Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Lebanese Constitution and the Politics of War

On November 29, 2007 I wrote a post titled 'Presidency or Taef, Stability or Civil War' and I just wanted back then to put some ideas in words, ideas I threw in the face of friends back then and looked fictional. They are not for sure! The idea suggested was that there is an internal facet to the 'lebanon crisis' and that is related to a major constitutional ammendment. The idea entails as well the fact that any such ammendment needs a round of violence, a so called civil war or wars. But looking back at the latest events in Lebanon many questions may come to mind.
As one reader asked, 'Is this round of violence enough... or u think it's just the beginning?'
Are we living a truce, a fragile cease fire that will break once the real negotiations begin or alternatively if regional events take place?
Many scenario's for a humble observers like me have equal opportunities as I do not hold the data our dear Lebanese leaders have. I am not suggesting here either that they do have all the necessary data. I will leave the floor then to my speculations and in no way these can give satisfying answers, rather they may only add to the complexity the reader may be facing.
  • Is there a relation between the current events and Bush's trip to the region? And if so, does a retaliation to what happened await the end of that trip. An uprisal among the axis of the good! or is it that the July 2006 war acted as a successful preventive war against Israeli intervention only when Hizbullah- and allies from the axis of the bad- at a later stage decide to change the power shares in Lebanon. There is no need as well to mention the Gaza strip, the preventive war there just before the July war and the aftermath. Bitter the fact that almost a clearly declared objective of the July war from the Israeli side was growing the hatred among the lebanese constituencies agaist Hizbullah. Bitter the fact that such objectives were attained. But Does it really matter? It matters for a Hizbullah leading a long resistance, but what if the decission to give up weapons for a political power share is on the table or will be in the near future?
  • To Doha then... a long breath-taking negotiation no doubt but will it take place swiflty. Will it be as breath-taking literally for the lebanese people as well. A series of small wars here and there. Hope not, but this is one high probability. Another worrying fact is the increasingly unstable region we live in. Will a Doha agreement last as the Taef one or will it break before or even more, are things ripe enough for it to be attained? The worrying factor here is that the span of relative peace or relatively less violent wars, constitutional ammendments bring to this poor country may be shrinking and shriking.
  • There is as well a much worrying fact. If the lovely leaders of our lovely country came to conclusion that that they need no more blood shed to attain an agreement, something which looks a bit wierd, but for the sake of the argument, that can only lead to horrible conclusion. That the main change to the Taef may be redefining the confessional political system, yet in a more blunt way and getting rid of the statement regarding abolishing political sectarianism/confessionalism. More to that will be the implication for dividing Lebanon along sectarian lines with the human cost ahead of such a decision especailly in highly mixed areas across the country and especially the capital.
  • What about the people who were taken by surprise?! I mean the people of our lovely Lebanon who were assuming that the battle for Lebanon is a battle for freedom and independence or resisitance to western or regional ambitions/agendas on both sides. Do they really know what is happening now or are they as blinded as before? Perhaps more, unfortunately.
  • What about the regional battle. What about the Qaeda and co.? Have they recieved an invitation to join or they already on the ground?
  • Last but not least, what about the 'truth'? What about the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and does the current events ring a bell?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

WAR- Civil or Uncivil, this is the question!

There is no real need to add any new posts on this blog for the time. It can be helpful to the reader to check older related posts (Presidency or Taef, Stability or Civil War ) on this blog.

Until other signals arise, we're just there!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On the 'Freedom of Expression'

At some stages of my life, I was someone trying to convince others (friends and new encounters at university forexample) that religion is nothing but a story, a fiction and is only to be read through critical eyes and within its historical and eco-social background.
It would have been easier if it was only that! I was preaching yet for another religion/ideology. I do not know the real difference between those till now and am not trying to offend anyone here but from where I stand, the lines are so blare. Refreshing my memory tells me that I was preaching back then for a trinity based on Marx, Nietzsche and Freud.I even sketched it with a base of Marx and Freud and a higher path which leads to the fullfilment of the trinity, a nietzschean path, or way of life, an existentialist one.
I refrain from that now, not because I became a believer or that I assume myself as belonging to a certain religion but because I respect the other whatever his belief. I have not really changed. I can actually say I am still an existantialist or that I wish to be and still am not.
But respecting others irrespective of their belief should at no point undermine an individuals freedom of speech (ARTICLE 19, UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS) or creative ways of reflecting on his beliefs in any way including writing. Reading through such lines, I assume, shall in no way shake the belief (Al Yaqeen) or offend readers (reading these posts that I really liked lead me to write mine) unless they are not so sure of where they stand. Any response to arguments should never miss the real track. Dialogue and communication I mean. Thats how arguments are thrown and countered. The freedom of speech is the only guarantee we all have to hear and get heard. It is the red line that should not be crossed, not the other way arround and you- dear reader/blogger especially if living accross middle east, be it in Lebanon or Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Syria and the list goes on- know this best.
I am aware though of crisis resulting from what is called hate speech though and the 'offending' writings, 'offending' caricature ...etc. There is no reason for such a fuss. There is nothing like an 'offending' way of expression, it is just expressing something in another way, in a different way that others may not like.Is it about sensitive themes? Well again that is relative and you may find 100's of highly sensitive themes. It can be no aleby for banning expressing thoughts arround them. The real thing is that there is an abuse of writing, caricature under the umbrella of freedom of expression. Again, to make my self clear, no writng or aqny other piece of art should banned or abolished. The mis-use and abuse of these materials is what really creates misunderstandings and cultural/religious clashes and gaps. Had not been for some media outlet which a certain agenda nothing would have happened arround some offending writings/other forexample. Such ways of expression along highly sensitive themes have been there since 100's of years, yet there was no fuss arround it as we see now. The problem lies in selecting a certain moment, an occassion, a wrong audience, a wrong message and squeezing in there a piece of art or a piece of writing. Only there and then, you cross the red line, you offend people, and offend the writer, the artist and ultimately you will have one aim, namely another attack on the 'Freedom of Speech'.

Lebanon: the Sustainability of Anarchy, Poverty and Chaos

Going arround Beirut these days gives you a glimpse on prosperity. With real-estate prices, construction on the run everywhere, fancy people, fancy cars and breath-taking night life, you definitely recognize that the country booming. Well, is it?
The country has been in an ongoing crisis since years now. To be specific, its been in that sustained anarchy since 24 May 2000!. The country has went through as many alarming crisis as its diversity of sects since then, but never assumed the right track towards a nation.
In this brief article, I will not tackle the constituents of the state of anarchy under study- referred to as Lebanon in this article- nor its prospects. My aim is to focus on poverty and choas, which look like the least priority for the 2 main constituent powers in Lebanon, namely, the ruling majority or the March 14 coalition and the opposing minority or the March 8 coalition. Both coalitions hereby mentioned serve as a hub for foreign interference in Lebanon, a multi-national co., a franchise like governed by a Lebanese CEOs as prescribed by Lebanese custom laws.
Both coalitions therafter refered to March 8 and March 14 limited have contributed restlessly to the sustained anarchic Lebanon we are trying to live in nowadays. Many ofcourse can not take it anymore and are escaping the unbearable void. To make the point clearer, I am not talking about the presidential elections or the void in the Lebanese presidency. The void is everywhere and the chaos is everywhere as well. The void lies in the stateless state of anarchy, our Lebanon. The no nation achieved adds a bit of complexity to the use of the word 'our' as it may seem illusive to readers. 'our' state or country refers to a certain bond among a group, an identity. There is no national identity in Lebanon at the first place and the country is composed of a mosaic of sects, religious group, a sectarian combo that has always been refered to as a unique recipe for dialogue among cultures and an oasis for democracy in the middle east. Ofcourse this bullshit.
To get a long story short, the march 8 limited co and the march 14 limited co have different priorities and agendas for Lebanon, thus leaving the country in it s stateless state. One group claims the ultimate priority is for electing a president whereas as the other prioritizes the full basket throughing the ball back. Again there is no referree in this game or bullshitting. The only added value the current political bullshitting have is that it has succeeded in sustaining 2 unique states of being among the masses of the various groups of this country. These being chaos and poverty. Chaos and poverty can be traced all accross the country however. These are qualities of life that are concealed and need a bit of contemplation and investigation to uncover. Being unspecialized in such situations, both contradicting co.s have no personell qualified the visit Beirut slums, the South slums, the Bekaa slums and the rythm goes on. they have no ability of registering the chaos they see or cause. Otherwise, they will have to address it as a priority.
Alternatively, long live the void, hurray!
This article has not yet began...a continuation follows in a series of article thereafter.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What is it like in Lebanon Now?

Population is decreasing though weather is nice! Any epidemic disease striking the country...well not exactly that sort of disease.Population is decreasing, who really cares?Almost all of my friends are gone by now...stuck here, well am not, but I like it here...Am I happy, not exactly say me...its a bit complex. I've been hybernating for so long. I used to live in the dark among the shadows of daylight and norish durning night among Beirut lights. How happy were I? Me says very. Missed smthg here...I used to live a normal life, other than the one I talked about, and by normal I mean... the usual bla bla of life, the whole package.Got it...It is called leading a double life...its all about doubles when it comes to standards, personality (ummm, multiples here maybe), peer groupssss and things of the sort...One day, I went into hybernation and here I am.Population decreasing, I don't really care, I'm in deep hybernation but I'm writing is really niceI'lll have my coffee now...think what bits and pieces should I put in words to amuse you and elevate me and guess what? If I have some time remaining, I will follow-up on my work.