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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Nasrallah and national consensus

The year is 2006. It has been six years since Israeli soldiers completed their humiliating withdrawal. In those six years, the situation in Lebanon went to worse. The Syrian regime tried to consolidate its grip over the country, killing everyone who stood in its way, including Rafik Hariri and a slew of journalists and political figures. In 2005, more Lebanese than ever before realized that the Syrian regime is an equal if not bigger threat to their stability than Israel. Those Lebanese live in the present. They are aware of past Israeli crimes, but they are not so stupid as to ignore current Syrian atrocities.

Enter Lebanon’s living fossil:

Hassan Nasrallah, who has just received a fresh shipment of weapons via Syria, said that “the resistance does not need a national consensus to exist,” and that ”the party weapons are purchased to confront the Zionists who want to harm our nation."

He will continue to override Lebanese institutions until a “clear defense strategy” is formulated.

“Our resistance will go on until a clear strategy to defend Lebanon is formulated," he said.

And Aoun agrees with him.

Nasrallah added that the memorandum of understanding with Gen. Aoun demands that a defense strategy to protect Lebanon should be set forward by the Lebanese.
Nasrallah of course is bluffing the Lebanese people. Such a strategy, to be viable and sane, would have to involve the Lebanese army, not a militia. It would require centralized government control over war and defense matters. It would require a clear set of national security objectives, which would negate the existence of a “party” such as Hizbullah. Lebanon is not Iran, and defense matters cannot be delegated to a militia. We don’t need a Basij. Not even Syria does it this way.

Nasrallah’s defense strategy “does not need national consensus”, he insolently added (even though it has to be "set by the Lebanese"). But all other matters, such as an international tribunal to bring criminals to justice, the widening of a criminal investigation into ACTUAL terrorist attacks on the country—these matters REQUIRE national consensus, according to the Party of God. I mean Hizbullah suspended its participation in the government because of alleged “lack of national consensus”. And now Nasrallah wants to exclude from that his weapons. Correction. He never really cared about consensus. What with his constant derision of the “imaginary majority”, and calling popular speeches embraced by hundreds of thousands recipes for civil war.
Nasrallah warned that some of the speeches made at Tuesday's rally to mark to the first anniversary of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's assassination could lead to a civil war. He said that the language used by some speakers aimed at escalating the situation, in reference to Druze leader Walid Jumblat's comments at the Feb. 14 rally held at Martyrs' Square. Nasrallah called for dialogue among the Lebanese and considered Hizbullah's offer for unconditional dialogue a concession by the Shiite group.
This is Hizbullah for you. A civil war, in its dictionary, takes place when there is no dictator running the country and using it in a proxy fight against humanity’s alleged perpetual enemy, Israel. Dialogue with other Lebanese is a “concession.”

I have to give Aoun one thing. If it weren’t for his cozying up to it, Hizbullah would probably be in dangerously desperate isolation. I don’t envy him though. It must not feel nice to be Hizbullah’s buffer against the rest of Lebanon.

I just wanted to point out a nice article written by Elias el Zoghby a former FPM member in Kadaya Annahar on feb 16 2006. I think it deserves to be read.
No nation who would willingly sell its most vital function ;protection of the borders, internal security and electoral responsivness to a group of clerics intent on destroying its very existense desrves either respect or the right to exist.Some things are nongegotiable and the dignity of a civil society is one such thing.

As the readers of these blogs have known for months , the writer is a staunch opponent of HA, but the real tragedy is not the behaviour of Nasrallah who is doing what is best for himself. The unforgivable offence is the responce of the so called government to the challenge. It is time to call from the top of the montain and at the top of our voices, THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHS, but the emperor has a million followers.

Please post the link to the article you mentioned. Thanks.
Kais, why are you only demonizing Ha and ignoring the other armed and arming factions.

It is sickening to have watched Hariri hold up the hands of two mass murderers. Surely, there are leaders that have no blood on their hands for Lebanese to cheer. I find all of them distasteful including HA. They are prepared to destroy Lebanon to serve their mercenary ends.

All of us want peace and the disarmament of all the militias including HA. Tell me, who will protect the South, provide services and protect the leaders of HA from assassination by the Israelis. This gov't cannot even provide security in Achrafieh let alone in the South.

HA's arms are the symptom not the disease.

Those who want to throw stones should not live in glass homes:-)
The demonization ohf HA can not be overdone by definition. They are obfuscation, deception, doubletalk and democracy opponents incarnate. Yet I believe that you are right to suggest that the others are nether saints nor angels and thus must be also criticiced.
After making references to the above rational position you make a quick 360 degree turn to justify the existence of a government within a government . What is worse you call that only a symptom when it is charitably a cancer knawing at the Lebanese body politic. You cannot have it both ways.
I am not against the demonization of HA ,as long as the other Lebanese mercenaries are held accountable.

Did you mean 180 degree turn?


When a government fails or defaults on its obligations, what are people expected to do. HA responded successfully to the challenge of occupation and neglect.

Who and what is preventing the Lebanese army from going to the border and carrying out its obligations. What does the government fear.The government can easily win over the people of the South and the Bekaa with security ,defense, development projects and services .

HA is the sympton. The "cancer" is the sectarian Lebanese State and its weak institutions.

That is where our efforts should be directed.

Hey, let Nasrallah try my strategy. It only cost 1000LL, which is the price of a pen. Sign a peace agreement with Israel and enjoy the peace.

How come nobody thought about that?
Yes , Good idea Vox.

We have a right to demand billions in reparations for all the death and destruction they caused in violation of UN resolutions over the last 40 years.

They must also repatriate the Palestinian refugees that are in Lebanon and forget about our water.

Someday inshallah
I don't know if this link to the article still worksbut give it a try: http://www.annaharonline.com/htd/KADAYA060216-2.HTM
Of course I meant 180 degrees :-) (It has been a long day)
What is more important though is the fact that we are in agreement that sectarianism needs to be uprooted totally. But what befuddles me is your insistence that HA is a symptom of sectarianism and not the disease!!!! I would respectfully suggest that HA is at the heart of sectarianism. Not only that but it is the worst kind of sectarianism. It is a theocratic party established and run by clergymen, their main inspiration is a a leadership in a foreign country and they are ultimately guided by a universal philosophy that has no use for political boundaries , civil rights or democratic institutions.Actually, I can even visualize under certain circumstances a semi democratic but sectarian state but never a democracy with an HA like philosophy.

are you serious that a peace agreement with Israel will make HA an agent for democracy? I bet that you are not. HA and democracy don't mix.

One more remark directed at Issam. Technically the violations of UN resolutions by the Israeli side do not exist. I believe that all of the resolutions that you had in mind were Chapter Six resolutions. These resolutions are merely strong recommendations for the two parties to arrive at a settlement. They do not carry with them the threat of implimentation by force. The relevany Iraq resolutions and all the ones passed regarding the Lebanese issue over the past two years have been Chapter seven resolutions. I believe that all chapter seven resolutions have been implimented with the possible exception of one about Kashmir. The difference between chapter six and seven cannot be dismissed whenever one is forced to use the legal prism.Let me repeat, it is up to the parties to implement Chapter six resolutions but the Security Council has the power to use force in order to implement chapter seven resolutions. Syria does not have a leg to stand on against the security council.Israel on the otherhand, is under no obligation to implement unilaterally a solution that must be negotiated.

You are a genius. Seriously!!! why didn’t anyone think of that? except maybe that israel does not want to sign a (fair) peace agreement because it would mean the end of US financial and arms support. Or would you, as a right-wing Lebanese Christian, agree to allow all these Palestinians to be given the Lebanese passport? nah i didn’t think so, so what’s your solution to this minor predicament?

I fully share the worry from any religious based group. But what scares the hell out of me even more is what is reflected a lot on the blogsphere, and that’s the contempt being directed on a one-way street. I sense this continuous resentment towards HA is derived from them, among many valid point some that are not so valid, such as being a) Muslim and b) the so-called winning militia from the Lebanese war. I highly doubt that if the roles were reversed and that the LF or any other “Christian” militia held the higher hand now that we would be reading the same, above mentioned, chatter. To me this double standard is just politically correct racism.

And Kais, do you think that if HA is fully incorporated to the Lebanese Army and the latter does take full control of the Lebanese boarder. And assuming that the Israeli Air Force/Army continue their periodic infiltration of Lebanese air/land. That they would be able to sting the IAF the way HA did? Not a chance in hell, they wouldn’t even lift a finger and instead would play dead or might cry to the UN. Now to many that’s not enough, so say what you want about HA but at least their boys are willing to fight.
IC, give me a break. If HA was a right wing christian religious party with similar aims, I would be blogging their hijacking of Lebanese sovereignty as well. I am not stopped or driven by religious affiliation, and in any case, your generalization does not apply to me. But I don't want to bring my religion into this.

As for HA's boys being willing to fight what you characterised as a tough fight against Israel, I don't understand your logic. Guerilla warfare is usually employed under occupation, and when that ends, defense matters return to the liberated state's army. It makes no sense to create a parallel and independent militant entity, with political power and influence nonetheless, to wage its own ideological struggle against Israel, even if the majority of Lebanese view the latter as enemy. If there is sectarian animosity now, then watch it snowball and lead to civil war if one party continues to enjoy a right other aren't allowed to have, and shouldn't have.

As for the peace treaty business, nobody is asking for one, and Lebanon does not need it. There's an existing armistice agreement that can be revived. I mean if Syria is not willing to send its "boys" to fight, I don't see why we should. We have more than paid our dues. Any Arab leader who wishes to liberate and fight should do it from his own country's borders, using his own people.

You didn’t answer my question on what would the Lebanese army do but nevertheless I do not want to shift the focus from the internal power struggle that is going on in Lebanon now. This tussle is not being played clean by any party and we must acknowledge that. The March 14 alliance want the whole cake for themselves and are exploiting all this freedom and liberty garbage as the means to an end that has nothing do with freedom nor liberty. It is beyond why would anyone believe that, that monkey Junblatt is sincere.

When excluding all alliances; HA, remains one of, if not the strongest political entity out there. And since their basic needs (and their backers) are not being attended to by the current majority. They have acted as any cornered person would, and that’s to come out swinging. Aoun and HA are fighting for survival here and they are not willing to become marginalized without a fight. Their foes have strong western backers, so both parties are forced to utilize what (little) they have to stay in the game so I cant blame them.

And both feel that the March 14 alliance is a temporary coalition because they lack any connection other than their current detestation of Syria. In the long run neither HA & Aoun or Ga3ga3 & Hariri can remain buddies and everyone will go back into their more comfy, long-term strategic and (unfortunately) religiously similar partners.

My point of view is that if Syria committed mistakes in blatantly favoring certain parties without catering to others. Then the current power brokers should learn from that mistake and not repeat it.

And please spare me that regurgitated talk about the priority should be national interest because this is a war and none of these assholes cares about anything but their own interests. Only the average idealistic Lebanese does and unfortunately for people like you Kais, you are not fairly represented in your leadership… you need new ones.
A picture is worth a MILLION words....
Saad Hariri is flanked by Ge3Ge3 on one side and Amine Gemayel on the other, Junblatt nearby next to Neila Moawaawd ( she is always so happy to be right next to Junblatt ) because she still believes that the Syrians assassinated Rene Moawad.... while Junblatt is the real culprit here, ( but that is a long story for another day).
ALL these CRIMINALS , Junblatt, Amine Gemayel and GeaGea next to Kid Saad are a recipe for Disaster.
Stay Tuned.
Ghassan , just a quick note HA is the result of sectarianism inherent in the state not the other way around.

Since it cannot be established which has caused which then one must be opposed equally to both.
(At a paersonal level I am convinced that the Nasrallah philosophy was not created in reaction to the sectarian Lebanese situation. It is independent of it)
Ghassan , we are in agreement on your first statement. I think that you are wrong on the second.

The sectarian Lebanese state preceded HA.

There are some factors peculiar to the Shia that contributed to the rise of HA. The most notable being the Iranian revolution and its empowerment of the Shia throughout the ME. The shift in demographics in Lebanon towards the Shia and their urbanization are also significant factors in the rise of HA. Oh yes, lets not forget the Israeli and Syrian occupations.

Nonetheless, HA or another Shia equivalent would have been invented if it didn't exist. They had to counterbalance The Maronite Order of Monks together with their murderous offspring Mr. Geagea and their alliance with Israel. The Druze have Mr. Jumblat and his PSP "socialist" paramilitaries . The Sunni versions are now coming out after years in the underground.

How is HA independent of the sectarian Lebanese situation?

These sectarian mercenaries are all symptoms of a weak and diseased state, not to mention a corrupt political culture.

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