The battle in Nahr El-Bared is more than a firefight between the Army and some crazed lunatics. The army may be winning at great cost, and Mr. Jibril and his retinue may join in the fun, and this may escalate further as the recent bombings demonstrated.
But this is not the worse of it…
This is no mere grandstanding; ever since the advent of the Ottoman Tanzimat, the deep conflicting currents within the Arab world have always surfaced in
The aspect that concerns us today is the immediate events unfolding in
Our immediate context is
In this context, the tribunal issue is the culmination of a fight between Progressives and Conservatives. This is not a straight forward fight; neither are the progressive all on the side of “White Arabism”, nor are the conservatives all Nasserite “Black Arabists”. The stakes will not change, but many parties will switch sides as the sectarian rapport de force is adjusted after the dust settles.
For this reason, we have to add an “in between” Lebanese camp. Its members will either serve useful idiots or become great heroes, depending on the timing of their actions, and the support they get.
“Promoting or favoring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods”.
Many forget that Aoun’s partisans were the first progressives, yearning to break the “order” established by the
Their conversion had started after the 2000 Israeli withdrawal, the sole purpose of Hezb’s “resistance” became (for optimists) its own self-perpetuation, reinforced by its own social network, the party was taking over the country… As
“Promoting or favoring progress toward [what one considers are] better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods”.
To many conservatives, the established order is nice; this is why the French CGT likes Segolen, and why Hezb likes Syria… They were doing well, thank you; to them, “progress” is a matter of perspective.
In Lebanon, thanks to the “Free World’s” complacency and short-sightedness, a new regional order has emerged, under the extortionist yoke of all the lowlifes whose only skill is playing Quislings, or committing murder and making mayhem.
Things are changing now. Initially, the Syrians had a measure of support within the House of Saoud and the British. Their Quislings drew much solace from it, but it all blew away when the bomb that killed Hariri;
The Syrians may be on their way to losing the “Palestinian” lever, at great cost to braver nations as both the Palestinians and Lebanese are set to suffer. Its renunciation of Fath Al-Islam may become more than mere rhetoric when/if the Lebanese Army is done with them.
Those in Between
The “in-between” here would be mainly Aoun and the Palestinians. Understandably, some would be excused to add Joumblat, our national chameleon champion, but he is merely an excellent indicator of the direction of the political winds… It is a fool that opposes the storm; statesmen bend and wait for better times.
Today, Aoun finds himself among the “useful idiots”. Whether it is due to a spiteful personality or sheer stupidity, he has little justification. He is right in pointing out the intelligence failures. He is also right in pointing out that the current government had, within it, some of the elements that made possible today’s current morass. But he is wrong on the fundamentals, he far too readily forgets that much of it is due to his new partner’s continuing hold over some security services, their sabotage of others, their infiltration of the armed forces, and their role in bringing about the current mess.
The Palestinians are still playing a swing role; for all the support they have given the Lebanese Armed Forces, many of their “men on the ground” remain dubious at best. They have their own safety to worry about… It is true, however, that the Army’s operations show a worrying lag of planning and vision. It is also true that we Lebanese share the blame for the sorry lot of our Palestinian brethren, having restricted them to camps and forbidden them from (officially) working.
But it also the fact that their leaders have contributed much to the current morass. Arafat S.à.R.T.L, held sway over
What Does it all Mean?
Until the next (real) Tsunami, that is…
When it comes to the immediate problem at hand, I am not sure whether it is too late for integration.
And who were the dead men I saw yesterday, perforated by bullets, partly torn open by grenades? Silent testimony is all we receive from the dead. One of them had big eyes above his fluffy beard, eyes which stared at us and at the police who jeered at his corpse. I wonder if they will not come to haunt us soon. And if we will discover what lies behind this terrible day in
One can never be certain as to the future impact of immediate events. But one can be dead certain of what immediate actions are needed; the best we can do is stick to first-principles, regardless of the “short-term” rewards...
In this case, I am damn sure it is too late to ask the Lebanese to give a hoot, or to demand our armed forces exert restraint. And I am dead certain that traditional half-measures, are the last thing we need. I am also dead certain that a repeat of 1973, no matter who “engineered” this one, will only usher in another 1975;
And it would be deservedly so…