I came, I saw, and I failed
July 21, 2022
Lebanon is not yet an international priority, but it is certainly a necessity. Hezbollah is among the priorities for known reasons, not the state. Those we used to consider as friends, help Lebanon with the minimum amount of humanitarian aid and the maximum of free advice to keep it alive, even if it is beset with crises.
It is a declared front in a war that did not break out, and it pays for it as if it had broken out. The “friends” know that in Lebanon reside all the region’s conflicts that can be resolved peacefully or that can be resolved militarily, but they deal with it as if it’s internal problems. “They have eyes, but they do not see, and they have ears, but they do not hear.”
The solution to the issues of the East is politically possible if its human components are advanced and invoked by human rights and international laws. However, the dilemma is that the people of the Great East accept the military option first, while it is the last option. Wars are fleeing from the Middle East, and some of its countries are running after them. There is no glory without victory, and who would have won? Since the dawn of the conquests, the Arabs forget about wars. They fought for centuries without a national cause, and when they had a major cause, the Palestinian cause, they stopped the fighting and some of them started fighting each other and rushed to peaceful solutions before obtaining a right or registering a victory. It is tiring for Lebanon to belong to this transformed Arabism, and it is forbidden for it to regain authentic Arabism.
In the midst of this foundational loss, the countries of the Middle East and the Gulf live at the same time, a set of events whose paths and ends are unknown: a hot war, a cold war, an economic war, and a war of entities, parallel to the models of alliances whose members are stammering and Russia, whose members are stammering, and Russia considers them to be militarily unfaithful with the participation of Israel and Russia. American care. US President Joe Biden’s visit came to confirm Gulf and Arab doubts about the solidity, steadfastness and credibility of US policy.
It is not important for Biden to confirm that America is here and will not leave the region. The United States was no more absent from the Middle East than it was when President Biden was there. Our problem with America is not its military presence or absence in the Middle East, but rather the loss of its political decision to confront, whether it was present or absent. If some consider that Biden’s “understandings” in Israel and Saudi Arabia need time to see the light of day, the dangers are imminent and the main issues raised remained contentious with the Israelis, the Palestinians and the Gulf states. Biden did not satisfy anyone. Because this is the case, Iran and Russia have begun to test these “understandings” starting from the Tehran summit (July 18), Hezbollah’s marches towards Israel, the increase in nuclear enrichment, and the possibility of an attack on American sites in Iraq and Syria. Biden came to the Middle East to win the midterm elections in America and lost it here. And he can say without hesitation: “I came, I saw, and I failed.”
At this time, the Lebanese crisis is worsening between an unknown parliament, the majority and the minority, and an independent government that aspires to remain until the end of the era and perhaps after it, and another government that those concerned deliberately did not form, and a presidential election depends on regional developments. Despite this, the poles of the Jeddah Summit statement (July 16) did not hesitate to allocate space to the Lebanese situation, as did the recent Arab and regional meetings, which numbered nearly 12 in less than a month. Lebanon attended and the Lebanese state was absent. The Attic State was preoccupied with arresting a Maronite bishop in the context of “restoring the rights of Christians”, and defaming Riad Salameh, the governor of the Banque du Liban.
To the extent that the Lebanese state is not supposed to get involved in alliances, especially in alliances that are under construction and fragile, it must follow them and observe whether the alliances are eastern or western, and aware of the new developments in the Middle East. Starting from the concept of neutrality, Lebanon can invent new options and weave transnational relations, alliances and axes, at a stage that is witnessing a fundamental modification in the global system, and consequently in regional and international relations. With the exception of the army institution, which maintains internal and external respect, how can Lebanon play this pioneering role, while the rulers of its state are in a political coma and Arab and international isolation, and at the center of problems, not solutions, and in the dialectic of demolition, not construction?
The specialisation of Lebanon in all summits and meetings, foretells the start of preparations for the international conference on Lebanon, as called for by Patriarch Mar Beshara Al-Rahi on February 7, 2021. These attentions, in addition to the statements of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the international support group for Lebanon, crystallize between Lebanon and Israel, the envoy of Lebanon and Israel. Gradually, the Arab and international political will to address the Lebanese issue. But this conference may be lost, and may even turn against Lebanon’s sovereignty, unity and privacy unless we prepare ourselves for its convening and put forward national solutions for the Lebanese entity, a realistic modification of the central system, and a creative conception of partnership. So far, we do not yet know the trends of the international community and whether its interests will be in the interest of Lebanon.
The source of concern about the Western international position is that it does not include the return of the displaced Syrians and the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, does not present an executive mechanism for the international resolutions related to Lebanon, and does not separate the solution to the Lebanon crisis from the solutions of the Iraqi and Yemeni crises and the Syrian and Syrian crises in the region. Concern increases when the Jeddah summit statement calls for “there should be no weapons without the approval of the Lebanese government.” A political reading of this soft-spoken sentence opens the door, in my opinion, to the possibility of a Lebanese government acknowledging the weapons of Hezbollah – and perhaps others – within the framework of Lebanese legitimacy. Is my observation a misconception or a misreading of Arabic?