Thursday, January 29, 2009

Under Pressure – Part III

Part I, Their Goodwill Our Blood, Part II, Part III

The proof is in the pudding.

In the first instance I can remember, and in response to the PFLP-GC rocket fire, Gen. Jean Qahwaji (the man chosen to take over the position of Army Commander in the wake of Michel Suleiman’s ascension to the Presidency - and in the wake of the assassination of Gen. Francois el Hajj, the top commander in the “red line-crossing” Nahr el Bared operation) ordered the deployment of Lebanese Army special forces units south of the Litani.

Meanwhile, in another first that I can remember, the Army has announced that it will be conducting Hawker Hunter manoeuvres over the coming days. The news comes after Russia’s declaration that it intends to supply Lebanon with 10 MiG-29 aircraft, the usefulness of which resides in the Army’s increased ability to confront internal threats rather than external ones. For a nation stung by the sight of its troops having to manually drop bombs on militants in the Nahr el Bared campaign, and (more importantly) by the high death toll exerted on its fighting forces throughout that campaign, the link between this manifestation of our enhanced air capabilities and the threat of another confrontation with [Syrian-supplied] militants operating under the guise of the “Palestinian struggle” (i.e., the PFLP-GC) cannot be missed.

And while our new Army Commander (who was himself subjected to a hushed-up assassination attempt – attributed to militant elements linked to the Nahr el Bared campaign … ) has moved to spruce up the Army’s preparedness to confront any instability, his predecessor, President Michel Suleiman, has called on the Cabinet to move to confront the “instrument of influence” from which that instability could arise.

The President’s stances, both in Qatar and at home (with regards to the PFLP-GC), in the face of the gathering storm should be commended. As the International Tribunal becomes operational, as the threat of an electoral defeat begins to loom larger for Syria’s allies in Lebanon (measure that threat with the number and volume of rants by Aoun and his oranges – against the President – as the elections approach), and as Syria feels the need to demonstrate the fashion in which it exercises its influence to a new US administration, the dangers to this country will grow.

If we are to survive them, we must close ranks and recognize those who have taken steps to uphold our sovereignty, supporting them against those who would tear it down.


  1. "we must close ranks", yes you are right, and this should be shown in the next elections; one thing though M14 should "close ranks", and grow some !

  2. Agree with Marilionlb here. Although I would not hold my breath. On the military front, I would add, something is happening that might have escaped some. The UNIFIL is not only on the ground, but it could be reinforced, if need be. I know it could sound strange, but French troops are being pulled out from Africa by direct order of the President. When questioned about it by people worried about a loss of influence, Sarkozy answered the usual bs about cost cutting and the international economic situation. But he added two things: "we could need these troops very soon should some change happen in the Middle-East, something we would do preferably under the UN mandate". Many thought he was referring to some cunning initiative about Palestine with Obama. I doubt it (it is way too early for that). But I would not be surprised if these 2000 extra troops (most of them parachutists or marine commandos) are soon being seen on the bridges of ships mooring along the Lebanese coast.

  3. The two French battleships are due to be withdrawn soon from the UN contingent, so I have heard yesterday.
    Like you Alphast, I am a bit fearfull that something is brewing in our region and I think we will see by spring time if my fears are correct or not.

  4. Yes, I saw the news about withdrawing the ships in question. Apparently, one should be sent to monitor the Gazan coast and the other one to play naval battle with the Somali pirates. Although I wonder if that's not just what Sarko wants to let people believe... I have been wrong before (on this blog) but I feel something creepy going on.

  5. Arabic Coffee Pot11:15 PM

    Who cares about the French ships ... the question is will M8 and the rest of the pro-Syrians try to stop the elections from happening if they think they're going to lose, and if they do, will the army stop them????

  6. Arabic Coffee Pot8:47 PM

    ... I guess nobody wanted to talk about the possibility of violence before/during the elections ...

    ... OK, then lets go back to the French ships (yawn)


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