Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Blair's visit to Beirut

Well, the British PM's visit has caused a lot of noise in Beirut.
Understandably so. This man's visit came to soon after the war, the wounds still have to heal.
After all, this is the man who condoned the way Israel was conducting its bombing campaign of Lebanon.
The campaign which targeted a lot of infrastructure, factories, fisheries, power plants and killed over a 1000 innocent civilians.
Furthermore, since it seems that Blair will not survive another year as Prime Minister, Sinora should have politely told Blair that this visit would be of ill timing and avoided this whole controversy.

Blair's personal quest of improving his tarnished image at home and in the world, by visiting the Middle East and pretending to understand the situation on the ground, should not have been supported by our government.
If his own people want him to step down, partly because of his master-lackey relationship with Bush, why should we treat him any differently at this point in time?

8 comments:

  1. Hi Wissam,

    I can appreciate what you're saying. But I also think we need to put this visit in the wider context of a Lebanon's alignment and foreign policy projection.

    I mean, for me, theres two points to make on this subject. The first is that we cannot expect a country as small as Lebanon to have a major influence on the international diplomatic scene. Lebanon is infested with people who criticize American foreign policy as being against Lebanon's interests just because it isn't 100% aligned with ours.

    Coincidentally, one of the most notorious of these people is Aoun...but thats another story...a long long sad story.

    So anyway, the point I'm trying to make with respect to that is that Lebanon's status is such that the best way for us to pursue our national interests is to position ourselves in such a way as to take advantage of the foreign policies of other (much bigger) nations.

    We should not expect them to change their foreign policies on account of us.

    The second point I'll try to make is that a Lebanese alignment with more moderate Arab states is a good thing, and Blair's visit brings with it the tools we need to implement such a realignment. What I'm referring to here is the $75 million in military aide Blair has pledged to Lebanon. This money will go towards making Lebanon a truly sovereign nation capable of defending itself from ALL of its unfriendly neighboors.

    Personally I'd rather take that over the impotency embodied by the 'pro-Syrian' elements in the country whose chief representative (Lahoud) is on a diplomatic visit to Cuba to attend the Non-Aligned Countries' summit.

    Take your pick.

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  2. Anonymous7:10 PM

    People protested when Anaan came and when Blair came...if they protest that hard against Nasrallah then maybe their homes won't be destroyed in the first place!

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  3. Bashar and Najad would love to receive Blair now. Why then their little lebanese agents are protesting... Actually the protests are part of the coup d'etat plot.
    Refer to my previous post on that

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  4. I second the guy from Cedar mountain, let's look at the bigger picture ... With all my respect but I don't think Nasrallah is worth listening to when it comes to the benefit and national interest of Lebanon and the Lebanese people.

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  5. AM & Cedar Mountain

    You guys are only looking at the black and white version of this story.

    This is not about Nasrallah. Not at all. Where in my post did I even mention Hizballah or Nasrallah?

    This is about Sinora. While Sinora was crying and pleading the world to stop the Israeli aggression, Blair was justifying it and suppporting it.
    Now Sinora is welcoming the guy as if nothing ever happened.
    You know, British aid would have come in anyways, with or without a Blair visit.

    That's the grey area which you fail to perceive. Its about the people who died, about our Lebanon that bled.

    But you, AM and Cedar Mountain, seem to see the world solely as pro and anti-West.
    And if someone does not like Blair then he must be a hardcore Hizballah supporter in your opinion. Well then most of Great Britian consist of hardcore Hizballah supporters, since they also disagree with Blair's stances taken on the Middle East.

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  6. Anyways...my point is that this Blair visit is bigger than the issue of a non-agreement of the Lebanese with U.S policies on Lebanon. Let us not agree. As long as we do not get bombed back into the stone ages it does not really matter. We can have a healthy, fruitful discussion about it.

    It is about how our country was being obliterated by Israel and how the whole of Europe (lets forget the U.S for a second here) was calling for a cease-fire except for Blair. When someone starts justifying dead people in order for there to be "lasting peace" then we have a problem.

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  7. I think our PM made the optimal decision given the constraints we face. He did not refuse to meet Blair, but at the same time he made sure that people could protest against it. Also, he made sure that Blair hears the critiques people are voicing face to face.

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  8. Why are we wasting our time criticizing a third party to this entire conflict for not saying what we would have liked them to say? The prime mover, the instigator of this entire conflict lies right before us while he lies right to our faces!!

    Put your energies to good use, instead of criticizing Blair for not condemning the violence, criticize Nasrallah for starting it!!!

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