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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Brace yourselves... Its gonna be a long long long ride

I have been relatively quiet throughout the events unfolding in Lebanon and the region in early 2007... mostly because there is nothing much to say in the way of analysis.

While there have been many developments, from Hezbollah's riots on a certain Tuesday that now seems so long ago, to the blow-back across universities two days later... all the way to the Ayn Aar bus bombings -shocking the country and yet shocking no one- and then the large, yet inane regurgitation plagued gathering on the anniversary of Hariri's assassination.

In the meantime, rumors of breakthroughs in "indirect" talks conducted through Iran and Saudi Arabia (woopdidoo) were circulating and proving to be vacuous. No compromises have yet materialized and I doubt any to materialize in the near future... I don't even know if I want to be wrong or not anymore - what difference does it make?

After all this is no longer primarily about Lebanon or its internal politics, March 8 succeeded at internationalizing Lebanese politics, and consequently our problems are becoming even less about Lebanon by the day. Amidst Saudi-Iranian talks and the Syro-Iranian coordination, as well as all that recent Iranian belligerency and their never-ending war games and display of divine weapons (probably imported from either russia or china and upgraded in Iran) countered by the leakage (or announcement, I forget) of American (contingency) plans to bomb the living crap out of all Iran's nuclear and military facilities... amidst all that, Lebanon's factions are becoming just cards to be played out in a much bigger regional game.

Bottom line, as Syria and Iran play for time waiting for a Godot that even they might not recognize, Lebanon simmers and starts showing signs of boiling. In the meantime the economy is tanking, state instutions are shackled and we are left at the mercy of... well I am not sure whose mercy we are at.

I am just asking myself what should we expect the near future to bring, knowing and fearing that its going to be more of the same - at best.


Anonymous said...
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Blacksmith Jade said...

"March 8 succeeded at internationalizing Lebanese politics, and consequently our problems are becoming even less about Lebanon by the day."

Hey R,

I think the situation is the opposite of what you described, in the sense that the opposition is internalising international crises and not internationalising internal ones. Syria is desperately trying to contain the International Tribunal in Lebanon because that is where they can stop it. Lebanon's internal problems are solvable, its the incessant importing of foreign (primarily Syria's and Iran's) agendas that keeps putting us back.

From that perspective, one can appreciate the ratification of the International Tribunal under Chapter 7.

R said...

hmmm BSJ,

I see your point and in retrospect i guess i should have elaborated. What I meant is that they made the solution to whatever crises they created in the hands of regional players - namely Syria and Iran. Of course, they created these crises in the first place only because it served the interests of Syria and Iran...

All that said, the objective behind all that maneuver was to create a situation whereby no solution can be reached without engaging Syria and Iran. In that sense, March 8 succeeded at internationalizing the Lebanese crisis.

Blacksmith Jade said...

Hey R,

Yeah I see your point too. I guess the difference is that you think the opposition is actually addressing Lebanon's problems but seeking international support for their stances on them, whereas I think they are not addressing them at all and simply using them as a cover, so to speak, in order to advance their foreign backers' agendas in Lebanon.

In any case, I don't think that applies to the FPM per se, they're another case altogether, but the actions of their leader have lent support to one camp...we know which one.

R said...

"you think the opposition is actually addressing Lebanon's problems"...

Not quite. I think they are addressing certain issues that they would like changed. The fact that they want them changed does not rely on foreign support. The fact that they can hope to change them does. Mostly I am referring to the Shia role in government and to Aoun's presidential aspirations.

I guess if we look at things from a more general perspective, we'll find that the interaction between the "opposition" and its foreign patrons is a two-way street. In a way it reveals the objectives and methods of both...