Thursday, July 27, 2006

On Cease Fires and other Wonders of the “Civilized” World.

I don’t about know you, but when I was growing up whenever a fight broke on the schoolyard or on the basketball court or after a testy session of “art dramatique”, there were plenty of do-gooders willing to break off the fighting.

They would just intervene, most of the time without even knowing the warring parties, and call on their sense of decency to stop the violence and solve whatever they are fighting about reasonably or take it to the principal, the coach or the wacko theater teacher.

I don’t recall any bystanders having the following discussion:
“Well, let Karim beat the crap out of Joe before we step in and break it off” or “When he spits his third tooth it’s time to hold them off each other”.

To my recollection that never happened, and if someone mentioned the word “Machiavelli” in front of us we thought it was a fancy Italian ice cream flavor!!!!

Now, for the last 14 days or so, we keep hearing Condi, Bolton and Tony “Boy” Blair blaring about the un-appropriateness of a cease fire now! WHAT? it is always appropriate to cease fire. Just ask the mothers, the wives or the children of the warring soldiers.

It is always appropriate to put a curb on your Neanderthalean instincts and solve issues in a civil, Homo-Erectus way. (Assuming that you people and your boss in DC have joined the Homo-Erectus era. Don’t know about Condi and Blair, but Bolty boy and GW have "Neanderthal" written on their forehead).

Why don’t you stop insulting the whole world’s intelligence and just say it like it is:
“Listen folks, we just outsourced the Israeli army to do a dirty job for us and darn it it is taking them more time than we (or they) thought, so hold your horses it is going to bang for a few more weeks because we are in deep “poopoo” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In Gaza, democracy seemingly worked and they elected a government by a landslide, but too bad it was not the one we had in mind so more “caca” for Gaza. We have been trying really hard on this “shoving-democracy-up-your … governing systems” policy and thought Lebanon would be a good model but this Siniora dude could not deliver. So we are delivering it by F-16’s if you don’t mind.”

Oh please … be my guest.

A reporter once asked Mahatma Ghandi:
“What do you think of western civilization?”
“That would be a good idea” replied Ghandi.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Letter to the Girl of Marouahine

I haven't been able to take you off my mind.
I can sleep soundly with bombs falling all over, I am now immune to their sounds ...
But seeing you lying there on the dirt is a sight I can't erase from my mind or my nights ...
For the second day in a row I twist and turn in my bed and can't shake you off my eyes. You are there, lying face down, clothes torn, your limbs shredded!!! I wish the sounds of bombs can drown the hissing of that chilly sight.

Yesterday, I had dinner with the Swedish rescue team who came to Beirut to evacuate their citizens. They finished their efforts and wanted to see another aspect of Lebanon besides the current madness, I started conversing with their leader and asked him if they showed your picture on their TV networks and was blown away to know that they don't even know about you and your family, about how you were thrown into the devil's pawns by the very people who supposedly represent the humane face of humanity. (1)

I feel the need to apologize to you for not letting the whole world know what a terrible terrorist threat you have been ... Otherwise how can one explain your fate ... I can't fathom the idea of a human being doing onto you what has been done ... I can't, because I still need to believe in Humans and their Humanity. This is what keeps me going ...this is what I keep waking up to everyday ... I need to believe that Good and Evil are not set by some retard in Washington DC who thinks he has a direct uninterrupted line of communication with God. I wonder what God is telling him now... I wonder if he saw your picture, would he pick up the "line" and dial God???

I don't know your name, but I know that I know you. You are my young sister-in- citizenship of a great country called Lebanon. A country throughout history, never attacked anyone but never ceased to defend itself against invaders.

As I see you lying there in the dirt can't help but wonder what could you have been? Was there another Madame Curie in you? A Helen Keller, a Dorothy Parker, or a Romy Schneider? Could you have been the next Fairouz or May Ziadeh? Or maybe you could just have been another Lebanese mother who rears her children with obsessive care in the beautiful landscape of South Lebanon.

Whatever you could have been was entirely up to you and "they" had no right to take that away from you.

The only way I can get my mind to accept what happened to you is that God must have been short on Angels. May He bless your soul as for sure you are in His kingdom.

(1) The Girl from Marouahine family seeked refuge at a UN post but were turned away. On their way out of town they were blown to pieces by a Nintendo pilot and his smart bombs.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

July War: Intro 101

I've been pondering upon the idea of starting a blog way before the July 12th happenings. My life was taking such bizarre twists that I felt I should let the general public in on it.

However, before that date, I was overwhelmed with work and other time consuming activities and was not really in the mood for it.
But, thanks to the "Hizeeeb" (1) (with a heavy southern accent for those of you familiar with it) and the "Yahoood" (2) time is no longer a constraint thank God. We now have plenty of it !!!

So I am gonna start with a message for the regular folks on both sides of the conflict who, like me, are just sitting and watching the madness unfold and who, like me, are sick and tired of pointing fingers and speculating on who started what when and who is to blame.
This conflict goes back so long and has caused enough damages on both sides, it really does not matter now to dwelve into finger pointing. It would be good to start thinking, us the people on the sides, on how we can move forward and how we can throw fresh ideas on the table to unblock the status quo of frozen-macho-mentalities who are currently ruling or calling the shots on both sides.

My message is taken from a book, I recently finished reading, by the Dalai Lama titled "The Art of Happiness". In the book, the co-author Howard Cutler quotes a passage from another author, Graham Green as follows:
"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed - but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they have brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace and what did they produce ? the cuckoo clock."
Incidentally this passage is quoted in the chapter titled: Finding Meaning in Pain and Suffering !!!
May we all find meaning in what is going on.

My second message is for the Israeli Air Force. Please convey my utmost congratulations to your Nintendo/Xbox/PlayStation pilots, they are doing a wonderful job on the defenseless buildings, bridges, factories and other infrastructures, however, do ask them to hit "abort" when they see truckloads of children and innocent civilians, I mean if their bombs are so smart they should at least be as smart as their bombs or a little bit more and hit the abort button. The body parts of the 4 year old girl splattered on the dirt in Marouahine are on their conscious. I hope next time they see their daughters, sons, nephews and nieces they will think of that girl and not sleep well (or at all) at night.

My third message is for the Lebanese/Arab TV stations. What's with the political and military analysts covering this war as if it was a Monday Night Football game. I know we have a lot of idiots roaming the country or the arab land but do you really need to shove them up our ... faces with their ludicrous analysis and utterly stupid comments. And please stop giving them all those fancy titles, "military strategist", "warfare analyst" and other bogus labels. I mean if we have to judge them by the intellect of their speech one cannot stop but wonder how on earth do people like this end up on my TV during such hard times. I wonder if the Americans can evacuate them, I will pay for their travel expenses.
Finally, for heaven's sake. For Goodness' sake. For Anything-That-is-Holy's sake, keep Elias Atallah (3) OFF the screen. I did not know they gave PhD's in Horseshit.

footnote: I am unable to watch Israeli television however I have the gut feeling that their viewers are also subjected to such idiotic "Analysts". Israeli readers are welcome to enlighten us in this aspect.

My Fourth and final message for this post is for the politicians in charge on both sides:
Mr. Siniora, with all due respect, you and your government are incompetent. Please have the decency to resign and go home.
Mr. Olmert & Mr. Peretz, I know you don't have a military background but you are trying too hard. Back off on the overachieving thing it only denotes your underachieving complex. I mean a lot of civilians are dying because of it. I know it is none of my business but the decency to resign applies here as well.

(2):[Jews of Israel as they are called by Lebanese Southerners]
(3): An "enlightened" Member of Lebanese Parliament ...need I say more ?