Tuesday, August 08, 2006

May 17 Agreement under a new Name? The Conspiracy Relies on Lebanese Army Troops. The Gemayyels and The Hariris: or the Misfortunes of Lebanon. The US/French/Israeli/Hariri conspiracy continues to afflict Lebanon. Minister of Justice in Lebanon, Charles Rizk (who I used to like before he started harboring presidential aspirations), just admitted on Al-Jazeera that the idea of the deployment of the Lebanese Army came from France. I mean, is that surprising? Does the Lebanese government ever take a sovereign decision on its own, by itself, and based on purely Lebanese calculations? The Lebanese government implemented Syria's orders in the past, and now implements the orders of US/France (and Israel behind them). Sanyurah's government could have, nay should have, easily been brought down by popular pressures, but Hizbullah has been protecting it, but I never understand the political calculations of Hizbullah. Hizbullah, after all, gave the political majority to Hariri Inc in the last election. They brought to power the same forces who were conspiring with the US/France (and Israel behind) against them, and thought that they were being smart. There are people today who are effectively fighting Israeli occupation and aggression in South Lebanon and the political leadership of Hizbullah has just agreed to a plan that forfeits the right of the people of South Lebanon to resist Israeli aggression. Now, I know that the Lebanese Army is not what US wants it to be. And I heard one analyst yesterday, Rajih Khuri (do you ever see somebody from An-Nahar making sense, ever. I once was on the same political talk show with Rajih Khuri on Syrian TV during the era of Syrian political domination. He spoke then like a Syrian Ba`thist. I was embarrassed for him then. The kind of praise that he would heap on the Syrian regime. They all were like that, every one of them, those chanters of "independence". And now they want to speak on behalf of "sovereign" Lebanon. Sovereign? The place was made into a foreign casino/brothel by Rafiq Hariri, and now is being taken down the road of civil strife.) speak about US military support for the Lebanese Army. Support? Yes, the US is willing to support the Lebanese Army against the citizens of Lebanon but not against the aggression and occupation of Israel. Will the US allow the Lebanese Army to buy an air defense system? We know the answer. US foreign policy in the Middle East (under Democrats and Republicans alike) is based on making all Arab countries open and vulnerable to Israeli attacks and aggression. I know that the Bush administration thinks that it is playing a "very smart" game of international politics, just as they thought that they were playing a very smart game in Iraq after the American war there. Iraq is not funny anymore, and I notice that Bush does not sound giddy about his Iraq anymore. I certainly think that Bush should not act giddy about Lebanon anymore eithers. The Lebanon that they are working to mould and shape, will defy their dictates. The sectarian realities of Lebanon will break their plans and designs, and Nasir Al-As`ad (the Hariri Shi`ite columnist) barely represents himself, let alone any other Shi`ite. I have been writing since the assassination of Hariri that sectarian tensions and conflicts in Lebanon are intensifying, and that the place looks explosive. Lebanon will become less viable with time, and the notion that Lebanon can be made into a "Honk Kong" for Walid Jumblat and mini-Hariri is a myth. Hizbullah will not lay down its weapons, but the political arrangement that Hizbullah seems to be consenting to will deprive from the Lebanese the right and duty to fend off Israeli aggression and occupation. This factor is the important factor that Israel wants to take away from Arabs. The Lebanese Army will play the role it has played in its history: a useless and ineffective role. The sectarian composition of the Army will prevent it from ever playing a crucial role in changing the political balance in Lebanese politics. But the Lebanese Army will sit there as a substitute for the South Lebanon Army, protecting Israel from the anger and designs of Palestinian and Lebanese forces who don't want to submit under Israeli aggression and occupation. If you go back and read the May 17 Agreement of 1983--signed under Israeli guns and with the use of the Gemayyel gang--you realize that they are now implementing in South Lebanon an Israeli plan, even if it is sold to Lebanon as a "French" plan. The Israeli government has been calling for this plan ever since it was kicked out, humiliatingly, from South Lebanon in 2000. The US government will want to use the Lebanese Army to also rearrange politics in Lebanon, but that will not work. The command of the Lebanese Army has changed, in sectarian and political terms. The Army is now more diverse in command, and the rank-and-file are predominantly Shi`ites, and that will impede the plans to use it against Hizbullah. Hizbullah will come out of this conflict intact as a domestic political force with a militia inside Lebanon, but it may have to abandon that most important element (most important for those who focus on the Arab-Israeli conflict and who dont support the ideology of Hizbullah): the right to resist Israeli occupation. This is the factor that allowed leftists and Arab nationalists in Lebanon--people who don't share the ideology of Hizbullah--to support its resistance in South Lebanon, and this factor is what brought to the party the wide support form Arab and Muslim countries. I know: some will say that Hizbullah did not have a choice. My mother was saying yesterday that they were cornered: that Arab governments were against them, as was EU, UN, US, and the March 14th Movement in Lebanon. But this chance or opportunity to fight Israeli aggression in an effective way is something that Israel wanted to deprive Arabs from ever since the war of 1948. The right to resist Israeli aggression and occupation is a fundamental right enshrined in the UN charter, for those who care about the UN charter, and it is a right that is beyond any charter. The West has always wanted to make the Middle East a safe place for Israeli aggression and occupation. But you think about this: the March 14th Movement called for the withdrawal of Syrian troops in the name of sovereignty and independence, and now that same movement wants foreign troops (most of them in fact wanted NATO troops) all over Lebanon, but also in the name of Lebanon's sovereignty and independence. If the Gemayyel family led Lebanon into war and destruction in the second half of the 20th century, the Hariri family has now officially been leading Lebanon into war and destruction. The Gemayyels had US and Israeli support, the Hariri family has US, Arab, French, and Israeli support. The Gemayyels paved the way for the Israeli invasion of 1982, and the Hariri family paved the way for this chapter of Israeli aggression on Lebanon. I believe that the Lebanese secular and nationalist forces should voice their opposition to this plan of the Lebanese government, regardless whether it is supported by Hizbullah or Birri or whatever.