Saudi Crackdown: Two Opposition Activists Martyred As Regime Forces Storm Dammam

By Staff, Agencies

At least two political dissidents were martyred in Saudi Arabia when regime forces raided a village in the kingdom’s oil-rich and Shia-populated Eastern Province, in the course of the crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [MBS] against pro-democracy campaigners, Muslim preachers and intellectuals continues unabated in the country.

Local sources, requesting anonymity, said security forces stormed into al-Anoud neighborhood of the provincial capital of Dammam, located about 400 kilometers east of the capital Riyadh, on Wednesday afternoon.

The sources added that two opposition figures were fatally shot in the process.

On December 2, Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court sentenced five anti-regime dissidents from Eastern Province to death.

The London-based and Arabic-language Nabaa television news network, citing social media activists, reported at the time that the Riyadh-based tribunal passed the verdicts against Mahmoud Issa al-Qallaf, a resident of Ash Shweikah neighborhood in Qatif region, and four others from the town of al-Awamiyah, who were identified as Mohammed Ali al-Aqili, Ahmed Mohammed Abu Abdullah and his brother Amir, and Musa Jaafar al-Samkhan.

On September 12, the rights group Prisoners of Conscience, which is an independent non-governmental organization advocating human rights in Saudi Arabia, announced in a post on its official Twitter page that the Specialized Criminal Court had sentenced Shia cleric and human rights activist Sheikh Mohammed al-Habib to 12 years in prison and imposed a travel ban on him.

Sheikh Habib had been recently released after three years of arbitrary detention.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners.

Saudi officials have also intensified crackdown in the country’s Eastern Province.

Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

The protests, however, have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime, with its forces increasing security measures across the province.

Crowds of Mothers March in Beirut, Tripoli against Sectarianism

Crowds of Mothers March in Beirut, Tripoli against Sectarianism

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A crowd of citizens, women and mothers staged a sit-in Ain Rummaneh and Chiyah in Beirut, rejecting all the violent protests the area witnessed in the past two days in an attempt to sow discord and sedition.

The women carried Lebanese flags, banners and white roses amid a heavy media presence. Banners denounced any attempts for sedition and a return to a civil war era.

The protesters marched to Asaad Al-Asaad Street in the midst of applause and cheers. Even women threw them with rice and chanted in solidarity with the protesters.

Many of those who took part in the unity move noted that the two neighborhoods’ residents have coexisted for decades and that the two areas have become largely mixed in terms of residence, markets and social activities.

“I salute all my friends from Ain Rummaneh school which I study in, and call them to partake in this march,” one girl from Chiyah said to media outlets.

Overnight confrontations in several Lebanese regions, mostly fistfights and stone throwing, injured dozens of people.

Stone-throwing clashes took place between young men from Shiyyah and the adjacent Ain el-Rummaneh after a video circulated on WhatsApp showing Ain el-Rummaneh residents insulting Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah. The clip was later shown to be several years old and clashes were quickly contained by the army

This area in particular saw the onset of the 1975-1990 civil war. A shooting in Ain el-Rummaneh in April 1975 triggered the 15-year war that killed nearly 150,000 people.

In Tripoli, a similar march was staged by Lebanese mothers to reject sectarian rhetoric after a night of tension in the city.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Man, Woman Burned to Death after Bandits Hurled Stones on their Car in Jiyyeh (Video)

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Bandits continued to disrupt the lives of citizens in all regions throughout Lebanon, however this time, they crowned their vandalism with a direct attack on a Jiyyeh bystander, leading to the immediate death of a man and a woman.

Video

At dawn Monday, Mr. Hussein Shalhoub was heading from the southern town of Tairflseih to Beirut with his family when bandits threw stones at his car which he lost control of. The car then hit a utility pole on the roadside and caught fire.

The man and the woman were burned to death in their car. The man’s daughter survived miraculously from the fire. She was immediately transferred to a nearby hospital in Jiyyeh.

Following is the video of the daughter speaking about the accident:

“We were heading towards Beirut when unexpectedly a huge object, as if it was a projectile, was thrown on the car. My dad lost control of the car and it caught fire because of the oil spilled on the highway. The car started to burn from his side and my aunt was stuck, she couldn’t unlock the door,” Shalhoub’s daughter said in the video.

On October 17, dozens of thousands of protesters took to streets in rejection of the government’s tax policy; however, some political forces rode the wave of the rightful demonstrations, manipulating their emblems in order to impose their own foreign agenda.

In this context, bandits blocked key roads in various Lebanese cities and towns, hampering the citizens’ daily lives and leading to a worsened economic situation.

Citizens expressed their annoyance via media, with thousands of people being stuck in the roads for hours, waiting to pass. Reports revealed that bandits who were blocking roads in some areas were asking people for money in order to pass.

Source: Al-Manar Website

Lebanon: Bandits Kill Man, Woman on South-Beirut Highway

Hezbollah firmly denounces the horrific crime on Al-Jiyyeh highway which claimed the two martyrs Hussein Shalhoub and Sanna Al-Jondi

Lebanon: Bandits Kill Man, Woman on South-Beirut Highway

By Al-Ahed News

As part of the continued criminal act of blocking roads in the course of the so-called ‘Lebanese revolution’, which is hindering the living of citizens in all areas, bandits this time killed a man and a woman on their way to Beirut coming from the south.

According to al-Ahed News website’s sources, Mr. Hussein Shalhoub was heading at 5:30 in the morning from his village Tayr Felsay, south Lebanon, to Beirut with members of his family. When his car passed through Jiyeh, bandits started throwing stones at the windows of his car until he lost control and collided with an electricity transmission tower. The car immediately caught fire.

According to the municipal of the victim’s village, Mr. Shalhoub directly passed away, and so did his sister-in-law. His daughter, however, miraculously survived but was transferred to al-Hajj Hospital in Jiyeh for treatment.

Hezbollah parliamentary bloc calls for an immediate investigation into the criminal incident which claimed two martyrs in Jiyyeh

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Is the Middle East Beginning a Correction?

By Alastair Crooke

Source

 

“Two years, three years, five years’ maximum from now, you will not recognize the same Middle East”, says the former Egyptian FM, Arab League Secretary General and Presidential Candidate, Amr Moussa, in an interview with Al-Monitor.

Mousa made some unexpected points, beyond warning of major change ahead (“the thing now is that the simple Arab man follows everything” – all the events). And in reference to the protests in Iraq, Moussa says that Iraq is in “a preparatory stage for them to choose their way as Iraqis — emphasizing that “the discord between Sunni and Shia is about to fade away.”

The present regional turbulence, he suggests, is [essentially] a reaction to the US playing the sectarian card – manipulating “the issues of sect and religion, et cetera, was not only a dangerous, but a sinister kind of policy”. He added however, “I don’t say that it will happen tomorrow, but [the discord between Sunnis and the Shi’a fading away], will certainly happen in the foreseeable future, which will reflect on Lebanon too.”

What we are witnessing in Iraq and Lebanon, he adds,

“are these things correcting themselves. It will take time, but they will correct themselves. Iraq is a big country in the region, no less than Iran, no less than Turkey. Iraq is a country to reckon with. I don’t know whether this was the reason why it had to be destroyed. Could be. But there are forces in Iraq that are being rebuilt … Iraq will come back. And this phase – what we see today, perhaps this is the — what can I say? A preparatory stage?”

Of course, these comments – coming from a leading Establishment Sunni figure – will appear stunningly counter-intuitive to those living outside the region, where the MSM narrative – from Colombia to Gulf States – is that the current protests are sectarian, and directed predominantly at Hizbullah and Iran. Certainly there is a thread of iconoclasm to this global ‘Age of Anger’, targeting all leaderships, everywhere. In these tempestuous times, of course, the world reads into events what it hopes and expects to see. Moussa calls such sectarian ‘framing’ both dangerous and “sinister”.

But look rather, at the core issue on which practically all Lebanese demonstrators concur: It is that the cast-iron sectarian ‘cage’ (decreed initially by France, and subsequently ‘corrected’ by Saudi Arabia at Taif, to shift economic power into the hands of the Sunnis), is the root cause to the institutionalised, semi-hereditary corruption and mal-governance that has infected Lebanon.

Is this not precisely articulated in the demand for a ‘technocratic government’ – that is to say in the demand for the ousting of all these hereditary sectarian Zaim in a non-sectarian articulation of national interests. Of course, being Lebanon, one tribe will always be keener for one, rather than another, sectarian leader to be cast as villain to the piece. The reality is, however, that technocratic government exactly is a break from Taif – even if the next PM is nominally Sunni (but yet not partisan Sunni)?

And just for clarity’s sake: An end to the compartmentalised sectarian constitution is in Hizbullah’s interest. The Shi’i – the largest minority in Lebanon – were always given the smallest slice of the national cake, under the sectarian divide.

What is driving this sudden focus on ‘the flawed system’ in Lebanon – more plausibly – is simply, hard reality. Most Lebanese understand that they no longer possess a functional economy. Its erstwhile ‘business model’ is bust.

Lebanon used to have real exports – agricultural produce exported to Syria and Iraq, but that avenue was closed by the war in Syria. Lebanon’s (legal) exports today effectively are ‘zilch’, but it imports hugely (thanks to having an artificially high Lebanese pound). All this – i.e. the resulting trade, and government budget deficit – used to be balanced out by the large inward flow of dollars.

Inward remittances from the 8 – 9 million Lebanese living overseas was one key part – and dollar deposits arriving in Lebanon’s once ‘safe-haven’ banking system was the other. But that ‘business model’ effectively is bust. The remittances have been fading for years, and the Banking system has the US Treasury crawling all over it (looking for sanctionable Hizbullah accounts).

Which brings us back to that other key point made by Moussa, namely, that the Iraqi disturbances are, in his view, “a preparatory stage for them to choose their way as Iraqis … and that will reflect on Lebanon too”.

If the ‘model’ – either economically or politically – is systemically bust, then tinkering will not do. A new direction is required.

Look at it this way: Sayyed Nasrallah has noted in recent days that other alternatives for Lebanon to a US alignment are possible, but have not yet consolidated into a definitive alternative. That option, in essence, is to ‘look East’: to Russia and China.

It makes sense: At one level, an arrangement with Moscow might untie a number of ‘knots’: It could lead to a re-opening of trade, through Syria, into Iraq for Lebanon’s agricultural produce; it could lead to a return of Syrian refugees out from Lebanon, back to their homes; China could shoulder the Economic Development plan, at a fraction of its projected $20 billion cost – and, above all it could avoid the ‘poison pill’ of a wholesale privatisation of Lebanese state assets on which the French are insisting. In the longer term, Lebanon could participate in the trade and ‘energy corridor’ plans that Russia and China have in mind for the norther tier of the Middle East and Turkey. At least, this alternative seems to offer a real ‘vision’ for the future. Of course, America is threatening Lebanon with horrible consequences – for even thinking of ‘looking East’.

On the other hand, at a donors’ conference at Paris in April, donors pledged to give Lebanon $11bn in loans and grants – but only if it implements certain ‘reforms’. The conditions include a commitment to direct $7 bn towards privatising government assets and state property – as well as austerity measures such as raising taxes, cutting public sector wages and reducing social services.

Great! But how will this correct Lebanon’s broken ‘business model’? Answer: It would not. Devaluation of the Lebanese pound (almost inevitable, and implying big price rises) and further austerity will not either make Lebanon again a financial safe-haven, nor boost income from remittances. It is the classic misery recipe, and one which leaves Lebanon in the hands of external creditors.

Paris has taken on the role of advancing this austerity agenda by emphasising that only a cabinet acceptable to the creditors will do, to release crucial funds. It seems that France believes that it is sufficient to introduce reforms, impose the rule of law and build the institutions – in order to Gulliverise Hizbullah. This premise of US or Israeli acquiescence to this Gulliverisation plan – seems questionable.

The issue for Aoun must be the potential costs that the US might impose – extending even to the possible exclusion of Lebanese banks from the dollar clearing system (i.e. the infamous US Treasury neutron bomb). Washington is intent more on pushing Lebanon to the financial brink, as hostage to its (i.e. Israel’s) demand that Hizbullah be disarmed, and its missiles destroyed. It might misjudge, however, and send Lebanon over the brink into the abyss.

But President Aoun, or any new government, cannot disarm Hizbullah. But Israel’s newly ambiguous strategic situation (post – Abqaiq), will likely hike the pressures on Lebanon to act against Hizbullah, through one means or another. Were Aoun or his government to try to mitigate the US pressures through acquiescence to the ‘reform’ package, would that be the end to it? Where would it all end, for Lebanon?

And it is a similar conundrum in Iraq: The economic situation though, is quite different. Iraq has one-fifth of the population of neighbouring Iran, but five times the daily oil sales. Yet the infrastructure of its cities, following the two wars, is still a picture of ruination and poverty. The wealth of Iraq is stolen, and sits in bank accounts abroad. In Iraq, it is primarily the political model that is bust, and needs to be re-cast.

Is this Moussa’s point – that Iraq presently is in the preparatory stage of choosing a new path ahead? He describes it as a self-correcting process leading out from the fissures of sectarianism. Conventional Washington thinking however, is that Iran seeks only a Shi’i hegemony for Iraq. But that is a misreading: Iran’s policy is much more nuanced. It is not some sectarian hegemony that is its objective, but the more limited aim to have the strategic edge across the region – in an amorphous, ambiguous, and not easily defined way – so that a fully sovereign Iraq becomes able to push-back against Israel and the US – deniably, and well short of all-out war.

This is the point: the end to sectarianism is an Iranian interest, and not sectarian hegemony.

Yellow Vests reach 1 year: The redemption of France’s revolutionary spirit

 

Yellow Vests reach 1 year: The redemption of France’s revolutionary spirit

November 20, 2019

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog (cross-posted with PressTV)

(Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.)

For many years to come France will be divided into two periods – before the Yellow Vests, and after the Yellow Vests. It’s widely believed in France that things can never go back to the way they were.

I’m not sure there can be a better yardstick of domestic success – a better gauge of sociocultural impact – than that?

Outside of France the Yellow Vests have given the world a precious gift, and at a huge sacrifice: nobody will ever view “French-style democracy” with the respect their government arrogantly demands as the alleged “birthplace of human rights”. For a generation or longer, “What about the Yellow Vests?”, will be a conversation-ending question to anyone who claims the moral superiority of the “Western-style” political system.

Systematic repression of the poorest classes are indeed “universal values”, but only within neoliberal and neo-imperial systems. Make no mistake: It has been one year of open Yellow Vest revolt against the economic dictates of that “neoliberal empire”, the European Union, and it’s neo-colonial puppet temporarily occupying Élysée Palace in Paris.

What the last year has testified to is the redemption of France’s revolutionary spirit. Not every country has that, after all.

England, for example, will foolishly “keep calm and carry on” – a perfect summation of change-hating conservatism – until the bitter end, always. This is why reading English-language media coverage of the Yellow Vests was so very similar – “English conservative opposes egalitarian movement in France”. They have been running the same story for 200+ years, going back to Edmund Burke, who founded modern Western conservatism with his (reactionary) Reflections on the Revolution in France in 1790.

France is not England, but 53 weeks ago I don’t think anyone imagined that the French could possibly muster the stamina, dedication and self-sacrifice to protest amid massive state-sponsored repression every weekend for one year.

It’s an amazing achievement, and only those full of spite and hate could deny them a modest present of honest recognition on their birthday.

But Western mainstream media coverage in English and French was just that – they claimed the Yellow Vests achieved nothing.

One thing the French don’t like to be reminded of is: the French Revolution failed, and quickly. It’s as if they forget Emperor Napoleon?

The French Revolution is not like the Iranian, Chinese or Cuban Revolutions, all of which have endured. The American Revolution has also endured – too bad that it was even more aristocratic (bourgeois) and sectarian than the French Revolution.

But the French Revolution occurred in an era of constant regional imperialism, war, slavery, repression of women, religious and ethnic sectarianism, etc. – we would be wrong to say it did not still have positive worldwide ramifications in the most important realms of politics, economics, culture, etc. The USSR – the only empire based on affirmative action – also failed, but we would be wrong to say it didn’t also produce positive changes for their people and also worldwide.

Quickly, here are a few tangible victories of the Yellow Vests: they prevented Emmanuel Macron from presenting a 10th consecutive annual austerity budget, they prevented Macron from de-nationalising the three airports of Paris, and the 10 billion euros in so-called “concessions” was credited with keeping French economic growth in the positive in the last quarter.

However, even if the Yellow Vests have obviously not yet toppled the 5th Republic and set up a new order, their cultural is inestimable. Just as the Occupy Movement of the US in 2011 gave us the slogan and mentality of “We are the 99%”, so will the Yellow Vests stand for something equally conscience-raising.

The Yellow Vests want a French Cultural Revolution, and should lead it

However, a big difference between the two movements is that Occupy was led by many college-educated “do-gooders” – and God bless them – whereas the Yellow Vests are undoubtedly a movement of the most marginalised classes.

Seemingly the most comprehensive survey thus far showed that few Vesters are unemployed, two-thirds of Vesters make less than the average national wage, and an even greater percentage regret a lack of cultural resources and social links. In other words: hard-working, (yet still) poor, isolated citizens who yearn for more cultural enrichment.

This is why I have repeatedly drawn a different parallel: the Yellow Vests are essentially demanding a Cultural Revolution. Only China and Iran have ever had one, and both were state-sponsored.

Cultural Revolutions put the values of the formerly-oppressed classes into power – everything is brought to a halt for perhaps years in order to engage in mass discussions, with the aim of drastically updating a nation’s democratic institutions and general culture in order to accord with modern political ideals. This is precisely what the Yellow Vests want: a long, comprehensive, democratic rethink and public debate over France’s inclusion in the European Union, the eurozone, NATO, and the Americanisation/neoliberalisation of their domestic policies.

Chinese peasants, Iran’s “revolution of the barefooted” and the rural-based Yellow Vests – it’s impossible not to admit the parallels. The West, of course, only insists that both Cultural Revolutions were huge mistakes.

Not true: China’s Cultural Revolution created the rural economic and human capital which laid the groundwork for their 1980s-onwards boom, although the West would have you believe its rebirth sprung only from Deng’s reforms; Iran’s Cultural Revolution swept away the elite’s oppressive aping of the West and created the first modern Muslim democracy.

The Yellow Vests insist that they are the “real” France, and after a year of talking with them I agree – they know as much or more about politics than I do. Politics is not rocket science, after all, but mainly applying common morality to public policy and daily events.

Iran and China already had a government inspired by socialist democracy (and not by aristocratic liberal democracy) when they embarked on their Cultural Revolutions, whereas France does not – thus the repression.

What did the Occupy Movement “achieve”, after all? They prevented no bailouts, they folded after infinitely less state repression and there is no direct movement linked with them today. However, only a Burkean conservative would insist that the Occupy Movement didn’t wake many people up to the struggles of class warfare, and of egalitarian right and greedy wrong. It’s never mentioned in the Western media – which only adores far-right, nativist, anti-socialist movements like in Hong Kong – but Algerians have protested for 39 consecutive weekends as well.

The Yellow Vests have not failed – they have much to celebrate on their birthday, and this article serves as a rare reminder of that reality.

Iranian and Russian media – doing France’s job for them

What’s important to note is that since late June – when France started going on summer vacation – Russian and Iranian media in Paris (including my Farsi- and Spanish-language colleagues) have been the only television journalists openly covering the Yellow Vest demonstrations.

My French colleagues have done the most cowardly thing possible – they quit the field. For many months people in Paris couldn’t believe I had to work covering the Yellow Vests on Saturday: I repeatedly heard, “I thought they were finished?”

With exceptions I can count on one hand, for many months French media has been either totally absent or hidden. There are certainly no reporters doing live interviews (even without a logo displaying whom they work for), even though the presence of live reporters inherently reduces the willingness of police to be violent. Considering the toll of violence – 11,000 arrested, 2,000 convicted, 1,000 imprisoned, 5,000 hurt,1,000 critically injured and the innumerable tear-gassings – it’s no wonder French people hate the media.

In France the vast majority of media are private, with editorial lines decided by a handful of billionaires – that’s just how Western journalism works, sadly. “Free speech”, they call it. However, where are the public media – they are paid by taxpayer dollars to objectively cover their own nation?! Quite pathetic….

This is probably why the Macron administration openly disparages Russia’s RT and Sputnik (we won’t get into their problems with PressTV here): we have spent the past year properly doing our jobs, unlike France’s media.

That’s too bad for France, but the unexpected and undeniable accomplishments of the Yellow Vests speak for themselves. Who knows what they might achieve in year 2?

‘Israel’ Marginalizing Palestinian Cause by Fomenting Sectarian Strife in Mideast – Hamas

‘Israel’ Marginalizing Palestinian Cause by Fomenting Sectarian Strife in Mideast - Hamas

‘Israel’ Marginalizing Palestinian Cause by Fomenting Sectarian Strife in Mideast – Hamas

By Staff, Agencies

Leader of Hamas resistance movement in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar said the ‘Israeli’ regime is resorting to sectarian strife in the Middle East in order to marginalize the Palestinian cause, and advance its own agenda in the region.

“Our cause is at a dangerous juncture, and there are real threats that we must face. The occupying regime is pouring fuel on the fire of sectarian strife in the Arab countries as part of efforts to obliterate the Palestinian cause,” Sinwar said in a speech delivered in Gaza City on Monday evening.

He added that ‘Israeli’ lobbyists control the United States, whose President Donald Trump – referred to occupied al-Quds as so-called ‘capital’ of the occupation territories at the 2017 Riyadh summit, held in 2017 in the Saudi capital, and no participant raised an objection at the time.

Sinwar also condemned attempts by some Arab states and Gulf kingdoms to normalize diplomatic relations with the Tel Aviv regime, noting Trump had said back then that Arab leaders were developing new approaches aimed at the establishment of normal ties with ‘Israel’.

He went on to say that think tanks have been formed within Palestinian factions in order to deal with every problem impeding the implementation of a reconciliation agreement, emphasizing that there are certain forces seeking to prolong division among Palestinians.

قوى الطوائف مع دولة مدنية في لبنان The forces of sects with a civil state in Lebanon

أكتوبر 30, 2019

د.وفيق إبراهيم

يطغى شعار الدولة المدنية على كل الشعارات الأخرى في المرحلة الحالية في لبنان، متحكماً بالسنة السياسيين وقادة الأحزاب بشكل مذهل يدعو الى طرح سؤال وحيد، اذا كانت كل هذه القوى مع الدولة المدنية، فأين هي أحزاب النظام الطائفي المسيطر على البلاد منذ 1948 ؟

وكيف استطاع هذا النظام الصمود بمذهبيته العميقة، فيما تؤيد كل مكوناته مدنية الدولة؟

هنا تكمن إحدى المعجزات الكبيرة التي لا يفهمها إلا السياسيون اللبنانيون المتمكنون إلى حدود الاحتراف في تقديم صور متعددة لانتماءاتهم السياسية. فهل هناك مثيل للوزير السابق وليد جنبلاط الذي يترأس حزباً مذهبياً وإقطاعيا ومناطقياً وتقدمياً واشتراكياً وأخيراً مؤيداً للدولة المدنية!

أما رئيس حزب القوات السيد سمير جعجع فابتدأ حياته الاحترافية قائداً في حزب فجر حرباً طائفية استمرت حتى تسعينات القرن الماضي، مستفيداً من دعم إسرائيلي للبنان، أيدته القوات الجعجعية وشاركت فيه بالمزيد من اقتراف المجازر الطائفية.

وهذا ينطبق على جميع أحزاب لبنان العاملة ضمن إطار النظام السياسي مقابل أحزاب وطنية ويسارية وقومية تؤمن بالدولة المدنية ولم تنتم يوماً إلى مؤسسات النظام.

لقد وصل هذا التلفيق إلى حدود القوى الدينية، التي تعلن تأييدها للحراك الشعبي فهل تؤيد حقاً الدولة المدنية؟

علينا أولاً الإشارة إلى أن الدولة المدنية تقوم على فصل التأثير الديني عن تفاعلات السياسة وحصره في إطار خاص به يعتبر أن الدين وسيلة للعبادة وليس للسيطرة السياسية.

هذا ما فعلته اوروبا واميركا واليابان والصين وروسيا، وبلدان أخرى كثيرة.

لذلك فإن الدولة الفرنسية مثلاً ألغت التقسيم الطائفي للسلطة بين الكاثوليك والبروتستانت وجعلت من الانتماء الوطني المفتوح قاعدة للدمج الاجتماعي بالمساواة الكاملة لمواطنيها في الحقوق السياسية والاجتماعية والاقتصادية، وعلى اساس الوطنية والكفاءة، وبذلك اعادت الدين الى مواقعه في الكنائس مع حصر دوره في العبادات، حتى أن الزواج الفرنسي الزامي في البلديات، حتى يصبح شرعياً.

ونحت معظم دول العالم على الطريقة نفسها لكن الدين في العالم العربي والاسلامي يجري استخدامه وسيلة للتحشيد وتشكيل العصبيات السياسية فالوهابية في السعودية اداة لضبط السكان في طاعة آل سعود، ومفتي الأزهر أقوى مؤيدي كل نظام مصري جديد.

ان احوال القوى الدينية متشابهة في العالم الاسلامي ومهمتها الوحيدة تطويع الناس لخدمة المسؤولين السياسيين.

أما لبنان فبالغ في طائفية نظامه السياسي نظراً لتعددية المذاهب والاديان فيه. ففيما يحرص الدستور في مصر والمغرب والجزائر والسودان والاردن على اسلامية الدولة والرئيس، يذهب النظام السياسي اللبناني نحو «مذهبة» رؤساء مؤسساته الدستورية ونوابه ووزرائه والموظفين الاداريين والقضاء والجامعات وكل شيء تقريباً.

وهذا ما ادى الى تجذير الطائفية في لبنان، متيحاً لطبقته السياسية بالهيمنة على كل شيء تقريباً، وهذا حول المواطن متسولاً يبحث عن لقمة عيشه عند المسؤول عن طائفته، حتى أصبحت الطائفية معممة في العلاقات بين اللبنانيين وعلى كل المستويات.

فانتفخت الاحزاب واصبح لكل طائفة احزابها الناطقة باسمها والمستولية على قواها عند كل المكونات ومن دون استثناء.

لقد ادى هذا النمط من العلاقات السياسية الى تراكم اكبر فساد سياسي معروف في دولة بحجم لبنان مستتبعاً سطواً كاملاً على مقدرات البلاد باسلوب علني يحتمي بالتحشيد الطائفي، ما انتج بطالة وتضخماً وافلاساً وعجزاً ويناً عاماً يزيد على المئة وعشرين مليارا دولار في دولة لا يتعدى ناتجها الوطني العشرين ملياراً.

وغابت الكهرباء والمياه وتكدست النفايات واصبح الأمن فئوياً يخضع لسلطة الزعماء الذين اضافوا الى قوتهم ميزة القداسة الدينية.

هذا ما يدفع الى الحيرة في احزاب طائفية تسللت الى قيادة التحرك الشعبي المتواصل وتطالب بدولة مدنية، فهل هي جدية في مطالبتها ام انها تحاول السيطرة على هذا الحراك الشعبي ذي السمتين الجديدتين على لبنان وهما:تبلور شعور طبقي مع اتجاه نحو الاحساس بالوطنية على حساب تراجع هيمنة «المقدس» القامع لمصالح الناس باللعب عن العصبيات الطائفية والمذهبية.

لعل هذا يؤكد أن الاحزاب المحركة للمتظاهرين، تستعمل هذه الاساليب في إطار صراعاتها مع احزاب اخرى ضمن السلطة، لذلك تذهب نحو استغلال انتفاضة اللبنانيين على النظام الطائفي بتبني شعاراتهم حول ضرورة الدولة المدنية.

والدليل أن الحريري يقدم نفسه «بيي السنة» وجنبلاط سلطان الشوف وعالية وجعجع المدافع عن القديسين، وللامانة فإن هذا الوضع يشمل كل احزاب السلطة من دون استثناء. فهل نحن عشية تحول لبنان دولة مدنية؟

يحتاج هذا الأمر الى احزاب سياسية حقيقية تؤمن بمدنية الدولة، هناك الكثير منها خارج السلطة، لذلك فليست بقادرة على تغيير النظام الطائفي.

ان هذاالتغيير يحتاج الى موازنات قوى شعبية لها قياداتها الفعلية والتحرك الاخير هو الحركة الاساسية في رحلة الألف ميل للقضاء على نظام طائفي متلون يستعمل كل الشعارات الديموقراطية الحديثة وهي براء منه، لذلك فإن اللبنانيين ذاهبون نحو بناء دولة مدنية فعلية تحتاج الى قليل من الصبر والكثير من موازين القوى.

Translation By Word 2019

The forces of sects with a civil state in Lebanon

October 30, 2019

Dr. Wafiq Ibrahim

The slogan of the civil state dominates all the other slogans at the current stage in Lebanon, controlling the Sunni politicians and party leaders in a stunning way to ask the only question, if all these forces are with the civil state, where are the parties of the sectarian regime that has controlled the country since 1948?

How has this regime been able to withstand its deep ideology, while all its components support the civil state?

Here lies one of the great miracles that only lebanese politicians who are able to the limits of professionalism understand in providing multiple images of their political affiliations. Is there an instance of former minister Walid Jumblatt, who heads a sectarian, feudal, regional, progressive, socialist and finally a supporter of the civilstate!

The head of the Forces Party, Mr. Samir Geagea, began his professional career as a leader of the Party that blew up a sectarian war that lasted until the 1990s, taking advantage of Israeli support for Lebanon, which was supported by the Geagea forces and participated in more sectarianmassacres.

This applies to all parties in Lebanon operating within the framework of the political system as opposed to national, leftist and nationalist parties that believe in the civil state and have never belonged to the institutions of theregime.

This fabrication has reached the limits of the religious forces, which declare their support for the popular movement. Do you really support the civil state?

First, we should point out that the civil state is based on separating religious influence from the interactions of politics and limiting it to its own framework that considers religion to be a means of worship, not politicalcontrol.

This is what Europe, America, Japan, China, Russia and many other countries havedone.

The French State, for example, abolished the sectarian division of power between Catholics and Protestants and made open national belonging a basis for social integration with the full equality of its citizens in political, social and economic rights, on the basis of patriotism and efficiency, thereby restoring religion. To his positions in the churches with limited his role in worship, so that French marriage is compulsory in the municipalities, until it becomeslegal.

Most of the countries of the world are in the same way, but religion in the Arab and Islamic world is being used as a means of shaping political tensions, Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia is a tool to control the population in obedience to the Al Saud, and the Mufti of Al-Azhar is the strongest supporter of every new Egyptianregime.

The conditions of religious forces are similar in the Islamic world and their sole mission is to recruit people to serve politicalofficials.

Lebanon, on the other hand, has over-sectarianism in its political system because of its multi-confessional and religious system. While the constitution in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan and Jordan is keen on the Islamic state and the president, the Lebanese political system goes towards the “gilded” heads of its constitutional institutions, its deputies, its ministers, administrative officials, the judiciary, universities and almosteverything.

This led to the rooting of sectarianism in Lebanon, allowing its political class to dominate almost everything, and this is about the citizen who is seeking a living at the head of his community, until sectarianism became generalized in relations between the Lebanese and at alllevels.

The parties have blown up and each group has its own own parties and has taken over its powers in all components withoutexception.

This type of political relations has led to the accumulation of the biggest known political corruption in a country the size of Lebanon, following a complete robbery of the country’s capabilities in a public way that protects sectarian ism, which has resulted in unemployment, inflation, bankruptcy, deficits and public debt of more than 120 billion dollars in a country that does not exceed Its national product is 20billion.

Electricity and water were absent, waste was piled up and security became a category under the authority of leaders who added to their power the advantage of religiousholiness.

This is what causes confusion in sectarian parties that have infiltrated the leadership of the popular movement and demands a civil state, is it serious in its demand or is it trying to control this popular movement with two new poisons on Lebanon: the crystallization of a class feeling with a trend towards a sense of patriotism at the expense of the decline of hegemony « Al-Maqdis» suppressing the interests of the people by playing about sectarian and sectariantensions.

Perhaps this confirms that the parties driving the demonstrators, use these methods in the context of their conflicts with other parties within the authority, so they go towards exploiting the uprising of the Lebanese on the sectarian system by adopting their slogans about the necessity of a civilstate.

The proof is that Hariri presents himself as “Bay sunnah”, “Jumblat sultan al-Shuf” and Aalay and Geagea, the defender of the saints, and to be honest, this situation includes all parties of power without exception. Are we on the eve of Lebanon’s transformation as a civil state?

This needs real political parties that believe in the civility of the state, there are many of them outside power, so they are not able to change the sectariansystem.

This change needs the budgets of popular forces that have their actual leadership and the last move is the main movement in the journey of a thousand miles to eliminate a sectarian system that uses all the slogans of modern democracy and is innocent of it, so the Lebanese are going towards building a real civil state that needs a little bit of Patience and a lot of powerbalances.

 

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