Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dissecting the Arab Committee’s Statement

The Arab Committee that is tasked with finding a diplomatic solution for the stalemate in Lebanon has announced a six step plan. These steps are as follows (my comments in red):

1) A return to the status quo before the clashes broke out on May 5, when the government announced two decisions against Hizbullah.

OK, so that means March 14 refuses a unity government whereas March 8 insists on this. Not that Hezbollah really needs to have a veto right mind you. The last few days have shown that they can block government decisions quite effectively by taking it to the street.

"The immediate end to any form of armed presence, the withdrawal of all armed militants from the streets and the opening of all roads as well as the airport and the port."

All roads? Including the ones in Solidère currently blocked? Don’t think so.

The deal stipulates a "return to normal life with the army taking charge of civil peace and the running of public and private institutions."

What?? The army will be in charge of running public and private institutions? Would that include such things as ministries, schools, newspapers, etc.? Looks like a major decision to me which should never have been taken by foreigners.

2) A re-launch of a national dialogue to restore confidence among the rival parties leading to the formation of a national unity government and a new electoral law.

Uh, wait…national unity government, what about the first point that said we return to the status quo? Has March 14 been that quick to sell out its major principle? And whatever happened to Hariri's statement that he refuses to negotiate while the other side has a weapon on the table? Disarmament of Hizbullah is no longer on the agenda?

"This accord will be crowned with the end of a sit-in in the center of Beirut on the eve of the election of consensus candidate General Michel Suleiman president."

Perhaps the translation is not fully correct, but if the removal of Tent City is considered a ‘crowning’, well…isn’t that the world upside down?

3) "Dialogue begins as soon as this accord is announced and as soon as the first point is implemented, in Doha on Friday, (May) 16, under the auspices of the Arab League. The dialogue will continue until an accord is struck."

As soon as the first point is implemented. Right, let’s see how soon the Lebanese army can take over all public and private institutions. Um, wild guess: never.

4) All sides to refrain from any resort to violence to achieve political goals.

Great point, who wouldn’t agree with this? Certainly not Hezbollah, which claimed that the latest violence was not politically motivated but purely as a defense of its own weapons. So they might still resort to violence as long as it’s not to achieve political goals. "No problem, Sir!"

5) "Launching a dialogue (also in Doha) to shore up the authority of the Lebanese state throughout the country and its relations with the different parties in Lebanon in order to guarantee the security of the state and its citizens."

Ah yes, the good old illogic of having discussions outside Parliament to strengthen that same institution. Makes sense to anyone who’s a politician I’m sure; the rest of us have given up long time ago to understand this train of thought.

6) All political leaders to refrain from using language that might incite political or sectarian violence.

Uh-oh, limiting freedom of speech right after the demolition and restart of Future TV, way to go Arab Committee! Still, inciting hate is never a good thing so let’s hope we are spared from those annoying speeches and overly biased press coverage.

Now that we’re at it: how about a goodwill measure and let the army remove all these Syrian National party flags and posters of Bashar Assad in Hamra?

4 comments:

Francine said...

Quote:"Hezbollah, which claimed that the latest violence was not politically motivated but purely as a defense of its own weapons."

Nice one: "defense of it's own weapons"...
So "we" have guns etc. Therefore we "defend" them by using them against... right, people who were not using them for a change.

Swell. No politics involved this time.
Words can kill - ma hek?

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adiamondinsunlight said...

nice analysis, Riemer!

and to add to your last request:

how about allowing the army to remove all the SSNP protection men still in Hamra? I passed one this morning, sporting an armband and a red keffiyeh. This is not a return to the status quo!

Marillionlb said...

Darker days are yet to come!
Wait until Michel suleiman sits on that cursed chair and shows his true Syrian allegiance.
Wait until M14 cowards return from Doha with e new agreement worst than Taef.
If the people do not react and say no to Hizbollah state within a state.
No to Berri considering parliement as his own property.
No to an army that sits idle while citizens are being killed.
No to the return of all those idiots who went to Doha.
.....etc.
Fellow Lebanese you are witnessing what I call call "Syrian hegemony part II, the revenge".