Monday, March 06, 2006

A Marketplace for Regional Conflicts

How can the national dialogue succeed when the participants are intrinsically linked to regional and international powers?

It is obvious that Hezbollah will not relinquish its weapons or its monopoly on war and peace with Israel. Hezbollah's weapons serve not only its community but also Iranian and Syrian interests.
After all, besides the religious link, Iran supplies its weapons and over US$500 million dollars in cash and Syria gets the weapons to their destination.
If Hezbollah was truly Lebanese it would say that it will give up its weapons when the Lebanese army decides that it can take over the South's security, but that is not the case.
Instead Hezbollah leaders are saying that their weapons are sacred and that they are the only party with the truth.
President Emile Lahoud and the ever-interfering Bashar Assad are their main allies.

On the other hand, Saad Hariri, Walid Jumblat and Samir Geagea represent the backers of UNSC resolution 1559. Hariri, like his father before him, does not take clear stands and leaves Jumblat and Geagea to do the confronting. And like Hezbollah, the March 14 coalition thinks that the truth is on its side. Jumblat made it clear that he will not barter the president he so much despises with the recognition of Hezbollah's right to bear arms. After more than 28 years on the wrong side, Jumblat is finally right but confronting Hezbollah will probably lead to a new civil war.

The third party, Michel Aoun, is interested in one thing only and that is to become president. And this unquenchable thirst of his is leading him to join whatever side promises him Lahoud's place. In 1989 he allied himself with the Iraqis when both the Syrians and the US blocked his path and today he is joining the Iranian bandwagon.

Whether in public speeches or in secretive conferences these facts are not going to change. Lebanon will remain a marketplace for regional conflicts.

This is why the dialogue that has been going on since last Thursday is not going to be the success that the Lebanese have wished for.

The best possible outcome of the talks will be something very uninspiring. All sides will probably say that they want the truth, they want a dialogue with the Palestinian militias concerning their weapons and that further dialogue is needed concerning the Shebaa Farms, Hezbollah’s weapons, the President and the relations with Syria.

And a few days later the fiery speeches will resume until the next talks, until the next bomb or until there is a clear winner or loser in the regional conflict opposing the US and its allies to Iran and its allies. Meanwhile, more and more Lebanese will emigrate and the remaining will get poorer and poorer.

It is unfortunate but it seems that Lebanon is a prisoner of its history. I sincerely wish that I am wrong.

Honoray Garbage Collector

Jumblat once said that he would rather be "a garbage collector in New York than a leader in Lebanon", maybe he would get that honour after his meetings with Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz in Washington DC today. Maybe he can employ me as his deputy and take me away from this mess.


Blogger AbdulKarim said...

Excellent post.

07 March, 2006 00:59  
Blogger Edward Ott said...

very nice i really like you statement "prisoner of history" that is great.


08 March, 2006 16:46  

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