Brain storming for Lebanon's future: anything but civil war and martyrdom

Anybody with a creative and peaceful idea to stop the martyrdom of the March 14th politicians which is damaging irreversibly Lebanon's future and reputation ?

Please drop your suggestions in the comment section.

Also, some ethymological reflections on the term 'martyr' adored by middle eastern politicians, remember, Bashar's brother who is thought to have been killed by his uncle is also called a 'martyr' in Syria. The March 14th movement seems to like the term. Lets look at its ethymology form 'Le trésor informatisé de la langue française'.

a) 1050 «celui qui a souffert la torture et la mort pour attester la vérité de la religion chrétienne» 1690 (Martyr, se dit abusivement des Hérétiques et des Païens qui souffrent pour la deffense de leur fausse Religion)

b) 1690 «celui qui souffre beaucoup moralement ou physiquement» On dit qu'une personne est le martyr d'une autre pour dire qu'il souffre persecution à cause de luy.
Au Moy. Âge, on trouve également la forme martre, forme conservée dans Montmartre «mont des martyrs».

The use of this term by the March 14th is then borrowing a religious metaphor in order to describe a political situation in a region sensitive to these metaphors. It is inflating the meaning of the death. Moreover, except death and to my knowledge, the March 14th politicians didn't suffer persecutions and moral or physical torture. That does not lessen the tragedy but the term in itself is made to appeal to popular sympathy and to rally people to whatever cause the dead was defending. Moreover, martyrdom is a deliberate choice and a deliberate act, it is done willingly.

I am still wondering which cause worth a martyr Pierre Gemmayel was defending ? And did Pierre Gemmayel know that he was on the martyr path and why did he ask that specific day for a lessening in his personal security ? Martyrdom supposes also that one knows who will be his killer. Did the March 14th movement know all this ?

It is either a martyrdom or an assassination. It is difficult to talk of both at the same time.

So either the March 14th movement chooses the term 'martyrdom' with all what is attached to this notion and Pierre Gemmayel's death must have seemed inevitable. In this case, the march 14th movement is adopting tactics similar to the Palestinians or religious extremist organisations who believe in heaven and martyrdom. I mean aren't we critical of Palestinian suicide bombers martyrs ? You might tell me that suicide bombers kill others while killing themselves but the March 14th movement martyrdom have already killed countless poor syrian workers, national dialogue and conciliation and provoked a war of agression on Lebanon. I know that everybody believes it is Hezbollah that started the war and there may be some truth to this but Israel and the US acted in the beginning of the Israeli agression as if they had the blessings of the Sanyura government to inflict a definitve defeat on hezbollah and dismantle it and some members of the March 14th were openly drinking to Israel's victory before this victory turned to defeat both for Israel and for the March 14th. Judging from the funeral's speeches, March 14th is capitalising from Gemmayel's death just like in any other martyrdom defending a cause and wishing to rally around it. The March 14th movement who claim to be part of the civilised western world still defend martyrdom while the civilised western world condemns martyrdom. Is the March 14th movement then a backward movement ? Or is March 14th capitalising on a crime ?

Or Gemmayel's death is an assassination and not a martyrdom, in this case the March 14th movement should stop pointing fingers, doing political agitation and wait for an investigation. By the way the coverage of the assassination and especially the funeral by some Lebanese bloggers is unbridled and full of impatient expectations regarding the potential political fallouts for March 14th from this assassination/martyrdom, take a look at this one and scroll the site down to see the entire coverage, he is litteraly jubilating.


RoxieAmerica said...

Oh Sophia, what a great challenge. Will we see the President of Lebanon resign? If so, what would that mean?

Behemoth101 said...

Lebanon needs unity without purity. It needs a massive socialist undertaking like FDR's New Deal. It needs to end the mandatory military draft for males. It needs to re-enfranchize all levels of soicety. These are huge, and abstract changes, but they are far from impossible.

Hamze said...

"Anybody with a creative and peaceful idea to stop the martyrdom of the March 14th politicians which is damaging irreversibly Lebanon's future and reputation ?"

I have no idea, other than getting Lebanon off tha map and placing it somewhere else.

as for the last.... what should we call it.... martyrdom through an assasincation
(of Gmayyel). You will probably get the most accurate information from some 14th of March top leaders. they seem to know alot about the issue, although there is no incriminting evidence, sbout that. they have been talking about it, and frankly they were were the first to benefit from it.

Sophia said...


I believe strongly in the people of Lebanon, not all of them thought, and that's the only way out, a collective awarness that the future of their country is being dictated by murderers.

I visited your blogs. Interesting reading. I am always surprised by all the talent of Lebanon's youth.

Behemoth101 said...

I left out something specific in my contribution.

The whole of the Lebanese people need to realize that their public works have to be relevant for all groups in society, not just Christian, not just Sunni, not just Shi'ia. Syria needs to stop being the whipping post of Lebanon.

People need to develop a national republican identity (paradoxically without the sinister parts of nationalism - xenophobia etc.).

This can only be achieved by a new socialist reform movement, not the March 14th people - they have clearly failed.

Sophia said...


There is racism in the Lebanese society added to sectarianism. If you are a rich Muslim you are tolerated by Christians better. Shias were and still outcast to many lebanese because they are poor. They were left alone by the government when the south was the fighting ground between israel and Palestinian factions.

I think a first step is national reconciliation. This cannot be achieved by letting war criminals out of prison. Lebanion went through a savage civil war and many lebanese act as if it didn't happen.

Suddenly we are asking accountability for crimes committed but we didn't face our demons from the past. The MArch 14th movement is not a movement for national reconcialiation, it is a movement for criminal and greedy business interests.

Lebanese youth are desperate. They are educated, they are smart and they have got a society with no opportunity but only for the few. Lebanon has become under Harir a country for foreigners. Beyrouth is so expansive, they have stolen the city from its people. Only Saudis and people from the gulf can afford the way of life Beyrouth offers. In 2005, I spoke with many Lebanese. They are living by spending their savings and working two sometimes three jobs.

National reconciliation and social justice. The March 14th movement is corrupt. And Lebanese with a brain and a heart know it. It is merely surviving on the assassination of its members, on fresh and young blood now, old blood wouldn't do, people are becoming insensitive...

Pardon my unusual tone but I am angry and honest people should be angry...

naj said...

Thanks Sophia, for this post. I am learning.

By the way, "e" found his way to my blog with his self-humiliating distorted questions!

Mustapha said...

I think the answer is for even more "jubilation"

I will now leave you in peace in your ivory tower and go back to the real world.

Sophia said...


Really sorry but it shocked me to find your posting on the event so divisive. There are enough divisions in lebanon. We don't need to add.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Dear Sophia and begemoth101, I translated this nice article by Dr. Traboulsi... I am sure you would find it an interesting perspective regarding the independences ...


Sophia said...


Thanks for the article and I agree with most of it. Although Marx was a great thinker, I always like to take my own perspective and nobody else's.

Some reflections on the article:
The reliance of the feudal lords and the feudal organanisation in lebanon on outside countries. yes. However, Hariri, who is not part of the feudal class but was able to join late thanks to his Saudi and lebanon's recosntruction earned money had thrown out some golden rules of the feudal class and not to their profits and not in the good sense. Hariri and son don't understand a thing about this Lebanese feudal system which in addition to its reliance on outside influences, rely also on some respect fro the 'little' people because it knows that it cannot survive with some loyalty and respect on their part in return. This system is not existent anymore, thanks to Hariri who relied heavily on Syria, Saudi Arabia, UN, neo-cons, whatever the outside has to offer him in his quest for total hegemony in lebanon but without real affection and respect from the people. Off course he has the loyalty of the sunnis but at the same time he hasn't shown them, according to old feudal rules, affection and respect, so this loyalty can shift anytime. Harir has also rearranged alliances inside the systaem in a way not understandable by the 'Little' people.
We, moderates and friends of lebanon, have a window of opportunity in the collapse of the feudal system brought to us by Hariri. And yes there is a collapse because the 'little' people are not going to fight for their lors this time.

This explains why the political feudal elite is so nervous in lebanon. We are watching its demise but they don't know this yet and this is a dangerous moment also because they won't accept it easily...

I am just giving you also an example of what a strictly marxist perspective will not allow you to see.

Since March 29th 2006