Monday, 8 August 2005

All Fall apart

An excellent post by Michael Young on

In Iraq, we're witnessing the consequences of this daily. In Syria, Alawites can no longer purport to be as one with Sunnis under the great Baathist tent, since the levers of power are not only in Alawite hands, but actually in the hands of the Assad family. In Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Shiites remain second-class citizens, despite halting efforts to give them some rights. In fact, in many parts of the Arab world the nation-state format offers few convincing solutions to the myriad social and political cleavages.

Lebanon alone, while suffering from the same problems as elsewhere, acknowledged this reality by creating a sectarian system. Though much maligned by Arab nationalists and their cheerleaders, it may be a way for the future.

As Tony funnily but rightfully said on Accross the Bay:

One could add the recent clashes in Syria between Alawis and Ismailis. No wonder Buthaina Shaaban's been screaming Arab nationalism like there's no tomorrow.

Now that's a model Aflak did not think of!

Arab society is divided by nature, along tribal or sectarian lines. It has been that way since always, even before Muhammad's times. The only way to take the path of development is to acknowledge that fact and go for some kind of federal system. Panarabists fail to see that simple evidence. A whole generation was build an this absurdity and they simply cannot see that the facts oppose their utopia.

Tuesday, 2 August 2005

Moral superiority?

A lot of people are debating about the handling of the SLA (see here and here). I am definitely for an amnesty law. It’s mandatory for a genuine inter-Lebanese reconciliation.

Anyway this amnesty should only apply to common SLA soldiers. Those who were involved in Khiam tortures and in serious human rights violations should be excluded. Amnesty is for fighters, not war criminals.

My point of view is that what happened in the North wasn’t better than what happened in the South. I am not saying that the Israeli behaviour is excusable but since people who collaborated with Syria are free, so should be the people who collaborated with Israel. I posted the following point of view on many blog.

Israel invaded and occupied Lebanon? Syria did the same and for much longer. Israel did a blockade on west Beirut in 83? Syria did a blockade on the bigger Aoun-controlled regions for a longer time. Israel bombed west-Beirut? Syria bombed east-Beirut even more. Israel abducted Lebanese citizens? Syria abducted more from all sects (have you ever read Solida or Amnesty reports? Horrible). You could continue this list forever.

I was (predictably) replied that it wasn’t the same thing because pan-Arab ideology was morally superior to which I (predictably) replied the following

Let us talk about the morally superior Baathist ideology. Beside the fact that this ideology justifies dictatorship, it advocates the use of force to unite the 'Arab nation'. Michel Aflak wrote that if some Arabs (= Maronites which I am not to answer your next question) deny their Arabism, they must be brought back to the motherland through all meanings, including brutal force (well that's hot news).

Anyway who are we kidding? Do you think that Jumblat was a socialist interested by the people's welfare? The guy was so secular socialist that even the Christian members of the PSP were not spared during the 83 Shouf cleansing. It was the Baath who dismantled the United Arab Republic in 1961 – which was a total failure BTW. It was Hafez el Assad the 'secular' pan-Arabist who isolated Syria from the Arab world, banned all travels to the only other country controlled by the Baath and built an Alawite-controlled security apparatus in order to control Syria's Sunnis. How secular and pan-Arab of him. Guess how much different his Iraqi carbon copy was?

They fought for a better ideology? Who are you joking?

The amnesty should apply on everybody or the same crime should be punished in the same way. This remind me of some communists who pretend that their killings are more excusable than the Nazi genocide because the underlying ideology is more acceptable (or so they say). Pan-Arab ideology may be a positive ideology for you but I only see a form of pseudo-nationalistic fascism. Let’s not even talk about the superior Islamic ideology of Hezbollah who never had any moral problem in blowing hundreds of foreign peacekeepers to resist against… democracy. Your moral superiority is a highly subjective point of view.

To conclude, let us quote the great founder of the Baath who brought so much happiness to the world:

"In this struggle we retain our love for all. When we are cruel to others, we know that our cruelty is in order to bring them back to their true selves, of which they are ignorant. Their potential will, which has not been clarified yet, is with us, even when their swords are drawn against us."

[Each Arab] "is forced to return to himself, to sink into his depths, to discover himself anew after experience and pain. At that point the true unity will be realized, and this is a new kind of unity different from political unity; it creates the unity of spirit among the individuals of the nation."
Michel Aflaq