Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

In a stunningly stupid move, Nabih Berri has been brought back as the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament.

So much for change, so much for a new era in Lebanese politics.

What a waste of time and energy this has all been.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Hypocrisy, Betrayal and Why We Need New Blood!

Lebanese the world over had hoped that the elections that went on in Lebanon post-Syrian withdrawal would mark the beginning of a new political renaissance in the “Paris of the Middle East”. To say that those hopes were not realized would be the understatement of the century. In fact, these elections were not unlike any other election held in Lebanon in the last 30 years. The arrogance, posturing, rhetoric, backroom deals, and blatant disregard for the needs and wants of the electorate were all present as were both hypocrisy and betrayal.

The most stunning personification of hypocrisy came from General Michel Aoun. Aoun, who has spent the last 15 years damning the Syrians and their Lebanese lapdogs, returned to Lebanon a month ago and promptly allied himself with Pro-Syrian factions in order to secure relevance in the elections. It should be noted that Aoun was not the only one who allied himself with former enemies. Hezbollah and the Amal Movement (who have never been on the best of terms) allied in the south of Lebanon to insure a pro-Syrian victory.

The election process in Lebanon this time around (like every other election) has been nothing less than a farce with the same names and faces popping up (with the notable exception of Saad Hariri). The hope and goodwill projected towards the opposition since the death of the Martyr Rafik Hariri have long since evaporated in the face of the opposition sniping at each other instead of working together. Lebanon’s savvy electorate stayed away in droves with a miniscule 27% showing up to vote in the Beirut and area elections. Other areas did have a higher turnout (some as high as 40%), but that turn out has been marred by allegations of vote purchasing and intimidation.

With all of the infighting going on, people quickly became disillusioned with the entire process. They looked and saw the same people arguing about the same things. To look at it from an insider’s view, everything changed yet nothing had changed where it mattered. Sure, Syria is gone, but what does that matter when you still have all of the old guard in power? What does it matter if you have a group of people who are willing to do anything (and have done anything) to keep power and money all for themselves? None of the protesting, none of the unity, none of anything matters if we do not have real intrinsic change.

Truthfully, Lebanon did not need these elections. What Lebanon and the Lebanese need are some fresh new faces and names; people who are not from some political family that has had power since forever. Lebanon is long overdue for a political overhaul. All of the old political families need to be ousted (forcibly if necessary) and people who have the best interests of the country and it’s populace at heart need to be voted in. Unless this happens, Lebanon will remain as politically stagnant as it has been for the last 30 years for the next 30 years.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Jeb Bush's New Low

In a move that can only be described as a desperate attempt to placate his extreme right base, Governer Jeb Bush is now asking for an investigation into how and why Terri Schiavo collapsed. Apparently Jeb (like his brother George) does not read opinion polls like the one where at least 64% of Americans disapproved of the government meddling that went on in this poor woman's case. It is absolutely sick that this man is getting away with this. I cannot believe that people are not descending on his office like vultures to protest his further interference. Unbelievable. Where is the moral outrage? Where is the protest? Or are those things the exclusive property of the religious right?


Friday, June 10, 2005

No Surprises Here Kids....

For those of you who think international pressure on Syria is unwarranted, click on the link...



Sunday, June 05, 2005

Murder... Syrian Style

read this and then check out the BLOG: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/09/AR2005060901699_pf.html

Below is a chronology of some of the major political assassinations in Lebanon over the last three decades. All of these people at one time or another had dealings with the Syrians. As soon as they outlived their usefulness or disagreed with something the Syrian dictatorship did, they were murdered and others were blamed. Well, we know who the real murderers are. Hopefully Hafez Al Assad is burning in hell with his son soon to join him.

March 1977 - Druze leader Kamal Jumblatt is killed in an ambush in his Shouf mountain fiefdom in central Lebanon.

June 1978 - Tony Franjiya, son of former president Sulaiman Franjiya, is assassinated in raid by Christian militia rivals at his home in Ehden, north Lebanon.

September 1982 - Bashir Gimayil, elected president, is killed before taking office by a bomb allegedly planted by a pro-Syrian Christian.

June 1987 - Lebanon's veteran prime minister Rashid Karami is killed by a bomb in an army helicopter in Tripoli. Karami was serving his ninth term as prime minister in a 37-year career.

May 1989 - Grand Mufti Shaikh Hasan Khalid, religious head of Lebanon's Sunni community, is killed by a car bomb in Beirut. The blast killed 22 people and wounded 80.

November 1989 - President Rene Muawad is killed in a huge bomb explosion in Beirut. Muawad had only recently been elected.

October 1990 – Armed men kill Dany Chamoun, chairman of the National Liberal Party and former Christian militia leader.

January 2002 - Elie Hubaika, former minister and leader of a Christian militia is killed in Beirut.

Feb 2005 - Huge car bomb kills Lebanon's former prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri on Beirut's waterfront.

June 2005 - Car bomb blows up Samir Qassir: Husband, Father, Journalist, Patriot.

Sovereign Air Space

Last week yet another flight was turned away from U.S. airspace due to a false alarm. This jet instead landed in Canada. For a country that is supposed to be a sovereign nation, we certainly seem to be handling a lot of garbage from the U.S. just lately.

When asked why the flight was diverted to Canada, the annoying Scott McLellan hemmed and hawed and did not provide a real answer. An e-mail to my MP also did not get me any responses. It seems to me that for all that PM Paul Martin likes to talk about the sovereignity of Canada, there is really no bite behind that remark. This is not the first time, nor is it likely to be the last that we have had to deal with the U.S. and it's supremely flawed security systems.

So now I ask you the reader: Would a truly sovereign nation allow a jet bound for the U.S. to land in it's territory simply because there was a terror warning and U.S. airspace closed?

The answer is no.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Karla Holmolka's release

Is it just me or is there something inherently wrong with a system that allows a killer free after a totally botched plea bargain?

This woman is every parent's nightmare. A sexual predator in the guise of the girl next door.

Call your MP's people. Lock your doors, hide your children. Karla goes free on the 4th of July....