Talk:Communist Action Organization in Lebanon

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Lebanese National Resistance Front[edit]

Why there is not a single word about LNRF. The Lebanese national resistance front was a succesor of the Lebanese National Movement since it have broked in 1982, especially when Walid Jumblatt left it by forming his own PSP militia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:26, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Occupation of Lebanon[edit]

Soman, can you explain why you keep trying to avoid linking to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon article? Your reasons seem to keep changing. Jayjg (talk) 19:38, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

First of all this remains a side issue. The question is whether redirections should imply actual changes in the article text. COA was not forced underground as a result of the first Syrian military intervention, it happened at a later stage. Thus the wording "As Syria strengthened its hold on Lebanon, the COA was forced underground" is accurate. If the link to another article cannot be the text with that wording, then its better not to link at all. --Soman 09:20, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

You're not really making a rational point here. The Syrian occupation forced the COA underground regardless of when it happened, and you are removing a relevant link to the article describing that process. The fact that you had no objection linking to that article for months, but suddenly have an aversion to linking to it today, belies your claim. Jayjg (talk) 09:59, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

I accepted linking it, but not changing the wording in the sentence. If the sentence has to be changed in order to 'avoid redirect' (i.e. a cover for POV-pushing), then not linking is a better option. I suppose you are well aware that there are POV-conflicts at the linked article, and many (including vast sections of the Lebanese people) do not agree to the term 'occupation'. Myself, I've visited both Lebanon (under the supposed 'occupation') and Palestine, and I can tell you there is are, although the Syrian interventions in Lebanon have not been uncomplicated, lightyears of difference. In any case copypasting references from the 'Syrian occupation' article doesn't make much sense in this article. --Soman 10:04, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

You removed links to the article, and your personal experience does not trump what reliable sources have to say on the subject. The only reason the lengthy footnote was required was because you kept insisting that your personal views meant more than Wikipedia's verifiability policy. Jayjg (talk) 10:06, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Look, you are free to put the lengthy footnote at this talk page. It doesn't really make any sense in the article mainspace. --Soman 10:13, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

You seem to be arguing two different things; you say it's about the footnote, but you keep removing any reference to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon article, or any reference to Syria's occupation of Lebanon. Please make up your mind which argument you are trying to make here. If it's just about the footnote, then why not just remove the footnote and leave everything else intact? I think the reason is quite clear; you want to remove any reference to Syria's occupation as well. Jayjg (talk) 10:18, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

But it wasn't really the case that the 'Syrian occupation' was strengthened. If a country is occupied, its occupied. It does classify in terms of weak and strong occupation. The original wording is more accurate. An ever more accurate wording, however, is that the suppression of COA was due to worsening of PLO-Syrian relations. --Soman 14:15, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Soman is right. And Condoleezza Rice is not a suitable source here, especially when the point of view she is expressing is one directly contrary to the view the US had taken for most of the period in question. Will Wikipedia be expected to flip back to the non-occupation position the next time the US decides a change of policy regarding Lebanon will be in its interests? Palmiro | Talk 18:40, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Palmiro, you should probably comment on the Talk: page initially, rather than after 4 reverts. Also, you seem to be focussed on Rice, but the footnote quotes 8 different sources, including respected historians and pro-Arab writers. Please respect WP:V. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 18:50, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
In addition to MPerel's accurate comments, Soman is wrong; the Syrian occupation grew stronger, as Syria extended its military might over more and more of the country, and eventually destroyed the Lebanese army in 1990. In addition, your focus on Rice and "U.S. propaganda" is a red herring, as the footnote lists a wide variety of sources. Finally, you have no qualms talking about an "Israeli occupation"; you need to avoid double standards. Jayjg (talk) 18:59, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
There was never anything that was internationally recognised as an occupation, so it can't logically have grown stronger or weaker. And both Syria and Lebanon are Arab countries, so I don't see the relevance of a writer being "pro-Arab" or not, whatever that means. Palmiro | Talk 19:10, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I think the Security council resolution insisting they leave was pretty good indication of their occupying status. Anyway, WP:V trumps your opinions. Jayjg (talk) 19:18, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and regarding "pro-Arab", please explain how Robert Fisk writes "US propaganda", as you described it. Jayjg (talk) 19:34, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, SC resolution 242 uses the word "occupied". Does 1558? And if they were really an occupying power, how come the Lebanese government has consistently failed to ever use the term? Robert Fisk is not pro-US, but he is certainly extremely hostile to the Syrian government, by the way. And I think it is fair to regard Condoleezza Rice's statements as expressing a US political position. Palmiro | Talk 19:36, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
The CBC represents U.S. "propaganda"? SlimVirgin (talk) 20:28, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
As has been explained before, puppet governments don't call their puppetmasters "occupiers"; the Vichy government never called the Nazi occupiers "occupiers". In addition, the vagaries of SC resolution wordings are about geo-politics, not fact, and, as stated before, Rice was just one source. There are now 11 sources supporting this; how many must I add before you will be satisfied? Jayjg (talk) 19:53, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
If the Lebanese government is a Syrian puppet government, I recommend that you proceed at speed to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon page and correct the information that indicates that the occupation in question ended in 2004. Palmiro | Talk 20:07, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm not really understanding your point any more. At what point will you concede that WP:V trumps your personal opinion in this matter? Jayjg (talk) 20:09, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I thought my remark was clear. You appear to claim that what the Lebanese government says does not count because it is a Syrian puppet government. But the Syrian occupation of Lebanon article, which you have repeatedly edited, indicates that the occupation in question ended in 2004. If you feel that the Lebanese government is still a puppet government, why do you not edit the article in question to reflect that? Palmiro | Talk 20:32, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm still not getting the relevance; what does your Talk: page speculation have to do with Wikipedia policy? WP:V in particular? Jayjg (talk) 20:47, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Let's see, two edits before your last, you wrote: "As has been explained before, puppet governments don't call their puppetmasters "occupiers"; the Vichy government never called the Nazi occupiers "occupiers"." You clearly believed the question was relevant at 19:53 UTC. Why did you find its relevance so hard to understand at 20:09 and 20:53?
Something else you wrote in a previous comment, "I think the Security council resolution insisting they leave was pretty good indication of their occupying status." That was at 19:18UTC. Yet at 19:53, we read that "In addition, the vagaries of SC resolution wordings are about geo-politics, not fact". An interesting selection of arguments for someone who uses edit summaries to accuse others of inconsistency. Palmiro | Talk 20:59, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Palmiro, the point is that you removed reliable sources because you didn't like them. Robert Fisk's writing is not "U.S. propaganda." The CBC's material is not "U.S. propaganda." Any individual Wikipedian's personal view of reliable sources is irrelevant. Also, it's best not to leave edit summaries that indicate you have a prejudice against particular countries. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:13, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Palmiro, as fun as it would be to debate this some more with you, and show you exactly why the statements made were both accurate and relevant, I don't think this kind of back and forth is really helpful for clarifying article content, which is what the talk pages are really for. Jayjg (talk) 22:30, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

In response to the above point by an interested user, I will make the obvious remark that I am opposed to any country's official propaganda being treated as fact on Wikipedia, whether it be that of the US, San Marino, or indeed Syria. Fortunately, few attempts are made to force Wikipedia into line with Syrian propaganda, and therefore there is no need to take action against it. Palmiro | Talk 21:23, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Fortunately, your concern is purely hypothetical here, as no country's "official propaganda" was being treated as fact in this article. Do you have any further objection to the 12 reliable sources used here? Would you like me to find several more? Jayjg (talk) 22:30, 28 November 2006 (UTC)


I have protected the page to encourage a resolution to the current edit war. I personally fail to see any reason why the dozen or so sources cited should be removed, as they seem entirely relevant. Briangotts (Talk) (Contrib) 23:25, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

They are perhaps relevant, in the article that deals with the issue of Syrian military presence in Lebanon. It is unreasonable that half of the article on COA is eaten up by a series of POV-pushing references. Notably the collection of 12 sources are all of the similar view, whereas there would be possibility of adding sources contradicting these claims. --Soman 04:36, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
The reason the references were required is because you kept denying that Lebanon was occupied, so reliable sources were required to prove that fact. And a wide variety of sources have been used, from all over the political spectrum, which belies your claim that they are "POV-pushing", and you've never even tried to provide counter-references, just deleted valid ones. I'd be willing to take out the references, but you'd just insist on reverting the "occupation", based on "no references". Think of a different strategy besides reverting properly referenced and relevant information, and present it here; maybe we can work something out. Jayjg (talk) 19:53, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
I have unprotected the article. I recommend using ref tags; then, only create a footnote (with source) if something is disputed. Superm401 - Talk 03:57, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

As none of the 12 references given actually dealt with the topic of the disputed sentence - why the OAC was forced underground - I have located and inserted a reference from what I believe to be a reliable source dealing with exactly that. I have also used the words given in that source. Palmiro | Talk 15:59, 1 January 2007 (UTC)


Does anyone know if any abbreviation of the party name has been used in Arabic? Mash? Mashal? --Soman 16:40, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Never heard of any. The book of Hawi interviews which I've cited consistently refers to it as منظمة العمل الشيوعي. As you probably know, it's quite unusual to use acronyms and abbreviations in Arabic (unlike Hebrew). The only cases that come to mind where political parties use them are Fath, Hamas, and Fida (which is a half-English, half-Arabic acronym), and in all three cases the acronym used is itself intended as a name. I think most parties that are known by acronyms or abbreviations in English are known by either their full names or short versions of in Arabic, e.g. DFLP popularly referred to as "al-jabha al-dimuqratiyya" or just "al-dimuqratiyya", PFLP "al-sha3biyya", SSNP as "al-qawmiyyin al-suriyyin", Democratic Front for Peace and Equality as "al-Jabha". Palmiro | Talk 17:04, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, arabic abbreviation usage is a bit particular. However, JSh is used for PFLP, JD is used for DFLP and Hashaf is used for PPP, at least in graffiti. --Soman 17:11, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
True, but I don't recall coming across these in other contexts - not that I'm an expert on the topic. Palmiro | Talk 17:13, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Latest reversions[edit]

Soman, can you explain why you keep removing properly cited and relevant information? For example, that the organization is sometimes known as (also called the Lebanese Communist Action Organization, or LCAO), that the Socialist Lebanon Movement was "a smaller group of Arab nationalists and former Baathists" (not the ANM as you keep changing it), that in the spring of 1972 a large number of CAO members, who felt that neither the DFLP nor the CAO had committed sufficiently to "people's war", defected to Fatah? Your grasp on the facts of the group has not been great so far - for example you claimed it was set up in 1970, when it was actually set up in May 1971, you did not note that Organization of Lebanese Socialists was also led be Muhammad Kishli, etc. Why would you remove cited fact from reliable sources? Jayjg (talk) 16:22, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Regarding the date of foundation, both 1970 and 1971 are flourishing. There might be an explanation for this (often in the communist microcosm mergers take place in steps, first a unified organization is formed through agreements between leaderships, later a constitutive conference is held). Regarding Kishli, he was not removed. Regarding the Fatah defection it puzzles me a little. Did former CAO militants become Fatah members or did they align with Fatah (but being members of a separate Lebanese tendency)? I've not heard of non-Palestinians joining palestinian factions in the 1970s. --Soman 16:31, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Regarding Socialist Lebanon, my version reads 'The latter was a smaller group of Arab nationalists and former Baathists.', i.e. identical to yours. --Soman 16:33, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

My May 1971 date is quoted from a reliable source; your 1970 date is based on what? My source also says that CAO members defected to Fatah; what does your source say? My source also calls it the Lebanese Communist Action Organization, and specifically uses "LCAO" as well. Does your say that is wrong? Jayjg (talk) 16:49, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

First of all, regarding the name the issue is that LCAO is based upon an incorrect translation of the arabic name. It is not an abbreviation widely used, rather it is the choice of the individual author to use that naming. English abbreviations were not widely used by Lebanese factions in the 70s and 80s. --Soman 16:53, 3 January 2007 (UTC) [1] gives 0 results, [2] gives 284. --Soman 16:54, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

0 vs. 284 is not much of a difference, and at least I have a published author who uses that specific name and abbreviation. Here's another scholarly source that uses it: Also, his first name is given as both "Muhsen" and "Muhsin". Jayjg (talk) 17:08, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

When translitterating arabic names there are always a variety of possible versions. His name could also be Mohsen, Mohsin, etc. In a few cases there are established spellings in English media (like Saddam Hussien), and one can also argue that French standardized spellings should be used for people from the Magreb, etc. However, in the case of Muhsin Ibrahim, i don't think any of these standards comply. We simply have to arbitrarily settle on one spelling of the name, there is no version that is more correct than another. Regarding the name of the organization don't you think its a bit odd that there's not a single google hit for the arabic version of the name you're proposing? (the wide majority of articles simply use the name Communist Action Organization) [3] gives the official name of the organization in French, a name that clearly corresponds to the arabic name I'm using. Is there any backing that LCAO had been used anywhere exept as a reference amongst English-language scholars? --Soman 17:26, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm tired of fighting about this, your latest edits are fine with me. Jayjg (talk) 23:00, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Jayjg's edit[edit]

Jayjg's edit is problematic on certain accounts:

  • The name of the organization is clearly explained in the heading. The name is 'Communist Action Organization in Lebanon' (with original in arabic), not LCAO.
  • The same goes for Socialist Lebanon. The original name in arabic is clearly stated in that article.
  • The links between CAO and DFLP, as well as al-Hurriya, is already mentioned further up in the text. No need to duplicate.
  • The sentence "The LCAO allied with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, but in the spring of 1972 a large number of members, who felt that neither group had committed sufficiently to "people's war", defected to Fatah." is a bit odd. First, where the links between CAO and DFLP weren't damaged by this split right? also, who actually defected to Fatah? CAO members, DFLP members or people from both organizations? The sentence is confusing the way it stands now. --Soman 16:26, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
As one might see, I began editing this post before being able to read Jayjg's last post. --Soman 16:27, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Two points[edit]

  • The correct abbreviation to be used is perhaps OACL. see [4].
  • [5] mentions Beyrouth al Massa as the OACL organ.

--Soman 17:12, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Interview with OACL[edit]

[6], gives light to the viewpoints of OACL on the Lebanese National Movement, etc. --Soman 17:38, 3 January 2007 (UTC)


See [7] regarding OACL being founded in 1970. Also note relevant info on 1973-74 strike, students movement and role in radicalizing Shias. --Soman 17:45, 3 January 2007 (UTC)


a few issues needs to be addressed:

  • When did OACL set up its militia forces?

They started setting up their militia in April 1975, almost immediately after the first clashes (Ain El Remmeneh bus incident) that led to the civil war. Their militia was led by Nabil Hawshar, a member of the organization's central committee originally from Tripoli, Lebanon who, though Lebanese, had received military training in PLO (Fatah and FDLP). Hawshar later died in 1976 in Holiday Inn battle. The militia started out as a squad comprising a dozen of members called central emergency force and later progressively grew to include several hundreds.

  • Did the militia forces have a separate structure? A name, symbol of their own?

The militia was under command of the politburo and central committee. The military structure was emmeshed with the political structure. Leadership of the militia included politburo member Zuheir Rahal (who was expelled with Hikmat Eid and Mohammad Ibrahim in 1987) and central committee members Nabil Hawshar (who died in 1976) and Hasan Jaber (current politburo member of the organization and previous commander in charge of OACL squads that participated in Lebanese national resistance front against Israel).

  • What is/was the symbol of the OACL?

A red star with black hammer and sickle in the middle of it.

  • What is the role of the organization today?

Only about 150 active members remain in the organization today. The organization and its secretary general Mohsen Ibrahim are in a state of semi-retirement. They supported Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon in April 2005 (they had opposed Syrian rule since 1984) yet they did not openly join in 2005 the anti-Syrian Bristol gathering (which included the main opponents to Syrian rule) because they felt that this gathering is substituting allegiance to Syria by an unconditional allegiance to the US. Therefore the organization remained at the margins of the political scene the same way it had been since the mid 80s (specifically 1987) when it was forced to go underground by the Syrian regime.

--Soman 14:31, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I may be wrong, but I strongly suspect that the OACL no longer exists. I've certainly never heard anyone knowledgeable speak about it in the present tense. Rafaelgr 22:59, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

It still exists but it's marginal. They still have a politburo and a central committe that meets regularly. and some limited presence in some unions in Beirut. As I said above few dozens members remain, gathered around Mohsen Ibrahim who is in a state of semi-retirement (he was born in 1935, so he is 72 years old now).

Thanks a lot for the information. However, is there any written source, so that this can be added to article? --Soman 19:49, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately not, otherwise I would have attempted to edit the main article with this info. The last public appearance of Mohsen Ibrahim was at the memorial of George Hawi in July 2006 (organized by Lebanese Communist Party one month after Hawi's assassination) when he gave an acclaimed speech that received wide press coverage. In that speech he admitted that OACL and Lebanese National Movement under leadership of Kamal Joumblatt underestimated the sectarian divisions in the country in 1975 when it pushed its secular agenda and firmly supported military presence of PLO in Lebanon.
I would be interested in knowing more on the symbol and flag of OACL. The star and hammer and sickle would it look something like this?
The outside shape of the star looks like the first symbol you posted with black hammer and sickle completely inside it at the center like the fourth symbol you posted.
Or something like this, but with black hammer and sickle?
Or like this?
Or like this?
Kommunistiska Partiet.svg

--Soman 20:07, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

So, would this work? (image no. 5)
Image no. 5


An observation: The organization's main role was during the civil war when (1) its secretary general was also the secretary general of the Lebanese National Movement and (2) its membership boomed to several thousands. Yet you have only 2 lines on the civil war period in the main article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rocosto966 (talkcontribs) 21:10, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

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