Posts tagged ‘Lebanon’

October 30, 2019

Corrupt Officials in Lebanon Govt. Should Be Brought to Justice

by mkleit

This is an interview I’ve done with Tasnim News Agency on the causes of the demonstrations in Lebanon, the unity the protests has done over sectarian lines, and my personal opinion on practical solutions for the problem.

Link to article

 A Lebanese journalist and deputy editor of UNews Agency said expulsion of politicians engaged in corrupt practices and bringing them to justice could help ease protests in the Arab country.




Tasnim: Since October 17, the Lebanese in Beirut and other cities have been taking to the streets to express their strong discontent with the government’s failure to find solutions to the country’s economic crisis. What are the main reasons behind the ongoing anti-government demonstrations?

Kleit: The causes of the demonstrations go back to the 1950s when the political turmoil started in Lebanon between different political factions that caused the civil war, which in turn made the country a cake that sectarian militia commanders and political leaders cut into their own favor and to protect their interests, whether personal or sectarian-based. The system that was formed after the end of the civil war in 1990 was economically corrupt and based on a Capitalist economic system, which led to the sucking of the money out of the people without providing proper services in return, such as electrical current, water flow for houses, public transportation, fixing roads (only 5% of roads in Lebanon are fit for driving), and other related issues.

In addition to that, the banks, headed by the Central Bank, which has been governed by Riad Salame since 1993, that have benefited a lot from the political system to make huge profits, have increased the national debt of Lebanon to almost $103 billion, which in turn increased general life expenses, while wages remained low. (Beirut is one of the most expensive Arab cities). It’s also worthy to mention that the US has issued some sanctions on some Lebanese figures and banks that it claims support Hezbollah, which the US considers a “terrorist” group, while they have been formed in 1982 as a resistance faction against the Israeli occupation and became part of Lebanese politics in 1996.

The economic crisis that debuted in recent months has led the government to take austerity measures on the expense of the people’s money, not its own, while avoiding to fight the corruption of banks, major businessmen, and politicians (present and former). On the 17th of October, the government proposed a set of decrees to place in the 2020’s national budget, which included more taxes on fuel oil, communication (a tax on WhatsApp calls), and others… this has caused an outrage amongst the public who took to the streets to protest against the deteriorating economy, corrupt politicians, and Central Bank policies.




Tasnim: Can you please name some of the main achievements of the protests so far?

Kleit: One of the main achievements the protests have made was breaking the long-run sectarian and geographic segregation and psychological barriers that were the remnants of the civil war and stressed by political leaders to keep their crowds under control, by installing fear of “the others”. One good example that the Lebanese have witnessed in the first week of the protests is the solidarity signs from people in predominantly Sunni city in northern Lebanon, Tripoli, to their fellow citizens in the predominantly Shiite cities in southern Lebanon, Nabatieh and Tyre, and vice versa.


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Tasnim: How do think the unrest could be handled?

Kleit: In my personal opinion, some of the solutions could be:

  • The resignation of government officials that have caused disturbance in the country since the 90s with properly taking them to trial, as well as those proven to be convicted with corruption
  • The resignation of the Central Bank governor and taking him to court for damaging the economy while abiding by a foreign country’s sanctions (The US)
  • The substitution and accountability of major figures that are suspected in corruption, such as head of Middle East Airways Mohamad al Hout, Central Bank governor Riad Salame, and others…
  • Making bids from public contractors rather than the government appointing influential ones in secret
  • The placement of law of illegal income
  • The cancellation of all “minister of state” positions
  • Cancellation of unnecessary expenditure for politicians such as cutting wages to half and decreasing the number of delegations abroad
  • A dependence on the Lebanese currency, not the US dollar to strengthen the economy and the exchange rates
  • High taxes on illegally privatized public spaces, especially those placed on public beaches
  • Closure of railway administration since the sector disappeared in the 80s in Lebanon due to the war and never opened again
  • Changing the Civil Service Council and Internal Inspection Administrations to revive their monitoring role of public service



March 25, 2016

Stop Wahhabist School to Fight Terrorism

by mkleit

Young man sitting in front of Brussels’ stock exchange building


Terrorist attacks in Europe has caused a two-way incitement between Europeans and Muslims, which is a result that terrorist group ISIL is trying to reach as they’ve said after the Charlie Hebdo attacks on the 7th of January 2015: “compel the Crusaders (Europeans) to actively destroy the garrison themselves… Muslims in the West will quickly find themselves between one of two choices, they either apostatize… or they emigrate to the Islamic State and thereby escape persecution from the Crusader governments and citizens”.

The latest attacks on the Belgian capitol Brussels left 35 dead and 270 injured when suicide bombers hit Zaventem airport and Maalbeek metro station on Tuesday morning. Recent reports from Belgian media showed that people involved in the terrorist attacks are Muslims and of Arab background.

Mostly, Europeans would blame the millions of Muslims in Europe (and a lot of them have done so) for being the cause of religious incitement, and by far that’s sort of right, since there’s a minority of Muslims whose taking a big part of inciting against the “Crusaders”.


Wahhabism from Saudi Arabia hitting several nations

The Arab – Muslims whom are able to go to Europe and live there (aside of refugees and asylum seekers) can afford the living, where the biggest percentage comes from the GCC countries (Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Emirates). And the ideology that all of these countries share (except Oman and partially Kuwait) is Wahhabism or Salafism. This sect is considered to be the most fanatic, extremist, and inciting amongt all Muslim sects – consider them as the KKK or the Nazis of Islam. This ideology is also the root of many terrorist groups, such as Al-Qaeda (Iraq, Syria, Morocco, Egypt, Afghanistan..) ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and Levant/ Syria and Iraq), Boko Haram (Nigeria), al Nusra Front (Jabhat al Nusra/ Syria), Ahrar al Sham (Syria), Jaysh al Islam (Syria), al Shabab(Somalia), Taliban (Afghanistan, Pakistan) etc…

One might think that abolishing ISIL, the most prominent terrorist group would save the world from terrorism, but no! Such an action wouldn’t do anything, because religious fanaticism is not bound by a group, it’s an idea, and ideas don’t die by bombs and bullets; ideas should be fought by ideas.

In their book, Global Terrorism and New Media, Philip Seib and Dana M. Janbek argue that terrorist groups are teaching younger generations (between 10 and 12 years old) their ideology through boot camps and schools that are in their area of control. This strategy elongates the group’s survival for a longer time. They would teach students how to be hate-filled fighters, as well as how much other sects and religious groups are “sinners and blasphemers”, most evidently the crusaders (Euro-Christians) and the Rawafids (Shiites Muslims, the second biggest sect in Islam). And among this, they would teach them that it’s okay to call them blasphemers and punish them for being from a different sect, where punishment varies from flogging to beheading and public execution.


These schools of thought are not solely found in areas of terrorist groups, but also in countries like Saudi Arabia. And they’re also expanding to European countries – under Saudi funding – such as France, Belgium, Germany, and Britain; since the mentioned countries have close relations with the Gulf state, as well as big Muslim communities.

When Europeans blame Muslims for this problem, they are partially correct, but they’re mistaken when they blame the refugees for causing the damage. Although some of the latter have took part in the battles in Syria, as many pictures show ex-fighters from extremist factions seeking refuge with the influx to Europe. But the problem is inside Europe itself, where it comes from these school and extremists Salafi-Wahhabi communities that are spreading fanaticism. Thus, they serve as a “shelter” and “sanctuary” for extremists coming from the MENA region and Asia, whether these countries are suffering from turmoil like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, or countries that serve as a holder for this thought like Saudi Arabia.


The only way to protect the EU, is to do what Tunisia has been recently doing by their campaign “tomorrow is better”, where they are re-educating inmates imprisoned for terrorist act by extracting the extremist thought from their heads and planting patriotic and moderate-religious ideology. As for the schools, the government is keeping an eagle’s eye on academic curricula, so that they would not contain topics of incitement and fanaticism.

If such procedures are made, alongside other educational and security ones, not only in  Europe but also in the countries that are being vastly effected by extremist thoughts like Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, Iraq and others, we would gradually defeat extremist thoughts and potential terrorism, because it’s not fair nor right to blame millions of people for the acts of a few.

September 1, 2015

Otpor: The support of global revolutions, even in Lebanon

by mkleit

The Revolution Business, 2011 – Consultants are helping people countries like Ukraine and Egypt build a foundation of knowledge in order to start revolutions.

Democratic change has been demanded across the Middle East. But was what seems like a spontaneous revolution actually a strategically planned event, fabricated by ‘revolution consultants’ long in advance?

Revolution consultants are the worst nightmare of every regime. Srdja Popovic was a founder of the organisation ‘Otpor’, a revolution training school. It was instrumental in the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic in the 1990s and has now inspired a new generation of activists. Political commentators like William Engdahl are convinced Otpor is being financed by the USA. “The people from Otpor gave us a book in which they described all their strategies”, says Ezzedine Zaatour of the Tunisian uprising. That book was written by an American, Gene Sharp, and is now considered the “revolution guide book”, being used by opposition movements worldwide. As Optor release their latest gadget, a resistance training computer game sponsored by American organisations, world leaders are voicing their concerns. “This is called a gentle coup!”, insists Hugo Chavez.

March 6, 2015

In Lebanon, sterile shopping malls show the growing gulf between rich and poor

by mkleit

The Guardian

[Beirut Souks. Image by n.karim via Wikimedia Commons.]

The destruction of cities in Syria and the terrorising of populations in Iraq are rightly the focus of the world’s attention. In this context it might seem churlish to draw attention to the problems of another city in the Middle East, not currently in the midst of conflict. But the “soft” destruction of Beirut is something that many of its citizens – who have seen their fair share of war – are watching with horror. In short, the greed of Lebanon’s politicians and real estate developers is slowly but surely decomposing the city’s social fabric. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is now wider than ever.

To understand the nature of real estate development in Beirut, one needs simply visit the new city centre, which was rebuilt after the civil war (1975-90) by a company called Solidere. The new centre boasts expensively restored French-era buildings which, apart from some shops and offices, remain eerily empty. “A movie set”, to quote a Canadian film professor. As for the newly refurbished Beirut souks, they were once a place where merchants haggled and the scent of rare spices filled the air. Today, all you can smell in this open-air shopping mall are cleaning detergents, and what you hear is ambient music. Hardly a word of Arabic can be seen – even emergency signs are in English. “This could well be Heathrow airport,” noted one British visitor.

The most unsettling thing about the city centre, though, is its “exclusive” aspect. Although its shops are not necessarily aimed at wealthy visitors (as is often claimed), it is a good Lebanese example of what some have called “hostile architecture”.

Run like a private property, its streets are lined with surveillance cameras and security guards, some with watchdogs. Try to photograph the synagogue or stop in awe in front of an old church and prepare to be swarmed by paranoid guards.

This “hostile architecture” has set a trend across the country, especially among politicians and the ruling class. While some old aristocratic families, such as the Sursock-Cochranes, have maintained a certain tradition of hospitality and kept their gardens open to the general public, members of the current elite have turned their Beirut residences into veritable fortresses inside the city, squatting public space. Stories abound about unwitting passers-by being harassed by the private security guards who surround these residences.

While men in power take hold of entire districts, other parts of the city are being gentrified. These include the district of Mar Mikhael, with its charming traditional houses. A century ago, survivors of the Armenian genocide and their children took refuge here and made their livelihoods from craftsmanship. For four years, trendy bars and art galleries have been sprouting up next to garages and repair shops, attracting a more affluent, differently educated population. Real estate predators soon followed, destroying some of the traditional houses in favour of oversized luxury towers. Out of fear of being completely driven away, to the outskirts of the city, the more modestly earning Armenians crossed out the name of the main street in Mar Mikhael and re-named it “Armenia Street”.

The great canyon separating the social classes in Lebanon can be seen in no more spectacular manner than in Mar Mikhael. On my visit to a trendy art bookstore there, I found a glossy publication in which was gathered articles and work by the glitterati of the Beirut “conceptual art” scene. One feature displayed objects gleaned in a poor Beirut suburb, such as a matchbox and other everyday utensils, as if they were exotic finds in a faraway land of savages. This could well have been the catalogue of a colonial exhibition in 19th-century Europe.

While trendy districts and luxury projects are beneficial to the economy, could they not be designed to be more inclusive? As the rich and powerful Lebanese barricade themselves in squatted land and gated communities, the poorer population is being confined to the margins and inside refugee camps. As for the public space in between, it is either slowly disappearing or turned into shopping malls and parking lots. A paradox to be pondered, in a time when new technologies are meant to bring people together.

Photograph: Mattia Sobieski/Alamy

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May 19, 2014

لو فلسطين مش محتلة

by mkleit

هم يحلمون أيضا، ليسوا كما يُتهمون في زوايا المقاهي الثملة ولا يشبهون ما يسبغ عليهم تحت دخان النرجيلة أو السيجارة في جلسات التحليل الاجتماعي-الأمني. «هم» كما نحن، يحلمون بالخروج من المخيمات التي أصبحت كالبؤر الأمنية، ويريدون العودة الى وطنهم، الى فلسطين. ولذلك، بعضٌ من «نحن» ذهبوا الى مخيميّ برج البراجنة ومار الياس في بيروت لنوّثيق حلم العودة الفلسطيني.

انبثقت الفكرة من النسخة الفلسطينية التي أنشئت في الداخل المحتل، وخاطت مشاعر الفلسطينيين للعودة عبر نسج خيوط من الأحلام بعضها ببعض، لتكوين صورة فلسطين الجميلة. فكما قال ذاك الرجل في الفيديو «هيية ومحتلة حلوة، كيف لكن اذا ما كانت محتلة؟». وبهذه الجملة وغيرها من عبارات، بادرت زميلتي كريستينا عبّود لتوثيق أحلام فلسطينيي مخيمات لبنان لأنهم «يستطيعون الحلم أيضاً».هكذا، ذهبنا سوياً، الى مخيميّ مار الياس وبرج البراجنة في بيروت لإجراء المقابلات مع فلسطينيّي المخيميّن عبر طرح سؤال واحد «لو فلسطين مش محتلة، شو كنت عملت؟». كان الجواب البديهي دوماً «أعود الى بلدتي وأقبّل ترابها»، والأمر سيان من كبيرهم الى صغيرهم.

وقد أرشدنا في المخيميّن شخص في كل مخيم على حدة، وذلك لقلة معرفتنا «بزواريب» المخيمات الضيقة وبأهالي المخيميّن. فكان علي أيوب، لبرج البراجنة، و»الحنون»، من مار الياس، في قمة اللطف والمساعدة، فلولاهما، لكنا نحاول إيجاد طريقنا خارج المخيمين الى الآن بسبب كثرة شوارعها الصغيرة فـ»زاروب واحد بيفوتك بألف زاروب». وانكسرت أمامنا صورة «غوغاء المخيم» التي يوسم بها المكان دوما، بعد تعرّفنا على بعض الأهالي، حيث أصر بعضهم على استضافتنا في منازلهم لارتشاف القهوة خلف عدسة التصوير.

أما أمام الكاميرا، فلم يتوان الفلسطينيون عن إدانة الحكومات العربية بتواطئها ضد القضية، وإظهار استيائهم من البقاء في لبنان تحت وطأة قوانين العمل الظالمة بحقهم والعنصرية الموّجهة صوبهم دوما في كل صغيرة وكبيرة، بحسب ما ذكر أحد اللاجئين الذي رفض عرض كلمته أمام عدستنا. وقال أحدهم وعيناه تكابران لئلا تغلبها الدموع «عم ندفع ثمن الإنتماء لهذا الوطن… وإذا رجعنا بديش إشتغل إشي، بدي أموت جوع بس بدي إرجع لأرضي». ولعلها كلمات رددها لبنانيو الجنوب إبان الإحتلال الصهيوني من 1982 الى 2000، وأيضاً من يعيشون في الغربة، يكدّون في العمل لتحصيل قوتهم وإرسال بعض منه الى ذويهم في لبنان. فلو تخيّلنا للحظة أننا مكانهم، هل نتحمل البعد عن الوطن أو حتى عدم القدرة للرجوع في الزمن القريب؟ هل نلوم الغضب الفلسطيني من العالم أجمع لأنه غدر به ووضعه في موقف لا يحسد عليه؟ وهل حسن ضيافة اللبناني وكرمه لا يناله الا الاغنياء أم ان المحتاج والمسكين أحق به؟

October 28, 2013

المخطوفين في أعزاز كانوا في عهدة المخابرات التركية

by mkleit

موضوع كتبته في اليوم الذي خرج منه المخطوفين اللبنانيين في أعزاز من أسر لواء عاصفة الشمال، حيث تبين ما كتبته صحيحا أول من أمس على لسان وزير العمل، سليم جريصاتي، بأن اللواء المذكور هو فرع مخابراتي تركي:


انتهت قضية المخطوفين اللبنانيين منذ بضعة ايام بعودة اللبنانيين التسعة والطياريّن التركيين الى ديارهم سالمين. وقد تمت بدفع ملايين الدولارات من قطر الى ما يسمى بلواء عاصفة الشمال وتحرير الطيارين المخطوفين، بالاضافة الى تحرير معتقلات سوريات في سجون الحكومة السورية، بينما الطرف الآخر ما عليه سوى اطلاق سراح اللبنانيين المحتجزين في أعزاز، الملاصقة للحدود التركية السورية. ولكن العملية لم تتم على أكمل وجه حيث ما زالت السوريات داخل السجن، رغم تخبط الأخبار حول وصولهم الى مطار أضنة في جنوب تركيا.

وفي الأطراف الثلاثة، اللبنانية-التركية-المعارضة السورية، لم يكن الخاسر سوى الأخيرة. فلبنان استعاد مخطوفيه وبرء ذمته مع الأتراك، أما تركيا فقد استرجعت طياريها وقبضت مبلغ 150 مليون دولار في العملية من الوسيط القطري. ولكن المعارضة السورية، أو من مثلها، أي لواء عاصفة الشمال، لم تكترث بتا ان حررن المعتقلات أم لا. بيد أنه لم يكن هذا المطلب الوحيد خلال السنة والخمسة أشهر التي خطف فيها اللبنانيون، بل بدأت المطالب بعدول حزب الله عن رأيه السياسي المعادي للثورة السورية، ومن بعدها الطلب من أمين عام حزب الله، السيد حسن نصر الله، الاعتذار من الشعب السوري لدعمه السياسي للرئيس بشار الأسد.

وقد تلاها جولات من الأعذار والمطالب التي لا ترتبط ببعضها البعض كانتماء المخطوفين الى حزب الله وأنهم عملاء لهم، بل جواسيس يعملون داخل الأراضي السورية. ولكن حرر المخطوفين ولم يثبت تعاملهم مع حزب الله ولا انتمائهم اليه، بل كانوا زوار عتبات اسلامية مقدسة في ايران ومروا برًا في الشمال السوري. ولم يعتذر السيد نصر الله ولم يغيّر الحزب رأيه المؤيد للنظام السوري.

ولكن السؤال الأبرز يتمحور حول أصل لواء عاصفة الشمال ولماذا اختفى بعد تحرير المخطوفين؟

قال سائق الباص من مخطوفي أعزاز أن المخابرات التركية هي من أوقفتهم وعصبوا أعينهم الى أن وصلوا الى أيدي اللواء المذكور، وقد وصلوا مطار اسطنبول أيضا بالطريقة ذاتها. وبذلك، كان أول ظهور رسمي للواء عاصفة الشمال في مدينة أعزاز شمال حلب. وانتهى بشكل غير رسمي بعد انتهاء الصفقة التركية-اللبنانية، دون اتمام شرط تحرير المعتقلات السوريات.

وتصف أوساط ناشطو المعارضة السورية من ما يسمى بجيش الاسلام والجيش السوري الحر وغيرها من الفصائل المسلحة لواء عاصفة الشمال بأنهم سارقون وينهبون “غنائم المعارك” غيرها. أما رموز القاعدة في سوريا، مما يسمى بدولة الاسلام في العراق والشام وجبهة النصرة وغيرهم، تسميهم بقطاع الطرق والمرتدين عن الثورة. فلماذا لم يعد هناك غير تركيا تتعاون مع هذا الفصيل السوري؟ لربما يكون السبب هو الوصول الى أهداف اقليمية تركية للضغط على حلفاء الأسد، وأبرزهم حزب الله، وبغطاء فصيل معارض سوري.

وعلى لسان مصادر وزارية لجريدة “السفير” اللبنانية، أنه لم تكن تريد الدولة اللبنانية أن يكون الخطف يقابله خطف مضاد من أجل تحرير اللبنانيين التسعة. ولكن عملية خطف الطيارين التركيين كانت عنصرا هامًا في معادلة الصفقة، حيث احرجت تركيا ولم تجد مخرجا من المأزق سوى الرضوخ لما طالب به أهالي المخطوفين اللبنانيين. فقام الشريك المالي لتركيا، امارة قطر، بتغطية نفقات الصفقة، بينما تركيا تولّت اللوجستيات. ولم يكن للمعارضة السورية أي كلام في الموضوع سوى وهم “تحرير المعتقلات السوريات في سجون النظام السوري”.

ولم يظهر لواء عاصفة الشمال في اي مكان بعد واقعي في حلب، بيد أنه احتل مركز مهم في الأخبار الالكترونية لنشطاء الثورة، حيث التهم اللواء انتقادات مؤيدي ما يسمى بالجيش السوري الحر والفصائل المسلحة الأخرى.

October 9, 2013

كوب شاي مع الحاج أفيخاي

by mkleit

وجد جيش العدوّ الإسرائيلي التعويذة الذهبيّة للسخرية من «حزب الله»، في فيديو كرتوني قصير، باللغة العربيّة.

قبل يومين، نشر المتحدّث الرسمي باسم جيش الاحتلال أفيخاي أدرعي، الشريط عبر صفحته على فايسبوك. عنوان الفيديو «حزب الله ـ حقائق يجب أن تُقال وتُسمع عربياً ودولياً»، ويهدف إلى كشف المستور، عن «منظّمة حزب الله الإرهابيّة»، كما يقول التعريف القصير عنه.

يطلّ علينا مستوطن إسرائيلي هانئ يقرأ في كتاب، ويسخّن الماء في إبريق الشاي. يبدأ الفيديو بسؤال: «حزب الله» منظّمة مقاومة فخورة تعمل على مدار الساعة من أجل تحرير المواطنين اللبنانيين من السيطرة الإسرائيلية؟» الإجابة بحسب الراوي: «من غير الممكن أن يكون «حزب الله» يعمل لتخليص اللبنانيين من إسرائيل، لأن لا جيش إسرائيلياً في لبنان». ومع غياب هذه الفرضيّة، يبدأ الراوي بعرض فرضيّات أخرى، عن سبب وجود «حزب الله». فهل هو موجود لتحرير المواطنين «من سيطرة الحكومة اللبنانية؟». هنا أيضاً، يقدّم إجابة بالنفي، فـ«حزب الله» جزء من الحكومة اللبنانيّة. يطرح الراوي فرضيّة ثالثة. فهل يهدف «حزب الله» إلى تحرير اللبنانيين من جنود الأمم المتحدة؟ وفي وقت نرى أولئك الجنود يشتعلون في نيران متفجّرة، يبدأ الراوي بتعداد اهتمامات «مقاتلي «حزب الله» الشجعان»، كما يصفهم. وتلك الاهتمامات هي بحسب الراوي، جعل «منازل اللبنانيين مخازن أسلحة».

هنا، يرينا الفيديو خريطةً للجنوب اللبناني، أشبه بلعبة مونوبولي، مزروعة ببيوت كرتونيّة، مليئة بالأسلحة، على الحدود مع فلسطين المحتلّة. هنا، يوقف الراوي قصّته، على وقع صوت ماءٍ يغلي… صوت صفير ابريق الشاي يتصاعد، في إشارة إلى كيل الراوي الذي طفح من السلاح المخبأ في البيوت. عرفنا ما يزعج إسرائيل إذاً. السلاح المنتشر على «حدودها الشماليّة»، الذي يسبب لها الرعب والحيرة.

يصوّر الفيديو الأمين العام «لحزب الله» السيد حسن نصرالله، كشخصيّة شبيهة بشرشبيل في فيلم «السنافر». وفي وقت يبدي حرصه على أمن المواطنين اللبنانيين من «منظّمة حزب الله»، يشرح لنا أنّ «الحزب يوجّه نشاطه الإرهابي ضّد إسرائيل، لرغبته في إخضاع المنطقة للهيمنة الإيرانيّة».

حصد الشريط شعبيّة على صفحة أفيخاي أدرعي على فايسبوك، لتختلط الآراء ما بين مؤيد ومعارض لمضمونه. بعض التعليقات المكتوبة بالعربيّة، أثنت على بادرة «جيش الدفاع»، متهمة المقاومة وإيران بـ«الإجرام والقتل أكثر من الصهاينة»، ودعا أحدهم أدرعي بـ«الحاج» و«السيد». واللافت أنّ بعض اللبنانيين أبدوا إعجابهم بالعمل «الفني الساخر» والتصميم المحترف لإيصال الفكرة بطريقة سلسة. معظم التعليقات المعارضة للعمل جاءت من مصر، والتي تنوّعت بين شتم الصهاينة وأفيخاي أدرعي، والردّ على من يتهمون حزب الله بالإرهاب.

على «يوتيوب» لم يحصد الفيديو أيّ اهتمام، إذ إنّ عدد مشاهداته لم يزد عن 700 حتى مساء أمس. جاءت التعليقات خجولة، لكنّ أحد المعلّقين ذكّر، بأنّ بيوت الإسرائيليين مليئة بالسلاح أيضاً، وهو سلاح يُستخدم بشكل يوميّ، لقتل الفلسطينيين.


August 31, 2013

Mne2bal aw Ma Mne2bal?

by mkleit

Probably censorship in Lebanon would be one of the most controversial issues lately… Some art works are actually harmful and would be placed under the umbrella of treason and disruption of national security… but others that are simply artistic and reflect the status quo of the Lebanese society are being banned, stopped, and pulled out of the market… Dear Asma el Achhab had something to say about this:


If we go a bit back to 1998, not that it’s a hard task, but back to the year West Beyrouth was screened, and where its Lebanese director, Ziad Doueiri, made a fragmented representation of a divided city that spoke about itself through the eyes of three adolescents examining a city they’ve strolled and were forced to leave. Things went quite smoothly back then, the movie did not threaten national security, probably reinforced national unity, and was hence given a “permit”.


In 2013, things proved quite different to Doueiri. In his latest film, The Attack, he chose to direct a film that does not emphasize Lebanese sectarianism, political discourse or war, yet still it involved all those three in another country, Palestine. Now, I understand that the strife in Palestine is still present, and that the movie proved to be quite controversial, but we ended up not seeing…

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August 26, 2013

American Attack on Syria Announced by Israel

by mkleit
Super-Dvora 3“On the Way to the Attack”
Yediot Ahronot, August 26, 2013

The banner above was the main headline of Yediot Ahronot—the largest paid Hebrew newspaper—on August 26, 2013. The text reads “On the Way to the Attack” and shows images of USA’s President Obama and Syria’s President Assad.

The article it illustrated wasn’t about the ongoing violence in Syria, but one describing the details of an American-British attack on Syria.

Wagging the Dog*

On April 28, 2013, there was a 4-hour long meeting of the Israeli Cabinet,** which according to official sources was the first one of the new Netanyahu’s government to deal with the War in Syria. The decisions taken were not published; however, a significant part of the IDF Intelligence Directorate (AMAN) assessment was published, in an attempt to manipulate public opinion.

Winds of WarWinds of War
Fahrenheit 451

On April 29, much of Aman’s proposed plan for an American War on Syria were published by Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper closely related to the Shin Beth. The newspaper cited Brigadier General Ytai Brun, Head of Aman-Research, the most strategic part of this organization.

Understandably, he couldn’t speak for the actions of an army belonging to a different country. Yet, even the details published are significant since they are directly related to the survival of 75,000 Americans and millions of people in the Middle East.

The main problem faced by Israel, is that the red-line endlessly cited by Western media, namely the use of chemical weapons, would not be crossed by the Syrian government. Thus, Aman has redefined the issue as “two entwined red-lines.” It claims that beyond the use of chemical weapons, there is a second line, the Syrian “lose of control of its chemical weapons depots and production sites.” AMAN proposed a massive American ground attack on Syria.

On April 28, Former Mossad Director Meir Dagan (he recently survived a liver transplant in Belarus, no other country agreed to treat him) said during the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York that Bashar al-Assad didn’t sanction the use of chemical weapons. Dagan may have committed many war crimes along the years, but he is not a fool. He understands that the claim that Assad used chemical weapons “doesn’t hold water” (Hebrew idiom for a false argument, like a bag full of holes). Yet, the IDF wants an American Holy-Democracy Attack on Syria.

One decade after the Mother of All Battles, Israel is again attempting to wag the dog.*

The Grandmother of All Battles

Obama Options on Syria 

Obama Options on Syria according to Israel
Damascus is the large city inland, Beirut the largest one by the sea


Unaware of its inconsistency, Yediot Ahronot claimed on the same article that Bashar al-Assad is winning (this is true, see Syrian-Kurds Exodus = Assad’s Victory?) and a few lines later that he “had used chemical weapons out of despair.” Any trick is kosher in the attempt to wag the dog into the Grandmother of All Battles.

After thinking that its propaganda had convinced the readers, the newspaper continued by portraying President Obama’s options. It used the graphic reproduced above. Let’s review what Israel recommends Obama:

1. Air strike on the units that attacked with chemical weapons. Disadvantage: Time is needed to collect intelligence.

2. Air strike on Syrian air force and ballistic missiles units. Disadvantage: Sinking in the Syrian mud.

3. Enforcement of a non-fly area in Syria. Disadvantage: It will not neutralize Syrian artillery (many times stronger than the Israeli).

4. Taking control of chemical weapons depots. Disadvantage: It demands a ground attack and the Americans oppose.

Then the Israeli article, which looks written by the military intelligence, goes on describing the desired attack. Also in this case, it published a very graphical depiction of the event. Here it is:

American-British Attack Desired by Israel 

American-British Attack Desired by Israel


It marks the main chemical warehouses in Syria, and the American-British forces Israel wants to use in order to destroy them. Cyprus (the British Colonial Empire still owns two air-force bases on the island) and Jordan would provide the military bases needed for air-strikes to be conducted by American F-16 and British Tornado fighters. Tomahawk missiles would be launched by American and British war ships while British Trafalgar class nuclear submarines will fill an undisclosed task.

Most veterans will recognize this as a schematic Order of Battle.

Bashar al-Assad Reacts

These are strange times. An Order of Battle is made public by one side of the conflict before the battle while the other side reacts publicly on the same day. How would Sun Tzu have reacted on this ridicule?

Russian Izvestia published an impressive interview with Bashar al-Assad. Let me just quote a few remarkable sentences:

“From the beginning of the crisis, the USA, the UK, and France have tried to get militarily involved. They tried to change the positions of China and Russia in the UN Security Council, but they failed. They failed to convince the world that this is an intelligent step. They can open a war, but they know neither how long will it be nor to which areas will it expand. They understand that they have no control on that. What is going on in Syria is not a popular revolution, but terror. Western leaders cannot tell their people: ‘We enter Syria to support terror.'”

“Failure awaits America as it has happened in all its wars from Vietnam onwards.” He is mistaken. The USA utterly defeated Grenada.

“Why Israel opens fire against our forces every time we defeat the terrorists next to the border?”

The claims on the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Government were defined by Assad as “an insult to the intelligence. It is nonsense. First, they put you on trial and only after they collect evidence…. On Wednesday, we were blamed, and only two days later the USA announced it would start to collect evidence.” This is not the first time that the American Government displays a misunderstanding of the term “evidence” (Iran Shows Captured Drone; USA Claims “No Evidence”).

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov has also publicly denied the existence of proofs that Syria had used chemical weapons. The Western mercenaries are the most likely users.

Certain things could not be said openly by Bashar al-Assad; luckily, this diplomatic limitation has been solved eons ago. Halef al-Maftah, a senior member of Assad’s party who until recently was the assistant of the ministry responsible for PR, gave on the same day an interview to American Radio Sawa in Arabic. He explained the mysterious hints in the Assad interview:

“Damascus considers that Israel is behind the violence and thus it will be under fire. We have strategic weapons, and we can react. Basically, the strategic weapons are aimed at Israel. If the USA or Israel will commit the error of attacking us using the chemical issue as justification, the entire area will experience unending fire.”



* “Wag the Dog” is a 1997 film starring Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman, which describes a situation in which the “tail wags the dog.” An unnamed President of the United States is caught in flagrante with a young girl scout less than two weeks before the elections and a hired political gun (De Niro) is brought in to take the public attention away from the scandal. He decides to construct a fake war with Albania, hoping the media will concentrate on this instead.
He contacts a Hollywood producer (Hoffman), who helps construct a theme song, build up interest and fake some footage of an orphan in Albania. In the end, with the President re-elected, the producer is about to call the media to “set them straight,” when the President’s aide has him killed to save his political boss.
The movie illustrated certain interpretations of events within the US. However, for those who were in Israel prior to the Second Gulf War, it reminds a different situation. The hysteria in the Israeli newspapers regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction began much before the war or similar publications in the American media. Those weapons turned out to be Weapons of Mass Distraction used by Israel and others. Nothing was found in Iraq.
Wag the Dog | Staging a WarWag the Dog | Staging a War
Wag the Dog

Yet, after the Israeli public was convinced that the weapons existed, the second stage of the campaign began. Analysts working for the main Israeli newspapers claimed Israel should adopt the same tactic used by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir during the Mother of All Battles, namely the First Gulf War. It should let the US destroy the perceived enemy.
The reality was that Israel could not attack. In sharp contrast to what most media publishes, Israel is unable to conduct an ongoing military operation against Iraq. Simply, after the first air-strike, all the forces surrounding Israel would join efforts in averting the strikes. Israel has only one advantage; the possibility of surprising Iran with an air strike. Even that is questionable; only missiles can nowadays reach faraway targets fast enough to keep the surprise factor. After the initial strike, the game changes dramatically.
Following these publications, pressure was put on the Jewish community and organizations in the US to help protect Israel against Iraq. Subsequently, the US attacked Iraq in 2003, without even declaring war.
The tail had wagged the dog.

** A long time ago, Israeli Prime Ministers discovered that their governments are dysfunctional. They are large and plagued with coalitional interests. The temptations to publish secret deliberations by ministers who know that they cannot be fired are significant. Thus, they created the “Cabinet” a small and informal body of ministers who meet regularly to take decisions delicate issues. Ministers wishing to keep their place in this exclusive body are forced to remain silent.

+ See Israel Intelligence Directorate Sends America to War

August 16, 2013

بئر العبد ورويس والحريري الأب

by mkleit

فجّرت الأمس عبوة في منطقة الرويس من الضاحية الجنوبية لبيروت وقد ذهب ضحيتها 24 شهيد وأكثر من 300 جريح، البعض منهم خرج من المستشفيات، بحسب الوكالة الوطنية للاعلام. وقبلها بشهر وأسبوع تقريبًا، فجرت عبوتين في موقف للسيارات في منطقة بئر العبد من الضاحية، حيث جرح حوالي الـ50 شخصًا ولم تسجل أي حالة موت (الحمد لله).

والى الآن، قد تبيّن كمية كبيرة من المعلومات لدى القوى الأمنية ومخابرات الجيش لعبوة الرويس، أما لبئر العبد، فالمعطيات والأدلة الجنائية والفاعلين قد عرفوا… بمعنى آخر، حلت قضية بئر العبد نظريًا، بانتظار الفعل الميداني للقوى المعنية.

أهالي الضاحية يلومون الولايات المتحدة الأميركية لتفجير بئر العبد والرويس - محمد قليط (الرويس)

أهالي الضاحية يلومون الولايات المتحدة الأميركية لتفجير بئر العبد والرويس – محمد قليط (الرويس)

حيث، وبحسب رئيس تحرير جريدة الأخبار، في مقابلة على برنامج “حديث الساعة” مع عماد مرمل، على أن القائمون على العملية هم لبناني وفلسطيني وسوري، والمشرفون عليهم كانوا سوري وفلسطيني وسعودي، حيث أضاف بالتفصيل معطيات العملية.

وفي قضية عبوة الرويس، فهي متعلقة بعبوتي بئر العبد، ولكن ليس هنا المفصل أو الحدث الأهم. ما المهم هو التالي:

اذا كانت عمليتيّ الضاحية محكمتان وكانتا قادرتان على اختراق أمن الضاحية في مناطق مثل بئر العبد والرويس، واستطاعت القوى الأمنية والمخابرات الوصول الى نتائج موعودة، فلماذا لم تصل المباحثات في قضية اغتيال الحريري في 2005 الى أي نتيجة صلبة وملموسة كالتفجيرين؟ وأذكر قضية الحريري لأنها ما زالت الى الآن في صدد الاستغلال السياسي لحقن الشعب بالكراهية تجاه “الآخر” وكانت سبب بالعديد من الأزمات الأمنية أبرزها المشاكل مع سوريا وعقدة 14 آذار مع سلاح المقاومة الاسلامية، الذي يملكه حزب الله.

من وجهة نظري المتواضعة، عملية اغتيال الحريري بدت الآن وأكثر من أي زمن مضى، عملية استغلال الدم لمشروع كبير يعد في المنطقة، المنطلق من فكرة “الربيع العربي” المزعوم، والذي لم يأتي الا بالمزيد من الهلاك للدول العربية جمعاء مع صعود التطرف الارهابي (لا الاسلامي، أي أن الأعمال التي تجري لا دين لها).

فالحريري لم يكن سوى ورقة بالنسبة لهم، وورقة مهمة بالتأكيد، كما أصبح الشهيد وسام الحسن وبيار الجميل وغيرهم من اغتيلوا، من أجل المصالح السياسية والمالية، ولكسب الأراضي وفتح أفاق للأعمال.

ان أردت أن ترى سبب المصيبة، أنظر من يستفيد منها على المستوى المادي والسياسي. كما فعل آل بوش في العراق بذريعة أسلحة الدمار الشامل، وكانت لتأمين الاستقرار الاسرائيلي، الضغط على ايران، كسر محور الممانعة الممتد من ايران الى لبنان وفلسطين، وبالأخص سرقة النفط العراقي من أجل المكاسب الاستراتيجية والمادية. (آل بوش يملكون كبرى شركات النفط الأميركية وقد حققوا المليارات جراء حرب العراق).

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