Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Butros Harb's Defense Strategy

As Hizballah continues to filibuster and delay any progress on the national dialogue for a national defense strategy, MP Butros Harb, a stalwar of the Cedar Revolution pro-sovereignty drive, has proposed the following points as part of his national defense strategy:
  1. Adoption of a national defense strategy that the state would commit to, in defending Lebanon and in liberating occupied territories.
  2. State to fully implement UNSCR 1701 in all its articles.
  3. State to commit to Taef accords and in particular the state of truce between Lebanon and Israel, while extending Lebanese armed forces authority over internationally recognized borders.
  4. State to strengthen armed forces by all available means.
  5. State to adopt modern and advanced methods in equipping and training military, under supervision of Lebanon's military general command.
  6. Hizbullah to deliver its arms to the Lebanese military under a specific timetable and program.
  7. State to take measures in protecting Hizbullah leaders and cadres.
  8. Strengthening international guarantees for Lebanon.
  9. State to officially request from Syria to provide signed documents demarking borders for Shebaa Farms.
  10. State to immediately begin collecting Palestinian arms inside and outside refugee camps as agreed to at the national dialogue.
  11. State to approve draft constitutional amendment proposed by members of parliament that calls for a parliament unanimous decision for any resolution for settling Palestinians in Lebanon. A matter that would prevent settling Palestinians in Lebanon.
  12. Lebanon to stay away from any regional axis and announce its positive neutrality.
  13. All political parties and players to commit to all of the above in affirming national unity and independence of Lebanon.


  1. Hi BS

    Just wanted to tell you that your blog take a very long time to load. It looks like it gets stuck several times while loading the left sidebar. You should better move all your feeds and other dynamic content to the right and leave only the static content on the left. Otherwise it takes ages until the page moves to loading the middle section where the actual posts are.

  2. Hi,

    This list of requirements sounds extremely reasonable and even handed. It sounds also a great way of promoting peace in Lebanon and in the area. A good reason it will most probably never be accepted. :-( The puppet masters will certainly not give in that easily.

  3. To be honest, i don't know why our politicians even meet under the pretext of discussing "the defense strategy"... It is clear that any strategy that involves disarming/absorbing HA will be rejected by the armed militia. After all, it would be political suicide for them.

    Also, shouldn't it be the job of the army to produce several defense strategies to contend with all kinds of different scenarios under which the country may be attached? I really don't understand why these guys are wasting everyone's time with this crap...

  4. Anonymous3:38 PM

    Hezbollah "responded" to this proposal by saying it wasn't going to respond to it ...

    ... what a bunch of a$$holes ...


  5. Thanks for the heads up Nobody. That happens from time to time, I'll cut down on the number of items shown in the feeds, maybe that'll help...

    ...I've been really busy with work since the summer (my profession is counter-cyclical!) and the blog has suffered. Hopefully things will get better for the world by next summer and I can put some time aside for blogging.

  6. @BS

    Lebanese blogs were sluggish recently. At least those blogs I know were. I was wondering if some sort of apathy or tiredness or whatever has set it.

    As to the feeds, I think it can be enough to move them to the right sidebar. Most of this stuff is processed sequentially, the blogspot starts with the left sidebar through the middle section to the right one. Actually, I've never checked the template to see if the order can be changed. After all they position the elements relative to the main frame, so theoretically one can start from the middle section and then go to the sidebars.

  7. @Nobody

    You're right about the majority of Lebanese blogs having gone silent, or at least "sluggish", recently and it's something that I've been giving some thought.

    To be specific, the sluggishness took effect right after the end of the assault launched on Beirut and the Mountain by Hizballah and its allies in the pro-Syrian camp.

    For bloggers, a group of people who believe that change can be effected through words [not violence], and for those who believed in the promoting the rule of law - as opposed to the rule fo the gun - in this country, the events were hard to bear.

    Despite the negative implications of the Doha Accords which ended the country's being taken hostage by the groups mentioned above, this blog was in favor of it (for very ,specific reasons) and the [partial] progress it represented.

    Nonetheless, after living through the highs of the Cedar Revolution, when a social, political, and military occupation was overthrown with the simple use words, slogans, and the freedom of speech and congregation, it was hard for us to witness the return to the culture of intimidation, violence, destruction and death that was so apparent in the events started on May 7th.

    More importantly, it was hard for many bloggers to believe that words or progressive thoughts could still influence the direction this country was taken. The cost-benefit analysis on our daily lives changed.

    Why should we spend time thinking about ways to make this country better if at a drop of a hat a group of thugs and militants could crawl out from under a rock and kill, burn and maime until they got their way?

    After 15 years of civil war, this, more than anything else, was the beast we were all really fighting.

    But if Doha (May 2008) was the venue from which our spirits were crushed, then Doha (January 2009) is the venue from which we see a glimmer of hope. By taking the stance that he did, Michel Suleiman, the man who was the product of the Doha Accords, acted in a manner consistent with the central premise of the Cedar Revolution's pro-sovereignty drive: that of extracting our country from the regional wars being waged by others.

    As the war in Gaza raged, Suleiman's refusal to denounce the Arab Peace Initiative may have seemed insignificant, but for many Lebanese, in Lebanon and around the world, this was an act of renewal and of hope (and as can now be deciphered by the furious [and malicious] reactions to the act by the proponents of the Syrian-Iranian axis in the country).

    Nothing will erase the shock, horror, dismay, and disappointment felt around the world by the actions started on May 7th, and overcoming them will take a lot more than words. But our resolve still resides. As our Parliamentary elections approach, as we prepare to use that most potent weapon of democracy and freedom, I think you will find our sluggishness shrugged off and our efforts renewed.

    In May of 2008 we refused to fight on terms dictated by terror, in June of 2009 we will once again work to secure a better future, one free of the ideologies of violence and subjugation by intimidation and terror.

  8. The thing is that I read people saying that polls are predicting victory for M8. Do you follow the polls, BS?

  9. I haven't seen a single credibale poll in Lebanon, do you have one Nobody?

  10. Hi Nobody,

    I don't know which polls you're talking about ... any links?

  11. No. I did not see any links. I just read several times in the international media that the opposition has a good chance to win the elections. In fact, I think Mustafa mentioned it too.

  12. I mean this kind of stuff...

    Also, by joining the war Hezbollah risks postponing Lebanese parliamentary elections scheduled for early 2009. As things stand, Hezbollah and its allies have a decent shot at gaining a majority in the parliament and rolling back last last 3 years of anti-Syrian dominance. Politically, Hezbollah is right where it wants to be at this moment and the last thing it needs is a war that might compromise its internal standing.


    I also remember something the Economist said...

  13. BS, I do agree with regards to your thoughts on the Lebanese Blogs and would like to add one more point which is that some had to close due to intimadation and some even were threatened.
    As for Nobody, I do not need to read opinion polls to see that M8 is very likely to win the next elections. I do have a very gloomy picture of days to come, and I do hope that I am wrong.

  14. And you, BS

    What do you say? You think that an opposition victory is less likely?


    What is this gloomy picture of the days to come you have in your mind?

  15. @ Nobody,
    My vision of things is:
    If the elections take place on time I see M8 strenghening their position and more divisions within M14.
    More problems to come with armed Palestinians.
    Syrian interference via their embassy.
    Hizbollah attempting to further tighten their grip on the country.
    I also fear an escalation with Israel.
    National dialogue ("Tawlet al houmar") will lead nowhere but to widen the divide between those who seek true independence and those who still seek close ties with Syria/Iran.
    I do hope that I am wrong, but so far this is part of what think might happen.

  16. @Mlb

    Why do you think that the M8 is going to strengthen its position? I mean you say you don't need polls to know this, so how did you come to this conclusion?

  17. Many of M14 supporters are disappointed with their track record since March 2005, too many compromises were made and promises were broken. Many supporters will not go to the polls and some have switched sides to where the actual power balance lies. As for Aoun and Hizb, unlike prediction they have not lost in popularity. You do the math.

  18. Hey,

    Sorry I haven't been able to reply quickly today ... I'll just say quickly that I don't think M8 will win and that I would disagree with Marillion's last statement.

    More details soon

  19. I do hope you are right BJ but all the talk around me points to the other direction.
    I do hope you are right !

  20. @Mlb

    "The talk around me" means the talk in Beirut?

  21. Yes in Beirut and the Metn area.


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