Sunday, January 08, 2006

From Heroism to Infamy



What can one say about Hizballah’s heroism that has not yet been said? How does one then explain their rapid-fire fall from grace? How does one explain that Lebanon’s heroes have become a thorn in our side and worse: traitors. How are we as Lebanese to reconcile the images that we are seeing of the 5 MP’s walking out of parliament and stopping the governing of the country with the images of the men who saved part of it?
Hizballah’s fall from grace started on February 14, 2005 with the murder of Rafiq Al Hariri. When Lebanese of all stripes took to the street, Hizballah stayed strangely silent. They did however break that silence once demonstrations started to demand an end to the Syrian presence in Lebanon. Not only did they break the silence, they called on all of their supporters to take to the streets in support of Syria. That’s right. In support of a country that has occupied us, arrested our men, stolen our resources and a good percentage of our GDP and generally abused us. One of the first things that was said at the rally was: "We are here to thank Syria which has stayed by our side for many years….”. What exactly are they thanking them for? Choosing our governing officials? Stealing from the country? Arbitrary arrests of anyone who said a word in opposition?
For those of us who have always believed in Hizballah, this comes as a mortal blow. These are our heroes. They liberated the 25-mile zone and now they are betraying us in the worst way. It is understandable that Hizballah is not a fan of UN resolution 1559 but this is not the right way to express their displeasure with aspects of it. Apologists for Hizballah point to their Iranian connection and Iran’s stand with Syria. Hizballah’s first allegiance should be to Lebanon not Syria. If they cannot do this then perhaps they need to rethink their geographical location.
For the five members of Parliament (duly elected to serve the citizenry of Lebanon) to walk out because of a motion to ask for international aid to investigate the series of bombings plaguing Lebanon and robbing us of our leaders is absolutely unacceptable. We all know Syria is behind the bombings, we just need to prove it and an international investigation is the only way we can hope to do that. There is no way an investigation could be carried out in Lebanon without attempted Syrian interference and/or intimidation. Hizballah is feeling the heat. Hassan Nasrallah has done interviews that appear to be defending Hizballah’s position on the issue of Syria. Hizballah need to make a decision. They need to decide if they are with us or against us. If they are against us, they need to leave. NOW.

28 Comments:

Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

Lebanon--crossroads of the Middle East/Europe and Africa for 10,000 years! By sea, by land.

Always contested, overrun over and over again.

This is why so many different people, different religions, different tribes, live there. This causes creative tensions and solving them requires flexibility and intelligence, two traits the Lebanese people have shown for generations.

It all fell apart, though, thanks to geopolitical stresses starting with the invasion and colonization of Israel by the latest "crusaders" to invade this volitile region. Obviously, they intend to eliminate or remove all traces of all other people and other religions within their own chosen colony which has triggered huge stresses across the entire planet and might cause WWIII.

The effects of this have been very severe on Lebanon, it being a next door neighbor and very mixed. I marvel anything works these days, what with the malicious forces that have been unleashed.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Flanstein said...

"What can one say about Hizballah’s heroism that has not yet been said?"

You call granny killers and child-murderers heros?

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are not w you or against you, they are Muslims and their loyalty to Lebanon is secondary to their loyalty to Islam.

1:12 AM  
Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

There is more than one sect of Muslim faith in Lebanon. As I said, it is a very complex place thanks to being the crossroads of the Middle East.

People who live far from the Middle East often have a very simple idea about the place. Even though we have a great deal of history about it, few people really bother to try to understand it.

I do a LOT with Medieval history and the many types of religions there were there back then. It is astonishing to see. Even the Frankish crusaders still have a genetic and cultural presence there today!

3:52 AM  
Blogger Amal said...

Actually Anonymous, their first loyalty is to themselves. Not God, not Allah, not Lebanon. Themselves. They are choosing to continue to be Syrian Lapdogs and that is just unacceptable. The Syrians are murdering us one by one.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Flanstein said...

I recognise that salute - all they need now are brown shirts and jack-boots...

3:44 PM  
Blogger Homo Insapiens said...

Perhaps it was a more naive time, perhaps I was a more naive person...but the memory of Beirut as 'the Paris of the Mediterranean' and the vibrant society that flourished there is still a good one.

Regards.

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Amal,

You simply can't rely on pop-culture saudi funded media for your information, and then claim objectivity in your analysis. Reality transcends the with-us-or-against-us good and evil dichotomy that these media outlets have created.

Short from the current leadership of the LCP and Dr. Hoss, no politician in lebanon carries much moral legitimacy. Do you think it's a wise idea to place the future of lebanon in the hands of someone like Saad Hariri or the massacre commiter/ethnic cleanser junblatt and his fellow criminal ja3ja3? If nothing else, Hizbullah is stopping them short from achieving full control over lebanon.

The reality is that lebanon has lived on the balance of power. Not on good will and brotherhood, but rather the balance of power. Such was the (colonial) formula that
created it. And now that the formula is disturbed (more power in the hands of hariri, inc.) we see problems surfacing. That's always been life in lebanon, a perennial truce with intermittant periods of war. Not peace and harmony, but a truce at best. Rooting for one side or the other at the moment is just playing into this sad game. Even a bloody civil war (not war of others) couldn't change this formula.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Amal said...

You know, I wish people would sign there names so I could respond to them properly. Anonymous #2 (for lack of a better name!), please do not assume I am getting all my information from mainstream media sources. You would be very very surprised at just how far my tentacles reach in Lebanon and how I get my information.

Also, my first and only loyalty in the case of Lebanon is Lebanon. Not Saad Hariri, not Samir Geagea, not Michel Aoun, not Hizbullah, not Syria, not Jumblatt. Not anyone. Only Lebanon. Please do not assume that because I feel that Hizbullah is betraying Lebanon that I am "siding" with someone else. I am not. I am on the side of Lebanon.

By the way, your contention that Hoss carries any sort of moral political authority is laughable at best. The sunni muslims (if we have to use that term) that I spoke to when I lived in Lebanon (and there are many) hated him and blamed him for many things. Not the least of which would be his crappy leadership while I lived there. Falling asleep during a parliamentary session and being caught on tape is never a good thing.

If you would like to continue a dialogue, please feel free to email me. Just click on the icon on the right side. I am always open to discussion.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Fafner said...

Amal,

sorry of not signing. I go by Rincewind, Mjolnir or Fafner on the web.

My problem is with absolutist language that is in no way a valid way of arguing. Gratuitous use of the words 'traitors', 'betrayal', 'apologists', 'absolutely unacceptable', and 'with us or against us' only weakens the argument presented, as it moves us from the realm of reason to the realm of demagogy.

These, however, are the current trends in the mainstream saudi-lebanese media outlets (save assafir and NTV perhaps): If you're not with us, then you're a syrian agent; If you didn't cry on the tomb of the great shahid, then you're not deserving of this country; If you don't tow our line, we won't issue you the 'certificate of citizenship', you know, the one that says you're a true lebanese (as opposed to the fake one). This thought-police terror campaign that is, sadly, practiced by lots of lebanese, whether on the internet, in newspapers, on the streets, on TVs, in family circles, etc... has to stop: At the very least it makes me never want to go back and live in a country where I always have a choice between the shadow and the twilight, for renouncing both is the highest crime: The crime of not having a back to fall unto.

I’m not proud to be Lebanese. How can I be? Lebanon is not a person, it’s a country. It’s not my father or my mother, nor did I choose to be born in it. What on earth do you mean by “ my only loyalty in the case of Lebanon is Lebanon ?”. Is there a definition for Lebanon that will cause a logical connotation to descend on such a phrase? If morality and common sense are attributed to the loyalty to something as fleeting as an ill-defined entity, then why would you ask more of Hizbullah? They can say something to the effect of “My only Loyalty in the case of Hizbullah is Hizbullah.” Also, why would the Palestinians in Lebanon care an ounce about the Lebanese? Remember that “Their only loyalty in the case of Palestine is Palestine.” See? Lebanon doesn’t come into these last two equations, just Hizbullah and Palestine don’t come into the former. It is precisely this mentality that drives someone like Ahmad Jibril, who sees that no price is too high for the Cause, even the blood of Lebanese and Palestinians. He does not care about Lebanon, for “His only loyalty is Palestine.” Is that OK?

When we try to ascribe traits such as virtue and morality to an entity for which such words were not meant, we’re playing in a mine field: Just as a country can be moral, it can be amoral; just as it can be virtuous, it can be a harlot. My allegiance is not to Lebanon: It’s to truth, justice, liberty, equality, freedom. These are the constants that will always be with us, whether countries come or go, whether borders open or close. Would you be on the side of Lebanon if it stands (as it often did) against these simple human ideas? We should always check what we’re supporting and be honest with ourselves: it’s easy enough to say we’re on the side of Lebanon, but which side exactly is that?

I lived my life in Beirut enjoying this liberating ideal. I’m Lebanese, but culturally I was an Egyptophile. Never did I think of that as something wrong. My relationship with Lebanon was to the extant that I signed a ‘Contrat Social” in my head and adhered to it. Suddenly this is not enough: Being Lebanese entails a lot more; you have to put your own principles on hold for a while for the good of the nation. You have to go down on march 14 and cheer for principles that are not yours, for people for whom human ideals are non-extant. If you don’t then the thought police will come down on you in the form of neighbours, friends, and even family. Suddenly you shred your social contract that you live by and replace it with two words: “Absolute Conformity!” This was not a choice for me… and I left for good.

Perhaps Lebanon lost a scientist, but at the very least the scientist didn’t lose the human in him.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Amal said...

Fafner,

Thanks so much for replying with your name and with such thoughtful and insightful dialogue. I would like to agree with you and on some things I do but I disagree that one cannot be on the side of Lebanon. Of course we can. Lebanon is where I was born and where I lived some of the best years of my life. My family immigrated to Canada when I was 3 but I went back many times. I love it. I love the country.

When I say I am on the side of Lebanon, I mean that I want Lebanon to be free and to be ruled well. Is that so wrong? Is that a bad thing? I didn't cry on the grave of the Shahid but I felt grief just as keenly. I wasn't at the March 14th demonstrations but what I saw the Syrians do in Lebanon with my own eyes has turned me against the Syrian regime forever. I can and will say that Hizbullah is betraying the very country and people they always tout themselves the protectors of.

Again, please feel free to email me back. This whole answering by comments thing is too confining.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Fafner said...

Amal, your blog doesn't carry an email link, that's why I didn't answer by email.

11:44 PM  
Blogger Amal said...

Try now. Sorry. I don't know what happened on the template.

11:50 PM  
Anonymous fafner said...

Didn't work. If you wish, you can send me an email at

comtealmaviva@yahoo.com

12:06 AM  
Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

Fafner, I do recall your ID on other forums. If so, welcome to Amal's blog.

When she writes, she writes about her feelings and this is because we wish to express emotions as well as analysis. Namely, personal feelings which are legitimate on blogs which are mostly personal takes on world or local events as well as one's life. This makes blog reading lively.

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[American_Ingnorance]

Flanstein: "You call granny killers and child-murderers heros?"

[/American_Ingnorance]

Amal:"They need to decide if they are with us or against us. If they are against us, they need to leave"

Seems so similar to Bush's facism! Maybe we can ask why don't the rest of lebanese join Hizbulah?

3:16 PM  
Blogger Amal said...

Anonymous #3,

Please don't respond to Flanstein on my blog. Go to his and respond. As I believe in free speech, I will not delete his comments but I don't want responses to his disgusting attitude on my blog.

Hizbullah are the ones who tout themselves as the "protectors" of Lebanon. Plenty of Lebanese have joined them. That doesn't mean we have to support them when they are betraying the very country and people they purport to protect.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

amal once again u just proved how greedy u lebs are. syria didnt do anything u felt weak and asked syria to protect u, u used them and now u want to throw them away like garbage. amal u suck.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

amal once again u just proved how greedy u lebs are. syria didnt do anything u felt weak and asked syria to protect u, u used them and now u want to throw them away like garbage. amal u suck.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Amal said...

Wow with the intelligent commentary.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous ali said...

"They need to decide if they are with us or against us. If they are against us, they need to leave. NOW."
"How does one explain that Lebanon’s heroes have become a thorn in our side and worse: traitors."

hello Amal, i understand your political point of view but we can't just simply ask one million lebanese to leave lebanon cause we feel they are with the enemies. If it is true that one million lebanese are traitors that means we have a major national problem or deceace or maybe it is just and simply that we are missing a piece of the story. I realy suggest that we all start listening to each other not to find a way to kick each other out or call each other traitors or even wish if our oposing political party can just disappear from the earth....but to see if there is a point of view in what they are saying. my question here is realy hizbullah not supporting 14 march cause they are traitors or they feel that some one is cooking some thing for them or maybe lebanon have a problem with a major group since its first independance that it is a state that the chi3a are second degree citizens cause i have heard that a lot....Amal i believe the problem is not only syria or the international court it is deaper than that...to find out what it is we should start listening clearly and not throught the media but through meeting each other where ever we are in the spirit of finding a way out listening in that spirit is a principle we should work on to rule our lifes....by the way i like your blog and it is my first time here.....

2:00 PM  
Blogger Amal said...

Hi Ali,

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I really appreciate your comments. By the way, I was not talking about one million Lebanese. I was speaking specifically about Hizbullah.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous ali said...

Good Day,
The problem is that hizbullah speaks for the one million lebenese and there is the real power he have and not his arms....

1:13 PM  
Blogger Amal said...

No Ali, they are not. They only think they are. Even their supporters are becoming disenchanted with their policies.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amal,

Like yourself we all love our countries, our people, that does not translate into hating the other based on whatever criterias, to me it seems you have many .

Growing up in Canada, a unique place to mingle with all religions, colours, nationalities, ideologies... should at least make us all more understanding to the -other- more tolerant..

Syrian I am, so they say, and understanding where you come from. HizbAllah is not the enemy, unlike any other political entity in Lebanon they played hard and scored by deeds .

Listening to Lebanese T.V. during the crisis, was unable to understand what do Lebanese want,
from politicians to the laymen .

Lebanese have no identity . Wa kulun yughani ala Leilahhhh...

HizbAllah plays on your weaknesses, on the Lebanese jumble mumble politics of the minute .
jhhg
I am a strong believer in the unity of all Arabs regardless of their belief system . Not attacking one another, but loving one another .It is the only way to get rid of the imperial powers that still occupy us up to this day, mentally, geogrphically, politically, economically .... you name it ... we need to unite first and rule then .

Salaam..

12:45 PM  
Anonymous guess who said...

Amal,

Like yourself we all love our countries, our people, that does not translate into hating the other based on whatever criterias, to me it seems you have many .

Growing up in Canada, a unique place to mingle with all religions, colours, nationalities, ideologies... should at least make us all more understanding to the -other- more tolerant..

Syrian I am, so they say, and understanding where you come from. HizbAllah is not the enemy, unlike any other political entity in Lebanon they played hard and scored by deeds .

Listening to Lebanese T.V. during the crisis, was unable to understand what do Lebanese want,
from politicians to the laymen .

Lebanese have no identity . Wa kulun yughani ala Leilahhhh...

HizbAllah plays on your weaknesses, on the Lebanese jumble mumble politics of the minute .

I am a strong believer in the unity of all Arabs regardless of their belief system . Not attacking one another, but loving one another .It is the only way to get rid of the imperial powers that still occupy us up to this day, mentally, geogrphically, politically, economically .... you name it ... we need to unite first and rule then .

Salaam..

3:18 PM  
Blogger Amal said...

Ok, Hi Guess Who. First off, welcome to my blog and thank you for leaving such an intelligent and well thought out comment.

Now, as for your comments, I will address them as best I can. Please feel free to use the link on the side to email me in response.

1.If you go back in my archives, you will find articles where the Lebanese opposition and the Lebanese government take serious hits from me. I do blame Syria for a lot but don't think that I think all Lebanese politicians are innocent. Emile Lahoud, Elias Murr, etc. They are Lebanese and they are garbage.

2.Hizbullah continously sets itself up as the "protectors" of Lebanon. Right now, they are not setting themselves up as that at all. If you read previous posts about Hizbullah, then you will know that I was in fact a great supporter of them. I truly believed in them.

3. Syria: I am not talking about the people. I am talking about their non-democratically elected government. What I say in fury and disdain has nothing to do with the people forced to live under a dictatorship that never ends.

4. What we want from our politicians? How about honesty, how about putting the country not themselves first? How about decent schools, electricity, medical care? Are those things so wrong? How about free elections where they don't send their hired lackeys out to intimidate people into voting for them. Is that wrong?

Thanks again for taking the time to comment on my blog.

11:26 PM  
Anonymous ali said...

hello...
All political parties in lebanon are not up to the standards of modern democracy,needed developement,freedom and human rights etc.( not the american made) even does that lead the movement of 14 march are not up to the demands and dreams of those that protested on that day....i dont want to be in a position of talking about Hizbullah but I dont see anyone of them here revealing their views....to keep our discussions objective ....i reveal what i know about their mentality....they can't work with those leading 14 of march cause they dont trust them since both Hizbullah and and those leading figures in 14 march were friends of the syrians and Hizbullah knows that does talking about the corruptions in lebanon during the syrian period where the main players in building that corrupted system and for that they cannot be trusted in no way be the one to do the reforms....i see this same attitude in the political opinions and the mentality in which al-tayyar al watani.....which is not realy supporting junbulat and the rest of the ruling majority like Hizbullah...soo i call you to realy read the political agenda of lebenese party it is not simply independance but deaply we have sects positions and private financial profits.....

11:34 AM  

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