Sunday, September 2, 2007
By As'ad Abu Khalil
"There are days when I feel most un-Lebanese, or most anti-Lebanese, and today is one of those days. The festive environment in Lebanon leaves you nauseated and disgusted. That is exactly how I feel. I need Arabic to express myself on how I feel on this one. NBN TV, the TV of the Shi`ite sectarian militia that led the war of the camps in the 1980s talks about "the great victory" while the TV of the Lebanese Forces--the militia that celebrated with champagne bottles the destruction of Tall Az-Za`tar and Jisr Al-Basha refugee camps during the civil war and they were supported at the time by the Syrian regime and Israel--talks about "a wedding"--this is the word that former Leftitst George Nasif keeps using. The same Nasif wrote a great article in As-Safir when Tall Az-Za`tar fell in 1976. What are the Lebanese celebrating? Am I that alienated from that Ballut homeland that I no more can understand it? The state in Lebanon was dealing with a small gang that was inspired by Al-Qa`idah: there was a possibility for negotiations that would have led to the surrender of the group (whose members are mostly non-Palestinian, and whose Saudi members are being quickly shipped back to Saudi Arabia, presumably to serve in senior government positions). This required a police action but the state and the people of Lebanon were desperately looking for a heroic deed, and the only heroism that Lebanon since its founding has been capable of is bullying and oppression of civilians--Syrians and Palestinians, provided they are poor. These same Lebanese soldiers slept in their beds when Israel attacked Lebanon a year ago: they left it to ordinary Lebanese to defend the homeland while they were munching on their appetizers in their barracks. What do I say the refugees from Nahr Al-Barid? What was their crime? Where will they go? The announcements by Sanyurah only make me more worried. I have more to say, but have no time."