Lebanese Forces Website Turns Into a Joke

Just so you don’t think I have a blind vendetta against Tayyar.org with me bashing them on different occasions (check those here & here), it’s now the Lebanese Forces website’s turn to take a hit.

We’ve all been suffering through horrible electricity outages. Even Beirut is getting 6 hour cuts. Different sides are taking different opinions regarding the matter, as usual, depending on which end of the political spectrum they belong to.

Those opinions can be summed up with the following: Blame Bassil vs Don’t blame Bassil.

I don’t like Gebran Bassil and as a voter in the Batroun caza I won’t vote for him when he runs here – again – in 2013. That won’t end up doing much since he will end up as a minister – again. But I would have done what I can.

When it comes to the electricity problem, however, there’s a drastic difference between putting the entirety of the sector’s woes on him, as some people are doing, and actually acknowledging that the problem didn’t start with him, although his handling of the whole issue isn’t top-notch. For the record, I have blogged before about the electricity problem and about how silly Gebran Bassil was when he threatened civil strife against his one-sided government if they didn’t comply with his electricity plan.

All the political talk aside, you’d expect a reputable political website which should be concerned with, well, politics not to flaunt such a post on their Facebook page, which holds over 57000 likes.

The article they linked to can be accessed (here) and it features a collection of pictures such as the following:

Some of you might think these pictures are funny and you can share them on your Facebook and Twitter timelines all you want for all I care. But it’s unacceptable for the website of one of Lebanon’s leading parties to make an “exclusive” out of them. It’s unacceptable for that website to use them as material in order to please its readers.

How about Lebanese-Forces.com and tayyar.org stop running tabloid-ish “news” and focus on real issues instead? What does either website hope to accomplish by running silly articles about the politicians of the other?

The 2013 elections, if they happen, will be here before we know it. The article in question has over 700 Facebook “likes.” Brainwashing is here in full swing.

Saad Hariri and Twitter: A Story Filled With Mistakes

When Saad Hariri first went on Twitter, many were hoping he’d use the platform productively to enhance his political career, which has been sitting on the back burner for the past few months as he globe-trotted his away around everywhere except Lebanon.

But a series of mistakes, the last two of which are only a few of days apart, have gotten many – myself included – to wonder whether it was really wise for Mr. Hariri to join the social networking platform.

In January, Hariri said good morning to an Israeli government spokesperson. Either he didn’t know who that person is or he knew and still said good morning, which in both cases is worrying: the former because it shows a certain political ignorance; the latter because it would open a Pandora’s box that Lebanon is obviously not ready for.

On May 10th, Hariri got into a useless Twitter debacle with a brainwashed pro-FPM twitter user who has been constantly barraging him. The aim of the anti-Hariri person was clear: to provoke the former prime minister. Hariri caved in. However, instead of replying in a way that a former prime minster should, Hariri’s reply was straight out of a teenager’s handbook. Of course, Tayyar.org were more than happy to flaunt this around, useless as they may be as a news-website.

On May 13th, soon after the Tripoli events erupted, a Twitter user had the following conversation with Saad Hariri:

Not only is Mr. Hariri’s argument non-sensical, but it’s also offensive to every single Lebanese who has been killed or assassinated before his father and after him. I wrote on February 14th about how the memory of that day is being milked into nothingness. This only supports my idea.

Does Rafic Hariri’s murder have anything to do with the events taking place in Tripoli? Absolutely not. Is it honorable to bring in Rafic Hariri’s memory – regardless of what you thought of him – into this debate? Of course not. Does it make up a remotely acceptable argument or reply? Definitely not.

I know many people who are disappointed by the way Hariri is handling things on the ground and more tangibly on Twitter. This only serves to reinforce that. Some have even said they’ve lost their respect for the man. While I haven’t reached that extent yet, Saad Hariri is getting dangerously close. Whenever he pretends as if Rafic Hariri is the only person to be assassinated in Lebanon, I boil on the inside. I think about the many people who have died before him, starting with presidents to students, and the many journalists and politicians that died after him, leading up to the many that lost their lives in various Tripoli-related events, culminating in today’s turmoils. Then I ask myself: if a politician thinks the blood of his father is more precious than the collective of lives that have been lost in the same fight his father died for, how can I trust such a politician to run my country? How can I trust him to keep a level-head, even if it’s just a twitter conversation?

I believe Mr. Hariri’s stay outside the country has gotten very out of sync with Lebanon and it shows on Twitter not only through his replies but through his stances. Tripoli is a city where Hariri has many voters, most of whom he will need in a year to win, and he is supporting the people who are wrecking the city just to free up one man. By not condemning the salafists, the head of the moderate Sunni party in Lebanon is supporting them. If that’s not a recipe for disaster, I don’t know what is.

Perhaps Hariri should hire a PR team to run his social media presence. It would save both himself and his supporters some trouble by doing what other Lebanese politicians do. However, if he insits he wants to keep his interaction with the people going he needs to learn to double check any response he sends out on various levels: political correctness, appropriateness and most importantly whether it befits someone of his status.

Tayyar.org, Are You Seriously Proud Of This?

Tayyar.org thinks the discourse in the screenshot below is honorable and high-level enough for them to flaunt it on their website. As I said before, that website is to me akin to a tabloid. This only reinforces that. How is this reporting news? How is this reporting anything meaningful? How is this in any way useful?

This goes to the website that published it and both participants in the conversation. Did the so-called activist make a dent? Of course not. Does he think he’s more relevant now? Of course yes. Did Saad Hariri accomplish anything from this? Definitely not. Is he still bothered by it? Of course not.

How about we take all our “activism” regardless of political affiliation, pull it together in one nice basket, and cast it in a ballot 12 months from now?

It is here that I address Saad Hariri directly. You want to reply to snarky tweeps? How about you go all the way through? Some person is harassing you with his/her version of “facts” and commentary you can prove is unfounded? As BeirutSpring said – “let them have it.” On the other hand, you can be the better man and simply not reply. But please, if you choose to reply, draw a boundary where a person can’t call you a “retard” and end up becoming a hero for doing so.

For a country with a multitude of problems some people sure like to be amazed at what’s irrelevant.

There are other tweets as well that go along this way:

I find this too silly to be taken seriously. But I’m not running a political website for a political party gearing up for elections so what do I know?

Tayyar.org: Not Sure If Tabloid or News Site

Tayyar.org is nowhere near my go-to site when it comes to Lebanese news (nor is Lebanese-forces.com for that matter). But you’d expect a self-proclaimed reputable website to at least be respectable enough not to post a picture like this on their Facebook wall:

To make things even more “appealing,” they had this news shared next to the picture calling the whole affair a “masra7iye” – Lebanese for play.

And then I remembered something: their timeline cover picture. So for reference, here it is:

Underneath their title, the words: Precision, Speed & Credibility are typed out. I really have no idea how a mocking picture of the head of one of Lebanon’s main parties can be considered as precise, speedy or credible.

I guess the admins who run that page and those who run the corresponding won’t stray much from the morals set by the leader they follow, nor are the people that follow said leader.

So for all matters and purposes, Tayyar.org is not a news website. It might as well call itself TayyarJaras.org – but wait, that would be degrading to Nidale el Ahmadieh’s tabloid. So let us tweak that a little bit and make it: TayyarJorsa.org – for yes, jorsa is what they are.