Sunday, July 29, 2007

Read Renegade Eye's Post

Please read Renegade Eye's important and short post

United We Stand for real freedom of speech...


Monday, July 23, 2007

Isolationist Zionism in 1920-1923

Zionists always re-write history, and for this, the current residents of Israel think that they are the pious warriors who fight for independence. Zionist racial aggression in the early days of the British Mandate couldn’t but trigger action on the behalf of the Palestinians as they were being kicked out of their homes. What few are aware of, is that the already 9% Jews of the Palestinian Population, the ones who were secular at least, also suffered at the hands of Zionism. Zionism resorted to blackmail, extortion, and other means of violence to force non-Zionist Jews who have been living in Palestine, peacefully with their Arab neighbors, to force them to follow the protocols of the racial Jewish Agency.

Lucky for us who seek the truth, a lot of academics, journalists, and officials were present there to document history as it happened, and expose Zionism as an exclusive nationalistic ideology. The following incident is one but many regarding the brutality of Zionism in Palestine. Even though the author is a British Mandate official with key position and a sympathizer at first to Zionism, he at least documented the other side of Zionism, the one CNN would fail to investigate.

"In the early days there were many Jews in Palestine who were not Zionists, but the pressure applied by the Jewish Agency became so great, and its Gestapo methods so severe, that few Jews dared openly express any other faith. Just before I left Jaffa a very important Jewish farmer from Richon-le-Zion sent a message if he could come and see me...

When he arrived he told me had come to ask for my advice on a personal problem. He explained how, as a small boy, he had been brought to Palestine by his father, one of the biggest landowners of his village. Growing up there, he had made numerous friends among the little Arab boys of his own age. On his father's death he had taken over the property and naturally continued to employ his boyhood friends as herdsmen, ploughmen, and teamsters. That morning, however, the Jewish Agency had ordered him to dismiss all his Arab employees and to engage some newly arrived Jewish immigrants at a wage-rate far in excess of the pay of his Arab workmen. What should he do? If he dismissed the Arabs in the summary manner suggested, such bad feeling would be created that, being a vindictive people, they might well burn his crops. Apart from this consideration, they also happened to be his friends. The Jews who had been proposed to him as labourers knew nothing about farming, and certainly nothing about the local conditions. The Arabs would work to all hours of the night if it were a question of getting a crop in before the rain; the Jews would down tools precisely at six o'clock, no matter what the weather. He now saw no possibility of working his land on economic lines, and he would inevitably go bankrupt."

(Note: Author Lt.-Col. W.F. Stirling: British Army Officer (1880-1958): Chief Staff Officer under T.E. Laurence and Adviser to Emir Faisal in Damascus, 1918-1919; Advisor to the Albanian Government 1923-1931) Taken From Walid Khalidi's From Haven to Conquest, The Institute For Palestinian Studies, 2005, P. 233-234)

This is the case in general between secular Jews and Zionists through out Palestine in locations where the Jewish Agency had its iron grip. Zionists preach they were under attack by barbaric Palestinians, well that is a lie. How people will react as they were being kicked from their house to be replaced by foreigners who are strictly Jewish? Zionism didn’t want co-existence, they simply wanted to expel non-Jews from their homes, and force the seculars, under severe blackmail and punishment to cooperate. Drawing such division lines, the Palestinians had no choice but to react (then on individual basis rather under nationalistic causes) in such a way. People out of the blues are kicking them out of their homes; taking over their jobs just because they are Jewish reminds us how Zionism is nothing but a racial terrorist organization.


Halliburton and Profits from Iraq

Everything you need to know about that capitalist corporation is located at CorpWatch over here

Assaf Kfoury: The Palestinians' Purgatory In Lebanon

Article published in ZNet July 19 2007, link

In a matter of just a few days in June, the Palestinian unity government patiently brokered by Saudi Arabia three months earlier foundered in bloody clashes between Hamas and Fatah. Outnumbered and outgunned but more disciplined Hamas fighters routed Fatah in a violent takeover of the Gaza Strip. Mahmoud Abbas, head of Fatah and president of the Palestinian Authority, promptly dissolved the power-sharing cabinet led by prime minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. The US, Israel and the European Union joined in a chorus of support for Abbas, praising him as a "moderate" (because he has serviced Israeli policies diligently, though not always successfully, in the occupied territories) and pledging to help him fight off the "Hamas extremists" (because they remain an obstacle to the ongoing dismemberment of the territories). The Israelis have now resumed financial and material aid for a Fatah-led administration in the West Bank, while continuing the blockade of the Gaza Strip which they started shortly after Hamas won in the legislative elections in January 2006.

Thus another episode in the long and painful fragmentation of Palestinian society has come to a close. The separation of Gaza and the West Bank under two rival administrations -- and each largely disconnected from Palestinian communities in surrounding Arab countries (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan), inside Israel proper, and in the global diaspora -- makes Palestinians ever more vulnerable to the regional power play and the idea of an independent Palestinian state more remote than ever. Palestinians are now divided into seven geographically separate groups. Beyond a shared identity and a shared experience of deprived rights in host societies, powerful bonds as these may be, the truth is there is not much left that is binding together institutionally the splintered and dispersed Palestinian communities.

Perhaps nowhere is this fragmentation and absence of unifying institutions felt more acutely than in the Palestinian camps in Lebanon today. There is bitter irony in this. Although Lebanese and Palestinians are in many ways closer to each other than they are to any other Arab society -- in their cultural and social habits, in their long experience of facing Israeli military might and manipulation at the hands of more powerful regional players -- Palestinians in Lebanon are subjected to some of the most discriminatory and demeaning measures.

There was a time in the late 1960's and early 1970's, in the heydays of PLO power, when Palestinian factions coordinated their activities in the camps, dispensed social services in orderly fashion and projected their influence throughout the Palestinian diaspora, in Lebanon and elsewhere. Since that time, through repeated setbacks over more than three decades, the PLO and its institutions have become a bloated and largely ineffectual bureaucracy, more a burden than an instrument of liberation for the Palestinian people. That was the corrupting legacy inherited by the Palestinian Authority, when the latter was established in the occupied territories in the mid-1990s, pursuant to the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO in 1993.

Abandoned to their fate by a declining PLO, the Palestinian camps in Lebanon have become a breeding ground for competing armed groups, which are all too often unaccountable to outside authority and which, for sheer survival, engage in petty criminal activities or accept to do the dirty work of the highest bidder among local parties or regional governments. Some of the more recent among these groups include violent fugitives of various political stripes that are neither Palestinian nor Lebanese, who come from countries far and close, traveling across the porous borders or slipping through the notoriously lax security measures at Beirut International Airport.

The cruelty of the camps

Some 400,000 Palestinians are currently registered as refugees in Lebanon with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Of these, more than half live in refugee camps scattered throughout the country. Of the original 16 official camps in Lebanon, four were destroyed or evacuated during different periods of conflict since 1948. According to the UNRWA, the remaining 12 camps in Lebanon:

suffer from serious problems -- no proper infrastructure, overcrowding, poverty and unemployment. [They] have the highest percentage of Palestine refugees who are living in abject poverty and who are registered with the Agency's "special hardship" programme.

The UNRWA further reports that:

Palestine refugees in Lebanon face specific problems. They do not have social and civil rights, and have very limited access to the government's public health or educational facilities and no access to public social services. The majority rely entirely on UNRWA as the sole provider of education, health and relief and social services. Considered as foreigners, Palestine refugees are prohibited by law from working in more than 70 trades and professions. This has led to a very high rate of unemployment amongst the refugee population.

Palestinian refugees enjoy far fewer civil liberties in Lebanon than in Syria, Jordan or the other Arab countries they fled to after 1948. As a result in Lebanon, the refugees have to rely more on UNRWA services, where they are forbidden by law (though often broken) from building inside the camps, owning property or working in jobs other than the most menial. The situation has been documented in numerous UNRWA reports over the years. Sheer ordinary living is thus all too often and unavoidably a criminalized activity. To secure the means of a meager existence, the refugees often have to pay exorbitant bribes to work (illegally) for subpar wages or else to emigrate (also illegally).

Since the "Cairo Agreement" (November 1969) and the "Melkart Understanding" (May 1973) brokered by Egypt between the Lebanese government and the then-powerful PLO, the camps have been off-limits, at least officially, to the Lebanese army and police. With the gradual demise of the PLO in the 1980s and 1990s, the camps have turned into something of a no man's land. The lack of a recognized authority in the camps became more acute after the abrupt withdrawal of Syrian troops, in April 2005, which had maintained a heavy-handed security presence, especially in the camps around Beirut and to the north. In the larger ones, most notably in Ain al-Hilweh (in the southern coastal city of Sidon) and Nahr al-Bared (the northernmost camp on the Lebanese coast), several armed groups have emerged to fill the political vacuum -- competing or coexisting with remnants of earlier PLO factions, carving out their own enclaves of influence and racketeering, and shifting political alliances according to needs and circumstances.

To be sure, this is not the entire Palestinian experience in Lebanon. Middle-class Palestinians have always had the means to buy their way into Lebanese society or to migrate to other lands. None of these have ever needed to register with the UNRWA as refugees for the meager rations and services it doles out. If successful in finance or in business, well-off Palestinians have seamlessly joined the ranks of the Beirut bourgeoisie over the years. Thus, among many others, Yusuf Baydas developed his Intra Bank in the 1960's into the largest bank in Lebanon, Said Khoury and Hasib Sabbagh succeeded in turning their Consolidated Contractors International Company into the eighteenth-ranked construction and engineering firm worldwide, and the Palestinian (and Lebanese and Jordanian) founders of Dar al-Handasah have transformed their modest Beirut office of the mid-1950's into one of the top ten international contracting and consulting firms in the world fifty years later.

The lot of the camps in Lebanon is therefore that of the poorest and wretched, those who came with nothing except for a few bundled clothes on their backs, from their villages in Palestine in 1948, and their descendants who were born in the camps since. The humane solution is of course to lift all legal restrictions on the camp dwellers and, even more, let them integrate into the rest of Lebanese society, if they so wish, with the right of acquiring Lebanese citizenship. This is moreover the practical solution, if one is also concerned about ultimately dismantling the camps as incubators of despair, lawlessness and unnecessary animosity between their disfranchised inhabitants and the rest of the population.

Will Palestinian integration work? Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are already part of a much larger shadow economy, comprising no less than one million refugees and migrant workers according to some estimates, in a country whose total resident population is about 4 million. But there are other factors indicating integration will work without much disruption. At a popular level, there is far less antagonism between Lebanese and Palestinians than one is led to believe from reading the Western press. In time of duress, both sides have readily helped each other. During the US-Israeli bombing campaign in July-August 2006,[1] Palestinian camps in southern Lebanon, already overcrowded and impoverished, provided shelter and food to the Lebanese fleeing from their devastated villages. In the current confrontation between the Lebanese army and the Fatah al-Islam group in and around the Palestinian camp of Nahr el-Bared in northern Lebanon, its 30,000 to 40,000 dwellers have had to seek refuge elsewhere, most of them in the nearby Beddawi camp and the rest in points further south; Lebanese NGO's and humanitarian groups have promptly mobilized their resources to respond to the humanitarian crisis.[2]

But Palestinian integration is one of the permanently debated issues of Lebanese politics since 1948, a political football that all parties, both internal and external, have always played in pursuit of their own short-sighted agendas quite separate from the well-being of the Palestinian refugees themselves and, in the long run, also the well-being of the Lebanese population surrounding them. What is at stake is the delicate balance of the sectarian-based (so-called confessional) system of government which would be undermined as a result. The sectarian power-sharing formula is in fact as much crippling as it is delicate, the cause of many of the country's woes in recent decades, with politicians all too ready to decry its ills but none really willing or able to give up the privileges it accords them.

The majority of the Palestinian refugees are Sunni Muslim whose integration, it would seem, would be encouraged by the Sunni segment of the Lebanese ruling class, since it would tip the sectarian balance in their favor. But confessionalism is not just a power-sharing formula based on religious sect, but a whole system of patronage, increasingly entrenched in the political life of the country, into which the landless and stateless refugees (and other non-Palestinian migrant workers) do not readily fit. This system of patronage identifies ordinary citizens by both sect and district of origin (the latter often being different from district of residence), and makes them depend on politicians of their own sect and district of origin to promote and defend their rights. Class interests cut across the divisions promoted by the confessional system, and any form of class solidarity undermines these divisions. Integration of Palestinian refugees would likely lead to many of them joining an urban lumpenproletariat that would not be answerable to the established Sunni (or other confessional) parties and would thus be disruptive of their hold on power.

There are courageous voices that defend the only humane option, namely, that of allowing all Palestinians in Lebanon to be fully integrated, if they so wish. One such voice is that of Fawwaz Traboulsi, a historian and prominent advocate of human rights and democracy in Arab countries. But these voices remain too few and isolated, without much echo from (extra-parliamentary) secular left parties that have been in decline since the 1970's. If the issue of al-tawteen (settling) of the Palestinian refugees is raised, politicians and public commentators of all stripes, whether in pro-government or opposition parties, routinely reject the idea because they consider it "a burden Lebanon cannot shoulder alone" or "a betrayal of the Palestinian cause," or they even argue against it in thinly-disguised racist terms.

Nahr al-Bared and Ain al-Hilweh

On May 19, Lebanon's Internal Security Forces (ISF) botched a raid to apprehend members of a fundamentalist Sunni (Salafi) group, Fatah al-Islam, that had robbed a bank near the northern city of Tripoli. Overwhelmed by a handful of gunmen of Fatah al-Islam, the ISF called the Lebanese army for help. Soon after the ISF raid, other militants of Fatah al-Islam, based in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared, made stealth attacks on several positions of the Lebanese army nearby; they killed many soldiers, first torturing them and then beheading them. As there was little or no coordination between the ISF and the army, the latter had not alerted its men around the camp and was badly mauled, suffering a larger number of casualties than Fatah al-Islam.

With scores of its soldiers killed in the initial assault and determined to prevail, the Lebanese army has received uniform support from all parties across the Lebanese political spectrum, as well as from Palestinian organizations wary of extremist and largely non-Palestinian groups gaining influence in the camps. Having nothing to lose and no place to retreat to, Fatah al-Islam has dug in for the long haul, even though it has gradually abandoned many of its positions and retreated to the southern parts of Nahr al-Bared in the face of the army's superior firepower. Reacting to the growing humanitarian crisis in Nahr al-Bared, violence has fitfully spread to other Palestinian camps, notably to Ain al-Hilweh in the southern city of Sidon where, on June 3, gunmen from another extremist group, Jund al-Sham, attacked a nearby army checkpoint slaying two soldiers.

As of this writing, more than 200 people have been killed in the Nahr al-Bared events, in the worst internal violence since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.[3] Since the middle of June, Lebanon's defense minister Elias al-Murr has on several occasions announced that "Fatah al-Islam has been crushed," only to be refuted within hours by another armed clash in the fight in and around Nahr al-Bared.

These are the incontrovertible facts since May 19, reported equally by all sides of the Lebanese media -- pro-government, pro-opposition, and independent. Beyond the facts however, explanations abound as to what party or government is really at fault for the violence.

The political rumor mill is always buzzing in Beirut, and perhaps never at a higher pitch than after Seymour Hersh repeated to the Beirut press some of what he had written in his article "The Redirection" (The New Yorker, March 5, 2007). According to Hersh, the Bush administration, with the help of members of the Saudi royal family, has been secretly funding radical Sunni groups, some with ties to al-Qaeda, to counter Shiite groups in Lebanon and elsewhere in the region that are backed by Iran. Hersh maintained there is American money, none of it approved by Congress, sent to the government of prime minister Fuad Siniora, which then funnels it into "at least three different Sunni jihadist groups." Among the radical Sunni groups Hersh explicitly mentioned in his article were Fatah al-Islam in Nahr al-Bared and Usbat al-Ansar in Ain al-Hilweh. (The group that attacked an army checkpoint on June 3, Jund al-Sham, split from Usbat al-Ansar in 2002.)

If the information passed on by Hersh is correct, the whole episode since May 19 is the consequence of a reckless policy that backfired of trying to contain Hizbullah by arming unruly radical Sunni groups. This is a highly embarrassing charge against the Siniora government which, naturally enough, vehemently rejects it. Instead, Siniora and his allies put the blame entirely on the Syrian government, which they accuse of constantly fomenting disorder to remind the Lebanese (and the world) that security in Lebanon cannot be maintained without a Syrian presence. They point out that Fatah al-Islam started in late 2006, splitting from another older group, Fatah al-Intifada, totally aligned with Syria; its members are extreme Sunni fundamentalists who entered Lebanon across the border from Syria, then ensconced themselves in Nahr al-Bared where they took over the quarters of Fatah al-Intifada. The opposition parties led by Hizbullah have been a little more circumspect in the blaming game, simply accusing Fatah al-Islam and other al-Qaeda inspired extremist groups of trying to ignite a Shiite-Sunni confrontation in Lebanon.

This is all a little murky, and it will take some time for the truth to surface about which parties and which governments have been involved -- directly or indirectly -- whether because of recklessness, or incompetence, or outright complicity. But be that as it may, what is already clear is that the biggest losers from these events are the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

First and foremost are the 30,000 to 40,000 inhabitants of Nahr al-Bared themselves, many of whose homes have been turned to rubble, creating a new humanitarian crisis among a segment of the population least prepared to sustain it and in a country still reeling from the devastating US-Israeli bombing campaign of July-August 2006. During sporadic lulls in the fighting in and around Nahr al-Bared, most of the camp dwellers have managed to flee to the nearby camp of Beddawi or to take shelter with friends and family further south. Various news reports mention that approximately 2,000 refugees are still inside Nahr al-Bared. If and when the fighting stops, it is not clear how much of the camp infrastructure will be left intact, much of it already in ruins after the point-blank exchanges of artillery and heavy machine-gun fire.

The Lebanese government has repeatedly announced it will shoulder the burden of rebuilding Nahr al-Bared and compensating its inhabitants. However, given the government's sluggish performance in rebuilding after the war of July-August 2006, these announcements may turn out to be mostly worthless promissory notes. If precedents are any indication, it will be the Palestinian refugees themselves and non-governmental organizations allied with them that will have to shoulder the burden of rebuilding Nahr al-Bared. This is an effort that will be far more difficult this time around, given that world attention is turned elsewhere; if it is about Palestine and Palestinians, the struggle between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza and the West bank now grabs the headlines; if it is about Lebanon, international opinion is almost entirely focused on the ongoing crisis pitting the pro-US Siniora government against the Hizbullah-led opposition; and if it is about the region as a whole, the catastrophe in Iraq dominates most public discussions. More than ever, Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, hapless and desperate, are thus left to fend for themselves.

Quite apart from the humanitarian crisis and the burden of having to handle it on their own, Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are already facing the scapegoating from the political fallout of the Nahr al-Bared events. In typical right-wing fashion of blaming the victim, prominent politicians allied with the Siniora government have suggested Palestinians have only themselves to blame, since they allowed Fatah al-Islam to enter Nahr al-Bared in the first place. Conveniently ignored is that for years Lebanese security agencies -- up until 2005 acting at the behest of Syrian intelligence -- worked diligently to deprive the Palestinian camps of any effective independent authority, especially in the northern camps. The bitter irony is that the vast majority of the 200 to 300 gunmen of Fatah al-Islam are neither Palestinian nor Lebanese, and among the few that are, there are probably more Lebanese than Palestinians.

None of the opposition parties have mounted a serious campaign to counter right-wing declarations whipping up anti-Palestinian feelings, as all parties, both pro-government and pro-opposition, seem engaged in a competition to rally behind the army and pay tribute to the troops. As if to preserve the only institution of the Lebanese state that still unites all factions of the political establishment, support for the army has taken precedence over the human suffering in the camps.

Where To From Here?

At the start of the Nahr al-Bared events two months ago, several commentators expressed fears about the "Iraqization" of Lebanon, a ruthless civil war between clans and sects partly fueled by extremist groups inspired or directly linked to al-Qaeda. In spite of sporadic flareups in Ain al-Hilweh and elsewhere in Lebanon in response to Nahr al-Bared, the fears have proved exaggerated if not groundless. Nahr el-Bared is now devastated, its inhabitants made refugees once again, bitterness and alienation is more widespread, but generalized civil warfare did not ignite.

Similar fears were expressed after the murder of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri in February 2005 and again after each of a half-dozen political assassinations since then, and again after the war of July-August 2006 specifically intended to crush Hizbollah and goad the pro-US government of Fuad Siniora into armed conflict with the latter. None of these events was enough to trigger civil warfare. Whatever the reason -- the frightening sight of the catastrophe in Iraq nearby, the disintegration and infighting in the Palestinian territories, or memories from the futile bloodletting of the years 1975-1990 -- Lebanese and Palestinians in Lebanon have refused to re-enter civil war, at least not yet.

But politicians in Lebanon continue their incendiary exchanges, the standoff between the Siniora government and the Hizbollah-led coalition of opposition parties is nowhere near resolution, and the sore of the Palestinian camps is even further away from any remedy. The internal situation echoes more than ever the regional conflicts as local politicians are urged by their foreign sponsors not to make any concessions to their opponents. Indeed, the gravest danger now is that the US government, confronted with the disaster in Iraq, will become more determined to show some measure of "success" in Lebanon and in the Palestinian territories where it can count on loyal local enforcers. Will the politicians in Lebanon come to their senses, distance themselves from their foreign sponsors, and reach an accommodation before it is too late?


1. The pilots, of course, were Israeli, but the bombs and the sponsorship came from Washington.

2. In a recent article, "The Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon," Nubar Hovsepian views the situation of the Palestinian camps in Lebanon differently. Hovsepian calls for a UN resolution to put the camps under a UN Trusteeship in order to protect them and their inhabitants from further violence. Regardless of its merits, Middle East expert and former French ambassador Eric Rouleau points out (private conversation) the idea of a UN Trusteeship is legally impractical. The UN and the UN Security Council deal with conflicts between sovereign states. The UN can issue a report on the Palestinian camps as well as condemn the Lebanese government for its treatment of the Palestinian refugees. But a UN Trusteeship for the Palestinian camps and its enforcement with UN troops would breach the sovereignty of the state of Lebanon.

3. Not counting, of course, the far more devastating violence of Israel's repeated campaigns against southern Lebanon. Since 1990, these include large-scale military attacks in July 1993 (one week), April 1996 (three weeks), and July-August 2006 (34 weeks).

Assaf Kfoury is professor of computer science at Boston University. He is a former member and Chair of the Board of Grassroots International, a non-governmental aid and development agency, and returned from a two-week trip to Lebanon in early June. A shorter version of the present article appeared in the Grassroots International newsletter.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Father

Been a while father and I miss you, happy birthday, tonight I shall drink and raise a toast to you and our happy memories togather

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Investigating Lebanon: Sectarianism and Fear of Other (Part III)

One of three Causalities For Fearing the other:
Communication Failure

check part I and part II

To understand how groups are mobilized based on fear, there has to be information communication breakdown at the grassroots level and elite level.

Lake and Rothchild wrote “Because violence is costly, groups can be expected to invest in acquiring knowledge about the preferences and capabilities of the opposing side and bargain hard, but eventually reach an agreement short of open conflict. Groups might even be expected to reveal information about themselves to prevent violence from erupting. When individuals and groups possess private information and incentives to misrepresent that information, competing group interests can produce actual conflict. We refer to this as an information failure. When information failures occur, groups cannot acquire or share the information necessary to bridge the bargaining gap between themselves, making conflict possible despite its devastating effects.”

When the national dialogue (at elite level) occurred on several occasions, no leader stepped down from his/her demands, which can be distinguished in allegiance for the opposition or 14th of March. Both groups depend heavily on the media (foreign and local) to know about the other. They always caught each other via the media, and very rarely during the private meetings. (henceforth we call the National Dialogue round table as Poker Table).

What is known though, Hezbollah owns 20,000 long range missiles. Nasrallah displayed that fact bluntly during his ‘Divine Rally to celebrate the Divine Victory’. He wanted to make sure that Hezbollah was as strong as ever after the July war in order to preserve his party’s political bargaining power. The fact Hezbollah trashed the Israeli Army on the infantry level caused the government to think double about how to disarm Hezbollah’s source of political strength: welfare networks and 20,000 arms. This grassroots support to Hezbollah and their ownership of military arms caused their Christian ally: General Aoun, to escalate his demands towards the presidential elections, among others. In the middle of the July War and till currently, Aoun remained threatening to “hit the street” to shoot down this ‘illegitimate’ government, for a mere fact that they do not want him as a Lebanese President (although I have to keep in mind, the President of the Republic lacks any authority which makes the whole collision for the Presidential title as plain artificial and muscle show-off). Aoun eventually hit the streets and ended up as a laughing stock because his excitement revealed the opposition’s lack of strength to shoot down the government.

What is also known, the government is willing to repay the opposition’s escalations with more escalations. On December 1, 2006, when the Opposition launched its open demonstration in Downtown Beirut, the government launched series of demonstrations through out Lebanon calling the opposition as isolationists. When the opposition escalated with their civil disobedience in January, the government unleashed its hooligans who also appeared to have arms hence sending to the opposition a signal that they too got their own muscle power on the grassroots level and they are not planning to step down without a fight. Hassan Nasrallah was clear, if the government didn’t enjoy such international support, the government would have collapsed since day one of the open demonstration. The US and French support in specific was powerful, so were the gulf nations in order to balance against the Iranian/Syrian influence.

The government and opposition both said it clear that no solution can come domestically, ie the bargaining cards will come from their sponsors: USA/France/Saudi Arabia versus Iran/Syria. Each accuses the other as not willing to reconcile with the other. Both camps mobilize their masses based on the fears of their masses. The government masses prefer to kill other Lebanese civilians rather have allegiance to Ayatollah Khamenei, supreme leader of Iran. The government mobilizes its masses that Syria doesn’t want stability to the Lebanese, and if the opposition wins, the Syrian army and their ruthful regime will return. Worse, the Syrians never left, they remain through the opposition and their supporters. The opposition also mobilizes their masses as well. They oppose the government under the banner of facing US/Zionist backed government. They accuse the government of corruption and leading the country towards starvation: if the government remains, more starvation will occur. The opposition seems to forget that they were part of that government under the Syrian ruthless mandate while people like Nasser Andeel celebrated freedom of expression in Lebanon and the need of more Syrian 2nd Bureau to fight the Zionists. The Shiites out of fear of returning to pre-1970 status, in majority clutch to Hezbollah as the defenders of their interests.

No group is willing to bargain; rather each is willing to escalate without avoiding direct conflict. None of political movements want confrontations because they do not have sufficient information about each other’s capabilities; however, they prefer to have their people on social level polarized in order to maintain their strengths and bargaining powers. When one group trespassed this threshold, two days of violence followed with Seniora, Mufti Qabbani, Nasrallah, Aoun, and all other religious and political figures begging their supporters to calm down. People died for nothing in January. The moderates on the grassroots level fear that since this camp would vote for that extremist group or vice versa, they support their sect representatives. The Media isn’t helping also, Future TV and Manar TV write exactly two opposites to events, and none of each camp’s supporter watches the other side because polarization has struck to such level. The Opposition accuses the government of inventing Fatah Islam to face Hezbollah while the government accuses Syria to create Fatah Islam since the group collapsed from a Syrian loyalist group.

Lake and Rothchild wrote “Incentives to misrepresent private information exist in at least three common circumstances. In each, revealing true information undercuts the ability of the group to attain its interests. First, incentives to misrepresent occur when groups are bargaining over a set of issues and believe they can gain by bluffing. By exaggerating their strengths minimizing their weaknesses, and mis-stating their preferences, groups seek to achieve more favorable divisions of resources. Through such bluffs, however, they increase the risk that negotiations will fall and conflicts arise.”

This began with the opposition, since the government decided to by-pass the opposition’s positions regarding the International Tribunal (investigating Rafiq Harriri’s assassination), Presidential campaign, and the Arms of Hezbollah. At first, negotiations failed, then they threatened to resign from the government, and eventually they did. Afterwards, they escalated their threats towards open demonstration, and they did, and they failed drastically. Afterwards, they threatened another round of escalations, and they did, Saudi Arabia and Iran ended it after bloody confrontations occurred.

The Government depended heavily on their grassroots support and international support. They advocated that they wanted dialogue but proceeded with their goals towards the Tribunal (which Hezbollah fear it will be used against them). When the opposition invaded their ‘private’ Martyrs’ Square, the government retaliated by demonstrations through out Lebanon. When the opposition reacted to close the streets, they unleashed their hooligans. When the Tribunal was agreed in the UN Security Council, they sent their hooligans to celebrate in the street, despite the fact the Tribunal was supposed to be ‘for all Lebanon’. There are no longer negotiations, while foreign ambassadors come in and out trying to build a nice image for themselves as ‘friends of Lebanon’ such as Iran and France, without any tangible results. Each group remains hiding information from the other camp.

Lake and Rothchild wrote “Second, groups may be truly aggressive but do not wan tto be branded as such. They may seek to minimize internal opposition, or to insulate themselves from repercussions in the broader international community. Although typically only minimal sanctions are imposed by other states, most groups seek to avoid the label of an aggressor or violater of international norms and the political isolation that such a classification can carry.”

This is exactly the case of Lebanon. The other camp in the eye of the other is the aggressor. The government masses think they are in a state of war against soldiers of Iran and Syria. The opposition thinks they are rebelling against Israel. When fights occur ‘Irani masses’ are facing ‘US masses’ for a war in protecting the sovereignty of Lebanon, hence go figure out how ‘righteous’ masses go fight with each other in the light of mass propaganda. No one camp even listens to the other, I can’t think of more severe information breakdown (except the breakout of the Lebanese Civil War in 1975) on grassroots level. Hezbollah or PSP goons say they want dialogue and escalate against each other. Each tries to represent the other as the aggressor and they are the peaceful ones.

Lake and Rothchild wrote “Finally, in conflicts where the groups are simultaneously negotiating and preparing for ethnic war, any attempt to facilitate compromise by having each side explain how it plans to win on the battlefield will seriously compromise the likelihood that it will win should war occur. Thus, groups cannot reveal their strategies or derive accurate predictions of their likely success. Paradoxically, each party is bound by its own self-interest to withhold the information crucial to bringing an agreement. Concerned that private information they provide on how they intend to protect themselves or attack others will redound their disadvantage, groups may refrain from revealing the information necessary to gorge a mutually satisfactory compromise.”

It is no lie, all party members got arms, even the tiny figures like that clown We’am Wahhab got arms. The Lebanese Forces, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, AMAL Movement, Junblatt’s PSP, Harriri’s Future, Hezbollah and their 20,000 missiles, Aoun’s FPM, all got weapons on an non-official level. Each group behaves towards the other as if they are the enemy, and threats escalate. Moreover, each promises inevitable victory for their group members, so you can imagine to what extent mobilization is present. When one group owns arms, due to the dissatisfaction of others, this generates a chain reaction of fear whereby one group arms in reaction to others. Nasrallah made it clear that none of his lovely missiles would be oriented towards Lebanon; however, Nasrallah will not live forever. Furthermore, Hezbollah pre-Nasrallah’s reign had actually directed their missiles on the Lebanese. What if Nasrallah dies and a more hardcore fanatic takes over, or what if Tehran changes its external policies?

Each group makes its goals loud and clear, which is to defeat politically the other. This narrows down negotiations. The only information leaked out is that they are victim of the other.

Lake and Rothchild wrote “Information failures are possible whenever two or more ethnic groups compete within the political arena. Groups always possess private information as these three circumstances suggest, often possess incentives to misrepresent that information. Information failures are thus ubiquitous in ethnic relations. In multi-ethnic societies, states can often communicate and arbitrate successfully between groups and thereby help preclude and resolve information failures. Indeed, communication and arbitration can be understood as two of the primary functions of the state. When effective, states create incentives and a sense of security that allow groups to express their desires and articulate their political aspirations and strategies. Not only do ethnic leaders respond to sidepayments offered by the state elites, but – in seeking to curry favor – they are more prepared to provide private information to a “third party” that they are to an adversary. As the state weakens, however, information failures become more acute and violence more likely. If one group believes that the other is withholding information, it is too may begin to hold back crucial data or anticipate the failure of negotiations. Groups become suspicious of the intentions of others, and may begin to fear the worst. In this way, information failures of others, and may begin to fear the worst. In this way, information failures and even the anticipation of such failures may drive groups to actions that undermine the ability of the state to maintain social peace. When this occurs, even previously effective states will begin to unravel. State capabilities, then, are at least partly affected by the magnitude of the information failure and the belief and behaviors of the groups themselves.”

This was the case when the Lebanese government was at least strong locally (not internationally) under the brutal reign of the Syrian Mandate. Incentives were given to everyone to most of the political figures we see today on TV (government/opposition). Walid Junblatt at a one point adopted Jubran A’rayji’s speech (ex-chairman of the SSNP), and the late Rafiq Harriri provided allegiance most of the time in return to safeguard his capitalist interests (and flow of gulf money). With the disappearance of that political power called Syria (plus the syndrome of stamping Assad’s pictures in the streets of Beirut), the government became one-sided. Hezbollah, in 2005, for the first time ever have entered the Lebanese government to safeguard their interests. Moreover, strangest alliances occurred during elections (SSNP and FPM) or Lebanese Forces with Hezbollah, anything to safeguard elite interests and political bargaining powers. The state became one-sided. Last time, the Shiite faction of the Opposition supported the Seniora government publicly was directly after the second Qana Massacre during the July war. Nabih Berri (AMAL movement) and Hezbollah announced their allegiance to the Seniora government. After the July war, the Lebanese government was perceived as a “Feldman government” (aka US government), and the government lost its political strength when anti-14th of March ministers resigned. The government lacked any capabilities to arbitrate anything, and the bi-polarity became much stronger. Sectarianism couldn’t have been stronger. Each redeems the other as the ‘traitor’ while defending Lebanon. Civil War woes were revived to suit the interest of the elites in burning the other. It is funny how Nasrallah’s party of Jaajaa’s party forgot about their ‘woes’ to each other during elections. The government is one side, the opposition is the other, what keeps the momentum of the opposition is its capability to block the Parliament (majority ruled by the 14th of March coalition) from meeting. There couldn’t have been any clearer division lines, and the masses become more sectarian against the ‘enemy’.

I have to note that even the alliances of 14th of March or the Opposition are short-lived because the different sects of each coalition can barely digest the other. The masses think they are defending their own interests and do not notices they are supporting their own oppressors to either remain in power, or to put them in power, at their own expense.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lessons From the July War (One Year Anniversary)


The July War probably will always be remembered as what Kofi Anan, when he was UN General Secretary, “the war where children died more than the combatants”. This of course was from the Lebanese side, whereby 1/3 of over 1200 martyrs were children. Till this very day, civilians are wounded or killed from cluster bombs left from the racist Zionist nation: Israel. Best archive regarding the details of the July War, situation of the refugees, attrocities of the Israelis, media war, and everything else is the official Samidoun Website.

Till this very day, I keep remembering how I heard the sound of the Israeli airplanes hovering over Beirut, while Israeli warships remained bombed the Lebanese civilians (and not as the Zionists claim: Hezbollah). The war displaced in less than one month ¼ of the population (one million out of four million), while figures like the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch severely condemned such aggressiveness. The Israeli army, preparing for such a war, insisted to annihilate Hezbollah, and ended up as laughing stocks in the military arena, while their entire purpose ended up making Hezbollah as heroes through out the Arab world and anti-US imperialist activists (much to the dislike of the Bush Administration).

Lessons from Israel’s side

Ze’ev wrote a lot in the Israeli media that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) intercepted several Hezbollah operations but still never increased their security. The war broke out when Hezbollah militants broke through the borders of Israel, destroyed a tank, killed certain IDF soldiers, and kidnapped two hostages to be negotiated for swapping soldiers. Israel instead decides to “bring Lebanon backwards 20 years” which was in ruins and destruction from the civil war and the 1982 Israeli invasion.

The Israelis were lost on what to do, Olmert (Prime Minister), Levni (Minister of External Affairs), Peretz (Minister of Defense), and their biggest clown Dan Halutz (Chief of Staff), didn’t issue a unilateral statement. Their goal was in agreement to inflict biggest damage to Lebanon under the banner of ‘self-defense’. At first, they declared that they will destroy Lebanon. Then they sharpened their speech and declared that they will do whatever it takes to restore their two ‘beloved’ soldiers. Afterwards, they decided to destroy Hezbollah, and eventually, they announced they are rebuilding a peaceful middle east whereby ‘the Jews can enjoy peace with their neighbors’. Last logo was ‘Israel is doing what it takes to protect itself and afterwards they focused their propaganda on fighting Hezbollah and terrorism. We have to keep in mind that the July war broke out amidst confrontations in the West Bank, but unlike the West Bank, the case of Lebanon was much complicated for this pathetic excuse of called soldiers. Real soldiers do not bomb civilians blindly. To be exact, the behavior of the Israelis in the July War is similar to the atrocities of the Serbian army, kill blindly anyone who carries the Lebanese citizenship.

The Israelis directly placed the residents of Lebanon as hostages by bombing 99% of the routes leading outside Lebanon (from Syria) as well as bombing the airport while the Ships performed a siege. The Red Cross constantly complained that the Israelis held desperately needed aid to the Lebanese. The atrocities were too horrific. The first large massacre was of the residents of Marwaheen (a close bordering village). The Israelis of course justified their acts by ‘claiming’ that they warned the residents to evacuate. The truth was, they gave the residents of Marwaheen one hour to evacuate, after days of bombing every available car, route, gas station, and half of the village. The people of Marwaheen didn’t have anywhere to go, so they sought asylum to their neighbors, the UNIFIL who refused to give them refugees. Afterwards, Israel bombed them as they were going to their village as they were returning from UNIFIL. Wow, how the pilots were courageous in bombing those poor civilians (of course Israel defended itself in such a situation according to Condi Rice). 90% of the times Israel never warned its residents to evacuate, or sadistically gave them short time to bomb. Churches and Mosques were bombed because refugees were hiding, while Zionists argued that the Red Cross are lying to the world. Those who condemned Israel’s atrocities on an international level were accused of anti-semitism. Israel’s butchery of over 1200 civilians was considered self-defense in the eyes of Bush. 5000 wounded Lebanese were considered as “They should have disarmed Hezbollah” logo. In Lebanon, Olmert cartoons were compared to Hitler, while the fascination is Israel took a whole year to kick out PERMENANTLY about 710,000 Palestinians in 1948 and did it in three weeks in Lebanon.

When the Qana massacre occurred (Part II), the Israelis invented all types of bullshits. Some again bluntly used it that this house witnessed a missile coming from this house to their side, others argued that Hezbollah bombed their own residents. When the CNN reporters described the horrors of the Qana massacre, the CNN head-office kept asking if the Israelis warned them to evacuate while the correspondent repeated for a hundred times that the Israelis bombed every means to escape. This also to add that the Israelis broke a three day seizes fire to bomb Lebanon (and hence they bombed with their artillery and later disregarded the whole thing and used their airplanes).

The Red Cross, UNIFIL, al-Jazeera, BBC, humanitarian aid also were bombed by the Israelis. They tried to impose a media blackout on the situation, and only gave all the journals one-side of the situation while they themselves enjoyed massive media support. The CNN for example would repeat on TV a lady weeping in Israel (despite the fact they have bomb-shelters) while CNN overlooked how Israel bombed civilians in a funeral burying their beloved (amongst other things).

When the seize fire deadline was announced by the security council, when UN resolution 1701 was announced, the Israelis used their unlimited artillery to inflict damage on Lebanon as much as possible. Most of the economic institutions were damaged, hospitals damaged, bridges torn down, greatest oil spill in the history of the Mediterranean occurred when the Jieh Generator was bombed, and worse 1200 perished without the war criminals being held accountable.

Israel, like the US in Iraq, disregarded the whole UN institution and decided to wage a war which will make them appear to be clowns in military affairs. They were over-confident that they at first sent an elite squad to Maroon Ras, and ended up annihilated. They couldn’t occupy it fully till the end of the war, so was the situation with Bint Jubail. Each time they claimed victory in this tiny village, they were kicked out. Most of the Lebanese celebrated every time an Israeli tank exploded, and henceforth, the Israeli army is no longer viewed as an invincible army. From sending a tiny military elite squad, Peretz had to afterwards recall 30,000 Reservists at the Lebanese borders, and his goal was downsized to pushing Hezbollah beyond the Litani River, rather annihilating Hezbollah.

Israel was hindered from purging the whole of Lebanon due to the fact a pro-US government was present with two Hezbollah ministers and 4 opposition ministers. Hence minor locations were spared the bombings, and these points became focal points for refugee centers.

The July war taught us different things in relations to Israel and military warfare. Other than the traditional logic of Zionists of “self-proclaiming” themselves as superior to others ethnically, they are cold-blooded murderers. They lack democracy as well, specially when a couple of Communist activists protested against the war, they were beaten up by the Zionist supporters.

Second, the IDF is no longer invincible; rather they can be defeated in face to face combat. Their greatest advantage remains their warplanes. However, the underdogs caught up against their “invincible tanks: the Mirkavas”, and this means in the near future, their planes can be solved in a military perspective. The Israelis for the first time feel they are hostages due to their government’s racial policies. Sadly, the Jewish Proletariat remain mostly in general adopting this racial ideology, and still believe what the Zionist history are trying to recreate their own history of glories. They are unaware that their atrocities and butcheries have caused Arab Nationalism to be replaced with Islamist activists.

Third, the IDF lack any intelligence and long vision preparations. The IDF and IAF (Israeli Air Forces) bombed blindly the hell out of the Lebanese Army, while they were demanding that the Lebanese Army should protect its Northern Borders. Well, how can the Lebanese Army do that if Israel tagged the Lebanese Army (like the Lebanese Civilians) as ‘terrorist targets’ despite the fact the Lebanese army was not involved except in relief activities. Well done Peretz. Bush today praises the Lebanese army, but forgot to argue why Israel should be held accountable for that butchery of the Lebanese Army.

Fourth, the Israelis lack any logic. After bombing the hell out of Lebanon, they expected that the Lebanese government would sign peace treaty. They left cluster-bombs that still explode today in innocent people. They destroyed the economy of Lebanon, and still they weep they are the victims. The UN is nothing but social forums to chat between the superpowers.
Fifth, the war with Lebanon as exposed the weaknesses of the US satellite regimes in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia. Those regimes were heavily involved in suppressing their people rather boycotting Israeli goods and expelling the Israeli diplomats. Moreover, the Israelis have to consider that the more they annihilate Lebanese and Palestinian people, the weaker their allied regimes would be. Again, other than to worry on the military level, they also have to worry on the regional level. The Islamist activists of Egypt would become in the future a new headache for Tel Aviv other than Tehran.

Sixth, Hezbollah became national heroes in Lebanon. Their remarkable performance in the July war made the Israeli look military dumb. Kids while playing strategic games (such as Generals and War Hammer) use the term “Shoo, ana mastool mitl el-Israelieh” (Translation: I am stupid like the Israelis?). Anti-Imperialist activists disregarded the Islamist side of Hezbollah and adopted them as National Liberation Movement against US puppies. Hated figures like Galloway or Chavez became more popular for their opposition to the Israeli aggression. Moreover, the war proved that Israel has no where to go but to ditch this Zionist propaganda in order to sooth this Islamist surge of activists.

Seventh, political calculations were wrong. The Israelis thought that a civil war would erupt as they were bombing Hezbollah in Lebanon. What happened was the Lebanese on a grass roots level were holding hands with each other as everyone was involved in assisting refugees. Muslims and Christians interacted with each other on all scales, sadly this euphoria didn’t last much after the war. One of the rarest occasions that Lebanon witnessed such unity, despite the political division lines, was the July war.

Finally, the Zionists should learn to demolish this racial ideology. Zionism has transformed Judaism from a Sect to a race. Israel can never enjoy such a peace (which they do not want based on their brutality in the July war) if they pretend people to forget or simply subdue to US satellite puppies. First time the US and Israeli armies connected was in Lebanon in 1982, the US and the Israelis almost ended up shooting each other in separate occasions because the Zionist IDF were too racial even to the US soldiers (check Cursed is the Peace Maker, memoirs of Phil Habib).

The last theme, as Marxists, our war with Israel is not ethnic, rather it is class struggle. Those Zionist leaders abused their own people, and in the end from that side, we have no choice but gradually emancipate the Jews as part of the Proletariat so that they can get rid of their leaders/oppressors in a class awareness perspective. The July war, was the first war without having Ariel Sharon, and some speculate if Sharon was still conscious, he wouldn’t have entered this war out of the blues.

This is the first war where Israel severely suffered military losses. Not in its history they suffered most, but history witnessed how Israel managed to sneak away with its war crimes and quasi-ethnic cleansing of non-Jews. Israel has to learn to accept the fact that people are people wherever you go, and no peace can be imposed without the intent of abandoning those bulldozers of demolishing the houses of the Palestinians.

Lessons from the July War (Lebanese Side)

Lebanon’s myth of warriors and resistance became known through out the world. The war they suffered last year was the perfect example of how a people of different tendencies and political division line, stood one hand on the grassroots level to oppose Israel’s aggression. The IDF was so bloody that the majority of the Lebanese stood one hand in resisting the Israeli aggression.

The July war was not a war between Hezbollah and Lebanon. Hezbollah were not the only ones resisting the Israeli aggression, rather the whole Lebanese were involved one way or the other against Israel. The backbone of this resistance was not Hezbollah’s superb military performance, rather it was the success of the civilian resistance. How can it be a war only with Hezbollah when the Lebanese on all scales were being bombed, including the Lebanese Army? Hezbollah wouldn’t have been able to do anything if the majority of the Lebanese didn’t give shelter to their fellow displaced citizens, something Israel wasn’t anticipating.

When the war broke out, a lot blamed Hezbollah’s general secretary, Hassan Nasrallah, for dragging Lebanon to the war with Israelis. He said it clearly at Day 1: “I will take responsibility for everything that happens.” Luckily for Nasrallah, the civilian resistance did everything else other than going head to head with the Israelis militarily (although we heard rumors that the Lebanese Communist Party, The Syrian Social Nationalist Party, and AMAL movement were active down there as a military support).. Just as Hezbollah inflicted maximum damage on the IDF, the civilian movement, which included all sorts of nationalities from Europe and the US. Probably the first grassroots organization to be active is Samidoun, which was made of activists involved on all scales (except of military) of resistance. As Israel’s brutality appeared on different victims through out Lebanon paralleled with Hezbollah’s ground and sea victories, everyone hated the IDF and supported Hezbollah. Some logic was that “since the Israelis are going to bomb me, I might as well support them” and the sort. Hezbollah’s popularity spread due to Israeli war crimes and military defeats.

While political division lines were hard and shining, the grassroots witnessed different issues. Shiites for the first time interacted with Christians during the relief work. When villages or Dahhieh regions were emptied, Hezbollah’s security proved powerful as no empty house was robbed. The stress and anger was directed towards the Israelis (except for few people). The TV witnessed heated debates between the politicians of 14th of March and the Opposition, while these lines popped out occasionally during the relief campaigns. Some sites publicly endorsed Hezbollah, others simply focused on how Israeli leadership is made of cold-blooded murderers and sited their atrocities. Some activists (like the Free Patriotic Movement and Democratic Left Movement) refuted to work with each other in some occasions.

Racism appeared when the Palestinians were not allowed to enter the relief areas. A lot of upper and middle class Palestinians live through out Lebanon, specially in the urban areas. They were not allowed to seek asylum in the schools and relief centers because they lacked the Lebanese citizenship despite the fact they lived all their lives in Lebanon.

Worse, the scandal of the High Commission for Relief proved to be incapable of doing anything. They lacked the stock to support this wave of refugees (suspicion of informal deals were directed towards the High Commission for Relief. They said that they were not prepared for War, but to be exact isn’t Lebanon considered to be in a dubbed earthquake region? Lebanon never signed a peace treaty with Israel, and indirectly we are still in a state of war with the Zionists. Sometimes food brought to refugees was outdated. Luckily the Civilian resistance was there to compensate that disgrace.

Despite the war, some locations witnessed regular nightlife, (safe areas from bombings). Well no safe area was present, because the Israelis bombed such places, my house danced a lot to nearby bombings in a ‘safe haven’. Majority of Christians and Muslims were pissed of the situation because Christians and Muslims were killed.

The shocking thing is the realization of a lot of Lebanese with ‘patriotic’ logic, having a second nationality and FLEEing Lebanon. I remember clearly the anger of staying in Lebanon to rot while those were running away, only to return and brag about themselves while we were left here to rot!!

The death toll and social life was horrific on everyone, but more horrific to the refugees in specific. Plenty of the activists were university graduates from top universities who decided to pitch in their experience to help their fellow kin. The daily massacres left a lot frustrated and the sensation of helpless against Israeli War planes was disgusting.

Israeli fliers were dropped mocking the Lebanese on how they will burn in hell and witness how their Lebanon will burn to the ashes used to be dropped everywhere. Children with psychological problems are not solved till now (and the number is huge), while ¼ of Lebanon would permanently clutch to Hezbollah due to their military performance in avenging their deceased loved ones and their refugee status. A lot of people walked from the borders to Beirut despite all the horrors taking place because they lacked the means to drive, or it was too risky to drive. If the Israelis bombed the BBC, al-Jazeera, and the Red Cross convoys, their cars are sitting ducks. A lot of refugee buses carrying white flags, heading to Beirut, were bombed. Tyre and Saida (two of the five major cities of Beirut) were rendered destroyed and empty. Tyre, pre-July War, had a huge anti-Hezbollah masses, witnessed the majority of these masses switching 180 degrees. Let us face it, the Zionists are dumb.

Nasrallah never the less was regarding during the July war by some as the man who opened a Pandora’s Box. “Who in the right mind would do such an operation against blood thirsty Zionists without consulting the rest of the Lebanese?” Jumblatt till this day replies to Hassan Nasrallah: “Your Divine victory ended with divine extra billions of dollars of debt” or “Your Divine victory became in the end of the war as ‘If only I knew’.

Galloway and Chavez established huge popularity among the Lebanese (and remained so among the opposition). Chavez kicked out the Israeli ambassador and cut ties with Israel, while Galloway (despite my dislikeness to him) was the only one to reflect the situation in Lebanon on Sky News (despite the imposed corporate Media block-out on Lebanon). The Arab Leaders proved they are traitors to the people living in Lebanon and to their own. Some (like couple of gulf nations) opened their land to allow US flow of weaponry to Israel. None of them boycotted Israel, rather Bolton in an interview with Marcel Ghanem said loud and clear: “A lot of Arab Nations asked the US to allow Israel to bomb Lebanon to get rid of Hezbollah”. Henceforth, the ones we can think of are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, and Jordan. They suppressed their own people to demonstrate in solidarity with Lebanon. They never exerted any political pressure on Israel during the war, rather they sent money donations (which we never saw later) to shut their people up. There couldn’t have been a great stand of an Egyptian artist, A’del Imam, carrying a candle on stage and weeping for the butchered people in Qana.

The fact that the government was 14th of March dominated, saved minor locations from being eradicated by Israel. Yet, the disgrace was the government meeting with Condi Rice at the US embassy for lunch despite the fact Rice said it loud and clear they are sending laser guided missiles to make the accuracy of the Israelis better (two days of the Qana massacre) as well as the fact she was celebrating in Tel Aviv that a new Middle East was being shaped. A day later, the Lebanese Prime Minister refused to meet with her and she had to tune down her logos to “helping Israel to defend itself”. Well, I demand that Olmert and Peretz be dumped in the Lebanese South among his victims!!!! The government also witnessed a meeting of the Arab Foreign Ministers (under US blessings of course), and then they traveled to the UN to launch UN resolution 1701. The opposition was disastrous politically, when the Minister (currently resigned) of Foreign Affairs Fawzi Salloukh went to the UN, the Israeli diplomat made a fool out of him. It was till Tarek Metri (Minister of Culture) went he reflected the situation better, “As I begin to speak, seven civilians were just killed 10 minutes ago in Marj Ayoun [Christian Village in the South].

Donations were raced to Lebanon after Lebanon remained one additional month under siege. The donations, on state level, were to assist the Lebanese Government to remain strong in its position. The relief was so disastrous that Palestinian refugees welcomed Lebanese refugees in their REFUGEE CAMP in Ain el Hilwi, while the Lebanese activists didn’t allow urban refugees to enter the schools (which didn’t have much of humanistic conditions and supplies).

After the July war was over, the division lines returned and reflected on the grassroots level.

Bashar el Assad, a president who raises logos which he cant satisfy, threatened to kick out the government. He took the whole victory of the Lebanese in resisting Hezbollah as his private own despite the fact he didn’t lay a finger to assist the Lebanese (rather his staff was busy ripping off Lebanese entering boarders). Couple of Israeli missiles hit Syrian borders, he made it clear ‘it was on the Lebanese side’ and ‘threatened if they did hit Syrian borders’ (which was totally amusing of that President since a week prior to the July war two Israeli planes flew over his head).

The Arab regimes focused on how to isolate Hezbollah, while Israeli planes remained flying over Lebanon. Three days after the July war was over, they carried an operation in Northern Lebanon and their operatives were butchered. IAF planes kept flying over Lebanon and breaches remained from their side loud and clear which caused the UNIFIL and Israel to almost enter close encounters. The first to kiss ass with Israel were the Germans, who spearheaded the Navy UNIFIL to monitor accession of weaponry to Lebanon from the sea (in the greatest military transfer since World War II) in order to erase their history of the Holocaust. Their military staff almost entered a confrontation with the Israelis (specially when Helicopters detected missile locks from IAF planes.

The war, despite this national unity, triggered a further heated division lines among the government and the Lebanese. At least from this dimension, Israel was successful in polarizing Lebanon as anti-Hezbollah (affiliated to Iran and Syria in the eyes of the Government supporters) and Pro – Hezbollah (regarded as the protectors of Lebanon in the eyes of their supporters except for a lunatic general who sees Hezbollah as a chance to make it to presidency). The UNIFIL are suspected to become part of NATO’s strike force in the long-run. People wonder why it is only from the Lebanese Side they are still present in the border since the Israelis keep breaching borders as UNIFIL remain helpless.

The Lebanese Marxists proved to be still efficient due to their outstanding performance in the relief campaign and resisting Israeli media. Fawwaz Traboulsi and Elias Khoury expressed the Lebanese sentiment during the war. Traboulsi trashed the Saudi ambassador to Washington when that ambassador said that he opposed undemocratic decisions taken by Hezbollah, Traboulsi's reply was "when Saudi Arabia had democracy before?" Elias Khoury was perfect in attacking the US satellites Arab regimes.

The Lebanese still didn’t learn to rely on themselves. Each of the two camps has its own foreign sponsors. The only time that happened, it happened during one month called the July war. Now, they await to go butcher each other. (Like Hamas and Fatah). Nevertheless, and despite all the loses on the humanistic and materialistic level, Lebanon emerged victorious in the face of the Zionists, and a lesson emerged that a bully can be taught a harsh lesson in military warfare, they still need to be taught lessons in humanity. The Lebanese need to be taught a lesson to be less racist towards the Palestinians and a lot others as well.


For an emancipated Proletariat despite race, nationality, religion, gender, and tendency!

Hasta La Victoria Siempre

Monday, July 02, 2007

Regarding LBC's Documentary and History

As I watching the documentary on Pierre Gemayel, I was fascinated by all the pictures (not to forget accompanied with the soundtrack of Pirates of the Caribbean), motion pics, and interviews. However, the documentary came to me as a disappointment.

As always, portraying Pierre Gemayel as the innocent actor is wrong, or covering parts of history and focus on other is catastrophy. The documentary is interesting to know about one of the controversial figures of modern Lebanon; however, it is incomplete. The documentary for example overlooked how the Phalange, as part of the Lebanese Front, recieved arms from Israel from the Jounieh Port, or the attrocities committed during that era (at least covered, LBC might later point out how these tiny details were there). This is not only to attack Pierre Gemayel, but all of the documentary on politicians. People tend to be portrait as good will actors and disregard everything. That is why when for example doing documentary on the Lebanese Communist Party by NBN, they totally neglected their important role in the Battle For Tripoly (against the Tawheed) or how much AMAL butchered LCP and SSNP warriors on their way to fight the Israeli Army or the Southern Lebanese Army.

Moreover, if everyone were good willed actors, then why we had a 17 years war whereby two primary schools errupted into heavy clashes, and eventually the war took different (and again different) turns. Joseph Bou Khalil appeared in the documentary; however, he was never asked about the trips he did along with Bashir with Israel (nor Amin Gemayel was asked on why he visited Syria), both sons actually did these "touristic" missions based on Pierre Gemayel's grand design to always keep up a back-up plan. Probably that will pop out in the last episode, but my point is, all history should be put and spoken off. If AMAL butchered people, they should admit it, Hezbollah butchered a lot under the bloody reign of Sheikh Tfayli, they should say it. All documentaries should highlight that part during the good-willed actor's participation. There has not been only one massacre, which everyone keeps repeating with Sabra-Shatila Massacres, rather, there have been the massacres at Mt. Lebanon (on different levels), Shikka, Karantina, Sixth of February, Tel Zaatar, 100 Days War, and everything else.

You cant re-write history, history as it happened has to be known. We shouldnt wait till the US archives open up every 30 years. The victims, the regular citizens, and everyone else needs to know and HAS the RIGHT to know. Part of the on-going vicious political/social cycle keeps repeating itself because they still refute to open their entire cards of the past. That is a true process for reconciliation within Lebanon, rather following leaders and make them powerful. Is this is too much to ask from those politicians? I would like to see Ahhrar saying how they relied on the US Army to safeguard their interests, why Saeb Salam resigned with his accusations on the Phalange, why Hezbollah and AMAL bombed the hell out of each other. I would like to see all political parties (including the Lebanese Commmunist Party and the virtuous Order For Communist Work) to confess that their men did this mistake or that.

I guess life goes on...