Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Left Behind

This is a follow up to Jij's View from Left.

The view from the left has to be directed to the next stage in the Lebanese political life as there is clearly no role for a bunch of weaklings in today's imminent Saudi brokered deal.

Whether we go through the national unity government charade or we skip this transitional period and directly usher in the new troika regime; this time around dominated by the Mar Mikhail duo plus a token prime minister.

I have argued before that I would be as opposed to the new lords of that castle as I am of the remaining ghosts of the outgoing ruling class. Well maybe slightly less opposed as they cannot possibly be as damaging as the previous crew. I don't see in them the miracle solution to Lebanon's ills; still they have set an example of how to accomplish change in a change repellant region. Their model should be studied closely and emulated by the left or anyone hoping to see change in our lifetime.

I come across many coffee shop leftist groups with more words in the name of the group than living members. They always complain about all political players including their natural home, the dormant LCP, and are disappointed how their holding of signs on a side of a road one afternoon failed to abolish sectarianism and stop Harirism from drowning the highest peaks of our proud mountains in rolling roaring debt. A friend of Salim El Hoss once told that he never had a chance to stand up to Rafiq El Hariri because "He took afternoon naps." Now I love my coffee breaks as much as anyone, but if you look back at the top 2 political/popular forces in Lebanon you won't find many coffee breaks since their inception.

Hezbollah has sacrificed sweat and blood non stop since the early eighties. FPM has taken a different route but with the same level of intensity and energy since the early nineties. When they ascend to power in the next month, year, or two; it will not happen accidentally due to right star alignment that the traditional opportunist Lebanese politicians pray and wait for. They created their success by laying solid ground work over a significant period of time that enabled them to seize the opportunities when they came. They have faced the same challenges and challengers (Syria, Harirism, Israel, and American Imperialism) that the left has faced, yet today they sit atop. Meanwhile the left is obsessed with past glory and the nincompoop Atallah.

To keep it brief, change is possible since a precedent has been set. A leftist awakening can be achieved with a vision, the right strategy, dedication, sacrifice, and more. It took the others a couple of tough decades to reach dominant positions; it should be slightly easier for the leftists today since the Israelis and Syrians have been tamed, not to mention the intellectual superiority that they love to claim.

Now for the strategy meet me at the coffee shop.


Ana Min Beirut said...

aya se3a ?

stop the occupation said...

Is there any word of the kidnapped and tortured and murdered Israelis?

will their crushed bones be returned?

can the red cresent even visit their remains?

does lebanon have no soul?

why keep the dead parts of these israelis?

Anonymous said...

Stop the occupation:
the answer to all ur questions is NO
xoxo little stupid israeli elephant from ur little friendly rat

BTW, abt an old comment, yes u killed 1000 arabs this summer, but we have no problems, as u can c, we can get 4 wives and 10 kids from each one, so u welcome to kill more little criminal.

jij said...

I have to disagree when you say that Hezbollah or FPM may serve as any kind of model to the left. As I mentioned in my post, I think that Hezbollah and FPM are part and parcel of the existing political system, and their relative successes (and failures) are to be understood under this light. Take FPM for example. It is true that FPM has stood against Syrian domination when others were taking advantage of it, and it is also true that a lot of FPM members put their safety on the line and had to go to jail and were beaten because of what they stood for. But it would be super naïve to say that the driving force behind their movement in the 90s was cheer idealism and patriotism. Aoun’s popularity back then was directly linked to the fact that he was representing a definite Christian frustration with the political reality. Wide sections of the Lebanese Christians felt they were being left out of the organized looting that was taking place at that time, which explains their backing Aoun. The same applies to Hezbollah. The sacrifices they made in kicking the Israelis out are very real. But at the base of everything is the fact that they represent a major sect of Lebanon. So, you see, you can’t say that the Left can emulate the strategies based by these two groups, because those two groups operate from within the system, whereas the Left by its very nature cannot. That is why it is incapable of doing anything today.

Jamal said...


Emulate the model and work ethic, not the strategy, you need different strategies to achieve different goals, these strategies evolve with time and changing circumstances but always towards the vision you have. But you can use some of the concepts that have proven successful after you customize themto your cause.

Jamal said...

ya beiruti- bas i warn you i'm as much a coffee snob as you are a jallab nut.

Bashir said...

Look what you've done, now I have to go back to read jij all over again then come back here to read you. That may take a couple of days and the coffee will be cold by then.
Can the thawra be postponed?
But I shall return.

Ibn Bint Jbeil said...

1) we are using them for conceptual art pieces.

2) while HA emulated the old leftist model of a committed and learned party cadre and an organized party following, its success is based as much on sacrafice and hard work as it is on the nurturing of a specific culture/heritage/ideology upon which it can rely, as a cultural/societal foundation that people can identify with and belong to. This can not be invented overnight, it has to be taught, and nurtured, and engaged, and practiced on a mass level over a period of not decades, but centuries. i.e.: 3ashoora, a legacy of sacrafice, the rise of the downtrodden, the movement coming directly from the root culture of the folk, not from the theoretical constructs of coffee houses.