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Lebanon and the Armed Abductor - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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General Michel Aoun described the negotiations between the majority of states in Doha like “haggling at the vegetable market”. I believe that this description is not an accurate one; what is taking place in Lebanon today is more like a family being held under armed house arrest while the police are incapable of rescuing it.

The problem with the Lebanese crisis is that it lacks a political horizon, which is not possible when the balances of power are disrupted on the ground; one party possesses arms and is backed by the Syrian-Iranian intelligence agencies while the other party only possesses civilized tools [dialogue and negotiation], especially since there are questions raised around the Lebanese army.

The majority of parliamentarians in Lebanon resemble a family held under armed house arrest while the abductor dictates his terms, gaining from the tarrying of the police. The family’s endurance will be at the expense of its nerves and safety. And if it chooses to fight then the outcome is predictable: in both cases the family faces death.

The Lebanese opposition wants to impose its conditions and consolidate its coup on Beirut – but over and above this; it wants to be rewarded for the coup. The opposition does not accept any mediation, even if means releasing hostages from the family or pledging to not bear arms and demolishing the house with everything in it. And after that; may God forgive what has passed.

Lebanon is held hostage by Syria and Iran and we have witnessed how Syria launched a brutal attack on Saudi, stating that Saudi diplomacy in Lebanon had failed. The reason, from Syria’s point of view, was because the Saudi ambassador did not communicate with the Iranian ambassador in Beirut.

Could anything stranger be said?

And today, when we say that what is happening in Beirut is an Iranian coup staged through Syrian coordination with the aim of hijacking Lebanon and changing its makeup – we are declared sectarian.

The events unfolding in Beirut now are not an extension of the history of the usual conflicts and divisions – it is larger than that. We are witnessing how Syria and Iran are trying to thwart all efforts in Doha; the opposition’s statement yesterday amidst the negotiations cannot be described as anything but an attempt to strike at the efforts in Qatar.

What is happening in Lebanon is a grand scheme that started in Iraq then moved on to Gaza, and today; we are witnessing it in Beirut. And this will continue until it surrounds the Arab states. Then Iran will be the predominant power in the region and all our nations will be compelled to follow Tehran’s agenda.

What we are being told, that this is all mobilization to confront Israel, is not the real issue. Syria which hails itself as a nation of resistance can only be described as subordinate, and here we see it negotiating with Tel Aviv. As for Tehran, it has not fired a single bullet in the direction of Israel.

As mentioned before, the absence of a political horizon in Lebanon, the disruption of the balances of power and the blatant foreign intervention in the state is a solution that resembles handing the hijacked home over to the abductor and commending him for his achievements.

This is why all that presently appears on the horizon is a dark cloud that is fuelled by abhorrent sectarianism. Although we may be able to see its beginning, we cannot know its end and based on that; it would be best to fasten our seatbelts and prepare for a turbulent ride.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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