately the womens' activism on student level have been on the rise. Whether we like it or not, women in most of Lebanon still need emancipation, but let this emancipation be a socialist foundation rather extremist and would create the exact opposite of Sexism.
Eighth, the real solutions to the Lebanese crisis has not been tackled: Sectarianism. To be exact, the sects love each other if their leaders love each other. The topics of Civil Marriage and demolishment of tagging Lebanese according to Sects are not over. As long as this topic is not solved, reactionary parties like AMAL, Free Patriotic Movement, Progressive Socialist Party, Future, Lebanese Forces, Hezbollah, and others would remain sect driven, and its leaders would always remain powerful while Lebanon would always remain a sitting duck for for external reactionary powers.
Nineth, the status of the secular parties have detorioted worse than it was before in such a bi-polar nation. The parties of the Lebanese Communist Party and Syrian Social Nationalist Party are too weak to assume leadership and a secular unified front against all those sectarian parties. Worse, the government attacks one of the two secular parties in the 8th of March camp, while all parties got all those weapons (I know but cannot name my sources for the welfare of the party members). The Democratic Leftist Movement and the Movement of Commoners never were left-wing in the first place. The DLM became reactionary and an elitest minority in order to end up as an extension to the 14th of March. Najah Wakim may have been heroic to vote against Bashir Gemayel's election as a Lebanese President in 1982, but his movement have been the exact anti-thesis of the DLM. They are located in 8th of March, claiming Nasserism and Socialism at the same time, their members are also small and elitest with no concept (like the DLM) of anything called Leftist thoughts. The Order of Communist Work finally collapsed while its members are distributed between 8th of March, 14th of March, and independents (the good people) against all forms of capitalism. The indepedents of the OCW cannot do anything to change the situation we live in. The Progressive Socialist Party started detoriating to a Durzi party since the civil war. Walid Junblatt eventually dissolved the Lebanese National Movement in 1984 to get his sect a market Canton when everything called infrastructure collapsed. Currently, he is a durzi feudal lord contributing to sectarianism and part of 14th of March.
Tenth, the on-going subject of knowing the truth begins not with the assassination of Rafiq Harriri (or Bashir Gemayel as the Lebanese Forces niavely claim or the respected Kamal Junblatt in 1977 as the PSP claim) but to expose the Lebanese Civil War as it started and even before that in an attempt to understand scientifically the causes of the war. This does not suit the interests of those reactionary leaders of 14th/8th of March, rather they prefer to re-write history to suit their own interests. I have to remark that the 14th of March are being more blunders in that domain. In order to find a solution for the current crisis, the past should be understood; afterall, the current situational crisis is as result of the past. Some reasons may go back to 1920 and even more.
Eleventh, the International Tribunal crisis has not been sorted. The 14th of March leaders think they can over-throw the Syrian Baathi regime in Damascus from Beirut, while Hezbollah fear the Tribunal might end up as an excuse to disarm them. The greatest fear, and specially for me, the US and Israeli interest in the Tribunal.
Twelve, the issue of the displaced as a result of the July War, none of the camps really did their job for the refugees. Up to October, the High Relief Commission didn't even start with the schools. As for rebuilding, my activist friends in the South reported that they are doing a patchwork.
Thirteenth, the crisis of the of the Palestinian Refugees have been worsening. Most of the camps' situation are below livable standards. Some Palestinians claimed that Hezbollah are more "Palestinians than the Palestinian themselves". The Camps in their districts didn't recieve any attention while the Lebanese Government officials simply visit the different camps without caring about them. Worse, they can't have any career prospects in Lebanon and currently they can't even seek assistantships in University due to Trad Hamadi's controversial decision before resigning. The Palestinian refugees are afterwards humans, and whether the Lebanese Forces like it or not, they are residents in Lebanon, and we are their hosts.
To a better Lebanon for the Proletariat in it, and to an ever-ongoing class struggle
Friday, January 19, 2007
All those who follow the light
Are delirious in their own fright
Afraid of the terrible others
Hide behind their leaders and fathers
Sectarianism encourages hatred
But no matter how we are belated
The Proletariat shall rise again
And all those leaders shall lay slain
One day the Proletariat shall rise
And throw their leaders like rotten franchise
All those capitalist pigs we see
Shall be tossed like garbage into the sea
We shall rise victorious
Away from those notorious
We shall relax from their iconization
No more slaves for their realization
No more blind Muslim or Christian leader worshipers
Unity of the Proletariat in their faces victorious
Those two reactionary glorious camps
Shall be put in trial and take away their banks
Damn you Christian and Muslim Leaders
You are nothing but bunch of dealers
Toying with the hearts of the Proletariat
And they shall no longer be your secretariat
Upon Your throne we shall denounce you
That you capitalist pigs is so true
We shall be united as one
Our hearts shall glitter as one
No more Christians and Muslims,
No more drinking their venoms
We shall stand united for all
And witness their amazing fall
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Blow to Olmert as Israel's armed forces chief quits (from Euro News)
The Israeli government of Ehud Olmert has been dealt a further blow. The head of the Israeli army, the chief of staff Dan Halutz, has resigned over internal inquiries into Israeli setbacks in the war in Lebanon last year. The departure of the lieutenant-general comes a day after a criminal investigation was opened into Prime Minister Olmert's role in the privatisation of a bank.
Many Israelis say they welcome the resignation. "I think it's a good decision, even if it came a bit late," said one man in the street. "As you know, the Israeli public opinion is that we didn't win this war. So, he had to go". But military analyst Efraim Inbar says Halutz is not the only one who's unpopular."
The chief of staff basically has lost the confidence of the Israeli population, as well as of his own subordinates. And we know that the Defence minister is also very low (sic) appreciated even in his own party and in the rest of the political system". A report by a retired Israeli general recently criticised military commanders for poor organisation during the war against Hizbollah, but stopped short of calling for Halutz's sacking. Two other top generals had already resigned.
Issue #694 17 January 2007 is over here with interesting titles and headlines ... Iget them as an email per week.
You can subscribe to it, better than reading what those clowns Aoun, Jaajaa, Harriri, or our President Lahoud are chanting on TV.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
"We are fighting against the international bourgeoisie, against a world of enemies who are armed to the teeth, and we must have an iron international proletarian organisation that is able to beat the enemy everywhere, which must be able to give any one of its troops the greatest possible help at any given moment, which must elaborate the most powerful, flexible and mobile forms of organisation it possibly can in order to face fully armed the enemy it has to fight."
"Long live the working class of the whole world! Long live the Communist International!"
A major concept is discussed, which is a global unified front to face the bourgeoisie of the world. To be exact, the current priority enemies are the transnational corporations that install the Presidents or dictators in 3rd World Nations. Ironically, the above words of Zinoviev were said in 1920, but in practice, the same applies in this century.
Zinoviev mentions that the Capitalists got their own international, and the working class requires a unified international of its own. That was mentioned by Marx and Engels in the Manifesto when they say Communism includes all the Proletariat despite Race, Gender, Color, or Nationality. The problem is that Capitalism became a global system with an international of its own that penetrated the Proletariat also despite race, gender, color, or nationality. Capitalism has integrated the workers from all over the world, and according to Teresa Brennan’s book “Globalization and its Terror”, two billion people live below the two dollar wage. According to Suzan George, 3.6 trillion dollars rotate around the globe per day while the capitalists refute to accept the Tobin Tax to stop the markets of the 3rd World being volatile. Samir Amin, in Obsolescent Capitalism, argued class inequality has increased to the extent less than 8% of the world own more than 65% of global wealth. The fact, again referring to Suzan George, the top 100 wealthiest entities in 2001 were divided into 51 Corporations and 49 Nation States tells you there is something wrong with the global system and the distribution of wealth. This means that some corporations own what the most of Asia, Africa, and Latin America’s budgets combined.
Corporations in Latin America intervene with the elites and sustain their reign as much as possible. Just for the fact that Bolivia and Honduras had their natural water privatized, it should explain to the extent the details how much transnational corporations are involved. In Nigeria, in the mid-nineties, Shell succeeded in executing nine activists with the accusation of high treason. Worse, in the United States, you can attain patents on anything as long as it is not a human being, which means living microscopic organisms can be owned temporarily. I recommend the documentary The Corporation for further information.
The current third world nations are doomed since their entry into the Capitalist system is rather late. In the past, for example, the 3rd world nations were sources of raw materials and cheap labor. Now, the majority are still the same with the difference they became markets to those transnational corporations.
Problems with National Liberation Movements
When economic recessions and demand for minimum standards of survival are pushed forth, Nationalism becomes popular (unless we refer to the fundamentalist groups who succeeded in replacing Nationalism with ideological religious doctrines). In the past, several national liberation armies were successful, but the problem is they succeeded in their own country, and to make it worse, in a global capitalist system driven and dominated by the corporations.
A member of the International Socialist Tendency was telling me that he opposed the United States, I explained to him that as Marxists we oppose the Corporations behind the US administration, after all it is they who fund the presidents’ campaigns.
Henceforth, when Nationalist militant groups succeed, or as far as Stalinist groups, they didn’t change much. They remained stuck in the muck of capitalism while the leaders became business men to the corporations and privatization would strike whereby the Public Sector employees are thrown out to the streets and welfare services are cut to compensate for those Transnational Corporations.
Even the Social Democrats in Sweden got stuck with Capitalism. Their Welfare State is gradually being demolished by Capitalism since it is impossible to establish Socialism in one state and neglect the whole world. Even Lenin expressed that the Soviet Union is doomed to fail when the revolutions in Germany and Warsaw failed because the Russian Revolution failed to metamorphose towards becoming a global revolution that would eliminate the Capitalist system.
The Lies of Democracy and Free Market Go Togather
Currently a solution is difficult if we think in terms of emancipation from above. If leaders, and specially 3rd World Leaders think they can change the world by plans, then they are wrong. The top three forces: Japan, United States, and Europe, still practice market protectionism while forcing others to liberalize their economies. The whole Latin America and North Africa suffered from recessions, unemployment rates, and others due to liberalization of the markets. The Capitalists say they are promoting fair global competition, but under such circumstances no domestic local corporation can compete with the transnational corporations, with all those large mergers occurring.
The integration of the markets of the world towards a singular market has made things more terrible for the Proletariat. States are left at the mercy of foreign investments. Whatever state offers more tax havens and cheaper labor will receive investments, then the cycle rotates. As standards of living improve a bit and wages increase, the transnational corporations would either close their plants and travel elsewhere cheaper or import human labor for cheaper prices.
The Neo-Cons hail two things at the same time: Democracy and Capitalism. Each goes parallel to the other. They meddle in internal affairs of other nations in the name of democracy and afterwards force them to open their markets (or they force them through the IMF and World Bank to liberalize the market then preach democracy). Samir Amin’s reply was perfect to such allegations. He dedicates a whole section analyzing democracy through the question of “Socialization through the market or through democratization?” The liberal ideology assumes that no nation can socially progress without democracy, and currently “a concern for democracy has become the stuff of everyday official discourse and a duly issued certificate of a democratic practice is a prerequisite for the continuation of aid by the large rich democracies.” Democracy assumes that the individual and the collective are responsible for the making of their history. This concept is modern in such a way it was created with the birth of capitalism. To Amin neither modernity nor democracy reached its full development. Capitalism has nothing to do with democracy. Democracy traditionally meant a well managed political system, and the ‘successes’ of S. Korea, Brazil, and Taiwan economically occurred under a dictatorship system rather a democratic system. Amin argues that Commodity Alienation has declined the stress on human values, and as such democracy assured to the entrepreneur the space to maximize profit on the expense of cheap labor. Democracy currently also works through coalitions. This is where the relations between politics and economics emerge as interrelated, since it is the coalitions of corporations that pool in to support their candidate in elections, and definitely the victors would stick to the political policies that suite the taste of the well-financed corporations.
Well, I tend to agree with Hal Draper’s masterpiece, May Day. This should return us to Zinoviev’s quotes, the need for an international. I cannot think any organized international (well at least that was that organized) other than the Third International, prior to the rise of Stalin to power. The goal was to open fronts on the bourgeoisie through out the world and to emancipate the Proletariat through out the world. The ones most effected currently are the workers of course. A demonstrator in the battle for Seattle 1999 was raising the logo “WTO, if it does not work for the workers, it simply does not work” while another screamed “Workers of the World Unite!” The problem again boils down to the Proletariat who got the tendency to be organized to face the Capitalist’s international. Individual revolutions would end up doing a U turn to capitalism as the balance of payments of the nation’s budget would be important for the survival of the government. Chavez himself wouldn’t have lasted this long if his nation’s GDP depended 87% on Oil exports. Tehran’s Islamic regime also wouldn’t last that long if there was no oil. This is of course not to compare Chavez to Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khameni, rather drawing on the situation of what keeps them on-going: Capital.
The Zapatistas bravely and most respectively launched their insurrection, and used the capitalists’ own weaponry against them: the Internet. They expressed poems and called for an International Movement to face Wall Street which according to them in 1994 was supporting their dictatorship government. The World Social Forums came as a reply to their demands at later years and in the light of Seattle 99 (as well as other factors), but its loose organization proved after 2003 that it can’t do real change since again the standing system remains there: the system of greed and cash accumulation whereby the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
The steps of change should be gradual and on an international level. Clandestine of activists should be organized everywhere and wherever possible, with a long-run to achieve what is needed. This means that the workers should learn what are their rights, who are their real enemies, and how get rid of them step by step on an international level. After Seattle 99, it was noticed that the majority of participants were the ones with internet access. Actually, most of the ones who didn’t participate in that event because they didn’t have a clue what the WTO is. The same applies in almost all the countries.
Women workers are the most oppressed with cheapest wages and double shifts, specially one (house labor) is unmeasured in the GDP and definitely unpaid for. They should learn what are their rights not as women, but as humans, to face that segregation, while males should learn the same thing. The world is no longer a big place, and Trotsky always argued that to attain equality, the standing system which is the creator of all those values should be overthrown.
A new International is needed to be as threatening as the Third International, and more effective as Capitalism has advanced. There is no joking around when everything is tagged with a price, even the war on Iraq had its materialistic profits for the corporations rebuilding it.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
(Earlier Episodes: Bashir's Federational Plan: One Lebanon - Five Inside States; 14th of March Blunders: Monopoly of Victims to Preserve Supporters, and General 'Psycho' Aoun)
Pic Found here
When the head of the Phalange Party Pierre Gemayel made his son Bashir the contact between the Israelis and the Phalange (check notes of Shai Feldman, Ehud Ya’ari, and Joseph Abu Khalil), Amin (Bashir’s brother) was the link to the Syrians. I would like to note that the first to contact the Israelis were neither Bashir Gemayel nor Joseph Abu Khalil, rather it was George A’dwan, who was then the leader of al-Tanzeem militia.
Pierre Gemayel secretly organized his plan to send two of his sons to separate nations that each would invade Lebanon to support their platform. Pierre Gemayel opposed Kamal Junblatt’s reform platform which was establishing optional civil marriage, isolating the religious figures, equality between all sects, and of course recruitment in the public sector is based on merit criteria. Pierre’s obsession was to preserve the status quo (something I will discuss in details when I tackle the National Pact of 1943, The Ta’ef Accord, and the Brotherhood Treaty) whereby the Christians dominated everything politically and recruitment to remain in parliament 6 Christians to 5 Muslims. Amin Gemayel was supposed to continue the same.
When Amin Gemayel’s secret missions to Syria were taking place in parallel to Bashir’s to Israel, ironically both the Israelis and Syrians knew about those visits. The contacts between Amin and the Baathis broke after Syria flipped to form the Rejection Front (in reaction to Sadat’s peace treaty process) and failed to win over the Christians afterwards. After Bashir started to ascend the rank and file of the Phalange Party, and had his breakthrough after the 100 days war in East Beirut, he purified or crippled all rival Christian parties. The last person to remain standing was his own brother in Matn who also had his own private Phalange Militia. Bashir subdued Amin Gemayel’s region to his to complete his “Marounstan” (as called by a foreign journalist) and eventually became the perfect candidate to the US. The reason I am mentioning Bashir now because after the Zahle clash with the Syrians, Bashir Gemayel emerged as the Presidential candidate to Lebanon against his own brother Amin, and the Sham’ouns. The Frangieh Clan lacked a candidate because Sulieman Frangieh’s reign ended drastically against him (another episode to be written about) while his Son Tony was brutally butchered by the commands of Bashir Gemayel.
While Amin’s role after 1980 evaporated, he would soon appear as the next candidate after his brother was assassinated in September 14, 1982. Amin Gemayel was not really loved by the Americans. Since today I am not fully pressured, I will tackle Amin Gemayel’s history at ease using references from the US archives and to be exact the book of Philip Habib (the US diplomat to Lebanon) called Cursed is the Peace Maker (written by Roy Boykin), and other books and documentaries to attempt to construct Amin Gemayel’s blunders which like all the warlords, deserve to be persecuted as a war criminal.
The Americans didn’t like the fact Amin Gemayel became a president because he was not strong enough to face (in their perspective) the Syrians, PLO, Israelis and local parties as well as establish a centralized government. Actually, it was during Amin Gemayel’s reign that Lebanon became divided into Cantons and Militia mini-government that never happened before in Lebanon’s history.
The Lebanese didn't like the fact Amin Gemayel was a president. The Sham'ouns were running against the Phalange for elections, Moris Draper says that they intervened to see Amin making it. Amin Gemayel was considered the first President to belong to a Militia Party to become a President. His cabinet was composed of his close men or his brother's. The whole parties regarding Amin Gemayel as a Phalange rather a Lebanese President. His brother technically didn't become a president because he was assassinated prior to talking the Presidential position. I have to mention that till this day a lot of people mourn his death or celebrate it as his controversial Character still is disputed despite the fact that 14th of March pethatically are trying to make him a 14th of March founder (idiots).
Opinion of the US on Amin Gemayel
These opinions reflect on Amin Gemayel’s character from the US administration:
“Habib felt that Lebanon’s new president, Amin Gemayel, was in no position to stand up to Begin (MFL notes: Israeli Prime Minister during the Israeli invasion” and Sharon (Minister of Defense). It wasn’t just that his country had no clout. Lebanon’s political weakness gained nothing from Amin’s personal characteristics. Contemptuously nicknamed “Travolta” and “the Hairdresser”, Amin was not the stuff of which leaders are made, says Ryan Crocker, the political officer in the American embassy. It was never intended, even in the Gemayel clan, that he should be president.” But with Bashir’s death on September 14, Amin had suddenly found himself in that seat. Amin sincerely wanted to be a good president, says Dillon, but didn’t know how. He was jealous of Bashir’s success, afraid of criticism, mistrustful of anyone who had been on good terms with Bashir, and secretive. Some unqualified people, when thrust into power, recognize their limitations and surround themselves with the best advisers they can find, Crocker says. That was not Amin’s approach. He “did have little trusted entourage,” says Crocker, “who were people even worse than he was.” (Roy Boykin, Cursed is the Peacemaker, P. 279, Applegate Press).
Amin Gemayel’s Reign of Terror Upon Election
Over here, residents of East and West Beirut would disagree. East Beirut enjoyed the Israeli presence and protection while West Beirut was being bombarded like hell.
When Amin Gemayel was elected, he declared the re-unification of East and West Beirut and officially declared that the War is over. The Lebanese Army entered West Beirut and replaced the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Eventually, the residents of West Beirut will experience the most horrific terror since Sharon bombarded West Beirut with 14 hours non-stop with artillery shells while East Beirut spent their times partying as if there was no war.
Statistics, when the Civil War was over with the Ta’ef Accord, reflected that 17,000 Lebanese remained missing. During Amin’s early reign, a large faction disappeared with a accusation going to the Lebanese Forces or Lebanese Army. In Aljazeera’s documentary War of Lebanon, Amin Gemayel begins his talk that his reign was a good reign, no breaches of security occurred. The next scene on the documentary shows the relatives of the kidnapped demonstrating and a wave of terror struck. To be exact, militants came, under army coverage, kidnapped several people, political and non-political masses. Some kidnappings took based on the identity card. When Amin in the documentary was asked about the kidnappings, he said it was not the government. Johny Abdu, head of the intelligence, explained that the kidnappings did take place. Factions of the Lebanese Forces entered West Beirut with the Army, and were dressed like the army, used to beat people in the open light. The army or Lebanese Forces, with Gemayel’s blessings occurred.
Afterwards, there was an attempt to assassinate Walid Junblatt. The Aljazeera documentary placed the assassination attempt which appeared live with Junblatt bleeding carried while Junblatt was screaming loud. Junblatt accused Amin Gemayel with the attempt and vowed vengeance. The accusation is not tangible since there is no proof if it was Amin or the Lebanese Forces, but the suspects are in this sphere. Junblatt later would attempt, along with his allies the Lebanese Communist Party, Order for Communist Work, PLO returnees, and Syrian artillery bombardment to get rid of Amin once and for all. We shall return to that scene later.
Almost Signed a Secret Deal With The Israelis
This is not to be mistaken with the 17th May Accord. When the evacuation of PLO was almost complete under the Habib plan, Phil. Habib returned to the United States. Meantime the Israelis started negotiations with Amin Gemayel through a mediator called Sami Marun, a Lebanese merchant who had contacts with both. The United States didn’t know about it, and the Cabinet of Amin Gemayel had no clue about it. I have to say that Habib and Sharon didn’t like each other, to be exact, they hated each other. Habib was offering a diplomat solution to the Israeli invasion, Sharon wanted a military solution.
The US administration then was calculating how to achieve a peace solution whereby the Lebanese government would not be isolated from its Arab neighbors. More importantly, Habib wanted to see the Syrian and Israeli forces withdrawing outside Lebanon. Without US support, no deal can take place between the Israeli and Lebanese government. The Israelis on the other hand wanted to establish an Israeli satellite government in Lebanon while integrating both economies at the same time.
When Habib and Draper were speaking to the Israeli cabinet, for once they were smiling and someone even chuckled in tiny laughter. After Habib spoke for a while, Begin looks at Ariel Sharon, and tells him to speak. Sharon raises a three paged agreement between the Israeli government and Amin Gemayel, something that slapped the US diplomats in the face. For starters, the diplomats didn’t want to see any formal deal with the Israeli because they knew that it will not hold; Syria will not allow it, and they knew that Amin Gemayel was just a voice of the several voices of the militias in Lebanon. Actually, Syria would benefit from the negotiations between the Lebanese and the Israelis at a later stage to impose its strength after the Soviet Union, under Andropov, was fully re-armed with its latest state of the art weaponry. Habib, keeping his coolness in front of Sharon and Begin, tells Draper to take the chopper, they are going to Beirut to yell at Amin Gemayel. It has to be noted, Philip Habib was so raged he forgot that he had aerial frights.
Yelling At a President
This scene at Cursed is the Peacemaker is a hilarious scene. Those who are not acquainted with Philip Habib’s attitude then they will through this scene as I will type it in this section. The funny part was Amin Gemayel being yelled at as a kid while seemed Amin forgot he was a President.
“Once he got out of earshot of the Israelis, Habib grabbed the first phone he could find and barked, “I’m choppering up to Beirut, and I want an immediate meeting with Gemayel – alone. Despite his fear of helicopters, he was in no mood to delay, and they were the fastest way to get to Beirut. A night’s sleep and a one-hour flight did nothing to improve his mood. Once he got to the palace, he left Dillon (US ambassador in Lebanon) and Kreczko out in the waiting room and strode into Amin’s office with only Draper to have it out with him in private.
Through the walls Kreczko could hear Habib “screaming” at the President. “What the hell is this?!” he yelled. “You signed an agreement! You didn’t tell me anything about this. What have you done?”
“This is not an agreement”, Amin said, mortified that he’d been found out. “It’s nothing. It’s just some guidelines for the negotiations. Besides, they were supposed to remain secret!”
“Well, they were made public by Mr. Sharon.”
“I didn’t sign it. They wanted me to sign it, but I didn’t sign it.”
“What in God’s name were you doing? You didn’t tell us anything about it! Do you realize the position you’ve put me in? The way you’ve undercut the United States’ ability to broker this?”
Amin soon asked several advisors to join him in the office. Soon Dillon and Kreczko joined them too. After a while the foreign minister, Elie Salem, arrived fresh off the plane from Washington. He came bounding and boisterously started shaking hands all around and howdying everybody – until he suddenly noticed the somber air in the oom and how hurt and withdrawn Amin looked.
“What is in the name of Christ is going on?” he asked. “Who has died and was left unburied?”
Habib recounted the story, building up to “[Sharon] allowed me to talk and talk, and then you know what he said? You won’t believe it! Elie, he said, ‘ Habib you are not needed anymore. Your mission has just ended.’” Habib, who had gotten a coy of the paper from someone since his meeting with the Israelis, then handed Salem his copy, turned to Amin, and said “Mr. President, it seems you do not need me, good luck to you and to Sharon, I am going home.”
“Calm down!” Salem shouted at Habib. “Let me read this!”
As foreign minister, Salem had known nothing about this agreement or the secret talks that had led to it. When he finished reading, he said the agreement is unacceptable in every way: Lebanon would not normalize relations with Israel, would not sigh a peace treaty, and would not allow a continued IDF presence on its territory. This paper was a grave mistake, he said, and Lebanon should return to having Habib mediate with the Israelis for them.
Habib seemed relieved to hear that. Amin tried to paper over his mess by backpedaling further, which only made Salem angrier. When the president said that this was just a list of talking points, Salem said, “What talking points? We have nothing to talk about under such headings… Who interjected such irresponsible thoughts into a delicate diplomatic process?” Salem considered resigning on the spot, Amin asked him to say and do whatever he thought was necessary to bury the Sharon paper and rescue the Habib mission.” (Roy Boykin, Cursed is the Peacemaker, P. 281-283, Applegate Press).
Amin Gemayel as a Character
Nevertheless, this should give my readers an idea what kind a president we had. He was scolded as a kid by several people, including his own cabinet, and almost signed a Peace Treaty with the Israelis without anyone aware of it. Legally under the Pre-Taef Accord, he could sign any treaty he wanted since the elected President is stronger than his voting Parliament. Ironically, it was the United States that saved Lebanon from that bi-lateral Peace Treaty because even the United States administration couldn’t digest it as it was full of blunders.
Amin Gemayel and the 17th of May Accord
The negotiations did start between the Israelis and the Lebanese while Assad vowed to give it a chance when Shultz, Secretary of State, contacted him. Moreover, the Israelis were demanding joined economy, joined revenues, a lot of privileges, and even imposing the head of the treacherous militia, South Lebanese Army (SLA), as a minister of Defense or Army. The US diplomats came to the aid of the Lebanese, while Amin Gemayel had a different issues to worry about, specially with the Israelis threatening to do a pull-out towards 40 KM area in South of Lebanon. The Israelis suffered major casualties in Beirut from the Resistance Front For the Liberation of Lebanon, headed by the LCP, OCW, and SSNP. The Islamic Resistance (a cover for Hezbollah) would be handle the Israelis in the South.
As negotiations lasted for a year, and the Israelis demanding impossible demands, Shultz came into Lebanon and imposed on the Israelis to hurry-up. The Israelis added one last item that they are allowed to remain freely in Lebanon as long as the Syrians were there. Assad considered that point a veto to the deal because he knew that the Syrian Army can take casualties up to 20,000 soldiers, while the IDF couldn’t even handle 200. The Parliament met and voted on the17th of May Accord, and only the president is still needed to sign on it. Actually, till now (Post-Taef Agreement) the Lebanese President is the only recognized authority to officially get the deal occurring (something that seriously needs to be talked about).
When Junblatt’s Progressive Socialist Party and Berri’s AMAL explode to shoot down the deal and the Israelis pulled back, Amin Gemayel preferred not to make the Syrians angry since it is clear that the Israelis were totally weak to remain Lebanon as an operation against the Israeli intelligence in Tyre took place killing 70 Israeli agent.
Amin Versus Walid
Actually, when the war of the Mountains, as a result of the sudden Israeli pull-out, occurred, the most brutal massacres occurred. The citizens paid the price, and the death toll among Christian citizens was large. As always, Jaajaa who was never able to win a battle at a regional level, got evacuated to East Beirut (and there he kicks out Elie Hobeika who switched allegiance to the Syrians).
Nabih Berri supported the Phalange government in the hope of getting a piece of the cake. He was criticized by Syria and his allies. He demanded the Lebanese army to sit in the South, and AMAL already demolished, prior to 1984, the Arab Front backed by Iraq. When a Shiite feudal lord was preferred over Berri, who had grass-root support, by Amin Gemayel, Berri decided to switch sides with the Syrians to take his shot at Amin Gemayel, this also is a blunder by the President to safeguard his allies.
Walid Junblatt’s PSP and his allies marched towards Baabda in order to oust Gemayel. Amin Gemayel out of desperation pays the bomber-carrier, New Jersey, 300 Million US dollars, to bomb out the marching militias. So Gemayel became the first Arab President to ask the US army to bomb his own country and paid them 300 million dollars to do so.
The Divided Lebanon
Lebanon after AMAL and the Leftist Parties did their insurrection to force Amin not to sign the peace treaty, each Militia opened a Canton in Lebanon, and each area became subdued to a party, which had its own mini-government, taxes on the residents, while each party had its own naval port to do business trade (another topic that deserves a post on its own). This situation lasted till 1987 in Beirut.
Meanwhile Amin Gemayel more than once tried to handle Hezbollah, and every time the Lebanese army was slapped in the face. The final confrontation between the Lebanese army and Hezbollah at Dahhieh almost ended with the collapse of the Army as the Shiites departed.
Amin’s final blunder as a president would be having two legal prime ministers. We have to remember, the Sunni PMs had no militias of their own, and they were just pictures. When Salim el Huss decided to resign, Amin Gemayel decided to appoint Aoun as a president. This logic has been inherited from Lebanon’s first “independent” president Bshara el Khoury. If the President cannot be Maronite, then the Prime Minister is. As Amin rejected Huss’s resignation, Huss decided not to return as a Prime Minister till Michel Aoun was appointed as a Prime Minister then Huss announced himself as a Prime Minister. Hence, we had two prime ministers, again special thanks to Amin Gemayel.
Amin Gemayel Current Status
Amin Gemayel after his reign ended with a divided Cantons of Lebanon, would travel to France till the Syrians would allow him to return in 2000 to support his son Pierre Gemayel in parliamentary elections. He prepared Pierre as his heir, just as Bashir’s son Nadim and Amin’s younger son Sami proved that they still have a long road to go before entering the arena of politics.
Amin’s spark returned in 2006, after his son who was a minister, got shot. For starters, Amin Gemayel is the candidate to take his son’s shoes at Matn area as a member of Parliament. Even though he is a 14th of March (Anti-Syrian, pro-anything against Syria except Israel), meetings with Hezbollah increased after his son was assassinated. Rumors are spreading that he will return as a president as a conciliation between 8th and 14th of March. Probably Aoun can not object to this fact if he was indeed to be chosen since it was Amin Gemayel who literally created Aoun and preserved his health at Deir al Salib when Aoun’s nerves collapsed in 1985-1986.
Nevertheless, Amin Gemayel is like any other war figure of the Civil war walks freely without being persecuted for the war crimes taking place in Lebanon (like the majority of the 8th and 14th of March figures).
Friday, January 12, 2007
In an age where “Politics” is almost full of the clashes of wills, sectarianism, and religious extremism, there is a portion of the security forces whose job is to decrease such divisions, without excluding the social and economical domain which deserve a treatment of its own. After the absolute prevalence of political arguments, and the ongoing escalating clashes between the two teams of the crisis; the government published the Paper which is to be submitted in the Paris 3 conference. It will be said that the timing and reason for the publication are political since the rule stands that everything is political in Lebanon. Yet, indeed the paper does carry a vision and methods of treating the economic social crisis, with all its political reflections, does indeed deserve some discussion. These are some notes:
· The Paper begins from the main hypothesis that dominated the reform plans of the Prime Minister Rafiq el-Harriri: the Lebanese Economy should return back to the “Golden Age” prior to the civil war, with the international trade center as its symbol located in Down Town Beirut. This hypothesis is accompanied on the insistence on linking that golden age and the outburst of the Civil War with the external wars. The explanation is clear: “This war was the “War of the Others” on Lebanon, or the “War For Others” and has no ties between Politics and Economics. If that is true, then why did the Lebanese combat each other for the “others”, as well as other embarrassing questions, henceforth, we find there are no answers for such questions.
· The Reform Paper avoids researching any reform that is related to the roots of the crisis since there is unanimous agreement that it is considered as “fateful”. The economical role allocated to Lebanon is what Lebanon itself got used to. The picture of Lebanese politics is a prostitute who got used to a spoiled life on the expense of others and she does not enjoy living and work only through intruding on them. In economic terms, the primary role of Lebanese economics is to intrude on the interests of the rising oil prices of the gulf nations, as promises rolled by.
· Mystery is the master of the role which the monetary and fiscal reforms would play in guaranteeing or contributing the creation of job opportunities. In this domain, the taxation policy does not go out of the prevailing logic: it commitment towards indirect taxes and bills rather than follow a progressive taxation system. This policy aims to increase governmental revenues (earlier: the Central Bank deposit team used to earn a lot from customs taxes but had to decrease it; actually demolish a lot of it prior the grace period provided by the World Trade Organization) without any interest in encouraging the equality of chances and the social redistribution of revenues in a more just manner between the regions and the social categories. The paper for example discusses that the poorest areas in Lebanon are the rural areas and the suburbs of the cities without proposing any project for social and regional development.
· Creating job opportunities: The project is without numbers or goals and stands on the assumption that the greater part of the youth within the labor market annually are already forged to be exported outside, among them are the graduates.
· The paper handles the problem of combating corruption and wasted cash flows through rejecting it with more mysterious Neo-Liberal vocabulary such as transparency and accountability without touching in essence the core problem which is known since the days of Independence, of job distribution between te Party of the Bankers/Importers and the Political crew. The former work on building a quarterly based service-oriented economy which does not produce sufficient job opportunities, the latter buy the political allegiance by employing their own people in the public sector… as for the excessive workers entering the labor market, they have choices of either immigrating or desperation of destiny… As for the administrational team, excluding the corruption and more corruption after the warlords joined the reigning political crew, the challenge is thrown at the government and the opposition’s faces together to block the logic of distribution of work in such a manner.
· The paper also covers promises of achieving safety nets according to Neo-Liberal designs. It is important first if it is applicable, excluding the fact it is rarely tackling the basis of problems. This is the way preferred on privatizing electricity, and increasing taxes on the consumption of combustibles, rather handling the issue of the Mafia of combustibles’ control on the sources of importation of combustibles and its prices. There are already promises about stopping the increase of prices, away from handling monopoly or applying politically a monitoring board of prices.
If only the reform paper will call upon such observations and its sort; however, it played a role in revealing the disappearance of the economical alternatives of the opposition, which should give an idea on a quality supplement which the opposition would provide to solve the increasing issues of the nation when it joins the awaited National Unity Government (MFL notes: being sarcastic over here)
The Opposition replied with varieties of the “Politics First” symphony: The priority goes to political reform first or no economical reform without “our participation” in the decision making. As for the external role in financing the reform plan, Hezbollah was meticulous in replying: Yes to external money but do not expect declinations… and over here meant declinations to the “American Plan”. This is before the “remarkable” voices which repeated from the days of the “Syrian Mandate” its symphony on Debt and how it is a conspiracy to for giving the Palestinians a permanent residence in Lebanon in return of deleting the debts of Lebanon. I do not understand the meaning of refuting the permanent “nationalization” of the Palestinians in this manner except as an invitation for displacement. This symphony on this note met – which is still sensitive amidst the Christian audience, or that what the orchestra believes- the President of the Republic and the Irslanian Prince, who God blessed us with from ancestral victories in combating this nationalization. (MFL: Author is Sarcastic again). The most interesting quality for the official positions of the opposition is the growing contradiction between the notes that criticized the reform paper and the earlier political attitude mentioned in relations to the economical speech given by the different sections of the opposition.
The demonstration which was organized by the General Trade Union and had a weak presence of participants, is only a result of the reaction of the opposition. This demonstration revealed the reality of the Union (as it ended during a whole decade of subjugation and dismantlement by the hands of the Syrian Security machinery and certain Lebanese Parties) even though such an operation began to protect Prime Minister Rafiq el-Harriri’s construction project from reactions coming from social and activist movements. Eventually it became a political a political purpose on its own. It ended with terminating the General Labor Union, which is in a relative independent syndicate position from the authority and cross-sectarian). It was transformed into an empty noisy organism whereby a couple of hundreds of syndicates (who lack any considerable representative to be mentioned, became under siege or arrested by parts of the ruling authority or the parties whose allegiance is still for the Syrian Mandate). Even Hezbollah who was never too occupied in their battle for liberation to pour his bucket in the process of emptying the syndicates and Unions.
This is the situation which hosts the majority of the Lebanese in their quest for work and bread and minimum standards for living according to Human standards. They missed the political holidays just as they missed the economical holidays. The popular proverb applies on them: “Not in Damascus our holidays, nor in Dommar our holiday followed us.” Without a Meaning! (MFL notes: Without a Meaning in Lebanon is used in Arabic in a sarcastic tone which implies several subliminal meanings).