Sunday, June 25, 2006
I lost faith in the ability of Lebanese people to change their rotten leadership. We have learned to accept mediocrity in leadership as we have, throughout our history, accepted mediocrity and lack of long term strategic planning.
We have a country of 4 million people (still to be confirmed) with more than 10 million expatriates of Lebanese descent. We have a great location, awesome weather, entrepreneurial and well educated population, among other assets. Most political parties like to make things more complex than they should be. The real political question is:" how do we lead this country, with its assets, to become a stable and sustainable home for its proud inhabitants?"
Our religious diveristy is an asset that helps us in this new globablized world. We are "genetically" powered to be stars in this new world. We are "genetically" powered to be an example for other people in this new world. However, we find leaders who are genetically powered to lead the country to hell and its inhabitants to despair. We are stupid enough to tolerate this leadership. Basically, we are stupid.
Why are we stupid?
One, we dont ask our leaders about their plans for Lebanon. We ask them about their plans for our village, for the employment of our sons and daughters.
Two, we take pride in "being connected" to some moronic political leader (leader is an overstretched qualification to the majority of those morons).
Three, we are perennially short sighted. It shows in how we glorify the act of lying and in our ever existing question:"keef fina na3mil 'irchein?" (how can we make some money?"). The answer to the last question in most developed countries is: BE SMART, WORK HARD AND YOU MAKE MONEY.
As usual, I blog without editing, and I enjoy it this way. I promise to explore this topic and its underpinnings a lot further. I promise to stay away from stupid politics. I refuse to tolerate any politician who fails to present his/her vision and strategy for Lebanon. I refuse to tolerate leaders who can't dream and can't have us dream with them.
We are stupid, but we promise to work on not remaining so.
(to be continued)....
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
sad reason to restart blogging
this has been a tough year for Lebanon- a tough year for me personally. Death has paid one too many visits to our hearts this year.
Gebran left us to join his fellow Beirut MPs- Hariri and Basil.
Gebran used to say, as did Basil, that Lebanon is not a hotel from which we can check out when we dont like the service. "Lebanon is our home and we need to work to make it better".
Gebran: killed -
those two outstanding young individuals fought with their brains, with their gutts and never with weapons. They left the weapons to those who are still alive today. Ironically, those who used the weapons during our war, find ways to remain alive. Probably they know how Hardan, Kanso, Lahoud and Rustom will attempt to get to them - common training!!
It is a shame that we had to lose you both. Our promise to you is that we will not check out of Lebanon, simply because we cant. We love Lebanon, and we love you for what you did for Lebanon, too much to stop now.
God bless your souls and take care of Kristen for me, as I will take care of your Lebanon.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
attempt on Aoun's life.....
I hope we hear of this incident in the news tomorrow.
You know where you heard this first: this blog
An analysis of the political situation will follow....especially Aoun - Jumblat.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
flying back for elections
PS: I am sorry for not posting any writings on the blog lately because of extraordinary family circumstances.
I will be back with a vengeance
Monday, April 11, 2005
Very interesting interview with a clear focus and vision from his side. In my view, he is declaring what we all knew about Syria using Lahoud, Jamil Sayyid and Addoum, among others, in order to destroy Hariri's plans and visions for Lebanon.
We will be there, and we will pursue those dreams.....
Saturday, April 02, 2005
April 8th coming up
Assad declared in his infamous speech to the Syrian "parliament" that "Syria will not leave its Lebanese "allies" on their own in their fight against the Opposition. Assad basically announced the need to focus on his internal problems, but that he will also keep lending support (however possible) to the Lebanese Syrians.
I expect a lot of changes in Syria in the next month or so, leading to the Baath National Conference where Bashar will plant his chose team across all key positions in the State. There are theories out there that claim that Assad's New Guard were behind Hariri's killing in order for them to justify replacing Syria's Old Guard; this is a theory and I find no proof to support it. Some people use Big Events in order to advance their own agendas, and in this case, Assad's Baath are doing the same as the US (both advancing their own individual agenda, to the best of their capacity, using Hariri's murder).
The change in Lebanon will happen, and as I predicted before, all the political fights and criminal bombings are tools in the positioning game in "post Syrian occupied Lebanon".
The rules are set by the International community and the Elections will take place before June 21st. Therefore, the pro Syrian camp will form a government, will try to pass an electoral law that favors its candidates and will keep trying hard to split the Opposition (through bombings, treason accusations.....). The opposition will need to step up to the plate, announce its clear political and economic plan for post elections and keep using the momentum from popular support up to the coming elections. Let us just hope that tactics of different parties (including bombings and Syrian negotiations in the UN) will not have the opposition lose sight of the strategic goal: a True Lebanon for True Lebanese.........
Saturday, March 26, 2005
While they still try to scare the Lebanese by planting bombs all over certain areas of Lebanon, they prove that there are huge differences between differect factions withing the Syrian puppets' camp in Lebanon.
- Cardinal Sfeir who is usually very conservative announced that Lebanon is rising and the light at the end of the Tunnel looks very bright and promising.
- Mofti Rachid Kabbani is hosted by Crown Prince Abdallah of Saudi Arabia for a full one hour. This corroborates our earlier theory that Saudi Arabia is fully behind the plan to liberate Lebanon from the Assad Regime and the Mofti is given clear instructions (the same that were given to the Hariri family a few days after the assasination and to Bahiya on her last one day visit to the Kingdom last week). This leaves Omar Karameh as the last Sunni man serving the Baath plans in Lebanon, and for this he will pay dearly (all other Sunni leaders joined ranks with the Hariri demands).
- Lahoud (Smiley) is all of a sudden in favor of ANYTHING that the UN's Security Council decides this coming Tuesday.
- Frangieh is on TV feeling the pain while pretending to be a long term political visionary.
- Elie Ferzli (the famous information minister who appeared on CNN two days after the assassination insisting that it was a suicide bombing) is now favoring a UN investigation while still "philosophizing" about why he changed his opinion.
- It was interesting to note that Emile Junior appeared at the site of last night's explosion to call for dialogue. He called for a mature dialogue (is he aware that Hariri was KILLED or was he busy enjoying his regular suite in Bourj el Arab?!!?!) and blamed all politicians for this current cycle of violence (again, does he know that his daddy refused to give protection to Hariri and opposed all his economic plans so that the Junior can try to get a piece of the attractive cellular phone sector in Lebanon?!). It is worth nothing that Emile Junior "purchased" the last two floors in Borj El Ghazal in Achrafieh from the Moawad family. The Moawad family was granted the contract to build the Chabrouh damp in Kesrwan. Junior was given a "sweet deal" on multimillion apartment in Achrafieh after his daddy gave a big contract to Moawad. We also would like Emile Junior to tell us how he was able to afford his first Ferrari back in 1999, while his advertising company was not paying its many suppliers.
There are at least two security chiefs (of the accused 7) who are actively pursuing negotiations with Jumblat, Michel Aoun and Cardinal Sfeir. They want to be granted a pardon against them delivering documents that will implicate Emile Lahoud, Mahmoud Hammoud, Adnan Addoum, Sleiman Frangieh and Assem Kanso (among others) in different illegal dealings throughout the last 9 years. The Cardinal refused to get into this and I expect that the Cardinal will do what Patriarch Meouchi did in the 60s when the "Second Bureau" of Chehab fell down and let Justice take its normal course.
We expect this spree of violence to continue (especially with the rumors of weapon distribution among former convicts in Tripoli and in the Chouf mountains) and we pray for the Lebanese people to stay patient and committed to Freedom that will not come at a cheap price. Lahoud and the rest of the regime are feeling the panic and are trying, each on his own, to plan an exit strategy with minimum long term consequences. This is the only reason Emile Lahoud would start describing the Hariri assasination as a huge disaster for the country (he is trying to avoid becoming Milosevic's neighbor). Cards are on the table and the players are all known to local and international players. All cheap tactics will not affect the path that Lebanon is on right now......all players from the pro Syrian camp are just lobbying for position and will not hesitate screwing each other along the way.
It will be interesting to watch how all this unfolds. Let's wait for the security apparatus to start crumbling one piece at a time.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
an article from a friend
I fully believe that
As a side note, I wonder if Emile Lahoud was killed, would we have anyone from around the globe saying:"I lost a dear friend"....I guess not....maybe Speedo resellers in Lebanon would miss him (assuming he actually pays for his "bikinis")
Monday, March 21, 2005
- President of a country
- Prime Minister
- Speaker of Parliament
- Member of Government
- Member of Parliament
- Military or Political Leader
- Poet or Writer
- Sports star (including Swimming Champions)
- Music Star
- Movie Star
- Business Leader
- Business Owner
in Lebanon, the Arab countriesor in the world, who is willing to defend Lahoud. Name one person who is willing to meet with President Lahoud at this time.........even Michel El Murr is not defending him.....(Micho, remember the bomb in New Jdeideh!!). It amazes me how this guy managed to get to this point of isolation.....maybe he enjoys reading Paris Match undisturbed (read the previous post on this blog)
"President" Lahoud is awesome.....this guy is proving my point of him being scientifically dumb. The New York Times, arguably the most prestigious publication around, had a two page story on Sunday (including cover page) talking about Bashar Assad and Hariri......throughout the article, Lahoud was only mentioned to be one of the topics over which Bashar and Hariri fought.
However, the writer had a nice introduction to our beloved SMILEY (President Lahoud who keeps showing us his teeth). This is the introduction:
"Among Lebanese, Mr. Lahoud, 68, has a reputation for lounging through most afternoons in his Speedos by the pool at the Yarze country club, reading Paris-Match magazine and holding a tanning mirror. News accounts that he was swimming during Mr. Hariri's funeral reached such a crescendo that he felt compelled to deny them. "I swim every day - it's my workout - but on that specific day, I did not swim," he told a gathering of the Journalists' Union Council."
Mr. Lahoud has managed to have all Lebanese people and press (http://www.assafir.com/iso/today/front/149.html) agreeing on one thing: SHOWING HIM THE DOOR. Now the fight is around: when to kick him out?!?!? He is holding still in his position in order to safeguard the sanctity of the Office of the Presidency!!! JEEZ!! is this guy for real??
Jumblat met with President Hosni Mobarak of
I really feel that Lahoud genuinely believes he is saving the country....he is safeguarding the constitution and saving the Lebanese another war. I honestly think he is dumb which explains why he can convince himself of being a National Hero.
PS: there are more links to requests in the press for the dismissal of Lahoud. I chose a sample from the International Press (NY Times) and from a known Pro Arab Lebanese newspaper (assafir)
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Basil.....always in our prayers...(2)
My God, Basil and his family deserve nothing but comfort and your compassion....he was the eternal optimist, with great humble and full of love.....please God, love him back....
Strong message to Micho
Murr is a good political operative and he wants to preserve his local "leaderhip" in the Metn area (An area he has "controlled through fear and cronyism).
Murr is usually all over TVs defending himself and threatening opponents.....I am sure the security apparatus is not very happy when Murr has not made not even one SINGLE TV appearance defending Lahoud or the other security leaders.......Murr is pushed to spend some of the political credit accumulated throughout the last decade, mainly through his relations to Syria and its security apparatus.
This bomb is a sign of a conflict inside the Lahoud camp. (notice what Franjieh said when he resigned: let the OTHERS from the same camp take off some of the load)
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Whoa!! What a blunder
This is the real battle, and the real players are now clear from both sides. How will Jamil Sayyid replace Rustom Ghazaleh (the Syrian ruler of Lebanon)?? Jamil Sayyed is now playing the game in the open. I am sure he sent the necessary threats to Berri, Karameh, Franjieh and others, before he made his press conference today. Let us see how this unfolds...... nevertheless, the Opposition should thank Jamil for making their plight more credible.
Monday, March 14, 2005
who executed it!!
Lahoud, you need to go home. Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, the Opposition is your best protection and your best future....Lahoud and Nasser Kandil can do nothing for you.
On a more important note, I would beg you all to look for a connection between Assaad Hardane of the al Hizb al Souri Al Kawmi Al Ijtimai and the assassination of PM Hariri. Those are the real Hit Men of the Syrian regime in Lebanon for the last 25 years. It is not a coincidence that the crime takes place in Ain El Mreisseh; anyone who knows Beirut will recognize the fact that this area, along Ras Beirut, is under the security control of Assaad Hardane's men in connection with the Syrians. They are not the planners but you can be damn sure they are the executioners.
Lets wait for the Fitgerald report....meanwhile, let us hope Lahoud can use his son's money from Bank Al Madina to buy a nice chalet in Southern France for his EARLY retirement!!!
Sunday, March 13, 2005
it is happening
Saturday, March 12, 2005
is he stupid??
We have two scenarios:
- Lahoud is really a dumb person. He is dumb and goes by the book; I am sure you met someone like him at school or at work. He is so dumb to an extent where he would believe what is told to him by his close associates. Lahoud would believe his "advisors" when they would tell him: "those politicians are crooked, they control the media, and this is their method to take us out of power". I honestly believe there is a chance that Lahoud still believes that he is DEFENDING Lebanon and protecting the constitution.......he is probably DUMB!!
- Lahoud is a smart person but oversimplifies the facts when he communicates with the Lebanese people (when he refers to the Hariri assassination as a simple crime, or when he says he is protecting the demonstrators.....). He is smart enough and disciplined and visionary to stick to the constitution of Lebanon and is willing to do anything to keep Lebanon a great nation.
Now, please, can the second scenario be true??? HE IS DUMB!!! and the worse thing is to have a dumb and naive person as a "leader" (excuse me for calling him a leader) and surrounded by wicked, criminal intelligence officers.
Friday, March 11, 2005
simple facts to watch and/or appreciate
2- Saudi Arabia and Kuwait inviting Jumblat to a visit (remember when was the last time Lahoud was greeted there)
3- Baha Hariri (Hariri's son) using the same statement ("asking for the truth") as all other Saudi officials; this is becoming the line that will unleash the fury of the Gulf States after the fact finding committee submits its results (regardless of the fact that report might be incomplete) about the Hariri assassination to the UN (read my earlier blog on this subject)
4- Iranian Ambassador to France who was a close personal friend of Hariri, saying in a press interview that Hariri told him about his plan to remove Syria from Lebanon. The same ambassador also stated that Iran will not go out of its way to defend Syrian presence in Lebanon and that Iran will support whatever the Lebanese people asks for.
5- The US starting to send signals (through the credible NY Times and through the Satterfield testimony in front of Congress) of the possibility of accepting a political role for Hizbollah (Denials from all sides do not mean a thing in politics.....leaks are crucial)
we will follow up on those and on how Hizbollah is reading the situation....
First, I think that the Opposition, especially under the leadership of Jumblat, is playing the same smart international game as the late PM Hariri. They are astute students of international politics and have a great understanding of how Lebanon evolves around the new political reality.
Second, I think that the Intelligence Services brains, that are ruling Lebanon now, have a long way to go to be capable of understanding real politics; the worse that can happen to a regime is when it starts to believe its own lies.
I still strongly believe that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will not tolerate the Lahoud regime in Lebanon. Eventhough I still think we should all accept a political role for Hizbollah in Lebanon, no ONE is going to accept the idea of an armed Hizbollah. Hizbollah does represent a lot of Shiites in Lebanon, but let us not kid ourselves, it is a creation of Iran and its political base emerged from its financial assitance, mainly from Iranian oil. Is there anyone out there who does not believe that Saudi Arabia will open a flood of money on the opposition to counter that Iranian generosity? Do you honestly think that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are going to sit down and watch another defeat of moderate Sunnis and their allies in the Opposition?
Russia joined the ranks of nations asking for full implementation of UN resolution 1559. The European Union has asked for the same (even if the EU parliament's decision is not binding). I hope that after those two facts, we will not hear another statement that says:" This is all part of the American plan for a new Middle East". Wake up!!!!!
This is a plan to save Lebanon from being a hostage to a proposition by Iran and Syria to fight a proxy war against Israel. This is a plan to save Lebanon from the oppression; this is an uprising by Free Lebanese who are using all international means to liberate themselves. Let us hope that Hizbollah will be able to liberate itself from its debt to Iran and Syria and take a True Lebanese stand (Sayyid Nasrallah should read into the statements of Iranian officials who will not accept to play all their cards in order to save the Syrian presence in Lebanon). Sayyid Nasrallah, just meet with Jumblat, find a way to give your weapons and resistance expertise to the Lebanese Army and get ready to win as many parliamentary seats as you can in the upcoming free elections in Lebanon (and you will win quite a few). This will save our unique Lebanon from all international interference.
Monday, March 07, 2005
a small theory: the REAL battle
The battle in Lebanon is a battle between the Shiite axis and the Western-Saudi Sunni axis. Hariri was the ideal man to unite the Lebanese in their peaceful quest for independence. Syria knew that. Syria has been able to control Hariri and Saudi Arabia's role in Lebanon for the last 15 years; however, this time, it was proving more difficult.
Saudis and other Gulf Sunni states lost Iraq for the sake of democracy (a Shiite majority will take over). How could they sit still when a Alawite minority is ruling and killing a Sunni majority in Syria? They were fine with it, or working peacefully on solving it, until Hariri was killed. This is why Saudi Arabia got vocal about Syria's departure from Lebanon. The Saudis are masters when it comes to real politics in the Middle East (just ask Jubmlat why they actually received him in the last few days).
Now that we know the real strategic battle (this is a blog and not a political paper after all so am going to rely on your smarts), what is the story with Lebanon?
Hizbollah has never been a Syrian favorite, for those of you who dont remember, you can go back to the inter shiites battles in Lebanon where Amal was always the Assad family protege. Hizbollah's smart leadership knows that it can become a bargaining chip in the hands of the Syrians (especially with the diplomatic signals sent from the Iranians). This is why they are playing a smart game now.
They are showing their real popular support while showcasing their loyalty to Syria, BUT:
- They are asking for peaceful protests under the Lebanese flag
- They are receiving Samir Frangieh and Wael Abou Faour
- They are asking for dialogue and for guarantees from the opposition that there are no dreams of becoming a US or Israel puppet (which will help neutralize a small minority in the opposition who might have "weird" dreams)
That means: Hizbollah is trying to take a "leading" seat on the negotiating table in a post Syrian dominated Lebanon. They are trying to set the negotiation constraints for that table through the demonstration of their popular base to the opposition AND to the international community.
There are other facets to this small theory that can be elaborated later, but at least, given this line of thinking, I can start to see how a rogue regime had to decide to terminate a great person and historic leader like Rafic Hariri. For those who were asking for beneficiaries from the murder, dont you think that Hariri's presence constituted an unsurmountable barrier to Syria's strategic hegemony over Lebanon? (go ask the Saudis....)
How do we go from here? I think that Jumblat, Cardinal Sfeir and Hassan Nasrallah know the game. Cardinal Sfeir asked for US guarantees and in response, he got an official personal invitation from Bush (the same Cardinal was denied a visit to the White House a few years ago) and he will have the opportunity to explain the need for Lebanon to be independent from ALL external powers. This is why Jumblat is trying to secure a "wide" international umbrella (visiting Saudi Arabia and Russia) so that the Lebanese democracy battle does not lead to long term scars (through threats of becoming a US tool to help Israel). This is why Hassan Nasrallah will have a role reigning in the other sizable population of Lebanon so that ALL Lebanese work on a real national reconciliation this time, based on PURE Lebanese interests (isnt this the real Hariri legacy?!).
People who have an advantage in helping us, will do so, but I hope we just know how to tell them to bug off when they get too intimate with our internal affairs.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
Hey you, this is NO REVENGE!!!
- He admitted making mistakes in Lebanon
- He accepted UNSCR 1559 (I hope the puppets in Lebanon can read this)
- He declared the withdrawal of ALL Syrian forces to the Bekaa and then to outside Lebanon (as explained after the speech by Bouthaina Chaaban in an interview to CNN)
I also think the speech is historic in a sense that this was no speech to be delivered in a general assembly of any parliament (even if that specific parliament is Syria's!!!). This was a childish conversation between young Bashar and his friends. A speech full of contradictions and stupid insults to the Lebanese people, not to mention the moronic laughs he would make after each of his "sarcastic" comments. For those of you who are thinking by now that i have some hatred to Bashar, this is not true. I am just making an objective analysis of his speech delivery style.
On a more important note, I am glad that all opposition factions, especially Michel Aoun, have publicly reinstated their positions that Lebanon, a FREE Lebanon, will never accept to become another "ginnea pig" for peace initiatives in the Middle East (no more May 17th accords please!!).
Lebanon has a solid chance of becoming an independent nation. We dont want to become an affiliate of any other regime or administration. We will use all means possible to achieve our goals, we will cooperate with all parties that can add to the strength of our cause, but we shall not become tools to execute on other people's plans.
No one should be thinking that this is the time for Revenge; we gain nothing from Revenge.
No one should think this is time for another civil strife; we gain nothing from another conflict. (the problem here is that the ones looking for another conflict will have nothing to lose after Syrian forces leave).
I just pray that all parties have the Lebanese national interest in their minds when making those decisions. It is up to us YOUNG people to keep reminding them!!!
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Why is Jamil Sayyid on the list?!?!
First, they claim that Abou Adas was a prisoner in a multitude of Syrian prisons and then delivered to a unit that reports directly to Maher Assad.
Second, the Abou Adas was forced to film the movie aired later on Al Jazeera.
Third, that tape was delivered BY HAND to Jamil Al Sayyid by a person who was in Sayyid's office at the time of the assassination (with the tape in his possession).
Fourth, that tape was "planted" next to the Lebanese ministry of interior and a person close to the Assad Hardane group (who else, the same political party who is in charge of the area where the assassination took place and the same party that killed Bachir El Gemayel).
Fifth, someone called Al Jazeera and asked the station's rep to go and pick up the tape. (that phone call is no longer in the records of any phone company due to the work of the geniuses in charge of phone tapping in Lebanon) .
Read the article in arabic for more details on the claims by Syrian opposition.
The interesting part of the article, which might warrant it some credibility, is when "the source" defies Al Jazeera (who broadcast the tape) to deny the factual events in the article.
Again, I apologize from English readers since the article is in arabic:
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
PS: sorry for the non arabic readers, this article is from An Nahar daily.
STOP IT already (part 1)
I never like to talk about religion, but this time, I have to express myself. I am a practising catholic christian and I hate the fact that other christians in Lebanon cant keep quiet and learn how to win a battle.
Lebanon, and the Muslims lost Rafic el Hariri. We all lost our country for more than 30 years now and for once we ALL are trying to get it back. Why do some christian youth factions still insist on hijacking the whole effort and take credit for what all the Lebanese is doing. I know those are a minority, but those should be tamed, silenced and possibly sent home.
For once, we are all behind the idea of Lebanon, a united Lebanon across all sects and religions. We claim to be unified but deep down, some of us, especially Christians, are looking for ways to take credit for this GREAT uprising. This is why someone like Sleiman Frajieh, keeps saying:" JUmblat is the new Patriarch". He knows how to tickle the christian leaders and he expects those leaders to try to push away from Jumblat and the opposition.
For the last few centuries, the druze community was mostly on the winning side of most conflicts in Lebanon. Have we ever wondered why?? Have we ever asked the christian leaders why their communities have always been on the losing side? Leaders are not supposed to run away with a lot of cash when things get tough back home. Leaders have to stay with their people, unify their people, and do what is best for their communities.
Haven't we learned anything from the war?! Jeez people, be wise and learn how to win with dignity, for once!!!
Monday, February 28, 2005
Bahia Hariri.....Prime Minister
Lebanon will have the first Arab woman as Prime Minister, if we all ask for it.
Bahia proved to be a great leader in the way she has been dealing with the situation after the assassination of her brother. Bahia knew when to stay silent and knew when to ask for the right things in the right way.
Bahia will lead a government that will definitely look hard into the investigation to find who killed Rafic Hariri. Bahia will lead a government that will not take another humiliating phone call from the Syrian Intelligence Services. Bahia is a leader with a great popular base and will save us, Lebanese people, from another puppet Prime Minister and government (don't you just puke at the thought of having Mikati as new Prime Minister in this day and time)!!!
Bahia has the moral authority to lead the Opposition and will save us from having to deal with every person who claims to speak in the name of Rafic Hariri.
Ms Bahia Hariri, first Arab Prime Minister....I think we all deserve that.
Karame resigned....my two cents on it
- Hizbollah felt comfortable about the opposition's agenda and remembered how Hariris defended and got it international approval in 1996 and therefore informed Karame that the Hizbolla deputies will not grant his government a vote of confidence
- Karame and Franjie thought that they paid their dues to their masters and got enough insults for the last few weeks and that it is up to their real masters, Lahoud, Jamil Sayyid, Raymond Azar, Edouard Mansour, and the rest from the Syrian-Lebanese security apparatus to pick up the torch and defend their system in Lebanon
- Syria might have granted a small victory to the Opposition. The Syrians expect the Opposition to refuse to participate (or at least be divided in this regard) in the new consultations with Lahoud to form the new government. At that point, Lahoud will be ordered to form a militarty transitory government.
Given all the above, the Opposition is now asked to be very wary of the situation and the coming pitfalls. We trust Walid Jumblat to have the right reading of the situation. We need to keep an eye on the balance of power and make sure the current regime does not get any cheap victories.
This is just the start of the struggle; taking down this government was never a real goal. While we acknowledge the victory in this short battle, we need to keep our eye on the ball. We still want the truth about Hariri's murder and we should keep asking for our independence. If we were playing a chess game, we would say that the opponent sacrificed the horse.....is that a victory??
Basil.....always in our prayers...
Yasma, Basil's loving wife is besides him all the time, and enjoys the support of family and close friends.
Annahar published an article about Basil, his medical and personal status...below is the link
Please remember Basil in your prayers.
Saturday, February 26, 2005
For those still doubting Hariri's stance on Syria occupation of Lebanon
Below is the article from Irish Times. Lara Marlowe has known Hariri for 16 years and interviewed him for more than 30 times. This interview was one week before Hariri's assassination and it was supposed to be off the record; but with Mr. Hariri's death, Ms. Marlowe decided to go ahead and publish it. Ms Marlowe is one of the most respected journalists covering the Middle East and Africa and was Time Magazine Beirut Bureau Chief in the early 90s.
I am sure you will all LOVE the quote where Hariri says:" Frangieh is under 40 and thinks that Bashar Assad is a living God" !!!!!!!!!!
(c) 2005, The Irish Times.
Lara Marlowe recalls the leader who in death succeeded in uniting
At Rafik Hariri's funeral on Wednesday,
The explosion that killed him and 15 others was a flashback to the nightmare of the 1975-1990 civil war. Yet something else occurred: the sudden realisation that Rafik Hariri was a patriot whose dreams for
Hariri became known to the Lebanese at the time of the 1982 Israeli invasion, when he gave millions to help refugees and the poor of the south. Over the years, he provided scholarships for 30,000 Lebanese students and on Wednesday young men walked through the streets
I met Hariri first in
Lebanese newspapers called Hariri "Mr Miracle". He founded a private company named Solidere - of which he bought 10 per cent - to rebuild downtown
The huge vacant lots of downtown
In a country that has always been ruled by families tracing their lineage back centuries, Hariri's rise from a modest farm to prime minister was astounding. He kept a photograph of his parents, with their weathered faces and peasant clothing, on his desk.
Hariri had emigrated to
Perhaps the only Lebanese leader with no blood on his hands, Hariri banked on peace in a region doomed to instability. In private conversations after the 1993
Hariri invested heavily in bodyguards, armoured limousines, decoy convoys and remote bomb detectors. Because he never publicly insulted
Hariri's murder further loosened Jumblatt's tongue. He called the Lebanese and Syrian governments "a regime of murderers" and predicted "the day will come when we will get
Despite the UN Security Council's demand that the Lebanese government "
In January, Hariri and I discussed the assassination attempt that seriously wounded former minister Marwan Hamadé last October. "At the very least, [the Syrians] let it happen," Hariri said. "At the most, they ordered it." The same could be said of his own murder.
Things started going wrong, Hariri told me, when the late Syrian leader, Hafez al-Assad, was succeeded in 2000 by his son, Bashar, a British-trained ophthalmologist. There were high hopes in the West for reform in
Hariri was also scathing about Suleiman Franjieh, the Lebanese interior minister who this week alleged that Hariri was killed by a suicide bomber and refused to accept an international inquiry. Had the Syrians not reappointed Émile Lahoud as
What happens now to this country of 3.6 million people will have deep repercussions for the stand-off between
In the wake of the assassination,
The emergence of a united, non-sectarian Lebanese society that would shake off Syrian domination was Rafik Hariri's fondest dream.
At week's end, Lebanese were flocking in their thousands to the scene of his murder and grave, in what could be the beginning of a "people power" movement like that which reversed rigged elections in
Friday, February 25, 2005
Realistic Description by the Wall Street Journal
|24 Février 2005|| |
Ed - The Wall Street Journal
"It's strange for me to say this," he recently told Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, "but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, eight million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world. The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing."
As, it seems, do the Lebanese. There were mass demonstrations in Beirut last week following the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri. That was to be expected--a fitting tribute to the man who rebuilt Beirut from the rubble. What's remarkable is that the demonstrations haven't stopped.
On Monday, tens of thousands of Muslim, Christian and Druze protesters took to the streets to demand that Syria withdraw its 14,000 occupying troops and end its de facto control, via its intelligence apparatus, of Lebanese politics. Hundreds of Lebanese expatriates protested outside of Syrian embassies in Paris, Stockholm, London and Kuwait City. The Lebanese Prime Minister has offered to resign; his rubber-stamp parliament will likely be swept in forthcoming elections provided these are conducted fairly.
A real opposition front is forming under the aegis of Mr. Jumblatt and exiled figures such as former Prime Minister Michel Aoun, who was ousted by the Syrians in 1990. If this isn't a Ukrainian-style Orange Revolution (yet), it may be the start of what some Lebanese are calling their own peaceful intifada--the "shaking off" of foreign rule.
The task for the Bush Administration is to support this exercise in people power by raising the political, economic and diplomatic price Syria must pay for the occupation. So far, there hasn't been much of one. The first Bush Administration acquiesced in Syria's takeover of Lebanon in exchange for its support in Desert Storm. The State Department has long courted Damascus in the vain hope that it would make peace with Israel. The CIA counts on Syria for much of its intelligence on al Qaeda. Now some of our foreign policy solons, such as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, are using the scarecrow of a U.S. military invasion of Syria to suggest that nothing serious should be done to move the Damascus regime.
In fact, President Bush could do much merely by championing Lebanese freedom in every speech he delivers on the Middle East. Other effective and low-cost measures include freezing all diplomatic contacts with Syria until it complies with U.N. Resolution 1559, which calls for full Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, and calling attention to the plight of Syrian dissidents, 200 of whom have bravely signed a letter to protest the Syrian occupation.
Also, would it be asking too much of all our European partners--now that we're friends again--to treat prominent members of the Syrian regime as personae non gratae by denying them entry visas and investigating their ties to money laundering and drug trafficking?
They could start with Assef Shawkat, President Bashar Assad's brother-in-law and head of Syria's military intelligence. Though Damascus denies any role, Mr. Shawkat was fingered by the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Seyassah as one of the masterminds of the Hariri killing. Also on the list: Maher Assad, Bashar's brother, who is implicated in supporting Baathist terrorists in Iraq; Interior Minister Ghazi Kaanan, who we hear is close to the CIA but is also the de facto ruler of Lebanon; and former Interior Minister Ali Hammoud, who also supports the Iraq insurgency.
Second Event in NYC....
Monday, February 21, 2005
Here we were in front of UN on Feb 20
This effort was a typical grassroots movement with no political affiliations; it is great to see how the late PM Hariri could do what no one other Lebanese has ever done before.
for pictures of the event, please check http://www.ptbl.org/album/Album.asp?NYC_-_United_Nations
Saturday, February 19, 2005
OUR FIRST EVENT IN NYC- Feb 20 @ 3PM
Please forward this to your contacts in the tri-state area. Please personally call people in order to make sure that everyone knows about Sunday's event.
In mourning the great loss of the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, come stand with us in solidarity with the Lebanese people, and in support of peace, freedom, and democracy in
(Grassroots movement with no political affiliations)
Date: Sunday, February 20, 2005
Time: 3:00 PMPlace: Across from U.N. Headquarters (corner of
"ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU; ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY..."
- Written by Gibran Khalil Gibran and quoted by late US President John F. Kennedy
From Al Siyasa Newspaper in Kuwait
According to the report, two Syrian generals, one of whom is the brother-in-law of President Bashar Assad, and one Lebanese general were behind the decision to assassinate Hariri.
Assad had recently appointed one of the officers allegedly involved in the assassination, Brigadier General Asef Shawkat, 54, to the position of military intelligence chief. The other Syrian officer is security chief Jamal Sa'id.
The Kuwaiti newspaper reports that the senior-ranking officers had blamed Hariri for a United Nations resolution calling on Syria to pull out of Lebanon, and had given the order to kill him".
Back in the 90's, Hariri refused to sign off on the decision to promote military personel in Lebanon because Jamil Sayyid was part of that batch. Is Jamil Sayyid such a vindictive guy?
Read below the link about the scientific evidence on the bombing, pieces fit together.
Prelude to our first move in NYC this weekend
- Quote from Gibran Khalil Gibran.
Recited by the Late John F. Kennedy (President)
This is possibly one of the most important quotes in US history; this quote set the ground for the foundations of the US democracy and civil society in the 20th century. This quote came from the most prolific Lebanese philosopher, thinker, writer and painter: Gibran Khalil Gibran (author of "The Prophet").
Now, our country is calling for our help, let us stop bitching and show what we can do....for once!!!
Friday, February 18, 2005
Basil: in our prayers (was sitting next to Hariri in the target car)
Bassil is one unique man. While I am sure you will read a lot about Basil in the news, let me share with you one of the reasons behind my great admiration for the Doctor.
Back in 1996, I was finishing my BA in Economics in AUB (the American University of Beirut), Bassil was one of the cool Economics professors. He asked us in class: "you keep complaining about the country, but why dont you try to help and work with the public sector?". He challenged us to work with the public sector. I got back to him and said:" Fine, we are 6 people and are all ready to help you, tell us how". Basil did not back down, he gave us all paid internships at different branches of the government, under the auspices of the UNDP.
Basil had one of the toughest tasks at the time, helping Fouad Sinioura and the late Rafic Hariri in steering the country towards better economic grounds. However, he still managed to find time to meet with me on a regular basis and ask for my feedback on "working for the public sector".
Basil did a great job, and was promoted step by step to become one of the closest persons to Hariri, to a point where Hariri became like a father figure to our dear Basil.
Basil rose through the ranks because he is honest, very smart, straight shooter, modest, loving and most of all a TRUE LEBANESE. He likes to act and is one pragmatic economist; he does not like to procrastinate and is able to take decisions and will take full responsibility for his actions. Basil is a happy person, optimist and above all a genuine human being; for all of us, Basil is a role model on how we should mobilize our efforts and education to help our country.
Basil is now lying in a hospital in Paris, with between 95 and 97% of his body affected by third degree burns. He is in the intensive care unit of the Bercy Military Hospital in France, surrounded by wis wife Yasma and all members of his family and many close friends. I guess Basil's survival will depend on our prayers.
Keep Basil in your thoughts and prayers. Let us all try to measure up to his love for Lebanon.
Thomas Friedman in the NYT
Below is Friedman's article: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/17/opinion/17friedman.html?n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fOp%2dEd%2fColumnists%2fThomas%20L%20Friedman
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: February 17, 2005
About two weeks ago, a friend of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik
Hariri stopped by my office to update me on Lebanon and pass on a
message from Mr. Hariri, whom I have known since reporting from Beirut
in the late 1970's. The message was that the Lebanese opposition to
the Syrian occupation was getting united - inspired both by the
example of Iraq and by the growing excesses of the Syrian occupation.
Mr. Hariri, his friend said, was planning to use the coming Lebanese
parliamentary elections, and a hoped-for victory by the opposition
front, to send a real message to the Syrians: It's time for you to go.
There is no excuse anymore for Syria's occupation of Lebanon, other
than naked imperialism and a desire to siphon off Lebanese resources.
If the U.S. government and media really care about democracy in the
Arab world, Mr. Hariri's envoy said, then the U.S. has to get behind
those trying to rescue the oldest real Arab democracy, Lebanon, from
the Syrian grip.
Well, Rafik, this one's for you. I am sorry you won't be able to read it.
It will be difficult to prove who killed Mr. Hariri. But the gang
ruling Syria had all the ability, experience and motive to murder the
Lebanese statesman for the way he had teamed up with Paris and
Washington to pass the recent U.N. resolution, 1559, calling for
Syria's immediate withdrawal from Lebanon. Mr. Hariri pressed for that
U.N. resolution, and resigned his office, after Syria perverted
Lebanese democracy by forcing Lebanon's Parliament to accept a
three-year extension for a Syrian puppet, Émile Lahoud, as Lebanon's
When Syria's Baath regime feels its back up against the wall, it
always resorts to "Hama Rules." Hama Rules is a term I coined after
the Syrian Army leveled - and I mean leveled - a portion of its own
city, Hama, to put down a rebellion by Sunni Muslim fundamentalists
there in 1982. Some 10,000 to 20,000 Syrians were buried in the ruble.
Monday's murder of Mr. Hariri, a self-made billionaire who devoted his
money and energy to rebuilding Lebanon after its civil war, had all
the hallmarks of Hama Rules - beginning with 650 pounds of dynamite to
incinerate an armor-plated motorcade.
Message from the Syrian regime to Washington, Paris and Lebanon's
opposition: "You want to play here, you'd better be ready to play by
Hama Rules - and Hama Rules are no rules at all. You want to squeeze
us with Iraq on one side and the Lebanese opposition on the other,
you'd better be able to put more than U.N. resolutions on the table.
You'd better be ready to go all the way - because we will. But you
Americans are exhausted by Iraq, and you Lebanese don't have the guts
to stand up to us, and you French make a mean croissant but you've got
no Hama Rules in your arsenal. So remember, we blow up prime ministers
here. We shoot journalists. We fire on the Red Cross. We leveled one
of our own cities. You want to play by Hama Rules, let's see what
you've got. Otherwise, hasta la vista, baby."
It is a measure, though, of just how disgusted the Lebanese are with
the Syrian occupation and Hama Rules that everyone - from senior
Lebanese politicians, like the courageous Walid Jumblatt, to street
protesters - is openly accusing Syria of Mr. Hariri's murder.
What else can the Lebanese do? They must unite all their communities
and hit the Syrian regime with "Baghdad Rules," which were
demonstrated 10 days ago by the Iraqi people. Baghdad Rules are when
an Arab public does something totally unprecedented: it takes to the
streets, despite the threat of violence from jihadists and Baathists,
and expresses its democratic will.
Rafik Hariri stopped playing by "Lebanese Rules" - eating any crow the
Syrians crammed down Lebanon's throat - and openly challenged Syrian
imperialism. If the Lebanese want to be free, they have got to take
the lead. They have to summon the same civic courage that Mr. Hariri
did and that the Iraqi public did - the courage to look the fascists
around them in the eye, call them in the press and in public by their
real names, and confront the European Union and the Arab League for
their willingness to ignore the Syrian oppression.
Nothing drives a dictatorship like Syria's more crazy than civil
disobedience and truth-telling: when people stop being intimidated,
stand up for their own freedom and go on strike against their
occupiers. The Lebanese can't play by Hama Rules and must stop playing
by the old Lebanese Rules. They must start playing by Baghdad Rules.
Baghdad Rules mean the Lebanese giving the Syrian regime - every day,
everywhere - the purple finger.
The opposition, after tonight's meeting has declared the DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION for the Independence of Lebanon.
They will refuse to let political life go back to what it was before the death of Prime Minister Hariri; we believe this is the right thing to do.
Second, and important to us, they asked for ALL LEBANESE expatriates help in money and political support in all their cities and countries.
Samir Franjieh read the declaration, and Jumblat (the mighty Jumblat) was sitting besides him.
there is no turning back........let us make sure we help this time
a great link related to the bombing
Make sure you read this..scientific and reasonable explanation for the bombing; something we cant say about what Frajieh and Addoum's attempted explanations
Picking up steam