Monday, January 09, 2006

My Big Heretical Heart!


How I Can Love Hariri, Tweini & Syria all at the same Time!

I thought this dialogue is too important and needs to be given more visibility. For it gives me the chance to clarify further my position on why I oppose the Syrian regime.

The Comment

I just don't understand how you could ever think of Syria's involvement in Hariri's assasssination and how by any chance I saw you on TV mourning Tuieni as if he was your role model. I just want you to have more insight into the politics of the region and suspect others like Junblat and Mossad and not preclude the high probability of their committing this heinous crime. Regarding Tuieni's assassination, I surely denounce it but let's not forget how his spiteful stir-up of the Lebanese hatred caused the killing of many Syrian workers and other individuals and led to growing enmity between the two blood-related peoples.

--Posted by I love my country to Amarji - A Heretic's Blog at 1/09/2006 02:05:54 PM

My Reply

I love my country too, which is why I hate this regime. It sucks our blood like a vampire and preys upon us like a vulture. Had the President and his ilk not being totally caught up in their power games and struggles, had they not been so blind as to the changing world around them, had they not been so incompetent and foolish, we would not have been in the position we are in today, with our country on the verge of another series of potentially disastrous developments.

I say, potentially, because if we are willing to break the barrier of fear for once and confront the real reason for our misery at this stage, we might still be in a position to prevent the implosion of the country and bring about regime change ourselves, and save our country from an unnecessary face-off with the powers-that-be in this world.

Still, let's play it dumb for a while and let's assume that it is indeed the Mossad, or Jumblat, or anybody but our idiotic leaders, that was behind Hariri assassination, even then, the Syrian regime is still to blame for the problems we are now facing today. You know why? Because they failed to read the very obvious signs that have been gathering around for many years now, signs to the effect that it was time to pull out of Lebanon, to focus on internal matters, to reinvent the regime and its basic structure, to go along with the necessity of loosening one's grip on power and allow for more participation in the decision-making process, to focus on fighting corruption and dealing with the serious developmental challenges that this country is facing. The signs were obvious, the warnings were being issued by all and sundry, to no avail. To no avail.

To Bashar & Co., this is was never about patriotism and national interest. This was always about their particularistic interests, their grip on power. They tell us about patriotism, reform and conspiracies, but all they really care about is staying in power and fleecing the flock.

Well, I don't know about you, but I am tired of being fleeced, bled-dry and devoured, no matter how piecemeal. I think I deserve better than this. I think the country I love deserves better than this.

My opposition to this regime has always been premised on this idealistic love for freedom and country, believe it or not, and not the Hariri assassination, and I have been doing most of my opposition while back in Syria, armed with nothing but my Syrian citizenship and my own talents and skills. So, my current daring is not related to my being in the US at this point in time. I have been saying very much the same things when I was back in Syria.

For at least fifteen years now, countries in Eastern Europe and some in Latin America and Southeast Asia have been working hard at developing and modernizing themselves. But under our regimes, most of them anyway, our region has been doing none of that, because our leaders are more interested in power than reform on the one hand, and because they are unequal to the task of reform on the other. Since those who are equal to the task will constitute a serious threat to the regimes' hold on power, even if they appear uninterested in power, then, these people cannot be allowed to function freely, they cannot be allowed to run their NGOs and companies and achieve what the state is failing to achieve.

For this reason, regimes such as the Syrian regime can only pave the way to disaster and implosion. This is the essence of my opposition to it.

As for my reading of the Hariri situation, you don’t have to agree with it, in order to agree with me on the necessity of regime change from the inside. All you have to do here is love your country, as you say you do, and seek what is best for her, which is not necessarily what is best for the regime.

On the other hand, I do admit that I have always respected Hariri and Tweini. They both worked as hard as they can for their country. Hariri may not have been Mr. Squeaky Clean to some people, and being in the position he was in having to deal with the kind of people he had to deal with all the time in both Syria and Lebanon, I don’t think he could have afford it really. Still, his love for Lebanon was manifested in his support for the tens of thousands of students who were sent to study abroad at a time when few others were paying attention to the importance of such moves, and in what he did in downtown Beirut, Sidon and other Lebanese cities. He might have taken from Lebanon somehow, but he clearly gave as well. The taking in Syria is too blatant to be denied, but where is the giving?

The case for Tweini is even more easily justified. By opening the pages of an-Nahar to liberal intellectuals from all over the Arab World, and not just Syria and Lebanon, to discuss issues that no other newspaper would have touched, Mr. Tweini, demonstrated his deep appreciation for freedom and for liberal and liberating values. Yes, I didn’t know him personally and I did miss the chance to meet him on a number of occasions, but I do consider him a soulmate, nonetheless.