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Lebanon: The Only Option Left is War - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The drums of war can be heard beating in Lebanon and all that remains is the actual war – it is clear that all indicators point towards an impending war. Since the murder of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the string of assassinations that followed, the country has been heading towards a state of suffocation in a surprisingly fast manner.

Hezbollah’s political dominance and the persistence of its adherents in accusing others of being informers, and the suspicion campaigns that are launched in the media at the expense of many Lebanese, in addition Hezbollah’s domination of the city’s public squares in Beirut – are all indicators that foreshadow war. The disruption of the state’s economy, forcing it to submit to foreign control also signals an inevitable war that even the election of Lebanese Army Chief General Michel Suleiman cannot prevent.

Walid Jumblatt’s statements about war and Hassan Nasrallah are not new, however his tone was different; it was the tone of someone who seeks to send a message across to the opposition saying: Stop playing with fire. Lebanon’s opposition has taken it too far and are rigid and difficult; the parliament has been suspended for too long and there is increased provocation against the majority of the Lebanese people, especially since it was this majority that was elected – not the missiles and the Syrian-Iranian support.

Another issue that supports the theory of the looming war in Lebanon is the international tribunal, which must be concluded – and that is the main point. Whoever wants Lebanon’s best interest and seeks its stability must publicly call for holding accountable those who are responsible for wreaking havoc on its stability, and that they pay a high price for that. This is an Arab effort that must not be delayed.

May God forgive what has passed, Arabism and nationalism does not mean spilling blood and the division of Arab states into smaller states and that the power hungry are left to play with our fate and future. Therefore, if Iran is not contained within its geographical borders and if Syria does not come back to its senses, then Lebanon’s security – and that of the whole Arab world – will not be restored.

It is not permissible for everyone to be held in suspicion, which can only drag Lebanon further down the war spiral, while the Arab Syrian front has not fired a single shot in the occupied Golan Heights at a time when Beirut is destroyed every 10 years. Likewise, it is unacceptable for Lebanon to be abducted by the brokers of wars and crises under weak pretenses that transform it into a card in the Iranian-Western negotiations, or an entry pass for Mr. Walid al Muallem to access Western state institutions.

In the past, a number of Arab states were enslaved by their own slogans, but today states are enslaved by the slogans of others. Lebanon is the perfect example of this Arab tampering and manipulation.

The state of escalation that foreshadows war, the marked decline in the political discourse and the long list of assassinations compels anyone who wants to save Lebanon to ensure that there will be a price to be paid by those who are manipulating the state and dragging it into a cycle of perpetual destruction, whether it is other states or individuals, or even groups. Mr. Amr Mousa’s visit and the statements he makes today, we all know, including Mousa himself, are to no avail. Resolving the Lebanese issue does not start in Lebanon – it starts elsewhere.

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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