Nothing but the truth. Even if against me.

Nothing but the truth. Even if against me.



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.


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 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]

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Which Three Arab Leaders were NOT invited to the Riyadh Summit with Donald Trump?

President Michel Aoun of Lebanon, and.....
Bashar Al-Assad of Syria, and...
Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan.

So you see what Aoun's alliance with Hezbollah and Iran is doing to him?

It is putting him on an equal footing with the Syrian war criminal and butcher Assad, and the Sudanese war criminal and butcher Bashir.

Great Job, Gebran Bassil.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Michel Temer: The Proud Corruption Export of Lebanon to Brazil

This is the current president of Brazil. He is the descendant of Lebanese Emigrés. From their country of origin, steeped in corruption and malfeasance - the Lebanese proudly call it their "genius" - Mr. Temer's parents took the corruption genes with them and seeded them in the fertile land of Brazil.

Read about the latest corruption exploits by Mr. Temer:

Mr. Temer, like the idiot Donald Trump in Washington DC's White House, is a conservative. He is a member of the established order that allows him to commit any crime he wishes because God, his child-molesting Church, the Vatican, the Order of the Knights of Malta, the Jesuits, and their armies of priests and nuns, are obviously on his side.  And so, the deeply devout religious Lebanese, with their patriarchs and muftis, saints and mullahs, mahdis and messiahs, love Mr. Temer. Not only is he a descendant of Lebanese emigrés, but Minister Gebran Bassil wants to grant him and his ilk the Lebanese citizenship because he, Mr. Temer, has completed the proud Lebanese corruption circle.

As he is about to be impeached, Mr. Temer has mustered the testosterone in his gonads and invoked God's justice to state that he will not step down. The man wasn't even elected to the presidency; he was the vice-president and he inherited the top post from Dilma Roussef, his former boss Brazilian president who was also impeached and kicked out of office for corruption. Mr. Temer even went as far as to betray Roussef and speed up her demise in order to secure the presidency for himself. Now it is his turn. He was caught with his pants down.

What is it with conservative dinosaurs who think they are above the law and better than the ordinary citizens of their countries?

Iran today is having presidential elections and the battle is between incumbent "moderate" Rohani (a mullah, of course), and an avowed conservative mullah, of course, Seyyed Ebrahim Raisos-Sadati, commonly known as Ebrahim Raisi, who has always campaigned on a platform of conservative values (strict enforcement of the enslavement of women, living simply, anti-western consumer society, etc.), yet he is said to have secured himself immense wealth from a charity organization he was appointed to run by the Ayatollah. Not to forget, but Raisi was the Iranian regime’s General Prosecutor responsible for the death of thousands of political prisoners in the so-called "1988 massacre" of political prisoners (

But God and his armies are on the side of the wealthy, corrupt, and unethical people like Temer, Trump, Raisi and others. We, the ordinary people, should not question the judgment of God. He has ordained these people to rule over our lives, and so must submit and surrender نسلّم for happiness, they tell us, is not of this world and we should not look for it in the here and now. We should wait to die, often at the hands of God's appointees, and find happiness in the afterlife. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

More Trump Backdowns

Donald Dumb continues to renege on his campaign promises. Hopefully, the angry Iowa pig farmers, disaffected steel workers in Pittsburgh, unemployed miners of the upper Midwest, disgruntled Idaho potato farmers, upset Maine lumberjacks and lobster fishermen, evangelical numskulls from the Bible belt - all of them white on their way to extinction - and other assorted idiots from the American boonies who elected this imbecile to the Out House are finally realizing that for Donald Dumb:

- Islam is a religion of peace
Contrary to his Macho claims during the campaign that he will call Islam for what it is, the imbecile-in-chief is flying to Saudi Arabia this weekend to kiss ass to the Saudis and call Islam a moderate religion. Imagine! The first foreign trip of this call-it-by-its-name "Islamic Terrorism" idiot is to the mother of all Islamic Terrorism countries, Saudi Arabia. Donald Dumb will bow, greet, and chum up to the grandest exporters of Islamic terrorism, the purveyors of the September 11 attacks, the founders and funders of all Islamic schools aqnd mosques in the West. Can someone tell me how is that more "patriotic" or "American" than Obama's shunning of the Saudi monsters?

- Yes to the nuclear deal with Iran, and yes to the lifting of sanctions on Iran
Contrary to his assertions and ballsy claims that he will strike the deal and re-impose sanctions on Iran, the liar-in-chief said yesterday that he will go along with the Obama Administration's nuclear deal with Iran and will not seek to re-impose sanctions on it.

- No, Donald Dumb will NOT be moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as he promised during his campaign, and worse yet, just today he declared that the Wailing Wall (also known as the Nagging Wall) is not in Israel, but in the West Bank, meaning he recognizes Israel as a Zionist Fascist occupying power bent on stealing another people's land and country for no other reason than archaic pretexts from the Bronze Age, just as their Islamic counterparts do all over the world. Israel is essentially the Jewish equivalent of the Islamic State, aiming to resurrect a long-dead religious rule from the Stone Age of humanity. Just as their Muslim counterparts claim the Koran to do, Zionists claim that "God is on their side"; He told them so. Just read the Bible.

- Yes to NAFTA
Contrary to his claims that he will abrogate NAFTA, the idiot-in-chief will be hard-pressed to try and touch this market because it will kill the economy. His rejection of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) is beginning to isolate the US from its potential partners in the Asia-Pacific, so the numskull-in-chief will not touch the only market left for the US. Europe will soon smash the UK which decided also on isolating itself. Watch the US too stay out.

Protection Tariffs
- He made good on imposing tariffs on Canadian lumber. Now watch as home construction costs skyrocket. I thought you believed in the free market. But American lumber, like American steel wants Uncle Sam to protect them, they are all hypocrites. They cannot compete in the free market, so they come and hid under Uncle Sam's skirt.

- Contrary to his claims that NATO is obsolete, the Dumb-in-Chief is only begging Europeans to pay more to NATO. He is not touching NATO.

North Korea
- Donald Dumb has drawn several red lines. Yet the North Korean dictator keeps rubbing America's nose by launching missile after missile. Where is the "manly" Donald Dumb? What's he doing with Kim-Jong Eun? Nothing. Well, he feels sympathy for him. He thinks Eun was ill-served by inheriting the dictatorship from his father and grandfather, which deserves Donald Dumb's pity.

Better than all of this, Donald Dumb is truly Russia's lapdog. Putin is having a great time watching the Fool-in-Chief make a mockery of the United States. Donald Dumb loves dictators. They all have big balls and small brains like he does. Egypt's Al-Sissi, the Phillipines' Duterte.... they all are "fantastic" guys who get invited to the Out House in DC.

The man is either a pathological idiot - something I have always said - with nary a few neurons somewhere in the wilderness of his skull left to make us hope that there is some kind of a learning curve. Maybe the imbecile is learning on the job, and perhaps by the end of his term he might become 10% of what Obama was. It's just that the retards of the American south and hinterland who elected him are going to be very very disappointed. He gave them false hopes, and they believed him. They refused intelligent educated leadership and instead chose illiterate fools who gave them all the words of a long-gone nostalgic past and not one ounce of brutal realism. The ignorant American white folks are on their way to extinction anyway. Donald Dumb was selling them hot air and they gulped it like the flat tires they all are. I am glad the reckoning is coming sooner than expected. Wake up. Come to the 21st century. Y'all are old dogs, and it'll be tough learning new tricks. But hey, this is the market economy you love. It spit you out a long time ago. Live with it. Show us you can compete like "real men" without your government mommy's protection. What a bunch of bigoted dinosaurs.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

My Sri Lankan is from Ethiopia

"My Sri Lankan is from Ehtiopia" "السري لنكية تبعيتي من اثيوبيا"

This is how a Lebanese woman describes her maid. This means that the word "maid" has now been replaced in the Lebanese dictionary by the word "Sri Lankan", just as a paper tissue was eventually replaced by Kleenex.

There are, of course, a number of words that people can use in the Lebanese language for "maid". We have "صانعة" (Saan3a, which literally means "maker", as in homemaker) but this has become politically incorrect. The politically correct word would be "خادمة" which means "servant".

But maids are generally seen as lower human creatures by the Lebanese, especially those Lebanese women who have money or who recently "arrived" into money (nouveaux riches) by the traditional enrichment processes of thievery, hoodwinking, corruption, and so on. The Lebanese have one goal in life: to show the other Lebanese that they have made it, regardless of whether this brings them happiness or not. Everything the average Lebanese does is geared to proving to others that he or she is superior to the scum around them, i.e. everyone else. Solipsism is a hallmark of the Lebanese psyche: I am the center of the world and I don't care about anyone else or anything else but the aggrandizement of myself. Not very Christian or Moslem you might think, tough the Lebanese claim to be devout (and in times of war, fanatic) religious believers.

So how do you go about demonstrating to others that you have made it, that you have succeeded, and that you are better then them? You just have to shove it down their throats by displaying every possible symbol of cheap low grade stupid success. Now, since Lebanese society is a repressed society, lacking genuine social communication between citizens, the only available venue for the Lebanese to communicate is the street, the roads, and hence one's outward appearance. What things about yourself can you project to others without having to talk to them? Basically things like your car, your behavior on the road, your clothes and other accoutrements. This is really at the foundation of social behavior in Lebanon. In other countries people go about their business searching for happiness regardless of what others might think of you or your appearance. In Lebanon, it is the complete opposite: Every action or projection of one's appearance is destined to communicate to others what you want them to think about you. It matters a whole lot to the Lebanese individual what others think of you.

That is why Lebanese project themselves for example by their cars: Big cars, scary looking cars, noisy cars, dark shaded car windows, car plates with 3, 4 or 5 digit numbers, cars without plates... All these features aim to tell others on the road that you are important and that they should be afraid of you. If the car is big, for example, it means that you have money. If the car is noisy, the owner is begging you to notice him. Dark shaded windows, low digit car plates... tell the others that you have connections (because only people with connections can get these plates... the lower the number the more important you'll appear to others).

The manner of driving on the road is also intended to project aggression and instill fear in the other drivers. Stopping in the middle of the street to talk to a buddy tells those behind you that you don;t give a fuck about them and you can get away with it. Double parking, tailgating, flashing headlights... all driving conduct that is considered dangerous in civilized countries is the standard here. Driving dangerously like a maniac projects an image that you are above the law, in addition to the obvious demonstration that you are basically an idiot who will risk his own life ad the lives of others to make sure they get the message of your importance in this world.

Maids in Lebanon are like cars. They are status symbols. If you have two maids, you've hit the jackpot of showing your neighbors and those around you how great and rich you are. You could be deep in debt, but it is a price you are willing to pay to appear important. Because of this greatness you want to project, the maid will always sit in the back seat even if the passenger seat is empty because you must prove to others that you are of another social class than the maid. The maid will never sit at the table with your family for lunch, just as maids are forbidden from taking a dip in the pool or the ocean when accompanying their masters to the fancy beach resort. Maids must wear the "maid uniform", regardless of whether she actually needs to wear one, because, again, this is to demonstrate to others that she is not part of your family or your caste, even though she is scrubbing your shit day in and day out.

Maids in Lebanon come from very poor backgrounds in very poor countries like Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, African countries like Togo or Ghana or others. They endure tremendous hardship (abuse of all kind, withholding of their papers, and abysmal salaries...) just to save a couple of thousands of dollars after 3 years of work.

So, you see how the ignorance of the Lebanese makes them say things like "My Sri Lankan is from Ethiopia". What an insult to the country of Sri Lanka and its people when ignorant Lebanese make assumptions about who they are. Ignorance breeds racism, condescension, arrogance... A Lebanese will feel inferior to, and kiss the ass of, a drunken toothless blond blue eyed taxi driver from England, but will feel superior to a smart highly intelligent but dark Sri Lankan PhD in nuclear physics. That is the gist of Lebanese culture, and by extension the culture of Arabs in general. They are so full of themselves because they believe that some thousands of years ago they made one pathetic contribution to humanity, and that is license enough to wallow in modern ignorance and depravity. For the Lebanese, they monopolize the merit for the invention of the phonetic alphabet, though arguably their Phoenician ancestors may or may not have lived in today's Lebanon or they may or may not have borrowed the invention from someone else, and even if the Phoenicians did invent the alphabet, that was thousands of years ago, and it is not a free voucher for today's arrogance for the Lebanese.  Arabs wallow in the glory of the Muslim Conquest of the 7th and 8th centuries in which they invaded and forcibly converted people to Islam, then established a successful empire (like so many other peoples and empires) for a couple of hundred years before falling back into the abject ignorance and backwardness from which they came. To this day, the Arabs claim that this ancient glory remains extant and they can milk it ad libitum to claim some respectability in today's world. Yet, in today's world, Lebanon is a mess of a country, and the Arab world is also a mess of two dozen countries.

Humility and modesty are not a feature of the Lebanese character. That may be the reason why this country is an ungovernable mess. When every individual feels superior to everything around him or her, to his fellow citizens, to the very foundations that are necessary to build a society of civilized people, he or she believes that they are above the law. Some argue that the absence of deterrence, of the enforcement of the laws by draconian means, makes the Lebanese the way they are, and unless some benign dictator can some day instill fear and eradicate the arrogance out of people like that, and force them to abide by the law, for a couple of generations, the country will remain the mess that it is today.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Aoun Excluded from Saudi Muslim Summit with Trump

Pro-Iran, pro-Hezbollah Lebanese President Michel Aoun was NOT invited to the Muslim-American summit to be held this May 20-21 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Instead, his Prime Minister Saad Hariri was invited to the summit which Donald Trump will be attending.

As the text below of the news report from Breitbart, Saad Hariri's name is not even mentioned, as is typically the case with countries like Lebanon that American news media d not consider significant, although Lebanon is an incubator of many of the headaches that the West and the US in particular face.

One possible reason behind not inviting Aoun is as follows:
- Trump is looking to make a deal with the Sunni Muslims(Arabs and otherwise, led by Saudi Arabia) in which he will overturn former President Obama overtures to Shiite Iran, and initiate a new rapprochement with the Sunnis aiming at isolating Iran and curbing its nefarious influence over every Shiite minority across the Middle East.
- However, whereas in the past the love affair between US Republicans and the Sunni Arabs was lubricated by lots of oil, this time around Trump has another trick in his bag to offer the Sunni Saudis: In exchange for beating up on Iran and protecting you from it, I want you Sunnis to force the Palestinians to accept a peace settlement with the Israelis.
- Which means that in Lebanon, Hezbollah stands to lose big time. As the war in Syria is beginning to fade into a partitioned Syria, Hezbollah is beginning a withdrawal from the Syrian-Lebanese border where it had been fighting alongside the Assad regime. Just today, Hezbollah relinquished several positions on the Anti-Lebanon mountain chain and handed them over to the Lebanese Army.
- This "re-positioning" by Hezbollah may be due to the ethnic demographic consolidations that have been taking place in Syria, whereby pockets of Shiite populations in largely Sunni areas have been transferred to Shiite areas, and vice-versa. The population in the area from which Hezbollah has withdrawn is now homogeneously Shiite, both on the Lebanese and on the Syrian sides of the border, and Hezbollah hands it over to the Lebanese army for mere policing (not fighting). Moreover, if Hezbollah is anticipating a major war with Israel, it will claim to have no presence in those areas, leaving the Lebanese army to confront a potential Israeli assault.
- Further implications are that Hezbollah knows it will have to divert its attention back to fighting Israel, as the Syrian revolution was essentially a distraction from this essential objective assigned to it by the Islamic theocracy in Tehran.
- Therefore, as he is the paramount ally of Hezbollah and Iran, Lebanese president Michel Aoun would b a persona non grata at the Trump-Saudi summit. If he were to attend these meetings, Aoun would become privy to information he may pass on to Hezbollah and Iran.
- Taken altogether, these elements point to a waning of the war of Syria, and a resumption of hostilities along the Lebanese-Israeli border. Israel continues to seethe at its incompetence at defeating Hezbollah in 2006, and the ongoing redrawing of Syria's borders is a golden opportunity for Israel to cement its takeover of the Golan, grab more land if possible in both Lebanon and Syria, and strike a deadly blow to Hezbollah. In essence, the Trump-Israeli plan right now is to eliminate the threat to Israel first, and to the Sunni Arabs second, posed by Iran and its tentacles like Hezbollah, the Houthis and others. This time, a war in the Lebanese South will likely be hugely more hellish than 2006, and Israel would probably seize the opportunity to eliminate any Shiite presence in Lebanon and Syria along its borders.
- There are some who argue that Aoun has finally made peace with the Americans after decades of mutual hostility, and that he is now coordinating secretly with the Americans. His rapprochement with the Sunnis (via Saad Hariri) allowed him to be elected president after years of stalemate, and his "uninvite" to the Sunni-American summit is in coordination with the Saudis and the Americans.

We are witnessing a reshuffling of the post World War I order in the Near East. The emergence of a Kurdish State in northern Syria adjoining the Kurdish State in northern Iraq would repair the harm done to the Kurdish people in 1920, the creation of an Alawite State along the Syrian Mediterranean coast would in fact bring to fruition the French plan to actually establish such a state back in 1920, the Druse of Syria, Lebanon  and Israel would see their own state created as a buffer shielding Israel from any Shiites further north, and Lebanon would rediscover what the Maronite Church had always wanted Greater Lebanon to be: A Christian homeland. The remainder of Syria, essentially the desert areas inhabited by the Sunni Arabs would in due time merge with Jordan or the Sunni middle of Iraq.

So, from North to South:
- Kurdish State - Kurdistan
- Alawite State - "useful" Syria
- Christian State - Lebanon
- Druse State - Drusistan
- Jewish State - Israel

with the hinterland belonging to the Sunni Arabs. Back in the 1920s, when the borders of the Near East were drawn up, the West greatly favored the Arab nationalists and granted them lands that were never theirs, crushing in the process many minorities living in this northern periphery of the Arabian peninsula. Now that those nationalists have regressed back to Muslim fundamentalists, the West wants to re-institute these minorities as nation-state buffers between Europe and the Arab Sunni hinterland.
This is perhaps not a plan that should be leaked to Michel Aoun, unless he is in collusion with it.

[From Breitbart News]

RIYADH (AFP) – King Abdullah II of Jordan, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Niger’s Mahamadou Issoufou are among leaders invited by Saudi King Salman for a summit with US President Donald Trump.

The Arab-Islamic-American Summit will be among a series of talks expected to be held in Riyadh on May 20-21, Saudi officials said.
Trump has frequently been accused of fuelling Islamophobia but aides described his decision to visit Saudi Arabia as an effort to reset relations with the Muslim world.
There will also be a separate meeting between monarchs of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council and Trump, as well as bilateral talks between the Saudi and US leaders, Riyadh’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has said.
In addition to heads of state from Jordan, Algeria and Niger, the official Saudi Press Agency reported that Salman asked Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI to attend.
The leaders of Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq and Tunisia have also received invitations, the Arab News daily reported on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia — which is home to Islam’s holiest sites — will be Trump’s first foreign stop since becoming president in January.
“It is a clear message to the world that the United States and the Arab and Islamic countries can form a partnership,” Jubeir said in Washington, according to SPA.
“We believe that it will strengthen cooperation between the United States and Arab and Islamic countries in the fight against terrorism and extremism, and the visit will have enormous benefits for the region and the world.”
The Saudis have found a more favourable ear in Washington under Trump, who has echoed their concerns about Iran’s influence in the region.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Rape of Lebanon's Beaches by Racist Upper Class Snobs

Beach Resort Owners: Trespassers and Upper Class Racist Snobs!
Thursday 11 May 2017 - Viviane Akiki
[Translated from Al-Akhbar:]

It was not enough for the owners of "C Flow", a beach resort in Byblos, that they engage in class discrimination after trespassing and confiscating public land, by publishing an advertisement inviting students of private universities to enter the resort free of charge, which excludes students of state-owned Lebanese University, but they claimed in a call with Al-Akhbar that this offer is based on commercial agreements concluded with private universities in exchange for the latter to hold their graduation ceremonies at the C Flow resort, something the universities categorically denied when asked about such agreements.

In the view of the resort owners, and as the advertisement's subtext as published on the Byblos resort's Facebook page, expresses, "the seafront is not public property, and it is not an acquired right. It is a privilege to be enjoyed exclusively by those with money." It informs the students of the wealthiest and most expensive private universities in Lebanon that they can benefit from free admission to the resort throughout the summer season.

The advertisement almost went unnoticed, just like many advertisements that expose the vertically stratified class structure in Lebanese society, were it not for the uproar it caused by its exclusion of Lebanese University students who are the largest contingent of Lebanon's students, many of whom are from families with modest means. Yet, this class discrimination is the foundation of all private resorts in Lebanon: they have raped Lebanese beaches, trespassed over public property, and imposed high payola fees [money paid to somebody for helping you make an illegal profit] to ensure that only upper class snobs enter, not to mention their long history of racism against marginalized segments of society such as the domestic workers (foreign maids) who continue to be denied, according to the backward racist Lebanese model, swimming in the same pools and the same ocean as their Lebanese masters who bring them along to these resorts.

Resort Owner: This is my House

The owner of C Flow, Alain Mattar, says "This advertisement if the product of agreements signed by the resort with a number of private universities". He tells Al-Akhbar that "there are 16 beneficiary universities, which means there are other private universities that are not benefiting from the offer in addition to Lebanese University. We are not targeting Lebanese University or its students who should complain to their administration for failing to sign similar agreements [with us]".

Mr. Mattar, the nephew of Maronite Bishop Boulos Mattar, says, "The resort is my house and I have the right to admit whomever I wish", adding, "we began by concluding agreements with the universities three years ago, in which they hold their graduation ceremonies with us in exchange for summer-long free admission for their students. We began with 7 universities, then last year we had 12 universities, and this year we have 16 universities. This is part of doing business, and as such it has nothing to do with class discrimination or racism." Even so," adds Mattar, "This resort is my house and I have the right to admit to it whomever I wish," ignoring the fact that his resort is built on property owned by the Maronite Church which itself occupies public property owned by the Lebanese people on the beach, like other resorts, and therefore whatever Mr. Mattar considers as his house is the usurped right of the Lebanese people, a right that denies them access free and unhindered access to the beach.

The Universities Respond: We Don't Know Anything!

The attempts by the resort owner to justify his discrimination against Lebanese University students under the guise of "doing business" and "concluding commercial agreements" is blatantly denied by the very universities whose names are mentioned in the advertisement. In a call placed by Al-Akhbar with the media official at Lebanese American University (LAU), Christian Oussi, the latter says, "graduation ceremonies for our students are held at the university, and we do not conclude any such agreements with touristic resorts. We have not heard anything about this affair until now." This same information was confirmed by the Department of Student Affairs at LAU, indicating "there are no agreements or contracts with the resort in question". This is also corroborated by Therese Meraab, the head of the Department of Student Affairs at American University of Beirut (AUB), who told Al-Akhbar "There are no advertisement or commercial agreements with the resort in question, and we have nothing to do with this matter."

We are therefore faced with a blatant insolence with serious social consequences, whereby a special class of people with lots of money and connections feels excessively powerful, in collusion with State administrations and agencies and with sectarian religious institutions, to be entitled to usurp people's rights and property, in addition to be able to vent their class and racist discriminatory social diseases and protect their interests and ensure their survival, while the State plays deaf and protects these interests. Al-Akhbar tried to contact the concerned ministries, but to no avail.

The Tourism Ministry, which has oversight authority over these resorts and is responsible for monitoring any conduct that is counter to applicable standards, refrained from replying to our request. So did the Economy Ministry which is supposed to fight any monopoly over certain commodities (the beach) by a certain group (the affluent class), and the Public Works and Transportation Ministry which is considered the direct guardian over these usurped seafront public properties.

Boycott them!

But what about Lebanese University and its stance on the discrimination against its students? The University President, Fouad Ayoub, who is known for his opposition to class discrimination, refused to discuss the matter and asked that the students be polled on the matter.

Legally, discrimination is a criminal offense punishable under the Penal Code. Typically, preferential offers targeting specific groups cover all those included in these groups. For example, weekly evening Happy Hours that offer free entry or reduced fees are open to anyone at specific times of the day, or Ladies Nights where young women are admitted free of charge without discrimination on the basis of their social status. 

The President of the Lebanese Center for Human Rights, Wadih Al-Asmar, says, "There is clear discrimination against Lebanese University students, since the advertisement mentions only the largest and wealthiest private universities, and the offer is not extended to students of other universities," adding, "usually, when preferential treatment is extended, it is done within specific terms and conditions in which the criterion is geographic or age-related, as for example for university students within the vicinity of the facility, which is not the case here because the resort is in Byblos and the universities targeted are distributed in remote areas of Lebanon. If indeed the resort has concluded deals with the universities, why doesn't it publish them?Why didn't it make a similar agreement with Lebanese University? What the resort owner is doing falls within commercial pratices, but even commerce has standards and laws against monopoly and discrimination."

So what are the options for confronting this practice? Al-Asmar says, "The legal response is possible because the Penal Code prohibits all forms of discrimination, but this is a long process. The fastest solution is boycott. Just as they claim it is within their right to make offers to whomever they wish, all those who reject all forms of discrimination are equally free to boycott these institutions".

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Aoun 's Descent from Reality into the Twilight Zone

While his country remains torn by incompetence, corruption, and the refusal of the establishment to cede one inch of its grip on money and power; while the legislative elections have missed their deadline for a third time in as many years because Aoun's fellow politicians are unable to reach a consensus (because they know that any reform of the rotten legislative process will make them lose their power); while the country's natural resources continue to be raped by none other than the very ministers that sit in his government and the very MPs with whom his political cronies share parliament; while the situation is fast approaching a disaster of wars, failure of government......; somehow President Aoun remains optimistic.

Why is that?

For one, he is old and age has a way to begin altering one's cognitive grip on reality.

Two, Aoun has waited all his life to become president, and now that he is president he wants desperately to convince himself that everything else has become spiffy because he has reached his own goal.

I surmise that, because of these two factors, Aoun is slowly becoming detached from the reality of his own people and the abysmal state of affairs of everything in this country. Granted, one has to have strong beliefs in order to try and make them a reality, but rather than constantly patting his own back every day about how great the country is, Aoun should take firm stances - like the ones he used to take in his early political career - and confront those who persist in sacking his presidential term.

Aoun was a master at letting things reach a crisis point, out of principle perhaps, but also because , as they say in Lebanese, ما بتصغر إلا ما تكبر  A crisis must reach its paroxysm before a solution is found.

So where is Aoun today? Why doesn't he confront Berri and his kingdom? Why doesn't he personally speak out against the barbarity and corruption that are pervasive in the daily life of Lebanon? When Bashir Gemayel (whom Aoun followed as the foremost leader against the Syrian occupation) was elected president in 1982, he sent jolts through the entire Lebanese administration: Corruption stopped, public employees started going to work on time, everyone headed Gemayel's threats that he was not going to tolerate corruption. Why is Aoun not sending the same message of strength?

Aoun is more interested in securing his legacy. He wrote a book apparently. Just today he made a statement to the effect that "Lebanon has recovered its well-being after [his] presidential election and the formation of a government,  and was able to preserve its stability and security in confronting terrorism and the Israeli threat". Of course, the allusion to the "Israeli threat" is the standard taboo that all politicians parrot around to appease Hezbollah. Never mind that Aoun used to feel sorry for the Israelis when they were the object of Palestinian suicide attacks back in the early 2000s, and that Aoun used to say that Hezbollah was a proxy, a pretext imposed on Lebanon by Syria, and that the Israeli occupation of Shebaa (a pretext for Hezbollah's continued existence as a paramilitary force outside the control of the Lebanese Army) was a hoax...

Live and learn, they say. Aoun may be more interested right now in the legacy he leaves behind as he contemplates the last years of his life. I do not expect much of the "strong" president he was heralded to be, because an old man may get increasingly confused.

FPM - HEZBOLLAH: Memorandum of Misunderstanding

Last December 10, 2016, I posted one of several posts over the past few years in which I put forth the notion that Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement and Nasrallah's Hezbollah have always been, and are very close today, to a divorce of epic proportions. Not the least of the reasons behind this conviction is the cheap black market deal that the two sides made in 2006, which was ultimately driven by Aoun's disgruntlement at the American administration's refusal to make a deal with him when he visited Boston and Washington in November 2005. He thus returned to Lebanon and immediately struck a deal with America's Iranian proxy.

Not one of the elements of the memorandum of understanding between Aoun and Hezbollah has been implemented to date. Its only gains to the two sides were simply tactical, and by necessity, temporary. It forced Aoun to change his political and ideological discourse upside down, and when taken altogether, now with the hindsight of some 11 years, it appears that Hezbollah initially benefited more from Aoun than the reverse, for Aoun offered Nasrallah the Christian fig leaf the latter needed after the spate of Syrian-commanded Hezbollah-implemented assassinations and a cover to launch Hezbollah disastrous war with Israel in 2006. Fast forward to 2016, and Aoun has returned the favor: He dragged an unwilling Hezbollah - that was always weary of the volatile and former enemy Aoun - into reluctantly supporting Aoun's bid for the presidency. Hezbollah colluded with Aoun to paralyze Parliament for 2.5 years until the latter had no choice but to elect Aoun. Yet, Aoun's election to the presidency is NOT what Hezbollah had in mind in the 2.5 year long stalemate; Hezbollah was more interested in the paralysis of the State itself because it afforded it the chaos it needs to continue its unlawful operations as an Iranian paramilitary force separate and independent from the Lebanese State.

Now that the favors had been exchanged, there is nothing left to keep the two sides together. For Aoun has, yet again, completed a reversal in his posturing: He is now an ally of Hezbollah's enemies, namely the Sunni Hariri and the Christian Lebanese Forces; Aoun is no longer the "secularist" he always claimed to be, and is today a defender of Christians; All of Aoun's proposals for an electoral law are at odds with Hezbollah's own proposals; Aoun also sees that the current US administration has overturned former US president Obama's policy of rapprochement with Iran and is now engaged in an overture to the Sunni Arabs (Saudi Arabia and the Emirates), a policy of isolating Iran, an escalation of tensions between the Iran-Hezbollah camp and the Israelis who want a revenge for their truncated 2006 war with Hezbollah, etc. Now that Aoun is no longer in the opposition, he will defend his gains by aligning himself with the anti-Iranian camp, thus returning to his pre-2006 positions in which he considered Hezbollah a terror organization and a proxy for Iran and Syria, and the Israeli occupation of the Shebaa Farms as a hoax made up by Syria and Iran to justify the unlawful existence of Hezbollah. Aoun's platform today is no longer the one that rises above the petty sectarian, familial and tribal considerations: It is part and parcel of the same traditional swamp of sectarian (Christian Maronite) and familial (The Aoun clan with daughters, nephews, sons-in-law, cousins etc...all in some position of power) political farms of the Lebanese system.

Mark my words: Gebran Bassil, Alain Aoun, Simon Abi-Ramia, and all of Aoun's  poodles in his inner circle will, sooner rather than later, be attacking Hezbollah and will become Hezbollah's sworn enemies, just as they were prior to 2006. Hezbollah is gradually becoming an entity undergoing shrinkage, if not extinction, especially with the re-alignment and the redrawing of the Syrian landscape and the impending relegation of the Syrian regime to a clannish horde along Syria's Mediterranean coast. The umbilical cord between Iran and Lebanon is quickly being severed, and a Sunni-American-Israeli alliance is marshaling its forces to push any significant Shiite presence along the Iraqi-Syrian-Lebanese topography, especially that abutting Israel.

Following are some excerpts from my December 10, 2016 posting entitled "Aoun: Decisions Decisions":

"...- As the Syrian war seems to be at a turning point, and as Hezbollah's attention appears to be turning back to its favored pastime of harassing Israel on behalf of the Iranian theocracy (threats and cross-border exchanges are on the rise of late), the questions that many Lebanese are asking themselves are the following:

- What will "strong" President Aoun do if Hezbollah engages Israel in some attack across the border?

- What will "strong" President Aoun do if Hezbollah DOES NOT consult with him before launching such an attack?

- What will "strong" President Aoun do if Hezbollah DOES consult with him on launching such an attack? Will he acquiesce and violate his country's laws and risk an all-out destruction - yet again - of his country? Will he object/reject/oppose Hezbollah and violate his 2006 Memorandum of Understanding with the Iranian proxy militia and risk the precarious equilibrium in which this tormented country has been living for half a century?

- Is the "strong", yet older and apparently more sedate, President Aoun still the volatile, highly principled, zero-sum military bargainer kind of guy? Or will he, now that he has "arrived", be more prone to temper down his principles because he has learned from the past, or because he is unwilling to take risks, or worse yet because he has become indifferent?

- What will "strong" President Aoun do if Israel itself attacks Lebanon first for whatever reasons, including perhaps to deliberately destabilize Lebanon and drive a wedge in the semblance of unity between Lebanon's sects? Will Aoun put the US-equipped Lebanese Army together with Hezbollah in the same trenches, thus rendering official Lebanon, and not just Hezbollah's locations, infrastructure and supply lines, a formal target (i.e. ministries, official buildings, the Baabda palace itself)?

Whatever the answers Aoun may have in his mind to these questions, the risks to him, his legacy, his presidency, his country, are enormous and existential. For now, the President is speaking from both sides of his mouth: He dispenses promises to the two halves of the country that are in essence contradictory.

If a "strong" Christian president is unable to bring stability to a republic that has been decaying for 50 years between a chronic Muslim rejection of the National Pact status quo on one hand, and Israeli aggression on the other hand, then is there any substance to the promises by the Christian leadership (both political and religious) to its people that the 96-year old Greater Lebanon that was forcibly glued together from incompatible parties in the 1920s can actually survive and prosper? The alternative being to admit defeat and the failure of the expanded-borders Christian homeland fairy tale that, not coincidentally, was born at about the same time that the Zionists launched their own Jewish homeland fabrication.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

FAQs for Lebanese Emigrés and Expats attending Lebanese Diaspora Energy 2017

As Minister Gebran Bassil's "Lebanese Diaspora Energy 2017" reached its climax today,  while he continues in his drive to get you (who have emigrated, or were born to emigrant parents and grandparents) to "return" to, build tie with, or invest in, Lebanon, or even recover your Lebanese are a few thoughts:

Lebanese expats and emigrés have always supported their families back in the home country. The money that you have been sending for generations has held the people of this country steadfast in the face of great adversity, and despite the fact that a lot of your money has ended in the pockets of the corrupt politicians and their cronies in the form of bribes, kickbacks, high taxes....

So, what exactly is Bassil pushing, since he knows like everyone else that you have already and always supported the people of this country?

Well, for one, he wants your numbers, and since he is now a defender of Christian rights (after a brief ideological career as a "secularist"), he wants the demographics of the emigrés, who are overwhelmingly Christians, to alter today's balance between Christian and Muslim to the advantage of the Christians. In other words, he wants to perpetuate the disease that has afflicted this country for so long, namely to keep it divided between Christians and Muslims, which allows politicians like Bassil, beholden to the primitive religious establishments that dominate the underbelly of the beast, to claim to be defending their respective herds. Which means yet a few more train wrecks around the corner in the form of a civil wars, massacres, and other modern means of protecting one's religious identity.

Now mind you, very few Christians in this country actually practice their religion. Religion here is like a forced ritual which most people do by habit, tradition, peer-pressure,.... and rarely out of genuine faith. Just see how the Lebanese do business or drive or treat their maids, and you'll know they are no Christians. But that is an altogether different question.

Two, Bassil wants your money. He wants you to spend money in Lebanon, to buy houses and apartments, to start businesses.... But he rarely talks of the damage that unregulated chaotic overbuilding, with not an ounce of urban planning, is doing to this country's natural landscape. Greed for money drives all the economy in this country; so it goes logically that the Lebanese will NEVER consider slowing down construction and pollution to allow for the country's natural resources to recover from the endless assault: Mountains, hills, beaches, rivers, the Mediterranean.... they are all raped every day in this country under the pretext that we need to make money, because we need to make money to buy more and bigger cars which will continue to need more and more paved roads across a devastated deforested wasteland....

Has anyone of you attending the Lebanese Diaspora Energy 2017 conference asked Bassil:

- Why is the air so polluted in Lebanon?

- Why do the Lebanese drive like hateful maniacs?

- Why are buses and trucks spewing black smoke that kills thousands each year from lung and other cancers?

- Why do I have to bribe and beg and get humiliated every time I need a piece of paper from the Lebanese bureaucracy?

- Why is Lebanon still one of those countries that rank very low on the scale of "ease of doing business"?

- Why are the Lebanese sick and tired of the political class that Bassil is a perfect representative (Because he never won a parliamentary election, and he didn't even win his chairmanship of the Change and Reform Bloc (and his Free Patriotic Movement Party). On both accounts, his Father-in-Law, the venerable General Michel Aoun, has imposed him as a minister, and has imposed him as head of the Party. Ask him why isn't democracy practiced in Lebanon as it is in advanced countries and as it should be here? Why is Bassil the beneficiary of cronyism and clientelism and nepotism, even as he claims his party wants "change and reform"?

- Why is Lebanon 137th (out of 170 countries) in the corruption index?

- Why are 90% of all beaches denied access by ordinary citizens, and why corrupt politicians and their cronies own the resorts that dot the seacoast, and in which entry is prohibitively expensive? 

- Why is Bassil so eager to extract gas and oil from Lebanon's maritime territories at a time when dirty, filthy, polluting fossil fuels are retreating in the world's energy markets? Why isn't he embracing hydroelectric power (Lebanon's wealth is its waterfall and high mountains) and solar energy (with nine months of sunshine per year)? Doesn't he know that oil platforms in the sea, operated by corrupt Lebanese, will bring about major pollution disasters and environmental catastrophes?

- Why did it take 2.5 years for the corrupt parliament to elect a president, and it has taken Bassil's fellow politicians and parliamentarians 6 years and still cannot agree on an electoral law?

- Why did the BBC run a documentary this past week on Lebanon's dirty secret, namely its lucrative sex tourism that exploits Russian and Eastern European women, as well as a large pool of destitute Syrian women who are forced into prostitution by the very people who claim to be Christian and Muslim and who are protected by the political establishment? Think of it: prostitution is illegal, yet it flourishes. Let Bassil bus you to Maameltein, north of Jounieh, and see with your own eyes that, right under the nose of the Maronite and other Christian church patriarchs up on the Bkerke hill, women are being served for rich Gulf Arabs who come to Lebanon for sex and alcohol.

- Why is the "private property" concept so sacred that any jackass can build just about anything anywhere without any accountability to zoning, to urban development, to the environment, to vital spaces for the human being? Have you seen the quarries that have disfigured the country's mountain tops and valleys?... Has Bassil taken you up the pass at Dahr El Baidar, or down the ravine between the Metn and Kesrouan? Please ask him and see with your own eyes how the rape of the country continues day and night, and is likely to skyrocket when the rebuilding of Syria looms on the horizon.

- Why is there NO public transportation that would mitigate the large numbers of vehicles on the roads, the car pollution, the lack of enforcement of any traffic laws, and the lack of driving etiquette on Lebanon's roads: No sidewalks, no pedestrian crossings, chaotic parking on the few sidewalks that do exist....? Why is the law not enforced? Ask Bassil if perhaps his Iranian friends in Hezbollah, who maintain a separate state and army, cause much of the rest of the country to refuse to abide by the laws as long as Bassil's Iranian militia friends run amok of the laws.

- Why are women's rights relegated to the bottom of priorities?

- Why do the Lebanese buy water in plastic bottles (that end up as trash everywhere you go, by roadsides, deep in the forests, ...), when the country is so rich in rainfall?

- Why is it that after nearly 30 years of the end of the war in 1990 Lebanon still rations electricity with 12 hours per day provided by the government for about $25 per month, and the other 12 hours provided by the Mafioso cronies of the politicians with private generators for $130 per month?

Of course, Bassil and his father-in-law will tell you that they are doing everything they can to "change and reform" all these ills of a backward country, and that they have been in power for only 6 months (since Aoun's advent to the presidency), and cannot do everything overnight.

True. But when you see people like Bassil and Aoun, who for decades attacked the political establishment for its corruption and incompetence, become the establishment using the methods of the establishment (political family farms and dynasties, nepotism, sudden enrichment and wealth, political alliances that go against principle, etc...), it becomes difficult to trust Bassil and Aoun as serious agents of real change. They have become the political establishment. They now own its corruption and bad governance.

My request to you, my fellow expats and emigrés who have breathed oxygen into this country for so long, is to not fall for the dazzle and the words and the grand conferences, where I see you sitting listening to Bassil's blatherings, but instead use his appeal to you to leverage real change. TELL BASSIL THAT YOU WILL INVEST IN LEBANON, or THAT YOU WILL RETURN TO LEBANON, AFTER SOME OF THE ITEMS ON THE "WHY" LIST ABOVE HAVE BEEN REFORMED. NOT NOW. AFTER. Use your positive pressure on Bassil to effect real change. Lebanon is really more that Kibbi and Tabbouli... it is about a suffering people who think in the 21st century but who are forced to live in the 19th century by Bassil's friends and fellow politicians.