Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Raining on Our Parade

The army finally wins at Nahr El-Bared, and the people "do" another March 14th to express their gratitude… Yet, in the midst of all the rejocing, there are some chagrin voices...

Boyscouts, Eh?

I do not mean those “Others” who claim they could have done the job “faster”, and maybe with less loss of life. For all the supposed decisiveness of their powerful armies, I doubt they would have seen such a display of gratitude… Many of us lost many friends, who sacrificed their lives to allow Lebanon this victory...

But we've been there before... In the face of some of the more asinine headlines, in the midst of all the rejoicing, I couldn’t help but feel that this great ticker-tape parade may prove to be yet another swan song… Much like March 14th, actually.

Swan Song…

Back then, we had all gathered for the same reasons people assembled today; to show the world, and our politicians, that we wanted a NORMAL country. A country with clean elections, a functioning set of checks and balances, a separation of church/mosque/synagogue/whatever and state, a strong army…

… You know; normal!

Back then, they misunderstood us, and they underestimated the depth of our resolve by resorting to their same old tactics. Today, they still appear to misunderstand us, as shown by their dialectic displays, and the many questions ignored.

Why Nahr El-Bared?

It is not clear why “they” chose to activate this particular camp.

I am not convinced that this particular “Fath-du-jour” had really been seriously planning to create a northern caliphate. For one, they did not appear to have been preparing for it when it all started, for another, the “brand” may already have a national representative

Besides, northerners have a few weapons of their own, and could have easily faced them off… And, since they are less keenly disposed towards a few of those who claim to “speak out in favour of Palestine” and Arabs, they would have shown Absi & Co. far less mercy, especially that some of those ninjas were actually fighting with their husbands

After all, it was civilians who provisioned the troops from their own private stash during the first days of fighting… This was quite a damper in someone’s negotiations

…Who sent Monsignor Fathi to Damascus in the first place?

Why persist in absolving Syria?

The Lady doth protest too much, and it is not clear why the Army commander had insisted in absolving the Syrian regime of this crime. The shortcomings of Hariri may have played a role in this, but for all Syria’s protests and media manipulations, there is much evidence to suggest that Assad & Co. had more than a secondary role in this.

Surely, “Mr. Unity” must know that our leaky border did not just allow terrorists through; for all the United Nation’s “efforts”, some substantial equipment still crosses into Lebanon...

… And much of it is Western-made

…Ah, those superior Western minds

Why did the other camps stay quiet?

There remains a troubling question; for all the Syrian need for plausible deniability, they could have “activated” a few other outfits… For all its “Sunni” problems, Syria still has some pull; surely, activating Sunni Palestinian cells in Shiite areas would have complicated matters?

Or is it hoping to buy itself an opening in the Western wall?

Damocles, party of 19…

I am not alone in my skepticism; far too many questions remain, raining on this parade. For all the display of sanity of us ordinary Lebanese, I am still fearful; after March 14th, came the betrayal

It could all happen again.

... This "struggle" is turning into a race to the bottom, and it just got started...

5 comments:

Hassan said...

good post jeha.
sadly, your fears are very well founded.

Lalebanessa said...

jeha, in our miserable lives as Lebanese there is usually little to be happy about. Take a time-out to relish this rare moment. Our happpy occasions are always all too brief and far inbetween, and must therefore be enjoyed to the maximum.

hani said...

Jeha said;" it is not clear why the Army commander had insisted in absolving the Syrian regime of this crime."

Maybe he insisted in doing so because it is the truth. After all we can assume what we want, but I believe army officials actually now the whole truth. And it seems that some of the truth, the part which they can reveal, is that Syria had nothing to do with these terrorists.
On another hand, it happened that I was in the presence of two individuals who's relatives where fighting in nahrel bared. One had his brother who is a "Mojawkal" captain (was injured later) and the other one seemed to be the only member of his clan (from sh7eem) that is not an army man. The latter named 4 cousins and relatives of his that where already killed in the fighting and maybe 10 more some injured and some still fighting most of whome are high ranking officers.
Both of these men who I now for a fact are 14M sympathetic (one ran for a post in the engineering union) agreed that army officials know for a fact the this group's support is not Syrian.

Jeha said...

Maybe La Lebanessa is right, but tempers like mine have been far too weathered by events to be optimistic. While I am happy at the victory, I cannot help but note that it was done without the contribution of large segments of the population...

Hani, you would have had a point, were it not for much evidence cited by many sources, least of all being Absi's training in Syria. Much of the hard evidence will go unpublished, however, for low political reasons.

At most,it may be proven that Syria did not directly provoke this incident. But it is clear to anyone with a functioning frontal lobe that it did set the stage, at the very least. It is still responsible for those "jihadis" that it is training and arming, not least all those camps in Lebanon that it had controlled since 1982...

ghassan karam said...

Of course we should be glad as La Lebanessa says that finally the home team seems to have scored a touch down, or at least a field goal but did anyone really expect a 70,000 man professional army not to be able to take on a few hundred jihadists that were penned down in a very small area bordered by the sea on one side? That , you must admit would have been unthinkable.
Yes we are glad that the nightmare of Naher El Bared is over but we must demand some clear answers to many questions. Whether some Hariri money managed to find its way to the coffers of FAI or whether their leaders were at one point helped by Syria is not the ieeue. We need to find out who supplied all the ammunition that was ammased prior to the fighting and whether these caches were replenished during the battle. We need to ask how is it that this seemingly extensive network of bunkers came to be in Naher El Bared and why did the bunkers become occupied by FAI? It is obvious that a few hundred men cannot in a short period of time aquire all these arms . and contro; all of these bunkers without the direct knowledge and dare I say even cooperation of many "civilians" in the camp. We must also wonder about the extent of fortifications in Ain El Helweih, a much larger camp that shelters even more politically diverse groups with known allegiances to various non Lebanese powers. And lastly we have to ask what has all the 100's of millions of dollars been spent on over the past years? I am not a military expert but most of the pictures that were published revealed an extremely poorly equipped army. Many of the equipment looked to be older than what is shown on MASH whose episodes depict the Korean war of over fifty years ago. Is it moral to send to battle soldiers without proper training, attire and equipment. And lastly we have to ask the most important question of them all: does a country such as Lebanon need an army ? If so for what purpose, at what cost and for whose benefit. I would much rather respect my international boundaries and international obligations and maintain an efficient ISF only. All the money allocated to army barracks, AA batteries, the urge to have an Air Force , modern tanks etc... is money that could be spent much more productively for the welfare of the state.