Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lebanon: The Destruction of Alternatives

By MFL


In Lebanon, the majority of the civilians do not want a civil war; however, that was the case back in 1975 and they were dragged to a civil war.

The current politicians are practicing a process what is called: demobilization. This means all non-party affiliates are de-activated due to the lack of availability of alternatives or options to impose the over-all populations' voice on the politicians. Henceforth, the destruction of alternative aka space to function in opposition to the political parties' duet singing of 14th of March and the Opposition.

More to the point, activists who oppose the war are suffocated by the demolition forces of 14th of March and the opposition. They can't do nothing, and personally someone may wonder if they agreed with each other to cripple the activists from expressing their opinions. This becomes very much apparent when riots break out between party affiliates and the shooting takes place. In fact, the immigrants who left Lebanon in the quest of seeking a better life are the same victims of these politicians (partly because of those, and partly due to the Israeli aggression and foreign interventions). Those who are left immobile are given with the choice to choose: 14th of March or Opposition? Usually the question, my dear readers comes as follows: choose the worse of the two. In fact, they are both worse than each other. There is no country in the world currently that celebrates: "Our martyrs and their martyrs" more bluntly than our melancholic parties who promise us doom and destruction by the hands of the "Other Coalition".

With the progressive forces crippled, there is no space to be active at all. In fact, a person would simply watch TV rather attempt to change the reality. Political apathy has reached it's maximum when in 2005 the voting turnabout throughout Lebanon was barely 50%.

As a matter of fact, if a new player or a third force would rise to oppose both coalitions, they will surely agree against them. This we witnessed when Hezbollah and the Lebanese Forces allied with each other against Aoun and his ex-Syrian buddies back in 2005. Then the lunatic general marginalized to a second force as an extension of 8th of March to become the new second line = the Opposition. Probably the majority of those who would vote for ex-war criminals and current business corrupted elites would do so because they would fear that the other would for their "scary alliance from foreign lands" (be that the USA or Iran). This means due to lack of activism and progressive (and real democratic) movements, a lot of the voters would simply vote as what they against what they view as the "invaders" to the "lesser evil".

The stalemate is on-going, while few civil society activists are attempting to maximize the odds. The majority of the Proletariat are de-activated in Lebanon. As the deadlock between the two corrupted forces of Lebanon continues, more people flee the country (due to security, possible a second war with Israel, lack of good economy, or a higher degree).

The arena remains for the Elites (the self-proclaimed Sect-Defenders) and their followers who refuse to wake up to the reality that they are all corrupt.

MFL

25 comments:

Tina said...

Ren,
Totally unrelated topic... (well, maybe NOT so completely unrelated, given that Tony Shalhoub IS a Lebanese-American, after all) ...but since you've confessed to being such a fan of the show as myself, I just wondered if ya heard that Adrian Monk's one and only Dr. Kroger (actor Stanley Kamel) was found dead at his home on April 8th? He was only 65 yrs old. So sad....so sad. May he rest in peace.... and he will be missed. Check out his IMDb entry. Who knew he was such a prolific actor??

nanc said...

ren - have you ever read brigitte gabriel's "because they hate"? a very good book with wonderful insight into the m.e. wars.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Briggitte Gabriel's book is so subjective to the extent the extreme Christian Parties over here (Phalange/Lebanese Forces) even disregarded that book as bogus. It doesnt even tell one side of the story, rather her own racial way.

If you want good books in relations to Lebanon's war:

A History of Modern Lebanon by Dr. Fawaz Traboulsi (he even name the drug trade routes of the conflicting political parties)

Cursed is the Peace Maker (John Boykin based on the Memoirs of Philip Habib)

The War For Lebanon (Itimar Rabinovich, simple but gives an idea)

Irrevocable Covenant (Theodor Hunf)

and

The Documentary War for Lebanon (done by al-jazeera, despite the fact that one party was marginalized, it is a good documentary with interesting scenes from the war covering all sides including the Israeli side, it is done in Arabic, but has English Subtitles)

Best Regards
MFL

Purple library guy said...

As bad as each other?
I dunno. Ultimately, in any political quarrel in Lebanon, I'd have to end up siding with Hezbollah. Thing is, whatever one might say about Hezbollah, they come much closer to being functionally nationalist than the current government. In order for the Lebanese people to get Lebanon's house in order, it has to be Lebanon's house. For as long as people are in charge who will allow local agendas to be overridden by outsiders such as the US and Israel, it's not even Lebanon's house to clean and so nothing can really be done.

I'm not saying Hezbollah and anyone they're allying with have no outside connections. But their outside connections would seem less able to dictate to them.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Ummmm
Nasrallah was (up to 2004) quoted 23 times saying that Hezbollah's strengh comes from Wali el Faqih (just google it)

Renegade Eye said...

Tina: There is a side of me that wants Monk to end, so it doesn't "jump the shark." That is an American expression, for being on past when you should get off. There was a TV show called "Happy Days." In one episode someone (Fonzie) jumped over a shark. After that nobody took the show seriously.

Nanc: MFL answered your point.

Purple Library Guy: I wish you visited more often. I have a Venezuela post coming after this one.

Hezzbollah is Islamist, and shouldn't receive political support. They have an outlook that doesn't recognize differences amongst Israelis. Their weaponry attacks working class and poor Israelis. I oppose Islamism, Zionism and nationalism.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

all i know is that I hope it al gets back to snuff cause tripoli is one place i have always desired to visit

politiques USA said...

/// The Documentary War for Lebanon (done by al-jazeera, despite the fact that one party was marginalized, it is a good documentary with interesting scenes from the war covering all sides including the Israeli side, it is done in Arabic, but has English Subtitles) ///
VERY GOOD and LONG DOCUMENTARY INDEED.


/// Hezzbollah is Islamist, and shouldn't receive political support. They have an outlook that doesn't recognize differences amongst Israelis //// We could say the same on Israel attacking Lebanon. There was an american jew that met the Hizbullah forces and he never got problems with the group.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Having attacked Hezbollah in an earlier comment, I would like to be objective and add that they are not like the al-qa'eda, immerged with their welfaristic nation in the abscence of government amidst Israeli invasion of Southern Lebanon (and successfully expelled them). Nasrallah currently is called a soft liner who wouldnt mind to ally with the Christians... the real fear is in case Nasrallah dies and a hardliner takes over.

Their targets against the Israeli has been 98% military, unlike Israel who got the statistics in the opposite 2% military probably and 98% civilian.

Hezbollah to be objective seperate between Zionists and Jews, and Chomsky was Nasrallah's VIP guest (although Nasrallah's allies were the ones to threaten to kill Chomsky in 1998 when he was supposed to visit Beirut.

I hate it to sound as if defending them, but I am simply relaying what they are currently... even the other side of Lebanon (Government) officially adopted them as Lebanon's resistance, although they are trying to find ways to convince them peacefully to disarm (better than having a new 17 years of war)...and it is not easy now that the biggest Christian coalition supports them ...what can I say, Lebanon is a big unique mess, with two bullies for neighbors...

politiques USA said...

I think (at 1st sight) that the political motivation between Al Qaeda and Hizbullah are completely different. Al Qaeda cannot removed its politics from religious goals, and it is more like an international non governmental terrorist organization composed of religious zealots, while Hizbullah (financed by Iran) has been able for more than 20 years not to elevate itself from religious differences. In Hizbullah during the 80s we could find lots of christian suicide bombers; so the cooperation between Christians and Muslims is not really recent, and this movement accelerated since the last military intervention from the Tsahal. One of these fundamental differences come from the fact that Lebanon has always been a land of opportunities for different cultures compared to other less tolerant countries and often pro american allies in the Middle-East.
Until this day, there are sometimes religious tensions. In Beirut, usually the Christians are kind of tired of the Syrians, or vice-et-versa, but people still can manage to bypass their cultural differences (thank you Israel) while we can't even achieve that in the western world because most of people tend to think in terms of cultural relevances to identify themselves through anthropolotical evolution, which is considered IMO as a very primitive way of thinking. Well I think it might not even be a western standard and it may encompass all cultures. I remember a few years ago I started speaking arabic to Lebanonese and they could not understand why french people can speak arabic and why they want to speak arabic when we can communicate in french. Well for me it's a way of expression to break the cultural barriers, and an intellectual curiosity to understand and communicate in other languages; and there is nothing wrong with that. I always thought that the US was the country by excellence to do that, but they can't even think yet in terms of characters, and it's still all black and white here.


On another note: after 4 year of polish mass migration (over 1 million)in England, people over there often say "this is not England anymore, this is the UK!".

politiques USA said...

Here is a list of nice books if you want to understand "terrorism":

- The culture of terrorism (by Noam Chomsky).
- Military conflict and terrorism (in review of general psychology 2003 Vol.7)
- Order out of Chaos (by Paul Joseph Watson)
- Terrorism And Development - Using Social and Economic Development to Prevent a Resurgence of Terrorism (by Rand corp.) (wierd book honestly)
- Terrorism in America by Brent Smith
- The sociology and psychology of terrorism:
Who becomes a terrorist and why?
- Paramilitary and nonmilitary organizations and tactics from the US Army.


Of course some of the methods employed by "terrorists" are also employed by the US army. For example the internal training manual of the US marine corps advocate terrorist methods in "Destruction by demolition, incendiaries and sabotage". It gives you a very interesting insight that we are no more different than "terrorists" and this is what I will keep in mind until somebody else convinces me otherwise :-)

Life is not exciting if you cannot change your mind (Foucault)

Renegade Eye said...

Politiques: I don't want to oversimply anything about Hamas. It doesn't have a program that can start to liberate Lebanon. Groups like Hezzbollah and Hamas only want a deal from Zionism.

The Islamist groups tactics are indescriminate. Usually they don't come near to hurting people in power, the victims are working class and poor Israelis. The Zionists are that way more. The revolutionary alternative, is winning over the Israeli and Palestinian working class against Zionism, Islamism and nationalism. Abolish all borders.

roman said...

politiques,

we are no more different than "terrorists"

Let's examine this statement! By "we", I assume you mean the "West", are on the same moral and ethical equilibrium as the individuals who killed 3,000 innocent people on 9/11, the London tube bombers and the Madrid train bombers. Such comparisons are so ludicrous that no sound-minded individual with intact reasoning and intellectual standing would dare to promote or justify it.
That outragious view is very typical of a very small group of far left fringe America-hating activists and almost no one, even on the far left, gives such a view any credence whatsoever.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Nothing outrageous about it Roman when your pethatic regime installs dictators like Saddam Hussein, pitches in the creation of al-Qa'eda, supports dictatorship monarchs like the al-Saud dynasty, sustains Moubarak's regime, carves out dictators in Bolivia and half of Latin America, and oh yeah turns a blind eye when their allies go butcher civilians blindly... mind you most of these US puppets are responsible for the rise of the Islamist movements... thank you USA...

so spare me the martyr's role

politiques USA said...

Sorry for the late reply, I had to prepare a job interview in agreement with the SOX regulations.

First off, I think it is the whole western system that rushed down its existentialist crisis with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are so good at victimizing, when in fact there has been a huge problem since day 1 in our moral standards. This existentialism crisis of our values is the psychological problems between our experience, realities and beliefs. We emphasize more on beliefs while we ignore the realities in our experiences, and in the long run we end up with a distorted image on what our human nature is. In this sense I don't think we are different from anybody else when it comes to waging wars. Between a terrorist blowing himself up and an american soldier playing the Christ puppet in the Middle-East, there is no difference whatsoever, they are all martyrs (Christianity has its own martyrs like Saint Christophe). Today's american civil society is so militarized that it is even a painful honor for american families to be remembered as a military "hero", and the VET cemetaries keep growing and growing (check out my documentary www.whowillstand4us.com). It is also the same exact same thing in the Middle-East. This is why we need international laws, instead of people punishing other people, otherwise we won't get out of the problem as long as there is a messianic vision. The word "freedom" became our religion, it is something that we ares striving for, and we really think we are liberating people. In philosophy, you have to remember one main component: one cannot be liberated for something, one have to be liberated from something. It means that whatever reasons are with these wars, we'll be seen as an occupying force until the last day, and we still can't convince ourselves, from the rhetoric of the washingtonian establishment, that our ideals are based on tyrany and not freedom (it's called the tyrany of freedom).

This is why we need the left, they are the only one group that is able to think outside these foolish standards, in free thinking, based on universal values. The right unfortunately tends to reason with cultural characteristics, race, religion, and color of skin, most of the time. Being an "American" is somebody who is usually qualified by his personality and qualities, and it's time that the left takes this country back on track.

Looking at the way it is headed anyway, we are going to make a choice, between improving the rampant financial deterioration of this country, or staying in Iraq, but we can't have both. Simply put, the taxcuts helped Bush policy to boost his war in Iraq. It was just a formal exchange of "shuting our mouths" in exchange of more wealth; which is ignoble IMO; and the loss of the value on the dollar might catapult us from a superpower to a power with little regional influence. It might be a good thing after all because we always revise history.


Enshallah

politiques USA said...

Guys, keep watching American Idol :P

politiques USA said...

Here is a good one:


Several things seem obvious from this week's appearances by Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker before several House and Senate committee and President Bush's subsequent speech on Thursday. First is that the U.S. "strategy" in Iraq now amounts to "hold on and pray," hoping that things won't get catastrophically worse in Iraq and that President Bush can hand the mess off to the next president in January so that he (or she) will have to deal with the messy aftermath. Call it faith-based foreign policy. Or maybe that should be Feith-based.

http://www.antiwar.com/bock/?articleid=12682

roman said...

MFL,

Correct me if I'm wrong but what I conclude from your indictment of "western" regimes is that it is OK for non-westerners to be martyrs but not us westerners. Even after being attacked indiscriminately with the consequence of innocent women and children being slaughtered? As a referee in martyrdom, you sir, are not a fair judge.
And what is this about Bolivia? The last time I checked it was a far left wing socialist regime that was in power there. Kissing cousins with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

roman said...

politiques,

Thank you for your link to the obviously biased anti-war commentary from an antiwar site.
Try reading some sites that may be different from your anti-Democratic viewpoint. Remember, when the choir is constantly and repeatedly preached to, they will become rabid zealots.

politiques USA said...

Mijnheer Roman;
Can't you tell I've been reading alot? :P

I'm from the left, but different from marxist ideas, in the sense that I don't refute capitalism. I'm accusing the ideas of capitalism of being changed for the past 3 centuries. That said I do believe that the human capital has been losing its values in the sense that we became simple products of capitalism because the investments on technologies are more important than human value in an ultra capitalist system. In other words we removed the social consideration from capital, and therefore I do agree to some extent with K. Marx and Friedrich Engels in the "Communist Manifesto":

To be a capitalist, is to have not only a purely personal, but a social status in production. Capital is a collective
product, and only by the united action of many members, nay, in the last resort, only by the united action of all members of society, can it be set in motion. Capital is, therefore, not a personal, it is a social power



So while I can't even criticize Adam Smith, I do believe that the changes started happening during the XXth century, and here in the US, the right is celebrating Adam Smith (IE Sonia) while we went way too far compared to his vision.

Ren; here is another documentary on Tibet, it was on CBC channel a couple of days ago:
http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/show_bluebuddah.html

It's called "blue buddha, lost secrets of medecine".

The blue color in a Buddha is the sign of healing in medecine. The Monks have been reforming their medecine in Tibet with the western standards (mainly because of technologies), but they still want to keep the base as a source of alternative medecine for mild medical cases. Western medecine is a great tool, during the XVIIth century the teams of scientists dissected cadavers despite the control of the Church that was against this practice. Unfortunately one of the major problems of the western world uses medecine when it's too late while they could have enjoyed a better life with a good diet (with no fat food). Because of that, we lost tons of social skills that were used in the western world way before the medieval ages. For example, acupuncture was used in Europe during the prehistorical times way before the Chinese discovered it.

roman said...

politiques,

human capital has been losing its values in the sense that we became simple products of capitalism because the investments on technologies are more important than human value in an ultra capitalist system
I agree and would only change the word "products" to "tools". Human beings, having been endowed with the capability of self-awareness and reason, should never-ever be thought of as "assets". The thought of humankind in this way should be anathema to us all, no matter where we are on the left to right divide.

politiques USA said...

I would believe that both terms are acceptable. The word "TOOLS" is correct in the labor movement and "products" is also a term coined on the financial side. For sure the social human dimension is not prioritized enough. But you know what? Now that i came to think about it, I don't think it is only a capitalist problem when it comes to production. Even the soviet model was bad enough. It is most often a problem of objective reality VS the limits of the human nature to accomplish a task. In the US marxism does exist in the labor associations, and it's normal because people have to defend their beef, but the lack of regulations in social norms is the root cause. In some States the BBB (Better Business Bureaus) are even on the side of the managers while some companies should have been shut down. I've seen many many examples of illegal malpractices. There is this example of a guy that started a company in the NPO sector. He was charging people $1,500 for a 2 years contract, promising incredule people to give grants. His company grew for the last 2 years, and afterwards he started to be in very bad lawsuits cases because he never came up with the money. This guy had to manage to create loopholes in the contracts, so his company is still opened and he keeps taking advantage on people's incredulity, making millions of dollars (I know about this story because I had been working for him trying to fix things for his company and I charged him out of the ass). These kind of abuses are unfortunately tolerated in our society, it's all about the 1st one who will be able to crush the others.
To tell you the truth, I have never seen a honest company in the US, really. I've seen inside tradings, I've seen mismanagement with their accounts, that yes definitively.
When it comes to make money, they'll do everything they can, and the laws in the US do not defend the consumers but rather than that, they are on the side on the employers. This is how bad things got bad in the US the past 200 years. I've never seen a President in the US that was in power for not advancing his own interests, it does not exist. So there is indeed a problem in this country, and it is a problem against democratic ideas.

We've been trying to reform the system everytime because of financial scandals, and even the last reforms from 2002 did not really fix the problem. It got so bad when I think the only possibility to reform the whole system would be to implement german standards in our system.

Anyway we live in a country where people are asked to give the better of themselves through wealth's accumulation, so we can't expect people to make money without cheating out the system.

politiques USA said...

It's okey to sell cocaine for saving your company

The British government barred Arthur Andersen from government contract work for failing to detect and report fraud at DeLorean, which resulted in large losses to the British government as a result of funds it supplied to DeLorean in order to boost British jobs. The company’s founder, John Z. DeLorean, a former General Motors executive, was reported to have diverted $17 million of company funds into a Swiss bank account, some of which was for his personal use. An Arthur Andersen internal memorandum reported that, if knowledge of that diversion became public, “the game will be up.” A jury in New York entered a verdict of over $100 million against Arthur Andersen; $35 million went to the British government for its losses from DeLorean. The U.S. government failed in its prosecution of John DeLorean for trying to buy
and distribute fifty-five pounds of cocaine in order to save his automobile
company. The sale was set up through a government sting operation that the
jury thought went too far in entrapping DeLorean.

Source: history of financial scandals in the US.

Abe Bird said...

How pathetic you… "Israeli aggression"…. Well, you think that Muslims are the lowest breed because they are not responsible to their own deeds. Israel has always to pay with blood, sorrow and money for the irresponsible Muslims behave. Nice thoughts of yours! You never try to think what you have done in case you are being shot by Arab terrorist!

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