Friday, June 17, 2005

Lebanese always want to fit you into narrow sectarian or political categories. And if you don't fit, you confuse them. My recent post about `Awn was grossly misinterpreted by some of the commentators on this blog. I only said that he has some appeal (very unfortunately in my eyes) among some Muslims and leftists. No, I have not softened on `Awn, and am not waiting to get out of Lebanon to post against him. In fact, I have brought many copies with me of a past interview with `Awn on Pat Robertston's CBN, and have been distributing it to politicians and journalists. I have been advocating against `Awn, especially to members or leaders of movements who have made alliances with him. I view him as a thinly-disguised sectarian agitator with fascistic ambitions, and his past involvements with Saddam Husayn and his alliance with fanatic Zionists in DC should disqualify him. I have been told that some people praised me on the `Awn's official website following my AlJazeera appearance. I am not responsible for that obviously, especially that I did criticize `Awn on that very program (the transcript is on this site, if you are in doubt). A Lebanese Ministry of of Information official who recently met with the European election monitors told me that they told him that they obtained footage of cash payments on the street in the Zahlah election where Hariri Political Inc reportedly spent a lot of money, and lost. Yesterday, I was delighted to meet with Anwar Yasin (a Lebanese Communist Party resistance fighter against Israel who spent years in Israeli jails, and who ran for--but did not win--a parliamentary seat from the South). I told Anwar: "You alone won, and all the other "winners" lost." I mean that. I was also delighted to introduce David Barsamian in a talk yesterday at Nadi As-Sahah. If you really want to enjoy the food here, you can. The formula: just run 6.5 miles every day, 7 days a week. Saudi Arabia has a plan: they want Sunni Hariri political domination, and want Syria to play no role in Lebanon, but want to jointly with the US run the country. This plan is beginning face obstacles. I am told that Sa`d Hariri is spending more political money than his father.