Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat- Head of the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), MP Walid Jumblatt talks to Asharq Al-Awsat on the current crisis in Lebanon.
(Asharq Al-Awsat) What is the likelihood of finding a way out of the current crisis based on the no-winner-no-loser solution?
(Jumblatt) The matter should not at all come at the expense of the truth. The court should come first. The investigation, which is long, will then take its course, and will justice. We know that this is a long process, as was the case in the trial of the criminals of Serbia. After the endorsement of the court draft, those concerned with the matter, beginning with Marwan Hamadah and ending with (former President) Amin al-Jumayyil, (father of deputy Pierre al-Jumayyil), will see how to move.
(Asharq Al-Awsat) You talked about “the constitutional channels.” is what is meant by that is referring the matter back to the president?
(Jumblatt) Not at all. They do not recognize the legitimacy of this government. They want this government to send the draft law to the president, who does not recognize its legitimacy. They then want to form a national unity government based on the formula of 19 (ministers for the majority) + 1 (neutral) + 10 (for the opposition). There is nothing neutral in the world. This does not exist; it is an innovation. They want to postpone the endorsement of the court until after setting the government ambush. This reminds me of the Saffin battle, when copies of the Koran were raised and someone betrayed (his partner).
(Asharq Al-Awsat) What is the solution then?
(Jumblatt) We will wait; patience is key to relief.
(Asharq Al-Awsat) The opposition is threatening demonstrations and the declaration of a transitional government?
(Jumblatt) If the opposition wants to divide the country, it will bear the responsibility. If the opposition wants to create a situation in the country similar to the situation in Somalia, and if it wants to become the union of courts or tribes — and they are indeed similar to the tribal union. Regrettably, the opposition wants to turn this beautiful, prosperous, and (culturally) diverse country into (another) Somalia. We are not showing contempt for Somalia, but we want a better destiny for Somalia. The opposition wants to turn Lebanon, which has been liberated from the Israeli occupation and the Syrian tutelage, into (another) Gaza Strip; this is the enterprise of the opposition.
(Asharq Al-Awsat) What will happen if they declare a transitional government?
(Jumblatt) How? We are still having the parliamentary majority, unless they kill 10 more deputies. In any case, President Lahhud’s refusal to sign a decree for the election of a successor to the later minister Pierre al-Jumayyil is in itself a legitimization of the murder operations.
(Asharq Al-Awsat) regarding talk of a conflict between two US and Iranian axes. How accurate is this?
(Jumblatt) I will talk about an Arab axis and a Persian axis. Amr Musa represents Egypt and the Arabs. The main Arab forces are today in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. We hope Algeria and Morocco will join us against Persia; that is, Syria and Iran. Syria is annexed to Iran.
(Asharq Al-Awsat) Are you saying that the Iranian element is superior to the Syrian element in the current crisis?
(Jumblatt) This is how the picture looks. The ruler of Damascus betted his destiny and sold his Arabism for the sake of his existence.
(Asharq Al-Awsat) Yesterday, you sent a message to Damascus, in which you asked them not to interfere in Lebanon and to stop sending terrorists and weapons.
(Jumblatt) This can only be achieved with the presence of UN international observers along the borders between Lebanon and Syria. When the Lebanese Army managed in August after the end of the war to seize a truckload of 1,000 kg of explosives, Hezbollah and the security apparatus raised a hue and cry. When the Army seized 15 rockets that were on their way from the south of Litani to the north, suspicions began to revolve around the role of the Army. From that moment, the Army Command and even the Government received threats that they should not inform the United Nations of the smuggling of weapons across the Syrian borders and inside Lebanon.
(Asharq Al-Awsat) Do you have specific information?
(Jumblatt) We have unofficial information. The official sides do not dare make an official statement. The latest information we have is (the story of) the two trucks, and what is left are statements by citizens or partisans from here or there. At any rate, (Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan) Nasrallah said that he had 12,000 missiles and that he fired 4,000. He now has 20,000 missiles. Twelve-Thousand minus 4,000 equals 20,000! He does not admit that the supply (of weapons) is continuing.