Tuesday, May 22, 2007

或許...

No doubt we’re all proud our army is finally taking charge to protect us. We’re also all proud the population is sitting solidly behind the troops, backing them up to the hilt.

“The Stubborn People”

We Lebanese are a “stubborn bunch”, as Fairouz famously sang in what is our Real National Anthem, the one song that unites us… In times like this, when most are united with such a single purpose, Lebanon can “leverage” the support, both Western and Arab. Even with the support of Al-Jazeera and some of the “Media”, Fath Al-Islam’s hiding behind civilians will not prevent the army from administering a well deserved rubbing.

And even if the army were to stop, the civilian population will not, as many were seen taking arms up and backing the troops. Many among us hope that this could well be the turnaround the country so badly needs, and that, pace Nasrallah and his retinue of useful idiots, we will see the government finally taking charge of things, as governments should.

To many, this is a prize worth paying blood for, no matter the threats by local mafia bosses desperate “to beat a murder rap”…

/Begin Digression

And this is a situation worth making money from; in a shameless act of self-promotion, 3M of Lebanon has been sending mass SMS to Cell subscribers. It says;

“Prevent Injury & Damage caused by Flying Glass resulting from Explosion, Theft, Accident… With 3M Safety Films for Cars, Homes, Shops, etc… ” with a number to boot...

Cupidity lives on… There is hope for the Lebanese economy, after all. I can’t wait for an SMS from the Armantov Corporation. I feel I can use their product right now; many of us may need to upgrade some of our equipment...

And we 've been postponing this decision for far too long... If this drags on, foreign donations will have to be accepted, I am afraid...

/End Digression

'Careful What You Wish For...

Before we get all patriotic, a note of caution... Life in Lebanon taught me not to rush to optimism, and fall into a “reductionist” narrative fallacy by seeing only what fits my mental story du jour. There are far too many elements that advice caution.

As I gather more elements, ponder this tale from a wise man, about a Chinese Farmer. Interestingly, all parables discussing wisdom tend to involve either Chinese people, or stoic farmers.

This has both, so it must dispel real wisdom. Bear with me; read on, and pause that TV for a while after you’re done…

The Farmer

An old Chinese farmer had a horse. One day the horse ran away. The villagers said: “How bad, what will you do now? This is such bad luck!”

The farmer replied "Maybe".

Two days later the horse came back. It brought back two wild horses with it. The villagers said: “You are a lucky man!”

The farmer replied, “Maybe”.

A week later his only son was training one of the wild horses. The horse kicked the son off, breaking both his legs. The son was bedridden, unable to help the old man work the fields. The villagers said: "What bad fortune. How terrible, is this bad luck or what?"

The old farmer replied: "Maybe".

Two weeks passed. As the son was still bedridden nursing his broken legs, The emperor's soldiers arrived. They were recruiting young men for the war, and took all the young men in the village with them. The old man's son stayed behind. The villagers said to the old man: "You are a very lucky person; is this not so?"

The old man replied: "Maybe".

We do not add much to our fore bearers; we only recycle one war into the next... Sadly, the result is the same.

13 comments:

Sam said...

This government is failing in all fields.
It claims it is for all Lebanese.
Yes, all Lebanese except: the Sunnis that disagree with them like in my family, the 400,000 sunni Palestinians who support Hezbollah (and to which he plans to give Lebanese citizenship to please Feltman), Hezbollah that represents a least 80% of the biggest community in Lebanon, Aoun who got around 2/3 of the christian vote and second biggest community in Lebanon, about half the druze, the SSNP, baath party, communist party, all sorts of unions and civil society groups...
Ha Ha Ha no doubt it is going very far...in its failures!
And now they oppose the president being elected directly by the people, nice example of democracy, nice, nice!

Jeha said...

"Ha Ha Ha no doubt it is going very far"... and you call yourself Lebanese; laughing at the expense of one's own government is one thing.

Making light of the nation's suffering when the country bleeds its brave men and women is another, and beneath contempt.

I am sorry if it sounds cocky. I have little patience for those who hide in the "Free World" and use the freedom there to undermine our own freedom. I have even less patience for those who ignore established facts to recycle lies. No, it is not because "Massa" Hersh said it that it is true, some of us sand monkeys have more than enough brain cells to know which side is up, and we're smarter and brighter than any wannabe-partisan will ever be.

There may well be a paradox here, but I cannot not tolerate intolerants or idiots.

I have some time limitations at the present, because of my particular geographic location. I note the gentlemen above insists on taking advantage of this blog's freedom by copy/pasting the same inane "piece" with little regard for any other relevant contributions that show its stupidity.

I have been forced to disable comments from unregistered users, at least for the time being. My internet connection is such that this is the best way to maintain modicum of control over the level of discourse.

That may be overreacting, but it is better to confront events early than let them drag on; those who refuse reason leave us with few other options.

Sam_10452 said...

Jeha a dit...
>>laughing at the expense of one's own government is one thing.
it IS NOT my government that is the point.

>Making light of the nation's suffering when the country bleeds its brave men and women is another, and beneath contempt.
I am making light of the failing of this government that is directly responsible for the whole situation the country is in. There is no democracy without accountability.

>I am sorry if it sounds cocky. I
You are and I don t know why.
Is it so hard for you to accept different opinions?

>No, it is not because "Massa" Hersh said it that it is true,
It is not because Hersh says something that it is not true.
Plus have you reqd the excerps?
They include:
US officials,
Al Jazeera interviews,
Hizb U Tahrir website,
Institute for near east policy,
US organisation crisis group,
Sunday Telegraph,
reuters,
Associated press,
....
I mean I can go on and on and on. and I have other articles too.

some of us sand monkeys have more than enough brain cells to know which side is up, and we're smarter and brighter than any wannabe-partisan will ever be.

There may well be a paradox here, but I cannot not tolerate intolerants or idiots.

I have some time limitations at the present, because of my particular geographic location. I note the gentlemen above insists on taking advantage of this blog's freedom by copy/pasting the same inane "piece" with little regard for any other relevant contributions that show its stupidity.

I have been forced to disable comments from unregistered users, at least for the time being. My internet connection is such that this is the best way to maintain modicum of control over the level of discourse.

That may be overreacting, but it is better to confront events early than let them drag on; those who refuse reason leave us with few other options.

Sam_10452 said...

>>we're smarter and brighter than any wannabe-partisan will ever be.
Oh yeah, why don t you let the smart reader decide about the validity of my contribution instead of deciding for them?!!
"Sometimes a pen is the best weapon you can use!"
(Specially when one is telling the truth)
Democracy, free speech... you go on and on with your phony slogans and then you delete my comment just because you disagree with it politically.
Nice example of democracy!

Amos said...

Sam,

Instead of dumping whole quotations, would you mind providing links to those sources instead? Not everyone wants to scroll through pages of your "proof" every time they post a comment here.

Maverick said...

okh okh,Jeha i feel ya,
but some ppl need to be ignored,judging from the sounds of some govmnt bashers in our fine country,it makes you wonder if the lebanese government is as bad as Batistas before the Cuban revolution,or the governemnt in Egypt before G.Abdel Nasser,or the Shas in Iran.The way some carry on,kills me,but i guess we can only be patient.what helps is good old Osho or Zen Buddha which that story of the chinese farmer reminded me of ,as it came from a ZEN site.
And just a wrod of note for mr sam and his exaggerated figures,i can carry on forever with that but just on a more personal note as i am entrenched in the druze community,90% of the druze are with the govt of fouad Siniora.The SSNP members are old schoolers who are nostalgic at best,or 10 yrl olds who are fed Syrian propaganda,imposed on them by die hard fanatical parents,and most of them are just there cos of their personal opposition to walid joumblatt,same applies to Wiam wehab loyalists.Good ol Antoine Saadeh sounded logical in those days,but these dayz you cant ignore the elephant in the living room.The Assads had decades to reclaim the Golan,instead it was more important to suck lebanon dry,and when things went sour to destroy it.The assads killed Saades dream,stepped on it and torched it,when will the SSNP get their heads out of their homasni asses.

Sam_10452 said...

Maverik,
Let's have free elections one man one vote and we will see what the Lebanese people wants.

Ghassan said...

This is a test. Jeha, I hope that you will forgive me for sending a "hollow" message but my previous well crafted :-) posts have not made it!!!(I had forgotten my pass word).

Ghassan said...

Hallelujah, life is good!!!

When G. Hardin popularized the "Tragedy of the Commons" in his seminal 1968 article electronic bulletin boards and internet forums did not exist even as ideas in the mind of their creator. These unmoderated forums have become though the best example of the Tragedy of the Commons. Humans appear to be predisposed to misuse and even abuse any asset that is a common i.e. not owned by anyone. Over the past 40 years many solutions to the tragedy have been proposed but if one is to accept the hard logic of game theory and rational human behaviour then it becomes clear that we are locked into a logic of ruin in dealing with all commons. Thus the only workable solution as suggested by Hardin is to accept the undemocratic principle of mutual coercion mutually agreed upon. Yes coercion is not very appealing but it will have to do considering the alternative, total ruin. There always is another solution that is far more preferable but it requires that actors; humans in this case; change their behaviour as to accept their responsibility towards maintaining the common. If we all can resist the temptation to abuse the hospitality of the blog owners and to respect our fellow bloggers then we will relieve the owners from having to exersice their option of closing the common. If we force them to do so then we are all the worse for it.Unfortunately , I am afraid that as forums, including this blog, gain in popularity it will become increasingly difficult to maintain free unobstructed access to all. Know if only we can prove the naysayers wrong by not abusing this common it would be great. Moderating a blog is a task that I do not wish on anyone and subscriptions are even more repulsive . That is not what the internet was supposed to become.

Jeha said...

Sam,

First, you and I may share more than our current spat lets on. I am convinced that we can all contribute to an intelligent discussion, but we have to stay away from sophistry. I agree with you that the current government has more than its share of sins, but I do not agree with your methodology for opposing them.

1- Essentially, we strongly disagree on the means of the debate; I refer you to my previous comment above, which still applies to all your responses, since you addressed part of the comment, while disregarding other essential parts. As an example;

I had written, in response to your earlier comment;
"Ha Ha Ha no doubt it is going very far"... and you call yourself Lebanese; laughing at the expense of one's own government is one thing. […] Making light of the nation's suffering when the country bleeds its brave men and women is another, and beneath contempt.

You referred to this portion in your reply;
and you call yourself Lebanese; laughing at the expense of one's own government is one thing.

At best, this is not intellectually honest. Dont acte.

2- I deleted the "comment" in which you were essentially "pasting" a tired piece by a journalist who had done better stuff in the past, and I have deleted this “paste” job. I did not delete your other comments, your own stuff. The note you kept pasting is especially egregious; it is an example of shouting, since you obviously refuse to take into account much of the other evidence that supersedes Hersh and debunks him. And I have cited those in my same comment.

This is why I deleted it, and will delete it as it does not move the discussion forward, but only drags it backward. I have had differences with other bloggers, but it never came to this because we all stick to simple democratic rules as I understand them, based on my understanding of the Golden Rule;

- [almost] no “paste jobs”
- no insults,
- no sophistry.

Anything less will turn this forum into a mediocratic swamp. With that in mind, you will note that others may have considered your “Ha Ha Ha” at the expense of the government to be an insult.

I fee that we can learn much from one another, but please note that we cannot move forward in any discussion if we refuse to take into account new evidence, and keep recycling the old. We Lebanese should have learned by now that sophistry leads to shouting, and shouting leads to shooting

With “registered users”, I wanted to stay away from having to exercise “mutual coercion” through “moderation”. I prefer to revert back to the current open policy, while reserving the right to act to remove any posts that take undue advantage of those commons.

El Hombre said...

Hi Jeha, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your well-written, thoughtful and deep blog.

I am hard pressed to find anything else resembling it.

Thanks.

Maverick said...

"Let's have free elections one man one vote and we will see what the Lebanese people wants." Sam.
Yeah lets do that,but if we win do you promise to eject yourselves and your leaders into the stratosphere?your sad sorry excuse for an opposition will only get stronger.

Sam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.