Why weren’t L’Orient Le Jour’s offices burnt?

If there will be one thing to remember out of all this mess that came to be labeled as the Lebanese situation it is the continuously imaginative babbling of this french-language media outlet. The only problem with imagination is that it can be very destructive. I would love to always have hard laughs when I read l’Orient le jour titles, such as this last one: “baptême du feu de Sleiman dans le concert des nations”, referring to the recent visit of Lebanese president Sleiman to the UN as a “baptism of fire”, that L’OJ still calls in a stupidly and naive war “the concert of nations”. But laughs turn quickly to ulcers when I read stuff like this:

Dimanche dernier, on a vu Samir Geagea formuler de profondes, franches et totales excuses publiques pour tout le mal injustifié dont a pu se rendre coupable, durant la guerre, la milice des Forces libanaises. Ce n’était certes pas la première fois qu’un chef libanais se livrait à une courageuse autocritique. Nul cependant n’était allé aussi loin dans l’énoncé du regret : lequel, par son impressionnante clarté, traduisait aussi un renoncement on ne peut plus solennel aux cruelles pratiques des bêtes de guerre.

Now let’s ponder a minute. This was an extract taken from Issa Gorayeb’s editorial, effectively defending Samir Geagea’s mea culpa this last Sunday during the LF martyr’s mass that I talked about in a previous post. Ok I won’t elaborate much, but just think about an analogy. If Saddam Husein say was alive today (not that I think Geagea has the same stature as Saddam but let’s assume) and Saddam would have stood to say that he’s sorry for the people he gazed in Kurdish villages. And then, a columnist would have praised these “sincere, and profound apologies” depicting the act as profoundly ‘courageous’. What would you have thought of this? Well, that’s precisely what just happened. I follow the writings of Ghorayeb since I’m 15. It is a slow march towards endlessly rotting decay. It seems that there is no end to it really.

But the one who saves this piece of toilet paper that is OJ as would ingeniously call it another blogger, is Fadi Noun, who writes still in the same issue the following:

Aussi spectaculaire que soit la confession du chef des Forces libanaises, elle reste insuffisante. Son caractère public et général la prive de la profondeur voulue ; le ton utilisé pour la prononcer, ainsi que le volet proprement politique du discours qui l’a suivie, en annulent en partie l’effet ; enfin le fait qu’il ait été prononcé à l’occasion d’une messe entretient la confusion sur sa nature.
Il faut savoir gré à Samir Geagea d’avoir utilisé le mot « ignoble » pour décrire certains actes qu’il regrette, que ce soit en son nom propre ou au nom des Forces libanaises, encore qu’il y ait là deux choses distinctes. C’est courageux, purificateur. C’est le mot juste pour parler de ces jeunes abattus sans merci « pour l’exemple », ou de cet homme tiré de son lit d’hôpital malgré les supplications d’une religieuse à genoux, et jeté en mer, les pieds pris dans un bloc de béton.
C’est aussi le mot qui vient aux lèvres de cet ancien milicien qui, sur les lieux d’un couvent désaffecté pour lequel on cherche une nouvelle fonction, et qui fut utilisé comme caserne durant la guerre, affirme « entendre encore les cris des Palestiniens qu’on y a enterrés vivants ».

I personally know more morbid stories on Samir Geagea and to that matter Bashir Gemayel. Very dirty stuff believe me. Basically we need another raid on Beirut by Hizbullah that this time gets other wackos (SSNP style) to burn the offices of this endlessly rotting institution. I can lead the battalion!


14 Replies to “Why weren’t L’Orient Le Jour’s offices burnt?”

  1. I agree with you on the whole, but I’d like to make two remarks :

    -IG is no ex-leftist. He was always a right-winger, his family supported Camille Chamoun.
    -FN is no better than the rest. He is anti-Geagea because he comes from the Jbeil district where Geagea committed some horrendous massacres. But FN is also a Christian fundamentalist who supports the opus dei and the phalangists.

  2. oh really I thought he was in the 70s or something… oh well, I’ll just erase that.
    and for Fadi Noun, what a shock… and I was wondering why all these ‘religious’ example (a convent, a nun, etc.)

  3. I’m glad that you find the reprehensible behavior of Hezbolllah’s allies (to wit Amal and SSNP) last May a good (or at least funny) precedent.

    Otherwise, I hate Geagea and the LF as much as the next guy,* but there’s plenty of blood to go around for Lebanese hands. Until Amal publicly apologizes for killing Palestinians and reducing their homes to rubble in the war of the camps or Hezbollah apologizes for killing communists and rival Shi’a leaders, maybe we should cool it on pronouncing judgments on whose apologies ring sincere and whose leave something to be desired.

    Geagea is a thug; everyone knows it, but let’s be fair here. Have Aoun or Amal or Hezbollah ever apologized for anything they did during the civil war?

    This goes back to a point that really annoys me: the myth that Hezbollah didn’t participate in the civil war and is some sort of pristine national muqawama that would never dream of killing compatriots.

    * I really, really, really hate Geagea.

  4. I’m no fan of L’orient le Jour, but by definition an Op ed gives an opinion.. The opinion of the writer and is supposed to be partial.
    So if you want to burn something, you should put your pyromaniac talents to use on Issa Gorayeb’s house.

    You can always apologize afterwards if someone gets hurt.

  5. Look sean I don’t know how much you know of Lebanese history, but your understanding of the ‘civil war’ period seems to be a bit simplistic. Yes of course, everybody had blood on his hand, it is a war etc. But there are different methods, different agendas, plans, different visions of what one is defending. Geagea erased families for personal benefit. Geagea tortured and killed handicapped and injured people just because he did not like their naming on their identity card. I doubt Hizbullah fighters did that. That would not make sense in the backdrop of the practices we see them engage in, military, diplomatically, and politically.

    You just cannot compare Geagea and Hizbullah. People should distinguish. This is important. There is an ethical imperative here. Or else, any cause is as good as any other and everybody is ‘right’ or anyone is ‘wrong’.

    And in any case, my point is not to say that people should apologize or not. I don’t care if Geagea, or Amal or any other apologized. A public apology is a political weapon par excellence. Don’t be attached to words. What you need to do is Act. Not babble.

    Finally for the record, Mustaqbal offices that were burnt was a retaliation to Mustaqbal thugs burning SSNP offices in February. You probably should keep that in mind.

    And Ano, I don’t really want to burn OJ’s offices, the title is just to generate more hits on this blog and get you guys to comment a bit. Don’t worry. Although most of OJ’s content is rotten. Ghorayeb is just the tip of the dump.

  6. It was clear you were just playin’ with the whole “burn their offices” theme, but I just want to note that validating (or to a lesser degree: understanding or excusing) killings based on “causes” and “moral imperatives” can lead you into a black hole. Intentions may be noble, but if the result is the same, then it is debatable on whether distinctions should be made.

  7. M. re-read what I said, I never talked about intentions. And never will I ever talk about ‘moral imperatives’!

    I am talking about political and social causes. context. The results of decisions taken. This is how I compare LF and Hizbullah. I seriously don’t care if geagea enjoyed or not his practices, or what he really thought when he was killing.

    And who told you i’m joking for OJ?

  8. I’m afraid, Bech, that if anyone’s got a simplistic view of things, it’s you. And this is a problem that I have with most of what you write on here. For you, there is a good guy, and in contrast to the cowboys of old with their white hats, your good guys wears black turbans.

    So what if SSNP was acting in revenge? Does that make their actions any less reprehensible? Anyone who believes in the freedom of speech should call the Qawmiya what it is, a bunch of pseudo-intellectual wannabe thugs who act tough in Hamra when they’ve got a gun but would piss their pants if they were called outside for a fistfight. And by the way, by your reasoning, Israel would have been justified in bombing al-Manar. (For the record, I’m against any attack on the press, whether it’s Future or Manar.)

    Oh my god, Geagea killed and tortured people, some just for personal gain!?!?!? Wow, I had no idea he was so terrible! I, for one, can never imagine Nabih Berri or Michel Aoun ever killing anyone for personal gain.

    Give me a break, and quit being so naive, man. Despite all of your academic jargon, you come off as a partisan, pure and simple. You’ve decided that there is an “ethical imperative,” which states that LF are the bad guys and Hezbollah are the good guys. Personally, I don’t believe there are any good guys, and I think that fawning over one party or another is exactly what has gotten Lebanon into so much shit over the last few (or even last 30) years. This is not to say that there aren’t some parties or leaders who leave a worse taste in my mouth than others (Geagea is probably top of the list), but to turn it into some morality play, or “ethical imperative,” as you say, is really facile.

    Incidentally, if Imad Mughniyeh is on the moral side of an “ethical imperative,” I’m afraid, my friend, that this country is in even sorrier shape than I thought.

  9. I don’t understand why you keep bringing me back to things I did not talk about. First of all, did I say something about Amal and Aoun? I think they acted like thugs too as a matter of fact but fortunately enough they did not do the theatrical apology that Geagea did. In any case, that is not the point of my discussion here.

    And no I don’t think there are good and bad guys no matter how hard and seemingly persuasive you are going to repeat. I don’t think you understand much of what I talk about especially with regards to Hizbullah and LF. My arguments are not moral although they may like they are because couched in a satiric language. But they are not.

    There are differences in terms of actions taken, because of conditions, causes involved. You need to understand that. Hizbullah has a different history than LF that is too long explain here because I have to actually work on more serious stuff. And Hizbullah can be much criticized on many of its Actions. And again again I did not mention Amal or Aoun or any other.

  10. ‘Basically we need another raid on Beirut by Hizbullah that this time gets other wackos (SSNP style) to burn the offices of this endlessly rotting institution. I can lead the battalion!’

    Great…I love it when you nag about Geagea who killed and burned and slaughtered so many people in his journey to be the God father of the Christian mafia or familia (and that’s exactly what it is). You are obviously and rightly outraged about the absurdity of the Lebanese system that keeps war criminals out of punishment and how they even become saints if they said few words of repent. Nevertheless, it seems that you are willing to do the same crazy un-democratic, barbarian, sadist, non sense like burning a media outlet because you just don’t like it, because you just hate it, because you believe it’s the right thing to do.. this means that you are not outraged about Geagea’s methods (because you are willing to do the same) , but you are outraged about the goal of Geagea. So if I burn L’orient for personal gain (then it’s bad) but if I burn it for some fabricated moral goal, then you would clap for it as an act of heroism? What if the two were one? Who says what is moral and what’s not?
    Ofcourse chopping the head of Hussein Mrweh (a great secular intellectual and writer) by Hezbollah is not an act similar to what Geagea did…because Hezbollah had some kind of moral legitimacy. In the end the revolution needs to start somewhere (and few heads have to fall)… this is your logic which resembles what you call for at the end: lets do another raid to Beirut!!! Beirut is your back yard or something to raid and invade? Shouldn’t you be speaking about rule of law? About freedom of expression?

    But I liked the quote you put up on the page:

    ‘war is not a neurosis but a collectively organized, legitimized, and moralized game of destruction that is played much more savagely by the civilized than the uncivilized’

    And obviously you put yourself in the moral high ground and you know what is morally right and what is wrong….and thus you play war much more savagely. Bech…do you understand how ironic is that? you are just part of that dirty system…well at least your mentality belongs there with Geagea and the rest!!

  11. sean and bech,

    Please guys, keep things civil and respectful. If for no other reason than as a personal favor to me.

    No one has the market cornered on righteousness, as both of you well know and demonstrate capably.

    There is an interesting argument/debate lurking here and I would be delighted to hear you smart guys bandy it about because I respect both of your minds, but that’s not possible if both of you continue in this way.


    Please refrain from telling people that they ‘don’t understand’ this, that or the other thing. It is an obnoxious formulation and self-defeating.


    Please refrain from criticizing bech personally. Have at his words or ideas or apparent biases, but personal insults are not welcome. As a dear friend of his, I can attest that you will get more out of him (and that’s the point of reading this silly blog, isn’t it?) if you engage him and make him defend himself.


    the point of the blog is to share ideas. anyone who reads here knows that bech and i are damn near inscrutable due to the consistency of our inconsistencies. we welcome criticism and push back. Finally, my apologies for sounding like a schoolmarm — i am only too aware of my own hypocrisy in such matters — but the point here is to have fun and stretch our minds and sketch out our impressions. And I apologize in advance if this mild reproof comes off as condescending as that is not my intention.

    thanks, and cheers … dave

  12. I’m sorry i really thought you wanted to burn their offices.

    And what’s with everyone starting their posts with “i hate geagea more than anyone hes a bloody murder/child raper” before saying anything? The guy has done pretty awful stuff and saying he has a twisted mind is a major understatement, there’s no denying that, but no need to express your hate for him as a prelude for any political discussion

    And bech, the killing of innocents cannot be justified, there’s not juster killing. HA killed, amal killed, Aoun killed and geagea killed and all the rest killed. And no Hezb kills are not morally righter than the geagea kills. So face the facts and accept that you are ruled by a bunch of murders. And you only have yourself to blame.

  13. Ok for the record:

    1- I don’t justify the actions of anyone when I criticize Geagea. I’m not trying to say he is a bad guy WHILE others are good.

    2- I do though believe that there is a huge difference between the political and military practices of Hizbullah and the ones of the LF (Again, only Hizbullah). I won’t argue in detail about this now, but that’s clearly my point of view. It does not mean that I think it is “good” if Hizbullah actually kills people. War and militant actions cannot be pacifistic although sometimes are necessary. It is neither good nor bad. It is reality. Now it depends how you manage your way through it. In this case there is no comparison between Hizbullah and the LF, for so many reasons.

    3- Please do then understand that it is not about a ‘moral’ question, but about one of possibilities, context (circumstances), management, and decision-making.

    Hope that was clear enough.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s