Wednesday, January 24, 2007

How Can You Still Be With Them?

To my Lebanese compatriots and brothers (with no exception) I have nothing but good will towards you all and I am not writing this post to belittle or slander you or anyone else. However, I will take off on a rant... How in the world do you support the government during these days?

The opposition has been blamed for being obstinate and dictatorial. Last I checked, it was the government refusing the third way; It was the government shooting down the compromises offered by Salim Hoss and today Mr. Sanioura offered the same thing he did 60 days ago. Nothing new. It was Sayyed Nasrallah that agreed to the Patriach Nasrallah’s proposal a little over a month ago to hold parliamentary and presidential elections as a way out of this impasse. The opposition has been the side to offer any kind of true desire to compromise... this has to do with the non-existent (public) negotations.

The opposition, it has been said, has been impatient and rash. Again, last I checked it was the opposition that demonstrated on December 1st in huge numbers and peacefully (a fact that angered all fear mongerors that foretold only strife)... only to be ignored in their tents that have ‘crippled’ the downtown Beirut. They waited ten days with no results till December 10th where at least half of the residing Lebanese population showed up and again, the only thing noticeable to our government was that dust was accumulating on the streets of downtown due to its inactivity. 53 days from their initial demonstration to January 23 the opposition was camping out peacefully, only to be daily ignored and insulted. Regardless of whether they are right or wrong, how can you just ignore them. How can you just brush them off??? And expect nothing to grow from that? Is this how we build trust between a nation with deep scars? Is this how we even think of our country and land as a 'nation' to begin with? By ignoring half (if not more) of its people???

They have said that it was the opposition that was willing to escalate and not the government... when it was clearly the opposition that was more willing to compromise, being patient for 53 days, conducting peaceful demonstrations (despite the provocations), sit-ins, and civil disobedience campaigns (and what happened today was violence done against the road blockers by pro-government Lebanese citizens nostalgic of the militia days, sitting on balconies shooting at people; whats worse is pro-government forces criticized the Lebanese army for its lenience against the people who are their brothers and relatives). The governments snub of the voice of the people (whether they be half or the majority of the Lebanese matters not) is unacceptable. Form a national unity government, listen to Salim Hoss, the Patriach or anybody else. Nope, nothing of that, they say, we want a victor and a vanquished (‘neither victor nor vanquished’ is claimed to be the way of doing Lebanese affairs). Mr. Sanioura speaks of dialogue and when it is so clearly a lie since he has been so stubborn in his stance. Why should any body be surprised at what happened today? Why? (You will tell me, its their evil nature... ok, and the world is also flat)... I am surprised this didn’t happen sooner. And unless this act (if it is not a theatrical act and will be settled anyways or has been agreed already upon) ends sooner, expect more of the people’s frustrations to swell in the street be it from the opposition’s burning of tires or others trying to beat them up.

I will get responses that I am pro-Syrian and Iranian and stupid and need to wake up. Guys, honestly, away from the slogans and slander for a second, I know its easy but don’t you smell the fish!?... Walid Jumblat for years and years was the man for Syria... there are others like him, but how can a coalition led by such characters claim anything against Syria; and you know thats their whole platform against the opposition ‘they are trying to bring the Syrians in’ they tell you... And you were doing what when they where here, ya Walid Bek??? And yes, you will say that Aoun is Syrian now because he's greedy for Baabda... I agree with Aoun's stance on this issue; when Syria was in here he wanted them out and still does, when Syria is gone why should he pick a senseless fight with them that will plunge Lebanon into regional isolation (we share most of our borders with Syria, not Europe or the US)... and you will say much more I am sure. Walid Bek and some of his co-leaders where with Syria when they where in Lebanon proper, in every way and as for today, when Syria is out they are shouting against the danger of Syria coming back. Forget the slogans for a second... Hizbullah, still the same. But these guys?!!?

Ok, you get the gist of my thoughts... you can remember the slogans now, write me back venomous messages if you so desire and God bless you and all of Lebanon... for real.


  1. fubar7:25 AM

    Abu Jaafar,

    Why do you worry so much about what your opponents will say? Why do you not simply make your stand persuasively and then let those in opposition make theirs?

    I do not agree with you; however, I have no wish to engage you in a pissing contest. Despite our disagreements, I am still able to appreciate your many fine contributions to this blog.

    Is it not better to have the courage to stand by our convictions, to debate only those honestly interested in respectful discourse, and to ignore those merely spewing discourteous rhetoric?

    In these heated times, the key to maintaining sanity is to rise above the pettiness.

    Peace be with you...

  2. Arabic Coffee Pot8:27 AM

    The opposition wants 1/3 of the cabinet, the anti-syrians don't want to give it to them. A compromise would take the form of the one that was in the works to have several neutral ministers. The opposition refused that compromise and decided to hold out for 1/3.

    You're way off, as always...

  3. Abu Jaafar,

    First off, thanks for the updates your blog kept going last day.
    Second off, I have to agree with fubar on both counts.
    But let me say this. I only support March 14 because they present a better alternative to the perpetual warfare offered by Hizb and the uncompromising obstinancy and selfishness of michel aoun. They also happen to contain (though are very far from being solely composed of) people who share some of my political and economic perspectives.

    If you want an answer as to why Aoun should stand against Syria after it left lebanon, I have two. One is because of the injustices they wreaked upon him and much much much more importantly, his supporters. And two is because they are the prime suspect in the assassinations and attempted assassinations...

    Just my two cents.

  4. Anonymous8:41 AM

    Abu Jaafar,

    The last time I checked, the country was covered in thick black smoke because that hugely resembled the Israeli atrocities of this summer. The last time I checked, I can safely say that I will label FPM as a militia of thugs and criminals and also all the opposition. The last time I checked, I was endangered by an uncivilized and undemocratic opposition that takes orders from beyond the borders. The last time I checked I was disgusted by what you call an opposition. Your post ignores all what happened on the ground and as usual tries helplessly to blame the governmnet for all the problems while the opposition stirred most of the problems.

  5. Who said it was impossible to coexist (in this blog)? :P

    There you have it folks, wildly differing opinions on the same page.

    Please Please Please be sure to read the disclaimer :D

  6. Oh and comment moderation is still off, so thank you to the commentators for taking it upon themselves to keep it clean and civilized. Keep it up!


  7. fubar8:57 AM

    Blacksmith Jade,

    LOL. You afraid we will attribute Abu Jaafar's to you? LOL.

  8. burger4:43 PM

    Abu Jaafar,

    It is true that the current government is not perfect. In fact, most of it's actors are the same old rotten and corrupt Lebanese sect leaders. They all have an ugly history and most pro-government supported would love to see a lot of things changed.

    But people want to take things one step at a time. The first step was the get the Syrians out. The second step is the Hariri tribunal. Then we can start worrying about reinforcing the economy and voting in new dynamic and fresh leaders.

    The problem is that the opposition led by Hezbollah seem to want to block every single one of those steps. As much as the current government is far from perfect, they are not trying to sabotage the Hariri tribunal, or sabotage the fund-raising efforts that we require.

    Isn't it BLATANTLY obvious to you that the opposition is trying to block the Hariri tribunal? That the opposition left the government 2 days before the parliament had to ratify the proposed international tribunal? That Lahoud refused that document? That Berri isn't willing to open a parliamentary session? There is no conspiracy theory here, or speculation required. It's up to you to ask yourself why do they want to block it? Is it really a Lebanese cause?

    If the opposition truly believed in democracy, they would have created an anti-government campaign and waited for the next elections to capitalize on it. It's not like the government was taking us to WAR against Israel and destroying half the country and something had to be done IMMEDIATELY before everything went to hell. You don't win VETO power by force (or by giving a city lung cancer), you earn it through elections. The opposition clearly doesn't think so.

    Isn't it obvious that the opposition are simply trying to capitalize on their so called "divine dictory"?

    Isn't it obvious that there will never be a strong and stable Lebanon as long as a single militia are armed to the bones and more powerful than the army?

    Isn't it obvious that Aoun will do anything to get the presidential mandate? Even "ally" himself with the same government that kicked him out of his own country?

    Isn't it obvious that the Lebanese government needs to replace Hezbollah in the South by providing social services and incentives in order to bring the Shia closer and more united with the rest of Lebanon?

    Isn't it obvious that Hezbollah are STRONGLY and DIRECTLY influenced by Iran? Don't you know that Hezbollah's original mandate was the creation of an Islamic Lebanese government based on the structure established by Khomeini? (Yes I know they changed it a few years back but...)

    You ask "How can you still be with them?" I ask you exactly the same question. How can YOU still be with them?

    As much as the current government leaves to desire,

    at least they are not trying to sabotage the country in order to win veto power and push their agenda.

    At least they got voted by the people.

    They have external allies yes, but at least they don't take orders from them.

    At least they are trying to get the Hariri tribunal under way.

    At least they got the Syrians out.

    At least they have a plan to put the economy back on it's feet.

    At least they DON'T TAKE US TO WAR!

    We don't have much to support in Lebanon, but we sure as hell will NEVER support the opposition.

  9. Anonymous5:07 PM

    Abu Jaafar,
    Just because a large percentage of the population is stupid enough to follow a retard like Aoun doesn't mean the country has to listen to them.

    There should be no negociation with people with bad intentions for this country, like Franjieh and Nasrallah who would like nothing better than get Syria to come back and sit on their faces. When they want something good for the country then they will have a right to negociate.

  10. Jimmy5:08 PM

    I agree with Burger.

  11. Arabic Coffee Pot5:09 PM

    Me too, well said.

  12. burger6:09 PM

    Abu Jaafar,
    Sorry but I have to post again after rereading your post. Also sorry for nitpicking your post but all the extracts say the same thing.

    "They waited ten days with no results till December 10th where at least half of the residing Lebanese population showed up and again..."

    Popular peaceful protests only function when they really are popular. You can talk about numbers or whatever you want, but the fact is, the only people who showed up are a percentage of Hizbullah/Aoun/Amal supporters. When a protest is so closely tied to certain sects, it makes "popular protests" not so popular, but just a manifestations of a sects followers.

    "By ignoring half (if not more) of its people???"

    We all know this is not true... If you still don't believe me, look at the Lebanese blogs out there and calculate the pro/anti-opposition ratio as an indicator.

    "and what happened today was violence done against the road blockers by pro-government Lebanese citizens nostalgic of the militia days"

    Who gives the opposition the RIGHT to block ME from going to work? Who gives the opposition the RIGHT to smash my car while going to work? Who gives the opposition the RIGHT to decide for me if the current government is adequate or not? They can do all the protests in the world, as long as they don't interfere in my freedom of movement and I don't interfere in their freedom of speech. Cross that line and you are putting yourself and your whole country in grave danger. If the opposition will continue this bullying attitude of intimidation and fear, it will very quickly lose. If your popular peaceful protests have thaught you anything, it's that your DON'T represent the majority of Lebanon. And the majority of Lebanon will hit back hard. You can only bully if you are bigger.

    "The governments snub of the voice of the people (whether they be half or the majority of the Lebanese matters not) is unacceptable."

    Once again the same argument. I don't understand. The country just came out of an election not long ago. The opposition got their share of the votes and their share of the cabinet/parliament. Now they claim that it is not enough? Sorry, this is not how it works. You can argue that the election process if flawed, but that process was installed by your Syrian brothers. You should have said something before you participated in the elections. If you had stayed in government maybe you could have done something to change the election process. Now that you left the government, all you can do is burn tires and claim the government is ILLEGITIMATE even though you participated in it's elections. Yes, thats nice. Let's participate in elections, and if we don't get enough seats/votes, let's sabotage the government and mount an escalating anti-government campaign until we get what we want. If elections don't get us what we want, maybe the fear of a civil war will.

    See, the thing is, Lebanon still reeks of sectarianism. It's everywhere, people don't necessarily say it, but by their behavior, the places they go, the people they befriend, it's obvious. Note that a sect is a religious AND/OR political regrouping. The thing about sectarian people is that they blindly follow their sect. And sectarian people pass down their sectarian affiliations to their children who also blindly follow. Those sects are controlled by leaders who also pass down control to their children. The point I am trying to make is that "popular" protests don't really mean much in Lebanon. They are simply a bunch of sectarian people who are following the wills of their sects. That is what these "popular protests" you speak so highly of are. It is very clear which sects are participating in these protests.

    That is also the main reason why the March 14 popular protest was so important in Lebanese history. For the first time ever, it was not organised by sects, or was not serving any specific group of sects. It was an popular and impulsive reaction to the shock that the Lebanese people felt, and we saw a spark of Lebanese solidarity. Of course this movement was quickly molested and abused by the various sects and has become what we now call the Anti-Syrian grouping.

    Once again, I am not saying the current government is good, but all Lebanese politicians are rotten, some more than others. All we can do is support the less rotten ones, fortunately, they are not the opposition.

  13. both are rotten my friend, neither least nor more. Problem always people associate with the Syrian Mandate rather the rest of issues as well.

    Jade, I am sure I could have told the difference from the style writing ;)

  14. Haha, thanks MFL. But you know Burger seems to have a similar style (and opinion) as me - as far as I can tell anyway - so just for the record, its not me! :P


  15. Well Burger, you summed it up pretty neatly except for your last point. It is not the less rotten politicians we have to support, but the less rotten agenda.
    Otherwise you would be supporting the opposition.:)

  16. Dear all commentors, thanks for your comments and especially to Burger who put much time in for them.

    I do have one thing to say to Burger (actully many): I do believe there are large percentages of Sunni's (not most) and large percentages of Christians (perhaps most) present in what has been called 'Pro-Syrian Hizbulla-led protests'. Now, bloggers are not a real indication of the numbers and my point in mentioning this is that there is much 'sectarian' diversity in the Dec. 1 and 10th protests, that is very very significant. March 14 did not have Shi'ites. Where Dec.10th had many from sects... And I emphasize the Christian and Sunni presence. Also and breifly, we do differ on who we think has agendas that are worse.

    Now, after all that chatter and my wonderfully objective, calm, unemotional and anaylitical post ;) (you are right Fubar), I once again thank you for your comments and especially their respectful tones.

    I will write, God willing, another post, about some of the social issues underlying the FPM-Hizb vs. March 14 'dispute' that I think are really driving suupporters of the two camps. And I hope to answer, in due time, the same question that was posed back to me by Burger in that post.

    For now we have a terribly black day to handle and I wish you and all our countrymen safety, and peace to our nation.



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