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Lebanon: Don't the Victorious Have Rights too? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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We are on the brink of another Lebanese crisis and it seems that Lebanon cannot live without them!

Hezbollah and the Amal Movement want to topple the government, and are prepared to take the matter to the streets if need be. Indeed, they have both begun their efforts with the resignation of the Hezbollah and Amal Cabinet members from the government. Based on that, we have begun to hear about the Syrian and Iranian role in the crisis and it is without a doubt that they are among the most prominent players.

But that’s not the problem. After the 33-day war that Israel launched on Hezbollah where all of Lebanon was victimized and after which Hezbollah was made to look victorious, it left us and others questioning our understanding of victory and wondering how to inform the victorious that they won and the vanquished of their defeat. And as the Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora once said, our Arab blood has been tested for authenticity.

The real drive behind what Hezbollah wants – to play a bigger role in the formation of the government, secure more power and obtain a bigger representation in it – is based on its conviction that it was victorious and therefore has a right to the spoils of war. This is their sentiment, and it is also how all the Lebanese parties felt, in addition to the Arabs who seek to manipulate, either because they are truly convinced or because they seek to flatter the street that wants Nasrallah to take over today. Still, all these parties cannot claim this as a past victory for Hezbollah, and then seek to minimize it and stipulate conditions upon it. This is the Arab world’s dilemma in its entirety; whoever returns from an adventure with uncalculated consequences won’t find anyone to confront them saying: just as you’ve entangled it, now resolve it, or pay the price for what you’ve done.

Those who were vocal about Hezbollah found themselves the recipients of numerous campaigns designed to arouse suspicion in their activities.

So, do we declare Syria and Iran innocent? Of course not! But the Lebanese politicians also have to shoulder their responsibility because they are part of the Lebanese dilemma, with all its different forms and reasons. And as the saying goes: there is no nation without land; we have reached a point where we can say that there is no Lebanese politician without a foreign umbrella!

Reflect on the words of the Lebanese President Emile Lahoud for a moment about the illegitimacy of the current government; he was the reason behind the violation of the constitution, and consequently began the Lebanese crisis with all those who have died and all that has been lost. He was the leader who contributed to Hezbollah’s defense in the 33-day war by diminishing the Lebanese army, and he was the former army general and is the supreme leader today. Ponder his words on his country’s army during the war and compare it to the joke that John Kerry made about the American army during these past elections. It cost him his withdrawal from the elections while Lahoud continues to preach lessons despite abusing the constitution and the army.

Now its time for a new lesson, and how many lessons abound compared to how little we know, that it is difficult to join the parade of Hezbollah’s illusory victory, which is being questioned and diminished in significance today. For he who does not untangle the first knot will find himself entangled in the elaborate knots that build on it and that is the state of Lebanon and the state of the Arab world in general.

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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