Sunday, June 19, 2005

O Lebanon: The Cradle of My Freedom

In the heat of it all, the heat of counting the votes, the heat of victory and concession speeches...we forgot something so important, so crucial to our fight, the reason why we started writing to the whole world through this blog: Lebanon has won! The Syrian influence is out! The Lebanese for the first time have managed to compete amongst each other relying on themselves, not any foreign party. We did it! The north has bid farewell to the days of the Syrian tutelage; it's over. The north has sealed the victory for all the Lebanese.

And the FPMers did not lose, but they have won. They have won because all what they have fought for has been accomplished. The Syrian influence is to an end. The Parliament is Lebanese par excellence, with all its diversity, with all its contradictions. We are a country of contradictions, we are. And I love my country, I love it, I love it.

We have forgotten this point, this important point, in the midst of cheering for this list or that candidate, in the midst of bickering and accusing, in the midst of disappointment for some.

Let us not forget what this was all about. Let us not fall into the quagmire and the darkness of the past. Let us not hate and accuse one another. We, the poeple who have suffered the death and destruction. We the poeple who have smelled blood, who have been subdued. We the poeple who have a story with fear, with silence, with exile, with the imprisonment of the soul, the mind, and the word. We the poeple who have been scattered in the diaspora, who have our hearts attached to our beloved country. That country that never ceases to capture you until death.

We have all won! Congratulations! The elections have ended. We have just opened a new page in our history...I pray to God that every word written on this new page would be Lebanese, honest and true to the country.

Tomorrow will never cease to be an adventure; Lebanon is an adventure, an experiment in governance, in politics, in war and peace. Tomorrow: Samir Geagea, Hizbullah, the Palestinian question, Shebaa Farms, the Lebanese-Syrian diplomatic relations, the national debt, Paris III/Beirut I, the electoral law, the election of a Parliament speaker...Tomorrow: Can be summed up with the word "Challenges". If we proved today that we are able to govern an election campaign free of any foreign tutelage after years of occupation and war, free of firing a shot against our brother, let us prove it once more then in the face of resolving the challenges ahead of our country.

The Cedar and the Olive are chanting a hymn,
An earth hymn, a song of the homeland:
O Lebanon, you are the mother, the family,
O Lebanon, the cradle of my freedom.

Doha
June 19, 2005

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."

15 comments:

Doha said...

I would like to add more, less poetic language, more political anaylsis:

The poeple were not fooled in the north. I wrote two days ago that I felt the Sha'ib list is not united. It's actually true. It was an alliance to gain power, not an alliance that articulated a vision. What was the vision of the Franjieh-Aoun-Karami alliance? Can someone tell me? Granted that many on the Sha'ib list as individuals or groups had a vision, but as a list the vision was missing. People questioned the rhetoric.

In my assessment, the Mousalaha wa Al-Islah list managed to articulate a vision, a vision of national reconciliation and change. The candidates kept on repeating the same explanation over and over; it became engrained in people's heads, talk of non-sectarianism, talk of national reconciliation, conservative women from Akkar were saying overtly that they voted for Sitrida Geagea, because Samir Geagea is innocent! Has something changed? Yes, something has changed. And it's positive change.

I felt that the Syrians, somehow and through covert means, have tried to the last minute to manage to find a segueway for them to return to the country from the north flank. The norherners have let them down.

I look forward to passing the proportionality electoral system; I wish to see all represented. Again, we all won, our country has won.

Anonymous said...

Re: "It was an alliance to gain power, not an alliance that articulated a vision. What was the vision of the Franjieh-Aoun-Karami alliance? Can someone tell me? Granted that many on the Sha'ib list as individuals or groups had a vision, but as a list the vision was missing. People questioned the rhetoric."

1) It's unfortunate that you still misunderstand Aoun. Aoun's program has been publicly made available on the Tayyar.org web site in 3 languages. It is the only program/manifesto of any other parties. Hariri's doesn't have one.
2) The pro-Syrian anti-Syrian rethoric is so "passe" now. Think of it. A few months ago only, Jumblatt, Hariri, Franjieh, Karame were all co-operators in the Syrian-led regime. It just happens that Franjieh and Karame were the last 2 men standing, weeks away after the others, but in reality- the only anti-Syrian for 15 years is Aoun, period.

Now let's see how Hariri will govern if he wants to, and if he's got the guts to disarm Hezbollah as he said he would.

Doha said...

Anonymous 10:45PM,

You misunderstand what I'm saying: I know that FPM has a program; I read it. I was talking about the vision of the Sha'ib list. The list was not united, it wasn't. I believe that Franjieh made a historical mistake; the people he allied with in Tripoli were far away politically from Aoun and the only thing that connected them was Franjieh.

And again your talk is about Hariri this or Aoun that; I was talking about something beyond all the differences, the thing that has united both of you and i, perhaps at one point, which is namely the call to the end of occupation and love of one's country.

Lebanese Meze said...

Great blog Doha! I really learned a lot these past weeks from you and all the commentators. I look forward to the next phase and the insights of all who contribute to this blog.

Anonymous said...

I can never understand the Aounists. The Free Patriotic Movement is not democratic (since Aoun has been at its head for the past 15 years). Aoun nominated his son-in-law. Talking about democracy and nepotism, hah. He allied with Franjieh, Murr and Skaff who are all but transparent and national. Today, Aoun said that his mission was to break the opposition, then he said the country should be based on an "army spirit."
On top of all, FPM claims to be the only one with an electoral platform. Did anyone read that platform, it's merely headlines and has no plan. And it is not true they are the only ones with a platform, many parties put forward a platform, on top of them was the Democratic Left Movement, whose candidate defeated the Aounist in Tripoli.
Jubran Basil was saying that Tripoli's Muslims were deciding the Christian MPs of Batrun and Zghorta. SO WHAT??? I thought the FPM was secular and it didn't mind representing every Lebanese, whether Christian or Lebanese.
Anyway, let's see what will FPM and its 14 MP bloc do in parliament. Let's see the platform that they will put through.
Cassius

Anonymous said...

who said FM do not have a program?
FPM program is just bullet points mostly taken from martyr Hariri program.

if you want to see FM program go to www.rafikhariri.com and read the section (in his words).
Also download the book (al hokom wa al masolia) it is available in three languages, and it was published in 1998.

you will see that the so called bullet points of FPM are the same as the program of FM

reem said...

Very heart-felt Doha.
I wish some of the politicians who will be participating in the next government could read words like yours to be reminded of what the expectations of the Lebanese are. As you mentioned, I hope that this new phase will lead Lebanon into a new mode of operation. I hope that the newly elected leaders will be able to look beyond their selfish intentions and work towards re-positioning Lebanon as a significant player both politically and economically. Whatever the differences between the parties, there are no longer any excuses for major public policy and economic reforms...

Mustapha said...

I guess most Traboulsis are in a poetic mood,

THEY BOUGHT YOU OFF TOO?? SHAME ON YOU DOHA ;)

ThinkingMan said...

Nice words Doha (and Reem).
What remains to be seen is:
- Can the Hariri camp really (I mean "really") get rid of corruption-driven governance (the past is not a good reference- not for them, nor for the entire government including Lahoud, Mikati, etc.)
- Will Jumblatt stop flip-flopping and "lying" from one week to another? Confusing us does not help us. (as if 99% of his talk is aimed at other politicians, not to us- the people)
- What should we accept Hezbollah with arms when they are becoming a threat to the future of Lebanon (Western powers will not provide foreign aid to Lebanon unless there are reforms and Hezbollah is dealt with).

So, I hope that for once, all of the politicians assume their responsibilities and govern like a modern state, not like a third-world country.

Doha said...

Actually, Mustapha, I just made my fortune yesterday night. I"m writing poetry from now on ;)

Doha said...

Thinkingman,

I wanted to add to your last point that I feel that when politicians say "protecting the resistance" (himayet al-mokawama), they don't mean protecting them from disarmament, but rather protecting them from sanctions (perhaps that the US might want to impose on them). Disarmament I believe will take place and it will be a tough move.

Ramzi said...

Totally with you on this Doha.
A lot of what March 14 promised it has delivered! Who in January would've thought this was possible ?!

The point is now to look forward and build upon. So... shall we dance?

Anonymous said...

I think when politicians say "protecting the resistance", they mean protecting it from itself!

CK said...

Re: "I thought the FPM was secular and it didn't mind representing every Lebanese, whether Christian or Lebanese."

I think we have a major problem here. We all agree that the law is unfair. From my perspective, it is not fair that Boutros Harb be labled a deputy of Batroun if the people of Batroun voted for Bassil and the Tripolitans voted for Harb. However, would Bassil be happy with the results if the Tripolitans were Christians?? Probably - and that does NOT make sense.

My point is - and you can call me naive - but we need to reach a point where, if we discuss the 2000 law, we simply argue that the Tripolitans do not identify with the concerns of the Batrounis (because they are different cities, needs, bla bla) and therefore should not be voting for their deputies, rather than be sectarian about it and complain how the Christians now are voiceless and powerless.

A lot has changed, we have come a long way, but we still have a lot to do...

Mabrouk Libnain

Anonymous said...

Regarding the issue of having a program or not, the FM didn't have a program going into the elections.
Saad Hariri: "He told a news conference that he would issue next week a comprehensive program based on the late billionaire tycoon's ideas, reports Reuters news agency." From: http://www.masnet.org/news.asp?id=2541
The reference to the web site "In his words" is not a program, but series of thoughts. If it was a program, Saad would have adopted it during the campaign. We are not comparing the same thing. FM was behind the 8-ball on that one. And even if they have a program, I have my doubts on whether they can erradicate corruption which was standard under Rafik Hariri. I am not saying he was corrupt (God rest his soul), but he was lax about it around him.