Victor's Blog about the Web, Security and Life

The web for me is a hobby where standards and best practices are daily bread. Security is a concern that everybody must be aware of its details for IT in general, and the web in particular, to be a safer place. My life, on the other hand, is that of a regular Lebanese citizen where politics and social issues are discussed on a daily basis. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and make sure to drop me a comment about any topic you find interesting.

Party Time

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victor | 13 December, 2006 06:56

Yes this is the best time to have parties. By parties, I mean dancing and singing within a real democratic life. Drinking and enjoying different and opposite political thoughts in an open manner. It is about time that Lebanese citizens learn to think BIG about Lebanon regardless of the SMALL local ideas that we grew up with.

For 31 years now, this is the FIRST time that Lebanon is not being split by religions although many external parties are trying to make it look as such. Call it "a pitty". Call it "we're tired". Call it "Yet Another Reason for Immigration". Call it any negative name you want to call it.

I always look at the positive side.The current situation in Lebanon is the best time for a democractic movement to start. Regardless of HOW things are occuring in Beirut, this is probably the ONLY time where democracy really has a chance. If we don't make good use of the current situation, we will be losing everything but the ability to allow external parties to interfere with internal Lebanese affairs.

If we make good use of the current situation and consider this as the corner stone for two main political parties in Lebanon - call it "The Right Wing" for March 14 and call it the LEFT wing for March 8 and Tayyar - if we consider this as the corner stone, then Lebanon will be winning for good no matter what happens from this point forward.

We must all think OPEN. We must all think of what the coming generations will inherit from us.
We must NOT think narrow. We must NOT think of what we are going through.

Many Arabic and International leaders are working to get a package deal for all parties to agree upon. The package deal that I see is:
  • The international court must be approved regardless of who will be blamed. I don't really think there is anything that can be proven. We all remember the 30 days that the crime scene was left open for the rain and the wind. I know that the international court will be used politically to put pressure on many parties including Syria and Iran. The question is who should stop this? Lebanon? I don't think so.
  • Sanyoura must resign and someone else is elected with one agenda on the item: Early Parliament Elections. (Karameh resigned under pressure. Sanyoura must understand that his resignation is necessary to get equilibrium back to the current situation and to eliminate the WINNER principle). A winner is someone who knows how to stay as such and to be able to control opposite opinions without forcing them to go down to the streets. With this in mind, Sanyoura's government lost. It was enough for me to watch their faces during yesterday's meeting to learn that they all know that they lost.
  • Hezbollah signs a planned weapen delivery contract that states when and how Hezbollah will give the weapons to the Lebanese army. I am completely with the idea that Hezbollah's war leaders should be part of the Lebanese Army's main headquarters team. The war strategies that were used against Israel's last invasion were astonishing and, for the first time in my life, I feel strong and safe. I tend to "force" myself to believe that this weapon will end one day and now is the best time for it to end by enforcing the Lebanese army.
  • A new parliament is elected with TWO main party wings that are obvious now in Lebanon: Right and Left.
  • The new parliament elects a new president.
  • A new government is formed.
  • The presidential era is assigned to FOUR years instead of SIX. Four years are enough to have an agenda and are short if the president ought to be changed like the current situation.
  • If, at any time, two of the three presidents believe that the third president must be re-elected or re-assigned, the third president must abide to their decision. This is a better approach than the current approach called up for by Hezbollah and Tayyar.

The whole deal is based on the fact that after March 14, some of the parties were humiliated by other parties. This left a sense of grief. Of course this humiliation was due to a previous humiliation caused to many leaders in March 14. With the above package deal, equilibrium is brought back, the pricinple of political parties is introduced (instead of religious parties) and a guaranteed equilibrium is provided by forcing a democratic change when two presidents are against the third one.

We went through the worse nightmares during our lives. This should be the last one to go through.
We must remember that "Birth starts with Pain!"

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Victor | 03/01/2007, 09:56

Thank you Geovany and Maurice for your replies. I will mainly reply to Geovany's comment since it is related to Maurice's reply. Maurice, I partly agree on some of what you've said but I disagree on others.

Why do we worry about Christians so much? Why do you think Christians are in danger? I am a Christian myself and I see many Christians living in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuweit, Bahrain while they are happy and enjoying their life to the maximum. This does not mean that I am WITH Lebanon becoming a Muslim country. On the contrary, I see Muslim countries becoming more and more open towards Christianity. There are churches in Muslim countries now and Christian rights are being respected more and more every day.

I am using this as the basis for YOUR reply only although this is not related to my topic up there. To you I say that if you are worried about Christians, my advice is that you become more open to others (Muslims in particular) and to ask them to be more open to you. This will ensure that you respect them and that they respect you. Accusing others by proximity is a danger by itself that you are living with and that you have created due to the fear that we all suffered during the war which is NOT civil. If I were you, I would try to understand others first before accusing them of being a danger to myself. If I find them a danger, then I would start accusing them of the danger that they present. I wouldn't accuse them of a danger that I "think" they might present.

Let us all remember that Lebanon is special in one thing: its diversity. The problem is that every sect is trying to eliminate this diversity. We claim diversity but we think of sects and religions. How can I claim that I support diversity if I am afraid of Muslims?

You must decide whether you want diversity or not Geovany. If you want it, get rid of the sectarian tone in your speech and think of Lebanon instead of Christians. If you want Christians to be winners always, then you are not seeking diversity and this is where the root problem is.

I, myself, tend to believe that Lebanon "can" be diverse although it hasn't been so yet. Since its early ages, Lebanon went through sectarian eras starting from Druz (with Fakhreddine and Mir Bachir), then to Sunnis (Othman Empire), then to Christians (Great Lebanon with Patriarch Houayek), then to Sunnis (with the Taef accord) and now might be going to the Shiite (with Iran becoming a main power in the region).

This is where the root cause of the problem is Geovany. It is simply rooted in the fact that we are very good at fooling ourselves. We claim diversity but we all think in a sectarian manner.

What is the solution in this case? Real democracy is the ONLY answer. Democracy cares for no sect or religion. You cannot be democratic and yet be sectarian at the same time. If you are democratic, all religions and sects "must" be disregarded. Democracy opens doors for new terms in politics such as "majority" and "minority". Majority here refers to the number of persons supporting a certain party. In previous years, when Lebanon was split according to religions and sects, Christians were really in danger if democracy was to be applied since Muslims counted much much more than they were. Now, the split is different. Both parties include all sects and religions and this is why I labeled this topic "Party Time". Let the majority rule and let the majority take full responsibility of whatever decisions they take. If the minority does not agree, the majority must move on until elections are performed again. The people will either believe in the majority and re-elect its leaders for a new period or they will simply create a new majority and a new minority by voting for someone else. The only problem these days is that the current regime did not reach power based on "democratic majority and minority". They reached power based on a package deal and this package deal is not supported anymore by Hezbollah (a major player in the previous elections that lead the current regime into power). You can disregard this fact and move on as if nothing changed and spend the remaining 2 years like the last month or you can be convinced of this change and move back into early elections to determine if you are still a majority of not. You must admit that there was a package deal between Hariri, Hezbollah, Jonblat and Lahoud. Otherwise, Lahoud would not have approved on Fouad Sanyoura as a prime minister.

The only thing we must all work to ensure is that this should never go back to a religious thinking. This is where the current movement is a great one. Read back what I wrote Geovany. I am VERY HAPPY that for the FIRST time in history Lebanon is NOT being split by religions or sects although everybody is trying to get it back to that point.

Why do you think is everyone trying to make this a religious split? Why do you think the International Community is insisting on the Sanyoura government? Why do you think Iran and Syria are insisting on supporting Hezbollah? Why do you think all the world is very interested in Lebanon's current situation? Did you ever ask yourselves these questions???

Let me refresh your memory a little bit. For 33 days, Lebanon was being bombed by Israel during the July war. Nobody from the international community dared to vote against Israel before the war was over. The war ended when Israel decided it should end. The war ended when Israel was put under pressure from its own citizens to stop the war. The war did NOT end when the International Community met to discuss it because the US veto forbid it from doing so. The war did NOT end when France, Iran, Syria or Saudi Arabia wanted it to end. It ended when Israel gave up. Period.

What does this mean to you? Does it mean that we, as Lebanese, should rely on the International Community for critical decisions? Does it mean that we should rely on Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, France or Israel for help? Of course not. We must learn that even though we pretended to be as one during the war, this pretending act is what made us walk out of this war alive altogether. What if this pretending act becomes a fact? Would it be for our good or for our worse?

This is the best time for all of us to learn that there is NO solution for a strong Lebanon except through a strong Lebanon. For 30 years, I lived in a Lebanon seeking strength from outside Lebanon. For the first time in history, I find someone who is part of the Lebanese Government strong enough to defend Lebanon to an accepted extent. We can argue for years whether Hezbollah is a Lebanese Party with Lebanese goals or is simply an Iranian-Syrian ally working to achieve Iran's and Syria's goals in Lebanon.

Up to this point in time, I am sure of this: Hezbollah was supported by the late Rafic Hariri during the 1990's, Hezbollah was supported by all the March 14 movement during the last parliament elections, Hezbollah is now supported by March 8 and the Tayyar. Everybody supported Hezbollah at some point in time. Everybody is actively still working to get Hezbollah's support back although it is being done as a package deal now.

I strongly believe that every party in Lebanon has always received, is currently receiving, and will always receive support from some party outside Lebanon. Involved parties at this point in time are Saudi Arabia, USA, France, Russia, Iran and Syria. These parties might change tomorrow to include Turkey or Israel. They might change some other day to include the EU.

I am sure of this:
- During the last war, Hezbollah proved to be capable of military confrontations with Israel.
- Hezbollah officially declared to be willing to give out its weapons to the Lebanese government as soon as Lebanon approves a convincing defense strategy.
- Hezbollah provided a suggested defense strategy during the latest discussions and this strategy was said to be put on hold by the "government" and is to be discussed in the future due to different priorities.

If you were to build a house Geovany, what would your priorities be? Would you start by luxury stuff (artistic lights, expensive carpets, tables and chairs) or would you start by building strong infrastructures?

I am convinced that the utmost priority at this point is for a strong Lebanon and this priority has its best chance at this moment in time since the Lebanese society is not split by religions and sects. For this, I am willing to negotiate with anybody even the devil (which we were very good at negotiating with during the past 30 years of war to achieve personal goals). If you think the devil is Hezbollah, then you must learn how to live with this "devil" because Hezbollah is a part of the Lebanese society that you cannot move forward without. Just try to give this "devil" a chance before giving out proximity decisions.

I am up to this challenge Geovany. Are you?

Party Time

Maurice | 24/12/2006, 12:26

First of all i want to welcome you back Vix to your own blog...sarlak zamen ma katabet chi !!!! I am always checking in to see new articles.It is good to see some new stuff around here.
Regrading the topic and Geovany's response my comments are the following:
we all tend as Lebanese to find solutions to the current situation, sometimes we gather up info from here and there and sometimes we tend to see beyond things and put different conspiracy theories.mainly everyone in Lebanon has his opinion, that's democracy after all!!!
But what is peculiar about us ( being Lebanese) is that every one of the sectors present in the Lebanese community is afraid of the other and each sector is trying to keep its authority in the government otherwise it will feel threatened!!
If we look back to the civil war we see that 15 years passed , thousands of deaths, and what has changed ?
Normally people go to war to change something!!! But in the Lebanese civil war nothing changed!!! so the crisis continues.
Christianity is in danger !!!
Lebanon is in danger!!!
machrou3 el ma7kameh is in danger !!!
In whatever direction you turn you find something is in danger.....Some find The president illegal , some the the end our survival is in danger ya jame3a in everything that is happening, and everyone is held responsible for it including the Lebanese people as a whole.
We have to know something, all of us ( min zghirna la kbirna): Can we run A country which is called Lebanon by ourselves ???????
that's the main question...
Till now and from the independence (that of 1945) we clearly weren't able of doing so....Either we succeed ( and 7aram after 100 years of Struggle) and either we Fail.

Re: Party Time

Geovany | 15/12/2006, 13:21

i'll start from the end
"birth starts with pain"??!!?!
don't u think we have suffered a lot and pain is unaffordable anymore?
anyways about your package deal:
1)the international court must be approved no matter what...
2)it does not matter if sanyoora resigned or not... the reasons behind all these movements from hezballa and tayyar are not as they claim(for hezballa at least).
it is true they want to participate in the government and own one third of it... but do u think thats only the reason??? well i guess not...
3)early parliament elections = CIVIL WAR my friend
it is true that the majority of the lebanese people want early elections but it is sufficient to state that one third of the country does not want these elections (by the way this one third is the ruling party), and this one third has the tendency to start a war (backed by regional arab countries and UN) against hezballa (mainly shiite).
4)last but not least:
Let's all keep on praying that christians maintain the president chair for christians have lost a lot and gave a lot... we cannot afford to give anymore.
God help us and send a real Christian leader ( definitely not the DOC or the GEN... please not)
Thank you for the chance you gave us on your website...
i hope u'll take the comments in a good manner

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