The Lebanese:What are they really after [Archives:2007/1020/Opinion]

January 29 2007

By: Hassan Al-Haifi
The situation in Lebanon is indeed a very important test ground for Arab socio-political civil behavior and could have an impact throughout the Middle East, if the opposition there play their cards right. The observer is inclined to believe that the situation in Lebanon is more than a simple struggle for power by various established factions, each claiming to serve the public interest at large. Illusions can be deceiving and it is imperative that the onlookers from outside look deep into the Lebanese scene to get a gist of what is truly happening.

One sees that Lebanon is truly playing a fundamentally far bigger role in the regional political context than its small size would suggest. After the phenomenal victory of Hizbullah and all those who supported them in Lebanon (and outside) against the once purportedly undefeatable Israeli Offence Forces and all those who supported them outside Lebanon (and inside), it was obvious that that the Summer War in Lebanon was only part of a series of geo-political and social undertakings that would make sure that the hegemony of those who believe that force is the answer to all predicaments. Never mind that the majority of those predicaments are caused by the very same standard bearers of such hegemony. What is important here is that might makes right and this must be understood, more so in the Middle East than anywhere else.

Of course the situation in Lebanon was bound to get more complex. There is an authority that is wielding more power than its actual popular base would suggest and far more than its authentic socio-cultural standing would indicate. In Lebanon there are two diametrically opposing socio-political forces at odds with each other, not because the Lebanese people have lost their marbles or because the democracy of Lebanon has become a memorable distortion of the political scene in the Middle East. This is after all a region, where most of the authority is wielded by highly autocratic regimes that are still centuries behind the times in outlook and in image. In Lebanon, the New World Order is facing its most significant challenges and is unable to break the back of a stubborn resistance that not only opposed foreign occupation by sheer military force, but also through clandestine and covert menacing acts that seek to create havoc and chaos, for the purpose of engaging more international interaction to give legitimacy to intrigue that still serves the narrow interests of the forces that rely on hegemony. The hope here is that this will substitute for direct encounters in the field (whether in Lebanon or Iran!) The latter has become obviously infeasible as the Summer War in Lebanon has proven. So, the next best thing is to let money and devious intrigue with local puppets and agents do the job.

What is astounding still, even with the disproportionate clout of the combination of conflicting sides involved in the current Lebanese situation, is that the opposition (led by Hizbullah and their allies, Christians, Sunni, Druze and otherwise) is indeed proving to be a formidable challenge to the obviously non-matching local opposition, in terms of clout, intellect and culture. This is true, even with the obvious heavy weight of political, financial and moral support the latter are getting from their external friends, most of whom have devious intentions behind this support. The fact is that people like Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, a total failure as a bureaucrat of any capacity; Sa'ad Al-Hariri, a far cry from his powerful father; Sameer Jaja'a; a convicted killer; and Kemal Jumblatt (a political opportunist, who has probably been caught by the in a clear case of clandestine political blackmail as only can be fixed by the Mossad) and to a lesser degree Amin Gemayal (who may be driven by political hopes than conviction here) are indeed no match for the powerful Hassan Nasr-Allah; the underestimated and misjudged Amin Lahoud; the nationalist Michelle Own, a true Lebanese patriot; who refuses to be a political sell out, Suleiman Franjeih, another outspoken Lebanese nationalist; the Ursulan Emirs of the Druze; at least four former Prime Ministers of Lebanon; and the many other members of the political leadership steering the opposition, not to mention at least four previous Prime Ministers. Surely Washington knows how to pick its boys! With such heavy political weight behind the so called majority, or “14th of March” ruling faction, including the United States, the so called “Sunni moderates” of the region and the devious Hebrew State working above ground and behind the scene, the opposition is bound to show the rest of their fellow Arabs how civilized peaceful political action can achieve substantial political results, notwithstanding the burning tires here and there and the efforts of the “majority” to disrupt the peacefulness of the effort.

Hassan Al-Haifi has been a Yemeni political economist and journalist for more than 20 years.