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We have sold our soul

In the wake of the massacre of innocent civilians, including women and children, in Houla over the weekend, Syrian envoys across the globe are packing their bags and preparing to head home as the international community finally wakes up to the brutality meted out by the Assad regime.
 
One man, however, is staying put. Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary Ali Abdel Karim Ali, head of the Syrian mission to Lebanon, is not calling in the moving men just yet. Lebanon, it appears, doesn’t have the stomach to give his Excellency his marching orders, despite his country’s gross violations of Lebanese sovereignty and its citizens’ rights, let alone its crimes against humanity.
 
The question is: Has Lebanon become so inured to the notion of mass killings to the extent that it can still deal with a country that, on a daily basis, puts its citizens to the sword simply because they want change? It would appear so.
 
Have we lost sight of our territorial integrity to the point where we just stand by and do nothing when, as has happened in the last month, Lebanese citizens have been both murdered, kidnapped and detained by Syrian soldiers on Lebanese soil? It would also appear so.

Because those Lebanese who are not drinking the Baathist Kool-Aid, those who have a mind of their own and who can separate the factual wheat from the propaganda chaff, know that their government is a partner in Syria’s bid to crush opposition to its 40-year rule and emerge from a 15-months crisis that has claimed over 13,000 lives on both sides. And it makes them sick and ashamed.
 
Our government—a motley crew if ever there was, that came to power using the veiled threat of violence to do Damascus’s bidding—has stood by when its citizens, peacefully demonstrating their support for the Syrian opposition (a right guaranteed under the law) are attacked by pro-Assad thugs on the streets of Beirut.
 
It does nothing when Syrian exiles are harassed and abducted, even as they believed they enjoyed the protection of the Lebanese state. It does nothing when Lebanese are gunned down from across the border. It does nothing when Syrian soldiers enter Lebanese territory and detain Lebanese citizens. It does nothing as ordinary Lebanese are vulnerable to the whims of a Syrian regime that cares not one jot for its neighbor’s territorial integrity. But then again, why break the habit of a lifetime? The government has done nothing—politically, socially or economically—for the past year.
 
Last week, as tensions from Syria spread into Lebanon, first into Tripoli and then the streets of Beirut, the government once more did nothing. In particular, Marwan Charbel, a man whose appointment as interior minister must surely rank as a low-water mark in Lebanon’s already dubious culture of awarding government portfolios, has hardly convinced us that he has a firm grip on the security situation.
 
But why stop there? In a country where political excellence and the notion of grooming our best and brightest for public service is non-existent, and where mediocrity is a level to which most governments can only aspire, when it comes to being useless, this current administration takes some beating.
 
We cannot even do the basics. We cannot complain when someone insults our national integrity, and we don’t have the courage of our convictions to speak out against brutality unless it is perpetrated by that tired old bogeyman Israel.
 
Where is our sense of tolerance? Where is our rule of law? In fact, where is our national soul? The harsh truth is we sold that and everything else with it.  

  • ali daoud

    @sami, ya sami, when the BBC uses such photos it tells a lot about the joke of the free press in the free world! you lost, you ended up comparing Walid Mouallem Photo to that of BBC, hmmmm!

    June 5, 2012

  • ali daoud

    @ Shirin, bother to make a little comparison between the harm Lebanon and the Lebanese are causing syria these days and the harm syria is causing some Lebanese. when the Lebanese neighbouring areas become a free land for the Nonfree syrian army terrorists who send men and weapons into syria, then syria will have to retaliate and so far the syrian retaliation is very minor and low profile, some Lebanese people and areas are waging war against syria, well, a price has to be paid especially when this war is not in the best interest of Lebanon but in the best interest of USA, saudi and qatar. can you tell me what is our benefit to transform Tripoli and the North into a "Free" syrian army land where our own Lebanese Army don`t have any control? do you still believe your leaders who claim their slogan is "Lebanon First"?!!!! they dragged us in that syrian war and now they whine everytime one casuality falls, shame!

    June 5, 2012

  • ali daoud

    @sami, ya sami, the Zionists are the allies of israel, meaning the Zionists are the allies of israel`s allies, meaning the Zionists are the allies of USA and saudi and qatar and britain ...etc

    June 5, 2012

  • Sami

    @HEP, doesn't the BBC photo remind you of the photo scandal that the zionist Walid Mouaalm tried to pass on us? Didn't this zionist show us pictures from Lebanon and said they were from Syria?

    June 5, 2012

  • Hep

    Ziad Abdel Nour said: "Both the Syrian and Lebanese regimes will be changed- whether they like it or not- whether it’s going to be a military coup or something else… and we are working on it. We know already exactly who’s going to be the replacements. We’re working on it with the Bush administration." "These guys who came to power, who rule by power, can only be removed by power. This is Machiavelli’s power game. That’s how it is. This is how geopolitics — the war games, power games — work. I know inside out how it works, because I come from a family of politicians for the last 60 years. Look, I have access to the top classified information from the CIA from all over the world. They call me, I advise them. I know exactly what’s going on. And this will happen." ............. - "Might Makes Right" Says Conspirator of Syrian-Iranian Conquest By Tony Cartalucci

    June 5, 2012

  • Hep

    Another Benghazi moment – This Time in Syria ---- “Somebody is using illegally one of my images for anti Syrian propaganda on the BBC web site front page,” Di Lauro says, “I almost fell off my chair when I saw it.” When confronted by Di Franco, BBC editors took it down, and, by way of explanation, pointed to the caption as somehow exonerating. … “ - “The Houla Hoaxsters” By Justin Raimondo

    June 5, 2012

  • Sami

    @HEP, seems you are a zionist as well since you are supporting zionist dictators. Not too long ago, the zionist king of Bahrain sent a letter of support to the zionist king of Syria. And the zionist king of syria sent a letter of support back to the zionist king of bahrain. As to your theory that some are "more zionist than others", it means that you will support Ehuda Barack if you think he is less zionist than Natanyahu.

    June 5, 2012

  • Hep

    Shirin, the Syrians aren’t doing much. The neighboring state on the southern border would have nuked Lebanon if Lebanon allowed fighters, reporters, and weapons to pass through their southern border.

    June 5, 2012

  • Hep

    Sami, I have just learnt a new definition of Zionism from you: “Any arab or muslim leader who lasts on his throne more than few years means that he is a zionist and is protected by zionists.”.------- But some are more Zionist than others and we should make a distinction. Saudi King came up with a “Fatwa” which bans any protests against him and the UN and the HRW did not object. According to this “Fatwa” Bashar should receive military assistance from the Saudi King to crush the protest in Syria as happened in Bahrain. But this is not happening and Bashar is facing all the zionist “jackals” who are out to get him. So “some are more Zionist than others” and they all claim to be Muslims.

    June 5, 2012

  • Sami

    HEP, Qaddafi, Mubarak, Ali Abdalla Saleh, Saddam, Bashar, Khamenei, Saudi King, Jordanian King,Ben Ali, Omar Al Bashir, moroccan king, somali warlords, Lebanese warlords, are all zionist dictators. What they do to their people is as bad or worse than what zionist Israel does to arabs. You seem ignorant and don't know what zionism is. Any arab or muslim leader who lasts on his throne more than few years means that he is a zionist and is protected by zionists. You sure have a very small brain, too small to understand this.

    June 4, 2012

  • shirin

    can you imagine waht would have happened if it was the neighboring state on the southern border of lebanon doing what the syrians are doing to our territory and our people???

    June 4, 2012

  • Hep

    “Clark’s video and fake speeches to make up my mind” ?????? ----------- Blimey, Majd, you do have real whackos in Lebanon.

    June 4, 2012

  • Hep

    “ if the distabiilazation plan is against zionist dictatorship regimes, we support it!” – Sami ------- Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Iran are not zionist dictatorship regimes. There is only one zionist dictatorship regime and that is Israel. So you support the destabilization of Israel and not Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Iran. That is not the US plan. Do you have a place for whackos in Lebanon?

    June 4, 2012

  • Emile

    @majd. for how many years Lebanon asking Syria to draw frontires between the 2 countries and always the syrians who objected, what happened now, and all of a sudden they held lebanon accountable.. how did shaker el 3absi came in lebanon and left leaving behind 100's of lebanese civilians and soldiers dead. were they( syrians) not in control of the borders.. pity for the people, poor people who are being used as fuel in this conflict.. i dont think the people in tripoli of both sides would have cared as much about the happenings in syria if they were not poor.

    June 3, 2012

  • Sami

    @HEP, if the distabiilazation plan is against zionist dictatorship regimes, we support it! and @majd, since you enjoy and support the syrian regime firing at lebanese from accross the border, I can only wish for you to get hit by one of those bullets so you can fill your body with enjoyment!

    June 3, 2012

  • cs

    Best and most honest article I have seen on Now Lebanon, in years....Lebanon does not have the balls to stand up to 'brotherly' Syria and has not had the balls, in over 40 years....this scumbag should have been thrown out of Lebanon, last year....

    June 3, 2012

  • Hassan

    HEP, cooking for the region? If it is too hot for you, leave the kitchen or wait and wash the dishes. You are sounding more like Nasrallah. We know what the Israel wants. If you don’t have the common sense, then yes you will rely on Clark’s video and fake speeches to make up my mind and conclusion. The plan goes back as far as 1991? Were we in heaven before then? We always had every decade new improved militia with different name; and coincidently most of them associate its name with God. When Saddam used mustard gas on the Iranians and Kurds in the gulf war, the west and UN didn’t look the other way. They condemned this act like they have been condemning Bashar for over a year. And so you feel better even if Bashar committed another massacre, The UN will not do anything except condemning. Well, may be more stupid sanctions. (...)

    June 3, 2012

  • Hassan

    majd, you may be right about smuggling weapons to rebels and fighters to Syrian army, but since when we respect agreements? I remember there was a UN resolution 1701 which clearly called for disbarment of Hezboallah and wasn’t respected. Also, I agree you didn’t send any ships to Syria because you did it on land; try the sea, the sound of the water and waves are beautiful. Ask the Iranian they sent 2 ships and passed through the Suez Canal in front of Israel. And yes majd you have to be creative in politics, Rabbits come out only at night because it is quite. Well not quite anymore with Syrians everywhere. I have a cat and we play safe all the time; she is de-clawed; meaning Hezbollah should be de-clawed of its weapons too so we play and feel safe. As for the 11 Lebanese adducted, although one of them is related to Nasrallah’ sister and this issue is becoming personal to him, it is still wrong, and they should let them all go back to their families.

    June 3, 2012

  • Hep

    If you haven’t yet understood what the chosen zionist entity is cooking for the region through the american goyim, then look at this video: Video: General Wesley Clark tells of how Middle East destabilization was planned as far back as 1991, with the destruction of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Iran on the drawing board following the invasion of Afghanistan. Wes Clark - America's Foreign Policy "Coup" – (...)

    June 3, 2012

  • freelebanese

    i would like to know why hizbola fighters are fighting in tripoli alongside with 3id gangs,why they are killing people in Syria? what is their plan,Lebanon or Iranian state in Lebanon. the message is clear since 2000, they do not accept something called Lebanon, they are going on with their plan to occupy lebanon as the last land in the Iranian crescent. if Assad falls, they will burn Lebanon down and 7th march was a living example for all to see.trust no one of hizbola, the last thing they believe in is GOD. they are the worst enemy to Lebanon and stupidly, #on is their puppet now on a payroll. be prepared for their terror inside Lebanon.there is no one to protect you but yourselves.

    June 3, 2012

  • Hep

    Mike, when Saddam was gassing his people, the West looked the other way. --- This is another slam dunk forgery being used to convict Syria. The UN’s Detlev Mehlis inquiry into the murder of Lebanon’s Rafiq Hairri depends on a central witness, Zuhir Ibn Mohamed Said Saddik, who has faced accusations of being a swindler and embezzler. Der Spiegel exposed Saddik’s brags of "becoming a millionaire" from his testimony to the Mehlis Commission. Saddik was referred to the Mehlis Commission by Syrian regime critic Rifaat Assad, the uncle of current Syrian President Bashar Assad. Rifaat has been lobbying the Bush administration to become the president of Syria in the event his nephew Bashar is ousted………….. – See: “Faking the Case Against Syria” by TRISH SCHUH

    June 2, 2012

  • ali daoud

    by the way, where does the abduction of the ELEVEN Lebanese fall here? where is our national dignity and integrity and pride? why don`t the syrian terrorists abduct pro-regime syrians so they can do an exchange? what is the guilt of those Lebanese? where are you preachers of democracy and freedom and human rights?!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 1, 2012

  • ali daoud

    let`s be objective a little bit here, who is committing more violations against the other? hasn`t Lebanon become the land where all kinds of arab militiamen cross from to syria? aren`t the Lebanese seriously involved in smuggling weapons and men into syria against all the agreements between the two countries? aren`t the syrian militias moving freely with their weapons inisde Tripoli and Wadi Khaled and 3ersal? i truly loved the wounded of 3ersal last week when they claimed they were hunting rabbits on the Lebanese syrian border at night when the syrians killed one of them and wounded four including one syrian!!! four Lebanese and one syrian were hunting rabbits in the lebanese syrian borders of 3ersal at night!!!how creative! by the way, how many weapons ships did we send into syria? if you count all the above, then all is an act of war, and syria has retaliated in a very precise low profile way, don`t play with the cat so you avoid its skirmishes, apply your "Lebanon first" slogan !

    June 1, 2012

  • mike

    HEP and you point is....?

    June 1, 2012

  • Hep

    Iraqi envoys across the globe did not pack their bags and prepared to head home and the international community did not wake up to the brutality meted out by the Saddam’s regime when he gassed his people. Why now?

    June 1, 2012

  • Hassan

    Ullin, wishful thinking but if you look at the past we always sold our souls and paid expensive price for it; however, this time it was on sale. And in the future it is going to be buy one and get another for free. And Rosenvald, it is not impossible to understand unless you believed what Hezbollah said or will say in the future. I understand because I never did and I never will. Do you really believe what Hezboallah says? What is happening now is the best proof that it is all propaganda and lies to stay in power and carry illegal weapons. Even the name party of God is a lie. And what's more disgusting is that Hezboallah can at least pretend or lie to the people and condemn only the killing the children in this massacre. God dislikes killing of children. Actually, this is another example of souls sold to the devil. And selim thanks for the advice, it is expected. Hopefully it will be the demise of the threatening killer ants in this picnic.

    June 1, 2012

  • SELIM ABUKHDEIR

    DEAR LEBANESE ... PREPARE FOR THE WORST!!!!! 75-90 WILL LOOK LIKE A PICNIC COMPARED TO WHAT IS COMING!!

    June 1, 2012

  • ROSENVALD

    Where are Hezboolla to protect lebanese borders and lebanese people???? Whay they have guns???? Nashalla care more about Assad then the people from Lebanon !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He start a stupid war in 2.006 against Israel,when he did kill israeli soldiers in side Israel,but dont do nothing when Assad soldiers kill lebanese people in side Lebanon????? Is impossible to understand.

    May 31, 2012

  • Ullin

    Not true Lebanon, you still have your soul. At least if that is you writing. A fine country with a difficult past is what you are.

    May 31, 2012

  • ADEL

    Good piece...

    May 31, 2012