Monday, January 14, 2008

The New Philosophy of Martyrdom

Ok, one thing for sure, it is dying as routine has struck a year and half stagnation. A lot are losing hopes of everything, and mass mobilizations are shrinking in size (well unless Hezbollah command their supporters to hit the barricades). Nevertheless, the overall political mobilizations have been shrinking in size, and even members from the Democratic Left Movement and Lebanese Communist Party (the two current cartoonish comical parties) have been expressing disappointments and de-activating themselves. In fact, when I stood against the hilarious Democratic Left, they mocked me and some went as far as to accuse me as a Syrian agent. Now, a majority of the ones I know are apologizing to me (after 4 years) and some even thanked me for keeping the line of return active. This does not mean that these members became progressive, oh no, they are stuck in the whirlpool of being trapped in 14th of March coalition and in their endless “epical” heroic battles against Syria and Iran.

Having said all that, what is the New Philosophy of Martyrdom? It is of course from my concept not related to Jihad nor anything else that is religious. It is process whereby one reactionary leader gets his/her agenda through by claiming to defend an influential figure’s ideas. This probably first appeared when Lenin died, Stalin self-proclaimed himself as defender of what he invented as “Leninism”, whereby he iconized Lenin (despite the fact that Lenin wrote extensively against iconization) and argued that whoever opposes him, opposes the glorious Lenin. Now Lenin died a natural death, but the process in Lebanese politics became active. We probably first witnessed that in Lebanon when Antoun Saadi was executed, different party members self-proclaimed themselves as the defenders of his radical ideas. After only 9 years of Antoun Saadi’s death, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party suffered from its first split.

A more clearer activity appeared when Imam Moussa el Sadre disappeared. AMAL movement was suffering from disorganization, lack of members, and lack of alternatives to rebuild. When Moussa el Sadre disappeared, AMAL movement members started to preach how they are defending el Sadre’s ideas, and of course, that was accompanied with over inflating el Sadre’s character/role in real life. AMAL movement after 1978 increased to incredible dimension even el Sadre himself didn’t expect to gather so much members.

A third one would be the assassination of Kamal Junblatt. With Kamal Junblatt, Walid Junblatt gambled a lot on his father’s name to also pursue his own goals. The fact that till 2005 he revived the concept of Syria killing his father makes it hilarious. Currently, a lot of PSP members call Kamal Junblatt as “the Teacher”, and some of them praise Walid Junblatt as the true heir, because Kamal Junblatt now is downsized to simply anti-Syrian and disregarded his socialist beliefs, his war against Zionism, and his solidarity with the Palestinians. (Even some try to erase the fact that the Progressive Socialist Party and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party were allies and their military men functioned sometimes as a single unit during the two year war).

A fourth one would be the assassination of Bashir Gemayel. Rewriting history on how he struck a deal with Sharon to get the Israeli Defense Forces to Beirut and install him as a Lebanese President, he was perceived as a hero by his followers. He was shortly assassinated with an explosion. The logo “Bashir Hayy Finna” (translation Bashir is still alive in us) is widely used by Phalange and Lebanese Forces supporters. Even Karim Bakradoni, with his short-lived flirtations as head of the Phalange Party with the Syrians, tried to link Bashir Gemayel to loving the Syrians. Jaajaa, Amin Gemayel, and other figures remain till this day at any chance to mention Bashir Gemayel to enforce their ideas on their supporters.

In any case, how does this apply in our community now? Ever since Rafiq el Harriri died, and along with him the economist Basil Fliehan, the philosophy of Martyrdom reached a new level. Directly after Harriri’s death, Samir Qassir and George Hawwi were assassinated, and eventually Joubran Tuieni followed them. The idea was to link all people assassinated under different circumstances and place them under one umbrella: anti-Syria. Hence, Kamal Junblatt, Bashir Gemayel, Mufti Khaled, and Rene Moua’awad were all associated with Rafiq Harriri, Samir Qassir, Bassil Fleihan, George Hawwi, and Jubran Tuieni. The difference between the former and the latter that the former is the fact all died at separate political circumstances at separate times during the civil war. Syria at a one point flirted Kamal Junblatt, Gemayel’s father, and of course Rafiq el Harriri and others. This means that 14th of March sought legitimacy in fighting Syria’s influence ever since Kamal Jumblatt was assassinated, despite the fact that Walid Junblatt allied after 4 years with them in the face of the Phalange/Lebanese Forces/Ahhrar/Israel. From Kamal Junblatt to Antoine Ghanem (the last target is still disputed regarding the assassinated General), the names has been placed into a single umbrella to face the opposing camps. Hence Aoun is fighting Pierre Gemayel Jr. and Samir Qassir. In fact, Samir Qassir never dreamt in real life that his name would be that inflated and used, but media inflated his martyrdom to fully retaliate on Pro-Syrian parties. The same applies about Pierre Gemayel Jr., he was hailed as the heir of Bashir and Pierre (Sr.) Gemayel.

While Hezbollah claims the 1300 civilians to be their own martyrs, 14th of March balanced out through their claim over all the names since Kamal Junblatt’s death. The on-going assassinations of the politicians within 14th of March camp reinforces their philosophy on the grassroots level. However, it should be noticed that due to the stalemate between the government and the opposition, each martyr dies gets less and less media attention compared to Samir Qassir, George Hawwi, Joubran Tueini, and Rafiq el Harriri. Walid Eido and Antoine Ghanem’s death got least media attention while the pro-14th of March media played and replayed the life stories of the early assassinated politicians.

A brief example of the new philosophy would be me going head to head with a stupid Democratic Left member:

Me: I seriously cant think a leftist should be part of 14th of March because it is too nationalist, and too liberal economically.

DLMer: Why? Because you disrespect Samir Qassir? Join us and don’t let his name be stained.
Me: What does that has to do with this?
DLMer: Because if you are not with us, you hate freedom, and you are not Leftist, Samir Qassir died for Lebanon and DLM. For Qassir join us!
Me: More like join you, and worship Elias Atallah and play ping-pong between Elias Khoury & Ziad Majed versus Elias Attallah And in the end, none of them is leftist, whatever happened to ‘long live the workers’!

Hence, the debate goes on and on. Bottomline is, DLMers tried to apply this philosophy; they are only successful in recruiting partly through the Samir Qassir foundation. Yet, their number shrank from what was supposed to be 5000 members to barely 340 participating in internal elections last year. I used the DLM excuse because it always amuses me. All the other parties are doing the same. Some PSP members almost think Kamal Jumblatt died 3 years ago (technically they are living it “we are seeking to avenge the First Teacher”).

Harriri is a more logical example. Before he died, everyone was complaining from taxes and unemployment. When he died, suddenly he became the angelic saint blindly, while the majority of the Sunnis became mobilized towards 14th of March. This media transformation can’t seize to amaze me how the transformation occurred. His movement’s station Future TV, daily replays historic moments from his life. His death became the political torpedo not only to oust the Syrians out of Lebanon, but also a missile spearhead to attempt and shoot the Syrian Baathi regime in Damascus. His “tomb” became a pilgrimage and history again was re-written disregarding the bad side of what happened in relations to Rafiq el Harriri. Now we see every liberalization of a sector, Seniora (Previously hated and dubbed MR. TVA in reference to value added taxes and all taxes as a matter of fact) blesses it “for the memory of my good friend Rafiq el Harriri. Soon we will enter the World Trade Organization to bless Rafiq Harriri’s memory!!!

Yet, this philosophy allowed the Government to gain recharged support from the International Community every time one of their politicians die to the extent Nasrallah himself complaint that the International Community gave the government too much support to be ‘simply ousted’.

Again, for respecting the dead people, cherish their ideas and not inflate them for private uses.

MFL

13 comments:

politiques USA said...

Sana saida watamaniyati an yashmala asilm kola l3alame.
Wa atamana lmawt lisahayina.

Voltaire said...

Hello

Just a suggestion here. You need not take it in a hostile or belittling way.

What's the point in political ideologies if the underlying aim is not to work for humanity as best one can?

There is no political utopia in my view.

Forget this definition of what makes one a 'leftist'. Be a humanist to the best of your ability. Lebanon exists. National frontieres exist. Live the reality. Democracy is not a political ideology. It is the platform where political ideas are debatd freely and sometimes implemented.

People live in countries with borders. If there is no democracy within these borders, then the individual is gone. We are left with the mass. The cattle. The sheep. like Syria.

The Damascus regime is killing our democrats. We need to eliminate it in order to defend our livelihood. The elimination of the current Damascus regime is a prerequisite to social stability in the near east.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

For starters, let me set one thing straight

I dont think there is any humanistic ideology more than Marxism. Second, you want to take it hostile to Syria? What assures you wont be sold out again like happened in 1990 by the US when they sold Lebanon to Syria.

Third, I can never ever support a racial coalition that disregards half of its country and simply complains "Syria's fault" (nor the other side as well who claim the other half is pure zionism on the grassroots level).

Fourth, the politicians are being killed, that is partly to blame the security of Lebanon and previous/current governments. So far in Lebanon there hasnt been any massive security measures to catch the culprits, and we are not sure even if it is Syria or not! Furthermore, the only ones who took any real security initiative are private companies who at least bother to search cars with metal detecting scanners at the building or parking entrance. The only thing our esteemed government has done is "ditch and be lucky".

Fifth, 2006 witnessed the death of 1300 civilians in one month, and civilians been killed till now by remaining cluster bombs, do you forget about those as well? And we know who issued the orders!

Sixth, during the Syrian regime, they used to beat the crap out of us and tell us to focus on Israel, now the government is doing the same (by diverting attention from their own screw-ups) and tell us to plainly focus on Syria. What about their glitches? What about the WTO transactions, so yes I will belittle the government just as I will belittle the opposition. My advice, you should do the same and focus on building a progessive program and assemble people against both coalitions, such as Civil Marriage to demolish Sectarianism.

Darko said...

I agree with you,iconization is a very regressive element in any ideology, cause it limit that ideology and halt its development and evolution, this is a problem that is very clear with the SSNP, but i should point out that the division within the ssnp, had nothing to do with ideological interpretations(unless you mean(the split in the civil war.

I came to the conclusion that the only solution for the region's problem is a full blown evolution, and i wanna start building our ranks up, how you like to join mfl, you can be our political adviser with emphases on socialism

Darko said...

full blown revolution*

Renegade Eye said...

We might be able to put Benazir Bhutto's martyrdom to good use; if our comrades gain office.

Benazir and her family, lived off her father's martyrdom.

Voltaire said...

MFL, let me start by saying that I do not forget about those who died in the Hizbollah-Israel war. My mentioning of Lebanon's democrats being killed does not imply a negation of this fact.

Secondly, it is obvious that the Syrian regime, along with its allies within Lebanon, are behind the political assasinations. All the alternative theories are fallacious propaganda against Lebanon's democrats in an attempt to boost Syrian/Iranian/Hizbollah policy in the region and in Lebanon.

You say you can never support a coalition that 'disregards' half the country's population. This coalition you speak of does not disregard half the population. It is in political dispute with it. Political disputes happen. This is why democracy is a necessity. The freedom to dispute. To debate. To challenge. All in a civilzed humanistic manner that is. Today, TODAY, are Hizbollah respecting human rights. No they are not. They provide a social programme to some of the Shia community, but they are a regressive, sectarian, pre-enlightenment anti-democratic ethos of a party. It is they who disregard anyone who has a different opinion because they do not believe in democracy.

My attack here IS on Hizbollah, and Syria, and Iran. Whatever their individual ideologies, they are all enforcing a sectarian tension within Lebanon. 14th March are not.

Therefore, if we want to see a secular society develop in Lebanon let us start with what we have. 14th March is the only politcal movement of action against Syria and Hizbollah, (the forces that are enforcing sectarianism and social instability in Lebanon). No other effective organisation exists.

Therefore I belive that you would do better do lessen hostility against the anti-Syrian coalition. I also want to see a secular Lebanon develop. But this won't come about by attacking 14th March, becuase in attacking the largest force that are against the Syrian regime and Hizbollah, you are in effect supporting the forces that are trying to destroy everything that you supposedly advocate.

Voltaire said...

I also need to mention something else.

I find it incredible that some people who claim to be 'Marxists' and thus aware of socio-economic structures can be blind to the obvious facts of Syrian colonialisation of Lebanon. It is Syrian interference in all sectors and institutions of Lebanon that has caused the current incabalility of Lebanon to get out of debt; to have to endure around 3 decades of large scale corruption in every institution, private and public sector, leading to a crippling financial crisis for the average household and anarchy and inefficiency in social services of every sort.

In case you haven't realized, the Damascus regime have no socio-political ideology. They solely want to maintain a status-quo that allows them to become increasingly wealthy through the misfortunes and increased poverty and financial strain of the syrian people and those in neighbouring countries.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Let me get this straight, I place 14th and Opposition in the same camp, as rip off politicians seeking to maximize their profits. 14th of March wont last long, and 14th of March is not secular. Just as the Opposition is made of Sectarian Forces (Hezbollah - FPM - AMAL) so is the government. The people will tolerate each other as long as the leaders love each other.

I am fully aware of the Syrians, but that is not the whole story. Again, we have patterns but till now it is not confirmed about anything who is after what. For example, the George Hawwi plot, Rafi Madayan issued that there is a potential non- Syrian hand in it (Hawwi's son).

More to the point... 14th of March should be equally blamed like the Opposition. As long as they are mobilizing on Sectarian basis, doesnt get me to put my attention on Iran and Syria, rather how Iran, Syria, USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia, others are benefiting from this sectarian rifts we suffer from

Moreover , both coalitions are reported to have weapons (with government confirmation) and henceforth, both are enemies of the people. And both supporters disrespect minorities in their areas. Hence this fiasco doesnt apply on Hezbollah, but as well on fascist Phalange, Lebanese Forces, PSP, SSNP, FPM, and others.

And if you studied Lebanon's history, the same people who used to advocate Syrian mandate were the ones giving their blessings to the Lebanese Army and Syrian intelligence to beat the hell out of us everytime we went down to demonstrate. Hence, alliances fluctuate according to elite interets.

The Sunnis through future are doing welfare systems for their supporters, so does the PSP. In fact all of them are... so be objective, they are all wicked parties. This is not a battle of Syian hegemony versus Democracy. Lebanon's system is not democratic.

Moreover, the history of Lebanon itself always had two coalitions.

I know for a fact Israeli planes fly over our heads... SYrian president is being pain in the arse but no evidence yet in the entire explosions.

What would you do with the Christian and MUslim Opposition? On grass roots level? Or vice versa. Give JUnblatt a good offer and he would switch sides, so will the others. Berri, Aoun, or Harriri.

You cant assume the whole thing is Syria versus democracy. Heck, even Elias Attallah used some pressure to get his daughter a job. The whole system is messed up, and the proper way for Lebanon to advance is without 14th/Opposition coalitions (and it is expected alliances to change this year in any case... I checked your post, get real yourself, 14th of March are not gonna last forever, barely in the short run as a matter of fact.)

As for Hezbollah's platform, lately they eased down on that, (unless Qassem takes over) and let me remind you who currently still preaches "real christians logic", same person who was part of the Marounstan project in the past.

Finally, 14th of March cannot shoot the Baathi regime (And remember last time Syria closed its borders , Lebanon got economically messed). The only way to shoot down the Baathi regime is by invading Syria, but I sure dont want that to happen if Syria ends up like Iraq, special thanks to Bush's stupid blunders.

The values I preach cannot be achieved by any of these reactionaries, henceforth, in defecto, equally they are all my enemies.

MFL

MarxistFromLebanon said...

In reply to your additional remark,

currently the only thing Syria is interested in Lebanon is to get a bargaining hand through Lebanon for the Golan Heights.

Moreover, allow me to remind you who was partly responsible of funding their elites and who assisted Rafiq el Harriri to demolish the workers' syndicates (whatever remained of them in the post- war). Poverty exists in Syria, and poverty exists in Lebanon special thanks to the joint figures of both coalitions in Lebanon. So get your facts straight , and review your 1990s instead of blindly saying: "everything is Syria's fault", hey how about saying: "Syria out of Pakistan" as well.

More to the point, you never mentioned the US involvement in Lebanese Affairs as well, and please dont tell me it is democratic. The US supported totalitarian regimes through out the third world, and the first to hit my mind Saudi Arabia (and Saddam Hussein himself back in the 1980s)

Yalla, start reading books ;)

Voltaire said...

Talking of getting facts straight, let me enlighten you to the fact that the mafia responsible for demolishing the workers' syndicates in Lebanon was Nabih Berri, with full backing, ofcourse, by Syrian intelligence, who highjacked the unions using intimidation, brute force and election rigging, all in cause for catering for the Damascus regime.

My seeing Syria as a main factor of causing a stagnant socio-economic crises in Lebanon is a reality that significantly affects Lebanon in the most negative manifestations and it needs to be acknowleged and tackled in all seriousness and pragmatism. It is for this reason that I do not agree with your rhetoric of seeing both coalitions as hopeless. I chose to back and become involved with the 14th March movement as a discourse of practically implementing and ratifying policies against Syrian tyranny and corruption.

14th March are a COALITION, and they mobilize and operate politically as a COALITION. Therefore, politically speaking, they ARE secular.

As an official ruling government 14th March are also democratic. They never once sent out the army to beat down any protest or sit-in by the opposition, nor have there been any attempts or even talk of banning any opposition publication or audio-visual broadcast.

Everyone is aware that arms still exist in numerous households withing Lebanon. This is not a recent phenomenon but an unfortunate remnant of the civil war. The reality is that only one party, Syria's favourate, have a full scale militia, in continued training, with superior and ever increasing arms, probably ready to execute a long planned coup d'etat.

Therefore I have no objection to US arms supplies to the Lebanese Military if it will help protect the population from Syrian/Iranian/Hizbollah backed aggression.

I am completely aware that the US have supported and backed totalitarian regimes around the 3rd world, and I am also aware that they gave Syria a greenlight to go into Lebanon on two occasions. However, I am also aware that there is no political utopia- the best I believe one should strive for is a form of democratic social stability, and on the long term, social stability won't come about without democracy. It is my belief that 14th MArch are the first step in this progression, and thus international support, including present US and EU support is welcome.

Ultimately, I feel there is not much difference in what you and I hope to one day see. The difference between us is the discourse we take. My opinion is that your view of the current situation in which you see 'all' politicians as crooks and thus choose to make enemies of all is entirely futile. I see no action to your words. Forgive me for saying this, but although your ideals are probably genuine and humanistic, and I absolutely respect them for those reasons, I feel that you are living in a slightly fantastical world.


Voltaire

Voltaire said...

Oh yes, I forgot to mention.

Syria's interest in Lebanon is not merely about Golan. The totalitarian regime wants to re-deploy and re-infiltrate the institutions once again becuase it had such a profitable time there, and it made such a loss in income when it was forced out that wants to do it again.

Also, the Damascus regime is desperately trying to create anarchy and cripple the anti-Syrian bloc so as to intimidate anyone out of pushing for an implementation for an international tribunal, because it knows that it is going to be brought to court.

And...if a civil war does break out in Lebanon, again, this will be great for Syria, because there might be that great opportunity for it to come marching in once again to 'keep the peace'.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Again not everything rotates around Syria as you assume, nor 14th of March are that democratic.

Let us get things straight:

1)You said: " Talking of getting facts straight, let me enlighten you to the fact that the mafia responsible for demolishing the workers' syndicates in Lebanon was Nabih Berri, with full backing, ofcourse, by Syrian intelligence, who highjacked the unions using intimidation, brute force and election rigging, all in cause for catering for the Damascus regime. "

Not at all, it was Harriri Sr.'s plan to integrate lebanon in the WTO and liberalize purely the markets, Berri assisted, but it was harriri and the Syrians to get a piece of the cake by getting Lebanon (hypothatically) to maximize profit. Harriri had all the plans, and with the Monopoly of Down Town, Harriri was advancing, and the Syrians were drooling. (Remember, the late Harriri gave Ghazi Kenaan the Key of Beirut).

You say: "My seeing Syria as a main factor of causing a stagnant socio-economic crises in Lebanon is a reality that significantly affects Lebanon in the most negative manifestations and it needs to be acknowleged and tackled in all seriousness and pragmatism. It is for this reason that I do not agree with your rhetoric of seeing both coalitions as hopeless. I chose to back and become involved with the 14th March movement as a discourse of practically implementing and ratifying policies against Syrian tyranny and corruption."

I reply: Syria can do much worse by closing its borders. 14th of March are aware of that, and some of its leaders dont want that to happen, that is why they focus on mutual understanding rather shooting down the Syrian Regime (although I wouldnt mind that happening, but having the Muslim Brotherhood over there as a next option is much worse). I went down on March 14th, in fact I was an organizer (yes) with the hope of being a secular movement. The moment Bahya Harriri was booed when she spoke about not going to war with Hezbollah and AMAL, rather to have reconciliation, then I knew this movement is going to be Fascist in nature(like their opponents), and racial towards the other half of Lebanon. Henceforth, I decided to go against both. So far, none of 14th of March (nor the Opposition) even bothered to mention the worsening of the economic situation on average workers (be that Lebanese, Palestinian, US, whoever).

You say: "14th March are a COALITION, and they mobilize and operate politically as a COALITION. Therefore, politically speaking, they ARE secular."

Being in a coalition doesnt mean you are secular. A Coalition (like the Opposition) made of sectarian parties such as PSP, Phalange, Lebanese Forces, and Future, does not make it a secular coalition/movement. Probably the only ones who are secular (theoratically) are the Democratic Left; however, even Elias Attallah appears to be more Junblatti than Junblatt and more Harriri than Harriri Jr. In fact, for a fact, the Future and PSP grassroots opposed Civil Marriage being implemented in Lebanon, despite the fact that Teymour Junblatt married a Shiite in a civil marriage fashion. Not to forget Amin Gemayel and Aoun were competing on the issue of who is more Christian. Yesterday, Harriri Jr. and Aoun met, if they loved each other, then their masses would love each other. Hence, the 14th of March (as well as the Opposition) masses, ACCORDING TO SECT, love each other as long as their sect-defenders love each other.

You say: "As an official ruling government 14th March are also democratic. They never once sent out the army to beat down any protest or sit-in by the opposition, nor have there been any attempts or even talk of banning any opposition publication or audio-visual broadcast."

This fact didnt just occur because 14th of March took power, it occurred because the Syrians went out of Lebanon. And mind you, a lot of documents/plays/books are subdued to a form of censorship. Movies in specific enter that category. Moreover, even during the Syrian Mandate, some had the guts to go bezzerk on them (such as the 10 Oclock group). More to the point, those who used to send the security forces to beat us were Michel el Murr and his son Elias el Murr. As for democratic, the 14th of March, just like the Opposition, have their hooligans going bezzerk on mixed areas, whereby minorities suffer. When the Opposition staged their civil disobedience last January (the ever catastrophic move), both camps were unleashed to beat the hell out of each other. Stores belonging to minorities within their areas were broken, and PSP as well as AMAL had ammunition. Worse, when the Arab University broke out, AMAL set a check-point at the Airport Highway, while the PSP in Mt. Lebanon, whereby people were asked their sect and region of origin. You CANNOT simply assume that they are democratic. Why do you think I keep my identity secret?

You say: " However, I am also aware that there is no political utopia- the best I believe one should strive for is a form of democratic social stability, and on the long term, social stability won't come about without democracy. It is my belief that 14th MArch are the first step in this progression, and thus international support, including present US and EU support is welcome."


I say: So far we didnt have any instability. Let us face it, the core issue is not Syria or the US, rather it is from the inside whereby political elites seek foreign sponsors to balance. If hezbollah are offered a good business deal with 14th of March, then they will go for it. The same applies on Junblatt (as he switched sides during election 05, and started praising the resistance). I wouldnt mind peace, but I seriously do not see it coming from a sectarian coalition, nor the fact that the US is intervening. So far, every US intervention has proved catastrophic to Lebanon.

You say: " However, I am also aware that there is no political utopia- the best I believe one should strive for is a form of democratic social stability, and on the long term, social stability won't come about without democracy. It is my belief that 14th MArch are the first step in this progression, and thus international support, including present US and EU support is welcome."

I say: That the Syrian interests are many is a true fact; however, again, Syria negotiates with Israel secretly in Washington, unlike Lebanon. Moreover, according to Bolton, Arab regimes asked that Israel bombs Hezbollah which of course didnt do that, rather slaughtered civilians. Also, most of the 14th of March were Syrian puppies as well, it is how elite interest shifts, hence sectarian mobilizations occurred.

As for respecting ideals, as a marxist I respect opinion as long as it is constructive. In this issue currently, my ideals are not just Utopian, rather down to earth because i investigate all dimensions, and believe the current history is due to the accumulated past. If you want to understand the present, you have to dwell in the past, and not impose an amnesia via the media. Notice, why for example Walid Junblatt doesnt request to have two seperate embassies between Lebanon and Syria, because he signed the Brotherhood Treaty which dictates such an issue not to happen.

You say: "And...if a civil war does break out in Lebanon, again, this will be great for Syria, because there might be that great opportunity for it to come marching in once again to 'keep the peace'."

I say: Syria might be thrilled, but they dont want a civil war in Lebanon yet. The Tribunl is so far a hoax, and is not capable to threaten Syria, maximum the international community can impose on Syria is economic Sanctions. And we both know Syria is a self-sufficient nation. Even if Chaos breaks out by the way, the Tribunal is taking place in the Netherlands, and not in Lebanon, hence the Tribunal will continue despite a civil war. If anything, we need an international tribunal to but on Trial all the war criminals of the civil war, instead of making them politically legitimate and allow sectarianism remain alive. Moreover, the War also would benefit Israel as well, because for sure Israeli Defense Forces will fly and bomb Hezbollah rather risk their pethatic infantry forces (again).

Welcome to my blog Voltaire :)

MFL