New titles new prerogatives

So it turns out that the sister of one of the boys assassinated a couple of days ago asked to get a chance to see Hizbulah SG Nasrallah because she is now the sister of a “shahid”. Please can somebody forward this to l’Orient le Jour? or to Ziad Makhoul directly?

By the way, did you notice how Al-Akhbar more than any other Lebanese newspapers (who scream for vengeance) try to show the “nationalist” dimension of this killing by trying to detect a modicum of union between the political protagonists? None of them depicts an accurate description of all aspects of reality, but it is just funny to see the different approaches to the same status-quo.

Meanwhile in Turkey

I see that they have some of that in Turkey too. Good, Lebanon is no exception. ‘Western’ journalists just love it: pick up on the female bourgeoisie of an ‘Eastern’ country as a sign of ‘modernism’, when all there is to it is profound decadence. I will write more on the Turkish question and the misperception of the western media.

Ziad Makhoul should be behind bars

I’m sorry but with a title like this “Va, venge et deviens”, you should be locked and kept away from causing public nuisance. This is a simple call to gratuitous physical violence that involves some transcendental experience. I seriously don’t understand how nobody checks on what this guy writes. Does it mean that no one is averagely sane at French-colonialist-nostalgics L’Orient le jour?

And then, to add insult to injury the guy shows his profound stupidity (so “bête et méchant as we say in French), and quotes high references like… Jumblatt: “L’État est notre unique protection”. Nowhere is ideological construction clearer than when Jumblatt who never had any ‘public’ use of ‘the state’, use the state as a tool to protect his chair, and yet Makhoul really thinks that Jumblatt has in mind a whole set of practices that involves the state as the provider of public interest.

Third, is his horrible romantic narrative style. And when assassinations and killings are involved as is often the case in our lovely piece of paradise called Lebanon, it just creates the lousiest prose:

Est-ce qu’il est possible de reconstruire, de restaurer l’État sur les cadavres mutilés des deux Ziad, sachant que dans le cas contraire, cela équivaudrait non seulement à les assassiner ad vitam, mais surtout à reculer pour, un jour ou l’autre, finalement, mieux sauter, mieux reproduire la barbarie, mieux se dissoudre, mieux faire exploser tout un pays ? Est-ce qu’il est possible d’expliquer à ceux qui, naturellement, légitimement, ne rêvent que de se venger que la plus belle, la plus parfaite des vengeances serait justement la réaffirmation de cet État, son règne, son avènement tous pores ouverts : loi, droit, devoirs ?

These are uselessly loaded terms you can use in all situations. What is the objective of that? Brainwash and reach the audience in their deepest ethical foundations.
And he calls Walid Jumblatt’s erratically schizophrenic (between one glass of whisky and another) statement compounded a “travail éminemment pédagogique”, and a “œuvre civique”…

For this half-brain, the State is just “justice” and “truth”. Well good luck with building a state I guess… I also guess that the idea that an ‘international tribunal’, (i.e. another-worldly settling of accounts) is the only thing that can purify, cleanse (tahir, طهر) the system. This is but one fascist ideal that this guy goes by (he is just one among so many agitators that thinks a ‘tribunal’, or a ‘battle for the truth’ as a priority for all the country’s ills is going to change anything to the situation).

This is what he has to write on the assassinations of PSP officials’ kids:

Ils s’en seraient bien passés, mais les deux Ziad, de là où ils sont, sont désormais devenus la conscience du Liban. Une conscience éternelle, impitoyable, impossible à étouffer, accomplie, plus forte que tous ses probables futurs fossoyeurs – et il y en a(ura)… Maigre mais somptueuse consolation.

Do you think he wrote the same about the kids that died during the Israeli murderous adventure of the summer (he first has to think that they have a conscience)? Do you think he wrote the same about those who were shot cowardly in the back during the Beirut Arab University debacle of this winter? About those who were shot at and killed during the demonstrations against the policies of the State (that is captured by a group of oligarch he cherishes so much), thanks to the careful plans of extremely disturbed LF leader and professional killer Samir Geagea (who he admires so much)? If you do, then think again.

A Connoisseuse of Slugs: A Poetic Interlude …

When I was a connoisseuse of slugs
I would part the ivy leaves, and look for the
naked jelly of those gold bodies,
translucent strangers glistening along the
stones, slowly, their gelatinous bodies
at my mercy. Made mostly of water, they would shrivel
to nothing if they were sprinkled with salt,
but I was not interested in that. What I liked
was to draw aside the ivy, breathe the
odor of the wall, and stand there in silence
until the slug forgot I was there
and sent it antennae up out of its
head, the glimmering umber horns
rising like telesopes, until finally the
sensitive knobs would pop out the ends,
delicate and intimate. Years later,
when I first saw a naked man,
I gasped with pleasure to see that quiet

mystery reenacted, the slow
elegant being coming out of hiding and
gleaming in the dark air, eager and so
trusting you could weep.

— Sharon Olds

Ludes, past:

Billy Collins, 1.
Ounsi El Hage, 1.
Henri Michaux, 1, 2.
Marianne Moore, 1.
Pablo Neruda, 1.
Theodore Roethke, 1, 2, 3, 4.
Dylan Thomas, 1.
Richard Wilbur, 1, 2, 3.

They all meet under one roof

Would you believe me if I told you that the Daily Star has written an article on former PM Mikati mother’s death, and who went to give him condolences? The title of the article is no less important: “Leaders mourn late mother of ex-PM Mikati”. Wait, maybe his mother was kind of an important figure in Lebanese or Arab history. Nope. She’s just the mother of Mikati. I mean, isn’t this important enough to write an article about it and list all the officials that went there? And so I would like to do the same here, I want people to realize how fucked up this is. Just try to read the whole list:

Political leaders paid their condolences on Thursday to the family of Souad Ghandour, who passed away on Thursday morning. Ghandour was the mother of former Prime Minister Najib Mikati. Mikati received phone calls from Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, Speaker Nabih Berri and President Emile Lahoud.
Former President Amin Gemayel, former Prime Minister Salim Hoss, Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani and Higher Shiite Council vice president Sheikh Abdel-Amir Qabalan also called Mikati, in addition to Saudi Ambassador Abdel-Aziz Khoja, Egyptian Ambassador Hussein Darrar and US Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman.
UN special coordinator for Lebanon Geir Pedersen, former Minister Suleiman Franjieh and Lebanese Army Commander General Michel Suleiman were also among the mourners.
Interior Minister Hassan Sabaa, Loyalty to the Resistance bloc MP Mohammad Raad and MPs Butros Harb, Ali Hassan Khalil and Samir Jisr all visited Mikati in Beirut.

Til Death Do Us Part …

“The relationship between the United States and the Arab regimes is like a Catholic marriage where you can have no divorce.”

Meanwhile, Back at the Faculty Lounge …

Mr. Tenet also directs scorn at the Pentagon intelligence analyses by Douglas J. Feith, then undersecretary of defense for policy. He describes his fury in August 2002 as he watched a slide show by Mr. Feith’s staff at C.I.A. headquarters suggesting “a mature, symbiotic relationship” between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
He said C.I.A. officers came to call such reports, in a play on words, “Feith-based analysis.” In an interview on Friday, Mr. Feith said Mr. Tenet’s account distorts the facts of the Pentagon effort and obscures Mr. Tenet’s own public statements before the war. Mr. Feith noted that Mr. Tenet, in October 2002, sent the Senate intelligence committee a letter that said, “We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda going back a decade.”