Monday, May 11, 2015

Not just Jumblatt, Hariri too!

What is the point of being a leader when you betray your principles every time you fear for your life?

This is what Saad Hariri was doing back in February 2010. Just like Jumblatt, Saad crawled to Damascus and asked for forgiveness from Bashar Assad, even though the latter treated his father like a dog then killed him. You see, the Americans and the Saudis back in 2010 made up with Assad and the Americans even sent back their ambassador to Damascus. So, the poodles of America and Saudi Arabia like Hariri and Jumblatt took their marching orders and crawled on their knees to ask forgiveness from Assad and forget the past. In Arab culture, this called “kissing the beards”, meaning making up with your enemy for a while pending the next opportunity to stab that enemy again. No principles. Just jungle-like tactical maneuvering until you can get your claws at your enemy’s throat.

At the time, in 2010, there was a change by the Saudis and the Americans vis-a-vis Syria, a US ambassador reappointed to Damascus, a reconciliation between Riyadh and Damascus, and a general thaw between a kiss-ass credulous West and the Baathists in Syria. This was one full year before the Syrian revolution. So, the Syrian regime – as always – uses these thaws to return en force in Lebanon and start pulling all the strings. Walid Jumblatt, the Druze Whorelord, literally begged the Syrians to welcome him in Damascus so he can ask for forgiveness. Saad Hariri stopped blaming Syria and Hezbollah for the killing of his father; he went to Damascus and begged for forgiveness from his father's own killer the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad; and Saad Hariri, who for years demanded the demilitarization of Hezbollah, suddenly proclaimed that he, as the Prime Minister of Lebanon, will support Hezbollah if the latter triggers another devastating war with Israel. Saad Hariri’s father, the defunct architect of, and collaborator with, the Syrian occupation did the exact same thing, until Assad and Hezbollah killed him. So Saad has learned nothing of leadership, or risking his life for his principles. He keeps bending like a willow in the winds of political change until he is uprooted and discarded into the trash of history. Then, the Lebanese will call him a martyr and a hero even as he switched sides and changed his principles because he is a coward who is afraid to die. Never mind that his followers die every day…they don’t matter. They are riffraff subhuman idiots who should die for their leader. 300,000 dead in the Lebanese civil war and not one investigation found someone guilty. The fat billionaire Rafik Hariri is killed and the whole world investigates and sets up a Special Tribunal. In Lebanon, we still live in the Middle Ages. Hariri and Jumblatt, among others, are living proof of that fact.

Down Memory Lane with Walid Jumblatt

Listening to Jumblatt "testify" at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, shedding crocodile tears and pretending to be the utmost patriot.... when in reality Jumblatt never settled on any principle, shifting camps every other month from an Israeli sympathizer to a Syrian collaborator to a genocidal tribal feudal leader who eradicated all Christian villages from the Shouf mountains because the Syrians killed his father. There is only one word to describe Jumblatt: LIAR. Please note that Saad Hariri did the same thing when Saudi Arabia prompted him to make up with Assad, so he went apologizing and kissing the hand of his father's killer. What leaders are these that the Lebanese people follow?

Here is a sample of what Jumblatt was doing and saying in February 2010, one year exactly before the Syrian uprising:

Jumblat Expresses Regret at 'Offensive Words' against Syrian People, Leadership

Progressive ["Regressive" would be better] Socialist ["Feudal" is more accurate] Party leader Walid Jumblat has denied that he had told Washington Post columnist David Ignatius in a telephone interview in 2006 that the U.S. went to Iraq and "can do the same thing in Syria." "I never called for the invasion of Syria by the U.S. army … this is crazy," Jumblat told As Safir in an interview published Tuesday. "Maybe I thought that the condition of the opposition in Syria could improve."

"I hope my clarification today would wipe out the offensive words against the Syrian people and the Syrian leadership," he said.

The Druze leader rejected continuous incitement against Damascus by some March 14 officials, saying "I don't see a necessity for that particularly after the historic settlement began with Premier Saad Hariri's visit to Damascus."

About bomb attacks against anti-Syrian officials and journalists in Lebanon, Jumblat said that the series of assassinations continued after the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon. "Maybe someone wanted to pour oil on fire."

On Hizbullah, Jumblat told his interviewer that he only sees "solidarity with the resistance in Lebanon and with Syria because Israeli madness" could lead to war anytime.

"That's why I say that we are with the Syrian leadership above anything else in our confrontation with the Israeli enemy," the PSP leader said.

He told As Safir that he would meet with Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah soon.

Turning to the Feb. 14 mass rally on the occasion of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's 5th assassination anniversary, Jumblat reiterated that he hoped the occasion would bring all Lebanese together.

He also said he would decide on how to participate in the event at the appropriate time. "Unfortunately some people are trying to isolate us from the commemoration and seeking to build a hostile atmosphere against us without any justification."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Analysis: Is Aoun Closer to Baabda than Ever Before?

Translated from Arabic - From:مصادر-الرابية-للاخبار-عون-اليوم-أقرب-الى-قصر-الشعب

Wednesday February 25, 2015

Sources close to Rabieh have shared with Al-Akhbar their belief that the March 14 camp and its regional allies remain unable to force any breach in the presidential election stalemate, break through the veto imposed by the other side, and dislodge General Michel Aoun from his present position. This was manifest in Future Movement leader Saad Hariri’s February 14 speech in which he admitted that “these people are not in a hurry as far as the presidency is concerned, and their posture effectively means a postponement of any discussion on the matter,” thus conceding to the impossibility of closing this file without Aoun’s consent. 

The sources further note that the international priorities in the region have shifted from bringing down the Assad regime to combating terrorism which is knocking at the doorstep of the West and, as a result, there is a momentary intersection of interests between Hezbollah and the Americans who realize that any battle against terrorism cannot be waged on the Lebanese front without an essential role for Hezbollah now in control of most of the Syrian swath surrounding Lebanon. In this context, the sources note that over the past 6 months there has not been a single Western statement of import denouncing or condemning Hezbollah’s participation in the fighting in Syria.

The Rabieh sources also spoke of the American need to “involve” the moderate Sunni component represented by Saad Hariri in the battle against Takfiri terrorism, when it decides to effectively wage this battle. This requires Hariri’s return as prime minister in the Serail. Such a return would not be possible without a comprehensive agreement between Hezbollah and Aoun on all issues, including the presidency. 

The sources further point to the absolute mandate given to Aoun by Hezbollah, and with it the entire Shiite bloc, in the matter of the presidency, a mandate that is not merely an expression of loyalty or a payback or even a tactical posture. Rather, it stems from a strategic vision articulated by Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in his “commemoration of fallen leaders” speech, when he spoke of the maps that are being drawn at the “tables of the big guys.” For Hezbollah realizes, amidst the battle raging in the region, that any role that sects and nations might play will be in proportion to their presence and influence. As such, an office like the Presidency of the Republic may not be handled today as a minor tactical move or be given to someone like Michel Sleiman. In the sources’ opinion, the “Shiite community fought an existential battle on its soil during the July 2006 aggression, and in today’s ongoing battle it is fighting a strategic battle to cement a role for itself at the regional level. While the Christian wing in the Hezbollah coalition does give that role national and global dimensions, it in turn benefits from the surplus in Shiite power to preserve its own role. Therein lies Aoun’s importance to the presidential office.”

The Taif regime has reached a dead end in light of the continuous crises that have followed its inception. As roles are being “cooked up” in the region, and as the Christians have become more vocal in demanding change and the recovery of their rights, particularly in light of what the Christians of the region have endured as of late, “political Sunnism”, for whom Taif was a major gain, will have to relent and accept to mend the crookedness that accompanied the implementation of the Taif Agreement, indeed adopting for its own sake a policy of damage control to try and limit its losses, and averting the demands for a new constitutive assembly that will wipe out those gains.

As the region seethes under the current sectarian wars, the Christians have indeed become the most able to play the “buffer” between Sunnis and Shiites. Since the Shiite bloc is hermetically sealed against the second strongest Maronite presidential candidate, Samir Geagea, it appears that Aoun’s chances have skyrocketed to unprecedented levels given the absolute backing he gets from the Shiites and his openings vis-à-vis the Sunnis and the Druze.

The Rabieh sources also noted a conviction in the Aoun camp that the head of the Lebanese Forces, more than anyone else, stands to gain the most from Aoun’s moving into Baabda. Such a situation would grant Geagea: a reconciliation with a large segment of the Christian public; a thaw in the Shiite hardening against him; the establishment of the precedent of a strong Christian president, which opens the door for Geagea in the future to the expense of other Maronites who have marketed themselves as consensus candidates; not to mention that any agreement with Rabieh would shuffle the distribution of electoral and governmental shares in a way that gives Meraab a greater independence from the custody of the Future Movement. In the opinion of the sources, the LF leader knows all this, even before the start of the ongoing dialogue, to the same extent that he realizes that Aoun has no one but Aoun himself to field him as a candidate.

The Rabieh sources believe that Riyadh is not that oblivious of these circumstances, as evidenced by the warm reception given to Aoun during his condolences visit for King Abdallah’s death. Nor is Riyadh ignorant of the virtually uninterrupted one-year long Aoun-Hariri dialogue, despite the occasional coolness. Riyadh must have also given its blessing to the Aoun-LF dialogue that would not have occurred without it, just as is the case with the Future-Hezbollah dialogue.

In sum, it is clear that Aoun is today closer to the “People’s Palace” in Baabda than at any time in the past.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Au Liban: Je ne suis pas Charlie - In Lebanon: I am not Charlie

Here in Lebanon, the bigots are out in force. They are all Charlie, of course, demonstrating not because they actually believe in the cause of Charlie Hebdo, but simply because it looks good in the eyes of others to pretend that they do. People in other countries will say, "Oh look. The Lebanese demonstrated for Charlie Hebdo. They must be "just like us". They must be sophisticated, western-like, and not like the other barbaric Arabs...." You get the point. In Lebanon, everything is done for the perception, not the substance. We have maids because it makes us look successful. We have fast expensive cars because they make us look successful and important. We have automobile plate numbers with 3 or 4 or 5 numbers because the lower the number, the more important people think you are. Flashing these signs of success and importance is critical because we live in a jungle. In a jungle, you have to constantly display aggression and a threatening posture to deter others who may attack you. We are constantly lashing out preemptively. 

All these "educated" Lebanese are for freedom of expression, so they say, except they don't know what they are talking about. Here in Lebanon freedom of expression is not what Charlie Hebdo stood for. Here in Lebanon, the notion of freedom of expression is a corrupted notion, a distorted notion. Here in Lebanon, freedom of expression is qualified; it is not absolute like it is France. Here in Lebanon, magazines and newspapers like Charlie Hebdo are banned. In the 1960s and 1970s, when Lebanon was truly liberal, a true jewel in a sea of barbarism, we used to have a magazine of the caliber of Charlie Hebdo, called AD-DABBOUR. It poked fun at Arabs, Europeans, Jews, Muslims, Christians, political leaders and religious leaders, with jokes and cartoons "below the belt". Nowadays, a young man writes a criticism of the Syrian collaborator former President of Lebanon Michel Sleiman, and the young man is dragged to court and prison for "insulting the prestige of the president or of the country". On a puppet show on television, one of the puppets once personified a certain Hassan Nasrallah, and Beirut erupts into a bloodbath and violence because the show "insulted a religious personality".

No, my friends. We claim to have freedoms, but we do not have freedoms. We either don't know what we are talking about or we lie and pretend.To a journalist in any of Lebanon's newspapers or media outlets, freedom of expression means to be paid specifically to insult the opponent of the politician who is paying me. Every newspaper and television channel in Lebanon is owned by a politician, a political party or a religious establishment. Everyone else is denied the right to have a newspaper or a television channel because that right is held by the Syndicates which are controlled by the politicians. There are no truly independent media or newspapers in Lebanon. From Al-Mustaqbal (Hariri) to Geagea (LBCI) to Aoun (Orange TV) to Al-Manar (Hezbollah) to Telelumiere (Christian religious establishment)... they each represent a political or religious grouping. Not one media or television channel represents ordinary people. The reason is that our identity is not individual, it is tribal. Our existence as individual human beings is subsumed under our identity as members of a religious, and therefore political, group. Freedom, for a Lebanese Christian for example, is to know he or she can ring the church bell on Sundays. It does not mean the freedom for that individual to criticize, mock, or poke fun at religious leaders, or religions, just as Charlie Hebdo does. Here in Lebanon we have no individual freedoms. As individuals, we live chained inside our respective communities with the freedom to hurl insults at the other communities, but never at the root cause of our problems, namely our religions. Religions in Lebanon are off-limits. They are, no pun intended, sacred cows. No one can challenge their domination of every aspect of our lives in the most corrupt and dehumanizing ways that can be imagined.

So my friends, here in Lebanon WE ARE NOT CHARLIE - NOUS NE SOMMES PAS CHARLIE - although we say we are. We are either ignorant imbeciles who like to repeat and copy like monkeys whatever westerners do, or we are devious bigots who know what we really are but choose to pretend we are something else. WE HAVE NO INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS IN LEBANON. AS INDIVIDUALS WE ARE IMPRISONED AND ENSLAVED BY OUR RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENTS THAT ALLOW US ONLY THE FREEDOM TO ATTACK THE OTHER RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENTS.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Lebanon, still, iz no good

Christmas comes along and the barbarian Christians of this country put up their trees, their creches, their "Merry Christmases" that have replaced their "Joyeux Noels" (in testament to their prostitution to the most prevalent and superficial western trend), yet engage in none of the behaviors that Christmas ought to encourage in them. They still hate one another, display no sense whatsoever of civic conduct toward each other, and exhibit the most primitive of social behaviors where appearance, not substance, matters the most.

One Michael Young, a self-declared intellectual, a hybrid Lebanese (Christian) and American, who is the editor of the online Lebanon NOW news source, was recently complaining about the creeping ban on alcohol in Muslim parts of Beirut and Lebanon at large. Mr. Young has, for the most of the past 20 years, been a groupie of the Sunni Rafik Hariri and his empire in Lebanon, an empire built with billions that the illiterate Hariri made building disgusting palaces with golden toilets to the Saudi Wahhabi neanderthals. Michael Young obviously is enjoying the trickle down dollars from the golden toilets of the Saudis, purveyed by their Hariri poodles to Mr. Young so he can write endless diatribes against the Shiites while promoting a non-existent facade of Sunni "liberalism" suddenly discovered circa February 2005 when the Hariri godfather of the empire was assassinated by his Syrian masters in downtown Beirut.

As a Lebanese Christian-American-Saudi mongrel, Mr. Young has no idea where his loyalty should go first. In his blatherings, including a nostalgic pointless book (Ghosts of Martyrs Square), Mr. Young sometimes critiques Hariri's enemies, sometimes waxes nostalgic about the defunct liberal Lebanon that the Christians had built before Young's Sunni masters began their systematic destruction of the country and its state institutions in the late 1960s and early 1970s (supposedly in their defense of Arafat's PLO), and occasionally makes cogent points about one thing or another. But his overwhelming panacea to Lebanon's constitutive and chronic ills is as vague as Hariri's ideas on the same subject, namely some obtuse reference to the same state institutions that Hariri and his Sunni herd systematically destroyed and undermined. Mr. Young, for example, is careful not to attack the religious establishment vermin that is the major obstacle to Lebanon's evolution from a third world cesspool to something resembling - even as a caricature - a democracy. Mr. Young never critiques the Sunni establishment and its paramount role in Lebanon's decline. Mr. Young never tells us why, for instance, the Hariris never threaten to deny their dollars to those of their corrupt followers who operate out of Lebanon's filthy public administrations. The list is too long, but those who know Lebanon, should know that Mr. Young's western name and good English do not make him a respectable journalist for he is a paid hack for the Hariris, just like every other Lebanese journalist is to his or her paymaster among the politicians of Lebanon. As such, Mr. Young continues a long line of "court jesters" whose mercenary journalism is to either promote their paymasters or to defend them against attacks by their opponents.

In his latest piece, in which he complains about a ban on alcohol in various Muslim areas of Lebanon, Mr. Young avoids tracing the root of this zenith of Muslim rule in Lebanon back to the Sunnis and the Hariris. Yet, he finds ample opportunity to lay the blame squarely on the Shiites (Hezbollah) because - what else - they are Hariri's number one enemy.

Just like many pundits in Lebanon, Mr. Young does not see the big picture, and does not really care for it either. If, for instance, the impending dialogue between Hariri and Hezbollah ushers a new era of Sunni-Shiite collaboration, Mr. Young will be the first to stop critiquing Hezbollah and expand the scope of his praise to both Sunnis and Shiites.

Hanibaal Atheos