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War Claws in Lebanon - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Lebanon is once again in danger of becoming a battleground for regional conflicts and one where alliances were made with an exiled General who lived in Paris and a Sheikh victorious in war. This marriage inaugurates a new era of disputes and alliances that illustrates an omen. At a time when Lebanon is falling, people are idly standing by without taking any action. They stood by at the beginning of the first civil war, which erupted after an attack on a bus, which took 15 years to calm. Despite the readiness of everyone to reconcile, the guns did not become silent for another few years because the means were lacking. Common factors between the previous one and the upcoming conflict abound. Unfortunately, for the Lebanese, it is erupting at a time when the rest of the region is enjoying economic prosperity.

The upcoming Lebanese civil war is backed abroad and is carried out by local hands. We already know that the losers of the future are the winners of today, including those with the forces on the ground. When the infighting begins, regional and international powers will take part in the conflict and a huge fire will consume all those involved. It is for this reason that we must blame the men of reason in Lebanon and not the foolish or those with limited interests that will escape on the first flight and reside abroad.

The number of intellectuals in Lebanon is not limited, at the forefront of which is the Hezbollah movement that has long resisted internal and external pressures, keeping away from battles and disputes. It had further abandoned for many years major posts as had it sought to occupy high-ranking titles and posts, it would never have been the party known as the national party that has acquired the nation’s respect, not only from the religious Shia districts.

The Maronite patriarchy had also been the voice of reason, however, if it chooses to adopt silence now, it will simply push people towards the idea of conflict and will lose any remaining influence that it has upon people. Moreover, it could become the people’s guide to militia.

The fact remains that no party will be victorious in the imminent Lebanese war, just as no group was victorious in the previous Lebanese war. As that conflict began, it generated militia leaders who would later become ministers of weak governments.

Local Lebanese powers risk defaming their history and losing their supporters if they allow themselves to be divided by antagonistic alliances and dragged into war. Their efforts of the past twenty years that include the bloodshed of citizens would be wasted in a war that may last another twenty years to come.

As for the unsuccessful parties, they will be the ones who have no basic existence in the country. What harm would come to General Aoun if he were to return on the first flight to France if he lost as he did after facing Syrian authorities in 1990, leaving thousands of his supporters behind.

Conflicting external powers want to see a battlefield in Lebanon so that they can deliver a message to the rest of the Arab world that they can throw the region, starting with Lebanon, into a pit of fire.

This message will be clearly delivered when Lebanon is no longer stable, when it will be impossible to repair the social and political damages and even in government and administration.

It is evident that Lebanon is the easiest passage for the overwhelming powers and that when countries are over-congested with disputes, this will be the first country in the region to represent the risks of destruction.

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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