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  • prequel

    "Top blog/Renato Obeid's World/Today's pick: This rambling weblog is worth reading not so much for its satirical posts but more for its insight into the minutiae of life in Lebanon, including the etiquette of road accidents and how to hire a taxi.” -Jane Perrone, The Guardian

    Sunday, December 03, 2006  
    It’s funny hearing Lebanese Sunnis talk about Lebanese Shiites in exactly the same way we Maronites used to talk about them (the Sunnis).
    You hear comments along the lines of ‘’ they’re subservient to such and such a foreign country, they’ve now discovered the Lebanese flag’’ etc
    Even the Sunni media have joined in - Future Television were editorializing that demonstrators at the ongoing Hezbollah-led protests against the government are now waving Lebanese flags as compared to the Hezbollah flags they waved at previous events.
    It reminds me of the phenomenon in Australia where every previous wave of New Australians (immigrants) picks on the current wave of immigrants.
    Of course the Sunnis and Shiite aren’t immigrants (not recent immigrants anyway) but they are New Lebanese in the sense that they are newly patriotic and have only recently recognized Lebanon.
    The Sunnis have been New Lebanese for a little while and it looks like the Shiites are now becoming New Lebanese too.
    As a matter of fact, Hezbollah first started using the Lebanese flag after they claimed victory in the 1996 Grape of Wrath conflict against Israel – I remember them handing out Lebanese flags to refugees returning back to the south the day after the conflict ended (I took one just for its novelty value).

    Anyway, I think that we should all get a life and give politics a rest.
    But we can’t ‘’get a life’’ until people can live properly and people can’t live properly, regardless of who is in power, because of the inequalities in the Lebanese system.
    Inequalities that the Establishment want to maintain to keep people under their control and to be able to manipulate people into being their foot soldiers (which both political camps in Lebanon are doing at the moment).
    If we all had lives, we wouldn’t need them, we wouldn’t need politics we wouldn’t need ideology and we wouldn’t need religion – all those things are basically for poor people and are instruments to manipulate poor people with.
    In developed countries people don’t need politics, religion and ideology because they live in societies where the economy has replaced all those things.
    It can even be argued that people who are economically independent don’t even need democracy because the system runs itself and they just elect a new administrator every couple of years.
    And who cares about democracy when you don’t need it?
    When people are looked after they don’t care about any of these things.
    Look at Monaco which is ruled by an absolute monarch, look at most of the Gulf Arab countries and look at Singapore.
    Give people bread and circuses and they won’t care about the rest.
    Look after your people and they’ll leave the politics to you or they’ll at least limit their political involvement to talking about gay rights and the environment (same thing) at dinner parties.
    In Australia people are forced to vote because they simply don’t care – they don’t need to care.
    You take care of the economy for me and you can do whatever else you want.
    Destroy Iraq (a functioning country before the sanctions and the war) – what do I care? Just keep interest rates down.

    8:00 pm

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