Adonis Diaries

Did Hezbollah Make his Case?

Posted on: October 24, 2008

Note:  What were then called opposition movements are currently the government allies.

Did Hezbollah Make his Case between February 14 and March 14? What Case Does the Opposition Have? (March 16, 2005)

Since December of 2004, before Prime Minister Rafic Hariri resigned, I have been writing one or two political articles.  I had no inkling to have any of these articles published for lack of credibility based on the simple reason that the scarcity of my actions in the last 5 years could not enrich my profile to prove that I actually exist in this society.  I had though the urge to express my thoughts in this difficult juncture for Lebanon and the region.

I listened last night to a lengthy television interview with Hassan Nasr Allah, the secretary general of Hezbollah. The questions covered most of what are in people’s mind and the answers were candid, clear and pretty convincing.  That what interest the Bush administrations in resolution 1559 are the articles concerning the dismantling of Hezbollah armed wing and disarmament of the Palestinian refugee camps I agree fully with him.  That the heavy pressures of the USA on Syria meant to convince Syria on undertaking its bids in Lebanon I agree with him.  That the speedy troops’ withdrawal across the Lebanese borders is a decision of Syria to avoid any temptation to fall into the USA trap and end up losing Syria stability and the overthrow of the current Baasist regime is highly probable.  That the USA adventure in Iraq is in its final phase and cannot perform any better is palatable to me since most of the coalition allies have been withdrawing their troops in Iraq and the presence of any foreign troops in Iraq is no longer acceptable by the populations of the concerned countries.

            I have always believed that the only Lebanese political party to fear Syria was Hezbollah because Syria was the unique power in the region capable of dismantling the military wing of Hezbollah after all the attempts by Israel and the USA had failed since 1990.  Hezbollah must feel that a heavy load is off its shoulders and its political involvement in Lebanese internal affairs could become very timely and effective.  When Nasr Allah insists on dialogue among the different parties it would be a great mistake from the opposition forces to decline participation and stone wall any dialogue. Most probably, Prime Minister Karame will go ahead and form a majority government and get on with the task of securing the election on time.

            I argue that the only party to lose heavily from Syria departure is the Shiite Amal party of Nabih Berry, the head of the chamber of representatives. I can see this party vanishing under the Hezbollah umbrella. It is remarkable that the parties most to gain and worst to lose from Syria departure are Shiite. This is the largest religious sect that can also end up with one centralized political leadership to represent their interests.

            I agree with Nasr Allah that his evaluation for the necessity of organizing a demonstration in Riad Solh Square was highly important because the opposition forces have practically brain washed the population that all Lebanese have sided with the opposition stands and preconditions. Frankly, the mixture of the opposition forces is flammable and can explode the country with its chauvinistic and isolationistic tendencies. The dozens of Syrian workers killed in Lebanon were a clear message that the situation could get out of hand if the opposition is not reminded promptly of the real power centers. Contrary to the assertions of the opposition leaders I feel that the unity of the opposition will hardly last a week longer after the Syrian troops’ withdrawal.

 

If we analyze the composition of the opposition we can categorize it into 5 distinct groups. The first group, or Group 1, comprises the parties that symbolize the atrocities committed during the civil war and those who cooperated closely with the Israeli plans in Lebanon like the Kataeb of Amin Gemayel, The Lebanese Forces and the Ahrar. This group suffers from acute tunnel vision.  It considers that their undersigning of the Taef agreement was done under duress and never really believed in the application of this new constitution. The credibility of this group for what freedom, self determination and independence stand for is next to nil. They are the extreme in their isolationist and chauvinistic tendencies toward everyone except for what is occidental. Their practices of democracy and freedom of expression were lethal during their reign of terror in the civil war. 

At this juncture I can hear the loud voices of opposition leaders who might claim that any such criticism offer freebees to this weak and unpopular government.  That might be correct to politicians who have to take a firm position.  However, we can levy this same critic to writers, newspaper professionals and intellectuals who fail to describe and analyze fairly this unconventional political deadlock.  The last months gave these right wing political parties golden freebees to consolidate their political positions and spread freely their chauvinism and isolationism attitudes.  What these parties are gaining now it would be extremely difficult and expensive to extract from them when the application of all the articles of the Taef agreement are set in motion.

The second group is the Hariri partisans with a political line that is mostly of Arabic leanings, seeking the unity of all the Lebanese with an open Lebanon to the Arabic World affairs and they have a specific mission of discovering the assassins of Hariri and maintaining a ultra liberal economy. The third group composed of the Walid Jumblatt’s socialist party is ready to associate itself with the Hariri group, though it has been badly tainted during the civil war. Deputy Jumblatt, who is the main opposition leader, adopted the Taef agreement as the basis for dialogue with Hezbollah. The fourth group includes the intellectuals associated with a few members of the Kornet Chehwan gathering such as Nassib Lahoud and Samir Frangieh. Group 4 is close to the Hariri line but rely heavily on the Maronite Patriarch stands.

Group 5 represents the partisans of General Michel Aoun who refused to undersign the Taef agreement.  This group is the only opposition group from its inception and did not share the booties of the after civil war as all the other groups did.  I suspect the Aoun’s partisans are close to the Hariri partisans in their thinking but their hearts are not pro Arabic and very volatile when common interests with Syria are discussed. I believe groups 3 and 4 would readily align with the Hariri group positions not only on political affinity but mostly for financial support.

There are four other political groups aligned with the Hezbollah positions. The so called third force headed by former Prime Minister Salim Hoss insists that constitutional institutions resume their function and wants a stop to the demonstrations’ craze. The partisans of Suleiman Frangieh, a Maronite warlord in the north of Lebanon, are totally and unconditionally relying on Syria support.

             There are only two historically non sectarian political parties and strongly entrenched in all parts of Lebanon; mainly the communist party and the Syrian National Social party (SNSP).  The communist party was never invited to take part in any government and failed to take side for either the opposition forces or the Hezbollah gathering. It organized a twenty thousand strong demonstration on a Sunday. The communist party is about to be splintered one more time under this emotional climate because many of its leaders demanded to take a clear side at this junction, preferably for the opposition forces.  This party is welcomed to either side once it makes a decision.

The SNSP has deputies and participated in all the governments since 1991 with one minister out of thirty each time. It failed to galvanize the people on any issue and was practically marginalized.  The SNSP was staunchly against the entering of the Syrian troops into Lebanon in 1976 but has eventually delivered all its cards into the Syrian regime since then.  No side is about to accept this party at this junction and probably it is the only party that practically isolated itself from Lebanon of the future.

The communist and SNSP parties, the newly formed Democratic Left party, the partisans of Najah Wakim and the workers syndicates should naturally form a common front at this juncture. Unfortunately, their leaderships are conservative old guards and will fail to catch the momentum.  It is a fact that the application of all the articles in the Taef agreement will require a vast secular polarization that will be missing in our sectarian and feudal political fabric.  The light at the end of the tunnel is not about to shine any time soon.

What the opposition forces will have in common after Syria withdrawal? May be the common denominators would be the demand to find the assassins of martyr Hariri and the resignation of the heads of all intelligence and security agencies.  Their social programs are non existent and the application of all articles in the Taef agreement will become a serious point of dissension. What the other forces will have in common? May be demanding also to get to the bottom of the truth of who assassinated Hariri.

            The way I see it, after the Syrian withdraw from Lebanon, the political parties will sort themselves out into two main groups. The minority groups of the Lebanese Forces, the Ahrar, the Kataeb of Amin Gemayel, a few of Kornet Chehwan members and the main group of General Aoun will be raising the banner saying:

                        We want the Truth. Who Assassinated Hariri?

                        We are the freedom, self determination and independence fighters.

                        We demand the total application of resolution 1559.

All the remaining political parties will be raising the following banner:

                        We need the whole Truth.  Who assassinated our martyr Hariri?

                        Who is trying to assassinate our national unity?

                        Who is trying to kill the Taef agreement?

 

Note: As long as Israel is occupying lands in Lebanon and the US refuses to pressure Israel to desist waging offensive military campaigns then Hezbollah case stands!

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adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2008
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