The privatization of security

Whatever you want to say on what happened in the past two days, there are a couple of points one will have to keep in mind:

1- The government is obsolete and has no authority whatsoever on what’s going on in the streets. Seniora lives on another planet, along with Chirac. They have no idea, or refuse to acknowledge, what’s happening on the streets. (Update: And if Seniora is being briefed on how mustaqbal and LF militias are causing turmoil, then he should be hanged by the side of his jaw that’s droping).

2- Groups within the government operate militias and are trying to create confusion among opposition ranks. My bet is that they are trying to push Hizbullah partisans to the streets, thus convincing the public that Hizbullah would go to the streets and would use its weapons against other Lebanese. For now, Hizbullah did not fall (and presumably will not) into this trap.

3- The Lebanese army is put to test, and as it showed that it could indirectly side with the Tayyar, we are left off with what Al-Manar discourse has crystallized as “The Militias of the State”, against the cross-sectarian opposition grouping. (Update: what I meant here is that the army will never allow militia-like behavior, and saw that ipso facto (to use a pedantic expression) the army will be against the government).

4- The particular case of intra-Christian clashes is worth elaborating on: forcing the unification of the Christian streets is a painful process, one that will be (and was as we saw) met with violent opposition. Aoun here tries to do exactly what he did in the late 80s. The Lebanese Forces’ snipers were a challenge to that.

5- Government-owned TeleLiban played some classical music while tires were burning. This is to tell you the helplessness of some government officials.

Update: 6- People will start to understand the difference between resistance (Hizbullah) security practices, and militia behavior (Mustaqbal-related gangs, Lebanese Forces). This is a good thing I suppose, although I would have preferred that Lebanese would not have had to go through this to understand!

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7 Replies to “The privatization of security”

  1. I agree with most of what you said;

    However, I don’t think Siniora is as helpless as you say he is. He is also not naive. He understands the situation and its implications very well. Whether the militiamen and snipers on the streets can be possibly brought under control (assuming of course that they are NOT doing this by orders and that they are acting at their own behest rather than the orders of their leaders) is not the issue here; there is not even an attempt to do so on the part of the government, which lends credence to the idea that it is the government that has sent these militiamen to the streets to wreak havoc and “show” what Nasrallah’s actions allegedly “led” to. It’s also meant as a warning and a response to the Tuesday strike. Ironically, the strike was announced days before, and people accused the opposition of being uncivilized and undemocratic; but now I notice, no one is talking about being “civilized” and “democratic”, because I am sure they cannot just convince anyone (though they’ve convinced their own followers, that’s for sure) that torching SSNP offices and sniping people are the peak of “civilization” and “democracy”. But I see there are now attempts to portray these snipers and witch-hunters and office-torchers as Palestinians and Syrians. While everyone was coming on TV and urging for calm (whether some of them truly wished it or not is another matter), Jumblatt came out and continued with his incitement against Nasrallah. Which convinces me that Jumblatt is the puppetteer, and perhaps responsible (partly or wholly) for yesterday’s events. I cannot possibly believe that such a person can actually have followers, let alone follower who are willing to snipe and kill and slide Lebanon into a civil war. If Jumblatt is attempting to create Sunni-Shi’ite tensions (which I am convinced he is trying to do, along with Geagea), perhaps he can actually take a vacation this coming weekend and picnic in Iraq. But for the sake of “federalism” and/or “cantonization”, they are willing to sacrifice anything, even if it means drawing the borders of cantons with the blood of innocent civilians. I wish these events would teach the Lebanese a lesson: that these people, Jumblatt, Geagea, Hariri, Siniora, etc. should all be behind bars, not running a country for sanity’s sake!!!

  2. wishfull thinking, bech ! alas, the people who are pro goverment don’t watch al manar, new tv and nbn, so they don’t know the truth because lbc and future tv didn’t show the fl van arriving with armed people at hazmieh roundabout and at nahr el kalb, and didn’t show the moustakbal gang arriving helmets on and clubs in their hands at the arab university…

  3. we have reached the edge, staring at the abyss.

    what do you think about the notion that the army should take control, maybe even staging a coup s’etat, and force a general election to end this stalemate?

  4. Angry Anarchist, the gunmen are likely acting with very clear orders.

    According to a report, members of the ruling majority have created a cell to come up with plans to derail the demonstrations that took place before yesterday. This report did not appear in the press though.

    Snipers were from “militiat el dawla”, that’s the best way to characterize them.

    Nayla, you’re totally right, my point 6 was ironical. Also, Al Manar did a report on how Future TV covered the student clashes, and showed very well how Future lied and lied and then abruptly cut the live feed because it showed that there were snipers that provoked the whole thing.

  5. Dreamer, I don’t know what ‘army taking control’ means exactly. the army can help but it cannot take full control judging from the prevailing political realities.

    angry anarchist you’re totally right about the quick demonization of Syrian and Palestinians.

  6. no one is talking about being “civilized” and “democratic”
    Correction: Geagea did today in his press conference, while showing pictures of opposition people burning… tires. OK.

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