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.