Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Taef Agreement

Is Lebanon ripe for another civil war round? Politically yes, militarily not yet…

You may first read

The strongest indicator for a coming civil war, in a confessional political structure, is when every religious sect is divided on its leading political representatives. A civil war is the preferred mechanism to unite the clergy and various warlords around a unique leader to represent the religious sect…

The previous civil war (1975-91) was mainly internal wars within each religious sect for political hegemony over the entire sect, representing its confessional rights and speaking in its name.

The internal war in Lebanon started as a mass civil disobedience against a political system that refused to reform…Before it transformed into a major and lengthy civil war…

The previous civil war ended when almost all religious sects resolving their internal political struggles and were ready to talk with the other religious sects as a unified front.

Only the Christian Maronite sect was still politically divided on its leadership and kept resuming the armed confrontation while the other sects were “reforming the Constitutions” in Taef (Saudi Arabia) and dividing up the political power, appointing the public servants in the administration, and budget…

After the Taef agreement, the Moslem Shia sect elected Nabih Berri (Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies) to be their political representative within this confessional structure, though Hezbollah had secured the military power behind the sect and the unifying force for the sect.

Berri was the main Syrian representative (agent and still is) in Lebanon, while Hezbollah the representative of Iran’s ideological reflection.

Rafic Hariri, was the Sunni leader and the representative of Saudi Arabia political ideological and interests in Lebanon.

During the Syrian mandate of Lebanon up to 2005, Rafic was forbidden to visit Tripoli and the norther part of Lebanon, predominantly Sunnis. After Rafic assassination and the withdrawal of the Syrian troops, the Mustakbal movement (the Hariri clan party) managed to gain an aura in the north, not commensurate to the promises it failed to deliver during election periods…

The Maronite had no exclusive powerful political leader, and was represented by the assigned and unknown President of the Republic Hrawi (put forward by Syria Hafez Assad). The General of the army and Prime Minister Michel Aoun was forced into exile to France for 15 years. Samir Geaja (head of the militia Lebanese Forces) was sent to jail for 11 years…

Samir Geaja was the only militia warlord to be incarcerated. All the other warlords enjoyed appointments as ministers and deputies after the war…and were allocated secret “money boxes” to be spent on their associates and fattening their stashed away finances…

Geaja can be considered the worst political and military warlord failure for the duration of the war: He never won a war and failed to reap any political advantage…

The emerging front triumvirate of Berri, Hariri, and the President of the Republic divided up the treasury of the State and allocated the budget into personal Financial Boxes to spend on their respective regions…and a sizable portion of the budget and commercial dealing diverted to the coffers of the Syrian regime and their oligarchs

The Druze leader Walid Jumblat was allocated the “Displaced Box” of the Christians who fled the Shouf district during the war and who never returned, not yet…

Nabih Berri was allocated the “South Box” in order to reconstruct the southern districts…

Rafic Hariri was allocated the “Calamity Box” to spend on the reconstruction of Beirut and Saida.  This Box circumvented half a dozen ministries and took over every project meant to upgrade Lebanon infrastructure.  For example:

The airport received the name of Rafic Hariri. The main public hospital got the name of Rafic Hariri, the center of Beirut was reconstructed under the Solidere company owned by Rafic Hariri, the trash collection and disposal was run by a company owned by Rafic Hariri “Suklene”, the two mobile phone companies were owned by Rafic Hariri and Nagib Mikati (current prime minister)….

The successive Presidents of the Republic, seemingly representing the interest of the Christians and the Maronite in particular, have been mostly impotent in turning the tide into “fairer” representation of the Christians in the public administration…and the two main Maronite parties “The Lebanese Forces” of Samir Geaja and the “Tayyar of reform and change” of Michel Aoun were unable to reaching a unifying consensus…

Lebanon is ripe politically for another civil war round:

1. Nabih Berri, the main Syria Man, is scrambling to keep a political presence after the Assad regime of Syria. All the activities of Berri is to prove that he is the master mediator among the factions to maintaining the archaic system of Lebanon. Berri knows that without Syria’s support he cannot hope for more than being elected a simple deputy in 2013…

Mikati PM is the front of the Syrian regime, and basically obeying to Berri decisions on critical issues…Consequently, Berri has reduced this government to total impotency and the ridicule of the people because he needs to please all the confessional powers…

2. Hezbollah is re-organizing in order to maintain its status as the main Iranian stronghold in the region and will inevitably be forced to taking the front scene as the political representative of the Shia sect…

3. The Sunni sect that is mainly represented by the Mustakbal movement (The Future) of the Hariri clan is losing credibility because:

First, this movement is still working to privatize the public institutions in order to own them for cheap,

Second, this movement sided with the US and Israel when Israel invaded Lebanon in 2006 against the resistance of Hezbollah,

Third, this movement proved not to care about its election promises to the poorer districts, and failed the expectations of the Sunni people again and again…Their investments were placed in Beirut, and mostly in Real Estates…and ruined the electricity and water infrastructures

Many other Sunni “leaders” are emerging to contest the hegemony of the Mustakbal, and partially succeeding in restricted localities…

The Maronites are still divided.

The main political power of the Tayyar of Michel Aoun has over 30 deputies out of 120, and 10 ministers out of 30. And the Tayyar has been the target of all the confessional parties in order to fail its programs and projects in the government and in the Parliament…

Even the Greek Orthodox Christian sect is divided and unable to reach any consensus on the political figures to representing its interest as a unified front…

Politically, Lebanon is ripe for another round of civil war, and the troubles in Syria in the last 16 months are the main catalysts for this dangerous divisions in the Lebanese confessional fabric.

Militarily, Lebanon is stable.

The army and Hezbollah are the main military powers and can foil any armed uprising.

For this reason, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the US have been fomenting “discourses” meant to weaken the credibility of the army as the unifying institution for all the Lebanese.

The Tayyar (movement of Michel Aoun) reacted vigorously and is taking to the street demanding firm actions by the government against any actions and speeches defaming the army and weakening the moral of the officers and soldiers…

Hezbollah is confident of his representation of the Shia in the districts and regions of Shia majority, but is being aware that engaging in a second civil war in order to catapult the Shia as the main power broker in Lebanon will sap its reduced resources, divert its focus on Israel threats, and encourage Israel (the US) to wage a 7th preemptive war on Lebanon…

There are currently over half a million Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.  They settled in refugee camps during three major phases:  First, they settled in refugee camps after the “Independence of Israel”, a State recognized my a single and simple majority vote in the UN in 1948, and second, after the 1967 preemptive Israeli war against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, and third, after the defeat of the Palestinian resistance by the Jordanian monarchy in 1971. 

Already, one hundred thousand Palestinian refugees got the Lebanese nationality, not included in the half a million previously mentioned.  Those who got the Lebanese nationality are of three categories:  First, the mostly Palestinian Christians, in order to re-establish sectarian “balance” when the Maronite Christian Presidents of Lebanon had vast authorities before the Taif Agreement in 1989, and second, Palestinians originating from Lebanon such as those who lived in Northern Israel and the Seven Villages and are mostly from the Islam Chiaa sect, and third, the wealthy and business men Palestinians such as the families of Baidass, Sabbagh, Khoury, Nemr, Nahoum, Faress, Nasr, Kattan, Yutajy, Freij, Gharghour, Oweida, Irathy, Saba and many other families.

It appears that the refugees inscribed in the UNRWA, those residing continuously in Lebanon, number around 200,000 or 5% of the total estimated population in Lebanon.  The remaining Palestinians had managed to settle or work abroad with Lebanese travel documents.

Recent statistics show that over 92% of Palestinian refugees want to return to their Homeland, Palestine.  That is a case closed:  the UN resolution #198 of 1948 guarantees the right of Palestinians to return to Palestine and there is no way to cancel or drop that civic and human right accorded to all refugees who were forced to flee under duress and genocidal treatments.

The US, European Union, and Russia are demanding that the Palestinian refugees drop the right to return before extending compensations.  This is an impossible political condition that cannot be satisfied.  The UN should compensate immediately every adult Palestinian and Palestinian families in refugee camps (without any clause pertaining to dropping their rights for return) so that they decide what to do with that money.  Every State around the world, especially the US and European States, will welcome rich Palestinians capable of owning real estates or establishing businesses.  After two years of paying taxes and valid residency papers, the immigrated Palestinians would be having a recognized citizenship.

Since Israelis are entitled to dual citizenship then, it should be so to Palestinians.  For the time being, the UN institution of UNRWA has been caring for the Palestinian refugees in matters of education, health, and survival food since 1948.  The UNRWA budget has been cut frequently while the number of refugees has been increasing dramatically.  Currently, the  UNRWA budget is half a billion dollars; the portion allocated to the refugees in Lebanon is just $70 millions. 

There is a heated debate in Lebanon on how to securing the civic and human rights of the refugees.  There are less than 60 types of jobs that Palestinians are entitled to applying for; and they are denied owning properties, though rich Arabs and foreigners can purchase and own properties. 

The Lebanese have no jobs, no electricity, no potable water, no health coverage for more than 50% of the population, public education neglected for over 30 years, and things are going to hell.  I am pretty sure if Palestinian refugees would consider bartering their UNRWA facilities for a Lebanese nationality card then, most Lebanese would gladly relinquish their stupid cards that are more of a problem than a privilege.

 The UN should establish an international fund to aid and support the Lebanese government improve the infrastructure in the refugee camps and providing health insurance.  Palestinian kids are suffering from diseases due to bad health environment.  The education facilities are deteriorating in the camps.  Camps are becoming hotbeds of insecurity to all the youth not finding an outlet to development and assuring the minimum level of dignity.

The working force in construction, gas stations and sanitation are filled by Syrians, Egyptians, and Bangladeshis.  In-house maids and outside are from Philippines, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Madagascar… May be Lebanese and Palestinians should be allocated quotas to work alongside the foreign workers. 

If Lebanon enjoyed an economic and financial boom in its first 30 years of its independence it is mainly because of the flux of Palestinian wealth and knowhow.  Many English-speaking Palestinian refugees worked in the Arab Gulf States and supported their families in Lebanon.  They also made a qualitative development for the American University of Beirut and taught there and constituted the prime English tributary to our economy and finance.

If Lebanon had ever been tad of a State, it would have sustained its financial standing and maintained a modicum of sovereignty.  The Palestinian Resistance Organization (PLO) became a State within a State and even more powerful and more organized since 1972.  The dollar changed for just two Lebanese pounds because of the hard currencies that the PLO poured in our economy; it is currently 1,500 LL

Testimonials of a civil war: Fatema recalls events in 1988
Civil war in lebanon 1975-1991

The issue of daily Al Balad, May 4, 2005

Fatema Rida was nine years old when the Taef Agreement (a revised Constitution for Lebanon) put an end to the war, which was signed on March 28, 1990.  Fatema thought that her memory did not register anything from the war period, until the conflagration of the thousand kilo of dynamite detonated in the vicinity of the St. George hotel and killed former Prime Minister Hariri and twenty other people.

Fatema then started to recall events. In 1988, a shell fell in her kitchen injuring her and her brother.  In the hospital they cried hard but tried to sooth one another that they are not suffering.  Her mother relocated them from Zkak Blat in West Beirut to her grand father’s in South Lebanon.

Fatema’s mother worked in Beirut and visited her children every two Saturdays because the trip used to take 6 hours instead of the regular one hour-trip. Fatema also lost her best blond girl-doll because the girls in the new location kept emptying the stuffing from the burned area of the toy. A newly purchased Barbie doll never replaced her former doll love.

Fatema’s father was killed by a militia faction when she was nine months old and the leader of this militia is in power now. At twenty one, her uncle gave her a cassette of her father talking about the family and she sometimes used to laugh because she realized that he had trouble pronouncing the R.

She recently met Issam, a member of the militia that killed her father, and who was in charge of keeping the security at the door of her school Batriarkyeh.  When Issam was sitting in guard, the school could resume as usual. When Issam was standing then the school prepared to close immediately, and students went home under a rain of bullets.




June 2023

Blog Stats

  • 1,522,254 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by

Join 770 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: