Importance of Iran

Importance of Iran

An emerging force

Saeed Naqvi
New Delhi is now not only picking up the thread with Tehran, but redistributing the eggs it had once placed exclusively in the US basket.
Iran, Pakistan, Israel among others, know more or less, their respective preferred outcomes in Afghanistan. I am not so sure about the US or New Delhi.

Israeli vision, though obstructed at Tehran, does take account of Afghanistan where a few contradictions attend it. For example Jerusalem would not mind a resurgent Taliban pestering Shia Iran, its principal target these days, but Talibanism (extremism) in West Asia is its much advertised anxiety.

So, Sunni Islamic militancy plaguing Shia Iran is okay (in whispers, only) but it is intolerable in Israeli’s Arab neighbourhood. Where does Israel place Saudi Arabia in this framework? “Their Bedouin DNA enables them to survive walking on Wahabi egg shells.” Very clever.

Islamabad and Jerusalem are scaring Washington on two distinct counts. Islamabad advises Washington that American reversal in Afghanistan would be catastrophic for US prestige and influence in the region and globally. However, should the US depend on Islamabad’s deep knowledge of the Mujahedeen, al-Qaeda, Taliban and arrive at a settlement with the Taliban Islamabad knows, Afghanistan will be sufficiently tranquilized to enable President Obama to contemplate a second term with a cool head.

Israel would like Washington to be more alert about the other ‘Ogre’, a nuclearised Iran. Should Iran go nuclear despite sanctions, American admonitions, egged on by Israel and Europe, in that order, the US, already in decline, will have its nose rubbed in the dust before a risen China, resurgent Russia and an Arab World which will charge down to their respective basements and start assembling bombs. The Saudis, (say the Israelis) may go nuclear with Pak help.

Meanwhile, Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and his Inter Services Intelligence chief, Gen Shuja Pasha, have been shuttling between Islamabad and Kabul. Traffic from Kabul is equally frequent. Likewise between Tehran and Kabul.

Time was when Peter Galbraith, supported by President Obama’s special Af-Pak envoy, Richard Holbrooke had asked for President Hamid Karzai’s head on a platter alleging election fraud and worse.

Obviously, Galbraith was not aware of intense turf battles in Washington in which the state department’s line did not prevail. Galbraith was shown the door. Holbrooke ducked into a low profile.

Sufficient attention has not been paid to the fact that the only person from George W Bush’s team retained by Barack Obama is defence secretary Robert Gates. It is he who represents the ‘American Establishment’s’ interests in Af-Pak, Iran and elsewhere.
He is particularly suited to comprehend the region because he was deputy to CIA chief William Casey during the Reagan years when the Mujahideen were being trained and equipped with Stinger Missiles in Afghanistan. Also, he was around during the Iran — Contra affair — transferring Israeli arms to Iran to fight Iraq. The money thus generated was transferred to the Contras to oust the pro Soviet Sandinistas from Nicaragua.

Rise of Rafsanjani

The ‘high level’ contact the US made during that phase was the speaker of the Iranian Majlis, Hojjetulslam Hashemi Rafsanjani, who later became president for two terms.
American pique at the outcome of recent Iranian elections is largely explained by the defeat of ‘their candidate,’ Rafsanjani in June 2005 and Mir Hussein Mousavi (backed by Rafsanjani) in June 2009, on both occasions bringing President Ahmedinejad to power. That a tamed Rafsanjani still survives in the expediency council is because he knows too much.

The puzzle in all of this is this: how can the US take such a tough line on Iran at a time when it needs Iranian co-operation in stabilising Afghanistan? Is some obscure Washington — Tehran track still functioning?

Ask Jaswant Singh, who was external affairs minister in November 2001 when the US invaded Afghanistan. “Iranians, more that the Russians, helped oust the Taliban from Kabul.”

Iran has lengthy borders with Afghanistan and Iraq — both flowing over with US troops. Equally strategic is Iran’s border with Balochistan, the most important supply route for US troops in Afghanistan.

Iran’s real quest is for a recognition of its status as regional power: it cites its ancient civilisation, 70 million population, second and third largest gas and oil reserves respectively, its strategic location on the gulf, contiguity with South and West Asia, Central Asia, Caucasus. Iran believes its stand on Palestine gives it influence among Arab populations. Moreover it juxtaposes its ‘Dialogue of Civilisations’ against Wahabi Puritanism.

All of this causes convulsions in Riyadh and Cairo. In other words a nuclear Iran, or a non nuclear Iran as a regional power, are both anathema to West Asia, Israel and the US. Surely something must give.

In the general pirouette involving Washington, Islamabad, Kabul, Tehran, Riyadh, Jerusalem, where is New Delhi? Well, New Delhi has good relations with each one of these centres except Islamabad and Tehran, the latter disrepaired in Vienna during the Indo-US nuclear deal. Leaders of each one of the countries (except Israel, of course) have visited Kabul several times in recent years.

On July 20, several world leaders and UN officials were once again in Kabul to attend an international peace conference. India was represented by external affairs minister S M Krishna. Jolted out of its stupor, New Delhi is now not only picking up the thread with Tehran, but actually redistributing the eggs it had once placed exclusively in the US basket.


Turkish FM recognizes Iraqi Kurdistan?

[What is the significance of the shift in diplomatic language being used?  SEE: New US ambassador to Turkey avoids calling the events of 1915 as “genocide” ]

Turkish FM recognizes Iraqi Kurdistan?

July 22, 2010 | 11:18

Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu has for the first time used the term “Kurdistan”, referring to the northern Iraq.

Milliyet reports that a fire in one of the hotels in Sulaimaniyah, a city in Iraqi Kurdistan, on July 15, claimed 28 lives. The Turkish FM sent a letter of condolences to Mesut Barzani, calling him the leader of Iraqi Kurdistan.

News from Armenia –

Pakistan at the centre of complicated diplomacy

Pakistan at the centre of complicated diplomacy

Tom Hussain, Foreign Correspondent

ISLAMABAD The National

A recent flurry of high-profile, often edgy diplomatic exchanges among Pakistan and Afghanistan, China, India and the United States, has shown Pakistan to be at the epicentre of a geopolitical fault-line, but with precious little leverage.

The pace of diplomacy has been frenetic over the past two months.

Pakistan’s army chief, Gen Pervez Kayani, visited Kabul in June to press Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, to accept dialogue, without precondition, with Afghan militant factions, notably the Haqqani network, fighting US-led Nato forces.

Relations between Afghan militants and the Pakistani military, which dominates foreign and defence policy-making in Islamabad, remain a major source of tension with the US.

There has been a noticeable shift in the US position, indicating a reluctant acceptance to allow Pakistan to play its Afghan cards in the vague hope that it might be able to engineer a terminal split between Afghan and al Qa’eda militants based in tribal regions bordering eastern Afghanistan.

However, US involvement in Afghanistan is just a sideshow in the theatre of South Asian geopolitics, as far as the Pakistani military is concerned.

Top billing is, instead, given to the role of India, with which Pakistan has fought three wars since it gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947.

Having come excruciatingly close to striking a deal with India over the disputed Kashmir region in 2006, when Pervez Musharraf held the offices of president and army chief, Pakistan has reverted to a hawkish stance since Mr Kayani took over the military reins in November 2007.

Ostensibly, the involvement of Pakistani militants in the November 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai is the root cause of the deterioration in relations between the neighbours, which conducted tit-for-tat nuclear weapons tests in May 1998.

Another has been the growing role of India in Afghanistan, including its proposed training of the Afghan army, which by early 2009 had convinced the Pakistani defence establishment that the US was complicit in creating a second unfriendly border on its north-west flank.

Relations between Islamabad and Washington deteriorated markedly as a result during 2009, and it was only a more urgent need for the Pakistani military’s cooperation in Afghanistan that pushed the US back toward it, and to persuade India to reduce its profile in Afghanistan.

However, further friction is inevitable because of the development of a close strategic partnership between the US and India since the 1998 nuclear tests, and the acceptance of the relegated regional status that entails for Pakistan, particularly its military.

Talks between Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Pakistani foreign minister, and SM Krishna, his Indian counterpart, in Islamabad on July 11 were thus notable only for the frosty tone of their joint news conference and the lack of a joint communiqué.

The parity of power with India sought by the Pakistani military ignores the miserable state of its economy, which survives on aid from the US and US-based multilateral financial institutions, and leaves it susceptible to US carrot-and-stick diplomacy.

Pakistan’s fallback is China, which shares a deep suspicion of the US-India partnership, but it also wants to engage India to counteract American influence.

It was no coincidence that Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, paid a five-day trip to China up to July 11 ahead of talks with the Indian and US foreign ministers, and shortly after a meeting in June of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, where China rebuffed US-led calls for a clarification on a deal to supply additional nuclear power reactors to Pakistan.

It was a quid pro quo for the group’s decision in 2008 to grant an exemption to the US to supply India with nuclear power technology, despite fierce opposition from China.

Mr Zardari returned with a commitment from Beijing to finance a major new dam and new highways, and a railway line linking the two countries, in Gilgit-Baltistan, a region of disputed Kashmir and, therefore, a diplomatic poke to India.

Relations between China and India have been tense since the 2008 approval of World Bank funding of development projects in Arunachel Pradesh, a northern Indian state that China claims as part of Tibet, and over which the two countries fought a 1962 war.

However, ties have otherwise vastly improved since their 1996 diplomatic rapprochement, and the Indian government decided in March not to avail of the World Bank funding, and in June held discussions in Beijing on the resumption of joint military exercises in the Indian Ocean later this year.

The China-India relationship exemplifies a diplomatic arena in which relationships are constructively schizophrenic, and far less combustible.

Pakistan is becoming increasingly accustomed to advice from Beijing – don’t provoke India, deny safe havens to al Qa’eda, focus on your economy and governance – which echoes that coming from Washington.

It also reflects closer diplomatic coordination, particularly in Asia, that has been noticeable since Barack Obama, the US president, visited China in November 2009.

All Pakistan may get out of it is the promise of non-aggression from India and help to stop its economy from imploding.

Its hawkish military could swallow it at the price of international recognition of Pakistan as a nuclear weapons state, as demanded by Gen Tariq Majeed, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a speech in Islamabad in June.

But the red-handed capture in December 2003 of an illegal Pakistani nuclear proliferation network means that carrot is not on the menu – even if Gen Kayani could serve up Osama bin Laden on a platter.

Afghan Puzzle

Afghan Puzzle

The donors’ conference in Afghanistan has once again shifted the focus to the region’s biggest security challenge. India and Pakistan were also part of the conference with their contradictory agendas. And as usual, the countries have sparred over the nitty-gritty of the strategy to deal with the evolving situation in the country. While Islamabad promotes adequate accomodation of Taliban to facilitate the end of the lingering war in the country, New Delhi is uncomfortable about Islamabad’s role in the Afghan transition.  This is why the foreign minister S M Krishna has in his address to the delegates at the conference called for a stabilizing effort for the war-torn country that is  “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned”. He has also made a pitch for ending a selective approach towards terror and sought to draw the international attention towards the groups operating in Pakistan. Kabul conference which follows the London conference has however worked out a tentative plan for the exit of foreign troops, including that of US, by 2014 and handing over the country’s security to the Afghan forces. There is a rider though. NATO secretary general Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the transition will be based on conditions in Afghanistan, not calendars.

However, given the worsening security situation in the country, everything that the conference discussed appears ad-hoc with the US and its NATO allies not sure which way the war in the country would go.  Doubts have already been raised as to whether the tide can be turned against the Taliban by then. These doubts are not without reason. US surge has so far failed to achieve desired results. A major military operation to secure the southern city of Kandahar, which was described by US commanders as a lynchpin of the war, has not progressed according to plan. So much so that despite successful security for the conference, troops failed to protect Kabul’s airport  which came under a rocket fire forcing a plane carrying U.N.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to land instead at nearby Bagram Air Base.  However, the conference has once again focused only on the security and the political challenges within Afghanistan and overlooked the larger regional dimension to the ongoing war in the country, chiefly the India, Pakistan equation. The two countries have their own definite opinions about the situation in the country which together with the views of Afghanistan’s western neighbours like Iran will need to be taken on board for an end to the war. For Afghanistan is not only about a simple war on terror but also a global and of course regional Great Game in which India and Pakistan are primary players. There are also several new factors at play in the renewed engagement. The unfolding situation in Kabul, where the Taliban are now being considered as a part of the political solution, has suddenly reduced New Delhi’s capacity to influence the outcome in the war-torn country.

Accordingly, Pakistan is suddenly in a greater position of leverage, becoming a lynchpin in the US efforts to rein in the long troubled country. US desperately needs Islamabad to play a greater role in order to create conditions for its early exit from the country. But relations between India and Pakistan are a big sore point. The long-standing rivalry and suspicion between the two countries persuades them to act at cross-purposes in Afghanistan.  Pakistan wants a pro-Islamabad regime in Kabul to achieve its goal of strategic depth as a cushion against India. India, on the other hand, seeks a pro-New Delhi government to deny Pakistan this advantage.  It is therefore necessary that the ongoing effort for the stabilization of Afghanistan factors in the concerns of New Delhi and Islamabad and addresses them.

This also calls for the promotion of talks and reconciliation between the two countries. A sustained engagement between India and Pakistan would considerably reduce the trust deficit between them and most likely promote cooperation on Afghanistan.

The Dark Shadow Of Corporations

The Dark Shadow Of Corporations

By Wanda Marie Woodward, M.S.

03 June, 2010

It was Jung who introduced the word “shadow” into psychology which, in turn, made its way into colloquial lexicon. He also introduced the term “collective unconscious.” There is a personal shadow and a collective shadow. The personal shadow is unique to an individual whereas the collective shadow consists of contents that are shared by a family, group, organization, institution, or nation. This article is about the collective shadow of the corporation.

In Jung’s (1959) Aion, he tells us the shadow is one of the contents of the collective unconscious (an archetype) which has the most disturbing aspects on the ego. While there is a favorable shadow (what Jungians call “the golden shadow”) that contains normal instincts, appropriate reactions, realistic insights, creative impulses, etc., I am focusing on the dark shadow. The dark shadow consists of all those hidden, unwanted, repressed traits and qualities in our unconscious. Typically, these are the part of one’s nature counter to the sociocultural customs and mores (Stein, 1998); what June Singer (1994), noted Jungian analyst, refers to in Boundaries of the Soul as “all those uncivilized desires and emotions that are incompatible with social standards” (p. 165). Robert Johnson (1991) in Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche, refers to it as “the despised quarter of our being” (p. 5).

Jung (1959) highlights the noticeable emotional aspect to the shadow. Marie von Franz (1995), one of Jung’s most noted protégés, tells us in Projections and Re-collection in Jungian Psychology: Reflections of the Soul that the shadow consists of “laziness, greed, envy, jealousy, the desire for prestige, aggressions, and similar ‘tormenting spirits’” (p. 123). The ego usually defends against knowing what is in the personal shadow because of the disturbing effect it has on the ego. This is what keeps the shadow contents repressed in the unconscious.

The persona, our public personality that greets the world with charm and a hospitable attitude and protects the ego, is the counterpart to the shadow in the psyche. The persona forms as a result of education and adaptation to social and cultural norms. We conceal and reveal conscious thoughts and feelings as a way to fit into society. It can be thought of as “the psychic skin between the ego and the world” (Stein, 1998, p. 120). Its dual function is to relate to external objects while also protecting the inner ego (Stein, 1998). The ego is, more or less, identified with the persona, yet, on the other hand, the persona is also alien to the ego since it does not represent the authentic person. Shadow and persona are opposites in the psyche.

The corporation became a legal entity—essentially, a person with due process rights—as a result of the 1886 U.S. Supreme Court case, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company. It set legal precedent by issuing a statement that corporations would be entitled to protection under the Fourteenth Amendment which declares citizenship and conveys certain constitutional rights. Justice William O. Douglas wrote in 1949 that the Santa Clara case was a momentous decision because it gave corporations constitutional prerogatives.

Corporations have an ego, persona, and a shadow. The persona is the mask that is presented to its employees who work in it, the investment community, the community, and the world, at large. The corporation—certainly large ones—-spend millions of dollars to carefully craft, develop, maintain, and present their persona to these groups. It is the ego-ideal that is carefully crafted and presented to each of these groups. When the ego-image or ego-ideal of the corporation is tarnished by some scandal which threatens the favorable image of the persona, public relations campaigns are utilized to combat it. Edward Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud, is attributed as the father of public relations. Some would call these public relations campaigns, but it is, essentially, little more than propaganda. The dark shadow of the corporation, its Mr. Hyde, is kept hidden from all these groups.

Edward Bernays, nephew to Sigmund Freud, was born in 1891. He was a prominent businessman who wrote extensively on propaganda prior to WWII. He was hired by the U.S. government to manipulate the mind of the American public. Bernays, considered the father of public relations, was also hired by large corporations to generate higher profits through consumerism. Consumerism is defined by Widipedia as “a social and economic order that is based on the systematic creation and fostering of a desire to purchase goods or services in ever greater amounts.” Free market capitalism is an economic system that is predicated on consumerism, thus, corporations are among the largest supporters of capitalism. In his most famous book, This Business of Propaganda written in 1928, Bernays extolled the manipulation of public opinion stating that it was essential to overcome social chaos and conflict. He believed the manipulation of the public was necessary as he felt that the collective psyche of society was irrational and dangerous as a result of the “herd instinct.” The narcissistic ego of corporations seized upon Bernays talents for manipulating this psychological phenomenon, the collective psyche. Bernays made a large fortune from his self-proclaimed role as “public relations counsel.”

Robert Bly (1988), in A Little Book about the Human Shadow talks about how, starting in childhood, we put all these shadow aspects of ourselves into “the long bag we drag behind us” into adulthood. Victorian society taught women to put sexuality in the bag. Contemporary society still teaches men to put the feminine aspect of their psyche in the bag. When I was young, my mother taught me and my siblings that it wasn’t nice to be angry, so I learned to put anger inside my bag. To this day, I struggle with how to present that in healthy ways within legitimate and justifiable contexts. Corporations use advertising, marketing, and public relations campaigns, among others, to help put their shadow contents into their “long bag.” To the extent that corporations are able to hide their shadows from the employees who are exploited to do their bidding, these brainwashed employees are also helpful in keeping the shadows hidden from the public.

Because these contents of the shadow are not favorable to society, we usually project our shadows onto others. It takes considerable moral courage to bring the shadow into conscious awareness and to take it back or what Robert Bly refers to as “eating the shadow.” Perhaps four of the most infamous and heinous historical examples of the collective shadow are the Catholic patriarchy projecting its dark shadow onto so-called heretics and witches during the Holy Inquisition, Hitler’s Nazi Germany and the shadow projected onto Jews, gypsies, and the mentally and physically disabled, the European and American White nations and the shadow projected onto Blacks, and the American White man’s shadow projection onto Native Americans. In all four of these examples, the shadow was so dark, it sought to completely destroy (murder, annihilate) Jews, imperfect people, Blacks, and Native Americans. Contemporary examples are the equally strong dark shadows projected between Jews and Muslims. Israelis project their dark shadows onto Palestinian Muslims and keep them tragically oppressed while various Muslim groups such as Hamas project their shadow onto Jews. Both Jews and Muslims are projecting their dark shadows onto each other—yet neither side can see the evil within his own dark heart. I am reminded of Martin Luther King’s saying, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools” and Gandhi’s adage that “an eye for an eye leaves both blind.” When we project our shadows and go to war, as we stand and shoot our rocket or gun or as we bludgeon someone to death or gang rape a woman as a way to bring dishonor on the enemy, we project evil onto the victim. That’s what projection of the shadow does—it blames “bad” or evil on the victim when the bad or evil is in the heart of the destroyer.

As stated previously, there is a personal shadow and a collective shadow. The personal shadow is difficult enough to take back. To take back a projected shadow of the collective unconscious is particularly challenging. It’s because we look into the face of “other” and we see an enemy—we somehow cannot see the similarity, the fact that we are all part of the same human race and that, as the Dalai Lama consistently repeats, we all are seeking the same thing—to be happy. If humankind could finally come to that momentous realization, we would have the hope of taking back our collective shadows. Can you imagine the Jews and Muslims coming to the realization that both parties are human and deserve to live a life of peace regardless of their different beliefs? How about if all the wealthy people in the world awakened and realized that every person on this planet is, essentially and fundamentally equal in value, and that poor people are not “the lepers and scourge of the earth” so the decision was made to share all resources and, ostensibly, end poverty, hunger, and homelessness on this earth? How difficult would that be? I would say damned difficult. But not impossible.

After studying psychology for 15 years, I have come to the conclusion that all people and all things have a shadow. No one and no thing is exempt. Not even me. The goal really lies in making this shadow conscious and integrating it so we no longer unconsciously project it onto others.

More recently, however, I have been thinking of what is the largest, most pernicious dark shadow that affects contemporary social affairs. Although I consider myself a spiritually oriented person, I long ago eschewed organized religion. I once thought the most harmful shadow was any organized religion that denigrates and devalues the feminine principle. Now, I believe it is the Corporation with the pathological greed and the malignant desire to allow free market capitalism to destroy every ounce of natural and mineral resource from Mother Earth as a means to achieve its goal. In fact, “corporation” and “greed” are now wedded terms. It is no distance from truth to say that the psyche of the corporation is malignant and poses a threat to the Common Good.

Corporations have what Otto Kernberg (1975; 1998), respected psychoanalyst and prominent researcher on narcissistic personality disorder, refers to “malignant narcissism” as resembling sociopathy, a more morbid and frank psychopathology than narcissism. Malignant cancer cell destroy the good, healthy cells. Similarly, malignant corporate pathology is a harmful, destructive disease that is eating away at the Common Good. This increasingly sociopathic and psychopathic corporate pathology hides behind the persona and projects its shadow into the world. Perhaps the most common overall shadow projection tactic used by corporations and banks today is to lobby government to support legislation which privatizes profits and socializes losses. Increasingly, corporations are using the legal precedent of the Santa Clara case of 1886 to become more powerful “legal persons.” One of the most recent key examples of the projection of the shadow is the bail-out of banks (which are intimately allied with corporations and governments as a way to sustain pernicious capitalism) like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Bank of America. These banks would not have to be responsible for their dark deeds and, instead, project the blame onto the victim—the American taxpayer. Banks and corporations used a common tactic that is prototypical of narcissistic, sociopathic, and psychopathic pathology. That is, they externalized blame—they projected their dark, evil shadow onto innocent people. They blamed the deceived victim—the American people—on the mortgage crisis when, in truth, it was prompted by a concerted, widespread effort by banks and corporations to reap quick, sleazy profits. Other examples of dark shadow projection are the use of genetically modified foods to foist onto the unwitting public, the use of the rbGH growth hormone in milk, the patenting of human DNA, and cloning. These organizations present their persona, Dr. Jekyll, to the public in an effort to preserve their power, maintain their ability to manipulate the social-public psyche to make choices that is against the best interest of the people, sustain their ability to exploit humankind for its cheap labor and give ever lesser amounts of compensation and health benefits in return, and so as to continue to reap profits which maintain the enormous schism between the handful of the wealthy elite and the billions of others whose income levels and lifestyles continue to decline. The projection of the corporate shadow is a way to avoid responsibility, accountability for egregious moral and ethical acts. Corporations can keep their shadow in the unconscious.

In Joel Bakan’s brilliant book, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, he compares the psyche of the modern day corporation to a psychopath. Bakan exposes the dangerous and enormous pathological power structures—corporations—-that wield their control over society. Another outstanding book that talks about the psyche of the psychopath in corporations is Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work by Paul Babiak, Ph.D. and the noted psychologist, Robert Hare, Ph.D., who has spent 40 years researching and studying psychopathy. He exposes the web of manipulation and deceit of psychopaths in corporations and warns us how easily they rise in positions in corporations because most people cannot see through the deceptive games. A third exceptional book is Hare’s Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among Us where he refers to “white collar psychopaths” in the corporate world. I have spent 20 years working in Corporate America, 15 years studying psychology, and six years working in the mental health field. I’ve seen and felt the brunt of the psychopathology—the dark shadows—in corporate life. It is very much a real aspect of business. Goddess willing, I will one day escape it. Once corporations begin replacing human labor with androids (, their transformation into archetypal evil will be virtually complete. Mary Shelley’s prescient story of Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde will have played themselves out in corporate regalia. With examples of Kenneth Lay (Enron), Dennis Kozlowski (Tyco), Bernie Ebbers (WorldCom), and Bernie Madoff, I would estimate that there are likely tens of thousands of these pathological characters currently running corporations. They just haven’t been caught. And it is left to another article to discuss the fact that governments around the world are now mistresses to these toxic corporations. Thus, governments are in bed with the devil and are unable to save humanity. Humanity will save humanity.

There are always three collective psyches involved when discussing organizational shadows. There is the psyche of the organization itself, the psyche of the followers/members of the organization, and the psyche of the opponents/detractors. The psyche of those who are in the highest echelon of the organization usually most closely resemble the psyche of the organization itself. Our outside world is always a mirror of the inside world. So the organization is a mirror of the psyche(s) of those who hold the most power in the organization with the highest person, that is, CEO or President, serving as the prototypical organizational psyche. The psyche of Enron most closely resembled Kenneth Lay’s psyche, the psyche of Tyco most closely resembled the psyche of Dennis Kozlowski, Lloyd Blankfein’s psyche most closely resembles the psyche of Goldman Sachs, and so forth.

There have been numerous theories about the structure, dynamic, and nature of the psyche. Freud posited a tripartite structure with an id, ego, and superego. The id is that part of the psyche that is a cauldron of seething desires and wishes. The superego is the moral conscience. The ego mediates between the two. If we use this view of the psyche, then we can say that the psyche of these organizations have undeveloped superegos. They have little or no conscience. They have inflated egos and their id is on steroids. That is the psyche of a narcissist, sociopath, and psychopath. Without a corporate conscience, there is no compassion. There is only the desire to gratify the corporate ego and it is done with various mendacious means in a corporation such as public relations, advertising, and marketing campaigns and through their now-famous “shell games.” Philanthropic advertising is merely a way to deceive the public into thinking the corporation really has a heart. The corporation saves millions of tax dollars when they give to charity and this is always done at the suggestion of the corporate accountant. The advertising campaign with a heart is a ruse for a campaign for the corporate coffers. When employees give their donations to their employer (United Way, etc.), the corporation gets millions of dollars in tax breaks. It’s a PR and marketing sham to convince the employees and the public that the corporation is compassionate.

Most people have partially accurate understandings of narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissus was a Greek hunter who had disdain for those who loved him. He fell in love with his image in a pond and pined to death because he could not depart from the beauty of his image. First, there is no coincidence that Narcissus is a male. Just like there is no coincidence that Venus, the goddess of love, is a female or Diotima, the personification of Wisdom, in Plato’s Symposium is a female.

The masculine principle in Occidental mythology represents domination, separation, objectivity, certainty, and predictability. The world of these phenomena can only exist in a world of physical matter. Jung argued that the masculine principle is consciousness, mind or Logos. When speaking of a psyche, the rational mind is the mind which embraces the material world. The feminine principle represents receptivity, union, mystery, collaboration, interdependence. The non-rational, intuitive, unconscious world best represents this world. Jung asserted that Eros and the unconscious are feminine principles.

The masculine and feminine principles are ubiquitous; they have existed since time began and will forever exist. They are recognized in biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and other hard sciences. Although they are opposites, they are, paradoxically, complementary. One cannot exist without the other. When domination is a common force, the world, the psyche, and the cosmos is out of harmony, out of balance. Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching is perhaps the most eloquent, succinct, and brilliant renditions of the world of the feminine and masculine principles. They both are subsumed in the Tao which includes, yet is beyond, feminine and masculine.

Narcissus’ staring at himself in the water tends to distort as much as it informs. It is true that narcissistic individuals are self-absorbed and act as though the world revolves around them. But there is much more to this clinical personality disorder. Christopher Lasch in The Culture of Narcissism writes about the pathological Western society. I would argue that the psychosocial pathology is now leeching over into Eastern societies such as India and China. We should be very afraid.

Narcissism is a personality disorder in which there is a stable, chronic pattern of projecting the dark shadow onto others. Narcissistic personality disorder is marked by an inflated sense of self, a sense of entitlement, and grandiosity. Arrogance displays the sense of superiority. The person with this disorder does not have the capacity to authentically love someone. People with narcissistic personality disorder idealize people who give them what they want and then devalue anyone who inhibits their desires. Pathological mendacity is a means to achieve goals at any cost. There is no moral conscience, no sense of guilt or shame in wrong-doing that follows his trail of deceit, treachery, abuse, and the pain and suffering that his actions inevitably cause others. Blame is always externalized onto “other” (the victim). The rapist or judge who says “it’s the victim’s fault she got raped because she wore sexy clothes” is externalizing blame. The husband who beats his wife and says “but you made me do it because you nag me all the time” is externalizing blame. The CEO of a tire company who lies to cover up for his company’s gross negligence which results in thousands of people being killed due to unsafe tires is externalizing blame. In his book on corporate psychopaths, Hare cites how these pathological loons, when caught or charged for crimes, will blame the victim. This pathological mendacity and externalization of blame is now standard operating procedure for multinational corporations.

Hare and Babiak (2007) call the psychopath “a near-perfect invisible human predator” (p. 39) to emphasize how most people cannot detect the psychopath’s pathology. Researchers who work with psychopaths refer to the latter as “social chameleons” (Babiak & Hare, 2007, p. 38). The narcissist or psychopath sometimes does not have the communication skills to deceive, so they rely on threats, coercion, intimidation and violence to dominate others and achieve their objectives. But other narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths, present as charming and with a gift of oratory skills, saying all the things that enamor, fascinate, lure, and compel. Hare refers to the psychopath’s gift of “impression management” (Babiak & Hare, 2007, p. 38) and makes a comparison between the classic features of leadership (taking charge, making decisions, and getting others to do what you want) and the qualities of a psychopath. Hitler had these gifts. They could sell heaters to desert dwellers—and make them glad they bought them. This is what most of the CEOs of corporations are invested in—telling the consumers and employees what they want to hear. Here is the cycle. It’s about manufacturing desire in consumers so that people will buy goods and services they don’t need. The profits in the corporations soar so that the pockets of the CEOs and the 1% who owns the stock in these corporations will fill up more. This allows the wealthy elite to remain in power and the corporate elite to continue to pay millions of dollars in advertising to deceive consumers into buying something they don’t need (which speeds up the rate at which natural and mineral resources are depleted) and to exploit the employees who work in the corporation for ever lower levels of compensation and benefits. The vicious cycle just keeps going.

Corporations are invested in keeping people ignorant, overworked or apathetic or all of the above. Billions of dollars are spent on public relations and marketing campaigns which is nothing more than propaganda to be used as an assault on the Common Good. These narcissistic individuals tell us what we want to hear, not what we need to hear. What we need to hear would threaten the powerful elite—-the wealthy pathological masculine power structure in the world. As Hare rightly says, the social, economic, physical, and psychological damage done by these psychopaths far outweighs their relatively small numbers (1% of the general population).

People with narcissistic personality disorder flock to positions of power in corporations like iron fillings seek a magnet. The hallmark of narcissistic personality disorder, according to Joan Lachkar, Ph.D., in The Narcissistic/Borderline Couple, is the obsession with control, power, and perfection. The desire to dominate and control is a high. Serial rapists are addicted to the will to power. Sadistic killers are assuaging their desire to have control over and completely dominate “the other.” Interestingly, 87% of sadistic killers are white males. When the rapists in the Congo stick their penis inside the woman and gang rape her, then sticks a gun inside her vagina and fires, he is obsessed with power and control. It is not so much the sexual act as it is the will to absolute power.

When these corporations lie, cheat, and steal from the coffers of the public and then refuse to accept responsibility, this is a pathological system that is bleeding into every aspect of human life. It is the goal of narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths to deceive, dominate, exploit, and destroy. The shadow is projected onto the innocents. In wars where the goal is to steal another’s resources, the instigating country presents the people in the other country as less than human. Increasingly, corporations are invested in war to increase profits. When a handful of people at the top of the food chain live a life of comfort, ease, and luxury while the masses struggle with hunger, poverty, homelessness, and lack of adequate healthcare, the people in ivory towers simply project their shadow onto the masses by saying that poor people are “lazy.” I ask: Who is lazy? The person who is being exploited for their cheap labor and who works 6 days a week on barely enough wages to feed their family or the person who lives a life of ease and has no means to be productive? I ask you: Is it the rich or the poor who are lazy? And what does “lazy” mean? If that refers to the lack of desire to work insane hours per week (50, 60, 70 hours) and the lack of the shallow desire to amass needless worldly possessions, then many who have meaningful and spiritual values might refer to that definition of “lazy” as a good thing. I say the question to ask the lazy wealthy is: “How much is enough for you?”

This masculine psychopathological spectrum of narcissistic personality disorder, sociopathy, and psychopathy is the source of the dark, evil shadow that has always defined modern Western civilization ever since the dawning of the Iron Age in 1,500 B.C. when male warriors took over and destroyed the peaceful matriarchal society and devalued the feminine principle (Campbell, 1964). Replacing the worship of the feminine moon and the Goddess, masculine ideologies of the worship of the masculine sun and the male God dominated society. Science and its disdain of mystery, uncertainty, unpredictability, subjectivity—in other words, all things feminine—is a bastion of masculine ideology of objectivity, certainty, predictability, and measurability. The mantra of science is noticeably masculine: If it can’t be measured, it’s not valid, meaning it is not useful or even real. Aggression, violence, and war stain society; the fear, devaluation, and loathing of all things feminine (mystery, intuition, gentleness, kindness, compassion, rest, collaboration, interdependence, etc.) has become the fabric of society as a result of these male warriors.

I define masculine psychopathology as the split psyche which lacks the capacity for authentic empathy and love and which, through intentionally deceptive tactics, seeks to dominate, exploit, and destroy others as an obsessive means to have control and power over others. If you apply this to corporate ideology, it is chillingly appropriate. This masculine psyche can exist in both males and females. An apt example of a woman having a particularly morbid pathologically masculine psyche (we would call it psychopathy today) is the late 16th century Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory de Ecsed. She is called the “Blood Countess” because she kidnapped, tortured, and killed allegedly as many as 600 hundred peasant girls. She would bathe in, and drink, their blood believing this would make her skin beautiful and give her immortality. One particularly gruesome type of murder was placing the peasant girl in a large cage and hanging it from the ceiling of the dungeon. There would be large, long knives around the cage so that when the Countess gave the instructions to her servants, the cage would be tossed back and forth causing the knives to mutilate the victim in the cage. Standing underneath the age, the Countess would bathe in, and drink, the blood from the victim. Of course, there is “Bloody Mary,” Queen of England, who had a particular affinity for burning religious dissenters at the stake.

It is perhaps an annoying and unwelcome truth to males in contemporary society that the vast majority of people who have masculine pathology are males. These are only a relative few of whom history books have noted, but I suspect the names of every person—famous and not—are legion: Caligula, Attila the Hun, Caesar, Herod, Nero, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Vlad the Impaler, Napoleon, Ivan the Terrible, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Francois Duvalier (Papa Doc), Pinochet, Mugabe, Mobutu Sese Seko, Milosevic, and Hussein. Vlad the Impaler killed his opponents by impaling them while alive and leaving them for the public to view. Idi Amin had six wives. One wife he ordered to be murdered and dismembered. She was found in the back of a car with her head sewn on backward. If one were able to count all the males from the beginning of dawn who chronically abused their spouses, children, pets, and who murdered and raped indiscriminately, who knows how many would be on that list?

Lest the reader begin to think that I hate males, let me say I am deeply grateful for those males who risk much in order to fight the imbalance of feminine and masculine principles in the world. They are courageous, compassionate, loving, gentle men who use their power to defend the Common Good. The world desperately needs them and I honor every one of their androgynous Souls. But this paper is about exposing the dark side, the shadow, which stands against the Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.

Approximately 75% of the individuals diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder are males. The majority of individuals with paraphilias (pedophilia, pederasty, pirophilia, voyeurism, exhibitionism, frotteurism, etc.) are males. These are perverted minds. Virtually all people who start wars and who seem to enjoy going off to war and engaging in acts of war are males. Virtually all serial killers (psychopaths) are males. I always can recognize a male who has a tendency toward narcissism by the reaction I receive when I explain this subject. It’s the externalization of blame and the intrapsychic ego defenses that always give him away. It’s analogous to showing the man that his DNA results were all over the crime scene, yet what does he say? “That’s not me! Someone else who has my DNA did it!” I am reminded of what Shakespeare says: “Me thinks thou doest protest too much!”

Returning to the topic of corporate shadows, it’s not necessarily that these individuals at the top of corporations have shadows that are darker or larger than those in the lower levels or those who stand in opposition to the corporation although that certainly can be the case. Rather it is that the shadows these leaders cast have a much larger projection, a much larger sphere of influence because the millions of employees who work in them are paid (sometimes handsomely) to ally themselves with the psyche and behavior of the corporation. The corporation responds to the employee by abusing them (being ignored or demoted, given poor performance evaluations, terminated) if there is a failure to comply. Also, the corporations are now all in league with each other, more or less. “Thick as thieves” as they call it. Meaning that there are now thousands of corporations whose pathological psyches are all allied with each other—and that casts a truly large and pernicious dark shadow upon the entire globe and upon all life on this precious planet. Yes, it would be quite painful for everyone to stop the psychosocial pathology. We humans are, after all, addicted to that which is bringing about our own demise—material possessions. Everyone would feel it—some more, some less. But we would be unfettered from the malignancy that is spreading across the globe like a cancer eating at the life support system of the earth. It would take millions of people to stop spending money on anything that was not essential and start living a simple life connected to nature. It would require relinquishing some of the conveniences of life. We would have to buy acreage, grow our own vegetable garden, start our own community banks, and give up, among thousands of other things, SUVs, plastic bags, and bottled water. Did you know that Americans eliminate 247 million tons of municipal waste and 8 billion tons of industrial and hazardous waste every year? Think of how giving up consumerism would help alleviate landfill usage and the pollution that stems from them.

Since the desires and behaviors of these multinational corporations—and, yes, of the public—are threatening all life on the planet in the mineral, plant, animal, and human arenas, this issue of the dark shadow is no small or joking matter of which Jungian analysts are so intimately aware. Would that we could all be so aware.

Wanda Marie Woodward, M.S. is author of The Anatomy of the Soul: An Authentic Psychology which posits an original theoretical model of the Soul or Transcendent Psyche. She has plans to publish her next book, Malignant Masculine Power, which posits an original model of gender psychopathology and psychosocial pathology. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in psychology at Saybrook University. Her passions in reading are psychology, philosophy, spiritual transformation, gender studies, and social and economic justice. She loves reading, writing, gardening, and listening to classical and easy listening music. She can be reached at


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Anyone really serious about allowing Palestinians their civil rights?

What’s  going on in Lebanon’s Parliament this Summer?

Anyone really serious about allowing Palestinians their civil rights?

Franklin Lamb

Shatila Palestinian Refugee Camp, Beirut

Part VIII of a series on The Case for Palestinian Civil Rights in Lebanon

“Some members of Parliament  prefer that the camps explode and then they will insist that “Palestinian  security problems must be resolved before Parliament can consider giving them civils rights”—meaning several more years of delay.That would be a disaster for all concerned.”

‘Ahmad’, Resident of Al-Buss  refugee camp, Tyre, Lebanon

Following some initiial optimism after MP Walid Jumblatt’s June 15  introduction of draft legislation that would exempt Palestinians  from the Kafkaesque work permit process, grant them the right to own a home outside their oxygen scarce  ‘sardine can’ camps, and  allow them to  receive some  worker paid earned social security benefits,  progress has dramatically slowed .

During  last week’s Parliamentary  session Head of the Administration and Justice parliamentary committee, MP Robert Ghanem,  reiterated his request to Berri and Parliament for a two-month “rest period”.  Premier Saad Hariri called for postponing the voting  for “two months or two months and a half.” Several other members asked the same. Parliament Speaker Berri  quickly agreed and postponed voting on the subject until August 17, adding that  “…the law will not pass unless  it enjoys consensus among Lebanese parties.”

Some supporters of Palestinian civil rights see problems  with more delays and with Berri’s  “no passage of civil rights without consensus”.  What is meant by consensus?  A simple majority plus one, two-thirds or..?   “ Does it mean  taking no legislative action on Palrestinains civil rights unless and until  MP Jumblatt  can agree with MP Sami Gemayel-normally polar opposites  on important issues?  Others argue that Berri has no authority to require ‘consensus’ as it would likely mean any proposal will deteriorate into the lowest common denominator with virtually no rights being granted.  Under the Lebanese Constitution, a law passes when it receives one more vote in favor than against and what is needed for passage is not determined  by the Speaker.  Some in Parliament are insisting on  a straight up or down vote on bills presented on the subject of Palestinian civil rights.  If Jumblatts  or any other draft law  garners 65 votes out of 128 it passes.

A review of Lebanon’s Parliamentary history shows that virtually all  of Parliament’s important decisions have been made by a a straight up or down vote, not  ’consensus’. Surely one  very important vote was the one that took place  on  August 17, 1970.  The  Parliamentary vote  margin that elected ‘consensus’ candidate Suleiman Frangieh President of Lebanon  over Elias Sarkis was one vote, a result of  last minute vote  switches  engineered by Druze leader Kamal Jumblatt.   Forty years later to the day, August 17, 2010,  the  ‘consensus’  vote” on Kamel’s son Walid’s historic Palestinian Civil Rights  bill is scheduled for a vote.   A propitious  sign?  Enshallah!

Ambivalence has spread around Parliament despite two additional  measures  being  offered.  One was introduced in Parliament in early July by the  Syrian Socialist National Party (SSNP). This draft law most closely reflects internationally mandated civil rights for refugees  and of all the proposals to date  the NSSP draft is what Parliament should enact  to finally remedy  six decades of  civil wrongs. If enacted it would remedy the serial discriminations by successive Lebanese governments  since the 1969-1982, “Ayyam al-Thawra” (“the Days of the Revolution”) , when Palestinian refugees  had many more  employment prospects and benefited from  improved camp living conditions.  The SSNP proposal is a preferred “one package” solution that will avoid a protracted  piece by piece  process and would largely finish this urgent problem.

Faced with two substantive draft bills, the  right wing Christian  parties,  often at odds, have joined ranks with Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s (“If it were up to me I would grant Palestinians their rights tomorrow”-April, 2010) Future Movement (“Muqtaqbal) to slam on the Parliamentary  brakes.  All  the March 14th coalition  except  the Phalange Party have accepted this draft bill which currently  has the most support in Parliament  probably because it offers the refugees the least civil rights.  According to its sponsors, the draft must  be studied more before formally  considered.  A draft  being circulated  reveals that those refugees with a  Palestinian ID Card approved by the  Lebanese General Security can receive a temporary residency permit including a 5 year ‘laissez passer’ travel document but not the approximately 5000  non-ID’s who came in the 1970’s following Black September. Regrettably, this draft bill keeps the work permit  and only amends  Article 59 of the labor law  in order to  waive work permit fees for Palestinians. Nor does it allow participation in the 25 Syndicated Professions because it retains the impossible to meet  Reciprocity requirements.

Some MPs are dexterous in their efforts to limit civil rights granted to Palestinians.  MP Robert Ghanem, argued on 7/19/10 that work permits are good for Palestinians “because they  will preserve the refugee status of Palestinians in Lebanon. We fear that if we exempted the Palestinians from a work permit, we will drop their refugee status and this does not come in line with their interests.”  MP Ghanem surely is aware that being allowed to work is very much in line with the refugees interests and has nothing at all to do with “dropping their refugee status.” In fact they do not have refugee status as provided by international law.  That is one of the main problems.  Lebanon considers Palestinians  variously as “foreigners”, “special category of foreigners” and other times a “Palestinian refugees” without allowing them the legal rights that their refugee status warrant.

With respect to Social Security benefits, the March 14 proposal  requires that refugees pay into the Lebanese  Social Security Fund but allows only for end of service and a family allowance payment. Its specifically forbids sickness, accident or maternity benefits to Palestinian refugees. Without  health and accident  coverage the incentive to even seek a work permit wanes.  This ‘consensus’ proposal is more of a gesture than a solution and unless redrafted  remains  a bare bones proposal that will do little to  provide internationally mandated civil rights. Nor will it satisfy the  pursuit of genuine  rights among Lebanon’s Palestinians,  increasingly insisted on by the international community. Many Palestinians and their supporters are critical of this latest proposal and see it as offering  ‘a little something’ that  will allow its supporters to say, as one MP boasted last week: , “we will finally have achieved something for the refugees and anyhow,  how much more can we be expected to  squeeze from our flesh for  these Palestinians?”

No Enshallah please!   Just tell us Yes or No ok?

Meanwhile scores of Palestinians  protested outside Parliament last week as Palestinian frustration continues to mount in the camps over delays in granting civil rights. Parliamentary Speaker Nabeh Berri’s office when pressed for a statement  whether Parliament would take action this summer on the various bills would only offer a one word response:


As a foreigner  in Lebanon this observor has come to really despise the  Arabic word ‘Enshallah’.  True, it sounds nice enough  and  more likely than not it comes from lips with a smile, and the literal tranlation is good also: “God willing”.

However in reality, it’s a deadly and vicious expression that every guide book publisher on Lebanon has a moral duty to warn their readers about.  For the real meanings of “Enshallah” are:  , “probably not”, “almost certainly not going  to happen”, “forget about it fool”, or simply, “no way and go away!”  So if one is presented with the response, ‘Enshallah’, whether by the office of  the Speaker of Lebanon’s  Parliament ,  or  from someone you might be asking out on a date or trying to get something done in Lebnaon, or tying to get civil rights legislation enacted into law, one has a big chance of being disappointed.

In Lebanon’s Parliament,  about the worst thing that can happen to a members pet legislative initiative is to have it placed in “the Enshallah drawer”, meaning it is set aside for ‘Enshalleh’ considertion sometime in the  ‘Enshallah’ future.  Often never to be heard from.  Some fear  this is what may happen to proposals to grant Palestinian refugees  their internatioally mandadated right to work and to own a home.

Other reasons for Parliamentary delay?

Some Parliament watchers speculate that certain members  seek  to delay granting Palestinians  civil rights until the Special Tribunal for Lebanon hands down  expected indictments, concerning the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.  They calculate the STL announcements will dramatically increase Lebanese-Palestinian tensions.  Change and Reform parliamentary bloc MP Michel Aoun (Free Patriotic Movement leader), no advocate of any meaningful civil rights for Palestinians, is warning of a US ‘green lighted’  Israeli invasion of Lebanon if the STL indicts “uncontrolled” Hezbollah members. Others claim the main problem is that Lebanon cannot move beyond the 1975-1990 Civil War and raising in Parliament the subject of Palestinians brings up also many painful memories that most  of the confessions wish to forget.

While some political analysts in Lebanon think there is a chance that  Parliament may well ease the restrictions on the right to work, there is still strong opposition to granting Palestinian refugees the internationally recognized right to own real property or even a single home–an international right allowed in all other countries.  As a scare tactic on this issue the specter of ‘Naturalization’ is again raised even though it has nothing to do with home ownership.

If Israelis can buy homes in Lebanon why not Palestinian refugees?

There is no shortage of Lebanese politicians  who will explain why Palestinian home ownership is out of the question including the claim that  there is simply not enough land in crowded Lebnaon for foreigingers to be allowed to purchase any. Kataeb-Phalance bloc MP Elie Marouni  told his followers on Bastille Day  last week  “that the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon will never be naturalized  as long as there are Christian believers who  will sacrifice themselves for the sake of Lebanon. We don’t have the space.” His colleague and Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel warned the day before  that “granting Palestinians the right to own property would lead to their naturalization”.

Neither of these leaders, has  explained  why during  the half century (1948-2001) when Palestinian refugees were allowed to own property the question of “naturalization” was never an issue.  There was no problem. The fact is that the assertion that  ‘naturalization’  would be the result of a refugee family owning a home is  false and it is was invented solely  for the reason that it provides ‘raw meat’  for detractors who  basically  don’t want any rights for any Palestinians no matter what the facts are.

According to Lebanese Human Rights Ambassador Ali Khalil: “Fanning the coals of ‘naturalization’ is a recent bogeyman meant to scare Christians who already are nervous because their numbers continue to shrink.  Generally  more affluent than other sects, they are able to leave Lebanon for better prospects.  If Palestinians were able to work and became a bit more affluent many of them would leave also but that fact appears lost on those who prefer to keep them in squalid camps in Lebanon rather than  allowing them to work and perhaps move out of Lebanon.”

The ‘not enough land for foreigners’ claim is faulty on two grounds.  Regarding population density, in  Saida’s Ein el Helwe Camp, the largest of the 12 in Lebanon, approximately 90,000 refugees are tightly packed into less than 1 km sq. area whereas the average Lebanese population density is close to 350 persons per sq, km.

Foreigners buy as much land in Lebanon as they wish and can afford despite the ‘legal’ limitations for  foreigners of 3,000 sq. meters in Beirut and 5000 sq. meters outside Beirut. Foreigners regularly  ignore the “law”  and sometimes pay bribes to purchase whatever land they want and sometmes even citizenship.

Free Patriotic Movement leader and Hezbollah ally MP Michel Aoun is  calling for a new law to reclaim property from foreign owners in response to complaints about his voicing strong objection to granting Palestinian refugees in Lebanon the right to own property.
“We can’t issue a law that gives the Palestinians the right to own property, but we can issue a law to reclaim properties owned by foreigners,” Aoun  said with a straight face, adding that  “Christian parties didn’t act with prejudice when the issue of civil rights for  Palestinian refugees was raised. “Our stance is similar to that of the Phalange Party and the draft law would only be put to the vote of the parliament after being studied,” Aoun added. Some in Lebanon are waiting to see if  General Aoun’s  “No buying a little bit of Lebanon” law gets introduced in Parliament and what the US Congress and Arab league reaction will be if it does.

BayIt BeyLebnan?  ( Hebrew for ‘your home in Lebanon?’)

The Israeli-American  Likud banker and warmonger Irving I. Moscowitz, financial backer of the archeological tunnel in east Jerusalem and supporter, financially or otherwise,  of virtually all Zionist groups developing stolen Palestinian land including his  own  properties in Maale Adumim, Har Homa in Palestinian east Jerusalem and Beitar Illit is claimed to have moved  into the real estate market in  Lebanon.

Regarding occupied Palestine, Moscowitz has for years advised would be investors, (ignoring the Geneva Conventions and settled International law)  at Jewish only “real estate fairs” in American and European Synagogues :  “Your investment is insured, protected and 100% legal. You should consider strengthening your portfolio and Israel’s future!”

Moscowitz   is said to  expect competition  for Lebanese land from Lev Leviev, who the NYT refers to as ‘the missionary mogul”.  Leviev,  now the world’s largest cutter and polisher of diamonds,  also specializes in illegal real estate developments on stolen Palestinian land.  Leviev’s , Leader Management and Development, is currently building the settlement of Zufim on Palestinian land in the illegally occupied West Bank. When asked recently by Ha’aretz Daily if  he has a problem building on expropriated Arab  land he replied,  “For me, Israel, Jerusalem, Lebanon are all the same.”So are the Golan Heights. As far as I’m concerned, all of Eretz Israel is holy. To decide the future of Jerusalem? It belongs to the Jewish people. What is there to decide? Jerusalem is not a topic for discussion.”

Both tell associates that with their American partners, they are moving into the Lebanese real estate market which they find attractive. If true, Lebanon’s  Parliament might  want to consider using some of the extra time  they have extended themselves this summer, currently being  devoted to sounding the ‘chicken little sky is falling’ alarm about Palestinians wanting to exercise their internationally mandated civil right to own a home pending their return to Palestine.   Parliament should investigate  claims that “American” companies”, some with 100%  Israeli stockholders are buying up Lebanese land and using bribes to avoid Lebanese law.

‘Darwish’, a school teacher in South Lebanon explained this week what many Palestinains feel:

“My family home and property were stolen by Zionist thugs  in Akka  in 1948 and also our cousins home  outside Jerusalem. If you look at the current advertisement in Israeli newspapers,  (‘Darwish shows a copy of an ad he printed off the internet from that reads, “Own a little piece of Switzerland” which describes a quaint Swiss like scene, and it shows a bucollic vista that Darwish claims was his family’s village, now a Zionist colony.)  so you see this is my problem.  In Palestine our  home was stolen and in Lebanon I cannot own one.  Worse than this, it bothers me and my family that Zionists can now sell my land in Palestine to foreigners while as a Palestinian in Lebanon I cannot buy a temporary  home.  Israelies can invest their profits from our stolen Palestinian land  and they can build homes in Lebanon  and sell to other foreigners, but Palestinians can’t buy a home here.  We have heard that some of the same “American and European” companines that sell  our Palesitnian land to foreigners in Palestinian  now operate in Lebanon. One ‘Ameican’ company is reported to have 11 stockholders.  All of them Israelis”.

Parliament appears to be  ‘playing’ the Palestinians this summer,  as well as ‘playing’  the international community that expects more courage,  compassion  and respect for international human rights  from a gifted people.  Parliament   risks  degrading Lebanon in the process and its  leaders  should schedule a straight up vote  without further dilatory tactics such a ‘more study’ and ‘building   near unanimous consensus’ that appears designed to produce the lowest common denominator which means that without political will and courage  it will likely produce not much at all.  Regarding six decades of  annual calls for ‘more study of this sensitive problem’ there are already more than 30 studies completed just since 2000.  They unanimously conclude  what  nearly  every ten years old in Lebanon understands  needs to be done and  that is to grant  the internationally mandated right to work, to  own, inherit and bequeath  a home, and access to  some social security protection without further dilatory tactics.

Franklin Lamb volunteers with the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign and can be reached at

Palestine Civil Rights Campaign-Lebanon


“Failure is not an option for the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign, our only choice is success”

15 year old Hiba Hajj, PCRC volunteer, Ein el Helwe Palestinian Camp, Saida, Lebanon

Please check our website for UPDATES:

Franklin P. Lamb, LLM,PhD
Director, Americans Concerned for
Middle East Peace, Wash.DC-Beirut

Board Member, The Sabra Shatila Foundation and the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign, Beirut-Washington DC
Shatila Palestinian Refugee Camp

Gazprom Increases Gas Sales To Turkey After Turkey-Iran Pipeline Blast

Gazprom increased its deliveries to Turkey to compensate for gas from Iran

Gazprom has increased gas supplies to the Blue Stream to Turkey by 57% – from 14 million cubic meters. m up to 22 million cubic meters., announced today the press office of the Russian gas giant. Increased supply occurred at the request of the Turkish side, which remained without Iranian gas after the accident at the pipeline.

“The explosion at the pipeline that Iranian gas to Turkey, BOTAS company turned to Gazprom to double the supply of Russian natural gas pipeline” Blue Stream “to eliminate the effects of the accident” – the company says.

Earlier today in eastern Turkey on gas pipeline from Iran to which the country is available natural gas, a powerful explosion. The incident occurred near the town Doğubeyazit 35 km from the border with Iran in Agri Province.

The explosion destroyed several buildings, then the damaged section of pipeline on fire. As a result of interrupted deliveries of Iranian gas. The reasons for the explosion so far nothing is known – the authorities will launch an investigation only after the fire on the gas pipeline will be extinguished.

Advertising company BOTAS on 22 July 2010. amounts to 32 million cubic meters. m. Gazprom explain that Botas and previously requested an increase in shipments in excess of the maximum daily commitments. Gazprom in the presence of technical opportunities always went to the requests of the Turkish side, delivering large volumes of natural gas “, – said in a statement Gazprom.

Turkey is not the first year is the second largest by volume of purchases of Russian gas. In 2009. in this country have been exported 19.98 billion cubic meters. m. of gas. The first deliveries of Russian gas to Turkey began more than 20 years ago.

21 July 2010.

Source – RBC