Monday, September 1, 2008

Le rouge et le noir

So, what's common between 1) Charles Malek (Whose credentials include being the Lebanon representative when the UN was founded), 2) Camille Chamoun (Former president of the Lebanese republic), 3) Pierre Gemayel (Who founded the extreme right Phalange party - by his own admission - after seeing the Nazi Youth in the 1936 Olympics in Germany), 4) Bachir Gemayel (Who was president elect but who was assassinated before being sworn in, and who was also head of the Lebanese Forces militia - a spin off from the Phalange), 5) the statue of the Martyrs (In Martyrs' square), 6) Our Lady of Lebanon (A religious landmark in Daroun-Harissa), 7) and Christ-Roi (Another religious landmark showing Jesus Christ with arms outstretched like the Rio statue on the way to Jounieh)? Answer: According to the last campaign by the Lebanese forces, all these symbols are "The cedar and we (Lebanese Forces) are its red line" (Meaning those defending it). Whereas the use of some of the symbols is legitimate (Such as Bachir Gemayel and his father Pierre) the inclusion of the virgin Mary and Jesus Christ is very debatable - no matter how much they are trying to claim their Christian roots (Interestingly, one of the symbols of the Lebanese Forces is a cross which is titled in its bottom end to symbolize the shape of a dagger). But what is really, really impressive, is that whereas the campaign hit the road sometime at the end of last week, only a few hours later activists (And certainly Lebanese Forces opponents) retaliated while using the super fast world of the internet and so by Saturday afternoon (While using the same layout for effect) I found three spoof photos in my email inbox: They had photos of Rachid Karame (Assassinated Prime Minister), Dany Chamoun (Head of the Noumour Al Ahrar Militia and son of Camille who was assassinated along with his wife and children), and of Tony Frangieh (Assassinated son of president Suleiman Frangieh. Tony Frangieh was killed along with his wife and daughter - leaving his son Suleiman to carry the political torch of the family). What is interesting in the spoofs is that Samir Geagea currently head of the executive committee of the Lebanese Forces was convicted of killing Chamoun, and by his own admittance he liquidated Frangieh, and is largely seen as responsible about the explosive in the helicopter that Karame took (Which landed in emergency in the Halat airport whih was then controlled by the Lebanese Forces after the explosion occured). The line of the spoofs? "You are the cedar and we (Lebanese Forces) are its black line."
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