Saturday, November 24, 2007

Digging in...

Truth is the first casualty of war…

Serial Victim

Truth is also a serial victim of politics, and in particular of this failed election. In the absence of a president, the country only formalizes the vacuum of the past few 15 years.
Yes, we had presidents and governments for a while, but since 1990 at least, they were more mostly pawns, moving to Assad’s will. The situation did not improve much after 2005. Because of internal divisions and residual Syrian influence, local politicians upgraded themselves to benchwarmers, with little power to affect our destinies; they could only exert their nuisance and exercise their kleptocratic skills.
This Friday’s expected fiasco had at least one positive outcome; the Syrians did not get what they wanted.
Proximate Causes

There is little need to demonstrate that the proximate cause for this failure is Syrian interference and French incompetence. For all his professed love of Lebanon, Kouchner did little but to stiffen the Assad clan’s resolve to face the “free world”. And only the prospect of a seat at the Annapolis conference may have stayed their hand.

For now… lest one think they can be parlayed into growing a decency organ, the fact remains that Assad can only afford a puppet in Lebanon, because of the bad example we give “his” people… But this is not the entire picture.

The fact also remains that the “free world” would be willing to give Syria what it wants, provided it takes care of a few loose ends for them, such as Hezb…

Why else would the French try so hard, and compromise the Tribunal?
Why else would the Italians have been so conciliatory?
Why else would the United States have tolerated Israeli aggression?

Underlying Causes

Why? Simple; because the underlying cause remains; it is not merely Lebanon which is on the table. It always was. This time around, the main target is Hezb and, through it, one of Iran’s pressure points on the West. For all their professed interest in our well being, Lebanon and its democracy are secondary to the Western powerbrokers.

Local politicos postponed taking a decision till after the Annapolis Conference, in the hope that the waiting game will benefit their side.

But they are not alone; the Syrians may be hoping that time is on their side, and have thus stayed the hand of their Pinocchio. They must have had a strong reason for doing so, and letting this card go.

Something more than a seat at Annapolis...

Let’s hope the Syrians do not get what they want. Or that they are too far gone in Iran’s orbit to reach escape velocity now.

This however, will only be for the (proximate) sake of Hezb. For the (ultimate) sake of Lebanon, and its secular potential, we need to have more tangible things to rely on than our enemies’ mistakes.


Jay said...

The way i see it Israel, particularly their powerful lobby here, doesn't want to see the Assad regime done with. Israel basically standing up to everyone else for some odd reason given that Syria supports Hamas and HA, right?

Even with Jumblatt's last visit to the US in the hope of trying to convince the US that they can't and shouldn't deal with the Syrian tyrants his efforts were blocked by the powerful Israeli lobby. With Condi rather than Chenny mostly in charge now don't expect much from the US.

The most recent air strike on Syria was the final nail in the coffin for convincing the Syrians that they have to deal with Israel, on Israeli terms, to save their ass. So they're going to attend the conference, and some kinda of assurances were given. Already some noise is being made about a rift between Hamas and Syria.

Also Lahoud's and HA's hallow threats went no where, courtesy of the Israeli carrot, not any French initiative...

It seems that Israel would rather deal with a tyrant Syrian regime versus the alternative of who knows what. Off course, chocking HA and Hamas and isolating Iran is not a bad deal for practically everybody else.

In the end, Lebanon will fair well out of this. Though the international tribunal will be watered down further, with M14 getting 'guarantees' rather than justice in exchange for getting Assad off the hook.

My two cents worth...

Jeha said...


I agree with those "two cents" of yours; you put it clearer than the entire post. I hate to agree with your comments, however, because I fear that such attitudes only stoke greater trouble for the future. In the presence of a genuinely free Lebanon, Syria's natural evolution would be to move away from dictatorship. I fear that any guarantees Syria may get will come at the expense of Lebanon, if not immediately, at least in the long run.