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Why won’t you talk to us?

Hezbollah does it. Wiam Wahhab does it; even educated FPM members do it!
Or rather they don’t.

Since its launch in May 2007, NOW Lebanon, the nation’s most popular English news site, has tirelessly hounded leading March 8 politicians to get their side of the story. Our liberal instincts make us want to talk to the others, even if we disagree with them. But surprisingly, the overwhelming majority have refused, citing NOW’s “bias” as the reason they will not comment.

Is it any wonder that NOW Lebanon is accused of harboring this bias, when no one will talk to us? Former environment minister and Syrian apparatchik, Wiam Wahhab had made it very clear that he will not answer the phone to NOW Lebanon English site. So has Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc MP Mohammad Raad and a whole cohort of lieutenants. Only FPM MPs have gone on record with us. As for Michel Aoun himself, one would think that, for all our harrying of the former army commander – the scathing editorials, the Special Report and the relentless highlighting of his contradictions – he would want to set the record straight.

So why all the shyness from March 8? Surely they are not intimidated by a news site that represents the aspirations of the freedom-loving bourgeoisie, the soft-handed people who took to the streets to end Syrian occupation and promote Lebanese democracy, sovereignty and freedom on March 14, 2005?
 
If we were misguided back then, tell us. If we were wrong to blame Hezbollah for initiating the 2006 summer war, a conflict that cost the lives of over 1,200 Lebanese, tell us why? If we shouldn’t have been appalled by the opposition’s 18-month occupation of the centre of Beirut, a gesture of popular defiance that laid siege to the seat of government and blocked a major economic artery, then why not set us straight.
 
If we cannot see why it was necessary for the stability of the nation to take to the streets and kill innocent civilians in May of 2008 and call it a swift and decisive “police action,” we should be shown. If we cannot fathom why a heavily-armed political party has the say on matters of war, and why every now and then – but more ‘now’ than ‘then’ these days – they use their sacred weapons to bully and coerce the rest of us to achieve domestic ends, doesn’t it want to enlighten us? 
 
And finally, if we are wrong for wanting to get on with our lives, and by that we mean demanding the immediate election of a government that can undo the years of public sector neglect – utilities, education, health to name but a few – an area that has clearly been deemed secondary to corruption, self interest and the headlong pursuit of a rapidly ossifying Arab ideal, then we really would love to know.
 
Contrary to popular belief, NOW Lebanon does not exist to just parrot a party line; it seeks to reflect the yawning chasm between decades of political stagnation and the rapid social awakening that has affected, not just Lebanon, but the Arab world as a whole. It is worth remembering that 50% of the Arab population is under 25, born on or after 1984. They reached maturity in a globalized planet, part of a globalized economy. They want the opportunities and the lifestyle that they see via the globalized media. They recognize that prosperity and happiness, not to mention enlightenment, do not happen as a by-product of violence and a state of perpetual fear and suspicion. They want democracy; they understand consensus and they respect dialogue.
 
Now all we need is for Hassan Nasrallah to take our phone calls. (And he can even  review his quotes before publication)
 
Let’s do it!



After sending the above statement, Tawhid Movement leader Wiam Wahhab sat down for an interview with NOW Lebanon. To read it, click here.

  • hanzalah

    To guy Moppel. No wonder you are defending the editor and the editorial. Here you are accusing people of ignorance while on the other hand you can't grasp the clear aim of the comment. I know it is a parody, but that was not what I have aimed at. I have aimed at the arrogant approach of the editor, when he said even the educated FPM members. It is like saying X does it, Y does it, Gy Moppel doest it, even the educated people do it. This makes X, Y, and Guy Moppel uneducated people; or like saying this site does it, that site does it, Now Lebanon does it, and even the honest websites do it. and to answer you about who cares about what degrees they have, well you gotta ask this question to some people who believe in 'quality' not quantity.

    September 23, 2009

  • Sami

    Juan,what is your point in giving us a lecture on the life of Hitler?Who is he to be compared with?Hitler killed Jews,homosexuals and Gypsies among others.He invaded sovereign countries and expanded his country more than three times its size.Haj Hassan and Sheikh Kassem invaded no one,killed no one;they are political and religious leaders struggling to free their country of foreign invasion.Hitler was a failure both academically and militarily.If there needs to be any comparison one should compare him to the leaders of the most militant country in existence that invaded its neighbours several times in less than half a century.You and your clan never stopped comparing all Muslim leaders to Hitler.At one time Khomeini ,Saddam,Nasser,AhmadyNajjad,Sayyed Hassan and now Haj Hassan and Sheikh Kassem all were compared to Hitler.I am yet to hear that one none Muslim leader was ever compared to Hitler.Is it your lot's convictions that only Islamic leaders to be compared to Hitler?Stop the hate,

    September 20, 2009

  • Juan

    to Hanzalah, please don't give such examples like those telling that Did you know that MP Haj Hassan has a PHD in natural physics from France, and Sheikh Naim Kassem has a degree in Chemistry and, and.... PLEASE try to read this one, it's the story of the most horrible and crazy Man HITLER, see what did he STUDY, and what he did to humanity ...??????? (born April 20, 1889, Braunau am Inn, Austria—died April 30, 1945, Berlin, Germany) leader of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party (from 1920/21) and chancellor (Kanzler) and Führer of Germany (1933–45). He was chancellor from January 30, 1933, and, after President Paul von Hindenburg's death, assumed the twin titles of Führer and chancellor (August 2, 1934). Hitler's father, Alois (born 1837), was illegitimate. For a time he bore his mother's name, Schicklgruber, but by 1876 he had established his family claim to the surname Hitler. Adolf never used any other surname. Early life After his father's retirement

    September 19, 2009

  • t.k

    Is this site really more popular than the dailystar.com.lb, or naharnet.com?... can someone provide me with the web traffic to validate such claims it would certainly be appreciated.

    September 19, 2009

  • Guy Moppel

    Hanzalah: who cares what degrees they have. The opening to this editorial is a paraody on a Cole Porter song "let's do it". Go look up the worsd on Google and you will see what the editorialist is trying to say.

    September 17, 2009

  • hanzalah

    How do you expect them to answer our calls when you are riddling politicians between educated and non educated: Hezbollah does it. Wiam Wahhab does it; even educated FPM members do it! `For crying out loud, if your report begins with such an arrogant and scornful tone then I wouldn't blame the politicians who would not talk to you. Did you know that MP Haj Hassan has a PHD in natural physics from France, and Sheikh Naim Kassem has a degree in Chemistry and, and....

    September 17, 2009

  • Sami

    Read again,here is a cut and paste of my own statement:If Turkey was giving weapons to one faction against another faction it would be an enemy of one faction not an enemy of Lebanon."And here is your statement:"you said u would agree to classify turkey as an enemy if they provided weapons to be ised by one faction against the other, you used, and continue to threaten the use of weapons. therefore, under your definition iran is an enemy to the lebanese state."See your ignorance?I said turkey would be an enemy of the faction not of the State,read again,ya abo 3yoon sood.

    September 13, 2009

  • Fair and Square

    Irans agenda is trying to establish it as a "world" player. A force to be reckoned with by the west. They are aiming to establish a sphere of influence in the region. that extend from ira, iraq, syria, palestine (gaza). it is a fact that the ianian military dreams of aa outlet into the med. That is a few of their plans in regard to the region. i asked you before, do you really think any country will gove weapons to an another country or a sect within a country for "sawad 3yoonon"? so you really think iran expects nothing back from HA for providing it with all those weapons? they are in the business of "helping out" ? lol.. you are blind to the ways of the world if thats what you do think. you said u would agree to classify turkey as an enemy if they provided weapons to be ised by one faction against the other, you used, and continue to threaten the use of weapons. therefore, under your definition iran is an enemy to the lebanese state.

    September 11, 2009

  • Fair and Square

    As you say that i am not a military strategist, i never claimed to be one.. was just stating the facts. And now you want me to be a political strategist. here goes, If iran was looking for a strong and independant lebanon, why then are the weapons that are sent, not sent to the state and the army? you preach about making the state stronger. Iran is using lebanon, (i.e. HA) as a barganing chip. for starters if israel does carry out its attacks against iranian nuclear facilities, do you think HA will not be the one responding first? Are they protecting lebanon then? They are also using thier connections to HA and Hamas etc.. to bring favorable conditions when they negotiate with the west.

    September 11, 2009

  • Sami

    Just to use your own words.I talk yo you right you answer me left.I said if Mustakbal were armed to fight Israel that would be nice,but you addressed this idea how often HA fights Israel.Although HA fought Israel since 1982 and drove them out in 2000,and defeated them in 2006.Now you want to impose a time limit and frequancies on HA as to how often it should fight .We did not know that you are a military strategist some how.The original question was whether the Shiaa elected HA/Amal freely.You are entering what we call in Lebanon a jadal Beezanti leading nowhere.I wish your lot would fight Israel every four years or at least it would throw one rock at their Mirkavah4.Ya 3ammy,your lot does not want to fight(brings you honor)it only wants to live and make money(brings you shame) and questions your loyalties.Concentrate on this question:What is Iran's agenda in Lebanon?

    September 11, 2009

  • Fair and Square

    Ya 7abeebi, the only times your weapons are used to "defend" our land from israel is every 4 years. go back and look. now.. those weapons WERE used against the lebanese. therefore iran is not supplying weapons to fight israel, buit to extend its own agenda to this country. how many times sami? this is getting sad.. and to your quote.. u say that choosing life over honor is not living at all.. now u say M14 has no honor b/c they take orders from wester govts..as well as saudi and egypt.. my answer was, it is one thing to take a quote.. its another thing to live by it. if you think taking orders from iran and syria is honorable.. then more power to you.. go live your "honorable" life out.. but all this will backfire on you when your fantasy dreams come to an end.. and they will.

    September 10, 2009

  • Sami

    Yes I agree with you.If Turky was giving weapons to one faction against another faction it would be an enemy of one faction not an enemy of Lebanon.Israel is an enemy of Lebanon.If Turkey provided weapons to one faction to fight Israel would it not be a friend to Lebanon?Mustakbal may receive weapons from Iran if it would leave the argheeli and start fighting Israel for Shebaa farms at least since it is a Sunni/Lebanese land.Playing on words does not work with me or with others.I did say choosing life over honor and did not say living by it.The quotation implies that living without honor is not living at all.How about living by honor yourself?

    September 10, 2009

  • Fair and Square

    Iran is an enemy because it provides weapons to factions within the lebanese community. If turkey was giving the mustaqbal loads of missiles and assult rifles, i am sure your beloved leadership would suddenly classify turkey as an enemy. Therefore, by extension, iran is an enemy for instigating fear, and using its propeganda campaign (HA) to kill the will of the free lebanese. I like that saying at the end of your post. How about you live by it. and honor your commitments to the lebanese population as a whole instead ot to a select few, and work in the interest of said community, instead of saluting when recieving an order from your masters.

    September 9, 2009

  • Sami

    I agree,we fought with the Palestinians when they fought Israel.We then fought them when they turned into occupiers and traders.Some welcomed the Israeli "liberators" some fought them,some fought with them and some cooked for them while others offered them hot tea.One more time,Iran has no occupied land by Israel,it is not an enemy of Lebanon.It is to the advantage of Iran to have peace with Israel and it did at the times of the Shah.But the fight is over principles not land and it is over honor.Someone said:"To choose life over honor is to eliminate every reason to live."

    September 8, 2009

  • Fair and Square

    ya sami, the shias were the biggest lovers of israel when they entered lebanon, you took more crap from the palestinains that u greeted the israelis as liberators. Then when somebody came up and told you no.. we should hate israel because iran does and we are going to get some weapons from them, you all put away the flowers. Where was your own opinion? where is it now? gone.. that LBC advertisment was right.. into matfakro.,.. nahna min fakir 3ankon. you a joke, and i would rather hide behind the 3abayeh of opinion, the civilized one than your made in iran one.

    September 2, 2009

  • Guy Moppel

    Hezbeleb says The enemy of Hezbollah are zionists or zionist collaborators. No exception". Oh dear! I don't like Hezbollah and I don't like Israel either for that matter. What I am to do? Oh I know! I am going to find a quiet corner in which to curl up into a ball and sob and bemoan intolerant facsist morons like Hezbeleb. Can't he for one second accept that someone might actually agree with the existence of an armed militia that sits ousside the state (and don't tell me it is part of the state) and also not be a fan of an equally facsist state called Isreal. You poor poor sad individual.

    September 2, 2009

  • hezbeleb

    Are you for real. You represent the freedom loving bourgeoisie??? Who says that. Who writes that drivel. Let me tell you , if I were someone who is completely ignorant about Lebanon and I read that piece, I'd know that you're a joke. As for the question that you still demand to be answered about who started the July 06 war, it's been answered. It took an American Jew professor, to come to Lebanon and to tell you to be ashamed of yourselves. Not that I would need him to tell you why it wasn't Hez's fault, but seriously, get some perspective. But I will answer it for you anyways. Hezb waged a controlled attack to get soldiers to use to swap for prisoners that our dead beat government lead by a little girl Sanyoura, won't do anything about. the zionist entity then committed crimes. what you do in this situation is stand on the right of justice. But I guess that is not to be expected from people like you. The enemy of Hezbollah are zionists or zionist collaborators. No exception.

    September 2, 2009

  • Sami

    "....i say they are( HA weapons) the cause of Israeli aggression...."Please correct my recollection of historical events not opinions.Israel conducted its "aggression" in 1982 just prior to HA formation which was a direct response to this aggression. Israeli "aggression started in 1948 when they occupied the 7 villages that belong to Lebanon(not to Iran).HA was not even an idea yet in 1948.I am amazed at the level of ignorance wearing the "opinion" as a 3abayeh.

    September 2, 2009

  • to Hani!

    How about we not brand ourselves as "us and them", in one country?! Lebanon is a country of dialogue and coexistence. We can agree to disagree and then move forward! But if the minute someone disagrees with you, you brand him as enemy, we've come too far. Enough ...! Enough herding behind corrupt political leaders! All of you!! The Cola generation, now they've got you worshiping numbers. 12 and 14, what a joke, I'm still looking for the jersey. 50 % under the age of 25!! Ask me what the Arab world has achieved in 25 years and I'll show you a 25 year old Arab-teen.

    September 1, 2009

  • Sami

    Sayyed Hassan was not aware that Beirut was bombed when he went on TV warning the Israelis that if you bomb Beirut(which they have bombed already according to Arzak)then I will bomb Tell Abeeb.Ignorance is bliss.

    September 1, 2009

  • Sa2ed

    Arab leaders have usually gained their power from slogans of pure demagoguery a la Qaddafi, Ali Abdallah Saleh, Omar Bashir, Assad, etc. which offer absolutely no strategy for development and are lauded by the ignorant Arab masses (similar to certain Iranian masses who have not revolted and still cheer for Ahmadinejad). Or through the tribal leaders of certain monarchies such as UAE, Saudi, Jordan, Morocco, etc. who's populations have never seemed hesitant to applaud, and worship their leaders and regard them as kings, similar to the Queen of England and the Emperor of Japan. Give me one indication that the Arab masses will revolt against their systems. On the contrary, it is clear to most that the Arab masses will sink into further ignorance and hatred, as demonstrated by the escalating sectarian tensions in the Arab world.

    September 1, 2009

  • Sa2ed

    No SAMI. You are wrong again. The leadership Im referring to is not limited to the people that lead; it includes the whole political system a leader bases his power upon. If a population gets fed up with a certain political system it revolts against it. Russian, American, French, Chinese, Cuban, North Korean, and all countries' political systems do reflect the limited aspirations of their populations, regardless of whether these countries do or do not practice democratic rule. Ours unfortunately reflect the hatred and the sectarianism present in our society as William Thomspon suggested in his writings in 1870. I say Lebanon has hope because there was indeed a group of young men inspired by Samir Kassir who did get over this hatred in 2005.

    September 1, 2009

  • Fair and Square

    Thats funny Hani, beirut was already bobed in 2006, the resistance couldnt stop that. And i find it amusing that it is ok for them to act savage against people. Because it was the people who came up with the decision against HA comm system right? U have no idea what u r talking about, just putting words together to convinve you. You say HA weapons protect us from israel, i say they are the cause of Israeli aggression, who are you to say that you are right, and i am wrong. Its called an opinion, not a fact. And there is that HA mentality again, if you are not with us, u must be isreali lovers ....

    September 1, 2009

  • Hani Adada

    Why would Hassan Nasrallah even pick up his phone? He has better things to do such as defending the Lebanese land against invaders, I don't think you recognize the importance of the resistance, even when the resistance goes aggressive and savage against the other citizens in the same country (for solid reasons), you are so arrogant and you've always been when it comes to the resistance and its weapons, the government have done a mistake on May, and the resistance's reaction was normal (even though it was aggressive which was not necessary...). Learn from history my friends, 1982 would have been repeated once again if the resistance did not exist, Beirut would have been bombed hard and invaded, war means war, and war with Israel does not have limits, they use all their options, they hit when you least expect it, they invade anywhere they can, they occupy any land they want, when they are in war. Last thing a Lebanese would need is living amongst Pro-Israelis in his own country, st

    September 1, 2009

  • Sami

    "The leadership of a certain entity is a reflection of its masses, and not the opposite."This statement would be true if those leaders were elected not appointed or inherited their positions."...if you were half of what you say you are you should be the richest sect per-capita in Lebanon, not the poorest one.." According to this statement then poor=uneducated,and the Kuwaities are the most educated in the world since they hold the highest per capita income.The equation of economical advantages to education/nationalism/worthiness breaks down when comparing someone like Mandela to Bush Jr.We know that Bush has more money than Mandela.

    August 31, 2009

  • Fair and Square

    Ya Tony, the answer is obvious, its because Al Manar website truly supports freedom of speech and freedom of opinion. NOWLebanon restricts the practises of speech, opinion and thought. Do you really think al manar website has enough ..... to publish something against them? nowlebanon, this si the way a believer of basic human rights act, they allow discussion, and the voicing of different opinions. .......

    August 31, 2009

  • LEBINLON

    So according to Sami, Hezbollah is governed by a PHD-class leadership and the shias have both quantity and quality...by miles. Sami do you think we are blind ? your lot lives mostly below the poverty line, is the most uneducated mass in Lebanon by sect -I am sorry to bring sectarism into this but you need a benchmark- and heavily relies on handouts. if you were half of what you say you are you should be the richest sect per-capita in Lebanon, not the poorest one. You are only fooling yourself, not the particicpants in this talkback.

    August 31, 2009

  • Sa2ed

    Im sorry SAMI. Please forgive my short-sightedness. I just realized that Hussein Haj Hassan, Mohamed Raad, Nabil Qauq and Naim Qassem represent the epitome of intellectualism and we should feel lucky when they enlighten us with their jewels. Their knowledged of economy, public relations, tourism, business, world policy, and energy is unrivaled on a world scale, just like that of Ahmadinejad. (Funny how he used the same argument in defending his choice for government ministers the other day - they hold phDs. He also added that their religious belief is a main factor.) They are pure-hearted intellectuals, and their one and only concern is not the satanization of America and the exportation of the Pasdaran revolution. They and their friends are noble, and everyone else is an Israeli. About hope/enlightenment existing in the Arab masses. The leadership of a certain entity is a reflection of its masses, and not the opposite. Our (Lebanese) leaders are on bad terms because of the fragmenta

    August 31, 2009

  • Uknown

    Nice article... i'm a big now lebanon fan even though i don't share your points of views; however, im looking forward to a more objective now lebanon

    August 31, 2009

  • kahuna

    .....frankly i don't know how your lives would be if they were suddenly to disappear or even worst, the economy would be the law not politics, then all this ... would take place in abandoned theaters much like comedy shows and stand up comics. Don't you realise .... that you've made us all run away from lebanon and consider it as a vacation only destination, because quite frankly, when you're partying, this is the only time you avoid to talk about politics, and when you're not partying your only topic of conversation is politics. oh begone you politic statesmen lovers, none are angels but all are demons.....!

    August 31, 2009

  • Sami

    Purple,the filth is spreading from your side of the room.You comments are racist:"That being said, hope exists in Lebanon, but only in Lebanon. " Hope/enlightenment existed among all the Arab masses,the problem is in the Arab leadership that your lot supports and get fed by.Do I need to name those regimes?The majlis showra of HA consists of 300 "elders",of which 230 hold a PHD,and not in religious studies but in all aspects of science and literature.Compare those to the March 14 leadership who 90% of them have inherited their positions....For every Shiaa intellectual you name I can name 100 thousand.Make up your mind,is it quality or quantity?We have both.

    August 29, 2009

  • Sa2ed

    TO JOHN: The ideology represented by FPM, along the lines of "La ilaha illa Aoun w Bassil rasool allah" is not pathetic. Its admirable. TO SAMI: Typical Hassan Nasrallah-inspired behavior. Continue hiding in a cave, hiding behind this old veil of ignorance and fear. The worlds problems all revolve around Israel, and everyone who does not share this view is an Israeli. The opposition in Iran is Israeli, the Arabs are Israeli, the Cedar Revoluationaries are Israeli, Robert Fisk is Israeli, Ziad Majed, Nadim Koteich, Mona Fayyad, Okab Saker and all intellectual Shiites are Israeli. Today, one is either a noble Pasdaran, or an Israeli. NOW sami, go spilll your filth else where instead of wasting your time with some Israelis.

    August 29, 2009

  • Sa2ed

    They reached maturity in a globalized planet, part of a globalized economy. They want the opportunities and the lifestyle that they see via the globalized media. They recognize that prosperity and happiness, not to mention enlightenment, do not happen as a by-product of violence and a state of perpetual fear and suspicion. They want democracy; they understand consensus and they respect dialogue. I am sorry NOW Lebanon. The majority of the Arab masses are still stuck in this whirlpool of hatred, racism, ignorance and fear. The majority of the Arab masses still suffer intellectual deprivation, and are still on the ever lasting decline into the deepest trenches of society. The Arab masses are far from being on the path of enlightenment. That being said, hope exists in Lebanon, but only in Lebanon.

    August 29, 2009

  • Fair and Square

    what are you talking about??? im am shocked by this article, how can someone say all those things? all they have to do is look at all the posts and see that we have the all-knowing, inside information that includes reliabiliy, and the God spoken truth. Have you noticed that we have members of the HA leadership amongst us that explain all the "inside" information that the regular people, even the shia, do not know. let us all treasure our patrons of truth (the programable way) a standing ovation please for Sami, the right hand man of the Sayed, Ali the IT and program operations specialist (he is the best available demo, please dont argue) and Omar$$$ the financial controller apparently due to the dollar sign HA pays all thier "employees" ..funny for a party that absolutly despises the U.S.of A

    August 28, 2009

  • Serge

    it is not surprising, since all autocratic parties suffer the lack of resilience that allows them to listen to the other opinion. When they adress the masses they only want to hear what pleases thier mind, in a way it's like talking to yourself in front of a mirror.

    August 28, 2009

  • Sami

    "They recognize that prosperity and happiness, not to mention enlightenment, do not happen as a by-product of violence and a state of perpetual fear and suspicion. They want democracy; they understand consensus and they respect dialogue. "This statement refers to Arabs.Does this statement also apply to the Israelis? If Sayyed Hassan was to talk to Nowlebanon he would be giving them legitimacy.He prefers to keep it as illegitimate as possible.

    August 28, 2009

  • John

    WHY? BECAUSE YOUR FAIR< BALANCED and TELL THE TRUTH

    August 28, 2009

  • jose

    great article.. i'm march 8 supporters will read it and after it post some weird explanation to defend their representatives undemocratic and behavior ...

    August 28, 2009

  • baltouf

    Rock ON!

    August 28, 2009

  • John

    I was part of the March 14 2005 demonstration, and you do NOT represent the aspirations of the freedom-loving bourgeoisie, the soft-handed people who took to the streets to end Syrian occupation and promote Lebanese democracy, sovereignty and freedom on March 14, 2005... Your pracitce of attacking the General is one of the reasons why the government formation is at a standstill.. Stop the attack on the FPM, its pathetic and will not get you anywhere... check the election results - we have 27 MPs :-)

    August 28, 2009