Why Lebanon should stand against the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Lebanon official stance regarding the Saudi-Led coalition and intervention against Houthis in Yemen have been neither in favour of the coalition nor against it. Here’s why we should stand against it.

Saudi Arabia, backed militarily by a coalition of 8 countries and supported by the USA, began bombing Houthis positions the 25th of March. The latter militant group had ousted the Yemeni president Hadi, backed by international nations and the GCC. Hadi has been elected by consensus in 2012, with 99.8 of votes going for him. His “election” was an agreement for the succession from the former president, Saleh, ousted by the Yemeni popular uprising of 2011-2012.

The war is often simplified as a sectarian war and a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, there’s a little bit of truth in that but the issue is far more complex. Here’s an excellent article from the Washington Post on why it should not be considered as so : The limits of the ‘sectarian’ framing in Yemen. The ongoing conflicts between the Houthis and their opponents must be considered as political and social.

Lebanon official position have been cautious and unclear, yesterday, during the Arab League summit, Salam avoided taking a stance regarding the intervention, it may be seen as wise because of the already divided government regarding the issue.

But by principal, the Lebanese state should be against any intervention, without aligning itself with Iran nor Saudi Arabia. It should remain independent and free of political alliance in the region. The country is enough divided due to the Syrian complex civil war and Hezbollah intervention in following these alliances.

First, it is inconceivable and ironic that Saad al Hariri, that participated in the ousting of the Syrian army in 2005, supports today the Saudi intervention in Yemen. I know it’s about political alliances and allegiance but Hariri should stand against any kind of intervention, especially when the Syrian intervention during the Lebanese civil War didn’t accomplish a thing, transforming the country into a playground between Israel and Syria. After the end of the civil war, a lot of Lebanese suffered from the influence of the Syrian intelligence, the Mukhabarat and the occupation of the Syrian Arab army.
A country that wishes to stay sovereign and free of any political influence should want the same for any other country and should be antimilitarist and anti interventionist.
The fact that Saad el-Hariri and subsequently March 14 complains and condemns Hezbollah intervention in Syria and then applauds the Saudi intervention is hypocrite and should not be ignored.

Hezbollah strongly condemned the Saudi Arabian coalition and intervention, good, but it is also hypocrite due to their foreign intervention in Syria. It may have helped Lebanon security by ousting terrorists further from the boundaries, but let’s not ignore the fact that the intervention was essentially political and its main goal is to maintain Assad in power.

Lebanon in general should be against any kind of military invasion and intervention, has it forgot that it was occupied by the Israelis during 18 years? Does it want the same for other nations? Do some people really think that the complex situation of Yemen will improve by adding more bombs and chaos into the chaos? That absolute and constitutional monarchies and a military republic will improve the rights of Yemeni and install a “democracy”? I don’t believe so.

By being against every intervention, Lebanon may transform into a real neutral country and truly be called the “Switzerland of the Middle East.”

How will the Solar Eclipse affect Lebanon ?

Here’s an animation of the solar eclipse found on Wikipedia.

SE2015Mar20T

As you can see for yourself, Lebanon and part of the Middle East will be “at the end” of the Shadow created by the Solar Eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs when the Sun, the Moon and the Earth are aligned, creating a shadow on the earth. Lebanon  will witness a very partial solar eclipse. Here’s how the sun will be affected.

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 9.46.23 AM
From Timeanddate.com

As you can see, it won’t be spectacular. If you’re in UK or France, the eclipse will be much larger. On the Faroe Islands it will be seen as a total eclipse.

Remember, don’t watch the sun directly, it’s dangerous for your eyes, Solar Eclipse or Not!

Actor Chuck Norris serves as Netanyahu propaganda.

Chuck Norris, the very well known American actor and martial artist, has been pushing Israelis to vote for Netanyahu.

The Internet meme hero has posted videos, urging Israelis to not be fooled by Netanyahu adversaries propaganda..ironically.

The Israelis are today electing a new parliament and it’s uncertain whether Netanyahu and his coalition will win.

Hard Luck Chuck Norris, it seems that your hero, the man with the blood of hundreds of innocent children killed during the Gaza wars (or massacres) on its hands, won’t win.
Next time you watch a film with Norris, keep in mind that he’s supporting a killer.

Yesterday, Netanyahu stated that if he were again the Prime Minister, there won’t be a Palestinian state, undermining the already inexistant peace process and the so-called two state solution.

Two Sad Anniversaries : Halabja massacre and the Syrian Civil War.

Yesterday marked the 4th year since the start of the Syrian Civil War and today marks the anniversary of the Halabja Chemical massacre that happened in 1988.

From the 80’s to today, the Middle East changed a lot to say the least. Saddam was toppled in 2003 following the American Invasion, what resulted was a sectarian war and the growth of terrorism due to the power vacuum. IS, the acronym of the so-called “Islam State” was born indirectly because of the 2003 war. It also grew substantially because of the Syrian Civil War and the Chaos it created. That’s just the big picture.

The Halabja Chemical attack killed between 3200 and 5000 people, most of them civilians. It targeted the Kurdish people and punished them in the al Anfal campaign. Saddam wasn’t too happy with the Kurdish rebellion and the Iranian support. He answered with blood and gas.

Here’s what a witness remembered it :

It was a beautiful spring day. As the clock approached 11:00 in the morning, I felt a strange sensation; my heart convulsed as if it were telling me that we were on the verge of a major calamity. Within minutes, artillery rounds began to explode in Halabja and planes began dropping bombs on the town. The bombing was concentrated on the northern neighborhoods, so we ran and hid in our basement. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon, as the intensity of the bombing wound down, I carefully sneaked out of the basement to the kitchen and carried food to my family. When the bombing stopped, we began to hear noises that sounded like metal pieces falling on the ground. But I didn’t find an explanation.

I saw things that I won’t forget for as long as I live. It started with a loud strange noise that sounded like bombs exploding, and a man came running into our house, shouting, ‘Gas! Gas!’ We hurried into our car and closed its windows. I think the car was rolling over the bodies of innocent people. I saw people lying on the ground, vomiting a green-colored liquid, while others became hysterical and began laughing loudly before falling motionless onto the ground. Later, I smelled an aroma that reminded me of apples and I lost consciousness. When I awoke, there were hundreds of bodies scattered around me. After that I took shelter again in a nearby basement and the area was engulfed by an ugly smell. It was similar to rotting garbage, but then it changed to a sweet smell similar to that of apples. Then I smelled something that was like eggs.

When you hear people shouting the words ‘gas’ or ‘chemicals’ — and you hear those shouts spreading among the people — that is when terror begins to take hold, especially among the children and the women. Your loved ones, your friends, you see them walking and then falling like leaves to the ground. It is a situation that cannot be described — birds began falling from their nests; then other animals, then humans. It was total annihilation. Whoever was able to walk out of the town, left on foot. Whoever had a car, left by car. But whoever had too many children to carry on their shoulders, they stayed in the town and succumbed to the gas.

One cannot but parallel this chemical attack with the one in Syria that happened in Ghouta back in August 2013. Sarin use killed hundreds, yet the responsible is still not known.

The Syrian Civil War killed more than 220,000 people, the UN estimates. It has displaced more than 3.5 millions Syrians and may have destroyed a generation of Syrians, thus their future.

The Arab Spring brought hope to the Arabs civilians that were repressed by dictators. Tunisia, the first country that saw changes, is the only country that didn’t go into full chaos. Egypt replaced one dictator with another. (and of course he is supported by the Western democracies). Libya is divided by literally half and Syria divided the whole world.

I still have a candid hope for this region, a foolish hope, I cannot allow myself to have none. I know many have the same feeling. I have especially hope for the Palestinian struggle, despite the relentless massacres on Gaza, Israel has never been so lonely, and without any support, Israel will have to stop its racist apartheid.

UAE expel 70 Lebanese families and Hezbollah gets blamed.

UAE decided to expel 70 families, mostly shiites, l’Orient Le-Jour has reported. Gebran Bassil, Foreign minister of Lebanon, has confirmed the news yesterday night.

UAE gave them 24 hours to pack up and leave the Emirati states.

The decision is still unrevealed, but it is very probable that it’s political, and probably sectarian due to the fact that most of the families are Shiites.

This comes after the Bahraini authorities have watched and interrogated Lebanese shiites, after Hassan Nasrallah strong stance against the Bahrain kingdom in one of his latest speech.

L’Orient Le Jour implied that the intense and bad relations between Hezbollah and the Golf countries may be behind this initiative. Comments quickly appeared on the website and some have already blamed Hezbollah and Iran.

Pierre Hadjigeorgiou commented :

Ils s’attendaient a quoi les nouveaux impérialistes Perses? Ils se mêlent de ce qui ne les regardent pas, s’immiscent dans les affaires des autres, participent a et provoquent des guerres meurtrières et ils croient que les autres vont se taire? Laisser faire? Eh bien non, ils ne vont pas laisser les choses allez comme cela. Ils vont nous faire chier aussi. Résultat, des familles entières vont en payer le prix…

My Translation : Why did they expect those new Persians imperialists ? They mingled in others business, participated and provoke new wars, you think they’ll [UAE] will remain silent? They won’t let it happen. They will also piss us off. So entiere families will pay the price.

This comment, I speculate, represent many voices in Lebanon.

Here’s my answer : first, there’s been 0 report that tie directly these Lebanese families to Hezbollah, nor they were engaged in any operation there. If some are supportive of Hezbollah, that doesn’t make them anyway a political tool in the hands of UAE. Expelling families because they’re “pissed off” of a political group they don’t agree with is never justifiable unless it has been proven that all these families members (woman and children) are all directly linked to acts that Harm UAE.

When USA deported and “interned” 120.000 Japanese after the Pearl Harbor attack, who’s to blame ? The Japanese imperialists? Pear Harbor attack ? Or the racism of the USA authorities at that time ?

I myself witnessed Lebanese families that live in fear because of these deportations threats and their sects. They didn’t feel they’re victims of Hezbollah, but victims the often racist stance of the Arab kingdoms, especially Saudi Arabia, the latter religious authorities consider Shiites as apostates and has often persecuted them.

The only party to blame here is the “Modern” United Arab Emirates and their political punishment.

Lieberman, Israel Foreign Minister, repeats the calls for beheading Palestinians disloyal to Israel.

Lieberman, the foreign minister of Israel and a candidate opposed to Netanyahu for the  Knesset election, is using fear and channelling hate to gain more followers and votes.

Lieberman yesterday called for the gruesome execution of Palestinians that didn’t knee yet to Israel.

“Those with us, should receive everything” in terms of rights, he says, according to Israel’s Channel 2. “Those against us, it cannot be helped, we must lift up an axe and behead them – otherwise we will not survive here,” Lieberman said during an election rally in the western city of Herzliya.

Lieberman is known for his hateful comments, years ago in 2006, he made similar comments in the Knesset.

the Nuremberg trials,” Lieberman said. “The heads of the Nazi regime, along with their collaborators, were executed. I hope this will be the fate of the collaborators in [the Knesset].”

Israel, the ally of democracies like France and USA, allow these man to say such hateful comments. Imagine the outrage if an MP in France or Representative in USA called for the murder of others members in the same chamber. Lieberman walked in Paris for freedom of speech, weeks after that, he calls for the beheading of Palestinians. I’ll let you make the comparaison with the Islamic State.

Months ago, activists on the internet compared Israel with the “Islamic” state and called Israel JSIL, the Jewish State in Israel and the Levant, similarly to the other name of IS : ISIL.

I guess we should add “Calls for Beheading with Axe”

These words are influential and incite some Israelis for murders. If the heads of a state call for murder and impunity, what about the followers? Are they immune to justice and law?

Why We Should Not allow terrorists on Lebanon TV’s ; the Rima Karaki case.

The past week, Lebanese supported TV Host Rima Karaki for reacting strongly to the so called sheikh Hani Al-Seba’i, but why should we allow outspoken supporter of terrorism (and maybe terrorists themselves) to speak on live TV’s in the first place ?

Rima Karaki from al Jadeed was conducting an interview with Hani Al-Seba’i, an islamist based in London. She even wore a loose hijab over her heard to show respect to her interlocutor. The latter was explaining how the fact that Christians and other “Nasriyeh” joining terrorist groups weren’t you. Rima Karaki cut him decently and explained to him that they had no time to go into the historical details, Al-Seba’i overly reacted (how the hell could a woman cut Him?) but Karaki tried to calm down the situation, Al-Seba’i continued disperecting her, and even told her to shut up. Karaki demanded from her TV team to end immediatly the interview and the “Sheikh” was muted and out. Karaki wanted to have a respectful and decent debate but she claimed that she couldn’t do an interview like this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOlpK6Yj5a4

Rima Karaki reacted swifly and bravely to Hani Al-Seba’i. She showed to him that it’s not so easy to shut up a woman on TV within a complexed and macho Middle East, although I want to get into another side of the story.

Who is Hani Al-Seba’i ? An Egyptian strong supporter of Bin Ladin al Quaeda, who has been banned by the UN for supporting terrorism.

Resolution 1267 (1999) and subsequent resolutions have all been adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and require all UN Member States to inter alia: “freeze the assets of, prevent the entry into or transit through their territories by, and prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer of arms and military equipment to any individual or entity associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban as designated by the Committee”.

So Hani al Seba’i is in fact a terrorist.

He also claimed that non-muslims are all criminals and that France liked to drink blood to get close to Satan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nCPeyAbgUw

Here’s another lovely transcript from another interview back in 2011, this time on al Jazeera.

“Let me tell you: I love Sheikh Osama bin Laden as a Muslim. I am not glorifying or extolling anything. I am simply telling it as it is – Sheikh Osama is loved by millions of Muslims. Sheikh Osama is a hymn in the hearts of the downtrodden – from Jakarta to the Hindu Kush Mountains, to the villages and rural areas of Egypt… Ask those downtrodden and poor people, and they will tell you that they are grieving for Sheikh Osama bin Laden.

He adds without any restraint or shame.

“Sheikh Osama bin Laden fought occupation forces. He never killed civilians, and he never said he did. On the contrary, he extended his hand in peace to Europe and the West, and they were the ones who rejected it.”

He thinks that all non-muslims are targets (and murderers) so the victims of 9/11 were not civilians. Absurd.

Why should we allow this sort of man on live TV ? They already have the internet and probably a Mosque to spread their disgusting and stinking lies that actually harm more Arabs and Muslims than the Western civilisation. I confirm and don’t deny that they’re part of our societies. In Lebanon, we have similar “Sheikhs” that called for an insurrection against the military in Tripoli, what followed was a fierce battle between extremists galvanised by the Sheikhs Friday speeches and the Lebanese soldiers. Tripoli residents fled the battle in a massive exode. What if those Sheikhs were given the primetime on TV to call for a “rebellion” against the Lebanese soldiers ?

The media of Lebanon has a role in the spreading of their “ideology” and dogma. As the adage says, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, making  Live TV is a springboard for their words.
Of course, the interviews they participate to are not the sole explication of their existence and their supporters. The issue is political and social. Lack of jobs and education are one of the main reasons, but not necessary always the explanation, the western intervention in Iraq back in 2003 and the War in Syria also played a part in their fast expansion.

I strongly believe that our society and media is way better off without them, their ideas and their brainwashing lies. What do we lose if we stopped allowing them on Lebanese (and Middle East) TV’s ? Nothing, because there’s never been any real debate on TV, just shouting extremists that want to impose their “vision”. Maybe the TV’s like the sort of tension and electricity it creates. But Apart a good fiasco, there’s no real value added. They are a part of our society, but let us restraint this part by beginning to censor them on TV. Yes, censorship is what I am thinking of. I don’t need any euphemism.

In France, the apologists of terrorism, aka their supporters, are not allowed to speak on TV. The dimension it took after Charlie Hebdo attack got out of hand, and I strongly mocked them and condemned the French authorities as they were arresting a child over some words spoken in recreation courts. I’m not saying we should do as France, jailing people over drawings mocking Charlie Hebdo attack (see the irony here), but someone who openly support terrorism (or a terrorist) that already have faithful followers and armed extremists shouldn’t be allowed on TV. Sheikh al Assir should have never spoken on TV, we realised that after his peaceful protest transformed into a bloody battle against the Lebanese army, we shouldn’t have let him have this voice that he needed so much. But again, it’s not the fault of the media.

Al Jadeed is an example in Lebanon, it’s not openly supportive of any political party and I respect the fact that they want to allow the expression of all the Lebanese voices. But there must be limits. Al Manar (Hezbollah owned) and Mustaqbal (Future owned), should learn from it.

Finally, I wish a happy International Woman day to Rima Karaki and all the woman who said “stop” against any form of Machismo, including violent extremism. We need more woman like her in the Middle East and in the World.