Saturday, April 14, 2007

Reconciliation still far away

The Daily Star has a good article today in which they request former warlords to apologize. The answers are quite shocking in the sense that no one seems to have learned from their mistakes. Instead, the warlords (no problem to drop the ‘former’ adjective, it seems) are still going strong, very strong…way too strong even.

Look at what Jumblatt has to say:

Acknowledging that he had made "many" mistakes against innocent people during the war, Jumblatt said he was willing to apologize to the war's victims, "if they accept my apologies."

Right, sure he was wrong but hey, he estimates that no one wants to accept his apologies, why bother making them.

On to the next warlord: Samir Geagea, let’s see what he has to say about apologies:

Geagea said that the LF did not want the war to happen, "but we couldn't remain silent while Palestinians and later on Syrians violated our rights and our land."…"Those who launch wars need to apologize and not those who defend themselves and their land against assaults," Geagea said.

Oh boy, too bad the war happened (as in Rumsfeld's “stuff happens”), but the real culprits should apologize, not Geagea who never wanted war in the first place. But of course, that’s why the Lebanese Forces had around 20,000 militia members all armed to the teeth. Good thing they’re not nearly as active anymore, because it sounds like he’s willing to start “defending” Lebanon all over again.

Which brings us to that other warlord: Michel Aoun:

Fifteen years of exile led Aoun to reconsider his war experience, he said, and perform a self-evaluation of past stands.
"War was never an option; both the assailant and the victim suffer," Aoun said.
The former army general said that all the military operations he undertook during the war "were acts of self-defense, I never attacked anyone."
Aoun said the FPM had contained various attempts to spark a new war; "however," he added, "we still cherish our right for self-defense."

Now that’s what you can call a self-evaluation: Aoun was right all along and he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again in a heart beat. His comment that he never attacked anyone can only be met with a wary smile: those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.