Arab Today, arab today … and in lebanon a truce is forbidden
Last Updated : GMT 06:30:05
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

… And in Lebanon a Truce is Forbidden!

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today … and in lebanon a truce is forbidden

Walid Choucair

… and in Lebanon, a "truce" is forbidden, even if the concerned parties in Syria are discussing Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi's idea about arriving at a truce. This is because the regime and the opposition each want to see the other blamed for the failure of a humanitarian move such as this. But it is easier to say that there is no truce in Lebanon, because there is no truce in Syria. This is the likeliest explanation, until the contrary is proven. Most of the estimates indicate that the regime, under a "truce," will try to improve its situation to eliminate the areas where the opposition has taken control. The excuse is already there: the "terrorists," who have been made into the enemy because the regime will not recognize that its people are its enemy, will be the ones who violate the cease-fire. Lebanon has experienced (metaphorically) a political and security truce but it has remained fragile over the last ten months, because of various and complicated circumstances related to the sensitivities of sectarian balances of power. Most importantly, there has been a heavy wait as the Syrian crisis plays itself out. The assassination of the head of the Information Branch of the Internal Security Forces, Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan, who worked hard in his post as a man of moderation to guarantee the continuation of this calming-off period, and prevent its destruction, has settled things in terms of striking at this truce. His assassination proved that however much a person, for humanitarian reasons, seeks to distance a situation of tension and bombs exploding from his fellow citizens, there is a criminal mind that has worked tirelessly to target the security of this small country with stability that is always fragile. This criminal mind will not accept seeing the Lebanese enjoy a minimum level of calm amid the great political struggle that is taking place in the country, as an extension of what is taking place around it. Since the beginning of 2011, Lebanon has been under a political authority that was produced by the same methods that produced the existing political authority in Damascus: force, violence and pressure. These elements control the components of society and political life under the slogan of "resistance" and its requirements, even if it goes against national unity and a domestic political agreement imposed by the country's sectarian make-up. The eruption of the Syrian crisis took the Lebanese toward a vertical division over the stance to take on this crisis, but they invented the policy of "disassociation" in order to maintain the fragile truce, after the disarray in the regime in Damascus extended to the political authorities in Beirut. This was reflected in the bold stances taken by President Michel Suleiman against Syrian violations of Lebanese sovereignty, and his submitting his views on a national defense strategy, which pave the way to limiting the possession of weapons to the state and the army, not in the service of the objectives of resistance. It was also reflected when Walid Jumblatt, a pillar of the government created by the control exercised by the pro-resistance alliance, worked against efforts to join Lebanon to the plans for defending the Syrian regime in its confrontation with its opponents. Prime Minister Najib Miqati was obliged to respect, timidly, their stances, despite his historic alliance with the Syrian leadership, which brought him to the prime minister's office. The security-political truce that existed, under the policy of dissociation, did not suit the Syrian regime; it wants to drag the Lebanese arena toward the confrontation that it is leading inside and outside the country. Just as with its rule stating "you are either with me or against me," the regime is more hard-line in its actions as its confronts the disarray that its authority has experienced. Hezbollah's open participation in the fighting in Syria, to defend the regime, is an application of this rule, because the regime's survival is a matter of life or death for the party. Simply put, Wissam al-Hassan was killed because he resisted this rule when he foiled the plan to move the crisis from Syria to Lebanon; he revealed the plot of Michel Samaha, which was going to bring down the "truce" enveloping Lebanon. And even more simply put, it has been impossible to see a truce in Syria, which resembles the wrecking of the truce in Lebanon via the al-Hasan assassination and other incidents. This allows us to make a significant linkage. If the establishment of a traditional government in Syria as a prelude to a political transition and democratic elections cannot be achieved because the regime and its supporting countries reject this, then the call by the March 14 opposition in Lebanon, for a neutral government to supervise next year's parliamentary elections, will also not come to pass, if the defense of the Syrian regime continues to use Lebanon as a means for protecting the regime from collapse. The chief allies of the regime in Syria reject a change in the current Lebanese government, which was created by a political formula that has taken its blows as the Syrian regime experiences the same situation. This means that as the formulas for political transition being put forward in Syria are being rejected, we will see the political transition in Lebanon, through elections next spring, face the possibility of postponement. This is in order to prevent this change, if the pro-resistance groups fear that the election will lead to such a result. Al-Hassan's assassination in Lebanon symbolizes many things, which will be revealed at a later date.  -- The views expressed by the author do not necessarily represent or reflect the editorial policy of Arabstoday.

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Arab Today, arab today … and in lebanon a truce is forbidden Arab Today, arab today … and in lebanon a truce is forbidden


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