Saturday, April 26, 2008

Prince Feisal, King Assad

History does not repeat itself.

Humans Do.

More accurately, those of us who ignore its lessons. Humans like today’s “leaders” with their excessive focus on the short term, often invite even more trouble.

In Lebanon, history matters supremely. Our “leaders”, however, often ignore its lessons and obfuscate the truth. As they scurry around missing election deadlines and bullying the nation, their respective masters are working hard behind the scenes to sell us down the river…

If we go even that far….

Defining Sovereignty Down

The Syrians are busy making noises about a peace deal with Israel. Maybe the Americans do not really mind that some Israelis appear ready to give up the Golan provided the Syrians can be allowed back in Lebanon to finish what they could not. After all, it worked before, didn’t it?

At first blush, it appears that Syria would get the land back... A land where no Syrians are allowed, and where American radars will monitor Syrian goat movements (No troops will be allowed anywhere near the region). A land without water

Heck of a deal… Indeed, why bother with “inconvenient truths”, bothersome facts, or uncomfortable evidence? The solution is only a contradiction away if you’re willing to delude yourself…

Short Memories and NeoLibs

In response to such a Syrian “advance”, NeoLibs are jumping with excitement as they see their “talk” bear fruition.

They are angry at the NeoCons for leaking out information about the Syrian reactor. Yes, the timing of the information release is aimed at “misguiding congress”, as it endangers the North Korean deal. However, whether this is a “distraction” remains beside the point. From our perspective; if the Syrian’s talk about peace is serious, so should their actions.


It is a sad fact that, for all the professed peace loving, the NeoLib’s worldview is no less stereotypical than the NeoCons. It is essentially an elitist mindset that assumes that “Leaders” can sign away what their own people would not relinquish. Whatever one thinks of the merits of the underlying popular claims, this expectation is unrealistic; recall the last Arab “leader” who promised to sign his people’s rights away? After he failed to deliver, he could only wither away in disgrace, exiled from the land he claimed to cherish. His people had little option but to give him a hero’s burial, in gratitude for services (not) rendered.

The pattern continues today. We Lebanese are limited to choosing among war criminals, pretentious politicians, petty demagogues, false prophets... Is the hype so loud as to hide all their lies?

Back to the Past

The trouble with lost political “purity” is that it is hard to reclaim… From compromise to compromise, such “leaders” will each sell their (respective) people short. They have turned their coats far too often, and can only lower their pants.

For now, it appears the Israelis are not biting. But they may do so under different circumstances; today’s petty trading is nothing new in our region’s history.

Back in 1919, some of the hopes of a nascent nation were once signed away by its self proclaimed King of the Arabs who longed for the throne of Damascus. Back then, Lebanon was part of the deal.

Today, some of the hopes of the exiled nation(s) today are being sold at a bargain price by a self proclaimed Champion of the Palestinians eager to keep his throne in Damascus. And today, Lebanon is still part of the deal.

Whatever the reason, such partial/limited agreements remain unworkable in the regional context. The 1919 deal did not last back then, it will not sell now, and it will never work tomorrow.

But the NeoLibs/NeoCon will each keep on trying, with a little local help.

As long as we keep herding after such "leaders"…


Ghassan said...

I think that the video at the end of the post is simply superb. Is it your own handiwork?
As is often the case the post itself is very well donealso but I would like to pick a bone with you. Mind you that what I have to say has no implication whatsoever on the logic of the post.
I simply want to ask you not to use the term Neo Cons and Neo Liberals as if they mean two different things. You see , what is called neoconservatives in the US is best described in the serious journals and academic articles as neoliberals. The best illustration of my popint is the way that one describes market fundamentalism that was promoted by RR and the Iron Lady i.e. ideas of Hayek. These are called neo liberalism. As you can see both terms mean the same thing. I do understand your intent in the above post. You wish to speak of neocons and their antithesis. That antithesis is not neoliberalism. Call it newleft, call it Kantianism, call it progressivism ... but it is not neoliberalis. I know that it appears that I am splitting hairs but at times it is important to call things by their proper name in order to avoid any confusion:-)

Jeha said...

Ghassan, You are indeed correct. It does take an adjustment to make the transition among nations separated by the same language. I was using them as the US MSM tends to do, and should be clearer.