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Bullets of a Verbal Battle - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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As violent verbal confrontations take place in Lebanon, the regions new flashpoint, big harsh words are exchanged. On one side, the state and its followers talk about Palestinian refugee camps, Hizbullah, sedition, stability, Resettlement, Naturalization, distrust, and May 17th. In the opposition bloc, we hear its defenders relying in their battle on: conspiracy, intelligence, security bodies, international resolution 1559, assassinations, the upcoming battle, and labor.

Even in his interview with the press, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud was like dictionary of intimidation that has come to life. He talked to his nation about subversion, disarming resistance, and reminded them of its victories, of the Lira, stability, their sons and daughters, the future, responsibility, history, overcoming the present calamity, and solidarity.

He was met by statements from the opposition union who raised the bloody shirt of Hariri and spoke about a conspiracy to hide evidence, the assassination of opposition leaders, and the compliance of the regime with Syrian domination.

In the middle of such mutual accusations, is it likely to understand what’s reasonable and negotiate, as well as what’s possible?

It is doubtless that mixing up the cards is part of the publicity campaign, yet of course, it increases the distance between them. Hizbullah was accidentally barged in the equation or maybe that was on purpose. Those who tailored the Security Council resolution 1559 included the disarmament of Hizbullah in it, although Hizbullah was not part of the conflict that took the Lebanese to the Security Council. The person who phrased the resolution most probably wanted to kill two birds with one stone: get rid of Hizbullah and drive out the Syrian army.

The government group in its turn practiced intimidation fully aware that two words, “Resettlement” and “War” were enough to make many Lebanese eyes sleepless out of fear. The resettlement of about half a million Palestinians in their country and going back to civil war sedition are two nightmares that the government uses repeatedly in the hope of silencing the opposition or justifying foreign interference. Government members, lastly president Emile Lahoud, repeatedly spoke about a conspiracy for resettling Palestinians that was blended with talk about Security Council resolution. The link here is incorrect. Nobody suggested a resettlement and Palestinians were not mentioned directly or indirectly in the resolution. Fears about war can somehow have a true ground and it is possible considering the natural development of events. It depends on those who might use power to impose their opinion driven by a desire for authority and a clasp on it.

As long as this is the language of discussion in a country that may represent a new stage for war, the speed of argument will lead to clashes if issues were not given their true names. When it comes to the opposition groups, their disagreement today is limited to one main issue: investigating the assassination of Hariri and punishing the perpetrators. The opposition thinks that if carried out independently, this process will automatically remove the government, security bodies, the president, and foreign dependency. At the same time, the current authorities see it as necessary for the opposition to join the government in order to automatically embrace it and turn it into a partner instead of an opponent.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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