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Lebanon: Back from the Abyss??

While the situation in Lebanon remains uncertain, Lebanese bloggers keep writing about their fears, pain and disappointment.

Of course, there is new hope: a deal brokered by the Arab League to end the strikes which have brought Lebanon to the brink of second civil war is being finalized.

But all signs point to a deal made on terms highly favorable to Hezbollah, which, according one blogger, means a return to peace is an “illusion.”

Here is a small selection of what some of those who write in French have to say.

Chroniques beyrouthines has been updating several times daily, with detailed bullet points of all the major events in Lebanon. As I write, they are on Day 8.

Le Jour du tac tac writes about the Homs road to Syria, rumored to be partially open; it eventually leads to the airport at Damascus, where the hotels are full of Lebanese attempting to flee. There are rumors: shuttles from Jounieh port and Beirut may run again tomorrow. The airport may reopen. tac tac writes:

Faut-il y croire? impossible de se prononcer pour le moment. Ne jamais planifier ni se projeter dans l’avenir lorsqu’on est libanais. Une leçon importante que nos politiciens tentent de nous rappeler, trop souvent peut-être.

Should we believe this? Impossible to say for the moment. Don't ever plan or project into the future when you are Lebanese. An important lesson that our politicians tend to make us remember, perhaps a little too often.

Last week, Frencheagle was so incensed and pained by the crisis in his country, he “>contemplated the temporary closure of his blog.

Voila, cela faisait 2 ans que je disais qu’un conflit était inévitable vu la politique insensée conduite par certains et par les propos inconciliables d’autres que je soupçonnais vouloir construire des cantons religieusement “propres”

On en est la aujourd’hui.

There you have it, I've been saying for two years that a conflict was inevitable given the foolish politics of some and insensitive remarks of others that I suspected wanted to build their own religiously “pure” cantons.

Today, we are there.

Je n’aime pas parler de guerre, c’est pour cela que je pense temporairement fermer ce blog ou parler d’autre chose.

Je n’aime pas parler de guerre, parce que je suis un fils de la guerre civile. Je suis née durant la guerre civile, j’ai vu des personnes décédés, j’ai vu mon propre père ensanglanté mais vivant, j’ai vu le pire durant mon enfance.

I don't like talk about war, and for that reason I think I'm temporarily going to close this blog or talk about something else. I don't like to talk about war because I am a son of the civil war. I was born during the civil war, I saw people killed, I saw my own father drenched in blood but alive, during my childhood, I saw the worst.

Je ne peux souhaiter la guerre, la guerre n’est pas une option, la guerre est un échec. Un échec à cause du manque de vision, la politique menée aurait dû être différente. Notre révolution est désormais un échec, en raison du manque de maturité de certains hommes et du non renouvellement d’une classe politique déjà seigneur de guerre plus rêveurs de leur ancienne gloire de criminels que de personnes de paix.

I could not have wished for war, war is not an option, war is a failure. A failure caused by lack of vision; our policies should have been different. Our revolution is now a failure because of a lack of maturity among certain men and the failure to renew a political class, already lords of war, and more dreamers of their former criminal glory than people of peace.

Je voudrais dire merde à ceux qui durant les 3 dernières années étaient les prophètes du conflit fratricide, je pense à certains individus qui dénués aujourd’hui de tout scrupule veulent reprendre leur ancienne gloire.

Je voudrais dire merde à ces médias dit traditionnels mais au combien partisans qui ont abouti à non pas limiter la casse sociétale du partisianisme mais au contraire ont augmenté les tensions sociétales. Il faut être 2 pour faire la guerre, on connaissait le Hezbollah, on découvre aujourd’hui les autres milices dont celles de la majorité.

An Nahar, Al Manar, Futur, LBC, OTV, tous pareils en fin de compte, tous coupables.

I want to say f*** you to all those who in the last three years were the profits of fratricidal conflict, I'm thinking of certain individuals today who are unencumbered of any scruple and want to reclaim their former glory.

I want to say f*** to you those so-called traditional media with how many subscribers that have managed not to limit the social damage of partisanship but rather who have increased social tensions. It takes two to make war, we knew about Hezbollah, today we discover the other militias of which these are the majority.

An Nahar, Al Manar, Futur, LBC, OTV, all the same at the end of the day, all guilty.

His readers rallied, each echoing this sentiment, expressed by one reader: “I understand that you feel like closing your blog, but permit me to offer some advice, don't do it. Lebanon needs its children to express themselves.”

Fortunately, Frencheagle has kept blogging. In a recent post about everything he would do if he were president, a reader sarcastically replies: “One can always dream, but when you have good intentions, there is a 50pc chance you will be assassinated (Bachir Gemayel et René Mouawad). To be a politician in Lebanon is the most dangerous occupation in the world…”

And in response to what the government has compromised in order to secure a truce, including its decision to abandon plans to fire the head of airport security, a purported Hezbollah sympathizer, Frencheagle writes:

Le gouvernement a annulé sa décision de révoquer le responsable de la sécurité et d’enquêter sur le réseau de télécommunication du Hezbollah, faisant illusion que la paix reviendra.

Maintenant qu’il y a eu cette déflagration, ce n’est que partie remise, j’ai envi de dire que “c’est reculer pour mieux sauter” au sens propre comme au sens figuré.

The government canceled its decision to revoke the head of [airport] security and to investigate Hezbollah's telecommunication network, greating an illusion that peace will return.

Now that there has been this explosion, this is just putting off the inevitable, I feel like saying its a “recoil in order to jump farther” both literally and figuratively.

Les faiblesses de l’état ont en effet été exposées, la majorité a perdu militairement et peut-être même politiquement maintenant avec ce recul, les armes du Hezbollah ont été sanctuarisées alors qu’il y avait une voie de discussion à ce sujet, souvenons nous du discours d’Hassan Nasrallah en aout 2006 déclarant que les armes ne sont pas éternelles. Aujourd’hui, elles sont d’une certaine manière devenues éternelles, divines et remercions ironiquement les déclarations incendiaires de certains poussant à l’extrémisme…

The weaknesses of the state have in effect een exposed, the majority have lost militarily and maybe also politically now with this retreat, Hezbollah's arms have been sanctioned so that there will be a path for discussing thsi subject, remember the discourse of Hassan Nasrallah in August 2006, declaring that arms would not be eternal. Today, they have in a certain sense become eternal, divine and ironically we have to thank the incindiery declarations of those who want to drive out extremism…

Yet, Frencheagle concedes “Today a compromise is more necessary than ever”.

On her blog moustique, Sanaa writes bittersweet verses about home in a post titled “Mea Culpa“:

Je regrette….
Je regrette de ne pas arriver à regretter de rester dans ce pays….
Je regrette d’avoir espéré et cru…
Je regrette d’espérer toujours
Je regrette de ne pas pouvoir me projeter dans un « demain » qui serait ailleurs
Je regrette de ne pas avoir appris à m’offrir l’idée d’un demain qui irait au-delà d’aujourd’hui
Je regrette de m’attacher aux « cordes de vent » (traduction littérale de l’arabe)….
Je m’excuse déjà de ma jeunesse,
Pardonne moi de te laisser couler dans les rues de Beyrouth….
Pardonne moi … je ne saurai t’offrir de meilleure garantie pour tes souvenirs des 30 premières années… je t’ai construite en grand château…. Et il s’avère être de sable…
Pardonne moi de ne pas avoir su
Pardonne moi de toujours ne pas vouloir savoir
Pardonne moi Sanaa pour ce que je t’inflige en restant là….
Mais, crois moi, nulle part ailleurs je ne serai chez moi comme ici….

I am sorry….
I am sorry that I have not yet come to be sorry for staying in this country….
I am sorry for having hoped and believed…
I am sorry for still hoping
I am sorry that I can not throw myself into a “tomorrow” somewhere else
I am sorry for not having learned to give myself the idea of a tomorrow that will go beyond today
I am sorry for attaching myself to the “strings of wind” (literal translation from Arabic)….
I am already sorry for my youth,
Forgive me for letting you run in the streets of Beiruit….
Forgive me … I won't know to better protect your memories of the first 30 years…I built you in a big castle….And if it proves to be sand…
Forgive me for not knowing
Forgive me for never wanting to know
Forgive me Sanaa for what I have put you through by staying….
But, believe me, I will never be more home anywhere than I am here….

Read more: Moussa Bashir has written two roundups of anglophone blogs on the political crisis in Lebanon and Lydia Beyoud translates the harrowing accounts of a Moroccan foreign exchange student in Beirut.

1 comment

  • PH

    I can’t believe you actually report on what FrenchEagle says!!

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