Discussion:
Vote for President: One vote allowed only
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Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-11 02:41:15 UTC
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Who do you vote for to be elected as the next Lebanese president?

http://www.alistiklal05.com/candidates.aspx
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m***@gmail.com
2005-05-11 03:35:13 UTC
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this would be much more telling if they would add "none of the above"
as the last choice.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Who do you vote for to be elected as the next Lebanese president?
http://www.alistiklal05.com/candidates.aspx
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BM
2005-05-11 03:43:32 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
this would be much more telling if they would add "none of the above"
as the last choice.
Note the left to right ranking. It appears to be by alphabetical order
of last name. Yet, note matching left to right descending order of the
number of votes cast. Hm.. coincidence? :-)

Are these the only qualified "Maronites" in the entire country? What is
the criteria for qualification?

bassem
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-11 03:49:43 UTC
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good eye Bassem, I didn't notice that, but I was looking at the two
cedars on top which happen to be "orange" in color :)

btw, this got me thinking about the watchdog idea, I would say it's
going to be very tough to find any platforms by candidate (I doubt
anyone of them will even bother drawing up a program), but perhaps it
would be doable to chronicle what the big coalitions really stand for,
tayyar LF future kataeb amal psp etc...

at least until we can get out of the herd mentality...
BM
2005-05-11 03:59:23 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
good eye Bassem, I didn't notice that, but I was looking at the two
cedars on top which happen to be "orange" in color :)
btw, this got me thinking about the watchdog idea, I would say it's
going to be very tough to find any platforms by candidate (I doubt
anyone of them will even bother drawing up a program), but perhaps it
would be doable to chronicle what the big coalitions really stand for,
tayyar LF future kataeb amal psp etc...
at least until we can get out of the herd mentality...
Marc,

Program by party is OK. No one has published anything, not even Aoun.
He gave a lot of speeches. Are we supposed to parse the speeches to
deduce a program? I'd like to see all parties, currents and
independents (if such souls exist) to publish their programs.

What is the meaning of "Prince" Arselan, an occupation soldier of
fortune to declare an alliance with Aoun? What are the commonalities
between Areselan and Aoun that warrant an alliance? Or is thi sjust the
enemy of my enemy is my friends, all programs go to hell?

So yes, in a proper democratic exercise, the voters get to chose not on
personality but on a specific agenda that will be implemented once the
personality achieves stardom.

bassem
Marc Haddad
2005-05-11 04:34:52 UTC
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Program by party is OK. No one has published anything, not even Aoun. He
gave a lot of speeches. Are we supposed to parse the speeches to deduce a
program? I'd like to see all parties, currents and independents (if such
souls exist) to publish their programs.
amen, I voted in the municipal elections of 98 and the parliamentary of
2000, it was all based on who was pro-syrian and who was not, who was a nice
guy, who is a good speaker, etc... and for the people down on their luck,
the question was which candidate was paying the most, or which one could do
them a favor they needed... I get the feeling that these will continue to be
the criteria this time, this may all need much more time to change than we'd
all like.
What is the meaning of "Prince" Arselan, an occupation soldier of fortune
to declare an alliance with Aoun? What are the commonalities between
Areselan and Aoun that warrant an alliance? Or is thi sjust the enemy of
my enemy is my friends, all programs go to hell?
absolutely Bassem, you know I don't expect anything more (or less) from "the
mir", but it will be interesting to see what justifications all those
opposition leaders will come up with for their last minute marriages of
convenience... of course now I'm opening the way for some people to come
back with another speech by the ultimate saviour karim pakradouni showing us
the way.
So yes, in a proper democratic exercise, the voters get to chose not on
personality but on a specific agenda that will be implemented once the
personality achieves stardom.
I suspect that if we reach this nirvana, every single political party and
coalition in existence today will have to be relegated to a national dustbin
of some sort, because they too are probably more set in their old ways to be
able to ever change.
bassem
marc
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-11 04:39:35 UTC
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Program by party is OK. No one has published anything, not even Aoun. He
gave a lot of speeches. Are we supposed to parse the speeches to deduce a
program? I'd like to see all parties, currents and independents (if such
souls exist) to publish their programs.
It is all about who can fill the Boxes, Are there any independants in
Lebanon, or swing Voters? Most will vote, by Religious affiliation.

Candidates need not to convince swing voters? we are sheep waiting for Our
Party/sect Master's command, to tell us who to vote for on Election day?
(Pakradoni's Kataeb are "Exception a la Regle") they voted against him.

What reasons do Candidates have, to come up with Platforms, when the votes
are already in the pockets! It is like the Tripoli Women who ran for
Office, keeping with tradition, her campaign Posted Posters of her Husband
with the title "Please Vote for MR Ali's Wife".
BM
2005-05-11 11:39:25 UTC
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Post by Bachir Hay Fina
It is all about who can fill the Boxes, Are there any independants in
Lebanon, or swing Voters? Most will vote, by Religious affiliation.
Well, this charge doesn't work in Lebanon (voting by religious
affiliation). Religious affiliations are guaranteed sectarian seats.
So it's not a choice between a Suni and a Maronites on the same seat.
It's a choice between maronites on the same Maronite seat. Take for
example Beirut. Saad Hariri is said to have re-selected for the
Ashrafieh seat a person who by all accounts is a qualified gentelman.
Others in opposition are clamoring for Solange Gemayel to get that seat.
Religious affiliatiation has no consequence for the voter.

bassem
nadr
2005-05-11 16:05:26 UTC
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Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
It is all about who can fill the Boxes, Are there any independants in
Lebanon, or swing Voters? Most will vote, by Religious affiliation.
Well, this charge doesn't work in Lebanon (voting by religious
affiliation). Religious affiliations are guaranteed sectarian seats. So
it's not a choice between a Suni and a Maronites on the same seat. It's a
choice between maronites on the same Maronite seat. Take for example
Beirut. Saad Hariri is said to have re-selected for the Ashrafieh seat a
person who by all accounts is a qualified gentelman. Others in opposition
are clamoring for Solange Gemayel to get that seat. Religious
affiliatiation has no consequence for the voter.
It is quite obvious that secterian factor is more important than
qualifications. Afterall, this is the medieval practice that Lebanon in the
Internet age is still using. Worse, the secterians will engage in character
assassination against an otherwise qualified person such as Ghattas Khoury.
Post by BM
bassem
Marc Haddad
2005-05-11 19:47:10 UTC
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Post by nadr
It is quite obvious that secterian factor is more important than
qualifications. Afterall, this is the medieval practice that Lebanon in
the Internet age is still using. Worse, the secterians will engage in
character assassination against an otherwise qualified person such as
Ghattas Khoury.
but ghattas khoury regardless of his qualifications does not represent
achrafieh and the community for which he is standing. that's the issue
here, not sectarian character assassination. for other cases you may be
right, but for this one I believe it's about representation based on
political views that transcend the recent demands of the opposition.

there's also a danger in drawing up parallels with the US, the electoral
lines here are mostly conservative/liberal, the lines in lebanon are not the
same and not so obvious.

marc
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-11 23:14:45 UTC
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Post by Marc Haddad
Post by nadr
It is quite obvious that secterian factor is more important than
qualifications. Afterall, this is the medieval practice that Lebanon in
the Internet age is still using. Worse, the secterians will engage in
character assassination against an otherwise qualified person such as
Ghattas Khoury.
but ghattas khoury regardless of his qualifications does not represent
achrafieh and the community for which he is standing. that's the issue
here, not sectarian character assassination. for other cases you may be
right, but for this one I believe it's about representation based on
political views that transcend the recent demands of the opposition.
there's also a danger in drawing up parallels with the US, the electoral
lines here are mostly conservative/liberal, the lines in lebanon are not
the same and not so obvious.
marc
It is no more a Loyalists VS Opposition, we have entered a new era:
Traditionalists VS Reformists

The 4 Families, BERRI, JOUMBLATS, Nassrala, Hariris are Runing the show now,
they basically decide 40 out of 64 Christian MPs.
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-12 00:23:25 UTC
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Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Traditionalists VS Reformists
you know the mere fact that someone like pakradouni is marketing this
leads me to doubt the entire concept.

aoun may be for reform, but that doesn't make him a reformist, it's him
or nobody else which to me negates the whole precept of reformism. imo
you can't belong to an army institution, an arab army at that, and
claim you're a reformist, we've seen all the 7arakat al tas7i7 and the
chehab police state, I'd rather not see any reforms if the price is to
put up with heyk 7araket.

al yasar al dimoukrati seem to be the most genuine reformist movement,
I was disappointed to see them engage in the the same election bazaars
lately but they they may just be trying to break through, I hope they
will continue along the path they've started on.

marc
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-12 00:41:34 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Traditionalists VS Reformists
you know the mere fact that someone like pakradouni is marketing this
leads me to doubt the entire concept.
aoun may be for reform, but that doesn't make him a reformist, it's him
or nobody else which to me negates the whole precept of reformism. imo
you can't belong to an army institution, an arab army at that, and
claim you're a reformist, we've seen all the 7arakat al tas7i7 and the
chehab police state, I'd rather not see any reforms if the price is to
put up with heyk 7araket.
al yasar al dimoukrati seem to be the most genuine reformist movement,
I was disappointed to see them engage in the the same election bazaars
lately but they they may just be trying to break through, I hope they
will continue along the path they've started on.
marc
Actually it was Aoun who mentioned it. HE is calling for reforms.
Rachid
2005-05-12 00:58:33 UTC
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Post by Bachir Hay Fina
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Traditionalists VS Reformists
you know the mere fact that someone like pakradouni is marketing this
leads me to doubt the entire concept.
aoun may be for reform, but that doesn't make him a reformist, it's him
or nobody else which to me negates the whole precept of reformism.
imo
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Post by m***@gmail.com
you can't belong to an army institution, an arab army at that, and
claim you're a reformist, we've seen all the 7arakat al tas7i7 and the
chehab police state, I'd rather not see any reforms if the price is to
put up with heyk 7araket.
al yasar al dimoukrati seem to be the most genuine reformist
movement,
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Post by m***@gmail.com
I was disappointed to see them engage in the the same election bazaars
lately but they they may just be trying to break through, I hope they
will continue along the path they've started on.
marc
Actually it was Aoun who mentioned it. HE is calling for reforms.
Reformists vs. traditionalists actually were "marketed" by the
Kataeb first. Pakradony mentioned that before Aoun. I hope you will not
change your mind and turn against it.

There is no "opposition". Who? Harirists, Jumblat, Qornet? Most of
them are feudal traditionalists. Most of the "loyalists" are the
same.
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-12 01:07:40 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
It is no more a Loyalists VS Opposition, we have entered a new
Traditionalists VS Reformists
you know the mere fact that someone like pakradouni is marketing
this
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Post by m***@gmail.com
leads me to doubt the entire concept.
aoun may be for reform, but that doesn't make him a reformist, it's
him
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Post by m***@gmail.com
or nobody else which to me negates the whole precept of reformism.
imo
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Post by m***@gmail.com
you can't belong to an army institution, an arab army at that, and
claim you're a reformist, we've seen all the 7arakat al tas7i7 and
the
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Post by m***@gmail.com
chehab police state, I'd rather not see any reforms if the price is
to
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Post by m***@gmail.com
put up with heyk 7araket.
al yasar al dimoukrati seem to be the most genuine reformist
movement,
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Post by m***@gmail.com
I was disappointed to see them engage in the the same election
bazaars
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Post by m***@gmail.com
lately but they they may just be trying to break through, I hope
they
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Post by m***@gmail.com
will continue along the path they've started on.
marc
Actually it was Aoun who mentioned it. HE is calling for reforms.
Reformists vs. traditionalists actually were "marketed" by the
Kataeb first. Pakradony mentioned that before Aoun. I hope you will not
change your mind and turn against it.
Pakradoni is owned by Traditionalists, and he only rose in ranks, because of
traditionalist, he is a product of traditionalists, and ran on a ticket of
Traditionalists in 2000.
Post by m***@gmail.com
There is no "opposition". Who? Harirists, Jumblat, Qornet? Most of
them are feudal traditionalists. Most of the "loyalists" are the
same.
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-12 01:45:42 UTC
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greetings Rachid,
Post by Rachid
Reformists vs. traditionalists actually were "marketed" by the
Kataeb first. Pakradony mentioned that before Aoun. I hope you will not
change your mind and turn against it.
that's what I said but not exactly as you put it, I said pakradouni
"marketed", not the kataeb (for some of us there's a big difference
between the two, regardless of the party elections under the rustom
ghazaleh law).
Post by Rachid
There is no "opposition". Who? Harirists, Jumblat, Qornet? Most of
them are feudal traditionalists. Most of the "loyalists" are the
same.
there is an opposition, it includes everyone who was opposed to the
syrian occupation (not pakradouni), everyone who is still opposed to
the lahoud extension (not pakradouni), they can be traditionalist or
reformist, it doesn't matter for the above two purposes.

the election is where these groups diverge, but what I was trying to
say is that pakradouni's labeling of aoun as a reformist is false
advertising, or false marketing as I put it. karim did this so he can
find a way to align himself again with the newest strong actor on the
scene, which makes the package of the two of them a lemon. so since
there's no better business bureau in lebanon to report all of this to,
I was trying to say buyer beware.

regards,

marc
BM
2005-05-12 01:20:14 UTC
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Post by Marc Haddad
but ghattas khoury regardless of his qualifications does not represent
achrafieh and the community for which he is standing.
Which brings up a point: what's the qualifying criteria? What makes
Solange more qualified than Ghattas?

bassem
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-12 02:04:14 UTC
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Post by BM
Which brings up a point: what's the qualifying criteria? What makes
Solange more qualified than Ghattas?
bassem
Bassem I personally see this as a separate question under the current
law, I think we may be confusing the two because of the representation
issue.

ghattas may be much more qualified than solange, but he does not
represent the views (understand politics) of the region he is standing
for. I say politics only because I see no other criteria that the
constituents are concerning themselves with, so you can say the
qualifying criteria is political capital, or trust, or something along
those lines. people are assuming that if candidate x has consistently
shared their views, they should get the votes because they are
trustworthy to do the right thing on all other levels, which is of
course not necessarily true.

but if I were to venture a very specific answer to your question, I
would say it's now about which candidate is likely to work for
disarming hizballah and which one is not, who can be trusted to vote
for replacing lahoud and who is not, etc...

marc
BM
2005-05-12 03:20:43 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
ghattas may be much more qualified than solange, but he does not
represent the views (understand politics) of the region he is standing
for.
Who has determined that Ghattas does not represent the views of the
district for which he will be nominated? Have you looked at a map of
the Beirut districts? Beirut is divided into three districts. Achraieh
and Saifi belong to one district, Rmail and Bashura belong to a second.
Medawar and Port belong to another. So which of these districts does
Ghattas not represent?

On the Solange question. Is having your husband killed a qualifier that
supercedes having served a term in the Praliament and having been a
successful person?

[..]
Post by m***@gmail.com
but if I were to venture a very specific answer to your question, I
would say it's now about which candidate is likely to work for
disarming hizballah and which one is not, who can be trusted to vote
for replacing lahoud and who is not, etc...
OK, let's talk programs instead of sectarian upmanship (not you
personaly). What is Solange's program, what is Ghattas program. Then
we can tell who will be better serving their constituency.

bassem
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-12 06:30:14 UTC
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bassem let me see if I can get to the heart of the matter with what I
know from my experience in 2000.
Post by BM
Who has determined that Ghattas does not represent the views of the
district for which he will be nominated? Have you looked at a map of
the Beirut districts? Beirut is divided into three districts.
Achraieh
Post by BM
and Saifi belong to one district, Rmail and Bashura belong to a second.
Medawar and Port belong to another. So which of these districts does
Ghattas not represent?
let's divide up the issue here.

in 2000, there was a very low voter turnout in achrafieh, saifi, rmail,
and medawar, because the beirutis in those areas did not care for _any_
of the candidates on the hariri list. this was unanimously the reason
I heard and which was reported in the papers. this in itself tells me
that ghattas khoury like others on that list did not represent the
people in those areas.

now as you say, the three districts also include mazraa (1st), bashura
(2nd) and the port (3rd). I ask you if ghattas khoury would run in
those areas as an independent against another candidate backed by
moustaqbal, would he win? I personally think not, not by any stretch
of the imagination, let's just say it's only because moustaqbal
supporters vote for the _entire_ list per the wishes of the late hariri
and now those of his son.

without mentioning any sectarian considerations, I think it's clear
that ghattas khoury, regardless of how qualified he is in absolute or
relative terms, is not seen to be a natural representative by the
people in those districts by his own merit alone.

take solange for example, I would say from my personal experience that
if she ran on the hariri list there would be a much higher voter
turnout because of those same areas I mentioned, regardless of the fact
that she is less qualified than ghattas khoury.

still, even if we were to say that ghattas khoury is more
representative because more beirutis identify with tayyar al moustaqbal
and he is a pillar of that movement, then the more important question
becomes, how will all of the LF supporters in beirut ever be
represented? how will all the kataeb supporters in beirut ever be
represented? do they identify more with the leftist views of ghattas
khoury or the rightist views of solange or x from their own movement?
why should one movement get all of the representation in a democracy
that is ta3adoudiyeh?
Post by BM
On the Solange question. Is having your husband killed a qualifier that
supercedes having served a term in the Praliament and having been a
successful person?
I personally don't think she is at all more qualified than him, not if
the criteria is meritocracy. but if the criteria is perseverance in
the face of tragedy and later persecution, without wavering on
political stands, then she has my respect and that of many in beirut.
we need to understand what is it that is more important to people at
this juncture, I don't know for sure but like I told you I think it's
political capital and trust, especially with respect to issues like
hizballah's weapons, lahoud's regime, and so on. ghattas khoury has at
most a 5 year history in that type of opposition, others have a much
longer and up close history, this matters when you think in terms of
trust.
Post by BM
OK, let's talk programs instead of sectarian upmanship (not you
personaly). What is Solange's program, what is Ghattas program.
Then
Post by BM
we can tell who will be better serving their constituency.
well maybe you or someone else can actually help me out here. I've
been looking at all of this for a few weeks because I thought for once
in 15 years the issues are different again, the elections will actually
be a contest, etc... so taking part in discussions and activism will
make sense once more. I am now realizing that the elections are no
contest (so there probably won't be any programs to look into, although
like I said some groups are bound to have something in some general
terms), and I'm coming to the conclusion that we're still struggling as
a people with "ayyou lubnan nourid", which makes it even harder to
think of how to transition there.

If the election is no longer a contest, I will obviously not bother to
make the trip and take part in it anymore (sorry joseph...) and I
wonder what the use of debating programs is even if we could find them.
more thoughts for another day.
Post by BM
bassem
marc
BM
2005-05-14 18:38:59 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
now as you say, the three districts also include mazraa (1st), bashura
(2nd) and the port (3rd). I ask you if ghattas khoury would run in
those areas as an independent against another candidate backed by
moustaqbal, would he win? I personally think not, not by any stretch
of the imagination, let's just say it's only because moustaqbal
supporters vote for the _entire_ list per the wishes of the late hariri
and now those of his son.
Ever heard of the notion of "shatab" or "tashtib"? If Hariri were to
play by the traditional rules of the game, he takes Solange and abandons
a long time ally, Ghattas. On election day people will think:

a) elect a man who has served for fours years, so his voting record is known
b) elect the wife of a militiaman who has never held a public office

Specifically, the people we are talking about are in Mazraa, Ashrafieh
and Saifi since they are all in the same district. Don't take the list
assumption for granted. Voters are smart enough to vote their consience.
Post by m***@gmail.com
without mentioning any sectarian considerations, I think it's clear
that ghattas khoury, regardless of how qualified he is in absolute or
relative terms, is not seen to be a natural representative by the
people in those districts by his own merit alone.
Since voting is by seat (rather than proportional), people will get to
chose and decide who is their better representative. Both Ghattas and
Solange can run. The press coverage of this issue I think has
neutralized the advantage of being on the A list. Even if Solange
replaces Ghattas on the list to please opposition partners, if Ghattas
runs on his own opposing Solange, the result is a tossup.
Post by m***@gmail.com
take solange for example, I would say from my personal experience that
if she ran on the hariri list there would be a much higher voter
turnout because of those same areas I mentioned, regardless of the fact
that she is less qualified than ghattas khoury.
The press coverage of this issues means that the spotlight is on this
seat and list advantage is lost. Right now the choice is between Rafik
Hariri's choice (yes I did mean Rafik) versus the militiaman wife,
regardless who's on the A list.
Post by m***@gmail.com
still, even if we were to say that ghattas khoury is more
representative because more beirutis identify with tayyar al moustaqbal
and he is a pillar of that movement, then the more important question
becomes, how will all of the LF supporters in beirut ever be
represented?
In this parliament there should be a single opposition list. LF will
vote for the unified list. The unified list as a whole will represent
the LF political interest for the next four years.
Post by m***@gmail.com
how will all the kataeb supporters in beirut ever be
represented?
Which Kataeb? :-)

The Kataeb of Pakardouni are finished. The traditional Kataeb which I
believe are represented by the Gemayels (please do correct if not
correct) are in the same situation as LF. They will vote for the
unified opposition list and the latter will represent them.
Post by m***@gmail.com
do they identify more with the leftist views of ghattas
khoury or the rightist views of solange or x from their own movement?
The opposition has both left and right extreems.
Post by m***@gmail.com
why should one movement get all of the representation in a democracy
that is ta3adoudiyeh?
I am thinking that the movement now is the opposition. So I am unable
to comprehend your question.
Post by m***@gmail.com
I personally don't think she is at all more qualified than him, not if
the criteria is meritocracy. but if the criteria is perseverance in
the face of tragedy and later persecution, without wavering on
political stands, then she has my respect and that of many in beirut.
That is why I said that qualification is in the eye of the beholder.
Post by m***@gmail.com
well maybe you or someone else can actually help me out here.
JM, your and my calls to post programs went unheaded. I even tried to
search for any hint of the a program by the general. Except for
slogans, nobody has a program.
Post by m***@gmail.com
terms), and I'm coming to the conclusion that we're still struggling as
a people with "ayyou lubnan nourid", which makes it even harder to
think of how to transition there.
I think the Independence uprising has decided the broad outlines of this
question. What's left to discuss are the details.
Post by m***@gmail.com
If the election is no longer a contest, I will obviously not bother to
make the trip and take part in it anymore (sorry joseph...) and I
wonder what the use of debating programs is even if we could find them.
more thoughts for another day.
I won't be able to go on-time for the Beirut round but I plan to go this
summer and start planning for next elections. Among things that I hope
to accomplish this summer:

- register myself as a voter
- build connections with secular minded people, parties and organizations
- work with others on a campain to rid the country of sectarianism
- When I return to the US, I'll try to work with Lebanese in the US to
support our compatriots in their anti-sectarianism campain

I look at each election cycle as a refinement iteration. Each cycle we
work out the bugs :-)

bassem
Joseph Mouhanna
2005-05-14 19:56:53 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
"BM" <m-e-d-a-w-a-***@panix.com> wrote in message news:d65gk4$b4a$***@reader1.panix.com...
[..................]
Post by BM
JM, your and my calls to post programs went unheaded. I even tried to
search for any hint of the a program by the general. Except for slogans,
nobody has a program.
I was so looking forward to posting programs, but I've yet to see a single
program. Sorry.

[....................]
Post by BM
Post by m***@gmail.com
If the election is no longer a contest, I will obviously not bother to
make the trip and take part in it anymore (sorry joseph...) and I
wonder what the use of debating programs is even if we could find them.
more thoughts for another day.
I went over and prep'd for this (passport, voter's registration card, etc.).
I am now on hold for the trip a couple of weeks from now.
[.............]
Post by BM
I look at each election cycle as a refinement iteration. Each cycle we
work out the bugs :-)
Agree.
Post by BM
bassem
DrSMITH
2005-05-14 20:14:32 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
BM wrote:

[...]
Post by BM
a) elect a man who has served for fours years, so his voting record is known
b) elect the wife of a militiaman who has never held a public office
Sorry Bassem, but your prejudices are yours and not shared by all the
voters.

[...]
Post by BM
The press coverage of this issues means that the spotlight is on this
seat and list advantage is lost. Right now the choice is between Rafik
Hariri's choice (yes I did mean Rafik) versus the militiaman wife,
regardless who's on the A list.
What if they think, the injudicious son of a former great politician
versus the widow of one of the first enemies and martyrs of the Syrian
tyranny? Prejudices are personal. You're forgetting that Bashir is
still liked more than Hariri in certain circles.

DrSMITH.
BM
2005-05-14 22:26:42 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by DrSMITH
Post by BM
a) elect a man who has served for fours years, so his voting record is known
b) elect the wife of a militiaman who has never held a public office
Sorry Bassem, but your prejudices are yours and not shared by all the
voters.
You accuse me of prejudice but don't indicate which word is factually
incorrect. So you leave me scratching my head. How do you expect me to
correct my "prejudices" if you are not forthcoming? Perhaps the
prejudices are yours (?)
Post by DrSMITH
What if they think, the injudicious son of a former great politician
See, now you are not factual and instead have injected an opinion
(injudicious, great) in the question :-)
Post by DrSMITH
versus the widow of one of the first enemies and martyrs of the Syrian
tyranny?
"First enemies" would only apply to those who at one time fought the
Gemayels. So here also you inject a negative (enemies) in order to bias
the question.
Post by DrSMITH
Prejudices are personal. You're forgetting that Bashir is
still liked more than Hariri in certain circles.
It's not about Bachir G. versus Hariri. I thought we said it's about
Ghattas versus Solange. Also we are considering the scenario where
Ghattas is dropped for Solange. What are Solange's attribute other than
being a proxy for Bashir G.? Elsewhere you cited perseverance. Please
do educate me to remove my "prejudices".

bassem
DrSMITH
2005-05-15 10:32:11 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
BM wrote:
[...]
Post by BM
You accuse me of prejudice but don't indicate which word is factually
incorrect. So you leave me scratching my head. How do you expect me to
correct my "prejudices" if you are not forthcoming? Perhaps the
prejudices are yours (?)
Your choice of words "the wife of a militiaman" against "having served
a term in the Praliament and having been a successful person" denotes a
certain prejudice. Your qualification has nothing to do with popularity
or politics. Besides, Ghattas Khoury left the race, and for a good
reason I might add.
Post by BM
Post by DrSMITH
What if they think, the injudicious son of a former great
politician
Post by BM
See, now you are not factual and instead have injected an opinion
(injudicious, great) in the question :-)
It's my prejudice against tribal succession.
Post by BM
Post by DrSMITH
versus the widow of one of the first enemies and martyrs of the Syrian
tyranny?
"First enemies" would only apply to those who at one time fought the
Gemayels. So here also you inject a negative (enemies) in order to bias
the question.
I don't get your point. I was referring to Bachir as being one of the
first enemies of the Syrian invasion. He died because of it long time
before Hariri.
Post by BM
Post by DrSMITH
Prejudices are personal. You're forgetting that Bashir is
still liked more than Hariri in certain circles.
It's not about Bachir G. versus Hariri.
You mentioned the late Hariri, so I brought Bachir up.

I thought we said it's about
Post by BM
Ghattas versus Solange. Also we are considering the scenario where
Ghattas is dropped for Solange. What are Solange's attribute other than
being a proxy for Bashir G.?
Being a proxy for a dead person? You mean a proxy for the ideals of her
late husband?

Elsewhere you cited perseverance. Please
Post by BM
do educate me to remove my "prejudices".
You have yours and I have mine: why should you remove them? :-)
You believe in qualifications, I don't - not in politics.

DrSMITH.
Post by BM
bassem
BM
2005-05-15 12:47:26 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by DrSMITH
Your choice of words "the wife of a militiaman" against "having served
a term in the Praliament and having been a successful person" denotes a
certain prejudice.
You are misquoting me. Here are the choices again:

a) elect a man who has served for fours years, so his voting record is known
b) elect the wife of a militiaman who has never held a public office

The words "having served a term in the Praliament and having been a
successful person" are not offered as a choice. You may be pulling
threads from different posts out of context to construct a prejudice
case. I suggest you concentrate on the choices as given and point out
what is factualy incorrect in these choices.
Post by DrSMITH
Your qualification has nothing to do with popularity
or politics.
Voting record in parliament *is* politics. As to popularity, absent
poll results, it requires an opinion.
Post by DrSMITH
Besides, Ghattas Khoury left the race, and for a good
reason I might add.
The reason he gave for leaving is, quote:

"I am withdrawing out of my unflinching loyalty for Rafik Hariri and
for Bassel Fleihan, with both of whom I had the honor to work in
politics and in order to defuse the horrific sectarian agitation in the
run-up for the May elections," said Khoury, a surgeon at the American
University Hospital (AUH).

:unquote

"Horrific sectarian agitation" about sums it up.
Post by DrSMITH
You have yours and I have mine: why should you remove them? :-)
You believe in qualifications, I don't - not in politics.
When you accuse someone of prejudice it means you are accusing someone
of being closed minded. Then you make the accusation worse by not
substatiating it. I am not happy with your conclusion that we are both
prejudiced. I have my principles on which I will not compromise:

- War among the Lebanese is, was and will always remain a mistake.
- All Lebanon's internal disputes should be resolved peacefully
- I am against sectarianism in all its forms
- I am for a secular Lebanon that separates state from religion
- I am for a democratic representation

Everything else is open for debate.

bassem
DrSMITH
2005-05-15 19:42:57 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
BM wrote:

[...]
Post by BM
When you accuse someone of prejudice it means you are accusing
someone
Post by BM
of being closed minded.
I accused you of having a prejudice against Solange Gemayel (as in a
bad opinion of her, almost a bias, because of your known position on
warlords - I have always considered you as an idealist but never as
close-minded). Through your posts you seemed to have a more favorable
opinion of the other contender.
The problem many people felt angry about was that all the warlords of
the other sects (Berri, Jumblat, Hezbollah and to a lesser degree
Hariri Junior) were holding the power. The "opposition" after Syrian
withdrawal was just a *name* for the same leaders who were after the
same thing: government seats, but this time, not submitting to or
obeying Syria. It was time for the Christian leaders long bashed by the
Syrians to take what was "rightfully" theirs (because, they always have
been the representatives of the sect, not some doctor that nobody
knows!). Why should some pawns (that's what they are! They reached
power because it pleased Syria, so their parliament experience is
irrelevant) represent the Christians and not Aoun, Geagea, and the
others? It's a tit for tat issue: the elections and the seats are
SECTARIAN so it's almost absurd to chant secularism.
Now that all the real leaders of the sects are gathered, matters can
really be discussed for the future of Lebanon (and people will follow).
Putting some unknown head-nodding cadets to represent an important
percentage of the population while the rebelling all-time Syrian
supporters are taking decisions, is not an option.

At most, this is the way I see it.

DrSMITH.
BM
2005-05-15 20:12:34 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by DrSMITH
I accused you of having a prejudice against Solange Gemayel (as in a
bad opinion of her, almost a bias,
Almost biased sounds like almost pregnant. There is no such a thing.

I am not prejudiced against Solange. I am against all militia leaders
as a matter of principle because they ordered the death of Lebanese.
Solange is not a militia leader, just married to one (deceased). So I
looked for any input from people who seem to know Solange. I got that
she persevered and lead a foundation. On the other hand you have a man
who is an AUB phyisician and you have his voting record that you can
judge him on. Hence the comparison that I drew between voting records.
Post by DrSMITH
, because of your known position on
warlords - I have always considered you as an idealist but never as
close-minded). Through your posts you seemed to have a more favorable
opinion of the other contender.
More favorable or less favorable is an opinion. I tried to avoid
opinions since mine wasn't educated, not knowing either candidates.
Post by DrSMITH
The problem many people felt angry about was that all the warlords of
the other sects (Berri, Jumblat, Hezbollah and to a lesser degree
Hariri Junior) were holding the power.
You forget that there is Lahood, Murr, Franjieh, etc. on the Syria's
boys side. You also have Kornet Shahwan, Aoun, LF, etc. on the
opposition side. Hariri as far as I know (father or son) was never a
warlord.
Post by DrSMITH
The "opposition" after Syrian
withdrawal was just a *name* for the same leaders who were after the
same thing: government seats, but this time, not submitting to or
obeying Syria.
Are you implying that there is something inherently wrong vying for
seats? That's how democracy works. Also the Bkirki annoucement is
about seats. Aoun flipped because he is not getting all the seats he
wants. The demogratic game is unltimately about seats. It is
democratic if people who get to the seats are duly and fairly elected.
Post by DrSMITH
It was time for the Christian leaders long bashed by the
Syrians to take what was "rightfully" theirs (because, they always have
been the representatives of the sect, not some doctor that nobody
knows!). Why should some pawns (that's what they are! They reached
power because it pleased Syria, so their parliament experience is
irrelevant) represent the Christians and not Aoun, Geagea, and the
others? It's a tit for tat issue: the elections and the seats are
SECTARIAN so it's almost absurd to chant secularism.
I don't think anyone is pretending that the elections are secular.
Post by DrSMITH
Now that all the real leaders of the sects are gathered, matters can
really be discussed for the future of Lebanon (and people will follow).
Putting some unknown head-nodding cadets to represent an important
percentage of the population while the rebelling all-time Syrian
supporters are taking decisions, is not an option.
Not sure I understand your statement here. The way I see it is that the
new parliament will have one important mandate: put a new and fair
election law and then call for new elections without waiting four years.
After the new parliament is seated, there should be popular pressure
to drive the new parliament to this end.

As I posted earlier, the new parliament should non-sectarian. There
should also be a non sectarian senate. The nonsectarian senate will be
elected based on the Caza, one or more seats per Caza. The nonsectarian
Parliament will be elected based on districts smaller than Caza,
proportional to the population, one district one seat.

bassem
DrSMITH
2005-05-16 17:44:35 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
BM wrote:

[...]
Post by BM
The way I see it is that the
new parliament will have one important mandate: put a new and fair
election law and then call for new elections without waiting four years.
After the new parliament is seated, there should be popular
pressure
Post by BM
to drive the new parliament to this end.
We both know that it's not going to happen. They will serve their
mandate and let's hope they even think about eliminating the sectarian
vocabulary for the next election law.

DrSMITH.

[...]
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-16 18:42:11 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by BM
Post by DrSMITH
I accused you of having a prejudice against Solange Gemayel (as in a
bad opinion of her, almost a bias,
Almost biased sounds like almost pregnant. There is no such a thing.
I am not prejudiced against Solange. I am against all militia leaders as
a matter of principle because they ordered the death of Lebanese. Solange
is not a militia leader, just married to one (deceased). So I
Bassem you are ignoring a fact, Bachir was a hero for the Christian camp, no
not 100%, but his Loss was a blow to the Christian street, and as hard as
many have tried to Demonize him, he was and still a Great Leader for the
majority. I will not go into details of his record, the 75-82 war period
was bloody, and, much was at stake. Hariri spoke yesterday of Ghattas'
service in AUH, during the Israeli seige. During 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, wars,
Bachir was on the front alongside his men and vthe people in shelters,
during Arafat's and Assad's Seige of East Beirut. Yes bachir took out all
Armed Militias in East Beirut, he fought against other Lebanese, but the End
results, we stopped having inner wars for years, men did not die in battles
over a stupid traffic squabble.
Post by BM
looked for any input from people who seem to know Solange. I got that she
persevered and lead a foundation. On the other hand you have a man who is
an AUB phyisician and you have his voting record that you can judge him
on. Hence the comparison that I drew between voting records.
Post by DrSMITH
, because of your known position on
warlords - I have always considered you as an idealist but never as
close-minded). Through your posts you seemed to have a more favorable
opinion of the other contender.
More favorable or less favorable is an opinion. I tried to avoid opinions
since mine wasn't educated, not knowing either candidates.
Post by DrSMITH
The problem many people felt angry about was that all the warlords of
the other sects (Berri, Jumblat, Hezbollah and to a lesser degree
Hariri Junior) were holding the power.
You forget that there is Lahood, Murr, Franjieh, etc. on the Syria's boys
side. You also have Kornet Shahwan, Aoun, LF, etc. on the opposition
side. Hariri as far as I know (father or son) was never a warlord.
Post by DrSMITH
The "opposition" after Syrian
withdrawal was just a *name* for the same leaders who were after the
same thing: government seats, but this time, not submitting to or
obeying Syria.
Are you implying that there is something inherently wrong vying for seats?
That's how democracy works. Also the Bkirki annoucement is about seats.
Aoun flipped because he is not getting all the seats he wants. The
demogratic game is unltimately about seats. It is democratic if people
who get to the seats are duly and fairly elected.
Post by DrSMITH
It was time for the Christian leaders long bashed by the
Syrians to take what was "rightfully" theirs (because, they always have
been the representatives of the sect, not some doctor that nobody
knows!). Why should some pawns (that's what they are! They reached
power because it pleased Syria, so their parliament experience is
irrelevant) represent the Christians and not Aoun, Geagea, and the
others? It's a tit for tat issue: the elections and the seats are
SECTARIAN so it's almost absurd to chant secularism.
I don't think anyone is pretending that the elections are secular.
Post by DrSMITH
Now that all the real leaders of the sects are gathered, matters can
really be discussed for the future of Lebanon (and people will follow).
Putting some unknown head-nodding cadets to represent an important
percentage of the population while the rebelling all-time Syrian
supporters are taking decisions, is not an option.
Not sure I understand your statement here. The way I see it is that the
new parliament will have one important mandate: put a new and fair
election law and then call for new elections without waiting four years.
After the new parliament is seated, there should be popular pressure to
drive the new parliament to this end.
As I posted earlier, the new parliament should non-sectarian. There
should also be a non sectarian senate. The nonsectarian senate will be
elected based on the Caza, one or more seats per Caza. The nonsectarian
Parliament will be elected based on districts smaller than Caza,
proportional to the population, one district one seat.
bassem
BM
2005-05-17 00:21:34 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Bassem you are ignoring a fact, Bachir was a hero for the Christian camp, no
not 100%, but his Loss was a blow to the Christian street, and as hard as
many have tried to Demonize him, he was and still a Great Leader for the
majority.
Respectfully, we disagree. There is no good militia leader. There is
only one legitimate armed presence and that's the Lebanese Army.
Politicians failures to resolve our inner conflict does not justify
militias. They should have removed militancy off the table and tried
harder.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
I will not go into details of his record, the 75-82 war period
was bloody, and, much was at stake. Hariri spoke yesterday of Ghattas'
service in AUH, during the Israeli seige.
Saving lives instead of taking them.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
During 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, wars,
Bachir was on the front alongside his men and vthe people in shelters,
during Arafat's and Assad's Seige of East Beirut.
A problem created by militancy. Militancy begets militancy. We are
still dealing with the last of the militant gangs, Hizbollah, not
withstanding that they contributed the end of the Israeli occupation.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Yes bachir took out all
Armed Militias in East Beirut, he fought against other Lebanese, but the End
results, we stopped having inner wars for years, men did not die in battles
over a stupid traffic squabble.
Militancy begets militancy. To say that a militant cleaned the street
of other militants does not justify militancy. If you justify Bashir's
militancy you will be forced to justify Junblatt's militancy in the Shouf.

All militancy is bad. The only valid context for a legitimated armed
force is the national army.

bassem
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-17 01:10:19 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Bassem you are ignoring a fact, Bachir was a hero for the Christian camp,
no not 100%, but his Loss was a blow to the Christian street, and as hard
as many have tried to Demonize him, he was and still a Great Leader for
the majority.
Respectfully, we disagree. There is no good militia leader. There is
only one legitimate armed presence and that's the Lebanese Army.
Politicians failures to resolve our inner conflict does not justify
militias. They should have removed militancy off the table and tried
harder.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
I will not go into details of his record, the 75-82 war period was
bloody, and, much was at stake. Hariri spoke yesterday of Ghattas'
service in AUH, during the Israeli seige.
Saving lives instead of taking them.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
During 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, wars, Bachir was on the front alongside his
men and vthe people in shelters, during Arafat's and Assad's Seige of
East Beirut.
A problem created by militancy. Militancy begets militancy. We are still
dealing with the last of the militant gangs, Hizbollah, not withstanding
that they contributed the end of the Israeli occupation.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Yes bachir took out all Armed Militias in East Beirut, he fought against
other Lebanese, but the End results, we stopped having inner wars for
years, men did not die in battles over a stupid traffic squabble.
Militancy begets militancy. To say that a militant cleaned the street of
other militants does not justify militancy. If you justify Bashir's
militancy you will be forced to justify Junblatt's militancy in the Shouf.
All militancy is bad. The only valid context for a legitimated armed
force is the national army.
Your argument does not hold, The revolutionary war was fought by Militia!
Bachir and the LF aim was, Liberation of Lebanon from Foreign Armed
Presence, not kill Lebanese, no wars are fought clean, It just does not
happen, wars are ugly. He is was not Ghandi, but he sparked hope for a big
section of Lebanese. Bachir's first order was the dissoluton of his Armed
Militia. Geagea did it, it was not a big deal, many of us wanted a normal
life, but not at the expense of Syrian Hegemony.
Post by BM
bassem
BM
2005-05-17 01:46:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Your argument does not hold, The revolutionary war was fought by Militia!
Actually what you call US militia is a national army. Once the states
declared independence, their militia was the national army. Militia in
this context is an archaic term. It's in the constitution to designate
states armies.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Bachir and the LF aim was, Liberation of Lebanon from Foreign Armed
Presence, not kill Lebanese, no wars are fought clean, It just does not
happen, wars are ugly.
War is for the Lebanese Army to fight, not for a militant. What did the
war cost us. 30 years of Lebanon's life were lost so that kids can play
militants. There is really no way to justify the war. Even a argument
of self defense is flawed because defense is the role of the Army.
Rather than open militias, the Army should have been strengthened.
There should have been a dialogue between the Lebanese until they agreed
on a single position. Afterwards they would face the Palestinians with
a common position: accept our common position or face the army.

Again, I repeat, what was achieved and at what cost?

Today's downtown Beirut is a beauty but it is empty. How does it
compare to the bustling balad before the war? It doesn't. Our national
debt actually started to accumulate with Amin Gemayel. The Lira
devaluated on Amin's watch. The joke on Amin Gemayel was that he is
going to be awarded Nobel prize in chemistry because he turned the lira
into excrement.

So any attempt to glorify the war is I believe misguided. The war was
something ugly with no redeaming value. It took Israel to defeat the
PLO, not Gemayel. All Gemayel succeed to do is push the PLO out of his
area and make it a worse problem for other Lebanese. The war was
selfish, each militia leader sought to keep his area under his control
and left other areas of Lebanon to face their problems on their own.

The war allowed Syria to enter Lebanon and divide us for 29 years. At
what cost in lives and treasure?

Glorifying militia leaders, of any persuation is wrong. Militias and
militia leaders are criminals. If there is any justice in the world all
the militia leaders without exception would be tried for crimes against
humanity.

Lastly, would we start a civil war again today? The answer is a
resounding no. The reason is that now we know that the cost of war far
exceeds its positive returns. Safety alone is not an end. During the
Syrian occupation, anybody was safe as long as they kept their mouth
shut. It turned out that this safety is not acceptable. That price for
safety was too high during the Syrian occupation. And so I argue that
the price of war for an illusive safety was also too high.

bassem
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-17 03:11:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Your argument does not hold, The revolutionary war was fought by Militia!
Actually what you call US militia is a national army. Once the states
declared independence, their militia was the national army. Militia in
this context is an archaic term. It's in the constitution to designate
states armies.
Ok so let's not call it Militia, What do you call it when the Army does not
Deploy, while the PLO is fully engaged with a section of the Lebanese
Populace. At the start of the war, Ceasefires were monitored by a joint
Committee made of PLO KATAEB and FSI (Darak).
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Bachir and the LF aim was, Liberation of Lebanon from Foreign Armed
Presence, not kill Lebanese, no wars are fought clean, It just does not
happen, wars are ugly.
War is for the Lebanese Army to fight, not for a militant. What did the
war cost us. 30 years of Lebanon's life were lost so that kids can play
Cost us? I don't know? ask the French and Austrians what did the War of
Liberation from Nazi Germany cost them?
Post by BM
militants. There is really no way to justify the war. Even a argument
Monday Morning Quaterbacking is easy.
Post by BM
of self defense is flawed because defense is the role of the Army. Rather
than open militias, the Army should have been strengthened. There should
have been a dialogue between the Lebanese until they agreed
Should've could've... Reality was People were being killed, while the Army
and Government was to slow to act. What Dialogue? Bachir said it many
times, the West Beirut Leaders, would agree with us on a every point, later
they come back from Damascus totally changed. The Syrians did everything
they can to divide us.
Post by BM
on a single position. Afterwards they would face the Palestinians with
IF you read aoun's Past interviews, about Syri sending Arms to Palestinians
in 73, stopped by the Army, and later released, a call came from a high
official.
Post by BM
a common position: accept our common position or face the army.
Where was the army when Camp Charchabook and Nabaa were firing at our house
on April 17th 1975?
Post by BM
Again, I repeat, what was achieved and at what cost?
The cost is known, we lost good men, but we Kept the
Syrian/soumali/palestinian/libyan etc... out of the Manati' al mouharara,
until everything fell apart in 1989, Assad's Patience and determination paid
off. The Lebanese lost. The Left could have ended the war long time, ago
When Bachir was saying what was said March 14, SYRIA OUT. It took west
Beirut Leadership 30 years to fianlly come out and say WHat Bachir said
years ago.
Post by BM
Today's downtown Beirut is a beauty but it is empty. How does it compare
to the bustling balad before the war? It doesn't. Our national debt
actually started to accumulate with Amin Gemayel. The Lira devaluated on
Amin's watch. The joke on Amin Gemayel was that he is going to be awarded
Nobel prize in chemistry because he turned the lira into excrement.
So any attempt to glorify the war is I believe misguided. The war was
something ugly with no redeaming value. It took Israel to defeat the PLO,
not Gemayel. All Gemayel succeed to do is push the PLO out of his area
and make it a worse problem for other Lebanese. The war was selfish, each
militia leader sought to keep his area under his control and left other
areas of Lebanon to face their problems on their own.
No one is glorifying the war, but I will not let the blood of our Martyrs be
forgotten, it took lots of brave men to defend night after night the fronts
from PLO & Co. We are proud of throwing out the PLO from our areas, did you
really expect us to clean west Beirut from PLO fighters? If the Haraki
Wataniyi was in bed with the PLO, why would we want to risk our men,
liberating west beirut???
Post by BM
The war allowed Syria to enter Lebanon and divide us for 29 years. At
what cost in lives and treasure?
So you are blaming Bachir for the war?
Post by BM
Glorifying militia leaders, of any persuation is wrong. Militias and
militia leaders are criminals. If there is any justice in the world all
the militia leaders without exception would be tried for crimes against
humanity.
That iswhere I think you very wrong, You are forgetting that Bachir was not
a leader of any militia when the war broke out, he came to power in 77.
You are generalising, this war involved many Decisive battles, many men
volunteered thier lives in crucial battles. I don't expect to know the
importance of many battles, but many lives and homes were at stake.
Post by BM
Lastly, would we start a civil war again today? The answer is a
resounding no. The reason is that now we know that the cost of war far
exceeds its positive returns. Safety alone is not an end. During the
Syrian occupation, anybody was safe as long as they kept their mouth shut.
It turned out that this safety is not acceptable. That price for safety
was too high during the Syrian occupation. And so I argue that the price
of war for an illusive safety was also too high.
the events of april 13th 75, and Fab 14 are incomparable, different times
different situation.
Post by BM
bassem
BM
2005-05-17 11:36:19 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Ok so let's not call it Militia, What do you call it when the Army does not
Deploy, while the PLO is fully engaged with a section of the Lebanese
Populace. At the start of the war, Ceasefires were monitored by a joint
Committee made of PLO KATAEB and FSI (Darak).
I call it politicians wanting badly to go to war refusing to talk and
refusing to find common ground. If one has a gun, one is inclined to
use it.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Cost us? I don't know? ask the French and Austrians what did the War of
Liberation from Nazi Germany cost them?
Who did we actually liberate? PLO? Gemayel just shoved them to other
areas of Lebanon. It's like throwing garbage out of your window and
thinking, now my house is clean.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Should've could've... Reality was People were being killed, while the Army
and Government was to slow to act.
What people were being killed before the ain el-remeneh bus incident
that triggered the war?
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
What Dialogue?
Like you and I are doing now. Like Junblat and Strida Gegea were doing
Sunday.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Bachir said it many
times, the West Beirut Leaders, would agree with us on a every point, later
they come back from Damascus totally changed. The Syrians did everything
they can to divide us.
Failure to find points of agreement means that the parties did not try
hard enough or were not motivated to find a common solution.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Where was the army when Camp Charchabook and Nabaa were firing at our house
on April 17th 1975?
The war had already started. The decision to marginalize the Army was
made. The role of the Army at the begining of the war was a political
decision. It all points back to selfish politicians at the begining of
the war: Salem, Gemayel, junblatt, Shamoun, etc.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
The cost is known, we lost good men, but we Kept the
Syrian/soumali/palestinian/libyan etc... out of the Manati' al mouharara,
until everything fell apart in 1989,
So delayed, threw the garbage out of your window and in the end it was
all for nothing.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Assad's Patience and determination paid
off. The Lebanese lost. The Left could have ended the war long time, ago
When Bachir was saying what was said March 14, SYRIA OUT. It took west
Beirut Leadership 30 years to fianlly come out and say WHat Bachir said
years ago.
With good will the same thing could have been achieved 30 years before.
Good will was absent from all parties. Instead we went through this
senseless brutal exercise we call civil war.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
No one is glorifying the war, but I will not let the blood of our Martyrs be
forgotten, it took lots of brave men to defend night after night the fronts
from PLO & Co. We are proud of throwing out the PLO from our areas, did you
really expect us to clean west Beirut from PLO fighters?
If you were thinking Lebanon, yes. If you were thinking selfish, no.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
If the Haraki
Wataniyi was in bed with the PLO, why would we want to risk our men,
liberating west beirut???
War is a failure. Once the decision to go to war was made, all sides
looked to become victors. It was a collective failure.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Post by BM
The war allowed Syria to enter Lebanon and divide us for 29 years. At
what cost in lives and treasure?
So you are blaming Bachir for the war?
I am blaming all militia leaders who chose war over peaceful resolution.
Bachir and others are among them are to blame.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
That iswhere I think you very wrong, You are forgetting that Bachir was not
a leader of any militia when the war broke out,
His father was the Kataeb leader. When the war started Bashir was a
militiaman in his father's Kataeb militia. How much leadership did he
have is for you to tell me as the subject mattter expert.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
he came to power in 77.
You are generalising, this war involved many Decisive battles, many men
volunteered thier lives in crucial battles. I don't expect to know the
importance of many battles, but many lives and homes were at stake.
Lives wasted for nothing. The decision to go to war was wrong. There
were battles, true, where people defended themselves but that does not
justify the decision to go to war to begin when war could have been avoided.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
the events of april 13th 75, and Fab 14 are incomparable, different times
different situation.
I beg to differ. Replace PLO with Syria. The actors are virtually the
same or their sons. New actors arose (Aoun, Hariri). I don't want to
glorify any person but what we achieved in March 14, 05, could have been
achieved in April 13, 75, if militias had not been armed and ready to
destroy Lebanon.

I repeat again that the war was a failure of politicians. That's not to
say that individuals did not rise and perform self or community
preservation feats. They did but they did it in the context of
political failure and at a cost far exceeding returns. Lebanon as a
whole lost even if some neighborhoods felt safe temporarily.

If you reflect on the entire war, Syria (Syrian regime, that is) was an
obvious enemy from start to finish, yet it managed to fool one Lebanese
side at a time that it is on their side to inch its way in. PLO was
replaced by Syrian forces. Syrian forces penetrated in Lebanon where
the PLO could not have dreamt of penetrating. We brought this plague on
ourselves, we used the Syrians and they used us.

I was in Lebanon when for a hundreds days and nights Syria bombed
ashrafieh day and night with every kind of weapon, noisy weapons, grad
missiles. Burj Rizik towering over Ashrafieh was lit with fireworks all
nights. Miles away, we couldn't go to sleep. Imagine people in
Ashrafieh how they felt (or maybe you were there). Now tell me that
this was a success and that it was all worth it and that somehow we
resisted the Syrians and that it wasn't the February 14 bomb that pushed
them out.

bassem
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-17 15:55:41 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Ok so let's not call it Militia, [...]
could I jump in here? :)

this is a really engaging exchange if one looks at it as a way to
understand both sides of a fundamental issue, it can be exhausting if
we expect to have one right answer at the end. I always felt we never
discussed this enough in the old days and when we did we almost never
did it at the right level (somehow it always ended up at the tactical
level of who fired the first shot at the bus, etc..)

it's because of how fundamental this issue is and that we have not
revisited it yet beyond the al-jazeera series on the war or the nbn
series on a7zab lubnan (both very good and tried to be objective in
exposing both sides of all issues, but both more about journalistic
reporting than providing a better understanding at what might have led
to the madness), it's because we didn't do this in depth enough imo
that the war was re-enacted numerous times, be it here or in
unversities or in politics since 1990 (the latest electoral list
blunders is an example).

there's a basic premise that bassem raised that I agree with, which is
that war is a failure of politics and diplomacy, that's held to be true
in general in historical reviews or political analysis etc... what is
also true for a country the size of lebanon is that war is not a choice
out of free will. we don't go to the UN and tell them our patience has
run out and you have 2 weeks to resolve something otherwise we are
going to war against the will of the international community and the
support of our people back home, we don't because we simply can't.
this is just to give an example that a whole lot of factors have to
come together to make war happen in a small country like lebanon, the
problem has been that this was too easy to light up and keep ablaze
since the 60's because of the internal divisions, so while this is not
a willing choice for war in my view, it's a lack of will for unity and
thus for peace. not all of this is bad intentions, some of it is
failures at different levels internally, and a LOT of this is about
what we are empowered to do by our environment and the rest of the
world.

I know this may seem like throwing the ball on the "outside", but if
one considers who exports and who imports products and knowledge and
ideas in the world the last few centuries, you'll see that these
factors are significant and at least can;t be ignored. lebanon didn't
export communism and democracy and all the revolutionary or capitalist
ideals that came with them, we imported them and applied them
wholeheartedly and blindly much like we're importing fashion and other
trends and applying them to extremes today.

if we compare ourselves with jordan in the 60's the situation looks
very similar but the picture is very differeny obviously. this was a
country which was driven into conflict a bit by its own internal
weaknesses and a lot because of factors beyond its control, what got
them out of it quickly is an internal strength they had because their
society did not have to deal with the kinds of issues we had to deal
with (e.g. religious differences, conflicting politics, divides in
socio-economic conditions and aspirations). the sharp contrasts we
faced at these levels are confounding even the most established and
strong and cut-and-dry of democracies today, even the france and the
usa's, and the way these people are handling it doesn't always strike
me as that much more forward thinking than we did in those days.

now this is all at the conceptual level, but looking at it up close is
not that far from the conceptual view. when you have politicians who
fail for decades to move forward from the sectarian formula, there is a
shared responsibility by all parts of society for not evolving a better
political life in the country. in the 50's and 60's, none of these
political parties were holding a gun to anyone's head to prevent them
from forming a better alternative (not because they're nice they just
were not armed yet :)), and people were empowered to some extent
economically and otherwise to find better leadership and to embrace
different agendas than hanging on to sectarian privilege or the
destruction of israel, we harvested in 1975 and later what we sowed
before. so to use a metaphor, we had built a house of straw under a
gas tank, and the rest is like that billy joel song.

anyway, this is a good exchange and you both raise actual examples, I
think each one deserves more details to get both sides of the story on
each one of them, I can add to it myself but I'll wait and see what
others have to say first.

marc
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-18 03:05:24 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Ok so let's not call it Militia, What do you call it when the Army does
not Deploy, while the PLO is fully engaged with a section of the Lebanese
Populace. At the start of the war, Ceasefires were monitored by a joint
Committee made of PLO KATAEB and FSI (Darak).
I call it politicians wanting badly to go to war refusing to talk and
Not all Politicians. Most of the wars I lived were against the PLO and
Syrians, I can't tell you how many tons of Ammo we captured stamped Port of
Tripoli, Libya or MASR.
Post by BM
refusing to find common ground. If one has a gun, one is inclined to use
it.
I knew guys in 73, they were training and preparing for a conflict, we
laughed at them, we thaught they were predicting the Apocalypse, but I am
glad they were not wrong, because these same guys were the ones at the fore
front when all hell broke loose.

The pot was brewing for a long time since the Thawra, and even earlier.
Lots of talking was done in Geneva, what good did that do? Amin Gemayel at
times was escorting each leader, one by one to the Conference hall.
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Cost us? I don't know? ask the French and Austrians what did the War of
Liberation from Nazi Germany cost them?
Who did we actually liberate? PLO? Gemayel just shoved them to other
areas of Lebanon. It's like throwing garbage out of your window and
thinking, now my house is clean.
You keep saying we shoved them to other areas! The plan was never to shove
them anywhere, it was all strategic moves. Ex: Nabaa Camp was hindering any
movement on the roads and bridges that crossed Naher Beirut. Tell Zaatar,
was like a Magineau Defensive line, I have been to the site were they had a
retractable gun, that rolled out on hill that has a 270 degree view of the
Capital, they hit anything that moved, the only thing that could have taken
that thing out, Was a cruise missile or an all out attack.
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Should've could've... Reality was People were being killed, while the
Army and Government was to slow to act.
What people were being killed before the ain el-remeneh bus incident that
triggered the war?
Please do not rewrite history, on Sunday 13th of April, Pierre Gemayel shot
at in a Church in Ain el Remeneh, the bullets struck Joseph Abu Assi, (First
Kataeb Martyr), Gemayel was at Assi's Son's Baptism. The rest is history...
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
What Dialogue?
Like you and I are doing now. Like Junblat and Strida Gegea were doing
Sunday.
There is much more to this, than two side sitting down. Nasserite Movement,
Syrian goals, Arab/Israeli conflict, Southern Border, Muslim Christian
Division, Colod war effect, etc...
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Bachir said it many times, the West Beirut Leaders, would agree with us
on a every point, later they come back from Damascus totally changed.
The Syrians did everything they can to divide us.
Failure to find points of agreement means that the parties did not try
hard enough or were not motivated to find a common solution.
Ghandi was a legend, because he was one a kind, and I emphasise "one of a
kind". You do not find Ghandis everyday, certainly not in Lebanon.
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Where was the army when Camp Charchabook and Nabaa were firing at our
house on April 17th 1975?
The war had already started. The decision to marginalize the Army was
made. The role of the Army at the begining of the war was a political
decision. It all points back to selfish politicians at the begining of
the war: Salem, Gemayel, junblatt, Shamoun, etc.
Bassem, all I am trying to do is point to the following:
As Christians we faced a fight of existence, it came down to a very tough
choice, I would not charectirize Shiekh Pierre as selfish, read about his
Independance struggle and the spilling of his blood for Lebanon. I guess
you were not there when Sheikh Pierre was begged to make his famous call on
Radio, "we are facing a decisive time in our existence, Lebanon is calling
upon all brave men". We went through very hard times, you see it as militia
wars, we fought a war of existence.
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
The cost is known, we lost good men, but we Kept the
Syrian/soumali/palestinian/libyan etc... out of the Manati' al mouharara,
until everything fell apart in 1989,
So delayed, threw the garbage out of your window and in the end it was all
for nothing.
Read above.
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Assad's Patience and determination paid off. The Lebanese lost. The
Left could have ended the war long time, ago When Bachir was saying what
was said March 14, SYRIA OUT. It took west Beirut Leadership 30 years to
fianlly come out and say WHat Bachir said years ago.
With good will the same thing could have been achieved 30 years before.
Good will was absent from all parties. Instead we went through this
senseless brutal exercise we call civil war.
Wesst Beirut Parties beleived they could win. Ghaleb wa Maghloub. So did we
when Israel entered the game.
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
No one is glorifying the war, but I will not let the blood of our Martyrs
be forgotten, it took lots of brave men to defend night after night the
fronts from PLO & Co. We are proud of throwing out the PLO from our
areas, did you really expect us to clean west Beirut from PLO fighters?
If you were thinking Lebanon, yes. If you were thinking selfish, no.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
If the Haraki Wataniyi was in bed with the PLO, why would we want to risk
our men, liberating west beirut???
War is a failure. Once the decision to go to war was made, all sides
looked to become victors. It was a collective failure.
Like I said, Ghandi was not present in Lebanon, and the war decision was not
an overnight decision, I don't think there was ever a war decision, things
just deteriorated into a point of no return.
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Post by BM
The war allowed Syria to enter Lebanon and divide us for 29 years. At
what cost in lives and treasure?
So you are blaming Bachir for the war?
I am blaming all militia leaders who chose war over peaceful resolution.
Bachir and others are among them are to blame.
Like I said war was not decision made in a war room, it was an escalation of
events.
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
That iswhere I think you very wrong, You are forgetting that Bachir was
not a leader of any militia when the war broke out,
His father was the Kataeb leader. When the war started Bashir was a
militiaman in his father's Kataeb militia. How much leadership did he
have is for you to tell me as the subject mattter expert.
Bachir did not come into the picture until William Hawi was killed in the
tal el zaatar battle, he replaced him as head of Armed branches of the
Kataeb including Sakhra, SKS and BG brigades.
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
he came to power in 77.
You are generalising, this war involved many Decisive battles, many men
volunteered thier lives in crucial battles. I don't expect to know the
importance of many battles, but many lives and homes were at stake.
Lives wasted for nothing. The decision to go to war was wrong. There
Too bad you feel that way, because many considered the cause as sacred and
offered their lives for it, Our peace and "Izdihar" in our areas, free of
occuption and in-fighting did not come cheap.
Post by BM
were battles, true, where people defended themselves but that does not
justify the decision to go to war to begin when war could have been avoided.
I don't think this war was avoidable. Given the armed presence of the PLO,
you must go back and read about the battles between the PLO and Kataeb, in
Dekweneh in April of 75, to know that dialogue was not an option. You were
lucky if you got a Ceasefire!
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
the events of april 13th 75, and Fab 14 are incomparable, different times
different situation.
I beg to differ. Replace PLO with Syria. The actors are virtually the
same or their sons. New actors arose (Aoun, Hariri). I don't want to
glorify any person but what we achieved in March 14, 05, could have been
achieved in April 13, 75, if militias had not been armed and ready to
destroy Lebanon.
Not really, the PLO has nowhere to go unlike the Syrians, and the PLO did
not rule Lebanon, only the West Beirut Leadership.
Post by BM
I repeat again that the war was a failure of politicians. That's not to
say that individuals did not rise and perform self or community
Bachir was not a politician then, he was thrown into the civil war, and made
the best he could to repulse the PLO.
Post by BM
preservation feats. They did but they did it in the context of political
failure and at a cost far exceeding returns. Lebanon as a whole lost even
if some neighborhoods felt safe temporarily.
We all lost, instead of living a normal life, I spent my youth runing from
mortar shells. I saw my nephews, after the war, living a normal life going
out to clubs in Downtown, scuba diving in the south, I envied them. But the
latest series of bombs, slowed them down, it kind of brought rain on their
youthful partying. I really do not wish for the post war generations to
taste what we went through, it was a scar that will not be erased. The
Hariri bomb re-wakened all the wounds we tried hard to fool ourselves that
they were gone forever.
Post by BM
If you reflect on the entire war, Syria (Syrian regime, that is) was an
obvious enemy from start to finish, yet it managed to fool one Lebanese
side at a time that it is on their side to inch its way in. PLO was
replaced by Syrian forces. Syrian forces penetrated in Lebanon where the
PLO could not have dreamt of penetrating. We brought this plague on
ourselves, we used the Syrians and they used us.
Lets blame the Arab League, for the ARAB DETERRENT force fiasco, that was
chased out by the Syrians.
Post by BM
I was in Lebanon when for a hundreds days and nights Syria bombed
ashrafieh day and night with every kind of weapon, noisy weapons, grad
missiles. Burj Rizik towering over Ashrafieh was lit with fireworks all
nights. Miles away, we couldn't go to sleep. Imagine people in Ashrafieh
how they felt (or maybe you were there). Now tell me that this was a
success and that it was all worth it and that somehow we resisted the
Syrians and that it wasn't the February 14 bomb that pushed them out.
It was worth it for the Syrians, OF course it was not worth it for us to
have our streets turned to rubble, but we never had the upper hand nor the
control of events, the Syrians had their way, they had the better guns us.
And Bassem the Syrians and the PLO, initiated most of the battles, we were
on the defesive in most battles.

I assure you 100% that the Lebanese Front and Lebanese Forces, never had the
war on their mind, they were preparing for something, but they were not sure
from where and from whom it will come. All our battles weredefensive, we
were outgunned and outnumbered and out of cash. The battles where we were
on the offense, were for fortification of Defensive positions.
Post by BM
bassem
BM
2005-05-18 11:32:46 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Bachir Hay Fina wrote:
[..]

I was told that this thread is inciting sectarian feelings. That is not
my intent so I will refrain from further participation in this thread.
Perhaps an objective accounting of the war can happen in the future.
Until then, it seems we are cursed to relive civil wars because we don't
learn from past ones.

Thank you for your replies.

bassem
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-18 14:41:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by BM
[..]
I was told that this thread is inciting sectarian feelings.
I completely disagree with this assessment (obviously, since I already
said we don't discuss this topic with enough depth). maybe the people
who found this discussion to be incitant should tell us why.

I urge you to reconsider bassem, you raised a perspective that is not
yours alone but is shared by many lebanese, this is a real view and it
should be debated, we can't continue with the mentality of sweeping
disconnects under the rug, only by developing a shared understanding of
all issues from past to future will we be able to move forward. I'm
sure whoever told you to refrain from this discussion meant well, but
there is no war of words here so no need to extinguish it.

I've browsed online forums of some political movements before like the
LF and tayyar aoun and others, I was appalled to see what a controlled
environment they were, what was worth than the outright censorship of
what is acceptable to discuss was the self-censorship of the supporters
about 'washing dirty laundry in public', I felt genuinely upset for
what the war generations are doing to the upcoming ones...

marc
BM
2005-05-18 17:01:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
***@gmail.com wrote:
[..]
Post by m***@gmail.com
I urge you to reconsider bassem, you raised a perspective that is not
yours alone but is shared by many lebanese, this is a real view and it
should be debated, we can't continue with the mentality of sweeping
disconnects under the rug, only by developing a shared understanding of
all issues from past to future will we be able to move forward. I'm
sure whoever told you to refrain from this discussion meant well, but
there is no war of words here so no need to extinguish it.
Marc,

I am not going to speak for those who were offended by this thread. But
the fact that there was offense taken that was communicated to me
privately and I was not out to offend anybody is a red light. I am
therefore leaving the realm of personalities for someone else more
qualified than me to tackle.

My concern is the following: is civil war ever justified? If we can not
answer this question then there is going to be a future generation that
will find itself in the same situation the 1975 generation found itself
in and repeat the same decision to go to civil war. I don't know what
is the best way to answer this question without touching other people's
sacred cows.

I can only speak about my experience that the civil war was an
unmitigated disaster; it was unjustified; it disrupted (and for some
ended) our lives, reversed our national development and nothing good
came out of it. In my immediate family, I didn't lose anybody to the
war. In my extended family we did lose people. In the building where
we lived there were two (civilan) kids who disappeared during the war
and were never returned to their parents. Personally, I probably lost
about 2-3 years worth of education. I am lucky though because other
people lost much more. I accept that other people had different
experiences that they felt threatened and felt that war was their only
recourse to regain their notion of safety.

The practical question to this forum, without getting into
personalities, is what can be done in the future to remove threats (real
or imagined) so that people don't feel that they are forced to go to
war. Along the line, we need a compilation of salient events post 1958
(the last prior civil). More importantly, we need a compilation of
cumulative decisions made by different people along the line that led to
the trigger event in April 13, 1975.

A word of caution, let's not confuse "trigger" with cause. A trigger is
a single event of a very short temporal nature. A cause is a long chain
of events. By analogy to a damed river that generates electricity, the
trigger is the water hitting the blades of the power generation turbine.
The cause is every water molecule that winds up in the river, the
clouds, mother nature, the big bang (you get the pcture).

Sometimes people speak of "root cause" to identify a problem. I suspect
that there is not going to be a root cause here without going all the
way back to Adam and Eve.

A practical solution would be to establish a conflict resolution body or
forum in a purely internal context that has binding influence.

I am now going to stop babbling to hear what others have to say.

bassem
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-19 02:58:25 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by BM
the fact that there was offense taken that was communicated to me
privately and I was not out to offend anybody is a red light.
bassem, this is commendable of you as always, but the fact that you've
maintained this constructive and fair attitude for so long should be
enough that your comments be taken at face value. you have your
perspective, sometimes it's based on correct information and sometimes
there are mistaken perceptions like anyone of us. on this particular
topic, I think it would be interesting and useful to see both
perspectives and to rectify misconceptions.
Post by BM
therefore leaving the realm of personalities for someone else more
qualified than me to tackle.
personally I don't think anyone of us is more qualified on the content,
we may know more or less depending, I have had the privilege (and
sometimes the misfortune) of knowing some of these people and the
associated organizations first hand, I'd be glad to discuss what I know
but there has to be a discussion to begin with, like the one that was
going on here.
Post by BM
My concern is the following: is civil war ever justified?
never justified, but like I said before, is it ever a choice? I don't
believe so myself, at least not in lebanon's case. some people believe
that there was a decision by pierre gemayel or person xyz on april 13
1975 to start the war, this is either based on what they've heard or
because this is what they want to believe, there's a different view
that some of us can share, not to convince anyone of anything but to
give others new/different information to consider. I find nothing
wrong with doing that in the current atmosphere of discussion, this
calm and quiet is something I never felt even in the golden scl years.
Post by BM
If we can not answer this question then there is going to
be a future generation that will find itself in the same
situation the 1975 generation found itself
in and repeat the same decision to go to civil war.
you're right, thus the need to try and answer it through additional new
information whenever the situation presents itself. until there is an
objective historical judgement that makes it into school books, we need
to try to answer this question a zillion times to get closer to the
truth or to repeat what we know to more people.
Post by BM
I don't know what
is the best way to answer this question
without touching other people's sacred cows.
we can't please everyone, but we shouldn't be held back to the lowest
common denominator. public personalities are fair game for criticism,
whoever they are, martyrs or alive. it becomes quickly obvious when the
objective is not to criticize leadership or politics but instead to
indirectly insult the scl audience who identify with them.
Post by BM
I can only speak about my experience that the civil
war was an unmitigated disaster;
bassem, aside from those who profited with infamy and fortune, we all
share the same scars, and I can add that our young lebanese generation
is one of the most unacknowledged, forgotten, and victimized groups out
there, along with the palestinian youths of the last 60 years.
Post by BM
it was unjustified; it disrupted (and for some ended)
our lives,reversed our national development and
nothing good came out of it.
nothing ever justifies going to war, but it happens because of
accumulations of mistakes and failures at multiple levels by multiple
actors over time, and then war takes a momentum of its own. somehow
this has been the hallmark of human activities for six millenia
eventhough nothing good ever comes out of it.
Post by BM
I accept that other people had different experiences
that they felt threatened and felt that war was their
only recourse to regain their notion of safety.
perhaps for some, I would say for many it wasn't even a recourse or an
option, let's remember that lebanon was part of a conflict with israel
already, the sparks from that war have been burning the entire middle
east whether through armed conflict or religious fanaticism,
dictatorships, revolutionary and reactionary movements, and so on.
like you say we don't want to go back to adam and eve, and your
exchange was not doing that I don't believe.
Post by BM
The practical question to this forum, without getting into
personalities, is what can be done in the future to remove threats (real
or imagined) so that people don't feel that they are forced to go to
war. Along the line, we need a compilation of salient events post 1958
(the last prior civil). More importantly, we need a compilation of
cumulative decisions made by different people along the line that led to
the trigger event in April 13, 1975.
this is the exercise towards more truth and less fiction on this part
of our history, this needs to be repeated here and elsewhere so we can
come to terms with what went wrong, to what extent each party is to
blame, no one is innocent, especially those who think they stayed
"clean" by spending the war on the beach suntanning and diving, doing
nothing is not better than trying to do the right thing and making
mistakes along the way. and let's get into personalities, why not, I
never understood this lebanese inclination to "contain" disagreements
before they are resolved, it all invariably ends with basita, fadek,
khalas kermeleh, mesh 7erzeneh... this is what all these nauseating
mercantile types running the country for the past 15 years have been
doing actually, and they're applauded for being men of peace and
dialogue, this is why many of us prefer the intransigeance and
bluntness of a bachir gemayel or a hassan nasrallah...
Post by BM
A word of caution, let's not confuse "trigger" with cause. A trigger is
a single event of a very short temporal nature. A cause is a long chain
of events. By analogy to a damed river that generates electricity, the
trigger is the water hitting the blades of the power generation turbine.
The cause is every water molecule that winds up in the river, the
clouds, mother nature, the big bang (you get the pcture).
I know what you mean and I agree, but in my view we need to look at the
single events for their own sake, and for the sake of building up to
the causes and root causes eventually, over the life of scl I'd say
only a very tiny fraction of this has been done, partly because we
don't do it right and we quickly get bottlenecked like what happened
here, and partly because this would take much more and much better
information than we could ever have here. but I'd be satisified if I
told you what I know and heard your perspective and debated those,
times n scl'ers who are willing to do this with an open mind.
Post by BM
bassem
cheers,

marc
Fuad Abiad
2005-05-19 05:30:00 UTC
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Bassem,

I have two comments. First, many discussion of the civil war
amongst Lebanese are resolved when juju, fufu, and 7u7u
finally agree that its marwan's fault.

Second, there is little reason for discussing issues you've raised.

In my opinion the real question is can the war criminals indefinitely
avoid being brought to account for their crimes? Hiding behind the taif
amnesty which is illegal under international law.

The war was evil, the crimes committed by the war lords and their
officers are unforgivable.

The only deterrence is to make each one pay for their crimes.
This can be done through the efforts of individuals who are committed
to document and track each and every war criminal.
DrSMITH
2005-05-19 09:37:13 UTC
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Fuad Abiad wrote:
[...]
Post by Fuad Abiad
The only deterrence is to make each one pay for their crimes.
This can be done through the efforts of individuals who are committed
to document and track each and every war criminal.
"Let he who is without sin..."
Fuad Abiad
2005-05-19 10:21:46 UTC
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Raw Message
In article <***@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>, DrSMITH
says...
Post by DrSMITH
[...]
Post by Fuad Abiad
The only deterrence is to make each one pay for their crimes.
This can be done through the efforts of individuals who are committed
to document and track each and every war criminal.
"Let he who is without sin..."
What are you thinking?


These people have commited crimes against humanity, they have engaged
in genocide. It makes me sick to see that a person like Berri
is the speaker in parliament and that a person like Jumblat can leave
Lebanon without being detained for his war crime. It also makes me sick
to think that the Harri clan chose the wife of a dead war criminal
for their maronite seat.

Those who are still alive should be held accountable for their actions.
Putting them in jail for the rest of their misserable lifes
is the least that a civil society should do.

Its the only way to ensure that their actions will not be repeated by
futire generations of Lebanon's ruling families.
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-19 16:54:21 UTC
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--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by Fuad Abiad
says...
Post by DrSMITH
[...]
Post by Fuad Abiad
The only deterrence is to make each one pay for their crimes.
This can be done through the efforts of individuals who are committed
to document and track each and every war criminal.
"Let he who is without sin..."
What are you thinking?
These people have commited crimes against humanity, they have engaged
in genocide. It makes me sick to see that a person like Berri
is the speaker in parliament and that a person like Jumblat can leave
Lebanon without being detained for his war crime. It also makes me sick
to think that the Harri clan chose the wife of a dead war criminal
for their maronite seat.
You have tried him, and judged him in what court?
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-19 16:48:42 UTC
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Raw Message
--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by DrSMITH
[...]
Post by Fuad Abiad
The only deterrence is to make each one pay for their crimes.
This can be done through the efforts of individuals who are committed
to document and track each and every war criminal.
"Let he who is without sin..."
We need to agree that we all screwed up, because there are those who still
think they are holier than thou!
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-19 14:25:16 UTC
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Post by Fuad Abiad
I have two comments. First, many discussion of the civil war
amongst Lebanese are resolved when juju, fufu, and 7u7u
finally agree that its marwan's fault.
I'm not sure what that means, but that's not how all discussions are
resolved, maybe many but not all, what we're saying is that it doesn't
have to be this way at least.
Post by Fuad Abiad
Second, there is little reason for discussing issues you've raised.
sure there is, new knowledge. that's what we're here for, we don't
resolve issues on scl, at most we iterate on discussions by adding new
knowledge.
Post by Fuad Abiad
In my opinion the real question is can the war criminals indefinitely
avoid being brought to account for their crimes? Hiding behind the taif
amnesty which is illegal under international law.
even in the case where there's no amnesty, we need to determine who are
the war criminals first before we try them, that's not up to us to do,
all we can do here is exchange views and information about the events
and the associated players so we become better informed.
Post by Fuad Abiad
The war was evil, the crimes committed by the war lords and their
officers are unforgivable.
The only deterrence is to make each one pay for their crimes.
This can be done through the efforts of individuals who are committed
to document and track each and every war criminal.
marc
Fuad Abiad
2005-05-19 22:14:40 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Fuad Abiad
I have two comments. First, many discussion of the civil war
amongst Lebanese are resolved when juju, fufu, and 7u7u
finally agree that its marwan's fault.
I'm not sure what that means, but that's not how all discussions are
resolved, maybe many but not all, what we're saying is that it doesn't
have to be this way at least.
marwan is from 3en il-7ilwe.
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Fuad Abiad
Second, there is little reason for discussing issues you've raised.
sure there is, new knowledge. that's what we're here for, we don't
resolve issues on scl, at most we iterate on discussions by adding new
knowledge.
The main issue that he raised in this post is:
is civil war ever justified.

I don't think that is makes sense to debate this question.
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Fuad Abiad
In my opinion the real question is can the war criminals indefinitely
avoid being brought to account for their crimes? Hiding behind the
taif
Post by Fuad Abiad
amnesty which is illegal under international law.
even in the case where there's no amnesty, we need to determine who are
the war criminals first before we try them, that's not up to us to do,
all we can do here is exchange views and information about the events
and the associated players so we become better informed.
To me war crimes are things that are very well defined under international
humanitarian law. People who committed war crimes should be brought to account
for their actions. There are two motivations for this apart from justice.

The first is a deterrence for future generations of Lebanon's ruling families.
Lebanon's ruling families are like the nobility class of old Europe.
They would send armies of peasants and workers to slaughter each other
regularly, knowing the since they are privileged by birth they will not be
held accountable for their crimes. This was one of the reasons that
Europe experienced frequent civil wars in which millions were killed.

The second is that there is no way of putting the war behind us without
agreeing that all war crimes in the civil war were wrong. That there were
people with a personal responsibility to prevent these war crimes. That
anyone who committed a war crime should be brought to account.

So the discussion from this point of view becomes fact gathering.
Rather than debating what started the civil war the questions become,
1) did anyone order the 3ain al-rummani massacre?
2) who was involved?
3) what are their names and where do they live.
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-20 02:34:42 UTC
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Post by Fuad Abiad
is civil war ever justified.
I don't think that is makes sense to debate this question.
but there were several other issues raised prior to this last question,
those were the ones I was advocating more debate around, the issue of
the lebanese army as sole protector vs. militias, the issue of amin
gemayel's role in devaluing the lira, the issue of pushing the PLO
problem to west beirut, etc... those are very much worth debating if
only to put out more information out there.

I agree that last question you mentioned is not debateable in the
absolute, I said in a previous post that I believe war is never
justified, but when everyone around you is armed to the teeth and using
force to get what they want, you can't continue to rely on divine grace
(ettikel 3ala allah). we had neighbors trying to destabilize us for the
past 40 years (syria and egypt in the 50's, israel since the 60's,
iraq, iran, libya and many other brothers), we had an armed palestinian
presence sworn to the destruction of israel and in the process were not
too worried about the host country be it jordan or lebanon. we had a
larger soviet-american conflict which has caused death and destruction
in many smaller countries in every corner of the globe, all of this not
counting our bigger and stronger arab brothers who bought their way out
of the conflict by sending money and weapons and religious fanaticism
to those in the family who didn't have oil and brutally stable
dictatorships, not counting all the disinterest of the world in our
problems, and not counting our internal contradictions and weaknesses
and mistakes which you find in any country, more or less. ma3 kel
haida w aktar, we simply say inno pierre gemayel and yasser arafat are
responsible for one day igniting a war where there was no justification
for one?
Post by Fuad Abiad
To me war crimes are things that are very well defined under
international
Post by Fuad Abiad
humanitarian law. People who committed war crimes should be brought to account
for their actions.
by all means, but we can debate here who did what based on what we
know, we can't try anyone nor claim we have the most accurate
information. bassem or someone else asked if there was anyone killed
prior to the war, I know of a doctor who was shot dead in his car with
his wife sitting next to him as he was going back home after a dinner
out, he was asked for his identity card at a PLO checkpoint, he
answered "inta ma3ak hawiyyeh lebneniyeh ta tetlob hawiyyteh?" this is
one example of tension build-up spiraling out of control, the abnormal
situation of having an armed guerilla army on lebanese soil preceded
1975 by many years. I think if the same thing happened in monaco, they
would have ended up with a civil war as well. I'm not by any means
blaming "marwan" alone nor throwing the blame on the outside, but let's
just say monaco has it much easier even with a neighbor like france
which doesn't like to recognize them, at least they don't arm the
anti-rainier factions or use the less fortunate to attack spain.

btw, give joseph a break about that communist party joke, I didn't find
the marwan joke funny but I didn't make a big stink out of it ;)
Post by Fuad Abiad
The first is a deterrence for future generations of Lebanon's ruling families.
Lebanon's ruling families are like the nobility class of old Europe.
They would send armies of peasants and workers to slaughter each other
na7nu-l shabab, lana-l ghadou :)

I hold the same opinion you expressed and I've always voiced it here in
the past, I don't like to see leadership passed on from father to son
(and now wife or nephew if there's no son) as if these people were
blessed with superior genes. at the same time, let's not confuse the
causes and effects, if we maintain that we're not ignorant peasants,
then we can't simply claim that our leaders are the ones who sent us to
our death. there's much more to it than that.
Post by Fuad Abiad
The second is that there is no way of putting the war behind us without
agreeing that all war crimes in the civil war were wrong.
some of the old timers here can testify to the fact that even this
simple acknowledgement, that responsibility is shared, was not accepted
by many even here on scl and for many years. this is why I think we're
still at the basics of these types of discussions both on scl and
offline.
Post by Fuad Abiad
So the discussion from this point of view becomes fact gathering.
Rather than debating what started the civil war the questions become,
1) did anyone order the 3ain al-rummani massacre?
2) who was involved?
3) what are their names and where do they live.
I see question 1 as being in our scl realm and not any different from
debating what started the civil war. questions 2 and 3 are more in the
jurisdiction of the hague.

also, we may want to separate ideals from idealism, if everyone who
took part in the civil war is a war criminal, then there's no need to
review the election program of any lebanese party, they all took part
in it. and if anyone thinks that those who did not take part are a
defacto better alternative, then I say not all of them are, in fact not
many of them at all. that's another topic for debate.

regards,

marc
Fuad Abiad
2005-05-20 10:33:35 UTC
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There are two questions here. The first is what should we talk about on scl.
The second is what should be done on the ground to ensure that
the atrocities of the civil war are not repeated.

Paradoxically, given that I'm talking here on scl, in this post I'm going to
avoid the first question. Its a matter of taste and of maintaining a pleasant
experience on a forum that most of us (I hope) waddle to after a hard days work,
looking forward to challenging ideas, entertainment,
and some therapy for home sickness.

On the second issue I'm putting forward a simple idea that can be implemented
on the ground.

The basic moral underpinning of this idea is that there
where actions in the civil war that went beyond acceptable behavior
in times of war. Unfortunately, humans are going to fight and kill each other.
That's something we can't avoid. However, we are able to set some limits to
cruelty during such miserable times. These limits are clearly spelled out
in international humanitarian law. These are important limits. So let's
take it as given that a war broke out in Lebanon and let's take it as given
that it was something that people could not avoid. However, people certainly
could have avoided the excesses of the war, the massacres; the war crimes.

Who is responsible for these war crimes? This is clear, those in command
of the men that committed the war crimes. It is these people that need
to be held accountable for their crimes. This is the only way of enforcing
humanitarian law concerning conduct during the war.

Unfortunately, many of these leaders, those in command of groups that
committed attrocities, are free and have even been rewarded for their
"leadership". Just look at Berri and Jumblat.


Now no one in the international community is going to lift a finger to bring
these people to account. What is needed is community action that advocates
criminal proceedings against such individuals. This community action
does not have to be huge to be successful. In my opinion
all that's needed is 1) information gathering 2) information spreading.


This will not only make life unbearable for these individual, it will also make
sure that should civil strife once again rear its head, the feudal lords
and their sons, wives, maids, will think twice before
stepping over the line of what is acceptable in times of conflict.
Post by m***@gmail.com
but there were several other issues raised prior to this last question,
those were the ones I was advocating more debate around, the issue of
the lebanese army as sole protector vs. militias, the issue of amin
gemayel's role in devaluing the lira, the issue of pushing the PLO
problem to west beirut, etc... those are very much worth debating if
only to put out more information out there.
These are interesting issues and its interesting to know what happened
historically. But beyond that I don't think that they are a priority.

[...]
Post by m***@gmail.com
by all means, but we can debate here who did what based on what we
know, we can't try anyone nor claim we have the most accurate
information.
Of course we can try someone. How many letters people does it take
to prevent Jumblat from ever leaving lebanon or stepping foot in Europe?

How many websites does it take to turn Berri into a hunted war criminal?
Post by m***@gmail.com
na7nu-l shabab, lana-l ghadou :)
I hold the same opinion you expressed and I've always voiced it here in
the past, I don't like to see leadership passed on from father to son
(and now wife or nephew if there's no son) as if these people were
blessed with superior genes. at the same time, let's not confuse the
causes and effects, if we maintain that we're not ignorant peasants,
then we can't simply claim that our leaders are the ones who sent us to
our death. there's much more to it than that.
No we can't, but they were the leaders that turned the war into
serial genocide. Had they been scared that they won't be able to spend
summer in Paris, I'm sure they would have tempered the actions of their foot
soldiers, or at least would not have ordered them to commit genocide.
Post by m***@gmail.com
some of the old timers here can testify to the fact that even this
simple acknowledgement, that responsibility is shared, was not accepted
by many even here on scl and for many years. this is why I think we're
still at the basics of these types of discussions both on scl and
offline.
There will always be debate about history. But ensuring that history doesn't
repeat itself doesn't really need agreement by a majority of people. It needs a
vocal minority that is prepared to use international mechanisms to hold
individuals responsible for their action. The mechanisms and institutions are
there outside of Lebanon. They are waiting to be used.
Post by m***@gmail.com
I see question 1 as being in our scl realm and not any different from
debating what started the civil war. questions 2 and 3 are more in the
jurisdiction of the hague.
also, we may want to separate ideals from idealism, if everyone who
took part in the civil war is a war criminal, then there's no need to
review the election program of any lebanese party, they all took part
in it. and if anyone thinks that those who did not take part are a
defacto better alternative, then I say not all of them are, in fact not
many of them at all. that's another topic for debate.
I think that by now I've made my views clear enough on this point.
Post by m***@gmail.com
regards,
marc
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-21 00:55:17 UTC
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Post by Fuad Abiad
There are two questions here.
I gather that aside from the discussions here you're interested in or
calling for some form of activism to bring accountability to bear on
those who committed war crimes. my first thought is that I completely
support the concept, those responsible for atrocities should be
punished and if this is being done in iraq then why not in lebanon. I
see no reason why not personally, the mechanisms by which this is done
is another matter but anything is doable.

the usefulness of your point for scl is that we've now established a
distinction between taking part in the war and committing wartime
atrocities. the assumption prior to that in this thread was that
someone like dr. ghattas khoury who did not fight in the war is
automatically better than someone like dr. fouad abou nader, who did
take part in the war on the side of the LF but has never been suspected
or accused of ordering any atrocities. I think it's a shame we didn't
get to debate this point further, not only to become better informed
about the events and the actors, but to gain a better understanding
about where responsibilities for war crimes really lie, especially
knowing that there was no disciplined army which followed orders from a
chain of command, at least during the first days of the war.

regards,

marc
Fuad Abiad
2005-05-21 02:05:09 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
the assumption prior to that in this thread was that
someone like dr. ghattas khoury who did not fight in the war is
automatically better than someone like dr. fouad abou nader, who did
take part in the war on the side of the LF but has never been suspected
or accused of ordering any atrocities. I think it's a shame we didn't
get to debate this point further,
My priors on this are simple. from the mid 80's it became apparent that
the war had become an institution. Those who did not drop out by the mid
eighties in my opinion were in it for promotion (within militia) money
or some silly thing like adventure. There was no genuine reason for engaging
in the war by the mid 80's.

I'd say from the time that Geagea took complete command or
when Berri decided to start the camps war.

I'd also say that at that time it became apparent that Syria
had no interest in a continued civil war on its door step. It had an interest
in disarming the militias (something it helped achieve
and something that lead to the bliss of peace in the 1990').
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-21 03:38:12 UTC
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--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by Fuad Abiad
Post by m***@gmail.com
the assumption prior to that in this thread was that
someone like dr. ghattas khoury who did not fight in the war is
automatically better than someone like dr. fouad abou nader, who did
take part in the war on the side of the LF but has never been suspected
or accused of ordering any atrocities. I think it's a shame we didn't
get to debate this point further,
My priors on this are simple. from the mid 80's it became apparent that
the war had become an institution. Those who did not drop out by the mid
eighties in my opinion were in it for promotion (within militia) money
or some silly thing like adventure. There was no genuine reason for engaging
in the war by the mid 80's.
I'd say from the time that Geagea took complete command or
when Berri decided to start the camps war.
I'd also say that at that time it became apparent that Syria
had no interest in a continued civil war on its door step. It had an interest
Syria had an interest in acontinuous war, without end, UNTIL it conquerd and
subdued all opposing forces.
Post by Fuad Abiad
in disarming the militias (something it helped achieve
and something that lead to the bliss of peace in the 1990').
It did not Help Acheive! It was TAEF agreement in Saudi Arabia that led to
the Disarming of Militias, on the condition that it leaves Lebanon, that did
not happen!
Fuad Abiad
2005-05-21 05:11:08 UTC
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Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Syria had an interest in acontinuous war, without end, UNTIL it conquerd and
subdued all opposing forces.
The way I see it. Since the late 70's
Syria had two overriding strategic interests in Lebanon.
The first is stability. The Second is a Lebanon that does not make peace with
Israel before Syria.

The Syrian regime is interested in a stable Syria. It knows that
its hold on power in Syria is not robust to even the slightest
level of instability. They are thoroughly worried about sectarian
tension in Syria, and have reason to be concerned that such instability
is likely to come from armed independent Palestinian groups.
Other potentially less significant sources of instability are
armed independent militias in Lebanon.

So one of the main objectives of Syria has been to control the PLO.
When it realized that Arafat and others had other plans: continued
armed independent struggle in Lebanon, Syrias main objective became
crushing Arafat.

The most significant things it did in this direction was preventing
Arafat from returning to Lebanon and turning the Amal militias
on the refugee camps. This of course contributed to the stability
of Lebanon.


By the mid 80's there remained armed militias who's only role
was to generate profit for their elite through a continuation of
the civil war. An end of the civil war was in Syria's interest
but was not in the interest of those who were profiting from
the war (the leaders, those with street credit, those who enjoy killing).
For instance, I don't think that the LF would have been willing to disarm
in the mid 80's with simply a promise of a stable democratic Lebanon.
What would Geagea have done? Gone back to university to complete his medical
degree?


But it was a difficult job that the Syrian army could not do by itself.
So seeing its success on the Arafat front, Syria began a process of
covert disarmament of Lebanese militias. They did this by coopting
people from within the militias or within the sect that the militia
belongs to. Hizbollah convinced Amal to disarm. Auon convinced the LF.
Amal convinced al-murabitoon, and locked the gates of the refugee camps.

Once everyone (with the exception of Hizbollah, which was fighting
in the south) was disarmed, Syria pushed and supported the Taif
reconciliation, ensuring that Lebanon has a decade of stability and peace.
Something that would not have been possible had the militias been
as strong as they were in the mid 80's.Yes, Syria overstayed their welcome but
the militias left to their own devices would have continued the civil war to
this day.

So in my opinion almost every positive event that
iterated Lebanon toward an end of the civil war was guided by Syria's
desire for a stable Lebanon without armed
militias. This includes preventing Arafat from winning the war, preventing
Arafat from returning to Lebanon, the murder of president elect
Bashir jmayel, the disarmament of the LF and the jailing of its leader, the
exile of Auon who was clearly unstable, the disarmament of Amal,
the confinement of Hizbollah to the south and later to the Shibaa farms.
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-22 02:06:35 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by Fuad Abiad
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Syria had an interest in acontinuous war, without end, UNTIL it conquerd and
subdued all opposing forces.
The way I see it. Since the late 70's
Syria had two overriding strategic interests in Lebanon.
The first is stability. The Second is a Lebanon that does not make peace with
First Divide Conquered, Stability 999 on the List. Hariri's Assassination
is Proof.
Post by Fuad Abiad
Israel before Syria.
The Syrian regime is interested in a stable Syria. It knows that
its hold on power in Syria is not robust to even the slightest
level of instability. They are thoroughly worried about sectarian
tension in Syria, and have reason to be concerned that such instability
is likely to come from armed independent Palestinian groups.
Other potentially less significant sources of instability are
armed independent militias in Lebanon.
So one of the main objectives of Syria has been to control the PLO.
When it realized that Arafat and others had other plans: continued
armed independent struggle in Lebanon, Syrias main objective became
crushing Arafat.
The most significant things it did in this direction was preventing
Arafat from returning to Lebanon and turning the Amal militias
on the refugee camps. This of course contributed to the stability
of Lebanon.
By the mid 80's there remained armed militias who's only role
was to generate profit for their elite through a continuation of
the civil war. An end of the civil war was in Syria's interest
but was not in the interest of those who were profiting from
the war (the leaders, those with street credit, those who enjoy killing).
For instance, I don't think that the LF would have been willing to disarm
in the mid 80's with simply a promise of a stable democratic Lebanon.
What would Geagea have done? Gone back to university to complete his medical
degree?
But it was a difficult job that the Syrian army could not do by itself.
So seeing its success on the Arafat front, Syria began a process of
covert disarmament of Lebanese militias. They did this by coopting
people from within the militias or within the sect that the militia
belongs to. Hizbollah convinced Amal to disarm. Auon convinced the LF.
Amal convinced al-murabitoon, and locked the gates of the refugee camps.
Once everyone (with the exception of Hizbollah, which was fighting
in the south) was disarmed, Syria pushed and supported the Taif
reconciliation, ensuring that Lebanon has a decade of stability and peace.
Something that would not have been possible had the militias been
as strong as they were in the mid 80's.Yes, Syria overstayed their welcome but
the militias left to their own devices would have continued the civil war to
this day.
So in my opinion almost every positive event that
iterated Lebanon toward an end of the civil war was guided by Syria's
desire for a stable Lebanon without armed
militias. This includes preventing Arafat from winning the war, preventing
Arafat from returning to Lebanon, the murder of president elect
Bashir jmayel, the disarmament of the LF and the jailing of its leader, the
exile of Auon who was clearly unstable, the disarmament of Amal,
the confinement of Hizbollah to the south and later to the Shibaa farms.
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-21 17:05:13 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Fuad Abiad
from the mid 80's it became apparent that
the war had become an institution.
I agree with with this same principle, and that's why I think there
should be accountability so that those who fought for their country, on
all sides, are not lumped together with the war criminals, and I think
this should be done from 1975 forward. palestinians and lebanese were
massacred in many instances, we should know if the leadership of the
parties involved gave direct orders to kill defenseless civilians like
what happened in sabra and shatila or damour or similar massacres. in
this thread there's been a view that anyone who carried arms outside
the framework of the army is guilty of death and destruction, the
alternative view is that this is an oversimplification of the lebanese
reality at that time or in the present day for that matter, we had
armed groups outside of the legality since the 60's and the lebanese
army has yet to assume its responsibilities until this very day.

this is also why people in achrafieh will prefer solange to khoury, and
this is maybe why people in bachoura will not, because of the
perception of what solange represents to each group in terms of the LF
involvement in the war, regardless of qualifications or representation.
if the LF stood for lebanese farmers instead of lebanese forces, there
would be no question about qualifications or representation, the group
would choose its own representatives and no one would complain even if
they all sucked, it's their right to choose whoever they want. the
real issue then is about judgement of one group by another, and this is
why in my opinion we need to talk about these things openly.

I seriously wonder now if this journey will ever begin in lebanon or if
we will again just call it good and move foreward without learning
anything from the past. maybe people are too fed up with everything
from those dark days and maybe we can't blame them this time, but let's
hope this is not the case.

marc
Fuad Abiad
2005-05-22 12:45:22 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Fuad Abiad
from the mid 80's it became apparent that
the war had become an institution.
[...]
Post by m***@gmail.com
this is also why people in achrafieh will prefer solange to khoury, and
this is maybe why people in bachoura will not, because of the
perception of what solange represents to each group in terms of the LF
involvement in the war, regardless of qualifications or representation.
if the LF stood for lebanese farmers instead of lebanese forces, there
would be no question about qualifications or representation, the group
would choose its own representatives and no one would complain even if
they all sucked, it's their right to choose whoever they want. the
real issue then is about judgement of one group by another, and this is
why in my opinion we need to talk about these things openly.
OK let's talk. Well let me fish ghulli about the LF.

I want to talk about the LF from my own perspective as a recursive Christian (a
recursive Christian is a person who happen to be born to arecursive
Christian:-))

I think that the LF should have been folded a long time ago by its members.
In a normal country the LF would not have survived this long with such support.
Its prominence in the Christian community is not helpful to that community
and is in fact counter productive.

We start with international attitudes toward the LF. From an international
perspective the LF is viewed as perhaps the worst that Lebanon can offer.
Worse than the Bosnian Christian groups. Despite vocal denials by its cadre
the LF is viewed by most outsiders as having evolved from a classical Latin
Christian fascist group. Similar to the Italian fascists, the Spanish fascists,
and the group of individuals that defined Pinochet's regime. This is baggage
that it has not been able to loose.

The LF is also viewed as the group that carried out the Sabra and Shatila
massacre. Blaming Hobaika gets the LF no mileage. The view is that the LF
waited for the Palestinian men to leave the camps and slaughtered the remaining
women and children. The Sabra and Shatila massacre is a defining point of
international attitudes towards Lebanon.

No one in his right mind, even Israel, is willing to champion the LF.
Even the hint that patriarch Sfir was advocating some LF point of view
drew a quick negative reaction from the US. I do blame the prominence
of the LF for Bush's reaction to the patriarch's speech.


Now from a local perspective. What does the LF want? What are its policies?
As far as I can tell their main long term policy is some kind of a federalist
state in which Christians run their own affairs and Muslims do what they do.
To me this is not only nonsense it is also harmful. Hidden behind
this agenda is something akin to establishing a Christian state in Lebanon,
there is no other conclusion but this.
I've made an effort over the years of reading every press release of the LF.
Still, I don't get a hint of their political thinking beyond: "we are the sole
legitimate representatives of the Christian Lebanese who need protection."

But we know that there are pockets of Christians in Lebanon that the LF
does not represent, since either their traditional leaders were
murdered by the LF, or because they remember the LF clandestinely
planting some bomb to induce recruitment (which I personally think happened
in Sayyidat il-Najjat and which I think Patriarch Sfir is privately convinced
of), or because many members of that LF are hyper sectarian even within the
Christian community.

The Christian community of Syria (which includes the Lebanese Christians)
are in a situation similar to what the Jews faced in eastern Europe in the 19th
century. They were a minority with strong local concentrations that experienced
intermittent hostility from the majority. At the time they faced two choices.
The first was to promote secularism and liberalism (as they understood it then)
or to promote separation (the Zionist movement). In this analogy the LF is the
Zionist movement, their ideal is separation, and if that is not possible
federalism, and if that's not possible...???

This causes a lot of problems for the Christian community of Syria (including
Lebanon). First, it separates Christian Lebanese from all other Christians in
the region. Second, their policies are bound for disaster.

A new party within the Christian community that promotes a secular democratic
liberal independent Lebanon would not only serve Lebanon's Christians better,
but would also help the rest of the Christians in the middle east.

The biggest disaster would be a separate LF lead canton in Lebanon, to which the
rest of us are kicked out; and even worse will happen if ver the LF
get's it way.
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-22 20:41:20 UTC
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Raw Message
let me try to summarize, you addressed two major issues about the LF:

the historical baggage
the federalism agenda

and you framed them both from a local, regional and iternational
dimension. that's a new perspective about these issues: what are the
dynamics outside of strictly local politics.

first let me say that I'm not the best advocate for the LF as a party,
so don't expect a strong defense from me personally, but I definitely
consider myself concerned with the LF "phenomenon": between identifying
with some of the reasons for being of these movements despite all the
heavy baggage this entails, versus claiming to be a moderate neutral
secular progressive individual of christian heritage and lebanese
descent, I personally feel more comfortable starting with the former
and working my way forward to the latter.

let's talk about the local regional and international dimensions of the
LF with respect to these two issues.

as you pointed out, locally there are many christian factions in
lebanon which do not identify with the LF, they may have all been
suppressed by the LF during the war and some violently but they all
survived and the LF is no longer armed, the playing field is level and
if anything the LF now has to deal with the historical baggage you
mentioned. I would say locally the LF has been increasingly successful
at projecting a demilitarized dimension especially the last few years,
it is increasingly accepted in lebanon as an activist movement of youth
from the xtian right. on the regional and international level I would
say the LF are not on the radar, be it in a good or a bad light. but,
if there was a spotlight on them today, you'd be much more hard pressed
to find an article even in Le Nouvel Observateur condemning them as a
fanatical bunch of xtians trying to rule a moslem majority than you
were likely to find 25 years ago. if the world post 9/11 is not more
sympathetic, I would say it's at least not as hostile to the concept of
the LF as a reaction to "fanatical islam" or a response in the "clash
or civilizations" and so on...

these things extend to the LF agenda, if there is such a coherent
agenda today. the concept of other factions in the christian camp that
you mentioned also exists within the LF, there has always been other
factions within the LF itself as well. some of them were for
partitioning (or separation as you called it), some for fedarlism, some
for secular integration, but not in any particular preference as you
mentioned (at least not in the very early 80's which is the period I'm
more familiar with). if you look at what has actually transpired from
the LF, none of what was practiced on the ground actually mirrors the
separation slogans. when bachir gemayel had chances to reach power even
despite moslem support, he still chose to go back to the 10452km2
concept, which is all of lebanon for all of the lebanese, and when the
israelis tried to force a treaty on him, he refused it not because he
wanted the destruction of israel obviously, but because he saw in it an
attempt to create another israel. later both geagea and hobeika severed
ties with israel, hobeika turned to syria and the tripartite agreement,
geagea supposedly turned the LF into a political party to push the
federalism agenda, then he appointed that stooge malek to head it and
he personally ran for the presidency of the kataeb party, which is the
party of the 1943 coexistence formula... definitely not practicing the
separation concept.

so this is in summary to address some of the salient points you raised
from those different dimensions, but to address the main point of what
is the reason for being of the LF and why is it still popular even as
the playing field is level today and no one can accuse them of bullying
anyone anymore. in my _opinion_, there's a short answer which is wrong
and unacceptable anymore, and there's a long answer which we need to
consider and debate further as lebanese and as middle easterners or
arabs or phoenicians.

the short answer is that the LF is popular because people in some
sectors of lebanon are sectarian christian reactionaries. fine, I
personally will not engage those who continue to hold this view anymore
because the war is over, this is now their problem and fortunately for
those of us who live in those sectors, no one can use the palestinians
anymore to "throw us into the sea".

the long answer, which I will try to keep short for here, is that there
are trust issues both locally and regionally and internationally, which
prevent some people from being the first to embrace all the progressive
ideologies that have yet to take place anywhere in the entire arabic
and islamic world (I strongly disagree about turkey because it is
definitely not a good example of minority integration or respect for
human rights). those of us, like me, who as I said above feel more
comfortable identifying with some of the reasons for being of movements
like the LF (not the crosses and the chariots and the military songs),
we feel this way because we are very suspicious of the alternatives
being proposed 3ashwa'iyan without any clear definition of what they
are, any delineation with what they are NOT, and any record of even
limited success in a similar context. those of us in the xtian camp in
lebanon who did not embrace the progressive baath concept for example,
have been really glad for it the past 40 years, need I explain to
anyone why? those of us who did not buy into the syrian fertile
crescent concept are delighted for it today, again I hope more people
are realizing why. all of these were at one point confused with
progressive secular systems, they turned out to be hidden forms of
oppression and failed imitations of the already poor american melting
pot concept.

I think until there is a clear understanding and commitment on the part
of the majority before the minorities, of what moving forward means and
entails, there will continue to be a tendancy to fall back on the
smallest possible comfort zone.

regards,

marc
ps: even the proxy syrian regime could not convict the LF of plating
the bomb in saydet el najat, so I have to disagree on that one.
Fuad Abiad
2005-05-23 13:36:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
In article <***@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
***@gmail.com says...

[...]]
Post by m***@gmail.com
all of these were at one point confused with
progressive secular systems, they turned out to be hidden forms of
oppression and failed imitations of the already poor american melting
pot concept.
I think until there is a clear understanding and commitment on the part
of the majority before the minorities, of what moving forward means and
entails, there will continue to be a tendancy to fall back on the
smallest possible comfort zone.
yA marc there are liberal ideas that go beyond the baath and the
ssnp. The whole western world is liberal secular and progressive.
ya3ni compared to some of the "moderates" in the Arab world George Bush
mish mit3aseb.

Let's say that indeed one was interested
in the welfare of the Christian community in Lebanon. Since it seems that it
is becoming a minority. What should one be advocating?

You seem to be saying lie low don't give an inch and wait
for the other parities
to propose something. That won't be in any way successful.
It is time to be proactive for exaactly the same reason that
its time to ditch the LF.

Soon there will be international pressure to get rid of
the sectarian structure
in parliament. In which case a party like the LF which has been (at best)
dormant since 94 will not be able to do anything.

How does one prepare for this inevitable change? Not through the LF, which is
structural unable to lead or come up with new ideas and whose
young members are encumbered with a list of unreasonable
expectations about the future of Lebanon, and a leadership busy manicuring
their finger nails. They will not be able to oppose
this change (which to my mind is welcome). They will not be able to separate,
they will not be able to call for a federal state and sayed Bkerke will
not have a say in anything that happens.



There is only one way to prepare for things to come. This is to
advocate through a democratic party representing the Christian community
full secularism in Lebanon. If that is too extreme for the majority, then
perhaps other reforms are also too extreme.

Such a party would be able to negotiate within the international community
asking that every reform to the Lebanese secterian
system should be paid for by ensuring that whatever institution is being
reformed becomes _fully_ secular.

I think that all the fantasies that the leaderless LF has been feeding
its constituency will disappear once Lebanon is fully secular.
(except the "youth of the Christian right" (shu ma3na youth of the
christian right?) and asorted people with roos mkhashkhashi.)
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-23 18:02:31 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Fuad Abiad
I think that all the fantasies that the leaderless LF has been feeding
its constituency will disappear once Lebanon is fully secular.
Wishful thinking, even under secular democracies, Religious Perties exist
and are represented in Legislative Branches. Although the LF is not a
Religious party. Don't take us for granted, Popular Parties must be heard
and a force to recon with.

MAny Religious based Political Parties exist and are doing well in western
Parliaments, so lets not push personal agendas here, to elliminate foes,
under the pretext of "SECULARISM"

ex:

Australian Christian Democratic Party

www.christiandemocratic.org.au/

Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU federal party)
http://www.cdu.de/en/3440.htm

Christian Democrats in Finland
http://www.kristillisdemokraatit.fi/kd/frame.php?p=400
Swiss Christian Democratic Party CVP
http://www.cvp.ch

Christen Democratisch (party) Holland
http://www.cda.nl/domains/cda/pages/homepage.asp?content=10000000000707_2_10000000001920

etc...
Fuad Abiad
2005-05-24 01:45:49 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Post by Fuad Abiad
I think that all the fantasies that the leaderless LF has been feeding
its constituency will disappear once Lebanon is fully secular.
Wishful thinking, even under secular democracies, Religious Perties exist
and are represented in Legislative Branches. Although the LF is not a
Religious party. Don't take us for granted, Popular Parties must be heard
and a force to recon with.
MAny Religious based Political Parties exist and are doing well in western
Parliaments, so lets not push personal agendas here, to elliminate foes,
under the pretext of "SECULARISM"
The Christian community in Lebanon is in a different situation.
A smart fundamentalist Christian advocates different things in Finland
(with its imense history opf personal freedom) than in Lebanon
where the oponents are Berri, Nasrallah, and Jumblat.

A fully secular democratic Lebanon is better than a sectarian Lebanon but
without the privileges historically given to Christians. If it is rejected
by Berri, Nasrallah, and Jumblat, then one could argue that a Christians should
be given other guarentees such as %50 of parliamentary seats
and the presidency. Who's going to argue with that logic?

A fully secular Lebanon
is even better for the religious individuals.
Just like a
secular liberal US is far better for Orthodox Jews
than the system their experience in eastern Europe.
In the longrun, it is better than the present system.

So here is the question for you BHF. How will the LF react to
international calls and locals for eliminating the sectarian system of
Parliamentary seat allocation in Lebanon?

The typical answer to this question has been either:

1) When Geagea is pardoned he will lead the way. Our priority is to
free Geagea. (but that just underlines the totally ineffective state of the LF)

2) We will prevent it. (They are not going to be able to prevent this change in
the Lebanese system.)

3) We will call for Feudalism. (Who will be left behind in the
Hizbollah/Hariri/Jama3a state?)

4) We will call for infisal. (How many brigades do you have?)

As far as I can see they are going to be caught with their pants down.

I said in my previous post that the only solution is for a party similar
to the CDU in Germany to take up the baton and negotiate a
full secularization of Lebanon. (The LF
is incapable doing what is needed.) Negotiate for a new Lebanon that
will guarantee the individual freedoms that are needed for the
longrun survival of the Christian community.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Australian Christian Democratic Party
www.christiandemocratic.org.au/
Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU federal party)
http://www.cdu.de/en/3440.htm
Christian Democrats in Finland
http://www.kristillisdemokraatit.fi/kd/frame.php?p=400
Swiss Christian Democratic Party CVP
http://www.cvp.ch
Christen Democratisch (party) Holland
http://www.cda.nl/domains/cda/pages/homepage.asp?content=10000000000707_2_10000000001920
etc...
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-24 04:01:20 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by Fuad Abiad
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Post by Fuad Abiad
I think that all the fantasies that the leaderless LF has been feeding
its constituency will disappear once Lebanon is fully secular.
Wishful thinking, even under secular democracies, Religious Perties exist
and are represented in Legislative Branches. Although the LF is not a
Religious party. Don't take us for granted, Popular Parties must be heard
and a force to recon with.
MAny Religious based Political Parties exist and are doing well in western
Parliaments, so lets not push personal agendas here, to elliminate foes,
under the pretext of "SECULARISM"
The Christian community in Lebanon is in a different situation.
A smart fundamentalist Christian advocates different things in Finland
(with its imense history opf personal freedom) than in Lebanon
where the oponents are Berri, Nasrallah, and Jumblat.
A fully secular democratic Lebanon is better than a sectarian Lebanon but
without the privileges historically given to Christians. If it is rejected
by Berri, Nasrallah, and Jumblat, then one could argue that a Christians should
be given other guarentees such as %50 of parliamentary seats
and the presidency. Who's going to argue with that logic?
A fully secular Lebanon
is even better for the religious individuals.
Just like a
secular liberal US is far better for Orthodox Jews
than the system their experience in eastern Europe.
In the longrun, it is better than the present system.
So here is the question for you BHF. How will the LF react to
international calls and locals for eliminating the sectarian system of
Parliamentary seat allocation in Lebanon?
I was not aware that there were Intl and Local calls!

The LF was never a strictly MARONITE Force. We spoke of Confederations, as
a simple way out of the war, it is not a party cause for the LF. Our cause
was and always is Tahrir Loubnan min al Gharib. So far the ELimination of
the Sectarian System has not been an issue of this election, we have bigger
fish to fry at the moment, I can't discuss the Secterian system while only
one Wartime Leader is sitting in Jail, because he opposed Syria, and all
others are roaming free.
Post by Fuad Abiad
1) When Geagea is pardoned he will lead the way. Our priority is to
free Geagea. (but that just underlines the totally ineffective state of the LF)
You have forgotten that the LF remains a banned party, and MurrTV remains
Closed, Geagea remains in JAIL, Irani's Killers are at large! What other
answer do you expect under these circumstances, how do you honestly expect
me to discuss a new system of rule in Lebanon, while a freind of mine RAMZI
IRANI was tortured to death just because he engineered the Success of the LF
in many university Elections! Maybe you are right, the ineffectiveness of
the LF did the syrians out, and brought the Wife of its Founder to
Parliament.
Post by Fuad Abiad
2) We will prevent it. (They are not going to be able to prevent this change in
the Lebanese system.)
I never heard "we will prevent it", you are moving too far ahead, while
there are Parties in Lebanon heavily armed, and are FOES of the LF, and
these parties are religiuosly based. THE solution: a national conference
"hiwar watany" a la GENEVA style, under Amin Gemayels Presidency, where all
is layed on a table, and Minorities are given a system that guarrantees
thier rights, a good example:

Small states are given 2 Senators, same as Big states in the US, this was
done so that Minority states can have equal rights in government.
Post by Fuad Abiad
3) We will call for Feudalism. (Who will be left behind in the
Hizbollah/Hariri/Jama3a state?)
never heard this one
Post by Fuad Abiad
4) We will call for infisal. (How many brigades do you have?)
We called for it, when we were an enclave bombarded by
PLO/fatah/Amal/Mourabitoun from the south, by Syrians/psp from the east, by
ssnp/syrians the north.
Post by Fuad Abiad
As far as I can see they are going to be caught with their pants down.
You don't know us well.
Post by Fuad Abiad
I said in my previous post that the only solution is for a party similar
to the CDU in Germany to take up the baton and negotiate a
full secularization of Lebanon. (The LF
is incapable doing what is needed.) Negotiate for a new Lebanon that
will guarantee the individual freedoms that are needed for the
longrun survival of the Christian community.
Looknig back to 1975, it has been a long road, and we have made big
progress, Considering that there was once a man Called Arafat waging a war
against us, with a heavily Armed, well financed and well trained Guerilla
force.

Like I said, you don't know us well. We are a party that is made of
Engineers, doctors, lawyers, labourers, farmers, simple villagers, even
Sheep Hearders. I was excited to see the level of supporters present in the
Villages in the Zgharta Al Zawyi, forget about Bchari. It is funny how
many times I heard "Kess il Hakim" in Restaurants in the North, and in Metn.
He is not our Idol, he is a symbol of the LF struggle. I think the LF lost
big under Hakim, he took it backward many years, and caused its popularity
to dwindle. I gave up on it role, when ARAFAT offered to interfere between
Geagea and Aoun.

Lets talk NOW, The LF maybe well off without Geagea, he is not the cause nor
the Messiah, there are many issues to tackle, Immigration of youth to the
west, poverty, Social Seurity, etc... Besides Confessionalism. Lebanon as
a whole needs to sit down and discuss the future, of how not to have another
war, no one will reject this. But don't expect Strida or Malek to decide on
behalf of the LF. Let's not Forget that TAEF was accepted as the least of
all Evil. Taef should be reopened for discussion.
Post by Fuad Abiad
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Australian Christian Democratic Party
www.christiandemocratic.org.au/
Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU federal party)
http://www.cdu.de/en/3440.htm
Christian Democrats in Finland
http://www.kristillisdemokraatit.fi/kd/frame.php?p=400
Swiss Christian Democratic Party CVP
http://www.cvp.ch
Christen Democratisch (party) Holland
http://www.cda.nl/domains/cda/pages/homepage.asp?content=10000000000707_2_10000000001920
etc...
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-24 01:19:49 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Fuad Abiad
yA marc there are liberal ideas that go beyond the baath and the
ssnp. The whole western world is liberal secular and progressive.
Fuad, I gave two examples of the kinds of alternatives that have been
on the table, ba3rif enno there are valid ideologies in the western and
eastern worlds, but when was the last time you saw any major momentum
behind any of them anywhere in the middle east? shou ana yalleh I came
up with progressive ideas like the united arab republic? walla ne7na
bi lebnen who blocked the democratization of the middle east in the
name of al soumoud wal tasaddi lal imperyalieh? the group we are
talking about be it the lebanese xtians in general or even the xtian
right are the first ones who embraced democracy and secularism (mesh
bel 7akeh, there are examples we can go into if you like), but do you
blame them if they were worried about guarantees back in the 50's and
60's when the entire region was tilting between islamic theocracies and
secular dictatorships?
Post by Fuad Abiad
ya3ni compared to some of the "moderates" in the Arab world George Bush
mish mit3aseb.
I understand your point, but for what I said above this actually
reinforces it. if even the moderates in the region are this bad, why is
it so hard to understand the apprehension of the minorities? it's not
that it's unclear how minorities anywhere would be the first to benefit
from liberal secular progressive systems, it's that there are ample
examples around how such a step forward can become a misstep for all
involved if it's not done right. can we even consider that we may need
to adapt some of these imported ideologies to our own context, walla
even that is out of the question and we should just carbon copy the
western models?
Post by Fuad Abiad
You seem to be saying lie low don't give an inch and wait
for the other parities
to propose something. That won't be in any way successful.
It is time to be proactive for exaactly the same reason that
its time to ditch the LF.
If that's what you got from my post then I did not express myself well
(and judging from the intifada 3layeh in another other post in this
thread, maybe I'm out of practice on my writing skills). I am not
saying wait in the wings, what I am saying is that you can drag a horse
(LF and others) to water, but you can't make him drink.

I am for being proactive and that's the kind of culture I come from, if
anything we've been too proactive, but policy making is not about
shoving what we feel is right down someone else's throat, if you don't
have stakeholder buy-in then you won't be able to implement anything,
especially in the kind of progressive liberal democratic society which
respects its own people.

I'm sure you know (since you said you live in the west) that when you
want to add a new runway to a congested airport, it's not the technical
or finanical challenges that hold you up, it's usually that residential
subdivision of 10 homes down the road who don't want planes flying over
their head who end up blocking you for 30 years. so what does it mean
to say "ditch the LF" in this case? weyn betrou7 fiyon lal chabeb,
ya3neh even someone from the inside asking them to put down the flags
and the chants so we can finally hear each other mesh 3am ye'balo, bi
ouloulak ditch hezbollah first abel ma te3tal hamm bi ayya special
brigade baddak tkhalliyon msalla7een, shou bet'ellon?
Post by Fuad Abiad
Soon there will be international pressure to get rid of
the sectarian structure
in parliament. In which case a party like the LF which has been (at best)
dormant since 94 will not be able to do anything.
yesterday akram chehayeb said in bikfaya that if we've learned anything
from this war it's that no one can eliminate anyone else, this is
something that at least one has to take in consideration when moving
towards a new formula. the only time any group in lebanon will cease to
be relevant is when the lebanese themselves lose interest in it, mesh
iza feltman or barnieh or kharazi or ghazaleh tells them so. you can
get rid of the sectarian system, but if it's done in a way that leaves
a feeling of grave injustice with any group, they will not take it
lying down. that's what I was saying about doing it right, like having
the representatives of all of these groups in this election as a first
step for example.
Post by Fuad Abiad
How does one prepare for this inevitable change? Not through the LF, which is
structural unable to lead or come up with new ideas and whose
young members are encumbered with a list of unreasonable
expectations about the future of Lebanon, and a leadership busy manicuring
their finger nails. They will not be able to oppose
this change (which to my mind is welcome). They will not be able to separate,
they will not be able to call for a federal state and sayed Bkerke will
not have a say in anything that happens.
I won't beat my point to death fuad, but the way you put it above is
also not the way to prepare for change.
Post by Fuad Abiad
There is only one way to prepare for things to come. This is to
advocate through a democratic party representing the Christian
community
Post by Fuad Abiad
full secularism in Lebanon. If that is too extreme for the majority, then
perhaps other reforms are also too extreme.
it should not be too extreme, yet again, and not to keep using the
horse analogy, bass where's the cart and where's the horse here? you
need a democratic party representing the christian community first
(even the kataeb party is still hijacked, that's if you're not calling
for a new party with wide representation), next you want this sectarian
party to advocate full secularism, that's also a tough one, the kataeb
advocated secularism through a full program in the late 50's if I'm not
mistaken, maurice gemayel and joseph chader and other recognized
national thinkers were involved in drafting it, now imagine how long
you would need to redo all of this and update it for the times so your
supporters get it and go along willingly.

I am not saying any of this to disagree with you, build it and I will
be the first one to come over, I just think you have the wrong
impression that we are all betting on setrida geagea or solange gemayel
for some reason, this is not true at all. the mechanism you are
proposing is exactly the kind of thing I am saying, bass shaghleh manna
heyk overnight like some people wish.
Post by Fuad Abiad
I think that all the fantasies that the leaderless LF has been
feeding
Post by Fuad Abiad
its constituency will disappear once Lebanon is fully secular.
(except the "youth of the Christian right" (shu ma3na youth of the
christian right?) and asorted people with roos mkhashkhashi.)
youth from the xtian right mitel hal shabeb bel ouwwet wel kataeb and
even many of those in tayyar aoun as much as he likes to think he
represents the seculars of lebanon. I am not mother theresa and still
I'll tell you we can't look at anyone as mkhashkhasheen and we can't
all move forward together except some group, in the conflict days even
post taef I said it defiantly against those who wanted to throw us into
the sea, now this era is over and I say it without defiance and not
against anyone, but for what I see as common sense for the common good.

regards,

marc
Fuad Abiad
2005-05-24 02:53:31 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Fuad Abiad
yA marc there are liberal ideas that go beyond the baath and the
ssnp. The whole western world is liberal secular and progressive.
Fuad, I gave two examples of the kinds of alternatives that have been
on the table, ba3rif enno there are valid ideologies in the western and
eastern worlds, but when was the last time you saw any major momentum
behind any of them anywhere in the middle east? shou ana yalleh I came
up with progressive ideas like the united arab republic? walla ne7na
bi lebnen who blocked the democratization of the middle east in the
name of al soumoud wal tasaddi lal imperyalieh? the group we are
talking about be it the lebanese xtians in general or even the xtian
right are the first ones who embraced democracy and secularism (mesh
bel 7akeh, there are examples we can go into if you like), but do you
blame them if they were worried about guarantees back in the 50's and
60's when the entire region was tilting between islamic theocracies and
secular dictatorships?
I also think the the Christians community in Lebanon has been
ready for a fully secular state for a long time.
It now urgently needs representatives to push this point.
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Fuad Abiad
ya3ni compared to some of the "moderates" in the Arab world George
Bush
Post by Fuad Abiad
mish mit3aseb.
I understand your point, but for what I said above this actually
reinforces it. if even the moderates in the region are this bad, why is
it so hard to understand the apprehension of the minorities?
It's not. I have the same worries since I share through the trick of
infant baptism in this status. What I am saying is how does one address
these worries. Apart from the need to have a new secular proactive and
progressive party, I'm advocating the model that a model similar to what the
American Jewish community developed. I'm not talking about their famed
political influence on Israeli issues. I'm talking about institutions like
the ACLU. Their determined push to enforce the bill of rights.
Post by m***@gmail.com
it's not
that it's unclear how minorities anywhere would be the first to benefit
from liberal secular progressive systems, it's that there are ample
examples around how such a step forward can become a misstep for all
involved if it's not done right. can we even consider that we may need
to adapt some of these imported ideologies to our own context, walla
even that is out of the question and we should just carbon copy the
western models?
In the same way that we don't really understand why any deviation from
slightly managed capitalism leads to disaster. It is clear that the only and
most successful political model is the western model.

So yes, unless one is prepared to go on an adventure the only solution is a
carbon copy of the western model.
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Fuad Abiad
You seem to be saying lie low don't give an inch and wait
for the other parities
to propose something. That won't be in any way successful.
It is time to be proactive for exaactly the same reason that
its time to ditch the LF.
If that's what you got from my post then I did not express myself well
(and judging from the intifada 3layeh in another other post in this
thread, maybe I'm out of practice on my writing skills).
I think that BHF is upset that I naza3ta and you kept your cool.
Post by m***@gmail.com
I am not
saying wait in the wings, what I am saying is that you can drag a horse
(LF and others) to water, but you can't make him drink.
I'm saying if the horse doesn't drink he will be thirsty.
That is if a fully secular system is rejected then
it is easy to advocate international for continued privileges.
Post by m***@gmail.com
I am for being proactive and that's the kind of culture I come from, if
anything we've been too proactive, but policy making is not about
shoving what we feel is right down someone else's throat, if you don't
have stakeholder buy-in then you won't be able to implement anything,
especially in the kind of progressive liberal democratic society which
respects its own people.
It indeed is about shoving rules down peoples throats. Look at the western
experience with women's rights and anti racism legislation.
look how the work place has changed since the laws were enacted.
Laws are not there to prevent people from thinking things. They are their to
protect from people's actions. People get used to it and small groups can
successfully advocate for it.
Post by m***@gmail.com
I'm sure you know (since you said you live in the west) that when you
want to add a new runway to a congested airport, it's not the technical
or finanical challenges that hold you up, it's usually that residential
subdivision of 10 homes down the road who don't want planes flying over
their head who end up blocking you for 30 years.
I'm talking about laws that mainly regulate the behavior of government
institutions. A situation in which no government activity can in any
way be related to religion. Take the bibles and the Korans out of government
schools. Take crosses of public hospital. No government privileges to the
clergy. No public money to religious projects.

There is a difference, no?
Post by m***@gmail.com
so what does it mean
to say "ditch the LF" in this case?
It is a call for well meaning people concerned with the well being
of the Christian community to "leave" the LF. Not a call to
hide the Christian identity.
Post by m***@gmail.com
weyn betrou7 fiyon lal chabeb,
ya3neh even someone from the inside asking them to put down the flags
and the chants so we can finally hear each other mesh 3am ye'balo, bi
ouloulak ditch hezbollah first abel ma te3tal hamm bi ayya special
brigade baddak tkhalliyon msalla7een, shou bet'ellon?
ba'ellon roo7u 3ala ljAmi3a, t3alamu. Look to Europe and the US
for political culture.
Study how small communities can get
their way through advocacy and through the building of legal and governmental
institution. How a cohesive group advocating personal freedoms will eventually
prevail. How Hizbollah can be disarmed by a bunch of lawyers.

In summary become thoroughly western in your political outlook.
Post by m***@gmail.com
yesterday akram chehayeb said in bikfaya that if we've learned anything
from this war it's that no one can eliminate anyone else, this is
something that at least one has to take in consideration when moving
towards a new formula. the only time any group in lebanon will cease to
be relevant is when the lebanese themselves lose interest in it, mesh
iza feltman or barnieh or kharazi or ghazaleh tells them so. you can
get rid of the sectarian system, but if it's done in a way that leaves
a feeling of grave injustice with any group, they will not take it
lying down.
what does that guarantee? I'm saying be proactive so you don't have to
be reactive in the future. Look ahead. Don't put your faith in the hope that
Nabih berri or Jumblat or Nasrallah will not dare do anything
that harms the Christians.
Post by m***@gmail.com
I won't beat my point to death fuad, but the way you put it above is
also not the way to prepare for change.
I was highlighting the main issue that the Christians will face in Lebanon.
Post by m***@gmail.com
it should not be too extreme, yet again, and not to keep using the
horse analogy, bass where's the cart and where's the horse here? you
need a democratic party representing the christian community first
(even the kataeb party is still hijacked, that's if you're not calling
for a new party with wide representation), next you want this sectarian
party to advocate full secularism, that's also a tough one, the kataeb
advocated secularism through a full program in the late 50's if I'm not
mistaken, maurice gemayel and joseph chader and other recognized
national thinkers were involved in drafting it, now imagine how long
you would need to redo all of this and update it for the times so your
supporters get it and go along willingly.
I am not saying any of this to disagree with you, build it and I will
be the first one to come over, I just think you have the wrong
impression that we are all betting on setrida geagea or solange gemayel
for some reason, this is not true at all. the mechanism you are
proposing is exactly the kind of thing I am saying, bass shaghleh manna
heyk overnight like some people wish.
We are on much more fertile ground now. I don't think that it will take
much effort to bring together a group of like minded people from the Christian
community. Setup an agenda for national reform and begin vigorous work
towards those reforms. The Christian community is thirsty for such a group.
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Fuad Abiad
I think that all the fantasies that the leaderless LF has been
feeding
Post by Fuad Abiad
its constituency will disappear once Lebanon is fully secular.
(except the "youth of the Christian right" (shu ma3na youth of the
christian right?) and asorted people with roos mkhashkhashi.)
youth from the xtian right mitel hal shabeb bel ouwwet wel kataeb and
even many of those in tayyar aoun as much as he likes to think he
represents the seculars of lebanon.
I've met some of these kids and I don't think that they are rightists
in the usual sense. The best of them are eager to be involved in the political
process and represent their community. They would gladly ditch the LF
in favor of something more coherent and that would better protect
the Christians (a secular democratic party).
The worst of them...well I'll get BHF upset...oh what the heck...
the worst are zu3ran whose only regret in life is that they weren't born ten
years earlier and got to shoot someone. (I'm getting old, I meant 15 years
earlier:-))
Post by m***@gmail.com
I am not mother theresa and still
I'll tell you we can't look at anyone as mkhashkhasheen and we can't
all move forward together except some group, in the conflict days even
post taef I said it defiantly against those who wanted to throw us into
the sea, now this era is over and I say it without defiance and not
against anyone, but for what I see as common sense for the common good.
regards,
marc
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-25 04:20:19 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Fuad Abiad
I also think the the Christians community in Lebanon has been
ready for a fully secular state for a long time.
It now urgently needs representatives to push this point.
the difference between us is not on the need for a sense of urgency,
it's over the feasibility of translating it on the ground. I've been
wishing since march that the momentum of the uprising will take
everything by storm, but it's only natural that we're running up
against entrenched mentalities, if not entrenched forces of the old
regime. yet as I said before I'm not complaining, a LOT has been
achieved in terms of liberation, and if now the internal transformation
takes a while, then maybe it will be for our own good. I've personally
been advocating a quick change of attitude in general and especially in
the ranks I come from because I believe if you don't adapt quickly to
the new reality, you will be left behind, yet this has not been
forthcoming in any ranks I would say, not just ours. how you go about
speeding this up is what you are talking about below, and I will tell
you what I know on that.
Post by Fuad Abiad
It's not. I have the same worries since I share through the trick of
infant baptism in this status. What I am saying is how does one address
these worries. Apart from the need to have a new secular proactive and
progressive party, I'm advocating the model that a model similar to what the
American Jewish community developed. I'm not talking about their famed
political influence on Israeli issues. I'm talking about institutions like
the ACLU. Their determined push to enforce the bill of rights.
again, I agree because I think change is not structural only or in
texts, but needs to happen in individuals first to preempt the natural
tendency of resisting change (just think back to change in any company
you've worked in). a successful transformation needs to happen at
multiple levels and in a multi-pronged approach, with people at the
center, not only mou'assaset siyesiyeh but also madaniyeh, idarieh,
tarbawiyeh, we all agree on that. the more comprehensive this is, the
more it will be stable in the long run, but also the more time it will
take to setup. unless you're counting on bush to deliver all of these
overnight :)
Post by Fuad Abiad
In the same way that we don't really understand why any deviation from
slightly managed capitalism leads to disaster. It is clear that the only and
most successful political model is the western model.
So yes, unless one is prepared to go on an adventure the only solution is a
carbon copy of the western model.
I obviously disagree on this one, western models are not the only
successful ones out there, in fact the entire sustainability movement
today coming out of cambridge university in the heart of england is
strongly putting in question the long-term viability of the western
model which is good for rapid growth but terrible from a sustainability
perspective. take japan for example, this is a western model in
principle but strongly adapted culturally to eastern ways of doing
things in practice. as for the analogy about free economy, I also
don't think it's a good one in this context, it's only good when you
compare it to the failed models, but the verdict is still out on it,
especially in economics today, but that's not the point I want to make
really, the point is that the two concepts are not comparable. and if
we go with this analogy, then it's an argument against the forceful
policy setting you're advocating for, so without getting stuck on why
this is a bad analogy, let me just say that I am strongly against
carbon copying anything from the west without local adaptation, even
secularism. we are a region who gave religion to the world, this is
our heritage, we need to embrace it in a clever way like western
secularism but not necessarily exactly like it. even the bland western
culture is today having a backlash against their own application of it,
at the slightest challenge they're falling back on religious
fanaticism, that's not something worth carbon copying in my opinion,
not when you're so up close and personal with these types of issues.
Post by Fuad Abiad
I'm saying if the horse doesn't drink he will be thirsty.
that's a good one, I like it :)
Post by Fuad Abiad
It indeed is about shoving rules down peoples throats. Look at the western
experience with women's rights and anti racism legislation.
look how the work place has changed since the laws were enacted.
Laws are not there to prevent people from thinking things. They are their to
protect from people's actions. People get used to it and small groups can
successfully advocate for it.
but we're talking about the equivalent of drafting a new constitution,
a new form of government, not about discrimination issues only. this is
the difference here, this is why you need to make sure you have
consensus and buy-in here. even when you're already on solid ground,
forcing the application of a policy can spark a civil war like the
racism issue, or at least instability like the segregation issue. we're
not even at the stage of a solid ground. but, let me make clear that
I'm not saying wait for the widest consensus possible, the ground may
not be solid but like you said it's fertile, so the question to me is
not about trying to take to advantage as quickly as possible, it's
about how you go about doing that, there are many roads to rome.
Post by Fuad Abiad
I'm talking about laws that mainly regulate the behavior of government
institutions. A situation in which no government activity can in any
way be related to religion. Take the bibles and the Korans out of government
schools. Take crosses of public hospital. No government privileges to the
clergy. No public money to religious projects.
agreed, I can;t think of anyone who will complain about this (though to
my knowledge there aren;t any crosses in public hospitals, only private
ones).
Post by Fuad Abiad
It is a call for well meaning people concerned with the well being
of the Christian community to "leave" the LF. Not a call to
hide the Christian identity.
I don't know about that, it's all about interpretation and perception,
who makes the call, who determines what percentage of migration is good
enough, etc... anyway I see your point, again we don't see eye to eye
on implementation but the need for transition is clear.
Post by Fuad Abiad
ba'ellon roo7u 3ala ljAmi3a, t3alamu.
they are all doing that, on all sides not just the LF, but please don't
get me started on this topic, this country (usa) has turned education
from a calling to an all-you-can-eat buffet, you can study the night
before the test and pass with anything from an A to a D and you're
suddenly "educated". you know elias murr is an engineer, just like
fred salvucci is an engineer, bass his tribal retrogressive mentality
tells me he didn't learn anything wala engineering wise wala
intellectual thought wise, for most people education and universities
are a way to get a license to work and earn generic respect, but god
forbid it has to mean that they have to think about anything. like I
said, don't get me started on this, if we had universities that give
students something more than instruction and a place to conduct student
elections over the same basic instincts, the whole world would have
been a much better place.
Post by Fuad Abiad
In summary become thoroughly western in your political outlook.
you've made your preference crystal clear and I appreciate that, to
some extent I agree and to a large extent I disagree personally, but
your position is certainly defensible from an overall track record
perspective.
Post by Fuad Abiad
I've met some of these kids and I don't think that they are rightists
in the usual sense.
yes, thank you for recognizing that, that's another first and a welcome
change from the days of the black and white labeling. I have given up
on arguing against that, if one insists on calling me a spade, I will
do my best to be a spade.
Post by Fuad Abiad
the worst are zu3ran whose only regret in life is that they weren't born ten
years earlier and got to shoot someone.
just to qualify that in terms of the lebanese finger pointing
mentality, this group exists on all sides and there is no indication of
a higher percentage of those people in one group over the other, my
strong conviction is that we don't have a nazi party in lebanon, as
much as some people would like to simplify it this way. otherwise I
agree, the issue is about better options.

regards,

marc
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-23 18:08:01 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by m***@gmail.com
the historical baggage
the federalism agenda
and you framed them both from a local, regional and iternational
dimension. that's a new perspective about these issues: what are the
dynamics outside of strictly local politics.
first let me say that I'm not the best advocate for the LF as a party,
so don't expect a strong defense from me personally, but I definitely
Gee Thanks! your defense, is worst than a Prosecution.
The LF is a major player, has grassroot supporters in all corners and in
least likely places. The LF withstood Syria's wrath during and after the
war, and withstood torture and Assassiantions from Bachir to Ramzi Irani,
and Jailing of Geagea.

So... Don't dance on our Grave yet!
Post by m***@gmail.com
consider myself concerned with the LF "phenomenon": between identifying
with some of the reasons for being of these movements despite all the
heavy baggage this entails, versus claiming to be a moderate neutral
secular progressive individual of christian heritage and lebanese
descent, I personally feel more comfortable starting with the former
and working my way forward to the latter.
let's talk about the local regional and international dimensions of the
LF with respect to these two issues.
as you pointed out, locally there are many christian factions in
lebanon which do not identify with the LF, they may have all been
suppressed by the LF during the war and some violently but they all
survived and the LF is no longer armed, the playing field is level and
if anything the LF now has to deal with the historical baggage you
mentioned. I would say locally the LF has been increasingly successful
at projecting a demilitarized dimension especially the last few years,
it is increasingly accepted in lebanon as an activist movement of youth
from the xtian right. on the regional and international level I would
say the LF are not on the radar, be it in a good or a bad light. but,
if there was a spotlight on them today, you'd be much more hard pressed
to find an article even in Le Nouvel Observateur condemning them as a
fanatical bunch of xtians trying to rule a moslem majority than you
were likely to find 25 years ago. if the world post 9/11 is not more
sympathetic, I would say it's at least not as hostile to the concept of
the LF as a reaction to "fanatical islam" or a response in the "clash
or civilizations" and so on...
these things extend to the LF agenda, if there is such a coherent
agenda today. the concept of other factions in the christian camp that
you mentioned also exists within the LF, there has always been other
factions within the LF itself as well. some of them were for
partitioning (or separation as you called it), some for fedarlism, some
for secular integration, but not in any particular preference as you
mentioned (at least not in the very early 80's which is the period I'm
more familiar with). if you look at what has actually transpired from
the LF, none of what was practiced on the ground actually mirrors the
separation slogans. when bachir gemayel had chances to reach power even
despite moslem support, he still chose to go back to the 10452km2
concept, which is all of lebanon for all of the lebanese, and when the
israelis tried to force a treaty on him, he refused it not because he
wanted the destruction of israel obviously, but because he saw in it an
attempt to create another israel. later both geagea and hobeika severed
ties with israel, hobeika turned to syria and the tripartite agreement,
geagea supposedly turned the LF into a political party to push the
federalism agenda, then he appointed that stooge malek to head it and
he personally ran for the presidency of the kataeb party, which is the
party of the 1943 coexistence formula... definitely not practicing the
separation concept.
so this is in summary to address some of the salient points you raised
from those different dimensions, but to address the main point of what
is the reason for being of the LF and why is it still popular even as
the playing field is level today and no one can accuse them of bullying
anyone anymore. in my _opinion_, there's a short answer which is wrong
and unacceptable anymore, and there's a long answer which we need to
consider and debate further as lebanese and as middle easterners or
arabs or phoenicians.
the short answer is that the LF is popular because people in some
sectors of lebanon are sectarian christian reactionaries. fine, I
personally will not engage those who continue to hold this view anymore
because the war is over, this is now their problem and fortunately for
those of us who live in those sectors, no one can use the palestinians
anymore to "throw us into the sea".
the long answer, which I will try to keep short for here, is that there
are trust issues both locally and regionally and internationally, which
prevent some people from being the first to embrace all the progressive
ideologies that have yet to take place anywhere in the entire arabic
and islamic world (I strongly disagree about turkey because it is
definitely not a good example of minority integration or respect for
human rights). those of us, like me, who as I said above feel more
comfortable identifying with some of the reasons for being of movements
like the LF (not the crosses and the chariots and the military songs),
we feel this way because we are very suspicious of the alternatives
being proposed 3ashwa'iyan without any clear definition of what they
are, any delineation with what they are NOT, and any record of even
limited success in a similar context. those of us in the xtian camp in
lebanon who did not embrace the progressive baath concept for example,
have been really glad for it the past 40 years, need I explain to
anyone why? those of us who did not buy into the syrian fertile
crescent concept are delighted for it today, again I hope more people
are realizing why. all of these were at one point confused with
progressive secular systems, they turned out to be hidden forms of
oppression and failed imitations of the already poor american melting
pot concept.
I think until there is a clear understanding and commitment on the part
of the majority before the minorities, of what moving forward means and
entails, there will continue to be a tendancy to fall back on the
smallest possible comfort zone.
regards,
marc
ps: even the proxy syrian regime could not convict the LF of plating
the bomb in saydet el najat, so I have to disagree on that one.
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-23 23:38:45 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Gee Thanks! your defense, is worst than a Prosecution.
so that's what's great about scl, even after all these years there's
still something new I've never seen before, now I've being accused of
persecution by both sides of the equation...

would you kindly tell me what exactly I said that is worse than a
prosecution, in a little more detail than quoting my entire post? I'll
even make it easy for you, you don't have to comment or write anything
more than these two lines you've troubled yourself with here, just
quote me the offending paragraph or paragraphs and I'll be happy to
elaborate.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
The LF is a major player, has grassroot supporters in all corners and in
least likely places. The LF withstood Syria's wrath during and after the
war, and withstood torture and Assassiantions from Bachir to Ramzi Irani,
and Jailing of Geagea.
so let me get this straight, 3am bet3allemneh terikh el ouwwet? mni7a
haideh :) ok thank you, even I can take a one paragraph lecture, mesh
mashkaleh.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
So... Don't dance on our Grave yet!
this is such as bad analogy for many reasons that are too personal to
go into here, bass for next time 3mol ma3rouf, this grave is not
"yours" to talk to others about it, and I will leave it at that.

regards,

marc
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-24 01:04:58 UTC
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--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Gee Thanks! your defense, is worst than a Prosecution.
so that's what's great about scl, even after all these years there's
still something new I've never seen before, now I've being accused of
persecution by both sides of the equation...
would you kindly tell me what exactly I said that is worse than a
prosecution, in a little more detail than quoting my entire post? I'll
even make it easy for you, you don't have to comment or write anything
more than these two lines you've troubled yourself with here, just
quote me the offending paragraph or paragraphs and I'll be happy to
elaborate.
I mistakenly read

"the historical baggage
the federalism agenda"

I thought you were the originator.
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
The LF is a major player, has grassroot supporters in all corners and
in
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
least likely places. The LF withstood Syria's wrath during and after
the
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
war, and withstood torture and Assassiantions from Bachir to Ramzi
Irani,
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
and Jailing of Geagea.
so let me get this straight, 3am bet3allemneh terikh el ouwwet? mni7a
haideh :) ok thank you, even I can take a one paragraph lecture, mesh
mashkaleh.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
So... Don't dance on our Grave yet!
this is such as bad analogy for many reasons that are too personal to
go into here, bass for next time 3mol ma3rouf, this grave is not
"yours" to talk to others about it, and I will leave it at that.
regards,
marc
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-24 02:54:14 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
I mistakenly read
"the historical baggage
the federalism agenda"
I thought you were the originator.
wala yhemmak, bass I would have hoped you would have taken the
opportunity to engage in debating the issue further with us here. I
was reframing Fuad's argument which I also don't think he is
articulating in a spirit of aggression but in dialogue.

it's not that I don't appreciate your weighing in when you do, it's
something else I wanted to convey and I was thinking how do I say it in
that picture of a 1000 words.

well failing a good one coming to my mind right now I guess I can say
this: Bachir 7ay fina ne7na kamen, and it used to be enough to just say
this even one year ago when the witch hunt was still on, today our
responsibility is to explain in more detail what it is about bachir
that is 7ay fina. if you don't agree with what I said before, that you
can't continue with the same discourse of the old days because it's no
longer enough, I say ok it's your right, maybe geagea needs to be out
first and the elections need to be more fair and so on, to each their
own pace, I am not judging you (you here is not just you obviously).
on the other hand, you have to realize that I don't have to ask samir
geagea's permission when I want to review the history of the LF or when
I want to think outloud in general, some of us exist outside of this
framework.

marc
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-20 17:32:09 UTC
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Post by Fuad Abiad
So the discussion from this point of view becomes fact gathering.
Rather than debating what started the civil war the questions become,
1) did anyone order the 3ain al-rummani massacre?
Do you think the PLO will ever admit to the Shooting of Joseph Abu Assi in
Ein El Remaneh?
Post by Fuad Abiad
2) who was involved?
3) what are their names and where do they live.
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-21 17:55:18 UTC
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Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Do you think the PLO will ever admit to the Shooting of Joseph Abu Assi in
Ein El Remaneh?
no one will ever admit anything out of the goodness of their heart, on
any side. but just like with the hariri investigation, the truth could
be found if there is support for the mission and it is entrusted to the
right organizations. at the very least, there needs to be a complete
review of the trigger events themselves and what led to them, instead
of this dubious amnesty law and the joke reconciliations that preceded
and followed it.
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-19 16:25:55 UTC
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--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by m***@gmail.com
Bassem,
I have two comments. First, many discussion of the civil war
amongst Lebanese are resolved when juju, fufu, and 7u7u
finally agree that its marwan's fault.
I did not understand, what do you mean "agree that its marwan's fault."
Post by m***@gmail.com
Second, there is little reason for discussing issues you've raised.
In my opinion the real question is can the war criminals indefinitely
avoid being brought to account for their crimes? Hiding behind the taif
amnesty which is illegal under international law.
The war was evil, the crimes committed by the war lords and their
officers are unforgivable.
The only deterrence is to make each one pay for their crimes.
This can be done through the efforts of individuals who are committed
to document and track each and every war criminal.
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-19 03:33:06 UTC
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Raw Message
--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by BM
[..]
I was told that this thread is inciting sectarian feelings.
I completely disagree with this assessment (obviously, since I already
said we don't discuss this topic with enough depth). maybe the people
who found this discussion to be incitant should tell us why.
I fail to see how discussing the civil war, are leading to Secterian
Feelings?
Post by m***@gmail.com
I urge you to reconsider bassem, you raised a perspective that is not
yours alone but is shared by many lebanese, this is a real view and it
should be debated, we can't continue with the mentality of sweeping
disconnects under the rug, only by developing a shared understanding of
all issues from past to future will we be able to move forward. I'm
sure whoever told you to refrain from this discussion meant well, but
there is no war of words here so no need to extinguish it.
I am shocked by Bassem of all people, what ever happened to Free Speech,
Free Expression, open mind discussion, this discussion can't be worst than
Al Jazeera's showing Beheadings.

The thread started about LACK OF DIALOGUE by leaders, to avert the war.
There is a contradiction here.
Post by m***@gmail.com
I've browsed online forums of some political movements before like the
LF and tayyar aoun and others, I was appalled to see what a controlled
environment they were, what was worth than the outright censorship of
what is acceptable to discuss was the self-censorship of the supporters
about 'washing dirty laundry in public', I felt genuinely upset for
what the war generations are doing to the upcoming ones...
marc
Joseph Mouhanna
2005-05-18 18:14:07 UTC
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Bassem,

I respectfully disagree. This is the kind of discussion that needs to take
place, and is in no way a rehash of sectarian flames.

The truth is somewhere between what yours (which I'm sure is shared by
many), and Bachir's (which I'm sure is shared by many).

Statement A: Before the war started, I completely agree with your position:
given a smart set of politicians/leaders who favor Lebanon's unity and
sovereignty, compromises over the root causes of the ensuing war could have
been made and in that case, the war could have been completely avoidable.

Statement B: Once the war started, the Christians areas of Lebanon assumed
for the most part (and until Syria and Israel entered into the picture) a
defensive position. Those who did not believe in the war were forced to
defend themselves. Example: the Batroun area and Chekka. In this case, the
local wars could not have been avoided.

IMHO, what's needed is an acknowledgment that statements A and B are not
mutually exclusive.

In support of statement A: Lebanon's sectarian system created an extreme
environment of inequality, with the majority of the population restricted to
the minority of elected offices, as well as the very top office. The
leadership of the Christian side was not open to negotiating the sectarian
formula, and they were proceeding as if everything was normal toward the
1976 elections. Leaders/politicians on the Christian side who supported a
secular Lebanon were accused of being traitors to their religion and as
later proven during the war, were killed for it. Those who support statement
B must acknowledge this simple fact. At the very beginning of the war,
Raymond Edde's party headquarters in Jbeil was attacked and burned down by
the Kataeb, with several of Edde Party's men killed. The right wing
Christian groups, were not open for negotiations on the issue of power
sharing and secularism, had started training camps and believed they can
maintain power through military might (and that certain foreign powers will
always support them). For this who find this hard to believe, Mayfouk did
not become a center of military might when the LF moved there in the late
1970s, but back in the 1960s when the Kataeb picked it as a spot for the
summer training camps for the region.

At the same time, there were extremists on the Sunni side, with the
Mourabitoun insisting on joining Lebanon forcefully into an Arab cause that
by this time was dead (along with Nasser). This group was not open for
negotiations and was out procuring weapons and training. In addition, it was
forging partnerships with the PLO, which under Arafat was planning its
takeover of Lebanon. Junblat was open to negotiations, but with no
compromise on the horizon, he started planning for war as well. The
leadership of the National Movement had a simple plan: use the PLO to effect
change, the government will collapse, and a secular government could be
installed in its place. Junblat's was closed to compromising at this point,
as he believed that he can put the genie back in the bottle at any point,
and the revolution will not last more than a long weekend.

No compromise on the part of the Christian right, and the moderate
Christians were silenced by force. No compromise on the Muslim (and Druze)
side (minus the Shiites, who were sent money by the Libyans to be part of
the war, but Imam Sadr took the money and refused to be part of the war and
used most of it for social services, which apparently cost him his life when
Ghaddafi asked for an accounting). The silent majority is caught in the
middle with no arms and no political power. The clergy, while not openly
engaged, informed the hard liners that they're not willing to compromise
either. All parties thought they had either military strength, international
support or both. Maybe it was the Abu Assi assassination, but it could very
well have been an argument over a parking space. With no one willing to
compromise, and with the various parties loaded and cocked, it was bound to
happen.

In support of statement B: Once the war started, it was only a matter of
time before the people in the middle got involved. Up until the 3rd of July
1976, the front in the Batroun area was primarily a line past Chekka to the
North (Kataeb and various militias versus militias from Tripoli), and a
disconnected line in Koura (Kataeb and various militias versus SSNP and
their allies). The combatants were a minority. The night of July 3rd, the
SSNP led an attack, which included an amphibious PLO landing in Chekka. SSNP
protestations to the contrary not withstanding, two things came out of these
events: 1) hundreds of civilians raped, butchered; and 2) an overnight
transformation of the entire caza of Batroun into the Kataeb/Christians
militias camp out of a desire to defend the area, as it was clear that even
if you were not in the Christian right wing camp, you were going to die a
horrible death. I'm sure someone will be able to come up with just as brutal
an example on the opposite side of the fence.

The point is that those who defended themselves from this point on, were
driven by one of the most basic human instincts: self preservation. A year
or two earlier, these same people would all be for fair compromises and
secularism. I am not going to fault anyone who went this route.

IMHO, recognizing that A and B are not mutually exclusive and acknowledging
the prejudices of the past will put us on the right track to recovery.

PS: I can see the remnants of the no-compromise segment of the Lebanese
fabric, specifically in the voices trying to stir up sectarian feelings (as
in: they're trying to isolate the Christians of Lebanon and set a trap for
them). March 14 is a good start, and let's not lose site of the tremendous
leap of faith made that day.
Post by BM
[..]
I was told that this thread is inciting sectarian feelings. That is not
my intent so I will refrain from further participation in this thread.
Perhaps an objective accounting of the war can happen in the future. Until
then, it seems we are cursed to relive civil wars because we don't learn
from past ones.
Thank you for your replies.
bassem
BM
2005-05-18 20:09:18 UTC
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Post by Joseph Mouhanna
IMHO, what's needed is an acknowledgment that statements A and B are not
mutually exclusive.
Joseph,

You got it. Once the war started it could not be stopped until one side
was victor or a stalemate was reached. A precedes B and so they are not
mutually exclusive.

Looking forward, we need to guarantee that in the future A never turns
into B.

bassem
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-19 02:57:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by BM
[..]
I was told that this thread is inciting sectarian feelings. That is not
my intent so I will refrain from further participation in this thread.
Perhaps an objective accounting of the war can happen in the future. Until
then, it seems we are cursed to relive civil wars because we don't learn
from past ones.
Thank you for your replies.
bassem
Shocking!

War is still a taboo, no one wants to discuss. We still have not learned a
thing.
DrSMITH
2005-05-19 09:29:09 UTC
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Post by Bachir Hay Fina
--
[...]
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
War is still a taboo, no one wants to discuss. We still have not learned a
thing.
I believe it's a question of timing. Right now, the efforts should
consist in putting everybody at the round table that Hariri is
proposing. Once everybody is at the table, the civil war *reasons*
should be debated in order to avoid them, not to judge anybody and NOT
to point the finger at who's guilty. Evoking the civil war to justify
who should be on the table and who shouldn't or why isn't healthy. (If
you scroll up, you'll realize that talking about Solange and Bachir
brought the discussion to opening the civil war file).
IMO, the root cause was the sectarian uneven distribution of power,
because politicians thought about their wellbeing and not as Lebanese
patriots. (Other reasons are welcome). Once everybody starts to think
as Lebanese, and puts Lebanon's future as the objective, we'd be steps
ahead in recovery.
I invite you to postpone this talk till after the reconciliatory
elections (2 weeks from now). Right now, we should focus on including
all the leaders in the mousalaha wataniyya that is taking place. If we
start accusing each and every selfish politician for having taken a
role in the civil war, then logically, their presence in Lebanon's
government would imply a gross mistake (I'm referring to other threads
in here). After all, why are we to accept Jumblat's position today and
not offer Lahoud a second chance for example? From such a perspective,
Aoun's comments might be understood, but he should not make the mistake
of judging if he's aiming at a New Lebanon, etc.
Tolerance is the key, and if we start being intolerant in our
perspectives about the civil war (be that justifying or condemning it),
we won't achieve a thing. The reason is simply because we're not
covering all sides: each has his version and is enforcing it out of
conviction. As a result, some want to hang (figuratively) all the old
players, some want to keep certain characters out of the table, while
others want to defend particular leaders.
I don't think what happened during the civil war is relevant as the
reasons that led to it may be. But then again, this is my take on the
current discussion and I might be criticized for it. In all cases,
it'll be my only input for the time being.

DrSMITH.
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-15 05:36:31 UTC
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ok, this is my first practice post at being really brief, let's see how
this works out :)
Post by BM
Ever heard of the notion of "shatab" or "tashtib"?
absolutely, and as you point out, solange or any other LF candidate
picked up on the Hariri list may still fail, but to me that's not what
makes ghattas khoury more representative than solange, since as you and
Joseph said a broom :-) could run on Hariri's list and get elected, so
this is not about meritocracy between ghattas and solange, this is
about solange gemayel and what she represents (even if informally or
unofficially). two important things come up here:

one, the opposition was formed against syrian occupation and claimed to
be united towards that goal (they were not formed against sectarianism,
and I'd say they're not united on anything other than ending syria's
occupation - this is a key point I'll elaborate on later), so excluding
anyone that the LF or rightists or xtian right or any other appelation
of the major anti-syrian opposition partner in achrafieh saifi rmeil &
mdawar, becomes a question of principle. the principle is that you
can't one day welcome the help of a group to attain your goal and then
at the end tell them they can't reap the benefits of their labor. the
people may still decide to elect a broom but at least the leadership of
the opposition will have given us an example of national unity at some
level. the decision to unilaterally name an opposition list hurriedly
without consulting some groups has already given the worst example to
the people, remember this is an opposition list where the opposition
represents all those who were asking for independence, not those who
are most qualified in absolute terms, if that was the case I'm sure we
can find someone from beirut who's an LF and is as qualified and
experienced as ghattas khoury.

two, there is plenty of sectarian mistrust going on by our own
acknowledgement that's why there's so much frustration now, but that's
an indication for many things that should be taken into consideration,
for example if this is truely old fashioned sectarianism at its worst,
all the more reason to want to debate these people in parliament
instead of in the streets, this way everyone will be on-board or will
have at least gotten a fair chance to voice their objections in a
peaceful way.

I am not trying to debate small details by any means, but to move
forward I think we need A and B, not A or B, that's what I mean by
dialectical thinking, so let's at least give A and B a chance to make
it to begin with. another point I was trying to make in that previous
post is that there's a lot of antithetical concepts at play here which
leads to confusion especially in this charged atmosphere. for
instance, if achrafieh, rmeil, saifi & mdawar were agricultural lands
(I wish!) and the people there were all farmers, they would want a
farmer in parliament whether he's illiterate or a phd in biology, at
that point it wouldn't matter if all the farmers are xtian or if they
were evenly divided among 18 religious groups. so the problem of
sectarianism here has been confused in my opinion, maybe because the LF
are seen as such and maybe even more because of the various comments on
this issue (I'm not at all saying you or anyone else here have made a
mistaken judgement, I'm just pointing to the different sides of a
confounding issue).
Post by BM
In this parliament there should be a single opposition list. LF will
vote for the unified list. The unified list as a whole will
represent
Post by BM
the LF political interest for the next four years.
this is where I said I would elaborate further, but so much for being
brief already :) the issue here is that this opposition is not unified
in its political agenda beyond independence and maybe some other big
titles, but the LF for example had a political agenda before geagea
went to jail which is federalism, I don't know what it will be if/when
he gets out but it may not be the same thing as tayyar al moustaqbal's
agenda. thus the need to represent them for now.
Post by BM
Which Kataeb? :-)
for some of us ma fi ella kate'ib we7deh <paramilitary music in
background> :) this is what I would say in the old days when it was not
wise to be defiant, but now that the external threat is gone I have to
do the most unpopular thing again of course, so I'll say i7zarou el
taklid, wal asli kamen :)
Post by BM
The Kataeb of Pakardouni are finished.
I've only been here a week so I may be wrong, but it seems pakradouni
is officially represented on scl so ma badna nza3el 7adan :) let's just
say pakradouni is finished with the kataeb, they're too weak and
depasse' for his political potential, I think he's now interested in
geagea and aoun, whichever will take him.
Post by BM
The traditional Kataeb which I believe are represented by the
Gemayels
Post by BM
(please do correct if not correct)
I will tell you it's correct but without passing a value judgement, we
can leave that for another discussion if there's interest.

about solange, when I said perseverance I meant she has been at the
helm of the bachir gemayel foundation for 20 some years, she has been
involved in internal politics but not nearly enough that there's no one
more qualified, I have my own thinking as to why she's running instead
of some other LF representative, but since I have no insider
information I will not speculate. I'm only mentioning this as a
further clarification to your question, again not as a value judgement
of any kind.
Post by BM
I won't be able to go on-time for the Beirut round but I plan to go this
summer and start planning for next elections. Among things that I hope
- register myself as a voter
- build connections with secular minded people, parties and
organizations
Post by BM
- work with others on a campain to rid the country of sectarianism
- When I return to the US, I'll try to work with Lebanese in the US to
support our compatriots in their anti-sectarianism campain
very commendable in general and in detail, I hope you will be
successful and I have faith this type of agenda will succeed sooner
than later, but I also hope you will not let the obstacles along the
way get to you as they do me.
Post by BM
I look at each election cycle as a refinement iteration. Each cycle we
work out the bugs :-)
once a programming mind, always a programming mind :) seriously, it
sound good to me, it took the auto industry in the US 10 years to
figure out that the key to the success of japanese companies is
continuous improvement... they must have wondered, what no homeruns!?
Post by BM
bassem
marc
practice post at being brief aborted...
BM
2005-05-15 14:49:22 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
makes ghattas khoury more representative than solange, since as you and
Joseph said a broom :-) could run on Hariri's list and get elected, so
this is not about meritocracy between ghattas and solange, this is
about solange gemayel and what she represents (even if informally or
unofficially).
I just want to correct misimpression I may have left. JM had used the
expression in a different context (local US politics), unrelated to
Lebanon. I coopted the expression for Lebanon without permission.
Post by m***@gmail.com
the principle is that you
can't one day welcome the help of a group to attain your goal and then
at the end tell them they can't reap the benefits of their labor.
Hariri and the opposition erred by not agreeing on a unified list early
on. By bleeding each other they allowed Berri to sneak up on them with
a 26 (24 if you exclude Hariri and Saad) candidate. Berri's list could
have been shorter had the opposition united. Also Aoun has now
embiterred which was been avoidable had the opposition coordinated their
candidates.
Post by m***@gmail.com
the decision to unilaterally name an opposition list hurriedly
without consulting some groups has already given the worst example to
the people,
Harrir erred. Junblatt also erred. Both had to backtrack on a nominee
close to them to accomodate their opposition allies. This faux pas
could have been avoided.
Post by m***@gmail.com
this is where I said I would elaborate further, but so much for being
brief already :) the issue here is that this opposition is not unified
in its political agenda beyond independence and maybe some other big
titles, but the LF for example had a political agenda before geagea
went to jail which is federalism, I don't know what it will be if/when
he gets out but it may not be the same thing as tayyar al moustaqbal's
agenda. thus the need to represent them for now.
Actually the opposition was common objectives among them:

- Syria's withdrawal
- Free election
- Truth about the Hariri assassination
- sacking six security chiefs
- sacking the then government of Karami

Three of these objectives were achieves, one of which yet to be verified
by the UN. Two objectives remain.

bassem
Joseph Mouhanna
2005-05-16 01:20:01 UTC
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"BM" <m-e-d-a-w-a-***@panix.com> wrote in message news:d67nhl$mdj$***@reader1.panix.com...
[.................]
Post by BM
I just want to correct misimpression I may have left. JM had used the
expression in a different context (local US politics), unrelated to
Lebanon. I coopted the expression for Lebanon without permission.
No problem Bassem. I have no problems with free source code these days :-)
[...................]
Post by BM
Hariri and the opposition erred by not agreeing on a unified list early
on. By bleeding each other they allowed Berri to sneak up on them with a
26 (24 if you exclude Hariri and Saad) candidate. Berri's list could have
been shorter had the opposition united. Also Aoun has now embiterred
which was been avoidable had the opposition coordinated their candidates.
Bassem, I think that the opposition was doomed the second it had to include
someone as unstable as Aoun (not to mention the other unstable guy:
Junblat). Marc, the Lebanese equivalent of Yeeeehaaa is "you will respect me
by shutting up" :-). An attempt by Hariri to force a resolution earlier
would have been translated as strong arming a group of people who think they
deserve as much credit as his late father for Lebanon's freedom.
Joseph Mouhanna
2005-05-16 01:13:44 UTC
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<***@gmail.com> wrote in message news:***@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
[..................]
Post by m***@gmail.com
about solange, when I said perseverance I meant she has been at the
helm of the bachir gemayel foundation for 20 some years, she has been
involved in internal politics but not nearly enough that there's no one
more qualified, I have my own thinking as to why she's running instead
of some other LF representative, but since I have no insider
information I will not speculate.
Marc,

The LF and Kataeb have splintered big time since the war ended (and the rift
started earlier). The rank and file, the same people who sacrificed their
blood and their children's, feels cheated. Solange is the compromise
candidate that they can all claim as theirs. So whether you're affiliated
with Bachir, Samir ***@gea, Hobeika, Amin or Pakradouni, Solange is also
your candidate. This is not true for any of the other names. Even the Hariri
heir is acknowledging this, and Ghattas Khouri is stepping aside to make
this happen. She is likely to satisfy no one and everyone at the same time,
but that's politics in Lebanon, and part of here mission is to help navigate
the re-emergence of a unified Kataeb party with its epicenter back in
Achrafieh.
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-16 03:05:18 UTC
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Post by Joseph Mouhanna
The LF and Kataeb have splintered big time since the war ended (and the rift
started earlier). The rank and file, the same people who sacrificed their
blood and their children's, feels cheated. Solange is the compromise
candidate that they can all claim as theirs. So whether you're
affiliated
Post by Joseph Mouhanna
your candidate. This is not true for any of the other names. Even the Hariri
heir is acknowledging this, and Ghattas Khouri is stepping aside to make
this happen. She is likely to satisfy no one and everyone at the same time,
but that's politics in Lebanon, and part of here mission is to help navigate
the re-emergence of a unified Kataeb party with its epicenter back in
Achrafieh.
Joseph, I think you got it right, at least by me. the actual
institutions have been decimated by internecine fighting since 1984 and
by fraternal pummeling out of anjar since 1990, there's no one left to
be trusted. add on top of that the fact that lebanese politics have
continued to be feudal into this millenium and all you're left with are
widows, orphans and fatherless children.

my feeling about this now is, ok, we've stood by these people through
thick and thin for generations now and have not asked for anything in
return, now they've made the final cut to sit at the debating table on
our behalf, so if they will not honor the memories of kamal, bachir,
rafik, renee and all the others who were killed because of their
attachment to lebanon, if they will not do the right thing for the sake
of the thousands of martyrs and innocent lives lost, then to hell with
them all and to hell with them way before 2009.

the right thing to do for solange and all the others now is to work for
a country in which all people are equal, not divided equally. to work
for rebuilding a traditional base on non-traditional basis. and to help
fulfill the aspirations of all those who revolted on march 14, not a
subset of them. no more games in the guise of politics should be
tolerated.

much like you and bassem have already expressed, I intend to become
involved again somehow somewhere, be it with a new grassroots movement
for reform, or with a reformed old movement from the grassroots, either
way this election to me closes the file of the war and levels the field
reasonably enough, from here on out if they want our loyalty and our
services, they will have to deliver a country in return.

and to borrow from our friends in the clergy, wa laqad 'a3zara man
'anzar ;)

regards,

marc
Joseph Mouhanna
2005-05-16 05:32:30 UTC
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BTW, and I'm sure you're aware of this, the deadline for registering as a
candidate already expired, so this makes Ms. Toutanji a bona fide MP as the
sole Maronite candidate. She joins a couple of other candidates who are the
sole candidates for their sects in Beirut. Congratulations to the new
representatives, and may they be inspired to guide us through the tunnel and
toward the light.
marc
[......................]
Fuad Abiad
2005-05-16 05:48:20 UTC
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In article <***@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
***@gmail.com says...

[....]
marc
My view is that there is only one party in Lebanon that has a clear well
articulated agenda of total secularism, democracy, and independence.

All other parties are either secterian or have no adgenda beyond chairs
in partliament. All others have a feudal leadership.

The party I'm talking about is the Lebanese Communist Party.
http://www.lcparty.org/history.htm

Look at their site and tell me what you disagree with.
m***@gmail.com
2005-05-17 14:30:20 UTC
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Hello Fuad,

thanks for the lcp link, I found 4 parts to download (as .pdf files),
I'm looking over the first part now, I was quite familiar with their
program from the 2000 elections and I agree that they have a
comprehensive and progressive agenda, I'm curious to see if this has
changed further.

looking over the part on mouhimmat wataniya 3amma, the only thing still
of relevance is the political reform section (the first two about
israeli occupation and syrian presence need updating obviously, and not
wanting to nitpick I'll leave out my opinion on the relationship with
syria since I will assume it was written under some duress ;)).

I found nothing I didn't like in those 5 pages, they're for a
completely secular and non-feudal system, they're for a democratic
system (I found that weird before to be honest since this is the l-C-p
but it's good to see they've progressed quickly with the times), they
seem to favor a top-down approach with the government institutions
being the catalyst and driving force (more so than popular forces...),
still nothing much to disagree with. I like the level of detail in
some aspects, like spelling out that they're for da'ira wa7ida ma3
nisbiya and lowering the voting age and la-markazia idariya, but they
don't mention anything about checks and balances, and it gives you a
feel of an essay (insha') in some places, especially where they say
"etc..." :)

I'll check out the section on the economy next.

regards,

marc
Post by Fuad Abiad
My view is that there is only one party in Lebanon that has a clear well
articulated agenda of total secularism, democracy, and independence.
All other parties are either secterian or have no adgenda beyond
chairs
Post by Fuad Abiad
in partliament. All others have a feudal leadership.
The party I'm talking about is the Lebanese Communist Party.
http://www.lcparty.org/history.htm
Look at their site and tell me what you disagree with.
Fuad Abiad
2005-05-17 22:09:46 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
I found nothing I didn't like in those 5 pages, they're for a
completely secular and non-feudal system, they're for a democratic
system (I found that weird before to be honest since this is the l-C-p
but it's good to see they've progressed quickly with the times), they
seem to favor a top-down approach with the government institutions
being the catalyst and driving force (more so than popular forces...),
still nothing much to disagree with. I like the level of detail in
some aspects, like spelling out that they're for da'ira wa7ida ma3
nisbiya and lowering the voting age and la-markazia idariya, but they
don't mention anything about checks and balances, and it gives you a
feel of an essay (insha') in some places, especially where they say
"etc..." :)
Well it's pretty good compared to the deliberately inarticulate parties: "our
members know what we believe in, it's in our blood", "what's wrong with a
sectarian feudal system", and "my dad and his dad before him followed the
sheikh's dad and his dad before him", "that's how we do it in
Zghorta/Butroun/Keserwan." Have I left anyone out?
Oh yes, "when lebanon was formed they forgot the southwest of Bishop yarzi's
district of 7alab, that's
why we need to unite with Nicosia."

The LCP has been pro democracy on paper since the 60's.
The challenge is to find another party as forthcoming with its ideology.
The chalenge in Lebanon is to find a party with such a great history of
3ilmaniyeh on the ground. Its is amazing that the oldest Lebanese party
is the most secular and least feudal (is George Hawi a sheikh yet?)

Given that we are all hear to advocate and discus certain ideas, the challenge
is to articulate one's own views in way that's as clear and detailed as what
they have on their page.
Y o z e f .com
2005-05-20 03:50:53 UTC
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What I would like to Vote for is for Democracy, as in Having Lebanese
Expatriates the right to vote, from abroad! 12 Million votes
unaccounted for!!!!
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-12 02:27:46 UTC
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--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by BM
Post by Marc Haddad
but ghattas khoury regardless of his qualifications does not represent
achrafieh and the community for which he is standing.
Which brings up a point: what's the qualifying criteria? What makes
Solange more qualified than Ghattas?
bassem
Solange or X, will be elected by the constituency, qualifications were never
a criteria, I have never heard of Qualifications being a criteria in
Politics, anyone can run for office, REAGAN, ARNOLD, or GOPHER of the Love
Boat.
BM
2005-05-12 03:09:43 UTC
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Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Solange or X, will be elected by the constituency, qualifications were never
a criteria,
Why not. Why are qualification not a criteria?
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
I have never heard of Qualifications being a criteria in
Politics, anyone can run for office, REAGAN, ARNOLD, or GOPHER of the Love
Boat.
If Reagan, Arnold, "Gopher" were deemed not qualified they would not
have been elected. Kerry was deemed not qualified. He was not elected.

bassem
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-12 04:57:16 UTC
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Raw Message
--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
Solange or X, will be elected by the constituency, qualifications were
never a criteria,
Why not. Why are qualification not a criteria?
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
I have never heard of Qualifications being a criteria in Politics, anyone
can run for office, REAGAN, ARNOLD, or GOPHER of the Love Boat.
If Reagan, Arnold, "Gopher" were deemed not qualified they would not have
been elected. Kerry was deemed not qualified. He was not elected.
bassem
When you say qulified, you implie, that they have to pass some sort of a
qulification test.

I am not to familiar with the rules of becoming a candidate in Lebanon, but
what makes Mouawad more qualified than solange, or Joumblatt?
BM
2005-05-12 05:11:20 UTC
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Post by Bachir Hay Fina
When you say qulified, you implie, that they have to pass some sort of a
qulification test.
In the eye of the beholder.

Legaly, I am sure there is some minimal formal qualification and fee
paying. This is not the qualification I am talking about.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
I am not to familiar with the rules of becoming a candidate in Lebanon, but
what makes Mouawad more qualified than solange, or Joumblatt?
I posted my qualification rules earlier (see my post to DrS).

What are your qualification rules? What's your program that you would
like candidates to implement? You then grade the candidates based on
your perception of their qualification.

bassem
Bachir Hay Fina
2005-05-12 05:26:16 UTC
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Raw Message
--
_____________________________________________
.
.
. Remember the Victims of Damour at .
. http://www.geocities.com/damour1976/index1.html .
.____________________________________________.
Post by BM
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
When you say qulified, you implie, that they have to pass some sort of a
qulification test.
In the eye of the beholder.
Legaly, I am sure there is some minimal formal qualification and fee
paying. This is not the qualification I am talking about.
Post by Bachir Hay Fina
I am not to familiar with the rules of becoming a candidate in Lebanon,
but what makes Mouawad more qualified than solange, or Joumblatt?
I posted my qualification rules earlier (see my post to DrS).
What are your qualification rules? What's your program that you would
like candidates to implement? You then grade the candidates based on your
perception of their qualification.
bassem
Forget my rules, In Lebanon the qualification was is and will always be,
Zaiim with money, and support "cha3biyeh"! And a couple of CAMION ZIFT.
s***@gmail.com
2014-04-15 10:18:45 UTC
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Dr shogo am so grateful, through the powerful money spell i purchased from you last week i was able to apply for a loan from the bank for both to start my own business and also to buy my family a house, i cant imagine yesterday i received a call from the bank notifying me that my loan on R4.2million was approved, i don't know how to thank you but your powers are beyond human imagination,if you need his assistance contact him via ***@gmail.com
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