30 November 2006

Open-Ended Sit-in in Downtown Beirut Friday

"Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, terming Premier Fouad Saniora's government "failure," called for an open-ended sit-in Friday in downtown Beirut to achieve what he described as "political partnership" in running Lebanon.Nasrallah, in a televised statement Thursday, described Saniora's cabinet as "a government representing one party … Lebanon should not be ruled by a single party.""

details

29 November 2006

Lebanon: Minister Pierre Gemayel Assassinated

Lebanon witnessed this week the brutal assassination of its minister of industry and trade. This terrorist act overshadowed all other events and topics in the Lebanese blogosphere. Nevertheless, the posts were as varied and different as the political inclinations of the Lebanese themselves. Here is a sample of what they had to say:

Blogging Beirut and Liliane posted some pictures from the scene of the crime and from the demonstration and funeral that followed.

Lazarus comments:

It is telling when a group of warlords point fingers and claim righteousness
when a young man is brutally killed. what is more disturbing however is the
Machiavellian “intellectuals” who expect that riding the tailcoats of warlords
to a sovereign and independent Lebanon is the way to go. They see a goal (which
most us do share) and sincerely believe their path is the “smart one”, yet I
wonder if they realize that they have been walking on a treadmill for the past
two years.
Abu Kais saw that:


The battle for Lebanon right now centers on the tribunal that will bring the
killers of Hariri and others to justice. The court’s local and foreign opponents
are stopping at nothing to block its formation, including assassinating members
of the cabinet that will approve the plan.
While MarxistFromLebanon mentions an SMS message he received calling for him to participate in the demonstration:

I got this sms on my mobile phone and it seems it is circulating through out
Lebanon:
“Imagine Wi’am Wahab, Assem Kanso, Nasser Kandil, Sleiman Franjieh,
Talal Arslan, Mohamad Fnesh as your new ministers, Salim Hos as your prime
minister and Michel Aoun as your President!
Participate Tomorrow and they
will stay home!”
Another point of view from Dr Victorino de la Vega:
President Bush, Prime Minister Olmert and their Saudi Islamist friends were
quick to blame this horrendous crime on Syria and Iran, even though there isn’t
a single shred of evidence against these two countries. Maybe we could ask Dick
Cheney and Mike Ledeen to fabricate a few colorful proofs with the help of the
Israeli embassy in Niger- think nuclear “yellow cake”… hmm yummy! ;)In fact,
Pierre Gemayel was a leader of The Phalange (“Al Kataeb” in Arabic), an overtly
Fascist Christian group modeled after Franco’s Hispanic version of the Nazi
Party called El Movimiento Falangista: not really the standard textbook
definition of a “democrat”… even by the Middle-East’s notoriously low
standards!
The Rambler compares “news” from neighboring countries with “news” in Lebanon: ...

Read the rest (plenty more) here...

26 November 2006

Worse than Sectarianism

The private savings in Lebanese banks amount to about 60 billion US dollars.
This is keeping the Lebanese economy from total bankruptcy. So far this is good.
But .…

60 percent of these savings are owned by 2 percent of the Lebanese.
I will not do the math.
This two percent do OWN Lebanon.

I have observed the democratic and progressive crowds descend on Beirut time after time.
I have heard them chant for the longevity of the Beyks, Sheikhs, Princes, etc.
These titles, for those who are unfamiliar with the Lebanese taxonomy, are feudal titles that are lingering around for hundreds of years now.

The feudal lords happen to be among the two percent mentioned above.
These feudal lords are leading Lebanon to a new century of democracy and equality as they have effectively led us through the turmoil of the previous century. They will lead us as their grandfathers led our grandfathers to modernity.

Our feudal lords, may the Almighty Lord keep and save them, own the land of the eternal cedar and its glorious people.

Yes there is something worse than SECTARIANISM.
It is FEUDALISM.

NB: Don’t nobody get me wrong, I am for the International Tribunal.

22 November 2006

Statements: Impending Gloom

Franjieh’s statement that March 14 needed blood to mobilize their supporters to stand up to and stop the opposition (Hezbollah, FPM etc) from massively demonstrating and toppling the government is just too fantastic to believe. This is like a person committing suicide to see who will attend the funeral. March 14 leaders must be a group of lunatics to do that.

March 14th statement that the purpose of Pierre Gemayel’s murder is to stop the international tribunal is too absurd to believe. The resolution on the tribunal was passed unanimously with no debate as a result of the murder. This has happened before when resolutions were to be passed on Lebanon; resolutions that would have taken some discussions and maybe undergone some changes. The accused must be extremely dumb to keep repeating the same mistake of accelerating the international tribunal that will indict them.

The respect gained whenever leaders (Jumblat etc) state that they were mistaken for taking a certain path quickly vanishes when they decide to stay and lead to and through another righteous path that they just discovered. The people (poor etc) pay the price.

Olmert is worried. He is afraid; in fact he is praying that the latest assassination will not lead to the destabilization of the region. Olmert is man with a heart of gold after all.

I may just be too simplistic and idealistic in my analysis or maybe I am suffering from the syndrome of living in Beirut continuously for more than two decades.

I just heard that ex PM Salim Hoss' home in Beirut was attacked by group of young men raising some party flag. They were repelled by the security guards.

Tomorrow Minister Gemayel will be laid to rest. Cars with loudspeakers are roaming the streets of Beirut calling for massive participation in the funeral.

May he rest in peace and may his killers suffer the consequencies.

Two Questions

A couple of weeks ago Ms Rice and Mr Samir Ja'Ja' went on record for stating that they expected assassinations of prominent figures. The prediction was even detailed as Ja'Ja' expected ministers to be assassinated. At the same time news broke of gun silencers crossing through the airport directed to the American Embassy in Lebanon.
Yesterday a minister was assassinated and a silencer was used.

First question: How did they know?
Second question: Why is it that there was practically no protection or security around Minister Pierre Gemayel?

Who has the answers?

21 November 2006

Pierre Gemayel

Tomorrow, 22 Nov, Lebanon should have celebrated Independence Day.
This will not happen.
Lebanon is not independent.
All three branches of the government are rusty and screwed up.

Today Minister Pierre Gemayel has been assassinated.

31 years ago, an attempted assassination on Pierre Gemayel, the grand father, sparked a civil war that lasted 15 years.
The fallout of that war continues till this day.

Yesterday I remembered Gebran Tueini. I disagreed with most of Gebran’s ideas, but I used to watch him and listen whenever he spoke.

He was like an antithesis, a catalyst instigating the thought process, causing the rethinking of ideas taken for granted.

Pierre Gemayel was starting to fill the gap that Gebran left. Now he is gone.

Who the fuck would want make Pierre a martyr?

Assassination is wrong. Today is another sad day on the road to destabilization.

We are walking a thin line. We expect tough times ahead.

May his mother’s heart, his family and children find peace some day.

Lebanon: Campaigns, Politics and Photos

A wide variety of topics were highlighted in the Lebanese blogosphere this week. There are campaigns against sectarianism, child abuse and AIDS as well as minorities speaking out. There are attempts to define the shades of grey in internal Lebanese politics. We also have posts about the media, nice photos from Lebanon and some political cartoons. Countries around Lebanon also had their share of criticism. Anyway enough of that now and let’s check out a sample of these posts:

The Jews of Lebanon think it’s time to speak up:

Is it time to speak out? We have been seriously considering approaching the Lebanese government regarding our concerns and issues and getting an official response. Every indication suggests that the government regards the Jewish community as any other minority in Lebanon and as such, we expect a favorable response.

Lebanese Bloggers Forum has a post on the campaign against sectarianism in Lebanon:

I have recently received the images below by e-mail from a couple of friends under the heading of “Stop Sectarianism Before It Stops Us”….And given the recent rise in sectarian political tensions in Lebanon, I thought this would be as good a time as any, and this forum as good a place as any to air these fresh, smart, provocative and highly relevant images, and the ideas they raise.

Annie highlights the November 19th International Day Against Child Abuse, saying that abuse can manifest itself in different forms, from verbal abuse to GBV (Gender-based violence) and sexual abuse, school and domestic violence.

While Liliane tells us of 12 ways to join the fight against AIDS.

Moving away from campaigns to the media, Pierre Tristam has the following to say about Al Jazeera English channel not being allowed to broadcast in the US: ...


Read the rest here...


Topics From 192 Countries

This is what you get when 192 persons from 192 countries cooperate to write ONE blog:

you get Topics From 192 Countries .

What did you expect? :-)

16 November 2006

Wanted: Moderate Flock?!


Bush, Rice and Olmert are recruiting moderate Arabs.
Bush, Rice and Olmert have recruited moderate Liberman.
Bush, Rice and Olmert are moderates and hang out with moderates only.
So chill man cuz only
Bird of moderate-feather
flock together.

Image: Laz

11 November 2006

Major vs Minor Changes

Bush has started his minor cosmetic changes in the aftermath of the midterm elections.
Lebanon is minor.
Lebanese politicians are minor.
Lebanon and its political mess will surely witness some changes.
Is change always good?
Joseph puts it this way: “No one in Lebanon is as important to Bush as Rumsfeld has been.”
And yet he is gone.

So beware.

Tribunal and Secular Lebanon

How can one speak about the failures of the Lebanese government, and the entire political system in Lebanon for that matter, without being accused of wanting to derail or disrupt the inevitable forming of the (semi) international tribunal that will indict the murderers of PM Hariri?

Try criticizing the traffic jams in and around Beirut or Fatfat’s proposal to post cameras all around Beirut and observe the reactions.

And how can a new web site about secularism do any good in a country where even secularist are tuning their ears and minds to sect-terminology and sect-taxonomy appreciation? Where the simple questions like “where are you from” or “what food do ‘you’ eat” have sectarian connotations? In a nation where “we” has a different definition for different persons at different times.

Beit Hanoun and its Sister Villages

Where does one get training on how to criticize or argue or show Israeli atrocities and to defend Palestinian rights or disclose their miseries without being labeled as Anti-Semitic?

How can one express one’s anger at or disdain for Zionism or Israel’s policies without being accused of acting as a terrorist or planning in the dark to throw Jews into the sea?

Rice and Olmert are always sorry for ‘their’ massacres (oops I meant mistakes) but then that’s it. No amendments to their actions. No one is held accountable. Even a simple and useless meeting of the UN to declare condemnation (words) is opposed.

Iraq

Saddam is declared guilty and condemned to be hanged for his crimes. Bush and Co agreed. But this verdict did not help in the midterm elections. Maybe the capture of Bin Laden wouldn’t have helped save them either.

Day by day the crimes committed by Bush and Co in Iraq come to light. They even surpass Saddam’s. In fact Saddam is an amateur compared to Bush and Co.

Will anyone be held accountable?

08 November 2006

There is hope


Who said the Americans are politically naive and are easily swayed by the media?

The results of the American midterm elections are simply good news.

Check Pierre's updates of these elections as they go.

Lebanon: Sweet and Sour

Iraq, Palestine, Israel, and an alternative drink to the regular carbonated soda were topics discussed in the Lebanese blogs this week.The reconvening of the internal political discussion among rival Lebanese politicians in the form of “the consultations” was also the focus of many blogs.
Before embarking on the tiresome task of reading about the various conflicts in the Middle East it is advisable to start with the refreshing “jallab” drink which is described graphically by Jamal:

In Lebanon, well in the Middle East to be more precise, the ultimate thirst
quencher is Jallab.Jallab is two parts. The chilled liquid part is made from a
syrup concocted (yes I love the verb concoct and all of its concoctions) from
dates, grapes, and rose water. Part two is best described by…
The issue of female/male relationships in Lebanon (and maybe elsewhere) is a thorny one. An article was published in the New York Times discussing just that. Among the many bloggers who critiqued this article was Rampurple who blasted :
This article make women in Lebanon seem so desperate for marriage where in
reality, if we are simply going to talk about the women clubbing, most of them
are university students and/or career oriented women not so desperate for
marriage as they claim. […]I also find it degrading for men, to place a quote in
the article that all men who stay in Lebanon are not-ambitious, have closed
mentalities and stay to find a virgin to marry. In my opinion hat quote is
hilarious…
Let us now turn to politics, war and other related issues. Let’s start with Lebanon. What does each party in the wide Lebanese political spectrum want from the discussions they are having? Jamal has one answer:

Read the rest here....

 

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