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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Blaming the victim

There is this Lebanese music video that starts with your typical fashion strutting where males and females dressed in skin-tight clothing walk around a square flaunting their good makeup and hairdos to the camera, naively thinking their actions, or lack of, can move the non-existing storyline forward.

But what is atypical about this particular video is its explosive ending, literally. All was well in the world of Ghadi, the dark Lebanese stallion in Gucci wear, singing his devotion to a loved one who is predictably hard to get. The object of his obsession is a gorgeous Lebanese female of the kind most repressed Arabs would and do divorce their wives for. Anyway, the unassuming female is walking aimlessly in a square packed with young ones when BANG, a car bomb shatters her apparel and ruins her hairdo. She survives and our young singer, with her head in his arms, laments a dream nearly lost. Although silly and unimaginative, the video ends on a shockingly unsettling tone.

Lebanese and Arab music videos in general are rife with cheesy melodrama, but this particular one sticks out because it, perhaps unwittingly, reflects the current Lebanese state of mind.

There has been a lot of whining by Syrians and their apologists: Syria is the object of a US-Israeli-French-Palestinian plot (yes, Palestinian. Hizbullah's al-Manar shamelessly interviewed on Monday a Tehran-based Arab expert who added Mahmoud Abbas to the list of conspirators guilty of concocting lies such as the Mehlis report, to ruin Syria and Iran), Syrian society is being destabilized and a group of evil and ungrateful Lebanese want to cause the Syrian people undue harm through sanctions and unjust war.

Those Lebanese bastards. How dare they fake the death of their former prime minister and blame it on his killers! How dare they ask for justice when they really should be thanking their former dictators for their great sacrifice and selfless criminal dealings!

How dare they live like this:

Everywhere you go in Beirut, there are security people running checks on your car, bags, and body for guns and bombs. Metal detectors of the kind used at airports are the new rage in the city. If you look like you are approaching a shopping center, grocery store or parking garage, a bunch of security guards converge on your car, search it for bombs, go through your trunk and your belongings and then thank you for your cooperation. And before entering the actual grocery store or department store, another person opens whatever bag you are carrying and scans you with a detector.

This has been happening for quite some time, in the capital of the evil Lebanese who are wrecking Syrian stability. After a series of Syrian-sponsored bomb attacks in shopping centers and in people's cars, Lebanese people have quickly incorporated these security checks into their daily lives. Mind you, Lebanese people are famous for defying orders and hating to stand in line. But when their lives are at stake, and terror is the agent of angry past-rulers, they are taking no chances.

That is not all. There is the new redistricting of Lebanon.

The country has been divided into zones. Not by the police or the army, but by car thieves. Gangs supported by invisible Syrian intelligence officers who suffered a decline in income following their occultation, have divided the country into geographical zones, where each gang exercises its Syrian-given right to rob and terrorize people.

In zones outside the capital, heavily armed men in military fatigues ambush SUVs, blindfold their owners, rough them up, hurl insults on them and their mothers, and throw them into the back of their cars, after stripping of all precious and sellable personal effects. The small army of thieves, sometimes posing as "Lebanese military intelligence", proceeds to drive the poor victims in their own car for hours before dumping them in a dark location that's off the map and taking off with their bounty.

Beirut-based gangs are gutsier. They "carjack" people in broad daylight or in the early hours of the evening. Bystanders can do nothing. These gangs, militias really, are armed with machines guns and, some claim, rockets. Lebanese police is AFRAID of them because they are better equipped and dangerous. Some police stations in Lebanon don't even have cars, let alone sophisticated crime-fighting gadgets and weapons. As of the date of this post, the Lebanese army prefers to engage in yawn-inducing activities like standing on bridges in well-lit locations.

The SUVs are taken to a border town (Khreibeh, some claim) on the Syrian border. They are sold for cheap and smuggled into Syria, further undermining its "stability". Syrian intelligence officers in Lebanon, some say, get a cut. These cars are apparently smuggled into Iraq, where they are rigged with bombs and used to massacre people.

The above is based on personal accounts by people who have been carjacked in the past year in Lebanon (some more than once). The identity of the assailants is Lebanese with a Baalbeck accent.

When one victim tried calling a police station in Choueifat, an exchange like the following took place:

Victim: I have been carjacked.

Police: hold on.

5 minutes later

Victim: Hello?

Police: yes?

Victim: I have been carjacked.

Police: Hold on.

15 minutes later.

Victim: Hello?

Police: What do you want?

Victim: A group of heavily armed men stole my car, cell phone, terrorized me and my wife, threatened her with rape and dumped us in the woods.

Police: Hold on.

20 minutes later.

Victim: Hello?????????????

Police: Why are you still on the line? I am running out of units.

Victim: Can you send someone? I was carjacked.

Police: hahahahahahah… we don't have a car that works.

Dial tone.

That is not to say there aren't competent elements in the Lebanese security forces. They just don't have weapons and are outnumbered by the gangs terrorizing the country. This is according to police sources.

Hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for the rehabilitation of these forces have disappeared in the pockets of former pro-Syrian stooge Elias el-Murr (now a hero) and Syrian-Lebanese security services. Money was spent, however, to build security agencies to spy on and terrorize Lebanese and protect Syrian interests.

So next time the Syrian foreign minister tries to shift the blame by arguing crime could happen under the watch of any security service in any country, please somebody tell him to shut up and mind the gap in his brain.

“The above is based on personal accounts by people who have been carjacked in the past year in Lebanon (some more than once). The identity of the assailants is Lebanese with a Baalbeck accent” [sic]

Yeah sure dude, the beautifully bucolic roads of Lebanistan benevolently built by his highness Sheikh Rafiq’s OGER SAL army of disinterested French engineers and Saudi investors (I call them investors, but frankly they’re more later days Wahhabi Saints) are literally infested by malevolent Beqaa valley-based (hence that horrible “Baalbeck accent” Qays rightly talks about) road warriors (which explains their notorious penchant for 4-wheel drive vehicles), intent on wreaking havoc across the country...

Why? Well, because the evil Central Committee of the Baathist Komintern of Qardâha told them to do so! I mean like Jeez, aint that logical?

But just like Mel Gibson in Mad Max, judge Mehlis is riding his supercharged V8 Ford XB Falcon police car in hot pursuit of “Baathist dead-enders” and other leftovers of the pseudo-romantic “Pan-Arab military-industrial complex” -remember these guys have big moustaches and like to spend their holidays in Niger where they regularly go on yellow cake cum centrifuges shopping sprees…

See link below for more “reliable info” received from our friends at the Saudi embassy in TeX-Aviv:

Finally, I’d like to conclude on a more personal note: Rafiq we love(d) you… you’re the best moustached millionaire martyr I’ve ever had the honor and privilege to serve, Sir… may Allah and Zeus keep you eternally under their wings up there in the skies… I know you’re up there, in Paradise because my Hambali Imam told me so during his latest “freedom-loving” sermon in the great liberal kingdom of Saudistan… blablabla….
Kais, have any of these incidents been in the news?

And I have to admit - I enjoy reading Vic's comments!
great Post...

I never heard of those incidents in the news... maybe im not getting out much:-)
So what do you suggest?
Should we ask Mar Elias where is the Money?
Are you not aware that the concept of "Virgin Whore"was developped by a Lebanese?
Do you honestly believe there is one Lebanese politician less corrupt than Elias?
Light at the end of the tunnel?
Maybe if we ever find this tunnel.
Lazarus and Khaled-

No, these incidents have not been mentioned in the Lebanese press. They're too busy with politics.

see also his editorial from today.
here it is:

Hmm… Interesting that Neo-comrade Antonov Abdul-Trotskyite-Al-Collaboratoristani would quote from “Al-Seyassah” an overtly Likud-friendly Khaleeji media outlet owned by the Al-Sabah ruling family- talk about the fourth estate merging with the three others!

“Al-Seyassah” is on the record for having churned out a world class collection of Gargantuan lies in the past 15 years including among many others the 1990 canard of the decade that came fully equipped with gore descriptions of “bloodthirsty Aflaqi/Iraqi soldiers setting Kuwaiti maternities on fire, after having sadistically pierced through incubators with their Baathist bayonets” [sic]

In Jan. 2003, the editor of Al-Seyassah, a buffoon named Ahmad Al-Jarallah, famously predicted that “the incoming events will surely prove VP Richard Cheney right: the people of Iraqi will welcome their American liberators with sweets, almonds and rosewater” [sick]

As our collaborator friend likes to think he’s some kind of visionary “freedom-loving linguist” whatever that may mean, I can’t resist the temptation of citing the origins of the word “Al-Seyassah”: it’s an Arabized version of the Turkic-Mongolian word “Yassah” or “Yasseh” which means “customary law”.

Ironically, the word entered the Arabic vocabulary in the mid-13th century A.D. when some “pragmatic” collaborators amongst the sheikhs of Aleppo and Mossul agreed to replace existing Arab laws and traditions by the Yassah, the legal system of Mongolian occupation troops!
Kais, in that case, thanks for bringing it to my attention.
I didn't know anything about these incidents. I don't have a car, and none of my friends and family have been carjacked - that includes all members of my family in the Bekaa.

However, if what you say is true, the instability is worse than I thought.
LP, members of my family alone have been carjacked three times this year in 3 different locations. We know of others who were carjacked the exact same way. In fact, the last time they stole my car and almost killed my father who happened to be driving it that day. The media is completely oblivious to this.
I Find ur blog very interesting, although alot of politics, but keep it up...About the car jacking part, they stole my cousins car 10 years ago, and returned it this summer...Horrible but its good its back :)
I also know people who have been carjacked
(...the origins of the word “Al-Seyassah”: it’s an Arabized version of the Turkic-Mongolian word “Yassah” or “Yasseh” which means “customary law”.)

Vino, you're such a freak! "Siyaasa" is Arabic through and through. It comes from the verbal root S Y S, which has to do with the breaking and breading of horses (and camels.) It was resemanticized in recent eras to conote its current meaning (politics), but initially, in pre-Islamic times, not unlike the French word "Gouvernail" (which has to do with the "rudder" of a ship and steering), "Siyaasa" or rather its verbal root deals with "breaking", "controling" and "directing".
Vino, go fuck yourself and your idiotic half-baked folk etymology.
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