The 5th Political Theory – Introduction Pt.2

(Update: new content on this topic will be posted on my new political blog here)

Geo-political realities, artificial borders and ‘constructive instability’

It’s a tragedy when the collective imagination of a people becomes a sacred reality, in relation to the existing political geography, as if it were destined to be this way, or as if it was some kind of immovable, untouchable, unalterable barrier. As a result of this new collective consciousness, wars are fought over those borders as easily as they would sing their national anthems.

The Fifth Political Theory is a revolt against all those inherited religious, sectarian and tribal conflicts, still present in the collective consciousness of the region. Some would say that the future is hostage to the crimes, stupidity, ambitions and fanaticisms of our ancestors, so when moving forward, we must take those things into consideration!

That’s nonsense! An enlightened mind sees the opposite to be true: what must be built is a future of revolt against all that stupidity and all those inherited conflicts and divisions. A revolt against those who have drawn our identities in the days of fanaticism, and defined our understanding in the days of devolution.

We shouldn’t blame the laymen for this tragedy, as much as we should blame the intellectuals, religious scholars and political leaders. These groups of people claim to be aware of the realities of matters and the affairs happening around them, having an explanation ready for anything that occurs, because they watch the news and read political analyses. Such is the shallowness of these groups, that they are ignorant of the complex global strategies of creating events in order to affect collective awareness and thinking. ‘The powers that be’ do this through the creation of ideas to create or influence events, or through the observation of the dynamics of social interaction and how it can be manipulated, or the influencing of collective consciousness through the control of media and the tools used to analyse global events. In this way, they are able to control people’s behaviours and the outcome of events.

That is how conflicts and wars are managed behind the scenes. Everyone is made to believe they are playing an active role, while in fact they are mere tools in someone else’s master plan.

The strategy of Constructive Instability

In 2005 the executive director of the influential Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Robert Satloff, wrote an open letter to the under-secretary of state for public diplomacy, Karen Hughes, with this recommendation: “Banish the terms ‘Arab world’ and ‘Muslim world’ from America’s diplomatic lexicon; be as country-specific as possible, in both word and deed. Radical Islamists want to erase borders and create a supranational world where the lines of demarcation run between the ‘house of Islam’ and the ‘house of war’ [meaning lands in which Islamic law is not applied]. Don’t cede the battlefield to them without a fight”. Satloff dubbed the strategy “constructive instability” and insists that the search for stability has been a feature of US policy in the region. “In other regions . . . US strategists debated the wisdom of stability . . . but George W Bush was the first president to argue that stability was itself an obstacle to the advancement of US interests in the Middle East… In this effort the US has employed a range of coercive and non-coercive measures, from military force to implement regime change in Iraq and Afghanistan, to a mix of carrots-and-sticks first to isolate Yasser Arafat and then to encourage new, peaceful, accountable Palestinian leadership; to the gentle (and increasingly less so) use of the bully pulpit to nudge Egypt and Saudi Arabia down the reformist path”.[1]

The most important information contained in this strategy is the dynamics of interaction or influence, across political borders, from Lebanon to the rest of the Arabic world, and vice-versa. It includes information on how media and politics work together dynamically, how military action works with the tools of political analysis, how political ideas work with religious and ideological thinking, and how national identities interact with sub-identities (religious and sectarian). Satloff spoke in the policy paper about a ‘Beirut endgame’ and Lebanon almost exclusively, as if it was a key starting point from which to target the rest of the region. The goal is to reformulate the collective awareness in the Middle East, and as a result to redraw its political maps, and to define the new political standpoints of the countries vis-a-vis themselves and with the West. [2]

There are various reasons why Lebanon is the ideal starting point to re-draw the regional map:

a) Lebanon is a country with multiple sects and religious denominations, like some of its neighbours, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Syria in particular, and any conflict between those groups will have a knock-on effect on the region.

b) Lebanon has a large Palestinian refugee population, and any instability in that country could affect the Palestinian refugee cause and taken advantage of.

c) Lebanon has a resistance, and anything that negatively affects it will affects the resistance axis.

d) Lebanon has a ‘free and independent media’, and a public that interacts with its media, which would undoubtedly cause neighbouring countries to interact with it as well. And through this media, we would be able to influence the general opinions of those neighbouring countries.

e) Lebanon holds parliamentary elections, which can be used to call others to replicate this model.

What Satloff didn’t mention in his study, is the effect of political assassinations and armed conflict (as has been the case in Lebanon) has had on the collective consciousness in Lebanon and the region. Especially, since this is something the US has made use of for some time, in order to influence the course of events in many countries.

Satloff’s policy document explicitly admits that there exists a strategy of instability, and admits that there is a complex plan that combines political and intellectual thinking, military strategy and media analysis, in the same way a molecular compound is broken apart and re-arranged to form a new compound.

In the face of such detailed strategic planning, we should ask ourselves: have we devised a response to such plans with a similar counter-strategy?

Have we mobilised politically and through social movements and the media in a way to be effective regionally across all borders? Have we cured our maladies, so as not to turn into obedient tools in the hands of those planning for ‘constructive instability’?

————————————————————————–

[1] Charara, Walid; Le Monde Diplomatique, ‘Constructive instability‘,  07/07/2005.

[2] Satloff, Robert; Assessing the Bush Administration’s Policy of ‘Constructive Instability’ (Part I): Lebanon and Syria, March 2005. And: Assessing the Bush Administration’s Policy of ‘Constructive Instability’ (Part II): Regional Dynamics‘.

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The 5th Political Theory – Introduction

(Update: the content of this post and what will follow, is now mirrored in my political blog here)

People used to look to identity as a unifying force around a particular political project, or social endeavour, in order to protect the interest of the group. However, we view identity to be the biggest hindrance to progress in our region, and the most negative heritage that has lead us to conflicts with no end or solution in sight. In fact, it is a drain of resources (human and natural), and it is taking us in the opposite direction of the movement of history.

The Fifth Political Theory is not a project to unite around an identity, but a project to unite around a common future goal, best suited for the progress of our society, to enable us to compete amongst the most advanced nations of the world.

A note on Identity

The conflicts in our region, especially the one initiated by what became known as the ‘Arab Spring’, are conflicts that utilise the instigation of one identity against the other, with policies purposely absent, in order for the policies of others to take advantage of the situation. As a result, instead of different factions debating which policies are best suited to manage their affairs in the region, we have a never-ending struggle of religious and ideological identities. These religions and ideologies, have been emptied of their socio-political essences and revolutionary progressive ideas, so it should come as no surprise that their opinions matter very little to the rest of the world (if they ever show opinions on things that matter!).

When Jesus (as) came to revolt against the status-quo of his time, he didn’t do so by attaching himself to an existing identity. The Christian identity came after people started to follow his teachings. The same applied to the early Muslims of the Arabian Peninsula, who followed Islam, not to become part of an existing identity, but to destroy the status-quo. Islam came as a social project to ‘islamize’  the people, and not to be carried as an identity. The current conflicts in the region revolve around identities, with total absence of their original ‘islamization’ or ‘christianization’, i.e. an absence of a deep and meaningful understanding of why they carry this identity, and as a result, what they could offer in terms of socio-political projects.

The majority of people in our region have inherited an identity, it is but a few who are truly religious.

The Fifth Political Theory is a political, social, economical and humanitarian project. Any reformist project must look back at history, revolt against any negative inheritance that has been accumulated over the years, and learn from the experiences of our ancestors. We are not responsible for our ancestor’s deeds, but we can build on them and work towards more perfect policies and social behaviours, setting an examples to the rest of the world. This cannot be achieved whilst hiding behind an inherited identity. Those who hide behind religious identities, have forgotten or misunderstood the true meaning and message of their faith, and instead are behaving more like infighting tribes.

Religious and sectarian infighting is the beginning of the end of religion (as was the case in the European wars of religion in the 16th century, that lead to the enlightenment and Europe’s eventual secularism).

This project is a revolt against inherited religions, because all that remains today are inherited religious identities, filled with fanaticism, and devoid of any sacred, social, political, or economical essence and intelligence.

It’s official: Hamas has sold out

I’ve only seen this mentioned in the JPost, so will have to wait for confirmation from Arab sources, but this makes what we’ve known for a while official: Hamas has given up armed resistance in return for power. This is the New (old) MIddle East. Security of the zionist enemy, in return for money and power. And all under the banner of ‘There is no god but Allah’.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said over the weekend that he was in favor of a peaceful and popular resistance and that he and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal have reached agreement on the need for a peaceful intifada.

يوم القدس يوم الجهاد ضدّ الظالمين

محاور الموضوع ألرئيسة:
1-دلالات وأبعاد يوم القدس
2-واجبنا تجاه القدس
3- كيفية إحياء العيد

الهدف
– التعريف ببعض أبعاد يوم القدس
– التعريف بكيفية إحياء العيد إحياءً صحيحاً

تصدير الموضوع
الإمام  الخميني قدس سره: “يوم القدس يوم عالمي، ليس فقط يوماً خاصاً بالقدس، انه يوم مواجهة المستضعفين مع المستكبرين”

يوم القدس العالمي
يوم السابع من آب سنة تسعة وسبعين وتسعمائة و ألف، أعلن سماحة آية الله العظمى، الإمام  الخميني قدس سره يوم القدس العالمي، حيث قال: “أدعو جميع مسلمي العالم إلى اعتبار آخر جمعة من شهر رمضان المبارك، التي هي من أيام القدر ويمكن أن تكون حاسمة أيضا، في تعيين مصير الشعب الفلسطيني، يوماً للقدس. و أن يعلنوا من خلال مراسيم الاتحاد العالمي للمسلمين، دفاعهم عن الحقوق القانونية للشعب الفلسطيني المسلم”

دلالات وابعاد يوم القدس العالمي
ومن دلالات وأبعاد يوم القدس العالمي

أ – يوم مواجهة المستضعفين مع المستكبرين
ومما جاء في كلام الإمام  قدس سره حول هذا الموضوع: “يوم القدس يوم عالمي، ليس فقط يوماً خاصاً بالقدس، انه يوم مواجهة المستضعفين مع المستكبرين”

ويقول قدس سره: “انه يوم مواجهة الشعوب التي عانت من ظلم أمريكا وغيرها للقوى الكبرى”. ويقول أيضاً: “انه اليوم الذي يجب ان يتجهّز فيه المستضعفون في مقابل المستكبرين ليمرغوا أنوف المستكبرين في التراب”. وكذلك فانه يوم يجب توجيه التحذير فيه لكل القوى الكبرى بوجوب رفع يدها عن المستضعفين ويوم تثبيت حقّ المستضعفين في الوجود والحياة والحضور والتأثير على ساحة وميدان الحياة الدنيا

يقول الإمام  الخميني قدس سره: “يوم القدس، يوم يجب ان تتحدّ فيه مصائر الشعوب المستضعفة، يوم يجب فيه ان تعلن الشعوب المستضعفة عن وجودها في مقابل المستكبرين”

ويقول قدس سره: “يوم القدس يوم يجب ان نخلّص فيه كل المستضعفين من مخالب المستكبرين، يوم يجب ان تعلن كل المجتمعات الاسلامية عن وجودها وتطلق التحذيرات الى القوى الكبرى”

يوم القدس هو يوم المستضعفين وتوحيد كلمتهم.وفي هذا البعد يقول الإمام  الخميني قدس سره: “لقد كان يوم القدس يوماً اسلامياً، ويوماً للتعبئة الاسلامية العامة، وأمل ان يكون هذا الأمر مقدمة لتأسيس حزب للمستضعفين في كل انحاء العالم، وأتمنى ان يظهر حزب باسم المستضعفين في العالم”

ب – يوم القدس هو يوم الاسلام
بعد رمزيته العالمية والانسانية، تأتي الرمزية الدينية للقدس، كتعبير عن مكانة الاسلام كدين الهي يريد ان يصلح العالم وان يرفع الظلم ويقيم العدل

وفي هذا المعنى يقول الإمام  الخميني قدس سره: “يوم القدس، يوم الاسلام، يوم القدس، يوم يجب فيه احياء الاسلام وتطبيق قوانينه في الدول الاسلامية، يوم القدس، يجب ان تحذر فيه كل القوى من ان الاسلام لن يقع بعد الآن تحت سيطرتهم وبواسطة عملائهم الخبثاء”

ج- يوم القدس هو يوم الالتزام ونفي النفاق
بعد البعدين العالمي والاسلامي، الانساني والديني، كان البعد التطبيقي ليوم القدس، فهذا اليوم هو المميز بين المسلمين حقاً من غير المسلمين بالمعنى الفعلي، او بالأحرى هو الذي يميّز المؤمنين عن المنافقين.يقول الإمام  الخميني قدس سره: “انه اليوم أي يوم القدس الذي سيكون مميزاً بين المنافقين والمؤمنين فالملتزمون يعتبرون هذا اليوم، يوماً للقدس ويعملون ما ينبغي عليهم، أما المنافقون فانهم في هذا اليوم غير آبهين او انهم يمنعون الشعوب من اقامة التظاهرات”

ويقول أيضاً: “ان الذين لا يحيون مراسم يوم القدس هم مخالفون للاسلام وموافقون للصهيونية”

الواجب تجاه يوم القدس
بعد إعطاء الأبعاد الحقيقية ليوم القدس، أكد الإمام  الخميني قدس سره على ضرورة احياء هذا اليوم، الذي جعل له شعائر خاصة، تعبّر عن حقيقة الاحياء، فليس الأمر مجرد رفضٍ للصهيونية ولهيمنتها ولتسلطها وليس هو مجرد النكران القلبي للظلم الناتج عن احتلال القدس، ومشروع تهويدها، انما الأمر يتعدى ذلك الى التحرك والنزول الى الشارع والتعبير العملي عن الاستنكار والرفض للصهيونية وللاستكبار.يقول الإمام  الخميني قدس سره: “انّ يوم القدس، يوم يجب ان تلتفت فيه كل الشعوب المسلمة الى بعضها، وان يجهدوا في احياء هذا اليوم فلو انطلقت الضجة من كل الشعوب الاسلامية في الجمعة الاخيرة من شهر رمضان المبارك الذي هو يوم القدس لو نهضت كل الشعوب وقامت بنفس هذه التظاهرات ونفس هذه المسيرات، فان هذا الأمر سيكون مقدمة ان شاء الله للوقوف بوجه هؤلاء المفسدين والقضاء عليهم في جميع أرجاء بلاد الإسلام”

عيد الفطر السعيد
تحلّ علينا مناسبة العيد والعيد فرحة متأصلة في قلب الإنسان، وهو مناسبة موغلة في القدم فمنذ أن تشكلت البشرية وأخذت ترتقي السلم الحضاري وحددت الزمن بمواقيت، جعلت لها محطات للترويح عن النفس عند كل مناسبة سعيدة وسمّت تلك المحطات أعياداً لأنها تعود إليها كلما عادت

يحلّ علينا عيد الفطر وهو عيد لمن قبل الله صيامه وقيامه. عن الإمام  علي عليه السلام: “إنما هو عيد لمن قبل الله صيامه وشكر قيامه، وكل يوم لا نعصي الله فيه فهو يوم عيد”1 فلا ينبغي على المجتمع المسلم أن يحي العيد بالفرح الشاذ المنحرف، “إن الله لا يحب الفرحين” و المقصود من الفرح هنا فرح البطر الشاذ المنحرف، كما يفرح البعض بإحياء هذه المناسبة بالحرام حيث يستمع الى حفلات الغناء أو يؤذي الناس بالمفرقعات والرصاص

– مرّ أي الحسن عليه السلام في يوم فطر بقوم يلعبون ويضحكون، فوقف على رؤوسهم فقال: “إن الله جعل شهر رمضان مضماراً لخلقه فيستبقون فيه بطاعته إلى مرضاته، فسبق قوم ففازوا، وقصر آخرون فخابوا، فالعجب كل العجب من ضاحك لاعب في اليوم الذي يثاب فيه المحسنون، ويخسر فيه المبطلون، وأيم الله لو كشف الغطاء لعلموا أن المحسن مشغول بإحسانه والمسيء مشغول بإساءته، ثم مضى“2

فينبغي إحياء ليلة العيد بالعبادة لا بالعبث واللهو الفارغ،عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم:“من أحيا ليلة العيد وليلة النصف من شعبان، لم يمت قلبه يوم تموت القلوب”3. وعن الإمام  علي عليه السلام: “يعجبني أن يفرغ الرجل نفسه في السنة أربع ليال: ليلة الفطر، وليلة الأضحى، وليلة النصف من شعبان، وأول ليلة من رجب”4. وعن الإمام  الرضا عليه السلام:“كان أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام لا ينام ثلاث ليال: ليلة ثلاث وعشرين من شهر رمضان، وليلة الفطر، وليلة النصف من شعبان، وفيها تقسم الأرزاق والآجال وما يكون في السنة”5

وينبغي ذكر الله كثيرا في يوم العيد،عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم: “زينوا أعيادكم بالتكبير “6. وعنه صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم: “زينوا العيدين بالتهليل والتكبير والتحميد والتقديس “7. و كان صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يخرج في العيدين رافعا صوته بالتهليل والتكبير8. وكان صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يكبّر يوم الفطر من حين يخرج من بيته حتى يأتي المصلى9

وعن الإمام  الصادق عليه السلام: خطب أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام يوم الفطر فقال: “أيها الناس! إنّ يومكم هذا يوم يثاب فيه المحسنون ويخسر فيه المبطلون، وهو أشبه بيوم قيامكم، فاذكروا بخروجكم من منازلكم إلى مصلاكم خروجكم من الأجداث إلى ربكم، واذكروا بوقوفكم في مصلاكم وقوفكم بين يدي ربكم، واذكروا برجوعكم إلى منازلكم رجوعكم إلى منازلكم في الجنة!. عباد الله! إن أدنى ما للصائمين والصائمات أن يناديهم ملك في آخر يوم من شهر رمضان: أبشروا عباد الله، فقد غفر لكم ما سلف من ذنوبكم فانظروا كيف تكونون فيما تستأنفون”؟!10


1- شرح نهج البلاغة لابن أبي الحديد: 20 / 73 .
2- تحف العقول: 236 .
3- ثواب الأعمال: 1 / 102 / 2 .
4- البحار: 97 / 87 / 12 .
5- البحار: 97 / 88 / 15
6- كنز العمال: 24094 .
7- كنز العمال: 24095 .
8- كنز العمال: 18101 .
9- كنز العمال: 18104 .
10- كنز العمال: 24102، 18098 

Sheikh Na’im Qassem – Palestine … Awakening the Ummah Conference

[Video] of another great, concise, no-nonsense speech by the Deputy Secretary General of Hizbullah, Sheikh Na’im Qassem at the inaugural ‘Palestine ..Awakening the Ummah’ Conference, organized by NGOs in Lebanon. 

Never ending Nakba

Never ending NakbaBy Alan Hart

As Ilan Pappe has said, most Israeli Jews have no idea of what they did to the Palestinians in 1948. (He also said that those who do know don’t think that what was done was wrong). But that’s only the tip of an iceberg of ignorance.

Because of the mainstream media’s complicity in Zionism’s suppression of the truth of history as it relates to the making and sustaining of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel, most Americans and Europeans of all faiths and none have no idea of the enormity of Zionism’s crimes.

The Arabic word for what happened in the months before and after Israel’s unilateral declaration of independence on 14 May 1948 is Nakba, meaning catastrophe. That’s a one word description of the fact that upwards of 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were dispossessed of their land, their homes and their rights, but complete understanding requires knowledge of something else. Nakba was not simply an event in history. It is a process of ethnic cleansing, a process that has been on-going for 64 years to date and is continuing.

A timely reminder of this fact was contained in an article for the web site This Week in Palestine by Ibrahim Matar, an economist writing from Jerusalem.

He opened his piece by quoting a statement made by Ra’anan Weitz, the director of the Jewish Agency’s Settlement Department in 1948. “I ploughed Palestine into earth by ordering the demolition of 300 abandoned Palestinian villages from the Negev to the Galilee.” (The quotation was from an interview Weitz gave to the Jerusalem Post published on 7 March 1997).

Matar ended his piece with these words of his own:

“The bottom line to the tragedy of the Palestinians is that the Catastrophe of 1948 is still going on, as Jewish colonisation of the West Bank continues to expand. The objectives of the Jews have not changed since the early part of the twentieth century. Their motto continues to be ‘dunum after dunum of land’ for the exclusive use of Jews.

The Jews claim that the Palestinians wish to destroy Israel. The fact is that the Jews have already literally destroyed Palestine, and in front of the watchful eyes of the world community represented by the Quartet, they continue with their policies and practices to complete the liquidation of the Palestinian presence in historical Palestine.”

Question: Is completion of the liquidation of the Palestinian presence in historical Palestine really Zionism’s mission?

I believe the answer is “Yes”, and that unless the major powers led by America summon up the will to call and hold Zionism’s monster child to account for its crimes, there will be a final ethnic cleansing of Palestine at some point in a foreseeable future.

Footnote

I also believe that Matar should be more precise with his language. His use of “the Jews” implies that all Jews everywhere are responsible for Zionism’s crimes. That is not so, but… If the rising global tide of anti-Israelism is not to be transformed into anti-Semitism, making another great turning against Jews everywhere inevitable at some point, the Jews of the world must play their necessary part in containing and confronting Zionism. As I never tire of pointing out, silence is not the way to refute and demolish a charge of complicity in Zionism’s crimes.

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Alan Hart, Subscribe to Alan Hart’s blog: http://www.alanhart.net/subscribe Follow him on Twitter:http://twitter.com/alanauthor

Nakba Day

The Palestinian Nakba: The Resolve of Memory

David Ben Gurion, first Prime Minister of Israel, once prophesized that “the old (refugees) will die and the young will forget.” He spoke with the harshness of a conqueror. Ben Gurion carried out his war plans to the furthest extent possible. Every region in Palestine that was meant to be taken was captured, its people were expelled or massacred in their homes and villages. Ben Guiron ‘cleansed’ the land, but he failed to cleanse Israel’s past. Memory persists.

 Ben Gurion referenced my own family’s village – Beit Daras – which witnessed three battles and a massacre. In an entry in his diaries on May 12, 1948, he wrote: “Beit Daras was mortared. Fifty Arabs (were killed). The (villages of) Bashit and Sawafir were occupied. There is mass exodus from nearby areas (neighbors in Majdal). We sustained 5 dead and 15 wounded. ” (War Diaries, 1947-1949).

Chronology of the Nakba

Maps, Quotes and much much more. A must resource for all things Palestine – Palestine Remembered

Must Read – All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948 (IPS)

Interactive map of Palestine villages destroyed in Nakba

The Massacers