Nothing but the truth. Even if against me.

Nothing but the truth. Even if against me.



Saturday, November 14, 2015

Je suis Dahiyeh. Je suis Bataclan. The Price of Prevarication?

I never advocated the involvement of the US and France in Syria. I am not about to change my mind. Let the Syrians, let the Muslims, let the Arabs and Iranians... fight their own demons of authoritarianism, archaic social structures, tribalism, outrageous religious beliefs from the Bronze Age... and liberate themselves from themselves first. The West should not get involved. We have yet to hear the end of complaints about the Crusades, the French and British mandates... both long gone pretexts used by Arabs and Muslims to hide behind their own shadows instead of facing their constitutive problems and do what must be done to emancipate themselves and join the modern world. The fact remains that the bombing in Paris yesterday is ISIS-DAESH's revenge for France's involvement in the Syrian war.

Neither have I ever advocated that Hezbollah - itself a clone of ISIS-DAESH, but with some standing right now because it is the avowed enemy of ISIS-DAESH, albeit for different reasons than the French or the Americans - get involved in the Syrian war. Hezbollah has basically changed its objective from "fighting the Zionists to liberate Jerusalem" to "fighting the Syrian Sunnis to protect the Assad regime". Its involvement in Syria, against the advice of all other Lebanese communities, is now coming home to haunt Lebanon. Last Thursday's bombings in the southern suburbs of Beirut, where Hezbollah is headquartered, is ISIS-DAESH's revenge for Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian war.

While the attacks against Hezbollah seem justified within a context of warring Muslim factions and the Sunni-Shiite divide, the attacks against France have a different take. France, like the US, has refused to intervene directly with boots on the ground in Syria, and like the US, the prevarication, hesitation, to what to do about Syria is now coming back to haunt the West. Half-ass, half-baked interventions like France and the US's in Syria inevitably lead to a decision fork: To either withdraw completely and let the Syrian stage resolve itself by itself at any cost; or to get completely involved with tens of thousands of troops on the ground with a take-no-prisoner approach to the bloodbath. Since the latter is highly costly and inadvisable, a do-nothing approach is by default the best option, better indeed than prevarication and wavering like the US and France have so far done. From the beginning, the West should have clearly and unambiguously declared that it will never get involved in Syria. Never. Not one bullet. Not one fighter jet. Not one military trainer. Let the scum (Syrians, Turks, Arabs, Iranians, and assorted Muslim barbarians) beat the scum in Syria until there is no end in sight. And as for the refugees streaming into Europe, the EU should have closed its borders and sent back anyone trying to illegally cross into the EU, instead of the pathetic spectacle of an all-out invasion of Europe welcomed by idiotic bleeding-hearted people who can't look farther than the tip of their noses.

The argument above also goes for the Russians, obviously, whose more direct involvement in Syria has already netted it a downing of an airliner above the Sinai. While the Russians may have become more involved in Syria than the West, their intervention remains tentative, so to speak, since they have no real fighting armies on the ground.

Any predictions as to what the French, and behind them the Americans, who are now shitting in their pants at the prospect of similar ISIS-DAESH attacks on their soil, will do? It is too late to disengage from Syria. They have already paid the price. Sunken costs, says the accounting. My prediction is a much heavier involvement by France, the US, and the West in Syria. A ground offensive is not an unlikely scenario, despite the realignments it will force. The now-friendly forces of Iran and Hezbollah, along with their Russian sponsor, will turn against the West and side with their Sunni foes against the invading European and American neocolonialists... We know the tune. We saw it in Afghanistan. We saw it in Iraq. Muslims and Arabs are very good at "biting the hand that feeds them".

Grab a beer. Sit and watch. Thanks to the inventors of television, we can watch and cheer the Syrian bloodbath continue ad infinitum, without putting our own boots on the ground. A very wise precept that the French and the Americans, and Hezbollah, have not respected. Now they will march and claim "Je suis Dahyeh; je suis Bataclan". But for what purpose?

Hanibaal Atheos

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Lebanon's Sunnis Find Driver's Seat a Pain in the Ass

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the Maronites were in the driver's seat in Lebanon. The Maronite president, believe it or not, had some authority, unlike the castrato we seat in Baabda after Taef. The Shiites at the time were essentially serfs working in their feudal lords' employ and had no say whatsoever in government, other than occupy the mostly ceremonial number 2 post of Parliament Speaker. Kamel Assaad and Sabri Hamade were the two uncontested Shiite leaders who alternated as speakers, and when asked by his Shiite constituents about schools in their districts, Kamel Assad would answer: "Why do you want to teach your children? I am educating [my son] Ahmad on their behalf; this should be enough for the community".

The Sunnis had, and still have, the number 3 post of Prime Minister. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, they were spurred by the Syrian, Egyptian, Libyan ...revolutions to rebel against the National Pact, the unwritten agreement dividing power between the three communities. They had already attempted a rebellion in 1958 prodded by Gamal Abdel Nasser, but it fizzled out when the Maronite president called in the US Marines as allowed under the Baghdad Pact, which afforded friendly countries US protection if threatened by Soviet friendly countries like Egypt at the time.

The reason for this bit of history is to provide context for Lebanon's paralysis today. People without memory or without an understanding of the trajectory of events find it difficult to make sense of the present. Beginning in the late 1960s, Lebanon's Sunni prime ministers (Rashid Karami, Rashid Solh and others) started doing what Michel Aoun is doing today: obstruct and paralyze government and country just to spite the Maronite President and to side with the Palestinians and the Syrians against their own country of Lebanon. When President Frangiyeh ordered the Army and Air Force to oppose Yasser Arafat's PLO and/or bomb PLO and PFLP positions, for example, the Sunni Prime Minister would boycott government and demand the resignation of the Army Chief. The disgusting Rachid Karami did not convene his cabinet for 7 months in 1969 to protest the Lebanese Christian president's refusal to grant freedom of operation for Arafat's Palestinians in the south. Karami did the same thing in 1975 at the onset of the War when he insisted on boycotting the Kataeb out of his own government because the Kataeb took it upon themselves to fight Arafat and the Palestinian gangs in lieu of a Lebanese Army that was paralyzed by the Sunnis' desire to give the Palestinians, but not the Lebanese Army, freedom of action on Lebanese soil. If there is a definition of treason, it is what the Lebanese Sunnis did to Lebanon back then. The allegiance of the Sunnis - as they still do in disguise these days - was to so-called "Arab causes" (i.e. الوحدة العربية Arab union, or the Palestinian Cause, etc...) Lebanon was the last thing they cared about. So, in any issue arising of the Palestinian armed presence, Lebanon's Sunnis sided with the Syrians, the Palestinians, and every other gang and foreign terrorist against their own country and army.

Fast forward to today. Those of us who lived long enough to know where we were 30-40-50-years ago, have a problem trusting the metamorphosis of Lebanon's Sunnis into their Lebanon-first nationalist platform of the present time. It is true that the Sunnis were the ultimate victors in the war of 1975-1990 because they fought essentially with Palestinian arms and blood, except for the insignificant Mourabitoun militia and the renegade seditious Lebanese army traitor Lt. Ahmad Al-Khatib who took the Sunni units of the army in 1976 out of the army to create his own Arab Army of Lebanon. Khatib proceeded beginning in January 1976 to attack and sack all the Lebanese army barracks in the entire south of the country, committing massacres against innocent Christian villages in the area, and ultimately besieging and cutting off Marjeyoun and the surrounding area on the Israeli border from the central government, which forced the Lebanese Army command in Yarze to order Major Saad Haddad to defend Marjeyoun even if he had to seek assistance from the Israelis. Haddad did, and this area was the nucleus of what was later to become Israel's security zone after the 1978 and the 1982 Israeli invasions.

The Sunnis of Lebanon were not satisfied until the Taef Agreement stripped the Christian president of his prerogatives and gave them to the Sunni prime minister. The Sunnis then ended their war against the Lebanese state. I am not mentioning the Druze, because just as they do today under Walid Jumblatt, they did under the leadership of this chameleon's father, Kamal, namely to side with whomever was winning, and throughout that period, the Druze walked behind the Sunnis in the destruction of the Lebanese State. Taef gave nothing to the Druze, except that the war of 1975-1990 afforded the Druze the opportunity to massacre and ethnically cleanse their Shouf area from the Christian majority whom the Druze won't even allow to return to their villages today.

In essence, this history may allow some people to understand what Michel Aoun is doing today to the Sunnis. In his political trajectory, Aoun is returning the favor and giving them a taste of their own medicine. Michel Aoun believes, in his pedestrian low-grade politics, that to take the country forward, we need to take it backward to its pre-1975 condition. Abrogate Taef, restore his prerogatives to the Christian President, etc. all under "giving the Christians their rights". Aoun is saying: "You Sunnis paralyzed the country, boycotted governments, sided against the Lebanese army with the Palestinian militias, and used all these to secure powers to the Sunni prime minister at the expense of the Christians? Well, now the Christians, under my leadership, are paralyzing the country, boycotting the government, siding with the Iranian militia of Hezbollah against the Lebanese Army, etc..." The Sunnis today are doing exactly what the Maronites were doing back then: Call for patriotism, standing with the army (against Hezbollah and against the armed Palestinian gangs), Lebanon first, neutrality in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, etc... In other words, nothing has changed between the late 1960s-early 1970s and today, except that the roles of the Sunnis and the Christians have switched: the Sunnis (custodians of power) are defending the status quo because it serves them, while the Christians (powerless) are challenging the status quo. The tools are the same: Foreign militias beholden to foreign countries, a castrated Lebanese army afraid to act lest its splits along sectarian lines.... The more things change, the more they stay the same. It's really boring. Lebanon's political establishment has no imagination: They still operate like fishmongers in the old souks, trying to squeeze another stinking reeking penny out of every rotten fish they have on display.

Unfortunately for Aoun, his old age is blinding his view and limiting his horizons. Aoun's solution to Lebanon's chronic problems is to take us back 50 years, and simply flip the switch....But this is no solution. I am surprised at those who follow him in this barbaric strategy... They really think they can just move some pawns on the chessboards and everything will return to the golden age. Idiots and imbeciles, these Maronite peasants holding portraits of Putin as the defender of Lebanon's Christians.... Neither are the Sunnis doing Lebanon any favor by sticking to their pathetic gains from Taef. I predict that the Sunnis will slowly migrate to a Qaeda-Daesh political platform within a few years as they see their Taef gains eroded. The Sunnis too have no imagination beyond the boundaries of the Wahhabi Qoran... That is where they always return when challenged or threatened, whereas when they have power, they turn into fake American liberals. Not to mention the Shiites who live in a parallel universe whose priorities are myths and fairy tales from circa 800 AD.

The only visionaries in the cesspool are the educated elites of the "الحراك المدني", the civil society movement challenging the primitive Bronze Age status quo. Problem is that the movement is not organized enough yet, and has refrained from formulating a political vision beyond taking us out of the current stalemate. That is, in my opinion, their biggest challenge. Only a vision beyond the Bronze Age will lift Lebanon out of the quagmire.... It might take time, and the enemy within is well entrenched. Feudalism and religious primacy in this country have kidnapped the vast illiterate majority of the Lebanese people who pray in mosques on Fridays and who toll bells and pray in churches on Sundays, in the belief that only God and his divine associates can save them, not reason, political action, and sacrifice. How do you convince people to believe first in themselves before they believe in God? That is the question. Anything else is treading water until the next religious and sectarian civil war.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

If you didn't know yet: The Alliance Between Israel And Saudi Arabia

NDLR: The Lebanese herd of the Saudis (Hariri, Siniora, etc.) keep telling us that Israel is the enemy. Lebanon has suffered for 40 years - and continues to suffer - because of the Palestinian cause. But the real sad story is how Arabs have pimped - and continue to pimp - Palestine to their people while sleeping with the whore. I wish with all my heart that a beautiful and very violent Arab Spring seizes Saudi Arabia before I die.

The apparent Israeli-Saudi alliance, even though hidden from the masses for now, matches the interests of the US in the Middle East and Western Asia. Washington hopes that this will weaken anti-Israeli feelings in the Arab and Muslim world, create a reliable counterweight in the region to a possible strengthening of Iran, and isolate to the extent possible radical islamist Sunni and Shiite groups.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Both Saudi and Israel need to remain close in order to maintain their artificial desert fiefdoms.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Both Saudi and Israel need to remain close in order to maintain their artificial desert fiefdoms.

Tel Aviv, Israel (NEO) – Saudi Arabia’s claims to be one of the leaders of the Arab and Muslim world prevent it from recognizing the State of Israel’s right to exist within its current borders, while Tel-Aviv in its turn rejects the plan for Middle East Regulation (MER) proposed by Riyadh involving a reversion to the pre-1967 status quo. As a result of various domestic and international factors neither side will change their diametrically opposite positions and maintain official contacts.

However, the absence of diplomatic relations does not prevent unofficial contact between Israeli and Saudi representatives. Recently there have been frequent media reports on meetings between representatives of the two states and there have even been claims that the Saudis are ready to provide Israel with an air corridor and air bases for rescue helicopters, tanker aircraft and drones (unmanned aircraft systems – UAS) in case Israel decides to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. Some of these reports have been denied by officials but others have nevertheless been confirmed.

In particular, according to information of a Jerusalem Post correspondent citing diplomatic sources of both countries, since the beginning of 2014 there have been as many as five secret meetings between the Saudis and Israelis, in India, Italy and the Czech Republic. Reports appeared in the Arab press that senior members of the Israeli security forces, including the head of Mossad, secretly visited Riyadh and held discussions there with their Saudi equivalents. Apparently there were even negotiations between the then director general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, with senior officials of the Israeli secret services in Geneva.

On June 5, 2015 Director-General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry Dore Gold met Saudi met with General Anwar Majed Eshki at a conference in Washington, when the latter presented his strategic MER plan. Key highlights of this document are devoted to establishing cooperation between the Arab countries and Israel and the need for joint efforts to isolate the Iranian regime.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia commissioned prince and media magnate Al-Waleed bin Talal to start a dialogue with the Israeli intellectual community with the aim of reestablishing contact with the neighbouring country. Prince Talal called on all inhabitants of the Middle East, which were torn apart by war, to end their hatred of the Jewish people. He also declared that his visit to Jerusalem signifies the beginning of ‘peace and brotherliness’ between Israel and its Arab neighbours. Arab media reported that Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi confirmed that his country is ready to export ‘black gold’ to any place in the world, including Israel. Saudi Minister pointed out that the majority of the Arab world does not see any obstacles to trade relations. In August 2014 the head of the Saudi Foreign Ministry Prince Saud Al Faisal declared at the world assembly of Islamic scholars in Jeddah: “We must reject planting hatred towards Israel and we should normalize relations with the Jewish state.” Dore Gold, mentioned above, told the news agency Bloomberg: “Our standing today on this stage does not mean we have resolved all the differences that our countries shared over the years. But our hope is we will be able to address them fully in the years ahead and Riyadh can become a strategic partner of the Jewish state”.

It should be noted that this mobilization of contacts between representatives of Saudi Arabia and Israel has been taking place on the eve of and after the signing of the agreement between international mediators and Iran on the latter’s nuclear program. Tel-Aviv called the agreement ‘a historical mistake’ and Riyadh perceived it as a direct threat to its national interests. It is no coincidence that the Saudi King and some of his direct counterparts in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) decided not to participate in the summit of this regional organization on May 14, 2015 in Camp David (in the US). Soon after, on June 18, 2015 at the St Petersburg Economic Forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Saudi Defence Minister and son of Saudi King Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud. The King himself is expected to come to Russia on an official visit before the end of this year. In other words, Riyadh made it clear to Washington that the deal with Iran is forcing the Saudi leadership to look for new allies. Time will tell whether these steps are more to do with a genuine desire of the Saudis to diversify their foreign relations, or they are simply a lever to put pressure on the US administration.

The US had to react quickly to the aggressive declarations and actions of its strategic allies and regional partners. Washington assured both Riyadh and Tel-Aviv that the IAEA and American special services will keep a tight watch on Teheran implementing all the conditions of the agreement signed in Vienna and that the sanctions on Iran will only be lifted gradually. The GCC countries were promised to receive supplies of new modern weaponry in increasing amounts and on preferential terms. In the very near future the question of creating a common anti-missile system for the GCC as a whole will be resolved. This system will cover the Arab Peninsula with a ‘reliable shield’ from a possible attack by Teheran. The US also supported Saudi Arabia in its bombing of Shiite rebels in Yemen. In order to support the air operation of the coalition led by Riyadh the US fueled the Saudi fighter aircraft and provided intelligence and equipment. It was even reported that Israel, at the request of Washington, also provided its intelligence data on Yemen to the Saudis.
In order to calm the Israelis following the deal with Iran, Washington promised to increase its annual financial aid to Israel for the entire 10-year duration of the implementation of the ‘Vienna Pact’ – by around one and a half billion US dollars. The US additionally accepted responsibility to finance the further development of the Iron Dome anti-missile system and to increase Israel’s missile supplies, which were depleted following last year military operation in Gaza. The Israeli air force will also get a squadron of the latest F-35 fighter-bombers on favourable terms. At the same time, in the near future joint exercises will be held with the air forces of Israel, the US and several European countries for the first time in six years. These exercises will include perfecting ‘missile attacks and bombing raids on targets located in far-off countries’.

This way, the agreement between the international mediators and Iran over its nuclear program apparently encouraged sworn enemies to look for compromises and common ground to counter the threat they both face from Iran. Neither the Israeli nor Saudi leadership believe that the Vienna agreement will help to restrict further Iranian expansion in the region. For them, the myth of the ‘Shiite Arc’ or ‘Shiite Crescent’ is an objective reality. Tel-Aviv is worried that Teheran will nevertheless end up possessing nuclear weapons and will break Israel’s hegemony in the Middle East. Moreover, Israelis expect Iran to start actively aiding anti-Israeli radical half-military half-political groupings (Hamas, Hezbollah and others). Riyadh, in its turn, is sure that with the lifting of restrictive sanctions the Islamic Republic of Iran will make significant progress in scientific, technical, trade, economic, and other areas, and will improve its combat readiness and the fighting capacity of its armed forces. In this case, Teheran’s ability to support the Shiite majority in Iraq, the government of Bashar Assad in Syria and Shiite communities in countries of the Persian Gulf, Lebanon and Yemen will significantly grow. A real threat will emerge to the ruling Sunni groups in the Gulf countries, especially in Bahrain, where two-thirds of the population is Shiite, in Yemen and in Saudi Arabia itself (its eastern province), and in other countries of the region.

The Gulf monarchs are clearly not ready to share power, natural resources or finances with representatives of their large Shiite communities. The apparent Israeli-Saudi alliance, even though hidden from the masses for now, matches the interests of the US in the Middle East and Western Asia. Washington hopes that this will weaken anti-Israeli feelings in the Arab and Muslim world, create a reliable counterweight in the region to a possible strengthening of Iran, and isolate to the extent possible radical islamist Sunni and Shiite groups. The US, it would seem, is happy to see several centers of power at once (Israel, Turkey, Egypt, the Gulf monarchies and Iran) jostling or in competition with each other but dependent on Washington, with Riyadh together with Tel-Aviv assigned the role of regional gendarme. The Saudis’ counterinsurgency operations in Bahrain and Yemen and the support for opposition fighters in Syria confirm this thesis.

Stanislav Ivanov, PhD in History, Leading research fellow at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations and at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Hussein Al-Husseini: A Lebanese Statesman

Al-Husseini: The regime is guilty of corruption. The Civil Society movement has torn down the wall of fear 

Former Speaker of Parliament, Hussein Al-Husseini is one of the very few statesmen that Lebanon has. In an interview published yesterday in Lebanon Files, he stated the following:
- Equality between citizens, not sects, is a foundation of the Lebanese State.
- It is critical to replace the current ruling class because it has not contributed in any way to solving the country's problems. 
- All those who participate in this regime bear responsibility for the present situation without exceptions.
- Al-Husseini salutes the Civil Society movement and its young people who have demonstrated the sophistication of the Lebanese people and their ability to protest and demand their rights peacefully.
- The grassroots civil movement represents Lebanon's hope in preventing the resumption of the civil war.
- Al-Husseini expressed his pride at the young people who make up this movement, noting that " these young people have torn down the wall of fear, and have become mightier than the regime's power to repress the movement."
- "The movement is clean and we must protect it. There is an unavoidable reality, which is that the ruling class does not represent the people. We have no alternative but to concede to the people's demands, as we are all responsible vis-a-vis the movement and we ought not burden it with our sectarian and religious issues."
- "The cumulative crises are the outcome of improper elections and the absence of a legitimate legislative power."
- As for solutions, Al-Husseini stated that they begin by electing an interim president for a period of two years to exit the crisis and put the constitutional process back on track, or go back to the texts and form a transitional government after the resignation of the current government. I call on those who are in the regime to pass the proportionality (electoral) law and hold elections.
- About the so-called "dialogue" to which Nabih Berri has called, Al-Husseini believes that it is distressing because it diverts the attention from the core of the crisis.

During his tenure as Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Al-Husseini led the legislative body through a vigorous and productive period during which several laws were passed that benefited the average Lebanese citizens in their daily lives. He is truly a statesman, very few of whom are left today in this country.

Thank you, Mr. Al-Husseini.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The What of the Middle East?

The megalomania of the Lebanese leads them often to compare their capital Beirut to Paris, their country Lebanon to Switzerland, and they all have on goal: to make Lebanon the Honk Kong or the Monaco of the Middle East. Problem is that most Lebanese have no idea what they have to do to really earn these titles. Despite all that the Lebanese say, if Lebanon and Beirut are pathetic caricatures of Switzerland and Paris, respectively, it is primarily because of the Lebanese themselves who have no sense whatsoever of citizenship, the rule of law, collective and personal responsibility to their country and their environment. Because of the Lebanese themselves, Lebanon and Beirut are nothing more than another third world cesspool of personal irresponsibility, misplaced priorities, and corruption.

Most civilized countries and societies have stopped using plastic bottles and bags. Not the Lebanese. The Lebanese have thousands of water springs and fountains within a 20 minute drive from anywhere. Every town and village has a public fountain of clean spring water jutting out of mountainsides. But the Lebanese are too fucking lazy to go fill up. Instead, and because their filthy government does not supply drinking water to the homes, the Lebanese buy water in plastic bottles which, as soon as they are done with them, find their way to the streets, roads, roadside ditches, highways, underbushes, grassy meadows and forests.... The whole country is a giant repository of plastic bottles and bags. You see trees garnished with plastic bags that get stuck on trees as the wind blows them around. And no one seems to mind. Of course, these days, there is an elite protesting the government's failure at picking up the trash, but the vast majority of the Lebanese couldn't care less. In civilized societies, people do not wait for the government to do the right thing, because they know that they themselves are the government. THEY DO NOT THROW TRASH INTO STREETS, FROM CAR WINDOWS. THEY CLEAN UP EVERY LITTLE PIECE OF TRASH AND LITTER AROUND THEIR HOUSES. But the Lebanese, both before and after the garbage crisis, live in filth year round. Plastic bottles, plastic bags, junk food wrappings (chips and such), cigarette butts and boxes..Oh Yes, because the Lebanese smoke en masse and then expect the government and the hospitals to treat them for free.

I don't know what the religious schools, which dominate education here, or parents and families teach their children. They teach them all kinds of stupid religious beliefs in nuns, saints, prophets and dubious miracles, or in "strong" (i.e. criminal Mafia) political  bosses, but they don't seem to teach them not to throw garbage out of their car windows, or to pick up after them because the streets are public spaces which are everyone's responsibility, not just the government. Schools and churches and mosques certainly don't take the children out of classrooms, churches and mosques, to do clean up campaigns.

Local municipalities once in a long while send their Bengali workers (for some reason, only Bengalis work as trash collectors in this country) to shovel the plastic trash out of the rare sidewalks and into the grass and brush nearby. They don't pick it up. They just get it down the hillside out of sight, and they do this only when a VIP (a Sheikh, a Bishop, a Politician....) pays a visit or holds a rally for God and his prophets. Trash apparently bothers God and his prophets, but it doesn't bother the Lebanese people themselves.

Paris of the Middle East

Image result for Street scene Paris France

Paris of Europe

Lebanon's pride: The plastic bottle. It is everywhere.
In Lebanon, plastic bottles and bags grow and multiply faster than any form of greenery.

So when the megalomaniacal Lebanese tell you that they have 50 summer festivals of pathetic smarmy Lebanese folk music and a bunch of equally pathetic and largely unheard of foreign musicians and singers, and therefore Lebanon is the Switzerland of the Middle East because it has a few mountains which have been deforested and butchered and carved out to sell sand and rocks, just show them a few pictures of what the real Switzerland looks like, and ask them to compare and contrast.

The "Switzerland" of the Middle East

Image result for switzerland beauty Image result for switzerland beauty
The real Switzerland - yes, they have trains and you can't build ugly buildings every which way you want. Not in Beirut or Lebanon. "Public" transport in Lebanon is only for the "lower classes". You wouldn't catch a Lebanese dead riding a bus. Public transport in Lebanon is only for Syrian refugees, Bengalis, Sri Lankans, Ethiopians and other indentured foreign slave workers. Also, in Switzerland, coastal property is never private, no buildings, no resorts block access or the view to the water. In Lebanon, you rarely can see the ocean from the coastal highways and roads because most coastal properties have been stolen by politicians who built themselves palaces and resorts. And the Lebanese worship private property like a god: You can do whatever you want on your land: build an ugly building and leave it unfinished for decades, open a factory of toxic chemicals, block traffic by spilling your business out onto the street, etc... There are no zoning laws in the Switzerland of the Middle East.

Image result for mountain with trash scenes Lebanon
The Monaco of the Middle East where the fish you catch is rich in heavy metals and radiochemicals imported by a joint venture enterprise of the Italian Mafia and the Lebanese Mafia.

Image result for monaco streets
The real Monaco (Notice streets and roads have lane markers. Not in Beirut)