Thursday, May 31, 2007

I am administering a final as we speak, so I will have a minute to write something. It was quite ironic to see people in the streets of Beirut, who belong to the "sovereignty" faction, cheering and celebrating the passage of a UNSC resolution robbing Lebanon of one of the most important ingredient of its political sovereignty, namely its judicial authority (and monopoly over judicial powers and authority). Funny that the same Lebanese government quotes Weber when it is convenient (as in trying to disarm those Lebanese who wish to resist Israeli aggression in Lebanon) but has no qualms about surrendering its own authority and sovereigny--economically, militarily, politically all to maintain power and to undermine their rivals--or so they think. I don't want to be a party pooper (althouth that role is often understated in its potential pleasurableness and psychological rewards) but do people think that this resolution will do anything, except to make people more entrenched in their own positions? This is like thinking that UNSC 242 was all what was needed to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. And here we are 40 years later (regarding 242). And the resolution is meaningless because unlike the case of Sierra Leone there is no United Nations troops that can implement the resolution (the UNIFIL has a very specific mandate and they will get in real trouble if they try to overstep their boundaries). Like, imagine if the international tribunal summons some powerful Lebanese leader (in Hizbullah or Amal or others): what will happen. Who will bring them to the court in that nice hotel in Cyprus? What? Sanyurah will send his impressive Internal Security Forces which ran away in the street of Tropoli when they tried to go after a small fanatic gang (the Fath-Al-Islam)? The Hariri revenge campaign continues, but it will neither achieve peace nor perservation of power for that lovely family. I see a point in the futre where the Hariri family will be driven out of Lebanon--a Lebanon in flames nevertheless. I have been pessmistic about Lebanon at the height of the "Cedar Revolution" when articles in the US press were celebrating the new peace of Lebanon. It was not too long time ago when columnists in the Washington Post and New York Times (in fact, Hassan Fattah was seen in the streets of Beirut jumping up and down at the time to the tunes of Sami Clark's songs) thought that they finally were able to validate the Bush doctrine. That alas was not meant to be. Let us face it: all are fighting dirty in Lebanon, and will be fiighting dirty some more. The Syrian regime is fighting dirty because it was humiliatingly kicked out of Lebanon. The Israeli regime has been fighting dirty in Lebanon and elsewhere ever since that state was established in Palestine (a wise friend defined Zionists the other day for me: it refers to those who believe "that Palestine should be Israel"--very succinct indeed). And the US is fighting dirty hoping a surge in Lebanon will achieve for Mr. Bush what a surge in Iraq has not achieved and will not achieve. And Iran will be ready to fight dirty if the regime is threatened by the US although I rule out an attack by the US. We are getting close to the presidential election year and Mr. Bush is mightily constrained by that and by 44 other factors. And then the Lebanese sects: they always fight dirty to increase power (or keep it): and to further the aims of the sectarian leaders of each sect. The stalemate in Nahr Al-Barid is likely to continue: and the grandstanding by the Lebanese Army and its supporters who so desperately want to convince themselves that they have a real homeland will only increase. The Lebanese Army has just received a shipment of US night goggles: that worries me a great deal. This is an Army that can't shoot straight during the day: I can only imagine it shooting at night. That is not what we need in Lebanon for sure (although the Lebanese Army soldiers will look funny wearing night goggles). Maybe they should have the Army train to how to defend Lebanon's borders from Israeli aggressions and invasions. OK, I have to run now.