Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Voting for Lebanon or Iran | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Lebanese are today casting their votes in an election that will determine the composition and future of Lebanon. The impact of this election will not only affect Lebanon, but the entire region of the Middle East. Today we will find out whether the Lebanese will vote for an independent Lebanon, safeguarding the fabric of diversity and cultural openness, or whether they will vote for the sake of declaring an Islamic Republic of Lebanon.

We will also find out today whether the Lebanese – who have been freed from Israeli, and later Syrian occupation, and who also experienced Hezbollah arms used against them during the Beirut coup [7 May 2008] – want a free and independent Lebanon, or whether they will vote to put themselves under the authority of the Wilayat Al Faqih. This second possibility will mean that Lebanon will no longer be the country that it once was; what Lebanon experienced following the Lebanese Civil war, and other wars, is far less [dangerous] than subordination to Iran, which will not only change the very fabric of the country, but also cut Lebanon off from the rest of the world.

Lebanon’s political and economic survival up until today is not as a result of Bin Nasrallah’s slogans or arms, or General Aoun’s transformation [into a Hezbollah ally] rather the secret of Lebanon’s survival is as a result of the large Arab and international support, and not Iranian support or its “pure” money.

Iranian support [to Lebanon] is limited to providing arms to Hezbollah, as Tehran is well aware that the party is its external arm [in the region], and the best tool by which Iran can achieve the popular momentum that it desires in the Arab world. Therefore Ahmadinejad was being sincere when he rushed to support Bin Nasrallah, saying that victory for the opposition in the Lebanese elections represents victory for the resistance everywhere.

Ahmadinejad defense of Hezbollah is to ensure that the organization is ready to defend Tehran in the event of a military strike by either the Israelis or the Americans, and not as Nabih Berri claimed, so that Ahmadinejad can benefit from these statements in the Iranian elections. Mr. Berri’s claims are only logical and acceptable in one case, and that is if one of Ahmadinejad’s electoral promises is to succeed in annexing Lebanon to the authority of the Wilayat Al Faqih, which is something that Lebanon must be cautious of.

The Lebanese voters must also take advantage of what is happening around the Arab world, specifically in Iraq. The Lebanese must consider the state that Iraq is in as a result of sectarianism and Iranian control of many parts of the country, they must also be aware of the actions of the Iraqi politicians who are affiliated to Iran.

It is important that the Lebanese realize the fate of the Christians in Iraq, as well as who mistreated, and continues to mistreat and endanger them by not including the Christians in the [Iraqi] Constitution. With this in mind, the Lebanese must understand the dangers of putting their country into Iranian hands.

Do the Lebanese want to vote for those that dare not disobey Hezbollah, and desire a Syrian return [to Lebanon]?

Do the Lebanese want to elect those that consider the day that their capital city was occupied a glorious day, and believe that the consent of the Iranian Supreme Leader permits them [to do] anything, as opposed to those who desire Lebanese stability, and for Lebanon to become a member of the international community?

Today we will see what Lebanon the Lebanese desire.