Biden is waiting for a new Lebanese administration

Biden is waiting for a new Lebanese administration

January 21, 2021

Sajean Azzi

Former Minister


The established, active and complete state interacts positively or negatively with a change of governments in the major powers. As for the collapsed, failed, rigid and indifferent state, it is a wreck that does not interact, having lost sense and conscience. Consequently, and contrary to what some believe, it is not Lebanon that will be affected by the change of the US administration but America that will be affected when the government changes in Lebanon. Yes, Washington DC is waiting for a change in Lebanon to decide on whether to revive bilateral relations with their previous momentum. As long as this ruling is based on its choice, policy, allies, and performance, America's doors will remain closed to Lebanon, and will only be pushed through the issuance of sanctions.

Without the army establishment, to whom should the new American administration go to in Lebanon? To the presidency of the republic, allied with Hezbollah? To the caretaker government? To the not-yet composed government? To the Lebanese parties traveling in a fog? To the anonymous revolution? To a people made up of a 1000 people? To the banks that stole depositors' money?

The state is under the domination of Hezbollah and the political forces are weighed under by their interests.

The political party capable of negotiating with America is Hezbollah, with its strategic project and Lebanese and regional papers: it is an army in its own right. Hold on to the decision of war and peace. It controls the implementation of international decisions. It controls the Lebanese regions bordering Israel and Syria. It oversees border demarcation negotiations. Dominates Lebanese legitimacy. It affects the course of parliament's work. It is fighting in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. And it sits at the intersection of the Lebanese and Middle Eastern settlements.

However, in addition to the fact that America has refused to deal directly with Hezbollah, it cannot negotiate in the name of the Lebanese, just as it is not permitted to dispose of its project and papers outside the Iranian decision. And by extension, America's hypothetical relationship with Hezbollah will be more of a part of its future relationship with Iran than with Lebanon. This relationship oscillates between the fate of the Iranian nuclear pact and the fate of the Lebanese path of normalization with Israel. The cases, in turn, are shifting between the paths of the military solution and peace settlement, which await the direction of President Joe Biden's policy on Israel and Iran.

Contrary to popular belief: Biden is not far from Israel, nor is he rushing toward a quick settlement with Iran. In 2015, the settlement with Iran was facilitated because a separation was made between the nuclear pact and Iranian expansion in other Middle East countries. Today, the settlement is complicated because it connects the two. In all cases, wisdom requires that we wait before making judgments about the new American president. How a weak president surprised us with his strength and bold decisions, and how a strong president shocked us with his weakness and failure.

Whatever the future of these developments, Lebanese/American relations need to be re-evaluated because Washington, although it has been a friend of Lebanon since the second half of the 20th century, has burdened Lebanon beyond its powers. The resettlement of Palestinian refugees and the integration of displaced Syrians are no less a threat to the entity and unity of Lebanon from the burdens that Iran places on it, such as the Shiite crescent and Hezbollah's weapons, and changing the foundations of the Lebanese system ... In other words, the American policy and the Iranian project, despite their contradictions in the Middle East, met in Lebanon and on it, just as the Syrian and Israeli projects have previously met. Just as Palestinian resettlement and integration of displaced Syrians lead to partition, so does the settlement of Iranian weapons.

The responsibility for state and political forces to transform Lebanon is part of the victims of US policy in the region, instead of being a partner who benefits from it. We were not committed to neutrality in order to save us the struggle of nations, nor did we engage in international diplomacy to preserve our rights. We did not fight the wars of the Arabs, nor did we participate in their peace, for we paid the price of wars and peace together.

Our country has chosen a regional axis, which America considers the "axis of evil," and we sought good from it. Our country - indeed, theirs - thought that a meeting in the Baabda Palace or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with an ambassador was sufficient to build a diplomatic strategy and international relations with America and the international community.

The diplomatic movement of the Emirate of Mount Lebanon at the time of the Ottomans was more active than the movement of the state today. The movement of the state of Lebanon at the time of the Syrian occupation was more vital than its movement today. We are in a deep diplomatic slumber, even superficial. Indeed, the parties in Lebanon today are blessed with a network of Arab and international relations that is broader and more beneficial than those of the state.

With the arrival of President Joe Biden, the Lebanese state must present to him a memorandum on the Lebanese issue that revolves around the following points: 1) The revival of the donor countries ’conference with France, Europe and the Gulf countries to save Lebanon financially and economically. 2) Organizing an international/Arab conference to guarantee the existence and independence of Lebanon under a democratic system. 3) The declaration of Lebanon's neutrality. 4) Establishing a mechanism to disarm all Lebanese and non-Lebanese forces and hand them over to the Lebanese Army. 5) Assisting in completing the implementation of all international decisions related to Lebanon. 6) Working on the redeployment of Palestinian refugees in countries capable of providing them with a decent life. 7) Accelerating the return of displaced Syrians in Lebanon to their country. 8) Sponsoring a Lebanese dialogue to develop the Lebanese system within the framework of expanded decentralization or any other framework that the Lebanese agree on freely and independently after the emergence of the new authority and the settlement of the aforementioned demands.

I am aware of the reader's reaction to this proposition: “That we have all this and the government has not been formed yet, and the covenant is in another guardianship”? Therefore, it is imperative that the government announce quickly, and after gaining confidence, a high-level delegation should be formed to carry these demands to Washington DC, United Nations states, and the Gulf Co-operation Council and strive to achieve them. If the government does not do this, non-governmental Lebanese authorities will take the cause of Lebanon because we are determined to save our special existence in this East through dialogue, diplomacy, partnership, struggle, and even resistance. What are they. We have tested the price of all these cases, but any price remains less than the price of losing Lebanon.

The Maronite Church took the initiative to establish Greater Lebanon. The Lebanese state took the initiative to wrest the independence of Lebanon. The constant in the two historical events is the international role, and the changing is the Lebanese authority (non government). Let the state alone take the initiative to restore Greater Lebanon and independence, lest the country be scattered and independence lost.

(See translation in Arabic section)


Copyright 2007