Thursday, February 14, 2008

The New Shadows of War: Civil War or War with Israel?

As things are getting entangled, the situation is reaching critical stages for a gigantic political explosion. The stage is set for confrontations. As both sides escalated, now we are ready to see the return of 1975. However, the circumstances today are not the same as Amin Gemayel said it was. Bashir Gemayel is never related to 14th of March and Amin Gemayel seems to forget that his father used to send him secretly to the Syrians while his brother went to Israel. Nor Walid Junblatt will ever forget how Amin Gemayel attempted to assassinate him. Actually his speech burns Walid Junblatt and the Future Movement. While he was sitting relaxed electing his brother as a President, West Beirut (the PSP and the Sunnis were under heavy bombardment from Israeli tanks while the Lebanese Forces hailed them).

As Junblatt divorced co-existence with Hezbollah in front of an audience that was more than 1.2 million, Nasrallah retaliated that Walid Junblatt is the one who should leave the country to his masters in the USA and Tel Aviv. While the political elites spoke of an anti-Syrian traitors, Saad Hariri spoke of reconciliation and tried to open a hand to everyone amidst his offensive on Syria.

The man to steal away the glories of what is supposedly be 1.5 million 14th of Marchers is Hassan Nasrallah in the burial of Imad Moghnieh. He bluntly told Junblatt that the Party of God is here to stay, and he should leave if he cannot tolerate co-existence. Second, Nasrallah (like in the interview with Aoun on O-TV) reassured us of a new war. In fact, the war with Israel is no longer a war of liberating the Sheba’a farms, rather it is a war of destroying Israel once and for all. Henceforth, instead of worrying about a civil war, we have to anticipate a new war with the Zionists. Actually, Nasrallah waged an open war on Israel that is no longer existent on Lebanese soil since Imad Moghnieh was killed outside Lebanon. Henceforth, any offensive against the Israeli diplomats anywhere can be easily tagged as “Hezbollah offensive”. Hence, we can have Israel airplanes bombing us anytime and any place. In fact, Israel’s logic of “pre-emptive strikes” can bomb us in this very second. Now, the war is open anywhere and any place. More importantly, Nasrallah openly shrank Walid Junblatt to a Zionist agent for the first time, and we all know that Nasrallah by his followers is regarded as “God-Sent.”

While Jaajaa and others during the 14th of March attacked the Opposition as Syrian agents funded by Iran, and they will never step down. Saad Hariri promised the Lebanese “the President is coming, and he is Michel Suleiman.” No matter what, they will never step down against the Opposition. Hezbollah were targeted mostly from the Lebanese side.

Nasrallah replied simply that the resistance is staying, and Lebanon will always be a country of “resistance.” Hence we are trapped in this fiasco between two giants that will demolish each other while Israel will be bombing the hell out of us and Syria will be sharpening its claws again to enter as “deterrent forces”.

Today 14th of March escalated in general with Hariri playing partly a good cop, but Nasrallah retaliated by increasing his escalations towards the 14th of March. Nasrallah’s tone reminds us of the Nasrallah we saw on TV during the July War. The militant tone, the threats, and above all the open war declared on Israel, while 14th of March are still insisting on their stands, this tells us that we are stuck between two giants that would lead us to our own deaths. The bells of war have struck. Despite the fact that Nasrallah insisted that this country will not be violated nor its internal integrity (ambiguous if he was referring to the Opposition or Lebanon as a whole) but his repetition of “Lebanon Baqi (translation: Lebanon is Staying)” three times in the imitation of Saad Hariri as if to send a signal to the government that he too means business. Nasrallah may have promised peace in the short-run, but we have plenty of wars coming towards us.

The memory Rafiq el Hariri has been transformed to a threat of a new war with a racial country. While both camps spoke of resistance and victorious battle fronts (Nahr el Bared war for 14th of March, The July War for the Opposition), the line is clear. The Head of the Army is now openly a 14th of March candidate, while Archbishop Sfair is also officially a newly acquired 14th of Marcher.

We have the shadows of a civil war, we have the shadows of a war with Israel, and the party leaders do not care about their people. This is a doomed failed nation… it will never have peace and stability. I have to be clear regarding one final note regarding Nasrallah’s Open war, it doesn’t include Israel alone, rather the whole Zionists as well.

The policy of escalations will no longer be fruitful, now we are arriving to a “no-return” except through an armed war explosion. Just when I thought my family can enjoy a peaceful normal life since they sacrificed their golden years to raise us under 17 years of a civil war.

I hope the High Relief Commission is this time prepared for disasters.

MFL

20 comments:

nightS said...

we reached a no-return point for sure!!!!

Anonymous said...

nice written article, but i need to add one more idea to the flow of your analysis:
This reflects the basic deformation of an country in the neocolonial world, this deformed version of capitalism that leads to a strange disgusting combination between war lords, feudal lords, and religious symbols.
The key door for these "leaders" to stay in their position is found in the nature of the system that creates them, from the economical and geopolitical point of view. The key of change of such a system is in changing it, and changing it is not possible without a change in the system of the area as a whole. As a project of a Marxist myself, i see that the only solution is in a political movement based on the working class in the area as a whole.
As you always say, their is no war but a class war. And this war this time can not be faced but on a unity for a working class on the area, consequently the world itself.
Thanks for such a beautiful article MFL, and for your great blog !
Lyev

Graeme said...

Thanks for the info. I wish peace and stability. It appears that is against the goals of the March 14th coalition.

I am going to visit your lovely land one of these days.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

I would like to add that the numbers of participants in both demonstrations are not accurate...

I totally agree Nights, we are in for not war, but plenty of wars...

Thank you for your input Lyev

Graeme... you are missing a lot over here :)

MFL

Darko said...

A neutral stand at this point in history is intolerable. The death of Imad Mughnyeh is a harsh reminder to all of us (those who believe in the spirit of resistance and revolution) that we are in a stat of war, and that all of that of these political dilemmas are nothing but distractions away from our cause. I find it very strange, that you MFL, a self proclaimed internationalist would ridicule the Nassrallah statement in regards about the end of Israel. As if you are asking him to stick with Lebanese internal affairs. You are just playing into that whole “we love life” racist crap. I still cannot comprehend the logic that you use when you compare the actions and words of Nassrallah a resistance leader with that of Junblat the man responsible for the assassinations of many freedom fighters including some of the heroes of National Resistance Front such as Khalid 3ilwen and others. And in what way can you consider Nassrallah one of the political “elite”. I don’t worship the guy, but I believe that he’s one of the last remaining hopes that we have in achieving liberation from imperialist neocolonial powers. And any rhetoric that tries to down play that factor by highlighting totally irrelevant aspects of the event is a no good to us.

I’m angry because I didn’t expect these comments to come from you, A Democratic Leftist maybe, but not you…sad

Renegade Eye said...

These are all good comments.

Darko: I'm not sure if I'll do a good job trying to explain MFL's position.

Since the 1967 War, the left has been so anti-Zionist, that certain truths, that used to be believed by the left was lost.

Israel has a right, and has existed as a state some 60 years. Attacking it with rockets that don't even have a target, strengthens Zionism. The victims are working class and often dark skinned Jews. The Zionist state only gets stronger.

If you are an Israeli worker, chances are you belong to a Zionist union or a member of the Labor. These groups should be joined, and cadre recruited from it.

The guns have to be turned on Zionist, Islamist, nationalist and pro-imperialist leaders like Abbas.

Violence against Israel, if not based on a class, only strengthens Zionism.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Well Renegade, I still have problems to digest the existence of Israel... it is carved out on the blood of others and we are still living the repercussions of 1948...the only way Israel can exist is through what Trotsky said in 1936, a workers' revolution, whereby the unity of all workers of all backgrounds including the Jews and then on the socialist website...

Darko, because of me the Democratic Left failed to recruit, in fact they shrank to 331 after there was 5000 people.

Hezbollah's war is rather short-run my friend. I still stick to the concept that the Lebanese National Movement is and will always be the core of resistance against Israel and never ever will be Hezbollah. The secular non-racial attitude of the Lebanese National Movement is the heartland.

I have serious issues with Hezbollah... the first problem is their allegiance to Wali el Faqih. Nasrallah was quoted more than 10 times claiming that the heart and strength of Hezbollah is through that. Actually, Ali Khamenei intervened to block Tufayli's return after Mussawi's assassination. What if Nasrallah dies and someone would come as an extreme hardliner with 20,000 missiles under his hand?

My arguement against Hezbollah is not of local, rather in the long-run. Ever since the Communists established 9 Soviets during the Iranian revolution of 1978 - 1979, they were butchered severely by Khomeini and in fact Khomeini and his group attempted to rewrite history whereby he deleted the Moujahdean from one side, destroyed the Communists, and eventually Ali Khamen'i and the Guardian Council.


Darko, I support resistance against Israel but I wouldn’t support that logic of dumping every Jew in the sea (remembering Abdul Nasser’s speech). I wont become a Zionist like the In fact, the destruction of Zionist racial Israel will come from the inside first, through our comrades fully active inside Israel and abroad. In fact the boycott of the Israeli army was initiated by our comrades in Israel belonging to the Committee of the Workers’ International.

I fully supported during the July war Hezbollah, but I supported more the civilian resistance. In fact, I insist if the civilian resistance (whether relief or media) wasn’t present, Hezbollah would have lost the war and crumbled down. I would like to stress also that every time I saw an IDF tank exploding, I had this happy aura that this racist army is destructible after all. Seems they never learnt that they need to be secular.

I am willing to enter a war with Israel if and only if we are prepared. The last July, we witnessed one million citizen scattered on the road, and amen again for the civilian resistance. We also witnessed 1300 civilian dead, and 5000 wounded due to Israel’s bloodlust to blast innocent civilians for the fun of it.

After the July War, Fawaz Traboulsi proposed that there are no bomb shelters on the frontline villages, no mechanism of evacuation for the villagers, and place at least mobile hospitals. After a year and a half later, neither the government nor Hezbollah even bothered to propose such an important topic. In fact, if you want to enter a war while not prepared to save your own civilians, you are in a biased manner condemning those in the front line (and other locations of the Beqa’a and South) without proper way to save them. I said I am with a war with Israel because I am sure one way or another Israel will wage a war on us to pretend they are the victims, and they cant enter a war with a more coherent and powerful nation like Syria.

My perspective of a struggle is not a nationalist struggle, rather a class struggle. I will explain that in one of my posts to come.

Thank you for your input Renegade….

MFL

Renegade Eye said...

I bel;ieve in a Jewish homeland in Israel, which is different than a Zionist state.

Only socialism can solve the national question. A socialist Israel and Palestine, as part of a socialist Middle Eastern federation.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Renegade....

We can never say as marxists Jewish homeland... there can never be an ethnic home land to anyone... this logic itself expelled the Palestinians in 1948 outside their homes...and triggered the entire domino effect. Even when the Partition of Palestine took place, the Jews were a minority on the "Jewish side" back in 1947.

Bush argues about the need for a Jewish land... we cant ever argue that logic because that is an exclusive land... my reader, La Lebanessa got that right. Mind you my friend, I believe the right of every Palestinian to return back home... both sides of the family had great houses in Palestine, and my palestinian side suffered the most brutal exodus from their houses... the palestinians in most countries do not have their rights complete because the countries argue that they have to return back to their genuine home. The nightmares of the holocaust does not justify the demand for a Jewish homeland... several Russian districts had more Jews in 1917 than Palestine ...

When I say I have no problem if Israel lasts whereby there is no difference in a socialist state if the land's name is Palestine, Israel or whatever... because in the long-run, no country is forever existant and borders are bourgeoisie created. When I say Socialism is the true path for salvation, I argue that the first step is to solve the problem by replacing an ethnic racial entity called Zionism with a secular humanitarian rule. Palestine can never be downsized to Gazza or the West Bank.

When the July War broke out, I was explosive about the situation... but in a preplanned war... ironically Hezbollah were the lesser evil of the two because Hezbollah's policies are tolerant compared to the Zionists...

Hezbollah even coordinated activities with the NGO Helem, which is the first official gay movement in Lebanon... plus they did inflict severe damage on the Israeli army (ground level). Hezbollah are not al-Qaeda and I hate being placed in a position to explain Hezbollah... even though one of my primary battles are against them and how to emancipate their audience to a class struggle...
MFL

Darko said...

First of all let’s make one thing clear; I didn’t doubt your patriotic (As in وطنية مش "قومية") intentions, what I said was that we are in the midst of a war. The assassination of Mughnyeh reminds us of that fact. Thus it’s our duty to support Hezbollah regardless of his views. I totally oppose the party’s agendas but nonetheless, he is the last remain resistance force on the ground and at this point, where we are being threatened by neocolonial powers trying to control the fate of our lands, we are suppose to unite under one banner: “Resistance & the Liberation of Palestine, all of Palestine”. Criticizing Hezbollah at this point can only serve the other camp.
Like it or not, Hezbollah is our last hope, I would love nothing more then to have the NRF operational once again, but I don’t see that happening any time soon, specially when some of its leaders and pioneers now chant in support of imperialist agendas. And with no resurrection of the NRF in the horizon, we cannot sit here and whine about Hezbollah’s Iranian wilayat al faquih connections while we are being drown day after day to becoming a 21st century Panama. This battle should be fought with ideologies but that part of the battle is already lost if it looses its military counterpart. By supporting Hezbollah, we do not support wilayat al faquih or a Shiaa Crescent, by supporting Hezbollah; we are supporting the spirit of Resistance, resistance to imperialist powers, materializing in Israel.
Witch brings me to my second point, Israel. Zionism is the biggest threat to us, we cannot claim to be seculars and at the same time accept the creation of a state based on some holy scriptures promising some foreigners our land. Just because some time has passed, does not give a bastard child any more legitimacy, he will always be a bastard. We can’t sit around and wait for some Zionists with leftist claims to take action, the only good thing that they can do is go back to where they came from. You’re just putting to much faith in those people to betray their own. And it seems as if the only way for us to get our lands back is by waiting for a Marxist utopia in the region
As for what Mr. Traboulsi said, I totally agree with him, and you can’t be sure that Hezbollah hasn’t addressed the issue. But that civil resistance you talked about was mostly limited to people supporting the opposition, there was some places in the north where the displaced were being ridiculed and constantly feeling like outsiders. I can never forget a conversation with an FMer who told me: “Nchallah tiji Israel 3layna w timi7i Hezbollah”. And that’s what most brainwashed people were saying; I cannot put anymore faith with at the least “former” collaborators.
I think that I have stated before on this blog, that I wish we could form a secular front in Lebanon. A front that would spread into the rest of the region, but that’s all I did, wished. On the ground, from my interaction with people, I haven’t been able to find a lot of people that share my ideas, or at least half of them. I haven’t been able to find what Saadeh called “Mentally able to carry the cause”, not that I’m promoting the SSNP’s ideals nor that the cause I’m talking about is that of the party’s, I’m way pass that. So if you’re saying that you’ve been able to affect these many people in the Democratic Left, I ask of you to put a plan and take the initiative to start a movement and we’ll follow.
My perspective of a struggle is not a nationalist struggle, rather a class struggle.
I guess that’s where we part ways

Voltaire said...

Graeme, don't get involved. Your ignorance could be damaging.

For everyone else I say this: Do not work to impose a dogma on the people. Work to establish and maintain a strong democracy (Remember, democracy is not a political ideology. It is the platform on which political ideas can be debated and sometimes implemented). No single individual is justified in imposing a dogma over another. People have the right to choose their path. The proletariat may exist from an economical perspective, but the individual transgresses this label. I do not believe that a worker in Lebanon, whether a house cleaner, waitress or a mechanic feel that their well being lies in open warefare with Israel. Some might, but I know many would tell you to stop speaking on their behalf. The reality is that most of the proletariat in Lebanon are so detached from and so far away from having a Marxist dialectic on the current situation that anyone who still claims to be a Marxist and claims to speak for 'the people' is living in a fantasy world. You can apply Marxist theories in your analysis to the current situation in Lebanon, but you cannot naively call on the proletariat to rise up against the so called 'elite'. This is naive because we live in a time where the social standards of civilians are in constant flux and definitions of what makes someone part of an 'elite' or part of the proletariat are blurred. I may be fortunate to have received a good education but I am not of the wealthy upper class, nor do I see any need to be.

Democracy is the only way of achieving long term social stability. Be humanistic and work for democracy.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Voltaire, you show respect to my visitors and comrades who write here...

Democracy becomes a concept if integrated into the neo-con agenda of Democracy and Free Market go togather which so far didnt work in 99% of third world countries because you cant simply expect a concept that evolved for centuries to be applied in a third world in less than 80 years... not with the presence of the Opposition and your beloved friends, the Government who we saw exactly in Saturday what they are capable of doing... you can never also have democracy with the USA, Israel, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia (your non-democratic allies), and other intervening... Democracy is non-applicable in this system and actually if you follow the parliamentary committees, they dont know what is their jobs... which is more ironic.

Voltaire it is my "democratic right" to call the people to rise against the elites, who are also riding your back (including 14th of March) .... use the marxist dialect to expose history as happened and forcast the future, and push as many people to leave the coalitions as I can... your democracy of sticks and guns in parallel to burning tires and guns are not that democratic...and mind you the marxist rule is the only salvation for this country starting with the demand of civil marriage, which none of the leaders are willing to accept, specially the "feudal socialist" Junblatt... so down with the preachers of feudalism... the whole situation is a class war dilemma, and if you read my earlier posts you would understand just that... Lebanon can never be democratic because that is its reality... not with its current representation system. More to the point, if you want the standing system to provide education, democracy as you preach it provided poorer classes in the third world and we are on their footsteps...

Darko

I hate it when the seculars debate...

Let be begin with the following statement, Hezbollah is also a political party which also participated in Seniora's privatization procedures... to support a faction against Israel is not logical when the agenda is not progressive and can be isolationist in case Nasrallah dies and a hardliner takes over...

More to the point, it is back to the days of the Syrians: We are not allowed to tackle the Syrian Issue because we got the Zionist Enemy... and now again, we cant talk about Hezbollah because we have the Zionist Enemy.... well as a Marxist, it is my duty to open all points and expose them. So yes, Hezbollah stole the resistance from the real ones who ignited it, the SSNP and the Communist Coalitions... the current resistance rose at the blood of the seculars... used to divide and segregate. Israel's greatest threat from Lebanon is its multi-sect co-existence which it fails because of its "Jewish" nature to accomplish that... not to exclude that this country was and is built on blood of the Palestinian proletariat.

The only time in my life I supported Hezbollah bluntly was during the July War since the war according to the Winograd Commission it was engineered and failed... more to the point though, if the July 12 Waad Sadeq Operation clears Hezbollah from the bombings it doesnt... we all know that Israel blindly in a nazi-like manner bombed Lebanon, but at the same time when you know your opponent's reaction, you are partially held accountable, and Nasrallah himself said on July 12 2006: I will hold myself accountable for everything.

As for the relief activities, they played the decisive part for saving Lebanon from a civil war or having Hezbollah's audience turning against them. The Top Three Relief networks were all non-politically affiliated to the opposition and government, they were from top to bottom: The Red Cross, Karitas, and Samidoun. Most areas used by refugees witnessed civilian movement rather that... I know some Lebanese Forces were celebrating the war, and even 81% voted yes for the war, but at the executive level, Jaajaa said that the Lebanese Forces sustained three martyrs... I know I sound insane for mentioning the Lebanese Forces, but that is what happened. I still dont like the Lebanese Forces who still think that the 14th of March are carrying the stupidities of 1975... the government parties, as much as I hate them, also did their part of welfarism... sadly but it is true...

As for interactions, well I did convince about 110 people to leave their parties, but that is a number on my own, and they are trying to do the same with their colleagues... the alternate plan now has been in failure because the current parties follows (something I am writing about) the demobilization process whereby the majority who do not want a war are demobilized, accused by both sections as traitors, and feel helpless as both sides break into riots. The alternative is hard to build due to massive decentralization, and currently we have informal nods and networks (and I am not refering to Marxists, rather humanitarian activisits) but at least it is a step... different experiments are ocurring to actualize this, but so far not successful. One person is proposing that when AMAL and Future break into a fight, the non-affiliate citizens should rush between them and stop them... even if it means to recieve a bullet in the head... sounds good to me as a matter of fact... I already have a scar on my head when I was demonstrating for Civil Marriage.

As for the war with Israel... I think the ones who inflicted most damage on Israel are our comrades, who are tagged Jews on their passports, when they initiated the boycott of the Israeli "Defense" Forces. It spread a wave against serving the army, and our comrades have been for years locked up under the accusation of high treason in confinement cells. More to the point, this weakened the Israeli army that was sent to face Hezbollah on the ground... and they lost on the ground, embarassed, humilated, and at a lot of times like babies crying. The only time I will support Hezbollah is when Israel bombs Lebanon, but when it is day to day politics, I oppose both. This means that yes, I do highlight Michel Murr's or Samir Jaajaa's mafioso side, display their historical acts, comprehend how we made it to this situation, and destroy their credibility. In fact, I was writing an article on Hezbollah and Iran, and still am actually... which tackles the issue of Wilayat el Faqih because it is there as well...

The greatest threat to Israel if the seculars won. Israel, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Libya, France, England, USA, and a whole shitload others couldnt have afford if the Lebanese National Movement won, or at least Lebanon was radically secular... and thus made sure they wont. Syria purified the secular resistance, to enforce a greater division on the Lebanese. ANd lastly Darko, we are approaching the gateways of a civil war wherby half of Lebanon accuses the other as traitors, would you do the same? and what is the solution one half throws the other in the sea then the politicians would love each other after 20 years?

Renegade, my dearest comrade

When you say Jewish homeland, you are acknowledging the transformation the Zionists did to transform Jews from a Sect to a Race. The Jews have the right for a homeland, but only in a situation of the rise of the Soviet Union in 1917 when Lenin and Trotsky freely allowed everyone to determine themselves... and if my memory serves me right, the Jews abandoned that right for a Jewish land within the union.

More to the point, Israel has no right to exist in its current situation of racism. It is as if justifying that ethnic cleansing is justifiable after 90% of the Jews in Palestine were imported by the Jewish Fund Agency and expelled the Palestinians... Republika Srpska sounds familiar in Bosnia with a difference they were already living there in harmony with their neighbors. The Jews didnt even constitute 8% of Palestine, and those who arrived expelled the others starting in 1919. As new generations are born in Israel, it has to be noted that the failure of reactionary regimes to deal with the Zionists gave rise of Islamism in the arab world, specially in Lebanon, Palestine (whatever remains of it), Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and as far as al-Qaeda. Hezbollah in specific rose as a resistance movement to an invader, and they did successfully expell the Israelis outside Lebanese borders, but I totally disagree with Nasrallah, it wasnt them who in the 1980s pushed the Israelis to withdraw to the South... rather it was the heroic operations of the Lebanese Communist Party, Order of Communist Action, and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party who did the expelling of the IDF amidst political turmoil within Israel and the international community.

In a socialist perspective, there is no room for ethnic identifications, and the Holocaust butchery has to be overcome as the Zionists committed the greatest of all holocausts, which was expelling a whole country to establish their own. Israel's new generations may have the right to exist as long as they are not indorsing the Zionist doctrine and expelling arabs. Hamas didnt come out of the blues, and didnt become popular because again the PLO failed to accomplish any of their dreams. Gazza and the West Bank are never Palestine in modern times, and the Historic Palestine will always be remembered, because its refugees are still suffering in a lot of countries due to the establishment of Israel, and all the Palestinians expelled through out the world have the right to return home and see their houses, including me. I have my mother's house which a comrade informed me it is a military stronghold since 1948, I have the right to expell them out and live in my house. I regard as a marxist that the first step to solve the crisis is the unity of the Palestinian and Jewish Proletariat... and that includes Jews, Muslims, and christians renouncing their affiliations and adopting the workers' perspective, the short run goal is to push Israel to become Secular and acknowledge what they have done in the past and how they abused to unite Jews who have been in an illogical diaspora for 2500 years in the past... totally illogical...

MFL

Voltaire said...

MFL, you said, "you cant simply expect a concept that evolved for centuries to be applied in a third world in less than 80 years.." (regarding democracy)

I say: Lebanon is going through, and actually has been for the last 80 years, a metamorphosis/evolution of an advancing democratic system. I think what you were trying to say is that you can't create a funtioning democracy without democrats. Right? Yes I agree, but Lebanon has a significant percentage of individuals cultivated from an education of secular humanist thought who have inherited the legacy of democratic governing and are contributing to its on-going growth in Lebanon.

You are misinformed to associate democracy exclusively with neo-conservative ethics and free-market economics. This rhetoric is an eroneous cliché that stems from a lack of understanding the importance of the individual's right and humanistic free will. You have come to see democracy as something utopian and therefore, philosophically-speaking, an Idealist concept. Your mistake, judging from your bloging in general, is that you have decided to follow Marx's literature as dogma, which has caused you to overlook a fundamental importance in socio-political thought. That is, you have overlooked the Individual for the sake of trying to achieve the Absolute Commune.
Don't misinterpret what I say. Socialistic concepts are of paramount importance in maintaining a social stability, but my point is that we should never run our lives on a political dogma, be it Marxist politics or Islamic Sharia.

Regarding your persistence in pointing out the hooliganism from individuals who follow the 14th March politicians and those of 8th March, let me just say that there are always going to be hot-headed arrogant criminal thugs under the umbrella of any organisation, but you should not judge the common ground of ideals that has united a coalition from the behaviour of a minority of yobs. I am from 14th MArch but I don't advocate violence against civilians, and guess what! There are plenty of others in 14th MArch who are like me.

My stance for being with 14th MArch is simple. I am against Syrian tyranny that is ravaging Lebanon and making the day to day lives of a Lebanese citizen a combination of paranoia, misery, leading to financial pressure, depression and social imprisonment. 14th MArch is a movement against this tyranny of which its policies are implemented.
The Syrian regime is against democracy, so I am against the Syrian regime.

8th MArch are pro-Syrian regime, so I am against 8th MArch.

It is indeed your democratic right to attempt to call on the proletariat to rise up against the elite, but I don't think you are going to get anywhere with this simplistic statement in the current situation where the general populace that you consider to be 'proletarians' do not see the situation from this angle.

If anything, the logical discourse to follow in achieving long lasting socialistic policies for the citizen, such as the establishment of a welfare system, the rights to a secular marriage etc. would be to battle against those forces that are standing in the way of these humanistic ideals, such as Islamist Hizbollah and the Damascus regime, both of which have official policies that are inherently anti-democratic and thus against the very essence of humanism.

Since you said yourself that you were once involved with 14th MArch, this means that you must have recognized its basic ideals, which are the unifying factors. I was suprised to read that the reason you left this coalition was because a number of people in the crowd started to boo Bahia Harriri when she said she did not want to make enemies of Hizbollah and Amal. What a overly simplistic reason to go quit! Were you so naive to assume that there were not going to be people in the crowd who were going to boo Hizbollah/AMAL?! And what were you worried about? Bahia's wishes or the crowd's passion? They contradicted each other. So what!?

Finally, I am still surprised at your lack of awareness as to how much the Damascus regime has inflicted and continues to inflict on us. Are you really so naive or are you part of that organization that deliberately attempts to down-play the significane of negativity that the Damascus regime has fuelled for the sake of this dated belief in a pan-Arabist agenda that sees Syria as the only real front against the Zionist state?

Voltaire said...

Ok perhaps I was a bit harsh in my final paragraph. I know you are not pro Damascus regime and that you do not advocate a pan-Arabist agenda, but rather that of international socialism.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Dear Voltaire...

I am accustomed of being accused to be an agent of the US and Damascus at the same time because people are blind to self-check their own coalitions' fault and accusing the other is the best option.

Now let me begin my reply:

You tell me there are enough democrats? So far you have been preaching 14th of March which is not composed of secular parties... I even shed light at the Democratic Left with them transforming to a fascist mini movement. The other side isnt better. In case you havent read my debates with Darko, I havent been facing a better time as well, even though I know for a fact he is a secular on the lebanese scale. Democracy preached cant be applied with out having first of all a proper mass statistics on the number of sects in Lebanon... I say that because we have the confessional system....hence we are not sure if the representation is correct... forget how most of the parliamentary committees we have are non-functional and stagnant (check www.lp-monitor.org and their interviews)....

Second, the Marxist ideology is the most advanced doctrine ever... in methodology and theory... in fact you cant approach the criticism of the market without adopting the marxist perspective. If the free market was that amazing, then why all the third world (excluding S. Korea) as sunk into poverty and dictatorships? In case you read Marx to the complete (and not The Manifesto) you would notice that Marx has indeed focused on the individual and how the system is supposed to accomplish his/her talents to the extreme (check the German Ideology: retaliation through THesis on Fauerbach)as a matter of fact... you cant just disregard how the majority of the world is suffering from the impacts of the free market and how the corporations are making the people suffer in third world nations...

When I was active for Civil Marriage... Ironically the most two to oppose (according to Annahar and Assafir) were the Druze and Sunnis ... Hezbollah are not the only ones... that is my point which you seem to not comprehend that... you just regard the 14th of March as the salvation without looking at them... if you read my blog thoroughly, you will find interesting info against the opposition as well as the government and unlike you, not one side alone ... which makes you not obective in the first place... or even professional.

You are wrong about my marxist perspective and not going anywhere. It is important to hold the ideals and device the steps to reach them ... in fact... a lot of my ideals are applicable on comprehending Lebanon and what is going on... not simply marginalize: Hezbollah are ultimate evil and shrink the whole situation to that...

The fact that Bahia was booed reflected the racist side of 14th of March... my ideals werent democratic basis alone, rather they were changing the whole region for the better... and shocking the area with a shock wave... of course that doesnt happen in a sect-driven coalition , like the opposition. More to the point... notice, 14th of March will never ever assemble the same number of people on that date they did... because it was spontaneous...

I have a scar on my head for demonstrating against the Syrian mandate....what about you?

MFL

Voltaire said...

I never said your ideals were wrong. I am aware that your intention is positive. However, my view is still that your discourse is in error. I believe this because, if we want to help bring about a secular society in Lebanon (we start here in Lebanon at first because it concerns us first hand) we have to create the basis for this society. Yes, you are absolutely right in saying 14th March is made up of sectarian parties, but the very fact that they united for a common cause is the first step in transgressing the sectarian divide. OK, many leaders of this coalition have blood on their hands. But these leaders, and parties, are supported by thousands of people from each of their sects. Without the word of their leaders, many people would not act. I know this is short sighted and sectarian in itself, but if this is how to initiate a mass congregation that will physically gather a multi-confesstional crowd united under a common cause, then it IS a first step in transgressing the sectarian divide. Since you are aware that sectarianism is rife and affects society right down to the most common denominator, how do you expect people to overcome it for the sake of establishing a secular socialist system. A secular socialistic system is my aim too, but how do you expect the masses to practice secularism if they are so attached to their sectarian parties or leaders. This is a reality which we both know. Most people, unfortunately, see their welfare dependent on their sect's main party/political leader/zaim etc. Therefore, logically, the first step must be to secure a union of the different parties/sects. If this is done, then the masses will follow. If this union continues to live and develop each step of the way, achieveing one aim after the other, then by time the bloc will surely transgress a sectarian ethos because the popular identity of the bastion would be national rather than sectarian, and this means, in the case of Lebanon, a secular identity. Then, and only then, will there begin to be a stronger initiative amonst the people to develop and nuture a secular culture.

My genuine support for democracy is relevant to this process. It stems from a belief that you cannot force someone into something without their consent. You cannot assume someone is going to agree with your idea until you let them have their say and then see what new ideas emerge from dialogue.

It is not just the 3rd world countires of free market economies that have sunk into dictatorships and poverty. Look at North Korea. It's been run by a 'Communist' dictator since the 1950s and the general living standard of the individual over there is bordering on poverty. Look at the Eastern European nations that were formerly under a supposedly 'Socialist' system, like Albania or Romania specifically. Both were run by notorious dictators, and both were, and still are, two of the most poorest countries of their continent with general living standards being not so great, with illiteracy levels at record highs and a generally very poor standard of education, especially with regards to Albania.

I think you shall find that the most ideal systems are to be found in nations such as Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, not to mention France, UK, Norway, Germany etc but I emphasise the first four because they basically used to be third world countries right after the end of the second world war. There were dictatorships in Spain, Greece and Portugal, and Italy during war time, with high illiteracy rates in all and some very poor sanitation in rural areas. However, with an end to the dictatorships they managed to establish partially free-market economies with socialist principles in order to create wellfare states that could progress positively. These countries, which used to be very similar economically to nations like Lebanon and Syria, are now all part of the developed world. That's not to say that they don't have their problems, but what they managed to achieve was a form of lasting social stability through a balanced process of socialist principles coupled with capitalistic elements. What made this possible however, was the democratic systems that they all welcomed and nurtured. The European Union also helped them significantly by encorporating them into their tariff free club. Let us remember that the EU is, in effect, a commune.

The difference in Lebanon is that it is a country with numerous sects in contrast to Portugal,Spain,Greece,Southern Ireland, which were all overwhelmingly of one religious denomination. This is why I believe it important to support a coalition like 14th March because it has managed to unite most of the sects under a democratic cause. I see this as the first step in progressing to a steady development towards a secular nation.

Although I do have socialist principles, which I see as essential on a humanistic level, I cannot refer to myself as a Marxist. My idea of socialism is that of the EU model, which means that it is coupled with a strong belief in the concept of democracy. This means that I can never accept dictatorships or one party systems that we see in Cuba for instance. Batista was a criminal in Cuba, as were the despotic Romanovs in Russia, but the one party systems that came to replace them were flawed from the start because they were despotic themselves. The dictatorship of the proletariate? As long as there is a dictatorship there will always exist an elite and a disadvantaged mass, even if this is a 'dictatorship of the proletariat'.

I'm glad you have a scar on your head for demonstrating against the Syrian 'mandate' as you call it. I can admire you for that.

Darko said...

@Voltaire

Democracy never existed in Lebanon. Nor will it exist in the near future. The reason for that Lebanon has 17 sects as in 17 different definition of a Lebanese utopia. What I mean is that in democratic societies there are basic points upon witch everybody agrees, thus a union is formed on the basis of those points. We don’t have that in Lebanon, and this is an issue that has been around for a long time and now has manifested itself again with the 8th of March and the 14th of March. Both camps will tell you that they love Lebanon, but the word Lebanon means different things to different people. I might gona to give you a history lesson, but I’ll just say that the mere existence of Lebanon is still a debatable issue. Thus, there are no bases for democracy in Lebanon. What we have is an agreement between feudal lords to split power among them in the best way that serves their own interests and not the interest of the people. To change that, you need fresh blood, and not just have the same feudal lords repackaged as Independence and freedom fighters.
A secular stats are not born from sectarian revolutions. Since the death of Rafic Alhariri and until this day, not one event has united the Lebanese regardless of sects. The sunnies went down because they felt threatened, the Christian went down because they were being hammered by the Syrian for the last 15 year, Druze went down because Walid Bek needed a bigger cut in what’s to come, and the Shiaa stayed at home because they knew that they had no interest in the Syrian troops departing from Lebanon. That’s what the first 14M was all about and basically the same thing happens on every event, the people just start to rationalize the event according to the best interests of their respective sect.
Neither 14M nor 8M have secular agendas; none of them are advancing “democratic values”, take the latest FM attempt to control the Social Security board. They brought 7/10 of their own people, ignoring their own allies, not to mention the recurrent use of money on every political event.

As for the EU Model you talked about, I’m not an economy expert, but from what I know, there’s no way that we can compare Lebanon situation to that of the European union, thus we cant hope to establish a system that emulates that of the EU. This is for the simple reason that we have nothing to offer. The EU is a win-win situation for of its members, each country in that union has something to offer; in return they get what they need. So, what do we have to offer in Lebanon, tourism, are we gona export that?? Since the French mandate and well into the 21st century with rafik al hariri, all the producing sectors of our economy have been systematically annihilated or privatized that we now have to rely on the fluctuating tourism sector to uphold our economy. Our exports can no longer compete in the global market, thus any new capitalist changed brought forth to this country will only aid in more deterioration of the economy, because it will only mean more loss for the poor and more gains for the rich. And by the way, a deteriorating economy only the serves the interests of those in power, just remember that the WTO membership was AlHariri Sr. main goal. The only solution to our economical crisis is to immediately nationalize all industries and establish a protective plan to limit our imports (including Arab products) power to compete with our national production, witch is the same thing that the EU is doing right now.
And one last remark about the phrase: you have overlooked the Individual for the sake of trying to achieve the Absolute Commune. My friend, when trying to achieve the higher purpose of annihilating of all social differences, you’re bond to come across people that will be negatively affected by the changes you propose. That is just a price that you’ll have to coop with, when at the end no body will have to suffer from class differences anymore. That is the exact difference between the capitalist and socialist concepts, the first is established upon the human greed and the view that every man for himself, while the second concept is based on human compassion for one another and that all for one and one for all.


@MFL

You still don’t get what I’m saying. “WE CAN’T RELY ON ZIONISTS TO HELP US GET RID OF ZIONISM”. What’s happening in Gaza is exactly what I’m talking about, we are in state of war, where is you progressive Zionists now? How can you explain to those dying kids’ parents that the only thing they can do is wait for your guys to slowly eliminate the “Hate mentality” of that pilot that just fired his missiles at their baby’s room. I totally disagree with you here. I say it again, we don’t have a secular resistance today, but that does not mean that we have to stop resisting, it just means that we have to make do with what we have. And what we have today is Hamas and Hezbollah. If you truly believe in resisting imperialism, you empower those who are already doing it and those two are the choices available. You have to remember that not all those who read your writing are going to understand where you are coming from, thus you, attacking the party at this point in time will just play into the pro-imperialism team and will only help in undermining the resistance. I just want you to remember what Jumblat said a while ago, when he declared that 14M has succeeded in breaking the holiness (قدسية) of the resistance arms. What we are facing today is an organized plan to annihilate all our causes, first the Syrian-Lebanese relationship is broken witch distend the Lebanese communities from the Arab unity cause and bringing them close to the petrodollar kings, then distancing the Lebanese from the Palestinian cause and planting hatred between the two and finally bring the people away from the cause of liberating their own land and people while all long bring Lebanon close to the US. And excuse me if I said that you’re just playing into that plan. Your argument that Hezbollah is controlled and might undergo a radical change and start attacking other Lebanese is a hollow argument, because that does not fit in any of Iran policies since Islamic revolution. You want to criticize the opposition, you can criticize Aoun for being a capitalist pig, and you can criticize Berri for being a double agent, the SSNP for being Syrian controlled, Wahab for being obscene. Your attack on Hezbollah is unjustified. And please don’t accuse me of being totalitarian, because I’m not, I just think that there’s a higher cause that should unite us in support of Hezbollah.

Btw, I’m gona try and start a campaign to bring “Democracy Now!” on Lebanese airwaves, you interested in this, would you like to join me??


The correct website is www.lpmonitor.org

Voltaire said...

DEar DArko

you say:

"in democratic societies there are basic points upon witch everybody agrees, thus a union is formed on the basis of those points. We don’t have that in Lebanon..."

Actually, we do. 14th March agree that they don't want Syrian hegemony, neither Iranian Imperialist policy to engulf Lebanon, which in effect means that they refuse totalitarian regimes and being jubjected to their imperilaist or colonialist policies, of which Syria and Iran are both guilty.

The fact that 8th March rally for an opposing cause does not mean that Democracy won't come about in Lebanon. Ours is a democracy in the making, just like those EU coutries that I mentioned before they did away with their dictators. Spain had fascists pitted against LEftists. They were in disagreement. The same scenarios occured in Germany, Italy, Greece etc. All these places had two main blocs that faught against each other. These blocs had their own versions of what they sought to achieve, just like we have in Lebanon. Those countries are functioning democracies now, all part of the developed world. Thus, actually we CAN compare Lebanon to these countries before and right after the second world war.

you say that our problem is that we've got 17 different sects.
I say that this does not inherently mean a problem. The situation now is that 14th MArch have managed, as I said before, to unite most of the sects under a democratic cause regardless of their sects. THe cuase IS democratic becuase it is against Syrian and Iranian anti-democratic policies of imperialist colonisation and totalitarianisms.
Whats more, let's look at Britain once upon a time. The Catholics and Protestents (different sects) were slaughtering each other. Now sectarianism is not an issue. It's a distant thing of the past. It's so irrelevant.

Darko, in your lecture to MFL, you keep mentioning Imperialism as if it is exclusive to the US/Israeli axis. What you need to realise is that imperialism is not exclusive to the USA, or Israel. Do you honestly believe that Iran is not an imperialist power?! Have you any idea of the exploitative ventures Iran is currently carrying out in poorer nations in central Asia, not to mention Somalia, Palestine, and our dear Lebanon? Hizbollah are not fighting for a socialist cause. They are fighting becuase they want to create the Shia crescent along the Near EAstern coast on the Mediterannean, thus paving the way for Iran's eventual expansion.
You say that we should support Hizbollah. Why? They are not humanist. If they won the war and defeated Zionism, wiping out the Jewish state and thus America's security in that part of the world, what do you think is going to happen? You think a socialist utopia is going to occur? Do you think people are going to become more tolerant and society is going to progress? bollocks! They'll turn it into Iran, which is shit and you know it. The same goes for Hamas. Hamas forgot about Palestine a long time ago. Their mission is to create the Islamic state, wipe out all the Jews, Palestinian Christians, as well as any Muslim who disagrees with their
theocratic dictatorship, and eventually unite the Islamic state of Palestine with the larger Umma.
If Hamas and Hizbolla won their battles against US/Israel, you can be sure the next battle would be between them, against a larger backdrop of Shia-Sunni warfare.

You say that we should support Hamas and Hizbollah?! and you call yourself a leftist?! That's ludicrous! You obviously are ignorant of Iranian imperilist ambition, and have obviously forgotten that there exists a de-centralized Sunni global network that has sway over parts of the Hamas movement, with no regard for a homeland for Palestinians but rather a renaissance of a Sunni empire. Wake up Darko! wake up! Things have changed since the 1970s. The Soviet Union is dead; the USA are not the world's only Imperialist nation; Vietnam war is in our history books; The Maronite politics of the 70s no longer exists. They have been replaced by an Iranian backed Shia Fascist organisation; the Assad regime in Syria never supported the Palestinian cause.

Whats more, I am openly against your dated politics of a pan-Arab cause. My father used to buy into that crap in the 1950s and 1960s, he grew out of it, as did most of his comrades. Justice for Palestine is one thing, but we do not have to confuse this humanitarian support for the Palestinian people with abstract notions of restoring greater Syria or creating a larger Arab republic. In any case, pan Arabists are almost non-existant in Lebanon today, thank goodness. The danger in the wider reagion is that Pan Arabism has mutated into a Fascistic Pan Islamicism.

So, anyway, can you please send me your typed up discourse, of how Lebanon is to rid itself of sectarianism. Can you send this step by step programme to me?

Many thanks

Voltaire

Darko said...

The bases upon witch you want to build your “democratic nation” is hatred toward Syria: We hate Syria, we don’t want anything to do with it, we don’t want this neighbor. The next logical step from here is to try and find an alternative for Syria, a country close to us that we share boundaries with, now who might that be, I wonder? Is it Cyprus? Who knows?
Hating a regime unites those who want to go to war with it, it’s the bases for a war not to establish a democratic country.
I say that this does not inherently (17 different sects) mean a problem
Are you kidding? What history book were you reading? Sectarianism was and still is the root of all evil within our society, long before the declaration of greater Lebanon. Don’t buy into that whole “no sectarianism until 1975” crap. Lebanon had always witnessed sectarian clashes through out its history and on a colossal scale.
It’s Spain, Germany, Italy and Greece had two main blocs that fought against each other, but you missed is that those two blocs represent a clash between Leftist and Rightist ideologies. Can you explain to me witch of the feuding factions in Lebanon is the Rightist and witch is the Leftist?
Thus, actually we CANT compare Lebanon to these countries before and right after the Second World War because these countries witnessed wars to advance meaningful ideologies and not narrow sectarian benefits.
The 14th march coalition only united people under the banner of fighting off Syria; witch at the time (14/3/2005) was the enemy of the Sunnis, the largest constituency inside the coalition. The 14th of March is not a secular movement, and most of its followers are sectarian people who all think in the benefits that their direct party (representative of the sect) can guarantee itself. Same goes for the 8th of March coalition off course.
The Catholics and Protestants (different sects) were slaughtering each other. Now sectarianism is not an issue. It's a distant thing of the past. It's so irrelevant.
That s the worst example you could give, Republic of Ireland(Catholics) partitioned from the northern Ireland(protestant) counties in 1921, but the clashes between the two sects kept raging, and it wasn’t until 1998 that they declared a ceasefire to start peace negotiations, after atrocities being committed on both sides.

I don’t lecture MFL, he doesn’t need my lectures, and I was just explaining my point of view.
Iran is currently carrying out in poorer nations in central Asia, not to mention Somalia
Please clarify, I’m not aware of things that didn’t happen.
Iran is not an imperialist power, it is a country with an agenda, but it doesn’t even compare to the Israel/US axis that you support. Hell, Iran isn’t even a Great Power. Using your reasoning, all anti-US powers are imperialists; since they’re obligated to have a counter-plan witch according to you is imperialist in itself, not to mention that with this logic, even Cuba qualifies as an imperialist power and Che as a colonial consul. Iran does not have a long history of attacking, invading and funding the previous acts when committed by a third party against other countries to control their resources, it doesn’t have a history of allying with dictatorships and overthrowing democratically elected government. The Iranian ambassador does not go on live TV in Lebanon and tells the opposition what to do. All of that is pretty much reserved to the US. And you should remember that the current Mullah regime in Iran and its Islamic revolution of 1979 is the direct result of the US stage coup d’état of 1953(Operation AJAX). The whole idea of Iran being an Imperialist power is totally absurd; do you even know what Imperialism is?
At the beginning of the Independence movements is the Arab world, secular revolutionaries came to power on many occasions, stop and ask yourself what happened to those movements? And who was there arch enemy? The secular movements were replaced by religiously motivated ones, the reasons for this change, is the shortcoming of these movements. These shortcomings were brought by the Saudi and Jordanian regime (Arch Enemy), who empowered the Islamic movements. It was the Saudis who saw Nasser as an enemy because he supports the idea of sharing the Arab world natural resources. Of course, the secular/leftist movements did play a part in their demise when they turned into dictatorships once in power (Egypt, Syria).
The beginning of the Lebanese civil war saw the revival of these movements, now joined by the PLO and united under the cause of Liberation and resistance. But by the end of that war, they were once again illuminated from the political process. So, what the end result here: We have an enemy occupying our land and imprisoning our people and the leftist are unarmed, and an Islamic movement is still doing the job. What do you expect us to do in the time of war? Sit and whine about how we’re being fucked by the Israelis and we cant do anything about it, or go out there and offer support to the one group that is actually doing something about the situation. If you believe in resisting Israel and would like to take steps, you either pick up arms, or support that group that is already resisting.
As for that whole Armageddon scenario that you painted about what would happen if the resistance achieves success, you really need to read about the Christian Zionist movement, although I’m pretty sure you already read about them. Because you just explained their exact ideology but you replaced the Jews vs. Christian scenario with that of the Sunni vs. Shiaa.
The pan-Arab cause is not “crap”, but that’s what the pro-US media want you to believe by constantly ridiculing its icons and ideology, that’s what mass brainwashing does to people. At the beginning of the 20th century people were demonstrating for the liberation of Liwaa Eskandaron from the Turks and Ahwaz from the Persians. Nowadays, you see Palestinians demonstrating to return to the Bared camp.
I did not claim to have a step-by-step program to rid itself from sectarianism, but surely that program does not include Clergies praying inside governmental palaces and explaining to people what election laws to choose.

Most of the things I talked about have covered on MFL’s and my own blog. I invite you to read read archive

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Dear Voltaire

"Yes, you are absolutely right in saying 14th March is made up of sectarian parties, but the very fact that they united for a common cause is the first step in transgressing the sectarian divide."

Dear Voltaire, again you are wrong over here. The 14th of March is composed of 2.5 sects, if I am allowed to say just because we don’t know how much Aoun dominates from the Christian side versus Jaajaa. I know for a fact that Aoun is losing a lot of supporters, but it is estimated that Aoun still dominates the 50 plus 1 % of the Christians. Sadly, that is how we measure how each Sect dominates. By how much the proletariat tagged Christians are subdued by Aoun or Jaajaa (who both are fascists in my ideology). Grassroots leaders are promoting the idea of annihilating the Shiites and how to hate the Shiites or contain their Iranian invasion (despite the fact the Shiites themselves are Lebanese afterall) and how Aoun's goons are no longer Christians (although they are Lebanese and Christians as well). These leaders also don’t lead a fixed alliance as future times would reveal that alliances fluctuate according to business deals. In fact, most of them opposed the Boutros commissions' recommendations because it demolishes the Sectarian frontier and provides proper representation for all groups. I wont call it over coming the great divide, rather, a minor patchwork to love each other till the leaders change alliances. Real secular alliances mean that the Lebanese Forces are no longer dubbed Maronites (not even Christian), or Future as Sunni, and same applies on AMAL or FPM.

""Without the word of their leaders, many people would not act. I know this is short sighted and sectarian in itself, but if this is how to initiate a mass congregation that will physically gather a multi-confesstional crowd united under a common cause, then it IS a first step in transgressing the sectarian divide."

That is the point, without these leaders we don’t have any problems, I am referring to both government and opposition. They are always in hatred depending on who the leaders hate (check my ethnic dimension posts regarding the sects).


""but how do you expect the masses to practice secularism if they are so attached to their sectarian parties or leaders. This is a reality which we both know. Most people, unfortunately, see their welfare dependent on their sect's main party/political leader/zaim etc. Therefore, logically, the first step must be to secure a union of the different parties/sects."

Well Voltaire, for starters, I do not expect a simple solution like 14th of March and Opposition line-ups to be as simple as solving the crisis of sectarianism. I believe in gradual emancipation of the masses and long – run reforms. The adoption of civil marriage is one prospect which was shut by most leaders of 14th and 8th of March. Actually the very few who supported it then were the SSNP within the parliament. That is how to break real door barriers. The secular unions were very active in the past. They were the axis for workers' activism. Strangely, we saw the agreement of the Assa'ad Hirdain (a solo player within the SSNP), the Syrian regime, Future, and AMAL destroying these unions. Of course, this doesn’t exempt the corrupted system of the Lebanese Communist Party with its Stalinist nature. Again, same leaders on both sides destroyed these unions… and only by gradual long-run planning we can get things rolling.

"My genuine support for democracy is relevant to this process. It stems from a belief that you cannot force someone into something without their consent. You cannot assume someone is going to agree with your idea until you let them have their say and then see what new ideas emerge from dialogue."

Again, I don’t see much dialogue in the matter as it is short run bargaining. The same applies on Aoun's alliance with Hezbollah and AMAL… it is also supposed to be based on dialogue. Like Aoun's alliance, the tripartite alliance within 14th of March is a dead end on its own.

The examples of third world countries are true that you provided. In fact, I mention them because as a Marxist I never regarded the Soviet Union as Communist in Post-1925 years. Those countries were subdued to what you would call as State Capitalism. Even though at one points they were better off due to minimum welfare, but their situation got messed up worse with capitalism arriving. Yet, 95% of 3rd world countries (including the "Socialist Stalinist Camp) have dictators due to previous colonialism).

"Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, not to mention France, UK, Norway, Germany etc"

I doubt that… Spain is threatened now from ethnic break-up after Kosovo declared its independence. Portugal and the others have more stable situations and remember, their situation was different than 3rd world countries. It took them centuries and centuries to develop to the current modern times (again, back to Marxist historical materialism). As a matter of fact, excluding Greece in modern times, most of the countries you named were powerful colonial nations. Unlike Latin America, Africa, most of Eastern Europe, and most of Asia. I still don’t see 14th of March united on democracy, rather on the self-interest of the elites and Syria. The EU model is not socialist, rather it is a reaction to the US's domination of the financial market and global market. EU model was supposed to become Fortress Europe.

To Darko

"Democracy never existed in Lebanon. Nor will it exist in the near future. The reason for that Lebanon has 17 sects as in 17 different definition of a Lebanese utopia. What I mean is that in democratic societies there are basic points upon witch everybody agrees, thus a union is formed on the basis of those points. We don’t have that in Lebanon, and this is an issue that has been around for a long time and now has manifested itself again with the 8th of March and the 14th of March. Both camps will tell you that they love Lebanon, but the word Lebanon means different things to different people. I might gona to give you a history lesson, but I’ll just say that the mere existence of Lebanon is still a debatable issue. Thus, there are no bases for democracy in Lebanon. What we have is an agreement between feudal lords to split power among them in the best way that serves their own interests and not the interest of the people. To change that, you need fresh blood, and not just have the same feudal lords repackaged as Independence and freedom fighters."

Amen to that, I would like to add the class struggle dimension to the equation. In fact I agree with most what you wrote to Voltaire.

"WE CAN’T RELY ON ZIONISTS TO HELP US GET RID OF ZIONISM”."

Darko I never rely on Zionists… I fight Zionists. In fact the Marxists were the first to put an iron grip on them and forced them to be a minority within their own communities because the Marxist leaders in general had a huge portion of Jewish Leadership. I simply separate between the Jews and the Zionists everywhere, even those who live in Israel and are campaigning against Zionism.
I never believe in progressive Zionists… a Zionist is a Zionist and is my arch-enemy. A Jew on the other hand is not a Zionist. A Marxist Jew is simply a Marxist, like me, with common goals and everything wherever he/she is in the world.

"If you truly believe in resisting imperialism, you empower those who are already doing it and those two are the choices available. You have to remember that not all those who read your writing are going to understand where you are coming from, thus you, attacking the party at this point in time will just play into the pro-imperialism team and will only help in undermining the resistance."

Dear Darko, allow me to reverse the question. If there is a chance that the Communists or the SSNP to spearhead the resistance, would you support it, given the fact that Hezbollah rose on the ashes and brutality of butchering of the former two?

I don’t mind having an armed resistance as long as this resistance is progressive. Ie, I see our comrades in the Committee for the Workers International inflicting more damage to a Zionist Israel than Hamas or Hezbollah when they successfully promoted the boycott of a racist army. I wont deny that Hezbollah didn’t get my support during the July War. In fact all the Lebanese supported Hezbollah whenever they inflicted military damage (except probably the Lebanese Forces and a bit from the Aounis); however, whenever I see a chance to build, I build and stick to my long-run goals. Part of these goals is securing to see my comrades in Palestine/Israel forming a unified front away from ethnic lines against the Zionists and eventually establishing a secular Palestine and a secular Israel, or a merge within the two. People elected Hamas because Hamas offered a different option, not that they won by a landslide. Actually, Hamas won fair and square in the democratic policy even though Bush himself supported Fatah and even hinted in supporting them a bit financially, which also contributed more to Fatah's victory. I can never explain to a Mother how her son or daughter died due to Israeli brutality, but I can at least try to revive the PFLP perspective of Habash regarding secular Palestine, but advocating a deeper perspective regarding the struggle. Same thing applies on the Jews there because again I segregate between the Jews and the Zionists. A Christian can be a Zionist for example, so can a Muslim.

More to the point, resistance also includes Academia. The Zionists were successful in that part because they were more organized than us in this area because we suffered from different forms of colonialism. The Marxists and different European scholars fought the Zionists on a historical perspective. This is one tool to deny the Zionist his/her political perspective and prove that what they are saying is a lie. For me, a real front is breaking those ethnic lines and establishing contacts with all the key players workers. That includes the Jews, and there is the real damage against the Zionist Israeli. In fact the biggest blow to Zionists if Israel becomes secular for all people, instead of being simply "a Jewish State" a la Milosevic's Serbian Yugoslavia.

I am establishing contacts with Democracy Now myself and others… we have different contacts through the Marxist International… I might visit their branch Scotland.

Best Regards
MFL

PS: I really salute this constructive debate my friends, unlike the Zionists who visit my blog and simply write: "Arabs are pigs" , hehehehehe