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Lebanon: Sweet and Sour

Iraq, Palestine, Israel, and an alternative drink to the regular carbonated soda were topics discussed in the Lebanese blogs this week.
The reconvening of the internal political discussion among rival Lebanese politicians in the form of “the consultations” was also the focus of many blogs.

Before embarking on the tiresome task of reading about the various conflicts in the Middle East it is advisable to start with the refreshing “jallab” drink which is described graphically by Jamal:

In Lebanon, well in the Middle East to be more precise, the ultimate thirst quencher is Jallab.
Jallab is two parts. The chilled liquid part is made from a syrup concocted (yes I love the verb concoct and all of its concoctions) from dates, grapes, and rose water. Part two is best described by…

The issue of female/male relationships in Lebanon (and maybe elsewhere) is a thorny one. An article was published in the New York Times discussing just that. Among the many bloggers who critiqued this article was Rampurple who blasted :

This article make women in Lebanon seem so desperate for marriage where in reality, if we are simply going to talk about the women clubbing, most of them are university students and/or career oriented women not so desperate for marriage as they claim. […]
I also find it degrading for men, to place a quote in the article that all men who stay in Lebanon are not-ambitious, have closed mentalities and stay to find a virgin to marry. In my opinion hat quote is hilarious…

Let us now turn to politics, war and other related issues. Let’s start with Lebanon. What does each party in the wide Lebanese political spectrum want from the discussions they are having? Jamal has one answer:

As our esteemed leaders are slated to reconvene Monday, many are wondering what their plans are for this round of round table chit chat. I will tell you what each of them wants, what they really really want.
I'll start with the godfather of the parliament who has successfully combined the characteristics of super glue and teflon in his persona. Nabih Berri loves the status quo and would love for it to continue forever. His natural fit is as the third side in unholy trinity of war criminals along with Geagea and Jumblatt. However, his popular base is enamored with the most Holy of men which puts him in a tough position that he skillfully transformed into a position of strength, way too much strength….

Sietske in Beiroet went to the south of Lebanon and came back with more pictures and reflections on the situation there.

Are the Lebanese capable of committing acts of terror? The answer is no according to Jeha’s Nail, and here are the top 10 reasons why:

1. We are always late; we would have missed all the flights.
2. The pretty girls on the plane would distract us.
3. We would talk loudly and bring attention to ourselves.
4. With food and drinks on the plane, we would forget why we're there.
5. We talk with our hands; therefore we would have to put our weapons down.
[…]

What other less publicized sectors were damaged in Lebanon and Israel as a result of the July war? “I want to go home” throws some light:

Low times for pot smokers: A newspaper report in Israel indicates that the war in Lebanon during the summer between Israel and Hizbullah has dramatically raised the prices of cannabis in Israel, sending pot smokers everywhere into a frenzy.

Anarchorev has these questions about the noble goal of spreading democracy in the area

Suppose that it is true that “the world united”, how can one support democracy or the elected government by massacring (or providing the bombs for that very purpose) thousands of civilians? Isn’t it a given that such an action would merely embitter the Lebanese against the bombers and their bomb-providers and supporters (even the so-called united world), and would encourage perceptions that the government is merely a spokesperson of these bombers/bomb-providers? How does that strengthen democracy, unless one is to go by the imperialist philosophy (killing = pacifying) with a propagandistic twist (killing to liberate)?

Saddam’s trial in Iraq also had its share in the Lebanese blogosphere. Here are two samples. The first is from Maya[at]NYC

I am not defending Saddam Hussein or his actions. Massacres have happened under his regime. There is a self-righteousness though that is, the least to say, annoying. “He got what he deserved” this ruling is a good thing…
What about the Sharon-sponsored massacres of Sabra and Shatila? For how long are we going to ignore that wound that hasn’t started healing yet?
What about this last war that we barely survived! “In love as in war, all is fair”. Except that in everything, “deux poids, deux mesures”.

Modern day history seems to choose and pick which atrocities to remember and which to forget.
The Holocaust is probably the most gruesome horrible mass-murder of all times. And the European Jews have suffered persecution and discrimination more than humanely possible. But the modern world still lives in the guilt of the crime of a few. Till when?
On the other hand, the Armenian Genocide is still unclaimed. Documentaries about the genocide have been facing strong opposition both for their making and in their airing. Politically incorrect, since Turkey is the big ally du-jour.
Deux poids, deux mesures…

The second sample of comments on Saddam’s trial is from “Marxist From Lebanon”:

How the heck you sentence someone before the whole Trial is over? I never liked Saddam and definitely hated him for slaughtering all the Proletariat and Marxists over there, but isn't it a coincedence that Saddam's sentence is out just right before the elections in the US states, and specially the Republicans’ weakness is how they managed Iraq?

… btw yesterday I heard Bush on CNN saying that they invaded Iraq to protect Israel? WTF? Is this the latest excuses for their blunders of not finding Weaponry of Mass Destruction there while the only country that uses banned weaponry and openly has Nukes is Israel…. taking about real democracy…

And there is always the Palestinian issue. Sophia is rethinking the concept of peaceful resistance:

I used to advocate peaceful resistance for Palestinians but I am wondering whether peaceful resistance is not one of the many ways to get killed when you are resisting a power like Israel.

1 comment

  • Many Muslim leaders have threatened to annihilate Israel. They repeat this genocidal mantra at every opportunity to gain popularity.
    Some 1300 years ago despots could utter such a cry without retaliation. Anybody who desires to live in the modern world must not indulge his fantastic hatreds.
    If he persists, he risks destruction.

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