Friday, September 22, 2006

Imagine... Lebanon

Imagine there’s no Country

The root of Lebanon’s current problem appears to be that there is no one left to rule the country. In the internal mess the country is in, each man is on his own; within each ministry and security forces, there are separate lines of command and control.

The interior ministry is divided, and the Army left to direct traffic, as each officer tries to consolidate his base. There is even a low level war already brewing among the different factions; witness the recent assassination attempt against the guy in charge of coordinating all the different factions.

I think this is symptomatic of a larger, deeper issue in Lebanon; Lebanon has no government. And this one is the best we’ve ever had since the 1990’s.

I am not even sure that there is a Lebanon anymore.

Nothing to kill or die for?

For some, the problem is all the inconsequent actions of those who claim March 14, for others, it is their lack of spine, or direction, or both. The last hope remains the Diaspora.

It is not exceptional to rely on an outside pressure group. In our case, Syria was kicked out thanks to the tireless pressure of Diaspora lobby groups, coupled with the "softer", but unrelenting effect of all those Lebanese exiles that got Syria out.

But you need an "inside guy" to get Lebanon back in.

And no religion too…

As usual, each to his own; some call themselves March 14, but it is a long time that the people who made March 14 possible disavowed those incompetents. We’re back to the sectarian politics we so despise.

Nasrallah emerges from hiding, flush with his "victory", to herd the Shiites towards Iran, Saad tries to control the unruly Sunnis with Saudi blessing. The Druze are moving to circle the wagons around Walid Beyk. Only the Christians remain leaderless; while Aoun is discredited, Geagea remains a poor substitute.

In the absence of real ledership, the only hope remains the nebulous Diaspora. But it needs an “inside guy” to extert its power. Some thought that inside guy was Aoun; he has proven to be at least a disappointment, at best a betrayal. That guy is a lost cause, no more representative than Geagea; were the head of the LF no so hated, Aboul'Mich would be long gone...

As long as the Diaspora does not have an "inside guy" to give substance to its actions, there will be no Lebanon. And since abhors a vacuum, we have today this odd creature of a government in its stead.

Imagine all the people…

Unnatural beasts, however, cannot last; the country, already very small, is literally falling apart; faced with the prospect of continuing the status quo, or go on their own, many will prefer to go on their own.

This will take either of 2 forms; either they will go to their own "canton", or they will add to the Diaspora.

There could be many triggers, but I do not think too soon; the partners of such a macabre dance will need time to organize in the face of a Hezb on steroids. A tall order indeed; When it comes to number of people, the forces are equally matched, but on the military side, even if they wanted to, how would they train to match Hezb proficiency?

Depending on the logistics, the coming presidential election may either be a trigger, or it may delay matters a little. It would be ironic if those incompetents who rule us were to renew Lahouss’ mandate, unless they agree on some damp squid to replace him.

The current cold war with Hezb may then erupt into a full war.

Sharing All the… Oh, Heck

This new war could have a unique dimension; the other one was sectarian, this one will be even more so, Yugoslavia-style.

Who said humans would stop evolving?

Shiites increasingly identify with the supreme leader… When each “Volk” want their own “Reich” under their own “Führer”, it would turn to be an ugly, genocidal fight.

The UNIFIL, in that case, would only serve to keep the neighbours out while the children kill one another.

Or to keep the conflict from spilling over to the neighbours.

Or to serve as target practice for budding militias…

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