Saturday, June 30, 2007

No Way Out

First of all I recommend that you read the proclamation issued by the leader of the land of the free. The first line has striking resemblance to ottoman era faramans but as you read further you realize that the language used is from a way earlier era in history of empires. Now it’s his house and by the powers vested in him by section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, he is free to stick an unwelcome mat at his doorstep in face of whomever he feels vested to keep out, but (and I’m sure you knew a but was coming) “any private person who deliberately contributes to breakdown in the rule of law in Lebanon” would technically include anyone who double parks. It doesn’t stop there, “The spouses and dependent children of persons “ who double park on the streets of Tarzebna, for example, can also be refused entrance to George Bush’s USA. Also if you are applying for a US visa make sure you don’t derive financial benefit from any actions that could undermine the legitimate government, so don’t get bribed if you are working for the government, focus on the other half of your job: Solitaire. Also if you’re in the glass business for example make sure you don’t get involved in the cleaning up and fixing of shattered store fronts because thou shalt be proclaimed persona non grata in Wyoming for your actions.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jamal G. Propaganda, In witness whereof, hereunto set my hand this steamy Saturday, in the year of our Lord two thousand and seven, and the influence of ice cold Almaza pure malt of Lebanon the second.

And I shall move on to more important issues than Wiam Wahhab’s vacation spots.… I have a

question to the political players in Lebanon: all of them, pro government anti government and confused, sectarian and pretend secularists, the extreme right and the opposing extreme …. right. What is the way out of this downwards spiral? The thundering unified answer is Gate G at Beirut International Airport.

There’s really no sugar coating it. The situation is bad which means you can get a table at any restaurant without any prior reservations, even on a Saturday night in the middle of summer. No “exiled” yuppies are home from the gulf showing off their high salaries with their fancy rental cars. Don’t worry about your elbow space diminishing anytime soon; you shall have it for a while since nothing will be resolved.


Friday, June 15, 2007

A Step Back

Maybe just maybe it's about time everyone took a step back and re-evaluted where they stand. I, for one, do it constantly. I'm rarely wrong, but sometimes I miss something since I only have one good eye so that limits my peripheral vision and depth perception. Maybe that handicap forces me to think about things I see that I wouldn't otherwise had I had two eyes confirming the same view. Someone, not sure who and I don't feel like googling it now, said, "Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see." In my case make it quarter of what I see.

The problem is that I need to know. I read a lot, I talk to people, I observe , I ask, and at the end it turns out that some third generation Lebanese dude/dudette in Wyoming who happens to own an uncracked copy of Gibran's Prophet (and also might happen to blog about Lebanon) knows all the beyond the shadow of doubt truths about what's going on here and I don't. I envy them and cab drivers, the two sides of the infallible knowledge coin.

Then again, this region brought to you Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. So people have been having blind faith (or is faith intrinsically blind) in what they've been told by their chosen men for thousands of years, don't expect that to change this summer. So just hunker down, and beware the "others".

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Army Post

For the 24 th consecutive day, the Lebanese army has secured and completely controled the Samed and Cooperative positions of Abu Jureij's Pro-Syrian Pro-Hariri UnPalestinian terrorist gang phenomenon group thing. I'm a bit confused since by my understanding of the term "complete control" you do not to assert it everyday three times a day after meals. But what do I know, I'm no military expert. The closest I came to becoming a soldier was when I was refused boarding a plane once because according to Lebanon's official government records; one of my sisters was actually my brother, thus unexempting me from service.

Don't get me wrong, I am pro-Army. I am Pro-Martial law. Especially since the alternative seems to be Militia and feudal law. After a rusty start to their assertion of power campaign, the army has started getting it right. Monday night, 2 men were arrested alive after lobbing a hand grenade at an army checkpoint. That's a long way from the trigger happiness of a couple of weeks ago when an unarmed pregnant woman was shot dead in Badaro, and 3 unarmed men and 2 civillian aircrafts were gunned down near the airport. Definitely satisfactory progress is being displayed when it comes to shooting disicpline and aim.

I'm not the only one seeing this record improvement in performance by the army. Some people whose politics differ slightly from mine have expressed newfound trust in the army. On January 23rd, 2007 at 8:00 am, that would be in the early morning, a Samir Geagea declared that the army is incapable of maintaining order, and issued a fatwa to his followers to take things into their own bats. Now fast forward 5 months to May 21st of the same 2007 and you'll see that the same army that he didn't think was capable of moving a few Orange clad geeks off the street, was now in his eyes capable of controlling Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

An Explosion at Sporting beach club just shook this building... back in a bit.

Friday, June 01, 2007

What's Next?

Of course there is no uniform answer to this question in Lebanon, so we will answer this according to each of the various Lebanese factions.

For Future Movement the future is always clear. After evacuating the Saudi brothers from Nahr El Bared the priority will again become the establishment of an International Tribunal. But you may I thought it was a done deal and under Chapter 7 no less. Well, with millions of people wanting to cover for the killers it never is a done deal, so they will milk this for another 2 to 3 years.

Hezbollah will continue to do nothing under the title of Avoiding Civil Strife. Plus their strategy of being patient and waiting usually pays off since its foes always find a way to shoot themselves in the foot.

The Free Patriotic Movement needs to go back to their calls for Accountability. These calls are always met with Public support. But instead they'll continue to throw the best fundraiser ideas and still fall short on the funding of OTV. Don't forget that after Chocolate and Vanilla, Orange is the most favorite flavor.

Amal. Just Kidding.

The Lebanese Forces will elect Amin Gemayyel President then predict that the Syrians are going to kill him. A week later, the Syrians oblige paving the way for the election of Doctor Samir Geagea as the March 14th president.

Walid Jumblatt will move to Patagonia and buy a coca farm. Wiam Wahhab follows him promptly and buys a coca shrub.

The SSNP and the Lebanese Communist Party will continue collecting diapers for the displaced.

As for the government, well we will have 2 of them. Competition is good in free market economies. A couple of years ago we lived for a few months without a government. For the past 7 months we've had 0.7 of a government, so unorthodox governance is our thing. Eventually we'll get it right. I'm just looking forward to find out how Lahoud plans to counter Nayla Mouawwad in his government. I'd go with Maryam Nour.

Now the Lebanese people will still insist that their tabbouleh, ski resorts, and topless beach are evidence that they are fun loving peaceniks. It's the violent others who are full of hate and have been bringing their battles here for the past 5000 years.