Nothing but the truth. Even if against me.

Nothing but the truth. Even if against me.



Monday, January 15, 2018

U S A = United Shitholes of America

Other than the West Coast (California, Oregon, Washington), the East Coast (New England states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut), the mid-Atlantic states (New York, New Jersey, Delaware...) and the occasional mildly enlightened state or parts thereof here and there,  the bulk of the states in the United States are SHITHOLES OF DEPLORABLE IGNORANT INBRED RACIST WHITE PEASANTS .... and these are the states that elected Donald Dumb: The Deep South, the Midwest, the Rockies states.... Lording it over these United Shitholes of America is the cretin Donald Dumb who resides in the White Outhouse.

Religious Conundrum: Darwin and Free Market Liberalism

Christians in general, and Catholics in particular, live in utter conflict between their declared beliefs on one hand, and what they practice in the reality of their daily lives. Protestants, Muslims, and others have at least recognized this conflict, attempted to find a middle ground but have generally failed, because fundamentally any organization of ideas into an ideology or a creed or a religion cannot institutionalize human happiness and well-being.  On one hand, Christians reject Darwinian selection in principle because it denounces the fallacy of religious texts, but they practice it wholeheartedly in their daily lives and their beloved market economies based on fierce, often inhumane, competition where wealth becomes concentrated in a few hands, leaving billions of people living in hunger and poverty.

Despite the Catholic Church's acquiescence (circa 1994) to teaching Darwinian evolution in its constipated schools, a belated decision of a Church always trailing behind intellectual and scientific advances and evolving social mores, on the grounds that evolution by natural selection is "not counter to Church teachings" on the myth of biblical creation, Darwin's discovery of the undeniable fact of evolution by natural selection continues to inexorably erode the foundation of Bronze Age ignorance upon which Christianity and its sister monotheistic religions are grounded. Catholics are slightly less stupid than the American shithole evangelicals who literally believe the biblical account and whose "creationist fake scientists" calculated the age of the earth to be no more than 6,000 years old. Yet, concepts of free markets and liberalism, which are essentially Darwinian in their propositions, are virulently espoused by those same evangelical imbeciles and by virtually all other religions and religious numskulls around the world. Just as justice is organized revenge, and armies are organized violence, free market liberalism is "organized Darwinism" in which countries, people and organizations compete for resources. Those with military power and money gain more power and money, pilfer shared resources, exploit and impoverish other people leaving them in destitution and dependence, then turn them into "consumers" to whom they sell products they don't need that are made with the very resources they pilfered from them to begin with. That has been the story of modern western liberalism. Western countries today are the beneficiaries of centuries of colonialism during which these countries occupied, mined, stole, subjugated, genocided, and ultimately transferred the wealth of places like Africa, Latin America and Asia to their own countries which they built on the blood, sweat and tears of these other countries and peoples. In doing so, they "taught" their enslaved countries notions of western democracy, undermining preexisting traditional systems that had served for millennia and, upon leaving, created nations torn between tradition and the siren call of liberalism. Today's massive migrations from these formerly colonized nations to western countries are but the fruit of abject free market colonialism.

Ardent defenders of the Catholic Church do not see how they violate every one of their declared religious principles. Poland is a case in point. As a Catholic country which, a couple of years ago, declared Jesus as King of Poland, this central European country  is one of the most anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant xenophobic countries on earth, even as it sends its own millions of poor emigrants to work in places like Germany and the United Kingdom where they themselves suffer xenophobic discrimination. What happened, I ask, to compassion and love, to "love your enemy", "love your neighbor", "turn the other cheek", "share with the disenfranchised, the dispossessed and the poor", and other principles of of the Christian religion?

For example, there is a conflict between an explosive human demography that is gradually ravaging the resources of the planet, and the Catholic Church's ban on using condoms and family planning. Obviously, no condoms means more babies born and more Catholic members inducted forcibly into the Church. The Church wants to keep its demographic advantage, just as Zionists are doing in Palestine, and just as radical Muslims do with their overwhelming birth rates destined to create large Muslim population numbers, regardless of the degraded quality of life and the poverty caused by such large numbers exploiting a limited reservoir of natural resources. The Church asks its adherents to use abstinence to limit childbirths, yet it cannot control the libido of its armies of priests, many of whom entertain lovers of both sexes, beget children, and, as we learned over the past decades, sexually abuse children to gratify their deviated natural sexual urges. Obviously, no condoms means more children victims of sexual assault at the hands and gonads of Catholic priests.

On the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees a few days ago, the President of the wealthy Principality of the Vatican, the so-called "Pope" Francis, called on countries to show mercy to migrants, to meet the person of Jesus-Christ in every migrant and refugee, and to show compassion. Yet, the most vicious anti-migrant, racist and xenophobic countries are devoutly Catholic like Poland, Austria and Hungary. How does one explain this?

Simple. The explanation rests in understanding that the Church is no more than a political organization whose activities include recruitment, preserving its sources of funding, maintaining its influence, brainwashing generations of youngsters into the faith so they become future sources of money and recruitment, etc. This understanding may be reduced to the more universal human conundrum we continue to live with: we know from science that cooperation (i.e. ethics and morality, the Golden Rule) was the core factor in human evolution that made our species so successful. And that factor - cooperation - was the product of our cerebral cortex, our intelligence, that computed for us the overwhelming advantages of helping one another over the disadvantages of killing one another in the race for resources. Long before modern religions and their fantastic myths and stories from the Stone and Bronze Ages, humans understood that living together and helping one another ensures the satisfaction of the ultimate quest of every biological species: reproductive success and survival.

At the same time, we as humans continue to operate on the basis of economic liberalism, which is also profoundly biological and Darwinian. Therefore, religions did not invent the wheel when they claim to be custodians of the moral code; religions merely "organized" existing moral principles that we humans already knew and practiced for tens of thousands of years before any prophet, messiah or other bearded Bronze Age "wise men" emerged from the deserts of the Near East. Admitting that the human species, in all its ethnic, religious, and cultural manifestations, lives in constant conflict between "cooperation" and "competition" relegates religions to sub-biological cultural reaffirmations of what we already know from our biological evolution and constant quest for survival.

When the Pope blasts rich countries or urges them to be generous with poorer people, he is aware that the wealth of these countries, just as his own wealth in the Vatican, is property stolen from the poor. He knows that this wealth was the product of brutal capitalistic free market economies that favored the already rich and further impoverished the poor. And as long as this ruthless capitalism continues to be unleashed on the four corners of the planet, the poor will continue to get poorer, their environments will be depleted and destroyed, their age-old balanced lifestyles will disappear, leaving them with one option: to migrate along the same routes that their own wealth traveled to the bandit rich countries.

I predict that this 21st century will see a return of some form of communism. Christianity in its early days was a form of communism (share everything, abandon the pursuit of money and wealth, live simply....). When Christianity accessed power by becoming the religion of the state (4th century Roman Empire), it got corrupted. Isn't this what happened to the communist revolutions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries when communism became the official ideology of a number of states? The increasing concentration of the bulk of the world's wealth in a few hands and countries, the new digital revolution with its automation of labor, the revolutions against the corrupt rich elites in the governments of virtually every country, the migration of poor people from the south to rich countries of the north, the depletion of natural resources, the destruction of ancestral lifestyles, the pursuit of consumerism as the engine of economic growth, etc...this free ride cannot go on forever. There is not one country on earth today where people do not march in daily protests against corruption. The robotization of labor is expected to send hordes of workers into unemployment over the next few decades, and into the streets. The proposition of paying a "universal salary" to people who do not work, so they stop looking for non-existent jobs, in countries like France is essentially a communist platform. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs", said Karl Marx. In other words, work becomes the obligation of the few who perform the few remaining jobs and whose output is distributed to those who do not work.

The backlash has already begun. When the people of rich countries are asked to recycle, they are basically told to question the "unfettered" nature of capitalism. When people are urged not consume more than their need, to keep their carbon footprint small, etc... they are essentially asked to reject the very foundations and mechanisms of competitive wealth production. This disequilibrium between the exuberant drivers of the past and the bluesy restrictions of today augurs a future of instability, revolutions, and uncertainty. I am not aware of any projections as to the Malthusian capacity of the planet: At which point will the explosive human demography strain the planet sufficiently to tilt the balance toward major extinctions, wars, diseases, deprivation, great migrations, and ultimately to the collapse of the ecosystem?

I, for one, don't think prayers will help. This will not be the "religious" end of times, nor will it be the alarmist "environmentalist"'s ecological collapse. Why? The earth has been sustaining life for billions of years. Billions and billions of organisms and species have appeared and gone extinct. Humans are simply one species at this particular snap second of the history of the planet. Our disappearance, and the disappearance of millions of other species with us, will not be the end of anything. It will be a new beginning for new life forms, for new ecosystems. Biological life has this ability to fill any niche that suddenly becomes empty. New forms, new species, new life will emerge to fill the void we leave in this purposeless universe. New physical climatic conditions will favor new forms of life that are more adapted to these new conditions.

The adaptive advantage that the cerebral cortex gave Homo sapiens over other species has a price. Our brain always requires an answer. When no obvious answer is available, humans turn to the weird, the odd, the fantastic to come up with any answer, regardless of whether it is actually true. And that is why "religion" is a universal feature of all human civilizations: Religion is an attempt by our brain at explaining the un-explainable. Science is undermining religion by providing "real" answers to our questioning brains. Five centuries ago, the "answer" to the plague dilemma was the "wrath of God"; people then did not know bacteria existed. Today, when the plague strikes, religious idiots continue to invoke the wrath of God, but the enlightened educated people know it is bad hygiene, rats, and the bug Yersinia pestis.

Another consequence of our inquisitive cerebral cortex is our solipsism, which is our unconscious belief that we, humans, are the center of the universe. Just like religion, this is an outlandish and ignorant belief forced on us by our brain to explain why we are different from the other species. But know this: I am sure there will be a time in the future when Homo sapiens would have disappeared, and a new life form would dominate the earth. That new life form wouldn't even know that the Homo sapiens species once existed. If we accept our insignificance in the real scheme of things and abandon our solipsism, we might start to live happy peaceful lives, to share resources, to end wars, to cooperate more than we compete, knowing that it all will end one day. It is truly an existential dilemma, for neither competition nor cooperation will in the end succeed against the inevitable decline of our species.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Beloved Third-World Lebanon and its Carcinogens

They keep us busy with circuit breakers tripping between the electric Mafia's generators and the electricity produced by an incompetent corrupt tri-cephalic government and all its oh-so-very-religious followers.

They keep us busy with buying plastic-bottled water from the water Mafia while our abundant natural rainfall devastates our streets and homes as it runs to the sea, dragging with it our top soil that keeps our trees and forests alive.

They keep us busy with their ego-driven stupid fights over decrees and ministerial signatures.

Now that the advanced world has already proclaimed the end of fossil fuels within a decade or two, and its replacement with renewable energy like solar, wind, hydro- and others, we have ignorant Lebanese government officials declaring Lebanon a "petroleum country" in anticipation of extracting offshore oil and gas in a decade or two! Not to mention the corruption that will pilfer yet another natural resource, and the ensuing filthy pollution of our shores and seafronts already polluted with plastics and acid rain from car fumes.

They scapegoat the Syrian refugees as the source of all our aliments. How convenient. When the Syrians were ruling us, they blamed the Syrians. Now that the Syrians are destitute refugees, the Lebanese blame the Syrians. You see, it is never the fault of the Lebanese, for they are blameless, pure, infallible, as they lap up every ounce of money they come across, in complete disregard for ethical considerations or moral integrity.

They destroy their own environment, decapitating - a la primitive Fattoush Clan of Zahlé - the very mountaintops that are at the heart of this country's ethos, just to make rocks and sand with which they build all the ugly concrete buildings that dot the landscape without any thought for urbanism, aesthetics, communal living and other non-monetary considerations.

They destroy their own environment with dirty filthy plastics industries built along the rivers in which they discharge their toxic chemicals without any regulation whatsoever.

They allow the filthiest diesel fuel on earth to power buses, cars, vans and the very trucks that transport the rocks and the sand they extract from the scarred mountaintops and mountainsides. Try getting stuck behind a truck or a bus spewing its black smoke right in your face on the narrow mountain roads that are absolutely unmarked and chaotic.

Even the multitude of Lebanese religions and sects that brandish fake moral standards does not deter the Lebanese from the vulgar pursuit of money with which to buy more and larger cars that pollute the very air we breathe and the food that we eat. And the tri-cephalic government of Aoun, Berri and Hariri keeps building more roads over the few left pristine forests, instead of a major overhaul for clean and reliable public transportation as is the case in advanced countries.

These religions and sects are organized like business corporations, owning enormous swaths of real estate and running empires of expensive private schools (where they indoctrinate the children against the other religions and sects, of course), hospitals (where prayers to saints and hope for miracles are preferred therapy over genuine science), and other businesses that deliberately undermine every attempt by the State to improve its own impoverished and mediocre schools, hospitals and other services that are usually the best in advanced countries.

They (e.g. Aoun) for decades claimed to be rebels against the feudal conservative sectarian establishment. Yet, no sooner have they reached power that they built their own feudal, familial, sectarian political farm.

They (e.g. Jumblatt) pretend to be socialists and progressive, yet in our face transmit power to their sons, sons-in-law, daughters, and wives in medieval ceremonies - not elections - in which the new Lord is sworn in as his tribe pledges its allegiance. Taymour Jumblatt - يقبرني - the fils-a-Papa Walid Jumblatt has now inherited his father's political mantle. His "election" will be the last - not the first - nail in the coffin of democracy, socialism and progressive ideas, after the genetic transmission and the tribal pledges of allegiance. Jumblatt is not the only one. By far.

Gemayel, Chamoun, Salam, Karami, Aoun, Hariri, Mouawwad, Frangiyeh.... are the names of some of the familial political farms founded on the premise that a sperm (rarely an egg) can carry the political wisdom of a father's entire life and experience in political treachery and savagery. For most of these names have 200 years ago, 100 years ago, 50 years ago, led their sectarian and tribal hordes into religious massacres and ethnic cleansings, and their sons will in all likelihood in the foreseeable future as well lead the country down another path of mayhem and plunder. And they all do it, without exception, in collusion with foreign protector countries and in complete subservience to the religious corporations that run the show in the name of God, his saints, mullahs, patriarchs, bishops, messsiahs, mahdis, sheikhs, imams, priests, nuns, and others in the rank and file of these religious corporations whose pretense to serve God is a smokescreen for gaining and maintaining a profitable grip of people's lives.

These familial political farms, of course, do not send their sons and daughters to serve in the army, except occasionally to enter the Officers School by WASTA, or influence-peddling, and serve in comfortable administrative military posts. Meanwhile, the bulk of Lebanon's army is staffed by the poor disenfranchised poorly-educated lower classes for whom the army is the only secure employment they can find, and against which they risk their lives dying for illusory ideas of nationalism and duty that keeps them chained like a herd of sheep.

Below is an opinion expressed in today's Arabic-language Lebanon Files website (The English translation follows the Arabic text below). []. It is entitled: ALL THE LEBANESE WILL DIE OF CANCER BECAUSE OF THESE REASONS:

كل الشعب اللبناني سيموت من السرطان لهذه الأسباب

ليبانون فايلز

في جولة سريعة في أي مستشفى في لبنان يمكن ملاحظة عشرات مرضى السرطان الذي يخضعون لعلاجات ولعمليات جراحية، وفي كل عائلة في لبنان بات هناك شخص مريض بالسرطان ونسبة هذا المرض ترتفع في لبنان بشكل كبير وغير مسبوق، لماذا؟

ما يحصل هو اننا بتنا نعيش في بيئة مسرطنة، وهذا المرض الخبيث بات يعيش بيننا ونتنشقه ونتناوله يوميا الى حين تمكنه بخبث من دخول الجسم واختراق ونهش الأعضاء، وللأسف يتم اكتشافه في مراحل متقدمة جدا، وبات لا يفرق بين طفل وشاب ورجل وكهل.

هواء لبنان وخصوصا مدينة بيروت ملوث، وإذا نظرت الى بيروت من مكان مرتفع لا يمكنك ان تراها بسبب الغيمة السوداء التي تطوقها يوميا حتى في ايام الشتاء، وبين المنازل بات هناك معامل تحمل تراخيص مثل معامل الكهرباء ومعامل الإسمنت التي تبث سمومها بشكل متواصل وتصيب اللبنانيين بسرطان الجهاز التنفسي.

الشعب اللبناني يعيش بين مطامر النفايات في الجديدة وفي برج حمود والكوستابرافا والناعمة وحبالين، وباتت مكبات النفايات اليوم في كل بلدة ومدينة وحي، ولا يمكن ان ننسى كم بقيت النفايات في شوارعنا ومنازلنا، فهذه النفايات تتسبب بأمراض سرطانية بسبب تنشقها وبسبب وصولها الى المياه الجوفية.

المياه التي نشربها ملوثة لان المياه الجوفية في لبنان وصلت اليها المواد السامة التي رميت في المكبات، كما ان الرقابة على شركات تعبئة المياه ظرفية وليست دائمة، وهذه الامور هي من مسببات السرطان.

الطعام الفاسد والمواد الغذائية المزورة، فيوميا نسمع بأخبار ونشاهد صور مخيفة لما يباع في المطاعم والمتاجر ليأكله المواطن، فاللحوم هي من ابرز مسببات السرطان في الأمعاء، فكيف لو كانت ايضا منتهية الصلاحية كما يحصل في لبنان؟

الخضار الذي نأكله من سهل البقاع مروي بمياه آسنة اي مياه المجارير الآتية من نهر الليطاني، والامور لا تتوقف على المجارير في الليطاني إذ ان نسبة تلوثه لا تسمح بوضع اليد فيه لأكثر من ثانية واحدة، لان كل المصانع والشركات ترمي المواد السامة فيه، والخضار ينمو وهو يحمل مواد مسرطنة.

فعلا بتنا نتناول السرطان يوميا بطرق مختلفة، ونتجرعه على دفاعات ونصاب به، وهل تسألون لماذا هناك في كل عائلة شخص يموت من المرض الذي يقول له اللبناني "من هيداك المرض"؟.

All the Lebanese will die of cancer because of these reasons:
Tuesday 09 January 2018
Lebanon Files

Take a quick tour to any hospital in Lebanon and watch dozens of cancer patients receiving treatment and surgery. Each family in Lebanon has one member stricken with cancer, and the prevalence of this disease is rising in a major and unprecedented manner. Why?

What is happening is that we have come to live in a carcinogenic environment, and this terrible disease lives amongst us; we breathe it and we eat, and it insidiously enters our bodies and devours our organs and tissues. Unfortunately, it is often discovered in its very advanced stages, not discriminating between child, young person, adult and the elderly.

Lebanon’s air, especially in Beirut, is polluted. Just look at Beirut from an elevated place and you won’t be able to see it because of the black cloud hovering over it each and every day, even in winter. There are licensed factories nestled among the houses, including electricity generators and cement factories that day in and day out spew their poisons, causing cancer in the respiratory systems of the Lebanese.

The Lebanese live among waste dump sites and landfills in Jdeideh, Bourj Hammoud, Costa Brava, Naameh, and Hbaline. Today, garbage dump sites exist in every town, city and neighborhood. How can we forget how long the garbage remained in our streets and homes? This waste causes cancers because we inhale it and because it has seeped into our groundwater. The water we drink is polluted because Lebanon’s groundwater has been polluted with the toxic chemicals that are discarded in the landfills. Oversight of water-bottling companies is sporadic and not permanent, and this is one of the causes of cancer in Lebanon.

Spoiled food and fake foodstuffs are also in our lives. On a daily basis we hear news and watch terrifying pictures of what is being sold in restaurants and stores for the citizens to eat. Meats are among the most prominent carcinogens of the gut, let alone if their shelf-life has expired, as happens in Lebanon?

The vegetables we eat from the Bekaa Valley are irrigated with wastewater, i.e. sewer water coming from the Litani River. But things do not end with the sewers in the Litani River; its water is so polluted that you can’t put your hand in it from more than a second, because all the factories and companies discard their toxic waste in the river, and so the vegetables grow loaded with carcinogens.

We have come to eat cancer daily in multiple ways. We take it in gradual doses and we are stricken with it. So why wonder why there is in every family a person dying of cancer, this disease the Lebanese refer to as “that other disease”?

Monday, January 8, 2018

Lebanon's Holy Men and their Fingers

"Sayyid" [Lord in Arabic] Hassan Nasrallah and "Mar" [Lord in Aramaic] Charbel cannot be more different from one another. Hassan is a Muslim Shiite clergyman, Charbel is a Maronite Catholic Christian ascetic monk. Hassan is a political leader, Charbel is a saint, a religious figure. Hassan has a militia and he, in all likelihood, hates non-Shiite Muslims, especially the Saudi Sunni Wahhabi sect. Charbel never had a militia and no one knows whom he hated, but it is possible that, as a minority Christian Catholic in this Near East, he hated Orthodox Christians, Protestants and probably Muslims in general.

Yet these two figures share one feature, other than their Lebanese identity, donning beards, and wearing ample flowing robes and strange hats and headgear: From statues and photographs and other representations, you cannot help but notice that they most often have one arm raised, topped by an index finger pointing even higher. Since we have no "live" pictures of Mar Charbel, I am not sure whether his raised index finger ever moved, but Hassan is always wagging his index finger when he appears on television and delivers his fiery angry speeches against Saudis, Israelis, Americans, Sunni takfiris (loosely translated as "apostasy accusers") and others whom he considers to be plotting against (his version of) the Islamic Umma.

Even Donald Dumb, the current president of the US who can barely read, whose eyes cannot digress from the teleprompter during his speeches written by someone else for him, and who strains and pauses as he reads from the teleprompter, even this jackass wags his hand and occasionally his finger when he is perched on the podium.

Donald Dumb has amply told us that no one does things better than him, no one has bigger "nuclear buttons", among other things, than he does. No one knows anything at all better than he does; so he claims. He even referred to himself as "a stable genius". I am not sure how a second rate construction contractor like this idiot knows so much and better than anyone else, but psychologists, psychiatrists and US Congress members are currently debating whether the moron Donald (as Rex Tillerson and most of those working in the White Outhouse refer to him) is indeed a cretin who is unfit to be in the White Outhouse. So much for Donald Dumb, for he is not my main focus here, but he does lend credibility to the arrogance of index finger raising.

I am no physiognomy expert or body language translator, but let me venture into guessing what this finger wagging means. First, as a child, finger-wagging often came from strict schoolteachers who were scolding us, or sermonizing priests and nuns who were driving guilt deeper into us. It implies that these "wise" people know stuff you don't and they are trying to teach it to you. Actually, the beard - a universal feature of wise men across all religions, except for modern Western adaptations of religion - is supposed to impart the perception of wisdom onto the person because the beard means "old", i.e. experienced or knowledgeable. Also, the flowing robes do - for some reason - contribute as well to the perception of all-knowing or all-communicating-with-God. All prophets of biblical trash are represented as having beards. So anyone wanting to pretend to be wise, in communication with God, and a fountain of divinely-revealed authority, should adopt index finger wagging, not shaving, and wearing ample flowing robes in their persona.

Index finger raising and wagging implies that the holy man is leading you, is telling truths you are ignorant of, is transmitting wisdom gained from up high. Just as our teachers, both lay and religious, especially the nasty ones, used to lecture us by wagging their index fingers threateningly about our conduct, while they secretly engaged in behavior and conduct fitting the definition of such crimes as child abuse, as the Catholic Church's records have in recent decades showed the world that the majority of celibate men who "are called to the ministry" or "hear the voice of God", and join the priesthood are child sexual abusers. No one knows if they a priori know they like children as sexual objects, i.e. they willfully join the priesthood for that specific purpose, or whether having innocently heard the call of God, they discover post facto that children are an easy and abundantly available target for them to satisfy their natural sexual urges without in principle breaking their vows of celibacy that, by definition, refer strictly to their marrying women. One wonders if the same index finger that these child abusers wag at their faithful in the church as they sermonize them, is the same finger they use on the victims.

In any case, Hassan and Charbel both claim divine authority descended upon them and mandated by such authority to transmit said divine wisdom on the rest of us. Hence the raised arm and index finger represent authority, just as the turbans and other strange headgear church and mosque leaders wear to signal and signify their authority.

Next time I give a public speech or a lecture, I will let my beard grow, wear a strange hat and a robe, and wag my index finger at my audience. I might become successful.




Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Decentralization in Lebanon: Getting Government out of the Private Sector

One of the bad habits Lebanon inherited from the French Mandate between 1920 and 1943 is the highly centralized structure of the State and the concept of the State as people's deep-pocket mother. Problem is that anything the Lebanese borrow or learn from other countries or cultures gets distorted, ill-implemented and corrupted.

President Emmanuel Macron is steering France away from this centralized model and opening the door for liberalism and decentralization.

In Anglo-Saxon cultures, the United States in particular, the government does not interfere in the affairs of the private sector. The idea is to let the market make the selection of what works and what does not. If you are a private school, for example, in the US, you decide what salaries, what vacations, and what benefits your teachers get, and what education your students get and what tuition their parents pay. If parents don;t like it, they go elsewhere. If teachers don't like it, they too go work elsewhere.

In Lebanon,the government tells private schools how to operate (from their programs to their teachers salaries...). Private schools are virtually all religious schools run by Christian religious orders and Muslim religious organizations and charities. Because religion dominates every aspect of Lebanese social and political life, the religious orders are very powerful and actually fight to eliminate public schools in their areas and so seek a monopoly over education. The downside of this is that public schools (and that includes the Lebanese National University system) are poorly funded, poorly run, and are generally seen as mediocre by the average Lebanese who send their children to private schools run by priests, nuns, and the like.

The religious orders are also very wealthy. They own the best real estate in the country, and there is no hilltop left that the religious organizations have not built on it their sprawling monasteries, churches, schools, hospitals and the like. The religious orders are essentially huge business conglomerates that rake enormous sums of money from a captive population that cannot rely on the mediocre state services and have to put up with the mistreatment by the religious orders and pay exorbitant medical an school fees to get medical care and schooling for their children.

Now this ensures that the religious orders continue to brainwash the average ignorant Lebanese into adhering to his/her religious sect and remain forever enslaved by these so-called servants of God with anachronistic ideas and primitive religious beliefs. This perpetuates the ignorance of the population and the continued division of Lebanese society into sectarian concentration camps where people are trapped from the day they are born to the day they die. It makes people never ever think that they could free themselves from the religious dinosaurs and be served by, and hold accountable, a neutral State to whom they pay taxes.

One recent example of this state of affairs is the recently passed new law by the Lebanese government to raise the salaries of all public and private school teachers. As a result, the private religious schools decided to raise their tuition fees, hoping to benefit financially by skimming from the salaried parents whatever gains they earned from their employment raises.

At this time, the parents refuse to pay the tuition increases, which prompted the religious schools to refuse to pay the salary raises to their teachers. Even more bluntly, the religious dinosaurs want the State to pay for the differential between their higher tuition fees (which parents can no longer afford) and the salary raises to their teachers. This is typical of this dysfunctional country where the private interests run the show, leaving the State as the poor relative. The State should not pay the private religious schools any money. The religious schools should fend for themselves, decide what tuition fees to impose and what salaries to pay their teachers, and live with the consequences. Whatever the outcome of this stalemate, what the Lebanese fail to realize that they do have other options. By sending their children to public schools, they will starve the religious monsters, save themselves huge sums of money (public schools are free), force the State to better fund its public schools, and tell or hold their parliamentarians accountable in the coming legislative elections to increase funding for the public schools which will over time become better schools that put the religious schools out of business, just as is the case in countries like France and Germany.

The government should NOT pay any dime to the religious orders and their schools or hospitals or other business enterprises. The State should allocate these monies to upgrading and fixing public education across the country, which would bring in more students into the public schools. This in turn would reduce the sectarian divisions and lead the Lebanese towards a national identity that is free from the filth of religious sectarian identities. Education is an example of all other sectors of commerce and social life in this country. As long as the public system is poorly funded and shunned aside as the poor relative of the private system, the country will remain hostage to the religious dominance of life in Lebanon. This should be the future of education in Lebanon. One in which the government takes its hands off the private religious schools and let these fend for themselves in the market place. Other areas include the personal status system which is entirely sequestered by the religious organizations. Civil marriage, divorce, inheritance..... all are in the hands of the religious orders who mistreat people and pilfer them of their money at every turn in their personal lives.

The Lebanese people must understand that they live in religious cages, in concentration camps operated by the religious enterprises that work day and night to undermine the State and prevent the emergence of civil institutions to replace the religious monopolies. The sad aspect of all this is that the Lebanese educate their children knowing that they will dispatch them abroad as expats who work and send money back home. The country is so poorly structured that the educational system produces large numbers of trained individuals who know they will not find work here at home. And the religious schools don't give a damn where the students end up after they educate them, as long as their parents pay tuition fees.

France and the United States are finally learning from their own disparate experiences. France is highly centralized, while the US is highly decentralized. Two extremes. They are finally learning from the German model which has struck a perfect balance between the extremes. Not everyone needs to get a university degree. We do not need thousands of highly educated people, on whom we spend tons of money to educate them, knowing they will find no work after university. The Germans gradually filter out their students as they go through the educational system, leaving only a handful to go to university. The others are channeled into technical training programs inside private companies as "interns" where they learn hands-on whatever trade the company does, and then earn decent salaries because of heir highly skilled training. The universities are not overburdened with thousands of students who graduate with useless degrees. This is the secret behind the German economic miracle. Both Macron of France and the dumbass Trump of the US are embarking on replicating the German model to their economies.

The Lebanese government is not, and should not be, responsible for the welfare of the private schools. Its job and responsibility is to better manage education (like the Germans do) and upgrade the public school and university systems, so that young Lebanese get the appropriate training to fill jobs needed by the economy. Has anyone noticed that there is a pharmacy in Lebanon every 50 yards, just as there are doctors in every corner of every building of every block of every street of every city. Does Lebanon need all these pharmacies and doctors? Of course not. What Lebanon needs is trained builders, carpenters, masons, electricians, bankers, teachers, and other professionals and craftsmen who are paid decent salaries. Perhaps one day we will no longer hire cheap foreign labor from Syria and elsewhere to fill jobs that the Lebanese would want to do because they pay decent salaries. All that the State needs to do is to treat its people with the dignity they deserve. Unfortunately, the Lebanese pray to the same God that the religious institutions pretend to serve and get nothing in return except primitive backward ignorant beliefs, instead of staging a revolt against the religious dinosaurs and believing in their own government that they themselves elect. Has any Lebanese ever voted for a Patriarch or a Bishop? No. So why do these unelected clergymen pretend to represent me and my interests as a citizen?

Donald Dumb's Secret Love for (some) Dictatorships

Consider that Vladimir Putin, the new Tzar of All the Russias, is seeking a 4th term in office after assassinating or imprisoning or otherwise muzzling any serious opposition to his rule. Even when he couldn't legally assume a consecutive third term, he engineered the choreography of switching posts with his puppet Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev so the latter became President while he, Putin, served as Prime Minister pending his return to the top office for a third term. Some have called this a "tandemocracy". If there is any screwing around with, and blatantly violating, the norms of democracy, Putin has perfected the art. He and the Mafia-like oligarchy around him have also amassed fortunes ans wealth worth billions, yet you only have to drive a few miles outside the glitter of cities like Moscow or Saint Petersburg to find that the average Russian still lives in medieval, third-world environments of underdevelopment and poverty.

Donald Dumb, in his racist, white supremacist, bigoted ultra-religious dictatorial vein of political ideology, wants good relations with Putin because Putin is also a racist, white supremacist (and blond-haired) ultra-religious bigoted Christian, no less and no more. Deep down, Donald Dumb likes authoritarian rulers like Putin, and secretly envies him; if only the American people would let him run for 4 or 5 consecutive terms, assassinate his opponents or jail them, he'd go down in history as the first Tzar of Amerika.

Some dictatorships are, in the dumb American view of the world, better than others. Iran bad. Iraq good. Saudi Arabia good. China bad. Israel great. Pakistan bad. Egypt good. The ratings by Americans of other dictatorships do not seem to be founded on the principles that Americans keep hurling around the world. American principles ebb and flow with economic interests and radical ideologies like white supremacy, Zionism, isolationism, and lean to any idiot or criminal out there who - and Americans know it - is friendly to the United States merely for some short-term gain, essentially money. And now the dumb jackass in the White Outhouse is threatening to withhold his money from countries he judges unfriendly to the US. Problem is that money (and of course violence) are the only levers that Americans have to pressure others into adopting their erratic unprincipled paths of failure. Fine if you seek your short-term interests and have no understanding of your long-term interests, but please stop lecturing others about vague principles that America violates every day in its own territory and around the world. Let Nikki Haley in her typically sermonizing tone lecture the world about people's freedom (when it comes for example to the Islamic Theocrappy in Iran) at the same time that she and her boss continue to rape the Palestinian people's aspirations for freedom from the occupation of the racist Jewish theocracy called Israel. American rulers have always counted on the stupidity of the average American to gobble up all the inanities and the lies of the Jewish-Zionist dominated American media that favor Israel, right or wrong.

This lack of actionable principles by Americans is the key to understanding why they have been losing wars right and left after WWII, from Korea and Vietnam, and all the way to Iraq and Afghanistan. Americans do not understand the world. As a culture that is essentially imbued with the dumbness and ignorance of the poor white trash European peasants who populated the country, America lacks the acumen of learning from history. Americans have no history to rely on for precedent. No wonder they elect assholes like Donald Dumb. The glitter of American cities is a superficial empty shell that has no substance, no soul, no depth.

It is scary enough when enlightened Americans are in power in Washington DC. But it is even scarier when an ignorant idiot is in the White Outhouse, making friends with some dictatorships while hurling insults at other dictators. I predict 2018 will be a very difficult year for the world. Donald Dumb knows he is facing mid-term elections next Fall, AND he also has to start campaigning in 2019 for the 2020 presidential elections. He has 2018 to make his mark, and what a disaster it's going to be. Brace yourselves for the calamities that the American global village idiot is going to unfurl on the world in 2018.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

After the Fall of the Dictatorships, Iranian and Otherwise

What will Hassan Nasrallah, Bashar Assad, Michel Aoun, Gebran Bassil and Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi do when the Islamic government of Iran falls?

The Iranian people are mad at the Government of the Fuckih in Tehran because the Fuckih-in-Chief is spending more money on Hezbollah, the Houthis, the Syrian dictator's regime, missiles and nuclear weapons than on his own people. Not unlike the idiot in North Korea whose people are starving while he builds missiles and nuclear bombs. "No more Lebanon, no more Gaza, no more Yemen...." the Iranian people are chanting in the streets of Iranian cities.

But the Fuckih-in-Chief has God's ear: God tells him what to do. He is the supreme ayatollah (self-declared, but still...), so God talks to Him and transmits all His wisdom to him. Just as God talked to Moses and gave him the ten commandments, He tells the Ayatollah: Build more missiles. Build more nuclear bombs. Enrich uranium. Destabilize all Sunni countries. Terrorize the West. Hate Sunnis, hate Jews, hate everyone who is not a 1,300-year old victim like you.  Just like Jews, Shiite Muslims wallow in victimhood. They still cry and wail and flagellate themselves because a couple of their warriors were killed 1,300 years ago.

Ok, Christians do it too, because they cry and wail (and some still flagellate themselves) at the death of Jesus. But Christians don't exploit it against other people. They exploit it more against their own people than against other people, like Shiites and Jews do. To be a Christian is to feel guilty over and over: First because you are born from filthy mud. Second, because you are born automatically a sinner by the mere fact of having a cerebral cortex that makes you smart (eating from the Tree of Knowledge), and smart is a sin in the Christian dictionary. The Church prefers you as a brainless sheep in need of a shepherd. Then, to add insult to injury, you are guilty because God chose to torture his own son to death and tell you that his son is the scapegoat which takes away your sins (and deny you your own responsibility for your actions). So now you are guilty because you and your sins killed Jesus. It's an endless cycle of a guilt-inflicting circus from the moment you are born. But wait. This guilt-ridden Christian life does not end with your death. Guilt and God follow you in your grave FOR ETERNITY, regardless of whether it is in hell or heaven or somewhere in between. You can never escape the Great Holy Father and his assorted family members and courtesans.

In places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, North Korea... they oppress you all your life, but then when you die you are free from them. But not in Christianity. Your death does not mean your freedom from the tyranny of guilt. This celestial dictatorship follows you in your grave, unlike Kim-Jong Un's dictatorship or the Wahhabi dictatorship or the Theocrapy in Tehran.

It's a great tool to be a victim. People pity you. And even if otherwise you yourself are a thief, a criminal, a hypocritical bigot, a manipulator, a torturer of other people, a builder of colonialist empires, by worshiping and cultivating your own suffering, you acquire a moral lever with which you blackmail everyone into expressing coerced sympathy for you. That's what the great Jewish people are doing in their fabricated state of Israel where a black Ethiopian Falasha Jew, a red-haired Russian Jew, a genuine Semitic Arab Jew from Yemen, a blond blue-eyed German or Polish Jew, or a Berber Jew from North Africa got together to torture, kill and/or evict the native Palestinian from the land of his or her ancestors. God said so. God gave them the land 5,000 years ago.... at least that's the trash you'll find in the bible written by smelly old ignorant men during humanity's stone and bronze ages. And even if you haven't lived in the land for 2,000 years, it is still yours. There is no statute of limitations when it comes to religious excrement.

The Islamic Theocrapy in Tehran is bound to fail. History's vector is unidirectional. Like the stock market, it goes through ups and downs, but in one direction only, and the religious dinosaurs will one day go extinct. When he realized the Americans were not going to make him President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun made a turnabout. After begging the Americans for help during 15 years of Syrian-, and Hezbollah-imposed exile, he suddenly discovered that Shiite Muslims are "better" than Sunni Muslims, changed all his principles, became a follower of Iran and Syria, discovered that his own Lebanese Army (which he commanded to destroy much of the country in the late 1980s fighting Syria and Iran) was incapable of protecting the country, and allied himself with the illegal proxy Iranian militia Hezbollah. This reversal brought him to power under the protection of Hezbollah's weapons and he is today the happiest smarmy pappy (83 year-old) President of Lebanon. He may yet live long enough to see the fall of the Iranian Theocrapy, but he and his political progeny might be asking themselves the question: What will happen to us when the Iranian Theocrapy falls? Will Hezbollah still be around to "protect" us against the Sunnis and the Americans?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Haley and Trump - the Real Relationship

This is Donald Dumb's bitch.

This is Nikki Haley's pimp.

...and this is their client...

Aoun (should tell) Trump: Shove your Money! But...

Donald Dumb of the US and his ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, have issued threats to all 14 countries who voted in favor of the Egyptian resolution at the Security Council condemning the US for its unilateral and illegal declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Now Haley has sent an e-mail to all UN member states threatening them again if they cast similar votes on the same resolution coming up in the UN General Assembly. Trump and Haley are threatening to withhold financial aid to those countries.

Now I ask Don Quixote Gebran Bassil and Michel Schwarzenegger Aoun, respectively the Foreign Minister and President of Lebanon: What are they going to do?

If they vote for the resolution and against the US - as they should if they are to remain faithful to their declared statements - they risk losing hundreds of millions of dollars in military, financial and civilian aid that Lebanon receives annually from the US. Only a few days ago, General Votel (commander of US Central Command for the Middle East) was in Beirut pledging further - and typically pathetic - military scarps, used helicopters and old tanks to the Lebanese Army.

If they vote against the resolution and surrender to the American threats and pressure, they'd be unprincipled cowards who betray their stated principles for money, and they would give Donald Dumb the victory of the bully, which he loves. Lebanon, let us not forget, is a poor country reeling under massive debt and a decomposing economy, primarily because of Bassil and Aoun's ally, the Hezbollah paramilitary Iranian organization that keeps the country unstable and on a war footing, prevents the State from asserting its sovereignty, and is the only obstacle to a resurgence of the economy and general well-being of the country. For some reason, Aoun and Bassil, just like Rafik Hariri in the 1990s and early 2000s, think they can build a normal country and State under the cannons, missiles and terror threats of Hezbollah.

As Lebanon remains afloat and survives only because of foreign aid, any cuts in US financial aid would be suicidal, despite the remote possibility that Europe might compensate for lost US aid with European aid.

Now Donald Dumb is, well, dumb. A dumb bully. His testosteronic testicles speak before his brain and mouth. (Notice how the idiot has to really concentrate and focus to merely read his stupid speeches from the teleprompter). There is a good chance that the handlers of the orange orangutan in the White Outhouse will contain him, as they usually do. So even as Donald Dumb threatens withholding financial aid to, say Lebanon, if Bassil and Aoun vote against the US at the General Assembly, in the end he may not do so. All the threats could simply be bluffing and bluster. But then again, Donald Dumb could punish Lebanon, or any other strategically insignificant country, and set an example to other more important countries like Egypt. He has many reasons in fact to punish Lebanon: Hezbollah, and by extension its allies Aoun and Bassil, are a thorn in the side of the US. It's been like this since the early 1980s when Hezbollah killed, hijacked, kidnapped, bombed...the West out of Lebanon on behalf of Iran and Syria. Given that Donald Dumb's head is up the rectum of the Israeli-Jewish lobby, he might as well see that all the signs are aligned in favor of his bullying streak in Lebanon, and he might let loose his Israeli poodles on Lebanon. Saudi Arabia, now America's prime ally in the region, has also been angry at the Lebanese for their submission to Hezbollah's diktat, and Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is likely to join a potential American spite against Lebanon, and turn it into a gang-bang orgy of by kicking the Lebanese expats from the Gulf and cutting off this critical source of revenue to the Lebanese economy.

Given all of the above, we ask President Aoun and Gebran Bassil: Stick by your Don Quixotic principles? Or be a mousey slave to American money?

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Islamize your Country - a Manual for Dummies

It's been done over the centuries, ever since the Arab nomads sprung out of Mecca and forcibly imposed Islam on millions of people from the Sea of Japan and the Pacific to the edges of the Atlantic on Africa's and Europe's shores.

With Europe in their sight, the Muslim Arab armies were to attempt two major thrusts to subject and convert the continent.

The first thrust came from the West into Spain, as early as the 8th century, when the Muslims marched along the African Mediterranean coast and deep into Sub-Saharan Africa, converting millions of people on their way and eradicating pre-existing religions and languages. From the nexus of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean in Morocco, they crossed the Straits of Gibraltar (the name itself a distortion of Jabal Tareq, or the Mount of Tareq, after Tareq Bin Ziyad,  the Arab-Moorish conqueror who invaded Spain). After taking over the entire Iberian peninsula, they crossed the Pyrenees (720) and occupied the southwestern third of France until Charles Martel stopped them between Tours and Poitiers in 732, and eventually pushed them back to the Spanish side of the Pyrenees. There, they remained until the Reconquista in 1492 when King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabelle of Castile pushed them back into Northern Africa. This Arab-Berber Muslim invasion in the 8th century was to be eventually trigger a European-Christian reaction to Muslim expansion and colonialism, in the form of the Crusades beginning in the late 11th century.

The second thrust was to come from the East, as the Ottoman Turks plundered their way out of Central Asia and marched into Anatolia, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia in the mid-1300s, until they took Constantinople (1453) (today's Istanbul - the name Istanbul is a distortion of the name of Constantinople) where they erased every Christian sign by converting it into a Muslim one. In the Balkans, they hit the chasm between Western Roman Catholicism and Eastern Byzantine Orthodoxy. Northern Europe hadn't yet turned Protestant, but will soon (1517 – 1648) add another stumbling block in the way of the Islamization of Europe. Their advance was to eventually be stopped in Vienna in 1683 by an alliance of Lithuanians, Poles, Austrians, Hungarians, and others. In the Balkans, the Serbs and the Croats became the Christian outposts on the fault line between Christendom and Islam. Today's Muslim Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo etc. are remnants of the Muslim colonial invasions of Europe from the East.

Evidently, these are the major outlines of a much larger and expansive Arab-Muslim colonial empire-building that really stopped in 1918 with the conclusion of World War I. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other fault lines that emerged between pre-Islamic civilizations and countries and the new Islamic invaders.

One of these much smaller fault lines exists today in Lebanon. The Arab Muslim armies reached the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine) between 634 and 638, seizing Damascus and Beirut (635), and eventually Jerusalem (637), from the Christian Byzantines.

As Mount Lebanon rises steeply from the Mediterranean to reach nearly 3,000 meters at its highest peaks, the Arab Muslim invaders did what all other conquerors did before them: They marched along the coast, but were unable to venture into the rugged hills and highlands of the Mountain. Thus, the coastal cities of Tyre, Sidon, Beirut, and Tripoli became Muslim, while the mountainous interior remained Christian.

Lebanon today represents another one of those fault lines between the Christian and Muslim worlds. Lebanese politics is largely defined by this chasm. In times of war, Lebanese Christians and Muslims kill one another, and in times of peace they brag about tolerance and coexistence. Just as Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats and Muslim Bosnians do. In times of peace, when no outsiders are paying attention, the war goes on. There is an incessant dance of a multitude of back-and-forths, small victories and defeats, constant tensions about language rights,religious rights, political appointments, and the private (i.e. religious) and public spheres, etc.

Ever since the end of World War I, the emancipation from Muslim Ottoman occupation (1516-1918) ushered a sense of genuine auto-determination for the Lebanese Christians, with the assistance of their European protectors. As European colonialism faded away in the course of the 20th century, the Lebanese Christians were left gradually alone to face off with their fellow Muslim Lebanese. Political arrangements, power-sharing, civil wars, Arab and Western centrifugal and centripetal forces at play, etc. have been a constant hallmark of Lebanese political life. And today is no different, even if things seem rosy right now, with circumstances as they are: The ravages of wars and revolutions in the Arab world have diminished Muslim power, and the Christians are seeing a comeback of their political clout. After three decades of defeats and Muslim domination, there is a sense of the equilibrium tilting back to the favor of the Christians.

Finally, below is a picture of Lebanese Maronite Catholic President Michel Aoun who was recently given the additional name of "Mohammad" by the Shiite Muslim Head Clergyman in Lebanon to reward him for his pro-Shiite political stances. This made-up photograph is symptomatic of Lebanese politics, yet goes beyond the permissible. A "hybrid" like Imam Mohammad Michel Aoun in the photograph is taboo. In Lebanon, your only allowable identities are two: either Christian or Muslim. You cannot be anything else, and that is not just in terms of your religious identity. Social, political, economic, identities are all subsumed under the Christian-Muslim duality.  Anyone in Lebanon who challenges the status quo is quickly recuperated by the other side. In other words, you cannot be a genuine progressive (Christian or Muslim) in Lebanon, because the moment you think outside the imposed religious boxes (there are 18 religious boxes in Lebanon, and every baby is quickly dumped into one of the boxes at birth), you are immediately accused by "your people" of abandoning your box, and are of course welcomed by the other side, though neither side really cares for the substance of your ideas.

And that is why real progress for Lebanon into the modern world is virtually impossible so long as there are 18 religious boxes that define personal, political and national identities. As the West has turned secular, the Christians are finding it increasingly hard to oppose Islam with Christianity (even though the religious establishments will try to meet Islamic fundamentalism with a resurrected Christian fundamentalism, such as Trump's evangelicals in the US). In Lebanon, the Christians cannot claim secularism as the answer to political Islam because that would amount to leaving their Christian box. There is no secular box allowed in Lebanon. And so, change is stunted, a regression into fundamentalist Christianity is difficult, and therefore there is only room for the slow, inexorable Islamization of Lebanon. Hajj Mohammad Michel Aoun's photo says it all.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

How can Lebanon Still Accept Aid from the US?

Echoing my previous post.... 


كيف يقبل لبنان هِبَات من دولة خسِرت صفة العُظمى!؟

بفارق ساعة واحدة بين اسطنبول وبيروت كان رئيس الجمهورية ينزع «صفة الدولة العظمى» عن الولايات المتحدة التي لا يمكنها أن ترعى عملية السلام في الشرق الأوسط، فيما كان قائدُ المنطقة الوسطى في الجيش الأميركي الجنرال جوزف فوتيل يعلن من السراي الحكومي عن هبة من المروحيّات والأسلحة الذكيّة للجيش. فما سرّ الدعم الأميركي على رغم هذا التناقض؟ وكيف يفسَّر؟

في الوقت الذي كان أحد السياسيين اللبنانيين يعبّر عن خشيته من تحوّل لبنان الى المحور المعادي للأميركيين ودول الخليج العربي نتيجة التناقض في مواقف المسؤولين اللبنانيين الكبار، كان أحد الديبلوماسيين يؤكّد استمرارَ الرعاية الدولية للوضع اللبناني، مخفِّفاً من «تشاؤم» هذا السياسي ومخاوفه على رغم قناعته بأنّ المخاوف والهواجس التي عبّر عنها صحيحة وواقعية وتدعو الى القلق إذا لم نتطلّع الى الأسباب الأخرى التي تستجلب المواقف الدولية الداعمة للبنان.


وعند اشتداد الحوار بين المنطقَين تقدّم السياسي بعرض شامل للتطوّرات متحدّثاً عن عدم وجود رؤية واحدة من هذه القضايا، ليس على مستوى اللبنانيين المنقسمين بين الحلف الروسي ـ الإيراني من جهة والحلف الأميركي - السعودي من جهة أخرى، ليتوسّع الإنقسام على مستوى القادة الكبار، وتحديداً ما بين رئيس الجمهورية ورئيس مجلس النواب من جهة، ورئيس الحكومة من جهة أخرى، وكذلك بالنسبة الى مواقف أعضاء الحكومة المنقسمين بين هذين المنطقَين.


وتوقف «السياسي المتشائم» أمام المحطات التي انعكست مزيداً من التوتر بين لبنان وأصدقائه وفي مقدمهم المملكة العربية السعودية والولايات المتحدة الأميركية ودول العالم الحرّ التي تصرّ على وضع «حزب الله» بلا تفرقة بين جناحَيه السياسي والعسكري على لائحة المنظمات الإرهابية، وصولاً الى العقوبات المتشدّدة التي فرضتها الإدارة الأميركية على قياداته وحساباته وشركاته وشخصيات اتُّهمت بتمويله. وقال: «لا يمكننا أن ننسى بعض المحطات التي اقتربت فيها العقوبات من أن تشمل القادة اللبنانيين الكبار بتهمة «وقوفهم» الى جانب «حزب الله والسلاح غير الشرعي». وأضاف: «أنّ التناقض في المواقف القيادية كان بارزاً وشهدت له محطات عدة، ولا يمكن إخفاؤه على أحد. فرئيس الجمهورية لم يوفّر منبراً دولياً من دون تأكيد حاجة لبنان الى «سلاح حزب الله» الى جانب الجيش اللبناني في انتظار أن «يقوى عوده».


فيما كان رئيس الحكومة سعد الحريري يشكو من هذا السلاح، مؤكّداً «أنّ لبنان ليس بقادر على إنهاء ملف السلاح غير الشرعي في انتظار الحلول الإقليمية التي أعطته الدور الذي تجاوز الحدود اللبنانية في اتّجاه الأزمات والحروب التي اشتعلت في الشرق الأوسط والخليج العربي.


وما إن انتهى السياسي اللبناني من مطالعته السلبية حتى سأل الديبلوماسي رأيه في المفارقات الأخيرة التي عاشها اللبنانيون، وآخر فصولها ما شهدته اسطنبول وبيروت بنحوٍ متزامن ظهر الأربعاء الماضي.  وقال: «بفارق ساعة فقط كان رئيس الجمهورية يخطب في القمّة الإسلامية في اسطنبول مهاجماً السياسة الأميركية في المنطقة عقب صدور قرار الرئيس دونالد ترامب بالإعتراف بالقدس عاصمة لإسرائيل، معتبراً أنّ القرار أسقط عن بلاده «صفة الدولة العظمى التي تعمل على إيجاد حلول تحقّق السلامَ العادل في الشرق الأوسط»، ومضيفاً «إن لم تتصدّ الأمم المتحدة لهذا القرار فإنها تتنازل عن دورها كمرجع دولي لحلّ النزاعات الدولية وفقاً لمبادئ العدل والقانون الدولي، كما ينصّ ميثاقُها، فينتفي بذلك سببُ وجودها».

وفي الوقت عينه كانت بيروت تشهد لقاءً في السراي الحكومي بين الحريري وقائد القيادة المركزية الأميركية في الشرق الأوسط الجنرال جوزف فوتيل والسفيرة اليزابيت ريتشارد أعلن خلاله عن مساعدة نوعيّة للجيش اللبناني تربو على 120 مليون دولار، تشمل «ست طائرات هليكوبتر هجومية خفيفة من طراز MD 530G ، وست طائرات بلا طيار جديدة من طراز Scan Eagle ، بالإضافة الى أحدث أجهزة اتصالات والرؤية الليلية»، ومعتبراً أنّ «هذه المعدّات المتقدمة، ستساعد الجيش في بناء قدراته الثابتة والقوية لحماية الحدود ومكافحة الإرهاب والدفاع عن لبنان وشعبه».


وردّ الديبلوماسي قائلاً: «إنّ هذه المقارنة لا تجوز، فما يتحدث عنه رئيس الجمهورية يتناول قراراً أميركياً ما زال يتفاعل عالمياً، وإنّ الرفض تجاوز لبنان الى مختلف القارات، ولم نعرف الى الآن مَن هي الدولة التي رحّبت بقرار ترامب عدا إسرائيل. إنّ عليكم أن لا تنسوا أنّ لبنان ضمن الحلف الدولي ضد الإرهاب.  وإنّ التزاماته تجاه السلام في المنطقة لم تتبدّل، والإنتصارات التي حقّقها على الإرهاب والإرهابيين لم يسبقه اليها أحد بعد، ولم تُحقّقها دول كبرى الى الآن».

جورج شاهين - الجمهورية

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Aoun Calls to Punish the US but Welcomes US Military Aid

In his grandiloquent speech today in Istanbul at the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference) meeting, President Aoun of Lebanon demonstrated the same exact perennial fence-sitting that all Arabs have been engaging in for decades: Attack the US as Israel's sponsor AND at the same time sleep with the US because of its money and power, while America's lapdog Israel keeps chewing up Palestine bit by bit.

In his own terms, Aoun said, "... take unified gradual punitive diplomatic and economic measures against any state that contemplates recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital."

Notice that Aoun did not directly name the US as the first country that recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but only some vague country that might follow in the footsteps of the US.

Notice also that Aoun inserted the qualifier "unified" in his punitive measures, which guarantees the failure of his call since it is literally impossible for all the countries opposing the US move to unite behind any of Aoun's proposed steps to punish the US. Thus, his fig leaf is guaranteed, for now he can call for drastic measures but not put his foot where his mouth is because, he can argue, ALL countries must implement these measures before Lebanon does.

In other words, Aoun, just like all Arab and Islamic leaders have always done, is unloading a bunch of eloquent words that will go nowhere, hiding their impotence behind each other while behind each other's backs they sleep with the US for its money and power.

For if Aoun is serious and consistent with his declarations that his dysfunctional country is an independent self-standing entity, he would immediately kick the US Ambassador out of Lebanon, recall his own ambassador from the US, prohibit all commerce and financial transactions with the US, etc....

But he is not serious, nor has he ever been serious. He's a politician like all others, and he will speak with both sides of his mouth simultaneously. For just as he was launching on his verbose speech, all peppered with historical and literary references to impress upon his listeners that even a stunted military man like him can have wide-ranging literacy and respectability, his own prime minister in Beirut was meeting with US Army General Joseph Votel, commander of United States Central Command in the Middle East. And at the same time that Aoun was calling for punishing the US, General Votel was declaring from the very seat of Aoun's Lebanese government in Beirut, flanked by US Ambassador Elizabeth Richard, that the US is providing Lebanon with military aid, adding "We discussed the challenges facing Lebanon, and we emphasized the importance of the Disassociation Policy. The US is committed to the State of Lebanon and its institutions, including the Lebanese Armed Forces."

And this is only military aid. There are literally hundreds of small American (and European of course) grants funding all kinds of projects that the Lebanese by themselves are incapable of funding, projects for water availability, environmental protection, refugee assistance, etc... Lebanon is on the international dole, it survives merely because of foreign aid. Even at the height of political impasses between Lebanese politicians, these always declare political "ceasefires" to meet and agree on accepting the plethora of foreign aid. "Humiliation" is apparently not a bad word in the Lebanese political dictionary.

This schizophrenia has been in fact the hallmark of Arab dealings with the US. How can anyone have believed for all these decades that the US was a fair arbiter between Israel and Palestine? Wasn't it obvious enough that the US grants Israel $5 billion annually along with hundreds of its most advanced fighter jets that gives Israel air supremacy over the region with, while giving Lebanon a few millions here and there to buy a few misery helicopters and a couple of used but souped up Cessnas? 

I don't know who Aoun was fooling in Istanbul. His own people? The Arab and Islamic governments? Or himself still? " You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time," said Abraham Lincoln. Reckoning time is upon us. 

If Aoun is serious about his love for Jerusalem, he should cut off all ties with the American government... ALL TIES, not just a few, not in words but in deeds. He at least will become finally consistent with his declared love for his ally, the Iranian militia Hezbollah whose raison d'etre is to liberate Jerusalem. Perhaps Aoun could call on his followers of the Free Patriotic Movement to join Hezbollah and learn to man those 100,000 missiles Hezbollah has pointed at Israel from the Lebanese south.