Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Riding the Wave

For a Kingdom with a reputation for religiously adhering to a policy of secrecy, especially when dealing with matters of interest to the general "Arab-Islamic" masses, the recent outbursts of its government-run dailies against another "Arab-Islamic" country marked a serious escalation in the Syrian-sideshow of the Sunni-Shiite conflict rippling through the region.

In Lebanon, where such regional ripples have a tendency to be translated into waves, the escalation could have dangerous repercussions at the security and political levels. Waves which could see the precipitation of a Syrian-backed strategy to bring the frothing Sunni-Shiite conflict up from under the guise of Christian-assassination-targeting which the regime in Damascus has ‘successfully’ pursued for nearly three (or thirty) years.

Already the waters of that dismal prospect were stirred earlier this year – perhaps in building towards this scenario – when two Sunnis, a young man and child, were kidnapped and brutally executed by members of a Hizballah-supportive Shiite family [it is alleged]. That tragedy was compounded with the assassination of Walid Eido – the first Sunni public figure to be targeted for assassination since February 14th, when former PM Rafic Hariri was killed by an explosion while riding in a convoy.

Now, with the emergence of a direct threat against the representative of the most influential Sunni country in the world, along with his Emirati counterpart – both of whom have played a critical role is supporting the efforts of Lebanon’s anti-Syrian parliamentary majority – the waters may be boiling!

Writing in the Lebanese daily, An-Nahar, Lebanese MP Ghassan Tueni (general manager of the paper and father of assassinated MP Gebran Tueni) related the threat to Syria’s attempts to install a "Syrian President for the Republic of Lebanon", stating:
"Does the dear sisterly Syria believe that she can impose its return on us, though not victorious, preceded by a campaign of terror, though upgraded this time by threatening to assassinate the Saudi ambassador?"
And quite an upgrade it would be, certainly one too ambitious to be undertaken by a country of Syria’s stature alone. With the international tribunal now firmly secured in the grasp of a UNSC Chapter 7 mandate, there is actually not much that a Syrian President for our dear Republic can do to address the issue weighing most heavily on the Syrian regime’s minds – if not conscience.

No, if there is in fact a violently malevolent push for the presidency being implemented – as there surely is – then it is a push in favor of a president who can guarantee a continuation of the infiltration and subversion enjoyed not just by Syria, but by its chief ally – and the criminal organization underwritten by that alliance.

With the Presidential election process due to start less than one month from today, and with the hardening of local and international positions in the build up to those elections, we can rightfully expect that Syria will work hard to create the circumstances necessary to force the passage of its ‘salvation’ candidate. Given the worrying tract highlighted by the threats against the Saudi and Emirati ambassadors, and the issues most likely to be faced by whoever does come out of that Syrian-manufactured hell, however, one might be forgiven for worrying about a Hizballah President for the Republic of Lebanon.


  1. Hi Guys,

    I published this a bit on the quick so some modifications might be forthcoming (nothing big, just pix and links, etc...)

  2. Anonymous2:27 PM

    Your vigilance and alertness over the Syrian manipulation of the countrys political scene is commendable. But I would inquire as to why, if we are looking to a Lebanon free of foreign interference, do you limit your posts and criticisms at only the opposition? Is it that you would welcome a President who would do the bidding of the US the way you abhor the idea of a President that would do the bidding of Syria? Or do you not believe that there is as an attempt by the US to manipulate Lebanons politcal scene?

    If your goal is a free, sovreign Lebanon, your criticisms (some of which are spot on while others seem to based entirely on hear'say and conjecture) should not be aimed entirely at one side.

    If you are however acting as a mouthpiece for the govt. and its internal and external allies, as you were and apologies for intruding.

  3. Hey Anonymous,

    Thanks for your comment.

    You're right there is a lack of criticism on my part (and others, but I can only speak for myself) of the US and March 14th. But the reason behind that isn't that I think that theres nothing to criticize, but that I think their faults are far less dangerous for the country, the future of the country, and the people of the country than Syria, Hizballah, Iran, etc...

    In a perfect world I could put up 50 posts a day and address every issue to my heart's desire. But in the real world time is a scare resource, I have to prioritize the issues and right now, as for the past year, there is one major issue that we Lebanese have to confront: Syrian assassinations and interference, and Hizballah's weapons and its use of those weapons to implement non-Lebanese aims.

  4. As for the spot on vs hear say and conjecture...

    ...I'll be the first to admit that not everything is based on pure, hard facts. There are theories and rumors and personal opinions that find their natural homes on blogs :)

    By using labels such as "Analysis", "Opinion", and "Rumour", I hope to alert readers to how they should perceive a post.

  5. Anonymous6:43 PM

    Thanks for the constructive reply and not taking any of my comments personally.

    Obviosuly you have limited time and resources to discuss matters as I'm sure you have other things of concern such as work and a life :)

    You are obviously, as shown by your writings, an intelligent and articulate person. And you clearly support the govt. against the opposition and I am clearly not asking you to be more neutral in your posts.

    What does concern me is that when one is so vehemently anti-something and uses rumour and conjecture to "prove" their point that has a dangerous and knock on effect, antagonising those that support your point of view. God knows we are at a point so close to the edge that any further antagonising may be what pushes us over the edge.

    And lastly, no matter what we think of the "other", we will, after Assad is gone, after the neo-cons have gone, after Ahmadinejad is gone, still all (i hope) be living together in this sliver of a land. Therefore, what we should be doing, rather than throwing accusations of treachery and of working for non-Lebanese aims, is work at finding the common ground, a consensus that allows to build rather than destroy. I note that while both sides (and the bloggers of both sides ;} ) do the old j'accuse, they do not attempt to answer the critisisms and accusations of the other side. No one seems to have an agenda other than the destruction of the other side. If we remain so, we are on the road to ruin.


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