Monday, May 12, 2008

Just a word of caution on Lebanon. These are historic times in Lebanon. I have been thinking about the significance of them as I am trying to finish my article for Al-Akhbar, and I have been experiencing my first writer's bloc. I am not pleased with the exuberance that is exhibited by some leftists toward the developments in Lebanon. I believe that the radical left, or the revolutionary left, should be careful in evaluating the situation. I see that the Lebanese Communist Party has for all purposes conflated its position with that of Hizbullah--at least during this crisis. The radical left should keep a distance from an organization (i.e. Hizbullah) with which it does not share an ideology--a religious fundamentalist one at that. Today, I kept thinking of the leader of the Iranian Communist Party who sang the praises of Khumayni only to be forced to appear on TV (after the revolution) and make Stalinist-style "confessions". He later was executed as were other communists. The radical left, it has to be ascertained is fiercely opposed to the US/Israeli/Saudi plan and its implementers in Lebanon (Jumblat, Hariri, and Ja`ja` and the other gangs of March 14), and is dedicated to the liberation of Palestine. But it can't abandon its other important principles of social justice, secularism, and pluralist politics--and these are issues that Hizbullah either opposes or has a bad record on. The Left in Lebanon remains the only group without a militia and it is not an accident: the March 14 and the Hizbullah-led opposition don't want the left to play a role in Lebanon, and this was something that the Syrian regime and Iran (and Israel of course) agreed on. I was also displeased with the closure of Hariri media, as much as I detest them and as much as I believe that they have been engaged in acute sectarian mobilization that is exactly the same as of the propaganda of Al-Qa`idah. I will not enjoy writing in Al-Akhbar and attacking my opponents if they are not on an equal footing: especially if their media are closed. One sided polemics are the stuff of which the Saudi and Syrian media are made, and we can't replicate that in Lebanon. Having said that: i still blame the Hariri Inc for the crisis, and their external backers: the agenda of the external backers pose the biggest threat to Lebanon and Palestine, but that does not mean that the left should be a mere cheerleader of organizations that are not leftist.