March 2009

The relationship between the resistance and the state is key to understanding the reality of the political forces and their ability to make changes. Those who cannot answer the question of the state and its role in surpressing the resistance cannot hope to complete the process of liberation. 

The Islamic resistance movements, when faced with issues of the state, economy and everyday life, are committed to the dominant bourgeois discourse. In their practical and political reality their project aims to improve their position within the existing balance of power, because of the nature of the class interests of those they represent. This applies to both Hezbollah and Hamas.

Hezbollah represents a large section of the Shia petty bourgeoisie and aspirant middle class that is seeking to improve its position within the existing class system. Hamas relies mainly on the petty bourgeoisie in Gaza, which is trying to find its place within the existing power. From here we begin to understand how both movements are retreating from the call to sever ties with regimes that are partners in the Zionist war on Gaza and the aggression of July 2006.15

This does not mean that we stop supporting these resistance movements. On the contrary, our support is unconditional, but we have the right to criticise. We must not turn our backs on these movements, because they are incapable of completing the process of liberation. It is necessary to continue the conscious support of the resistance, but, directly, we must work to produce a revolutionary movement that connects liberation of Palestine with revolution in the region — one that can effectively build a movement for real change rather than the goal of becoming the dominant bourgeois class.

The retreat to ‘national unity’

Following the Doha Conference we are witnessing in Lebanon a growing consensus for a “national unity government” under the formula adopted by the Arab ruling classes to co-opt the resistance movements.16 

Hezbollah’s pursuit of a national unity government after the July War and the events of 7 May 17 confirm that it does not want a real confrontation with the regimes and is seeking instead to find a place in government. During the war in Gaza, Hezbollah refrained from calling its supporters to take to the streets and confront Arab regimes that are partners to Israel’s aggression. Nasrallah made a speech to heaven without setting real steps to build a solidarity movement on the ground.

In light of these political failings (that affects both sides of the sectarian class ruling), the left has found itself at the forefront of building a movement of support and solidarity with Gaza. The sit-in in front of the ESCWA building was the most prominent place for this movement, which gathered the left from across the spectrum despite the fact that it is often difficult to mobilise among the leftist organisations and parties.18

But in the first attempt of its kind since the July War, the left was able to engage in an advanced position in direct political conflict, and take a position that effectively linked the resistance of the Arab peoples against their regimes with the resistance in Palestine, which comes from the leftist political legacy built through the open sit-in against the siege of Ramallah in 2002, and the “No to war – no to dictatorships” campaign in 2003.19

Left and Elections

In the other face of the conflict in Lebanon, the current government is witnessing skirmishes between the parties to power, especially in the preparation of the elections, and all to its positions simmering and preparing for the next battle. We saw the February 14 festival, in which the March 14 Forces tried to regroup their forces for the next battle, and today we are waiting for the reaction of the opposition forces.

The next election battle remains a political one. The opposition’s rhetoric calls for minor reforms that are committed to the limits of the power of the bourgeoisie and at the same time face a battle to protect the resistance, thereby gaining a wider public presence than the March 14 Forces. But its decline in many of the political positions that concern people’s lives (minimum wages, privatisation, etc.) has led to a decline in votes in favour of it, and many people have turned to the “middle,” to look for an alternative, or to lose hope.

This is what encouraged Jumblatt to conduct a manoeuvre to create a middle pole that did not last long, especially as this attempt was clear that it is only an attempt to reduce the voices of the opposition.

On the left to go to the next political battleground and introduce a serious alternative to the dominant political forces, exposing the false democracy, which reproduces the forces themselves and protects the dominant bourgeoisie of popular resentment and opposition. But the entry of elections should not be within the logic of parliament or for sitting in seats, meetings, compensions [?] and sterile agreements, but in order to expose the system and incite public opinion against it, because change will not be approved in a parliamentary council in which the bourgeoisie historically occupies the majority of the seats, On the ground minority. But this change will be imposed on the system by mass movements rising from the street, from workers and students, from the people themselves.

Hence, on the left to put forward a progressive political project that can benefit from the resentment of the dominant forces in order to produce a wider political movement and move to the heart of the political battle, without abandoning its positions on the electoral law or its positions in economic and social affairs and the civil rights of the Palestinian people, equality and justice. Elections are an instrument to galvanize public opinion on the reality in which we live in order to build a revolutionary movement in society, not an end in itself. This is what should be the basis from which the left goes to the next battle.

The proposition that we should fall into the arms of the opposition is only to escape the battle. We must be bold to say that we are with the resistance and we will protect and build it, but we will not accept to be false witnesses to what the opposition is doing in partnership with the loyalists in tightening the screws more and more on people and leaving them to the mercy of the market chaos that threatens thousands of poverty and hunger. We will not accept that this stinking sectarian regime will continue to control our lives and our future.

The Lebanese State Unleashed

The war between Fateh el-Islam and the Lebanese Army, May 2007

The devastating attacks in Achrafieh, Verdun and Alley as well as the brutal clashes that are taking place in Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camps and inside Tripoli,2 are the direct result of Lebanese state policies and US destabilisation of the region. It is crucial to understand the underlying conditions in order to examine how these events will develop in the context of Lebanese politics, regional politics and imperialism.

The ‘war on terror’

The US “war on terror”, (even some aestheticians still debate wether it was a “war on terror” or a “war of terror”) was the dream of George Bush and the neo-cons. The 9/11 attacks gave them the prestext to unleash hell on the Middle East — the war on Afghanistan, then on Iraq, Israel’s July War on Lebanon, the continuing ethnic cleansing in Palestine. Now the US is threatening Iran because of its nuclear program, and it is marshalling its troops and weapons in the Gulf in one of the biggest military shows in our recent history.

Excuse me if we fail to see any way how this is a fight for democracy in the Middle East or even a fight against terror, but as an expansion of a great imperialist power that is supported by the international agencies and other great powers, such as Europe (most of whom support of US policies). The recent election of Nicholas Sarkozy in France, who a vocal supporter of the war in the Middle East, is another step forward for US ambitions.

But the mess that Bush got himself into in Iraq, (the last record of dead US soldiers in Iraq is 3,343) and the defeat in Israel’s July war on Lebanon put the Bush administration in a tight spot. Now the US is looking for a way out, maybe launching a total and unending war in the Middle East to reshuffle the cards in the hope of getting a winning hand.

Last March, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh, reported that American policy in the Middle East had shifted to opposing Iran, Syria, and their Shia allies at any cost, even if it meant backing hard-line Sunni jihadists. In an interview on CNN International’s Your World Today, Hersh said that according to an agreement between US Vice President Dick Cheney, Deputy National Security advisor Elliot Abrams and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national security adviser, the Saudi regime was to “covertly fund the Sunni Fatah al-Islam” as a counterweight to the Shiite Hezbollah.”  3

In response to the recent clashes in North Lebanon, the US declared it would open an air route for the Lebanese army to support its military campaign. Although the US does not have a direct link with Fateh el-Islam, we can be sure that it is responsible for preparing the environment for the emergence of such groups. The political, economic and social destabilisation that the US war created in the region has paved the way for their rapid growth, the rising anger and rage against US has allowed fundamentalist groups to recruit far and wide.

Fateh el-Islam is not alien to such environment and appears to be a beneficiary of such policies. When the organisation came to Lebanon it declared itslef opposed to “Shia Expansion”4 and its monopoly over the resistance to Israel and the US. Fateh el-Islam also declared its opposition to the UNIFIL forces in South Lebanon, but made clear that it did not seek a confrontation with the Lebanese army. It seems more that they are in line with March 14 Movement as regards Hezbollah, and in step with US policies in regards to Hezbollah and Iran.

The regional context

The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq destabilised the balance of power among the Middle East regimes. Syria lost much of its political weight in the region, in contrast Iran’s grew considerably. This was a result to the degrading situation of the occupation forces in Iraq and the failure of the Israeli war on Lebanon — a process that also undermined Syria’s economic and political influence in Lebanon.

The Syrian-Iranian coalition represents itself as “anti-US regimes” in the Middle East. But their policies are not driven by anti-imperialism or anti-war but rather related to conflicting interests with the US administration.

The rest of Arab regimes in the Middle East are direct allies of US policies, and they now share an equal weight in regional influence, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, etc. These regimes, along with the Syrian regime, are direct dictatorships that survive by oppressing their own people and blocking the path to genuine democratic or anti-imperialist movements. 

The Lebanese state (or regime) is not disimilar to these regimes. The assassination of Rafic Hariri paved the way for the rise of a pro-US and neo-liberal March 14 movement — an alliance that is mostly composed of warlords from the Civil War, alongside Syrian regime allies when it was in control of Lebanon. 

Following the July War, Hezbollah took the offensive against the government and managed to create a wide-ranging opposition, especially by making an alliance with the FPM (Free Patriotic Movement). But the opposition’s unwillingness to continue the battle against the government led to a bottleneck in politics, where both the government and the opposition confront each other behind an iron-wall. The absence of a left wing movement allowed this bottleneck to creat an opening for international and regional intelligence services to interfere in our country.

Lebanon, the Palestinian situation and the emergence of Fateh el-Islam

Lebanese troops have for the past few years been tightening the grip around the Palestinian camps, driving its population into despair and staocking a hunger for revenge. The economic and social conditions in the camps might be considered the worst in the world. With an absence of any state services, education is provided in UNRWA schools which lack any proper curriculum or facilities. Many camps have to squeeze in some 40 to 50 students per classroom in two batches, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The conditions of the camps are very poor, with houses built on top of each other, and a state ban on any construction materials entering the camps. Palestinians have no civil rights, they are not allowed to work, not allowed to own property, and barred from receiving any social services.

For decades the Lebanese state has been stereotyping Palestinians in Lebanon as low-life criminals and terrorists, with the media often merging the two. A sate motivated by racism cannot create an environment for peace and tolerance; it can only sow the seeds of fear and violence.

These policies have driven the majority of the Palestinians onto the defensive, forcing both their traditional and contemporary organisations to withdraw from the political arena and step back from the demand for civil rights, and even the most basic human rights, such as education, work and services.

They have turned refugee camps into concentration camps and confined the lives of the population to a few square kilometres. Over the past few years, and especially since the assassination of Hariri, the Government has been planning to disarm the camps, arguing that the state should have a monopoly over violence and in so doing fails to give any sense or security for the refugees. This government, along with the ruling class in Lebanon, has been a historic enemy of the Palestinians.

The state’s history is one of blood and terrorism, from the curfews during the rule of Deuxième Bureau 5 to the massacres inflicted in Tel el-Zaatar,6 Sabra and Chatilla,7 and the War of the Camps.8 These massacres are not considered to be acts of terrorism and oppression, but instead “episodes of Lebanese liberation”. The majority of the Lebanese state is made up of war criminals, murderers and those convicted of crimes against humanity.

These conditions allowed the camps to become an easy hideout for fundamentalist groups, who time and again are given easy access to the camps by the state itself, as is the case with Jund El Sham, a group that has terrorism as a its main policy. The Lebanese fundamentalist group were driven out of the Ta’mir Area in Saida (a Lebanese area) and pushed by the army into the Ain el-Helweh Camp.9

Fateh el-Islam was rejected by all Palestinian camps in Lebanon and the only place it could base itself was in Nahr EL Bared, many people claim that the state facilitated their entry into the camp. Many Palestinian officials in Lebanon said that Fateh el-Islam did not emerge out of the social and political fabric of the Palestinians in Lebanon. Assafir newspaper wrote that Fateh el-Islam is mostly composed of non-Palestinians, mainly Saudis and Lebanese militants. This proves that Fateh el-Islam is more likely have been planted in the camps. 

In addition the name “Fateh el-Islam” has been on the news and in the general political discussions over the past six months, the organisation had enough money to rent apartments in the wealthy Meatein area in Tripoli at a cost of between 60,000 to 100,000 USD (Al-Akhbar Newspaper).

For it to organise Fateh el-Islam needs local cooperation and local networks, and North of Lebanon is the best place for the establishment and the growth of such a group. North Lebanon, which has a Sunni majority, has since the 1980s been a breeding ground for Islamic fundamentalism that succeeded in destroying the secular, nationalist and Communist movements in the North. When PLO leader Yasser Arafat fled Tripoli in 1983 after brutal clashes against Fateh el-Intifada, 10 the city subsequently fell under the control of the Islamists backed by the Muslim Brotherhood who fled Syrian regime following the failed 1982 Hama uprising.11

Seven years ago clashes broke out between the Lebanese army and a group called “Al-Takfir wal al-Hijra” in the hills of Dinnieh, the clashes resulted in casualties from both sides.12 Many of Al-Takfir wal al-Hijra members were thrown into prison only to be released later under a general amnesty that also freed Geagea from prison.13 The pardon included the Islamist detainees because Saed Hariri sought to garner Sunni votes and gather support from among the fundamentalist currents in North Lebanon. The assassination of his father gave Saad the cover to release the militants while also allowing him to rally such groups with sectarian rhetoric.

During the parliamentary elections in the North these groups came out onto the streets to support Hariri, and him the main leader of the Sunni sect in Lebanon. The Mufti of Akkar told Al Jazeera that the Lebanese state was covering up the funding that Fateh el-Islam is receiving from the Future Current and more specifically from Saad Hariri. But soon enough the Future Current withdrew its support and stripped them of their political and religious cover (prompted by a visit from David Welch)14. This information was confirmed by a former Future Current Leader in Akkar.

March 14’s sectarian rhetoric has become common in local politics, as is clear from the Arab University clashes in Beirut few months ago when the indentities of the gunmen and snipers where clear to see seen on TV. Nevertheless these people were either released from detention or have not been taken to justice. Al-Akhbar mentioned a few days after the events that the gunmen belonged to private security companies owned by Hariri.

Two days ago, Future Current militants attacked actor Muhammad el Awgi after he informed the police that the building owner, who is a member of the Future Current, would evic his family. Directly after the explosion in Alley, supporters of Walid Jumblatt attacked journalists from Al-Manar TV, NewTV and Al Alam Tv, as well as two Syrian workers; the police did not intervene to stop these attacks.

This environment of poverty mixed with violence, alongside rising sectarian rhetoric, that has Fateh el-Islam the chance to grow and organize is the product of state policies and a sectarian system backed by the whole ruling class, in cohort with religious leaders. The tragic scenes we are witnessing today are the bitter fruits of policies pursued by the Lebanese State and the ruling class.

Palestinian and Lebanese working classes have one common enemy

Palestinians in Lebanon are the victims of state racism. The State’s brutality in dealing with local problems, alongside its history of violence and crimes against its own people, is the primary reason for the deterioration of the situation in the country. The state bears the main responsibility for the bloodshed and the massacre tanking place against the Palestinians.

Statesmen, political leaders, ministers and MPs are speaking of terrorist outrages, denouncing those responsible as “evil” with no regard for “the sanctity of human life”. But the sanctity of human life disappears when the state decides to ban Palestinian refugees from their basic rights, and more often from life itself. It was absent when the army killed five workers on 27 May 2004 in Hay el Sellom, when it fired into a demonstration demanding better living conditions.

The state wehter made of Loyalists or the Opposition, is a brutal enemy of the  Lebanese and Palestinian working class in Lebanon. Day by day driving people into poverty and despair by outrageous economic policies such as the hike in VAT, high inflation, high unemployment, growing concentration of capital in the hands of fewer people, the spreading of the suburbs to eat out the majority of the cities, a huge expansion of the working class with a dead trade union movements which were destroyed by the Lebanese ruling class.

Today the attack is against the Palestinian working class, Fateh el-Islam is the best-laid opportunity for the state to start a massive attack on the Palestinian refugees and in a plan to control and limit their mobility and their own existence. A heart breaking statement by one of the Nahr el Bared refugees is a clear statement of impact of Lebanese state policies, when asked where he is heading by a news reporter while he was fleeing the Nahr el Bared camp the man paused then a cry came by and said: “That cannot be, we are Palestinians, we are malice, then throw the chemo, and kill us all, we cannot live, we’re not allowed, get rid of us for we are heavy load. The man never managed to stop crying, he left home for the first time and now he is leaving his second home again.

Till now about 15,000 left the camp, most of them gathered in Beddawi camp near Nahr El Bared. The Army is continuing its arbitrary shelling of the camp, reports say that 40 percent of it has been destroyed; many eyewitnesses say that bodies in the streets and under the ruins. PM Seniora is marshalling support for the Lebanese Army a decisive strike. He did not bother to gather any support for the Palestinian refugees, and unwilling to change military tactics in order to spare civilian lives. Yesterday he called on Palestinian political parties to hand over Fateh el-Islam fighters in return of ending the bombardment of civilians, a mirror of the policies the Israelis used during the July war when it demanded the Lebanese to stop supporting Hezbollah and hand over Nasrallah, and in return it will stop attacking civilians.

The Lebanese army is committing a massacre against the Palestinian refugees by the shelling of the camps, this will not build any peace or tolerance, nor build the trust of Palestinians inthe Lebanese state. The government and opposition is not feeling any distress because of their acts and they are both using Palestinians as an excuse to pass their own political agendas, the March 14th are demanding the army to go in inside the camp, also the FPM (Free Patriotic Movement) is attacking the government of intelligence and security breaches and corruption and is also demanding that the army should go inside the camp. Hezbollah is mainly using the issue to attack the government; none of the ruling class parties has put any consideration for the Palestinian refugees. And they are all propagating to gather support for the army in its war against terror, it reminds us all of US policies to gather support for the troops in the war against terror.

When the clashes took place the army was brutally attacked by Fateh el-Islam killing many soldiers, the State’s weight and sanctity was breached and now it is being built or won again by killing Palestinians. A racist trend is rising due to State propaganda and due to the Media campaigns in support of the army and neglecting the humanitarian disaster that is happening. The Lebanese State is the main class enemy of the Lebanese and the Palestinian working class, and it is a necessity that the left in Lebanon should stand in solidarity with the Palestinian working class in defiance against state policies and the attacks that are taking place against Nahr el Bared camp. The communist party in Lebanon should be disgraced and condemned for being a silent collaborator with the killings of civilians, since it has declared its support to the Lebanese army.

With such attitude of one of the main blocks of the left in Lebanon we need to stand today and start building a working class solidarity between Lebanese and Palestinians and try to prepare for the battle against oppression and the massacres committed by the state and its armed and security forces. The Army has the state and the international community in its support, and under any logic it is not accepted for any proclaimed leftist, socialist or Marxist organisation to take a position supporting the armed state’s machine of oppression. 

For us we are quite clear in such cases we abhor violence, and oppose indiscriminate bombings of civilians. Fateh el-Islam should be looked at as an alarming consequence and direct result of state terrorism and the general destabilization of the region and also as a result of the Syrian occupation in Lebanon. The rule of the thugs and war criminals and ex-collaborators of the Syrian regime and present-collaborators of US policies, would in no means build a society of peace and tolerance, but instead it will be a society full of hatred, sectarianism and racism. And this would only bring more attacks on the working class.

The Lebanese and Palestinian working class need first to build class unity between them and not a unity build on identity politics, and hand-in-hand need to make a stand and get rid of the blood-stained officials, ministers, MPs and build a people’s Lebanon. The Left in Lebanon should step out of its ghettos, either being in the Palestinian camps or in alleys and streets of Beirut. It is first the responsibility of the Lebanese left to make a courageous step towards the Palestinians and start building networks of solidarity and unity.

There is no space today for any defeatist or a defensive position, today’s battle is tomorrow’s reality and avoiding this battle would mean more divergence and more racism and a bitter defeat for the working class in Lebanon. The conditions for a strong working class movement in the political sense are very weak, but in such times if the left was able to relate between the oppression that the Palestinians are facing with the oppression that the Lebanese workers are facing, there is a good chance for a movement to surface. Such a movement is a solid guarantee against the possible deterioration of the situation that might lead to more violence and clashes and might be able to stop the State’s possible offensive against the Palestinian camps, especially that now the State is using what is happening in Nahr el-Bared as an excuse to demand the removal of Palestinian weapons from the camps.

At the end there is no one who better explained the dangers of such issue, than Leon Trotsky, written about 88 years ago. Trotsky’s writings remain an invaluable guide. First of all Trotsky dealt brilliantly with the hypocrisy of our rulers. Socialists, he argued, have “nothing in common with those bought and paid for moralists who, in response to any terrorist act, make solemn declarations about the ‘absolute value’ of human life. Trotsky wrote: “These are the same people who, on other occasions, in the name of other absolute values-for example, the nation’s honour or the monarch’s prestige are ready to shove millions of people into the hell of war.” He also understood that terrorism arose because of the tyranny and oppression of our rulers: “We understand only too clearly the inevitability of such convulsive acts of despair and vengeance.“ Trotsky put it like this: “The smoke from the explosion clears away, the panic disappears, the successor of the murdered minister makes his appearance, and life again settles into the old rut, the wheel of capitalist exploitation turns as before — only police repression grows more savage and brazen.” 


State terrorism kills in cold blood

June 2007 With Hiba Abani and Ghassan Makarem

In the past years, the state has adopted a policy of generalization and profiling against the Palestinians and portrayed them as criminals to be outlawed, depriving them of their most basic civil rights, such as the right to work, or build their homes. They control the entrances to the camps to keep the social, economic, political and security situation intact, Civil and political. Today, the siege of the Nahr al-Bared camp enters its fourth week, and the PA continues to order the army to take decisive action and block the camp and hit it with missiles and aircraft, ignoring the civilians taken by Fatah al-Islam as hostages.

Since Hariri’s assassination, the Lebanese state has been preparing to disarm the Palestinian factions after the Cairo treaty has been abandoned. The issue of weapons is old, but the problem is not the weapon itself. Today the issue is raised in principle, that is, if the authority is the one who monopolizes the violence or not. However, through this form of submission, the authority is forgetting and refuses to consider the history of this weapon and its relationship with the Lebanese weapon in the civil war and its relationship with the reality of the Palestinians in Lebanon.

Before 1982, the Palestinian armed forces were accompanied by the National Movement in its war against the Lebanese authority and its internal conflicts. Following the departure of the PLO from Lebanon, Palestinian weapons were essentially turned into a tool of self-defense. “Before the 82, the headlines of the Palestinian martyrs were martyred in the operation,” said Walid Taha of Ain el-Hilweh camp. “After 82, the headlines of the pictures were said to be in defense of the camps.”

For the Palestinians in Lebanon, the weapon is a guarantee to stay in front of a painful memory of the relationship with the political power historically and its leaders today. Both Berri, Samir Geagea, Jumblatt and Aoun were directly or indirectly responsible for the wars of liquidation and abductions of the Palestinians from Tel Zaatar to Sabra and Shatila and War The camps. For Palestinians, arms are a guarantee of life and rights. As for the Lebanese authority, it is an obstacle to its desire to tighten central political and security control. 

In a simple way, the Palestinians have the right to ask, what is the guarantee that the state will provide for their lives and their right to life? This is where the basic problem is based. The Lebanese government’s politicians cannot be trusted, and how is the weapon handed over to those responsible for shedding Palestinian blood in the recent past?

Today, the history of each blessed sect is equal in its shedding of Palestinian blood. The Sunni community, by circumventing the leadership of Hariri junior, is performing its national Lebanese duty to kill Palestinian civilians. The Druze problem remains because they have not formally participated in the shedding of Palestinian blood unless we consider Jumblatt’s support for Berri at the beginning of the camp war.

After the civil war ended, the Palestinian arena became a market for political exploitation and extortion. Here we may have to remember the role of the organs in “shaping” and supporting many organized groups – and those that are not disciplined – by some power poles and intelligence agencies. Today, lack of discipline is required by the terms of the Lebanese political game.

We know that any group violates a security device that can be hacked from any other device. We know that Syrian intelligence and others supported various organizations, including organizations that take shelter from the camps. We know that the camps were so besieged as to prevent tombstones from entering. And we know the names of ministers and politicians during the Syrian era and their names before and after, they have not changed. We also know that power support for groups can be used when the sedition order comes in. Only a few days ago (and here it might be useful to wait a little before judgment). We know that for most of that period, the ruling party was the same, whether under Syrian, American or Iranian pressure.

Today they speak of Fatah al-Islam as being outside the political reality and its balance as the new national enemy of the Lebanese authority. Every nation or nation needs an enemy to adopt its identity. The political class has not been able to find this enemy in either Israel or Syria, and now it is found in the Palestinians, not in Fatah al-Islam. The official enemy is the opening of peace, but the actual blood in which the Lebanese national citadel is painted is Palestinian blood.

The manoeuvre to build a Sunni front to counter the alleged Shiite tide has turned into a scenario for the liquidation of Palestinian civilians in the war of building the prestige of the state against terrorist Salafist organizations related to political analysis directly to the Hariri leadership.

Fatah al-Islam joins the Ta’if state 

The Lebanese authority led Fatah al-Islam from Beirut to Nahr al-Bared in “black pockets with their weapons,” according to many residents of Nahr al-Bared. Seven years ago, clashes broke out between a group calling itself Takfir and Hijra in the Dhinniyyah area. Many members of this group were imprisoned and the state released them under the amnesty law that freed Samir Geagea.

It can be an electoral reason or to support a Sunni movement to compete, if not confront, Hezbollah, which “takes up the resistance.” Elias Atallah’s influence on March 14 “thought” could be greater than we think, but what is important here is that the relationship exists. The “humanitarian” argument in the amnesty request should be excluded because there are thousands of prisoners, some of whom are oppressed, living in deplorable conditions, some of whom are Sunnis, not covered by the amnesty law.

Hariri’s death was the right cover to connect with sectarian groups and protect them through the Future Movement and Sunni religious leaders. It is obvious that the policies of the Lebanese government are directly linked to the policies of the “international community” led by the United States and France, which play a central role in Lebanon to restore the mandate period and the era of the Vichy government in particular. 

The interdependence here is not only internal but is the result of chaos and creative political upheaval that governs the Middle East in general. Chaos may be the most appropriate word today to describe the reality of the region in its political, as well as security and economic. Many may ask whether this chaos is intentional or merely chaotic, but its reality and results are clear. Is essentially a US-led struggle for control under the pretext of the war on terror. And imposed in this war a pattern of security policies and dictatorship and conflicts and sectarian and sectarian.

The United States today is acting through the same ideological line as the al-Qaeda, ie, destabilizing the status quo through terrorist security breaches that spread an environment of fear and impose its laws on the map. As the same rule is imposed on the American map, the United States imposes itself on the map of the Middle East; the base through individual terrorism and the United States through state terrorism.

The general political reality imposes itself directly on domestic politics. In foreign affairs, we say TVA in French, in the neoliberal Anglo-colonial economy, at the meeting “Levi Strauss” , And perhaps find the misfortune of Ahmed Bezun, the army whites face and resolute Saghya who justified the killing of civilians hostage to an oil militia and seized his pension from the newspaper of the point, perhaps we find in the cultural policies, 300 stupid in a cinema. Chaos and an alleged war on terrorism.

This direct communication between internal and regional reality negates the ability of any of us to separate them, and the separation becomes a logic out of reality and an enmity to it. To those who indulge in realism from the thinkers of the series of building the state, they must first stop barking and start listening to the reality of the reality and watch the fire penetrate all the gaps and geopolitical boundaries.

Lebanese territorial interdependence is not mysterious, it is apparent to all who can see, read or hear. The United States in its daily adventures in the jungles of the Middle East produced some loyalists and supporters of the regimes, some of whom promised projects and were terrified of American brutality and obedience to their will. In this mess, US companies record huge profits either by stealing Iraq’s oil and its effects or by selling arms, ammunition and explosives, and securing contractors, including a Lebanese who is linked to Lebanese (pardon) parties.

This mess is being confronted by anarchy created by the Syrian and Iranian regimes in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon. The chaos has become the motto of today, and Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria see that whoever can be the best policeman to control that mess will be the pivotal player in the next phase of the new Middle East. Within these battles, the role of pro-opposition or pro-regime power becomes essentially police power, under the pretext of controlling the chaos it produces.

The spread of chaos is easy, even outside the circle of military intervention, especially in Lebanon where corruption is the rank of minister, president or deputy. What is going on is a modified version of Iraq, where the occupation uses the “Badr Brigade” for instance to counter Sunni disobedience and then supports Sunni groups to curb Shiite expansion. Divide and conquer. In short, when the American administration finds that the threat comes from Shiites, we see it supporting Sunni groups like al Qaeda. When the threat comes from al-Qaeda, it belongs to the Shiites. This old and new strategy was used in the 1990s when the United States supported Syrian influence in Lebanon and later opposed it.

Spreading chaos 

In March 2007, Seymour Hersh announced (the journalist in the magazine “New Yorker”) that after the crisis situation in Iraq and the defeat of Hezbollah, Israel inflicted on the tourist season the US administration has decided to oppose Iran, Syria and their allies Shiites by supporting Sunni groups jihadist. Hersh stressed that the current violence in Lebanon is a result of the Lebanese government’s intention to support these armed groups to confront Hezbollah.

Let’s say Hersh is a “Syrian agent”, or to say that he is not an “expert” in the region. What about Michael Young, editor of the Daily Star (an imperialist newspaper) and a friend of politics celebrities, and some of its activists, supporter of the Cedar Revolution and the Independence and Truth uprising? 

“It may seem that the Hariri family has financed Islamists, but the fact is they have done what they usually do when they face problems: they are trying to buy them to get rid of them,” Young says.

There is no need to read opposition newspapers to know how far the involvement is. Walid Jumblatt received a telephone call from MP Bahia Hariri, explaining to him that the Jund al-Sham group in Ain al-Hilweh camp does not belong to the Fatah al-Islam gang, Jumblatt expressed his interest in these clarifications. “ Jumblatt may also be interested to know that financing terrorists and even going for a walk is a crime the size of terrorism. To ask INTERPOL. 

So, the authority is responsible, with the international community, for Fatah al-Islam (Islam is ignorant, Fatah?). The latter, when it emerged, announced its confrontation with the Shiite expansion and its control of the resistance against Israel and the US, and that it did not want a confrontation with the Lebanese army and that it had many things to do with the ruling party regarding the opposition of Hezbollah and Iran.

Among these “many things” is the sectarian discourse used by the March 14 Forces to mobilize against the resistance last summer, which became the broad title of Lebanese state policies. One such mobilization was the clashes that took place several weeks ago in the vicinity of the Arab League in Beirut, which later turned out to be snipers belonging to Saad Hariri’s private security institutions. 

Terrorism became the main argument of the March 14 militias, official, private and civil, and with the participation of the opposition choir to unload the hateful messages broadcast by its media. And politicians, some of whom are steeped in the blood of the Lebanese and the Palestinians, are massacred or used in their personal battles and projects, or the projects of their fathers, who have fallen physically and morally.

CPJ called for the protection of correspondents. This came after a series of attacks by pro-Hariri and Jumblat gangs against the correspondents of al-Jadid, al-Manar and others. The attacks were not spontaneous, as one of the senior cadres of the Jumblatt militia, Akram Shahib, claimed after the explosion of Aley, which got the eyes of the representatives of the state, the security forces that responded to barbaric attacks against Syrian workers by arresting Syrian workers.

This situation was expressed by Trotsky almost one hundred years ago in an article on the Austrian Social Democrats, “Why do Marxists oppose individual terrorism?” because the Social Democrat “underestimates the role of the masses … detracts from its role and makes it surrender to its helplessness and draws its attention to an avenging and saved hero.” “Those moralists who respond to every act of terrorism with statements about the absolute value of human life are themselves ready. Other occasions and in the name of other absolute values ​​such as the honor of the nation or the prestige of the king to push millions of people into the hell of war. “

Control of chaos in Lebanon 

The “addressing security issues of the present and the future” takes its new form between 2004 and 2005 after a few years of training, processing and “seminars” held by United Nations security organizations. Al-Salam massacre has shown that the new security doctrine will not give up some of its historical principles, especially the shooting of the poor if they dare to demonstrate outside the frameworks outlined in advance.

Hariri’s bombing added new arguments for surveillance, eavesdropping, cameras, multi-color devices and interests. The doctrines of the apparatuses have shifted from the Syrian Baathist doctrine, where every citizen has an informant to every “informant citizen” of the older brother. Which of them has more pictures in the streets of his cities, Rafik Hariri or Hafez Assad?

The erosion of these rights came in line with the withdrawal of a majority of those who claimed democracy to the Democratic Left and Democratic Renewal movements and their alignment behind Jumblatt, Ja’ja ‘and Hariri. This ensured that their work as experts on poverty, democracy or health would continue as a report of the poor and the Democrats, A post with the United Nations or another international organization promoting the March 14 ideology.

We are concerned here with one subject, perhaps the democratic ambassadors (the leftists and the renegades) explain it to us. Why did some United Nations organizations move their headquarters three days before the northern clashes? And not after security developments as they try to suggest in interviews. Does this measure relate to information or analysis? If so, would it not have been better and more sustainable to alert and vaccinate the camps instead of the billions that would be spent in relief, development and development?

You cannot tell the future that some of us will believe it all the time. But a wise man cannot believe the leaders of Hariri’s group around the international tribunal and their “need” to reach Chapter 7 unless the record of George Bush’s advisers’ On the Air Force One flight en route to the G8 summit on June 4, 2007, which says, “The President spoke with Saad Hariri this morning.” Saad Hariri wanted to talk to the president and show appreciation for the support provided by the United States and the leadership of the UN Security Council Chapter VII The past and the judge to form an international tribunal to consider the assassination of Hariri. “ The memo refers to Hariri’s thanks to Bush for the aid he received in the army, which the White House linked to the crisis in the north.

Saad did not mention truth or justice. His talk was about Chapter VII and the weapon. This is important. The weapons arrived and ammunition would arrive in succession, and modern equipment and machinery. It will not be good for fighting Israel or even to prevent Syria, and it is no different from the weapons of other regular armies, in particular, the US military.

In his book Planet of Slums, American writer Mike Davis points to the development of poor communities into huge civilian enclosures containing hundreds of thousands of unemployed and informal workers. The labels are many, and in Lebanon, we prefer words like “suburbs” or “belts of misery”, but they are no different in their relationship with the economic system than “favela” in Brazil, for example.

One of the many examples that Davies gave was Karantina, where hundreds of workers were slaughtered in “the beginnings of civil war.” We can add Tel Zaatar to its example, but today we see dozens of Krentina in the suburbs of Beirut, southern and eastern and northern and in Tripoli from Zahariya, Qubba and Tabana, an extension to Beddawi and Albarard and to the towns of Dennia and Akkar.

This is where Fatah al-Islam grew up. Every day, a new Islam is opened in one of the cities of poverty in a city without any Syrian or American support. But the biggest problem is not the US role in allowing Fatah al-Islam to grow, but the American military doctrine of responding to these phenomena.

“The future wars will be in the streets, streams and skyscrapers of the expansions of residential areas that make up the broken cities of the world … Our modern military history is interspersed with the names of cities – Tuzla, Mogadishu,” Davis said in an article in 1996. Los Angeles, Beirut, Panama City, Hui, Saigon, Santo Domingo – but these clashes are just an introduction, and the actual drama has not yet taken place. “

Chapter VII, which thanked Hariri, said that the Security Council, after “suspending economic, rail, maritime, air, postal, telegraphic, radio and other means of transportation, partially or completely suspended and severing diplomatic relations” (Article 41), “may Air, sea and land forces shall take necessary action to maintain or restore international peace and security, and such acts may include demonstrations, embargoes and other operations by means of the air, sea or ground forces of Members of the United Nations. “ (Article 42).

Observe how the demonstration (for example, an open sit-in) can be prevented under the tutelage of Chapter VII or that the United Nations may use military force against it. In other words, Ahmed’s insistence on suppressing the right to demonstrate and assemble through his heresy about organizing demonstrations when he was acting minister may be done tomorrow with a blue gun. If one of the UNDP staff (an unarmed United Nations program) says in the coffin that with the bombing of Nahr al-Bared by aircraft, imagine what the UNIFIL mercenaries might do?

The answer may come from Haiti, where the United Nations “preserves security” after the intervention of US states in the affairs of this poor island to block the local democratic process that may lead one day to the arrival of a president refuses to be a dog of the White House. In addition to an official report adopted by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which refers to the involvement of United Nations soldiers in “repeated patterns of sexual assault and rape by soldiers presumed to maintain the rule of international law”, the Haitian police , At the disposal of the international community and trained by the United Nations and prepared by the US military, to kill unarmed civilians and slaughter children under the sight of the generals of the blue caps.

On 2/2/2007, Haiti Action reported on a massacre by United Nations and Haitian security forces during the storming of the Cité Soleil (Sun City) neighborhood after the massacre of 6/7/2005 in which UN forces 22,000 ammunition launchers facing a gang of 30 individuals. But in February, eyewitnesses confirmed that the source of the fire was only the United Nations troops, one of whom had entered the house of Marcius Lupine, hit him in the arm and killed his two sleeping daughters, Stephanie (4) and Alexandra (7 years).

For the international community, all of the above falls within the context of the re-establishment of the international system to match the priority of the “war on terror”. “The US government is trying to turn the whole world into a battlefield in the context of the” war on terror, “a vague war that is not clear and probably will never end,” Human Rights Watch said.

“The current framework of international law and multilateralism is one of the most systematic attacks since its inception half a century ago. Some challenge direct international human rights law and international humanitarian law as incapable of addressing current and future security issues, Under the pretext of the “war on terror”, some Governments are wasting the principles, standards and values ​​of human rights, and the international community appears unable or unwilling to put an end to this trend, while the armed groups continue to ignore their responsibilities under international humanitarian law.

Will there be those who will benefit from the right of return? 

After the brutal attack on the soldiers of the Lebanese army, the State of the Cedar Revolution has achieved its purpose. Their clients in the United Nations and the “civil” community may have advised them that the racist mobilization against the Syrians is unsustainable. They can leave if they wish, but cheap labor that Lebanese and Syrian capital cannot completely dispose of. Racism against Shiites may create some problems, especially for some intellectuals who may become infected with intestinal infections from what they see from bodies. 

Racism against the Palestinians is rooted in the Lebanese state and its political parties, right and left. Right, we know what he says, we can read the creations of life lovers on their websites and there is a “legacy” full of “LBC.” To regain it, and restore it, without reference to Amin Gemayel and his return to the fascist rhetoric frenzied during the Sunday food in the village.

The position of the left is “more complicated.” With most of the Lebanese left today adopting the serious statements of Pierre Gemayel regarding the army and the patriotism (and every patriotism is fascism), the “right of return,” in practice, remains the repression and abuse of Palestinians, They congratulate Lebanese people on their refusal to return. This, on the moral level, is no different from the attitude of Europeans who prefer to see Jews in a state that oppresses them.

The Lebanese state will not regain its lost prestige since 1943 by attacking refugees in camps that are like detention camps. The PA wants to perpetrate a massacre against the Palestinian refugees by “implicating” the army in a battle in which a group (under surveillance and prosecution) of thousands of civilians will take “human shields.” But what if she decided to open Islam instead of stealing Hariri’s bank in retaliation for not paying salaries – as they say, of course – what if she decided to hijack a plane? Do you see the airport and the plane explode? What if the security forces, preoccupied with assaulting every Palestinian or Palestinian youth, noticed the group that placed the explosives here and there and took them to the building where the family of the Palestinian Samir Kassir lives? Were the tanks sweeping Sassin Square and firing their shells?

The state, opposition and loyalty, exploits the Palestinian cause to pass its political agenda. The Free Patriotic Movement, as a whole, declared its solidarity with the army and ignored the lives of civilians inside the camp. It seems that “reconciling” the current with the Arab regimes may mean adopting this Republican Party to the methods of the Syrian Baath. The exception was Hezbollah, which considered the lives of civilians and the camp red lines.

Since the first spark of the events of the cold, racism in Lebanon has increased through the political propaganda of the Lebanese state and through the media institutions that have supported the army unabashedly by the current humanitarian catastrophe in the camp. This is at a time when the displaced from the cold that the Future Movement had opened fire on them while fleeing the bombing, at a time of arrest and humiliation of Palestinian civilians in Beirut by the army and the Internal Security Forces, as well as a series of random killings and accounts of human rights defenders on the arrest Foreign workers, especially the Syrians, were put in trucks with their hands tied.

This racist and chauvinist atmosphere has turned to civil society, with the majority of organizations claiming to work under the title of human rights refusing to sign a statement demanding the respect and maintenance of the rights of civilians. This rejection came from representatives of institutions and groups that claim to work with the marginalized and the poor, including Communist Party organizations, human rights organizations, liberals and leftist “democrats”. Even the Anarchists began to lick police boots.

The role of the left 

The basic question we ask for all who defend the prestige of the army and stand behind it is, why should Palestinians sacrifice their lives for a state that does not recognize their existence as human beings? Why should the Palestinians respect the prestige of a state that is devouring them and violating their most basic civil and human rights and depriving them of a decent life and controlling them with humiliation, oppression and poverty? 

We do not say that there is no value to the lives of the soldiers, what happened is a terrorist crime in charge of which is Fatah al-Islam, which financed and covered and armed Fatah al-Islam. But the soldiers’ lives are no higher than the lives of Palestinian civilians. If there is absolute value to human life, there is no place, and it is totally unacceptable, that there are ranks for the value of the life of a soldier and the life of a Palestinian.

Lebanese army soldiers are victims like Palestinians. They are the victim of power and their dirty and criminal political manoeuvres. Solidarity starts here, and the threat of Fatah al-Islam to the Palestinian and Lebanese peace is the result of the threat posed by the present Lebanese authority to the Lebanese and Palestinian communities. Solidarity starts a Lebanese Palestinian in a common struggle for equality and rights. Solidarity starts with class solidarity, not national spinning.

Persecution, racism and the killing of civilians are unacceptable. Fatah Islam is a direct expression of state terrorism, which today supports US policies that were allied to the Syrian regime at a previous stage, not at all interested in building a secure and balanced society. Those thugs and criminals will continue their attack on the working class, so the Lebanese and Palestinian working class must stand hand in hand to get rid of the vampires of the ruling class. The Lebanese must rise up to extend solidarity with the Palestinians in a common confrontation against a political authority that created, financed and supported Fatah al-Islam and other death squads like Jund al-Sham in Sidon.

In the first place, the responsibility of the left requires solidarity with the Palestinians because today’s battle is the reality of tomorrow, and its avoidance only means more racism, poverty and defeats of the working class. On the left, he must stop taking political and popular cover for political power. He must seize this opportunity to push for a common Lebanese-Palestinian class struggle against oppression, oppression, poverty and a dignified life.

No sanctity of life when refugees are deprived of their fundamental rights, not the sanctity of a homeland or an army when most of these “refugees” are born and have lived their lives in Lebanon. The Lebanese worker, like the Palestinian worker, suffers from the same pain and the policy of oppression itself, and they have to unite in order to stand against this political authority that relies on murder and criminality in order to build its prestige. As a woman from Kesrouan said on LBC: In the palaces we hold in the graves. “ This is the words of one of the soldiers who were killed in the war of power over the uncontrolled elements of the now opening of Islam.

The fear is not to be met, not by its commitment, and here is the need to move and work to eliminate the bloody projects of the Lebanese authority. On the left to get out of collusion and hide behind the national violence and to respond to this attack on the working class of Lebanon and Palestine, we hear from time to time about some of the elements of the security engine kills Lebanese civilians, and the outcome of the martyrs here similar to the outcome of terrorist bombings that occur every two or three days. If the situation is to defend the homeland and stability, should not this stability protect Palestinian and Lebanese citizens?

The defense of power today is the betrayal of the left by those who claim to be represented and the leftist parties, which evade a direct stance on the subject, are only poles in support of the rise of the fascist state in Lebanon. If the traditional left has given up its role in favor of building a political system in which some reforms can be imposed, the Palestinian and Lebanese working classes have no doubt that the dustbin of history will extend to all of them, power and the state and Fatah al-Islam.


The facade of imperialism

May 2006

The United States suffered a major failure to its “democratisation” of the Middle East, in other words, its plan to boost its authoritarian powers. In Iraq, American democracy has produced overwhelming sectarian chaos and has been attacked by the majority leaders in Iraq as the main cause of this chaos. The second blow came from Palestine, where Hamas won the last legislative elections in a contest supported by the White House.20 “I have no doubt that Lebanon can be a model of what is possible in the greater Middle East!” Bush said.

The March 14 forces, in the first stages of its vague revolution, bet that with the expansion of US control in the Middle East, it could join the “free” world, as it likes to call the United States. For Lebanon, it may represent the best way out of the crisis of America’s “democratic” project in the Middle East.

But US failure is not only dependent on the Palestine, Iraq or even the Ukraine, where the Orange Revolution lost the last elections.21 The phenomena of the Bush failure also appear in Lebanon. American democracy depends primarily on the popular demands for democracy, and imagines that if it invented civil disobedience and implemented superficial change it would deceive people that it created an effective democracy, but this did not happen.

In Ukraine, for example, democratic change simply shifted power from the Russian mafia to the American mafia. In Iraq, the creation of sectarian federalism produced a sectarian war that was the result of a political system based on sectarian conflict that encouraged and supported extremism and war, and not the product of religious extremism.

The American view of the Middle East is superficial, based on seeing conflict in the region as one of ethnicities, tribes and sects. It thinks that the best way to govern is to divide region in such a way that it can deflect the Islamic ideological systems, such as al-Qaeda and others. It is the same strategy Western imperialism employed in the early 20th century. 

This conflicting view of reality cannot foresee the many changes and divisions within Middle Eastern and Arab societies. These societies have as many divisions as in any other society. Political currents compete from the extreme left to the extreme right, religious and secular intellectual currents, as well as the already intense class struggle due to economic policies that depend on the destruction of all gains made by labour movements in the last century. 

This racist reading of the Middle East is the root cause of the beginning of the collapse of the American democratisation project and the failure of democratic propaganda that collided with a reality more complicated than its superficial vision. Even Islamic organisations have produced democratic indicators that have helped them to rise to the leadership of pro-democracy cases.

Those who say that the United States is the one that brought democracy to the region forget that it has not produced any democratic system in this country under its control, and that the existing democratic systems are being destroyed by the pro-American authorities and replaced by repressive and criminal dictatorships, such as Egypt, the Gulf Kingdoms and Jordan, and has consistently supported the repressive Syrian regime. By its own admission, it does not want to regime change in Syria, it wants a more loyal one.

The Middle East may be the only region in the world where the United States has direct military, political and economic rule, from the Arabian Gulf, to India and Pakistan to Egypt, Jordan and Iraq.

But what does this have to do with Lebanon?

Since the US administration began to be weakened by internal opposition to its Middle East policy, and by the intensification of resistance in the Middle East and the organic connection between the struggle for democracy and the struggle against imperialism and the collapse of the “democratic” handcuffs the administration wanted to build, the United States had to find a trump card to ease the pressure on it internally and within the region, was Lebanon. Wanted to benefit from the resentment of the majority of the Lebanese to the Syrian hegemony, became the slogan in Lebanon that the crisis of democracy in Lebanon is only the presence of Syrian hegemony. This stupidly ignores the weight of the sectarian system in disrupting the democratic system and its total surrender that sectarianism is the main driver of the conflict in the region.

So that its interest in Lebanon has increased since last year. Hariri’s assassination constituted the appropriate conditions for the collapse of the American intervention in Lebanon, pushing it towards the production of a pro-regime, and the March 14 movement was supported as the democratic revolution in the Middle East.

Niels Lytham in the New York Post says that Si. Which. Which. Gives logistical and financial support to anti-Syrian demonstrations in a secret program similar to the existing program to support movements in Ukraine and Georgia, which also produced this form of “peaceful” objections.

Some people in Lebanon, especially those who stayed within the March 14 project, may think that the US democratic project can be joined and disengagement from what is happening around it. We see this in the “Lebanon First” project and try to separate the internal changes from what happens in the region. However, this trend is in direct contradiction to the reality of the geographical and political presence associated with the changes taking place in the region, from resistance and wars, and it is stupid to say that separating Lebanon from what is happening in the region is possible. This can only be achieved if they put everyone in Lebanon in a huge iron prison. The media cut them off, they are prevented from moving, and they may all have been buried in mass graves.

Today, we must work on two lines: the production of a democratic movement and a direct struggle against imperialism and capitalism, since there is no possibility of the former without the second or the second without the first. Their interdependence is organic because those who stop and destroy democratic movements in the region are American support for repressive regimes (dictatorship and neo-democracy).

In the last meeting between Bush and Siniora, Bush said: “Beirut will regain its financial, economic and cultural status if Lebanon is a free, independent and democratic country.” The question here remains: What are the American conditions for freedom, independence and democracy? We have seen that these borders end when the popular will departs from the policies dictated by the American administration, as happened with Hamas in Palestine.

Here, we cannot rule out the economic aspect of the issue. American hegemony is directly linked to economic plans that are in line with their protectionist economic objective, which aims to control as many global markets as possible through the policies of the World Bank and the WTO. This is part of the “New American Century” project, which the neo-conservatives view in the United States.

Our struggle against dictatorships must be comprehensive and comprehensive. We must see that there is no real correlation between the American project and democracy in the Middle East. There is a link between dictatorships and the American administration, and our struggle against dictatorship is the same struggle against imperialism in its economic and military form.

War is nothing but a commodity within the capitalist system, which is a sign of a crisis in capitalism that is crystallized in the accumulation of production and the inability to discharge, which calls for arming, launching wars and opening new markets by force.

 During the 2006 legislative elections backed by the West, Hamas, running as Change and Reform, caused a shock by winning 44.45 percent of the vote, eclipsing Fatah’s 41.43 percent.


2. Nahr al-Bared is a refugee camp in northern Lebanon, 16 km from the city of Tripoli. Some 30,000 displaced Palestinians and their descendants live in and around the camp. Under the terms of the 1969 Cairo Agreement, the Lebanese Army does not conventionally enter the camps, and internal security is provided by Palestinian factions. The camp was established in December 1949 for refugees suffering from the difficult winter in the Beqaa Valley and the suburbs of Tripoli. Due to its position on the main road to Syria and its proximity to the border, Nahr al-Bared grew to be a central commercial hub for the local Lebanese of the Akkar region. Many locals relied on the tax-free goods and black market prices to keep the cost of living down. The demise of the camp was a devastating blow to the local economy. Clashes between the army and Islamist militants were triggered by a police raid on a Fatah al-Islam hideout in Tripoli. The raid triggered clashes in the vicinity of Nahr al-Bared camp, and that night the militants attacked a Lebanese army post at the camp gate, slaughtering 27 soldiers as they slept, as well as a number of civilians who came to the soldiers’ rescue. The army laid siege to the camp on 21 May, and after a series of offensives overran the camp on 2 September 2007. Many of the surviving militants broke out of the siege as the camp fell.


4. Shia Expansionism refers to belief among some Sunni Islamists that the Shia sect is attempting to displace the majority Sunni. Geo-politically it refers to growth of Iranian influence in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. 

5. Under the 1969 Cairo accord the official UNRWA camps in Lebanon – home to 300,000 Palestinian refugees – were removed from the jurisdiction of the Lebanese army’s Deuxième Bureau and placed under the authority of the Palestinian Armed Struggle Command. The agreement allowed the Palestinians to legally control their refugee camps in Lebanon and also to launch attacks against Israel from the south.

6. Tel al-Zaatar (Hill of Thyme) was a UNRWA-administered refugee camp in northeastern Beirut of some 3,000 structures housing over 20,000 refugees. At the beginning of the Civil War the camp fell under the control of Palestinian militants. Lebanese Christian militias, supported by Syrian troops, laid siege to and eventually overran the camp killing thousands of Palestinian civilians, many of whom died of dehydration.

The September 1982 Phalanges militia allied to Israel carried out massacres in Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps south of Beirut. The Israeli army command ordered the militia to clear out the last remnants of Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) fighters from the camp as part of its siege of West Beirut. Some 3500 Palestinians, along with many poor Shia refugees, were butchered in three days of carnage.

8. The War of the Camps 1984-85 refers to the punishing siege of Palestinian camps by Shia Amal militia, backed by Syria and the Lebanese Army. The siege received the tacit support of the Lebanese National Movement, which included Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) and the Lebanese Community Party.

9. This faction of Jund el-Sham was formed in 2004. It was based in Lebanon and made Fatah its main target.

10. Arafat returned to Lebanon a year after his forces were driven out of Beirut by the 1982 Israeli invasion. He established himself in Tripoli in 1983 but was driven out by Palestinian factions working for Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad.

11. The Hama massacre took place in February 1982, when the Syrian Army besieged the town for 27 days in order to quell an uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood. The massacre effectively ended the campaign begun in 1976 by Sunni groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, against the government.

12. On 31 December 1999, in the Dinnieh district of Northern Lebanon hundreds of militants organised attacks killing civilians and clashing with the army, the biggest clashes since the civil war. The fighting lasted for a week before it was subdued. In 2005, Takfir wal Hijra took credit for the killings of Christian civilians in the same area.

13. On 27 February 1994, a bomb exploded in a Church killing 9 worshipers and injuring many others. Samir Geagea was arrested in April 1994, on charges of ordering the bombing, attempting to undermine government authority by “maintaining a militia in the guise of a political party”, instigating acts of violence, and committing assassinations during the Lebanese Civil War. He was accused of the assassinations of former prime minister Rashid Karami, National Liberal Party leader Dany Chamoun and his family, and former LF member Elias Al Zayek. He was also accused of attempting to kill minister Michel Murr. He was acquitted in the church case but given four life sentences in the others. Geagea was incarcerated for 11 years in the Lebanese Ministry of Defense in Yarze. The Lebanese Parliament passed an amnesty bill on 18 July 2005 to free Samir Geagea. Three dozens of Islamists were released under the same amnesty.

14. David Welch was the US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs between March 2005 to December 2008  

15. 2006-2009

16. Doha

17. 7 May


19. Open sit-in/No War

20. During the 2006 legislative elections backed by the West, Hamas, running as Change and Reform, caused a shock by winning 44.45 percent of the vote, eclipsing Fatah’s 41.43 percent.

21. Orange Revolution