Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Impossible negotiations

Saad Hariri’s speech today on his reopened TV station was as defiant as can be. He likened Hezbollah to gangs for shooting at stores, apartments and his TV stations. Also, he called Hezbollah criminal and he consequently referred to Hezbollah’s action as an attack on Beirut.

If the above points were not enough, he mentioned that he will not negotiate while the other side brings a gun to the table, he confirmed that March 14 will never sign the country over to Syria and Iran and accused Hezbollah of having launched an open war on Beirut instead of Israel.

Well, that’s quite a going-in position for tomorrow’s negotiations under “leadership” of Qatar. Despite his strong statements which almost surely will not bring any diplomatic solution any closer, Hariri of course expressed his faith in the negotiations nonetheless. In fact, he went all out during his press conference to mention that if the talks fail, a civil war might be next.

On the other side, we find March 8 who refuse to talk to the current government because they consider it unconstitutional. In addition, they have obtained such a clear military victory in West-Beirut, they might not be inclined to discuss things too long. Their position will be that Siniora must resign or else…

It certainly looks like March 14 is not willing to give in, so what would happen next? How far would Hezbollah be willing to go? Already, there are no more enemies left in West-Beirut and the Shouf mountains because March 14 have transferred their offices to the Lebanese army. So how would Hezbollah be able to exert additional pressure? Set the Christian areas aflame? And if not, can Hezbollah still back down and not lose face?

From Hariri’s press conference, it certainly looks he is daring Hezbollah that if they want to stage a coup, then the only way is to take the Serail by force. Events like this tend to create their own dynamics where no one is able to back down anymore. Hezbollah surely must have thought through the consequences of its recent actions, so the question becomes what they intend to achieve.

It’s hard to believe they assumed Hariri would simply back down after his TV stations and offices were destroyed: they must know that a person whose father was murdered has passed a point of no return when it comes to dealing with the alleged murderers. The same goes for Jumblatt whose father was murdered by Syria beyond any question.

Hezbollah must therefore realize that these two leaders will never accept anything else but a free Lebanon. Likewise, it must have calculated the next steps already, most likely none of them will be peaceful. Pray to God the next few days and weeks will prove me wrong.


Anonymous said...

Well let me assure you that you are wrong about on point. The point that borth hriri and jumblatt want a free lebanon. These two dynamic duo have long lived under the syrian boot and are now wroking under other foreign boots. Instead fo hariri coming out and defusing the situation given that things have been quelled down....he comes out with a fiery speech. The question is..What is he excpecting? s for Jomblatt we all know that the only way for survival is by causing divisions between the bog brothers so that the small brother may maintain his influence.

Another point is that the opposition is asking for mere articipation and not taking over the decision making. They have 45 percent of parliament and are only asking for 34 percent of the government.

Antways enough is enough.

Abu Jaafar said...

"Another point is that the opposition is asking for mere articipation and not taking over the decision making. They have 45 percent of parliament and are only asking for 34 percent of the government."

Exactly. That is a political problem that ought to be resolved politically even if it means waiting till 2009 parliamentary elections or years more. Resorting to violence was a 'red-line' I never thought Hizbullah would cross, however. I feel like a total idiot for believing Nasrallah's lies and his hitherto good reputation.

I agree that Riemer Brouwer may have lavished Harriri and Jumblat with undue praise; in the end however they are to me on the same level as every feudal leader seeking the best interest of his canton (and make no mistake of it, Jumblat proved himself to be extremely vicious while the corruption of the Harriri team exists)... yet Nasrallah and Aoun are proving to be self-destructive... (in contrast to, Jumblat who protects his people, its why he is liked).

I myself am a former supporter of the FPM and defender of the 'resistance's' right to defend its land and people! I was the champion of the 'southern folk' and really tried hard to fight against any attitude that puts the Shi'ites as non-Lebanese people whose suffering at the hands of Israel need not be a concern to the rest of Lebanon. I saluted Aoun's reaching out to Shi'ites (naive as I was, I thought he was genuinely concerned in eradicating sectarianism).

Aoun, however, has treacherously become a Hizbullah lackey and is, as they say, 'no longer an Aouneh' while Nasrallah has shown himself to be the leader of an Iranian militia seeking to implement Iranian interests even at the cost of their own blood and their own people's blood...

So, I do not see the logic in seeking 'participation' by force! No, rather it is the logic of extremism, not 'PARTICIPATION', it is the logic of oppression, not 'LIBERATION', it is the logic of treachery, not 'RESISTANCE', the logic of satanic defeats, and not 'divine victories'... this is how it goes: "you believe and accept what we do and command you to do, or die..."... true love for God and man however, is free and the guardian of a free will, mind and heart... these things are unknown to many Lebanese, especially Hizbullah.

Anonymous said...

Gemayel and Geagea would be two other March 14 leaders who have crossed the point of no return.

Anonymous said...

How have Geagea and Gemayel crossed the line? You may not like them and their history but Nasrallah's violence and attacks are incomparable to their voicing of their opinions

(whos to say they wont resort to violence later, but its the Hizb that gave them an excuse to do that if thats the case; by keeping their weapons without negotiations and then turning them on Lebanese!)

Anonymous said...


I meant that those March 14 leaders also have passed the point of no return regarding Syria, like what Reimer said about Saad and Jumblatt. Gemayel has lost his brother and his son, while Geagea has been imprisoned for many years, all due to Syria.

They must feel the same hatred towards Syria as Hariri and Jumblatt and will not be happy about backing down now in the face of Hezbollah criminal violence.

Francine said...

abu jaafar said: "I feel like a total idiot for believing Nasrallah's lies .... naive as I was, I thought he (Aoun) was genuinely concerned".

Although regarding the somewhat older leaders he already came to the conclusion:"in the end however they are to me on the same level as every feudal leader".

I guess the problems will never be solved as long people still believe in the words of these leaders. Words are nice (like against sectarism, for free independant Lebanon etc. etc. etc.) but mostly they didn't and do not match their actions (no talks/negotiations for realising these purposes, just going after one's own/clan interest. Even "allies" can change overnight depending this interest.

Puzzles me why with the experience of most Lebanese with these people, they still vote for them, knowing no peace nor solution can come from them. No wonder the title of the blog: impossible negotiations...