This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Perception of Irrelevance? Not At All

"When my people died no country bothered to light up its landmarks in the colours of their flag."
"When my people died, they did not send the world into mourning. Their death was but an irrelevant fleck along the international news cycle, something that happens in THOSE parts of the world."
Elie Fares, Lebanese doctor
The site of Thursday's twin suicide bombings in the Burj al-Barajneh neighborhood of Beirut, Lebanon. Credit Bilal Hussein/Associated Press

The world did take notice. It watched in fascinated horror as a country that had once been peaceful and beautiful, considered the playground of the Middle East, where the inhabitants were known for their welcoming generosity and kindness, descended into murderous lunacy. As Lebanese Christians, Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims, Druze and Palestinian 'refugees' who had settled in their UN-supported camps, fell to committing atrocities against each other.

The simmering distrust that fed the flames of hatred surfaced and then exploded. The PLO terrorists whom Jordan's King Hussein had thrown out of his country for fomenting violence over the border with Israel, inviting reprisal attacks, then began operating in similar fashion out of Lebanon. The Lebanese in general had no love for the Palestinians, considering them inferior riff-raff and the militias of the Palestine Liberation Organization did no one any favours.

Since the Lebanese government of the time and its military was incapable of dampening the PLO enthusiasm of cross-border attacks into Israel, inciting reprisal attacks, the Israel Defence Forces were ordered into Lebanon to put an end to those attacks. When the IDF entered Lebanon so did Syrian forces and so did the el Quds division of the Iranian Republican Guard reflecting the new Islamism of the Iranian revolution that inspired Lebanon's Shiites to give birth to Hezbollah.

Since then, an intractable sectarian hatred has never receded from Lebanon. Its government has welcomed, through coersion, a Hezbollah parliamentary presence, and Hezbollah maintains its own separate military, one threatening to the existence of Israel, (and at war with Sunni Muslims taking part in a rebellious civil war against the bloody tyrant of Syria). The world did sit up and take notice, particularly when Hezbollah unleashed its suicide bombing campaigns against the French and the Americans who came into Lebanon with a UN peacekeeping mandate.

The country's peace and stability in tatters, the abduction of Westerners held for ransom and for the release of those belonging to terrorist groups held in custody, ensured that Lebanon was never far from the international press's headlines. Occasioning Lebanese civilians to leave their country in droves, heading for haven and a future in the West. They do return from time to time to their beloved Lebanon, the country of their priceless memories pre-breakdown, but await rescue by the countries where they hold passports during times of violence.

The world knows that that 43 people -- young and old, male and female, and many of them Syrian refugees escaping the civil war that has destroyed their country -- died in two suicide bomb blasts as people prepared for the holy day of Friday, shopping in a local souk, in Hezbollah-held Lebanese territory. This was the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's message to Hezbollah for its alliance with the Syrian regime, an Alawite Shiite ally of Iran and Hezbollah.

And isn't it ironic that the Lebanese Shiite Party of God that is Hezbollah and which embraced the Iranian-recommended concept of martyrdom is now challenged by the suicide-vest-wearing martyrdom-seeking Iraqi/Syrian Sunni Islamic State militias? They have far more in common, needless to say, than the sectarian hatred that keeps them at raging war with one another.

It is not the first deadly rampage staged by ISIL in Lebanon and it will not be the last. The world looks on, and it mourns for the senseless loss of human life. On the other hand, senseless assaults on innocent people has become a staple in the Middle East. If the complaint in the Muslim Middle East is that Arab lives matter less to the international community, it is a reflection of the perceived reality that in the Middle East life is subservient to its master, death.

The message that terrorist militias deliver time and again is their willingness to die for their Islamist beliefs, and more than willing to offer the deaths of others as sacrifices to their martyrdom. It is a martyrdom that is celebrated. Notably those martyring themselves know that their families will receive blessings and cash. And have streets named in their honour. And have their names listed on an honour roll of heroic champions of Islam.

When, in the West, there is an attack that kills many innocents, the racket of machine guns being shot into the air in celebration in the Middle East, accompanies the loud ululations of happiness, and the handing out of sweets to children, the better to inculcate in them the values of violent Islam practised against their purported enemies. Never is it seen that any groups in the West are exhilarated and entertained by news of the death of people in the Middle East, targeted by their own co-religionists.

Mostly, the international community remains stunned and exhausted by the never-ending news of violence coming out of Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Somalia, Egypt, and Syria. The Arab League has a purpose, doubtless, but it appears oblivious to cohesion and humanitarianism. Saudi Arabia continues to fund Sunni extremists, and Iran Shiite extremists, exporting their barbaric religious values across the Globe.

The relatives of one of the victims of the twin suicide attacks in Beirut mourned during a funeral procession in the city's Burj al-Barajneh neighborhood. Credit Wael Hamzeh/European Press photo Agency
Yes, the world has noticed. It's hard not to.

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