Category: You Stink stinks

NGOs Stink: They Turned Revolution Into a Trend.

Note: I wrote this in Arabic few months ago back then when You Stink was active, but haven’t posted it. Now I decided to post a translation of it so that more readers would understand and relate.

Few weeks ago, I received on Facebook, from one of my classmates in university, an invitation to join a page for students from our university who participate in You Stink protests. I ignored it for two reason. The first is that I previously sent them invitations to a page I admin (which has nothing to do with You Stink or politics) and they didn’t join, so I decided to treat them the same way. The second reason is that I didn’t want to be associated, in any way, with those who claim to be starting a revolution while the truth is that they serve embassies and foreign interests.

Currently, in Lebanon, the loyalty of youth and students switched from allegiance to political parties and sects to those campaigns which suddenly appear out of the blue and organize protests while we know nothing of whoever finances them. Most of the Lebanese youth – if not all, backed those protests as a trend. And whoever does not follow the trend remains an outcast, not in harmony with his or her peers, same as whoever does not join these protests, or at least shows support to them on social media. Those “revolutionaries”, despite their lack of experience, want to run the country in their own way…or to be specific, the way they were instructed from embassies and foreign think tanks and NGOs.

They pretend to support freedom of expression, but if anyone talks to them about anything that doesn’t involve demonizing the whole Lebanese government with all its ministers and Parliament members (the corrupt AND the non-corrupt ones), they show their true colors. They won’t say straight in your face that your opinion is worthless or unacceptable, but if you raise suspicions about whoever supports those campaigns and activists financially, they will answer:”OMG, you are against freedom of expression!”. If you tell them that hastily generalizing ALL politicians who participate in the government to be corrupt is a fallacy, they will answer:”OMG, you’re a sheep obeying the system!”. It is the same as when you say you support Palestinian resistance against israel, they answer:”OMG, you’re pro-violence and against peace!”. In short, critical thinking would lead them to use the means of intimidation as a response.

Talking about the war on Syria or the war on Yemen to them is like talking to a wall. Because they don’t care about those humanitarian causes. They only care about causes which are dictated to them by foreign NGOs, such as the environment, anti-corruption, etc… so they become busy with relatively small problems in comparison to what the whole area is facing. Fighting corruption, abolishing the Lebanese sectarian governmental system and saving the environment are necessary, but they became a trend instead of a cause. A trend leads nowhere, it just disappears soon to be replaced by another, while a cause might lead somewhere by the efforts of those who support it.

“Revolution” became a trend restricted to coffee-shop activists who hang out and sit in front of the laptop and call on social media for getting to the streets. And when it is time to get to the streets, they put on “Anonymous” masks, Batman costumes and artificial colorful hair which clowns wear in circuses, while raising banners with slogans that are sometimes lame, sometimes funny, and other times compare politicians to Game of Thrones characters. Then they upload photos of all that on social media so that the whole world would see the creativity of Lebanese youth in expressing themselves, and unfortunately this creativity is being used for lame slogans instead of something that would really benefit the country. If I campaigned for those protests and spread photos of them on social media, I would write this description:”Remember that this is not a Halloween party, this is a revolution! A genuine revolution of the suffering Lebanese people, even Batman himself joined it!”. Of course this is just sarcasm, because every time the suffering people try to revolt, they get infiltrated by “social media revolutionaries” and this would lead to tragic consequences like those we witnessed in the Arab Spring.

Ignoring the invitation to join the FB page of protesters from university was not enough, I had to avoid all social media because it got filled with such revolutionary idealism propagated by coffee-shop activists. I decided not to go with the trend. And whoever doesn’t go with the trend gets intimidated directly and indirectly. Gone are the days of freedom of expression. Gone are the days when having different views would be considered as enriching for the society. One has to think zillion times today before saying his or her opinion for fear of being called names because freedom of expression is not allowed, unless you express the trendy views. The youth became a mercenary army in defense of this “political correctness” and whoever doesn’t join the mercenary army is deemed “un-progressive”. Supporting the Lebanese armed resistance against terrorism (whether it is the terrorism of groups like ISIS or the terrorism of israel) became “un-progressive”. Being “progressive”, to the followers of the trend or “fashion victims”, means obeying the will of foreign think tanks and NGOs while pretending that it is the will of the people.

Being intimidated is bad, but being a fashion victim is worse. Trying to convince them that what they’re doing is the exact opposite of progressiveness won’t work, because the trend became a core part of their personalities, and depriving them of it is like depriving them of a part of themselves.

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Note: If you came across this post and felt offended, remember that dismissing the truth (about You Stink activists receiving professional training in activism in foreign institutions) because it conflicts with your ideology is offensive, not to me, not to any individual, but to the moral principles of truth and transparency. I’ve heard again and again the argument of “we’re just fed up with trash being piled up on the sidewalk and polluting the atmosphere, we’re fed up with corruption, with sectarianism, with not being able to get things done unless we pay a bribe, with not being able to get a job unless we have connections…” trust me, I’m more fed up with those than you, but those who started that movement – as well as other similar movements in the Arab world and everywhere – are NOT normal fed up citizens.

I read once that a man was standing somewhere next to a You Stink protest, just watching, without actually being IN the protest. A journalist asked him “why don’t you join them?” And guess what he answered! He said “I’m not well-dressed for that!”. Not well-dressed…to participate in a protest, that is – supposedly – a revolution of the people.

I’ll leave you with this to think about for yourself. Peace.

 

 

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Surprise surprise… #YouStink leaders are supported by NED

Lebanon, as we already know, had been witnessing protests which claim to be against corruption, sectarianism, unemployment, lack of infrastructure etc… in general, and the garbage crisis in particular. Those protests are organized by a group of campaigns, organizations, political parties, etc… among those; the Lebanese Communist party, the Union of the Lebanese Democratic Youth and so on are innocent from any suspicion which would arise about the real forces behind those protests. As for “You Stink”, well…they stink.

Lately, a report was published on simplesite.com showing the foreign connections of You Stink leaders. Shortly after, the report was deleted for some unknown reason. However, media such as Middle East Panorama and the newspaper Al-Joumhouria (sources are in Arabic, sorry) published the information contained in that report; exposing those activists one by one:

Marwan Maalouf: One of the You Stink activists. He was employed at the US-based NGO called Freedom House during the era of the Arab Spring; for 3 years. Freedom House is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Readers of this blog know that the NED is directly funded by the US Congress; though they claim to be a “non-governmental organization”. Then, Mr. Maalouf was asked by his employers at Freedom House to start another organization that deals with the issues of Middle East and North Africa. Thus, he founded “Menapolis” in Istanbul, Turkey. Menapolis participated in the Arab Spring in Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya etc… and also Menapolis writes proposals for US policymakers, either directly or through Freedom House. Menapolis trains activists from different countries on the tactics of activism for overthrowing “dictators” (sounds like a Middle Eastern version of Otpor), and it helped the Syrian opposition by pressuring on the Syrian government through sending reports to US policymakers in cooperation with Freedom House.

Imad Bazzi: This name must be familiar to the readers of this blog. This person is trained by Otpor, he’s the coordinator of You Stink, he worked with Menapolis as well, and he mentions it on his blog like he’s proud of it:menapolis

(I know there’s a spelling mistake but in Arabic it is written properly). 

Imad Bazzi was in Tunisia during the Arab Spring protests there, and also in Egypt where he was arrested and deported to Lebanon.

Assaad Thebian: This You Stink activist is known for his comments mocking religious beliefs (especially Christianity) on his Facebook page. He cooperates with the “US-Middle East Partnership Initiative“; which is a US State Department Program which support “reform” in Middle Eastern countries.

Nizar Ghanem: Another founder of Menapolis, and an activist in You Stink.

Catherine Maher: Another founder of Menapolis, an activist, and works as an expert in Wikimedia, USA.

Khattar Torbey: A lawyer in the USA and an activist who worked with Imad Bazzi and Marwan Maalouf on the Menapolis issues especially in Syria. He organized protests for You Stink in front of the Lebanese embassy in the US capital. He visited Qatar in September 2015 (Qatar’s role in supporting the Arab Spring is already exposed to everyone).

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Since the Arab Spring, I have been and will always be suspicious over all those social media revolutions. Poor people can’t afford to have a fast internet connections and smartphones so that they can participate in this coffee-shop activism; so it’s not a revolution “from the people, by the people, for the people”. And no, You Stink is not a “grassroot organizations composed of a bunch of random Lebanese youth who met by chance and are just fed up with corruption and sectarianism in Lebanon”. They are a group of highly trained professionals in activism and “peaceful protesting” or whatever they call it, with a lot of experience in that matter from the Arab Spring. Lebanese people can by themselves solve the problems of corruption and sectarianism; we don’t need National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, Menapolis or Otpor. Don’t be a sheep for the corrupt government, but at the same time don’t be a sheep of NGOs. So wake up before it’s too late; before our country becomes like Syria or Libya.

Types of the 21st Century Activists in Lebanon

This is an English translation of this post.

In case you want to become an activist promoting chaos in our country, starting an “Arab Spring” in it and generalizing corruption to include all those in the government (including those who are DEDICATED to fighting corruption); then you have to choose which type of activist who serves foreign agenda would you wish to become:

The Media Front: This kind of activist appears on television and promotes the “cause”. He is supposed to be moderate in his speech; so that he can attract support from the people.

Marwan-Maalouf1

The Scapegoat: He’s the opposite of the latter. Extremist in his speech; personally attacks political leaders, relies on the shock method by shamelessly mocking religious beliefs. The rest of the coffee-shop activists picture him as “the bad guy who does not represent us!!1111”. Why do they try so hard to deny him; is it because he shows the true color of this kind of activism?

assaad1

The Master of Puppets: The mastermind of the whole campaign from behind the scenes. His job is not to promote the campaign in the media; but to pull the strings of the other activists; planning and organizing every move they make. Most probably he got some training in “peaceful protesting” in Europe or USA; or participated in other Arab Spring “revolutions”; this makes him experienced, sophisticated and different from the typical young student-activist who must appear in the image of a simple citizen who is just “fed up”.

imadbazzi

The Creative Activist: Now that’s the anonymous guy who designed all those funny, satirical and attractive banners and slogans held by the protesters. Highly focusing on slogans shows that there is no real specific cause which those coffee-shop activists are fighting for.

The Social Media Guy: Mostly anonymous; signed up to Facebook, twitter and Instagram with an account or more, under a pseudonym like “angry citizen”, “peaceful protester” etc… His job is to sit in front of the computer, upload photos of the protest showing the “Lebanese Spring” to the world, create pages for protesting campaigns and call members of those pages to “take the streets”.

أنواع نشطاء اخر زمان في لبنان

(English version here)

إذا كنت تريد أن تصبح ناشطاً في تخريب البلد و إقامة ربيع لبناني و مساواة من يساهم في الفساد بمن يحاربه، فعليك أن تختار من أي نوع من أنواع الناشطين تريد أن تكون

الوجه الإعلامي للحملة: هو الذي يظهر على وسائل الإعلام و يتحدث إليها. يجب أن يمتاز بأسلوب معتدل غير متطرف، مما يؤهله لأن يروج للحملة على التلفاز و يجذب تأييداً من عامة الشعب

Marwan-Maalouf1

الناشط الذي “لا يمثل إلا نفسه”: متطرف، يتهجم شخصياً على الزعماء و الساسة، يعتمد على أسلوب الصدمة و يمس بالمقدسات بلا حياء. يحاول من تبقى من نشطاء السفارات و ثوار المقاهي التبرء منه و يقولون:”هو لا يمثلنا! لا يمثل إلا نفسه!”. نحن نعاملهم بالمثل و نقول:” #كلن_يعني_كلن “. لماذا يتبرأون منه، هل لمجرد أنه على الأقل صادق و يظهرهم بصورتهم الحقيقية؟

assaad

محرك الدمى: العقل المدبر للحملة بأكملها “من تحت الطاولة”. لا  يروج لها في وسائل الإعلام، لكنه ينظمها و يحرك الخيوط من وراء الستار. هو اليد الخفية التي يبدأ التحرك على إشارتها. على الأغلب تلقى تدريباً في أوروبا أو الولايات المتحدة أو شارك في تحركات و “ثورات” في دول عربية، هذا يكسبه خبرة و يميزه عن الناشط الشاب الذي من المفترض أن يظهر بصورة عفوية كمجرد مواطن “قرفان” من الوضع

imadbazzi

الناشط المبدع: الفنان مجهول الهوية الذي يصمم اللافتات المبتكرة التي يحملها من يشارك في التظاهر، بناءً على أفكاره النيرة و الخلاقة  . التركيز على الشعارات الرنانة و الطريفة و الجذابة ضروري عندما لا تكون هناك قضية حقيقية محددة لدى التحرك

ناشط وسائل التواصل الإجتماعي: عادة ما يكون لديه حساب واحد أو أكثر على مواقع التواصل الإجتماعي، ربما تحت أسماء مستعارة مثل “مواطن غاضب،”، “متظاهر سلمي” و ما إلى ذلك. مهمته الجلوس أمام شاشة الكومبيوتر و الدعاية للحملة على فيس بوك و تويتر و غيرها و نشر صور للتحرك ليرى العالم معالم الربيع اللبناني، و فتح صفحات و حسابات للدعوة للنزول إلى الشارع

Who is behind the #YouStink (‏#طلعت_ريحتكم‬) Campaign in Lebanon?

youstink

Recently, the capital of Lebanon is witnessing another Lebanese Spring (like the Arab Spring; with the first Lebanese one being the Cedar Revolution in 2005).

The country is already full of economic problems, corruption, sectarianism and so on, and above all those came the garbage crisis. All this is what the #YouStink campaign claims to be protesting against in Beirut. That’s why they call their campaign #YouStink ; it is directed to corrupt politicians who do not solve the garbage crisis effecting Lebanon. The protests began peacefully; but they ended up with violence where people with covered faces started breaking glasses of cars, shop fronts, throwing stuff at the security forces and removing street signs out of their places.

The organizers of the #YouStink campaign said that those who started using violence are merely infiltrators; and insisted that peaceful protesting is the way which their campaign follows. Whether those violent rioteers were really infiltrators or a part of the original campaign is not the question.

The protesters claim to be ”leftist” and ”secular”; though they were shouting slogans that were used by Islamists during the Arab Spring in countries like Egypt. #YouStink claims; on its Facebook page to be a ”grassroot organization”. However; their coordinator Imad Bazzi is trained by Otpor. Otpor, with its CANVAS Institution, trains activists (with financial support from George Soros) and it is behind the Arab Spring, as well as opponent activism in places like Iran, Latin America, etc… The purpose of ”activists” of this kind is not to fight corruption, or to solve anything (like the garbage crisis for example)…history has proven that their purpose is to destabilize countries.

otpor1

Our friend Imad Bazzi; the Otpor-backed activist and coordinator of #YouStink is also a blogger, ex TV/Radio host, and currently working as a councillor for a local Lebanese TV channel. The Foreign Policy Magazine picked him, in 2011, as one of the Most influential Bloggers in the Mediterranean.

imadbazzi

He is also an environmental activist who previously worked for Greenpeace. I previously exposed the hypocrisy of environmental activism and the fact that those misanthropes are after depopulating the planet (from the populations of third world countries of course; because ”let those savages die, who cares”) rather than solving the environmental problems; in addition to cooperating with and getting financed by companies who pollute the environment.

Mr. Bazzi also was one of those who protested asking the ex-Lebanese president Emile Lahoud to resign the presidency in 2006. Emile Lahoud is a pride for us Lebanese Christians, and for all Lebanon as well, because he supports the Lebanese armed resistance against Israel. That’s why activists serving a foreign agenda do not like him.

We want reforms in Lebanon; we want the garbage crisis to be solved. But destabilizing the country won’t solve anything; it would make it worse. And it’s time to tell Soros and Otpor: You Stink!