Friday, December 31, 2010

turning to the diaspora to save sectarianism?

yep, based on the posts in and YaLibnan quoted below, some of the Lebanese diaspora is definitely stuck in the 70's, and is imagining a Hezbollah of the 80's, if that! Immigrants of all nationality are famous for preserving a past, outdated image of their culture in their mind. In Lebanese media, you notice less sectarian labeling than in western news articles describing Lebanon. This is because Lebanon evolved out of sectarianism, in part. Some of us, the nationalists of Lebanon consider sectarian labels the equivalent of the N word, and the diaspora needs to catch on to that. Their denial of Lebanese nationalism is just making you obsolete.

Diaspora leaders call on Christian Sunnis and Druses to resist Hezbollah in Lebanon - December 31, 2010

In an article published in daily As Siyasa several Lebanese Diaspora leaders called on Christian, Sunni and Druse leaders in Lebanon to form "defensive areas" against Hezbollah's terror and penetration.
The Diaspora leaders called on President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Hariri, the Lebanese Army and Internal Security Forces to stop the infiltration by Hezbollah cells into areas outside the Shia enclaves and defend what is known as "March 14" zones of support. But the emigres' leaders also addressed the top politicians from the legislative majority who oppose Syrian influence to "work immediately on setting the defenses of the zones contiguous to the areas dominated by the Iranian backed militia.
As Siyasa reported that coordinated statements were issued today december 30th by Sheikh Sami el Khoury, the President of the World Maronite Union based in Miami, Florida, Joe Baini the President of the World Council of the Cedars Revolution based in Sydney, Australia, Elias Bejjani the chairman of the Lebanese Canadian Coordination Council based in Toronto and the Secretary General of the International Committee for UNSCR 1559 Tom Harb, who briefs Western Governments on Lebanon.

The statements called for removing the weapons deployed by Hezbollah and its allies including Christian Michel Aoun, Sunni Abdel Rahim Mrad, Druse Wi'am Wahhab, and the Syrian National-Socialist Party (SSNP) in the districts with Christian, Sunni and Druse majority and enable civil society to defend itself if Hezbollah would wage military offensives and terror acts in the near future.

The Diaspora leaders claimed the Iranian and Syrian backed militias have been smuggling weapons from the Hezbollah areas of control into opposing regions and that Christian, Sunni and Druse communities should stop Hezbollah's advances into their areas.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

do your job Mr president, don't pout! And british Foreign Secretary: if you can't prove it, don't say it

The general Aoun said that asking the Lebanese president to vote on an issue is not the same as taking away his power.

When we demanded a cabinet vote on the issue of "false witnesses," we were requesting that according to the Constitution, and no one is seeking to take away the president's powers as he has said, Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun announced Tuesday.
"We're only asking the president to implement Article 65 of the Constitution and we're not seeking to take away his powers," Aoun told reporters after the weekly meeting of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc in Rabiyeh.

Regarding the comment by the British foreign Secretary (Hague), that Lebanon is on the verge of violence, is it wishful thinking or a fact? When GMA asked to have the British ambassador support this comment with facts, he received silence. Are the "natives" not supposed to scrutinize their neo-colonizers?

Asked about British Foreign Secretary William Hague's latest remarks on a possible "outbreak of violence" in Lebanon, Aoun said: "I had asked the foreign minister (Ali Shami) to summon the British ambassador following Hague's remarks, so that he (Hague) be asked about the reason he said Lebanon will witness acts of violence, but the foreign minister has not answered yet."

"There are four people who receive official security reports – the president, the premier and the ministers of interior and defense. No one of them felt interested to respond. We ask the president why he hasn't made reassurances in this regard," Aoun wondered.

On December 19, Hague reiterated London's support for the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, voicing concerns over "an outbreak of violence" in the country.

In an interview on Britain's Sky News television, Hague said: "We are very concerned about Lebanon, that is one of our concerns over the coming weeks. We think it's very important that tribunal does its work."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

an ideal little country

I think the Maldives showed that people are well intentioned, and they can achieve idea governments what they are not manipulated by bankgsters, industry mongers, or power-hungry clergey

Thursday, December 2, 2010

gas exploration off the Lebanese shore

Let's hope that the companies who will license the right to explore gas off of the Lebanese shore will have a shred of ecological engineering knowledge.

now I remember why I left the French System after highschool

somehow, Alliot-Marie reminds me why I went from the French high school system to the American college education system. That and the fact that Jacques Chirac was a partner in Lebanese corporations that made money while the country wallowed in chaos and traffic jams. In spite of a democracy in France, the French come to us to do business Banana Republic style!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Wiki leaks Re: Lebanon: forcing a civil war on Lebanese people?

In the wikileak, Minister Elias el Murr, from the ruling majority in Lebanon, is exposed to have invited Israel to help ethnically cleanse the opponents of the majority in Lebanon. Why does the US support such a corrupt and dangerous banana republic in Lebanon?

In an earlier wikileak, STL's tendency to scare us about an impending war with Hezbollah now has a different meaning. The US is bashing the shiites to keep Saudi's happy? It's ironic that the home of the Taliban, a theocracy of their own, with regressive social principles not different from Iran's, calls Iran the "head of the snake". These people are centuries behind Lebanon, they're simply still hung up on a vendetta from medieval times, and their dare to sabotage a Lebanese renaissance to use Lebanon as a playground for their medieval battles.

That's it then? They're making us a pawn in a Saudi-led religious crusade?! They demonize the Lebanese opposition because it does not want us to be a pawn in a religious vendetta?!

Media on STL: it's (shiite) duck season!

the CBC report about the Special Tribunal in Lebanon is all about frowning the truth, as this comment on McLean's link to the CBC report points out:

Funny that your issue is with Muslim countries, yet you help "stone" a part of the Lebanese opposition through this CBC report, which aids the Saudi dictatorship and their puppet Banana Republic in Lebanon.
In Western-speak (I call it that because for Lebanese nationalist sectarian labels are seen as bigotry):
Saudi dictatorship = Egyptian dictatorship = Lebanese Banana Republic's ruling majority = sunnite oppressive regimes = US-labeled good guys (?!)
Taliban = 9/11 = sunnite extremists
Hezbollah = shiite = typically a minority in Arabic country
Minorities in Arabic countries include Christians, Shiite, and obtuse regimes make life difficult for them.

You also forget that some Arabic countries are religiously diverse, and include Christians like me, but I guess stereotyping us makes it easier for colonizers to call us "savages", and excuse their crimes against us. European settlers in North America anyone? When colonization is honestly over, you will realize this: Long ahead of the rest of the world, in 1989 to be exact, Lebanon started to reject religious segregation and considered it a form of racism. This was triggered by the patriotic movement that emerged in 1989, and that gave us a different direction. Our country will be a flagship for true religious diversity for the world, and you will learn from it not to use the "N word equivalent", which are sectarian labels. True diversity means mingling among religions as occurs in Lebanon, not a cold distance separating different immigrant neighborhoods, or a Saudi paranoia from all things different. Imagine what you'll learn from us if CBC's nudge towards a civil war in Lebanon doesn't succeed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Sue tribe are to the Palestinians what European settlers are to Israeli settlers

American Indian Movement?
Russel Means?
Leonard Peltier?
Stand off at Oblala?
Pine Rdige as a ground zero for native american issues?
Loremy fort treaty delimited the Lakotah territory, then absorbed it? Sound familiar, as the same is done to Palestinians.
Homestead act in 1862, is reminiscent of Israeli settlers.
Executing 38 Indian rebels in 1863, ordered by president Lincoln.
In 1871, forbidding all western Indians from leaving their reserves.
In 1877, a campaign known as sign or starve: no food for the tribes unless they sign an agreement to give away their land.
The Wounded Knee massacre in 1890, its site is a grave "for all indiginous people".

I noted all the information above from a TED talk about how Indian reservations used to be war camps?

Isn't that the same story as Israel trying to turn Lebanon into a natives reserve, and adding 400,000 Palestinians to an already overpopulated Lebanon with a struggling economy? The TED talk above speaks of "the legacy of colonization and forced migration", exactly what the opposition in Lebanon does not want.

Monday, November 15, 2010

nice little list of Lebanese facts

This YouTube video has a nice little list of facts about Lebanon. It was news to me, that Tom and Jerry's creator, and the Ipod's creator were Lebanese.

Why aren't the false witnesses in STL being investigated?

In Lebanon's Special Tribunal for Lebanon, false witnesses have been identified... and then let go! Even if all you know is detective TV shows, you would know that false witnesses are hired by the real culprit, and that it's the investigators' obligation to find that culprit! Isn't that the STL's job, rather than try to provoke us into a civil war; the new way to colonize small countries.
This what the General Aoun is reported to have said. He faces the absurdity of a corrupt Lebanon Banana Republic, which the west blissfully supports.

The STL seems like one last chance to manipulate us into a civil war, after Fatah el Islam failed in 2007. Half truths in the western media make many believe that we're defined by the life or death of a leader, and they ignore the onset of nationalism and civil rights in 1989 in Lebanon. They also ignore that Hariri did not associate with the popular patriotic movement, the one opposing the past Syrian occupation, until 2004. Before that he was another mercantile Lebanese politician driving us into the biggest per capita debt in the world.

Some will want to reduce me to the sectarian stereotypes they are used to: "are you a christian mad at a sunnite". No, I am LEBANESE, and my sophisticated political identity in Lebanon is that of a nationalist. If only colonization would end already, and the world would stop reducing us the natives of the ex-colonies to insulting stereotypes.

Note, Dec 20th. Maybe all the complaining about false witnesses, and the fact that people are not being considered innocent until proven guilty, is now ringing a bell with the STL.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

identifying real facts about Lebanon

So many misconceptions, prejudice about Lebanon and unfair conversations would not take place if people around the world were truly informed about Lebanon. People however can't take a fact at face value. Even if we say to them "it's referenced to a credible source", they might think that it's still a propaganda speech. The solution is to have a method, for identifying facts. In science, the results published in a paper are not valued based on who the author is, but based on the method used in the study. This can be applied to political facts, if there was an equation that weigh in the degrees of separation between a fact, and the report that mentioned it. For example an investigative report would have less degrees of separation than a regular news article. A published excerpt of a Lebanese parliamentary meeting would have 0 degrees of separation from what was said in that meeting. A reporter's interview of a parliament member exiting that meeting has 2 degrees of separation: one for the politician and one for the reporter. An American journalist writing about what the Lebanese reporter wrote has 3 degrees of separation from the fact, etc... The equation would also factor other things that increase the validity of a fact.

If there was a method to demonstrate how reliable a fact is, a reliable list of facts about Lebanon can be made accessible to the international public. We could present facts separately from our own opinions, so that they have the freedom to form their own. This would lead to meaningful, not absurd conversations about Lebanon.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

an Agriculture minister that does his job in Lebanon...

Hussein El Hajj Hassan had a first success in de-toxifing Lebanese farming, where under an apathetic ruling majority, the abuse of pesticides has gone rampant.

I will follow up on yet another different politician, from the Lebanese opposition. I can think of him and energy minister Bassil, and will I expect learn of others, who are in government to get work done. Of course to Glenn beck all that matters is that he's from Hezbollah. I wish the western media could get specific when talking about Hezbollah, see what its actual leaders are doing right or wrong, instead of discussing an imaginary stereotype. They need to zoom in, or else they're going on propaganda.

Monday, October 11, 2010

an enlightened institute addresses islamophobia

This senior fellow in the Institute for global engagement sounds very qualified to understand General Aoun's appeal to prevent the demonization of Islam, to the vatican's synode. As this analyst said, what can possibly be criticized in that?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A sophisticated Lebanese stand against sectarianism

This is political maturity and sophistication the likes of which uniform oppressive cultures like Saudis and Iranians have never seen. A Christian political leader linking demonization of Islam to the exode of middle eastern Christians, and asking the Vatican Synod conference to prevent both.
Compare that to Iranians who ally themselves to sunite extremist as a weapon again internal shiite extremists. Very mature. Or compare this to the Saudi tactic to send mercenaries, Fatah el Islam, to try to provoke Hezbollah into a civil war. I will let you guess why Hezbollah stepped aside, did not fall for the provocation, and made room for the Lebanese army to apprehend these Saudi puppets. Very colonial of the Saudi regime. In the face of these dark age idea from the south of the peninsula, there's the maturity of a northern Arabic peninsula leader: G. Michel Aoun and his appeal to respect all the religions out there.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Education is a self-organizing system, any society can lift itself back up!

Sugata Mitra demonstrates that children can self-learn. This means that without capital for expensive schools, just by placing public computers in developing areas, every corner of this world can get back on its feet and re-invent itself! Why wait any longer, imagine the effect of free public computers all over rural areas in Lebanon (not just self-absorbed Beirut).

Carne Ross: a freelance diplomat!

Carne Ross, freelance diplomat, advises small countries who normally get stampeded by large ones. Imagine if he knew of the Lebanese Patriotic Party, the movement who denounced religious segregation as bigotry, and fell beneath the international radar because it upholds that Lebanese are too sophisticated, too intelligent for civil wars or an old ruling majority that thrives on outdated sectarian divides.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

a comment on The Agenda's episode on terrorism

I love the Agenda on TVO, it always teaches me something new. On the blog Re: The Agenda's episode, "A path to homegrown terrorism", I posted this comment:

As a Lebanese, Arabic on days when Arabic regimes are respecting Lebanon, I'm trying to understand terrorism and noticed inaccuracies in western media in the process. Arabs include several religions, subcultures. Acknowledging only the majority culture, Muslims, is a sign of colonial thinking. Western colonizers used to think, a 100 years ago, that anyone form outside their world is second class citizen. They sought out uniformity in their culture and thought Christianity was exclusive to them, and to their converts in colonies. Even today, some westerners think we're pandering to the them when we tell them we're Arabic Christians!! Centuries ago a regime from the south of the Arabic peninsula had these same colonial beliefs: if you weren't one of them, it was a serious flaw. They too had technological superiority, but also a knack for assimilating surrounding peaceful cultures. Luckily that assimilation was incomplete, and that's why some diversity survived in the Arabic world. Colonizers from the east and west don't differ from each other, but together they differ from small peaceful cultures. My point is that it's not Islam or an Arabic identity that generates terrorism, but the residuals of having been a colonial power in the past. Maybe some individuals inherited an aggressive sense of entitlement from a past colonial power from the south of the Arabic peninsula. Picture a dangerous nostalgia in other nations, 3 centuries from now: a faction of American extremists would resent the world because the USA is no longer a superpower. Would Christianity have anything to do with it if these are Christians? Saudi Arabia is accused by some Lebanese even today, of reviving Saudi colonial times through their control of a Banana Republic in Lebanon, a corrupt and destructive banana republic also supported by the US. Colonial minds think alike? and is it colonial thinking, and not religion that breeds a violent sense of entitlement.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

disarming all Lebanese militias, or just those that oppose becoming a saudi colony

General Michel Aoun is reported in this Terranet article to have said that disarming means disarming all illegally armed groups in lebanon, however the current majority turns a blind eye to pro-Saudi groups. Those who oppose the nationalistic movement have one thing in common, they'd rather be anybody's colony than have the courage to be Lebanese.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bigots' comments on the issue of exploring oil off of the Lebanese shore

Lebanon is auctioning off is off shore gas and oil exploration. So, would you believe that in comment on that, we hear pro-Israel blogger using sectarian slurs against the Lebanese? Check the comments on the site, including one about how bigotry against Lebanese people distracts from the issue. The issue for us Lebanese is: how environmentally responsible will the exploration operation be, and will it deprive us from accessing our Lebanese shores.

Friday, August 13, 2010

how much did you say the Lebanese per capita debt was?

oh, so, it wasn't "prosperity" under the late Hariri regime, was it? And prosperity is rated by economic statistics, not how dressed all the party-goers in Lebanon are, right?
At least this seems to be clear when reporters in the Daily Star write:

The ratification of the oil law would allow Beirut to grant firms the right to drill for oil fields in Lebanese waters, which could help the government reduce the country’s $52 billion debt, which marks one of the world’s highest debt-to-GDP rates at 147 percent.

When we fail, it's the exception. When others fail it's the rule

GMA: "Any failure on our part is an exception, while for others failure is a rule"
After the arrest of Farez Karam, FPM member for spying.

What effect does such a rumor have on Lebanon? Or more exactly what effect does fear mongering have on Lebanon? Well consider this, in Iran and Saudi Arabia, a woman is terrified to be seen with an unrelated man because of the rumors that will spread. In Lebanon, we are amused if anyone even mentions a fear of rumors. I don't think that fear mongering works on us in politics either. Assuming Karam is accused of spying, this cannot be manipulated into a rumor about the entire FPM, not in Lebanon.

Friday, July 23, 2010

who are the real extremists

Many Lebanese patriots compare sectarianism to bigotry, but it's unfortunately common practice to label people by their religion in the western media. In Lebanon however, extremists are not considered to represent their religion, but that being said I'll call extremists by their religion here, to match the international vocabulary.

You've repeatedly been warned about scary Hezbollah, but unfortunately
this just distracts every one form the real extremists. Sunnite
extremists are openly calling to eradicate the Lebanese nation to form
one pan-middle eastern muslim nation (daily star, previous post)

The opposition, including Hezbollah, opposes that and insists on a
religiously diverse nation. The US pretends not to know who the real
extremists are because those extremists will happily take in the
Palestinians that Israel wants to forbid from coming home.

The irony is this: Israel and the west are now covering for the sunnite extremists
who want to assimilate all of the middle east into Islam (by vilifying
shiite Hezbollah) just because they're willing to keep Palestinians
out of Palestine, and Israel is opposing the champion of religious
diversity, the Lebanese patriotic party (and the Hezbollah it's
influencing) who upholds the right of all cultures, including the
Jewish culture to exist in Lebanon and the rest of the middle east
once Lebanon has influenced its area. Israel has a strange way of setting itself up for assimilation.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Re: "What’s going on in Lebanon’s Parliament this Summer?"

In response to What's going on in Lebanon's parliament this summer?

Any Lebanese person with a sense of justice supports the Palestinian cause, but there's a difference between us opposing the fact that Israel has gone "pilgrim" on palestinian natives, asking to reverse that, and us allowing sunnite extremistes to piggy back on the Palestinian cause in Lebanon to colonize our country. This isn't sectarian paranoia talking. I am a Lebanese patriot, and I accuse sunnite and christian separatists in Lebanon (who hardly represent sunnites or Christians) of equal bigotry. The colonial agenda of sunnite extremists and the colonial agenda of the russian settlers (a.k.a. Israel) are equally inacceptable. So would be an Iranian colonial agenda for that matter. This is the agenda that Seymour Hersh talked about in his New Yorker article "The Redirection", and which the Genera Michel Aoun warns about in his interview. This not to mention the economic burden that Lebanon cannot handle, if 400,000 more Palestinians could outcompete Lebanese people of their jobs. I migrated to Canada, after they careful established that I would benefit their society, do not outcompete their citizens, with my skills, and the rest of my family is still not allowed to join me. Why can much richer countries protect their resources and not Lebanon? The injustice inflicted on Palestinians falls on the international conscience, and more wealthy countries should compensate for this injustice instead of carrying the injustice over on Lebanese people, in the form of an economic burden.

The living conditions of Palestinian in Lebanon are unfair, but we need to fix them without absurdly replacing one injustice with another, this time one inflicted on Lebanese people.

and... speaking of extremist neo-colonialists piggy backing on the Palestinian cause, here are flagrant racists calling to eliminate the Lebanese nation and create one pan-middle eastern Islamic nation that assimilates all minorities and exterminates their culture. . For us to have a leg to stand when we protest Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, we cannot have middle eastern who want to eradicate all but one religion!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Which is our favorite super power? None!

Today on the amazingly instructive show, The Agenda (TVO), Steve Paikin addressed the issue of China's authoritarian capitalism.

From a Lebanese perspective, it's tricky whether to fear China or be relieved that the west no longer has sovereignty over the world. The west has two faces. One hand it is the source of principles such as professionalism, parity at work, fairness, reason preceding ego, anti-classism and social justice. These values make life worth living, and make us emigrate from countries that lack them, like China and many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The west also has another face: it regresses to the 18th century in its foreign policy: it still tries to divide and conquer natives in modern times. Civil wars, foreign manipulated, foreign-financed and foreign backed banana republics are the cruel tool used by the west to freeze many countries in the past. China is guilty of that as well, as it poured weapons and money into African countries, most likely to destabilize them.

So which do we prefer? We prefer to benefit from the positive value of the west but without having to watch it snap into pilgrim mode, in its foreign policy. We would like to see Asiatic countries gain speed in the world economy, but also Chinese spokespeople who focus less on smiling and more on not insulting the audience's intelligence when they describe their country to us, and if we're lucky, we'd like to hear from the remarkable Chinese activists that China's government's harasses. So ideally power would be shared among these equally flawed countries, so as to avoid anyone of them being a superpower, which has a standard damaging effect on us small countries, regardless of who the superpower is.

From Prison to Paradise: Extraordinary 2,000 Mile Journey of Hope for 55...

If the organization Animals Lebanon inspires me to do anything at all, it's to pass along news like this about animal rescues anywhere in the world.

Friday, July 16, 2010

don't be racist towards Lebanon

First I should mention that this post is a work in progress, so feel free to suggest how I can better support it, or make it clearer.

The abused abuses, the colonized berates. Colonization, by a series of empires, left scars in our culture that we're still recovering from. general Aoun did mention, that we discourage each other the way other foreign over bearing countries discourage us. While we were colonized, independent countries were free to discover their flaws and grow out of them, like Europe did two centuries ago regarding social justice. In the meanwhile, colonizers tried to develop self-doubt is us, and probably triggered excessive snobbism as a response. Just as free countries did before we were free, we are entitled to have flaws, correct them, and never be berated in the process.

I've heard Lebanese people debate who their favorite abuser is: the European colonizers or the Ottomans. I've seen some shameless praise to Ottoman heritage expressed in the Lebanese press today, as well as some berating of the Lebanese identity, on our own soil. Some claim Lebanon was never meant to be, while they wouldn't dare to face a Turkish or French or British person with the same claims about their countries. These 3 countries, like many others, were built on brutal take overs and arranged marriages over the centuries. The difference between their identity and that of Lebanon? According to the human right charts, none. All countries have a right to autonomy: a nation and its values are defined by its people. Racism and even self-hatred against Lebanon however makes some people believe that they are not obliged to respect Lebanon as they do other countries. All a group of people need to do, in order to have a real identity is decide it is so. An identity is simply a collective decision, not subject to the views of ex-colonizers, fans of ex-colonizers, or people who otherwise see Lebanon as a property to exploit.

Racism is also defined as judging the group based on the actions of some of its members. This judgement is sometime used as an excuse to dismiss Lebanon as a nation. Racism against Lebanon is when generalizations are made such as "Lebanese are shallow, women are focused on appearances, Lebanese are snobs, Lebanese are prejudices against other ethnicities, Lebanese are ignorant of environmental issues, Lebanese are sectarians, Lebanese women as well as men are oblivious to women's rights". Individuals in our country might have these issues, but that's not an excuse to psychologically beat down all Lebanese with racist remarks. The civilized response to these flaws is for the enlightened Lebanese to educate the rest of the population.

Racism even takes the form of "don't teach Lebanese people something new (such as being humane to animals), that would be implying you're better than them. This is quite a twisted form of respect towards Lebanon, to say that learning is an unnatural experience to us. That's a streak left behind by past colonizers, they discouraged learning as well, and dealt a serious blow to common sense as did colonization everywhere in the world. Teaching the Lebanese something new is how we give back to our country, after it has invested in educating us.

Self-hatred, a known side-effect of colonization, is when Lebanese are racists against their own. Regardless of whether you feel part of Lebanon or not, you have no right to morally abuse its people with racist comments, and claims that their identity is not a valid one. It is flagrant racism, and a neo-colonial attitude when people who do not dare to question any other country's identity question Lebanon's. We deserve respect for our identity, and the only acceptable reaction to the flaws of some of our fellow Lebanese is educating them, not berating. One day we might chose to expand our identity beyond Lebanon, but I think that will be after we have culturally invaded the middle east, and made it live up to our standards.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

an organized action alert center

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East have the following action alert center

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

give people control of their operating systems!

my issue with computers is how patronizing operating system are. I am not a programmer, but even I am bemused when Apple or Microsoft is always trying to make things "simple" for us "easily confused users". It's not the complicated aspect of operating systems and softwares that hold us back, it's how little flexibility we have in making them do what we want. Look at how the accessibility of scripting resulted in a myriad of iphone apps, and freeware. What would operating systems achieve if users were free to transform them?

Will an Arabic programmer end the middle east status as an observer of progress, rather than participant, and create an operating system that trusts the user?
Well some of the middle eastern societies still fear creativity and demand obedience from its members, so... I should say will the middle east first stop fearing creativity and independent thought, then be a home to software engineer who create an operating system where the intelligence of computer users is not insulted?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Gibran Bassil, a Lebanese minister doing actual work!

Latest efforts of Lebanese energy minister to update the energy department:

Lebanon's ministry of energy promotes solar heaters through lottery

Gibran Bassil is a Lebanese energy minister who actually does his job! It's no wonder the international press is all over that

Lebanese blogs too, regarding Bassil 4-years plan to end power rationing, and him considering oil drilling off the Lebanese shore. Hopefully he'll keep on impressing us by consulting with Lebanese and international environmentalists on that issue. 

More recently, Bassil re-iterated what a genuine solution for power cuts (in the middle of a scorching summer). He at least did not play into quick fixes and other political ploys.

Dec 17, 2012: Bassil points out the $6 Billion yearly losses due to old power plant, which the government has resisted re-furbishing.

Dec 21, 2012: Bassil says all generator owners must be regulated

Jan 10, 2012: Bassil says tenders by private contractors were ethically evaluated, and the public treasury not pilfered. Electricity projects planned to start in March.

When Bassil makes a proposal, it needs to first be approved by the cabinet of ministers by majority vote, then by the parliament. After that the prime minister and president needs to approve the fund transfer from the ministry of finance held by Safadi. This last step is not happening, and that's what is defeating the plan of the ministry of energy.

Feb 6, 2012: Mikati still withholds funds and refuses to hold cabinet meetings

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

the right to return

Both the FPM, led by the General Aoun, and Palestinian organizations in Lebanon insist on the Palestinian's right to return.
This right is described here.

While Palestinians remain in Lebanon, some need to learn that Lebanon is not a no-man's land.

Maybe the solution is to identify Palestinians (and Lebanese) by their religious diversity-IQ, not their nationality. In an ideal world, it's those with a high religious diversity IQ that would be called Lebanese, those who support secularism in politics, and equal rights and individual freedoms to all.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

like an ex-colony, no more?

For the first time in Lebanon a political party defends every citizen's right to vote, not just those who vote for the party. The Lebanese FPM lead by the General Aoun also denounces the defeatist attitude in Lebanon, in society and the media in a speech addressed to FPM-backed mayors, municipal council members and mukhtars who won May’s municipal elections.

Defeatists attitudes are typical of ex-colonies, who can't quite shake off the psychological beat-down of their colonizers. So, is FPM making history by changing the character that Lebanon inherited from being a colony, and turning it to a real democratic country?

Here's what else the FPM is up against in Lebanon. In good old colonial style, the old ruling class (called "defenders of democracy" by Busch's regime, with no changes under Obama's) does not pay its electrical bills! Minister of Energy Gebran Bassil, appointed by FPM, made these politicians pay most of their bills but 600 million remain .

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

defend freedom of speech in Lebanon

The AFP reported on the 28th of June 2010, that Lebanese authorities
arrested and indefinitely detained 3 Lebanese young men for allegedly slandering Lebanese president Sleiman on facebook.

Assuming it was illegal for these facebookers to insult the Lebanese president,

the legal recourse is a fine and releasing the facebookers within 24 hours, or releasing them on bail if there's a lawsuit against them.

These nuances escape the primitive banana republic in Lebanon.

Sign this petition to defend freedom of speech and a just legal system in Lebanon

Email the Lebanese ministry of Justice demanding that they do not penalize freedom of speech

Open letter to the president, on Blogging Beirut

Monday, June 28, 2010

unfair arrests in Toronto during G20

Until I read Steve Paikin's blog (award-winning host of the Agenda TV show on TVO), I only had the vague impression that the police were unfairly sheltering G20 leaders from public opinion, by restraining protesters in some areas. I also thought that if there were arrests, the police must have been provoked since I have faith in the Canadian system. I was wrong, and now that I read what MP's and journalists said about their arrested children and colleagues, democracy in Canada, which brought me here, suddenly seems fragile.

Steve Paikin (TVO) writes that a "stealth" legislation change allowed unjustified arrests of protesters. Also all the while arresting innocent protesters and journalists, the police was incompetent at preventing rioters from doing damage.

Protesters complying with the police and simple onlookers were arrested too, just for being in a designated protest area.

Security is a false pretext for intimidating people out of being in their parks, and streets, to better "sanitize" Toronto of anti-G20 opinions. This pretext is used by every police state out there. The culture shock protesters received also reminds me of the one I had from interacting with some intimidating immigration officers.

I wasn't sure I needed to be in a protest to reverse the damage done by the G20 to the world but after this, if there's a protest, to protest what happened in the near future, I'm going. We didn't migrate all the way here to have a repeat of the police state.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A different kind of understandings between Lebanon's opposition and Syria?

When the General Aoun and Syria's president sign memorandum of understandings, is that a sign of respect in their relations, and a change from having the old corrupt ruling class of Lebanon pledge its blind obedience to the Syrian regime?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

self-defeatists protest when a Lebanese minister propose a plan to supply all of Lebanon with power by 2015

Gebran Bassil, a pioneer minister who took price gouging by cell phone companies in Lebanon during his tenure as a communications minister, is doing it again. Defenders of the status quo and self-defeatists are up in arms, what's up with the opposition turning being a politician to a real job? Bassil has now a comprehensive plan for nation-wide consistent power supply in Lebanon. "Not made for our country" says another reporter afraid of breaking with the tried and true; an old ruling class, most recently backed by the US, who carries the Ottoman tradition of exploiting and pilfering its country. The old ruling class does not serve Lebanon, but is happy to import mercenaries on occasion, to try to start a civil war, revive the old fake sectarian divide, when Lebanese become too insisting about the government (aka washed out war lords) do their job or leave. The Lebanese want real managers in the government, the opposition is starting to provide that, which exactly is that "Lebanon not meant for minister achieving real work in office"?

here's more on Bassil's plan: a 4 years plan to bring 24hrs power supply to Lebanon, more about the plan, and succeeding at making the Ottoman-style old ruling class - a.k.a. "defenders of democracy" as dubbed by the past Busch regime - pay its electric bills (?!)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Does the Iranian civil rights movement sympathize with undemocratic middle-easterns?

The Iranian regime has been known for despotism for a while, which explains the rise of an opposition, the Green Movement in Iran. However, is this movement justified in sympathizing with despots elsewhere in the middle east? is the green movement pro-democracy everywhere, or just in Iran? Integrity means not saying "the ally of my ally is my ally, even if it's a criminal". The US has (for some reason?!) lately backed and emboldened a despotic Egyptian and Saudi regime. The green movement ignores crimes of the current US-excused Saudi regime that killed a Lebanese man for being a psychic
. Same for the fact that the Egyptian police beat an Egyptian blogger to death in public.

The Green Movement contradicts itself by sympathizing with the Lebanese sectarian, racist, oppressive and corrupt ruling class, and opposing the patriotic party as it mentors a Lebanese Hezbollah back into the Lebanese democracy, which makes it impossible for any carpet-bagger (to borrow US terminology) to sponsor yet another civil war in Lebanon. We need no approval from any colonizer (Saudis, Iran, US) to evolve in Lebanon, and we have a Lebanese vision of religious diversity that is for now beyond Iran's Green Movement vision. This not to mention that Hezbollah is not reported, in a single news article, for attacking or oppressing its Lebanese compatriots, let alone murder them. It also did not start a religious hate camp as Christian separatists are doing in Lebanon (while the US inexplicable backs them up). The US seems to have one real issue with Hezbollah, that it challenges Israel and their pilgrim-like reflexes towards the Palestinian issues. Pro-Israel sides are fixating on a Hezbollah of the 80's, negating the progress the patriotic movement made with Hezbollah, the memorandum of understanding they signed agreeing to disarm if the Lebanese government performed its role in protecting Lebanese civilians. They're also ignoring the real Sunnite extremism (which does not represent Sunnites) all over Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and through mercenaries imported into Lebanon by its old ruling class.

In Lebanon on the other hand, the patriotic party had the sophistication to say US has the right constitution, but a foreign policy that contradicts that same constitution. It doesn't blindly love nor blindly hate the US. If you had an Iranian branch of the Lebanese patriotic party, it would have accurately said: we are against Israel going pilgrim on Arabic natives, but we don't believe it takes an oppressive theocracy to stop that. A democracy would make a much stronger argument against Israel. It would have also said that theocrats will be part of the new democracy, they will just learn to trust and work with Iranians, instead of against them, just like we found common ground with Hezbollah and mediated an understanding with them; a plan to change. The Green movement needs to be allied with our patriotic movement to learn how to transform Iran through mediation, not allied with the US, at least not while it currently backs one side of extremists against the other.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Was this decided in a white power meeting?!

Israel's raid of a Turkish aid convoy (flotilla) to Gaza makes it seem, again, that Israel is a KKK outpost: as if the lives of people not part of the "klan" is disposable.

I wonder how many Israeli oppose that, and if they're being censored by the west. It would give us hope, to hear about the non-KKK aspect of Israel.

Netanhyahu's speeches on the danger facing russians, eastern europeans and Israeli's is white hatred mongering. Sure there are Arabic psychopaths, and racists, but they're a weak excuse for Israel's racism when Israel and the world have the option of acknowledging pro-human rights and pro-democracy Arabs. The Lebanese patriotic movement opposes religious and racial segregation of any kind, but the west and Israel obviate it, and make allies with a banana republic the promotes sectarian hatred. I'm amazed at how far behind Israel is relative to the patriotic party, in its blatent racial and sectarian labeling. I think Israeli settlers moved from russia, and eastern Europe before the civil rights movement had influenced racism in these cultures, if it ever has! It's ironic that Israel portrays itself as a western outpost, when it's racist speech is straight out of middle eastern history books. The modern alternative in the meanwhile, the Lebanese patriotic party and the civil rights movement it is pioneering in Lebanon go unnoticed by the west.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The steadfast Patriotic Party created by the General Aoun

This post on Adonis Diaries includes a partial clarification on the steadfast movement created by the General Aoun. The left out part relates to the anti-religious discrimination and social justice-principles of the movement, and its national vision of the movement.

Clarifications: General Aoun was ousted as Prime Minister in 1989 by the Syrian forces with a US green light. Aoun was a political refugee in France till 2005 as Syrian troops vacated Lebanon. All political parties refrained from allying with the Tayyar of Aoun during the Parliamentary election of 2005; and yet, Aoun’s party won hands down the election with a landslide majority of the Christian voters. Then, Aoun had a rapproachment with Hezbollah in 2006 which upset all alliances and made the alliances of the majority of Christians with the Moslem Chiaa an unbeatable political power pressure.

It seems that Syria is trying currently to clipp the advances of Aoun’s party by ordering political leaders who sided staunchly with Aoun to desist from total support rhetoric. For example, the Maronite Suleiman Frangieh of Zogarta, the Druze Erslan of Aley, and Skaf of Zahleh have been showing lukewarm enthusiasm for Aoun during the latest municipal election. Even Hezbollah, through its alliance with AMAL of Nabih Berry, has been implicitely trying to weaken the Tayyar influence. Still, the Tayyar of Aoun managed to win big time in both the Parliamentary and municipal elections.

while the US inexplicable labels FPM and General Aoun pro-Syrian (for guiding Syria past an occupier's mentality), the FPM was the only Lebanese liberation movement. In August 7th 2001, a large group of FPM'ers were arrested by the Syria-puppet regime at the time, for demanding the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon (which took place in 2005). The Syria accountability act was signed by the US congress in 2003 as a result of the FPM campaigning in the US.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

the Lebanese model needs... an update!

This blog post speaks of the Lebanese business model

It's not all bad, but it needs to be upgraded to modern standards, since it's running on mostly good but traditional values. Other countries have gone through that, like the crying Indian campaign in the US in the 70's. It was lead by a few environmentalists who instead of psychologically beating down Americans from littering their highways, decided to educate Americans not to (and succeeded). Just imagine, a Lebanese PSA on speaking politely, teamwork, professionalism, ending sexism, respect animals, not littering, ...

Industries in the west follow a "six-sigma" program developed to ensure quality in manufacturing. What if we had a Lebanese-sigma program to increase the number of Lebanese with a modern sense of professionalism, and social / ecological sense of justice?

We've seen new ideas catch on in Lebanon like wildfire, Lebanese are not resistant to new ideas, they're just not trusted enough to hear them!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

new vocab, to bring the western media up to speed on Lebanese thinking

Here are a few suggested points to share with the media, to keep them from misrepresenting Lebanese people.

- Sectarian labels are oppressive. You wouldn't label US politicians as black or white, and we feel the same about labeling Lebanese people by their sect, rather than their culture and intellect.

- The lash back against Lebanese and Lebanese Americans felt recently is not form conservative middle easterns, who have historically accepted that Lebanon is more liberal than them. The lash back was from western "experts" who insist even more on pigeon-holing Lebanon as supposedly overpowered by conservatism, and negate its role as a pioneer in ending religion discrimination. Maybe these experts feel challenged that it's no longer west alone that can pioneer such good causes.

- Being racist or sectarian is judging an entire sect or ethnicity based on the acts of some individuals (dictionary definition of racism)

- US civil right movement made most of the world evolve out of racism, now remains the other prejudice: sectarianism.

- Sectarianism is a prejudice exists in both eastern and western uniform cultures. A diverse culture like Lebanon, where sects willingly mingle and not just co-exist, are best equipped to challenge this prejudice.

- A sense of superiority rooted in the past prevents some people from learning about diversity from Lebanese people or other immigrants

- It is akin to an old corporation to hold on to an outdated sense of superiority, and resist learning from an agile start up, Lebanese Americans in this case, about replacing religious discrimination with a new way of thinking.

- marches and populist movements for secularism such as this one, shows the population's intent to do away with the outdated sectarian system in Lebanon. The opposition, lead by the Lebanese patriotic party states in its charter page and in its speeches that it opposed religious discrimination in Lebanon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lebanon is like the technology start up, large uniform countries are like the old corporation

Some American experts oversimplify and stereotype the middle east, and skim over how unique Lebanon in the middle east.

Rima Fakih, the Lebanese American Miss USA from Michigan comes from a typically eclectic Lebanese family, which like many others enjoys absorbing many cultures, religions, languages, while feeling uniquely Lebanese.

A mental block in some westerners however prevents them from acknowledging this typically Lebanese kind of diversity. Maybe acknowledging that would negate the stereotype, and prevent some westerners from pigeon-holing the middle east as "conservative". Acknowledging that Lebanon is actually ahead of most of the world when it comes to religions and cultures mingling (not just co-existing) seems to make both some westerners with a colonial perspective, and muslim conservatives uncomfortable.

For that reason perhaps, it seems that a backlash comes in the form of some western experts doubling their effort at pigeon-holing Lebanon. In this CNN video Michael Hudson from Georgetown University speaks of backlash from conservative countries, ignoring how defiant Lebanon is to all conformist countries and how accustomed middle eastern countries are to the fact that Lebanon is more progressive: .

Yet, a genuine description of Rima's background shows no effect of any backlash on her cultural circle: .

Misconceptions about Lebanon are expressed both east and west of us: powerful western as well as Arabic countries are too used to uniformity to grasp Lebanon's diversity. Some westerners even express colonial wishful thinking, by depicting Lebanese as weak in the face of larger conservative countries in the middle east. It almost sounds like solidarity between large ex-colonial countries: they help each other pretend that the small countries are nor more agile neither progressive than the larger ones! It makes me think of technology start ups vs large established corporations. Just imagine a corporation CEO saying that the small start ups, famous for breaking into the market with revolutionary products, will not be able to act on their new ideas (and out-compete corporations) because they are overpowered by corporations. This would be denial, since the reason to be for start ups, and the key to their success is that they create a product meant to out-compete that of the larger corporations. Start ups succeed at going against the grain because they are small and more agile in their thinking than established corporations, just like Lebanon is when compared to large uniform countries. Lebanon, as small and more agile country, challenges these countries with a new brand of Lebanese diversity.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

General Aoun vs a corrupt, Ottoman style ruling class

News links on the municipal and mayoral elections in Lebanon, where the General Aoun is again trying to bring professionalism to an election led by ottoman style corrupt institutions.

Aoun: Election Bribes were Given in Jbeil - Naharnet Newsdesk

Aoun justifies decision to boycott Beirut's elections | Engage ...
Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun's press office issued a statement on Thursday that his party's decision to boycott Sunday's Beirut municipal ...

YouTube - MP Michel aoun in regards to corruption

Nicolas: Moukhtar elections will show Aoun's real popular size

while announcing victory in Mount Lebanon:

Friday, May 7, 2010

character, character, character... (as in location, location, location...!)

I noticed that many who oppose a certain political principle, religious belief, but have the same character as their opponents!

This is the case of fundamentalist atheists, who hardly differ from fundamentalist Christians in characters (see Chris Hedge's book; I don't believe in atheist).

It's also the case of movements that start a coup in some dictatorships. They claim to be democratic, but reverse back to their dictatorial reflexes. They picked up the democracy slogans, but none of the teamwork spirit, respect for others and the genuine will to recognize talents in others and leverage them. Without that, you have ego buffs as leaders, meaning their democracy is in fact a dictatorship.

I also don't see a difference in the characters of reformist and conservative Iranians. They are both absolutists. While the patriotic party in Lebanon mediates to find a common ground with Hezbollah, and suggests changes it should make, Iran (and the US, hmmm!) has one of 2 possible labels for Hezbollah: "good" or "bad". That being said it's the prerogative of Lebanon alone, to re-introduce once alienated Lebanese into democracy. I have yet to hear an Iranian reformist talk of a conservatives re-integration plan, when Iran becomes a democracy. That's the sort of constructive thinking that the Lebanese opposition lead by the patriotic party has exhibited, a sort out of outreach to opponents and no wonder it leaves Iranian confounded.

Middle Easterns in general don't listen, and no democracy can survive without that, the redeeming character of the west. A character trait that the opposition in Lebanon is starting to advocate, since a different character, not just different principles, will lead to a different kind of government.

Has Australia heard of Google's logo: Don't be evil... (to animals)?

In Australia wool producers unnecessarily mutilate sheep.

The other animal cruelty issue in Australia, I think, is the quarantine on immigrating pets. Animals who undergo a dehydrating, traumatic, life threatening plane trip to Australia then suffer the emotional ordeal of living in a cage away from their owner's affection, for at least one month of quarantine. Visits are limited and complicated, since quarantine centers don't exist in every city.
This is absurd, when they could be securing that animals are free of rabies through a series of vaccines and Australian government-validated vet visits in the country of origin. This is an idea from medieval times, pre-communication age. In modern time a pet can be secured to be free of rabies if they visit an Australia-approved vet in the pet's country of residence, one at the Australian embassy if need be and they
1. get a rabies's vaccine at last 6 months before the trip
2. come back 6 months after the vaccine to get a test a verify that a virus has not been contracted before the vaccine (it has a 6 months incubation period).
This is more secure and scientific than 1 month of traumatic separation of the pet from its owners, at the very difficult time when the pet needs its owners affection to recover from the trip.

What do animal rights have to do with Lebanon? Check out to see how we associate animal rights with the renaissance we are due to have.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Don’t let the Saudi authorities behead an innocent Lebanese man

The AFP and France 24 news reported on March 31st, that Saudi authorities plan to behead an innocent Lebanese man within 48 hours, under the absurd charge of witchcraft.

Click here to read the news and email a protest (1-click email)

Contact the Saudi embassy in your contract and tell them their government has no right to behead an innocent Lebanese man

Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
99 Bank Street Suite 901, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1P 6B9
Telephone (613) 237-4100
Fax (613) 237-0567

Embassy Saudi-Arabien, Berlin
Address / Info
Botschaft Saudi-Arabien, Tiergartenstra├če 33-34, 10785 Berlin
Telephone (030) 889 2500
Fax (030) 889 251 79,
Konsularabteilung: (030) 889 251 03

Saudi Arabian offices in the UK
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
30 Charles Street, W1J 5DZ
Tel: +44 (0)20 7917 3000

Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia Tokyo
Phone +81-(0)3-3589-5241
Fax +81-(0)3-3589-5200
Address 8-4, Roppongi 1-chome, Minatoku, Tokyo,106-0032 Japan

Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Main Number: (202) 342-3800
Information/Press Office: (202) 337-4076

please post a comment if you know of other Saudi embassies that can be listed here

Thursday, February 25, 2010

CTV comments on Lebanese Olympian, in the super G race

CTV covered the Alpine Skiing - Ladies' super G on February 20th at 10:00 AM. In commenting on the Lebanese participant, they alternated between ignoring her and making condescending comments.

I find it anti-olympics spirit (and colonial) of the commentator to say "it's difficult to ski for countries like that... because you haven't inspiring people [like Canada's champions] to make you aspire to great things"! Pigeon-holing small countries in the Olympics negate the spirit of the Olympics, an event that is supposed to be particularly supportive of athletes that make it to the Olympics against all odds!
I say we write CTV about that. The event covered and commented on was Alpine Skiing - Ladies' super G on February 20th at 10:00 AM. Their email is

PS: Ironic that Canada considers itself more international-minded than the US. While a Canadian commentator said "it's hard to ski for a country like that", CNN made this accurate and uplifting report on skiing in Lebanon:

Monday, February 22, 2010

We support Team Lebanon in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics by watching!

Dear Lebanese

Please support TEAM LEBANON in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and watch them on their scheduled competitions. Lebanon is the only Arabic country with participants this year.

Here are some info about one of the three of the Team Lebanon members, Chirine Njeim.

Chirine Njeim, a 24 year old Lebanese attending the university of Utah is representing Lebanon at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in skiing disciplines on the 20th, 24nd and 26th of February in Whistler Village. Against all odds, this brave young woman is heading to the contest with the Lebanese delegation .

Chirine left Lebanon at the age of 16 after convincing her parents to allow her to pursue her passion in skiing while training in Utah and attending university. She has consistently pursued and excelled at many skiing disciplines, proudly representing Lebanon once before. This is her second and most qualified attempt as winning an Olympic medal.Hoping we can generate some support for Chirine, since her parents are not able to attend in person. I am asking all groups in all cities to mobilize what they can in contacting those they know in Vancouver or neighboring areas to ask them to attend and support Chirine by waving Lebanese Flags, being vocal during the competition, and on facebook

Don't Forget the Dates
February 24, 2010
10:00 - Alpine Skiing - Ladies' Giant Slalom 1st Run
Medal Event
13:15 - Alpine Skiing - Ladies' Giant Slalom 2nd Run
February 26, 2010
10:00 - Alpine Skiing - Ladies' Slalom 1st Run
Medal Event
13:30 - Alpine Skiing - Ladies' Slalom 2nd Run

Feb. 20th results for Ladies Super-G

Chirine on ESPN

As expected from a corrupt government the Lebanese ski federation was useless to the Lebanese Olympian.