Nothing but the truth. Even if against me.

Nothing but the truth. Even if against me.

STOP DONALD DUMB:

DO NOT BUY AMERICAN

Monday, October 9, 2017

Question 1 to Michel Aoun

You are a friend and ally of the Syrian enemy regime of Bashar Al-Assad and its proxy militia Hezbollah.

You and your henchmen favor maintaining open dialogue with that regime.

You advocate a return of the Syrian refugees to their country through cooperation with the Assad regime.

You do not seem to have a problem with the established fact that Assad is a war criminal.

Before 2005, when you returned to Lebanon from a Syria-imposed 15-year long exile with a laissez-passer from the Assed regime, you used to argue that the Israeli occupation of the Shebaa Farms in southern Lebanon was a sham, a pretext, a lie... because it gave justification to the existence of Hezbollah whom you often described as a puppet, a proxy, an invention of Syria and Iran, rejecting its "resistance" label.

You know, and everyone knows, that the Shebaa Farms are Lebanese territory that was annexed by Syria in 1956, after the murder by Syrian soldiers of two Lebanese gendarmes posted there. And it is from Syria that Israel took the Shebaa Farms in the 1967 and 1973 wars, and that it is therefore legally incumbent on Israel to return them to Syria, not to Lebanon. You yourself have argued many times that Lebanon can only claim back the Shebaa Farms after Syria provides a written declaration to the UN in which it cedes back the Shebaa Farms to Lebanon.

But you also know that if Syria officially returns the Shebaa Farms to Lebanon, this would remove any further pretext for Hezbollah to retain its weapons, its "resistance" label, and its raison d'etre.

So my question to you is: Do you have the decency and the courage to ask your friend Bashar Al-Assad to officially return the Shebaa Farms to Lebanon?

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Eliot Engel and Michel Aoun: Breakup over Hezbollah

In the early 2000s, Michel Aoun worked closely with Zionist Jewish US Congressman Eliot Engel (Democrat of New York) on the Syria Accountability Act (SAA) which Congress passed in 2003. Aoun, who couldn't go to Lebanon at the time lest the Syrian occupation take him to Saydnaya Prison or even assassinate him, worked with Engel's office through Gaby Issa, Aoun's appointee to be Lebanon's puppet ambassador of Iran to Washington DC, to push the SAA through Congress. At one time, as Syria's star was beginning to fade, Aoun joined Engel from Paris in a teleconference with Beirut where Aoun's supporters had gathered.

Back then, Rafik Hariri and Nabih Berri were Aoun's enemies. They loved the Syrian occupation and thrived under it. They hated Aoun who was ruining, from overseas, the puppet show of which they were star puppets.

Fast forward to 2017. Saad Rafik Hariri and Berri share power with Aoun who now loves Syria as much as Berri. Only Saad Hariri hates Syria because the Damascus regime killed his father in 2005. Aoun was eager to return to Lebanon, but wanted to be safe from the assassination campaign that Syria mounted against Lebanese politicians and journalists after the Syrian army was evicted from Lebanon following the Rafik Hariri assassination. So Aoun secretly dispatched Gaby Issa to Damascus to negotiate terms of Aoun's surrender to the Syrian regime, and Aoun returned in May 2005 to Lebanon and did not have to face the Syrian-Hezbollah revenge terror campaign. To this day, Aoun's loyalty to the Syrian butcher has even exceeded the hatred he harbored for Assad between 1988 and 2005. Aoun went on to sign an alliance with Hezbollah in 2006, which remains alive and well to this day.

I often wonder what does Eliot Engel think of Aoun nowadays, given the 360 degree turnabout by Aoun in his stated and applied politics vis-a-vis Syria, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, etc. Does Engel think that Aoun's alliance with Hezbollah, Syria and Iran warrants labeling Aoun as an "agent" of Iran and thus subject him to the new wave of sanctions recently passed by Congress against Hezbollah? Ed Royce (Republican from California), Engel's co-sponsor of the anti-Hezbollah bill, seems to think so when he referred to Michel Aoun, without naming him, as "Iran's agent in the room" (see Foreign Policy article below).

In one of his recent appearances on Lebanese television (MTV), and to demonstrate his incompetence in the English language, even after 42 years in the US, Gaby Issa effectively accused Rep. Ed Royce of not telling the truth because, in Issa's words, "Aoun was not in the room" when the congressman made the comment. Mr. Issa does not understand the idiomatic expression "in the room" as one would refer to "an elephant in the room" to convey the meaning of "having an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss, or a anomalous situation no one wants to challenge". Michel Aoun and his "Crown Prince" Gebran Bassil made a similar English mistake when they misunderstood the word "re-settlement" used by Donald Trump in his speech at the UN General Assembly last month to mean the permanent settlement of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, when Trump was proposing moving the refugees from Lebanon to a temporary status on the border in preparation to their repatriation to Syria. This ineptitude in English caused a storm in Lebanon (where there is an exaggerated tendency to see American conspiracies everywhere) because it prompted Aoun to feel he had to fight this supposed US conspiracy and deliver a response to Trump in his own UN speech in which he rejected such a "permanent settlement", thus appearing like a Lebanese David fighting the American Goliath. How can Issa navigate Washington DC as ambassador when he has difficulties with the English language? His intervention on the Lebanese MTV channel in Arabic was less than brilliant, since he even has difficulties expressing himself in formal Arabic as well.

Let us hope that both Engel and Royce can convince enough congressmen to reject Gaby Issa's appointment as ambassador in Washington DC, for the simple reason that Issa is Aoun's and Bassil's man. If Aoun and Bassil are deemed Iranian agents, wouldn't Gaby Issa be a big "elephant in the room" since he'd included as a member of the same Iranian agents club?

Further readings:

LAWMAKERS TARGET LEBANESE GOVERNMENT SUPPORT  FOR HEZBOLLAH

By: Rhys Dubin (http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/10/03/lawmakers-target-lebanese-government-support-for-hezbollah/)

Republican and Democratic lawmakers launched a broadside against Hezbollah and the Lebanese government Tuesday, as they tried to rally support for new congressional sanctions targeting the group and its affiliates. One of the bills — an update to the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act — aims to curb Hezbollah’s dealings with foreign financial institutions, as well as its fundraising from abroad. It also targets Lebanese officials affiliated with the group, which is part of the governing coalition. The other law targets the group for using civilians as “human shields, and for other purposes."
“This legislation has a whole series of steps to try to close any last loopholes that remain for this criminal enterprise,” Republican Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said at a briefing on Capitol Hill. “It labels them a criminal enterprise in a way that … gives us additional leverage.” In a departure from previous rhetoric, Congress is taking direct aim at the Lebanese government, a major U.S. counterterrorism partner, for its continued cooperation with Hezbollah. In Lebanon, the group is an established political party, complete with ministers and members of parliament.

“I’ve had long conversations with the government of Lebanon on this, and with … [Prime Minister Saad] Hariri,” said Royce. “These conversations would be more impactful to me and my colleagues if we didn’t have an agent of Hezbollah sitting in a room when we have them,” he said — a reference to Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who came to power with support from the group. “This is one of the great misgivings I have about Lebanon,” Royce said.

The United States certainly has leverage over Lebanon. The Lebanese Army relies heavily on U.S. funding to operate, but in recent years, U.S. policymakers have voiced increasing concern over alleged cooperation between the armed forces and Hezbollah. Similarly, the Lebanese financial system — a backbone of the country’s economy — is highly dependent on access to U.S. markets and the dollar. Lebanese banks have therefore been highly responsive to sanctions, fearing a loss of access.

Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh made several trips to Washington over the summer in anticipation of the latest round of sanctions, in an attempt to persuade U.S. policymakers to avoid severely damaging the country’s economy. Royce, a co-sponsor of the bill alongside Eliot Engel of New York, the ranking Democrat on the committee, is confident that the legislation will sail through both houses.
“Right now we’re putting a lot of pressure on the Senate. Eliot Engel and myself have the support lined up for our legislation on the House side. We think it will be quickly signed,” Royce said.

Royce, Engel Introduce Hezbollah Sanctions Bill

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/10/congress-hezbollah-bill-lebanon-government


Press Release

Media Contact 202-225-5021
Washington, D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced H.R. 3329, a bipartisan bill to increase sanctions on the terrorist organization Hezbollah. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced a companion bill in the Senate (S. 1595).
Chairman Royce on H.R. 3329: “As Iran’s leading terrorist proxy, Hezbollah has been fomenting insecurity around the Middle East for decades. Most recently, it has carried out heinous acts of violence in Syria and is amassing more than 100,000 rockets along Israel’s border. The U.S. cannot allow Hezbollah to threaten our ally Israel and undermine our interests in Syria. These sanctions will severely limit Hezbollah’s financial network and transnational criminal activities, as well as crack down on its backers – most importantly Iran.”
Ranking Member Engel on H.R. 3329: “Hezbollah remains one of the biggest threats to America, our interests and our allies.  With support from Iran and Syria, Hezbollah has become more lethal and more dangerous in the region. We are introducing the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act Amendments at a critical time. Battle-hardened Hezbollah fighters are coming home after fighting for the murderous Assad regime and more and more rockets are pointed at Israel’s population centers.  Congress must close any possible loophole that could allow foreign funding of Hezbollah.  Acting swiftly—and in a bipartisan manner—will show Hezbollah’s foreign sponsors that the United States will not sit by while Hezbollah grows stronger.” The Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act builds on Chairman Royce’s 2015 Hezbollah sanctions law by:
  • Further restricting Hezbollah’s ability to fundraise and recruit
  • Increasing pressure on banks that do business with Hezbollah
  • Cracking down on foreign states – including Iran – that support Hezbollah

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Gaby Issa: Iran's presumptive Lebanese puppet ambassador in DC

Gaby Issa is a nice guy. Really. He, like so many Lebanese emigrants to the US, contributed his share to helping his country of origin overcome years of despair, warfare and occupation.

But Gaby Issa is no more than a nice guy with money. Gaby never wrote anything, never published anything, never spoke publicly. He never testified in Congress on behalf of Lebanese causes. He did lead a one-man (himself) organization self-styled the "Lebanese-American Council in Detroit". Gaby always relied on others to do the actual leg work. For example, he relied on another nice guy, a nescient gas station owner in DC whose name escapes me right now, to be his influential henchman with Zionist members of the US Congress, like Eliot Engel, back when Aoun was opposed to the Syrian domination of Lebanon and conveniently boot-licked and curried the favors of the Israeli lobby to do his anti-Syrian work for him. That was before Aoun dispatched Gaby to Damascus to beg the Syrian butcher to allow Aoun to return to Beirut without fear of assassination, which prompted Aoun to shove his cephalic proboscis up the rectal aperture of Assad and, noblesse oblige, replace his Lebanese nationalist principles with the Syrian Arab Baathist nationalist code of conduct. Gaby's greatest - and sadly only - asset was money. He just paid.

And now, to reward Gaby for his financial support, Hezbollah's ally, Lebanese President Michel Aoun, has appointed him Lebanon's ambassador to the US. In other words, becoming ambassador is for Gaby akin to collecting on a 401K program in which he poured money year after year to the Aoun Corporation, now that he is approaching retirement. Gaby has neither the training nor the stature of a diplomat who can do the job of an ambassador in DC. Just as money can't buy you love, it cannot buy you competence in an area in which you have no qualification or experience. In fact, to be the ambassador of the triad Lebanon, Iran and Syria, the only competence you need is that of a chameleon whose colors variegate according to the treason substrate you happen to tread.

But wait! Gaby did do one - just one - action of diplomacy (actually a mail delivery service). It is an action tainted with treason to the cause he was supposed to be fighting for. But it did count into the 401K reservoir of goodwill vis-à-vis Michel Aoun. That action consisted of flying secretly to Syria (November 2004) and delivering a message to the Syrian butcher Bashar Al-Assad, in which Aoun asked Assad for his permission - and his forgiveness - to return to Lebanon after the Syrians exiled him by force from Beirut in 1990. That visit ushered a complete reversal of Aoun's 20-year campaign against Syria. As the international noose was tightening against Assad's occupation of Lebanon in 2003-2004, Aoun allied himself with the Syrian dictator, secured himself a safe return to Lebanon in May 2005 when Syria, freshly evicted from Lebanon, was undertaking a campaign of political assassinations against its Lebanese detractors, from which Aoun of course was saved, and forged a formal alliance with the Syrian-Iranin proxy Hezbollah in February 2006 by signing of a memorandum of understanding with Hassan Nasrallah.

[From: http://10452.blogspot.com/2005/01/aoun-syria-ice-breaking-dialogues.html]:
Gen. Aoun's ice-breaking contacts with President Assad's administration were reported Monday to have shifted to Washington after a visit to Damascus by a 'personal envoy' of the exiled opposition leader to deliver a written invitation for a roundtable conference in Paris to arrange a face-saving exit for Syria from Lebanon. Aoun was quoted on Sunday as saying the unnamed envoy was a civilian Lebanese who handed Aoun's invitation to an unidentified Syrian foreign ministry official (Deputy Foreign Minister Walid Al Moallem) asserting his emissary was treated with 'full respect' on the way in and out of the Syrian capital. The Beirut daily As Safir on Monday identified Aoun's delegate to Syria as Gaby Issa.

But this is all history, though this history remains alive and well to this date. For thanks to Hezbollah - America's terrorist enemy on an equal footing with Al-Qaeda and Islamic State - which dominates Lebanon's political landscape and runs a state of its own within the Lebanese state, Aoun has become President of a Lebanon which, though technically free of the Syrian occupation, remains a puppet State subservient to the dictates of the Syrian dictatorship. And just as Aoun has reached the pinnacle of his ever principle-revolving career, Gaby Issa's appointment as ambassador to DC is probably the pinnacle of Gaby's collecting on his 401K deposits with the Aoun Corporation. 

Problem for Gaby, the nice feller from Detroit, is that his embassy - if it materializes, for there are doubts (see below) - will be as the Lebanese puppet ambassador of Iran to the American capital. For Aoun's presidency has so far been the mini-me of Syria's presidential butcher-in-chief Assad. Just to illustrate this point, the so-called "occupation" of the Lebanese-Syrian border highlands from Al-Qaeda and Islamic State terrorists was engineered by Syria and Hezbollah back in 2014, as a means to give Hezbollah yet another justification for its fighting inside Syria against the will of the Lebanese government and people. Same tactic used by Syria and Hezbollah in the Shebaa Farms "occupation" by Israel. And just over these past few weeks, the "liberation" of the highlands was again decided by Syria and Hezbollah, and Aoun executed by sending his army to clean up after Hezbollah initiated the "liberation", in which Hezbollah negotiated with Islamic State and allowed the IS fighters to leave unharmed, even after they had murdered a dozen Lebanese army soldiers they had captured in 2014. Under Aoun, Lebanon has remained a puppet state of Syria.

Second problem for Gaby, the nice plain guy with money from Detroit, is that the US is refusing to accept his letters of credentials unless he renounces his hard-earned US citizenship. Tough decision to make. Think about it. Gaby is not a career diplomat and is in all likelihood not looking for further ambassadorial posts after this one. Furthermore, his tenure as an ambassador - if he succeeds - will probably end as abruptly as Aoun's presidency will by reason of ill health (Aoun is 83 years old) or even death while on the job.

Third problem for Gaby is that the US just passed the new wave of sanctions against Hezbollah, which include the very interesting provision of sanctioning individuals, Lebanese or otherwise, who cooperate with Hezbollah. Ooops. As Lebanon's ambassador to the US, and the envoy of Michel Aoun, the prime Lebanese ally of Hezbollah, that puts Gaby in a very difficult position since he could be one of those individuals. His entire American dream, built since 1975, could crumble.

My personal advice to Gaby is to turn down the offer of the embassy post. Keep your US citizenship and enjoy a comfortable retirement in Bloomfield Hills, and do not play the puppet for Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and all the other enemies of both your countries, Lebanon and the US. Aoun will not last, and your tenure is coupled to Aoun's term in office. You will retain your wide-eyed naive simple "nice guy" nature, and avoid the corrupting world of dirty politics, especially on behalf of killers of American soldiers (remember 23 October 1983 and the 243 US servicemen blown up by Hezbollah??) and other assorted terrorists. Remember the Lebanese ambassador to the US, a certain Farid Abboud, who played puppet for Syria by shadowing the Syrian ambassador to DC, Imad Mustapha, between 1999 and 2007? Like Mustapha, Abboud left in disgrace and remains a peregrinating ambassador somewhere in the world, only because he is a career diplomat.

Neither Syria nor Iran has an ambassador in Washington, DC. Gaby Issa is being hoodwinked to become their Lebanese puppet ambassador to the US. Good luck with that, Mr. Nice Guy.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Undo Sykes-Picot: Grant Kurdistan Independence

Everyone - mostly on the left - decries the Sykes-Picot secret accords that divided the post-Ottoman Empire into the countries that make up the Middle East today. No one knows what these people would have wanted the French and the British to do back in 1919 at the end of World War I.

Yes, of course, many are nostalgic of huge empires, and so would have wanted one huge united Arabia ranging from Iraq in the East to Morocco in the West, simply on the basis of two cultural criteria: Language and religion. The vast majority of the people inhabiting the Middle East were forced to speak a dead language, Arabic, and were forced into conversion to a Fascist religion, Islam, by the hordes of Arab invaders of the 7th and 8th centuries. But just look at the Middle East today and decide for yourselves if this is a reasonable proposition: The region from Morocco to Iraq is beset by centrifugal tendencies that are tearing apart even the "artificial" divisions imposed by Sykes and Picot. The advocates of a united Arabia are fools; they choose to ignore the ethnic, racial, religious, linguistic, and cultural diversity that simmers beneath Arabic and Islam. Asking the people of the Middle East to adhere to a united "Arab" identity" is akin to asking all German-speaking Europeans (Germans, Swiss, Austrians, Czechs....) to join together into one Germany, i.e. to make Nazi ideology a reality. Or to ask all the former Soviet republics, today free of  Russian hegemony, to reintegrate the warm embrace of Russian communism.... We have seen the rise and demise of hegemonic empires long enough to know that there is no "Arab" identity sufficient to amalgamate the diverse peoples of the Middle East into one country.

One nation today in the Middle East is seeking self-determination by breaking from the artificial British-cooked country of Iraq in which it was forcibly shoved. In 1919, at the Paris Peace Conference, and to satisfy the "Arabs" and their own self-interests, the victors of the World War I, France, Britain and others met the demands for self-determination for many "nations" (e.g. the Maronites in Lebanon, the Jews of Europe, etc.) but ignored the demands for nationhood by arguably more deserving nations, such as the Kurds.

The Kurdish territories were divided between Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq, and an entire nation, with its separate culture and language, was subjugated to Arabs, Turks and Persians. Now, a century later, the Kurds have proven time and again their separate identity and their worth. They are voting today in the Kurdish territory of Iraq in a referendum that will show what the Kurdish people really want: Self-determination and independence, or continued subjugation to Shiite and Sunni Arabs.

For some reason, the whole world is against the Kurdish referendum. Everyone argues, ironically, against such a move because it will "destabilize" the region. Yup, the region is a haven of peace and tranquility and stability that Kurdish independence will undermine. Never mind that the region has been in a cataclysmic sea of instability and war for no less than 15 years. Not one of those who are against the Kurdish referendum  decries a similar referendum next week by Catalonia as it seeks to secede from Spain. Is this racist condescension? Why will Catalan independence from Spain not "destabilize" southern Europe, by example encouraging the Basques of the Spanish-French border to seek their own independence? Yet all the opponents of the Kurdish referendum consider Catalonia's secession an internal Spanish matter that they should not meddle in. But not Kurdistan.

May the referendum show that the Kurds want their own country. May it be followed by a declaration of an independent Kurdistan, which would begin the breakdown of the 1919 Sykes-Picot configuration of the Middle East. May it also be followed by a gradual gathering of all Kurds into this Kurdistan, by merging the Kurdish territories of Syria, Iran and Turkey with it. That will be one reparation to the crime committed by colonial France and Britain.

P.S. I just heard a filthy Iraqi politician by the last name of Al-Rubae comparing the birth of an independent Kurdistan to the creation of Israel in 1948. This is the same "Arab nationalist" monster raising its head and propping the "Zionist enemy" scarecrow, and demanding that the non-Arab Kurdish nation continue to be subjugated to Arabs who, meanwhile, are slaughtering each other all over the map. Unlike the Zionist Jews who migrated to Palestine from Europe and elsewhere and displaced the Palestinians, Kurds are native to Kurdistan and it is the Arabs who invaded and forcibly converted the Kurds into Islam and Arabism. Al-Rubae, like millions of brainwashed Fascists like him in the Arab world, is spewing vintage Baathist ideology that makes them unable to accept anyone, Arab or otherwise, who refuses an Arab identity. Just look at Europe where civilized advanced countries and peoples accept small independent nation-countries in their midst like Luxembourg, Monaco, Andorra, Lichstenstein, Switzerland and others. Do you hear anyone in France today calling for invading Monaco and reclaiming for the French? Arabs who espouse Baathism like Al-Rubae are Fascists who cannot conceive of free nations living within the so-called Arab world unless they are subjugated by brutal force to Arab domination. I tell Al-Rubae to clean the shit off his Iraqi identity before telling Kurdistan off as another Israel, because he and his former master Saddam Hussein said the same thing about Kuwait back in 1991 and got the American shaft up their rectums.

Dengdana azad a Kurdistanê

Bassil: Selling Snake Oil to Lebanese Expats

Lebanon's Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has never been elected to office. Never. Not once.

Not in his home district of Batroun, where he failed in three successive parliamentary elections.

Not in his own party, the Free Patriotic Movement, where his father-in-law, the current President of the Lemon Republic, Michel Aoun, imposed him as the sole candidate for the party's leadership.

Even in his successive appointments as Minister in several governments, Bassil was continuously forced onto the political stage by Aoun.

Didn't we learn in our countries of exile that "representation" is the sacred cow of democracy, where each individual is owed to be represented in the affairs of government in free and fair elections? How can Bassil, who was never elected and who is Minister only because he is married to the daughter of the President, have the gall to claim to represent Lebanon's Christians? Lebanon's Christians are better than this.

So, my dear expats who are listening to Bassil pontificate on your obligation to return to Lebanon or re-claim the Lebanese citizenship, beware the two men, the young Bassil and the old Aoun, for they are cast from the same tribal mud that characterizes all Mideast politics: Family before country; personal interests before the national interest; cronyism and clientelism; religious identity before the national identity....

For 20 some years, Aoun and Bassil were against Hezbollah, against Syria, against Iran...creeping on their knees to the UN, the EU, and the US and begging the world to free them of the Syrian dictatorship's grip, and decrying the terrorism of Hezbollah and the big lie of the Shebaa Farms occupation by Israel in the South.

Today, the duo Aoun-Bassil are living in the lap of Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. Hezbollah has mutated from a terrorist organization into a "resistance" that constantly challenges the Lebanese state in its institutions and its very existence, the same State that Aoun presides over. From a fighter against Syria and its hegemony over Lebanon, Aoun has become the textbook example of a puppet president serving the Assad regime and giving its proxies a free rein in his own country. Just yesterday, and against the will and stated official policy of his own government, Bassil met with the butcher Assad's Foreign Minister of Syria in New York. If anything, Aoun and Bassil are doing Syria's bidding (and Iran's) in international venues, given that Assad is a proven war criminal whose slaughter of half a million - by chemical and barrel bombs - innocent Syrian civilians only follows his, and his father's, slaughter of 150,000 Lebanese during their occupation of Lebanon and their assassinations of dozens of Lebanese politicians, journalists, diplomats... in the course of the past 30 years.

Aoun and Bassil have a deep hatred of the United States, so much so that yesterday, while visiting France, Aoun issued an ultimatum to the French that they must choose between the Atlantic, i.e. being appendages to the United States, and the Mediterranean, i.e. subscribing to the Syrian, Iranian dictatorships and the rest of them. Not only that, but their mediocre understanding of the English Language made them imagine that Donald Trump's use of "resettlement" in his speech at the UN last week played into their own favorite conspiracy theories, namely that the US wants to implant the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, when in fact all that Trump was calling for was a regrouping - a temporary re-settlement - of the refugees into areas contiguous to the Syrian border as a transitional prelude to their move back into their country. Just check the website of the Lebanese President's Office ("the Presidency") for gems of English translations that no serious government would tolerate.

How can our expats, especially our American ones, trust Bassil when he calls them to re-acquire the Lebanese citizenship?

- For one, he only wants their numbers and their money, and since they are mostly Christian Lebanese, he wants them to vote in his favor at the next elections, because Bassil's "Change and Reform" platform means a return to the 1930s when the Christians were a majority. If he can't get the "smart" minority Christian Lebanese at home to vote for him, Bassil believes he can get the "dumb" majority American Lebanese to do so. So far, Bassil's campaign has been a failure: a couple of hundred expats have applied for Lebanese citizenship, out of an estimated 10 million over the globe.

- Two, our expats have had decades of experience with the Kafkaesque nightmare of navigating the corrupt, inept, incompetent Lebanese bureaucracy (with all the useless paperwork they make you process to extirpate a few dollars from you) in consulates and embassies abroad. While it is true that they call Lebanon the "Switzerland" of the Middle East, but what an insult to the Swiss this is, because there is nothing "Swiss-like" to the Lebanese.While the Swiss enjoy cleanliness, order, work ethics, a sense of the collective responsibility, a respect for their environment... the Lebanese wallow in garbage, chaos, anarchy, corruption, a kill-or-get-killed jungle collective, a daily rape of the environment with polluted air, polluted water, polluted ocean front....

What Bassil should do is put the horse before the cart:  Begin fixing the rotten Lemon of the Republic back in Lebanon: End corruption, end the very cronyism that brought him to power, clean the streets from garbage, bring back 24/7 electricity, and running drinking water to the homes of the Lebanese, elevate public education by funding public schools and Lebanese University (instead of allowing religious schools and universities from deliberately killing public education and pilfering the treasury as non-profits), fix the roads, end the theft of public land by private interests, .... i.e. make Lebanon a modern country, and not a third world backwater of corruption, religion, sectarianism and tribalism, and the rule of the private special interests over the public interest. Only then will expats consider returning and investing, of their own free will, for reason and not for soapy sentimentalism.... in a country that, like the US, respects the individual human being.

Do not be fooled by Bassil and Aoun. Think about all the above, and about what will you do with your newly minted Lebanese citizenship. Put pressure on Bassil and his acolytes to fix the country first before inviting you to it. Compare and contrast life in your host countries and life here in Lebanon, then ask yourself the question: Do I want to serve Bassil and the political establishment (which are using me as a bargaining chip in their dirty political games)? Or do I want to REALLY serve my country of origin by forcing real change on the ground, by making Lebanon a livable country and not the country that forced you or your parents or grandparents to leave in disgust in the first place? 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Stupid Catholics: Yoga is Devil Worship

Just like the Evangelical numskulls of the Southern United States who, year after year, announce the end of the world only to be proven to be simply charlatans; Just like the hallucinating criminals of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State who wage wars against other religions because they are convinced that Islam is superior to the other religious ideologies like Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism etc.); The Catholic Church has suddenly decided to wage war against Yoga and declare it a form of Satanic worship, in a direct attack against the religions of the Asian Far East.

No one knows why. There doesn't seem to be a profound ideological issue at stake, nor does yoga appear to be a pillar of the dogmatic beliefs of Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism. Yoga is simply a method, not a belief. Just like prayer for Catholics is a practice, a method, by which Catholics supposedly convey their desires and wishes to their God. Perhaps one should ban hymn singing and choirs as well, or the eating of bread and the drinking of wine....

All religious practices and rituals are grounded in beliefs that are, most often than not, absolute fantasies from the Stone Age of humanity, but they themselves are not part of the core belief(s) of the religion itself.

So why would the Catholic Church in Rome, followed by its appendages and satellites like the Maronite Church in Lebanon (see below a translation from Arabic of an article appearing in the Lebanon Files online news website at: http://www.lebanonfiles.com/news/1227007), suddenly decide to wage war against Yoga and declare it a form of devil worship? There could be only one real-world (not some bullshit religious) explanation, and that is as follows: In the contest of popularity, monotheistic religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam), especially the Christian one, are losing. People today are the most educated since time immemorial. People read and access information that 20 or 40 years ago was difficult to find, but which is now available at the tip of their fingers. As people also have begun to cross-fertilize practices, both religious and non-religious, and come up with new ways to remain healthy and fit, yoga has for decades become a standard practice in which people calm their nerves, lose weight, learn to think by meditating and find balance in their stressful daily lives. Few of the practitioners of yoga take a religious stance with the practice. Yoga is like jogging, exercising, going to spa, etc. But the Catholic Church, has decided to demonize yoga because people find yoga more beneficial to them than going to church and uttering meaningless chants in languages that they don't understand (Aramaic, Latin, etc.), led by grownup adults called priests who make a living lying to children and to other naive, credulous, and desperate adults.

The Church is demonizing yoga because it - the Church - wants people to return back to its empty churches on Sundays. It claims that prayer alone, and faith alone, can bring healing and well-being. By diverting people away from Catholic religious practice, yoga is making the church lose fans and the money that comes with them.

As we speak, in this Lebanon that is governed by religious organizations of all kinds, there is an open conflict between the private (i.e. religious) schools and the government.  The government just raised salaries of all kinds of employees, including teachers. As a result, the religious schools (which dominate education in Lebanon) want to raise their tuition fees, and the government is telling them you can't do that. The government does not want to give money to people with one hand and see it taken away by the religious establishment (which does in fact benefit as non-profit entities because it does not pay any taxes). The problem is fundamental in Lebanon. The religious establishments, via the politicians they control, do everything in their power to weaken and undermine the State schools and universities. In Lebanon it is common knowledge that private (i.e. religious) education is far better than public education. But public education is denied any serious funding by religiously-affiliated politicians, just to keep it down and keep the private education sector soaring. In other words, the Christian churches in Lebanon are essentially at the same stage in their evolution as the Catholic Church was in the late 1700s. They had their cake and they ate it too. The French revolution put an end to it, and today, French public education is far better quality than any religious private education because taxpayers' money goes to supporting public secular education. Not yet in Lebanon where we are still in the late Middle Ages.

People around the world understand that the monotheistic religions have been lying, inventing stories and fables, tailoring texts as they please, for the sole purpose of controlling people. Because sex has potentially the ability to liberate people from any attempt at controlling people, all three monotheistic religions have always been interested in dictating strict and repressive sexual practices on their followers. Hence the constant focus on virginity (the virgin conception and the virgin birth), chopping off parts of the sexual anatomy of people, chastity, homosexuality, banning condoms, premarital sex, etc.

So this frontal attack against yoga is one hypocritical way for the Church to admit it is gradually losing ground to secular ways of conducting one's life, be it in seeking health and fitness or in seeking education. The religious establishments in Lebanon are essentially cartels with lots of money and a credulous ignorant population of followers who have yet to accept that the earth is round and not flat, that life is governed by Darwinian selection and not by some magical design by some big zombie in the sky, that the plague is caused by bacteria and poor hygiene and not by a punishing God, etc. etc. etc. But the Lebanese Christians, just like their Muslim compatriots, are a herd of sheep who are brainwashed not to think for themselves.

Below is the translation of the Lebanon Files article. You be the judge of who is the insane criminal and who is the victim in this charade. The name of the heroine of this anti-yoga campaign is a woman by the name of ILDICO ELIA (I wonder who other than the Devil himself could come up with a name like this).
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http://www.lebanonfiles.com/news/1227007


Tuesday 05 September 2017

The media personality Ildico Elia published on her Facebook page the following statement: “The Festival to Evoke Evil Spirits will take place in Beirut in two weeks, and it must be boycotted. Please. It is a Yoga festival”

Elia’s statement follows the announcement by the Nafas association of holding its fourth Beirut Yoga Festival, entitled “Take a Breath”, in the Beirut Hippodrome on 16 September 2017.

Elia followed her first posting with another one which is a prayer from Father Antoine Lattouf that says: “Pray with me, my faithful brothers for the rain to fall on the day of the Beirut Yoga Festival, on 16 September. O Creator of heaven and earth and all that is seen and unseen, Heavenly Father, Powerful Father, creator of earth, sun, and the stars in their orbits, the seasons in their succession, the mover of winds and clouds as they blow, form and change, we ask You in all faith, trust and hope, in the name of your only son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to show your power and your might, to make the rain fall in profusion above the Hippodrome in Beirut on 16 September of this year, in order to completely undermine the festival of the Hindu Devil, Shiva, the “god” of yoga. In doing this, You will show your dominion and declare your might, you the creator, manager, and ruler over the elements. You are the living and only true God, with your only son, Jesus Christ, and your life-giving Holy Spirit, one trinity in its essence, glorified, praised and worshiped for eternity. Amen”. The article also publishes a link to a YouTube video containing the testimony of a former yoga practitioner who has now “seen” the truth!


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

F YOU Syria, this is my border

For the first time since the 1960s, the Lebanese Army has reached the borders of its country. Why did it take so long for a country to assert its sovereignty?

One:
Successive enemy regimes of the Syrian Baathist entity (an artificial hodge-podge of hostile religious and ethnic communities cobbled together by the French and the British after World War I) were bent on undermining its smaller, yet democratic, prosperous, and peaceful neighbor Lebanon. While Lebanon saw peaceful transfers of political power between the 1930s and the late 1970s, Syria was beset by instability, bloody military coup d'états and assassinations among the heterogeneous and incompatible ethnic and religious groups. The Baathist doctrine of forcibly imposing an artificial national Arab identity on groups that otherwise claimed religious and/or other national identities (Christians, Sunnis, Alawites, Shiites, Armenians, Circassians, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Druze, etc.) required an iron-hand dictatorship that eventually succeeded in 1970 with the advent of the Assad dynasty, itself from the minority Alawite community.

Starting immediately after the independence of Lebanon from France in 1943, Syria continuously violated Lebanese sovereignty by invading, claiming territories, killing Lebanese soldiers and gendarmes, dispatching terrorist groups ranging from Palestinian guerillas to Syrian and Arab-Muslim ultra-nationalists and international terror groups like the Reg Brigades of Europe and Japan. Successive Syrian regimes co-opted many Lebanese parties and politicians who played Trojan horses and puppets on their behalf. It all climaxed in the early 1970s when Syria assembled the Palestinian terror groups, Baathist Lebanese proxies, Syrian ultra-nationalist militants, the Sunni leadership and the Lebanese Druze Leader Kamal Jumblatt into a paramilitary group which spent most of the next two decades warring against the Lebanese State and the Lebanese Army, and challenging the political charter (known as the National Pact) that the Lebanese had agreed upon in the 1930s as their political modus vivendi.

The Palestinian-Syrian War against Lebanon in the 1970s and 1980s saw the defeat of the Lebanese State and the collapse of the Lebanese Army. In 1990, the last free Lebanese government fell to a final Syrian invasion and takeover.  During the 1980s, the Syrian regime allied itself as well with the newly hatched Islamic theocracy in Iran and together they created the militant Shiite group Hezbollah whose task was to supplant the terrorist Palestinians (who had left in the aftermath of the Israeli invasion of 1982) and continue undermining the Lebanese State.

After another decade of Syrian-manned political assassinations from the late 1990s through the mid 2000s, the Syrian army was finally evicted from Lebanon by a concerted uprising by the Lebanese people and an international community that, after supporting the Syrian regime's rape of Lebanon for close to 35 years, now finally understood the toxicity and terrorist nature of the Syrian Assad regime.

To this day, Syria - even as it withdrew its army from the country, and even as it is disintegrating into the plethora of incompatible ethnic and religious groups - continues to try and undermine Lebanon, essentially via groups like Hezbolla, Amal, the Marada, and the Free Patriotic Movement of Lebanese President Michel Aoun whose own ascent to office was in fact engineered by Hezbollah.

Two:
Lebanon itself suffers from constitutive ailments. The historical modern birth of the nation in the 1860s was an achievement against the then-occupying Ottoman Turkish empire. The autonomous Mount Lebanon entity was snatched from the tentacles of the barbaric Turks and began instituting a political model of coexistence and power-sharing between the Christians and the Druze. The semi-independent Mount Lebanon prospered peacefully for 55 years until World War I saw a return of the Ottoman occupation during the 1914-1918 war years. After the defeat of the Ottomans and the vanishing of their empire, the Lebanese Maronite Church saw an opportunity - based on greed and ideological arguments not unlike those of the Zionist movement vis-à-vis Palestine - to expand the borders of Mount Lebanon, estimating it worthwhile to take the risk of absorbing a large Muslim population whose backwardness the Christians of Lebanon could count on to ward off any attempt at a Muslim power grab. Against the advice of successive French governments during the French mandate of the 1920s-1940s, the Maronite Church managed in the end to annex those large Muslim areas and populations from the Syrian entity to the State of Mount Lebanon and create the Greater Lebanon we know today.  To this day, large segments of the Lebanese Muslim population continue to harbor ill-feelings toward the country that is theirs today, namely Lebanon, and express preference for a Syrian and/or Arab identity. At every opportunity they could exploit, Lebanese Muslims, Shiite and Sunnis alike, tried to subvert the Lebanese political system to their own advantage with the ultimate and openly stated objective of annexing Lebanon to Syria.

With the collapse of Syria, and an acknowledgement by the Lebanese Sunnis that Syria's Assad is really their enemy, and that the Syrian Arab identity is no longer an option for their own political survival, Lebanon's Sunnis made an about-face in their political outlook and discovered that Lebanon could be their ultimate national identity. Together with the increasing isolation of Hezbollah as a result of its fighting in the Syrian civil war, these factors weakened the Syrian regime enough to allow those truly patriotic elements of the Lebanese State - primarily the Lebanese Armed Forces - to muster the little strength they now had, with the help of the international community, to begin asserting State sovereignty over Lebanese territories that Syria had long denied it, both in the South along the Israeli border, and also north and east along the Syrian border. Whereas for the past 50 years, no Lebanese soldier was able to set foot along the Syrian-Lebanese or the Israeli-Lebanese border, the victory achieved these past few days by the LAF (Lebanese Armed Forces) against ISIS took the troops to the Syrian-Lebanese border for the first time in as many years.

The victory of the LAF in defeating ISIS debunks the Syrian stooge and Hezbollah-lover President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun, who continuously claims that his own army, from whose ranks he hailed as a former soldier and general, is incapable of defending the country, thus providing the Iranian militia of Hezbollah with the fig leaf to protect its illegal existence as a parallel private and foreign-beholden army along side the Lebanese Army.

What should happen now?

For one, the Lebanese Army must NOT, under any circumstance, be asked to withdraw from the border area. Instead, the LAF must expand their control of the border along the entire length of the Syrian-Lebanese border and all the way to the southern tri-border between Israel, Lebanon and Syria where disputed territories have long provided justifications for both the Syrian Baathist and Israeli Zionist enemies of Lebanon to intervene and undermine the stability of the country. In this task, the LAF are also legally entitled by UN resolution 1701 to assistance from the UNIFIL (UN Interim Force in Lebanon) in securing ALL the country's borders.

This will inevitably cause tensions, if not outright war, between the LAF and Hezbollah since the latter has long used the porous and abandoned border area as a conduit for smuggling weapons, mercenaries and everything else into Lebanon.

Whether President Aoun, whose love affair with Hezbllah has surpassed his pretense to patriotism, chooses to continue supporting the existence of an illegal Iranian militia on his country's soil, remains to be seen. Aoun has essentially allied himself with Hezbollah to secure a path to power. This tactic has worked. But the real question is whether he will use this power to assert the sovereignty of his nation or whether he will remain on the leash of Iran and Syria and their proxies. Again, any volte-face by Aoun against Hezbollah will put his own life in danger. It happened with Rafik Hariri who supported Hezbollah for 15 years, only to be blown to shreds by Hezbollah itself the moment Hariri began charting his own path forward.

Two, this is an opportunity to begin delineating the border between Lebanon and Syria, which the latter has refused to do since the 1940s on the grounds that this would be tantamount to a formal recognition by Syria of the existence of an independent Lebanon. Just as Syria refused for decades to exchange embassies between the two countries. In the 1960s, the late leader Raymond Edde's called repeatedly for the UN to control all of Lebanon's borders. He was met with accusations of treason against the "Arab" cause, and he ultimately was chased out of the country into a Parisian exile where he died in 2001.

A delineation of the Syrian-Lebanese border would settle once for all the lie of the Shebaa Farms now occupied by Israel. The Farms belong to Lebanon, but Syria grabbed them in 1956 after killing two Lebanese gendarmes. Israel then seized them from Syria in the 1967 and 1973 wars. Hezbollah uses this as an argument that its own "resistance" against the Israeli occupation must continue because Lebanese territory is still occupied by Israel. But Syria refuses to officially cede the Farms back to Lebanon, and Israel says that as long as it seized them from Syria, it will return them only to Syria in some hypothetical future negotiations.

This is a momentous time. Some 75 years after its independence, Lebanon has not been able to control its borders and assert itself once and for all as a sovereign nation not beholden to anyone's interests save its own. The liberation of the rugged mountainous border area from Daesh and the access of the Lebanese Armed Forces to the border proper gives the Lebanese State its first opportunity to assert its sovereignty against the ill-will of the Syrian enemy regime and its poodles on the domestic front. Will President Aoun allow his own army to expand this control to the entire border and risk alienating his allies of Hezbollah, Syria and Iran? Or will he remain a puppet in their hands, providing them with the pretexts to continue their meddling and occupation, and their rape of the country's sovereignty?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Islamic Fundamentalism and Lessons on Evolution

I have been vacationing around the globe and taking a break from the nauseating scenes of Islamic terrorism, the rise of the neo-Nazi white Protestant supremacists, Catholic militants, and this general return to long abandoned radical Christian ideologies as a reaction to radical Muslim ideologies. I am nauseated because the answer to barbaric Islam is not Christian barbarism, or Jewish barbarism (otherwise known as Zionism), or any other decaying religious trash that has haunted the minds of humanity for so long.

I am hoping that this decline back to religious fundamentalism is one trough, one blip, in the otherwise upward trajectory of human evolution away from blind faiths based on trashy books from the Bronze Age. When Reason shone a light into the darkness and exposed the abject ignorance of religions back a few hundred years ago, it gave humanity hope for a future of equality, democracy, knowledge based on science and facts, and arriving at shared decisions with rational arguments and sound judgment.

Islam's delinquency is that it has not yet separated a "rational" or secular Islam from traditional Islam, just as Christianity and Judaism have done not long ago. "Secular Christians", for example, are the majority in the advanced and civilized countries of Europe. Generations of Europeans whose upbringing respects the positive contributions of Christianity to their societies while shedding the obscurantism and irrational foundation of faith. Today, the Church follows secular laws and rules, while in the past it imposed its religious edicts on everyone and led the West into a millennium of bloodshed, genocides, mayhem and delirious barbarism. There are remnants of this old order hiding in their dark chambers and exploiting Islamic terrorism to gain their own advantage, brandishing fundamentalist Christianity as the answer to Islamic fundamentalism, just as Zionists represent the fundamentalist undercurrent of radical Judaism that aims to genocide the Palestinian people out of existence and reclaim a land that God supposedly gave them thousands of years ago. But the vast majority of Jews, including in Israel proper, are secular people who, truth be told, are caught between their modern outlook and the barbaric foundation of their country over the blood of another people.

The answer to Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism ought to be a forward-looking answer, couched in secular values of freedom of thought and conscience, liberty, democracy, equality of all humans, a respectful balance between our needs as a species and the needs of all other species and the planet. As a species, we are forced to be wardens of the planet because we are a thinking species. That we can imagine a future makes us responsible for the path we chart today. But to do that, we must first rationalize our existence and find first an answer to the question of whether there is a point to our existence. For billions of years, millions of species have come into existence then went extinct. We are no different. I can imagine a day in the future when whichever species dominates on earth, say 10 million years from now, wouldn't even know that there was once a human species. A lesson in humility is what we need, because religions have for far too long taught us that we are a special creation by a capricious god who gave us dominion over everything. Religions have taught us arrogance. Reason teaches us humility: We are now learning our place in this universe, and it is no more a special place than that of any other living species. Yet, we have brains that think, and we must use them as best as we can, for the time our species has on earth.

If Islamic terrorism is teaching us anything it is that not only Islam can spawn fundamentalist, text-literalists and radical exclusionary madmen; ALL religions are capable of it. Christianity did it for a thousand years. Judaism continues to do it today in the form of Zionism. Therefore, our response to Islamic terrorism should be to reinforce all that we have built over the past 200 years, to do more separation of religion from state, more freedoms, more tolerance of our differences, more reliance on reason and facts (as opposed to myths and faith).

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Qatar, Israel and Al-Jazeera - قطر وإسرائيل والجزيرة

The ongoing commotion in the Gulf is one huge tempest in a teapot. Of the 13 demands dumped on Qatar by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrein, and the UAE, only one represents the fulcrum of the crisis: Shutting down Al-Jazeera.

Why?

For those of us who know life in the United States, know that there is only one obsession that is central to US policy: Israel. And that is for reasons everyone knows, namely that Israeli hands have a tight grip on the American testicles, and the squeeze on Uncle Sam's gonads typically increases whenever Uncle Sam inches ever so slightly to morality and ethics in its dealing with the Palestinian tragedy and the Zionist crime in Palestine.

Now Al-Jazeera is by far the only media channel (web site, television etc.) that provides genuine objectivity, polite decency, and excellent coverage in depth of all issues it tackles, including but not limited to the Palestinian question. What Al-Jazeera is good at, unlike unlike other Arab news media, is is that it nags at the conscience of the West and its Israeli and Arab appendages not by hurling lies and insults at whoever it criticizes, but by selecting topics - current and historical - for its coverage that are rarely discussed in other forums because they are embarrassing to the West and others: The plight of the native Americans of the United States and Canada, the plight of the Rohingas in Myanmar, the Algerian revolution, the Civil rights movement in the US, and generally the plight of poor, disenfranchised, third world countries and minorities suffering at the hands of greedy corporations and wealthy countries that no one wants to talk about, lest they offend their sources of funding. And prime among these topics is Palestine. Al-Jazeera has been instrumental in providing the average Arab individual and other ordinary people around the world with the information they need to understand, to respond, to mount opinion awareness campaigns...against those who have controlled the information for so long.

So if you have ever spent time in the US, you will notice that ALL, left wing and right wing, media outlets live under the specter of harassment, defunding, and other malignancies if they dare criticize Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. The entire American mindset is controlled by a gigantic construct of lies and historical fallacies that brainwashes American public opinion against the Palestinian struggle for liberation and nationhood. Except, Al-Jazeera. Now, Al-Jazeera is banned in America. Yes, in the country that makes outlandish claims of liberty and freedom of opinion, one television channel is banned because it tells the other sides of so many stories that might offend Zionists, extremist capitalists, right wing radicals, evangelical dinosaurs from the Americans south and so on. For as many years as I can recall, Al-Jazeera was always viewed in America as supporter of terrorism, simply because it supported the Palestinian cause. Which is basically the line propagated nowadays by Zionist Israel and their lobbies and the newspapers they control  to de-legitimize the Palestinian cause by amalgamating it with Islamic terrorism.

Point 1. The sudden imposition of sanctions by the Gulf on Qatar comes immediately after Donald Dumb's visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Point 2. The smartass Donald Dumb's strategy for the Arab Gulf and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to give support to the Sunni Arabs of the Gulf (regardless of the fact that they are all dictators and violators of human rights) by brandishing Iran as the enemy, IN EXCHANGE for the Arab Sunni regimes to force the Palestinians into accepting whatever conditions Israel chooses to impose on them in a solution to Palestine that - if we are to believe the Israelis - will resemble a patchwork of Bantustans that are akin to the reservations in which millions of native American Indians were herded after their uprooting from their ancestral lands by the christianizing, civilizing Anglo-Saxon invaders and colonists.

Point 3. The Sunni Gulf Arab regimes have begun implementing this plan, and the first critical thing to do is to muzzle any opposition to it, and hence to silence Al-Jazeera which has given many sleepless nights to the Zionist system and its control of the media around the world. For years, Israel has launched character assassination campaigns against Al-Jazeera because Israel has been losing the information war in recent years, thanks no less to Al-Jazeera.

It will be interesting to see what Qatar will do. My guess is that Qatar will cede concessions on many of the 13 demands, but will reject any attempt at shutting down Al-Jazeera.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Visitors to Lebanon: Enjoy your safari in the human jungle

Le Monde said it today: Lebanon is a jungle. If you are a visitor this summer to this cesspool, you will likely experience a strange mix of sensations, some of it very close to fatal, some of it in the realm of the unhealthy. You will also notice - if this is your first visit to this disgustingly cheap and annoying self-declared Mediterranean paradise - the superposition of violence, garbage, pollution, low self-esteem camouflaged under a fake Western veneer and expressing itself in all kinds of aggression and violence, and an utterly bigoted ultra-religiosity.

This does make for an interesting visit, to be sure. But this is for the visitors who know they'll go through the "thrills" for only a limited time period. But for the resident aborigines, who themselves will find a million excuses for behaving worse than animals (example: the Lebanese saying "If you are not a wolf, the wolves will devour you"), life here is like a daily safari. You go out of your house every morning not knowing what predator beasts you will encounter, and whether you will come back home alive or in one piece. Within a minute of getting in your car, the adrenaline shoots up in your system, cuss words you did not know you were capable of will hurl themselves out of your mouth, and in a cloud of sandy dust (from all the quarries dissecting the mountainsides), dark smog (from all the diesel fumes oozing out of trucks, buses...), small motorcycles weaving in and out of every hole left by traffic at standstill, heat from the dry summer and the absence of any greenery in the city....you make your way to your destination, considering yourself lucky to have made it home in one piece. Even if you decide to walk, rather than ride or drive a vehicle, there are no sidewalks to speak of. The few sidewalks out there are small, planted with trees, and serve as parking spots for more and more bigger and bigger cars that the native beasts ostentatiously drive to scare off the other beasts.

Lebanon is not a country. Many people will say it. There is no system of any kind. Any semblance of a systematic approach to humans living together is the result of self-forming systems, rather than deliberate well-thought of plans coming out of reasonable rational human brains. It is self-organized chaos, which is really what Darwinian jungles are.

Lebanon is a like a zoo that has no managers or handlers. All the humans are caged in. There are 18 different cages labeled religious sects, and humans are born and stay in their parents' cages. Then they are generally left to their own devices. There are many schools in the zoo, and their function is not to educate people into civility, civilization, culture, science and the like. If they did, then the products of these schools will not behave like animals. But they do. Generally, education is a key to leaving the zoo. Lebanon is a factory of students whose education is intended to send them overseas where people do not live in zoos and cages. Once overseas, they recover their decent human character, start making money to send back to the zoo. The vast majority of them never return to the zoo, even though the Foreign Affairs Minister keeps inviting them back. But why leave places of decency, civility, humility, systematized human communal living with rules and laws, to come back to lawlessness, indecency, corruption, constant aggression and violence?

Laboratory tests show that animals in cages where they experience crowdedness, hunger, lack of basic amenities, dwindling space and territory, ... begin to display of outward aggression and abnormal obsessive, compulsive, self-destructive behavior.

Welcome to Lebanon this summer. Enjoy the thrills of living dangerously. If I were to give you a piece of advice, it would be NOT TO COME TO LEBANON. For two reasons. One, you are taking major risks to your health and life. Two, by coming and spending money in the zoo, you encourage the illusory permanence of the zoo. You make it survive longer than it should. You will be feeding the very beasts that make this place look like a zoo. Please starve the beasts. Don't feed them. Don't spend money here because it all goes to the alpha beasts that make this place the hell on earth that it is. Instead, by starving them, you help us get rid of them. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

ممنوع نقل النفوس في لبنان: الاقطاع الطائفي حسب جبران باسيل

لم يكفِ الذبح والتهجير الذي تسببت به الأحزاب المسيحية التي تدعي الدفاع عن مسيحيي لبنان في السبعينات والثمانينات، فاليوم تهم تلك الأحزاب بمنع السكان المسيحيين من نقل نفوسهم من مكان ولادة أجدادهم في القرن التاسع عشر إلى مكان حياتهم اليوم. هذه حنكة من العبقري جبران باسيل الذي يحاول بشتى الوسائل قلب المعادلة الديموغرافية إلى صالح المسيحيين بعد أن نكستها الحروب الإسلامية (من أصدقاء وحلفاء باسيل لا غير) والفلسطينية (الذي يدافع باسيل ببسالة عن قضيتهم) على المسيحيين منذ عقود.

أنا اليوم أسكن في صربا في ساحل كسروان، بعد أن تم تهجير أجدادي من شرق صيدا منذ ما يفارب 45 عاماً. تزوجت وأنجبت الأولاد الذين لا يعرفون شيئاً عن قريتي الأصلية في شرق صيدا. يريد جبران باسيل أن أنتخب في شرق صيدا لمخاتير وبلديات ونواب لا يخدمونني بشيء سوى أنهم يمثلونني كمسيحي. فهم لا يخدمونني ولا يمثلونني من حيث حياتي اليومية من كهرباء ومياه وطرقات وما إلى هناك من شؤون الحياة اليومية، إذ أن مخاتير وبلديات ونواب ساحل كسروان هم الذين يفترض بهم أن يقدموا لي الخدمات ولكن لا يمكنني التصويت لهم إذا حصل جبران باسيل - القديس جان دارك الذكر - المدافع الأول عن حقوق المسيجيين ضد الطغاة المسلمين الذين يشاركهم في الحكومة اللبنانية.  فحسب العبقري باسيل، المعيار الأساسي والأول لل"ديموقراطية" اللبنانية هو ليس مسؤولية ممثلي الشعب تجاه شعبهم، بل الطائفة التي ينتمي إليها أفراد هذا الشعب . فإن باسيل الذي يدعي العلمانية والطموح للدولة المدنية يمعن في قتل أي بذرة من التحول والتقدم والتطور نحو هكذا دولة لأنه يريد ترسيخ الطائفية بإجبار المواطن اللبناني على البقاء في مناطق سوف يتعرض لها - إذا نظرنا إلى تاريخ لبنان - إلى مذابح وحروب وتهجير في المستقبل القريب والبعيد. يطلب باسيل من المسيحيين في لبنان أن يكونوا كبش المحرقة في الحرب الطائفية والاقتتال الطائفي التي لا بد أن تشتعل يوماً في هذا البلد الذي يرتقي بالهوية الطائفية فوق أي هويات أخرى ومنها الهوية اللبنانية المحضة المجردة من أي صبغة طائفية تعود جذورها إلى عصور الجاهلية والعصر البرونزي نعم هكذا يكون التقدم في لبنان حسب جبران باسيل: بالرجوع إلى الوراء!!!    ر.

فكيف تكون الديموقراطية إذا أنتخبتُ ممثلين لا يمثلونني؟ كيف تكون هذه الدولة العريقة، الوارثة للعفن العثماني والفساد الفرنسي، في خدمتي أنا المواطن إذا لا يمكنني أن أسائل من يدير شؤون حياتي اليومية في الانتخابات القادمة؟ لأن هذا ما يريده البطل باسيل لكي يحافظ على الوجود المسيحي في مناطق يسيطر عليها المسلمون والأسلاميين وكل هؤلاء الذين يهمهم تحرير فلسطين قبل تحرير المواطن اللبناني من الطغيان الطائفي والقبائلي والعائلي والأقطاعي؟ 


 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Lebanon's "Democracy" Crisis: The Token Christians

Can you have a democracy when the constitution requires a 30% minority to pretend to be 50% of the population?

Can you have a democracy when people's religious identity prevails over their national identity?

Can you have a democracy when each of the 18 constituent religious communities is more like a concentration camp ruled by un-elected God-appointed religious tyrants, and in which a citizen is born and brainwashed to fear and hate the other 17 communities?

Those have been the eternal questions that the lemon Republic of Lebanon has been trying to answer for close to 200 years, and has so far failed as it revolves from one vicious cycle to another. As soon as a generation tires of warfare and massacres and finds a haphazard ill-conceived solution, the next generation raises the same questions and challenges the previous solution, a crisis erupts, a civil war ensues with its package of massacres, foreign interventions, killings, kidnappings etc...until this new generation, in turn, tires of the killing and cooks up yet another ill-conceived solution that everyone knows is a temporary patch, and the cycle repeats itself.

Today's electoral law stalemate is precisely an illustration of that cycle. The question is: How do you configure an electoral law that produces a truly representative body (parliament) by asking the Christians (30% of the population) to pretend to be 50% of the population and elect 50% of the representatives, and ask the Muslims (70% of the population) to pretend to be 50% of the population and elect 50% of the representatives? Obviously, the math is not there. Democracy is by definition a blind exercise of rational numerical majorities and minorities... By definition and by every measure of reason, a 30% minority of the population cannot win in elections against a 70% majority. But the Lebanese, in their "genius", are supposedly working hard to disprove this logic.

The Lebanese Muslims say they agree to give the Christians the fake 50% the latter demand, because apparently the Christians are a token lure that draws tourists and investors seeking money, alcohol and women, and thus contribute to giving a cheap imitation of an "advanced Westernized" image of the country, in contrast to the Muslims who are hemmed in by their religion against money, alcohol and women. So, without the Christians, Lebanon would cease to exist as we know it. So the Muslims want the token Christians and are willing to give them token, but not real, attributes of power, and even as they agree to the minority Christians acting as if they were 50% of the population, the Muslims do everything in their power to scuttle any mechanism that grants the Christians real power.

Right now, the Muslims agree that the Christians elect only 30% of their representatives, since the Christians are 30% of the population, but insist (the Muslims) on electing the remaining 20% of the Christian representatives, in addition to their own 50% Muslim representatives. The question is, how truly representative is a Christian member of parliament who is elected by Muslim voters? It may not matter in a a secular democracy, but in a sectarian system like the Lebanese, this is the crux of the issue. What is the point, say the Christians, of giving us 50% of parliament by having Muslims elect 20% of our representatives?

And this is where we stand right now. The fundamental question, however, is: Does it make a difference who is sitting in parliament if that very parliament has never been able to build a decent road, provide a decent electrical or Internet grid, deliver drinking water, eliminate rampant corruption and grand theft of public funds, stop the rape of the environment, etc.? Lebanon is a genuine Third World gem of pollution, garbage everywhere, a driving hellhole, a monstrosity of incompetent dysfunction governance... So does it really matter if the Muslims elect 20% of the Christian MPs who are, just like every other MP, as corrupt and incompetent as the next MP? Do I care if this or that MP is circumcised, or if he fasts on Lent or during Ramadan, if he worships the Messiah of the Mahdi, .... Why is it that people's religion matters so much in our perception of things, when the practicalities of governance are so abysmal to begin with?

And this is where the "reform"-minded President Michel Aoun and his acolytes come in. They are trying hard to raise the Christian numbers by begging really skeptical immigrants who themselves (or their parents or grandparents) fled the cesspool long time ago, to seek to obtain citizenship (so they can vote). Reform in the mind of Aoun and Bassil is not a forward-looking reform of a bad system, but rather a re-entrenchment backward into the very ills that plague this country: Plunge yet again a new dagger into the religious chasms that have been tormenting this country for decades.

And the message to all so-called "Christians" who are falling back into archaic religious identities in reaction to Muslim fundamentalism: You do not fight a Muslim Daesh by resuscitating the Christian Daesh of old. We must not repeat the crime of Zionism which resurrected archaic religious arguments that have become a license for genocide and religious terror. We must move out and away of the religious concentration camps in which humans have been herded by centuries of ignorance and backwardness from the Bronze Age.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

طحلونا بالرئيس القوي - طلع متلو متل اسلافو


سنتان ونصف السنة أصرّ عون وأعوانه الأبطال أنه هو الوحيد الرئيس "القوي" الذي سوف يشيل الزير من البير.

ستة أشهر منذ توليه الحكم والرئيس "القوي" متل الرجل العجوز والمريض الذي يقول الكثير ويعمل القليل.

صرّح البارحة الرئيس "القوي" أنه سوف سوف يلتزم بالدستور ولن يقاوم السارقين والاقطاعيين والزعران والمافيات والممدين لأنفسهم، إذ أنه يفضل الوضع القائم (الذي قال هو بنفسه الكثير عنه منذ عقود الحروب والاحتلالات والنفي ....) على الفراغ. أي، يمعنى آخر أن عون مبسوط بجلوسه على كرسي الفخامة لدرجة أنه لن يقف بوجه السارقين والاقطاعيين والزعران والمافيات والممدين لأنفسهم، ولن يخاطر بأن تُزال مؤخرته عن هذا الكرسي لكسب أي شيء لشعب لبنان "العظيم".

ما في بهدلة أكتر من هيك. رئيس الجمهورية المتحالف مع منطمة تعتبرها الاكثرية الساحقة من العالم العربي بأنها ارهابية، لن يفعل شيئاً لشعبه المنكوب عدا عن السماح لأعدائه السابقين بالتجديد لأنفسهم ولرذيلتهم وإمعانهم بتحقير هذا الشعب وسلبه من كل ما لديه من ماديات ومعنويات. 

أكرر: يا شعب لبنان الحمير، وليس يا شعب لبنان العظيم. الحمرنة ما فيها عظمة.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Visit Lebanon 2017...And Become the Next Victim of Political and Security Militias

Lebanon's Tourism Minister has just launched his "Visit Lebanon 2017" campaign aiming at promoting the tourism sector, despite:
- the bad roads
- the rationing of electricity
- the lack of drinking water
- the pilfering and squandering of public funds
- the rampant corruption
- the culture of violence
- the theft of public seafront property by politicians and their cronies, and
- basically a dysfunctional country infected by tribalism, sectarianism, religious intolerance, systemic incompetence and a dysfunctional political system (it took 2.5 years to elect a president, and now a 4 year old stalemate in which parliament has renewed its own mandate three times because the parliamentarians cannot agree on a new electoral law...).

Watch what happened to an ordinary motorist at the hands of some politician's militias, as he drove on the Beirut-Jounieh highway, in what is considered the "safe" Christian heartland of Lebanon (the information is taken from the Arabic language "Lebanon Files" website):

On Saturday May 20, in Zouk Mikael on the highway toward Beirut, there was a convoy of ten 4-wheel drive vehicles belonging to a politician, a diplomat, or some security official. As is typically the case, these convoys push people out of the way by yelling, honking, sirens wailing, and weapons brandished from car windows. We are in Lebanon, and we won't change, and the country won't evolve such that a prime minister, MP, minister, or ambassador drive around like the rest of us. Perhaps, those ruling this country have forgotten that they are of the people, that they are employees of the Lebanese people, that they get their salaries from the Lebanese people, and ultimately they are our servants.

As the convoy crossed the Dog River area en route to Beirut with all the commotion of the honking, yelling etc. the driver of a white Land Rover Discovery failed to comply with the convoy's demands that he opens the way, even after hearing the yelling of "move over, you animal". Two cars then separated from the convoy in the Dbayyieh area before the Royal bridge, one Toyota Patrol and one Toyota Prado (as seen in the pictures), and blocked and encircled the Land Rover. Men from these two cars stepped out, went to the Land Rover's driver, opened the driver's door with their guns out, savagely hit the driver, pulled him out of the car, dragged him to the Toyota Patrol where he was shoved in the trunk. One of the men from the convoy finally drove off the Land Rover to merge again with the convoy.


This is not fighting terrorism. This is the daily brutal bullying of ordinary citizens by the political class.

So before you decide to listen to the Lebanese Tourism Minister and "Visit Lebanon 2017", ask yourself the question: Who will protect me against such violence and brutality? Especially if you are a foreigner who is used to civility and civilized behavior. Perhaps the Lebanese are used to being treated like animals, and they know the rules. But if you are a foreigner and have no idea what to do in such instances, can you imagine what will happen to you if you are caught in an incident like this?

DO YOU WANT TO BE THE VICTIM OF THE RAMPANT BRUTALITY IN LEBANON? If yes, then please by all means come "Visit Lebanon 2017".

[All photos courtesy of Lebanonfiles.com]