Wednesday, March 09, 2011

There is a chance....

Lloyd: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances? Mary: Not good. Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred? Mary: I'd say more like one out of a million. [pauseLloyd: So you're telling me there's a chance... *YEAH!* 
That's of course from the Farrelly brothers' classic "Dumb and Dumber" (1994) which most of the participants in the Anti-sectarianism movement have never heard of because they were either too young and too unborn when this film came out. That's a good thing they have going for them. In a political era dominated by Dumb and Dumber discourse, youth naivety and enthusiasm not only have a chance but would be a great upgrade over the existing decayed state.

Mistakes abound and the potential for failure and a devastating long lasting trauma for a whole new generation of anti-sectarian rebels exists. That said, I fully endorse the movement and think they truly have a chance for the following reasons:

It's the only march in March that marches. While March 8's and March 14's crowds stand still, the Anti-sectarian movement actually moves. Not only does it move beyond the one plot of stolen land in Beirut... it actually sacrilegiously goes to other towns.

They don't listen. With no podiums or speeches to tell the crowds what can and cannot be done, imagination dictates the course.

They're not on TV. Sectarian TV stations are ignoring them which for one means they feel threatened by the images, or at least by the taboo words being chanted. More importantly, it means rebels won't waste time watching themselves on TV and worrying about how they look and which camera angle would make them look bloated.

They're not on TV. That means they have to actively look for the news rather than passively being fed the news inter-venously. Nothing against hospital bed ridden masses, I do feel bad for them but they are missing out on a lot.

They are copycats. Lebanese originality has led to huge debt, huger ego, part time electricity, a freelancing work force, and full time war. Being second best to the Egyptians isn't exactly something to be ashamed of.

The regime is already down. Thankfully, sectarian forces already doomed the regime and most probably the whole experiment called Lebanon. It is just a matter of time, but it would be nice to see the last nail in the coffin coming from the anti-sectarian crowd for the sake of what's next.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Sanayeh live

Modest start, but who knows... more the topic in the upcoming days...

Thursday, March 03, 2011

A revolution for each taste

People in media are quick to draw parallels between things that are happening at any given time. You see, most of the time they are strapped for time and want to simplify their work by copy-pasting stories together. The reality though is that Arab dictators aren't a product of a cookie cutter. They're more like pop corn.

So let's look at them country by country.

Tunisia: Laila Traboulsi was a hair-dyer turned tyrant who knew how to divert attention away from her by letting an old man take the fall for her. She couldn't fool the Tunisian people though who shipped her along with her husband to the worst place a fashion-obsessed woman can go to. How did they do it? Protests started in a fringe town and snowballed into a mass movement that is well on its way to create a new Tunisia. Their chances of finishing the job are excellent considering that the counter-revolution is led by none other than Dear Jeff of March 14 fame.

Egypt: Hosny Mubarak still does not know he's been deposed. Some blame it on age, others blame his son and top advisor Gamal. The ongoing Egyptian revolution was really not fair, because the revolutionaries lived on earth in the year 2011, while the regime is stuck in some black hole circa 1960.

Libya: The protests were scheduled for February 17th. Muammar Gaddafi's regime fell on the 16th. The clown is still running a bloody circus from his tent bunker, but he won't last long.

Yemen: Ali Abdullah Saleh was going to be the first to fall a year ago, but the leaders of the free world kept him up with their F-16s. He's Next.

Bahrain: When the Prince of Bahrain reached a dead end in his career and saw no prospects of promotion, he renamed the country the Kingdom of Bahrain so he could be king. Now the people want to demote him to a figurehead.

Jordan: King Twat and Queen Tweet are the darlings of the glamor, biker, and Trekkie magazines. Their demise has a hint of irony in it which I'm always a fan of. You see the king's dad gave up the kingdom's water for "peace", the kings wife paraded truckloads of water in areas the kings (current and dead) had neglected. Not wise. So here's where you get to pick the headline for the downfall, will it be "Drowning in the Desert" or "Sinking in the Dead sea"?

Syria: Bashar Al Assad crushed a coup attempt a couple of years ago proving his worth among the regions dictators, and thus his regime is still on high alert; but squashing Abdel Halim Khaddam and friends is not the same as oppressing a whole population. One thing is for sure though, when the Syrian people decide to move, it won't be to bring in Khaddam or any other March 14th figure.

Oman: Qaboos has been around for a while, yet the movement in Oman surprised most people including myself, so I can't claim I know what's going on there. I don't even know who would be a good source on Bahrain, but I'm pretty sure Thomas Friedman isn't the one.

Algeria: Bouteflika panicked at first, but it seems his regime, which isn't really his, has more control than he does. He might be thrown to the wolves if there's an escalation. 

Iraq: George W Bush and Ali Khamenei still reign in post-Saddam Iraq. That won't be the case for long as Iraqi voices which have been Shocked and Awed into silence started to emerge one shoe-throw at a time.

That Kingdom in the Arabian Peninsula: I'll turn superstitious here and not say a word in order not to jinx it, but the Milky Way would be grateful if the people there get rid of the most despicable ruling clan on the planet.

Sudan: Omar Al Bashir got a free pass from the unquestionable International Justice system  by selling the resource-rich southern part of the country. The only problem for Al Bashir is that he struck the deal in 2010. It's 2011 now, the rules of ruling have been slightly modified.

Iran: Ali Khamenei hides behind god and Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. An imaginary friend won't save him and neither will a speed bump; however, the fact that he's the only pure dictator in the region, as opposed to the dictators who happen to also be dictatees to foreign intelligence agencies, means that he has slightly more sticking power.  Not too much more though.

Wisconsin: Some are crediting the Wisconsin workers' movement to the Arab uprising. Others are mocking this notion.  While Wisconsin workers deserve full credit for their fight for their earned rights, it should be natural that Arab people are the inspiration for rights' fights. After all, they recognize the erosion of rights better than anyone after years of painful experiences fighting the same forces who now have their eyes set on Wisconsin's workers' benefits.