Nothing but the truth. Even if against me.

Nothing but the truth. Even if against me.



Friday, December 30, 2016

John Bolton and his 3-State Solution: Erase Palestine

With Donald Dumb ready to take over the American government, Bush era troglodytes are coming out of their caves. They have had a long time to ponder creative solutions to the world's problems. Their solutions stem from their brains that can only conceive of the world in terms of binary options of a yes-no, 0-1, either-or ideas...just like stupid computers. In real terms, the brain of a neanderthal like John Bolton, exposed to the sun for the first time in 10 years, misfires with seizures and brain storms in the same manner as the brain of Dr. Frankenstein's monster awakening from the butcher's table.

In response to John Kerry's landmark speech the other day, in which the Secretary of State finally and cathartically spilled the American beans on its so-called "ally" Israel, our caveman du jour, John Bolton, graced us the other day with his Zionist solution to the Palestinian tragedy. It sounded a lot like Hitler's "Final Solution" to the Jewish problem in Europe of the 1930s.

The Final Solution of Zionism to the Palestinian Problem


Bolton's solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem is simple: Erase Palestine. He calls it his "THREE-STATE SOLUTION", namely Israel, Jordan and Egypt. Done. Simple. Even slaughterhouses these days treat cows better than Zionists and Bolton want to treat Palestinians. Give the West Bank to Jordan, and Gaza to Egypt, and the hell with Palestinian identity, nationhood and such inconvenient concepts that stand in the way of the purely Jewish State of Israel. Another 10 years, and Bolton and his Zionist masters might even humanely (with compensation, of course) deport the 1948 Palestinian citizens of Israel to Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, thus ensuring a hyper pure 100% Jewish identity to Israel, without any pollution or contamination by subhuman Palestinian Arabs. In fact, Bolton, in his encyclopedic knowledge of history, should advise his Zionist friends (not that they need much advice anyway in the fine arts of racist eugenics) that they establish clinics for sterilizing most Palestinians who refuse to leave, and fertilizing those appropriate for breeding with pure Jewish stocks, preferably blond or red-haired, blue-eyed Jews from Eastern European origins.

In other words, Bolton is confirming what John Kerry said: Israel's ultra-radical Zionist government does not just reject the Palestinian State, it aims to dispose of the Palestinian people altogether by deportation and massive evictions. Think about it: 1- the Zionists want to keep Samaria and Judea (the West Bank). 2- They don't want a Palestinian State. and 3- they want to surrender the West Bank to Jordan and Gaza to Egypt. These are three inconsistent proposals. They can only be consistent if Bolton and the Zionists actually mean that they want to keep the land, but not the people.

In other words, annex the lands of the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem to Israel, and empty them of their Palestinian population by gifting the latter to Jordan and Egypt. This has in fact been the Israeli policy for decades now. Deportations, home demolitions, denial of building permits, land theft and appropriation, settlements building, etc... has the been a consistent policy of de-arabization of Palestine. Take this history and draw a vector, a trajectory of where it might lead in 10-20 years: Greater Israel will include the West Bank without the Palestinian population. Dispossess the Palestinians of their ancestral homeland.

Kerry's speech might have had a cathartic effect on many people by venting things we knew for far too long, but which no American with political ambitions would dare utter, given the Orwellian theater of the American media and their Jewish Big Brother. But, it is too little, too late, and very convenient for Kerry who is looking forward to retirement. Just like Jimmy Carter who uttered the truth only after he had no political stake left for him to protect. This is American cowardice at its best. Why didn't Kerry, and Clinton, and Carter, and all the pseudo-liberals of America say these things as clearly and publicly as Kerry did the other day but 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years ago?

In the near future, Israel will foment a war in the West Bank to create the pretext for its annexation of what is left of Palestine and for its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people with another massive wave of refugees into Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. That has always been the objective, latent sometimes, persistently public at times, but determined all the time.

Now that Donald Dumb is in the White Outhouse, the Zionist dream of gobbling up all of Palestine might see the day. All it takes is a dumb American to help them. The chronic dumbness of Americans - unlike Europeans - is what has allowed the genocide of Palestine to fester and become a reality.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Fellow Lebanese Expats: 4 Reasons Not to Invest in Lebanon

My dear fellow expat Lebanese,

Without realizing it, you are funding the destruction of Lebanon's environment and the culture of corruption.

By tempting the resident Lebanese with your apparent (and relative) wealth, and in the absence of any enforceable environmental and urban development regulations, you are incentivizing the death of Lebanon's environment and forests at the hands of its own people.

The ongoing frenzy of construction is driven not by any need for housing (since young Lebanese continue to flee the abject conditions and emigrate in droves), but by greed for money which the ordinary Lebanese make by selling ancestral land to profit-driven and environmentally-indifferent developers who, in turn, are running a campaign directed at you calling on you to buy a piece of this pseudo-paradise called Lebanon as a proof of your "loyalty" to the old country.

The ordinary Lebanese do not benefit in any other way from this market, since none of the profits go to fixing chronic infrastructure deficits like water, electricity, roads, safety, anti-corruption measures, clean air, clean ocean, Internet etc...The only way that the ordinary Lebanese think they are benefiting from selling their lands is to use the money to imitate the corrupt wealthy rulers who lord over their lives, and display ostentatious images of themselves with bigger gas-guzzling cars that are too big for the tiny roads here and other superficialities and primitive proofs of "modernity", wealth and power. Only corrupt developers and politicians are benefiting from this trade and onslaught of chaotic unregulated construction.

That is precisely what Gebran Bassil, the Foreign Minister, is lobbying you for. His globe-trotting in the Americas and elsewhere aims at two things: 1- to get you to register as Lebanese citizens (so he can artificially increase the numbers of Christian "inhabitants" and therefore "voters"). In this, he follows the path of Zionist settlers who continue to push Jewish people from around the world to go and buy homes in occupied Palestine. and 2 - to get you to buy a house or apartment in Lebanon, something he considers as driving the economy. In so doing, he is incentivizing greedy developers who wouldn't care less for the environment to continue buying land and building ugly buildings every which way in every forgotten patch of forest in the hills of Mount Lebanon.

This supposed rise in demand is also driving prices beyond what the economy can actually sustain, in a bubble reminiscent of the real estate collapse in the US in 2007-2008. Be careful investing in real estate in Lebanon; you could be throwing good money after lies disguised under illusions of patriotism and pseudo-paradises on earth that this tormented, tortured country supposedly has to offer you. All the fancy-gated communities the developers are building, in a baboon imitation of Western style living, could evaporate in a minute, the moment civil unrest erupts, which could happen at any moment.

Lebanon has always lived on the edge of wars and massacres and occupations; that is why you and your ancestors left in such large numbers for most of the past 150 years. The country could fall in civil unrest and war in a flash. Lebanon is still very far from the stability that the politicians are promising for reasons that have to do with the existence of a paramilitary force (Hezbollah) at least as powerful as the national army; the sectarian build-up of the state that could lead to instantaneous ignition and combustion, including the breakdown of the army into sectarian militias as it did in the 1970s and 1980s; the absence of a genuine, religious-free Lebanese identity around which the country could coalesce into a nation; the existence next door of an Israeli-Palestinian conflict whose solution appears increasingly to be a catastrophic one, with serious consequences on Lebanon; the Arab Spring revolutions all over the Middle East are not all caused by imagined Iranian-Saudi-American conspiracies; they are genuine popular uprisings by peoples who have had enough of corrupt dictatorships and monarchies, and fake republics, and this does not bode well for any stability and improvement in the near future.

The answer really is to impose a halt on construction until such time as serious regulations are put in place to protect what remains of Lebanon's forests and environment.

Here is a summary of the preceding in 4 concise reasons why we beg you to not buy real estate in Lebanon:

Reason 1 - It is a terrible waste of your money to spend a fortune on an apartment in Lebanon, just so you can come and spend a couple of weeks every other summer.

Reason 2 - By you, the emigrants, buying real estate in Lebanon, you are funding the destruction of Lebanon's environment, replacing forests, trees, beaches with ugly cheap concrete, and you are lining the pockets of corrupt politicians and greedy developers.

Reason 3 - The current wave of optimism is illusory and fake. Lebanon has always been on a tinderbox of sectarian and religious warfare; it will always be a focus for foreign occupations and interference. Imagine what a victorious Bashar Assad in Syria would want to do to Lebanon: revenge for his eviction in 2005. Just as the Lebanese politicians always say they'll be the last to sign peace with Israel, Lebanon will be the last Arab country to see stability and prosperity.

Reason 4 - The country rejected you and/or your fathers and grandfathers during numerous wars over the past 150 years. Since the country has not fundamentally changed, it is still rejecting its young people and driving them to emigrate. Why would it suddenly become a haven for decent governance, separation of religion from matters of State, economic opportunity for everyone (not just the corrupt political and merchant elite that is sucking the blood of the majority ordinary Lebanese)....??? All that Gebran Bassil wants from your money is your headcount (like cattle in the rodeo) and your money.

I leave you with one proposal: At least, use the fact that Lebanon's corrupt class is courting you for your money to demand a quid pro quo: Tell Bassil YES we will invest in Lebanon, but on the following conditions FIRST:



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Indonesia is a Radical Muslim Country: Call for Boycott by Tourists

The gall of fanatic monotheists! Like the Israeli Jewish extremists who are "offended" by a UN Security Council resolution condemning them for treating Palestinians like animals and stealing their land, like the Polish Christian Catholic fundamentalists who are regressing Poland back to the Age of Inquisition and declaring Jesus as King of Poland, extremist and mainstream Indonesians are persecuting a non-Muslim governor of the capital Jakarta because he merely criticized his radical ISIS-affiliated Muslim opponents for using a verse of the Koran against him. Read well: Indonesian Muslim radicals quote the Koran and trash it by dragging it into cheap political fights, then if their opponent fires back at them because they misuse the Koran, he is guilty of "offending Islam".

Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama is now on trial for "insulting Islam". In a video published on social media, Ahok says that he referred to the al-Maidah:51 verse from the Koran during a working visit to Thousand Islands regency on Sept. 27. "All I said to the local people of Thousand Islands is that if you are fooled by racists and cowards using that verse in the Quran not to vote for me, then don't vote for me," he said on Friday as reported by So he mentioned the al-Maidah verse only because his political opponents use (and abuse) the verse to encourage people not to vote for him. The verse itself is one of those questionable verses in which the Koran elevates Muslims to a higher level than other human beings and tells them that they should not be ruled by non-Muslims. Yet, Muslims have been leaving Muslim-ruled countries for decades to settle as refugees in countries ruled by non-Muslims. No wonder. Muslim-ruled countries are typically abject cesspools of poverty, abusive governments, underdevelopment, wars, persecutions of all kinds, etc. Just ask the millions of Sudanese, Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan, Pakistani Muslim refugees braving death in the deserts and on the open sea to reach non-Muslim countries.

I see commercials on television all the time about what great places Indonesia and Malysia are for Western tourists to visit. Tourists should boycott radical and extremist Muslim countries like Indonesia and Malaysia for two simple reasons:
1- By spending money in these extremist countries, the tourists would be encouraging the trend of what we thought were "moderate" Muslim countries to gravitate towards an Islamic State (ISIS) type of places. Ahok's persecution is a prototype of the further radicalization of Muslim countries. For far too long, political correctness has allowed these countries to be hotbeds of Muslim radicalism and a haven for terrorists.
2- Trips by Western tourists to Indonesia and Malaysia are therefore becoming dangerous expeditions because Muslim extremists could at any moment, encouraged by episodes like Ahok's persecution, engage in criminal and terrorist activities like kidnapping, bombing, assassinating, and also accusing foreign tourists of "insulting" or "offending" Islam for the slightest and stupidest reasons. YOU ARE TAKING SERIOUS RISKS BY PLAYING TOURISTS IN INDONESIA AND MALAYSIA. Do not be fooled by the fancy advertisements. Do not encourage Muslim extremists camouflaged under a veneer of moderation with your money. Fight them.

Countries like Indonesia and Malaysia are happy every time a Muslim terrorist perpetrates an attack in Europe and elsewhere. You never hear a word of condemnation. Why? Because according to the Koran, Muslims do not accuse other Muslims. That is the very definition of fanaticism: to support your Muslim brother even if he is the worst criminal.

In Malaysia, there is an ongoing controversy over the use of the name of God. The Arabic name of God is Allah. Malysian courts and governments have ruled that only Muslims can use the name Allah in reference to God. This is so stupid because all Arabic-speaking non-Muslims use it: Here in Lebanon, and across the Arab world, Christians, Muslims and Jews refer to God as Allah. Allah is the Arabic translation of God, just as Dios, Dieu, Gott etc..are the Spanish, French, German etc... translations. The name "Allah" does not belong to Muslims. It belongs to the Arabic language, regardless of religion. But this is how fanatically stupid Malaysian Muslims are; just like Indonesian Muslims.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Middle Finger du Jour - to God's Chosen People

The UN Security Council has adopted its first ever, even if belated, resolution condemning Israel's racist and supremacist policy of land theft and dehumanization of the Palestinian people. By abstaining for the first time in its history of blind support for the criminal state of Israel, the veto-wielding US has finally chosen to live up to its own principles, namely the self-declared endorsement of peoples' right to self determination. Rather than cower like filthy poodles to the Jewish Zionist lobby that has grabbed the US by the balls for decades, President Obama has emancipated the US from the Zionist stranglehold.

US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Powers, abstaining at the vote last night.

The Palestinians have long abandoned terrorism, and have been on a path of diplomatic struggle (the BDS movement, the arduous and painful entry of Palestine into the UN, UNESCO, etc...), and this choice - buttressed as it is by the historic rights of the Palestinian people to Palestine and the still fresh history of the rape and theft of Palestine by European Jewry - has at long last been formally recognized by the US, thanks to the courage and farsightedness of President Obama. "At long last", because over the past several decades, no matter what peace overtures the Palestinians made with the apartheid Zionist State, the latter embarked on dehumanizing the Palestinian people, stealing their lands in the West Bank and in Jerusalem, and systematically persecuting them, in a programmed manner eerily reminiscent of the programmed annihilation and dehumanization of European Jews by their former tormentors, the German Nazis. Even in this day and age, barbarian Zionists blatantly call for uprooting millions of Palestinians from their ancestral villages and towns, and expelling them from occupied Palestine. Zionists continue to distort history with their propaganda that there never was a Palestinian people, and that those Palestinians today fighting the racist Jewish State are descendants of Arab squatters from Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, all countries conveniently surrounding the Jewish Country Club of Israel. When the established facts of every historical record - from Ottoman, British and otherwise - are that less than 100 years ago, there were only 5,000 Jews in Palestine - the bulk of them immigrant refugees from the pogroms of Russia and Eastern Europe - while upwards of 500,000 Christian and Muslim Palestinians made up the native population. By trickery and theft, by secrecy and dark conniving, by bullying and superior financial and military sophistication that the European Jews had over the mostly rural and agrarian Palestinians, the land was embezzled from under the feet of its rightful owners. One hundred years is not long in the grand scheme of history, and time heals as they say. The occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem today, and the ceaseless building of racist Jewish settlements, represent the continued colonization of historic Palestine by European, and in more recent times American, Zionist Jews.

With the democratization of information over the past two decades, and the loss of monopoly and exclusivity over the narratives, the world today has finally seen the truth of the rape of Palestine by the organized Jewish religion called Zionism.  The diehard idiots of the evangelical American south, including their beloved President-elect Donald Dumb, claim to love Israel only because they wish it destroyed in the future as part of their religious fantasy of the Apocalypse that requires the re-establishment of the Jewish Kingdom of 3,000 years ago as a transitional step towards the fulfillment of biblical garbage prophecies and the return of the fucking Messiah.  And so President Obama's replacement, Donald Dumb, prefers to remain the coward poodle on the leash of the Jewish-Zionist lobby, and wants to restore the Jewish-Zionist lobby's noose around his testicles, move his friggin' embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, support the colonization of Palestine, and punish the UN because it finally dared to wag a finger at the racist Zionist State.

I used to be an enemy of the Palestinians and the PLO when they embarked on destroying Lebanon. We won't let them try that again. But, be that as it may, Palestinians have a just cause. The loss of their country is one of the saddest and tragic chapters in the modern history of mankind, and for that, I have to support their just cause against a vicious insidious occupier, even if they were once my own worst enemy.

Just as I hate fundamentalist Muslims to the bone, I proffer equal opportunity hate to the same-brand of religious fundamentalists, the Jewish ones who are genociding an entire people because of a fallacious Bronze Age promise that "God gave them the fucking land 4,000 years ago", and the Christian ones who have genocided much of the native populations of the Americas, who have instituted the Inquisition for centuries, and who wreaked havoc in Europe for close to one thousand years....Even after the enlightenment. Even after the discovery of Reason. Even after Hume and Voltaire, even after Darwin and Einstein, religious causes remain extant and abhorrent in this day and age, and Israel is the personification of a religious cause from the Bronze Age in a 21st century setting; an anachronism; a fallacy that only equally rabid religious extremists or dumb evangelical Americans from the southern states can support. Not unlike, incidentally, the other Bronze Age religious cause of the Islamic State, despite all the cosmetics that Zionists have been so adept at camouflaging their barbarity under. A pig with lipstick is still a pig.

So, to all the friends of justice in Palestine, to all the enemies of racist supremacist zionism, we thank you:

To the United States.
To the United Nations.    THANK YOU!
To President Obama.

And to Donald Dumb
To Benyamin Netanyahu
To all the ZioNazi tormentors of children
To all the Jewish criminals who have a monopoly on victimhood
To all the racist Zionists and God's self-declared chosen people
and their ideological Muslim brethren of the Islamic State, the self-declared
final prophecy and the "seal" of the scourge of Abrahamic prophecies

F U C K  Y O U  !

Monday, December 19, 2016

No Reform in New Lebanese Govt: 1 woman: 29 men -

“I hope, or I could not live.” [H.G. Wells, in the Island of Dr. Moreau]

Such is our predicament, we the Lebanese people, as we watch yet another patchwork of creatures rise from the swamps of our sectarian existence in the religious concentration camps that make up this tormented country, and form a government not unlike a Dr. Moreau's half sapiens, half neanderthal, hybrid.

We keep hoping, so we can continue to live. Yet the more it changes, the more it looks the same.

The new Lebanese government was born yesterday after a difficult labor. It has one woman in a 30-minister cabinet, several "made-up" portfolios to fill with sectarian bodies in a spirit of "The Pact" (الميثاقية) and the sectarian division of political power, a man to head Women's Affairs....and many other inanities not unlike the cabinet that Donald Dumb is putting together in the US with his buddies, psychotic violent former military racists, sleazy oilmen, etc. Seems to be trend all over the world (see Poland for example). In reaction to liberalism, all the neanderthal troglodytes are coming out of their swampy caves, supposedly to rectify the erroneous notions of human rights, women's rights, environmental protections, secularims, separation of church and state, etc. Some French people are even demanding the abrogation of the French Revolution and a return to the monarchy, much as some white Appalachian inbreds from the American South are demanding the re-institution of slavery to compensate for the shortages in labor expected after Donald Dumb brings immigration to a halt. We thought that Islamic fundamentalism was bad; just watch the reaction to it: Christian fundamentalism at its best. Wouldn't be surprised if Catholic Poland re-institutes the Inquisition, and Protestant America re-institutes McCarthyism and Witch Hunts.

Here in Lebanon, we do not really have it this bad. Why? Because we have not come down from the trees yet, so we can't tell the difference. If you've never had human rights or women's rights, if you've never had electricity and running water round the clock, if you yourself are destroying your own father's ancestral home and tearing down all the trees to build an ugly building and sell it to some idiot from the Gulf or to some third-generation American or Brazilian of Lebanese descent that Gebran Bassil is inviting back to the old country.... then you won't notice a difference in a new government that perpetuates the barbarity of our political culture. Fine. We have a new "same" government just in time for the holidays in which we struggle to compete with every other Lebanese in how much stupid money we can spend imitating the consumerist West like baboons, even as we decry American imperialism and Western decadence, because we think we are better than the West: we spend every minute of our lives brazenly break the very laws we pretend to have worship (this is the very essence of the self-described Lebanese "genius"), and we worship God and Jesus and Mohammad on an equal footing with money, big cars, and ugly hyper-botoxed women.

As is the tradition, the Lebanese always shove a token woman in their governments to prove that they are "modern". Image is everything here. But it is a scarfed woman we now have, for a portfolio as vacuous as can be: Dr. Innaya Izzedine, Minister of Administrative Development Affairs. Big title, but obviously empty of substance because public administrations in this country are manned not by people with merit, not people with expertise, not the best person for the job.... but people politically appointed by the sectarian bosses, i.e. clients of the bosses whose appointment is a reward by the boss for loyalty. Not only this, but the appointment is literally a "payback" for services rendered, because as the appointee begins his money-raking career in collecting bribes and cashing in on favors, he is protected by the sectarian boss.

Perhaps the wrapped Minister of Administrative Development Affairs is serious. Who knows? She is a doctor after all who runs a testing lab. I wonder how she will transfer her knowledge of measuring albumin in urine and glucose in blood to developing our Ottoman-vintage administrations, filth, bribes, ass-kissing and all. Even though she was appointed as Minister at the insistence of the grand lion of parliament, Nabih Berri,  to prove that he cares for women, we should give her the benefit of the doubt, although she is likely to have tensions with the other reform-minded musketeer, Nicolas Tueni whose ministerial career as Minister of Anti-Corruption Affairs just took off because of his semi-feudal last name.

Finally, to blur the view of foreign spectators to the absurd theater of forming Lebanese governments, the Minister of Women's Affairs is a man - Americans, pay attention - by the name of Jean Ogassapian. In the non-anglophone world, Jean is a man's name, equivalent to John. So, to prove their far advanced crusading in defense of women's rights, the Lebanese reform-minded dinosaurs have named a man to defend women, but a man whose hermaphroditic or androgynous name might confuse many dumb Americans like Donald Dumb. I can imagine the Lebanese 30 years from today, when they would have caught up with the West on accepting gay marriage (the skill of baboon imitation has a lag time of about 30 years relative to the West), appointing a Maronite Catholic bishop as Minister of Gay Marriages Affairs.

In Lebanon, you should always interpret a heightened talk about reform to mean sinking deeper in corruption. No one better than the copy-and-paste Lebanese, who learned it from their former Orwellian Syrian Baathists during 35 years of occupation, have the cunning ability to distort language and have one thing mean its complete opposite. That is how their "genius" works, that is why they, at the same time love money and make lots of it, but never put it to any useful decent use.

Good luck to the new government. I hope that by keeping things exactly as they have always been, it manages to keep only our hope alive so we can only live.

سعد الدين الحريري رئيسا لمجلس الوزراء  - Saad Hariri, PM.
غسان حاصباني نائبا لرئيس مجلس الوزراء ووزيرا للصحة العامة.Ghassan Hasbani, health
مروان حمادة وزيرا للتربية والتعليم العالي.Marwan Hamadeh, education
طلال ارسلان وزيراً للمهجرين.Talal Arslan, displaced
غازي زعيتر وزيرا للزراعة.Ghazi Zayter, agriculture
ميشال فرعون وزير دولة لشؤون التخطيط.Michel Pharaon, planning
علي قانصو وزير دولة لشؤون مجلس النواب.Ali Qanso, parliament aff.
علي حسن خليل وزيراً للمالية.Ali H. Khalil, finance
محمد فنيش وزيراً للشباب والرياضة.Mohamed Fneish, youth & sports
جان اوغاسابيان وزير دولة لشؤون المرأة.Jean Ogassapian Women's affairs
(note: Jean is a man, not a woman)
يعقوب الصراف وزيراً للدفاع الوطني.Yacoub Sarraf, defense
جبران باسيل وزيراً للخارجية والمغتربين.Gebran Bassil, foreign aff
حسين الحاج حسن وزيراً للصناعة.Hussein H. Hassan, industry
سليم جريصاتي وزيراً للعدل.Salim Jreissati, justice
نهاد المشنوق وزيراً للداخلية والبلديات.Nouhad Machnouk, interior
محمد كبارة وزيراً للعمل.Mohamed Kabbara, labor
ايمن شقير وزير دولة لشؤون حقوق الانسان.Ayman Shqeir, human rights aff
جمال الجراح وزيراً للاتصالات.Jamal Jarrah, communications
معين المرعبي وزير دولة لشؤون النازحين.Mouin Mere'bi, refugees
غطاس خوري وزيراً للثقافة.Ghattas Khoury, culture
بيار رفول وزير دولة لشؤون رئاسة الجمهورية.Pierre Raffoul, president office aff.
نيقولا تويني وزير دولة لشؤون مكافحة الفساد.Nicolas Tueni, anti-corruption
طارق الخطيب وزيراً للبيئة.Tariq Khatib, environment
عناية عز الدين وزيرة دولة لشؤون التنمية الادارية.Innaya Izzedine, admin.develop.
(the only woman, of the wrapped-head brand)
يوسف فينيانوس وزيراً للاشغال العامة والنقل.Youssef Fenianos, public works
ملحم الرياشي وزيراً للإعلام.Melhem Riachi, information
بيار ابي عاصي وزيراً للشؤون الاجتماعية.Pierre Abi-Assi, social aff
اواديس كدنيان وزيراً للسياحة.Avedis Gidanian, tourism
سيزار ابي خليل وزيراً للطاقة والمياه.Cesar Abi-Khalil, energy
رائد خوري وزيراً للاقتصاد والتجارة.Raed Khoury, economy

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

President Aoun and his bad translators

President Aoun’s Independence Day speech is posted to the left in both its original Arabic version and its English translation as found on the Office of the President's own Web page. I think President Aoun should "reform" his own entourage, many of whom are family members and antique aides and bureaucrats that have surprisingly survived intact. For one, the President should hire young trained translators to provide quality translations of his Arabic texts and present a professional image of hispresidency. Below is one tiny excerpt of his Independence Day speech and two gems I found in the English translation provided by his office on its web site. If you have the time and patience, you'll find dozens of similar funny gems.

Original Arabic:

أيها الجنود،
 ويبقى الاستقلال الأمانة الكبرى في أعناقكم، هو قسمٌ تعهّدتم فيه الذود عن الوطن، والبذل في سبيله، حتى الفداء، فلا تترددوا أبداً في إطلاق صرختكم: لبيك لبنان.

Official English translation by the Office of the President
(as seen on:]:

My Fellow soldiers,
Independence remains the greatest embezzlement trusted in you. It is an oath you took to defend the country and scarify yourselves for it, till redemption. Never hesitate to cry out: Here we are, Lebanon!

embezzlement” is defined as: The theft or fraudulent misappropriation of funds placed in one's trust. Perhaps, the translator is subliminally faithful to the traditions of corruption?

scarify” is defined as: Make shallow incisions in (the skin). Perhaps the translator thinks that a shallow incision in a soldier's skin constitutes a "sacrifice".

Monday, December 12, 2016

I hate Bassel Al-Amin...Am I guilty of offending him?

No matter how offensive somebody's ideas may be, they should not be considered a crime unless they cause actual harm to other people. This is at the heart of the concept of freedom of thought/expression/ conscience/ speech. Bassel Al-Amin may have expressed extremely anti-patriotic ideas against his own country, but he did not kill, he did not rape, he did not imprison, he did not torture, he did not injure, he did not kidnap, etc... On the other hand, many of Lebanon's and Syria's politicians and leaders have committed much more of these atrocious crimes than say bad things about their own countries, yet they get away with it and rule over our lives.

No one's conscience should be subjected to monolithic uniform coerced patriotism, and no one should be forced to love their country. Otherwise, every emigrant who left, and is leaving, Lebanon is guilty of the crime of hating his/her country. Why would they leave if they really loved Lebanon? If they leave for economic reasons, it means that they prefer money over their country. If they leave because they are afraid, it means that they find Lebanon to be a scary and oppressive country that is not affording them the freedom they seek.

Many Lebanese express loathsome ideas about their country, about their fellow Lebanese....only in private conversations. What difference does it make if someone hates his country in public as opposed to in private? In the not so distant past, all the so-called patriots who are today offended by Al-Amin's comment, were in fact slaughtering one another because their brand of patriotism was better that the other guy's, and was used to camouflage religious hatred, xenophobia, racism, and plain criminality.

The mere fact that Al-Amin is being prosecuted for expressing his opinion is a reason why some Lebanese may not like Lebanon. Every other day, a blogger or a writer is dragged to prison because he spoke ill of a politician, corrupt as the latter may be. It is essential in a real democracy to keep politicians nervous and on on their toes; we should always challenge them; we should never let them feel comfortable in their positions; we should not let them distract us from their corruption with fake patriotism like the case of Bassel Al-Amin. I don't care what Al-Amin says. I in fact hate him. If I don't like what he is saying, I will not read what he writes, and if most Lebanese feel they way I do, he will soon be forgotten and perhaps out of his journalism job. What I really care about is electricity, water, roads, sidewalks, security, corruption, protection of the environment against the rapist politicians (waterfront public property theft, quarries that have disfigured our forests and mountains, garbage and filth everywhere...), removing thugs and hoodlums from our streets, etc....

If I am declaring my hate for Al-Amin, should the law protect him against my hatred, grant him the right to feel offended, drag me to court and sue me because I "offended his dignity"? If so, where does it stop? Who decides which speech is acceptable and which is not? This is exactly what the fake bigoted "patriots" (who pretend to be patriots in words, but are the real criminals in actions) are doing: They are pretending to be offended so you think they are protecting you, when in fact they are the ones destroying your country. Most people in civilized countries wouldn't care less for someone like Al-Amin saying similar things about their country or mocking politicians. Fanatic Muslims get offended by cartoons and they burn the town. Isn't this what we are really doing by persecuting Al-Amin because he does not like his country? Why don't we hang him in downtown Beirut, right next to where Lebanese leaders were hanged exactly 100 years ago because they told "their" country, Ottoman Turkey, to go to hell.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Aoun: Decisions Decisions - عون: قرارات وثم قرارات

Two things on one's mind as the clock is ticking in both Lebanon (no government yet, even with a "strong" president), and in Syria (where the Assad regime appears to be winning the war):

1 - The current stalemate in the formation of a new government is proof certain that all the claims by the Christians (Tayyar and Lebanese Forces primarily) that a "strong" President will solve all of Lebanon's outstanding, chronic, profound, constitutive, and structural problems are patently false. You can put any Hollywood superhero in Baabda, and he will not be able to put a government together because someone, anyone, in the miserable "consensus" republic can obstruct and disable the process; the structure of the Lebanese State is such that you have to have everyone's approval before you make one step forward. Even the unborn government has to have "unity" and undemocratically put together friend and foe, loyalist and opposition, around the same table, itself a recipe for endless obstructions and shady deal-makings.

Keep in mind that prior to the 1989 Taef Agreement, the President (a Christian, as it is today) had more powers, yet he still could not act without the agreement of the Sunni Prime Minister or the Shiite Speaker of Parliament, and that is why we had a war from the early 1970s through 1990; arguably, that war continues to date for more or less the same reasons. The sectarian structure of the State, and the tribal mindset of politics in Lebanese society at large, makes it impossible for any senior State official to act according to the powers granted to him. Anyone can obstruct by sending their thugs or their militias to the street, or calling their fellow sect members to desert the army, and so on. In other words, no matter how many texts or laws you write and amend, most political entities in the country will not refrain from violating them, not conforming to them, using the threat of violence, or even using violence itself to bring the State to a halt (remember May 2008?). This has been our history since at least the 1960s and to this date, before and after Taef.

The "strong" Christian president can at best use his strength to obstruct, just as much as the Shiite Speaker is obstructing today, and just as much as the Sunni Prime Minister used to obstruct back in the 1970s (remember Karami and Hoss...?). When we had "weak" Christian presidents under the Syrian occupation, he was deprived of his ability to obstruct, nothing more.

2 - 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.