Monday, January 28, 2008

A word about the bloodshed in Lebanon. First, the opposition (Hizbullah, `Awn, Amal and the rest) has no credibility WHATSOEVER on issues of social justice. Hizbullah was silent during the long Hariri years, and did not speak in protest when Hariri was looting the country and deepening its poverty. When I would ask Hizbullah leaders on issues of social justice during those years, they would say that they are not focusing on that. Amal: has no credibility whatsoever: it was Amal that participated in the looting of the state during those years, and in imposing that tool of Nabih Birri at the helm of the labor unions. Ghassan Ghusn was imposed in order to abort a rising labor union in the 1990s--and told him that when I saw him at the office of the Minister of Labor back in 2006 when he said that they are planning to act. I reminded him that he has been asleep for years: the Syrian regime (and its tools) decided to help Hariri by undermining a promising, non-sectarian movement headed by Ilyas Abu Rizq. `Awn's economic program, as analyzed by the late Joseph Samahah at the time, is to the right of Hariri. Secondly, Hizbullah and their allies are lying: they know who shot at the demonstrators and they are dancing around the issue and making insinuations. It was not Ja`ja` (or Ga`ga` in Egyptian accent) but the Lebanese Army who killed the demonstrators. Thirdly, the Lebanese Army, as was reported by Riyad Qubaysi of New TV at the time although the station later played it down, acted thuggishly and recklessly. And this behavior should be blamed on the Army and on the government AND the opposition in Lebanon: they all watched and cheered when the Army was destroying Nahr Al-Barid and recklessly and ruthlessly killing civilians. Fourthly, the Hariri government in Lebanon is taking the country into civil war: you have to give it them and to their sponsors in Saudi Arabia: they have succeeded in their campaigns of sectarian agitation and mobilization: read it daily in Hariri rag, Al-Mustaqbal. Fifthly, my sources in Lebanon tell me that Gen. Michel Sulayman is not trusted by opposition anymore because he was caught playing games, but if he is elected president he should know that he was not elected by the Lebanese people but by the Arab foreign ministers, US, and France. Sixthly, if the Lebanese Army is deployed, it will not fight as one, but will do what it has always done--fight along sectarian lines. This is what happened I think, as I watched the scenes on Sunday on New TV. Seventhly, let me tell the people in the opposition in Lebanon: issues of social justice are real and genuine issues: they are the stuff of daily and consistent advocacy and not for seasonal exploitation for pure political exploitation in order to get that silly "blocking one-third" in the cabinet. Let me also say that thus far only comrade Khalid Saghiyyah and Fida' `Itani of Al-Akhbar (read this tough piece here) have been critical of Michel Sulayman. Finally, Habash is dead and I am not in the mood for those ugly sectarian squabbles in Lebanon.