Lebanon at a Dangerous Crossroads

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mohammad Sadeq al-Hosseini 

Threats Heavily Weigh Down on Doha Meeting

Lebanon is currently experiencing a very dangerous and fateful juncture of its history and it seems that reengineering political system and establishment of a national unity government is needed to get out of the existing deadlock.

Ever since its fiasco in the war with the Lebanese Hezbollah in summer of 2006, the Zionist regime has sought to do something to make up for its defeat. Therefore, it seemed that fanning the flames of domestic and tribal differences and taking Lebanon’s conditions back to where they were in 1970s by availing of the ruling March 14 Coalition elements, was the best option for Israel. Therefore, the March 14 Coalition, emboldened by the support from the so-called moderate Arab states, used telecommunication network of the Hezbollah as a pretext to launch an overall fight against the Lebanese resistance.

However, Hezbollah turned this plot into a political victory through its wise and logical approach and managed to overcome the militia affiliated to Walid Junblat, leader of the Socialist Progressive Party, and other members of March 14 Coalition and make them return to the negotiation table. This was a great achievement for the Hezbollah.

But why Qatar was chosen as the venue for the negotiations? Qatar is the sole Arab country which has good relations with the United States, Israel, Iran, Syria and various Arab states, including Saudi Arabia. This was a good strength for the negotiations.

From another point of view, the Doha Meeting marginalized the governments of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which had proven that they were not impartial in Lebanon and had launched a full-blown media war against the Hezbollah during the recent fighting.

Another component of Lebanese crisis was clear support of US President George Bush for the Lebanese Prime Minister, Fuad Siniora.

The United States and the so-called moderate Arab regimes did not hide their anger at the compromise reached by various Lebanese groups as a sign of their animosity toward the Hezbollah.

In view of the exclusionist nature of March 14 Coalition and opposition from the United States and certain Arab countries in order to bring Doha Meeting to a deadlock, it seems that long-term cease-fire and agreement over continuation of the negotiations and not using arms against each other would be the maximum achievement to be reached through the Doha Meeting.

In general, resolution of the political crisis in Lebanon hinges on reengineering the political system inside the country and this should be done within the framework of the Taif Agreement, of course, after serious changes.

Establishment of a national unity government with a good balance between opposition leaders and logical heads of March 14 Coalition, who would believe in a powerful Lebanon, not a weak one; can be considered as the best solution to the current political crisis in Lebanon.


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