Sunday, December 31, 2006

Friday, December 29, 2006

Parallel fates?

Since the late 60’s it seems that the fates of the Lebanese and Palestinian people have been intertwined, for good or for ill. Recently political developments between the two states have been strikingly similar…

Currently, in Palestine there are two main political factions, Fateh and Hamas. Fateh is a moderate, secular party that is calling for a peace settlement of the Palestinian problem and western like democratic development. On the other hand, Hamas is a religious, extremist faction that preaches a never-ending war with Israel. The West supports the first, while Iran and Syria are backing the second.

In Lebanon there is a similar division, between March 14, a moderate, democratic and peaceful coalition supported by most Arab states and the west; and Hezbollah, an extremist, religious and militant party supported by Iran and Syria, with a declared aim to continue its armed struggle against Israel.

Additionally, during this last summer, Hamas kidnapped an Israeli soldiers and Israel retaliated, destroying bridges, homes and roads, blockading the whole Gaza strip. A few weeks later Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and Israel predictably retaliated, also destroying bridges, homes and roads, and blockading Lebanon.

Recently Hamas have been also clamoring for a national unity government, and refused to accept any early parliamentary and presidential elections. The situation in Lebanon is the similar, but with the single difference, that 14 March coalition controls the government, while Hezbollah hold the presidency, in Palestine it is the opposite.

At the moment, Hezbollah and 14 March are calling for early election, but they differ on the order. Hezbollah wants to hold parliamentary elections first them presidential, while 14 march want the opposite.

What makes this comparison daunting is the eruption of a small-scale civil war in Gaza, between Hamas and Fateh. If the current parallelism continues -I fervently hope not- then we should witness similar events in Lebanon in the next few weeks…

Finally, It seems that lately I have not been able to find any cheerful news to write about, but in an effort to end this article on a bright note, I can claim that throughout history no two cases are exactly similar. So hopefully, Lebanon will not be subject to any internal strife...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

No way out!

Hezbollah and its allies are in a quandary. There is no way out of the dead-end, they lead Lebanon into. Nassrallah made the same mistake Israel did during the last war. He embarked on a war, promising unachievable goals and undermining his opposition!

I say war, because Nassrallah himself promised his supporters a victory, similar to the summer’s (sic) in their struggle with the government.

Nassrallah embarked on his power-grabbing crusade, after the UNIFIL and the Lebanese army pushed Hezbollah out of the south. The party of God turned on its fellow Lebanese and invested Down Town Beirut with its fighters.

Today, the same men who fought Israel during the summer are now deployed in the squares of Down Town Beirut, organizing, leading and policing the sit-ins (check out my previous blog on how Hezbollah impose its own order in Down Town)

However, they are stuck, rendered immobile and impotent, because invading the Saray (the government’s palace) proved to be impossible, and massive demonstration and constant rallies proved to be futile. With Nassrallah promise hanging over all his decision, there is no way out for Hezbollah, but to further escalate the situation.

Many commentators are alluding to Hezbollah’s next actions, like closing roads, blocking the airport and embarking on a campaign of civil disobedience. All dangerous and futile alternatives, which will only complicated the situation rather than solve it.

But amidst all this, a single fact may still play in Nassrallah’s favor, but not for long. He still has the total and undoubting obedience of his followers. So, in theory, he can convince his followers that any compromise he reaches is a victory. Just like what he did in the summer war against Israel.

However, this window is rapidly closing. His followers are becoming more and more disenchanted by half measures and compromises. I have heard several die-hard followers of Hezbollah confessing their intense disagreement with his temporizing and compromising stance, calling for more aggressive actions, like invading the Saray and to hell with consequences.

As I said earlier, everyday that passes makes it harder to reach a compromise. And everyday that passes without a solution bring us closer to the never-ending slide that awaits our small country…

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Another botched job!

The General Secretary of the Arab League's initiative is as good as dead. From the start it looked barren, and knowing the past records of Amro Moussa that perspective was reinforced. Meanwhile, a large stash of weapons was found in the premises of one of the opposition's parties.

I will start with the weapon stash. The Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) a pro-Syrian group, that does not believe in the finality of Lebanon as a free country, was caught red handed stashing a large cash of arms, explosive material and detonators. They claimed that these weapons were remnants from the civil war, but the latest reports indiquated that the explosives are relatively new.

I wonder what they have been doing with these explosives. Maybe killing March 14 leaders? I will let justice decide, but what I do not understand is how people are still defending this party, which all along Lebanon's history, has been involved in many assassinations (President Bahsir Gemayel for example)

Concerning the failure of Amrou Moussa's initiative, I can easily say that I was not surprised. The Arab League and its chief officer have been notoriously ineffective in most of its mediation throughout the Arab world, from the first Iraq war, to the second, to Sudan's Darfour genocide and finally Lebanon.

What's next? The opposition is promising further escalations after the holidays, speaking of closing roads, public institutions and service (they have a fetish about shutting down the airport and the port) Meanwhile 14 March are steadfast and adamant on passing the International Tribunal before making any concessions.

Finally, Amro Moussa warned all parties of any further escalation, but I do not think that any one will heed his call. The future look bleaker still, but at least we have these last couple of days to have fun and to bid this awful year a final goodbye, hoping that the next one will be better…

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Next year in taboo!

In the midst of this political deadlock, some Lebanese are feeling the brunt of these demonstrations/sit-ins more than others. And I am talking about the owners of businesses close the Riad el Solh and Al Azarieh squares, in Down Town Beirut.

Hezbollah’s sit-in made it impossible for many businesses to operate. Most of the night clubs in that area closed (Buddah Bar, Asia, Starlette and Taboo), and the parking lots that is currently housing the protestors’ tents are obviously out of business.

Of course, the welfare of hundreds of employee is not important to Hezbollah and its allies. As they are waging a crusade to rid Lebanon of this corrupt government and replace it with a clean one, which will eventually provide work for every men, women and child, solve all economic problems and enter Lebanon in a beneficial alliance with Iran and Syria!.

Meanwhile, many young Lebanese are emigrating by the hundreds if not thousands; because Hezbollah’s action has just cost them their jobs, or pushed to stop believing that their country will ever enjoy peace and stability!

However, throughout the ages the Lebanese people, have been known to continue on living and working even under the direst of circumstances. And last Saturday, the owner of Taboo, in Down Town Beirut, refused to accept the closer of his pub and decided to reopen it. His usual patrons heeded his call and choose to spend their Saturday night in Taboo.

Many versions describe what happened next; suffice to say that according to the most moderate one, the versions of the sole Lebanese English newspaper the DailyStar, which contacted the owner, reported that a scuffle happened early in the night between a client and some demonstrators. Then demonstrators started to protest angrily outside the pub, Hezbollah’s security intervened and placed a human shield to “protect” the pub.

At two o’clock in the morning, Hezbollah’s security decided that the situation was getting too dangerous and with the consent of the pub’s owner, they escorted all the client and staff to safety. On their way out Hezbollah’s security responsible asked the owner if he wanted to open the pub the next night, the owner sadly answered no.

Meanwhile the other versions spoke about a forceful closer of the pub by Hezbollah’s security, because drinking alcohol and women/men dancing together was against Islam, and the fact that Hezbollah staged the demonstration outside the pub to scare the night goers. Regardless which version we choose to believe the bottom line is that that area of Downtown Beirut is commercially dead, and all the employee that work there are without a job.

Second, it is not the Army or the ISF that are handling the security of that area; it is Hezbollah’s security apparatus. The same apparatus that fought Isreal two months ago, and controlled the southern Suburb of Beirut and many parts of the South, before the war. What are they doing in Downtown Beirut, and whom are they fighting I have no clue…

Finally, many will claim that 14th demonstration in 2005 had the same effect. Well I disagree. I was there in those glorious days and the demonstrations/sit- in took place around Martyr’s Square, which was not a private property, did not affect any business, lead to their forceful, or voluntarily closure.

I clearly remember that Virgin Megastore, which was five meters distant from the place where the 14th of March supporters placed their tents, was constantly open and life in DownTown Beirut’s many restaurant and pub was buzzing.

My answer to all this is that next year, Hezbollah or no Hezbollah I will party in Taboo!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Content and package

I think there is a fundamental PR concept that Aoun and Nassrallah failed to grasp in their latest speeches: packaging is very important, and some even say that it is as important as the content. In this case, packaging is tone of voice, makeup, setting, lighting and the clothes! And the content is the message and the intended effect.

Nassrallah in his last speech was visibly angry, tensed and at some points even screaming. Meanwhile, the content of his speech was mellow and he tried to make several overtures, stressing his forgiveness of all past offenses and betrayals. Even professing his willingness to share power with those he called traitors. However, all of these overtures were overshadowed by his visible anger, quivering tone and screaming bouts.

On the other hand, Aoun came out on TV with a serious steady tone and even tried to threaten Siniora and warned of a possible invasion of the Saray. However, Aoun was wearing a puffy orange sweater over an orange shirt, with an orange baseball cap. I could not help it; I exploded in laughs and could not stop my self, and did not take anything he said seriously.

In the end, the content of a speech is very important but if it is presented in the wrong package then it will fail to deliver the intended effect and the message will be lost.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

If you had to choose…

If you had to choose between that angry, spluttering, warring and threatening Nassrallah and the calm, smiling, peaceful and reconciliatory Siniora, which one would you choose?

Which one would you choose, the one accusing his opponents of collaboration and treachery, or the one saying that we are all Lebanese and we should find a compromise?

Between anger that verges on hate, accusations that approach death sentences, threats and promises of nasty surprises, rhetoric that are similar to the one used against mortal enemy, AND a calm, smiling and reconciliatory tone that exudes confidence, moderation and peace!!!

Which one would you choose? Hanoi or Honk Kong!!!! Forever war, death and destruction OR peace, prosperity and a decent life…

The choice is entirely in your hands, for I already made mine…


Thursday, December 07, 2006

The crux of the matter

Amid all this talk of civil war, I think a small historical comparison is needed. Since Lebanon’s independence in 1943, the country undergoes civil strife every 15 years on average. (1958 then the 1975-90 war and now 2006)

According to most political scholars two factors are detrimental in the start of civil war: A local one and an international one; a sharp internal division and a similar international rift, which supports the internal one. This was true in 58, in 78 and to a certain degree true today.

In 75, the war ended 15 years later with 150000 dead, 300000 injured and one million displaced (numbers that every Lebanese should learn by heart, especially these days) while in 58 it only took a few months to restore calm.

Several factors caused this difference, among them: Palestinian militancy was much greater in 75 than in 58 and international interventions (US in 58 and Syrian in 76). However, one of the most important factors was the role played by the army.

In the first days of the 58’s conflict the army intervened forcefully and strived to stop the small skirmishes that were blossoming everywhere. But when the President asked the army to side with one of the two parties involved in the conflict the army general refused and confined his brigades to their barracks, waiting until the two warring camps battled it out. A few weeks later the shooting subsided, as the two parties understood that there can be no winners, they backed down and a political solution was reached.

In 75 the same small skirmishes started and the army intervened, but slowly the level of violence increased and the army sided with one of the two parties. This immediately resulted in a split in the army along sectarian lines, which lead to an even higher level of violence, as each side were supported by several well trained and armed army brigades.

Finally if worse come to worse in the upcoming days, the army should not and I stress should NOT side with any faction, it must remain neutral. The army should keep subduing fights, maintaining the peace and protecting governmental buildings (the Presidential Palace, Saray and Parliament). Once the situation escalates beyond the army’s capabilities to handle, it should be confined in the barracks to wait it out.

The crux of the matter is the army, once it crumbles and split than all hope of a fast return to stability will evaporate. And Lebanon will once again face a long plunge into a never ending civil war…

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The 100th post!

On my blog's one hundred post I would like to thank all my readers, hoping that my first 100 posts were interesting, informative and enjoyable.

Thank you all for reading my blog and for you support, silent or otherwise. It was a pleasure to interact with you and exchange points of views, and I sincerely appreciate all your comments and emails, both positive and negative.

Keep on reading and let us hope that by the 200th posts Lebanon will be enjoying peace and prosperity…


Monday, December 04, 2006

Fed up!

I became so fed up! So against all caution and reason I went out for a drink in Gemayzeh, just a few hundred meters away from the place where all the protests were going on.

The streets were empty; the distant sounds of the protest filled the background. People walked briskly. And most restaurants were empty, the waiters idle.

We choose “Le rouge” a cozy restaurant, with excellent food at affordable prices. Even on weekdays the place used to be packed, tonight there was only one table beside ours.

I choose a “steak in a bagette” a very tasty dish, but all what we could talk about was what is going to happen in the next few days! It kinda ruined our evening. But I came to prove to myself that no matter what these people will do, I staying here in my country and I will always love live! No matter how much they try to frighten us, we will stay here, peacefully and endure…

Going out we bumped into two aounist, going home form the protests. I almost screamed at them, asking them “Are you happy? Are you happy with what you are doing to our country? How you are slowly killing it! How did you feel yesterday, in your demonstration, when Talal Arslan and Wiam Whab declared their ending alliance with Syria and Iran! Did you cheer! Did you cheer for those who oppressed you, oppressed us for 15 years!!! DID YOU CHEEER!!!!!”

I closed my mouth, grind my teeth and walked away, with some tears glistering in my eyes as my country was slowly being killed…

Saturday, December 02, 2006


In the last two days big demonstrations have been going on in Down Town Beirut. They started on Friday, with a slightly bigger demonstration than the 8th of March 2005, when Hezbollah went down to the street to thank Syria, but smaller than March the 14th, when the current majority (Hariri, Joumblatt, and Geagea; in addition to Aoun who is now allied with Hezbollah) marched to the streets and were able to kick the Syrians out of Lebanon.

This time numbers are meaningless, the country is split down the middle (give or take 5%). The two parties must understand that no one can win, and the only solution is a compromise.

Unfortunately, Hezbollah and their allies are playing a very dangerous game. They are making the same mistake Israel made in its last war against Lebanon, they went into a battle with unachievable goals, assuming that they will topple the government. And the longer Siniora’s government hold on to power, the more pressure they will have to apply, and the harder it will be for the army and the Internal Security Forces to keep control of the two very very angry streets.

The first day was peaceful, until Hezbollah tried to encircle the Government headquarter (the Saray), then the 14th of March supporters started to stir and Siniora called the army and informed them that he will not be able to hold them from breaking the siege themselves. The army intervened, they contacted Hezbollah and the siege was lifted.

Just imagine what could have happened if the 14th of March protesters went down and lifted the siege themselves…

Today, a big scuffle happened in an adjacent area to where the demonstrations are taking place. Several people were injured and the army had to fire in the air to stop the small riot (It is interesting to note that three Syrians were caught hurling stones from the roof top of one of a building)

This madness must stop! Sooner rather than later, because the next scuffle might be that small sparks that leads to the big explosion. The two sides are raising the stakes, raising their rhetoric, and everyday they become less capable to back down and a compromise becomes harder to reach…

We urgently need a return to sanity! Now, before it is too late!


Thursday, November 30, 2006

And finally...

The time is set
The die casts
The men ready
And sanity has deserted our small country

Tomorrow, Friday at three, Hezbollah, Aoun and their allies are marching on the streets in down town Beirut, where they will start an open protest that might continue for days…

With tension at a record high, I do not think it will take much to ignite senseless violence. And once blood starts flowing on the streets “c’est fini” like we say in French.

So if you believe in god pray, and if like me you do not, hope for the better.

Good night Lebanon…

Monday, November 27, 2006

Tic toc

I feel as if I am in a movie theater watching a documentary of how my country fell into civil war. I see the images and hear the never ending speeches and the blaming, while in the background a ticking alarm clock can be heard.

There is one single topic on people’s mind: “what will tomorrow bring”. And the waiting is excruciating, I sometimes wishe for the worse to happen, just to end this agonizing wait…

People are already in a different mind set, yesterday we were planning an outing in Beirut when a friend of mine, half jokingly, asked if we would got stuck in Beirut or we would be able to come back (referring to the fact that Hezbollah supporters could close the highway between Saida and the capital Beirut at any moment) everybody nervously smiled and few chuckle were heard, but we were all seriously thinking about the possibility.

And two days earlier my sister skipped a wedding invitation, because she was afraid to leave her children in the house, because “in these days you never know what could happen, better to be safe than sorry.”

The hoarding of food stuff, fuel and basic commodities already started, people are excepting the worse. For many Lebanese hope is dead and we are already sliding without any doubt into a bottomless abyss, however I still feel that there is glimmer of hope still alive, but not for long…

Saturday, November 25, 2006

More pictures...

Trampled posters against President Lahoud that roughly translate into "enough already”. The other poster further up is about Aoun asking who divided the line (referring to Aoun moving out of the March the 14th alliance and allying with Hezbollah...

The beautiful crowd...

So many dead killed by the Syrians, Rafik Hariri, Gebran Tueini, Pierre Gemayel and so many others...

A brave demonstrator's much deserved rest...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

22 November!

Many people came to express there sadness and their anger with the never ending assassination and violence. The crowds were big, but a large cloud of fear hung over Freedom Square, fear of what the future might bring, fear of the unknown, fear of a civil war that might engulf anything in its path.…

At the end Lebanon's is split into two factions, and this polarization is only increasing. However, no party holds an overwhelming public majority. So the only way out is to sit and talk...…

The picture in the foreground is of the killed minister, the background is the entrance of freedom square already filled with people hours before the official start

No arms outside the state's (referring to Hezbollah's weapons)

A sea of flags...

A picture of all the Lebanese leaders killed by the Syrians

Lebanon, a country for life...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Why I accuse Syria…

I accuse of Syria of killing Pierre Gemayeil, because in all accounts it gains the most from this heinous crime. First and foremost, the young Minster is one of the 14th of March coalition (in addition to Saad Hariri, Walid Joumblatt and Samir Geagea and several smaller groups) and he is both a minster and a member of parliament of the slowly dwindling majority.

Second his death further exasperate the relations between the 14th of March forces and the pro-Syrians ones (headed by Hezbollah and Amal, who are also supported by Aoun) and make it harder to find any chance of making a deal or a compromise between the two camps, pushing them for even more clashes, tensions that might culminate into a full fledged civil war.

What will Syria gain form a renewed civil war? First a civil war will forever bury the international tribunal in the assassination of PM Rafik Hariri and the rest of the assassinated leaders. Once there is no longer a legitimate council of ministers then the UN will be unable to continue establishing this tribunal…

Further on if Lebanon plunges into civil war, with the US deeply occupied in Iraq the international community will have no choice but to ask Syria to come back in and reigns the violence, especially if it gets nasty, with many civilians casualties, that could involves European and US citizens and their abduction. It happened once in in the 80’s and it might just happen again…

So it is clear that Syria gained on all accounts, taking advantage of the recent lessening of the international community pressures on its regime, to once more liquidate a Lebanese leader from March the 14th.

What will happen next I have no idea, all what I know is that tomorrow, in Freedom Square in Down Town Beirut,I will, like thousands and thousands of my fellow citizens, express my anger, my refusal of violence in all its aspects and my support of the international tribunal that will once and for all stop all these killings and punish the perpetrators.

PS: I promise to publish a detailed account and some picture of tomorrow’s demonstration.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Another death…

Once more our dark fate strikes again, and another member of the 14th of March is killed. Minister Pierre Gemayiel, 34 years old, was shot to death this afternoon in plain daylight close to Beirut.

Most of Syria’s allies have restarted their attacks while Pierre Gumayiel’s blood is not yet cold. Their arguments? The same old ones: 14th of March are with America, they hold the government so this assassination is their responsibility; forgetting the facts that Syria and its allies still hold the border police (Amen Aam) so anyone from Syria can come in and out with no hindrance.

It has not been hours yet and the vultures have gathered and they accuse! Yes accuse the 14th of March of killing one of its members, citing the argument that this killing is too convenient for March the 14ht and that it will bring them the popular support they lost, and that some of them (Geagea and Joumblatt) spoke about the possible killings of ministers, beforehand! Forgetting the fact that every time the international tribunal to uncover who killed late PM Rafik Hariri and the rest of March the 14th heroes, is close at hand one of us is slain, and the fact that the council of ministers is teetering on an knife’s edge (if two more ministers are killed or change their mind then Lebanon will be plunged into an endless abyss, check my previous post for more info)

For all of Syria’s allies, Suleiman Frangieh, Charles Ayoub and the like, I can only say shame on you, shame you! Before impressing us with all these ignoble and disgusting accusation you could have at least held your silence for a couple of days…

Hard times are waiting for my beloved country and tempers are flying high very high… But all what I know is that no matter what happens Lebanon will always be free, secular and democratic country and will never ever be transformed into the like of Syria or, even worse, Iran!!!

And as always, Peace forever and ever!


It is how Lebanon is feeling at the moment, how it has been feeling for the as long as I can remember…

Waiting for the war to start, and then for it to end… Waiting for an occupation to start and then end and for another one to start and then end...Waiting for the next assassination, and then waiting for next explosion...Waiting for the results for the national dialogue and then waiting for national consultation…waiting for another war to start and then to end… Waiting… just waiting…

These days the waiting is even worse… we are waiting for what will happen… for hell to break loose... for civil war… but still only waiting…

The tension is palpable and the pressure is suffocating. No one dares plan for more than a day or two ahead, for who knows what will happen meanwhile.

It is as if we live in a country with no future, just an extended present, and an overwhelming past.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

General Aoun's lessons...

General Aoun gave us, a few days ago, a lesson in the constitutionality of PM Siniora’s government, after the resignation of six ministers including all the shiia ministers. I feel that Aoun is not the persons to teach others about such issues, taking into account his own history…

In 1988, in the wee hours of Amine Gemayel presidency, as no agreement on the next president was reached, Amin Gemayel appointed General Aoun to head an interim government, formed of six ministers (him included) three Muslims and three Christians, vested with the combined powers of the president and the council of ministers.

Shortly afterwards, the three Muslims ministers resigned and Aoun insisted on his government's constitutionality and stayed in office (as an interim Prime Minster) for two additional years.

Compared to day situation it is clear how objective is Genral Aoun's lesson...

Monday, November 13, 2006

The masks are finally off

The charad is over. Hezballoh, Berri and Aoun have finally revealed their true intention. They do not want the formation of an International Tribunal to judge the criminals implicated in the assassination of Late Prime Minster Rafik Hariri.

No matter what Hezbollah’s arguments are or what they claim the situation is, this is the second time they withdraw from the government over the same issue: The International Tribunal.

The reasons behind their refusal are secondary. In any legal system any one who defend, hide or aide a criminal will be considered an accessory to that crime, therefore “J’Accuse” Hezbollah, Berri and Aoun as accessories in the assassination of Prime Minster Rafik Hariri.

Hezbollah just made the first step down the very slippery slop to civil war. And for what? To defend Bashar Assad? If they cared that much about Lebanon and knew how much the International Tribunal is important many Lebanese, so why didn’t they sign on for the International Tribunal and then resigned! It would have only taken a day…


Thursday, November 09, 2006

The current situation

The two main coalitions in the Lebanon (the 14th of March and Hezbollah and its allies) are at a deadlock, regarding the expansion of the council of ministers to include Aoun and to give HA (Hezbollah and its allies) veto power over the government and its decisions.

The leaders of the two parties have been meeting in the parliament in an effort to find a solution that will solve this crisis that could explode in the streets, if left simmering in the next week or so…

The official thorny issue is the blocking third. Lebanon’s constitution states that a third plus one of the council of ministers can block the government’s functions and even cause its resignation ( if a third plus one ministers resign, then the government is desolved)

Of course the 14th of March coalition, which currently holds more than two third of the ministers, is refusing any talks of giving HA this blocking third, linking the whole issue to the removal of the current present (considered pro Syrian.) While Hezbollah, Aoun and Berri consider a blocking third the minimum they can agree to (they hinted of early parliamentary election and massive demonstrations if the expansion of the government is refused.) and refuse any talk about removing the president…

There is no solution visible on the horizon, as trust between the two factions is at a record low. It looks like the country is heading for a confrontation by opposed demonstration and civil disobedience…

Monday, November 06, 2006

Cry Havoc...

Cry 'Havoc', and let slip the dogs of war...

The lines have been drawn
daggers sharpened
and hearts are full with murderous rage
only a spark is still missing...

The National Dialogue version two has started. The rumors mill is abuzz with the news of a heavy verbal clash between our esteemed leaders. But at least they will meet again tomorow same time, same place.

PS: Hezbollah's delegation is headed by Mohammed Raad, known as a hard liner and for his absolutet loyalty to Iran.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nassrallah's threats...

Nassrallah has just raised the stake; it is time to call his bluff…

He want a larger slice of the government and a veto power, well you know what, the other party in this country also have demands: We want a real president freely elected, and we want peace!!!

So if Nassrallah wants to demonstrate and surround the Government Palce until the government resigns, then we will march to the presidential palace and camp there until Lahoud “the usurper” goes home.

Nassrallah also stated that he cannot trust the 14th of March coalition to rule the country; we also cannot trust him with a veto power. For HA actions in the government have not been very reassuring, as for example when Bashar Assad insulted our Prime Minster Hezbollah minister walked out of the Ministerial session…

It would have been much better to have a real open dialogue, with a agenda that takes into consideration all the parties issues and misgivings, in order to find a compromise (such as changing the president and the government at the same time) Rather than issuing silly threats and pushing the country down a slide, that no one knows where it will end.

But it seems that Nassrallah is ignoring the fact that whether he likes it or no, there is a big part of the Lebanese who are sick of his wars, threats and rhetoric. And just want to live in peace, prosperity and most of all freedom.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


As I have been closely following the US midterm election, a website Election Projection caught my attention. This website aggregates different projections and polls to come up with an overall projection, which in the past proved to be rather accurate. (Here i have to point out that he is a firm republican, although this does not seem to affect his projections)

The webmaster of "Election Projection" declares edicts, in which he states his own projection and stick by them all the way till Election Day. I found this very interesting and decided to call edicts myself, concerning Lebanon politics.

Finally if I am proved wrong then I will owe you an apology and will publicly retract my edicts…

Edict One: The current balance of power in the Lebanese Government, headed By PM Siniora (where the 14th of March coalition holds a two third majority) will not change in favor of Hezbollah or Aoun, until the current President Emil Lahoud is replaced.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hot air

For the past month or so, Hezbollah and its allies have been raging a relentless campaign to change the current government, in which the 14th of March alliance holds a two third majority. (The Lebanese constitution stats that a two third majority in the government is needed to pass the most critical laws such as war and peace, changing the constitution…)

Frankly, the Lebanese political life is beset with deep hypocrisy (check my previous article) and this case offers a prime example. If HA is not satisfied with the current government (in which he and his allies has 5 ministers out of 30) why don’t there ministers resign, forcing the majority’s hands to change the form and the balance of the government.

Moreover, Aoun (who consider himself on HA side) has also called for a change in the government and for holding early parliamentary elections. So here also if they are not satisfied in how the parliament represents the Lebanese political life, why don’t they resign from the parliament (Aoun has 21 members of parliament out 128) forcing partial elections that will certainly show how strong is their popular base of support.

But in reality HA and its allies are only blowing hot air, further acerbating the tensions and undermine trust in the government and its rebuilding efforts. So for the sake of Lebanon, and all these people who lost their homes/loved ones/livelihood stop the destructive rhetoric and resign if you are so dissatisfied with the current government and parliament.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lebanese political rhetoric

With each day the political rhetoric in Lebanon reach new heights of stupidity, absurdity and narcissism... I am here talking about ALL the Lebanese politicians, their statements are only old regurgitated speeches that can be summarized in a sentence: “they started it, they are wrong, we are right!”

Is anybody giving an alternative, offering a new plan of action? No, on one side a fierce power grabbing campaign is waged and on the other side a fiercer defensive action is taken.

What is funny among all these statements and counter statements, and the respective demonstrations and counter demonstrations, are the PR campaigns waged before each to convince the populace that these upcoming statements will be earth shattering, mind boggling and future changing announcements. And each time we get the same awful bland speeches…

But the sad fact about all this mess is that each leader’s loyal followers are totally convinced by these divine revelations and regurgitate the same arguments and statements in their daily conversation and discussions.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

"Peace Now" published

One of the articles I wrote during the war is going to be published in a three parts anthology entitled “Lebanon who won, who lost, who suffered” by Michael J. Totten. The author included many of own dispatches from the Lebanese-Israeli border and a digest of responses to the war from Israeli and Lebanese Bloggers.

My article
“Peace Now” will appear in the first part of the anthology “The Hezbollah War”.

To order or review the anthology on Amazon, please click on the icon on the right side of my blog.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Chicken and the Egg

If one indulges in a surface overview of the current chaotic Lebanese political arena, he might conclude that there is two different factions locked in a fierce debate regarding a problem similar to the one called by some The Chicken and the Egg

Let me elaborate, the first party called by some 14th of March, anti-Syrian, pro American or even the pro Zionist party, believes that in order to establish a strong state in Lebanon Hezbollah must surrender its arms and devote itself exclusively to political activities.

While the second party, called the 8th of March, pro Syrian or the pro Iranian party, believes that Hezbollah must not surrender its weapons until a strong state is built, and Hezbollah must continue its military activities and its “defense” of Lebanon.

Unfortunately, I believe that this is only a masquerade. Lebanon is currently witnessing one of its recurrent “upheavals”, where the current power sharing balance is toppled and a new one is formed. And at the core of this struggle lies two divergent views of a crucial issue, Israel.
The first party believes that at the end of the line, Lebanon must live in peace with its southern neighbor, while the second believes that Lebanon should be forever at war with Israel until it is destroyed…

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

20000 missiles!

Yep that is the new official number of missiles Hezbollah has according to Nassrallah… Strange! But I will take this number at face value and try to apply some logic to it. Although I know very well that logic and Lebanese politics are two eternally opposite concepts...

The magic number was about 12000 missiles a couple of months before the war. Speculation and rumors put it at around 15000 on the first days of war, so I will use the 14000 number, as a compromise…

Now according to most sources around 4000 missiles were hurled against Israel throughout the 33 days of war. Assuming that the Israeli army and air forces destroyed only 15% of Hezbollah total missiles (although many sources speak of 30% and even 40%) So his total after the war should be around 8000-9000 tops.

It took Hezbollah six years at least (from 2000 to 2006) while the border with Syria, at that time was wide open, and airplanes and boats loaded with missiles could easily empty their cargo in any Lebanese port, and the missiles arrived to Hezbollah unhindered. Since the war all that changed. The airport and ports are more tightly controlled than ever, while the land border with Syria is still permeable but it is much less so than before the war.

Considering all that Nassrallah is trying to convince us that he managed to get an extra 12000 to add to his previous 8000 to arrive to the latest magic number of 20000. So once more I must stop and say “excuse me Mr. Nassrahaal but something ain’t right!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

A House of many Mansions, book review

With all the recent events, I went back to my library to refresh my knowledge of Lebanon’s history. And believe me no book retells the historical background and explains why our country have been plagued by endless wars and conflict, better than Kamal Salibi’s "A House of many Mansions"

It is a very interesting and easy to read book, full of interesting insights and handles thorny issue with tact. Its title alone, “A House of many Mansions” explains the whole Lebanese quandary. All in all, the book is very informative and objective.

It starts with Lebanon hostory from WWI, when the Ottoman empire was crumbling, and recounts how Lebanon was created, and its early relation with its surrounding and the western world.

The most interesting parts ofthis book, is the explanations of Lebanon’s problems. For example, the Author finds that one of Lebanon’s main problems is that the Lebanese have not yet agreed on which country they want: An Arab Lebanon or a fully Westernized Lebanon.

I recommend this book for all who are interested in Lebanon has been picked by the recent events and want to understand the historical background of the country.

The link for the book's page on Amazon is on the right side of my Blog.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

My take on Brameretz report

Several points caught my attention, in the latest report of the UN International Investigation Commission in the assassination of Prime Minster Hariri:

1-There is an international dimension to the communication that took place or is related to the assassination and the bombing team (section 42)

2-The person who detonated the bomb is most certainly not of Lebanese origin (section 13)

3-There is certain individual had knowledge that an attempt against Rafik Hariri life’s was imminent(section 50)

4-The omission concluded that the bombing team either made a failed attempt at Hariri’s life or a rehearsal earlier on February. And this earlier activity allowed further investigative leads to become available beyond those offered by the attack of 14 February alone (section 23 and 24 of the report)

5-The quantity of explosive is close 1800 KG, almost two tons!! (section 19 and 20)

I wonder what will HA and Aoun say when Syria is directly accused of the crime by the international tribunal! Deny? Cast doubts?

Still I believe without a doubt that Bashar Assad’s and his Lebanese cronies were behind that crime!


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Politics as usual...

And we are back to demonstration and counter demonstration. However this time it is a bit different…

The Lebanese flag, solely present in the massive demonstration that followed the assassination of PM Rafik Hariri in March 2005, is missing. Both recent demonstrations (Hezbollah victory parade and the Martyr’s Mass of the Lebanese forces) have been colored in yellow for the first one and in white with a smidge of green for the second…
What a shame, for that sea of red-white-green of thousands upon thousands Lebanese flag flowing in the wind, was a balm for sore eyes.

Second, the war of numbers that raged between the two political factions behind the massive demonstrations of last year is absent. Maybe because no major surprises occurred, Hezbollah’s popular support is still the same or slightly changed, ditto for the Lebanese forces’. However, the orange party (Aoun’s supporters) failed to show up in large numbers in Hezbollah’s “victory” parade, strange…

Third, the tones were higher than last year and mostly aimed at the opposing internal parties. But still nothing out of the ordinary, except Nassrallah’s demand of an apology from Joumblatt…

Conclusions, nothing new under the sun, a time for fiery statements and a time for shady deals, politics as usual in Lebanon…


Monday, September 18, 2006

Hezbollah defensive strategy!

Concerning Hezbollah presumed defensive strategy one must not forget that Hezbollah never said that its strategy was about stopping Israel’s land forces from invading Lebanon. For Nassrallah himself stated that Hezbollah cannot and is not interested in holding set geographical positions.

Hezbollah’s defensive strategy, according to Nassrallah, consists of a balance of terror, using the thousands of missiles as deterrent to stop Israel from ever again attacking Lebanon, and bombing its infrastructure and targeting civilians. (check the picture below, taken before the war)

That strategy failed utterly. This presumed balance of terror did not stop Israel from going on a 33 days bombing fest. Additionally, the results of this war -even the much vaunted losses inflicted to the IDF- will not protect Lebanon from any future aggressions, on the contrary, they have built the basis for the next war, especially if Hezbollah does not disarm.

In short, Hezbollah’s defensive strategy did not protect Lebanon from Israel's aggressions and would certainly fail to do so in the future...

And for those who like evidence this picture, taken before the war, is for you:

Translation: Our homes will not be destroyed
Our children will not be killed
Our people will not be displaced
Those days are over

No Comment!!!!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

To Be A Shiite Now, In English...

Well i found a english translation of the first article of professor Mona fayad, "To be a Shiite now", (courtesy of and

To Be a Shiite Now ....
By: Mona Fayyad/ Professor at The Lebanese University
Beirut, August 8, 2006/Prof. Mona Fayyad - An Nahar Newspaper--

We are going through a catastrophic and existential period that will have long lasting impacts on our country and region for the next century; and since we are facing such a dangerous juncture I saw it fit to pose some questions that one might pose within himself or in secret and wouldn't dare publicize, in fear of being accused of being a foreign agent or a traitor, or even a blasphemer. Confronting difficult questions and putting them out in public could help prevent us from falling to the precipice that has no return and could help leaders take the appropriate decisions in order to stop this hellish war whatever the cost may be.

What is the meaning of being Shiite - for the majority of Shiites at this point- and at this critical juncture ? To be a Shiite, means that you entrust your fate to the wise and infallible leadership without daring to ask any question even if just as a point of understanding.

To be a Shiite means that watch the Al Manar channel, or New TV or NBN, exclusively and that you enjoy their inspirational songs and their exclusive news and that you look with enmity to all other channels because they are either "American" or "Zionist", as long as they refer to Israeli forces by their name and do not call them the "forces of the enemy" , and do not have enough eulogies and is only broadcasting information.

To be a Shiite means that you do not question the meaning of victory. Is it the victory of armies while keeping soldiers - flush with weapons- alive while destroying all of what is built and the killing of the human beings that worked hard to build it up a nd constitute the true protection to the fighter himself?

To be a Shiite means that you do not question the meaning of resistance and pride, is it the fleeing from bombing and their stacking up on the tile floors of schools and their dust?

To be a Shiite is to contribute to the creation of a Lebanese "Karbala 2" as the Iraqi "Karbala 1" did not perform its role as needed in building up the Arabs and carrying them on to victory over the enemy.

To be a Shiite is to be a hero that does not hurt nor complain, and does not have psychological crises, and accepts sacrificing himself and his country and everything that was accomplished so that he can teach Israel a lesson, and expose its craziness and ensure its defeat as was indicated to us by the Syrian Minister on the LBC station that Israel is the loser with "accentuation on the punctuation of letters". You see it is now hated more than ever before and it is indicted by most of the nations of the world...Now that they see for sure - and the lesson is still proceeding- the extent of its savagery and folly. When you are Shiite, you have to accept this logic, and even praise it, admiring its eloquence, its wisdom and its global role in spreading the legal education and the enactment international treaties and its role on a popular level in resistance and liberation.

Did 'nt we see for sure through this war on us, that "Syria is the cornerstone in this region"? These are the very words of the minister himself. Of course all this destruction was necessary in order to ensure with concrete evidence the validity of this reasoning be cause of the level of our objective thinking we only work with evidence and empirical experimentation.

To be Shiite is to accept that your country be destroyed in front of your very eyes- with no surprise- and that it comes tumbling down on your head and that your family be displaced and dispersed and becomes "a refugee" at the four corners of the nation and the world, and that you accept standing up to the enemy with no complaints as long as there is a fighter out there with a rocket that he can launch at northern Israel and maybe even at its south without asking about the "why" ? or about the timing? or about the usefulness of the end result?

To be a Shiite is to accept that you sacrifice all as long as you have someone that will compensate you with money, and that someone will look over you as you rebuild what he destroyed. What is your problem with that? You see we are a people of heroes that know nothing but sacrifice and we can absorb mental shocks and the death of loved ones and the humiliation of displacement and the destruction of the infrastructure of the state - since its is a weak, corrupt and follower state- is it not enough to have on our side a strong country that we work to support its foundations in confronting the unjust American might and the American Israeli war machine from hell? That machine that whose meekness we have to prove as well as its inability to inflict any harm to the fighters of "Hizbollah" or its ability to limit their military capabilities and we will prove that at any price.

To be a Shiite is to keep silent and not to ask what is the purpose of liberating a country. Is it to destroy it all over again and to make it possible for it to be occupied once more? and not to ask about the leadership role: is it to preserve its military power and its men flush with arms without any care or concern for the normal human being? Being a Shiite means that you can only thank the Hizb for its heroism and sacrifice , it is not your role to contribute to "weakening" it or to "break its word" or to make him know when to back down or compromise to preserve his victory on the one hand and to preserve the Lebanese nation and its openness as well as its development on the other hand!! That means never to question whether pride takes precedence over the lives of others and whether stones take precedence over arms.

To be a Shiite means to confer to the leader of the resistance his role as a loyal hero to the cause of the Arab nation in its entirety, not whether you like it or not, but whether that nation likes it or nor. You only have to hear the popular praise of the masses, that was preceded by the praise the masses heaped on their loyal hero Abdel Nasir and is still shedding tears for its other hero of Saddam Hussein. And the masses are still able to heap praise on any hero that tickles its dreams and its feelings so that it can sleep tight at night. (You can here review the literature of the educated in the Safir newspaper and the Hayat). Or to recover its lost dignity under the boots of rulers like Saddam as long as we and only we pay the price until your real awakening. But the question is to what degree can we rely on these incapable masses, that are enslaved by their rulers to liberate itself without even thinking about reconsidering this Jihadist and revolutionary plan !! Is it empowered? Is it it wise enough? Has it prepared the ground for that? Does it have the tools for resistance and fighting other than the arms of zeal and emotion and oratory? If you are a Shiite you are not to ask this leadership how the ground work was prepared to absorb this indiscriminate war and its "potential"consequences. Where are the hospitals, the ambulances, never mind the shelters. These are the responsibilities of a state- That was never consulted in declaring war- so that it can be blamed for its weakness and lack of wit. You see the state is only needed when it is called upon to heal wounds, but the wise and existential decisions are not within its realm.

To be a Shiite means to incapacitate your mind and leave it to Sayyed Khamene'i to guide you and to decide for you what he wants for arms to "Hizbollah" and he imposes on you the meaning of a victory that has little difference from suicide.

To be a Shiite means to defend the meddling of the Iranian minister in Lebanese state affairs without even trying to care for appearances. Maybe he came to "warn" the ministers of Hizbollah that "they did not agree" to the 7 point plan especially the point about the multinational force so that the door of the resistance would not be shut, and we remain a country exploited and abused after it was proven that the Shebaa Farms are Syrian and would be dealt with in accordance to Resolution 242 and that there is no concensus on that point. And in that he is warning them about their putting their Lebanese belonging ahead of their following to Iran. They have to, in spite of their noses, put the Iranian nuclear program and the interest of the state of Iran ahead of the interest of their state, and ahead of the preservation of the lives of the Lebanese or their possessions, whether these Lebanese are Shiite or otherwise, but especially if they were Shiites. Isn't it a priority to make Iran a regional Shiite super power ? What is the problem with sacrificing a country called Lebanon ? or the Shiites of this "Lebanon"?

And in this tense mood if you are a Shiite you have to listen to your Shiite speaker who is disturbed and angry and who wants to turn the world on top of the 14th of March, and who wants to forbid the deployment of multinational forces. And you hear him distribute labels of foreign servitude, treason, Americanism and Zionism left and right, without raising your lip. You have to absorb his anger and agree with all his opinions of which we have shared but a small sample. This is what takes you as far as possible from thinking who the heck you are? are you a Lebanese citizen? Is you being a Shiite means that you have to give priority to Iran over Lebanon? Do you have the freedom to have your own opinions? the freedom of expression? Is it possible to think calmly and to ask where are we going with this nation, the institutions of this state, with plurality, with the coexistence that we have to defend now?

If you are a Shiite and you dare write such writings and such think such thinking, then you must be a foreign agent and a traitor, in favor of partition and absorption of Palestinians. You must be with the Zionist and Israeli projects, and you defend the state, with its corruption and favoritism, and you support the American biased policies, and you accept its short sightedness, and its support for the terrorism of the Zionist state, and its failure to give the Palestinians their state like all other creatures of god, with the excuse of supporting the terrorism of "Hamas". And that means you support Israel itself and its satanic war machine and its extreme savagery and you justify its killing, its occupation, its folly and you are lucky if you are not accused to be the one destroying the houses on peoples' heads and the dismemberment of children's corpses and their scattering on the heaps of debris by raising your voice.

Did I forget any of the symphony? If I did, please excuse me because I cannot miss any of the news shows any more, I have to go see who is being displaced and whose house is being destroyed at the moment that is if he manages to survive.

Mona Fayyad is a Professor at The Lebanese University

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A courageous soul

It is heart warming to find that in the middle of this desert of the "one opinion, one religion and one ideology" some people still have the courage and the moral standing to critique the current powers that be and express their feelings and opinions with such frankness, clarity and logic.

Professor Mouna Fayada, wrote two very interesting and expressive articles, in Annahar one of Lebanon most prominent newspapers, exploring the current feelings and state of mind of the Shiite sect in Lebanon -refuting the common myth of the total support that Hezbollah enjoys in its sect- and criticizing and dissecting many of Hezbollah’s current propaganda and claims.

I believe that Mouna Fayad showed courage beyond measure in publishing these two articles, in a time when ordinary people are being lambasted, personally attacked and even branded as traitors for just stating or proposing an alternative opinion or point of view.

The two articles are in Arabic and can be accessed here and here. The first one is entitled “to be a Shiite now!” and the second one is a response to all the comments about the first one.


In response, By Mona Fayad

لمــــاذا تثيـــر مقـــالـــة كـــل هــــذه الــــردود ؟
تجربتي بين الخطي والشفهي، بين اللبناني والعربي، بين هزيمتـ"ــــي" وانتصارهـــ"ــم"
منى فياض

عندما تأخذ مقالة مثل مقالة: "أن تكون شيعياً الآن" كل هذا الاهتمام والصدى، وتتلقفها الأيدي وشبكة الانترنت بمثل هذه الحماسة، وعندما تتوالى الردود عليها شفهية ومكتوبة أو مرسلة بالبريد الالكتروني او منشورة في المواقع الالكترونية، فإن هذا يلزمنا بأن نتوقف قليلاً لكي نتساءل عن اللماذا؟ عن الاسباب المتعددة، ربما الظاهر ومنها وغير الظاهر..

بداية لا بد من الاشارة الى ان الدعم الشفهي كان هو الغالب في معظم الاحيان كما انه جاء من مختلف الاماكن وخاصة من الداخل مباشرة وعبر اقنية شخصية وعبر تناقل المقالة او الاتصال من الخارج بالطبع.. بينما كان النقد، سواء توجه بشكل شخصي او علني وبصوت جهوري متعال موزعا الدروس، كان في معظمه من الدياسبورا اللبنانية او العربية أي المتنعمين بنعيم "الديموقراطيات الغربية الزائفة" هرباً من بلادهم التي يريدونها حرة ومقاومة لكن عن بعد فقط ومن دون مقابل سوى الكلام الحماسي... والدعم يأتي من مختلف الطوائف، الشيعي مثله مثل الآخرين وعندما أقول لماذا لا تعبرون عن ذلك اذن كتابة؟ تأتي الاجابة في منتهى الصراحة احياناً: انه لا يقدر على الاعلان عن رأيه!! هكذا!! بسبب مكان سكنه أو ما شابه.. كذلك الامر بالنسبة الى الطوائف الاخرى فهم ايضا لا يقدرون على ممارسة النقد العلني "كي لا نقع في فتنة طائفية". وفي هذا توصيف للداء وللدواء!!

السؤال الأول في هذا المجال: لماذا تثير مجرد مقالة كل هذه الردود؟ وما الذي يعنيه ذلك؟ ألا يعني ذلك فيما يعنيه أنها عبرت عن حقيقة ما قوية ولو مختلف عليها؟ وانها رفعت "صمام" الصمت والتكاذب والمداهنة؛ وأن ذلك تسبب بحصول تعدٍ وتجرؤ على الثوابت الجامدة والافكار المسبقة والاستلاب التي سادت في مجتمعنا؟
وهذا ما ينقلنا الى السؤال الثاني: ما هو دور السلاح هنا؟ وهل حقاً أن امتلاك فئة معينة هذا السلاح، ولو انه مقاوم وغير موجه الى الداخل، ألا يؤدي مجرد وجود السلاح بأيدي فئة معينة الى ممارسة نوع من الضغط؟ أو لنقل "الهيبة" الضاغطة.. وماذا ينتج عن ذلك؟ ومهما كانت مقاصد هذه الفئة شريفة ومقدسة (وخاصة لأنها مقدسة) ماذا يترتب على ذلك من أنواع من القمع العلني او المترسب او الضمني ولو بمعنى الاستلاب والامتثال للرأي السائد والمتغلب الذي يلجم ويمنع و"يخجِّل" الآخرين من حرية التعبير (الحقيقي) ومن الاعلان عن آرائهم، ما دام الأمر يتعلق بسلاح مقاوم، بسبب خضوعهم للفكر المهيمن وللذهنية المسيطرة والتي تقوم بتعبئتها وسائل متعددة ليس أقلها البروباغندا التي طالما اشتهرت بها المنطقة العربية والتي لا تعني أقل من ترداد شعارات ولازمات تحمل مواقف تحفظ غيباً ويتم تردادها، وتهدد الآخرين بتخوينهم ما يعني هدر الدم العلني والمكشوف أو المستتر والضمني لكل صاحب رأي مختلف!!

فهل دلت طريقة استقبال مجرد مقالة على "التسامح" (مع الاحتفاظ بحق نقاش المعنى السلبي لعملية التسامح نفسها والتي تفترض ضمنا وجود فئة أقوى من فئة أخرى فـ"تتسامح" مع وجودها بما يتضمنه ذلك من رفض أولي لهذه الفئة لكن يتم التسامح معها بكرم أخلاق تتمتع به الفئة المتسامحة!!) اذن هل يدل ذلك حقا على تقبل للآخر المختلف أم انه يعني عدم قدرتنا على قبول هذا الرأي الآخر المختلف؟؟
كتبت لي صديقة عربية انها معجبة بمدى حرية الفكر في لبنان، وهذا صحيح في جزء منه فقط، لكنه لم يتعمم بعد ولقد دفع اثنان من خيرة صحافيينا ومفكرينا حياتهما ثمنا لحرية فكرهما التي عدت تهوراً وتجرؤاً على كسر محرمات وتخطي حواجز..
ان ما هو مطلوب حقا في هذه المرحلة من أجل إعادة السلم الاهلي وتهدئة "الشوارع" المستفزة هو الانخراط في عملية حوار جاد وهادئ بعيدا عن الانفعالات المسيطرة والخوف المتبادل حول ما يجمعنا وما يفرقنا؟ وحول ما الذي نريده لبلدنا ولمستقبل اولادنا فيه؟ أي نظام وأي مستقبل وأي دور؟ فلا ينفرد أي طرف في فرض اي روزنامة...
ان كل ما أشير له أعلاه يرمي بثقله على مجتمعنا بجميع فئاته ويمنعه من النقاش العلني والصريح ومن تقويم التجارب التي نتعرض لها دورياً والتصارح حولها لكي نتعلم ونستفيد منها وهذا يستدعي اطلاق المخاوف الكامنة من أجل ضبطها فلن يفيدنا عدم الافصاح عنها في شيء.
فما الذي يمكن استنتاجه من كل هذه الضجة المثارة حول "الانتصار" في هذه الحرب؟ وما هي الحقيقة او المعنى المختبئ خلفها؟


لا شك ان ما حملته هذه الحرب الاخيرة شكّل امثولة واسطورة مؤسسة حقيقية في منتهى الاهمية للعالم العربي ولشعوبه المغلوبة على امرها والخاضعة للقمع والفقر والأمية، وهي: هدم اسطورة تفوّق اسرائيل المطلق أوعدم القدرة على غلبتها.
لقد برهنت الحرب ان اسرائيل نمر من ورق، آلة صمّاء من دون دماغ يعقل صممت لتوزيع العنف ولممارسة الحرب عن بعد دون الاستعداد للقيام بأي تضحية بشرية وأن حياة الآخرين (العرب) هي أقل قيمة ولا تعني لها أي شيء.. وان الارادة في المقاومة المحتضنة من محيطها قادرة على ان تتغلب عليها ولو بأدوات بسيطة (نسبياً) !! وهذا ما كان يمكن ان يحصل بالطبع لولا تضحيات وبطولات المقاومين المحضونين من اللبنانيين جميعهم وان بطرق مختلفة ومنوعة..

كما برهنت ردود الفعل على هذا الانتصار - الخاضع للنقاش بالطبع - عن مدى التهديد الذي تشعر به الجماهير العربية لوجودها الرمزي وعن عمق الجرح المنغرز في قلب ووعي المواطن العربي الذي لم يعتد سوى الهزائم والظلم. ولذا نجده يبحث عن نصر أي نصر وعن بطل لكي يمجده، وهذا ليس انتقاصا من اهمية ابطالنا بالطبع، لكنها محاولة لفهم وتفسير هذا التعطش للبطولة.. فشعوبنا لا تستطيع ان تعتمد على نفسها ولا تثق بقدرتها وتحتاج الى مخلص تعتمد عليه وتتبعه فهذا أكثر راحة للنفس ويعفي من التفكير والمسؤولية وإعمال الضمير الفردي الذي سرعان ما يصبح "شقياً" عندما ينوجد..

وعلى أهمية هذا العامل في استنهاض الشعوب العربية وفي حملها على استعادة ثقة مفقودة وعلى المساهمة في شفاء جروحها النفسية والروحية، يتساءل اللبناني ببساطة: ألم يسبق أن أعطي هذا الدرس نفسه في العام 2000؟ ألم يكن ذلك الموعد هو الانتصار الحقيقي؟ هل هناك قصور ما يعاني منه المواطن العربي لكي يحتاج الى ان يكرر له هذا الوطن الصغير الدرس دورياً ويعيده هو نفسه لكي يحفظه ويغيبه ولكي يقدر على القيام بتطبيقه (عند توفر شروط المقاومة بالطبع وليس اقلها الحصول على كرامة العيش في الوطن نفسه وعلى احترام حقيقي للذات البشرية) فيثأر لكرامته المثلومة؟؟؟
هل نحتاج الى تدمير لبنان دورياً للمساهمة بتحرير فلسطين ولإقناع العالم بحق الشعب الفلسطيني المطلق في الحصول على دولته الديموقراطية وفي الحد من الدعم اللامتناهي الذي تقدمه الولايات المتحدة لإجرام الدولة الإسرائيلية وغطرستها وعنصريتها؟ هل نحتاج الى هدم دوري للنموذج الديموقراطي النادر في العالم العربي لكي نحصل على تعميم لهذا النموذج نفسه؟ الا يشكل هذا تناقضاً
صارخاً ونوعاً من الخُلف بالمعنى الفلسفي؟
ومتى سوف يعي المثقف العربي - الشديد الحماسة للنضال عن بعد وعلى حساب غيره - ان تحرير فلسطين لا يتطلب أقل من تحرير الانسان العربي من الاحباط والفقر والأمية والعبودية والخضوع للانظمة القمعية واللاديموقراطية؟ ما يعني إعطاء الاولوية للجهاد الاكبر على الجهاد الاصغر!!

ويسأل اللبناني: هل يمكن ان نترك وحدنا لكي ندفع دورياً كلفة مقاومتنا مثل هذا الثمن الذي اذا ما قمنا باحتساب نسبة كلفته من القتلى، بدم بارد، الى نسبة عدد السكان والنتيجة الحاصلة على الصعيد اللبناني؟ ماذا نستنتج؟ ألن يكون ثمن "مقاومة" الاطراف العربية الاخرى لتحرير انفسهم من انظمتهم ومن العدو الاسرائيلي اقل كلفة – نسبيا- بما لا يقاس واكثر فاعلية اذا كانت العبرة بالاعداد الكمية!!!! على قدر الحماس والانفعال؟!

ولكي لا نختلف على معاني الكلمات ونتخابث حول مغازيها ولكي لا نتسرع في اطلاق شهادات الوطنية وحسن السلوك أو الخيانة والعمالة لنتفق على بعض الثوابت التي لا خلاف حولها:
في المسلمات البديهية: الاحتلال الاسرائيلي لفلسطين هو "الجريمة الاصلية" وهو أحد الاسباب الجوهرية لكل التردي والعنف الحاصل في المنطقة. انه العنف المؤسس الحقيقي، وأن ممارسات الدولة الصهيونية الاجرامية والوحشية واستخدامها منطق القوة والبطش كوسيلة وحيدة للتعامل مع شعوب المنطقة وعدم مراعاتها لأي من المواثيق او الاعراف الدولية هي في أصل كل الحروب والنزاعات في المنطقة.
كما أن الموقف الاميركي المنحاز بشكل مطلق لإسرائيل والداعم لها في جرائمها والمتواطئ في حمايتها من أي مساءلة هو أحد أهم عوامل إبقاء الصراع على ما هو عليه.. كذلك الأمر شكل ويشكل الدعم الاميركي للانظمة العربية المستبدة اصل التدهور الحاصل على صعيد الامن، الأمن بالمعنى العميق وليس العسكري فقط، وهو الذي يتسبب بتخلف المنطقة بشكل جوهري وبعيد الأثر على صعيد التأخر في النمو وكل ما ينتج عن ذلك من مشاكل..

في المسلمات المحتاجة الى إعادة النظر: تأجيل النقاشات وممارسة النقد والنقد الذاتي الى أن ينجلي غبار المعارك. كذلك وضع مسألة قداسة أي سلوك يتنافى مع الاحترام الحقيقي والعميق للحياة البشرية موضع التساؤل. وهنا علينا ان نتعلم من ممارسات العدو الديموقراطية وعدم الشماتة بهم لكونهم يمارسون هذا النقد وأن لا نعد هذا تفسخاً وتخاذلاً...
الاقلاع عن فكرة قبول كل ما لا تقبل به اسرائيل ورفض كل ما تقبله من اجل إمعان النظرفي مصالحنا الحقيقية والكف عن استخدام كليشيهات صارت مبتذلة تعتمد التصنيفات نفسها حول الوطنية والمقاومة وكل ما يتبع. اسرائيل في حالة تراجع وانكفاء وهذا مفهوم وواضح. يكفي انسحابها من لبنان وبنائها الجدار الانعزالي لكي نقدر ما تريده.. لكن ذلك لا يعني تهديم لبنان على رؤوس ابنائه مقابل اثبات ذلك.

في معنى المقاومة ومعنى التحرير!!: السؤال الجوهري الذي علينا أن نطرحه على أنفسنا، خاصة عندما نتناول وضع الدولة اللبنانية والمجتمع اللبناني والمؤسسات وعن مدى ديموقراطيتها.. وخاصة عندما يضعها البعض الآن موضع تساؤل متهكما – في نزعة ثورجية أو انقلابية - حول ضرورة الحفاظ على هذه الدولة الفاسدة والمفككة وكل ما نعرفه من ذرائع..
اذن السؤال الجوهري الذي ينبغي أن نوجهه الى أنفسنا هو: لماذا برزت المقاومة الحقيقية في لبنان فقط وليس في سوريا مثلاً مع وجود الاحتلال نفسه؟ (دون ان يعني ذلك اغفال مساعدة النظامين السوري والايراني لدعم هذه المقاومة)... لكن لماذا لم يكن هناك مقاومتان مثلاً؟ واحدة لبنانية واخرى سورية؟
بمعنى آخر هل كان يمكن بروز مقاومة حقيقية الا في الظروف اللبنانية الخاصة والمعروفة من وجود مجتمع تعددي ومنفتح ويميل الى ممارسة حريته في التعبير، وديموقراطي حقيقي - ولو أضفنا اليها نسبيا – فليس هناك وصفة جاهزة وجامدة لـ"الديموقراطية" بل هي ممارسة تختلف مواصفاتها باختلاف الظروف المحيطة. افلا يعني ذلك ان اي جنوح نحو تغيير الوضعية الجوهرية التي انبثقت عنها المقاومة – وهي بدأت وطنية عامة ونعرف دور عهد الوصاية في حصرها في جهة واحدة فقط نرى الآن احدى نتائجها التي لم تكن واضحة في حينه!- الا نكون نجري تغييرا في الشروط نفسها التي انتجت هذه المقاومة!! أوليس في هذا خُلف أيضاً وتناقض جوهري؟
الا يعني الاخلال بقواعد هذا التوازن الدقيق والهش ومحاولة تغيير مقومات الديموقراطية اللبنانية خاصة المساهمة في القضاء على أحد أسباب انبثاق ووجود المقاومة نفسها؟؟

في معنى النصر ومعنى الصمود: عندما ننظر كيف تعاملت شعوبنا مع ما حصل في حرب الـ 33 يوماً ندرك كم أن معاييرنا متساهلة وتعبر عن نظرتنا الى انفسنا وعن القيمة التي نعطيها للفرد العربي أو عن هواننا بمعنى آخر!! وتعبر عن مدى افتقادنا الى الحس النقدي والى القدرة على اتخاذ مسافة من الذات ومن الاحداث لكي ننظر الى الامور بشكل محايد مما يزيد من قدرتنا على التقويم الافضل.
عدّ الصمود – البطولي والاسطوري لا شك في ذلك- انتصار كبير.. وليسمح لنا هنا ان نطرح بعض التساؤلات: هل يحتاج المنتصر الى كل هذه الجلبة والى صرف كل هذه الطاقة لكي يثبت انتصاره وقبل أن ندفن الموتى ونقيم حدادنا عليهم؟ واذا كان هذا انتصاراً فما هي شروط الهزيمة اوعلى الأقل عدم المبالغة في "الانتصار"؟؟ ومتى تعلن الدول هزيمتها؟ عندما يبقى لديها سلاح ورجال قادرون على القتال ام عندما تتعرض بلدانها للتهديم وبشرها للتقتيل؟ لماذا أعلنت اليابان هزيمتها بعد تعرضها للقنبلة الذرية؟؟ هل لافتقادها لأي مقاتل او أي سلاح؟
اسأل نفسي لماذا نقوم بذلك؟ اليس لأننا ننظر الى انفسنا "كغير قادرين" في الأصل؟ فنتساهل في المعايير المستخدمة للتقويم عند أقل انتصار، متساهلين مع الذات فقط لاثبات كفاءتنا؟ ونكون هكذا نقبل على أنفسنا بأن نتعامل بحسب معايير العدو نفسه في نظرته الينا وفي نظرته الى نفسه؟ قتيل واحد اسرائيلي يعادل مائة واحد عربي؟ ألف ؟ لا أهمية للأرقام هنا انها مجرد كمية!! سجين واحد اسرائيلي نريد ان نستبدل به مئات؟ لماذا نقبل بهذه المعايير التي تفترض وتعني
دونيتنا وهواننا وليس غير؟ وقيمتنا الأقل؟؟
وهذا لا يعني ان إسرائيل انتصرت، انها مهزومة بالطبع، لكن لنقبل فكرة انه في الحروب يكون الجميع مهزومين ولنكف عن الصراخ بأننا انتصرنا. صمدنا نعم وهذا جدير بأن يؤخذ بعين الاعتبار، ولنسم الأشياء بأسمائها..

ثمن للانتصار

نقرأ ونسمع عن ان انتصار المقاومة هذا يستدعي إعادة توزيع في موقعها في السلطة، لست ضد أي إعادة توزيع للسلطة بشكل ديموقراطي وحقيقي وعبر المؤسسات الدستورية التي تعبر عن مواقف المواطنين الحقيقية، لكني أتساءل، أنا التي طالما نظرت الى المقاومة كمثال ونموذج للتضحية وللسلوك الاطيقي ولعدم استغلال سلاحها في الداخل وخاصة لمآرب شخصية، اسأل نفسي: هل حقاً تطلب المقاومة الان ثمنا لهذا الانتصار عبر تمثيل أفضل في الحكومة؟ وهل كانت الحرب من أجل ذلك في احد جوانبها؟ كل هذا الدمار من اجل تحسين مواقع؟؟ لقد حصل أخيراً اعتراف بآلام البشر(حيث كان يمكن الاستغناء عنها كما يبدو)، البشر الذين كانوا في آخر سلم الأولويات في هذه الحرب.
لذا استغرب الآن أن هناك من يطالب بثمن لما حصل او للدعم الذي ساعد عليه، وكيف ذلك؟ بمطلب تغيير الحكومة مكافأة للمساعدة التي قدمها العماد عون لـ"حزب الله". ولست هنا في معرض تقويم مدى صوابية المطالبة بهذا التغيير في لحظات مصيرية مثل هذه ومدى الحكمة فيها، لكن ما أود الاشارة اليه يتعلق باستخدام ذريعة الديموقراطية لتبرير الطلب هذا!! اين الديموقراطية في ان نفرض مكافأة لمن ساندنا؟ وهنا يتم السؤال باسم من وباسم أي أوالية يطلب ذلك؟ وهل انه يفترض انزال عقوبة بمن لم يفعل ما فعله الجنرال؟ وهل تمخضت الحرب ودمارها عن مطلب لاكتساب مقعد وزاري أو أكثر؟ ويكون هكذا ثمن هدم المنزل حفنة من الدولارات وثمن الدعم المرضى عنه مقعد وزاري، فماذا عن ثمن الاستشهاد والشهداء بعد ان نكون تفرغنا لمعرفة أعدادهم بدقة؟
هل هذا سلوك ديموقراطي حقاً؟ أم أنه أقرب الى السلوك الامبراطوري او على الأقل الإقطاعي؟ هل نغير حكومة باسم المكافأة أوالعقاب؟ وما دور مؤسساتنا الاشتراعية في تقرير ذلك؟ ما هو دور هذه القوى في تهدئة الشارع وفي تهدئة مخاوف القوى المتعددة حفظاً لحد أدنى من الوحدة في هذه اللحظات الحرجة؟

• • •

لا شك اننا في مرحلة مصيرية وان أي خطأ في التقدير يجرنا الى ما لن يكون في مصلحتنا كمواطنين في وطن نريده حراً حقا وسيداً حقاً، ديموقراطي أولاً وبالتالي غير طائفي... لذا يستدعي ذلك ممارسة أقصى الشفافية من الحكومة بدعم من رئيسها وبدعم من مجلس النواب وبدور خاص من رئيس المجلس.. لتنفيذ بعض الخطوات التي قد تساهم في احداث تغيير من أجل طمأنة اللبنانيين الى ما ينتظرهم من الطبقة السياسية وهل سوف تكون على قدر المهام الجسام الملقاة على عاتقها؟ وهل سوف تلبي بعض طموحات من لم يهاجر من جيلها الشاب!!
وكنوع من أمثلة لما هو مطلوب منها القيام به بجرأة ومن دون استئذان: فلماذ لا يتم الآن اعتماد مشروع القانون الانتخابي – الذي لا يرضي احداً ما يعني انه الأفضل ربما؟

لماذا لا تتجرأ الحكومة على اصدار قانون اختياري للاحوال الشخصية؟ لماذا لا يوعز للوزير المختص الى الغاء الاشارة الى طائفة ومذهب اللبناني على قيد النفوس؟ ألا نريد وطناً معافى من الطائفية؟ فلنثبت ذلك الآن على الأقل.. نحن الآن بحاجة الى مثل هذه الخيارات الديموقراطية حقا والمصيرية وهذا لكي نقنع المواطن اللبناني بأن هذه الحرب ساعدت على الاقل في تطوير قوانيننا وانظمتنا وساهمت في جعلنا مواطنين نرجو ان نكون على قدم المساواة امام دولة تنظر الينا كمتساوين امام القانون وليس داخل طوائفنا وجماعاتنا وسواهم..
تماما مثلما نرجو ان لا تذهب تضحيات اللبنانيين سدى فتكون حسنة هذه الحرب على الأقل انها قد تكون وضعت أولى دعائم سلم حقيقي عبر البدء بمباحثات سلام حقيقية تعطي للفلسطينيين دولتهم الديموقراطية.. وإلا فلا عزاء لأحد...

أستاذة في الجامعة اللبنانية

"To be a Shiite Now" By Mona Fayad

أن تكون شيعياً الآن

نمر بمرحلة كارثية ومصيرية سوف تنعكس آثارها على بلدنا والمنطقة على امتداد القرن الطالع؛ وبما انها على مثل هذه الخطورة ارتأيت ان أطرح علنا الاسئلة التي يطرحها البعض بينه وبين نفسه او خفية فلا يتجرأ على اعلانها مخافة مخالفة الجماعة والاجماع، ومخافة ان يتهم بالعمالة والخيانة اذا لم يكن الكفر. ان مواجهة بعض الاسئلة الصعبة وطرحها علانية ربما يساهم في كبح انجرارنا نحو الهاوية التي لا قرار لها ويساعد القيادة على اتخاذ القرار الحكيم والصعب من اجل وقف هذه الحرب الجهنمية مهما كلف الامر

فما معنى ان تكون شيعيا – لغالبية الشيعة راهناً - وفي هذه المرحلة المصيرية؟

ان تكون شيعيا يعني ان تسلم امرك للقيادة الحكيمة والمعصومة دون التجرؤ على طرح اي تساؤل ولو من باب الاستفسار

ان تكون شيعيا يعني ان تشاهد محطة "المنار" و"نيو تي في" و"إن بي ان" حصرا وتنتشي بأغانيها الحماسية واخبارها حصرا، وان تنظر بعداء مستحكم الى جميع المحطات الاخرى لانها إما "اميركية" وإما "صهيونية" طالما انها تشير مثلا الى القوات الاسرائيلية باسمها هذا ولا تسميها قوات العدو حصراً ولا تشبعها نعوتا وتكتفي بنقل معلومات

ان تكون شيعيا يعني ألا تسال عن معنى النصر؟ هل هو انتصار العسكر وبقاء الجنود – مدججين بالسلاح- على قيد الحياة مع تدمير العمران وافناء البشر الذين تعبوا في بنائه ويشكلون الحماية الفعلية للمقاتل نفسه؟

ان تكون شيعيا يعني ألا تسأل عن معنى الصمود والكبرياء، هل هو الهرب من القصف والتكدس على بلاط المدارس وغبارها؟

ان تكون شيعيا يعني ان تساهم في فبركة "كربلاء 2" اللبنانية اذ ان "كربلاء 1" العراقية لم تقم بدورها كما يجب في تعبئة العرب وحملهم على الانتصار على العدو

ان تكون شيعيا يعني ان تكون بطلا لا تتألم ولا تشتكي ولا تتأزم نفسياً، وتقبل التضحية بنفسك وبلادك وكل ما تم انجازه لكي تلقن اسرائيل درسا وتظهر جنونها، وتؤكد هزيمتها المدوية على ما أشار علينا الوزير السوري في إذاعة البي بي سي من ان اسرائيل خرجت خاسرة "مع التشديد اللازم على مخارج الحروف". فهي مكروهة الآن كما لم تكن من قبل وألّبت عليها معظم دول العالم... التي تأكدت الآن وبالملموس – والدرس ما زال مستمراً – في مدى وحشيتها وجنونها

وعندما تكون شيعيا عليك ان ترضى بهذا المنطق بل ان تشيد به معجبا بفصاحته وحكمته ودوره العالمي على صعيد نشر ثقافة الحقوق وتفعيل المواثيق الدولية ودوره على الصعيد القومي في التحرير والصمود. ألم نتاكد بواسطة هذه الحرب علينا ان "سوريا هي حجر الزاوية في المنطقة"؟ والكلام لا يزال للوزير نفسه. بالطبع كان يجب كل هذا الدمار والخراب لكي نؤكد بالملموس صحة هذا المنطق العقلاني فنحن من شدة موضوعيتنا لا نعمل الا بالبرهان والتجربة الحسيين

ان تكون شيعيا يعني ان تقبل بان يخرب بلدك امام عينيك – غير المندهشتين – وينهدم على رأسك وتتهجر عائلاته وتتشرد وتصبح "لاجئة" في اربع زوايا الوطن والارض، وان تقبل الصمود دون تذمر طالما هناك مقاتل يملك صاروخا يمكنه ان يطلقه على شمال اسرائيل وربما جنوبها ايضاً دون ان تسأل عن "اللماذا"؟ أو عن صحة التوقيت؟ أو عن مدى جدوى النتيجة النهائية الحاصلة؟

ان تكون شيعيا يعني ان تقبل بان تضحي بكل شيء ما دام هناك من سيعوض عليك بالمال وهو شريف فوق ذلك لكي تعيد بناء ما دمر؟ ما مشكلتك في ذلك؟

فنحن قوم ابطال لا نعرف سوى ان نضحي وبامكاننا امتصاص الصدمات النفسية وموت الاحبة وبهدلة التهجير والقضاء على مقومات الدولة - فهي دولة فاسدة وضعيفة وتابعة - امام اعيننا أفلا يكفي أن الى جانبنا دولا قوية نعمل على تثبيت دعائمها ونقوي من عزيمتها في مجابهة القوة الاميركية الغاشمة والآلة العسكرية الجهمنية الاسرائيلية التي علينا ان نبرهن عن ضعفها وعدم قدرتها على إلحاق أي هزيمة بمقاومي "حزب الله"؟ او أي امكانية للحد من قدراتهم العسكرية؟ وبأي ثمن؟

ان تكون شيعيا يعني ان تلتزم الصمت ولا تسأل ما هو دور تحرير الاوطان في العادة: هل لإعادة تدميرها وتسهيل إعادة احتلالها مجددا!؟ وان لا تسأل عن دور القيادة: هل للمحافظة على قوتها العسكرية ورجالها المدججين بالسلاح دون ان تلقي بالا الى الانسان العادي؟ كونك شيعيا يجعل بامكانك فقط ان تشكر الحزب لبطولته وتضحياته فليست مهمتك الآن ان تساهم في "أضعافه" او في "كسر كلمته" وتجعله يعرف متى يتراجع او يهادن لكي يحفظ انتصاره من جهة والدولة اللبنانية وبشرها وعمرانها من جهة اخرى!! فذلك يعني ان تضع موضع تساؤل ان يكون للعزة اولوية على حياة الآخرين وللحجر افضلية على السلاح

ان تكون شيعيا يعني ان تفوّض سيد المقاومة بطلا مخلصا للامة العربية باجمعها، ليس سواء شئت انت ام ابيت بل سواء شاءت هذه الامة نفسها ذلك ام أبت، بل عليك ان تكتفي بالانتشاء بسماع المدائح الجماهيرية والشعبوية التي سبق ان مدحت بطلها المخلص عبد الناصر ولا تزال تذرف الدموع على بطلها الآخر صدام حسين وهي مستعدة لمديح اي بطل يدغدغ احلامها ومشاعرها لكي تنام قريرة العين (يمكنك هنا مراجعة ادبيات المثقفين وبطولاتهم في صحيفتي "السفير" و"الحياة") او لكي تستعيد كرامة مداسة تحت نعال الحكام من نمرة صدام ما دمنا وحدنا ندفع الثمن في انتظار صحوتهم الحقيقية

ولكن السؤال الى اي مدى يمكن الاعتماد على هذه الجماهير العاجزة والمستعبدة لكي تقاد – غصبا عنها - لكي تتحرر وتنتفض؟ دون ان نفكر مجرد تفكير في اعادة النظر بهذه الخطة الجهادية والثورية!! هل هي ممكنة؟ هل هي حكيمة بما يكفي؟ هل هيأت الارضية فعلا للبدء بها؟ هل اعدت العدة لتهيئة هذه الجماهيربما يمكنها من القتال والصمود بغير سلاح الحماسة والانفعال والخطابة؟

واذا كنت شيعيا ليس عليك ان تسأل هذه القيادة اين وكيف تمت تهيئة البنية التحتية لاستيعاب مثل هذه الحرب الشعواء ونتائجها "الاحتمالية"، اين هي المستشفيات وسيارات الاسعاف ناهيك عن الملاجئ وغيرها؟ فهذه من المهمات التي نلقيها على عاتق الدولة - التي لم يؤخذ لها رأي في اعلان الحرب - لكي تكون ذريعة للومها على عجزها وقلة حيلتها. فالدولة هي المرجع عندما نحتاجها لكي تضمد الجراح والقرارات الرشيدة والمصيرية ليست من حقها

وان تكون شيعيا يعني ان تعطل عقلك وتترك للسيد خامنئي أن يملي عليك ويسوقك ويقرر عنك حول ماذا يريد(هو) من سلاح "حزب الله"، وان يفرض عليك معنى للانتصار الذي لا فرق بينه وبين الانتحار

وان تكون شيعيا يعني ان تدافع عن تدخل الوزير الايراني متكي السافر بشؤون الدولة اللبنانية من دون مراعاة حتى للمظاهر، وهو ربما اتى لينبّه وزيري "حزب الله" في الحكومة انهما "لم يوافقا" على البنود السبعة (بل هيّئ لهما) وخاصة بند القوات الدولية كي لا نقفل باب المقاومة ونبقي البلد مشرعا ومستباحا وساحة للاستغلال، بعدما تبيّن الآن ان مزارع شبعا سورية وتخضع للقرار 242 والى عدم وجود اجماع حول هذا البند. وهو بهذا كأنه ينبههما الى خطئهما في تغليب انتمائهما اللبناني على تبعيتهما الايرانية، فعليهما رغم انفهما ان يغلبا مصلحة البرنامج النووي الايراني ومصلحة الدولة الايرانية على مصلحة دولتهما واولوية الحفاظ على ارواح اللبنانيين وممتلكاتهم، سواء أكانوا شيعة ام غير ذلك، بل خاصة اذا كانوا شيعة. أفليست الأولوية هي جعل إيران قوة اقليمية شيعية عظمى؟ ما أهمية التضحية ببلد اسمه لبنان؟ او بشيعة هذا "اللبنان"؟

وعليك في هذا الجو المتوتر والقلق عندما تكون شيعيا ان تستمع لمحدثك الشيعي المتوتر والغاضب والذي يريد ان يقلب الدنيا على رأس "14 آذار" وان يمنع نشر القوات الدولية، وتسمعه يوزع العمالة والخيانة والامركة والصهينة يمينا وشمالاً دون ان تنبس ببنت شفة بل عليك ان تمتص غضبه وتوافقه على كل آرائه التي عرضنا عينة منها

وهذا ما يجعلك أبعد ما يمكن ان تكون عن ان تفكر في من انت؟ هل انت مواطن لبناني؟ هل كونك شيعيا يلزمك باعطاء اولوية لإيران على لبنان؟ هل لك حرية رأي؟ او حرية تعبير؟ هل مسموح ان تفكر بروية وتسأل الى اين نحن ذاهبون بالوطن وبمقومات الدولة وبالتعددية وبالعيش المشترك الذي صار علينا ان ندافع عنه الان؟

فأن تكون شيعيا وتتجرأ على مثل هذه الكتابة وهذا التفكير يعني انك عميل وخائن ومع التقسيم والتوطين ومع مشاريع الصهينة والأسرلة وتدافع عن الدولة بفسادها ومحسوبيتها وانك تؤيد السياسة الاميركية المنحازة (بجدارة) وانك تقبل بقصر نظرها وبدعمها لارهاب الدولة الصهيونية وبعدم اعطائها الفلسطينيين دولتهم اسوة ببقية خلق الله بحجة عدم دعم ارهاب "حماس". ويعني انك تدعم اسرائيل نفسها وآلتهـا الجهنميــة ووحشيتها الفائقة وتبرر قتلها واحتلالها وجنونها وتكون محظوظا اذا لم تتهم بانك انت من يساهم بتهديم البيوت على رؤوس اصحابها وتمزيق جثث الاطفال ونثرها على الركام بإعلاء صوتك

فهل نسيت شيئا من المعزوفة؟ اذا فعلت سوف تعذروني لأني لا استطيع مقاطعة مسلسل نشرات الأخبار أكثر من ذلك، عليّ ان اذهب لأرى من يتهجر الآن ومن يتهدم بيته في هذه اللحظة اذا نجا من القتل

منى فياض

استاذة في الجامعة اللبنانية

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

In the path of Hezbollah, book review.

The book is written by a very prominent scholar, Dr Nizar Hamzeh who used to be the political science department chairperson in the American University of Beirut and who works at the moment in Kuwait.

The book is a very objective and scholarly depiction of the inner working and organization of Hezbollah. It methodically dissects all the aspect of Hezbollah, explaining the theological basics that govern all its activities from recruitment to the hierarchal organization, shedding some light on the special relationship linking Hezbollah to Iran.

Additionally, the author presents a very elaborate categorization of all the organization and subdivision of Hezbollah. Like its media arm consisting of Al Manar TV, Al Nour radio station and several other print media outlets, or the Jihad al Binna organization that is currently handling the reconstruction efforts, or even its armed forces.

The author based most of the book on a very thorough and comprehensive research using books by Nassrallah himself, and direct interviews with several high-ranking officials (like Naim Kassem, Nassrallah's second in command).

"In the Path of Hezbollah" is a must for anyone who wants to learn more about Hezbollah from a very reliable, objective and accurate source, without being drowned in the current media blitz.

If you are interested check the book out on Amazon, the link is on the right side of my blog.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A war that brought them nothing but devastation

An intresting article by Charles Krauthammer from the Washington Post. The author argues that "What real victor declares that, had he known, he would not have started the war that ended in triumph?" and
"the Lebanese are furious at Hezbollah for provoking a war that brought them nothing but devastation -- and then crowing about victory amid the ruins."

Below you can find the full article:

Hezbollah's 'Victory'

"We did not think, even 1 percent, that the capture would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude. You ask me, if I had known on July 11 . . . that the operation would lead to such a war, would I do it? I say no, absolutely not."

-- Hasan Nasrallah,
Hezbollah leader, Aug. 27

So much for the "strategic and historic victory" Nasrallah had claimed less than two weeks earlier. What real victor declares that, had he known, he would not have started the war that ended in triumph?

Nasrallah's admission, vastly underplayed in the West, makes clear what the Lebanese already knew. Hezbollah may have won the propaganda war, but on the ground it lost. Badly.

True, under the inept and indecisive leadership of Ehud Olmert, Israel did miss the opportunity to militarily destroy Hezbollah and make it a non-factor in Israel's security, Lebanon's politics and Iran's foreign policy. Nonetheless, Hezbollah was seriously hurt. It lost hundreds of its best fighters. A deeply entrenched infrastructure on Israel's border is in ruins. The great hero has had to go so deep into hiding that Nasrallah has been called "the underground mullah."

Most important, Hezbollah's political gains within Lebanon during the war have proved illusory. As the dust settles, the Lebanese are furious at Hezbollah for provoking a war that brought them nothing but devastation -- and then crowing about victory amid the ruins.

The Western media were once again taken in by the mystique of the "Arab street." The mob came out to cheer Hezbollah for raining rockets on Israel -- surprise! -- and the Arab governments that had initially criticized Hezbollah went conveniently silent. Now that the mob has gone home, Hezbollah is under renewed attack -- in newspapers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt, as well as by many Lebanese, including influential Shiite academics and clan leaders. The Arabs know where their interests lie. And they do not lie with a Shiite militia that fights for Iran.

Even before the devastation, Hezbollah in the last election garnered only about 20 percent of the vote, hardly a mandate. Hezbollah has guns, however, and that is the source of its power. But now even that is threatened. Hence Nasrallah's admission. He knows that Lebanon, however weak its army, has a deep desire to disarm him and that the arrival of Europeans in force, however weak their mandate, will make impossible the rebuilding of the vast Maginot Line he spent six years constructing.

Which is why the expected Round Two will, in fact, not happen. Hezbollah is in no position, either militarily or politically, for another round. Nasrallah's admission that the war was a mistake is an implicit pledge not to repeat it, lest he be completely finished as a Lebanese political figure.

The Lebanese know that Israel bombed easy-to-repair airport runways when it could have destroyed the new airport terminal and set Lebanon back 10 years. The Lebanese know that Israel attacked the Hezbollah TV towers when it could have pulverized Beirut's power grid, a billion-dollar reconstruction. The Lebanese know that the next time, Israel's leadership will hardly be as hesitant and restrained. Hezbollah dares not risk that next time.

Even more important is the shift once again in the internal Lebanese balance of power. With Nasrallah weakened, the other major factions are closing in around him. Even his major Christian ally, Michel Aoun, has called for Hezbollah's disarmament. The March 14 democratic movement has regained the upper hand and, with outside help, could marginalize Hezbollah.

In a country this weak, outsiders can be decisive. A strong European presence in the south, serious U.S. training and equipment for the Lebanese army, and relentless pressure at the United Nations can tip the balance. We should be especially aggressive at the United Nations in pursuing the investigation of Syria for the murder of Rafiq Hariri and in implementing resolutions mandating the disarmament of Hezbollah.

It was just 18 months ago that the democrats of the March 14 movement expelled Syria from Lebanon and rose to power, marking the apogee of the U.S. democratization project in the region. Nasrallah's temporary rise during the just-finished war marked that project's nadir. Nasrallah's crowing added to the general despair in Washington about a rising "Shiite crescent" stretching from Tehran to Beirut.

In fact, Hezbollah was seriously set back, as was Iran. In the Middle East, however, promising moments pass quickly. This one needs to be seized. We must pretend that Security Council Resolution 1701 was meant to be implemented and exert unrelieved pressure on behalf of those Lebanese -- a large majority -- who want to do the implementing.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Something ain't right!

Saying that we did not know that Israel's reaction will be this violent, and if we did we would have not kidnapped the two soldiers, is just too hard to believe. So excuse Mr. Nassrallah but something ain't right!

Let me elaborate, first the same crisis occured in Gaza just a few weeks before ours started, and we all witnessed the large amount of destruction, inflicted on that small strip of land, by Israel after one of its soldiers was abducted. So it was easy to infer what Israel's reaction would be in the case of another kidnapping.

Second, Olmert and Peretz having no military background or experience, their reaction to the kidnapping of another two soldiers was entirely predictable. They needed to act tough to compensate for the lack of experience and reassure Israel's population concerning their security.

Finally, yours truly a common citizen, like thousands others, predict that the Israel reaction after kidnapping of the two soldiers, would not be limited to the south and would be disastrous to Lebanon. A prediction shared by many Lebanese I met during that beautiful summer day, before the war started.

So after this "divine blunder" it looks like Hezbollah's leadership suffers from a severe short sight and is not capable of anticipating a very obvious Israeli reaction, or maybe something ain't right…

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hezbollah Didn't Win

Arab writers are beginning to lift the veil on what really happened in Lebanon.


The way much of the Western media tells the story, Hezbollah won a great victory against Israel and the U.S., healed the Sunni-Shiite rift, and boosted the Iranian mullahs' claim to leadership of the Muslim world. Portraits of Hassan Nasrallah, the junior mullah who leads the Lebanese branch of this pan-Shiite movement, have adorned magazine covers in the West, hammering in the message that this child of the Khomeinist revolution is the new hero of the mythical "Arab Street."

Probably because he watches a lot of CNN, Iran's "Supreme Guide," Ali Khamenei, also believes in "a divine victory." Last week he asked 205 members of his Islamic Majlis to send Mr. Nasrallah a message, congratulating him for his "wise and far-sighted leadership of the Ummah that produced the great victory in Lebanon."
By controlling the flow of information from Lebanon throughout the conflict, and help from all those who disagree with U.S. policies for different reasons, Hezbollah may have won the information war in the West. In Lebanon, the Middle East and the broader Muslim space, however, the picture is rather different.

Let us start with Lebanon.
Immediately after the U.N.-ordained ceasefire started, Hezbollah organized a series of firework shows, accompanied by the distribution of fruits and sweets, to celebrate its victory. Most Lebanese, however, finding the exercise indecent, stayed away. The largest "victory march" in south Beirut, Hezbollah's stronghold, attracted just a few hundred people.

Initially Hezbollah had hesitated between declaring victory and going into mourning for its "martyrs." The latter course would have been more in harmony with Shiite traditions centered on the cult of Imam Hussain's martyrdom in 680 A.D. Some members of Hezbollah wished to play the martyrdom card so that they could accuse Israel, and through it the U.S., of war crimes. They knew that it was easier for Shiites, brought up in a culture of eternal victimhood, to cry over an imagined calamity than laugh in the joy of a claimed victory.

Politically, however, Hezbollah had to declare victory for a simple reason: It had to pretend that the death and desolation it had provoked had been worth it. A claim of victory was Hezbollah's shield against criticism of a strategy that had led Lebanon into war without the knowledge of its government and people. Mr. Nasrallah alluded to this in television appearances, calling on those who criticized him for having triggered the war to shut up because "a great strategic victory" had been won.

The tactic worked for a day or two. However, it did not silence the critics, who have become louder in recent days. The leaders of the March 14 movement, which has a majority in the Lebanese Parliament and government, have demanded an investigation into the circumstances that led to the war, a roundabout way of accusing Hezbollah of having provoked the tragedy. Prime Minister Fuad Siniora has made it clear that he would not allow Hezbollah to continue as a state within the state. Even Michel Aoun, a maverick Christian leader and tactical ally of Hezbollah, has called for the Shiite militia to disband.

Mr. Nasrallah followed his claim of victory with what is known as the "Green Flood"(Al-sayl al-akhdhar). This refers to the massive amounts of crisp U.S. dollar notes that Hezbollah is distributing among Shiites in Beirut and the south. The dollars from Iran are ferried to Beirut via Syria and distributed through networks of militants. Anyone who can prove that his home was damaged in the war receives $12,000, a tidy sum in wartorn Lebanon.

The Green Flood has been unleashed to silence criticism of Mr. Nasrallah and his masters in Tehran. But the trick does not seem to be working. "If Hezbollah won a victory, it was a Pyrrhic one," says Walid Abi-Mershed, a leading Lebanese columnist. "They made Lebanon pay too high a price--for which they must be held accountable."

Hezbollah is also criticized from within the Lebanese Shiite community, which accounts for some 40% of the population. Sayyed Ali al-Amin, the grand old man of Lebanese Shiism, has broken years of silence to criticize Hezbollah for provoking the war, and called for its disarmament. In an interview granted to the Beirut An-Nahar, he rejected the claim that Hezbollah represented the whole of the Shiite community. "I don't believe Hezbollah asked the Shiite community what they thought about [starting the] war," Mr. al-Amin said. "The fact that the masses [of Shiites] fled from the south is proof that they rejected the war. The Shiite community never gave anyone the right to wage war in its name."

There were even sharper attacks. Mona Fayed, a prominent Shiite academic in Beirut, wrote an article also published by An-Nahar last week. She asks: Who is a Shiite in Lebanon today? She provides a sarcastic answer: A Shiite is he who takes his instructions from Iran, terrorizes fellow believers into silence, and leads the nation into catastrophe without consulting anyone. Another academic, Zubair Abboud, writing in Elaph, a popular Arabic-language online newspaper, attacks Hezbollah as "one of the worst things to happen to Arabs in a long time." He accuses Mr. Nasrallah of risking Lebanon's existence in the service of Iran's regional ambitions.

Before he provoked the war, Mr. Nasrallah faced growing criticism not only from the Shiite community, but also from within Hezbollah. Some in the political wing expressed dissatisfaction with his overreliance on the movement's military and security apparatus. Speaking on condition of anonymity, they described Mr. Nasrallah's style as "Stalinist" and pointed to the fact that the party's leadership council (shura) has not held a full session in five years. Mr. Nasrallah took all the major decisions after clearing them with his Iranian and Syrian contacts, and made sure that, on official visits to Tehran, he alone would meet Iran's "Supreme Guide," Ali Khamenei.

Mr. Nasrallah justified his style by claiming that involving too many people in decision-making could allow "the Zionist enemy" to infiltrate the movement. Once he had received the Iranian green light to provoke the war, Mr. Nasrallah acted without informing even the two Hezbollah ministers in the Siniora cabinet or the 12 Hezbollah members of the Lebanese Parliament.

Mr. Nasrallah was also criticized for his acknowledgement of Ali Khamenei as Marjaa al-Taqlid (Source of Emulation), the highest theological authority in Shiism. Highlighting his bay'aah (allegiance), Mr. Nasrallah kisses the man's hand each time they meet. Many Lebanese Shiites resent this because Mr. Khamenei, a powerful politician but a lightweight in theological terms, is not recognized as Marjaa al-Taqlid in Iran itself. The overwhelming majority of Lebanese Shiites regard Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, in Iraq, or Ayatollah Muhammad-Hussein Fadhlallah, in Beirut, as their "Source of Emulation."

Some Lebanese Shiites also question Mr. Nasrallah's strategy of opposing Prime Minister Siniora's "Project for Peace," and instead advancing an Iranian-backed "Project of Defiance." The coalition led by Mr. Siniora wants to build Lebanon into a haven of peace in the heart of a turbulent region. His critics dismiss this as a plan "to create a larger Monaco." Mr. Nasrallah's "Project of Defiance," however, is aimed at turning Lebanon into the frontline of Iranian defenses in a war of civilizations between Islam (led by Tehran) and the "infidel," under American leadership. "The choice is between the beach and the bunker," says Lebanese scholar Nadim Shehadeh. There is evidence that a majority of Lebanese Shiites would prefer the beach.

There was a time when Shiites represented an underclass of dirt-poor peasants in the south and lumpen elements in Beirut. Over the past 30 years, however, that picture has changed. Money sent from Shiite immigrants in West Africa (where they dominate the diamond trade), and in the U.S. (especially Michigan), has helped create a prosperous middle class of Shiites more interested in the good life than martyrdom à la Imam Hussain. This new Shiite bourgeoisie dreams of a place in the mainstream of Lebanese politics and hopes to use the community's demographic advantage as a springboard for national leadership. Hezbollah, unless it ceases to be an instrument of Iranian policies, cannot realize that dream.

The list of names of those who never endorsed Hezbollah, or who broke with it after its Iranian connections became too apparent, reads like a Who's Who of Lebanese Shiism. It includes, apart from the al-Amins, families such as the al-As'ad, the Osseiran, the al-Khalil, the Hamadah, the Murtadha, the Sharafeddin, the Fadhlallah, the Mussawis, the Hussainis, the Shamsuddin and the Ata'allahs.

Far from representing the Lebanese national consensus, Hezbollah is a sectarian group backed by a militia that is trained, armed and controlled by Iran. In the words of Hossein Shariatmadari, editor of the Iranian daily Kayhan, "Hezbollah is 'Iran in Lebanon.' " In the 2004 municipal elections, Hezbollah won some 40% of the votes in the Shiite areas, the rest going to its rival Amal (Hope) movement and independent candidates. In last year's general election, Hezbollah won only 12 of the 27 seats allocated to Shiites in the 128-seat National Assembly--despite making alliances with Christian and Druze parties and spending vast sums of Iranian money to buy votes.

Hezbollah's position is no more secure in the broader Arab world, where it is seen as an Iranian tool rather than as the vanguard of a new Nahdha (Awakening), as the Western media claim. To be sure, it is still powerful because it has guns, money and support from Iran, Syria and Hate America International Inc. But the list of prominent Arab writers, both Shiite and Sunni, who have exposed Hezbollah for what it is--a Khomeinist Trojan horse--would be too long for a single article. They are beginning to lift the veil and reveal what really happened in Lebanon.

Having lost more than 500 of its fighters, and with almost all of its medium-range missiles destroyed, Hezbollah may find it hard to sustain its claim of victory. "Hezbollah won the propaganda war because many in the West wanted it to win as a means of settling score with the United States," says Egyptian columnist Ali al-Ibrahim. "But the Arabs have become wise enough to know TV victory from real victory."

Thanks for Raja from the Lebanese bloggers for pointing this out.