Why Ashraf Riffi didn’t resign before?

rifiToday, justice Minister Ashraf Rifi resigned from government on Sunday in wake of the release of former Minister Michel Samaha from jail and in light of “the national crisis caused by the de facto powers.” He listed the “obstruction imposed by Hizbullah and its allies in the government and outside of it,” the presidential vacuüm, paralysis of state institutions, failure to refer Samaha’s case to the Judicial Council, and “destruction of Lebanon’s ties with Saudi Arabia and other Arab brothers for the first time in Lebanese history.”

At the first look, some might say, good move and this guy has integrity. But for others, who do not forget things, how come Minister Rifi didn’t resign before? Some might as when and why? How about right after the death of the Saudi terrorist Majed Majed? Many forgot the name for sure. Here is a short summary about him. Majed Majed is a Saudi citizen. He was the alleged chief of an al Qaeda-affiliated jihadist group who was arrested by Lebanese authorities in December 2013. He died in few days after. His death triggered growing suspicions, especially in Lebanese political circles, that al-Majed who commanded the notorious Abdullah Azzam Brigades terrorist group was killed in collusion between elements Lebanese government and military authorities and the Saudi regime intelligence officials and operatives in Lebanon. Dead men don’t talk. By silencing him, Saudi majedArabia was relieved that Majed will not disclose any incriminating information that links Saudi intelligence and terrorist organizations in the Middle East. Such information could have shed more light on the Saudi’s covert support to al-Qaeda network in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Early reports revealed that Saudi Arabia offered Lebanon $3bln to extradite him to Saudi Arabia. Did they say $3bln??? Wait a minute, didn’t the Saudis offer $3Bln to arm the Lebanese army? Are you following me now? Majed wasn’t extradited. He “died”. Those $3Bln were never cashed since then and this week the Saudi regime canceled the $3Bln donation. Reason: “Iran influence in Lebanon and Hizbullah control of Lebanese policy”.

So my question to Mr. Rifi, how come you didn’t resign when Majed Majed, the terrorist linked to Saudi Arabia, died in custody? His group admitted their attacks in Lebanon against UNIFIL and other targets.

It was a joke

saad2What Saad Hariri said on February 14 and the way he treated Samir Geagea, was only a joke! In his speech on Sunday night at the annual memory of former PM Rafiq Hariri’s assassination, Saad Hariri dedicated part of his speech to attack Hizbullah but what was surprising the part of his speech in which he publicly insulted the head of Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea. During the memorial photo at the BIEL ceremony on Sunday, Saad Hariri insulted Samir Geagea by turning his back to Geagea and embracing head of the Kataeb party Sami Jemayel.
Earlier during the ceremony, Hariri [in a direct speech to Geagea] mocked the reconciliation between Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea and Free Patriotic Movement founder Michel Aoun saying “We wish it had taken place long ago as it would have spared the Christians and the Lebanese a lot.”

With typical Saudi mentality add to it the norm that Hariri family enjoyed during Syrian occupation of Lebanon, Saad still thinks he can do what his father did. Decides on behalf of all Lebanese especially the Christians. No on told Saad hariri when he decided to drop geagea as his candidate for the presidency and adopts Sleiman Franjieh from the opposite clan that if he had picked a march 8 candidate a long time ago, Lebanon would have had a president by now. No one told Saad Hariri if his clan didn’t support the PLO saad1against the Lebanese, Lebanon wouldn’t have entered a civil war. No one told Saad Hariri if his clan didn’t support the Syrian invasion of Lebanon, the Lebanese wouldn’t have been subject to occupation and Syrian hegemony. No one told Saad Hariri when he went to Syria and kissed President Assad and slept in his palace, that how can you kiss and sleep in the house of the person whom you accused to kill your father. No one told him if you kiss assad and supports Franjieh (Assad friend in Lebanon) then why to spend millions of Lebanese taxpayers money to finance the international tribune to bring his father killer to stand in front of the judicial system.

Tonight, Saad Hariri visited Samir Geagea. Geagea said he took what Hariri said as a joke. Hariri added that is was really a joke. LF MP Zahra didn’t see a joke. the Head of Samir Geagea security didn’t see a joke. The Lebanese Forces base didn’t see a joke. What they saw was the true image of Hariri family at its best. If Samir Geagea didn’t see it, maybe he should check social media.

Saad Hariri and the Sunnite clan can’t accept that what they took by force under Syrian hegemony is not acceptable anymore.

 

What was the real issue behind not having a President in Lebanon?

The answer to this question is Saad Hariri. As simple as that. In June 2013, 10 months before the end of the term of President Michel Sleiman, the term of the Parliament had ended. The Prime Minister at that time was Najib Miqati. Saad Hariri was in Paris, too scared to join the Lebanese their daily misery. Saad, fearing that if elections were held while he is not in power, Miqati will gain more seats. He refused to take part in the election. Nabih Berri grabbed Saad position and decided that he will not participate in the election without a large Sunnite group, fearing more troubles between Sunnite and Shia.

They extended the term of the Parliament which opened the door for extending the term of President Sleiman. Hizballah and his allies refused to extend the term of Sleiman. If Saad accepted to take part in the parliamentary elections, no one who have suggested extending Sleiman term. We ended up with no parliamentary and presidential elections simply because Saad from Paris was afraid to lose more seats in the parliament. The vacuüm we have today is due to ignorance and street politics of Saad Hariri.

 

Democracy a la Hizballah way

nasrallahHizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah reiterated Friday his party’s “ethical and political commitment” to Change and Reform bloc chief MP Michel Aoun’s presidential nomination, expressing the willingness to elect him “tomorrow.” Denying claims that Hizbullah is seeking to maintain the presidential vacuum, Hizbullah’s chief noted that his party would head to parliament “tomorrow” if it guarantees that Aoun would be elected president — even without any so-called “package settlement.”

According to Sayyed Hassan, if Aoun has no chance to become president, he will boycott the election.  Why is he going to boycott? The second serious candidate that was supported by Hariri clan is a “dear friend” to Sayyed Hassan and part of his March 8 group. So now we have two candidate from March 8 clan, allies of Sayyed Hassan, he supports Aoun but can’t tell Franjieh to pull out of the race of Aoun !!!!

“We would go to parliament and take part in the elections and we would not demand a package settlement, a constituent assembly or constitutional amendments. Our demands from the package settlement have been fulfilled seeing as both candidates are from March 8,” he noted. Tayiib, you won. Now can you please tell one of them to pull out of the race?

What about Franjieh? Did he switch clan and became a March 14 member?  Just because Hariri promised him the presidency ?!?!?! He has been saying that Aoun is my candidate and I’m plan B. At that time, Aoun was only supported by March 8 group. When Saad Hariri made one of his thousands mistakes and supported Franjieh, Geagea gave his support to Aoun. So Aoun has the March 8 behind him and the largest Christian component of March 14. Why Franjieh is still running?

Hariri doesn’t like Aoun because he will open their books and ask them how come billions of dollars evaporated. Berri doesn’t like Aoun because Aoun will fight him for the oil and gaz shares. The rest of the Christian leaders will not support Aoun or Geagea for simple reason, both man do not belong to the feudal families who been ruling Lebanon. The rest of the sunnite families will not support any of these men for the same reasons. Walid beyk too. They don’t want new comers to eat from their plate.

 

How are you helping?

nadimgemayelThis question is directed to MP Nadim Gemayel. He attended today the Mass that was held in Damour village in the memory of Damour’s massacre. After the Mass MP Nadim Gemayel said:”no matter how intense the difficulties are, we stand firm in our land, we are anchored in our roots, we believe in our principles and our values.  We will return to our land because it is the land of our fathers, grandfathers and martyrs.”
Great words, but can you tell me, MP Gemayel, what did you do for those who left to return? In addition, what kind of program you presented in order for people to return? Furthermore, can you please enlighten us, what kind of programs you, the Kataeb MP’s, Tayyar MP’s, LF MP’s, ….. put in place in order for those who stayed to be able to live and not leave? The garbage been on the streets for yours and as MP’s none of you proposed a solution. None of you resigned because he is incapable of serving the people. Remember an MP serves the people and not vice versa. From my part, I had enough of few nice words said in some occasions. Don’t you think it is better to resign because you are not capable of presenting one single project to help our youth from immigrating? I think it will be too much to ask from you to introduce programs in order for those who left to return. You and other MP’s been elected in 2009 and you guys extended your terms in 2014 to 2017. Can any of you, besides empty words, tell us what did you do for people to return? or to stay? I know I’m asking too much but “birabak” your words can’t be cached in any bank.

Historical Fact: The Massacre and Destruction of Damour

Damour lay across the Sidon – Beirut highway about 20 km south of Beirut on the slopes of a foothill of the Lebanon range. On the other side of the road, beyond a flat stretch of coast, is the sea. It was a town of some 25,000 people, containing five churches, three chapels, seven schools, private and public, and one public hospital where Muslims from nearby villages were treated along with the Christians, at the expense of the town.On 9 January 1976, three days after Epiphany, the priest of Damour Father Mansour Labaky, was carrying out a Maronite custom of blessing the houses with holy water. As he stood in front of a house on the side of the town next to the Muslim village of Harat Na’ami, a bullet whistled past his ear and hit the house. Then he heard the rattle of machine-guns. He went inside the house and soon learned that the town was surrounded. Later he found out by whom and how many — the forces of Sa’iqa, consisting of 16,000 Palestinians and Syrians, and units of the Mourabitoun and some fifteen other militias, reinforced by mercenaries from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and a contingent of Libyans.

Father Labaky telephoned the Muslim sheikh of the district and asked him, as a fellow religious leader, what he could do to help the people of the town. ‘I can do nothing,’ he was told ‘They want to harm you. It is the Palestinians. I cannot stop them.’

While the shooting and some shelling went on all day, Father Labaky telephoned a long list of people, politicians of both the Left and the Right, asking for help. They all said with apologies and commiserations that they could do nothing. Then he telephoned Kamal Jumblatt, in whose parliamentary constituency Damour lay. ‘Father,’ Jumblatt said, ‘I can do nothing for you because it depends on Yasser Arafat.’ He gave Arafat’s phone number to the priest. An aide answered, and when he would not call Arafat himself, Father Labaky told him, ‘The Palestinians are shelling and shooting at my town. I can assure you as a religious leader, we do not want the war, we do not believe in violence.’ He added that nearly half the people of Damour had voted for Kamal Jumblatt, ‘who is backing you,’ he reminded the PLO man. The reply was, ‘Father, don’t worry. We don’t want to harm you. If we are destroying you it is for strategical reasons.’

Father Labaky did not feel that there was any less cause for worry because the destruction was for strategical reasons, and he persisted in asking for Arafat to call off his fighters. In the end, the aide said that they, PLO headquarters, would ‘tell them to stop shooting’.By then it was eleven o’clock in the evening. As the minutes passed and the shooting still went on, Father Labaky called Jumblatt again on the telephone and told him what Arafat’s aide had said. Jumblatt’s advice was that the priest should keep trying to make contact with Arafat, and call other friends of his, ‘because’, he said, ‘I do not trust him’.

At about half-past eleven the telephone, water, and electricity were all cut off. The first invasion of the town came in the hour after midnight, from the side where the priest had been shot at earlier in the day. The Sa’iqa men stormed into the houses. They massacred some fifty people in the one night. Father Labaky heard screaming and went out into the street. Women came running to him in their nightdresses, ‘tearing their hair, and shouting “They are slaughtering us!” The survivors, deserting that end of the town, moved into the area round the next church. The invaders then occupied the part of the town they had taken. Father Labaky describes the scene:

‘In the morning I managed to get to the one house despite the shelling to bring out some of the corpses. And I remember something which still frightens me. An entire family had been killed, the Can’an family, four children all dead, and the mother, the father, and the grandfather. The mother was still hugging one of the children. And she was pregnant. The eyes of the children were gone and their limbs were cut off. No legs and no arms. It was awful. We took them away in a banana truck. And who carried the corpses with me? The only survivor, the brother ofthe man. His name is Samir Can’an. He carried with me the remains of his brother, his father, his sister-in-law and the poor children. We buried them in the cemetery, under the shells of the PLO. And while I was burying them, more corpses were found in the street.’

The town tried to defend itself. Two hundred and twenty-five young men, most of them about sixteen years old, armed with hunting guns and none with military training, held out for twelve days. The citizens huddled in basements, with sandbags piled in front of their doors and ground-floor windows. Father Labaky moved from shelter to shelter to visit the families and take them bread and milk. He went often ‘to encourage the young men defending the town’. The relentless pounding the town received resulted in massive damage. In the siege that had been established on 9 January the Palestinians cut off food and water supplies and refused to allow the Red Cross to take out the wounded.

Infants and children died of dehydration. Only three more townspeople were killed as a result of PLO fire between the first night and the last day, 23 January. But on that day, when the final onslaught came, hundreds of the Christians were killed. Father Labaky goes on: ‘The attack took place from the mountain behind. It was an apocalypse. They were coming, thousands and thousands, shouting ‘Allahu Akbar! God is great! Let us attack them for the Arabs, let us offer a holocaust to Mohammad ‘And they were slaughtering everyone in their path, men, women and children.’

Whole families were killed in their homes. Many women were gang-raped, and few of them left alive afterwards. One woman saved her adolescent daughter from rape by smearing her face with washing blue to make her look repulsive. As the atrocities were perpetrated, the invaders themselves took photographs and later offered the pictures for sale to European newspapers. Survivors testify to what happened. A young girl of sixteen, Soumavya Ghanimeh, witnessed the shooting of her father and brother by two of the invaders, and watched her own home and the other houses in her street being looted and burned. She explained: ‘As they were bringing me through the street the houses were burning all about me. They had about ten trucks standing in front of the houses and were piling things into them. I remember how frightened I was of the fire. I was screaming. And for months afterwards I couldn’t bear anyone to strike a match near me. I couldn’t bear the smell of it’.

She and her mother Mariam, and a younger Sister and infant brother, had been saved from being shot in their house when she ran behind one Palestinian for protection from the pointing gun of the other, and cried out ‘Don’t let him kill us!’; and the man accepted the role of protector which the girl had suddenly assigned to him. ‘If you kill them you will have to kill me too,’ he told his comrade. So the four of them were spared, herded along the streets between the burning houses to be put into a truck, and trans-ported to Sabra camp in Beirut. There they were kept in a crowded prison hut. ‘We had to sleep on the ground, and it was bitterly cold.’

When eventually Father Labaky found the charred bodies of the father and brother in the Ghanimeh house ‘you could no longer tell whether they were men or women’.

In a frenzy to destroy their enemies utterly, as if even the absolute limits of nature could not stop them, the invaders broke open tombs and flung the bones of the dead into the streets. Those who escaped from the first attack tried to flee by any means they could, with cars, carts, cycles and motorbikes. Some went on foot to the seashore to try to get away in boats. But the sea was rough and the wait for rescue was long, while they knew their enemies might fall upon them at any moment. Some 500 gathered in the Church of St Elias. Father Labaky went there at six in the morning when the tumult of the attack awakened him. He preached a sermon on the meaning of the slaughter of innocents. And he told them candidly that he did not know what to tell them to do. ‘If I say flee to the sea, you may be killed. If I say stay here, you may be killed.’

An old man suggested that they raise a white flag. ‘Perhaps if we surrender they may spare us.’ Father Labaky gave him his surplice. He put it on the processional cross and stood it in front of the church. Ten minutes later there was a knock on the door, three quick raps, then three lots of three. They were petrified. Father Labaky said that he would go and see who was there. If it was the enemy, they might spare them. ‘But if they kill us, at least we shall die all together and we’ll have a nice parish in Heaven, 500 persons, and no check points!’ They laughed, and the priest went to the door.

It was not the enemy but two men of Damour who had fled the town and had seen the white flag from the seashore. They had come back to warn them that it would not help to raise a flag. ‘We raised a flag in front of Our Lady, and they shot at us.’

Again they discussed what could be done. The priest told them that one thing they must do, although it was ‘impossible’, was to pray for the forgiveness of those who were coming to kill them. As they prayed, two of the young defenders of the town who had also seen the flag walked in and said, ‘Run to the seashore now, and we will cover you.

The two youths stood in front of the church and shot in the direction from which the fedayeen were firing. It took ten minutes for all the people in the church to leave the town. All 500 got away except one old man who said he could not walk and would prefer to die in front of his own house. He was not killed. Father Labaky found him weeks later in a PLO prison, and heard what had happened after they left. A few minutes after they had gone, ‘the PLO came and bombed the church without entering it. They kicked open the door and threw in the grenades.’ They would all have been killed had they stayed. The priest led his flock along the shore to the palace of Camille Chamoun. But when they got there they found it had already been sacked and partly burnt. They found shelter, however, in the palace of a Muslim, who ‘did not agree with the Palestinians’, and then got into small boats Which took them out to a bigger boat, in which they sailed to Jounieh. ‘One poor woman had to give birth to her baby in the little open boat on the rough winter sea.’

In all, 582 people were killed in the storming of Damour. Father Labaky went back with the Red Cross to bury them. Many of the bodies had been dismembered, so they had to count the heads to number the dead. Three of the men they found had their genitals cut off and stuffed into their mouths.

The horror did not end there, the old Christian cemetery was also destroyed, coffins were dug up, the dead robbed, vaults opened, and bodies and skeletons thrown across the grave yard. Damour was then transformed into a stronghold of Fatah and the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). The ruined town became one of the main PLO centers for the promotion of international terrorism. The Church of St Elias was used as a repair garage for PLO vehicles and also as a range for shooting-practice with targets painted on the eastern wall of the nave.

The commander of the combined forces which descended on Damour on 23 January 1976 was Zuhayr Muhsin, chief of al-Sa’iqa, known since then throughout Christian Lebanon as ‘the Butcher of Damour’. He was assassinated on 15 July 1979 at Cannes in the South of France.

If you think you understand Lebanese politics

“Si vous comprenez bien le Liban, c’est qu’on vous l’a mal expliqué.” (If you think you understand Lebanon well, it is because someone has not explained it to you properly.)  Haig Sarrafian, Canada’s ambassador to Lebanon, 1997, upon ending his tenure in the country.

aoun-geageaSamir Geagea is against Hizbullah weapons and wants to disarm the “party of God”. Michel Aoun is with Hizbullah weapons and committed to the party in order that Hizbullah supports his bid for the presidency. Samir Geagea nominated and accepted Aoun, who is the ally of his enemy (Hizbullah), as president.

Saad Hariri is against Assad and his regime. Since the assassination of his dad, he has been trying to bring down the Syrian regime. He even got involved in Syrian civil war. Hariri nominated Sleiman Franjieh, the friend of the Assad family and staunch supporter of the Assad regime, for the presidency.

Geagea and Hariri are allies in March 14 coalition. Franjieh and Aoun are allies in March 8 coalition.

And you think you know Lebanese politics my friend ….

They Came to us .. to our project …

oil-presidency

How many times I heard these words … They came to us … to our project … Lebanon first … our strategic alliance…

How many times, I tried to explain that no one came to your side, they don’t follow your project or “Lebanon First” but to no avail. We have a famous Lebanese saying: “To whom will you read your Psalms Oh David?”…. Meaning, no one is listening and no one understands…

“Cherchez la femme” doesn’t work here instead “Cherchez le Petrole” (Look for the oil) is the term to use. The hidden treasure that experts valued around a Trillion dollars will put in bed people who you never thought they will sit on the same table. In order to control the oil production and its profit, Hariri group revealed their true colors. It was never about Syrian occupation, who killed Hariri, Lebanon independence…. it’s about the Trillion dollar industry.

For the naive, who once believed in the lies, did you wake up now?

In order to control Lebanon oil, Hariri decided to run with Sleiman Franjieh  for president. Franjieh, for those who do not know, is a strong supporter of Hizballah, the Syrian Baath regime and close friend with Bashar Assad. Logic says, who ever accept Franjieh for sure will accept Aoun. The problem with Aoun, specifically with his son-in-law Gebran Basil, he wants a bigger piece of the pie. He already set up companies to do the offshore drilling.

So, the minute Hariri saw the reaction of Geagea and Aoun to his support to Franjieh, he decided to squeeze his “strategic” ally. Recently, Geagea asked for a meeting with Saudi officials. The visit was refused and he wasn’t granted a visit to Saudi Arabia. Instead, they sent the Saudi ambassador to see him. On the other hand, Hariri machine started on several levels to portray that Aoun and Geagea are not the only ones who decide for the Christian community. They set up a meeting for Michel Sleiman, ex-president of Lebanon, with the King of Saudi Arabia. They are in the process of setting up another meeting for Sami Gemayel, head of Kataeb party, to visit the Saudi Kingdom.

From his side, Geagea felt the hanging rope getting too close to his neck. He rallied his hardliners and told them “it is 1994 again …. This time I will not allow them to send me to jail …”.

Geagea will live another day (politically) due to the recent clash between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

They never came to your side…. they have used you so your voice will never rise and your community will never control the wealth of the country. At the end of the day your debt will double and all what you will this is….. (Lebanese profanity).