Friday, April 27, 2007


The two young men have been found dead. Apparently they were killed shortly after they were kidnapped.

You could feel the country boiling, anger is spreading... Political leaders from all over the spectrum have called for calm and restraint.

Joumblatt. despite all the threats that he faces, marched in the funeral procession of the two boys, stressing the need for clam and civil peace.

Ironically Joumblatt in the last weeks, have been constantly accused by Hezbollah of working towards igniting a new civil war, is the one who is literally keep the nightmarish genie inside the bottle. He only needs to give the tiniest of nods and all hell will break loose.

Nevertheless, a few days from now, Hezbollah will restart their incessant lies about Joumblatt's efforts to start the second civil war…

Meanwhile, the two young men are dead, caught in a cross fire, futile death...meaningless...hopefully the last...But I fear it is only the beginning...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Will today be the day!

In the suffocating deadlock griping Lebanon, I keep wondering will today become the official day the second civil war started on?

The first civil war officially started on April 13 1975. Of course many events preceded this date, but everything needs a beginning and on that date a bus travelling through the once Christian neighbored carrying Palestinian was stopped and its passengers shot…

So each morning when I wake up I wonder if today will be labeled “the day the second Lebanese civil war started on”

Meanwhile, this day might have come and passed, maybe on 23 and 25 January, or even last Sunday where two young men (one 12 years old and the other 25) who support Joumblat’s PSP (Progressive Socialist Party, which is part of the 14 March alliance), have been kidnapped and are yet to be found…

Yesterday, rumors engulfed the country, and the tension was sky high… However the situation is still dangerous, for if the two young men are not returned swiftly, or even worse they are killed, then the PSP will want to exact vengeance. And from that point blood will call for more blood, and the infernal cycle will start once more…

Monday, April 16, 2007

Civil war

Last week, the Lebanese people commemorated the 22 anniversary of start of civil war. And each Thursday Marcel Ghanem, Lebanon’s most prominent TV presenter, hosts a talk show, “Kalem al Nass” on LBC. So on the eve of that infamous anniversary the show was about the civil war, and Ghanem asked the Lebanese a crucial question “will you be willing to take up arms again and fight your fellow Lebanese…”

Unfortunately, 9 out of 10 male callers professed their willingness, even their eagerness to fight. I was not surprised… You could feel this “esprit de guerre” or war logic in the streets, in conversations, in any social gathering, even between educated people.

Lebanese politicians are famous for their changing allegiance and overnight alliances, yet the current rhetoric of exclusion and accusations have deeply affected the population at large. I fear that the gaping chasm which divides our society will need years and years to heal, if the situation does not deteriorate.

Finally, many would ask how a people who suffered the horrors of civil war embark on the same dark path another time, in less than 20 years (the war ended in 1990) the answer is simple it is young fools, who never witnessed the last war that are most eager to start a new one. Of course with the help of even bigger fools, politicians and divine leaders, who think that they can accomplish in a civil war what they failed to do in the pseudo-peace we live in…

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Nassrallah's new face

In the last world war, cities used to have many sirens to warned against any incoming airplanes. So each time the population heard the distinct sound of these sirens they would rush to their hiding places in fear…

Nowadays in Lebanon every time Hezbollah’s leader issue a speech, fear spreads among the Lebanese. Nassrallah speeches filled with anger and threats have become a dreaded event in the already tensed daily life in Lebanon, filled with bomb scares and never ending rumors….

Nassrallah brings nothing new to the table; he keeps on refusing compromises and solutions. He no longer accepts the third plus one of the council of ministers, and unequivocally refused the International Tribunal, claiming it was just a sham to legitimate the already decided upon sentences.

The best we can hope for now is to keep the current deadlock until the next presidential election in September, hoping beyond hope the country’s economic situation holds out that long. I will leave you to imagine the worst, as the anniversary of the start of the Lebanese war -the 13th of April- approaches…

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A new perspective!

Here a piece by our friend Slavik Mike that brings a rather innovative and very interesting perspective to the Middle East conflicts and how to solve them.

Enjoy, and thank you Mike!

So for your consideration, an epiphany on the whole matter:

I've grown tired and ultimately no longer interested in playing out the status quo blogosphere tit-for-tat right vs. left comment battle.

I say "right" to refer to March 14th and the broader population that actually thinks a secular peaceful

Middle East (ME) composed of law abiding nation states is a great idea.

I say "left" to refer to those others that like the concept of people being free of oppressive governments, but find themselves caught on the backs of their heels forced to defend the actions of their tyrannical governments and foreign interlocutors as a way of standing up to what they view as Western imperialism that seeks to wipe out their culture and heritage.

If I've proscribed the wrong labels, I apologize, I'm going by the definitions they carry in North America.

And for those who consider themselves loyal to a ME ruled under purely Sharia law and love the idea of an

ensuing bloody apocalypse, well, you're not going to be a fan of the following:

I had the idea that there is obviously some common ground that both our extreme positions co-occupy that are on our mutual wish list for change as far as the ME goes.

The problem of the region is that even if you do nothing, despots just grow bolder and try to create problems and if you kick them out, say Assad from Syria or Mubarak from Egypt, the more fanatical elements take over such as the Muslim Brotherhood formerly in the government, with its violent offspring of Al Qaeda, etc. wreaking covert and overt havoc throughout the land.

The native people are screwed either way. Neither appeasement (left) or concentrated force (right-unless

you've got the stomach for the body bags) seems to be very successful.

I'm assuming we both hold to the need and essential right of women in the region (and in the rest of the world) to be allowed to live freely and more than simply as mute 2nd class citizens and baby factory concubines.

It's the absence of an actual "presence" of women in the ME that has made it so chaotic, in my opinion.

The US's Wild West of the 19th century had tons of religion but didn't see a pacifivity occur until the

women began crossing the Mississippi from the East to offset the 90% male population that roamed the American Frontier.

I speak merely in the theoretical, tendering a hypothetical idea, of course, but wouldn't a greater good be created by combining the right and left blogosphere's total energy on what amounts to a common goal with beneficial results for each of our sides than to continue to squander our time in cyber space hurling insults and news clips at one another?

The advantages for the left would be:

1) A campaign (when successful at full steem) that would provide an alternative to the west's perceived war machine, since the bombs that are dropped also kill women as they do fanatical jihadi men.

This would allow countries like Iran and Syria to under go a smooth internal reform instead of a violent foreign regime change. This allows also for a maintenance of ethnic identity instead of a Anglo-Saxon imposed one. India seems to be doing fine maintaining it's cultures despite being a democracy.

2) A weakening of traditionally Western backed government's such as the House of Saud, Egypt and Jordan's ruling parties because, they too, are guilty of such grave violations as Tehran.

3) As pressure mounts, general human rights will be put in place on the road to full women's rights in attempts to pacify the people but keep women from gaining full citizenship rights (e.g. "We'll stop stoning, but we can't let women's testimony be equal to that of a man's in court", and they'll continue caving in until full rights are restored to all).

The advantages for the right would be:

1) A liberalized female populations means the opportunity for casual sex which the current ban on such norms fanatics use to redirect all that "energy" towards hate and murder promising that despite not being able to get laid now, they can get dozens of naked chicks in the here after granted that they don't mind shooting up some amphetines and driving an explosives wired car into a crowded market place.

A madrassa is far less likely to turn out high caliber suicide bombers if it's co-ed.

2) A lack of violence leads to economic growth through tourism, manufacturing (although China's really got

this one nailed down), etc. since right wingers love to make a buck.

And it's good for the local populations who endure unemployment rates that range from 20-50% depending on the country.

3) The West overall enjoys being happy and we would much rather spend our time living our own lives instead of worrying about getting dragged into centuries old conflicts that bear to close a resemblance to our own Protestant Catholic religious wars of hundreds of years ago.

Your side can still be "Pinko-Commies" and you can still refer to us as "Capitalist Pigs"

But, ultimately, would it not be a greater gesture to work together and accomplish some of our mutual core


Eternal back and forth bickering about "Spineless Appeasement Surrender Monkees" and "Heartless War Mongering Child Killers" doesn't help those women continually being forced to endure female circumcisions and arranged marriages in the darkest depths of Middle Eastern society.

Just a thought.

(And for those that want to complain about Israeli Apartheid in relation to this proposition, stop blowing yourselfs up and follow the successful non-violent resistance tactics used against South Africa's Apartheid that brought that system down instead of the futile violent tactics of Ireland's I.R.A.)