Tuesday, June 26, 2007

OK- the kiddy gloves are now off!

I clicked on an entry in Syria Planet pointing to the Levantine Dreamhouse by Abu Kareem. A certain Majhool had posted comments there on what they perceive are certain "major deliverables" which the Syrian government, if implemented, would gain Majhool's support. He then highlights a number of key areas within which he includes points on how he'd like to see change. Read it here. I am sorry to bore all of you, but I feel sufficiently annoyed to have to go through a number of his points and later comments to demonstrate how subtle liberal arguments can be in trying to undermine positions of resistance and principle in the region. I am not apologising for the Syrian government, but I do know I am against whatever it is he wishes to turn Syria into.
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The first point concerning the Palestinian cause. He places the onus on a lack of leadership and accountability in Syria as the major obstacle to peace with Israel and that somehow it needs to be more responsible. He simply assumes that the Israelis are just 'waiting' for the right peace partner (sure aren't we all) and that this conflict could just be resolved if we could 'negotiate' as gentlemen diplomats and statesmen. No Majhool, there is occupation and ethnic cleansing at the root of Zionism. The fact that you can't comprehend that you don't know this or are perhaps ignoring this insults the reader.
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His second point on Lebanon is laughable and sounds like it has come straight from the Pentagon. He begins by talking about supporting a pro-Syrian, accountable and strong government but I assume he is referring to the Syria which is 'responsible' enough to make 'peace' with Israel. He then lists off a number of demands he feels would make the Syrian government more palatable for his sensitive political taste buds. Of course he wishes the complete dismantlement of Hezbullah, the first real resistance to Israel since 1948 if ever which makes one wonder what passport he holds and if he is even from the region?
His third and final point was about negotiating with Israel, a confused and disjoined set of arguments connected with fancy sounding words which, from what I have gleaned, don't mean anything.
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"Negotiate a comprehensive peace deal with Israel good enough that will help Syria’s alignment with the Arab block."
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A bowl of Hummus for anybody who can actually decipher what that means. Please? He then talks about the Golan Heights, ahhh, the carrot he dangles in front of the Syrian. Always about the carrot isn't it?
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The points he makes about Syria aren't half bad, but again question marks arise when he talks about "curbing extremism". Yes Majhool, Syrian madraaaassaaas and 'hitler youth'esque' training camps fostering 'hate'. One wonders if you get your arguments from MEMRI, Daniel Pipes and other pro-Israel actors.
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Now, these points alone left me thinking loads, but then I saw he made further comments and for me, this was the proverbial pig in the temple. He addresses 'crucial' questions to the 'discussion' taking place. Of course, as you can see, we are now having a 'grown up' discussion as grand statesmen and philanthropic humanists about the 'situation' in the Middle East. Majhool could almost be mistaken for Thomas Friedman, the Messianic New York Times millionaire journalist who thinks globalisation and the Internet will turn Southern Afghanistan into Idaho or Indiana.
  1. He wonders what can transform Arab societies into prosperous and healthy ones. Of course he assumes they are sick somehow and leaves it for the reader to deduce why.
  2. He pretends to care about us by asking what are the biggest risks facing Arab societies today - one is tempted to call out to him "AMERICA!" but I doubt his selective hearing would register the comment.
  3. He wonders how we want to project our societies 50 years from now and limits the range of options into what he believes are ideal, middle of the road and "bad" options - bad being socialism. Again, the fact that he can't conceptualise anything outside the modernist/Western conceptualisation of society is tragic.
  4. He continues framing the discussion by offering within his argument a dichotomy of obviously undesirable results versus the good Western Liberal option? Which one would you choose if you didn't know any better? Of course the Liberal option!! Even the word Liberal just makes me feel fuzzy and hippy, what could possibly be wrong with Liberal? Hand me the iPod and give me a bottle of Coke.
  5. Oh God - in this point he starts talking about Arab culture. Next.
  6. Now he pretends to care about the role of women in Arab societies, of course everybody knows that in Liberal societies the role of women is the model that the whole world should emulate. Just because it's from the West. Haven't you seen any Hollywood or Disney movies? The Western woman is always strong willed, independent and needs no man, she is sexy, desirable but writes her own destiny. Wow, what a gal - inside every oppressed downtrodden Arab woman is an American trying to get out!
  7. Ahh..Islamic institutions in need of reform. Here we have somebody who knows nothing about Islam. Yes, yes of course you are a moderate we get the picture. But you still know nothing about Islam or its institutions or Ijtihad. You're going to need a bit more than reading American books on the subject or Wikipedia. There are actual concerns and problems with these institutions, but I think you should wait till you know what they are before bringing your own confusion to any discussion.
  8. He wants to know how 'Takfiri Islamists' are viewed. As you can see everybody in Syria is always talking about this - America's prime concern. As a matter of fact I speak to my family everyday on the phone and ask them what they think of 'Takfiri Islamists' and we're still debating the matter. Let me get back to you on this.

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Majhool: "Did I miss anything?"

Wassim: "Yes, everything."

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15 comments:

Puppeteer said...

"Negotiate a comprehensive peace deal with Israel good enough that will help Syria’s alignment with the Arab block."

Who wants to align with the "Arab block"?

Golaniya said...

Excellent reply Wassim, very thorough.
Apparently he is the spokesman of 14 March group, which is necessarily, the mouthpiece of Imperialist interest in the region.

"Support (politically and economically) consolidated, legitimate, accountable, and moderate leadership capable of negotiating a peace deal with Israel."

He means that the problem lies in the "incapability" of Palestinians -Hamas- to approach peace? I think Majhool has read one sided history, here is one for him to enlighten his thoughts.

He is speaking of corrupted 8 March and Syrian regime and hinting at supporting the "pure" PLO.

He is opposing Palestinians RESISTANCE and did not mention not once Israeli TERRORIST wars in Palestine or in Lebanon.

Oh and you're right, his notes on Lebanon IS laughable, he means that it is "merely" the Syrians who were responsible for the corruption in Lebanon? Maybe he didn't hear about Sanyora's scandal when he was a minister, maybe he did not hear about Sodeco's scandal? Maybe he did not hear about the activists and the journalists NOW being sentenced in Lebanon without a trial, just like the Syrian regime is doing to Damascus Spring activists.

I agree with you that some points he mentions about Syria is necessary, but I question his motives.

Oh, and as much as I oppose Assad's policy towards MB, I oppose their's in my country.

Golaniya said...

I just want to say that I love that label.

Anonymous said...

No Majhool, there is occupation and ethnic cleansing at the root of Zionism.

wassim: this is an ignorant and uninformed assertion. i sincerely doubt you've ever read anything on zionist ideologies. as for ethnic cleansing, israel's population is 20% non-jewish. as for occupation, well, yes, that's true, but it is not part of zionist ideology to do so. attempts have been made to have palestians engage in self-rule, but, as you see from current events, they're not very good at it. i might add that when egypt occupied gaza and jordan occupied the west bank from 1948-1967, no one even called these administrations "occupations." so why is it so much more egregious when israel occupies palestinian land rather than jordan?

Wassim said...

On occupation and ethnic cleansing as the root of Zionism from a Majhool:

this is an ignorant and uninformed assertion

Tell that to a Palestinian.

Anonymous said...

that's a lame retort. the fact is that you have sucked in so much anti-israel bigotry, you can't think rationally about the situation. too bad, because you sound so reasonable otherwise.

Anonymous said...

can't fine the words, can you.

i happened to notice your classy 'boycott israeli goods' badge. i hope you're not using a computer with an intel chip - the latest pentiums and centrinos were developed in israel. and i assume you don't use instant messaging, because, as everyone knows, that was invented in israel. voice mail, too. does any of that pose a problem?

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify
مجهول
& Majhool are 2 different people.

puppeteer (offline, check my IP) said...

Neo-con attack?

Anonymous said...

neo-con attack? nope. call it a rationality attack.

Puppeteer said...

Neo-con hare-brained rationality atack?

Anonymous said...

until a reasonable response is made to my questions and comments, i hardly see how "hare-brained" works as an insult. wassim and his commenters all seem like bright, thoughtful people, but when it comes to israel, a kind of derangement sets in. it's really too bad because its reflective of a large swath of the arab intelligentsia, where dissent on the israel line gets one blackballed. very narrow thinking on your part.

Wassim said...

I think you are missing the point anonymous. When it comes to Israel, the starting point for discussions with us is that you are overseas occupiers and colonists backed by the West. That you wish to be taken seriously by us while occupying a land in our midst is naive. You know why we will always reject you - so don't insult our intelligence by claiming we are deranged or narrow thinking. We are coming.

Majhool said...

Syria’s (Syrian Regime) long standing policy was to undermine independent leaderships in the eastern Meditation. Jordan consolidated & PLO semi-independent leaderships were never welcomed by the Syrians.

Syria wanted to be the sole significant player in any future talks with Israel and the Americans. This is the core of the matter I think.

The leadership in Damascus, is as interested in a peace deal as those in Palestine (Fatah) and current Lebanese government. However the Syrian Position is that if they were to make a deal, then the Syrian deal will become less attractive.

Israel and Syria are playing the same game but for different goals. Israel wants to weaken Palestinian unity and leadership to advance its demographic and territorial goals. Syria on the other hand wants to become the sole negotiators in the region and enhance their future deal. This game is very dangerous.

Some would argue, that the Arabs will gain more by blindly following Syria’s master plan (regardless of how this plan will delay normalcy of life as it has been the case for decades) and that once we achieve our goals we can recover from our self imposed dictatorships coprruption, and radicalism. .Some simply don’t!! Many in the regions (Lebanese right for example) want to go on with their lives, admit defeat and settle for a mediocre deal and work on building their societies from the grounds up.. for them they want to “live” somewhat a normal life. Germany and Japan accepted defeat they say, why don’t we? “Besides Syria could even lose all together!!” says a friend of mine. It’s indeed a very dangerous gamble.

I have no illusions; Israel and the US are not interested in giving the Arabs a fare and a just deal. We just have to decide what we really want.

I have to say “living” is very attractive for those who want to enjoy life have a job, go to school, travel. Etc..(during their lifetime) . And to those who like to follow Syria’s master plan I say, stop nagging, accept chaos, and don’t even utter the word democracy as we are at “WAR”!!!


Personally, I am indifferent, I packed and left the country 20 years ago and decided to “live” elsewhere. Wasim too packed and left however he is at WAR without having to pay the price for it, he is becoming like the corrupt elite in Syria as they party (just an example of “living”) at Z-Bar at night and give orders during the day for the masses to persevere under dictatorships and mafia style corruption gangs and why not? We are at War aren’t we!!!

Anonymous said...

We are coming.

hilarious. but also pathetic. you can't even get out of your own house.