Adonis Diaries

Are the Lebanese expatriates weary?

Posted on: October 23, 2008


December 12, 2006 

Are the Lebanese expatriates wearier of the political standstill than the citizens?

            It is getting obvious from the numerous long distance calls that the Lebanese expatriates are extremely more worried about the situation in Lebanon than we the citizen.  Many would love to stick to their plans to visit their families for the Christmas vacation and most of the average Lebanese expatriates, who are sick and tired of the freezing cold and who lack the drive to compete and work 16 hours a day with no substantial financial results, would like to come back and settle for a job in Lebanon or open a small business while enjoying a familiar environment and social structure.

I guess that the foreign media are adopting the same scare tactics used by the government and its allies about a possible civil war and the disruption of the civil institutions.  We, the average Lebanese citizens, have full confidence in the rational behavior of the opposition and its commendable objectives of getting Lebanon back to self determination and away from the Occidental dictates on the ground that “what is good to Israel is necessarily good to Lebanon”, instead of our long term stability and security.  We, the average Lebanese citizens, have been living at best on the borderline of poverty for decades, accumulating over 40 billion dollars in debt, and still are not seeing the light at the end of this long tunnel.

Maybe it would reassure the expatriates that security, at least for the non-visible political personalities, is better than what they might experience in the foreign metropolises, especially their downtowns.  Anyway, a description of the protagonists and their objectives in this political standstill might shed some understanding of the benefits and advantages of this mass rallying and camping in Downtown Beirut for more than 15 days and nights by now.

            The opposition is constituted of three main groups; the first group is represented by Hezbollah (Hassan Nasr Allah) and Amal (Nabih Berri, the President of the Chamber of Deputy) and are basically of the Shiaa sect and have a strong hold on this sect because it is impossible for the government to find substitutes within that sect to replace the Shiaa Ministers who resigned; it might be conjectured that Hezbollah is heavily financed by Iran and Amal by Syria.  The second group is represented by the “Tayyar” of General Aoun representing about 60% of the Christian Maronites, the Druze of Talal Erslan representing around 30% of the Druze, and the Communist Party with a mixture of all sects; this second group might be conjectured to be financed by Arabic States at odd with Saudi Arabia such as Qatar and the Arab Emirates, though Talal Erslan might be supported by Syria as well.  The third group is represented by the Lebanese branch of the Syrian Social National Party with members from all sects, and the newly formed party headed by Suleiman Frangieh (Christian Maronites concentrated in North Lebanon); this third group might be conjectured to be financed by Syria and Libya.  There are fringe groups like the Workers’ Party, the Nasserites and others.  Although all political parties are financed one way or another by a foreign power or State, many do not necessarily follow strictly the dictates of their financial providers at the expense of the common good of the Lebanese citizens; at least, not all the time and not now.

It is very hard to contemplate a continuation of this alliance once the major issues are focused on secularism and a civil State that seeks to offer opportunities to its citizens regardless of feudal or sectarian affiliations, issues that maybe far in time as priorities. The problem of fair representation through relative percentages nationwide and based on party alliances is a sticky alternative that might require several upheavals once a democratic process is firmly adopted. The main factors that hold them united so firmly are based on the notion of self-determination from the outside Occidental dictates, a government working for the common good, clamping down on frauds and mismanagement of the treasury, having an open and frank dialogue with the Syrian regime, and an honest and democratic government representing all the major factions.

The opposition is backed by the military might of Hezbollah and the Lebanese army and a wide majority of the Lebanese; for example, the bulk of the Shiaas who actually represent 60% of the Lebanese population, 70% of the Christians, about 40% of the Sunni, and 30% of the minority Druze.  The opposition is the guarantee that another round of civil war will be avoided no matter how desperate the government wants to instigate fear in the citizen’s heart on the resurgence of a sectarian feud.


 The current government is suspected of treason to the State of Lebanon by encouraging the onslaught of Israel, weakening the Lebanese Resistance militarily and politically before, during, and after the July War and systematic financial frauds during 15 years of governance.  Personally, I think that a government that publicly declared that it had no knowledge or a say in matters of war is already not fit to be called a government and should have resigned immediately after the ceasefire.  I do agree with the definition that this government is constituted of Mafioso with narrow financial interests to its main backers and scared that it will not be able to come back once it resigns.

            The allies to the current government are also constituted of three main groups; the first group is the “Future team” of the Hariri clan, representing a majority of the Sunni sect in Beirut and Tripoli and some of the Christians forming the Kornet Chehwan leaders and the Phalange Party; it is financed mainly by Saudi Arabia.  The second group is the Druze of Walid Jumblatt, representing around 60 % of the minority Druze sect and financed by the Lebanese treasury and lately by Saudi Arabia and the CIA.  The third group is represented by the Lebanese Forces of Samir Geaja, representing about 20% of the Maronites and financed mainly by the Hariri clan, Israel, and the CIA.

            This alliance is united against the Syrian and Iranian influence in Lebanon, and the military and organizational might of Hezbollah.  This alliance has the sole hold on the economic policies and the spending of the National treasury among themselves, the preservation of Solidere and the “Future Team” interests, and the firm influence of Saudi Arabia, France, and the USA in the policies governing the State of Lebanon.  For some reason, Israel Vice President Peres had divulged that he met with a few Lebanese leaders during his tour of Europe.  These Lebanese leaders were extremely unwise, at this critical moment, to providing Israel the ammunitions to further frustrate any consensus among the Lebanese.

            The government alliance is supposedly backed by the interior security forces which has been assembled and reorganized quickly from their own supporters and officers but showing growing apprehension that the government is pushing them to the forefront without the backing of the mainstream soldiers; and the militias of Walid Jumblatt and Samir Geaja, who are being closely monitored and controlled by the Army and Hezbollah, are no match to the well organized army and the Resistance Forces but can cause havoc by their being infiltrated heavily by the Israeli agents.

            Colonel Johnny Abdou, the former Ambassador to France and the Army chief security during the Sarkis presidency, declared from Paris that the current government committed a deadly error by stating that it was behind the resolution 1701 when everyone knows that this resolution could not be adopted without Hezbollah strong support.  Actually, the European contingents would not embark in South Lebanon without guarantees from Hezbollah to its presence. Ambassador Abdou claimed that Saad Hariri created an unforgivable backlash from Syria and Hezbollah by wining big time in North Lebanon at the last election; Hezbollah counted on Hariri’s alliance wining at most 20 deputies but he instead gathered 28 which assured him a majority in the Camber of Deputies.  I think also that the other major error from this government alliance was to circumvent the agreements and alliance with Hezbollah during the last election and forcing a majority in the government and the Chamber of Deputies that could do away with the full participation of Hezbollah.

It is still possible that a resolution that maintains Seniora PM be worked out, but it will be for temporary urgencies such as Paris 3, a few local politics connected to the Constitution and Legality, the heavy pressures from Arabic States to maintaining a status-quo, and most importantly, because the army is not strong and steadfast enough in its unity to sustain long period of pressures without sectarianism to set in among its ranks.  I believe that the next election will wipe away this Mafioso gang and the true majority will emerge to set the tone for a long term political reality.

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October 2008

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