Etienne Sakr’s Group “The Guardian of the Cedars”, an extreme right-wing group based in Lebanon (next to the three four cedars that we have left) announced their program for the year 2005 that pledged every Lebanese “to kill Palestinians”.
Whether it is an old scratched disc or an acid flashback, these people really asked for extreme fascistic goals a week ago, and it was all over the press.
Joseph Samaha (Lebanese daily AL Safir main columnist, and only relevant opinion journalist in Lebanon) wrote lengthly on the phenomenon basically saying that we should not be that surprised as the Guardian of the Cedars are but the “Bastard offspring of the 14th of March Cedar Revolution”.
What an insightful and closely read account of the main events that shook the country since the death of the former prime minister Rafic Hariri.
The Cedar Revolution (as it was labeled at the time) presented any political analyst or intellectual for that matter with all the facts needed to understand that the 14th of March was sum of isolated aggregates that are at odds with how to “lebanonize” the country.
Even if the Mustaqbal party and the Lebanese Forces united for the legislative elections, they are divided on several issues, as the Lebanese Forces is an open advocate of a federalist Lebanon with a tiny Christian enclave whereas Mustaqbal’s profound mercantile culture would not know what to do with a smaller economy.
In any case, sparing you a detailed analysis of the political goal of each party in Lebanon, whether Aoun’s party, to Hezbollah and others, all of them are at odds on how to define the “identity” of the country.
However, one important aspect is often ill-observed. The current regional events taking place are cleaning the Middle East from the last remnants of Arabism.
Phenomenon like Guardian of the Cedar resurgence, “Cedar Revolution”, Anti-Syrian feelings etc. are consequences of an embryonic formation of a “nation” built on a reaction to other ill-defined entities like “Syrians” “Palestinians” “Islamists” etc.
The region is being divided and nobody is talking about it.
All events that are taking place from the killing of an influential Sunni politician (Rafic Hariri) to playing with the electoral process in Iraq, to arming Gulf States with expensive weapons they can’t use, to spreading the rumour that there is a Shiite threat on the horizon, to putting bombs in Christian areas in Lebanon, to ,to,..
The Maronite International League (i think based in the US) just condemned the last explosion that took place in Getaoui a Christian neighborhood of Beirut and has put the blame on Hezbollah “and other illegal armed organization”.
And the media! the media is sleeping blocked in “we want the truth” speeches. The media is blinded by ideologies that are of no use to understand real political conflicts. No wonder why! the media has been fed with intellectuals that preach “democracy” and “independence” and “free Lebanon”, and “security service is the most horrible creature for you right now”.
No one preached about how entities were being created, divisions were being nurtured, how creative (although difficult) ideologies are being displaced for destructive ones.
I blame this on Leftist organizations. They should have been the bridge. They should have understood firstly the plight and rationale of Islamic movements, they should have saved the popular constituency from lining up with right-wind groups with isolationist principles. Unfortunately, they preferred to stay at home and in conference halls having obsolete dogmatic debates on how to understand socialism here and there. They also began espousing vague nationalistic causes, precipitating the very discrimination waves they were supposed to fight.
But the truth is in front of you. It is in the facts that are taking place. Connect the dots and write about it. Lebanon is especially in a very difficult situation. And nobody seems to care.