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.