Monday, June 16, 2008

So why did Hezbollah use their weapons?

There's this question that still needs answering: why did Hezbollah rock the boat back in May? After all, things were going just swell for the Party of God. Downtown was comfortably occupied, a political solution was not anywhere in sight and the government of the hated Siniora was brought down to its knees.

Hezbollah's violent overtaking of West-Beirut changed all that. Downtown is booming once again, leaving the Hezbollah followers empty-handed and quite possibly increasingly angry as most of them can't even afford a coffee in the expensive restaurants. A political solution is within reach and March 8 is talking to Siniora with all the due respect they can muster. So what exactly did Hezbollah gain?

As Michael Young has pointed out, by using so much violence against their fellow Lebanese, Hezbollah has effectively rendered itself toothless. Sure, last week saw the warning by the Opposition of escalation if the new government wasn't formed soon, but no one is taking this seriously. It's hard to imagine another round of airport blockade or another battle in West Beirut. In fact, the Opposition's warning could be read as a heart-felt plea for PM Siniora to start sooner rather than later!

So now that the dust has settled and the last echoes of Hezbollah's weapons have faded away, it's time for that simple question: what, exactly, has Hezbollah won by its actions back in May?

7 comments:

salim said...

is this a joke?
the government "rocked the boat" by taking those decisions
Hezbollah used their weapons and
- got the two decisions revoked
-on top of that got the government back to the negotiating table resulting the Doha agreement with their 1/3 veto they wanted all along

Anonymous said...

Salim:
Don't forget, headed by Mr. Seniora.
De ja voue

Riemer Brouwer said...

@Salim,
The two decisions that the government backed down from, were hardly crucial:
How would the government dismantle the Hezbollah communication network? Besides, the government has known since long time about the existence of this network, so there wasn't really an issue.

The withdrawal of the head of Airport security wasn't really an issue either, especially after Hezbollah strongly denied that the officer was related to Hezbollah or the Opposition.

As for the veto, see this article that explains how empty the veto issue really is: MPs can accept draft laws with simple majority after which the cabinet can accept that law, also with simple majority. The veto only applies for draft laws that the cabinet comes up with.

Fares said...

First of all, March 14 buckled and gave March 8 the veto power it wanted, in addition to essentially institutionalizing Hezbollah's role as the welayat-e-faqih of Lebanon. Second of all, are you nuts? Anyone who quotes that slipshod neocon asswipe Michael Young as the primary support for their argument has got serious problems.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who comes up with such imaginary insults to discredit anyone else (in this case Michael Young), is in essence intellectually bankrupt.

Salim said...

I disagree for several reasons Riemer:
-How would they dismantle the network? physically by destroying or taking over the fibercables/infrastructure that make up the network.en plus if they lack the capacity to dismantle it, why outlaw it?even that is an hostile act since pretty soon it would be added to the list of demands against Hezbollah that "international actors" keep demanding in unison.
yes it had known about them for some time, the fact they chose to outlaw it now, if anything makes it an issue, not the opposite.
There are several possible reasons circulating for the dismissal:
if he was pro hezbollah, you wouldn't just believe their "strong denial" would you?
the other possibility being that the loyalists wanted to place a man there to facilitate weaponstransfers to futureplus(or other progovernment) militia themselves.
But most importantly: If you want to trivialise both decisions as non-issues, then why did the government take them?

As for the vetoargument, i think its entire premises is false and based on a lacking understanding of constitutional workings.
yes laws can be proposed by mp's or the government(in which case they need to be veto-free)
But the veto applies to every government decision, not just the ones proposing laws. Since every law needs to be executed by the government and the day to day application/interpretation of laws are ensured and general policy is conducted by the cabinet, a veto power would enable them to block any unfriendly measure and in the case of laws the application
@fares wow welayat-e-faqih such big words that are totally misplaced....you must know your lebanon

Anonymous said...

That was amusing. I guess that now that Hezbollah has "rendered itself toothless" and "its weapons have faded away", we won't be hearing any more calls for them to disarm?

Mr. Riemer Brouwer, I agree with you and Michael Young. Hezbollah gambled and messed up big time and lost and whatever else you want, and the days and months and years to come will undoubtedly prove this.

BTW, Hebollah has been hearing this kind of rhetoric for 18 years now, and they seem to be stronger than ever.

Lebanese opposed to Hezbollah should stop fortune telling and fairy-tale weaving, and come to grips with reality. You will not force Hezbollah's hand on anything. Either you seek partnership with them and work towards a common good, or you continue down this path and watch idly as Hezbollah pass you by.

Oh yeah, and Hezbollah supporters are too poor to afford coffee, and their pissed off because their no longer camped out in fancy down-town soldiere land. They are that vain. Whatever pleases you dude, I just hope and pray that you are actually convinced of the stuff you post, because if you are, then absolutely nothing will stand in Hezbollah's way of achieving anything and everything they want to achieve, least not the impotent and politically immature March 14 coalition. They have wasted a full two years unable to achieve a single thing while Hezbollah has kept them busy with a few tents and protests, while it has quietly attended to its more pressing goals and objectives -- detached from the eyes of everyone.


BTW, the answer to your question is simple. They cut the head of the snake before it was able to grow the fangs that could bite them. Thats why they used their weapons, just like Nasrallah said they would in Bint Jbeil in 2005, with Walid Jumblatt in his audience.