Lebanon, The Qnion

Aoun Drops Demands, Opposition Adds New Member

Aoun and BassilBEIRUT, Lebanon — The leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, General Michel Aoun, has announced that he is dropping what many believed to be the principal obstacle to the Lebanese cabinet formation: the demand that his son-in-law Gebran Bassil be appointed Telecommunications Minister.

Anticipation was high in Beirut today that this development would pave the way for the formation of a new cabinet after three months of fruitless negotiations between the majority March 14 coalition and the Lebanese opposition.

Hopes of a breakthrough have fizzled, however, as a new complicating factor emerged within a few hours of Aoun’s announcement. The opposition has reportedly added a new member to its ranks, an obscure figure who goes by the name of Abu Tanjara the Oracle of Mashmoushi, and who claims to be the last living adherent of an ancient sect that worshipped the Phoenician god Baal.

abu tanjara

Abu Tanjara

At a crowded press conference organized by the FPM at a posh Beirut hotel, reporters were surprised to see an unusual-looking person taking the podium, instead of the FPM spokesman or an executive committee member.

Abu Tanjara read a lengthy statement to the assembled audience, recounting the history of his community’s travails at the hands of the ancient Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and “the barbarians who followed them.” This was followed by a diatribe against monotheism and a fifteen-minute rain dance. Finally, the Oracle announced his decision to join the Lebanese opposition, rejecting the majority’s “arrogant monopolization of the country’s decision-making.”

When asked by a reporter if he had any specific demands of Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri, Abu Tanjara replied: “I’m glad you asked. The following are my demands, which are not really even demands, to be perfectly frank — they are my natural rights as a full member of the confessional mosaic that is Lebanon.”

Abu Tanjara continued: “I am demanding the Defense and Foreign Policy ministries, so that Lebanon may finally shed its parochial standing in the region and grow to its natural boundaries, which encompass all of Greater Phoenicia. I am also demanding one hundred and seventy virgins — ten from each of Lebanon’s seventeen official sects — to be delivered to the entrance of my cave, at the top of Mount Sannine. The virgins will serve as the Mothers of the Rebirth of the Baalist Church. Finally, I am demanding two hundred and fifty million dollars. Any questions?”

In response to a question from the an-Nahar reporter about the consequences of the majority rebuffing his demands, Abu Tanjara had this to say: “Well, if they want to try to rule this country all alone, let them go ahead. But I warn them: my pet dragon Lulu doesn’t like majority cabinets, and if she wakes up and goes on one of her rampages, not even I will be able to stop her,” he said, pulling out a picture of a fearsome-looking dragon and passing it around the room.

Lulu, the fire-breathing dragon pet of Abu Tanjara, Oracle of Mashmoushi

Lulu, the fire-breathing dragon pet of Abu Tanjara, Oracle of Mashmoushi

Representatives of the FPM, Hizbullah, and Amal have declined to comment on Abu Tanjara’s specific demands, only saying that “the opposition welcomes the Oracle with brotherly affection, and will adopt a unified stance.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri has promised to review the Oracle’s remarks carefully, expressing hope that “a cabinet representing all of Lebanon will soon see the light of day.”

Qnion-smallBy Qifa Nabki

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Discussion

45 thoughts on “Aoun Drops Demands, Opposition Adds New Member

  1. Aargh, so THIS IS WHY nothing was coming out of that crazy kitchen! Too many cooks, all of them wanting to be Ze Chef, a far too embroiled menu…and what about the tanjara! The most Michelin-starred cook wouldn’t do better with such a narrow neck…

    Posted by mj | September 21, 2009, 12:08 pm
  2. Does the Oracle of Mashmoushi realize that he asks to be part of the Mosaic while he acts as if he is a strong believer in the Rainbow. A Mosaic is based on Diverity in Unity i.e the different parts are held together by a strong set of core values while a Rainbow is based on Multiculturalism i.e self contained units who happen to share the same space.
    Thankfully no one is asking openly for a melting pot paradigm, maybe the LF’ers would like that but are too timid to ask for it.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | September 21, 2009, 1:42 pm
  3. I wonder who are the regional and/or international sponsors of Abu Tanjara and what are their motives behind these demands
    could this be tied to the new health care plan debate!?

    Posted by V | September 21, 2009, 3:00 pm
  4. Genius.

    Posted by M. | September 21, 2009, 3:11 pm
  5. So smart & funny – as usual! 😀 i missed the Qnion posts!!

    Posted by maya zankoul | September 21, 2009, 4:02 pm
  6. Lulu? Ha! Ha ha!!!!

    Posted by kay | September 21, 2009, 5:05 pm
  7. Argh! When I first started reading I was like YEs! Finally! then I noticed it’s the Qnion. Maybe they’ll publish it in Bangladesh.

    Posted by lukewarm | September 21, 2009, 5:15 pm
  8. Lebanese politics is too complicated for me. What I want to kow though is:

    Lulu has impressive wings. Does she fly?! is she a friend or an enemy of Syria?

    Posted by Alex | September 21, 2009, 5:25 pm
  9. Alex

    Definitely a friend. 🙂

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | September 21, 2009, 6:03 pm
  10. In fact Lulu is the surprise Nasrallah promised.

    Posted by AIG | September 21, 2009, 7:14 pm
  11. Just brilliant QN. I was laughing the whole time reading this QNION.

    Don’t you think though that on top of Sannine might be a bit chilli for LuLu? But who knows, Abu Tanjara’s cave might have a volcanic vent that keeps LuLu warm and cozy.

    Thanks for the laughs.

    Posted by Ras Beirut | September 21, 2009, 8:47 pm
  12. Ras Beirut

    Based on Abu Tanjara’s picture, I’m guessing that Lulu actually lives below Jabal Sannine, in some kind of subterranean cavern.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | September 21, 2009, 8:49 pm
  13. I’m glad he wears the tanjara on his head, though. Handy, really.

    Posted by Helena Cobban | September 21, 2009, 9:18 pm
  14. What a good way to start the morning, thanks !

    Posted by marillionlb | September 22, 2009, 2:24 am
  15. What is this absurdity about 10 virgins per sect?!
    We demand that the 170 virgins be divided equally between Muslims and Christians!

    Posted by mas | September 22, 2009, 9:12 am
  16. mas

    LOL 🙂

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | September 22, 2009, 9:25 am
  17. No way QN,

    The virgins should be allocated proportianally…

    Posted by danny | September 22, 2009, 11:30 am
  18. How tiresome to be in a men’s world, sorry, blog. From the above comments, I can’t decide if it is considered an honour or a disgrace to have to provide the virgins in question… No need to get obsessed about the virgins, guys, the Constitution doesn’t say who will be allowed to father the “Rebirth of the Baalist Church”…or will that be Lulu’s privilege, since he’s apparently a friend of Syria? Is Lulu a she? What about introducing a gender parity low applying to virgins? Anyway, has Abu Tanjara the Oracle of Mashmoushi been out of his cave long enough to hear about… hymen reconstruction?

    Posted by mj | September 22, 2009, 2:42 pm
  19. In my opinion, it is not very good idea for Lebanon to be friend with Syria.
    Pheonicians have never befriended the Syrians and actually looked down upon the Syrians as uncultured and agents of despotism.
    Nowadays, the Syrians want to kill the Lebanese in order to control Lebanon. So, there are more reasons for the Lebanese to avoid association with the Syrians.

    Posted by mike | September 22, 2009, 7:00 pm
  20. Really mike that’s quite interesting, on what evidence do you base your racial profiling? Because if it were true, we should kick the Maronite Church out of Lebnanon, St. Maroun being an uncultured agent of despotism and all that!

    Posted by mas | September 23, 2009, 1:01 am
  21. No Mr. mas. You got your logic backward and confused. St. Maroun left Syria and preferred to live in the caves of Lebanon for the exact reasons that I mentioned. So, be careful, think straight and clear your mind.

    Posted by mike | September 23, 2009, 1:29 am
  22. St. Maroun was born in Syria, confined himself on a mountain near Cyrrhus (near the present-day Turkish-Syrian border in Antaquia), and is buried near Aleppo. One of his disciples later went on a missionary voyage to Lebanon to christianize the pagan inhabitants of this region.

    If you want to consolidate your racist beliefs with your religious beliefs, I suggest you convert to a purely “phoenician” religion, like the Baalist Church. If fact I think you’ve mistaken Mar Maroun with Mar Tanjara (Abou Tanjara’s great ancestor) who also used to live in a cave.

    Posted by mas | September 23, 2009, 3:00 am
  23. Hey mas, you are entitled to an opinion as every one else, of course. Wherever Mar Maroun was born or died is immaterial. Your defense of Syria is incomprehensible unless you are Syrian yourself, in which case I understand your predicament. It doesn’t help your case going around accusing people of racism based on prejudices. In fact, you seem to overlook the most important fact in my comment. Mar Maroun’s or his disciples’ history is not what matters today. What matters today is that Syria is killing the Lebanese in order to control Lebanon. You did not bother expressing any opinion about this. That clearly shows who is racist and who is actually a hypocrite.
    In any case, I do not want to continue this nonsensical argument with you. So do not expect further exchanges. I do not see any benefits in engaging with your likes, particularly if you happen to be a Syrian or an associate of such.

    Posted by mike | September 23, 2009, 9:02 am
  24. Akhh! This is hopeless…
    I was challenging your assertion that some 20 million people are all “uncultured and agents of despotism”, and that this is based on their nationality. Moreover, this feature has been transmitted through the generations and can be traced back to people living in the same area 3000 years ago!

    And I don’t know if “Syria is killing Lebanese to control Lebanon”. Who am I, Bellemare?

    Moving on to something else, this post reminds me of an interesting topic. QN, do you happen to know if there’s any surveys conducted to see what percentage of Lebanese consider themselves of Phoenician decent?

    Posted by mas | September 23, 2009, 9:55 am
  25. Good on you Mike. You have stuck to your guns quite well, and showed all that you are not only a racist, but a proud one as well. I also admired your style in cleverly using the oft-misused strategy of ‘attack is the best way of defence’ to the fullest! As to your ‘out’ endeavour, well as subtle as anything I have witnessed in a long time.

    I will walk behind you anytime chanting ‘down with Syria, moslem Lebanese, Palestine, Aounis (maybe later on Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians etc.)…and long live Maronite Phoenicians’.

    When is the next Big Event!?!

    Posted by Question Marks | September 23, 2009, 10:11 am
  26. OK Question Marks, thanks for the remark and whatever ‘recognition’ you have bestowed upon me. I have issue however with your last paragraph implying that the Lebanese will go on needlessly denouncing any group for no reason. Be careful please, and do not generalize. It is up to you if you want to walk behind me chanting. If that ever happens, I want to make sure you will repeat the correct phrase – no execuses.

    Posted by mike | September 23, 2009, 11:04 am
  27. mike 26

    I do apologise; I forgot that ‘generalisation’ is your exclusive domain. Would not happen again without you prior unequivocal consent and approval.

    Regards

    Posted by Question Marks | September 23, 2009, 11:11 am
  28. Question Marks,

    I hope you attended today’s big event that took place in Jounieh commemorating the true martyrs of Lebanon. Needless to say that Lebanon owes its freedom today to these great Lebanese who fell fighting the despotism of the Syrians and their agents.

    That was an excellent opportunity to fulfill your expressed desire (see comment 25).

    Posted by mike | September 26, 2009, 6:54 pm
  29. Mike 28,

    I feel privileged to be remembered after such a long time; it is also refreshing to know that you care!

    Unfortunately I couldn’t attend. I had a couple of really pressing things to do yesterday. In actual fact I had a dilemma to figure out: two comedies are running at the same time; what am I to do! To be honest I selected the funnier one that happened to be a Syrian production. Do not get me wrong, the event you referred to is also funny, but it is a comedy of horrors; sorry.

    A couple of interesting facts, or is it desires on your part, which permeate your short, but quite indicative comment:
    • Real martyrs; I suppose you are referring to the Maronite Phoenicians who lost their lives –Allah yerhamon wa jamee’ alshabab in all of Lebanon. If you are not suggesting those alone I am extremely surprised and extend my apologies to you. Somehow I feel that my apology would not be forthcoming any time soon though;
    • Lebanon is free today; Lebanon’s freedom today is manifested in the fact that Israel has been forced out. I had to bring this topic to the fore, although I suspect that it is a sore point for you, seeing your allies leave lock, stock and barrel. Apart from that, Lebanon’s freedom is indicative in the fact that its affairs are influenced by a few embassies such as USA, Saudi and to a lesser extent French. Note President Suleiman’s interview with Al Hayat today in reference to the Iranian and Syrian roles in Lebanon; it is conspicuous in the absence of any reference to the above mentioned embassies as NOT playing a negative role in Lebanon;
    • Fighting despotism; what despotism? I always thought that the ‘struggle’ in the mid-seventies was in part to maintain the inequitable status quo of the time –the supremacy of political Marounism in all its manifestation social, cultural and economic. I am loath to mention the following but somehow feel I have to: for the sake of ‘unifying the gun’ and establishing full hegemony –read dictatorship- more Lebanese lost their lives and property at the hands of their presumed ‘saviours and protectors’ than did throughout the never-to-come-again civil war.

    I do not what year you were borne and whether you experienced the horrors of the era you seem so anxious to remember and relive, indeed celebrate. I humbly and respectfully volunteer the following advice: the elitist, racist and sectarian rhetoric has only brought tragedy after tragedy to our little-big nation. I am concerned that history will repeat itself. Hold on, after further thought, history will not repeat itself in this instance. There are those out there who will do whatever it takes to prevent it repeating itself; and they have proved quite capable at defending Lebanon.

    Regards

    Posted by Question Marks | September 27, 2009, 4:59 am
  30. Hey Question Marks, excuse my brevity. I am not a fan of long narratives. But could you answer me briefly in relation to your last and long comment? Are you making a threat? If so then I’m sorry to say you (and your so-called hero HN) have not learned a thing from the last 20 years or so!!! Rusted missiles do not scare us. Poor Lebanon having still to put up with more despotism originating from east of the anti-Lebanon mounains! You know Geography, I suppose, and you should know which mountains are referred to as the anti-Lebanon mountains? For all your bravado talk, I still fail to see how your heros advanced the lots of their community. It looks more of the same: despair, poverty, destruction and you name it. I hope you didn’t lose your life savings recently at the hands of the ‘virtuous’. I do not see ‘evil political Marounism’ hands behind this latest scheme of ‘virtue’.
    Good luck with your ‘sumud and mumana’a.’

    Posted by mike | September 27, 2009, 11:07 am
  31. mike 30,

    Akhkh, as someone else started his response to yet another loose cannon from you not so long ago.

    1- please tell us where you read anything resembling a ‘threat’; sarcasm, and plenty of it, yes, but threat, not me. I claim that I am a mere concerned nationalist thinker;

    2- I am not Shiite, but am Lebanese through and through;

    3- I do not have money to invest. I am a working class guy who tries to make enough money in order that his kids go to a good school and keep as far away from poisonous ideas that might wreck their future and the prospects of their country.

    Now Mike, let us play the same game, and see who you are: in addition to generalisation, racism and elitism, you now are venturing into the unknown presuming things that do not exist. Freud would consider all those combined a form of paranoia and a symptom of an inferiority complex. I hope not. in fact I hope it is only a passing phase, after which you would see the light and abandon those destructive tendencies. I am sure it will eventually happen.

    Good luck.

    Regards

    Posted by Question Marks | September 27, 2009, 11:38 am
  32. Question Marks , it is true what you mention about the past political Maroonism and its manifestations however you fail to mention that it is now replaced with political Shiism and very similar manifestations although the later is under the guise of “Moqawama and harakat al Mahroomeen” it is no different in its negative effect on Lebanon

    Posted by V | September 27, 2009, 1:34 pm
  33. Indeed Question Marks “Akhh” is the best ‘word’ to say. You know, when you have a needle pricking under the armpit? Facing the truth is painful, no doubt.

    ” I am not Shiite, but am Lebanese through and through;” That is right through and through. And that is why you prefer watching “bab al-7hara” over honoring the real heroes of Lebanon. Congratulations! You just proved your Lebanese thoroughness through and through!!! But, could you please explain to me what’s wrong with being Shiite? I never said you are? So who is presumptuous?

    So you are a working class family guy, with a flair for Freud and modern age blogging. Let me guess. What would be your specialty? Hi-tech proletarian psychoanalyst blogger?

    Should I say beware of the cat’s claws?

    Posted by mike | September 27, 2009, 1:54 pm
  34. v 32,

    Quite an interesting notion, and one worthy of consideration and analysis, thank you.

    Of the top of my head, I would hazard a thought out of respect for your contribution (although as you can ascertain from my contributions I loathe issues sectarian) that politically speaking there would be more symmetry between ‘political Marounism’ of old and the current -or should I say contemporary- ‘political Sunism’. My deduction here is not scientific, rather it is based on who is in control -or has been for the past generation or so- of the levers of government such as Premiership, Ministry of Finance, of Defence, Telecommunications, the majority of various national funds etc.

    I reiterate that this is an of-the-top-of-the-head reaction, and the debate is worthy of pursuing in more detail.

    Regards

    Posted by Question Marks | September 27, 2009, 2:23 pm
  35. mike 32,

    Being Shiite in itself is no issue, neither is being Sunni. Maronite, Orthodox … even Jewish. The same goes for being Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian, Iraqi, American, British etc. It is the peson who resides behind the ‘title’ is the one that really matter.

    Regards

    Posted by Question Marks | September 27, 2009, 2:33 pm
  36. “It is the peson who resides behind the ‘title’ is the one that really matter.”

    Question Marks, do I sense the effects of dissimulation on your psychoanalytical skills in this statement of yours?

    Interesting mix between Freudism and Shiism’s quest for survival.

    And you are still worried about outside poisonous ideas wrecking your kids’ future? I wouldn’t if I were you.

    Regards, particularly for the uncharacteristic brevity.

    Posted by mike | September 27, 2009, 3:06 pm
  37. Question Marks thanks for your comments.
    I think controlling security by having 40 thousand some rockets, countless other weapons, an intelligence apparatus a telecommunication system and practically an army outside that of the state is as effective if not more than “controlling the levers of government or the Premiership, Ministry of Finance, of Defense, Telecommunications, the majority of various national funds etc.”
    I think we all saw those effects in the past few years (car bombs, assassinations, war and the “Glorious Day” of Beirut Invasion) unless you are someone who ascribes everything to a Mossad/ CIA conspiracy.

    Am not defending “Political Sunnism” or “Political Maroonism” I think all parties in Lebanon are equally guilty and responsible for the mess they are in and I really don’t know what they are fighting for because Lebanon is literally a garbage dumpster!
    By the way when you say “even Jewish” in your # 35 comment to Mike it only makes you look more prejudice and totally opposite to what you were trying to convey.
    Regards,

    Posted by V | September 27, 2009, 4:03 pm
  38. And Mike allow me to say you also come across as a Racist Lebanese. I dont know where that sense of superiority comes from
    God forbids the Lebanese have contributed anything to this humanity, other than mastering being totaly pretentious and fake.

    Posted by V | September 27, 2009, 4:22 pm
  39. V,
    You’re also entitled to an opinion.

    I take issue however with your last statement about the Lebanese contribution to humanity.

    Allow me to say based on this statement of yours that you’re a bigotted and racist non-essential. Your opinion about Lebanon, with all due respect, is hollow.

    If you have personal issue about someone’s sense of superiority then you may as well succumb to your Jewish masters who seem to have domesticated you to the point of utter subjugation. Whereas the Lebanese may differ among themselves (a good sign of health), you’ll be the last to offer advice or even engage in any form of constructive debate as you purport. Your attempt is so cheap that any Lebanese with minimum intelligence would be able to uncover with no effort. Why not find yourself a toy to play with rather than pontificating to the people of Lebanon from afar?

    I may differ with Question Marks. But I do admire his pride in Lebanon whichever way he expresses it. But for people like you who left Lebanon and thought they discovered civilization with the scum of humanity and felt contentment with it, I can only offer them contempt. I have known third and fourth generation Lebanese immigrants who would never put Lebanon down for the whole universe, unlike you s….

    Posted by mike | September 27, 2009, 4:56 pm
  40. roo7 ya wa7esh inta ya lebnenee
    i’ll have you know sir that the scum of the earth is better than LEBANESE ppl like you Sir

    Posted by V | September 27, 2009, 8:46 pm
  41. Mike, V and Question Marks
    I guess that you need to be reminded that private shouting matches and ad hominems are better carried on private channels rather public waves.
    Any abuse of the commons is “ruinous” to all. So please have pity on your fellow travellers.

    Posted by GK | September 27, 2009, 9:44 pm
  42. Mabrook 3alayk this scum that you like so much.
    So now, I suggest you leave the Lebanese people sort their problems among themselves without your scumy odour. Obviously you do not belong.

    Posted by mike | September 27, 2009, 9:45 pm
  43. the only scumy odour is eminating from you and your racist tone obviously. so you get lost yourself and go be the little NAZI you aspire to be, i wont dignify you with a response any longer you arent worth it ya …..

    Posted by V | September 28, 2009, 1:07 am
  44. Dignified? By you? That’s hilarious. Not just scum, but a conceited scum as well!!

    Who needs to read you scum? Buzz off, and go work on your ESL.

    Posted by mike | September 28, 2009, 1:43 am
  45. Guys, this is really getting childish. Let’s call it off, or else I’ll have to start moderating. And my idea of moderating is just to ban people. Ok?

    Thanks

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | September 28, 2009, 7:34 am

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