"Should Hizbullah not have entered the streets of Beirut? Of course it shouldn’t have. But what choice was left? "

Lu dans Al Ahram, version anglophone de l’organe officieux du gouvernement égyptien – quand même des chroniqueurs sunnites égyptiens ont de la sympathie pour le Hezbollah dans sa lutte contre le bloc Hariri, ça en dit long sur le succès très relatif de la politique séoudo-étatsuno-israëlienne de guéguerre confessionnelle sunnites/chiites (en dehors du cas de l’Irak, très particulier, et du Liban, bien sûr):

So, it finally happened. They pushed so hard that they dragged Hizbullah into the streets of Beirut. It’s the sixth day since 7 May.

Everybody’s Beirut turned, overnight, into a Sunni city, "under attack", and later "invaded" by a "Shia/Iranian-backed militia".

For Hizbullah, the facts do not matter anymore. It did not matter how many times the secretary- general of Hizbullah, Hassan Nasrallah, asserted he did not want an Islamic republic in Lebanon. It did not matter how many times he explained that his party’s sole aim was to have a fair share in the decision-making of the country. He repeated his patience had an end vis-a-vis the government’s decisions that were alienating both the party and its followers. It did not matter how many times he assured his sole raison d’être is fighting Israel, that he cannot endlessly refrain from taking action, that the government was abusing the party’s self-restraint.

Finally, they pushed him into the corner.

Last week, the government issued two decisions, one removing a high ranking Shia lieutenant from his post in the airport. They considered the communication network owned by the party as illegal, and asked to prosecute anyone involved in it in any way.

This network is what dazzled the Israeli army in July 2006, and allowed Hizbullah to push them back.

From the party’s view, one should not read the two decrees from a short sighted, local perspective, trying to prove that what happened is a Sunni-Shia power struggle in Lebanon.

Hizbullah reads it in a different way. For them, it is a struggle between a group that would never give in to Israel, versus another group, one that would do anything to stay in power, no matter what happens to their country and people. And we are not short of such groups in the Arab world.

Had the two government decrees passed without objection, it would not have stopped there. For Hizbullah, moving against the decrees was a matter of life and death.

It had tried demonstrations, sit-ins, threats and endless calls for resumption of dialogue. But this time, the government’s move was of different nature. Now, the threat was too big. The decrees were not a mere trap.

Hassan Nasrallah once said that "our weakness is caused by our strength", meaning that because the party is the "strongest" militarily, their hands are tied. Did not Nasrallah pledge his party’s guns will never be turned against fellow Lebanese?

Well, how do they justify what had happened now?

The answer comes quickly: the act was quick, with the minimum possible losses, and the streets were in the hands of the Lebanese army the next morning.

But mostly, Hizbullah considers that their weapons did not turn against their fellow Lebanese, but against traitors, a la Saad Haddad — Israeli proxies inside Lebanon.

Should Hizbullah not have entered the streets of Beirut? Of course it shouldn’t have. But what choice was left? Even now, after the show of force, the government is still ignoring the calls to start a serious dialogue that would end the political stalemate the country has been stuck in for the last three years.

Did Hizbullah lose popularity in both the Sunni and the Druze streets? Of course it did, but the loss was big before the recent events anyway. Will the wound take ages to heal? Of course, but it was already there.

Here you have a party that, in the summer of 2006, defeated Israel. Yet, it did not abuse that victory to push aside its partners in the nation. For three years, the party has been trying not to act irrationally internally, despite what the other side does: tightening their grip on power, isolating Hizbullah politically, socially and economically, and ignoring its protests.

And how was that possible? Support from the outside. Unbelievable but true.

So true that even after the past four or five days, we are still stuck in the same stalemate.

What now?

Hizbullah would answer: now someone has to convince Saudi Arabia that they should stop trying to replace the lost Sunni influence in Iraq by strengthening Sunni influence in Lebanon. Lebanon will vanish the minute it loses its diversity.

And someone has to convince the US that it cannot keep supporting a group of Lebanese politicians that cannot deliver the way US-backed Iraqi politicians did when the US invaded Iraq. Does the US really want another Iraq?

Today, it has become even clearer to Hizbullah that winning in a war with Israel is a piece of cake compared to avoiding the traps of the streets of Beirut.

Y a-t-il par ailleurs que moi qui détecte les différences sensibles entre membres de la coalition gouvernementale? La semaine dernière, le phalangiste Amin Gemayel demandait simplement une promesse que les armes du Hezbollah ne soient pas dirigées contre d’autres Libanais, soit une exigence très largement en-deça de ce qu’exige la résolution 1559 du Conseil de sécurité:

After it emerged that Hezbollah had gained control over Mount Lebanon and Jumblatt gave the order to lay down arms, Amin Gemayel, a leader of the Christian Phalange Party, came along and stipulated only one condition for holding a national dialogue: that Hezbollah make a commitment never to use weapons against Lebanese in Lebanon. This is the ironclad condition. A mere commitment. Not disarmament and not discussion on the use of weapons.

Mais Gemayel a récemment tourné casaque et très fortement durci sa position, comparant le maintien de ses armes par le Hezbollah à l’accord du Caire de 1969 – on peut se demander ce qui s’est passé ces derniers jours pour que Gemayel durcisse tant sa position (peut-être une tentative de dépasser sur sa droite Samir Ja’ja):

Ex-President Amin Gemayel said the focal point of difference being considered in Doha is Hizbullah weapons.
Gemayel, stressing that the state should have exclusive control over weapons, expressed concern that Lebanon might find itself obliged to reach an agreement with Hizbullah similar to the ill-fated 1969 Cairo Accord with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) that led to the outbreak of civil war in 1975.

De l’autre côté, le ministre de la défense, Elias Murr, s’est félicité du comportement de l’armée – alors qu’il est évident qu’elle s’est plus ou moins alignée sur l’opposition Hezbollah/Aoun:

Defense Minister Elias Murr on Sunday praised Lebanese army troops for avoiding to be lured into "the trap of civil strife" between the opposition and the majority.
"You have not been neutralized, but you did not use the cannon to maintain civic order," Murr said in a message to the troops.

Et il a également conclu sur un constat qui n’est sans doute pas du goût de tous ses collègues gouvernementaux:

The army, according to Murr, would only fight "the Israeli enemy and terror."

Ca tombe bien – il se trouve que c’est également la position du général Michel Sleimane, chef d’Etat-major très proche de l’opposition, et candidat consensuel pour le poste de prochain président:

LAF commander General Michel Suleiman, in a tour of Lebanese troop positions in South Lebanon, stressed his belief that "involving the army in internal clashes only serves the interests of Israel."

Et devinez quoi? Walid bey, le grand zaïm progressiste, s’est brusquement rappelé de l’existence d’Israël:

"Dialogue is the ideal path leading to a defense strategy against the Israeli enemy," Jumblat wrote.

La propagande séoudienne contre le Hezbollah devient de plus en plus lourde, à mesure sans doute qu’est désespéré le plan fou de l’éliminer militairement: voici une chronique d’Al Hayat comparant sérieusement le Nasrallah de la résistance au Béchir Gemayel, complice de Begin et Sharon, et dont l’assassinat allait causer le massacre génocidaire de Sabra et Chatila. Le chroniqueur reproche notamment à Nasrallah de s’allier avec Michel Aoun, qui fût un moment membre de l’état-major du harki Béchir Gemayel (ce dernier point semble véridique – le livre d’Alain Ménargues, "Les secrets de la guerre du Liban", mentionne effectivement des réunions de l’état-major de Béchir Gemayel auxquelles aurait participé Michel Aoun, alors officier de l’armée libanaise, qui avait par ailleurs participé à l’assaut des phalangistes des Forces libanaises contre le camp de réfugiés palestinien de Tel al Zaatar en 1976 et rédigé le plan Najem/Aoun de confédération confessionnelle au Liban en 1980. Entre parenthèses, un des compagnons de combat de Michel Aoun à Tel al Zaatar en 1976 était le délicieux Etienne Saqr (1), alias Abou Arz, fondateur des humanistes Horas al Arz (Gardiens du cèdre), déçu par la mollesse des Israëliens au Sud Liban.

Le chroniqueur séoudien a partiellement raison – le Hezbollah, le mouvement Moustaqbal de Hariri et Solange Gemayel, la veuve de Bachir Gemayel (Forces libanaises de Ja’ja) avaient fait une alliance électorale à Beyrouth en 2005. Mais Hariri est allié, comme cul et chemise, avec le tueur Samir Ja’ja, qui a personnellement participé ou supervisé les massacres de la famille de Tony Frangié en 1976 et de Dany Chamoun en 1990, et dont les sympathies pour Israël et les Etats-Unis sont des faits notoires.

Pour vous faire une idée sinon du degré de ressemblance entre Hassan Nasrallah et Béchir Gemayel, la citation qui suit tirée du site du parti maronite qu’il créa, Forces libanaises, actuellement dirigé par le soudard Samir Ja’ja:

To Bashir, as to other non-Moslems and even some Moslems, Israel was a good example of a modern, democratic state and a potential ally for those who were working for free, democratic. western-style states in the Middle East. Toward that end, Bashir initiated communication with the leaders of the state of Israel. This relationship soon became systematic and permanent. And in spite of the unequal partnership–Israel being a strong state and Bashir Gemayel the leader of a Lebanese community only–Bashir always made the effort to work with Israel as an equal. He succeeded in nurturing a good relationship between an independent and free people and an independent and free state.

After Basher’s election to the Presidency, the special relationship he developed became more evident. he was the only leader in Lebanon and the Middle East who could talk about and build upon the relationship between Israel and Lebanon without prejudice. To him, Israel was a fact and any Lebanese regional policy needed to accept Israeli’s existence as a state and consider its historical importance and weight in regional politics. He believed that Lebanon could live in peace with Israel and that such a peace could benefit both states and even help pave the way for a general Middle East peace.

Gemayel saw the 1982 Israeli "Operation Peace for Galilee" as an important development for Lebanon which would not only equilibrate Syrian influence on Lebanese politics, but could also generate a new political dynamic, which, if properly used, could lead to the simultaneous withdrawal of Syrian and Israeli troops from Lebanon. By the summer of 1982, the equilibrium of forces in Lebanon had changed and the Lebanese, he believed, finally had the opportunity to act in their best interest and invest in that change.

Histoire de rigoler encore plus, cette autre citation, de la même page de ce site:

Gemayel praised the efforts deployed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in helping Lebanon, and he called for stronger relations with these two countries. "The Lebanese people," he declared, "will reserve a special friendship for the Saudis and their Arab friends."

Cela paraîtra difficile à croire pour tous ceux qui sont persuadés que l’Arabie séoudite est au centre d’un complot salafiste visant à égorger les infidèles – maronites ou autres – en direct sur Al Jazira, mais l’Arabie séoudite fût, pendant la guerre civile libanaise, résolument du côté des "christiano-réactionnaires" (2), avant de trouver un cheval gagnant sunnite sur lequel miser.

(1) La pensée de cet humaniste est par ailleurs appréciée dans les forums du bloc Hariri.

(2) Par opposition à la coalition dite "islamo-progressiste" dirigée par Kamal Jumblatt jusqu’à sa mort en 1977, coalition qui vola én éclats très rapidement, Amal se spécialisant ainsi dans le pilonnage de camps palestiniens. Un des éléments qui rend la guerre civile libanaise – ainsi que la crise actuelle – imperméable au prisme huntingtono-mandjrien de guerre des civilisations c’est justement l’absence de logique apparente des alliances, si par logique on entend un alignement des parties en présence sur les oppositions factices chrétiens/musulmans, progressistes/réactionnaires, etc…

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3 Réponses

  1. je crois pas que l’armée a pris positions du coté du hizb; elle a pris la décisions la plus sage vu les circonstances. et mieux vaux les armes du hizb qu’une multitudes de milice !!

  2. Pas vraiment d’accord – Sleimane a une histoire de positions favorables a la Syrie et ses allies…

  3. suis d’accord avec toi, je voulais juste dire que la passivité que certains ont reproché a l’armée est a mon avis un des éléments qui a contribué a ce que la situation ne dégénère pas.

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