Friday, June 08, 2007

Poll: Blame Syria + Results from Nahr el Bared

It has now been 18 days since a group of Fatah al Islam gunmen ran out of their base in the Nahr el Bared camp and raided a Lebanese Army outpost killing 13 Lebanese soldiers in cold blood. They did this while another group of their gunmen ambushed an Army patrol, killing four soldiers, and while yet another group of them fought a deadly battle with Lebanese Army and Internal Security Forces in the streets of the country's capital of the North, Tripoli.

Having been taken by surprise, by the attackers at first and by their allies in the media second, our Army responded valiantly, erecting a siege around the camp and responding forcefully to enemy fire, all the while working to protect the lives of the innocent civilians in the camp, themselves captives of this terrorist cell.

And while our allies delivered supplies to the Lebanese Army and the allies of Syria delivered terror to the neighborhouds of Aschrafieh, Verdun, Aley, Sid el Baucherieh, and Zouk Mosbeh, (other attempts were intercepted by security forces) we asked our readers to vote on the topic of how best to resolve the crisis in Nahr el Bared, in order to best serve Lebanon's interests.

The results of that Blacksmiths of Lebanon poll, which ran for 9 days and gathered 133 votes, aligned an overwhelming 90% of respondents behind a military strike by the Lebanese Army on the Syrian-backed militants in the camp (60% thought the Army should enter the camp and deal with the militants on its own, while 30% thought it should work in collaboration with mainstream Fatah fighters there - the Army has done both, taking on the militants head-on in military battles, while entrusting certain sectors of the camp to mainstream Fatah militants).

The vote highlights a rallying of (almost) all Lebanese from across the political spectrum in support of one of the only remaining national institutions to have survived (barely) the crippling assault on the country's institutions. An assault launched by Syria's allies in Lebanon, and which has so far entailed a running series of explosions and political assassinations (the last of which killed Lebanese Minister of Industry, Pierre Gemayel), a full scale war that left over 1,200 Lebanese dead, hundreds of thousands homeless, and cost billions of dollars in damages, a series of strikes and protests aimed at paralyzing the Cabinet and the office of the Prime Minister, a lockout of MP's from the country's Parliament, and most recently a running insurgency in at least one Palestinian Refugee Camp.

But while in every case the trail of blood, chaos, and terror has led to Syria, some in Lebanon have continued to cast doubt on the mounting evidence, preferring instead to rely on personal biases and begrudgements (what I refer to as the culture of "nkeyeh") and a misconstruction of past events and scenarios*.

And so, with that lenghty introduction I bring you this week's Blacksmiths of Lebanon poll, on whether or not Syria should be blamed for some, all, or none of the crises gripping the country.

Every vote counts, so make sure you let us know what you think and remember to leave a comment or two with your suggestions, complaints, theories, or opinions.
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*Simon Abirilia, the head of the National Gathering opposition movement loyal to former prime minister Michel Aoun, claims that the Islamist threat in Lebanon has been greatly exaggerated by the Syrians in order to show the United States "that Lebanon has not reached a sufficient stage of maturity to govern itself and that the permanent presence of Syrian forces remains necessary . . . the goal of Syria is to be recognized by Washington as the guarantor of stability in Lebanon." (January 5th, 2000)

2 comments:

  1. Arabic Coffee Pot6:02 PM

    *Simon Abirilia, the head of the National Gathering opposition movement loyal to former prime minister Michel Aoun, claims that the Islamist threat in Lebanon has been greatly exaggerated by the Syrians in order to show the United States "that Lebanon has not reached a sufficient stage of maturity to govern itself and that the permanent presence of Syrian forces remains necessary . . . the goal of Syria is to be recognized by Washington as the guarantor of stability in Lebanon." (January 5th, 2000)

    Amazing how much difference a seat and $27 million from Iran make!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Let's review - the Terrorists entered Lebanon from Syria, more are trying to sneak daily from Syria (and some getting captured), arms are coming in from Syria, those captured admit that they are trained in Syria and doing Syria's bidding, Terrorists are trying to escape back to Syria, Syria's 'proxy' in Lebanon (Hezbollah) declared a Red-Line against the Army who is fighting the Terrorists ... and there is STILL questions as to Syria's involvement??

    ReplyDelete

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