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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ziad Majed on Missed Opportunities in Lebanon

This is an article by Ziad Majed of the Democratic Left movement in Lebanon, the same party to which Samir Kassir belonged. The original article is in arabic and can be found here. I think it is worth reading. Below is the first part.

Lebanese political alliances only offer evidence of lacking any nationally responsible behaviour, and to lacking any awareness that could lead to the establishment of a modern state in a country which in addition to having a complex sectarian nature, has a tragic political landscape. Perhaps the important events in the last six years, starting with May 25th 2000 (liberation of the south) and passing by March 14th 2005, when most Lebanese rose against Syrian hegemony, and finally arriving at July 12th 2006 when Hizballa captured two Israeli soldiers signalling the beginning of a barbaric Israeli agression - these events all indicate an amazing ability to pass up on chances to acquire the tools needed to build a state deserved by so many citizens of this country .

On the libaration left uninvested in
Lebanese land was liberated in 2000 from Israeli occupation lasting 22 years. Land was liberated in a precedent in the Arab-Israeli struggle, due to factors ranging from armed resistance started by the National Resistance Front and crowned by the Islamic Resistance with a victory that could have been used to signal a new political era in Lebanon returning to the Lebanese interior the idea of the state that was missing completeness after the Taif accord, meaning reachieving the soveriegnty that lacked due occupied land, and the independence that was robbed by Syrian hegemony. However, the connection between the "interior" and the "exterior" and the regional care shown to keep the Lebanese south under the mercy of resolution 242 on the one hand and the sectarianism of the ruling political class as well as the control of the "security" factor of the Lahoud/Sayyed reign on the other hand, prevented this transition to the stage of building political institutions that are "accpetable" by legal and sovereignty standards.

Preserving the "struggle" in the Shebaa farms suited Israeli, Syrian and Iranian interests of controlling the possibility of localized tension, and of maintaining the means for transmitting political message on an occupied land whos legal standing is internationally obscure. Moreover, the Lebanese authority, controlled by intelligence services, did not consider altering its internal politics to absorb tensions let alone trying to find a new form for the relationship with the Syrian regime, which in turn and with its well known stupidity, missed the opportunity for changing its behaviour in Lebanon in an exceptional moment of strength. So we awoke after the elections of September 2000 on a new political scene that laid the foundation for causing a popular uprising against the Syrians and for creating more distance between a HA that is victorious in resistance but that accepted militarily transforming to a "regional mailman" and many Sectarian and non-Sectarian Lebanese powers with different calculations and interests.
That way, Lebanon remained for years as if its south was never liberated (despite the celebrations on Liberation day), and witnessed internal struggles that were similar to other struggles taking place inside the Syrian regime between civilians and military men who had run the Lebanese "file" for years and new intelligence (people) who had a growing stranglehold on its political and monetary affairs.
On the other hand, the national opposition, personified in Qurnet Shahwen and the "Minbar Dimocrati", could not balance the scale of power internally, and matters remained in eb and flow, political life dropping to new lows, until the Syrian extension of Lahoud's mandate and the issuing of resolution 1559 which opened the door - despite the severity of their effects - to radical change wide open.

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